From The Experts: Our Hygenist, Candice, Answers Your Questions About Mouthwash

HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED if mouthwash is actually a necessary part of your dental hygiene routine? If you’d like to use mouthwash as a part of your daily oral care, it’s important to know what it is and what it does.

What Purpose Does Mouthwash Serve?

We learn at a very early age that daily brushing and flossing are necessary habits to clean our teeth and care for our gums. But you may begin to wonder: “What more can mouthwash do for me?”

Mouthwashes are used for more reasons than you may realize, some of those being:

  • to freshen breath
  • help prevent or control tooth decay
  • reduce plaque
  • prevent or reduce gingivitis (the early stage of gum disease)
  • reduce the speed that tartar (hardened plaque) forms on the teeth

Candice Answers Some Commonly Asked Questions!

Our expert, Candice, is here to tell us all about mouthwash and how it can prove to be helpful in our daily oral hygiene routines!

Who should use a mouthwash on a regular basis?

Most people can benefit from the daily use of an oral rinse or mouthwash.  Which rinse you need will depend on your specific needs.  A dental health care professional can help you determine if you need an oral rinse and which rinse is best for you.

Are there different types of oral rinses that serve different purposes? If so, what are they and what purpose do they serve? 

There are many different types of oral rinses:  Antimicrobial or antiplaque rinses are used to prevent or aid in the removal of bacteria and plaque ad to control tartar buildup. I personally recommend Crest Pro Health or Listerine Alcohol Free on a regular basis for adult patients that can use a little help in preventing or maintaining gum disease.   I recommend alcohol free because alcohol can exacerbate dry mouth which increases the incidence of decay.  Anticavity rinses are used to remineralize teeth to prevent decay.  Act is a good brand to use in cavity prevention, especially for children over the age of six years.  Breath freshening rinses are used to freshen the breath.  These are used only to make the breath smell better for a short period of time.  Other rinses can be recommended by your dental health care professional for Xerostomia (dry mouth) and oral lesions or sores.

What conditions warrant a prescribed oral rinse?

There are several conditions that warrant the need for a prescribed oral rinse.  Rinses that contain Chlorhexidine are prescribed frequently to aid in maintaining gum disease.  Rinses for sores in the mouth or throat may contain Benzydamine.  Patients that have severe decay or dry mouth may need a prescription strength Fluoride rinse.

Should I brush, floss, or rinse first?

I recommend to brush, floss then rinse.  Brushing can push debris between the teeth.  Flossing will help to eliminate that debris and then the rinse will to remove the loose particles.  There are some cases when your dental health care professional may recommended a different sequence.

Do you recommend any home-made rinses?

I do sometimes recommend home-made oral rinses.  Patients that have ulcers, cancer sores or lesions in their mouth caused by trauma can use salt water rinse.   About 4 ounces of very warm water and a teaspoon of salt is all you need.  Rinse for 30 seconds to a minute several times a day.

Is there any side effects oral rinses?

There are some side effects to oral rinses.  Rinses containing alcohol can cause dry mouth, burning tissue or soreness.  They can also be intoxicating if an excessive amount is swallowed or used by children.  Rinses containing Fluoride can be toxic if swallowed excessively.  Some antimicrobial rinses can cause staining on the teeth.

Is there anything else needed when deciding which brand of oral to buy over the counter?

When buying an over the counter oral rinse suggested by your dental professional always check the bottle for the ADA seal of approval.  The ADA will only approve a rinse that has been through vigorous testing to be sure it treats the condition that it claims to treat.  ADA does not gain financially from the products they give their seal of approval.  The seal is always earned, research and clinical trials to back up their claims.

We’re Here To Help You Improve Your Oral Health Care Routine!

One of the most important things to remember is that rinsing your mouth with mouthwash does not replace daily brushing and flossing! Mouthwash is meant to act as an aid to brushing and flossing, helping to freshen breath and fight bacteria. If you have any more questions about mouthwash, let us know!

Thank you for your trust in our practice!

Image by jchwhite used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Give Your Kids a Jumpstart on Oral Health Care!

YOUR CHILD’S BABY TEETH are just as important as their permanent teeth. Kids may not keep their first teeth forever, but they require just as much diligent care as future permanent teeth.

In fact, maintaining your child’s dental health when they are young will provide health benefits well into adulthood as well as set them on the right track of good oral health habits!

Some Children Don’t Get The Preventive Dental Care They Need

Early childhood caries—more commonly known as a dental cavity—is the number one chronic disease affecting young children. In light of this statistic, you may be surprised to learn that one quarter of children between ages three and 18 don’t visit the dentist at all!

Although common, dental diseases like tooth decay and gum disease are quite preventable, especially when healthy habits are taught during early childhood.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yy_gl0vwKT8?rel=0

Start Oral Health Regimens Early

Even before your child’s teeth have erupted, an infant’s gums should be wiped down with a wet cloth or gauze after eating to protect from bacteria.

The American Dental Association recommends that children visit the dentist by their first birthday or as soon as their first tooth appears. At this visit, your dentist can teach you more about proper pediatric oral hygiene and check for cavities. As soon as your child turns two, establish a daily brushing routine.

As your child gets older, there are two specific treatments we recommend to prevent tooth decay. These treatments are:

  • Topical Fluoride: By applying fluoride directly to your child’s teeth in higher concentrations than found in toothpaste or water, they will be more protected and resistant to decay.
  • Dental Sealants: These are thin, plastic coatings painted onto the chewing surfaces of the teeth to prevent tooth decay. Even thorough brushing and flossing can’t always get into the depressions and grooves of the molars. Sealants form a protective shield over these vulnerable areas, keeping out plaque and food. Generally, children should get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as they come in.

We Care About Your Children’s Oral Health

Baby teeth set the stage for the permanent teeth to develop and come in correctly. By taking care of them and teaching their children correct habits, parents ensure lifelong dental health for their children. At our practice, we are committed to promoting preventive dental care to ensure lasting health and happiness for you and your children!

Thank you for continuing to be a part of our practice family!

Image by Flickr user Frédéric de Villamil used underCreative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Managing Tooth Sensitivity

IF THERE’S ONE THING we can all agree on, it’s that nobody likes sensitive teeth! Tooth sensitivity can cause discomfort during daily tasks such as brushing, flossing, eating, drinking, and even breathing in a cold gush of air!

If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, there are measures you can take to relieve pain and treat discomfort.

Start By Visiting Your Dentist

If you are concerned about sensitive teeth, seek a dental professional’s help first. Tooth sensitivity, while common, can also be a sign of something more serious. Your dentist can help identify what the underlying cause of your sensitivity is and prescribe the best treatment option for you and your smile! After an evaluation, your dentist might recommend:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste: This type of toothpaste is specially formulated to soothe the nerve endings in the tooth and reduce pain.
  • Bonding agent: This is the material used to stick tooth colored restorations to teeth. It can also be used to seal the dentin surface and protect sensitive areas from outside stimuli.
  • Fluoride: Your dentist may apply fluoride to sensitive areas. This strengthens tooth enamel and treats pain.
  • Limiting acidic foods and drinks: Carbonated beverages, citrus fruits, wine, yogurt, etc. are acidic and, when consumed frequently, can remove small amounts of tooth enamel over time. Drink acidic liquids with straws to avoid contact with teeth.


A Good Oral Hygiene Routine Can Help You Avoid Sensitivity

Proper brushing and flossing can prevent conditions such as gum disease which is known to cause gum recession. When gums recede, part of the tooth root is exposed, leading to sensitivity. Over-brushing or brushing too aggressively can also lead to receding gums and even enamel erosion—both of which cause sensitivity.

When Whitening Your Teeth, Consult With Your Dentist

Tooth sensitivity is a common side effect of teeth whitening. To avoid or diminish sensitivity after whitening, consider using a lower concentration of whitening product and reduce the amount of time the bleach is in contact with the teeth.

Always consult with your dentist before whitening as he or she can help determine the best treatment options for you. If you or someone you know has particularly sensitive teeth, there are additional steps we can take to help avoid and relieve the sensitivity caused by whitening.

We Can Help With Tooth Sensitivity

Although sensitivity is common, there are things we can do to help relieve and reduce the discomfort that it causes. No one should have to live with tooth pain. Call us or come in today so we can help you achieve a pain-free smile!

To our wonderful patients, we appreciate you!

Image by Flickr user Dave Herholz used underCreative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

February Is Children’s Dental Health Month

THE CDC REPORTS that 1 in 5 children (between ages 5 and 11) in the US have untreated tooth decay. Not only should tooth decay be treated in regular dental appointments, it should be prevented! Tooth decay is 100 percent preventable with effective personal care and regular dental cleanings.

In honor of Children’s Dental Health Month, we’re spreading the word about children’s dental health.

YOU Can Help Little Ones Have Healthier Smiles!

  1. Encourage them to brush for two full minutes. Pick a song about two minutes long and sing it to them during brushing time.
  2. Set reminders to brush twice a day. Brushing after breakfast and just before bed are the best times for preventing bacteria growth from food.
  3. Show them flossing is fun, not harmful. Be gentle at first when doing it for them. A bad experience can stop them from flossing on their own.
  4. Be persistent. Don’t let fussy children off the hook. Be motivating! Kids may gladly brush for a sticker or star if you make it an activity.
  5. Set their first dental appointment before age 1. Having positive dental experiences early will make dental visits easier and less frightening when older.

We love seeing children in our office, the smiles of little ones always brightens our day. Nothing makes us feel better than knowing we are positively impacting their dental experience and improving their oral health from a young age.  When your child begins visiting us before age 1 it greatly helps minimize negative experiences with dentistry. More often than not many parents tell us that visitng us is one of their child’s favorite outings!

Look for us out and about this month as well, in February we spend as much time as possible visiting schools to educate children about great oral health.  We also enjoy giving back with our annual “Give Kids a Smile” volunteering where we place dental sealants on third graders permanent molars in Cleveland County to positively improve their dental health.

Help Us Spread The Word!

Share this message with your friends and family, and especially with the children in your life. If you have any questions about children’s dental health, don’t hesitate to ask us!

Thanks for being our valued patients and friends!

Image by Edu Alpendre used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.