Q And A Corner

Q. Do I really need to floss?

A. There's no getting around the need to get around your teeth daily with dental floss. It clears food and plaque from between teeth and under the gum line. If you don't, plaque hardens into tartar, which forms wedges and widens the space between teeth and gums, causing pockets. Over time, gums pull away and teeth loosen. Either waxed or unwaxed floss will do the job. Using floss picks or interdental brushes is another easy option.

Q. Why do my gums bleed when I floss?

A. The main cause of bleeding gums is plaque build-up along the gum line. Gum disease can make your gums especially sensitive. Improper flossing or brushing, chewing tobacco or cuts from food can cause bleeding as well.

Q. Are sweets and ice really bad for my teeth?

A. Yes, sweets and foods with acid, like candy and soda, could stick to teeth and lead to cavities. Smoking and chewing tobacco can cause oral cancer and gum disease. While teeth are strong enough to chew ice and tear open packages, this can break them and stress your jaws. Gritting or grinding. down on teeth when you're stressed may crack them. Biting your nails is another bad habit. It pulls your jaw out of position and changes how your teeth fit together.

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