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

 


Which Type of Toothbrush is Best?

Toothbrush Wars in Grand Rapids

This message from Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park centers on whether a manual or electric toothbrush is better for your dental health.

It may surprise you to know that some people have very strong opinions about which type of toothbrush is the best. Is there really one that is clearly superior?

Most dentists will tell you that all toothbrushes, when used properly, are effective at removing plaque. Choosing which is best for you is really a personal decision. Here is some extra information about toothbrushes to help you settle upon which kind is right for you or your child.

  • You need to consider cost and convenience. Some people argue that even though electric toothbrushes cost more, you’ll save on dental bills. However, there are no definitive studies to back up this claim.
  • Manual toothbrushes are easy to find, whereas not all drugstores carry all types of electric toothbrushes. This can be problematic when buying replacement heads. When you travel you may find that a manual toothbrush is easier to pack.
  • Special consideration should be taken for individuals with arthritis. Most dentists counsel their patients with dexterity issues to use electric toothbrushes. As for children, once they are old enough, an electric toothbrush may be preferable, but safety should always be the first concern of parents.

Whichever type of toothbrush you choose, make sure you get soft bristles and replace it every three to four months.

At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park, the dental health of each of our patients is always our top concern. We provide Invisalign orthodontics, porcelain veneers/crowns, composite fillings, implant dentistry, sealants and much more with our family and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next 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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Better and Better: The Future of Implants

At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park, we are always reminding patients to brush and floss. It’s the best way to ensure healthy teeth and gums. We know that in spite of everyone’s best efforts, some of our patients may still lose a tooth. When that happens, we recommend dental implants as the best solution.

A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically placed in the patient’s jaw. One implant can support a single artificial tooth. Multiple implants can support an implant bridge or a denture.

To find out whether dental implants are right for you, call Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park to schedule a consultation. We also offer family dentistry, Zoom whitening, Invisaling orthodontics, and porcelain veneers/ crowns. Schedule your next 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

 


Save Money with Dental Implants at Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry

Grand Rapids Tooth Implants

hen is the least expensive tooth replacement method really the most expensive? The answer is, when it ends up costing far more in the long run. Many dental patients who lose teeth do not understand the importance of replacing them with dental implants.  They believe that one missing tooth is not a significant problem. In fact, some people who have an abscessed tooth extracted are so glad the pain is gone that they forget that the extraction is not the solution. When a tooth is lost, the risk of losing the adjacent teeth increases dramatically. Dr. David Scharf, a Board Certified Periodontist and Dental Implant Surgeon and a Clinical Assistant Professor at New York University College of Dentistry says:

“Many times consumers will choose to replace a missing tooth with a removable partial denture because it is the least expensive option. In the long run however, removable partial dentures may be more costly due the loss of adjacent teeth and the need for future replacements. Many people opt to replace teeth with dental implants because they do not compromise the survival of the adjacent teeth.”

Choosing the least expensive option for your dental needs will sometimes have consequences for your smile and budget.. If you are missing a tooth, you may be a candidate for implant replacement. An implant bonds with the jaw bone and helps maintain its stability. To schedule a consultation regarding dental implants, please call Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry at 616-784-2377. In addition to implant dentistry, we provide cosmetic dentistry, comprehensive general dentistry, Invisalign orthodontics and Zoom whitening for families in the Belmont, Comstock Park, Grand Rapids, Sparta, Walker, and Rockford Michigan area.

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


Unexplained Headaches or Jaw Pain in Comstock Park?

unexplained jaw pain in Comstock Park

At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park, we have been practicing quality general and cosmetic dentistry since 1974. Have you noticed any unexplained jaw pain recently? Or maybe you’ve noticed that you constantly have headaches. In today’s post, we will focus on malocclusion, a possible cause for these issues.

Malocclusion is the dental term for when your top and bottom teeth don’t come together as they should. The ideal bite is when the upper teeth are slightly forward of the lower teeth. You have probably heard of “overbites” and “underbites” but the two arches can be misaligned in many other ways as well. Crowded teeth can also cause a bad bite, as well as the opposite situation – teeth that are too far apart.

If the misalignment is very slight, there are often no related issues. However, if the malocclusion is moderate to severe, the patient is at risk for many other health issues such as difficulty chewing and speaking, headaches, hearing problems, increased decay, jaw pain, and gum disease. The domino effect of these problems can get pretty serious. For example, chewing difficulty can trigger ulcers and gum disease increases the risk of stroke and heart disease. Consider also how these problems can impact a patient’s emotional well-being and power to perform their job.

There are several effective treatments for malocclusion, but first, you need a diagnosis. If you suspect that you have a misaligned bite, we hope this post has given you some good reasons to talk to our dental team at Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry. Call 616-784-2377 to schedule a consultation and exam. Our practice also offers services such as TMJ treatment, tooth extraction, and dental implants.

Contact Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

616-784-2377616-784-2377

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

769 York Creek Dr NW
Comstock Park, Michigan
49321


Both Smoking And Vaping Put Your Smile At Risk

oral health risks of e-cigarettes Comstock Park oral health

As defined by the FDA, “e-cigarettes are devices that allow users to inhale an aerosol containing nicotine or other substances.” A recent study on the impacts of e-cigarettes on oral health has more bad news for men and women who believe vaping is less dangerous than smoking traditional cigarettes.

The Harmful Effects of Smoking and Vaping

The study was published in the journal Oncotarget, were researchers concluded that e-cigarettes may cause chronic inflammation and irreversible cellular degeneration. These conditions, in turn, can lead to periodontitis, oral cancer, and tooth loss. Don’t let cigarettes, electronic or otherwise, ruin the smile you’ve worked too hard for.

Before e-cigarettes appeared on the scene in 2005, the number of men and women who smoked traditional cigarettes had remained fairly steady. The unforeseen rise in popularity of e-cigarettes, however, has generated a widespread health risk, especially for the nation’s teenagers. “Between 2011 and 2015, the U.S. Surgeon General found e-cigarette use among high school students increased by 900 percent, with more teens now using e-cigarettes than cigarettes.” Vaping has become a large issue in the U.S. and it isn’t just affecting the oral health of adults.

Discuss The Topic With Us

At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry, we care about the oral health of our patients. Our experienced team treats patients suffering from smoking-related oral health ailments with expertise and compassion. We also endeavor to offer accurate information about public health issues. We add our voice to the healthcare professionals who are working to inform the public about the hazards of e-cigarettes and clear up the misconception that they are somehow less risky than traditional cigarettes. If you would like information about cosmetic dental services such as teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, and dental implants, then schedule an appointment with us.

Contact Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

616-784-2377616-784-2377

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

769 York Creek Dr NW
Comstock Park, Michigan
49321