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/

Your Tongue Says a lot About Your Health

KO6A8495-Edit - Copy

Lora Cook, RDH

Your Tongue Says a lot About Your Health

Look into the mirror, stick out your tongue.  What does it look like?  What is the color, the texture, what do you think it is saying about you?  Here are some examples of what you might see and what it means.

WHITE PATCHES: 

This may be a sign of a overgrowth of candida or yeast in your mouth. You may have also heard this condition called thrush.  This condition is very treatable with prescription from your dentist for a anti fungal mouth wash from the pharmacy.

BLACK AND HAIRY:

This can have several different causes; poor oral hygiene, bacteria overgrowth, or yeast growth.  This may look alarming it does not cause any health problems and is usually painless.  This condition will usually resolved without treatment.

 

RED AND WHITE SPOTS:

These are usually areas where your taste buds have worn down. This is very common and no need to treat.

WEBBED OR STRIPED LOOK:

This is a chronic auto immune disease that effects the mucus membrane in your mouth.

RED TONGUE:

This may simply indicate a fever or strep throat.  However chronic redness in tongue may indicate a deficiency in certain vital nutrients such as; folic acid, B12, or iron.  This is a photo of a individual with B12 deficiency; smooth, beefy, red tongue.

RIDGES:

This is a result of the tongue pressing into teeth, usually while you are sleeping.  This may be a tell tale sign that you tend to clinch and grind your teeth in your sleep, usually stress induced.

This ridges will go away, the treatment for clinch and grinding is a custom night guard.

Another potential cause of these ridges is if your tongue becomes slightly enlarged or swollen.  This may be a indication of thyroid problems.

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.skinsight.com/adult/oralCandidiasisThrush.htm

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/black-hairy-tongue/multimedia/black-hairy-tongue/img-20006420

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/do-your-taste-buds-change-as-you-get-older.html

http://www.aaom.com/oral-lichen-planus

http://stanfordmedicine25.stanford.edu/the25/tongue.html

http://www.healcure.org/tongue/tongue-problems/scalloped-tongue-causes-pictures-hyperthyroid-diagnosis-treatment/

HELP! I Need A Good Nights Sleep!

Kim McCrady

Kim McCrady RDH BS

     I have been happily married for over 20 years to a wonderful man.  In fact, he is the man of my dreams.  The trouble is I am not doing much dreaming.  You see, my knight in shining armor snores!  He snores so much that I find it difficult to sleep. Each night, I stare at the blades of the ceiling fan.  Almost in rhythm with each exhale and spin of the fan, my sweetie lets out a sound that makes me think Darth Vader lives with me.

darthvadar

Snoring can be more than an annoyance.  It can be a sign of greater and or more serious medical problems.  It is very important to see your medical doctor if you or your partner are complaining about snoring.   Though a medical examination and possibly sleep studies, your medical team can determine if you are a candidate for appliances to help keep you healthy and properly rested.

However, if your medical team determines you are in good health, but just closely related to Darth Vader, your dental team can fabricate a small anti-snoring appliance.  This comfortable appliance is worn completely inside the mouth and carefully repositions the lower jaw to allow for a more open airway during sleep.  If you would like more information about snoring appliances, please contact us for a complimentary consultation.

Let’s all enjoy a Good Nights Sleep!

silent-nite

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com/

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com/

 Sources:

http://distilleryimage5.s3.amazonaws.com.

http://www.glidewelldental.com/dentist/services/removables-silent-nite.aspx