Direct From The Dentist: Tips For Caring For Your Toothbrush

Caring For Your Toothbrush

You know how to care for your teeth, from brushing and flossing to seeing your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups. Did you know, however, that your toothbrush needs care as well? Giving this all-important cleaning implement some toothbrush TLC is an important part of good oral health.

Proper Toothbrush Replacement

You should replace your toothbrush every three to four months as well as any time you notice its bristles have become frayed. The reason for this is threefold.

The first is a worn-out toothbrush doesn’t perform as effectively. When your toothbrush gets tattered, the bristles bend away from your teeth as you brush. This keeps their fine tips from penetrating between your teeth and gums. Your ability to remove plaque and bacteria is hindered, leaving you more vulnerable to cavities and gum disease. Replacing your toothbrush is also a great way to stop bacterial buildup on the bristles, allowing for a fresh start.

Additionally, toothbrush bristles are purposely rounded while they’re manufactured, making them softer so the sharp edges don’t damage your gums or teeth. When a toothbrush that’s been used one—or a hundred—too many times, the bristles become jagged and can scrape away gum tissue and enamel.

If you tend to forget to replace your family’s toothbrushes amid the hustle and bustle of life, you can set a reminder on your calendar around the time you should buy new ones. While you’re at it, you may also want to add a reminder to get your teeth professionally cleaned, something that should be done twice a year.

Proper Toothbrush Storage

Germs breed in wet, dark conditions, so you want to store your toothbrush in an upright position in a container where it can air out. Avoid covering the brush-head or storing toothbrushes in closed containers where the moist bristles can become a breeding ground for bacteria, viruses, and fungus.

You may want to store your toothbrush in a plastic toothbrush case while traveling to protect its bristles. Once you’re in your hotel or other accommodations, however, you should let your toothbrush dry in the open air as usual.

Don’t Share Toothbrushes Or Their Germs

When more than one person uses the same toothbrush, they end up swapping body fluids and microorganisms, which can cause infection to spread. This unsavory exchange is particularly concerning if you have a compromised immune system and during cold and flu season.

You also run the risk of germs spreading from person to person if you plunk all your family’s toothbrushes in a cup or somewhere else where they touch each other. This can contribute to that well-known phenomenon where an illness like a cold or sinus infection circulates throughout a household. Instead, it’s recommended you purchase a toothbrush holder with multiple slots.

Cleaning And Sanitizing your Toothbrush

Keeping your toothbrush clean is a relatively simple proposition. Just rinse your toothbrush with warm water after every brushing to make sure the bristles are free of food particles or toothpaste.

You use your toothbrush to clean your mouth of bacteria, so it’s a given that bacteria can collect and flourish on your toothbrush. With this in mind, you may want to occasionally sanitize your family’s toothbrush collection, particularly during cold and flu season. There are several methods you can undertake, including:

  • Immersing toothbrush heads in antibacterial mouthwash for 15 minutes.
  • Storing your toothbrush in a cup of hydrogen peroxide
  • Boiling your toothbrush for about 3 minutes
  • Buying a UV toothbrush sanitizer

You take care of your toothbrush. Dr. Zach Taylor and his staff at Taylor Cosmetic Dentistry of Billings, Montana will do the rest. If you have any questions or want to make an appointment, we encourage you to contact us. We guarantee you’ll never get the brush-off!

Inheriting Teeth – The Role Your Genetics Play In Dental Health

Dental Health

We are all products of inherited traits from our parents. These genetic traits can predict to a certain extent how much dental help you may need in the future.

Inheritable Dental Issues

While practicing good oral care such as twice daily brushing and nightly flossing is vital to maintaining your dental health, there are some inheritable dental issues which may require you to seek help from our dentist to overcome them. Some inheritable dental issues are:

  • Tooth decay rates – There is the potential to inherit thinner enamel layers from your parents. Having thinner enamel may make you more prone to developing cavities as it takes less effort for bacteria to erode through your enamel.
  • Yellow teeth – Along with developing cavities at a faster rate, inheriting thinner enamel layers means you will be more likely to have the yellow dentin below show through, giving your teeth an ivory/yellow-ish appearance.
  • Misaligned bites – It is also possible to inherit a misaligned bite from one or both of your parents. When a bite is misaligned, it can cause speech impediments, subconscious teeth grinding to shape out-of-place teeth, and jaw pain.
  • Periodontal disease – About 30% of all people are genetically predisposed to develop periodontal (gum) disease. This disease can permanently damage your gums and jawbone as well as kill the nerves in your teeth.
  • Bruxism – It is possible to inherit bruxism (teeth grinding) from your parents. Bruxism can weaken your teeth, leaving them prone to chipping, cracking, jaw pain, and cavities.

Just because you may have inherited one or more of these dental problems doesn’t mean you have no control over your dental care. With Dr. Taylor’s help, you can overcome any of these dental issues.

How To Overcome Inherited Dental Problems

Here at our dental office, we offer a variety of dental services to help you overcome any inherited dental problem you may have. Some of our commonly requested services are:

  • Dental cleaning – Simply coming in for bi-annual dental cleaning can help catch any dental issues before they become serious problems.
  • Veneers – If your teeth are worn down from bruxism or yellow from thin enamel, veneers are an excellent way to give your smile a refresh. Dr. Taylor offers fast, no-prep veneers as well as other veneer options.
  • Teeth whitening – Another option to manage discolored teeth is to undergo professional teeth whitening. You can enjoy whiter teeth than leading over-the-counter options can offer, and our whitening treatments are also faster than using a box option.
  • Peridontal therapy – If you have inherited a predisposition to periodontal disease, having periodontal therapy can help fight off serious infections. Dr. Taylor can perform various procedures to drastically lower your rate of periodontal disease.
  • Dental crowns – Bruxism and deep cavities can leave your teeth without enough material to protect itself. A dental crown can help restore your teeth to help prevent future issues and help correct misaligned bites.

To take control of your dental health, the first step you need to take is to contact us and set up a dental cleaning. Dr. Taylor will be able to identify vulnerable areas and provide treatments to help you manage any genetic dental issues.

Direct From The Dentist: 10 Impressive Facts About Teeth

Facts about teeth

Many people take their teeth for granted, not understanding how amazing they really are. Here at Taylor General & Cosmetic Dentistry, we wanted to celebrate teeth and tell you about 10 impressive facts about teeth.

1. Tooth Enamel Is The Hardest Substance In Your Body

It may be hard to believe your tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body, but it is the truth. Unlike your bones, which are encased protectively in your body, your teeth are constantly exposed and used at least three times a day to help you ingest food.

Remember, while your dental enamel is tough, don’t use your teeth to open things! That is a fast way to end up with a chipped tooth and a visit to Dr. Taylor to repair it.

2. Your Dominant Side Will Dictate Where You Chew

Whether you are right-handed or left-handed, your body is more prone to have you chew on your dominant side. This tendency can lead to more wear on one side of your teeth than the other, so try to be conscious of your eating habits.

3. Soda Consumption Can Predict Your Tooth Decay

Those people who drink three or more glasses of soda a day can develop 62% more tooth decay than someone who does not indulge in soda. Most of this decay can be ascribed to the high amount of sugar in soda, but diet soda drinkers aren’t exempt.

The acidic nature of all types of soda can abraid the enamel of your teeth. So, put the soda down and choose to drink more water to protect your teeth from avoidable decay.

4. Brushing Only Reaches 60% Of Available Tooth Surfaces

Only two-thirds of your teeth are visible above the gumline. Out of this area, a regular toothbrush can only reach 60% of your teeth. You need to floss to adequately clean the other 40% of your teeth’s surfaces.

5. Your Teeth Are Unique As Your Fingerprint

Every one of your teeth is unique to you, much like your fingerprints. In fact, people have been known to be identified purely by their dental records when there has been no other way to recognize them.

6. Dental Plaque Is Made Up Of Hundreds Of Bacteria

The human mouth has a huge variety of bacteria. Some types of bacteria are good, helping you break down foods and performing a certain amount of cleaning. However, when it comes to the harmful bacteria, there are more than 300 types of bacteria that make up dental plaque.

7. Sir Isaac Newton Has The Most Valuable Teeth

Not all teeth are considered equal. When a tooth from the famous physicist Sir Isaac Newton became available in 1816, it sold for $3,633 ($35,700 in today’s pricing) and was set into a ring.

While your teeth may never be sold for thousands of dollars, you can develop your own million-dollar smile by having a smile makeover with Dr. Taylor.

8. A Lifetime Of Teeth Brushing Equals Days Of Effort

When you are tired, brushing your teeth can feel like it takes forever. But in reality, the average American will only spend about 39 days over a lifetime brushing their teeth.

Many people skimp on their brushing, giving their teeth only a cursory once-over. You should be spending between 2-3 minutes brushing your teeth. If you have struggled to gauge how long you should brush, you can set a timer.

9. Teeth Form In The Womb

Infants may be born with adorable gummy smiles, but human teeth begin their formation while in the womb. Pregnant mothers need to be careful, as certain medications can permanently harm their unborn child’s teeth and leave them discolored.

10. Your Teeth Can Tell A Story About You

By looking at your teeth, someone with a trained eye can tell a lot about you, from your age to where you have lived. Teeth also carry insights into our overall health, marking times of high stress, poor nutrition, and other medical issues that can affect your teeth.

Take control of the story your teeth tell and contact us to set up an appointment with our dentist to receive the best care in Billings, Montana.

Restoring Old Or Broken Dental Implants and Bridges

Dental Implants

On average dental bridges can last from 5-7 years, while dental implants can remain intact for 10-11 years. With excellent dental care, these dental devices can last many years beyond their average lifespans.

But if your dental bridge or implant has become broken or worn-down due to age, our dentist, Dr. Taylor, can help you.

Ways Dr. Taylor Can Restore An Old Or Damaged Bridge

It is important to address a damaged dental bridge as soon as possible, as bacteria can hide in the flawed areas and cause an infection. An untreated infection can cause the entire dental bridge to fail, requiring its removal and periodontal therapy to treat the infected area.

To avoid dental bridge failure, it is important to come in to see Dr.Taylor as soon as you notice your bridge is becoming old or compromised. Some of the most common ways he can repair your dental device are:

  • Repair a damaged dental bridge tooth – There may be a time when a tooth on your dental bridge becomes chipped. Instead of replacing the entire structure, our dentist can place a crown or a veneer over the damaged tooth. If the flaw is small, Dr. Taylor may even be able to use dental composite for bonding and easily correct the dental bridge damage.

  • Correct any issues with abutment teeth – Most often, the problem with a dental bridge rests with the abutment teeth that support the bridge. If these teeth become infected or damaged, our dentist will need to perform a root canal to save the teeth. If the abutment teeth are too compromised, Dr. Taylor can place two dental implants for your dental bridge to be supported by.

  • Offer a replacement bridge – At times, the dental bridge is too old or too damaged to be effectively repaired. In such cases, Dr. Taylor can place a new dental bridge.

For those with damaged dental bridges which have affected other teeth, you may want to consider partial or full dentures. These dental devices last longer than dental bridges and can be a more cost-effective solution in the long term.

Options For Dental Implant Repair

A dental implant is one of the best options to replace one or more missing teeth, as it allows the most natural and sturdy replacement of a missing or damaged tooth. However, dental implants can become damaged. Dr. Taylor offers options for dental implant repairs:

  • Replace crown of implant – Like a natural tooth, the crown of a dental implant can become chipped, cracked or discolored. Our dentist can replace the crown and make your dental implant as good as new.

  • Treat gum infection – When you have a gum infection, your dental implant can be in danger of failing. To protect your implant from becoming compromised by the infection, come in immediately for treatment. We can help you clear up your gum infection and support your implant as you heal.

  • Offer replacement options – If your dental implant has undergone trauma that requires its removal, Dr. Taylor will work with you to determine your best options. A couple of options are re-implanting after healing and potentially bone grafting or opting for a small dental bridge.

If your dental bridge or implant are giving you trouble, contact us for an appointment with Dr. Taylor today. He is a top cosmetic and general dentist in Billings, MT, and he can repair your smile in no time.

Direct From The Dentist: Chewing Aspirin Can Destroy Your Teeth

Aspirin is sold over-the-counter and is extremely versatile, helping mitigate conditions like headache, pain, fever and swelling. It’s little wonder why it’s a popular remedy.

If you have a toothache, aspirin can help alleviate the pain. Do not, however, chew the aspirin or place a crushed aspirin on the tooth.

There’s a common myth that chewing or sucking aspirin—or pulverizing it and using it as a topical salve—gets to the heart of dental pain, yielding fast relief right where you need it. In fact, several studies indicate that chewing aspirin can cause significant damage to your teeth.

The full name for aspirin, Acetylsalicylic Acid, explains its potentially corrosive effects. It contains acid as strong as the stomach acid that pains you during heartburn, whether the bile is churning in your gut or rising into your throat and mouth.

When aspirin comes into direct contact with your teeth, it may attack the enamel. If this exposure is repeated serious erosion can occur, causing dental sensitivity or damage that needs to be treated by your dentist. Placing aspirin directly on an affected tooth can also burn the soft tissue on the adjacent cheek and gums, adding pain to pain.

When you take aspirin for a toothache or other malady, the best course of action is to swallow it whole with water. It’ll ensure that the painkilling and anti-inflammatory properties of the medicine get into your bloodstream without hurting your teeth.

An Exception To The Rule

Some people take aspirin daily to ward off heart attack, stroke or colon cancer, generally on the advice of a doctor. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that preventative aspirin use be limited to high-risk individuals between age 50 and 69.

Regular aspirin users should take their tablets whole with water, unless they’re among the minority of people who are constitutionally unable to swallow pills. It’s said, however, that every rule has an exception and the injunction against chewing aspirin is no different.

If you fear you’re having a heart attack, take a standard dose of aspirin to minimize potentially deadly blood clotting. And by all means, chew the aspirin, which will help it work twice as fast. Time is of the element when it comes to cardiac emergencies, so you should also get yourself to a hospital.

Get Expert Advice

If you’re experiencing a toothache, consult with Dr. Taylor, who can determine whether your pain is caused by a dental infection or decayed nerve. Your dentist may say you need a root canal or other dental procedure, and that’s a tough pill to swallow. The point, however, is to have a professional treat the problem, not just the pain.

If your enamel is already damaged, whether from acid exposure or general wear and tear, you may also be helped by cosmetic dentist, Dr. Zachary Taylor of Taylor Cosmetic Dental.

Your teeth are so important. If you want “to protect and to serve” your dental health, swallow aspirin whole instead of chewing, and get yourself to the dentist.

Why Am I Being Referred To An Oral Surgeon Instead Of My Dentist For A Tooth Extraction?

Usually it’s your dentist who, after a thorough examination including x-rays, determines if any teeth need to be pulled. Common reasons for extraction include cracks or breakage, advanced decay, and impaction, a painful condition where teeth are trapped in the gums or jaw.

Teeth may also be extracted for esthetic reasons.

You may need one or more teeth pulled to address problems like overcrowding or misalignment prior to getting braces or before undertaking the kind of “smile makeover” offered by cosmetic dentists like Dr. Zach Taylor of Taylor General & Cosmetic Dentistry. A smile makeover, which aims for complete dental beautification, may include steps like contouring, whitening and the application of veneers.

What’s The Difference Between A Dentist And An Oral Surgeon?

Tooth extraction can often be done right at the dentist’s office, with the doctor using novocaine, local anesthesia or sedation to mitigate any discomfort.

If it looks like an extraction will be particularly complicated or lengthy, however, your dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon. Oral surgeons bring greater expertise and experience to bear upon tricky extractions.

They’re also qualified to administer the general anesthesia required for extensive dental surgery. For this reason, a patient with dental phobia–someone who insists on sleeping through any procedure–may be referred to an oral surgeon even for a routine extraction

The use of anesthesia carries risks including abrupt changes in your heartbeat or blood pressure. While such instances are rare, it’s reassuring to know that oral surgeons are trained in Basic Life Support.

Complicating matters

There are a number of factors that can complicate tooth extraction and which may prompt your dentist to send you to an oral surgeon. Some of these are:

  • Badly cracked or fractured teeth that are likely to break off during removal
  • Impacted teeth that are below the gum line, which necessitates cutting into the mouth to extract them
  • Entangled roots
  • Jaw tightness
  • Facial characteristics like overly large sinuses, which inhibit easy teeth removal

A dentist is also likely to refer patients needed wisdom teeth extraction to an oral surgeon.

There is often little room left in our mouths by the time this third set of molars comes in, typically between the ages of 17 and 25. As a result, wisdom teeth have an uncomfortable tendency to grow in a way that causes misalignment, overcrowding or impaction. They’re also tough and hard to get to, so general anesthetic is usually advised for their removal.

Having an extraction is not something most people are happy about. There’s a reason we say achieving something difficult is “like pulling teeth.” Luckily, though, there are dental surgeons qualified to make a dental operation as efficient and painless as possible. That’s something to smile about.

Direct From The Dentist: Preventing The Spread Of Illness

While most people consider fall and winter to be the more common illness-spreading seasons, the truth is that it is distressingly easy for illness to proliferate. No matter the season, if preventative measures aren’t taken, you could be trapped inside during the summer with a nasty bout of bronchitis or some other highly infectious illness.

Here at Taylor General & Cosmetic Dentistry, we wanted to focus in on oral illnesses, some which will only affect you as it spreads as well as covering orally-spread illnesses. We want to offer advice from our dentist on how to prevent the spread of both of these types of oral illnesses.

Dentists Can Be First To Identify Several Illnesses

It surprises some people when their dentist is the first medical professional to identify their illness, perhaps because there is no dentistry service labeled “Illness Assessment”. Yet, if you come in for your biannual dental cleaning or any other dental service we offer, our dentist has the training to identify when something is wrong with your oral health. Some of the illnesses our dentist might recognize are:

  • Oral cancers – There are several types of oral cancers which can go unnoticed while being masked by other symptoms.
  • Leukemia – Some common signs of leukemia are visible to dentists, such as canker sores, bloody gums, and swollen lymph nodes.
  • Diabetes – Inflamed gums which tend to bleed and chronically bad breath no matter how consistent your oral care can be some signs of diabetes which a dentist can identify.
  • Oral infection – Often an oral infection can hide out of sight and may cause people to think they have the flu. Yet, an untreated oral infection can become an abscess which can lead to serious complications. Our dentist will be able to identify and treat an oral infection so you don’t suffer more serious consequences.

Ways To Prevent Outside Illnesses And Infections

Outside of preventing personal illness spreading, there are outside illnesses which you can prevent from spreading to you. While you can’t stop catching all illnesses, there are some steps you can take to increase your chances of staying healthy.

  • Sanitize public equipment prior to use. One example of this is wiping down a public computer keyboard before you use it.
  • Always wash your hands after using the restroom.
  • Refrain from personal contact (hugs, handshakes, etc) during flu season as much as possible.
  • Stay hydrated to support proper homeostasis.

Also, you don’t have to skip your dentist appointment because you feel a head cold coming on. As long as you are not coughing and no airways are obstructed, you should be fine to come in for your dental appointment. To set up an appointment with Dr. Taylor, feel free to call or use our “Request An Appointment” form online.

Direct From The Dentist: 10 Signs You’re Overdue For A Dental Visit

It’s simple to know the signs that you need a dental visit. Oral health is very important and should be a top priority to maintain. If not properly maintained, your dental health can be compromised and you could be at risk for serious and life-altering conditions. The health of your teeth affects your mood, hormone levels, overall health, and your outward appearance. Visiting Taylor Cosmetic Dentistry will help you look and feel your best. Here are a few signs to know if you should make an appointment today.

Bleeding Or Inflamed Gums Call For A Check-Up

Bleeding gums is never a good sign. In fact, bleeding gums are an important sign of gingivitis, which is more commonly known as gum disease. While gum disease is preventable by following a consistent dental health routine, it is important to seek advice and further care from your dentist to know if it has progressed to the point of needing more serious or consistent attention.

Your Dentist Can Prevent Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is very serious and can occur in anyone at any age, from infants to the elderly. Tooth Decay is when the enamel on your teeth begins to wear down and form what we know as a cavity. Tooth Decay needs to be treated immediately, or it can cause serious pain, infection, and eventual tooth loss. Visiting the dentist as soon as possible to take care of your cavities can prevent further pain and illness.

Your Sensitive Teeth Can Be Treated By A Dentist

If it hurts to bite into an apple or drink hot beverages, your problem might be more than just what you thought was naturally sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity can be developed a number of ways. Some include brushing your teeth too hard, drinking or eating foods that are highly acidic, grinding your teeth in your sleep, or a weak filling. Your dentist will gauge what level your pain is, and what is the root cause.

Toothaches Mean Your Mouth Needs You To Listen

Sometimes what we think is just a random headache can actually be a toothache. Toothaches are caused by many things, such as a new tooth trying to break through the gum, a crack or fracture in the tooth, grinding your teeth, and even a sinus infection. Toothaches can be treated much more effectively by your dentist than at home. Immediately contact your dentist if the pain lasts for more than two days, you cannot breathe or swallow, or you develop a fever.

Swelling In Your Jaw Is A Strong Sign To Talk to Your Dentist

If your jaw begins swelling, this is not a good sign. In fact, it’s a terrible sign. Swelling in your jaw is a large symptom of what is called a tooth abscess, where bacteria builds and creates a space in the tooth filled with pus. Tooth abscesses can often be saved by a root canal, but sometimes must be pulled. Your dentist will make the decision between the root canal or pulling the tooth. You should schedule an appointment immediately after discovering the swelling.

A Strange Taste in Your Mouth Can Go South

Having a strange taste in your mouth is a sign that your dental hygiene is lacking. This taste could be from bitter to salty to metallic and could be a result of an impaired sense of taste. This can develop from illnesses like a cold or the flu, inflammation or other factors. Not being able to taste food the way you used to could be a life-altering situation, and would best be treated by your dentist.

Your Dentist Can Help With Bad Breath

Figuring out the cause of your frequent bad breath can be easy with the help of a dental professional. Maybe it is more than your love of onions or other smelly foods, or that you sometimes forget to brush in the morning. Having good brushing and flossing habits is essential to keep up oral health. Lacking in either department means less protection for your teeth, causing them to be prone to more infection. It also means food can become lodged between your teeth and therefore present a more pungent odor in your mouth. Visit your dentist to create a better oral hygiene plan and check for more serious causes.

Large or Long-lasting Canker Sores Can Be A Sign You Need Dental Help

Sometimes cankers come, and go just as quickly as they came. However, if you have a canker sore that has lasted more than two weeks or is abnormally large in size, it could be time for you to seek help from your dentist. They can take up to six weeks to heal and leave major scarring. If you are worried about the consistency and size of your cankers, seek further dental help.

Chipped or Damaged Teeth Need To Mend By a Skilled Hand

A chipped or damaged tooth could be the product of grinding your teeth in your sleep. This is a very common, yet serious condition that requires further care. If the problem continues it could cause permanent damage to your teeth. This can also increase your teeth sensitivity, wear down the enamel, or pain that feels similar to an earache. Consulting with your dentist about the severity of this problem will help prevent further damage to your teeth.

A Fever Could Be A Symptom of Dental Need

A suddenly developed fever could be a sign that your tooth is infected, or that you need dental work done. Having a fever out of the blue is usually something that can lead to a greater illness and needs to be treated by a dentist immediately. A fever can also be a sign that your previous dental work could have been done ineffectively. Call your dentist today to schedule an appointment.

Going to the dentist can be a positive experience, and is necessary to keep up your health. If any of these ten signs describe you, schedule an appointment with Taylor Cosmetic Dentistry today so you can keep that beautiful smile sparkling and healthy.

Why Porcelain Crowns Are Not All Equal – By Dr. Taylor

We are so lucky to live in a day where technology is now providing us with treatment options that will allow us to keep our teeth for our entire lives! Have you ever seen a picture of George Washington’s WOODEN dentures? Trust me, we are lucky to live in our day and time. One amazing treatment that has advanced modern dentistry significantly is the all-porcelain crown. These are beautiful, life-like restorations that allow a dentist to be more conservative and provide a more predictable restoration.

Back 25 or more years, the most beautiful and long-lasting crown you could get was called a PFM, or porcelain fused to metal, crown. These are made of a metal substructure, often a non-precious metal, which is then fired with porcelain on top, heating and “fusing” the two materials together.

PFM

Although white in appearance, because of the metal substructure these crowns just don’t really look real, there is often a visible thin metal ring around the inside of the crown near the gums, and the porcelain is not bonded very strongly to the metal. After ten years the porcelain darkens and yellows, the gums can become inflamed because of metal allergies, and the porcelain chips and breaks away from the metal substructure. This creates food traps and reveals the unsightly metal underneath.

Today’s Crowns Are More Realistic And Reliable Than Ever

Porcelain Crown

Today, we rarely provide a porcelain fused to metal crown as a treatment option. Recent advancements in dental medicine have given us treatments that are:

  • more beautiful and natural looking
  • stronger
  • more predictable
  • more reliable
  • longer lasting.

One of which is called Emax, or lithium disilicate. An Emax crown allows me to be more conservative with your dental treatment while keeping more tooth structure intact. This decreases your risk of needing a root canal. Emax crowns also allow me to give my patients something that actually looks like a tooth. There is no metal, and the light passing through the porcelain behaves very similarly to light passing through a natural tooth. And, Emax is 4 times stronger than the porcelain used in PFM crowns, decreasing the risk of a patient breaking the crown while eating a normal diet.

Not All Of Today’s Porcelain Crowns Are Made With Emax

This is especially important when talking about teeth in the back of your mouth. These teeth do a majority of the chewing, and thus need a material that is stronger than front teeth.

Common materials used to make false teeth include:

  • Empress
  • a combination of resin and porcelain
  • Zirconia

There are more than 20 different types of what someone would call an “all-porcelain” crown, and each has its place in a treatment scenario, but your dentist should know when and when not to use each material.

For the next few weeks, I’ll be writing a post of the most common of these materials and in which situation they would be best used. But for the meantime, you should know that my #1 go-to and most versatile porcelain is Emax. It’s strong, it’s beautiful, and it allows me to keep much more tooth structure for my patients.

Scroll through the before and afters in our smile gallery. Most of the restorations you will see are in fact made from Emax. Even veneers can be made from Emax. So, if your dentist recommends a porcelain crown, ask him or her which type of porcelain and get more involved in that decision-making process.

Direct From The Dentist: Soft Bristles Are Better

You would never take a steel wool scrubber to your skin, thinking it would clean your skin better than a softer material. Yet, using a hard bristle toothbrush to brush your teeth can have a similar effect on your teeth! This month as Valentine Day treats come pouring in and you diligently clean your teeth after eating the treats, Dr. Taylor wanted to emphasize that a soft-bristled toothbrush would be much better for your teeth than a hard-bristled toothbrush.

Soft Toothbrush Bristles Do Not Hurt Your Enamel

Your enamel is your teeth’s best defense against plaque and invading bacteria as it covers your teeth’s more delicate layers in a hard white shell. Once enamel is damaged or destroyed, it will not come back. Some of the side-effects you may experience when your enamel is damaged are:

  • Sensitivity – Your teeth will become more sensitive to temperatures and pressure as your enamel is worn down.
  • Rough edges – Instead of having a straight, even smile, those with damaged enamel tend to have rough edges to their teeth. The inner layers of teeth are not as even as enamel, which creates the rough edges.
  • Yellowing – Many people scrub hard at their teeth to prevent yellowing. However, this can cause your teeth to yellow faster as the enamel is worn away and the more yellow inner layers of your teeth are exposed.

Much of this damage can be negated by using a soft-bristled toothbrush and being gentle as you brush your teeth.

Gums Can Be Damaged By A Hard-Bristled Toothbrush

Your gums can also be damaged by using a hard-bristled toothbrush. It will start with the hard bristles of the toothbrush simply irritating your gums. This irritation can leave them vulnerable to infections. Eventually, constant exposure to a hard-bristled toothbrush will cause your gums to recede and may expose the roots of your teeth.

The roots have no enamel to protect them from bacteria, so you will become more prone to cavities. If the gum recession is allowed to progress, you could end up losing your teeth due to the damage root exposure causes.

Dr. Taylor’s Toothbrush Recommendation

Hopefully, you are ready to trade-in your hard-bristled toothbrush. A soft-bristled toothbrush will clean your teeth just as completely as a hard-bristled brush without causing damage to your teeth.

There are many soft-bristled toothbrushes out there, but there is one brand in particular which Dr. Taylor likes to recommend — Nimbus Microfine Toothbrush. These soft-bristled toothbrushes have two layers of soft bristles to help effectively clean your teeth. There are three styles available:

  • Nimbus Regular – This version is a standard-sized toothbrush with the double-layered bristled with soft and rounded ends.
  • Nimbus Compact – For those with smaller mouths, the brush head on the Nimbus Compact will fit more easily in their mouths to make brushing easier.
  • Nimby – Nimbus developed the Nimby to take care of children’s oral hygiene. The grip is better suited to smaller hands and the brush head is sized to fit comfortably into their mouths.

Whether you need to have your bi-annual dental cleaning or want some cosmetic dentistry done, Dr. Taylor and our staff at Taylor General & Cosmetic Dentistry are here to help you with our wide variety of dental services. Contact us today for an appointment!

MAKE AN APPOINTMENT:406.652.9204