Dental Hygienists Answer Your Dental Care Questions

When Ashley and Gina, Dr. Carol Ford’s dental hygienists, work with clients, one of their roles in the treatment process is to act as a dental educator. Both women are asked numerous questions by patients about the details of proper dental care. Here are a few of the most common dental care questions that our dental hygienists handle, accompanied by their tips for optimal oral health.

Common Dental Care Questions and Answers

Is it really that important to floss?
Yes! Flossing cleans the one-third of the surfaces of our teeth that toothbrushes cannot reach. Because it it removes dental plaque before it can harden into calculus, flossing improves the health of your gums and reduces the risk of tooth decay.

Why do I need to brush for two minutes to ensure good dental care?
Whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush, it’s very hard for adults to clean every surface of their teeth – including the biting surface, the front and back of the tooth, and along the gumline – in less than 120 seconds. The goal is to remove food, debris, and dental plaque from each tooth!

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Are electric toothbrushes better than manual?
Electric toothbrushes can clean your teeth more efficiently, providing many more cleaning strokes per minute than a manual toothbrush. It’s also helpful for older adults or others for whom holding a manual brush and using proper brushing technique is a challenge.

Is it important for me to use fluoridated toothpaste?
Yes! Using fluoridated toothpaste is a crucial part of your daily dental care. Toothpaste containing fluoride provides your teeth with a twice daily dose of protection to the hard outer layer of enamel. It promotes tooth remineralization and makes them more resistant to decay formation, and also provides some antibacterial properties that help keep your teeth cleaner.

How can I prevent staining my teeth?
The two simplest ways to avoid staining your teeth are to rinse your mouth with water if you consume staining foods or drinks, such as coffee, wine, soda, blueberries, beets, or soy sauce, and to drink staining fluids such as iced coffee, iced tea or soda through a straw, so the liquid doesn’t hit as much of the visible front surfaces of your teeth.

“Our dental hygienists answer dental care questions every day as they work with patients,” says Dr. Ford, who maintains a cosmetic dentistry practice in central Phoenix. “Many of the answers are simple, but good dental care really consists of repeating a few simple self-care actions over the course of a lifetime.”

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