Think You Know How To Brush? Think Again.

Comstock Park tooth brushing tips

ESSENTIAL DENTAL HEALTH

Brushing your teeth is an important part of any daily health care routine. We recommend brushing your teeth twice a day, and with a soft-bristled toothbrush. We strongly recommend flossing, too. Before or after you brush? The jury remains out on that one. We think before is better, but the most important thing is that you do it.

Be sure to get all over your teeth: the front and the sides, inside and out, and the tops. When you brush the sides, be sure you brush along the gumline. Use a gentle touch, and hold the brush at a 45-degree angle.

As you brush the front and side surfaces, move the brush in gentle, circular strokes.

TOOTHPASTE

Use a pea-sized blob of fluoridated toothpaste – or more than a pea-sized, if you’re so inclined. Too much toothpaste is no big deal, but be sure to use enough.

Be sure the head of the toothbrush isn’t too big, especially if you have a smaller mouth. It needs to fit easily between your cheeks and gums. The handle is less important. Make sure it feels comfortable in your hand. Replace your toothbrush every three months, if not more often.

TOOTH MASSAGE

We mentioned using a gentle touch. Plaque is soft and loose, so you don’t have to scrub really hard to remove it. Think of it not so much as brushing, but massaging your teeth. Keeping that in mind should help you keep that light touch.

Finally, brush for at least two minutes. If you’re running late, and are tempted to cut it short, resist. If it helps, use a stopwatch. You’ve probably got one on your smart phone.

At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park, we want the best possible dental health for all of our patients. We offer family and restorative dentistry. Schedule your next checkup with us today!

Contact Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

616-784-2377

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

769 York Creek Dr NW
Comstock Park, Michigan
49321

 

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Dental Health And You

At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic and General Dentistry in Comstock Park, we emphasize the importance of good dental health to each one of our patients, every time one of them sits down for a checkup. We stick to the basics: brush and floss twice a day, and see us for a checkup twice a year. But there’s more to it than that.

At every checkup, we examine you for any signs of gum disease. In its mildest form, gum disease is known as gingivitis and is easily treated. Stepping up your dental care routine at home is often enough to do the trick.

In its more severe form, gum disease is called periodontal disease, and it’s one of the leading causes of tooth loss. According to the Centers for Disease Control, half of all Americans over the age of thirty have periodontal disease. That’s nearly sixty-five million people! It can be still be brought under control, but it takes more aggressive treatment.

What Else?

Good dental health means you probably don’t have much of a problem with bad breath. Of course, most of us have yukky breath when we first wake up in the morning. But brush your teeth after breakfast and you should be good to go. In most cases of chronic bad breath – about eighty-five percent of them – poor dental health is to blame.

Every dental checkup includes a screening for oral cancer. The American Cancer Society projects that about 53,000 people will get a form of oral cancer this year. Of those, nearly eleven thousand cases will be terminal.

As with any cancer, the earlier the detection and diagnosis, the better the chances of beating it. That fact alone should be enough to get most people in to see us every six months.

Finally, when it comes to dental health, your toothbrush and dental floss are your best friends. Brush and floss at least twice a day. When you brush, you remove the plaque that builds up on your teeth and causes cavities. Flossing gets out the gunk that builds up between the teeth.

And there you have it: a more detailed discussion on the importance of dental health, and seeing us twice a year at Stewart & Hull Aesthetic and General Dentistry in Comstock Park. Our services include family and restorative dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

616-784-2377

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

769 York Creek Dr NW
Comstock Park, Michigan
49321

 


Gum Disease And Tooth Loss

One out of every ten American adults is likely to get some form of gum disease by the time they’re sixty-four years old. At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park, we provide treatment for gum disease.

First things first. Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss, and is associated with health issues like diabetes and heart disease. So brush and floss your teeth every day – twice a day, in fact. If you don’t, your chances of getting gum disease increase.

In addition to age, other risk factors for gum disease include tobacco use. Health experts say that tobacco is one of the most significant risk factors for getting gum disease. If you don’t smoke, don’t start, and if you do smoke (or chew), quit.

It appears some people are genetically predisposed to gum disease. Even when they take great care of their teeth, such people may still be more likely to get it. If you think it runs in your family, don’t despair.  Getting early intervention treatment may help.

Stress, too, is another risk factor for gum disease. Stress may make it more difficult for the body to fight off infection.

Poor nutrition and teeth grinding or clenching can also put you at greater risk of developing gum disease.

Finally, certain medications can affect your oral health and make you more prone to gum disease. If you have any concerns, ask us at your next appointment.

If you are showing any signs of gum disease at all, such as bleeding when you brush your teeth, let us know at Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park. We also offer a full range of family and cosmetic dentistry services. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

616-784-2377

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

769 York Creek Dr NW
Comstock Park, Michigan
49321

 

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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 Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park reminds all of our patients to brush and floss their teeth twice a day.

Plaque 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.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR TEETH!

Keep your teeth clean by 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. 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 Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park should be part of your strategy for beating plaque and having a beautiful, healthy smile. Our services include family, cosmetic and restorative dentistry. Call our office today to schedule your next appointment!

Contact Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

616-784-2377

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

769 York Creek Dr NW
Comstock Park, Michigan
49321

 


Have You Neglected Your Dental Health?

Brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day is something we stress to all of our patients, at Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park. Coupled with twice-a-year checkups and cleanings, it’s the best way to maintain healthy teeth and gums, and your beautiful smile.

A good dental hygiene routine, something you do every single day without fail, is essential to your dental health. It’s related to your overall health, too. We understand that some people, for whatever reason, let it slip. Some have even been known to skip brushing and flossing so often, you could say they rarely do it at all.

 THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE

In cases like that, some people may think their teeth are too far gone – that no amount of treatment can restore their dental health. If that sounds like you or someone you love, we’re here to tell you it isn’t so. There is always a way to make your teeth look and feel better.

That doesn’t mean it will be easy, but it will be worth it. In cases of neglected teeth, initial treatment begins with a thorough examination in our office. At that time we will  evaluate for signs of gum disease, which is common in cases of neglected teeth. If we find it, we’ll begin a sequence of cleanings and treatments to revive your gum health.

At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park, we want the best possible dental health for all of our patients. Our services include family and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

616-784-2377

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

769 York Creek Dr NW
Comstock Park, Michigan
49321

 


The Techno-Toothbrush

Are electric toothbrushes any better at cleaning your teeth than manual toothbrushes? The answer depends on who you ask because both have their advocates. In this article from Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park, we aren’t going to recommend one over the other. We’re just going to take a look at the world of the electric toothbrush.

Electric toothbrushes have been commercially available in the United States since the 1960s. They first appeared in Switzerland, where they were invented. They caught on quickly, and have evolved considerably since then. When it comes to electric toothbrushes, there is a lot of choose from.

THE MODERN ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH

Those earliest electric toothbrushes did not have rechargeable batteries; you had to plug them in. That wasn’t really much of an issue, unless you like to walk away from the sink while you brush.

Rechargeable batteries are standard in most modern electric toothbrushes. In fact, they have features that those 1960s inventors probably never dreamed of. Some models have:

  • Timers, so you can make sure you brush at least two minutes
  • Digital alerts, to remind you it’s time for a new brush head
  • Pressure sensors that tell you if you’re brushing too hard
  • Multiple brush head capability, so different types fit
  • Variable brushing features like pulsing and oscillating capability

SONIC

And then there’s the sonic toothbrush. Sonic toothbrushes take electric brushes to a whole new level. Toothbrush manufacturers consider them a subset of electric brushes, but we think they are in a class by themselves.

Sonic toothbrushes can deliver up to 40,000 strokes per minute. Compare that to an ordinary electric toothbrush, which deliver between 2,500 and 7,000 strokes per minute. That’s quite a difference. For some people, that’s over the top. But advocates say that sonic toothbrushes out-perform any other type of toothbrush you can find.

When all is said and done, it depends on the person doing the brushing. A manual toothbrush, used properly, does a fine job cleaning your teeth. But you can always take it to the next level with a standard electric, or even a sonic, toothbrush.

At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park, what we really want is for each of our patients to brush and floss their teeth twice a day. It’s the best way to ensure good dental health. Our services include family and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

616-784-2377

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

769 York Creek Dr NW
Comstock Park, Michigan
49321

 


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 Stewart and Hull Aesthetic and General Dentistry in Comstock Park, 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 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.

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 Stewart and Hull Aesthetic and General Dentistry in Comstock Park we also like to see you for a thorough exam and cleaning every six months. Our services include family, cosmetic and restorative dentistry. Schedule your next appointment today!

Contact Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

616-784-2377

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

769 York Creek Dr NW
Comstock Park, Michigan
49321


Common Dental Questions

At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic and General Dentistry in Comstock Park, 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.

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. The dentist examines your teeth and gums, looking for 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.

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 problems. 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 wide it is up to you.

These are just some of the common questions we get from our patients at Stewart & Hull Aesthetic and General Dentistry in Comstock Park. Have we missed anything you’ve wondered about? Never hesitate to bring your questions to your checkup. We offer family and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next appointment today.

Contact Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

616-784-2377

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

769 York Creek Dr NW
Comstock Park, Michigan
49321


What Happens If You Keep Using an Old Toothbrush?

It’s easy to become attached to familiar objects, and that includes the tools you use to clean your teeth. Like a comfortable pair of slippers, that toothbrush you use every night may have an easy, cozy feel you’re not ready to give up just yet. But at Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park we want you to think twice, because that familiar toothbrush can be a threat to your dental health.

To put it simply, your toothbrush should be replaced from time to time. We recommend a new one every three months or so. You don’t have to circle your calendar or set up an alert on your phone. But you do need to keep track of how long you’ve used a toothbrush and get a new one when the time comes.

If you keep using an old toothbrush, it is less effective at cleaning plaque off of your teeth and at the gumline. That much is obvious, because it’s easy to see the bristles bending out of shape.

But there are other things to consider. When you finish brushing your teeth, there is always some stuff that remains on your toothbrush. Over time it can breed and multiply. The average toothbrush, in fact, has more than one million bacteria particles. Most of them aren’t bad for you but some are. If you keep using that favorite old brush, you re-introduce it into your mouth over and over. Bacteria and food debris are what you are trying to get out of your mouth in the first place.

One more thing to think about: your toothbrush can grow mold. That’s why we recommend keeping your brush in an open place where it can air dry. Even so, time takes its toll and mold can grow. If you notice any black spots on your toothbrush, replace it right away. It might be mold.

The bottom line? Replace your toothbrush every three months, if not more often. Always use a soft-bristled brush. They are easier on your gums but rigid enough to get plaque off the surfaces of your teeth. And don’t forget to floss.

At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park, our services include family and cosmetic dentistry. Call our office to schedule your next checkup today!

Contact Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

616-784-2377

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

769 York Creek Dr NW
Comstock Park, Michigan
49321


Interdental Cleaners

Brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day is the single best way to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Together, they are the gold standard for ideal dental care, along with twice-yearly checkups at Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock.

But what about during the day, when you’re away from home and your toothbrush? It may not be critical to clean your teeth then. But if you’re at a greater risk of developing cavities or gum disease than others, using an interdental cleaner might be an excellent idea.

By “interdental,” of course, we mean getting between your teeth. Debris left between teeth can become plaque and even harden into tartar. The best interdental cleaner is probably dental floss. Using it at your desk at work, though, might not be such a good idea. There are a lot of readily-available products that do a good job cleaning between your teeth that are more discreet than floss. These little tools are known by various trade names. They resemble miniature toothbrushes, have a handle for a good grip, and a textured, pointy end for getting easily between teeth. Most brands come in different sizes, too.

Interdental cleaners are also good for getting food debris out of braces, and are safe for bridges, crowns, and other dental work.

Using one of these to clean your teeth is not a substitute for flossing and brushing after a meal. But they’re great when you’re on the go. Just remember to brush before you leave home in the morning, and before bed at night.

At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock, we encourage home dental care for all our patients. Our services include family and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next checkup with us today.

Contact Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

616-784-2377

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

769 York Creek Dr NW
Comstock Park, Michigan
49321