March 22nd, 2018
Many patients at Walter E. Gay, Jr., DDS are under the impression that harder brushing leads to cleaner teeth, but that is not true. Gentle brushing is just as effective, and less likely to cause damage. Other good brushing habits include brushing your teeth at least twice a day, replacing your toothbrush after a few months, and brushing for at least two minutes each time. It can be tough to keep track of the time when you are aiming for two minutes, but these tips can help.
Set a Timer
Setting a timer is a sure-fire way to hit your two-minute goal on the dot. Leave a kitchen timer in your bathroom so that it is easy to set each time you start brushing your teeth. Hit each surface of all of your top and bottom teeth, and keep brushing until the timer rings. Many electric toothbrushes have a built-in timer that you can use instead of a kitchen timer.
Entertain Yourself for Two Minutes
Time flies when you are having fun, and you can stay entertained as you brush your teeth for two minutes. These are some ideas.
- Time your favorite song and sing it in your head as you brush your teeth.
- Find a two-minute video on the Internet that you want to watch, and start it when you begin to brush your teeth.
- Do squats in the bathroom as you brush. Go down for three slow counts, and up for three slow counts. By the time you get to 20 squats, your two minutes will be over.
Let Your Children Use Technology
Toothsavers is an app designed to inspire children to brush. The app was developed and released by the Ad Council and the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives. It includes:
- A game to fight an evil sorceress who causes cavities
- A two-player version that lets children interact with friends and parents
- Real-life reminders to brush twice a day
- A built-in timer that helps kids brush for two minutes
March 15th, 2018
When you have dental issues or just need routine care, you may try to put off making an appointment at Walter E. Gay, Jr., DDS. Common reasons for procrastination are not having the time or fear of pain. Avoiding Dr. Walter Gay Jr. is not a good idea, though. Putting off dental care can turn small problems into large ones. Short appointments turn into long ones with significantly more work and expense.
What happens when you wait?
The small cavity that could have been filled easily has turned into a large cavity. The larger the cavity, the more work required to fill it. However, this is only a minor problem compared to more advanced issues. The minor toothache you are trying to ignore could be a small fracture or an abscess. Small fractures can sometimes be repaired, but if you wait and the fracture increases, you may need to get a crown.
An abscess can be treated in the early stages. Ignoring an abscessed tooth may lead to root damage and the need for a root canal. Infection can spread to other teeth, which multiplies the damage. These treatments will require more of your time than you would have spent taking care of the problem early.
Perhaps you are just putting off a routine cleaning. Even if you brush, rinse, and floss the way you are supposed to, you need a professional cleaning at Walter E. Gay, Jr., DDS. Plaque that is left behind hardens into calculus or tartar that you cannot remove by yourself. A build-up of calculus can also lead to gum disease.
Unfortunately, avoiding appointments due to a lack of time may mean that you have to give up substantially more time later on. You also can experience needless pain from tooth problems. It’s always best to visit Dr. Walter Gay Jr. for regularly scheduled cleanings and exams to ensure your smile stays healthy and beautiful.
March 8th, 2018
That ache in your head may stem from your jaw. If your jaw falls out of alignment, you could have temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD.
It's not clear what causes TMD. Obesity may factor in. Stress and pressure on the jaw may also contribute. A misaligned bite (that is, where your upper and lower teeth don't fit together when you close your mouth) may cause TMD symptoms, too.
TMD can affect your life and your health by making it painful to eat and hard to sleep. Some people find the nagging pain difficult to bear.
Symptoms of TMD include:
- Recurring headaches with no other cause
- Pain along and behind your ears
- Pain in your cheeks or lower face
- Clicking noises when you talk or chew
- Tired or sore jaw muscles after eating
- Limited jaw movement
If you experience the symptoms listed here, make an appointment with our office. We’ll take an X-ray to look at your bite, and determine if TMD could be the culprit. If you have TMD we can offer a number of treatments, including:
- Relaxation and stress reduction techniques
- Pain reduction recommendations, which might involve visualization or medication
- Jaw joint exercises that can help reduce stress and improve your alignment
Left untreated, TMD headaches and other symptoms can become quite severe. If you suffer the symptoms of TMD, you do not have to live in pain. Make an appointment at our Cincinnati, OH office to learn how we can reduce your pain and restore comfort to your life.
March 1st, 2018
Most people think braces are all about their teeth. While it is true orthodontics is meant to move your teeth into proper position, there's more to it than that. To safely move your teeth with braces, you're going to need healthy and stable gums (or periodontium—the tissues that support your teeth).
For this reason it's critical to have your periodontal health evaluated prior to getting braces. This applies particularly to adults, since a 2013 study by the Center For Disease Control found that an estimated 47.2% of adults 30 years of age and older had periodontitis (gum disease). If you do have periodontitis, moving your teeth with braces will only make things worse.
Conversely, there is also risk for periodontal disease if you don't get orthodontic treatment. Malocclusion, as well as crooked and spaced teeth, can all contribute to periodontal disease. In these situations your teeth and gums are more difficult to clean and become breeding grounds for disease causing bacteria. Bad oral hygiene combined with these traits can greatly contribute to the development of periodontitis.
So, periodontics and braces have a tricky relationship. On one hand, you shouldn't get braces if you show signs of developing or have periodontitis, while on the other hand, braces can help prevent the possibility of developing periodontitis by correcting the bite and straightening the teeth.
If you are 30 years of age or older and are considering getting braces, it would be wise to first:
- Let Dr. Walter Gay Jr. know about your desire to get braces
- Get an exam to make sure you're in good periodontal health and a good candidate for braces
- If you are a good candidate, keep an eye on your teeth and gums and get regular dental checkups throughout your entire course of treatment.
If you are in any doubt about the status of your teeth and gums, it's always best to get them checked before embarking with braces treatment. For more information or to have your periodontal health assessed for braces treatment, please contact our Cincinnati, OH office.