Posts for: June, 2017
When is the best time to floss your teeth: Morning? Bedtime? How about: whenever and wherever the moment feels right?
For Cam Newton, award-winning NFL quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, the answer is clearly the latter. During the third quarter of the 2016 season-opener between his team and the Denver Broncos, TV cameras focused on Newton as he sat on the bench. The 2015 MVP was clearly seen stretching a string of dental floss between his index fingers and taking care of some dental hygiene business… and thereby creating a minor storm on the internet.
Inappropriate? We don't think so. As dentists, we're always happy when someone comes along to remind people how important it is to floss. And when that person has a million-dollar smile like Cam Newton's — so much the better.
Of course, there has been a lot of discussion lately about flossing. News outlets have gleefully reported that there's a lack of hard evidence at present to show that flossing is effective. But we would like to point out that, as the saying goes, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” There are a number of reasons why health care organizations like the American Dental Association (ADA) still firmly recommend daily flossing. Here are a few:
- It's well established that when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth, tooth decay and gum disease are bound to follow.
- A tooth brush does a good job of cleaning most tooth surfaces, but it can't reach into spaces between teeth.
- Cleaning between teeth (interdental cleaning) has been shown to remove plaque and food debris from these hard-to-reach spaces.
- Dental floss isn't the only method for interdental cleaning… but it is recognized by dentists as the best way, and is an excellent method for doing this at home — or anywhere else!
Whether you use dental floss or another type of interdental cleaner is up to you. But the ADA stands by its recommendations for maintaining good oral health: Brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste; visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups; and clean between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner like floss. It doesn't matter if you do it in your own home, or on the sidelines of an NFL game… as long as you do it!
Contouring and reshaping offers a simple, effective way to treat dental issues that affect your appearance and your bite. Our Chatham, NY, cosmetic dentist, Dr. Domenic Riccobono, discusses how contouring and reshaping is performed and explains when it's recommended.
Changing the appearance of teeth in minutes
Contouring and reshaping involves removing small portions of tooth enamel with a dental drill to change the shape or length of a tooth or eliminate small flaws. It usually takes less than 30 minutes and requires no anesthesia.
An excellent solution for many issues
Do you have a tiny, but noticeable, chip at the bottom of a tooth? Contouring and reshaping can smooth out the chipped area and improve your smile. It's also used to eliminate points at the ends of teeth and make uneven teeth look more uniform. Sometimes the edges of teeth overlap slightly. Contouring and reshaping eliminates the overlapping areas in just seconds. Eliminating overlapping areas transforms your smile, but also makes it easier to remove plaque from your teeth.
Over the years, your teeth can shift slightly, changing your bite. Bite issues are uncomfortable and can be responsible for muscle tension and headaches. Fortunately, contouring and reshaping offers an effective solution for minor bite problems. More severe bite issues may require orthodontic treatment.
The contouring and reshaping process
Preparation is the key to ensuring that your teeth will look their best. Before your teeth are treated, you'll have an X-ray in our Chatham office to make sure that your teeth are healthy. If any issues are detected, they may need to be corrected before the contouring and reshaping begins. Once Dr. Riccobono is satisfied that your teeth are in good condition, he'll mark the areas that will be contoured. Using the marked lines as a guide, he'll remove enamel with a laser or sanding drill, then polish your teeth. He may also add a little bonding material to cover chips or fill small gaps between your teeth. After your teeth are polished, you'll be amazed at the change in your smile.
Are you interested in learning if contouring and reshaping is the right treatment for you? Call Chatham, NY, cosmetic dentist, Dr. Riccobono, at (518) 392-5231 to schedule an appointment.
When it's time for your child to visit the dentist (we recommend around their first birthday), you may want them to see your family dentist. But you might also want to consider another option: a pediatric dentist.
The difference between the two is much the same as between a pediatrician and a family practitioner. Both can treat juvenile patients — but a family provider sees patients of all ages while a pediatrician or pediatric dentist specializes in patients who haven't reached adulthood.
Recognized as a specialty by the American Dental Association, pediatric dentists undergo about three more years of additional post-dental school training and must be licensed in the state where they practice. They're uniquely focused on dental care during the childhood stages of jaw and facial structure development.
Pediatric dentists also gear their practices toward children in an effort to reduce anxiety. The reception area and treatment rooms are usually decorated in bright, primary colors, with toys and child-sized furniture to make their young patients feel more at ease. Dentists and staff also have training and experience interacting with children and their parents to help them relax during exams and procedures.
While a pediatric practice is a good choice for any child, it can be especially beneficial for children with special needs. The “child-friendly” environment is especially soothing for children with autism, ADHD or other behavioral/developmental disorders. And pediatric dentists are especially adept in treating children at higher risk for tooth decay, especially an aggressive form called early childhood caries (ECC).
Your family dentist, of course, can presumably provide the same quality care and have an equally welcome environment for children. And unlike a pediatric dentist who will typically stop seeing patients when they reach adulthood, care from your family dentist can continue as your child gets older.
In the end it's a personal choice, depending on the needs of your family. Just be sure your child does see a dental provider regularly during their developing years: doing so will help ensure a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
If you would like more information on visiting a pediatric dentist for your child's dental needs, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Why See a Pediatric Dentist?”