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Archive for February, 2016

How often should I replace my toothbrush?

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

dentist 60614Your toothbrush, in addition to frequent visits to your dentist, is one of the most important tools in your oral health arsenal. Regular and proper brushing can prevent the development of dental caries and gum disease. As with any tool, a toothbrush must be properly cared for so that it can remove food, debris, and harmful substances like plaque. If you use a manual toothbrush, the entire toothbrush should be replaced every three months or when the bristles begin to fray (whichever comes first). Those who use electronic or battery-powered toothbrushes should replace the brush heads about four times a year (every three to four months).Following are some helpful tips for caring for your toothbrush.

Can bacteria collect on a toothbrush?

Yes, bacteria do collect on a toothbrush. Bacteria tend to collect on the bristles of the brush and sometimes, harmful bacteria infects oral tissue—especially if you have ulcers or open sores. To prevent bacterial buildup, we recommend keeping your toothbrush stored upright in between uses. This will allow the bristles to dry. Moist bristles are more likely to develop bacterial growth. Perpetually wet bristles may grow mold, too. We also recommend rinsing your toothbrush with warm water after use.

Should I use the same toothbrush after I have a cold?

Any illness means that you should throw out your toothbrush once you get well. Viral and bacterial sicknesses such as strep throat, the common cold, and any type of flu mean that your toothbrush and anyone’s toothbrush in your bathroom should be replaced.

Does the type of brush I buy matter?

We encourage patients to purchase toothbrushes approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). If your oral health care products are approved by the ADA, you will see the ADA’s seal of approval clearly on its packaging. While the quality of your brush matters, so does the methods you use to brush your teeth. It is important to brush thoroughly in soft, circular motions for at least two minutes each time. Patients should also brush along the gums and the tongue to remove as much plaque as possible.

Our team is happy to recommend oral hygiene products. Contact Ora Dental Studio to ask questions or reserve an appointment with one of our skilled dentists today.

Toothache: When is it time to visit the dentist?

Monday, February 15th, 2016

dentist BucktownDo you have a tooth that produces sharp or nagging discomfort? Perhaps biting down on cold or hot foods is incredibly uncomfortable. Any time you experience oral discomfort, it is a good idea to call our practice and speak with a member of our team. While discomfort can be something as minor as tooth sensitivity, pain can also be a sign of something more serious like an infected root canal or abscessed tooth. It is best to err on the side of caution and schedule an appointment for a checkup with our dentist – especially if you haven’t visited our office in a while.

What causes toothaches?

Sometimes, sensitive teeth can cause dental discomfort. Tooth sensitivity means that the tubules within the dentin structure of teeth are exposed. These tubules relay sensation from the nerves of teeth, which produce pain signals when teeth are exposed to temperate foods or drinks. Tooth sensitivity may be the result of receding gums, which have exposed the roots of teeth to irritants and debris in the mouth or worn down tooth enamel.

Another culprit behind toothaches is damaged or decayed teeth exposing the root canal. In a healthy tooth, a root canal is sealed off from bacteria and debris. When a tooth is cracked, chipped, or badly decayed, the root canal is left unprotected. Located inside the tooth, the root canal is home to dental pulp and nerve endings. Unable to fight infection on its own, the contents of an exposed root canal can easily become infected.

How are toothaches treated?

The way a toothache is treated depends on its underlying cause. If tooth sensitivity is to blame, our dentist may recommend that use of toothpaste and mouth rinses for sensitive teeth as well as an improved oral hygiene regime.

If an infected root canal is the cause of tooth pain, root canal therapy will likely be necessary to restore oral function and relieve discomfort. Treating infected root canals involves removing the infected tissue inside a tooth, cleaning it, and sealing it. Sometimes a restoration like a crown may be necessary afterwards.

To schedule a cleaning or checkup, call our practice today.

5 Reasons You Can’t Afford to Neglect Your Oral Health

Friday, February 5th, 2016

dentist 60607Receiving regular dental checkups and cleanings is an investment in your oral health and general well-being. Neglecting your oral health can lead to the development of chronic conditions. Many chronic oral health problems require specialized treatment to prevent them from destroying health and oral tissues. In some cases, specialized treatment for conditions like gum disease, failing teeth, and oral cancer can become invasive and costly. Our dentist provides preventive treatments and utilizes the latest techniques and methods to diagnose potential problems as soon as possible so that our patients can secure conservative treatment and enjoy good oral health.

Gum Disease

A common condition, untreated gum disease, can destroy all the tissues in your mouth. From teeth to bones, late-stage gum disease is aggressive and pervasive. Patients who have advanced gum disease require routine specialized treatment to manage their condition as well as restorative dental care and oral surgeries. Catching and treating gum disease early on can save a patient’s oral health and budget.

Tooth Loss

Tooth loss is a big deal. Once one tooth is missing or failing, the rest of a person’s teeth are at risk. This is because a missing tooth leaves teeth unsupported. Moreover, replacing lost teeth with prosthetics like crowns and bridges are expensive. Regular checkups can help our team detect health issues that may affect teeth such as decay or gum disease.

Oral Cancer

During checkups, our dentist provides oral cancer screenings. This preventive measure can literally save a person’s life. If oral cancer is not detected or treated early on, it can be fatal.

Tooth Decay

Postponing or foregoing regular checkups and cleanings can increase a patient’s risk for tooth decay. In some cases, decay can be prevented by strengthening teeth with fluoride treatments or applying sealants.  Treating cavities can be expensive and invasive if left untreated.

Oral Health Affects General Health

The state of your oral health is linked to your general well-being. Many oral conditions like gum disease coincide with diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and Alzheimer’s. Maintaining good oral health should be a part of anyone’s plan for achieving total wellness.

Call our office today to schedule an appointment with our dental team at Ora Dental Studio and ask any questions you may have about your oral health.