Freshen Your Breath

How To Freshen Your Breath When You Don’t Have A Toothbrush

We’ve all experienced that “not so clean” sensation in our mouth at one time or another, but if you’re at home, you can usually get back to a fresh mouth by brushing your teeth. But what happens if you want to freshen your breath after your morning coffee at the office, or while you’re on the road and you don’t have a toothbrush handy? Below, we share some ways to avoid bad breath when you don’t have access to a toothbrush.

Sugar-free gum or mints

Gum is probably the most commonly used product to freshen our breath outside of a toothbrush, because it’s easy to carry with you at all times and it has a refreshing flavor. Sugar-free gum or mints are great breath fresheners that won’t expose your gums or teeth to sugar, which can contribute to gum disease and tooth decay. Look for gum with the ADA Seal of Approval for your best options, or if you have a favorite brand, just make sure you go with the sugar-free option.

Floss Sticks

Floss sticks are small tools that you can use to remove food particles from between your teeth, but they can also double as a tongue scraper in the event that food or other particles have gotten stuck to the surface. Store a couple floss sticks in your purse or in your car so you have access to floss and a tongue scraper when you’re on the go.

Fruit

Yes, some fruits have plenty of natural sugars, but they also help to prevent excess bacteria growth in your mouth. Apples, for example, have polyphenols, which help to eliminate sulfur compounds in the mouth that can contribute to bad breath. Oranges, grapefruits and strawberries are also good options.

Water

Water is typically readily available at a lot of places, so you’re probably never too far from a water break. Oral bacteria tends to thrive in dryer areas, so when your mouth is dry, you’re more prone to bacteria growth. This is why a lot of people have worse breath in the morning if they breathe through their mouth and it gets dry throughout the night. Try to keep water nearby and take a drink if you’re feeling parched to help keep your breath fresh.

Yogurt

If you have a refrigerator in the office, consider adding some individual size, low sugar yogurts so you’ll have access to this breath freshener at work. The probiotic cultures in yogurt work against the bacteria in your mouth, which in turn lowers the amount of hydrogen sulfide your mouth bacteria gives off.

When to Floss

When Is The Best Time To Floss?

Most people brush their teeth on a regular basis, but they aren’t as diligent about flossing. Getting people to floss regularly is like pulling teeth (pun intended), but it is a very important part of a good dental hygiene plan.

People are more likely to floss after a big meal or if they feel something stuck in their teeth, and while these are appropriate times to floss, is there a specific time when it is best to floss? We take a look at the best time to floss your teeth in today’s blog.

When Should I Floss?

Brushing helps to clean the surfaces of your teeth, but we can’t always get between our teeth with the bristles. For hard to reach places, we turn to floss. Flossing helps to remove plaque, which is a substance that contains bacteria that breaks down tooth enamel. Left untreated, plaque can harden and form into tartar, which can only be safely removed by your dentist.

So when should you pick up the floss and go to work between your teeth? For starters, if you ever feel something stuck between your teeth, or if you notice the development of plaque when you’re looking in a mirror, you should grab floss, a floss stick or a water flosser and clean out your teeth. The longer that substance stays in your mouth, the longer bacteria can hang around and break down your tooth enamel.

Others have asked if there is a specific time when it’s best to floss, whether that be before brushing, after brushing or after a big meal. The answer to that question is that there is no specific time when it is optimal to brush. As we mentioned above, you should floss if you feel food between your teeth or see plaque building up, but there is no perfect time each day when flossing is best. The most important aspect of flossing is simply making time to perform the action each day.

Find the Time that Works for You

It can be easy to skip over flossing when you’re trying to get out of the house in the morning, so a lot of people find it easier to regularly floss before they go to bed. You can do it before or after you brush your teeth, but take a couple minutes to floss between each tooth. If you don’t like using standard floss, experiment with floss sticks or water flossers to see if they are more comfortable or effective.

Make sure you floss every night, and have your spouse or kids join in on the routine. Your family is more likely to participate if they see you setting a good example. Not only will this help protect your teeth, but it can also help to reduce future dental bills by being proactive about cavity prevention!

Flossing isn’t always fun, but it’s a simple thing that goes a long way in helping to protect your teeth and gums. If you have questions about starting or sticking to a flossing routine, or you want help getting your kids to floss, bring your questions to Dr. Brooks on your next visit, or give his office a call today.

Water Flossing

What Is Water Flossing?

Nobody really likes flossing, but it is an important part of a good oral hygiene. For individuals who are sick of the floss string or those individual floss sticks, water flossing may be a more enjoyable way to floss your teeth. But what is water flossing, and is it right for you? We explain in today’s blog.

How Does Water Flossing Work?

Water flossing is a relatively new way to clean the surfaces and in between your teeth. Dentists have been using them for some time, but smaller handheld versions have been developed for patients to use in their own home. They work by spraying a concentrated stream of water at the teeth to safely disengaged plaque and food particles that may reside around your teeth. By removing this buildup, you can protect against tooth decay, cavities or gum disease.

Water flossers have become more popular in recent years, and some models have earned the distinction of receiving the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance. The ADA seal means that not only are they effective at removing plaque, but they are safe and won’t harm your teeth. You can see a full list of ADA Seal of Acceptance water flossers by clicking here.

Who Can Benefit From Water Flossing?

Water flossing is beneficial for any individual who is ready to ditch the flossing string, but those aren’t the only people who should look into water flossing options. People who have difficulty flossing by hand, people with health conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, or people with previous dental work that makes regular flossing hard (like people with braces or fixed bridges) could greatly benefit from personal water flossing devices.

Although water flossing is a great substitute for regular flossing, it is only part of a good dental hygiene routine. You should still be brushing your teeth at least twice a day for 2-3 minutes, and water flossing is beneficial after you’ve brushed your teeth to remove anything your brush might have missed.

Twin Cities Dental Clinic

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what you use to floss your teeth so long as you make time to floss at least once a day, but many people have found that they floss more often if they can use a portable water flossing device, so it may be a good investment for yourself or your kids. If you have any questions about water flossing, or you want personal recommendations from Dr. Brooks about the right water flosser for your situation, call his office today at (952) 260-3156.

Proper Flossing

How to Floss Properly

It’s important for your dental health that you floss at least once every day. But many patients do not know how to floss correctly. In this article, we are going to explain (in detail) how to properly floss your teeth. While there are several different flossing products you can use, we’re going to focus on the most common – standard wax floss.

Step 1 – Break Off a String of Floss

First, break off a string of floss to use. Length is important here. Too much is wasteful and too little will make it difficult to floss. About 18 inches of floss is a good rule of thumb. Once you have your string of floss, wrap one end several times around your middle finger. Then wrap most of the remainder around the opposite middle finger. The type of floss is personal preference.

Step 2 – Get a Grip

Next, grip the floss at both ends tightly with your thumbs and forefingers.

Step 3 – Gently Guide the Floss Between the Teeth

Now it’s time to start actually flossing. Gently guide the floss between each tooth with a gentle rubbing motion. Don’t snap the floss between your teeth.

Step 4 – Reaching the Gums

Once the floss reaches the gums, curve it against the tooth and gently move the floss between the tooth and gums.

Step 5 – Repeat

Repeat this process until you’ve flossed between all of your teeth. There are also many floss aids on the market that work well for those that have trouble using their fingers.

Dental Clinics in Minnesota

If you are searching for dental care in the Twin Cities, look no further than Smiles for Life! With years of experience treating patients throughout Minnesota, Dr. Tim Brooks has the skills and expertise needed to resolve your dental health issue. We treat each and every patient with the respect that they deserve from the moment they call to set up an appointment, to the moment they leave our clinics. Reach out to our Smiles for Life dental clinic (located in Bloomington) to schedule your appointment with Dr. Brooks and the rest of our team today!