ORAL HEALTH TIPSAn ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
At the end of the day, are you too tired to take care of your teeth? Too busy to floss? If you’re tempted to skip these important oral health practices, remember your smile depends on them. Consistent brushing and flossing habits pay big dividends throughout your life. Work with us to learn how to promote your dental health and when to report problems to us as your dentist.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day, three times is even better.
It is essential to brush in the morning. During the night, the amount of saliva we produce decreases as we sleep. Saliva is important to buffer the acids that bacteria produce in our mouths. This makes our teeth more vulnerable during the early-morning hours when we have less saliva to counter the acids. Brushing in the morning removes a large amount of acid-filled plaque that covers our teeth. Brushing your teeth before bed significantly reduces the bacteria count in our mouths so less acid is produced as we sleep. Morning and evening brushing is essential. Even finding a time in the afternoon to brush will give greater protection to the enamel on your teeth. Remember, when you brush, don’t rush! Take enough time to do a thorough job.
Use the Proper Equipment.
Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. You also might consider using an electric or battery-operated toothbrush as a more efficient aid in oral health care, especially if you have arthritis or other problems that make it difficult to effectively brush. Most people can benefit from the bristle movement of an electric toothbrush, which tends to remove more plaque from your teeth and improve your gum health. If you choose to invest in an electric toothbrush, make sure the toothbrush is comfortable and easy to use. We suggest models with a rotating-oscillating head. Other features such as adjustable power levels, timers and rechargeable batteries are up to you. At your next visit, ask your dentist about their recommendations on brands. Whether you choose an electric or manual toothbrush, what remains most important is the daily frequency of brushing and flossing.
Practice Good Technique.
Hold your toothbrush at a slight angle against your teeth and brush with short circular motions. Remember to brush the inside and chewing surfaces of your teeth, as well as your tongue. Avoid vigorous or harsh scrubbing, which can irritate your gums.
Know when to replace your toothbrush.
Invest in a new toothbrush or a replacement head for electric toothbrush every three to four months. This should be done sooner if the bristles become frayed or bent.
Flossing For Dental Health.
You can’t reach the tight spaces between your teeth or under the gum line with a toothbrush, which is why flossing is a very important oral health tip.
When you floss:
- Don’t Skimp. Break off about 18 inches of dental floss. Wind most of the floss around the middle finger on one hand, and the rest around the middle finger on the other hand – leaving about 1 inch to floss your first tooth.
- Take it one tooth at a time. Use your thumbs and forefingers to gently pull the floss from the gum line to the top of the tooth to scrape off plaque. Rub the floss against all sides of the tooth. Unwind to fresh floss as you progress to the next tooth.
- Keep it up. If you have trouble getting floss through your teeth, try the waxed variety. If it’s hard to manipulate the floss, use a floss holder or an interdental cleaner – such as a dental pick or tooth stick – designed to clean between the teeth.
- Ask our team. At your regular preventive cleaning appointments you have an expert to ask about your techniques in flossing and brushing your teeth. Our hygienists are happy to review your techniques and give tips and suggestions on what you can do better. You can consider us your dental health coach.
Professional Teeth Cleaning.
When you visit our office and have your teeth cleaned, Dr. Beck and Dr. Haws will work with our hygienists to evaluate the health of your gums. Depending on the condition of your gum tissues, we will recommend a treatment that will help you maintain or improve your oral health. The main reason to have your teeth cleaned is to prevent or delay the progression of gum diseases and cavities. Your dental hygienist will remove soft and hard deposits from your teeth that cause cavities and gum disease. The frequency of professional teeth cleaning depends on the health of your teeth and gums. We will recommend an interval that will be tailored to your personal health.
There are many causes of bad breath (also known as Halitosis). Certain foods, health conditions and habits are some of the most common causes of bad breath. In most cases, you can improve bad breath with proper dental hygiene and regular preventive cleaning appointments with our hygienists. But if simple self-care techniques don’t solve the problem, you may want to see Dr. Beck or Dr. Haws to make sure a more serious condition isn’t causing your bad breath. Remember that mints, mouthwashes and other products only temporarily mask the problem. Regular brushing, two to three times a day, and flossing along with regular preventative cleaning appointments with our hygienists are the healthy way to prevent bad breath.
Cavities are a concern for the young and old alike. The current movement in dentistry is prevention. We understand the process of dental decay and with that information we can help you avoid the destructive and costly action of decay. There are many reasons why a person may get cavities ranging from excessive sugar intake and irregular brushing to low immunity and dry mouth. Here are four ways that Dr. Beck and Dr. Haws recommend to keep your teeth healthy and strong.
- Brush regularly with fluoride toothpaste. Brushing keeps your teeth clean of bacteria. Fluoride helps to strengthen the enamel as well as preventing the bacteria from producing decay forming acid.
- Reduce your intake of fermentable carbohydrates in quantity and frequency. Some of the most potent foods and liquids that cause cavities are sticky candies, soda and energy drinks. There are some foods which naturally fight bacteria, remove plaque and strengthen enamel. Here are a few suggestions of things you can easily add to your diet that are good for your teeth and gums: celery, carrots, cheese, kiwis, onions, parsley and water.
- When eating foods that do contain fermentable sugars, make sure to rinse with water soon after. Never go to sleep after eating sugary foods. Help your children develop habits of eating only a few desserts during the week and only after a meal where they can immediately brush their teeth. Limit between-meal snacks.
- Visit your dentist regularly. When you visit our office on a regular interval, we can help coach you on your oral health. We can see areas that you may be missing with your toothbrush. If you do develop a cavity, we can catch it early. Our hygienist will remove tarter and plaque and help us monitor the health of your gum. Radiographs and X-rays, taken on an appropriate interval, will help us make sure cavities are not developing between your teeth in areas where we can’t see.
A frustrating problem is that teeth will crack. Heavily filled teeth, grinding and clenching are three of the most common causes. Trauma and decay can also contribute. Early diagnosis is needed to improve the chances of saving the tooth. Cracked Tooth Syndrome relates to a variety of symptoms and signs caused by a crack or many cracks in a tooth.
- Erratic and sharp pain upon chewing or after release of biting pressure; but remember not all cracks will cause pain.
- Difficulty in pinpointing which tooth hurts, either upper or lower.
- Sensitivity to cold or hot foods, drinks or sweets.
Call now to schedule your appointment!
Monday: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Thursday: 7:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
**Hours are subject to change.