Have you been considering making the switch from a manual toothbrush to an electric toothbrush? Electric toothbrushes are a great way to get your teeth clean, however it is still possible to get the same result with a manual brush. Manual brushes just require more time and effort. Manual toothbrushes are inexpensive (often free when you have a check up!) and easy to travel with, making them a reliable choice.
Electric toothbrushes are a great option for those with dexterity limitations (difficulty using their hands). This includes the elderly (especially those with arthritis) and disabled people. Elderly and disabled people may have trouble making the vigorous motions needed for a complete brush with a manual toothbrush. However, an electric toothbrush may provide the right amount of movement and vibration to remove plaque and food particles.
They are also great for children, especially those with braces who need a more intense clean. Children may be excited to use these brushes as they come in fun character designs and make noise. Children will need to be instructed to hold to toothbrush near their gum line to get a complete clean.
Many electric toothbrushes come with a built in timer, which is a great way to make sure you are brushing for the appropriate amount of time. This is a good feature for those who find themselves brushing too hard and fast, which can lead to gum recession. However, electric toothbrushes require charging, can be expensive, and can break if dropped.
All in all, everyone’s dental needs are unique and it is important to find which kind of toothbrush works for you. Whether you prefer a manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush, it is important to remember to brush at least twice a day.
Here is my professional opinion. For electric brushes, the top brands include Oral-B and Sonicare. I prefer the Oral-B Floss action toothbrush head for my patients, because it has a rotating head. It also has yellow rubber wedges that will mechanically remove hard plaque debris that a regular toothbrush will not remove.
Written by: Dr. Sharanya Srinivasa DMD
Many people have dental benefits through their employer. But what about those who don’t? Is it worth it to pay for individual dental insurance? There are many different companies that provide dental insurance. Within each company there are different plans such as PPO, DMO, HMO and etc. Which one is the right one for you?
I am going to be brutally honest and tell you what it best from a dentist perspective. PPO insurance plans are among the best plans for both the patient and the dentist. One reason is that the plan pays the closest to the dental fees. It is marked down to 40% discount from the traditional dental office fees. Usually, the patient has to pay their deductible and a percentage of the procedure, usually 20%-50%. Insurance will cover the rest. How does this benefit the dentist when they are getting less than what they normally would? The dentist accepts the insurance negotiated rate so their office can appear on the insurance directory, hence getting more patients.
DMO and HMO do not pay for treatment even close to the traditional dental fee rates. They are much lower payments for the dentist but the patient pays a lower copay, or none at all. As a result there are few dentists that accept these plans. Therefore, the wait to get an appointment and the amount of time you spend in waiting room is longer. The dentist is usually overloaded with patients because they will need to see a high volume of patients in order to make ends meet in their business. As a result there may be a lower quality of care provided due to time constraints. This is just a general statement and not all offices provide poor quality care.
In conclusion, it is best to fully research each company and plan to find what is right for you. You may also want to contact the dentist you plan on visiting to see which plans they accept.
Written by: Dr. Sharanya Srinivasa DMD
It is easy to think of your dental health and overall health as two different things. You visit the dentist for your teeth and oral health, and you visit your doctor for the rest of your body. However, it is important to keep in mind that your oral health impacts your overall health, and vice versa.
Your mouth has saliva which is your body’s first defense against bacteria and viruses. However, if your teeth aren’t cleaned regularly it is likely that you have a plaque build up. Bacteria clings to plaque, and plaque feeds the bacteria causing it to grow and multiply.
Periodontal disease (bone loss of teeth) is caused by calculus building up around the teeth. Periodontal disease causes bone loss over time. Calculus harbors minerals, bacteria and food particles. The bacteria that is around your teeth have direct access to your blood stream via the capillaries in your gums. Medical research has shown that the same bacteria in the calculus in your teeth travels and build ups in the arteries in your heart.
Many systemic diseases show their first symptoms in the mouth. These include cancers, autoimmune diseases, and diabetes. Your dentist may notice these changes and refer you to a specialist for further evaluation.
Overall it is important to monitor your oral health, and overall health. Keep an eye out for any unusual changes and visit your dentist and doctor regularly.
By: Dr. Sharanya Srinivasa DMD, ParaDentalCare.info, (201) 864-4700
When you think of oral hygiene, your initial thoughts may be about your teeth. However, your gums play a huge part in your mouth’s health. In some cases, bleeding gums can be the first sign of gum disease. However, there are a few other reasons why your gums may bleed.
It may feel like you need to brush hard to get your teeth clean. However, you should brush gently in small, circular motions. If you are brushing hard, this may be a cause for bleeding gums.
Another reason is that food buildup in your mouth causes plaque (mixture of food debris, bacteria & minerals) and which hardens and turns into tartar/ calculus. Calculus irritates your gums, causing swelling and bleeding. The best way to prevent plaque and tartar buildup is to brush and floss at least twice a day. It is also important to attend your biannual dental check up.
Your diet may also be to blame for your bleeding gums. Diets high in sugar or simple carbohydrates increase the likelihood for dental problems, as sugar creates a breeding ground for the bacteria that is one of the components of plaque.
Other bad habits, such as smoking, can increase your risk for gum disease. Smoking causes gum inflammation. Smoking also lowers your immune response, making it harder for your body to fight off infections and bacteria.
Bleeding gums can also occur during pregnancy, due to pregnancy gingivitis. Pregnancy gingivitis is partly caused by hormonal changes in the body which occur during pregnancy. After giving birth the gingivitis may dissipate.