Sonic vibration brushes are great! When positioned close enough to plaque, the sonic vibrations will break up the plaque colony. The sonic vibrating bristles do not have to directly contact plaque, but should rather be very, very close. The added therapeutic benefit of a sonic brush is stimulation of the gum tissues. Healthy blood flow increases the availability of healing and reduces the swelling and unhealthy edema of the gum tissue. Only a sonic brush can stimulate the gum tissue so efficiently. The sonic vibration does the work, so “scrubbing” is not needed. Accurate positioning and allowing time for the sonic vibrations to effectively remove plaque and stimulate blood flow is all that is needed. Phillips Sonicare is the most well-known sonic brush and is available for purchase at our office, as well as pharmacies and discount stores.
SOFT BRISTLE TOOTHBRUSHES
A toothbrush with a small head is easier to position accurately in the mouth. Soft bristles conform to the irregular shapes of the teeth and gums without injuring the gums. Plaque is soft and comes off the teeth easily if contacted directly by the bristles of the brush. “Scrubbing” is not necessary and may damage the gums. A gentle flexing of the bristles will dislodge the plaque from the tooth surface.
Soft-Picks are easy to use between the teeth for on-the-go removal of dental plaque and food particles. Flexible bristles facilitate the cleaning of hard-to-reach areas where plaque builds up over time, which can cause inflammation, bleeding, and gingivitis. We have sample packs here in the office that we would be happy to share with you. Soft-Picks are also available for sale in the dental aisle of most pharmacies.
Xylitol is a naturally-occurring sugar that occurs in small amounts in many different foods such as berries, mushrooms, lettuce, hardwoods, and corn cobs. It has been used in foods since the 1960s. Xylitol has been found to reduce decay rates in both high- and low-risk dental patients. Xylitol reduces the number of plaque-causing bacteria in the mouth by making the plaque less sticky. It also reduces the acid-producing ability of plaque which is what allows plaque to form cavities. To receive the correct therapeutic dose of xylitol per day, you need to get 6 grams. There are several products that deliver xylitol to teeth. Mints and gum are some of the easiest ways to get xylitol. Xylitol needs to be listed as the primary ingredient which will give about one gram per piece. Xylitol-containing gums and mints can be found online or at many health food stores.
The Waterpik® is recommended as a supplement to tooth brushing. It helps remove bacteria and food particles from your teeth, around and beneath the gum tissue. It is not a substitution for brushing or flossing.
The Waterpik® should be used at least once a day, prior to brushing, after breakfast or dinner. Using your Waterpik® every time you eat is ideal, but we realize that during school or work, it may not be practical. Daily Waterpik® usage, prevents food particles from forming hardened plaques on teeth, which can only be removed by a dental professional. The Waterpik® has been proven to reduce oral bacteria and improve overall oral health.
How to use a Waterpik®
When you first begin using the Waterpik®, begin on the lowest pressure and slowly work up to moderate pressure. Aim the tip of the Waterpik® at a 90-degree angle to the tooth surface. Be sure the end of the Waterpik® is facing the junction where the gum meets the tooth. With each pass of the Waterpik®, contour the gumline of each tooth allowing the tip to pulse water, which removes plaque and debris. For your comfort, use warm water in the Waterpik® reservoir. Avoid using mouthwash or baking soda, as these can block the internal components of the Waterpik®. Feel free to ask us any questions you may have about the Waterpik®, when you call or come in for your appointment.