Posts for tag: oral hygiene
When is the best time to floss your teeth: Morning? Bedtime? How about: whenever and wherever the moment feels right?
For Cam Newton, award-winning NFL quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, the answer is clearly the latter. During the third quarter of the 2016 season-opener between his team and the Denver Broncos, TV cameras focused on Newton as he sat on the bench. The 2015 MVP was clearly seen stretching a string of dental floss between his index fingers and taking care of some dental hygiene business… and thereby creating a minor storm on the internet.
Inappropriate? We don't think so. As dentists, we're always happy when someone comes along to remind people how important it is to floss. And when that person has a million-dollar smile like Cam Newton's — so much the better.
Of course, there has been a lot of discussion lately about flossing. News outlets have gleefully reported that there's a lack of hard evidence at present to show that flossing is effective. But we would like to point out that, as the saying goes, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” There are a number of reasons why health care organizations like the American Dental Association (ADA) still firmly recommend daily flossing. Here are a few:
- It's well established that when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth, tooth decay and gum disease are bound to follow.
- A tooth brush does a good job of cleaning most tooth surfaces, but it can't reach into spaces between teeth.
- Cleaning between teeth (interdental cleaning) has been shown to remove plaque and food debris from these hard-to-reach spaces.
- Dental floss isn't the only method for interdental cleaning… but it is recognized by dentists as the best way, and is an excellent method for doing this at home — or anywhere else!
Whether you use dental floss or another type of interdental cleaner is up to you. But the ADA stands by its recommendations for maintaining good oral health: Brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste; visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups; and clean between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner like floss. It doesn't matter if you do it in your own home, or on the sidelines of an NFL game… as long as you do it!
Daily personal care is essential for optimal oral health. Brushing and flossing in particular keep bacteria and acid, the main causes of dental disease, at manageable levels. But to gain the most benefit from your personal care, you need to perform these tasks effectively with the proper techniques and equipment.
Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste which helps strengthen enamel. You should hold the brush at a slight angle and brush with a gentle motion to remove plaque, the main cause of gum disease and tooth decay. Ideally you should brush three times a day for two minutes within twenty minutes of eating and be sure to angle your brush toward your gumline.
Although flossing is difficult with braces, it is very important. Flossing once a day removes plaque from between teeth where a brush can’t reach. If you need help with your technique using string floss, we’ll be glad to provide instruction at your next visit. The presence of braces requires extra time and makes flossing more difficult; you will need other aids such as floss threaders that we showed you how to use at your braces placement appointment, or a water flosser.
There are also important dietary choices you can make: limit sugary or acidic foods to mealtime and avoid between meal snacks to reduce bacteria and acid in the mouth. Drinking water to keep your mouth moist will inhibit plaque buildup. Also be sure to visit your general dentist at least twice a year for cleanings and checkups, or when you notice abnormalities like bleeding gum tissue or sores. You can keep your teeth and gums healthy, but it requires a daily commitment. Not only will you have beautiful straight teeth when you are done with your treatment with us, but they will be healthy and free of unsightly white spots as well.
If you would like more information on effective oral care, please contact us.