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Choosing a toothbrush seems like a simple task but walking down the aisle of the local drug store you will see countless options. The options can be overwhelming if you are unsure of what to look for. In many cases, toothbrush choice comes down to preference. The best toothbrush you can buy is one you will use at least 2x a day. Below you will find some tips on how to choose the right toothbrush for you.

Toothbrush Tips

-Should You Use A Manual Toothbrush Or An Electric Toothbrush? – Both types are very effective at maintaining dental hygiene. However, for some the electric toothbrush will work better. This includes children, those with limited dexterity, and many seniors. It all comes down to choice and preference here. Manual toothbrushing can be just as effective as using an electric toothbrush in the right hands.

-Hard Or Soft Bristles? – Stay away from toothbrushes with hard bristles. They are unnecessary and will end up doing more harm than good. Soft bristled toothbrushes are more than capable to remove plaque and food debris from our teeth. The goal is to clean our teeth not to damage them or the surrounding tissues.

-Small Or Large Brush Head? - This comes down to personal preference. A good toothbrush is one that is able to reach all areas of the mouth and also be comfortable. If a smaller brush head is more comfortable for you then choose that one.

-Toothbrush handle. Again, this comes down to comfort. Some toothbrushes have a grip to them and some do not. Use what is comfortable for you.

-American Dental Association (ADA) Seal Of Approval. This seal is earned by the toothbrush manufacturer once it proves its toothbrush is safe and effective in brushing our teeth. The ADA states that for a toothbrush to qualify for a seal of approval it must meet the following criteria:

-All components of the toothbrush are safe for use in the mouth.
-Toothbrush bristles are not sharp or jagged, and will not fall out with normal usage.
-Handle material has been shown to be durable with normal usage.
-The toothbrush can be used by the average adult to significantly decrease gingivitis and plaque build up.
-Electric toothbrushes must meet additional safety requirements. This includes undergoing at least one clinical investigation to show the product is safe and effective for use.

-When Should I Replace My Toothbrush? – A toothbrush should be replaced every 3 months or sooner if you notice the bristles are beginning to wear down. A worn down toothbrush will not maintain your dental hygiene as effectively as a newer one. It is a minimal cost to maintain your beautiful smile. Also, if you get sick, you should change toothbrushes after getting better so you are not reinfecting yourself with bad germs.

Toothbrush Choice Conclusion

So, the bottom line is to choose a toothbrush that is most comfortable for you to use. After all, if the toothbrush is uncomfortable to you, you will not use it effectively or regularly. See your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and dental examinations.

Snap on smile is a newer technique to easily give you the smile of your dreams. For many there are hurdles to a beautiful smile, like cost, time, and even fear of dentistry. Snap on smile is a removable appliance that can be custom made to fit over your existing teeth. The advantage to this process is there is no need to do any permanent damage to your existing teeth. While a snap on smile can be used temporarily or in a more permanent manner, it still requires care and maintenance.

What Is A Snap On Smile?

Snap on smile is a revolutionary solution for many cosmetic dental issues. The beauty of the snap on smile is that it is a totally reversible cosmetic dentistry option. The snap on smile is much more affordable than porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns. In general, the snap on smile procedure costs as much as a single porcelain crown.

Snap on smile is a removable arch of “teeth” which is designed to snap over the existing teeth. The snap on smile removable appliance is made from an extremely strong dental resin. It can be used as a short term or a long term cosmetic dentistry option. The following are the steps involved in the fabrication of a custom snap on smile:

-Dental Impressions. This will include impressions of the teeth, photographs, along with a bite registration. A bite registration allows the dental lab to know the relationship between the upper and lower teeth. At this visit you and your dentist will also pick out the style, shape, and color of your new smile.

-Dental Laboratory. The information gathered by the dentist is then sent off to the dental laboratory. The dental technician will digitally create the custom made snap on smile.

-Snap On Smile Insertion. Following custom fabrication by the dental laboratory, your cosmetic dentist will then place the final product over your teeth. The snap on smile pops right in over your own teeth and should fit perfectly with little, if any modification.

The snap on smile is so simple to complete without the need for removing any of your natural tooth structure or need to use any anesthesia. The beauty is that it is completely removable at any time with no effect to your natural teeth.

Care And Maintenance Of Snap On Smile

As with any type of removable dental appliance, there are at home dental care instructions that should be followed in order to keep your Snap On Smile in the best condition possible and to extend the lifespan of the dental appliance.

-Daily Cleaning. Each and every time you remove the snap on smile appliance it should be cleaned. It is also important to clean your teeth as well. This will ensure you do not develop tooth decay or periodontal disease. To clean your snap on smile, you can use a toothbrush to scrub and clean it so it is free of debris and bacteria. This is especially important since food, bacteria and debris can become trapped between the snap on smile and your teeth or gums, which can increase the chance of tooth decay or dental infection. You should also continue your dental hygiene routine each morning before you re-insert your snap on smile into your mouth.

-Avoid Staining Foods And Drink. Your snap on smile is made of a durable resin material but it can be prone to staining just as your natural teeth are. Try to avoid coffee, red wine, and cigarettes if you are concerned about staining your snap on smile. While the snap on smile is quite resistant to many stains it is best to follow a strict cleaning schedule to ensure the stains do not develop.

-Avoid Chewy, Sticky Foods. Even though your snap on smile is made of a durable dental resin it can break with sufficient force. You should also avoid chewing on ice or non food items like pens or pencils.

-Remove Snap On Smile Properly. Always remove your Snap On Smile with both hands by gently rocking it from side to side. Avoid twisting the appliance when removing your snap on smile.

Snap On Smile Conclusion

The snap on smile is made from a durable dental resin material but the material does have a limited life. With proper care, it can last for a long time giving you many years of smiles.

Dental implants have changed the way both dentists and patients look at tooth loss. One of the major advantages of dental implants is their longevity. The more traditional treatments like dental bridges generally last anywhere between 10-15 years or so. While dentures can last longer but need constant adjustment. Dental implants with proper care can last a lifetime.

How To Care For Dental Implants?

Dental implants can fail for any number of reasons. The usual culprits can include periodontal disease, poor dental hygiene, and smoking. Dental implants are considered to be a failure if they show any movement at all. This movement can occur when the bone and gum tissues surrounding the dental implant break down.

Listed below are a few simple steps you can do to help protect the stability of your dental implants:

-See Your Dentist Regularly For Routine Examinations And Professional Cleanings.

-Maintain Dental Hygiene. This should include brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once per day.

-Use An Antibacterial Moutwash. This will diminish the amount of harmful oral bacteria in the mouth.

Factors That Lead To Dental Implant Failure

-Failed Integration of Dental Implants - This occurs when the bone of the jaws does not grow and fuse between the threads of the dental implant. This fusion between the bone and dental implant is called osseointegration. If osseointegration does not occur, the dental implants will become loose, or come out completely. To reduce this risk, your implant dentist will evaluate the quality and quantity of the jaw bone prior to surgery. This will allow the implant dentist to only place dental implants in areas where there is an increased success rate. If osseointegration does not take place, the dental implants can be removed, and implant surgery can be tried again following complete healing of the area.

-Dental Infection (peri-implantitis) –  While rare, this is the most common complication of dental implant surgery. The surrounding bone and gums can get infected during or after the placement of the dental implants. This can happen due to poor surgical technique, a contaminated implant, poor healing ability (diabetic, smoker, osteoporosis medications). The most likely time for this to occur would be during the surgical placement of the dental implant into the bone. Implant infection is a condition referred to as peri-implantitis. Peri-implantitis is characterized by inflammation or swelling of the tissues surrounding the dental implant. Peri-implantitis can also show up as a secondary infection later on. It is a form of periodontal disease that can lead to inflammation, bone loss and implant failure if not treated quickly and properly. Although dental implant infections are usually caused by the presence of bacteria during or immediately after the oral surgery for the placement of the dental implants, an implant infection can occur months or even years after the dental implants are placed.

-Damage To Surrounding Tissues - Dental implant complications related with surgical errors affecting adjacent teeth, nerves or sinus are directly connected to the experience and skills of the implant dentist. An implant dentist with the proper skill and experience is able to identify potential problems by examining x-rays or CT scan (computer tomography), design the proper treatment plan (including ideal location and angle), and execute it properly without complications. Even with the most experienced implant dentist there is always a possibility of dental implant complications. It is important to note that with experience comes an understanding of what can happen. This is important because an experienced implant dentist will be able to easily handle any complications that might come up either at time of surgery or afterwards.

What About The Dental Restorations?

Following placement of your dental implants and proper healing your dentist will place a dental restoration on top of them. These restorations can include dental crowns, dental bridges, and dentures. These restorations will eventually wear down from the constant mechanical forces placed on them through biting and chewing. Fortunately, these dental restorations will last years before needing replacement.

Dental Implants Longevity Conclusion

It is important to note dental implants can be a complex procedure requiring the need for an experienced implant dentist.In order to ensure the best possible outcomes, you should always work with a highly skilled and experienced implant dentist who makes dental implants a primary focus of their practice. With regular dental care maintenance, your dental implants could and should last a lifetime.

An often overlooked area to improve our dental health is regular use of chewing gum. It is important to choose the right type of gum for the job. We do not always have the time or means to fully clean our teeth after eating. Here are some suggestions.

Types Of Chewing Gum

-Gum Containing Sugar.  When chewing gum containing sugar, you are releasing sugar into the mouth. This gives the natural oral bacteria in your mouth  food to feed upon to multiply and grow. This can lead to tooth decay if not properly removed. There are studies that show that if you continue to chew the gum for a bit after the initial sugar is displaced, the increased saliva flow may negate the effects of the initial sugar release. This means you need to chew sugar gum after the sweet flavor is gone to have any effect.

-Gum Containing Artificial Sweeteners (Aspartame or Sucralose). By chewing gum with an artificial sweetener you will not release the harmful sugars into your mouth. The benefit of chewing this type of gum means you get the full effect of chewing gum quickly. This effect is saliva stimulation which can wash away food debris and bacteria in the mouth. Chewing sugar free gum for 10-15 minutes after eating can have a tremendous benefit to your oral health.

-Gum Containing Xylitol. Chewing gum sweetened with xylitol creates an uninviting environment for oral bacteria. The bacteria simply cannot attach themselves to teeth in a xylitol rich environment.  This is the mechanism by which xyltiol protects the teeth from tooth decay. With Xylitol, the acid attack that would otherwise last for over half an hour is stopped. The bacteria in the mouth that are causing cavities are unable to digest xylitol, so their growth is greatly reduced. The number of acid producing bacteria may decrease by as much as 90%. No acid is formed because the pH of saliva and plaque does not drop ( a drop in ph is what normally happens after eating sugar and carbs). After taking xylitol, the bacteria do not stick well to the surface of the teeth and as a result, the amount of plaque decreases. Many people are not aware of this ancillary benefit because such a claim labels xylitol as a drug. This crosses a legal boundary not allowed by the FDA. It has been recommended that you chew a piece of xylitol gum after every meal or snack to gain maximum benefit to your teeth.

When sugarfree gum is not available, sugarfree breath mints can also help increase your saliva flow. The mints however, do not have the added benefit of stickiness to help pull sugar and carbohydrates off of the teeth. Drinking a full glass of water, swishing and swallowing can also help when you are unable to brush.

**Be sure to read labels. You may find that sugar is labeled zero with or without an asterick. This just means that there are under .5 grams of sugar per serving. Tic Tac has gotten away with this by having a serving be 1 tic tac which is .49 g. So even though the tic tac is actually 97% sugar, they are able to label the sugar as zero. Look at the list of ingredients not the quick glance nutrition label.**

Dental Hygiene Tips

-Brush, Floss, Rinse Every Day. We all know this already, but do we do it properly? These simple tasks are often overlooked in our busy schedules. Brushing at least 2x per day for 2 minutes each time along with flossing at least once per day and rinsing with an antibacterial or fluoride rinse will be a great start to a healthy smile.

-Avoid Sugary Foods And Drinks. Foods high in sugar give the oral bacteria the nutrition it needs to create an acidic environment inside your mouth and can lead to harmful tooth decay.

-Get Plenty Of Vitamin C. A diet deficient in vitamin C can lead to dental health issues like loose teeth and bleeding gum. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits. Important to note that citrus fruits are highly acidic so you should rinse with water afterwards to neutralize the acids so as not to harm your teeth.

-Choose Crunchy Foods. While not a replacement for dental floss, eating hard, crunchy raw foods (like carrots, celery, nuts, and apples) can naturally clean your teeth and freshen your breath.

-Get Your Daily Amount Of Calcium. This will not only keep your teeth strong but also the bones in your body. Good sources of Calcium include milk, soybeans, and cheese. Also, ensure you get enough vitamin D. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium properly. A good source of vitamin D is from the sun. So get outside and exercise!

-Drink Lots Of Water. Drinking water throughout the day will keep your teeth and body healthy and hydrated. Water is far better for you than any other beverage you can drink.  Rinsing after every meal or snack with water will help maintain your dental health. The water can neutralize the acids being produced by the oral bacteria. This will in turn limit the amount of tooth decay that can occur.

-See Your Dentist Regularly. Seems like an easy one but often neglected. It is important to not only get your teeth professionally cleaned but also to ward off any problems while in their earliest stages.

Chewing Gum Conclusion

There are lots of things that should be part of our daily routine to maintain our dental health. Those looking for maximum benefit should incorporate chewing gum into their routine. The benefits will lead to cleaner teeth, fresher breath, fewer cavities, and a lifetime of smiles.