Why Do We Need to Brush and Floss?

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Andra Mahoney, BS RDH

Why Do We Need to Brush and Floss?

Many of you know two questions that your Dental Hygienist will inevitably asked you when you go in for your regular check-up visit:  “Are you brushing two times a day?” and “How is your flossing going?”

As an Hygienist, we do not asked these questions to get after you.  We promise we do not love nagging you to floss.  We do it because we genuinely care for your health and helping our patients understand how brushing and flossing can keep you healthy is one of our professional goals.

Most of you know the guidelines. For optimum dental health, you should brushing two times a day for two minutes, and floss one time a day.  We know that is what we are supposed to do.  But do we know why?

Plaque (that soft, filmy, white stuff that grows on our teeth) accumulates constantly.  24/7.  It never stops growing.  Even if you do not eat food, it grows (common misconception that plaque only grows when you eat).  Inside plaque lives bacteria.  This is the bacteria that causes cavities and gum disease.  It is recommended that we brush two times a day to remove the plaque and disrupt the bacteria’s harm on our mouth.  If we do not remove the plaque, then we are allowing the bacteria to start creating cavities and cause inflammation and infection in our gums.

If the plaque is left in an area for a while then it will harden and calcify.  This is what we can tartar build-up, or you may even hear us refer to it as calculus.  While plaque is soft and can be removed with a toothbrush and floss, tartar is like a rock cemented onto your tooth.  You can brush and floss all day long, once it’s turned into calculus, it’s not going any where.  The biggest down side of that is that it still has the bacteria inside of it.  Now it’s stuck on your tooth, not going anywhere, with all this bacteria.  Even better for gum infections and things to occur.

Don’t worry, your awesome Hygienist will save you.  We have the tools and know-how to remove that calculus and get your mouth back to health!  But, so do you!  You can brush and floss every day, remove that plaque, and prevent that calculus from even forming!

Now many of you do brush your teeth.  Which is fantastic!  We love when you do that!  However, not as many of you floss.  I’m not sure why.  It’s just as important, and doesn’t really take that long.  Here’s something to remember when you want to skip flossing tonight… You can be THE most amazing brusher in the whole world, but you will never be able to clean between your teeth with just a toothbrush.  It’s a fact.  The best technique will not maneuver those toothbrush bristle to places they cannot physically reach.  Floss is the only way to clean the remaining 35% of your tooth that the brush did not get.  Floss is a toothbrush’s best friend.  They go hand in hand.  One just as important as the other.

I hope this helped you understand a bit more why we always ask these two simple questions.  If you have any other questions, we are here for you!  Just ask!

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/f/flossing

http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/teeth.html

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/dentalhealth/Pages/Teethcleaningguide.aspx

http://www.businessinsider.com/what-happens-if-you-dont-brush-and-floss-your-teeth-2014-2

Flossing: More Than Just a Guilt Trip

AriannaM

Arianna Ritchey, RDH

Flossing: More Than Just a Guilt Trip

As a part of a regular preventive or periodontal maintenance visit with your dental hygienist, the topic of flossing usually comes up.  Most people have at least heard of flossing, and while some people floss regularly, most patients I see report flossing less than the ADA recommended once per day.  More often, people fall into the categories of flossing “once in a while” or “once in a blue moon.”  While some people are embarrassed to admit this to their dental hygienist, the condition and health of your gums reveal a lot about your oral hygiene practices at home without you saying a word.  (We can also read minds…just kidding.)

So, if most people have heard about flossing, and are reminded of it semi-annually by their dental hygienist, what is preventing them from actually cleaning between their teeth on a regular basis?

Maybe they don’t realize the impact that flossing has on the health of their gums and prevention of early tooth loss.  Maybe it’s difficult for them to manipulate string floss (it’s harder than it looks).  Maybe they are super busy (who isn’t?) and can’t find time to track down some floss and use it between their teeth.  Maybe they ran out of the sample-size floss their hygienist gave them a their last visit.  Maybe it hurts when they floss because their gums are inflamed, so they avoid the pain.  Maybe they are really committed and diligent for the first while, and then life gets in the way and they fall out of the habit.  All of these are totally understandable reasons, and I’ve been there.  (Hygienists are human, too!)

The good news is, your dental hygienist is interested in helping you to keep your mouth and gums healthy, and offers a judgment-free-zone to learn how to properly perform oral hygiene techniques, like flossing, and to help you come up with some ways to integrate flossing into your daily routine.  (Floss in the shower, floss while watching the intro to your show on Netflix, floss while on Facebook or scrolling through Pinterest, floss while at a red light on your commute, etc.)

The other awesome thing your dental hygienist does for you, is giving you a clean slate to work with!  When your dental hygienist cleans your teeth by removing the plaque and calculus (calcified plaque) from your teeth, they are removing the bacteria that are causing the inflammation, pain, and bleeding in your gums.  (Hooray!)  Once these irritations are removed, the gums have a chance to heal, and by properly cleaning your teeth at home (brushing and flossing), you can keep them healthy.  When the gums are healthy, they don’t hurt, they don’t bleed, they are easier to floss, and you have a faster, easier dental hygiene appointments. (Even when your hygienist is gentle, nobody enjoys being in that chair.)

If you’re still reading, check out this video my former classmates and I produced that demonstrates proper flossing technique and briefly explains why flossing is important.  It’s a little cheesy, but definitely educational.  Make sure your sound is on, there’s some great instruction and music.  

After watching this video and practicing at home, if you’re still having difficulty with string floss, try some other interdental cleaners!  Here’s a great article that talks about lots of interdental cleaners and how to use them (scroll about halfway down).  

Remember, the best interdental cleaning tool is the one that you actually use consistently; if string floss just isn’t your thing, talk to your hygienist at your next visit, and we’ll be happy to give you some samples to try.  Happy flossing!

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

https://dentistrydonedifferently.com/2015/03/22/what-is-a-periodontal-maintenance/

http://www.ada.org/en/science-research/ada-seal-of-acceptance/product-category-information/floss-and-other-interdental-cleaners

https://dentistrydonedifferently.com/2013/10/14/tooth-brushes/

youtube.com/watch

https://dentistrydonedifferently.com/2014/05/19/flossing-do-i-have-to/

Diabetes and Dental Care

Sharma RDH

Sharma Mulqueen RDH

Diabetes and Dental Care

What do brushing and flossing have to do with diabetes? Plenty. If you have diabetes, here’s why dental care matters — and how to take care of your teeth and gums. 

When you have diabetes, high blood sugar can take a toll on your entire body — including your teeth and gums. The good news? Prevention is in your hands. Learn what you’re up against, and then take charge of your dental health.

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Cavities and gum disease

Whether you have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, managing your blood sugar level is key. The higher your blood sugar level, the higher your risk of:

  • Tooth decay (cavities). Your mouth naturally contains many types of bacteria. When starches and sugars in food and beverages interact with these bacteria, a sticky film known as plaque forms on your teeth. The acids in plaque attack the hard, outer surface of your teeth (enamel). This can lead to cavities. The higher your blood sugar level, the greater the supply of sugars and starches — and the more acid wearing away at your teeth.
  • Early gum disease (gingivitis). Diabetes reduces your ability to fight bacteria. If you don’t remove plaque with regular brushing and flossing, it’ll harden under your gumline into a substance called tartar (calculus). The longer plaque and tartar remain on your teeth, the more they irritate the gingiva — the part of your gum around the base of your teeth. In time, your gums become swollen and bleed easily. This is gingivitis

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  • Advanced gum disease (periodontitis). Left untreated, gingivitis can lead to a more serious infection called periodontitis, which destroys the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth. Eventually, periodontitis causes your gums to pull away from your teeth and your teeth to loosen and even fall out. Periodontitis tends to be more severe among people who have diabetes because diabetes lowers the ability to resist infection and slows healing. An infection such as periodontitis may also cause your blood sugar level to rise, which makes your diabetes more difficult to control. Preventing and treating periodontitis can help improve blood sugar control.

Proper dental care

To help prevent damage to your teeth and gums, take diabetes and dental care seriously:

  • Make a commitment to managing your diabetes. Monitor your blood sugar level, and follow your doctor’s instructions for keeping your blood sugar level within your target range. The better you control your blood sugar level, the less likely you are to develop gingivitis and other dental problems.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Brush in the morning, at night and, ideally, after meals and snacks. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride. Avoid vigorous or harsh scrubbing, which can irritate your gums. Consider using an electric toothbrush, especially if you have arthritis or other problems that make it difficult to brush well.

Floss your teeth at least once a day. Flossing helps remove plaque between your teeth and under your gumline. If you have trouble getting floss through your teeth, use the waxed variety. If it’s hard to manipulate the floss, use a floss holder.

  • Schedule regular dental cleanings. Visit your dentist at least three times a year for professional cleanings.
  • Make sure your dentist knows you have diabetes. Every time you visit your dentist, remind him or her that you have diabetes. Make sure your dentist has contact information for your doctor who helps you manage your diabetes.
  • Look for early signs of gum disease. Report any signs of gum disease — including redness, swelling and bleeding gums — to your dentist. Also mention any other signs and symptoms, such as dry mouth, loose teeth or mouth pain.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking increases the risk of serious diabetes complications, including gum disease. If you smoke, ask your doctor about options to help you quit.

Managing diabetes is a lifelong commitment, and that includes proper dental care. Your efforts will be rewarded with a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/in-depth/diabetes/art-20043848?pg=2

https://www.perio.org/consumer/diabetes.htm

http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth

Toothbrush Care: Replacing, Cleaning, Storing

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Amanda Orvis RDH

Toothbrush Care: Replacing, Cleaning, Storing

In order to maintain a healthy mouth, one must use a clean toothbrush.  Toothbrushing plays a major role in your personal oral hygiene care. When brushing, it is important that you use a clean and functional toothbrush.  Toothbrush bristles can harbor harmful bacteria that can be damaging to our oral health.

REPLACING

The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends replacing your toothbrush every 3 months. The same rules apply to both manual toothbrushes and electric toothbrush heads. Many types of bacteria can be found on toothbrush bristles, these bacteria can continue to multiply over time potentially causing harm to our mouths. Toothbrush bristles also break down over time causing the bristles to fan out, fray or simply fall out.  When your toothbrush bristles break down the toothbrush becomes less effective, making it harder to clean your mouth properly. If you or any member of the family become sick or gets an infection in the mouth, it is important to replace yours or their toothbrush immediately to be prevent that harmful bacteria from spreading or re-infecting you or that person. In order to prevent cross contamination make sure you do not share toothbrushes for any reason.

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CLEANING

After brushing your teeth it is important to thoroughly rinse your toothbrush to remove any additional toothpaste, bacteria and saliva. Germs can hide in your toothbrush bristles and lead to oral infections of not properly cleaned.

STORING

After cleaning your toothbrush, it is very important to allow your toothbrush time to thoroughly dry between usages. Designate an area for your toothbrush to dry. Many toothbrush storage containers are available that prop your toothbrush upright and allow the toothbrush to not touch anything else while drying. When traveling, it is just as important to allow your toothbrush to dry between usages. Keeping the toothbrush bristles covered while storing it within your other items during travel is important as well. Small toothbrush storage cases are available at almost all pharmacies and grocery stores. Just make sure the toothbrush is fully dry before storing it in its case.

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5 Quick Rules: 

Do not share toothbrushes

Thoroughly rinse your toothbrush after each use

Leave your toothbrush in an open area to dry after each use

Discard your toothbrush if you become sick or get any dental infections

Replace your toothbrush at least every 3 months

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Source:

http://www.ada.org/en/about-the-ada/ada-positions-policies-and-statements/statement-on-toothbrush-care-cleaning-storage-and-

Hydrogen Peroxide

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Lora Cook RDH

 Is Using Hydrogen Peroxide as a Mouth Rinse Safe?

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Many commercial mouth washes and whitening strips have hydrogen peroxide as one of the key active ingredients. However many are using straight hydrogen peroxide as a mouth wash to kill germs. Is this a safe and effect practice?

Hydrogen peroxide is compose of water and oxygen that works to kills germs and bacteria, and helps to whiten teeth.  It comes in either 1% or 3% concentrations. You can even see it in action!  When it foams in your mouth you know that it is working at killing bacteria.  It also can be used to clean your night guard, retainers, or even soak your tooth brush in.  Best of all it is inexpensive. 

 However this is not the magic cure all, there are some strong precautions that I would like to share with you.  While there are many benefits it can be harmful on gum tissue if used in too strong a solution or too long.  It is very drying to the tissues. This will also work to kill good bacteria in the mouth.  This will leave opportunity for yeast infections of the mouth to flourish, also called thrush.  Candidiasis is a fungal or yeast infection of the mouth or throat. Candida yeast that normally live in the mucosa membrane will flourish causing a over growth of candida, commonly called yeast infections. 

This can be a relatively safe practice by following a few guidelines; dilute peroxide with 50% water, and do use every day.  If you are one of the many people who suffer from dry mouth stick with a over the counter rinse formulated for dry mouth sufferers. 

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.using-hydrogen-peroxide.com/hydrogen-peroxide-as-mouthwash.html

http://copublications.greenfacts.org/en/tooth-whiteners/l-3/6-tooth-whitening-side-effects.htm

http://www.healthline.com/health/thrush#Symptoms4

Tooth Brushes!!

Karen

Karen Kelly RDH

As a dental hygienist, one of my most frequently asked questions is, ‘There are so many toothbrushes, which one should I use or should I just switch to an electric toothbrush?’.  My response is, first, always use a SOFT name brand toothbrush (I know stores sell medium and even hard toothbrushes but don’t buy them!!) and second to make sure you are brushing correctly at least 2 times daily and brushing for at least 2 minutes.  When I say correctly, I mean to aim the toothbrush up into the gums at a 45 degree angle.

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 Properly angled brushing

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Unhealthy vs. healthy gum tissue

I see lots of people who do brush their teeth, but since they don’t actually brush along the gumline, their gums are red and puffy.  So, brush the gums like you are giving them a massage; use little back and forth or circular motions.  Don’t use long scrubbing strokes, it is abrasive!  Then floss and/or use an interdental cleaner of some kind each and every day.  No matter how good a toothbrush is and how good someone brushes, it’s impossible to get in between the teeth clean with just a brush.  Also, change your brush often!  When the bristles begin to flare out or it’s been 3 months, change it, it makes a difference to use a new brush.

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                        If your brush looks like this, throw it out!                

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 A brand new SOFT toothbrush

If you brush really well with a manual toothbrush, you probably won’t see that much of a difference if you were to switch to an electric toothbrush.  The problem is, many people don’t clean their teeth that well with a manual toothbrush so that’s where the electric toothbrush can really help.  We recommend 2 brands of the electric brushes, the Sonicare and the Oral-B Braun.  These are not the battery powered toothbrushes, these brushes plug into the wall and have a rechargeable battery.  They just have so much more brushing action than a manual toothbrush that even if you aren’t that great of a brusher, you can do an excellent job if you use one of these brushes daily.  In a recent study conducted by the National Institute of Health, they stated, “The subject group using the powered toothbrush demonstrated clinical and statistical improvement in overall plaque scores. Powered toothbrushes offer an individual the ability to brush the teeth in a way that is optimal in terms of removing plaque and improving gingival health, conferring good brushing technique on all who use them, irrespective of manual dexterity or training.”(1)  In another study, “the Sonicare DiamondClean toothbrush was found to be safe and significantly superior to a manual toothbrush in reducing gingivitis, sites of gingival bleeding and plaque over time.  DiamondClean reduced gingivitis and gingival bleeding sites up to two times more and removed up to four times more plaque than a manual toothbrush after four weeks of use.”(2)   Sonicare also states that their ‘DiamondClean toothbrush effectively removed extrinsic tooth stain within one and two weeks of use, and it was significantly superior to a manual toothbrush at both one and two week checks.'(3)  On the Oral B website, they state that their Professional Precision 5000 toothbrush has produced these results:  34% less gingival bleeding at 6 months vs. a regular manual toothbrush and 29% lower gingival bleeding scores at 3 months vs. Sonicare® FlexCare (4)

It is still important to use the powered toothbrush 2 times daily for at least 2 minutes and allow the toothbrush to clean along the gumline.  If you have an electric toothbrush but it mostly sits on your counter, that doesn’t count when we ask if you use an electric toothbrush!

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Philips Sonicare DiamondClean

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                                                     Oral-B® Professional Precision 5000

Electric toothbrushes come in many different models and prices.  Take a look at a store like Target or Walgreens, they have lots of choices so you can find one that will fit your budget and taste.  We carry our favorite electric brushes and replacement brush heads in our office as well, and we are happy to answer any questions you might have about toothbrushes.  I like to answer questions about brushes so much that I go to Target and walk up and down the dental isle just so I can give advice to shoppers!!

So, remember what I tell my younger patients:  2 times a day for 2 minutes.  It’s easy to do and easy to remember!

Karen Kelley  R.D.H.

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 Just some fun photos to make you smile!

 

1.  http://222.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23674927

2.  http://sonicare.com/professional/en_AU/pdf/Gingival_DC_2011_Milleman.pdf

3.  http://staging1.microsites.ce.philips.com/DP_AU_EN_3_3_Orc2/pdf/Stain_DC_2010_Colgan.pdf

4.   http://www.dentalcare.com/en-US/oral-b-crest-professional-products/category/electric-toothbrushes/oralb-5000-professional-trial.aspx

Image Sources

http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/sonicare-hx9332-diamondclean-rechargeable-electric-toothbrush?ID=827710

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/proper-angle-for-brushing-your-teeth

http://www.impledent.com/patient-services/teeth-dental-cleanings/

http://blog.sciencemuseum.org.uk/talkscience/2011/10/27/wonderful-things-more-than-meets-the-eye/

http://www.oralb.com/products/pro-health-gentle-clean/

http://www.oralb.com/products/professional-care-smart-series-5000/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=%2Boralb%20%2B5000&utm_campaign=Oral-B_Search_Desktop_Brand+Awareness_Power|ProfessionalCare+SmartSeries+5000&utm_content=sGVAVXD2P|dc_21461550775_b_%2Boralb%20%2B5000

www.pinterest.com

Waterpiks

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Lora Cook RDH

A question I am often asked of my patients is, “what do you think about a waterpik?” Waterpiks are great, but they DO NOT replace flossing with string floss. Once a person hears that they still have to floss, a look of discouragement or disgust comes across their face.  However, before you completely write off the thought of investing time and money into to a water pick, let me give you some information.

Waterpiks force oxygenated water underneath the gum tissue where plaque and bacteria like to hide.  This bacteria that lives under the tissue is anaerobic, it thrives under the gum tissue in that non-oxygenated environment. The oxygenated water works to not only flush out plaque and food, but also kills bacteria.  Also adding a few ounces of a quality, over the counter mouth rinse\antiseptic to the water reservoir is effective in reducing the bacterial load in the mouth.

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Who can benefit the most from the adding a waterpik to their daily oral hygiene routine?  I recommend water picks to patients who have bridges, implants, braces, or have been diagnosed with periodontal disease. The waterpik can reach places that string floss can miss.  Studies show that it is 50% more effective then just dental floss alone.  With a 3 second application it is 99.9% effective in the removal of plaque.

Some patients ask if waterpiks are so effective, why do I still need to use my string floss?  The string floss will scrap and mechanically remove the sticky plaque that likes to stick to the tooth surface. A waterpik will just rinse it.

There are different types of waterpiks out on the market.  A counter top water pik with a seperate resevoir and a cordless waterpik.  The cordless waterpic is rechargeable, no batteries needed. The water reservoir will hold 45 seconds of water supply.  All waterpics have different pressure settings, the water pressure will be 45 to 75 psi.

cordless

Another type of waterpik is called shower floss.  Many people have never heard of this type, and do not know that it is available.  This unit is attached to your shower head, it comes with a rechargeable battery pack. This unit will supply a  continues flow of water without having to stop and refill.  With this nifty unit you also do not have to worry about making a mess of your bathroom mirror!

 

shower flosser

Another type of waterpik is a shower floss.  Many people have never heard of this type, and do not know that it is available.  This unit is attached to your shower head, it comes with a rechargeable battery pack. This unit will supply a  continues flow of water without having to stop and refill.  With this nifty unit you also do not have to worry about making a mess of your bathroom mirror!

 

 

http://www.waterpik.com/oral-health/products/dental-water-flosser/WP-480/

http://www.waterpik-store.com/?trk_src_ss=WATFGS49WEBPAYPC

Kids and Dentistry

I have to say that my favorite appointments are the ones with patients who are 18 and younger. No offense to the rest of the adult world, however, kids are the best. They are like little sponges soaking up all the dental knowledge I can share. Being a future parent I want to know all the information I can get to help my children have smooth transition into new experiences. Here are some kid tips for in office and at home to help our children have a great time at the dentist.

Office Tips:

When should my child first come to the dentist?

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) children should come no later than 12 months of age. That may sound early to most people. However, this helps create a dental home for the child. We can also answer questions that the parents may have. Your dentist and hygienist will give advice on snacking habits, teach oral hygiene tips and make sure your child’s teeth are coming in on schedule.

The first visit is called a “Happy Visit”, we show them the instruments and the dentist checks their teeth. Cleanings are dependent on the temperament of the child. Whatever they are comfortable with. We want a happy, calm visit.

Regular Check ups

Cleanings are to be 2 times per year. The dentist checks for dental decay, orthodontic needs, discuss sports guards and if sealants should be placed. Hygiene cleanings are performed. Fluoride treatments are given and oral hygiene instruction is tailored to the child’s needs.

What if my child has a cavity?

Then you are at the perfect place. At our offices we have wonderful doctors and staff who help each and every patient have a great experience. Start off by setting a good example to your child by being calm. The child will always be well-informed on what is going on during the appointment. Believe it or not we have had better experiences with not having the parent in the room during the procedures. This helps the child develop trust with the doctor and the child will more likely communicate with the dentist about his or her needs rather than the parent.

Nitrous Oxide or laughing gas is very effective for children. It is fast acting, calms the patient quickly, it is safe, reversible, and is affordable for most patients. Kids respond well to the nitrous. Just like adults your child will always have localized anesthesia to make the procedure virtually painless.

We may refer some patients to a pediatric dentist. This is decided by the child’s temperament, if there is a large amount of dental work to be done, or they need to be sedated. However, most of the time we can take care of all dental needs presented.

Home Tips:

Oral Hygiene Habits
Brush 2 times per day for 2 minutes. Make sure the brush has soft bristles. An electric toothbrush helps kids brush for longer and it is more fun.

It is recommended for parents to help children brush and floss until the age of 8.

Floss at least 1 time per day if not more.

Sequence-

  1. Rinse with mouthwash
  2. Floss
  3. Brush, spit in the sink and do not rinse afterwards. We want the fluoride to stay on the teeth.

Infants should have their oral cavity wiped with a clean damp cloth before bed at night.

Tooth brushing charts are a great motivator for kids who have a hard time brushing.You can find many online to print out.

Fluoride

Under 2 yrs smear fluoride toothpaste onto the brush. 2 yrs and above a small pea size should suffice. According to the AAPD.

Parents should dispense toothpaste to prevent from too much being digested.

Further questions about fluoride and its benefits consult your dentist or hygienist.

Diet

Have a balanced diet of veggies, fruit, meat and beans, dairy, and whole grains. Limit amounts of starchy and sugary foods.

Significantly decrease amounts of soda and fruit juices

Limit frequency of snacking.

Xylitol

Xylitol is a sugar substitute that also helps prevent cavities. It is put in gums such at Ice Breaker Ice Cubes, Trident and others. It also can be bought to be used in baking. Xylitol is a great way to keep sweets in our lives with benefit of not getting cavities.

Dental Caries is the number one disease that affects children. The good thing is that cavities are preventable. Health in the oral cavity affects our entire bodies. With these tips and many others our children are on their way to a life of happy, healthy, smiles.

-Kara Johansen BSRDH

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (2011). Ask Your Dentist About Dental Care For Your Baby. Retrieved from http://www.aapd.org/publications/brochures/

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (2011). Ask Your Dentist About Nitrous Oxide. Retrieved from http://www.aapd.org/publications/brochures/

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (2011). Ask your Dentist About Diet and Snacking. Retrieved from http://www.aapd.org/publications/brochures/

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (2011). Ask Your Dentist About Regular Dental Visits. Retrieved from http://www.aapd.org/publications/brochures/

Wonders of Whitening

There are so many different types of teeth whitening out on the market now-a-days, ever wonder if they all work? Which ones are the best for you? Do they last long? Are they good for your teeth and gums? Do they damage your tooth structure? Often, people whiten their teeth with different products without really knowing what it is, the effectiveness, and do they have that long-term effect that everyone wants. If you’re anything like me, you strive for whiter teeth every day. I have been obsessed with whitening my teeth ever since I got my braces off 6 years ago. I have tried every method under the sun and have found positives and negatives about each one.

The first method I started out with were the whitening strips. I found these to be most convenient and affordable at a young age. I purchased the 60 pack of Crest White Strips at Costco for around 100 dollars. I started using them as soon as I got home! I found they were a little odd at first. Teeth whitening strips are clear, flimsy plastic that you place on your teeth and hope that they don’t slide or fall off so you won’t have to taste the yucky bleach. They are coated on one side with a film of hydrogen peroxide bleaching agent. You open a bottom strip, and a top strip and place them on your teeth. I found them to be a bit awkward because I felt like I had to keep my mouth open, and smiling the whole time so I wouldn’t swallow the bleach, or get it on anything but my teeth. The strips definitely made a difference, it just took a while. If you’re an impatient person like I am, this is not the route to go.

Another option I tried was ordering trays online that you boil and then shape them to your teeth. Let me tell you one thing before I continue, DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THIS. They do not work, and are the most frustrating things on the planet. Trying to boil something, and put it into your mouth right after, HURTS! They didn’t mold correctly, and they were uncomfortable. I had a hard time having them in my mouth for an hour each day. I just couldn’t do it anymore. After about 2 weeks of no difference in my teeth what-so-ever. Definitely recommend steering clear of an online order for bleach trays.

I am an aspiring Dental Hygienist. I have a passion for teeth, and have had that passion ever since I would beg my friends to allow me pull their teeth out when I was 5 years old. Teeth are a big deal in my life. I started working in a dental office about 7 months ago while I go to school for Dental Hygiene. While working there, I have been introduced to a whole new world of whitening. I have learned more about whitening then I have ever hoped. The first week of working, I purchased the custom trays. Let me just say this before I continue, this has been the best decision I have ever made (next to some other life altering choices). The trays are affordable and range depending on the office, mine were obviously at a discounted price being an employee of the practice. These trays are custom, like I said. Getting set up does take the most time by far, but the results are more than worth the time invested. First you come in for impressions, usually later that day we have the trays ready for you. The material we use comes in a prefilled syringe like tube which makes it easier to apply in the bleach trays. The syringes contain 16% hydrogen peroxide which is more than enough to remove those stubborn stains, or even effects of tetracycline use (see previous blog). I have a bonded tooth that can sometimes get a little discolored, and what I love most about this bleach is that it makes a huge difference even on my bonded tooth. The best thing about custom trays is that they are comfortable, and you only have to use a little bit of gel, so when you put the trays in, they aren’t over flowing with bleach making it awkward to close your mouth. I wore my trays consistently for one hour every night for 7 days and saw a huge difference. The trays are a good choice if you’re the type of person that wants results fast and loves convenience at a reasonable cost. The only downside to this method of whitening is that when you put too much bleach in your trays and it makes contact with your gums, it may cause a little bit of discomfort or a little bit of pain. But other than that, this is my go to whitening!

My office, as well as many other dentist offices offer in office whitening. It is a one day office visit, pain-free, short chair time procedure, with lasting results. This is by far the most popular procedure. It is popular because of the long-lasting effects. You have one visit, and your teeth are up to 7 shades lighter. A lot of people are very hesitant of in office whitening due to the fact that they are afraid their teeth may become sensitive. With the in office procedure, 4 separate tubes of whitening are applied to your teeth over an hour period in 15 minutes intervals there is little to no sensitivity.

All of this talk about whitening leads me to my most exciting discovery. In talking about my pursuit for excellence in whitening around the office, I discovered that my office participates in an annual Zoom Whitening campaign called Smiles for Life. Smiles for Life is a whitening campaign partnered with the Crown Council that whitens teeth on a donation basis. During March – June of every year my office joined with Philips Oral Health makers of ZOOM whiten teeth and all the proceeds go directly to charity, 50% of proceeds benefit national children’s charities, 50% benefit a charity of our choice – Hope Arising, visit http://www.smilesforlife.org for more details. Hope Arising is a sustainable organization that helps people of Ethiopia, we work very closely with Hope Arising , even traveling to Africa twice a year to aid in their stabilization efforts. While in Ethiopia we provide dental services to those in need as well as aid in other efforts to stabilize agriculture and water delivery systems to local villages, visit http://www.hopearising.org for more details or information on how you can help. In the 2012 Smiles for Life campaign we raised over $10,000 and donated approximately $5,000 to Hope Arising, were hoping for an even more successful 2013.

Different whitening methods apply to different people. You may love the strips, and hate the trays. You may love the in office whitening and hate everything else. These are just some of Cassie’s (me) tips to whiter teeth! And for a good cause, too  If you need any more information on whitening, please feel free to email me at appt@shalimarfamilydentistry.com or call me at (480)838-3355. I am very reachable by both.teeth-whiteningpress_release_distribution_0301198_57938

Bad Breath? No Problem!

Do you suffer from bad breath? Does it linger with you throughout the day and you just can’t get rid of it? Don’t be embarrassed, you and the 40 million Americans are not alone.

Halitosis, also more commonly known as bad breath occurs when unpleasant odors are exhaled through the mouth. In most cases, bad breath originates from the mouth. One of the most common causes of bad breath is the build-up of plaque. When people don’t floss, or brush as much as they should, the plaque then begins to harbor bacteria resulting in bad breath, even if you just brushed your teeth! Some symptoms to be on the look out for bad breath are; smell, bad taste or taste changes in your mouth, dry mouth, and a coating on your tongue.

 Most causes of bad breath are due to inadequate oral hygiene. If good oral hygiene practices, or a dentist do no eliminate bad breath, you should consult your physician. Very few causes of bad breath may need medical attention from a physician. When to seek that type of medical attention is when you have a persistent dry mouth, sores in the mouth, pain with chewing or swallowing, white spots on the tonsils, fever,  or just started a new medication. New parents need to watch their babies or young children because bad breath may be a sign of infection or undiagnosed medical problem.

If your bad breath is a result of poor oral hygiene, here are a few tips to help your teeth stay healthy, and smelling clean!

  • brush twice a day with toothpaste containing fluoride
  • brush teeth after meals, especially meals that contain foods high in acid
  • replace your toothbrush every 2 months, this helps your overall health as well. This way you won’t keep putting the same bad bacteria in your mouth over and over again.
  • make sure you are seeing a dentist twice a year for your regular cleanings and check-ups to avoid any problems that might be brewing in your mouth
  • brush your tongue regularly, it really makes a huge difference
  • make sure you are flossing regularly so those food particles that get stuck in between your teeth don’t harbor bacteria
  • keep your mouth moist and wet by drinking lots of water! It’s not a bad idea to make it a habit to drink more water throughout the day because your overall health also benefits from it! Who doesn’t love a 2 for 1 special?

Don’t be embarrassed if you have bad breath, just remember you aren’t alone. Try the tips suggested above, and if they don’t work, come in and see a dentist. We want you to be comfortable, and our number one goal is to see you walk out the door with happy smiles!

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