How Often Should I Brush My Teeth?
As human beings, we’re not perfect and know that being forgetful can happen to the best of us. In fact, July 2nd is declared as “I forgot” day! If you are one that finds yourself forgetting to brush your teeth, you may be asking, “How often should I brush my teeth?”.
Your Dentist’s Recommendation
Let’s start here. The American Dental Association® recommends brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing and rinsing with alcohol-free mouthwash once a day, and chewing sugar free gum between meals in order to reduce the build up of bacteria that can lead to cavities and gum disease. Your dentist agrees with this.
In addition, you should let a professional “brush your teeth” at least twice a year. In other words, makes sure you are seen in a dental office at least twice a year for x-rays, cleanings and for preventative care, and as needed if you have pain or any dental or oral concerns. A healthy mouth is created from lifelong habits in good oral care, but, what if you forget?
I Forgot To Brush My Teeth!
If you forget to brush your teeth sometimes, you are not alone. We all forget things. If you do forget to brush your teeth, do it as soon as you think of it. If it becomes a habit, sadly, your teeth and gums will suffer. Often it is children who lament their forgotten habit, but it can be a problem for adults too. Here are some tips to help you remember and keep your oral care a priority.
Task it. Make it part of your every day grooming routine to brush your teeth. Wake up, use the bathroom, brush your teeth, shower. When it becomes part of a routine, it is easier to remember.
Set a timer. Use your phone to remind you when it is time to brush your teeth. Usually in the morning and evening make the most sense, but maybe with your schedule you need it to be right after breakfast and right before bed. Whenever you determine is the best time to brush, alert yourself and do it.
Remind yourself. There is a saying: “out of sight, out of mind”. Help yourself remember by setting out your toothbrush or even posting a note somewhere you are sure to see it. Keeping it top of mind will help you integrate it into your everyday habits.
Substitute sometimes. Carry sugar free gum and/or a sample size mouthwash with you in your bag or purse. When you can’t brush your teeth, take some time for a quick swish of mouth wash or pop some gum in your mouth. This is not a true substitute for tooth brushing, since it does not remove plaque, but it can help.
What Your Tongue Can Tell You About Your Health!
Our tongue, it’s one of those things we all take for granted! As children we explored the world with our tongues, licking everything in sight, sticking it out at our siblings and parents just to get their reaction. As young adults we learned there was more to our tongue while exploring our first kiss and exotic foods.
But the tongue is more than just a random body part, our tongues play a key role in our ability to taste and swallow food. And believe it or not, your tongue can also provide your dentist with clues to both your oral health and your overall health. In fact, you might be surprised what your tongue can tell you about your health. Get ready to say, “Ahhhhhhh!”
What Your Tongue Can Tell You About Your Health
White Coating on Tongue:
Your tongue is supposed to be a lovely shade of pink. If parts of your tongue appear to be coated with a white substance, this could be oral thrush, a yeast overgrowth that occurs inside the oral cavity. Of course, it could just be whitish from not brushing your tongue every time you brush your teeth. You do that, don’t you? If the white brushes away, you’re good to go.
White Patches on Tongue:
Leukoplakia is a condition that can happen if the tongue has been irritated, such as with smoking or tobacco use. Every medical professional will advise you to quit that tobacco habit, but it’s ultimately up to you. If you see white patches, though, book a dentist appointment to be on the safe side and to rule out oral cancer.
Overly Red Tongue:
While an overly red tongue can be a symptom of a Kawasaki disease, it’s much more commonly associated with a vitamin deficiency, such as folic acid or B-12. The solution could be simply adding a vitamin supplement to your morning smoothie. That’s not so bad, right?
Irregular Red Bumpy Patches:
If your tongue looks like a roughly drawn map of irregular red and bumpy patches, this isn’t a fortune-teller sign that you’ll be going on a trip soon. You might be suffering from a high fever, in which case, taking a long journey overseas is the last thing you should be doing!
Tender, Sore Tongue:
If your tongue is overly sensitive in one spot or all over, you could have a food allergy or a developing canker sore. Don’t worry about it, unless it doesn’t go away for a time. After that, time to call in the dentist for a professional opinion!
Yep, sounds strange, but sometimes a protein build-up can cause small bumps to become elongated trapping food resulting in what looks like strands of hair on your tongue. Usually a good brushing or tongue scraping will take care of it, but if it doesn’t, a trip to the dentist is in order.
Your dentist is the first line of defense against both serious and benign health concerns. So, stick out your tongue at the dentist and be ready for a comprehensive oral checkup. You never know what your tongue might be telling you about your health!
Worried about your tongue or just need to schedule a dental check-up.
5 PORCELAIN VENEER CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE TIPS
There’s no better way to quickly and drastically improve your appearance than by fixing cosmetic dentistry issues with porcelain veneers.
You have to take care of your veneers if you want them to last. Just as you have to clean and maintain your natural teeth in order to keep them bright and beautiful, you must also take steps to ensure that your porcelain veneers continue to enhance your smile for years to come. Otherwise you could start to see plaque and tartar buildup, staining, and other unsightly deterioration.
With proper care, your veneers can last 10 years or more and continue to look just as good as the day you got them. Here are just a few tips to help you clean and maintain your veneers in order to enjoy the greatest longevity.
If you already brush, floss, and rinse with mouthwash after every meal, or at least twice daily, you’re on the right track to keep your dentures clean and well maintained. However, you may need some pointers from your dentist to ensure that you treat your porcelain veneers with proper care.
The biggest problem many people face is learning how to brush and floss with veneers. If you tend to be somewhat aggressive when it comes to cleaning your teeth, you could end up damaging veneers by causing chips or cracks. When veneers have been applied, your dentist can give you a tutorial on how to properly brush and floss around your new dental hardware.
Switch up your toothpaste
In addition to changing your techniques when it comes to dental hygiene, you might want to consider switching your toothpaste after veneers are applied. The reason is because porcelain can be damaged by abrasive substances, including gritty toothpastes meant to polish away surface stains on teeth.
When your dentist chooses veneers, he/she will carefully match them to surrounding teeth so they blend seamlessly with your smile (which is why many patients undergo whitening before getting veneers). A whitening toothpaste can help to prevent your natural teeth from staining and looking different from your veneers over time. It could also help to prevent surface staining on veneers.
Avoid potentially harmful foods
All kinds of foods could end up being harmful to your veneers, as well as your natural teeth. For example, chewing on ice or hard candy could be equally damaging to both, causing unsightly chips and cracks.
On the upside, foods that are known to stain natural teeth, such as coffee, tea, wine, blueberries, and food dyes, just for example, should not adversely affect your veneers. The only problem is that they can stain natural teeth next to veneers, causing a noticeable color difference over time, and you probably want to avoid this.
Kick bad habits
You know that using tobacco products is bad for your health in general, but it can be particularly harmful to your oral health. In addition to the many dangers cigarettes and other tobacco products pose for your health, however, they can also cause damage to natural teeth and veneers due to yellow staining. If you want to protect the appearance of pearly veneers and avoid potential health concerns, kicking tobacco is a good plan.
Visit your dentist regularly
You have a lot of power to preserve your veneers, as well as your natural teeth and your oral health in general. With proper oral hygiene and awareness of how different substances can damage veneers, you can take strides to keep your smile looking fantastic for years.
That said, you still need to see your dentist regularly for cleaning and examination. Even though veneers won’t suffer the same types of deterioration and decay as teeth, you still need to maintain healthy teeth and gums to support long-lasting veneers. Dental professionals not only preserve your natural smile and additions like crowns and veneers, but they can help you determine when you’re ready for replacement products.
Fluoride Treatments In The Dental Office
Instead of visiting the dentist to face the drill, imagine going in for a quick and painless treatment that helps prevent cavities. Sounds pretty great, right? Learn more about fluoride and how these treatments can benefit you.
Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that helps rebuild tooth enamel and reverse early signs of tooth decay. Your body takes in fluoride in two ways: systemically and topically. Systemic fluorides are swallowed, including fluoridated water (most tap water) and dietary fluoride supplements. Topical fluoride is applied directly to the teeth via toothpaste, mouth rinses and treatments at the dentist’s office.
Fluoride helps repair weakened tooth enamel by replenishing lost calcium and phosphate — minerals naturally present in saliva. These minerals also make your teeth more resistant to future decay.
Fluoride treatments applied by a dentist are especially good for people with a higher risk for tooth decay or erosion. If you have dry mouth, weak enamel, poor oral health or if you have crowns, ask your dentist if applying a fluoride varnish would help protect your teeth.
Children can begin getting fluoride treatments at the dentist once their first tooth appears. However, be aware that children under two years old should still use a fluoride-free toothpaste. If too much fluoride is ingested as a young child, before the adult teeth have erupted, it can lead to dental fluorosis.
Don’t worry; the fluoride varnish applied by the dentist is safe to help prevent tooth decay in children. They only use a small amount of fluoride, and hardly any fluoride gets swallowed.
Professional fluoride treatments usually only take a few minutes. The fluoride might come in the form of a gel, foam or varnish. It can be applied with a swab or brush or placed in a tray held in the mouth for a few minutes.
After the treatment is applied, don’t eat or drink for at least 30 minutes to allow your teeth to absorb the fluoride and help repair microscopic areas of decay.
Depending on your oral health, Dr. Said may recommend fluoride treatments every 6–12 months. If you’re at a higher risk of developing tooth decay, Dr. Said might also recommend other preventive measures, such as over-the-counter or prescription fluoride mouth rinses or gels, or an antibacterial mouth rinse.
Ask Dr. Said about the benefits of fluoride treatments, and keep up your daily dental hygiene regimen. They’re both excellent ways to help maintain your strong, healthy smile.