If we were playing word association with the term “oral hygiene,” you'd probably answer “brushing.” And you would be right—brushing cleans tooth surfaces of accumulated bacterial plaque, a thin biofilm most responsible for dental disease.
But brushing is only half of the oral hygiene equation: You also need to remove dental plaque between teeth where brushing can't reach. And, that requires that other practice—flossing.
Unfortunately, brushing is more popular than its hygienic sibling because many people find traditional thread flossing more difficult and messier than brushing. That can make it tempting to skip flossing—but then you're only getting half the benefit of oral hygiene for reducing the risk of tooth decay or gum disease.
There is, however, a way to floss that doesn't involve a roll of thread: oral irrigation. This form of flossing uses a countertop device that directs a pressurized spray of water between teeth through a handheld wand. The directed spray loosens and then flushes away accumulated plaque.
Oral irrigators (also known as water flossers) have been an important tool for decades in dental offices, and have been available for home use since the 1960s. In the last few years, though, the devices have become more compact and easier to use. More importantly, studies have shown they're as effective in removing between-teeth plaque as regular flossing.
These irrigation devices are especially useful for people wearing braces. The attached brackets and wires make it extremely difficult to maneuver flossing thread between teeth. Because of this (as well as similar difficulties in brushing), patients are more susceptible to dental disease while undergoing orthodontic treatment.
But a 2008 study showed that oral irrigators are quite effective for braces wearers in removing between-teeth plaque. It found those who used an irrigator after brushing removed five times the amount of plaque than those that only brushed.
Even if you're not wearing braces, you may still find an oral irrigator to be a useful flossing alternative. Speak with your dentist for recommendations on what to look for in an oral irrigator and tips on how to use it. It could make a positive difference in your dental health.
If you would like more information on how best to keep your teeth and gums clean, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cleaning Between Your Teeth.”
Thousands of years ago, our ancestors could only expect to live between 30 and 40 years. But steady improvements in lifestyle and medical care have increased human life expectancy to almost 80 years.
Although a welcome development, it does raise a question: Are our teeth up to the added years? Even though quite resilient, it's natural for teeth to wear after years and tens of thousands of meals biting and chewing.
Fortunately, there have also been phenomenal advances in dental restorations that can effectively replace teeth we lose along the way. Even so, the most advanced artificial replacements can't restore the full benefit of natural teeth to oral and general health. The ideal goal is to preserve and protect our natural teeth for as long as possible.
Here are 4 areas worthy of your attention in protecting your teeth throughout your lifetime.
Dental disease. Tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease are the top causes for poor dental health and tooth loss. They're caused by bacteria living and feeding primarily in dental plaque, a thin biofilm on tooth surfaces. Brushing and flossing daily, along with regular dental cleanings, removes this disease-causing plaque. You should also seek treatment as soon as possible at the first sign of dental disease.
Bite correction. A poor bite is more than a smile problem: Teeth out of alignment and not engaging normally with their counterparts on the other jaw may increase tooth wear and make hygiene more difficult to perform. Orthodontic treatment, even if undertaken later in life, can help maintain your teeth's long-term health and longevity.
Bad habits. Your teeth are tough, but not indestructible. Protect them by avoiding harmful habits or practices like crunching ice, gnawing on pencils, nails or other hard objects, cracking open nuts or using your teeth as tools. Not engaging in these kinds of habits will help reduce wear and help you also avoid chipping and fractures.
Teeth grinding. Involuntarily clenching or grinding your teeth, often while sleeping, can accelerate dental wear. If you suspect you have this habit, take steps first to deal with stress, the number one cause of adult teeth grinding. Your dentist can also fashion a mouth guard that prevents your teeth from making solid contact with each other and thus help reduce wearing to your teeth.
If you would like more information on tooth wear, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “How and Why Teeth Wear.”
Your smile is one of the first things that people notice about you, and if your smile is less than perfect, it can affect your confidence. The purpose of cosmetic dentistry is to make a perfect smile available to everyone. Dr. Harvey G. Seybold, Dr. Peter S. Chang, and Dr. Irbad Chowdhury are dentists at Roselle Dental Associates in Roselle, IL. They specialize in cosmetic dentistry.
Types of Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments
Roselle dental patients can choose from the following cosmetic dental treatments:
Professional Teeth Whitening
In-chair whitening is one of the easiest and most popular ways to get a smile makeover. The process removed stains on the surface of the teeth caused by foods, beverages, and smoking. It can also whiten the teeth by up to eight shades.
If you have minor chips or cracks in one or more of your teeth, dental bonding can be used to eliminate them. The process involves the direct application of a soft putty to the tooth. The putty is then shaped and hardened. It can be colored to match the natural color of your teeth.
A dental veneer is a wafer-thin porcelain shell that is cemented onto the front surface of one or more teeth. They can be used to straighten crooked teeth, eliminate gaps, and hide imperfections such as chips, cracks, and stains.
Also known as caps, dental crowns can be used to strengthen weakened teeth after a large filling or root canal. They can also be used to cover broken or crooked teeth or with an implant or bridge to replace missing teeth. Dental crowns are designed to last for decades.
Dental implants are a permanent solution to missing teeth. They are comprised of three parts, a titanium post that is implanted into the jawbone, an abutment, and a porcelain crown. You can have one or two dental crowns or a full set. They are designed to look just like your natural teeth.
If you live in Roselle and you would like to find out more about your cosmetic dentistry options, call Roselle Dental Associates at (630) 893-4200 today!
Perhaps the only thing worse than having a toothache of your own is when your child has one. Tooth pain can be a miserable experience, especially for children. It can also be confusing about what to do to deal with it.
Fortunately, a toothache usually isn't a dental emergency, so take a deep breath. Here's what you should do if your child is experiencing tooth pain.
Get the 411 from them. Before you call the dentist, find out more first about the tooth pain from your child with a few probing questions: Where exactly does it hurt? Do you feel it all through your mouth or just in one place? Is it all the time, or just when you bite down? When did it start? You may not get the same level of detail as you would from an adult, but even a little information helps.
Take a look in their mouth. There are a lot of causes for toothache like a decayed tooth or abscessed gums. See if any of the teeth look abnormal or if the gums are swollen. You might also find a piece of food or other particle wedged between the teeth causing the pain. In that case, a little dental floss might relieve the problem.
Ease the pain. While you're waiting on your dental appointment, you can help relieve some of their discomfort by giving them a child-appropriate dose of ibuprofen or acetaminophen. You can also apply an ice pack on the outside of the jaw for five minutes on, then five minutes off to decrease swelling. Under no circumstances, however, should you give your child aspirin or rub it on the gums.
See the dentist. It's always a good idea to follow up with the dentist, even if the pain subsides. In most cases, you may be able to wait until the next day. There are, however, circumstances that call for a visit as soon as possible: if the child is running a fever and/or has facial swelling; or if the tooth pain seems to be related to an injury or trauma.
It can be unsettling as a parent when your child has a toothache. But knowing what to do can help you stay calm and get them the care they need.
If you would like more information on pediatric dental care, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “A Child's Toothache.”
Reasons to Consider Dental Implants
A healthy smile is important for successful business life and social life. Unfortunately, as you age, your chances of losing one or more teeth increase significantly, particularly if you have tooth decay or gum disease. But dental implants can save you smile permanently. The team at Roselle Dental Associates in Roselle, IL is dedicated to providing dental implants to replace missing teeth and restore dental function and facial structure.
Although for many years, bridges and dentures have been the answer for lost teeth, thanks to new dental technologies, they are no longer the only answer. Roselle dental patients are finding that permanent dental implants have many advantages over removable dentures. These include:
- Greater comfort: Because dentures rest on the gums, they can sometimes cause soreness and discomfort. Implants are fused to the jawbone, because of this they do not cause friction on the gums.
- Easy to maintain: Unlike dentures, which must be frequently removed for cleaning, you can treat dental implants just like your natural teeth. This means you can brush and floss as normal.
- No need for adjustments: Over time, dentures will wear and may not fit as snugly as they once did so you will need to get them refitted. This is not an issue with implants as they are firmly rooted within your jawbone, so they retain their original function.
- No bone erosion: When you have missing teeth, bone erosion is a problem because the tooth’s roots are no longer there to stimulate bone growth. With dental implants, however, the titanium post acts like the root of the tooth and so it continues to stimulate bone renewal.
If you like in or around Roselle, IL and you would like to find out more about replacing your missing teeth with dental implants, call Roselle Dental Associates on (630) 893-4200 to request an appointment.
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