Flossing Made Easy!
Posted on Aug 31, 2012 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS
People who floss their teeth on a regular basis seem to perform the task effortlessly, most without looking in a mirror or feeling they’ve cut circulation to fingers! With the right technique and a few practice rounds, you can become a Floss Pro!
First, use about 18 inches of floss. Nylon floss is inexpensive but can shred between teeth with tight contact points. If this occurs, try the single filament floss (although higher-priced), which slides easily between teeth and is shred-resistant.
Use a mirror with good lighting so you can see the inside of your mouth. Now, wind the floss around the middle fingers of each hand with a couple of inches hanging loose to work with. Stretch the floss between your thumbs and index fingers and slide it in-between your teeth, curving the floss around the base of each tooth and beneath the gum line. Avoid popping floss between the teeth as this can cut tender gum tissue. Remove the floss using the same back-and-forth motion, moving it up and away from the teeth.
About every 3-4 teeth, loosen the floss from fingers and retighten to use clean sections. This also keeps your fingers from becoming uncomfortable.
Do this every night for one week. After seven nights, this should be easy enough to do in about half the time it took the first night. You may also find you no longer need the mirror!
What’s most important, however, is the tremendous advantage you’re having on your oral health! Flossing is a preventive health measure you’ll be glad you mastered!
DENTAL TIPS FOR ARTHRITIS SUFFERERS
Posted on Aug 29, 2012 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS
If you are an arthritis sufferer, you are twice as likely to develop periodontal (gum) disease. Findings published by the Journal of Periodontology stated patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) had an average tooth loss of 11.6 teeth compared to 6.7 teeth of other participants in the study. Periodontal disease is the country’s number one cause of tooth loss and has been linked to serious health problems. These include coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetes, and memory loss.
RA is the leading cause of disability and limits the daily activities of over 7 million Americans. We are sensitive to the physical limitations RA can cause and offer these tips to make oral hygiene at home easier.
• Use water irrigators to help remove food particles and plaque between teeth.
• Electric toothbrushes and floss holders can reduce the effort required by hands.
• Wrap toothbrush handles with a sponge hair roller for a thicker grip.
• Replace knob-type faucets with levers, which are easier to turn on and off.
• Insufficient saliva in the mouth increases the risk of bacterial growth. Drink plenty of water to keep your mouth moist. If you take medications that are drying, oral rinses can help. Minimize caffeine, alcohol, and smoking, all of which are drying to oral tissues.
With a good oral care commitment, RA sufferers should be able to maintain a healthy smile and prevent tooth loss. If you suffer with arthritis, overcoming the physical limitations to protect your smile will serve as a constant reminder that you have a ‘good grip’ on your health!
Never Too Old To Enjoy Dental Implants’ Benefits!
Posted on Aug 27, 2012 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS
If it seems you are surrounded by more older adults these days, you are! In 1900, only 4% of the population were age 65 and older. In 1990, this had jumped to 12.6%. By 2030, the projected numbers of Americans aged 65 and older is expected to be nearly 22% of the population.
Fortunately, older adults are now going to the dentist more. In 1983, the average number of dental visits per older adult was 1.5, the lowest for any reported age group. However, the National Center for Health Statistics reported that between 1983 – 89, there was a 30% increase by those aged 65 and older who were seeing the dentist on a regular basis.
This likely has much to do with the drop in total edentulism (having no natural teeth) for aging adults. According to the National Institute for Dental Research, there was a decrease of elderly adults who are missing all their natural teeth from 60% in 1957 to about 41% in 1986.
I recently read an article that shared predicted technologies and futuristic developments for ensuring the oral health of our population. One option stands out as fulfilling its task NOW at an exceptional level. Dental Implants continues to achieve their designed goals of recreating the presence of tooth roots and restoring one’s ability to bite, chew, eat, laugh, and speak confidently and comfortably.
The University of Kentucky and Sanders Brown Research Center on Aging included this statement in their report, Prevention: The Key to Retention A Look at Clinical Geriatric Dental Practice Now and in the 21st Century: “Implant technology has advanced to the point now that single tooth implants should be considered the first treatment option in many situations.”
Unlike options of crown-&-bridge combinations, Dental Implants do not compromise the health of adjacent teeth. As a matter of fact, their ability to preserve a healthy jaw bone structure and support proper alignment of neighboring teeth enhances the life of surrounding natural teeth.
Older adults have a similar success rate with implants compared with younger people. As long as your Periodontist restores gum health, you’re never too old to enjoy the benefits of Dental Implants!
A Periodontist is the ideal member of your dental implant team. Not only do Periodontal Specialists have experience working with other dental professionals, they also have the special knowledge, training and facilities that you need to have teeth that look and feel just like your own. For more information, call us at (828) 274-9440.
Pace Brushing After Acidic Foods & Beverages
Posted on Aug 25, 2012 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS
Eating an orange or enjoying refreshing lemonade sounds harmless, right? Just remember to wait at least an hour before you brush your teeth.
As a Periodontal Specialist, I see lots of oral issues and work closely with other Dentists to protect their patients’ smiles and restore oral wellness. With today’s consumption of so many acidic sport drinks and sodas, in addition to citrus fruits and vegetables, we are seeing an increase in eroded tooth enamel. Most gritty toothpastes are typically safe to use on teeth, but brushing teeth too soon after consuming acidic items can damage protective tooth enamel.
What to do? Wait an hour to allow the saliva in your mouth to neutralize the acid, which helps restore the enamel. Rather than brush immediately, rinse your mouth with water or chew sugarless gum. And share your smile with those healthy teeth!