I come across a lot of people who say “Every time I go for a cleaning, the dentist always finds cavities and I don’t understand how I keep getting them!” So I decided to write this article and explain how to have a perfect dental checkup. My name is Dr. Nisrine Cabani, and my practice is Ridge Dental. My team and I are dedicated to providing our patients with the best instructions on maintaining a healthy mouth and smile. So read on... and be prepared to have an A+ at your future dental appointment!
First of all everyone over the age of 12, and I mean EVERYONE, should be using an electric toothbrush (unless of course you are in metal braces and your orthodontist prefers that you do not). By electric toothbrush I mean a rechargeable one. We recommend an electric toothbrush with a small round head as opposed to the elongated one. It just allows you to get around the tiny nooks and crannies better. The vibration along with the oscillation of the brush-head gets every bit of plaque off your teeth. You can test it out yourself. Brush your teeth with a manual toothbrush in the evening and when you wake up in the morning rub your finger over your teeth. I am pretty sure you can feel a slight film on them. Now brush with an electric toothbrush in the morning, they still feel squeaky clean.
Secondly, everyone, and once again I mean EVERYONE over the age of 12, (and this time I include the patients in metal braces) should be flossing and using a device called a water flosser or more commonly known by the name Waterpik. You see, your toothbrush will get the fronts and backs of your teeth but you still need something that cleans in between. So your choices are dental floss and a Waterpik. Flossing does good to mechanically remove the debris between the teeth, like a toothbrush would. However, floss is limited to only going 2-3mm below the gums. So what happens if you have pockets that are deeper than 2-3? Well if you are ONLY flossing, that means you are leaving food and bacteria under those gums ready to cause decay and gum disease along with bad breath. That’s where a Waterpik comes in handy. Waterpiks have been shown to clean out bacteria and debris in up to 6mm pockets. Combining an electric toothbrush, floss, and water flosser will get you the best possible daily home oral hygiene routine.
Thirdly, when it comes to soda and sugary drinks, there is a time and place for that. What I mean is that you can have a soda drink or sweetened ice tea but you can ONLY have it all at one time and preferably with a meal. The problem with these types of drinks is that the pH is low,low enough to dissolve the enamel on your teeth. And the sugar, well the sugar is the food that the bacteria in your mouth use to create acids that break your teeth down. So all in all that's a bad situation. However I did say there was a time and place for these drinks. Consuming these drinks with a meal allows the acids to be buffered. And consuming these drinks at one time, rather than sipping on them throughout the day, allows your salivary pH to go back to normal and not give the bacteria in your mouth a constant food fest of sugar all day long.
These are the best three pieces of advice I give to every single one of our patients. Usually when our patients need dental work if they are following the above stated advice, it is because they have a broken tooth, cracked silver filling thus necessitating a crown, interested in straightening their teeth with clear aligners, replacing a missing tooth with an implant, or interested in whitening or cosmetic work. So, if you are looking for a new dentist, feel free to contact our office. We are always accepting new patients.