Dental Tips Blog

Dec
5

A New Angle on Brushing – 4 Tips to Make Your Oral Hygiene Routine More Effective

Tooth-brushing.

It’s such a mundane activity that it can be hard to imagine how to make it any spicier. You might equate an article like this with one entitled “7 Fancy Ways to Butter Toast” or “Find More Fulfillment in Vacuuming Your Home.”

Well, you’ll have to consult someone who actually knows their stuff when it comes to toast and vacuuming.

But dental experts across the country do know teeth and they feel it’s past time people got passionate about keeping their smiles healthy. That’s why your dentist or dental hygienist would be happy to help you put these tips into practice.  In addition to regular dental cleanings and exams, good oral hygiene can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease and keep your smile healthy.

Back to Brush Bristle Basics

Say that three times fast.

If the bristles on your toothbrush are too hard, they won’t be flexible enough to scrub plaque out of tricky corners. Stiff bristles can also cause enamel wear and speed up gum recession.

Choose a toothbrush labeled “soft” and start from there.

  1. Take the Right Approach

Rather than assaulting your poor enamel with a 90° head-on attack, keep the brush tilted in towards your gum line. Give attention to both upper and lower, inner and outer gum lines.

  1. Easy Does It

Move the brush slowly with short “jiggles” against your gums instead of scrubbing them to death. Being thorough doesn’t mean being aggressive.

  1. Hit The 2-Minute Mark

Two minutes is the standard recommended time for brushing. Set a timer or play a song to brush along to for the duration. Two minutes every time ensures you’ll keep plaque buildup at bay.

Visit your dentist to learn more about creating an oral hygiene routine that’s perfect for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Red Oak Family Dentistry
5345 W University Dr #200
McKinney, TX 75071
(469) 209-4279

Dec
5

Oral Hygiene for a Bedridden Patient

Are you caring for a loved one who is confined to bed rest? Whether the situation is temporary or not, oral health should be maintained as long as the patient can tolerate it.

Neglecting oral hygiene during illness is a recipe for more problems later on. The primary concern in caring for a bedridden patient is making sure they are comfortable. Poor hygiene can lead to discomfort in the mouth or even pneumonia, but it’s not always practical nor comfortable to maintain a “traditional” brushing and flossing routine.

The Right Products

Don’t assume the patient can use the same toothpaste or mouthwash you do. Some products contain ingredients that can irritate sensitive oral tissues or interact with medications.

As it becomes difficult to remove cavity-causing plaque, fortifying teeth with fluoride becomes very important. Antimicrobial rinses are also essential in lowering bacterial count in the mouth.

The Right Tools

Delicate mouth tissues could make the patient’s mouth prone to injury. Your loved one may not be able to handle a toothbrush like they used to do. Choose toothbrushes with small heads and very soft bristles. Use a powered one, if possible, and remember that flossing may not be a practical activity at this point.

The Right Help

If you have some certified assistance in looking after your loved one, make sure all caregivers are on the same page about providing oral hygiene care. Not all professionals worry about that as they should.

Talk with the patient’s doctor to find out which products are safe to use and which issues are priorities. Lastly, contact a dental professional for advanced suggestions on providing gentle dental care to your bedridden loved one.

Posted on behalf of:
Marbella Dentistry
791 FM 1103 #119
Cibolo, TX 78108
(210) 504-2655

Sep
29

4 Uses for Old Toothbrushes

Posted in Fillings

Regular brushing with a fresh toothbrush is part of a good oral hygiene routine that will help prevent tooth decay and reduce the need for dental fillings, crowns, and other tooth restorations. Most dentists recommend replacing your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if the bristles have become frayed or if you have been sick.   Before you throw that old toothbrush away, why don’t you see if you can put your brush to use in one of these areas?

  1. Scrubbing Tile Grout

There’s nothing like a toothbrush to loosen grime trapped between tiles or even around the sink faucet. It’s especially effective when used with a cleaning solution of baking soda and vinegar.

  1. Cleaning Jewelry

Toothbrush bristles are the ideal way to add some shine to your jewelry. Their small size makes them perfect for scrubbing the hard-to-reach inside of rings where dirt can accumulate. Use a jewelry cleaning chemical to treat your favorite treasures and then loosen debris with your old brush.

  1. Pre-Treating Stains On Clothes

Need a way to dab just a little pre-treat laundry soap on your favorite blouse? Your old toothbrush makes the perfect applicator. It’s also good for scrubbing out isolated stains.

  1. Unclogging Filters

Lots of household appliances come with filters that you probably overlook more often than not. A good cleaning will keep your refrigerator or clothes dryer running smoothly. A toothbrush can not only nab gunk stuck in the screen of the filter, but it’s perfect for reaching the angles at the corners of the filter.

Naturally, you can’t retire your toothbrush without having another at the ready to take its place. Use this opportunity to find a brush you’ll love even more. Schedule a dental appointment and ask your dentist for some tips on selecting a new toothbrush that suits your smile care needs.

Posted on behalf of:
The Newport Beach Dentist
1901 Westcliff Drive #6
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 646-2481

Aug
3

How to Design the Perfect Oral Hygiene Routine

What’s the golden secret to a knock-out Hollywood smile?

Routine dental checkups and cleanings are important and there are a variety of cosmetic dental treatments that will improve your smile, but it all starts with customized oral hygiene right at home.

Choose The Right Brush

First, you need to decide on a toothbrush that will get the job done properly. Not just any kind will do! Look for one with the softest bristles possible. These are kind to gums.

It’s also good to consider whether you want to stick with a classic manual brush or try a powered one. Electric toothbrushes are great for anyone, but they’re extremely helpful to those who have difficulty manipulating a traditional one.

Which Toothpaste Is Best?

Toothpastes are formulated differently to address problems such as sensitivity, decay, and gingivitis. Whichever kind you decide on, make sure it contains fluoride since all teeth need extra cavity-protection.

Cleaning Between Teeth

The next area to consider is how to access those spots that your toothbrush cannot reach. For most people, a basic waxed tape floss is sufficient. But don’t limit yourself! If you find that kind of floss is too hard to use or it even hurts your gums, explore some other options.

There is more fine ribbon floss, fluffy tufted floss, floss on handles, water flossers, and more. It’s all about finding the option that works well and feels good.

Get Help Designing The Perfect Routine

Your dentist and dental hygienist are your best resources when it comes to oral care. They’ll consider your smile’s unique needs and give you tailored suggestions for products and tools you might never have discovered on your own.

The journey to the perfect smile starts right at home! Learn more by planning a visit to your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Gilreath Dental Associates
200 White St NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 514-1224

Jul
17

Say Cheese! Cheddar May Benefit Your Smile

Posted in Fillings

One recent study strongly suggests that cheese could be an anti-cavity super food.

This study compared the effects of different dairy products on the pH levels inside of the human mouth. Some study participants drank milk, others ate yogurt, and the rest ate cheese.

Study Results

Each person ate their assigned snack for three minutes and then rinsed with water. pH readings were taken at 10, 20, and 30-minute intervals after eating. While the milk and yogurt didn’t make the mouth more acidic, the cheese caused pH levels to spike.

High pH levels means a more alkaline environment. This is good news for your teeth, since acid is responsible for wearing down enamel. A basic food item like cheese helps to neutralize acids that your mouth does encounter.

Other Benefits of Cheese

Cheese is a great source of calcium and casein. These elements show evidence of preventing the formation of plaque and reinforcing enamel.

Finally, there’s nothing like a tangy piece of sharp cheddar to get the saliva glands flowing. Saliva is your body’s natural way of neutralizing acid. It also washes away bacteria and food debris.

Snacking on cheese makes more spit, and that’s a good thing!

None of this is to say that chewing cheese will take the place of brushing! Maintaining a routine of good oral hygiene is still the best way you can prevent cavities and avoid dental fillings.

It’s just nice to know that one of America’s favorite foods is now on your dentist’s list of smile-friendly snack recommendations. Even if you melt some cheddar in pasta or rice, you’ll still get great benefits.

You’ve got a great reason to smile when you say “Cheese!”

Posted on behalf of:
Park Slope Dental Arts
506 3rd St
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 962-0300

May
25

How Much Time Do You Spend on Your Oral Hygiene Routine?

Good oral hygiene between routine dental exams and cleanings will help your teeth and gums stay healthy.  It’s actually not enough to just scrub a brush in some toothpaste bubbles for a few seconds. You need to invest a little more time in your routine to get the full benefit.

Is Your Brushing Worth Your Time?

Dentists generally agree that you should be brushing a solid two minutes to get any real benefit from the activity.

Dental plaque is made up of bacteria that coat themselves in a protective slime layer. This means that they can’t be killed off with toothpaste or mouthwash the way hand sanitizer kills germs on our hands.

It takes a little time to physically displace these germs which cause bad breath, gum disease, and cavities. A toothbrush is your best tool for removing the majority of bacteria.

When brushing, make sure you hit all the important areas:

  • Chewing surfaces
  • Inner gum line
  • Outer gum line
  • Backs of the last teeth in each arch

It takes a little time to make sure your brush is accessing all of these areas for a thorough plaque removal!

That’s Not All, Folks . . .

If your dentist recommends that you use a mouthwash, make sure you do that the right way, too. A strong fluoride rinse usually needs one minute to deliver the most benefit to your teeth. A lot of anti-plaque rinses require a solid 30-second swish.

Don’t forget the flossing! At least once a day make sure you run something between your teeth where a brush can’t reach. The time needed for this will vary from person-to-person, so check with your dentist about the routine that’s right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Pleasant Plains Dental
5850 W Hwy 74 #135
Indian Trail, NC 28079
(704) 815-5513

Nov
26

How Does Your Oral Hygiene Rate?

Like many others, you may feel that oral hygiene is a personal issue. However, it gets more personal than you might realize: the health of your mouth affects the health of your body. So beyond the benefit of having a visually-appealing smile, a good routine of dental hygiene can have a major impact on your overall wellbeing.

A Clean Mouth – Why Important

Clean teeth mean teeth that are free from bacteria that cause things such as gum disease and tooth decay. Oral disease like these that have been closely linked to other health concerns in the body including heart disease and diabetes. Keeping your mouth clean matters!

Signs of Good Oral Hygiene

A little plaque buildup between dental cleanings is typical. But what signs generally indicate that your oral hygiene routine is a good one?

  • Your gums are not puffy or tender and don’t bleed on brushing or flossing
  • You have very little stain accumulation
  • You don’t have persistent bad breath

Keeping up a smile-healthy routine includes daily flossing, brushing at least two times a day, and using other products or tools as directed by your dentist.

Can You Improve Your Oral Health?

The best way to know what’s going on with your mouth is to visit your dental hygienist. The hygienist and dentist will work together to identify problems in your mouth. Dental professionals have access to tools for assessing your oral health and alerting you to problems long before they get out of hand.

Your dental hygienist in particular will evaluate your current oral hygiene routine and technique. You’ll get some valuable feedback for maintaining the best smile of your life! Call your dental office today to schedule an appointment.

Posted on behalf of:
Timber Springs Dental
5444 Atascocita Road Suite 100
Humble, TX
(713) 244-8929

Mar
8

Don’t Forget To Clean Your Tongue

Do you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss regularly? That’s wonderful, but you still might not be adequately cleaning your mouth! Did you know that the tongue contains more bacteria than any other part of your body? If you’re not cleaning your tongue, then you might suffer from bad breath, an increase in tooth decay and your tongue will look unattractive when you’re laughing. If that makes you cringe, there are several tips to help you maintain proper tongue hygiene.

  • Use your toothbrush! Brush away the food particles and bacteria that’s harbored on the bumpy surface and mucus of your tongue. Use a small amount of toothpaste and beginning at the back of your tongue, gently, but firmly, brush the entire top surface of your tongue. Some toothbrushes even have a tongue cleaner built in. When you’re finished, rinse with water.
  • Use a tongue scraper for a more thorough tongue cleaning. This soft, flexible tool gently lifts off the buildup of debris and bacteria from your tongue.  Extend your tongue and scrape from back to front, being sure not to break the skin. Rinse your mouth and your scraper frequently.

Once your tongue is clean, rinse your mouth with a mouthwash to remove any lingering residue and freshen your breath. Take care to avoid alcoholic mouthrinses, as they can alter the natural flora inside of your mouth.

When Should You Clean Your Tongue?

Cleaning your tongue first thing in the morning, before eating or drinking, and again before bed. Your food might even taste better!

A quick oral exam can screen for potential infections over the surface of your tongue. Call your dentist today to schedule an appointment for the healthiest, freshest smile possible.

Posted on behalf of:
Gilreath Dental Associates
200 White St NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 514-1224

Dec
27

Are You Flossing the Wrong Way?

It’s hard enough to remember to floss – but if you’re flossing the wrong way, you could actually be doing more harm than good. Flossing isn’t difficult, but it does mean that you need to take a few different steps to make sure flossing is done properly:

Bleeding Doesn’t Mean You Should Stop Flossing

One of the biggest concerns that people have when they floss is making their gums bleed. If you floss irregularly, you probably have gingivitis. One of the signs of gingivitis and gum disease is bleeding gums. It can take flossing every day for up to two weeks before bleeding goes away. 

Wrap the Floss Tightly Around Your Tooth

Floss needs to be wrapped in a “C” shape around your tooth and then rubbed up and down against the tooth under the gumlines. Keeping the floss straight and jerking it up and down can cut or permanently damage your gums. The key is to clean the curves of your teeth and the pockets below your gumlines. 

Chose Your Floss Picks Wisely

As noted above, you need to be able to curve the floss around your tooth. Cheaper versions of most floss picks won’t allow you to do that around your back teeth. They are usually ok for front teeth or for children, but not comprehensive adult oral hygiene. Consider getting a flosser with a “Y” shape that is easier to reach the back teeth with.

Can’t Reach? Consider a Water Flosser

Water flossers are a great, efficient alternative to traditional flossing. Although they are messy in the beginning, water flossers do an excellent job at keeping your smile clean and healthy.

Posted on behalf of:
Mansouri Family Dental Care & Associates
4720 Lower Roswell Rd
Marietta, GA 30068
(770) 973-8222

May
30

3 Oral Hygiene Aids That People with Bridges Can’t Live Without

Posted in Dental Bridges

Your bridge is a big responsibility. It cannot simply be placed and then forgotten. A bridge represents a long-term investment that must be maintained, if it is to last. If neglected, a bridge could eventually fail, resulting in the need for more-involved treatment. The longer you care for your bridge, the longer you will enjoy its support. Let’s now review three oral hygiene devices that are essential to maintaining healthy teeth and gums around a bridge.

Tufted Floss

This floss allows you slip one stiffened end underneath your bridge, and carefully sweep a fluffy, fibrous segment underneath the false tooth. The absorbent segment on tufted floss is gentle on gums.

Water Flosser

This automated device is designed to propel water along the gum line and between teeth to help flush out bacteria not removed through flossing. This water flow is particularly helpful around bridges, which can be difficult to access with floss.

Floss Threader

This simple plastic needle makes it easier for you to slip floss under your bridge so that you can keep the “anchor teeth” clean, below the gum line.

Taking good care of your bridge may sound like a chore, but it is well worth your time and effort. If you would like to find out more about the options available for cleaning your bridge, ask your local dentist for suggestions. Your dentist or hygienist will be able to evaluate your technique and make recommendations for adjusting the way you clean your bridge. Take advantage of the help offered at your dentist’s office to get the most out of your bridge!

Posted on behalf of:
Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC
1295 Hembree Rd B202
Roswell, GA 30076
(770) 475-6767

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