Posts for: May, 2021
Two important practices boost your protection from dental disease: twice-a-year dental visits; and daily brushing and flossing. Of the two, that second one could be the most important.
Personal oral hygiene cleans the teeth of dental plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles that accumulates on them each day. This plaque buildup is the number one cause for both tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease, so removing it reduces your risk of an infection.
But it's not just a matter of doing these tasks—it's also doing them well. A quick once-over isn't going to have the same preventive power as a more thorough job.
Here then are 4 tips for improving your daily oral hygiene efforts.
Time yourself brushing. It usually takes about two minutes to thoroughly brush all tooth surfaces. So, set a timer for two minutes, focusing on methodically brushing the front, back and biting surfaces of each tooth.
Easy does it. Brushing teeth requires only a gentle bit of manual force as the mild abrasives and detergents in your toothpaste provide most of the action of loosening plaque. In fact, aggressive brushing can lead to enamel and gum damage. Practice gentle scrubbing action when you brush.
Don't neglect flossing. While brushing gets most of the hygienic attention, it can't effectively get to areas between teeth where over half of built-up plaque can accumulate. Be sure then to floss at least once a day to remove plaque between teeth that brushing can miss.
Test yourself. Your dentist may be the ultimate judge for the quality of your hygiene, but you can check your effectiveness between visits. For instance, run your tongue across your teeth—it should feel smooth, not rough or gritty. Using a plaque disclosing agent periodically can also reveal missed plaque.
And don't forget to keep up your regular dental visits, which are necessary for removing plaque you might have missed or tartar that may have formed. They're also a great time to get advice from your dentist or dental hygienist on how you can further improve your own efforts in daily dental care.
If you would like more information on best oral hygiene practices, 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 “Daily Oral Hygiene: Easy Habits for Maintaining Oral Health.”
Do you have a chipped tooth? Your Braintree, MA, dentists offer several treatments that will improve the appearance of your damaged tooth.
One of these three options can fix your chipped tooth
As tough as teeth are, they aren't indestructible. Chewing ice or other hard objects, grinding your teeth, or falling can cause tiny pieces of teeth to chip off. Although small chips don't alter the structural integrity of your teeth, they certainly affect your appearance.
Depending on the size of the chip, your dentist may recommend one or more of these treatment options:
- Bonding: During a bonding treatment, your dentist applies a flexible, tooth-colored material called composite resin to fill in the chipped area. Once the composite resin is hardened with a curing light, you'll be able to use the tooth immediately. Bonding can usually be performed without any anesthesia.
- Veneers: Veneers offer an excellent option for chip repair. The restorations cover the fronts of the teeth only and are attached with dental cement. Porcelain or plastic veneers are as thin as a contact lens yet thick enough to hide chips and other flaws. During your first veneer appointment at the Braintree, MA, dental office, your dentist will make an impression of your mouth. The impression serves as a guide for the dental lab technicians who create your veneers. They may also need to remove a tiny amount of tooth enamel as part of the preparation process.
- Crowns: If the chip is large, a crown may be the best option. Crowns are porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal, ceramic, or resin restorations that slip over the tops of teeth. Before you receive a crown, your dentist must reduce the size of your tooth to ensure a comfortable fit. Crowns are also made from an impression of your mouth and are cemented to your teeth. If you'll be receiving porcelain or porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, you'll wear a temporary crown for a few weeks until your permanent crown is ready.
Are you ready to fix your chipped tooth? Schedule an appointment with your dentists in Braintree, MA, by calling 781-843-0660.