3 Tips for More Effective Brushing
Brushing your teeth is essential for maintaining bright, white teeth and fresh breath. Don’t brush correctly, and you may develop gum disease, cavities, and other dental problems. Follow these tips to improve your oral health habits and brush more efficiently.
Brush For Two Minutes Twice a Day
Two is the magic number when it comes to brushing your teeth. You need to brush your teeth at least twice a day, for two minutes each time. You may like to set a timer so you know how long to brush. Brush the outer and inner surfaces as well as the rough chewing surface, using short back and forth strokes.
Use The Right Toothbrush
You should brush your teeth with a soft-bristled brush. Harder brushes can be too abrasive and may scrub away protective enamel. Your toothbrush should also have straight bristles. Once they become frayed, you cannot brush as efficiently. Replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or even sooner if you notice fraying earlier. The American Dental Association recommends a variety of manual toothbrushes rather than electric toothbrushes. That’s because many dentists have seen more gum problems among users of electric toothbrushes.
Use an ADA-Accepted Toothpaste
The type of toothpaste you use also matters. You should always brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association. All these products carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance, making it easy to spot them on the supermarket shelves. The American Dental Association only endorses products proven to help protect your teeth. The fluoride in these toothpastes works with saliva to protect your tooth enamel from the dangerous plaque and sugars that can attack teeth.
3 Things to Know About Your Toothbrush
Toothbrushes are used every day (hopefully multiple times per day), and brushing our teeth seems to be second nature. Have you ever really given any thought about your toothbrush and the wonders it can do to keep your pearly whites clean and healthy? Below is a brush-up on what NYCCD thinks matters most about your toothbrush:
There are many different sizes of toothbrushes it seems hard to pick just one. When picking the size toothbrush you want to use, keep in mind that you want to be able to reach the tight spots in between your teeth, as well as the hard to reach areas in the back. Sometimes, larger brushes can make it harder to reach these tight quarters. For most adults, a toothbrush head that is a half-inch wide and one inch tall will be the easiest to use and the most effective.
Do you need a soft, medium, or hard toothbrush? Once again, there are so many options when it comes to choosing a bristle for your tooth-brush; it seems difficult to choose one. The most popular bristle choice is soft, which happens to be the most comfortable and safest choice. If you are a forceful tooth brusher, using a medium or hard-bristle could be harmful to your mouth, causing damage to your gums, root surface, and protective tooth enamel.
When is it time to change my toothbrush?
If it has been over a month it’s time for a change! According to the American Dental Association, over 40% of Americans do not know when it is time to change their toothbrushes, and many use them for up to 6 months or even a year! Not only do bristles become worn in and less effective at doing their intended job, but by not changing your toothbrush you are continuously brushing with more and more bacteria, putting your mouth at risk for cavities and gum disease. Make sure you do yourself a favor and change your toothbrush more frequently than not, you’ll be saving yourself a hassle in the long run.
How To Choose The Right Toothbrush For The Best Oral Care
Electric toothbrushes have gained popularity in recent years, but many people and dentists alike are still undecided about whether the manual or electric toothbrush provides better oral care. Both toothbrushes can keep teeth clean when used correctly, but there are some differences in the type of care.
Manual toothbrushes have been on the market for years, so the history of reliable performance is on their side, along with ease and availability. Manual toothbrushes are inexpensive and are available at every grocery store and pharmacy.
These toothbrushes are easy for individuals who travel often because of their convenience and small size. Even if you forget your toothbrush at home while on vacation, another can be purchased without hassle.
Manual toothbrushes also put less pressure on the teeth and gums as you are able to easily gauge and change the pressure as you grasp the brush. With electric toothbrushes, this isn’t as easy and the pressure can rub away tooth enamel, cause sensitivity and increase the possibility of tooth decay.
Electric toothbrushes are recommended for individuals who aren’t able to do as good of a job with manual toothbrushes. Older individuals who don’t have the dexterity or have developed arthritis benefit the most from the electric option.
Electric toothbrushes heighten the care of brushing by keeping track of the time that you brush, as well as using rotating bristles to help better remove plaque and prevent gum disease.
Dеntаl Hуgіеnе Tірѕ fоr a Mоrе Thоrоugh Clеаn Mouth
Bruѕhіng уоur tееth еvеrу mоrnіng аnd nіght dоesn’t guаrаntее уоu’rе gіvіng уоur mоuth аll thе аttеntіоn іt nееdѕ. Evеn a rеgulаr оrаl hуgіеnе rоutіnе соuld bе lеаvіng gарѕ іf уоu еngаgе іn a fеw not-so-great hаbіtѕ wіth уоur tіmе аt thе ѕіnk. Bу undеrѕtаndіng thе рrореr bruѕhіng tесhnіԛuе аnd еnѕurіng уоu hаvе thе rіght tооlѕ іn уоur саbіnеt, уоu саn mаkе ѕurе уоu hаvе аll оf уоur bаѕеѕ соvеrеd whеn рurѕuіng a mоrе thоrоugh clean. Cоnѕіdеr thе fоllоwіng dеntаl hуgіеnе tips tо hеlр уоu tаkе уоur саrе rоutіnе tо thе nеxt lеvеl.
1. Uѕе prореr bruѕhіng technique
A quісk wаѕh from уоur brіѕtlеѕ іѕn’t еnоugh tо bаnіѕh lеftоvеr fооd раrtісlеѕ аnd роlіѕh уоur tееth. Inѕtеаd, ѕtаrt wіth уоur bruѕh аt a 45-dеgrее аnglе tо уоur gumѕ and uѕе ѕhоrt bасk аnd fоrth ѕtrоkеѕ оn thе ѕіdеѕ аnd tops оf your tееth. Thеn, hоld thе bruѕh vеrtісаllу аnd use ѕеvеrаl ѕhоrtеr ѕtrоkеѕ tо fосuѕ оn thе backs оf уоur tееth оf thе frоnt аntеrіоr tееth whеrе рlаԛuе builds uр оftеn.
2. Pісk thе rіght bruѕh
Alwауѕ lооk for a bruѕh whоѕе head and brіѕtlеѕ аrе ѕmаll еnоugh tо rеасh іntо thе сrеvісеѕ оf уоur mоlаrѕ, whеrе fооd dеbrіѕ саn hіdе аftеr уоu еаt. Mоѕt аdultѕ rеquіrе a ѕmаll- оr mеdіum-ѕіzеd tооthbruѕh fоr thіѕ рurроѕе.
3. Flоѕѕ prореrlу
Lіkе bruѕhіng, flоѕѕіng muѕt bе dоnе рrореrlу so thаt, whеn уоu rеасh bеtwееn tееth, уоu асtuаllу gеt tо thе gеrmѕ thаt аrе ѕtuсk thеrе. Idеаllу, uѕе a ріесе оf flоѕѕ uр tо 18 іnсhеѕ іn lеngth, аllоwіng уоu tо uѕе a frеѕh аrеа оf flоѕѕ еvеrу fеw tееth wіthоut rеіnѕеrtіng bасtеrіа уоu juѕt rеmоvеd. Kеер іn mіnd thе flоѕѕ ѕhоuld rub аgаіnѕt thе tееth іn a mоtіоn thаt сrеаtеѕ a fоrwаrd оr bасkwаrd ‘C’ ѕhаре, wrарріng thе flоѕѕ аrоund еасh tооth.
4. Chаngе yоur bruѕh
Brіѕtlеѕ dеtеrіоrаtе wіth tіmе аnd uѕаgе, ѕо іf уоu’rе uѕіng thе same tооthbruѕh bеуоnd a fеw months, уоu mау nоt bе gеttіng thе bеѕt сlеаn аnуmоrе. Rаthеr, mаkе a роіnt оf gеttіng a nеw bruѕh еvеrу thrее tо fоur mоnthѕ – оr аt уоur ѕеmі-аnnuаl dеntаl сhесkuр.
5. Stор snасkіng
Hungrу fоr a mіdnіght ѕnасk? Bruѕhіng wеll mау сlеаr уоur tееth оf bасtеrіа аnd fооd раrtісlеѕ, but іf уоu еаt a mеаl аftеrwаrd, уоu’ll need tо bruѕh аgаіn bеfоrе bеd. Hаvіng a snack bеfоrе ѕlеер (wіthоut bruѕhіng) саn аllоw fооd раrtісlеѕ аnd ѕugаr tо rеmаіn оn уоur tееth fоr tоо lоng, рrоvіdіng fuеl fоr bасtеrіа thаt fееdѕ оn іt.
Orаl hуgіеnе ѕhоuld bе раrt оf аnу ѕуѕtеm оf bоdу hеаlth. Bу fоllоwіng thеѕе dеntаl hуgіеnе tірѕ, уоu саn сhооѕе thе bеѕt рrоduсtѕ, іmрrоvе уоur tесhnіԛuе аnd еnѕurе уоu’rе dоіng еvеrуthіng іn уоur роwеr tо kеер уоur mоuth саvіtу-frее.
Why You Should Add An Oral Rinse To Your Dental Routine
From a young age, it is well implemented that brushing and flossing are essential to healthy dental hygiene. To complement the habit of daily brushing and flossing, you should also consider adding an oral rinse to your routine.
Why Should You Use Mouthwash?
One contributor to bad breath is the buildup of bacteria in your mouth. Bacteria can hide between teeth and at the base, near the gum line, causing bad breath and the potential for cavities to form. Using a mouthwash regularly has been shown to help remove bacteria and freshen breath.
Removing bacteria also helps defend against gingivitis. Gingivitis is the initial indicator of gum disease, so taking steps to prevent gingivitis by using an oral rinse can really make a difference in your long-term dental health.
Mouthwash has also been shown to help cut down on plaque. If not removed, plaque can easily turn into tartar, which is a leading factor in gum disease and tooth decay. Using a mouthwash is a smart addition to brushing and flossing to ensure that bacteria and plaque are reduced to avoid future dental or heart problems.
Why Proper Flossing Is Important
We all know that brushing our teeth twice a day is beneficial. However, many of us are also guilty of skipping the flossing. Yet this daily task is just as important as brushing. Read more to discover why proper flossing is important and why you need to do it every day.
Lowers Your Risk of Gingivitis
The Clinical Microbiology Reviews estimate there are over 1,000 bacteria in dental plaque. These bacteria will irritate your gum tissue, which makes it inflamed, red, and causes it to bleed easily. This inflammation is gingivitis. If it goes untreated, it could lead to periodontitis, which can cause the gums to separate from the teeth. However, proper oral hygiene, including flossing, can stop this from happening.
Helps Prevent Cavities Between Teeth
Not only can you get cavities in the grooves of your teeth, you can also get them in between your teeth. Cavities form when the bacteria in your mouth break down the outer enamel of the tooth and acids from sugars and carbohydrates get inside these cracks. While your toothbrush does a good job of clearing away the plaque that bacteria likes to stick to, it can’t get between teeth. Only floss can fit in this tight area.
Reduces Other Health Risks
Poor oral health doesn’t just affect your mouth; it can actually cause other issues throughout your entire body. Periodontitis, also known as gum disease, can increase your risk for heart disease, which makes it 10 times more likely you’ll suffer a fatal heart attack. Gum disease also raises your risk of dementia, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, pneumonia, and more.
Keep Your Teeth Healthy!
When many people think of keeping their oral health in check they usually think of staying away from too much sugar and going to see the dentist every 6 months. Although both of these facts are true, today’s nutritional approaches to oral health go way beyond these things. For example, ongoing research has shown that antioxidants and other nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, and nuts may strengthen immunity and improve our body’s ability to fight off bacteria and inflammation, which can all help to protect our teeth and gums.
Below are some do’s & don’ts on keeping your teeth healthy:
- Consume calcium-fortified juices, milk, and other dairy products that are rich in calcium and vitamin D. These can help to promote healthy teeth and bones and can in turn reduce the risk for teeth loss.
- Consume fruits and raw veggies like apples, celery, and carrots. Crunchy fruits and veggies can help to clean plaque from teeth and freshen breath.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Stay away from sugary foods! Sugar produces acids that damage our teeth and lead to tooth decay.
- Stay away from sticky foods. These are more likely to stay on teeth longer and in turn cause tooth decay. Even after brushing and rinsing your mouth these sticky particles can be left behind.
- Don’t consume too much acidic foods. Over time, acidic foods can eat away at tooth enamel.
How A Healthy Diet Can Help Build Strong Teeth
A balanced, healthy diet full of fruit and vegetables, unsaturated fats, whole grains and lean proteins is good for your dental health. There are several nutrients that can promote oral heath further than just a rich diet.
Vitamin C helps guard against the possibility of gingivitis. Gingivitis is the most minimal form of periodontal disease, but it can still cause gums to swell, become red with inflammation and bleed very easily. To avoid this, make sure you get the recommended amount of daily vitamin C in your diet.
Enough calcium in your diet is critical when teeth are forming, but the need for calcium continues into adulthood. A diet that lacks calcium requires the body to obtain the nutrient by pilfering it from your teeth and bones. Low calcium intake can cause the jaw to weaken, teeth to loosen and puts you at a greater risk for developing gum disease.
Tap water contains fluoride that helps prevent tooth decay. Drinking water also rinses away remnants of food and bacteria that can turn into plaque.
Demystifying Some Common Oral Hygiene Related Myths
Oral hygiene can be a confusing issue because of the different myths that are spread around the internet. Identifying these myths may give you the help that’s required to make sense of what proper oral hygiene actually entails. Here are some common myths to be aware of:
- White teeth are healthy teeth: It’s actually not true that a set of white teeth are healthy 100% of the time. White teeth may have cavities or an infection, all health problems that are unrelated to whether the teeth are white or not.
- Sugar is the main culprit behind cavities: While it’s true that sugar can cause cavities, it isn’t the biggest contributing factor. Bacteria produces acid in your mouth and that in turn can result in cavities, which can come from a variety of food sources.
- Gum disease isn’t common: You’d be surprised by just how common gum disease actually is. Studies have shown that individuals aged over 65 have a 65% chance of having gum disease. As people age the chances of gum disease increases dramatically.
- You need to brush after every meal: Most people have been led to believe that brushing is required after every meal. However, tooth enamel is one of the hardest substances in the human body and has plenty of ways to defend itself and brushing too often or too hard could lead to a breakdown of this important substance.
Your Teeth Can Say A Lot About Your Overall Health
Your eyes may be a window to your soul, but your teeth are also a telltale indicator of your health. By examining your teeth, your dentist may be able to see signs of potential health threats.
What Do Your Teeth Say About You?
Potential For Heart Disease- The next time you have to get a cavity filled, think about the causation. The carbs and sugars that caused that cavity often come with the company of trans fats. These trans fats are linked with heart disease, as are cavities. If the bacterium that created the cavity makes its way to your cardiovascular muscles, it can cause diabetes, heart disease and stroke, so remove plaque daily with proper dental care.
Future Obesity- As we age our metabolisms slow and our diets call for modification. Young people with a lot of cavities or teeth problems caused by poor diet can be an indication of a bigger problem to come.
Risk Of Cancer- The same signs that show potential for obesity can be an indication for cancer, as well. Harmful lifestyle habits like poor diet and smoking show up through bleeding gums, discoloration and abnormalities, which can be an early sign of cancer risk.
If You Have Healthy Teeth but Want Them to Look Better, Here’s How to Do It
If you take excellent care of your teeth and visit your dentist regularly, yet still wish you had a more beautiful smile, you have a head start on many people. The basis for a knockout smile is healthy teeth and gums. Cosmetic dental procedures work best in a healthy mouth. If you need some help making your teeth more beautiful, continue to visit your dentist every six months and consider these cosmetic dental procedures.
Whiten Teeth at Your Dental Office or at Home
Even healthy teeth that are brushed and flossed regularly can stain over time, but your dentist can whiten your teeth significantly with safe procedures. In-office whitening procedures like Zoom teeth whitening make your smile many shades brighter after just one treatment. Your dentist may offer custom take-home teeth whitening kits with dental trays made to fit your teeth and safe bleaching gel to use with them. These are much more effective than drugstore whitening kits.
Fix Chips and Gaps with Bonding
If a minor chip mars your perfect smile, or if you have a minor gap between teeth that you would like to have filled, consider composite bonding. This noninvasive technique can be done quickly, and without the tooth prep necessary with veneers and crowns. Composite bonding is perfect for fixing minor cosmetic problems, but you have to be careful to avoid practices like crunching ice or eating hard nuts with teeth that have bonding applied.
Consider Veneers for Bigger Chips or Internally Stained Teeth
Some stains are internal and cannot be effectively bleached by traditional methods. However, veneers can solve this problem. Veneers are thin, translucent coverings for teeth that require minimal tooth prep. They look just like healthy, beautiful teeth and are perfect for filling gaps, evening out teeth, and covering stained teeth. They’re more expensive than bonding, but can fix bigger problems than bonding can.
Crowns Are Great for Fixing Broken Teeth
Broken teeth are unsightly, and can create the perfect trap for food particles and bacteria. If the roots of the tooth are healthy, you can have a custom porcelain crown made to fix broken teeth. Crowns require extensive tooth preparation, but they can last a decade or longer with proper care. When bonding and veneers can’t fix a tooth, crowns often can.
Dental Implants Are Tops for Replacing Missing Teeth
Missing teeth should be addressed right away. If you have a tooth knocked out during a sporting activity, sometimes it can be replaced if you can get to your dentist right away. But if this is not an option, dental implants may be. Titanium implants are placed in the jaw, where the bone bonds to the titanium, making the perfect artificial root for a custom crown. Some people have implants instead of bridges, partials, and dentures, but implants are also great for the one-off missing tooth scenario.
To learn more about good dental habits and healthy oral care, call the NY Center for Cosmetic Dentistry today at 212-288-4455.