Waterpicks and Flosses

Plaque, a sticky material full of germs, accumulates on teeth, especially in areas between and around the teeth where a toothbrush doesn’t reach. Not handled regularly, it can cause gum disease. The simplest way to rid your mouth of plaque is to daily brush and floss your teeth. A toothbrush will clean the tops and sides of teeth but dental floss can get to spots it can’t reach and clean between the teeth. Some people like to use waterpicks but dentists consider floss the best option.

To floss or not to floss!

Flossing is very important in maintaining healthy teeth. Floss eliminates plaque and other particles that stick to the teeth and gums in the in between areas. It polishes the tooth enamel and handles bad breath. It is the most important and vital tool you can use against plaque, even more crucial than brushing with a toothbrush. A lot of men and women don’t spend enough time brushing and flossing their teeth or haven’t been taught how to clean their teeth properly. It’s good to have your dentist or dental hygienist show you proper brushing and flossing techniques.

Types of floss to use

There are several types of dental floss—waxed, unwaxed, thin or wide, flavored, etc. Dental tape or wide floss is good for people with bridgework. The tape is typically recommended for use when there are wide spaces between teeth. The different types of floss all do a good job of cleaning and removing plaque. Some people find waxed floss easier to work with and move between tight teeth and restorations. Some like the unwaxed floss because it tends to make a squeaking noise when teeth are clean. You can get bonded unwaxed floss that does not split or fray quite as easily as the regular unwaxed floss, but it tends to tear more than waxed floss does.

How to floss

The two main methods for flossing are the loop and the spool method. The most common, the spool fine for people who have good manual dexterity. Just take an 18-inch piece of floss, winding the majority of it loosely around a finger. Then, wind the remainder of the floss likewise around the same finger on your other hand. This will be the finger that gather up the floss after it is used and becomes soiled. Holding the floss between your index finger and thumb, move it back and forth between your teeth, being careful not to bring it too hard down on the gums which would hurt or irritate them. Move the floss up and down a number of times in a “C” form around the tooth, making sure you get the bottom of the tooth below the gum line.

The loop method is good for kids or grownups who have less finger dexterity, weak muscular coordination, or joint trouble, like arthritis. Just take an 18-inch piece of floss, making it into a circle. Tie it firmly with three knots. Put your fingers, excluding the thumb, in the circle or loop. Your index finger will guide the floss through lower teeth and the thumbs are used to take the floss through the top teeth. Make sure you go below the gum line with the floss in a “C” along side the tooth.

Flossing frequency

You should floss on a daily basis, at least once each day. Spend at least 2 or 3 minutes in order to give the teeth a thorough flossing.

Using floss holders

You can get pre-threaded floss holders, looking like a hacksaw, with the floss stretched on a little frame. The floss holders are convenient for individuals with minimal dexterity. They are also good for kids or people who are new to flossing, or for people like caretakers when they have to floss somebody else’s teeth.

Toothpick safety

Toothpicks are good at getting rid of food stuck between teeth, but they do not replace a proper day-to-day cleansing of plaque from between the teeth. Floss is best for that. You can get toothpicks in round or flat shapes, and thin or thick. Whenever using a toothpick, be careful not to poke the gums or push too hard, causing it to break off and possibly lodging in the gums.

Waterpicks in dental hygiene


Waterpicks should not be used as a replacement for brushing and flossing. However, they are very efficient to use with orthodontic braces that tend to get food stuck in spots that the toothbrush does not always get to. They do not eliminate the plaque on the tooth enamel. Waterpicks are often recommended for people suffering from gum disease. Your dentist can prescribe solutions that contain chlorhexidine, tetracycline or similar anti-bacterial agents, and can be added to the waterpick’s water tank.

As thrilling and satisfying nighttime snacking may be, there’s no denying the fact that it not only contribute to weight gain, but also adversely impacts the brain and teeth while adding to numerous health problems like liver damage, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

We tend to have this illusion that we can work and eat at anytime of the day we want. But it is not as simple as that. The circadian rhythm follows a 24-hour cycle, regulating our body’s organs and releasing hormones apprising us when it is time for bed. Disturbing this cycle of sleep-wake is bad news, as it brings along many health problems including immune system issues and type-2 diabetes. Furthermore, it negatively impacts cognitive function, especially memory mechanism and learning.

Another reason what late night snacking does is compromise your oral health. If you regularly wake up in the middle of the night to chomp down some food and then go back to sleep, here is why you need to stop and step back from that fridge right now! You just enjoyed a Mars bar, but now you are too lazy to go and brush your teeth again, or weirdly enough, you would rather sleep with your mouth still tasting like chocolate means a grand feast for bacteria feeding on your teeth.

‘So, all I need is to do is brush my teeth again and I am good to go?’ Not entirely. When we usually brush our teeth, there still remain certain sugars and tiny food bits that have not been thoroughly wiped out. That’s when our saliva comes in and removes the little particles and acids.

After dark, however, our body produces less saliva and so it may not be a great backup, encouraging bacterial build-up. Furthermore, nighttime is the period of rest and restoration for your teeth when, after the day’s wear and tear, they will finally have a time to remineralize. Disturbing this resting cycle with food is bad for your teeth.


Considering the above problems, it is best to avoid eating at night altogether. However, if you must, snack on healthy foods like baked tortilla chips, non-buttered popcorn and celery. 

Probably the most ignored aspect of our healthcare routine happens to be oral hygiene. We are so busy worrying about that extra pound gained, or minor headaches that we tend to overlook the value of our teeth as long as they last. Only when faced with a series of oral problem that we realize the importance of maintaining an optimal oral hygiene.

Let’s start with a few simple tips on better preserving oral hygiene, most of which we already know but choose to ignore:


Yeah, we know that. Yet, we knowingly skip brushing at night as we are too tired or sleepy, or rather not mark an end to our day’s snack munching because let’s be real: brushing means no more food chomping. What this does is that the food particles sitting in our teeth overnight rot, and become a feasting ground for bacteria that in turn damage the protective enamel. Hence, it is advisable to brush or at the least gargle after every meal, and especially at night to minimize teeth damage.


We tend to assume that brushing alone is sufficient for our oral hygiene regimen, but a swirl of mouthwash ensures your entire oral cavity and gums are swiped clean of any food debris and germs.


Many of us out there at some point must have wondered why our mouths don’t feel or smell as fresh even though we religiously brush and floss. The answer lies in the tongue. The tongue becomes a breeding ground for bacteria as plaque and sediments intensify. A tongue cleaner is a must-have tool for a complete oral hygiene routine as it scrapes off all the undesired germ build-up.


Responsible for yellowing teeth, causing worms and cavities, smoking is one of the worst habits for your dental hygiene. Tobacco affects the attachment of your soft tissue and bone, and interferes with your normal gum tissue cells’ function, paving the way to gum and other oral problems.


A homemade, natural recipe for teeth whitening and quick germ removal comes from the use of mustard oil and salt’s mixture.


Start today with these tips to prolong the health of your mouth, your body and your personality. 

The arrival of spring after a lazy winter is as good as a new year, a fresh start for different things. One of the ways spring is celebrated is through spring cleaning, which doesn’t only have to be about your house, but your teeth and smile. Here are some spring tips to help you maintain an optimal dental health:


Many people dwell on a poor breakfast routine while others decide to skip it altogether. Remember that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and should be rich in calcium to not only help you throughout the day, but also prove beneficial for your teeth and bones in the long run. Add calcium in the form of dairy products to your breakfast to help nourish your teeth and ensure its overall strength.


Not only will this help detox your body, but also wash away any acidic or sugar content left in your mouth and make survival of bacteria harder.


If you like to use your teeth when opening bottles, cans and God knows what, remember that it may seem cool now, but no one will be impressed when you wind up losing a tooth.


You should replace your old toothbrush with new ones every few months. However, if you haven’t in a long time, right now is the best time.


Stock your floss supply if you floss every day. Stock your floss supply even if you don’t. If you think flossing is one heck of a daily chore, start off slow. Begin stroking the tooth twine by flossing twice a week in the first month, three times a week in the second, four times a week in third…and so forth.


Most dentists propose a minimum of two visits annually, and more for people with relatively poor oral health. If you get a check up twice every three years, it is time you saw your dentist more often to circumvent potential problems from developing, and actually save money in the long run by avoiding costly treatments


These are some spring tips to preserve optimal dental health that you should start following right away. 

Dental pain is one of the worst kinds of pains, and a possible aftermath of cavities, cracked and loose teeth, an abscess or a sinus condition. The first and smartest way to keep dental pain at bay is to prevent its roots through regular checkups, eating the right foods and following a proper oral hygiene. Should prevention not work in your case, you could try the following home remedies to lessen pain until you visit your dentist for thorough diagnosis and treatment:


Boiling water mixed with a spoonful of salt is a great pain-killing mouthwash that cleans away irritating debris and draws out some of the fluid that causes swelling. Swish the saltwater around for 30 seconds before spitting it out, and repeat as often as needed.


Nicely flavored with numbing power, peppermint tea is a great mouthwash that relieves pain. For swelling, try black tea as its astringent tannins helps ease spasms and lessens inflammation. Try placing a warm teabag against the affected tooth for quick, temporary relief.


Numb your aching tooth by rubbing an ice pack for about 5 to 7 minutes and massage it with your thumb and forefinger.


Instantly switch to a soft bristled brush or one designed for ‘sensitive teeth’. Avoid consuming hot and cold foods and switch to softer edibles that will be painless on your teeth. Further, avoid sugary foods that can trigger bacterial action and worsen the condition.


Cloves consist of a natural anesthetic, a primary chemical compound known as eugenol. Putting a couple of drops of clove oil on a cotton ball and placing against the aching tooth helps numb the area and provides relief from the pain. Avoid pouring the oil on the affected area as it can worsen the pain.


Trying acupressure helps stop toothache fast. Press the back of your hand where the base of your index finger and thumb meet with your other thumb. Apply pressure for two minutes as it helps trigger the release of endorphins, the feel good hormone. Do not try this if you are pregnant.

You should remember that these pain relief techniques are temporary and only suppress the symptoms, not cure the cause! Visit your dentist as soon as the problem occurs and get a thorough diagnosis and medical regimen. 

Oral hygiene is the most important part of personal hygiene and while many people take matters into their own hands, others leave it to the dentists, a visit that can be frightening for some whilst exciting for others. There could be many concerns circling a person’s mind: is the process going to be painful? What sort of technology and methods will be used? My mouth condition is so embarrassing the dentist would freak out! The fear of the sound and images of scary looking instruments!

Whatever the concern, instead of withdrawing into skipping the visit, a better approach is to come forward and face your fears. Another tip is to organize the visit in your head so you get the best out of it.

To start off, setting up an appointment is important to ensure your time isn’t wasted. Asking questions,  either from the dentist himself or the receptionist, helps as it makes clear whether the dentist is the one for you or not. Once the appointment is confirmed, start preparing yourself. It is highly advisable to get a good night’s sleep before the visit and avoid beverages with caffeine or sugar, like coffee and energy drinks.

When visiting the dentist, it’s preferable to take a list of medications you are so that the dentist could further guide you about its effects with the new medication. Talk to your dentist with your phobias and come clean about any questions or doubts. This helps the dentist understand you better and they can cater to your needs and concerns better.

For future references, jot down questions and feel free to ask about your condition in detail and the methods to be used, including the side effects. If asked any questions, answer truthfully, no matter how embarrassing. Relax and be happy, there’s nothing better than getting a step closer to better oral hygiene.

Tooth decay refers to the deterioration of the teeth’s outer surface due to bacterial action and is the most prevalent oral hygiene problem in children and adults. One of the many reasons why people fail to take care of their teeth against decay is the lack of knowledge about the causes. There remain many misconceptions about tooth decay and if cleared, could lead to better oral health.

Brushing, Flossing And Using Mouthwash Is Enough: While these three steps are crucial for good oral hygiene, sometimes they are not enough because they are not done right. For how long do you brush your teeth? 30 seconds? A minute? Sadly, this is not enough. The required time for a proper brushing regimen is a whole two minutes. Similarly, are you replacing your toothbrush every couple of months with a new one? If you are not, you are allowing the bacteria to accumulate on the bristles over time, and eventually the brush loses its purpose and effectiveness.

Also, are you using dental floss to clean the upper teeth and then the lower teeth with the same piece? This is just causing the bacteria from the upper section to transfer to the lower section and so using two different threads is recommended. When it comes to using mouthwash, make sure it doesn’t have high alcohol level because that is just going to make the mouth dry and prone to gum bleeding. High sugar content will again cause bacteria build-up, leading to tooth decay.

Candies’ Cause Cavities: This is true to a large extent but not the only reason. Cavities are contagious and breathing in close space with a cavity affected person also means bad news even if you stay miles away from sugar. Acidic foods also weaken the enamel, making teeth more vulnerable to bacteria, causing tooth decay.

Fluoride Solves All The Problems: A recent study has shown the ineffectiveness of fluoride at preventing decay. Some claim that fluoride is poison and sticks to the teeth, preventing re-mineralization. It can also cause white patches and browning of teeth in children. Thus, fluoride is not the only solution but has to be backed up by brushing and regular checkups.


Now that these misconceptions have been debunked, hopefully you will be able to take better care of your teeth and prevent decay and other problems. 

Getting braces can change your life. You have to change the way you bite and chew, not to mention you have to take good care of the braces as well. However, this doesn’t mean living with braces has to be a hellish experience. As long as you are familiar with a few tips to make life with braces easier, you are good to go. So, without further ado, let’s go over some golden tips:

·         You don’t have to change your dental care routine if you get braces. In fact, regular brushing and flossing will help you take care of the braces as well. When flossing, use a threader which you can keep reusing. The thread can easily get between and under the wires, enabling you to remove any debris or plaque. When brushing, you have to use a soft brush and fluoride toothpaste. Also, make it a point to brush after every meal. Brush around the wires. If the braces appear shiny, you are brushing right. Dull braces are a sign that you aren’t brushing properly.

·         You will have to give up a few foods when wearing braces. Generally, this is done to ensure bits of food don’t get lodged between your teeth because of the wires, which can result in tooth decay, cavities, and other dental issues. It’s best that you avoid hard and chewy foods, including candy, bagels, pizza, chips and popcorn. The same goes for any food you have to bite into.

·         Quit smoking if you are in the habit. Smoking while wearing braces will cause problems in the long run and can also lead to discoloration of the teeth, stronger than usual. Also, don’t miss any dentist’s appointments as you constant checkups to ensure the braces are doing their job.


These are some of the tips you can follow to make living with braces easier. 

Generally, dental injuries are unlikely to cause anything more than pain, but there is the risk of permanent damage to your teeth or jaw line. You will have to visit the dentist, but what do you do till you get there? Few people know how to handle the situation and they even end up making mistakes sometimes which exacerbate the damage. This is why it is important that you know how to deal with a dental emergency when it arises:

·         If you have a debilitating toothache, rinse your mouth with a mixture of salt and warm water. You can also floss your teeth to ensure there is no food residue or any other debris there. One thing you shouldn’t do is putting aspirin in the affected area. The pain may go away after you rinse or floss but if it doesn’t, head over to the dentist.

·         In case of a bitten lip, clean the area using a clean cloth or a napkin. Apply pressure on the lip till the bleeding stops and the swelling subsides. If bleeding continues, head to ER without delay.

·         If something is caught or stuck between your teeth, don’t exert too much pressure in trying to get it out. Try to remove it but gently. Also, avoid using sharp objects. You can try flossing but if even that fails, call your dentist.

·         In case of a broken or chipped tooth, don’t delay calling a dentist. First, rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water to remove the blood. If the tooth comes off, keep rinsing and applying pressure till the bleeding stops. If the tooth is still in place, use a cold compress to keep the swelling in check.

These are some ways you can handle dental emergencies and keep the problem from worsening.

As you probably know, your teeth are strong and can withstand a great deal of pressure and wear and tear. However, there is always the risk that you chip or break a tooth. It can be caused by any number of reasons. Some of the common ones include:

·         Suffering a direct blow to the jaw or face

·         Falling down or any other accidental injury

·         Cavities and tooth decay

·         Biting down on something extremely hard

Generally, a chipped tooth doesn’t cause much discomfort, or even bleed. Your tongue is more likely to scrape across the sharp area where the tooth has chipped or cracked and that is when you realize you have a broken tooth. Of course, if a significant part of the tooth breaks, you are in for some real pain. So, what should you do in this situation?

·         Firstly, check if there is any bleeding. If yes, take some warm water and rinse your mouth thoroughly. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to use mouthwash.

·         Place a piece of cotton or gauze on the affected tooth and apply pressure so that the bleeding stops. Leave it on till you are absolutely sure the bleeding has subsided.

·         If there is visible swelling, place a cold pack on your cheek or mouth, depending on the location of the broken tooth.

·         Head to the dentist straight away. A broken tooth is a genuine emergency and if you don’t get treatment right away, the discomfort and problem will only exacerbate, requiring intensive treatment later.


These are some of the tips you can follow should you break a tooth for any reason. Make sure you don’t place any additional pressure on the broken tooth, because it is likely that it would be weak at the roots and might fall out. Let the dentist decide whether or not the tooth has to be removed!

Some dental issues show obvious symptoms. For instance, if your gums are bleeding or if a tooth is aching, you know there’s something wrong and you will head to the dentist. However, there are a few dental problems which are fairly common but as most people don’t know about them, they are unable to spot them. The one thing about all dental issues is that if they are not nipped in the bud, they can grow into major problems over time, which will require extensive treatment. So, this is why it is better that you are aware of a few common dental issues you might have but don’t know:


Bruxism refers to grinding your teeth. Generally, people who are under a lot of stress start grinding their teeth and the worst part is they don’t even realize it. This is particularly true for people who grind their teeth in their sleep. According to estimates, as many as 50% of adults could have bruxism, so if you have damaged teeth but don’t know what caused it, have a dentist check for signs of bruxism.


Did you know that over 90% of adults have cavities? Yes, even though a majority of the people place great emphasis on dental care and hygiene, 9 out of every 10 adults has at least one cavity. What this means is you should have your teeth checked for signs of decay every time you go to the dentist.

Tooth Sensitivity

Do you brush your teeth correctly? Even if you assume you do, there is a chance you don’t. 40% of adults don’t know how to brush their teeth properly and over time, this leads to tooth sensitivity. Ask your dentist how you should brush your teeth and also the type of brush you should be using.

These are some common dental issues you might have so make sure you have your dentist check for them the next time you visit.