It’s that time of year again, time for Spring cleaning. You’ve got your checklist: have the carpets cleaned, dust the ceiling fans, clean the patio furniture, take an inventory of your dental cleaning routine… Wait, what was that last one??
Yes, annual spring cleaning rituals should also include taking inventory of teeth cleaning routines, according to experts at the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). The following are a few simple habits dentists, including myself, recommend that adults do each day to keep oral hygiene in top shape.
Use an Electric Toothbrush
At more than 30,000 strokes per minute compared to the average of 100 strokes per minute with a manual toothbrush, electric toothbrushes work harder by pushing fluid between teeth and around the gum line, which provides a more effective cleaning.
Dr. Kellee Kattleman Stanton, a Minnesota cosmetic dentist and Sustaining Member of the AACD says, “Regardless of whether or not you have cavities, using an electric toothbrush over time prevents gum inflammation, gingivitis and periodontal disease.”
Floss at Night
The CDC reports that nearly 65 million Americans—one out every two adults ages 30 and older—have gum disease. Therefore, flossing once a day is crucial to avoid plaque and tartar, a hard mineral deposit that can cause gums to become swollen and inflamed, leading to gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease.
“My recommendation is to floss at night,” says Ronald M. Goodlin, DDS, past president, AACD. “During sleep cycles, less saliva is produced to naturally clean teeth and gums, so oral bacteria are free to do more damage. Therefore, it’s important to brush, floss and scrape your tongue every night to get rid of bacteria and go to bed with your mouth as clean as possible.”
Select the Right Toothpaste
Dr. Jack Ringer, immediate past president of AACD who practices cosmetic dentistry in Anaheim, Calif., cautions his patients to be skeptical of any toothpaste that promises to “whiten” teeth. The reality is that removal of surface stains by a toothpaste will make the tooth “look” lighter but not change its inherent color. To lighten or “bleach” teeth, schedule a professional in-office whitening treatment or use over-the-counter name brand bleaching products that work on the internal aspect of the tooth, not just the external aspect as a toothpaste does.
Eat Foods Good for Healthy Teeth
Research studies show that certain foods naturally cleanse your teeth while you eat them. The AACD developed nine nutritious recipes from breakfast to dinner using these key ingredients:
- Fruits like strawberries and pineapple are high in fiber and vitamin C. The citric acid in pineapple also provides an all-natural bacteria-fighting mouthwash.
- Veggies like Kale and broccoli are high in minerals that strengthen tooth structure and prevent enamel erosion (or yellowing).
- Onions and wasabi, a type of Japanese horse radish, both contain compounds that reduce oral bacteria.
- Quinoa has minerals including Calcium, Magnesium and Phosphorus to strengthen teeth.
Your Fountains Dental Excellence Team would like to wish you all a wonderful and mouth healthy Spring. Enjoy the season and all that is has to offer.