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Flossing

February 11th, 2019

Flossing is an important component for dental health, and here’s why. First, flossing cleans the plaque between our teeth. In most cases these spaces are too narrow for the bristles of a toothbrush to clean adequately. So, uncleaned, plaque is allowed to thrive within those spaces, potentially causing cavities and gum disease. Remember that plaque contains certain bacteria that feed on the food and sugar present in the mouth; the bacteria produce an acid that eats away at the surface of the tooth, and causes a cavity. Also, the unremoved plaque can eventually harden into a hard substance called tarter. And tarter around the gum line is a catalyst for gum disease.

There’s been some recent speculation about the effectiveness of floss to clean between teeth; if the practice of flossing is a necessity, or if appropriate brushing habits are enough to clean plaque. But even the U.S Health and Human Services Dept. has stated that the act of flossing is an important hygiene practice.

And floss is the first thing to reach for in the event you find something stuck between your teeth. According to several studies, folks will reach for almost anything when they find something; the tip of a knife and credit cards are listed as a few of the tooth cleaning devices someone could, unfortunately, reach for.

There is no one perfect time in the day to floss. In fact, it doesn’t make much difference if you floss before or after brushing; it doesn’t matter whether you floss in the morning or at night. The important thing is that it gets done. If you find you are too rushed to remember to brush your teeth in the morning, then it may be best to set it to your evening brushing routine. Or, if you find yourself too tired in the evening to spend time flossing, then you may want to brush in the morning, or set aside some time at the lunch hour.

If you have any questions about flossing, or are ready to schedule your next appointment with your dentist at Premier Smile, then call today.

Cold/Flu Season and Dental Health

January 7th, 2019

Illness can wreak both mental and physical havoc on the body. And while the common cold and the flu bring the most noticeable symptoms to various parts of the circulatory system, it can also have a negative impact on our dental health.

Good hygiene is absolutely important when you have a cold or the flu. Did you know that the flu virus can survive for seventy-two hours? That means that your toothbrush is contagious with the virus even after you’ve gotten over it. So, don’t share your toothbrush with anyone during the cold and flu season (Although it’s best to keep to this rule year round). It’s probably important also to throw out the toothbrush once you begin to feel better. It can be hard to get rid of a toothbrush early, but you don’t want recontamination, nor do you want to spread it to anyone else with whom you share bathroom space. But it’s not all bad with your toothbrush. While you are sick the act of brushing your teeth can leave you with a reinvigorated feeling; it improves your outlook. Remember to keep to a schedule of brushing at least twice daily and flossing once.

One common symptom of illness is dehydration and dry mouth. You may experience dry mouth because of dehydration or even as an unfortunate side effect of certain medication—antihistamines, for example, are notorious for causing dry mouth. You want to drink lots of fluids while you are sick. Dry mouth can leave the teeth susceptible to a cavity. And choose the right fluids when you’re sick. Yes, sports drinks are a good balance in the body when you’re sick, and oftentimes are used to replenish the electrolyte storage in the body, but you’ll want to drink them in moderation, and remember to brush your teeth soon after consuming them.

Hopefully you remain healthy, cold-and-flu-free, this winter season, but if you don’t then remember to take care of yourself. The winter months are also a terrific time to come in and see your dentist at Premier Smile for a checkup.

Links Between Diabetes and Dental Health

December 9th, 2018

Diabetes is a difficult disease for the entire body; it takes a toll on everything, including dental health. Diabetes, like other types of systemic disease, can increase the risk of dental disease. Practicing quality dental health is a necessary component to both quality oral health as well as disease management. Diabetes can be responsible for tooth loss—according to the American Dental Association, diabetes can be responsible for total tooth loss—but when quality dental health is put at a premium, including routine cleaning both at home and at the dentist’s office at Premier Smile, the risk of total tooth loss and other dental disease is lessened.

First Signs of Gum Disease?

Bleeding gums is a likely symptom of disease. Gums that bleed when you brush or floss could be a sign of gum disease. Thankfully, however, it doesn’t mean that the symptoms cannot be reversed. In its earlies stages, gum disease is treatable with quality oral care—twice daily quality brushings, and flossing once—and through dietary restriction. Limiting sugar in a diet, etc. When a person has diabetes, fluctuating blood sugars can increase the likelihood of gum disease.

Dry Mouth and Infection

Diabetes can cause symptoms of dry mouth. And saliva is responsible for clearing away sugar and other food debris from the teeth. Infection is a common condition among people with diabetes because diabetes decreases the immune system. A condition called thrush, which is a type of yeast infection within the mouth, a white, patchy covering. The yeast in the mouth feed on the sugars, and, thriving, can unfortunately leave a person suffering the condition with a persistent bad taste. Infections may also be as simple as a common mouth sore. When a person has a compromised immune system his or her body has a difficult time healing cuts and sores, etc. And a sore in the mouth, however simple, may not heal for a long time.

If you have any questions about the complications of diabetes and dental health, or if you are ready to schedule your next appointment with your dentist at Premier Smile, then call today.

Holiday Candy Season… Survival Guide

November 8th, 2018

Halloween has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the candy season. There are plenty of opportunities to imbibe sweets—both of the candy and pastry/cookie variety—throughout the next few months. And while those sweets are delicious and fun, there are many reasons to either consume in moderation or, in some cases, avoid some sweets entirely. Here’s why…

Sugar is an enemy to teeth, but it’s not the sugar, it’s the bacteria which feed on the sugar. The bacteria in your mouth love sugar, probably even more than you do, and as bacteria consume sugar they produce a weak acid that harms teeth. That acid is the cause of cavities.

If You’re Gonna Eat Candy Then Eat…

Chocolate! In moderation chocolate is one of the better types of candy for your teeth (there is absolutely NO candy that is actually good for your teeth). The reason? Because chocolate washes from the teeth. Some types of candies form a film or remain sticky, but chocolate can be washed away by saliva and water. But that isn’t to say that there is no damage done: the bacteria are still provided sugar and the teeth should be cleaned. And if you’re going to eat chocolate, then know that most brands of non-milk chocolate are lower in overall sugar than milk chocolate.

Sticky and Gummy (Candy, Carmel Apples, and the Like).

Try to stay away from sweet treats that are sticky or gummy. These types of sweets are more difficult to remove–some hardier-types can hide between the teeth even after a vigorous brushing (for instance, if you are going to consume popcorn balls you should floss immediately because some of the kernels can become tightly wedged between the teeth)—and the long length of time it takes to dissolve or remove the sugar from the mouth gives the bacteria more time to consume the sugars and produce harmful acids.

Have a wonderful start to the holiday season, and enjoy the sweet treats, but remember to enjoy them in moderation, and to clean your teeth whenever possible.

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