May 9th Ask the Dentists

Ask The Dentists!

Drs. Manny Karamanis & Brett Burry
Acreview Dental

Dear Doctors:
When I notice my teens skipping brushing their
teeth after a late night (yes, I admit I check the
toothbrushes) I get concerned with everything
we invest in their mouths. My son also snapped
his toothbrush with vigorous brushing. This can’t
be good. I think he needs Teeth Brushing 101?

Ask The Dentists!

Drs. Manny Karamanis & Brett Burry
Acreview Dental

Dear Doctors:
When I notice my teens skipping brushing their
teeth after a late night (yes, I admit I check the
toothbrushes) I get concerned with everything
we invest in their mouths. My son also snapped
his toothbrush with vigorous brushing. This can’t
be good. I think he needs Teeth Brushing 101?
Answer:
You’re right on the button. People of all ages can
get careless with routine habits, and if something
doesn’t hurt or bother them it is easy to fall into
repeat behavior. Skipping brushing is a big one.
When someone goes to bed without brushing,the
bacteria and plaque their mouth creates a more
acidic environment. Once in a while probably
won’t ‘tell’ on you, but skip on a more regular
basis and you risk cavities, plaque buildup, gum
disease, and deterioration of the enamel on
your teeth. Hurrying through brushing is also
problematic. You should brush your teeth for
two minutes each night. This is programmed into
many of the electric toothbrushes available. Some
are even blue tooth connected to your smart
phone, and will question you about changing
your brush head and other details. Many people,
especially children, do a 30 second brush and
believe they have completed the job.
Skipping a checkup is more of an issue than one
would think. When people move cities it takes
them less than 8 months to find a physician,
but many take 2 years to find a new dentist. Bad
things happen quietly, and without discomfort
it’s easy to get lulled into thinking that things
are just fine. Nothing in dentistry ever becomes
less expensive or easier to repair by waiting. Our
patients who see us most often usually invest less
overall and have healthier mouths. Something as
simple as replacing a toothbrush is another issue.
Brushes should be changed every 3 months, and
more often if you encounter a boutwith the flu or
major cold. Electric brush heads can be sterilized
with their ultraviolet option, but manual ones
should simply be replaced. Don’t think you can
get more life out of a toothbrush by running it
through a dishwasher or a microwave. Don’t
brush right after drinking coffee, which some
do to avoid ‘coffee breath’. The beverage is acidic,
and immediate brushing actually can do damage
to your enamel. Rinse with water, but wait 30
minutes to brush. For your teens – watch their
intake of sport drinks. They can be worse than
soda pop. Snacking through the day is adding
sugar continually, which is damaging. Brushing
too hard, or using an electric brush with too
much pressure can cause gum and enamel or
even root damage. Basic things, but they affect all
our oral health, not just teenagers.

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