Toothy Tidbits: Oral Hygiene Facts & Tips

Dentist Blog

Most people know that the most effective way to have healthy teeth and pleasant breath is to execute oral hygiene on a daily basis. A yearly trip to the dentist is another way to ensure that your teeth aren't pitted with cavities and other scary issues. A lot of what we know about oral hygiene came about by necessity, and other tips evolved due to increased knowledge and improved technology.

Interesting Facts About Oral Hygiene

Some little known facts about the history of oral hygiene include:

  1. Grooves were found in the teeth of prehistoric humans. This suggests that when prehistoric men and women had to deal with an annoying piece of food caught in their teeth, they may have removed it with a strand of hair from a horse or even a tiny twig from a nearby tree.
  2. Dr. Levi Spear Parmly was a dentist way back in 1815. He is credited with introducing the American public to the idea of using a strand of waxed silk thread to remove bits of food between the teeth.
  3. The economy of WWII resulted in creating plastic dental floss. Before that time, costly silk threads were the standard flossing tool.

Technique Versus Genetics

Every once in a while you may meet someone who proudly states that he or she has never had a cavity. You may wonder if proper technique is the key to a cavity-free mouth or if genetics play a part. Some interesting percentages include:

  1. More people – about 53 percent – floss their teeth before brushing them. However, in reality, it doesn't matter if you do this before or after cleaning your teeth. What is most important is that you floss daily. Picking a convenient time is one of the best ways to make this practice into a habit.
  2. About 97 percent of people will have a cavity at least once in their lifetime. The other lucky 3 percent have just the right combination of saliva flow, tooth morphology and composition.

Helpful Tips for Effective Oral Hygiene

A few tips that will help you make the most of daily brushing include:

  1. Many people put too much toothpaste on their toothbrush. An amount that is about the size of a pea is enough to do a thorough job.
  2. It is best not to rinse out your mouth after brushing. Spit out any excess toothpaste and then go on with your day. This ensures that the benefits of the fluoride and breath freshening ingredients last longer.
  3. Purchase a new toothbrush about four times a year, or when it starts looking worn. Always replace the toothbrush after you recover from an illness, such as a cold or strep throat. Bacteria can live in the bristles and reinfect you.
  4. Gargling with mouthwash and swishing the mixture through your teeth is an effective way to add extra freshening power to your mouth. It also helps dislodge any food particles that are stuck in between your teeth or in your gums.

A healthy mouth isn't the only benefit of taking appropriate care of your oral hygiene. A gorgeous smile and pleasant-smelling breath also give you a boost of self-confidence that will help you in many aspects of your life. Talk to a general dentist to learn more.


16 September 2015

Emergency Dental Care

The average dentist takes many client appointments each day and also deals with emergency situations on a regular basis. Dental emergencies are very common because people are likely to put off having tooth pain fixed until the pain becomes unbearable. Some people have anxiety about dental visits, and others are trying to avoid the expense of dental care. In either case, the end result is often a dental emergency. I have worked as a professional dental hygienist for many years and have seen all types of dental emergencies. I hope that this blog will help people identify potential emergencies before they become too serious and will allow people to know when to get help.