Our dental office has been declared a FLOSS FREE ZONE. No longer will we burden you with outrageous flossing requirements. No more goopy string, snapping between your teeth. No more getting busted at your cleaning visits. Our intentions are good. Dentists want you to have healthy gums but unless we clean BETWEEN our teeth, gum disease will take hold. Gums will begin to bleed. Your amazing breath will move loved ones a few paces back. And the jawbone holding your teeth will literally dissolve. This generates business for dentists, but it’s not so good for your own health, self-esteem, and pocketbook. As you may know, I’m big on prevention. I’m constantly looking for those things that make it easier to keep our teeth and mouth healthy. Here are 3 things that can make a difference.
1. Toss the string floss. Substitute instead, a WATER FLOSSER, a new name for an old device. Water Pik changed its marketing to better describe what its oral irrigator really does. And that’s to blast out the bugs between your teeth with a jet stream of water. Studies show that flushing beats flossing by an incredible 93%. We personally have seen teeth, scheduled for extraction; recover completely after professional treatment and twice a day WATER FLOSSING. Be sure to direct the water jet (90 degrees) perpendicular to the tooth. Don’t blast down into the crevice as this will only force bacteria deeper!
2. The SONICARE ultrasonic tooth brush. The bristles vibrate at a very high frequency creating a microscopic tsunami, exploding any plaque and bacteria in its path. Katrina in a brush. Again, the research shows significantly better plaque removal than with manual brushes.
3. XYLITOL is a natural sugar that cavity- forming bacteria cannot digest. Remember, cavities are caused by a bacterial infection. Studies prove that a 3 to 6 month Xylitol program can actually starve the bad bugs in your mouth, eliminating the infection, the source of cavities. CARI FREE has developed 100% Xylitol based oral care products. They feature chewing gum, candy, toothpaste and mouth rinse. We stock CARI FREE in the office. SPRY is another 100% Xylitol product line manufactured by Xlear and with similar products. Proper usage consists of at least 5 applications daily: 1. MORNING: brush with a Xylitol tooth paste. 2. AFTER BREAKFAST: chew 2 pieces of Xylitol gum or mints. 3. AFTER LUNCH: chew 2 more Xylitol products. 4. AFTER DINNER: chew 2 more pieces. 5. BEFORE BED: brush again with Xylitol toothpaste. Xylitol can be safely used by infants. It doesn’t raise the glycemic index so diabetics can safely use it with approval of their physician. Xylitol is found in fruits, vegetables, and our own bodies and has no toxic side effects. I love this stuff!
80 to 90% of bad breath originates from infected gums, and decayed teeth. Mouthwashes, sugar mints, and regular chewing gum only add a cloying sweetness to bad breath. What’s worse, odor causing bugs love the sugars found in conventional mints and gums, which contributes to even more tooth decay and gum disease, and of course malodor. If none of this applies to you, great! But if you’re part of the other 73% of the population, then some of this information should be useful. Dentists are always harping on flossing…it’s a genetic thing. OUR re-programming will be a challenge. You, on the other hand, should have a much easier transition.
Stay well…Dr. Bill Ardito – Sunshine Dentistry AZ
855 W. Bell Road, Suite 600
Nogales, AZ 85621
September 2011, article published in the Nogales International