Archive for February 2014

How to Remember to Brush Your Teeth 2-3 Times a Day

Want to get better at brushing your teeth two or three times a day? Below is a list of several ways that you can get better at keeping your teeth clean and healthy.

Create an Alert on Your Phone

Image via Flickr by wellohorld

If you can’t get in the habit of a daily morning routine, setting an alarm to remind yourself when to brush your teeth can help you stay consistent. This can be especially useful if you are good at remembering to brush your teeth in the morning but not at night or vice versa. It can also be handy if you want to start brushing your teeth in the middle of the day but are having trouble finding a regular time.

Always Brush After Meals

If you are good at eating three regular meals a day, it shouldn’t be too hard to start a habit of brushing your teeth after each meal. Not only does this give you a guaranteed time to brush your teeth, it also makes sure you are brushing your teeth three times a day instead of just twice. And our Boise dentists recommend brushing after eating anyways to get rid of food that gets caught between teeth in addition to rinsing out any acidic or sugary foods that can speed up tooth decay.

Carry a Toothbrush with You

Make it convenient to brush your teeth whenever you want by keeping a travel toothbrush in your briefcase or purse. Need something even more convenient? Disposable toothbrushes come with toothpaste already added. They are also individually packaged so you can open the toothbrush, brush your teeth, and toss it away with absolutely no fuss.

Get an Electric Toothbrush

Hate how much work it takes to brush your teeth and still feel like they aren’t as clean as you’d like? Getting an electric toothbrush takes all the work out of brushing, and several electric brushes also have a timer that lets you know how long you should spend brushing. If you really want super clean teeth, a sonic electric toothbrush is pretty incredible.

How have you got in the habit of brushing regularly?

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Dental Check-Up: How Your Dental Care Compares with the Rest of America

Ever wonder how your dental habits compare with the rest of the country? Statistics from 2010 let us know how we are doing:

Women Take Better Care of Their Teeth than Men

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What may not be surprising is that women are slightly better and taking care of their teeth than men. For example, 28 percent of women brush their teeth after every meal compared to only 20 percent of men. Almost 90 percent of women have a dentist as well while less than 75 percent of men said they had one. Women were also more likely to brush their teeth twice a day.

50 Percent of People Brush Their Teeth Twice a Day

If you brush your teeth before or after breakfast and right before bed, you are in the better half of the population as far as dental health goes. Over 56 percent of woman said they brush their teeth twice a day, and men weren’t that far behind at 49 percent. Only fifty percent of Americans floss as well. That might also explain why roughly half of Americans also have gingivitis and how close to another third have untreated dental decay.

Over 70 percent of People Brush Their Teeth Before Bed

While only half of America brushes their teeth every day, almost three-quarters brush their teeth right before bed, according to another survey. Perhaps this means that evening is the easiest time to create a dental health routine. It is also one of the most important times to brush your teeth so that a bacterium doesn’t sit and replicate all night long on and around your teeth and gums.

Wondering how you can get into a better habit of regular brushing and flossing? We’ve got an article to help you out coming up next week!

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Why Do My Teeth Hurt After I Eat Cold or Hot Foods?

You’ve probably experienced this at some point: a glass of cold water or a cup of hot coffee brought some sharp pain to your teeth. It means your teeth are sensitive, and there are several reasons why that can be:

You are Losing Tooth Enamel

Image via Flickr by GGurpreet

One of the main reasons your teeth may be hurting is that you have worn down your tooth’s protective tooth enamel. This may have happened for several reasons, including…

You Grind Your Teeth

When you clench your teeth or grind your teeth while sleeping, you can put hours of strain on your jaw and teeth, wearing down on the enamel. Getting a good mouth guard will alleviate this pressure and help your teeth heal from the strain.

You Eat Too Many Acidic Foods and Drinks

Did you know that soda is incredibly corrosive? It can wear down on your teeth, especially if you aren’t brushing very often. And slowly sipping a soda can extend how long your teeth are exposed to the drink’s high acidity. Other acidic foods include lemons, oranges, and tomatoes (especially tomato-based sauces).

Your Gums are Receding

This is never a good sign and could mean that…

You’re Brushing Your Teeth Too Aggressively

Whether you are brushing your teeth in a hurry or overzealously scrubbing away plaque, over brushing can wear down on enamel and well as cause your gums to recede away, exposing the nerves that they usually protect. Your dentist will be able to tell by the shape of your gums and your tooth enamel if this is the case.

You’re Suffering from Gum Disease

If your gums are inflamed due to gingivitis or periodontitis, your gums may also recede. Your Boise dentist can help you set up a treatment plan to get your mouth in good shape, however.

These are just a few of the reasons your teeth are sensitive. Whatever the reason behind your sensitive teeth, you can help de-sensitize them by getting a special tooth brush that will help protect your teeth. If your teeth are very sensitive for more than three days, be sure to make an appointment with your dentist to see what is causing the problem.

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Are Gum Disease and Heart Disease Really Connected?

If you’ve been around our Boise dental office, you may have heard mention that gum disease and heart disease are connected. Here’s what the experts know:

There is a Connection

Image via Flickr by Skype Nomad

The jury is still out, but there is definitely a connection between gum disease, periodontal disease and heart health. According to a recent study of over 600 people in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, those with disease-causing bacteria in their mouth were more likely to have atherosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries that can cause a stroke. In fact, according to the Connecticut Department of Health, researchers have found that those with periodontal disease are nearly twice as likely to suffer from heart disease.

Bacteria Can Enter Your Bloodstream through Your Gums

Another thing dentists and doctors alike agree on is that bacteria can get into your blood through your gums, which should be motivation enough to brush your teeth. And while it is unclear whether this bacteria causes inflammation in your arteries or simply sticks to particles in your blood, there could be a link between the two.

Is Gum Disease a Sign of Heart Disease?

Another theory about the connection between gum disease and heart disease is that gum disease is a result of heart disease, and not the other way around. So if a Boise dentist tells you that you have gingivitis or periodontitis, be sure to take the steps you need to clear up the problems in your mouth, and also consider taking a trip over to the doctor to get your heart checked out, too.

So the answer is yes, there is a connection between gum health and heart disease, although no one understands what exactly that means. In the meantime, listen to your Boise dentist and doctor and do what you can to take care of both your gums and your heart.

Have you had gum disease or heart disease? Were the two connected in your case?

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