Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Do I really need to floss?

    Essentially everyone abides by the notion that we need to brush our teeth in order to maintain good oral health. For whatever reason, flossing our teeth daily does not hold the same level of importance with the every person. But by flossing just once a day, you can decrease your risk of gum disease and increase the odds of achieving and maintaining good oral health.
    A toothbrush and toothpaste can clean the majority of the tooth’s surface area, but only flossing can clean in between the teeth where the toothbrush can’t reach. Dental floss will help to remove debris, plaque and bacteria that remain on the teeth and gums. Removal of this additional debris can also aid in controlling bad breath.
    Flossing should take you between two and three minutes to complete and should be done at least once daily. The ideal time to floss is right before bed, but any way you can incorporate it into your routine should work. The idea is to find a time that is convenient for you so you won’t forget.
    There are a wide variety of flosses available, and in general they do a similar job or removing debris and plaque. Wide floss (dental tape) works really well in cleaning large spaces and under bridges, while waxed floss works well between tight contacts. The pre-threaded flossers or floss holders can help when flossing someone else’s teeth or if you have difficulty reaching any spots in your own mouth.  And if you have children, they should begin flossing as soon as they two or more teeth that touch.
    While waterpicks are a good adjunct to help clean the teeth, they are not made to replace flossing. They can help to remove food from difficult areas and around braces, but they do not remove the plaque that remains in between the teeth. When in doubt about what type of floss to use in your particular case, be sure to contact your dentist or dental hygienist.

If you have any more questions about flossing or gum disease, visit us at www.brownandkupper.com for more answers.

Lee T. Brown, DDS
Brown and Kupper, DDS Inc
(513) 860-3660

Friday, November 1, 2013

Should I Get an Implant or a Bridge?

    When faced with the question of how to best replace a missing tooth, the first two options we typically discuss are a dental implant or a dental bridge. Each individual situation is unique, and our goal is to educate you to help assist in making the best possible decision for your dental health.
    In the majority of cases, when replacing a single tooth in the front or the back, a dental implant is the standard of care. It is the closest we can get to restoring the feel and function of a natural tooth. Unlike a dental bridge, an implant allows you to brush and floss the area the same way you would with a natural tooth. Even though gum disease around the implant can develop if proper care is not used, cavities can not exist on a dental implant. Since there is no remaining natural tooth structure, there is no place for traditional tooth decay to form.
Another major advantage of the dental implant is it does not require drilling or invasive work on the adjacent teeth. The entire procedure is isolated to one specific tooth. A bridge requires substantial work on at least two other teeth to work properly. Subsequently, if these adjacent teeth develop a cavity in the future, the entire bridge may need to be removed to stop the growing tooth decay.
When discussing the advantages of a dental bridge, we always talk about the original time commitment of the procedure. Dental implants can take around 6-8 months to fully restore, but sometimes only one month is needed to complete a new bridge. Because of the time involved and the materials used, a bridge is often less expensive and can be more appealing to patients from a financial standpoint. However, depending upon the location of the bridge of the patient’s history, a bridge may end up costing the patient more in the long run if it needs to eventually be replaced due to tooth decay.
Since each individual circumstance is different, the safest approach is to consult your dentist about your situation. Dental implants have become the standard of care in many cases when replacing missing or lost teeth, but dental bridges still have a very viable place in the modern dental practice.

For more information of dental implants or dental bridges, check out our website at http://www.brownandkupper.com/questions.php.

Lee T. Brown, DDS
Brown and Kupper, DDS Inc
(513) 860-3660