Tag Archives: flossing

5 Super Easy Ways to Help You Remember To Floss…For Good

Get your floss on, and ace your next dental check up and cleaning. We’ll ignore the fabulous health your mouth will be in5 Super Easy Ways To Help You Remember To Floss...For Good as a minor consequence.

The only thing is, you have to remember to do it.

Every night.

So, just (well, sort of) like Mrs Jones….Let’s get it on.

Here are 5 super easy (and FREE!) ways to help you remember to floss:

1. Floss before you brush

You know you have to brush before you sleep at night, so making flossing a habit before you brush is the easiest, simplest way to guarantee that it will happen. Plus, flossing beforehand removes plaque and food debris so flouride from your toothpaste can get in between your teeth more effectively.

2. Go post-al

If you’re a visual learner, this will work for you. Stick a post-it note on your bathroom mirror. Preferably right in your face, so to speak. Kinda hard to ignore neon green paper telling you to FLOSS (in caps, for a stronger effect). “Or else”, if you have a flair for the dramatic.

3. Go smart

If you are one of the 3.5 people who doesn’t own a smart phone, skip this one. Open up your calendar app and set a reminder alert (with sound) so it beeps, barks or yodles at the time you usually get ready for bed. Brrriiinggg! Floss.

4. Reward yourself

Nothing like a little incentive to ensure that the job gets done. We do it with kids, so why not grown ups? Pick an enticing reward for, say 30 straight days of flossing. Come the last day, treat yourself to a reward of your choice and partake of the joy well-earned.

5. Do as I say AND as I do

Parents. Time to walk the talk and floss the…um…floss. Kids need to floss. You need to floss. Why not make it a double date? Setting a good example while taking great care of your gums and teeth…well you’re just setting the stage for a lifetime of good oral care. Also works with your significant other, and pet, if they’re willing.

Give one, or all, a sincere try. You’ll surprise yourself at how easy it is to be a flossing pro and will shout these tips from the roof tops (I may be exaggerating slightly).

Did I miss any? Do you have any tricks up your sleeve that helped you remember to floss?

(214) 522-3110                          www.raodentistry.com

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7 Tips for the Best Teeth Whitening Experience, Ever

You want a smile that dazzles.

That entices.

A smile that gleams, that lights up your face and the room.

And you can get it.

Teeth whitening may be the only thing standing between you and that bright, white smile you desire. Luckily, there are plenty of options available today.

Your first stop may be partaking the offerings of the drug store i.e. whitening strips. If that gets you results, great. Mission accomplished.

If that doesn’t quite do the trick, head over to your dentist’s office for the next level of whitening pizazz.

From your dentist, the take-home kit is (in my opinion) THE way to go. It includes trays made to fit your teeth that you keep for good, and enough whitening gel to get started plus a few touch ups. For the money, it’s the best bang for your whitening buck.

This option is truly individual, and can be used as much or as little as needed to get the result to you want.

Once you get home and get into DIY mode, however, following through the process can be confusing.

So, to avoid getting a bald spot from scratching your head (pass the Rogaine), here are some tips to help make it a comfortable, convenient and easy experience:

1. The best time to whiten your teeth . . .

. . . is right after you get your teeth cleaned professionally (cuz your 15 seconds at home isn’t “professional”). It’s not critical, but this is when your teeth are their squeakiest clean, with all external stains scrubbed off.

2. The all-important PREP

Before you start whitening, start brushing your teeth with a desensitizing toothpaste like Sensodyne or Crest Sensitivity. This prepares your teeth for whitening and keeps sensitivity ‘zings’ to a minimum. Continue using it during and a few days after you’re done.

3. Follow the instructions

Your dentist will go over some do’s and don’ts regarding how long to wear your trays and for how many days. Different brands means times can vary. This is simple, but easy to forget.

4. Less vs. more

Many people make the mistake of using too much gel in their trays. Result: waste of gel and more sensitivity. Only use a pea-size amount, primarily for your front 8 teeth (top and bottom). Most people don’t show any more when they smile (unless you’re Julia Roberts), so whitening your molars waaay back there is unnecessary.

5. Keep ’em clean

Remember to keep up with flossing, and preferably brush with an electric toothbrush, which minimizes surface stains. And don’t forget to brush the inside of your trays to keep them clean. If they get gunky, they’ll smell funky. Eww.

6. Keep ’em cool

When not in use, put the gel and trays together in a plastic baggy in the fridge. This helps prolongs the shelf life of the gel, and keeping everything together prevents them from getting misplaced (yes, that happens more than you might think).

7. Don’t fall for the hype

No matter how easy the TV commercials make it look, whitening is not a one time deal. Maintenance, i.e., “touch ups” are needed periodically to keep your pearly whites gleaming. Over time food and drink can dull your teeth, so stay on a regular schedule (once a month or few months, depending on how white you want your teeth). It’s like working out-you have to keep doing it to get the results you want.

These simple yet often overlooked details can make a big difference, making a messy and cumbersome process into one that’s easy and comfortable enough to repeat as and when needed.

As far as I can see, a whiter smile is the easiest way to add some bling to yourself. What’re you waiting for?

Questions? Comments? Or are you ready to start? Call or email us at:

(214) 522-3110             www.raodentistry.com

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Filed under Smile, Teeth Whitening

When It Comes To Your Teeth . . . WTF?

When was the last time you took a shower?

Today? Or maybe yesterday?

Did you make sure you  . . . um . . . visited all your body parts, or did you skip a few? Maybe you thought, eh, I don’t need to wash my feet or under my arms today. Perhaps next week.

Most likely, you didn’t. Why would anyone? There’s nothing like feeling clean from head to toe.

Yet most people do skip getting totally clean when it comes to their mouth.

So I have to ask.

W.T.F.?

Where’s The Floss?

Millions of bacteria live in our mouth, and the whole purpose of keeping it clean is to keep their numbers low. Brushing alone gets rid of only 2/3 of the bacteria, leaving the other 1/3 to grow and prosper at your expense.

So why give a floss?

Well, for starters, bacteria begin to collect and form plaque, the white film that coats your teeth and can be (mostly) removed by brushing. Without flossing, plaque continues to hang out in nooks and crannies your toothbrush can’t reach. These bacteria then release compounds that cause bad breath, as well as acid that starts to feast on your tooth enamel, making it more prone to cavities.

Eventually, plaque hardens to form tartar. Now, neither brushing nor flossing can be fully effective. Tartar or ‘calculus’ (no, not the math) needs the fine tools and skills utilized by your dentist or hygienist to be removed completely.

Let’s say you decide there’s no flossin’ way and skip that too.

Now tartar gets serious. The bacteria release toxins that first irritate the gums causing gingivitis and over time lead to periodontal disease, which affects not only the gums but also the bone that keeps your teeth in place. Once this bone starts to shrink away, it can’t grow back, and then the teeth get loose and fall out-cavity or not.

So you see, there is a method to the madness.

Adding flossing to your daily routine (once a day is plenty) will not only keep your gums healthy and your breath fresh, it’ll keep you miles away from periodontal disease. And the hillbilly look.

To repeat my question: W.T.F.?

You may now answer: I’m a flossing genius.

(214) 522-3110        www.raodentistry.com

If you’d like to know about finer flossing, or how to keep your teeth in your head for the long haul, call or email us!

Share this on Facebook or Twitter or email it to your friends. Chances are they want to keep their teeth too.

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7 Wise Reasons to Let Go of Your Wisdom Teeth

A wise man once said–

A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.      

In the 1800s, there was a man named Chuck, who certainly was no fool.

He had a theory that the human body retained several “left-over” organs that lost their use during the course of evolution.

Chuck, better known as Charles Darwin, knew what he was talking about.

In humans, the list includes the appendix (yawn), the tail bone (really?), male nipples (ahem) and wisdom teeth (a-ha!).

Despite little or no function in current times, these parts stubbornly insist on showing up, and have to be dealt with on occasion.

Since I have no formal authority on the first three, I can offer some enlightened expertise on wisdom teeth.

Here are a few reasons and conditions when it would be beneficial to let go of your ‘spare’ set:

1. Lack of function

You may start with 32, but 28 can do the job just fine. Now that our jaws are smaller compared to our ancestors, wisdom teeth don’t often help in chewing or other functions. This may be not be an urgent reason to get rid of them, but something to consider.

2. Poor alignment

Superman’s vision or dental x-rays (whichever is easier) can pinpoint the position of wisdom teeth. Often they come in at odd angles, sometimes even sideways, and make your otherwise spent-three-years-in-braces teeth shift and overlap.

Your once-straight smile may not stay that way after wisdom teeth start coming in.

3. Risk of damage to neighbors

If straight teeth are not a priority, note that poor alignment can also potentially damage neighboring teeth by trapping food debris or plaque.

4. Risk of infection

This is probably the most important reason to consider in your decision making.

Wisdom teeth, especially in the half-in/half-out position in your gums, are often prone to gum infection. Bacteria settle down and party like it’s 1999, which can cause swelling, jaw tightness and pain.  This infection can travel to other parts of your body, like your heart, making it quite dangerous.

5. Difficulty keeping clean

Despite my constant nagging recommendation, the percentage of those who floss is much smaller than those who don’t. Factor that in if you have a hard time reaching your back molars to brush, let alone floss way back there.

Wisdom teeth are thus more prone to dental decay, leading to cavities. Getting them treated can be challenging, if even possible.

6. Problems later in life

If your wisdom teeth were worry-free in your teens or 20’s, but start to bother you later on, a discussion is in order to decide if they’re worth treating or need to be removed altogether. The benefit of getting them out may outweigh the risk of holding on to them.

7. Early detection of problems

If your x-rays at an early age show without a doubt your wisdom teeth are going to present problems or damage adjacent teeth, it’s worth getting them removed earlier rather than later. One advantage is an easier recovery, since they haven’t finished growing and thus are easier to remove.

On the other hand, if your wisdom teeth are positioned comfortably, you’re not having any discomfort (nor are you at risk to) and you are diligent about your home care and regular check-ups with your dentist, you can keep your wise quartet for life.

And if losing your wisdom with your teeth worries you, just remember what another wise man said–

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.

Still have questions? Call or email us, or ask in the comments!

(214) 522-3110         www.raodentistry.com

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How To Seal The Deal And Save Money

There are some things people just should not do.

                  Talk with their mouth full.

                  Send the wrong text to the wrong person. Oops.

                  Wear skinny jeans, three sizes too small. Really?

And my personal favorite,

                  Pick their nose. In public.

On the other hand, there’s something pretty high up on my list of things they should do. And that’s getting sealants placed on their children’s permanent teeth.

I shouldn’t, but since we’re here anyway . . . .

Sealants are protective coatings placed on freshly sprouted permanent molars as a preventive measure; they drastically reduce the chances of those teeth getting cavities.

While they’re not a free pass to skimp on brushing, flossing, consuming sugary food in moderation or a dose of fluoride, they can get your children’s second (and last) set of teeth off to the races.

Molars typically come in around ages 6 and 12. Why molars? Because they have the most nooks and crannies where bacteria can gather and party harder than a Vegas nightclub. So those are the ones we pick to seal.

And here are 6 good reasons why:                                                    

1. Protect teeth and prevent decay

 And yes moms, they’re tooth colored and BPA-free.

2. Quick and easy

 Usually take less than 20 minutes.

3. No needles!

Ain’t that a treat at the dentist’s! Sealants are only placed on healthy teeth, so no anesthetic or drilling required.

4. Save money

The cost of sealants is a fraction of fillings or other restorations. Get those healthy teeth sealed early, and your child has the best chance of keeping those teeth decay-free.

5. Last long-term

Sealants adhere to teeth simply by getting into their crevices before bacteria do, and are not permanent. They can also come loose while eating certain (crunchy) foods.

That being said, they can last anywhere from 6 months to, more commonly, several years. Most dentists will replace them at no charge if unsuccessful within 6 months or a year.

6. Easy intro to dental visits

If sealants is the first “major” dental visit your child has had, they’re going to breeze through it.

In turn, this establishes a healthy comfort level at a young age should they encounter dental issues down the road. Trust me, that is no small accomplishment.

It’s pretty much a win-win on many levels. Unlike calling someone “swagdaddy”. Yeah, I don’t know either.

We’ll let you know at your child’s check up when their permanent teeth are ready to be sealed. And when they’re in for their visit, we’ll walk them through each step, make it easy and even fun.

Plus, they all know about the goodies in the Treasure Chest after they’re done, as they should.

What they shouldn’t do, is quote The Jersey Shore. That’s just an awful situation.

Questions? Thoughts? Let us know in the comments!

www.raodentistry.com     (214) 522-3110

If you like what you see, please share it on Facebook or Twitter. Gratzie.

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Filed under Children's dentistry, Oral Health

5 Embarrassing Questions You’re Afraid to Ask . . . Answered!

Have you ever lost your nerve when trying to ask a question, for fear that it was too embarrassing?

I bet you have. So have I.

Worrying what others may think often inhibits us from getting the solutions we want. As a result, the problem becomes a nagging stress and we either try to ignore it (bad idea) or watch from the sidelines as it gets bigger (even worse idea).

Questions about teeth and oral health are no exception, so to make it easy for you, here is a list of some questions you might hesitate to ask, and their answers.

1. Q: How can I get rid of bad breath?

A: Unless you are open to relocating to a desert island to live a life of solitude, bad breath should be acknowledged and addressed. The easiest way to fresher breath is one that most people neglect-brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth and floss! Beyond this, avoid mouthwashes high in alcohol (too drying), smoking (too many toxins), and dehydration (so drink plenty of water).

2. Q: Do I really need teeth whitening?

A: While there is no functional benefit to whiter teeth, there is no denying our society considers it an attractive feature. From boosting your self-image to creating a good impression at your job interview, a winning smile can make a difference. With so many safe and affordable options available today, you can definitely give it a try. And if you are happy with the way your teeth look as they are, go on your merry way.

3. Q: Which floss is the best?

A: The kind you use in between your teeth and go up and down with. No kidding.

4. Q: Do I really need x-rays on my teeth every year?

A: Unfortunately, dentists are human and thus not blessed with Superman-like x-ray vision. To make matters worse, cavities in between teeth, random tumors in the jaw bone or bone defects positively refuse to show themselves to the naked eye. So if you want your dentist to provide you with best care he/she can with their non-superhero powers, the answer is “yes”. (However, exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.)

5. Q: Why should I get my teeth cleaned every 6 months?

A:  Maintenance. Almost anything worth having requires consistent effort, and that includes a healthy human body. The 6-month teeth cleaning schedule is based on how long it takes for bacteria in your mouth to grow to levels that can increase risk of decay and gum disease. Some people need to be seen even sooner. At the end of the day, however, it is a recommendation, not law. Discuss it with your dentist to see which fits you best.

I will also add that almost all dental insurances cover two check-ups and cleanings per year, and if dental fear is a concern, click here.

I hope you found these answers helpful, and I encourage you to ask these (and other) questions of your dentist. Just so you know, any good dentist will NOT find them embarrassing at all. In fact, your honesty will be appreciated and so will the opportunity to help solve problems and be of service!

Have more questions, embarrassing or not? Call (214) 522-3110, ask on our Facebook page here, or in the comments!

www.raodentistry.com

PS: It is our aim to make this blog a helpful (and somewhat entertaining 😉 ) resource for YOU. We would love for you to be interactive and offer feedback, so don’t hesitate-get your fingers tapping on the keyboard and let us know!

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Filed under Oral Health, Teeth Whitening, Wellness

5 Tips to Eat And Drink Your Way to Whiter Teeth

Whoa! Hold the peroxide, mister.

I bet you didn’t think you could get whiter teeth by eating and drinking, did you?

Well, you can.

But here’s the trick: it’s all in the what and the how.

Let’s begin, shall we?

1. The crunch with a punch

Next time you grab a celery stick or an apple wedge, not only are you stocking up on essential nutrients, your teeth are chewing up on some of nature’s very best stain removers. The chewing action stimulates saliva production and the fibers act as tiny scrubbers to help dissolve stain. Ditto for carrots and cauliflower.

2. Let’s draw straws

You might as well face it-those 3 o’clock sodas may be a good pick-me-up at work, but you’re not doing your teeth any favors. That goes for the diet ones too. But if you must . . . . stick a straw in it and make it a short affair. A straw channels the beverage past most teeth, and drinking it fast prevents prolonged contact.

3. Berry Time

Strawberries! Who’d have thunk it? This yummy fruit holds the dynamic duo-Vitamin C and astringent. The C helps keep gums healthy and controls plaque, while the astringent aids stain removal. She’s a smart one, Mother Nature.

4. Our old friend H2O

Ahh . . . water. We go waaaaayy back. Chances are you do too. After any meal, that fine glass of wine, that morning cup of joe or afternoon tea, make it a point to either rinse with or drink a glass of water. Water helps flush out food particles between your teeth, cleans up after dark beverages and lessens their stain impact.

5. Chew on this?

Okay, so technically chewing gum is not a food or a drink, but it’s whitening claims are thrown left and right. While the whitening part is (mostly) hype, chewing gum does stimulate saliva, and helps clean up food particles and plaque-causing bacteria. If it rocks your boat, however, pick the sugar-free kind with xylitol.

Now remember, stains usually tend to get on teeth faster than off; such is life.

The foods listed above, while effective, work at a slow pace. For faster results, man-made intervention is often necessary, via over-the-counter or professional whitening products.

For the best cosmetic results, you can do both.

In conclusion, I will add that one of the most effective ways to stay stain free and keep those pearly whites gleaming (and healthy) is brushing and flossing effectively. Daily. (Come on, you knew I couldn’t possibly skip that one, did you?) And if you’re a smoker, you’re going to have to work a little harder.

If you are considering teeth whitening and have questions, call us at (214) 522-3110 or write us a comment; we’d love to hear from you!

www.raodentistry.com


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Filed under Cosmetic, Teeth Whitening