Your teeth are important to the way you look. They help shape your face, help you speak clearly, and allow you to chew your food.
Plaque is a sticky, colorless film made up of bacteria, food, and other matter.
Following a meal or snack, plaque releases acids that attack your tooth enamel. Over time, these attacks break down your enamel, eventually causing cavities and dulling the appearance of your teeth. Plaque acids also attack your gums and provide a space where periodontal bacteria can breed.
Brushing and flossing removes plaque. If plaque is not removed, it hardens into calculus or tartar which needs to be removed at the dental office.
We recommend brushing at least twice a day: once in the morning and once before bed (or after you’re done eating and drinking anything other than water for the day). If you want to add a third brushing time into your day, you can. Remember: Brush morning and night so your smile stays bright. How To Brush
We recommend flossing once a day. The best time is usually at night, either before bed or after you’re done eating or drinking anything other than water for the day. But if you prefer, you can floss at another time during the day that is convenient for you. Here’s a rhyme to help remember the recommendation: Brush and floss at night to keep your smile bright.How To Floss
And we recommend seeing your dentist at the interval he or she specifies to remove anything that you've missed.
With the proper care, your teeth should last a lifetime!
Dr. Jennifer Robb is a general dentist with an office at 1612 Cooper Foster Park Rd., Lorain, OH 44053. She is taking new patients! Call 440-960-1940.
As a member of the best-selling pop group Spice Girls, Mel C (AKA Sporty Spice) enjoyed her share of musical superstardom. At the band’s peak in the Nineties, the young singer’s signature look featured baggy sweatpants, an assortment of tattoos, a nose stud and a gold-capped incisor, front and center in her mouth. Today, Melanie Chisholm is still singing — but now she’s a mom, an amateur triathlete… and that gold tooth is just a memory. Not only that, her smile looks more evenly spaced and whiter than it did when she was referred to as the “tomboy” of the group.
What happened? In our view, it all boils down to changing tastes — plus a little bit of help from dental professionals. As the “wannabe” singer proves, there’s no single standard when it comes to making your teeth look their best. Your own look is unique to you — and your smile can reflect that individuality.
For example, crowns (caps) are substantial coverings that may be placed on teeth when they are being restored. They are available in three types: gold, all-porcelain, or porcelain-fused-to-metal. The latter two are tooth-colored, while the gold is — well, shiny like gold bling. Which one is right for you? In many cases, it’s your choice.
Likewise, dental veneers — wafer-thin shells that can correct cosmetic issues by covering the surface of your teeth — can be made in a variety of shades. Their hues may range from natural ivory to Hollywood white, and everything in between. What’s the best color for you? Only you can say.
Some people opt for a “smile makeover” that uses small irregularities in the spacing and color of teeth to create a more “natural” look. Other folks want a perfectly even, brilliant white smile that dazzles the eye. Still others are looking to match or restore the smile they once had — perhaps even re-creating a signature gap between the teeth. As long as there are no other dental issues involved, the choice is yours.
So if you’re unhappy with your smile — or if you feel it doesn’t reflect the person you “wannabe” — why not talk to us about a smile makeover? Just call our office to schedule a consultation. You can learn more about this topic in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Impact of a Smile Makeover.”
The saying “armed to the teeth” began back when knights wore armor from head to toe. It has two meanings. The first is to be heavily armed with deadly weapons, and the second is to be overly well equipped or prepared for something. Both meanings can apply to your mouth.
Your mouth contains bacteria. Some of the bacteria are good (we want these!) and others have effects that are not so good. These bad bacteria are the culprits in dental decay (cavities) and gum disease. We can’t get rid of all the bad bacteria, so we need to find other ways to decrease their effects in the mouth.
The two most important pieces of equipment are your toothbrush and your dental floss! Toothpaste can be important too, but even without toothpaste, the movement of the toothbrush is enough to remove or move around the plaque and bacteria and make it harder for them to establish the disease processes.
You should use a soft bristle toothbrush. Medium and hard bristles are too abrasive and will actually damage your teeth and gums, perhaps making it easier for the bacteria to find a place to hide. Brush twice a day (morning and night) for at least 2 minutes each time. Some people find it helpful to add a third time of brushing during the day.
But your toothbrush can’t always reach areas in between your teeth. This is where the dental floss comes in! The dental floss can pass through the contact area between your teeth and remove bacteria and plaque that your toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing should be done once a day. Just before bed is the best time to floss, but if you have trouble doing it then, flossing at another time during the day is better than not doing it at all. Ask your dentist or dental hygienist to show you how to floss properly—there is a trick to it and many of us do not do it properly. So far, nothing else works quite as well as dental floss to do what it does.
So are you armed properly for your teeth?
Jennifer G. Robb, DMD is a general dentist who treats all ages. Her office is located at 1612 Cooper Foster Park Rd., Lorain, OH. She is taking new patients. Schedule by calling 440-960-1940 or use the contact form at www.drjrobb.com
A wisdom tooth is a molar tooth. We call it the third molar because it is the third tooth of that type to erupt. In fact, it’s usually the last tooth that comes in (if it comes in!) and that can occur anytime between the ages of 17 and 30. Though for some people, the wisdom teeth do try to come in before age 17.
Most people need to have their wisdom teeth removed as a teen or young adult. A few lucky people don’t develop wisdom teeth at all! Why do we recommend having your wisdom teeth out?
Because they’re way in the back of your mouth, wisdom teeth usually have to fight to find enough “parking space” in the mouth. If your wisdom teeth do not have enough room to come in but try to anyway, they may tip sideways. If there’s no room for them at all, they may stay buried below your gum and bone. We call this an impacted wisdom tooth. Cysts can form around impacted wisdom teeth and cause injury to surrounding jawbone or roots of teeth.
Even if there is not enough room for them, your wisdom teeth continue to grow and may collide with the teeth in front of them, causing damage to otherwise healthy teeth and bone.
If your wisdom tooth comes partway in, it creates an opening in the gum that can allow food, plaque and bacteria to enter. This may result in tooth decay or a gum infection both around your wisdom tooth and possibly on the tooth in front of it.
It’s also very hard to keep your wisdom teeth clean because they are so far back in the mouth. Cavities can start in hard to clean areas.
When wisdom teeth are removed, the fewest complications occur if it’s done between ages 16-19. So if you, or someone you know, is in this age range, and needs wisdom teeth removed, I’d urge you to do it sooner rather than later.
You can learn more about Wisdom Teeth by viewing the article Wisdom Teeth in the patient education section of my website, www.drjrobb.com
Dr. Jennifer Robb, 440-960-1940, is a general dentist with an office at 1612 Cooper Foster Park Rd., Lorain, OH 44053. She does not remove wisdom teeth but can take the x-ray needed to evaluate them and recommend an oral surgeon for the removal. She is taking new patients. www.drjrobb.com , www.facebook.com/DrJenniferRobb
If you have the early stage of gum disease, you are the best candidate for a Soft Tissue Management program. You may also be a candidate if you have refused to go to a gum specialist for treatment (though in this case, your results may vary).
Soft Tissue Management is an attempt to manage your gum disease without surgery. The key is that it requires a partnership between you and your dentist to put a lid on your gum disease problem.
This program requires a commitment on your part. Your visits will be scheduled every 3 to 4 months. (This is very important because the bacteria that worsen your gum disease build up to damaging levels every 3 to 4 months—so missing or delaying your appointment halts all progress that you’ve made.)
During your visits to the dental office, your dentist or hygienist will remove as much plaque and tartar as they can. In some cases, antimicrobial medications may be applied to help control the bacteria.
In between visits to the dental office, you can do your part by carefully and diligently brushing and flossing your teeth and by following any special instructions recommended for your situation. For example, you may be asked to purchase a water irrigator, such as a Water PIk to help flush out the areas where bacteria thrive.
Patients who faithfully stick to the soft tissue management program can often control their gum disease without the need for surgery. By working as a team, you can prevail against periodontal disease in the most comfortable, least invasive manner possible.
You can learn more about periodontal (gum) disease in the patient education section of www.drjrobb.com!
Dr. Jennifer Robb is a general dentist located at 1612 Cooper Foster Park Rd., Lorain, OH. Please call 440-960-1940 if you would like to see if you are a candidate for non-surgical soft tissue management for your gum disease situation. www.drjrobb , www.facebook.com/DrJenniferRobb
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