Honestly, the answer to this question depends on who you ask!
Many of you may not like this answer! However, it depends on you what the best way is.
Yes, it would be easier if I say do this and you will never have another cavity or gum disease. You either choose to listen and follow directions or not.
But is it just not that simple. Wah wah wah…Everyone has a different set of beliefs, likes, and dislikes abilities, intension, determination, genetics, and habits.
Which means what I love and works for me you may not like or it may not work for you. That is why there are so many options available. How do you know or decide what the best way is to take care of your teeth or the teeth of a loved one?
There are two basic things that we have been taught that are standard for everyone.
What are they?
Toothbrushing and Flossing
Whether it be manual or electric, brushing your teeth is a very important part of optimal oral health.
There is a great debate about flossing people either do it or don’t. I do not see a lot of in-between… no pun intended! People either floss or they don’t
Cleaning every surface of your teeth, front, back, top, and in between using a soft bristle electric brush and floss and or a water flosser to remove more plaque is a great place to start. These are the two tools I have the most luck with getting patients to use on a consistent basis.
Being consistent is the key to success when it comes to oral health. If you can get consistent with these two tools you can add other tools later. My rule of thumb is never to start with more than three tools. Why? Because if I give my patients more than that they are not likely to comply and they apologize when I see them or I never see them again.
Just an FYI…it does not affect me if you don’t use the tools I recommend. I am just here to offer support, not to judge.
I never want to make someone feel bad they were not able to complete the task recommended. I get it, things come up, life happens. When you can give patients tools they feel they can use, they will feel more confident and accomplished and are more willing to use them daily.
I want to reduce the # of patients that have dental issues so I like to inform, educate, educate, and educate. You don’t know what you don’t know. It is my job to educate you and fill in the missing information.
Not only do your teeth fill out your face, they enable you to eat, speak, breathe, they also help maintain the bone structure of your jaw.
The Anatomy of a Tooth
On average most adult humans have a mouth full set of 32 teeth. Except for wisdom teeth, we have our full set of permanent teeth by the age of 13. Unlike our baby teeth, these 32 are meant to last a lifetime and are made of materials that with a good diet and consistent daily hygiene habits can last you forever.
The Different Types of Teeth
Of our 32 teeth, we have 8 incisors, 4 canines, 8 premolars, 8 molars, and 4 wisdom teeth. Incisors are the four front teeth of our top and bottom jaws. These teeth support our lips, bite into food, and help you speak and pronounce words. Canines are the pointed edged teeth that sit on the outside of our incisors and are used to cut our food. Premolars sit behind our canines and are best used to chew food. Our molars are at the back of our mouths and do the job of grinding our food down even further. Wisdom teeth, which normally erupt after the age of 18 and are removed if there is not enough room for them, take up space at the very back of our mouths and do the same job as molars and are also called third molars. Since the agricultural revolution and the addition of processed food we are chewing less and our anatomy are changing. We no longer have the space needed for them to grow in properly.
Although we have various different types of teeth that do different jobs in our mouths, each tooth is made out of the same layers.
The Layers of a Tooth
Each tooth is made up of five layers that connect them to the rest of the mouth.
Layer One – Enamel
Believe it or not, but your enamel on your teeth is the hardest natural substance in your body. Your tooth enamel is a hard, glossy cover and is the exterior of the tooth. Tooth enamel is made up of calcium phosphate, which is a rock-hard mineral. It is the front line of defense against bacteria and decay in the mouth. Without our enamel, bacteria is able to infect the soft tissue inside of the tooth, which can result in the extraction or a root canal if not addressed early.
Layer Two – Dentin
Beneath the white, glossy enamel, is a thicker layer called Dentin, which is a hard tissue that contains microscopic tubes. Dentin is yellow, more sensitive than enamel and its tubules communicate with the nerve endings in your tooth. When dentin is exposed, your teeth become more sensitive to the changes in hot and cold temperatures in the food you eat and what you drink.
Layer Three – Pulp
Now we start to see the softer side of the tooth. The third layer of the tooth consists of pulp, a soft, living tissue that is filled with blood vessels and nerve endings. The pulp is what keeps the tooth alive, without it the tooth would not respond to temperature or other stimuli. Pulp also helps support the dentin and provides nutrients to areas around the tooth.
Layer Four – Cementum
This layer binds the root of the tooth to the gums and jawbone with connective tissue. Such an important job needs to be undertaken by a strong material, and this is why cementum tissue structure is similar to that of bone.
Layer Five – Periodontal Ligament
The fifth and final layer of a tooth is the Periodontal Ligament. This tissue assists in holding the tooth to the jawbone.
If we start taking care of our teeth early we will be able to keep dental disease away.
Symptoms of cavities will depend on the depth and location of the decay. You might experience spontaneous pain without any apparent cause or find you have a sensitivity to hot and cold drinks and foods. Although the enamel is hard it may develop small, diffuse cracks that disperse the stress on the tooth and help prevent it from breaking. Your gums may recede and expose the dentin once exposed it too may be sensitive.
Taking care of your teeth is important since cavities, gingivitis, periodontitis — gum disease — can lead to significant health problems and difficulty eating.
The Importance of Proper Teeth Brushing Technique
Tooth decay is second to the common cold, in terms of how many people are affected by it.
We feed the bacteria in your mouth with foods we eat, a sticky substance called plaque is formed on your teeth. Plaque happens more often on the back molars just at the gum line.
When it’s allowed to stay, plaque forms a hard build-up called tartar that ultimately results in gingivitis and leads to periodontitis. Plaque begins forming on the teeth in as little as 20 minutes after you’ve taken your last bite of a meal. Using proper brushing techniques and caring for your teeth reduces your risk of painful cavities and the need for dental procedures.
Brushing removes the plaque and only takes a couple of minutes each day. The American Dental Association (ADA) warns against these common mistakes:
|Using a hard bristle brush — Look for a brush with soft bristles to avoid damage to your teeth and gums that may cause sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks.|
|Not replacing your toothbrush frequently — If you keep your toothbrush longer than three or four months, then you’re keeping it too long. Put a reminder on your calendar and watch for worn down bristles that tell you it’s time to replace it. Or get a subscription toothbrush that sends you one every three months. I recommend Burst.|
|Brushing immediately after a meal — While you might be tempted to brush right after you eat, it’s wise to wait 20-30 minutes for your saliva to neutralize the acids in your mouth.|
|Storing your toothbrush improperly — Your toothbrush should be stored upright and open to air so it can dry completely to avoid bacterial growth. When a toothbrush is kept in a closed container it offers the opportunity for bacterial and mold growth.|
Focus on your brushing technique to get the most positive effect.
The ADA recommends holding your brush at a 45-degree angle to the tooth and gum line. Move it in short strokes, using a gentle back and forth motion across one tooth at a time. To clean the backside of your upper teeth, hold the brush vertically and gently move it up and down
Choose the Right Instruments
You have several options to help keep your teeth and gums clean. Many dentists recommend that their patients use electric toothbrushes for several reasons, including that many will brush longer with an electric toothbrush, which is small enough to get into hard-to-reach areas.
Burst has two double-blind studies that show the use of a power brush is 10 x more effective than a manual toothbrush at removing plaque and 3 x more effective at reducing bleeding.
In more than half of the other studies, scientists found that the power brushes used a rotational action in which the brush rotated in one direction and then reversed. Their data supported the use of a power brush over a manual toothbrush as there was an 11% reduction in plaque in those using it over one to three months. After three months plaque reduced by 21%.
The participants also enjoyed a reduction in gingivitis, with a 6% reduction over one to three months and an 11% reduction at the end of three months. Any reported side effects were temporary and localized.
After a choice of brushing, you may also consider the addition of a water flosser, a device used to spray a powerful jet of water into your mouth. While many choose a water flosser over floss, your best option may be to learn how to use both.
Researchers enrolled 70 adults in a study designed to compare the effectiveness of using a water flosser to that of using floss in combination with a manual brush. Both groups were trained and watched while using the water flosser with a manual toothbrush, or floss and a manual brush. Those using the water flosser showed a 74.4% reduction in plaque throughout the mouth compared to a 57.5% reduction in those who used floss.
They concluded that using “The Waterpik Water Flosser and the manual toothbrush is significantly more effective than a manual brush and string floss in removing plaque from tooth surfaces.” However, while traveling it may not be practical to bring an electric water flosser, so being able to use string floss is important.
Periodontal Disease May Increase Your Risk of Heart Disease
Research from the CDC shows that nearly half of all American adults ages 30 and older have periodontal disease. They estimate 47.2% have mild, moderate, or severe forms of the disease. In those who are 65 or older, the rate increases to 70.1%.
Periodontal disease has been linked with heart disease in several studies as well. The studies have not demonstrated a cause-and-effect relationship but an association between gum disease and an increased risk of heart disease that may be related to an increase in inflammation.
Oil Pulling Is a Simple Strategy for a Healthy Mouth
One simple strategy for improving your oral health is incorporating oil pulling into your daily routine. I am adding this in because it too has been proven to be effective. If most people only brush for 45 seconds I am not sure oil pulling for 20 minutes is something they are likely to do.
The history of pulling dates back nearly 3,000 years, used in traditional Indian folk medicine to strengthen teeth and gums and prevent tooth decay, bad breath, and bleeding gums.15
I find it is an effective method for cleaning the small crevices where the bristles of the brush cannot reach. Cold-pressed virgin coconut oil is my choice for a couple of reasons. Researchers have demonstrated that pulling oil improves the saponification, or breakdown of bacterial membranes.
Coconut oil is a medium-chain fatty acid found to inhibit Streptococcus mutans, the primary bacteria responsible for cavities. It also offers a level of protection against yeast infections in the mouth, which occur more commonly if the immune system is compromised.
The process is easy to start. Coconut oil is solid below 76 degrees Fahrenheit (24.4 degrees Celsius) but quickly liquefies once it’s in your mouth. Take between a teaspoon and tablespoon to start. Swish it around using your tongue and cheeks to pull it through your teeth. Try to relax your jaw muscles to avoid fatigue.
You do not want to gargle or swallow the oil that you’ve been pulling as it breaks down bacteria. Instead, if you feel the urge to swallow, spit it out in the garbage and begin again.
After about 20 minutes it begins to get thick and milky white. Spit this into the garbage can so it does not cause a blockage in the plumbing. This strategy increases the pH in your mouth, which can potentially reduce bacterial growth.
To wrap it up:
Clean your teeth easily and safely with a soft bristle electric brush and consider using a water flosser to remove more plaque
- Allow your toothbrush to dry in the upright position to avoid bacterial growth.
- Wait at least 30 minutes after a meal to brush and be careful not to brush too hard
- Fluoride is a personal choice. There are many beliefs I will let you decide whether it is right for you.
- Pulling coconut oil each day will help reduce Streptococcus mutans bacteria, balance your pH, and protect against oral yeast infections.
So the best way to take care of your teeth is to find what works for you.
If your teeth and gums are healthy your routine may be just what you need. If you have any dental disease you may need to evaluate your routine and find the root cause (pun intended!) to what is causing it and tweak your routine.
Get an electric toothbrush and a water flosser
For Burst use my promo code 5ZMZBR
Go to www.burstoralcare.com
Get a BURST Sonic Toothbrush at https://bit.ly/BURST411
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