Want to Try Water Flossing? Here’s What You Should Know

January 2017

Viewing posts from January , 2017

Want to Try Water Flossing? Here’s What You Should Know

Technology has brought the dental industry some wonderful advancements, like X-rays and the electric toothbrush. Fairly recently, water flossing emerged. These devices uses jets of water to clean between teeth and along the gum line. Much like traditional floss, the water can remove food from the crevices where it can get stuck in your mouth.

Before tossing in the floss and purchasing a water flosser, there are some things that our Charlotte dentist wants you to know:

1. The American Dental Association Approves

There has been a heated debate regarding whether or not a water flossing device can replace regular floss. The ADA has weighed in and stated that both tools are an effective and necessary way to maintain oral health.

2. Helpful for People with Trouble Flossing

Some people have difficulty flossing. For example, doing the work by hand can be straining for someone with arthritis or another medical condition. A water flossing device can take away that burden.

3. Eliminates Trouble With Dental Work

It used to be that people who have braces or a fixed bridge would have trouble flossing regularly. The routine could end up being labor-intensive, even turning some people away from doing it. Fortunately, using a water flossing machine simplifies the work.

4. May Not Be the Best Substitute

Generally speaking, flossing with ADA-approved dental floss is the most effective way for cleaning between teeth. According to the Mayo Clinic, the scraping action helps not only to remove food particles and bacteria, but also to fight plaque. A water-based device, on the other hand, typically only rinses these areas. However, it is important to point out that using a water flosser is better than doing nothing at all.

Tips for Flossing

People of all ages who have teeth that touch should be flossing. Yes, even children whose teeth have just begun nudging against each other should floss. Experts recommend flossing once per day and brushing twice a day.

If you have issues flossing or are new to the game, try these tips:

  • Ask our dentist to show you how to properly floss between teeth
  • Start with 12 to 18 inches of floss, winding it around your fingers to leave about an inch or two
  • Slide the floss between teeth, curving it around the base of the tooth to get below the gum line

There are a number of different kinds of floss and water flossing products. To figure out which one is right for you, please ask us for help!

The Sleep-Teeth Connection: What You Should Know

Do you ever have trouble sleeping? Believe it or not, it can take a toll on your mouth. Poor oral hygiene has been linked to sleeping problems and vice versa. While it may not explain every situation, it’s good to know when brushing and flossing can help and when to get in touch with a professional.

Obstructive Sleep Disorders

You may be familiar with the term sleep apnea, which is a type of obstructive sleep disorder. It creates disturbances while you are snoozing, interrupting your body’s natural processes. In obstructive sleep apnea, your airflow is blocked because the soft tissue that is along the back of your throat collapses. In central sleep apnea, your brain does not signal your breathing muscles correctly.

Obstructive sleep apnea is more common and, fortunately, treatable. If you are diagnosed with this condition, you may need to wear a dental device. A professional can help determine what your sleeping issues are and the best plan for treatment. Without taking action, sleep apnea can result in far more than just exhaustion. It can lead to high blood pressure, obesity, gum disease and diabetes.

Other Sleeping Issues

There are other reasons that you may not be getting enough sleep at night, such as stress. Someone under pressure or feeling anxious could easily lose valuable shuteye. And, of course, getting less sleep at night can only add to stress. According to the American Psychological Association, even getting just 60 to 90 minutes more of sleep every night would make most Americans happier – and healthier.

Stress can have an effect on oral health as well. People who are especially anxious may be more prone to grinding their teeth at night. Jaw clenching is another side effect of stress, as are canker sores. Lastly, it has been shown that people under stress are more susceptible to infection – like gum disease – because the body is not equipped as well to ward it off.

Tips for Sleeping Better

The National Sleep Foundation offers several tips for people wanting to get more rest at night. For starters, having a relaxing routine at bedtime can help. Brush your teeth and then engage in a quiet activity, such as reading a book. The NSF also suggests the following:

  • Exercising frequently
  • Eating a well-balanced diet
  • Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day
  • Keep your room cool – it is recommended that your room be between 60 and 67 degrees

If you suspect that you may have a sleeping disorder, get in touch with a medical professional as soon as possible.

Teenagers: Tips for a Healthier Mouth

To a teenager, looks can be everything. While it takes some time to understand that beauty is more than skin deep, it can be hard to explain that to someone who is going through adolescence. At Aten & Garofalo Family Dentistry, our goal is to make sure that our patients feel good about the way their mouth looks and feels. That is why we offer the following tips to our teenage patients:

1. Remember to brush and floss.

Teenage years can be exhausting, as students are increasingly involved in extracurricular activities and social events. However, teens must make it a priority to brush and floss, especially before going to bed at night. This will keep infections at bay and prevent unwanted issues like bad breath or stained teeth.

2. Keep dental appointments.

Everyone should see the dentist at least twice a year in order to ensure that everything in the mouth is as it should be. Teenagers are no exception. Make sure dental appointments have a place on the calendar. In some cases, it may be necessary to see the dentist more often. Follow the doctor’s advice and keep appointments.

3. Avoid smoking.

Though some people may try to pass off smoking as cool, it is anything but that. In addition to the serious damage that smoking can do to the lungs and overall health, it also takes a toll on the mouth. Tar can stain teeth, and, worse, it can lead to oral cancer. Teenagers who have smoked should quit immediately or seek help to do so.

4. Beware of oral piercings.

Piercing the lip, tongue or cheeks can introduce harmful bacteria to the mouth. Though we know it can be a form of self-expression, teens should think twice before jumping into the trend. Some people have negative reactions to a piercing, which can result in life-threatening swelling. Jewelry in and around the mouth can also lead to cracked teeth.

5. Use a mouth guard.

Teenage years are a popular time for braces and other orthodontics. These devices should not keep someone from engaging in activities like sports, but they should be taken into account. It is a good idea for anyone – braces or not – to wear a mouth guard during contact sports. This can prevent damage to the mouth and to expensive orthodontics.

The teenage years are some of the most formative that anyone experiences. It is a good time to develop responsible habits that can last a lifetime. Anyone who has questions about this topic can contact our offices to schedule an appointment: 704-540-4252.