Friday, April 18, 2014

Tough Brushing Tortures Teeth


Most dentists don’t go a day without seeing patients who are damaging their teeth and gums by brushing too hard. Some report that as many as two out of three patients brush their teeth too hard. This is a problem. A stiff-bristled toothbrush combined with overzealous brushing teeth can cause serious dental problems over time, including gum disease and tooth sensitivity.
 
People think that if they brush twice as hard, they will do twice as much good, In fact, overzealous brushing can cause significant damage to the periodontal tissues and bones that support the teeth. If you used the same amount of force and brush the side of your arm, you could take your skin off.
 
One way to avoid damaging your teeth and gums is to purchase a "soft" toothbrush featuring rounded bristles which are less abrasive to teeth. You should hold the brush between the thumb and forefinger, not with the fist. When brushing, do not `scrub' the teeth with a horizontal, back-and-forth motion.
 
Instead, start at the gum line and angle the brush at a 45-degree angle. Brush both the teeth and the gums at the same time. Push hard enough to get the bristles under the gum line but not so hard that the bristles flare out. It's also a wise move to limit the amount of toothpaste because it is abrasive.
 
The irony is that dentists want people to brush longer, not harder. Children and adults tend to spend less than one minute at a time brushing their teeth, even though removing plaque from the mouth requires at least two to five minutes of brushing at least twice a day. Remember: brush longer, not harder. 

For more information, or to schedule a cleaning, call your favorite Williamsburg dentist, Dr. James A. Burden, at (757) 941-7079!

Friday, April 11, 2014

6 Easy Ways to Prevent Cavities in Kids

Kids and cavities seem to go hand in hand. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 percent of children ages 2 through 5 have at least one dental cavity, compared to 24 percent a decade ago. Although 4 percent may not seem like a lot, that increase represents thousands and thousands of children and cavities -- as well as a trend in the opposite direction of the last 40 years, when tooth decay was on a gradual decline. So if you have children and cavities are a concern, here are six easy ways to reduce the risk:

1. Avoid giving your baby juice or formula at night. The sugar in juice and formula causes the bacteria in the mouth to produce the acids that cause baby bottle tooth decay. Use fluoridated water instead.

2. Choose low-fat foods from the basic food groups. Raw fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole-grain breads and low-fat dairy products are great for your child's overall health and their dental health!

3. If you must, give sweets only as a dessert. If your child must have sweets, limit it to dessert or following a main meal. Late-night snacking and frequent snacking are a major culprit of cavities in children.

4. Invest in a water filter. Instead of spending extra on bottled water, invest in a filter for your sink, or a filtered water pitcher. Fluoridated tap water is an excellent resource to help the battle between children and cavities.

5. Don't share cups or utensils. Cavities are contagious. So if you have them, you can pass them onto your child by sharing cups and utensils.

6. If you smoke, stop. The University of Rochester's Strong Children's Research Center has discovered a link between smoking, children and cavities. Results from a study show that children of parents who smoke are more likely to develop cavities.

For more information, or to schedule a cleaning, call your favorite Williamsburg dentist, Dr. James A. Burden, at (757) 941-7079!

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With over 20 years of creating smiles, we are proud to provide gentle, family-oriented dental care to the adults and children of our community. We are located in Williamsburg, just minutes from York county, Toano, Denbigh/Newport News and surrounding areas.