My Dentistry Blog
Posts for tag: oral hygiene
Everyone knows that in the game of football, quarterbacks are looked up to as team leaders. That's why we're so pleased to see some NFL QB's setting great examples of… wait for it… excellent oral hygiene.
First, at the 2016 season opener against the Broncos, Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers was spotted on the bench; in his hands was a strand of dental floss. In between plays, the 2105 MVP was observed giving his hard-to-reach tooth surfaces a good cleaning with the floss.
Later, Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor was seen on the sideline of a game against the 49ers — with a bottle of mouthwash. Taylor took a swig, swished it around his mouth for a minute, and spit it out. Was he trying to make his breath fresher in the huddle when he called out plays?
Maybe… but in fact, a good mouthrinse can be much more than a short-lived breath freshener.
Cosmetic rinses can leave your breath with a minty taste or pleasant smell — but the sensation is only temporary. And while there's nothing wrong with having good-smelling breath, using a cosmetic mouthwash doesn't improve your oral hygiene — in fact, it can actually mask odors that may indicate a problem, such as tooth decay or gum disease.
Using a therapeutic mouthrinse, however, can actually enhance your oral health. Many commonly available therapeutic rinses contain anti-cariogenic (cavity-fighting) ingredients, such as fluoride; these can help prevent tooth decay and cavity formation by strengthening tooth enamel. Others contain antibacterial ingredients; these can help control the harmful oral bacteria found in plaque — the sticky film that can build up on your teeth in between cleanings. Some antibacterial mouthrinses are available over-the-counter, while others are prescription-only. When used along with brushing and flossing, they can reduce gum disease (gingivitis) and promote good oral health.
So why did Taylor rinse? His coach Rex Ryan later explained that he was cleaning out his mouth after a hard hit, which may have caused some bleeding. Ryan also noted, “He [Taylor] does have the best smelling breath in the league for any quarterback.” The coach didn't explain how he knows that — but never mind. The takeaway is that a cosmetic rinse may be OK for a quick fix — but when it comes to good oral hygiene, using a therapeutic mouthrinse as a part of your daily routine (along with flossing and brushing) can really step up your game.
Have you ever wondered how often you really need to see the dentist? Dentists Dr. Alexander Quezada and Dr. David Lewis Jr. of Colonial Dental Group in Glenview, IL, explain when you should make appointments.
Add twice-yearly visits to your calendar
Visiting our Glenview office every six months offers several important benefits, including:
- Cavity Detection: No matter how diligently you brush and floss, cavities may still occur. When you visit the dentist every six months, cavities will be detected and treated while they're small. If you skip a few visits, your cavities may grow, resulting in the need for more extensive dental procedures. Because cavities don't hurt until they're fairly large, you may not even realize that you have a small cavity if you don't make regular visits a priority.
- Cleaning: Your six-month checkups will include a thorough dental cleaning. Cleaning removes plaque from hard-to-reach places and also gets rid of tartar. Because tartar is very hard, it's impossible to remove it at home. Unfortunately, if it remains on your teeth too long, you may be likely to develop gum disease.
- Diagnosis of Problems That Can Affect Oral and General Health: In addition to checking your teeth for cavities, we'll also look for other signs of problems that may affect your teeth or your health. We'll check for cracks in teeth, examine your X-rays for dying nerves and other issues that aren't visible just by looking at your teeth and look for lumps, sores and other symptoms that can indicate oral cancer.
Call us anytime you have pain or other concerns
Although twice-yearly checkups are crucial, it's also important to call us if you experience any issues between visits. Tooth or gum pain, bleeding gums, loose crowns or bridges and other issues warrant a call to our office. Call us immediately if you experience a dental emergency, which includes loose or knocked out teeth after a blow to the face, mouth or facial lacerations, a broken tooth or dental abscess symptoms.
Is it time to schedule your appointment with Colonial Dental Group? Call Glenview, IL, dentists Drs. Alexander Quezada and David Lewis at (847) 729-2233 to arrange your visit.
Your Glenview dentists, Dr. Alexander Quezada and Dr. David Lewis Jr., urge you to be diligent and consistent with your oral hygiene habits. These ordinary practices protect your mouth against decay, abscess, gum disease, bad breath and more. Here's what these highly skilled dentists and their dedicated team at Colonial Dental Group advise for keeping your smile bright and healthy for life.
Brush and floss
You need to do both, say your Glenview dentists. Brushing twice a day cleans your teeth and gums well, but it can't reach all the food residues that collect after meals. That's where flossing comes in to eliminate that extra plaque before it forms into super-hard tartar. Both plaque and tartar collect between teeth and at the gum line, and the American Academy of Periodontology says that more than 500 different kinds of potentially harmful bacteria live in those spaces.
Unfortunately, bacteria causes tooth decay and gum disease because the microbes secrete corrosive acids that eat away at enamel and tender gum tissue. These two oral health problems are responsible for most of the tooth loss among American adults.
The best way to brush
Use a soft-bristled brush twice a day. Apply a ribbon of fluoride toothpaste, and angle the brush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth. Using a back and forth sweeping motion, clean all tooth surfaces--front, back and top (the part that chews and bites together). The American Dental Association says thorough brushing should last a full two minutes.
The best way to floss
Most people floss at bedtime using simple strand floss--either plain or waxed. Some individuals prefer interproximal brushes. These brushes look like tiny baby bottle brushes and are especially useful for cleaning around crowns, dental implants and bridgework.
Key to good flossing is a gentle touch. Never snap the floss against your gums or floss too vigorously. Be sure to take your time.
The best way to eat
Yes, eating is part of oral hygiene. Add plenty of water to your daily diet because well-hydrated oral tissues are less prone to tooth decay and gum disease. Also, water rinses away food residues and increases saliva production. The anti-bacterial qualities of saliva reduces bad breath and the incidence of decay and periodontal disease.
Regarding food, decrease your intake of sugars and starches because they provide the perfect breeding ground for toxic bacteria. On the positive side, up your intake of fruits and vegetables as they clean tooth surfaces, and calcium and protein help maintain strong tooth enamel and supporting bone and gum tissue.
All for your best smile
Both at-home and in-office hygiene (exams and cleanings every six months) support your oral health. Your Glenview dentists, Dr. Quezada and Dr. Lewis, and their team will help you optimize both so your smile looks, feels and functions well. Call Colonial Dental Group today at (947) 729-2233 for your semi-annual appointment.
When is the best time to floss your teeth: Morning? Bedtime? How about: whenever and wherever the moment feels right?
For Cam Newton, award-winning NFL quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, the answer is clearly the latter. During the third quarter of the 2016 season-opener between his team and the Denver Broncos, TV cameras focused on Newton as he sat on the bench. The 2015 MVP was clearly seen stretching a string of dental floss between his index fingers and taking care of some dental hygiene business… and thereby creating a minor storm on the internet.
Inappropriate? We don't think so. As dentists, we're always happy when someone comes along to remind people how important it is to floss. And when that person has a million-dollar smile like Cam Newton's — so much the better.
Of course, there has been a lot of discussion lately about flossing. News outlets have gleefully reported that there's a lack of hard evidence at present to show that flossing is effective. But we would like to point out that, as the saying goes, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” There are a number of reasons why health care organizations like the American Dental Association (ADA) still firmly recommend daily flossing. Here are a few:
- It's well established that when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth, tooth decay and gum disease are bound to follow.
- A tooth brush does a good job of cleaning most tooth surfaces, but it can't reach into spaces between teeth.
- Cleaning between teeth (interdental cleaning) has been shown to remove plaque and food debris from these hard-to-reach spaces.
- Dental floss isn't the only method for interdental cleaning… but it is recognized by dentists as the best way, and is an excellent method for doing this at home — or anywhere else!
Whether you use dental floss or another type of interdental cleaner is up to you. But the ADA stands by its recommendations for maintaining good oral health: Brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste; visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups; and clean between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner like floss. It doesn't matter if you do it in your own home, or on the sidelines of an NFL game… as long as you do it!
In November, many of us take time to reflect on what we are most thankful for—and good health is often put at the top of the list. If your teeth and gums have been trouble-free this year, congratulations! If not, here’s how to start making next year a better one for your oral health:
No Rushing When Brushing
It takes time to do a good job on the vital task of brushing your teeth. The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice each day for a full two minutes. That’s not a lot when you think about it: only 30 seconds to reach the front, back and chewing edge of every tooth in each quadrant of your mouth (upper left, upper right, lower left, lower right). Yet many people don’t regularly achieve the two-minute mark. So it’s a good idea to time yourself and see how long that actually is!
Clean In Between
Disease-causing dental plaque builds up not only on teeth, but also in between them. So it’s important to use floss or another interdental (between-the-teeth) cleaning aid. If you don’t floss, you’ll miss cleaning about a third of your tooth surfaces! Plaque left in place can harden into a deposit called calculus or tartar, which can only be removed at the dental office—not at home. When it remains on the teeth, tartar can irritate gums and promote dental disease.
Don’t Be a Stranger!
Practicing a good daily oral hygiene routine is essential for a healthy mouth, but regular dental exams and cleanings are also vital to maintaining your oral health. Routine dental visits are one of the best preventive healthcare values available. You’ll be screened for everything from cavities to oral cancer and alerted to any concerns that should be dealt with now—before they grow into bigger, more expensive problems later. So don’t be a stranger at the dental office!
Maintaining good oral health will help ensure your quality of life—today, tomorrow and throughout your life. That’s truly something to be thankful for.
If you have questions about oral health and hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor article “10 Tips for Daily Oral Care at Home.”