Posts Tagged ‘toothpaste’

Toothbrushes and Toothpaste

posted by Dr. James G. Hood
Monday, September 28, 2015


Frequently, I am asked what is the best toothbrush and toothpaste. As with many things in life, the answer is not so simple. But there are a few guidelines.

Definitely, I would never recommend any hard-bristled or medium-bristled toothbrush, only soft-bristled toothbrushes for human teeth. Hamster cages and boots can be cleaned with hard or medium bristled toothbrushes, but not teeth. Also, the bristles should be rounded on the end, not sharp or ragged. Gums can be lacerated easily with a sharp bristled toothbrush.

SOFT: Soft nylon will prevent teeth and gums from being scratched. Tooth- brushes with the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance (ADA Seal) should be your only reasonable choice for toothbrushes (and tooth- paste) for that matter.

RIGHT SIZE: The size and shape of the brush should also be user appropriate. Children need smaller brush heads and handles. Your brush should feel comfortable in your hand. Smaller brush heads in adults is usually better. Ask your dentist or hygienist if you have a question about your brush or brushing.

MAINTAIN: Replace your worn or frayed brush at least every 3-4 months. Frayed bristles can damage teeth and gums and harbor bacteria.

ELECTRIC: And, if you need (children and handicapped patients) electric toothbrushes work as well as manual brushes. So…if you’ve followed the above guidelines, the best brush is the one you like to use at least twice daily.

The average person brushes for about 37 seconds. However, to do a proper job it takes two to three minutes to sufficiently remove plaque when brushing. A three minute egg timer is a good reminder for children’s brushing. Aim the bristles at a 45o angle to the long axis of the teeth and with gentle circular motions, brush all exposed surfaces.

DEVELOP A BRUSHING PATTERN: Brush in a pattern that covers all the surfaces of all teeth each time you brush. For example, brush from right to left on the outside of upper teeth, then left to right inside surface of upper teeth, then outside right to left lower teeth and then inside left to right lower teeth and then lower biting surfaces left to right and upper biting surface right to left.

TOOTHPASTE: Tooth paste not only polishes teeth, it also helps remove plaque (bacteria and its waste products) from teeth. Daily removal of plaque from teeth helps keep teeth and gums healthy and breath fresh.

AMERICAN MADE: This is one place where the American Dental Association (ADA) seal is particularly important. Never use toothpaste from China.

WHITENING TOOTHPASTES: Teeth whitening toothpastes don’t really work to whiten teeth. They may rid you mouth of stains. However, they often cause sensitivity.

DESENSITIZING TOOTH PASTES: These toothpastes are valuable in blocking irritants from getting to nerve ending. Potassium nitrate (salt peter) is the most effective desensitizing agent in desensitizing toothpastes (potassium nitrate is also used to cure and maintain red color in corned beef).

FLUORIDE TOOTHPASTE: Fluoride is the most significant chemical element which can be easily added to tooth paste to improve dental health. Fluoride remineralizes and strengthens teeth as well as desensitized teeth. Children, especially through teen years, and senior citizens can benefit from fluoride in toothpastes and other forms of topical fluoride, especially in areas (there are still a few) without the benefit of community water fluoridation.

Keep smiling!
Dr. James G. Hood, D.D.S, P.S.

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James G. Hood, D.D.S., P.S.
2510 N. Pines Rd., Suite 206
Spokane Valley, WA 99206  USA
Phone: (509) 928-9100  |  Fax: (509) 928-0414

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Fluoride – Topical and Systemic Treatments

posted by Dr. James G. Hood
Saturday, May 21, 2011

Fluoride is one of the most abundant and chemically reactive elements on earth.  Many foods (including certain teas, red wines, meat, fish, eggs and cheeses) contain high amounts of fluoride.  Everyone ingests at least trace amounts of fluoride on a regular basis.  Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that strengthens teeth.

Fluoride can be taken in one of two ways:  topically and systemicallyTopical applications of fluoride include toothpastes, mouth rinses, and fluoride treatments in a dental office.  Systemic fluoride is taken as a tablet or added to the diet as mentioned above or added to something ingested (i.e., water fluoridation).

Water fluoridation is the process of adjusting the fluoride content in local water facilities to the recommended dose for optimal dental health.  Hundreds of fluoridation studies, from more than 20 countries, have proven the effect of optimal fluoride levels in local diets at reducing tooth decay.  In some communities fluoride needs to be reduced (taken out) from local water supplies, and in other communities it is added to water supplies to create optimal fluoride concentration.

There are still a few areas (i.e., Spokane, WA) which have virtually no naturally occurring fluoride in local water supplies and civic leaders have chosen (I believe unwisely) not to add fluoride to the community water.   In such a case, your family dentist can prescribe fluoride tablets in the optimal concentration for local water supplies to prevent decay in residents.

Again, numerous studies have shown that fluoridated water, at an optimal level recommended for decay prevention in teeth, is completely safe.

Application of fluoride to teeth (both systemically and topically), along with pit and fissure sealants, are the two best preventive measures in reducing or preventing decay in teeth.

Fluoride does not replace flossing but, as part of a good oral hygiene program, can go a long way in helping to reduce or eliminate tooth decay.

Keep Smiling!

Dr. James G. Hood

Dental Care Associates of Spokane Valley, P.S.

Family and Cosmetic Dentistry Welcomes Patients from Age 2 to 102!

James G. Hood, D.D.S., M.A.

507 North Sullivan Road, Suite A-1, Spokane Valley, WA 99037-8576  USA

Phone: (509) 928-9100  |  Fax: (509) 928-0414




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