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Flossing is often overlooked as part our oral hygiene regimen. Although it is often overlooked, it is essential to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Brushing alone cannot remove food debris and bacteria in and around our teeth. Flossing is able to reach areas in between teeth and in the back areas of the mouth. Flossing really is a simple act, but many often overlook it and ignore the habit of flossing. For those of us who do floss, improper technique can also cause problems.

Common Flossing Mistakes

1. Skipping The Back Teeth – When we floss it is essential to not only concentrate on the front teeth. It is equally important to get in the back of the mouth, between and around molars, and keep those areas clean. This removes food and plaque bacteria in areas from which a toothbrush can not reach. You need to keep your teeth as clean as possible to avoid the onset of periodontal disease and tooth decay.

2. Not Rotating The Floss At Each Area – The purpose of flossing is to remove bacteria, food debris, and bacteria from between the teeth. If you do not rotate the floss at each tooth you are just replacing the removed bacteria and debris back into the mouth.

3. Flossing Too Aggressively – Some of our teeth have tighter spaces than others and this could cause a more aggressive approach to flossing. It is better to gently work the floss up and down between your teeth, following the natural curve of the tooth, so as not to snap the floss down and cut your gums. You should floss using a mirror to watch what you are doing, it is easier to see if you are missing anything. You should NEVER , “shoeshine” your teeth. Side to side aggressive motion, over time, causes notches into the roots of the teeth.

4. Not Flossing Because Your Gums Bleed – At times our gums can bleed if we are not maintaining proper oral hygiene. This is the earliest sign of periodontal disease, called “Gingivitis”. This stage of periodontal disease can be reversed. If you see some blood, continue gentle flossing, and rinsing with warm salt water. As the bacteria and irritants are removed the inflammation will subside and so will the bleeding. It might take 1-2 weeks for that to happen.

5. Keep Track Of Where You Are Flossing – It can be very easy to miss a tooth or two while flossing. Create a good routine to keep on track and not get distracted.

6. Not Flossing At All! – This is the biggest mistake! Many have been lucky enough not to have decay or serious problems, and have never flossed. This may have “worked” for you in your youth, but it will put you at risk for periodontal disease as you get older. People who have never had a cavity, and do not have good oral hygiene habits are at much higher risk for gum disease. Those pearly whites may stay beautiful until they day they all start to fall out!

Conclusion

Don’t wait for problems to begin. Floss regularly and correctly, and you are setting yourself up for good success in maintaining your oral health. Remember, to floss gently, properly, and often. As many dentists say,” You don’t have to floss all of your teeth, just the ones you want to keep!”.

Why do most dentists want you to come in for a cleaning at least every 6 months?? While it might not seem like it is necessary, these regular and routine dental visits are

Cosmetic Dentist Marielaina Perrone DDS

Regular Dental Visits Are The Key To Good Dental Health

an essential requirement for monitoring and maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Early changes can be detected, and they can be addressed in a timely manner. Recent scientific research has also shown how important it is to maintain a healthy mouth for our general health as well. There are many disease states related to poor dental health. These systemic diseases include heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and even, alzheimer’s disease.

The Six Month Dental Visit

What goes on in the dental office is only a small portion of oral health maintenance. Most of the work is done at home through maintaining a good oral hygiene regimen to keep our teeth and gums as clean and healthy as possible. A six month dental visit will include a professional cleaning as well as a thorough dental examination. There are many facets to this appointment. Most people would be surprised at how many different items the dentist and hygienist are actually checking.

What Does The Dental Examination Include?

Your teeth are just one part of a routine, thorough dental examination. Your dentist will evaluate the health of your teeth, your gums, TMJ, and entire inner tissues of the mouth and upper throat. They will also examine your mouth, tongue, lips, and skin for any signs of  disease, like oral cancer or diabetes.

The Head And Neck Examination

Your dentist will start off by looking for symmetry, irregularities, swellings, etc. by:

-Examining your face

-Examining your neck

-Checking your lymph nodes. They are specifically looking for any abnormal swellings or changes to one side and not the other. Also noting the presence of any tenderness.

-Checking your Temperomandibular Joint (TMJ) for any clicking, popping, or irregularities. As we age, the TMJ, like any joint can begin to deteriorate and give us issues. A good dentist will be able to note the presence of TMJ disorder even without symptoms developing.

 The Teeth And Gums Examination

Next, your dentist examine the state of your teeth and gums by:

-Taking x-rays ( radiographs) as needed. Radiographs are generally taken once per year. These radiographs allow the dentist to see some areas that are not visible to the naked eye and are not felt by an instrument. This allows for early detection of tooth decay, as well as determination of infection, or bone loss. Unfortunately, fillings and crowns, depending upon location of breakdown,  still hide many areas of decay or fracturing., Such areas are generally found later due to discomfort, discoloration, or other changes.

-Examining the gum tissue for the presence of periodontal disease, infection, systemic disease. The symptoms can include bleeding, inflammation, recession, redness and irritation, swelling, sloughing tissue, and bone loss around the teeth.

Marielaina Perrone DDS Velscope-Checking if any teeth are becoming loose or show any sense of movement.

-Looking at the tissues inside of your mouth. This will include all sides of the tongue, the tonsils, the hard and soft palate, and inside your cheeks and lips. The dentist will look for tissue abnormalities that could be suspected to be oral cancer. Many dentists use the VELscope to detect oral cancer as early as possible. The VELscope is a special light that allows the dentist to see changes in tissue that occur when oral changes, such as cancer, are present.

-Checking the way your teeth fit together, how well you bite, if you clench or grind, signs of sleep apnea.

-Looking for the presence of tooth decay. This is achieved through the use of radiographs and by checking each tooth individually to see if there is any decay visibly, tactilely, or radiographically, present or beginning to form.

-Checking for broken teeth, fracture lines, chipping, wear.

-Checking for older dental restorations that need to be replaced. Generally when an older dental restoration begins to fail there is staining present around the margins where food and bacteria are leaking inside the restoration. Also, the dentist will examine any dental crowns present to check for decay and to see that the fit is still acceptable.

-Evaluating any previous dental appliances you might have. This can include retainers, nightguards, sport guards, dentures or snore/apnea appliances. The dentist will ensure they are still fitting properly and that they are in good condition.

The Dental Cleaning

The dental cleaning is generally completed by the hygienist but some dentists do clean teeth as well. This part includes the following:

Cosmetic Dentist Marielaina Perrone DDS

6 Month Dental Visits For The Whole Family

-Checking the state of your teeth and gums.

-The use of an ultrasonic device to remove the pellicle, plaque, and tartar. The pellicle is a protein layer, much like a cuticle, that allows plaque and bacteria to more easily wick up and under the gum. The hygienist uses both an ultrasonic cleaning tool (called a cavitron) as well as using hand instruments. These tools allow the hygienist to remove substantial plaque and bacteria, and all of the pellicle, from above and below the gumline.

-Polishing your teeth with prophylaxis paste. This paste is slightly abrasive to remove any extrinsic stains that might be present. Polishing also helps to smooth surface roughness so that plaque will not stick as easily.

-Fluoride treatment. This is not just for kids! There are many types of fluoride with many different applications. Some of us are more susceptible to cavities, some of us have white spots, sensitive spots, or stubborn periodontal pockets. Different types of fluorides can help with all of these.

-Reviewing oral hygiene instructions for you to practice at home away, and from the office. This includes recommended brushing and flossing techniques as well as what products might work best for you.

Conclusion

Upon completion of the examination and cleaning, your dentist will be able to advise you of any further treatment needed. If nothing abnormal is found, you will set up your next appointment in 3- 6 month,s knowing you have been doing a great job at home with your dental care. If something is found, you should have it taken care of as soon as possible. You should try not to put off  dental work, as it will get worse over time. Remember, by seeing your dentist every 6 months and following daily oral hygiene practices at home, you have a better chance of keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Being healthy will  save you time, discomfort, and money in the long run. Prevention is always the goal!

Recent research has uncovered that humans from the stone age had healthier teeth than modern man. Even though dentistry was limited back then, it is believed thatCosmetic Dentist Marielaina Perrone DDS dietary factors helped stone age humans maintain their oral health. As man has evolved and industrialized our world it has changed many things including the way we eat.

As we went from a hunter society and began industrialized farming some 150 years ago, the makeup of our oral bacteria has changed slowly. With the introduction of processed sugars and flours to our diet, researchers have seen a dramatic decrease in the diversity of our oral bacteria. This has allowed cavity causing strains to dominate the oral cavity.

Research Study Findings

The research team examined 34 prehistoric skeletons from northern European human skeletons. They gathered the DNA for testing from calcified dental plaque that was found on the subjects teeth. They used these samples to enable them to analyze how the oral bacteria has changed from stone age times all the way up to modern human times. As human society has evolved, they were able to show a negative impact on our dental health.

Further research is now being undertaken to include other time periods to see what changes happened in those times as well.

How To Stop Periodontal Disease and Tooth Decay?

Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is not very difficult but it needs to become a habit and performed on a daily basis. Below are some tips to maintain good oral health:

-Brush Twice a Day – We should all strive to brush our teeth for a minimum of 2 times per day for 2-3 minutes each time. Preferably, following every meal but that is not always possible.

Dental Hygiene Marielaina Perrone DDS-Flossing – This is very important to reach those areas that brushing along cannot reach. Flossing regularly will lead to healthier checkups over your entire life.

-Use An Antibacterial Rinse – Another tool that can help reach areas that brushing and flossing cannot. Using a good rinse will also lower the numbers of harmful bacteria in the mouth thus decreasing chances of developing tooth decay and periodontal disease.

-Maintain regular dental visits - for a thorough dental examination and professional cleanings.

Conclusion

The important note to remember is to maintain good oral hygiene regimen along with regular visits to the dentist to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible. We live in a modern age with modern tools to combat anything that comes our way.

 

National Flossing Day!!

November 23rd, 2012

Daily flossing is a requirement for healthy teeth and gums. Thorough flossing removes the plaque and food debris between your teeth that your toothbrush may not. It also

Flossing Marielaina Perrone DDS

Happy National Flossing Day!!

increases blood circulation in your gum tissue to help prevent periodontal disease.

Flossing is a critical technique for a healthy smile, but it has a fair share of interesting facts, as well.

Fun Facts about Flossing:

-Flossing has been credited to Levi Spear Parmly, a New Orleans Dentist, in 1815. He advised his patients to use a thin silk thread to clean between their teeth.

-Floss was manufactured commercially for the first time in 1882. Codman and Shurtleft Company began marketing unwaxed silk dental floss. Johnson & Johnson released their first silk floss product in 1896 and patented dental floss in 1898.

-During the 1940′s, the physician Dr. Charles Bass found that nylon material is better for flossing than silk. The silk often shredded when going between teeth. Nylon has a consistent texture and better resistance. This led to the development of waxed floss and dental tape. In response to environmental concerns, dental floss made from biodegradable materials is now available on the market.

-Proper flossing requires the average person to use approximately 120 yards of floss per year. Manufacturers data shows that only an average of 18 yards is sold per person each year.

-Dentists and dental hygienists recommend the daily oral hygiene regimen of tooth brushing and flossing. Almost all Americans brush their teeth daily. However, the ADA indicates that only about 12% of Americans floss daily, 39% floss less than daily, and almost 50% do not floss at all.

-Occasional flossing or flossing improperly can typically lead to bleeding gums. The main cause of the bleeding is inflammation of the gingival tissue due to gingivitis (the earliest form of periodontal disease).

It comes in many forms – waxed, unwaxed, flavored, unflavored, wide, and regular. All floss works the same, but only if you use it properly.