Posts for: July, 2017
Brushing your teeth is almost surely one of the first things on your daily to do list. However, this important step should not be your only action against dental conditions like tooth decay and gum disease. Preventative care provided by your dentist helps stop these issues in their tracks and even avoid them from the get go. Find out more about preventative dental care with Dr. Steven Gilbert and Dr. Carlos Velez at Gilbert Dental Care in Philadelphia, PA.
What should a good at-home oral care routine consist of?
Your daily dental routine is your first course of defense against tooth decay and the conditions that come with it. Patients of all ages and at all levels of risk for decay should brush their teeth twice daily using a soft toothbrush and toothpaste. Try to brush for at least two minutes every time. Patients should also floss at least once daily using a new strand of dental floss for each quadrant of the mouth to cut down on the spread of bacteria. While mouthwash is not mandatory, those who choose to use it should avoid rinsing their mouth with water after swishing.
The Importance of Preventative Dental Care
A preventative dental examination and cleaning gives your dentist a chance to find cavities and other conditions early before they do any irreversible damage to your teeth. Taking care of existing dental problems early allows your dentist to use less invasive and time-consuming procedures to treat them. It also gives you the chance to preserve your natural teeth, avoiding extraction and losing the tooth altogether. Additionally, finding tooth decay early prevents a toothache which occurs once it reaches the tooth’s inner pulp chamber and damages the nerve.
Preventative Care with Gilbert Dental in Philadelphia, PA
Seeing your dentist twice a year for routine examinations and cleanings in addition to your daily oral care will round out your preventative care routine. These examinations and cleanings take about an hour and free your teeth of any plaque and tartar which you may have missed during your daily brushing and flossing. For more information on preventative dental care in the Philadelphia area, please contact Dr. Gilbert and Dr. Velez at Gilbert Dental Care in Philadelphia, PA. Call (215) 972-0406 to schedule your appointment with your dentist today!
Everyone knows that in the game of football, quarterbacks are looked up to as team leaders. That's why we're so pleased to see some NFL QB's setting great examples of… wait for it… excellent oral hygiene.
First, at the 2016 season opener against the Broncos, Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers was spotted on the bench; in his hands was a strand of dental floss. In between plays, the 2105 MVP was observed giving his hard-to-reach tooth surfaces a good cleaning with the floss.
Later, Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor was seen on the sideline of a game against the 49ers — with a bottle of mouthwash. Taylor took a swig, swished it around his mouth for a minute, and spit it out. Was he trying to make his breath fresher in the huddle when he called out plays?
Maybe… but in fact, a good mouthrinse can be much more than a short-lived breath freshener.
Cosmetic rinses can leave your breath with a minty taste or pleasant smell — but the sensation is only temporary. And while there's nothing wrong with having good-smelling breath, using a cosmetic mouthwash doesn't improve your oral hygiene — in fact, it can actually mask odors that may indicate a problem, such as tooth decay or gum disease.
Using a therapeutic mouthrinse, however, can actually enhance your oral health. Many commonly available therapeutic rinses contain anti-cariogenic (cavity-fighting) ingredients, such as fluoride; these can help prevent tooth decay and cavity formation by strengthening tooth enamel. Others contain antibacterial ingredients; these can help control the harmful oral bacteria found in plaque — the sticky film that can build up on your teeth in between cleanings. Some antibacterial mouthrinses are available over-the-counter, while others are prescription-only. When used along with brushing and flossing, they can reduce gum disease (gingivitis) and promote good oral health.
So why did Taylor rinse? His coach Rex Ryan later explained that he was cleaning out his mouth after a hard hit, which may have caused some bleeding. Ryan also noted, “He [Taylor] does have the best smelling breath in the league for any quarterback.” The coach didn't explain how he knows that — but never mind. The takeaway is that a cosmetic rinse may be OK for a quick fix — but when it comes to good oral hygiene, using a therapeutic mouthrinse as a part of your daily routine (along with flossing and brushing) can really step up your game.
X-rays are such a routine part of dental care that it's easy to overlook how much this technology has revolutionized detecting and treating tooth decay. It's safe to say x-rays have helped save hundreds of millions of teeth over the last hundred years.
Thanks to its unique properties these invisible electro-magnetic waves give us precise images of the interior structure of teeth and gums. It's so precise that we can clearly detect even a small spot of softened, decayed tooth structure on an exposed x-ray film, often before it becomes visible to the naked eye. As a result, we can begin treating the decay earlier, minimizing the damage and increasing the chances for preserving the tooth.
There are a variety of ways we can utilize x-ray technology in diagnosing dental problems. The one, though, that's used the most is called the bitewing. The name comes from wing-like tabs extending out from a thin frame holding a segment of unexposed film. A technician places the frame inside the patient's mouth with the film on the tongue side of the teeth, and has them bite down on the tabs to hold the frame still. They then aim a camera at the patient's outer cheek, which then emits a very short burst of x-ray energy to expose the film.
Bitewings are popular because they give a full view of the back and side teeth, where decay is often hard to detect, with very little radiation exposure to the patient. And as x-ray technology has progressed over the years with digital processing and more efficient equipment, we can acquire sharper images with even less exposure. We've also developed standard protocols for when and how often we perform x-rays, so that we're getting the most diagnostic benefit for the least amount of exposure time.
Those few minutes getting an x-ray may seem routine, but the benefits to your dental health are truly amazing. The bitewing and other forms of x-rays play a huge role in helping us keep your teeth as healthy as they possibly can.
If you would like more information on x-ray diagnostics, 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 “Bitewing X-Rays.”