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Regarding Fluoride

 

Is fluoride natural?

Yes, fluoride is present in most water sources but often at levels that do not effectively prevent tooth decay. When water is fluoridated, the level is increased for the prevention of decay.

When should children begin using fluoride?

As soon as their first tooth appears. It should be gently brushed with a dab of fluoride toothpaste no larger than a size of a grain of rice. For children three to six years of age, increase the amount of toothpaste to the size of a pea and brush teeth thoroughly twice per day (morning and night). After that, squeeze out enough toothpaste to span the length of the bristles. Supervision of children’s brushing is suggested to minimize the swallowing of toothpaste.

Should adults use fluoride toothpaste?

Yes, fluoride helps strengthen the enamel to prevent cavities in both children and adults.

Proper Brushing and At-Home Hygiene

What kind of toothbrush should I choose?

The consensus among dentists is that a soft-bristled brush works best at removing plaque and leftover food particles from your teeth. A toothbrush with a small head can better reach all areas of the mouth, including your back teeth.

For many, especially those with arthritis or other conditions that affect small motor skills, an electric toothbrush is a good choice.

What is the proper tooth brushing technique?

When you brush your teeth, hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the edge of the gums. Gently brush back and forth in small strokes. Brush the outside of your teeth, then the inside, and finally the top or chewing surfaces.

Cavities, Gum Disease, and other Oral Health Concerns

Is some bleeding of the gums after brushing or flossing normal?

No, you should see your dentist at the first sign of blood after brushing or flossing. Bleeding of the gums is a sign of gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. If you are brushing or flossing too hard, your dentist will be able to tell and help you find a better technique or a softer brush. If your gums bleed during or after your dental care routine, make an appointment with your dentist to prevent gingivitis from progressing to periodontitis (advanced gum disease).

What causes bad breath?

While anyone can have bad breath in the morning, or get it from the foods they eat, bad breath can be a sign of an underlying disease.  If you or a loved one suffers from chronic halitosis, talk to your dentist about it.  If your mouth is deemed healthy after a thorough examination, your dentist may direct you to see your doctor, as diabetes, certain liver and kidney disorders, and infections of the sinuses or lungs may cause bad breath.

What causes dry mouth?

Dry mouth is not a disease but refers to a specific symptom of a medical condition, or a side effect of medications like antihistamines, decongestants, pain killers, diuretics and others.

Does a dry mouth leave you more vulnerable to cavities?

Yes, saliva is your mouth’s primary defense against tooth decay and any decrease can lead to a higher risk of cavities.

Does soda contribute more to tooth decay than fruit juice?

Sugar of any kind in food or drinks feed cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth and produce acids that wear away at the enamel.

Do pregnant women need to see their dentist?

Yes, changing hormone levels during pregnancy can exacerbate current dental problems. Decreasing calcium levels can also contribute to cavity development. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, see your dentist.

Is sugarless gum ok to chew?

Yes, chewing sugarless gum can activate the saliva in your mouth. Saliva helps flush out food particles from your teeth and gums, protecting against tooth decay. Always choose a sugarless gum that has earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

For more information on obtaining optimal dental health, feel free to contact our Cerritos practice and schedule an appointment.

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