Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Preventive Dental Health

Oral Health Review!

Use the quiz below to test your family’s knowledge of oral hygiene best practices. Instilling the importance of routine brushing and flossing not only helps young patients keep their teeth strong, but reduces risk of issues adults typically experience, such as periodontitis.

How Healthy is Your Smile?

Adults typically have all 32 teeth in place by the time they are in their teens.  However, sometimes wisdom teeth are still coming through in the early twenties.  A healthy mouth consists of:

• 8 incisors
• 4 canines      
• 8 premolars
• 8 molars (not including the 4 wisdom teeth)

A healthy smile also includes vital soft tissue and comfortable dental function. Gum inflammation, persistent bad breath, or tooth aches are symptoms of infection and should be addressed promptly.

Dental Health Best Practices

Brushing your teeth at a 45-degree angle in a circular motion for two minutes, twice a day is the most effective way to prevent cavities. It’s recommended that adult patients use a fluoride toothpaste and floss at bedtime. Your diet choices also play into enjoying a healthy smile. Avoid excessive sugary sweets and sodas – even diet soda causes cavities, as it is highly acidic.

Even with excellent preventive habits, damage to teeth can still occur by accident. In the event of dental emergency, where a tooth is accidentally knocked out or broken, find and gently rinse the tooth or pieces. Avoid touching the root of the tooth, as important tissues may be attached. Try to reinsert the tooth in its socket, making sure it is facing the correct way. If that is not possible, put the tooth or broken pieces in milk or else in water with a pinch of salt. Call our office and we will do our best to see you as soon as possible.

Test Your Knowledge!

Ask yourself the basic questions below, or quiz members of your family to see determine your dental IQ. If you miss any or have questions about the best way to care for your smile, call our office to schedule your next routine cleaning.

1. In what direction or with what motion should you brush your teeth?
2. How many teeth does a typical adult have?
3. What are the different types of teeth?
4. How many of each type do we have?
5. At what angle should the toothbrush be held?
6. Do diet sodas cause cavities?
7. How often should people brush and floss?
8. How long should people brush?
9. What should you do if your tooth is accidentally knocked out?
10. After proper hygiene, what is the most important thing to do to keep your mouth and teeth healthy?


1. It’s best to brush in a circular motion.
2. 32
3. Incisors, canines, premolars, and molars
4. 8 incisors, 4 canines, 8 premolars, and 12 molars (including 4 wisdom teeth)
5. You should hold your brush at a 45-degree angle.
6. Yes the acidic nature of any soda causes extensive tooth damage.
7. Brush twice a day at morning and night.  Floss once a day, preferably at bedtime.
8. Teeth should be brushed for at least two minutes
9. Put the tooth or broken piece in milk (or water with a pinch of salt) and call Dr. Phony immediately!
10. See us twice a year for regular exams and cleanings


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