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Proper Brushing

Proper Brushing

Proper brushing is probably the most important way to keep your mouth healthy. Brushing correctly and with the proper frequency can help you prevent problems before they appear. There are four important things you will need to properly brush your teeth: a toothbrush with soft bristles, toothpaste with flouride, the correct angle of brushing, and brushing in pattern. Use the following tips to help you get the most out of your brushing.

  • It is important to brush at least twice a day, after breakfast and before bed.
  • You should use a toothbrush with soft bristles.  Soft bristles with rounded tips are gentler to your teeth and gums, and the also make it easier to remove plaque below the gum line where periodontal disease starts.
  • Use about a pea-sized amount of toothpaste that contains fluoride. Flourude hardens the outer enamel layer of teeth. It can stop a cavity baefore it worsens asa well as provide you with more resistance to future cavities.
  • Angle the brush along the gum line at a 45-degree angle and apply firm pressure so that the bristles slide under the gum line.
  • Vibrate the brush while you brush in short back and forth strokes and in small circular motions.  Brush two or three teeth at a time and then move to the next two or three, allowing some overlap.
  • Tilt the brush and use the tip to brush the backs of the front teeth.
  • It is OK to brush in any regular pattern you choose but since the insides of the teeth tend to get less attention, you might start with the insides of the upper teeth and then move to the insides of the lower teeth.  Then switch to the outsides of the upper teeth and then the outsides of the lower teeth.  Brush the chewing surfaces of the upper teeth, then the same on the lower teeth.  Complete your routine by gently brushing your tongue and the roof of your mouth.  This will remove germs that can cause bad breath.
  • Change your toothbrush at least every three months or when the bristles are worn or bent.  Old bristles don’t clean well under the gum line and they host more plaque and disease-causing bacteria than new ones.

Posted in Dental News

 

Flossing is Important

Flossing is Important

Flossing is Important!

Why is flossing so important?  Because even with proper brushing, the areas between your teeth don’t get completely cleaned and most cavities start between your teeth!  To keep your teeth and gums healthy you must use dental floss to remove the plaque between your teeth at least once a day.

How to use dental floss

First, take about eighteen inches of floss and wind the two ends of it around your middle fingers, leaving about five inches between your hands.  Pinch the floss between your thumbs and index fingers and leave about one inch in between to work with.  Gently guide the floss between the first two teeth using a side-to-side motion.

Pull the floss tightly in a C shape around the side of one tooth and slide it under the gum line.  Clean the surface of the tooth by using and up-and-down motion not the side-to-side motion you used to guide the floss between the teeth.  Repeat on the adjacent tooth.  Then remove the floss, wind it to an unused section and repeat the process to clean both sides of every tooth.

If you are just beginning to floss for the first time, your gums will probably bleed a little.  The bleeding should stop after about a week of regular flossing.  If the bleeding continues after a couple of weeks let us know right away.  It might indicate problems or it might just be that your technique needs adjusting.  We can help either way.  Also, if you have trouble getting the floss between your teeth or if it catches or tears, let us know as soon as possible.  It could indicate a problem that needs to be corrected.

 

Posted in Dental News

Change Your Smile

Change Your Smile

Some people are a little nervous about smiling.  They don’t think their smile looks good or they think that smiling makes them look unprofessional or vulnerable.  No matter how professional, intelligent, or “together” you think a serious face makes you appear, people almost always respond better to a smile.

We all know of someone we consider to have an “infectious” smile.  Infectious smiles always start with confidence.  If you’re not 100% confident in your smile, we’re here to help.

While our first concern is keeping your teeth and mouth as healthy as possible, we have the tools and the training to make sure you have a smile that gives you confidence and a smile that you’re excited to share with others.

We’re more than happy to discuss with you the many options available to help you achieve a smile worth sharing and a smile that will change someone’s day –including your own!

 

Posted in Dental News

Importance of Preventive Care

Importance of Preventive Care

 Regular Exams Are Important 

Because we are committed to preventing dental problems before they happen, we recommend that all of our patients see us at least every six months for a routine cleaning and examination.  Dental problems usually start out small but can quickly worsen to become much more serious.  These problems are much easier to treat—or better yet avoid—if they are caught early.

Serious dental problems begin as treatable problems

One example of this is gingivitis.  The effects of gingivitis are reversible.  But when gingivitis advances into periodontal disease, the bone loss that can result is not reversible.

Another example is a small cavity on the surface of a tooth.  This can easily be fixed, but if it spreads to the inner layers of the tooth, we may need to perform root canal therapy and restore the tooth with a crown.  This can also be the case with a cracked filling.  It can usually be fixed quite easily.  If untreated, it may lead to an infection in the tooth’s inner pulp layer that also must be treated through root canal therapy.

A bad bite can also contribute to problems with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and can cause the painful cycle of muscle spasms and other jaw-joint problems commonly know as TMD, or temporomandibular disorder.  There are ways to treat TMD and the sooner treatment begins the sooner the painful symptoms can be relieved.

The problems mentioned above are just a few of the many avoidable or treatable problems that, if left untreated, can quickly become much worse.

The key to avoiding serious dental problems—Regular checkups

During your regular checkups we examine the health of your mouth, measure the bone levels around your teeth, check for decay, screen for oral cancer, examine your dental work, evaluate your bite, and remove plaque and tartar from your teeth.  The bacteria that cause periodontal disease thrive in plaque and tartar, producing toxins that can cause bone loss and eventually tooth loss.  A toothbrush and floss are almost useless against tartar, so to keep it from building up we must remove it every six months in our office.

Your six month exam and cleaning is a critical part of a preventive strategy.  It is the best way for you to prevent advanced dental problems, and minimize the time and money you spend in the dental chair.

Posted in Dental News

Time for a New Toothbrush? Is Electric Better?

Time for a New Toothbrush? Is Electric Better?

While both powered and electric toothbrushes can properly clean your teeth, there are some compelling reasons to choose an electric toothbrush over a manual. For one, electric toothbrushes can clean difficult to reach areas of the mouth with greater ease than a manual (your back molars and the gum lining, for example). Children often find that brushing with a powered toothbrush is more fun and less of a chore. People in general often find a powered toothbrush easier to use and more comfortable. Technique may also be a factor in your decision to use an electric tooth brush. The tendency in many people is to actually brush too hard (the assumption being ‘if I bush harder I won’t have to brush as long). This is a bad idea, because using too much pressure when brushing erodes the enamel on your teeth and can damage your gums. In many cases the gum tissue and enamel will not recover. An electric toothbrush requires little to no pressure to use, and many come with a flexible head that further prevents too much pressure being applied. Powered toothbrushes also often feature a timer, so you know how long you should be brushing for.

If you hang on to a powered toothbrush for a long enough period of time, you will also reduce the amount of plastic being put into landfills. Electric toothbrushes typically have replaceable heads, which use less plastic and are often cheaper to buy than a new toothbrush.

Another important factor to consider when replacing your toothbrush is whether or not the new brush has been approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). From their website:

Why look for toothbrush brands that display the ADA Seal?

The Seal assures you that the product has been evaluated by an independent body of scientific experts, the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs, for safety and effectiveness according to objective guidelines. Look for the ADA box statement on the product label. It tells you what claims the ADA has reviewed and accepted. Products with the prestigious ADA Seal must say what they do and do what they say.

– via the American Dental Association

Regardless of whether you choose an electric or manual toothbrush, you should select one that you are comfortable with and fits into the hard to reach places of your mouth well. If the bristles of your toothbrush are falling out or bent, or you’ve been using it for a few months, you should replace your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head.

For more information about toothbrushes we recommend, contact Hover Dental Group in Longmont today!