Understanding Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth—also referred to as third molars—are the last permanent teeth that come in. Wisdom teeth are named according to the time period in which they begin to erupt from the gums—typically around the late teens to early adulthood, ranging from the more mature ages of 17 through 21. Once wisdom teeth do finally come, they can help you better bite and chew comfortably. However, there are many instances in which patients experience pain and discomfort, or problems with cavities in these teeth. For that reason, dentists sometimes recommend that patients have their wisdom teeth extracted.

Wisdom Teeth Extraction

A wisdom teeth extraction is not necessary for all patients but is often performed for numerous reasons, including:

  • Cavity Prevention – Because wisdom teeth are found more towards the back of the mouth, they are harder to reach for regular brushing and flossing. Wisdom teeth also have more grooves and fissures that cause food to become stuck easily. For these reasons, they are more prone to develop cavities. Some patients opt to have their wisdom teeth removed to reduce their risk of developing these cavities.
  • Impacted Wisdom Tooth – Wisdom teeth are the last permanent teeth to erupt from the gums; the rest of your permanent teeth may not allow enough room for the wisdom teeth to grow, resulting in impacted wisdom teeth that are unable to erupt properly.
  • Discomfort – In some cases, the growth of wisdom teeth can result in pain or extreme discomfort. This can be due to an impacted wisdom tooth, or a wisdom tooth that has not grown in properly. Many patients opt for a wisdom tooth extraction to alleviate this discomfort.

There are several other reasons why patients and dentists recommend wisdom tooth extraction, including the reduced risk of gum disease, cysts, and damage to neighboring teeth—especially in the case of impacted wisdom teeth. A wisdom tooth extraction in addition to regular dental care at the dentist and at home will help reduce these dental problems and prevent them from occurring. If you have experienced pain or discomfort in your wisdom teeth, book an appointment with us today for an exam; you may be in need of a wisdom tooth extraction!

Are You Being Nice to Your Toothbrush?

Your toothbrush plays an important role when it comes to your dental hygiene and overall dental health; every single day, you use your toothbrush to clean your teeth twice a day for two full minutes each time (at least we hope you are!). Doing this over a long period of time can eventually wear down the bristles on your toothbrush, which can really affect the effectiveness of how well it’s able to clean your teeth. In addition, how you clean and store your toothbrush can also play a role in how effective your toothbrush is. For that reason, we’ve compiled a few tips to ensure that your toothbrush gets the care it needs!

Replacing Your Toothbrush

We recommend that you replace their toothbrush every 3 to 4 months, or earlier if you begin to notice that the bristles are starting to fray. We also recommend that you replace your toothbrush immediately after you have recovered from a cold or flu. That way, you can avoid the possibility of reinfection, and prevent harmful bacteria from damaging your teeth and gums.

Cleaning Your Toothbrush

When it comes to cleaning your toothbrush, it’s important that you rinse it thoroughly with tap water before use because small microorganisms or particles in the air could settle on it in-between uses. In addition, it’s also important to rinse your toothbrush with tap water after use to wash away any remaining toothpaste and debris.

Storing Your Toothbrush

Once you have finished using your toothbrush and rinsing it, make sure you store it upright—with the bristle side up—so it can air-dry. Make sure the toothbrush is stored away at least 6 feet away from the toilet; this is to ensure that airborne particles from flushing do not reach the toothbrush. Also, avoid using a toothbrush cover when storing; the dark, moist environment can promote bacterial growth. If your toothbrush shares the same holder as other toothbrushes, make sure they remain separated to prevent cross-contamination.

By replacing your toothbrush frequently, cleaning it regularly, and storing it correctly, you can ensure that it remains effective in cleaning your teeth of plaque and other small particles! So, are you being nice to your toothbrush?