Good dental hygiene starts with your toothpaste. Make sure your brand has the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval, and that it contains fluoride.
For tooth-decay prevention, fluoride is just as important as brushing. After that, you have several options.
Toothpastes that “whiten” can remove surface stains, and help you maintain the natural color of your teeth.
Anti-gingivitis toothpastes help reduce bacteria that cause gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease. These toothpastes can be very effective in preventing the on-set of gingivitis.
Tartar-control toothpastes CAN help to prevent the new buildup of tartar (or hardened plaque.) However, a professional dental cleaning is the best way to remove existing tartar and bacteria.
Toothpastes for sensitive teeth can provide temporary relief of tooth pain caused by hot or cold foods, until your dentist can determine the cause of the pain.
If you have any questions about the selection of toothpastes, ask your dentist.
Flossing is a necessary part of taking care of your mouth, teeth and gums. Flossing should be done on a daily basis, usually right before going to bed.
During the day, after eating a meal when you have a chunk of food stuck in your tooth, using a toothpick is a handy way to remove the particle, give your tongue a break from digging at it, and also keep your mouth clean and fresh.
Toothpicks and dental floss are designed to access and clean areas where toothbrush bristles cannot reach. Gentle and careful cleaning between the teeth, under dental work and along the gum line, will remove debris that can cause bacteria and jeopardize the health of your mouth.
Don’t be careless — vigorous use of a toothpick can cause damage to delicate gums, particularly if you have sensitive or receding gums.
Using a toothpick should never take the place of flossing or brushing your teeth. They are simply an option for removing food particles when you can’t brush.
Chewing gum in various forms has been around since ancient times. The Greeks, the ancient Mayans, and even Native Americans chewed sap from various trees.We tend to think of chewing gum as candy, but gum that gets the American Dental Association Seal can actually protect the teeth.Chewing gum increases the flow of saliva in your mouth. If you chew after eating, this increased saliva flow can help neutralize and wash away the acids produced when food is broken down. Over time these acids can break down the tooth enamel creating conditions for tooth decay. Chewing gum is no substitute for brushing and flossing but it works in conjunction with brushing, for maximum effectiveness. Select gums that display the ADA Seal.So far the only gums with the Seal are sugarless. The Seal is your assurance that the gum has met the ADA criteria for safety and effectiveness.
If you suffer from acid reflux, you may experience reflux-induced erosion. This is a type of tooth erosion that occurs due to the acid coming up from your stomach and attacking your teeth. This is similar to acid erosion caused by sucking on limes or lemons on a regular basis.In order to remove the acid or its effects, many people make the mistake of brushing their teeth immediately after an acid attack. This is usually a mistake because your teeth may be extremely sensitive. It’s best to rinse your mouth with water and wait for an hour before brushing. When you do brush, use a soft toothbrush and gently, yet thoroughly, brush your teeth. We suggest NOT USING toothpaste as it may be too abrasive for your damaged teeth. Instead, use a non-alcohol mouthwash that has fluoride.Make sure you see your dentist every quarter for cleanings, and early treatment for this problem. It’ll help you avoid tooth sensitivity or tooth loss due to reflux-induced erosion.
Tooth decay among children is increasing, and bottled water may be the problem. It’s not the water that’s causing it — it’s the lack of fluoride. Drinking water with fluoride helps prevent tooth decay. However, if your family drinks bottled water, you may be missing out on those benefits. That’s because many bottled waters do not contain fluoride. Also, if you use a home water filter you may be removing the fluoride from your tap water. Fluoride is an established way to prevent tooth decay. It’s a natural mineral that’s absorbed easily into tooth enamel, especially in children’s growing teeth. Once teeth are developed, fluoride makes the entire tooth structure more resistant to decay. Always read the label, and try to select bottled water that contains fluoride. And be sure to use fluoridated rinses, mouthwashes, and toothpastes.