Re-Examining The Role Of Flossing In Oral Health

Flossing has been regarded as a staple of oral hygiene. Periodontists have long since recommended that people floss their teeth at least once a day as an adjunct to brushing to remove the growth of bacteria trapped in between the teeth. And in principle, this seems sound. There are, after all, places where the toothbrush cannot get into and thus cannot dislodge.

Image source:

A few findings have cast some doubt on the role played by flossing in promoting gum health. Some recent studies have shown no discernable difference between the oral hygiene of patients who flossed and patients who didn’t. This was enough for the U.S. government dietary guidelines to drop flossing altogether.

However, should this be good enough cause to stop flossing altogether? No.

The U.S. guidelines excluded flossing due to prior studies no longer meeting current standards of proof. Research on flossing in the past had been largely short term. Although results from these have shown that flossing alongside brushing showed some benefit in reducing the likelihood of gingivitis, the jury remains skeptical on its prevention of more serious long-term conditions like periodontitis and cavities.

A representative from the American Academy of Periodontology has also been skeptical of the studies, pointing out the possibility of the flossing being done incorrectly.

Moreover, flossing does remove bits of food stuck in between teeth, which can become a source of decay if left alone.

Image source:

Further long term studies are needed to explore the benefits offered by flossing. Until then, the American Dental Association continues to suggest flossing, citing its short-term benefits and its relative low risk.

Neilson Dental Center’s Dr. Oliver Griffel stresses the importance of oral health to overall wellbeing. Visit this blog for more updates on good oral health habits.


What To Expect During a Dental Crown Procedure

A dental crown is a cap placed over a tooth to restore its strength or improve its appearance. It is shaped like a tooth, and is secured above the gum line.

A dental crown procedure protects a weak tooth or restores a broken tooth. It can also be used to cover a dental implant or to make a cosmetic modification. Children can also undergo the procedure, especially if they are at high risk of tooth decay. There are many kinds of crowns available. They could be made from stainless steel, metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, resin, and ceramic.

Image source:

Installing dental crowns normally takes two visits to the dentist. At the first appointment, dentists will first examine the tooth’s capability to hold the crown, then it will be filled to prepare for the installation. The patient will have a temporary crown that protects the tooth until it is ready for the permanent crown. At the patient’s next visit, the dentist will position and install the permanent crown with a special adhesive.

It will take time before the crown feels normal, but it will function and feel like a regular tooth over time. Crowns can last a lifetime in one’s tooth, but there are times when they fall out. It is important for individuals with crowns to practice good oral hygiene to keep the crown healthy and in shape.

Image source:

Dr. Oliver Griffel of Neilson Dental Center provides veneers, laser zoom whitening, fillings, and crown procedures for his clients. Visit this Facebook page for more information.

When to Consider a Root Canal

A lot of people have heard of root canal, but not all of them know what the procedure is for. Others think it’s just a simple procedure when going to the dentist, but it is actually something that should be taken seriously.

Image source:

For people who have been experiencing tooth problems, a root canal is a procedure that is often brought up in the conversation. Also referred to as endodontic therapy, a root canal is performed when a tooth’s pulp becomes infected because of decay or injury. The medical term “root canal” comes from the part in the procedure where dentists clean the canals of the tooth’s root. This treatment aims to save a damaged tooth by removing the pulp. Disinfecting, filling, and sealing is also part of the whole procedure.

How will patients know if they need a root canal? A common symptom would be extreme tooth pain, especially while eating. The pain may subside throughout the day, but it may worsen when the infected tooth is used to chew food. Patients may also feel pain when consuming hot food and drinks. Swollen and tender gums is another sign that a patient might need to have a root canal.

Patients who experience these symptoms must get in touch with their dentist right away. The dentist will then suggest an x-ray to diagnose the problem accurately.

Image source:

Dr. Oliver Griffel of Nielson Dental Center is knowledgeable in various dental treatments including root canal, wisdom tooth extractions, and zoom laser whitening. For more oral health tips, visit this blog.

The Top Causes Of Tooth Discoloration

Oral health can be determined by looking at one’s teeth. For example, tooth discoloration can be a symptom of a serious condition. However, some lifestyle habits can stain the teeth, too.

Image Source:

Remember that poor dental hygiene is associated with an increased risk for other illnesses. Thus, it is important that everyone knows the top causes of tooth discoloration. It can then be determined if yellow teeth are a cause of a lifestyle choice or a signal for medical attention.

Diet: Sugary or caffeinated drinks contribute to tooth staining. Those who regularly drink colas, black tea, or red wine can find themselves with yellow teeth. Certain foods too contribute to tooth discoloration. A good example would be eating betel nuts, which are known to give people red teeth.

Smoking: This, perhaps, is the most common reason for tooth discoloration. Smoking or even chewing tobacco can significantly change the color of one’s teeth. Because of the hazards of smoking, tooth discoloration can also signify poor dental health.

Poor oral care habits: It is recommended to brush one’s teeth at least twice a day and to regularly floss. Failure to do so can lead to plaque buildup that can also discolor the teeth.

Medications: Certain antibiotics are known to contribute to tooth discoloration – particularly among children because their teeth are still developing. It is important that parents inform their children’s dentists about any medication during their annual cleaning.

Image Source:

Tooth discoloration can also indicate an underlying disease. If the points mentioned above are not applicable to a patient, or if there is an associating pain or discomfort near the tooth or along the gums, it is recommended to consult a dentist immediately.

Dr. Oliver Griffel is dedicated in helping his patients improve their oral health by educating them on the proper dental habits. For more dental health tips, follow this Facebook page.

The Right Tool For The Job: Choosing a Toothbrush

Brushing teeth is part of daily hygiene. As much as possible, it is best to clean the teeth at least twice a day or after every meal. That’s fine, and all, but most people fail to realize that they may have been using the wrong tools all along, including toothbrushes. Not utilizing the proper item means inefficiently cleaning the teeth.

Image source:

Not a lot of thought goes into the buying process of toothbrushes. They practically look the same, so why not just get whatever is on the shelf? Other times, the reason for choosing a specific toothbrush is completely unrelated to dental care, such as the design of the handle or the most affordable item. Even in activities as simple as brushing one’s teeth, smart decisions must be made.

So what are the criteria that must be met when buying a toothbrush? First and foremost, go for the ones with soft, rounded bristles. The more popular variety are the stiff-bristle toothbrushes, but they can be harsh to one’s gums and teeth, leading to increased sensitivity. Toothbrushes marked “soft” or “medium” (referring to the bristles) are the best choices.

Toothbrushes with the right head shape are also ideal. Everyone’s mouths are different so that some shapes will suit them better than others. Also, it might be tempting to buy a couple of n0-name toothbrushes for their price, but they could be from a manufacturer who does not religiously follow safety standards. Therefore, go for a toothbrush from a reliable brand. The discounted brushes are better suited for cleaning grout, not for cleaning the inside of the mouth.

Image source:

Get more tips on proper dental care from this blog for Dr. Oliver Griffel.