How Good is Your Oral Hygiene Knowledge?

Lake Orion dentist Dr. Brad Greenfield agrees that knowledge is power. For instance, the more you know about your dental health, including proper oral hygiene and risk factors for oral health issues, the better prepared you will be to care for your teeth and mouth. Knowledge also equips you with the tools to make the right decisions regarding your oral health care. Take this oral hygiene quiz to gauge how well you know your mouth.

The Lake Orion Oral Health Quiz

        1.      How often should you brush your teeth to effectively remove plaque and debris?

a.      Once a day

b.      Twice a day

c.       Once every two days

d.      Frequency isn’t important, just technique

        2.      If allowed to remain on your teeth for more than 48 hours, plaque calcifies into _____, which cannot be removed by simply brushing or rinsing.

a.      Cavities

b.      Tooth decay

c.        Tartar

d.      Diamonds

        3.      As long as you brush and floss your teeth regularly, it is not necessary to visit the dentist except for periodic cleanings.

a.      True

b.      False

        4.      ­­­Enamel, the protective layer that covers the outer surface of your tooth, is composed mainly of these two minerals.

a.      Calcium and iron

b.      Iron and oxygen

c.       Oxygen and phosphate

d.      Phosphate and calcium

        5.      The by-product of plaque interacting with refined sugar is _____, which plaque secretes over the surfaces of your teeth.

a.      Carbon monoxide

b.      Carbon dioxide

c.       Lactic acid

d.      Sulfuric acid

Answers and Explanations

        1.      B—The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once to ensure the removal of harmful bacteria and food debris.

        2.      C—Mineralized plaque, or tartar, is insoluble (does not dissolve in water) and cannot be removed by brushing, flossing, or rinsing your teeth. Our hygienist will use a special tool to remove the tartar from the surface of your teeth, as well as from underneath the gum line to prevent the separation of connective tissue between your gums and teeth.

        3.      B—False. You should attend a dental checkup at least once every six months to allow Dr. Greenfield to inspect the state of your oral health and look for signs of potential infection. Even if your checkup never reveals a dental issue, your mouth can warn you of other, more serious systemic health issues (lesions in the mouth and other oral troubles can be symptoms of a systemic disease).

        4.      D—Your enamel is made mostly of calcium and phosphate mineral crystals. Your saliva also contains these minerals and supports enamel when it is under attack by acidic plaque or bacterial infection. Milk, as well, contains an abundance of these minerals and assists your enamel in much the same way as saliva does.

        5.      C—Lactic acid does more than simply attack your tooth enamel. It also saps your tooth of calcium, phosphate, and other minerals to prevent your teeth from supplying support to the enamel. If you eat a sweet snack or drink a sugary beverage, rinse your mouth with water afterwards to limit your teeth’s exposure to harmful sugar.

 Knowing what happens in your mouth helps you to plan its defense. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Greenfield, call Lake Orion Family Dentistry in Lake Orion, Michigan, at (248) 693-6213. We welcome patients from Lake Orion, Oxford, Rochester Hills, Clarkston, and the surrounding communities.