Here’s a Few Good Ways

There are actually a few different ways that you can floss your teeth so that you maintain that beautiful smile for many years to come. Flossing is one of the most important steps in a great oral care routine. It helps to remove food matter that could turn into bacteria and lead to cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay. No matter which method you use each day, the key is to be sure to do it at least once a day if not more often to ensure that you are taking care of your teeth and gums properly.

One of the growing trends in flossing is the use of a Waterpik to clean the spaces between the teeth. Essentially it is a pressurized device that sends water into the mouth at a high rate. This loosens the debris that is left on the teeth after eating. While this is an extremely popular means of cleaning the spaces between teeth there is some debate about which brand is the best on the market. If you are considering purchasing one of these devices it is ideal to do your research in advance.

The first place you should look for information about a quality Waterpik is with your dentist. They have the expertise to recommend the most effective product on the market. They can also let you know whether or not it is a good option depending on your dental health and oral health routine. If you can’t get in with a dentist for a consultation you should at least compare reviews online to determine what other consumers find to be the best product. Reading through the reviews will give you the best understanding of what people really think of the product. It is far more ideal than just going with the products general rating.

The most common means of getting debris out from between your teeth is to use standard dental floss. The key to this being effective essential relies on your doing a thorough job. You want to be sure that you take the time to get in between the crevices of each pair of teeth. Many people find that starting on one side of the mouth and working your way to the other side. Ideally, you will want to use around 18 inches of floss each time you do it. As you move through each space you should use a different part of the floss to ensure that it is the most effective as it will degrade as it is being used.

If you choose to use this method you should note that there are many different kinds on the market. There are some that come with a layer on them that can help to freshen your breath. Others even have a layer on them that can help to kill the bacteria that it comes in contact with. Everyone has different goals when it comes to what it will do for their oral health and their breath so really it is just a matter of your personal preference.

Last, but not least, is the means of using a plastic dental pick. This comes with a small strip of floss on one side with a pick on the other end. This gives the user the convenience of being able to floss while on the go. For example, if you go out for a meal and want to ensure that you reduce your risk of getting a cavity from bacteria growth you can floss right after the meal no matter where you might be. It also lets you get larger pieces of food out of the crevices of your molars that typically are not accessible with standard floss. Most people use this option in conjunction with other flossing options to maintain the highest level of oral hygiene possible throughout the day.

What really matters the most, however, is that you make it a priority to floss on a daily basis. Many people neglect this step in their oral care routine, but that can lead to a number of problems in the future. Flossing is one of the best ways to prevent the build-up of plaque, prevent the formation of cavities from bacteria and reduce the risk of the development of gum disease, often referred to as gingivitis.  This will help in tandem with the thoughts we point out in our article How Do Dentists Fix Cavities.

Gum disease leads to the gums receding, exposing more of the surface of the teeth. This can increase the risk of forming cavities in hard to reach and more sensitive areas. It also can lead to the inflammation and infection of the gums. This can be extremely painful and even a very serious risk to your overall health. If gum disease if left untreated it can actually lead to increased risk of developing heart disease. Heart disease is a very serious condition that leads to the premature death of thousands of people each year. Most people just are not aware of how closely their heart health is related to their oral health. Taking care of your teeth and gums means that you are taking care of your entire body.

No matter which method you choose, you are doing something great for your health. It is essential that you floss at least once each day. Doing so prevents a list of issues and really only takes a couple of minutes of your time. There really is no reason to not make this a priority in your daily life.

How to Protect

The holiday season is one of joy, cheer, and family. It’s also a time for delicious food and sugary sweets. And when you have access to lots of yummy treats, the last thing on your mind may be cavities and tooth decay. However, you want to make sure that you are protecting your teeth before there is any damage done so that you can enjoy the holidays and focus on what is really important this time of year. In this article, we will share with you some helpful tips and tricks on making sure that your teeth stay cavity-free during the holiday season.

1. Be Choosy About What You Eat

This is the time of year when lots of sugary desserts are rampant – from homemade cookies and cake to store bought pies and candies, it seems the temptations never end!

So what is the course of action to take in order to avoid cavities? Be selective when it comes to the treats you decide to eat. As the old saying goes, “everything in moderation.” There is nothing wrong with helping yourself to one or two small items when dessert time rolls around. But keep it minimal.

Another tip?

Don’t indulge in something that you can enjoy at any time throughout the year. For example, if you are presented with a certain kind of store bought candy, perhaps you should take a pass on it. But if Aunt Sarah brings her famous cherry pie, why not have one small slice?

2. Timing is Everything

If you do decide to eat something sugary – and let’s face it, the holidays call for a treat or two – indulge right after eating a meal or as part of your meal. The reason? Saliva begins to be produced more when you eat and helps to wash away acid, bacteria, and particles of food.

3. Keep Water Handy

A huge mistake that a lot of us make when we are eating is to complement the meal with soda, juice, or something else that is full of sugar. Again, if you decide you want to indulge a little, moderation is a very good thing. But the best course of action when avoiding cavities during the holidays is to wash down your meals with water. Water is the best liquid that we can introduce to our bodies, and it aids in washing your mouth out regardless of what you have eaten.

4. Re-Think Sticky Snacks

Problems with cavities arise when food particles, as well as sugar, remain stuck to the teeth before we have time to brush or rinse them away.

Therefore, it is a good idea to avoid sticky snacks such as dried fruit. Fresh fruit or items that do not cling to teeth are better options for the longevity of your teeth. If you simply cannot resist a sticky snack, be sure to rinse your mouth shortly thereafter or get to the bathroom to brush.

5. Chew Sugar-Free Gum

Sugar-free gum works to cleanse your teeth by producing more saliva. And, as mentioned previously, more saliva aids your mouth in keeping your teeth rinsed of bacteria and food particles. If you have wrapped up in holiday cheer loved ones, you may not have the time or ability to rush to the bathroom and brush your teeth every time you eat a meal or a snack.

Keeping some gum on hand to use after meals can make a huge difference in chasing away those pesky cavities. And gum that is sugar-free works hand-in-hand with fighting off tooth decay by not introducing another harmful factor to the health of your teeth.

6. Don’t Overlook the Effects of Alcohol

During the holidays, we want to have a great time with our loved ones and kick back a little. But alcohol is a sneaky place where a lot of sugar resides, plus alcohol can dry your mouth out. It’s a good idea to limit yourself to one or two drinks, and even with that amount, you can’t go wrong with having some water handy.

7. Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Even during the holiday season, it is important to carve out the time to take care of your mouth. Ideally, you should be brushing twice per day, using mouthwash, and flossing daily. If you can, brush after every meal, but especially do not go to bed before having brushed your teeth.

Flossing once daily before bed also ensures that any food trapped between your teeth does not sit there and begin to cause tooth decay. If you plan to travel for the holidays, bring a small travel case with you that contains everything you need to care for your oral hygiene.

The holidays are special, and, of course, you want to be focused on what truly matters rather than pesky cavities. Use these tips to avoid tooth decay and create holiday memories that will last for a lifetime.

To learn more read our post: How Do Dentists Fix Cavities?

Does Mouthwash Really Make A Difference In Cleaning Teeth?

Mouthwash is claimed to fight off cavities, bad breath, and gingivitis, but is there any downside to swishing your mouth on a daily basis? Here’s a look at everything you need to know about mouthwash and if it can make a difference.

durham dentist recommends mouthwash

The dental routine for most people goes something like – brush, floss and finally rinse with mouthwash. For most of them, if they forget to these, something does not feel right, especially if they do not experience that delightful mint taste in their mouth. However, some people wonder: is it necessary to use mouthwash on a daily basis?

When appropriately used, mouthwash can help prevent tooth decay and oral disease. However, do you need to use mouthwash daily to enjoy optimal oral health? Is mouthwash good for your teeth?

The answer to these questions is both no and yes.

Here is a look at the pros and cons of using mouthwash and everything you need to know about rinsing your teeth with mouthwash every day.

Types of Mouthwash

Interestingly, almost half of Americans suffer from bad breath. While it seems like offering half of America’s population mouthwash should help solve this problem, the fascinating thing is that using mouthwash is not that simple. Why? Because there’s a variety of mouthwash options available that promote various oral health aspects, which makes it hard to decide what type of mouthwash to get. So, what kind of mouthwash should you go for? That depends on your orals needs. Here is a look at the four basic kinds of mouthwash available:

Desensitizing Mouthwash

If you have tooth sensitivity, then a desensitizing mouth containing Arginine is what to go for. The substance is claimed to seal off the sensitive parts of dentinal tubules. However, before using this wash, consider consulting your dentist for the best results.

Fluoride Rinse: This kind of mouthwash is best for added tooth decay protection and contains about .05 percent Sodium Fluoride and is ideal for people who have trouble fighting off cavities.

Cosmetic Mouthwash: Cosmetic mouthwash does not necessarily fight germs in your mouth; however, it will leave your breath fresh and minty. Sadly, cosmetic mouthwashes only mask the bad smell and do not remove the bacteria responsible for causing bad breath.

Whitening Mouthwash: One way to whiten your teeth is by using whitening mouthwash. This kind of washes contains a bleaching agent known as hydrogen peroxide which is known to remove stains and whiten teeth over time.

Anti-Plaque Mouthwash: Anti-plaque mouthwashes inhibit the accumulation of plaque, inhibiting gingivitis, which is when the gums become inflamed. The active ingredients in this mouthwash include Triclosan, Chlorhexidine, Thymol, etc.

The Pros of Using Mouthwash
Fresher Breath
There is not a better way to starting your day than with a fresh and minty breath. Some of the mouthwashes available not only add that refreshing fragrance, but they also eliminate the bacteria responsible for causing bad breath.

Fights Gum Disease
The plaque will naturally build up on your teeth from food and teeth. Gums and tooth sockets may get infected and inflamed if left untreated, and this may result in gingivitis or periodontal diseases.

Soothes Canker Sores and Mouth Ulcers
According to dentists and dental experts, using mouthwash can help ease canker sores since they detox the affected area, reducing or eliminating the bacteria that could irritate the site. Rinsing with some salt water is also very effective for mouth ulcers and canker sores.

Safeguard Pregnancy
Since hormonal changes may lead to higher risks of gingivitis, pregnant ladies are often at high risk during their pregnancy. According to a study conducted by the University of Maryland Medical Center, bacterial infections known to cause severe periodontal diseases may increase the chances of low birth weights in infants and may also cause premature delivery.

Reduce Chances of Cavities
Fluoride has been known to reduce demineralization by protecting and strengthening tooth enamel.

The Cons of Using Mouthwash

Likely Links to Oral Cancer
There is currently a debate on whether there are links between the use of mouthwash with alcohol and the increasing cases of people developing oral cancer. While some experts suggest the use of mouthwash to kill gingivitis-causing germs, it is advisable that you consult with your dentist before mouthwash products containing alcohol.

Increased Tooth Sensitivity
Alcohols present in some of the mouthwashes on the market will gradually, over time, dissolve the mucus layer of the teeth, leaving them vulnerable something that may lead to greater sensitivity.

Reduces The Benefits Of Toothpaste
It is believed that there could be an interaction between chemicals in the mouthwash and in toothpaste. As a result, both could be canceling out each other’s benefits. It is, therefore, advisable that you leave a 30-minute gap between brushing and rinsing with mouthwash.

Using mouthwash on a regular basis can be beneficial to oral health. However, to reap the benefits of rinsing with mouthwash, make sure that you use it as intended. According to specialists, you should consider using mouthwash if you have bad breath, dental decay, or gum disease. If you have good oral health, intermittent use of mouthwash is recommended and will make a difference. Nevertheless, how often you rinse with mouthwash and the kind of mouthwash you use is all up to you. Though, consider consulting with your dentist for advice on how often to rinse and what type of mouthwash to use.

Also be sure to read our post on How dentists fix cavities: