Fine Points of Flossing
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You hear it from your dentist at just about every visit: "floss more"! Why does he care so much? Because no matter how good of a brusher you are, one of each tooth still remains untouched. Watch this to learn how to fix that!
Transcript: You hear it from your dentist at just about every visit: "floss more"! Why does he care so much? Because...
You hear it from your dentist at just about every visit: "floss more"! Why does he care so much? Because no matter how good of a BRUSHER you are, ONE THIRD of the tooth STILL remains untouched. When food and bacteria are left in the cracks between your teeth, plaque quickly forms. This is the leading cause of gum disease and tooth decay. In 24 to 36 hours that plaque can harden into tartar, which can ONLY be removed by a professional. If left alone, tartar makes teeth more difficult to clean and it can lead to gingivitis. So, the first rule of proper flossing, DON'T SKIMP. Start with 18 to 20 inches of floss. Wrap the ends around your middle fingers, then grab the floss between your thumb and index finger, leaving about 1 to 2 inches of floss between them. Gently zig zag, NOT JAM, the floss between your teeth. Guide it up and down along the side of the tooth and gently UNDER the gumline. Don't shoe shine it.Use a CLEAN SECTION of floss on each tooth. Do this ONCE or twice a day, preferably in the evening after dinner to keep food from sitting on your teeth overnight. And if you're NEW to regular flossing, a little bleeding and gum tenderness may occur. This usually subsides within a few days. If not, it could be a sign of gum disease and it should be checked out by your dentist. For most people, the type of floss you use shouldn't make much of a difference. Waxed, unwaxed, flavored - they all work the same, so choose what you like best. However, if you have larger spaces between your teeth, wide FLAT FLOSS will do a better job. If you have SMALL spaces, look for thin, shred-resistant floss. Also, if you have trouble flossing or have BRACES that get in the way, there are picks and threaders that can be used as a flossing aids to make the job easier. For more ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy, check out other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2012-10-05 | Tags »
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Want to make your stained, yellow teeth pearly white again? There are a variety of teeth whitening methods to consider, from at-home remedies to treatments at your dentist's office. Watch the video to learn more.
Transcript: Amazingly-white teeth are no longer just for the Brad Pitts and Megan Fox's of the world. We can all...
Amazingly-white teeth are no longer just for the Brad Pitts and Megan Fox's of the world. We can all have celeb-worthy smiles thanks to better quality at-home whitening products and the reduced costs of in-office procedures. But before you commit, let's go over your options. Professional in-office procedures are the QUICKEST, most effective, safest but MOST EXPENSIVE option. The average price ranges from five hundred to twelve hundred dollars for your full mouth, but the results last 1 to 3 years. Using a peroxide agent and a bright light or laser to speed up the whitening process, your dentist can significantly whiten your teeth in one visit. Multiple application of the breaching solution is usually required to achieve results. Tooth whitening can also be PRESCRIBED by your dentist as an at-home treatment. A little cheaper at three to six hundred dollars, it includes custom-made mouthpieces (or trays) and a whitening gel. The fit of these custom trays is essential for the at home process to work effectively and safely. Depending on the kit, and how much bleaching you want, you either wear it a few hours a day or overnight for a week or 2. Warning, though, while ALL professional bleachings will whiten your NATURAL teeth, they WON'T lighten any existing dental work like caps, crowns, veneers or bonding. A more wallet-friendly, but somewhat less effective whitening option is over-the-counter whitening strips, rinses or toothpaste. These contain the SAME or similar peroxide whitening ingredients that your dentist uses, but in a lower dose. At-home whiteners are good for minimizing stains caused by drinking coffee and tea, or smoking. Your brighter smile usually lasts a few months or up to a year with over-the-counter products, so you'll need to repeat the process more often. While whiter teeth always look nice, there ARE a few minor side effects. The hydrogen peroxide used can increase temperature sensitivity of the teeth, and OVERUSE of at-home products can actually wear away tooth enamel, also leading to increased sensitivity. The sensitivity is usually TEMPORARY, but talk to your dentist if it persists. And, since at home products don't use a custom-fitted delivery tray, there are often small portions of the teeth that may not bleach, leaving spotty results. Also, the gums can be injured or irritated by the bleaching products, especially when not contained by a well-fitted custom tray so talk to your dentist if you develop any soreness in your gums. For more ways to keep your teeth gleaming, check out the rest of the videos in this series.More »
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Even if you're diligent about caring for your teeth, you may still be making mistakes in your oral hygiene routine. Watch this video to learn 5 ways you might be damaging your teeth.
Transcript: A beautiful smile and healthy teeth and gums depend upon daily care-done right. So let's take a look...
A beautiful smile and healthy teeth and gums depend upon daily care-done right. So let's take a look at the FIVE most common dental mistakes and how to avoid them.The first mistake? Improper brushing. You may brush TOO HARD and that can cause receding gums and tooth sensitivity. And you may brush FROM SIDE TO SIDE. Wrong again. You want a gentle circular motion over each tooth to protect your gums and tooth enamel. The key is to brush thoroughly, but gently. Mistake number two: Rushing when brushing. Caring for your teeth takes time. Ideally, you should brush for two minutes twice a day. Forgetting to floss is another common dental mistake. Flossing at least once a day removes plaque and tartar buildup between the teeth that can lead to cavities, calcifications and gum disease. Mistake number four is USING the wrong toothbrush: The American Dental Association recommends soft bristles for best results; and select a brush that is the right size for your mouth and hand. And the last common mistake you may make is SKIPPING dental appointments. Even if you are great at daily self-care, you need to see your dentist at least every six months for a cleaning and checkup. If problems, such as gum disease, are developing, catching them early reduces the damage they can cause-and the cost of repairing the damage. So, to keep oral problems at a minimum, don't make these mistakes and stay on top or your oral health routine.More »
Last Modified: 2014-01-10 | Tags »
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Are you concerned about your bleeding gums? One of the major causes of bleeding gums is improper oral hygiene. Watch this video and learn how to stop bleeding gums.
Transcript: If ANYONE knows about bleeding gums, it's Bleeding Gums Murphy. The Simpsons' character has the nickname...
If ANYONE knows about bleeding gums, it's Bleeding Gums Murphy. The Simpsons' character has the nickname for a reason, and as he explained to little Lisa: Even though he knew he needed to go to the dentist for a cleaning, he never had. Angst ridden sax player - Bleeding Gums Murphy - had enough pain in his life as it was.Sound familiar? By putting off that cleaning you let more bacteria, plaque and tartar build up along your teeth at the gumline, which causes the gums to bleed. This is often a sign of gingivitis and possibly, even worse, periodontitis. Improper oral hygiene is the most common culprit resulting in bleeding gums. Plaque and tartar buildup can cause gum inflammation, and swelling and bleeding. Flossing improperly can also cause your gums to bleed, and receding gums or shifting teeth are also signs of gum disease that can cause bleeding.While gum disease is the MOST common cause of bleeding gums, they can also be caused by canker sores and oral ulcers. Bleeding gums are COMMON in chemotherapy patients, as canker sores and oral ulcers are frequent side effects of cancer treatments. Additionally, hormonal changes during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause can lead to swollen and tender gums, because the hormones increase blood flow to the area, and also change the tissue's resistance to inflammation.Now, The BEST way to STOP your gums from bleeding, is to PREVENT it from happening in the first place.Brush twice a day and floss at least once a day, gently, but thoroughly. Making SURE your mouth is clear of bacteria, plaque and tartar is the MOST beneficial thing you can do for your gums. Drink plenty of WATER, and balance your DIET so it contains fewer sugars for bacteria to breed on and has more tissue-strengthening vitamin C and calcium. THROW AWAY the cigarettes and tobacco products; they're just irritating your gums in addition to all the other major health reasons not to smoke!And try to RELAX. STRESS can raise hormone levels, which can cause your gums to flare up.Don't forget. To avoid - Bleeding Gums Murphy's - BIG mistake -- make at least TWO cleaning appointments each year.For more information on how to keep your gums healthy, check out other videos in this series.More »
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A toothache is something that should not be taken casually. Watch the video and learn about the possible causes and various toothache remedies.
Transcript: In life, some things are okay to ignore-like calls from telemarketers and the calorie count on that chocolate...
In life, some things are okay to ignore-like calls from telemarketers and the calorie count on that chocolate bar-- but toothaches are DEFINITELY not one of them, especially when they last longer than a day or two. The NUMBER ONE cause of mouth pain is tooth decay. This is when the enamel, and in some cases, the layers of tooth underneath, called dentin -- are eroded away by plaque and bacteria making your teeth ULTRA-sensitive -- particularly to foods and drinks that are cold, hot, sweet or sour. Sensitivity is USUALLY a sign of a well-established cavity. So, if your teeth hurt, HOLD OFF on the hot drinks and iced treats, and visit your dentist as soon as possible. If it's not cavity, it's probably an infected tooth that needs root canal treatment. Now if you're feeling pain in an area where you ALREADY have a filling that could be a sign that the filling is damaged or has fallen out. Very often, when a tooth with a filling becomes painful to biting, chewing and to cold; it's usually a sign of a broken or fractured tooth. If left untreated, fractured teeth usually have to be taken out and replaced. In fact, the "cracked tooth syndrome" is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults. Another common cause of toothache is GUM DISEASE such as gingivitis or periodontis. The same bad habits that cause cavities, like skipping flossing and not brushing properly or at all, lead to plaque and acid build up that can irritate your gums and eat away at the bone that supports the teeth. If left untreated, this rotting of the bone can actually cause teeth to FALL OUT. Your dentist can fix this, if it is caught early enough, by cleaning the infected area and applying or prescribing an antibiotic to control the bacteria growth that causes gum disease. One more reason your mouth might be sore is that you could UNKNOWINGLY be grinding or clenching your teeth. This condition, also known as a type of Temporomandibular joint disorder, means you're more likely to feel pain where the jaw connects to the skull-about right under each ear. Your dentist might recommend wearing a mouth guard at night or a more permanent splint to protect your teeth and lessen the pressure on your jaw. Other easy treatments for this might include physical therapy specifically for the jaws and even Botox injections -- that's right, the stuff they use for wrinkles -- to relieve the tension in the affected muscles. So, what happens if your dentist can't squeeze you in right away? Alleviate SOME of the pain by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water if you feel swelling or get a bad taste from the area, take a pain-reliever such as aspirin or ibuprofen, and apply an antiseptic with benzocain directly to the tooth and gum. Then, GET TO YOUR DENTIST as soon as you can. For more ways to keep your smile healthy, check out the rest of the videos in this series.More »
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Believe it or not, dentists can actually dtect whether or not you have osteoporosis, a bone disease reduces the strength of your bones. Watch this video to learn how dentists detect osteoporosis and what you can do to prevent the disease.
Transcript: Osteoporosis is a bone disease that gradually reduces the strength and density of your bones. And believe...
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that gradually reduces the strength and density of your bones. And believe it or not, your dentist may be the first health care professional to notice you have it.Studies show that there is a link between low bone density and tooth loss. Tooth loss is three times more likely in women with osteoporosis than it is in those who don't have the disease.Regular dental exams and X-rays can help dentists detect bone loss in your jaw and around your teeth. Today, the National Institute of Arthritis and Skin Diseases recognizes dental X-rays as a screening tool for osteoporosis. The most widely used treatments for osteoporosis are drugs called bisphosphonates. These medications slow your bones' natural cycle of breakdown and regrowth so you retain more bone mass.The most common bisphosphonate is alendronate or Fosamax. It has been associated with very rare but severe side effects. A small number of people have apparently random fractures of the femur and a small number of others experience infection and death of the jaw bone. To protect all your bones and your teeth, the smart step is to PREVENT osteoporosis. Make sure your diet includes calcium-, magnesium- , phosphorus- and vitamin-D-rich foods such as leafy greens, dairy products and almonds. And get a blood test to check your vitamin D levels--many people are deficient-and take a supplement if your levels are low. Regular aerobic and weight-bearing exercise is also essential for bone health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity a day and strength building work outs 2-3 days a week.For more information on dental health, watch the other videos in this seriesMore »
Last Modified: 2014-01-10 | Tags »
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Dental implants work well when done right. But even if they're properly placed, complications can still arise. Watch this video to learn more about dental implant complications.
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Dental implants can be great for your smile but sometimes they're not so great for your bones. Watch this video to get the facts on bone loss around implants.
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While dental implants can give you a great smile, they may sometimes cause gum problems. Check out this video to learn about gum problems around implants.
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Dental implants are often placed to improve the aesthetic of your smile, but sometimes complications can occur that cause cosmetic problems. Watch this video to learn more about tooth cosmetic problems with implants.
Last Modified: 2014-05-07 | Tags »
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If you're looking to get dental implants, it's important to know about the complications that can arise and how to avoid them. Watch this video to learn about preventing implant complications.
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Tooth gaps may seem like a cosmetic disaster but they need to be addressed by your dentist to make sure there isn't an underlying medical cause. Watch this video learn more about the gap between your front teeth.
Transcript: Some celebrities are known for the gaps in their front teeth. There's David Letterman, Lauren Hutton,...
Some celebrities are known for the gaps in their front teeth. There's David Letterman, Lauren Hutton, Michael Strahan, and Condoleeza Rice. But while these people may seem comfortable with their airy smile, many others who have such tooth gaps, called distema, are self-conscious about it.If YOU are reluctant to smile because you feel that the space between your teeth detracts from your appearance, the right team of cosmetic dentists-including prosthodontists, periodontists and orthodontists-- Treatment options include veneers, composite bonding, orthodontics or a combination of dental therapies. The size of the diastema or gap, the condition of the teeth, and the positions of both the adjacent and opposing teeth are all considered in determining the most desirable treatment.When a space between teeth is relatively small, cosmetic bonding is often used to fill in the gap. To properly close larger gaps, porcelain veneers -- or even dental crowns -- may be required. can close the gap.While cosmetic dentistry can close tooth gaps to make a smile more attractive, there may also be compelling medical reasons to treat a diastema.When gum or periodontal disease causes bone loss around teeth, they may drift out of position and affect the bite, causing the teeth to move even further out of position.It's important to tell your dentist if you've always had that space and if it's been increasing. A widening gap signals underlying problems. Treatment may include periodontal surgery, orthodontics and restorative/cosmetic procedures. There are times when a tooth -- or teeth -- may be lost and replaced with dental implants. Some teeth that have migrated out of position can be easily repositioned by treating the underlying periodontal infection and adjusting the interference in the bite. Over time, this may allow the lips to push the teeth back into position.Another reason to have a diastema treated is that they may act as food traps, which can cause both tooth decay and discomfort.More »
Last Modified: 2014-02-21 | Tags »
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