Every Thursday, we discuss a new topic on our blog relating to oral health, dentistry innovation & overall public health care. Staying in the loop when it comes to our health is important, and we want our community to be a part of the conversation as much as possible!
Have a topic that you would like to see us touch on in the future? Send us a message on Facebook.
Thursday, March 12, 2020
Today's Topic: Proper Flossing Practices
It's Thursday! You know what that means...we are chatting about another hot topic on this sunny afternoon. We're diving right into a common & extremely important practice in the world of oral health: FLOSSING.
Yes, that's right, we're talking about flossing today - Why it's important, how it's done, and what you need to get the job done right.
It's understood by most that flossing is an integral part of your everyday oral hygiene routine. Every tooth in your mouth has five surfaces, with some of those being essentially inaccessible with just your toothbrush. Flossing helps to eliminate plaque buildup between your teeth, as well as in and around your very precious gum line. What can happen when you don't protect your gums from bacterial plaque build up? Recession, which can then lead to a periodontal condition, A.K.A Gum Disease. (1)
When we don't remove plaque from our teeth with brushing & flossing, it later turns to a hardened state known as calculus (A.K.A Tartar). This type of build up is only removeable by a Registered Dental Hygienist during a professional cleaning (2). The longer this type of build up in present in the mouth, the more uncomfortable it may become to have it removed due to the hardening over time. The best plan of action is to avoid this by brushing & flossing every day, and visiting your Registered Dental Hygienist for routine cleanings every 6-12 months.
So, you may be wondering how you can introduce or re-introduce flossing into your every day oral hygiene routine. There are a few ways you can do so:
Manual String Floss: There are a variety of different types of manual floss that you can purchase at your local drug store. This is also likely your cheapest option when it comes to taking care of your teeth & gums. You may even be able to get stocked up every time you come to the dentist. Discuss with your hygienist your needs and level of comfort, and he or she may be able to help you decide on which type to purchase. You may find options such as:
Unwaxed floss - Great for accessing tight space, but slightly more delicate.
Waxed floss - Great for gliding between teeth, but may not access tight spaces as successfully.
Dental tape - Reported to be more comfortable for some people, ideal for those with more space between their teeth.
Super floss - Intended for people with braces, dental
Check out this step-by-step guide by the Canadian Dental Association on how to properly use manual floss:
Floss Picks: For those who are less dexterous (children, elderly), or for on-the-go convenience, disposable floss picks can be very useful. That being said, this type of floss can be a less sustainable option as it produces more waste. If it's not necessary for you to use floss picks, or if it is not particularly recommended by your Dental Hygienist, perhaps consider using another type of floss.
When using disposable floss picks, move the handle so the the piece of floss curves around the tooth. Using a "C" shape motion, massage between the teeth, up & down a few times. Make sure to do so gently, yet efficiently (3).
Water Flosser: Looking for a more high-tech, and waste-free option for flossing? Purchasing a Water Flosser can be a great investment to your oral health and sustainability practices. The Water Flosser is a relatively newer tool on the market, but is recognized by Dentists and Registered Dental Hygienists globally as an effective way to optimize your oral health as well as to remove & prevent plaque build up. There have been various studies completed to prove that water flossing can also be effective in reducing bleeding of the gums during and after flossing takes place.
SIDE NOTE: Bleeding is normal when flossing practice is not common for you. It's typical that bleeding may occur the first few days of consistent flossing. If this bleeding persists beyond a few days, it's a good idea to see you dentist (2).
Curious how a water flosser works? A water resevoir feeds through a tube & jet tip to irrigate your gums and remove build up from your teeth. The tip should be placed in the mouth and moved up and down the gum line a few times. Water will collect in your mouth, so an ON/OFF button is present on the jet handle to allow for you to spit periodically. Most water flossers also have a pressure dial to allow you to adjust according to your comfort levels.
Want to check them out? Here is an affordable water flosser that is available on Amazon:
You may also find water flossers at your local drug store, or Walmart in the oral hygiene section.
It's important to note that even when you are diligent in brushing & flossing your teeth every day, twice a day or more, it's still a crucial part of your oral hygiene routine to see your Dental Hygienist, and Dentist every 6-12 months. This is the only way to be sure that you are maintaining a healthy mouth.
Want to book an appointment? Send us a booking request online ( or call us 902-566-4004.
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Thursday, March 3, 2020
Today's Topic: COVID-19 & Influenza
It's important to stay in the loop with current news, especially when it comes to our health! We want our community to be a part of the conversation, so every Thursday, we'll be sharing some information with you that is in the media relating to oral health, dentistry innovation and overall public healthcare.
This week, let's chat COVID-19 (Coronavirus). News about the virus has been a global, viral event since the beginning of 2020. As it stands, there have been no reported or confirmed cases in Prince Edward Island, and the risk for contracting the virus in PEI remains low (https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/…/coronavirus-covid-19-up…).
At this time, Islanders are more urgently at risk of contracting the well-known respiratory virus called Influenza (AKA, "The Flu"). It was reported last week that the seasonal total of lab-confirmed cases of Influenza in PEI is 153. But, it's important to note that most individuals who have The Flu are suspected to not seek medical attention, and therefore the number is likely much higher than stated in the report (https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/…/pei-weekly-influenza-su…).
Both viruses pose the greatest risk to individuals who have weakened immune systems, chronic illnesses, severe medical conditions, the elderly, babies & children, and pregnant women. Vaccination for The flu is recommended yearly, and those with a valid PEI health card can have this service for free. Vaccinations are available at most pharmacies, public health nursing clinics, and medical centers & doctors' offices in PEI.
So what can you do to protect yourself from these viruses? Here are some tips!
1. Wash your hands frequently, using soap and water.
2. Cough and sneeze into your arm, elbow, or a tissue (throw tissue away immediately).
3. Limit touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
4. Avoid sharing beverages and utensils.
5. Frequently clean and sanitize surfaces like taps, counter tops and doorknobs.
6. Stay home and away from others when you're feeling ill, especially when experiencing severe respiratory symptoms.
For more information on the Influenza Virus, and COVID-19 updates in Canada & Prince Edward Island, check out these resources below.
Where to get vaccinated for the flu (PEI):
Weekly Influenza summary report (PEI):
COVID-19 information (Canada):
COVID-19 updates (Canada):
COVID-19 case outcomes (Global):
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