Dry mouth is a serious dental condition and typically occurs as we age. It is usually caused by medications used, and can also be related to cancer treatments. People with this condition have a decreased salivary flow because the glands that produce saliva have been affected somehow. Many medications cause this condition, and it can be very detrimental to one's teeth because our saliva naturally counteracts the bacteria causing cavities. The best way to treat the condition is to drink plenty of water, and use a saliva-replacement rinse like Biotene or Oasis.
Dentists are highly trained in infection control. Dentists use what is called "universal precautions" with every patient, and use Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) protocols to clean everything between patients. All dental instruments are sterilized at very high heat. The risk of a patient getting any type of illness from the common cold to HIV or AIDS at a dental office is extremely low.
Brushing your teeth alone cannot remove the plaque trapped between your teeth. The only way to properly clean your teeth includes brushing and flossing.
Brushing your teeth removes the film that builds on your teeth called plaque. If plaque is not removed, it eats away tooth structure causing cavities
Anything with fluoride! As long as you find toothpaste you like and brush properly, any fluoridated toothpaste is acceptable. Be careful about those with baking soda and some whitening toothpastes, because they can be abrasive and wear away your teeth and gums if one brushes too hard.
Proper brushing should take two entire minutes and it helps to have a routine. First of all, place a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on your brush. Begin on the cheek-side of the top right teeth. Hold the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle pointing toward your gums. Gently jiggle the toothbrush in order to clean the tooth and your gums as well. Being careful not to apply too much pressure, move around the outside of your top teeth until you reach the top left side. Then bush the chewing surfaces of your teeth and move back around to the right.
Pull about an arm-length of floss from the dispenser. Wrap the floss from the ends around your middle fingers until there is about two inches remaining. You may then use your index fingers to direct the floss in between your teeth. Move the floss in a see-saw motion until you go beneath where the teeth touch. Then push the floss against the back tooth to form a C-shape and move the floss up and down three times. Now pull the floss forward and repeat the process on the front tooth. Do this between all of your teeth to properly floss.
Tartar (or calculus) is plaque that has been on your teeth for some time and has hardened. This must be removed by a dental hygienist or a dentist. This can also become very detrimental to your gums.
Plaque is the film left on your teeth that causes tooth decay. Plaque can be removed with proper brushing and flossing.
The most common recommendation is every six months. You may need to go more often if your dentist prescribes it. This may be due to your specific oral condition.