There are dozens of different kinds of toothbrushes on the market, but when you choose one, you really only need to remember two things: choose one with soft bristles, to protect your tooth enamel, and a head that's small enough to comfortably reach all of your teeth.
Your brushing technique
Using a small amount of fluoride toothpaste, hold the bristles of the brush along your gum-line at a 45º angle. Move the brush gently but firmly, with small circular motions. Brush two or three at a time, then move to the next teeth, overlapping slightly.
Clean all surfaces of every tooth
Find a routine that works for you. For example, brush the backsides of every tooth, then brush the front and chewing surfaces of each tooth. Finish by brushing your tongue and the roof of your mouth, to remove germs and freshen your breath
Most cavities and gum disease begin between your teeth, where bristles of your toothbrush just can't reach. That's why it's vital to your dental health that you floss at least once a day to remove plaque from between your teeth.
The correct technique
Wind about 18 inches around the middle fingers of each hand, leaving about five inches between your hands. Pinch the floss between your thumbs and index fingers, and gently guide it between your teeth, using a side to side motion. Pull it tightly into a C shape around the side of your tooth.
Floss every tooth
Slide the floss up the side of your tooth and down below the gum line. Repeat the process for each tooth, using fresh section of floss for each. If your teeth are too tight, or if the floss catches or tears, let us know. These are problems that need to be fixed.
Fluoride combines with your tooth enamel to strengthen it and increase its resistance to attacks from harmful decay causing acids. Plus, if you already have some decay, fluoride can work to repair damage tooth structure, often slowing or even stopping the decay process.
Beneficial for all ages
Fluoride is the greatest breakthrough in preventive dentistry in more than 50 years. It has dramatically reduced the incidence of tooth decay in children. Plus, it can reduce root decay and root sensitivity in older adults, and it strengthens and rebuilds tooth enamel in all ages.
Where can you get fluoride?
Most toothpaste contains fluoride, and many cities fluoridate their water. If yours doesn't, we can prescribe fluoride in the form of gel, tablets, drops or prescription toothpaste. It's also helpful to have fluoride application immediately after a cleaning in our office.
A sealant is a thin plastic coating that fills the grooves of molars and premolars. These grooves collect plaque, a film of food and bacteria. Toothbrush bristles usually can't reach the plaque that accumulates within the grooves, and these can cause decay.
When should your child get sealants?
We recommend applying sealants to teeth as soon as permanent molars come in, usually between the ages of 5-7 for the first molars, and between age 11-14 for the second set of molars and premolars. As they wear out, they should be replaced.
How are sealants applied?
After we clean and dry the teeth, we apply a special solution that slightly roughens their surface. This increases the bond's strength. We paint the sealant on, then harden it with a harmless, high-intensity light, forming a protective shield against decay.