History of Dental Floss

Throughout history, people have used various implements – including pointed sticks – for cleaning between their teeth. One of the hardest places to reach – and virtually impossible using only a toothbrush – interdental cleaning is an important part of overall dental health.

Dental FlossNowadays, we have a cleaning tool perfect for interdental cleaning – dental floss. Dental floss is a cord of thin filaments used to remove food and dental plaque from between teeth in areas where a toothbrush cannot reach. Floss comes in a variety of colors, textures and even flavors.

So how did we go from pointed sticks to dental floss? Here's a brief history.

Levi Spear Parmly, a New Orleans dentist, is credited with the invention of dental floss as we know it today, according to a history compiled by OralB. In 1815, Parmly began using and advising his patients to use a thin silk thread to clean between the teeth.

The concept grew over the years, and more than half a century later, Codman and Shurtleft Co. based in Randolph, Massachusetts, began marketing an unwaxed silk dental floss in 1882. Johnson & Johnson followed in 1896, taking out a patent in 1898 for dental floss made from the same silk material used by doctors for silk stiches.

In the 1940s, nylon, with its consistent texture and resistance to shredding, replaced silk as the preferred dental floss material. Waxed floss in the ‘40s and dental tape in the ‘50s developed as a result of using nylon as well.

The variety of dental floss today includes newer materials like Gore-Tex and different textures that range from spongy to soft. Floss also includes stiffened ends now as a way to help with flossing around braces or other dental appliances.

A key factor in maintaining oral health, floss reaches between the teeth to get rid of plaque and to reduce the risk of dental diseases such as gingivitis. Along with brushing twice per day and regular use of mouthwash, flossing concludes the ultimate trifecta in a healthy dental routine.

Of course, no dental regimen is complete without regular visits to your dentist. To schedule your next appointment with Brockport Dental, call us today at 585-589-0000 or request an appointment online now.

Lost a Tooth? Here Are the Steps to Take

To most people, having a tooth knocked out can seem like a really scary ordeal. Not only do you have to deal with the pain of the injury, but you also have to go through dental surgery to have a fake tooth implanted. Well, contrary to popular belief, having a tooth knocked out may not actually be as bad as you might think, and you may even be able to save your tooth­ – but you have to be prepared to act quickly to care for the tooth when the injury occurs.

Teeth are knocked out fairly frequently, especially in the colder months with popular winter sports such as skiing and ice hockey and more dangerous walking and driving conditions. In fact, more than 5 million teeth are knocked out per year. That’s a lot of teeth!

So, if you ever have a tooth knocked out, the first thing you need to do is find the tooth and handle it by the crown only – the part of the tooth that you bite with. If you touch the root of the tooth, you run the risk of causing permanent damage to the tooth.

If the tooth is dirty, you can rinse it gently with your own saliva or whole milk. If neither of those are feasible options, you can rinse it very gently with water, but saliva or milk are the preferred options to get rid of any grime.

The next step is to get to a dentist – immediately. The longer you wait, the more unlikely it is that your tooth can be successfully re-implanted. During transport, if you can, you can place the tooth back in the socket gently, and bite down on gauze or a tea bag to keep the tooth in place. If the tooth can’t fit back into the socket, you can keep the tooth in your mouth, either under your tongue or between your lower lip and gums. You can also transport the tooth in a container, as long as it is covered with a small amount of saliva or whole milk. The key is to keep the tooth moist at all times, as once it dries out, the tooth won’t be viable for re-implantation.

Consider adding one of these Save-a-Tooth containers to your home’s first aid kit or adding one to your roadside emergency bag. These containers are an ADA Seal of Acceptance product, meaning that they have been reviewed and approved by the agency’s Council on Scientific Affairs as a means of safely transporting your tooth.

The most important thing to remember if you ever lose a tooth is to stay calm and follow these steps. If you act quickly, your tooth can be successfully re-implanted and last you for many more years to come. In the meantime, don’t forget to wear your mouth guard when you’re playing sports and watch out for black ice on sidewalks and roadways!

Of course, dental care is more than just emergencies like lost teeth – it’s also routine cleanings and preventative care to keep cavities from forming and identifying any potential issues early before they become serious problems. Don’t forget to schedule your next appointment with the team at Brockport Dental. Call us today at 585-589-0000 or request an appointment online now to schedule your next visit!

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Are you unhappy with your smile or looking to get rid of your dentures? Are you ready for a sustainable solution to missing teeth? After speaking with your dentist, you may decide to get dental implants.

Dental ImplantsDental implants are natural-looking artificial roots and teeth that are surgically embedded into the jaw. Implants are an excellent option when you are looking for a more permanent solution to missing teeth or using dentures, and can also even be used to reduce joint pain or restore your confident smile. Dental implants are a stable and strong choice when you are looking for a long-lasting solution.

Unlike dentures or other daily-wear options, you need to brush and floss dental implants regularly just like you would with natural teeth to avoid gum disease and other problems which could result in an implantation failure. Dental implants will last for years when properly cared for, but still may require occasional re-tightening due to normal wear.

If you keep a proper dental hygiene regimen and maintain check-ups with your dentist, your dental implants can last a lifetime, unlike crowns which don’t tend to last beyond 15 years. Although implants in the back of the mouth, which receive more wear, do tend to need replacement more often than those near the front.

Dental implants have become the norm in tooth-replacement. More reliable than dentures and dental bridges, dental implants provide excellent support and don’t decay. Plus, you will be able to chew without slipping and won’t feel pressure on your teeth!

Due to the advancement of dental implants, failures and rejections are rare and most problems occur due to preexisting medical conditions. Consult with one of our friendly and professional dentists at Brockport Dental to see if dental implants are right for you. Call us at 585-589-0000 or request an appointment online now.

Canines and Molars and Incisors – Oh My!

Your teeth carry a lot of clout. Whether being featured in a dazzling smile, working hard to chew food or playing a pivotal part in good speech, healthy teeth are vital. Each type of tooth in your mouth has a different role, but all need to be taken care of with proper professional dental care to function their best. Here’s a look at the specialized functions of each of your different type of teeth.

Types of TeethIncisors

The eight teeth at the very front of your mouth (four on top, four on the bottom) are called incisors. You may notice that their name is similar to the word “scissors,” which is appropriate as these teeth work like scissors, cutting through food with their thin edges – imagine biting into an apple, for example. This group of teeth also takes a prominent role in your smile as well, as the front and center teeth.


Surrounding the incisors are the cuspids, better known as the canines. These are the four sharp teeth that are located at each side of the upper and lower sets of incisors. Known as the “cornerstones of the mouth,” each member of this group of teeth is located as the third tooth away from the midline of the mouth. Whereas incisors slice through food like a blade, canines rip and tear food apart with a sharp pointed edge.


This is the category of teeth that only appears as part of the permanent, or adult, set of teeth. Two premolars, also known as bicuspids, sit next to each of the canines in both the upper and lower jaw. They are used primarily for holding, chewing and crushing food.


Of all the types of teeth in your mouth, molars are the main chewers and grinders. Most adults will have two sets of molars in each of the four back corners of the mouth. Some people also develop one or more third molars, more commonly known as wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth often need to be surgically removed because they cause crowding of the molars and teeth located further forward in the mouth, which disrupts the overall alignment of a person’s bite.

Brushing and flossing your teeth at home is a good start, but it is not enough. Professional dental exams, cleanings and X-rays can detect and help prevent problems that can threaten the appearance and functioning of your teeth. Make sure to schedule your next appointment to keep your mouth and your smile looking and feeling great. Call Brockport Dental in Albion today at 585-589-0000 to learn more or schedule an appointment online now.

Electric Toothbrushes – Are They Really Better?

Electric Toothbrush Brushing is an integral part of keeping your teeth and mouth healthy. From childhood, our parents and dentists instill upon us the importance of regularly brushing to keep plaque, bacteria and diseases at bay. However, in the past few decades, a new technology has become more popular – electric toothbrushes.

Many people ask whether these brushes are better than the traditional toothbrush. It turns out that better technology truly does provide an improved experience when it comes to dental health. According to studies that have been published in leading dental journals, electronic toothbrushes have been shown to be more effective at the prevention of gingivitis and removal of plaque, notes Go Ask Alice, a health questions resource provided by Columbia University.

The American Dental Association also suggests that electronic toothbrushes may be a smarter option for certain users. Children may find using an electric brush is more fun and appealing than a traditional brush, while people with mobility issues or other movement concerns that can make brushing difficult may benefit from using an electric option.

There are two main varieties of electronic toothbrushes available. The first, electric toothbrushes, are generally capable of making 3,000 to 7,500 brushing motions each minute says Go Ask Alice. The second – and newer – option is sonic toothbrushes, which use sound waves to help break up plaque. The brushing equivalent is much higher on these models – as many as 40,000 strokes per minute – making them capable of providing the most thorough clean possible.

Whichever option you choose, the most important part of brushing is ensuring that you do it. Selecting a brush that you’re comfortable with using and keeping to a regular schedule of brushing is the best way to help keep your teeth clean and healthy between visits to your dentist.

For more information on brushing tips or help selecting the best brush for you, talk to your dentist. Call Brockport Dental today at 585-589-0000 or schedule your next appointment online now.

Research Finds Link Between Oral Health and Heart Disease

Scientists and researchers have performed numerous studies that have indicated that there might be a link between poor gum health and higher risk of cardiovascular disease in patients. Scientists have a few different theories as to why these two diseases might be linked.

The first theory states that oral health is a good indication of overall health; if a patient takes care of his or her teeth by brushing and flossing regularly, then chances are, he or she is exercising and eating right, doing all the right things to prevent heart disease.

Other researchers believe that the bacteria that live in infected gums can move from the gums into the bloodstream, which could ultimately cause problems in blood vessels by contributing to clot formation. Clots decrease blood flow to the heart, which causes higher blood pressure, leading to increased risk of heart attack.

In a recent study performed by Uppsala University in Sweden, scientists and researchers confirmed a link between poor oral health and heart disease. The study surveyed almost 16,000 people from 39 countries who were known to have heart disease for a period of four years. At the conclusion of the study, scientists and researchers concluded that the fewer teeth a person had, the more likely they were to suffer from a fatal heart attack or stroke.

Gum disease affects 80% of Americans, and oftentimes, the condition goes undiagnosed. If your family has a history of heart disease, make sure you take especially good care of your teeth and gums.

Why Candy is Bad for Your Teeth

tooth decayWith Halloween on the horizon, it's a good a time as any to discuss the effects candy and sugary snacks can have on your gums and teeth. The most important thing to remember is that a little bit of candy is fine in moderation, but over time eating even a moderate amount of candy can result in a number of dental issues.

Did you know that your mouth contains bacteria called streptococcus? When most people hear the word bacteria, they think of something bad that can make you sick. Fortunately, our bodies contain a number of different types of good bacteria that actively work to keep us healthy. Streptococcus is one of these types, and it can actually feed on the sugar from candy you put in your mouth.

When streptococcus feeds on sugar, it actually breaks the sugar down, turning it into a type of acid that is harmful to the enamel on your teeth. The longer sugar is in your mouth, the more time it has to break down and wear away your enamel, which can lead to a number of problems; that’s why eating the occasional piece of candy is generally harmless to your teeth. Problems arise when sugar lingers in the mouth for too long.

We know your child probably loves dressing up for Halloween and going trick or treating, and we hope you have a safe and fun holiday. Just be mindful of how much candy your child eats, and maybe even substitute some pieces for sugar-free versions or other healthier snacks!

The Right Way to Brush Your Teeth

teeth brushing Most people brush their teeth at least twice a day, but the act of brushing alone isn’t enough to ensure clean teeth and healthy gums. There are several mistakes people make when it comes to dental hygiene, and developing an improper brushing technique is just one of many. Brushing your teeth incorrectly can almost cause just as many problems as if you periodically skip brushing. So make sure you avoid the following mistakes to get the most out of your brushing sessions.

While many people brush their teeth once or twice a day, three times is truly ideal. If you can brush after every meal, or at least floss, you can be sure that no food lingers between your teeth, and plaque will have very little chance to build up. In addition to how many times you brush your teeth, you should also be mindful of how long each brushing takes. In general, aim for about two minutes.

Whether or not brushing your teeth is actually effective largely comes down to the type of toothbrush you are using. Make sure you don’t have one that is too big or small for your mouth, and if possible, replace the brush every few months. If you’re having a tough time cleaning a few areas of your teeth, you may want to purchase an electric toothbrush.

Finally, although brushing is incredibly important, don’t go too far. Excessive brushing can actually have a reverse effect by wearing away the enamel on your teeth. If you notice your gums are bleeding afterwards, you may also be brushing a bit too hard. This can actually lead to significant problems so save the strength training for the gym.

Follow these tips and you can expect whiter, cleaner teeth and an overall healthier mouth!

Is your Diet Destroying your Teeth?

whitening mouthwashThere are certain foods especially damaging to your teeth. In conjunction with proper home maintenance, avoiding these foods and drinks will help you avoid cavities and gum disease. The common denominator for all foods especially damaging to your oral health is sugar.

Carbonated soft drinks are among the biggest culprits. They contain a significant amount of teeth-attacking sugar and citric acid that can erode away enamel. And even bread and pasta compromise teeth health, with the heavy starch contents breaking down into sugar. The most sensitive and vulnerable parts of the tooth are then exposed to sugar, just like if you drank a carbonated soda.

Even fruits like lemons, limes and oranges are high in sugar and acid. The acid specifically can eat through tooth enamel making teeth more vulnerable to cavities and sensitively. When consumed quickly, most of the acidity of these fruits can be avoided. However, eating these types of citrus fruits before bed for example can allow the acid to eat away at the teeth causing irreparable damage.

In addition to carbonated, sugary drinks, starches, citrus fruits and dried fruits, there are other foods to stay away from if you want to take good care of your teeth. Food that makes your mouth dry like popcorn as well as very sticky candy can both be detrimental to teeth and gums. Staying away from all of these foods and drinks as much as possible will help keep your teeth strong and gums healthy for years without lengthy, painful visits to the dentist.

Oral Health Translates to Focused Learning, Work

healthy smileHow’s your smile doing? We’re not really referring to your happiness, joy levels, or anything like that, but we really just mean those pearly whites. Do they glisten like newly fallen snow when the sun comes out? Do they glisten like Southern California beach sand? We understand that perfect whiteness when it comes to teeth is a bit of a pipe dream, but this is the time of the year that you want to make sure you and your family have smiles that are up to snuff.


There should be no creeping cavities squatting in your mouth. That is no way to start the start the school year. Remember, smiles and school go hand in hand – and by that we mean that dental checkups and going back to school go hand in hand. You don’t want the school year to descend into decay – maintaining healthy teeth absent of decay is a surefire way to get the school year started on the right footing.


According to a recent La Crosse Tribune report, “Schedule back-to-school dental visit – avoid oral health issues that could distract your child from learning and cause missed class time by scheduling regular dental appointments for checkups and preventive care, such as cleanings and fluoride treatment.”


While a glistening smile is certainly aesthetically pleasing, especially in an academic setting, it’s more prudent to think of dental checkups as being a way to prevent future trouble in the school year. When teeth are hurting, it will negatively affect work performance and enthusiasm. When a tooth hurts, the entire body hurts. How is that any way to greet the new school year?


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