Posts Tagged ‘flossing’

Goals for the New Year

Happy New Year, everybody!

No matter what your dental hygienic history is, there is always room to improve upon how you care for your teeth and overal health. If you’re setting any goals for this year, why not add a manageable habit to your daily dental care? Not that I intend to sound cliche, but since getting a fresh start is the prevailing attitude this week, I’m going to take advantage of it.

Incorporate these small habits that yield big improvements:

  • Brush at least twice a day — once in the morning and once before bed (after all food and beverages).
  • Floss at least once a day, preferably at the end of the day before you go to sleep
  • Take a few minutes to irrigate if you have an irrigator. Irrigation staves off the vast majority of disease and infection and promotes fast healing. Irrigation keeps your gums healthy, wards off canker sores, and provides relief from more painful infections like pericoronitis.
  • Cut out refined sugar, flour, and processed foods from your diet, and eat fresh foods and green things. A lack of oral cleanliness is not the only cause of oral disease; your diet, exposure to and storage of toxins, hereditary susceptibilities, and poor lifestyle habits all contribute to disease.

You might even set goals that are a little more major in that they require more time and money. The long-term investment pays off greatly, however. Why not:

  • Invest in a better toothbrush (such as a Rotadent, the best you’ll ever find)*
  • Invest in an irrigator*
  • Replace the chemicals in your bathroom cabinet — mouthwash, commercial toothpaste, commercial ointments, gum or breath fresheners, etc. — with natural options or alternatives*. Also examine the cause behind the need for these items. Have bad breath all the time? Get checked out!
  • Save up for and schedule that surgery you’ve been putting off. I’ve been doing many more implants lately, so if you need them, call us.
  • Have your amalgam dental work replaced. Mercury is poisonous and it slowly leaks into your body’s tissues for as long as it is bonded to your teeth. However, if you are pregnant or nursing, it would be best to delay the process until you’re done. If you are trying to get pregnant, get the amalgam replaced immediately and let your body detox before you continue trying to conceive. I will write more about that soon. For now, I use the safest protocols for mercury removal, and getting that replaced, in my opinion, should certainly be done as soon as possible.
  • Consult a nutritionist and find out how you can build the health of your teeth back up through proper nutrition. By the way, if your nutritionist thinks you can’t help your teeth by changing what you eat, find a different nutritionist!

So how are you going to take better care of your teeth this year?

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

*You can ask me about the hygienic and natural dental care products I supply.


Musings and More On Dental Irrigation

I am stating the obvious when I say that the Internet is the foremost consulted source of knowledge and answers to the world’s questions. We do it without thinking. Where was the transition, and why, in retrospect, does it feel like it happened without us noticing? Once upon a time, there was no cyberspace, no “online,”no instant mental gratification (unless you lived next-door to a library). What did we do all day? How did we work? As a dentist highly reliant on the latest technology available, the Internet has become a part of the skeleton of my practice. Without it, my practice would have fizzled out long ago in this fast-paced world.

But I do not mean to get all philosophical with you today. Today’s post just got me partly reminiscing about days gone by when society was more “awake” to the physical world around it, but also causing me to express gratitude in how much computers have transformed science and medicine and my own work.

In the online world of patients searching for solutions for their dental diseases and ails, oral irrigation has been quite a popular topic lately. I must say it’s for good reason. It is one of the best at-home dental hygiene routines you can maintain at home.

Pericoronitis, in particular, seems to be the central purpose for which people seek healing and relief through irrigation. Pericoronitis, if you remember, is an infection which develops under a gum flap of emerging teeth — usually the wisdom teeth of young adults. It is caused by the body defending itself from a foreign invader, which is usually an overabundance of bacteria feeding on a particle of uncleaned food. The pain is quite severe. The infection will remain swollen for up to several days or a few weeks. Even someone in good health has a tough time kicking this infection in less time, which is why it is so important to prevent it in the first place. Irrigation does just that, and it does it very well.

In those hard-to-reach areas around your teeth — and there are many — an oral irrigator shoots thin streams of water, ozone water, or diluted oral cleansing solutions, gently forcing out the debris that is not supposed to be there. Finely squirted liquid crawls into the places that floss can’t reach, effectively cleansing and leaving the mouth refreshed. How does this help healing and preventing infections? We’ll look into that tomorrow.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

A Simple Refresher

“It looks like you’ve had more plaque building up lately. Are you flossing every day?” Oops, I haven’t even thought about it since my last visit. “Be sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day. Just five minutes each morning, and five minutes before you go to bed will make a huge difference in the health of your teeth and gums.” I know, I know, you’ve been telling me the same thing for years.

People often do not realize the value of every cleaning appointment made with their dentist. You walk in, browse through a magazine or newsletter as you wait to be called in, take a seat in the operatory, and open wide as the hygienist’s tools whirr and buzz away. Then, when the cleaning is over and your teeth are sparkling, you are told once again that you must keep on brushing and flossing daily.

But are you really convinced that the instructions given you are as important as they say? Or do you nonchalantly drive home, disregarding — even forgetting — the advice given to you, and returning to your hit-and-miss brushing or flossing routine? Well, there is hope! Your next session could open many doors to discover the wonderful benefits associated with the basic instructions your dentist gives you! And that’s the best part: it’s easy!

A very important attribute that people often overlook is the fact that cleanings are more centered on educating you than the actual cleaning itself. The dentist’s office and staff are resources, so take advantage! Maybe the habits you have settled into are incorrect, or perhaps you have been too embarrassed to ask about a particular problem. Don’t ever hesitate to ask questions. They are there to help you and teach you valuable lessons on caring for your oral health. Be diligent in applying the information, and commit to transforming these better habits into YOUR habits!

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

My Brushing Routine

Well I can’t believe I am doing this, but it seems like a good idea to lead by example and share with you how I brush my teeth. Please bear with me.

My routine is preformed 2 times daily, once in the morning and once before bed. I am consistent six days a week, although it may vary depending on how tired I am.

The sequence is floss, then brush, then hydrofloss. Not very exciting, but very practical.

Flossing needs to be taught to you by a dental professional. I use the “wrap around the middle finger technique” that leaves the other fingers free to direct and control the floss. I will floss each side of a tooth ten times. Any floss will do, but I prefer the non-waxed floss because it gives me satisfaction when I hear it start to squeak. I like to floss first because I then use the brushing to remove the dislodged bacteria .

Brushing should take at least four minutes by the clock. How much day dreaming can you do looking at yourself for four minutes twice a day? I find an electric toothbrush to be more efficient and I can very effectively brush in 2 minutes. I use a Rotadent because I think it is the best on the market.

Next is a tongue scraper. This helps with odor control.

Lastly I use a waterpik called a Hydrofloss, also the best on the market. I add a couple cap-fulls of BreathRX to help me with odor control.

Total time: 4 minutes.

Best wishes,
Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles