Posts for: January, 2017
Removing plaque, a bacterial film that builds up on teeth, daily is crucial in preventing dental disease, but is your brushing and flossing making enough of a difference?
Plaque forms every day in our mouths as a result of eating. The bacteria in it produce acid, which can erode tooth enamel and cause tooth decay. Certain strains can also infect the gums and cause periodontal (gum) disease. Either of these primary diseases could lead to tooth loss.
Daily plaque removal with brushing and flossing keeps bacteria growth under control, so a quick swish of your toothbrush across your teeth won't be enough. Plaque's soft, sticky consistency enables it to hide in hard to reach places below the gum line, irregular biting surfaces, or in fillings or other dental work.
Because it's virtually invisible, it's hard to tell if you've successfully removed it. That's where disclosing agents can help. These are solutions, swabs or tablets with a dye that temporarily stains plaque while not staining tooth surfaces. Dental hygienists use them to show patients where they're missing plaque when brushing and flossing, but you can also use them at home to see how you're doing between dental visits.
After brushing and flossing, use the disclosure product according to the package directions. If you're using a solution, for example, swish it around in your mouth for about thirty seconds and then spit it out. The dye reacts with leftover plaque to stain it a bright color. Some products even offer a two-tone dye that displays older plaque in a different color from newer plaque.
After noticing the dyed plaque in a mirror, brush and floss until you don't see it anymore. You may have to change your approach, which will help you perform better in the future. Although safe in the mouth, you should still avoid swallowing the agent or getting it on your clothes. Any on your lips, gums or tongue will eventually wear off in a few hours.
A disclosing agent gives you a snapshot of where you need to improve your oral hygiene. Occasional “spot checks” will help keep your brushing and flossing well tuned.
Don't just cover up your bad breath... get rid of it for good with these tips!
If you're concerned about bad breath, don't worry: it's a common reason people seek advice from their dentist. The good news is that almost all causes of bad breath can be eliminated and with just a few lifestyle changes, you can banish bad breath for good. At Chestnut Dental Associates in Downington, Pennsylvania, Dr. Carl Horchos can help you find a solution to bad breath and restore your oral health. Dr. Horchos explains more about bad breath here:
What is bad breath?
While coffee, cigarettes and other potent products can taint the scent of your breath, this is typically a temporary problem. Halitosis, the clinical name for true bad breath, happens when bacteria colonies collect in the mouth, particularly underneath the gums and on the back of the tongue. Occasionally halitosis is a symptom of other disorders present in the other areas of the body, including the sinuses, throat, or stomach.
What are the of causes halitosis?
- Dehydration. If your mouth is dry, the bacteria that cause plaque isn't being rinsed away. The solution, according to your Downingtown general dentist, is to keep up your intake of water. In a pinch, you can also use sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production.
- Too much mouthwash/mints. It might seem strange, but overusing products that claim to get rid of bad breath can actually make it worse. The sugar in breath mints can encourage the growth of more bacteria and the alcohol in mouthwash can actually rinse away the bacteria you want in your mouth to regulate its pH levels. Your Downington general dentist recommends using sugar-free mints (those containing xylitol are your best bet) and only using mouthwash once a day unless directed otherwise.
- Lax dental hygiene. This one might seem obvious, but if you're not brushing at least twice a day and flossing once, you're putting yourself at risk for bacterial buildup. It's also important to see your Downington general dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup.
If you find yourself hiding your breath behind your hand, contact Dr. Carl Horchos, your general dentist in Downington, Pennsylvania for a better solution.
Everyone knows that in the game of football, quarterbacks are looked up to as team leaders. That's why we're so pleased to see some NFL QB's setting great examples of… wait for it… excellent oral hygiene.
First, at the 2016 season opener against the Broncos, Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers was spotted on the bench; in his hands was a strand of dental floss. In between plays, the 2105 MVP was observed giving his hard-to-reach tooth surfaces a good cleaning with the floss.
Later, Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor was seen on the sideline of a game against the 49ers — with a bottle of mouthwash. Taylor took a swig, swished it around his mouth for a minute, and spit it out. Was he trying to make his breath fresher in the huddle when he called out plays?
Maybe… but in fact, a good mouthrinse can be much more than a short-lived breath freshener.
Cosmetic rinses can leave your breath with a minty taste or pleasant smell — but the sensation is only temporary. And while there's nothing wrong with having good-smelling breath, using a cosmetic mouthwash doesn't improve your oral hygiene — in fact, it can actually mask odors that may indicate a problem, such as tooth decay or gum disease.
Using a therapeutic mouthrinse, however, can actually enhance your oral health. Many commonly available therapeutic rinses contain anti-cariogenic (cavity-fighting) ingredients, such as fluoride; these can help prevent tooth decay and cavity formation by strengthening tooth enamel. Others contain antibacterial ingredients; these can help control the harmful oral bacteria found in plaque — the sticky film that can build up on your teeth in between cleanings. Some antibacterial mouthrinses are available over-the-counter, while others are prescription-only. When used along with brushing and flossing, they can reduce gum disease (gingivitis) and promote good oral health.
So why did Taylor rinse? His coach Rex Ryan later explained that he was cleaning out his mouth after a hard hit, which may have caused some bleeding. Ryan also noted, “He [Taylor] does have the best smelling breath in the league for any quarterback.” The coach didn't explain how he knows that — but never mind. The takeaway is that a cosmetic rinse may be OK for a quick fix — but when it comes to good oral hygiene, using a therapeutic mouthrinse as a part of your daily routine (along with flossing and brushing) can really step up your game.