Tips from our dentists & hygienists - When to NOT brush your teeth

Get the lowdown on when to SKIP teeth brushing from one of our in-house dental experts, Yasmin Chebbi, DMD

Brushing and flossing your teeth 2-3 times a day is a vital part of keeping your teeth and gums in tip top shape. Yet, there are a few key times when brushing your teeth may do more harm than good!   


So, when should you avoid brushing your teeth?

  • Right before a meal, especially with acidic foods (think citrus foods). When we brush our teeth, we temporarily remove the good biofilm that protects our teeth from cavity causing culprtis. 
  • Right after a meal. After we eat, the acid from the food we eat temporarily weakens the ename in our teeth until our teeth have a change to remineralize. Brushing right after a meal causes damage to our temporarily weakened enamel. 
  • Right after vomiting. After we vomit, our natural instinct is to grab the toothbrush and give our teeth a good wash. Don't! The acid from our stomach is very strong and weakens the enamel in our teeth. Brushing would cause extreme stress to our enamel. 

My top tips:

  • Swish your mouth with room temperature water for 10-20 seconds right after an acid exposure to gently rinse away debris and neutralize the pH of our mouths. 
  • Try waiting at least 15-20 minutes after acid exposure to brush your teeth. This gives your teeth a chance to remineralize and strengthen with the natural minerals in your mouth.
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THE MOUTH / BODY CONNECTION EXPLAINED

We at Floss Bar are all about holistic wellness, and we know that taking care of just some parts of your body just doesn't cut it! You need to look at yourself and take care of yourself as a whole, and this includes your mouth and teeth in order to optimize your wellbeing. 

Since 40% of Americans today are not going to the dentist, it is clear that few know that oral health plays such and important role to overall wellness and systemic health, and we see it as our responsibility to educate more people about this common misconception. 

YOU NEED A HEALTHY MOUTH TO HAVE A HEALTHY BODY

So why is it so important to take care of your teeth? Let's break it down. We keep banging on about the fact that around 80% of Americans have gingivitis today, or gum disease. This is significant as it can progress into more serious conditions and even tooth loss if you don't do anything about it. Think about it, if the body is burdened with inflamed gums, hundreds of species of bacteria will have free access to enter your bloodstream and the immune system will be busy fighting that instead of other inflammations such as high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, pregnancy issues, and even certain types of cancers, leaving your more susceptible to develop other serious conditions and diseases! 

A scary example - pregnant women are generally more prone to develop gum disease, and research has found a link between the condition with early births. It is estimated that 18 out of a 100 premature births are triggered by gum disease and this can of course affect a developing baby's health as well. 

FLOSS BAR IS ON A MISSION TO EDUCATE AND MAKE PREVENTIVE CARE MORE ACCESSIBLE

With gum disease being such a massive problem in America, we think there is also a massive knowledge gap on how to avoid it and the fact that it can be detrimental to overall health. By keeping your mouth in check by regular professional cleanings and a solid home cleaning routine in between appointments, you will not only be on your path to better overall health, you will also be able to save a lot on general health care costs as the body will be more fit to fight other inflammations naturally. Of course, make sure you eat right and exercise too!

Floss Bar is changing the traditional way to go to the dentist to help more people access the preventive care they desperately need. With untraditional opening hours and better pricing, we hope to get the 40% of Americans currently not going to the dentist to start coming in regularly! 

This is how we help!

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Tips from our dentists & hygienists - do this not that to your teeth

At Floss Bar, we are all about education! Our lovely hygienist Brittany Lock has compiled this teeth pro guide for you guys, take note! 

Do… TRY to brush and floss 2-3 times a day…
Don't… Be too hard on yourself if you forget a night or two...more than likely you will still have teeth in the morning….

Do… Use an electric toothbrush to remove more plaque along the gumline
Don't... Freak out if you cant find or dont have an ETB,,,, using small circles near the gumline with your regular tb will get the job done just fine.

Do… Floss using the “C” shape method
Don't… Floss with the “sea saw” method.. We at Flossbar have taught you better than that by now!!! 

Don't... Forget to brush your tongue.
Do… Brush gently on your tongue….If you brush too hard you may actually hurt the tastebuds. 

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Not sure about that squid ink toothpaste?

Do… Try the latest and greatest gadgets that the dental world has to offer. 
Don't… Rush into trying the latest dental fads without doing a little research first. Be smart, if it doesnt seem right, don’t try it… Maybe research that “squid ink” toothpaste…

 

Do… Try to incorporate a mouthwash during your morning/night time routine...
Don't… Forget that those old school rinses that taste like rubbing alcohol aren’t the only ones available. There are actually several rinses on the market that don’t have any alcohol in them, but rather essential oils which provide the same clean feeling. 

Do… Share your dental knowlege from Floss/polish/Go with others!
Don't… Share your toothbrush with others…. Just saying…

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Meet Bianca - holistic nutritionist, wellness influencer and floss bar patient

This week we spoke to Bianca Klotsman, Certified Holistic Nutritionist & Wellness Influencer behind Holistic RX in New York.

Floss Bar: Hey Bianca, tell us about about you and what you do? 

Bianca: I am a certified holistic nutritionist & wellness influencer in NYC. I began my career in corporate marketing where I found myself more interested in what my co-workers were eating for lunch and their overall health habits. I was shocked at what they considered "healthy"! So, I enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and solidified my passion for wellness and created HolisticRX to help others achieve their health goals. My philosophy is that most diseases can be prevented and reversed through adequate nutrition and gradual lifestyle changes. Learning to eat the right foods for your body and adopting a healthy daily routine is key and your biggest priority should be your health and investing wisely in it! 

Floss Bar: What is your home teeth cleaning routine like?

Bianca: I brush twice a day (morning & night) & floss every night. I used to use an electric toothbrush, but ever since it broke I have been using a medium bristle manual brush.

Floss Bar: What did you have done at Floss Bar and how was your experience?

Bianca: I had my teeth whitened at Floss Bar and I give my experience and A+. The staff was extremely professional and I was in and out in 45 minutes. I was able to fill out the paperwork beforehand online, so that saved some time. It was my first time getting my teeth whitened and the hygienist explained the process to me in detail and was in the room during the entire procedure which made the process easier. I would definitely do it again!

Floss Bar: How often do you generally go to the dentist or hygienist? 

Bianca: I try to go 2-3 times a year but it's usually 2.

Floss Bar: What are your best wellness tip for a busy person?

Bianca: Eat mindfully! The busy person often has a scattered schedule that causes them to eat whatever they can at the moment. Packing a healthy lunch or snacks is key, drinking tons of water and staying active when possible- even choosing to walk over taking a cab counts!

Floss Bar: Favorite healthy food spots in nyc? 

Bianca: My go-to's are Sweetgreen and The Little Beet for lunch, Village Taverna for Greek food, Beyond Sushi for a vegan roll, Cafe Clover and Westville for dinner.

Floss Bar: Favorite exercise routine?

Bianca: I used to love intense workouts such as SoulCycle and HIIT classes, however I recently noticed that my body responds better to low impact workouts such as Pilates and sculpt classes. 

Floss Bar: Best home beauty routine tips? 

Bianca:This might sound weird, but I love a greek yogurt face mask! I swear by it and it makes my skin glow in 10 minutes (& it's just 1 ingredient!) I also make sure to wash my face with a gentle cleanser morning and night and follow a very strict skincare routine. Additionally, I believe that beauty comes from within and make sure to eat at least 2 servings of greens everyday and get 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

Find out more about Bianca on her Instagram or website or book the same whitening treatment as she had with us here!

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Floss Bar Partners with C4Q to Give Back Smiles Over the Holidays

We at Floss Bar are doing our part everyday to make sure dental care is accessible and convenient for everyone. 

This holiday season we went a step further by giving clean smiles pro-bono to those who are in situations where dental care is even less accessible due to financial constraints. 

We were so happy to partner with Coalition for Queens (C4Q) this holiday season, a non-profit which creates economic opportunity through technology education. C4Q serves as a leading hub for innovation, philanthropy, and entrepreneurship in local neighborhoods, hosting a wide range of students and teachers with different experiences and backgrounds. The organization’s core values – humility, diversity, and growth – align well with ours. We are a pre-dominantly female organization whose diverse and growing team already represented 10 different nationalities. We are humble and both building a business and achieving a social mission at the same time. 

So, we figured it would be a great match!

We stacked our weekend with 22 students. We rolled up our sleeves, put on those latex gloves, turned up our favorite 90’s hits, put on our Christmas hats and cleaned 700 teeth! Any students who needed more advanced care, were referred to the dentist at our Union Square office.

The students had fun and were excited to see first hand how the dental industry is evolving. Inevitably, nearly ALL asked us about our vision for our technology. We told them a little bit of what is coming down the pike. Our longest-tenured hygienist, Andrew Kocaturk, certainly had trouble keeping them quiet so he could access their molars. 

This was the first time we explicitly took a step to give. Do not expect it to be our last. Our February Smiles campaign is just around the corner. And our non-profit partner is already secured. Who will it be? Stay tuned!

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YOUR GUMS AND YOUR Mouth Microbiome - TWO VERY IMPORTANT LINES OF DEFENSE

At Floss Bar, we stay updated on the latest research into the mouth / body connection and we like to educate our patients on the importance of great oral hygiene as well as a healthy diet to optimize not only our mouth's, but our entire body's wellness. 

At Floss Bar, we help you avoid inflammed unhealthy gums as your first line of defense. Inflammed gums allow the 500+ species of bacteria to enter your bloodstream, circumventing digestion via the acids in your stomach. A body constantly fighting off infection is much more susceptable to the common cold as well systemic diseases of the heart, liver, brain and kidney. And for pregnant women, a significant risk of low birth weight of their child. Studies show that those who can significantly improve the health of their gums improve longevity by 6.5 years. After all, the mouth is the prime funnel between your environment and your body.

Today we invite you to learn about your second line of defense: a healthy oral microbiome. You have probably heard about the signfiicance of the gut microbiome many a time. But there is a new microbiome in town: the oral microbiome. Our guest blogger, Steven Lin, DDS, the author of 'The Dental Diet', explains the significance keeping your oral microbiome healthy and how you can achieve it.

"The oral microbiome sets the stage for everything that’s to come. So, the healthier your mouth and oral microbiome are, the healthier your gut, immune system, and entire body."

Let’s brush up on a few of the basics:

1. Your mouth is the gatekeeper of your gut.

Think of the digestive tract as a river, with the mouth being the source of that river. This means that every time you swallow, you’re swallowing thousands of bacteria—some bad but, most importantly, some good. Contrary to what you’ve been told, the goal isn’t to kill off all the germs in your mouth. In fact, just like the gut microbiome, there are good bacteria in your mouth that aid the health of your teeth and the rest of your body.

Probiotic strains of bacteria are known to perform protective functions in the mouth. For example, some strains release acids that keep the harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay under control. Others protect against strains that cause gum disease and bad breath. Unfortunately, we’ve been taught to abuse the delicate environment in our mouths, often turning to harmful antibacterial mouthwashes that wipe out all the good bacteria that our microbiomes need to thrive.

2. Your mouth is the mirror of health and disease in the body.

The gut microbiome determines so much of our health and well-being, like our mental health and weight. It even contributes to degenerative diseases like dementia. But it’s the opening to the intestinal tract—the oral microbiome—that is essential to keeping the gut healthy! Let’s refer back to our river. The oral microbiome flows beyond the mouth and down the digestive tract, to become the gut microbiome. And it’s there, deep in our digestive system, that microbes become profoundly important to the overall function of our body. Could a problem in your mouth, like gum disease and inflammation-causing bacteria, be dripping down into your gut?

"Studies show a clear link between oral disease and systemic disease, with oral pathogens having been found in rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and even cardiovascular disease. That means when we look to oral care first, we’re quite literally halting disease in its track."

3. When you treat your mouth, you treat your body.

Simple carbs like sugar and flour don’t cause as much damage to our teeth as most of us think. Rather, it’s how they reduce the diversity of our oral microbiome that causes problems. The body is in constant communication with the gut about what’s coming into it from the outside world. And while the gut calls most of the plays, the playbook is largely written in the mouth. When your mouth and oral microbiome are healthy, diverse, and thriving, the rest of your body will thrive, too.

How do you ensure that you have a balanced and diverse oral microbiome? While brushing and flossing twice a day is critical, diet is your No. 1 defensive tool. The next time you sit down to a meal, remember that you’re responsible for feeding trillions of tiny microbial lives with what’s on your plate, so you’ll want to choose wisely.

Here are some pillars to help you choose oral-microbiome-friendly foods:

  • Remove processed foods, which are full of preservatives and artificial additives.
  • Eat whole foods that haven't been altered from their original state.
  • Ditch sugar in all its forms: high-fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, table sugar, added sugar, refined sugar, honey, etc.
  • Ditch the juices, even if they're 100 percent fruit. They are a concentrated hit of simple carbs.
  • Head to the farmers market and eat seasonal and locally sourced foods.
  • Eat a variety of fiber-filled veggies. Some of our favorites are Brussels sprouts and leafy greens.
  • Replenish your microbiome with fermented and probiotic foods.
  • Choose veggies—like onions and chicory root—that contain prebiotic fiber, which is known to specifically feed beneficial bacteria.
  • And finally: Chew! Your mouth is the beginning of the digestive system, and eating on the run can starve the beneficial bacteria of their role in kick-starting the food processing.

Been a while since your last hygienist appointment? Book online with us today!

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A peek under the hood: Learn about our cutting-edge whitening system

You have probably come across different whitening brands before such as Zoom, LumaWhite and Opalescence. At Floss Bar, we are using a brand new system, Pola Office+. Many customers asks us about it, and if it really can be as good as the other systems considering its amazing price?

The short answer is yes, it is. We love Pola Office+ for a number of reasons: our whole team uses it, we believe it provides the same or better results in a more efficient and cost-effective way, it is also FDA approved. On top of this, you can book it with us for only $215.

Pola Office+ has three advantages over its competitors:

1. It is a stronger product

  • 37.5% hydrogen peroxide vs. 25% hydrogen peroxide max products
  • Using a higher concentration of the same chemical means the results will be equivalent or better

2. It is a faster product

  • A single session (all you need) is 32 minutes of treatment versus 45 minutes 
  • This reduces jaw pain and boredom, and allows us to provide more availability to fit your schedule

3. The company does not up-charge its kits to the dentist

  • The materials are significantly less expensive than those of the competitors but with equally high standards
  • Paying a fraction of the price for materials reduces our costs, so we can pass on the savings to you

As far as sensitivity, all of the chemicals used in whitening systems are strong. That is why you can only get them applied at the office supervised by professionals. Sensitivity is mainly a function of chemical, temperature, enamel quality of the patient, and how well we are able to cover the gums. Pola has the advantage of being a light-free system, which means it does not require a heat lamp during the process, which makes tooth sensitivity worse. This balances out the additional sensitivity which could have been caused by the chemical percentage being higher. As long as you are a good candidate and use sensitivity toothpaste, this should not be a problem.

At Floss Bar, assessing the new products on the market is something that enables us to stay cutting-edge. We hope you enjoyed taking a look under our hood!

Book your Pola whitening with us today!

 

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Tips from our dentists & hygienists: are you brushing too hard?

Our in-house expert dentist, Cathal Hayes, gives us his 5 best tips on how to brush better: 

Do you break a sweat in your daily oral hygiene efforts? To put it mildly, you shouldn’t! Your twice daily, two-minute tooth brushing routine (that’s right, a full 2 minutes, twice a day!) needs to be a finely skilled, thorough but sensitive endeavor. It is not an opportunity to make up for that missed gym class you signed up for but decided not to go to as it clashed with happy hour at your favorite bar!

Teeth are made up of a limited amount of hard tissue with the surrounding areas, your gums, made up of soft tissue. Both need to be brushed to keep them healthy but how do you do so in a manner that cleans and protects them over a lifetime?

Firstly, teeth whilst hard are not immune to wearing away if excessive force is placed on them on a daily basis. So, brushing too hard is both damaging to your teeth and gums and also unnecessary for maintaining good oral hygiene.

I recommend a medium bristled brush for most patients and a soft bristle for those who are already suffering from tooth wear for some reason or other. Manual or electric toothbrush is a personal preference. I love the electric ones as the smaller head allows you to get to the hard to reach places. But a normal, manual brush is fine as long as you put the effort in and don’t miss any spots.

Technique is key to tooth brushing. Avoid horizontal, back and forth scrubbing motions, and instead try and use a circular motion to you brushing. The aim is to sweep debris away from the gums where it accumulates, so always get right up to where you gum meets your tooth.

And don’t put too much force on the brush! A light grip on the tooth brush and less force than you use when writing with a pen is all that is needed.

Also consider when you are brushing! Acidic food and drink, like orange juice, softens the enamel of your tooth. Brushing after a glass of OJ means it is easier to do damage to your teeth. And this damage is irreversible! That’s the problem!

So, to summarize my top tips to avoid unnecessary tooth wear;

  •  Get the right toothbrush for you!
  •  Use Light force
  •  In a circular motion
  • Avoid acidic food and drink, 30 minutes before brushing
  • And always remember to visit your dentist and hygienist every 6 months as they will see clearly if your technique is correct or is any damage is being done!

Book your hygienist appointment with us to get you back on track!

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Meet Matthew - Startup co-founder, health advocate and Floss Bar patient

We caught up with Matthew Tamasi after he visited Floss Bar a few weeks ago to learn his best wellness tricks and how he keep himself and his teeth in shape! 

Floss Bar: Hey Matthew, tell us about about you and what you do? 

Matthew: I am someone who recently overcame health issues stemming from heavy metal poisoning. This experience steered me onto a path of wellness where I'm constantly trying to improve myself physically and mentally. I am now the co-founder of a superfoods company, SUTRA, that provides healthy, vibrant and tasty alternatives to traditional caffeinated beverages. 

Floss Bar: What is your home teeth cleaning routine like? 

Matthew: I brush my teeth twice daily, and use floss/mouthwash daily. I do not use any whitening products. 

Floss Bar: What did you have done at Floss Bar and how was your experience? 

Matthew: I had a teeth cleaning. It was super efficient. I filled all of my forms out online beforehand and was in/out of the dentist's office within 45 minutes.

Floss Bar: How often do you generally go to the dentist or hygienist? If it's less often than once a year, how come? 

Matthew: I'm admittedly bad seeing a dentist or hygienist regularly. This was my first cleaning in two years. I've worked for startups for the past few years and my dental insurance coverage wasn't great, and I didn't want to pay out of pocket. 

Floss Bar: What are your best wellness tips for a busy person? 

Matthew: Give your mind a chance to unwind from the unavoidable stressors of a busy life. I recommend setting aside ten minutes every day to meditate. Headspace is a great app for beginners to this approach. 

Floss Bar: Favorite healthy food spots in NYC? 

Matthew: Sweetgreen is my favorite option for a healthy meal. All of their produce is locally sourced and free of additives and pesticides. Not only is it healthy, but it tastes delicious! 

Floss Bar: What is your go-to home cooking recipe? 

Matthew: Marinate wild-caught salmon in grass-fed ghee and organic lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Place over organic kale sautéed in olive or avocado oil, fresh minced garlic and lemon juice. 

Floss Bar:  Favorite exercise routine? 

Matthew: I do a combination of heavy weight-lifting, HIIT and yoga each week. My favorite HIIT class as of late is Rumble Boxing. I go once a week and find that it's an amazing full body workout and keeps my heart rate elevated throughout. 

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Did you overdo it this Thanksgiving? Here is our 5-step teeth survival guide 

Dentists and hygienists generally recommend avoiding sticky, sweet or acidic foods as they can break down your tooth enamel and cause cavities.  

But Thanksgiving is all about food, wine and pies! We all know that avoiding sweets simply didn't happen during the holidays.  Life is about balance and occasional indulgence, so do your thing. But know that it is best for you to take some extra care of your teeth after a weekend of goodies. 

Floss Bar's 5-step guide to repair your teeth after a Thanksgiving full of treats:

Here's what to do:

1.  Clean up:  Start with one heck of a brush and floss. Do not brush too hard, but do spend extra time on those back molars and your tongue. Use a non-alcohol mouthwash, always, swooshing for 45 seconds minimum.

2. Ease up on the desserts: Reducing sugar intake should be one of your first priorities after the holidays. Not just to shed the pounds! The harmful bacteria in your mouth feed off sugar and use it to create acids that wear down your teeth and inflame your gums.

3. Water, water, water. Make sure to sip alkaline our neutral mineral waters to offset acid attacks on your teeth.

4. Saliva to the rescue. Focus on eating foods that stimulate saliva flow such as vegetables and fruits. Our saliva is mineral-rich and helps combat the acid in our mouths after too much of the good stuff.

5. Calcium, baby. Opt for dairy snacks such as cheese and yoghurt as they are packed with calcium and phosphates that helps strengthen your teeth and neutralize acids that can cause decay.  

Could use some extra help? Just sit back and we will do step 1 for you with a Floss, Polish and Go!

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