There is much debate regarding the use of pacifiers, but there is evidence to show that there are both pros and cons. PROS Contrary to popular … [Read More...]
#1. Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Tooth brushing cleans the flat surfaces of the teeth- which accounts for about 60% if the total tooth surface.
Power toothbrushes clean better.
Ideally brush even after snacking. Brush for two minutes. If an electric brush is not in your budget- then dry brush: no toothpaste, no water. Brush until your teeth feel and taste clean. Manual brushing takes a lot longer to get all the flat surfaces of the teeth clean- up to 15 minutes to do the job correctly. My favorite electric brushes- either the Sonicare Diamond Clean or The 30 Second Smile.
How to brush- Place the toothbrush on the top of the tooth and tip it so that you’re brushing up (or down, as the case may be) along the gumline. Gently make little tiny circles, even with your electric brush. Brush your gums.
#2. Toothpaste- I want toothpaste to do something, it depends on what you need/want: tooth decay prevention, recession, whitening, tartar buildup prevention, sensitivity, remineralization. It’s more than just a minty paste- it has to work for you, it’s really medicine. And, as with all medicine, more is not better– just a pea size in kids and adults, and just a smear for children younger than three. Brush, spit, don’t rinse- let the paste work for you.
Some of my faves:
Tooth Decay prevention- Carifree products, MI paste (Tooth Mousse in Europe), Xylitol products
Tartar Buildup prevention- Livionex Toothpaste
#3. Clean in between- Since tooth brushing only cleans 60% of the tooth- why leave 40% unclean? That’s like taking a shower with your boots on- your feet MIGHT get clean, but probably NOT. Hate to floss? Look at Airflosser, piksters, soft picks, floss on a stick. Be creative. There are plenty of options. Find something that’ll work in your hands.
#4. Clean under the gumline – daily irrigation, and if you wanna get wild and crazy- use a cannula and bleach water- The bugs that cause gum disease live deep down underneath the gumline, in the tooth tubules and deep in the tissues. Irrigation is one of my favorite gum disease prevention tools.
What to put in there? While water is good, let’s put something in there that’ll kill the bacteria and disinfect:
Therasol- it tastes good – the concentrate dilutes one part therasol to eight parts water and it’s good for you. You can use it instead of toothpaste, as a mouth wash and as an oral irrigation solution. Down side- you have to purchase it or order it from the company- OraTec.
#5. Disinfect the entire mouth- gargle with bleach water, again- 1:25. The same bacteria are connected to both periodontal disease and tonsillar infections.
(During irrigation I fill my mouth with the bleach water and then stop the unit to gargle.) The tonsils can be filled with bacteria and pathogens in all those nooks and crannies. Never thought of that? They reinfect the rest of your mouth…
#6. Clean the tongue, roof of the mouth, and cheeks as well. The healthier your mouth is, the healthier your arteries are! Total body dentistry.
#7. Nutrition- A healthy diet is vital. Watch out for those sticky refined carbohydrates. Sugar in all its many disguises plays a big role in inflammation and disease. Watch out for energy drinks, soda, and coffee . Everything in moderation. Rinse your mouth out if you eat or drink something acidic, and don’t sip- it just prolongs the change in pH. Acidic foods and beverages contribute to tooth decay and make the enamel soft, carbohydrates feed the bacteria creating a welcoming place for them.
#8. See your MD/ND or other physician- Have a physical- bleeding gums may mean diabetes, or other health ailments- Got dry mouth? it may be your medications. Acid wear on your teeth- may be related to sleep apnea. It’s all connected.
#9. See your dental hygienist as often as necessary to keep your mouth clean and healthy. If you have cavities or gum disease then definitely see them every three months. Cavities and gum disease don’t hurt until the FINAL stages of the disease- treatment is so much easier and long lasting if you fix it while it’s still a small, minor infection!
Choose your dental professional carefully- be sure they are listening to you, practicing prevention, using the products themselves, and take the time to do it correctly. If you have cavities- ask what you can do to change this. If they don’t recommend killing the bacteria, find another office.
#10.Monitor the pathogens- What’s going on under your gumline microscopically? What’s your tooth decay bacterial load? It’s a small small , crazy world down there ! Our MD or ND wants tests to see what’s going on microscopically- they want to know what your risk factors are for diseases they look for, what the test results say- and so should your dental team. What oral bacteria and pathogens are you fighting? How aggressive is your bacteria? Hmm, don’t know? Time to find out. If your office doesn’t have a microscope- ask for a saliva test for gum disease, and a Carifree carimeter test for tooth decay. How do you know if you’re winning if you don’t know what you’re fighting?
#11. Close your mouth- do only nasal breathing. Besides creating a dry mouth which leads to tooth decay and gum infection, mouth breathing also creates problems in facial development and wrecks havoc in your body. The nose warms and filters your air- it keeps you healthier.
#12. Zero Tolerance for bleeding gums-practice prevention- Get all the plaque off . Got bleeding gums – you got infection ! – don’t accept that as healthy. Really – healthy gums don’t bleed, not even a little, EVER!