Most people know that they should brush and floss their teeth once or twice daily for good oral health. Knowing and doing are definitely not the same, though. Here are some fun facts you may not have known about flossing.
The first floss was made from silk. Luxurious!
Today, there are many floss choices. Here are some tips for choosing the best floss:
- Wide floss is better than regular for people who have bridgework or spaces between their teeth.
- Waxed floss is the easiest to slide between teeth that are close together.
- Unwaxed floss squeaks when teeth are clean and plaque is gone.
- Bonded unwaxed floss is more likely to tear than waxed floss, but much less than regular unwaxed floss.
- For those that feel challenged by their own manual dexterity, flossing tools can be very helpful!
- Those with braces still need to floss and with an array of tools designed to floss in and around brackets and wires, it is easier than ever before.
Women floss more than men do.
Although more than half of Americans do not floss daily, those who do are more likely to be women. Even if you don’t have time to floss every day, occasional flossing is better than not ever flossing! (Honestly, are you really surprised? I’m not. Ladies are just cleaner.)
Water flossers are not a substitute for flossing.
Water flossers like Waterpik are an effective tool for removing debris that a toothbrush can’t reach, especially with braces. They don’t remove plaque, though, and plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. Only floss can help remove this from teeth between regular cleanings at the dentist.
An inmate once used floss to escape from jail.
In 1994, a West Virginia prison inmate braided dental floss into a rope, scaled the wall, and escaped. Here’s the right way to use floss that doesn’t involve breaking any laws:
- Break off a piece about as long as your forearm and wind all but about four inches around one of your middle fingers.
- Wind the tail end around a finger of your other hand.
- Stretch the floss tightly with about an inch between your fingers and guide it down between your teeth using a gentle back-and-forth motion.
- At the gumline, slide the floss gently down between the gum and tooth until there is resistance.
- With the floss against the tooth, gently scrape the side of the tooth as you move the floss away from the gum line.
Floss is the best weapon in the fight against plaque.
Plaque and food debris stick to teeth and gums and lodge between teeth, sending an open invitation to the bacteria that cause gum disease. Floss protects the mouth from all that bacteria by removing plaque and debris.
Even the best flossing habits aren’t a replacement for regular dental checkups. Make an appointment with Roseman Dental to keep that smile shining.
One of the biggest advantages to living in the digital age is the overwhelming amount of information that is just a click away. However, with so much discussion regarding almost every topic imaginable, it is easy to understand why so many rumors and myths get passed around. Since the dental arena is not immune to perpetual misinformation, here are three common myths debunked:
Dental Myth #1
A fancier or more expensive toothbrush results in cleaner, healthier teeth.
It is not the type of toothbrush you use, but the manner in which you use it that makes all the difference. Brushing twice a day for two minutes at a time is the key to healthier teeth and gums. This can be easily accomplished whether you opt to use a simple, soft bristle manual toothbrush, or a higher-end electric one. The most important factor is to be comfortable with your selection and use it on a consistent basis.
Dental Myth #2
The harder you brush, the better your results.
Brushing your teeth harder does not improve your oral health. In fact, it can have potentially damaging effects! Excessive brushing with aggressive force can lead to enamel loss and gum recession, which can ultimately expose roots and cause sensitivity and tooth decay. If you are unsure if you are a harsh brusher, talk with your dentist so they can assess your routine and provide helpful suggestions. Part of an assessment by a dentist involves measurement and scoring of any potential gum recession. These measurements are taken at each visit and compared against each other to identify long-term recession.
Dental Myth #3
Regular brushing eliminates the need for regular dental cleanings.
Plaque, a biofilm with a soft mashed potato-like consistency, begins to form on your teeth within 20 minutes after eating. If it isn’t brushed away within eight hours, it hardens into tarter that brushing cannot remove. Tarter build-up leads to gum disease and tooth decay. Only a dentist or dental hygienist will have the tools necessary to properly and effectively remove tarter from the teeth.
When it comes to oral health, false information can be damaging. The most important way to make your dental health a priority is by seeking out a reputable dentist who can dispel myths and provide you with the facts. Your mouth will thank you for it.
The College of Dental Medicine at Roseman University of Health Sciences has opened a new state-of-the-art clinical floor of Roseman Dental, the clinical practice of Roseman University College of Dental Medicine, South Jordan, Utah location.
This clinical floor is dedicated to Team-Based Education, which is a new education model that focuses on team practice rather than the traditional single-practice model widely used throughout the United States.
As an expansion to the existing Roseman Dental clinical space, the Team-Based Education clinical floor shares the same high-quality patient-centered operating procedures, general and specialty dentistry services, and affordable pricing.
However, there are very distinct differences between the two clinical spaces. In the existing clinic space, the faculty dentist, dental hygienist, and dental assistants oversee the students in providing direct patient care and treatment while students fill the support positions.
The Team-Based Education clinical floor puts a fresh perspective on this traditional teaching model. The new model allows the faculty dentist and dental hygienist to directly provide team-based general dentistry care to patients and teach students their initial procedures in the clinic.
“Since the pandemic began, we have seen a higher demand for flexible healthcare service,” said Dr. Frank Licari, Dean of the Roseman University College of Dental Medicine. “There has been an expansion of urgent care clinics, telemedicine and drive-thru testing and vaccination facilities. Dental practices will also have to evolve to meet patient demands that want more convenient hours and services. We are dedicated at Roseman to prepare our graduates to be successful in that new dental practice environment.”
Dental assistants are more actively engaged in providing direct chairside assistance to the providers. Students continue to rotate and train through all support positions, including dental assistant and hygienist, emphasizing learning how to treat a volume of patients as a dentist, thus creating a student “Team-Based” educational model and service delivery in a clinical setting.
This updated perspective is the vision of an educational model that prepares graduates for a future-ready group practice environment. As such, Roseman is developing a futuristic faculty educator and a highly efficient person-centered care delivery system in which student learning and assessment occur without compromising overall patient care outcomes.
Each team has eight students and one faculty dentist (Team-Based Educator) to treat assigned patients. The faculty dentist is accountable for the patients progressing through treatment and actively interacting with students by demonstrating and providing probing questions to assess student knowledge and progress through competence.
“This team-based education model will lead dental practices to serve a higher volume of patients per day,” Dr. Licari said. “Our students now see six to eight patients a day, compared to the traditional teaching model which students could only see two patients a week.”
Students are paired in teams based on the provider’s patient needs and skill level, and all procedures have a recommended time interval for completion. The vision and significant focus of the clinic are to provide person-centered care at maximum efficiency. Efficiency is collected via integrated technology throughout the clinic and assessed under specific quality control measures.
As part of Roseman’s commitment to graduate future-ready practitioners, the Team-Based Education clinical floor is significantly focusing on technology integration through all aspects of the clinic. The clinic is equipped with collaborative student workspaces with large interactive digital screens, digital signage, scheduling displays, etc. It has built-in innovative Bluetooth technology with data-collecting sensors to optimize operational efficiency, student education, and patient care. Patient appointments are monitored for efficiency, timeliness, and overall patient satisfaction.
Roseman believes the Team-Based Education clinical floor’s educational model is the future of dental education and will serve as a model moving forward.
Oral hygiene is essential for your overall wellbeing, not just your oral health. In fact, gum disease is a major risk factor for developing certain dangerous health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease. Brushing regularly is one of the best methods for keeping your teeth and gums healthy. However, how do you know which toothbrush is best to use?
Tips for Choosing a Toothbrush
There are specific features to look for in a toothbrush, regardless of whether it is powered or manual. The variety of styles, sizes, and shapes of toothbrushes available can make choosing the right one overwhelming. Here’s what to look for:
- Expert recommendations. Look for powered or manual toothbrushes with the American Dental Association Seal of Approval. You can also ask your dentist for a recommendation to ensure your toothbrush has passed quality control tests for safety and cleaning effectiveness.
- Bristle options. Manual toothbrushes or replacement heads for your electric toothbrush are available with hard, medium, or soft nylon bristles. Soft bristles are the safest and most comfortable option for most people. You could damage the enamel protecting your teeth, root surface, and gums depending on the strength of the bristles and how vigorously you brush your teeth. Rounded bristle tips offer even more protection.
- Toothbrush head size. The best size of toothbrush head is one that permits easy access to the surfaces of all your teeth. A toothbrush head that’s one-inch tall and a half-inch wide is easy to use for most adults and can reach all of your teeth efficiently. The toothbrush should have a long enough handle to hold it comfortably in your hand.
Make sure to replace your toothbrush every three months or when it begins to show wear, whichever comes first. It is also vital to replace your toothbrush after you’ve had a cold because the bristles can accumulate bacteria and result in reinfection.
It is important to keep your teeth protected during physical activity because that is the most likely time they will suffer damage. Your teeth aren’t just there for your smile—a complete set of chompers is necessary to bite, chew, and speak!
April is National Facial Protection Month. The American Dental Association is teaming up with the American Association of Orthodontists, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and the American Association of Pediatric Dentistry to spread awareness about the importance of using a mouthguard for dental protection in sports and other outdoor activities.
Sports Where Mouth and Facial Injuries are Most Likely
There are a few sports where players commonly wear mouthguards. This important tooth protection should be worn even during practice sessions with these intense physical activities:
- Boxing. Because participants will hit each other in their faces extensively, wearing a mouth guard is absolutely essential. In fact, boxing is the only professional sport requiring mouthguards.
- Football. Players wear helmets that provide a firm layer of facial protection. As an added precautionary measure, they are also required to wear mouth guards under the grills of their helmets, preventing the possibility of painful and inconvenient tooth injuries.
- Martial arts. Mouth protection is necessary in the sparring ring. In Olympic sparring, the head is an area where a blow will score a point, making the face and mouth vulnerable to accidental injury.
The National Federation of State High School Associations and the National Collegiate Athletic Association also require mouthguards in ice hockey, field hockey and lacrosse. Those sticks pose a real danger to the teeth!
While these are some sports where athletes commonly wear mouthguards, dentists recommend a mouthguard for any contact sport or activity that could lead to mouth injury. That includes everything from soccer and basketball to biking, skateboarding and surfing.
Parents and coaches are responsible for setting an important teeth-saving tone: mouthguards should be non-negotiable in any contact or high-velocity activity, whether it’s competitive or just for fun. Athletes who wear mouthguards are between 82% and 93% less likely to experience dental injuries like crown fractures and complete tooth displacement.
A mouthguard must fit properly to effectively reduce the risk of dental injuries. Sporting goods stores sell semi-fitted mouth guards that you boil and bite to conform to the shape of your teeth, but an even better idea is to visit your dentist to get a custom guard made specifically for your mouth. Keeping your bite pristine is an important part of any athletic activity.
Keeping up with your oral health is a daily task. It may be tempting not to take the time for regular dental maintenance, whether at home or at the dentist’s office. However, like so much in life, slacking on dental hygiene doesn’t pay.
Routine Home Cleanings
Brush or floss after every meal, or at least twice a day, to ensure the health of your teeth and gums, you should brush and floss after each meal. Flossing removes bits of food that toothbrushes may not be able to reach. If these pieces of food aren’t removed, they provide nourishment for bacteria, which excrete acid that destroys tooth enamel and causes cavities.
Flossing and brushing also gets rid of plaque, a sticky substance that can cause gum disease, tooth discoloration, and even tooth decay. Plaque that isn’t removed can harden into tartar, which can then lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease. Fortunately, most of these problems can be prevented with a simple routine of brushing and flossing regularly.
Regular Dental Checkups
Almost half of Americans put off regular dental care or previously planned treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we enter a new stage of the pandemic, made more manageable with vaccines and boosters readily available, it’s time to re-book those postponed check-ups and procedures.
In addition to good dental hygiene at home, make sure to visit the dentist twice a year, or about every six months. The dentist will check for cavities and treat them before they become serious. He or she will also scrape away tartar and plaque buildup, and can treat gingivitis before it becomes full-blown gum disease. Visiting the dentist regularly is crucial to maintaining a beautiful smile for years to come.
Aside from the medical benefits of regular dental care, there are financial reasons to keep at it as well. Many insurance plans will pay for most or all of the price of regular dental appointments, but may cover less of the cost for more expensive procedures. For instance, while most patients with insurance pay around 20 percent of their exam fee and the price of getting a cavity filled, they could pay 50 percent of the cost of root canals, crowns or bridges. These procedures can sometimes be avoided with preventive care that finds the problem early and provides treatment. By structuring their payment schedules this way, insurance companies financially incentivize their patients to prevent dental problems rather than repair them after they become more serious. Take advantage of this structure by getting regular cleanings and check-ups.
As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Apply this maxim to your oral health, and save yourself pain and money. If it’s been awhile, make an appointment with Roseman Dental and set yourself up for better dental health.