National Flossing Day is right around the corner, and whereas it might be slightly overshadowed by Thanksgiving and Native American Heritage Day, it’s still a great time to give three cheers for the unsung hero of dental hygiene, the modest waxed string we know as dental floss.
Why Should You Floss?
Most of the daily emphasis on toothcare is on brushing, which removes bacteria, food, and grime from the surface of the teeth. But where flossing truly shines is in getting into those hard-to-reach spaces in between teeth and close to the gum line, where regular toothbrushes can’t reach. Flossing helps fight gingivitis and periodontitis, reducing the risk of gum inflammation and cavities. Flossing also helps promote fresh breath by removing the food and bacteria that collects between your teeth.
Tips for Effective Flossing
- Choose the Right Floss:
- There are various types of dental floss available, including waxed, unwaxed, flavored, and wider tape-style floss. Choose the one that feels most comfortable and effective for you.
- Establish a Routine:
Make flossing a daily habit. Aim to floss at least once a day, ideally before bedtime, to remove accumulated plaque and food particles.
- Proper Technique:
- Start with an 18-inch (45 cm) length of floss. Wind most of it around one finger on each hand, leaving about 1-2 inches (2-5 cm) of floss to work with.
- Gently slide the floss between your teeth using a sawing motion. Avoid snapping it into place, which can harm your gums.
- Curve the floss around the base of each tooth, forming a C-shape, and gently glide it up and down. Be gentle to avoid damaging your gums.
- Use a fresh section of floss for each tooth to avoid transferring bacteria.
- Be Patient:
- Take your time when flossing to ensure thorough cleaning. Rushing can lead to incomplete removal of plaque and debris.
- Keep Flossing Agents Handy:
- Keep floss in your purse, briefcase, backpack or satchel. Floss picks are also a convenient minimal device for a quick cleaning when out and about.
- Use Flossing Aids:
- If traditional flossing is challenging, consider using floss picks, interdental brushes, or water flossers. These tools can make the process more accessible and convenient.
- Teach Children Early:
- Encourage good oral hygiene habits in children by teaching them to floss as soon as part of your family culture. Child-friendly floss and flossers are available.
- Avoid “Bleeding Gums” as an Excuse:
- If your gums bleed when you first start flossing or after a break, don’t be discouraged. This is a sign of gum inflammation and indicates the need for regular flossing to improve gum health.
- Set Reminders:
- Use phone alarms or other reminders to ensure you don’t forget to floss daily, especially if you’re establishing a new habit.
Call Park 56 Dentistry to Celebrate
Our dental professionals are always available to celebrate National Flossing Day with you, to help you analyze your flossing technique, or to offer advice on the best type of floss for you. November is also a great time to contact us and schedule your end-of-year cleaning or get on the schedule after the new year.
The holiday season surrounds us all with friends and family, as well as delicious food and drink, seemingly around the clock! Turkeys, cookies, hams, pies, briskets, latkes, cheese plates, dumplings…not to mention the special toasts to the season of every shade. It can be challenging to maintain dental health with all these sumptuous challenges on every side, but Park 56 Dentistry can you navigate the holiday season with oral hygiene in mind. Here are our top tips.
- Keep Flossers Handy
Simple, inexpensive, and discrete, pocket flosser picks are the ideal solution for holiday parties, whether you’re hosting or spending a few hours at the office, the neighbors, a family party, or going out with friends. Stash a few in your favorite jacket, purse, or wallet, so you never have to have that less-than-fresh feeling in the midst of a celebration.
- Limit Your Exposure to Key Types of Food
It’s easier said than done, I know, but if you want to avoid dental damage, then you might want to limit your enjoyment of various kinds of foods, or at least know how best to enjoy them without damaging your teeth. These include:
- Sugary Foods: Sugar increases bacterial activity in your mouth, so be prepared to brush often if you have a hankering for sweets.
- Hard Foods: Think candy canes, nuts, and ice. Let the candies and ice melt in your mouth instead of using your teeth to crunch them up. Enjoy the roasted nuts, but don’t overdo it. It might seem like a good idea at the time, but these dense treats can take a toll on your teeth, eroding them and potentially causing cracks or chips.
- Dark Beverages: Red wine, coffee, hot cocoa, and cosmos are all delights of the season, but they can darken your teeth as well. If a whitened smile is important to you, then think before you drink and select light-colored or clear beverages.
- Chew Sugar-Free Gum
In addition to giving you a break from snacking and freshening your breath, a stick of gum can inspire your salivary glands to help out cleaning your mouth. Saliva neutralizes acids and helps purge bacteria from your mouth and teeth.
- Nibble Some Cheese
Although it might not be the best choice for your waistline during a period of the year known for fattening treats, noshing on bites of cheese in between sips of acidic beverages like soda and wine can raise the pH level of your mouth and prevent your teeth from suffering acidic enamel damage.
- Stay Hydrated
There are many reasons why it’s a good idea to refill your cup with water in between other types of beverages, but one of these is that water helps clean your mouth of food and bacteria, as well as keeping you feeling your best.
The holiday season doesn’t have to sideline your dental health awareness. By following these tips, you can make sure you enter your new year without the regrets of cavities, stained teeth or dental injury. While you’re thinking about it, contact Park 56 Dentistry to schedule your winter cleanings before and after the holidays, and keep your smile vibrant.
Maintaining a beautiful and healthy smile begins with your daily dental routines of brushing and flossing. Yet even the most thorough approach to oral hygiene also requires frequent dental check-ups. Here’s why:
- Early Detection of Dental Issues
Even if nothing seems out of the ordinary, dental problems can sometimes develop without any noticeable symptoms in their early stages. Regular checkups can give your dentist the chance to identify cavities, gum disease and oral cancer at early stages, which can make them more manageable.
- Professional Cleaning
Brushing and flossing alone can’t remove all plaque and tartar buildup. Your dentists at Park 56 can perform thorough cleanings to remove these deposits, helping to reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease.
- Oral Hygiene Education
You may need personalized advice on improving your oral hygiene regimen. Your dentist and hygienist can assess the work you do at home and provide you with tips on how to improve your brushing and flossing techniques. They might also recommend new products or technologies that could be beneficial for your specific needs.
- X-rays and Diagnostic Tools
Special diagnostic equipment can help shine a light on things that you might not be able to detect at home. Hidden cavities, impacted teeth, or bone loss might be lurking out of sight, but regular annual X-rays can give you an inside look to be able to diagnose and repair an issue before it becomes a serious problem.
- Gum Health Assessment
Gum health is an indicator of overall dental health. Early screening and detection of gum disease can provide you with treatment necessary to prevent tooth loss and other problems. Your dentists at Park 56 can assess your gums and help treat or prevent gum disease before it starts.
- Preventing Complications
Regular dental analysis can keep your medical records up to date on your past issue, ensuring that your treatment plan is current and effective. This can give your dental team the opportunity to monitor your progress and maintain a treatment plan that can lead to total wellness and save you time and money on more extensive remedies.
- Oral Cancer Prevention
Your dentist is trained to detect the early signs of oral cancers during routine exams. Anyone can become susceptible to mouth cancers but patients who smoke tobacco or drink alcohol are especially at risk. Early detection can make treatment easier and less invasive, significantly improving chances of successful treatment.
- The Personal Touch
Your dental team at Park 56 take a personal approach to every patient. We take the time to get to know you, your dental history, your lifestyle and your unique needs. Whether you need a simple cleaning, a filling, oral surgery, prosthodontics, sedation dentistry, endodontics, or Invisalign, our dental specialists can customize an immediate and ongoing treatment plan to fit your needs.
Regular dental screenings are essential to your overall oral hygiene plan, and the experts at Park 56 can help you make sure you are staying on track and maintaining your dental health. Give us a call and schedule your next appointment today so you can keep your smile shining bright.
Good dental hygiene provides an extra boost of confidence. It’s easy to smile and share in conversations when you know your teeth are at their best. But aesthetics isn’t the only reason that you should be keen on keeping your mouth spic and span. Your overall wellness can depend on good dental routine, along with regular checkups and cleanings at your dentist. Let’s look at some of the different ways a healthy mouth can help you live a better life.
A Stitch in Time
Maintaining good dental hygiene practices, such as daily brushing and flossing, combined with regular dental checkups, can help you avoid issues such as cavities, gum disease and tooth decay. Left unchecked, these conditions can worsen to discomfort, infection, and tooth loss. Taking a proactive approach to your dental routine is the best way to stop problems before they can start.
Good For the Wallet
Fixing a serious dental problem is much more expensive than preventing the problem in the first place. The average root canal can cost anywhere from $700 to upwards of $2,000, depending on the tooth location. Dentures or dental implants cost even more. You can save yourself a headache, and a toothache, by proactively engaging in good dental hygiene.
For Your Health
Bad dental hygiene has been linked to serious health problems. Mouths are full of various types of bacteria, most of them harmless. But bacterial buildup from gum disease can contribute to bacteria entering the bloodstream and causing endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of the heart’s chambers and valves. There is also a link between cardiovascular disease and gum disease, though scientists do not yet fully understand the connection. Inhaling the excess bacteria resulting from poor dental hygiene can even lead to respiratory disease and pneumonia.
Your smile isn’t just for show; it’s an essential tool for communication. Dental problems like missing teeth can affect the way you talk, potentially causing confusion and eroding your social confidence. Maintaining proper oral health can help ensure your message stays on track.
Experiencing pain in your mouth is more than just an inconvenience. Dental problems can cause psychological issues and result in lower feelings of self-worth. On the other hand, a healthy smile can boost your confidence and increase your overall happiness.
Looking Out for Baby
For expectant mothers, oral health during pregnancy is crucial. Poor oral health has been associated with preterm birth and low birth weight. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can make women more susceptible to dental issues, underscoring the importance of dental care during this critical time.
The link between good oral health and overall well-being is undeniable. It’s not just about a dazzling smile; it’s about your physical, mental, financial, and emotional health. Park 56 Dental is here to be your partner in dental wellness. Voted NYC’s best dentist, we specialize in pediatric, prosthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, Invisalign®, emergency, and sedation dentistry. Don’t skip those dental appointments. Keep up with your daily oral hygiene routine and address any oral health concerns promptly. Your smile reflects your overall well-being, so let us help you make it a healthy one.
- Cosmetic Dentistry
- Healthier Teeth
- Teeth Whitening
- Dental Health
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- Dental Anxiety
- Gum Disease
- Bad Breath
- New York Dentist
- Cut out sugar
- General Dentistry
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