Knowing When to Floss

Flossing is an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums. The American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once a day to help remove plaque from the areas between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. This is important because plaque that is not removed by brushing and flossing can eventually harden into calculus or tartar. Flossing also helps prevent gum disease and cavities.

What Is The Best Time to Floss—Before or After Brushing?

A Spring 2015 MouthHealthy.org poll asked readers if they brush before or after they floss. The results were close: 53% said they brush before, while 47% said after.

So who’s right? Technically, everyone. The most important thing about flossing is to do it. As long as you do a thorough job, it doesn’t matter when. Pick a time of day when you can devote an extra couple of minutes to your dental care. People who are too tired at the end of the day may benefit from flossing first thing in the morning or flossing after lunch. Others might like to go to bed with a clean mouth.

And don’t forget, children need to floss too! You should be flossing your child’s teeth as soon as he or she has two teeth that touch. Because flossing demands more manual dexterity than very young children have, children are not usually able to floss well by themselves until they are age 10 or 11.

Keep in mind that flossing should not be painful. If you floss too hard, you could damage the tissue between your teeth. If you’re too gentle, you might not be getting the food out. It’s normal to feel some discomfort when you first start flossing, but don’t give up. With daily brushing and flossing, that discomfort should ease within a week or two. If your pain persists, talk to your dentist.

What Should I Use to Floss?

There are several options for cleaning between teeth. You might choose to use dental floss or another product specifically made for this purpose like a dental pick, pre-threaded flosser, tiny brushes that reach between the teeth, water flosser or wooden plaque remover. Ask your dentist how to use them properly to avoid injuring your gums. It could be that you simply need to try another type of dental floss—waxed, unwaxed, thick or comfort floss. Stick with it and you’ll have adopted a healthy habit for life.

Talk to your dentist about what types of oral care products will be most effective for you. Look for products that contain the ADA Seal of Acceptance so you know they have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness.

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Geriatric Dentistry, Katy TX

The elderly adult population is rapidly increasing, which means geriatric dentistry is becoming more prevalent these days. While it may be hard to sway your parents or grandparents to visit a dentist, the importance of dental health during old age is paramount. In order to prevent dental health problems that can become serious overall health problems, geriatric dentistry should be a priority.  Continue reading

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What Causes Morning Breath?

Morning breath is a dreaded factor many mornings, and it often seems like no amount of cleaning will rid you of the inevitably unpleasant odor of your mouth on waking up. This unfortunate phenomenon happens to all of us, and it’s a perfectly natural result of your body’s functions while you sleep. We’ll review the causes of bad breath and steps you can take to fight back. Continue reading

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How Often Should I Visit the Dentist?

Dental exams are important for good oral health

We all know that it’s important to visit the dentist for regular dental exams and to treat any oral health issues. But how often should you be seeing your dentist? The answer can differ in certain situations, but as a rule of thumb, you should be visiting your dentist twice a year.

In addition to performing a thorough examination to spot any forming cavities or gum disease, your dentists has specialized tools to deep clean your teeth in ways that you aren’t able to at home. This semi-annual cleaning can go a long way in preventing cavities, and if one should happen to develop it will inflict minimal damage to your tooth if it’s treated quickly. Continue reading

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What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry can give you a white smile

Available technology and other advances have made cosmetic dentistry an option for more and more people, and its popularity continues to grow. But what is cosmetic dentistry? This field includes any procedures or products that are meant to enhance your smile and make your teeth more visually appealing. Anything from correcting the spacing of teeth to brightening their surfaces falls under cosmetic dental procedures.

Whitening Teeth

One of the most popular areas of cosmetic dentistry involves the many methods of whitening teeth. A chemical process is the most popular option to remove stains from foods, smoking, and medications that discolor teeth over time. A dentist can either provide a solution to use at home or a treatment in the office to bleach your teeth to a whiter shine. While the effectiveness of the available options varies, whitening your teeth under the supervision of a dentist can be very successful.

Custom Veneers

Porcelain or plastic shells are custom made to fit your teeth and correct problems ranging from gaps to stains or chips. After taking an impression of the teeth to be covered, the dentist will cement the veneers in place, providing a permanent solution to aesthetic problems that is more affordable than a crown.

Enamel Shaping and Bonding

There are several methods available for dentists to remove part of the tooth enamel to repair crooked teeth, bite problems, and irregular teeth. This is sometimes used i conjunction with bonding, which inserts a resin over parts of the tooth to build it back up. Through a combination of the two, a dentist can alter the shape or surface of a tooth to a surprising degree without even needing a numbing agent.

By applying cosmetic dentistry, patients can improve their smiles and their self confidence. If you’re interested in correcting visual issues with your teeth, consult with your dentist and ask about what options are available and appropriate for you.

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Does Teeth Bleaching Work?

Americans spend billions of dollars each year on a variety of teeth-whitening products, from mouthwash to toothpaste, gels, and light treatments. These products often go unregulated by the American Dental Association, leaving consumers to wonder if they’re truly effective at whitening teeth. Is there a difference in over the counter products and those used by dentists? Are some products safer than others?

The available options vary in price, results, safety, and efficiency. Most bleaching items use some form of peroxide, with strength ranging from 8% to 43%. The variety of gels or items used in your dentist’s office are typically stronger than the OTC types. These strong chemicals can sometimes harm the gums or teeth if used incorrectly, but in the hands of an experienced dentist can be extremely effective at whitening teeth from 3 to 8 shades lighter.

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How to Deep Clean Your Mouth

Everyday cleaning is an important part of keeping your teeth and mouth clean and free of damaging bacteria. Brushing and flossing are the most important weapon against tooth decay, but going the extra mile to give your mouth a full, thorough cleaning can help get rid of tough plaque or other lingering problems.

Thoroughly brush your entire mouth. In addition to the front and back of your teeth, be sure to clean the roof of your mouth, inside your cheeks, and over your tongue.

Use a tongue scraper to gently scrape the surface of your tongue. These inexpensive items can help remove bacteria that’s built up.

Take the opportunity to invest in an electric toothbrush. According to a number of studies, eletric options are more effective at removing plaque from teeth and preventing gingivitis. If you enjoy some fancier tech, some brushes even include a timer to denote when you’ve been brushing for the recommended 2 minutes and monitor how hard you’re brushing.

Using a water irrigation system can help clean under the gum line. Adding antibacterial mouthwash to the small water tank can also help rid your mouth of germs and bacteria.

Visit your dentist for a thorough examination and cleaning. In addition to using specialized tools to remove any plaque, your dentist can also spot any potential problems or cavities.

While daily cleaning is irreplaceable to protect your oral health, regularly deep cleaning any buildup of bacteria and plaque from your mouth can also a long way in preventing tooth decay, gum disease, and other potential problems. If you have any on-going concerns or questions about your teeth, your dentist can offer professional advice that’s specific to you.

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