Dental secrets revealed

Brush up on your dental knowledge

Brush your teeth, floss, and go easy on the candy.  Yeah, it sounds obvious but we've got a list of secrets your dentist isn't telling you.

One brushing and flossing per day is really all you need.

"Technically, that might be true," said Dr. Justin Philipp, a dentist who runs the J. Philipp Centers for Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Phoenix, AZ.

The catch is, you have to brush properly, which many of us don't.

"It takes almost two minutes with good brushing technique to remove all the debris and bacteria from your teeth and gums," Philipp said.

However, more of us are using electric brushes with a built in two-minute timer and the bacteria takes about 24 hours before it starts to cause damage.

Diet soda doesn't cut it.

It may be sugar-free, but still contains a lot of acids.

"What a lot of people don't know is that acid can actually be as bad or worse for your teeth than the sugar," Philipp said.

Some dentists say if you crave soda, go with root beer or cream soda.  They don't usually contain phosphoric acid.

Not every mouth needs a massive makeover. 

Things like invisible braces are a comfortable alternative and a little tooth whitening can often do the trick.

"Many of them simply need their teeth straightened and whitened to achieve their goals," Philipp said.

Don't become a bleachaholic.

More isn't always better.

"There are some people out there who are just not satisfied with how white their teeth are no matter what they do," Philipp said.  Those people tend to overuse the whitening products.  That'll cause pretty sensitive teeth and severe irritation to the gums."

He says every whitening product is different, so be sure to talk with your dentist.

Revealing dental secrets. . .on the Fit List.


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