Brushing

Brushing Habits to Break in 2021

January 5th, 2021

Happy New Year everyone! With the new year, we tend to make resolutions and goals, including breaking bad habits. Here are some dental bad habits that are important to work on.

Keeping Your Toothbrush Too Long
The American Dental Association highly recommends changing your toothbrush every 3 months. Frayed and broken bristles won't keep your teeth clean. The best trick to remembering is to change your toothbrush at the start of the new season!

Not Brushing Long Enough
On average, a person brushes their teeth for 45 seconds. You should actually brush your teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day. Setting a timer or humming a song to yourself would be great for helping fight this bad habit.

Brushing Too Hard
You may think brushing harder will make your teeth cleaner, but it could actually damage your gums. So be gentle with you teeth.

Brushing Right After Eating
Try waiting at least 60 minutes before brushing your teeth after you eat, especially if you had anything acidic like lemons or soda. Drink water or chew sugarless gum with the ADA Seal of Acceptance while you wait to brush.

Storing Your Toothbrush Improperly
After brushing, keep your toothbrush upright and in the open. Putting your toothbrush in a closed container gives germs more of a chance to grow.

Using a Brush with Hard Bristles
Soft bristles are a safe bet. And remember to be gentle while you're brushing! If you have any questions about which toothbrush is best for you, talk to your general dentist.

Improper Brushing Technique
Here's one technique to try for a thorough brush: First, place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Then, gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes. Next, brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Finally, to clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.

Using a Brush That's Not Best for You
There are many different toothbrushes that you can use, including manual and power brushes. Try different types until you find the best one that works for you.

source: mouthhealthy.org

Brushing Your Teeth

December 15th, 2020

Toothbrushing Quick Facts Infographic

Dental care is very important not only for your teeth, but your overall health. The American Dental Association has a few recommendations to help you have and keep a healthy mouth:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of your brush should fit your mouth allowing you to reach all areas easily.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth. A good way to remember is to change your toothbrush at the start of the new season.
  • Make sure to use an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste.

Proper Brushing Technique

  • Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
  • Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
  • Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
  • To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.

Of course, brushing your teeth is only a part of a complete dental care routine. You should also make sure to:

  • Clean between teeth daily once a day. Tooth decay-causing bacteria still linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. This helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
  • Eat a balanced diet that limits sugary beverages and snacks.
  • See your dentist regularly for prevention and treatment of oral disease.

source: mouthhealthy.org

Oral Health

November 18th, 2020

Your mouth is a window into the health of your entire body. Oral health is often taken for granted, however your mouth can show early signs of nutritional deficiencies, infections, and systemic diseases that affect your body. The health of your mouth and teeth are important, no matter the age.

While most Americans enjoy excellent oral health, cavities remain the most prevalent chronic disease for children. Around 100 million Americans do not see a dentist once a year. Many believe that you should only see a dentist when you are in pain, but in reality, seeing a general dentist on a yearly basis can help prevent oral health issues in the future. Still, it is important to see a dentist if you are in pain. Do not put off seeing anyone when you are feeling any form of discomfort.

Remember, you can practice good oral hygiene at home. Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once a day. Change your toothbrush every three or fourth months and have a balanced diet. And make sure to see your general dentist for check-ups to keep your smile bright and healthy.

source: mouthhealthy.org

6 Ways to Make Your Mouth Extra Kissable for Valentine’s Day

February 15th, 2017

From the “Kiss Me” messages on tiny candy hearts to romantic songs on the radio, a kiss is probably on your list this Valentine’s Day. Before cozying up to your loved one this year, make sure your mouth is in good health because, as it turns out, a kiss is more than just a kiss.

Kissing stimulates saliva, which can help fight cavities. However, if the person you’re kissing has poor dental and overall health, you run the risk of getting unwanted germs, illnesses or diseases instead of candy, flowers or cards this Valentine’s Day.

Here’s what you need to know about making your smile a vision of love for February 14.

Cavities Can Be Contagious
Whether through kissing or something as simple as sharing a fork, the bacteria that causes cavities can spread to another person. Brush twice a day for two minutes and clean between your teeth once a day for cleaner kisses and a cavity-free smile.

Beware Bad Breath
Bacteria is a big culprit of bad breath, so regular habits like brushing and flossing are especially important. Other ways to stay fresh are over-the-counter antimicrobial mouthwashes or chewing sugarless gum. Both can freshen your breath instantly and get saliva flowing—especially after you eat foods with a strong scent. (And look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance on both!)

Share a Life (But Not a Toothbrush)
For many couples, a big relationship step is keeping a toothbrush at each other’s place. Just make sure you each have your own because sharing toothbrushes also means sharing germs.

Brighten Your Smile
Nothing is more attractive than a confident smile. If whitening makes you feel better about yours, talk to your dentist about which option is best. There are a number of over-the-counter whitening products, or you could get an in-office treatment at your dentist.

Smoking Isn’t Attractive
Smoking is bad for your breath and stains your teeth – not to mention terrible for your overall health. Smoking affects how well you smell and taste. People who use tobacco twice as likely to get gum disease as someone who doesn’t smoke. Smokers are also more at risk for oral cancer. Give yourself a gift this Valentine’s Day and quit today.

Don’t Forget About the Dentist!
A good relationship with and regular visits to your dentist can help keep your mouth at its best all year long. Your dentist can help keep you healthy, discuss any concerns and give more advice on keeping your smile fresh.

For more information please visit MouthHealthy.org

Old Toothbrushes Among Items To “Toss Immediately.”

February 8th, 2017

In a consumer-focused article, Realtor includes old toothbrushes among several bathroom items to “toss immediately” for “the sake of space, your health, and your sanity.” The article states that for those who have been using the same toothbrush for more than three or four months “that’s too long,” according to the American Dental Association. In addition, toothbrushes should be replaced sooner if bristles are “bent or frayed,” since they do not clean teeth as well. The article also encourages people to dispose of old makeup; expired sunscreen; hotel toiletries; almost empty shampoo bottles; unused beauty products and gifts; old razors; and expired medications, encouraging people to follow the FDA’s guidelines for safely disposing unused medication.

MouthHealthy.org and the Oral Health Topics on ADA.org provide additional information on toothbrush care for patients and for dental professionals. In addition, the ADA provides a list of toothbrushes with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

October is National Dental Hygiene Month

October 24th, 2016

October is National Dental Hygiene Month. It’s also a great time to remind enrollees about the importance of good oral hygiene and the role your dental program plays in helping you develop – and maintain – a healthy mouth and smile. Delta Dental’s Federal Employees Dental Program has plan options that are designed to provide great coverage for routine diagnostic and preventive services like exams, x-rays and cleanings along with nationwide access to our large dentist network so that it’s easy on your wallet and convenient for you to visit your dentist regularly.

The Four Components of Good Oral Health Maintenance:

Brush Teeth Twice Daily
Always brush two minutes, two times a day
Floss every day
Ensure flossing is a daily habit.
Try Text2Floss if you have trouble remembering
Rinse with Mouthwash
Use mouthwash to improve oral health
Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Chewing sugar-free gum after eating can help fight tooth decay
for more info, The American Dental Hygienist's Association has wonderful resources on their website

Consulting With A Dentist Advised To Treat Bruxism, Sleep Apnea

April 18th, 2016

The Huffington Post“The Blog” states that there are several “links between your teeth and sleep,” noting, for example, that bruxism “commonly occurs during sleep and can cause pain and damage to teeth.” According to the article, bruxism is “very common” and may be “exacerbated or precipitated by stress and/or anxiety” or sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea. Using oral appliances is one strategy for managing bruxism, and they also may be an option for treating sleep apnea, the article states, recommending people speak with their dentist if they think they may have sleep apnea or bruxism. MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on bruxism and sleep apnea.

TIME Considers Benefits Of Using Mouthwash.

March 29th, 2016

Citing ADA spokesperson Dr. Matt Messina extensively, TIME (3/23, Heid) considers whether using mouthwash is a safe and effective step in a person’s dental care routine. “I like to say mouthwash is an addition to proper oral hygiene, not a substitute,” said Dr. Messina. While mouthwash use does not replace daily brushing or a twice-yearly dentist visit, it may help freshen your breath, and in most cases is safe, he says. Dr. Messina said concerning antiseptic or antibacterial mouth rinses, for those with “periodontal disease or some harmful types of mouth bacteria, an antibacterial rinse could help kill the bacteria that cause the disease,” although he advises speaking with a dentist first. Dr. Messina adds, “You don’t need mouthwash, but if you enjoy it, or you have bad breath and feel it helps, then there’s no substantiated risks to rinsing once or twice a day.” MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on mouthwashes

Conventional Pacifiers Lead to Malocclusion

March 7th, 2016

New parents often are told to take away their baby’s pacifier once the first tooth erupts. Otherwise, those new teeth will come in crooked, according to the conventional wisdom. One recent study from Brazil suggests that this advice is correct, too. Subjects were divided into a control group without nonnutritive sucking habits, a group with orthodontic pacifiers, and a group with conventional pacifiers. Data was collected at birth, between the ages of 12 and 24 months, and between the ages of 24 and 36 months, followed by a clinical examination. The researchers compared the prevalence and severity of anterior open bite, accentuated overjet, anterior crossbite, and posterior crossbite. With the use of a questionnaire, they found that the frequency, intensity, and duration of pacifier use all were associated with the occurrence of malocclusion compared to the control group. Additionally, the researchers found a significant difference in the prevalence of malocclusion between the subjects using conventional pacifiers and orthodontic pacifiers for anterior overbite. Conventional pacifier use led to a greater risk of posterior crossbite, while orthodontic pacifier use did not.The study, “Effects of Conventional and Orthodontic Pacifiers on the Dental Occlusion of Children Aged 24-36 Months Old,” was published by the International Journal of Pediatric Dentisry
- See more at: Additionally, the researchers found a significant difference in the prevalence of malocclusion between the subjects using conventional pacifiers and orthodontic pacifiers for anterior overbite. Conventional pacifier use led to a greater risk of posterior crossbite, while orthodontic pacifier use did not. The study, “Effects of Conventional and Orthodontic Pacifiers on the Dental Occlusion of Children Aged 24-36 Months Old,” was published by the International Journal of Pediatric Dentistry. - See more at: http://www.dentistrytoday.com/news/industrynews/item/757-

Excessive Home Tooth Whitening Can Cause Permanent Damage

January 20th, 2016

The Vancouver reports that “the craze for whiter teeth is leading some people to overuse home bleaching kits and cause permanent tooth damage, says a University of British Columbia dentistry professor.” Adriana Manso, a clinical assistant professor in the faculty of dentistry, says that, under supervision, a dentist can control the bleaching process, but “if you do it yourself you can overdo it.” Manso “says there have been documented reports of serious and permanent damage to tooth enamel from over-the-counter home bleaching kits as hydrogen peroxide starts to break down proteins in the teeth after initial discoloration has been removed.” Other research has found “that enamel structure changes with exposure to bleach – whether it’s hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.” Interestingly, the article adds that this craze “has literally pushed whiteness off the charts,” as “shade guides that dentists use to gauge the color of a patient’s teeth now have added entries brighter than the previous lightest shade.” These new additions, the article points out, are “all bleached colors.”

The ADA provides more information on teeth whitening at MouthHealthy.org and provides considerations for patients and dentists.

Got braces? Tips for successful holiday meals

November 25th, 2015

Eating can be quiet a challenge when you have braces on your teeth -- especially when you are faced with tempting holiday food for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Hanukkah! Brackets often poke into your gums and cheeks, and you just can't seem to chew properly. It’s not just a problem for kids – a growing number of adults now wear orthodontic braces, too!

Lynn Schneider, owner of DentaKit.com and ArchWired.com, two websites that specialize in orthodontic products and information, offers her tips for successful holiday feasting, along with the help of Pamela Waterman, president of Metal Mouth Media and author of The Braces Cookbook and The Braces Cookbook 2. Schneider and Waterman both had braces on their teeth as adults, and had daughters in braces, as well.

“When you have braces, you may find that your teeth don't touch the way they did before, which changes the way you chew,” Schneider says. “As your treatment continues and your teeth shift, you may continually need to adapt to biting and chewing in a slightly different way. Patience is the key.”

But patience may be in short supply when you’re faced with delicious hard-to-resist holiday foods, which can be sticky, chewy, or contain nuts! Waterman adds, “Your holiday meals don’t have to be boring just because you are in braces. Our Braces Cookbooks offer a large variety of gourmet recipes, many which can be adapted for the holidays.”

Schneider and Waterman offer these tips to make it easier for you and your kids to cope this holiday season:

1. Slow down. Chew slowly and carefully, and cut your food into small pieces. Forget about taking big bites of anything, or wolfing down your food. The key word here is: SLOW!

2. Stick to soft food. But when faced with foods that might be a bit chewy, your knife and fork are your best friends. Cut that turkey and ham into small pieces, enjoy soups and soft foods like mashed potatoes, soften the stuffing with gravy, and stick to smooth jellied cranberry sauce.

3. Avoid stringy foods, especially if you have a palate expander. You may love to wind your pasta around your fork, but for now it would be better for you to cut it into small pieces, or it will get wound around your brackets. Also, be careful with foods that get stringy when cooked, like some soft cheeses and spaghetti squash.

4. You may love pecan pie, but for right now it won’t love you! Foods with nuts and seeds often get stuck in your brackets and will drive you crazy until you finally brush and get them out. Sticky foods will likely stick to your brackets and make a mess. Avoid biting into anything hard that may break or pop off a bracket, such as candy canes or hard cookies. For dessert, go for the pumpkin pie, mousse, pudding, soft truffles and cakes, or ice cream. Or chop the pecans extremely finely in a food processor and make a special small tart for yourself.

5. Bite with the side of your mouth. It may be virtually impossible to bite into anything with your front teeth, anyway! Get used to biting with your side teeth, instead.

6. Beware of anything containing large hidden chunks of meat or vegetables, such as burritos or sandwich wraps (including that leftover turkey sandwich!) Bite carefully into those types of foods so that you don't choke, or better yet, eat them with a fork and knife instead.

7. One-bite type appetizers and sushi can be very challenging and could gag you. You should probably cut these in half instead of trying to pop an entire piece of it into your mouth. Avoid appetizers that are hard; stick to the softer ones. Raw fruits and veggies are great, but take small bites or cut them into thin pieces.

8. Develop an arsenal of soft food recipes, and bring something to the holiday table that you know you can eat, and that others will enjoy. You don't need to sentence yourself to boring soups and shakes. There are several cookbooks that can help you prepare healthy, delicious meals, such as The Braces Cookbook, and The Braces Cookbook2.

9. If eating becomes too uncomfortable because of mouth sores or poking brackets, apply plenty of dental wax or dental silicone.

10. Holiday eating often involves parties or dinners away from home. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that orthodontic patients brush and floss shortly after eating, so a good dental kit is essential.

Celebrating the holidays with orthodontic braces may be challenging, but you can get through it successfully with a little forethought, adapted recipes, and the right dental products.

Perfect Bite, Pretty Face?

September 10th, 2015

The appearance of a person's bite affects how their attractiveness, personality and intelligence is rated by other adults, according to a study.

A study published in the November 2011 edition of the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics asked 889 people to evaluate photos that had been manipulated to show either a normal bite or one of six imperfect bites, called occlusion or malocclusion in the dental world.

“The ratings of attractiveness, intelligence, conscientiousness, agreeableness and extraversion differed significantly depending on the occlusion status depicted,” the report said.

Those with an underbite were rated least attractive, intelligent and extraverted. Females with an imperfect bite were rated more favorably than males. Younger and more educated respondents were more critical in their evaluations than older, less educated respondents.

Drs. Jase A. Olsen, a private practitioner in Southern Pines, N.C., and Marita Rohr Inglehart, associate professor in the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry conducted the study.

"Judgments that are negatively influenced by the effects of malocclusion might leave those without a normal occlusion at a social disadvantage and professionally handicapped," the study notes.

The study also quotes earlier research showing that "attractive" people were perceived to be more intelligent and socially competent, to have a more positive personality, to have better social interactions and to receive more favorable professional ratings.

In addition, the study quotes from the National Health and Nutrition Examination III from 1988-91, which showed that 57 percent to 59 percent of adults had some degree of an imperfect bite.

Although that study is two decades old, it still provides the most current prevalence data for malocclusion among U.S. adults.

The American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics is the official publication of the American Association of Orthodontists.

© 2015 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

Study: Fluoridated Water Associated With Better Oral Health In Older People.

March 10th, 2015

The Irish Times reports that according to a study by researchers at Trinity College Dublin of nearly 5,000 adults and census data from 2006 "older people have better oral health if they live in areas where the drinking water is fluoridated." Additionally, the study "found that those living in areas where the water included low levels of fluoride were more likely to have all their own teeth." The researchers also measured the bone density of those included in the study and "found no association between the use of fluoridated water and bone density."

After braces always wear your retainers!

February 25th, 2015

Why retainers?
After your orthondontic treatment is finished, and your braces are removed, you will need retainers to hold your teeth in their new positions.

For how long do I need to wear retainers?
It takes time for the bone and all the tissues around your teeth to reorganise and therefore it is necessary to use retainers until your bite stabilises. In the first month after the braces are removed, the risk of relapse is very high.

Relapse means that the teeth can take up to one year or more to stabilize after treatment. If you had gaps between your teeth before treatment, the retention period will be longer.
Usually, retainers are worn for as long a time as you have had your braces. If your teeth move back to their original positions, you may need fixed braces again to correct them.

Nearly 25% of orthodontic patients have to wear braces again because they didn’t wear their retainers!

What Will My Retainers Look Like?
At one time, all retainers were made of pink plastic and silvery wire, and were removable. That kind is still available, but now you may have a choice of different colors or patterns — you might even be able to customize yours! Another alternative that may be appropriate is a clear retainer that fits over your teeth, making it nearly invisible. In some cases, you can have a thin wire bonded to the inside of the teeth instead of a removable retainer. It doesn't show, and you don't have to worry about taking it out.

Do I have to Wear Them All the Time?
Your orthodontist will prescribe the retention plan that is best for you. Some retainers are used full-time for the first 6 months; after that, the retainers are worn only at night, for a few years. Other retainers are worn full-time for about a week, and solely at night thereafter. Fixed retainers are normally kept in place for 5 years.

Is it Important to Use Your Retainers as Instructed?
Removable retainers should be taken out during eating, contact sports and  when you brush your teeth. To clean the retainers, remove them first and brush them in tap water using a toothbrush and some toothpaste. Brush your teeth after this.

The safest place for your retainers is in your mouth. If you are not using the retainers they should always be kept in a box. There is a great risk of losing retainers if they are wrapped in tissue paper after you remove them from your mouth.

How Will Retainers Affect My Daily Life?
A removable retainer has a wire holding the front teeth. It will be visible but much less than the fixed braces. If you have a removable retainer in your upper jaw, it will take you one to two days to get accustomed to them and speak properly. It is normal to experience a lot of saliva in your mouth with a new retainer.

Always bring the box to store your retainer should you need to remove them. If you have a fixed retainer, you should spend more time to brush the back of your teeth. You have to brush all around the wire so that calculus will not form. You will be instructed on how to use dental floss with a floss-threader. Remember not to use your front teeth for biting hard foods or objects. Fixed retainers do not affect speech.

Will my teeth never change when the period of retention is over?
Bone has the capacity to change and remodel for as long as we live; that is why a broken bone can heal.

From 20 to 50 years of age, faces mature and teeth continue to push forward, causing crowding of the lower front teeth. This happens regardless of whether you have had wisdom teeth removed, extractions of teeth or previous orthodontic treatment for crowded teeth.

To avoid the risk of late crowding, removable retainers can be worn at night for a longer period and fixed retainers kept in for more than 5 years.
Adult patients usually sleep with their retainers on for the rest of their lives, if they want their teeth in perfect alignment.

5 Remedies for Sensitive Teeth

January 20th, 2015

Tooth sensitivity is common in many of our patients, and can usually be identified by pain or discomfort when consuming foods or beverages that are hot, cold, sweet, or sour. Sensitivity can be felt when brushing or flossing, and can also be experienced after routine dental procedures such as the placement of a filling or crown, tooth restoration, or even teeth cleaning. Such sensitivity is usually temporary; if it does not cease after four to six weeks please consult us.
Tooth sensitivity is often due to the breakdown of tooth enamel or a receding gum line, which can occur from:

  • Teeth grinding
  • Tooth Decay
  • Gum disease
  • Vigorous brushing
  • Cracked or chipped teeth

In most instances, tooth sensitivity is treatable. Here are a few remedies you can take advantage of at home:

  1. Try a desensitizing toothpaste which contains chemicals that block sensations like hot and cold from reaching the nerves in your teeth.
  2. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush that will be gentler on both your teeth and gums.
  3. Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing twice every day and flossing once daily.
  4. Switch to a fluoride mouthwash.
  5. When possible, avoid acidic foods such as tea, tomatoes, and citrus fruits.

Depending on the cause and severity of your sensitivity, you may benefit from professional treatment. If you suffer from sensitive teeth, please be sure to contact us. We can set up an appointment to discuss your unique situation and determine the best way to address the problem.

Make your oral health a priority

September 3rd, 2014

At Dr. Pamela Johnson Orthodontic Solutions, we know good dental health requires only a few minutes a day. We thought we’d provide some practical advice on how to improve your or your child’s smile between your adjustment visits with Dr. Johnson. Start by brushing your teeth twice a day. Proper brushing techniques are an essential part of maintaining good oral health during your orthodontic treatment, as well as preventing gum disease. More care and time are needed to adequately brush your teeth when you are wearing braces. Brushing daily helps remove decay-causing plaque from tooth surfaces. Please consult Dr. Johnson if you would like us to review brushing techniques with you or your child. The use of a mechanical toothbrush such as a Sonicare or Oral B can aid in removing plaque around braces. Flossing daily will also prevent plaque to build up between the teeth and prevent stains between your teeth. Research has shown the bacteria of gum disease has been linked to coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetes and memory loss. Lastly, we encourage you to throw away old toothbrushes and replace them every 2 or 3 months, or after an illness.

We hope this helps! If you have any further questions about any of these tips, please contact our office or ask your general dentist during your next scheduled visit! Or, ask us on Facebook!

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