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Dental Health

The mechanics of great oral health are fundamentally basic: Brushing and flossing to physically remove the gunk that sticks to your teeth. If you don’t get rid of it, it can weaken your teeth and lead to cavities, bad breath, and bleeding gums.

Brushing
  • Tools: a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste.

  • Duration: 2 minutes every time you brush.

  • Frequency: 2 times a day – in the morning and just before bed.

  • Method: purposefully. You have to be thoughtful about your brushing. Make sure to target the gum line and chewing surfaces, brushing the cheek and tongue sides of each tooth.

Flossing
  • Tools: regular or waxed, mint or plain — so long as you use it, it doesn’t really mater what kind you use. Even “flossers” that utilize plastic handles are better than nothing. A lot of products push stuff out from between your teeth, but only floss actually travels between your teeth from the chewing surface to the gum line.

  • Frequency: at least once a day – it’s great to be a frequent flosser!

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Brushing

Flossing

Cavities are caused by acids that weaken the teeth. The acids may be in the foods and beverages you eat and drink, they may come from the break-down of plaque on your teeth, or they may come directly from your stomach. You can use chemistry to help fight against the acids that attack your teeth. There’s a huge selection of products available today, and we can help you narrow in on specific items that might benefit you. Here are a few of the basics when it comes to the chemistry of great oral health.

Fluoride
  • Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral. When fluoride is applied to the surfaces of your teeth, it makes tooth enamel stronger. Stronger enamel means that your teeth are less likely to develop cavities. The fluoride in toothpastes and mouth rinses and in treatments provided in our office can even reverse early signs of tooth decay.

Xylitol
  • Xylitol is a natural sugar found in trees, fruit and vegetables – it’s also found naturally in the human liver. Unlike table sugar, xylitol is not broken down into acids, so it’s not a threat to your teeth. In fact, studies have shown that xylitol can help reduce the amount of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth. For the best effect, you should consume 6-10 grams of xylitol each day. Look for xylitol in mints, gum, toothpaste, even in the baking aisle at the grocery store. One word of caution – although xylitol is beneficial for people, it can be dangerous for dogs. Be sure to keep xylitol products away from Fido!

Saliva
  • You may be surprised to learn that your saliva plays a vital role in keeping your mouth healthy. Fighting for you 24-7, saliva rinses away food and other debris, it neutralizes acids, and it’s an important part of your immune system. Not having enough saliva can contribute to extensive tooth decay, among other problems. If you feel that you have symptoms of dry mouth, let us know. While you can’t run to the grocery store to pick up saliva supplements, there are a number of over-the-counter oral moisturizers available and in severe dry mouth cases, prescription medications may help stimulate salivary flow.

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Tooth Decay

For a lot of people, this is the hardest part of the equation. You can know everything about how to keep your mouth healthy, but none of it matters unless you decide to convert that knowledge into action. It’s kind of like making a commitment to take care of your body by going to the gym. The good news is that taking care of your teeth is so much easier — you simply have to go to the sink!

Every day, you get to choose whether you’re going to brush and floss, and you get to choose food, beverages, and products that give your mouth an advantage for strong teeth, healthy gums, and fresh breath. When you’re living your life, making these decisions, we’ll be in the background cheering you on and looking forward to celebrating your successes the next time you’re back in the office!

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Why You Should See Your Dentist

Sip and Snack All Day? Risk Decay!