Oral Hygiene and Your Smile

Do you ever stop and think about how important your daily oral hygiene efforts are to your smile? They are crucial! You are the main line of defense when it comes to protecting your teeth and gums from the ravages of tooth decay and gum disease in between our dental cleanings and exams.

You see, bacteria in the mouth never take time off. And because bacteria thrive in the mouth, it rests on you to clean teeth and gums every day to prevent the bacterial buildup known as “plaque” from attacking your smile. The food you eat (and drink) feeds oral bacteria and produces acids that attack the teeth and gums. Sugary, starchy foods especially help bacteria form into dental plaque, and you can feel plaque when you run your tongue along the teeth before brushing. This sticky film will harden and cause problems between the teeth and along the gumline.

Plaque acids weaken tooth enamel and irritate gum tissue unless it is removed. And it’s not just cavities that will arise when the enamel is weakened. Over time, gum irritation makes them pull away from the teeth and form pockets which fill up with bacteria and pus. Without treatment, your teeth will loosen and fall out.

This is where your oral hygiene efforts make all the difference. To keep plaque in check, brush at least twice a day and floss once a day. While a toothbrush clears plaque along tooth surfaces, dental flossing clears plaque along the gumline and in between the teeth where your brush can’t clean.

Use a toothbrush with a small head so that you can reach the molars and a soft-bristled toothbrush to protect gum tissue and tooth enamel. If you are cavity prone, you can use an antimicrobial toothpaste with fluoride. To lower bacteria in the mouth, you can rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash once a day, and we are happy to give you personalized advice depending on your oral health.

If you would like more personalized information, or to schedule your next cleaning, please call our Gill Family Dentistry team at (209) 549-1721 today. Our dentist, Dr. Amandeep S Gill and staff in Modesto, California, are here to work with you to create your healthiest smile!

How Does a Dental Product Qualify for the ADA?

The ADA (or American Dental Association) has been around for 125 years, making sure dental products are safe and effective for the public to use in its quest to advance oral health. Advertising can be misleading, and for as long as products have been around, sales pitches have been exaggerating claims.

The ADA has set standards for evaluating dental products, and they are not paid for their endorsements, so the consumer can trust that the seal truly represents the safety and effectiveness of the product. Today, over 300 dental products proudly carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance, including toothbrushes, mouthwashes, dental floss, and toothpaste.

How does the ADA determine who qualifies for the Seal? What are the requirements?

1) The company applying for the Seal must provide a list of ingredients and other important information about the product to be reviewed and approved.

2) The company must provide data from clinical or laboratory studies that back up the claims for product safety, its effectiveness, and any claims the company will make to promote the product.

3) The company must conduct clinical trials that are in strict compliance with the guidelines and procedures provided by the ADA.

4) The company has to show evidence of proper supervision of the manufacturing and laboratory space used to provide purity and uniformity of the product. It must also show that said product is manufactured in compliance with GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices).

5) The company must provide all product packaging and labeling for the ADA to review and approve. They must also comply with ADA standards for accuracy and truthfulness in advertising.

Once the product receives the Seal, it must also provide a Seal Statement on the product label and on any advertising. The Seal Statement lets the consumer know why the product was accepted by the ADA.

For example, this ADA Seal Statement is found on the Save-A-Tooth product, an emergency tooth preserving system:

“The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs’ Acceptance of Save-A-Tooth is based on its finding that the solution in Save-A-Tooth has been shown to increase the survival rate of a knocked-out-tooth, when used as directed. Although data show that the solution is effective up to 24 hours, the survival rate is highest if the knocked-out-tooth is implanted by a dentist within one hour.”

Once a product earns the Seal of Acceptance, it gets to keep the label for five years. To continue using the Seal it must reapply and re-qualify all over again. Truly, the Seal is the standard bearer of advertising accuracy as well as the safety and effectiveness of a product!

Please give Gill Family Dentistry a call if you have any questions, or if you would like to schedule your next dental visit. We can be reached at (209) 549-1721.