Archive | May, 2015

Daily Dental Tip: Prevent Tooth Fractures

30 May


Suck—don’t chew—very hard foodstuffs such as hard candy or ice. Chewing hard foods creates tiny fractures in the enamel of your teeth that, over the years, combine to result in major cracks.


Should you floss before or after brushing your teeth? (via @TODAYshow)

30 May

We know we’re supposed to floss every day for healthier teeth and gums, even if few of us actually do. But is there a right time to floss? And is it better to floss before or after brushing?

In the The New York Times Well Blog, even the experts disagree.

One spokesman for the American Dental Association told the Times, which was answering a reader question, that it’s preferable to floss first because it’s not a fun task. The reasoning: people will be less likely to skip flossing than if they wait until after brushing.

But in the same story, another oral health specialist argued that flossing after brushing is preferable because it helps the fluoride in the toothpaste work its way between the teeth.

Sebastian Ciancio, a distinguished service professor and chair, periodontics and endodontics in the School of Dental Medicine at University at Buffalo said that while there is no difference in effectiveness, he seems to favor brush first, floss finish.

“Whether you floss before brushing or after makes no difference on the efficacy,” Ciancio told “Flossing before you brush might give a sense of false [protection] and you might not brush as well.”

So, really, when’s the best time to floss?

Before, after, morning or night actually doesn’t matter. As long as you do it at least once every day, you’re going to minimize the nasty bacteria clinging to your teeth, says Matthew J. Messina an American Dental Association spokesperson and private practice dentist in Cleveland.

“I am happy if people floss at any time in a 24 hour period, says Messina.”The bacteria around the teeth organize themselves as colonies and [flossing] stirs them up. If we get in there and stir them up every 24 hours we render them less dangerous.”

The American Dental Association recommends that people floss daily and brush twice a day.

It takes about 24 hours for plaque to form in the mouth and twice daily brushing and daily flossing disrupts the plaque, also know as biofilm, build up. Flossing allows people to rid the spaces between the teeth of bacteria, which sometimes causes cavities, but most often causes gum disease. Gum disease can cause bad breath, bleeding and swollen gums, loose and sensitive teeth and receding gums.

“People who brush twice a day and floss once a day remove enough biofilm to keep gum disease and cavities under control,” says Ciancio.

In reality, only about 15 percent of us actually floss every day — no matter what we tell our dentists.

And finally, what about waxed or unwaxed floss?

Turns out, when it comes to the type of floss, the differences in product make little difference, though string floss is somewhat more effective than those handy dental picks.

Dental picks don’t reach the contact point between two teeth where bacteria love to grow, says Ciancio.

And, yes, there’s a right way to floss. It’s important when people floss to slide the floss up to the gum line and wrap it around the tooth in a c-shape.

The need for good oral health can’t be stressed enough. A recent study from the Centers from Disease Control found that almost all American adults have cavities, a concern because of the close link between gum health to overall health.

That’s why dentists fuss about flossing.

“Gum disease starts usually in the area between the teeth and dental decay is more prevalent between the teeth as compared to flat surfaces,” says Ciancio.

Whether flossing actually helps you live longer is unclear — people with heart disease and diabetes often have unhealthy gums, although researchers are not sure how the relationship works.

It could simply be that people who floss have healthier habits all around.


Daily Dental Tip: Improve Your Brushing Technique

28 May


Does your toothbrush look as if it’s been used to clean the car? If so, you’re probably brushing too hard. Contrary to what some scrub-happy people think, brushing with force is not the best way to remove plaque. The best way is to place your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle against your gums and gently move it in a circular motion, rather than a back-and-forth motion. Grip the toothbrush like a pencil so you won’t scrub too hard.

#RhoadIsland #OralHealth Foundation Hosting Free Dental Clinic This Weekend (via @GoLocalProv)

28 May


R.I. Oral Health Foundation will host the fourth Rhode Island Mission to Mercy Free Dental Clinic at CCRI’s Flanagan Campus on Saturday, May 30 from 6 a.m. until capacity is reached and on Sunday, May 31 from 6 a.m. until capacity is reached.

The clinic will involved over 625 professional and community volunteers, transforming the CCRI dental hygiene clinic into a fully operational dental clinic. The clinic will provide free dental services including cleanings, x-rays, fillings, prosthetics and tooth extractions.

The Mission to Mercy organizers are expecting to treat nearly 1,000 patients.

Patients will be treated on a first come, first serve basis until capacity is reached.

Food and beverages will be provided and interpreters will be available.


Daily Dental Tip: Drink a Cup of Tea Everyday

28 May


Drink a Cup of Tea Everyday. Flavonoids and other ingredients in tea prevent harmful bacteria from sticking to teeth, and also block production of a type of sugar that contributes to cavities. Tea also contains high amounts of fluoride.

Top 10 List of lessons from #DavidLetterman’s finale on how to succeed in #dental practice (via @dentistryiq)

28 May


In order to run a successful dental practice, I suggest you take this Top 10 List to heart. These classic characteristics modeled by David Letterman during his final night as host will endear you to your patients and team. And who doesn’t want a great 33-year run?
1. Sit at your desk (or your dental chair) and communicate — Letterman’s career culminated in his finale with clips and memories but was distinguished, ultimately, by what Letterman does best – sit at his desk and communicate.
2. Use self-deprecating humor
 — On his final show, Letterman assured the audience that of his more than 6,000 shows, most of them stank.
3. Acknowledge others 
— The real moments to savor on the show came from Letterman’s long list of acknowledgements, graciously wishing the best to incoming host Stephen Colbert, thanking his staff, and lauding CBS CEO Leslie Moonves for his patience dealing with him.
4. Smile 
— Letterman has never been the most warm and fuzzy of personalities, but, that elastic face can really smile. He spent so much of that last show smiling. His dentist is proud, I’m sure.
5. Be confident 
— Letterman was confident enough to spend six or seven of his last 80 minutes on a walk through a typical day of show prep, which was as mundane as the show itself can be lively.
6. Be humble
 — “The people who watch this show, I can never repay you,” a humble Letterman said before ending the program.
7. Be gracious
 — In his closing remarks, Letterman acknowledged the praise heaped upon him and asked people to “save a little for my funeral.”
8. Show emotion
 — This was one of those rare moments where the curmudgeonly late-night host wore his heart on his sleeve.
9. Praise your team
 — “We loved every second of it,” musical director and sidekick Paul Shaffer said as Letterman credited those who had worked on the show. Their pictures flashed across the screen during the closing credits.
10. Stay upbeat 
— “The show was so uplifting,” said a person in the audience. “When David Letterman was speaking, he was thanking everyone. It was so upbeat. It made me leave feeling upbeat.”


Daily Dental Tip: Hum While You Brush

27 May

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 8.30.14 PM

The ideal amount of time to brush to get all the bacteria-packed plaque out is at least two minutes, researchers found. Use your watch or keep a timer in the bathroom and set it for two minutes. Or find a tune that lasts about two minutes and hum it to the end.