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Flossing, necessary or optional??

December 14, 2016

Filed under: Dental floss,Dental Hygiene,Oral Hygiene,Uncategorized — Dr Gillis @ 1:43 am

Flossing, necessary or optional??

People are still asking is it necessary to floss?  They read the recent news article that said in effect that no studies have proven that flossing is beneficial.   Many people were left questioning, ‘flossing, necessary or optional?’ It is amazing to me what a controversy a news article can cause.  The simple answer is YES we should floss!

Let me be more clear.  We should floss or do some activity to clean between our teeth that is as good as flossing every day!

Just a tip - do this to avoid strangling your fingers when you floss!

Just a tip – do this to avoid strangling your fingers when you floss!

This is in response to ‘an ADA News inquiry about why flossing was not included in federal dietary guidelines released in 2015.  The Associated Press noted the omission in an August news story that questioned the benefits of using dental floss’. (See ADA News August 8th, 2016 ‘National media focus on floss; government confirms importance’ for many comments in this blog)

Dental floss or the use of tools such as between the teeth cleaners really is important oral hygiene if you want to have healthy teeth, and gums.  Professional cleanings remove the hard deposits and stain that you cannot do at home.  Brushing your teeth and cleaning between the teeth has been shown to remove gooey plaque.  Plaque is the sticky film that contains bacteria and food that builds up constantly and must be removed daily to maintain or to obtain health.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agreed to this in a statement August 3rd, 2016 (also from the ADA News article August 8th, 2016).

Flossing, necessary or optional Wrap the floss gently around the tooth in a "C" shape to clean the side of the tooth.

Wrap the floss gently around the tooth in a “C” shape to clean the side of the tooth.

Flossing is beneficial starting at an early age - whenever there are teeth touching!

Flossing, necessary or optional? Flossing is beneficial starting at an early age – whenever there are teeth touching!

The ADA News asked the governmental agency why the guidelines did not mention flossing.  The U.S. Department of health and Human Services sent a statement that called flossing “an important oral hygiene practice” and said that by not mentioning flossing it did not imply otherwise.

 

The ADA News August 8th, 2016 article goes on to say that the ‘primary emphasis (of the guidelines) was on the nutrition-based recommendations to reduce added sugars’.

In our office, we routinely see the improved health changes that result from using dental floss.  Flossing is great especially when done well but there are alternatives out there for people that just don’t like to floss.

If you are one of the people that wants the benefits of floss without sticking your floss holing fingers in your mouth, try one of these:

  • soft picks or go betweens
  • floss holders
  • the air flosser
  • water pics
  • toothpicks (especially when used carefully in a toothpick holder that allows better access to the insides of the teeth)

Our office loves to help our patients improve their oral health and we will be glad to come up with a plan that works with your life to help you achieve and maintain ideal oral health!

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis DDS, PC

Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health

 

Test Drive an Electric Toothbrush in Our Office!

September 7, 2016

Test Drive an Electric Toothbrush in Our Office!

Would you like to Test Drive an Electric Toothbrush in Our Office?  How about the Oral B Pro 5000?

Now you can do just that in our office and here is how:

Purchasing an electric toothbrush  to improve your oral hygiene is a good idea.  But which one do you buy?  How do you know the differences or whether or not you would even like using the electric toothbrush?  Our office and Oral B have made this easier for you.  You can now use an Oral B Pro 5000 in our office and test it on your own teeth.  You can see how this electric toothbrush feels in your mouth and how your teeth feel after using the brush for free in our office.

Our office is always trying to think of ways to make getting and keeping your mouth healthy as comfortable as possible.  Although you can clean your teeth very well with a regular manual toothbrush, studies have proven that you will be more effective when you use an electric toothbrush.  The Oral B Pro 5000 is a great one to try!  My hygienist, Melanie, explains how our patients can text drive the Oral B Pro 5000 in our office.  How the electric toothbrush handle is protected and how each patient wanting to test drive the toothbrush gets their own toothbrush.

Call our office in Grand Junction, Colorado at (970) 242-3635 for more information.  We would love to have you visit us on Facebook and see all the fun things going on in our office!

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis DDS

Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health

Can Tooth Decay Cause Bad Breath? Absolutely!

April 22, 2016

Filed under: Crowns,Decay,Dental Hygiene,Oral Hygiene — Tags: , , — Dr Gillis @ 11:28 pm

Can Tooth Decay Cause Bad Breath?

Tooth decay can and does cause bad breath!  So the answer is one of the following:

  • Yes
  • Absolutely
  • Are you kidding? Sure!
  • Heck yes!
  • Bad breath and more!

The reason for this is easy to understand if you think of tooth decay as an infectious process that causes tooth destruction and creates openings (holes, cavities) in the teeth where bacteria can and do live.  Think ‘decay’ = rotten! Bacteria take up residence in an area where there has been tooth decay and depending on where the decay is in your mouth, you may not be able to clean this area well so the grossness gets worse!

Tooth Decay below crown evident as dark areas below the white metal crown. Root canals have been completed on both molars. First molar has a more normal radiographic appearance.

Tooth Decay below crown evident as dark areas below the white metal crown. Root canals have been completed on both molars. First molar has a more normal radiographic appearance.

Tooth Decay below crown evident as dark areas below the white metal crown. Root canals have been completed on both molars. First molar has a more normal radiographic appearance.

Tooth Decay below crown evident as dark areas below the white metal crown. Root canals have been completed on both molars. First molar has a more normal radiographic appearance.

One place tooth decay occurs that is difficult for a patient (you!) to clean is below an existing crown.  Bacteria hang out at the edge of all crowns where the crown meets the tooth.  As decay begins, pores open up in the tooth structure and the decay may penetrate up under the crown and really spread there.  You can only brush, floss, or toothpick at the edges of your crowns to eliminate – at least for awhile – bacteria that are present there.  You cannot get to the areas of tooth decay up under a crown but bacteria and food can.  This is a recipe for bad breath!

The patient shown here had been experiencing an occasional bad odor from the lower right side of her mouth for a couple months.  She increased her efforts of brushing, flossing, and using antibacterial mouth rinses.  The odor did not improve so she came to our office.

When the crown was removed you could see a large void containing tails of the previous endodontic (root canal) filling material, severe decay, and the most awful odor!

When the crown was removed you could see tails of the previous endodontic (root canal) filling material coated in slime, severe decay, and the most awful odor!

Close up of the reason for the foul odor.

Close up of the reason for the foul odor.

The odor from this tooth was bad enough that you could smell bad breath as the patient described her symptoms.  Although her oral hygiene was excellent, there was no way she could eliminate the odor emanating from this tooth.  The decay was so extensive that the tooth could not be saved and an extraction was required.  When the crown was removed you could tails of the previous endodontic (root canal) filling material coated with debris, severe tooth decay, and the most awful odor!

We removed the bulk of the decay and the loose strands of root canal filling material and after copious rinsing the odor became much more bearable.  This will clear up once the tooth is removed. If we had seen this patient when she first noticed symptoms, we may have been able to save her tooth!

Close up after much of the decay and loose root canal felling material removed.

Close up after much of the decay and loose root canal felling material removed. Because the tooth is smoother, it is much easier to maintain!

 

Our office cares about you and your teeth and we try to never make you feel uncomfortable about the condition of your teeth or your mouth. There are two important messages here:

  1. Tooth decay is one of the many causes of bad breath.

  2. If you notice this, have your dentist evaluate your concerns ASAP!

Please call our Grand Junction, Colorado office at (970) 242-3635 if you have any questions or concerns.  Or visit our office’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/juliegillisddspc

Julie Gillis DDS

Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health

Dental Floss – Avoid Strangling Your Fingers!

February 3, 2016

Filed under: Dental floss,Dental Health,Oral Hygiene,Uncategorized — Tags: — Dr Gillis @ 6:33 pm

Dental Flossing without Strangling Your Fingers

Our office has found the following technique for using dental floss to be helpful!

Can we eliminate finger strangling from dental floss?

For many people, flossing is just difficult.  Using dental floss is awkward.  It requires good dexterity.  It is a bit messy.  And, sometimes, it hurts!  Not just the teeth and gums either!  The gums may hurt especially if there is periodontal disease present.  The issue addressed here is when the fingers doing the flossing hurt.  A lot of people have complained about this to our office.

The finger strangle problem of dental floss

The finger strangle problem of dental floss

No sore fingers! The solution to painful fingers from dental flossing.

No sore fingers! The solution to painful fingers from dental flossing.

Dental floss tips!  Important flossing notes to avoid strangling your fingers and maintain proper technique:

  • Have fun!
  • Your thumbs and first fingers on both hands should be available for flossing
  • You should use a good quality dental floss, but most will work (if your floss is too thick or rough it may irritate the tissue)
  • Wrap the first or middle finger of one hand with floss over a wide area of the fingertip
  • Do not wrap in just one area as this increases the likelihood of strangling!
  • As you use the floss, continue to wrap up the floss over a wide area of your finger
  • You should be able to pull on the floss without turning your fingertip dark red or purple!
  • Wash your hands before and after flossing to avoid spreading germs to your mouth or to other areas
  • Have fun!

I’m serious, have fun!  You might as well consider flossing fun if this helps you to floss regularly.  Use dental floss every day, once a day, thoroughly to help your teeth and gums be as healthy as possible.  And try these tips to see if this helps you use dental floss without strangling your fingers!  Our office would be happy to answer any questions you have about dental floss or any other dental concern.  We serve patients all over Western Colorado and beyond.  Please visit our Facebook site for more information and fun photos.  Sometimes we post contests there as well.  Phone our office at (970) 242-3635.

Yours for better dental health, Julie Gillis, DDS

Avoiding the Dreaded Strangled Finger When Flossing!

June 3, 2015

Filed under: Dental floss,Oral Hygiene — Tags: , — Dr Gillis @ 2:47 pm

Avoiding the Dreaded Strangled Finger When Flossing!

Yes!! It is possible! And, Easy.

Avoid this!

Avoid this!

It is easy to minimize this uncomfortable sensation when flossing!  Let me demonstrate!

Hold the floss across the tip of one middle finger

Hold the floss across the tip of one middle finger

Then, start to wrap the floss gently around the tip of the finger - ONE time, then -->

Then, start to wrap the floss gently around the tip of the finger – ONE time, then –>

Continue wrapping gently by spiraling the floss down the finger tip - not several wraps in one space.

Continue wrapping gently by spiraling the floss down the finger tip – not several wraps in one space.

You are almost there!

The floss should look like this when you are done - an open coil of floss that does not strangle when you pull on it!

The floss should look like this when you are done – an open coil of floss that does not strangle when you pull on it!

 

Now you can really get to flossing!

 

 

 

By wrapping the floss around a middle finger and leaving the other end free you will have freedom to floss with a first finger and a middle finger, two first fingers, or a finger and a thumb.

You will have good flossing control when you are flossing with a short piece of floss between two fingers.

You will have good flossing control when you are flossing with a short piece of floss between an index finger and a thumb OR –>.

You will have good flossing control when you are flossing with a short piece of floss between two fingers.

You will have good flossing control when you are flossing with a short piece of floss between two fingers.

You will have good flossing control when you are flossing with a short piece of floss between two fingers or two thumbs!

You will have good flossing control when you are flossing with a short piece of floss between two fingers or two thumbs!

And, by making flossing more comfortable, I hope I have made it more fun! Our office is happy to help with any of your dental hygiene concerns – we have lots of tips on flossing and more to maximize your efforts.  Our phone number in Grand Junction, Colorado is (970) 242-3635.

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis, DDS. PC

Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health

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1190 Bookcliff Ave. Suite 201, Grand Junction, CO 81501 USA
Julie M Gillis DDS Grand Junction, CO cosmetic, general, & restorative dentist. (970) 242-3635 (970) 242-8479 jgillis@juliegillisdds.com