Dental Care

Brushing and Flossing: Why You Should Do Both

Dental Advice | Dental Care | Oral Health

“Your gums are bleeding because you don’t floss.” If you’re anything like the 32% of Americans that never flosses, you’ve probably heard this line from your dentist more times than you can count.

You may go home with the intention of flossing, but after a day or two, it falls by the wayside. But oral health is important for everyone to practice.

You should brush and floss daily to maintain those pearly whites. Neglecting your oral health can cause some serious side effects that nobody wants to deal with.

Do you want to know more? Keep reading to learn why you should brush and floss.

You’ll Lessen Your Risk for Cavities

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of good oral hygiene is to have healthy teeth. If you’ve ever felt the sharp pain that accompanies cavities, you’ll know that they’re not fun.

A cavity is caused when plaque builds up on your teeth and wears down the enamel. If left untreated, it continues to wear down your tooth dentin. The best way to prevent cavities is to brush and floss every day to remove the plaque on and in-between your teeth before it can attack.

You’re Breath Will Smell Better

Has your partner ever dodged a kiss? Do your coworkers rush conversations with you? This may be because you have bad breath.

It’s an awkward and embarrassing problem, but it’s not something you have to live with. Plaque is full of bacteria. If you aren’t brushing and flossing this plaque away, that bacteria can set up camp and cause bad breath.

Your Gums Will Be Healthier

Do your gums feel tender to the touch? Are they red and inflamed? It sounds like you may be in the early stages of gingivitis.

When plaque and tartar accumulate on your gumline, the bacteria present in it can irritate your gums. If left untreated it can turn into periodontitis, which can lead to tooth loss. It doesn’t matter if you floss before or after brushing, but you should do both to make sure your teeth and gums are squeaky clean.

You’ll Be Healthier Overall

Have you ever had a friend or colleague that left a toothache untreated? People tend to have the misconception that problems in the mouth aren’t as important as problems in other areas of the body.

But the truth is that oral health affects your overall health. Untreated tooth abscesses can lead to a bacterial infection that can spread to your jaw, neck, or brain and become life-threatening. Gum disease has been linked to an increased risk of heart attack, diabetes, and stroke.

By just taking a few minutes to brush and floss every day, you can prevent these risks and have a healthier body. Regular deep cleanings by your dentist are also necessary to remove hard tartar that brushing and flossing can’t get.

Why You Should Brush and Floss

If you’ve been neglecting your oral hygiene, it may seem hard to start up a good habit. However, taking care of your teeth and gums is a vital part of caring for your health. Just follow our guide to learn why you should brush and floss every day.

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How to Prepare Your Kids for Their First Dental Visit

Dental Advice | Dental Care | Oral Health

Is your child about to take their first trip to the dentist?

Let’s face it, the dentist can be a scary place for a child. It’s a new environment with new people. And these new strangers are going to poke and prod at your mouth? No thanks.

But, while we’ll admit a trip to the dentist is definitely no trip to Disneyland, it doesn’t have to be scary or dreadful. In fact, your child may actually end up enjoying their trip to the dentist.

But, in order for your children to enjoy themselves, you first need to make sure they’re prepared.

Read on to learn how to prepare your child for their first dental visit.

1. Teach Children About Their Teeth

Children are little sponges and any new information you teach them they will soak up.

A good way to calm their nerves before their first visit to the dentist is to teach them all about their teeth and their oral health.

Start having conversations with your child about healthy habits for their teeth and how they can take better care of them. Even for really young children, simply having them identify where the teeth and tongue are can make a difference.

You can use fun activities to teach your child about their mouths, such as sing-alongs, craft projects, poems, and books.

If your child has an older sibling, you can also use them to help. Have your children brush their teeth together. You can have them brush to songs, use coloured toothpaste, etc.

Whatever you can do to make teeth seem more fun, the better!

2. Take Them With You

One of the best ways you can prepare your child for their first dental visit is by taking them with you to yours.

This will not only help them get acquainted with their new environment, but it will also help show them the dentist is not so scary after all.

When you take your child with you, make sure to show them around and introduce them to the dentists and office workers you come in contact with. Make sure you are smiling plenty and have a happy attitude.

If your child sees you having fun at the dentist, they will see no reason for them not to have fun either!

3. Tell Them What to Expect at Their First Dental Visit

Telling your child what to expect at their first appointment can help eliminate any scary surprises.

Usually, the first appointment involves the dentist explaining the importance of having clean teeth. They will do this using different visuals, such as oversized teeth. Sometimes, the dentists will count their teeth and give them a simple cleaning and brushing.

You may be allowed into the dentist’s room, or you may be asked to wait outside in the lobby. Make sure your child is prepared for both. However, it’s a good idea to let them go in alone, as this encourages independence.

It can be a good idea to call your dentist beforehand so you know exactly what will happen that first appointment. Then, you can tell your child everything they have to look forward to.

Now They’re Ready!

Follow these steps, and your child should be good and ready for their first dental visit.

If you have any questions about taking your child to the dentist, or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us today.

Do You Have Bleeding Gums?

Dental Advice | Dental Care | Dental Problems | Oral Health

We understand how alarming it must be to see blood in your sink after brushing your teeth, but there is no need to panic!

 

Gums might be just a tiny part of our body, but they actually have a big job. For starters, they protect the roots and neck of our teeth from bacteria. Without healthy gums to guard our teeth, bacteria can easily sneak beneath your teeth, causing damage to tissues over time. The tissues will then become too damaged to hold your teeth, leading to loose teeth that may eventually fall out.

 

THE CAUSES OF BLEEDING GUMS

GINGIVITIS (Gum Disease)

If you do not brush or floss regularly, bacteria build up in the groove surrounding your teeth. As bacteria move and grow, they irritate the gums, causing gingivitis. This is the early stage of gum disease and its most common symptom: bleeding gums.

 

Fortunately, this stage of gum is reversible. One of our dentists or dental hygienists can help scrape away bacteria and plaque. Flossing and brushing regularly keeps the bacteria at bay so you can enjoy healthy gums again.

 

If gingivitis gets worse, your gums will start pulling away from your teeth, leaving space for bacteria to go into the tissues below your teeth. Keep in mind that the longer bacteria live in your tissues, the worse your dental health also gets.

 

PREGNANCY

When a woman is pregnant, there are hormonal changes that affect her entire body, including the gums, leading to a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. To avoid any oral issues while you are pregnant, it is best to have one of our dentists take care of your dental health with you.

 

MEDICATIONS

The medications that you take can also cause your gums to bleed – even if you have healthy brushing and flossing habits. Aspirin and blood thinners keep the blood from clotting. These medications increase the risk of bleeding gums and might cause the gums to bleed for a long time after brushing.

 

Make sure to tell your dentist if you are taking any of those medications.

 

NEW ORAL HEALTH ROUTINE

If you have just started to have an oral health routine, then your gums might bleed until your mouth gets used eventually to those new habits. Flossing and brushing regularly clear away plaque and bacteria from your gums. Gradually your gums should bleed less until it stops altogether eventually.

 

WHEN TO SEE A DENTIST

If your gums bleed regularly, even if you practice good habits, then it is a must to make an appointment with one of our dentists soon. The sooner you see your dentist about signs of gum disease, then the condition will also more likely be reversed.

Debunking Myths About Cavities

Dental Advice | Dental Care | Dental Problems

Cavities are undesirable, and they should be prevented whenever possible. Most parents teach their kids about the importance of brushing and flossing their teeth regularly. Many people are diligent when it comes to visiting their dentists twice a year for preventive checkups and cleanings.

 

However, there are still some myths related to cavities – both among children and adults. Let us debunk some of these myths today so that we all have a solid understanding of preventative measures, risk factors, and treatment options.

 

Here are some of the most common misconceptions about cavities:

 

#01. Cavities are a childhood problem.

This is one of the most popular cavity myths all around the world. Many adults believe that cavities occur during childhood and that it something that they can leave behind when they get older. However, that is not the case. In reality, more adults tend to have more cavities than children.

 

#02. Once you get a tooth filling, it will not be affected by cavities anymore.

Again, this is FALSE. The filling process involves the decay being removed by the dentist, then filling in the cavity. When the decay has been removed and replaced, most people think that they do not have to worry about that tooth anymore. While decay at that particular spot is stopped after the treatment, it is still a must to maintain good oral hygiene. The rest of your teeth can still develop cavities, and it can also develop decay around or next to the filling. Remember, fillings do not give us a free pass to neglect our oral health.

 

#03. If your teeth are sensitive, you have a cavity.

Tooth sensitivity can be caused be several culprits – not just decay. For instance, gum recession is a condition that results in exposed roots of the teeth, and it is a major cause of sensitivity. Worn enamel can also lead to teeth sensitivity, and this is often caused by aggressive brushing or bruxism (grinding of the teeth).

 

#04. Gaps in teeth are a risk factor for tooth decay.

This myth most likely originated from the concept that flossing is important because it is able to get to the hard-to-reach areas between our teeth. As true as that may be, gaps in the teeth are not a risk factor for decay. Large gaps, in fact, make flossing and brushing between those teeth easier!

 

#05. Sugar is the only cause of tooth decay.

Many people also believe that if they avoid drinking soda or eating sugar candy, they will not develop cavities. While sugar is a major culprit behind tooth decay, it is NOT the only one. Plaque, a sticky film, is always forming on the teeth. When you eat sugar or carbohydrates (potatoes, rice, fruits, bread), the plaque feeds on it. It then produces acid, which eats away at the teeth, leading to decay.

 

Learn more about cavity prevention and tooth decay; contact us today and set up an appointment with one of our trusted dental professionals.

Ways You Might Get Teeth Damage

Dental Advice | Dental Care

When we develop certain habits to improve our well-being, we are not always made aware of the problems those habits can cause our teeth. Teeth often receive a lower priority in terms of health, and some things are missed.

 

Here are some healthy practices you could be doing that might do more harm than good to your teeth:

 

BRUSHING TEETH RIGHT AFTER EATING

While it is an excellent thing to brush your teeth regularly, you have to know that timing plays an important role when doing so. The enamel softens and becomes susceptible to abrasive wear temporarily when you consume something acidic like oranges. So, brushing your teeth (and forcefully even) might remove enamel, leaving your teeth feeling sensitive. As you get older, it will only worsen because our gums recede with age and get more root surface exposure.

 

You can take more precaution by waiting approximately 30 minutes before brushing your teeth.

 

DRINKING LEMON WATER

Drinking lemon juice helps in digestion, cleanses the body of toxins, and strengthens immunity – these are just some of its health benefits. However, lemon juice or lemon juice diluted with water is a major culprit of dental erosion.

 

You should not stop drinking lemon water, but what you can do is take extra steps to protect your teeth in the process. Using a straw helps lessen the detrimental effects of this drink to your teeth. After drinking lemon juice or lemon water, be sure to have a drink of plain, ordinary water afterward.

 

TAKING MEDICATION THAT CAUSES DRY MOUTH

You might have been diagnosed by an illness or a chronic health condition that requires taking prescribed medications. Unfortunately, there are many drugs that come with the side effect of reducing saliva flow – your oral health could suffer in such instances. Those patients who are taking medications that give them a dry mouth are at a higher risk of developing tooth decay because the saliva is not there to physically buffer acids or wash food debris away.

 

You should not stop your medication, but what you can do is try sipping water throughout the day. Saliva flow can, however, be increased with sugarless gum, mints with xylitol content, tablets, gels and sprays designed specifically for dry mouth.

 

EXERCISING WITHOUT ANY DENTAL PROTECTION

Physical activity greatly benefits our bodies in hundreds of ways. However, you must remember that when you participate in impact sports such as martial arts or hockey, your teeth become at risk for damages if not protected properly. A custom mouthguard offers a cushion around the teeth in case of a direct impact to the face.

 

So, if you do not want to see your teeth chipped or knocked out, always wear a mouthguard. Repairing such damages require a lot of work and money, so in this case, prevention is definitely better than cure.

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