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Ensuring better oral health for the whole family

When it comes to increasing oral health awareness in the family, it’s important to remember that brushing and flossing aren’t enough to attain or maintain good dental health.

98% of every man, woman, and child in the United States has some form of oral disease. And among those folks, 90% of adults and 65% of 15-year-olds specifically have signs of active gum disease.

So if brushing and flossing alone created oral health and most people did at least one of these things habitually, wouldn’t these numbers be much, much lower?

Parents want the best for their children at all times. For example, many of us were raised on Twinkies and Lucky Charms (actually, I preferred Ding Dongs and Trix 🙂 –just name your poison). However, parents today want to give their children the finest start possible, especially if they themselves did not have the best nutritious start.

Circling back to our oral hygiene routine, it’s vital to note that children learn a great deal from seeing their parents go about their daily lives. As a result, taking charge of our dental health is the best thing we can do to enhance oral health for everyone in the family.

What is conscious flossing?

The term “conscious flossing” describes bringing awareness and attention to the routine habit of flossing.

By paying attention while flossing, a lot can be learned about what’s going on in our mouths, and this information can have a huge impact on the ability to create greater oral health.

How to floss consciously

1.  Start with a piece of floss that’s long enough for you to be able to use a new segment of floss between each set of teeth.

2.  Stop and look at the floss after each flossing point. Look for any discoloration on the floss. Any color (blood or yellowish color) is a clear sign that you have an active infection in the gum pockets around those teeth.

3.  Step three requires some courage, so be strong! 🙂 Smell the floss. Yep, smell it after each contact you clean. A bad smell on the floss is also a sign of an active infection in the gum pockets around those teeth. And yes, if you find any smelly floss, that directly contributes to the smell from your mouth that your partner has come to recognize as normal.

4.  As you floss, feel for any pain, sensitivity, or signs of swelling.

Wrapping up…

Once your children see you floss consciously, they will begin to do the same.

Everyone in the family will have a better understanding of how to create greater oral health in their own life. That’s what we call a win/win for all!!!

https://orawellness.com/how-to-create-greater-oral-health-for-the-whole-family/

Beyond Brushing – Taking care of your oral health

Brushing your teeth every morning and night doesn’t guarantee you’re giving your mouth all the attention it needs.

Having a thorough dental care routine that goes beyond just brushing your teeth, and ensuring you have the right tools in your bathroom cupboard, can take your oral health to another level and give you a good clean.

Here are our top tips for ensuring a healthy mouth and enamel.

Why is enamel so important?

The enamel on your teeth is a protective outer layer on each tooth. It is the hardest and most highly mineralized substance in your body. Every time you eat and drink, you expose your teeth to acids and bacteria that are in your food. This would seriously harm teeth if it weren’t for tooth enamel. It’s the most visible part of the tooth, and it’s what people see when you smile or open your mouth.

When enamel is damaged or starts to decay, you cannot restore it: enamel simply doesn’t grow back. Sensitivity to hot and cold foods will occur. Here are a few oral hygiene steps to follow to ensure the maximum upkeep of tooth enamel.

Brush regularly (but not too hard)

Many people brush regularly, but simply don’t brush enough for their teeth to stay clean.

It is recommended to brush just before bed and at one other time during the day with fluoride toothpaste. Using an electric toothbrush is better for you and your enamel than manual toothbrushes for several reasons. They are constantly rotating and cleaning as you move over your teeth and they rotate at a far higher speed than you could achieve with your hand, providing a deeper clean.

Thus they can help to get rid of surface stains without applying too much pressure on the tooth’s surface.

Use a mouthwash

Drinks high in sugar, like fizzy drinks, are the number one culprits as they are tremendously high in sugar and very acidic. This combination accelerates the loss of your tooth enamel.

A good mouthwash can go where toothbrushes and floss can’t to rid your mouth of the same debris that irritates the gum line and causes gingivitis. Add a quality alcohol-free mouthwash to your oral care regime to get the most thorough clean you can, even when you’re on the go.

Pick the correct toothpaste

One common misconception when it comes to oral hygiene and tooth enamel is that teeth whitening formulas are healthy. However, whitening toothpaste that contains peroxide can be too harsh on your enamel due to the peroxide content which can damage your enamel and can cause increased and unwanted sensitivity.

Instead, choose a toothpaste that gently removes stains without the use of peroxide. The vital ingredient to protecting your enamel is fluoride, which helps to remineralize your enamel and protects your teeth’s sensitivity.

Floss properly

Like brushing, flossing must be done properly so that, when you reach between teeth, you get to the plaque not reached by your toothbrush.

Brushing only gets around 50% of the plaque buildup, so spending a few minutes each day flossing helps to get to those hard-to-reach areas.

Ideally, use a floss tape that can be more gentle on gums, and make sure to floss morning and evening.

https://www.dentalhealth.org/blog/brushing-and-beyond-taking-care-of-your-oral-health

Cleaning between teeth: the secret behind a healthy smile

When you think about maintaining a healthy mouth, brushing your teeth should be the top priority. Twice daily toothbrushing with fluoride toothpaste is the cornerstone to a healthy smile, but there is one simple addition that can truly transform how healthy your mouth is – and that is interdental cleaning. 

While toothbrushing is the most effective way to keep your teeth clean, it only reaches 60% of the tooth’s surfaces. Using interdental brushes to clean in between the gaps in your teeth is one of the easiest and most important things you can do to change your smile for the better.

Why interdental cleaning is important

Dental plaque can build up between the teeth where a toothbrush cannot get to.

Over time, this can lead to tooth decay, gum inflammation, and bad breath. To prevent this from happening, it is good to use an interdental brush as part of your daily cleaning routine.

An interdental brush is a small brush specially designed to clean between your teeth, where a regular toothbrush does not reach. Daily use of an interdental brush, in addition to regular tooth brushing, is an easy and effective way to keep your gums and teeth fresh and healthy.

It’s recommended that you clean between your teeth every day, to keep your mouth fresh and healthy.

When you first start cleaning between your teeth, your gums may feel a bit sore and might bleed but do not stop because bleeding gums are often a sign of gum inflammation. If you do not notice an improvement within a few days, contact your dental professional.

Picking the right size

Interdental brushes come in many different sizes, and it can be difficult to know which one is most suitable for your mouth.

For the best advice, ask a dental professional for their recommendation. In the meantime, here are a few tips to get you started…

· Look in the mirror and insert the brush between the teeth, close to the gums. Start with the smallest size and work up until the brush bristles touch the tooth surface and the gum tissue.

· The brush should have a snug fit but the wire, although plastic coated, should not touch the sides of the teeth or the gums. Never force the brush into space.

· Once inserted, move the interdental brush to its full length back and forth about 2-3 times. Make sure to clean all the spaces between the teeth once a day.

· You are likely to need two to three different sizes or the combination of one or two brushes and floss – it all depends on the spaces between the teeth, which normally vary throughout the mouth.

How to use interdental brushes

To get the most out of interdental cleaning, it is all about the correct technique. The good news is that using interdental brushes is relatively easy to pick up. Once mastered, it is a healthy habit that will last a lifetime.

1.         Use a straight interdental brush between the front teeth

Insert the brush gently between the teeth. Do not force the brush into space; work it in gently or choose a smaller size.

Move the interdental brush full length back and forth a few times.

2.         If using a small interdental brush on the back teeth 

If using a small interdental brush you can curve the soft neck slightly. By adding pressure with your finger, it makes it easier to reach between the back teeth. Or try a long-handled interdental brush.

3.         If using a bigger interdental brush on the back teeth 

When using interdental brushes of a larger size, access between the back teeth may be improved if you slightly curve the wire. The interdental brush will last longer if you do not straighten or bend the brush at another angle.

https://www.dentalhealth.org/blog/cleaning-between-teeth-the-secret-behind-a-truly-healthy-smile

Causes of Tooth Decay

It’s critically important to help heal the misunderstandings that our culture has around how to navigate the path to greater oral health. 

Let’s study 5 aspects of how diet and nutrition can impact oral health. 

5 dietary recommendations to positively impact oral health

  • Have sufficient fat-soluble vitamins in our diet (vitamins A, D, E, and K2)
  • Have plenty of vitamins B and C in our diet
  • Have sufficient minerals in our diet
  • Avoid too many foods that are high in acid
  • Avoid eating too much sugar (in all forms) 

In this article, let’s explore the inner workings of diet’s impact on oral health.

To put into perspective the role that diet plays in helping or undermining our oral health, this first article is going to explore the work of Dr. Ralph Steinman. 

Dr. Steinman was a dental researcher in the 1970s who did extensive research to determine the cause of tooth decay. He published his work in his amazing book, Dentinal Fluid Transport. He conducted tens of thousands of experiments on lab rats to determine the cause of tooth decay. What he found may surprise you.

What is dentinal fluid flow? (and how does it impact my oral health?)

Fundamentally, what Dr. Steinman discovered is that our teeth are alive.

Contrary to the popular cultural belief that teeth are like small rocks, the fact is that our teeth have fluid running through them, and this is called ‘dentinal fluid flow’.

The dentin is the layer of tissue in each of our teeth that’s just between the hard outer (enamel) surface and the inner soft tooth pulp.

Dr. Steinman discovered that this dentinal fluid flow is part of the blood circulation that goes into and out of each of our teeth.

He also discovered that when the dentinal fluid is flowing from the inside of the tooth outward, the teeth are very resistant to decay. However, when the fluid flow reverses and flows from the outer surface of the tooth towards the inner portion of the tooth, decay sets in very quickly.

The thug bugs in our mouths contribute to tooth decay. If the dentinal fluid is flowing the healthy way, this flow prevents the thug bugs from being able to decay the teeth; the flow washes them out of the teeth. It’s like they have to swim upstream to get into the teeth. On the other hand, if the dentinal fluid flow reverses, then it’s like the thug bugs get a free pass on a highway right into our teeth! 

Dr. Steinman found that dentinal fluid flow is controlled by the parotid gland, a part of our salivary system that is located in the region behind our lower jaw.  Then he discovered that the parotid gland is controlled by the part of our brain called the hypothalamus.  For the sake of simplicity, let’s refer to this relationship between dentinal fluid flow, the parotid gland, and the hypothalamus as ‘dentinal fluid flow’.

With these pieces in place, Dr. Steinman’s work helped us to understand that a healthy, balanced diet not only helps to control the thug bugs responsible for dental decay, but also helps to maintain a healthy, living tissue within the teeth that can help resist decay through healthy dentinal fluid flow. 

https://orawellness.com/why-do-teeth-decay/

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