Dental Floss: Which Type is Best?

Along with brushing, flossing is the most important thing you can do for healthy teeth and gums. There’s a variety of floss types to choose from. Which one is best for you? It depends. At Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, we’re using this space to summarize what’s available, and what might influence your choice of dental floss.

The reason that flossing is so important is that it removes plaque and food debris from between your teeth, where your toothbrush can’t reach. Left on the teeth, plaque hardens into floss and contributes to tooth decay. Some dental health authorities go so far as to call flossing the most important thing you can do to fight plaque.

What Kind Is Best?

When it comes to what dental floss to use, there is a lot to choose from. Flavoured or unflavoured? Waxed or unwaxed? Wide or thin?

No single type of floss is right for everyone. You might even benefit from having more than one kind in your medicine chest. With a little trial and error, you can narrow down your choices to find what works best for you.

A recent study shows there really isn’t much difference, if any, in the effectiveness of the different types of dental floss. Here are some things to consider:

  • Waxed floss fits more easily into tight spaces
  • Unwaxed floss tends to squeak against clean teeth, an indicator that plaque is gone
  • Wider dental tape may work better in gaps between teeth, and on bridgework

One word of caution: we recommend traditional string floss that you can pull out in a long strand, as opposed to a flossing pick. Those little picks are popular, but they only have a tight strand of less than an inch of floss. That makes it all but impossible to wrap any floss around your teeth – and flossing is far more effective when you do that. The little picks are fine for a purse or backpack, when you’re on the go. Just be sure to use regular floss as part of your dental hygiene routine before bedtime.

Whatever your preference may be, the important thing is to floss at least once each day.

At Choose Your Smile in Kelowna we also like to see you for a checkup every six months. Our services include general and restorative dentistry. Schedule your next appointment today!

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

250-860-8900

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

301-1890 Cooper Rd
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1Y 8B7


Is The Humble Toothbrush Obsolete?

electric vs manual toothbrushes V1Y 8B7

Many tools for everyday living have become obsolete. Online search has replaced the paper phone book. Telephone answering machines have gone the way of manual typewriters. But we still rely on the old-school manual toothbrush, and at Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, we assure you that’s a good thing.

“Wait a minute,” you might say, “isn’t an electric toothbrush better than a manual toothbrush?”

Actually, this is a matter of preference. all toothbrushes, used properly, are effective at removing food debris and plaque to keep your smile free of cavities.

When choosing which type of toothbrush to use, look at cost and convenience. Some people contend that while electric toothbrushes are more pricey, you’ll save on dental bills. But there is nothing definitive to back this up.

Manual toothbrushes are easy to find, whereas not all drugstores sell all models of electric toothbrushes. It is frustrating to spend over a hundred dollars for a top-of-the-line electric toothbrush and then not be able to find a replacement head when required. People who travel may discover that a smaller, manual toothbrush is easier to pack.

We must note that electric toothbrushes can be advantageous for anyone with arthrtitis or another agility issue.

In most instances, though, old school is just fine.

At Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, your dental health is important! Services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment today.

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

250-860-8900

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

301-1890 Cooper Rd
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1Y 8B7

 

ArticleID 7305

Gently Now (Protect Your Gums When You Brush)

cosmetic dentistry Kelowna

This message from Choose Your Smile in Kelowna is about clean, healthy teeth. Everyone wants nice pearly whites, so naturally we should brush more often, right? You would  think so. The only trouble with that is some people brush too aggressively, leading to gums receding or pulling away from teeth.

Gum recession is when your gum line exposes more of your teeth, or in severe cases, your tooth root. It creates a pocket of space between your teeth and gum line.  Decay-causing bacteria can grow and fester in that pocket. This leads to serious issues down the line. Even tooth loss.

Longer or Harder?

A common misconception we hear occasionally is that to brighten your teeth, you should scrub them really hard.

The best way to get pearly whites (and prevent decay) is to brush longer, not harder. Gently brush your teeth until they’re squeaky clean. Run your tongue over them. Doesn’t that feel great?

When you are finished brushing, it’s time to floss. Be sure to get the floss down into the pocket between the gum and teeth.

Why?

Brushing longer is the key, not brushing harder. When you brush your teeth swiftly, you may not be getting all the fragments of food off. You don’t want the particles of food to turn into plaque.

If you truly desire whiter teeth, be sure you brush your teeth in a slow, circular motion for as close to five minutes as you can. Methodically go over each tooth on every surface. Plus your tongue. If five minutes is impossible, make sure you brush for at least two minutes. Set a timer on your phone. Play your favorite two-minute song.

Use a whitening toothpaste with fluoride. That way, you get all the recent gunk off and your teeth get a little bit whiter each time you brush. And the fluoride helps your teeth remineralize after eating or drinking enamel-weakening acidic foods and beverages.

At Choose Your Smile in Kelowna we want all our patients to have healthy teeth and gums. That means brushing properly, and seeing us for a checkup twice a year. We offer a wide range of general dentistry services, and are committed to addressing the dental concerns of all our patients. Schedule an appointment today.

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

250-860-8900

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

301-1890 Cooper Rd
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1Y 8B7

 

ArticleID 8128

Dental Health And You

At Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, we emphasize the importance of good dental health to each one of our patients, every time one of them sits down for a checkup. We stick to the basics: brush and floss twice a day, and see the dentist for a checkup twice a year. But there’s more to it than that.

At every checkup, we examine your for any signs of gum disease. In its mildest form, gum disease is known as gingivitis and is easily treated. Stepping up your dental care routine at home is often enough to do the trick.

In its more severe form, gum disease is called periodontal disease, and it’s one of the leading causes of tooth loss. Half of all adults over the age of thirty have periodontal disease. That’s nearly sixty-five million people! It can be still be brought under control, but it takes more aggressive treatment.

Good dental health means you probably don’t have much of a problem with bad breath. Of course, most of us have yukky breath when we first wake up in the morning. But brush your teeth after breakfast and you should be good to go. In most cases of chronic bad breath – about eighty-five percent of them – poor dental health is to blame.

Every dental checkup includes a screening for oral cancer. Thousands of people will get a form of oral cancer this year. Of those, nearly eleven thousand cases will be terminal.

As with any cancer, the earlier the detection and diagnosis, the better the chances of beating it. That fact alone should be enough to get most people in to see us every six months.

Finally, when it comes to dental health, your toothbrush and dental floss are your best friends. Brush and floss at least twice a day. When you brush, you remove the plaque that builds up on your teeth and causes cavities. Flossing gets out the gunk that builds up between the teeth.

And there you have it: a more detailed discussion on the importance of dental health, and seeing us twice a year at Choose Your Smile in Kelowna. In addition to checkups, our services include general dentistry, and dental aesthetics. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

250-860-8900

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

301-1890 Cooper Rd
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1Y 8B7


Are You Getting Your Dose Of D?

pediatric dentist

Most of us know that vitamin D is important for healthy teeth and bones, yet many still  fail to get enough. This post from Choose Your Smile in Kelowna is a friendly reminder to our patients about the importance of vitamin D.

Here is a sampling of vitamin D findings from around the web:

“Several recent reports demonstrate a significant association between periodontal health and the intake of vitamin D.” 1

“Researchers who took a second look at a series of clinical trials conducted on 2,000 children in several countries between the 1920s and 1980s determined vitamin D — which we often garner from sunlight — was associated with around a 50 percent reduction in the incidence of tooth decay.”2

“Inadequate vitamin D levels in pregnant women may be associated with dental caries in their children during the first year of life.”3

“The sun is an excellent source of vitamin D, but it is hard to quantify how much vitamin D you get from time in the sun and the risk of skin cancer may outweigh the benefits. Food first, says Baylor College of Medicine dietitian Keli Hawthorne. “Supplements can fill in the gaps but it is always better to try to meet your nutritional needs with foods that contain fiber, phytonutrients, and so much more,” Unless you enjoy a diet that includes fatty fish or fish liver oils, it may be hard to get enough vitamin D naturally without eating fortified foods or taking a supplement. “The major dietary source of vitamin D comes from fortified diary, along with some yogurts and cereals,” Hawthorne says. Mushrooms, eggs, cheese, and beef liver contain small amounts.” 4

At Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, we encourage all of our patients to eat a healthy diet complete with all vital nutrients. We offer general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next appointment with us today!

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

250-860-8900

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

301-1890 Cooper Rd
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1Y 8B7

1 SH Stein, DA Tipton, “Vitamin D and its impact on oral health–an update., Spring 2011, PubMed.gov NIH,” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21748977, accessed on June 23, 2014
2 1University of Washington, “Vitamin D linked to lower rates of tooth decay,” ScienceDaily, November 27, 2012, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127130321.htm, accessed on June 23, 2014
3 “Maternal Vitamin D Levels and Early Childhood Caries May be Linked, Researchers Find,”Journal of the American Dental Association, June 1, 2014, http://jada.info/content/145/6/526.3.full, accessed on June 23, 2014
4 “Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D?,” WebMD, 2011, http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/guide/are-you-getting-enough-vitamin-d?page=2, accessed on June 23, 2014

ArticleID 6536

Been A While Since You Had Your Teeth Cleaned?

Kelowna Tooth WhiteningAt Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, we are committed to providing each of our patients with outstanding dental care in our technologically-advanced office.

To maintain your dental health, you should see us for a cleaning and checkup every six months. Even those patients who brush and floss twice a day are going to benefit from a professional teeth cleaning twice a year. The simple fact is that your toothbrush can’t do it all, even with the help of dental floss and water flossing. That’s because plaque is extremely sticky, and no daily routine will get to all of those hard-to reach places where plaque hides and, before long, hardens into tartar.

A professional teeth cleaning includes a close inspection of the teeth and gums for any signs of decay or disease. The peace of mind you’ll have from a clean bill of health is, by itself, worth the time it takes in our office.

At Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, we want you to have the best possible dental health. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next cleaning with us today.

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

250-860-8900

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

301-1890 Cooper Rd
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1Y 8B7

 

ArticleID 1467

5 Reasons To Schedule A Dental Cleaning Today

professional dental cleaning Kelowna

At Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, we recommend seeing us for a dentist appointment twice a year. Each checkup begins with a cleaning, an essential part of maintaining your dental health.

With twice-a-year teeth cleanings, you will:

1. Protect Your Gums

It’s not only acute tooth decay that can damage a tooth until it is beyond saving. Gum disease that leads to bone loss is just as dangerous. Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque that creates pockets of infection between the gums and tooth roots. This leads to periodontitis, gum recession, and eventual bone loss. A professional cleaning eliminates the plaque before it can cause the gums to recede.

2. Prevent Cavities

Even if you brush and floss your teeth morning and night, plaque can accumulate. We have many patients who are dutiful brushers but are surprised when our hygienist finds plaque on their teeth.

3. Check for Oral Cancer

The Oral Cancer Foundation relates this sobering news: oral cancer claims one life approximately every hour—that’s 48,250 deaths a year.

4. Oral Health and Overall Health Go Hand in Hand

Your mouth is not separate from the rest of the body, but many people treat it that way. Some get regular preventative services for physical conditions but miss their teeth. Did you know there is compelling evidence to suggest that the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes increases with poor oral health?

5. It May Be Free

Many dental insurance plans cover biannual dental cleanings. Even if you don’t have dental insurance, cleanings are one of the most affordable ways to preserve prime oral health.

At Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, we want the best possible dental health for each of our patients. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next appointment today.

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

250-860-8900

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

301-1890 Cooper Rd
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1Y 8B7

 

ArticleID 7276

4 Oral Ailments To Discuss With Your Dentist

Bad Breath Treatment Kelowna

We all go to the dentist for exams and cleanings, but there are other less-obvious issues that we can help you with at Choose Your Smile in Kelowna. In this post, we talk about some of them.

1. Bad Breath. Sure, nobody wants to admit that they have bad breath, but bad breath can be treated. It is usually linked to bacteria build-up in the mouth. This means that it might be a symptom of accelerating cavities.

2. Dry Mouth. Also known as xerostomia, this lack of saliva is very irritating and can predispose dental patients to a host of issues such as cavities and gum disease. Some people experience it because of prescription medications or chronic diseases, so make sure to bring a list of current prescriptions with you to your appointment

3. Jaw Issues. If you notice inexplicable jaw pain or notice a clicking sound, be sure to schedule an appointment with us right away! These symptoms can be signs of a serious condition called temporomandibular disorder, or TMD for short.

4. Teeth Grinding. If you’ve been stressed out and find that you’ve been grinding your teeth (or if your partner tells you that you’re doing it in your sleep), discuss it with us. A simple appliance can guard your teeth.

At Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, we offer well-known services like general and cosmetic dentistry. But we can do even more for your smile, so when you come to your next appointment, bring any questions you may have!

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

250-860-8900

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

301-1890 Cooper Rd
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1Y 8B7

 

ArticleID 4795

Treat Your Smile To A Healthy Diet

experienced family dentist Kelowna

You know the saying: you are what you eat. This message from Choose Your Smile dentistry in Kelowna examines the link between what you eat, and your dental health.

Your diet can impact your risk of cavities, enamel health, and gum condition. Healthy foods provide an environment that can prevent inflammation and infection. Vegetables, fruits, legumes, and nuts are the ideal choices for dental health. Calcium-fortified beverages, milk, and other dairy products provide vitamins, minerals, and calcium that aids in keeping teeth, bones, and gums healthy. Eating crispy fruits and vegetables, such as apples and celery, will help clean your teeth and gums.

Healthy Diet

A healthy diet contains all the critical vitamins and minerals, and the most important mineral for teeth is fluoride – especially for babies. Between the ages of 6 months and 16 years old, both the primary and the permanent teeth come in, therefore adequate fluoride is critical.

Too much fluoride is not good. We can counsel you on the exact dosage of fluoride for your child, taking into account whether your municipal water is fluoridated.

Even though adults’ teeth have already formed, fluoride helps with remineralizing weakened enamel to a degree. This effective mineral is applied to teeth during thorough dental checkups.

Bacteria that causes enamel-destroying plaque love a steady diet of sugar—from soda, candy, and even fruit juices. When enamel wears away, the teeth become vulnerable to discoloration, damage, and cavities.

Sugary foods that are especially harmful are those that get trapped in the spaces between teeth and the tiny pits and cracks in the molars. Be sure to brush after each meal and before bed. Moreover, remember to floss or use a water irrigating method to dislodge food particles trapped in spaces.

Healthy Smiles

By eating well, brushing properly, flossing regularly, and avoiding foods that stick to your teeth, you can have a beautiful smile for life. (And, hopefully, the physical strength to complement that pleasing smile and the energy to enjoy both.)

At Choose Your Smile  in Kelowna, We want all our patients to have beautiful, healthy smiles. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment today.

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

250-860-8900

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

301-1890 Cooper Rd
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1Y 8B7

 

ArticleID 7077

Great Reasons to Floss Your Teeth

Three Great Reasons to Floss Your Teeth by Choose Your Smile - Dr. Stephen Malfair

Flossing can be a bit of a chore. It takes a little extra time, and if you haven’t flossed in a while, it can even be painful. It’s no wonder our team at Choose Your Smile in Kelowna are constantly reminding our patients to ‘brush and floss!’

Flossing is crucial. You’ll never hear one of us say ‘don’t worry about the flossing.’ It just isn’t going to happen, and for two critical reasons. Here they are:

1. Bad Breath

Bad breath is something we all worry about. It’s part of our appearance, and we are all aware of how that can affect our relationships.

When we meet new individuals, speak with others in close quarters, or greet a partner, bad breath is on our mind. We worry about how bad breath affects first impressions.

It makes sense, then, that bad breath would be one of the things you might worry about.

Flossing is a great way to help you avoid bad breath.

Flossing helps prevent plaque buildup between your teeth. It also helps flush out pockets of bacteria. Together, plaque and bacteria can create bad breath.

To minimize your chances of being caught with bad breath, floss every day.

2. Cavities

When bacteria is allowed to concentrate on your teeth, tooth decay can occur. Plaque buildup is a concentration of bacteria. When plaque is allowed to remain between your teeth it gives bacteria a chance to destroy enamel and damage your teeth. Cavities are damage to your teeth caused by bacteria.

Flossing gets between your teeth where your brush can’t get and cleans away plaque buildup. It also loosens pockets of bacteria that can be removed with a quick rinse.

Flossing will help you keep plaque and bacteria from developing between your teeth.

At Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, we advise that you floss every time you brush your teeth. At the very least, we encourage you to floss every day before you go to bed. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment today!

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

250-860-8900

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

301-1890 Cooper Rd
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1Y 8B7

 

ArticleID 7780