June 23rd, 2011
By fighting plaque you can keep your teeth for a lifetime. Today, in fact, older adults are keeping their natural teeth longer because of scientific developments and an emphasis on preventative dentistry.
Good oral hygiene requires an understanding of plaque. Plaque is a sticky, colorless layer of bacteria. When you eat carbohydrates (foods made of sugar or starch) you feed this plaque, which in turn produces acids that attack tooth enamel, cause cavities, and develop a hard substance called calculus (tartar). Uninterrupted, the acid attacks can result in tooth decay and gum disease (also known as periodontal disease). If left untreated, gum disease can cause loss of teeth and bone.
At any age, you can begin the fight with plaque and keep your teeth and gums healthy. It's really quite easy. Simply:
1. Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to remove food particles and plaque from the tooth surfaces. While you're at it, brush the top surface of your tongue to eliminate bad breath and bacteria buildup.
2. Clean between your teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner. Decay-causing bacteria can linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can't reach. Flossing removes plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
3. Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks. If a snack is needed, nutritious foods such as raw vegetables, plain yogurt, cheese, or a piece of fruit should be chosen.
4. Schedule regular checkups at our office. Visit Dr. Baruffi regularly (every 6 months) for professional cleanings and oral exams.
5. Ask Dr. Baruffi about dental sealants, a protective plastic coating that can be applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay often starts.
6. Wear mouth protection such as a mouthguard when you play contact sports or extreme sports - Seattle is a place for summer sports!
June 17th, 2011
At Southcenter Dental, we just can't believe it's already June. As the days get longer and the temperatures begin to climb, there’s no better way to beat the heat than jump into a pool or cool off from the sun under the shade with a beverage. For a lot of Dr. Baruffi's patients, summer brings a chance to get away from it all and escape every-day life, if only for a week or two. For others, it means a season of relaxation and relief from homework and other duties.
What about you?
What are your plans for summer? Do you have any interesting plans for a summer vacation? Does your family have a vacation or family reunion planned? We want to see when and how you are all spending your summer vacations. If you’re going somewhere exotic, fantastic! If you're going camping in the Cascades, awesome! Even if you're staying at home here in Seattle, that can be fun, too.
Please feel free to share your summer plans and experiences with us on our Facebook page as the summer rolls along!
June 9th, 2011
Just as there are so many different types of toothbrushes to choose from, each brush also has a different type of bristle! There are generally three different types of bristles; hard, medium, and soft. We always recommend that our patients, especially children and seniors, use a soft bristled toothbrush.
Using a hard and medium bristled brush can actually harm your teeth and gums by stripping the enamel from the teeth and irritating the gums so that they become red and sore, and can even cause gum recession. If you do use a hard or medium bristled brush as a personal preference, we recommend using an electric toothbrush.
Soft bristles are much gentler on your teeth and gums, and while patients of all ages are recommended to use soft bristled brushes, they are particularly great for children, seniors, patients recovering from a dental procedure, and patients wearing braces.
Soft bristles, and even extra-soft bristles are every bit as effective when it comes to cleaning your teeth; in fact, if you currently use a hard or medium bristled brush, try a soft bristled brush next time you buy a toothbrush and we bet you won’t even notice a difference!