How to brush your teeth
The first step is to choose a good toothbrush. You always want to use a soft brush with a small head. A soft brush is hard enough to remove plaque, yet gentle enough not to damage your teeth or gums.
The next issue is to select good toothpaste. In general, any toothpaste that contains Fluoride will do the job, unless you have special needs that are determined by your dentist.
The first rule of brushing is to start from a specific location and work your way to the opposite side, continuing all the way through the whole mouth so that you end where you started. This way you won't miss any area. Usually a pea-sized amount of toothpaste is enough. An adequate brushing should take at least 2 minutes and preferably around 4 minutes.
There are a variety of techniques for brushing your teeth. We will demonstrate the one useful to your teeth during your visit.
How to floss your teeth
The surfaces between teeth are not easily accessible by toothbrush; therefore, the best way to clean them is by flossing. The ideal frequency for flossing is like brushing: ideally after each meal, though one time a day (before going to bed) is the minimum necessary.
To start, cut a piece of dental floss (approximately 2 feet). Wrap both sides of the floss around your middle fingers. Using your index and thumb, glide the floss in between all of your teeth one by one. When flossing, make sure you are not cutting your gums. The goal is to clean the teeth surfaces, not the gums. In the space in between the teeth, press the floss against each side of the tooth (hug the tooth) and gently move it back and forth and up and down. Then move to the opposite surface of the adjacent tooth.
Electric brush verses manual brush
There have been multiple studies comparing the effectiveness of manual brushes and electric brushes.
Although not all electric brushes are the same, these studies conclude that, in general, electric brushes are more efficient in controlling plaque than manual brushes. Theoretically, you can do a very good brushing with a regular hand brush, but the movements of an electric brush make the task easier and more effective.
If you have any questions about electric toothbrushes give us a call today!
Dental health and your diet
Sugar is the main cause of dental decay when bacteria are present. However, the frequency of your sugar consumption is more significant than the amount of sugar you eat.
Probably the worst thing you can do to your teeth is to drink a soda and have a sip every few minutes over a long period of time; the same is true for snacking. It is recommended that if you want to have a snack, soda, or juice, it is better to have it after food, as dessert, or have it in one sitting. Eating or drinking something sweet over an extended period of time creates a constant supply of sugar for bacteria that causes tooth decay!
It is important to be aware of all the possible sources of sugar out there. It is not just everything that is sweet, but anything that can turn to sugar, like pieces of bread. Cutting down your sugar intake is good for cavity prevention, as well as your general health.
But what about when you have to have sugar? The best way to avoid cavities is to prevent the sugar from staying next to your teeth. Brushing after eating sugar, rinsing your mouth with Fluoride mouth wash, or chewing sugarless gum can help. However, nothing has the effect of avoiding sugar!
Is there any kind of food that prevents tooth decay?
Well, not really. Some people believe that chewing foods like apples and carrots may have some plaque removal effects, but they still contain some sugar, so any advantage is not clear.
Another group of food that causes significant damage to teeth structure is acidic food. If in frequent contact with teeth, things like limes, lemons, and grapefruits can cause serious irreversible damage (erosion) to your teeth.
Fluoride and decay prevention
Many years ago scientists started to notice that children who were born and raised in areas with natural fluoride in drinking water had fewer cavities than children in other areas. Fluoride absorbed by your body when teeth were forming (during mother’s pregnancy to early childhood) integrates into the structure of enamel and makes it stronger.
After teeth eruption, fluoride found in your toothpaste, mouthwash, or in what your dentist places on your teeth still has a positive effect on your teeth. It strengthens the enamel and reduces the chance of tooth decay.
If you have children and live in an area that has no fluoride in its drinking water, you should consult your dentist and physician about fluoride tablets that are available for children.
If you have any questions about Fluoride treatment give us a call today!