Prevention is the emphasis of our office
Oral Health Articles
The first step is to choose a good toothbrush. You
always want to use a soft brush with a small head. A
soft brush is hard enough to remove plaque and soft
enough not to damage your teeth or gum tissue.
The next issue is to choose a good toothpaste. In
general any toothpaste that contains Fluoride will
do the job, unless you have a special need that is
determined by your dentist. Two of the best brands
of over-the-counter toothpastes are Colgate Total and Crest.
The first step of brushing is to start from a
specific location and work your way to the opposite
side and all the way through the whole mouth so that
you end where you started. This way you won't
miss any area. Also usually a pea size of tooth
A good brushing should take at lease 2 minutes and
ideally around 4 minutes.
There are many different techniques for brushing
your teeth but one of the most popular ones is
Hold the brush with a 45 degree angle toward the
teeth and the gum. Gently press against the gum so
the tips of the bristles go in between the gum and
the teeth. Then apply lateral vibration for a few
times and roll down the brush
to sweep the plaque away from the teeth and the gum.
Repeat this motion 6 to 10 times and move on to the
next area of 2 to 3 teeth. If your mouth is full of
foam, spit out and continue brushing. Your brushing
is completed when you have brushed all the surfaces
of your teeth and not when your mouth is full!
chewing surfaces, short strokes will work best to
get the plaque out of the grooves and pits. Also
when brushing the front teeth from inside, hold your
brush vertically to be able to reach the teeth
As far as frequency of brushing is concerned,
ideally you want to brush your teeth after each
meal. But if you can t, brush at least twice a day
after breakfast and before going to bed.
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The surfaces that are between teeth are not
accessible to brush; Therefore, the best way to
clean them is with flossing. The frequency of
flossing is like brushing and ideally after each
meal, though one time a day (before going to bed) is
the minimum necessary.
To start, cut a piece
of dental floss (approximately 2 feet). Wrap both
sides of the floss around your middle fingers. Using
your index and thumb move the floss in between all
your teeth one by one. When flossing, make sure you
are not cutting your gum. The goal is to clean the
teeth surfaces and not the gum. In each space in
between the teeth, press the floss against each
tooth (hug the tooth) and gently move it back and
forth and up and down and then move to the opposite
surface of the adjacent tooth.
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There have been multiple studies comparing the
effectiveness of manual brushes as opposed to electric brushes.
Although not all the electric brushes are the same,
in conclusion of all these studies it is fair to say
that in general electric brushes are more effective
in controlling the plaque than manual brushes.
Theoretically you could do a very good brushing with
a regular hand brush but the movements of an
electric brush makes the task easier and more
some electric brushes (Sonicare) have sonic
vibration that is difficult to mimic with a hand
brush! Other electric brushes like Oral-B and Rotadent have small heads that help you reach hard
to reach areas of your mouth. This aspect is more
important when you are talking about somebody with
orthodontic braces or a history of gum disease.
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There are a few different causes for bad breath. It
ranges from stomach problems to diets and teeth problems. Most of the causes can
be found in the mouth, they are:
1- Tongue (when bacteria grows in between the
papilla) 2- Teeth cavities (especially when
food particles get stuck in them) 3- Gum diseases 4-
Extraction sites during healing 5- Dentures when not
cleaned properly 6-Alcohol and tobacco
If you or someone you know is concerned about bad
breath, the first step is a dental check up. Your
dentist will be able to confirm or rule out teeth or
mouth as the source of bad breath.
When the reason is found, treatment will be
explained by your dentist. If the source
of the bad breath is your mouth there is little
chance that mouth washes or mints can treat the
problem. They usually mask the problem for a short
period of time. They can even sometimes make the
situation worse (mouthwashes that contain alcohol
cause dry mouth and that usually makes the bad
These are a few other, non-dental reasons that cause
1- Sore throat 2- Tonsillitis 3- Some foods 4-
Infection of air passages.
Following a good oral hygiene routine and getting
regular check ups with your dentist are best ways of
preventing bad breath.
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Sugar is the main cause of dental decay when there
is bacteria present. More important than the amount of sugar you take is the
frequency of it.
Probably the worst thing you can do to your teeth is
to hold a soda and have a sip every few minutes
during a long period of time; the same is true for
snacking. It is recommended that if you want to have
a snack or a soda or juice it is better to have it
after food, as dessert or have it in one sitting.
Eating or drinking something sweet during a long
period of time creates a constant supply of sugar
for bacteria that cause tooth decay!
It is important to know all the sources of sugar. It
is not just everything that is sweet but anything
that can turn to sugar like pieces of bread. Cutting
down your sugar intake is good for cavity prevention
as well as general health.
When you have to have sugar! The best way to prevent
cavities is to prevent the sugar from staying next
to your teeth. Brushing after eating sugar, rinsing
your mouth with Fluoride mouth wash or chewing
sugarless gum can help. But nothing has the effect
of avoiding sugar!
Is there any kind of food that prevents tooth decay?
Well, not really. Some people believed that chewing
foods like apple and carrots may have some plaque
removal effect, but they still contain some sugar so
any advantage of them is not clear.
Another group of food that causes significant damage
to teeth structure is acidic foods. Things like
lime, lemon and grapefruit, if in frequent contact
with teeth, can cause serious irreversible damage
(erosion) to your teeth.
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Many years ago scientists started to notice that
children who were born and raised in areas with natural fluoride in drinking
water had less cavities than children in other areas.
Fluoride that is absorbed by your body when teeth
were forming (during mother
s pregnancy to early childhood) integrates into the
structure of enamel and makes it stronger.
After teeth eruption fluoride that is inside your
toothpaste or mouthwash, or what your dentist places
on your teeth still have a positive effect on your
teeth. It strengthens the enamel and reduces the
chance of tooth decay.
If you have children and live in an area that has no
Fluoride in its drinking water you should consult
your dentist and physician about Fluoride tablets
that are available for children.
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