Simple Solutions To Common Flossing Problems

Although adults and children love to skip it, flossing is a very important part of the oral hygiene routine. It removes plaque and bacteria from between the teeth, reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Many people skip flossing because they find it challenging or difficult in some way. This is unwise, since skipping this important step may eventually have severe consequences such as tooth loss and severe periodontitis.  Here’s a look at a few common flossing problems and how to solve them, so you can keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Problem: The floss does not fit between your teeth.

If your teeth are very close together, you might have a hard time wedging floss in there, or it may be painful to do so.

Solution: Use thinner floss.

Floss comes in several thicknesses. If the most common, standard floss won’t fit between your teeth because they are so close together, look for “extra thin” floss in your drugstore. If you cannot find thin floss in your area, ask your dentist to recommend a place that carries it. He or she may even have some samples to give you.

Problem: The floss frays between your teeth.

When floss frays between your teeth, it can be pretty annoying, especially if the strands of frayed floss get stuck between your teeth.

Solution: Don’t use a section of floss more than once.

Chances are, your floss is fraying because you’ve reused the same section of floss too many times. Make sure you cut yourself a very long piece of floss, and use a new section of floss for each tooth. If you still have trouble with the floss fraying, it could be that your teeth are too close together or that you have a slightly rough-surfaced filling between some of your teeth. Switching to a “comfort floss” which is made from non-fraying material should help.

Problem: You can’t reach your back teeth to floss between them.

If you have big fingers, a little mouth or both, this can be quite the conundrum. However, you need to find a way to floss between those back teeth, since they’re just as prone to decay as your other ones.

Solution: Use dental flossers.

Dental flossers are little pieces of floss attached to plastic picks. They make it easier to reach your back teeth. They’re often more expensive than a package of standard floss, but if you think of the money you’ll save by not needing fillings, they’re worth it.

There’s never a good reason to skip flossing your teeth! Get into the habit of flossing daily, and your teeth  (and dentist) will thank you for years to come.

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Should You Get An Implant Or Dental Bridge?

There are a couple of options for replacing your missing tooth. You could get an implant or a dental bridge. They both place an artificial tooth in the gap where your real tooth is missing – they just go about it in different ways. Here are some points to consider when trying to decide which method is best.

Location Of Missing Tooth

The difference between these two procedures is the way the artificial crown is anchored in your mouth. With a bridge, the tooth is anchored to the teeth on each side. With an implant, the tooth is anchored to your jaw bone. Since the implant fuses with bone, it will be more secure. If your missing tooth is one of the primary tearing teeth in the front, or a chewing molar in the back, an implant might be a better choice. However, the difference in strength may not be enough to matter, since a bridge is cemented to nearby teeth. As long as your teeth are strong and healthy, a bridge should function well enough, no matter where it is placed.

Amount Of Bone Loss

Since an implant is drilled into your bone, you need enough bone mass for the procedure to work. If you don’t have enough bone, you may need a bone graft first, which can drive up the cost and prolong the end results. If your tooth has been missing for a long time, there’s a good chance you have some bone loss in the area. When you get an implant, the bone loss stops because the bone is stimulated each time you chew, just like it would be with a normal root in place. Bone loss doesn’t matter when you opt for a dental bridge. The artificial tooth is custom fitted into the gap, no matter what its size. The only drawback is that a bridge won’t stop bone loss. It will continue to slowly progress, as normally happens when you have a missing tooth.

Financial Investment

A dental implant is more expensive than a dental bridge, so that may ultimately be the deciding factor. However, you need to consider other things too, such as lifespan. An implant will probably last the rest of your life, and the bridge will need to be replaced in 5-15 years. The cost of each procedure varies according the amount of work you need, especially when it comes to the surgery for an implant. As a general example, you can expect to pay over $4000 for an implant and one crown, and anywhere from $500-$3000 for a bridge that contains three crowns.

One of the main things that affects the price of a bridge is the type of material you choose for the crown. Porcelain looks the most like a natural tooth, but it is the most expensive. Resin is more affordable, and is a good choice for side or back teeth that are hidden from view. Another thing to consider is your out-of-pocket expense. You should check with your insurance carrier to verify whether either procedure is covered. Since an implant is often considered a cosmetic procedure, you may have to pay the full cost yourself. Talk to a local dentist, such as Dr Steve Mocrae, to discuss the best option for you. 

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Does Bad Breath Mean A Serious Problem?

Does your breath smell? Do you know if your breath smells? Do you know what causes it? Is there anything that can be done? Many people have suffered from bad breath or know someone who is suffering from long-term bad breath. The following are the common causes of bad breath and what you can do to help.

The causes of bad breath

Bad breath, perpetually, is actually called halitosis. Halitosis can be caused by many things, and some of the causes are more serious than others.

  • Eating things such as onions and garlic

Certain foods like onions and garlic contain oils that will travel through your bloodstream and into your lungs. This causes the odor in your lungs to be admitted with each exhale.

  • Things you don’t eat and having a dry mouth

Dieting can change the chemical processes inside of you which can cause you to be more susceptible to bad breath. By choosing not to eat as regularly as before, you will slow down your saliva production, and this will decrease your mouth’s ability to clean away any bacteria. That is precisely why your morning breath is incredibly unpleasant. Certain prescription medications that you are on can cause a dry mouth, which then causes decreased saliva production and the buildup of bacteria.

  • The way you feel

Sometimes, if you have a sore throat or a cold, this can cause odors to come directly from the bacteria that is trapped inside your sinus region inside your mouth. These problems often do not go away until the symptoms are tackled which means that you will be left with bad breath until the cold is gone or a sore throat is rectified.

  • More serious things

There are some causes of bad breath that are much more serious such as: diabetes, oral cancer, gum disease, kidney problems, anorexia, bulimia, and more. That is why it is imperative that you contact your dentist if you have chronic bad breath that you cannot solve.

What you can do to help

Remember that extremely bad breath on a chronic basis is not normal. The things that you can do include:

  • Practicing good oral hygiene, which means brushing and flossing regularly.
  • Gently brushing your tongue
  • Using antibacterial mouthwash on a regular basis
  • Eating healthy, drinking adequate water and not smoking
  • Occasionally chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugarless mints
  • Having your dentures or other oral appliances cleaned regularly
  • Never missing or postponing your regular dental checkups

Bearing this in mind, make sure you contact a dentist (such as one from Southfort Dental Centre) with any further questions or concerns. 

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Do You Ever Suffer From Brain Freeze? Here Are Its Causes And Prevention

Brain freeze, sometimes referred to as ice cream headache, is something many people dread. Yet it is something that many suffer from if they eat ice cream or drink a freezing cold drink too quickly. In fact, brain freeze is deemed a short duration headache. But do you know the causes of brain freeze or how it can be stopped?  

What Causes Brain Freeze?

Essentially, brain freeze is a type of headache that results from cold stimulus. It is usually when something cold makes contact with the palate or roof of the mouth that brain freeze sets in.

  1. When the abrupt temperature change hits the tissues, the nerves are stimulated to the extent they cause the blood vessels to dilate and swell rapidly.
  2. The body attempts to push blood to the affected area to restore warmth.
  3. Pain receptors are then triggered by the blood vessels, and prostaglandins (which cause pain) are released.
  4. Pain sensitivity is further increased resulting in inflammation, while the trigeminal nerve sends signals to the brain as a means of telling it there is a problematic situation.

While the trigeminal nerve recognizes face-related pain, the brain thinks the pain is emanating from the forehead. The term “referred pain” is used where the body interprets pain as coming from an area other than its real source.

Usually, brain freeze manifests itself around ten seconds after something cold has been placed in the mouth. It normally lasts for about twenty seconds but some patients report it lasting much longer. The pain can hit quickly and get very intense when nerve endings react suddenly.

Can You Prevent Brain Freeze?

Because it is a rapid cooling down followed by a warming up in the body that causes brain freeze, there are some ways to prevent it such as: 

  1. Sip a cold drink or eat an ice cream more slowly. 
  2. Warm up the roof of your mouth with your tongue after eating or drinking anything cold. This will ease any attack of brain freeze.
  3. It can help to tilt your head backwards for up to fifteen seconds to allow the flow of blood to even out and not rush so quickly to the affected area.
  4. Try drinking something that is warmer than the item that caused the problem in the first place.  


While it is irritating, brain freeze is not a serious condition. Some studies of the subject have shown that migraine patients are more prone to getting brain freeze. It may very well be that these findings will lead to new medicines being developed to treat the cause of this type of headache. If that happens, any new drug treatments could bring considerable relief to those who are susceptible to brain freeze.  For more information, talk to a dentist like those at  Centre Dentaire Benjamin Serfaty.

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