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Posts for tag: oral hygiene

By Kathleen M. Geipe, DDS, PA
August 21, 2018
Category: Oral Health

Everyone knows that in the game of football, quarterbacks are looked up to as team leaders. That's why we're so pleased to see some NFL QB's setting great examples of… wait for it… excellent oral hygiene.

First, at the 2016 season opener against the Broncos, Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers was spotted on the bench; in his hands was a strand of dental floss. In between plays, the 2105 MVP was observed giving his hard-to-reach tooth surfaces a good cleaning with the floss.

Later, Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor was seen on the sideline of a game against the 49ers — with a bottle of mouthwash. Taylor took a swig, swished it around his mouth for a minute, and spit it out. Was he trying to make his breath fresher in the huddle when he called out plays?

Maybe… but in fact, a good mouthrinse can be much more than a short-lived breath freshener.

Cosmetic rinses can leave your breath with a minty taste or pleasant smell — but the sensation is only temporary. And while there's nothing wrong with having good-smelling breath, using a cosmetic mouthwash doesn't improve your oral hygiene — in fact, it can actually mask odors that may indicate a problem, such as tooth decay or gum disease.

Using a therapeutic mouthrinse, however, can actually enhance your oral health. Many commonly available therapeutic rinses contain anti-cariogenic (cavity-fighting) ingredients, such as fluoride; these can help prevent tooth decay and cavity formation by strengthening tooth enamel. Others contain antibacterial ingredients; these can help control the harmful oral bacteria found in plaque — the sticky film that can build up on your teeth in between cleanings. Some antibacterial mouthrinses are available over-the-counter, while others are prescription-only. When used along with brushing and flossing, they can reduce gum disease (gingivitis) and promote good oral health.

So why did Taylor rinse? His coach Rex Ryan later explained that he was cleaning out his mouth after a hard hit, which may have caused some bleeding. Ryan also noted, “He [Taylor] does have the best smelling breath in the league for any quarterback.” The coach didn't explain how he knows that — but never mind. The takeaway is that a cosmetic rinse may be OK for a quick fix — but when it comes to good oral hygiene, using a therapeutic mouthrinse as a part of your daily routine (along with flossing and brushing) can really step up your game.

If you would like more information about mouthrinses and oral hygiene, contact us or schedule a consultation.

By Kathleen M. Geipe, DDS, PA
December 21, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene   oral health  

Laying out goals for the New Year is a great way to inspire yourself to make positive changes that can improve your health. For example, many habits—both good and bad—affect the health of your teeth and gums. Here’s a list of risky habits to kick, and mouth-healthy habits to adopt:

Habits That Risk Oral Health

Smoking. As if oral cancer weren’t enough to worry about, smoking also promotes gum disease and tooth loss. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, smokers have double the risk of gum disease compared to nonsmokers. And according to the Academy of General Dentistry, smokers are about twice as likely to lose their teeth as nonsmokers. For help quitting, visit

Snacking. Nibbling all day can create the perfect conditions for tooth decay—especially if your snacks contain sugar and other carbohydrates. Sticky snacks like cookies, crackers, chips and candy bars that cling to teeth tend to remain in the mouth and attract decay-causing oral bacteria. The acid these bacteria produce can penetrate the enamel of your teeth, causing cavities.

Soft Drinks. Speaking of tooth-eroding acid, soft drinks have plenty of it. And this includes both regular and diet varieties of soda, sweetened iced tea, sports drinks and so-called energy drinks. The healthiest drink for your teeth is water!

Mouth-Healthy Habits

Brushing. You probably brush your teeth every day already, but are you doing it correctly? To get the most benefit from this healthy habit, brush twice each day for a full two minutes each time. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush with toothpaste that contains fluoride, and don’t scrub too harshly!

Flossing. Yes, it’s worth the effort! If you don’t floss, you’ll miss cleaning about 40% of your tooth surfaces. A toothbrush just can’t reach in between teeth, where decay-causing dental plaque can hide. If you find dental floss difficult to work with, try using disposable floss holders.

Regular Dental Checkups. Keep up a regular schedule of professional teeth cleanings and exams! This allows us to remove any hardened dental plaque (tartar) that has built up on your teeth, screen you for oral cancer, and treat minor dental problems before they become major ones. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to review your at-home oral hygiene.

If you have any questions about how to improve your oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “10 Tips for Daily Oral Care at Home” and “10 Tips to Help You Stop Smoking.”

November 22, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

Good oral hygiene is the key to preventing tooth decay and gum disease, yet far too many of us don't spend enough time flossing or oral hygienebrushing. Thirty percent of Americans don't brush twice a day and only 40 percent are daily flossers, according to a 2014 Delta Dental survey. Our Salisbury, MD, dentist, Dr. Kathleen Geipe, shares a few guidelines that will help you improve your oral hygiene.

Don't be in a hurry

Cleaning every millimeter of your teeth is important if you want to completely remove plaque, the sticky film that causes cavities. Unfortunately, some plaque remains behind if you don't spend enough time brushing your teeth. Plan to devote at least two minutes to brushing.

Set a flossing reminder

Although you're probably a regular brusher, you may not always remember to floss. Flossing is the only way to remove plaque from the areas between your teeth. Your risk of both tooth decay and gum disease will rise if you don't remove plaque from these areas. If you tend to forget to floss, set a reminder on your phone or put a note by your bathroom sink to help you ensure that you don't neglect this important oral hygiene task.

Choose the right toothbrush

Medium toothbrushes don't clean your teeth any better than soft ones and may actually damage your tooth enamel. When you shop for a toothbrush in a Saginaw store, make sure the toothbrush package you buy is marked "soft."

Replace your brush often

Throw away your toothbrush at least every three months. If the bristles are frayed, replace it even sooner. Failing to replace your toothbrush often enough can erode your tooth enamel and damage your gums.

Read labels

Most toothpastes contain fluoride, an ingredient that remineralizes weakened tooth enamel and helps prevent cavities. If you're not sure if your toothpaste does, look for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal. Every toothpaste that has received the seal contains fluoride. If you use mouthwash, choose a product that contains fluoride and offers anti-cavity or anti-bacterial protection.

Good oral hygiene habits, in addition to regular dental visits, will help you protect your smile. Call our Salisbury, MD, dentist, Dr. Geipe, at (410) 543-0599 to schedule your next appointment.

By Kathleen M. Geipe, DDS, PA
April 24, 2017
Category: Oral Health

When is the best time to floss your teeth: Morning? Bedtime? How about: whenever and wherever the moment feels right?

For Cam Newton, award-winning NFL quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, the answer is clearly the latter. During the third quarter of the 2016 season-opener between his team and the Denver Broncos, TV cameras focused on Newton as he sat on the bench. The 2015 MVP was clearly seen stretching a string of dental floss between his index fingers and taking care of some dental hygiene business… and thereby creating a minor storm on the internet.

Inappropriate? We don't think so. As dentists, we're always happy when someone comes along to remind people how important it is to floss. And when that person has a million-dollar smile like Cam Newton's — so much the better.

Of course, there has been a lot of discussion lately about flossing. News outlets have gleefully reported that there's a lack of hard evidence at present to show that flossing is effective. But we would like to point out that, as the saying goes, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” There are a number of reasons why health care organizations like the American Dental Association (ADA) still firmly recommend daily flossing. Here are a few:

  • It's well established that when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth, tooth decay and gum disease are bound to follow.
  • A tooth brush does a good job of cleaning most tooth surfaces, but it can't reach into spaces between teeth.
  • Cleaning between teeth (interdental cleaning) has been shown to remove plaque and food debris from these hard-to-reach spaces.
  • Dental floss isn't the only method for interdental cleaning… but it is recognized by dentists as the best way, and is an excellent method for doing this at home — or anywhere else!

Whether you use dental floss or another type of interdental cleaner is up to you. But the ADA stands by its recommendations for maintaining good oral health: Brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste; visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups; and clean between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner like floss. It doesn't matter if you do it in your own home, or on the sidelines of an NFL game… as long as you do it!

If you would like more information about flossing and oral hygiene, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

April 10, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

Find out why flossing is a crucial part of your oral care routine.flossing

Do you floss? If you said yes, do you floss every day? If flossing isn’t a normal part of your daily life, it might be time to reexamine your oral health routine and incorporate flossing into the mix. “Why?” you might be wondering. Our Salisbury, MD, dentist, Dr. Kathleen Geipe, is here to offer up some very important reasons why you might just want to pick up that floss each and every day.

Prevent Periodontal Disease

Gum disease is becoming more and more commonplace. It’s also one of the most common reasons for tooth loss in adults. Once you have gum disease you have it for life. This condition occurs when plaque builds up on teeth and around the gumline and then hardens into tartar. This can irritate the gums and lead to inflammation. If gum disease is ignored it can eventually lead to jawbone and tooth loss. By flossing once a day you can remove plaque from between teeth before it hardens into tartar.

Ward Off Cavities

No one wants to deal with cavities; however, brushing alone won’t be able to get into those crevices between teeth. Only floss will effectively be able to remove plaque from teeth in a way that brushing can’t. To prevent cavities from forming between teeth you need to be flossing at least once a day, preferably in the evening before bed.

Say Goodbye to Bad Breath

If food and plaque are allowed to hang out between your teeth and aren’t removed you can only imagine how unpleasant that can get. This is actually one of the main reasons people battle serious bad breath (also known as halitosis). If you want to fend off bad breath flossing is a great way to do it.

If you have questions about how to incorporate flossing into your routine or if you just need a little refresher course, our Dr. Geipe is here to help. Call our Salisbury, MD, dental office today to schedule your cleaning or to learn more.