Generally speaking, a soft bristled toothbrush is best. Whether you use a manual toothbrush or an electric, anything harder than soft, is too hard. Stiff bristles may give you that clean feeling, but they can also abrade your teeth and cause gum recession.
Never use someone's toothbrush, even it is "sterilized" with a cleaner or in boiling water. Each person has their own germs and a quick way to spread them is sharing a toothbrush. If you are ever in the area and need a toothbrush or floss, please stop by Dr. Elliott's Office and ask for one. We're always stocked up!
Step 1 - Place bristles along the gum line at a 45 degree angle and gently brush teeth using a circular motion along the outer and inner tooth surfaces. This allows the bristles to also reach under your gums to remove food particles.
Step 2 - Brush each tooth individually. Tilt brush vertically behind the front teeth. Using the front half of the brush, use the same circular motion.
Step 3 - Place the brush against the biting surface of the teeth using a gentle back-and-forth motion. Brush the tongue to remove odor-producing bacteria.
Floss is cheap, so don't be stingy! Tear off about a forearm's length to start. Wrap one end around the middle finger of one hand to "anchor" it and pick up the other end about 4-6 inches away with the middle finger of the other hand. This allows you to manipulate the floss with your thumb and fore finger. As you soil a section of floss, "reel" in another 4-6 inches of clean floss with the anchor finger as you release the floss with the other finger.
Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Hold the floss tightly against the tooth as you gently rub the side of the tooth with an up and down motion. Before retrieving it, clean the adjacent tooth surface the same way. This is called flossing the contact.
As you finish cleaning each contact wind the dirty floss once or twice around the anchor finger so fresh floss is now exposed and proceed to the next contact. Floss all contacts, even behind the last tooth where there is no adjacent tooth.
Fluoride, a substance that's found naturally in water, plays an important role in healthy tooth development and cavity prevention.
Fluoride combats tooth decay in two ways:
1) It strengthens tooth enamel, a hard and shiny substance that protects the teeth, so that it can better resist the acid formed by plaque.
2) Fluoride allows teeth damaged by acid to repair, or re-mineralize, themselves.
Fluoride cannot repair cavities, but it can reverse low levels of tooth decay and thus prevent new cavities from forming.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that fluoride supplements be given daily to children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years. The dosage will change as your child grows. Only children living in non-fluoridated areas or children who drink only non-fluoridated bottled water should receive supplements. Some stores sell small fluoride enriched bottled waters.
Most children get the right amount of fluoride through a combination of fluoridated toothpaste and fluoridated water or supplements. If you are unsure if your child is receiving the correct amount of fluoride, err on the side of caution. Too much of anything is usually not good for you.
Our office provides smile makeovers to achieve the beautiful, natural look you seek. We can reshape your natural teeth to make them straighter or more youthful in appeal. Our office is easily accessible, has convenient hours, and a staff always ready to help.
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