Is It Time to Replace Your Toothbrush?

You probably know that brushing for two minutes twice a day is essential to have healthy teeth and gums. All of that brushing can cause your toothbrush to become worn out. Bristles that are frayed cannot do an effective job of cleaning your teeth, which could lead to cavities.

How to Tell If You Should Replace Your Toothbrush

You should replace your toothbrush every three to four months. If you are not sure if it is time to replace your toothbrush, look at the bristles. If they appear frayed, they cannot do a good job of cleaning your teeth, and you should replace the toothbrush. You may need to replace your child’s toothbrush more often than yours because many children brush their teeth harder than adults do. Make a habit of buying toothbrushes for your entire family several times a year and having extras on hand so they are available when an old toothbrush is worn out and needs to be replaced.

You should get a new toothbrush sooner than every three to four months if you were sick recently. This is especially important if you store your toothbrush next to others because germs from your toothbrush could be transferred to those of other members of your family.

Which Type of Toothbrush Is Right for You?

You can use either a manual or electric toothbrush. Both can do an effective job of cleaning your teeth if used consistently and correctly. A manual toothbrush may be easier to take with you if you are traveling and allows you to have more control over the amount of pressure on your teeth. The rotating bristles of an electric toothbrush can make it easier to clean between teeth and at the gum line. Some electric toothbrushes have sensors to make sure you brush your teeth for the recommended two minutes and don’t brush too hard.

How to Clean and Store Your Toothbrush

Whatever type of toothbrush you use, you need to keep it clean. After you brush, rinse your toothbrush to remove toothpaste and saliva. Store it in an upright position so the bristles can air dry. Do not store your toothbrush in a closed container because that can cause a buildup of bacteria.

Make an Appointment for a Cleaning at Fried Dentistry

Brushing your teeth twice a day is important to prevent cavities, but you also need to get your teeth cleaned professionally. This can remove plaque and tartar that cannot be removed with brushing and flossing alone. If you are due for a cleaning, make an appointment at Fried Dentistry in Wallingford, Connecticut today.

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How to Avoid Infection after a Dental Procedure

After a dental procedure, such as an extraction or gum surgery, there is a risk of infection. The wound from oral surgery can become infected with bacteria and can lead to complications. Although the risk is relatively low, it is still possible and should be taken seriously. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to reduce your chance of developing an infection following a dental procedure. Follow your dentist’s instructions carefully.

What to Do after Your Dental Procedure

You may experience some bleeding following your dental procedure. You can control bleeding by elevating your head and placing a damp piece of gauze over the site of the incision or extraction. Gently bite down on the gauze for an hour and change it if necessary. If the bleeding has not stopped after an hour, call your dentist.

The body typically responds to surgery with swelling. You may not experience swelling until 24 hours after your dental procedure. You can relieve swelling with an ice pack and rest.

You should get some rest and avoid physical activity for at least two days after your dental procedure. Don’t push yourself too hard after that if you do not feel up to it.

Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics for you to take after your dental procedure to prevent an infection. It is important to take them exactly as prescribed. Take all of the antibiotics, even if you are feeling well and do not show any signs of an infection. Stopping too soon can raise your risk of developing an infection.

You should not smoke for a minimum of 24 hours after your dental procedure because that can interfere with the healing process. Smoking can also lead to dry socket. This is an infection that dislodges a blood clot where a tooth was extracted, exposing the bone and nerves. You should not chew tobacco until your mouth has healed because it can stick to the wound and cause pain.

Gently brush and floss your teeth if your dentist tells you it is safe to do so. Your dentist may also recommend that you rinse your mouth with saltwater to remove food particles and prevent infection.

You may need to make an appointment to have your stitches removed, or they may fall out or dissolve. Your dentist will tell you if you need to go back to have your stitches removed before you leave the office after your procedure.

How to Tell If You Have an Infection

Look for signs of an infection. These can include a fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit, increased pain or swelling three or four days after the dental procedure, pus coming from the wound, or problems opening your mouth or moving your jaw.

Schedule an Appointment at Fried Dentistry

If you are concerned about your oral health, schedule an appointment at Fried Dentistry in Wallingford, Connecticut. We can help with many dental treatments, including tooth extractions, gum surgery, and implants. Contact Fried Dentistry today to schedule an appointment.

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Is a Dental Implant or a Bridge a Better Option for You?

If you have lost a tooth due to an injury or gum disease, it can leave a gap and can lead to deterioration of the bone or the shifting of other teeth. Many people choose to get a dental implant or bridge to fill in a gap caused by a lost tooth. If you are considering either of these treatments, you should weigh the pros and cons of each.

What Is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant consists of a titanium post that is inserted in the jawbone in a surgical procedure. The titanium fuses to the jawbone and serves as a root that supports a crown. The process of integrating the titanium into the jawbone can take anywhere from three to six months. Then an abutment is attached to the post and a crown is cemented or screwed onto the abutment.

An endosteal implant is implanted directly into the jawbone. A second surgery is needed later after the gums have healed to connect the post to the first implant. Finally, an artificial tooth is connected to the post. If you choose a subperiosteal implant, your dentist will fit a metal frame into your jawbone just below your gums. As the gums heal, the frame will become fixed to the jawbone. Then an artificial tooth will be attached.

Pros and Cons of Choosing a Dental Implant

There are several benefits to choosing a dental implant. A quality implant can last a lifetime and requires little maintenance. An implant will look, feel, and function like your natural tooth. An implant can protect your jawbone by stimulating bone growth. It will protect the surrounding teeth and will not put strain on them.

Dental implants have some drawbacks. Since the procedure requires surgery, there is a risk of infection, nerve damage, jaw fracture, or damage to other teeth. The procedure takes several months since the jaw needs to heal. Dental implants are also more expensive than bridges.

What Is a Dental Bridge?

A bridge can also close a gap caused by one or more missing teeth. Natural teeth or implants on either side support the bridge. The teeth on the sides of the gap are fitted with crowns. The teeth that serve as anchors are abutment teeth, and the false tooth is called a pontic.

Depending on your situation, your dentist may recommend one of three types of bridges. A traditional bridge is the most common. This consists of ceramic or porcelain fused to metal. A cantilever bridge is used if there is only an adjacent tooth on one side. It is not recommended for the back of the mouth. A Maryland bonded bridge can be made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or plastic with a porcelain or metal framework. Metal or porcelain wings on the bridge are bonded to the teeth on either side.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Bridges

Getting fitted with a dental bridge is much simpler than getting an implant. A bridge does not require surgery and is faster and less painful. A bridge also costs less than an implant.

There are some downsides to getting a dental bridge. A bridge does not look as natural as an implant. It will need to be replaced every five to seven years. A significant amount of the structure of the adjacent teeth will be lost to prepare for the bridge.

If You Have a Missing Tooth, Schedule an Appointment at Fried Dentistry

If you have lost one or more teeth, a dental implant or bridge can help restore your smile. Fried Dentistry in Wallingford, Connecticut offers both implants and bridges. Schedule an appointment for a consultation to discuss your options.

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