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Brushing Teeth

Which Toothbrush is Better - Electric or Manual?

Whenever we talk about the importance of preventive dental care, we get asked these questions a lot: “What toothpaste should I use?” or “What is the best dental floss?” and even “Which toothbrush is better – electric or manual?” Our answers are all the same. It is not really what you use but how often you use and whether you use these devices properly. You could have the best toothbrush but if you don’t brush properly and consistently then you won’t clean your teeth well enough to prevent problems. Most people just don't brush long enough. Most of us brush less than a minute, but to effectively reach all areas and remove cavity-causing bacteria, it is recommended to brush for at least two minutes. Manual vs Electric Toothbrush

What makes a good toothbrush?

  • Its head should be small (1" by 1/2") for easy access to all areas of the mouth, teeth and gums.
  • It should have a long, wide handle for a firm grasp.
  • It should have soft nylon bristles with rounded ends so you won't hurt your gums.

Which toothbrush is better – electric or manual?

There are reasons why dentists like Dr. Reese recommend electronic brushes over traditional ones:

  • Electric toothbrushes can clean more effectively than regular brushes if you are physically handicapped or have a cognitive impairment. Electric toothbrushes move by themselves so there’s less physical work.
  • Electric toothbrushes have two heads that rotate in opposite directions making it a more effective cleaning instrument. Those using regular toothbrushes usually brush more on the opposite side of their dominant hand (the one that holds the toothbrush).
  • Electric toothbrushes have smaller head sizes making it easier for them to reach hard-to-brush areas.
  • Electric toothbrushes don’t have hard bristles and don’t brush your teeth too hard, scratching enamel or hurting your gums.

Dr. Reese Recommends Sonicare Toothbrushes

Dr. Reese has been selling Sonicare toothbrushes for years and he does so because he knows they work. You can read more about the different toothbrushes we carry in our dental office in this post.

All of our advanced scaling and root planing (SRP) patients will be given a Easy Clean Rechargeable Sonicare tooth brush with the option of upgrading to the Flexcare+ model.

Get Your Teeth Professionally Cleaned

While you might not be able to brush your teeth often and properly enough to ensure that your teeth won’t get any cavities, getting your teeth cleaned professionally by a dentist twice a year would ensure that what you normally would miss cleaning gets cleaned. Dr. Reese values the importance of preventive dental care. His clinic has shaped a 5-year warranty program around keeping regular cleaning appointments. As long as you continue to keep your oral hygiene visits every 6-months you can be eligible for free replacement or repair of Dr. Reese’s dental work within the previous 5 years. And if you’ve already had dental treatment, existing patients can be grandfathered into this program.

Call 317-882-0228 to schedule an appointment and start caring for your teeth today.

How to Clean Your Teeth with Braces

So you are finally wearing braces. Now what?

Whether you are a child or an adult, getting braces will not only fix the alignment of your teeth or bite, it will improve your profile appearance and even prevent TMJ disorders later in life. Orthodontic treatment relies on two things: consistent follow-ups with your dentist for realignment of bands and checking for improvement and proper cleaning of your teeth with braces. After Dr. Reese puts on braces on your teeth, he will tell and show you how to clean your teeth with braces. We will outline the usual steps in this post.

How to Clean Your Teeth with Braces

How to Clean Your Teeth with Braces

  1. Prepare to brush. Take off elastics, and any other removable parts of your braces.
  2. Clean your braces. Use your brush at a 45-degree angle to clean around the wires and pins of your braces. Brush from the top of each wire and then from the bottom. (Take time to ensure that all plaque and debris are removed, and that you work all the way around upper and lower teeth.) Dr. Reese recommends the GUM® End Tuft Toothbrush for those that wear braces. The small round brush head comprises seven tufts of tightly packed soft nylon bristles, trimmed so the bristles in the center can reach deeper into small spaces.
  3. Brush where the gums and teeth meet. Use circular, vibrating motion around the gum lines, spending 10 seconds on each tooth.
  4. Use the same brushing action on all outer and inner tooth surfaces, tilting the brush as needed to better reach the insides of smaller front teeth.
  5. Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth too.
  6. Floss once a day with "super floss", a type of floss for cleaning around appliances such as braces. A floss threader may be helpful.
  7. Rinse and check your teeth. Rinse thoroughly with water or mouth rinse, and examine your teeth and braces in the mirror.

When You Should Clean Your Braces

Whenever possible, you should brush your teeth after every time you eat. If you can’t, rinsing your mouth out with water can help. Swoosh it around your mouth really well and spit it out. Your dentist might recommend you carry a travel toothbrush with you all the time since it is extremely important that you clean your braces (and teeth) after eating.

Brushing twice a day is important. Floss at least once a day, usually before going to bed at night.

Braces and Plaque are a Bad Combination

Braces can straighten your teeth and fix your smile but it is up to you to ensure that your straightened teeth will last a lifetime. Dental care with braces requires extra effort but once the braces come off, you will realize that it is all worth it!

Braces are an Investment

We all know getting braces isn’t that affordable but the end result is more than worth it. The extra effort to take care of this investment should be a priority.

Customized care is a hallmark of everyone’s treatment at Indianapolis Dentistry. Dr. Reese offers orthodontics for children and adults and is happy to offer you an orthodontic evaluation to discuss your particular concerns and options. Drop us a call at 317-882-0228 or email today!

How to Brush Your Teeth Properly

If you've been told by a dentist that there are areas deep in the teeth that cannot be reached by brushing or flossing, and that deep cleanings are necessary every 6 months to keep them clean - it's true - but learning how to brush your teeth properly or correctly can go a long way. It may seem trite to discuss how to brush your teeth, but if you haven't been taught since elementary school, consider this a refresher course that could just help you save your teeth and gums as you get older.

How Do I Brush My Teeth Properly?

What is the right way to brush my teeth? The proper way to brush one’s teeth involves these 4 factors:

  • the length of time your brush your teeth  How to Brush Your Teeth Properly
  • the toothbrush
  • the toothpaste
  • the technique.

Proper Tooth Brushing Technique

Proper brushing of one’s teeth takes at least two minutes. That’s one common mistake we all do – not brushing long enough. To be able to make sure you brush you teeth for 120 seconds, you can try to use a stopwatch for the first two weeks so you can have an estimate how long it usually takes – a song, a riddle or just counting in your head.

  • Tilt the toothbrush at a 45o angle against your gumline and sweep your toothbrush away from it. Do this type of stroke on all areas of your teeth.
  • Use gentle short strokes when brushing. Pay extra attention to the gumline, your molars or hard-to-reach teeth and those areas where you have had crowns or fillings.
  • Brush the outside, inside and chewing surfaces of each tooth using short back and forth strokes.
    • Clean the outer surfaces of your upper teeth. Do the same on your lower teeth.
    • Clean the inner surfaces of your upper teeth. Repeat on your lower teeth.
    • Clean the chewing surfaces, brushing along outside the mouth.
  • Don’t forget your tongue! Gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria.

You can watch a video on how to brush your teeth on the steps outlined above.

What Type of Toothbrush Should I Use?

Dentists agree that soft-bristled toothbrushes are best for removing bacteria from your teeth. Those with smaller heads can reach all areas of your mouth, especially the back teeth. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months. Replace it as soon as the bristles wear out.

Prevention is Better Than Cure

Oral hygiene is more than just about having clean teeth. Proper and regular brushing of one’s teeth is just a part of your preventive dental care. You should visit your dentist twice a year to have your teeth cleaned as there are teeth that are more prone to cavities even if you brush your teeth regularly and watch what you eat.  There are preventive dental products like Carifree that can help protect your teeth but a professional dental consult is still necessary. At your dental appointment, Dr. Reese will review the integrity of your teeth and gums in order to help prevent or treat gingivitisperiodontal disease, or oral cancer. After a gentle cleaning, Dr. Reese will make sure you are aware of your oral health position and what options you have.

Indianapolis Dentistry is located just north of Greenwood, Indiana, 5 minutes south of I-465 on US 31 between I-65 and Highway 37. To make an appointment or to call for directions, please call 317-882-0228.

 

How Often Should I Be Brushing My Teeth?

A lot of people ask, "How many times a day should I brush my teeth?" A general rule of thumb is to brush your teeth twice a day, but when is the best time to brush your teeth during the day? A lot of people brush their teeth after breakfast and before they go to bed, but could brushing right after a meal be bad for your teeth? You might be surprised to hear that brushing right after eating might actually be harmful to your teethHow Often Should I Be Brushing My Teeth? When you eat, certain sugars on foods react with bacteria present in your mouth to produce acids. When you brush you teeth when the pH environment in the mouth is still acidic, it poses a problem. Imagine your teeth as glass. Eating is like pouring acid all over it. Brushing it is like etching on glass – you can scratch your teeth’s enamel.

We have already stated how acid is the worst enemy of the teeth. Acid corrodes the protective covering our teeth, the enamel, making our teeth prone to plaque, caries and cavities. This is why there are people who are more prone to cavities than others. The ideal pH for mouth is seven and when you eat something acidic, the pH in your mouth drops. It takes a while for the mouth to return to its normal pH level. Even sports drinks are very acidic and can be as harmful as soda.

Brush 30 minutes after a meal or before taking meals

The American Dental Association recommends that one wait at least 30 minutes after a meal before brushing one's teeth. This will allow saliva to neutralize the acids in the mouth.

What can I do if I can’t brush my teeth 30 minutes after?

There are several options:

  • Drink water. It cleans your teeth from food particles and washes away disease-causing germs.
  • Rinse and gargle with an antibacterial mouthwash.
  • Chew on sugarless gum. Chewing increases saliva production and saliva neutralizes the mouth’s pH level. Xylitol is recommended.
  • Eat cheese! Dentist Jeffrey M. Cole, former president of the Academy of General Dentistry, a dental advocacy group, told the Wall Street Journal, explains that chewy things encourage salivation and proteins in your saliva will buffer acids; as well, naturally occurring chemicals in cheese "encourage the tooth to remineralize."
  • If you know you're going to eat or drink something acidic, brush your teeth beforehand.

Is there such a thing as “overbrushing” one’s teeth?

While brushing your teeth two to three times a day is ideal, more may not be, says Michael Sesemann, DDS, president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery.

“Excessive brushing could expose the root of the tooth to irritation, and that could in turn irritate the gums. Brushing vigorously can also erode tooth enamel. The trick is to brush very gently for two to three minutes.”

Not Just A Cleaning

While overbrushing and brushing immediately after eating can be harmful for your teeth, getting your teeth cleaned professionally by a dentist twice a year isn’t. Dr. Reese values the importance of preventive dental care. His clinic has shaped a 5-year warranty program around keeping regular cleaning appointments. As long as you continue to keep your oral hygiene visits every 6-months you can be eligible for free replacement or repair of Dr. Reese’s dental work within the previous 5 years. And if you’ve already had dental treatment, existing patients can be grandfathered into this program.

Call 317-882-0228 to schedule an appointment and start caring for your teeth today.