Posts for tag: oral hygiene
A certain news story a few years ago notwithstanding, dentists still recommend flossing along with brushing to adequately remove disease-causing plaque. If there is any controversy at all about flossing, it's whether you should perform it before brushing or after. Each perspective has good reasons.
"Brush First" proponents say their way encourages the formation of a daily hygiene habit, a must for preventing disease. That's because brushing can remove most of the plaque built up on the teeth, while flossing can then remove what's left. If you floss first, though, you'll have to plow through the sticky film with the floss, which can be an unpleasant experience. Facing that every day could make a person less enthusiastic about developing a hygiene habit.
But it's not just about the sensation: depending on the person, the plaque buildup could be so much that the floss becomes clogged with it. You're then moving the plaque rather than removing it. Brushing a lot of the plaque out of the way first will increase the cleaning power of your floss.
The "Floss First" team, though, is undaunted with their own take on the matter. Flossing can loosen up any stuck debris between teeth, making it easier for brushing to clear it away. It can also expose plaque-covered areas between teeth to allow better contact with the fluoride in your toothpaste. And, the amount of plaque you're pulling out in certain areas during flossing could tip you off to beef up your brushing efforts on those areas of heavier plaque accumulation.
One of the prime reasons for flossing first, though, goes back to the comfort factor and human nature. To be honest, for most people flossing isn't as much "fun" as brushing. If you put it off until after brushing, you're more likely not to do it if you find it unpleasant. Doing it first gets the less likeable task out of the way, so you can then do the more likeable one, brushing.
Which approach is best for you? It's really a personal decision, one you can discuss with your dentist. Try both ways, and see which one seems better. But whether you floss first or last, do floss to really reduce your risk for dental disease.
If you would like more information on best oral hygiene practices, 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 “Brushing and Flossing: Which Should be Done First?”
If you're one of the millions of people wearing an oral appliance, you already know how important it is to your dental health. Whatever the purpose—replacing teeth, stopping teeth grinding or guarding against injury—you want to get the most and longest service from it. That means showing your appliance some tender loving care on a regular basis.
It doesn't require a lot of time and effort to clean and maintain your oral appliance. But there are some pitfalls that could lead to greater wear and tear and just outright damage. Here are 3 things you should be on the alert for to keep your appliance doing its job for you.
Be careful how you clean it. Your appliance might resemble natural oral tissue, but it's not—so don't use toothpaste. Toothpaste contains abrasives, which are fine for tooth enamel but damaging to materials in your appliance. Instead, use dish detergent, hand soap or a specialized cleaner. Don't use hot or boiling water, which could soften any plastic and distort the appliance's mouth fit. Nix the bleach too, which can fade colored portions of the appliance that mimic gum tissue.
Don't wear them 24/7 unless your dentist advises. Depending on the type and function of your appliance, you shouldn't wear them around the clock unless your dentist advises otherwise. Dentures are usually removed at night while you sleep to help prevent bacterial growth. Keeping them out at night -and keeping them clean—will help lower your risk of dental disease. One caveat, though: there are some concerns today about the effect of keeping dentures out of the mouth at night on sleep apnea. It's a good idea, then, to discuss the issue with your dentist regarding taking dentures out at night.
Prevent accidental drops on hard surfaces. Chewing forces are considerable, but your appliance is designed to take it. The same can't be said, though, if they accidentally fall on a hard surface—the fall could crack or break them. To protect against this, be sure to put a soft towel or cloth in your sink basin while you're cleaning your appliance. And don't place it on a night stand or low surface where it could be knocked off accidentally by a child, a pet or you. A sudden accident like this could be costly.
If you would like more information on extending the life of your oral appliance, 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 “10 Tips for Cleaning Your Oral Appliance.”
Find out if your dental routine is actually promoting a healthy smile.
Caring for your teeth and gums doesn’t have to be difficult; however, it’s important that your daily habits are promoting good oral health and not negatively impacting it. Our Bayside, NY, family dentists are here to offer up some tips for making sure you are doing everything you can to keep your smile healthy and problem-free.
Here are some of the factors that can impact your oral health:
- Your oral routine (brushing and flossing)
- Your diet
- Lifestyle and habits
- Visiting the dentist regularly
While it shouldn’t be difficult to care for your teeth and gums it’s important that you also understand that there are certain habits that could be impacting your oral health that you might not even realize:
Brushing Too Hard
You should be brushing at least twice a day (make sure you are also brushing for at least two minutes each time you brush!) but how you brush can also affect the health of your teeth. While a vigorous cleaning might make it seem like you are doing a more thorough job, remember that brushing too hard can wear away teeth enamel and cause gum discomfort.
You should never feel like you are scrubbing your teeth clean. If you aren’t sure whether or not you are brushing too hard, ask our Bayside, NY, dentist who will be able to give you advice on proper brushing techniques.
While it might be tempting to snack, particularly when you are bored or feeling that afternoon slump, it’s important to keep those bad snacking habits to a minimum. Eating foods all day long could actually increase your chances for a cavity, particularly because a lot of the foods we tend to snack on are unhealthy (think about the last time you reached for some raw veggies or an apple instead of a bag of potato chips or candy bar).
Instead of grazing throughout the day, try eating balanced, healthy meals that are loaded with veggies and whole grains to keep you feeling full and preventing you from running to the office vending machine.
Using Teeth Like Tools
Teeth are meant for chewing, biting and speaking but they shouldn’t be used to rip into awkward plastic packaging or to pop a bottle cap off. Using your teeth in this way can greatly increase your chances of cracking or chipping a tooth. Instead of using your teeth, next time opt for scissors or a bottle opener.
Silverman & Associates University Dental Family Dentistry in Bayside and Bellmore, NY, is here to provide thorough, comprehensive dental care to patients of all ages. No matter whether you need to schedule a routine cleaning or you are concerned that you might have a cavity, call our dental team today.
A good dental hygiene routine is important to maintaining good oral health and preventing tooth decay and gum disease. The family dentists at Silverman & Associates in Bayside and Bellmore, NY see many patients who want to improve their dental hygiene but aren’t sure where to start. The good news is that taking care of your teeth properly is simple. The information is detailed here:
Almost everyone knows brushing is important. But do you know why? The act of brushing helps to break up the colonies of bacteria-filled plaque that collect on the surface of the teeth and gums. These bacteria are the agents that eventually cause decay and gum disease if not properly and vigilantly cleared away. If plaque is not removed it can harden into calculus, at which point it becomes much more difficult to remove conventionally. To keep plaque and calculus at bay, your Bayside and Bellmore family dentist recommends brushing twice daily for two minutes each time with a good quality toothpaste. Your dentist can make suggestions on the best kind for you. Toothpaste that contains cavity-fighting fluoride is a good idea, for example.
Flossing seems to be one thing that people always mean to do but never follow through on a routine. Like brushing, the act of flossing helps to disrupt the colonization of bacteria, only it does so in the hard-to-reach places in between the teeth. Without flossing, cavities can go undetected for a long time, particularly if you’re not visiting your dentist regularly. To get in the habit, you can try using floss picks, which can be easier to maneuver. Place them in a spot where you’re most likely to use them. Flossing before or after brushing is totally up to you; it should be done once a day but the time is not important.
Visiting Silverman & Associates, your Bayside and Bellmore, NY family dental team, twice yearly for a cleaning and checkup is also part of a good oral health regimen. To schedule an appointment with one of our skilled dentists, contact our office today!