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Brushing Between Meals: Can Food Ruin Your Teeth?

There are certain oral health rules we’ve all learned as children: Brush well in the morning and before bed, rinse, floss and visit the dentist. But doing that is not enough. Depending how frequently you’re eating throughout the day and the kind of foods you’re eating, you might need to add additional brushings to this routine to avoid oral health issues.

Here are other points to consider when it comes to brushing your teeth between meals.

How Brushing Your Teeth Helps

Brushing your teeth regularly with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste helps prevent tooth decay, reduces plaque build-up and can even prevent gingivitis. Not to mention it freshens breath and is key to general personal hygiene. If you’ve ever eaten a food with lots of garlic and flavor, then you know how terrible having lingering tastes in your mouth feels. Brushing your teeth is a great way to alleviate this.

Why Food Remnants Are Dangerous

As side from hygienic practices, brushing your teeth after meals can help stop decay from bacteria foods leave behind. One of the largest culprits, sugars and carbs, can attack the enamel on your teeth in just twenty minutes. So brushing your teeth after eating them makes sense. However there are even greater dangers to your teeth if you apply this tactic after eating acidic foods.

Studies have shown that brushing your teeth after you eat an orange for example or anything that contains citric acid, can erode the enamel on your teeth. Up to 30 min after eating the food your teeth are at risk or being damaged if you brush them.

Finding a Better Routine

To avoid all of these issues you should opt for healthy, clean foods that are low in sugar, carbs and acid when possible and always floss to remove foods that may become trapped between the teeth.

You should also plan your brushing schedule around the foods you know you’ll be eating. Plan to brush your teeth either prior to eating acidic foods or use only water to rinse your mouth as a way to still remove dangerous food particles away from in-between the teeth and within in 20 minutes of eating bacteria causing foods.

Getting a dental cleaning is a preventive measure on your part to avoid dental problems that result from deposits on your teeth that cannot be removed by regular brushing and flossing.

If you’re in the Wallingford area and in need of a dentist, David L. Fried D.M.D. has been delivering comprehensive care to the CT area for over 30 years. Contact Fried Dentistry to schedule an appointment to finally get the dental care you need.

What to Do If You Have Bad Breath That Won’t Go Away

Bad breath, or halitosis, can be unpleasant and embarrassing. It can have many causes, including eating certain foods, poor oral hygiene, dental appliances, and medical conditions. In many cases, doing a better job of brushing and flossing can help, but sometimes you need to take extra steps to deal with the problem.

Possible Causes of Bad Breath

Bad breath is often caused by eating certain foods with strong odors, such as onions and garlic. Food begins to be broken down in the mouth. Brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash can mask the odor temporarily, but the food will need to pass through the body before the smell will go away completely.

Poor oral hygiene can also contribute to halitosis. Not brushing and flossing well can leave food particles in the mouth. Bacteria can grow on the teeth, gums, and tongue and cause bad breath. Using an antibacterial mouth rinse can help.

Dental appliances can become breeding grounds for bacteria. Not thoroughly cleaning dental appliances can lead to bad breath. Dentures need to be cleaned daily to remove food particles and bacteria. Mouth guards should be cleaned after each use.

Smoking and chewing tobacco can cause bad breath. They can cause other oral health problems, including stained teeth and irritated gums.

If you have tried brushing, flossing, and using an antibacterial mouthwash but you still have bad breath, you could have a more serious dental condition. Gum disease is a frequent cause of persistent bad breath. When plaque builds up on teeth, it can irritate the gums and cause bad breath. Cavities can also contribute to bad breath and need to be treated promptly.

Some medical conditions can cause bad breath. These include bronchitis, pneumonia, sinus infections, post-nasal drip, acid reflux, diabetes, and liver and kidney problems. You might also have a medical condition that is causing dry mouth and leading to bad breath. Dry mouth can be caused by a problem with the salivary glands, or it could be a side effect of a medication you take to treat another condition.

How to Treat Bad Breath

If you have bad breath, work on improving your oral hygiene. You should brush for two minutes twice a day and floss once a day. If you use an oral appliance, clean it thoroughly every day.

You should also see your dentist for an exam and cleaning. He or she will be able to see if you have any signs of gum disease or tooth decay and recommend the appropriate treatment. If your bad breath is not caused by a dental problem, your dentist may refer you to a doctor to look for a medical cause. If you are concerned about bad breath or due for an exam and cleaning, schedule an appointment at Fried Dentistry in Wallingford, Connecticut today.

Why You Should Use a Toothbrush with Soft Bristles

When shopping for a toothbrush, you may feel overwhelmed by all of the options. You can choose a manual or electric toothbrush, both of which can do a good job of cleaning your teeth. One of the most important things to consider when looking for a toothbrush is the hardness of the bristles.

Why a Toothbrush with Soft Bristles Is the Best Choice

Toothbrushes used to have hard bristles. They were problematic because they could wear away tooth enamel and cause damage to gum tissue. Many people wound up with receding gums after years of brushing with toothbrushes with hard bristles. The amount of damage to the teeth and gums depends on the hardness of the toothbrush’s bristles, how hard you press when you brush, how often you brush and, what type of toothpaste you use.

Some people believe that hard bristles do a better job of cleaning teeth than soft bristles, but that is generally not true. Hard bristles can remove slightly more plaque, but not enough to make much of a difference. They can cause damage to the teeth and gums that outweighs any benefit. You are better off using a brush with softer bristles.

Today, most of the toothbrushes you see in the store have extra soft, soft, or medium bristles. These are much gentler on teeth and gums and less likely to cause problems. Dentists generally recommend using a toothbrush with soft bristles. There is no reason to use a brush with hard bristles. Even a brush with medium bristles can be too harsh for many people. If you have weakened enamel or receding gums, you may even want to use a brush with extra soft bristles.

How to Keep Your Teeth Healthy

You should brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day to remove food particles and plaque from your teeth. You should also floss once a day to get rid of food lodged between your teeth.

In addition, you need to visit your dentist for regular exams and professional cleanings. Your dentist can remove plaque and tartar that cannot be removed with brushing and flossing alone. He or she will be able to spot signs of tooth decay or gum disease early and recommend the appropriate treatment. If you are due for a dental exam and cleaning, schedule an appointment at Fried Dentistry in Wallingford, Connecticut today.