What Does Flossing do?

Learn What Flossing Does With Suburban Dental

Flossing prevents gingivitis, or gum disease, by preventing the build-up of plaque on and between your teeth. Plaque is a form of biofilm a sticky bacteria that if left unchecked can cause serious harm to your teeth by causing cavities, decay, and even risking infections if you have an oral injury.

Flossing can also prevent halitosis, or bad breath, by removing excess food particles from your mouth. Some bacteria that naturally occur in your mouth also cause bad breath if left unchecked. The American Dental Association recommends flossing, stating that it can remove the vast majority of plaque. By flossing you prevent the bacteria from growing and spreading to the point where it can smell. Much of the bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath will also feed on food stuck in your teeth.

Is Flossing Really Necessary?

Some people might feel like they already have oral health issues or that since they’ve neglected flossing so far, so there’s no reason to start now. But the truth is that there is never a point where starting good oral hygiene habits won’t help.

The long-term effects of allowing bacteria to grow are serious and can range from cavities to gum disease and eventually loss of teeth and bone loss. Losing bone from your jaw is a serious and effectively irreversible consequence of long-term oral health neglect. But preventive maintenance, including flossing, can greatly reduce the risk of any of these problems.

Tips for Effective Flossing

A study published in a journal by the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) found that flossing before brushing is the most effective. This is particularly true when using toothpaste that contains fluoride.

Traditional string flossing has also been shown to be more effective than pick-style flossers. However, the most effective form of flossing is what works for you and will make you more likely to floss. While we might recommend that you try to floss the old-school way, the most important thing is that you figure out a style and routine for flossing that you’re able to maintain.

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Is Teeth Whitening Safe?

Whitening Procedures at Suburban Dental

Teeth whitening has been around for decades and millions of people use whitening products – including plenty of dentists. According to dental professionals, they haven’t seen an increase in problems like cavity risk or tooth fractures after teeth whitening procedures. Suburban Dental works to provide safe teeth whitening services for our patients in Germantown.

The Side Effects

  1. Teeth sensitivity: your teeth may become more sensitive after getting them whitened. You may experience this after your first or second treatment, and it can diminish with time. Ask your doctor if they can recommend products for treating sensitivity at your next appointment.
  2. Irritated gums: you may also experience gingival irritation, which happens when your gums become irritated. If the whitening products touch your gums, then they may become irritated, but Suburban Dental takes precautions to eliminate this risk.

The Benefits

  1. Safety: The American Dental Association (ADA) has stated that hydrogen peroxide whiteners are safe and effective.
  2. It is a quick process: you can have whitened teeth in just one session rather than waiting months for at-home products to take effect.
  3. It saves time: you don’t have to have your teeth professionally whitened very frequently, in fact, whitening your teeth frequently can actually damage your teeth. With just a couple of sessions of professional whitening, you can achieve the desired color of your smile.
  4. You don’t have to worry about safety: we take care of your teeth like they are our own at Suburban Dental. We only provide the safest procedures at our office, the side effects of teeth whitening usually only apply to at-home products that can damage your smile.

If you are worried about your upcoming teeth whitening procedure or worried about an at-home product you are using, you can always ask your doctor if the product is safe. Suburban Dental offers professional teeth whitening that is safe and effective. If you would like to schedule a teeth whitening appointment, use the button below to schedule online, or learn more about teeth whitening at our Germantown, MD office.

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Is Vaping Bad For Your Teeth?

Learn About Vaping and Oral Health at Suburban Dental

Vaping, or e-cigarettes, is popular with older former smokers and younger first-time nicotine users. As the health effects of vaping are discussed and researched, most attention has been on lung health. But you may be wondering, does vaping affect oral health, and is vaping bad for your teeth? Whether trying to make an informed decision about the health of your teeth, are about to get braces or are prepping for oral surgery we’ll look at what effects vaping can have on your oral health.

Is Vaping Bad for Your Teeth?

Vaping does have many negative effects on overall oral health. These range from increased bacteria, to damage to tooth enamel, and cosmetic changes. 

  • It increases the amount of bacteria stuck to your teeth. Vegetable glycerin is a common base for vape liquids which can trap bacteria on your teeth. This increases the risk of cavities. This additive alongside other additives can also soften enamel, presenting more opportunities for cavities to form.
  • An ingredient called propylene glycol lowers saliva levels. Saliva naturally reduces the amount of bacteria present in the mouth and stuck to teeth. Dry mouth can cause cavities and other issues such as gum sores.
  • Vaping could worsen other oral health issues. Because vaping can soften enamel, trap bacteria, and lower saliva levels it has the potential to worsen other ongoing oral health issues.
  • Teeth stains can be caused or worsened by vaping. Vaping’s effects on enamel hardness and bacteria retention can create the conditions for or worsen teeth discoloration or yellowing.
  • There is evidence of a range of health problems caused by vaping. Research indicates that vaping can disrupt the oral microbiome, increase the risk of gum disease and expose users to chemicals that can cause oral and other cancers.

Vaping, Braces, and Oral Surgery

Vaping can negatively impact the effectiveness of orthodontic treatments. Nicotine use can change the rate at which teeth move when wearing metal braces, Invisalign, or other aligners. This could lead to slower corrections and prolonged treatment. 

Any oral surgery that requires healing can be slowed by vaping. Nicotine use lengthens the body’s natural healing time. Boston University research has shown no evidence of harm reduction between smoking and e-cigarettes. Advice to avoid smoking after certain dental procedures covers any nicotine use because of the increased healing time associated with it. This is doubly true of any oral nicotine use because they increase bacteria in the mouth and the risk of infection after certain procedures. 

Harm Reduction and Surgery Recovery

If you’re concerned about the effects vaping or other nicotine use can have on your oral health, stopping is the best way to prevent further damage. Of course, nicotine cessation is not easy. If quitting isn’t possible but want to limit any negative effects it’s best to stick to the fundamentals of oral hygiene. Twice a day brushing, flossing, using a fluoride mouthwash, and scheduling regular checkups can all help.

If you are planning a treatment for which it is recommended you temporarily cease nicotine use or if you want to quit for your long-term oral health the Mayo Clinic has an online guide to help.