Tag: oral health

Guide to dental floss

If there’s one thing my patients need to do more of, it’s floss. Regular flossing removes plaque buildup between teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach, preventing gum disease.

Types of dental floss:

  • Unwaxed floss—a thin nylon floss made of about 35 strands twisted together. It fits into tight spaces if your teeth are close together, but it can be prone to shredding or breaking.
  • Waxed floss—a standard nylon floss with a light wax coating. It is less likely to break, but the wax coating may make it harder to use in tight spots.
  • Dental tape—broader and flatter than standard floss and comes in waxed or unwaxed versions. People with more space between their teeth often find dental tape more comfortable to use than traditional floss.

Using a “flosser”

If you have trouble reaching the back of your mouth or gripping traditional floss, try a flosser. A flosser is basically a piece of floss on a handle. Like toothbrushes, flossers come in a variety of shapes and colors (even battery-powered!). Look for one with a long handle for easier holding and a compact head that makes it easier to reach behind the back teeth—a particularly tricky spot to clean. Dental flossers also come in a variety of kid-friendly colors and cartoon characters.

The best type of dental floss is the one that is most comfortable for you. The easier to use, the more likely the patient will floss on a regular basis.

Source: Oral B

man chewing on a pencil

Habits that damage your teeth

Many of the things we do every day, often without a second thought are actually harming your teeth.

Chewing on ice—It may seem harmless, ice is just frozen water and water is good for you, right? Wrong. Chewing on hard, frozen cubes can chip or crack your teeth. Try chewing sugarless gum instead.

Tongue/lip piercings—Accidently biting down on a metal stud can crack a tooth. It can cause gum damage if the metal rubs against the gums. And since the mouth is a haven for bacteria, a piercing raises the risk of infections and sores.

Opening things with your teeth—Using your teeth as a tool to open bottle caps or plastic packaging can cause them to crack or chip. Keep scissors and bottle openers handy.

Drinking pop—It can have up to 11 teaspoons of sugar per serving, plus phosphoric and citric acids, which eat away at tooth enamel. Diet pop may have less sugar, but it contains more acid in the form of artificial sweeteners.

Chewing on pencils—Just like chewing on ice, this can chip or crack your teeth. When you feel the need to chew, grab a stick of sugarless gum.

Bedtime bottles—Giving your child a bottle in bed may seem comforting, but it could lead to decay. By sleeping with a bottle in their mouth, their teeth are immersed in sugars all night.

To keep your smile shining bright and healthy, be sure to have your teeth cleaned and examined twice a year.

Taking care of teeth at work

On average, we spend a third of our day at work. While at work, we eat lunch and often grab a snack from the vending machine or birthday cake from the lunchroom. Do you clean your teeth during the long workday? Here are a few tips for keeping your smile healthy at the workplace:

  • Keep a toothbrush and toothpaste in your desk, locker or lunchbox and brush after eating.Or try the single-use toothbrushes, preloaded with toothpaste (Ex: Colgate Wisps).
  • If you are embarrassed to brush your teeth at work, try rinsing your mouth with mouthwash.
  • Chewing sugarless gum will increase saliva production and neutralize acids in the mouth that cause tooth decay.

Five dental resolutions for 2018

Many of us are making resolutions to exercise, lose weight and get organized.  What about your teeth? Here are a few suggested resolutions to help your smile stay bright and healthy.

  1. Brush twice a day and floss daily. Brushing your teeth twice a day fights plaque and decay.  Flossing gets rid of food particles trapped between your teeth and gums that a toothbrush just can’t reach.
  2. Use mouthwash. A daily rinse with antiseptic mouthwash will help kill germs and bacteria that you can’t reach with a toothbrush. Mouthwash will also freshen your breath and fight plaque.
  3. Drink more water. At least eight, 8-ounce glasses of water a day is the recommendation. If you are drinking water, you are less likely to drink cola, tea and coffee, which can stain your teeth.
  4. Use protective devices. Wear a custom-fitted mouth guard when playing sports (even during practice!) to protect those pearly whites.
  5. Visit your dentist twice a year. Taking care of your teeth at home is just the first step in keeping a bright and healthy smile. Your dentist can diagnose and treat any potential problems before they become big issues.