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No More Excuses to Not Floss Your Teeth

An essential part of good dental health, flossing your teeth every day removes plaque from areas between your teeth where your toothbrush is unable to reach. West Meade Dental recommends that you floss your teeth at least once a day, every day. However, many people make excuses for not flossing every day. Since not flossing can lead to serious oral health problems, people who make excuses may end up regretting the excuses they made. Web MD talked to some dentists about common excuses for not flossing, and we would like to share with you their answers to the excuses.


Food Never Gets Stuck in My Teeth.

The main purpose of flossing is to remove plaque, not food. Plaque is a film of bacteria that forms between your teeth and along your gum line. Flossing every day keeps plaque from causing cavities and gum disease.

I Don’t Know How to Floss.

Flossing correctly can be tricky and difficult, but it is essential to learn how to floss properly. The American Dental Association provides the following instructions:

  • Take 18 inches of floss and wrap most of it around the middle finger of one hand. Wrap the rest around the middle finger of the other hand.
  • Grasp the floss tightly between your thumb and forefinger, and guide it between your teeth in a rubbing motion.
  • When the floss reaches the gum line, form a C with the floss to follow the shape of the tooth.
  • Hold the floss firmly against the tooth and gently move it up and down.
  • Repeat this process with the rest of your teeth.
  • Use fresh sections of floss as you go through your mouth

I Don’t Have the Time to Floss

Find the time of day that best works for you, and make it part of your routine. Store your floss by your toothbrush and toothpaste to remind you. Remember that you can floss anywhere, so be sure to carry a pack of floss with you.

It Hurts When I Floss.

When it hurts your gums to floss, that is a major sign of gum disease, which is even more reason to floss. If you keep up with brushing and flossing daily, the pain will begin to go away. If you continue to have pain after two weeks, come see us at West Meade Dental,

My Teeth Are Too Close Together.

You can try waxed or glide floss, which slides more easily between teeth. For those with recessed gums, varied gaps between teeth, or braces, try using a threader or a loop to find an easier way to get between teeth. If your floss shreds apart, you may have a cavity or a dental work issue, like a broken crown or a loose filling.

Want to learn more about flossing? Contact West Meade Dental to ask our expert staff any flossing questions you may have.

The Importance of Flossing

Every time you go to the dentist they ask the same questions, and one always seems to be about how often you floss. Most people cannot answer this with the number that they are looking for, which is only once a day. What they do not understand is flossing is the only way the spaces between your teeth will get clean since your brush and mouthwash cannot reach. The dentists on staff at West Meade Dental will be able to answer any questions you may have at your next appointment.



Not only is your dentist or hygienist going to brush and floss your teeth for you while in office, they are going to take a little tool and scrape off any tartar that they find. Tartar is a buildup of plaque that starts forming around the gum line. While this process does not actually hurt, it is not especially comfortable. Since tartar starts off as a soft substance, brushing and flossing can remove it at home. However, once it has hardened it can only be removed by the professionals.

Gum Disease

Since the teeth are positioned right against the gums, flossing is the only way to get anything that might be trapped there out. When this happens, the food will harden and begin to form tartar. This is how gingivitis, the first step of gum disease where your gums turn red and swell, is started. If this is left for a long enough period of time a more severe type of gum disease known as periodontitis.

Other Diseases

While your teeth are only located in your mouth, the diseases that can start there are capable of spreading to your entire body. Studies have shown that once a disease is in the blood stream it can start to harm your organs and body’s systems. Periodontal disease has also been known to lead to heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory illnesses.

Economically Friendly

That’s right! Flossing can overtime save you money. Since it is what helps prevent many diseases and oral health problems, it will save you from having to have these things fixed. There are many effective, inexpensive floss options available at your local supermarket from standard floss to disposable picks.

By Shelley Sigur | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment

Bad Habits that Affect Oral Health

You might not know it, but a lot of the things you do each day  can affect your oral health. Here's what you should know:

You might not know it, but a lot of the things you do each day can affect your oral health. Here’s what you should know:

We worry about keeping our teeth bright and shiny, but what about their actual health? There are many habits that we do in our daily life that could be weakening our teeth. It is critical for your overall well-being that you address these issues. Also, make sure you are having your checkups. To schedule call the professionals at West Meade Dental.

How do you drink your drink?

Believe it or not, the way you drink your drink can affect your teeth. It is actually better to drink your drinks through a straw so it has less exposure to your teeth. Also, sipping them throughout the day only makes the sugar and acids more exposed to the teeth. And what do you do with the ice afterwards? Most people will chew their ice after they finish their drink. However, this should be avoided as it puts strain on the teeth and could cause fractures.

Teeth are bones, not tools!

Many people will use their teeth when they do not have another object around. Aside from this just being unsanitary, you can chip or fracture your tooth. Next time try using scissors, nail clippers, or pliers.

Hey you! Stop grinding your teeth!

Almost as annoying as smacking your gum, grinding your teeth cannot only put stress on your teeth, but the others around you. This is usually a nervous habit that is triggered by some sort of anxiety. If you grind your teeth at night, you should look into getting a mouth guard to wear while you sleep.

What are you using to brush your teeth and how well are you doing it?

Many think that a brush with harder bristles is the way to go. This can instead cause more sensitivity to the teeth, especially when roots begin to show. Every individual is different, so ask your dentist what type of brush will be best for you. Also, you want to make sure that you are brushing and flossing properly. You should be brushing at least twice a day and changing out your toothbrush in no longer than four months. For more information on proper brushing from the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, click here.

Common Oral Care Mistakes

Common Oral Care Mistakes

ToothbrushHey, we all make mistakes, don’t we? That’s usually how we learn valuable life lessons. But what about the mistakes you don’t know you’re making? We’ve pulled together a list of common mistakes people make with their mouth—not the foot-in-mouth kind, though. Sorry, we can’t do anything about that.

It’s all about what you eat—and don’t eat. We all know that sweets are bad for us, but come on—how can we possibly avoid that delicious looking treat? It’s probably impossible to entirely avoid sugary foods, so if you have to indulge, try doing so after a meal. This reduces acid producing bacteria in the mouth that wears away enamel. And while we’re on the subject of food—eat your fruits and veggies. They have vitamins and minerals that help strengthen your teeth.

A few more food-related tips:

  • DO: Chew sugar-free gum
  • DON’T: Avoid chewing hard things like ice or popcorn kernels
  • DO: Swish with water after every meal

Dehydration. Foods aren’t the only thing that can give your teeth a hard time. Make sure you avoid drinking high-acid or sugary liquids, and instead drink plenty of water. Your body isn’t the only thing that needs water—your teeth do, too. Drink water after a meal to clean the mouth and wash away bacteria.

Bad brushing habits. Bad habits are hard to break, but it’s worth the extra effort to break these habits.

  • Brushing too soon. Wait at least 30 minutes after eating to brush – food acids weaken enamel. Brushing immediately after eating doesn’t allow the enamel enough time to harden back up.
  • Brushing too hard or too often. This can expose and irritate the roots of your teeth and cause dental problems and tooth sensitivity. We recommend using soft bristle toothbrushes only, to help avoid scraping the enamel off of your teeth.
  • Not brushing long enough. Ok, so maybe this sounds like the opposite of what we just said, but quality and quantity go hand in hand here. We all hurry from one thing to the next in life, especially getting ready for work in the morning, but this is one area of your life you really don’t want to rush. Using a soft-bristle toothbrush, be sure to brush thoroughly for at least 2 minutes.
  • Boring brushing. Spice up that brushing experience and don’t make every brushing session the same. Start in different places of the mouth to provide a more balanced teeth cleaning. 
  • And one more thing: don’t ignore the Pink. Your tongue doesn’t just get this party started—it’s also a nice warm bed for bacteria growth. Make sure your tongue is getting its fair share of attention during routine brushing.

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention floss. Do it. Every day. Now don’t get all carried away and be aggressive about it, either. Be gentle, but diligent.

And last, the thing you’ve been avoiding—DON’T put off that dental cleaning. Neglecting to have your teeth taken care of by a dentist is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to oral health. So get busy, and schedule that cleaning.

By Shelley Sigur | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , | Leave a Comment

Daily Care for Teeth

Everyday Habits for Healthy Teeth

No one likes having problems with their teeth. Whether it is aesthetics or something more serious there are a litany of problems that can affect your teeth. For most people these problems are only a concern once they happen but taking the proper preventative steps can keep you from every having to deal with them at all. With peoples’ busy schedules getting busier all the time sometimes basic oral hygiene can fall by the wayside. As people fall asleep at their computers at night or wake up late for work proper brushing techniques are being discarded like the floss they should be using! This is however no excuse and for many people this lack of attention to their pearly whites will lead to preventable problems in the future. For some they may simply have forgotten the brushing basics but have no fear.

Yes. You should be brushing. And flossing. These two simple activities can save you a lot of money and pain later on.

Yes. You should be brushing. And flossing. These two simple activities can save you a lot of money and pain later on.

Here is a refresher:

The first thing to know about any job is that you must have the proper equipment to get it done. It is prudent to replace your brush every 3 – 4 months (sooner if the bristles are frayed). This will make sure that the brush is getting to all the spots it is designed to get to. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day (morning and evening) however if you only brush once it should be at night before you go to sleep. Otherwise your teeth will stew in whatever you have eaten that day all night. It’s not a pretty picture but it is the truth!

When you brush it is important to get to every tooth. Move the brush in small circles on every surface of every tooth. This is especially important near the gumline where plaque can buildup. Once this is done for every tooth rinse your mouth and move on to flossing. When flossing it is important that you have enough floss to get the job done. 18 inches of floss is the standard recommendation. Make sure to floss in between every set of teeth. This also includes the back molars on both sides even though there is not a tooth on the other side. This will help eliminate food particles that may have gotten stuck in between your teeth. It is best to rinse your mouth with water after this to get any floating particles that may be lef

Once you have brushed and flossed you may think you are done but there is one other step that many people do not do. Rinse your mouth out with mouthwash. This not only serves to freshen your breath but also will help dis-infect your mouth. An alcohol based mouthwash will help clear the bacteria away from any cuts or sores in your mouth as well which can help prevent disease (not only of the mouth but other diseases and infections as well).

It may seem simple but these steps go a long way in promoting a healthy mouth and a pretty smile. If you ever need any extra motivation get online and look up gum disease and some of the other problems (and solutions) an unhealthy mouth must face. I promise you’ll be furiously brushing in no time!

By Shelley Sigur | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment
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