Importance of Brushing Your Teeth!

teethHow well you care for your teeth and gums has a powerful effect on your overall health.  Neglecting your oral health lead to more than just sore teeth and bad breath — it can open the door to all sorts of health problems, including some pretty nasty diseases like oral cancer.  Researchers have found possible connections between gum problems and heart disease, bacterial pneumonia, stroke, and even problem pregnancies.  Make sure include regular brushing as a part of your every day routine, and your teeth and gums will thank you.

Are You Brushing Your Teeth Properly?

Dentists say that the minimum time you should spend brushing your teeth is 2 minutes twice a day.  Here are some tips on how to brush properly:

  • Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle against your gumline. Gently brush from where the tooth and gum meet to the chewing surface in short (about half-a-tooth-wide) strokes. Brushing too hard can cause receding gums, tooth sensitivity, and, over time, loose teeth.
  • Use the same method to brush all outside and inside surfaces of your teeth.
  • To clean the chewing surfaces of your teeth, use short sweeping strokes, tipping the bristles into the pits and crevices.
  • To clean the inside surfaces of your top and bottom front teeth and gums, hold the brush almost vertical. With back and forth motions, bring the front part of the brush over the teeth and gums.
  • Using a forward-sweeping motion, gently brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth to remove the decay-causing bacteria that exist in these places.
  • Use an egg timer or play a favorite song while brushing your teeth to get used to brushing for a full 2 to 3 minutes. Some electronic toothbrushes have timers that let you know when 2 minutes are up.

Flossing Your Teeth?

Brushing is important but it won’t remove the plaque and particles of food between your teeth, under the gumline, or under braces. You’ll need to floss these spaces at least once a day.teeth

The type of floss you choose depends on how much space you have between your teeth.  Dentists usually recommend unwaxed floss because it’s thinner and easier to slide through small spaces.  However, studies have shown that there is no major difference in the effectiveness based on the type of floss used.

With any floss, you should be careful to avoid injuring your gums.  Follow these instructions:

  • Carefully insert the floss between two teeth, using a back and forth motion.  Gently bring the floss to the gumline, but don’t force it under the gums. Curve the floss around the edge of your tooth in the shape of the letter “C” and slide it up and down the side of each tooth.
  • Repeat this process between all your teeth, and remember to floss the back sides of your back teeth.

Brushing Your Teeth With A Manual vs. Electric Toothbrush?

It’s possible to brush your teeth effectively with a manual toothbrush — but an electric toothbrush can be a great alternative to a manual toothbrush, especially if you have arthritis or other conditions that make it difficult to brush well.  The bristle movement of an electric toothbrush might even help you remove more plaque from your teeth and improve your gum health.

If you choose to invest in an electric toothbrush, make sure the toothbrush is comfortable to hold and easy to use.  Your dentist might suggest a model with a rotating-oscillating head. Other specific features — such as adjustable power levels, timers and rechargeable batteries — are up to you.

Bottom Line…whether you choose an electric toothbrush or a manual toothbrush, what’s most important is daily brushing as well as flossing!


Whitening Toothpaste and Your Teeth?

Whitening toothpaste can whiten teeth slightly by removing surface stains, such as those caused by drinking coffee or smoking. Whitening toothpaste can also be used after a bleaching treatment to help maintain results.  However, whitening toothpaste can’t change the natural color of teeth or reverse discoloration caused by excessive exposure to fluoride during tooth development, penetrating surface stains or decay.

To remove surface stains, whitening toothpaste may include:

  • Special abrasives that gently polish the teeth
  • Chemicals, such as sodium tripolyphosphate, that help break down or dissolve stains

When used twice a day, whitening toothpaste typically takes two to four weeks to make teeth whiter.  However, new research shows that whitening toothpaste containing the chemical blue covarine can make teeth appear immediately whiter.  After use, blue covarine adheres to the surface of the teeth and creates an optical illusion that makes teeth appear less yellow.

Whitening toothpaste is generally safe for daily use, but excessive use might damage tooth enamel.  If you’re considering using a whitening toothpaste, look for a brand that has a seal of approval from a reputable dental organization — such as the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance, which indicates that the toothpaste is effective at removing surface stains and reducing tooth decay.  If you’re not satisfied with the effect of whitening toothpaste, talk to your dentist or dental hygienist about more effective tooth whitening options.

The most important factor when it comes to having a great smile and healthy teeth is to have regular dental exams.  During a dental exam, the dentist or hygienist will clean your teeth and identify gum inflammation or bone loss.  The dentist or hygienist will evaluate your risk of developing tooth decay and other oral health problems, as well as check your face, neck and mouth for abnormalities.  A dental exam might also include dental X-rays or other diagnostic procedures.

During a dental exam, the dentist or hygienist will likely discuss your diet and oral hygiene habits and might demonstrate proper  techniques when it comes to brushing and flossing your teeth.  Other topics for discussion during a dental exam might include:

  • Any medications you’re taking
  • Use of tobacco products
  • Consequences of tooth loss
  • Benefits of crowns, fixed bridges or dental implants
  • Use of dentures
Thanks for Reading!!!


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Category: nutrition, Uncategorized

About the Author ()

Originally born and raised in Woburn Massachusetts (love my Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins!) I made my trek northward to the beautiful state of Maine back in October 2003 after marrying my college sweetheart. We began a family in 2004 and I am happy to say that we have 4 happy, healthy, beautiful children that bring an amazing amount of joy to our lives! I am also a type 1 diabetic. Diagnosed back in 2006 (out of the blue), at a routine doctors visit. Diabetes has single handed-ly been the biggest obstacle that I have faced in my life. At the time I had no idea of what a roller coaster ride I would be in for, I mean really, what's a couple finger sticks a day and a couple shots of insulin for food...this will be easy, I got this! Well 2 ER visits later, I quickly found out that this was no joke, and if I wanted to see my little ones grow up, this was something that I needed to take seriously! Little by little as we began to digest all of the information that was being thrown at acting insulin, short acting insulin, lancets, test meters, test strips, ketone sticks, carb counting, food groups, glucagon emergency kits, insulin pumps, glucose monitors...OMG, my head was spinning like a top!! After a couple of crazy years, I can happily say that I am well controlled and feel absolutely amazing! Not to be lost in all of this either is the amazing support of my wife. She has been my rock! She has been with me every step of the way, from 2am finger sticks to helping me change out a failed pump in the middle of a crowded restaurant. She truly is an amazing wife and mom and I can't imaging my life without her love and support- love you babe!

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