Flossing 101: Answering Your Most Asked Questions
Flossing should be an integral part of everyone’s dental health routine. You should be flossing in addition to brushing to ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy. While many people know they should be flossing, they still have many other questions about flossing. That’s why at Sladky Family Dental in Glendale, WI we have put together this list of answers to some of the most common questions about flossing.
How Often Should You Floss?
You should floss at least once per day. While flossing once per day is sufficient, the American Dental Association notes that flossing 2 or 3 times per day can be excellent for your oral health. If you are having trouble remembering to floss it can be helpful to leave a visual cue for yourself, such as leaving your floss on the counter or placing a sticky note on your bathroom mirror.
Should You Floss Before or After Brushing?
A study suggests that the order of brushing and flossing can have an impact on your oral health. This study found that flossing first followed by brushing with a fluoride toothpaste was more effective than brushing first and flossing after. The study also found that flossing before brushing resulted in more fluoride retention between the teeth. Although it may be best to floss before brushing, it’s important to remember that flossing at all is more beneficial for your dental health. Even if you floss after you brush, your dental health will be much better off than if you didn’t floss at all.
Can I Use a Waterpik Instead of Flossing?
Waterpiks, also known as oral irrigators, have become very popular in recent years. They use a directed, forceful stream of water to remove food debris and plaque from in between teeth. Oral irrigators can be very useful in helping people reach hard to get places in their mouth and make it easier for people with braces or other oral appliances to clean around them. There is some research that suggests that using oral irrigators can be more effective than flossing. However, we recommend that you floss immediately before or after using an oral irrigator to ensure optimum oral health.
Why do My Gums Bleed When Flossing?
The most common cause of bleeding gums when flossing is a buildup of plaque, tartar, & bacteria around your gums. This buildup can inflame and irritate your gums, causing them to bleed when you floss. However, bleeding gums can also be caused by periodontal disease, hormonal changes, certain medical conditions, and flossing the wrong way. If you have concerns about your gums bleeding, you should have a conversation with your dentist.
Hopefully we were able to answer some of your pressing questions about flossing. If you have any other questions about flossing or dental health, give our office a call at 414-332-5450.We are always happy to answer your questions.
Visit Our Regular Dental Checkup Service
4 Signs You Need Emergency Dental Care
Damage to teeth and gums can’t be ignored. It’s always important to act quickly if something is wrong, but some dental issues are more pressing than others. How can you know the difference between a dental problem that needs to be solved soon and a problem that needs to be solved now?
We never want our patients to put off a dental procedure when it could lead to lasting harm, so we’ve compiled a list of important warning signs that mean you should get your teeth checked out as soon as possible. After all, you’ve only got so many teeth — it’s best to keep them all in good shape.
A dental abscess is a small collection of pus inside of a tooth or gums that is caused by a bacterial infection. If your symptoms include shiny red swollen gums, a fever, or pain that spreads to your jaw or neck, you may have an abscess, even if you don’t see it. Try to see us as soon as possible, but, in the meantime, you can reduce the pain of the abscess by avoiding cold drinks. Use a soft toothbrush to very gently clean the area until we can get you into the office.
Broken or missing teeth
It goes without saying that obvious physical damage to your teeth is one of the most urgent dental emergencies you can experience. If your tooth has been damaged, rinse your mouth with warm water immediately and call us as soon as possible. If your tooth has come out, gently try to put it back into the socket (without touching the root!) or keep it in your mouth to protect it until we can see you.
Significant pain or swelling in the teeth, gums, or jaw
Constant pain or swelling in your mouth is never normal! This symptom may seem vague or common, but it could be a sign of major damage or an infection that could have nasty results if left untreated. Don’t tough it out. Call us and we will decide together whether you need to come in for an appointment.
Lost filling or crown
A crown or filling can become loose or even fall out for a variety of reasons. If you lose a crown or filling, it’s important to try to save it — we may be able to reuse it. Rinse the area with warm salt water and continue to brush the damaged tooth (gently!) until we can see you.
Ignoring any of these four dental problems could result in the permanent loss of teeth. Infections can even spread to other parts of your body and cause serious general medical issues, so it’s extremely important to get your teeth examined if you experience any dental emergency on this list!
We want your tooth pain or mouth pain to stop.
First and foremost, if you are in pain, we want to help you get some relief. Then we can address any underlying causes to solve the problem using dental best practices. If you believe you’re experiencing a dental emergency, give us a call as soon as possible.
When To Replace Your Toothbrush
Replacing Your Toothbrush in Glendale, WI
Toothbrushes don’t last forever, but it can be difficult to figure out when the time has come to replace it. Surprisingly, your toothbrush should be replaced every 3-4 months according to manufacturer guidelines.
Signs You Need A New Toothbrush:
- Frayed bristles
- Your teeth feel fuzzy even after brushing
- You were recently sick
- A bad smell
- You can’t remember when you last replaced your toothbrush
Your toothbrush is the first line of defense against bacteria that cause bacteria, tooth decay, and bad breath. Brushing your teeth between each meal is an excellent way to prevent tooth decay. If you are brushing your teeth for two minutes twice per day, then you are already taking actionable steps to protect your teeth from cavities.
If you are using a manual toothbrush, the bristles will start to fall out and become mangled or twisted within about 3 months. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) also advice to replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months or whenever they appear to be worn out.
Once the bristles of your toothbrush start to lose their stiffness, Sladky Family Dental advises that you should throw it out. Without bristles that brush aside food and plaque, your toothbrush quickly loses its efficiency.
What if I have an Electric Toothbrush?
Electric toothbrushes clean the surface area of your teeth by vibrating and rotating quickly. The heads on your electric toothbrush still have nylon bristles that will wear down after regular use. These bristles are also shorter, which can lead to fraying more quickly.
You should plan to change out your electric toothbrush head every 12 weeks, or even earlier. You should be watching for signs of wear and tear on the bristles to know when it’s time to say goodbye to a brush head.
All in all, your toothbrush is an important oral hygiene tool. To make the most out of your toothbrushes lifespan, you should use only your own toothbrush and store it upright and let it air dry. You should plan to replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. It might be beneficial to mark your calendar on the date of your purchase so you remember when it’s time to replace it again. If you have any more questions about oral hygiene, call our office at 414-332-5450.