Almost half of all adults above age 30 suffer from some form of periodontal disease. While some of these cases are genetic or a result of other underlying conditions, many of them result from poor dental hygiene.
If you’re one of the people that lies between your teeth to your dentist that you do floss when in fact you don’t, you may be increasing your risk of periodontal disease. And not flossing doesn’t just affect your teeth, your oral health affects your entire body.
By avoiding the common flossing mistakes below, you will improve your health and live a fuller life!
1. Not Flossing At All
We’ve all been tempted to tell our dentist we floss “every day” when we in fact don’t. This is a mistake that only is self-destructive in the end. Establishing a regular flossing routine is a key component of a healthy lifestyle.
Your dentist knows when you’re not being honest about your flossing habits. To get into the habit of flossing, it is important to find a floss that you actually enjoy using.
There are different floss flavors like cardamom and fruit. Also make the habit easy, by placing your floss on a visible part of your countertop so you don’t forget.
You can make a habit of flossing by doing it with your family or by distracting yourself with your favorite show. This will get you excited to floss since you’ll associate the action with doing something you enjoy like spending a few minutes with family or the TV.
2. Missing Hard-to-Reach Parts of Your Mouth
Those back teeth are hard to reach, but they are also where some of the most food hangs out in your mouth. It is essential to reach those back molars in addition to flossing front teeth.
While you can’t really see the back teeth, avoiding them will lead to plenty of plaque, bacteria, and waste buildup. This can lead to cavities, and tooth decay and increase the risk for gum disease and other oral complications.
3. Being Inconsistent
To reap the benefits of flossing, you need to do it at least once every day, preferably at night. Flossing once a week or once a year, is not going to make a difference in your health.
Your gums bleed when you don’t floss regularly, so it will make you think negatively of flossing if you only do it every once in a while.
4. Stopping When Your Gums Bleed
If your gums do start bleeding, this isn’t your sign to stop flossing! Bleeding gums is normal when you first start flossing.
Your gums will eventually adapt to your flossing routine and stop bleeding after about one week. Bleeding is actually a sign that your gums are diseased and crave the massage and stimulation of flossing.
That is why after a few regular flossing sessions you’ll find your gums to have stopped bleeding. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, make sure to consult with a dental professional.
While flossing is a great habit, you can overdo it. Just like all things in life, habits should be enjoyed in moderation.
Dentists recommend flossing once per day, preferably at night after you’ve consumed all of your meals.
6. Reusing Floss
Using the same section of dental floss between all teeth defeats the purpose. You are just moving the same plaque and dirt from one tooth to another. Also, reusing the same piece of floss over multiple days is completely unhygienic.
Make sure to use a fresh piece of floss that is about one to four inches long. Hold it taut between your fingers and advance to a new clean section of the floss between each tooth.
When you are finished, dispose of that piece of floss and use a new piece the following day.
7. Applying Incorrect Pressure
Flossing too gently is ineffective at removing any plaque or food. Most people are on the opposite end of the spectrum, flossing too aggressively.
The goal of floss is to stimulate the oral lymph system to excrete waste and to remove any physical contaminants in the mouth that aren’t reached by a toothbrush.
Flossing should never be painful, although if you’re new to it you might have slight discomfort at first. Floss should glide gently between teeth and gums.
Some people will tug the floss deep into their gums which can actually end up pushing food in instead of removing it. Doing so will leave your gums irritated and inflamed.
8. Not Following the Natural Contour of Your Teeth
One of the most common flossing mistakes is flossing in a straight vertical motion. You should actually floss adjacent to the curve of each tooth. This will ensure you don’t miss the tooth’s surface.
It will also slow down the speed of flossing as you have to pay special attention to the shape of each tooth. Often people make the mistake of aggressively speeding through their flossing, which defeats the purpose.
9. Using a Poor Quality Floss
Not all floss is created equal. In fact, some floss can even be toxic! A recent study exposed the link between conventional dental floss brands and increased PFASs in the blood.
PFASs are synthetic chemicals used to repel water and oil. They are added to dental floss brands like Glide. However, these PFASs increase the risk of liver damage, thyroid disease, infertility, hormone disorders, and cancer.
Make sure to find a PFASs-free floss. Flossing is an extremely healthy habit so you don’t want to negate the positive habit with chemicals known to have adverse health effects.
Avoid These Common Flossing Mistakes for Oral Health
These common flossing mistakes are easy to avoid when you visit your dentist. Make sure to ask your dentist to show you how to floss your own teeth. They can walk you through flossing with a mirror present so you can see and understand exactly how you should be flossing at home.
Contact our care team today and learn how you can have a whiter, brighter smile tomorrow with the power of floss!
Dr. Holly Austgen, DDS of Southeast Family Dental in Indianapolis, Indiana reveals what that weird blue light is that your dentist uses, how it works and if there are any risks to your teeth and gums when using it. https://youtu.be/gddhQso_frs [https://youtu.be/gddhQso_frs] If you can not see the embedded video above please use the following link: What is that weird blue light my dentist uses? [https://youtu.be/gddhQso_frs] Transcript Hi everyone. My name is Dr. Austgen from Southeast Family Dental and today I’m going to talk to you about a question we often get here at the office, and that is, what is the blue light that we use and is it dangerous? So what is it? That blue light is a dental curing light. It’s basically a piece of dental equipment that we use to harden or cure our resin or basically, tooth-colored filling materials, as well as some other materials that we use such as cements and bonding agents that we use to restore your teeth back to health. So how does this light work? When fillings are placed in the teeth, they are very soft so that they can be molded to the correct shape and anatomy. When the dentist or the assistant who is placing the filling is happy with the shape and the contour, they will then set the material to make it hard. That’s where the blue light comes in. We press the light, the blue light shines on it, and it will make the material hard as rock, strong enough for you to be able to chew on as soon as you leave. Okay, so here’s the big question. What about the blue light? Everyone wants to know what it is. So I’ll tell you what it’s not. It is not a UV light and it is not a laser. What it is, is a very strong blue light and it’s blue because it falls into the range of the wavelengths under the blue light spectrum. So like I said, it’s not a laser and it’s not a UV light. So it’s not going to cause any damage to your teeth or your gums. The only danger is if you look at the light for too long. It’s kind of similar to looking at the sun for too long. Dentists and assistants who place fillings are the most at risk. That’s why there is an orange filter on the light to protect our eyes. So no need to be concerned about the blue light or the curing light. It’s been a significant advancement in dentistry for us and allows us to place fillings that are hard, exactly the way we want them to be so you’re ready to use your tooth just like you wanted when you leave. Thanks for listening and remember, at Southeast Family Dental, we love to make you smile.
Do you suffer from fears and anxiety when going to the dentist? Or, maybe a trip to the dentist is a scary event for your child, which also stresses you out? Dental fears, anxiety and phobia are extremely common. It’s estimated that between 5% and 8% of Americans avoid going to the dentist due to fears. Some people (perhaps up to 20%) experience so much anxiety that they’ll only go to the dentist when it’s absolutely necessary. People experience dental anxiety and fears for various reasons, including: * Previous bad experiences at the dentist’s office. * Fear of pain. * Feeling helpless or not in control of the situation. * Embarrassment about the state of their teeth and gums. Being unfamiliar with the instruments, noises and smells in the dental office. This is especially true for young children. At Southeast Family Dental, we understand how the dentist’s office can cause anxiety and fears. But calming fears isn’t just for kids, some adults need help calming their anxiety at the dentist, too. So a dentist located in Northbrook, IL, has found an ingenious way to do just that. He brings a trained comfort dog into his office. The golden retriever soothes nervous kids and adults alike by comforting them during dental exams. In fact, the golden retriever has a sixth sense when it comes to figuring out exactly who needs him the most. A comfort dog really is an excellent idea to calm dental fears, because animals tend to have a soothing effect on people. Other ideas that dentists may use to calm your fears, include: * Providing you with an iPad and headphones, so you can listen to relaxing music or watch a TV program to distract you. * Offering you a blanket for warmth, comfort and the feeling of security. * Giving you nitrous oxide or other sedatives to help you feel relaxed during dental exams or procedures. If you suffer from dental anxiety and fears, talk to our team at Southeast Family Dental. We can talk to you about what to expect during your appointment and help you find ways to ease your fears. We want to make sure your dental experience is as calm, comfortable and stress-free as possible for you.
Stress is a normal part of life. Everyone experiences it at some point. It can cause you to feel anxious, sad, or stressed about a situation. While the occasional feeling of stress is normal, having feelings of stress all the time can take a toll on your health. IMPACT OF STRESS ON ORAL HEALTH Stress can have a major impact on your health, and it can have a similarly major impact on your oral health. Most people have probably experienced an ulcer at some point in their life, and an ulcer is just one example of the way chronic stress can negatively impact your oral and overall health. * When your body is stressed, it releases cortisol, which is a hormone that increases your blood glucose levels. This increase in blood sugar can lead to inflammation, which can trigger the body's immune response to fight off infection or injury. However, when the immune system is overstimulated, it can lead to an increase in gum disease. * Not only can stress increase the chances of developing gum disease, but it can also increase your risk for more serious diseases, such as cancer. This is because your immune system becomes weakened by stress, and compromised health can make it harder for your immune system to fight disease effectively. * Additionally, stress can cause bruxism – an abnormal clenching of the jaw and grinding of teeth while sleeping. This can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). TMD causes pain in your jaw that can be chronic. And, since it does affect your smile, it's considered part of your oral health. If you are suffering from this, we may be able to help by finding a custom oral appliance you can wear at night to protect your teeth from damage. We can also recommend other ways to cope with stress and advise you on steps you can take to improve your oral health. WAYS TO MINIMIZE STRESS Fortunately, there are things you can do to minimize the effects of stress on your body. Regular exercise is one of the best options, as it can help keep your body healthy, strong, and balanced. You should also try to stick to a healthy diet, limit alcohol consumption, drink plenty of water during the day, and try to get enough sleep each night. When you're under a lot of stress, you should make sure to keep up with your regular checkup and cleaning appointments. We can work with you to identify problem areas in your smile and take steps to help you prevent symptoms from getting worse over time. If you're overdue for your annual exam and cleaning, then it's time to give us a call to schedule your next appointment. We can be reached at (317) 359-8000. Our dentist's office is located in Indianapolis, IN, and we look forward to helping you keep your smile healthy for many years to come!
Southeast Family Dental is pleased to announce that Dr. Mark Bohnert and Dr. Laura Geiger have been selected by a vote of their peers to be Top Dentists, www.usatopdentists.com. and featured in the “Best of Indy” December issue of of Indianapolis Monthly. Indianapolis Monthly December 2018Dr. Bohnert is a 10-year winner and Dr. Geiger is a 3-year winner of the Top Dentist award. This honor is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which dentists and specialists throughout Indiana cast votes on the abilities of other dentists and specialists. Inclusion in Top Dentists is considered a singular honor. Dr. Laura Geiger responded to the announcement. “We are thrilled to have been voted Top Dentists. This honor shows us that we are meeting our mission to change the way you feel about going to the dentist, while giving you more reasons to smile.”
Drinking water is essential to your health. Water helps to transport nutrients in your body, regulates your body temperature, lubricates your joints, helps build muscle, digests food and improves your skin complexion. And, yes, water really is healthy for your teeth, especially if it’s fluoridated. Some reasons why water is beneficial to your teeth include: * Tap water may contain fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that naturally occurs in almost all water supplies. Also fluoride can be added to a town’s water supply. Fluoride helps to prevent tooth decay. According to the American Dental Association, it has been shown to reduce the rate of cavities by as much as 60%. However, it’s important to note that not all bottled waters contain fluoride. * Water naturally rinses your teeth and keep them clean. When you drink water, especially after eating, it helps wash away food particles and acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth. Therefore, if you can’t brush your teeth while you’re out, drink a glass of water and swish the water around in your mouth to help clean your teeth until you can get home and brush. * Drinking water helps to decrease the pH level in your mouth. The neutral pH level in your mouth is 7.0. When you eat or drink acidic foods and beverages, the pH level can drop below 5.0. Too much acid can cause bad bacteria to grow, leading to tooth decay, which occurs when the pH level in your mouth is 5.5 or lower. But drinking water can help neutralize the effects of acid in your mouth. * Water helps alleviate the symptoms of dry mouth. When your salivary glands don’t make enough saliva in your mouth, dry mouth can occur. You need an adequate supply of saliva to neutralize the acids produced by bacteria and to wash away food particles. Otherwise, a mouth that’s too dry can increase your risk of developing tooth decay. Drink water as part of your daily dental health routine As you see, drinking water really is healthy for your teeth. So make drinking water a regular part of your daily dental health routine, in addition to brushing and flossing. But be careful of some seltzer waters. Some are advertised as water, but contain additional sweeteners that make them just as harmful as soda. Also, they are more acidic than flat water so should be limited due to their ability to erode teeth. Also, remember to schedule your biannual dental checkups with Southeast Family Dental by calling us at (317) 359-8000.