Tag Archives: toothbrush

Tooth Decay

Image result for dentistry imagesTooth Decay


Tooth decay, also known as caries or cavities, is an oral disease that affects many people. Natural bacteria live in your mouth and form plaque. The plaque interacts with deposits left on your teeth from sugary and starchy foods and produces acids. These acids damage tooth enamel over time by dissolving, or demineralizing enamel, which weakens the teeth and leads to tooth decay. Tooth decay is not life threatening and is highly preventable.

What types of foods may contribute to tooth decay?

Foods containing carbohydrates (starches and sugars), such as soda pop, candy, ice cream, milk, and cake, and even some fruits, vegetables, and juices, may contribute to tooth decay.

How can cavities be prevented?

The acids formed by plaque can be counteracted by the saliva in your mouth, which acts as a buffer and remineralizing agent. Dentists often recommend chewing sugarless gum to stimulate saliva flow. However, the best way to prevent cavities is to brush and floss regularly. Fluoride, a natural substance that helps to remineralize the tooth structure, makes the tooth more resistant to the acids and helps to correct damage produced by the plaque bacteria. Fluoride is added to toothpaste and water sources to help fight cavities. Your dentist also may recommend that you use special high concentration fluoride gels, mouth rinses, or dietary fluoride supplements. In addition, professional strength anti-cavity varnish or sealants may be recommended.

Who is at risk for cavities?

Because we all carry bacteria in our mouths, everyone is at risk for cavities. Those with a diet high in carbohydrates and sugary foods and those who live in communities without fluoridated water are likely candidates for cavities. Also, those with a lot of fillings have a higher chance of developing tooth decay because the area around the restored portion of a tooth is a good breeding ground for bacteria. In general, children and senior citizens are the two groups at the highest risk for cavities.

What can I do to help protect my teeth?

The best way to combat cavities is to follow three simple steps:

  • Cut down on sweets and between-meal snacks. Remember, sugary and starchy foods put your teeth at risk.
  • Brush after every meal and floss daily. Cavities most often begin in hard-to clean areas between the teeth and in the fissures and pits on the biting surfaces of the teeth. Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush inside, outside, on top of, and in between your teeth. Replace your toothbrush every few months. Only buy toothpastes and rinses that contain fluoride.
  • See your Dr. Griffin at least every six months for checkups and professional cleanings. Because cavities can be difficult to detect, a thorough dental examination is very important. If left untreated, cavities can lead to permanent loss of the tooth structure, root canal therapy, and even loss of the tooth.

In general, children and senior citizens are the two groups at highest risk for cavities.

If you suspect you may have tooth decay or if you have any questions, please call us here at 972-242-2155. Or, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.


(Compiled for you by the Academy of General Dentistry)


Back to School Dental Tips

Start the school year with a smile: 3 back-to-school tips

It’s the start of a new school year, and your kids are set with new clothes and school supplies. But don’t forget about oral health! Add these dental health tips to your back-to-school checklist.

1. Take your kids to the dentist

Start the school year right with a dental cleaning and exam. Ask your child’s dentist about sealants and fluoride treatments to prevent decay. These treatments are easy ways to stop cavities before they start. And they can even improve your child’s performance at school. A third of children miss school because of oral health problems, according to Delta Dental’s 2015 Children’s Oral Health Survey.

2. Pick the right snacks

Swap out lunchbox no-no’s with healthy alternatives. Instead of chips or crackers, try nuts. Salty snacks may seem healthy because they don’t contain sugar, but simple starches can be just as bad. These snacks break down into a sticky goo, coating teeth and promoting decay. Replace juice and soda with milk or water. Avoid candies and granola bars, offering crunchy snacks like celery sticks, baby carrots and cubes of cheddar cheese.

3. Make brushing and flossing fun

To keep their mouths healthy, kids need to brush twice a day for two minutes at a time. They should also floss every day, preferably after dinner. Try these tricks to make oral hygiene more exciting:

  • Use a sticker calendar. Let your kids place stickers on each day to represent brushing and flossing.
  • Play music. Collect your kids’ favorite two-minute songs and make sure they brush the whole time.
  • Personalize. Help your child pick a themed toothbrush in his or her favorite color.
  • Provide a kid-friendly floss holder. These Y-shaped devices make flossing more comfortable

We hope you have a wonderful school year and be sure to keep those smiles happy and healthy!

To schedule your next appointment, please call us at 972-242-2155. Or, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.


(Information gathered from Delta Dental)

Choosing and Caring for Your Toothbrush

ToothbrushChoosing and Caring for Your Toothbrush

Your toothbrush is the most important item in your oral health toolkit. But with such a wide variety of toothbrushes available which do you choose? We here at Paul Griffin, DDS, answer several frequently asked questions about choosing and caring for your toothbrush:

  • What should I look for when choosing a toothbrush?
  • Should I use an electric toothbrush?
  • How often should I change my toothbrush?
  • How can I keep my toothbrush clean?
  • How should I store my toothbrush?

What should I look for when choosing a toothbrush?

The best toothbrushes have a long wide handle to ensure a firm grip. The toothbrush head should be small enough to reach all areas of the mouth, with soft bristles that won’t hurt the gums.

Should I use an electric toothbrush?

Electric toothbrushes, which use an oscillating or rotary motion to clean the teeth, are beneficial because they can cover a larger area of the mouth faster than a manual toothbrush. They are especially well-suited for those with braces, those who need extra motivation to brush, and those who have difficulty operating a manual toothbrush due to age, disability, or other factors.

If you use an electric toothbrush, avoid pressing down too hard; instead use light force and slow movements, letting the brush do the work for you.

How often should I change my toothbrush?

Old toothbrushes with worn and frayed bristles will not clean your teeth effectively, and they may also harbor harmful bacteria. You should change your toothbrush – or brush head, in the case of an electric toothbrush – every three to four months. However, if you get sick with a cold or the flu, you will need to change your toothbrush as soon as the illness begins and again once the illness has subsided.

How can I keep my toothbrush clean?

Wash your hands before and after brushing to avoid transferring bacteria to your toothbrush. After brushing, rinse your toothbrush to thoroughly remove any excess toothpaste and anything else that may be in the bristles. Occasionally soaking the brush in antiseptic mouth-rinse can help eliminate any lingering bacteria. Remember: Never share toothbrushes, as this habit can lead to the transmission of bacteria and viruses.

How should I store my toothbrush?

Store your toothbrush upright and let it air dry. Microorganisms are more likely to grow in a moist environment, so don’t cover your toothbrush or store it in a closed container. Because bacteria can travel easily from brush to brush, don’t store your toothbrush in the same container as someone else’s. Finally keep your toothbrush as far away from the toilet as possible to avoid contamination from airborne bacteria that are released with ever flush.

No matter which kind of toothbrush you have, make sure to brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day, and visit Dr. Griffin regularly to maintain good oral health.

If you have any questions about choosing or caring for your toothbrush everyone here at Paul Griffin, DDS is happy to help!  You can call us at 972-242-2155 or simply use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form on this page.

(Information gathered from the Academy of General Dentistry)

The Toothbrush: Brushing up on History

You brush your teeth every day with a toothbrush, or so we hope! But, have you ever wondered how the toothbrush came about? The history of the toothbrush is actually kind of interesting.

The toothbrush as we know it today was not invented until 1938. However, early forms of the toothbrush have been in existence since 3500 BC. The first “toothbrushes” were actually small sticks with frayed ends, called “chew sticks”, which were used by ancient Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans to scrub their teeth. Babylonian chew sticks are probably the oldest oral hygiene artifacts on record.

Ancient Chew Stick

The Chinese are believed to be the first to fashion a natural bristle toothbrush, around the 15th century. This toothbrush was composed of boar-hair bristles inserted into a handle made of bone or bamboo. The use of this instrument to clean teeth was documented in writing in 1223 by a Japanese Zen master traveling in China.

Ancient Chinese Toothbrush

The first toothbrush of a more modern design was created by William Addis, in England around 1780. While in prison, Addis crafted a toothbrush made from cow bones and the hair of cow tails. Upon his release from prison, Addis begin producing toothbrushes in mass and selling them in London. Addis’ toothbrush enterprise expanded into a prosperous company, Wisdom Toothbrushes, which still exists today.

W Addis toothbrush

By the 1840s toothbrushes were being mass-produced all across Europe, but the first U.S. patent for a toothbrush wasn’t filed until 1857, by H.N. Wadsworth (US Patent No. 18,653). Mass production of toothbrushes began in the United States 30 years later. These brushes still used animal hair.

H N Wadsworth toothbrush and patent

Natural animal bristles were eventually replaced by synthetic fibers. In 1935, the fiber known as nylon was patented by Du Pont Laboratories and in 1938 nylon bristles made their way into toothbrushes. The first nylon toothbrush was introduced under the brand name “Doctor West’s Miracle-Tuft Toothbrush”.

Dr. West's Dupont toothbrush

That brings us to the last stage of toothbrush evolution: The electric toothbrush. The first electric toothbrush was developed in Switzerland in 1939. In 1960, Squibb marketed the first American electrical toothbrush in the United States called the Broxodent. General Electric introduced a rechargeable cordless toothbrush in 1961.

Broxodent Toothbrush

Today, both manual and electric toothbrushes come in many shapes and sizes. Manual toothbrushes are typically made of plastic molded handles and nylon bristles, although you can find ecological toothbrushes made with recyclable and bamboo handles, to help reduce environmental impact. Toothbrush models include handles that are straight, angled, curved, and contoured with grips and soft rubber areas to make them easier to hold and use. Toothbrush heads range from very small for young children, to larger sizes for older children and adults, and come in a variety of shapes such as rectangular, oblong, oval, and almost round.

Electric & Manual Toothbrush

As you can see the toothbrush has come a long way! But, no matter what kind of toothbrush you prefer, remember to care for your teeth and gums by brushing for at least two minutes, twice a day, everyday, and seeing Dr. Griffin at least twice a year for a cleaning and exam.

Here at Paul A. Griffin, DDS, we believe in the importance of keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy.  If you are in need of a cleaning, or simply have some questions regarding your own dental health, please call us anytime at (972) 242-2155…we would love to hear from you! Or, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.

Caffeinated Toothpaste

World’s first caffeinated toothpaste to be released in the US.

Caffeinated Toothpaste

Do you need some get up and go before you head out the door in the mornings? Instead of grabbing that cup of coffee, you will now be able to brush your teeth and get the same effect.

An article in Dental Tribune reports that a US startup has developed a caffeinated toothpaste intended “to eliminate morning grogginess while cleaning teeth.” According to the article, the inventors of this caffeinated toothpaste “believe that oral care hasn’t been exciting for decades and the products that big toothpaste companies are offering just aren’t good enough. Our mission is to make oral care fun and exciting again and, above all else, to get people brushing,”

The aptly named, Power Toothpaste, is to be launched through a crowdfunding campaign, on indiegogo.com, in January 2016.

Click the link below to read the article.



Do you think you would want to add a little extra jolt in your morning hygiene routine? If you decide to try Power Toothpaste, we’d love to hear from you! Give us a call, here in Carrollton, at 972-242-2155. Or, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.