Posts for tag: flossing
While dental checkups and professional cleanings are key for good oral health, a healthy smile starts at home. A daily routine of brushing, flossing, and rinsing is the core of an effective oral hygiene routine, and with diligence, you can achieve a lifetime of dental health.
Drs. Jeffrey Bell, Dale Collins, and Amy Cravath of Abington Dental Arts in Clarks Summit PA can help you develop a dental regime for optimal wellness. Here are the key components of at-home dental care:
Brushing your teeth is the first line of defense against cavities, plaque, and decay. Using a soft-bristled brush and a fluoridated toothpaste, gently brush the surface of each tooth and along the gums. If you have sensitive or stained teeth, your dentist at our Clarks Summit PA office can offer you recommendations on a brand and formula that meets your needs.
Flossing daily is essential for removing particles between the teeth, which can turn into plaque and decay if left to linger. Floss between each tooth, down to the gum, and rinse afterward to flush away any debris.
Using a mouthwash can help with keeping your breath fresh and your teeth clean. Not all formulas work in the same way, so ask your dentist at our Clarks Summit PA office for assistance in selecting a mouthwash.
Healthy eating is good for your teeth as well as your body. Sugary foods and beverages can hasten the development of cavities and decay, so limit your consumption of these items. Make sure to eat a balanced diet with produce, whole grains, healthy fats, and proteins to ensure your teeth are strong and healthy. If you experience pain when eating crunchy or hot or cold foods, tell your dentist at our Clarks Summit PA office as it might be an indication of dental problems.
Make sure to add regular professional cleanings and exams at our Clarks Summit PA office to your oral hygiene routine to keep your teeth in their best shape.
Keep your teeth looking and feeling great with a combination of at-home and in-office care. Call Drs. Jeffrey Bell, Dale Collins, and Amy Cravath at Abington Dental Arts today at 570-586-1411 to schedule an appointment.
A couple of years ago the Associated Press published an article claiming the health benefits of flossing remained unproven. The article cited a number of studies that seemed to conclude the evidence for the effectiveness of flossing in helping to prevent dental disease as “weak.”
As you can imagine, dental providers were a bit chagrined while flossers everywhere threw away their dental floss and happily declared their independence from their least favorite hygiene task. It would have seemed the Age of Flossing had gone the way of the dinosaurs.
But, the demise of flossing may have been greatly exaggerated. A new study from the University of North Carolina seems to contradict the findings cited in the AP article. This more recent study looked at dental patients in two groups—those who flossed and those who didn’t—during two periods of five and ten years respectively. The new study found conclusively that the flosser group on average had a lower risk of tooth loss than the non-flossers.
While this is an important finding, it may not completely put the issue to rest. But assuming it does, let’s get to the real issue with flossing: a lot of people don’t like it, for various reasons. It can be time-consuming; it can be messy; and, depending on a person’s physical dexterity, difficult to perform.
On the latter, there are some things you can do to make it a less difficult task. You can use a floss threader, a device that makes it easier to thread the floss through the teeth. You can also switch to an oral irrigator or “water flosser,” a pump device that sprays a fine, pressurized stream of water to break up plaque between teeth and flush most of it away. We can also give you tips and training for flossing with just your fingers and thread.
But whatever you do, don’t give up the habit. It may not be your most favorite hygiene task but most dentists agree it can help keep your teeth healthy for the long-term.
The most important part of dental health maintenance isn’t what your dentist does—it’s what you do every day when you brush and floss your teeth. And all you really need is a multi-tufted, soft bristle toothbrush, toothpaste, a roll of dental floss—plus a little effort from your hands and fingers.
Of course, manual power isn’t your only option—an electric or battery-powered toothbrush is a convenient and, for people with strength or dexterity issues, a necessary way to remove disease-causing plaque from tooth surfaces. You have a similar option with flossing—a water flosser.
Although water flossers (or oral irrigators) have been around since the early 1960s, they’ve become more efficient and less expensive in recent years. A water flosser delivers a pulsating stream of pressurized water between the teeth through a handheld device that resembles a power toothbrush, but with a special tip. The water action loosens plaque and then flushes it away.
While the convenience these devices provide over traditional flossing is a major selling point, they’re also quite beneficial for people with special challenges keeping plaque from accumulating between teeth. People wearing braces or other orthodontic devices, for example, may find it much more difficult to effectively maneuver thread floss around their hardware. Water flossing can be an effective alternative.
But is water flossing a good method for removing between-teeth plaque? If performed properly, yes. A 2008 study, for example, reviewed orthodontic patients who used water flossing compared to those only brushing. The study found that those using water flossing were able to remove five times as much plaque as the non-flossing group.
If you’re considering water flossing over traditional flossing thread, talk with your dental hygienist. He or she can give you advice on purchasing a water flosser, as well as how to use the device for optimum performance. It could be a great and more convenient way to keep plaque from between your teeth and harming your dental health.
If you would like more information on water flossing, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cleaning between Your Teeth: How Water Flossing can help.”