There are dozens of brands to choose from and a ton of money spent on advertising to convince you one is better than another so how is a person supposed to make an informed decision?
Dr. Stephen J. Pyle, Weston’s first dentist, suggests that the short answer to the question is:
- Stay away from any toothpaste that is made in China. The FDA discovered that some toothpastes made in China included the toxic substance toxic substance diethylene glycol and recommends that you not purchase any paste from that country.
- Use a paste you like. Different people use different toothpastes for different reasons but the ultimate goal is to make brushing your teeth an everyday routine. Using a paste that you enjoy reinforces that habit.
- Only use toothpaste that is ADA approved. If the product has the ADA seal it has been evaluated for effectiveness and safety by a board of dental experts.
But what about the “specialty” toothpastes? How do they work and are they effective.
Tartar Control Toothpastes
Tartar is the hard deposit that builds up on teeth when natural occurring plaque is not removed by effective brushing. Plaque is unattractive but more importantly, it can cause gum disease. Toothpaste that targets tartar will have one or more ingredients such as pyrophosphates and zinc citrate or even the antibiotic triclosan, which kill the germs that create the plaque. Generally speaking, the more anti-plaque agents a paste has the more effective the paste.
Everybody wants white teeth so these pastes are easy to sell. None of the whitening pastes include bleach and the real difference between whitening and regular paste is the amount of abrasives included. Whitening pastes rely on polishing the teeth and scraping off stains. While some people are concerned about damage to enamel by the abrasive agents, studies show there is little risk.
Sensitive Teeth Toothpastes
For people who have teeth that are sensitive to cold or hot liquids, toothpaste that includes potassium nitrate or strontium chloride can block the path that leads to nerve endings located in the teeth. These “sensitive teeth” pastes can offer relief but typically require up to four weeks of use before offering full benefit.
Almost all toothpastes have added artificial flavoring to cover up the actual taste of the ingredients while giving the user a sense of “minty clean” or fresh mouth. The additives are purely cosmetic and their principal benefit is to make brushing enjoyable.
The Advantages of Implants Explained by Weston’s First Dentist
If you find yourself in need of replacement teeth you’ll want to understand your treatment options before making a decision. While implants are not “new” to dentistry it has been our experience that patients know far less about them than they do about bridges and dentures even though implants are often a superior option.
To help you with your decision we have put together a short list of the advantages of dental implants:
- Preserves natural bone. When teeth go missing there is a chance that the jawbone will deteriorate somewhat. When the jawbone is not being used to anchor teeth it can lose some of its strength and firmness. An implant actually stimulates the jawbone and encourages the growth of new bone.
- Easy and natural care. You care for implants the same way you care for your natural teeth. They require the same brushing and flossing as their natural enamel neighbors. Bridges and dentures have to be removed, brushed, and soaked overnight to retain their shape and color.
- Complete self-confidence. Because implants look exactly like natural teeth and are firmly attached to bone you can smile, speak, enjoy your favorite foods, sing and kiss without fear of embarrassment. The change in the quality of life once implants are in place is absolutely amazing.
- Most natural like replacement. Because these teeth are implanted into bone they are far more stable than other options and strongly mimic natural teeth. An implant looks, feels, fits and performs just like the other teeth in your mouth. Bridges that are anchored by other teeth don’t provide the stability of an implant and can shift or even come out while eating, laughing or even sneezing.
- Most durable option. Implants, if properly cared for, will last a lifetime. Good quality bridges and dentures will last between 7 and 10 years before they have to be replaced.
If you would like to learn more about dental implants, call our Weston dental office today and make an appointment with Dr. Pyle. You’ll be happy you did.
The Importance of Back To School Check-ups From Weston’s First Family Dentist
Guess who’s going back to school in a couple of weeks?
Can you recall your dental health experiences from back in grade school? Can you remember a time when you had a cavity that hurt so bad you couldn’t keep your mind on the class? You didn’t want to tell your parents because that meant a trip to the dentist and in your 8 year old mind that was the same as a trip to a torture chamber.
Family dentist Stephen J. Pyle, “Weston’s first dentist” wants to remind you that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 19% of kids age 3 to 12 have undiagnosed tooth decay.
Child dentistry has changed significantly since you carried a lunchbox to school. Today’s technology and techniques are far more comfortable and the preventive care methods can make cavities a rare event. If you want to prevent your child from reliving your experience, we suggest you do the following:
- If your child is going to participate in any contact sports, this may be the time to have him or her fitted with a custom sports guard. Even if all their permanent teeth have not come in, a sports guard will protect their gums and the permanent teeth that have arrived.
- Some small children will benefit with time spent with Dr. Pyle educating them about oral health in a language and method that kids understand.
- Begin a tradition in your family and schedule your children for a back to school dental exam at our Weston dental office to deal with any issues before they head off to class.
- Our dental exam will seem like something out of Star Trek compared to your experience in grade school. We use digital x-rays, advanced sealants, Carifree cavity prevention and provide orthodontic evaluations.
Pick up the phone now and make an appointment at our Weston dental practice for your kids’ back to school dental exam. Believe it or not, at some point in their lives your kids will thank you.
Weston’s First Dentist Offers Tips on How To Choose a Sports Guard
The purpose of the sports guard is to provide a level of protection for both teeth and gum in the event the mouth is struck. Use of a properly fitted sports guard can protect against teeth being misaligned, chipped, pulled out or forced down into the gum. Obviously when there is trauma to the teeth the gum will also be affected.
Obvious examples of where sports guards should be used are the contact sports like football, hockey, basketball and soccer but your mouth and teeth are still at risk with non-contact activities like skate boarding, roller skating and horseback riding. Wherever there is a possibility of a fall there is a possibility of damaging your mouth.
Types and Characteristics of Sports Guards
Ideally a sports guard should fit your mouth, not interfere with breathing and not interfere with speaking. Basically there are three types of guards available:
- Boil and Bite. These guards are boiled in water to make the material malleable. The user then bites down on the guard to give it some measure of customization. These guards are also widely available at sporting goods stores and department stores. They offer better fit and protection than stock guards but can impair breathing. They also have a shorter service life than a stock guard.
- Custom Fit. These guards are fabricated by your dentist from a full mouth impression. Custom fit guards offer the greatest protection to teeth and jaw, are without question the most comfortable to wear, can accommodate braces and do not interfere with breathing or speaking. They are also the most durable of the three classes of guards.
- Stock sports guards. These are the least expensive of the guards and are widely available in sporting goods shops and big box stores. They are basically curved troughs made of plastic and are commonly found attached to “starter” football helmets for kids. They come in small, medium and large and offer no customization. They rarely fit well, can obstruct breathing and fall out when the mouth is opened.
If you or your children can use a sports guard to better protect your mouth give us a call today and set up an appointment. We’ll be happy to see you.