A lot of people enjoy freshening up their smiles after lunch. Dentists recommend brushing at least two, if not, more times per day to help prevent cavities and tooth decay which can lead to the need for dental fillings, dental crowns and other tooth restorations. But you could be in a dangerous habit if you aren’t timing your brushing sessions correctly.
Germs, Germs . . .
Your mouth is loaded with all kinds of bacteria, good and bad. The bad germs feed on the foods you eat with sugar being their all-time favorite. The simpler the sugar, the better. So they really go to town on sweet drinks, desserts, and candy. These bacteria then produce high levels of an acidic waste product, especially when they’re actively converting sugar to fuel.
An Acidic Situation
Speaking of acid, your food itself probably contains more acid than you’re aware of. Sugar, fruits, tomatoes, and vinegar are acidic, and carbohydrates break down into more acidic sugars.
All of this acid activity means that the pH levels of your mouth drop into a dangerously low acid zone for some time after each meal.
Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body but acids can erode enamel. Acid-producing germs in particular are responsible for wearing down enamel to the point of cavity formation.
When Should You Brush?
Brushing after meals is great for removing debris and odors and for reducing the amount of harmful bacterial. However, most dental experts urge caution and recommend waiting a half hour before brushing. This allows your body’s naturally-basic saliva to neutralize acids. Otherwise, brushing could just serve to spread acids around to other teeth. It also helps to rinse with water before you brush.
Shore up your enamel against acid attacks by getting plenty of fluoride. Your dentist has plenty of tips for protecting your teeth.
Posted on behalf of:
Atencio Family Dentistry
3773 Baker Ln #3
Reno, NV 89509
It’s an age-old remedy for many common health ailments. It’s a vital ingredient in many baked goods. It helps remove stains in laundry and is a chemical-free household cleaning agent. It deodorizes refrigerators and cupboards.
What is it? Baking soda.
This cheap and simple product can be a handy helper in your home. You may also know it as a popular toothpaste substitute.
This begs the question, however: is it safe to brush with baking soda instead of toothpaste?
Why Use Baking Soda?
Daily brushing is important to help reduce or prevent tooth decay and avoid the need for fillings, crowns, and other dental restorations. Baking soda can be a cost-effective and quick way to get your teeth scrubbed up.
People choose this alternative toothpaste mainly because it’s gritty enough to polish out some stains on enamel. Baking soda can help remove some plaque and debris and its basic nature allows it to neutralize acids in the mouth. These acids are responsible for triggering tooth decay.
What’s Not So Great About Baking Soda?
Despite its benefits, baking soda also has a few downsides:
Perhaps the worst part about baking soda is not what it does, but what it doesn’t do.
Most toothpastes have some kind of detergent to help gently loosen plaque from the teeth. That’s what creates all the foam when you brush. Some toothpastes even have agents that prevent bacteria from growing back.
Most importantly, other toothpastes generally have fluoride. This vitamin is essential for strong teeth, but it’s not found in baking soda, by itself.
Ask your dentist whether using baking soda to regularly brush your teeth is good for your smile.
Posted on behalf of:
Dona W. Prince, DDS
4220 Sergeant Rd #100
Sioux City, IA 51106
Yes, the way you brush does matter! This isn’t just one of your dental hygienist’s pet-peeves. It’s something that has a big impact on your smile.
Here are four of the most common signs that something about your brushing technique just isn’t working for you.
Signs of horizontal wear on the tooth enamel usually indicate that someone has a heavy hand while brushing. Stiff scrub-brushing will erode enamel with time.
It’s not just your teeth that can suffer from aggressive brushing. Gums will probably respond sooner to the irritation by receding away from the teeth.
Are you sick of that constant tartar growth on your lower front teeth?
Brushing there a little longer each day with the toothbrush properly angled could help you slow down the development of that unsightly, odorous buildup.
It’s normal for the bristles on a brush to wear down over time. They get bent and splayed and that usually means it’s time for a fresh toothbrush.
But if your brush bristles are splayed within just a couple of weeks, then that’s another sign that you’re brushing way too hard. You should be getting more mileage out of your brush than that!
What Can You Do?
Try out different kinds of toothbrushes. A powered toothbrush could even help ensure that you’re brushing with the right amount of pressure for the right amount of time.
Practice brushing during your dental checkup and cleaning. At your next dental visit, show your hygienist how you are brushing and you’ll get some valuable feedback.
Posted on behalf of:
Avalon Dental Group P.C.
2205 Williams Trace Blvd #108
Sugar Land, TX 77478
We’ve heard that we should be replacing our toothbrushes on a regular basis. Are you doing it regularly enough, though?
It’s true that your toothbrush is your own business. But there are good reasons why you should keep it fresh!
Keep the Germ Count Down
Change out your toothbrush after a bout of sickness. Some bacteria and viruses can stick around on the damp bristles of a toothbrush and potentially reinfect you. This is particularly true in the case of cold sores.
Think, too, about where you keep your toothbrush.
Most folks keep their toothbrushes in the bathroom. When the toilet flushes, bacteria and debris are suspended in the tiny droplets that are released. These droplets can land on any object within reach – including (eek!) your toothbrush!
Replacing your toothbrush from time to time will help you keep all those nasty germs from accumulating on your brush…and setting up camp in your mouth.
Keep Your Brushing Effective
The bristles on a toothbrush are designed to gently slip just below the gum line around teeth. This helps dislodge bacteria that hide underneath. Each of the bristles also helps scrub away stain and food buildup while loosening debris that gets stuck in the grooves of teeth.
When these bristles splay, you no longer have that original scrubbing power. Instead of loosening plaque, the flattened bristles will just kind of push it around. You won’t be able to keep the gum lines as clean.
Keep your smile healthy and beautiful by replacing your toothbrush, ideally, every 3-4 months.
Monitor your brush after a few months of use for signs of the bristles splaying. Talk with your hygienist at your local dental office to learn more.
Posted on behalf of:
Dr. C Family Dentistry
13514 E 32nd Ave
Spokane Valley, WA 99216
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