Every time I go in to see the dentist for that annual cleaning, I hear the same thing.
“You only need to floss the ones that you want to keep.”
I think it’s the joke of the industry and everyone uses it. Still, there’s something very important in the statement. You see, I’m the guy that simply loves to floss my teeth. In the car, at home watching television, and of course every evening after a good and thorough brushing.
If you’re not in love with dental floss, then you probably don’t realize not only how important it is for good oral hygiene but also how great it makes your teeth feel.
Consider teeth like boxes stacked up against each other. Two sides show while two sides are against each other. Now imagine how much a tooth brush can clean those two sides of your teeth that are against one another. Not much, right?
Brushing alone simply isn’t enough to reach the plaque from the inside surface between your teeth. The Interproximal areas or places between your teeth and below the gum line are two spots where the toothbrush simply can’t reach and old food particles get stuck, becoming a perfect growth environment for plaque.
These are the places where cavities are also likely to develop. Once plaque hardens, it needs removed at that regular visit to the dentist I was telling you about above.
Daily flossing however, cleans out the plaque before it completely hardens, keeping your teeth looking better, and healthier, and removing a major cause of bad breath.
Drumroll please……So Enter Dental Floss and the act of flossing. Dental floss looks simply like thread, usually made of inorganic material such as nylon.
Dental floss comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes including waxed, non-waxed, flat, round and textured, with baking soda, with fluoride and even with it’s own dental floss holders. These items can be found at drug stores, grocery stores or through medical supply stores.
So when flossing, find one that you like. My personal favorite is mint flavored waxed. Boy, you just can’t beat the ease of use and minty flavor. Anyway….Dental floss comes on a roll in a plastic container. Pull off a couple of feet of floss. Hey, it’s cheap and it makes the job much easier.
Next, wind one end around your index finger a couple of times. The trick here is to wind it around enough that you can pull the long end and it won’t slip off your finger. Now grasp the long end, wrap it once or twice around your other index finger leaving about 1-2 inches of floss between both fingers and prepare for a wonderful experience.
Simply open your mouth, place one finger against the 1-2 inch piece of floss and push between two teeth. When just starting out, use any teeth that you’re comfortable reaching.
Now once the floss is between your teeth, use it like a little brush and pull it against one tooth and move it up and down between the teeth then do the other tooth surface.
Finally pull the dental floss out from between those two teeth.You should feel a little tug and a snap as the floss frees itself from between the two teeth. Sometimes with a good build up of plaque, this snap will release little pieces of white like goo. This is good.
Next, wrap another two inches of floss around your index finger, grab the long end again with another inch or two of clean dental floss and you’re ready for the next teeth. Repeat with another two teeth until you go around and clean between all of them.
Personally, I can do several teeth before I need to “freshen” my floss. Flossing leaves your mouth feeling clean and fresh without the need to artificial breath fresheners.
If done right with healthy teeth and gums, flossing will not by itself cause your mouth or gums to bleed. Bleeding can happen however if you accidentally push the floss into your gums to hard. Not to worry though, a quick rinse with cold water will usually take care of everything.
One final word of caution. Flossing can be addictive, so don’t do it more often than recommended.
Professional teeth whitening is becoming the increasingly popular choice for anybody with stained teeth.
Yes, you can buy over the counter remedies, but if you want to guarantee whiter teeth now, then professional teeth whitening is the best option.
Professional teeth whitening does not produce different results from the ‘at-home’ products you can buy, but there are distinct advantages.
Firstly, you can be confident that you are in the hands of a professional who knows what they are doing, and secondly, the whitening effects are immediate.
It is a matter of personal choice how many visits it will take to get your teeth professionally whitened. Your teeth will show a change of color after a one-hour visit, but you may want more than this. If you wish to achieve optimal whiteness it may be necessary to attend between two and six times.
Teeth can become stained for a variety of reasons. Food and drink with strong colorings cause stains, most commonly tea and coffee. Smoking gives the teeth a yellowish appearance. Disease and medicine can also cause teeth to become stained, and our teeth naturally become darker as we age. These are all reasons that send us to get professional teeth whitening.
The first thing your dentist will establish is whether it is in your best interests to have professional teeth whitening. There may be circumstances that you haven’t considered – for example, if you have tooth colored fillings your teeth may look unnatural if you have them professionally whitened. You may discover that having a professional dental clean is all that you need. Removing the tartar and stains from your teeth can improve their appearance and color, making professional teeth whitening unnecessary.
Having established that your teeth are clean and that professional teeth whitening is the right treatment for you, the dentist will show you the different shades of whiteness that can be achieved with professional teeth whitening. The dentist will consult with you using a porcelain tab (shaped like teeth) to establish which shade of white is right for you.
The dentist will usually polish your teeth before beginning the professional teeth whitening procedure to ensure that all surface stains have gone. The dentist will then isolate the teeth that are going to be whitened with a thin sheet of latex or a special gel that provides a seal around the teeth.
The tooth whitener/bleacher is then applied and left on for the period of time necessary to achieve the previously agreed results. Depending on which technique the dentist has chosen, a laser, heat or light source may be used to help activate the bleaching agent.
Professional teeth whitening can last for a few years or as little as six months. Quite often your lifestyle determines how long your treatment will last.
However, there is no doubt that professional teeth whitening can return a person’s self-esteem. Why not pay a visit to your dentist to establish whether professional teeth whitening could be right for you?
So many people are embarrassed to let their smiles show. Bright smiles often become a memory of the past due to age, coffee, or tea. However, there are many solutions available today to bring back your pearly whites.
Here are several options for the person who wants to enjoy a whiter, brighter smile:
1. Laser teeth whitening is an option that has increased in popularity in recent years. One of the most popular options is the Zoom Teeth Whitening procedure, which can make your teeth up nine shades lighter. Laser teeth whitening can give you a brighter smile, but you can expect a fairly high price tag. This procedure can also be fairly time-consuming.
2. You could also get your teeth whitened professionally at the dentist. This option is costly and time-consuming as well.
3. Another option is to use whitening strips. One of the most popular options in this area are the Crest whitening strips. This can increase the lightness of your teeth by several shades. These have been found to be quite effective. They can be easily purchased at a pharmacy or drugstore and are worn up to twice a day for half an hour each time. This option is much more cost efficient. The only drawback that you might face with whitening strips is that they only whiten the teeth they are in direct contact with. Some people have found that the strips are not long enough to cover all they show when they smile. A tray based system will solve this problem by delivering whitener to all the teeth equally.
4. Whitening trays can be worn for up to several hours a day. This is a very successful method because the whitening gel is kept continually on the teeth. However, it is not used as much as the other options because it tends to interfere with daily life.
However, there are a variety of options to fit anyone’s lifestyle.
Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. You can now make it a lasting impression.