Tuesday, October 4, 2016

How to Dispose of Dental Floss?

Trash it, Don't Splash (flush) It!



Friday, September 9, 2016

Cam Newton Flossing!

Now millions of mothers will be heard saying to their sons (and daughters), "Maybe if you flossed more, you might be the MVP!"


Image result for Cam Newton flossing

Monday, August 8, 2016

Lack of evidence for effectiveness is not proof of non-effectiveness...

Snopes.com commented on the flossing evidence story and here's the conclusion from the closing paragraph:
"However, the decision to drop flossing from list of federal guidelines came not because there was solid evidence that it was ineffective, but because there was a dearth of non-anecdotal evidence — due to the ethical and practical considerations inherent in conducting a broad and long-term study on the practice — that flossing effectively prevents tooth decay and gingivitis."  

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Nuf said?

Dr. T has been asked to say more, and he did - to a reporter for Dr. Bicuspid (Yes, it exists.)

Flossing, like most of the cleaning we do in life, isn't being done only because of some long range health effects.  It's done because patients and professionals can see (and often smell) that flossing is cleaning away matter that is missed by brushing.
The fact that the dental profession has often suggested that interdental cleaning with floss has health effects that aren't proven is something that should be made clear.  But clarifying the lack of data for long term health effects of flossing doesn't really undermine the usefulness of floss as a cleaning tool.

Dr. T.


Proof of Floss Effectiveness

A new story about "no proof that floss is effective." Collecting scientific evidence about effectiveness in a complex system like the mouth is very difficult, so we shouldn't be surprised. When you look and smell floss after using it, you'll get some clear evidence of how flossing cleans your mouth. 'Nuf said. Dr. T.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Water Flossers vs Dental Floss

Here's a link to an article by a student, Jack Niederer, that will tell you all you'd care to know about water flossers (Waterpiks) and dental floss.
For us at the NFC they're both means to do interdental cleaning.
Using string to floss (and probably other fibers, like horsehair, long before string) has become a tradition over the last 200 years, but there's no reason newer forms of interdental cleaning couldn't improve on string.
As you'll see in the article, people who don't have a product to push will encourage you to use both, if you can.
Great work, Jack!
Floss on!


Sunday, June 26, 2016

A dilemma!

Dear Dr. T,

I was just going through the queries and your answers and I thought I had to ask this.

I am usually very careful about my teeth. I have got beautiful choppers and obviously I would like to have them for as long as I can.

I used to brush twice a day, scrap my tongue twice and also used a mouthwash. I have never had cavities or any tooth related problems and I am 28. 

The problem began when I started having those wisdom teeth. They don't pain much but they seem to be taking their sweet time in coming out completely. Every month or two they seemed to try to push themselves and when it happened my gums turned all sore and I would bleed while brushing. I also do oil pulling occasionally with coconut oil and few drops of clove oil. But the bleeding scared the hell out of me.

It's then that I started flossing. Even now I have not mastered the art of flossing and I find it very difficult to reach the last eight. I usually do a warm saline water mouth rinse after supper and then floss followed by brushing, tongue scrapping and Listerine. The bleeding has stopped but I am still confused with the order of my routine. 

Please suggest the best way. I really love my teeth.


Dear Smita,

From one tooth lover to another - it was great to hear from you!

Thanks for writing and sharing what you do for your personal dental care! Unlike you, there are people who have good teeth and no cavities but wind up losing teeth to gum disease because they don't do regular dental care.

In order to speak to your question we have to agree that there will never be any one way to do things as complex as dental care, so let's focus on what's seems to be your current significant dental issue - your emerging wisdom teeth.

Since you mentioned that you're 28, the wisdom teeth are a bit late, but not something so unusual by itself. The age range for their eruption runs between 16 & 30. Some wisdom teeth never emerge.

The gum irritation or inflammation you describe is not uncommon as wisdom teeth erupt and is an important factor affecting how you should currently care for your mouth.

Wisdom teeth are not my specialty, so I shared your question with Dr Jay W. Friedman, DDS, MPH who's had a long career in clinical dentistry and written a very important article on the unnecessary removal of wisdom teeth.

                             Dr. Jay W. Friedman, DDS, MPH

In his reply, Dr. Friedman commented that if you have persistent or periodic pain around an emerging wisdom tooth, with or without bleeding, it might be justifiably removed. Of course this is something you have to discuss with your dentist who will have x-rays of the teeth to help make a decision. Dr. Friedman also noted that if the teeth can erupt or have erupted, sometimes all that is necessary is to remove the gum tissue around the tooth rather than the tooth itself (called a operculectomy). Be sure to ask your dentist about this option!

Best of luck with your “growing pains.” I'm sure you'll return to “Peace of Mouth” after a little time.

One other matter for your consideration is something Dr Friedman points out in his excellent book, Complete Guide to Dental Health, - too frequent use of Listerine or other antibiotics can upset the natural balance of organisms in the mouth. When the balance gets upset, a normal resident can bloom, causing over growths that produce mouth problems. Please keep this in mind when your possibly infected wisdom teeth aren't an issue. Dr Friedman says the warm salt water that you're already using is probably the best and cheapest mouthwash.

Let's close by saying something about floss - I'm sure you'll get good at flossing once your new teeth have settled in and given you a chance to practice!

Floss on!

Dr. T