Dentists get asked a lot of questions, and they often get asked the same questions over and over again. Here are the answers to some of the ones they hear most frequently:
1. How do you brush your teeth?
You should brush your teeth for a full 2 minutes, something most adults don’t even come close to doing.
Brush along the gum line using a circular motion with the bristles at a 45 degree angle to your teeth; then lightly brush the inside and tops of your teeth with simple back-and-forth strokes. Be sure to brush your tongue at the end to remove bacteria and help freshen your breath!
2. Can you whiten teeth with hydrogen peroxide?
The ADA does consider using hydrogen peroxide to whiten your teeth to be safe. Using it as a daily mouthwash before you brush will help remove stains, and its antiseptic properties will kill odor-causing bacteria that contribute to bad breath.
If your gums or teeth become more sensitive or your gums become red or inflamed, cut back to only using it once or twice a week.
3. Should I brush my teeth with baking soda?
Brushing with baking soda is a great way to remove stains from your teeth, and it also helps fight bad breath. However, you shouldn’t do it more than twice a week because the abrasiveness of the baking soda could cause damage to your tooth enamel.
4. Bad breath in children: Is that normal?
Bad breath is very common, even in kids. If it’s really noticeable, try brushing more frequently to kill the bacteria that contribute to bad breath.
Mention it to your dentist so he or she can make sure there are no underlying health issues that are causing it; and if it continues to be an issue, mention it to your child’s pediatrician.
5. Cavities in teeth: What causes them?
Your mouth is full of bacteria. If you don’t brush your teeth regularly and prevent plaque from building up, these bacteria will feed off of the sugars in the plaque and produce acid as a result. This acid eats away at your tooth enamel, eventually causing cavities. That’s why regular brushing and flossing are so important!