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A common question patients ask is “which is the best toothbrush: a manual or electric ?” Like most things, it depends. We have listed some of the major advantages of each kind of toothbrush to provide some insight into what kind is the best for you.
Advantages of an electric toothbrush:
• Most electric toothbrushes have a timer that is based on quadrants in the mouth. Each quadrant of teeth is given 30-45 seconds until the toothbrush “buzzes” telling you to move on to the next one. The electric toothbrush holds you more accountable to brushing for the recommended full 2-3 minutes.
• Electric toothbrushes are great for those with limited manual dexterity. A manual toothbrush requires accurate manipulation of the brush head to clean all teeth adequately, whereas an electric toothbrush does the work for you. Many elderly patients, those with special needs, or even young children who cannot move their hands the way they need to effectively manipulate a manual toothbrush can benefit from an electric toothbrush.
• Electric toothbrushes either vibrate or rotate at a high speed so you’re getting more strokes per minute than can be achieved by hand, which can remove more plaque when used correctly. Also, most electric toothbrushes have sensors that help avoid damage to enamel and gums.
• Children may be more motivated to use a “fun” electric toothbrush more than a manual one. Some varieties even play music to help your child know how long to brush.
Advantages of a manual toothbrush:
• Cost is the number one advantage of a manual toothbrush. Many electric toothbrushes can cost upwards of $100 to get the initial motor. Replacement brush heads for electric toothbrushes are also more expensive than a manual toothbrush.
• Manual toothbrushes offer more options on brush types such as soft bristles, rounded tips, ergonomically designed handles, angled brush heads, gum stimulators, and tongue cleaners.
• Manual toothbrushes don’t have any batteries that require charging before they can be used and aren’t as bulky. They are certainly easier for you to take them with you when traveling.
Conclusion:
According to research, the American Dental Hygienists Association and the American Dental Association state that both electric and manual toothbrushes can effectively clean your teeth and gums. When it comes down to it, it’s not so much about the brush, it’s more about the brusher. The best toothbrush for you is going to be the one you’re most likely to use and use well. Regardless of which type of toothbrush you choose here are some important brushing guidelines to follow:
• Pick a toothbrush that’s the right size for your mouth.
• Avoid hard bristles that can irritate your gums.
• Use a fluoride toothpaste.
• Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth and gums.
• Gently brush all tooth surfaces for 2-3 minutes
• Rinse your toothbrush and store it upright to air dry
• Floss once per day
• Mouth rinses are optional and shouldn’t replace flossing or brushing.

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Our Lakewood Dental Office

by on September 19, 2017 | Posted in Blog
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Did you drop the ball on spring cleaning this year? Not to worry — you still have time! After all, the first day of summer isn’t until the 21st of June! As you put together your plans for tackling the deep cleaning of your home and property, though, you may forget to consider one small, but very essential item: your toothbrush. Don’t be among the many who overlook the importance of taking the time to properly clean your toothbrush this spring.

Why Should I Clean My Toothbrush?

If you’re brushing as often as you should, you’re using your toothbrush at least 2-3 times each day. How can you expect your toothbrush to do its job and keep your mouth clean and healthy, though, if you’re not keeping your toothbrush clean and healthy? In recent years, scientists have conducted studies that have determined that certain microorganisms within the mouth can be transferred to the bristles of your toothbrush, making your brushing less effective. Investing just a little of your time in the process of cleaning and caring for your toothbrush will help eliminate the build-up of bacteria and microorganisms, meaning a healthier, happier mouth.

Toothbrush Cleaning 101

Ready to make sure that your toothbrush is well cleaned? Here are three steps to a healthy brush:

Rinse — Always take the time to thoroughly rinse your toothbrush after each and every use. All toothpaste and debris should be carefully removed from both the bristles and the shaft of the toothbrush.

Store — After rinsing your toothbrush, you need to make sure that it’s properly stored. This means that the toothbrush should be kept in a place where it’s both upright and uncovered. When the toothbrush is laying down, it may not dry as effectively. This is also a problem when a toothbrush is covered or left in a sealed container. Putting the toothbrush in a container can also encourage bacterial growth. We recommend keeping your toothbrush in a medicine cabinet to prevent airborne contaminants from affecting it. Whenever multiple toothbrushes are stored together, you’ll need to take steps to ensure that the bristles are not touching so that you can avoid cross-contamination. Finally, allow your toothbrush to fully air dry between uses.

Soak — After cleaning your teeth, your toothbrush’s bristles have been exposed to bacterial contaminants. When left untreated, the bacteria can build up and make your oral hygiene routine less effective. We recommend that you let your toothbrush soak in mouthwash for approximately 20 minutes each day in order to kill off the bacteria. And while we’re on the subject, here’s a bonus tip: rinse your mouth with mouthwash before brushing your teeth. This will cut down on the bacteria in your mouth that your toothbrush bristles will need to be exposed to.

When to Replace

Cleaning will only get you so far with your toothbrush. No matter how well you care for the brush, it will need to be replaced eventually, so it’s important that you know the signs. As a general rule, toothbrushes should be replaced at least every 3-4 months. You may need to replace the brush sooner if the bristles have become frayed, so keep an eye out for any issues. Always remember to closely monitor your children’s toothbrushes, as theirs need to be replaced more often and will not come to this conclusion on their own.

Need some more tips on how to care for your toothbrush, or information on how to select the right brush for your oral health? Give Dr. Bruce McArthur a call today. We’ll set up a time for you to come in for a cleaning and a consult.

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Tobacco is highly addictive, and smoking is a huge daily problem for individuals all across America and throughout the globe. Many of these folks have a strong desire to quit. Of course, people mainly want to stop smoking because of the damaging effect that it has on their heart and lungs, but another strong motivator is the negative impact that smoking has on an individual’s teeth and oral health. In today’s post, we’ll explore just how smoking impacts your mouth and provide you with some useful tips for quitting today.

The Effect of Smoking on Your Mouth

Okay, so how bad is smoking for your mouth, really? The answer is: very bad. Here’s a look at some of the many ways that smoking can negatively impact your oral health:

Staining/Discoloration — The most obvious problem created by smoking is that your teeth can begin to yellow and look discolored. This staining is permanent without professional treatment, and it can make you feel self-conscious and less attractive.

Bad Breath — No one wants to be the person with stinky breath, but if you smoke, there’s a stronger chance that yours is not so pleasant.

Periodontal Disease — Smoking actually causes periodontal disease. This bacterial infection destroys soft tissue and bone that are needed to keep your teeth anchored to your jawbone. As the gums sicken and recede, you’ll notice bleeding. Over time, your teeth will become loose and you’ll experience pain. One or more of your teeth may even fall out. What’s more, tooth replacement procedures are less successful in smoker’s mouths due to existing damage.

Information and Tips for Quitting

Because tobacco is extremely addictive, quitting can be a major challenge. Before attempting to quit, it’s important that you learn all about what will be happening to you from a psychological standpoint. This is what will help you find the most success as you work to overcome cravings and any anxiety you may experience.

Your Last Cigarette — You’ll probably feel some mixed emotions when smoking your last cigarette. On one hand, you’ll feel proud of yourself for taking a step to improve your health. You might be excited about what the future holds. At the same time, though, you may also notice fear or panic setting in. This is where it’s important to remind yourself that quitting is all about taking things one step at a time.

Hours After Your Last Cigarette — At this point, you’re going to notice your first cravings beginning to kick in. Expect it and prepare ways to distract yourself, like going for a walk, seeing a movie with friends, or cleaning the house. You might also experience headaches and hunger. Again, being prepared with distracting activities, snacks, and water intake will help. Remember that the symptoms will pass soon.

Day 1 — One of the hardest parts of quitting smoking is that smoking has likely become a major part of your daily routine. We suggest playing around with your routine and shaking things up so that you aren’t hit with the urge to pick up out of habit.

Day 3 — By now, the worst should be over. Your cravings should subside significantly and you’re learning to do things a new way.

Since the first 2 weeks are the most difficult, we recommend seeking out the support of a group or a trusted friend in order to help get you through more comfortably. Your hard work WILL pay off.

Quitting smoking will prevent any future problems with your teeth, but you have have some stains or existing issues that need to be addressed. Talk to Dr. Bruce McArthur about your options for improving the look and health of your smile today.

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Got A Missing Tooth?

by on July 20, 2016 | Posted in Blog

It’s Time to Look at Your Options

Lose a tooth? Whether you lost a tooth in an accident or had to have it pulled, knowing that one of your pearly whites is missing can be very distressing. It should go without saying, then, that replacing the tooth is extremely important and should be done as quickly as possible. But why is this so critical, and what can you do to remedy the issue? Today’s blog will tell you everything you need to know about dealing with a missing tooth.

Why is it necessary to replace a missing tooth?

Sometimes we come across patients who aren’t fully convinced that they need to do anything about a missing tooth. Being nervous about the possibility of undergoing a dental procedure, they will try to convince themselves that they can “live with” the gap. We wouldn’t recommend this approach.

First of all, the overall aesthetics of your smile are affected significantly. An empty space where a tooth should be will stand out like a sore thumb and detract from your self-esteem. The problem goes beyond beauty, though. A missing tooth can also take away from your oral health. Each of your teeth acts as a place holder for one another. When a gap exists, neighboring teeth may begin to shift. This causes trouble with alignment and detracts from the strength of the jaw.

How can I replace a missing tooth?

If you’re among those who get jumpy when it comes to the idea of replacing a missing tooth, fear not. You’ve got plenty of options, all of which are routine dental procedures and minimally invasive.

Dental Implant

One of the most popular (and most highly recommended) methods for replacing a dental tooth is to introduce a dental implant to the patient’s mouth. Here, a tooth root is replaced and a separately created crown is attached. Both the tooth root and crown are custom made to ensure that the replacement tooth is indistinguishable from the rest of your teeth. It’s important to understand that this particular procedure will require you to undergo a minor surgery. You’ll also need to give your mouth time to heal and your root time to “settle” before the crown can be affixed. This, however, is the most long-lasting and reliable way to replace a missing tooth.

Fixed Partial Denture

Before implants, the standard for tooth replacement procedures was the fixed partial denture — also known as a fixed bridge. Some dentists and patients still select this option. With a fixed partial denture, the teeth on either side of the gap are crowned. These crowns work to support a false tooth (known as a pontic) between them. The pontic will blend naturally with your other teeth, and you will be able to enjoy normal functionality of your jaw and teeth. It is important to carefully discuss this option with your dental professional before making a choice so that you’re aware of all the details. After all, two of your other teeth will need to be altered in order to accommodate the crown. Make sure you’re armed with the facts.

Removable Partial Denture

Your last option is a removable partial denture (RPD), which is comprised of an artificial tooth and a plastic anchor that mimics gum tissue. The RPD is attached to metal clasps that are hooked onto neighboring teeth and it can be taken out for cleaning. This is the most affordable option, but you’ll need to have the RPD checked out frequently to ensure that it’s not causing other teeth to become loose over time and that it still fits properly.

There’s no reason for a missing tooth to hold you back. Dr. Bruce McArthur is more than happy to work with you to find a solution that fits your needs. Give us a call to learn more about replacing your missing tooth today.

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