Oral Health Tips
Routine cleanings and check-ups are essential to a healthy mouth. But what you do at home is most important.
Brush your teeth at least two minutes twice each day. Although the toothpaste you use doesn't make a dramatic difference, we recommend that it be fluoridated to help strengthen your teeth and prevent cavity formation. Some patients find that specialty toothpastes work better for their situation:
Dry mouth: Biotene
Sensitive teeth: Tom's of Maine Rapid Relief
Regular Toothbrush vs Electric- What's Better?
If a manual toothbrush is used for the appropriate amount of time, and done with proper technique, it can perform as well as an electric toothbrush. But many people don't brush for the recommended two minutes. If they do brush for the recommended time, sometimes there are other factors (coordination issues, arthritis, orthodotic brackets, gum disease, etc.) that prevent complete plaque removal. Many times people with these issues can benefit from an electric toothbrush. Children are also good candidates for powered brushes as their brushing habits tend to be less than optimal.
While everyone certainly does not need an electric toothbrush, in many cases, they can be incredibly beneficial. Ask your dentist or hygienist if you have any questions about which brush is best for you. Many of our patients have had great success with the Oral B Triumph system. We have several on display in our office and offer them at a low price relative to most stores. Feel free to call, contact us or stop by if you have questions about pricing.
Flossing and Mouthwash
Floss at least one time each day in order to remove plaque from the tight spaces between your teeth Flossing helps eliminate cavities that start between two teeth and promotes healthy gums.
If you wish you can swish with mouthwash once or twice each day in order to freshen your breath, help dislodge plaque and food from around teeth and potentially bathe teeth with flouride (only some rinse contain flouride). Despite the claims, mouthrinse does not replace the need to floss.
A couple of our favorites for most people:
Eat healthy, nutritious foods. Avoid foods that have a lot of sugar to help prevent cavities from forming. Generally foods that are good for you are also good for your teeth. Drink plenty of water.
At what age do I bring my child to the dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends the first dental visit to be at 1 year of age or 6 months after the eruption of the first primary tooth.
The first dental visit will consist of an overall dental health assessment to include decay risks, prevention, soft tissue assessment, dental development, growth rate, oral habits, and anticipatory guidance that will discuss and answer common questions such as when to introduce fluoride.
Most caregivers are concerned with behavior of a 1 year old in a dental environment. There are many techniques used with behavior management to ease the child into comfort and trust with the dental team.
Anticipatory guidance regarding the characteristics of a normal healthy oral cavity should occur during infant oral health visits and throughout follow-up dental visits. This allows parents to measure against any changes such as, but not limited to, growth delays, traumatic injuries, and poor oral hygiene or presence of decay.