Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Attack of the tartar!

Flossing, not the most engaging past time but important for healthy teeth and gums. The hardest part is being consistent with flossing. Even with the best intentions, many people fail to maintain a flossing routine. The Dental Practice encourages patients to floss at least once a day. It helps to prevent gingivitis and eventually periodontitis, the inflammation and infection of the ligaments and bones that support the teeth.

Periodontitis causes, incidence, and risk factors:

Periodontitis occurs when inflammation or infection of the gums (gingivitis) is untreated or treatment is delayed. Infection and inflammation spreads from the gums to the ligaments and bone that support the teeth. This causes teeth to become loose and eventually fall out. Periodontitis is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults. In 2003 30-60% of Europe’s adult population had medium to severe periodontitis! That’s a whole lot of people with missing teeth! This disorder is uncommon in childhood but increases during adolescence.

It’s important to start children on a routine early, making flossing habitual. The best way to start a routine is by making a plan. Making the routine easier for by combining flossing with a nightly routine can make it easier to remember. Put the floss out on the bathroom counter so it can be seen when doing other things. Writing it down in a daily diary or food diary can motivate on the basis of completing a target, just like drinking water every day.

Without flossing plaque and tartar accumulate at the base of the teeth. This causes inflammation forming a pocket between the gums and the teeth, that fills with plaque and tartar. Swelling soft tissue traps plaque in the pocket. Continued inflammation eventually causes destruction of the tissues and bone surrounding the tooth. Because plaque contains bacteria, infection is likely and a tooth abscess may also develop, which increases the rate of bone destruction.

Regular oral hygiene is the best means of prevention. This includes thorough teeth brushing and flossing, and regular professional dental cleaning. The prevention and treatment of gingivitis reduces the risk of development of periodontitis. A hygienist can help in understanding the best method of flossing and tell review progress in keeping teeth and gums healthy. Because honestly, would you rather have your teeth look like this:

Or like this:

Flossing every day helps keep teeth looking great and treatment is available for those who have gingivitis or periodontics. It is important to see the dentist regularly with these conditions to control and monitor health. To make an appointment at the dental practice call 08 8212 3247 or email reception@thedentalpractice.net.au.


Abraham C, Sheeran P, Johnston M (1998). From health beliefs to self-regulation: theoretical advances in the psychology of action control. Psychol Health 13:569-591.

Bader HI (1998). Floss or die: implications Dent Today 17:76-78, 80-82.

McCaul KD, Glasgow RG, O'Neill HK (1992). The problem of creating habits: establishing health-protective dental behaviors. Health Psychol 11:101-110.

Sniehotta F, Soares A, and Dombrowski S (2007) Randomized Controlled Trial of a One-minute Intervention Changing Oral Self-care Behavior. International and American Associations for Dental Research. 86(7):641-645

1 comment:

  1. of course I like the second picture better. the first one looks terrible and so scary.