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Let’s be honest, most people do not floss regularly even though they know they should. Flossing is an integral part of any dental hygiene program. Brushing alone is not able to remove the bacteria and food debris that builds up between and around our teeth. Proper flossing can help prevent not only tooth decay but also tooth loss as well. So, what are the rules of flossing for you to follow? Below you will find the basics to floss porperly…

6 Rules To Great Flossing

-Floss Everyday. Most prefer flossing at bedtime but it can really be done at any point in the day. Flossing can and should be performed more than once a day. The main goal of flossing is to remove the plaque and food debris from between and around your teeth.

-Everyone With Teeth Or Dental Implants Should Floss. This includes kids, adults, and seniors. The general rule for flossing is if you want to keep your teeth or implants, you should floss. Flossing is often overlooked especially for children and those who do not have many teeth. It is never too early or late to start with good habits. Proper flossing will lead you toward a lifetime of good oral health.

-Follow Proper Flossing Technique. Often times people floss with no idea of what they are doing…just going through the motions. The proper technique for flossing covers all aspects of your teeth going up and down between teeth as well as around them. The goal of flossing is to reach areas of the mouth that brushing alone is unable to.

-Be Aware Of Bleeding GumsBleeding gums can happen on occasion when flossing. It can occur from improper flossing technique or ,more than likely, it is occuring because of the presence of early  periodontal disease. For many, it can be inflamed gums due to gingivitis, which is reversible. Medications and illness can also cause bleeding gums.  If your gums continue bleeding after 2 weeks of proper flossing  and brushing, see your dentist immediately for a complete dental examination and dental cleaning. Your dentist and hygienist will get you back on track to good oral health.

-Keep Up The Routine. Flossing should be done daily but the time of day may vary. The important thing is to stay steady and follow the course over time.

-Use The Proper Tools. All dental floss or dental hygiene products are not made equal. There are a myriad of options available and you need to find what works best for your needs. For some it might be the standard dental floss while for others a floss holder may be necessary to get the job done. Keep trying different products until you find the one that will make you do an effective job on a regular basis.

Flossing Conclusion

Flossing is an important part of dental hygiene. There are alternatives, but nothing works quite as efficiently as flossing. Poor dental hygiene will eventually lead to periodontal disease and or tooth decay. Your dentist and hygienist can help you with your technique and let you know if you are doing it properly. Use your time wisely, make your hygiene habits efficient and effective. You will be pleasantly surprised at the improvements in your health!

 

Brushing at bedtime is one of those things that most of us just do, never questioning why. It starts as our teeth develop and our parents brush for us and hopefully we continue it throughout life. Do you know why it is recommended to brush before bedtime?

Top Bedtime Dental Hygiene Benefits

1. Remove Buildup of Bacteria In The Mouth. Our mouths are bombarded throughout the course of the day with a variety of environments. It could range from an acidic, hot cup of coffee in the morning to that pen you chewed on while sitting in a meeting at work. These daily activities introduce harmful elements to our teeth. That pen, for example, has been handled by many people and placed on desks throughout the day picking up bacteria and germs. So it is a good idea to brush your teeth and use an antibacterial rinse to rid your mouth of some of these harmful germs, acids, and plaque bacteria building up inside your mouth.

2. Avoid Plaque Buildup Overnight. Plaque is a yellowish film that builds up on our teeth usually along the gumline and between teeth. As the plaque bacteria eats the left over food particles on your teeth, a white film of plaque colonizes and builds up in your mouth. Plaque is acidic, and given time, will exert its damage onto the teeth and gums. So by brushing multiple times per day, and especially just before bed, we are cutting down on the risk of damage to our teeth and gums from this harmful plaque.

3. Sleeptime Causes A Dry Mouth. It is normal that as we sleep our mouths produce less saliva. Hence, why we tend to be thirsty first thing in the morning. A dry mouth is the perfect breeding ground for plaque bacteria. This can lead to increased tooth decay and even the development of periodontal disease. Our mouths need saliva to not only help break down food as we eat but also to bathe the mouth to dislodge food and bacteria from between our teeth and gums. Brushing before bed will again get your mouth ready for that dry environment to come, by removing a good portion of the bacteria and plaque that could cause damage.

4. Preventing Periodontal Disease. As mentioned above, removing plaque and bacteria form the mouth will significantly reduce bacterial damage to your teeth and gums. The same plaque that can cause tooth decay can also be prevalent in periodontal disease. Once periodontal disease progresses, it is very difficult to treat and control. It can lead to teeth shifting, receding gum tissue, and even tooth loss.

5.  Awaken In The Morning Feeling Fresh. We have all had those nights where we either fell asleep on the couch or simply forgot to brush, the next morning we wake up with a terrible taste in our mouths. Think about all the foods and drinks you ingested the day before. That means they were allowed to stay in your mouth for a full 24 hours allowing the bacteria in your mouth to feed unchecked for a full day. Take the time before bed to brush properly, rinse with a fluoride rinse such as purple listerine, and you will feel more refreshed in the morning and have better “morning breath” that your partner and family will appreciate.

Conclusion

Brushing and maintaining dental hygiene should not feel like a chore. If you we get into the habit of brushing, flossing, and rinsing it becomes second nature. A good dental hygiene regimen should not take 30 minutes to complete. In as little as 5-7 minutes 2-3 times per day you can ensure you are doing your best to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible so you get to keep your teeth for a lifetime.

Maintaining a good bedtime oral hygiene routine is even more important than your daytime one. A lot can happen overnight while you are sleeping. Food debris and

Oral Health Marielaina Perrone DDS

Maintain Good Oral Health At Bedtime!

bacteria can wreak havoc on your teeth and gums during sleep time, when there is almost no saliva produced to wash away bacteria. Most of us have more time at night to properly clean our teeth, but wait until we are too tired to do so.  In a few easy steps, you can be assured of a clean mouth, and get a better night’s sleep.

Bedtime Oral Health Tips

1. Tooth brushing at Bedtime. Brushing your teeth before you go to bed at night helps protect against plaque buildup, tooth decay, and periodontal disease. If you are particularly susceptible to tooth decay and/or periodontal disease, it is recommended that you brush immediately after dinner, then again right before bedtime. The earlier you brush, the less likely you are to start snacking, less snacking will reduce food debris and decrease the likelihood of cavities.

2. Practice Proper Brushing Form. The best way to clean your teeth is to brush at an angle gently in short circling strokes. Brush the outer tooth surfaces first, then the inner tooth surfaces, followed by the chewing surfaces. To clean the backs of your front teeth, use the tip of the brush and stroke gently up and down. Get a separate brush (or even a specialized tongue cleaner) to clean your tongue, there is quite a bit more bacteria (as well as dead cells) on your tongue than your teeth, so don’t use the same brush for both.

3. Switch to an electric toothbrush. The rotating and oscillating movement of the electric toothbrush head removes plaque from your teeth more efficiently than a regular toothbrush. Be sure to choose an electric toothbrush that’s comfortable to hold, easy to use, and has the rotating-oscillating head.

Oral Health Marielaina Perrone DDS4. Do Not Just Brush – Floss Too! Flossing removes food particles and plaque buildup where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. If this debris stays on the teeth, bacteria will increase throughout the night and feed off them, produce acid, and break down enamel while you’re sleeping. Tartar can not be removed by flossing, but accumulation can be slowed down with good hygiene, and the proper rinses. Flossing before bedtime is essential if you want to decrease your chances of periodontal disease and tooth decay. Morning flossing is also recommended, especially if you’re prone to periodontal disease or tartar buildup.

5. Rinse with mouthwash. Mouthwash isn’t just for fresh breath — anti bacterial mouth rinses contain a variety of ingredients that strengthen teeth(fluoride), kill plaque bacteria (Listerine) , help treat certain oral health conditions (Chlorhexidine), or simply dissolve plaque and tartar, like Periogen. Rinsing with a mouthwash before bed will help keep your teeth free of plaque and tooth decay and your gums safe from gingivitis. Most commercial, over-the-counter mouthwashes are designed to mask bad breath, tend to dry your mouth, and they won’t do much to contribute to your oral health. Talk to your dentist about which mouth rinse  is the right one for you.

6. Be aware of teeth grinding, apnea, and snoring. If you experience worn tooth enamel, increased tooth sensitivity, or torn cheek tissue, you may be grinding your teeth (also called bruxism) while you sleep. Though dentists cannot stop you from grinding your teeth, they can make you a mouth guard that you can wear at night to protect your teeth from the effects of grinding. There are also appliances that can be made to help you with jaw repositioning to help you breathe easier, and stop snoring.

7. Use a Waterpik. A waterpik is an excellent tool to remove debris that we are unable to get to, massage and stimulate gum tissue, and cleanse a deeper periodontal pocket. You can also add your therapeutic mouthrinse or periogen to the waterpik, to place it where it is needed most.

8. Maintain Regular Dental Visits. Be sure to schedule regular dental examinations and professional cleanings. Your dentist and hygienist will help you keep your teeth clean and your gums healthy over the course of your lifetime. Remember, preventive care and maintenance are just as important for a healthy mouth as good daytime and nighttime oral hygiene.

 

Oral Health Conclusion

Dental hygiene must be maintained on a regular basis along with visits to the dentist for dental examinations and professional cleanings if you are to maintain a bright, healthy smile. Dental hygiene can not be left by the wayside just because we are tired. Make the time and effort to properly maintain your teeth, and you will be rewarded every morning with a beautiful smile!