Although tooth brushing tools date back as far as 3500 BC, the Chinese are credited with developing the earliest known natural bristled tooth brush. It was fashioned from the bristles from a pig’s neck and fastened to a bamboo or bone handle.
The toothbrush as we know today with nylon bristles was introduced in 1938. Floss was invented in 1819 by Levy Spear Parmly, a dentist from New Orleans. He recommended using a silken thread that was waxed to run through the neck of the tooth right above the gum. Floss began to be mass produced in 1882.
The best way to maintain your beautiful smile is to make sure your teeth are healthy, your oral environment is clean, and intake of harmful foods is limited. Our staff is committed to helping you prevent dental cavities, preserving teeth that have been restored, keeping your teeth from fracturing, and making sure your gums are healthy. At your initial visit we review oral hygiene instructions and reinforce them at each subsequent visit.
The following recommendations are helpful:
Keep in mind that dental decay is caused by dental plaque—a thin, sticky, colorless deposit of bacteria that is constantly forming on teeth. When any sugars (or carbohydrates that become sugars as they break down) are eaten, the bacteria in the plaque produce acids that break down the enamel of the tooth. After prolonged exposure to these acids the enamel breaks down and a cavity is formed. In order to prevent this process, it is essential to thoroughly remove dental plaque once every 24 hours.
The following are factors that increase a person’s risk of developing cavities:
Brushing your teeth is the most effective way to remove plaque and harmful bacteria from your teeth and gums and prevent cavities.
General recommendations for brushing include:
Flossing is essential for removing plaque between your teeth where your tooth brush cannot reach. If plaque is not removed by brushing and flossing it can eventually turn into harmful tartar, also known as calculus. Not only is flossing an essential complement to brushing to prevent your teeth from developing cavities between your teeth, but it also helps prevent halitosis (bad breath). It increases blood circulation in your gums, keeping them healthy and strong. Studies have shown no difference between flossing before or after brushing. It is simply important that it happens, and is done properly.
Children need to floss too. Adult caregivers should assist them until they are 10 or 11 years old and develop dextral maturity to floss on their own.
Flossing is not supposed to be painful. If you are new to flossing (or have not flossed regularly for some time), you will likely feel some initial discomfort and possibly mild bleeding of the gums. But if a proper flossing regimen is maintained and plaque is removed, the pain will stop within a short period of time (5-10 days).
How to floss:
Dental x-rays help dentists to identify diseases associated with teeth and their surrounding structures which cannot be seen with a simple clinical oral evaluation. In addition, they help dentists to find and treat compromised teeth early in disease development. These early findings can prevent patients from unnecessary discomfort, lead to a conservative procedure rather than tooth loss, and can even help save a life.
In adults dental x-rays can be used to:
In children dental x-rays are used to:
When X-rays pass through the mouth, more x-rays are absorbed by the denser parts (such as teeth and bone) than by soft tissues (gums and cheeks). These differences are exposed on film or a digital sensor to create an image. Teeth appear lighter because fewer x-rays penetrate to reach the sensor, while cavities and gums appear dark because more x-rays pass through. The reading and interpretation of these x-rays allows dentists to accurately and safely detect dental decay and abnormalities.
The frequency of dental x-rays depends on the patient’s individual health needs. Some people may need x-rays as often as every six months, while others who are free of dental decay and come for regular dental visits may only need them once every few years. The schedule for needing x-rays varies according to your age, risk factors, and signs and symptoms of disease. If you are a new patient, your dentist will need to take a full set of x-rays of your entire mouth to establish your baseline record.
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