Dental Tips Blog

Aug
3

Top 4 Oral Hygiene Aids for Braces

The better you take care of your teeth while wearing braces, the better your outcome will be.

Certain tools can make it easier for you to keep your braces clean and your teeth healthy during treatment.

Powered Toothbrush

The vibrating motion of electric brushes frees plaque from hard-to-reach places. This makes it easier for you to angle the brush head in different directions around your brackets for a thorough cleaning.

Additionally, many powered toothbrushes come with small brush heads designed specifically for orthodontic appliances.

Water Flosser

Water flossers send a powerful stream of water that you can direct between teeth, around wires, and along the gum line. “Flossing” with water is a good idea if you find it challenging to use regular floss.

You can get some extra therapeutic benefits from a water flosser, as well. Some devices let you irrigate your teeth and gums with a mixture of water and mouthrinse.

Interdental Cleaners

For those times when you don’t have access to your powered hygiene tools, it’s good to keep interdental cleaners on hand. An interdental cleaner is a small plastic appliance you can poke underneath the archwire to remove plaque from between teeth. It looks like a small pipe cleaner on the end of a handle.

Orthodontic Flossers

An orthodontic flosser is an inexpensive and disposable tool. One end of the flosser slips underneath the wire, taking a short length of flossing tape along with it so that you can clean your teeth without having to loop the floss around your wires.

In addition to the right tools, your teeth may benefit from extra fluoride and an antibacterial rinse.

Visit your dentist or orthodontist to find out which hygiene tools and tips are right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
ConfiDenT
11550 Webb Bridge Way, Suite 1
Alpharetta, GA 30005
(770) 772-0994

Aug
1

Could Selfies Improve Your Oral Hygiene?

Oxford Dictionaries dubbed “selfie” the word of the year in 2013, and there’s no sign that it will leave our vocabularies anytime soon.

But tooth brushing and flossing have been around since long before that.

Here’s how your selfie habit may be providing a much-needed boost to your oral hygiene routine.

You Care About Having Clean Teeth

Selfies focus on smiles and close-up smiles, at that (unless you’re going for the pouty look that is!) You want yours to look good. The trend of sharing self-portraits on social media may have you comparing your tooth color with that of others’… or even talking to your dentist about a cleaning and professional teeth bleaching.

You Focus on Technique and High-Tech Tools

When you take a selfie, all the details count. These days, some people even snap pictures of themselves at the bathroom sink. You may think twice about what kind of brush you’re using in the selfies you take while brushing your teeth. If you’ve invested in a great new electric toothbrush to keep your smile bright, now is the time to share it!

When you have an audience watching you brush, you’ll make sure you’re doing it right.

You’re Bringing the Family Together

There’s probably no better incentive to brush than to have your picture taken as a reward! Even the tiniest tots are likely to cooperate with brushing if you offer to take a picture of everyone with toothpaste foam mustaches.

You’re Spreading Awareness

Brushing is just as important as heading to the gym. Most people love to share their healthy habits and fit figures on social media in an effort to inspire others. If you’re posting the occasional selfie while brushing your teeth, then you’re highlighting yet

Posted on behalf of:
Grateful Dental
2000 Powers Ferry Rd SE #1
Marietta, GA 30067
(678) 593-2979

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

Most Popular

Tori, Exostosis, and Extra Bone Formation in the Mouth

A fairly common occurrence in the mouth is the existence of extra bone development along the outside or inside of the jawline near the teeth, or in the roof of…

Difference Between Conscious and Unconscious Sedation

Sedation dentistry is a wonderful option for many people who would not or cannot tolerate dentistry in a traditional dental setting.   Many people have a fear of visiting the dentist,…

Lingual Frenectomy versus Lingual Frenuloplasty

Lingual frenectomy and lingual frenuloplasty are both dental procedures used to correct a condition called ankyloglossia. Ankylogloassia, more commonly known as ‘tied tongue’, is an abnormality of the lingual frenulum….