Open Space, Open Invitation for Bacteria

Whether your toothbrush is placed in the vicinity of a toilet or across the room, studies have showed freckled specs of feces on toothbrushes, nondiscriminatory of distance. This becomes an even bigger problem in close quarters such as dorm bathrooms with multiple users. There are many disadvantages to sharing a community space with people who do not participate in a uniformed hygienic standard.

In the annual American Society for Microbiology forum, a presentation of fecal matter in toothbrushes was examined and how approximately 60% from the entire collection tested positive. Rather than individual toothbrushes coming into contact with fecal matter, the majority of contamination came from peers utilizing the same sharing space.

Contrary to popular movies where roommates sabotage one’s toothbrush by slushing it in the toilet, the contamination occurs when other people’s toothbrushes which are compromised come into contact with each other. It is the introduction of bacteria not part of one’s normal biology which prompts concern. That is not to say personal fecal matter entering one’s body during brushing is safe but foreign bacteria from another coming into oneself, is the main issue.

No matter the cleaning methods or lengths to protect one’s toothbrush via covers, the most prudent way for those who share bathrooms was to start at square one which is personal hygiene. With each individual’s copious efforts to maintain an unsoiled open space, less exposure to bacteria can be expected but regardless of exertions, the safest would be to store personal toothbrushes separately.

Toothbrush Care

Couple other suggestions consisted of not sharing toothbrushes, not using covers which provide a moist space for banter to amplify and multiply, replacements every 3 months and thoroughly washing before and after use as well as air drying.

After Your Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Wisdom Tooth Extraction

If you need to have your wisdom teeth removed, Meadow Creek Dental in Issaquah can make the extraction quick and easy. After your procedure, though, it is normal to experience a certain amount of discomfort. In the days following your extraction, consider the following tips to mitigate any pain and expedite your recovery:

  • Twenty-four hours after your procedure, rinse out your mouth a few times a day with a salt water solution of one teaspoon of salt mixed with eight ounces of warm water.
  • Common painkillers, or an ice pack applied to the outside of your face serves to reduce swelling and pain.
  • Smoke aggravates your delicate gum tissues. Avoid cigarettes and smokable products of any kind for the duration of your recovery.
  • Eat softer foods, like soups, oatmeal, and applesauce. Reintroduce hard foods to your diet gradually.
  • Reclining can encourage bleeding. Prop up your head with pillows as you sleep.
  • Avoid sucking actions, like drinking with a straw. This can dislodge your blood clot.
  • Try to take it easy. Stress encourages bleeding.

On the Lookout for Bruxism

Teeth Grinding

Most people grind their teeth every once in a while, but grinding too much can quickly become a problem that your Issaquah dentist may have to deal with. The medical term for tooth-grinding is “bruxism”, and it can wear down your teeth, give you headaches, and put strain on your jaw that can lead to TMJ disorders.

Symptoms of Bruxism

One of the problems with bruxism is that many people don’t even notice that they suffer from it. This could be because they only grind while asleep, but they can also grind throughout the day without being conscious of the action. It therefore pays to be on the lookout for the warning signs; if your jaw is frequently sore for no apparent reason, or if you notice a family member habitually grinding, this may be something to bring to the attention of your dentist.

Understanding Gum Disease: Treatment and Prevention

The Non-Surgical and Surgical Approaches

Gum disease is treatable and, in many cases, can be reversed if early intervention is applied. There are several options to manage and treat gum disease, from its early stage of gingivitis to periodontitis. Know your options and find out how this condition can be prevented.

Depending on the severity of gum disease different treatment modalities are offered by your dental professional. They can be non-surgical or surgical when necessary and if you are a candidate for it.

Nonsurgical modes involve controlling the growth and spread of bacteria. They are: Prescribing antibiotics. Your dentist may prescribe oral antibiotics for a period of time. The aim is to eradicate the pathogens that have been causing the infection. Your dentist may also give you an antibacterial injection directly into your gums and you would have to follow it up with the oral form accompanied by instructions.

Root planing and scaling is also non-surgical. It is nothing more than a deep cleaning of your teeth down to its roots. That means the cleaning has to reach under the gums. This can ensure that all bacterial plaque and hard tartar are removed. This is a professional cleaning performed at the dental office typically done every six months. It’s preventive. However, your dentist may encourage more frequent cleanings if you have gum disease already.

Surgical approaches involve surgery that aims to restore damaged supporting tissue. They are:
Flap surgery. It is for advanced or severe cases of gum disease. It involves surgically lifting the gums to rid the infected teeth of deep debris and tartar, and then the gums are replaced to snugly fit around the teeth involved, to leave no space between for bacterial entry.

Soft tissue grafts are indicated for those whose gums have already receded, where pockets have already appeared between gum and tooth, or if the gums have thinned. Soft grafted tissue from the roof of the mouth is stitched in place to add some bulk to the affected part. Bone grafts involve the use of your own bone piece, synthetic or donated bone to be grafted to replace any bone destroyed by the disease. The graft will be the base for new bone growth so that teeth stability can be restored.

How do you prevent gum disease?

Prevention is key to being able to preserve your healthy gums. Proper and diligent oral hygiene routine is essential. Brushing twice a day and flossing once daily can keep bacteria at bay. A good medicinal mouthwash may be prescribed as an additional preventive measure. A healthy diet, avoidance of smoking, and keeping regular dentist visits are also important.


Looking After Gum Health in Issaquah

When you visit your Issaquah dentist, rest assured that we are just as concerned with your gum health as that of your teeth – for complete and optimal oral health.

Understanding Gum Disease: Causes and Symptoms

Knowing The Root and The Signs

We know that gum disease is a very common oral condition among the population. While our teeth can have caries and result in decay, our gums as well are not spared from attack and deterioration. Gum disease usually starts out as gingivitis, and if left unattended, it can progress into its more serious form, periodontitis. Find out what causes gum disease. Know the symptoms that can warn you.

What causes gum disease?

  • The primary cause is plaque. It is a sticky film composed of debris, saliva, and bacteria that attaches itself to tooth surfaces, in between the teeth, and along and below the gum line. The acid in bacteria can damage tooth enamel and make it brittle and weak and susceptible to cavity formation. This allows entry for more bacteria and which can involve the gums.
  • Another cause for gum disease is a change in hormones. Gums can become more sensitive and prone to develop gingivitis in women, in cases of pregnancy, puberty development, also menopause.
  • Certain disease conditions can impede a person’s immune system making them deficient in battling oral infections. Due to weak immune response, those with diabetes, HIV, or cancer are more susceptible to develop gum disease.
  • There are medications that can cause dry mouth and put the gums in danger of disease. There are drugs that inhibit saliva production or cause abnormal growth of gum tissue.
  • Unhealthy daily habits, like smoking, neglect of oral hygiene, poor diet and the like, are contributory to poor gum health.
  • Another factor to consider is heredity or genetic history.

What symptoms tell you that you may have gum disease?

  • You have reddish, puffy, bleeding gums
  • You notice your gums are receding or that your teeth appear to look longer
  • You experience pain when you chew or bite down
  • You feel some teeth are wobbly or loose in their sockets
  • Your teeth has become sensitive to hot or cold or to pressure
  • You have foul-smelling breath or a bad taste in the mouth that does not go away
  • You notice a change in your bite or your teeth seem not to fit when biting

Looking After Gum Health in Issaquah

When you are experiencing any of the symptoms of gum disease, be sure to see your Issaquah dentist for a consultation. Early intervention is key to optimal gum health.

Care and Cleaning Tips for Your Electric Toothbrush

Consistent Performance with Consistent Care

Since your mouth is a repository of various types and amounts of germs, bacteria, and food debris, it is vital that the instrument you use to clean it must be clean and safe to use as well. Hence, caring for and cleaning your electric toothbrush ensure you are mouth-healthy. Here are some tips to benefit most from your powerhouse toothbrush.

Clean your toothbrush every two days or so, but more importantly, clean regularly. This is to prevent build-up of residue and other unwanted debris left behind there after use. Though the brush is battery-charged and has several working parts, do not worry that its operation will be affected by water. These toothbrushes are made to be water-resistant.

No special cleaner is required for electric toothbrushes. Just wipe off with a towel or wash cloth any leftover toothpaste, foam or grime. Or you can deep-clean by submerging the brush head into a bowl mixture of water, white vinegar and baking soda for at least half an hour. Rinse well in warm water. Be sure you also rinse the handle in warm water.

A cool, dry place and an upright position is the best manner to store your toothbrush. Air drying is best for the toothbrush’s electronic parts.

Be sure to not expose any electronic part of the toothbrush to water even though the toothbrush is water-resistant. It can cause a shock to the system inside or break the appliance. Do not put your toothbrush into the dishwasher or the microwave oven.

Replace your toothbrush head every 3 months. An expired toothbrush head will not give a consistent performance. Bristles can break and fray after long use, may no longer align in the same direction, or are no longer of the same precise length. There are electric toothbrushes that signal you that it’s time to change your toothbrush head.

Remember that proper maintenance of your brush heads is vital to the health of your teeth and gums. Though there’s a maximum life span for the brush head, keeping your appliance always clean will prolong its usability.


More Helpful Care Tips in Issaquah

When you’re looking for more helpful tips in oral health care, not limited to the tools you use for maintenance and hygiene, visit your Issaquah dentist at Meadow Creek Dental.

The Benefits of The Electric Toothbrush

Powerhouse Toothbrush

Have you ever shifted from using a manual toothbrush to an electric one and noticed the difference? Experts say that electric toothbrushes are better at plaque removal. With thousands of strokes per minute, they make quick work of plaque within a 2-minute brushing. So it can be said that electric toothbrushes afford better cleaning than their manual counterparts. That’s just one of the benefits of owning one.

Electric toothbrushes are “power” toothbrushes designed to do the work of cleaning your teeth for you. Once you get used to it, they actually are easy to operate. They come in different types and features so you have a wide option to choose which one is best suited for your needs.

Electric toothbrushes are easier to hold. They do not require a firm grip. They give the best and safest brushing results if you handle them with just your fingertips. As there is no tension in your hand, you tend to not scrub or apply too much brushing pressure.

These brushes are surprisingly gentler on your gums. Again, with a gentle hold on the handle, you merely let the head bristles slide and glide against your gum line. You can clean your gums and teeth at the same time. Like playing a violin, use soft and rhythmic motions as you go through the left, the front portion, and the right side of your arch, the upper or lower arch whichever you do first. You don’t scrub or apply pressure.

Electric toothbrushes are safe and easy for kids 3 years old and above to learn. Other types have their own age recommendations, as well as selections of designs kids will love, like Disney character handles and bright colors. People with certain degree of mobility issues, like arthritis, may find the use of electric toothbrushes a welcomed chore.

Some of these power toothbrushes have convenient features. Some brands can perform various technologies, like oscillating/pulsating/cupping/rotating or sonic. They come with different modes of brushing, like one for whitening, for sensitive teeth, or for gum massage, among others. They have timers, pacers, digital reminders, or Bluetooth connectivity. Truly, tooth brushing has come of age. Electric toothbrushes are all for the advancement of everyone’s good oral health.


Advancing Everyone’s Oral Health in Issaquah

If you are interested in switching to an electric toothbrush, let our Issaquah dentist, Dr. Dipti, tell you more about which brand or feature best suits your needs.

Why Bad Brushing Techniques Need To Be Corrected

Brushing Misconceptions 

We always knew that to keep our mouths healthy, tooth brushing and flossing are key. Brushing our teeth keeps caries and cavities away, the main culprit in many potential issues that compromise our oral health. While we think we know everything about tooth brushing, we are unaware that there are bad and good brushing techniques. 

Did you know that brushing with too much pressure is not a good brushing technique?

You might think that applying hard pressure while brushing will remove all the grime and plaque on your teeth. Brush bristles are not meant to clean that way. Instead of bristles intending to reach in between your teeth, you are only mashing the bristles. 

What to do? Apply less pressure on your teeth while brushing. Make sure to hold your brush handle with just your fingertips and not by a full grasp. This will train you to not press too hard.  

Some people tend to scrub and not brush their teeth.

The scrubbing method may be your entire lifetime way of oral hygiene and it can be difficult to break. Vigorous scrubbing of your teeth can also cause gum irritation and soreness, and may lead to permanent damage. 

What to do? Do not scrub. Try to get accustomed to short, soft back and forth motion, covering the width of each tooth. Use also up and down strokes, especially the back areas of your teeth. This can enable your bristles to go in between the teeth spaces and remove wedged debris there. Let the bristles do their work.

Did you know that most people brush for only 45 to 70 minutes on the average?

It is too short a time to spend on brushing. You will not be able to cover each tooth in your mouth because you are in such a hurry. You will only leave certain areas still with debris and missing them will lead to more plaque build-up. 

What to do? Spend a full 2 minutes, at least, on brushing. This should ensure that you paid each tooth your best attention with the toothbrush. Use a timer, if necessary. You can also hum a favorite 2-minute tune. Important areas usually missed are the back teeth, so pay attention to them.


Good Brushing Techniques in Issaquah

There are more great brushing techniques and habits you can learn from our team and dentist. Visit your Issaquah dentist at Meadow Creek Dental soon.

Replacing Your Toothbrush

Many people come to our Issaquah dentist with questions about how frequently they should be replacing their brushes. This is a valid concern, as many toothbrushes can become overrun by bacteria after a while. More importantly, the bristles of your brush are getting warped and worn out, robbing them of their ability to effectively clean your teeth. Those who are not mindful of a proper replacement schedule can sometimes do more harm than good.

Every Three Months

The simple answer is that you should replace your brush every three months. However, this number can be different from person to person. If you brush harder than most people, for example, you may see your bristles splaying every which way long before the three month mark. This is a clear sign that your brush should be retired. If you’re suffering from gum disease, you might want to change your brush as frequently as every few weeks. This helps you to get rid of the rampant bacteria that is developing in your tissues.

You can also keep your toothbrush cleaner for longer by adopting some simple sanitation habits. Remember that bacteria needs a damp environment to thrive, and so storing your brush upright to let it dry out between brushings is a good idea. For a little extra security, consider occasionally dunking the bristles in either hot water or an antibacterial mouthwash. Never microwave your toothbrush or put it in the dishwasher, as this can destroy the fragile plastic of the bristles.

If you have additional questions about your brush, contact Meadow Creek Dental.

Am I at Risk for Oral Cancer?

Oral Cancer

Part of our job at Meadow Creek Dental Issaquah is to protect you from oral cancer. This cancer makes up less than five percent of cancer cases in the country, but compared to many of the more common cancers it has a surprisingly high death rate.

Possible Risk Factors

You can take steps to avoid these cancers by living a healthy lifestyle, which starts by being mindful of these risk factors:

  • Men account for 70% of oral cancer cases, with men over fifty being at the highest risk.
  • Users of tobacco have a substantially higher risk factor for oral cancer. This includes tobacco smoked in a pipe, cigarette, or cigar, as well as smokeless chewing tobacco or snuffs.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption greatly increases your risk, particularly if you also smoke.
  • Sun exposure can lead to oral cancer developing on your lips.
  • An unbalanced diet, particularly one that is low in vitamin A, can increase your risk of oral cancer.
  • A family history of cancer can always be indicative of a higher cancer risk.

Oral Cancer Screening at Meadow Creek Dental Issaquah

The high death rate of oral cancer can be largely attributed to too many cases being discovered at a late stage. If you’re a high risk for oral cancer, talk to our dentist at Meadow Creek Dental and take care to get your regular screenings.