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“Are you flossing regularly?” is probably a question you get asked every single time you visit the dentist. And that’s because it’s important! Many people hate the feeling of moving a piece of floss between their teeth, and therefore leave flossing out of their daily teeth cleaning routine. But just brushing your teeth often isn’t enough to remove plaque and prevent cavities. Helping you maintain a healthy smile by protecting your teeth and gums and protecting you from other diseases, here’s why flossing needs to be a part of your daily routine.

Why isn’t brushing enough?

The tooth has 5 surfaces, but your toothbrush can only reach 3 of them. The two untouched surfaces are very close to the sides of other teeth, making it easy for food to get trapped in between. When food gets stuck in these gaps, it creates a breeding ground for bacteria to build up, creating plaque. This is where floss comes in handy – as an interdental cleaning tool, it can get into these tight spaces and remove 80% of plaque.

Protect your gums

When you neglect flossing, plaque and bacteria can easily build up. If they are not removed properly the bacteria will eventually begin to irritate gum tissue, and this will get worse as bacteria increases. When left untreated, this can eventually cause Gingivitis – a periodontal disease that causes red and puffy gums to bleed easily.

And your teeth

As well as causing irritation, the bacteria between your teeth will also destroy your tooth’s enamel, causing a cavity. Flossing will remove this plaque to prevent the build-up of harmful bacteria. Regularly flossing is a great way to check your mouth for potential cavities, as well as swelling or redness. It will also make your teeth look brighter by removing plaque and excess food that you may not spot in a mirror.

Protects from other diseases

If left untreated, bacteria in an unhealthy mouth can harm the rest of your body. Gingivitis can enter the bloodstream and travel to other parts of the body, leading to heart disease, diabetes and respiratory illnesses. Flossing only takes a couple of minutes out of your day, but will have huge benefits on your long-term health.

Good for your overall health

We understand that brushing your teeth after each meal may not be convenient, but flossing after a meal is easy and can be done anywhere. Not only does regular flossing help you practice good oral hygiene, but it can also help you maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, as flossing after eating will make you less tempted to snack.

Dentists recommend that you should floss once a day, the best time being in the evenings after you brush to remove any food and plaque at the end of the day. If you are concerned about dental diseases or have noticed any sensitivity or changes to your teeth, please book an appointment with Whistler Dental.

THE TOP 5 DENTAL MYTHS BUSTED!

Like any topic, there is a lot of information out there (especially on the internet) and sometimes it’s hard to decipher if the information is true or not. Here we debunk some of the most infamous dental myths by dropping some truth bombs on these hotly debated dental topics. Here at Whistler Dental, we care about the oral health of our Whistler community so want to make sure that you have your facts straight when it comes to taking care of your teeth!

DENTAL MYTH # 1- ADULTS ARE TOO OLD TO HAVE BRACES

Not anymore! Although metal braces are not aesthetically appealing to most adults there are now modern solutions to fix crooked teeth and create stunning smiles (for people of all ages!). You are never too old to wear a smile you are confident about. Here at Whistler Dental, we use a fantastic braces alternative called Invisalign which slowly moves teeth into shape using clear and undetectable aligners. Adults can now achieve their ideal smile without having to sport a set of bulky metal braces.

DENTAL MYTH #2- DENTAL X-RAYS ARE DANGEROUS

Although we wouldn’t recommend having an x-ray just for the fun of it, there is a lot of over blown hype about the dangers of dental x-rays. The average person is exposed to 3,100µSv of radiation per year and the average full mouth dental x-ray contains a mere 34.9 to 170.7µSv; in fact, a dental x-ray contains about the same radiation as eating 50 bananas! The importance of having dental x-rays to identify and examine potential problems far outweighs the negligible radiation from x-rays.

DENTAL MYTH #3- SUGAR IS THE MAIN CULPRIT BEHIND CAVITIES

There is no denying that consuming sugar leads to dental decay and cavities in most people but there are often other more significant contributors that fly under the radar. The direct cause of tooth decay is more a genetic and environmental combination which causes a greater propensity towards cavities. Genetic and environmental factors affect tooth enamel, oral bacteria populations, and saliva composition. Sugar can cause the increase of bacteria in your mouth that causes cavities, but genetics and the environment are more likely to determine if this bacteria will cause cavities or not.

DENTAL MYTH #4- VANITY IS THE ONLY REASON FOR COSMETIC DENTISTRY

We regularly perform cosmetic dentistry at Whistler Dental and let us tell you, vanity is hardly the motivator for these treatments. Cosmetic dentistry is often an investment for overall health and wellbeing improvements and many treatments are recommended to enhance better overall oral health. Aligning a bite and replacing missing teeth with implants to maintain bone structure are examples of orthodontic and cosmetic procedures that provide a cosmetic solution to a problem and at the same time increase overall health and wellbeing.

DENTAL MYTH #5- YOU DON’T NEED TO BRUSH BABY TEETH

Just because baby teeth have a shorter lifespan than adult teeth doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be brushed! Not only does starting to brush a child’s teeth when young (from the occurrence of their first tooth) instill good habits, but it’s absolutely imperative to avoid painful dental implications, cavities, and gum problems in pre-school aged and young children. Children usually lose their last few teeth at the age of twelve. Brushing baby teeth is absolutely important and should never be deferred until children have their adult set.

Have any other questions about dental care, or additional dental myths you’d like addressed? Make sure to contact us at Whistler Dental, we’d be happy to help!

The time has come, another summer is nearing an end and kids are almost back in school. While you are thinking about school supplies, study schedules and extra-curricular activities, don’t forget to consider the oral hygiene of your child coming into this new school year. Why is oral hygiene something that warrants thought and planning this year? Kids with healthy teeth and gums are happier than children with dental issues and establishing a solid oral care routine at a young age is a great foundation for long term oral health throughout life. Creating positive practices and habits around dental care is of utmost importance, and back to school time is the perfect time to re-set habits and instill new positive and healthy routines for the year to come.

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