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27 May 2021
May 27, 2021 by David CaseBlogPatient Care

Hate Flossing? – 5 Flossing Alternatives

Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health gives patients who hate to floss some simple flossing alternatives that are just as effective.There are two kinds of people in this world: those who floss, and those who don’t. Diligent flossers everywhere inspire those of us who live with them or know them. Flossing may not be a philosophical virtue but it’s certainly high on the list of qualities amongst people who “have it together.” Read more below about why flossing is so important and what alternatives you have if you don’t like traditional floss.

The Point of Flossing
After you eat, tiny pieces of food are left everywhere in your mouth. Even though your saliva does a good job of rinsing a lot of food debris away, some leftovers stay stuck on and between your teeth and gums and must be brushed and flossed to get rid of it. You do have tons of natural bacteria in your mouth that help break down food buildup, but the bacteria leave behind a sticky film on your teeth called plaque that needs to be removed.

Everyone (even young kids) should brush for two minutes, twice a day, and floss once a day to remove food buildup and plaque from the places that are hard to reach with a toothbrush. If you don’t stay on top of it, food buildup and plaque can quickly turn into bigger problems that cause tooth decay, gum disease, and inflammation in your mouth.

Flossing Alternatives

The American Dental Association (ADA) says it doesn’t matter if you floss before or after brushing your teeth, or if you floss in the morning or at night. What’s most important is that you do it every day. But what if traditional flossing is difficult for you, or you’re traveling, or if you have braces? Thankfully, you have some options that the ADA approves.

Here are some of the flossing alternatives and their uses:

  • Interdental Brushes: Like tiny toothbrushes, specially designed to clean between your teeth, these brushes are a great alternative to flossing. Interdental brushes are usually easier to use than a thread of floss, are just as effective as floss, and are probably your best option if you have braces.
  • Water Flossing: Approved by the ADA as a floss alternative, water flossing is just what it sounds like. Instead of a thread, water flossing uses a steady stream of water, aimed between the teeth, to clear away plaque. Water flossing uses a small, hand-held appliance that might be more physically comfortable for you.
  • Dental Pick: Made of plastic or wood, these tiny sticks can help remove plaque from your teeth and gums. If you use a wooden pick, the ADA recommends getting the pick wet first to soften it. Picks aren’t quite as effective as floss, and you risk moving bacteria around in your mouth unless you use a new pick for each tooth.
  • Pre-Threaded Floss: For some people, the hardest part of flossing is actually reaching the floss into the mouth and effectively moving it between the teeth. Thankfully, a pre-threaded flosser is the simple answer to this problem. You can buy these in packets and use one with one hand. Use pre-threaded floss to more easily reach in your mouth and (like regular floss) throw it away after each use.
  • Soft-Picks by GUM®: A favorite of the dental community, Soft-Picks are sort of an interdental brush/dental pick hybrid. Soft-Picks are small, disposable plastic picks with a soft tip and rubbery bristles that fit comfortably between teeth and do minimal damage to the gum tissue. 

A word about mouthwash: while it’s a great option for freshness and does help kill the bacteria that cause decay and gum disease in the rest of the mouth, mouthwash is not a good replacement for brushing or flossing. Mouthwash is best used in combination with these methods for optimum oral health.

Flossing & Your Health

Your daily brushing and flossing routine is the foundation of good oral hygiene and health. Remember also to see your dentist for a professional cleaning twice per year. Some plaque and buildup (like tartar) can only be removed by a dentist or hygienist. Plus, proactive oral care goes a long way toward your overall health and seeing the dentist is just as important as seeing your doctor! 

If you’re looking for a Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health is always welcoming new patients. We’d love to see you for any and all of your dental health needs.

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

13 May 2021
May 13, 2021 by David CaseBlogDental Health

Don’t Eat That: A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Mouth

Portland dentist, Dr. David Case of Family Dental Health shares how diet can positively or negatively affect your oral health.Some foods will help you grow healthy teeth and keep them forever. Some foods will prevent you from growing healthy teeth, or harm the ones you already have. You can grow and maintain strong, healthy teeth by eating a diet that your mouth (and your body) will truly love. But do you know what foods to avoid for a healthy mouth? Family Dental Health would like to share that information with you today!

Diet is Everything

The word “diet” has earned a bad reputation over the years as a verb that means eating less to lose weight, but diet is also a noun and a powerful way you can give yourself the best life possible. Your diet is simply the food you eat, and most of us are trying our best to eat wholesome food with just a few sweet treats here and there. 

Good food sets the stage for a healthy life. Nutrition is vital for growing healthy muscles and bones. And guess what—your teeth are bones, too! Good nutrition helps your body fight infections that cause decay and disease in your mouth and the rest of your body. Not only will a healthy diet help you have more energy, a better attention span, and the strength to enjoy your life, but it also promotes good oral health, too. Dairy, meat, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables can all support healthy teeth and gums. But what should you avoid?

Foods that Promote Decay

Some of the foods and beverages that cause the most tooth decay:

  • Sugary sodas and juice
  • Sugary cocktails and coffees
  • Sugary sweets like candy and baked goods
  • Processed food lacking important nutrients (protein, phosphorus, calcium, and vitamins A, B, C, and D)

Foods that Damage Tooth Enamel 

The hard, white surface of your teeth is your enamel. Enamel protects the nerves at the core of your tooth and helps your teeth stay strong and healthy. Some foods really hurt the surfaces of your teeth by causing dangerous buildup, or by putting too much force on the enamel and damaging it. Some foods that can damage your enamel include:

  • Popcorn kernels
  • Ice
  • Coffee and tea with added sugar
  • Citrus (lemon juice)
  • Alcohol (which causes dry mouth) 
  • Sugary juice, soda, sports drinks, and cocktails
  • Sticky, chewy or hard candy 
  • Dried fruit

It’s probably not surprising that sugar makes the “bad list” in both categories. You don’t have to avoid sugar completely, but it’s probably best to pick your favorite treat and just stick with that in moderation.

Love Your Mouth

If you eat a healthy diet and practice good oral hygiene, your teeth will love and serve you forever. By brushing and flossing every day and visiting the dentist for a checkup and cleaning twice a year, you can best avoid tooth decay and damage. 

Make an appointment with Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health to give your smile a fighting chance with a healthy diet and regular dental care.

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

27 Apr 2021
April 27, 2021 by David CaseBlogDental Health

Oral Anatomy 101

Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health shares all about the anatomy of your mouth and how it works together for your benefit.Welcome to your mouth! A healthy mouth is necessary for a healthy life. You might be surprised how many different parts work together to make your mouth function. Read more below from Dr. David Case in Portland to get an in-depth look at the human mouth and how it works.

Teeth

The look and function of your teeth make your first impression and impact your daily life and confidence.  You’d also be lost (and very hungry) without these shining beauties. Adults have 32 teeth and babies have 20. The four different kinds of teeth you have are:

  • Incisors in the front that bite and cut tough food like meat
  • Canines tear food, like a big piece of bread off the loaf
  • Premolars tear and crush food like salad greens
  • Molars grind everything down small enough for you to swallow and digest

The white, visible part of your tooth is called the crown and the invisible part under your gums is called the root. Teeth have three layers, and all three are very important:

  • Enamel is the outer layer that is the chewing surface and protects the layers below.
  • Dentin is the next layer of hard tissue, fed by blood from the pulp.
  • Pulp is the core of the tooth made of soft nerve tissue and blood vessels.

If tooth decay breaks down your enamel enough to reach the dentin and pulp, your tooth can die.

Gums

Also called gingivae, gums are the soft tissue that covers the roots of your teeth and jawbone. Healthy gums are pink and help keep your teeth in place. Unhealthy gums may tend to bleed, appear discolored, and feel extremely sensitive. Healthy gums ensure healthy teeth and a healthy body overall.

Tongue

You rely on this muscle to help you enjoy your food! Mostly known for hosting all of your taste buds, the tongue takes up the most space in your mouth and is also important for healthy chewing, swallowing, speaking, and cleaning the mouth.

Uvula

We couldn’t forget this odd little guy. The uvula is that bell-shaped bit of tissue that hangs just above your throat – the “hangy ball” if you will. Scientists do not fully understand the uvula, but it is thought to help food move down your throat and assist with saliva production.

What about the rest? 

Of course, the inside of your mouth is completely supported by the muscles and bones around it. Your jawbone, cheeks, and lips support your mouth to make chewing and speaking possible. Those bones and muscles are connected to the rest of your face, head, and neck in a complex system of tendons and nerves in your jaw joint, known as the temporomandibular joint or TMJ.

Your mouth is truly a wonderful machine and it is worth the time and attention to keep all parts in working order.

To take care of your mouth and all its parts, make an appointment with Dr. David Case in Portland at Family Dental Health today!

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

13 Apr 2021
April 13, 2021 by David CaseBlogDental HealthPatient Care

Do I Have Herpes? Cold Sores 101

Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health tells patients about cold sores – what they are, why they happen, and how to treat them.Cold sore. Fever blister. Herpes Simplex Virus-1. These babies go by a lot of different names, but the experience is always the same:

  • Telltale burning or itching near the lip
  • A red bump appears a day or so later
  • The bump becomes a cluster of blisters
  • The blisters dry up and scab over
  • The scab falls off
  • The whole process usually takes two weeks or less. 

Infamous for irritating pain and ruining first dates everywhere, cold sores sure wreak a lot of havoc for something so small. 

A cold sore is a symptom of the herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) in your system. HSV-1 is so common that most people are exposed to it in childhood. Many people can have and spread the virus without ever actually having a cold sore. 

Catching & Spreading a Cold Sore

Sadly, once you catch HSV-1, there is no permanent cure. Thankfully, it won’t do much harm. If you have HSV-1, you might occasionally experience cold sores with long periods between each outbreak. This is because HSV-1 has the habit of “sleeping” or being inactive for bouts of time before circumstances cause it to flare up.

If you get cold sores, anything that compromises your immune system will make you susceptible to an outbreak. This includes drinking too much alcohol, stress, lack of sleep, or being sick. Even overexposure to the sun can cause a cold sore flare.

HSV-1 is related to the same virus that causes the herpes STD: HSV-2. Both viruses can be passed via bodily fluids, but HSV-1 cold sores usually only appear around the mouth.  

HSV-1 is extremely contagious and can be spread even without a visible cold sore. Washing hands and a large personal bubble are important to prevent spreading or catching cold sores. Don’t share cups, utensils, lip balm, or razors if you or someone you know has a cold sore.

Don’t worry about catching cold sores from the dentist. All rooms and equipment are thoroughly sanitized between each patient.

Cold Sores vs. Canker Sores

If you have a mouth sore, you might be wondering if it’s a cold sore or a canker sore (which is not contagious). There are two main ways you can tell the difference between the two: location and appearance.

Cold sores are mostly outside the mouth on the lips or nose, and canker sores are mostly inside the mouth. Cold sores are usually a group of red blisters. Canker sores are round, open sores with a yellow or gray center.

Cold sores might also cause fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes.

Treating Cold Sores

Skin creams and gels can help ease the pain of cold sores and make them go away faster. Talk with your dentist and doctor if you want help fighting the effects of a cold sore. Long-term treatment may also help reduce the frequency and severity of your outbreaks.

Dr. David Case, your Portland dentist is taking new patients and would love to help you love your smile! Make an appointment with us today if you have questions about cold sores or any other oral health issue. 

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

27 Mar 2021
March 27, 2021 by David CaseBlogDental Health

Bacteria: The Good, the Bad & the Neutral

Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health shares all about oral bacteria and its role in your mouth and body.Living in a land of antibacterial gels, soaps, plastics, and even fabrics, it might surprise you to hear that tons of bacteria live in your mouth every day, and they aren’t all bad! In fact, some play an important role in keeping up your overall health. 

Some oral bacteria, however, can cause serious problems and must be fought with good oral hygiene. Dr. David Case from Family Dental Health in Portland would like to help you understand the role bacteria play in your health and wellness.

What are Bacteria?

Bacteria are very small organisms made of just one single cell. That’s compared to over 37 trillion cells in the human body! Bacteria have their own DNA and they need sources of energy (food) just like you do. Nearly 700 different kinds of bacteria can live in your mouth, but most people only have 34-72 types present at any given time.

What Do Bacteria Do?

Of all the bacteria in your mouth, some are good, some are bad, and some simply neutral. The good bacteria – called probiotics – assist with digestion, which begins in the mouth.  The bad bacteria, however, can cause tooth decay and severe gum disease. The following three kinds of bacteria are on the Most Wanted list for being known to harm your oral health: 

  • Streptococcus mutans are bacteria most often blamed for tooth decay. These bacteria feed off any sugar left in your mouth after eating. As they feed, they produce acid that breaks down your tooth layer by layer.
  • T. denticola and P. gingivalis are the biggest offenders causing gum disease or periodontal disease. These bacteria produce toxins that harm your gum tissue. Your body’s natural response is to create inflammation to fight the toxins. But long-term chronic inflammation is bad for your mouth and body and can even cause tooth loss.

The Oral-Systemic Link: “The foot bone’s connected to the…leg bone!”

Remember the simple lesson we learned when we were kids, that every part of your body is connected to another part? If you’re unhealthy in any area of your life, another area will become unhealthy too. This is especially true when it comes to your mouth. 

The health of your teeth, gums, and jaw are a good indication of the health everywhere else in your body. Your mouth is a major entry point into your body through both digestion and your bloodstream. Harmful bacteria can infect other parts of your body by traveling through your gut or entering the blood vessels in your gums. 

Heart health and diabetes are the most well-known connections between oral health and overall health, but research is growing and expanding every day. All of these connections, or, links, form the oral-systemic link. Dentists, doctors, and researchers work together to understand the oral-systemic link and how we can use it to promote better health in all areas of your life. 

A recent study showed “significant associations” between the antibodies of certain oral bacteria with pancreatic cancer! Antibodies are your body’s way of fending off harmful substances. If your mouth has a lot of antibodies for a certain kind of bacteria, it could mean your body is fighting illness—both in your mouth and in other parts of your body. This is amazing news because pancreatic cancer is one of the most difficult cancers to detect and fight. By harnessing the power of the oral-systemic link, you can get far ahead of severe health problems before they even start. 

In 1880, W.D. Miller said, “Oral bacteria can explain most, if not all, of the illnesses of mankind.” Ahead of your time, much, Mr. Miller?

Good oral hygiene—brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist regularly—is important for keeping the bad bacteria at bay. If you’d like to learn more about how a healthy mouth promotes a healthy, happy life, make an appointment with us today!

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

 

13 Mar 2021
March 13, 2021 by David CaseBlogPatient Care

Can Gum Disease Cause Birth Defects?

Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health tells patients how gum disease in pregnant women is linked to birth defects and pregnancy complications.What is Gum Disease?

The short answer: gum disease is a common gum infection that can become very problematic, but you can prevent it! The long answer: all the tissues in your body have a self-defense mechanism called “inflammation.” When bacteria build up in your mouth, your gum tissue will inflame to try and kill it. Gum inflammation is called gingivitis and looks like red, soft, and sore gum tissue.

Over time, gingivitis can lead to more troublesome gum disease (called periodontitis) that can grow even deeper and start to harm the bones of your teeth and jaw. Severe gum disease can wreak havoc in your mouth. Pregnant women need to be especially careful because gum disease is linked with pre-term births and babies with low birth weight. 

Every mom and mom-to-be wants the best start for their baby on their journey into parenthood. Read on to learn more from Dr. David Case of Family Dental Health about gum disease and pregnancy.

 

Gum Disease, Pregnancy, and Birth Defects

Here are the facts:

  • Up to 75% of pregnant women get gingivitis. About 50% of those women will see it worsen during pregnancy.
  • Hormonal changes and diabetes – conditions common to pregnancy – can increase the risk of gum disease.
  • Studies show higher maternal age and lower socioeconomic status are both risk factors for gum disease during pregnancy.
  • Though we don’t yet fully understand the reasons, gum disease is proven to increase your risk of preterm birth and having a baby with low birth weight.


Why is this important?

Babies born weighing less than 5.5 pounds have an increased risk of slower development (physically, socially, emotionally) for the rest of their lives. Babies born too early can have those same complications as well as problems with their vision, breathing, hearing, and digestion. Talk to your doctor to learn more about preterm birth and low birth weight.

 

How You Can Prevent Gum Disease

There’s no hall pass for brushing your teeth while pregnant. Preventive oral hygiene (brushing, flossing, professional dental cleanings) is both safe and necessary, especially for pregnant women. Not to mention your pregnancy cravings may have you enjoying an extra sweet treat or two these days – ice cream for breakfast, anyone?

Stay ahead of the game and prevent gum disease by eating tooth-friendly foods and keeping your mouth clean. If gingivitis crops up, don’t hesitate to get a professional cleaning at the dentist. You can also ask for prescription-strength mouthwash if you need the extra help.

Talk to both your primary doctor and your dentist about your overall health, including the state of your gums. If you’re looking for a Portland dentist, we’d love to care for you during this special time. Contact us today to make an appointment!

 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

27 Feb 2021
February 27, 2021 by David CaseBlog

Did George Washington Really Have Wooden Teeth?

Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health sheds light on the myth of George Washington and his wooden teeth.When he became the first president of the United States, George Washington had only one real tooth left! You heard right—just ONE. Everyone has heard something about this great man and his dental history, but if you heard that Washington had wooden teeth, then you heard wrong.  This myth is totally false—and Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health is here to tell you the truth.

Dental Care in Colonial Times

It was a combination of bad genes and even worse medical practices that led George Washington down the path to becoming toothless. Washington experienced many health problems throughout his life, and he was often treated with “calomel,” a common medicine of his time. Calomel contained mercury, which ruined teeth. The toothpaste of that era was also made from very abrasive materials like tree bark and brick dust, which likely continued to break down Washington’s natural teeth.

Many people in Washington’s era had fake teeth, but none were made of wood. As disgusting as it sounds today, rich citizens at the time were able to purchase real human teeth to fill in their own smiles.

George Washington Had Dentures

Washington’s personal diary records frequent sore teeth, inflamed gums, and even his first tooth extraction for 5 shillings at the young age of 24. By the time Washington lost the rest of his teeth, he was rich enough to get a very fancy set of his own dentures – which contained no wood at all. Washington’s dentures were made of a combination of human teeth, cow teeth, and ivory from elephant and hippopotamus. His dentures also included gold, lead, and metal springs. How’s that for a mouthful?

It was important to Washington’s self-esteem that he had the total appearance of a strong, healthy leader, and he believed it was important for the reputation of his new nation, too. Historical letters show Washington begging his dentist to be sure that his dentures wouldn’t be obvious with a closed mouth. Sadly, Washington went to great lengths to keep his mouth closed, so he rarely laughed or smiled. Not only were his dentures high maintenance (needing regular care from a dentist) but they also caused his mouth a lot of pain. It is believed that Washington’s dentures negatively affected his leadership because he avoided public speaking.

Washington’s wife, Martha, started off with strong teeth but eventually needed dentures herself. Inspired by the oral problems both she and her husband suffered, Martha was always sure to take good care of her children’s oral hygiene.

Take Care—Before You Need Dentures, Too!

Did you know that 20-30% of all adults in the US have gum disease severe enough to threaten the loss of their teeth? If you do need dentures or implants, we can certainly help. But we’d also love to help you keep your teeth in the first place. Contact us today for the best chance of keeping all your natural teeth!

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

13 Feb 2021
February 13, 2021 by David CaseBlog

History of the Toothbrush

Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health tells you how the modern toothbrush came to be!If you had to give up your toothbrush or your car, which would it be? According to a recent survey, 42 percent of adults and 34 percent of teens would rather turn in their keys, computer, cell phone, or microwave than get rid of their toothbrushes. It seems that many people love toothbrushes the way your Portland dentist Dr. David Case does. Family Dental Health would like to take this opportunity to celebrate the history of the toothbrush and discuss choosing the one that’s right for you.

Toothbrushes are Older than What?!

Did you know that toothbrushes were invented before soap, deodorant, and even toilets? The idea of the toothbrush is over 5,000 years old, although back then they were a lot different than what we have now. In ancient times, people used sticks, bones, and all manner of animal hair and products to brush their teeth and take care of their gums. The switch from animal hair to synthetic materials (for bristles) is fairly new, and the mass production of toothbrushes has only existed for a couple of centuries.

Today, you can find a toothbrush just about anywhere. In fact, there are so many different kinds of dental products that picking the right one can be an overwhelming task. Between sonic toothbrushes, manual, soft or medium bristles, tongue-cleaning attachments, specialized grips, bristle configurations, gum stimulators, and the dozens of brands available, buying a toothbrush is not as simple as it used to be. How do you know what to get? Call us! Our team loves to help patients make the choices that best suit their individual needs.    

Protect Your Smile by Protecting Your Toothbrush

Once you have the perfect toothbrush, do you know that where you store it makes a big difference in keeping it clean? Bathrooms serve many purposes, but most of them don’t preserve the integrity of your toothbrush. To protect yourself from nasty germs, keep at least six feet of distance between the toilet and your toothbrush and close the lid before you flush. Also, make sure to use a toothbrush holder that does not collect standing water or crusty, leftover toothpaste, and put a reasonable distance between your toothbrush and other items. Finally, replace your toothbrush every three months or immediately following an illness. 

The best way to use your toothbrush? Brush for 2-3 minutes at least twice a day, making sure to cover the surface of the tooth, as well as the backs, edges, and corners, and brush the tongue. It is estimated that 38 days of the average American’s life is spent using a toothbrush and the U.S. spends nearly $800 million on them each year. Dr. David Case wants everyone to enjoy the excellent dental health that comes from true toothbrush love, so contact us today with any questions or to schedule an appointment!

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

27 Jan 2021
January 27, 2021 by David CaseBlogDental Health

The Tooth About Teeth Grinding

Portland dentist, Dr. Case at Family Dental Health, discusses teeth grinding, headaches, and bruxism, suggesting nightguards as a solution.Headaches in Portland are a dime a dozen. We all know the frustration of having your day interrupted by throbbing, shooting pains in the head. If you suffer from frequent headaches that never seem to go away, Dr. Case would like you to know about bruxism, or teeth grinding. 

At Family Dental Health, we love spreading the news about all things dental health, so here is some headache information that just might change your life.

Bruxism & Headaches

You may not be aware of it, but everyone clenches and grinds their teeth at some point and to some degree. It’s a natural reaction to stress. During the day, you might catch yourself doing it and make a conscious effort to stop, but during the night, you are unaware of it and will naturally grind much harder. Unfortunately, some people in Portland have such problems with bruxism that they may experience:

  • Frequent, painful headaches
  • Damaged, worn-down teeth and surrounding tissues
  • TMJ/TMD

According to Dr. Noshir Mehta, chairman of general dentistry at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and director of its Craniofacial Pain Center, the upper and lower teeth come into contact for as much as 40 minutes of each hour. The force exerted on some teeth, such as the first molars, can be about 250 lbs, as opposed to the 20-40 lbs involved in regular daily chewing. 

If you grind your teeth and have frequent headaches, don’t panic. Bruxism is easily treatable with custom-fit nightguards that Portland will personally fit for your teeth. To find out more about how we can make your headaches disappear, contact Family Dental Health today.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

13 Jan 2021
January 13, 2021 by David CaseBlogPatient Care

The Ultimate Toothpaste Guide

Portland dentist, Dr. Case at Family Dental Health provides all you need to know about toothpaste with this ultimate guide.Fresh breath sets the tone for every moment of your day: first thing in the morning, before an important meeting, after working out, or just before bed. Whether you prefer cool mint, invigorating cinnamon, or herbal anise, it’s your favorite trusty toothpaste that delivers that fresh, clean feeling.

So, what’s the scoop on toothpaste? What knowledge is essential to get the most out of your toothpaste? You might be surprised as you learn more about this common product. Dr. Case in Portland gives you the full story on toothpaste to empower you to take oral health into your own hands.

What is Toothpaste?

Toothpaste is an important preventive product. It can prevent tartar (hardened plaque) and gum disease if used regularly. Toothpaste comes in a variety of forms – paste, gels, powders. But all toothpaste has similar ingredients that allow it to work, and work well.

  • Abrasives — The most important thing toothpaste does is remove unwanted stuff from the surface of your teeth. Long ago, people used gritty materials like brick dust, charcoal, tree bark, and animal hooves to wash away unwanted gunk from their teeth. Thanks to technology and modern science, we now have much gentler ingredients proven to be safe and effective.

    • Detergent — An ingredient more often associated with dishes or laundry, detergent makes toothpaste foam. This foam helps move particles off your teeth that water alone cannot.

    • Fluoride — This mineral strengthens tooth enamel and makes teeth more resistant to decay. Some parents of small children are concerned about fluoride in children’s toothpaste because kids swallow a lot of paste as they are learning to brush (and too much fluoride is not good to ingest). Toothpaste follows regulations for safe use, but talk with your dentist if you become concerned.

    • Humectants — These substances keep the paste from drying out, which is very helpful since you open and close the toothpaste tube multiple times each day.

    • Flavor — Thanks to modern science, our toothpaste has amazing flavors like peppermint, cinnamon, and bubblegum without any sugar or components that would cause tooth decay.

Can You Use Toothpaste Wrong?

Dish soap doesn’t work unless you scrub the dirty dishes, and no toothpaste would be effective without the actual brushing motion.  Be sure you’ve got your brushing technique down to get the most out of your paste.

To start, you only need a small amount of toothpaste on your brush. The size of a pea is just enough. Commercials show toothbrushes overloaded with paste, which encourages you to use more than you need and use up that tube (and spend money) faster than necessary!

For the healthiest smile, take your time. You want more than just a quick brush for fresh breath. Hold your brush perpendicular (at a 45-degree angle) to your teeth and gums and brush gently for a whole 2 minutes. Be mindful of brushing each tooth and near your gum line. Be sure not to swallow any excess toothpaste.

Which Toothpaste is Right for Me?

When it comes to different kinds of toothpaste, you have no shortage of options. The most important thing is that you buy toothpaste that will make you excited to brush your teeth!

  • Sensitive — If you have sensitive teeth, that painful zing is caused by dentin (the bone at the core of your teeth) being exposed.  Kinds of toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth have ingredients that work hard to protect teeth and alleviate pain related to hot or cold temperatures.
  • Holistic — If you’re into natural health and wellness, there are plenty of toothpaste brands that use fewer chemicals. These products are not always studied or proven effective, but will still work if you maintain good brushing techniques.
  • Whitening — All toothpaste removes some stains, but whitening toothpaste uses more abrasives to scrub harder at those stains and provide more dramatic results.  Be mindful of the abrasiveness of whitening toothpaste, as it may lead to increased tooth sensitivity.  If you want whiter teeth without that risk, consider getting a professional whitening treatment.

When shopping for toothpaste in stores, look for seals of approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Dental Association (ADA). The FDA tests toothpaste for safety and the ADA makes sure that toothpaste does what its labels claim.

Toothpaste is good at preventing plaque buildup on your teeth and infection in your gums, but cannot replace the effect of a professional dental cleaning. Only dentists can remove tartar, which is buildup from food or other materials that have hardened and cannot be removed by brushing and flossing alone.

Your teeth and gums serve you every day, it’s only fair to treat them well in return. Get in touch with Family Dental Health today for a hygiene appointment!

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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