If My Gums Bleed, Should I Stop Flossing?

bleeding gums Winston-Salem

This is an essential question occasionally asked by patients at Winston-Salem Dental Group. The answer, however, is “No!” Bleeding is probably a sign that you need to clean your teeth and gums more thoroughly—not leave them alone. It is all but impossible to clean effectively between teeth without using floss, or an interdental brush.

If you have never flossed before, your gums might bleed the first few times you do. The bleeding may be due to gum inflammation, the beginnings of gum disease. Keep flossing gently and the bleeding generally stops within a week or two.

Gingivitis and the more advanced periodontal disease is extremely common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that half of American adults aged 30 and over have periodontal disease.

If you don’t make flossing a habit, you may wind up with gum disease. The good news is that gum disease can be reversed with improved oral hygiene.

It is important to correctly use dental floss to remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth:

  1. Cut a length of floss about 18 inches long.
  2. Securely wind each end around your middle fingers.
  3. Take hold of the floss with your forefinger and thumb leaving about two inches to work with.
  4. Thread the floss between two teeth.
  5. Hold the floss tightly against the side of the tooth and move it up and away from the gumline. You want to clean the space between the tooth and gum without pulling more gum tissue away, so it’s essential to scrape up and out of the pocket.
  6. Move the floss around the tooth to clean every surface—especially those that your brush can’t reach. As you use a section of floss, unwind from one hand to access a clean piece. With 18 inches, you should have enough to provide a clean section for every tooth. If you run out, that’s okay. Just toss the used piece and cut a new one.

Some people find it easier to start on one end on the upper teeth and clean each gap one by one until they reach the other side. Then repeat for the bottom row. Whatever operation you pick, make sure you clean around every tooth, including the back surfaces of the last molars.

At Winston-Salem Dental Group we want the best possible dental health for all of our patients. Services include general and cosmetic dentistry, and we have extended evening and weekend hours for your busy schedule. Call for an appointment today!

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 

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Find A Few Minutes To Floss

Winston-Salem family dentistry

One common reason people give for not flossing their teeth is that it’s hard to fit it into their daily schedule. The team at Winston-Salem Dental Group wants to remind those folks that flossing their teeth is every bit as important to their dental health as brushing.

It has an entirely different role, of course. Where brushing removes plaque from the surface of the teeth and along the gum line, flossing gets into the tight spaces between your teeth. It loosens the debris that always gets wedged in, and any plaque building up.

In short, it gets those places that your toothbrush can’t.

Should you floss before brushing, or after? The jury is out on that one. Some research suggests that flossing first can make brushing more effective. The idea is that after flossing, there is less gunk between your teeth. The fluoride in your toothpaste is able to get in there better.

Before or after? Do whichever you prefer. Just make sure you find the time to do it! While you watch TV at night, or while you take a bath – wherever and whenever you’ve got a few spare minutes.

At Winston-Salem Dental Group, we want the best possible dental health for all our patients. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next cleaning and checkup with us today.

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 

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How To Beat Plaque

Plaque is that sticky, filmy stuff that forms on teeth. It is the main cause of tooth decay and gum disease. For the best dental health, the team at Winston-Salem Dental Group reminds all of our patients to brush and floss their teeth twice a day.

Plaque forms when foods with sugars and starches are not brushed away. The bacteria that naturally occurs in your mouth thrive on these sugars and starches, and produce acids. Over time these acids destroy tooth enamel, leaving you with a cavity. Or maybe two.

Plaque is mostly colorless. When it isn’t brushed away, it leaves you with that rough or fuzzy feeling on the surface of your teeth.

Take Care Of Your Teeth!

You probably know where this short article is headed: keep your teeth clean! That means brushing and flossing.

  • Brush at least twice each day, for two minutes.
  • Use a soft-bristle toothbrush.
  • Use a light touch.
  • Be sure to get along the gumline, that place where your teeth and gums meet.
  • Use a toothpaste with fluoride.
  • Floss between the teeth to get bacteria and food debris.
  • Ask us whether dental sealants are a good idea for you.

Plaque is always going to be there. But brushing and flossing your teeth regularly can keep it under control, and greatly reduce your chances of developing cavities and gum disease. If it hardens into tartar it can only be removed with a professional cleaning.

Having your teeth cleaned and examined twice a year at Winston-Salem Dental Group should be part of your strategy for beating plaque and having a beautiful, healthy smile. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Call our office to schedule your next appointment today!

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105


Common Dental Questions

At Winston-Salem Dental Group, we strive for excellence in dentistry every day. Providing the best possible dental care goes beyond cleanings and exams. We like it when patients ask a lot of questions, because that tells us they are taking a strong interest in their dental health.

Common Questions

One of the questions we’re frequently asked is whether it’s really necessary to have a cleaning and checkup every six months. Our short answer is, yes! But a more nuanced answer includes that time-honored truth that prevention is the best medicine.

Every appointment includes a thorough cleaning by a hygienist. Then the dentist examines your teeth and gums, looking for any new cavities and signs of gum disease. Every checkup also includes a screening for oral cancer.

Sometimes we need to see patients more frequently. Someone with gum disease, or who is undergoing orthodontic treatment, should have appointments more often than twice a year. We determine that on a case-by-case basis.

More Questions

Patients often wonder how long a filling will last. Some people think they’ll last a lifetime, but unfortunately that is not usually the case. Fillings can break down or become loose over time. If that happens, decay can get into the area around it and cause problmes. You can extend the life of any restoration with good oral hygiene at home. If you have any questions about what that means, don’t hesitate to ask.

What kind of toothbrush is best? This is among the most-asked questions for any dentist. Manual and electric toothbrushes, used properly, both do an excellent job. We recommend soft bristles, with mixed bristle heights and angles. They do a better job getting between the teeth.

To really get between the teeth, we also recommend daily flossing. String floss is best, but whether it’s waxed or unwaxed, flavored or not, or wide dental tape is up to you.

And More!

When it comes to toothpaste, we recommend one that has the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. That means it contains fluoride, which strengthens and protects your teeth.

These are just some of the common questions we get from our patients at Winston-Salem Dental Group. Have we missed anything you’ve wondered about? Never hesitate to bring your questions to your checkup. We offer general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next appointment today.

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 


Dental Health And You

At Winston-Salem Dental Group, 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 us 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. According to the Centers for Disease Control, half of all Americans 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. The American Cancer Society projects that about 53,000 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 Winston-Salem Dental Group. In addition to checkups and cleanings, our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105


Bleeding Gums After Your 6-Month Cleaning?

bleeding gums Rural Hall

Regular dental check-ups and cleanings at the Winston-Salem Dental Group are essential for ideal dental health. However, some of our patients worry because their gums tend to bleed after a thorough cleaning.

Is this a problem? Well, it depends. If your gums bleed for a day or two, you don’t need to be concerned. But, if the bleeding and tenderness last longer, you really need to let us check for the possibility of gum disease.

Gum disease develops when plaque builds up along the gum line. You might also see bad breath, painful chewing, and loose teeth.

Gum disease is among the leading causes of tooth loss in American adults. If there’s even the possibility of a problem, we want to know about it. When it’s diagnosed early on, it is treatable.

Our top services here at Winston-Salem Dental Group include general and cosmetic dentistry, and pediatric dentistry. Schedule an appointment today.

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 

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Avoid These 5 Smile Wreckers

oral health hazards Winston-Salem

We hope this post from Winston-Salem Dental Group will alert you to some harmful oral health hazards. Too often, our dentists treat decay and damage caused by the following:

1. Sports Injuries

Many parents send their children out on the playing field with a mouthguard but fail to protect themselves when they participate in activities that put teeth at risk. You can pick up a mouth guard at any sporting goods store, and we strongly advise that you do.

2. Ice Chomping

Many people enjoy chewing ice, especially that irresistible pebble ice you can get in some fountain drinks. You may not even be aware that you chew it when you have finished your drink. Breaking this habit can protect your teeth from cracks, chips, and tooth sensitivity.

3. Oral Piercings

Are you someone who expresses your personality with piercings in and around the mouth? We strongly discourage this. In addition to the risk of cracking or chipping, infection and permanent nerve damage can develop.

4. Gummy or Sour Candy

Of course all sugary treats are no friend to your enamel, but gummy candy packs a double punch because it is both sugary and clings to teeth. Sour candy triggers even more acid production than sugary candy alone. If your sweet tooth is extremely persuasive, chew sugarless gum.

5. Eating Disorders

These complex disorders have a host of mental and physical considerations and, for most affected people, cannot be simply wished away. If you suffer from bulimia or anorexia, we hope you are receiving professional treatment. Be advised, however, that there are things you can do to protect your teeth while you work through the healing process. We can provide sensitive, discreet oral health guidance for those currently suffering or those who have overcome a disorder but have tooth damage as a result.

What If It’s Too Late?

If you have oral health issues due to one of these, or for any other reason, there are still ways to heal your smile. Virtually all tooth damage can be treated with advanced dentistry. We pride ourselves on providing answers to the dental issues caused by common smile wreckers.

At Winston-Salem Dental Group we offer general and cosmetic dentistry, and hope you’ll schedule your next checkup with us soon.

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 

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Check Out the Checkup!

At Winston-Salem Dental Group, we want to see each one of our patients for a cleaning and check up twice a year. Most of the time we try to get you to schedule your next appointment even as you leave the office from your latest one. There are some very good reasons for that.

Along with daily brushing and flossing, six-month cleanings and checkups are the best way to ensure you have good dental health. That means clean teeth with no cavities, and pink healthy gums.

Most appointments begin with a cleaning from the hygienist, but not always. During the cleaning we’ll scrape any tartar from your teeth. Tartar is hardened plaque, and you can’t get it off with a toothbrush and floss. That’s one of the reasons brushing twice a day is so important! Scraping tartar off of your teeth is known as scaling.

Once your teeth are scaled, we’ll polish them with a gritty toothpaste. This is pretty harsh stuff, and it removes any surface stains on your teeth. Sometimes patients wonder if they can get something like it for use at home. The trouble with that is that it’s just too abrasive to use every day.

After scaling and brushing, the last step is flossing. Then, it’s the dentist’s turn.

During the checkup we look for any new cavities that may have appeared since your last visit. We might take X-rays, although this is not done at every visit. We’ll examine your gums, too, for any signs of gum disease.

Finally, we’ll look at your tongue, throat, face and and head, and your neck. We’re checking for swelling or redness, or any signs of cancer.

And that, in a nutshell, is how your check up with the dentist goes. At Winston-Salem Dental Group our services include general and cosmetic dentistry, and children’s dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105


Dental Sealant Q & A

dental sealants Winston-Salem

At Winston-Salem Dental Group, the dental health of our patients, and preventing tooth decay, is what it’s all about. In addition to regular cleanings and checkups we offer dental sealants. This blog post is all about sealants.

Q. What are dental sealants?
A. Dental sealants are permanent plastic barriers applied to the biting surfaces of teeth. They prevent cavities by filling in the grooves and fissures where food particles are particularly difficult to remove.

A. Do sealants significantly reduce tooth decay?
Q. Yes. Studies show that dental sealants can diminish the risk of decay by 70%!

Q. How are dental sealants applied to the teeth?
A. We apply  the sealant resin as a liquid which quickly hardens and adheres tightly to the pits and grooves. The procedure is speedy, straightforward and painless.

Q. Which teeth can benefit the most from sealants?
A. Sealants are most commonly applied to the first and second molars because they are at the highest risk for decay.

Q. When should sealants be applied?
A. The best time is early – while the teeth are cavity-free. We will advise you.

Q. Are sealants just for kids?
A. Not necessarily. Talk to us about whether sealants could benefit you.

Q. Is brushing and flossing still necessary for the teeth with sealants?
A. Yes. Vigilant oral hygiene is still vital to keep teeth and gums healthy. Even the teeth with sealants are at risk for decay along the gumline.

Dental sealants are an excellent barrier against cavities, but it’s still essential that you see us at the Winston-Salem Dental Group every six months for a cleaning and checkup. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next appointment with us today.

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 

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A Toothache The Size Of Winston-Salem

Winston-Salem Tooth WhiteningThrobbing toothache pain can be agonizing for anyone. At the very least, milder toothache pain can cause you to skip certain foods. At Winston-Salem Dental Group, we can ease your toothache pain.

The most prevalent causes of a toothache include infection, decay, injury, or loss of a tooth. Tooth pain can occur after a tooth has been extracted or following oral surgery. We can ascertain the source of your toothache, and in most cases can provide nearly immediate relief.

Of course, the best way to avoid toothache pain is to visit us every six months for a thorough checkup and cleaning, and to brush and floss your teeth at least twice day.

At the Winston-Salem Dental Group, we treat toothache pain on a regular basis. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next checkup and cleaning with us today.

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 

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