Monthly Archives: October 2017

How to Conserve Water When Brushing Your Teeth

Although the Earth is covered in water, only about one percent is clean enough for human consumption. That means that even a small reduction in the amount of water you use can be a significant contribution to global water conservation. It can also significantly decrease your water bill over time. Yet many people don’t know how to reduce their water usage during daily oral hygiene. Here are some easy ways to conserve.

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Turn Off the Faucet

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) states that leaving the water running while brushing your teeth wastes an average of four gallons. In a four-person household, where each person brushes twice each day, that’s 32 gallons of water just running down the drain every day, or more than 11,000 gallons per year! Since you don’t use any water between dampening your toothbrush and rinsing your mouth, what’s the point?

Use a Cup

Although rinsing with water from your hands is convenient, you lose a lot of water down the drain. Instead, turn on the tap, capture a little water in the cup, and turn the tap off. If you would like to conserve trees as well as water, choose a reusable cup instead of a stack of paper cups.

Recycle Water

Many people like to run the water for a few moments before brushing, to ensure that it is the right temperature. There’s nothing wrong with the initial water, it’s just not ideal for tooth brushing. So why not recycle it by letting it run into a bowl instead of down the drain. Use it for your pet’s water dish, your plants, or even later drinking?

Fix Leaks

You are a captive audience for the two minutes you spend brushing your teeth, so why not multi-task by checking for leaks. Make sure no water is escaping around the faucet or pipe connections. Even a tiny leak could waste hundreds of gallons in a year, so if you notice any small drips, have them repaired as soon as you can.

Change the Hardware

New water-conserving faucet heads use about 50% of the water per minute that older faucets use. Yet you will scarcely notice the difference. Making the switch is a win-win, as it will lower your water bill while helping with global water conservation.

Teach Your Kids to Conserve

It’s never too early to teach your kids to be responsible citizens of the Earth. Let them see you using good conservation habits, and watch over them as they learn to brush their teeth. With a bit of consistency, your kids will start to save water without thinking twice about it.

With only about one percent of the Earth’s water available for drinking, we should all do our part to help conserve it. Following these simple tips when brushing your teeth can save thousands of gallons of water throughout the year, helping the planet and lowering your water bill.

Married dentists Chad and Alexandra Schnabel welcome you to Savannah Dental Solutions. From caring children’s dentistry to high-tech cosmetic procedures and even full-mouth reconstruction, we blend the latest technology with traditional customer-oriented values. To start your journey to better oral health, call us today at (912) 354-1366.

How Often to Brush, Floss, and See the Dentist

Keeping your teeth clean is the best defense against tooth decay and gum disease. Regular dentist visits help to ensure that any emerging issues are caught early, before they have the chance to spread or worsen. Yet many people don’t know what schedule to follow. Here’s how often you should brush, floss, and see the dentist.

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Brushing

If possible, brush your teeth after every meal. If this is not practical, make sure you brush at least twice per day. Choose a soft-bristled brush that is comfortable for your mouth and hand, and spend a full 30 seconds on each quadrant of your mouth. People’s ability to gauge time is notoriously inaccurate, so consider setting an alarm or using an electric toothbrush with a timer.

Rinse your mouth following each meal and snack. Plain water is best, but unsweetened coffee or tea will do. You can also suck on hard candy or chew unsweetened gum to stimulate saliva production and clear out food debris.

Flossing

Floss your teeth once a day, whether with dental floss, a Waterpik, or an interdental cleaner. Work the floss gently between each pair of teeth and along the gum line. Be careful not to make sudden, sharp movements that could cause cuts. Your dentist will be happy to give a demonstration if you are unsure exactly how to floss.

Seeing the Dentist

Most healthy people will need to see the dentist twice per year. Your teeth will be professionally cleaned, removing tartar and plaque that are difficult to fully brush away, and your dentist will evaluate your oral health.

However, you may need to see the dentist more frequently. If you are at high risk for dental disease, your dentist may request that you come in more often. If you are undergoing any dental treatment, from braces to dental reconstruction, you will be scheduled for more frequent appointments until your treatment is complete. Always follow your dentist’s instructions.

Keeping your mouth clean and healthy is an ongoing process that requires an active commitment. Ask your dentist about anything that you find unclear, and always follow his or her recommendations. For most people, though, flossing once per day, brushing twice per day, and seeing the dentist twice per year will help to ensure a lifetime of oral health.

Married dentists Chad and Alexandra Schnabel welcome you to Savannah Dental Solutions. From caring children’s dentistry to high-tech cosmetic procedures and even full-mouth reconstruction, we blend the latest technology with traditional customer-oriented values. To start your journey to better oral health, call us today at (912) 354-1366.

Flossing Teeth: Why and How to Do It Right

If you’re typical, you probably brush your teeth at least twice a day (once in the morning and once before you go to bed.) You probably know you should be flossing your teeth regularly, too … but if you’re honest you’ll probably admit you don’t do it nearly as often as you should. In fact, statistics indicate that almost 80 percent of people fail to floss.

Flossing takes time. It can also be uncomfortable or even painful (which actually means you should be doing it more often.) If you understand exactly why dentists recommend flossing your teeth once a day and how to floss the right way, you’ll be more likely to fit this important step into your daily routine.

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Why Dentists Recommend You Floss Your Teeth Daily

Flossing is the term dentists use to refer to the act of cleaning between the surfaces of the teeth using dental floss. Dentists recommend that people floss their teeth regularly (in addition to brushing their teeth regularly) because flossing has repeatedly been shown to improve oral health and prevent cavities and gum disease. Brushing your teeth removes plaque and decay-causing material from the tooth surfaces the toothbrush bristles can reach.

Flossing removes plaque and decay-causing materials from the crevasses between the teeth that toothbrush bristles can’t reach. If these materials are not removed, they degrade and turn into microbes that cause cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.

Compelling Research Proves the Benefits of Flossing

For a study published in a 2008 issue of the Journal Periodontal, researchers at New York University studied 51 pairs of twins between the ages of 12 and 21 to assess the effects of flossing on oral health. Half of the twins participated in a regimen of tongue brushing and tooth brushing. The other half of the twins participated in a regimen of tongue brushing, tooth brushing, and flossing. Researchers collected samples from participants to assess how prevalent 26 plaque-causing microbe species were in the mouths of each participant before the study began and after the study ended.

The results were conclusive: the group that did not floss as part of its oral-hygiene regimen had “overabundant” amounts of cavity- and periodontal-disease causing microbes in their mouths. Researchers concluded that twins who flossed for 2 weeks reduced the amount of microbes associated with oral disease.

How to Floss Properly

Dentists agree and research backs up the fact that flossing is an important step in keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Why do so many people forego this step? One reason is that they’re flossing incorrectly, thus causing themselves pain and discomfort that leads them to eventually skip this important step altogether.

Choose the right type of dental floss. If your gums are sensitive, choose a waxed or single-filament floss that will slide easily between the teeth without shredding.

Choose the right amount of dental floss. Ideally, cut an 18-inch or so length of floss for each flossing session.

Employ proper flossing technique. Wind most of the dental floss around the middle fingers of each hand (divided equally between the left and the right hand). You should have about an inch or two left to work between your teeth.

Firmly grip the inch or two of floss between your thumbs and index fingers. Gently and slowly work it between teeth in a vertical motion. Curve the dental floss around the bottom of each tooth, gently slipping it beneath the gumline to lift out debris. As you move from one tooth to the next, release more floss from your middle fingers so each tooth segment uses a clean section of floss.

After you have gently and thoroughly flossed between all teeth, discard the dental floss. Gently rinse your mouth with lukewarm water, swish, and spit. This will remove any residual food particles and microbes from your mouth.

If you can’t floss, use a floss alternative. Life is unpredictable and busy, and there will definitely be times when it’s not convenient or possible to perform a “textbook floss.” In these situations, you can improvise.

  • • Flossing picks or sticks are not as effective as dental floss but are acceptable in a pinch.
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  • • Sugar-free gum chewed for 20 minutes after a meal will help dislodge decay and encourage saliva production.
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  • • Last but not least, swish water forcibly between your teeth to clear away food particles, then spit out the water.
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We’re all born with one set of permanent teeth. When they’re gone, they’re gone! Flossing regularly is one of the most effective ways to ensure the health of your teeth and gums, and ensure your natural pearly whites will last and serve you well as long as possible.

Married dentists Chad and Alexandra Schnabel welcome you to Savannah Dental Solutions. From caring children’s dentistry to high-tech cosmetic procedures and even full-mouth reconstruction, we blend the latest technology with traditional customer-oriented values. To start your journey to better oral health, call us today at (912) 354-1366.