brush Archives - Smile, Little Smiles, and Smile Orthodontics

tooth brushes

How to Pick the Right Toothbrush.

By | Fun Stuff, Health & Wellness

A toothbrush is a small tool with a big job.  It removes plaque, prevents tartar buildup, reduces the risk of gum disease and helps keep your breath fresh. But if you’ve wandered down the toothbrush aisle lately, the choices can be overwhelming.

toothbrushes reg or elect

Here are some tips for finding the ideal brush:

Bigger isn’t always better.  Choose a toothbrush with a head that is small enough to reach your back molars.

Go soft.  Harder bristles are not better at removing plaque.  If fact, rigid bristles do not bend enough to get between teeth or under the gum line.  And hard bristles can harm your gums.  We aren’t even sure why hard bristle toothbrushes are made!  So choose a toothbrush with soft bristles.

Ignore bristle design.  No research shows bristle length or design makes any difference.  Instead, make sure you brush your teeth for at least two minutes.

Consider electric.  An electric toothbrush with a rotating head is better at reducing gum disease and removing plaque than a regular brush.  It’s no secret since your dental hygienist uses a rotating head with your 6-month cleanings. Even better, many electric brushes offer a timer to make that 2 minute brushing even easier to achieve!

Replace often.  Get a new toothbrush every 3-4 months and after you’ve had a cold or flu bug.

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Children’s Dental Health

By | For Kids, Health & Wellness

Here are some easy to follow guidelines that make it possible for children to grow up cavity free:

It takes a while to brush your smile!  Brush your child’s teeth carefully at least twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste. By eight or nine years old, children can be expected to be able to adequately brush on their own.

Floss is the boss!  It’s very important to floss your child’s teeth once each day. Dental floss reaches areas in-between teeth that a toothbrush cannot, and is an essential part of cavity prevention. Flossing can be difficult for children, so until they are 11 to 12 years old, be sure you help them complete this task correctly.

Think before you eat or drink!  It’s important to eat a well balanced diet and avoid excessive snacking between meals – especially sticky, sweet things like candy.

Be good to those gums!  Keep an eye on your child’s gums! Puffy, red and tender gums, persistent bad breath, and gums that bleed are signs of gum disease.

Get plenty of fluoride!  Fluoride plays a protective role against dental decay throughout life. Community fluoridation is the single most effective public health measure we have to prevent tooth decay and improve oral health. Your child should be getting enough fluoride through drinking water and fluoridated toothpaste, but if you have questions regarding your child’s fluoride intake, ask your child’s dentist.

Seal out decay!  Many of the cavities found in children under age 15 develop on the chewing surfaces of back molars. Molars commonly decay because plaque accumulates in the tiny grooves of the chewing surfaces. Have sealants applied to these surfaces of permanent molars soon after they come in to help seal out decay.

Don’t wait till it’s too late! Visit your child’s dentist regularly for preventative checkups and cleanings. Your dentist is trained to see hidden problems that you may not recognize. Prevention is key to having a healthy smile!