Does an electric toothbrush clean my teeth better than a manual toothbrush?

Many studies have proven that when used regularly electric toothbrushes reduce the amount of plaque bacteria in the mouth more efficiently than a manual toothbrush. Many electric toothbrushes have a timer, and also will turn off if someone is brushing too hard. These features, along with the toothbrush head moving on its own, make the electric toothbrush more effective than a manual toothbrush.

What Is Tooth Sensitivity and Why Do I Have It?

Patients with tooth sensitivity feel pain when they consume items that are hot or cold, sweet or acidic. This comes from thin tooth enamel, which doesn’t protect the tooth pulp or dentin from exposure to extreme temperatures. In some patients, this may be a result of receding gums, tooth grinding during sleep, chipped or fractured teeth and dental whitening. Your dentist will examine the affected teeth and recommend treatment to reduce your sensitivity.

At What Age Should My Child First See a Dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends having their first dental visit once their first tooth erupts – or, at the latest, their first birthday. This helps your dentist catch potential problems that can affect the child’s overall health and well-being as more teeth erupt over time.

How safe are dental X-rays?

Advances in dentistry over the years have led to the low radiation levels emitted by dental X-rays. Some of the improvements are new digital X-ray machines that limit the radiation beam to the small area being X-rayed and the use of lead-lined, full-body aprons protects the body from stray radiation (though this is almost nonexistent with the modern dental X-ray machines.) In addition, federal law requires that X-ray machines be checked for accuracy and safety every two years.

Dental Insurance or Dental Assistance?

Dental Benefits are NOT really Insurance in the classic sense.

If you have needs other than healthy cleanings, your care will require an investment beyond what your “insurance” will cover. Your benefits will assist you in the maintenance of your dental health but were never designed to be all you need.

What do I do when I have a dental emergency?

Toothache: Rinse the mouth vigorously with warm water to clean out debris. Use dental floss to remove any food that might be trapped between the teeth. If swelling is present, place cold compresses on the outside of the cheek. (Do not use heat or place aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues.) See your dentist as soon as possible.

Orthodontic Problems: If a wire is causing irritation, cover the end of the wire with a small cotton ball, beeswax, or a piece of gauze, until you can get to the dentist. If a wire is embedded in the cheek, tongue, or gum tissue, do not attempt to remove it. Go to your dentist immediately. If an appliance becomes loose or a piece of it breaks off, take the appliance and the piece and go to the dentist.

Knocked-Out Tooth: If the tooth is dirty, rinse it gently in running water. Do not scrub it. Gently insert and hold the tooth in its socket. If this is not possible, place the tooth in a container of milk or cool water. Go immediately to your dentist (within 30 minutes if possible). Don’t forget to bring the tooth.

Broken Tooth: Gently clean dirt or debris from the injured area with warm water. Place cold compresses on the face, in the area of the injured tooth, to minimize swelling. Go to the dentist immediately.

Bitten Tongue or Lip: Apply direct pressure to the bleeding area with a clean cloth. If swelling is present, apply cold compresses. If bleeding does not stop, go to a hospital emergency room.

Objects Wedged Between Teeth: Try to remove the object with dental floss. Guide the floss carefully to avoid cutting the gums. If not successful in removing the object, go to the dentist. Do not try to remove the object with a sharp or pointed instrument.

Possible Fractured Jaw: Immobilize the jaw by any means (handkerchief, necktie, and towel). If swelling is present, apply cold compresses. Call your dentist or go immediately to a hospital emergency room.

Do I need to have a root canal because I have to have a crown?

Not always. A crown is placed to restore the tooth back to its normal shape and function. Crowns are placed when a tooth has fractured, there isn’t enough remaining tooth to support a large filling and to protect the weak tooth from additional breaking.

You would need to have a root canal with a crown if the tooth was infected or abscessed, or if the tooth was severely broken down due to fracture, trauma, or decay. If the tooth is missing a significant amount of tooth structure, then a root canal and post may be indicated to aid in restoring the tooth and help in retaining the crown.

How are periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease connected?

The bacteria that cause periodontal disease produce inflammatory proteins that enter a person’s bloodstream and affect the cardiovascular system by causing the blood vessels to thicken.

What is the difference between a bridge and a removable partial?

A bridge and a partial denture are both used to replace missing teeth. A bridge is bonded into place and can only be removed by a dentist. A partial is removable and is taken out to brush and when you go to sleep.

What is the difference between a “crown” and a “cap”?

A “cap” is just another name for a crown. A crown is a restoration that covers, or “caps” an existing tooth. The purpose of a crown is to restore the tooth back to its normal shape and size and to also help strengthen and improve its appearance. The type of crown that is placed is based on several factors. These factors are the location and function of the tooth, how much your tooth shows when you smile, and your bite.

What is xerostomia?

Dry mouth (xerostomia) affects approximately 1 in 4 adults. Dry mouth occurs when the salivary glands stop working or they don’t function properly. Medications such as antihistamines (allergy), antidepressants, painkillers, diuretics/anti-hypertensives (blood pressure), and tranquilizers are common causes of dry mouth. It can also be caused by radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Diseases, such as diabetes, lupus, or Alzheimer’s can also contribute to the disorder. A variety of methods are available to help manage dry mouth such as saliva substitutes, mouthwashes, gels, and sprays. Brushing and flossing twice a day, chewing sugarless gum, drinking plenty of water, and maintaining regular dental visits can also help ease the discomfort.

How do I minimize the risk of tooth wear?

Wear on the teeth can be minimized by selecting the right toothpaste and by practicing proper brushing techniques, which includes using short and gentle strokes in a circular motion with a soft bristle brush.

How do I know what toothpaste is right for me?

When it comes to choosing toothpaste for you, it’s important to think about your unique oral health needs. Some toothpastes aim to alleviate pain associated with sensitive teeth. Some help to control plaque and tartar while others remove stain and whiten teeth. Because each toothpaste is uniquely formulated for a certain condition, speak to your dentist to determine which is right for you.

How often should I floss?

Flossing at least once every 24 hours will disrupt the bacteria between your teeth and help reduce the incidence of decay, gum disease, and bad breath. It may be necessary for some people to floss more often if food is easily caught between teeth.

What type of toothbrush should I use?

There are many types of toothbrushes to choose from; with choices ranging from small to large and extra soft to hard bristled. It’s important to choose a soft or extra soft bristled toothbrush with a head that isn’t too small or too large for your mouth. A lot of times patients think they are doing a better job brushing with a harder bristled toothbrush, when actually they are usually doing more harm than good to their gums.

What Is Halitosis and how do I treat it?

More than 80 million people suffer from chronic halitosis, or bad breath. In most cases it originates from the gums and tongue. The odor is caused by wastes from bacteria in the mouth, the decay of food particles, other debris in your mouth and poor oral hygiene. The decay and debris produce a sulfur compound that causes the unpleasant odor.

It is important to practice good oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day. Proper brushing, including brushing the tongue, cheeks and the roof of the mouth, will remove bacteria and food particles. Flossing removes accumulated bacteria, plaque and food that may be trapped between teeth. To alleviate odors, clean your tongue with your toothbrush or a tongue scraper, a plastic tool that scrapes away bacteria that builds on the tongue. Chewing sugar-free gum also may help control odor.