Top Tooth Brushing Tips to Help You Out

Brushing your teeth seems a very easy task. In fact, it is practically a second nature for most of us. But is there a right or wrong way of brushing your teeth? Or do electric toothbrushes clean better than their manual counterparts? Or how often should I brush my teeth?

Learn the answers to these important questions, along with other useful tips in this article.

Choosing the Right Toothbrush

Toothbrushes come in various forms – there’s your good old manual toothbrush, and there’s the more advanced electric ones. And to take good care of your mouth, you have to choose one that’s right for you.

According to studies, there’s not much difference in the effectiveness of manual and electric toothbrushes; rather, what’s more important is that you are comfortable in using it.

One important reminder, though, is to choose a brush that has soft bristles. Some people think that harder bristles clean better, but they actually don’t. In fact, harder bristles can wear your teeth faster while soft bristles clean more effectively. That’s because soft bristles are flexible and can bend right under the gums to loosen up any plaque that has accumulated in there.  

The Proper Method

There are different brushing methods prescribed for different cases. But in general, the proper way of brushing is done by, first, pointing the bristles of your toothbrush towards the gumline. These allow the tip of the bristles to go underneath and gums and loosen the deposits there.

When brushing, don’t do it roughly. This is another mistake that most of us do.

Instead of vigorous strokes, use a gentle vibrating motion so you can massage the gums at the same time. Count one to twenty, then do a sweeping motion from the gumline towards the biting surface of the teeth.

After brushing, be sure to clean your tongue as well. Most manual toothbrushes come with a tongue scraper at the back.

Scrape your tongue to get rid of the bacteria that cause bad breath.

The Recommended Frequency

Theoretically, brushing once a day is already enough as long as you’re doing it right. After all, plaque matures and starts to wreak havoc on your oral tissues after 48 hours. But just to be sure, dentists recommend twice a day brushing or brushing every after meals.

The Prescribed Duration

It sure takes time to brush your teeth well. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth for at least two minutes, and then flossing all the in-between surfaces of your teeth.

Use a timer to mark the 2-minute period. Better yet, listen to your favorite song and brush until it ends.

Changing your Toothbrush

A good toothbrush can sometimes be hard to give up. However, according to the American Dental Association you have to replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months or as soon as the bristles start to look worn. You also have to change after having colds or any viral infection, as viruses can persist in your toothbrush for many days.

So now that you have these tips, be sure to follow them. If you need additional tips or help on how to properly brush your teeth or anything about oral hygiene for that matter, consult your dentist.

Learn All About Mouthrinses

When you hear the term “oral hygiene,” the first thing that probably comes to your mind is tooth brushing. Tooth brushing, coupled with flossing, are the main methods of keeping your teeth and mouth healthy. But did you know that even with the combined effect of these mechanical cleaning, they still do not clean your mouth 100%? This is where mouthrinses come in.

What Are Mouthrinses?

A mouthrinse is an oral hygiene adjunct that helps maintain your oral health. It effectively reach areas that both brushing and flossing can’t. It is also a great aid for patients who can’t brush their teeth due to dexterity problems.

What Type Of Mouthrinses Are Available?

Despite the numerous varieties of mouthrinses available in your supermarket or drugstore, there are actually only two types of them – fluoride and antibacterial mouthrinses.

Fluorides mouthrinses help strengthen the teeth, making it more resistant to acid attacks that lead to tooth decay; hence, they are also called anti-cavity mouthrinses.

Antibacterial mouthrinses, on the other hand, kill the bacteria that cause tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, and other oral health problems. An example of this type would be the chlorhexidine mouthrinses, which is prescribed for patients with severe form of gum disease.

Most mouthrinses today are both anti-cavity and antibacterial. Before choosing which kind suits your needs, be sure to consult your dentist first to avoid using one that is ineffective for the oral health problem you’re trying to get rid of.

What Is The Proper Way Of Using Mouthrinses?

To be effective, the mouthrinse must be in contact with your teeth and gums for as long as possible. Instructions for use are printed at the back of the bottle, but most patients ignore these, resulting to decreased effectiveness of the mouthrinse.

But for the benefit of everyone, here is the proper way of using your mouthrinses:

1) Dispense a correct amount of the mouthrinse. Most of them come with a small cup that you can use to measure the proper amount.

2) Swish the mouthrinse vigorously around your mouth for about 30-60 seconds.

3) Spit out the solution and use a new one to rinse your mouth. Spit out the solution. You may also use water for rinsing, but the suggested method allows the mouthrinse to continue working for a little bit longer.

4) If you choose the mouthrinse for rinsing, avoid eating or drinking anything for at least 10 minutes.

If you use mouthrinse that contain hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, rinsing with water after using the solution is recommended.

Allowing these kinds of mouthrinses to persist in the mouth may cause irritation, dryness, and other problems.

When to Use – Before or After Brushing?

This is the one big question that has always raised a debate. There are logical arguments for both sides, and there’s not a single study which proves that one is more effective over the other.

Those who prefer using mouthrinses before tooth-brushing argue that mouthrinses helps loosen up plaque deposits and other debris, making them much easier to remove through brushing.

However, the other side opposed this, saying that the short amount of time the mouthrinse is in contact with the teeth is not enough to loosen anything. They added that using mouthrinses after brushing helps disinfect the mouth after all the plaque deposits and debris have been cleared.

Furthermore, it gives you the option of leaving residual mouthrinse in your mouth, providing it with more time to exert its effect.

Are There Any Safety Concerns With The Use Of Mouthrinses?

Mouthrinses undergo the same clinical testing and quality control as other medicine, so you can be sure that they are safe.

Nonetheless, it is advised that you consult your dentist first because using them, especially fluoride mouthrinses because excessive use of such may actually be damaging to the teeth.

And while mouthrinses have been proven to be effective for their given purpose, always keep in mind that they should not replace mechanical cleaning by brushing and flossing. Instead, mouthrinses should only be used as an adjunct.

Top 5 Home Remedies for Bad Breath

Visiting your dentist on a regular basis, along with meticulous oral hygiene, is the key to oral health.

For embarrassing oral health issues like bad breath, however, you can actually fix it at the comfort of your own home instead of going to your dentist right away.

Again, good oral hygiene is (and will always be) the number one remedy, but you can do a whole lot more than that. Here are some home remedies to help you out.

Probiotics

When you suffer from bad breath, one of the first things you probably do is reach for that bottle of mint-flavored mouthwash. And while the mint can help make your mouth feel and smell fresh in an instant, it is only a temporary fix.

The thing about mouthwash is that they tend to kill both good and bad bacteria in your mouth. So here comes a much better solution – probiotics. Probiotics work by shifting the ratio of good and bad bacteria in your mouth which, in turn, leads to better health.

The best example of a probiotic-rich food is yogurt. To use it as remedy, try swishing it all around your mouth.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon consists of an essential oil called cinnamic aldehyde, which helps fight bad breath by reducing the amount of bad bacteria in the mouth.

Make a cinnamon mouthwash by adding a teaspoon of cinnamon powder to a cup of boiling water. Mix in some bay leaf and cardamom seeds. Allow for a few minutes to infuse, then strain. Use the solution as a mouth rinse twice a day.

Cloves

Like cinnamon, cloves also have that antibacterial benefit that helps get rid of the foul odor. There are two ways to use this as home remedy.

You can chew whole pieces of cloves or make them into a tea that you can rinse your mouth with.

To make clove tea, add a teaspoon of ground clove into boiling water, and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Lemon Juice

The use of lemon juice in bad breath has been known for generations already. This acidic fruit can prevent the growth of bacteria, while at the same time masking the foul odor with its strong, pleasant smell.

Prepare this home remedy by stirring in a tablespoon of lemon juice in a cup of water. You may add some salt for better effects.

Not only will the solution solve bad breath itself, but it shall address dry mouth as well.

Apple Cider Benefits

Apple cider vinegar has many health benefits and fighting bad breath is one of them. Aside from being an antibacterial, it also has some pH-balancing properties.

To use it as home remedy, mix a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar into a glass of water. You may use it as a gargle or drink it before meals. Drinking the mixture shall help cure bad breath by improving your digestion.

If you don’t notice any improvement after a few weeks of trying these remedies, you may now seek your dentist and/or physician for help. Sometimes, the cause of bad breath goes beyond poor oral hygiene.

Learn more about the possible causes of bad breath in this article.

Top 5 Tips to Combat Bad Breath

Now that you’ve learned about the most common causes of bad breath from our previous article, it’s now time to go about the solution and tips on how to fight and prevent this oral health problem.

In This Article, we’ve Listed These Five Tips to Help You Out.

1) Brush your teeth at least twice a day, or preferably, every after meal.

When brushing, it is important to pay special attention to the tongue, especially the back of the tongue, because it is where bacteria accumulate the most.

Flossing at least once a day is likewise important in order to remove debris that are stuck in-between the teeth.

2) Increase your fluid intake to keep your mouth clean and moist.

By fluids, we mean WATER. Other fluids, specifically those that contain caffeine, don’t work as well as water in preventing or eliminating bad breath – in fact, they might even cause it.

3) Improve your diet by consuming more fruits and vegetables, moderate amounts of meat and dairy products, and less sweet and acidic foods.

Aside from their high water content, these healthy fruits and veggies can mechanically clean the surfaces of your teeth due to their natural fibers. For this purpose, your best bets are apples, carrots, and celery. Celery is so efficient that it is practically the nature’s floss.

4) If you wear orthodontic appliances, fixed bridges, or removable dentures, be sure to clean them thoroughly at least once a day.

For fixed appliances like braces and bridges, use the special cleaning aids recommended by your dentist because simple brushing won’t do. If no cleaning aids were prescribed to you, don’t hesitate to ask your dentist about them.

For removable appliances like retainers and dentures, clean them at least once during the day using soft cloth and dish-washing liquid. If you have a special solution meant specifically for this purpose, then that would be better.

Just remember that brushing your retainers and dentures is a no-no because toothpastes can be too abrasive for them.

Furthermore, be sure to remove your removable appliances at night and store them in water or cleaning solution.

5) Visit your healthcare professionals regularly.

Yes, that includes not only your dentist, but your physician as well. Your dentist will perform oral examination to identify the cause and perform professional cleaning as necessary. If the cause is found to be an underlying health problem, you will be referred to a medical doctor for appropriate treatment.

If you still think or feel that your breath stinks even after following these tips, it would be helpful to ask someone you know for confirmation. Usually, the list above covers all possible solutions for this oral health problem, and you might just be too critical of yourself.

However, if the problem is still there, another trip to your dentist is your best move so more extensive treatment can be rendered if needed. While bad breath is rarely life-threatening, it can massively lower one’s self esteem and affect social life.

Thus, it is only necessary to get rid of this oral health problem as soon as possible.

Bad Breath 101: Identifying the Causes of this Oral Malady

Like tooth decay, another common oral health problem around the world is halitosis, of what is commonly known as bad breath.

According to statistics, as much as one in every four Americans experience this oral malady.

While popping those breath mints and practice of good oral hygiene should be enough to keep your breath fresh, it is still important to know what causes that stinky breath to begin with.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene is the number one cause of bad breath. If you don’t brush your teeth well, plaque can accumulate and harden into tartar. The rough surface of tartar promotes further plaque accumulation. In addition, you’ll also have food stuck between your teeth that can rot over time.

The numerous bacteria in plaque combined with the rotting bits of food in your mouth cause the unpleasant odor.

Practicing good oral hygiene is the only solution in this case. Be sure to brush your teeth every after meal, and go to your dentist regularly for check-up and professional cleaning.

Certain Foods and Spices

Aside from poor oral hygiene, another common cause of bad breath is the food you eat. Food with strong smell and flavor are usually the culprit. These include garlic, onions, cheese, and soda to name a few. Garlic and onions, in particular can cause bad breath right after consuming them.

You can get rid of the odor by brushing and flossing, but only temporarily. They continue to produce the bad odor long after you’ve eaten them because they get absorbed in the bloodstream and get expelled from the body through the lungs.

Therefore, the best way to prevent bad breath caused by these foods is to reduce your consumption as much as possible.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, or what dentists call xerostomia, is caused by reduced salivary flow. It can be due to smoking, medications, problems with the salivary glands, or even sleeping with your mouth wide open.

The saliva is the mouth’s natural cleanser, given its ability to wash away bacteria and their acids. If your mouth is dry, bacteria can accumulate and the acids they generate can cause tooth decay. And needless to say, a decayed tooth does not smell so good.

Your dentist can manage this by prescribing saliva substitutes, or by asking you to take sugar-free gum or increase your fluid intake. If you are a smoker, you will be advised to quit smoking.

Systemic Diseases

Certain systemic conditions can also have bad breath as one of its manifestations. These include diabetes, liver diseases, kidney disorders, respiratory problems, cancers, and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).

Problems of the upper respiratory tract, for instance, produce sputum that can be coughed up into the oral cavity, causing halitosis.

If your dentist identifies systemic problem as the cause, he or she will refer you to a physician for proper management.

Malnutrition

Starvation, whether intentional or not, can cause bad breath due to the breakdown of certain chemicals as the body tries to desperately cope up with the lack of available energy source from food. If this is the cause, you will be advised to eat right.

If you have bad breath, don’t hesitate to talk to your dentist about it. Your dentist can help identify what’s causing this problem and devise a treatment plan that will help get rid of it.

For more tips and advice on how to prevent or eliminate bad breath, check out this article.