May 25th, 2016
Inflamed gums are a fairly common dental issue, but unfortunately, many people don’t take the problem seriously enough. If you ignore inflamed gums and continue your usual routine, you could be encouraging a much more severe inflammation problem, and the pain that goes along with that. Fortunately, it is quite easy to relieve inflamed gums if you use the tips below.
Use Soft Bristles
A soft-bristle toothbrush – the softest you can buy – is a must for anyone with inflamed gums. Anything that makes contact with your gums can cause you pain, so fine and soft bristles are always the best choice.
Use Sensitive Formula Toothpaste
The toothpaste marketed as “Sensitive Teeth Formula” contain special ingredients to help relieve sensitivity. When your gums are inflamed, even light brushing can cause some pain. Using a special toothpaste will help reduce that pain and make it easier to brush your teeth effectively. The effect becomes stronger as you use the toothpaste more, so use it for each brushing.
Visit Our Office
If your gums remain swollen for more than a few days or a week, set up an appointment with Dr. Joel McFaul and Dr. Betty Wong. There is a long list of conditions that could be causing your swollen gums, everything from gum disease to pregnancy, so you need to find out where your issue is coming from. Most of the time, Dr. Joel McFaul and Dr. Betty Wong can easily treat the swollen gum issue at our San Francisco, CA office, or can give you an effective treatment to take home.
May 18th, 2016
Brushing your teeth properly removes the food particles and bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. However, you do not want to scrub your teeth or gums heavily. A heavy hand can lead to tooth and gum erosion, as Dr. Joel McFaul and Dr. Betty Wong and our staff see all too often.
You should also use a soft bristle toothbrush to avoid damaging the surface of your teeth. Make sure the head of the brush fits in your mouth, because if it is too large you will not be able to reach all tooth surfaces. Follow these steps to ensure you are brushing properly.
- Use a small amount of toothpaste on your brush. The recommendation is a pea-sized amount or thin strip on the bristles.
- Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the surface of your teeth, angling towards your gums. Use a circular motion on all exterior tooth surfaces, and avoid back-and-forth “scrub” brushing.
- Once you have cleaned the outer surfaces, hold the brush vertically and clean the inner teeth surfaces — the side of your teeth that face your tongue. Do not forget the inner surfaces of your front teeth.
- Finally, finish by cleaning all the chewing surfaces of your teeth. You need to maintain a gentle touch, but make sure you get into the full depth of your molars. The entire process should take about two minutes.
Dr. Joel McFaul and Dr. Betty Wong and our staff recommend changing your toothbrush every three to four months for best results. Do not forget to clean your tongue, which helps remove excess bacteria from your mouth. Special brushes are available just for cleaning your tongue, and they are easy to use.
Proper care of your teeth also requires flossing on a regular basis. Flossing can be performed before or after you brush. Following up with a quality mouthwash will provide you with even more protection. Do not be afraid to ask the McFaul:Wong team for tips on proper brushing and flossing.
May 11th, 2016
When acids are allowed to erode tooth enamel long enough to leach calcium and other minerals from your enamel and dentin, a process called demineralization occurs. This rapidly leads to tooth decay unless reversed by good oral hygiene and professional dental cleanings at our San Francisco, CA office. Acids responsible for tooth decay come from the wastes of mutans streptococci and lactobacilli bacteria that thrive in dental plaque, a substance that is the leading cause of periodontitis.
Where do demineralizing acids come from?
Dietary sugars comprise the bulk of tooth-decaying acids, including table sugar, cooked starches, fructose, glucose, and lactose. In fact, as soon as you bite down on a sugary cookie or into a French fry, bacteria start digesting sugars, breaking them down and eventually excreting them as demineralizing acids. As this bacteria colony grows and becomes organized, plaque develops and forms that tough, yellowish coating you often see on the tops of teeth at the gumline.
Plaque is the Problem
Dental plaque is a filmy type of nesting place for bacteria that also keeps acids pressed against tooth enamel. Since plaque cannot be removed by brushing, it is important that a person who suffers tooth decay visit McFaul:Wong immediately so we can use special tools to scrape and thoroughly clean teeth.
Signs of Tooth Decay
Early tooth decay and cavities remain asymptomatic until demineralization creates a hole deep enough to reach the tooth’s inner tissues and nerve endings. Eventually, tooth decay will cause tooth sensitivity, toothache, vague pain when biting down on the affected tooth, and possibly pus seeping around a tooth’s gum line if the decay creates an infection. If treatment is delayed long enough, a decaying tooth may loosen, crumble, and ultimately fall out, which leaves an empty or partially empty socket.
Preventing Tooth Decay
Getting regular checkups with Dr. Joel McFaul and Dr. Betty Wong, brushing and flossing twice a day, and eating fruits or crunchy vegetables at snack time instead of a candy bar or doughnut are the three best ways to keep your teeth healthy, white, and where they should be: in your mouth.
May 4th, 2016
The merry month of May also happens to be National Fitness and Sports Month, so take advantage of the warmer days to get outside and exercise! Bringing a friend, family member, or coworker with you when you go for a brisk walk during a lunch break can provide an opportunity to socialize as well as health benefits. If you need a little more motivation, here are some good reasons to stay active and fit.
- Improved stamina and energy as well as toned muscles and bone strength and density
- Improved circulation and breathing for a healthier heart and lungs
- Reduced risk for Type 2 diabetes and certain forms of cancer
- For older adults, regular exercise may help improve balance and reduce the risk of falls as well as improved cognitive abilities
Children and Teens
Children and teenagers spend long hours at their desks in school, on the computer, watching television, and involved in other sedentary activities that result in obesity and poor health later in life. Getting them engaged in school or community sports teams can help them form good life-long exercise habits. One important note: If they are participating in contact sports, Dr. Joel McFaul and Dr. Betty Wong and our team at McFaul:Wong recommend your kids wear an approved mouthguard to protect those valuable teeth from injury! Ask us for a proper fitting of your safety appliance during your next visit!
A gym membership is nice but not necessary to stay fit; try these easy ways to work some exercise into your daily routine.
- Take a friend along for company on a walk through your neighborhood.
- Pursue gardening or other yard work, including mowing or raking.
- Take your kids on a bike ride or have them push a baby stroller around the block.
Couch potatoes take note: simply moving from the sofa to the floor for some sit-ups, leg-lifts, or push-ups while you’re watching television can help you get in better shape in no time.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Take exercise breaks for walks around the building or parking lot.
- Walk or ride a bike to work.
So what are you waiting for? Get moving!
For more information on exercise techniques, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Joel McFaul and Dr. Betty Wong, please give us a call at our convenient San Francisco, CA office!