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5 Surprising Dental Facts that You Probably Did Not Know

January 18, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — nawrockidmdteam @ 8:23 pm

At Matthew Nawrocki DMD, MS, we believe that the more you know about dentistry, the better chance you have at maintaining oral health. This can save you time, money, and headaches. We are dedicated to educating Orange Park and surrounding communities with oral health education. If you would like to learn more about dental topics, we encourage you to visit our past blog topics.

1. Did you know that you can transfer tooth decay to your child?

This is true. Many parents do not know this and it is more common than you may think. Dental decay is a disease and to a certain extent it is transmissible. Like the rest of our body, our mouths are full of bacteria. Due to genetics, environment, and a host of other factors the bacterial composition in our mouths are unique to us. There are some bacterial colonies that are more virulent than others. These “bad” bacteria can be transferred to an infant. The most common ways this happens are tasting a baby bottle or baby food to determine the temperature and kissing the infant on the mouth. We urge parents to be careful with their children and avoid giving them potentially damaging bacteria.

2. Did you know that capping your toothbrush can actually be harmful?

Many people will place a cap on a toothbrush in order to protect it from airborne particles. There have been many studies done analyzing the bacterial environment in the bathroom. If a toothbrush is left out in the bathroom, it is vulnerable to an accumulation of bacteria from airborne particles. Capping the brush; however, can actually accelerate bacterial growth due to the moist environment that it creates. Our recommendation? Place the toothbrush inside a clean medicine cabinet or closet that is protected from the bathroom environment.

3. Did you know that mouthwash actually may be counterproductive?

Many of us were taught to rinse with mouthwash after brushing. The theory is that this is a beneficial adjunct to brushing and the ingredients (like alcohol and fluoride) in the mouthwash can benefit areas that the toothbrush cannot reach or has not touched. There is truth to this. Although rinsing can be beneficial to the gums and other soft tissues inside the mouth, it actually can reduce the efficacy of the toothpaste. Many toothpastes contain fluoride which is protective of our tooth structure. When we rinse with mouthwash after brushing, we rinse away this protective material. Many of the mouthwashes that contain fluoride do not contain it in a concentration that is anywhere near the concentration contained in toothpaste. It may be more beneficial to use mouthwash between brushings.

4. Did you know that brushing vigorously with a medium or hard bristled brush can be extremely harmful?

Plaque removal is necessary for healthy gums and teeth. If plaque is not removed adequately, it can mineralize and become a hard substance called calculus. Calculus and it’s immediate precursors are challenging to remove. Professional dental cleanings are the only way to truly remove calculus. It would seem logical then that a more aggressive brush and technique could remove some of the more resistant buildup. While that may be true, it has been shown that more aggressive brushing and bristles can not only cause damage to the gum tissues but evidence exists that supports the fact that it can also damage tooth structures.

5. Did you know that statistically half of Americans have gum disease?

The Center for Disease Control claims that one in two of us have gingivitis or periodontitis. Some of the symptoms of gum disease are tender or swollen gums that bleed when brushing, persistent bad breath, and receding gums. How do you know for sure that you have gum disease? A dental visit can be extremely revealing. Your dentist can tell you if your mouth is healthy or if you need therapy.

If you have any questions or would like to contact us for a consultation, feel free to contact us electronically or call us at (904)602-8396.

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