Yes! Flossing removes the bacterial plaque which accumulates between your teeth. Brushing alone cannot remove this. Over time, accumulated bacteria can cause decay between your teeth and even bone loss.

You should floss every evening before bed.

You should brush your teeth at least 2-3 minutes twice a day. Get into a routine and always start and end in the same place. That way you will make sure not to miss any parts of your mouth. Unfortunately, most Americans only brush for 45-60 seconds twice a day, and that is just not enough. Many new mechanical toothbrushes have built in timers to help you brush the proper length of time.

The use of a fluoride-containing mouthwash is excellent to give you a fresh feeling and strengthen your teeth. Try to use an alcohol free mouthwash if possible. Mouthwashes which contain alcohol can dry out the lining of your mouth and decrease saliva flow. Both of these symptoms can contribute to increased bacterial growth and lessen the mouth’s natural defenses.

You should swish with mouthwash for 30 seconds, twice a day, before spitting the product out.

Let’s face it. Modern people eat a lot of processed foods with hidden sugars. That is why dentists recommend using a toothpaste that contains fluoride, which will help strengthen your teeth against cavities. Any brand will do. Most contain fluoride unless they are promoted as “all-natural” or “organic” but even some of these contain fluoride so it’s best to check the active ingredients list.

If your teeth are particularly sensitive, you may enjoy the Sensodyne brand.

Rinse your mouth with water after a meal or snack to neutralize acid and reduce bacteria by 30%. Also chewing sugarless gum or gum containing Xylotol has been shown to decrease the incidence of tooth decay.

Not entirely. Whitening toothpastes will reverse the effects of some surface stains, but not change the shade of the teeth themselves. The change is usually minimal.

Some whitening toothpastes are very harsh on gums, so if you are experiencing peeling gums, discontinue use of these products.

There is some evidence that over-the-counter bleaching products do whiten teeth, however, these products are not used under the supervision of your dentist and there may be potential problems that need attention prior to whitening, such as a cavity or leaking restorations. Also, the trays sold with over-the-counter products do not fit as well as those that are custom-made by your dentist. As a result, damage to your gums and teeth is possible.

Dr. Mora recognizes that these over-the-counter products can be a great option for trying out whitening to see if it is right for you. But for some patients, over-the-counter products may not provide the desired result as the product is not as effective as professional bleach. Some patients may also experience sensitivity of gums and teeth with these products, which can be reduced or eliminated by wearing bleaching trays that are a custom fit.

Ulcers are very difficult to treat. There is no proven technique that will eliminate ulcers. They can occur as a result of trauma or due to a viral source, and every individual can have different triggers. Depending on their cause there are specific medications that can shorten their duration. Left alone, ulcers will generally diminish and disappear in two weeks.

There are many over-the-counter products containing topical anesthetic that work well for minimizing discomfort.

Bad breath, or halitosis, can be caused by many things. The most common cause is the presence of bacteria in your mouth and on your tongue. These bacteria produce odorous compounds. In some cases, the cause of bad breath can be from gastrointestinal origin.

We recommend following standard brushing and flossing practices, but a tongue brush or mouthwash can be used to supplement your routine. SmartMouth is an activated mouthwash that works particularly at preventing bad breath when used as directed.

Tooth decay is caused by bacteria that live in the plaque in your mouth which react with sugary and starchy deposits from food you eat. This reaction produces acid which damages the enamel over time and weakens the tooth. Eventually, these acid-producing bacteria can cause a hole in the tooth and even cause nerve damage.

The best way to prevent tooth decay is by following recommended oral hygiene practices and following through with regular, 6-month checkups.

Cold sensitivity can be due a number of reasons. Some people are just generally more sensitive to temperature changes. Other causes may be due to recession of the gum tissue, abrasions of the teeth, large metal restorations, or decay. Treatments for this condition can include fillings, fluoride applications or the use of desensitizing toothpastes such as Sensodyne.

Your gums bleed as a result of inflammation caused by the presence of bacteria in your mouth. This bacteria, when not properly cleaned off your teeth will result in an irritation of the gum tissue. This irritation, called gingivitis, will result in red, puffy, and bleeding gums. Gone untreated, it can progress into periodontal disease, bone loss, and loose teeth.