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10 Dental Hygiene Products You Should Get Your Kids

It can be difficult to get a child to properly care for their teeth. It is something that has to be taught until it becomes a habit and let’s be honest…some of us adults have a bit of trouble keeping up with our oral hygiene like we should.

Don’t worry, your kids aren’t doomed to cavities and bad breath. You can find some excellent products out there that will give your child the tools they need for a healthy mouth, no matter their age and unwillingness to pick up a toothbrush.

  1. GumChucks Kids – Of all of the things that seem impossible to get your child to do with any regularity. So why not make a game out of it? This kit uses an app, point system and fun characters to get your child to floss every day.
  2. Tooth Tissues – How young is too young to brush? Your baby probably doesn’t enjoy having their gums brushes, but these tissues are much more gentle. Just wipe your baby’s gums a couple times a day for a healthy mouth.
  3. Natural Dentist Cavity Zapper Berry Blast Flouride Rinse – A flouride rince is an excellent way to keep teeth strong. But kids don’t like the harsh taste of mouth rinses, which are often a peppermint or wintergreen. This is a berry flavor that is pleasant to swish with.
  4. The Brushies – Once your kids get to the toddler age they can start learning to brush their own teeth. But holding a toothbrush can be difficult as they gain their dexterity. This is a great alternative that goes right on their finger.
  5. Plackers Kids 1st Floss – Sometimes it isn’t the flossing itself that kids object to, but how hard it is to use the floss itself. Pluckers are a plastic holder that comes with a line of floss. It is much easier to use, especially on back teeth.
  6. Philips Sonicare Sonic Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush for Kids – An electric toothbrush gets more done, faster. You are getting a lot more bang for every minute spent taking care of your chompers, so buying one for your impatient kid is a great idea. This one uses power and balances it with comfort for a soft, but effective, brush. So they can keep them pristine between cleanings.
  7. Zilactin-B Canker Sore Gel – Canker sores are miserable for anyone, but especially for children. This is an effective gel that helps to reduce the pain of canker sores, as well as begin to heal them faster.
  8. Flavored Bite Wafers – Originally meant for those with braces, these bite wafers can be used for anyone who is experiencing tooth pain. You bite gently down on the flavored disks for fifteen to twenty minutes a day to help with aches in the teeth and jaw.
  9. Dental Brace Comfort Covers – Are your child’s cheeks and lips getting cut up or agitated by their braces? This plastic cover snaps onto their braces and protects them against those wires and screws.
  10. Chew Stixx – If your child chews on a lot of objects, such as their hair, shirt, pencile or anything else, this is a better alternative that ios healthier for their teeth and bacteria resistant.

Find out more at Taylor Cosmetic Dental.

5 Tips for Teeth Grinders

Bruxism is the habit of grinding your teeth, during the day or at night. Teeth grinding can fracture your teeth, wear down your enamel, cause sore neck and shoulders and lead to intense headaches. On a daily basis, it can cause significant mouth pain and discomfort.

This condition occurs in both adults and children, and we have helped many of our patients here at Taylor Cosmetic Dental deal with this issue. Here are 5 tips for teeth grinders.

1. Identify Triggers & Manage Stress

For many patients, teeth grinding happens when they are stressed or anxious. If this is the case, then hypothetically, if you cut down on your stress levels, your teeth grinding may improve. Trying to be less stressed or anxious is easier said than done though! The key is recognizing when you are beginning to feel stressed and/or anxious and then attempting to relieve that stress with activities like exercise, meditation, massage, drinking herbal tea, self-care, etc.

2. Wear A Mouth Guard

Because many teeth grinders aren’t even conscious of when they are engaging in teeth grinding (or it happens at night), wearing a mouthguard is a great way to protect your teeth. While you can buy one at the drugstore, getting a custom-fitted mouth guard at our office will be more effective and comfortable.

3. Address Other Possible Sleep Disorders

The Bruxism Association explains that if you suffer from bruxism you are also likely to suffer from another sleep disorder, the most common being sleep apnea. So, in theory, working with a sleep specialist to resolve a sleep apnea issue may improve teeth grinding as well.

4. Cut Down On Caffeine and Nicotine

We have noticed that some of our patients who struggle with bruxism also consume high levels of nicotine, caffeine and/or alcohol. The American Sleep Association has reported on a link between these stimulants as well.

While caffeine and/or alcohol in small doses is fine, we often suggest that our patients try to refrain from these substances near bedtime, when teeth grinding is most likely to occur.

5. Try Herbal Supplements

Some of our patients have seen improvements in their teeth grinding by consuming Vitamin C, Magnesium, Valerian Root and Vitamin B. While these herbs may not resolve your bruxism issues overnight, it doesn’t hurt to give them a try!

  • Vitamin C can be beneficial because it enhances your adrenal gland’s response to stress and helps create dopamine which regulates mood.
  • Magnesium and Valerian Root have been reported to improve sleep quality, which in turn can improve nocturnal teeth grinding.
  • Vitamin B deficiency has been linked to depression and memory loss. Because bruxism can be fueled by emotional turmoil like stress, anxiety and depression, consuming higher amounts of B vitamins may help.

Back To School Dental Visits

Attention parents! It’s time for a back-to-school-hack — schedule a dental check-up for your child a few weeks before school starts. Here are 3 reasons why it is just as important as picking out a new backpack.

1. Taking care of dental issues will help your child focus on academics.

Between sports, parent-teacher conferences, holidays and other extracurricular activities, once school starts up, finding time to go to the dentist is hard. While summer is busy in its own way, summer activities are usually more flexible which makes it easier to fit in a dental check-up.

Visiting the dentist a few weeks or even the month before school starts can be especially helpful if you have any issues that need a subsequent visit. Missing school for dental work can put your child behind the class, and those first days of the year are especially crucial. You don’t want to have to deal with making up homework or rushing to the dentist right after a long day of school with your tired child.

What’s more is that if you don’t go to the dentist at all, and then your child develops a painful dental issue, that discomfort can lead to distraction in class and missing out on important learning opportunities.

In fact, according to a study released by the American Journal of Public Health, children with poor oral health are 3 times as likely to miss school as a result of dental pain. That statistic is motivation enough!

2. We can help you protect your children’s teeth with a fitted mouth guard for sports.

Whether your child will be playing tackle football, basketball or even lacrosse, a mouth guard is a small investment that can yield big rewards. According to the Journal of American Dental Association, 13 to 19 percent of all dental injuries are sports related and males are twice as likely to suffer a dental injury in sports.

While you can pick up a standard mouth guard at your local sporting goods store, a custom model fitted to your child’s teeth offers extra protection and comfort. If your child’s mouth guard is bulky and uncomfortable, they will likely be less inclined to wear it and lose that protective measure.

3. Your oral hygiene habits probably took a dive this summer.

Let’s be honest, nobody brushed their teeth after eating those sticky s’mores around the campfire right? Summer vacations, sleepovers, family reunions and outdoor outings can throw us off our routine and result in less-than-perfect brushing and flossing. Which is why it is great idea to stop in and get your children’s teeth checked after a summer indulging in sugary treats. We can see if any cavities have started to form and get them taken care of ASAP.

Pain Free Shots For Patients

“You just gave me a shot?!”- We really do give pain free shots.

Something a patient of mine asked me last week prompted me to write this post about how we give really good shots at our office. You may not think that’s possible based on your dental experience, but I assure you it is. My patient last week needed a tooth removed at the oral surgeon’s office, and upon hearing my recommendation to remove the tooth he asked, “Doc, can I come here to see you first so you can numb me up?” We hear very frequently that our injections are, if not painless, very comfortable. I’ll share with you our little secret.

First, to get the shot right, you’ve got to care. You actually have to care about the patient’s comfort. You have to recognize and validate the patient’s fear about the needle, and you have to feel for them in the vulnerable spot they are in. If your dentist doesn’t care, he or she is just going ram that needle in your gums and inject that anesthetic as quickly as possible. This brings me to the next secret.

The injection must be slowly administered in order for it to be comfortable. Most people don’t feel the poke of the needle. What they feel is the anesthetic going into the tissue. Anesthetic is slightly acidic and usually at room temperature, and the tissue can sense that. That sensation is usually interpreted by the brain as pain. So the way I get around that is I go slow and I use a computer automated machine to help me control the flow of the anesthetic so that the flow is precise. This machine also allows me to use a very small needle and syringe, not the huge syringe that most use that looks like it belongs in a veterinarians practice.

Statistics tell us that many patients delay scheduling needed dental treatment because of fear of getting a shot. This delay only makes their dental condition worse, setting them up for even more invasive and complicated procedures. This only increases their fear more, and the cycle continues until they are forced to either do root canals or extract teeth. Because of how we care, and because of how we administer anesthetic at our office, we have very few patients that keep their fears about getting dental treatment.

4 Pains In The Mouth That Could Indicate A Dental Problem

Many of patients don’t think about their teeth much until they are hurting, and by that point a serious dental issue may have developed. Regular check-ups with our dental experts can help you avoid this predicament. But if pain does strike, here are four of the most common types of dental pain we see and what they are caused by.

1. Hot/Cold Sensitivity

In normal circumstances, you shouldn’t have a painful reaction to relatively hot and/or cold substances. If you find that you are bothered by temperatures that don’t seem to register with others, you may have heightened sensitivity. The enamel on your teeth is a protective shield, but when that enamel becomes compromised via decay or a loose filling, you will feel it! Especially if the decay is severe enough that your nerve is exposed. Nerve pain is no joke. The sensitivity can also be traced back to gum recession that has exposed the roots of your teeth.

2. Swollen or Tender Gums

Healthy gums are firm and pink. If you notice your gums are swollen, inflamed or red in a particular area, it may be a red flag indicating that you have developed a periodontal abscess. Abscesses are often accompanied by a fever and or a strange taste in your mouth.

By definition, an abscess is a collection of pus caused by bacteria. When an accumulation of bacteria forms in your mouth, your body attempts to contain it by creating a barrier around the infection site in the form of pus. This pus has no way to drain and therefore it puffs up, swells and causes pain and pressure.

Abscesses can also form inside your teeth, these are known as periapical abscesses.

If you notice this happening, get into our office as soon as possible so we can relieve your pain and address the problem.

3. Painful Jaw Clicking

While this “pain in the mouth” is technically outside of your actual the mouth, it is still very related to your dental health. Temporomandibular joint disorder causes painful clicking, popping and tenderness of the jaw. This issue occurs when your jaw joints move out of proper alignment, are shifted by impact or eroded by age.

While TMJ pain might not be as urgent as some of the other types of dental pain, if left untreated it can cause tension headaches and other issues.

TMJ is fairly easily diagnosed here at the office. If you notice pain and come in to have it checked out by our dental team, we will perform a simple exam of the area and we may also do a dental x-ray. Then we can suggest the proper therapies or procedures for you.

4. Dull Ache

If your teeth have a dull ache, especially right when you wake up, you may be suffering from bruxism. Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, afflicts approximately 8 percent of adults and even more children according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Other signs of bruxism include tender and sensitive teeth as well as visible fracturing and chipping of teeth or dental work. Some of our patients describe the pain as more intense on their upper teeth.

If we suspect bruxism is the cause of your aching teeth, we can do an examination and fit you for a mouth guard or splint to protect your teeth while you sleep. There are also other stress management techniques and therapies you can try to eliminate the grinding entirely.

These are just four common types of pain, but if you are experiencing ANY kind of mouth pain, get into our office ASAP. Our goal is to help you identify the source of yoru pain and resolve it permanently.

At What Age Should My Child First See A Dentist?

If you’ve seen (or experienced) children visiting the dentist, you may have seen very upset and unhappy children. So when it comes to your own child, you may be wondering how long you can delay the inevitable first dentist visit.

When it comes to especially young children without all their teeth, it can seem unnecessary to bring them in to see the dentist until all their teeth have emerged.

However, the basic guideline is that your child should see a dentist 6 months after their first tooth has erupted. A child’s first tooth generally comes out by the time they are 6 months old, but if your child’s teeth developed late, visiting the dentist at the 1 year mark is the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

Children And Baby Teeth

A child’s primary (baby) teeth are important to their overall health and development and can have a lasting impact on their adult life. Here at Taylor’s General & Cosmetic Dentistry, we know the value of healthy teeth at every age.

Some of the side-effects of damaged primary teeth are:

  • Unable to chew correctly and miss out on nutrition that is only obtained through chewing.
  • Poor speech patterns from missing or damaged teeth distorting their speech.
  • If primary teeth are missing, permanent teeth can erupting in either the wrong spot or crowd out other teeth.
  • Having damaged teeth can affect your child’s self-esteem as they see other children with undamaged teeth.

If at all possible, a child’s primary teeth should remain intact and in place until the permanent teeth pushes them out. There are options if the teeth are damaged beyond saving, so be sure to consult with your dentist to make sure you know all your available avenues.

Get Your Child For Their First Dental Visit

Since you want your child’s teeth to stay health and don’t want them terrified of their first dental visit, there are some steps to take to get your child ready for their first dental visit.

  • Start brushing early – Part of what makes dental visits scary for children is that the children aren’t used to having cleaning tools in their mouths. Parents should use soft toothbrushes and begin brushing their baby’s teeth even before the first tooth erupts. This will discourage bacterial growth in the infant’s mouth and keep their gums healthy.
  • Talk them through – If you talk your child through what happens at the dentist, and how their own visit will go, this can lessen the fear for your child. When they have an idea of what to expect, it can be less terrifying. You may need to do this several times before visits as they likely not remember the initial talks.
  • Speak positively – Many people casually talk of their hate of the dentist, but all this does for children is teach them that the dentist is someone to fear. Keep your language and tone positive, as this is likely what your young child will pick up on.

In some cases, your child may be apprehensive no matter what you do. But if you bring your child to the dentist young and help them keep up their dental health, the dentist won’t stay a scary place for them.

What Is The Best Toothbrush?

A lot of my patients ask me which is the best toothbrush, or which toothbrush they should use. This last year I discovered what I believe to be the best toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouth rinse, but this short note will only touch on the toothbrush (more to come with the toothpaste and mouth rinse).

Hard Toothbrushing Will Scrub Away Your Teeth

When looking for a toothbrush, look for something SOFT. I seriously don’t understand why dental product companies make anything but soft toothbrushes. Medium bristled and especially hard bristled toothbrushes can, overtime, seriously damage your teeth and gums from abrasion. If you couple a hard bristled toothbrush with an aggressively abrasive toothpaste, you could literally be scrubbing your teeth away, little by little. You may feel like nothing is changing in your mouth, but over 20-30 years you could lose enough enamel and dentin for two or three life times.

Also, whatever soft toothbrush you decide to use, make sure you change the toothbrush every 3 months. Over time the soft bristles will break and wear out, making the toothbrush more abrasive.

My Family And I Use A Very Soft Toothbrush

Which toothbrush do I use? I absolutely love the Nimbus toothbrush. I call it the cloud brush because it is so soft it kind of feels like you’re brushing your teeth with a cloud. The inventor of this brush is a retired periodontal specialist, so he obviously is very knowledgable about what your teeth and gums need in order to be healthy.

When you use it the first time, especially if you’re used to brushing with a hard bristled brush, you may feel like the brush isn’t hard enough. Don’t worry about this and don’t brush too hard. The Nimbus is doing everything it needs to, as long as you’re spending 2-4 minutes brushing, and making sure to brush every surface of every tooth.

The nimbus comes in three different sizes: regular, compact, and the Nimby for children. You can order then from the Nimbus website directly, or from Amazon, or you can stop by my office and if you’re already a patient of record I’m happy to just give you one to try. So, if you’re like most people, throw that hard bristled brush in the trash and get the cloud brush, the Nimbus.

3 Signs You Are On The Path To Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a problem that afflicts as many as half of all Americans. It is definitely an issue we encounter daily in our dental office. We always strive to catch the first signs of the disease and counsel our patients accordingly. Here are 3 things we watch for:

1. Gums that bleed after flossing.

Periodontal disease is caused by the failure to remove plaque and bacteria from in and around your teeth. The first stage is gingivitis, and the most common sign of gingivitis is gums that bleed after you floss. If you notice this happening, ask yourself when the last time you flossed was. If it has been a while, gingivitis may be to blame.

There are a couple of other circumstances that might cause your gums to bleed that are unrelated to gingivitis. Certain medications can thin your blood and make you more prone to bleeding. These medicines actually cause gingival overgrowth and swelling. Common culprits include seizure medications, immuno-suppressants and drugs used to treat high blood pressure. These side effects were first discovered in the 1960s after a new drug to treat children experiencing seizures was released and bleeding gums were reported.

Pregnancy can also cause bleeding gums as your hormone levels shift.

If you notice bleeding gums and dedicate yourself to better oral care habits going forward, you can expect the bleeding to continue for a couple weeks until your gums get used to the pressure and toughen up.

2. Gum Recession

All of us are born with a certain amount of gum tissue. Some people have more than others, but gums that are decreasing in size or length are receding, and can be an early sign of gum disease. One way to analogize the concept is to think about a house plant. If you removed all the dirt (gum tissue) from the pot, the roots (your teeth) would begin to shrivel up and they would eventually wither away. The same idea applies to your gums. If you gums keep receding, your teeth don’t have the foundation they need and they eventually can fall out.

When you come into our office for a cleaning and exam, we measure the length of your gums in millimeters. If we notice a decrease from a previous appointment we will let you know and talk to you about possible causes and solutions. It’s harder for patients to spot gum recession on their own at home, which is one of the reasons why twice-yearly checkups are so important!

3. Bad Breath

Bad breath is not just embarrassing, it can be a early sign that you are developing periodontal disease. When you fail to remove the food particles in between your teeth, bacteria pops up and the presence of bacteria releases unpleasant odors. If you leave this unchecked, gum disease and eventually periodontal disease can form.

So before you start popping mints and gum like crazy, consider the original source of your bad breath and put more diligent effort into daily brushing and flossing. If this doesn’t seem to help, it may be a cause unrelated to your gums.

*If you are concerned you may be exhibiting any of these signs of early gum disease, make an appointment to come in and get a thorough examination. If you already have periodontal disease, let us help you get back on track with periodontal therapy. We have several different services and levels of treatment that we would love to share with you.

4 Phases of Periodontal Therapy

According to a 2012 report from the Center for Disease Control, one out of every two Americans over 30 has some form of periodontal disease. As we age, the prevalence rate increases to 70 percent. If periodontal disease affects half of the country, it’s time we do something about it. Our office offers an array of services aimed at mitigating this progressive condition. Here are the four phases of periodontal therapy.

It is important to note that we aim to solve the problem with the least of amount of invasive procedures. Which means that after each phase of therapy we will allow time for healing and then will assess the success of the treatment.

1. Prevention

While technically this is not periodontal therapy per se, we have to mention that periodontal disease prevention is always the best option. Daily brushing, and especially daily flossing, are key. So are regular dental appointments.

2. Non-Surgical Treatment: Scaling and Planing

If you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease, one of the first steps is to do a non-surgical periodontal cleaning treatment. This involves removing tartar and plaque buildup that has accumulated. We will remove the calculus (calcified plaque) that you are unable to remove at home with a toothbrush.

The best way to remove these hardened debris is with scaling and planing done by a dental hygienist.. A scaler is a hand-held instrument with one end that is shaped like a hook or curved blade. The hygienist will scrape off plaque with this edge. Ultrasonic scalers are also used and they are especially effective because they create tiny air bubbles and bacteria can’t survive in the presence of oxygen.

Root planing is the process of removing plaque that has accumulated below the gumline. Any time you are addressing an issue below the gumline is it considered subgingival treatment. Conversely, cleaning above the gumline is referred to as supragingival cleaning.

After this removal process, we will apply an antimicrobial solution to sanitize the area.

For many people, non-surgical procedures are successful and they can maintain gum health on their own with consistent hygiene habits.

3. Surgical Treatment 1: Pocket Reduction Procedures

If your periodontal disease has progressed to the formation of pockets of gum that are not snugly attached to the tooth, pocket reduction surgery can be done. These pockets need to be eliminated because they are breeding grounds for bacteria to accumulate and can eventually lead to bone deterioration.

Measuring the size of your pocket will help us know whether or not a pocket reduction surgery is needed. Pocket depth of 5 or more millimeters is typically cause for concern.

The procedure involves folding back your gum tissue, removing the offending bacteria and then securing the gum tissue back into place. This procedure is important not only because the bacteria needs to be removed, but also because when a pocket becomes very deep it is difficult for you to clean at home and reducing the size will make it more manageable for home care and prevention.

We also may smooth the bone tissue during this procedure to allow your gums to adhere more securely to your tooth.

We can also apply a special protein, enamel matrix derivative (EMD), to the area to biomimetically stimulate tissue regrowth.

4. Surgical Treatment 2: Gum & Bone Grafting

GUM GRAFTING

If pocket reduction techniques cannot successfully repair the damage done by periodontal disease, gum and bone graft procedures can be done. When it comes to gum grafting, we can use connective tissue taken from underneath a flap on the roof of your mouth and place it on the area that is receded.

We can also harvest gum tissue directly from the roof of your mouth, this is called a free gingival graft.

Yet another option is the pedicle graft method where we collect graft material from the gums adjacent to the tooth in need of repair. In a pedicle procedure and we cut away a flap, pull it over the receded area and then sew it back into place. This method is only feasible if you have plenty of gum tissue near the tooth.

BONE GRAFTING

Bone grafting is definitely the last resort option for attempting to repair the damage done by advanced periodontal disease. It is an intense procedure that should only be done if all other avenues have not yielded results. It is often done in conjunction or in preparation for a dental implant.

In a bone graft, we fold back the gums, clean out the bacteria and then bone tissue is inserted. The bone graft tissue is commonly harvested from your own chin or jaw. If more tissue is needed, it may be collected from the hip or shin bone. Synthetic material is also available or we can also use bone tissue from a cadaver or cow.

Flossing: Highly Recommended Since 1819

Flossing should be part of your daily preventative care routine. Simply put, if you want great teeth, reach for the floss! But have you ever wondered how it came to be? Read on and find out.

ORIGINS OF DENTAL FLOSS

While there is a wealth of scientific data to back it up, many believe that the first primitive form of flossing was using horse hair to dislodge material in between your teeth.

One of the earliest evidences of flossing begins in 1819. A dentist based in New Orleans, Levi Spear Parmly, started recommending that patients use waxed silk thread to clean between their teeth. He had a theory that the food and germs left between our teeth caused disease. His ideas about what causes cavities were actually quite remarkable if you consider the lack of credible knowledge about tooth health at the time.

According to the Journal of Dental History, Parmly was one of the premier dentists of his time. He published some of the first books on the subject and spread important information about how to take care of your teeth.

The New York Times explains that Parmly’s ideas weren’t received as the revolutionary ideas that they were, simply put “people just expected their teeth to fall out.”

While historical documents credit Parmly with inventing floss, the Times explains that it is Asahel M. Shurtleff who was given the first official patent for what was considered “floss” at the time.

NYLON BRINGS FLOSSING TO THE MASSES

Later, in the 1940s, Dr. Charles C. Bass created the first nylon floss, which was a much less expensive alternative to silk floss. This availability of nylon floss and Bass’ research helped the practice become more popular.

Then in 1882, flossing became more accessible when Codman and Shurtleft started mass-producing unwaxed silk floss. A few years later in 1898, Johnson & Johnson saw the potential in selling floss and patented dental floss specifically and went on to provide several types of waxed and unwaxed floss.

FLOSS PICKS HIT THE SCENE

Flossing picks were created to helps users floss more easily, which is especially helpful for anyone with dexterity issues, like the elderly or children. They first hit the scene in 1888 and major improvements were made every few years. Here is a breakdown.

  • The first flossing picks were made in 1888 by B.T. Mason. The contraption was a string wrapped around a tooth pick.
  • In 1916, J.P. De L’eau created and patented a dental floss holder between two vertical poles.
  • In 1935 F. H. Doner created a pick that resembles the Y-shaped flossers many of us use today.
  • The f-shaped pick was first created by James B. Kirby in 1963. The official patent document explains that the design “emphasized the cleaning of interdental surfaces and curved surfaces leading to the opposing faces of two adjacent teeth.”
  • In 1972 Richard L. Wells upped the ante by giving picks a single handle configuration.
  • Things get even better when Harry Selig Katz created disposable picks.

MODERN FLOSSING

Floss has since been improved upon over the years and many of these changes are to improve user comfort and convenience. Dental tape has a smooth glide and flossing picks are a great solution for people who like to floss on the go. Waxed and unwaxed are also personal preferences you can opt for and flavored floss is also very popular — especially among kids. Whatever product will help you keep a consistent flossing regimen is the best product. Consumers are responding to the variety of products available and sales of dental floss in the US accounted for more than 198 million dollars in 2014!

FLOSSING RECOMMENDED GUIDELINES

Here is a brief recap of the basics of flossing.

  • Floss once a day, preferably before you brush your teeth.
  • When using traditional floss, pull out about 18 inches and wrap the ends around your index fingers.
  • Pull the floss around the curves of your teeth and the base of your gums gently.
  • Choose the right floss for your teeth. Waxed floss tends to glide over top teeth more gently.
  • If you have a hard time flossing consistently, try a flossing pick and keep it in your car or at your desk to encourage flossing on the go.
  • If you have braces or dental implants, flossing will be a little bit more tricky, but still SO important. Talk to one of our dental experts about the best way to floss with your circumstances. Providing tips and tricks to our patients is one of the best services we can provide here at the office.

LESSER KNOWN BENEFITS OF FLOSSING

We won’t bore you with all the traditional benefits of flossing (cavity prevention, fighting gum disease) that have been drilled into your head for years. Instead, here are a few lesser-known benefits of flossing to wrap your head around.

  • Studies have suggested that poor dental health may be linked to Alzheimer’s and dementia. Researchers looked at the brains of those who had dementia and found that a certain gum bacteria was present in a significant number of those who had dementia and it was not present in those without dementia.
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy can make you extra susceptible to gum disease, which means flossing during pregnancy is key. Research has shown that pregnant women are more likely to have receding or bleeding gums than non-pregnant women. And according to the Journal of Periodontology, pregnant women with periodontitis were more likely to have delivery complications like pre eclampsia, high blood pressure and low birth weight.
  • You might think that brushing is enough to thwart bad breath but flossing is just as important. Have you ever noticed that your floss doesn’t smell great after you use it? That is because it has just removed bacteria and debri from between your teeth. While brushing removes surface particles, flossing removes debris lodged in between your teeth that is just waiting to turn into plaque which can give you bad breath.
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