Which Type of Toothbrush is Best?

Toothbrush Wars in Detroit

It may surprise you to know that some people have very strong opinions about which type of toothbrush is the best: manual or electric. The team at Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry serving Royal Oak hears this question a lot.

Is there really one that is clearly better?

Most dentists will tell you that all toothbrushes, when used thoroughly, are effective at removing plaque. Choosing which kind you prefer is really up to you.

Today, we want to give you some extra information about toothbrushes to help you pick which kind is right for you or your child.

You need to consider cost and convenience.
Some people argue that even though electric toothbrushes are more costly, 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 difficult when buying replacement heads. People who travel may find that a smaller, manual toothbrush is easier to pack (and batteries are not required).

The pressure you put on your gums with either type of toothbrush is essential. Some people say that it’s difficult to know how much pressure they use with electric toothbrushes, while others say that because of the quick electrical movements, they tend to be more gentle on their gums than when they use manual brushes. You may want to try them both to identify your brushing style. Then you can discuss it with your dentist.

Special consideration should be taken for people with arthritis. Most dentists guide their elderly and arthritic patients to use electric toothbrushes when their manual dexterity is diminished. 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 Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak MI, we want the best possible smile for each of our patients.We offer a wide range of general and cosmetic dentistry services, including dental implants, Invisalign clear braces, and teeth whitening. Schedule your next dental consultation with us today!

Contact Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry:

248-541-8770

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

940 E 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, Michigan
48067

 


8 Things You Should Know About Your Baby’s Teeth

Royal Oak pediatric dentistry

Life is hectic for new moms and dads and some function on very little sleep for several months. At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak, we provide comprehensive full service dentistry for patients in Birmingham and surrounding communities. We don’t want the first year to fly by in a blur without busy parents giving a thought to their baby’s teeth. Unfortunately “out of sight, out of mind” is often the case. It’s never too early for new Royal Oak parents to design a plan for their child’s lifelong oral health.

1. Before the first teeth appear, clean gums with a soft damp cloth or piece of gauze after feeding.

2. Prevent baby bottle tooth rot. Most new parents are cautioned from the beginning not to put babies to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. However, since baby-bottle tooth decay is still fairly common, this warning bears repetition. Baby bottle tooth decay is entirely preventable. If your baby will not sleep without a bottle, use only water. Moms who breastfeed should understand that breast milk is just as effective at creating an environment for decay. If your child uses a pacifier, don’t dip it in sugar or honey.

3. Take your infant to the dentist early. That’s right – infant. Your child’s first dental exam should occur when the first teeth erupt, usually between six months and one year of age.

4. When your baby’s first tooth peeks through, begin brushing gently with a small, soft toothbrush and a grain of rice sized dot of fluoride toothpaste. This aids in keeping that tooth decay-free while allowing your baby to get comfortable with regular oral hygiene.

5. From the ages of 3 to 6, the amount of toothpaste can increase to a pea-sized dab. Most children swallow instead of spitting. You don’t want your child to swallow more than a minuscule smear of toothpaste. While fluoride is essential, too much can be detrimental.

6. Consider dental sealants. Sealants protect the teeth and prevent cavities by filling in the cracks and fissures where food particles can hide, breeding dangerous bacteria that doesn’t take long to create cavities. Sealants are especially critical in the back teeth which, due to the abundance of crevasses, are hardest to clean properly. During your child’s first check-up at our office, you can talk to the dental team about sealants. Sealants aren’t usually applied until all of the teeth have come in, but it’s a good idea to seek a dentist’s advice at your first visit.

7. Talk to your dentist about pacifier use, thumb-sucking, or any other habits that affect teeth and jaw development.

8. Teach your toddler to drink from a cup as soon as possible. The fewest months your child uses a bottle, the better. Even if your child loves his bottle, you are going to have to take it away sooner or later.

At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry, we love our littlest patients. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry, as well as Invisalign and dental implants. Schedule your next appointment with us today.

 

Contact Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry:

248-541-8770

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

940 E 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, Michigan
48067

 


Don’t Let A Simple Problem Become Serious

canker sore treatment DetroitToday in the Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry dental blog, we are going to discuss those small irritations in the mouth that have the potential to become big problems.

Injuries, sores, or inflammation in the mouth can be very uncomfortable. These non-specific irritations, called stomatitis, have many different causes.

They may be caused by cold sores, gum disease, teeth grinding, or biting the inside of your mouth. They may also be connected to broken teeth or braces.

In fact, any inflammation of the membranes in the mouth can be classified as stomatitis. Stomatitis can affect a person’s ability to speak, eat, and even to fall asleep at night.

Fortunately, most of these irritations clear up on their own within a couple of weeks. However, there is a possibility that a viral or bacterial infection can occur. It’s important to let your dentist know about these sores if they don’t clear up after several weeks. Even if there are no complications, your dentist can help you treat the symptoms of stomatitis.

If you’re concerned about stomatitis, call us today. At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak MI, we want the best possible smile for each of our patients.We offer a wide range of general and cosmetic dentistry services, including dental implants, Invisalign clear braces, and teeth whitening. Schedule your next dental consultation with us today!

 

Contact Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry:

248-541-8770

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

940 E 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, Michigan
48067

 


How Much Do You Know About Gum Disease

A gum disease treatment Monktonhealthy smile needs decay-free teeth and healthy gums. At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak, we’ve seen a variety of issues in our patients’ gums.

Which of the items below are risk factors for gum disease (periodontitis)?

a. Pregnancy
b. Overbite
c. Diabetes
d. Heredity

All of the above. Pregnancy, menopause, or any other condition that causes hormonal changes is a risk factor as is any type of malocclusion.

Which of the following are possible signs of gum disease?

a. Teeth that appear longer
b. A change in the way dentures fit
c. Bad breath
d. Sore gums

All of the above. Note: some patients don’t see any symptoms.

Which of the following are possible health problems linked to untreated gum disease?

a. Asthma
b. Low birth weight babies
c. Parkinson’s disease
d. Stroke

a,b, and d are all possible health problems.

What percentage of people age 65+ have gum disease?

a. 5%
b. 12%
c. 25%
d. 50%

C. 25%

Which of the following procedures are used for gum disease?

a. Scaling and root planing
b. Soft tissue grafting
c. Flap surgery
d. Flip surgery

A, b, and C.

At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak MI, we want the best possible smile for each of our patients. We offer a wide range of general and cosmetic dentistry services. Schedule your next dental consultation with us today!

 

contact gustafson morningstar dentistry:

248-843-0496

location (tap to open in google maps):

940 E 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, Michigan
48067

Sources:
John Donavan, “5 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Teeth,” WebMD, December 15, 2015, http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/5-things-you-didnt-know-about-your-teeth#3, accessed March 20, 2017
“Periodontal (Gum) Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments,” National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/GumDiseases/PeriodontalGumDisease.htm, accessed March 20, 2017
“Diseases and Conditions Periodontitis,” Mayo Clinic, February 4, 2014, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/periodontitis/basics/risk-factors/con-20021679, accessed March 20, 2017

These Snacks Are Just As Bad As Candy For Kids’ Teeth

pediatric dentist BurlingtonMost parents know that candy is bad for teeth. Suckers, and other forms of candy are made mainly of sugar. Sugar creates acid that drills into enamel, and that small hole can become a cavity. Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak would like to discuss kid snacks.

Because sugar is bad for teeth (and overall physical health), many moms and dads choose what they believe are healthier snacks. Unfortunately, many are nearly as bad for oral health.

Let’s look at the most common kids’ snacks that are just as bad as candy.

DRIED FRUIT

Nutrition-wise, a dried apricot is a far better choice than a candy bar. The problem is that dried fruits stick tightly to teeth. This poses the same oral health risk as candy.

SPORTS AND ENERGY DRINKS

Few moms and dads let their pre-teens guzzle energy drinks. But many parents buy electrolyte-containing sports drinks for older children. Be sure to scrutinize the labels. Some sports drinks have as much sugar as soda.

SOY, ALMOND, OR RICE MILK

Parents whose youngster can’t tolerate lactose turn to non-dairy ‘milk.’ Most kinds come in both a sweetened and non-sweetened version. Sweetened types contain a considerable amount of sugar.

GRANOLA BARS

Traditional sugary granola bars should be considered candy. (Ditto for fruit snacks.)

YOGURT

Kids need calcium, and yogurt is a great source. Many varieties of flavored yogurt, however, have a high sugar content. Some parents keep the fridge stocked with hand-held yogurt packets. Kids who eat these throughout the day are subjecting their teeth to a continual stream of sugar.

SWEETENED APPLESAUCE

Some manufacturers pack this healthy snack with oodles of sugar. If you can get your young children used to fruit without added sugar, they will be better off.

INSTANT OATMEAL

We all know that most cold cereal marketed for children is sugar-filled. Instant oatmeal is a convenient alternative that is healthier in many respects. Be aware that some have as much sugar as Froot Loops or Frosted Flakes.

It would be difficult to eliminate all of these items from your child’s diet. We want parents to be aware of the sugar content so they can make informed choices.

Reminding children to brush their teeth or rinse with water after eating these items is a good idea.

At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak MI, we want the best possible smile for each of our patients. We offer a wide range of general and cosmetic dentistry services. Schedule your next dental consultation with us today!

contact gustafson morningstar dentistry:

248-843-0497

location (tap to open in google maps):

940 E 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, Michigan
48067


15 Things You Didn’t Know About Teeth

suprising tooth facts La Mesa At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak, we love to talk about teeth. Here are 15 things you might not have known about teeth.

  1. Children’s teeth are soft until about age 10.
  2. A tooth with a crown can get a cavity.
  3. Your gum tissue is as important as your teeth.
  4. Some prescription medication can increase your risk of cavities.
  5. Some home faucet water filters remove fluoride.
  6. 19% of little ones between the ages of 2 and 19 have untreated cavities.
  7. Heartburn can be harmful for teeth.
  8. Allergies can cause tooth grinding.
  9. Dried fruit is just as damaging for teeth as sticky candy.
  10. Tooth enamel cannot repair itself, though dentin and cementum (the substances that surrounds the tooth root) are capable of partial regeneration.
  11. A Harvard-led team used low-powered lasers to activate stem cells and stimulate the growth of teeth in rats and human dental tissue in a lab. 1
  12. There are about 300 types of bacteria in your mouth.
  13. Chewing sugarless gum after meals can help remove food particles on your teeth. You still need to brush, but if you can’t brush immediately after meals, sugarless gum can help keep your teeth clean.
  14. Cavities often don’t cause pain until they have reached the root and nerve of the tooth. Visit your dentist regularly to prevent cavities or at least to detect them when they are small.
  15. Bone recession can cause tooth loss even if no decay is present.

We hope you have found today’s post interesting and perhaps even learned something new about your amazing teeth and some of the lesser-known risk factors for decay. At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak, our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next appointment with us today.

contact gustafson morningstar dentistry:

248-843-0497

location (tap to open in google maps):

940 E 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, Michigan
48067

 

http://www.businessinsider.com/laser-stem-cell-tooth-tissue-regeneration-2014-5#ixzz3fzlosJDMTooth


Are You At Risk For Bone Recession?

dental bone grafting Royal Oak

A healthy smile needs decay-free teeth and healthy gums, as well as a healthy jawbone. Our teeth need a strong firm foundation to remain healthy and beautiful. At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak, we’ve seen a variety of issues in our patients’ jaw health.

Today’s post looks at bone recession. Occasionally, a patient experiences bone recession in their jaw which can cause tooth loss and other problems. However, it is usually the other way around. The bone loss occurs as a result of a lost tooth because the blood supply and stimulus needed for maintaining healthy bone is taken away.

Let’s look at the most common causes of jaw bone recession:

Extracted Teeth

Bone is living tissue and needs stimulation to stay healthy and retain its size and density. Biting, chewing, talking and all the other normal mouth functions keep the portion of the bone surrounding the tooth root healthy. When a tooth is extracted, the bone that used to anchor the tooth root recedes as if it understands that it is no longer needed. A dental implant provides stimulation similar to the natural tooth and can prohibit bone recession.

If you would like to replace a missing tooth with an implant, but don’t have enough bone at the implant site, you might be a candidate for bone grafting. Bone grafting may sound like major oral surgery but it is really a routine procedure performed in a dental office.

Gum Infection

A gum infection can result when gum inflammation goes untreated and progresses to periodontitis, or periodontal disease. With periodontitis, the gums pull away from the teeth creating pockets which provide the perfect breeding ground for the dangerous infection.

Gum infections can advance undetected, though there are usually warning signs. Swollen, painful gums, loose teeth, and gums that bleed when brushed are symptoms of periodontitis. The infection dissolves bone as the gums pull away from the tooth. Inadequate oral hygiene increases the risk of gum disease but other factors can compromise gum health. These include smoking (no surprise here), hormone levels, diseases that lower immune system effectiveness, medications that cause dry mouth, and genetic predisposition.

Abscessed Tooth

An abscess is a pus-filled pocket of infection that occurs in the nerve and roots of a tooth. As the infection attacks the tooth and bone tissue it creates a space that fills with pus. There are several treatments for a tooth abscess including antibiotics to kill the infection, a root canal, or extraction, if needed.

How We Can Help

If you have experienced bone recession due to gum disease, an abscess, an extracted tooth, or any other reason, let’s discuss your options. You may benefit from a dental implant, soft tissue grafts, or bone grafts. Dental implants can significantly improve your quality of life and prevent further recession.

At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak MI, we want the best possible smile for each of our patients. We offer a wide range of general and cosmetic dentistry services. Schedule your next dental consultation with us today!

Contact Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry:

248-541-8770

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

940 E 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, Michigan
48067

 


If Only I Had Taken Care Of My Teeth…

caring dentist Royal Oak

Brush. Floss. Get regular checkups. It will sound so simple when you have dentures.

How many times have you said, ‘If only!’ ‘If only I had changed my oil,’ ‘If only I had stayed in college,’ ‘If only I had worn sunscreen.’

We hope you don’t ever say, ‘If only I had taken care of my teeth!’ If you have neglected your teeth, we invite you to let us help you get back on track to oral health.

At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak, we are enthusiastic about helping patients establish and maintain dental health. We help all of our patients feel relaxed and comfortable in a friendly, non-judgmental atmosphere.

Treating countless Royal Oak area patients who avoided the dentist in years past, we have helped them to recommit to good oral health habits.  Your overall physical health and happiness will be enriched if you start taking care of your teeth today.

Our practice offers a complete menu of effective treatments for any dental issues you currently have: tooth decay, stained teeth, cracked teeth, gum disease, broken crowns, old unsightly fillings, and even missing teeth.

Professional dental treatment is a key investment in your most precious possession—your health.

Drs. Gustafson and Morningstar are knowledgeable and experienced dentists who are interested in helping you maintain the best oral health possible. Whether it’s for yourself, your family, or your kids, we are here to help make the dentistry process a positive experience.

If you are worried about the cost of dental treatment, talk with us about financing. We can design a treatment plan to get the work done over time and schedule it to fit your budget.

Whatever concerns have kept you from seeing a dentist—fear, finances, or the fact that you are just too busy—we hope you will recommit to your smile. We are here to help.

At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak MI, we want the best possible dental health for each of our patients. We offer a wide range of general and cosmetic dentistry services. Schedule your next cleaning and checkup with us today!

Contact Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry:

248-541-8770

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

940 E 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, Michigan
48067

 

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Clean Teeth, Happy Mouth

Good dental health means having healthy teeth and gums. Maintaining it is something that you have to work at every day. It can be a real balancing act: using the right oral care products, your personal oral care habits, and seeing us at Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak MI twice a year.

Your dental health strategy should include:

  • Daily brushing and flossing. You should brush and floss twice a day. Just before bedtime is especially important, because it cleans out the germs and plaque that build up during the course of the day.
  • Proper brushing. It’s important not only to brush, but to brush properly. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush in a gentle, circular motion along the gum line. Take your time; a minimum of two minutes is recommended. Don’t forget to brush your tongue!
  • Using fluoridated toothpaste. There is a myriad of choices when it comes to toothpaste. Whether you prefer mint flavored or bubble gum, fluoride is the most important consideration. It is your best defense against cavities.
  • Limiting sugary and acidic foods. Acidic fruits, teas, and coffee contributes to enamel erosion. Sugar converts into acid when it’s in your mouth. You don’t have to avoid these foods entirely, but choose carefully and minimize.
  • Seeing the dentist twice a year. You saw this one coming, right? Your daily dental health care habits are essential, but so is the attention and care of a dentist. A professional teeth cleaning alone is worth the trip, but we can also identify issues before they become serious, and treat them.

At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak MI, we want the best possible dental health for each of our patients. We offer a wide range of general and cosmetic dentistry services. Schedule your next cleaning and checkup with us today!

Contact Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry:

248-541-8770

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

940 E 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, Michigan
48067

 


Check Out The Checkup!

At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak, we want to see each one of our patients for a cleaning and checkup twice a year. Most of the time we try to get you to schedule your next appointment even as you leave the office from your latest one.

There are some very good reasons for seeing us twice a year. Along with daily brushing and flossing, six-month cleanings and checkups are the best way to ensure you have good dental health. That means clean teeth with no cavities, and pink healthy gums.

Most appointments begin with a cleaning from the hygienist. During the cleaning we’ll scrape any tartar from your teeth. Tartar is hardened plaque, and you can’t get it off with a toothbrush and floss. That’s one of the reasons brushing twice a day is so important: it helps prevent plaque buildup! Scraping tartar off of your teeth is known as scaling.

Once your teeth are scaled, we’ll polish them with a gritty toothpaste. This is pretty harsh stuff, and it does a fabulous job removing any surface stains on your teeth. Sometimes patients wonder if they can get something like it for use at home. The trouble with that is that it’s just too abrasive to use every day.

After scaling and brushing, the last step is flossing. Then, it’s the dentist’s turn.

During the checkup we look for any new cavities that may have appeared since your last visit. We might take X-rays, although this is not done at every visit. We’ll examine your gums, too, for any signs of gum disease.

Finally, we’ll look at your tongue, throat, face and and head, and your neck. We’re checking for swelling or redness, or any signs of cancer.

And that, in a nutshell, is how your visit to the dentist goes. At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry:

248-541-8770

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

940 E 11 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, Michigan
48067