1. What’s the biggest problem that you see with patients who come in terms of oral hygiene?
Most patients do not like to floss and think that it is no big deal.
2. How often should I brush and floss?
In an ideal world you should floss after every meal or snack. But, at least twice a day at morning and at night when that is not possible. The best time to loss is at night if morning is not possible because you do not want to leave remnants of food in between teeth to rot.
3. What are the benefits of flossing regularly?
Healthy gums, helps keep the teeth’s foundation of bone level, no bleeding, fresh breath, good check-ups, less cavities, less money to be spent on treatment because teeth are healthy, improves overall health of the body because the bacteria content that can cause heart problems is significantly decreased, decreased chance of bacteria between teeth being passed from mother to unborn child which leads to low-term newborns.
4. What are the dangers of not flossing on a regular basis?
I just mentioned that bacteria found in plaque can be passed from expectant mothers to their fetus. But there are studies that show a strong link between periodontal disease and heart disease. Not to mention that not flossing can lead to the loss of your teeth which could mean periodontal surgery and that costs money.
5. What is a deep cleaning and why would I have to get one?
A deep cleaning involves scraping the crown and root of the tooth to get rid of built up calculus and debris. Someone would need one if there are deep pockets between the gums and teeth and there is calculus present on the roots of the teeth.
6. What percentage of new patients that you see need a deep cleaning? Is it expensive?
Approximately 30-40% of the new patients that I see a month need a deep cleaning. It is expensive. But, have normal cleanings on a regular basis will eliminate the need for this type of invasive cleaning.
7. Why is flossing painful for patients? Will it always be painful?
Flossing is only painful for patients who have swollen gums, periodontal disease, or who only floss sometimes. Healthy gums do not hurt when flossed unless one is flossing incorrectly. Your hygienist can show you how to floss correctly.
8. Any other tips or products that you have for patients?
For patients who don’t like to floss with the string I highly recommend the Reach Flosser, it has a big handle so you don’t have to stick your hand in your mouth. At $3 a piece it is really affordable. The Air Flosser is a new device that can be used to floss. It costs about $70. Things like waters picks are good at removing plaque but does not replace flossing.