Posts Tagged ‘oral health’

Tooth Brushing Basics

September 26, 2013

Do You Know The Basics?

Recently the American Dental Association did a survey to see if typical Americans knew some basic facts about dental health. Here are some of the questions – play along and see how you do!

• What type of bristles should you have on your toothbrush – soft, medium or hard?

Most people chose either medium or hard, but the fact is soft bristles are best! Medium or hard can actually damage your sensitive gum tissue and wear your teeth!

• Sugar causes cavities – true or false?

Practically everyone answered “true” to this one, but the answer is actually “false!” But you may feel it’s a trick question. Cavities are caused by bacteria, but the problem causing organisms feed on sugar that is stuck to your teeth! We recommend limiting sweets and soft drinks, especially the sticky kind!

• Does The American Dental Association recommend brushing your teeth for sixty seconds after every meal, or for two minutes twice per day?

Again, most people got this one wrong! The ADA suggests twice per day for two minutes. Of course, if you want to throw in a few extra brushing sessions each day we won’t object – especially before you come to visit us!

• True or false – it is normal for your gums to bleed while brushing and flossing.

Okay – this one is a little scary. 35% of respondents answered “true” – but the answer is definitely false! Think about it – what would you do if your nose bled every time you sneezed, or your arm bled when you scratched it? Well, the same goes for your gums! Bleeding is a sign of gum disease and infection, and is certainly not normal or healthy!

So how did you do? Hopefully this little quiz was fun, and maybe you even learned something!

At Malenius Dental, we are here to answer any questions you may have, no matter how basic! Give us a call at 630-668-6180
and we will be glad to help you – or to set up an appointment for a dental examination, cleaning, to look at any dental problem you may be having, or even to brighten up your smile. Whatever it is – we can help!

Do You Brush Your Teeth Correctly? Probably Not!

December 6, 2012

Almost everybody brushes their teeth, but only one in ten people are doing it effectively!

To that, we have to say a great big “YUCK!!” Imagine if only ten percent of the population showered correctly. That would be pretty gross. But according to researchers at The University of Gothenburg, ninety percent of the population does not brush their teeth in the right way!

Don’t worry!! Your friends at Dr. Malenius and Associates are here to help you. So sit back and open wide as we present….

The Top Eight Toothbrushing Tips!

  1. Size Matters!

Many people use a large toothbrush head thinking the bigger the better.” But you can brush just as effectively if not more so with a smaller brush, especially if you have to strain your mouth to use a larger one.

According to dental consumer advisor Dr. Richard Price, the more comfortable it is in your mouth and your hand, then the more likely you will use it and use it properly.”

  1. It’s Good To Be A Softy!

It would seem to make sense that firmer bristles would clean your teeth better, but many times they just wind up damaging your sensitive gum tissue. The American Dental Association recommends a soft-bristled brush and we agree!

  1. Don’t Do A Rush Job!

While most people spend fifteen seconds or so per round of brushing, a full two minutes is best. And to make sure you don’t play favorites, divide your mouth into four sections (upper right, lower right, etc..) and spend thirty seconds on each.

Some electric toothbrushes actually have timers, but you don’t need to be so fancy. Find a thirty second song and sing it to yourself for each mouth quarter. Or multitask by watching TV until the full two minutes is up.

  1. What’s Your Angle?

While we typically picture toothbrushing to be a horizontal affair, that leaves out many important tooth surfaces, including the crucial area where the tooth meets the gum line. Aim your bristles at a forty-five degree angle and make sure they gently dip below

the outer surface of your gums. This can get very tricky, and we recommend that you have one of the fantastic members of our dental hygiene team give you a full demonstration!

  1. It’s An Inside Job!

The inner surfaces of the teeth are often overlooked, but just because they hide from daylight doesn’t mean you should neglect them! Take the time to brush all tooth surfaces, inside and out. Oh – don’t forget your tongue either!

  1. Rinse-a-rama!

After you brush, loose bacteria are floating around in your mouth having a big old party. It’s time to finish them up with a rinse of mouthwash or even water. They’re on your toothbrush too, so it’s always a good idea to run that under the faucet for a few seconds when you finish!

  1. Forced Retirement

Many people get nostalgic over their old toothbrushes, but keeping them for too long is a big mistake!! Frayed bristles can’t clean correctly, and even worse – they harbor all kinds of nasty germs. The American Dental Association suggests changing your toothbrush every three to four months – but we think that may even be too long of an interval for many. When in doubt – toss it out!

  1. And There’s One More Thing

Even though we are discussing toothbrushing, it just wouldn’t be complete without mentioning those tooth surfaces between your teeth – the ones that can’t be reached with a brush. Yes, that’s right – we all need to floss!! Daily flossing prevents cavities and helps to keep your gums in good shape.

At Malenius Dental and Associates, we want you to have strong healthy teeth and gums, fresh breath and a beautiful smile!! Please call us now at 630-668-6180 to schedule an appointment, ask any questions about keeping your teeth and gums nice and clean, or even to schedule a complimentary Imagebrushing and flossing lesson! We are here for you!

More Reasons Not To Use Oral Barbells To Exercise tongue Muscles

April 27, 2010

More on Oral Barbells

Athletes who always seem to be health conscious can’t seem to understand the risks of oral piercings and jewelry. According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), oral piercing and tongue jewelry place athletes at risk for serious medical and dental consequences.

“For years, we have been urging athletes to wear mouthguards when they are playing,” says AGD spokesperson Bruce DeGinder, DDS, MAGD. “Now we have to tell them to take the barbell out of their tongues.”

The AGD published an article in the March/April 2002 issue of General Dentistry ( the Academy’s peer-reviewed, clinical journal), one out of every five oral piercings results in infection from contaminated puncture wounds. They found athletes are more susceptible than the average person to develop infections due to the increased blood flow and breathing rate involved in vigorous exercise, as well as the increased chance of bleeding from a contact injury, both of which can spread infection more quickly.

In a survey of pediatric dentists, 24% reported that they had treated patients with complications resulting from oral piercing. Common problems included bleeding, airway restriction, and chemical burns caused by post-piercing care products. Damage to the teeth and gums is of course another common problem.

According to Suzann P. McGeary, DDS, the risks and dangers of oral jewelry and piercings are even higher for athletes. “The athlete who participates in contact sports may be particularly susceptible to airway restriction because an impact may dislodge the tongue jewelry, which could be inhaled. It also could be swallowed, which could cause injury to the gastrointestinal tract.”

Damage to teeth by tongue jewelry is another danger intensified by participating in contact sports. “We have seen so many cracks and fractures in teeth caused by clicking, tapping or rubbing the jewelry on them that it has gotten its own name – the wrecking ball fracture,” says Dr. DeGinder. “The danger of this is much higher on the playing field.” According to Dr. McGeary, the jewelry can also injure the gums and other soft tissue, as well as interfere with proper salivary functioning, conditions that decrease the body’s defenses against infection and disease.

Dr. DeGinder’s first suggestion regarding oral piercing is, “Don’t do it.”

Mixing tongue jewelry and a mouthguard is a particularly bad combination, says Dr. McGeary. “The jewelry may interfere with the mouthguard and cause increased salivary flow and gagging or inhibit breathing or speech.”

“Remove the tongue jewelry – not the mouthguard,” says Dr. McGeary.
Info from the AGD