How often should I brush and floss my teeth?
You should brush your teeth twice a day with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. Replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush will not do a proper job of cleaning your teeth.
Why should I use dental floss?
Dental floss is an important part of maintaining good oral hygiene. Flossing in combination with tooth brushing can prevent gum disease, halitosis (bad breath), and dental caries.
How can I make my smile brighter?
There are many ways to a beautiful smile. Here are just a few. Maintain a healthy lifestyle including diet and exercise. Brush and floss as recommend by your oral health provider. Discuss new technologies and procedures available to you. Limit your use of tobacco.
What should I do if I have bad breath?
Currently, chronic halitosis is not very well understood by most physicians and dentists, so effective treatment is not always easy to find. Six strategies may be suggested:
1. Eating a healthy breakfast with rough foods helps clean the very back of the tongue.
2. Gently cleaning the tongue surface twice daily with a tongue brush, tongue scraper or tongue cleaner to wipe off the bacterial biofilm, debris and mucus. An inverted teaspoon is also effective; a toothbrush should be avoided, as the bristles will grip the tongue, causing a gagging reflex. Scraping or otherwise damaging the tongue should be avoided, and scraping of the V-shaped row of taste buds found at the extreme back of the tongue should also be avoided. Brushing a small amount of antibacterial mouth rinse or tongue gel onto the tongue surface will further inhibit bacterial action.
3. Chewing gum: Since dry mouth can increase bacterial buildup and cause or worsen bad breath, chewing sugarless gum can help with the production of saliva, and thereby help to reduce bad breath. Chewing may help particularly when the mouth is dry, or when one cannot perform oral hygiene procedures after meals (especially those meals rich in protein). This aids in provision of saliva, which washes away oral bacteria, has antibacterial properties and promotes mechanical activity which helps cleanse the mouth. Some chewing gums contain special anti-odor ingredients. Chewing on fennel seeds, cinnamon sticks, mastic gum or fresh parsley are common folk remedies.
4. Gargling right before bedtime with an effective mouthwash (see below). Several types of commercial mouthwashes have been shown to reduce malodor for hours in peer-reviewed scientific studies. Mouthwashes may contain active ingredients which are inactivated by the soap present in most toothpastes. Thus it is recommended to refrain from using mouthwash directly after toothbrushing with paste (also see mouthwashes, below).
5. Maintaining proper oral hygiene, including brushing, daily flossing, and periodic visits to dentists and hygienists. Flossing is particularly important in removing rotting food debris and bacterial plaque from between the teeth, especially at the gumline. Dentures should be properly cleaned and soaked overnight in antibacterial solution (unless otherwise advised by your dentist).
6. Maintain water levels in the body by drinking several glasses of water a day.
How can you help improve the appearance of my smile?
Cosmetic dentistry is comprehensive oral care that combines art and science to optimally improve dental health, aesthetics and function. Please click here to review treatments available to you.
When should I have a dental exam and cleaning?
We recommend you visit at least once every three to six months. Your dentist will advise you about how often to visit. Regular dental check-ups are important. Your dentist will examine your overall oral health including examining your mouth for signs of oral diseases including cancer.
With regular professional care, a positive attitude and persistence, you can become one of the millions of people who enjoy a beautiful healthy smile.
How do I tell if I have gingivitis or periodontitis (gum disease)?
The symptoms of gingivitis are as follows:
Bright-red, or purple gums
Gums that are painless, except when pressure is applied
Gums that bleed easily, even with gentle brushing, and especially when flossing.
Gums that itch with varying degrees of severity
dark red gums that are usually pink and bleeding