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What is Toothbrush Abrasion & How to Prevent It

What is Toothbrush Abrasion & How to Prevent It

Toothbrush abrasion is tooth surface wear caused by overzealous tooth brushing over time. It usually appears as small indentations or notches along the gum line, mainly occurring on the front surface of the premolars and molars where it is easy to over brush. 

Signs and Symptoms of Toothbrush Abrasion 

  • Gum recession 
  • Notched enamel at the gum line 
  • Yellowing teeth at the gum line 
  • Tooth sensitivity  

Treatment Options for Toothbrush Abrasion 

  • Sensitivity toothpaste can be used to prevent sensitivity associated with the abrasion. It is recommended to use sensitivity toothpaste twice a day while brushing, and it can provide instantaneous and long-lasting relief.
  • Fillings at the gum line to fill in the abrasion notches are another treatment option. White filling material is used to fill in the abrasion and helps prevent sensitivity by blocking the vulnerable tooth structure underneath. Fillings also help prevent further abrasion by blocking the vulnerable tooth structure from abrasive brushing. 

How To Prevent Toothbrush Abrasion

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It is essential to use the correct brushing technique to prevent toothbrush abrasion. Make sure to use either a super soft or soft manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush to brush your teeth. Never use a medium or a hard manual toothbrush as the bristles are too firm and contribute to damage to the gums and tooth structure. If you use an electric toothbrush, make sure not to apply too much pressure or to brush aggressively with it. Let the electric toothbrush do the work for you by holding it against a tooth for a few seconds and moving on to the next tooth. A helpful tool that some electric toothbrushes have is a pressure indicator that either activates a sound or a light when you are applying too much pressure. An electric toothbrush with a pressure indicator is recommended for patients who are prone to brushing aggressively. If brushing with a soft or super soft manual toothbrush, make sure to brush away from the gums in sweeping strokes and never scrub back and forth. If you notice the bristles of your toothbrush splaying, it is an indication that you are brushing too aggressively. 

If you have any questions about toothbrush abrasion or believe you may benefit from treatment options for toothbrush abrasion, we encourage you to contact us to schedule an appointment. 

 If you have any questions, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

How To Keep Your Teeth Clean With Dental Braces

How To Keep Your Teeth Clean With Dental Braces

It can be tricky to keep your gums and teeth healthy while wearing dental braces. However, it is vital to do so properly to prevent cavities and gum disease. Listed below are essential components in an adequate at-home oral hygiene regimen.

Electric Toothbrush

While wearing dental braces, it is essential to use an electric toothbrush. An electric toothbrush will provide you with a superior clean. They can complete more brush strokes in two minutes than you can accomplish with a manual toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes are also able to access tricky areas around the brackets, especially due to their smaller heads.

Water Flosser

A water flosser uses a thin jet of water to flush out bacteria from between the teeth, the brackets and the gum line. A water flosser can be used with either water or mouthwash.

Super Floss / Floss Threaders

For daily flossing, floss aids must be used to access underneath the wire of the braces. You can use either super floss, which is a pre-cut piece of floss with a ridged end to put between the teeth, or floss threaders, which are small loops to put the floss through. Try both options and use the method you prefer.

Proxabrush

A proxabrush is a small pipe cleaner like brush that is great to clean between brackets under challenging areas to reach — the bristles on the brush help to pull plaque out from the sides of the brackets.

Fluoride

Fluoride is an integral component in keeping your teeth healthy and free of cavities. Use toothpaste at least twice a day that contains fluoride as well as a mouthwash once a day that contains fluoride. Fluoride works by strengthening the enamel.

Regular Check-ups and Cleanings

Make sure to see your dentist and dental hygienist regularly for your cleanings and check-ups. It is recommended to come every 3-4 months while the braces are on to help keep your gums and teeth healthy.

If you have any questions about braces or keeping braces clean, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

How To Stay Healthy Between Dental Visits

How To Stay Healthy Between Dental Visits

We all love having that fresh mouth feeling after leaving the dental office. Why not keep that fresh mouth feel between your dental visits? Follow these tips to keep your smile healthy until your next dental visit.

Floss Regularly

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Regular flossing keeps your gums healthy and firm. Without adequate flossing, inflammation and gum disease occurs. Gums that are swollen, red, swollen and bleed easily when brushing and flossing are signs of gum disease. Many patients experience some bleeding during teeth cleaning if they do not floss enough or properly. Flossing and brushing at least once daily reduces the chances of gum disease. While it is recommended to floss after every meal, it is not always possible. However, flossing before sleeping is most beneficial if you can only floss once a day.

Use The Proper Brushing Technique

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Brushing is only effective when the right technique is used. The rolling stroke brushing technique is easy to follow. Ask your dental professional to show you how to use the rolling stroke technique.

The technique differs when using an electric toothbrush. Your goal is to guide the electric toothbrush along the gumline since the brush is performing the brushing action. Be sure to apply pressure that is not too light or heavy.

Brushing for at least two minutes is recommended. However, you may need to brush longer depending on the health of your mouth.

Avoid Tooth-Staining Foods

During your teeth cleaning, some external stains from teeth are being removed. Avoid foods that easily stain teeth to reduce the frequency of dental cleanings needed. Foods that stain include coffee, tea, red wine, etc. Rinsing your mouth after having these foods. Habits such as smoking require more frequent cleanings as well.

Use Special Cleaning Tools

A regular flossing and brushing oral care routine works for most patients. However, sometimes special cleaning aids must be used for better reach or access. Your dental professional will recommend cleaning aids suited for your oral health.

Keep these tips in mind when it comes to your oral care routine for a healthy mouth between dental visits. Contact us to schedule your dental visit if it has been a while.

Tips To Keep Your Child’s Teeth Healthy

Tips To Keep Your Child’s Teeth Healthy

Keeping Your Child’s Teeth Healthy

While going to the dentist regularly is strongly encouraged, teaching your child good oral hygiene is arguably more important. Keeping your child’s teeth healthy is important to help the adult teeth come in properly. A good oral hygiene regimen includes both brushing and flossing. Brushing should be done 2 times per day – once in the morning and once just before bedtime. Flossing should be done before bedtime. When your child says they have brushed their teeth, it is best to check after. See if they did a good job, and cleaned all plaque from the front, back and tops of the teeth. They will appreciate their lovely smile when they are older. Prevention is the best way to avoid costly dental treatment

How Do I Know If My Child Is Brushing Properly?

Be in a well-lit area and pull their cheeks back. Plaque deposits usually accumulate along the gumline and can range in color from yellow to white, even colorless. If you are not sure, just use your clean fingernail to scrape gently along the tooth towards the gumline. Check to see if anything is stuck to your nail. If your child has brushed properly, there should be little to no plaque on your fingernails.

Alternatively, there are plaque disclosing solutions, tablets and mouth rinses available which will stain the plaque. The benefit of staining the plaque on the teeth is to give a clear visual cue on where leftover plaque is located after improper brushing. Use this as a teaching tool and have your child look in the mirror to see missed areas of brushing. Should there be some plaque remaining, you can guide their hand for them.

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When can I let my child brush themselves?

The general rule of thumb is 8 years old before a child can do a proper job of brushing their teeth. If you are diligent, it may be younger.  Brushing their own teeth is a life skill, and as such, it takes time to develop the necessary dexterity and technique to master it. The more experience your child has, the better they will get at it, and the sooner they will be able to do it themselves. Contact us to schedule your child’s next visit.