Flossing 101: Everything You Need to Know

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During your last visit to the dentist, you were likely asked how often you floss your teeth. Unfortunately, this important aspect of dental hygiene often falls to the wayside as we approach adulthood. Daily flossing, however, is just as important to the overall health of your smile as brushing your teeth! 

We hope by sharing some of the facts surrounding the importance of flossing as well as the proper flossing techniques, that you will be inspired to add this crucial habit back into your daily routine.

Is Daily Flossing Really Important?

No one tries to negotiate the importance of twice-daily toothbrushing. However, when you fail to floss once each day, you are not fully cleaning your teeth! When you floss, you are removing debris and bacteria that is found between your teeth. Even the best toothbrush can not reach these tricky areas! 

Flossing is not only responsible for cleaning the hard-to-reach surfaces of your teeth. In fact, flossing actually maintains the health of your gums and plays a large role in preventing gum disease! 

Still not convinced that flossing each day is important? Do you struggle with bad breath even after your brush your teeth? Chances are you need to floss! Food particles and bacteria trapped between your teeth could be the cause. Luckily, flossing your teeth is a great way to keep bad breath at bay! 

Learning Proper Flossing Technique

As with any aspect of oral hygiene, it is important that you use proper technique to ensure that you are not harming your teeth or gums. The first mistake that many people make when flossing is not using enough dental floss. You should be using a new section of dental floss between each tooth. For most people, this means you will need to start out using roughly 18 inches of dental floss.

To floss between each tooth, bring the dental floss down one side of the tooth, curving it when you meet the gum to follow the shape of the tooth. Next, repeat the same process on the other side of the tooth. It is important to clean both sides of each tooth to ensure that you eliminate as much plaque as possible.

As you move throughout your mouth, simply work your way down the length of dental floss. Once you have thoroughly cleaned between your teeth, rinse your mouth using water or an antiseptic mouthwash. 

Although many people believe they do not have time to floss each day, this is one habit that is worth the effort. With just a bit of practice, daily flossing will become an established part of your oral hygiene routine. You will never regret taking care of your smile! 

Use Floss That Works for You

Every smile is unique. In the same way, your flossing needs will be unique to you. You may need to try several variations of dental floss before you find one that allows you to comfortably and successfully floss. 

If you are struggling to implement proper flossing techniques, or you need assistance finding a dental floss that works for you, don’t hesitate to ask for advice during your next appointment! We are passionate about helping each of our patients implement healthy oral hygiene techniques in their daily lives. 

How Often Should You Replace Your Toothbrush?

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One of the most important habits you can put into place is brushing your teeth. However, if you are not brushing with the proper tools or techniques, you could actually be causing more harm than good! In order to effectively clean your teeth, you must use a toothbrush that is in good condition. 

Although you may receive a new toothbrush during your bi-annual teeth cleaning appointments, it is recommended that you replace your toothbrush more often than every six months! Most experts suggest replacing your toothbrush every three to four months. There are, however, a few reasons you may need to replace your toothbrush more often.

Why Do You Need to Replace Your Toothbrush?

Your toothbrush serves an essential role, eliminating debris and bacteria from in and around your teeth. After you are done brushing each day, your toothbrush simply sits on the countertop and can harbor bacteria and germs. 

Additionally, brushing your teeth with worn-out bristles could lead to damage to your teeth or gums.

For these reasons, it is important to replace your toothbrush on a regular basis. Thankfully, good quality toothbrushes are reasonably priced and readily available.

When to Replace Your Toothbrush

There are several reasons why you should replace your toothbrush regularly. It is helpful to keep a spare toothbrush on hand so you will be ready to replace the toothbrush you are using as needed.

Every Three to Four Months

As a general rule, you should be replacing your toothbrush every three to four months. Switching to a new toothbrush helps eliminate bacteria and ensures that your toothbrush bristles are in excellent condition. A toothbrush that is in great shape will be able to clean your teeth and gums much more effectively.

Following an Illness

When you are sick, excess bacteria and germs congregate in your mouth. However, many of our patients forget about these lingering germs once they have recovered from their illness! It is wise to replace your toothbrush following any type of sickness to eliminate a potential reoccurrence.

When It’s Showing Signs of Wear

The bristles of a toothbrush easily show signs of wear. It is important to replace your toothbrush if the bristles begin to appear frayed or broken. Not only do worn-out bristles clean your teeth less effectively but they can also cause abrasions on the gums and soft tissue of the mouth. These small lacerations can easily become infected with bacteria which leads to much larger issues.

If your toothbrush consistently shows signs of wear in the first month or two, it is possible that you are brushing your teeth too aggressively. Talk to your dental care team to assess your brushing technique to ensure it is not damaging your teeth.

After Travelling

Another situation that warrants a new toothbrush is after returning home from travel. When you travel, your toothbrush is often closed in a cosmetic bag that lacks proper ventilation. It is wise to replace your toothbrush after returning from travels to ensure that your toothbrush remains free of harmful bacteria. 

Replacing your toothbrush on a routine basis is just one of many ways you can take care of your teeth and gums, encouraging a healthy smile. Talk to your dental care team during your next visit for more information on proper toothbrushing tools and techniques!

5 Common Teeth Cleaning Myths

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There are many myths that surround the topic of oral hygiene. In this post, we will shed some light on five of the most common teeth cleaning myths that we hear about from our patients.

Myth 1: Brushing harder will clean your teeth more thoroughly. 

This may be the top misconception when it comes to oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth harder does not clean your teeth more thoroughly! In fact, aggressive tooth brushing can actually cause serious damage. When you brush your teeth too hard, you risk damaging the enamel, the part of your tooth that protects against cavities and decay.

Myth 2: Manual toothbrushes are better than electric toothbrushes.

The most important fact about your toothbrush isn’t whether it’s manual or electric, it’s the technique you use while brushing your teeth that matters. Both manual and electric toothbrushes are capable of cleaning your teeth properly, and there are benefits and disadvantages to both options. Choosing a toothbrush that makes brushing your teeth enjoyable for you is the best place to start!

Myth 3: If I use mouthwash, I don’t need to floss my teeth.

Flossing your teeth does take dedication. However, there is no substitute for the way that flossing cleans between each tooth. It has been estimated that if you fail to floss, you are not cleaning up to 40% of the surface of your teeth. Although mouthwash provides you with clean, fresh breath, you still need to floss your teeth each day.

Myth 4: It doesn’t matter what time of day you brush your teeth, as long as it gets done.

It is important for everyone, no matter their age, to brush their teeth twice each day. Most of us brush our teeth at the beginning of the day and brush again before we go to bed each night. There is actually great reasoning behind this! 

It is important to brush your teeth in the morning to freshen your breath and get rid of the plaque that has accumulated while sleeping. Brushing your teeth at night removes any leftover food that is stuck in your teeth. This eliminates the potential for cavities to form while you are sleeping. 

Myth 5: Toothpaste has to be sudsy to work.

The suds created by toothpaste cause us to think our teeth are getting a better clean. However, this is actually a myth! Ingredients are added to many brands of toothpaste to encourage the foaming sensation. These ingredients, and the suds they create, actually do not play a part in the cleaning process. More important than the suds your toothpaste creates, is the brushing technique you practice while cleaning your teeth each day.

By learning the facts behind these common teeth cleaning myths, we hope that you will be able to practice more effective oral hygiene. The most important fact to remember when cleaning your teeth is to brush for two minutes, twice a day. This will provide you with the time you need to thoroughly clean the surface of each tooth! 

If you need assistance or advice on your teeth cleaning routine, feel free to ask our team during your next visit! 

How to Stop Being Afraid of the Dentist | Family Dentist Near Me

Family Dentist Near Me

For a lot of people, even the thought of visiting the dentist causes fear and anxiety.

This can be due to past trauma, a fear of the unknown, lack of communication, or simply from embarrassment. You don’t have to suffer in pain. We have 4 helpful tips to help you overcome your fear of the dentist.

 

Be Prepared

Research the dental office you’ll be visiting and learn more about the office and people. For extra peace of mind, find out if they are specialized in your procedure.

Read online reviews. See what others have to say about their experiences. Many people leave reviews on their entire appointment, from start to finish. Seek those reviews out to get a good understanding of how you can expect your visit to go.

For children, explain their dental procedure in terms that they can understand and will help ease their anxiety. Let them know that the dentist isn’t a scary place!

 

Ask Questions

Research the dental procedure you’re going to have. Make a list of any questions you want to have answered before you schedule your appointment.

Once you’re there, ask the dental assistant and dentist to keep you informed of what they are doing, as they do it.

Don’t be afraid to make pre or post-procedure calls regarding aftercare, concerns, or any questions you have.

 

Distract and Relax

Have someone you trust to go along with you. This can be a parent, spouse, sibling, or friend. They can encourage and talk to you while you wait to help keep your anxiety down.

For children, bring along their favorite stuffed animal or blanket. These familiar objects can help calm their nerves.

Focus on your breathing. If you truly concentrate only on steady breathing, you might be surprised how hard it is to think about anything else!

Listen to music or a podcast with your earphones. For children, listening to their favorite songs or storybooks is a great way to help keep their minds busy.

Ask about sedation. Sedation dentistry uses medication to help you relax for a better dental care experience. You will still be able to ask questions, but you will be calmer throughout treatment.

 

Talk It Out

Sometimes the fear can be overwhelming. You can seek counseling to get the root cause of your dental fear. Professional assistance may help you succeed in overcoming it. Your dental health is worth it!

If you have any questions or want to learn how we can help you put your best smile forward, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

 

Dentist Near Me | How Long Should You Brush Your Teeth? 

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Brushing your teeth is an important part of a proper dental care routine. Many of us have successfully integrated toothbrushing into our daily routine. However, we often fall short when it comes to spending enough time on this crucial task. As we get older, we tend to rush through this part of our routine without any further thought on the matter. 

So, how long should you brush your teeth each day? Dental experts agree that it is important to brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day (typically in the morning and the evening). Spending two minutes on this task each time you brush provides you with ample time to thoroughly clean all the surfaces of each tooth including the inner surface, the outer surface, and the chewing surface.

Taking proper care of your teeth and gums requires attention to detail. These fine details are often overlooked or forgotten completely! Unfortunately, this can lead to poor oral health. 

Toothbrush Techniques

Timing is one of the most important factors in a proper brushing routine. Rushing through this part of your day can cause cavities, gum disease, or other dental problems. There are a few ways to ensure you are spending the appropriate amount of time cleaning your teeth each day.

Use a Toothbrush Timer

It may shock you to learn how little time you spend brushing your teeth. Whether you spend a lot of time or not much at all, it’s always wise to get an idea of areas in which you can improve your oral health. Next time you brush your teeth, grab a timer! 

Many people find it helpful to set a timer each time they brush their teeth, at least until they establish a routine.

Follow a Brushing Plan

If the two minutes you spend brushing your teeth seems never-ending, it is likely because you are overlooking one (or several) important areas. Following a plan and brushing your teeth in the same way each time will help you avoid this problem! 

The best way to brush your teeth thoroughly is to work from one side of your mouth to the other. First brushing the inner surface, moving on to the outer surface, and finally cleaning the chewing surface of the tooth. Repeat this pattern until you have successfully worked your way to the other side.

Make Brushing Your Teeth a Priority

One of the primary reasons many people rush through their toothbrushing is because they leave it until the last minute. Clean, healthy teeth impact more than just your smile! Oral health has been linked to many types of health concerns, some of which are rather serious.

The best way to make sure you successfully spend two minutes brushing your teeth twice each day is to make it a priority. The way this is done will vary depending on the person. However, by dedicating time to this crucial task, you will ensure that your oral health is the best that it can be.

For more information on brush tips and techniques, or to schedule your next appointment, contact us here

Dentist Near Me | 10 Signs It’s Time To Visit A Dentist

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Visits to the dentist are crucial in both treating and preventing many issues including tooth decay and gum disease. However, in our busy schedules, we often overlook the warning signs that our body is sending to us. 

Waiting too long to visit the dentist can lead to expensive and time-consuming dental procedures that could have been easily avoided. In today’s post, we are sharing 10 of the signs that it’s time to visit a dentist.

1. Tooth Pain

Tooth pain is the most common reason behind a visit to the dentist. However, many adults simply ignore or cover up the pain they are experiencing. Tooth pain can be caused by a cavity, tooth decay, or other problems that can be easily remedied. 

2. Swollen or Red Gums

Swollen or red gums can indicate the presence of gum disease. It is important to address this problem in its early stages for the best results.

3. Sores, Bumps, or Lesions

Any kind of sore, bump, lump, or lesion should be looked at by a dentist. Although they are usually nothing serious, they can indicate various diseases.

4. Missing or Damaged Tooth

A missing or damaged tooth is a reason to visit the dentist. By failing to address these issues in a timely manner, you can cause further damage or pain.

5. Popping Jaw

Although a popping jaw may just seem like an annoyance, it can be a sign of something more serious like TMJ, or jaw dislocation.

6. Bad Breath

If you have chronic bad breath, a visit to the dentist is a wise idea. Bad breath can be a sign of poor dental hygiene but can also be an early warning of other health concerns.

7. Sensitive Teeth

Changes in the sensitivity of your teeth should be discussed with a dentist. Whether your teeth are sensitive to heat or cold, a visit to the dentist could help discover the cause of this discomfort. 

8. Bleeding During Brushing

If your gums bleed lightly after not flossing for several days, it is not likely a cause for concern. However, if your gums are bleeding excessively, or every time you brush your teeth, you should make an appointment with your dentist. Bleeding gums can be a warning sign of gum disease or even something as simple as a poor brushing technique.

9. Headaches

Headaches can be caused by many things. However, if you are having a hard time discovering the culprit of your headaches, it’s time to visit your dentist. Problems with your teeth, gums, or jaw can cause headaches.

10. Bi-Annual Checkups

Even if you are not experiencing one of the signs mentioned above, it may be time to visit a dentist. Bi-annual dental checkups are the best way to prevent serious dental concerns. In addition to this, a routine cleaning keeps your smile bright and healthy! Making time for this appointment can save you both time and money down the road.

If you have noticed one of these signs, or if it’s simply been a while since your last visit, it’s time to schedule an appointment. Contact our office here for more information!

Cosmetic Dentist Near Me | Healthy is the New Beautiful

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Cosmetic dentistry has been around for ages. We’ve noticed that now, more than ever, people are concerned with overall wellness in addition to a beautiful smile. In past years, we had many patients come to us seeking whitening and seeming unconcerned with ridding their smile of infection and decay.

More recently, however, mainstream news has joined our efforts to educate the public on the oral & overall health connection. This has led to patients seeking care that will contribute to overall wellness. We’ve experienced a surge in questions such as:

  • Does periodontal disease really increase my odds of heart disease?
  • Does untreated decay lead to root canal therapy and risk eventual loss of the tooth?
  • Do oral lesions signify potential oral cancer? How is that screened and treated?

This increase in “Dental IQ” is leading to more comprehensive care for our community. It’s allowing us to provide dentistry which we know is in the best interest of our patients. Dentistry is not only about the aesthetic appeal of your smile. As many of our patients have been learning, valuable overall health benefits go hand-in-hand with preventive and restorative dental care.

If you’re seeking a dentist that contributes to your overall health and wellness, contact us today.

Dentist Near Me | Can Kissing Be Hazardous to Your Health?

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When you are close to someone you can often be overly comfortable in sharing.  This is especially true with kissing. In one kiss, more than 500 germs can be shared between two people. Sharing a kiss can have an impact on your oral health. Here are some of the dangers of kissing.

Colds & Flus

When you feel like you might be coming down with a cold or flu, it is best to avoid kissing. You certainly don’t want to transmit any diseases. Colds and flus are easily passed on through saliva and nasal fluids.

Cold Sores

If you see a cold sore near your mouth and lips, you should avoid kissing someone. Cold sores will look like small, clear blisters usually close to your lips. Cold sores are a viral infection, but are extremely contagious. Cold sores that are leaking fluids are especially contagious, however even a sore without any fluid can spread to others in contact. Avoid contact if you see cold sores!

Mono – The Kissing Disease

Mononucleosis, or mono, is spread very rapidly through kissing. The disease can also be spread by sharing behaviors such as sharing a cup, food, or straw. We recommend avoiding sharing your food and drink with others. Someone carrying mono might appear healthy, so always play it is safe by avoiding sharing your food and your germs.

Tips for Fresh Breath

It makes sense to want to have a clean, fresh breath when kissing. It is best to avoid foods that contain strong spices and flavors, such as garlic or onion. Long after they have been consumed, it is still possible to smell these foods on someone’s breath. Make sure you follow a regular daily oral hygiene routine. This includes brushing your teeth twice daily, as well as brushing your tongue, roof of the mouth, and inside of your cheeks. We suggest using a mouthwash or sugar-free gum after eating to help diffuse strong odors. Sometimes bad breath can be caused by other factors, so if you feel these solutions are not working, make an appointment with us.

Hundreds of germs can be shared when kissing. Watch out for cold sores as well as cold or flu symptoms. Don’t forget to keep up with your daily brushing and flossing routine.

For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy, or to schedule your next visit, contact our office.

Family Dentist Near Me | Seniors and Oral Health

Family Dentist Near Me

Your teeth age with you. It’s important to keep them strong and healthy even as you grow older. Seniors are at a higher risk for developing periodontal disease. In addition to getting a regular dental examination, here are some other tips to keep your teeth healthy.

Keep a Routine

Regardless of age, we cannot stress the importance of keeping up with a daily oral hygiene routine. Make sure you are brushing twice-daily and flossing at least once per day. For seniors with dentures, it is important that you remove them for at least four hours each day. We recommend removing them at night. Dentures need to be cleaned daily so make it part of your routine as well. We also suggest staying hydrated by drinking water. Not only does water help keep you producing enamel building saliva, but if it contains fluoride, it can help keep your teeth strong. Make a regular visit to our office part of your routine as well.

Tips for Caregivers

If you are the primary caregiver of someone elderly, working with them to keep their teeth healthy can be a challenge. It is up to you to remind them to brush and floss regularly. Help them by establishing a routine and set times for brushing their teeth. We ask that you assist them in making an appointment to visit our dental office. If keeping up with daily dental health seems to be too difficult, please contact our office. We can work with you to offer some advice and solutions.

Financial Assistance

For seniors in a nursing home that are enrolled in state or national financial programs, the American Dental Association (ADA) suggests considering the Incurred Medical Expense regulation. This works to assist in paying for care that is deemed a necessity. If our dentist finds that treatment must be done, consider this as an option to lessen the financial burden. Talk to your nursing home or care facility’s caseworker for more information.

Don’t Forget About Gums

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, can be brought on by certain medications. When you visit our office, be sure to update us on any changes to your medications. At times, early periodontal disease is painless which makes it even more important that you keep a regular routine of visiting our office for a thorough exam and evaluation. According to the ADA, more than 47% of adults over the age of 30 have chronic periodontitis.

Keeping your teeth healthy as you age can be difficult. We suggest sticking to a daily routine in terms of brushing and flossing, and keeping up with regular visits to our office. If you are the caregiver of an elderly spouse, parent, or loved one, do not overlook their oral health. Make sure they are receiving the needed attention and are sticking to a daily oral healthy routine.

For more tips on keeping your teeth health or to set up your next appointment, please contact our office.

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