For some people, even with excellent oral hygiene, there are areas that naturally collect more plaque bacteria than others. Why does that matter? Because those areas in your mouth can quickly begin to decalcify, erode, and develop tooth decay, gum disease, bone loss and even the loss of your teeth. Let’s talk about where these “trouble” spots are, and what you can do about them:
It’s true, crooked and crowded teeth are more likely to develop plaque and tartar buildup around them than straight teeth are. Why? Because it is more difficult to keep them completely clean. Bacteria lodge in specific spaces that sometimes even good brushing can’t get to. You may want to consider asking your dentist about braces!
Yes, once you get braces you’re also more likely to have some plaque hang out in certain areas. If you have traditional braces, brackets tend to have a small amount of plaque adhere to the edges around them. It’s very important to brush around these thoroughly each day so that you can avoid getting scars shaped like white circles on your teeth after your braces are removed.
Margins of Crowns or Bulky Feelings
Every crown has a small margin around the edge that plaque likes to adhere to. Even though you’ve had the tooth treated for decay doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. It’s possible that new decay can develop! Gently brush along your gumlines and floss around each tooth, especially crowns, to prevent plaque from causing gingivitis or decay.
Under Gumlines, Between Teeth
Even the best toothbrushing in the world won’t clean between your teeth or under gum pockets. That’s why flossing is essential! Wrap your floss around each tooth snugly, and slide up and down under the gums a few times every day.
Posted on behalf of Dan Myers
A common complaint among people suffering from dry mouth is the discomfort they experience when they are sleeping, or first thing in the morning. The lack of lubrication makes it difficult to relax or start daily routines when their cheeks, lips and tongue all seem to stick together. While it is completely normal for us to have a reduced saliva flow during our sleep, patients with xerostomia may feel as if they have no saliva flow at all during the night.
Keeping a bottle of water on your night stand is one thing that you can reach for first thing in the morning, but here are some tips to help you make your rest more comfortable:
Avoid mouthwash that contains alcohol. Most popular over the counter rinses do contain some amount of alcohol, and using them can cause your oral tissues to dry up even further. Instead, rinse with a special formulated mouthwash that lubricates your mouth and is for people with xerostomia. While this may make your mouth feel slightly “slimy,” it helps things move around more and prevents tissues from sticking together. There are also artificial sprays that you can use immediately before bed or when you get up.
Assess what medications you are taking. Some prescription or over the counter medications list dry mouth as a common side effect. Do not discontinue your medications, but consider taking them first thing in the morning instead of right before bed.
Add a few drops of essential oil to your toothbrush at night. Some essential oils help stimulate saliva flow, in addition to freshening your breath and reducing your risk of gingivitis and gum disease.
Posted on behalf of Dan Myers
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