Posts for: September, 2015
With all the choices available today, it can be difficult to figure out what kind of toothbrush is best for you. Dr. Jolanta Pajek of Modern Touch Dentistry in Appleton, Wisconsin, is less concerned with the type of toothbrush you use; her main priority is educating her patients to use toothbrushes properly. Here's some more information about both manual and electric toothbrushes to help you decide how you can keep your smile healthy.
These are what comes to most people's minds when picturing a toothbrush - a plastic base with bristles on one end. Manual toothbrushes definitely have their advantages: they're inexpensive, easy to find and can be replaced every few months. They're also lightweight and simple to pack for travel. If you choose to brush manually, your Appleton dentist suggests using a toothbrush with an easy-to-grip handle, especially if you have arthritis, carpal tunnel or other problems with your dexterity. Soft, synthetic bristles are also your best bet, as "natural" bristles can be too abrasive and have a tendency to detach from the base. Always make sure that your toothbrush has been approved by the American Dental Association.
While electric toothbrushes are more costly - they can cost between $20 and $200, depending on the built-in features - they are also more efficient at cleaning between your teeth than manual brushes. With built-in timers, they also make it easier to brush for the recommended amount of time, although this can be replicated with a manual toothbrush by placing a kitchen timer in the bathroom and setting it for two minutes each time you brush. According to your Appleton dentist, it's important to make sure each family member has their own easily-identifiable brush head to avoid passing germs to others.
As for Dr. Pajek? She strongly recommends Sonicare brushes to her patients, as she believes they are the most effective!
Regardless of what kind of toothbrush you decide upon, the main goal is to clear plaque away from your teeth and gums by using it at least twice a day for two minutes each time. If you have more questions about brushing habits, contact Modern Touch Dentistry in Appleton, Wisconsin and ask for an appointment with Dr. Jolanta Pajek.
A few days before the Oscars, Vanity Fair magazine asked Academy Awards host Neil Patrick Harris to name his most treasured possession. Was it his Tony award statuette for best leading actor in a musical? His star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? The stethoscope he wore while playing teenaged doctor Doogie Howser on TV? No, as it turns out, the 41-year-old actor’s most treasured possession is… his wisdom teeth. Yes, you read that correctly. “Oddly, I still have my four wisdom teeth,” Harris said. “I refuse to let them go or I’ll lose my wise parts.”
How odd is it for a 41-year-old to have wisdom teeth? Actually, not that odd at all. While it is true that wisdom teeth are often removed, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to this. It all depends on whether they are causing problems now, or are likely to cause problems in the future.
The trouble wisdom teeth cause is related to the fact that they are the last molars to come in, and that molars are large in size. By the time wisdom teeth appear between the ages of 17 and 21, there often is not enough room for them in the jaw. Sometimes it’s because you may have inherited a jaw size that’s too small for your tooth size; and generally speaking, the size of the human jaw has evolved to become smaller over time.
If room is lacking, the adjacent molar (that came in earlier) can interfere with the path of eruption — causing the wisdom tooth to come in at an odd angle. The wisdom tooth can hit up against that other tooth, possibly causing pain or damaging the adjacent tooth. This is known as “impaction.” Sometimes the wisdom tooth breaks only partway through the gum tissue, leaving a space beneath the gum line that’s almost impossible to clean, causing infection. A serious oral infection can jeopardize the survival of teeth, and even spread to other parts of the body.
If a wisdom tooth is impacted, will you know it? Not necessarily. A tooth can be impacted without causing pain. But we can see the position of your wisdom teeth on a dental x-ray and help you make an informed decision as to whether they should stay or go. If removal is the best course of action, rest assured that this procedure is completely routine and that your comfort and safety is our highest priority. If there is no great risk to keeping them, as Neil Patrick Harris has done, we can simply continue to monitor their condition at your regular dental checkups. It will be particularly important to make sure you are reaching those teeth with your brush and floss, and that you keep to your schedule of regular professional cleanings at the dental office. All healthy teeth are indeed worth treasuring.
If you would like more information about wisdom teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”