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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

How to Floss with Braces

Daily flossing is extremely important during the time that you wear braces. This is because you are more likely to have food trapped in your braces which can increase the risk of cavities. When plaque sits on your teeth for too long it begins to decalcify the tooth enamel which causes white spots or lines in your tooth and eventually can turn into a cavity.
During the time you have braces, expect to spend almost triple the time on your oral care. It is so worth the extra time! REMEMBER...the goal of having braces is to make your smile as beautiful and straight as it can be! We also want your teeth looking and feeling healthy when your braces are removed!
If you don't take the time to clean your teeth well, they could look like this instead.
Here's what you need to do to floss with braces:
Preferably waxed floss (unwaxed tends to shred on the brackets), a floss threader and an orthodontic toothbrush.

Step 1: Brush well.

Step 2: Cut yourself roughly 18" of floss and with a floss threader, carefully thread it under the main wire of the braces and guide the floss between the contours of your teeth and up under the gum line.

Step 3: Then remove the floss & re-thread it under the main wire to pass between the next pair of teeth. Continue until you have flossed each tooth thoroughly with a clean section of floss.

Keep the smile sparkling...Smiles are for a lifetime!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Diabetes and Your Oral Health

Diabetes affects a staggering 25 million Americans, which is about 9% of the population in the United States. Diabetes can cause problems with your eyes, your nerves, your kidneys, your heart and increase your risk for oral health problems, like gum disease. Some oral health problems associated with diabetes are tooth decay, periodontal disease, decreased saliva, fungal infections, dull sense of taste and infection & delayed healing time. When diabetes is not properly controlled, the increased glucose levels in the saliva make an ideal environment for bacteria to flourish. This decay causing plaque can harden into tartar if not removed properly and promptly. All of this is detrimental to your gingival health because it allows plaque to increase and build up, which makes it hard to clean well between teeth. The longer plaque and tartar remain on the teeth, the more harmful they become. Because diabetes reduces the body's ability to resist infection this can lead to chronic inflammation and periodontal disease. If you notice signs or symptoms of oral disease, be sure to contact Dr. Bertolini immediately. These would include changes like bleeding, tender gums, persistent bad breath, loose teeth, changes in how your teeth fit together or bite together. How to Lower the Risk to Your Teeth: Be certain to brush twice per day with a fluoride toothpaste & floss daily, to remove decay-causing plaque. We recommend having your healthy teeth and gums professionally cleaned every six months and if there are already gum problems, we may recommend having them cleaned every three to four months. During your regular checkups Dr. Bertolini and his team will do a periodontal screening to evaluate your overall oral health. Let Dr. Bertolini know if you've been diagnosed with diabetes, if the disease is under control, other changes in your health history and all prescriptions and OTC drugs you take. Together we can help you keep your smile working beautifully!