oral care tips

Oral Care: Choosing the Right Toothbrush

Dental Advice | Dental Care

When it comes to choosing the right toothbrush, it can be a bit confusing because of the many sizes, colours, and types of bristle you can choose from. Throw the electric toothbrushes into the mix, and you can surely get lost in the dental aisle. The question becomes: “Which is the right toothbrush for you?” And the answer actually depends on your unique dental needs.

 

For Sensitive Teeth

A survey done by the Academy of General Dentistry stated that one in three dentists report that brushing with too much force is the number one cause of tooth sensitivity.

 

Many people believe that by using a hard or medium-bristled toothbrush, you get cleaner teeth, but in reality, those types of bristles do more harm than good. Hard and medium-bristled brushes are known to cause bleeding or receding gums as well as worn enamel that exposes the dentin, thus leading to tooth sensitivity.

 

Keep in mind that soft-bristled toothbrushes are always the best option and that soft bristles are just as effective as the hard or medium-bristled ones.

 

For People Who Grind Their Teeth at Night

Bruxism – teeth grinding and clenching – affects 1 in 3 people. The grinding process is similar to putting over a thousand pounds of pressure on the teeth and jaw. Ongoing teeth grinding can wear one’s teeth down to nubs and it also wears away the enamel, which can lead to extreme tooth sensitivity. This is why people who are suffering from bruxism need to use an extra soft-bristled toothbrush.

 

People with Arthritis or Limited Mobility

There are people, especially the elderly and those with limited mobility, who have a hard time getting to all their teeth using a manual toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes are a better option in this case. They have bristles that rotate in one direction and can be switched and moved to the opposite direction. They are more effective in terms of cleaning the teeth or those electric toothbrushes that only spin in a single direction.

 

People with Braces

Soft-bristled electric toothbrushes are great for people who wear braces. One study which had 21 patients who have orthodontic appliances found that those patients who used electric toothbrushes had significant improvement in plaque reduction in comparison to those who used manual toothbrushes.

 

If you do not have your personal dentist yet, be sure to reach out to us today! With Midtown Dental, you can be sure that your oral health will be taken care of and all your dental concerns handled only by the best!

Oral Care: Tips for the Elderly

Dental Advice | Dental Care

Our dental health is connected to our entire body. Any bacteria that lives and grows in your mouth can travel to the other parts of your body, thus, can contribute to problems with our overall health. Aging is a part of life, but it does not mean that you can’t do it gracefully and in the healthiest way possible!

 

Here are some great dental tips that can help you enjoy your golden years with healthy, happy smiles:

 

BRUSH AND FLOSS REGULARLY.

The common rule is you should clean your teeth at least twice a day. As you age, however, your mouth requires a little extra attention and time. After the age of 50, plaque builds up more quickly and it also becomes much more difficult to get rid of. This is why it is important to get in the habit of brushing your teeth after every meal. Make it a point to brush your teeth when you wake up and before going to bed. Consistent flossing is also essential and should be done after every meal.

 

USE AN ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH.

An electric toothbrush that has soft bristles is great for all ages, but more especially for seniors. This type of toothbrush comes with a built-in timer that ensures you brush for the correct amount of time. It is also helpful for seniors with arthritis, as the brush itself will take care of all the brushing. There will be no more worry about the up-and-down circular motions needed in order to thoroughly clean the teeth and gums – the electric toothbrush will do it all for you!

 

USE MOUTHWASH.

If you are looking for a great way to prevent cavities and to slow the buildup of plaque, then you should use mouthwash! However, you should be careful and avoid using too much mouthwash – you might upset the pH balance in your mouth. Rinsing with mouthwash once a day just before you go to bed would suffice. When choosing a mouthwash, go for an alcohol-free option for older adults. Alcohol can contribute to dry mouth.

 

CLEAN YOUR DENTURES DAILY.

Just like our teeth, dentures should be cleaned every day. The only difference is dentures should not be cleaned with toothpaste. Toothpaste will only damage your dentures as it is abrasive. Use products that are specifically designed to clean dentures. Be sure to also give your mouth frequent breaks from wearing your dentures. Take them out each day to help maintain healthy gums.

 

If you are a senior or someone you love is, and you want the best dentists who can help you take care of senior dental health, setup an appointment with one of our dental professionals today!

Reasons Why Your Gums Bleed

Dental Advice | Dental Problems | Gums

Noticing your gums bleed when you floss or brush your teeth can be alarming. The big question is: what are the possible causes of your bleeding gums? There can be different reasons why your gums might start to bleed when you brush. Some reasons are temporary while some are of more concern. It is important to make an appointment with your dentist if you are worried about your oral health.

 

Here are some of the possible reasons for bleeding gums:

 

GINGIVITIS

This is the first stage of gum disease. Plaque at the gumline and on your teeth that are not removed by flossing and brushing can infect your gums, leading to the symptoms of gingivitis. When this oral condition occurs, your gums can be tender, swollen, and sometimes, bleeding when you brush and floss. This early stage of the condition responds well to good brushing and flossing habits as well as regular trips to the dentist.

 

MEDICATIONS

Blood-thinning medications have been listed by the Canadian and American Dental Associations as a common cause of bleeding gums. These medications decrease blood’s ability to clot, thus leading to easier bleeding. Let your dentist know about any medications you may be on.

 

NEW TOOTHBRUSH

Switching from a soft-bristled toothbrush to a firmer one might also result in bleeding gums. When this happens, you may try returning to a soft or medium-bristled toothbrush and ask your dentist about which toothbrush is best for you at your next dental visit.

 

NEW FLOSSING ROUTINE

Changing your flossing routine is also one possible reason why your gums are bleeding. For instance, if you have not flossed in a few days or if you start flossing more frequently to help remove plaque and food from between your teeth, then you might notice some bleeding. This temporary trauma would often clear up within a week once the overabundance or under abundance is corrected and healing resolves.

 

PREGNANCY GINGIVITIS

Some pregnant women might experience swollen and bleeding gums when brushing and flossing. This is called ‘pregnancy gingivitis’. Hormonal changes during one’s pregnancy might alter the body’s response to the bacteria causing gum disease. As per the American Pregnancy Association, symptoms would clear up after pregnancy. Regular dental checkups, brushing and flossing can help prevent gum problems from worsening.

 

PHYSICAL TRAUMA

Obviously, we are aware if we are hit in the mouth as anywhere else sudden impact can result in tissue trauma resulting in bleeding. However slow, sustained force is also capable of bringing blood prominently to the surface. This can be contributed to with force applications of an over-aggressive brush but more often force applications of the opposing teeth of clenching and grinding.

 

Remember, bleeding gums can be your sign of the presence of gingivitis. If left untreated, it can develop into the more serious stages of gum disease. Find out what is causing your bleeding gums by seeing a dentist. If you are suffering from this oral condition, setup an appointment with one of our dentists here at Midtown Dental today!

Why You Should Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Dental Advice | Dental Care | Dental Health

When was the last time you visited your dentist? Your dentist likely recommends you to come back every six months – have you ever wondered why that is? Even the Canadian and American Dental Associations recommend bi-annual check-ups and hygiene maintenance. Regular dental visits are important for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums. In between those visits, it is essential that you work hard to keep your teeth and gums healthy and clean. If your dentist feels that you need additional help, he or she might even suggest more frequent visits.

 

Skipping a dental checkup due to costs or other factors such as dental anxiety or time can cost you more in the long run, so be sure to consider all the risks first. Here are some of the most important reasons why you should make it a point to see your dentist regularly:

 

PLAQUE, TARTAR, AND CAVITIES

Even the most diligent brushers and flossers can still have some areas in their mouth that are missed by regular flossing and brushing, so do not be too complacent. There are hiding spots for bacteria. When plaque builds up, it can be more difficult to remove, solidifying and becoming tartar, which is extremely challenging to get rid of without help from a dentist or dental hygienist. The erosion of teeth or having holes in them due to the decay process can be prevented by having regular dental cleanings and pristine oral hygiene. Cavities rarely give warning signs as they form, and once the damage has been done, you will need to go back to your dentist to have cavities and other tooth problems fixed. Again, with regular cleanings and self-diligence, this can all be avoided.

 

GUM DISEASE

The buildup of plaque and tartar do not only cause tooth decay, but it can also erode the mouth’s gum tissues. When tartar buildup causes an infection where the gum is connected to the tooth, the gum is pulled away from the tooth. This is known as gingivitis and the tissue that attaches the gums to the teeth breaks down when this occurs. When it reaches this point, it officially becomes gum disease. You will start to experience bleeding, swelling and soreness in the mouth. In addition to the breakdown of gum tissue, gum disease can also cause breakdown of the bone that holds your teeth in place. During this point, it is common to see loose or failing teeth and drastic treatment methods might be required.

 

FINDING PROBLEMS UNDER THE SURFACE VIA X-RAYS

Another crucial part of visiting your dentist regularly is getting your teeth and underlying structures x-rayed. X-ray images enable dental professionals to see what is really happening beneath the surfaces of your mouth. They can also find and diagnose issues that are invisible to the naked eye. X-rays show bone levels, structures and varying degrees of density to detect loss or spots that are softening especially between teeth where a surface inspection may not be able to access.

 

BOTTOM LINE

Keep in mind that dental professionals are not only concerned with fixing our teeth. They professionally clean the teeth, ensure that our teeth and gums are healthy, and they also check for abnormalities that might otherwise go unnoticed and that could be a sign of larger health issues.

 

So, be sure to have regular trips to the dentist! If you are looking for dentists you can rely on, contact us today and set up an appointment with us!