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Adult Oral Health

Why is oral hygiene important?  Good oral hygiene is important to an individual's overall health. Taking excellent care of your teeth and visiting the dentist on a regular basis are key ways to prevent tooth decay and gum disease, as well as maintain healthy-looking teeth. Good oral health care should begin at birth so that it develops into a lifetime habit.

How often should you brush and floss?  Dentists recommend that you brush at least twice a day (morning and night), and if possible, after every meal. It's important to brush at bedtime because saliva that washes away food particles, decrease at night, making it easier for decay to start. Individuals should floss their teeth once a day. Oral irrigation using the Hydro Floss oral irrigator will assist in flushing out food particles and debris, also in reducing plaque. Toothpicks are not recommended because they may splinter in the gum area.

What is the best way to brush?  An individual should receive advice from his or her dentist on how to properly brush the teeth. Dentists recommend using a soft toothbrush, and brushing for one to two minutes. In addition:

  • Brush the outer surface of each tooth (upper and lower) and the gumline. Brush using gentle small circle.
  • Hold the brush so that the bristles point toward the gums at about a 45 to 60 degree angle.
  • Brush both the teeth and gums at the same time.
  • Brush your tongue to help freshen your breath and clean your mouth by removing bacteria.

Why do you need to brush, floss, and irrigate?  Brushing, flossing and irrigating will remove plaque, a colorless film that is constantly forming in the mouth. Plaque is made up of bacteria, saliva and acids that form into a sticky deposit, clinging to the teeth. When plaque is not removed, it hardens into tartar that only a professional may be able to remove via cleaning. Using an oral irrigator will help soften the hardened plaque (tartar or calculus).

Which is better: a manual toothbrush or an electric one?  Comparisons have been made between the power-assisted (electric) toothbrushes and manual toothbrushes to look at the ability of each to remove plaque and prevent or reduce calculus (tartar) buildup, thus reducing gingivitis (gum disease). These research studies have shown both powered and manual toothbrushes to be equally effective when used correctly. So probably, in practical terms, which brush you use is not the critical factor, but how you use it that is the most important. It basically comes down to personal preference.

If I use a fluoride toothpaste and fluoridated water do I need additional fluoride? This depends on your oral health status and any additional sources of fluoride that you may be receiving. Talk to your health care professionals about this topic for individualized information.

How do I get rid of bad breath?  That depends on what is causing it. Often, bad breath results from less-than-optimal oral health, and sometimes people are not aware that they are not performing oral hygiene as effectively as they could be. A dental hygienist or dentist will be able to evaluate your oral health procedures and make recommendations for improvement; also, these professionals will be able to recognize any associated problems that might be contributing to an unpleasant mouth odor. In addition to evaluating and suggesting alterations to your brushing, flossing, irrigating, and tongue deplaquing regimen, your dental hygienist may recommend products such as mouthrinse that contains zinc. If it turns out that the problem isn't in the mouth,a physician appointment is advisable. Sinus problems, stomach problems, and certain foods and medications, and other factors can contribute to bad breath.

Do older adults get cavities?  Cavities are as much a problem for older adults as they are for children. As we age, our gums recede away from teeth, which exposes the tooth root to plaque. Our teeth are covered with enamel, but the root is covered with a softer tissue called cementum, thus, tooth roots are as susceptible to decay as teeth. According to the American Dental Association, the majority of people age 50 and older have tooth-root decay. Older adults are also prone to decay around the edges of fillings. Because many older adults lacked the benefits of fluoride, they often have many restorations. Over the years, fillings may weaken or fracture or leak around the edges. Bacteria accumulate in the tiny crevices causing acid to build up, which leads to tooth decay.

Is oral health important to my overall health and well-being?  Research has reported back with an absolute. Oral health has been directly linked to our overall health and well-being. The mouth has been referred to as the gateway into the body. The mouth's oxygen-rich environment connects to many blood vessels that provide a perfect habitat for bacteria and to house oral cancer cells. If unattended, these same blood vessels will transport these cells throughout the body. 

Call us at 800-635-3594 or email us at helpdesk@hydrofloss.com to talk more about your oral health and how the Hydro Floss® can help.



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