Frequently Asked Questions
Floss is cheap, so don't be stingy! Tear off about a forearm's length to start. Wrap one end around the middle finger of one hand to 'anchor' it and pick up the other end about 4-6 inches away with the middle finger of the other hand. This allows you to manipulate the floss with your thumb and fore finger. As you soil a section of floss, 'reel' in another 4-6 inches of clean floss with the anchor finger as you release the floss with the other finger. Never shoe-shine the teeth in a back-and-forth motion as you will either notch your teeth and/or cut your gums.
For most people, a complete radiographic survey should be done every 3 years, and a 'check up' or 'recall' set every 6 to 12 months. A complete set of x-rays is estimated to expose you to the same amount of radiation you get on a flight from San Francisco to Seattle. Doctors use x-rays as an aid in diagnosing problems. Without x-rays 'seeing' the problem will be difficult if not impossible.
Cavities generally develop in the hard-to-see places in your mouth. These are normally the places where you need to floss. When bacteria combine with food particles, they form plaque that adheres to your teeth. The bacteria, once fed with sugars, will secrete an acid and begin eroding the enamel. Once through the enamel, the acid attacks the dentin, which is that part of the tooth containing sensitive nerve fibers. If the tooth decay reaches the dentin, a filling is needed to halt the degenerative process. Otherwise, it continues at an accelerated rate becoming larger and larger. If not detected and repaired with a filling, the decay can reach the tooth nerve and cause the need for a root canal. With the decay removed and a filling in place the tooth is restored to its original contour.