Why, When, What Type, and How to Floss

Did you know that by simply brushing, you’re only getting 50% of the job done? That’s because when you brush the bristles can only reach 60% of your tooth’s surface. That means 20% between your teeth is a hot spot for bacteria that causes cavities and gum disease. When you don’t floss it gives the bacteria longer to build up and bind with your teeth creating a firm sticky substance known as plaque. Flossing, however, removes those food particles before they can harden into tartar, also known as calculus, which cannot be removed by regular flossing. After the tartar begins to build up it will take over the surface of the tooth under the gum line. Once there, tartar causes inflammation and irritation that leads to the development of gum disease.

When to Floss

Now that we know why we should floss; do you know why only 4 in 10 Americans floss every day? The largest percent says that it’s too time-consuming but once you get the hang of it, flossing takes just a couple minutes. Since we only floss once a day, it’s recommended to do it before you brush. When you floss after brushing all the loose plaque and bacteria floats around your mouth, giving it the chance to reattach to the tooth’s surface. So, at the very least, rinse your mouth.

 

How to Floss

We’ve got the basics down, why it’s important to floss, and when we should floss. Can you guess what’s next? That’s right, the correct way to floss. If you are flossing every day and still see a lot of plaque buildup, chances are you’re missing some crevices. When you floss incorrectly it can cause bleeding and damage to your gums and any surrounding dental work. Now before we get into the proper ways to floss, we really need to go over the different types of floss and what they are used for.

 

Types of FlossBody (2).png

  • Floss can come waxed or unwaxed and everyone can use it! It’s great to get those food particles in tight spaces. Typically, it comes rolled up in a small plastic box. Which makes flossing on the go much easier!
  • Dental Tape: This is similar to regular floss where it comes in either waxed or unwaxed. However, dental tape is much wider than floss and can clean more surface. If you have bigger hands or more space between your teeth, it’s recommended to use this.
  • Floss Picks: Are small plastic flossing sticks that are somewhat shaped like a candy cane. Used in the same way regular floss is, floss picks make it easier for people with less dexterity and they are great for kids!
  • Floss Threader: This is a firm stick with a loop at the end. It is used to thread the floss through dental appliances, which can make some teeth hard to reach. Typically, floss threaders are used with braces or bridges.
  • Interdental Brush: This is a pick with wired or non-wired bristles at the tip. These can be used for regular flossing; however, they are also useful in cleaning dental implants and braces.
  • Superfloss: Has a floss threader at one end, regular floss in the middle, and a soft spongy floss at the other end. The thread is used to pull the floss between an appliance then the regular floss is used on the adjacent tooth. The spongy floss is then used to clean around an implant-supported bridge or under a normal bridge.
  • Wooden Plaque Remover: Looks a lot like a toothpick but it has a tapered end with a triangular shape. Set the tapered end in your mouth for a few seconds to soften it. Then place the softened side between your teeth with the flat side on your gums. This is to stimulate blood flow which helps fight gum disease. Gently move the pick in and out to break up any food particles and disturb any forming plaque. This can be used by anyone and is preferable for flossing on the go.
  • Body (1).pngWater Flosser: The water flosser is a different type of device known as an oral irrigator. Instead of manually scraping the plaque off, the water pressure does it for you! If you have braces it’s an easy way to make sure you are fully cleaning those pearly whites, however, anyone can use a water flosser.

How Really to Floss

  • Flossing: Pull 18-20 in of floss from the container, then loosely wrap it around both middle fingers. Make sure to leave at least 1-2 in of floss in the middle. Hold the floss taut with your thumb and index fingers and glide it gently up and down the side of your teeth. When you get to the gum line form a C-shape and slide the floss down. Finally, remove the floss and continue with the same method on the rest of your teeth.
  • Flossing with Braces: It’s recommended that you use waxed floss to avoid getting strands stuck in the brackets. Pull 18-24 in of waxed floss out of the container, thread it through the floss threader and carefully pull it through the wire; then continue to floss as normal. You can also use interdental brushes by pushing the bristles in an out 2-3 times for every tooth.
  • Flossing Dental Implants: Since implants can’t decay the plaque will still stick which can cause swelling and implant failure known as Peri-implantitis. This means it is still vital to floss around your implant. Use a non-wired interdental brush to avoid scratching the titanium or porcelain. Gently push it in and out 2-3 times, then continue to floss the rest of your teeth.
  • Flossing a Dental Bridge: Start by pushing the threader end of Superfloss through the space between the bridge and the real tooth. Use the regular floss on the real tooth, then gently slide the super floss under the bridge 2-3 times and repeat on the other side. After, floss the rest of your teeth normally.
  • Flossing Implant-Supported Bridges: Use Superfloss to thread the spongy floss under the bridge, and gently use the spongy side to clean around the titanium implants. You can also use a non-wired interdental brush to clean them.
  • Flossing and Cleaning Implant-Supported Overdentures: Remove the dentures from your mouth, brush the dentures with detergent and place them in water. Then take a one-tuff brush and gently clean around the part of the implant that sits above your gums, commonly known as an abutment.

 

Flossing is simple, yet so crucial for your dental health. Remember, the floss most dentists recommend is any type that you will use every day!

 

 

 

Smith Valley Smiles

2311 Highway 208
Smith, NV 89430
Phone: 775-465-2388

10 Ways to Love Your Teeth

Ah, February, the month of love. Which also happens to be American Heart Month! Did you know that to keep your heart healthy you need healthy gums as well? Your gums are there to hold the roots of your teeth in place. When you don’t properly take care of your teeth and gums by brushing twice a day and flossing at least once, they’re at a higher risk of periodontal disease.

 

More commonly known as gum disease, its effects vary from redness and swelling, to complete destruction of the tooth’s bone support. Which often ends in tooth loss. The bacteria that cause gum disease can also travel into your bloodstream, causing blood vessel inflammation and damage to your heart. It also leaves tiny blood clots in its wake, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Luckily there are a bunch of things you can do to keep that smile, and heart, safe and healthy!

 

Here are 10 tips and tricks to keep your mouth, and your heart healthy this Valentine’s Day!

brush-floss.png

  1. Brush your teeth correctly:  Brushing is extremely important to your oral and overall health. The ADA recommends that you brush gently, in short strokes, and at a 45-degree angle for 2 minutes. This prevents the bristles from removing the enamel that protects your teeth. When brushing the backs of your teeth, it’s best to turn the brush vertically and make multiple short strokes on every tooth.
  2. Know when to toss it: Your toothbrush only needs to stick around for about 3 months, or until the bristles start to fray. When they begin to fray, your brush won’t do its job properly leaving your mouth defenseless against harmful bacteria. Speaking of which, after a while, your toothbrush will start to gather food particles and bacteria that can’t be rinsed away with water. When you don’t replace your brush, all that bacteria gets reintroduced posing a bigger threat to your dental and heart health. This is why it’s important to pay attention to how long you’ve had your brush, notice what condition it’s in, and take action when it’s time for a new one.
  3. Use fluoride toothpaste:  Fluoride, known as natures cavity fighter, is a mineral found in the earth’s core. Before our teeth come in, our body is absorbing fluoride through our nutrients to help build a resistance to tooth decay, this is called a systemic benefit. Once our teeth are in, brushing or using other dental products with fluoride helps rebuild the eroded enamel and reverse the effects of tooth decay. With the risk of tooth decay lowered by using fluoride products, your chances of a heart attack or stroke also decrease.
  4. How to rinse: Contrary to common belief, you are not supposed to rinse your mouth with only water immediately after brushing. When you do this, you are taking all that wonderful fluoride we talked about in #3 and spitting it down the drain. By rinsing right after you brush you aren’t giving the fluoride enough time to attach to your teeth and patch up all that worn-down enamel. It’s best to rinse with water before you spit the foamy left-over toothpaste out. This allows your teeth to absorb the fluoride while rinsing out all the toothpaste.
  5. What to do about sweets: As you may know, sugar is possibly one of the worst things out there for you. Besides its obvious risks of excess sugar, obesity, and diabetes, sugar can have a bad effect on your teeth, gums, and heart. Sugar can increase the triglyceride (fat) in the blood, that fat can then get clogged in your arteries which could result in heart failure. Sugar also puts your teeth and gums at risk of acid attacks. When sugar binds with the bacteria in our mouths it creates acid. This acid can stick to enamel and cause it to erode. It’s best if you eat and drink sugar in small portions; and, if you’re craving something sweet have a bowl of fruit or some dark chocolate. They are both great for your heart and your smile.
    braces-candy.png
  6. Valentine’s candy and ortho appliances: If you have braces, the same candy rules still apply, chewy or sticky candy can get stuck in your brackets. The sugar then reacts with the bacteria in your mouth creating a white film around the brackets. This substance is nearly impossible to clean and can cause extended acid attacks and increases your risk of cavities.
  7. Floss daily: While flossing may be the most tedious part of your dental routine it is also the most important. The bristles on your toothbrush are too wide to get all the yucky plaque that gets stuck between your teeth. When you don’t floss that plaque sits in-between your teeth and hardens. After it has adhered to your tooth it will then make its way down to the root which can cause gum disease and recession.
  8. Cut the Tobacco: Another thing that may be worse for your mouth than sugar is tobacco products. Usage minimizes the amount of blood flow to the gums which can cause and hide signs of gum disease. While using tobacco you are 3 times more likely to develop gum disease, which elevates your risk of heart disease. The nicotine in tobacco reduces saliva flow and causes dry mouth. Both can end in tooth loss due to the lack of moisture in your gums.
  9. Tongues are important: When you forget to brush your tongue, all the bacteria that cause bad breath and plaque that causes cavities just sits there. Even after you have brushed your teeth if you don’t brush your tongue all the bacteria and plaque will attach itself onto your tooth roots and gums. This can lead to gum disease as well.
  10. Checkups: This is the most important part of your dental routine. By visiting your dentist twice a year you are showing your teeth the necessary TLC with a little professional help. Your dentist can clean your teeth, check for cavities, and catch issues in your mouth before they turn into bigger problems

 

Remember to brush 2x a day and floss at minimum once a day because dental hygiene is a vital part of your overall health. These are only a few tips and tricks, ask us at your next appointment how you can give your teeth some love. Make your heart and teeth happy by scheduling your appointment today!

 

Smith Valley Smiles

2311 Highway 208
Smith, NV 89430
Phone: 775-465-2388

Teeth Friendly Stocking Stuffers

 

The holidays are here, a time filled with joy, kinship, laughter, presents, and stockings. As you already know finding cute simple things to fill a stocking isn’t always the easiest. Especially when you’re trying to shop healthy. So, here’s our recommendation for a teeth-friendly stocking!

 

Toothbrush:Toothbrush.png This is the perfect stocking stuffer for all ages. Toothbrushes come in all types of fun options, which makes them easy to toss in. Soft-bristle toothbrushes are the best because hard bristles can damage your teeth. You can even add some fun by personalizing with stickers!

 

Floss: This is the easiest stuffer out there! Everyone needs it and there are lots of options to choose from.

 

Snacks: Sour, chewy, and acidic candy that are usually placed in stockings can cause damage to your teeth. When you introduce that much sugar to your mouth, it binds with the bacteria and creates an acid that erodes your enamel. The safer option is chocolate or chocolate with nuts. Remember to rinse with water right after eating sweets and wait at least 30 minutes before brushing.

 

Toothpaste: You can never have enough toothpaste. It can be used for so many things besides brushing! Like treating poison ivy, removing gum from hair, removing carpet stains, clean sneakers, and even shine jewelry! They also have novelty toothpaste that comes in pretty much any flavor you can think of. Anyone tried bacon yet?

 

xylitol (2).pngGum sweetened with Xylitol: It’s hard to come across someone who doesn’t enjoy chewing gum. However, most gum has an insane amount of sugar per piece and all that sugar does a lot of damage. Sugar in our mouths is dissolved by the bad bacteria which causes excess plaque to build up and cavities. Chew gum sweetened with Xylitol. Xylitol is as equal in sweetness as sugar and it has a similar flavor, it also fights cavities while you chew!

 

Travel-sized oral hygiene kit: It works for all ages, and it’s small enough to stash wherever you need it. Typically, these include a folding toothbrush, small tube of toothpaste, mini mouthwash, and a roll of floss.

 

Toothpaste dispenser: For those with oversized stockings this is the perfect stuffer for parents with little ones! A toothpaste dispenser makes brushing teeth fun, and easy. Just place your toothbrush into the dispenser, and it gives you the exact amount of toothpaste needed. No mess. No fuss!

 

Wishing you and your family the happiest of holidays! And regardless of the stuffers you get this holiday season, remember to brush your teeth twice a day and floss often Ho, Ho, Ho!

 

 

Smith Valley Smiles

2311 Highway 208
Smith, NV 89430
Phone: 775-465-2388

39 Tips and Alternative Uses for Everyday Dental Hygiene Items #LifeHack

 Life Hacks – The Dental Edition!Life Hacks

Today we’re sharing our office’s best tips, tricks and secrets to making difficult tasks easy and fixes for the most annoying problems. Get ready to have your mind blown because ALL of these use dental related items!

Denture Tabs

Did you know they can also be used to help clean common household items? Here are six alternative uses for denture cleanser tablets:

  1. Put them in with a diamond to spruce up that sparkle
  2. Remove mineral deposits from glass
  3. Pop a denture tablet into your coffee pot, run the water through and then rinse. Cleans up stains in a snap! BONUS: also great at removing coffee and tea stains in mugs
  4. Toss a tab in to a full toilet or bathtub and watch the grime dissipate
  5. Use to clean enamel based cookware
  6. Great for unclogging drains

Dental Floss

Be sure to use the dental floss that is flavorless, otherwise you are going to have some unsatisfactory results for some of these hacks.

  1. When your shoelace breaks and you need a fix in a pinch— lace up with floss until you can get a replacement!
  2. Got long hair? When your ponytail’s elastic band snaps off, wrap some floss to create a new hair tie
  3. Sentimental pictures stuck to your scrapbook page? Or cookies stuck to the baking sheet?  Wiggle some floss gently in between to release
  4. Slice clean pieces of bread, cheese or cakes by holding the floss taunt and gliding down the soft item you are wanting to “cut”
  5. Are you travelling and you need to “lock” you luggage? Wind some floss through the zippers to secure
  6. Create a makeshift clothes line out of floss
  7. Use as string for crafts and jewelry making
  8. Leaky faucet? Tie floss around the spout and let the rest hang into the drain to eliminate the dripping sound

Toothpaste

The miracle worker!

  1. Remove scratches from DVD’s and CD’s by applying a little white toothpaste and gently rubbing over the surfaceToothpaste
  2. Ring Around the Collar: take some toothpaste on a toothbrush (double dental life hack!) and scrub in a circular motion over the stain before normal washing
  3. Got Kids? Do they have crayons? Use toothpaste as an abrasive to scrub the crayon right off the walls
  4. Scuffs happen. Shoes, furniture, other surface areas, etc.  Put some toothpaste on a toothbrush and scrub away to watch the scuffs vanish
  5. Did someone forget to use a coaster? Rub toothpaste over the ring and wipe clean with a damp cloth
  6. Use as a deodorizer for baby bottles. Remember to rinse thoroughly after soaking!
  7. Rub toothpaste over mirrors, glass, and water goggles then wipe clean to create a fog deterrent
  8. Make your sink and faucets shine by polishing with toothpaste!
  9. Ink and lipstick stains are no longer a problem with the help of toothpaste
  10. Helps remedy stubborn pimples: dab a little toothpaste on the problem area before bed and wash your face in the morning.
  11. Foul scents lingering? Wipe some toothpaste over the area and rinse thoroughly
  12. Remove carpet stains by using the paste with a scrubber

 Mouthwash

Mouthwash can help out with more than just bacteria in your mouth and odorous breath!

  1. Use mouthwash as an antiseptic replacement when you run out
  2. “That’s going to leave a bruise!” Heal up faster by rubbing it with some mouthwash on a cotton ball
  3. Poison ivy itches! Smooth over the affected area and discard the used cotton ball to avoid cross contamination
  4. Hand sanitizer substitute!
  5. Did you forget deodorant? Swipe a little mouthwash to remove “ripeness”
  6. Great as a disinfectant
  7. Soak nails and toes in mouthwash to help with fungus and athletes foot
  8. Also works as a great for helping to soften and soothe feet
  9. Can be used as a temporary face astringent
  10. Soak smelly containers in mouthwash and rinse. Say goodbye to stink!

Toothbrush

Toothbrushes make excellent cleaning tools and are great scrubbers. Here’s a few of our favorites uses!

  1. If you need to touch up your roots, use a toothbrush to assist in the hair dying process
  2. Works wonders as an exfoliater
  3. Nail brush – work out the dirt under your nails gently

If you carry little travel sizes of mouthwash, a toothbrush, white toothpaste and some denture tabs, you are fit to solve almost any spill, scuff or stain! These items are great to always have on hand.  Next time one of these problems tries to kick you when you’re down, remember these dental life hacks!  Give them a try and let us know how well their magic works for you!

Smith Valley Smiles
2311 Highway 208
Smith, NV 89430
Phone: 775-465-2388