There are many products and so much hype on what you should use to take the best care of your teeth, that many people get confused. Hundred of millions of dollars are spent every single year by companies selling toothpaste, mouthwash, tooth brushes and over-the-counter tooth whitening products that it is impossible to separate the sales pitch from the sound dental advice. And not all products are easily available on the market so we keep some in the office for our patients along with detailed instructions for proper usage. But to help guide you in your home health care routine below, you will find detailed information on:
So here is what the doctors of Dental Care of Stamford have to say about what’s best for your dental health:
The purpose of toothpaste is to polish your teeth to remove plaque and germs that cause tooth decay and bad breath. Despite what you read or see on TV, there is no tooth paste you can buy over the counter to kill the germs that cause dental disease or bad breath. All they do is mask the odor like using perfume instead of showering. Even Listerine would have to stay in your mouth at full strength for at least 15 to 20 minutes to kill the germs that cause gingivitis, but not periodontal disease which is what matters. But the right toothpaste can help in another way.
Dental researchers have found and proven, in university studies, that chlorine dioxide can break up the sulfur chemicals produced by bacteria in your mouth that cause mouth odor and contribute to periodontal disease. If you ever wake up with that “morning breath” you will be amazed how it literally disappears with daily use of Oxyfresh tooth paste.
Instead of trying to kill the bacteria use a chlorine dioxide-containing toothpaste to fight the germ products. Dr. Simon says that this is like leaving the criminals with guns, but taking away the bullets. There are several brands of chlorine dioxide containing toothpastes. The one we dispense here at Dental Care is called Oxyfresh. These are generally not available in drug stores, so ask us for a tube when you come in. It is the only toothpaste Dr. Simon uses for himself and his family.
Oxyfresh toothpaste has been proven to break up the disease and odor-producing chemicals in your mouth safely.
Many people can be very effective with a regular hand toothbrush as long as it meets the proper criteria. The bristles must be soft nylon so they can bend and shape to the natural contours of the teeth and the ends of the bristles must be rounded. Just like cleaning eyeglasses, you need to rub hard with a soft device to remove the sticky plaque from your teeth. Toothbrushes wear out after about 2 to 3 months so replace them frequently.
At Dental Care of Stamford we recommend the toothbrush. It is actually an ultrasonic vibrator attached to a soft tooth brush. Because it vibrates at 25,000 cycles per minute a two minute brushing with a Sonicare is like brushing for half an hour. There are many models to choose from but we keep an economical version in the office for our patients. What Dr Simon likes about Sonicare is that it has a built in two minute timer and the ultrasonic vibration helps to dislodge the plaque from those hard to reach places
Americans spend hundreds of millions of dollars on mouthwashes and breath fresheners and most of them really don’t work. They often contain alcohol (a carcinogen) and minty flavors that only mask the smell.
The cause of bad breath is almost always sulfur chemicals produced by the bacteria in our mouth and on our tongue. Mouthwash cannot effectively kill the germs that cause mouth odor and gum disease. (Even Listerine would have to stay in your mouth 15-20 minutes at full strength to actually kill the germs.) The answer is to break-up the sulfur chemicals.The very best way that can be done is to use a chlorine dioxide-containing mouthwash that is alcohol free. The one recommended and dispensed at Dental Care of Stamford is Oxyfresh. It is available in pints and economical gallon-sized dispensers.
Therasol is an anti-bacterial “mouth rinse” that we use instead of brushing with tooth paste once a day. You just sip in a little bit and brush your teeth, ideally with a Sonicare tooth brush that vibrates it between the teeth and around the teeth and gums. The taste is great. The advantage of Therasol, unlike most mouth washes that are more like perfume that just masks mouth odor, it actually does kill the germs that cause periodontal disease.
Removing the plaque and bacteria from under the gum line, between the teeth and around fixed bridge work or dental implants every day is very important. A tooth brush and dental floss cannot get into every nook and cranny that harbors germs and plaques. An irrigator is especially helpful for especially people with gum disease, adults or children with braces or fixed bridge work, people who do not use dental floss every day and people who want to be sure they are going the extra mile to maintain fresh breath and prevent tooth decay and gum disease. For people with gum pockets, the irrigator actually gets into places that even dental floss cannot reach.
The Hydrofloss device we recommend adds an unnoticeable charge of static electricity to the water in a process called magneto-hydro-dynamics that has been shown to make it 60% more effective than just water spray alone in a typical over the counter water pick type device in plaque and bacteria removal.
Most people do not clean their tongue. They do not realize that the tongue, which may feel smooth, has millions of tiny indentations that hold decaying food and bacteria that produce mouth odor and gum disease. At Dental Care of Stamford, we recommend that you use a tongue cleaner daily. It is a gentle device that works like a windshield wiper to remove bacteria and food deposits from your tongue daily. When you see and smell what comes off your tongue, you’ll be a believer in this 10 second daily routine.
Fluoride works by hardening the enamel to make the enamel of the teeth more resistant to decay.
Fluoride is the l3th most common element on the earth. The oceans which cover 70% of the earth, are naturally fluoridated. We don’t know why most of the underground water we drink has no fluoride. We do know some people are fearful of fluoride as cancer-causing, but there are places in the Southwest United States that naturally have water with 5 to 10 times more fluoride than recommended. As far as we know, the water has been that way for thousands of years and no one has ever reported a higher rate of any kind of disease in those areas.
Fluoride for kids 12 and under works best taken internally so the fluoride becomes a part of the teeth as they grow. The best way to get fluoride is to drink water that has been tested to contain .7 parts per million of fluoride. For the proper dosage, you need to drink 2 cups of fluoridated water or reconstituted fruit juice per day. Once a child passes 12 years of age, internal fluoride is of no help because the teeth are all grown.
If you are on city water, call the local Department of Health to verify that your water is fluoridated. All the towns in Fairfield County have fluoridated water. If you are on a well, you must get the water tested by the Department of Health. If your well does not have enough fluoride or your family drinks primarily bottled water or whole fruit juice etc., then your children probably need fluoride supplements. We recommend the kind that looks like a little candy mint which your child dissolves it in his or her mouth so it works both on the teeth and in the developing permanent teeth. Rinsing programs at school are “rinse and spit” so there is no internal benefit for growing teeth. We recommend either drinking 2 cups of fluoridated water daily or prescription fluoride supplements. Available by prescription at the dentist.
Home fluoride for adults is prescription-strength fluoride dispensed by the dentist for daily home use to harden the enamel and to reduce decay. It is TEN times stronger than fluoride toothpastes you can buy over the counter. In addition to helping prevent decay, it helps to minimize gum-line sensitivity. People who should use home fluoride are kids 12 and over and adults who have a history of decay, many old fillings, have sensitive teeth, are planning to whiten their teeth or who want to take the extra step to help their mouth be as healthy as it could be. The product we recommend and dispense at Dental Care of Stamford is prescription strength Take Home Care that has the right amount of Fluoride and is sweetened with Xylitol.
Only your dentist can get your teeth the whitest. And today, people who want to look their best, who want to look sharper and younger know that a white, bright smile says a lot about you even before you say a word. Tooth whitening can be done at home with custom made bleaching trays and professionally dispensed safe and effective products. At Dental Care of Stamford, we have bleached thousands of people’s teeth from teenagers to grandparents. It works, it’s safe and it’s extremely economical. Call us at (203) 883-4433 for details. If you have already bleached your teeth and need a touch up and have your trays all you need is a refill kit of bleach material. For people who want very rapid results and would rather have us do the bleaching instead of doing it at home, laser tooth whitening is available.
SPECIALTY CARE ITEMS
To clean under dental bridgework or braces. Each strand is a fluffy yarn-like material with a nylon end to thread under bridgework or braces.
For people who need a little help with flossing. These holders make it easy to get in between teeth, especially in the back of the mouth. Great for kids, adults with dexterity problems or arthritis or and injuries.
End Tufted Brush
This little brush is great to get in between teeth or bridgework or braces. The handle is a strong plastic and the little brushes are reusable and easily replaced.
Specialty Dental Floss
A specialty brush for hard to reach areas of the mouth.
Helps you floss under bridgework or braces. These nylon floss threaders work like needle threaders to guide floss into hard-to-get-to places.