Durham DDS

Floss Like a Boss!

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Research suggests that 60-90% of people don’t floss everyday. That means that the majority of people who walk into their dentist office know that within minutes they are going to have to confess to their dentist that they failed to uphold what they agreed to start doing 6 months ago…floss.  Flossing can be time consuming, difficult, and sometimes uncomfortable, but it’s just as essential to your oral health as brushing! To convince you of this, here are 10 reasons why flossing is awesome:

1. Freshens breath. After meals, bacteria like to hang out between your teeth and gums and give off some lovely-smelling byproduct.  This is what contributes to bad breath.  Flossing away the bacteria means no more smelly byproduct, leaving you with fresh, smelling breath!

  1. 2. Brushing and flossing is way more effective than just brushing. Many people think that daily brushing is good enough, but unfortunately it is not. Flossing removes the bacteria between the teeth and gums that a toothbrush cannot reach.  Removing this bacteria is vital for the health of your mouth and teeth!
  2. 3. Prevents gum disease. Bacteria buildup around the teeth can lead to swollen gums and eventually disease. By flossing away this bacteria you are keeping your gums healthy and preventing formation of diseases that are both painful and expensive to fix.
  3. 4. Whiter smile and less stains. Plaque buildup between your teeth can start to harden and form tarter if it is not removed. Tarter is responsible for leaving your pearly whites stained and discolored.
  4. 5. Healthier looking smile. Remember that gum disease that could develop if you don’t floss? Well gum disease is notorious for making your gums look irritated and recede.  A healthy smile doesn’t only include white teeth, but for the gums and surrounding tissues to look healthy, too!
  5. 6. Flossing can save you money. And who doesn’t like to do that! Getting treated for dental issues such as cavities, gum disease, gingivitis, and periodontitis (severe gum disease) costs astronomically more than a lifetime supply of dental floss.
  6. 7. Reduce dental pain. When tarter builds up between the teeth, tooth pain will arise.  Flossing will remove the bacteria that form tarter between your teeth and save you from annoying, mouth pain later.
  7. 8. Less time at the dentist office. Now, we all know that the dentist office isn’t everyones’ favorite place to be, and while we love seeing our patients, we really don’t want to have to tell you to make another appointment to fix a dental issue due to lack of flossing.  Apart from their regular checkups, patients who floss rarely have to make follow-up appointments after routine cleanings.
  8. 9. Flossing helps prevent other diseases. Studies have shown that the bacteria that flourish in the mouth are correlated to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory illness.  By flossing, you are putting yourself in a position of lower risk for these problems.  Who knew such a simple task could have such a huge impact on your health!
  9. 10. Maintains your dental restorations. “Fillings” or “Crowns” are restorations in your mouth.  Those restorations cannot ‘decay’ but your tooth still can.  The durhamdds_floss1edge where the filling or crown meets the tooth becomes the most susceptible area to decay.  That’s also where floss cleans.  Not flossing means high risk for developing decay at the edge of expensive dental work.  Re-doing restorations means more money out of your pocket, but this can be prevented by flossing.

See, flossing is awesome! And has way more benefits than people realize.  So when your dentist nags at you again about your flossing habits, they only have your best interest at heart.  Not only are you improving your oral health, but you are reducing your risk of other diseases AND saving money at the same time.  Now I think that’s worth the extra minute out of the day, don’t ya think? So, go out there and FLOSS LIKE A BOSS!

Looking for a dentist in the triangle area? Give DurhamDDS a try! We offer a generous amount of dental services for patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment, call our office at 919-286-0779 or visit our website at durhamdds.com for more information.  Did you find this article helpful? like us on Facebook or +1 us on gmail. We really appreciate it!

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Choosing the Toothpaste that is Right for You!

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Proper dental care is not as new age as you might think. In fact, did you know that people have been practicing dental hygiene since around 500 B.C.? Back in the day, ancient Greeks would use a mixture of iron rust and coral powder as toothpaste to clean their teeth, while toothbrushes were a bunch of tree twigs that they would chew on. Even back then people realized the importance of dental care! You rely on your teeth daily to do what we as humans do best…eat! But just like anything in your body that is constantly worked, your teeth can wear down over time. Luckily for us we have many advanced toothpaste products to help our teeth make it for the long haul (and they are a little more tasteful than the ancient Greeks’, I think). So here is a helpful guide on choosing the right toothpaste product for you by defining all that intimidating label-language.

Cavity-fighting toothpastedurhamdds_toothpaste5
All toothpastes fight cavities in some way or another. When used correctly, toothpastes are meant to remove plaque and therefore prevent cavities. Plaque is the build-up of bacteria, food debris, and other grossness on the teeth that can become acidic and cause cavities. One thing to definitely consider is that most toothpastes today contain fluoride, which takes fighting cavities a step further and has been proven to protect tooth enamel from decay. A majority of people, if not all, can benefit from using a fluorinated toothpaste, so next time you are looking at all the different tube, look for that magic word….fluoride!

Whitening Toothpaste
durhamdds_toothpaste6This basically means that the toothpaste contains some level of peroxide or maybe an abrasive agent to shine up your pearly whites. Toothpastes that claim to whiten your teeth will help fight surface stains from everyday food and drinks. So, if you need a little help removing tooth discoloration you might consider getting a whitening toothpaste. However, keep in mind that whitening toothpaste does not give you the results of dental office whitening treatments or at-home whitening kits! This is because the whitening agents in those treatments are much concentrated than the toothpaste.

Sensitive Teeth
Most major toothpaste brands have some sort of sensitive-teeth formula. People with sensitive teeth most likely have a slightly receded gum line that exposes the root of the tooth. There is no enamel on the root so temperature and pH changes in the mouth can cause what many people call “quickys” or “zingers”. Sensitive toothpastes help to durhamdds_toothpaste4block that stimulus that goes through the root surface.  Potassium nitrate is the most popular additive in toothpaste that reduces tooth sensitivity.

 

Antibacterial Toothpastedurhamdds_toothpaste7
If you have a history of gingivitis, this kind of toothpaste might be a good choice for you! Antibacterial toothpastes contain an agent called triclosan, which claims to protect gums against bacterial infections.

Natural Toothpaste
These toothpastes are all-natural, meaning fluoride-free. They use ingredients such as myrrh, peppermint oil, and aloe to clean and freshen your mouth. They can be pricier, but are sometimes a good choice for people with chemical sensitivities or youngsters who think the toothpaste is yummy and want to swallow it (the natural ingredients in it make it safe to swallow, whereas, anything even fluoridated toothpaste, is bad in excess).

durhamdds_toothpaste1With all the different formulas out there (and the hundreds of shiny silver and blue boxes), I am sure the toothpaste aisle at the store can be a bit daunting! However there is no reason to be overwhelmed. If you can identify what you are looking for in a toothpaste based on your oral situation, then picking out the right toothpaste for you should be easy as pie! (that might be a counterproductive statement…)

Did you find this article tasteful? Want more information on dental care products that are right for you? Dr. Argersinger and his team at DurhamDDS can help! We offer a generous helping of dental services for patients of all ages in the Triangle area. Call us at 919-286-0779 to set up an appointment or visit our website at durhamdds.com for more information. Did you find this article helpful? Please +1 us if you are a gmail-er or like us on Facebook at the top of the article! Thanks.

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The Safe and Effective Way to Brighten Your Smile

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Everyone craves a whiter and brighter smile and there are numerous marketed products that claim to help you achieve just that. Whether it be specific toothpastes, mouthwashes, whitening strips, gels, or that fancy blue light you see at the kiosk in the mall, the same question always arises, does it actually work?best-teeth-whitening-products-1105103-TwoByOne

If you read the ingredients label, you will see that all these products will have one thing in common, hydrogen peroxide. This is the chemical used in most whitening agents because it works! Even dentists use it, but not all whitening agents will deliver the same results.

If you come across a mouth wash or toothpaste product that claims to have whitening powers it is probably not going to be very effective unless you use it over the span of two to three months, about nine times a day, and hold it in your mouth for several minutes. This is because the concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the product in very low.  There are some over-the-counter whitening products that show results, such as Crest whitestrips or whitening trays, but they take time and are relatively not cheap. A box of Crest whitestrips is $60 bucks and oftentimes you need many boxes to get the results you are looking for!

imagejpeg_2-1-2x3oydfsyxm1avovuhlt6yThen there are those middle of the mall kiosks. I’m sure that those of you who have considered teeth whitening at the dentist office have noticed that the kiosk at the mall are always way cheaper and use that blue light so it must be legit, right? Not necessarily. A key difference between whitening at these kiosks vs. the dental office is that your professionally licensed dentist can accelerate the whitening action by using stronger concentrations. The concentration of the peroxide gel at the mall is sometimes no stronger then the do-it-yourself kits at home and therefore results might not be noticeable unless weeks of repeated application are undergone.

What it boils down to is most patients want to know that they aren’t wasting their money and with the cost of whitening at dental offices being higher, there is skepticism of whether they are getting their monies worth. Here are some things to consider if you are debating between over-the-counter or in-office whitening treatment:

Teeth whitening isn’t for everyone. If you have had a filling, crown, or bridge work on your front teeth then teeth whitening might not be a good choice. Why? Because those restorations won’t change color. However, under the guidance of a dentist, you might be able to advise a well-thought out treatment plan if teeth whitening is something you really want to do. The people at the mall probably wouldn’t tell you that!

Whitening done wrong can cause sensitivity. The chemical process that goes on while whitening can cause some sensitivity, but isn’t long lasting. You might notice that temperature changes in the mouth or eating something sweet might cause some oral pain. There are treatments prior to and after whitening to help control sensitivity. Your dentist would be the best help for this. Also the shorter duration the whitening gel is on your teeth, the less the sensitivity issue… so with STRONGER concentrations and SAFER DENTAL PROFESSIONAL oversight, you get the best of both worlds: fast action, reduced to no sensitivity risk, and minimal to no tissue irritation.

If you have a problem, who will be able to help you? Remember that the people at the mall are not dentists, therefore they won’t have follow up treatments with you or apply desensitizer (or frankly even know what to do). They are simply employees that are trained to fill trays and hand them to their customers. If you have a problem, they would probably tell you to call your dentist.

The chemicals used to whiten teeth are serious. They are safe when handled properly, however they can cause burns to the lips and gums. In office whitening has certain protocols that focus on reducing risk by isolating the teeth from the lips and gums.

Bottom line is that the SAFEST and most EFFECTIVE way to whiten your teeth is at your dentist office.

durhamdds_teethwhitening

At DurhamDDS, we do a laser-assisted teeth whitening procedure using a laser called an Epic Biolase. The appointment takes about 30 minutes.

If you are a dentist, you may know the answers to questions such as “are my teeth in good enough shape to do this? Are the gums healthy enough to resist the bleaching process? Am I over-whitening? Am I making existing, untreated cavities worse?” If you are not a dentist, then you should proceed with caution and talk to one first before trying any at-home whitening treatments.  At a dental office, you will be under the supervision of a professional and provided with pre-and post whitening treatments, desensitizing applications, an in-chair treatment, and home whitening supplies. Not to mention the results will be noticeable, immediately. Assuredly faster than those do-it-yourself treatments!

If you live in the Triangle area and interested in whitening your teeth, give Durham DDS a call! We offer customized options to help you achieve a brighter smile.  To set up an appointment call our office at 919-286-0779 or visit durhamdds.com for more information.  Find out more about our teeth whitening services and other services we offer HERE

 

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