Why, When, What Type, and How to Floss

Did you know that by simply brushing, you’re only getting 50% of the job done? That’s because when you brush the bristles can only reach 60% of your tooth’s surface. That means 20% between your teeth is a hot spot for bacteria that causes cavities and gum disease. When you don’t floss it gives the bacteria longer to build up and bind with your teeth creating a firm sticky substance known as plaque. Flossing, however, removes those food particles before they can harden into tartar, also known as calculus, which cannot be removed by regular flossing. After the tartar begins to build up it will take over the surface of the tooth under the gum line. Once there, tartar causes inflammation and irritation that leads to the development of gum disease.

When to Floss

Now that we know why we should floss; do you know why only 4 in 10 Americans floss every day? The largest percent says that it’s too time-consuming but once you get the hang of it, flossing takes just a couple minutes. Since we only floss once a day, it’s recommended to do it before you brush. When you floss after brushing all the loose plaque and bacteria floats around your mouth, giving it the chance to reattach to the tooth’s surface. So, at the very least, rinse your mouth.

How to Floss

We’ve got the basics down, why it’s important to floss, and when we should floss. Can you guess what’s next? That’s right, the correct way to floss. If you are flossing every day and still see a lot of plaque buildup, chances are you’re missing some crevices. When you floss incorrectly it can cause bleeding and damage to your gums and any surrounding dental work. Now before we get into the proper ways to floss, we really need to go over the different types of floss and what they are used for.

Types of Floss

  • Floss can come waxed or unwaxed and everyone can use it! It’s great to get those food particles in tight spaces. Typically, it comes rolled up in a small plastic box. Which makes flossing on the go much easier! Body (1).png
  • Dental Tape: This is similar to regular floss where it comes in either waxed or unwaxed. However, dental tape is much wider than floss and can clean more surface. If you have bigger hands or more space between your teeth, it’s recommended to use this.
  • Floss Picks: Are small plastic flossing sticks that are somewhat shaped like a candy cane. Used in the same way regular floss is, floss picks make it easier for people with less dexterity and they are great for kids!
  • Floss Threader: This is a firm stick with a loop at the end. It is used to thread the Body (2).pngfloss through dental appliances, which can make some teeth hard to reach. Typically, floss threaders are used with braces or bridges.
  • Interdental Brush: This is a pick with wired or non-wired bristles at the tip. These can be used for regular flossing; however, they are also useful in cleaning dental implants and braces.
  • Superfloss: Has a floss threader at one end, regular floss in the middle, and a soft spongy floss at the other end. The thread is used to pull the floss between an appliance then the regular floss is used on the adjacent tooth. The spongy floss is then used to clean around an implant-supported bridge or under a normal bridge.
  • Wooden Plaque Remover: Looks a lot like a toothpick but it has a tapered end with a triangular shape. Set the tapered end in your mouth for a few seconds to soften it. Then place the softened side between your teeth with the flat side on your gums. This is to stimulate blood flow which helps fight gum disease. Gently move the pick in and out to break up any food particles and disturb any forming plaque. This can be used by anyone and is preferable for flossing on the go.
  • Water Flosser: The water flosser is a different type of device known as an oral irrigator. Instead of manually scraping the plaque off, the water pressure does it for you! If you have braces it’s an easy way to make sure you are fully cleaning those pearly whites, however, anyone can use a water flosser.

How Really to Floss

  • Flossing: Pull 18-20 in of floss from the container, then loosely wrap it around both middle fingers. Make sure to leave at least 1-2 in of floss in the middle. Hold the floss taut with your thumb and index fingers and glide it gently up and down the side of your teeth. When you get to the gum line form a C-shape and slide the floss down. Finally, remove the floss and continue with the same method on the rest of your teeth.
  • Flossing with Braces: It’s recommended that you use waxed floss to avoid getting strands stuck in the brackets. Pull 18-24 in of waxed floss out of the container, thread it through the floss threader and carefully pull it through the wire; then continue to floss as normal. You can also use interdental brushes by pushing the bristles in an out 2-3 times for every tooth.
  • Flossing Dental Implants: Since implants can’t decay the plaque will still stick which can cause swelling and implant failure known as Peri-implantitis. This means it is still vital to floss around your implant. Use a non-wired interdental brush to avoid scratching the titanium or porcelain. Gently push it in and out 2-3 times, then continue to floss the rest of your teeth.
  • Flossing a Dental Bridge: Start by pushing the threader end of Superfloss through the space between the bridge and the real tooth. Use the regular floss on the real tooth, then gently slide the super floss under the bridge 2-3 times and repeat on the other side. After, floss the rest of your teeth normally.
  • Flossing Implant-Supported Bridges: Use Superfloss to thread the spongy floss under the bridge, and gently use the spongy side to clean around the titanium implants. You can also use a non-wired interdental brush to clean them.
  • Flossing and Cleaning Implant-Supported Overdentures: Remove the dentures from your mouth, brush the dentures with detergent and place them in water. Then take a one-tuff brush and gently clean around the part of the implant that sits above your gums, commonly known as an abutment.

Flossing is simple, yet so crucial for your dental health. Remember, the floss most dentists recommend is any type that you will use every day!

Dental Health of San Francisco
2407 Noriega Street
San Francisco, CA 94122
Phone: (415) 682-2368

 

 

 

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity & How to Treat it?

With the weather changing many notice that the cold air is causing a sharp pain at the base of a tooth. This could be the result of tooth sensitivity, but what exactly does that mean?

Tooth sensitivity can occur for many reasons

  • Tooth decay AKA cavities
  • Cracked teeth
  • Worn fillings
  • Exposed tooth root from receding gums
  • Worn enamel and cementum

The leading cause of tooth sensitivity is the erosion of enamel and cementum. Your enamel is a hard substance that covers the surface of your tooth. Its job is to protect the tooth above the gum line from everyday life. The job of the cementum Cementum.pngis quite similar except its responsibility lies beneath the gum line. The cementum covers and protects the roots as well as a more delicate layer of the tooth known as the dentin.

Dentin has small fluid-filled tubes that connect directly to nerve endings underneath the gum line. When the cementum is eroded, the dentin has a higher exposure to the elements. Which causes pain and sensitivity to hot and cold components that may not have been there before.

Fear not, having sensitive teeth is very common and treatable. The treatment you receive is based on what is causing the sensitivity. Common treatments are:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste: After multiple uses, it starts to block the pain linked with sensitive teeth.
  • Fluoride: This treatment is applied by your dentist to different parts of your teeth to help strengthen your enamel.
  • Root Canal:If decay is present in the root. Your tooth will be cleaned out and packed with a filling. After that, a crown is set on top to protect the tooth from further damage.
  • Surgical Gum Graft:This is used when root exposure is the cause of sensitivity. Soft tissue is taken from another part of your mouth and used to fill in the gaps. Since there are many types of gum recession, your oral surgeon will recommend which solution is best for your health.

With sensitive teeth it is very important to not neglect your dental hygiene; this can cause your condition to get worse as well as running the risk of developing (or worsening) gum disease. Remember to brush twice a day, floss at least once, and come in for your checkup twice a year. If you are experiencing pain due to tooth sensitivity schedule an appointment for yourself right away!

Dental Health of San Francisco
2407 Noriega Street
San Francisco, CA 94122
Phone: (415) 682-2368

This Is How Vaping Damages Your Smile

 

Vape? E-cig? Do you know anyone who has one? It affects your oral and overall health. This trend has become popular within the last decade. E-Cigarette use from 2017 to 2018 increased 78% among high school students and 48% among middle school.

5 Effects Vaping Does To Your Teeth and Gums body (2).png

  • Excess Bacteria
  • Dry Mouth
  • Inflamed Gums
  • Overall Irritation
  • Cell Death

In 2018 a study found that teeth that have been exposed to e-cigarette aerosol had more bacteria. More bacteria can lead to tooth decay, cavities, and gum diseases. E-cigs base liquid, propylene glycol can cause dry mouth. Which can lead to bad breath, mouth sores, and tooth decay. In 2016, a study suggested that e-cigs can cause an inflammatory response in gum tissues. This may lead to periodontal diseases. Cell death can lead to bone loss, tooth loss, bad breath, tooth decay, and periodontal diseases.

  • E-cigarette cartridges are filled with nicotine and other chemicals. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved e-cigs as a way to quit smoking. Nicotine causes gum recession, it reduces the amount of blood that can flow through your veins. Because of a lack of blood flow, your gums won’t get the oxygen and nutrients needed to stay healthy.

Overall Health

Did you know an unhealthy mouth, especially if you have gum disease may increase your risk of heart problems? Without daily cleaning, bacteria is free to flow into your bloodstream and can travel to your arteries.  Arteries are blood vessels that distribute oxygen from your heart to your body. This can lead to atherosclerosis where plaque builds up on the inner layers of your arteries. This can cause clots that can block blood flow through your body. Increasing the likelihood of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

Don’t increase yours or your child’s chance of gum disease, tooth decay, or periodontal disease. STAY AWAY FROM VAPING! Read a book, go out for a walk, or try something relaxing – like yoga. Choose your health, take care of your teeth and gums as well as your heart.

Living a healthy lifestyle can seem overwhelming but remember to make small stridesbody (1).png daily. Here are five healthy habits for a happy life.

– Smile and Laugh

– Adequate Sleep

– Physical Activity

– Floss once a day

Brush your teeth twice daily

– Preventive health care screening, at least once every six month

If you have any questions about vaping or breaking your teen’s habit call us today! We’re here to help you live your healthiest life!

Dental Health of San Francisco
2407 Noriega Street
San Francisco, CA 94122
Phone: (415) 682-2368

 

 

Teeth Friendly Snacks For The School Year

YAY – it’s back to school season!!! It’s parent’s favorite time of year and kids least. It’s time to pack your kid’s more healthy snacks for school! Did you know that 42 percent of children who are ages 2 – 11 develop a cavity in their baby teeth? Healthy snacks can benefit more than just your overall health, it’s your teeth too!

The first thing to remember, you are your child’s example! Teach them healthy habits from the start, from eating well to taking care of your own teeth, and going to the dentist regularly. Teach your child proper brushing and flossing techniques, brush 2x a day and floss daily.

Have you ever wondered what plaque is? It’s a soft sticky film that builds up on your teeth and it forms regularly. Plaque contains bacteria, which produce acids that invade body-image (1).pngtooth enamel and can damage your gums. It contains millions of bacteria that love the food and drinks you consume every day. Do you know who plaque’s best friend is? If you guessed tooth decay you are correct!

If dental plaque isn’t removed within a couple of days it hardens into tartar. Regular brushing and flossing cannot remove tartar, only a dental professional can. Fun fact: 68 percent of adults have tartar! They even deposit faster with age!

What Causes Dental Plaque and Tartar?

The bacteria in your mouth thrive off of saliva, food, and fluids. Plaque loves carbohydrates, simple sugars, soft drinks or candy. It hides between teeth and under the gum line, brushing cleans your surfaces of your teeth and your tongue and flossing removes plaque between your teeth.

Plaque is your worst enemy, it hides between your teeth and gum lines and there’s no way to avoid it entirely, that’s why it’s important to have a good oral routine. It can also lead to bad breath, gingivitis, cavities, and other dental issues.

3 Things To Remember For Back To School

  1. Visit your dentist every 6 months
  2. Brush twice a day and floss daily
  3. Pick the right snacks

Make brushing and flossing fun! You can use a sticker calendar and have your child body-YOUR.pngplace a sticker after they brush and floss. Also, you can let them choose their favorite color toothbrush or a themed one with their favorite character. Make it fun for you too, play a song for two minutes and brush together!

#ProTip: look for a kid-friendly floss holder, they make flossing more comfortable for small mouths.

Teeth-Friendly Snacks

  • Cheese cubes
  • Celery sticks and baby carrots
  • Apples and pears
  • Nuts

Snacks To Limit

  • Chips
  • Cookies
  • Fruit Roll-Ups
  • Candy
  • Chewy granola bars

Schedule your cleaning sooner rather than later and get the kiddos in before school starts!

Dental Health of San Francisco
2407 Noriega Street
San Francisco, CA 94122
Phone: (415) 682-2368

 

Know and Love Your Smile

Do you know where smiling comes from? We have not drifted far from where the smile first started; today we often received or give smiles to strangers in passing. Chimpanzees were known to have a “fear grin” that told others they were harmless. Many of our traits are quite similar to them including our smile. Smiles bring us comfort and make us happier.

1

From a young age, we have been told, “smile for the camera.” How many times have you heard “say cheese” while posing for a picture? How often have you said it? Now think back to old historic pictures, have you ever wondered why nobody is smiling in the pictures? One reason is their horrible teeth or lack of. Oral health was not a part of their daily routine. Fortunately, we live in a time where dentistry is prominent. Technology has advanced and quality dental care is readily available. Take advantage of dentistry and love your smile!

Smiling more brings positive emotion to your life. It’s easier to smile than frown and it’s also the universal sign of happiness. Babies are born with the ability to smile, and the most recognizable facial expression that can be seen from up to 300 feet away.

Your brain can tell immediately whether someone’s smile is genuine or not. It compares the geometry of a face to a standard smile. Our minds evaluate the situation and determine whether or not a smile is expected.  After our mind makes a conclusion about someone else’s smile then it automatically mimics their smile. Smiling is contagious!

2

Smiling not only brings comfort to others but also ourselves. Try smiling throughout the day and here’s why:

  • Even a fake smile is a mood booster
  • Helps to relieve stress
  • Smiling makes you more approachable
  • Smiling gets the creative and productive juices flowing

“Laughter is the best medicine” is a well-known phrase and for all the right reasons. There are short and long term benefits to smiling and laughing. Short term, it can stimulate your heart, lungs, and muscles. In the long run in can improve your immune system, be a natural painkiller, boost your interpersonal skills, and help make you feel livelier.  Source: mayoclinic

Would you rather approach someone who’s smiling at you or mugging you? Of course we choose the smiling person because we’re social creatures. We want acceptance and approval.  If we are in a funk and someone smiles at us, it can instantly change our mood turning our bad day into a good one.

The more you smile; your brain will create more positive patterns than negative ones. Our brains are naturally negative. Smiling more trains our brains to be positive. Creativity and productivity will increase and we can produce better work in our everyday lives. Source: fast company

How often do you smile? You can flash your lovely smile at someone, make their day, and yours too. Remember to love your smile! Treat your smile with the care it deserves, schedule your appointment today.

3

Dental Health of San Francisco
2407 Noriega Street
San Francisco, CA 94122
Phone: (415) 682-2368