Humans have been treating their mouth related ailments for at least 10,000 years. Some of the earliest evidence of direct intervention of caries includes bow drills and accompanying dental abrasions in the archaeological catalog of the Indus Valley Civilizations dating back to 7,000 BC. Early forms of the toothbrush have been attributed to Chinese civilization back in 3,000 BC. Surely, pieces of string have been used to remove detritus from people’s teeth for as long as string has been around. But invention of modern dental floss occurred much more recently in 1815 by New Orleans dentist Levi Spear Parmly. In his book A Practical Guide to the Management of the Teeth, Parmly described a waxed string he developed to be used as a device to remove harmful debris from between the teeth and gum line as a way to prevent oral disease. It is a simple concept and application, but since its initial inception dental floss has undergone numerous transformations over the years.
Levi Parmly’s promotion of his dental floss caused it to become widely accepted across the field of dentistry. But it took nearly 70 years for it to reach the homes of the everyday consumer. That’s when in 1882 Codman and Shurtlefelt started marketing the first mass available, non-waxed silk string floss. From there it was only a matter of time before dental floss would become the staple of your daily oral care routine it is today.
The silk-based floss remained relatively unchanged until the 1940s and 50s. Dr. Charles C Bass created a floss using nylon instead of silk, for its better elasticity and less fraying. Within the same decade, dental tape came onto the scene offering a more comfortable feel between users’ teeth and greater tooth surface area covered.
Over the years, companies have developed floss and flossing technologies more and more to help accommodate an activity many people agree is not their favorite part of the day. Floss today comes in many variations including waxed and unwaxed, mono- and multi-filaments, threaded and tape styles, various thicknesses, and picks and wands for easier handling. The latest trend that is truly changing the game of cleaning between teeth is the interdental brush. Very thin brushes used to get between teeth are shown to be more efficient at removing plaque than their flossing string counterparts.
Of course, no discussion of reaching tight places between teeth and along gum lines would be complete without mentioning Doctor Plotka’s antimicrobial toothbrushes with flossing bristles! The technology has come full circle where you now have a toothbrush with the unique ability to reach deep between teeth and into grooves to provide a superior cleaning experience. Our brushes are not designed to replace flossing but are the perfect complement, and fill-in where flossing and brushing with the traditional tools fall short.
Besides hurtful words that can make your heart bleed,
Or warm kisses that make its wounds heal,
Did you know that mouth and heart are closely linked?
In fact, periodontal disease and heart disease are intertwined.
I might be a -bad- Poet and certainly no Doctor, but I work in the dental field, read the news and keep myself fairly informed, and it is no news that oral care is linked to diseases and health issues, such as diabetes, Alzheimers, and even breast cancer, just to name a few.
Studies have shown a direct link between the frequency and length of brushing as well as flossing and the risk of having a heart attack, failure or stroke. And it is for this reason patients with gum disease cannot undergo brain surgeries!
This is how I explain it with my bad-Poet-no-Doctor words:
- Some bad bacteria live in the mouth.
And those are not simply linked to badmouth.
- If not eliminated by proper oral care, they harden into dental plaque.
Almost as hard but definitely not as pretty as your Shellac ;)
- Plaque is in direct contact with the gum.
And here begins all the fun…
- Gum are tissues with tons of blood vessels, that connect to more blood vessels…
That’s why they should be treated like little Angels…
- Vessels transport blood to and from the Heart.
- The Heart pumps bacteria-filled blood.
Now I’m gonna throw-up.
- Bacteria cause blood clots, leading to hear attack or stroke.
And don’t pretend you are choked.
=> AVOIDABLE WITH GOOD ORAL HEALTH!
Alright, the last one is a bit dramatic, but I wish more people would understand and take seriously the impact of poor oral care on their heart. In conclusion: <3 Happy Teeth , Happy Heart <3
The holidays are just around the corner, which is crazy! Time seems to fly as soon as October ends, and then it’s a mad dash to the end of the year.
I don’t know about you, but I no longer live near home—I’m about 2.5 hours north of where my parents live—so the holiday season means traveling back and forth throughout the next few weeks. Since traveling can be a pain (+ we often have our brains scrambled/occupied by so many other things), I’ve compiled a list of my Top 5 essentials for traveling this time of year! I hope this list is helpful (and keeps you from forgetting any important things while packing!)
I am very low maintenance with my hair, but a hair brush is still essential! No matter what kind of hair you have, it’s important to get all snags and tangles out a couple times per day, plus it’s good for your scalp to brush your hair, as the contact of the bristles encourages circulation! I don’t like packing heavy when I travel, so a must-have for me is the Wet Brush Foldable Hair Brush.
Travel (for me) means lots of driving, and my feet can get sore from the hours spent on the road—not to mention that the holiday season here in New England means brisk, chilly weather! A comfortable and warm pair of socks is a necessity for me. My favorite ones are Bombas! They support your arches and also give pairs to those in need when you purchase.
I’m a skincare junkie! I often have breakouts, plus when the cold weather rolls around your skin can get dry so easily. When I’m tuckered out from travel I don’t always want to go through a whole extensive skincare regime, so having a quick, easy, and portable option helps a bunch. I’ve been loving the Neogen Real Cica Pads—They have a smooth side and a more exfoliating side, so you can really get a good clean/scrub if you’ve decided to slack on cleansing, etc and just want to get to bed.
Traveling is no excuse for slacking on dental hygiene! During the holiday season, people are always taking pictures, so you want your smile to be in tip top shape. I always make sure that I have my Dr. Plotka’s travel toothbrush!!! The flossing bristles make sure every spot gets a thorough clean, and the antimicrobial properties of the brush are even more necessary during travel—I can rest assured knowing that my toothbrush is clean and bacteria-free even after bouncing from my travel bag to various bathrooms/hotels back to home. I never travel without it!
Most folks associate neck pillows with traveling on airplanes, but when you drive (or maintain any posture) for a long amount of time it can strain your neck! When I drive I have a very “forward” posture, so once I’ve arrived at my destination, relaxing with a good neck pillow really helps to ease the muscles and get everything back into position. My favorite neck pillow is memory foam!
I hope this list was informative and helps you piece together your packing list for wherever the holiday traveling season may take you!
Gum disease is caused by bacteria found in plaque and tartar. Plaque is mostly made up of bacteria, mucus, food, and other particles. When it’s not removed, it hardens into tartar, giving the bacteria a home.
Gum disease has 3 stages:
Symptoms of periodontal disease:
The following risks put a person at more risk for developing gum disease:
How to Avoid Gum Disease:
Having good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing twice a day) can help prevent gum infections, cavities, and tooth loss. Also having your teeth cleaned and checked by a dentist or dental hygienist at least once a year is important.
To brush correctly:
Floss like you care!
Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles stuck between your teeth and under your gums
Your teeth and your gums will thank you once you get into the habit of good oral hygiene. Do everything in your power to preserve that great smile!
I have a confession to make......before joining MouthWatchers, I wasn't taking very good care of my teeth. 😬
I slacked off on oral care during college when my course load was crazy, and those bad habits unfortunately carried over, leading to the development of something nobody likes having or getting treated: cavities.
After working at MouthWatchers for a bit, I knew I had to get in for a dentist appointment...I hadn't seen a dentist since high school, so probably at least 6 or 7 years had passed (horrible, I know! 😬). I knew if I didn't get back on track with my oral health it would be contradictory to my work! So I scheduled a dentist appointment, grinned & bared it through fillings, and started my new, tooth-conscious lifestyle.
One thing I learned about at the dentist that I wasn't aware of before is the concept of remineralizing teeth! This process, simply put, is using various products/practices to encourage the strengthening/restoration of enamel, which can help remedy soft spots (areas of weakening enamel that are threatening to become a full-blown cavity) as well as strengthen tooth enamel all throughout the mouth, helping to prevent development of any further tooth decay. I learned at the dentist that I had 1 soft spot, and it was deemed fixable/not needing a filling....yet. So I began working on changes in my oral care to remineralize the tooth/strengthen my teeth overall. Here are some of the steps I took:
I know that fluoridation can be a controversial subject (should it be in water, should it not, should we be using it in oral care or not, etc), but when it comes to weakening of tooth enamel (known as demineralization), fluoride is essential. It helps to strengthen/build up enamel, which, over time, can fill in soft spots/prevent further tooth decay. I've been using a spearmint fluoride toothpaste by Spry; it tastes great and I can rest assured that I'm incorporating remineralizing ingredients into my oral care regime.
I have to admit, I am not the best flosser (I went a long time not flossing at all which I'm sure at least partly contributed to the formation of cavities), so this step is one I still struggle with. When I'm getting ready to go to bed, it's already far past my bedtime (any other night-owls out there?), so any and every task before my head hits the pillow feels extra tedious. However, having seen the repercussions to not flossing, and not particularly wanting to get more fillings in my future, I am doing my best to floss each night before I go to bed. Flossing before you sleep is a good time to do it, because otherwise any food debris that is stuck in your teeth/can't be removed by simply brushing will sit there overnight (not good). I've been using this floss by Reach; It can slide in between teeth fairly well since it's waxed, and the mint coating/flavor leaves a pleasant taste after use. Since I'm still working on my flossing technique, I'm ever-thankful for my Dr. Plotka's toothbrush with flossing bristles! I have been using the Youth Yellow recently, as it can reach my back molars really well.
Another easy way to prevent tooth decay/remineralize your teeth is using a fluoride rinse as well. Although you may be thinking "Meg, I brushed with a fluoride toothpaste already, isn't this overkill?", hear me out! A rinse coats the teeth and stays there, while toothpaste is mostly removed from the teeth after brushing. using this extra layer of minerals can just act as an extra boost to strengthening weaker teeth, and upping overall defenses for the rest of your smile. I've been using a restoring rinse from ACT. I like that it doesn't have much of that 'burn' sensation other rinses do, meaning I can swish for the full minute I'm supposed to without wincing in pain.
Drinking enough water is essential! Dry mouth isn't good for teeth. Make sure that you get enough water each day; not only does it benefit your skin/body, but it promotes healthier teeth too!
I hope this baby lesson on remineralization was helpful for some of you! Long story short: Use fluoride to strengthen, floss to remove stuck debris, and don't get lazy!
Have a great day,
We all know we need to brush & floss well in order to maintain a healthy smile! Unfortunately, that fact doesn’t make keeping up with oral care any easier. Especially during the summer months, when the days are longer and we feel lazier and chilled out, our dental care can easily slip from the forefront of our minds.
I have devised a few simple habits and tricks to help keep on top of your dental care:
Everyone has heard that they should brush their teeth for 2 minutes, but in our fast-paced world, 2 minutes seems like a lot of time to spend brushing away! In order to make sure I brush (AND FLOSS!) sufficiently each day, I either listen to music/podcasts I enjoy, or watch some youtube videos while I work on my dental care. This keeps me entertained, and I end up being more thorough in my brushing and flossing when there’s something entertaining me in my periphery.
I’m not the best at flossing regularly, so being intentional and strategic about what I use/when I use it can help me do a better job vs. just hap-hazardly trying to keep my teeth in good shape.
For example, using our Dr. Plotka’s brushes with flossing bristles helps to sweep away much more plaque than brushes I previously used, so when it comes to flossing, I have less work to do!
Another good trick is to actually floss BEFORE you brush. Sometimes, once you’ve brushed your teeth, they already “feel clean” so you can’t be bothered to floss. By flossing first, you’ve dislodged some plaque but don’t yet have that “squeaky clean” feeling, so you brush afterwards as well.
Summertime is notorious for icecream, lemonade, and all kinds of sweet treats. Whether it’s sugary sodas/drinks or funnel cake at a theme park, it’s always important to do your best to make sure sugar can’t linger on your teeth! Drinking lots of water not only helps your general health, but also helps to flush away the stuff you don’t want sitting on your teeth/creating plaque.
Since vacations/outings are more common during the summer months, make sure you have the necessary supplies to keep your teeth healthy while you’re out and about! I recommend keeping some floss or inter-dental brushes on you, as well as one of our nifty travel brushes! Keeping your teeth clean on the go means less work at the beginning and end of each day, and overall better oral health.
I hope this was helpful for you! Best of luck keeping your smile in tip-top shape during the lazy months. Now, off to have a nap in the shade…..