Throughout the years practicing dentistry, I encounter countless people who have "sweet tooth" syndrome. Not only they do love too much desserts but also they do enjoy having a cup of coffee or tea while tasting new flavor of their partner's freshly baked cakes. You know, dentists would say " NO" to sugar, "NO" to coffee and tea, but the reality is that they love sweets too. Is that a joke? Nope!
Living 4 years in Bordeaux, France gave me sweet memory of the best pastiseries. Till now I still remember the flavor of sunny raisin viennoiseries. I started my day with a cup of coffee, un escargot aux raisins and that is all I need. Being a dentist helps me to be aware of sugar content in all the food and drinks I take but how plain life would be without sugar, as it lacks so much flavor in it.
Having a healthy and balanced diet is more important as long as you know how to keep up a good oral hygiene. Getting a dental baseline work is the first thing you should do. Let your dentist help you to put your oral health back to disease-free zone. Fixing cavities, treating infection and regular cleaning would help you to maintain a healthy baseline. After that, depending on your gum health, 3 to 6 month recalls will do the maintenance job.
But that is not the purpose of what I am about to tell you today. We talk about oral homecare. Yes, that absolutely important part is good and free. The only thing that you need is your persistence and your effort. Are you ready to start? Let's get started.
1. Your tooth brush:
Are you using a manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush? Either works. I had been using manual toothbrush since I was a kid until the day my friends told me they can hear my brushing across the street!!! LOL. When I realized that I brushed my teeth so hard, I decided to switch to Oral B electric toothbrush (any brand would do). At that time, Oral B was the sponsor of my school so each of us received a free one. And I am still using it until now. It has the alert function and stop brushing if you are using too much force. And it did help me in changing how I brush my teeth.
How often should you change your toothbrush? Every 3-6 months. When you come to a dental office to get regular cleaning, they give you a new toothbrush. Just throw the old one and use the new one. How simple it is.
2. Your mouthrinse:
Let me be honest with you. I don't have a mouthrinse. LOL
When my patients asked me "Doc, which mouthrinse you recommend me to use?", I said "None"
Read the labels before you buy one. It should have "Alcohol free" label. Alcohol dries up your mouth pretty fast. When the saliva flow is reduced, more plaque, more bacteria is increased and ofcourse, it comes with a free halitosis. One day, my friend asked me to do the cleaning for her. And I was surprised of how much build-up she had (ofcourse the amount is insignificant but it is significant for a dental student!!!). After talking to her about her habits, I found out that she used mouthrinse and skipped brushing after lunch, since dental students don't have much time and have to run back and forth to have all the work done on time. On the contrary, very interesting, I never use mouthrinse and my friend told me: "Get the heck out of here, there is nothing to clean" LOL. So my advice to you: Floss first, brush your teeth and you are all good. Simple rule: Would you apply lotion on a dirty skin? Same thing for the teeth. So if you are a fan of mouthrinse, you can keep doing that, just remember, use mouthrinse only after you are sure your teeth are nice and clean.
I hang out with a group of friends, they are all medical doctors. And they asked me " Diem, what is floss?" Hahaha "Is that a joke?"
I told them: "It is OK not to floss! As long as you have enough money to pay me for your dental work!!!" LOL
I share with you today what I have tried on myself and on my dear patients: "Floss first"
Does it really matter flossing first or brushing first? To me, it does. Let me explain to you why!
Flossing takes out most of the food between the teeth (80%), then brushing will do the 10%. The other 10% is taken care of if you do flossing twice a day. For people who are using toothpaste on a toothbrush, the toothpaste carries minerals like Ca, P, F that remineralize the initial caries. When there is still plaque (heavy food biofilm) on the tooth surface, it absorbs these minerals, its texture is hardened. With time, it becomes calculus (build-up). This is the cause of gingivitis and periodontitis (gum disease). So my rule is: Let the mineral do its job properly by getting the teeth clean first! Today, let's start with the flossing!
I hope you find this article helpful, any questions, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (424)-381-4004 to schedule an appointment and have your dental baseline work done.