Checking up on Dentists
How dentists and those in the dental profession care for their own teeth? Here are some answers.
Dental professionals have a vested interest in having great-looking teeth. While we know they don't 'do' their own dental care, they do have definite ideas on how to maintain their smile. Here are some personal reflections from those in the dental field:
Plaque is inevitable
Dentists say that no matter how meticulous anyone is in their home dental health routine, plaque is going to settle on your teeth in hidden places. The point of regularly seeing a dentist or hygienist is to have plaque cleaned away. Since plaque forms at different rates in different individuals, they can tell you how often you need to have cleanings. They aren't 'trying to get more money out of you,' they're trying to help you by asking you to come in as often as is required for your specific needs.
The buildup of food particles in your mouth feeds the bacteria that cause cavities. One of the best things a patient can do is not feed the bacteria. Brushing and flossing after meals are ideal, but not always practical. Rinsing your mouth is also a plus, but not thorough. Xylitol gum, though, inhibits the growth of bacteria. In essence, it acts as a weapon against bacteria when a person can’t brush.
The average person who intends to brush their teeth for two minutes twice a day can be off by as much as three minutes. Whether adhering to the 'two-minute' rule means using a timer, sitting down to brush, or playing your favorite song when you brush, stepping up the length of time you brush makes it more likely that each tooth surface and gumline will get attention. In the morning, you're in a hurry. At night, you're tired. This makes for shorter brushing times. But for the sake of your teeth, you need to reclaim that time for oral care.
A softer toothbrush has bristles which will get under the sensitive gum line area, where plaque can hide and cause gum disease. Harder bristles can damage tooth structure and do more harm than good. The debris you're brushing away isn't hard-- it's just sneaky. Brushing involves finding hidden debris and bacteria. See the difference?
Brushing like a tv star
When dentists see actors on tv brushing their teeth, they cringe. That's because the 'back-and-forth' motion depicted on television doesn't clean teeth. A better option is to use the brush gently to massage away food debris, bacteria, and tartar.
Toss the brush
Toothbrushes get 'split ends,' bend, and become discolored. If you're in the habit of keeping a brush too long, schedule a brush replacement along with some other periodic maintenance such as getting your hair trimmed, getting the oil changed in the car, or deworming the dog. It doesn't matter what chore it is, as long as it's one that you perform faithfully and can use as a 'brush replacement' indicator.
Regardless of your level of home dental care, see us! We can help you manage your dental care and problems. Creating a dental care routine goes a long way in promoting your dental care.
If you need a gentle, caring dental team, please call our office at (623) 362-2550. We’ll give you the very best dental care we can!