Patient Education and Best Practices
How to Brush Your Teeth
Your choice of toothbrush is always an important consideration. Our dentist can make recommendations based on the present condition of your teeth and gums. Generally speaking, soft-bristled brushes are suitable enough to do the job without causing further damage. There are many kinds of toothpaste on the market, depending on your specific needs. We suggest Colgate Total and Crest Multicare for most patients. Remember, a pea-size dollop of any toothpaste is all you really need. Start from one side of your mouth and work your way across. Proper brushing should last anywhere between 2 and 4 minutes.
With the brush positioned at a 45-degree angle between the tooth and the gum, gently apply lateral vibration and end the stroke by brushing down away from the gum to sweep away any plaque. Repeat this motion approximately 10 times before moving on to the next set of teeth (usually 2 or 3 at a time) until you’ve covered all of them. Don’t forget to spit out the excess foam and finish with a rinse.
Short strokes work best when attending to the grooves and pits found on the chewing surfaces of your teeth.
Brushing twice a day, once before bedtime and once after breakfast, is highly recommended. In a perfect world, teeth brushing would follow every meal.
How to Floss Your Teeth
Flossing should become a part of your daily oral hygiene routine. You would be surprised to learn just how much bacteria has collected between your teeth by the end of the day.
Although many people have their own preferred method for flossing, we suggest the following technique:
Start with approximately 2 feet of floss, wrapping either end around the ends of your middle fingers. Use your index finger and thumb to manipulate the floss in the space between each tooth. Ensure that the floss is hugging each side of the adjacent tooth. Work the floss up and down on each side, being mindful not to inadvertently cut the gum.
Electric Brush Versus Manual Brushes
Some people prefer the feel and convenience of an electric toothbrush. Although regular brushing of any kind is your best defence against unwanted cavities, some studies have shown electric models to be more effective in controlling plaque buildup.
Also, some electric toothbrushes (like Sonicare’s electric models) offer a vibration that can be difficult to mimic and sustain using a regular no-frills brush. Other brands like Oral-B and Rotadent ProCare® have small heads that are very good at cleaning those hard-to-reach areas. If you wear braces or have a history of gum disease, our dentist can recommend a product to better support your cleaning needs.
Bad breath has many causes. Whether it’s related to an issue with the stomach or your food preferences, smelly breath is never a pleasant thing to be associated with. From a dental perspective, the bad breath begins in a number of ways:
Bacteria growth on the tongue
Food particles lodged in teeth cavities
Infections following extraction
Poorly maintained dentures
Frequent alcohol and tobacco use
Depending on the source of the problem, breath mints or mouthwash only provide a temporary solution. Bad breath may also indicate other health concerns, including tonsillitis and infection. If you suffer from bad breath, it is recommended that you consult with a dentist sooner rather than later.
Dental Health and Your Diet
Sugar remains the primary cause of the deterioration of people’s teeth. Frequent consumption of unhealthy treats and soda consumed over a lengthy duration (like sipping cola over the course of a movie) allows bacteria to flourish within your mouth.
Reducing your sugar intake is priority number one for cavity prevention and improving your overall health.
Of course, it can be tough to avoid those sweets, especially at certain times of the year. Brushing proactively and rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash can help, but they aren’t the definitive solution. Even fruits like lemons, limes and grapefruits can be harmful due to their acidic qualities.
Regular brushing, healthy eating, and regular dental visits go a long way towards maintaining the integrity of your teeth and gums.
Fluoride and Decay Prevention
Unfortunately, not all of us were lucky enough to grow up in an area where natural fluoride was present in the drinking water. Along with regular brushing, fluoride contributes to stronger teeth and fewer instances of cavities. Although certain kinds of toothpaste and mouthwashes on the market offer enamel strengthening properties, if you have any concerns about the quality of your teeth, your best bet is to seek the advice of a local dentist.
Don’t second guess your oral health. If you have any questions about the condition of your teeth, feel free to contact Bragg Creek Dental clinic today.