1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9…10! No, we’re not counting the teeth by number in your mouth – we’re talking about the Universal Numbering System for Teeth used by dentists and dental assistants everywhere! If you’ve ever been to the dentist and had your teeth examined, you may have wondered what those numbers were all about. In fact, it can be pretty confusing to those who haven’t seen them before. Let’s clear up that confusion by taking a closer look at this widely-used system!
Choosing the right toothbrush
As with any product, when choosing a toothbrush there are a few things to keep in mind, namely size and shape. The right brush depends on how you intend to use it. If you’re going to use your toothbrush as an everyday tool, it’s important that it fits comfortably in your mouth and is easy to maneuver so you can effectively clean all areas of your teeth. You’ll also want one with soft bristles since these will be gentler on sensitive teeth and gums.
Choosing the right toothpaste
We all know that we need to brush our teeth, but choosing a toothpaste can be confusing. Should you buy an expensive brand or use your old standby? The answer depends on your specific needs. A basic toothpaste will clean your teeth just fine, but if you’re looking for whitening and breath freshening, then choose one that advertises those features prominently. There are also special toothpastes designed to prevent gingivitis or gum disease. You can ask your dentist which one is best for you, but generally speaking there are two kinds of toothpastes: non-fluoride and fluoride-containing.
Regular visits to your dentist
See your dentist regularly—at least twice a year. They’ll check how healthy your teeth and gums are, give you advice on maintaining good oral hygiene at home, and see if any problems are developing or worsening. Most importantly, they’ll spot signs of oral cancer before it has a chance to become more serious (and painful). Don’t be embarrassed to speak up about your mouth pain; brushing and flossing can only do so much! And don’t worry: if you have trouble remembering which tooth is which, just ask your dentist to write an easy-to-follow diagram. It may be embarrassing now, but it will save you from pain later.
Brushing with purpose
The biggest indicator of how healthy our teeth are is how much we take care of them. Regularly visiting your dentist is an effective way to make sure everything’s in good working order. Another effective strategy is to brush and floss your teeth twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed. Remember, making it a habit to brush and floss regularly will help you keep your teeth healthy while also preventing plaque buildup or decay—which can cost hundreds of dollars to fix later on down the road. And with such a simple strategy, there’s no reason not to start taking care of your teeth today!
Most dentists concentrate on a particular area or specialty of dentistry. Some focus on oral and maxillofacial surgery, pediatrics, periodontics (gum disease), orthodontics (teeth straightening), restorative (crowns, fillings) or endodontics (root canals). It’s important to know what type of dentist you are seeking before you start your search. Most areas have general dentists that offer all dental services in addition to specialists who only work in a specific area of dentistry. Be sure you understand which is which when scheduling your next visit!
Use mouthwash after brushing teeth
Brushing is a great way to keep your teeth clean, but it’s not enough on its own. Many toothpastes already contain fluoride, which strengthens enamel and helps prevent cavities. Fluoride mouthwash can be even more effective than fluoride toothpaste in strengthening your teeth and protecting against cavities. Brushing is important, but proper oral hygiene requires that you also swish with mouthwash after brushing. Check with your dentist to find out how often you should be using mouthwash and make sure you’re using one that contains fluoride—your dentist may even recommend that you alternate between regular brushing and fluoride mouthwash every day.
Learn more about cavities and bacteria in your mouth. Don’t brush too hard!
Brushing too hard is a common mistake that can lead to more serious oral problems like cavities, sensitive teeth, and even gum disease. When you brush too hard, you are not only putting wear and tear on your toothbrush but also grinding down enamel and exposing your roots. To prevent these issues, consider replacing your toothbrush every three months. If possible, try to replace it even earlier if there is any visible wear or fraying of bristles. Most importantly, remember to brush gently!
Did you know dentists also have different specialties?
Did you know there are specialties in dentistry? Did you know not all dental specialists are also dentists? Did you know each specialty has its own numbering system? Did you know that many dentists don’t stay in their chosen specialty after they graduate, but still continue to use their numbering system? Here is a list of different dental specialties and what they do