The carefree days of summer are over for many families as “back to school” season is upon us. The Brucken and the Stubbs households are right there with you. As you and your family adjusts to the new school schedule, here are some dental tips for your daily routine.
FACT: The most important part of tooth care happens at home. Brushing and flossing properly, along with regular dental checkups at Comfort Dental, help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
If you’re like most people, you don’t look forward to facing a dental drill. So let’s get the school year off right with a routine to prevent cavities before they begin?
Give Plaque the Brush-Off
FACT: To prevent cavities, you need to remove plaque, the transparent layer of bacteria that coats the teeth.
The best way to do this is by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Brushing also stimulates the gums, which helps to keep them healthy and prevent gum disease. Brushing and flossing are the most important things that you can do to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Tips for Proper Brushing:
Brush for two minutes – Use an egg timer or play a favorite song while brushing your teeth to get used to brushing for a full 2 to 3 minutes. Some electronic toothbrushes have timers that let you know when 2 minutes are up.
Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle against your gumline. Gently brush from where the tooth and gum meet to the chewing surface in short (about half-a-tooth-wide) strokes. Brushing too hard can cause receding gums, tooth sensitivity, and loose teeth.
Use the same method to brush all outside and inside surfaces of your teeth.
To clean the chewing surfaces of your teeth, use short sweeping strokes, tipping the bristles into the pits and crevices.
To clean the inside surfaces of your top and bottom front teeth and gums, hold the brush almost vertical. With back and forth motions, bring the front part of the brush over the teeth and gums.
Using a forward-sweeping motion, gently brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth to remove the decay-causing bacteria that exist in these places.
Toothpastes contain abrasives, detergents, and foaming agents. Fluoride, the most common active ingredient in toothpaste, is what prevents cavities. So you should always be sure your toothpaste contains fluoride.
If you have teeth that are sensitive to heat, cold, and pressure, you may want to try special toothpaste for sensitive teeth. But you’ll still need to talk to us about your sensitivity because it may indicate a more serious problem, such as a cavity or swelling.
FACT:About 1 person in 10 has a tendency to accumulate tartar quickly. Tartar is plaque in a hardened form that is more damaging and difficult to remove. Using anti-tartar toothpastes and mouthwashes, as well as spending extra time brushing the teeth near the salivary glands (the inside of the lower front teeth and the outside of the upper back teeth) may slow the development of new tartar.
Brushing is important AND it won’t remove the plaque and particles of food between your teeth, under the gumline, or under braces. You’ll need to floss these spaces at least once a day.
Tips for Proper Flossing:
* With any floss, you should be careful to avoid injuring your gums.
* Carefully insert the floss between two teeth, using a back and forth motion.
* Gently bring the floss to the gumline, but don’t force it under the gums.
* Curve the floss around the edge of your tooth in the shape of the letter “C” and slide it up and down the side of each tooth.
* Repeat this process between all your teeth, and remember to floss the back sides of your back teeth.
As summer winds down and the new school schedule begins, make sure you and your family are following the proper “drill” to help avoid the drill!
Dr. Brucken and Dr. Stubbs are here to help you prevent dental decay and other dental problems that can come up. Visiting us every six months is a great way to make sure everyone is on track for healthy smiles for a lifetime.
Let us know if you have any questions, we are here to help! We hope to see you soon.