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Posts for tag: oral hygiene

By Dr. Constance Smith
April 23, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene   flossing  

You have probably heard it from your dentist at every examination you have ever been to: “Flossing every day is important.” Though only flossingabout 40% of Americans floss, according to the American Dental Association, about 20% of American adults do not floss at all. But what makes flossing such a crucial part of the fight against teeth decay and gum disease? Is it really necessary if you brush twice a day? Find out the answers to these questions and more with Dr. Constance Smith and Dr. Ian Liskiewicz in Jackson, MI.

Why is flossing important? 
Bacteria allowed to remain on the teeth eventually turns into a white, sticky substance called plaque. Plaque then hardens into tartar, which begins eating through the tooth’s enamel toward its inner pulp chamber. Plaque is easily removed by the proper brushing and flossing techniques, but tartar can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning. Flossing alongside brushing daily removes the decay-causing plaque, stopping potential decay in its tracks.

How should I floss properly? 
Use a length of floss about 18 inches long. Wrap each end around each of your index fingers, and pull the floss taut. Slide the floss between the teeth and extend it all the way up and underneath the gum tissue. Make sure that you do not forget to floss the back side of your last molar.

Why do I need to floss if I brush twice a day? 
Flossing reaches the areas of your teeth which the bristle of a toothbrush simply cannot. Flossing removes plaque and bacteria from the tight areas between the teeth where they touch. Additionally, flossing reaches up underneath the gum line, into the areas of the gums susceptible to forming pockets of bacteria and plaque, a feat to which no toothbrush can compare.

Regular Dental Examinations and Professional Cleanings in Jackson, MI 
For more information on flossing or its importance in your daily oral care routine, please contact Dr. Smith and Dr. Liskiewicz in Jackson, MI. Call (517) 787-7520 to schedule your appointment with your dentist today!

By Dr. Constance Smith
November 27, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene   flossing  

When establishing your daily oral hygiene routine, don’t neglect your flossing. Flossing daily is an important step in maintaining your best flossingoral health. Flossing helps clear away trapped food particles from between the teeth, which is important for preventing excess bacteria from lingering. Bacteria left to linger on the teeth can lead to the development of tooth decay and gum disease. Regular flossing helps prevent these problems. Dr. Constance Smith and Dr. Liskiewicz are your Jackson, MI, dentists for helping you maintain good oral health.

Importance of Flossing

Brushing the teeth with a fluoride-containing toothpaste twice daily is a critical part of maintaining healthy teeth and gums. However, brushing alone does not always remove trapped food particles and bacteria. Dental floss can get in between teeth where a toothbrush cannot always reach and clear out any trapped particles. This is important for removing bacteria that can lead to the development of such oral health concerns as plaque, tartar buildup, gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. Flossing helps prevent these problems from developing.

Flossing Correctly

Flossing should be an integral part of your daily oral hygiene routine, but it is important to floss correctly for maximum benefits. When flossing your teeth, work with a piece of dental floss approximately 18 inches long in order to have enough to clean in between all of your teeth. To begin, wrap the ends of the floss around both index fingers. Next, gently slide the dental floss back and forth between your teeth. The gentle back and forth motion helps loosen any trapped food particles.

When flossing, be sure to do so in a gentle manner to protect the gums. Flossing too aggressively can cause the gums to bleed. However, if your gums regularly bleed even when flossing gently, it is possible you have gum disease and should see your Jackson, MI, dentist. If gum disease is present, the dentist can help restore your oral health. In the meantime, continue gently brushing and flossing daily to promote healthy teeth and gums.

For your healthiest teeth and gums, don’t neglect your flossing. Additionally, be sure to visit your dentist regularly for optimal oral health. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Smith or Dr. Liskiewicz, your Jackson, MI, dentists, call the office at (517) 787-7520.

By Dr. Constance Smith
April 12, 2017
Category: Oral Health

Knowing how to properly care for your child’s smile will be a major asset for maintaining healthy teeth and gums.oral hygiene

You want your child to grow up healthy and strong. You probably also want them to be able to grow up knowing how to do things like tie their shoes or wash their face. The same rules should apply for knowing how to care for their smiles. In the beginning, it will be up to you to set a precedent for how your child will maintain good oral hygiene. Our Jackson, MI, family dentists Dr. Constance Smith and Dr. Liskiewicz offer up some advice for teaching your child good oral habits.

Brushing Their Teeth

The sooner you start caring for your child’s oral health the better. Even before teeth erupt you should be wiping the gums with a wet cloth after each feeding. Once teeth start to come in now it’s time to brush. Here are some things to consider:

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush that is designed specifically for a child. Talk to our Jackson, MI, general dentist about what kind of toothpaste to choose based on the age of your child.
  • Make sure to brush your child’s teeth until they are old enough to start doing it on their own (anywhere from six to eight years old). Even once your child is old enough to brush on their own you should still monitor their brushing habits to make sure they are doing a thorough job.
  • Make sure that your child is brushing at least twice a day—in the morning and at night—for at least two minutes each time.
  • Replace your child’s toothbrush once the bristles begin to splay out (usually every three to four months).

Remember to Floss

Once teeth grow in next to each other it’s time to start a flossing regimen. Flossing should be performed daily, and while it’s definitely ideal to have them floss at night right before bedtime, any time that you can get them to floss their teeth is the right time to floss. Make sure they are using a new, clean section of floss for each tooth.

Visit the Dentist

Starting at the age of one, your child should start coming in every six months for routine exams and cleanings. Seeing your Jackson, MI, dentist regularly ensures that your child’s teeth and gums are healthy and that if there is a problem that it’s caught and treated quickly enough to not cause long-term damage. Children who are prone to cavities or gum disease may need to come in more often for teeth cleanings.

Do you have questions about caring for your child’s smile? Need to schedule their next appointment? Then call our Jackson, MI, family dental practice today. We will work with you to find a time that fits into your busy schedule.

By Dr. Constance Smith
February 28, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

Caring for your smile is crucial to its health. Find out if you have the proper habits instilled in your routine from your Jackson dentists.oral hygiene

In 2014 the American Dental Association found that as many as 23 percent of Americans had gone two or more days without brushing their teeth in just the previous year alone. Yuck! And about 37 percent of Americans between 18 to 24 years old have gone two or more days without brushing. This is a pretty scary statistic because this means that millions of Americans aren’t maintaining good oral hygiene. From the office of our Jackson, MI, dentists, learn more about how to up your dental care game for the long run to gain a healthier smile.

Brushing

  • When it comes to brushing your teeth you should be brushing at least twice a day, ideally in the morning after breakfast and again at night before bed.
  • Every time you brush your teeth you should spend at least 2 minutes brushing.
  • When the bristles begin to fray (usually every 3-4 month) it’s time to swap that toothbrush head out for a brand new one.
  • When you brush, make sure to brush back and forth across the front surfaces of the tooth at a 45-degree angle. Angle the toothbrush vertically to clean the inner surfaces of the teeth.
  • Don’t forget to brush your tongue to remove those bad breath-causing bacteria.

Flossing

  • Floss at least once a day. Ideally, consider flossing at bedtime before you brush your teeth (removing plaque between teeth first can help toothpaste get to more surfaces of your teeth).
  • Always use a very generous amount of floss (about 18 inches). Hold the floss firmly between your fingers. Wind it around the pointer or middle fingers for more leverage.
  • Slowly work floss into the crevices between teeth. Make sure the floss hugs the side of the tooth as you gently move the floss up and down to remove plaque. Also make sure to floss the gumline, as well.
  • Use a new, clean section of floss for every tooth.

Diet

  • Avoid sugar and processed foods as much as possible.
  • If you do eat sugar make sure to rinse out your mouth or brush your teeth immediately after (unless the foods are acidic, in which case you should wait 30 minutes before brushing but do rinse your mouth with water).
  • Include smile-healthy foods in your diet. This includes low-fat dairy (cheese is actually a great snack for you and your smile), fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains.

Don’t forget that visiting us for routine cleanings will also go a long way to maintaining the very best oral health. If it’s time for your six-month cleaning call our Jackson, MI, dental office today.

By Constance E. Smith, DDS
July 21, 2015
Category: Oral Health
BeyonceMakesFlossingaFamilyAffair

As is the case with most celebs today, Beyonce is no stranger to sharing on social media… but she really got our attention with a video she recently posted on instagram. The clip shows the superstar songstress — along with her adorable three-year old daughter Blue Ivy — flossing their teeth! In the background, a vocalist (sounding remarkably like her husband Jay-Z) repeats the phrase “flossin’…flossin’…” as mom and daughter appear to take care of their dental hygiene in time with the beat: https://instagram.com/p/073CF1vw07/?taken-by=beyonce

We’re happy that this clip highlights the importance of helping kids get an early start on good oral hygiene. And, according to authorities like the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, age 3 is about the right time for kids to begin getting involved in the care of their own teeth.

Of course, parents should start paying attention to their kids’ oral hygiene long before age three. In fact, as soon as baby’s tiny teeth make their first appearance, the teeth and gums can be cleaned with a soft brush or cloth and a smear of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice. Around age 3, kids will develop the ability to spit out toothpaste. That’s when you can increase the amount of toothpaste a little, and start explaining to them how you clean all around the teeth on the top and bottom of the mouth. Depending on your child’s dexterity, age 3 might be a good time to let them have a try at brushing by themselves.

Ready to help your kids take the first steps to a lifetime of good dental checkups? Place a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste on a soft-bristled brush, and gently guide them as they clean in front, in back, on all surfaces of each tooth. At first, it’s a good idea to take turns brushing. That way, you can be sure they’re learning the right techniques and keeping their teeth plaque-free, while making the experience challenging and fun.

Most kids will need parental supervision and help with brushing until around age 6. As they develop better hand-eye coordination and the ability to follow through with the cleaning regimen, they can be left on their own more. But even the best may need some “brushing up” on their tooth-cleaning techniques from time to time.

What about flossing? While it’s an essential part of good oral hygiene, it does take a little more dexterity to do it properly. Flossing the gaps between teeth should be started when the teeth begin growing close to one another. Depending on how a child’s teeth are spaced, perhaps only the back ones will need to be flossed at first. Even after they learn to brush, kids may still need help flossing — but a floss holder (like the one Beyonce is using in the clip) can make the job a lot easier.

If you would like more information about maintaining your children’s oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Top 10 Oral Health Tips For Children” and “How to Help Your Child Develop the Best Habits for Oral Health.”