Your Mouth: An Owner’s Manual

Ok, so your mouth didn’t come with a guidebook. Let this serve as your owner’s manual that we hope you will read for an overview of everything you need to know about how to take care of your teeth. Here’s what you need to know:

Lighten Up and Choose Right

No, we aren’t talking about your tooth color. We mean how often, hard and with what you are brushing your teeth! Brushing morning, night and after sugary snacks will get the job done. Harder doesn’t equal cleaner and can actually irritate your gums and erode enamel. Over time this can cause gum recession and expose the roots of your teeth. Stick to circular motions (not back and forth, please!) and a 45-degree angle as recommended by the ADA.

Now, firm is good when it comes to bodies, tofu and…well, you get the idea, but not when it comes to your toothbrush. Stiff bristles and aggressive brushing can erode your enamel and gums. Stick to a light touch to preserve gum health and protect tooth roots, and you will be golden.

The Tooth About Toothpaste

Don’t be swayed by the latest ads or the attention-grabbing colors. That new-fangled whitening toothpaste may contain abrasives that can scratch your tooth enamel while buffing away stains. Instead, stick to professional quality teeth whitening that you can do at home or in office teeth whitening for safe and effective results. Even innocent-seeming versions can contain sulfates–foaming agents that break down soft tissues in your mouth, potentially leading to canker sores. Instead, choose a gentle toothpaste with fluoride to help protect teeth from decay and cavities.

Wash Wisely

While mouthwash helps cast away bad breath by killing bacteria, some versions contain sugar, alcohol and chlorhexidine, which can be harmful to your mouth. Sugar causes cavities while alcohol dehydrates the soft tissues in the mouth and kills the good bacteria that protect your teeth. This leads to irritation and dry mouth, which ironically can cause more bad breath. Chlorhexidine, although effective for gum disease, can lead to unsightly staining.

Did you know that eating too many sugars or carbohydrates increases acidity, making teeth more vulnerable to cavities?

Floss For Success

We all know that flossing is essential to floss to get rid of “stowaway” food debris that gets left behind. Skip the toothpick shortcut as they can damage your enamel when used too often or forced between teeth and cause gums to recede. Stick to traditional dental floss once or twice a day to keep bacteria away.

Back Away From the Whitening Strips

While a whiter brighter smile is appealing, there is such a thing as making it too white. Follow the directions your dental clinic gave you or the ones on the package. Be careful not to double or triple dip, like using more than once a day or multiple times in one week. Do so, and you will increase sensitivity, and your teeth will begin to look like they glow in the dark. If they hurt when you eat or drink hot or cold foods and beverages or even brush your teeth, chances are you have gone a little overboard. We can help with desensitizing therapy that essentially seals off sensitized nerve endings. Specially formulated Opalescence peroxide teeth whitening is the best solution for at-home care. We offer their chair-side dental whitening as well as their pre-filled and customized trays, different strengths and flavors to meet everyone’s unique needs.

Follow these tips to take on 2022 like the shining star we know you are.