Are we the only dentist in Savannah, GA recommending you brush your tongue? Probably not. However, we’ll go ahead and give you the steps again because there are many advantages to brushing your tongue.
1. Helps reduce and prevent bad breath.
2. Chases away bacteria that can cause tooth decay
The right way? Always brush your tongue from back to front. You can even put some toothpaste or mouthwash on your toothbrush. This recommendation is good for proper adult dentistry and children’s dentistry care. We want to give you simple tips and techniques to keep your smile bright and your breath fresh.
The tip of your tongue is usually self cleaning due to all the movement and friction with swallowing and speaking. This portion of the tongue also comes in contact with the hard palate or roof of your mouth. This friction creates a cleaning action that keeps away build up of bacteria and debris.
The back of the tongue only touches the soft palate and the contact if fairly gentle. There’s not enough friction to keep the bacteria away and build up occurs. This build up of bacteria can cause bad breath and tooth decay.
How can you tell if you have bacteria build up? Stick out your tongue. Do you see a white or brownish film or coating on the back? It usually forms a triangular shape. You’ll need to start as far back as you can. Watch out for your gag reflex… Don’t choke. If you make it a practice to brush or scrape your tongue once a day, the gag reflex will diminish.
Don’t brush or scrape too hard and rinse your mouth when you are done. If you are going to use mouthwash on your brush, look for ones that contain antibacterials chlorine dioxide or cetylpyridinium chloride.
Have fun getting fresher breath!
We are committed to Children’s Dentistry and educating families about how to keep teeth healthy.
Is sugar bad for your teeth? Good question. This old adage is true and not so true at the same time. The amount of sugar is important but not as important as the frequency of the sugar intake. It’s actually better to chug a 40oz soda than it is to sip 4 oz of soda throughout the day; the same is true with sweets that we eat. (We’re not suggesting you drink a 40 oz soda…) Cavities happen because acid is formed by the bacteria that eat the sugars in our mouth. That acid breaks down the enamel and causes tooth decay. Limiting the sugar is good, but limiting the frequency is even more important.
Another myth or recommendation around Halloween is whether to brush your teeth after you eat all of that candy. Well, brushing after consuming a bunch of candy may actually be a bad thing. This is when our teeth are the softest. All that sugar raises the acidity in the mouth making the teeth most susceptable to abrasion or enamel loss. When the teeth are in a demineralized or softened state, we can actually brush away our enamel. Choose a mouthrinse with fluoride instead. This technique can harden the teeth while in this softened state. Unfortunately, when the enamel is gone, its gone. It won’t grow back. Brushing before drinking or eating food actually puts your mouth in a less acidic state. This keeps your teeth much stronger during those sugar binges that we have during Halloween.
Sticky candies are worse than softer ones. Sticky candy or foods can be bad for existing dental work. They can pull out fillings or crowns. Hard candies can break your natural teeth or dental restorations too. Gooey candy can stick to the teeth for long periods of time in the deepest grooves. Bacteria then eats the sugar that is wedged in the crevaces and hard to reach places for much longer. So stay away from sticky candies.
With a little imagination, brushing can be fun! In this animated video, a child teaches proper brushing tips while fending off the Invisible Nasties living in her smile.
From the video library at Colgate.com we have a short video providing fun & educational tips to teach children how to brush and why they should brush.
To view this video in its original library, please visit: Colgate.com
Savannah Dental Solutions
Drs. Chad and Alexandra Schnabel
9A Medical Arts Center
Savannah, GA 31405
Phone: (912) 354-1366