The REAL Benefits of Flossing Your Teeth

Flossing Your Teeth

Flossing plays a huge role in the health of your teeth and mouth. Floss removes plaque and debris that sticks to teeth and gums. Not only that, it also polishes tooth surfaces and controls bad breath.

Here at THE SCIENCE OF SMILES, we tell patients that flossing is the single most important weapon against bacteria and plaque – perhaps more important than a toothbrush. Flossing your teeth can also foster good bone health.

While a toothbrush cleans the tops and sides of your teeth, floss cleans between them. Some people use waterpicks or even toothpicks as a substitute, but floss – in any form – is always the best choice.

How often should you floss?

At least once a day, for two-to-three minutes.

By flossing your teeth daily, you increase the chance of keeping them for a lifetime and decrease the chance of getting gum disease. Examine how much time you spend flossing each day.

Is it enough?

Or, perhaps you have never been taught how to floss properly?

At your next visit, ask to be shown the correct way to floss. A simple, two-minute tutorial can really help keep your teeth sparkly, clean, and cavity free.

Is it time for an appointment? Call THE SCIENCE OF SMILES – (626) 795-0221

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3 Ways to Keep Kids’ Teeth Cavity-Free This Halloween

cavityDespite the broad range of Halloween candy alternatives, we all know that kids (and parents) are going to indulge in sweets this month. There is no avoiding it.

Who has the willpower to say no to their favorite candy bar? Practically no one!

Candy consumption is okay – to a point. Parents need to prevent an all out “pig out” by monitoring the amount and types of treats their children eat.

Here are 3 tips to help keep teeth healthy and cavity-free during the Halloween season.

1. Sort and Eliminate

After a long night of trick-or-treating, sit down with your kids and sort through the candy together. Besides checking for candy that may have been tampered with, take a look at the type of candy received, to determine if it meets your parental standards.

Is the candy rock hard, just waiting to break a tooth? Is it super sticky?

If the candy your child received sets off an alarm in your mind, consider offering a trade for such candy. Set a limit of 1 to 5 cents per piece of candy, and “buy back” the offending candy. If you are faced with an exorbitant amount of unapproved candy, consider donating the candy to your local food bank.

2. Set Limits

Once you come to an agreement on the type of candy they can eat, set boundaries for when and how much can be consumed at a time.

Schedule “candy time” once a day, preferably with snacks or meals, not in between. It is always best to eat sweets with other foods. The presence of the additional food increases the saliva production in the mouth. Plaque thrives on the acids produced by sugar. This increase in saliva helps to break down the sugar quickly, which in turn decreases the amount of acid produced in the mouth.

3. Brush and Floss

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but many people, kids included, fail to brush and floss their teeth after eating sugary sweets.

After eating a piece of Halloween candy, have your child brush and floss their teeth. Using a mouthwash designed for kids, that contains fluoride, will add that final bit of protection necessary to prevent cavities.

Parents don’t have to ban treats on Halloween. They should, however, be mindful of careful candy consumption and the health of their kids’ teeth – and their own.

Is it time for an appointment? Call THE SCIENCE OF SMILES – (626) 795-0221

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1, 2, 3, 4 … Teeth by Numbers

teethDental hygiene appointments at The Science of Smiles are always quick and painless. So much in fact, the technicalities of what our dental hygienists do often go unnoticed.

Tooth numbering is one of those dental technicalities that we practice each and every day – and makes our lives (as dental professionals) a lot easier.

If you were trying to tell us which tooth was giving you problems, chances are you’d say something like, “It’s the pointy one on the top left side of my mouth.” With so many teeth in the typical adult’s mouth, the descriptions can get pretty complicated and confusing. That’s why we use systems called tooth numbering.

Tooth numbering is now a standard way of referring to particular teeth. Two are commonly used today, but we use the Universal Numbering System which has been adopted by the American Dental Association (ADA).

In the Universal Numbering System, the teeth that should be there are numbered. If you are missing your wisdom teeth (the molars farthest back in your mouth), your first number will be 2 instead of 1, acknowledging the missing tooth. If you’ve had teeth removed or teeth are missing, the missing teeth will be numbered as well.

As for children, most dental professionals use a modified numbering system with letters instead of numbers for teeth. Incidentally, children have 20 primary teeth as opposed to 32 in adults.

If you’re curious about tooth numbering and how we identify the teeth in your mouth, let us know at your next visit. We can explain this more thoroughly and physically show you how it all works.

Is it time for a dental cleaning? Call THE SCIENCE OF SMILES – (626) 795-0221

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