If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times: Floss your teeth! It’s just as important as brushing and crucial to preventing gum disease. And yet, only about 30% of Americans floss daily. We understand that it can be a hard habit to fit into your daily oral health routine–the floss gets stuck in your teeth, sometimes your gums bleed, and it feels like it takes forever! We are often asked if there are any alternatives to flossing and the answer is…yes! Let’s look at what other options you have for cleaning those hard to reach places between your teeth.
Water Flossing is a way to clean around and between your teeth with a pressurized steady stream of water. Perhaps you’ve seen or experienced the device in our office. Water Flossers can be particularly helpful for patients with braces, dental bridges, dental implants, or gum pocketing. You can find a Water Flosser with the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. While more expensive than traditional floss, it is a helpful tool for reaching areas that are hard to access with floss and a great option if you find flossing difficult or painful. This is also a great alternative if you are concerned about little plastic floss containers ending up in the landfill.
Another easy and practical option is an interdental brush. Studies have shown that when used in combination with regular tooth brushing, an interdental brush can be more effective than floss in removing plaque from between your teeth. These small, cone-shaped brushes are designed to be inserted gently between your teeth and can be rinsed and reused a few times. Patients with braces, food traps, dental bridges, or mobility issues may find this a good alternative. It’s also less of an investment than a Water Flosser.
As the name suggests, these are small wooden or plastic picks that can be used to remove plaque from between teeth and gums. Picks aren’t quite as effective as floss and you risk moving bacteria around your mouth unless you use a new pick for each tooth, but they allow for better maneuverability for patients who have braces and thus some hard to reach areas. Again, it’s always important to look for a product that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
Whichever option you choose, the most important thing about cleaning your teeth is to do it! Find a routine that works for you and stick with it…your teeth and your gums will thank you! Also, if you experience bleeding gums from flossing this may be an early sign of periodontal disease–please be sure to inform us of any bleeding at your next visit to our office. If you have any questions about whether flossing or one of these alternatives is right for you, let us know. We are here to support you and provide you with the best oral health care!
Also, please note, our office opened on June 1 with new protocols and procedures in place to keep you and our staff safe. You can also read the full list of these updates on our COVID Protocol Page, easily found in the top menu bar of our website, so you know what to expect before your next appointment. If you are overdue for your appointment, rest assured we will be in touch soon as we catch up with our backlog. We do look forward to seeing you again. Thank you for being our patient!
National Dentist Day was March 6 and was established as a way to show appreciation and thanks for dentists. We have two of the best dentists to thank: Dr. Brunacini and Dr. Karagiorgos! As a way to honor these two, we thought we’d ask them some questions about their path to dentistry and what they love about the work they do. Let’s learn more about FDA’s Dynamic Duo!
1. Why did you go in to dentistry?
Dr. Brian Brunacini: I enjoy the variety and problem-solving in dentistry. There are always new things to learn and I’ve enjoyed keeping up with the advancements in digital dentistry to improve the accuracy of diagnoses and quality of care.
Dr. Karagiorgos: After graduating with a degree in civil/structural engineering, I worked in the field but I disliked my job. I was 27 and I knew I didn’t want to do that as a lifelong career. Around that time, I went through a health scare that made me decide to pursue a career that would be meaningful and satisfying to me. I thought more about what a cousin had once suggested: dentistry. So I went back to school to take all the prerequisites to go to dental school, and meanwhile I worked for the Tufts’ Oral Surgery department as a Dental Assistant, where I assisted in surgical procedures such as extraction, implant placement, and even cosmetic surgery. This experience solidified my desire to pursue dentistry. I really enjoyed the surgical aspect of dentistry and considered specializing but the great thing about general dentistry is that you’re able to do a little bit of everything.
2. What is rewarding about your work?
Dr. Brian Brunacini: I love getting to know our patients and working together by sharing what I see and can potentially do for them. I really enjoy empowering patients to be more involved in their healthcare decisions so that they can improve their health.
Dr. Karagiorgos: Every day is about finding the best dental solution for each individual patient while keeping each patient’s special circumstances and aesthetic vision in mind, as well as the financial aspects involved to create the best possible treatment plan for every individual. There’s also an aspect of artistic expression to what we do: it’s making a filling look like a tooth. In a way, dentistry is a very satisfying form of artistic expression on a small scale.
3. What is unique about working at FDA?
Dr. Brian Brunacini: We practice progressive dentistry that allows us to provide excellent holistic care for the whole patient while using crest-of-the-wave technology. We also have a laid-back atmosphere at the office which creates a comfortable, inviting place for patients. That coupled with an amazing team–from receptionist to hygienist to assistant to dentist–who all work together to help patients makes this an ideal practice where we build lasting relationships with our patients.
Dr. Karagiorgos: The patients and staff here make my job feel like it’s not even work. It’s a great feeling to be a part of a team like this. And we meet patients from all walks of life, so it’s great to talk to everyone and get to know them.
4. What is your favorite dental care tip?
Dr. Brian Brunacini: Mine comes down to diet. Everyone knows how important it is to eat well for their overall health, but it also is important for healthy teeth and gums. There is strong correlation between a decrease in sugar/carbohydrate consumption and a decline in tooth decay rates. It’s not just about limiting overall sugar consumption–it’s also important to pay attention to how often during the day you eat or drink sugar. For example, sipping on an iced coffee with sugar all day is worse than drinking it in one sitting.
Dr. Karagiorgos: Floss, floss, floss!!! Flossing can remove plaque and food debris particles in places where toothbrush bristles cannot easily reach, like under the gum line and especially between your teeth. Plaque buildup can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, which daily flossing can help prevent!
Thank you Dr. Brunacini and Dr. Karagiorgos! We appreciate the thoughtful care you both bring to the practice everyday.
Whether you’ve been coming to FDA for years or are a new patient, we hope you learned something about our wonderful dentists. If you have a question for them or need to schedule a visit, give us a call today at 207.781.5900. We are here to give you the best oral health care possible!
You may have seen the big headlines recently about flossing not being what it is cracked up to be. The Food and Drug Administration, along with the entire dental industry, has been promoting flossing as an important part of your oral health regimen since 1979. Unfortunately, the FDA was forced to recant the importance of flossing because of a ‘lack’ of solid research. We at Falmouth Dental Arts remain steadfast in our recommendation for flossing once a day. Here’s why.
Though research is important in any scientific or medical field, so is anecdotal proof. We, and many other dental professionals, have countless stories of patients who have suffered from a lack of flossing. We have seen the benefits people gain from flossing daily, and the harm a lack of flossing can cause.
Think of a tooth as a cube. Brushing helps clean the top and two sides of the cube, but cannot make direct contact with the two adjacent sides. This is where flossing comes in, being able to remove food particles where brushing cannot. Not flossing is like getting your car washed, but never cleaning the salt off the undercarriage – every New Englander knows how that will end!
The recent Associated Press article and Food and Drug Administration decision will lead to more thorough flossing research being performed. We, along with the vast majority of the dental industry, are confident that we know what the results of this research will be – floss, Floss, FLOSS!
If you have any questions about flossing or other oral health recommendations, please give us a call at 207-781-5900.
Are you the type of person who flosses just once a week? Do you sometimes head to bed without brushing your teeth since you’ll be brushing them again in the morning? Do you swish with mouthwash? Having a good dental hygiene routine is the best way to ensure that your trips to the dentist don’t consist of anything more than a casual checkup. Brushing your teeth is, of course, the best way to keep your teeth clean during the day and overnight. However, many people brush too hard, use a brush with bristles too hard for their gums, or don’t change their toothbrush regularly. A good rule of thumb is to change your toothbrush every three months or so, to ensure that the bristles are in good enough shape to do their job. Brushing softly twice a day over each surface of your teeth and tongue will keep your gums healthy and keep plaque buildup down.
Flossing is one of the most skipped activities in a good dental hygiene routine, but it is very important. Flossing gets those hard-to-reach areas between teeth, where a toothbrush may or may not clean. Adding flossing to your daily routine will strengthen your gums and help prevent cavities. Finally, after brushing and flossing, swishing with mouthwash each day for 30-45 seconds is the best way to round out your routine. It may seem silly to reiterate these tips that everyone knows, but you’d be surprised at how quickly these activities fall out of dental hygiene routines after a visit to the dentist! Keeping up with a regular schedule is the best way to avoid cavities, yellowing teeth, or more serious issues. If it’s been a while, give us a call at 207-781-5900 to schedule an appointment today.
Barbecued meats aren’t exactly known for being the tidiest foods to eat. From getting sauces on your fingers and clothes to getting food stuck in your teeth, chowing down at a barbecue can be a messy endeavor. Getting your hands a little dirty might be part of the BBQ tradition, but we can at least offer some tips to help you keep a clean smile while you’re socializing.
Wings and ribs in particular are infamous for getting stuck between teeth, but those veggie platters can be useful beyond just scooping up bleu cheese! Munching on raw carrots, celery, or other veggies can help dislodge food that gets stuck in your teeth.
Similarly, raw fruits (especially apples and other hard, crisp fruits) do wonders to help cleanse the mouth. Having a bowl of fruit salad instead of that second rack of ribs might also save you from falling asleep on the couch afterwards! And if all else fails, bringing dental floss, or a couple dental flossers with you can be very handy for those hard-to-reach spots or that piece of food that won’t budge.