Education

5 Mistakes You Might Make While Flossing

February 5th 2013

FlossingFlossing is a crucial part of dental hygiene, and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly; after all, it’s a tried-and-true method for getting rid of stubborn food particles that settle in hard-to-reach places between teeth, as well as an effective way to disrupt cavity-causing bacteria and keep them getting too comfortable.

Of course, you might be thinking: how hard is it to drag some string between your teeth? Harder than you might think. Countless people make casual errors every day when flossing, and while it might not seem like a big deal at the time, you could find yourself in need of fillings or other restorative dental work before you know it.

Here are five common mistakes that are made during flossing that you should watch out for:

When You Use the Same Section of Floss the Entire Time

As we said above, flossing removes harmful bacteria from between your teeth. Why would you want to move that bacteria around your mouth into new areas instead of getting rid of it altogether? It might seem wasteful, but when you use the exact same area of floss on multiple teeth, you can replace plaque that’s already been removed into a brand-new home.

When You Skip the Teeth in the Very Back

While some of your teeth may have an open space next to them, it’s still important to work the floss behind them and do some cleaning. By doing this, you can make sure to remove bacteria that sometimes finds its way between your tooth and gums.

When You Snap the Floss between Your Teeth

Some of your teeth have very tight adjoining spaces. When you notice an area like this, try not to force the floss so that it jumps down against your gums. Instead, work the floss back and forth until it slides through. Snapping the floss not only hurts your gums, but it can also cause them to recede. Gum disease might not be far behind, too.

When You Quit Because Your Gums Start Bleeding

We understand that the sight and taste of blood can be scary sometimes, but don’t worry! You’re not hurting your gums. You’re just suffering from gingivitis, a condition that happens when your body sends more blood to the gums so that they can fight off growing plaque. You can alleviate this condition by removing that plaque with flossing. After a few days of dedicated flossing, your gums should return to normal!

When You Floss Aimlessly Without Keeping Track Of Your Teeth

You have a fair amount of teeth, and when you’re flossing, it can be easy to become distracted and accidentally skip one or two. Creating a plan that you follow whenever you floss will guarantee that you leave no area untouched. As long as you stick to it, you shouldn’t have any problems!

Just be sure to watch out for these common mistakes, and keep flossing! Your teeth will thank you.


Cavity-Fighting Effects of Cheese

January 31st 2013

Choose cheese for your next sandwich ingredient or salad-topper!

We’ve all heard parents and other adults tell us to eat our vegetables and drink milk so that we can grow up big and strong. But did you know that eating certain types of cheese can also help you stay healthy?

Multiple studies have shown that chewing processed cheese can prevent cavities and other decay from taking place. During a clinical study performed by Dows Institute for Dental Research, it was shown that after chewing just a single cube of cheese, a tooth’s surface re-hardened and strengthened by one hundred percent, thanks to the cheese’s mineral-boosting components.

It’s understood that regular servings of this dairy product prevent the demineralization of teeth, and will help boost the remineralization process. This means that enamel, the protective layer of your pearly whites, is reinforced, and can better shield your teeth from decay-causing bacteria.

It doesn’t hurt that cheese contains substantial amounts of calcium, which has long been known to prevent osteoporosis and keep bones resilient.

Cheeses that can protect and increase your oral health include:

  • Brie
  • Sharp Cheddar
  • Swiss
  • Gouda
  • Bleu
So don’t skip the cheese on your next sandwich! There are many viable options which can improve oral health. Many doctors also praise its metabolism-boosting effects. You don’t have to cut it completely out of your diet, so those of you who have managed to stick with your New Year’s resolutions can still incorporate dairy intake back in your daily life. (And congratulations on sticking with your goals).

As with any meal, it’s still important to brush and floss after eating. If you’re concerned about your tooth’s sensitivity for any reason, or suspect that you may have a cavity, please contact your dentist at the earliest convenience. No food, diet, or beverage can replace the educated and skilled eye of your dental professional.


What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

January 17th 2013

One common issue patients raise with their dentist is tooth sensitivity. Many experience it without knowing what causes it. In today’s post, we’d like to look at that question.

Often, tooth sensitivity occurs when the gums have receded, leaving tooth roots exposed. Tubules in the roots lead down to the tooth’s nerve. These let stimuli like hot and cold reach the nerve, creating a shock of sensation.

Gum recession is spurred by a variety of factors, including:

Gum Disease

Also known as periodontal disease, this is the primary cause of gum recession. What’s more, it’s been estimated that a majority of American adults have some form of the disease. Gum disease can be treated or prevented through regular oral care at home and regular visits to your local dentist.

Brushing Technique

How you brush can impact your oral health. When you brush aggressively using a hard-bristled toothbrush, you aren’t doing your smile any favors. This kind of brushing can harm your gums and your teeth alike. Brush thoroughly but gently, and ask your doctor for advice on what kind of brush you need.

Teeth Grinding/Cracked Teeth

Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding is a common sign of stress. Over time, grinding will damage teeth, possibly to the point that teeth become cracked. When teeth are cracked, bacteria can gain access to a tooth’s pulp, causing sensitivity. See your dentist about treating your teeth grinding with an oral appliance.

Age

It’s not uncommon for patients between 25 and 30 to experience sensitivity. If that fits your situation, talk to your doctor about what you can do to treat your discomfort.

Is sensitivity putting a damper on your sense of health and wellbeing? Call your local dentist. Sometimes changing hygiene products is all it takes to tooth sensitivity. You don’t have to live with your discomfort. A long-term solution is possible!


Want a healthy smile? Try vitamin D!

December 18th 2012

Vitamins and minerals have been shown to have a countless number of various benefits for the human body, and some may have benefits specifically for your smile. New research has shown that vitamin D may help lower your risk of tooth decay. And because the modern lifestyle often keeps us out of the sun (the main source of vitamin D) and few of us drink vitamin D-enriched whole milk these days, vitamin D supplements may be a vital part of your oral health regimen.

According to a review of research published in Nutrition Reviews, vitamin D was linked to a possible 50% reduction in tooth decay. Vitamin D has long been known to help strengthen bone, but dentists were long uncertain about the role this nutrient played in tooth health. However, after reviewing 24 different clinical trials from the 1920s to 1980s, it is now believed that Vitamin D helps keep cavities at bay, which is great news for your smile.

How can you up your vitamin D? When you’re exposed to sunshine, your body will naturally produce vitamin D. Just 10 minutes in the sun every day is about what’s needed to maintain healthy levels, but some of us don’t even get that much. You can also drink vitamin D enriched milk, and fish and eggs are a good natural source of vitamin D. Because vitamin D isn’t found naturally in very many foods, various foods are fortified with added vitamin D, like soymilk and orange juice. Check labels to find foods fortified with vitamin D.

Besides protecting your teeth from decay, vitamin D has been linked to the prevention of cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. It can help you maintain beautiful and healthy hair, and it can reduce the inflammatory response. If you’ve been experiencing chronic fatigue, you may find that supplementing your diet with added vitamin D can help. Lots of people overlook the importance of vitamin D, but now that we know that it can help you keep your smile in shape, we may be recommending more of it at your next dental checkup.


Holiday Health Hazard

December 4th 2012

Herpes Simplex (HSV – 1)

You’ve navigated your way around tempting Thanksgiving treats and have read articles about flu prevention techniques, but have you stopped to think about the dangers of exchanging saliva?

The Herpes simplex virus, or HSV-1, is the particular virus strand that is the cause of cold sores (also known as fever blisters). It’s estimated that over 50% of the nation has been infected with the virus. Some carriers of HSV-1 have never had a cold sore and are unaware that they’re carriers, but are still contagious.  This means that although they may never be plagued by a cold sore, they still retain the ability to transmit the virus to others, where it can cause unsightly and painful sores on lips and in the mouth. These sores can last up to two weeks, be pus-filled, and eventually crust over before they disappear. The virus will always remain latent in the body, waiting to be triggered by uncontrollable outside forces such as stress or exhaustion.

But how can I get it?

Cold sores are usually spread through saliva and enter through a minuscule break in the skin. This can be achieved not only by hanging out under the mistletoe at a party, but by sharing food as well. Parents can spread the Herpes Simplex virus to their kids by drinking from the same cup of hot chocolate or sharing eating utensils.

A cold sore just appeared. What do I do now?

Fortunately, there are many over-the-counter and prescription treatments available to minimize the appearance of cold sores and their associated discomfort. Talk to your dentist or doctor when you have an initial cold sore outbreak or even if the current medication you’re taking isn’t working as well as desired.

There’s a bright side?

The good thing is that you no longer have to feel guilty about keeping your favorite holiday treat to yourself. Feel free to eat, drink, and be merry! Just remember to be safe now that you’re informed about the dangers of mistletoe.

You’ve navigated your way around tempting treats and have read articles about flu prevention, but have you stopped to think about the dangers of exchanging saliva?

Herpes simplex

The Herpes simplex virus, or HSV-1, is the particular virus strand that causes cold sores (also known as fever blisters). It’s estimated that over 50% of the nation has been infected with the virus. Some carriers of HSV-1 have never had a cold sore and are unaware that they’re carriers, but are still contagious.  This means that although they may never be plagued by a cold sore, they still retain the ability to transmit the virus to others, where it can cause unsightly and painful sores on lips and in the mouth. These sores can last up to two weeks, be pus-filled, and eventually crust over before they disappear. The virus will always remain latent in the body, waiting to be triggered by uncontrollable outside forces such as stress, cold weather, or exhaustion.

But how can I get it?

Cold sores are usually spread through saliva and enter through a minuscule break in the skin. This can be achieved not only by hanging out under the mistletoe at a party, but by sharing food as well. Parents can spread the Herpes simplex virus to their kids by drinking from the same cup of hot chocolate or sharing eating utensils.

A cold sore just appeared. What do I do now?

Fortunately, there are many over-the-counter and prescription treatments available to minimize the appearance of cold sores and their associated discomfort. Talk to your dentist or doctor when you have an initial cold sore outbreak or even if the current medication you’re taking isn’t working as well as desired.

Is there a bright side?

The good thing is that you no longer have to feel guilty about keeping your favorite holiday treat to yourself. Feel free to eat, drink, and be merry! Just remember to be safe now that you’re informed about the dangers of mistletoe.


While preventive general dentistry care is the basis of everything we do at Crossroads Dental Group, we know that you need a wide range of services available to keep your smile in good condition and looking great over the course of your entire life. That’s why we also offer restorative dental care and cosmetic dentistry services to patients in Hebron, Ohio, as well as Heath, Millersport, Thornville, and Buckeye Lake. Contact us today to make an appointment to meet the dentists at Crossroads Dental Group.

820 West Main Street
Hebron, OH 43025
(740) 527-0700
crossroadsdentalgroup.org‎

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While preventive general dentistry care is the basis of everything we do at Crossroads Dental Group, we know that you need a wide range of services available to keep your smile in good condition and looking great over the course of your entire life.