Dental Hygiene

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Dental floss is made of a core of nylon, silk, rubber, plastic or polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE, surrounded by various ingredients such as flavors, wax and other substances, according to Thomas P. Donnelly, D.D.S. Other ingredients of dental floss may include polishing agents, abrasives, coagulants, tartar control additives and antiplaque agents, according to Natural Life Magazine.

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  • What do healthy teeth look like?

    Q: What do healthy teeth look like?

    A: Healthy teeth look straight and white and are seated properly in healthy gums. When teeth look unhealthy, it is typically due to yellowed enamel on the teeth's surface or to problems with the gums, including swelling, gaps around the teeth, bleeding or a gum color that is too pale or bright red.
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  • How can soda rot your teeth?

    Q: How can soda rot your teeth?

    A: Everyday Health reports that both diet and sugar-sweetened soda damage teeth by exposing them to corrosive acids. Sodas contain citric and phosphoric acids. Both acids dissolve tooth enamel over time.
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  • Is it possible to floss too much?

    Q: Is it possible to floss too much?

    A: It is not possible to floss too much. Water Tower Dental Care recommends flossing once every 24 hours, and again after consuming messy meals that leave food stuck in between teeth.
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  • How many times a day should I brush my teeth?

    Q: How many times a day should I brush my teeth?

    A: According to the American Dental Association, a person's teeth should be brushed at least twice a day. It's a good practice to brush once in the morning and again before going to bed at night.
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  • What are some home remedies for bad breath?

    Q: What are some home remedies for bad breath?

    A: Home remedies for bad breath include drinking lots of water and herbal tea and minimizing coffee intake as well as eating raw fruits and vegetables and probiotic- and zinc-rich foods. Keeping a healthy lifestyle and eating regularly also help remove bad breath naturally.
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  • What is the proper way to brush your teeth?

    Q: What is the proper way to brush your teeth?

    A: Brushing teeth seems simple enough, and it can be with proper practice. However, the most thorough way of brushing teeth and fighting cavities and gingivitis should take a full two minutes with a good brush and proper techniques to reach back teeth, around fillings and crowns and especially close to the gum line, according to Colgate.
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  • Why do my teeth hurt when I eat sweets?

    Q: Why do my teeth hurt when I eat sweets?

    A: According to the Crest Pro-Health website, tooth pain that occurs when eating sweets is a common symptom of lost tooth enamel, a condition that commonly occurs in individuals who consume excessive acidic beverages and foods as well as in individuals who brush their teeth too hard. When the top layer of enamel is worn down, tooth sensitivity and pain are common when consuming sweets and cold or hot beverages.
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  • How do I get rid of tartar?

    Q: How do I get rid of tartar?

    A: According to the American Dental Association, the best way to get rid of tartar is by daily brushing and cleaning of the teeth and by flossing. Tartar occurs when the plaque that forms on the teeth has not been removed with daily brushing and is left to harden.
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  • How does toothpaste clean enamel?

    Q: How does toothpaste clean enamel?

    A: Toothpastes employ the use of mildly abrasive ingredients that are able to scrub away food and plaque while not inflicting damage upon the enamel, fluoride to shield the enamel from future harm, and antibacterial substances to reduce buildup of plaque over time.The active ingredients, such as baking soda, fluoride, and hydrogen peroxide, work together with the non-active ingredients, including preservatives and flavors, to safely clean enamel, according to Wikipedia.
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  • Are electric or manual toothbrushes better?

    Q: Are electric or manual toothbrushes better?

    A: Both electric and manual toothbrushes have their pros and cons. For instance, electric toothbrushes are effective without as much work as a manual toothbrush. However, electric toothbrushes have to be charged and may be a hassle to travel with, but this is not a problem with manual toothbrushes.
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  • Q: How long should you brush your teeth?

    A: Teeth should be brushed for about 2 minutes two or three times per day, according to WebMD. A WebMD expert suggests spending about 30 seconds in each quadrant of the mouth.
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  • Q: What are some good mouthwashes to use for gum infection?

    A: Good mouthwashes used for treatment of gum infections are antiseptic preparations that contain active salts including fluoride, chlorhexidine, thymol, gluconate, triclosan and cetylpyridinium chloride. However, treatment using these preparations varies on the cause of infection.
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  • Q: How can you find what dentists are covered by BadgerCare?

    A: BadgerCare is a Medicaid-associated health plan, so going to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website is a good first step for answering any questions about the plan. The Medicaid member services hotline (1-800-362-3002) is also an asset for finding dental providers covered by the plan.
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  • Q: What causes a dry tongue at night?

    A: A dry mouth and tongue at night may be caused by certain types of medications, several medical conditions and breathing through the mouth while sleeping, as listed by About Health. Those experiencing mouth dryness should be evaluated by a health care professional to determine an exact cause.
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  • Q: What is the purpose of thermoplastic denture adhesive?

    A: Thermoplastic denture adhesive is used to hold dentures in place for the duration of time desired. Without this paste-like application, dentures may fall out or move out of place as the individual speaks or eats. Denture adhesives may be particularly important for people who place a lot of pressure on their facial muscles during public speeches or singing, notes WebMD.
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  • Q: What are some brands of anti-fungal mouthwash?

    A: Brands of anti-fungal mouthwashes include First-BXN Mouthwash, First-Duke's Mouthwash, First-Mary's Mouthwash and Magic Mouthwash, which is used to treat a variety of oral infections. Anti-fungal mouthwashes effectively treat oral infections resulting from certain types of fungi and yeasts.
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  • Q: What is denture cream poisoning?

    A: Denture cream poisoning occurs when individuals experience nerve damage as a result of using large amounts of denture cream containing zinc. Zinc poisoning from denture cream generally affects individuals who have poorly fitting dentures and overuse denture cream in an effort to make their dentures fit better.
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  • Q: What is the cost of cleaning products needed for Valplast dentures?

    A: The cost of the special Val-Clean concentrated denture cleaner that Valplast recommends for cleaning its dentures ranges from $15.50 to $25, as of 2015. The cleaner is only available directly from Valplast.
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  • What causes mouth dryness at night?

    Q: What causes mouth dryness at night?

    A: Common causes of mouth dryness at night include certain medications, dehydration and tobacco use, reports TheraBreath. Tobacco increases the risk of dry mouth by attacking the salivary glands. People need their salivary glands to produce saliva, which helps keep the mouth clean.
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  • Q: How do you make toothpaste?

    A: Although you can make toothpaste using a variety of methods, one easy method involves mixing baking soda, water and glycerin to form a paste. Add 2 or 3 drops of peppermint essential oil to give the toothpaste an acceptable flavor.
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  • Q: How do you remove tartar?

    A: Only a dental professional can remove tartar once it has formed, according to WebMD. Dental Fear Central describes the professional cleaning process as beginning with an ultrasonic instrument that knocks loose large pieces, followed by small hand tools that apply gentle amounts of pressure to remove littler tartar pieces.
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