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Top 3 Dental hacks for the Proactive Patient

Dental hacks

Dental hack 1: Use a Water Flosser

To start our list of dental hacks, we have to first address and explain many of our patient's problems. Many patients always ask why do I need to floss...I already brush my teeth! Many patients complain that their gums bleed, especially when they brush. It is an uncomfortable sight to see blood coming out of your mouth, but it's one that many people see. The reason we bleed from our mouth is because of unhealthy gums (Gingivitis).

But flossing and brushing do two entirely different things and prevent two entirely different diseases. Brushing prevents decay or also known as dental caries. Flossing prevents gum and bone disease also known as Gingivitis (infection of the gums) and Periodontitis (infection of the bone holding teeth).

When you have food, plaque and saliva, it hardens on teeth. We call this hard mass Tartar or Calculus. When the Tartar hardens it infects your gum and your bone.

  • When your gums are infected it leads to gum recession or the dropping of the gums, exposing the root surface. This causes:
    • An unaesthetic look with receded gums.
    • It also causes root sensitivity.

Gum Recession - Brisbane Smiles

  • More importantly, when the bone is infected the bone drops, which leads to less foundation for the tooth. Eventually, the reduction in foundation holding the tooth firm leads to the teeth becoming wobbly and eventually falling out.

 

Well, how do I prevent Gum and Bone Disease?!

Well here is where the tried and tested request of flossing comes from. When you floss you slow the hardening of the plaque and food, and in turn prevent the formation of tartar. When tartar does not form, you don't get the infection of the gums and the bone. When the gums and the bone are not infected, the gums stay where they should and the tooth doesn't become wobbly or fall out.

But flossing is difficult and it is very easy to traumatise the gums when not flossing correctly. This can actually cause more damage than good. This is why we need an effective way of remove food, plaque and saliva from Harding. This is where Water Flossers become very useful. When you normally come in for your cleans, your dentist removes any tartar that has built up with an instrument that vibrates quickly and shoots water to flush the gums and remove any plaque or debris. A Water Flosser is a home-use option to flush the gums and prevent any plaque or debris build-up, thus slowing down any tartar formation just like floss does. Unfortunately, both the floss and Waterpik can't remove tartar once it has formed, but both are critical in slowing its formation before it is removed during a professional clean by the dentist.

Dental Hack: But why is using a Water Flosser over floss so much of a dental hack?

Here are the pros and cons of using a Water Flosser

Pros

  • One-off cost. No repeat buys for Floss. Floss can be expensive when you are buying a new floss roll every month. A Water Flosser is a one-off cost, but no continued costs.
  • More effective than floss. The water adapts and bends to the gum contour and flushes any debris out. Floss just disturbs the plaque and removes minimal in comparison.
  • Easier to use in all places, especially hard to reach areas.
  • Less likely to traumatise the gums, with the force of irrigation able to be reduced and increased depending on patient sensitivity.
  • More deep clean. Water from the Water Flosser can engage the gums deeper than floss can.
  • One Water Flosser can be used for the entire family.

Cons

  • Initial cost being higher.

Gum and bone disease is a lifestyle disease. It is comparable to a heart attack. Both don't happen overnight, over a few weeks or a few months. It is the years of neglect that really show the effects. Just like with heart disease, doctors recommend having a good diet and 30 minutes of exercise a day, dentist also recommends using the Waterpik daily and come in for 6 monthly cleans.

Most people experience gum and bone disease as early as the late thirties. Unlike a heart attack, where starting a good diet and exercise routine reverses the risks elements of a heart attack- once the damage is done in the gum and bone disease, you can't reverse those effects. You cannot reverse the lost gum and bone once it has occurred. This is why dentists always stress the 6 monthly cleans to prevent the irreversible state some people find themselves in.

Book today and get your gum and bone health back!

 

Book a Check-up and Clean with our Merrylands Dentists

Dental hack 2: Spit No Rinse

Dental hacks that can save you money are exactly what you are looking for, so let's explain how!

Dental decay, known as dental caries, can be debilitating. It can cause severe pain and sleepless nights. Most people know to brush their teeth to prevent this, but they don't actually know how it happens.

How does dental decay happen?

Inside your mouth, there is food (Carbohydrates) and bacteria. When bacteria eat the food, they produce acids. These acids form a hole in your tooth and that is known as dental decay. It's really simple.

Now, why do Dentists say "No sugar". Well, sugars are just very simple carbohydrates, and bacteria LOVE sugar. They eat through that much faster than more complex carbohydrates and therefore produce more acids when eating sugars.

How do I stop dental decay?

Well if there are only 2 components, food and bacteria, then we just need to get rid of one! Now we can't get rid of all the bacteria, as we need them for other functions and also it would be quite difficult. But we can definitely get rid of the food. This is where effective and careful tooth brushing comes into handy. If you brush really well then you can prevent many of the acids produced by bacteria, damaging the tooth!

One other way is to make your tooth more resistant to decay/acids. The government spends millions of dollars to fluoridate our water for one reason only. It makes kids and adult teeth more acid-resistant. In fact, when fluoride imbues into the tooth, it makes teeth 10 times more acid-resistant/decay-resistant.

Dental Hack: How do I make my teeth more acid-resistant/Decay resistant?!

There are a number of ways to make your teeth more acid-resistant and decay-resistant using fluoride.

  1. Use tap water that is fluoridated already and let that form a more acid-resistant tooth.
  2. When your dentist offers fluoride treatments after a 6 monthly clean, make sure you always get this done. The high dose fluoride will form a protective shield layer that breaks down over time and releases the fluoride into the tooth.
  3. After Brushing...Spit the toothpaste out...and don't rinse! I know it sounds weird and funny, but it is the most effective method. When you go to the dentist during your cleans, you get a high dosage of fluoride (comparatively) for a short period of time, only every 6 months. Some fluoride imbues into the tooth, but most of that is spat out afterwards. What is actually more effective, is low does fluoride repeated over long periods of time. Now surprisingly, fluoride is in most toothpaste for this exact reason. The fluoride in toothpaste, when left on the tooth overnight (or longer than 30mins) really does strengthen teeth and makes them 10 times more acid/decay-resistant. That isn't an exaggeration, it genuinely makes teeth 10 TIMES more resistant to decay, which means you are 10 TIMES less likely to need a filling. So for yourself and your kids, next time please teach them the correct way to brush. After brushing, just spit but do not rinse. Allow that fluoride to really do its thing and make your teeth strong. Save yourselves the headache of tooth decay in the future by taking care today!

 

Book online today and make sure we can help you identify and fix andy dental decay!

 

 

 

Book a Check-up with our Merrylands Dentists, and make sure there are no cavities forming!

Dental hack 3: Best type of toothbrush

Here is a dental hack that will prevent tooth sensitivity every time you have something cold!

There is a common question about dental brushes. Soft bristles or hard bristles, electric toothbrush or mechanical (regular toothbrush) and sonic bristles or rotary bristles, and any recommendation. There are quite a number of choices and each one has its own impacts. Don't worry there is actually a clear winner on which to pick!

Dental Hack: Sweat the main stuff!

Let's talk about each option comparison.

  • Soft vs Hard bristles
    • Never go hard bristles. Simple as that. Never a use case for that.
    • Think of your teeth like a wall and the soft bristles like fine sandpaper and the hard bristles like coarse sandpaper. If you repeatedly scrub the same area in the wall for 50 years twice a day for 2 minutes, the coarse hard sandpaper will form a hole in the wall. The soft sandpaper will just smooth the area. It's the same thing with teeth, where the hard bristles scrub off the enamel and the soft bristles just do enough to remove plaque but never enamel. The same goes with putting too much force when brushing, you will end up removing too much enamel.
    • Soft bristles are the way to go!
  • Electric vs Mechanical (normal toothbrushes)
    • Electric and mechanical toothbrushes can do the exact same thing in theory. They both can scrub away and plaque or food in nooks and crannies in your mouth. So why go electric? While both can do the same thing as a tool, the user needs to find it easy and efficient to use.
      • Electric toothbrushes remove the thought process of scrubbing, which means you can concentrate on actually getting all the spots in your mouth and not missing any. You can drag the brush around your mouth and make sure the rotating bristles do all the work!
      • Electric toothbrush heads are smaller and can fit all the way at the back of your mouth where it's hard to reach due to a lack of space!
      • Electric toothbrushes rotate faster than the human hand can scrub, which means the cleans are more efficient, shorter and usually more thorough|!
      • Electric toothbrushes have a pressure sensor so you don't end up scrubbing off all the enamel on your tooth. This prevents any potential sensitivity that may have occurred! As mentioned above, hard bristles or too much hand pressure can lead to root exposure, dentine exposure and high grades of sensitivity. By using control force, ensured by the electric toothbrush, we can prevent any potential sensitivity!
    • The electric toothbrush is the way to go!
  • Sonic or rotary
    • Some brushes use vibrations to clean teeth, while others use a rotating head on the toothbrush. Now you have to understand what the purpose of brushing is. The main reason is to remove food! If you cause vibrations on the bristles that won't remove food. A rotating head with bristles can sweep the food out for the nooks and crannies and then outside your mouth.
    • Rotary is the way to go!

The best kind of brush is an electric toothbrush with a soft rotating head!