Common Myths About Dental Hygiene

By: Dr. Sharanya Srinivasa DMD, ParaDentalCare.info, (201) 864-4700

Myth #1: White teeth equal healthy teeth. Even though your teeth may be white, you can still have cavities on different surfaces of your teeth. These surfaces aren’t seen when you are smiling. For example, cavities can form in-between your teeth or on the gum line. You dentist may only be able to see these by x-ray. These cavities may be caused by plaque (food particles, bacteria and minerals) getting stuck in-between your teeth, gum line or the grooves on the chewing surfaces of your tooth.

Myth #2: Gum disease isn’t common. Gum disease is extremely common. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of adults age 30 and older suffer from some form of gum disease. Gum disease is called periodontal disease which in layman’s term means bone loss. You can have bone loss and not even know it. It can be diagnosed by dental xrays and a clinical exam by your dentist.

Myth #3: It is ok to drink soda as long as it doesn’t contain sugar. You may think that diet sodas without sugar are the way to go, however all sodas are extremely acidic. Acid weakens your enamel which puts you at risk for cavities. Here is a video of what happens if you leave a tooth in soda.

Myth #4: Brushing your teeth harder will clean them faster and better. Brushing your teeth hard will do more harm than good. Doing this can cause your gums to recede, and can also cause your teeth to be more sensitive. Brushing in a gentle circular motion is the ideal way to brush.

Myth #5: If your gums bleed, you should stop flossing. Bleeding gums can be a warning sign of gingivitis or  periodontal disease. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease.  If you notice your gums bleeding, you should see your dentist for an accurate diagnosis.

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Caring For Your Braces

By: Dr. Sharanya Srinivasa DMD, ParaDentalCare.info, (201) 864-4700

Braces not only straighten your teeth, but also correct your bite, crooked, crowded or spaced teeth. This helps maintain good oral hygiene. Food cannot easily get stuck between your teeth because they are aligned. However, while wearing braces you must take impeccable care of your teeth.

It is necessary to brush after everything you eat, and to floss 1-2 times per day. You must brush often while wearing braces to prevent getting food buildup around the brackets. This buildup will cause white spots on your teeth. The white spots are demineralized enamel. Colgate Booster Plus is a great toothpaste that your dentist can prescribe if you start getting white spots. If you cannot brush right after a meal, rinse your mouth with water making sure to wash away all food stuck in your teeth or braces. Be sure to perform a detailed cleaning before you sleep at night.

While you have braces on, you will need to avoid eating certain foods. You will mainly need to avoid sticky, hard or chewy food. Some examples: gum, candy, bagels, hard rolls, popcorn, caramels, corn on the cob (you can cut the kernels of the cob and eat them with a fork!), nuts, and ice.

It is important for children who play sports to wear a mouthguard. Custom mouth guards molded to your child’s mouth work best in protecting braces and teeth.

Make sure you make it to your dental appointments, which will be approximately every 4 to 8 weeks. However, be sure to call your dentist if you need immediate care.