Patient Education

How do I Brush and Floss?

Proper brushing and flossing at least twice daily forms the foundation for good oral health. Brushing helps to remove the sticky film known as plaque found on the surface of teeth and gums. This plaque if left on the teeth form acids and toxins that damage the teeth and gums. A mouthwash may help you to remove plaque.

To get the most of your brushing regimen follow these steps

  • The first and most important step to proper brushing involves choosing the right toothbrush. One with soft bristles is usually recommended as they don’t wear away the gums or enamel of the teeth. Change your toothbrush at least once in 3 months.
  • Select a good toothpaste that contains Fluoride unless otherwise recommended by your dentist
  • The toothbrush should be held at a 45 degree angle to the gum line, brushing from the inside (from the gums) towards the tooth edge. Brush 2-3 teeth at a time and then move on to the next teeth. For front and back teeth hold the toothbrush vertically and brush in up-down direction.
  • Brushing your tongue regularly helps remove bad breath

Flossing everyday is as important as brushing your teeth and helps remove plaque between the teeth and on the gum line. To floss properly follow these steps

  • Wind the floss between your middle fingers and glide it between your teeth using the thumb and index fingers.
  • Wrap the floss around each teeth forming a ‘C’ shape. This ensures that the floss reaches between each tooth and gums.
  • Do not stop flossing on seeing blood from gums. Flossing actually improves your gum health. On regular flossing you will notice that the gums bleed less.

In case of any queries regarding brushing or flossing talk to our dentists today.

What is an Electric Toothbrush? How effective is it compared to a Manual toothbrush?

Some studies show that an electric toothbrush is more effective in controlling plaque when compared to a manual toothbrush. Some of them have a smaller head that help clean areas that are difficult to reach by an ordinary brush. This is very important in case of people who have history of gum disease or wear orthodontic braces.

Also the movements of an electric brush make it easier and effective to remove plaque. Electric brushes may have different modes that make brushing specific to your needs easier. For example if you have sensitive teeth, you can use the gentle mode. Specialized brushes may help in tooth whitening or advanced cleaning between teeth. Some toothbrushes may generate sonic vibrations that are difficult to replicate with a manual brush.  So if you are considering of going in for an electric toothbrush, make sure you talk to our dentists who can suggest you one based on your specific needs.

Bad Breath
Are you suffering from bad breath? Bad breath or Halitosis as it is often referred to by dental experts could be embarrassing and at times you may not even be aware of it. There are a large number of external as well as internal factors that cause bad breath. It is most common when there is a lack of good oral hygiene. But in spite of proper brushing and flossing, if you experience bad breath, then you must consider meeting a dentist who can provide the right treatment.

External Factors that affect the breath are the spicy and odorous food items that we consume such as onion, garlic, even tuna or tacos. Usage of tobacco and alcohol could also cause bad breath.

Internal factors include oral factors such as the odor causing bacteria that grow on the posterior of the tongue. Other factors include

  • Teeth cavities especially when the food particles get stuck in them.
  • Dental issues such as gum diseases/periodontal diseases, gingivitis or poor oral hygiene.
  • Dentures when not cleaned properly leads to accumulation of plaque and food particles sticking onto them.
    Extraction sites during healing.
  • Dry Mouth due to reduced flow of saliva. This could be due to salivary gland problems, due to intake of various medications or due to continuous breathing through the mouth.
  • Some medical conditions such as lung or sinus infections, bronchitis, some liver or kidney diseases, diabetes may be associated with bad breath
  • People who diet may experience bad breath due to infrequent eating

In case you are experiencing bad breath, visit your dentist immediately. Regular checkups and practicing proper oral hygiene are essential to keep bad breath at bay. In case your dentist determines that the cause of bad breath is not your mouth, then you may be referred to a physician. It should be noted that mouthwashes and breath fresheners only mask the bad breath temporarily. If you must eliminate it completely meet our dentist today.
Dental Caries (Cavities)

Tooth Decay or Cavities often referred to as Dental Caries by the dentist is caused due to the erosion of the tooth enamel or the hard, outer layer of the tooth. Our mouth is home to many different types of bacteria. These bacteria along with saliva, food particles etc accumulate on the surface of teeth in the form of a sticky film known as plaque. When we eat food, these bacteria mix up with the food we eat and start producing acids. These acids act on our teeth’s outer surface dissolving various minerals and thus forming cavities. The damage can take place anywhere the tooth is exposed to plaque and acid right from the tooth enamel down to the root of the tooth that has been exposed by gum recession
In the initial stage dental caries does not show symptoms but when the enamel has been eroded away it may show symptoms like sensitivity to hot, cold or sweet food items.

Decay can be prevented by following these tips:

  • Brush your tooth daily with a fluoride toothpaste as fluoride helps prevent cavities
  • Floss daily to remove plaque between the teeth
  • Eat a healthy diet reducing the intake of sugar and starch and avoid between meal snack
  • Visit dentist regularly with professional dental cleanings twice a year
  • Chewing gums with xylitol, dental sealants used to cover teeth (especially molars) exposed to chewing, fluoride toothpastes etc may help prevent cavities to a large extent.

In case you are suffering from cavities, your dentist might fill the tooth with cosmetic filling after removing the decay. Artificial crowns are used if the cavity is large and the erosion extensive. Root canal treatment may be required in case of extensive tooth decay.

 

For more tips on preventing tooth decay talk to our experts today