We have provided some helpful information and tips for you to have a healthy smile. The information featured is for educational purposes only. This does not replace a professional dental diagnosis, consultation or a dental exam.
Here are tips to proper brushing:
• Brush your teeth for two to three minutes.
• Avoid hard scrubbing.
• Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and gently brush in short strokes from where the tooth and gum meet to the top of the tooth.
• Brush all outside and inside surfaces.
• Clean the pits and crevices on the chewing surface of your teeth with short sweeping strokes
• To clean the inside front teeth use the top of the brush head
• Brush your tongue to remove any bacteria and freshen your breath
• Electric toothbrushes are recommended to easily remove plaque efficiently
Dental tape is like floss, but flatter and wider. You use it in the same way you use dental floss. Some dental tape is a little easier to work with because it is less likely to get caught between your teeth.
• Wooden and plastic sticks that can also massage your gums to stimulate blood flow.
• Proxi-brushes are tiny brushes with short bristles that help get into tight places between your teeth.
Read our tips to ensure bad breath doesn’t spoil the moment.
• Floss and brush your teeth, gums and tongue daily. Clean as far back on your tongue as you can, as that’s where bacteria often collect. If you don’t clean your mouth, any remaining food particles will attract bacteria, which cause bad breath and contribute to tooth decay.
• Brush and floss your teeth after eating, if you possibly can. If you can’t do a thorough cleaning, drinking water or chewing sugar-free gum are good options.
• Be aware that certain foods – such as garlic, onions and some spices – can contribute to bad breath for up to 72 hours after eating. After digestion, the proteins in these foods circulate in the bloodstream. They are carried into the lungs and are expelled in your breath until they exit your system.
• Cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco can cause dry mouth and bad breath- on top of being harmful to your overall health.
• Bad breath can also be an early symptom of periodontal or gum disease. Gum disease is an infection that affects the gums and jawbone, which can lead to a loss of gum and teeth. If left alone, the bacteria will build up on your teeth and irritate the gums. Flossing helps remove food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line. Be sure to also visit your dentist for periodic cleanings and check-ups.
Dry mouth leads to bad breath. Saliva inhibits the growth of bacteria that also contributes to bad breath. Cleaning your mouth and removing ordor causing food particles is a good approach to avoiding dry mouth. Dry mouth can also be caused by some medication, alcohol and breathing with your mouth open. Drink plenty of water or chew sugar-free gum or candy to keep your mouth moist.
If bad breath persists, talk to your dentist. It could be a symptom of certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, or infections of the mouth, nose and throat.
Fluoride is a mineral found in rocks and soil. When water passes over rock formations, it dissolves fluoride compounds that are present, releasing fluoride ions. Because of this, amounts of fluoride are naturally present in all water sources.
How does fluoride prevent tooth decay?
Fluoride works by stopping or even reversing the tooth decay process. It keeps the enamel of the tooth strong and solid by preventing the loss of important minerals. Fluoride’s main effect occurs after the tooth has erupted above the gum, when small amounts of fluoride are maintained in the mouth in saliva.
Where do I get fluoride from?
Fluoride is provided through drinking water, toothpaste, mouthwash and supplements (tablets or drops). Gels and rinses applied by your dentist also contain fluoride.
If fluoride is available in other ways, why is it added to our drinking water?
Fluoridation of community water supplies is the best way to provide oral health protection to a large number of people at a low cost. All members of a community can have the same benefits of fluoride in their water, regardless of their ages and socioeconomic status.
What is dental fluorosis?
Dental fluorosis results when a child ingests too much fluoride. It causes white specks to appear on a child’s teeth, which can range from very mild, whitish areas on the surface to pitting and brownish discolouration of the enamel. Dental fluorosis does not endanger a child’s health; it is mainly a cosmetic condition affecting the appearance of teeth but not their function. The risks of dental fluorosis diminish once teeth are fully formed — at about age six or seven — and severe cases can easily be treated by your dentist.
How do I protect my child from getting dental fluorosis? Do I give my child non-fluoridated toothpaste?
Fluoridated toothpaste should always be used. There are several steps you can take to maintain your child’s fluoride intake while decreasing the chances of dental fluorosis:
Never give a child under six years of age fluoridated mouthwashes or mouth rinses, as they may swallow it.
Children under six years of age should be supervised while brushing their teeth.
Brush twice a day and use only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. If your child is under six, use a smear of toothpaste.
Encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste, rather than swallow it. If your child doesn’t have the co-ordination necessary for proper tooth brushing, brush your child’s teeth first and then let him / her “finish off”.
For infants, use a piece of gauze or a wet facecloth to wipe their teeth and gums.
Talk to your dentist. He or she can estimate what your child’s fluoride intake may be and adjust treatment options accordingly.