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All Posts in Category: Brushing Teeth

kids brushing techniques

Teaching Your Children Proper Teeth Brushing Techniques

Learning how to properly take care of one’s oral health at a young age is necessary to having good oral health. Proper brushing habits instilled at an early age can prevent future cavities, gum disease bad breath and more. As a parent of a young child, there are some things you can do to make sure that teeth brushing is an enjoyable activity for your child.

Start Early

You can start developing a routine by cleaning your child’s gums even before his or her teeth begin to emerge. This can be done by gently washing the gumline with a sterile, soft and damp cloth or a gum massager or brusher specifically designed for the task. You can begin brushing as soon as the first tooth appears using a soft bristled toothbrush and the tiniest amount of fluoride toothpaste after each feeding.

Show Them by Example

Giving children a demonstration of proper brushing technique can help them learn how to brush their teeth properly. You can do this using your teeth, or to make it a little more fun, perform the proper brushing technique on your child’s favorite doll to encourage them to do the same for their teeth. You can pretend that the doll is visiting the dentist for the first time, and in your role of a dentist, evaluate its teeth and talk about how to brush teeth properly. You can give your child the opportunity to be the dentist and remind him or her about cleaning both the front and the back of the doll’s teeth.

Finding Plaque with Disclosing Tablets

Not brushing their teeth thoroughly enough is one of the misstep children often make. To show them how brushing properly is what is needed to keep their teeth clean, you may consider buying plaque disclosing tablets. When chewed and mixed with their saliva for 30 seconds, the plaque that is present on the teeth and gumline will be turned red. Making the plaque easily visible will encourage them to work harder at removing it.

Let Your Child Choose a Toothbrush

To continue using bristles that scrub as they should and to avoid the accumulation of bacteria in the brush, it is wise to change your toothbrush as least every three months. To highlight the importance of a new toothbrush and to make the oral routine more fun, you can allow the child to choose his or her toothbrush. Many are geared specifically to children.

Reward Proper Brushing Time

The American Dental Association recommends teeth are to be gently brushed for two full minutes. Being eager to have the task over with, children may brush very quickly and hard for several seconds instead. To make sure that you child is brushing long enough, establish a reward system to give him or her an incentive.

Children who are taught a new skill at an early age are very likely to use it in adulthood. Make sure that your child learns the proper tooth brushing habits that will ensure that he or she always has long-term oral health.

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make your own toothpaste

How to Make Your Own Toothpaste

The American Dental Association (ADA) has abundant guidelines to help people with oral health in between regular dental checkups. These guidelines are based on scientific research and years of experimentation and recordkeeping among dental professionals and oral health care manufacturers. The commercial toothpaste that you see on store shelves are a result of this research and can fulfill most people’s needs for oral health.

However, a large contingency of people is interested in making their toothpaste. The reasons for this vary among consumers. Some feel that they don’t want fluoride in their toothpaste, others feel the need to buy fewer goods overall, and others, who have adopted a healthy lifestyle, actively seek ways to avoid introducing excess chemicals in their lives. Whatever the reasons for making your toothpaste at home, it’s important to do it right to maintain the best oral health possible.

The Importance of Hygiene

The overriding rule of thumb when making toothpaste at home is to make hygiene a priority. One of the main causes of oral problems is bacteria. If you make toothpaste at home, you need to be extremely careful that you don’t accidentally introduce bacteria into your mouth.

All the tools and containers that you use to make and store homemade toothpaste need to be not just cleansed but sterilized. Bacteria is invisible to the naked eye, and without implementing this first line of defense, you could compromise your oral health instead of helping it.

Ingredients

You’ll need a collection of ingredients for your homemade toothpaste. Different recipes call for different ingredients in varying amounts, but there are certain ingredients that you’ll want to include for safety and health concerns, as well as taste and texture. They are:

  • Tea tree essential oil – Also called melaleuca oil, this essential oil has antibacterial properties that will make your homemade toothpaste effective.
  • Wintergreen essential oil – Wintergreen has antibacterial properties, and it imparts a pleasant taste to your homemade toothpaste recipe.
  • Peppermint essential oil – Peppermint oil helps to lift the spirit and can make your mouth feel fresh and your breath smell sweet.
  • Stevia – Stevia is a natural sweetener, derived from the plant species, Stevia rebaudiana. It is very different than other sugar substitutes such as aspartame because it is not a chemical, which makes it appealing to those who embrace a natural diet.
  • Baking soda – This powdery substance is derived from a natural mineral called nahcolite. In homemade toothpaste recipes, baking soda performs the cleansing function, ridding teeth of stains and germs.
  • Coconut oil – Coconut oil has natural antibacterial properties, and is a common ingredient in homemade toothpaste recipes, in part because of its texturing properties.
  • Distilled water – When mixing homemade toothpaste with any liquid aside from coconut oil, it’s important to use distilled water, not tap water. Distilled water is free from bacteria and other impurities that can compromise the sterility of the homemade toothpaste.

Recipe

In a small mixing bowl, Put three tablespoons of baking soda into a small mixing bowl. Add five drops of your preference of essential oils. Stir in your choice of one teaspoon of coconut oil or one teaspoon of distilled water. Stir until combined. Add more liquid if necessary to achieve desired consistency. Use as you would ordinary commercial toothpastes. Seal tightly when not in use.

When using homemade toothpaste, it’s important to alternate days with using regular fluoride toothpaste per ADA dental health guidelines.

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organic dentist

The Perfect Dental Routine for the Organic Patient

In addition to regular dental visits, a solid brushing and flossing routine is vital to good oral hygiene. Most people reach for a tube of minty fresh toothpaste, ready to check off their morning and night duties. However, a closer inspection of the ingredient reveals its not-so-great contents. With ingredients like carrageenan, artificial colors, and sodium lauryl sulfate, an organic patient might wonder how to balance a healthy dental routine without compromising on the ingredient list. Following these tips can ensure the perfect dental routine for the organic patient.

Brushing

Brushing is more than the product used. The effectiveness of brushing relies heavily on the technique; brush for two to three minutes while making sure to cover all surface areas of the teeth, gums, and tongue. As for the cleaning product, there are two options:

  • Powder: Tooth powder is less common than toothpaste but equally effective. Often made of baking soda, salt, and sometimes essential oils, tooth powders are extremely easy to make as well as inexpensive.
  • Paste: While toothpaste can be homemade, there are many organic and natural toothpastes available to purchase. Look for toothpastes that are all-natural and avoid ingredients such as artificial flavors and dyes.

Avoid products with the following ingredients: sodium laurel sulfate, artificial dyes and flavors, triclosan, propylene glycol, and microbeads.

Flossing

Healthy gums and fresh breath are dependent upon good flossing. However, not all floss is created equally; conventional flosses may be coated with synthetic waxes and flavored with artificial flavors and sweeteners. When choosing a new floss, opt for floss with:

  • Vegan wax: Flosses, such as TheraNeem floss, are coated with a vegan wax.
  • Neem extract: Also a vegan wax, many flosses also include neem extract in the coating. Why does it matter what ingredients are in the floss? Floss does more than just remove food from hard-to-reach places. Floss removes plaque and debris and helps prevent inflamed gums. In fact, as the floss slides between teeth, neem extract helps to reduce gum inflammation.
  • Tea tree oil: Like neem extract and clove oil, tea tree oil is a powerful ingredient in organic oral care products. Tea tree oil reduces gum bleeding as well as gingivitis.

Rinsing and freshening breath

The grand finale of an oral routine is to rinse, usually with mouthwash. Like toothpaste, many conventional types of mouthwash contain questionable ingredients including artificial flavors and colors. Naturally, derived mouthwash is harder to find, but it is possible. Other options for freshening breath include:

  • Tongue scraping: Tongue scraping freshens breath by removing bacteria and food particles from the surface of the tongue. There are special tongue scrapers available, but some toothbrushes even have a special bristle on the brush head to carry out this task.
  • Oil pulling: While it might seem counterproductive to rinse with oil, oil pulling is an ancient practice that is gaining popularity. Place a piece of coconut oil in your mouth. As the coconut oil melts, swish in for at least 30 seconds. Oil pulling draws toxins out of your mouth, which creates a fresher, cleaner mouth.

No matter what products that fill the medicine cabinet, good oral health depends on a consistent routine of brushing, flossing, and rinsing. If, at any time, you have any concerns regarding organic oral care products, speak with your dentist.

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maintaining oral health routine

6 Tips on How to Maintain a Perfect Oral Health Routine

Having an oral health routine at home can help improve and maintain your dental health. However, it is important that you are consistent with your dental routine and that it is done properly. Periodically skipping a brushing and flossing or not keeping up with your regular dental checkups is more than enough to compromise your oral health.

If you are currently not in the habit of taking good care of your teeth on a daily basis, there are some things you can do to have the perfect oral health routine. The condition of your teeth and smile will improve, and you will have learned a valuable habit that will ensure that you will have good oral health for a long time.

1. Put Your Dental Items in Plain View

Keep your toothbrush and toothpaste where it would be impossible to ignore them. If you have a favorite face or body wash you use every time your shower, place your toothbrush and toothpaste right on top of it so that you will have no choice but to pick them up.

2. Set an Alarm as a Reminder

You can use an alarm to remind yourself to brush your teeth. Be sure to schedule the alarm at a time when you will be home so that you will have no excuse not to brush.

3. Give Yourself Incentives

You can motivate yourself to maintain a perfect oral health routine by setting up goals and giving yourself a reward when you reach different milestones. For example, you can set up a goal to brush and floss every day for a month and at the end of the month, buy yourself a new pair of shoes. Make sure your reward is something that you really enjoy so that you will continue to be motivated.

4. Keep Track Of Your Progress

Make a visible record that show how well you are adhering to your dental routine. You can use a calendar and posted it in the bathroom where it will be easily visible. Note every day that your brush your teeth. If you happen to forget or skip a day, just make sure you start again on the very next day.

5. Associate Brushing with another Activity

This work best if it is something that you do every day. It can be taking a shower or combing your hair. Every time you complete your chosen activity, be sure to brush and floss your teeth. Make sure you allow enough time in your schedule to complete your dental care and the other activity so that you are not rushing and feel inclined to postpone it.

6. Make Your Dental Routine a Team project

Ask a family member or a close friend to join you in your quest to maintain a daily dental routine. Sometimes simply knowing that someone else is working towards the same goals can be enough motivation to complete a task.

There are multiple short-term and long-term benefits to having an effective daily oral health routine. Your mouth will feel cleaner, and you may have fresher breath and brighter teeth. Maintaining your oral health routine can also help you avoid a number of dental conditions and diseases, such as gingivitis, tooth decay, periodontal disease and more.

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pros and cons of electric toothbrush

Is It Really Better To Use An Electric Toothbrush?

With so many toothbrush options available on the market, a common question many people have is whether or not it is better for your oral health to use an electric toothbrush instead of a manual toothbrush.

What Are The Pros and Cons of a Manual Toothbrush?

A manual toothbrush will get your teeth clean enough as long as you use the right technique. You should brush your teeth for two minutes, but with a manual toothbrush, you have to keep up with that time on your own. A manual toothbrush does not require you to charge it or replace batteries from time to time. Since it does not need energy, you can use it without fear of the power running low. Additionally, it is very inexpensive. In fact, many dentists give their patients a free toothbrush at the end of each visit.

You have to replace your toothbrush every three months, but it does not cost a lot to do so. If you are traveling, you can easily take it with you without getting a charger or extra batteries. You should just get a case for it to keep it clean. One of the best pros of using a manual toothbrush, for many people, is there are so many to choose from. There are smaller ones for people with smaller mouths, soft bristles for people with sensitive teeth, and many colors including prints for children.

How Does an Electric Toothbrush Better Those Benefits?

With an electric toothbrush, you do not have work nearly as hard to get your mouth and teeth clean. It does a lot of the work for you, as long as you purchase a quality electric toothbrush. It is so easy to use, and you just have to move it across your teeth to get a good cleaning in. Another great benefit is that it has a timer built in. You no longer have to time yourself while brushing or guess if you have brushed long enough. An electric toothbrush will stop once you have hit the two-minute mark, so there are no guessing games. Overall, it is much easier to use an electric toothbrush, and if you do not use the proper technique with a manual brush, you get a much better clean with a lot less effort.

What Are Some of the Cons?

Some negative components go along with an electric toothbrush, however. One of the biggest ones that keep people from making the switch is the cost associated with it. Not only is buying the electric toothbrush expensive, but you also have to purchase new brush heads every three months which are more expensive than manual toothbrushes. If your electric toothbrush is battery powered, you also have to buy replacement batteries every time your batteries are dead. A lot of money goes into getting and maintaining an electric toothbrush. You also have to charge your toothbrush if you have one that is rechargeable. This takes time, and you may not know you need to do it until it dies on you mid-brush. It is a lot harder to travel with an electric toothbrush as well since you have to bring more with you and it can be bulky. While breaking a toothbrush does not cross your mind with a manual one, you do have to be more careful with an electric one.

In the end, the choice is yours. There are benefits to using both kinds of toothbrushes, as long as you use the proper technique. Both types allow you to get a good cleaning. You may want to talk to your dentist about it to see if they can help you make the best decision.

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