• Top 10 Dental Tips

  • Dr. David Wyman's Top 10 Dental Tips

    Visit Your Dentist
    First things first, have your teeth cleaned on a regular basis.  For this reason you have to go to the dentist at least 2 times per year.  Regular check-ups are necessary for good dental health and prevention of tooth decay, including digital images. Almost all oral diseases are asymptomatic (hard to detect) in their early stages; including periodontitis, gingivitis, decay and oral cancer.  In addition, these problems are much easier and less expensive to fix when caught early.  Filling a tooth costs far less than root canal treatment and crowns, early non-surgical treatment is less expensive and easier than gum surgery.

    Floss Before Brushing Every Day  
    This is the most important tip I can give you.  This is the most important thing you can do for yourself.  The primary reason is to remove plaque thoroughly from all surfaces at least once a day.  Both decay and periodontal diseases are caused by a number of specific bacteria which live in the plaque deposits.  Once these deposits are removed it takes about 24 hours for the bacteria to grow to disease causing levels.  Brushing alone allows these germs to thrive between the teeth, which is why flossing is really important.  Proper daily hygiene will prevent the majority of dental troubles for most people.   If you don’t like flossing – just choose your favorite tooth and floss that one, as that will be the one you will always have – lame but true.

    Brush Your Teeth at Least Twice a Day
    This must be done to maintain healthy teeth and gums.   Brush after eating and always brush and floss your teeth before bed.

    A Great Book for Kids
    For young kids I want to recommend a dental book for them called “Sugar Bug Doug” by Ben Magleby. 

    Amazon: Sugarbug Doug: All About Cavities, Plaque, and Teeth

    Stop Smoking
    Smoking is proven to be flat out terrible for your mouth and overall dental health.  Smoking cigarettes is one of the greatest contributors to the aging mouth.  According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 22 million women and 26 million men in the United States smoke cigarettes.  In addition to staining teeth, smoking interrupts calcium absorption in the body and can also cause potentially life-threatening diseases such as oral cancer.   Periodontal disease in smokers is more severe, progresses faster, and responds very poorly in treatment.  So stop smoking and enjoy the health benefits as well as a healthy, beautiful smile.

    Use the Right Toothbrush
    Whether for children or adults, electric toothbrushes are best, there are many on the market and they really enhance teeth cleaning and are much better for the gums.

    Sealants
    Most decay in children and young adults is found in the grooves on the biting surfaces of the back teeth.  These deep pits are hard to reach with a toothbrush and toothpaste.  The bacteria that cause most cavities love to hide out in these areas. Sealants fill in the tissues of teeth and make brushing much more effective.

    Sugarless Gum
    Chewing sugarless gum has been shown to reduce cavities.  Look for gums sweetened with xylitol, which has been shown to reduce cavities much more than those using other sweeteners.  Gum chewing stimulates saliva flow which buffers acids and aids the activity of decay causing bacteria.

    Mouthwash
    Used twice daily help reduce gingivitis when accompanied by proper brushing and flossing. 

    Fluoride
    helps prevent decay in two ways, the first is when Fluoride molecules integrate into tooth structure, systemically during development or topically once teeth are erupted.  This integration helps create stronger acid resistant enamel.  Combating acid levels is important because bacteria use acid to dissolve your tooth enamel.  It is always important to use toothpaste with fluoride, and if you are at risk of decay you should use mouth wash containing fluoride which is most effective if used at bedtime.