How Your Brushing Habits Affect Tooth Enamel

The fact that there is a strong correlation between your overall health, tooth enamel and your brushing habits is well known. Since specific oral health issues, such as gum disease and tooth decay, can affect your overall medical condition, developing good tooth brushing habits is vital.

Choosing the Right Toothbrush

Today, toothbrushes come in many shapes, styles and sizes. The following information helps you understand what you should be looking for.

  • Bristle Types: There are four main types of toothbrush bristles: extra soft, soft, medium, and hard. Usually, hard and medium bristles are not recommended because they can irritate gums and damage tooth enamel. To avoid this, you should opt for soft and extra soft toothbrushes. Additionally, small-headed toothbrushes are preferable because they allow you to brush all teeth, including hard-to-reach back teeth.
  • Bristle Materials: Since the state of your tooth enamel and your brushing habits are closely related, make sure that you always choose toothbrushes made of FDA-approved materials. These materials are very gentle on teeth and gums, thus they can help you avoid specific problems, such as gum hypersensitivity and enamel erosion. Furthermore, most FDA-approved materials have exceptional antibacterial properties that allow you to use a toothbrush up to six months.
  • Handle: Many dental professionals agree that you should always choose a handle type that is comfortable. You can pick any toothbrush, with or without flexible neck and non-slip grip. As well, you may select a toothbrush with a tapered or rectangular head, or trimmed, flat or rippled bristles as long as it fits your needs.

After choosing the right toothbrush, it’s time to explore the…

Best Brushing Techniques for Oral Health

Understanding the strong connection between your tooth enamel and your brushing habits can help you avoid making mistakes when brushing your teeth. Here are a few useful tips for brushing teeth properly.

  • Brush Twice a Day: Brushing your teeth twice a day helps you remove harmful bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Develop a Good Technique: A proper technique is to hold the toothbrush slightly angled against teeth and use a back-and-forth motion to massage your teeth and gums. Avoid harsh scrubbing because it can irritate your gums and damage tooth enamel.
  • Don’t Forget to Floss: When flossing your teeth, take one tooth at a time and rub the floss against all of its sides.  

So do yourself a favor, develop and maintain a healthy oral care routine so your tooth enamel is always in great shape and you can preserve your beautiful smile.

What You Need to Know About Gum Disease

Although genetic factors play a critical role in gum disease, the people who maintain a good oral care routine can easily avoid developing gum conditions, such as gingivitis and periodontitis. So, what you need to know about gum disease is that its occurrence can be prevented by simply brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, eating a balanced diet and having regular dental visits.

Preventative Oral Care

Practicing good dental habits helps to prevent and fight gum disease. These habits include:

  • Brushing your teeth properly at least two times a day
  • Flossing the space between your teeth once a day
  • Using fluoride toothpaste to prevent tooth decay
  • Opting for an electric toothbrush with oscillating and rotating action (although this toothbrush does exactly the same job as regular toothbrushes, it helps you brush your teeth more efficiently)
  • Using plaque-disclosing tablets occasionally to check whether you’re brushing your teeth properly or not
  • Using antiseptic or antiplaque mouthwash
  • Visiting your dentist regularly

Since bleeding gums may be a symptom of gum disease, you should see your dentist as soon as possible if your gums bleed when you brush or floss your teeth.

Brushing Recommendations

What else do you need to know about gum disease? You can prevent it and treat it by following these guidelines:

  • Always use soft-bristled brushes that fit the shape and size of your mouth
  • Place the toothbrush parallel to your gums and against your teeth to form a 45-degree angle
  • Perform a back-and-forth motion to brush your teeth
  • Brush the outer tooth surfaces first; continue with the inner tooth and chewing surfaces
  • Use the tip of your toothbrush to massage the inner surfaces of the front teeth
  • Brush your tongue to remove bacteria

If you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease, you should visit your dentist for professional teeth cleaning. Only a dentist can remove tartar and plaque from above and below the gum line, and recommend specific treatments, such as fluoride treatments, pocket reduction surgery, bone and soft tissue grafts, bone surgery and guided tissue regeneration.

Develop Healthy Habits

If you suffer from gum disease, it’s very important to make wise food choices. You should eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, cheese, milk, yogurt and peanuts. These foods can help prevent plaque from forming and clear your mouth of harmful bacteria. Since fat, sodium and sugar are harmful to teeth, try to limit them in your diet.

Yellowing Teeth and Your Brushing Habits

If your smile is not as bright as it used to be, you may be feeling a lot less confident.  Yellow teeth can be a blow to your self-esteem and make you want to hide your smile.  It can lead to a person being less social or outgoing and overall living a less fulfilling life.  If you once had a pearly white smile, but no longer do, there is probably something that has changed in your routine.   There are many reasons why your teeth are becoming more yellow. Luckily, there are solutions for helping you regain a whiter, healthier smile.

So, what are the common causes of yellow teeth?

  • Smoking- Smoking is a terrible habit that not only harms the organs in your body, but can also cause yellow teeth. Smoking stains the teeth and the stains are tough to remove. If a smoker wants to reverse the effects smoking has done to their teeth, quitting is the first step.  Brushing correctly two times a day as well as a daily flossing routine can work wonders on a smokers teeth after they kick the habit.
  • Certain Foods and Beverages – Coffee is one of the most damaging drinks to the color of your teeth.  When a hot liquid comes in contact with your teeth, it can cause micro fractures along the tooth’s surface.  This will reveal the yellow layer beneath the whiter layer of the teeth.  Soda is also a danger to your white teeth due to the fact that the acids in soda eat away on the enamel.  Using a straw can reduce the amount of soda that touches your teeth.
  • Berries- Berries are naturally dark in color.  Combined with the sugars found in the berry, yellowing can easily occur over time.

A leading cause of yellowing teeth, however, may not be as obvious as you think. Did you know yellowing teeth and your brushing habits go hand in hand?  If you find yourself slacking in the oral hygiene department, you are not alone. The good news is that there is something you can do to reverse the effects bad mouth maintenance has done to your teeth.

Here are some helpful tips to put you on the right track to better brushing habits: 

  • Take your time– Don’t be in a hurry to brush your teeth.  Take your time to ensure that is done correctly every day, twice a day.  Try not to be too abrasive when you brush, as this can lead to a receding gum line.
  • Floss Daily- Remove food and particles in between your teeth.
  • Mouth Rinse– Find a good mouth rinse that kills bacteria and helps to strengthen the enamel.

So, there you go – a few tips that you can start using today to stop and reverse the yellowing of your teeth. Good luck!

Dental Care Basics with an Ultra-Soft Toothbrush

Why You Need to Brush Regularly

Brushing your teeth with any toothbrush, twice a day for two minutes, is necessary to remove plaque. What makes an ultra-soft toothbrush different is that it will treat your tooth enamel and your gums gently.

The enamel of your tooth is as thin as an eggshell and brushing too hard with a standard toothbrush will wear that enamel down, leading to sensitive teeth and a greater potential for developing gingivitis.

Using an ultrasoft toothbrush will help you protect the tooth enamel and avoid gum recession.

How to Brush with an Ultra-Soft Toothbrush

Good brushing with an ultra-soft toothbrush is performed in the same manner as a standard toothbrush. To properly brush your teeth, it takes at least two minutes paying adequate attention to each area of the mouth.

Use short gentle strokes and start in the back.

  • Clean around the outer surfaces of the upper teeth, then move to the lower teeth on the outside.
  • Clean around the inner surfaces of the upper teeth then move to the lower teeth on the inside.
  • Clean along the chewing surface.
  • Be sure to use your ultra-soft toothbrush on your tongue. The textured surface cleans your tongue and helps prevent bad breath.
  • Tilt the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle and gently brush along the top teeth and the gum line in a sweeping motion. Repeat for the bottom teeth.

The key is to treat each area of the mouth, while effectively brushing to dislodge food particles and avoid the build-up of plaque.

How Often Do You Need to Brush?

Most people follow the recommendation of the American Dental Association and brush at least twice a day. Someone with very sensitive teeth may find it hurtful to brush that often. Another who eats small meals several times a day, may wish to brush and floss more often to keep their teeth clean. The frequency of brushing may change, subject to guidance from a dentist.

Why You Need to Floss

Brushing by itself isn’t enough to clean your teeth. No toothbrush can penetrate the spaces between your teeth, nor reach below the gum line where 80 to 90 percent of decay and periodontal disease occur.

How to Floss Properly

Start with about 18? of floss. Wind most of it around each middle finger and leave about 2? of floss to work with

  • Hold the floss taut between thumb and index fingers of each hand, then slide it gently up and down between your teeth
  • Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth, carefully sliding beneath the gum line.
  • Do not snap or force the floss, as this can cut or bruise the soft tissue of the gum
  • Change to a clean section of floss as you move from tooth to tooth
  • To remove the floss from a tooth, use the same gentle back and forth motion to bring the floss away from the gums.

How Often Do You Need to Floss?

You should floss your teeth frequently: in the morning when you wake, before bed and after any meal where you consume solids. This helps keep food and other particles out of the gum line, plus they will not collect between the teeth, where they contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria.

Click to read about how the NEW PeriClean ultra-soft toothbrush will help keep your teeth clean and help prevent gum recession.

Healthy Dental Care Habits with the Right Children’s Toothbrush

Your Kids’ Good Dental Care Starts with YOU

Your children watch you and mimic your habits, so be a good role model in your own dental care. Let your kids watch you brush and floss your teeth, starting when they’re toddlers and preschoolers. Tell them why you brush your teeth — it gets rid of pieces of food — and keeps them clean. Explain that you use floss to remove particles that are trapped between your teeth. Even if your kids don’t watch you brush your teeth every day, remind them that every day you brush your teeth twice and floss them, too.

Educate Your Children While You Brush their Teeth

Before they’re ready to brush their own teeth, your children will have absorbed lessons on how to clean them properly. While they watch you brush their teeth with their own kid’s toothbrush, you can also emphasize that you always brush softly, because brushing too hard can hurt the teeth. That is why you brush smarter, not harder, and use an ultra-soft toothbrush.

Encourage Healthy Eating Habits for Life

Serve healthy snacks, milk and water to your children, not junk food and sodas. Drinking too much sweetened juice and eating sugary snacks daily will help kids develop a sweet tooth early in life. Excessive sugar is bad for the teeth and provides little nutritional value. Sugar creates a sticky film on teeth that is harder to brush away and, if not taken care of promptly, promotes tooth decay.

Use an Ultra-Soft Children’s Toothbrush

The enamel on the tooth is as thin as an eggshell. It cannot withstand the hard brushing of a traditional toothbrush. Even a soft-bristled kid’s toothbrush can damage the enamel that protects teeth. An ultra-soft toothbrush will be gentle for both teeth and gums.

A Revolutionary Toothbrush for Kids that Won’t Hurt their Teeth or Gums

The PeriClean for Kids, or PeriKids, is an innovative ultra-soft toothbrush for children invented and designed by a dentist. Dr. Jack Gruber noticed that many of his patients, even those with good dental care habits, were unknowingly damaging the protective enamel on their teeth by brushing too hard.

Dr. Gruber created the PeriClean ultra-soft toothbrush for kids. Now, you can use this specialty toothbrush to thoroughly clean your children’s teeth without damaging their tooth enamel or gum tissue.

Gold Stars for Everyone!

Kids love to be praised for doing well. When your child starts brushing their own teeth, put a chart on the wall to record their progress. Give them a gold star to put on their chart every time they brush their teeth with the PeriClean ultra-soft toothbrush for kids.

Visit Your Children’s Dentist Regularly

You and your child will be glad to hear the dentist praise you for the great job you’re doing brushing your children’s teeth. That calls for another gold star!

Unique Features of the PeriClean Ultra-Soft Children’s Toothbrush

  • Made with FDA Approved Materials
  • Excellent Softness and Flexibility
  • Antibacterial Properties in Handle
  • Made from High Tech Materials
  • Very Strong and Lightweight
  • Made in the USA

The PeriClean Ultra-Soft Children’s Toothbrush will be available in December 2012. If you have a question or wish to order your PeriClean Ultra-Soft Children’s Toothbrush, please contact us online. Thank you very much.

How to Care for Your Toddler’s Teeth

Toddlers are often stubborn when it comes to the essentials of life; as any parent can attest, they are often reluctant to dress, eat, and sleep. Dental care is no exception, but the dental health habit toddlers develop set the stage for healthy teeth and healthy habits throughout life. Knowing how to care for your toddler’s teeth is quite important: although baby teeth fall out eventually, if they become seriously decayed they can cause serious complications, including damage to the adult teeth and systemic infection.

Toothpaste & Brush

Until the age of 2, you should use a non-fluoride toothpaste unless a dentist or physician recommends otherwise. Toddlers don’t need much toothpaste, and using too much can be both messy and dangerous; an amount the size of a pea is plenty. When buying a brush, be sure to choose a child-sized brush with soft bristles. A PeriClean toothbrush can be a good choice for a gentle but effective toddler toothbrush.

General Brushing

Toddlers’ teeth should be brushed twice a day; it’s helpful to brush them at the same time as you brush your own, so your child comes to see that brushing is also part of your daily routine.

How to care for your toddler’s teeth: brush gently for about 2 minutes, in a circular motion that reaches the gums as well as the teeth. Brush the front, tops, and backs of the teeth. Be sure to be gentle as you brush – most people brush their own teeth too hard, and toddlers’ teeth and gums are even more delicate.

Flossing

When teeth grow next to one another, plaque can accumulate, and daily flossing is necessary. Often, only the front teeth are close enough together to need flossing in toddlers. If you’re uncertain, check with your dentist. Daily flossing should accompany twice-daily brushing for toddlers.

Diet

Sugary drinks are a big cause of cavities in people of all ages, including toddlers. Try to keep juice and other sugary drinks to a minimum, and encourage the consumption of plain water throughout the day, especially if the child had juice earlier in the day. Drinking plain water after a sugary drink or a meal can help rinse sugar and starch from the mouth.

First Dentist Visit

Babies should start seeing the dentist as soon they have a few teeth, before or around the 1st birthday. During this appointment, the dentist will assess your child’s dental health and needs, including determining whether your child is at an elevated risk for cavities. He or she will recommend general tooth care, demonstrate techniques of how to care for your toddler’s teeth, and get you on schedule to have regular check-ups.

Are We all Brushing Too Hard?

Most of us want clean, healthy teeth, right? Brushing our teeth twice daily is probably the best way we take care of our teeth, in addition to going to the dentist regularly for checkups. Other things that help include flossing, rinsing between meals, and minimizing how much we eat of sugar, junk food, and other “sticky” foods that can contribute to tooth decay.

Even so, there can be too much of a good thing. The question is, then, are we all brushing too hard? In a word, yes. Although we must be thorough when we brush our teeth, and we must do it frequently enough to keep teeth clean (twice a day is the most often recommended frequency), we can indeed brush our teeth too hard.

Tooth Sensitivity

What happens when you brush too hard? Increased tooth sensitivity.

Consider the degree to which enamel erosion happens, especially as we get older. While brushing is necessary, over-brushing or brushing too hard can slowly wear away tooth enamel.

The result? Increasingly sensitive teeth, teeth that hurt when exposed to hot or cold foods, for example. The fix to this is to use a soft or extra soft brush, hold the brush at a 45-degree angle, and limit your brushing time to two minutes. In addition, lighten the pressure you put on your toothbrush; many modern toothbrushes have heads that will flex backward if you apply too much pressure, thus giving good remedial help as to how much pressure you should apply.

If you do brush with a manual toothbrush and don’t have a pressure-sensitive head on the toothbrush, one way to make sure you’re not applying too much pressure is to hold the toothbrush gently in your fingers, not clenched in your fist, and use small circular motions when you brush – again with an extra soft or at least soft toothbrush.

Gum Erosion

Do your gums bleed when you brush your teeth? They could be bleeding because you have some kind of infection in your gums, also known as gingivitis; if that’s the case, you should see your dentist. However, if your gums bleed when you brush your teeth and you don’t have an infection, chances are you’re brushing them too hard – and that can lead to gum erosion. Gum erosion is bad news, because your gums protect your teeth, especially at the roots; exposed roots mean tooth pain and extra sensitivity.

Remember, brushing right and with the right frequency (twice a day, gently, with a soft-bristled toothbrush) can help ensure that you have healthy teeth for decades to come.

Tooth Discoloration – Yellow Teeth Prevention, Treatment

What is Tooth Discoloration?
Your teeth may become yellow (or another color) due to staining on the surface or changes within the structure of the tooth.

Extrinsic Tooth Discoloration – The enamel of your tooth is as thin as an eggshell. By brushing too hard, you may cause erosion of the enamel. The tooth and enamel may be stained by food and by drinks, such as coffee, tea, wine and cola. Smoking tobacco may also cause yellowing and discoloration.

Intrinsic Tooth Discoloration – The internal structure of the tooth (known as the dentin) may change and darken or take on a yellow tint. This discoloration may occur as a result of:

  • Excess exposure to fluoride during early childhood;
  • Maternal use of tetracycline antibiotics during pregnancy;
  • Personal use of tetracycline antibiotics earlier than age eight;
  • Physical trauma that affected the development of tooth enamel;
  • Brushing too hard with a standard toothbrush.

Rarely, a child is born with dentinogenesis imperfecta, which causes gray, amber or purple tooth discoloration.

Age-Related Tooth Discoloration – The tooth’s internal structure (dentin) begins to yellow and enamel becomes thinner naturally through aging. Over time, the processes of extrinsic and intrinsic discoloration combine, so that the dentin shows through the enamel, producing the appearance of yellow teeth. Smoking and drinking liquids that stain the teeth exacerbate the discoloration process. Any chips or damage to the teeth can also lead to yellowing teeth through the years, especially if the pulp of the tooth is damaged.

Presentation and Symptoms of Teeth Discoloration
Yellow teeth and discoloration occur in unpredictable ways. Perhaps someone may experience staining on only one tooth where the enamel has been worn down more. Others may experience white streaks to yellow tinting, or brown spots and pits across several teeth. The severity of the tooth discoloration varies.

Discoloration of the teeth does not typically lead to pain or discomfort. In some cases ,when the enamel of the tooth has worn away and the structure of the tooth changes (such as with trauma), a person may experience sensitivity, similar to areas where gums recession exposes the root of the tooth. The sensitivity, pain and discomfort of gum recession are separate symptoms and are not directly related to the discoloration of the teeth.

Treating Discolored Teeth
Before undertaking treatment for yellow or discolored teeth, it’s best to determine why teeth are becoming yellow or discolored. Treatment will be more effective when understood in the context of daily brushing and diet. Many dentists offer professional whitening services to address the extrinsic tooth discoloration caused by coffee or tobacco. Several treatments are available as over the counter products, such as bleaching gels, other types of whitening agents and toothpastes. In some cases, a crown or veneer may be recommended for particularly bad tooth discoloration. It’s best to consult with your dentist to learn which option is the best for your teeth.

Avoiding Tooth Discoloration
Because the natural enamel protecting the tooth is as thin as an eggshell, brushing too hard with a standard toothbrush can erode the surface and make the tooth vulnerable to yellowing and discoloration. The PeriClean ultra-soft specialty toothbrush effectively cleans teeth, without damaging the enamel, helping your teeth to retain their natural white color.

Preventing Gum Disease with Dental Implants

5 Tips for Whiter Teeth – A Guide on How to Whiten Your Teeth

Many people are self-conscious that their teeth are yellow or discolored. You can whiten your teeth and be proud of your teeth and your smile when you make a few simple changes in your diet and dental care.

1. Put Yourself on a Whiter Teeth Diet
Many common foods and drinks contain natural and artificial dyes or coloring, such as coffee, cola drinks, red wine, black tea, cigarettes and cigars. Consuming them contributes to stains on teeth. When you moderate your intake of these drinks or decrease your smoking habit, you will see a difference. Also, you may brush after eating or drinking foods that cause stains. Plus, a dental bleaching agent can be applied to your teeth.

2. Eat Detergent Foods
A variety of firm, crisp foods have a natural cleaning effect on your teeth and gums. Apples (nature’s own toothbrush), raw carrots, celery and even popcorn can help whiten your teeth. If you will not brush your teeth right after you eat, detergent foods are a great follow up to a meal.

3. Change Your Toothbrush
You may be brushing too hard and that doesn’t produce whiter teeth. Instead, aggressive brushing wears down the tooth’s enamel, which reveals the yellowish dentin within your teeth. Use an ultra-soft toothbrush that won’t abrade the enamel or hurt the gum line.

4. Clean Your Tongue
You may not be aware that your tongue houses bacteria and plaque that can lead to tooth discoloration. Use your toothbrush or a tongue scraper to clean your tongue every morning. This scrapes off excess plaque that built up overnight and helps freshen your breath.

5. Gargle for Whiter Teeth
Another natural stain remover for teeth is apple cider vinegar. Use it to gargle and it will contribute to killing germs in your mouth.

Incorporating some of these tips for your diet and dental care will help you achieve whiter teeth over time.

Abrasive Toothpaste – Are Your Oral Habits Hurting Your Teeth?

You use toothpaste to help clean food particles and plaque from your teeth, similar to washing your hands with soap to remove dirt and bacteria. What is the best kind of toothpaste to get teeth clean?

You may not know that there are ingredients in toothpaste that affect your teeth in surprising ways. Some manufacturers incorporate crystals or grit into their toothpaste to be more abrasive, claiming whitening action and cleaning power. These abrasive agents can cause serious damage to your tooth enamel. The enamel that protects your teeth is as thin as an eggshell and brushing too hard with this type of toothpaste might be harmful to the tooth.

Must all toothpastes be abrasive to work?

There are different ingredients used to make toothpaste and tooth powder, which are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.  The category of relative dentin abrasivity, or RDA value, is used by the American Dental Association to test and score the abrasion of the toothpaste.

The ADA test utilizes real human teeth that are mounted within a brushing machine and then subjected to a constant stroke speed and pressure for a period of time, using the toothpaste. Based on the test results, the toothpaste is scored between 1 and 250. The ADA considers anything over 100 is considered to be highly abrasive, and recommends scores below 200, as follows:

  • From 0 to 80 = low abrasion
  • 70 to 100 = midrange abrasion
  • 100 to 150 = highly abrasive
  • 150 to 250 = considered harmful to teeth

Very few manufacturers publish their RDA scores on the toothpaste tube or box. Here are some examples of well-known toothpastes, ranked from low to high:

  • Arm and Hammer Dental Care – 35
  • Colgate Regular – 68
  • Sensodyne – 79
  • Crest Regular – 95
  • Colgate Whitening – 124
  • Crest Multicare Whitening – 144
  • Colgate 2-in-1 Tartar Control – 200

Avoid Abrasive Toothpaste – Use an Ultra-Soft Toothbrush

Whether the abrasivity of a toothpaste is high or low, the toothbrush itself is key to the potential for abrasion. Many people either brush too aggressively or they use a standard, hard-bristled toothbrush that can wear away tooth enamel over time. Sometimes, a person will hurriedly brush fast and hard to get the job done sooner. When a highly abrasive toothpaste is used in this scenario, it greatly increases the potential for damage to the tooth enamel over time.

It’s Up to You

You can improve your dental health by being alert to brushing too hard and carefully selecting a less abrasive toothpaste that will not hurt the enamel. Erosion of enamel leads to yellowing of the teeth (the dentin layer becomes visible through thinned enamel), dents in teeth, cracks, chipping, pain, discomfort and sensitivity.

When you clean your teeth with an ultra-soft toothbrush, one with a soft, gel-like textured tip, you will remove the plaque from the surface without scraping the enamel. Your aim is to leave your teeth feeling clean and reduce any abrasion that can cause permanent damage to the enamel and your smile.