Common Questions About Dental Health
What type of toothbrush and toothpaste should I use?
Toothbrushes with soft bristles are best for most people. Medium and firm ones can easily damage teeth and gums. You’ll commonly find what kind of bristles the brush has on the label of of its packaging.
Both powered and manual toothbrushes clean teeth well. Manual brushes with mixed bristle heights or angled bristles can be a better utility, as they clean better than those with all flat, even bristles. Powered toothbrushes are also a great option and may even be easier to use if the patient has trouble using his or her hands.
Whether brush i manual or powered, it’s important to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Toss it out sooner if the bristles look bent or splayed out. Bent bristles do not clean your teeth as well as properly aligned bristles — they’re also a sign you may be brushing too hard!
Most toothpastes on the market today will clear away bacteria growth and acids from food and drinks. Toothpastes with the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance always have fluoride, which strengthens and protects teeth. If you want a non-fluoride option, stores carry toothpastes and powders made with natural ingredients that don’t have ADA testing and approval.
If cold or hot food or drinks cause your oral pain, pick a toothpaste for sensitive teeth and let your dentist know.
Do I really need to floss?
Flossing gives your greater access to clean the hard to reach places in your mouth. It clears food and plaque from between teeth and under the gumline. If you don’t floss, plaque hardens into tartar, which forms wedges and widens the space between teeth and gums, causing pockets. Over time, this can cause gums to pull away and teeth loosen. So yes, to prevent more serious dental issues, it is important to floss every day!
What’s the best way to whiten my teeth?
There are hundreds of different whitening options on the shelves today, and you can even get take-home gels and trays from your dentist; but neither is as strong or effective as procedures done in a dental office
If you want to try an over-the-counter whitener, look for one with an ADA seal. It’s also a good idea to check with your dentist for advice before you buy, especially if you have dental work or dark stains. It’s also important not to abuse whitening products, as they too can cause damage to you enamels.
How can I fix my teeth and smile?
There are many different ways to adjust your smile. Caps, crowns, braces, retainers, Invisalign, Inbrace — all are different options for giving you more confidence in your smile. To determine which options is best for your unique situation, it’s important to consult with a San Clemente, CA orthodontist you can trust.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from John Redmond Orthodontics for their insight into common dental FAQs.