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Are You Hurting Your Gums When You Floss and Brush?

Get the Most Out of Your Brushing and Flossing With These Techniques

Every dental patient knows the number one recommendation made by their dentist to improve oral health would simply be, “brush your teeth.” “Floss your teeth” would be close behind. However, are you practicing the proper brushing and flossing techniques that can maximize your oral health? If not, you could be missing important areas or even hurting your dental health.

Tips for proper brushing are more numerous than you might think, but each step is important:

  • Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush. Stiffer bristles don’t do a better job of brushing your teeth and may harm your gums. Replace it every 2-3 months, or when the bristles begin to fan.
  • Use a fluoridated toothpaste.
  • Only brush 2-3 teeth at a time, being careful not to irritate the gum line.
  • Begin with outer and inner tooth surfaces, holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. Work in short strokes parallel to the gum line and be sure to reach back teeth.
  • When brushing chewing surfaces, hold your brush flat and use short strokes back and forth. Again, make sure to reach your back teeth.
  • Be sure to brush the tongue from back to front. The tongue can harbor bacteria and food particles that contribute to tooth decay and odor.
  • Brush for two minutes twice a day, or after meals.

Flossing is an activity too many dental patients avoid, which can result in food and plaque buildup between the teeth. Follow these steps for a healthy flossing technique:

  • If using traditional floss, section off about 18 inches and wrap the ends around the pointer fingers for tautness, leaving about an inch between your fingers.
  • Use a new 1-inch section of your floss piece for each tooth.
  • Curve floss in a C-shape and use it to gently remove plaque and debris from the side of each tooth, working away from the gum.
  • Floss each tooth, all the way to the back of the mouth.

Ask your dentist or hygienist for more information about areas of your teeth you may be missing. Ballinger Family Dentistry is an Edmond OK dentist focused on your oral health. Contact us for an appointment today.



Why are my teeth sensitive?

Why do my teeth hurt with cold or hot foods, and drinks? They’re just really sensitive!

Why are my teeth sensitive?

Have you ever taken a big gulp of ice tea, or maybe it was hot coffee, and it set off crazy pain in some of your teeth? Sometimes, just simply bushing or flossing your teeth can be difficult due to sensitivity. Having sensitive teeth is not all that uncommon, and in this article we will look at some of the causes.

  • Tooth Decay – If you have fillings, over time they can weaken and cause leaking around the edges. This allows bacteria to accumulate, which leads to a build up of acid, and enamel breakdown. Under the enamel you will find microscopic canals that lead to the nerve of the tooth. Without the protective enamel layer, teeth are left vulnerable.
  • Brushing too hard – If you are using a hard bristled tooth brush like a handsaw, stop it! This will also lead to enamel breakdown.
  • Too Much Plaque – The purpose of flossing and brushing is to remove plaque build up. Again, this is another cause of enamel breakdown. It is important to visit a dentist regularly for cleanings.
  • Receding Gums – Receding gums will increase with age and lack of dental care. As a gum line recedes, it exposes some of the tooth that isn’t covered with enamel. Another pattern where enamel is involved!
  • Toothpaste & Mouthwash – Some toothpastes, especially those designed for tooth whitening, have various chemicals that people can be sensitive to.

You probably saw on this list the importance of tooth enamel, and how it protects the teeth. There are various causes for sensitive teeth, so be sure to consult with your dentist. If you have any concerns about your oral health, or are looking for a dentist in Edmond, contact Dr. Ballinger’s office to schedule an appointment!

Electric Toothbrush?

Is it really a better option to brush with an electric toothbrush? In this article, we will discuss the benefits of using this method of brushing over it’s  manual counterpart.

Electric Toothbrush?

Long before the the invention of the toothbrush, people were using a variety of different methods to achieve oral health. Everything from chewing sticks to using feathers has been discovered. The first bristle toothbrush related to our modern invention, was discovered in China, and made from hog bristles. The toothbrush began to be mass produced in the United States in 1885, however brushing did not become routine until after WWII.

Here are some of the properties of both manual and electric toothbrushes:

  • Traditional – Manual toothbrushes can still get the job done. The goal of brushing is to remove plaque and debris from your teeth, without destroying tooth enamel or irritating the gum tissue. There are correct and incorrect ways to brush your teeth, especially with a manual toothbrush. As with any toothbrush, over time, the bristles can wear out, causing brushings to be less effective. When using a traditional toothbrush, people will sometimes brush too hard. Brushing too hard with a manual brush is not only hard on your teeth but also on your gums, leading to gum issues
  • Electric Toothbrush – An electric toothbrush uses motion and pressure from the brush itself so the bristles can reach further. In fact, most of these brushes are set on a certain time, which makes for longer brushing, better brushing and a cleaner mouth. When using a manual toothbrush, there is a tendency to brush too hard, causes enamel break down. With an electric toothbrush, it will do the work for you! They are also a great way to fight gum disease and bad breath. A good electric toothbrush can lead to a great improvement in a person’s overall oral health. Remember, if you hav any questions about dental care or need to schedule an appointment, don’t hesitate to contact Ballinger Family Dentistry!
Dentist in Edmond

Dentist in Edmond: Use your benefits in January!

Dentist in Edmond on why you should use your dental benefits in January

Now that the new year is here and all the holiday parties are over many people are looking forward to the new year and the changes they want to make. However, not many people are thinking about using their dental benefits. If your insurance is in the majority then your dental benefits will have been reset on January 1st of this year. That means if you started a procedure and you need to finish it January is the month to do it. January is typically slow for dentists as many people rushed to get their procedures in during the last two months of the previous year. Book an appointment in January is likely to be more flexible in terms of appointment dates.

Dentist in Edmond explains how Dental Benefits reset

Most dental insurance plans run during the calendar year, meaning January to December. During that time whenever your dentist submits your procedures as an insurance claim, any applicable deductible is applied to your coinsurance claim. It’s rare that a single procedure will use all of your deductible. However, in order to know for sure make sure you look over your insurance paperwork or call your insurance company to see how much you have left. In many cases, insurance companies will have the information accessible online.

Using benefits in January

Many people use this benefits reset to their advantage by starting a procedure in December, using up their benefits, and then completing the procedure in January when those benefits reset. Even if your not one of these people getting in to see your Edmond Dentist in January or February can still save you time. And if you start the year out by planing to use all your benefits by the end of the year you won’t be facing a time crunch to get all your work done.

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