Posts for category: Hygiene
Science keeps finding ways that mouth health is linked to total body health.
The latest news is a potential link between gum (periodontal) disease and Alzheimer’s disease. In the study cited, bacteria from the mouth that causes gum disease was found in the brain tissue of over 90% of the Alzheimer’s patients studied. Whether this type of bacteria is the cause or a contributing factor in Alzheimer’s disease is still in question.
Either way, keeping gums free of bleeding and inflammation is even more paramount in light of this new information. Good home care and regular hygiene visits are our “chorus”, but maybe you’ll want to join in the refrain too!
There is a new product on the market that has come to our attention (thank you, Cindy B.): Cocofloss. Here is the answer to the drudgery of daily flossing. Cocofloss is a beautiful blue thick floss infused with coconut oil that elevates flossing to the next level.
The tag line reads “a loofah for your smile”, and the idea behind the product is to make flossing more fun, motivating and rewarding.
We like the idea and we like the product. Cocofloss comes in four flavors, it’s easy to order, and there is even an auto shipment plan. But most importantly, the floss does a good job cleaning between your teeth (the blue color makes the plaque more visible) and, in a surprising way, it makes you almost want to floss. That’s amazing.
Each unit contains 32 yards of floss, a two-month supply, and retails for $8.
Check out cocofloss.com and see if you agree.
To floss or not to floss – continued….
The Best comment I have regarding last week’s flossing news is from Emily Willingham of Forbes Magazine: “I would like to urge the people of Earth to please continue flossing their teeth or using something to clean between them, if possible… Unless you are Gollum, you probably get food bits stuck between your teeth that toothbrushes, no matter how good you are with them, aren’t gonna get out…The story questioning the benefits of flossing doesn’t actually say that flossing has no benefits.”
Flossing not beneficial? Balderdash!
It was hard not to miss this morning’s front page Mercury News treatment of the latest dental bombshell:
The federal government, after compiling studies on flossing, said there’s little or no evidence it benefits dental health and has stopped recommending its use.
The article goes on to say the Associated Press examined the research and failed to find convincing evidence that flossing is effective. The studies found were “weak, unreliable,” and of “very low” quality.
What do we, who spend our days in the dental trenches say in response?
First, after looking in mouths for 30+ years, we can unequivocally state that regular flossing greatly reduces plaque buildup, prevents cavities, and keeps gums healthier than they would ever be without said flossing.
Second, perhaps this Flossing Kerfuffle is a benefit in disguise since it will create new dialogue in what has been a tired old story since 1979 (the year the government began recommending that Americans floss every day). How many times a day do we hear, “I know I should floss, but I haven’t been doing it.” Now we can replace the guilt with an honest to goodness conversation about why we think floss is still one of the most important tools in the oral health toolbox. It will become not just a duty one has to endure, but a free will act of self- care that will help reduce bleeding, save jawbone and keep teeth comfortable and functional for life.
What’s not to like about that?
Thank you, U.S. government!
So yes, flossing reigns supreme as the best way to clean the spaces between teeth, but oral irrigators have their place.
First, there are the non-flossing people. At some point you have to concede that a patient does not, perhaps cannot, and/or will never EVER use floss. This is where the Waterpik comes in. Its’ ease of use is highlighted in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmFsdYCiYTc#t=38. We won’t argue the point that
“water flossing” is better than no flossing at all.
Second, there are special situations where a Waterpik can really help. Orthodontics, for one. How difficult it is to floss under wires and around brackets! A Waterpik can clean in nooks and crannies that would otherwise be filled with food and debris. When you invest the time and expense on braces, it’s worth it to spend a little more and buy an irrigator to protect that investment and keep the teeth clean and disease-free during ortho treatment.
You also might want to get an irrigator if you have implants, crowns, or bridgework in your mouth. Implants, especially, which can be difficult to floss around, will benefit from the cleansing that a Waterpik provides. Studies show that irrigation can disrupt bacteria down 6 mm into the pockets around implants and teeth, which can greatly reduce inflammation and keep things healthy.
And then there are those who have recession and many spaces between their teeth. A combined regimen of brushing, flossing, and irrigating can keep these teeth and root surfaces clean, free of the bacterial film that so easily reattaches itself to the rougher exposed roots that those “long in the tooth” have. The irrigator here is an adjunct – an additional step in the home care routine that can have dramatic beneficial effects. We are continually impressed with our patients that floss AND irrigate: they stay healthy long term.
Next time: Kiwi’s and Canker sores