Forces that can damage teeth


Preventing cavities is all about establishing a healthy balance in your mouth, which is different for everyone and changes throughout your life. If you are getting cavities, you should add more and more of the following things to your routine until you establish a cavity-free mouth. First, brush your teeth twice daily with a fluoride containing toothpaste (check the active ingredients). Second, floss. Third, make water your primary drink between meals. Fourth, limit snacking. Fifth, consider an electric toothbrush. Sixth, talk with Dr. Haynie about a prescription strength toothpaste. These are the most straightforward ways to improve the balance in your mouth. For other ideas, talk with Dr. Haynie at your next checkup.


We all know the value of a strong foundation. Our teeth are supported by gums and bone. When our gums bleed, or our breath smells, or our mouth feels sensitive and uncomfortable, these are signs that we have gum disease which will erode the bone that supports our teeth. For minor gum disease, or gingivitis, the solution is more diligent brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings. For patients with advanced gum disease, or periodontitis, additional therapy will prevent any further erosion of the bone.


Life can be stressful; and when it is, many people grind or clench their teeth at night. Grinding your teeth will slowly cause your teeth to wear away little by little until the softer, inner layer is exposed. Grinding can also cause your teeth to fracture or crack, which can be painful and will require dental care. Clenching will not wear your teeth down but can cause them to crack, chip, or fracture. Signs that you might grind or clench include chipping, lines appearing, otherwise healthy teeth breaking, waking up with a sore jaw or teeth, enlarged muscles around you jaw. Oftentimes family or friends might tell you that they can hear you grinding your teeth and that it wakes them up. This is the most straightforward oral destructive force to fix. We can make a custom night guard that will prevent you from taking out life’s stresses on your teeth.

How to control bad breath

Bad breath (medically called as Halitosis) is a description of a foul-smelling odor that comes from the mouth cavity of a person. Having bad breath means that it is a sign that the person has poor dental health habits or suffering from other health problems. Halitosis lowers self-esteem and affects personal relationships of an individual. Friends and colleagues may not feel comfortable telling this to you. One of the best ways to find out if you have bad breath is to lick the inside of your wrist, wait five seconds, and then smell it.

Causes of Bad breath:

  • Gum disease due to plaque build-up and build-up of bacteria in your mouth that causes inflammation.
  • Decay of food particles. The decay produces a sulfur compound responsible for the unpleasant odor.
  • Other diseases associated: Pneumonia or bronchitis, sinus infections, diabetes, chronic acid reflux, and liver or kidney problems.
  • Types of foods that you eat and your lifestyle:
  • Xerostomia or dry mouth-There is an increase in anaerobic bacteria reproduction.

Ways to minimize to minimize halitosis and to improve your breath: 

  • Brush your teeth at LEAST twice a day after eating and floss at least once a day. Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash twice a day. Dentures should be removed and must be cleaned before going to sleep.
  •  Chew sugar-free gum or lozenges to prevent dryness of the mouth. Bacteria in your mouth use sugar to make acid, which breaks down your teeth which leads to bad breath. Chewing gum stimulates saliva, which is the mouth’s natural defense against plaque acids. Saliva keeps oral tissues healthy by preventing infection by controlling bacteria and fungi in the mouth.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables. One of the best ways to remove bacteria in the mouth is to eat fruits. High-fiber foods help prevent halitosis. It also helps moisten your mouth.
  •  Brush your tongue. The coating on your tongue is a host for smelly bacteria. To get rid of them, brush your tongue with your toothbrush.
  • Drink plenty of water. This will keep your mouth moist. If your mouth is dry, drink plenty of water during the day.
  •  Brush your teeth with baking soda. Baking soda helps neutralize excess acids found in the oral cavity, thus, reducing the population of bacteria.
  •  Drink green & black teas. They contain polyphenols that help eliminate sulfur compounds and reduce bacteria in your mouth.
  •  Stop smoking. Smoking can damage your gums, stain your teeth and give you bad breath.  
  • Keep your gums healthy. If you have gum disease, it will cause bad breath. Bacteria often can be found at the base of teeth, which creates an odor.
  •  Visit your dentist regularly. Your dentist can detect and treat gum problems, dry mouth, infection or abscesses that are contributing to the cause of bad breath. They can give you professional advice on how to lessen the problem.

Your dentist can recommend the best mouthwashes and toothpastes for you to neutralize volatile sulfur compounds and help control odor-causing bacteria found in the mouth. Taking proper care of your gums and teeth and visiting the dentist at LEAST twice a year are the easiest ways to avoid these issues. Always remember, preventing halitosis is always easier than treating it. 

Mouthwash and dental health 

The saliva is the mouth’s natural mouthwash. It rinses away bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gingivitis. Commercial Mouthwashes that you see on the groceries and pharmacy have antiseptic solutions designed to reduce bacteria in the mouth. It also freshens your breath.  There are 2 kinds of mouthwash: Cosmetic and therapeutic. Cosmetic mouthwashes were produced to mask bad breath and freshens your breath while therapeutic mouthwashes reduces bacteria that causes bad breath and decay, reduce formation of dental plaque or reduce tooth sensitivity. Some therapeutic mouthwashes have fluoride to strengthen teeth. Mouthwash must not replace brushing and flossing in your oral hygiene, mouthwash must be used to complement them. They must not be  considered a substitute for good oral health. Using mouthwash and flossing can reach areas not easily accessed by brushing. 

Important notes when using a mouthwash: 

  • Swish the mouthwash in your mouth for  not lesser than 30 seconds.

  • Dilute the solution if it is stated on the label before you take it. Some brands have different levels of concentration.

There are many types of mouthwashes with different active ingredients and different functions and use. To  help you in choosing the right mouthwash for you, below are some notes to guide you.

  • With alcohol content- Alcohol is a component of many mouthwashes.  Alcohol is a drying agent, and will make your mouth dry, producing less saliva.But there are many brands in the market that you can choose that are alcohol- free.

  • With fluoride- There are many brands with extra fluoride in them. Fluoride  can be easily absorbed through the tooth, thus, reducing the decay of tooth enamel. 

  • Gum disease-If you have gum disease, you can use mouthwash with Cetylpyridinium, Hexetidine, Chlorhexidine and with Povidone-Iodine, these greatly reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth, can reduce the formation of plaque and gingivitis when combined with brushing and flossing.

  • Whitening effect-Mouthwashes that contain carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide may contribute to whitening of the teeth.

  • If you have a sensitive mouth, use an alcohol-free mouthwash.

Consult your dentist or dental hygienist for suggestions regarding the types of mouthwash to use.

Mouth Healthy is a website built by the American Dental Association for patients like you. You can find answers to questions ranging from ‘how do I take care of my child’s teeth?’ to ‘what should I do to protect my prosthetic joint from infection?’ and many things in between.

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