Why Brushing your Teeth is Not Enough

 If you brush your teeth daily, you may feel like you are doing what you need to do to keep your teeth and gums healthy. However just brushing your teeth is not enough.
  1. Floss Daily–When you brush your teeth, even with an electric toothbrush, it is impossible to clean between the teeth. That is what dental floss is for. It allows you to break up and remove food particles between the teeth to help prevent decay and gum disease. You don’t have to floss multiple times a day–our Hygienists recommend doing it at the same time every day. This way the food particles are disrupted and removed on a timely, regular basis and it helps get you into the habit.
  2. Visit your Dentist every 6 months–Even if you brush twice a day, inevitably there will be some areas that you don’t brush as well. Plaque that is missed by your toothbrush, especially near the gum line, eventually hardens to become calculus (also known as tartar). This calculus can’t be removed with a toothbrush and can only be removed by a Hygienist during a cleaning. If left untreated, it can cause decay and lead to periodontal disease.
  3. Don’t Sip Soda all dayIf you are going to have a soda, it is better to have it with a meal rather than sipping it throughout the day. The sugar in soda combines with bacteria in your mouth to form acid, which attacks the teeth. Even diet or “sugar-free” soda contains its own acid, which also can damage teeth. This lasts about 20 minutes after you take a sip and starts over again with the next sip. So while we prefer you don’t drink soda at all, if you must, try to have it at once with a meal. 
  4. Stay Away from Hard Candy–Don’t even get us started on hard candy! Similar to soda, sucking on hard candy all day exposes your teeth to a constant stream of cavity-inducing sugar. Even if you suck on sugar-free candy, if you end up chewing or biting into the hard candy you run the risk of breaking your teeth. 
  5. Wear a Nightguard–If you have been told that you grind or clench your teeth, you may want to consider wearing a nightguard while you sleep. This can help prevent unnecessary wear on your teeth and damage to existing dental work.

Source: willowcreekdds.com Blog

5 Tooth Brushing Mistakes You Could be Making

You may think you are doing a good job of taking care of your teeth if you brush twice a day. Make sure, however, that you aren’t making these common mistakes:

 

1. Not brushing long enough–Did you know you need to brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes? It can seem like an eternity if you haven’t been doing this but it is 2 minute timerimportant in order to remove all of the plaque from your teeth. If you use an electric toothbrush, most of them now have built in timers to make it easier for you. If you use a manual toothbrush, use a kitchen timer or play a song to help lengthen your brush time.

 

2. Not replacing your toothbrush often enough–Once you start to see the bristles bend, it is time to replace your toothbrush or brush heads for your electric toothbrush. Additionally, have you ever wondered about those blue bristles on your toothbrush that turn white eventually? When the bristles turn white, it is an indicator that it is time to change your toothbrush. This should happen approximately every 3 – 4 months.

 

3. Brushing too hard–While brushing harder may feel like you are cleaning your teeth better, it can actually wear down your enamel  and damage your gums. Some electric toothbrushes have sensors that light up if you are pressing too hard. Otherwise, brush your teeth with your non-dominant hand to use less pressure.

 

4. Covering your toothbrush–After you brush your teeth, you should rinse your toothbrush and let it air dry standing up. If you put a cover on a damp toothbrush, it will trap moisture and bacteria.

 

5. Getting bored–If you always brush your teeth the same way each time, you may get bored by the end and those last teeth may not get as much attention. So switch it up and start on the other side of your mouth the next time you brush–this goes for flossing too. 

Source: willowcreekdds.com Blog