On August 2nd, this New York Times article was published and caused quite a bit of controversy in both the dental community and with the general public. While it is not conclusive in its findings, the overarching claim is that flossing may not be as beneficial as once thought. As dental professionals, we take very seriously the responsibility we have ensuring our patients receive the best possible education and care regarding the health of their smiles. For this reason, we feel compelled to express our disagreement with the suggestion that flossing may be overrated, and why that’s a harmful position to propagate.
Let’s first look at the article, which uses a lot of language such as:
- “…flossing may be”
- “…most of the current evidence fell short…”
- “That flossing has the same benefit is a hunch that has never been proved.”
- “…there is some mediocre evidence that flossing does reduce bloody gums and inflammation known asgingivitis.”
There is a stark difference between something ‘not having been proved’ and something being ‘disproved’. Please know that there is no evidence remotely close to suggesting the latter. In fact whether the evidence is “mediocre” or not, the only evidence the article does mention (quoted above) is in favor of flossing. A lack of ability to prove something is not cause to discourage an entire population from participating in a highly beneficial component of their health care. This is particularly true because evidence is acquired by conducting large-scale studies, which are extremely costly. It would hardly be economical to spend the research funding to prove something we already have no doubt offers a variety of benefit for your oral and overall health.
We do not agree with the article’s brash call to action, or more accurately, call to inaction, and we fear how this may increase the number of people inflicted with preventable damage to their smile. Looking again at the line “…there is some mediocre evidence that flossing does reduce bloody gums and inflammation known as gingivitis.” Gingivitis is the first stage in periodontal disease – the very condition flossing aims to combat. To reduce gingivitis is to reduce your chances of progressing into advanced gum disease, a condition more than half of Americans already suffer from (CDC).
It is unfortunate the scale of damage this article has the potential to incite; too many readers will take this “lack of evidence” as being evidence to the contrary, and feel it gives them permission to neglect a very essential part of their oral health care.
We can only do our best to keep our patients like you educated and on the path to a lifelong happy and healthy smile – a path that certainly includes consistent flossing.
CDC: “Periodontal Disease.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 Mar. 2015. Web.
Dr. Carl Trubschenck
Osteoporosis isn’t a new discovery, or a disease unheard of by many. That being said, many people don’t realize how closely tied to your oral health it can actually be.
In short, osteoporosis is caused by an insufficient consumption of calcium and vitamin D. It affects the bones, making them less dense and thus more likely to break. Osteoporosis is directly tied to your long-term dental health as this weakening of the bones may heavily compromise the jaw bone. A weakened jawbone can have a host of detrimental consequences for your teeth, including increased tooth mobility, or complete tooth loss.
The best cure for the degradation of the jawbone is avoiding it all together with a balanced diet high in vitamin D and calcium, and getting a sufficient amount of exercise. Barring that, be sure to attend your dental appointments regularly so that way the structure and health of your mouth can be monitored, and any problems that may develop are addressed immediately and not permitted to deteriorate.
As it is, due to hormone imbalances and changes over life, women are most at risk to developing osteoporosis, but it can absolutely develop in either gender depending on a host of lifestyle variables, not limited to diet and exercise.
Symptoms to pay attention to that may be indicative of osteoporosis affecting the jaw include: pain and/or swelling in the gums or jaw, as well as infection; injured gums not healing in a timely fashion; teeth that become loose for no reason or after only minor strain; numbness or discomfort in the jaw; or at worst, exposed bone. If you experience any of these symptoms, don’t hesitate contacting your dentist to prevent exacerbating the issue.
Life Hacks – The Dental Edition!
Today we’re sharing our office’s best tips, tricks and secrets to making difficult tasks easy and fixes for the most annoying problems. Get ready to have your mind blown because ALL of these use dental related items!
Did you know they can also be used to help clean common household items? Here are six alternative uses for denture cleanser tablets:
- Put them in with a diamond to spruce up that sparkle
- Remove mineral deposits from glass
- Pop a denture tablet into your coffee pot, run the water through and then rinse. Cleans up stains in a snap! BONUS: also great at removing coffee and tea stains in mugs
- Toss a tab in to a full toilet or bathtub and watch the grime dissipate
- Use to clean enamel based cookware
- Great for unclogging drains
Be sure to use the dental floss that is flavorless, otherwise you are going to have some unsatisfactory results for some of these hacks.
- When your shoelace breaks and you need a fix in a pinch— lace up with floss until you can get a replacement!
- Got long hair? When your ponytail’s elastic band snaps off, wrap some floss to create a new hair tie
- Sentimental pictures stuck to your scrapbook page? Or cookies stuck to the baking sheet? Wiggle some floss gently in between to release
- Slice clean pieces of bread, cheese or cakes by holding the floss taunt and gliding down the soft item you are wanting to “cut”
- Are you travelling and you need to “lock” you luggage? Wind some floss through the zippers to secure
- Create a makeshift clothes line out of floss
- Use as string for crafts and jewelry making
- Leaky faucet? Tie floss around the spout and let the rest hang into the drain to eliminate the dripping sound
The miracle worker!
- Remove scratches from DVD’s and CD’s by applying a little white toothpaste and gently rubbing over the surface
- Ring Around the Collar: take some toothpaste on a toothbrush (double dental life hack!) and scrub in a circular motion over the stain before normal washing
- Got Kids? Do they have crayons? Use toothpaste as an abrasive to scrub the crayon right off the walls
- Scuffs happen. Shoes, furniture, other surface areas, etc. Put some toothpaste on a toothbrush and scrub away to watch the scuffs vanish
- Did someone forget to use a coaster? Rub toothpaste over the ring and wipe clean with a damp cloth
- Use as a deodorizer for baby bottles. Remember to rinse thoroughly after soaking!
- Rub toothpaste over mirrors, glass, and water goggles then wipe clean to create a fog deterrent
- Make your sink and faucets shine by polishing with toothpaste!
- Ink and lipstick stains are no longer a problem with the help of toothpaste
- Helps remedy stubborn pimples: dab a little toothpaste on the problem area before bed and wash your face in the morning.
- Foul scents lingering? Wipe some toothpaste over the area and rinse thoroughly
- Remove carpet stains by using the paste with a scrubber
Mouthwash can help out with more than just bacteria in your mouth and odorous breath!
- Use mouthwash as an antiseptic replacement when you run out
- “That’s going to leave a bruise!” Heal up faster by rubbing it with some mouthwash on a cotton ball
- Poison ivy itches! Smooth over the affected area and discard the used cotton ball to avoid cross contamination
- Hand sanitizer substitute!
- Did you forget deodorant? Swipe a little mouthwash to remove “ripeness”
- Great as a disinfectant
- Soak nails and toes in mouthwash to help with fungus and athletes foot
- Also works as a great for helping to soften and soothe feet
- Can be used as a temporary face astringent
- Soak smelly containers in mouthwash and rinse. Say goodbye to stink!
Toothbrushes make excellent cleaning tools and are great scrubbers. Here’s a few of our favorites uses!
- If you need to touch up your roots, use a toothbrush to assist in the hair dying process
- Works wonders as an exfoliater
- Nail brush – work out the dirt under your nails gently
If you carry little travel sizes of mouthwash, a toothbrush, white toothpaste and some denture tabs, you are fit to solve almost any spill, scuff or stain! These items are great to always have on hand. Next time one of these problems tries to kick you when you’re down, remember these dental life hacks! Give them a try and let us know how well their magic works for you!
8035 Madison Ave., Suite E2
Citrus Heights, CA 95610
Happy Spring 2015
As we move out of winter, you may be changing your frame of mind from “Snuggly winter days…” to “Time for spring cleaning!” Have you ever considered a dental spring cleaning? If you can spring clean your home, why not your teeth?! Here are three easy points to focus on:
- Healthy eating
- Tooth care
- Dental check-up
When your tummy rumbles, instead of reaching for a bag of chips, grab some veggie sticks or slice up an apple! We understand the convenience of snack foods as well as the deal you get when purchasing a bulk pack. But most of these things lack nutritional value and do not fare well on your body, health or mouth. Create a goal to reach for a healthy snack to fill the nutritional craving your body is after. Your waistline and teeth will thank you!
Foods that are high in sugar wreak havoc on your teeth contribute to the start of cavities. Food consistency also plays a role in oral health. Very hard foods can harm the surfaces of your teeth, and there’s also the potential to cause significant damage by cracking or chipping a tooth!
Reach For Pass On
||Hard and Sticky Foods
|Low Fat/ Fat Free Yogurt
|Low Fat/ Fat Free Cheese
- Are you attentively brushing your teeth twice a day for 2-minutes?
- Are you flossing daily (or at all)?
- Have you changed your toothbrush in the last 3 months?
When brushing your teeth spend the full 2 minutes taking care to cover the front and back of each individual tooth. Before finishing up – give your tongue a once over as well! Many toothbrushes have a built in tongue brusher on the back of the toothbrush head. Toothbrushes do wear out. They can fray and lose the sturdiness to properly clean your teeth. Toothbrushes should be replaced about every three months.
Flossing cleans about 40% of your teeth surfaces. Remember to reach your very back teeth. Flossing helps to lessen plaque build-up and helps prevent gum disease.
Remember how great your mouth feels after a dental cleaning in our office? Now that the holidays have come to a close, your teeth may be in need of a professional cleaning. Call us for a dental check-up and cleaning. Check-ups are recommended every 6 months unless you are experiencing a problem area in your mouth. And, if that is the case, call us as soon as possible. Whenever you are in pain or have a question, call us.
Now that you have these things fresh on your mind, you are ready to take charge of spring! And you can do so with a bright shining and CLEAN smile!
8035 Madison Ave., Suite E2
Citrus Heights, CA 95610