HEY YOU! Are you flossing correctly??

Everyone knows you should floss once a day, but not everyone knows how to floss properly. Here are some step by step instructions and tips for using dental floss and a water pik.
Dental Floss
  1. Wrap the dental floss around the middle fingers of each hand and hold the dental floss tightly between the thumbs and forefingers. This gives you more control and helps you to gently insert it between the teeth.
  2. Curve the dental floss against the side of the tooth in a ‘C’ shape.
  3. Rub the floss gently up and down, keeping it pressed against the tooth and drawing the floss slightly under the gums. Don’t jerk or snap the floss.
  4. As you move from tooth to tooth, unwind the clean floss with one finger and take up the used floss with the opposite finger. This eliminates spreading bacteria.
  5. Don’t forget to floss the back side of your last tooth.
Water Pick
  1. Fill the reservoir with warm water. Warm water is generally more comfortable especially with sensitive teeth.
  2. You can add a small amount of mouthwash for flavor. Diluted mouthwash, if not prescription strength, loses its effectiveness when diluted. With some units, flavoring agents can shorten the life of the unit, so read your instructions first. If using a flavoring agent, flush the unit with plain water when finished.
  3. Select your preferred tip and click into the Handle. If this is your first time using a water pick, choose the pressure setting that is most comfortable and gradually work your way up.
  4. Keep your thumb on the pause button so you can avoid splashing if things get messy.
  5. Lean over the sink and place tip in your mouth. To avoid splashing, clean while slightly closing your lips and letting the water run out of your mouth into the sink, or while keeping you mouth completely closed and pausing to spit out the water when needed.
  6. Place the tip at a 90 degree angle between the teeth. Pause for a few seconds between teeth before sweeping along the gumline to the next area. Many people like to start on their back teeth and work their way around each arch, top and bottom.
  7. Make sure you use the water pick to clean from both the cheek and the tongue side of each arch.
Whatever flossing method you use, we recommend flossing first and then brushing.
-Michelle, RDH

Happy Dental Hygienist Week to the Best Hygienist in the World!

The fortunate patients of Summit Dental in Las Vegas know that Michelle Heiner is the best dental hygienist ever. For every other potential patient out there, this serves as our formal announcement: We believe we have the best hygienist in the ENTIRE world and you need to come see her!
Why is she the best? First of all, she has an Associate’s degree in communications. Yes, she actually has a 2 year degree that prepared her to communicate and educate our patients on their oral health. We have many patients report they have never had a cleaning where they learned so much! She loves to help patients by telling them the proper ways to brush and floss, a skill that most people take for granted and actually don’t do well. She can also effectively educate patients about periodontal disease and help them accept ideal care for treating it. Often periodontal disease has subtle symptoms and is only discovered on x-rays as bone loss around the teeth. Many people don’t know they have it until we tell them about it. This can make accepting more comprehensive treatment of periodontal disease difficult. Michelle has a passion for helping these patients understand their disease and how we can co-manage it with them.
Secondly, Michelle knows how to use a laser on your gums! Research has shown that when we just mechanically clean your teeth with instruments there are still bacteria left behind. Using laser energy can help reduce that bacterial load significantly and improve the healing of your gums after periodontal therapy. But putting aside all that scientific stuff, what could be cooler that getting to use lasers in your job!
Third, Michelle is gentle. She gets compliments daily on how thorough yet gentle she is when cleaning your teeth. Many have had bad experiences in the past with scaling and root planning, or “deep cleanings,” and report that after Michelle performs them, it is a completely different experience. At our office, our team all gets our teeth cleaned by Michelle and we can report that we love getting our cleanings done! Thank you, Michelle, for taking the time and energy to care about how you clean our teeth and our patients teeth as well.
Lastly, Michelle loves taking continuing education courses more than any other hygienist out there! She gets really excited about microbiology and the science behind how those bacteria cause so many problems in the mouth. She’s a true science geek at heart, but with that communications degree, she can easily translate her learning into what it all means to your oral health.
Michelle, we appreciate and love having you as part of our Summit Dental team! Current and prospective patients of Summit Dental, next time she cleans your teeth tell her how amazing she is!
-Summit Dental Team