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 Katy 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 tooth whitening dentist can be extremely effective at whitening teeth from 3 to 8 shades lighter.

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