The Best Time To Brush Your Teeth with Dr. Jack Gruber DDS

The Best Time To Brush Your Teeth with Dr. Jack Gruber DDS

Dr. Jack Gruber DDS, the creator of the PeriClean Ultra Soft Toothbrush for receding gums and sensitive teeth discusses the best time and proper way to brush your teeth for optimal dental health.

Preventing Dental Caries in Adults

Preventing Dental Caries in Adults

Many people believe that dental caries (cavities) only occur in childhood. Unfortunately, adults don’t outgrow the risk of developing this common dental condition. In fact, 27% of American adults currently have untreated tooth decay.

While an individual’s oral hygiene typically improves in adulthood which can help reduce the risk of dental caries, there are often other habits at play that can increase the development of tooth decay. Some dental experts believe that there is even an increasing trend in adult dental caries. Let’s look at some of the reasons why this may be happening.

Diet

Cavities are closely linked to diet. Although most adults aren’t loading up on candy and soda, they are often getting hidden sources of sugar in unexpected places. Some of the sneaky foods and beverages that can promote dental decay include:

  • Fruit juice
  • Vitamin and sports drinks
  • Dried fruit
  • Milk
  • Cereal
  • Energy bars
  • Coffee drinks like lattes and cappuccinos

Over-Brushing

Rigorous tooth-brushing with a nylon bristle brush can also be a cavity culprit. This common habit can lead to receding gums. As roots become exposed, they become vulnerable to decay and the development of dental caries. Gentle brushing around the gum line twice a day can go a long way towards keeping teeth (and gums) healthy.

Old Fillings

Many adults have fillings that are decades old. These often weaken and even fracture which can produce gaps between the filing material and the tooth. Tooth decay can develop in these gaps causing new, larger cavities to form. One of the many reasons why routine dental visits are important is to check old filings for wear and tear. Those that are beginning to weaken should be replaced. In some cases, it may warrant a crown or additional endodontic treatment, such as a root canal.

A Proactive Approach to Preventing Adult Dental Caries

Along with regular brushing, there are other strategies for minimizing the risk of developing dental caries.

  • Use a fluoride toothpaste and rinse
  • Floss at least once a day
  • Eat a well-balanced diet low in sugar and heavy starches
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Minimize coffee, soda and alcohol

Of course, it’s also important to have twice yearly dental checkups. Professional cleaning and polishing can remove stubborn plaque and tartar that leads to cavities. And, with a thorough visual exam and x-rays, a dental professional can detect early signs of tooth decay before they become big problems.

Why Dentists Say Don't Brush Too Hard

Why Dentists Say Don’t Brush Too Hard

Are YOU brushing your teeth TOO HARD in an effort to clean them? If so, you might be causing damage to the tooth enamel and hurting the gums. BRUSH SMARTER, NOT HARDER with the PeriClean Ultra Soft Toothbrush.

Can Brushing Too Much Hurt Your Smile?

Are YOU brushing your teeth TOO HARD? If so, you might be causing damage to the tooth enamel and hurting your smile. BRUSH SMARTER, NOT HARDER with the PeriClean Ultra Soft Toothbrush.

Preventing Cavities in School-Aged Kids

Transform Your Kids into Tooth Brushing Experts

We teach our children from an early age to brush their teeth each and every day because it is vital to maintaining a healthy smile. While most parents are focused on just getting kids to brush their teeth; far fewer take the time to actually learn and teach their children proper dental hygiene and brushing technique.

After all, many adults are guilty themselves of aggressively over-brushing their teeth when using standard nylon-bristle toothbrushes. Is it any wonder our children would follow suit? When it comes to brushing, there can be something as too much of a good thing!

What’s the big deal you might ask about over-brushing if teeth are getting clean? A lot!

Many parents are surprised to learn that children who over-brush their teeth are at risk of developing both sensitive teeth and periodontal disease. Brushing vigorously with a medium or hard-bristled toothbrush wears down tooth enamel and pushes gums down, exposing the inner nerve part of the tooth. Even a soft, ordinary nylon bristle brush will wear down the teeth and gums over time. Children are especially vulnerable as gums can weaken and begin to erode. Once gums begin to recede, other dental problems can ensue — including cavities on exposed roots, which often need to be treated with fillings, root canals, gum grafting or tooth extractions.

Easy Does It!

Contrary to popular belief, applying hard pressure while brushing is not necessary to remove plaque. Fast, hard, up-and-down brushing only puts gums at risk — even in children. So, what’s the right way to brush? Here are some guidelines that can help your children protect their gums and teeth for a lifetime of healthy smiles:

1. Use a soft bristle toothbrush, or even better, a rubber-bristle toothbrush, like the PeriClean and PeriKids Ultra Soft Specialty Toothbrush.

2. Use a fluoride toothpaste.

3. Don’t share your toothbrush.

4. Hold the toothbrush flat against the teeth and move it back and forth along the gum line to sufficiently remove plaque.

5. Clean the outer surfaces and inner surfaces of teeth, including chewing surfaces.

6. Don’t forget to brush the tongue, too!

7. Make brushing fun!

8. Floss daily.

9. Limit snacks between meals.

10. Visit the dentist at least once every six months for an oral exam and professional cleaning.

Consider that your child’s gums are the skin of their teeth. You would not teach your child to aggressively scrub their skin with an abrasive brush? So why would you have them use a medium or hard-bristle toothbrush on their teeth and gums?

Proper dental care is essential to your child’s health. With a mastery of proper brushing techniques, your child will be able to keep their teeth and gums for a lifetime. Now, that’s something to smile about! The choice is yours.

Dr. Jack Gruber, DDS is a periodontist in clinical practice for more than four decades. After many years of research and testing, Dr. Gruber created the PeriClean, an alternative to standard nylon toothbrushes to combat gum recession caused by toothbrush abrasion. Its design minimizes forceful brushing that causes damage to the teeth and gums while removing plaque with a textured surface.

How to Ensure You and Your Family Have Healthy Teeth and Gums

From a baby’s first tooth to visits from the tooth fairy to twice yearly dental visits, and braces, childhood is filled with plenty of dental memories. To ensure healthy teeth for years to come it is vital for children to learn preventive dental care habits from a very early age. This includes brushing of course as well as several necessary steps to help keep teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime.

Floss Daily

While kids are notorious for disliking flossing, it is an essential part of oral hygiene. Flossing is the only way to get in between teeth to remove food particles and plaque. Brushing alone cannot effectively remove bacteria and food. Ninety percent of bacteria reside in between teeth, and only dental floss can access these areas of the mouth. Teach by example and continue to stress the importance of flossing even when you get complaints and protest! It might not be until they become parents themselves but your children will thank you later on!

Do Not Forget the Tongue!

While teeth and gums are a primary focus, it is also important to teach kids to clean their tongues. The tongue has areas that can hide bacteria and promote the development of plaque and bad breath. Make it fun by sticking tongues out in front of the mirror and brushing while making funny faces!

Schedule Twice Yearly Cleanings

Tartar forms when bacteria builds up on the teeth. This can result in inflammation and even bleeding gums. When this happens, it is time to visit the dentist. Remember only dentists and dental hygienists can safely remove tartar from teeth. A dull ache or even sensitivity when brushing may be signs of more significant problems such as receding gums or a dead nerve inside a tooth. Ask your dentist about sealants for the biting surfaces of your child’s teeth. The grooves are susceptible to decay even with good brushing habits.

What about Brushing?

Get your kids in the habit of brushing at an early age. Advise them to brush for two minutes twice daily front, back and on biting surfaces. It is also important that they have the right technique and type of toothbrush to protect their teeth and gums. Standard nylon toothbrushes can be especially harsh and irritating for children’s delicate, sensitive gums. Children (and adults too!) often brush much too aggressively, which can lead to serious problems later on in life!

Each year, an estimated 24 million people suffer from what the Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry has labeled as “toothbrush disease.”The term means gingival recession and wear of the root surface caused by over brushing, which contributes to receding gums and hypersensitivity of the teeth.

Do yourself and your family a favor: put up a sign in your bathroom to remind your family: faster and harder brushing does not mean cleaner teeth. Over-brushing can lead to receding gums and painful surgery!

Another option is to get in touch with me about purchasing a specialty toothbrush I created called the PeriClean and PeriKids Ultra Soft Specialty Toothbrush for children up to 12 years old. Its patented, ultra gentle design allows children to brush their teeth easily and comfortably even when losing their primary (baby teeth) and as their permanent teeth grow in. I also designed it with a thick, contoured handle making it easy for children to use.  

Just remember this: proper dental care is a lifelong responsibility that begins in the toddler years and continues throughout adulthood. By teaching these important habits during the formative first years, you can give your child one of the most amazing gifts of life – a healthy smile!

Dr. Jack Gruber, DDS is a periodontist in clinical practice for more than four decades.  After many years of research and testing, Dr. Gruber created the PeriClean, an alternative to standard nylon toothbrushes to combat gum recession caused by toothbrush abrasion. Its design minimizes forceful brushing that causes damage to the teeth and gums while removing plaque with a textured surface. 

How The Traditional Nylon Toothbrush May Be Causing Your Gums To Disappear

Because of the scare tactics, including graphic images of bad teeth, many have been pushed into over-brushing.

From the time you were little, you have probably been told to brush your teeth. it is an important habit for children and adults alike. But it is possible to brush your teeth too much and too hard.

I know it is hard to believe that caring for your teeth can damage them, but millions of people each year set themselves up for gum disease. The first problem with brushing is that many people do it improperly, too abrasively, and too often. They wear away the thin enamel of the teeth and erode the gums. This also causes the bone under the gums to disappear and the roots to become exposed. This can result in sensitivity and root decay to take hold.

Without realizing it, people also brush without actually cleaning the area where most disease originates in the teeth. While you might not believe periodontal (gum) disease is waging a slow war on your body, more than 75% of adults over the age of 35 show some degree of signs and symptoms. In fact, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults around the world.

Additionally, recent studies shown a possible link between gum disease and a number of other afflictions in the body, including diabetes and heart disease. These studies theorize that bacteria in the mouth, a cause of gum disease, can travel through the bloodstream. Bacteria can contribute to clot formation and the narrowing of the arteries.  

The bottom line is that people brush without cleaning the area where most disease originates. Toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwashes do not get in between the teeth, no matter what they advertise. Only floss or other interdental devices can break up the plaque nests between the teeth.

Over the course of my 40-year career in dentistry and periodontics, I have seen a recurring theme in how gum disease develops. Traditional thought has taught us to understand  that poor oral hygiene is the first major contributor to gum disease. However because of the scare tactics associated with this idea, including graphic images of bad teeth, many have been pushed into over-brushing. As a result, people are damaging their healthy teeth and gums.

There is such a thing as over-brushing with a nylon toothbrush, which can result in your gums disappearing which is known as  gum recession. Each year, an estimated 24 million people suffer from what the Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry has labeled as “toothbrush disease.” The term means gingival recession and wear of the root surface caused by over-brushing, which contributes to receding gums and hypersensitivity of the teeth. It is the reason dentists have moved from recommending hard-bristled toothbrushes to soft-bristled.

The effects of overaggressive brushing lead to reduced enamel and a receding gum line. Gum disease can set in. As the teeth become more sensitive and the gums recede, plaque gets into tougher to get to areas of the mouth.

What most people do not realize about their toothbrush: 

Your tooth enamel and gums are extremely thin. Tooth enamel is actually about the thickness of an egg shell, while gums are merely paper-thin. 

Due to the fragility, brushing too hard can break down tooth enamel and wear away gums. If you’ve experienced sensitive teeth, it could very well be due to gum recession, which can lead to bone loss and sensitivity.

To clean their teeth, millions of people are brushing their gums away without even knowing it—causing damage to their tooth enamel and gums in the process.

Plaque is as soft as yogurt. There is no need to do harm to the teeth and gums to remove plaque. Car finishes are treated more gently. 

It is not my aim to scare you away from the toothbrush you currently use.

As a medical professional, my first duty is to educate my patients, so that you understand your body, the actions you take and how those actions affect your overall health. Be smart and take control of your dental health today!

How to Get Your Children to Brush Their Teeth

Does your child struggle with the everyday routine of tooth brushing? This is a common challenge that many parents and their children face. Yet, there are some simple ways to get them to develop a healthy oral care routine without an argument or having to call a timeout. In fact, once you your child gets the hang of it, you’ll be amazed at how enthusiastic they are to brush.

Start Early

The time to begin introducing tooth brushing habits is not when they already have a full set of teeth and the words to argue with you! Instead, begin reinforcing the importance of brushing teeth as soon as the first teeth begin to appear. Tell them on a regular basis that daily brushing will help them keep a healthy smile and prevent painful cavities.

Set a Good Example

The best way to encourage your child to get into the habit of daily tooth brushing is to brush with them. Get down on their level and let them see how you brush your teeth. Demonstrate by brushing gently up-and-down, in circles or back and forth, whatever is easiest for them, for at least two minutes, and don’t forget to show them how you brush your tongue as well as floss.

Involve Your Kids In Toothpaste Purchasing Decisions

Today’s parents and kids have more flavors and varieties of toothpaste to choose from than ever before. Choose a kid-friendly toothpaste that your child will like and be sure to involve them in the decision making process! In giving them the choice they will be more likely to look forward to brushing. Just be sure to purchase small tubes as tastes can change. Who knows — they might even look forward to using up each tube in order to try out a new flavor!

Not all Toothbrushes Are Created Equal: Bristles Matter!

Not all toothbrushes are created equal. Standard nylon toothbrushes can be especially harsh and irritating for children’s delicate, sensitive gums. Children (and adults too!) often brush much too aggressively, which can lead to serious problems later on in life! Remember just as faster and harder brushing does not result in cleaner teeth; neither medium or hard bristles clean any better than soft bristles.

The safest option is the PeriKids Ultra Soft toothbrush which features patented rubber bristles that are gentle, even on the gums of young children.

Encourage Independence

It can be tempting to continue to brush your child’s teeth long after they have sufficient manual dexterity to brush their own. However, this approach does not help them develop the lifelong skills they need to keep their teeth and gums healthy. At around two years old, teach your child how to put toothpaste on a toothbrush and master toothbrushing techniques. Yes, you may need to offer some help early on, but you will be going a long way towards establishing early dental habits.

Make It Fun

Toothbrushing time should be a time for fun instead of a chore or a battle of wills. Make toothbrushing a family event and figure out who can make the silliest face while showing off their pearly whites.

Have everyone hum to a tune, or play a favorite song to ensure you and your family are brushing long enough. Consider even downloading an app such as Brush DJ, which plays two minutes of music from your library. Click here and here to find lists of some other popular dental health apps for kids.

Offer Praise

Early tooth brushing establishes a foundation for a lifetime of healthy oral care. Provide positive reinforcement when your child remembers to brush on their own or when they’ve mastered the ability to brush for two minutes. Consider incorporating incentives by creating a sticker chart and giving them stars for when they proactively brush their teeth without a reminder.

Two minutes, morning and night, tooth brushing is a small fraction of your child’s day, but it can have a profoundly positive effect. By making oral care a priority and not an afterthought at the end of the day, you can help ensure your child’s healthy smile for a lifetime.

Dr. Jack Gruber, DDS is a leading authority in the silent epidemic of gum recession and gum disease and an award-winning periodontist in clinical practice for more than four decades. He recently authored Dr. Gruber’s Guide to Understanding and Reversing Gum Disease. After many years of research and testing, Dr. Gruber created the PeriClean, an alternative to standard nylon toothbrushes to combat gum recession caused by toothbrush abrasion. Its design minimizes forceful brushing that causes damage to the teeth and gums while removing plaque with a textured surface.

gum recession

Protecting Teeth and Gums from Bone Loss and Sensitivity

Did you know that both your tooth enamel and gums are extremely thin? Tooth enamel is actually about the thickness of an egg shell, while gums are merely paper-thin!

Due to the fragility that this creates, brushing too hard can break down tooth enamel and wear away gums. If you’ve experienced sensitive teeth, it could very well be due to gum recession, which can lead to bone loss and sensitivity.

However, there is a way you can help prevent this! Brushing with the ultra-soft PeriClean reduces the chances of damage from vigorous brushing, thus protecting teeth and gums.