Posts Tagged ‘toothbrush’

The Tooth Brush Debate – Hard or Soft?

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Have you ever taken a stroll down the toothbrush aisle and noticed all of the choices one has to make? There are toothbrushes of all shapes, sizes, colors and hardness. Toothbrushes range from hard to soft, but in recent years, “hard” or “firm” tooth brushes have become scarcer.

Why is this? Well just because you are using a hard toothbrush doesn’t mean you are doing your gums and teeth any favors. In fact, you may be damaging them more than taking care of them. Dr. Katz recommends a supersoft toothbrush.  This is much less damaging on gums and allows you to brush much more thoroughly. It is important to do a thorough job when brushing your teeth, but make sure you are doing it gently and angling the toothbrush towards your gumline.

By brushing 2-3 times a day with a soft toothbrush and doing a gentle, yet thorough job, you will be taking the best care of your teeth and gums without doing any damage that a firm toothbrush might do.

So don’t be fooled by all the expensive toothbrushes with the bells and whistles. Use a simple, high quality supersoft toothbrush and put in the time (3 full minutes) to brush your teeth and gums properly.

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SenSonic Waterpik Toothbrush for Plaque Removal, Bacteria Removal, and Clean Teeth

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

electric toothbrush

Dr. Katz’s Summary:

The WaterPik Sensonic Professional is a terrific gadget that cleans your mouth more effectively than an ordinary toothbrush. It removes plaque, provides for healthier gums, and leaves your teeth feeling professionally-clean.  Above all, it will save you money by reducing dreaded trips to the dentist!

When I was in dental school, I was trained to teach people the proper technique for brushing:  Spend 30 seconds on each quadrant of your mouth and angle the brush in the appropriate way, making sure to hit the area where the gums meet the teeth.

Back in the 70’s, there were very few types of toothbrushes on the market. But, today, as you walk down the oral care aisle of any supermarket or drug store, you’ll see up to 50 different types of toothbrush styles, with varying handles, bristles, colors, etc. It can be extremely confusing. However, for the most part, it’s safe to say that “a toothbrush is a toothbrush.”  As long as you are using a soft, nylon-bristled brush, you’re in pretty good shape.

The one glaringly obvious exception to this rule is when we’re talking about a “power toothbrush.”  The manufacturers of power toothbrushes claim that they have plenty of studies that show that their power toothbrush will remove more plaque (and volatile sulfur compounds!) than brushing by hand.  Now, is it possible to get the same results with a manual toothbrush? Absolutely, but the reality is that most people are lazy brushers, and you can’t make as many strokes in such a short period of time as you can with a power toothbrush.  To take that even one step further, with the advent of technology it’s now possible to brush with a sonic toothbrush, where its sonic waves can literally help blast away even more plaque and bacterial debris.

So what exactly do I like about the Waterpik Sensonic Toothbrush? Simple – it does an incredibly effective job at cleaning your teeth, while still being gentle on the gums and easy to use.  It also has a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.  When I first opened up the Sensonic to try it out, I was pleasantly surprised with the “heft” of the toothbrush. It wasn’t too big or bulky, but it had a good, professional feel. To me, it felt as if I had a professional dental instrument in my hand.

Included are 2 different brush heads and they are color-coded (in case you’re sharing your brush with another person such as a spouse or child).  My first use was extremely easy – you just have to let the unit charge for a while, but it really was as simple as plugging it in, puting on a brush head, and starting.

The toothbrush is controlled by a single button in the middle of the device that selects 3 different “levels” of speed:

  1. Off
  2. Low (for gentle cleaning and gum massage)
  3. High (for superior plaque removal)

Pressing the button simply toggles between those 3 levels of speeds.

Waterpik Highlights:

  • Clinically-proven to remove more plaque than ALL sonic toothbrushes
  • Advanced slim brush-head design
  • Extra-soft, round-ended bristles
  • Dual speeds
  • 2-minute timer
  • Recharge indicator light
  • Includes 3 brush heads (2 advanced brushes and 1 interdental brush)

One nice feature was the built-in timer with a short automatic pause after 30-seconds (a reminder to start brushing your next quadrant!). This toothbrush automatically turns off after 2 minutes (i.e. 4, 30-second intervals).

I have my own suspicions on what percent of people will be able to consistently brush for the entire 2 minutes (I’m guessing less than 15% of you!), however the reality is that although you SHOULD brush for 2 minutes, any amount of brushing at all with this toothbrush is better than none.

I do have one word of warning for you, and that is to make sure you turn off the toothbrush while the bristles are still inside your mouth! The Sensonic moves so quickly, that if you pull the toothbrush out of your mouth while it is still on, you will fling small droplets of toothpaste all over your bathroom mirror!

Overall, this is a very effective power toothbrush that I highly recommend as
a standard part of every person (and families) daily oral care.

Oh, one more thing: Studies show that using a power toothbrush with “old-fashioned” toothpaste (the kind that contains sodium lauryl sulfate) will create more foam than a rabid dog. This will definitely make you stop brushing in about 9 seconds. So, if you’re still not a TheraBreath (or any of our other) toothpaste user, now is the time. 

The Waterpik Sensonic Professional is a better way to brush your teeth.
Take advantage of this limited-time offer and try this easy-to-use sonic
toothbrush that I’m sure you’ll like! But hurry, because I only have 200!

(Coupon Code “B-25FREE” will be applied) 

The Importance of Being Thorough in Your Oral Routine

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Daily Oral Routine For Fresh Breath and A Healthy Mouth!

These instructions are to be followed 2-3 TIMES/DAY, definitely after breakfast and before bedtime, and ideally after lunch. For patients who can not follow this routine after lunch, we recommend choosing one of either TheraBreath FreshStrips, Chewing Gum, ZOX Breath Lozenges, or my TheraBreath PLUS Extinguisher Spray to maintain fresh breath throughout the day.

    * It is important that you remember not to use any water with these products as they need to remain undiluted.

    *Also, keep the bottle of oral rinse and the toothgel tube tightly closed and away from the sun when not in use. Never store the mouth rinse in a clear plastic bottle.

         1. Floss your teeth thoroughly so that the dental floss passes through all places where your teeth contacts your gums. Pay special attention to the teeth toward the rear of your mouth. You may need to use more than one piece of dental floss for entire mouth.

         2. After you are done flossing, gently scrape your tongue with the rounded edge of the Tongue Scraper 4-5 strokes, moving the tongue cleaner forward each time. This will help in removing the mucous layer which has been protecting the bacteria living on your tongue. (Do not scrape vigorously to the point of bleeding; just firm enough to remove the mucous layer.)

         3. Rinse off the Tongue Scraper, then apply a small amount of TheraBreath/ PerioTherapy/ TheraBreath PLUS Toothpaste to the rounded edge of the Tongue Scraper and gently scrape another 4-5 strokes. This step applies the powerful oxygenating toothgel to the newly exposed surface of your tongue, thus allowing the oxygenating action to begin. Reach as far back as possible without gagging. DO NOT RINSE. You can then wash off the tongue scraper after this step. Ideally, you want to allow the toothgel to stay on the surface of your tongue while you brush normally.

         4. Place a normal amount of TheraBreath Toothgel on a dry toothbrush and brush for 2-3 minutes, making sure to brush the inside and outside of the gumline. Besides your teeth, also make sure to include the roof of your mouth and the inside of your cheeks with this brushing. (The bacteria are extemely sticky and end up almost everywhere in your mouth.) Notice that I keep stressing the word gently – you do not have to brush hard, but make sure that you are thorough. When brushing your teeth, remember to angle the brush towards your gumline, feeling the bristles gently sliding under the gumline. Do not rinse with water after this step. You may, however, spit out any excess saliva and toothgel.

         5. In order to rinse out your mouth properly and in order to attack the bacteria, pour 2 capfuls of TheraBreath Oral Rinse into a clean glass. Rinse the toothgel from your mouth with this rinse. While doing so, “swish” the rinse all over your mouth for 60-90 seconds in order to cover all the oral surfaces with the concentrated oxygen. Although I don’t recommend it – you can drink directly from the bottle, just try not to backwash into the bottle as this could contaminate the rinse.

         6. Take 2 additional fresh capfuls of the rinse, and gargle for 90 seconds, attempting to get the rinse as far back as possible, without gagging. After gargling, spit out the rinse. (Do not eat or drink anything for 20 minutes following this procedure). If some of the rinse is swallowed, do not be alarmed. It is completely safe if digested.

         7. (Optional for people with bad breath from the sinuses): Blow your nose to clear out any excess mucous from your nasal passages. Put 1-2 drops of the TheraBreath Nasal-Sinus Drops or 1-2 ‘spritzes’ of TheraBreath Nasal-Sinus Spray in each nostril . Tilt your head back and allow the drops/spray to run through your sinus passages and down the back of your throat.

Dr. Katz’s Summary: Are you a 17-second brusher?

Taking a few minutes each day to be thorough with your oral care will guarantee fresh breath and cleaner teeth.  Use my detailed “Daily Oral Routine Guide” to get started.  Let me ask you a quick question…Suppose you had been out in the garden all day long doing yardwork. You’ve been weeding, digging in the dirt, taking care of your rosebushes, etc. You’ve put in a hard day’s work and your hands (and arms) are filthy, up to your elbows!

When it comes time to clean up, which of these two options is most appropriate?
Option #1:  Give your hands a quick rinse with water and a squirt of hand soap and be done with it…
— or —
Option #2:  Spend some time rinsing off all the loose dirt, work up a nice soapy lather, and scrub your hands and arms thoroughly under water to get off the accumulated dirt of the day.
Obviously, Option #2 is the right answer (I hope, anyway). I guess maybe if you live in a cave then your answer might vary, but for most people I’d say they would agree the answer Option #2.  So, if you wanted to clean your hands better, and the solution is to be more thorough, doesn’t it make sense that if you want fresher breath and cleaner teeth, the solution is to be more thorough also?  Think about it, every day you eat a variety of food and drink, and all kinds of food particles get mashed into the cracks of your teeth and the recesses of your gums.  Doesn’t it make sense that you may need to spend a little time getting that out?

Let me ask you two more questions:

Question #1:
How many times does the average person brush
their teeth
per day?

The answer is 1.1 times/day. Nationwide, the average person brushes their teeth slightly over once per day. As shocking as that is, it’s NOTHING compared to the answer to the next question…

Question #2:
How long does the average person spend on oral care per day?

The average person in the US spends only 17 seconds each time they brush their teeth! Just 17 seconds! Whew…that’s not long at all!

Now, I’m not telling you to spend hours in the bathroom brushing your teeth. I realize for most people that’s just not practical, but I will say this: If you spend 3 MINUTES BRUSHING YOUR TEETH (twice a day) and follow the thorough instructions of use (shown below) for 1 week, you will be absolutely amazed at how clean and fresh your mouth feels. And I guarantee your breath will be better, too.  So, do it for 1 week and see how you feel, and from then on, try to be this thorough at least 2-3 times/week. Your mouth (and those around you) will thank you for it!

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Gum disease a silent epidemic for seniors

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

“Savvy Senior” tells us about gum disease — the current statistics, the causes and effects, and the simple preventive measures we can take. Gum disease is more common — and more dangerous than you think. Periotherapy and good oral hygiene are the best weapons against gum disease.

Gum disease — silent but deadly.

October 16, 2007

Dear Savvy Senior: I recently read that gum disease can cause all different types of deadly health conditions. As a senior who brushes regularly and flosses occasionally, what can you tell me about this? — Hate to Floss

Dear Floss: By taking better care of your mouth (which includes daily flossing), you could actually add years to your life! Here’s what you should know.

Dental Services If you don’t have dental insurance or can’t afford professional dental care, some communities and clinics offer discounted or free services to seniors in need, and most dental schools offer low-cost checkups and cleanings. Contact your state dental association (see ) or your Area Agency on Aging (call (800) 677-1116 to get your local number) to find out what may be available in your area. Also check out the Bureau of Primary Health Care ( ; (888) 275-4772) and the National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped ( — click on “Donated Dental Services” or call (888) 471-6334).

Gum disease

Bleeding GumsAlso known as periodontal disease, gum disease is a silent epidemic in this country. Currently, 80 percent of all adults in the United States have some form of gum disease – which ranges from simple gum inflammation (called gingivitis), to serious a disease (called periodontitis) that can infect the gums, bone and other tissue surrounding the teeth.


If you have gum disease, you have greatly increased your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. How? Because the bacteria-rich plaque that builds up on your teeth (that’s what causes gum disease) releases toxins into your bloodstream that can inflame your arteries and cause small blood clots. But that’s not all. There are other health problems linked to gum disease such as pancreatic cancer, respiratory diseases, kidney disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, stomach ulcers and even pregnancy complications.

Are you at risk?

Most people develop gum disease because they simply don’t keep their mouths clean. But there are other factors that can increase your risk, including:
• Smoking: Need another reason to quit? Smoking is the number one risk factor for gum disease.
• Age: Older people have a greater risk of periodontal disease because they have more wear and tear on their gums.
• Genetics: If you have a family history of gum disease your risk goes up.
• Medications: Some medications (antihistamines, antidepressants, high blood pressure medications, some heart medicines and many others) can cause dry mouth, and the lack of saliva contributes to gum disease. If you have dry mouth, talk to your doctor or dentist.
• Deficient diet: A diet lacking proper amounts of calcium and vitamin C can contribute to gum disease too.
• Hormonal changes: Changes that occur during pregnancy, menopause or even menstruation can make gums more susceptible for women.
• Diabetes: People with diabetes have a higher risk of developing gum disease. It also makes blood glucose levels harder to control.

Savvy Tip: Check your risk for gum disease at — click on “Assess Your Gum Disease Risk.”

Simple solutions

It only takes about five minutes a day to keep your gums healthy. Here are some simple and familiar ways you can take the bite out of gum disease:
Floss guy• Brush: At least twice a day brush your teeth using fluoride toothpaste and learn how to brush properly. See for a refresher course on brushing and flossing. Also use a toothbrush that has soft bristles. Hard or stiff bristles are more likely to injure your gums. And be sure to replace your brush every three months or so. (Tip: Power toothbrushes with rotating or vibrating bristles have shown to be more effective at removing plaque than manual brushes. See for oral care products.)
• Floss: Do it at least once a day either before or after you brush. The sequence doesn’t matter as long as you do a thorough job. Flossing removes plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line and is absolutely necessary.• Get checkups: See your dentist every six months for regular cleanings and oral exams.

Source: (


Tip of the week

Monday, October 1st, 2007

Dr. Katz gives you a friendly bad breath tip. Stay tuned for bad breath tips once a week.

 Do not brush your teeth in a hurry. Brushing your teeth two minutes every time will do wonders for your breath.


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