I know – the title is misleading. Who wants floss to be the boss of anything we do? While flossing isn’t the most fun part of our dental days, it plays a pretty important role in our dental health. Still not convinced? November 23rd is National Flossing Day. How’s that for important? To celebrate, let’s take a moment to become a little bit more familiar with that sleeping hero we call dental floss…
Floss was said to be invented in 1819 by Levi Spear Parmly, a dentist in New Orleans, who advised to run a piece of waxen silk thread between your teeth to dislodge anything stuck that a toothbrush cannot get to, but it wasn’t implemented into our daily dental routines until the 1970’s.
It is recommended that you should floss at least once a day to loosen any particles stuck in our teeth and allow the fluoride in our toothpaste to do its job in all those crevices. It isn’t a difficult procedure, but it is one that most dread doing. Unfortunately, dental visits aren’t very fun without regular flossing, so it is important to make sure to take the time to do it in order to maintain a healthy smile and help combat gum disease and other dental issues from developing.
Cut yourself a piece of floss about 18 inches long and wrap both sides around your fingers. Pull it taut between your thumb and index finger and guide the floss in between each tooth in a gentle zigzag motion to gently scrub down all the space between your teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach. See? Not so difficult, and the benefits are worth it. Happy flossing!
If you would like more information about flossing, call Dr. Cindy Du, Dr. Joseph Szabo and Dr. Haines in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.duandszabodds.com.
Dr. Du, Szabo & Haines proudly serve Snohomish and all surrounding areas.
Some people enjoy chewing gum for the sweetness, or to perhaps distract us from a bad habit, but for most of us we pop in a stick of gum after we eat a meal. Did you know the act of chewing gum after a meal is doing wonders for your oral health? The physical act of chewing increases the flow of saliva in your mouth. If you chew after eating, the increased salivary flow can help neutralize and wash away the acids that are produced when food is broken down by the bacteria in plaque on your teeth. In fact, clinical studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay.
It’s important to note that not all gum is created equally: it’s important to chew sugarless gum, and if possible, choose gum sweetened with Xylitol. Tooth decay starts when bacteria in your mouth consumes sugar – whether it’s in a sugary drink such as cola or ice cream from dessert, the sugar stays within your mouth and attaches to the surface of your teeth. When that sugar is allowed to stay in contact with your teeth, it provides an opportunity for decay to set in as bacteria has food to grow and multiply within your mouth. When you chew gum, the additional saliva neutralizes oral acids and flushes sugar away from the teeth, starving bacteria and protecting your teeth from cavities. Xylitol – a sugar alcohol popular in low-calorie foods – not only provides the sweetness that gum chewers may enjoy without adding sugar, the chemical itself neutralizes bacteria known to cause cavities.
While simply chewing gum is a great way to protect your teeth after a meal out, it’s not typically a replacement for brushing and flossing – given the opportunity, it’s always best to brush and floss, but if you’re not at home, sugar free gum is a great second option. Unfortunately, chewing gum is not recommended for all patients – patients with jaw pain or known problems with their jaw / temporomandibular joint should avoid chewing gum until they consult with their regular dentist. For everyone else, finding a favorite sugar free gum sweetened with Xylitol is an easy way to keep your teeth healthy no matter where you are.
Call Dr. Ted Haines DDS for more information on oral health or to make an appointment today at 360-568-8577 or visit the website at tedhainesdds.com.
Dr. Haines of Snohomish, WA also proudly accepts patients from Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodinville, and surrounding areas.