Sunday, July 26, 2015

Top Excuses for Not Flossing & How to Conquer Them

When it comes to your health, flossing your teeth is more important than brushing. So, why do so many of us find reasons not to do it? Dentists say there are simple answers for all our excuses.
Excuse No. 1: Food never gets stuck in my teeth.
You don’t floss so much to remove food from the teeth. You do it to get rid of plaque, the bacterial film that forms between teeth and along your gum line. Doing so daily preventsgum disease and tooth loss. Everyone gets plaque, and it can only be removed by flossing or a deep cleaning from your dentist.
Excuse No. 2: I don’t know how to floss.
Flossing is “the most difficult personal grooming activity there is,” says Samuel B. Low, DDS, a professor at the University of Florida and past president of the American Academy of Periodontology. But it’s one of the most important to learn.
The American Dental Association gives these tips for flossing right:
  • Use 18 inches of floss. Wrap most of it around the middle finger of one hand, the rest around your other middle finger.
  • Grasp the string tightly between your thumb and forefinger, and use a rubbing motion to guide it between teeth.
  • When the floss reaches the gum line, form a C to follow the shape of the tooth.
  • Hold the strand firmly against the tooth, and move it gently up and down.
  • Repeat with the other tooth, and then repeat the entire process with the rest of your teeth.
  • Use fresh sections of floss as you go.
Don’t forget the back of your last molars. “By far, most gum disease and most decay occurs in the back teeth,” Low says.
Excuse No. 3: I’m not coordinated enough to floss.
If you have trouble reaching the back of your mouth, ask your dentist about using one of these tools:
  • plastic, disposable, Y-shaped flossers that allow for extra reach
  • small, round brushes
  • pointed, rubber tips
  • wooden or plastic pics (called interdental cleaners)
A child will need your help to floss until he’s about 11 years old. Kids should start to floss as soon as they have two teeth that touch.
Excuse No. 4: I don’t have time to floss.
Find a time of day that works for you. You should floss at least once a day. Two times is best.
Make it a part of your routine, morning and night. If you find that you forget, store your floss with your toothbrush and toothpaste as a reminder.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to do it in front of your bathroom mirror. Keep some floss in your car to use while you’re in traffic. Stash some in your desk and use it after lunch. The key is to fit in flossing when it works for you.
Excuse No. 5: It hurts when I floss.
If your gums bleed or hurt, you may have gingivitis or gum disease. That’s an even bigger reason to floss.
“Flossing should not be a painful experience, but stopping flossing because of bleeding (or pain) is just the opposite of what you should be doing,” says Mark S. Wolff, DDS, PhD. He's chairman of the department of cardiology and preventive medicine at New York University School of Dentistry.
If you brush and floss daily, the bleeding and pain should stop in less than 2 weeks. If it doesn’t, see your dentist.
Excuse No. 6: I’m pregnant.
It may be hard to floss if you’re tired or nauseated. But it’s important to keep up with youroral health routine. Pregnancy can cause a wide range of dental issues, from gum disease to enamel wear.
Excuse No. 7: My teeth are too close together.
Try waxed or glide floss for an easier fit. If you have recessed gums, varied gaps between teeth, or braces, you can also try a threader or loop to find an easier entry point. If your floss shreds, you may have a cavity or a problem with dental work, like a broken crown or loose filling. Tell your dentist to take a look.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The 5-Step Tooth-Plaque Prevention Plan

Have you ever run your tongue along the front of your teeth and felt a slimy coating? That “fuzzy-toothed” feeling is the buildup of bacteria.
It’s called plaque, and if you let it stick around for too long, it can damage your teeth and gums.
What can you do to stop plaque in its tracks? We've got answers for you.

Step 1: Brush Every Day

Once a day is good, but the American Dental Association (ADA) says to brush twice a day. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste.
“Brushing twice daily prevents plaque from forming in the first place and disrupts any plaque that has already started to form and mature,” says JoAnn R. Gurenlian, PhD. She's a professor in the department of dental hygiene at Idaho State University.
Make sure you get to all the areas of your mouth with your toothbrush, including teeth, gums, tongue, and the insides of your cheeks. In general, the process should take about 2 minutes.

Step 2: Clean Between Your Teeth

There may not be much of a fun factor to flossing, but cleaning between your teeth every day can have a crucial impact on your oral health.
If you have a tough time reaching certain parts of your mouth to floss, ask your dentist about interdental brushes, floss aides, or water- or air-flossing devices.

Step 3: Use a Mouth Rinse

Know your terms: mouth rinse and mouthwash are two different things. “Mouthwash is used to freshen breath,” Gurenlian says. “An antiseptic mouth rinse, however, actually helps reduce the bacterial load found in plaque.”
Using mouth rinse prevents plaque buildup more than just brushing and flossing alone. Gurenlian suggests a 30-second swish twice each day as part of your tooth-cleaning routine.

Step 4: Avoid Sticky, Sugary Food

The hardest foods to remove from your teeth are the ones that cling when you chew. Think raisins, granola bars, or sticky candy. Sugary and starchy foods are some of the most harmful to teeth, too.
“If sugar is not removed from your teeth shortly after you eat it, plaque uses it to help create tooth decay,” Gurenlian says. The faster you can get food off your teeth, the less likely you are to get cavities.

Step 5: Go to the Dentist

It’s key to have someone who knows teeth keep tabs on yours. See your dentist and dental hygienist on a regular basis, so they can look for signs of disease.
How often you have to go will depend in part on how well you care for your teeth. Most people have to visit only twice a year.

Monday, July 6, 2015

An apple a day may keep the dentist away

An apple a day
Dietary habits of school children encourage an increase in sugar intake leading to a greater risk of cavities, reports the Academy of General Dentistry.
Over a 15-month period, researchers tracked the dietary habits and monitored the teeth of preschool children before and after the start of school. Results show that decayed, missing or filled teeth and initial cavities of the children jumped from 9.7 (at age five) to 15.3 cavities (at age six), an increase of 5.6 cavities within one year. Over the length of the study, the percentage of cavity-free school children dropped from 23 to 19 percent.
The easiest way parents can help children prevent tooth decay and cavities at school is to monitor their eating habits. For example, parents can offer their children healthy snack alternati ves such as apples, bite-size carrots or other foods that are naturally sweet, and instruct children to avoid candies, chocolate, caramels, soda, chocolate milk and other foods that contain refined sugar. Cavity-causing organisms feed on sugar and turn it into acid, which attacks tooth enamel and causes tooth decay. Sticky, chewy candy especially can linger on teeth throughout the day. If children do happen to eat sugary snacks at lunch, they should brush and rinse with water or eat a piece of fruit to help clean teeth surfaces and gums.
Also, parents should find out what their child's school lunch program offers. If programs do not offer healthy alternatives, talk to the school about incorporating healthy lunches or snacks.
Finally, parents should consider professionally-applied sealants as another way to protect children's teeth from cavities. Sealants, a thin coating of bonding material applied over a tooth, act as a barrier to cavity-causing bacteria. They can be put on as soon as the child's first permanent molars (back teeth) appear.

1-877-Dr Teeth - (360) 740-6212
Town Center Dental
3 Locations - Chehalis, Wa -- Rochester, Wa -- Rainier, Or

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Habits That Wreck Your Teeth

Opening Stuff With Your Teeth

Teeth are meant for eating, speaking properly, and smiling. Anything else can be unhealthy and this most certainly includes using them as tools. Despite the convenience, opening potato chip bags, bobby pins, or even bottle caps with teeth can cause teeth to chip or fracture. Reach for the proper tools for such tasks to save your teeth from unnecessary damage.
A woman biting a medicine packet open.


1-877-Dr Teeth(360) 740-6212
Town Center Dental
3 Locations - Chehalis, Wa -- Rochester, Wa -- Rainier, Or

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Habits That Wreck Your Teeth

Gummy Candy

Any candy is considered bad for your teeth, but the chewy, sticky kind is particularly harmful. The sticky nature of gummy candy, caramels, or jelly beans allows for them to get stuck in the crevices between or on the teeth and saliva is unable to wash it away. At a minimum, good tooth brushing and flossing after consuming these goodies can help, or just opt for sugar-free alternatives.
A close-up of gummy bear candy.


1-877-Dr Teeth(360) 740-6212
Town Center Dental
3 Locations - Chehalis, Wa -- Rochester, Wa -- Rainier, Or

Monday, May 18, 2015

Tobacco and Dental Health

Tobacco and Dental Health

How Does Smoking Lead to Gum Disease?

Smoking and other tobacco products can lead to gum disease by affecting the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth. More specifically, it appears that smoking interferes with the normal function of gum tissue cells. This interference makes smokers more susceptible to infections, such as periodontal disease, and also seems to impair blood flow to the gums - which may affect wound healing.

Do Pipe and Cigar Smoking Cause Dental Problems?

Yes, like cigarettes, pipes and cigars do lead to oral health problems. According to results of a 23-year long study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, cigar smokers experience tooth loss and alveolar bone loss (bone loss within the jawbone that anchors teeth) at rates equivalent to those of cigarette smokers. Pipe smokers also have a similar risk of tooth loss as cigarette smokers. Beyond these risks, pipe and cigar smokers are still at risk for oral and pharyngeal (throat) cancers -- even if they don't inhale -- and other oral consequences -- bad breath, stained teeth, and increased risk of periodontal (gum) disease.

Are Smokeless Tobacco Products Safer?

No. Like cigars and cigarettes, smokeless tobacco products (for example, snuff and chewing tobacco) contain at least 28 chemicals that have been shown to increase the risk of oral cancer and cancer of the throat and esophagus. In fact, chewing tobacco contains higher levels of nicotine than cigarettes, making it harder to quit than cigarettes. And one can of snuff delivers more nicotine than over 60 cigarettes.
Smokeless tobacco can irritate your gum tissue, causing it to recede or pull away from your teeth. Once the gum tissue recedes, your teeth roots become exposed, creating an increased risk of tooth decay. Exposed roots are also more sensitive to hot and cold or other irritants, making eating and drinking uncomfortable.
In addition, sugars, which are often added to enhance the flavor of smokeless tobacco, can increase your risk for tooth decay. A study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association showed that chewing tobacco users were four times more likely than nonusers to develop tooth decay.

Smokeless tobacco also typically contains sand and grit, which can wear down your teeth. 

1-877-Dr Teeth(360) 740-6212
Town Center Dental
3 Locations - Chehalis, Wa -- Rochester, Wa -- Rainier, Or

Friday, May 1, 2015

Habits That Wreck Your Teeth

Cough Drops

Although they are meant for medicinal purposes, cough drops have a high sugar content. Sucking on cough drops all day to soothe the throat also bathes your teeth in sugar. Dental plaque (which contains bacteria) increases in the mouth creating a higher incidence of decay and gum disease. A good alternative is to opt for cough drops that are sugar-free.
A variety of cough drops.


1-877-Dr Teeth - (360) 740-6212
Town Center Dental
3 Locations - Chehalis, Wa -- Rochester, Wa -- Rainier, Or