If you are over 50 years old, it can become important to start paying closer attention to your dental health. With proper care for your dental and oral health, you can prevent the kind of tooth loss experienced by so many Americans, especially those in this age group. More than 175 million Americans are missing at least one tooth and 35 million have no teeth at all.
Preserve your teeth by following your dentist’s recommendations closely now and in the future. There are certain common problems that can be experienced in one’s older years. However, you can minimize or avoid these problems through proper dental care.
You might have heard the recommendation to replace your toothbrush every time you get sick. Is that actually correct? Well, it’s partly right. If you have a bacterial or fungal infection in or near your mouth, it’s vital. A bacterial infection, like strep throat, can live on your toothbrush long enough to reinfect you after your antibiotics are done. That’s not the case with a common cold, as your body develops its own antibodies that prevent you from being reinfected after you recover.
A fungal infection like thrush can also be stored on a toothbrush. If you experience this problem, change your toothbrush frequently while being treated and then break open a new one when your treatment is done.
In most other cases, your own immune system should be strong enough to prevent reinfection with any of the bacteria or viruses living on your toothbrush. Giving an illness to another person via toothbrush—that’s a different matter.
Reasons to Never Share a Toothbrush
Say you’re at a friend’s house and you forgot your toothbrush. Should you just use his—or hers? Never. Some bacteria and viruses can survive on a toothbrush long enough for another person to be infected. Both Hepatitis B and C can be transmitted via toothbrush and it’s also possible to transmit the Epstein-Barr virus (the one that causes mononucleosis) if saliva remains on the brush. It is worth running out to a store to pick one up for yourself. It’s also a good idea to keep a few spare brushes on hand for surprise visitors.
Toothbrushes can also transmit that fungal infection we mentioned earlier, the virus that causes cold sores and the kind of bacteria that cause gum infections. Hopefully, that’s enough to convince you to take your own toothbrush with you wherever you travel.
How to Keep Your Toothbrush Sanitary
Always rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after use and store it in a vertical position so it will dry. Make sure it’s stored in some kind of holder that prevents it from touching others. Storing a number of brushes in a mug on the sink won’t do it. There are racks that can be adhered to walls or tile and special holders that sit on the sink that will keep them separate.
It’s smart to have more than one toothbrush in use. That way, it can thoroughly dry before it’s used again which helps keep the growth of bacteria and funguses to a minimum. It’s also smart to keep your toothbrushes as far as possible from the toilet, since studies have found that bacteria is discharged into the air when it is flushed. This is seldom a source of infection but it just makes good health sense.
If you’re traveling, invest a few dollars in a case to keep your toothbrush clean. Just remember to let your toothbrush dry out thoroughly between uses rather than storing it in the case.
There’s one other way that infection can be shared and that is by contact with a tube of toothpaste. Each person could use his own tube, or get a sick person a small travel tube for the course of his illness. Separate tubes of toothpaste is also a good way to keep illness from traveling from one child to another, especially in group settings like school or daycare.
At StarBrite Dental , our goal is to help you improve your overall oral health and stay that way. If you are looking for a new dentist or you have just moved to the Rockville, Maryland area or metropolitan Washington, D.C., call StarBrite Dental, the office of Dr. Maryam Seifi , and let us use our expertise to keep your teeth and mouth in perfect health. Call (301) 770-1070 today to make an appointment.
Dental veneers —thin shells bonded to one’s teeth to cover imperfections—were invented 85 years ago by a California dentist to help give movies stars their gorgeous on-camera smiles. Thanks to advancements in dental technology, dental veneers are now among the most popular and trusted ways to transform an imperfect smile.
When Veneers Are Used
The material used in veneers—usually porcelain—closely resembles the appearance of natural teeth in color, texture and the way they reflect light. Veneers are used to correct the visible flaws of your teeth, such as yellowing or discoloration, chips and cracks, gaps between teeth, mild misalignment and misshaped teeth. The end result is a bright, pleasing and natural-looking smile.
Easy to Care For, Long-lasting
Veneers are cared for like your natural teeth, with daily brushing and flossing. However, you should use nonabrasive toothpaste with a soft-bristle toothbrush to prevent dulling and scratching the veneers. With proper care, veneers can last for up to 25 years.
Get a Free Smile Evaluation
If you are unhappy with the appearance of your teeth, call the StarBrite Dental office in Rockville, MD to schedule a free Smile Evaluation. Let’s see how veneers can transform your smile!
Despite the flawless smiles you see in movies and on TV, most people—including movie stars—are not born with perfect teeth. And, as people age, their teeth may become discolored, chipped or cracked. If you are unhappy with the way your teeth look, you may be a candidate for veneers .
Veneers are thin coverings, usually made of porcelain, that are custom designed to fit over the front of your teeth and are very natural in appearance. They cover stains, chips, cracks, gaps between teeth and even crooked teeth. The results are usually spectacular.
If you are self-conscious about your teeth when you smile or laugh, you don’t have to continue to live with it. Veneers can give you a natural-looking, beautiful smile so you can focus on enjoying life, not worrying about your teeth.
I invite you to come see me for a complimentary veneers consultation. It could be the start of whole new smile for you. Call my office in Rockville, MD today to request an appointment.
I look forward to seeing you.
Dr. Maryam Seifi, DDS
Many people know that some foods are bad for their teeth, but did you know that some others are actually beneficial for your teeth? By including these foods in your diet, you can support your dental health and help prevent expensive dental work in the future.
It might seem to you that your teeth don’t need nutrition, but they definitely do. Your teeth are honeycombed with tiny channels and receive a constant wash of nutrients. The better your balance of nutrients and the more you skip foods that are damaging, the healthier your teeth will be over the course of your life. Healthier teeth are more capable of resisting decay and other damage.
The good thing is that most of these beneficial foods are popular and readily available.
Calcium-Rich Dairy Foods
Dairy foods contain high levels of calcium and protein, so if they agree with you in other ways, include plenty of foods like cheese and yogurt in your diet. In addition to calcium and protein, cheese also improves the acid-alkaline balance in your mouth which helps keep down the growth of plaque-creating bacteria. There’s even some research showing that the proteins in milk help restore minerals that might have been lost through consumption of acidic foods or the presence of plaque. Hard, aged cheeses tend to be more beneficial than soft cheeses.
Yogurt likewise contains calcium and protein, but it has another beneficial characteristic—the beneficial bacteria found in cultured products. These bacteria your body needs tend to crowd out damaging bacteria in your mouth. Unsweetened, plain yogurt is the best choice.
Strawberries are so good for teeth that some people use them to make a natural enamel whitener. Crush a strawberry, mix it with baking soda and spread the paste on your teeth with a soft toothbrush. Wait five minutes, brush off the paste, rinse and your teeth will shine. It’s the malic acid in the berry that whitens.
Cranberries can also help preserve your smile because they contain polyphenols, protective plant-based antioxidants. But because cranberries are tart, they are often mixed with sugar which doesn’t help your dental health. Look for unsweetened dried cranberries that you can snack on or add to a salad.
Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables
Crunchy fruits and vegetables not only contain plenty of nutrients, they also produce lots of saliva as they are chewed. This constant flow of saliva bathes the teeth and entire mouth, washing away bacteria. Raw celery, apples, pears, cucumbers and carrots fit into this category so keep a supply of these foods available for snacking.
Most people know that fresh greens are good for their overall health but they may have a hard time adding them to their daily diet. A protein shake with a handful of spinach leaves or kale works for most people, even those who don’t like salads. Snacking on raw broccoli also offers benefits—just minimize indulgence in high-calorie dips.
Nuts are another protein-rich food that supports your dental health. Along with having calcium and protein, nuts like almonds, Brazil nuts and cashews, also help fight unhealthy oral bacteria.
The foods you eat are only part of the solution for preserving your oral health. It’s essential that you see your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams. That’s how you can prevent small problems from becoming big ones.
If you’re behind on your dental health maintenance, call StarBrite Dental , the Office of Dr. Maryam Seifi , to bring everything up to date. You can reach our Rockville, Maryland office by calling 301-770-1070 today. Of course, we can also help you with any restorations you need, such as fillings, crowns, root canals and many other services. Our goal is to help you regain your oral health and keep it that way.
You’ve probably heard a lot about dental implants . In truth, they are one of the most effective ways to replace missing teeth. Let me explain why.
A dental implant is an artificial tooth that is permanently placed in your gums. Unlike bridges and dentures, implants look, feel and function like your natural teeth. This prevents jawbone loss, allows you to enjoy your favorite foods and enables you to chew properly so you receive proper nutrition from your food.
Implants are also versatile. For instance, if you have dentures that don’t fit right, implants can be used to permanently anchor the dentures in your mouth. With implant-supported dentures , there is no embarrassing slipping and you can fully chew your food. Similarly, an implant-supported bridge is more secure and enables you to chew more comfortably.
When it comes to replacing missing teeth, I recommend dental implants to all my patients who are candidates for the procedure. They can often completely transform someone’s quality of life. If you wonder if dental implants are right for you, come see me for a complimentary consultation. Call my office in Rockville, MD today to request an appointment.
I look forward to seeing you.
Dr. Maryam Seifi, DDS
While no one looks forward to a root canal, the procedure can save teeth and prevent you from needing a bridge or a dental implant. On the other hand, while a root canal can be very helpful, it’s valuable to know how to prevent needing one in the first place. We’ll tell you how to do this, but first, we’ll go over the root canal procedure so you understand what will happen if you do need one.