Oral Hygiene Tips:

We recommend the use of an eletric toothbrush. However, if you choose to use a regular manual toothbrush then it should be a toothbrush that fits the size of your teeth and is soft-bristled.

Make sure that you brush at a 45 degree angle towards your gums.

Flossing is important because floss gets to the areas that your toothbrush cannot and it stimulates your gums.

Wrap the floss around your middle finger not your index finger. Make sure your floss goes around the curvature of your tooth. The floss should go up and down on each side of your tooth at least 2-3 times. Combing the debris/bacteria off. If you see debris on the floss go back to that area and repeat until the floss is free of debris.
We recommend you floss only the teeth you want to keep!

Fluoride Facts

Fluorine, from which fluoride is derived, is the 13th most abundant element and is released into the environment naturally in both water and air.

Fluoride is naturally present in all water. Community water fluoridation is the addition of fluoride to adjust the natural fluoride concentration of a community's water supply to the level recommended for optimal dental health, approximately 1.0 ppm (parts per million). One ppm is the equivalent of 1 mg/L, or 1 inch in 16 miles.

Community water fluoridation is an effective, safe, and inexpensive way to prevent tooth decay. Fluoridation benefits Americans of all ages and socioeconomic status.

Children and adults who are at low risk of dental decay can stay cavity-free through frequent exposure to small amounts of fluoride. This is best gained by drinking fluoridated water and using a fluoride toothpaste twice daily.

Children and adults at high risk of dental decay may benefit from using additional fluoride products, including dietary supplements (for children who do not have adequate levels of fluoride in their drinking water), mouthrinses, and professionally applied gels and varnishes.

Good scientific evidence supports the use of community water fluoridation and the use of fluoride dental products for preventing tooth decay for both children and adults.

Adjusting the level of fluoride in drinking water first used fluoride as a preventative for tooth decay in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Fluoridation of drinking water has been used successfully in the United States for more than 50 years.

Fluoridation of community water has been credited with reducing tooth decay by 50% - 60% in the United States since World War II. More recent estimates of this effect show decay reduction at 18% - 40%, which reflects that even in communities that are not optimally fluoridated, people are receiving some benefits from other sources (e.g., bottled beverages, toothpaste).

Fluoride's main effect occurs after the tooth has erupted above the gum. This topical effect happens when small amounts of fluoride are maintained in the mouth in saliva and dental plaque.

Fluoride works by stopping or even reversing the tooth decay process. It keeps the tooth enamel strong and solid by preventing the loss of (and enhancing the re-attachment of) important minerals from the tooth enamel.

Of the 50 largest cities in the United States, 43 have community water fluoridation. Fluoridation reaches 62% of the population through public water supplies, more than 144 million people.

Water fluoridation costs, on average, 72 cents per person per year in U.S. communities (1999 dollars).

Consumption of fluids--water, soft drinks, and juice--accounts for approximately 75 percent of fluoride intake in the United States.

Children under age six years may develop enamel fluorosis if they ingest more fluoride than needed. Enamel fluorosis is a chalk-like discoloration (white spots) of tooth enamel. A common source of extra fluoride is unsupervised use of toothpaste in very young children.

Fluoride also benefits adults, decreasing the risk of cavities at the root surface as well as the enamel crown. Use of fluoridated water and fluoride dental products will help people maintain oral health and keep more permanent teeth.

Dental Nutrition

Diet and nutrition play an integral part in oral health and the progression of tooth decay. The primary factors of cavities are the properties in food (liquid, dry, sticky, and long lasting), frequency of consumption of sugar and starches, nutrient composition, sequence of food intake, and combination of foods.

The higher the sugar contents in foods, the greater the risk for cavities.

The higher the starch contents in food, the greater the chance for cavities.

Sticky or dry foods adhere to teeth and increase chance for cavities.

Although many people believe raisins are much healthier than chocolate, they can cause a higher incidence for tooth decay, due to their sticky properties and adherence to the tooth's surface for prolonged periods of time.

Cheese and other dairy products can be anti-cariogenic (against cavities) due to their buffering effect. They help neutralize the acids in our mouth, especially after the
consumption of sweet foods.

Fruit juices contain sugar and water and are no better for your teeth than soda.

The amount of time food remains in the mouth, the greater the chance for decay.

The sequence that foods are eaten can determine the risk for cavities, i.e., if you eat sugary foods during meals, the saliva production is increased neutralizing most of the acids. You decrease the chance for cavities, as opposed to just eating sugary foods alone.

Legumes, grains and nuts are flavanoids. Flavanoids are what give colors to fruits, vegetables, and herbs. They are also potent antioxidants. The way flavanoids aid the mouth is in their ability to reduce inflammation, prevent the release of histamine (which causes allergy symptoms), fight free radicals, increase one's immunity, strengthen blood vessels and increase blood flow to certain areas.
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Ashland Family & Cosmetic Dentistry