How to Clean Your Denture/Partial Denture

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Lindsay Olsen, RDH

How to Clean Your Denture/Partial Denture 

Rinse your dentures before brushing to remove any loose food or debris.

Use a soft bristle toothbrush and a non-abrasive cleanser to gently brush all the surfaces of the dentures so they don’t get scratched.

When brushing, clean your mouth thoroughly—including your gums, cheeks, roof of your mouth and tongue to remove any plaque. This can help reduce the risk of oral irritation and bad breath.

When you’re not wearing your dentures, put them in a safe place covered in water to keep them from warping.

Do not sleep with your dentures. Your tissues need to breath overnight. If you do not take out your dentures at night, you are at risk of developing oral fungal infections.

Occasionally, denture wearers may use adhesives. Adhesives come in many forms: creams, powders, pads/wafers, strips or liquids. If you use one of these products, read the instructions, and use them exactly as directed. Your dentist can recommend appropriate cleansers and adhesives; look for products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Products with the ADA Seal have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness.

Visit your dentist once every 6 months for a complimentary oral cancer screening, and to have the fit of your denture evaluated.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Invisalign

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Amanda Orvis, RDH

INVISALIGN

Invisalign is a uniquely designed orthodontic treatment developed to correct mild to severe cases of malocclusion, including crowding, protruding or crooked teeth, overbites and/or underbites. Invisalign is an affordable option for correcting most dental malocclusion problems.

WHAT MAKES INVISALIGN DIFFERENT?

You may be asking yourself, what is the difference between Invisalign and traditional braces? With Invisalign you can achieve very similar if not the same outcomes as traditional braces. The advantages of Invisalign are the comfort, flexibility, and ease of access to properly care for your teeth without having brackets, wires or rubber bands in your mouth.

Invisalign uses a series of aligners to straighten your teeth over the course of your treatment. Aligners are smooth plastic trays that you wear over your teeth. Each set of aligners is worn for a few weeks before changing to a new set.

ADVANTAGES

The great thing about Invisalign is that there are no personal sacrifices in terms of food! You do not have to give up popcorn, chips, bagels, pizza crust, pretzels, nuts, apples, carrots, or corn on the cob. Fortunately, Invisalign aligners are removable, therefore allowing you to eat and drink as well as brush and floss your teeth as you would normally do. The aligners are worn for 20-22 hours a day while they gradually move your teeth into their correct positions. The aligners should only be removed to eat as well as brush and floss your teeth.

HEALTHIER TEETH AND GUMS

Often times crowding or malocclusion issues can lead to swollen, red, bleeding gums. These are signs of periodontal disease. By properly aligning the teeth, inflammation is reduced, allowing your gum tissue to fit properly around the teeth. This provides a defense against potential periodontal problems.

Food debris and plaque build-up can lead to tooth decay. In order to maintain strong healthy teeth, simply remove your aligners and brush and floss as you would normally do. Try to avoid eating and/or drinking while your aligners are in your mouth.

THE INVISALIGN PROCESS

  • Talk to your dentist about your interest in Invisalign.
  • Your dentist will take impressions and photos and send them off to Invisalign. A customized treatment plan will be created just for you.
  • After your treatment plan is created, you will then go into your dental office for a brief viewing of a virtual presentation of your anticipated final outcomes.
  • Upon your approval of your anticipated outcomes, Invisalign then fabricates your series of aligners and sends them to your dental office.
  • Your dental office will then call you to schedule an appointment for you to come in and receive your first set of aligners.
  • Over the course of your Invisalign treatment you will change out your aligners every few weeks.
  • After the completion of all of your aligners, retainers are then made to keep your teeth in their new positions to keep that new smile looking great.

We look forward to helping you create that new smile that you have always wanted.

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.invisalign.com/how-invisalign-works

http://happytoothnc.com/braces-vs-invisalign/

 

Keeping That Holiday Smile

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Cortney Davis, RDH

Keeping That Holiday Smile

There is a lot to be excited about and look forward to during the holidays; time with family, friends, giving and receiving presents, world peace (hopefully), service, and food. In my opinion food is the main ingredient in the recipe for a great Christmas. This time of year we are surrounded by delicious food. From holiday ham to endless desserts and treats, there are so many kinds of foods and drinks we consume while merrymaking with friends and family and soaking up as much “holiday spirit” as possible. So, eating and drinking your way through December is the norm. With all this yummy food around there is always one thing I remember to do, take care of my mouth. Yes, I admit a lot of yummy goodness goes into my overly-enthusiastic stomach, but that “gateway” needs some extra maintenance this time of year.  So here are a few tips to help keep your mouth healthy for the holidays.

My first tip is to enjoy sweets in moderation. During the holiday’s sweets are serious temptations. Holiday cookies or hot chocolate may be fun to eat and drink, but can certainly wreak havoc on your teeth. Rather than preventing yourself from eating all those treats altogether, consider saving them for special parties or occasions. By controlling your consumption of these sugary foods, you can minimize the damage to your teeth.

Another effective tip that I recommend is to reduce the possibility of staining one’s teeth. Red is a festive color, and it can also cause teeth stains. There are many different foods and drinks consumed during Christmas that can stain your teeth, such as cranberries, desserts, beets, red punch, or wine. After I consume food or drink that has the potential to stain my teeth, I like to slip into the bathroom and rinse with a small amount of water to ensure I don’t end up with heavy staining on my teeth.

The third tip, which is hard for me to follow is to remember to brush and floss after a big meal. This is very hard for many (myself included) because I tend to find myself sitting down and falling into a food-induced coma.  I have been known to have eaten holiday ham followed by apple cider and pie then finished it off with a pound of left over mash potatoes and after slip into a deep, restful nap on the couch. Then, I remember waking up to the feeling of gross, fuzzy plaque on my teeth, which didn’t feel so great. Leaving food on your teeth for too long can contribute to gum disease and tooth decay. So remember, even if it’s flossing that extra roll out from in between your teeth just try and get as much of the food out of your teeth without waiting too long.

My final tip is to not delay dental treatment or emergencies during the holidays. Yes, we get very busy during the holidays, between cooking, shopping, going to family functions, or enjoying the holiday season it is easy to put off treatment you may need. It’s also easy to say to yourself that you will do it after the holidays. But, prolonging treatment or being late on a dental appointment could make things worse. Delaying dental treatment can cause more serious problems, and if you suspect something is wrong or have been diagnosed with something needed to be treated, it is best to get it done before it gets worse. Luckily for our patients, we still have nights and weekend appointments available during the holidays!!

I hope you enjoyed these helpful tips. I also hope everyone has a great holiday and enjoy your time with your loved ones.

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.deltadentalin.com/medialibraries/global/documents/grinmagazine-holiday13.pdf

http://www.dewda.com/blog/infographic-how-to-keep-your-smile-merry-and-bright-during-the-holiday-season.html

Myths of Dentistry

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Cortney Davis, RDH

Myths of Dentistry

 It’s no myth that to some dental work can be scary sometimes. Statistics show that around 12 percent of the population in the U.S. says they are anxious when it comes to visiting the dentist, and many don’t know how to take care of their oral health properly. With the overwhelming anxiety and stress build up around dentists and dental health, it’s not shocking that people may have made up or heard several dental myths over the years. People then tend to believe these myths and decide not go to the dentist regularly, rather than find out the truth. Having false information can be harmful to your health, so let’s talk about some of the common myths which you may believe yourself or have heard.

Myth #1- As long as I brush my teeth twice a day or don’t have tooth pain, I don’t need to go to the dentist.

Fact: While brushing twice a day and flossing once daily is Important, it is not enough. It is also important to get routine cleanings. During cleanings, the hygienist will clean the hard to reach areas, will make sure your gums are healthy, and will educate patients on proper home care. Dentists will also use x-rays and visual exams to make sure a patient doesn’t have any problems with their teeth or gums. Many don’t know this, but you don’t always have tooth pain when you have a tooth problem or gum disease, and if left untreated a tooth problem and unhealthy gum tissue will only get worse and lead to more serious problems. That’s why it is so important to come in for routine check-ups.

Myth #2 The dentist only wants my money

Fact: While some dental procedures and treatments can seem costly, they are completely worth it. As stated above, if dental problems are left untreated for a period, the treatment needed typically becomes more extensive which will cost more than a simple cleaning every six months. If a dentist can catch the signs of infection early, treatment will be minimal and less costly.

Myth #3 Bleaching your teeth can damage them.

Fact: Bleaching is a popular service that allows patients to get whiter smiles faster. Scientific studies have shown that using peroxide to whiten teeth is both safe and efficient. Although bleaching can cause some sensitivity when a patient is using it, bleaching gel is safe concerning damage of the structure of teeth; it merely makes teeth whiter and brighter.

Myth #4. If gums are bleeding, brushing and flossing should be avoided. 

Fact: The exact opposite is true. Regular brushing and flossing are essential to remove plaque build-up which causes bleeding gums.   Bleeding gums is a sign of gum brokerage, and more care actually must be done to avoid worse oral problems.

Myth #5 Baby teeth aren’t important, they will fall out anyway.

Fact: Yes, eventually all of your child’s 20 baby teeth will fall out eventually. However, many serve important functions for your child’s development. Baby teeth are known as the natural space maintainers for adult teeth and if a child loses a tooth too early due to dental problems, they could cause crowding for adult teeth. The health of your child’s baby teeth can also affect the health of their adult teeth. If you leave dental decay in a baby tooth untreated, it could eventually cause your child pain, abscesses, swelling, and affect the adult tooth developing under the baby tooth. Also, if the infection got worse it could even spread to other parts of the child’s body.

Myth #6 I shouldn’t go to the dentist because I am pregnant

Fact: A dental check-up is recommended during pregnancy. Although many women make it nine months with no dental discomfort, pregnancy can make conditions worse or create new ones due to hormonal changes and changes in eating habits. Regular checkups and good dental health habits can help keep you and your baby healthy. Local anesthetics and x-rays are okay during pregnancy although they are to be done only when necessary.

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.pediatricdentistrichmond.com/downloads/Top10Myths_Childrens_Teeth.pdf

http://www.stlawrencedentistry.com/top-10-dental-myths/

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/pregnancy/concerns

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/oral-care/problems/5-common-dental-myths.htm

What are your Tooth Fairy Traditions?

Sharma RDH
Sharma Mulqueen RDH
What are your Tooth Fairy Traditions?
The tooth fairy is one of many childhood fantasy figures we remember fondly. We lost our baby teeth, stuck them under our pillow, and the mysterious tooth fairy would swap our teeth out for money or maybe
a special toy! What could be better than that?
The tooth fairy isn’t quite the same for everyone though!
The legend of the tooth fairy has changed over the years and even varies widely around the world. Let’s learn a little bit more about other tooth fairy traditions!
The Tooth Fairy Legend Began with Ancient Superstitions
Before the tooth fairy went looking under our pillow for baby teeth; she used to look in the ground! In early Europe, burying or burning baby teeth was a precaution taken against witches. It was believed that if a witch got a hold of one of your teeth, they could have complete power over you!
Along with a fear of witches, children were instructed to burn their teeth so that they could have a peaceful afterlife. It was believed that if a tooth wasn’t incinerated, the person would be doomed to spend eternity searching for them. As you can imagine burning their teeth was very important!
The Vikings didn’t want to destroy baby teeth, however. They even paid for them! In Norse culture, children’s teeth were believed to bring good luck in battle, so many warriors had necklaces made of children’s fallen out teeth!
The Tooth Mouse Might Be More Popular that the Fairy
In many Spanish speaking and French speaking countries like France, little children place their tooth under their pillow. Instead of the tooth fairy, they wait for the “Tooth Mouse” to come and take their tooth away and replace it with money.
What is the Tooth Mouse Called?
In French speaking countries, the tooth mouse is called La petite Souri
In Spanish speaking countries it is called
el Ratoncito Perez=Perez the mouse (Argentina, Spain)
el Raton=Little mouse= (Venezuela, Mexico and Guatemala)
Tooth Bunny
Instead of a tooth fairy or tooth mouse, El Salvador has a small bunny that comes for their baby teeth.
Tooth Tossing
In Middle Eastern Countries like Iraq, Jordan and Egypt. It is customary for the children to throw their lost teeth towards the sun, asking they send them a new, stronger tooth.
The Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, and Botswana throw their teeth onto a roof in hopes that a mouse will take the teeth from the roof and replace them with teeth that are strong like a rodent’s.
In some Asian countries, when a child loses a tooth, they give it a toss. In India, they toss it onto the roof. In Japan, they throw it straight up into the air if it came from their upper jaw, and straight down if it came from their lower jaw. Why? To ensure their new adult teeth grow in as straight as possible.
How Our Modern Tooth Fairy Came to Be
As with many American traditions, the tooth fairy has roots in European folklore. Instead of burying our teeth in the ground, we “bury” our teeth under our pillow! It is said that our modern conception of the tooth fairy came about in the early 1900s. With the help of Walt Disney’s beloved fairy characters, the idea of a tooth fairy gained popularity and became what it is today! Today’s going rate for a tooth is $3.19.
The Tooth Fairy Plays an Important Role for Children
The legend of the tooth fairy is likely still so prevalent because it helps comfort children when they lose their teeth, an experience that can be traumatic for some. When a child losses his/her teeth it can be a scary moment. Parents can comfort their children by congratulating them on losing a tooth. Bed time will be lots of fun preparing the tooth for pickup! The tooth fairy helps them see this big step as a positive experience and a sign that they are growing up!
From time to time you may be in one of our Signature offices and may spot a Tooth Fairy. Keep your eyes open.
 Tooth Fairy
If you have any questions regarding your children’s teeth, please call one of our offices and we will be glad to help you.
Sources:
http://www.toothfairysmilesatnight.com
http://www.worldcat.org/title/toothtraditionaroundtheworld

What are those white spots on my teeth?

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Ann Clark, RDH

                                                                                                      What are those white spots on my teeth?

Dental fluorosis is not a disease but a permanent cosmetic condition affecting the way the teeth look.  It occurs when baby and permanent teeth are forming under the gums.  Once erupted, teeth cannot develop enamel fluorosis.  This condition is caused by overexposure to fluoride during the development stage of the tooth.  After their eruption into the mouth, teeth may appear discolored;  such as: lacy white markings, yellow to brown stains, surface irregularities, or pitting into the enamel.

Causes
A major cause is inappropriate use of fluoride products such as toothpaste and rinses.  Children are offered products with some fun flavors.  They are known to eat and swallow them so remind them to spit out.  Taking a higher than recommended supplement can also cause fluorosis.  The perfect amount is already regulated into the water where it occurs naturally.  Symptoms of fluorosis range from small white specks or streaks to dark brown stains and rough, pitted enamel.  A normal healthy tooth is smooth and glossy and a pale creamy white.

Treatment
Most cases are mild not requiring treatment.  White spots are considered moderate if more than 50% of the surface is affected  and severe if pitting occurs.  The appearance can be improved by various technique options aimed to mask stains.  Such techniques may include:
Teeth Whitening and other procedures to remove the surface staining.  Initially whitening can temporarily worsen the appearance.
Bonding: a coating over the enamel bonded with a hard resin.
Crowns
Veneers: custom-made facings that cover the front of teeth.
MI Paste: a calcium phosphate product sometimes combined with a micro abrasion procedure to minimize discolorations.

Prevention
Parental care is the key to preventing fluorosis.  If you drink well water, which is not regulated, or bottled water,your public health department or local laboratory can analyze the fluoride content.
Fluoride is also in some fruit juices and sodas, so knowing the water content will help you decide whether or not a supplement is needed.  Also, keeping fluoride containing products, like toothpaste, rinses and supplements out of children’s reach is recommended.  Ingesting a large amount of fluoride in a short period of time may result in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain.  Only a small pea-sized amount of toothpaste is needed for each time you brush.
Encourage your child to spit out and not swallow.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

 

Sources:

webmd.com Fluorosis:Symptoms, causes, and treatments

American Academy of pediatric Dentistry:”Enamel Fluorosis”
Kidshealth.org: “Fluoride in Water”
Reuters Health:”U.S. Lowers Limits for Fluoride in Water”
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research:”The Story of Fuloridation”
SimpleStepsToBetterDentalHealth.com:”Fluorosis”
CDC:”Prevalence and Severity of Dental Fluorosis in the United States, 1999-2004″

The “T’s” of Thanksgiving

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Wendy Parker RDH

The “T’s” of Thanksgiving

It’s that time of year again, when the holidays are upon us, family and friend gatherings, and days seem to get shorter and shorter.  With each passing year, it seems like we become busier and busier and time grows shorter and shorter.  This holiday season, I hope we all take the challenge and remember all the big and the little things we can be thankful for each and every day.  At the end of your day, I hope that we remember to say thank you to someone, to smile, and to be grateful for the small and simple things in life.  With that said, and with the fact that I am a hygienist, I am listing just a few things that I am thankful that begin with the letter “T.”

TEETH that help me smile, talk, and eat
Teeth
Toothbrushes and Toothpaste to keep my mouth healthy and happy
Turkey, who doesn’t love Turkey?!
Turkey
Trivia, to enlighten me with random facts of knowledge
Trivia Pursuit
Technology that enables us to solve problems and obtain information at the touch of hand
Technology
Terrific Employers, Friends/Employees I work with and Patients that make my job more than just an occupation
Signature
consisting of:
North Stapley
Shalimar
Alameda
Smiles
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From all of us here, we wish you the happiest and most memorable holiday season!  May you know how grateful we are for YOU this Thanksgiving Season!

What type of Floss is right for you?

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Andra Mahoney BS RDH 

What type of floss is right for you?

Several months ago, Wendy wrote a great article on the necessity of flossing ( https://dentistrydonedifferently.com/2014/05/19/flossing-do-i-have-to/).  Now that you have accepted that flossing is an integral part of your oral health, let’s pick out the right floss for you! There are a plethora of different types of floss, so you are bound to find the one that fits your wants and needs.

Let’s first examine your basic floss: 

There are two main types of floss: String and Tape.

String is the most common type of floss, and what everyone thinks of when they think floss.

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String floss comes in nylon or polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).  Nylon floss is the most common string floss.  It comes in all different types of flavors and thicknesses.  It even comes waxed and un-waxed. The wax is added to the floss to help fit through teeth with tight contacts.

PTFE floss is a lot like a plastic string. It is a monofilament, which means it’s not made from multiple fibers so it will not rip, shread, or tear.  PTFE floss is newer and people seem to like it because it is strong!  It also comes in many thicknesses and flavors, though it is not waxed because it is made to glide between teeth.  Because of its strength, I recommend not snapping the floss between your teeth.  It can very easily hurt the gum tissue if it is pulled too hard.

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Dental Tape is becoming more and more common nowadays. It is very similar to, but wider than, string floss.  Many people with sensitive gums like tape floss because they find it more comfortable when flossing below the gum line.  It is also a great “starter” floss because it is thinner than regular nylon floss.

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Advanced Types of Floss:

Spongy or Super Floss is ideal for cleaning braces, bridges, and wide gaps between teeth. Super Floss has three unique components—a stiffened-end dental floss threader, spongy floss, and regular floss—all work together for maximum benefits. It allows you to floss under appliances, cleans around appliances, between wide spaces, and removes plaque under the gumline.

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Floss Threaders come in two different types.  One looks like a large, thin, sewing needle. The plus side of this type of threader is that you can thread any type of floss and pull it through. It makes it easy to use whatever floss you have lying around the house. The down side is you have to thread the floss each time you use it.

floss threaders

CAN Eez Thru Floss Threaders Demo

A little bit easier is the floss threader that is kind of like a shoe string. It has a built in threader tip attached to the floss, so there is one less step than the other floss threader. Both threaders are great for any appliance: bridges, braces, lingual bars, etc.

Oral-BGlidePro-HealthThreaderFloss

Other Options:

Floss Picks are great for flossing hard to reach spaces or when you’re on the go. You don’t have to be in a bathroom to floss! A few tips to remember, never reuse a floss pick. The plaque bacteria that is removed by the flosser isn’t always seen. You do not want that bacteria to be reintroduced into your mouth. Which brings us to tip two, use four flossers in one flossing session. One for the upper right, upper left, lower left, and lower right (each side is measured from the last molar to the midline between your front teeth). When using standard floss, you use about 18 inches. A flosser has about one inch of floss. You do not want to transfer the bacteria from one side of the mouth to the other. So after you have used one, toss it, and grab another. Flossers are very inexpensive and come in multipacks.

Floss pic

Powered Flossers are very useful for older people who find it hard to manipulate string floss into their mouth. A disposable tip is placed on the end of the powered flosser and when the button is depressed, the floss gently vibrates back and forth. Just place it between your teeth and floss away! As with the floss picks, please do not reuse the disposable ends of the flosser.

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Interproximal brushes are helpful to those who have wider spaces between their teeth. Two options are soft picks, which are like rubber toothpicks.

Free-Soft-Picks

And the other interdental brushes are like small pipe cleaners.

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 The difference between the two comes down to preference and how wide the space is between your teeth. Both options come in various sizes. These are also one time use items that come in a pack.

Extra Helpers:

Rubber Tip Simulators are not a type of floss, but they are handy in plaque removal. They are mainly used for cleaning under operculums. An operculum is a small flap of gum tissue. It is usually found in the back of the mouth by the last tooth. It can occur naturally or come about from a tooth that has not fully erupted into the mouth.

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 As seen in the picture, the right side is a normal tooth, and the left has an operculum. Plaque can get under this flap of tissue so it will need to be cleaned. Just take the rubber tip stimulated and swipe gently under the tissue.

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WaterPiks work wonderfully in addition to your floss!  Please remember, do not substitute waterpicks for brushing and flossing. Unlike flossing, waterpicks do not remove plaque. They are effective for people who have orthodontic braces, which may retain food in areas a toothbrush cannot reach, people who catch food between their teeth, or people who are looking for extra help with their gums.

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Brief Overview:

Large gaps between your teeth? Try dental tape or Super Floss.

Not much space between your teeth? You may find that a waxed floss is easier to slide into those tight spaces.

Want less mess? Look for disposable flossers or floss in pre-measured strands.

Braces or bridges? A spongy floss is a good option, but any floss can be used if you have a floss threader.

As you can see there are a lot of options out there! But do not fear! A study from the University of Buffalo stated, “Believe it or not, researchers have compared different types of dental floss to determine whether some are more effective than others to clean teeth. The bottom line is that they are not. Any type of floss will help promote clean teeth by removing food particles and bacteria.”

Just remember that when it comes to dental floss, flossing every day is the most important choice you and your family can make.

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(microscopic image of used dental floss)

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.oralb.com/topics/all-floss-types-work-well-when-used-daily.aspx

http://www.oralb.com/topics/choosing-the-best-dental-floss-for-you.aspx

http://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/flossing3.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thomas-p-connelly-dds/dental-floss_b_1643933.html

What Is Calculus Exactly?

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Wendy Parker RDH

 

Ever heard your hygienist use the words, “build up” or “calculus” while they were cleaning your teeth? Ever wondered what that was, exactly, or what they were talking about?

Growing up, most of us heard about plaque and the importance of removing it daily, but nowadays we hear about bioflim and calculus.  What is this all about? Well, my friends, read on and you’ll find out.

In the dental world, dental plaque has been changed to the term “Biofilm.”It is a more accurate term than plaque. It is more than just the soft fuzzy stuff on your teeth.  Biofilm is everywhere in our surroundings and can form on just about anything. Ranging from clogged drains, to slippery coated rocks, and in your mouth. Biofilm is bacteria’s home. Millions of bacteria stick together in biofilm which adheres to surfaces in moist environments. Biofilms excrete a slimy glue-like substance that sticks to all kinds of materials, including your teeth! Dental plaque IS the yellowish biofilm that builds up on teeth and is composed of a complex baterial community that causes gingivitis, in the mild form, cavities, and periodontal disease, in the more advanced cases.

 staphylococcus_aureus_biofilm_01_cmyk

Typically, you can remove this biofilm, a.k.a. plaque, with your fingernail in the early stages where it still feels like the soft fuzz-like feeling on your teeth.

However, within 48 hours, if undisturbed, it begins to harden and causes gingivitis (inflammation of the gum tissues).

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     If still undisturbed, about 10 days later, it becomes calculus (a.k.a. tartar), which is difficult to remove.  But don’t worry, we know a few good hygienists that can take care of that for you!

If, by some chance, the calculus stays there for a long period of time, the bacteria that is making it’s home in your mouth, then begins to affect the surrounding tissues, causing periodontal disease (bone and gum disease).

images

     So now that we KNOW what and how we get biofilm and calculus, how do we get rid of it?  The solution is something that we already know and that we have been hearing from the beginning of time.  There is no new shocking treatment, but it’s simple…you have to disrupt the bacteria from forming in your mouth and the best way to do this is to brush twice a day, floss once a day, and see your dentist/hygienist regularly.  If you wear some kind of appliance at night, like a nightguard or retainer, be sure you are brushing it and soaking it regularly.  Be sure to let us help you with any issues or needs you have to keep your smile working for you!

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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.colgateprofessional.com/patient-education/articles/what-is-biofilm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dental_plaque

http://www.dujs.dartmouth.edu

http://www.meadfamilydental.com

www.johngoodmandds.net

www.clipartbest.com

What is a Sealant?

KatieM

Katie Moynihan RDH

What is a Sealant?

Dental sealants are thin plastic-like coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of molars to prevent cavities. They work by providing a protective shield over the deep grooves and pits to seal out plaque and food. Often times, your toothbrush bristles do not reach all the way into the grooves to remove plaque and food. Once these vulnerable areas of your teeth are sealed, you can decrease your chance of tooth decay and be on your way to maintaining a healthy mouth!

Sealant 1

How are sealants applied?

In 5 easy steps:

1. The tooth is thoroughly cleaned.

2. It is then dried properly and covered in cotton, so it stays dry.

3. A solution is applied on the tooth to make it rough, so the sealant sticks better.

4. The tooth is rinsed, dried and again covered in cotton, so it stays dry.

5. The sealant material is painted on the tooth and hardened with a light.

Sealant 2

The likelihood of developing pit and fissure decay begins early in life. Sealants are often applied on children as a preventative method once their adult molars come in. However, adults with deep grooves on their teeth can also benefit from sealants. The process is a quick and painless method. Once applied, sealants can withstand the force of normal chewing and last for several years. During your regular dental visits, we will check the condition of the sealant and re-apply as needed.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

Sources:

Hood, Alex. Sealants: A Weapon Against Cavities. http://www.deltadentalar.com/blog/sealants-a-weapon-against-cavities

Dental Sealants. (2013). http://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/publications/faqs/sealants.htm

Sealants. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/sealants