How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?

How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?

Have you replaced your toothbrush lately? You don’t have to answer that. At Dental Care Today in Fishers, we recommend replacing your toothbrush every three months. Too many people wait too long to get a new toothbrush, which can be bad for their dental health. It’s one of the reasons why most dentists hand out free ones at every checkup.

Of course, you don’t need to mark your calendar or set up a reminder on your smartphone. How often you replace your toothbrush depends on how often you use it. We recommend, strongly, that you brush at least twice a day. If you’re brushing twice a day, picking up a new toothbrush at the store every three months is recommended.

Why Replace It So Often?

A toothbrush can become familiar, like a comfy pair of shoes. Sometimes the idea of tossing out the old one and replacing it isn’t very appealing. But after three months, the bristles are going to be bent and frayed. There may be some gunk – dried toothpaste foam – starting to build up, too. So toss that old brush, and get a fresh one!

What kind of brush should you be using? There are so many choices. The most important thing is to choose a brush with soft bristles. They are gentle on the gums, but still effective in brushing away plaque.

Manual or Electric?

Should you use a manual toothbrush, or go electric? This boils down to personal preference. Provided you use them correctly, both do a good job cleaning your teeth. A manual toothbrush may take a little longer, and requires you to be sure to brush up and down and in little circles. But they’re a lot cheaper! At the end of the day, though, the choice is yours.

Electric toothbrushes are a tremendous benefit to those with issues like arthritis. There are two basic types: a regular electric toothbrush, and a sonic toothbrush. A sonic toothbrush is essentially a super-charged electric brush. They can give you up to thirty thousand brush strokes per minute!

To recap: for good dental health, the important thing is to change your toothbrush every three months. At Dental Care Today in Fishers,, we offer general and restorative dentistry. Schedule your next checkup with us today.

Contact Dental Care Today PC – E. Dale Behner DDS:

317-842-2337

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

9744 Lantern Rd
Fishers, Indiana
46037

 

ArticleID 7776
Posted in Dental health, General Dental, Oral Health

How Clean Is Your Tongue?

“BRUSH YOUR TEETH for two full minutes twice a day and floss your teeth once a day.” You’ve probably lost count of how many times you’ve heard that, but how often have you heard that you should be cleaning your tongue every day too?

The Difference A Clean Tongue Makes

More bacteria likes to live on our tongues than just about anywhere else on our bodies. That’s because all those tiny crevices in the tongue’s surface are prime real estate for all kinds of pathogens. If we don’t actively keep our tongues clean, the harmful bacteria will stay put and multiply, causing bad breath and contributing to tooth decay on the inner surfaces of our teeth.

Another reason to regularly get rid of all that tongue bacteria is that it can dramatically improve your sense of taste. When the tongue is covered in bacteria, the tastebuds have a hard time doing their job, but with the bacteria gone, they’re free to absorb all those delicious flavors at their full capacity. Yum!

Chemical digestion begins in our mouths, and a clean tongue makes this process more effective too. So, if you want to enjoy your favorite foods as much as possible, keep your breath clean and fresh, and improve your digestive health, clean your tongue!

Finding The Best Tools For Cleaning Your Tongue

Keeping your tongue clean takes more than swishing mouthwash or rinsing with water. The bacteria hiding in all those tiny grooves is very stubborn, and washing with liquid won’t be enough do dislodge them. To really clear off the biofilm of bacteria, you need to scrape it with a tongue-scraper.

If you don’t find these in the grocery store near the toothbrushes, you can order one online, and some toothbrushes have tongue scrapers built in on the reverse side. Between brushing and rinsing your teeth is the best time to scrape your tongue. Start at the back and work forward, and try to get as much of the surface area as you can.

For the first few days, you might be surprised by how much biofilm comes away with the tongue scraper, but the longer you stick with it, the cleaner your tongue will become, until it seems like you’re scraping away nothing but clean spit. See if you notice the difference in your breath and your sense of taste when you get to this point!

Tongue-Scraping Is Older Than You Think

If you’ve never heard of tongue-scraping before, you might think it’s a new idea, but it’s actually been around since ancient times in some cultures. It’s part of the daily hygiene routine in Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India. Tongue-scraping tools have been made of many different materials across the centuries, including copper, silver, gold, ivory, whalebone, and tortoiseshell. Today, they’re typically plastic or stainless steel.

Have Any Questions About Tongue Cleaning?

If you have questions about tongue cleaning or would like our recommendations on the best tools for the job, just give us a call! We’re always happy to help our patients improve their daily dental hygiene regimens, and we look forward to seeing you at your next appointment!

Thank you for being such wonderful patients!

Top image by Flickr user Jon Russell used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
Posted in Blog, Dental Posts, General Dentistry, Pediatric

Titanium: The Bone-Loving Metal

The key to a successful dental implant is osseointegration: the fusing of the implant with the patient’s jawbone. At Dental Care Today in Fishers we have performed many dental implants, and are proud that they have a success rate greater than ninety percent.

Some patients think of dental implants as replacement teeth. But strictly speaking, a dental implant is a titanium post that is inserted into the jaw, where it replaces the missing tooth root. One or more of these posts can support an artificial crown, bridgework, or even a set of dentures.

The entire procedure hinges on the implant attaching to the bone. And this is the real beauty of it: dental implants are made from titanium, a strong but light metal with the ability to fuse, or join, with bone. There’s actually a word for this: osteophilic, which means “bone loving.” This unique property has made titanium the material of choice in dental implants.

High Success Rate

Dental implants have a remarkably high success rate: over ninety percent. The biggest threat to an implant is infection. That makes it critical to keep a dental implant clean – as important as with natural teeth. Plaque collects on and around implant crowns the same way it does on teeth, so it is up to the patient to remove it every day. And that, of course, means brushing and flossing.

Like all technology, dental implants are constantly advancing. In the near future, dental implants are expected to have features that eliminate bacteria. That could mean an even higher success rate.

But it all begins with the titanium post, and osseointegration. At Dental Care Today in Fishers we offer dental implants. Other services include general dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Dental Care Today PC – E. Dale Behner DDS:

317-842-2337

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

9744 Lantern Rd
Fishers, Indiana
46037

Posted in Dental health, Dental Implants

You’ll Be Smiling Again With Dental Implants

TOOTH DECAY, ACCIDENTS, and sports-related injuries are a few of the most common causes of tooth loss, but thanks to modern dentistry, we don’t need to live with a gap in our smiles. Among the most effective ways to fill in the gaps are dental implants.

Implants Versus False Teeth

Dentures (whether partial or full) are a time-honored solution for missing teeth, but they aren’t without their drawbacks. If they aren’t fitted well or properly secured, they may slip and fall out frequently, and they can also lead to soreness in the gums and jaw. Unlike real teeth, dentures don’t stimulate the jawbones, which results in gradual bone loss.

Unlike dentures, implants are surgically placed in the jawbone beneath the gums, the metal posts serving as new roots for replacement teeth that look and act just like natural teeth. Dentures may be cheaper than implants, but that’s the only advantage they offer. Implants prevent bone loss and stay in place while you’re speaking or enjoying your favorite foods, and you can brush them just like your regular teeth!

Types Of Implants

Depending on how healthy the patient’s jawbone is, we may recommend either endosteal or subperiosteal implants. Endosteal implants are ideal for patients with healthy jawbone. These consist of titanium posts placed into the jaw with oral surgery. After a healing period, a crown is placed on top in a second surgery.

Patients with insufficient bone to support endosteal implants may still be eligible for subperiosteal implants, which consist of metal frames placed between the jawbone and gum tissue. Posts are added to this framework and protrude from the gumline so that crowns can be attached to them.

Even if you don’t need implants, you might benefit from artificial crowns:

Should Implants Come Before Or After Braces?

Typically, when a patient needs orthodontic treatment as well as one or more implants, braces come first. This is because an implant won’t move once it’s in the jaw. Sometimes, an implant can be placed before or during orthodontic treatment, and then it might be used as an anchor to help the natural teeth move into their proper place.

Talk To Us About Implants

Over three million people in the U.S. alone have at least one dental implant, so you’ll be in excellent company if you choose this option to complete your smile. If you have a missing tooth and need to fill that gap, give us a call to schedule an appointment! We’ll evaluate the health of your jawbone and see what type of implant will be best for you.

We love our patients’ smiles!

Top image by Flickr user SupportPDX used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
Posted in Blog, Dental Posts, General Dental

Dental Floss: Which Type is Best?

Along with brushing, flossing is the most important thing you can do for healthy teeth and gums. There’s a variety of floss types to choose from. Which one is best for you? It depends. At Dental Care Today in Fishers, we’re using this space to summarize what’s available, and what might influence your choice of dental floss.

The reason that flossing is so important is that it removes plaque and food debris from between your teeth, where your toothbrush can’t reach. Left on the teeth, plaque hardens into floss and contributes to tooth decay. The Academy of General Dentistry goes so far as to call flossing the most important thing you can do to fight plaque.

What Kind Is Best?

When it comes to what dental floss to use, there is a lot to choose from. Flavored or unflavored? Waxed or unwaxed? Wide or thin?

No single type of floss is right for everyone. You might even benefit from having more than one kind in your medicine chest. With a little trial and error, you can narrow down your choices to find what works best for you.

A recent study shows there really isn’t much difference, if any, in the effectiveness of the different types of dental floss. Here are some things to consider:

  • Waxed floss fits more easily into tight spaces
  • Unwaxed floss tends to squeak against clean teeth, an indicator that plaque is gone
  • Wider dental tape may work better in gaps between teeth, and on bridgework

One word of caution: we recommend traditional string floss that you can pull out in a long strand, as opposed to a flossing pick. Those little picks are popular, but they only have a tight strand of less than an inch of floss. That makes it all but impossible to wrap any floss around your teeth – and flossing is far more effective when you do that. The little picks are fine for a purse or backpack, when you’re on the go. Just be sure to use regular floss as part of your dental hygiene routine before bedtime.

Whatever your preference may be, the important thing is to floss at least once each day.

At name of practice we also like to see you for a checkup every six months. Our services include family dentistry, and we practice integrative and holistic dentistry. Schedule your next appointment today!

Contact Dental Care Today PC – E. Dale Behner DDS:

317-842-2337

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

9744 Lantern Rd
Fishers, Indiana
46037

 

Posted in Dental health, General Dentistry, Oral Health

Don’t Take A Vacation From Oral Hygiene!

WITH THE ARRIVAL OF SUMMER comes the season of family vacations and exciting trips to new places. We’re as excited for it as our patients, but before everyone leaves to explore parts unknown, we want to give you a few tips and reminders about taking care of your teeth while you’re away from home.

Before You Go, See The Dentist

The last thing anyone wants while relaxing on a beach or enjoying the rides at a theme park is for their fun to be interrupted by a toothache or dental emergency. Depending where you go on your vacation, it might be hard to get proper dental treatment. You’ll save yourself a major potential hassle by simply scheduling a dental appointment before you leave!

A simple dental checkup will ensure that your teeth are clean and cavity-free when you start your trip. It’s especially important to get any restorations (e.g. crowns and fillings) checked in case they’re becoming loose, and untreated cavities and weakened dental work can become painful due to the pressure changes on flights.

Don’t Get Too Carried Away With Vacation Food

We can probably all agree that the food is often one of the best parts of any vacation, but that can make it easy to overdo it. Try to avoid eating too many sweet treats and snacks, and maybe keep a pack of sugar free gum handy to help prevent cavities.

Don’t Slack On Brushing And Flossing

When we’re at home, it’s easy to go through daily routines like brushing in the morning and brushing and flossing in the evening. Make sure to pack your toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss when you go, and quickly establish these routines in your new location.

One important thing to remember is that bacteria grows fast on a toothbrush that is damp and in an enclosed space, such as in luggage. Give your brush time to dry before you pack it, and store it somewhere it can get plenty of ventilation between uses.

Instead of leaving your toothbrush out on a hotel counter, try a simple solution like this:

Have A Great Vacation!

Following these tips will help you keep your teeth strong and healthy while you’re away from home. That should make it easier to flash a big, bright smile for the camera during your adventures! Have a wonderful time, and we look forward to seeing you again soon!

Thank you for trusting us with your dental health!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
Posted in Blog, Dental Posts, General Dental

How To Beat Plaque

Plaque is that sticky, filmy stuff that forms on teeth. It is the main cause of tooth decay and gum disease. And that, in turn, is why the team at Dental Care Today in Fishers reminds all of our patients to brush and floss their teeth twice a day.

Plaque is a biofilm that forms when foods with sugars and starches are not brushed away. The bacteria that naturally occurs in your mouth thrive on these sugars and starches, and produce acids. Over time these acids destroy tooth enamel, leaving you with a cavity. Or maybe two.

Plaque is mostly colorless. When it isn’t brushed away, it leaves you with that rough or fuzzy feeling on the surface of your teeth.

You probably know where this short article is headed: keep your teeth clean! That means brushing and flossing.

  • Brush at least twice each day, for two minutes.
  • Use a soft-bristle toothbrush.
  • Be sure to get along the gumline, that place where your teeth and gums meet.
  • Use a toothpaste with fluoride.
  • Floss between the teeth to get bacteria and food debris.
  • Ask us whether dental sealants are a good idea for you.

Plaque is always going to be there. But brushing and flossing your teeth regularly can keep it under control, and greatly reduce your chances of developing cavities and gum disease. If it hardens into tartar it can only be removed with a professional cleaning.

Having your teeth cleaned and examined at name of practice should be part of your strategy for beating plaque and having a beautiful, healthy smile. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Call our office today to schedule your next appointment!

Contact Dental Care Today PC – E. Dale Behner DDS:

317-842-2337

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

9744 Lantern Rd
Fishers, Indiana
46037

Posted in Dental health, General Dental, Oral Health

Repeat After Us: Teeth Are Not Tools

OUR TEETH ARE pretty amazing, and there’s a lot they can do. They chew our food, they provide structural support for the lower third of our faces, they help us speak clearly, and they give us our beautiful smiles. However, many people also find other uses for their teeth, which can be very dangerous. Teeth are not tools, and shouldn’t be used in place of them.

Teeth Are Not Bottle-Openers

Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, so it might seem like that makes teeth perfect to use when you don’t have a bottle opener handy, right? Wrong. Tooth enamel isn’t just hard, it’s brittle, and it is not designed to win a fight against materials like metal and glass.

Using your teeth as a bottle opener can easily chip, crack, or break them, as well as risking damage to the soft tissues of the lips and gums if you slip. Doing it over and over again can even cause your teeth to shift out of their proper alignment and wear down unevenly. It isn’t worth it.

Teeth Are Not Nutcrackers

Like with trying to open a bottle, trying to crack a hard walnut, pecan, or even pistachio shells and popcorn kernels between your teeth risks chipping or cracking the teeth instead. Teeth that are already weaker due to decay or a filling are at even greater risk of damage.

Teeth Are Not An Extra Hand

When your hands are busy, it can be very convenient to hold a pencil, sewing pins, or maybe a few nails between your teeth. However, making a habit out of doing this can have a number of consequences. If you trip, the items in your mouth could cause a serious injury. If a yawn or hiccup catches you by surprise, you might even end up swallowing or choking on the object. And over time, you can wear down your enamel. Pencils would be better off behind your ear, pins in a cushion, and nails in a utility belt until you’re ready to use them.

Teeth Are Not Scissors (Or Nailclippers)

A particularly common way people use their teeth as tools is to bite through packing tape instead of using scissors, and some people even try to use their teeth to cut through wire. It takes much greater biting pressure to cut through non-food items than it does to chew food, and cutting things requires grinding the teeth together. This wears down the chewing surfaces and risks chipping and fracturing.

A nail-biting habit is particularly bad, both for the teeth and for the nails. The germs from the nails increase the risk of tooth decay, teeth will become worn down more quickly and shift out of alignment, and pieces of fingernail can damage the gum tissue, all while the nails themselves are left ragged and misshapen.

Protect Your Teeth By Using Them Right

Cracked and fractured teeth are the third highest cause of tooth loss. Don’t take risks with your teeth by using them as tools. Save yourself an expensive emergency dental visit; use your teeth only for what they are meant for and continue your daily brushing and flossing routine to keep them healthy.

We love to see our patients’ smiles!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
Posted in Blog, Dental Posts, General Dental, Pediatric

Common Dental Questions

At Dental Care Today in Fishers, we strive for excellence in dentistry every day. Providing the best possible dental care goes beyond cleanings and exams. We like patients who ask a lot of questions, because that tells us they are taking a strong interest in their dental health.

Common Questions

One of the questions we’re frequently asked is whether it’s really necessary to have a cleaning and checkup every six months. Our short answer is, yes! But a more nuanced answer includes that time-honored truth that prevention is the best medicine.

Every appointment includes a thorough cleaning by a hygienist. Then the dentist examines your teeth and gums, looking for any new cavities and signs of gum disease. Every checkup also includes a screening for oral cancer.

Sometimes we need to see patients more frequently. Someone with gum disease, or who is undergoing orthodontic treatment, should have appointments more often than twice a year. We determine that on a case-by-case basis.

More Questions

Patients often wonder how long a filling will last. Some people think they’ll last a lifetime, but unfortunately that is not usually the case. Fillings can break down or become loose over time. If that happens, decay can get into the area around it and cause problmes. You can extend the life of any restoration with good oral hygiene at home. If you have any questions about what that means, don’t hesitate to ask.

What kind of toothbrush is best? This is among the most-asked questions for any dentist. Manual and electric toothbrushes, used properly, both do an excellent job. We recommend soft bristles, with mixed bristle heights and angles. They do a better job getting between the teeth.

To really get between the teeth, we also recommend daily flossing. String floss is best, but whether it’s waxed or unwaxed, flavored or not, or wide dental tape is up to you.

And More!

When it comes to toothpaste, we recommend one that has the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. That means it contains fluoride, which strengthens and protects your teeth.

These are just some of the common questions we get from our patients at Dental Care Today in Fishers. Have we missed anything you’ve wondered about? Never hesitate to bring your questions to your checkup. We offer general dentistry and are a holistic practice. Schedule your next appointment today.

Contact Dental Care Today PC – E. Dale Behner DDS:

317-842-2337

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

9744 Lantern Rd
Fishers, Indiana
46037

 

Posted in Dental health, General Dentistry

Too Few Or Too Many Adult Teeth?

DEPENDING ON HOW MANY wisdom teeth come in and whether or not they have to be removed, most adults have 28-32 adult teeth. There are a few outliers in either direction, however. Some people have fewer teeth than they should (called hypodontia or congenitally missing teeth), while others have one or more extra (called hyperdontia or supernumerary teeth). How does this happen and what do we do about it?

Congenitally Missing Teeth

Between 2-4 percent of the population has at least one tooth missing from the adult set. The most common teeth affected by this condition are wisdom teeth, lower second premolars, and upper lateral incisors. It’s not really an issue to be missing wisdom teeth, but missing incisors and premolars can cause difficulties with chewing, the surrounding teeth may shift, and the decreased jaw support can lead to additional tooth loss.

The reason for congenitally missing teeth is nearly always genetics, which is why you tend to see it run in families. Sometimes it happens in conjunction with a larger genetic disorder like Down syndrome or ectodermal dysplasia.

Supernumerary Teeth

At the other end of the dental spectrum is hyperdontia, where extra teeth develop in the jaw. It happens more often with adult teeth than baby teeth. We don’t fully understand what causes this condition, but one leading theory is that it could be the result of a tooth bud dividing abnormally, producing two teeth instead of one.

Supernumerary teeth aren’t always shaped like normal teeth. They can also be peg-shaped, have multiple cusps, or simply be a mass of dental tissue. However they develop, they often don’t have room to erupt, so they remain impacted in the gums, causing crowding and alignment problems for the normal teeth.

Treatment For Hypodontia And Hyperdontia

The typical treatment for extra teeth is to extract them if there isn’t room for them, but dealing with a congenitally missing tooth can be more complicated. Depending on the age of the patient and how long the tooth has been missing, different options may be better. The first step is usually orthodontic treatment so that the gap will be wide enough to fit a replacement tooth. These come in a few forms:

  • Removable partial dentures are a simple solution. They can be attached to a retainer or anchored in place by the surrounding teeth.
  • Dental bridges “bridge” the gaps by anchoring to the neighboring teeth, but unlike dentures, they’re cemented in place.
  • The most permanent solution is a dental implant, which functions like a normal tooth. An implant consists of a post fixed in the jaw bone with a crown on top that matches the natural teeth. Implants can also provide support for bridges when multiple teeth are missing.

Let’s Take A Look At Those Teeth

With regular dental appointments, we can catch cases of hypodontia and hyperdontia early on and make a plan for how to address it. Keep up with your daily dental hygiene routine, keep scheduling those regular appointments, and give us a call if you have any questions about these rare conditions!

Keep on smiling!

Top image by Flickr user Héctor Arango used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
Posted in Blog, Dental Implants, General Dental, Pediatric
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My experince with Dr. Behner and staff seriously changed my life. I’m 52, and feared the dentist since childhood, after terrible visits. Over 5 years ago, I found Dr. Behner after doing an internet search for sedation dentistry. At my first visit, even before my sedation appt., I knew I had found my dentist for life. The atmosphere, the staff, and the dentist, all give a sense of comfort and peace. I’ve never once been afraid again, and actually look forward to my appointments!

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—Cindy M.

My experince with Dr. Behner and staff seriously changed my life. I’m 52, and feared the dentist since childhood, after terrible visits. Over 5 years ago, I found Dr. Behner after doing an internet search for sedation dentistry. At my first visit, even before my sedation appt., I knew I had found my dentist for life. The atmosphere, the staff, and the dentist, all give a sense of comfort and peace. I’ve never once been afraid again, and actually look forward to my appointments!

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DENTAL CARE TODAY PC -
E. DALE BEHNER DDS

If you are searching for an Indianapolis dentist to provide cosmetic dentistry, sedation dentistry, or dental implants, Dr. E. Dale Behner is here for you! Call today to schedule an appointment if you are in the area, including Fishers and Carmel. Dental Care Today PC - E. Dale Behner DDS
9744 Lantern Rd
Fishers, IN 46037
Call: 317-842-2337317-842-2337 DrBehner@dentalcaretoday.com
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