How To Floss Your Teeth Properly

How To Floss Your Teeth Properly

Oral hygiene is very important in your day-to-day life. After all, no one likes bad breath, rotten teeth, or receding gum lines. Flossing and brushing are key to maintaining a healthy smile.


When you have braces, it is even more important to make sure your oral hygiene habits are up to your dentist’s standards. Plaque, which is basically a mixture of food, bacteria, and bacteria poop, is your enemy. By not removing plaque from your teeth, build-up can result in cavities, gum disease, and may eventually end up losing your tooth!


How well you can maintain your oral hygiene is ultimately based on your dedication. Here are some of the most commonly seen mistakes on flossing that we observed from our patients. If you have any questions about proper techniques, please ask us at your check-up appointments.


Top mistakes people make when flossing:

  • Not floss at all: Flossing allows you to clean the areas between teeth and underneath the gum that the toothbrush cannot get to. Without flossing, you are leaving 40% of the tooth surface uncleaned, not a good idea!
  • Using the same area of the floss for the whole mouth: Make sure to use a different part of your dental floss when getting in between teeth, otherwise you may be putting plaque from one tooth to another tooth
  • Not flossing into the gum: It’s important to wiggle the floss not just in between teeth, but also underneath the teeth (between the teeth and the gums). Your gums need cleaning too. But don’t force the floss in, go as far as it feels natural for you


Some people find flossing difficult, especially when trying to floss the molars or the teeth in the back of your mouth. With braces, flossing does take longer because you have to get underneath the wires. We recommend using a floss threader or superfloss when flossing with braces. Water Pik is a great alternative to flossing if you are having difficulties flossing properly. Water Pik is a device which sends concentrated blasts of water to clean in between your teeth. This is like power washing your teeth. However, it cannot replace good old brushing, and we only recommend using it when you really have difficulty flossing.


Stay tuned for our next post on how to brush your teeth properly!


More Myths, Busted

More Myths, Busted

Myth: Braces are bulky and painful

Fact: With continuous developments in orthodontic technology, the size of braces has been greatly reduced. In addition, the smaller size provides better aesthetics and also makes it easier for patients to keep their teeth clean. The wires that are now used give patients a gentle yet effective treatment experience as well. After an adjustment appointment, braces become more comfortable – just like when you buy a new pair of shoes and you have to break them in!


checkup, dentist, orthodontist


Myth: Kids should be seen by an orthodontist only after they get all their adult teeth

Fact: The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children to have a consultation with a Certified Orthodontist Specialist by the age of seven. Although most children will grow healthily without the need of early orthodontic intervention, some children experience dental problems that should be addressed at an early age, to prevent the situation from getting worse. These problems may not be obvious and will require an assessment to determine the best course of action.


child, braces, orthodontist


Myth: Braces will ruin my lifestyle and prevent me from doing the things I love

Fact: You can do almost anything during orthodontic treatment – sing, play musical instruments, play sports, etc. You may have to adjust to doing these activities with braces such as wearing a mouth guard when playing a sport, but you will be able to still enjoy these activities.


Your Myths, Busted

Your Myths, Busted

Since braces have been around so long, people have developed these preconceived ideas on what they think or think they know about braces. Well, we’re here to get at the truths behind those myths.


Myth: I’m too old for braces, they’re only for kids!

Fact: Actually, one in five orthodontic patients is an adult. Age is not a problem as long as your teeth and gums are healthy. There are also various types of orthodontic appliances that are more aesthetically pleasing than traditional metal braces like Invisalign.



Myth: Only metal braces can straighten teeth!

Fact: There are many types of orthodontic appliances that can straighten teeth besides the traditional metal braces, such as ceramic (clear) braces, Invisalign, and lingual braces (braces that are mounted on the back side of the teeth). All these options are available to patients, and we will review which option is best for you.



Myth: I only have a little bit of crowding, but my smile looks fine. I don’t need braces!

Fact: Besides having a beautiful smile, having straight teeth makes it easier for you to keep your teeth clean. When teeth are crowded and overlapped, there are many crevices where food, plaque, and tartar can be trapped. This can lead to more incidences of cavities and periodontal disease if a person’s oral hygiene regiment is not satisfactory. Straight teeth make it easier to floss and brush, thereby reducing the chance of having bad dental problems. A bad bite can also cause abnormal wear of tooth’s surfaces and cause difficulty in chewing and speaking.


Have more myths or questions about braces? Contact us and we will get those myths busted too!




齒顎矯正的治療從第一個步驟開始就受到了科技進步的影響。還記得從前病人最討厭的就是取牙齒的模型嗎? 因為科技的進步,矯正牙醫師現在可以用iTero Scanner 數位掃描技術,運用內建的數位相機拍攝上百張牙齒的照片,經過獨家專利研發的電腦程式將其重組、轉換成立體3D畫面。這項科技不僅能夠讓醫師們獲得更精準的紀錄,但更重要的,它取代了傳統難受又麻煩的牙模過程,讓我們能提供給病人更大的舒適和方便!

說到舒適,就不能不提到另一項重要的科技創新: 冷光雷射治療 (Low Level Laser Therapy – LLLT)。

齒顎矯正的過程中,尤其是每個月來調整後,頭幾天常常會有覺得牙齒特別痠軟的感覺。雖然這個痠軟的感覺代表著牙齒正慢慢地移動到完美的位置,但也同時給病人造成了一些不便。為了減少不舒服的感覺,許多病人會使用止痛藥,例如Advil。但這些非類固醇消炎止痛藥其中一項副作用就是會減緩牙齒移動的速度,使療程時間加長。冷光雷射治療 (Low Level Laser Therapy – LLLT) 能夠減緩疼痛,加速組織的恢復力,已經在醫學界被使用多年,並有多項研究證實它的功效。近年來,冷光雷射治療也被齒列矯正牙醫師運用,減緩病人在矯正牙齒過程中所感到的疼痛。冷光雷射運用低能量的光柱,直接照射在疼痛的地方,因此沒有全身副作用。每次矯正約診時配合使用5-10分鐘的冷光雷射療程,能有效減緩矯正過程的疼痛!

齒列矯正治療的最終目的是將牙齒移動到完美、健康的位置,提供給病人美麗的笑容和咬合功能。牙齒移動的關鍵在於支撐牙齒的牙槽骨。牙槽骨需要被身體吸收掉後,牙齒才能移動到新的位置。所以,牙齒移動的速度其實是受牙槽骨的新陳代謝的速度所限制。一直以來,齒列矯正治療最讓人卻步的原因之一就是治療時間! 其實我們也很希望可以在彈指之間就可以幫病人把牙齒全都排列整齊。因此,矯正醫師們不停的研究如何安全的加快牙齒移動的速度,減少矯正治療的時間。經過幾十年來研究和改良,我們發現增加牙齒移動速度的關鍵在於增加牙槽骨的血液循環刺激牙槽骨的替換。如今我們已有數樣嶄新的科技已被臨床實驗證明,包括PropelVPro5 (利用高頻率震盪來增加血液循環) 和 Propel Excellerator (加速牙槽骨新陳代謝的速度) 。透過這些新的科技,矯正醫師們不但能有效地縮短病人治療的時間,甚至還能達成某些從前被認定為太困難的治療。





Braces for Young Adults

Braces for Young Adults

As a young adult, having braces is probably not on your list of high priority items. The thought of getting braces likely hasn’t even crossed your mind. However, more and more adults have been getting braces, and on average 1 in 5 orthodontic patients are adults. While you may think that braces are for teenagers or that you don’t need to look like a brace face right now, do know that the process has become more than just putting metal in your mouth.

For starters, there are various treatment options to suit your budget and needs. If you don’t want the traditional metal braces because of aesthetics, you can choose Invisalign, ceramic brackets, or lingual braces. You’ve likely heard of Invisalign before, and there’s a reason for that. When Invisalign first entered the market, they were revolutionizing the way people experienced braces. The use of removable, customized “invisible” aligners to move your teeth met the needs of people who wanted the process to be subtle. Invisalign continues to be a great option for those who can take on the responsibility of following a schedule and not losing their aligners (they can be expensive to replace)!

Another option is the use of ceramic brackets, which clearish-white and blend in well with your natural teeth colour. You wouldn’t see younger patients with ceramic brackets because they are more delicate, so they are a perfect alternative to metal brackets for young adults. Alternatively, you can choose to have lingual braces, which are metal brackets attached to the inner side of your teeth. This allows you to go through your treatment process without your brackets being visible to anyone!

Even if you opt for the traditional metal braces, you can still accelerate your treatment duration with readily available technology. For example, there’s a device called the Propel Excellerator that stimulates the root of your teeth to encourage faster movement of your teeth. That way, your teeth can become aligned in a shorter amount of time. There’s also the Propel VPro5, a take-home kit that also encourages more movement of your teeth. Studies have also shown these movements help the bones retain the teeth’s new position better than without these technologies.

Whatever approach you take to your braces treatment, remember you should choose what you are most comfortable with. The team at PacificWest Dental will provide you all the information you require to support you in making your decision.

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