What is the “correct” way to brush my teeth?

April 26, 2012
  1. Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and gently brush teeth in a circular motion.
  2. Since your toothbrush will only clean one or two teeth at a time, change its position to properly clean each tooth.
  3. Gently brush the outer tooth surfaces, the inner tooth surfaces and the chewing surfaces of all your teeth.
  4. Use the tip of your brush to clean the inside surfaces of your front teeth using a gentle up-and-down stroke.
  5. Be sure not to brush your teeth too hard or use a hard bristled toothbrush, as this can cause your gums to recede and also wears down the tooth structure. These conditions can lead to tooth sensitivity.
  6. Last but not least, remember to brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.

 

Source: Michigan Dental Association

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Smile friendly Easter candy

March 28, 2012

Easter Bunny listen up!

Candies to avoid completely:

  • Hard candies like suckers, jaw breakers and Jolly Ranchers because they are in the mouth longer, exposing teeth to sugar over a longer period of time, which leads to decay.
  • Chewy candies such as jelly beans, fruit chews and gummy bears. They can weaken or pull out sealants and fillings.

Dentist approved treats:

  • Sugar-free gum
  • Chocolate bunnies (plain chocolate won’t stick to teeth like other candies)
  • Sugar-free candy
  • Toothbrushes (cartoon characters and bright colors or an electric toothbrush)
  • Stickers or temporary tattoos
  • Coloring books/crayons
  • Comic books/magazines
  • Lip balm

Tips to eliminate cavities:

  • Eat just a couple pieces a day
  • Brush and floss after eating candy

Surviving the holidays without cavities

November 22, 2011

The holidays are just around the corner, which means Thanksgiving and holiday parties full of sugary treats and candy. Try to avoid the sticky, chewy, hard and crunchy treats. Soft and sticky candies stick to the teeth, giving the decay-causing bacteria time to decay your teeth. Hard candies dissolve slowly in your mouth, coating your teeth with sugar for a long period of time. They can also chip your teeth and cause choking in younger children. Instead of sweets, donate fruit, cheese and crackers, veggies and dip, or bottled water (with fluoride) for your child’s class party. Drinking water after eating sugary sweets will help rinse sugar away.

The Michigan Dental Association offers the following healthy tips:

  • Serve a balanced meal before the festivities begin, so children won’t be tempted to fill up on candy before they get home.
  • Offer the holiday candy as a substitute for dessert after lunch and dinner, or a few pieces along with a healthy snack.
  • Mix in healthy snacks along with candy, like vegetables, yogurt or milk, which is good for dunking cookies and washing down sweets.
  • Model healthy habits to your children by practicing restraint when dipping into the candy jar yourself.
  • Remember that dessert can be part of a healthy diet. Moderation is the key.
  • Make sure your children brush and floss their teeth after enjoying holiday treats.