Tooth Brushing Mistakes You Make Every Day

  1. worn and new toothbrushesYou don’t clean at the right time of day
    If you were to only brush once a day when would be the best time? Night time of course! When you are sleeping is the longest period of the day when you are not eating, and therefore, feeding the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. As I speak to people every day, another mistake I encounter is that many people brush upon arising in the morning before breakfast. It’s OK to freshen your breath in the morning but remember to brush after you eat. After all, you wouldn’t take a shower before exercising at the gym and not after!
  2. You use the wrong brush
    Anything other than a soft brush has the potential to harm not only the teeth but the gums as well. Plaque is soft and can be removed easily. Remember, it’s not how hard you brush, it’s how thoroughly you brush. Always use a soft brush.
  3. You ignore the rest of your mouth
    Your tongue harbors food and bacteria in the tiny crevices between the “papillae” on the back of the tongue. Use a tongue scraper or your brush to get rid of these harmful bacteria. (It can improve your breath as well!)
  4. Not using proper technique
    Believe it or not, I was in dental practice for 2 years before I learned how to floss properly! Many people never really learned how to brush properly either and many dental professionals are guilty of paying “lip service” to proper oral hygiene without actually showing their patients how to do it properly. Always check with us if you have any doubts. Never “scrub” and don’t apply too much pressure.
  5. Not brushing long enough
    The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day for 2 minutes each time. Two minutes is a long time if you’re watching the clock! That’s one reason why I’m a fan of electric toothbrushes is that they operate on a timer for 2 minutes so you don’t have to think about it.
  6. You don’t replace your brush
    You should probably replace your brush every 3-4 months, more frequently if the bristles become worn. Worn bristles won’t effectively remove plaque and bacteria. And don’t forget to replace your brush immediately if you’ve been sick! Bacteria and viruses from an illness can reside in the bristles and potentially re-infect you.

Happy Brushing!  As always, my staff and I are always available to address any concerns you have about the proper way to brush. Don’t hesitate ask us the next time you visit our office Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA , or feel free to contact us at 215-230-7667.

The Dangers of Do It Yourself Dentistry!

indian cornRecently there have been several reports in the news and posts on social media about how to perform “do it yourself” dental procedures. These are, at a minimum, problematic trends which can lead to serious consequences.

Among these are:

  1. Charcoal Teeth WhiteningI don’t know where this came from, but using charcoal or anything other than ADA approved products to whiten teeth can permanently damage tooth structure. Even using readily available over-the-counter tooth whitening products, without the supervision of a dentist, can be problematic. It’s not hard to wind up with a smile that looks like a row of  “Indian Corn” if you don’t know what you’re doing!
  2. Do It Yourself OrthodonticsReports of people using rubber bands to straighten crooked teeth is especially troubling. Rubber bands can work themselves under the gum causing inflammation and bone loss. Not only is this ineffective but
    extremely dangerous. It’s not uncommon to lose teeth with this technique. You should never try to straighten teeth without professional supervision!

    This brings me to another new and marginally legal technique

  3. Unsupervised “Mail Order” OrthodonticsThere are offices opening up in cities around the country that will either digitally “scan” your mouth or send you “One Size Fits All” impression trays so that you may take your own impressions at home, mail them in, and have the company send you aligners that will purportedly straighten your teeth. All this without ever being evaluated by an orthodontist let alone a general dentist. In my humble opinion, based on 43 years of knowledge, skill and experience, attempting to accomplish any of this without the supervision of a trained professional is sheer folly. Such an attempt would be in the same vein as “any attorney who represents himself has a fool for a client.” Anyone who attempts to do their own dentistry may as well do their own brain surgery as well!

As always, my staff and I are always available to address any concerns you have about dental procedures and how they can impact you and your family. Don’t hesitate ask us the next time you visit our office Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA , or feel free to contact us at 215-230-7667.