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Oral Hygiene Holly Springs NC

5 Top Benefits of Using Fluoride Treatments

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5 Top Benefits of Using Fluoride Treatments

We all know how important fluoride treatments are for children. However, did you know that fluoride usage for adults is just as important?

It’s never too late to start practicing a healthy oral hygiene routine for your teeth. Even adults should use fluoride to experience the amazing positive effects it has on our teeth.   There are 5 clear benefits of fluoride treatments that all ages can appreciate.

   1. Protects Your Enamel

One of the most well-known benefits of fluoride treatments is its ability to protect a tooth’s enamel. Drinking liquids that contain high amounts of acid can cause the enamel on your teeth to break down. When the enamel deteriorates, your teeth become much more sensitive to normal activities such as drinking warm, hot, or cold liquids. Drinks containing high amounts of acid include lemon juice or lemonade, tomato juice, grape juice, orange juice, apple juice, and many other fruit juices. Unfortunately, extremely sensitive teeth can cause an unpleasant sensation at any moment. Brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste and receiving fluoride treatments at the dental office reduces the amount of sensitivity your teeth experience. Fluoride helps protect the teeth and enamel against these acids and the bacteria that cause them. Specifically, fluoride protects the enamel from being broken down, reducing teeth sensitivity

   2. Puts Minerals Back In Your Teeth

Acid does more damage to your teeth than simply breaking down the enamel. It also breaks down the structure of your teeth by destroying the minerals that make up your teeth. Minerals, like calcium and phosphorous, are vital to the health of your teeth. When acid breaks down the enamel, it causes your teeth to become weak and damaged. The loss of calcium and phosphorous in your teeth can have dire consequences.

Fluoride reverses the damage by adding those vital minerals back into your teeth. This process, known as remineralization, ultimately helps rebuild damaged teeth. Remineralization is essential to maintaining healthy, strong teeth!

   3. Helps Prevent Cavities and Tooth Decay

Bacteria is present in everyone’s mouth. When sugars and starches are consumed, they enable the bacteria to produce an acid which breaks down the enamel. This process is extremely harmful to your teeth and when it’s not combatted with fluoride treatments, the acid begins to decay your teeth. Fluoride is always the best treatment when battling tooth decay or cavities.

When receiving fluoride treatments and using fluoride toothpaste at home, you’re much less likely to experience cavities or tooth decay. It’s important to remember that tooth decay and cavities don’t only affect children, but they are common challenges for adults as well.  With this in mind, you should make it a priority to get fluoride treatments routinely as part of prevention. Fluoride can also be found in community water systems. Drinking this water can be beneficial for all members of the family.

   4. Saves You Money Down the Road

It’s no secret that dental procedures can be costly. The best way to save money in the long run is to stay up to date with your fluoride treatment. There are topical and systemic fluorides.

Topical fluorides are applied directly onto your teeth’s enamel. This can be completed with fluoride toothpaste, mouthwash, and treatments offered within the dental office. Many dentists apply a fluoride treatment onto the teeth during a routine cleaning.

Systemic fluorides are fluorides that are swallowed. This type of treatment can be completed by drinking fluoride water in communities that have a fluoride water system. Systemic fluorides are also provided in the form of dietary fluoride supplements.

The use of both fluoride treatments is the best way to ensure healthy teeth and prevent expensive dental procedures.

   5. Provides A Natural Preventative

A final significant benefit of fluoride is that it serves as a natural preventative for your teeth. Fluoride is a naturally occurring substance found in both the oceans and the groundwater. By using water fluoridation, we’re able to adjust the levels of fluoride in our drinking water to the recommended level for preventing tooth decay and cavities.

It’s a natural and effective way to prevent possible damage to our teeth. The next time you visit the dentist, it’s wise to ask about receiving fluoride treatments as a means of prevention for your teeth.

Why You Need Fluoride Treatments for Your Adult Teeth

For all of the reasons children require fluoride treatments, adults need them as well. Even when our adult teeth are healthy and strong, it’s still important to have routine fluoride treatments. Over time, different liquids and solids that we consume build up an acid that ultimately breaks down our teeth, starting with the enamel.  Once the acid penetrates the enamel, it can start to break down crucial minerals needed in our teeth. Fluoride is the best way to ensure strong, healthy teeth and it’s a great way to rebuild the enamel or minerals that may have already been lost.

If you or your family members haven’t used fluoride on your teeth yet, then it’s time to start considering it. For more ways on how to keep a healthy and bright smile, browse through our website or contact our office to setup a consultation!

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How Often Should You Change Your Toothbrush

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How Often Should You Change Your Toothbrush

Most people are surprised to learn that the average toothbrush contains over 700 kinds of bacteria. Fungi, viruses, and tiny microorganisms sit on the bristles of toothbrushes around the world, establishing a foundation for diseases to form.

If the thought of bacteria dwelling on the toothbrush you routinely place in your mouth doesn’t peak your curiosity about changing your oral hygiene habits, think about the poor physical condition of your toothbrush.  Over time, the bristles on your brush become fanned out and spread apart.

Keeping the threat of oral bacteria and the physical appearance of your toothbrush in mind, the important question is how often should you change your toothbrush?

Where Are the Bacteria on Your Toothbrush Coming From?

The number one source of bacteria on your toothbrush is your mouth. You routinely use your brush to clean the plaque, food, and odor-causing germs from your mouth. Considering the fact that most people don’t use soap or bleach on their brush after using it (which we definitely don’t recommend), there are certainly going to be some bacteria present on your toothbrush.

It’s also important to consider where you store your toothbrush. Many people frequently store their toothbrush too close to the sink, or even the toilet. Brushes placed too close to either of these bathroom fixtures are at risk of attracting some extra unwanted microorganisms.

Lastly, it is important to remember that how you store your toothbrush matters.  Placing your brush in unwashed containers and holders can also facilitate the growth of bacteria. 

When Should You Change Your Toothbrush?

Despite the presence of bacteria on toothbrushes, the solution here is not to brush your teeth less! That would certainly lead to a variety of other harmful dental conditions. The solution is to regularly replace your toothbrush.

Between the American Dental Association (ADA) and many licensed dental professionals, it is recommended you change your toothbrush every three to four months.  Within this time frame, the bristles usually become severely worn and are much less effective. It should be noted that most dental professionals have a general rule that trumps this timeline. If you have recently been sick with an infection or virus, dental providers recommend you change your toothbrush right away.

Children may actually require a toothbrush replacement sooner than adults. Kids usually brush their teeth more rigorously than their grown counterparts, so the wear and tear on their brushes may be more evident before the three month mark.

If you happen to be wondering if it matters whether a toothbrush is manual or electric, the answer is no. Bristles are bristles, and it is strongly suggested you change your brush (or toothbrush head) every three to four months. 

Caring for Your Toothbrush

While the average person doesn’t feel a toothbrush requires special care and attention, dental professionals are quick to point out that it is important to follow some important steps:

Rinse

For starters, after you use your toothbrush it’s important you rinse it off thoroughly with tap water. Rinsing helps wash away any remaining toothpaste, food, and saliva that may still be present on your brush.    

Store in a Dry Place

After you’ve finished rinsing your toothbrush with tap water, it’s imperative to store it in a vertical position to air dry the brush. The key word here is “air dry”.  It’s important to make sure your toothbrush is completely dry every time you use it.

If you’re accustomed to placing your toothbrush in a closed container after use, it’s time you break that habit.  This helps prevent the bacteria buildup that is present in a storage container like that.  In fact, it’s best not to even keep your toothbrush in a closed container for traveling purposes. Instead, think about purchasing disposable brushes when traveling away from home. 

Be Careful Where You Keep It

As previously mentioned, many bacteria access your toothbrush based on its proximity to the toilet or sink.  Splashing water from either one of those sources can result in unwanted germs transferring onto your brush. Therefore, you should find an appropriate place to store your brush where it can remain away from this type of water.

Additionally, it’s best not to store your toothbrush in a place where it’s consistently touching the brushes of your family members. You certainly don’t want additional bacteria from your family members adding to your own. In fact, you should always remember that your toothbrush is yours alone. It’s never a smart idea to share a toothbrush with another person. 

Keep a Spare or Two

As you surf the internet or make trips to the store, it’s wise to purchase some extra toothbrushes or toothbrush heads. It’s important to have these extra brushes around the house during those times when you are faced with unexpected challenges (I.e. you get sick, you drop your brush in the toilet, or your young kids get a hold of your brush). 

Going Forward

It’s been said that when people know better, they tend to do better. Now that you know you should be changing your toothbrush every three to four months, you shouldn’t rely on your next dental appointment to make an upgrade. Since you’re aware of the importance of keeping your brush in a dry and secure place, you’ll be careful not to lay your brush down an inch away from the bathroom sink. 

If you have additional questions about when you should change your toothbrush or oral hygiene routine, be sure to contact our Holly Springs dental office!

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