Dental Health 101
- Flossing and Mouthwash
Q: Should I floss before or after brushing? (Is it the same for using mouthwash?)
A: We are happy to hear anytime a patient is working flossing into their oral hygiene habits! Frankly, the sequence doesn’t make a huge difference as long as you do a thorough job. But, if you are looking to make the most of your process, floss first, then brush your teeth. The floss removes the debris between teeth so your toothbrush can wash it away. Brushing and flossing is the best way to remove decay-causing plaque from your teeth and help maintain optimal oral health. The ADA recommends brushing twice a day and cleaning between teeth with floss (or another interdental cleaner) once a day. Choose a toothbrush that feels comfortable in your hand and in your mouth, and use it twice a day. Try out a couple of different types of floss to find the best fit for you (not all are created equal and there are more styles and flavor options than in years past). Some people prefer to floss in the evening before bedtime so that the mouth is clean while sleeping. Others prefer to floss after their midday meal. Either way – keep up the good work!
- Refined v. Natural Sugars
Q: Are refined or natural sugars better for my teeth?
A: Sugars (natural or refined) are not the culprit we think they are when it comes to cavities. Dental decay is often caused by a combination of factors (predisposition to cavities, weak enamel, poor hygiene, irregular care etc.). Food is more complex than it ever has been (genetically altered fruit, sugar-free sweets, and sugar-laden snacks to name a few), so how do we know how to make good food choices for our oral health? Keep it simple, and use common sense. Yes, many fruits are high in naturally occurring sugars, but they also pack the benefit of vitamins and minerals and healthy carbohydrates. Chewing gum with artificial sugars (typically frowned up by the health industry) can actually help clean out food otherwise stuck in your teeth after a meal. Try these tips to keep it simple:
- Rinse your mouth with water after every time you eat.
- Treat yourself to something sweet, and then brush – don’t keep a bowl of candy to snack on 1 piece at a time all day!
- Have your teeth cleaned by a professional 1x every 6 months to deep clean and avoid build up.
- My Dentist is for Emergencies only
Q: Do I really need to see my dentist if my teeth are not bothering me?
A: Yes. In fact, that is one of the best times to get in. Rather than wait until there is an emergency in your mouth, coming in to see us regularly is really smart. Decay is not something that happens overnight. We use your check up to see the big picture of what is happening so that we can keep your mouth healthy 365 days of the year, without you having to undergo unnecessary expensive treatment. The earlier we catch a problem and its cause, the more money, time and hassle we can save you. Come to see us today so that we can take care of you and your oral health.