What are the Differences Between Toothbrushes?

Finding the right toothbrush for you should not be difficult, but most of the time it seems like a daunting task due to the limitless choices and styles. The three most common types of toothbrushes can be categorized into manual, electric, and sonic. Toothbrushes can then also be categorized based on their softness or hardness of bristles. Finding the right toothbrush for you is important, but knowing when to replace your toothbrush is just as important. Knowing which style of toothbrush and when to replace it will leave you with a happy and healthy smile.

Toothbrush Style

Manual Toothbrush

Manual toothbrushes are the most accessible and affordable of the toothbrush options. You can find a manual toothbrush at almost every store, including grocery stores and gas stations. Manual toothbrushes do not require batteries or charging. Making them easy to use without having to worry about add ons. Using a manual toothbrush is an affordable and effective way to clean your teeth. Many manual toothbrushes can be purchased for less than $5. When purchasing one of these cost effective toothbrushes, always make sure it has an American Dental Association (ADA) seal. One may prefer manual toothbrushes over others, as they feel that they have more control over their brushing. Although manual toothbrushes do not have accessories as electric toothbrushes, they still serve as an effective method to clean your teeth.

Electric Toothbrushes

Electric toothbrushes are alternatives to manual toothbrushes that require less effort from the user. These brushes are typically battery powered and have bristles that rotate or oscillate. Electric toothbrushes increase strokes per minute, when compared to manual toothbrushes, by 8 to 25 times depending on the brush. Often, these brushes come with timers that pulse every 30 seconds, making your brushing more efficient. Electric toothbrushes have been shown to decrease plaque and gingivitis more than manual toothbrushes. A few downsides of electric toothbrushes may be their cost and lack of convenience, due to the need of batteries or electricity. Similar to an electric toothbrush, a sonic toothbrush uses power to deeply clean your teeth.

Sonic Toothbrushes

Sonic toothbrushes are a style of electric toothbrushes, but they move much faster which sets them apart from normal electric toothbrushes. A sonic toothbrush vibrates around a rate of 30,000 brushes per minute compared to an electric toothbrush at 5,000 brushes per minute. This faster movement allows you to get a deeper and cleaner brushing session. The largest downside of a sonic toothbrush is its price point. It is the most expensive option of the three brushes. No matter what brush you choose, it is important to brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each session.

All of the toothbrushes discussed above are effective and efficient options when caring for your oral health. Each brush comes with pros and cons. When deciding on a toothbrush, it is important to take into consideration the factors that are important to you. Once you decide on a toothbrush, it is important to care for that brush correctly. It is important to replace your manual toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every three to fourth months or when the bristles are starting to become worn and frayed. Overall, it is important to find a toothbrush and brushing routine that works for you.

Identifying Gum Disease

Gum disease, periodontal disease, and gingivitis are all terms used to describe an infection in the gums that damages the soft tissue. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to permanent bone damage or even compete bone loss. Healthy gums are light pink and fit closely around teeth while infected gums can be bright red, bleed easily, loose around teeth, cause pain while chewing and more. If you believe you have gum disease, contact our Hyde Park office for an appointment. Our team of experts can help identify if any level of gum disease is present.

Determining if Gum Disease is Present

Identifying gum disease as early as possible is crucial to preventing bone and tooth loss. Regular dental care at home and visiting a dentist twice a year for professional teeth cleanings helps prevent gum disease. Visiting the dentist also provides an opportunity to identify gum disease in its earlier stages to prevent it from developing into something worse.

To determine if you have gum disease, and its severity, we will:

  • Review your medical history. Certain risk factors, such as genetics, taking certain medications or smoking, can increase the likelihood of gum disease.
  • Exam your teeth and gums. If you have severe plaque/tartar build up or your gums bleed easily are both indicators that disease is present.
  • Measure gum pocket depth. We place a dental probe between your teeth and gums, throughout different areas within your mouth.
  • Take x-rays of your mouth. Dental x-rays can reveal if you’ve suffered any bone loss in areas where deeper gum pocket depths are present.

Gum Pocket Depth

Your gum pocket depth helps us know if you have gum disease, and what type (if any disease is present).

  • 1-3 mm is a healthy and normal gum pocket depth
  • 3-5 mm is early or mild periodontitis
  • 5-7 mm is moderate periodontitis
  • 7-10 mm is advanced periodontitis

At Ace Dental Boston, in Hyde Park, MA we offer gum disease treatment for every stage of gum disease. Call our office with any questions or to schedule an appointment.

Learn More About Gum Disease Call Ace Dental Boston

6 Tips For A Quick Root Canal Recovery

Root canals are performed to save a tooth that is severely decayed or infected. When a tooth’s inner nerve and pulp become infected, root canal treatment is necessary. During the treatment, the nerve and pulp of the tooth are removed and the inside is cleaned, then sealed to help prevent any future infection. After your root canal, your mouth will be numb for a few hours but as the numbness wears off, you may feel some pain and discomfort. Follow these tips for root canal recovery to help speed up your recovery time.

  1. Elevate your head. Keeping your head elevated after the procedure will help minimize the discomfort and swelling.
  2. Don’t eat anything while your mouth is numb. Waiting to eat until the numbness wears off will help prevent you biting down on the tooth too hard, causing more pain and possible infection.
  3. Take pain relievers as instructed. Your dentist will give you a list of medications that you can take, and which ones to avoid.
  4. Don’t consume any tobacco products, such as cigarettes or chewing tobacco.
  5. Avoid alcohol for the first few days following your procedure.
  6. When you can, eat softer foods and chew on the opposite side from the side your procedure was performed on.

Caring For Your Treated Tooth

Root canals are a restorative dental procedure to help save a tooth from requiring extraction. Many people who get a root canal experience positive long-term results. However, like most dental procedures, how long your treatment lasts depends on you. Following our root canal recovery tips listed above are a great start. Caring for your teeth by brushing and flossing twice a day, seeing your dentist regularly, and overall practicing good oral hygiene habits will help your restored tooth last as long as possible.

Learn More About Root Canal Treatment

How To Prevent Cavities & Tooth Decay

Cavities, often referred to as tooth decay, are tiny holes that develop in the hard surface of your teeth. They are most common in children and teenagers, but they can affect everyone including infants and toddlers. Take a closer look at what causes cavities and how you can prevent them.

Causes of Cavities

Cavities typically occur as a result of poor oral health habits but other various factors can increase the risk of getting a cavity, including:

  • Dry mouth. Dry mouth occurs when there is a lack of saliva in the mouth. Saliva helps wash away food stuck on the teeth and it counters the acid produced from bacteria in the mouth, which reduces the chance for cavities.
  • Foods and drinks. Certain foods aren’t as easily washed away from saliva, making them more likely to cause decay. Foods you should limit include: ice cream, honey, sugar, soda, cake, chips, cookies, and hard candy.
  • Constant snacking or sipping. Drinking or eating frequently throughout the day results in increased bacteria in your mouth. This bacteria produce the acids that attack tooth enamel.
  • Lack of fluoride. Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps prevent cavities and can reverse the early stage of tooth decay. Use a fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash to help reduce your chance of cavities.

Cavity Prevention

Regular dental visits and daily brushing and flossing are the best protection against cavities. But, cavities left untreated get larger and larger, affecting the deeper layers of your teeth. Deeper cavities result in higher chances of experiencing severe toothache and infection. So, when it comes to cavities, prevention is key. Below are some of our cavity preventions tips:

  • Brush with fluoride toothpaste. Brush and floss twice a day, ideally after each meal.
  • Visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Professional teeth cleanings remove plaque that builds up overtime which isn’t removed by regular brushing and flossing. Going to the dentist twice a year is one of the best cavity prevention options.
  • Dental sealants. Sealants protect the tooth enamel from harmful plaque and bacteria.
Learn More About Fillings and Sealants

What Is The Best Teeth Whitening Option?

When it comes to getting a brighter smile, you can whiten your teeth at home or get a professional treatment. At home whitening typically includes over-the-counter products like whitening strips, pens, or toothpaste. Professional whitening includes custom-made whitening trays you take home or an in-office appointment. So what’s the best teeth whitening option for you?

Both options use peroxide bleaching agents as the main active ingredient. The difference between each option is the amount of peroxide it contains. Over-the-counter solutions use 3 – 20 percent where professional solutions contain 14 – 43 percent. Solutions with higher amounts of peroxide should be left on for a shorter amount of time. Keeping the solution on longer will dehydrate your teeth and make them more prone to sensitivity.

Professional Whitening

Professional teeth whitening options are much safer and more effective. Additionally, it ensures that all of the proper precautions are taken. So, when it comes to protecting your gums, the whitening agent only gets on your teeth.

At-Home Whitening Products

Over-the-counter products are cheaper, generally take longer to see results, and have limitations depending on your tooth color and health prior. If used incorrectly, at-home teeth whitening kits can lead to burned gums or tooth sensitivity. Always talk with your dentist to decide the best treatment option for you.

If you choose to go for an over-the-counter solution, we recommend that you use one from the list of bleaching products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Learn More About Teeth Whitening

Root Canal Symptoms To Watch Out For

Each year, over 60 million Americans visit the dentist. Many of these visits can be attributed to cavities, which are small holes in your teeth that allow bacteria to get inside. But sometimes, other dental issues occur that require additional treatments. Root canals are considered the best option for saving a damaged tooth when an abscess is present. Below are some root canal symptoms to watch out for.

Signs You Need A Root Canal

1. Persistent Pain

Having persistent pain is one way to tell if you need a root canal. The pain might be constant, or it might go away, but it always comes back. You may feel the pain deep in the bone of your tooth, or it might be in your jaw, face or other teeth.

Tooth pain may have other causes, such as gum disease, cavities, or an impacted tooth, but it’s always a good idea to talk with your dentist if you have tooth pain.

2. Tooth Discoloration

An infection in the pulp of your tooth can cause your tooth to become discolored.Trauma to the tooth or the breakdown of the internal tissue can damage the roots and give the tooth a grayish-black appearance. While there might be other reasons a tooth is discolored, it could be cause for a root canal so talk with your dentist!

3. Sensitivity to Heat and Cold

When your teeth start to hurt from drinking a hot cup of coffee or drinking ice water, you may need a root canal.

The pain can be just a dull feeling, or it can be a sharp pain that lingers for an extended period of time, even after you’ve finished eating or drinking. If your tooth hurts when you eat or drink something hot or cold, it may be an indication that the blood vessels and nerves in your tooth are infected or damaged.

4. Swollen Gums

Swollen gums near the painful tooth can be a sign of an issue that requires a root canal. The swelling may come and go. It may be tender when you touch it, or it may not be painful to the touch.

There also might be a pimple like abscess on your gum, which may ooze pus from the infection of the tooth. This can give you an unpleasant taste in your mouth and make your breath smell bad.

5. A Chipped or Cracked Tooth

If you’ve chipped or cracked your tooth in an accident, in a contact sport, or by chewing on something hard, bacteria can set in and lead to inflammation and infection. Even if your tooth didn’t crack but you did injure it, the injury can still cause damage to the nerves of the tooth. The nerve can become inflamed and cause pain and sensitivity, which may require root canal treatment.

These are just a few signs that you may need a root canal. If you have any of these root canal symptoms, it’s a good idea to talk with your dentist. Call us at (617) 361-5020 and we can talk you through possible solutions.

Learn More About Root Canal Treatment

 

Who is a Good Candidate for Dental Veneers?

Everyone wants an award winning smile, but very few people have one naturally. With all the new technology and techniques coming out, it’s easier than ever to get the smile of your dreams. One great option to achieve that is dental veneers.

It’s a well known fact that porcelain veneers are one of the most effective and popular solutions to cover up a single or several teeth imperfections. Dental veneers are a really great option for people who want to improve the appearance of their teeth. But who qualifies as a good candidate for dental veneers?

What Are Dental Veneers?

Veneers are essentially a thin, durable mask that can be applied to your natural teeth. Once applied to your teeth, they instantly change the appearance of your teeth. Veneers are made of a very thin shell of porcelain, which is carefully selected so it matches the look and color of your teeth.

Depending on how they are made and what your needs are, they can whiten your teeth, close large gaps between your teeth, change the shape of your teeth, cover up crooked teeth, or fix large cracks or chips. Each veneer will be customized by your dentist from the length and width, to the overall shape, thickness, and color.

Am I a Candidate?

Veneers are a great cosmetic dental treatment that helps people become confident with their smiles again. The following are signs you might be a good candidate:

  • You want to fix several cosmetic problems with your teeth at once
  • You want to fix discolored teeth
  • You want to correct stains on your teeth from old fillings
  • Ability to avoid chewing on your nails, crunching hard candy or food, or gnawing on pens – these bad habits can damage veneers.
  • Sufficient tooth enamel must be present – your natural teeth need to have enough enamel left after the small layer has been removed to create a strong bonding surface

Veneers are a great option for many people to correct their smile. Give us a call today at (617) 361-5020 to see if they are the right choice for you.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Dental Implants?

One of the hottest topics in dentistry today is the use of dental implants. Implants have certainly revolutionized the field of replacement teeth. If you are considering tooth implants for missing teeth, you need to know the facts. There are pros and cons of dental implants that are carefully weighed by your dentist before surgery can be scheduled.

Research continually shows that dental implants are the best long term solution to replace missing teeth. However, like any type of surgery, there are advantages and disadvantages.

Cons of Dental Implants

No procedure is right for everyone, including dental implants. While there are some risks associated with dental implants, they are relatively mild. The disadvantages include:

1. You have to meet a set of requirements

In order to have dental implant surgery, you first have to meet certain criteria. As the procedure involves anchoring the implant to your jaw bone, if you’ve experienced significant bone loss as a result of losing teeth, there may not be enough for the dental implant to be successful. You also have to be in good health so your jaw bone can fully recover.

2. The cost of the procedure

While dental implants are the best long term solution for tooth loss, they’re not always the most cost effective. However, dental implants are well worth the price for the comfort, confidence and natural feel they give you.

3. The procedure can be lengthy

Dental implants are not a quick fix and can take several months to complete. If you’re replacing an existing damaged tooth, this will first need to be removed. Your dentist will then need to prepare the tooth site before fitting the implant anchor. Once the anchor has been fitted, you’ll need to wait several months while it heals and the surrounding bone grows. The final stage of the procedure involves placing the artificial tooth.

Pros of Dental Implants

While there are some drawbacks to dental implants, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

1. They look and feel like natural teeth

Dental implants have the appearance of real teeth. In fact, once your implant has been fitted, you’ll hardly be able to tell the difference between your replacement tooth and your real teeth. Implants also won’t feel any different from your regular teeth. Since the implants are anchored to your jaw, they’ll feel just as strong as your regular teeth too.

2. You can eat and chew with ease

Unlike dentures, implants won’t feel any different than your regular teeth when eating and chewing. Once the dental implant procedure is complete, you can eat what you want! Whether you fancy crunchy snacks, chewy foods, or hot or cold drinks, you can eat and drink without concern — just remember not to overdo the sugary treats.

3. Dental implants can last a lifetime

Implants are a long-lasting tooth replacement solution. You may need to replace the crowns every 10-15 years, but if you look after the implants, they can last a lifetime.

4. They’re easy to take care of

You should take care of your implants the same way you would take care of your regular teeth with daily brushing and flossing, regular dental checkups and a healthy diet.

5. They prevent bone loss

Dental implants are anchored into your jaw, similar to your real teeth. The screw thread of the implant acts as the root of a natural tooth, so with dental implants, your jaw bone remains strong and you won’t experience bone loss.

You can see that the advantages heavily outweigh the disadvantages. Dental implants have been proven to be a great option for people who suffer from tooth loss. We always want to make our patients look and feel great, and dental implants is a great way to do that. We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have, so give us a call!

National Pet Dental Health Month

Every February, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) sponsors National Pet Dental Health Month to raise awareness of the importance of proper dental care for our furry best friends. While our Hyde Park dental office doesn’t treat these cuddly critters, we know a lot of our patients have pets, and we’d like to provide them tips on how to care for the furrier members of their families.

Brushing Your Pets Teeth is Important

You know your dentist in Hyde Park encourages each and every patient to brush their teeth twice a day, every day. Now while it’s not necessary to brush your pet’s teeth that often, it is important that you do it occasionally. Typically brushing two to three times a week will do wonders in keeping their mouths healthy. While brushing your pet’s teeth may be a challenge at first, doing it regularly can help make it a routine. When you start, take a piece of gauze and a pet-friendly toothpaste to gently massage your pet’s teeth in tight circles. This small step can really help reduce plaque and tartar buildup. But good brushing doesn’t end there. You should take your pet to get a professional dental cleaning once a year for a thorough job.

Encourage Chewing

We don’t necessarily mean that you let your pet take control of the house and nibble on anything he wants. But most vets do encourage you to let him chew on toys or treats specifically designed to help scrub away plaque. While bones may seem like the obvious choice, these tough treats can actually do more harm than good. In fact, chewing a hard bone increases the risk for dental damage. Instead, consider buying toys or treats that strengthen teeth, stimulate gums, and remove plaque and tartar. Whatever you and your vet choose, remember that brushing is still crucial for optimal oral health (this applies to you too!).

Know What to Look For

Just like humans, knowing the signs of a potential problem and seeking treatment sooner rather than later is key to successful treatment. What’s also similar between humans and animals are the signs of a dental concern. Keep an eye out for:

  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Discolored teeth
  • Bleeding

If you notice any of the above in your pet, call your vet. If you notice any in yourself, call your Hyde Park dentist. Following the tips above and being open with your vet can help keep your pet’s teeth healthy for life. The same applies to you. Make sure to practice a proper oral health care routine and maintain regular visits at our dental office in Hyde Park.

How to Get Rid of a Canker Sore

It all started with a slight tingling sensation in your mouth. Then all of a sudden, up pops a canker sore. Now you’re stuck with this uncomfortable and painful blister-like sore. What can you do to get rid of it? Even though there’s no official cure for canker sores, there are some things you can do to help reduce discomfort. Join our dental office in Hyde Park as we cover some common canker sore treatments and talk about how you may be able to prevent one in the future.

Canker Sore Treatment

While there isn’t any cure that will quickly and easily get rid of canker sores, you don’t have to stay feeling uncomfortable while the sore runs its course. Your first go-to treatment option can be buying one of the several over-the-counter products designed to numb and ease the pain associated with canker sores. If that doesn’t quite cut it, you can schedule an appointment with your Hyde Park dentist. They may be able to use a laser to speed up healing time or may even suggest a corticosteroid or prescription-strength antimicrobial rinse.

Symptoms of a Canker Sore?

Canker sores can start with that weird tingly or itchy sensation before you can even see any signs of a sore at all. Other signs of a canker sore can include a blister-type sore inside the mouth. Canker sores are typically small, red and can have a white or gray middle. They’re usually found on the tongue, cheeks, or roof of the mouth. Sometimes canker sores can also cause a fever.

Causes

Unfortunately, there isn’t a known or proven cause of canker sores. But many people can identify triggers to what caused one to develop. Some common explanations behind canker sores include:

If you can find out what seems to be causing canker sores, do your best to avoid them. Doing so can help prevent canker sores or limit how often you get one.

Unlike cold sores, which are very similar to canker sores but affect the outside of the mouth, canker sores are not contagious. They’re mostly just annoying. But if you’ve been dealing with a canker sore for longer than three weeks or you notice any other changes to your mouth, don’t hesitate to call our Hyde Park dental office today.