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Posts for tag: Flossing

By Kimberly Chapman, D.D.S.
November 06, 2018

Find out how to properly care for your gums to prevent gum disease.

Woman FlossingWhen our Bothell, WA, family dentist, Dr. Kimberly Chapman, mentions the word “periodontal,” she is referring to the health of your gums. While most people pay close attention to how they are caring for their teeth, not as many people consider what they are doing to keep their gums healthy. Isn’t it time you did? To prevent gum disease, receding gums, and other problems, it is important that you know how to care for your gums.

Periodontal Health

Gum disease is more prevalent than you might think. In fact, the CDC reports that as many as half of all American adults have some degree of gum disease. Gum disease, like heart disease, is silent and mostly asymtpomatic until it is very severe. Gum disease doesn’t just cause infected, inflamed, and receding gums, it is also the leading cause of tooth loss. Fortunately, gum disease can be prevented or greatly diminished when the proper oral care measures are put in place both at home and in our professional practice.  Some habits to adopt for healthy gums include:

  • Brushing twice a day
  • Flossing daily (very important!)
  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet
  • Limiting sugars, carbohydrates, and starches
  • Drinking enough water
  • Not smoking or using chewing tobacco
  • Visiting your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings, or more if they are recommended for you.

These are the top habits to adopt if you want to keep gums healthy. Of course, if you are dealing with warning signs of gum disease such as bleeding gums when you brush or floss, it’s important to schedule an appointment with our Bothell, WA, family dentist as soon as possible. Some warning signs of gum disease include:

  • A receding gum line (teeth appear longer than usual)
  • Bleeding gums - if your hands bled in the sink every time you washed them, would you think that is healthy? It isn't healthy for gums to bleed either!
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling or inflamed gums
  • Chronic bad breath

Dealing with any of these issues? Then it’s best to play it safe and visit your dentist for a quick checkup to make sure that you aren’t dealing with gum disease. The good news is that if gum disease is caught early enough, it can be treated effectively.

Your Gum Health is Important to Your Overall Health

Not only do your gums influence the health of your teeth, but they affect your overall health. In fact, those with gum disease are actually at a higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, strokes, chronic respiratory disease, and other long-term and potentially serious health problems.

Are you noticing bleeding or gum tenderness when brushing or flossing? Do you need to schedule your next dental cleaning? Whatever the case might be, call Bothell family dentist, Dr. Kimberly Chapman, today to get the care you need for a healthier smile! (425) 488-6120.

By Kimberly Chapman, D.D.S.
May 04, 2017

Find out how your daily dental routine along with professional dental cleanings can help you maintain good oral health.

Benjamin Franklin once said that, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Our Bothell, WA, family dentist, Dr. Kimberly preventive careChapman, believes wholeheartedly that preventing dental problems is far better than having to treat issues in the future (and not to mention, it is far less expensive!)

Here’s what preventive dentistry entails and why it’s so important:

  • Brushing at least twice a day, and most importantly after the last food is eaten before bedtime,
  • Flossing once a day, with dental floss and not just floss picks,
  • Dental sealants for teeth with deep grooves,
  • Fluoride for people who are at increased risk for decay,
  • Visiting your dentist regularly - studies show people who have regular preventive care wind up needing less dental treatment in their lifetimes
  • Eating a healthy diet - A diet low in carbohydrates is associated with far fewer cavities. This includes minimizing your intake of breads, pastas, rice, chips, crackers, etc. It is not just candies, sodas and sweets that contribute to decay!

Want to remove plaque and food from your teeth and gumline? The easiest way to do this is by brushing. You should be brushing at least twice a day. If your toothbrush doesn’t offer an automatic timer, set a timer for two minutes to make sure you are brushing long enough. Most songs on the radio last about 2 minutes, so this can be a good timer as well.

Even though brushing cleans many of the tooth’s surfaces, it does NOT get in between teeth. Up to 40% of the surface areas of a tooth is not reached with a toothbrush. This is why flossing should always be part of your oral routine. The good news is that most people only have to floss once a day to keep teeth and gums healthy and clean. People with moderate to severe gum disease may need to floss twice a day, depending on the recommendations of their dentist.

Preventive Sealants
When you come in for your routine cleanings, our Bothell dentist will determine whether or not your smile could benefit from preventive sealants. Children, teens, and at-risk adults benefit from dental sealants, which can seal out plaque, bacteria and food from molars to prevent cavities. Why wait until there is a cavity, when you can prevent one? Again, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

Routine Visits
While daily at-home care is important, nothing replaces visiting us every six months. Professional cleanings are able to remove decay, plaque and tartar that patients cannot access by themselves. Exams with Dr. Kimberly Chapman will reveal early signs of decay, gum disease or infection, and x-rays can pinpoint potential problems that we may not be able to see through a physical exam alone.

What you eat also impacts your oral health. A good rule of thumb: If the foods you consume are healthy and nourishing for your body they will most likely be beneficial for your smile. Stay away from carbs, sugars (both simple sugars and processed sugars), and instead load up on whole grains, lean sources of protein, healthy fats, and fruits, nuts, and vegetables.

* * Remember : a human tooth submerged in a glass of almost any carbonated soft drink will dissolve into nothing within 24-48 hours!  Dr. Chapman recommends limiting your carbonated beverage intake to 2-3 beverages per week or less. Plain water (with cucumber or mint for those who need some flavor) is the best option for good oral health, and total body health. * * 

The list above is a good reminder that even those who brush and floss regularly and maintain good oral hygiene on their own still need to visit our Bothell, WA, general dentist Dr. Kimberly Chapman to make sure that there are no issues. Most dental disease is silent, and by the time people feel symptoms it may be too late. 

Let us help you get that ounce of prevention!