1. Do mouthwashes really work?

Absolutely, if need properly. Most mouthwashes are to be used after brushing and rinsing. Once rinsed and spit out it is wise not to consume anything, not even water, for a good 20 minutes after. This allows the mouthwash to be absorbed into the gums and slash or teeth to do its job! Not all mouthwashes work the same. Fluoride mouthwashes such as ACT or Fluoriguard are to be used twice daily after brushing in order to provide additional protection against tooth decay. This product should only be used by people who can spit, since consuming excessive amounts of Fluoride can be toxic. Ask your dentist or doctor Poskozim, if a fluoride mouthwash would be useful for your mouth!

Mouthwashes such as Listerine have alcohol– sometimes up to 26%–and it is the primary ingredient to protect gums from gingivitis. Unfortunately, for those who suffer from dry mouth, either from a prescription medication or certain medical conditions, Listerine would not be the correct choice, since alcohol is a drying agent and increase dry mouth symptoms. If your primary concern is dry mouth, a wonderful product from LACTEDE called BIOTENE is a good option. BIOTENE also makes toothpaste and other dry mouth products. Once again, ask your dentist if BIOTENE or a non-alcohol mouthwash would be right for you.

2. Do sensitive toothpaste really work?

Yes! And they all pretty much work the same way; so if you area Crest lover gets Crest for sensitive teeth. Same goes for Colgate or Aquafresh users. Most people who suffer from sensitive teeth have cold hypersensitivity. This sensation can last for a few seconds upon contact, or linger for minutes. It has been determined that people with chronic sensitivity have acidic mouths. One way to reduce this condition is to reduce intake of carbonated products such as colas and certain “high energy” drinks and ice teas. These liquids contain carbonic acids that can erode the teeth enamel and increase sensitivity. Another way is to use a sensitive toothpaste. The active ingredient is a buffer to increase the mouth pH to make it less acidic. This reduces the level of cold sensation. It is important to remember to be patient with these toothpastes! You may have to go through an entire tube before noticing any results. Since hypersensitivity usually is an ongoing problem, once you start using this kind of toothpaste, it usually is necessary to make it a permanent switch. Cavities may be another cause of sensitive teeth, so consult with a dentist to make sure there are no other possible causes.

3.  When is the first time my child should see the dentist?

When the first four teeth are present in the child’s mouth: top and bottom front two teeth. This age ranges from 3 to 12 months old. Why? It is important for the dentist to check for proper development, evaluate any negative habits, such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, in order to help the parents develop good oral hygiene practices for their children, and detect early signs of tooth decay. A study found at children who have their first preventative dental visit by age 1 are less likely to need fillings or visit ERs, but their average dental cost is almost 40% lower and there first 5 years then children receive their first exam later. Your child’s primary teeth are just as important as their permanent teeth because they perform essential skills such as helping your child chew and speak and serve as placeholders in the jaw for permanent teeth.     CDS review January/February 2008. Dental visits as a family are a productive way to lay the groundwork for a lifetime for good oral health for all family members.