Thursday, 29 May 2014

Toothbrushing Mistake No. 4: Brushing Too Often or Too Hard

While brushing your teeth three times a day is ideal, more may not be, says Sesemann. "More than four toothbrushings a day would begin to seem compulsive."
Excessive brushing could expose the root of the tooth to irritation, and that could in turn irritate the gums. Brushing vigorously can also erode tooth enamel. The trick is to brush very gently for two to three minutes.

cited from

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Toothbrushing Mistake No. 3: Not Brushing Often Enough or Long Enough

Softly brushing your teeth at least twice a day is recommended. ''Three times a day is best," says Sesemann.
With too much time between brushings, he says, bacterial plaque will build up, boosting the risk of gum inflammation and other problems.
Brushing should last at least two minutes, says Sesemann. Three minutes is even better, says Price.
Most people fall short of both time lines, says Sesemann. "It's an arbitrary number, but it's just so people take the time to clean all the surfaces." He often recommends people divide the mouth into quadrants and spend 30 seconds a quadrant. Some electric toothbrushes include built-in timers.  
To make the two minutes go faster, Sesemann says he ''multitasks,'' fitting in a little TV viewing as he brushes.

Cited from

Sports Safety: Avoiding Tooth and Mouth Injuries

A few years ago, a dental newsletter published what seemed like an unusual story. A boy snagged his teeth on a basketball net while doing a slam-dunk.
A freakish accident? Not quite. After the article appeared, nearly 40 dentists wrote in with their own stories. They all told of would-be Michael Jordans who sacrificed their front teeth in pursuit of the perfect dunk.
In older children and adults, sports injuries are common. Dentists estimate that between 13% and 39% of dental injuries occur while playing sports.
About 80% of all dental injuries affect at least one of the front teeth. Damage to the tongue or cheek is common, too.
Basic Protection
Even if a tooth has been knocked out, it often can be saved if you get to a dentist quickly enough. Minor chips and cracks can be repaired. Dentists use tooth-colored materials that are nearly as strong as the original tooth. However, even "minor" injuries can cause serious and costly damage. If you enjoy sports or other high-risk activities, protect yourself. The use of mouth guards among football players, for example, is believed to prevent about 200,000 mouth injuries a year.
Depending on the sport, two types of protection are available:

  • Helmets- A helmet is a must for activities that involve speed or impact. These include football, hockey, skating and bike riding. The helmet should fit correctly. It should also be appropriate for the sport you are playing.
  • Mouth guards - Wearing a mouth guard is one of the best ways to prevent injury to your teeth, tongue and lips. A custom-fit mouth guard from your dentist is recommended. This type of mouth guard usually fits better than a ready-made one (found in sporting-goods stores). That means it may protect your teeth better.
If a custom-fit mouth guard isn't an option, try a "boil-and-bite" mouth guard. You can buy one in a sporting-goods store. You place the mouth guard in boiling water. Once the plastic is soft (but not too hot), you bite down on the mouth guard and mold the softened plastic around your teeth. If the mouth guard doesn't fit comfortably the first time, you can reheat it and do it again.

©2002-2013 Aetna, Inc. All rights reserved.

The above article is from:

A Family Practice 
7764 Armistead Road, Suite 100
Lorton, VA 22079
(703) 635-3400

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Toothbrushing Mistake No. 2: Not Picking the Right Bristles

Some toothbrushes have angled bristles, others straight. So is one type better? Dentists say no.
''It's more related to technique than the way the bristles come out," says Sesemann.
What is important when buying a toothbrush? Bristles that are too stiff can aggravate the gums. The ADA recommends a soft-bristled brush.
''Bristles should be sturdy enough to remove plaque but not hard enough to damage [the teeth] when used properly," says Price. He doesn't recommend "natural" bristles such as those made from animal hair or boar bristle.

cited from

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Toothbrushing Mistake No. 1: Not Using the Right Toothbrush

Consider the size of your mouth when picking a toothbrush, says Richard H. Price, DMD, the consumer advisor for the American Dental Association. "If you are straining to open wide enough to let the brush in, the brush is probably too big," he says.
''The handle has to be comfortable," he says. It should feel as comfortable as holding a fork when you eat.
"The more comfortable it is in your mouth and your hand, then the more likely you will use it and use it properly," he says.
Which is the better toothbrush: Electric or manual?
"It's an individual preference," says Michael Sesemann, DDS, president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and an Omaha dentist.  "A person who brushes well with a manual will do as well as a person who brushes well with an electric."
Price agrees. "It's not the toothbrush, it's the brusher."

Tooth Anatomy

What Are the Different Parts of a Tooth?
  • Crown- the top part of the tooth, and the only part you can normally see. The shape of the crown determines the tooth's function. For example, front teeth are sharp and chisel-shaped for cutting, while molars have flat surfaces for grinding.
  • Gumline- where the tooth and the gums meet. Without proper brushing and flossing, plaque and tartar can build up at the gumline, leading to gingivitis and gum disease.
  • Root- the part of the tooth that is embedded in bone. The root makes up about two-thirds of the tooth and holds the tooth in place.
  • Enamel- the outermost layer of the tooth. Enamel is the hardest, most mineralized tissue in the body - yet it can be damaged by decay if teeth are not cared for properly.
  • Dentin- the layer of the tooth under the enamel. If decay is able to progress its way through the enamel, it next attacks the dentin ó where millions of tiny tubes lead directly to the dental pulp.
  • Pulp- the soft tissue found in the center of all teeth, where the nerve tissue and blood vessels are. If tooth decay reaches the pulp, you usually feel pain.
What Are the Different Types of Teeth?Every tooth has a specific job or function (use the dental arch in this section to locate and identify each type of tooth):
  • Incisors- the sharp, chisel-shaped front teeth (four upper, four lower) used for cutting food.
  • Canines- sometimes called cuspids, these teeth are shaped like points (cusps) and are used for tearing food.
  • Premolars- these teeth have two pointed cusps on their biting surface and are sometimes referred to as bicuspids. The premolars are for crushing and tearing.
  • Molars- used for grinding, these teeth have several cusps on the biting surface

The above article is from:

A Family Practice 
7764 Armistead Road, Suite 100
Lorton, VA 22079
(703) 635-3400

Friday, 16 May 2014

Myths About Children's Dental Health #10

10.      I can’t get my child to stop sucking his fingers/thumb!

Parents of children who have a finger habit can drive themselves crazy trying many methods to convince their child to stop the habit. If your child has a finger habit, the goal is always to have them stop the habit prior to starting Kindergarten. Your child’s front baby teeth will be replaced with adult teeth around this time. When the front adult teeth are erupting, you want to avoid any forces placed on these teeth so that they can erupt in their natural positions. Pediatric dentists have many ideas to help parents fight the finger-sucking battle – so make sure to ask at your next check-up visit! 

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Myths About Children's Dental Health #9

9.   My child doesn’t need to floss until his adult teeth are in.

Once all 20 baby teeth have erupted, you may notice that your child either has some spaces in between some (or all) of his baby teeth or you may notice that the baby teeth are touching. Having space between baby teeth is common and beneficial as it allows room for the larger adult teeth to erupt. When baby teeth are touching, cavities can form in between the teeth on the surfaces that the tooth brush will not reach. Flossing in between your child’s baby teeth can prevent cavities from forming in these areas. The earlier you introduce your child to floss, the more comfortable they will feel with adding this to their routine. Children can also add a water flosser into their routine if fine motor skills have not yet developed to master flossing, research shows it's more effective than flossing. 

Friday, 2 May 2014

Myths About Children's Dental Health #8

8. Bottled water is just as good for your teeth as tap water.

Tap water contains an important ingredient (fluoride) which has proven to strengthen the enamel of your teeth. The American Dental Association has endorsed fluoridation of community water supplies as safe and effective for preventing tooth decay for over 40 years. Most bottled water does NOT contain fluoride which means your child is missing out on this great vitamin for their teeth. If you purchase bottled water, make sure that the label states that there is fluoride in the ingredients, like the above to go water bottles.  

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Top Dental Symptoms: Bleeding or Sore Gums

Bleeding or sore gums can be a sign of gingivitis, an early and reversible stage of gum disease, or simply the result of brushing too hard or starting a new flossing routine. If your gums bleed regularly, or enough to worry you, make an appointment with your dentist or physician, it could be a sign that something else is wrong.

Above article from:

A Family Practice 
7764 Armistead Road, Suite 100
Lorton, VA 22079
(703) 635-3400