Dental health isn’t always straight forward. While we all know to brush our teeth and avoid too much sugar, there are several questions that people ask the dentists time and again at Tooth Fairy Dental. To clear the confusion, Tauranga’s Tooth Fairy Dental Clinic has listed 5 of our most common questions along with our honest and professional answers.
1: How often should I brush my teeth?
If you’re unsure whether morning and evening is enough or if you should be leaving a toothbrush at your desk, you’re not alone. A lot of young people are taught to brush their teeth three times a day, which is fine when you’re at home all the time, but near impossible for busy adults. As a general rule, us dentists recommend brushing twice a day, morning and night. Brushing removes plaque, food – including sugars – and bacteria, protecting your teeth. You may eat three meals a day, but brushing twice is sufficient.
2: Do I really need to floss?
A resounding yes! Not flossing enough is one of the most common problems dental services deal with on a daily basis. The reality is that flossing at least once a day helps remove plaque from areas that are hard for your toothbrush to reach. If you don’t remove this stubborn plaque by flossing, it can build up, harden and turn into tartar, leading to cavities, gingivitis and tooth sensitivity.
3: What is a cavity?
The words you never want to hear at your dental service visit are “I’m afraid you have a cavity.” You might fear cavities, but not fully know what they are. A cavity is technically a little hole in your tooth. Essentially, your tooth has decayed to the point where a small void has formed, and, like damage to the foundations of a house, this disturbs the tooth’s structure. That’s why seeing your Tauranga dentist as soon as possible to get any cavities filled is important to lessen long-term damage.
4: Should I avoid eating oranges?
Ahh, acidic food, one area where nutritionists and dentists disagree on what is healthy! It is true that acidic foods like oranges weaken the enamel coating on your teeth, a process which is unfortunately irreversible and a major contributor to sensitive teeth. The good news is you don’t have to throw out your OJ. Instead, eat acidic foods like red wine, citrus fruits and tomatoes in moderation, and drink water afterwards, swishing it around your mouth to mitigate the acid’s effect. And don’t brush your teeth for at least 20 minutes after eating anything strongly acidic.
5: Should I use mouthwash?
Mouthwash does not need to be a regular part of your dental health routine: brushing and flossing alone are just fine. It will not increase your tooth health or get rid of plaque or hidden food. What mouthwash is designed to do is freshen your breath, and you’re more than welcome to use it for this purpose. Just don’t replace your brushing or flossing with rinsing – it is not the same thing!