Cleaning Teeth and Gums
How often should I see my dentist?
You should visit your dentist at least every six months or more frequently to get your teeth cleaned. By seeing your dentist twice a year, your dentist can monitor your oral health and help you prevent any problems that may arise before they became uncomfortable or require more comprehensive or expensive treatment. The dentist may suggest more frequent visits, depending on the diagnosis.
What causes bad breath and what can be done about it?
Bad breath, or halitosis, is primarily caused by poor oral hygiene, but can also can be caused by retained food particles, gum disease, drainage from sinus dripping or systemic, respiratory or gastrointestinal problems. Proper brushing including brushing the tongue, cheeks, and the roof of the mouth will remove bacteria and food particles. Flossing removes accumulated bacteria, plaque and food that may be trapped between teeth. Mouth rinses are effective in temporary relief of bad breath. Consult your dentist and/or physician if the condition persists.
Why should I floss?
Flossing is the one most important step in oral care that people forget to do or claim they don’t have time for. By flossing your teeth daily, you increase the chances of keeping your teeth a lifetime and decrease your chance of having periodontal or gum disease. Flossing cleans away the plaque from between your teeth, decreases the chance of interproximal decay and increases blood circulation in the gums.
What can I do about sensitive teeth?
Tooth sensitivity can be reduced by using a desensitizing toothpaste, applying sealants and other desensitizing ionization and filling materials including fluoride by your dentist, and decreasing the intake of acid-containing foods. Tartar control toothpastes will sometimes cause teeth to be sensitive as well as drinking diet soft drinks throughout the day.
How long should I brush my teeth?
You should brush your teeth at least 2-3 minutes twice a day. Brush your teeth for the length of a song on the radio, the right amount of time to get the best results from brushing. Unfortunately, most Americans only brush for 45-70 seconds twice a day.
When I cannot brush my teeth, is there anything that I can do to slow down acid production?
Rinse your mouth with water after a meal or snack to neutralize acids and reduce bacteria by 30%. You can also wipe your teeth with a napkin as a temporary measure until you can use your toothbrush.
What types of foods are bad for my teeth?
Foods that are sticky, such as dried fruit, fruit juice and candy contain high amounts of sugar, requiring a longer time for the saliva to neutralize and remove these foods from the tooth surface. Foods that are good and healthy for the body are generally good and healthy for your teeth. Look for foods that are high in fiber and increase saliva production, such as apples. These foods tend to cleanse the teeth.
What do dentists recommend to help stop smoking?
Your dentist can recommend a step-by-step program tailored to your needs or prescribe a nicotine patch in combination with a cessation program. Call your dentist for the options suited to your dependency. Your dentist will work with you and your physician and have a consultation to determine your needs.
My gums bleed when I brush. What does that mean?
Bleeding gums is an early indicator of gingivitis, or swollen gums. If this condition it left untreated, it can develop into periodontal or gum disease. Flossing and brushing several times a day can bring this condition under control. By continuing proper brushing techniques and flossing, you can reverse gingivitis within two to three weeks.