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At White Orchid Dental, our primary goal is helping you experience the benefits of optimum oral health. Premium oral health care goes far beyond good tooth brushing and flossing techniques. Fluoride(Fluoride Facts), healthy eating habits, and professional teeth cleanings performed by a licensed dental hygienist will help you keep your teeth looking and feeling good for a lifetime.
The smile care experts at White Orchid Dental believe oral health is a sign of overall health. When you visit the dental hygiene team, you will experience more than just a teeth cleaning.
The most important health care focus we provide at White Orchid Dental is prevention of oral disease.
Our dental hygiene team will help you avoid the consequences of oral disease by helping you understand your risk factors. After determining your health status and risk factors for disease, the dental experts will recommend ways for you to achieve healthy teeth and gums as well as ways to avoid future problems.
There are many conditions which can affect the health of your gums and the structures that support your teeth. Did you know that Tobacco, Diabetes pregnancy, nutrition (Nutrition and Your Teeth), and eating disorders(Bulimia Nervosa), can all affect your oral health.
Examining your entire mouth for signs of Oral Cancer will be a routine part of your visits with the professionals at White Orchid Dental. Early detection of oral cancer is imperative because it can be treated with significant success.
Untreated Gum Disease can lead to undesirable appearance, discomfort, and eventually tooth loss. We want to help you avoid experiencing any of these situations. We will monitor your gum health and periodontal status routinely.
Learn more about oral health.
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Proper tooth brushing technique is essential to keep the teeth and gums clean.
Toothbrush recommendations: We recommend a soft or very soft bristled toothbrush that will not scratch the gums or wear the thin enamel surface near the gum-line. Never before has there been such a dizzying array of toothbrushes on the market. Consumers are inundated with new designs, materials, attachments, and colors. Whatever toothbrush design you choose, the most important thing is that you use the toothbrush at least 2-3 times a day. Moreover, how long you spend brushing your teeth is as critical as how often you brush. The Fresh Smiles team recommends that you spend 2-3 minutes brushing. This ensures complete plaque removal in hard to reach areas.
Mechanical and manual toothbrushes
Our dental team highly recommends a mechanical (electric) toothbrush. The pulsations break up plaque efficiently. Many models now have timers to remind you to brush longer.
It is always nice to have a backup manual toothbrush. When choosing a manual toothbrush, look for a compact head with very soft, rounded bristles.
Toothbrush replacement schedule: Replace your toothbrush every three to four months. If you have the ultrasonic toothbrush, you can just replace the head every three to four months. If you recently had a cold, virus, flu or cold sores, you should replace the toothbrush to prevent re-infection.
Tooth brushing instructions:
Angle the bristles of the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to the gum-line. Apply very gentle pressure so the brush is in contact with the teeth and gums.
Brush the surfaces of the teeth in a vibrating circular motion focusing on only a few teeth at a time. If you are using the ultrasonic toothbrush, the brush itself will create the necessary motion.
Apply the same technique to all the surfaces of the teeth. You will have to tilt your brush vertically when you are brushing the inside surfaces of the front teeth.
You should time yourself and make sure you are spending at least thirty seconds on each quadrant. This means your total tooth brushing time should b at least two full minutes.
When you are finished brushing your teeth, don't forget to brush the roof of your mouth and your tongue. Bacteria love to hide out in these areas which can cause bad breath ( halitosis).
Think of flossing your teeth as a continuation of the tooth brushing process. If you only brush, then you have not successfully cleaned the entire tooth. Your toothbrush cannot clean in between your teeth, therefore, plaque continues to accumulate and if the bacteria remains there long enough, then the decay process will begin. Poor flossing techniques or lack of flossing is the primary reason for cavities (dental decay) forming between teeth.
There are a number of different flosses available. Dental floss comes in a variety of colors, materials and even flavors. Waxed varieties slide through the teeth, allowing people with extremely tight spaces to floss more easily. Popular flavors of floss include wintergreen and cinnamon. Waxed floss does tend to fray more than unwaxed floss.
A type of material called dental tape can be effective for people with large spaces between their teeth, or for people with bridge work.
Floss can be purchased in small self-dispensing boxes. Floss can also be purchased in special, single-use holders, which are useful for people who have a hard time wrapping floss around their fingers, including those with dexterity problems or arthritis. The smile care experts at White Orchid Dental will recommend the type of floss that you would benefit from the most.
Take approximately 12" to 18" of dental floss and wind a bit of floss around the middle finger of each hand. Secure the floss by holding a 1" to 2" section between your thumb and index finger of each hand. Line up the floss between two of your upper front teeth and gently apply pressure as you push with a saw like motion. Do not just pop the floss through the contact as you may injure your gums. Once you have the floss past the tightest part of the tooth, contour the floss around the shape of the tooth and then slide the floss up and down the surface. Slide the floss from the gum line to the contact point of the tooth. Use this same procedure on the adjacent tooth and then slide the floss out. Go to a clean new section of floss and repeat this technique until all the teeth are cleaned.
If you have not flossed regularly, you may notice your gums bleeding when you floss. The bleeding will lessen and eventually disappear as flossing becomes a daily hygiene routine. The reason the gums bleed is because they are inflamed (gingivitis). Gum Disease (Gingivitis) is the beginning signs of what could become gum disease (Periodontal Disease).
The smile care experts at White Orchid Dental will evaluate the health of your gums. We will advise the best ways to achieve healthy gums and then we will monitor your health so we can help you keep your teeth for a lifetime.
It has long been known that good nutrition and a well-balanced diet is one of the best defenses for your oral health. Providing your body with the right amounts of vitamins and minerals helps your teeth and gums-as well as your immune system-stay strong and ward off infection, decay and disease.
Harmful acids and bacteria in your mouth are left behind from eating foods high in sugar and carbohydrates. These include carbonated beverages, some kinds of fruit juices, and many kinds of starch foods like pasta, bread and cereal.
Children's Nutrition and Teeth
Good eating habits that begin in early childhood can go a long way to ensuring a lifetime of good oral health.
Children should eat foods rich in calcium and other kinds of minerals, as well as a healthy balance of the essential food groups like vegetables, fruits, dairy products, poultry and meat. Fluoride supplements may be helpful if you live in a community without fluoridated water, but consult with our office first. (Be aware that sugars are even found in some kinds of condiments, as well as fruits and even milk.)
Allowing your children to eat excessive amounts of junk food (starches and sugars)-including potato chips, cookies, crackers, soda, even artificial fruit rollups and granola bars-only places them at risk for serious oral health problems, including obesity, osteoporosis and diabetes. The carbonation found in soda, for example, can actually erode tooth enamel. Encourage your child to use a straw when drinking soda; this will help keep at least some of the carbonated beverage away from the teeth.
Adult Nutrition and Teeth
There's no discounting the importance of continuing a healthy balanced diet throughout your adult life.
Fluoride is an element that naturally occurs in nature. A small amount of additional fluoride has been added to community water supplies for over fifty years. The water fluoridation has proven to be an effective and safe way to help prevent tooth decay of people of all ages.
The optimal level of water fluoridation is approximately 1ppm (one parts per million).
Anyone at high risk of dental decay may benefit from additional fluoride provided by gels, or rinses. Your dental professionals at White Orchid Dental will evaluate your risk factors for dental decay and will offer professional fluoride recommendations.
The Food and Drug Administration classifies mouth rinses into two categories - therapeutic and cosmetic.
In general, therapeutic rinses with fluoride have been shown to actually fight cavities, plaque and gingivitis.
On the other hand, cosmetic rinses merely treat breath odor, reduce bacteria and/or remove food particles in the mouth. They do nothing to treat or prevent gingivitis.
People who have difficulty brushing (because of physical difficulties such as arthritis) can benefit from a good therapeutic mouth rinse.
Caution: Even rinses that are indicated to treat plaque or cavities are only moderately effective. In fact, regular rinsing with water and use of good quality fluoride toothpaste are just as or more effective.
Sealants are liquid coatings that harden on to the chewing surfaces of teeth and are showing a great deal of effectiveness in preventing cavities-even on teeth where decay has begun.
The pits and grooves of your teeth are prime areas for opportunistic decay. Even regular brushing sometimes misses these intricate structures on the chewing surfaces of your teeth.
The sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces and are designed to prevent the intrusion of bacteria and other debris into the deep crevices on the tops of teeth.
Sealants actually were developed about 50 years ago, but didn't become commonly used until the 1970s. Today, sealants are becoming widely popular and effective; young children are great candidates for preventative measures like sealants (especially on molars) because in many cases, decay has not set in. Even on teeth where decay is present, sealants have been shown to fight additional damage.
Sealants are applied by first cleaning the tooth surface. The procedure is followed by "etching" the tooth with a chemical substance, which allows the sealant to better adhere. After the sealant is applied, a warm light source is directed to the site to promote faster drying. Sealants usually need re-application every five to 10 years.
Women have special needs when it comes to their oral health. That's because the physical changes they undergo through life-things like menstruation, pregnancy and childbirth, breast-feeding and menopause-cause many changes in the body, some harmful to teeth and gums.
Lesions and ulcers, dry sockets, as well as swollen gums, can sometimes occur during surges in a woman's hormone levels. These periods would be a prime time to visit the dentist. Birth control pills have been shown to increase the risk of gingivitis, and hormone replacement therapy has been shown to cause bleeding and swollen gums. Gum disease can also present a higher risk for premature births.
Some research has shown that women may be more likely to develop dry mouth, eating disorders, jaw problems such as temporomandibular joint disorders, and facial pain-all of which can be difficult from a physical and emotional standpoint.
Taking care of your oral health is essential, and can go a long way to helping you face the physical changes in your body over the years.
More and more people are avoiding the need for dentures as they grow older, going against the notion that false teeth are a normal part of growing older.
In fact, there's usually no reason for you NOT to keep your teeth your entire life, providing you maintain a healthy balanced diet and practice good oral hygiene.
Another desirable side effect of good oral hygiene: avoiding more serious problems such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even stroke. Indeed, medical research is beginning to show that a healthy mouth equates to a healthy body and a longer life.
Dexterity and Arthritis
People who suffer from arthritis or other problems of dexterity may find it difficult and painful to practice good oral hygiene.
Thankfully, industry has responded with ergonomically designed devices such as toothbrushes and floss holders that make it easier to grasp and control.
You can also use items around the house to help you. Inserting the handle of your toothbrush into a small rubber ball, or extending the handle by attaching a small piece of plastic or Popsicle stick may also do the trick.
Floss can also be tied into a tiny loop on either side, making it easier to grasp and control the floss with your fingers.