A toothbrush is one of the most recognizable products across the world, and with good reason. Unlike our ancestors, most of us live by simple, though effective, standards of good hygiene and dental health, which the toothbrush contributes to significantly. Nevertheless, just because you recognize a toothbrush and how to use it doesn’t mean you’re automatically safe from dental health issues. To maximize your smile’s protection, you also need to know how often to use your toothbrush, and a few other key points about good dental hygiene practices.
Do You Know?
1.) How often should you brush your teeth?
a.) every day c.) four times a day
b.) twice a day d.) whenever you feel plaque on your teeth
2.) What ingredient should you make sure your toothpaste contains?
a.) alcohol c.) bleach
b.) peroxide d.) fluoride
3.) How many times should you visit the dentist in a year?
a.) once c.) only when your teeth hurt
b.) twice d.) it should be once every two years
4.) What should you do when your tooth hurts?
a.) pull it c.) think of something else
b.) rub aspirin on it d.) visit your dentist A.S.A.P.
1.) Twice a day—Dr. Fondriest, as well as the American Dental Association (ADA), recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day, every day, and flossing at least once. The repetition helps control the buildup of dental plaque, which is constantly produced by masses of bacteria in your mouth. Left alone, these germs multiply from behind their sticky biofilm, and attack your teeth and gums, leading to cavities and/or gum disease. Dr. Fondriest also suggests brushing your teeth after meals whenever possible to help neutralize harmful substances that bacteria produce through metabolization.
2.) Fluoride—The thin, protective layer around your teeth, called tooth enamel, is the first and foremost line of defense against cavity-causing oral bacteria, and fluoride is one of enamel’s best friends. When some microbes consume sugar and starches, they metabolize them into acids that attack and weaken tooth enamel. The mineral fluoride bonds to weak layers of enamel (which is comprised almost entirely of mineral crystals) to fortify your teeth’s protective outer barrier. Fluoride is found in most major toothpaste brands approved by the ADA, and Dr. Fondriest advises using toothpaste with the mineral to increase your cavity protection.
3.) Twice—Besides carefully cleaning your teeth every day, successful dental hygiene also requires you to attend a dental checkup and cleaning at least once every six months. If your teeth and gums are especially in trouble, then Dr. Fondriest may recommend a more frequent schedule. During each visit, one of our experienced dental professionals will clean your teeth of bacteria, plaque, and tartar (hardened plaque) more thoroughly than you can with your toothbrush and floss. Dr. Fondriest will then perform a comprehensive inspection of your mouth to search for signs of cavities, gum disease, dental wear and damage, or abnormalities that could indicate the presence of disease.
4.) Visit your dentist A.S.A.P.—Unlike the occasional light headache, even a mild toothache can spell serious trouble. NEVER try to pull your own permanent tooth; ingesting aspirin may offer temporarily relief, but spreading it on your tooth will only damage your gum tissue and tooth structure; and ignoring a toothache won’t make it go away, it will only grow worse. Your best option for relieving your toothache is to visit our office as soon as possible so we can determine why it hurts, then treat the condition before extensive damage occurs, or you lose the tooth to an infection.
About Your Lake Forest Dentist:
Aside from providing expert general and restorative dentistry services to our community, Dr. James Fondriest also holds highly-respected academic appointments at the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, FL, and the Spear Institute in Scottsdale, AZ, and he is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Florida Dental School. Dr. Fondriest combines his impressive array of experience with modern technology and caring, compassionate, and knowledgeable staff, and we proudly serve the Chicago metropolitan area including the North Shore and Northwest suburbs. To schedule your consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.