A Way to Care for Your Teeth

There are so many bacteria in the mouth that there are about 103 bacteria in the gingival sulcus of healthy teeth, and about 109 on the surface of the tooth. If there is periodontal disease, there are 1011 bacteria in a single tooth. At present, molecular biology has confirmed the oral cavity. There are more than 700 species of bacteria, and Lin Jingyi, a doctor of oral biomedicine at Harvard University, hastily said these numbers.

Whether it is the bacteria that cause tooth decay or periodontal disease, they have strong reproductive power. It doesn’t take long for food residues to stay in the mouth before it begins to ferment and become nutrients for bacteria. When the bacteria in the mouth are adsorbed by glycoprotein components and stick to the teeth, this is dental plaque, which gradually evolves into a film on the surface of the teeth and in the gaps. This is the main cause of periodontal disease in the future.

According to medical reports, foods with a pH of less than 5.5 will start to ferment when they stay in the mouth for 5 to 10 minutes, which will cause acidification (decalcification) of the teeth. Huang Zuoqi, the former director of pediatric dentistry of Changhua Christian Hospital, reminded that when the enamel is slowly acidified, the surface will lose its smoothness and become a white flaky after a period of time. “This is the precursor of tooth decay. If you continue to pay attention to oral cleaning, after a period of time, The tooth decays.” But if the tooth cleaning and fluoride use are strengthened, the enamel will calcify again and restore health.

For this reason, dentists keep reminding them to brush their teeth as soon as they finish eating. “It’s like washing the bowl after eating. Who dares to take the unwashed bowl and eat it,” Taipei Medical University Dentistry An analogy from the Department of Clinical Professor Yang Peiqing.

In order to avoid brushing your toothbrush all day long, you can eat sweets with your dinner and brush your teeth immediately after eating. “Don’t eat all day, especially snacks,” reminded Shen Maogen, the attending physician at Minsheng Dental Clinic who has been promoting oral health on campus for many years.

Brushing your teeth correctly is very important. Whether or not you use the Bayonet brushing method, it must take at least 3 minutes to thoroughly clean your teeth. In particular, cleaning your teeth before going to bed is the most important, because there is less saliva secretion when you sleep. If you don’t brush it clean, you will be prone to tooth decay.

Q 2 How to choose a toothbrush? When should I change my toothbrush? Do I need to change after catching a cold?

A: Take a trip to a drugstore or a hypermarket. All kinds of toothbrushes are hung on half of the wall. The bristles are divided into super soft, soft, medium soft, and hard bristles. Not to mention the brush heads, there are regular flat heads, The wavy head, the front concave and the convex head…it is dazzling, and I don’t know where to start.

It is recommended to return to the basics when choosing, and not to be overwhelmed by the fancy design. The size of your mouth should prevail. It is better to brush 2 to 3 teeth at a time. The brush head should not be too large, and the bristles should be soft and hard. Moderate degree is appropriate.

If you have just finished periodontal surgery, it is best to use a super soft toothbrush to protect the fragile gums, Shen Maogen added.

Some people worry that the virus will remain on the toothbrush during a cold, so they have questions about whether to replace the toothbrush. The dentists unanimously said that there is no need to replace the toothbrush after a cold. Whether you have a cold or not, there are a lot of bacteria in your mouth. “When you brush your teeth, bacteria will adhere,” Shen Maogen explained.

Three principles can be grasped when you need to replace the toothbrush:

1. From the back of the toothbrush, if you have seen the bristles turned out, it means that the bristles are very fluffy and must be replaced.
2. Even if the bristles have no external forks, they have been used for 6-8 weeks and still need to be replaced.
3. If there are dirt deposits on the bottom of the bristles, they need to be replaced.

Who brushes the general toothbrush or electric toothbrush cleanly?

A: If you brush your teeth carefully and correctly every day, use dental floss or interdental brushes, you can keep your mouth clean. You don’t have to use an electric toothbrush.

The electric toothbrush is a rotating surface, and the teeth are curved. There are only a few points each time they touch. You need to be patient to clean each point. If you have patience and slowly brush one point by one point, then use a normal toothbrush. It can also be very clean, Professor Yang Peiqing said with a smile.

However, some people have insufficient hand strength, inconvenient limbs or wear orthotics, electric toothbrushes are quite helpful, especially the use of electric toothbrushes with sonic vibration, the cleaning effect is good.

The Institute of Medical Engineering of National Taiwan University has conducted research on electric toothbrushes and general toothbrushes. The results claim that sonic-vibrating electric toothbrushes are better than general toothbrushes because of their high vibration frequency. This research was published in the Journal of Medicine and Bioengineering.

There is a prerequisite for using an electric toothbrush. The frequency and time of brushing cannot be reduced. Huang Huiyu, master of pediatric dentistry from the Institute of Clinical Dentistry, National Taiwan University, and the attending physician of the Department of Dentistry of the Shuanghe Hospital, reminded that the use of an electric toothbrush must be set for at least 2 minutes. , Still need to use dental floss.

Which one should I use for dental floss, dental floss stick or interdental brush?

A: Both the American Dental Association and the Periodontology Association of the Republic of China have recognized that dental floss is the most effective tool for removing dental plaque.

Although the toothbrush can clean the cheek, lingual and occlusal surfaces of the teeth, it cannot reach into the abutting surface between the teeth. This is the place where dental plaque most likes to hide and is the most vulnerable to tooth decay.

In order to avoid tooth decay and periodontal disease, remember to floss after eating and brushing your teeth. Use dental floss to be gentler to avoid injury to the gums.

Compared with dental floss, dental floss sticks are less effective and are not favored by the medical profession because the floss sticks are very short and must be replaced many times to clean the full teeth, and the gums are easily damaged during the pulling process.

As for interdental brushes, in recent years, with the growing trend of orthodontics, more and more people use them. There are also various sizes of designs in the shops. Whether the interdental brush can replace dental floss, “No,” Chen Likai, director of the Department of Dental Medicine of Taipei United Hospital, replied bluntly, “because the brush works on different parts.”

Dental floss can remove the abutment surface between the teeth and the interdental brush can not get in; the interdental brush is good at cleaning the area between the teeth, especially if there is periodontal disease, as the gums recede, part of the root of the tooth will be exposed. The abutting surface of the tooth root is dented, which is difficult to remove with dental floss alone, but brushing between teeth can do a great job.

However, when using an interdental brush, be sure to choose the bristles carefully, and determine the thickness of the bristles according to the size of your teeth. If you can’t put it between the teeth, you must not harden it to avoid hurting the gums.

Will long-term use of anti-sensitive toothpaste reduce immunity? How to choose toothpaste?

A: No.

The cause of tooth sensitivity is gum recession or loss of enamel, which leads to exposure of dentin. In addition to removing plaque, anti-sensitive toothpaste can also reduce the sensitivity of tooth nerves. The effect is usually more than four weeks. Long-term use, there is currently no research report showing that it will reduce immunity. “Anti-allergy toothpaste has nothing to do with immunity,” said Dr. Lin Jingyi.

At present, there are many kinds of toothpastes on the market, and you can choose anti-sensitivity or whitening toothpastes according to personal needs. If you want to prevent caries, you should choose fluoride toothpaste. It is recommended to use fluoride toothpaste twice a day regardless of how many times you brush your teeth. “Especially before going to bed, the effect is the best,” said Guo Minguang, professor emeritus of the Department of Dentistry at National Taiwan University School of Medicine.

In addition, the amount of toothpaste does not need to be large, it is about a pea, squeezed in the center of the toothbrush bristles.

Do I have to use toothpaste to brush my teeth? Can I brush my teeth with salt?

A: Not necessarily.

Many dentists have stated that as long as the method of brushing is correct, the teeth can be cleaned and plaque can be removed even without toothpaste.

Toothpaste can increase the fun of brushing your teeth. Because of the addition of fragrances, detergents and abrasives, it is full of fragrance when brushing your teeth, and small bubbles can coat food residues, which are easier to remove. The abrasives can help remove dental plaque. Moreover, fluoride-added toothpaste can prevent tooth decay. When the enamel absorbs fluoride, it can form a harder crystal, which is more resistant to acidification by bacteria. It will also promote the recalcification of decalcified teeth. The Department of Dental Shuanghe Hospital attends Doctor Huang Huiyu explained.

As for whether you should brush your teeth with salt?

Shen Maogen, a dentist who has promoted oral health care on campus for more than 10 years, said that in the early days, many people brushed their teeth less frequently, causing serious accumulation of dental plaque, resulting in dental calculus. Frequent smoking can easily accumulate smoke and stones on the teeth. Brushing with salt seems to be OK. Brush off the stones, this is because the salt particles are coarser and have high friction.

However, using too much force will damage your teeth and hurt your gums. If you really have a soft spot for salt, it is recommended to brush your teeth with salt water instead of brushing your teeth directly with salt.

Do I need to use a punching machine?

A: “If you brush your toothbrush very cleanly, you don’t need to use a toothbrush,” Dr. Yang Peiqing believes that the toothbrush function can wash away food residues and cannot completely remove dental plaque, so it cannot replace toothbrushing.

If you want to clean your teeth more thoroughly, after brushing and flossing, you can still use the dental flushing machine as an auxiliary tool to massage your gums.

Be careful when using it. Do not use too much flushing force. Correctly, you should spray water on the teeth and avoid directly flushing the gingival sulcus (the gap between the gums and the teeth), otherwise it will easily cause the gum tissue to peel off.

Is anyone born with tooth decay?

A: Indeed, some people are naturally prone to tooth decay. They have already tried very hard to clean their teeth. As long as they relax a little bit, they will start to cavities again.

There are many reasons for tooth decay, which may be related to the structure of the tooth. Although babies’ teeth are fixed in size when they just germinate, the enamel and tooth roots are not yet mature. The enamel will continue to absorb calcium ions in the mouth and form crystals on the surface of the teeth, such as absorbing calcium in milk. If the teeth are coated with fluoride at this time, It also absorbs fluoride ions. These substances are gradually absorbed by the teeth in the oral cavity. The teeth will be harder and less prone to tooth decay.

The pediatric dentist recommends that children should be fluoridated before the age of 3; when the first molar of the permanent teeth (6-year-old tooth) grows out, ask the doctor to use a cavity sealer to seal the occlusal surface of the tooth with a cavity Seal it up, because the toothbrush can’t be cleaned, it’s the most prone to tooth decay.

Some people’s enamel is naturally calcified very well. It is possible that when the maternal embryo conceives the tooth germ, the nutrient intake is sufficient and it is inherently less likely to have tooth decay. It is also related to saliva. Saliva can have a self-cleaning effect on teeth. The so-called rolling stones do not grow moss. If the amount of saliva secretion is sufficient and it keeps flowing in the mouth, dental plaque is less likely to adhere to the surface of the teeth. If the saliva secretion is low, tooth decay is prone to.

This is also the reason why patients with head and neck cancer undergoing radiotherapy will damage their salivary glands and reduce their saliva secretion, leading to violent dental caries.

If you brush your teeth and floss every day and still have tooth decay, it is likely that the original tooth decay has not been cleaned up. The bacteria that caused the tooth decay are still hidden in the teeth, and the bacteria will continue to drill down. Over time, the roots of the tooth will also decay.

At this time, the treatment strategy must be changed. In addition to using traditional filling methods and fluorine glue, it may be possible to switch to dentures, or use high-concentration fluorine paint to coat the gaps between teeth that are prone to tooth decay. The fluorine paint adheres to the surface of the teeth and is not easily washed away. , Huang Huiyu suggested.

Allergic children’s teeth tend to turn yellow, do they need to be cleaned?

A: Parents who have allergic children at home are worried that their children often have yellow teeth. Is it related to the use of tracheal dilators? Does it need to be cleaned?

Huang Zuoqi, the former director of children’s dentistry at Changhua Christian Hospital and a specialist in Oral Health and Orthodontics Association of Children and Adolescents, observed that many allergic children often use mouth breathing, their mouths are slightly open, and tooth enamel lacks saliva moisturizing, they are more likely to be stained because saliva affects the teeth. The role of sterilization and cleaning.

Staining is divided into endogenous and exogenous. For exogenous staining such as drinking coffee, tea or smoking, food coloring is easy to get stuck on the surface of teeth; in addition, during the epidemic of enterovirus, the oral mucosa is easy to break, and otolaryngologists often help children Applying a kind of medicine, if it is not separated from the teeth when it is applied, it will cause the surface of the teeth to burn, forming a little bit of black like a stain, which is a drug-induced exogenous staining.

In addition, during the development of teeth, children will also make their teeth yellow due to certain drugs (such as tetracycline). This is called endogenous staining.

The exogenous staining caused by food can be brushed off by careful and correct brushing. If the endogenous staining is caused by taking antibiotics, it cannot be removed by brushing. You must seek a dentist to deal with it. “But you don’t necessarily need to wash your teeth. ,” Huang Zuoqi said.

Do I need to use mouthwash?

A: There is a research paper in Australia claiming that mouthwash is carcinogenic because it contains alcohol. As soon as the news came out, many people were afraid of mouthwash.

However, many dentists have reservations about this report because they cannot confirm that the cancer is caused by alcohol.

Regardless of whether it is carcinogenic or not, as far as dental health care is concerned, first of all, it is necessary to understand that mouthwash cannot remove dental plaque, so it cannot replace brushing and cannot prevent periodontal disease, unless mouthwash containing chlorhexidine is used. It can effectively inhibit the growth of bacteria, but the disadvantage is that it will stain the teeth.

Generally speaking, mouthwash contains alcohol. If there is a wound in the mouth, it will be very painful and will easily induce the desire to drink. If you are used to using mouthwash to make your breath fragrant, “you can use non-alcoholic mouthwash,” Lin Jingyi suggested. Use it occasionally.

Foreign studies even claim that some mouthwashes temporarily change the microbial species in the oral cavity.

In particular, general mouthwash contains antibiotics, which will destroy the ecological system where good and bad bacteria coexist peacefully in the oral cavity. For example, if the number of bacteria in the oral cavity is reduced from 1 million to 100,000, it may kill the good bacteria that protect the oral cavity. It is tantamount to destroying the first line of defense for maintaining oral health,” Shen Maogen gave an example.

To use a more obvious example, Guo Minguang, the honorary professor of the Department of Dentistry, National Taiwan University School of Medicine, once had a friend. In order to avoid the recurrence of periodontal disease, he took three meals a day and used mouthwash. As a result, his teeth were still messed up. Can’t prevent plaque breeding?

“Of course not, mold is growing in the teeth,” Guo Minguang explained. Excessive use of mouthwash has severely damaged the oral organisms. The good bacteria and bad bacteria are killed, and only the mold continues to grow.

From the perspective of preventing dental caries, fluoride mouthwash can be used once a week to enhance the ability of teeth to resist decay. “But if you have used fluoride toothpaste every day, fluoride mouthwash is not a necessity,” Huang Huiyu reminded, but if it is just When infants with new teeth are unable to use toothpaste, they can use gauze dipped in children’s mouthwash to wipe their teeth.

Ways to care for your teeth
The more you know, you will discover that many of the things you put in your mouth are enemies of enamel and gums. Although this may be true, the good news is that you can use the following healthy oral care tips to reduce the damage caused by bacteria, and effectively repair the lost minerals and keep your teeth strong.

Seal the teeth
Fluoride can effectively strengthen enamel and prevent tooth decay and tooth decay. Let the dentist seal the healthy teeth and provide a thin protective coating.

Use dental floss at least once a day
Using dental floss can effectively remove food particles and bacteria between the teeth and gums, so that the bacteria cannot stay for too long and harden into tartar. Tartar can only be removed by the dentist with professional tools.

Replace the toothbrush
Replace the toothbrush 3 to 4 times a year. Remember to use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently clean your teeth and gums, and do not wear away the enamel and gum tissue. You can also consider using an electric toothbrush that can effectively clean your teeth without eroding your teeth.

Rinse your mouth after meals
Using mouthwash helps to remove food residues stuck to teeth or between teeth and gums. Using fluoride-containing anti-moth mouthwash, (Green Tea Fluoride-containing Anti-moth Mouthwash) can effectively protect teeth.