Your Smile Dental Care blog

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It’s 2017: Keep Calm and Floss On

Live Well   |   Laugh Often   |   Floss Much

 

09-01-2017-2-00-05-pmOf all the new and exciting news from the world of dentistry last year, surely the report from the Associated Press report, which found an apparent lack of evidence to support the claim that flossing was effective, generated the most buzz throughout dentistry.

Equipped with their own advisories and statistics about flossing, dental professionals everywhere prepared themselves for the onslaught of patients who would, no doubt, come to their next dental appointments quoting this report and it’s claim of, “lack of scientific proof.”

But surprisingly, the best reply came from the comedian Steve Harvey who basically called the report was, “stupid” and was not going to stop flossing as he had seen some stuff on his string that he knew “full well” smelled bad. We won’t quote the whole thing, but you can listen to his full reply on YouTube.

He’s no dentist or scientist, but he’s certain that he’s coming from a place of knowledge.

You’re probably thinking, “I already brush 3 times a day, why do I need to do anything else?”  The math is simple. With five surfaces to every tooth and the tooth brush only able to effectively reach just 3 of those surfaces, how much are you leaving behind?  Approximately 40% of the plaque remains to continue it’s destructive work and eventually calcify to the hard substance called calculus (tartar).

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And how many times have you taken something out from between your teeth or below the gum line with your floss that had a putrid smell?  We think most people would agree with Steve that it’s usually pretty stinky stuff that is left behind.

We can laugh at Steve, but there’s no kidding aside! Interdental cleaning is a critical component to the oral care routine and a quick experiment at home will demonstrate that you will, most likely, still find foul-smelling plaque between your teeth and under your gums even after brushing effectively for a good 5 minutes. Go Ahead, try it! 

 

How to clean what your toothbrush misses

1) Traditional Flossing

At Your Smile Dental Care, we look to see how effective a patient’s present way of interdental cleaning is before making a recommendation. If they can successfully remove what their toothbrush misses without gum damage or bleeding then there’s no reason for them to change what they have mastered. See instructions here (2:12 minute point in the video)

Some people, however, have difficulty with the use of string floss – finding the technique of wrapping the floss around their fingers and negotiating it between their teeth and under the gums quite challenging and awkward. Fortunately, there are other flossing aids that can be used with ease.

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2) Floss Wands

 

09-01-2017-11-08-14-amAnother method is using a floss holder. Although there are many different types of designs, it is basically a device that holds a small but tight piece of floss making it an easy and simple way to move and manage it around the mouth with just one hand. This is not, in our experienced opinion, the most precise option for flossing, but recognise that it has become a popular choice.

Therefore, we advise our patients to choose a product that allows you to load your own floss so that you can always have a clean segment for each tooth. This is a much more effective solution rather than just using the same piece of string for the whole dentition.


3) No Strings Attached!

 

09-01-2017-11-15-34-amThere are also a variety of electric flossing devices including water and air flossers on the market. Both are designed to clean in and around teeth by forcing debris out with gently pressure.

Water flossing has been around for many years and is often used as an alternative to string flossing. Waterpik is the most common interdental cleaning device that comes to mind, but there are other products on the market as well. A water flosser introduces a steady stream of pulsating water to flush out interdental debris while massaging the gums.

An Air Flosser uses micro bursts of air and water droplets to disrupt and remove plaque.

4) Other Interdental Aids20170109_105017

There are many other tools on the market: picks, sticks, rubber tips, threaders, tuft or conical bristles – all designed for specific uses to assist you in your interdental cleaning efforts.  The recommendation your dentist or dental hygienist makes will depend on your individual dental health needs. These other interdental aids are used in conjunction with flossing or as an alternative to flossing, but are not suppose to replace tooth brushing. While you will  never be able to remove 100% of the plaque from your teeth, cleaning in between your teeth and under you gums will certainly help reduce the likelihood of dangerous plaque buildup.

Effort is a reflection of Interest

Unless you believe in the value of effective oral hygiene, how can we convince you to floss?

One of the most important pieces of advice that we can give to people is that they understand why they need to remove what their tooth brush can’t reach and make certain that they are doing it effectively. It is simply not enough to just snap the floss in between each tooth without taking the time and making the effort to really do a good job. This not only involves proper placement of floss and effective removal of debris, but taking the time to see and smell what you are removing and ensuring you are being gentle with your gums. Likewise, other interdental cleaners are of no value if they are not used with the attention to detail.3-14-2016 2-39-05 PM

Dentists know that guilt and shame doesn’t work  and using scare tactics as a strategy is usually not an ineffective way to motivate patients long term, especially when dental disease or the oral health rewards are not always immediately obvious.

So, while it is true that we cannot force someone to do something they simply do not want to do, we continue to try our best to persuade and help our patients to see the value of flossingWith more than half of the population suffering from preventable gum disease, we can’t, with a clear conscious ignore the benefits of interdental cleaning and patients should expect nothing but the best advice from their healthcare providers.

 

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Yours in Better Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care Team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
http://www.yoursmiledentalcare.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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The War inside your Mouth!

Plan on staying healthy and keeping your teeth for life?

At Your Smile Dental Care we know the value of a smile, but with so much attention given to one’s smile, it’s easy to overlook other important elements of your mouth.

10-03-2014 3-10-37 PMTaking care of your teeth and gums isn’t just about preventing cavities or fixing broken teeth, your mouth is a gateway to your body’s overall health. More than 600 different species of bacteria, 70 to 80 different types of fungi and a few viruses and parasites make their home in your mouth. Although some are beneficial to our health, it is important to keep the number of harmful ones in check with proper oral hygiene since they can double in numbers in only a few short hours.

Inflammation in the mouth can lead to inflammation in the rest of the body and people with compromised immunities must be even more diligent in keeping their mouths healthy and clean. If left untreated, conditions like gum disease can leave you at risk for life-threatening conditions in other parts of the body.

During gum disease, oral bacteria gets into the blood stream and your immune system must then work to fight them off. Although different studies may report different conclusions, the chronic infection that forms during gum disease unquestionably poses a risk for various kinds of bacterial growth and infection elsewhere in the body.

Brushing and flossing is more than you think! 

Once you understand the link between poor dental hygiene and the wide variety of health conditions that can result, you will begin to appreciate just how important it is to keep your mouth as clean as possible.

Studies also indicate that a staggering number of people still do not floss their teeth daily. Since tooth brushing only cleans 3 of the 5 surfaces of the visible tooth structure this means that they are missing 40% of their teeth depending on the size and shape of each tooth.

Brush & floss like your life depends on it … because it does!

10-03-2014 2-45-27 PMBrushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day should be considered an essential not optional part of your daily routine. We all should be taking the matter of caring for our teeth very seriously and be careful not to rush through the time we spend cleaning them. And because germs live on the tongue, cheek and gums as well we can’t forget to clean these areas also.

We have noticed over the years that our patients with excellent oral hygiene tend to have better health care habits in general. A single step in the right direction can have an immediate impact on the condition of your mouth. You would be surprised at how quickly bleeding gums start to improve in both appearance and colour by spending just a few more minutes each day keeping them free of bacterial plaque. Using floss and interdental brushes to get in between teeth and under gums will help to make a significant improvement and reduce bleeding. Maintaining a healthy diet and reducing the frequency of snacking between meals will also help to create a better environment in the mouth and keep the bacterial population down.

The good news is that…..

At Your Smile Dental Care we believe that an educated patient is an informed patient! Cavity Free

We go a step beyond simply repairing dental problems and creating beautiful smiles. We strive to get to the source of a problem and prevent them from reoccurring rather than constantly treating them.  We take the time to get a broader picture of your overall dental health and reassess how effective your home care is. By updating your medical history often and reviewing your medications we can determine if there is anything that may be compromising or impacting your dental health.

Thanks to our preventive program we have children in our practice that have never had a cavity and adult patients who have not had a dental problem in years!

Finding a good dental healthcare provider can help you keep you teeth for a lifetime and in doing so may possibly save your life as well!  If you’re looking for a preventive care dentist in the Oshawa or Toronto area give us a call today. You’ll be glad you did!

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