Dentist Blog

Posts for tag: oral hygiene

By MALOUF FAMILY DENTISTRY
August 30, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

Good oral hygiene habits are an essential part of keeping your smile healthy. St. Clair Shores, MI, dentist Dr. Sam Malouf at Malouf Familyoral hygiene Dentistry shares a few tips that will help protect your teeth.

Stick to a schedule

Brushing your teeth in the morning and evening will reduce plaque, a sticky film that causes cavities. Plaque feels rough when you run your tongue over your mouth, but that uncomfortable feeling isn't the only problem. When plaque remains in your teeth, your cavity risk increases. Eating or drinking a sugary food or beverage triggers a chemical reaction that creates acids strong enough to damage your tooth enamel and causes cavities. When you brush at the same time in the morning and evening, you're much less likely to forget to brush.

It's also important to floss once day. Flossing gets rid of plaque and food debris between your teeth. When you floss around the base of your teeth too, you'll prevent plaque at the bottom of teeth from turning into hard tartar. If tartar remains on your teeth too long, it can cause gum disease.

Use the right tools

Toothbrushes with soft bristles do an excellent job of removing plaque and don't damage your teeth like medium brushes can. If you use a harder brush or apply too much pressure when you brush, you may damage your tooth enamel or cause your gums to recede.

Both string and tape flosses will clean teeth, although string floss may be a better choice if there's not much space between your teeth.

Follow-up with mouthwash

Fresher breath is just one benefit of using mouthwash after you brush. When you choose a mouthwash that contains fluoride and anti-bacterial ingredients, you'll reduce cavity-causing bacteria and rebuild weak areas of tooth enamel. For longer-lasting protection, avoid rinsing your mouth or drinking a beverage for about 30 minutes after you use mouthwash.

Visit the dentist every six months

Visiting our St. Clair Shores office every six months will help keep you keep your teeth clean and healthy. As part of your check up, we'll clean your teeth to remove plaque and tartar and examine your mouth to look for signs of tooth decay, gum disease and oral health issues.

Keep your smile strong and bright with good oral hygiene habits. Is it time for your check up? Schedule an appointment with your St. Clair Shores, MI, dentist Dr. Sam Malouf at Malouf Family Dentistry by calling (586) 772-9020.

By Malouf Family Dentistry
August 14, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  
4TipsforInstillingGoodFamilyHygieneHabits

Long-term dental health is built on a foundation of good hygiene habits instilled at an early age. Consistent, daily hygiene not only makes for healthy teeth and gums but an attractive smile too.

Here are 4 tips for encouraging your child to develop effective oral hygiene habits.

Begin teaching them to brush and floss on their own around age 6. Brushing and flossing are the primary ways to remove bacterial plaque from teeth, the main cause for dental disease. You should begin brushing your child’s teeth when they first appear; around age 6 you can begin encouraging them to brush for themselves and learn to floss.

Promote healthy eating and snacking habits. A nutritious diet is also important for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Make sure your child is eating a varied, balanced diet of whole foods in appropriate portions. You should limit sugar and other carbohydrates (which accelerate growth of decay-causing bacteria) to mealtimes; offer limited, non-sugary snacks between meals.

Warn older children and teens about practices that are unhealthy for the mouth. As children enter their teen years, they’re under increased pressure from peers to try unhealthy practices. Oral piercings like tongue and lip bolts can increase tooth damage — chipping and wear — and gum recession, infection and bone loss. Tobacco use, both smoke and smokeless, can also cause tooth staining, increase the risk of decay, gum disease and oral cancer. Begin stressing the dangers these practices pose to their general and oral health before they reach puberty.

Practice what you teach. ├é┬áModeling healthy behavior you want your child to learn is just as important as instructing them how to do it. When they’re very young, brushing teeth should be a family affair — allow them to see how you brush your teeth as you help them brush theirs. And, if you’re not sure if your hygiene techniques are worthy of emulation, we’ll be glad to help you improve your effectiveness to pass on to the next generation.

If you would like more information on developing life-long dental habits with your child, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “How to Help Your Child Develop the Best Habits for Oral Health.”

By Malouf Family Dentistry
June 30, 2015
Category: Oral Health
BeyonceMakesFlossingaFamilyAffair

As is the case with most celebs today, Beyonce is no stranger to sharing on social media… but she really got our attention with a video she recently posted on instagram. The clip shows the superstar songstress — along with her adorable three-year old daughter Blue Ivy — flossing their teeth! In the background, a vocalist (sounding remarkably like her husband Jay-Z) repeats the phrase “flossin’…flossin’…” as mom and daughter appear to take care of their dental hygiene in time with the beat: https://instagram.com/p/073CF1vw07/?taken-by=beyonce

We’re happy that this clip highlights the importance of helping kids get an early start on good oral hygiene. And, according to authorities like the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, age 3 is about the right time for kids to begin getting involved in the care of their own teeth.

Of course, parents should start paying attention to their kids’ oral hygiene long before age three. In fact, as soon as baby’s tiny teeth make their first appearance, the teeth and gums can be cleaned with a soft brush or cloth and a smear of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice. Around age 3, kids will develop the ability to spit out toothpaste. That’s when you can increase the amount of toothpaste a little, and start explaining to them how you clean all around the teeth on the top and bottom of the mouth. Depending on your child’s dexterity, age 3 might be a good time to let them have a try at brushing by themselves.

Ready to help your kids take the first steps to a lifetime of good dental checkups? Place a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste on a soft-bristled brush, and gently guide them as they clean in front, in back, on all surfaces of each tooth. At first, it’s a good idea to take turns brushing. That way, you can be sure they’re learning the right techniques and keeping their teeth plaque-free, while making the experience challenging and fun.

Most kids will need parental supervision and help with brushing until around age 6. As they develop better hand-eye coordination and the ability to follow through with the cleaning regimen, they can be left on their own more. But even the best may need some “brushing up” on their tooth-cleaning techniques from time to time.

What about flossing? While it’s an essential part of good oral hygiene, it does take a little more dexterity to do it properly. Flossing the gaps between teeth should be started when the teeth begin growing close to one another. Depending on how a child’s teeth are spaced, perhaps only the back ones will need to be flossed at first. Even after they learn to brush, kids may still need help flossing — but a floss holder (like the one Beyonce is using in the clip) can make the job a lot easier.

If you would like more information about maintaining your children’s oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Top 10 Oral Health Tips For Children” and “How to Help Your Child Develop the Best Habits for Oral Health.”