Toothbrush Archives - Michael C. Bell DDS, PC



The Link Between Valentine’s Day and Your Dental Health – It’s a Date!

Austin Holistic Dentist

Did you know February, the month associated with romancing our partners with dinner dates, diamond rings, roses and chocolate also happens to be Dental Health Awareness Month? 

You may be surprised to know there is a link between the two! Our hearts and bodies require a holistic approach to health to maintain the integrity of our relationships, as well as to help us live fuller and longer lives! 

There is also a surprising link between oral health and erectile dysfunction (ED) of which you may not be aware! Before you take a drastic (and sometimes unsafe) approach to keep the romance alive, consider prioritizing your dental health this year! 

Not only will your kisses be fresher, your performance may improve!

While you may have already heard issues like gum disease can increase risks for serious health problems including heart attack, kidney failure, pancreatic cancer, and dementia, did you also know certain medications can have adverse effects on our oral health? 

If like most people you’re living a busy life and taking any of the medications on this list, you may wish for a magic pill to address your oral health and save time for more dinner dates! 

Having been in the business for 42 years, I prioritize preventive care and always take a holistic approach. After all, a healthy mouth is the gateway to overall health.

We hope you allow us the privilege of honoring your relationship with your own healthy mind and body by putting us in charge of your oral health – it truly has a domino effect on so many other areas of your life!

As you can clearly see, a Comprehensive Dental Exam is as important as your annual Physical and your Valentine’s sweetheart!


Brush Your Teeth Better in 2020

Best Cosmetic Dentist Austin

Most people, it’s safe to assume, brush their teeth once, maybe twice a day. After breakfast, perhaps. Again before bed. Maybe in between. For years, this has been considered fine: brush your teeth a few times a day and enjoy peak oral health for a lifetime. 

The truth is, brushing your teeth isn’t complex, but it’s not as simple as you may have been led to believe. Even the most thorough among us may be able to optimize their brushing routine (and in so doing their oral health) by giving a little bit more attention to this first line of defense against tooth decay, root canal infections and gum disease. 

How to (Really) Brush Your Teeth

First things first, you need a good toothbrush to effectively clean your teeth. We strongly recommend the Diamond Clean Sonicare

Sonicare smart brushes deliver up to 62,000 brush movements per minute, giving you the equivalent results of a whole month’s worth of manual brushing in just two minutes! To us this is the most effective and yet gentle clean you can get. 

Besides a good toothbrush, it is also important that your toothpaste contain fluoride – a mineral essential for keeping enamel strong. The Center for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, the American Public Health Organization, the American Dental Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics encourage its use in both toothpaste and water.

With your fluoride toothpaste and electric toothbrush, you’re ready to get started. Here’s what you do:

  • Starting with the outer surface of the teeth, brush side-to-side, making sure to hit all areas. If your toothbrush is manual, hold it at a 45-degree angle. Moving from outer surfaces to biting surfaces and finally to the back of the teeth.
  • Brush after every meal and snack for at least two minutes. If you have eaten something acidic or sweet, wait for 30 minutes before brushing to allow enamel to recover. Drinking water during this time can help flush bacteria and acid from the surface of teeth.
  • Floss before you brush every morning and night. It used to be assumed that flossing was equally effective both before and after brushing, but new evidence suggests the optimal sequence is flossing first and brushing after. And if you’re finishing off with a mouthwash, wait for half an hour after flossing and brushing. This allows the fluoride from your toothpaste to do its job before being rinsed away.

Professional Care

Even if you have the most impressive at home routine, it cannot help but benefit from professional care. Many oral health issues can occur quickly – even in healthy individuals – making biannual visits an important part of your overall healthcare routine.

Remember, issues like gum disease can increase risks for serious health problems including heart attack, kidney failure, pancreatic cancer, and dementia. The better care you take of your teeth, the lower your risk of these potentially deadly conditions.

To schedule your next appointment at Dr. Bell’s office, please call 512-327-7750 today. During this visit, we can discuss ways for you to optimize your daily routine and answer any questions you have about the best and most effective ways to brush your teeth.


Happy Brushing in 2020!



How Does the Rest Of the World Brush Their Teeth ?


If you live in the United States, you can consider yourself part of the orally hygienic elite, which is about 1 % of the world population.

Believe it or not, most of the world’s population, in particular indigenous cultures and developing countries, still use old-world techniques to keep their teeth clean, or they don’t use any at all. It is only common in the U.S. and other developed countries that use nylon and electronic toothbrushes.

“In many regions of the world, people are cleaning their teeth with twigs, most often from oak and neem trees,” states Dr. Steven Goldberg, general and cosmetic dentist and inventor of DentalVibe. “They break a twig in half, splay and soften the broken end and then rub it on their teeth, in effect, wiping the surface of their teeth clean,” Goldberg adds.

Arab Bedouin tribes still clean their teeth by using the twigs of the arak tree, which contains antiseptic properties. Other Muslim and African cultures use a similar stick, called miswak, which naturally has a high concentration of cavity-fighting fluoride.

A religious group in India cleans their teeth using fingers and without using a brush. Hindu Brahmins and priests clean their teeth using cherry wood for an hour, facing the rising sun. In other parts of India, people use twigs from mango, cashew or coconut trees.

Are modern oral hygiene products and techniques better than the sticks, animal bristles and bones, twigs, feathers and porcupine quills? Or is it that what someone eats is more important for good dental health? And if non-modern societies stick with their traditional diets and don’t eat processed foods, is it even necessary for them to brush at all?

A study from 2010 in the British Medical Journal concluded that people who brushed less than twice a day had an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. It found that people who consistently brushed their teeth less than twice a day had a 70 % higher risk of developing the disease. Although, the study did not consider the participants’ diets.

Sally Fallon, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nonprofit nutrition education foundation, says that in traditional societies that have no access to Western foods with processed sugars and white flour, many of these indigenous people have no cavities, and flash smiles with perfect pearly white teeth, even though tooth brushing is rare, (or was rare, depending on the society). “Within a very short time of forgoing their traditional, native diets cavities become evident,” says Fallon, adding that the next generation of natives who eat processed food will begin to develop crooked teeth.

Dr. Weston Price, an Ohio dentist, is referred to in some circles as the ‘Charles Darwin of nutrition.’ In the 1930’s he traveled the world as a cultural dental anthropologist so-to-speak. His book, “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration,” features many photos of the teeth of various native societies, from isolated villagers in the Swiss Alps, to the Maori of New Zealand, to the coldwater fishermen of Scotland’s Hebrides islands.”

Indigenous people, like this native from the Brazilian Pataxo tribe, often have no cavities because they've never been exposed to foods with processed sugars and white flour. (Photo: Christophe Simon/AFP/Gettys)

Indigenous people, like this native from the Brazilian Pataxo tribe, often have no cavities because they’ve never been exposed to foods with processed sugars and white flour. (Photo: Christophe Simon/AFP/Gettys)



Price discovered a substance he termed “Activator X” that all the natives with healthy teeth had in their saliva. Price did not know exactly what this was. But science soon classified the cavity combating compound as vitamin K. A study published in the Journal of Dental Research states that in 1942, it was proven that vitamin K prevented the formation of acid buildup, which is a major cause of cavities.

Some of the foods that are high in vitamin K that Price observed traditional societies consuming were:

  • Chicken or goose liver
  • Fermented foods like sauerkraut
  • Grass-fed animal fat
  • Grass-fed, raw butter
  • Egg yolks

It’s not just junk food that causes cavities

Dr. Jacquie Fulop Goodling, a Manhattan-based orthodontist who has traveled the world educating people about oral health, addresses a common misunderstanding, which is that modern-day processed foods alone contribute to dental caries.

“Diet plays an important role but even natural carbohydrates like bread, rice and pasta — the staple in many diets — break down into simple sugars, which can cause decay. Also, there are many factors contributing to periodontal disease and diet is only one of those factors,” Goodling says.

Should Americans ditch their toothbrushes and clean with sticks instead?

It is a fact that all the discarded toothbrushes and toothpaste containers end up in the landfill. But it seems Americans are not interested in cleaning their teeth with twigs. According to the U.S. Market for Oral Care Products oral hygiene products retailed at $9.1 billion in 2008.

Whether you use a toothbrush or a twig, Rebecca Crowley-Huey ( physician assistant at BodyLogicMD of Houston) states, “Oral hygiene can be a very important component to our overall health. The mouth is full of bacteria and not caring for it can cause inflammation. The gums can become unhealthy if proper dental hygiene is neglected and this can create low-grade infection that can cause inflammation and other problems throughout the body.” She adds, “Brain fog, autoimmune disease, gut infection or imbalance, and fatigue can be some of the problems caused by inflammation and your mouth is sometimes your first line of defense against foreign material.”

Two times a day is much better than only one time per day, says Steve Krendl, a dentist at Hopewell Dental in Heath, Ohio. “A thin film of organic matter, called a biofilm, forms quickly on our teeth throughout a day. Left undisturbed, this turns into plaque, which can harden within 24 hours.”

(information taken from, 1/5/2016)



Toothbrush bacteria from your toilet?

toothbrush bacteriaToothbrush bacteria mystery explored by the Mythbusters team

Do the bristles from your wet toothbrush provide an ideal surface for bacteria to develop … especially given your nearby toilet? First of all, eeewww. And second, you might be a little surprised by the results garnered by our favorite TV scientists (no offense Neil Degrasse Tyson). We’re not going to give away the answer, but we can assure you that you won’t get too grossed out by the video. Watch the video to learn about toothbrush bacteria … if you dare.

Watch the video below