How to choose the right toothpaste

July 21, 2014

If you walk down the toothpaste aisle at the store and are completely overwhelmed, know you’re not alone. There is an array of varieties for consumers to choose from with different ingredients, flavors and purposes. So how do you choose? Take a look at the following tips to help narrow down which toothpaste is right for you.

Consider specialty toothpastes. Many types of toothpaste offer a specialty. Some are used to fight cavities, control tarter, strengthen or whiten your teeth. Others are available for individuals with sensitivity problems. Choose your toothpaste based on what you prefer and let me know if you have any questions!

Check out the ingredients. Most types of toothpaste contain fluoride, the most important ingredient in preventing tooth decay and cavity occurrences. Fluoride makes your tooth enamel stronger, preventing acidic damage from foods and drinks. Although many types of toothpaste and water contain fluoride, don’t use either as a replacement for dentist office visits.

Think about alternative choices. Because there is some scientific debate on the negative side effects that fluoride could have on your body, companies have created organic toothpastes, including Tom’s of Maine. Tom’s of Maine is an ADA approved toothpaste and has many benefits that non-organic toothpastes also provide.

For an all-inclusive list of ADA approved toothpaste, visit the American Dental Association’s website here,and make your next trip down the toothpaste aisle a simpler task.

 

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/tooth-enamel-erosion-restoration?page=2

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Tips for getting rid of bad breath

May 14, 2014
Suffer from bad breath? Dr. Baker is here to help.

Suffer from bad breath? Dr. Baker is here to help.

Bad breath can be embarrassing. It can get in the way of our professional and social lives. If you suffer from bad breath, you are not alone.

Here are some helpful tips from WebMD:

  1. Brush and floss more frequently. The prime cause of bad breath is plaque. It will build up on your teeth and in between teeth, making an ideal place for bacteria to grow. Brush at least twice a day, and floss at least once a day to prevent the buildup of plaque.
  2. Scrape your tongue. The coating that forms on your tongue can contain foul smelling bacteria. You can brush your tongue with a toothbrush or use a tongue scraper to clean it.
  3.  Avoid foods that sour your breath. Foods like onions and garlic are the worst offenders. They can make their way into your bloodstream and to your lungs where you breathe them out. It is best to avoid these foods before events when you want to be sure your breath is fresh.
  4. Kick the habit. Smoking will no doubt cause bad breath, as well as other oral health problems. You’ll notice a huge difference after you quit.
  5. Rinse your mouth. Using mouthwash will freshen your breath and help get rid of bacteria in your mouth. If you don’t have mouthwash handy, simply rinse with water after eating to remove food particles.
  6. Chew gum instead of mints. Sugary mints will only promote bacteria growth in the mouth. Gum (especially sugarless) stimulates saliva production, which is a natural defense against bacteria.
  7. Keep your gums healthy. Gum disease is a common cause of bad breath. Regular brushing and flossing will prevent gum disease and keep them healthy.
  8. Be aware of dry mouth. Lack of saliva promotes tooth decay and bad breath. If your mouth is feeling dry, drink some water or chew sugarless gum (or mints). Be sure to tell your dentist if you are experiencing persistent dry mouth.
  9. See your dentist. If your bad breath continues be sure to see your dentist. It could be a symptom of a medical condition such as a sinus infection, lung infection, liver or kidney disease.

‘Smile healthy’ holiday gift ideas for all ages

December 17, 2013

Here are some ideas for gifts and stocking stuffers that are not only fun, but will help protect the smile of a friend or family member:

‘Smile healthy’ stocking stuffers

  • Sugar-free gum or mints
  • Single-use toothbrushes, preloaded with toothpaste (Ex: Colgate Wisps)
  • Travel size dental floss, mouth rinses, toothpastes, toothbrush and toothbrush holder (can be packaged nicely in a travel bag too!
  • New toothbrushes (cartoon characters and bright colors are popular for children
  • New toothpaste and/or mouth rinses in fun flavors
  • Hourglass timer in fun colors for kids to time brushing
  • Tooth fairy pillow/box
  • Sports mouth guard (in team colors)
  • Zoom! Whitening pens
  • Electric toothbrush
  • A gift certificate for professional Zoom! teeth whitening

Another idea is to offer to pay for (or a portion of) a dental procedure your loved one has been putting off due to lack of funds or dental insurance.


Q&A: How do I know if a product is approved by the American Dental Association (ADA)?

May 13, 2013

Not all oral health products are approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). Be sure to look products with “ADA Accepted” on the packaging. ADA has approved products in several categories from toothbrushes and toothpastes, to tooth whitening bleaches and sugar free chewing gum. For a complete list of ADA accepted oral hygiene products visit, www.mouthhealthy.org/en/ada-seal-products. The ADA also provides names of water filters that will not filter out fluoride from the water supply.


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


Are you using the right toothpaste?

August 23, 2011

Choices, choices, choices! Some toothpastes provide whitening enhancement, some guard against sensitivity and some protect against the effects of acid wear, and the list gets longer.

Toothpastes don’t merely clean teeth anymore. Different types have special ingredients. Many adults have, or are at risk of having, some form of gingivitis. It is a benefit to use a toothpaste that contains fluoride plus an antibacterial ingredient. Some toothpastes can also fight germs for 12 hours.

Here are some tips on picking the right toothpaste:

  • Look for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal to see if that toothpaste meets your specific oral health needs.
  • If you have sensitive teeth, look for toothpaste without heavy abrasives. Try a desensitizing paste with either strontium chloride or potassium nitrate as an added ingredient.
  • Toothpaste with “tarter control” on the label won’t remove tarter, however studies have shown it will reduce tarter formation up to 36 percent.
  • Toothpaste with “baking soda” is less abrasive and will reduce sensitivity if you have gum recession or eroded teeth due to rigorous brushing with abrasive toothpaste.
  • If you’ve had your teeth whitened, try a whitening toothpaste, which helps maintain the tooth shade. Look for ingredients carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide.
  • Children under 3 are more likely to swallow toothpaste, so they should brush with a non fluoride toothpaste. Once they are able to spit, switch to a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Most toothpastes for children come in fruit and bubble mint flavors. Fruit flavor is most popular, while bubble mint can seem “too spicy” or “hot” for some kids.
  • Choose a toothpaste that tastes and feels best for you.
  • Or ask us at your next hygiene visit and we will help you make the right choice.