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Routine is The Best Preventative Care

Practically, most people don’t worry much about their dental health until they come across a major issue like needing to treat gum disease, cavities or periodontal disease. We call this a major dental emergency. This is not a smart idea since it may end with lots of pain or very high dental bills. We can avoid virtually all those dental health issues simply by adhering to a good dental routine–even though it’s easier said than done. Although the saying “prevention is better than cure” is a very old one, you can apply it pretty much on every aspect in day-to-day life. If you are interested in keeping up your dental hygiene at the optimal level alongside staying away from various health issues, here’s a guide to the best dental routine. If you have small children, there are a lot of considerations that children face when it comes to making sure children go to school with a healthy smile. One of the main keys is having a good routine like any other person.

The point of this article is to give you enough background on the tools and strategies you need to obtain your best health through the practice of an oral health routine. You may change this to work with your already existent or maybe empower you to start your own routine. We are providing you the knowledge you need but the key to this is practicing the knowledge offered, this will be the hardest part. Routine cannot be explained as much as it much is learned. You must condition yourself to seek out better habits through discipline. So, if you take anything from any of this, please keep yourself consistently disciplined with your oral health routine. You may not be in the best place now but a consistent dedication will improve your smile, decrease your medical and dental bills, and improve your breath and smile. Whether it is vacations to spending time with family on the weekends, it’s easy to slip into bad habits and lose your routine. Don’t be too hard on yourself and just get back into what you know is best. Routine also means that you never miss a dentist appointment or your annual cleaning. Keeping a routine ensures that you never miss a beat!

The core of the issue of sticking to a routine does come out during the holidays. I really appreciate how focusing on the holidays and it’s challenge to our routine, it really points out where we struggle. What foods do we want to eat we know we shouldn’t? What aspects of our routine do we get lazy with? Did you floss? These are all important questions we must ask ourselves daily and especially during the holidays to know how to stay strong and disciplined because at the end of the day routine is the best prevenative care.

BRUSHING IS KING
We all know brushing is king because when we think about oral health we always think about brushing. The problem is that most people assume that they brush their teeth in the correct way. However, the truth is that most of us do it completely wrong wasting our time and making our dental health potentially worse. You must remember to touch every open surface of each tooth using your brush moving in a circular motion at a 45-degree angle. Most of the people brush only the front sides of their teeth, maybe because they are concerned with how their teeth appear on the outside. If you brush your teeth carelessly, in a hurry, your job is only half done. Your teeth may look good on the outside but your teeth will start to have problems on the inside, sides, and with the gums. Further, one common mistake most of the people make while brushing is that they target teeth only.

If you are really considerate about your dental hygiene and interested in staying away from gum diseases as well, you must brush your gums (in a gentle manner with a soft brush of course). In addition to the gums, you must gently brush the tongue and the roof of the mouth. If not, it is OK to use a tongue scraper to brush your tongue and clean gums and the roof of the mouth with your toothbrush. However, it is always important to apply a gentle amount of pressure on your gums. Otherwise, the chances of damaging your gum are high; the last thing you need is a wounded gum that makes you really uncomfortable.

El Segundo DentistOtherwise, the small food particles retained inside this gum line can lead to various infections and inflammation. You should consider brushing teeth as a very serious process. A couple of minutes spent brushing the teeth should be done with an awareness that your focus is the difference between good and bad oral health. Spent about 30 seconds in each quadrant of the mouth, meaning the if we start in the top left, move to the top right, etc. then we eventually spend about two minutes in the mouth. When it comes to an electric toothbrush, you should brush single surface area for about 5 seconds. It is always important to brush the molars as well, along with many of the considerations with typical brushing.

Whether you are using a manual or electric toothbrush, you should make sure to replace your toothbrush or toothbrush heads every three to four months. This is common knowledge among most dentists because you want to make sure that the bristles keep from being worn and being ineffective overall.

How to Choose And Use a Toothbrush
“According to the ADA, wealthy Europeans in the Middle Ages used twigs made of sweet-smelling wood to clean their teeth. Then, in 1498, the emperor of China developed a device with hog bristles placed in a bone handle. This type of toothbrush became so popular that in Europe even the common folk used it. ” WebMD

We have more options than ever before when it comes to our toothbrush, which may actually make it harder than when all you could use was hard vegetables or twigs made of sweet-smelling wood to cleans one’s teeth. The best option would be to educate yourself properly or to make the choice with the help of your dentist. We will help you get a little background if you needed just a little bit more information on the topic to make the decision yourself. When you are considering whether you should use an electric toothbrush or not, it is likely dependent on whether you have any issue with your hands. People who have arthritis for example with their hands. Additionally, other people such as people with braces may find it easier or anyone else who finds it hard to brush such as people who are maybe lazy. We also know many “techies” may go for the electric toothbrush because they enjoying being futuristic and high tech. may prefer to use an electric toothbrush.

No matter if you pick an electric or manual toothbrush, make sure to use a soft brush, that the head that fits comfortably in and around your mouth, and you use it! There are several articles out right now taking a position that electric toothbrushes are unsafe but this is anecdotal. This has not be supported by research, which has indicated that electric toothbrushes are safe and in some cases more effective than manual toothbrushes. However, as they say at Garden Grove Dental Arts:

“Did you realize that an electric toothbrush can remove up to 80% more plaque than a traditional toothbrush? That’s because it’s much harder to brush incorrectly or for too short of a duration when you’re using an electric toothbrush. With a traditional toothbrush – your technique has to be just right.“

Other credible sources support this perspective WebMD says that “power toothbrushes are better at cleaning your teeth than manual ones,” however, even in this case, the cost of a powered toothbrush is likely to be as much as three times the cost of a manual toothbrush. Is it worth it? It’s up to you and your dental care provider to make this choice. We will go into even more high tech home care technologies in the future too! Either way, it’s more important how you use it and that is every day.

FLOSSING IS THE MISSING LINK
Flossing is one part of oral care routine that separates the dedicated from those who struggle with maintaining their best oral health–this is why we refer to flossing as the missing link for top performing oral health routines. Flossing is the final touch on the perfect daily dental routine alongside mouthwash, brushing, and overall self-care. If you ever think (like most other people) that flossing is not necessary if you brush teeth, you are making a terrible mistake. Practically, you cannot expect the bristles of the toothbrush to clean extremely narrow areas such as inner cervices and some places of your gum line. Brushing can only reduce your chances of gingivitis by 25% by itself according to one study.

You can get an understanding of the number of clogged food particles between the molars simply by using dental floss. Just guide it through molars (back molars are the best). If you haven’t flossed them for a while, you can experience a very annoying smell. This smell is a sign of the existence and reactions of the bacteria between the molars. When left unattended for some time, these microorganisms can grow into a serious threat to your dental hygiene.

Therefore, it is always important to do the flossing if you really expect your teeth to look nice, pleasant and healthy. It is true that flossing doesn’t make a direct impact on the appearance of the teeth. However, it can prevent your gum from getting various infections and maintain a pleasant-looking gum. Again, gum disease is a really annoying health condition that can destroy your confidence completely. Flossing is the missing link since people have no issue with brushing and using mouth rinse but they end up with many intradental issues from the lack of flossing. So, don’t forget to floss your teeth you want to keep.

Don’t get discouraged if you bleed
Those who do not floss often may experience bleeding probably with some pain when they do it for the first time in a while. Apart from that, you may experience bleeding even if you don’t floss every day. Don’t get discouraged or scared if you experience bleeding while flossing; it is completely normal for the first-timers. So, start flossing today and to it frequently with more sense. Get the threat as close as possible to the gum and remove all the plaque and food clogs.

Do It Before You Brush
It is always better to floss teeth before brushing. As the experts believe, flossing can be done more effectively when the mouth and teeth contain less moist. Experts further recommend doing flossing after the last meal every day. If you haven’t flossed in a while, it’s best to set up an appointment with a dental hygienist to scrap the teeth, in-between gums, and the hard to get places. This combined with a daily routine will get you back on track in a couple of months depending on your dental health history.

LET’S RETHINK MOUTHWASH
Many people use mouthwash as they are on the go saying to themselves, “I don’t have time to brush,” and I’ll floss tomorrow as a replacement. This is one way of sabotaging our health, not to say that mouthwash isn’t as important as flossing and brushing because it is. Studies show that flossing may be as effective as a mouthwash treatment in terms of controlling gingivitis but this is not to say that it was able to contain the myriad of issues that arise from inconsistent care. Although there are plenty of options to consider when shopping around for a good mouthwash, you should prefer a product that doesn’t contain alcohol or at least a small amount of alcohol.

Although mouthwash products with alcohol might sterilize your mouth incredibly well, the alcohol in the mouthwash can make your mouth dry. Not all products are created equal and some may cause chronic dry mouth, which is a drastic reduction in the amount of saliva in your mouth due to the alcohol. This can lead to other problems in the absence of saliva, the germs will start to multiply rapidly. If our bodies produce less saliva it can lead to bad breath in the morning or other times as a result. Therefore, if you expect to keep your breath fresh and mouth clean, you should use an alcohol-free mouthwash. We will talk about bad breath below in more detail below.

Although most of the mouthwash product we find in the market promise a large range of benefits, the main purpose of using a mouthwash is to eliminate odor. Therefore, selecting a good mouthwash that actually kills germs and odor must be an essential part of your daily dental routine.

Some considerations to keep in mind are mouthwash is not supposed to be ingested, usually not suggested for young children, and certain harsher types of mouthwash such as chlorhexidine and/or alcohol mouthwash when frequent enough use may be harmful over extended periods of time.

In summary, mouthwash does not cure bad breath, it combats gum disease, fights cavities, cannot replace brushing, it matters how long you rinse with mouthwash, it prevents plaque, pregnant women can use it, and not all mouthwashes are created equal.

Here is a breakdown of the different mouthwashes from Dental Hygiene For You. Also, if you are unsure whether or not your child should use mouthwash, you can see more about that here.

SCRAP AWAY BAD BREATH
Managing bad breath is a serious issue that comes with a lot of social stigmas. We understand that no one wants to deal with this. If you are dating, going for a new interview, or just want to make sure you have health self-esteem–orally, this is important because it is connected to our smile and our breath. If you are suffering from bad breath, you should consider using a scraping device to clean the tongue. This practice goes back to some of the oldest medical practices since it originates in ancient Indian Ayurveda. Is the science there to support this? So, the science is not all there currently mostly because of the lack of research but it still has been found to be useful for many people. This is what the Mayo Clinic says:

“Research on the effectiveness of tongue scrapers is limited. What’s been published so far describes tongue scraping as temporarily effective for bad breath, but there’s not enough evidence that using a tongue scraper helps with ongoing (chronic) halitosis. However, if you have a coated tongue — a buildup of debris, bacteria and dead cells on your tongue — tongue scraping may be helpful.“

The most common reason for bad breath is the germs that settle and grow under your tongue. These microorganisms can grow near your tonsils too. Most of the time the debris and associated microorganisms is the result of smoking, yeast infection, and bad oral hygiene. In the meantime or if you would prefer, you can just use your toothbrush. Make sure to clean the top and bottom of your tongue, you can mix in mouthwash by putting some in your mouth or covering your toothbrush before. We encourage you to scrape away the bad breath every day but know that there are not a lot of conclusive studies at the moment on the subject.

If you are suffering from bad breath there also may be some underlying issues that may be addressed whether they are dental or medical issues. Also, here is a list of health issues that may be causing bad breath: infected root canal, throat or oral cancer, cavities, gum disease, tonsils that contain trapped food particles., diabetes, acid reflux, liver disease, lung disease, lung infection, and HIV.

HEALTHY EATING HABITS WILL PROMOTE YOUR DENTAL HEALTH
We are a big fan of the bigger picture, we like to think about how our oral health is a big player in the overall game of how well your overall body’s health performs. Your mouth-body connection is a gate to your best overall health and beauty. If you are a fan of sweet food items and highly sugary drinks, your dental health is at a risk, just like your overall health. You must always adhere to the fact that sugar and sweeteners are not good for your teeth. Even the small kids know that sweets are not good for teeth but very few of us adhere to what we already know, they may just not understand the consequences, so they may still desire to eat lots of sweets.

Particularly, a beverage like soda is not good for your teeth at all. Therefore, you should minimize soda consumption as much as possible and think more about natural beverages. According to the health experts, sugary and acidic drinks like sodas are a very strong cause to grind down your enamel. Those who consume soda frequently get yellow stains on their teeth. These yellow patches can start to ruin your smile. Once you start to cut down the consumption of the soda, it will effect on your overall health too. So, it is a good idea to follow these directions if you are concerned about losing a couple of pounds while preserving a good dental health.

Even with the natural beverages, you have to be careful if it is acidic. Particularly, after consuming an acidic drink like orange juice or worse lemonade (high in refined sugar and acidic), you are strongly advised not to brush teeth at least for half an hour. Acidic beverages can easily weaken your enamel. When you brush a place on the weakened enamel with a toothpaste, your teeth are vulnerable to damages. After consumption of an acidic drink, it is better to rinse your mouth using water only. That might reduce the damage. The same rinse approach should be followed by consuming a drink like wine or coffee in order to prevent teeth staining.

So, overall we need to be careful of what we eat. There are some food options that can actually clean your teeth when you munch them. For instance, food like carrots, apples and other crispy vegetables and fruits might help cleaning your teeth effectively. However, you must remember that these crunchy food items are not alternatives for a cleaning through the above-mentioned routine; they can just help removing some food particles from the teeth.

Is that all?
No. Apart from adhering to the daily dental routine we mentioned above, you should consider a couple of more aspects of upkeep for your dental health.

You should make frequent visits to your dentist in order to get the teeth cleaned and have six-month checkups.
Unless you are a professionally qualified, experienced dentist, you cannot get a clear insight into your dental health. However, you can get a general idea if you have a good overall dental health until you meet your dentist.
Observe your mouth every day during the brushing process and check if there are any unusual aspects. If you see anything strange call your dentist, hygienist, or you can email us at Dr. Smile.
You have pleasantly looking gums with pink color
Your gums don’t bleed when you floss or brush teeth
You don’t feel any roughness on your teeth
No bad breath
No toothaches
No matter how good you feel about your overall dental health, it is important that you visit your dentist as per the schedule. Such approach might keep you away from severe issues. Visiting your dentist is very imperative on a regular basis, you should see how big a cavity can grow just in 6 months! Imagine if people went to their dentist in longer intervals as some do, they could be leaving the amount of time between visits to lose a tooth. One of the best ways to avoid this is to have a regular home routine though as well.

Other Links
Best Health Mag: 6 Myths About Mouthwash That Might Be Hurting Your Health

TIME: Should I Use Mouthwash?

WebMD: Your Guide to Dental Care Products

Dental Plaque Can Tell Your Dentist A Lot About Your Dental Habits

Train your brain: build a better oral health routine

ABOUT THE OFFICE
Dr. Smile is in the Los Angeles South Bay area, serving patients from El Segundo, Inglewood, Del Air, those around the LAX airport, and nearby areas. Dr. Hossein Javid is the lead dentist at this office. Dr. Javid has spent his career developing expertise in a number of areas, including dental implantation and the use of high-tech lasers and other equipment. He is the founder of our dental center, and his vision has helped us become a premier provider of world-class dental services.

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