Brushing and flossing are the two main pillars of good oral care. When you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once daily, you get rid of leftover food particles and plaque in your mouth that can cause cavities, bad breath and other dental problems.
But no matter how consistent you are with your brushing and flossing schedule, you won’t be able to remove all the food debris and plaque if you don’t go through the motions properly. Flossing, in particular, has to be done correctly since this practice ensures that the hard-to-brush areas in your mouth (in-between the teeth and gum line) remain clean and debris-free.
If you want to know how to floss correctly, below is a simple step-by-step guide:
- Get a piece of floss about 18 to 20 inches long or about the length between the tips of your fingers and your elbow. Wrap the floss around your index and middle fingers on both hands, leaving about one or two inches between your hands to work with.
- Gently slide the floss in between two teeth. Wrap it around one of the teeth into a ‘C’ shape around the base and carefully slide it under the gum line. Using the floss, wipe the tooth two to three times from base to tip.
- While flossing, do not snap or force the floss since this may cut or bruise delicate gum tissue.
- Make sure you floss all the sides of each tooth. Always use a clean section of the floss for each tooth to avoid spreading debris and bacteria around your mouth.
- Remove the floss by using the same back-and-forth motion to bring the floss up and away from your teeth.
A dentist in Sterling Heights, MI adds some additional tips below for better, more effective flossing:
- As much as possible, floss in the evening, before going to sleep, so that the plaque between your teeth does not have all night to fester and spread.
- It is best to brush your teeth after flossing. This is because brushing after flossing helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
- Do not focus on removing any food stuck between your teeth only. To reap all the benefits of flossing, you have to remove plaque from your teeth as well. This means scraping the tooth’s surface up and down two or three times, moving gently below the gum line and on both sides of each tooth.
- Although you need to floss gently, you still need to put sufficient pressure to remove plaque. You can do this by pressing firmly against the tooth while moving gently and slowly when guiding the floss under the gum line.
When you floss properly, you’ll always have cleaner, healthier teeth. As such, take the time to learn the correct steps. Also, ask your dentist for additional advice and tips to be sure you will gain the health benefits this oral hygiene practice has to offer.
Cavities are some of the most common dental problems that can affect people of all ages. Cavities, also known as dental caries, are permanently damaged areas in the teeth that develop into tiny holes. If not treated immediately and properly, dental caries can cause serious tooth pain and other dental issues. It can also lead to more expensive and time-consuming dental treatments.
Since everyone is prone to getting dental caries, it can be useful to know some important ca. Here are some facts worth knowing about cavities:
Cavities develop when acids attack your teeth.
When you consume foods and beverages high in sugar and starch, the acids eat the minerals from your teeth. Once the tooth loses too many natural minerals, the enamel becomes damaged and a cavity will develop.
The development of cavities is made up of four stages.
A Sterling Heights dentist says that the initial stage refers to plaque formation. This is the phase wherein acid and bacteria from the foods you eat will eventually form plaque.
Under the First Stage, plaque and acids gradually wear away at your tooth enamel and start to create tiny holes in the protective covering of your teeth. With good oral hygiene, the tooth may be able to repair itself. If not, you will need a filling.
During the Second Stage, more of the enamel will be affected. The bacteria and acid will begin to attack the dentin as well. At this point, the dental caries are already painful and you certainly need to get a filling.
During the Third Stage, if you still did not get a filling, the bacteria and plaque will continue to compromise the layers of your teeth, eventually reaching the pulp. If the pulp becomes infected, you could face many problems including severe toothaches, tooth sensitivity, abscesses, and even bone loss. Extraction and root canal therapy are just the two recommended treatments.
A well-balanced diet can help prevent cavities.
When you avoid sweets, especially in beverages like sodas and juices, you prevent an acid attack that causes cavities. Limit snacking since eating constantly prevents your saliva from naturally re-mineralizing teeth. If you need to munch on something, opt for fresh fruits and veggies. Eat more cheese as well since the pH balance in this dairy product can neutralize acids and help keep your teeth strong.
Fluoride can prevent dental caries.
Fluoride is a mineral that can prevent tooth decay from progressing. It protects your teeth by preventing mineral loss in tooth enamel. It also replaces lost minerals and reduces the ability of bacteria to make acid in your mouth.
Good oral hygiene can also keep cavities at bay.
Brush twice a day using fluoride toothpaste and floss before brushing your teeth. Make sure that you brush for at least two minutes and that you floss properly to get rid of plaque that can develop into dental caries.
September is the National Gum Care Month!
Now is the time to educate yourself about the early signs of gum disease and review the different habits that can help keep your mouth clean and healthy.
Early Signs of Gum Disease
- Gums are swollen and red in certain places
- Gums bleed easily when brushing
- Gums feel tender
- Gums have begun to pull away from the edges of the teeth
Gingivitis is initially painless. It takes time to develop into a noticeable problem. You can prevent gum disease with basic and simple oral hygiene measures.
5 Ways to Prevent Gum Disease
1. Brush at least twice a day
The sticky plaque will build up on your teeth continuously. If it is left there for hours, it will develop into tartar. Both plaque and tartar can contribute to gum disease.
2. Don’t forget to floss
Floss every day. Although brushing can prevent plaque from building up on your teeth, flossing will keep the area below the gum line clean and healthy.
You can use a water irrigator or a dental water jet. This is a device that can shoot streams of water between your teeth in order to completely remove bacteria and plaque.
3. Use mouthwash
Mouthwash should not be a substitute for brushing and flossing. However, if this is used along with other healthy oral care habits, it can eliminate bacteria. Also, it can keep your breath fresh and your teeth strong.
4. Eat nutritious meals
A healthy and balanced diet that is rich in nutrients and vitamins but low in sugar will boost your immune system. Also, this will help your body fight against harmful bacteria, infection, and inflammation. Eat greens to keep your teeth white.
5. Visit your dentist regularly
You must see your dentist twice a year for a good cleaning. During your visit, your dentist will also assess the health of your gums and teeth. If you are experiencing any problems, he will refer you to a reputable periodontist.
Early prevention and treatment of gum disease are crucial. When left unchecked and untreated, it can destroy your gums, teeth, connective tissues, and bones. Most importantly, this can greatly contribute to various health problems. So make sure to keep all of these activities as part of your day-to-day oral care regimen to keep gum diseases at bay.
If you are concerned about your oral health, schedule an appointment with a reputable Sterling Heights dentist now.
Does the Type Of dental Floss I use Matter?
Even when you brush your teeth thoroughly, it is impossible to reach the food debris and plaque under the gum line between your teeth. So each time you brush, you must use dental floss. This will make your teeth cleaner. Also, it will stimulate the gums, prevent plaque build-up, polish tooth surfaces, and reduce gum bleeding. Most importantly, flossing will prevent gum disease.
But does type of floss matter? Based on various studies, it does not matter. Some are just preferred over the others depending on the user’s dental condition or preference. Some have a fluoride coating to prevent dental caries; however, its efficacy hasn’t been proven.
5 Types of Dental Floss
Tape or Ribbon Floss
This is wide, thin and smooth. Most people use this because it easily slips through the teeth. Also, it doesn’t shred. However, because it is very smooth, it doesn’t completely remove plaque. And when it is pushed too hard, it can cut into the gum.
1. Waxed Floss
This is made up of fibers and comes in various sizes, colors, and flavors. It can shred if pushed between the teeth. Easing the floss back and forth between the teeth is the trick to reduce shredding instead of popping it through. This is slightly tacky, allowing the floss to grab food debris and plaque between the teeth.
2. Unwaxed Floss
This is harder to get between the teeth as compared to waxed floss. Some prefer using unwaxed floss because it doesn’t leave a wax residue on the teeth. Some people believe that this residue collects plaque faster. When using this type of floss, be careful when getting it through your teeth. Snapping it down rapidly can injure your gums.
3. Woven Floss
This is made of white and blue yarn-like strands woven together. It may appear bulky, but it can be stretched into a thin string if placed in between the teeth. This type of floss is gentle on gums and easy to grip. Also, it absorbs plaque. However, it tends to shred easier than other floss types. Those with rough crowns, tight teeth, and jagged restorations have trouble using it.
4. Water Flosser
This is a device that shoots streams of water to remove food particles, plaque, and bacteria. This is more comfortable, effective and easier than traditional string floss. It has a pulsating action that can stimulate gum tissue for additional health benefits. This is beneficial for cleaning orthodontics like braces. This is also the best option for those with dexterity problems.
Choosing the right floss is not easy. A reputable Sterling Heights dentist can guide you through the process. As conditions change in your mouth, you might need to change the type of floss you use.
Dental Care Over 50: Common Dental Problems And Tips For Avoiding Them
Prioritizing good oral hygiene is something that you should never stop doing, regardless of your age. Whether you still have a complete set of teeth or most of them are artificial, proper oral care is still important to retain the good health of your teeth and to avoid possible dental problems.
Top Dental Issues for People Over 50 and How to Avoid Them
Dental care over 50 is pretty much the same as with any age; practicing good oral hygiene and paying regular visits to your dentist are crucial. However, once you reach the age of 50, you have to be wary of these usual dental problems:
If you’re over 50, you can get dental caries and decay on the surfaces of your teeth that have never been a problem before. They can also develop around old fillings, crowns, and bridgework, and at the root of your tooth. This is because as you age, the root of your tooth becomes softer and more exposed.
To minimize or avoid tooth decay, you can try fluoride gels or toothpaste and rinses. You would also do well to start having a well-balanced, mineral-rich diet and getting plenty of vitamin D. Your dentist can also prescribe specialized dental gels or varnishes that you can apply to your roots and teeth to prevent the start of tooth decay.
Dry mouth or Xerostomia
The normal process of aging slows down the production of saliva in the mouth. Certain medications, smoking, and other health problems can further expedite this condition. Saliva contains the minerals calcium and phosphate which prevent demineralization in the teeth and thwart the growth of cavities. If you have dry mouth, you are more at risk of developing tooth decay.
Common symptoms of dry mouth include difficulties swallowing, a sticky feeling in your mouth, dry throat, and having dry, cracked lips.
If you have dry mouth, you have to stimulate saliva production. This means staying fully hydrated by sipping water all day. Chewing sugar-free xylitol gum can also help. You can also ask your dentist to prescribe a saliva substitute or recommend an over-the-counter formulation that can help you get the saliva and moisture flowing again.
As you get older, your risk for gum disease becomes higher, especially if you smoke, have poor dental hygiene habits, crowded teeth, and dry mouth. If you already have gingivitis (an early form of gum disease) and you leave this issue untreated, it can progress into periodontitis. Periodontitis is a serious dental problem wherein the gum pulls away from the tooth and creates pockets which can become infected. Serious cases of this dental condition can also cause the loss of bones in the jaw and teeth loss, even of healthy ones, since your teeth get so loose they simply fall out.
Regular visits to your dentist can help prevent the start of gum diseases. It is important that your dentist checks your gums at least twice a year to look for signs of infections or inflammations and provide treatment as early as possible.
People over 50 also have to be wary of oral cancer and tooth crowding. A Sterling Heights dentist will be able to diagnose various dental problems early before they can become serious and educate you about taking better care of your teeth.
When choosing a Sterling Heights family dentist, it is crucial to find one that has adequate training and experience to meet all the varying needs of the whole family. With a good dentist, each trip to the dental office can be a fun, positive experience. And this translates to well-informed parents and children who are driven to care for their teeth and mouth.
What to Look for in a Good Family Dentist
One of the crucial qualifications to look for in a family dentist is the level of education and training. Although all dentists went to school to be licensed, there are programs and continuing education classes for additional training in specific techniques. Check if the family dentist is committed to being constantly updated on the latest advancements and innovations in dental care. Most importantly, ask if he is a member of reputable professional dental organizations.
A dependable dentist has accumulated years of experience in doing various types of dental procedures, guaranteeing the best results for his patients. Ask which procedures are often done on patients in that dental office. Opt for a dentist that is knowledgeable and skilled in performing the services you and your family needs.
3. Good Ambiance
Visit the dental office prior to finally deciding which family dentist to work with. Dental offices offer a different atmosphere. The whole family must feel at ease and comfortable whenever you come for dental checkups or treatments. The dental staff must work well with children. And most importantly, they must be capable of explaining dental health concerns and procedures in simpler terms.
Apart from offering the general dental services, a good dentist offers additional services like restorative dentistry, orthodontics, cosmetic dentistry, and sedation dentistry.
5. Dental Insurance
When selecting a family dentist, make sure that he can cooperate with your dental insurance. This is usually a deal-breaker for most families since budget is a crucial factor. Opting for a dental office that honors your family’s insurance policy will help you save on dental bills.
Apart from experience, rapport, and knowledge, you must also look for a dental office that’s practical. As much as possible, choose one that is close to your home. Also, inquire about financing options, most especially for the services that are not covered by your insurance.
It is not easy to find a new dentist in Sterling Heights, MI. You would not want to work with someone you are not comfortable with, so look for the above-mentioned criteria and take your time in making a final decision.
Getting Rid of Tartar on Your Teeth
Everyone knows that brushing and flossing their teeth is crucial in keeping their mouth and gums healthy, but most of them still ask their dentist for some tips for getting rid of tartar on my teeth.
How Tartar Is Formed
Even when you take good care of your teeth, your mouth will still have plenty of bacteria, mixing with food byproducts and proteins to form dental plaque. Dental plaque, on the other hand, will coat your teeth, stick to fillings, or get under your gum line, thus damaging your tooth enamel and leading to cavities. And if the plaque will stay on your teeth, it will harden into tartar.
As such, by regularly removing dental plaque, permanent tooth decay and severe gum disease can be prevented.
Otherwise known as calculus, tartar often forms below and above the gum line. It is porous and rough. It must be removed using special tools to prevent any mouth and gum diseases.
How Tartar Affects Teeth and Gums
When tartar forms above the gum line, the bacteria in it will irritate as well as damage your gums. Eventually, this can lead to progressive gum disease.
Gingivitis is a form of gum disease that can be stopped and reversed when you properly brush, floss, use an antibacterial mouthwash, and obtain regular cleanings from your trusted dentist. Otherwise, it can become worse and get infected by bacteria, leading to periodontitis. Progressive gum disease may even lead to health problems like heart disease.
Some Tips for Controlling Tartar Build-up
If you are looking for ways to get rid of tartar on your teeth and gums, a reputable dentist in Sterling Heights shares some tips:
1. Regularly brush your teeth – You must brush at least twice a day for 2 minutes. Plaque can’t be totally removed if you just brush for 30-seconds. As much as possible, you must also opt for a toothbrush that has soft bristles. Moreover, be sure to brush also the hard-to-reach surfaces.
2. Use electronic toothbrushes – There were studies showing that electronic toothbrushes are more efficient at removing plaque than the manual models.
3. Opt for toothpaste with fluoride – Fluoride helps repair enamel damages. Some products even have a substance that can fight the bacteria in plaque.
4. Floss and rinse – Aside from brushing your teeth, you need to floss as well because this is the only way for you to successfully remove plaque in between your teeth. Also, this will prevent the build-up of tartar in hard-to-reach areas. After that, use an antibacterial or antiseptic mouthwash to help kill the plaque-causing bacteria.
Visiting the dentist once or twice a year will help detect and prevent tartar build-up. If tartar has formed already, then your dental professional will make use of special tools to remove any tartar and plaque that could cause further oral issues.
Qualities to Look for When Choosing the Right Dentist for Your Family
Choosing service providers for your family should be done right. This is the very reason why it’s imperative to create standards; your standards will guide you to the professionals that would really work well with your family.
If you’re choosing the right dentist for your family, listed below are the important qualities you should look for.
1. He has a good reputation
You want a dentist who’s highly recommended. If others have had a positive experience with a dentist, that only means he/she gave good service and displayed knowledge and expertise that met the expectations of discriminating clients.
2. He is easily accessible
A dentist with an office near your home will make regular dental care convenient for your family. In this very busy world, this will serve as a big advantage to you, especially if you have young children that you still need to accompany to the dentist’s office for their appointments.
3. He has a clean and well-equipped office
The right “environment” for dental care is a must. A dentist’s office is a reflection of his commitment to proper practice, and to providing a pleasant experience to all his clients. It’s also worth noting that when a dentist’s office is equipped with the latest technology, it is a good indication that the health care professional continues to learn in order to elevate his practice and serve his clients better, says a Sterling Heights dentist.
4. He is friendly
It always helps to have a dentist who is approachable and congenial, especially if you have kids. You want your children to automatically feel safe and comfortable whenever they go to the dentist so it won’t be too much trouble getting them ready for future appointments. A dentist in Sterling Heights also points out that it’s just so much easier to get better service from friendly dentists because you feel comfortable expressing your concerns and asking them questions.
5. He is available
You want a dentist whose work hours are convenient to you, especially if you’re a very busy person and you can just barely squeeze in dentist appointments between work and other responsibilities. It’s difficult to work with a dentist who only comes in the afternoon or in the morning because you’ll really have to find time to honor your appointment. It’ll be less stressful if you can request an appointment based on your personal schedule.
6. He is a member of important dental organizations.
Finally, this indicates a dentist’s adherence to strict policies that ensure good quality service for all. If you’re in need of a great dentist, contact our sterling heights dental team today!
How To Get Rid Of Gap In Your Front Teeth Without The Pain
Although having gaps in your front teeth doesn’t cause you any discomfort, it can still be a pain to smile all the time. After all, it is normal to feel embarrassed about your smile if you have a gap between your front teeth; it is a dental flaw that can be easily seen by others.
Braces are the most well-known and recommended dental solution for fixing teeth gaps. However, in recent years, other treatments have come up and they have been proven effective in fixing this dental issue. Best of all, some of them are pain-free or come with minimal discomfort, at the very least.
If you want to know how to get rid of a gap in your front teeth painlessly, here are some of the recommended dental treatments:
Also known as tooth bonding, under this dental procedure, the front teeth which will be bonded will be roughened slightly, and then composite will be placed, shaped, and colored by the cosmetic dentist. This procedure can be typically completed within an hour or so and offers minimal discomfort to the patient since there is no need to shape or grind any natural teeth. When done and shaped properly, it will look natural and help maintain and improve your oral health.
When the gap is significant but cosmetic in nature (such as front teeth gaps), porcelain veneers are an ideal solution. These are thin tooth-colored shells made of porcelain that are applied to the front portions of a tooth. Once in place, the veneer will be able to build out a little tooth structure and effectively mask the aesthetic imperfection from view.
Retainers are often worn by patients after their braces have been removed. However, a dentist in Sterling Heights shares that there is a relatively new type of retainer which is clear or invisible, called Invisalign. Clear aligner-type trays are customized and made of thin, transparent plastic that fit over your teeth to slowly move or align them into their correct position. They are removable, which means you can take them off when eating. The clear retainer, though, will have to be replaced often as teeth are being corrected and, as such, can be a costly option.
Teeth gap bands.
If you need to have two small gaps fixed in front of your teeth, teeth band gaps can be a good option. You simply slip the teeth band gap around the tooth gap and wear it while you sleep. When you do this without fail, you will start to notice the gap close after several nights. However, you will still have to keep wearing the bands as needed in order to keep the gap closed. The bands will work best if the gap in your teeth is not wider than 3.5 mm and the rest of your teeth are relatively straight. You also need to consult your dentist first and find out if the treatment will work and is safe for you.
There are several dental treatments you can choose from to get rid of a front teeth gap. Work with your dentist to find out which can be the best one that will fix the issue and, at the same time, suit your lifestyle and preference.