Toothbrush and toothpaste

Dental-Med Finch & Keele Answers Your Questions

Find some of the most common questions we hear from patients and their answers here.

Q. How often should I brush my teeth?

A. Brush gently at least twice a day for at least 3 minutes, and floss once a day, ideally at bed time.

Q. My teeth are too close together to floss. What can I do?

A. If you’re not flossing, you’re missing about a third of your tooth surfaces where your brush can’t reach! Waxed floss can be easier to use, but there are other types to suit different needs – tape, thread, unwaxed and shred-resistant.

Q. How do you floss wide spaces between teeth?

A. You can substitute floss with an interdental cleaner, which is also effective with crowns, bridges and braces.

Q. Should I use an oral irrigator?

A. Oral irrigators are very effective for cleaning around braces and between teeth. They can also be used to clean periodontal pockets and to apply prescription medication.

Q. I’m afraid that I have bad breath—is there anything I can do about it?

A. Bad breath (halitosis) can be caused by a number of things. If you have diabetes or a gastrointestinal disorder, you are more susceptible to chronic bad breath. Dental causes could include dry mouth, gingivitis or periodontis, and these are all things our office can help you with—just ask!

Q. I have a sweet tooth! Is sugar really that damaging to teeth? What foods should I be eating?

A. Here’s the bad news: sugar can contribute to obesity, osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes, stomach disorders and kidney stones, and, of course, there is always the risk of developing cavities. What should you be eating instead? Think super foods—and think colour! Blueberries, broccoli, oranges, pumpkin, spinach, tomatoes, walnuts and more are all packed with nutrients that keep your body healthy and your smile beautiful.

Q. I’m pregnant. Is there anything special I need to do to care for my oral health?

A. Pregnancy is a time of hormonal fluctuations, and that can mean a change to the bacterial and acidic balance in your mouth—which can leave you susceptible to gum disease, which can lead to further health issues. We recommend more frequent checkups during this important time in your life.

Q. I have diabetes—is there anything special I need to do to care for my teeth and gums?

A. There’s a proven relationship between healthy gums/teeth and normal blood sugar levels, so diabetics need to be vigilant about their overall and oral health.

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