Monthly Archives: May 2014

Should I Use a Mouthwash?

People use mouthwash for a variety of uses, from freshening breath to preventing tooth decay. Swishing daily with mouthwash can help you maintain great oral health by killing the germs and bacteria that linger in your mouth and between your teeth. Here are a few pointers about mouthwash and how it might help to improve your overall oral health.

Mouth washWhat is mouthwash?
Mouthwash or mouthrinse is an oral hygiene product that you can
use in addition to brushing and flossing.  Generally, these oral rinses are classified as cosmetic, therapeutic, or a combination of both.

Cosmetic mouthwashes can remove oral debris, temporarily suppress bad breath, and refresh the mouth with a pleasant taste. In addition to these benefits, therapeutic mouthwashes—including antiseptic, anti-plaque, and anti-cavity formulas—include ingredients to protect against oral disease. Antiseptic and anti-plaque mouthwashes can kill the germs that cause plaque, gingivitis, and bad breath, while anti-cavity formulas use fluoride to prevent and reduce tooth decay.

How do I use mouthwash?
First, make sure that you brush and floss your teeth well. Your teeth should be as clean as possible in order to reap the full benefits of your mouthwash.
Once you’re ready to rinse, measure the proper amount as specified on
the container, or as instructed by your dentist. With your lips closed and your
teeth apart, swish the liquid around your mouth. Many formulas suggest swishing for 30 seconds or more. Finally, thoroughly spit the liquid from your mouth. If you’re using an anti-cavity mouthwash, do not rinse, eat, or smoke for 30 minutes after use.

Does mouthwash have any side effects?
Side effects may vary, depending on which formula you use. If you experience
any irritating or adverse reactions to mouthwash, immediately stop using it
and speak with your dentist. Most anti-cavity rinses contain sodium
fluoride, which can lead to fluoride toxicity if taken excessively or swallowed. Because children tend to swallow mouthwash accidentally, they should not use anticavity formulas before age 6, and children older than age 6 should use them only with adult supervision.

Suffering From Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth (also called xerostomia) is caused by a decrease in the amount of saliva in the mouth when the salivary glands do not work properly. The salivary glands help keep your mouth moist, which helps prevent tooth decay and other oral health problems. Saliva helps wash away cavity-causing bacteria, provides enzymes to help digest food, protects teeth from decay by neutralizing harmful acids and keeps oral tissues healthy. Without saliva you would lose your teeth much faster

Dry mouthWhat causes Dry Mouth?
Prescription and over-the-counter medications are the most common cause. There are over 400 medications that can cause it, but the most common culprits are antihypertensives, antidepressants, painkillers, tranquilizers, diuretics and antihistamines. It can also happen when you are under stress or be a sign of a serious health condition. Other causes include radiation therapy and chemotherapy or diseases such as AIDS, diabetes or Sjogren’s syndrome.

Dry mouth can cause several problems including difficulty in tasting, chewing or swallowing. It also allows plaque to build up on your teeth faster leading to a high risk of cavities. It can also lead to bad breath, ulceration or soreness of the mouth, gum disease and difficulty in wearing dentures.

How do I treat dry mouth?Dry mouth relief
Many treatments can help ease the symptoms of dry mouth, including over-the-counter saliva substitutes. Remember to brush and floss twice a day. You may also chew sugar-free gum. Try to avoid alcohol and caffeine, smoking, acidic juices, dry foods, and overly salty foods. Drink plenty of water and maintain regular dental visits.

Forgot to Floss? It’s Not Too Late!

You know you need to floss everyday…but you forgot the last week. So why bother flossing now?

Flossing techniquesFlossing daily helps control tartar build-up on your teeth. Plaque is continually developing on your teeth which causes cavities and gum disease. By flossing you remove the colonies of bacteria and germs so they don’t accumulate quite so long. Even flossing two or three times a week helps. So it’s never too late to start flossing.

No time to floss? It doesn’t have to be right before bed. You can floss in the morning, or anytime during the day. Keep the floss by your favorite chair so you can do it when watching TV. It’s more important to do it, rather than what time of day it is done.

The proper technique for flossing is important also. Make sure to form a “c” around your tooth and bring the floss up and down on the sides of the teeth, not just between the teeth. Do your gums bleed when you floss? By using the “c” technique, you will prevent the floss from cutting the gums. The bleeding may also be caused by inflammation from the accumulated bacteria. It should go away within a week or two of regular flossing.Plastic floss holder

Everyone, including kids should floss.  Does arthritis or a lack of dexterity keep you from flossing? Try using a plastic floss holder.  Do you have a bridge or braces?  Use a floss threader.  Just keep on flossing!

Which Toothpaste is Right for You?

toothpasteTo start, any toothpaste you buy should have fluoride because it prevents dental decay.

From there, it may be a challenge to pick your toothpaste because there are many types in any given drugstore! Every person has different needs at wants. What you need to figure out is what you want out of your toothpaste.

Do you want a brighter smile? If so, opt for whitening toothpaste which contains peroxide to give your smile a boost.

Are your teeth sensitive? There are quite a few toothpastes that work to desensitize your teeth. The brands with sodium nitrate will help keep your enamel strong.

Does normal toothpaste irritate your mouth? Herbal toothpaste caters to people who have problems with regular toothpaste. It also appeals to people living green.

Once you fine the tooth you need, remember to keep a regular routine. Brush after every meal, and floss daily!