Airport Road Dental Associates - 3465 Airport Road, Portage, Indiana 46368 - (219) 763-2727

Posts for: October, 2019

Brushing your teeth is the best way to keep your teeth healthy and reduce the risk of ailments like cavities and gum disease. The idea of tooth brushing is pretty simple at its core, but actually, many patients do have a few lingering questions about this care. The following are some of the most common questions asked.

1. What Is the Best Toothpaste?

There is no single toothpaste that works best for everyone, and many great toothpastes on the market do a good job of cleaning your teeth and preventing decay. Don't worry too much about the brand, and instead, look for the ADA seal.

The ADA seal indicates that the American Dental Association has approved the toothpaste as being safe, effective, and free from sugar and other flavoring agents that might contribute to tooth decay. It also indicates that the toothpaste contains fluoride, which is an essential ingredient for strengthening tooth enamel and preventing cavities.

If you have sensitive teeth, look for a toothpaste designed to reduce sensitivity. Your dentist can prescribe a stronger one if the over-the-counter options are not helping enough. If you want whiter teeth, a whitening toothpaste that caries the ADA seal may help gently whiten your teeth. These toothpastes generally contain mild abrasives, so they're better at scrubbing stains from the surface of your teeth.

2. Should You Brush Before or After Breakfast?

Although instinct may tell you that you should brush your teeth immediately after eating, you're actually better off brushing as soon as you wake up — and then eating breakfast. If you brush too soon after eating anything acidic or sugary, the abrasive action of brushing may actually do more damage to your tooth enamel.

By brushing immediately upon waking, you're removing bacteria and acids that accumulated on your teeth overnight. After you eat, rinse your mouth well with water or mouthwash to remove food particles and sugar.

3. How Long Do You Need to Brush?

Many people rush through brushing their teeth, and as a result, they miss spots and leave plaque in some areas. When you rush, you're also more likely to brush too hard, which can cause enamel damage and tooth sensitivity.

Brushing for two minutes twice per day is sufficient, but if you can manage to spend three minutes brushing your teeth, that's even better. Focus on spending at least 30 seconds on each quadrant of your mouth so you can be sure all of your teeth get equal attention. Setting a timer to buzz every 30 seconds, reminding you to move onto the next quadrant, can help you develop better brushing habits if you tend to rush.

If you tend to apply too much pressure when brushing, another tip is to brush with your nondominant hand. You'll automatically brush more gently.

4. Why Do Your Teeth Hurt After Brushing?

Sometimes patients avoid brushing their teeth because of pain experienced after brushing. Your teeth should not hurt after brushing. This is a sign that something is wrong — either with your teeth, your gums, or your brushing technique.

If your teeth are sensitive after brushing, this could indicate tooth decay, weak enamel, or gum disease. If your gums are sore, this is also an indicator of gum disease, which is an infection of the gum tissue.

Have your dentist take a look at your teeth and gums to see what is amiss. If everything looks normal, you are probably just using too stiff of a toothbrush. Switch to a soft-bristled brush, and be gentler when brushing; the pain should subside.

Hopefully you now know a little more about brushing your teeth. If you have any further questions or would like to schedule a professional cleaning appointment, contact Airport Road Dental Associates, PC.

 


Is your child about to lose their first tooth? If your child is in kindergarten or early elementary school, chances are a few of their baby teeth are loose and ready to fall out. Take a look at the top questions that parents often have about childhood tooth loss.

Which Teeth Fall Out First?

Like every other physical milestone your child goes through, tooth loss also happens in a regular pattern. For most children, the front bottom teeth are the first to go. The top front teeth typically follow behind closely.

Not only will your child lose their teeth in a regular pattern, but the new ones will typically erupt in the same way. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the permanent lower central incisors (bottom front) break through the gums around six to seven years of age and the top incisors come in from seven to eight years.

Should a Child Pull a Loose Tooth Out?

Your child's wiggly tooth looks like it's about to fall out. Should you grab it, twist, or pull? Before you pull:

  • Test the tooth. According to the ADA, you can gently squeeze a tooth that's about to fall out (place a tissue around the tooth first) — if it bothers your child. Never attempt to pull a tooth that isn't ready to fall out or causes your child pain.
  • Talk to the dentist. If you're in doubt, consult the professional first. The dentist can help you to determine what the next step is or provide information about your child's individual dental needs.
  • Put the string away. Never tie a string around your child's tooth and pull. The same goes for any other potentially traumatic or painful method.
  • Wash your hands. Even if you use a tissue wrapped around the tooth to pull it out, you still need clean hands too. This reduces the risk of infection.

If your child is apprehensive or anxious about their loose tooth, don't attempt to remove it yourself — even if the tooth is about to fall out. 

What Happens If the Gums Bleed?

Whether your child's tooth falls out naturally or they wiggle it out themselves, you may notice some blood around the gums. A small amount of bleeding is normal. If your child's gums gush, the bleeding persists, or they have unexplained pain, contact the dentist as soon as possible.

Comfort your child, and use a clean piece of gauze or towel to stop the flow from their gums. Ask your child to bite down on the gauze or towel gently until the bleeding stops.

What Happens If the Child Swallows the Tooth?

Whether the tooth fell out mid-meal or your child just couldn't catch it in time, some kids accidentally swallow their own baby teeth. In most cases, this won't cause a serious problem. Again, if in doubt, contact the dentist immediately.

How Much Money Should the Tooth Fairy Leave?

This is often the most important question for your child. The answer depends on your beliefs, values, and financial situation.

While the going Tooth Fairy rate was probably close to a quarter when you were young, your child likely expects more. Many parents choose to leave more money for the first lost tooth or if the lost tooth has a special circumstance.

According to the Original Tooth Fairy Poll, in 2018 the average payout was $3.70 per tooth. Even though this is the national average, you can choose another amount or to give something else entirely. The Tooth Fairy can leave behind a gift or even a sweet note.

Does your child need a check-up or cleaning? Contact Airport Road Dental Associates, PC, for more information.