Brushing Isn’t Enough: 3 Additional Tips to Taking Care of Your Mouth

While brushing your teeth is often considered to be the foundation of good oral health care, brushing alone is often not enough when it comes to removing harmful bacteria. There is more to good oral health than just brushing your teeth! It’s recommended that you incorporate several other things into your oral health care routine in order to get take care of your mouth and smile!

Tip 1: Flossing

Many people underestimate the importance of flossing your teeth and gums. Do you know that when you don’t floss, you’re leaving 35% of your tooth unclean? That fact is one of the reasons that brushing your teeth just isn’t enough! By including flossing into your routine, you’ll be able to more thoroughly clean your teeth and gums; removing the excess food and bacteria that brushing can’t reach on its own.

Many people avoid flossing due to discomfort or laziness. But if you start to incorporate it into your daily brushing routine it will not feel like an extra chore or be as uncomfortable. If you aren’t sure how exactly to floss Dr. Silberg or one of his dental hygienists can show you the proper way to floss you teeth, and often will provide you with dental floss as well.

Tip 2: Eat a Balanced Diet

Your diet has a lot to do with your oral health care. While you have no doubt been told to avoid sugary foods, you might not understand why. Sugary foods in excess are one of the leading causes of tooth decay and gum disease when a patient is not utilizing proper oral health care. But keep in mind that sugary foods aren’t the only types of food you should avoid either.

It is recommended that you limit the acidic foods and drinks you consume also. Acidic foods and drinks consumed in excess can result in damage to your tooth enamel. Your enamel is important as it helps prevent damage done to your teeth and makes your teeth white! All in all, it is important to avoid foods & beverages that damage your teeth and only consume them in moderation. Focus on eating a balanced diet ensuring that you receive proper nutrition from whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and proteins. This is crucial not only for your overall health, but your oral health as well.

Tip 3: Regular Dental Visits

After reaching adulthood, many patients avoid going to the dentist. We cannot stress this enough: the Dr. Silberg is your friend! Scheduling regular dental checkups is crucial to your oral health. At these checkup appointments, we can assess whether or not you have any issues that can help you stay healthy, and what the current state of your oral health care is. This is also a great time to receive a professional dental cleaning—leaving your mouth happy, healthy, and refreshed!

Questions?

As covered above, it is important to realize that brushing your teeth is not enough when it comes to your oral care. You need to ensure that you floss, and receive regular dental checkups with professional teeth cleanings. Your oral health care is extremely important since you use your mouth everyday; from eating to talking. Don’t you want to do everything you can do keep your teeth happy and healthy? Should you have any questions about proper care of your mouth, please contact us and we will be happy to help you.

Dental Implant Care

Dental implants are often utilized when a patient is missing one or more teeth. It acts as a substitute for the missing tooth; restoring function to the patient’s mouth while improving the aesthetics of the patient’s smile. Just like your regular teeth, dental implants require special care in order to keep your oral health in good standing. We’ve provided some dental implant care tips to help our patients get a better understanding of how to care for them!

Dental Implant Cleaning and Caring

You ultimately need to care for your dental implants like you would your natural teeth. This means that you’ll need to practice good oral hygiene in order to prevent diseases from occurring. You will need to utilize standard home oral care like teeth brushing, flossing, and mouth rinsing alongside regular dental visits and professional cleanings. When brushing and flossing at home, make sure you are using proper technique so that you don’t harm your natural teeth.

Beyond that, you’ll need additional dental tools to properly take care of your dental implants. There are numerous products out there that can assist you with cleaning your dental implants. We can recommend some of these products for you based off of your own individual needs. For example, there are water picks and toothbrushes that have various attachments with angled necks or also they can apply a different kind of pressure to allow for the utmost cleaning. There also are flossing tools that can help clean around the dental implant and prevent infection for stuck food particles. Infection around the base of your dental implant can cause it to loosen and ultimately fall out.

Once you have a dental implant placed, it is very important that you maintain it properly. In the end, you want to be sure that you are not only using the right cleaning techniques, but that you also have the right dental tools that you need to care for them.
You’ll want to remember these key pieces of information when practicing proper dental implant care:

  • Utilize proper technique: when it comes to your dental implants, you need to exercise proper dental care. This includes flossing and brushing in the right way.
  • Use the right tool for the right job: dental implants can require additional dental tools beyond floss and a toothbrush. Speak with a Dr. Silberg and he’ll be able to recommend any specific tools that you’ll need for your dental implants.
  • Get help: If you need to reach out and ask some questions about your dental implant visit with Dr. Silberg and make sure you get the help that you need. This includes regular checkups with Dr. Silberg and cleaning appointments.

Questions?

Taking proper care of your dental implants is the most important thing you can do for your oral health. Your dental implants serve a major role in your overall well being and the aesthetics of your smile. Should you have any questions regarding dental implant care, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Dental Implants vs. Dentures and Bridges

Whether it was during a consultation in our office or perhaps while you were doing your own research online, you have probably come across the term “dental implant” at some point. A dental implant is a great way, often the best way, to replace a missing tooth.

Dental lmplants vs DenturesSo how do you decide if a dental implant is the right path for you, or if a more traditional tooth replacement method such as dentures or bridges is the best way to go?

We have been asked this question many times, and have compiled a comprehensive breakdown of the benefits that implants offer over their conventional counterparts. We hope that this guide will help make the decision process easier for you.

Dental Implants vs. Dentures and Bridges: Things to Consider

  • Longevity: Dental implants offer a long-term solution (often lasting a lifetime) to missing teeth, while dentures and bridges require replacement every 5 to 10 years. Not only does this mean less hassle, it also means that implants may be more affordable over time.
  • Quality of Life:
    • Simply put, dental implants look, feel and function more like natural teeth than do dentures and bridges.
    • With a dental implant, our patients can hardly notice the difference when biting into hard objects. They also look more natural.
    • In addition to that, dental implants are fixed – they are not going to fall out while you are talking or smiling, and you don’t have to put them away each night when you go to sleep. They remain in your mouth, anchored to your jawbone at all times.
  • Bone Stability and Health: Just like muscles, bones also need a “workout” in order to maintain their mass and health. So when a tooth is missing from the jawline, the bone underneath the old tooth site becomes atrophied and shrinks. Dentures and bridges do nothing to help this deterioration. However, dental implants actually screw into the bone and integrate with it, actually encouraging new bone growth.
  • Overall Health: Because implants allow for a normal range of food choices in the diet (a benefit not afforded by dentures), they encourage you to continue your healthy lifestyle for the rest of your life!

Do you still have questions? As always, we are here to answer any questions you have. Give us a call for more information!

Teeth in the News: Dental Care Reduces Respiratory Infections in the ICU

We are always pleased to pass along any oral health information to our patients and their families as we come across it in our various news sources. Simply put: we love it when we find teeth in the news!

Tooth illustration with iconWhile we don’t spend significant time in hospitals ourselves, we were still happy to hear about a recent study that suggests that patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) of a hospital benefit from enhanced dental care in more ways than you would expect!

Typically, in an ICU setting, patients receive routine oral hygiene treatments from the nurse staff. However, when researchers assigned half of the patients to receive enhanced dental care from a dentist that included brushing, tongue scraping, calculus removal and more, they found that those patients were 56% less likely to develop a respiratory tract infection during their ICU stay.

This is significant because hospital-acquired infections such as respiratory infections are not uncommon due to the nature of the hospital environment and can be dangerous for vulnerable patients. You may be wondering “What is the connection between oral hygiene and respiratory infections?” In fact, infections such as these often originate in the oral cavity. Catching them early before they get into the major organs of the body may be one way to combat healthcare-associated infections.

This is just another example of how your oral health affects the health of your whole body! Be sure to employ excellent brushing and flossing habits at home while you are well to avoid additional problems in your body down the road!

Facts About Bone Grafting

Did you know that with today’s modern techniques, bone grafting is now considered a routine treatment? A bone graft can fix a variety of facial and dental problems and may be required in some cases. If you’ve been told in the past that you’re not an ideal candidate for getting a tooth implant, call us to ask about how a sinus graft makes it possible for many of our patients to receive dental implants. Here are a few things you should know if you’re thinking about getting a dental implant or think a bone graft could help you.

Facts About Modern Bone GraftingIt’s a routine procedure!

Bone grafting has become a standard practice. Depending on the quantity and quality of jawbone, most procedures take place in our office and we use local anesthesia or conscience sedation to relieve any anxiety.

Bone loss has been virtually eliminated!

The only reason our jaws have the amount of the bone that they do is because of the presence of existing teeth. Complicated procedures were developed in the past to attempt to rebuild jaws that had atrophied due to missing teeth and disuse but with the modernization of bone grafting and dental implants, we can prevent jawbone atrophy all together.

There are a variety of materials that can be used.

The bone grafting material you need could come from a variety of sources. Generally, we use bone taken from your hip, jaw, or lower knee but today we have the ability to grow bone where needed or obtain bone from a tissue bank. We also use special membranes to help protect the bone graft and encourage bone regeneration.

Bone grafting allows your body to rebuild itself.

The human body uses most bone grafting materials as a frame on which it can grow new bone. Over time the graft material will be replaced with new bone through your body’s own process of bone regeneration. Maintaining a healthy amount of bone tissue around your teeth is crucial in keeping up your oral health.

If you have a missing tooth, congenital defect, or have had a traumatic jaw injury, and you’re wondering whether you may need bone grafting, give us a call. We can answer your questions, and present the treatment options that are best in your individual situation.

Heart Disease and the Importance of Good Oral Hygiene

Heart Disease and the ImportanceDid you know that poor oral hygiene could increase your chances of developing heart disease? Practicing good oral health habits isn’t just an important part of preventing tooth decay; it’s crucial in maintaining your overall health. But how are heart disease and oral health connected? What we’ve come to understand is that bacteria from infected gums can dislodge, enter the bloodstream and attach to blood vessels, which can increase clot formation. Clots decrease blood flow to the heart and in turn cause an elevation in blood pressure thus increasing the risk of a heart attack.

We can help patients who have a history of heart disease by examining them for any signs of oral pain, infection or inflammation. Brushing and flossing combined with annual check-ups will help to fight the harmful bacteria that cause inflammation and eventually lead to heart disease. Check out these oral hygiene facts and make sure to establish a routine to ensure a great smile and a healthy life.

According to the American Dental Hygienists Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Eating healthy snacks like celery, carrots, or apples help clear away food loosely trapped in-between teeth.
  • The leading oral health problem for infants is baby bottle tooth decay, which can be caused when babies are given a bottle filled with sugary liquids, like milk or juice, when put to bed.
  • Nearly 78% of Americans have had at least one cavity by age 17.
  • Men are more likely than women to have more severe dental diseases and oral cancer occurs twice as frequently in men as women.
  • Dental fluorosis (overexposure to fluoride) is higher in teens than in adults and highest among those aged 12–15.
  • Three out of four patients don’t change their toothbrush as often as is recommended. Toothbrushes should be changed every two to three months and after illnesses.

Issues that go untreated can end up costing a lot more than routine visits to your dentist. Prevention through daily cleaning and regular office visits is the best for both your health and your budget. Remember, regardless of how old you are, it’s never too late to start taking serious care of your teeth and mouth.

The Benefits of Periodontal Laser Treatment

Traditionally, the methods used for periodontal treatment included scaling and root planing, a way of physically removing plaque and tarter deposits beneath the gum line. We now have, however, an additional tool for treating periodontal disease: the laser.

The Benefits of Periodontal LaserLaser treatment for gum disease is the use of laser light energy to vaporize bacteria and infected tissue in a deepened gum pocket. During the procedure, topical local anesthetic is provided.

It is important to note, however, that laser gum therapy is not usually prescribed as a treatment alone. Most often it is used in conjunction with scaling and root planing. You may be wondering, “What benefits does laser treatment provide that are not afforded by traditional periodontal therapies?”

Here are the five top reasons why we recommend laser periodontal treatment to our patients when it is an appropriate treatment option:

  1. Less pain = less anesthesia. Because laser treatment is less invasive, it tends to cause less discomfort. This means that usually, the only pain blocker needed is a simple topical anesthetic.
  2. Sterilization: Simply put, lasers sterilize the treatment site as they work and leave a sterile wound behind when finished, reducing the risk of further infection.
  3. Minimal Bleeding: A bonus for anyone, especially those taking blood thinners, laser gum therapy causes less bleeding than scaling and root planing.
  4. Less Swelling: The less invasive nature of laser therapy equates to less swelling in patients.
  5. Almost No Post-op Pain: Because swelling is minimized, we send you home with less discomfort.

Ask us how we can help you take good care of your gums with a combination of laser and traditional periodontal therapies.

The History of Bone Grafting

History of Bone GraftingThe concept of bone grafting is nothing new. In fact it has been an important part of medicine as far back as the early 1600’s and in recent years has become a standard procedure for people who need a dental implant or have had a traumatic jaw injury. Shortly after the invention of the microscope, the Dutch doctor Jacob van Meekeren performed the first bone grafting operation on a soldier with a damaged skull. Unfortunately, back then doctors didn’t have the knowledge or bone grafting materials that we have today and in order to save the soldier, Jacob van Meekeren was forced to use a piece of dog bone as implant material. Van Meekeren was pleased with the surgery’s success, but it wasn’t until the soldier returned asking to have the implant removed that van Meekeren discovered just how successful it really was!

In the 1600’s, the Christian church looked at things a little differently and this poor soldier with a piece of dog bone in his skull was excommunicated after the church considered him to be part dog. What was upsetting for the soldier aided in the discovery of how well bone grafting actually worked. In the process of attempting to remove the bone graft, van Meekeren discovered that the bone had healed too well and was actually irremovable!

Bone grafting developed over the next 150 years and by 1821 the first graft of tissue from one point to another of the same individual’s body, known as an autograft, was performed in Germany. During WWI and WWII, bone grafting continued to develop as more soldiers became crucially wounded and a need for advanced surgeries became necessary. After another fifty years the first synthetic ceramic product was cleared for use in 1991.

As you can see, bone grafting has a much longer history than you might have imagined! To find out if you are a good candidate for bone grafting, give us a call!

Dental Implants: A Three-Step Procedure

One of the most common questions we hear from patients when it comes to dental implants is “Why does it take three separate procedures?”

Dental Implants - 3 StepIt helps to understand that within the entire dental implant process, there are not just three stages, there are also three important parts to the final product that replaces your tooth. First, there is the implant itself, which is the metal rod that we surgically implant into the bone. Next, there is the abutment, which connects the implant to the artificial tooth. And lastly, the crown (or prosthetic tooth) itself.

The fact that the process has three physical components alone doesn’t tell the whole story though. Here, we explain why the most commonly employed dental implant method is split up into three separate procedures.

Step One: Placing the Implant

The first stage of the dental implant process is to bury the implant in the jaw bone via a surgical procedure. The dental implant replaces the tooth root, and requires healing time. During this healing time, osseointegration (the integration of the bone with the implant itself) occurs. The bone cells actually attach to the implant rod, filling in the spaces to secure the implant in place for permanent residency.   The healing time usually takes from 3-6 months.

Step Two: Placing the Abutment

The abutment is a post that connects the implant to the prosthetic tooth. Essentially, the abutment is a bridge that spans through the gum line so that the implant itself remains buried. As with the implant, the abutment has a healing period of its own. The gum around the abutment must heal and form a cuff or collar around it before the crown can be placed.

Step Three: The Prosthetic Tooth

Once the implant site and abutment have successfully integrated, the prosthetic tooth is fabricated and installed.

If you have any questions about the dental implant process, give us a call!

Dental Implants: What Should I Believe?

Dental Implants have become commonplace, with over 3 million people worldwide hosting some sort of implant. Unfortunately, their rising popularity has been accompanied by an increasing number of misconceptions about what they can and can’t do.

Dental Implant eLet us help you to understand which of these common messages are true and which are fabricated.

Message #1: Dental implants are more expensive than traditional restorative methods.

Verdict: True and False. While the initial implant installation is more costly than other dental restorative procedures, over time, maintaining dental implants is much easier and cheaper. Other procedures require eventual replacement.  For example, dentures require replacement after 5-10 years while dental bridges must be replaced every 7-10 years.  So in the long run, dental implants can be less expensive than these alternative procedures.

Message #2: Dental implants are exceedingly painful.

Verdict: False. Like most forms of oral surgery, dental implant installation does involve some discomfort. However, patient accounts reveal that the pain is not worse than any typical tooth extraction as doctors use local anesthesia to address and minimize any discomfort during the procedure.

Message #3: Dental implant placement often fails.

Verdict: False. While dental implants do have the possibility of falling out, it is very rare for this to happen. In fact, reports show that 98% of dental implant surgeries are successful.

Message #4: Only young people should get dental implants.

Verdict: False. There is no reason healthy, elderly patients cannot receive implants.  In fact, there are many cases of patients 90 and older undergoing dental implant placement surgery with great success!

Don’t let these common misconceptions get in the way of your decision to get dental implants. Give us a call…we’d be happy to discuss your concerns about dental implants with you to give you a better idea of what this procedure can do for you.