Non-Surgical Approach To A Healthy Mouth

Healthy Mouth

When treating periodontal (gum) disease, Dr. Taylor of Taylor General & Cosmetic Dentistry prefers to take a non-surgical approach to make your mouth healthy again.

How Dr. Taylor Treats Gum Disease Without Surgery

As periodontal disease is a gum infection triggered by bacterial plaque burrowing between the gums and teeth, it is important to treat the infection quickly. Otherwise, the infection can create pockets of space and separate the gums from the teeth. Eventually, the infection will reach the bones supporting the teeth and cause the teeth to loosen then fall out.

To avoid these problems, Dr. Taylor offers a few non-surgical options to treat periodontal disease.

  • Scaling and root planing – To treat the source of the periodontal disease, Dr. Taylor will perform a deep-cleaning procedure called scaling and root planing. As he scales the teeth, the plaque and tartar will be removed from the teeth, both the visible portion and the part of the teeth below the gum line. Once all the plaque and tartar is removed, our dentist will do root planing to make it harder for the bacteria to come back.
  • Bite adjustment – If you struggle with loose teeth, these teeth may invite periodontal disease to return, as the bacteria can easily slip between the gums and loose teeth. There are a variety of ways our dentist can reshape your bite such as with veneers, crowns, bonding, and other methods. Once your bite is adjusted, it will be harder for bacteria to find a place to invade.
  • Antimicrobials and antibiotics – With serious infections, a combination of antimicrobials and antibiotics may be needed to get the infection under control. These types of prescription medications are not often given, as they suppress the good bacteria in the mouth as well as the invasive bacteria.

Ways To Keep Your Mouth Healthy

To keep periodontal disease from recurring, there are steps you can take to keep your mouth healthy.

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
  • Use a soft-bristle toothbrush to keep from abrading your enamel.
  • Floss daily, usually in the evening, to remove any food particles picked up during the day.
  • Come to our office for regular dental cleanings.

Once your mouth is healthy and you want to keep improving your smile, Dr. Taylor also offers a variety of cosmetic dental services to help you achieve the smile of your dreams. Contact us to set up an appointment to work with one of the top dentists in Billings, MT.

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.

Direct From The Dentist: 5 Foods That Cause Quick Tooth Decay

Patients do not always consider the effect different foods can have on their teeth. Yet, some foods can greatly speed up tooth decay; especially, if you regularly eat several of these foods.

To help you out before your next visit to Taylor General & Cosmetic Dentistry, try to cut back on these foods which can cause quick tooth decay.

Hard And Chewy Candy Both Damage Teeth

Sugar, in general, is a large factor in tooth decay. Many types of dental bacteria love to eat the leftover residue of sugar which remains on your teeth after you eat something sugary. The particular dangers represented by both hard and soft candies are:

  • Hard candies – Not only bad for teeth if you crunch them but hard candies you suck on have a demineralization effect on your teeth. This can leave your teeth prone to chipping and even more vulnerable to tooth decay.
  • Chewy candies – Whether the chewy candy is a pure sugary treat or dried fruit, the sticky residue from chewy candies that is left on your teeth makes you even more vulnerable to the bacteria which eats sugar off of teeth.

Citrus Fruits Cause Dental Issues

While citrus fruits can be an excellent way to add vitamins to your diet, their highly acidic nature leaches minerals from the enamel of your teeth. As you weaken your enamel, your teeth are far more likely to develop spots of decay.

Soda And Teeth Shouldn’t Mix

If you are a regular soda drinker, you not only can demineralize your teeth but also cause your gums to recede from lack of proper hydration. As gums recede, it exposes the roots of your teeth which don’t have the protective enamel the crowns of your teeth have to protect them.

Also, do not swish your soda around in your mouth. This allows the sugary drink to reach between your teeth where it is far more difficult to clean. Drinking water directly after drinking soda can help neutralize some of the potential decay issues.

Fruit Juices And Sports Drinks Aren’t Teeth-Friendly

While many people believe that drinking fruit juices and sports drinks are healthy choices, it is far from the case when it comes to the health of your teeth. Both of these types of drinks are usually laden with sugar to make them more appealing and many are fairly acidic. Between these two features, these drinks can erode your dental enamel then invite decay with the sugar residue.

Popcorn Can Cause Multiple Dental Problems

Popcorn contains lactic acid, which in most cases, adds flavor to this treat. However, as it becomes lodged between your teeth and gums, bacteria and decay are invited. Not only can the stuck bits of popcorn inflame your gums, it can lead bacteria to form pockets under your gums as it attacks the roots of your teeth.

To help protect you from the effects of these decay-causing foods, make sure you book a dental cleaning with us so our staff can catch any problems before they become serious.

The Best Toothpaste For Better Dental Hygiene

Many patients have asked our dentist at Taylor General & Cosmetic Dentistry which toothpaste is the best at improving and maintaining their dental hygiene. After years of testing various toothpastes, Dr. Taylor has determined that the CariFree CTx4 Gel 1100 toothpaste is the best toothpaste for better dental hygiene.

Not All Toothpastes Deliver Equal Results

For those without a background in dental care, it can seem like all toothpastes are the same. While the various toothpastes perform the same function of cleaning the user’s teeth, some are definitely better than others. Some key things you should look for in a good toothpaste are:

  • Low-abrasion – While many people think an abrasive toothpaste is needed to clean the teeth properly, scouring your teeth with an abrasive agent can strip off some of the enamel of your teeth. A soft bristle toothbrush and low-abrasion toothpaste are important to keep from damaging the enamel of the teeth.
  • Fluoride – Teeth can greatly benefit from remineralization, as our nutrition and lifestyle can leech the minerals out of our teeth. To help strengthen your teeth, toothpaste with fluoride is important to add minerals back to your teeth.
  • Neutralizing agents – Many of the foods and drinks we like to consume on a daily basis contain acidic ingredients. The acid in these foods and drinks have a high ability to weaken and eventually damage teeth, so it is important to look for a toothpaste which neutralizes acid decay.

CTx4 Gel 1100 Toothpaste Offers Best Daily Dental Care

The CariFree CTx4 Gel 1100 toothpaste has all the above qualities and more, which is why Dr. Taylor likes to recommend this toothpaste after a dental cleaning. Some of the people who can best benefit from this toothpaste are people who:

  • Have dental decay
  • Are 3 years old and up
  • Struggle with halitosis (bad breath)
  • Have dental sensitivity
  • Are undergoing extensive dental treatments
  • Struggle with dry mouth
  • Prone to high bacterial loads

While this toothpaste has a higher price than other toothpaste options at $16 for a 2 fl oz tube, the CTx4 Gel 1100 toothpaste is highly effective, making the price more worthwhile.

If you are interested in consulting with our dentist on other dental-related matters, feel free to contact us today. Our dental office offers a wide range of services from dental cleanings to cosmetic dentistry, and we are ready to help you with all your dental needs.

Direct From The Dentist: Teeth and Tobacco Don’t Go Well Together

Anti-tobacco campaigns often focus on the overall effects of tobacco on the body, rather than just a person’s oral health. Yet, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t serious side effects on your oral health if you use tobacco.

Our dentist, Dr. Taylor, has treated many people at Taylor General & Cosmetic Dentistry who were suffering from the side effects of using tobacco and wanted to make it clear exactly why teeth and tobacco don’t go well together.

Tobacco’s Effects On Your Oral Health

There are many ways which tobacco can affect your oral health. Some of these ways are restricted to how you intake the tobacco, but many of the effects are universal, no matter how the tobacco is delivered.

  • Teeth discoloration – One of the most visible effects of using tobacco is the yellow staining on the teeth of tobacco users. When the enamel becomes deeply stained, it can be incredibly difficult to lighten and likely will require a dentist to whiten the teeth again.
  • Debris lodged in teeth – An issue particular to chewing tobacco, you can have tobacco leaves lodged in between your gums and teeth as well as between your teeth. This can cause more openings for bacteria to attack your teeth.
  • Heightens oral cancer risk – There are a number of harmful chemicals in tobacco, with 28 carcinogens (cancer-associated agents) in chewing tobacco alone. When these agents are burned in cigars and cigarettes, they combine dangerously with the 250 chemicals harmful chemicals to make tobacco smoke. All this greatly increase the chance of developing different oral and throat cancers.
  • Recessed gums – The nicotine in tobacco constricts the blood vessels in the gums, causing gum lines to recede. This can leave the roots of the teeth dangerously exposed to bacteria, causing the death of the tooth.
  • Slow healing post-dental work – Another side effect of the constricted blood vessels is that it takes longer to heal after dental work is done, as the blood vessels are too restricted to allow for quicker healing.

Vaping Nicotine Isn’t Any Better For Your Teeth

Some people who vape e-cigarettes, and other vaping methods, seem to believe that since the tobacco isn’t being burnt, the majority of the side effects are no longer an issue. However, vapes which have nicotine still can damage your oral health.

  • Can hide gum disease – The nicotine in tobacco will still cause your gums to recede and restrict the blood flow in your gums. This can hide important signs of gum disease.
  • Dry mouth – Vapor from the e-cigarette (or other vaping methods) can draw the moisture out of your mouth. By having a dry mouth, you can be more vulnerable to tooth decay and halitosis (bad breath).
  • Teeth grinding – If you vape juice with nicotine, the muscles in your jaws will be stimulated by the nicotine, causing you to grind your teeth.

Vaping devices have not been around long enough to see the long-term effects of vaping, so Dr. Taylor recommends you avoid vaping as well as any other tobacco usage.

If you want help resolving any effects tobacco has had on your oral health, contact us for an appointment with Dr. Taylor. He can help repair the many oral side effects of tobacco usage.

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!

​Direct From The Dentist: Women Take Better Care Of Their Teeth Than Men

There has been research for quite some time on the difference between men and women when it comes to health concerns. Women are more likely to have regular checkups every year, which might be due to the number of health concerns that have to be caught early for greatest treatment success (such as certain forms of cancer).

As it turns out, the same results have been found in a study looking at oral health. When it comes to dental checkups and periodontal treatments, women are faring far better than their male counterparts.

According to the survey results, of the 800 participants between the ages of 18 and 19, the female respondents were more likely to understand proper oral health, go to regular checkups and attend suggested follow-ups. They were also less likely to have indicators of periodontal disease.

Why You Should Be Getting Regular Dental Checkups

Teeth are important. They help us eat, give us a bright smile and impact appearance. They are also a major factor in health. Bacterial growth can cause major illnesses, such as respiratory infections, pneumonia, and even MRSA.

Regular checkups can catch issues early and help clean your mouth more thoroughly than just brushing and individual oral care alone.

Proper Maintenance For Your Mouth

Other than getting an annual checkup and cleaning, the best thing you can do for your oral health is just basic care. Some tips to keeping your mouth clean include:

  • Regularly change your toothbrushes or electric toothbrush heads. Bacteria can grow on old toothbrushes, and bristles can become so worn they no longer clean effectively. Changing them out every few months can prevent this.
  • Brush twice a day and floss once a day. Make sure you are getting the floss along the sides and bottom of the teeth, not just between them.
  • Brush along the gum line. This can have a huge impact on your gum health in the long term.
  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash once or twice a day.
  • If you have been sick, replace your toothbrush.
  • Use antacids if you have a history of chronic reflux. Acids can build on the teeth and eat through the enamel or cause gum erosion.
  • Take care of tooth pain or problems early. If you are hurting, uncomfortable or just suspect something is wrong, see your dentist ASAP. Small problems can grow into big problems fast.

Find out more at Taylor Cosmetic Dental

What Is The Best Toothbrush?

What Is The Best Toothbrush?

A lot of my patients ask me which is the best toothbrush, or which toothbrush they should use. This last year I discovered what I believe to be the best toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouth rinse, but this short note will only touch on the toothbrush (more to come with the toothpaste and mouth rinse).

Hard Toothbrushing Will Scrub Away Your Teeth

When looking for a toothbrush, look for something SOFT. I seriously don’t understand why dental product companies make anything but soft toothbrushes. Medium bristled and especially hard bristled toothbrushes can, overtime, seriously damage your teeth and gums from abrasion. If you couple a hard bristled toothbrush with an aggressively abrasive toothpaste, you could literally be scrubbing your teeth away, little by little. You may feel like nothing is changing in your mouth, but over 20-30 years you could lose enough enamel and dentin for two or three life times.

Also, whatever soft toothbrush you decide to use, make sure you change the toothbrush every 3 months. Over time the soft bristles will break and wear out, making the toothbrush more abrasive.

My Family And I Use A Very Soft Toothbrush

Which toothbrush do I use? I absolutely love the Nimbus toothbrush. I call it the cloud brush because it is so soft it kind of feels like you’re brushing your teeth with a cloud. The inventor of this brush is a retired periodontal specialist, so he obviously is very knowledgable about what your teeth and gums need in order to be healthy.

When you use it the first time, especially if you’re used to brushing with a hard bristled brush, you may feel like the brush isn’t hard enough. Don’t worry about this and don’t brush too hard. The Nimbus is doing everything it needs to, as long as you’re spending 2-4 minutes brushing, and making sure to brush every surface of every tooth.

The nimbus comes in three different sizes: regular, compact, and the Nimby for children. You can order then from the Nimbus website directly, or from Amazon, or you can stop by my office and if you’re already a patient of record I’m happy to just give you one to try. So, if you’re like most people, throw that hard bristled brush in the trash and get the cloud brush, the Nimbus.

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