Are Regular Floss and Floss Picks Both Okay?


We get this question a lot at our dental office in Austin. While it’s not a cut-and-dried answer, we can definitely explain a few pros and cons behind both of the common flossing methods.

Floss Picks Pros

  • Ease of Use. Many people prefer floss picks over traditional floss because they’re easier to use. The way floss picks are designed make them much easier to get to those hard-to-reach places in the back of the mouth.
  • Effective. Floss picks remove food and bacteria in between teeth, just like regular floss, sort of. See cons below for more info.

Floss Picks Cons

  • Not as Effective. Due to the design of floss picks, it’s very difficult to thoroughly clean around each tooth and into the gum lines. This means that sometimes, floss picks are not the ideal choice.
  • Not so Easy to Use. Yes some people choose floss picks because of their usability. However, others stay away from floss picks because they can’t fit it between their teeth. If your teeth are close together, floss picks may be troublesome.

Regular Floss Pros

  • The Best of the Best. There really is only one pro when it comes to regular floss, not because there’s only one good thing about it, but because it’s all encompassing. Regular floss really is the best way to ensure a healthy mouth. It’s flexible so you can reach all around each tooth. It’s been proven to help prevent bacteria buildup. It’s ultimately the best choice.

Regular Floss Cons

  • Difficulty Level. Traditional floss can be difficult to use, especially for those with mobility complications. If this is the case and you’re able to use a floss pick with more ease, it’s much better than not flossing at all.

No matter which form of floss you choose, what matters to all of us at our Austin dental office is that you’re flossing. Flossing removes the bacteria between teeth that can’t be reached with a toothbrush alone and is a crucial part to maintaining a healthy mouth. So choose the floss that feels best and get to flossing!

Accepting patients from Austin, Westlake, and Cedar Park

Starfish Island

While visiting Belize earlier this summer, my husband and I, accompanied by two close friends were excited to finally get to visit Starfish Island.  We had heard wonderful things about the clear blue water, the large conch shells, the plentiful starfish and how the small island was the perfect place to spend our day in Belize.  The small,  scenic, private island was created exclusively for cruise ship guests to have a nice place to relax and spend there day while in port.
Starfish_in_lagoon_on_Pom_Pom_Island,_Celebes_resort,_Sabah A small boat took us about 20 miles from where our cruise ship was anchored and we spent the day exploring the island retreat.  There were so many different activities in which you could participate.  They had swimming, kayaking, sunbathing, volleyball, live music and plenty of hammocks if you preferred to just rest and enjoy the beautiful scenery. I chose to spend most my time in the water but made sure to visit the area where they allowed you to hold the starfish, lobsters and very large conch shells.
rightAfter exploring Starfish Island, swimming in the ocean, and resting in the hammocks, we had one last thing to do before returning to the ship. There is a large palm tree on the island that all the guests sign before leaving, and that is just what we did.

Swimming Pools and Your Oral Health


Do you spend a lot of time soaking in your nearest swimming pool during the summer months? We don’t blame you. Kicking back on a raft, playing an intense game of Marco Polo, or swimming laps for exercise are great ways to beat the heat. But did you know that pool water can actually affect your smile? It’s true, and everyone at our dental office in Austin wants you to know how to avoid ill effects from summer fun, poolside.

The link between pool water and oral health concerns was first noted during a study of competitive swimmers and enamel erosion in the 1980s.  When 39% of the swimmers surveyed suffered from dental erosion, further investigation was warranted. Before too long, scientific studies correlated swimming pool water with enamel erosion. But not much has been done to make the public aware of the risks. That’s where we come in.

What’s The Issue with Pool Water?

Not every swimming pool is dangerous. The problem arises when the pH level of a pool is too low, or too acidic. An ideal level is usually between 7.2 and 7.8. If the pH level drops below this standard, the water becomes corrosive and can begin to affect your body. Some of the most common symptoms of water with low pH is burning or stinging eyes, itchy skin, tooth staining, and enamel erosion.

What are the Signs of a Problem?

Two of the first clues of a problem are sensitivity and brown spots known as swimmer’s calculus. If a swimmer or chronic pool dweller in your family starts to experience either of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your Austin dentist as soon a possible. It’s also important to note that those who spend a considerable amount of time in a swimming pool are at greater risk for enamel damage.

What is Enamel and Why is it Important?

Enamel is the hard, outermost layer of the tooth. It’s purpose is to protect teeth from bacteria. When enamel erodes, your teeth become more susceptible to decay and other dental problems.

How to Protect Your Smile

Keeping pool water out of your mouth is the best way to keep water from damaging teeth. Another way is to check the pool for proper pH. Test strips to check water in any pool you use are easy to find online, and available at most pool supply stores.

As always, regular checkups at our Austin dental office are key catching any problems early and treating them before they become large problems.

Accepting patients from Austin, Westlake, and Cedar Park.

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