Dental Tips Blog

Oct
20

Brush or Floss First—Does it Matter?

Posted in Gum Disease

Dentists have long debated back and forth about whether it’s better to brush or floss first.

Is it best to brush before flossing or floss before brushing your teeth? The answer may surprise you.

Study Confirms That Flossing First Wins

One recent study suggested that flossing before you brush may be the most effective way to clean your teeth. The study participants had less plaque left between their teeth when they flossed before brushing when compared with brushing before flossing.

Benefits of Flossing First

It’s quite possible that flossing before brushing gets your teeth the cleanest they can be. Removing more debris lowers the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, and a cleaner tooth surface has better access to fluoride from the toothpaste used in brushing.

Perhaps the biggest benefit is that having a habit of flossing first makes it harder to skip this chore. It’s easy to conveniently forget to floss! If you brush first, your teeth will feel clean and your mouth will taste minty-fresh leading you to conclude that your job is all done. But get that flossing out of the way, and the hard part is over.

Brushing or Flossing First—When it Doesn’t Matter

The difference between brushing and flossing first is small and may not have a major impact on your oral health. The most important thing is to get your flossing in at least once a day. Do it whenever you have the time and whenever you want to do it, whether it’s before or after you brush. Find a routine you can stick with to get the greatest benefit out of flossing.

Visit a local dentist for more dental hygiene tips.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Dental Health
2285 Peachtree Rd #203
Atlanta, GA 30309
(678) 666-3642

Oct
17

5 Reasons Your Oral Hygiene Matters

Posted in Gum Disease

Brushing your teeth will almost never be the most important thing you’ll do in any given day. But your oral hygiene is still important!

Here are five reasons why you’ll want to make sure you never miss a day of brushing and flossing.

  1. Your Oral Hygiene Affects Your Breath

The main germs responsible for bad breath grow on your teeth and tongue. If you brush those every day, then you’re more likely to have sweet breath that won’t push your friends away.

  1. Your Oral Hygiene Has an Impact on Your Social Life

A reputation for neglecting your oral hygiene can precede you and make meeting new friends a challenge. You can may even have difficulty getting a job. Good grooming is key to being taken seriously.

  1. Your Oral Hygiene Can Keep You Looking Young

Losing your teeth can make you look old long before your time. On the other hand, if you take good care of your teeth and gums they’ll stay with you for life.

  1. How You Care for Your Oral Health Affects Your Overall Health

Did you know that cavities can lead to life-threatening brain infections? How about the fact that having gum disease increases your risk for stroke and heart disease?

Good oral hygiene now can prevent periodontal disease as well as other diseases that can have a major impact on your overall health.

  1. Good Oral Hygiene Prevents Bigger Problems Than Cavities

Poor oral hygiene will lead to complications such as abscesses, infections, loose and missing teeth, difficulty eating normal foods, and chronic pain.

Spare yourself all of this unnecessary discomfort and risks by asking your dentist for tips on improving your oral hygiene.

Posted on behalf of:
Bayshore Dental Center
810 W Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd #2900
Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 330-2006

Sep
9

Deep Gum Cleaning—What You Need to Know

Posted in Gum Disease

Your dentist just told you that you need to have a “deep cleaning” and you’re terrified.

But the more you know about this kind of gum therapy, the less you’ll have to fear. Your dentist most likely prescribed the deep cleaning because your gums show signs of inflammation and infection.

Deep Cleanings Can Save Your Teeth

Gum tissue swells in response to the presence of plaque. As bacterial growth advances, the infection breaks down bone tissue around teeth. This creates pockets between the gums and tooth roots, where more germs collect.

A “deep cleaning” is when the dental hygienist uses specialized tools to remove plaque, tartar, and other debris from the surfaces of your roots inside the pockets.

The purpose of deep cleanings is to provide a smooth base for the gum tissues to start healing and reattaching to. A deep cleaning is the first step to restoring the health of your gums.

Left untreated, gum disease can worsen to the point that teeth get loose and fall out.

Deep Cleanings Don’t Hurt

You’ll be numbed up for the cleaning procedure. Afterwards, your gums may feel a bit sore and your tooth roots might ache slightly from having the buildup removed. Overall, however, it’s not a traumatic experience.

How to Avoid Deep Cleanings

If you take measures to prevent gum disease beforehand, you can avoid the need for having such procedures. Daily brushing and flossing are the best ways to slow down the development of plaque bacteria that cause gum inflammation.

Ask your local dentist for a comprehensive gum health evaluation to learn more about your need for gum therapy.

Posted on behalf of:
Dunwoody Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
1816 Independence Square, Suite B
Dunwoody, GA 30338
(770) 399-9199

Aug
5

5 Foods That Are Good for Your Oral Health

Posted in Gum Disease

Could you munch your way to a better smile? A diet low in sugars and acids will inhibit the growth of troublesome bacteria. Here are five foods that will improve your gum health, brighten teeth, and freshen breath.

Yogurt

Dairy products are excellent sources of calcium because human bodies absorb calcium better from dairy than from plant-based sources. Your body needs calcium to keep your bones strong and your teeth healthy and white. Yogurt is a great source of calcium. Plus, it’s loaded with bacteria-fighting probiotics that can freshen your breath.

Beans and Lentils

Legumes (wing beans, especially) are good sources of calcium if your health or personal values don’t allow you to consume dairy. Beans also contain fiber and protein, which will keep you feeling full and energized longer and thus minimize the urge to snack and graze on sugary junk food.

Celery

Celery is not only healthy for your body but it’s a perfect natural tooth cleanser. Its fibrous texture and high water content naturally clean your teeth of smelly and dangerous plaque bacteria.

Red Peppers

Sweet peppers are incredible sources of vitamin C, a nutrient essential for healthy gums. You can also get vitamin C in fruit sources such as guava, oranges, and strawberries. Peppers are lower in sugar, however.

Green Tea

Green tea (sugar-free, of course) holds out a lot of potential oral health benefits. Some studies indicate that people who regularly drink green tea are at a lower risk of gum disease. Additionally, tea is good for freshening breath and is also a natural source of enamel-strengthening fluoride.

How is your current diet affecting your oral health? Find out by scheduling a visit with your dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Laguna West Dental Care
9098 Laguna Main St Ste 8
Elk Grove, CA 95758
(916) 683-7300

Aug
1

When Was the Last Time You Had Your Gums “Charted?”

Posted in Gum Disease

If you’ve been faithful about visiting the dentist every six months for check-ups, then chances are you’ve had this special gum-charting procedure done before.

Gum (periodontal) charting is when the dental hygienist uses a small ruler-like probe to measure the depth of your gums all around each tooth. He or she documents the measurements in millimeters in a paper or digital chart.

What is the point of gum charting? And how often should you have it done?

Periodontal Charting Prevents Disease

Gum pocket measurements of 3-4 millimeters are considered healthy. Deeper readings can indicate inflamed gum tissue or the loss of bone around teeth due to gum disease.

By measuring your gums and tracking the depths from year to year, your dentist and hygienist can quickly identify areas that are starting to deteriorate. You’ll be alerted so you can take action to improve areas of concern, to avoid developing serious gum disease.

Dentists Recommend Charting Once a Year

Dentists, hygienists, and gum health specialists generally advise adults to have their periodontal charts updated on a yearly basis.

Naturally, each patient’s needs are different, so your hygienist may check your gum levels more or less often. If you’ve had perfectly healthy gums all of your life, you can probably wait a year or a little more between chartings. But if you have a history of periodontitis or are at high risk for periodontal disease then your hygienist may check your gums more often than once a year.

Periodontal charting can take several minutes, but it’s worth every second to know where your gum health is at! Contact your dentist today to make sure you’re up-to-date on this diagnostic procedure.

Posted on behalf of:
Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates
1815 Old 41 Hwy NW #310
Kennesaw, GA 30152
(770) 927-7751

Feb
3

Are You Paying Attention to Your Gums When You Brush?

Posted in Gum Disease

When you think about “brushing,” you automatically think “teeth.”

Brushing is very important for dental health. But did you know that it is equally as important for your gum health, too?

Here are some ways to show your gums a little more love while you brush each day.

45 Degrees at the Gum Line

Most importantly, make sure you’re brushing with the toothbrush bristles angled into your gum margin at about 45 degrees. This will ensure that you wick away all the plaque bacteria that accumulate there.

Germs are responsible for causing cavities, but other kinds of bacteria contribute to problems like gingivitis and periodontitis. Getting rid of this plaque film every day will lower your chances of gum disease.

Give Your Gums a Massage

While you brush along the gum line, wiggle the toothbrush in short and fast, yet gentle strokes. This jiggling motion is good for loosening plaque and it also stimulates healthy circulation in your gum tissue, which boosts your gums’ infection-fighting ability.

You can take things a step further by purchasing an electric toothbrush or a blunt-tipped gum stimulator. These make it easier to massage your gums to better health.

Rinse Out

An antibacterial rinse after brushing and flossing can slow down plaque growth for several hours. This has therapeutic benefits for your gums just as much as your breath.

Watch for Blood

Your gums should not bleed when you brush! If you see pink in the sink, that means you’re either brushing too harshly or there’s something more serious going on. You’ll need to see a dentist for advice.

Schedule regular oral health checkups at your local dental office to make sure your gums are in perfect shape.

Posted on behalf of:
Riverwood Dental
3350 Riverwood Pkwy #2120
Atlanta GA 30339
(770) 955-2505

 

Jan
27

Want Healthier Gums? Do These 7 Things Every Night Before Bed

Posted in Gum Disease

Are you suffering from gingivitis? Adding these seven steps to your evening routine could make a major difference in your gum health.

  1. Eat a Salad

Vitamin C is essential to healthy gums. Get more than your daily recommended amount of vitamin C in just one serving of the right fresh fruits or veggies. Aim for guava, red peppers, strawberries, broccoli, kale, and oranges.

  1. Swish with Water After Dinner

Acids and sugar from your meals linger long after you’re done eating. This process fuels the growth of bacteria that cause gum inflammation. You shouldn’t brush immediately after dinner since that can spread the acids around. Rinse well with water and wait about a half hour before you brush.

  1. Brush Longer Than Usual

Pay special attention to brushing along the gum-line. Just scrubbing the front of your teeth isn’t enough. Take your time, brushing for at least two minutes.

  1. Use an Antigingivitis Toothpaste

Antigingivitis toothpastes contain an ingredient called triclosan, a mild antibacterial agent. While triclosan is no longer recommended in hand soap, it’s still very effective at controlling bacterial growth in the gums.

  1. Floss Thoroughly

Flossing removes germs and debris from between teeth and gums where a toothbrush can’t reach. You may find it easier to floss at night versus in the morning when you’re busy.

  1. Massage Your Gums

A blunt-tipped gum stimulator rubbed along your gum-line encourages healthy circulation and toughens up delicate tissues.

  1. Rinse with an Antibacterial Mouthwash

Anti-plaque rinses contain therapeutic essential oils that inhibit bacterial growth. Rinsing for thirty seconds after brushing will help reduce gum inflammation.

Ask your periodontist for more tips on how to keep your gums healthy.

Posted on behalf of:
Group Health Dental
230 W 41st St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 398-9690

Nov
28

How Gum Disease Affects Your Health

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) is serious business since that affects far more than just your gums.

Some of the direct consequences of this oral infection include:

  • Bleeding, sensitive gums
  • Gum recession
  • Bad breath
  • Loose and missing teeth

But there are other reasons you should be concerned with preventing periodontitis.

Increased Risk for Disease and Infection

Although research hasn’t yet identified a direct cause-and-effect relationship between gum health and overall health, the link is strong. Those with periodontitis are statistically at higher risk for complications such as:

  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes

Connections Between Periodontitis and the Body

There are a couple of theories as to why the rest of the body suffers from gum disease. One is that the bacteria involved in causing the infection spread to other areas, such as the heart. The other theory is that chemicals produced to fight the infection cause inflammation in arteries, joints, and so on.

Reduce Your Risk for Gum Disease

Preventing periodontitis isn’t something only dentists need to worry about. With nearly 80% of adults in the United States suffering from gum disease to some degree, everyone needs to be concerned.

You can reduce your chances of developing gum infections by brushing and flossing every day to reduces bacterial buildup. Cut down or cut out your smoking habit, since tobacco stops your gums’ natural healing process.

Equally as important is visiting a dentist regularly for gum health checkups and inquiring about periodontal treatments if necessary. Dental professionals can identify and explain signs that your gums are inflamed and infected with bacteria, as opposed to something else.

Stay on top of your gum and overall health by contacting your dentist to schedule an examination.

Posted on behalf of:
Precision Digital Dentistry
674 US-202/206
Suite 7
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
(908) 955-6999

Nov
27

How Does Flossing Prevent Gum Disease?

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum disease, or periodontitis, is caused by bacteria that trigger gum inflammation and breakdown. If periodontitis isn’t prevented or treated, it can cause teeth to fall out.

So what role does flossing play in preventing gum inflammation and tooth loss?

Oral Hygiene and Gum Disease

Since periodontitis starts with a bacterial infection, the first line of defense should be preventing the bad germs from setting up camp.

Good oral hygiene is all about slowing and preventing bacterial growth in the mouth. Tooth brushing is an important way to remove the bacterial film called plaque from the gum line and other surfaces of the teeth.

But flossing is how you reach the spots between teeth that toothbrush bristles can’t access. Dental floss disrupts bacterial growth which would otherwise start irritating the gums.

Since the germs multiply on a daily basis, you need to floss on a daily basis to keep up. That’s why dentists stress regular flossing.

Other Factors Besides Oral Hygiene

Periodontitis is a complex disease that scientists are still working to explain. But there are several factors found to affect a person’s risk for gum disease.

  • Smoking
  • Age
  • Diet
  • Medication
  • Immune health
  • Underlying medical conditions

Work with your dentist to figure out if there’s anything you can do to change factors that may be putting you at risk for gum disease.

But one thing all gum health professionals agree helps lower the risk for periodontitis is flossing.

Flossing is the one thing you can do to limit plaque growth and gum inflammation, definitely lowering your chances for getting gum disease.

Schedule a gum health evaluation at your local dental office to find out other ways to prevent unwanted tooth loss.

Posted on behalf of:
Springfield Lorton Dental Group
5419-C Backlick Rd
Springfield, VA 22151
(703) 256-8554

Sep
17

Is Tartar Really Bad for Teeth?

Posted in Laser Dentistry

You hear lots about dental products that prevent plaque and tartar. Not to mention your hygienist telling you to brush and floss to fight the buildup.

But do you know what’s so bad about having tartar in the first place?

What Is Tartar?

Tartar is a term for dental “calculus.” Calculus isn’t the math course you took in high school. In this case, it refers to a substance that naturally grows on teeth over time.

Calculus is a rock-like gritty deposit. It occurs when minerals in saliva mix with plaque that contains bacteria and food debris. How fast you develop tartar depends on the minerals in your saliva and how much plaque is on your teeth.

Typically, tartar forms in small amounts within a matter of weeks. Several months after a dental cleaning you may notice the pale rough calculus developing along your gum line.

What’s So Bad About Calculus?

Dental calculus is just a collection of minerals and dead germs. It’s also porous, which allows it to absorb stains from smoking and dark-colored foods. So for one thing, it makes teeth look gross.

Although it’s sometimes a protective defense against damage to the underlying enamel, it can harbor live bacteria. This tends to irritate gums and triggers recession. It also serves as the perfect platform for another kind of bacteria – the one responsible for periodontal disease and bad breath. If you let calculus develop freely for long enough, you won’t even be able to floss anymore since it would fill in the gaps between teeth.

Fight that tartar! Visit your dentist for regular checkups to avoid unhealthy dental calculus.

Posted on behalf of:
Precision Digital Dentistry
674 US-202/206
Suite 7
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
(908) 955-6999

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