Planning and Preparing for Dental Procedures: Your Questions Answered

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Planning and Preparing for Dental Procedures: Your Questions Answered

Making decisions about your smile can be confusing. Should you have a tooth pulled or get a root canal? Should you get adult braces or stick with a retainer? Should you use at-home whitening remedies or have your teeth professionally whitened? If questions like these are keeping you up at night, you've come to the right place. I used to stress out over routine dental procedures, and as a result, I did loads of research on everything dental-related. To help others, I'm using this blog as a place to collect, review and share what I've learned through the years. I hope you can use the information here to help you plan and prepare for your next dental appointment.

Common Tooth Brushing Mistakes To Avoid

Do you brush your teeth?  Of course you do, but do you brush them correctly?  Poor brushing can lead to tooth decay and staining, and that means more expensive dental treatment and dull dirty-looking teeth.  Is your technique up to par?  Read on to find out.

Choose the right equipment

Whether you choose a manual or electric toothbrush is up to you.  Many people make the mistake of thinking that they don't need to brush for as long or as thoroughly if they use an electric brush as it will do all the work for them.  In fact, the efficacy of your brush is all about using the right technique, regardless of what variety you choose. An important consideration when choosing a toothbrush is the bristle type.  It's not really important whether the bristles are angled or straight as long as they are sturdy enough to remove any plaque and food debris from your teeth comfortably without inflicting pain and damage on your gums and tooth surfaces.  With this in mind, a medium to soft bristle is the best choice.  Choose a brush handle that you can hold comfortably and control easily whilst brushing; a wayward brush head can easily chip a tooth or bruise your gums if your toothbrush slips from your grasp as you brush.

Use the right technique

The key to brushing effectively is to be gentle and thorough.  Two minutes correct brushing is sufficient to remove the plaque and bacteria that cause damage to your teeth. 

  • Place the toothbrush bristles against your teeth at an angle of about 45 degrees and up against the gum-line to make sure you catch any plaque that's hidden there.  
  • Use small circular movements to brush the outer surfaces of each tooth, and then repeat the process on the inner surfaces.    
  • Next brush the biting surfaces of all your teeth.  
  • Finish off by cleaning the inside surfaces of your front teeth.  Tip the toothbrush upright and use a circular motion using the front bristles.

Most people clean their teeth twice a day, but you should clean your teeth more frequently than this if you eat sugary foods or things that stain the enamel; tea, coffee, red wine, fizzy drinks or red-coloured fruits, for example.  A two minute brush following meals will help to keep your mouth clean and your teeth healthy and free from the bacteria that can cause plaque.

Contrary to what some people think, brushing your teeth very hard or too vigorously for long periods can actually do your teeth more harm than good.  Prolonged periods of brushing can damage your gums or result in root irritation and enamel erosion.  Stick to two minutes of gentle brushing for best results.

Care for your toothbrush

Always wash your toothbrush under the cold tap when you've finished cleaning your teeth.  If you just put it back in your tooth mug unrinsed, you risk putting bacteria and stale toothpaste back into your mouth next time you brush. 

It's a good idea to have two toothbrushes so that there is always a dry one available.  A toothbrush that is always damp will cultivate bacteria, and if the bristles are soggy, they can become misshapen when you brush, meaning that plaque may be left behind, which could cause decay.

You should replace your toothbrush every couple of months, or more frequently if the bristles begin to show signs of wear.  If your toothbrush becomes worn, your brushing regime won't be as effective.

For more information, contact a business such as Rutherford Dental.