Talking Teeth and Gums with Dr. Smigel

We asked Dr Irwin Smigel, President of the American Society for Dental Aesthetics and developer of the Supersmile range, his tips for a healthier smile.

Which foods should I avoid that cause bad breath?

The foods that you should avoid are things that are made with garlic and onions. Bad breath caused by the lack of brushing and flossing, and plaque left undisturbed becomes bacterial, especially the bacteria that is on the tongue called actino mycosis.

Bacteria on the tongue are the cause of 85 % of bad breath. The way to remove the bacteria is by using a tongue cleaner once in a 24 hour period. The first time you use it a lot of “stuff” will be on it, rinse the tongue cleaner and try again. Repeat this method until the tongue cleaner comes back clean.

What are the common causes of yellow teeth?

There are a lot of factors that are common causes of yellow teeth some being aging, medications, genetics and poor oral hygiene.

Can at home whitening treatments be as successful as professional products?

At home whitening treatments may not work as quickly and dramatically, but in the long term, yes it can be as successful.

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Should mouthwash be incorporated into my daily routine?

Mouthwash should absolutely be used daily. It removes particles of food stuck between the teeth and it freshens the mouth. Also, if you are whitening, use the oral rinse as a pre rinse. It can accelerate the effect of whitening.

Is chewing gum really beneficial to your oral health?

Yes, chewing gum increases the flow of saliva and saliva acts as a detergent. The new Supersmile gum made with 75 % Xylitol is also a cavity preventative.

Are electric toothbrushes superior to the regular kind?

Yes, particularly sonic brushes; especially for those who do not brush correctly or long enough. The toothbrushes are easier to master and with whitening toothpaste like Supersmile it is extremely effective. However, you should look for an electric toothbrush that has a 45 degree angled brush with soft rounded nylon bristles.

What are the best ways to look after my gums?

The best way is brushing for two minutes twice a day and flossing correctly. Furthermore, make sure there isn’t any blood on the brush or the floss.

* Is teeth whitening recommended for sensitive teeth and gums?

It is not recommended unless the product is intended to create no sensitivity. If you have bleeding of the teeth take care of that first then whiten.

What are possible treatments for crooked or chipped teeth?

For chipped teeth, bonding is a very good option; if they are severely chipped then veneers would be best. For crooked teeth, depending on the severity bonding and veneers are ok.

What should I look for when choosing an aesthetic dentist?

Look for a dentist who is a member of a society that requires certification. For instance the American Society for Dental Aesthetics (the ASDA) requires a dentist to submit cases that s/he has done that are evaluated by a committee to see if they are truly done aesthetically.

Be weary of organizations that just require members to pay dues and they become “members”. Ask for certification and fellowships. The ASDA for instance requires both written and oral work when it comes to their cases. Another way to know who is a good dentist is to see the work that was done on someone that you know.

Is flossing important? How often should I do it?

Flossing is most important. If done correctly, it should take a few minutes a day and will keep your teeth healthy for the rest of your life. It pays to spend a week or so mastering the techniques, but the rewards are endless.

What causes bleeding gums?

Bleeding gums are caused by the plaque left undisturbed for 24 hours. After that the plaque becomes bacterial. Bacteria love to live in a warm, wet, dark surrounding. The area between the tooth and the gum is the sulcus. No matter how well you brush, even if you use a 45 degree angled toothbrush, there are areas that the brush can’t reach so you need to floss. In the beginning when most people start there will be some blood on the floss.

This is the case with 95% of the population. However, if you floss that same area gently making sure the floss is wrapped tightly around the tooth in a C shape, gently slide the floss up, down, around and under the gum area until you meet resistance.

If you feel pain then you are pinching the gum.  If one gets periodontal disease you won’t be aware of bleeding in your mouth or won’t realize you have the disease until biting into an apple and blood is visible, as well as your gums start to recede.

Find out more about Dr. Smigel and the Supersmile range at www.supersmile.com

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