Oral Hygiene Techniques

Oral_hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential to prevent tooth decay and gum disease! With the proper daily use of brushing and flossing, a low level of oral bacteria can be easily achieved. We've listed a few tips below:  

 

Tooth brushing

  • Brushing your teeth at least 2 times a day for 2-3 minutes is essential to good oral hygiene.
  • Always use a soft bristle toothbrush, AVOID scrubbing.
  • Remember to brush all teeth surfaces (inside, outside and chewing surface)
  • Electric toothbrushes are the platinum standard to oral self-care and they are easy to use. They can be more efficient at removing plaque and some electric toothbrushes have internal timers which take the guess work out of how long you should brush and let the brush do the work for you.

 

Flossing and Interdental care

  • Flossing cleans the areas that your toothbrush cannot reach.
  • Although recent news reports have questioned the benefits of cleaning between your teeth, using an interdental cleaner (like floss) is an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums.
  • Flossing will take time, be patient. Practice makes perfect!
  • Some may find it difficult to floss so there are alternatives to flossing, which include flossers, soft piks, proxabushes (interdental brush), waterflossers.  

 

Helpful Link

Waterpiks (How to use) 

Brushing and flossing technique 

How to use an interdental brush 


Fluoride Debunked

 How to use fluoride toothpaste for kids: a smear on the left (good) vs a pea sized amount on the right(bad)

How to use fluoride toothpaste for kids: a smear on the left (good) vs a pea sized amount on the right(bad)

Brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist regularly for check-ups are all good practices for keeping young and not so young smiles healthy.  But what about fluoride???

The parent I meet are very interested in making the right decisions for their child’s health.  I am often asked, “Should I be using fluoride for my kids?”  I often answer that the choice to use fluoride is up to an individual.  Parents need to understand the scientific information available.  I understand that there are so many decisions to be made and parenting is not easy so here is the executive summary you need to make a decision and sound like the expert when a friend asks you your advice.

Historical Background: Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is in drinking water in varying amounts depending on location.  Early studies found that towns that had a higher natural fluoride amount in the water had fewer cavities.  Cavities can be a big problem and a high cost to our society, so fluoride supplements were added to the drinking water in many towns across North America.  This is still true today in cities like Toronto.  British Columbia chose not to add fluoride to the water and as such we see a higher rate of cavities.

Fluoride strengthens teeth:  Tooth enamel is 96% mineral.  The acid from cavity causing plaque demineralizes the tooth.  This is how a cavity forms.   As cavities are forming, fluoride can replace the minerals that are being lost from the teeth.  This means cavities occur less often and progress slower with fluoride treatment.  Fluoride in children can even make for stronger cavity resistant enamel for the baby and permanent teeth.

There are two main sources that parents can consider to provide fluoride to their children.  Fluoride drops can be purchased from the pharmacy. Alternatively a fluoride toothpaste can be used.  This is my favorite because it allows the fluoride to interact directly and strengthen the teeth before being swallowed.  The key is to apply a very thin varnish of toothpaste (NEVER A PEA SIZED AMOUNT). 

If you have questions about your dental health or the health of your loved ones please feel free to give us a call at 6045532877 or come by the clinic for a check-up.  We’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Helpful Links:

New York Times and American Dental Association: Dental Group Advises Fluoride Toothpaste before Age 2

http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/well/2014/02/12/dental-group-advises-fluoride-toothpaste-before-age-2/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

Canadian Dental Association: Fluoride FAQ’s:

https://www.cda-adc.ca/en/oral_health/faqs/fluoride_faqs.asp