Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small strip of fluoride toothpaste. When
you brush your teeth, move the brush in small circular motions to reach food
particles that may be under your gum line. Hold the toothbrush at a 45 degree
angle and brush slowly and carefully, covering all areas between teeth and the surface of
each tooth. It will take you several minutes to thoroughly brush your teeth. Brush
up on the lower teeth, down on the upper teeth and the outside, inside and
chewing surface of all of your front and back teeth. Brush your tongue and the roof
of your mouth before you rinse. Brush your teeth twice daily to avoid the
accumulation of food particles and plaque.
As soon as the bristles start to wear down or fray, replace your toothbrush with a new
one. Do not swallow any toothpaste. It is important to carefully floss and brush daily
for optimal oral hygiene.
Dental floss is a thin thread of nylon that is used to reach below the gum line and clean between teeth. For areas between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach, dental floss is used to remove food particles and plaque. It is very important to floss between your teeth every day.
Pull a small length of floss from the dispenser. Wrap the ends of the floss tightly around your middle fingers. Guide the floss between all teeth to the gum line, pulling out any food particles or plaque. Floss behind all of your back teeth.
Floss at night to make sure your teeth are clean before you go to bed. When you first begin flossing, your gums may bleed a little. If the bleeding does not go away after the first few weeks, let a staff member know at your next appointment or call us. We are more than happy to help.
The teeth, bones, and soft tissues of the mouth require a healthy, well-balanced diet. A variety of foods from the five food groups helps minimize and avoid cavities and other dental problems. Consumption of foods that contain sugars and starches should be decreased. These foods can include candies, cookies, chips and crackers. Healthier foods, such as vegetables, low-fat yogurt, and cheeses, help promote stronger teeth.
You should visit our office twice a year (once every six months). In order to maintain a healthy smile, it is vital to have professional cleanings and regular check-ups. We will examine your teeth and provide an evaluation of existing dental problems and proposed treatment. If you have a dental emergency, you should call us immediately. One of our dentists is on call 7 days a week.
TOOTH DECAY PREVENTION
Tooth decay is a progressive disease resulting in the interaction of bacteria that naturally occur on the teeth and sugars in the everyday diet. Sugar causes a reaction in the bacteria, causing it to produce acids that break down the mineral content in your teeth, forming a cavity. We remove the decay and fill the tooth (selecting from a variety of fillings), restoring it to a healthy state. Nerve damage can result from severe decay and may require a crown (a crown is like a large filling that can cap a tooth, making it stronger or covering it). Avoiding unnecessary decay simply requires strict adherence to a dental hygiene regimen: brushing and flossing twice a day, regular dental check-ups, diet control, and fluoride treatment. Practicing good hygiene avoids unhealthy teeth and costly treatment.
The grooves and depressions that form the chewing surfaces of the back teeth are extremely difficult (if not impossible) to clean of bacteria and food. As the bacteria reacts with the food, acids form and break down the tooth enamel, causing cavities. Recent studies indicate that 88 percent of total cavities in American school children are caused this way. Tooth sealants protect these susceptible areas by sealing the grooves and depressions, preventing bacteria and food particles from residing in these areas. Sealant material is a resin, typically applied to the back molars and premolars which are areas prone to cavities. It lasts for several years but needs to be checked during regular appointments.
Fluoride is a substance that helps teeth become stronger and resistant to decay. Drinking water treated with fluoride as well as brushing and flossing regularly with a fluoride toothpaste ensures significantly lower cavities. Dentists can evaluate the level of fluoride in a primary drinking water source and recommend fluoride supplements (usually in tablets or drops), if necessary.