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Key Tips for Great Oral Health – Excellent Choices Today: Havasu Dentist

We all try to make the best choices to look young and feel our best. There are excellent choices you can make today for your oral health that will keep your smile looking its best and lasting the test of time with consistency. This blog will go over key tips to making those excellent choices for your oral health. 

Brush your teeth at least twice daily.

Brushing your teeth is essential for maintaining good oral health. Morning and evening brushing are the most recommended times for brushing. Brushing after meals or sugary drinks ensures that your teeth have less exposure to bacteria, food, and sugar!

Use a straw for drinks.

Drinking your beverages through a straw helps avoid the surfaces of your teeth. Preventing contact of these drinks to your teeth helps prevent sugar from coating and sticking to your teeth. Doing this also lowers the likelihood of staining your teeth with beverages like coffee and wine.

Floss.

Flossing is the best way to get a full-mouth clean after brushing. Flossing reaches between your teeth and removes trapped food and bacteria that your toothbrush and/or mouthwash cannot reach alone. Colgate explains the importance of flossing here: https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/brushing-and-flossing/how-important-is-flossing-0816.

Visit your dentist.

Scheduling biannual visits with your dentist will keep your smile in check.

Avoid using teeth as tools.

Using your teeth as tools causes damage. With the wrong job, you may chip or fracture your tooth! Take the time to use the right tools for the job, such as opening bottle caps and lids, it will save your smile.

Avoid clenching and grinding.

Clenching and grinding cause irreversible damage over time. Clenching may cause teeth to crack, fracture, and chip. Also, your jaw may hurt over time due to the stress. Grinding wears down your teeth over time, actually shortening them! People clench and grind in their sleep, so it’s important to talk to your dentist about a night guard to prevent further damage. Read our blog about night guards and more on our blog: https://www.serenityhavasu.com/uncategorized/night-guards-for-teeth-grinding/

Maintain a good routine!

With anything, consistency is KEY to having a healthy smile!

Water Flossing Vs. Traditional Flossing: Havasu Dentist

Both traditional dental floss and water flossing are effective ways to thoroughly clean the spaces between your teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach.

Dental floss is guided by your fingers to reach contact between teeth and under the gums. To effectively use dental floss, guide the floss to make a “C” shape around the side of the tooth – like the floss is hugging it. Dental floss and handheld flossers are both effective as long as you can reach all of your teeth.

A water flosser is a powered flossing tool that uses water pressure to clean the spaces between teeth and under the gums. It’s long head is very easy to handle, making it a breeze to reach all areas of the mouth.

There are pros and cons to each flossing method, but the most important habit to keep would be daily flossing, however you find it best.

Dental Floss Pros

  • Easy to travel with
  •  Very inexpensive
  • Comes in different thickness and types for your unique smile
  • Effective tool for removing plaque and food from between teeth

Dental Floss Cons

  • May be hard to gain the proper technique
  • May be hard to reach all areas of the mouth
  • May “pop” between your teeth or be hard to guide between teeth

Water Flosser Pros

  • Very easy to access all teeth
  • Comes with different speeds for sensitivity
  • Can mix water with mouthwash for a fresh feeling
  • Can work in a specific area for as long as needed – such as a deep pocket

Water Flosser Cons

  • May take counter space
  • May cause sensitivity in the gums due to water pressure
  • May cause gum recession if improperly used

Havasu Dentist: How Do You Know If You’re Brushing And Flossing Your Teeth Correctly?

You’ve probably brushed your teeth every day since early childhood when your parents handed you your first toothbrush. But do you really know if you’re doing it effectively and removing disease causing bacterial plaque or biofilm? Let’s take a look at the basics of tooth brushing.

What is the goal of brushing and flossing your teeth? While it is true that brushing your teeth freshens your breath and removes stains from the surfaces of your teeth, the principal goal of tooth brushing is to remove dental bacterial plaque. This biofilm grows in the nooks and crannies of your teeth, and especially at the gum line — regardless of what you eat or drink. If left on your teeth, this bacterial film can cause gingivitis (inflammation of your gums). It can progress to periodontal disease, affecting the supporting bone of your teeth and even result in tooth loss. This means that flossing should also be an important part of your daily dental hygiene routine to remove plaque from the protected areas between your teeth.

Can you actually brush too much? More is not always better and can be damaging. We advise you to use a soft brush and to brush gently. It does not take force to remove plaque, and using a toothbrush too vigorously can damage your gums and cause them to recede (shrink away from your teeth), causing sensitivity and tooth wear. It takes between 12 and 24 hours for plaque to form on your teeth, so you don’t need to brush more than twice a day and floss once a day.

How do you know when you’ve done a good job? A good test is that your teeth should feel like you’ve just had a professional cleaning. Your tongue is a great evaluator — just feel for smoothness at the gum line.

Is a powered toothbrush better than a manual one? An evidence-based study comparing all the research available found little difference between power and manual toothbrushes. The conclusion was that some powered toothbrushes with a rotation-oscillation action achieve a modest reduction in plaque and gingivitis compared to manual toothbrushes. But as we say, “it’s not the brush, it’s the hand that holds it.”

Come to our office for a demonstration. Any brush, whether electric or hand-powered, requires professional demonstration and training so that you know how to remove plaque correctly. Bring your toothbrush with you on your next visit to our office, so we can see your brushing technique and make sure you are doing it correctly for the most efficient plaque removal. And don’t be embarrassed — nobody really knows how to brush effectively until they’re shown!

Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to discuss your questions about tooth brushing and oral hygiene. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Manual vs Powered Toothbrushes.”