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Why We Floss

September 10th, 2017

We all know that flossing is important. But why? Why, daily, should we have to slip that strand of floss between our teeth, clean out the space down to the gum line? Don’t a toothbrush’s bristles get far enough into those narrow spaces? The number one reason to floss is to help to rid the surfaces of the teeth from harmful bacteria that can develop plaque, which, if allowed to thrive, will then harden into a substance called tartar. Tartar cannot be removed by twice-daily brushing and flossing. Bacteria that are allowed to thrive can cause chronic conditions such as gingivitis or the more severe periodontal disease. Bacteria allowed to thrive can be responsible for halitosis (bad breath).

How to Floss

Flossing is relatively simple, and if you are someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience (it’s estimated that over thirty percent of adults who are over the age of thirty don’t floss—at all) with a week’s worth of practicing you will have mastered the skill. First, start out with a strand of floss about 12-18 inches in length. (It doesn’t matter which type of floss you use; floss comes in numerous sizes, colors, and flavors—they all work!). Wrap the ends of the floss around your index fingers and work it into the space between two teeth. Slide the floss between the teeth keeping your hands at opposing angles that make the floss bend around the tooth—it should look like the letter C. It’s easiest to begin at a tooth at the edge of the mouth, or a tooth in the very center, so that you will remember which teeth you have already cleaned.

If you have issues with dexterity, there are appliances which can be used with just one hand. One such product is a soft plaque remover, which resembles something like a soft toothpick, and the other appliance is a flossing aid, which traps the ends of the floss between two prongs, and the flossing aid can be maneuvered over the spaces between the teeth, using just one hand.  To schedule your next dental checkup, call Premier Smile today.

At Home Tooth Whitening

August 9th, 2017

A healthy and vibrant bright-white smile is important for most people. A healthy smile is a confident smile. And, while there are many things that can cause a smile to appear less white, less vibrant, there are a few at-home remedies (the best remedy for a bright white smile is to keep to twice yearly dental visits, but these are tips for the times between) that work well to keep teeth white.

Whitening Toothpaste: Does it work?

It does work. And you can find tooth whitening versions of almost every brand of toothpaste in the aisles of the grocery store. But which one should you choose? Choose a brand that has the ADA (American Dental Association) seal of approval. This is evidence that the ADA has tested the whitening toothpaste to be safe. Whitening toothpaste, however, doesn’t do more than remove the surface stains on the teeth. It doesn’t change the color of the teeth—for that you will need to have your teeth bleached by either a take-home tray or an in-office visit at Premier Smile. Whitening toothpastes remove stains by scrubbing the surfaces of the teeth gently with mild abrasives. It does also contain some chemicals which help to break down those surface-level stains. Some modern whitening toothpastes even contain a certain chemical which can adhere to the surfaces of the teeth, giving the teeth a whiter appearance—but this is only a cosmetic fix.

If you use whitening toothpastes twice daily then you should notice a whiter smile within two to six weeks. And while most whitening toothpastes do try to do minimal damage to tooth enamel (the hard protective outer-coating on teeth) it may be best to consult with your dentist at Premier Smile before you begin a long regimen of brushing twice daily with those types of toothpastes.

Premier Smile is ready for you when you want an in-office whitening, or a take-home dental tray. If you have any questions as to tooth whitening options, or just need to make your next appointment to see you dentist at Premier Smile, then call today.

Vaping and Dental Health

July 9th, 2017

Like their cigarette counterparts, it appears there are adverse health effects involved with vaping. Vaping is the act of inhaling vapor from an electronic cigarette. The solution that causes the vapor is usually made up of diluents (a term meaning some chemical was used to dilute the mixture), flavorings—different flavors are one of the touted benefits of e-cigarette use—and nicotine.

Now, inside the e-cigarette the solution is heated up by what’s called an atomizer—this heats the solution to create the vapor the user breathes in. E-cigarette solutions also come in different nicotine doses, so, naturally, people also tout that as being another advancement to healthier nicotine use. But, while things are not yet definitive on the adverse health effects of vaping—whether vaporizers are just as harmful as tobacco—what looks to be certain is that vaporizers are contributing to gum disease.

Studies show that nicotine does harm to the oral tissues. Studies also show that even though vaping claims to be different, it doesn’t matter how the nicotine is delivered. Nicotine reduces the amount of blood that can flow throughout the veins in your body. In example, long term use of nicotine can be responsible for heart disease and stroke.

This restriction of blood can kill off some of your gum tissue. Now, there are claims that vaping has enhanced oral health. But the truth seems to be that vaping only helps to mask the symptoms of oral disease. See, when gum disease strikes, there’s a flow of blood to the gums that makes the gums swell. However, when someone is using a vaporizer, and blood flow is restricted by the nicotine, the gums wont swell with blood, and your dentist may or may not be able to discern that there’s an underlying issue like gum disease. Remember also that gum disease allowed to get worse could develop into the much more severe periodontal disease. And Periodontal disease is much harder to treat, with treatment that, depending upon the severity, is much more invasive than a simple gingivitis treatment.

If you are concerned if vaping is doing harm to your mouth, or, if you just need to schedule your next appointment, call Premier Smile today.

Gingivitis

June 22nd, 2017

Gingivitis is the term for the early stage of gum disease. If you were to go into the oral care aisle at the grocery store there are products—mouthwashes—claiming to help you be rid of gingivitis. These oral care companies make commercials to sell their products as defenders of gingivitis. But, if gingivitis is an early form of gum disease, why are the other, more advanced and chronic, versions of gum disease not mentioned by these companies?

Simple: gingivitis is easily treated in its early stages by a visit to the dentist and quality at-home oral care—brushing twice daily and flossing at least once (if treating gingivitis, you may also need to temporarily add a mouthwash to your routine).

But gingivitis is also fairly difficult to catch in its earliest stages. Gingivitis can exist without any real symptom, then progress to the more severe periodontal disease without a person even realizing they’re suffering from the condition.

If you notice the following symptoms: your gums are swollen and easily bleed, your gums are tender to the touch of a toothbrush, or, if you have developed the habit of having bad breath inexplicably (bad breath could also be a warning sign for other oral disease, or it could also be a sign that you had too much garlic for dinner).

Some people will be at a higher risk for developing gingivitis. Risk factors include: people who do not practice good oral care habits, people who smoke or use smokeless tobaccos (vapes also contribute to gum disease), a person’s mouth could be situated with teeth that are crooked or too tight and difficult to clean, a person may be on medication. Numerous medications have negative oral side effects, so read those warning labels or it could just be a case of a genetic predisposition to having the condition.

To get rid of gingivitis visit your dentist for a proper cleaning, and then continue the oral care routine of brushing-well twice daily and flossing at least once. And if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of gingivitis, or if you just need to schedule your next dental checkup, call Premier Smile today.

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