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Flossing is an important part of your dental hygiene program and should be done on a daily basis. Without flossing, you are leaving your teeth and gums vulnerable to destruction by tooth decay and periodontal disease. Walking down the drug store aisles you will see choice after choice of different types of dental floss by different companies. How do you choose the right dental floss for you?

Different Types Of Dental Floss

Generally there are two types of dental floss on the market today. These include the following:

-Multifilament floss (like nylon floss or silk floss). This is the traditional, most common form of dental floss most of us are used to. Nylon floss is also the cheapest and usually found in generic brand name floss. This type of floss can be made wider and fluffier to accommodate wider spaces, and have additives such as fluoride incorporated. This type of floss will tend to break and shred during use.

-Monofilament floss (aka single filament). This type of dental floss is usually made of a type of rubber, plastic, or polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). This floss uses newer technology, and since it isn’t a fabric like nylon, it doesn’t rip or tear. Due to its strength, many people prefer this type as they find it easier to pull between teeth without breakage. The plastic/rubber type tend to glide easier between teeth so many companies call this type of floss Glide.

Dental Floss Options

Now that we know the two basic types of dental floss available, what options can come with either of them?

-Flavor. This can be important to many because it makes the chore of flossing a little easier if it tastes ok. Dental floss can come in flavors ranging from bubblegum to mint to even bacon (yes! bacon flavored dental floss is available!).

-Thickness. Dental floss can come in various size thickness. This is important because our teeth are unique to us and are not one size fits all. Everyone has different size teeth as well as different size spacing between our teeth or under and around crown and bridge work. The best thickness dental floss for you is the one that is able to slide easily between teeth without shredding or getting stuck, and wide enough to remove food particles. Snapping or slicing dental floss between teeth is a good way to cause injury to the gum tissues.

-Waxed or Unwaxed. At one time this was the only option. This option is only available for nylon dental floss. The monofilament floss does not need wax it slides just fine on its own. The wax is simply there to help the floss squeeze between teeth easier. It is a personal preference as to use waxed or unwaxed. There is no clinical difference between the two.

-Dental Tape. This type of dental floss is basically a wide, flat ribbon of nylon. Many people find dental tape easier to get between their teeth than traditional floss due to it being thinner. Dental tape and dental floss are generally in the same family, despite having different names.

-Dental yarn. This floss is soft, wide, and fluffy. It is great for wide spaces and in areas of periodontal disease. Some woven yarn flosses even have fluoride particles embedded so that you can leave strengthening fluoride between the teeth where you need it most.

-Threader Floss. This floss has a hard end which can be easily used to thread under braces and bridgework. It is easier to use than a plastic floss threader, and saves time.

Best Dental Floss On The Market

Presently, Reach has a newer dental floss called Total Care. It is wide like a tape, but elastic and stretchy to accommodate almost any space. It also next to impossible to break while flossing.

Dental Floss Conclusion

Flossing is an essential step in maintaining good oral hygiene. There are so many choices today, it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. Talk to your hygienist about your personal needs, he/she should then be able to suggest the best type of floss for your oral condition.The key takeaway is to use what works best for you and use it regularly to have a happy smile for a lifetime.

Summer is finally here! As the weather begins to heat up, most of us spend more time participating in outdoor activities. Different activities like Tennis, horseback riding, basketball, and swimming. As we have all of this fun, there are a few precautions one should take to protect their oral health. Protecting yourself will make the summer safer and much more fun.

Summer Smile Protection Tips

1. Sports Mouthguards – As we do more physical activities, we need to think about our teeth, just like our skin needs protection from the sun, our teeth need protection from trauma. Approximately 40% of all sports related injuries involve the head, more precisely, the face.Having your dentist fabricate a custom made athletic mouthguard, will decrease your risk of tooth loss from trauma significantly. Research has also shown that these athletic mouthguards can also lower the risks of a concussion, as well as, enhance your athletic performance by helping maintain airway and more efficient breathing.

2. Sports Drinks – Sports drinks (like gatorade) have become extremely popular beverages even for non athletes, but they can also be damaging to our smiles. Most sport drinks contain a high content of sugar and are highly acidic. Consumption of too many sports drinks can lead to tooth decay and tooth enamel erosion. If you choose to drink sports drinks during activity, keep a limit on them, drink plain water in between, and practice proper oral hygiene to keep the acids and sugars from attacking your teeth. Remember, sport drinks are made to replace what your body loses during extreme sweating and exertion, they are not meant to be a beverage consumed with lunch. Use them properly and you will not suffer the damage that they can incur.

3. Drinking Water – Water is great for your body, skin,and your teeth. Choose pure water with no added flavors or carbonation and you will not have to worry about demineralizing your teeth, many of the additives can cause tooth enamel breakdown. Water can also help by flushing away food particles and bacteria, keeping your mouth clean and fresh. The simple act of drinking water helps to maintain oral hygiene.  Maintaining good oral hygiene also includes proper brushing, flossing, and use of an antibacterial mouthrinse. Following a good oral hygiene program should always include staying properly hydrated. The best part about water is you can drink it any time with no side effects. It is truly the perfect drink for your entire body.

4. Swimming and chlorine- Swimming in your pool is a great way to exercise and spend time with your family and friends. The swimming pool contains chlorine, a very hazardous chemical, which can cause damage to your teeth even when levels are properly monitored.  Spending a lot of time in a pool with poorly maintained chemical levels can cause permanent damage to your teeth’s enamel. Water that is over chlorinated (such as many community pools) may cause tooth enamel erosion and  permanent staining of teeth. The tooth surface is directly affected by harsh chemicals, such as acid, causing the enamel to erode, thin, breakdown, and stain. When there are high levels of chlorine in the pool, the water becomes more acidic. Continuous exposure to acid can cause the damage to begin and subsequently progress.

5. Chewing Gum - Chewing a sugar free gum containing xylitol is a great way to protect your teeth. Gum chewing helps to increase the production of saliva in the mouth. Saliva helps keep the mouth neutral, or balanced. The addition of xylitol to the saliva helps this balance at another level.  Xylitol  cannot be converted to acids by oral bacteria, so it helps to maintain a proper alkaline/acid balance in your mouth. Chewing gum also helps satisfy your snacking desire, which may be a great way to decrease the intake of junk food snacks for you and your children.

Conclusion

We all look forward to Summer and enjoying the great weather. Now it is time to enjoy it fully, without suffering from it for the rest of the year. Be aware of the hazards, and be prepared for you and your family. Taking care of you and your family will make this the best summer yet!  Have a happy, healthy summer!

With Easter around the corner, kids will look forward to opening their Easter baskets and the treat that await them. Whether you’re 2 or 82, Easter candy can be incredibly

Happy Easter Marielaina Perrone DDS

Have A Safe And Happy Easter!

tempting. Who does not wish to indulge in a piece of a chocolate bunny or an assortment of Peeps when spring is in the air? However, too much of a good thing can be a very bad thing for our dental and overall health. Americans spend more than $1.5 billion on Easter candy each year, second only to the $1.77 billion spent on Halloween. This means that the average American each will eat about 25 pounds of candy. That is a lot of sugar that can wreak havoc on our smiles and our dental health.

Are Tooth Friendly Easter Baskets Possible?

Sugar and candy in moderation followed by good oral hygiene is perfectly fine. As we know our kids (and some adults) do not always follow moderation especially around holiday time. The following are some alternatives to place in our kids baskets in place of harmful sugary treats:

1. Bunny-shaped graham crackers – These graham crackers are a festive and a high fiber addition to your Easter basket. These come in a variety of flavors like honey, chocolate chip, or cinnamon.

2. Nut mix - Nuts are chock full of both protein and flavor, and a nut mix provides a fun snack. You can buy prepackaged mixed nuts or create your own medleys wrapped in colorful goody bags. Popular kid friendly nut choices include walnuts, pecans, cashews, and pistachios. Simply add the nuts to a small cellophane or paper bag, tie with a ribbon and add to your basket. Be mindful of any allergies children might have.

3. Vegetable crisps - Your healthiest bet would be slicing and packaging fresh vegetables, but if you are running low on time, vegetable crisps are a great compromise. Instead of serving high-fat and nutritionally empty potato chips, choose a low-fat brand of vegetable chips, which provide happy snackers with vitamins A and C. For an even healthier option, look out for baked vegetable chips, which usually cut down on the oil content.

4. Lego’s – Fill your basket with lego’s in place of grass at the bottom. Fill plastic eggs with various lego parts and figures.

Happy Easter Marielaina Perrone DDS

5. Egg Shaped Chalk – Great idea for the young artist. Easy to clean off the sidewalk and gets the outdoors in the beautiful spring weather.

6. Craft Basket – Fill basket with parts and pieces to make a springtime craft. Include crayons, markers, paper, beads, etc.

7. DVD’s – Children love DVD’s of their favorite movies. Titles to include could be Toy Story, The Lorax, or even Star Wars.

8. Coupons – These coupons could be for a free day of no chores or even choose where the family goes for dinner. Be creative and fun. This can make the holiday last longer than just the one day of Easter.

Easter Basket Conclusion

Easter is a fun time of the year for parents and kids alike. Between eater egg hunts and family gatherings, there are a lot of opportunities to indulge in sweet treats. We can limit them by offering good safe alternatives that are not damaging to our oral health. Have a safe and happy Easter season!