Is There Ever A Bad Time To Brush Your Teeth?

Brush Your Teeth

Since most of us were children, we have been encouraged to brush our teeth, pretty much all the time. But our dentists here at Castle Rock Dental want to tell you that there are actually times where it is bad for you to brush your teeth.

Times You Shouldn’t Brush Your Teeth

In general, brushing your teeth helps remove food particles and keeps plaque from building up on your teeth. However, the bristles of a toothbrush can be abrasive enough to expose your teeth to damage in certain situations, which may lead you to need professional dental intervention. The critical times when you should not brush your teeth are:

  • Immediately after a meal – You should wait at least 20-30 minutes after you have eaten to brush your teeth, especially if your meal or drinks contained anything acidic. By waiting, you give your saliva time to normalize the pH in your mouth, re-establishment of healthy oral bacteria, and allow our teeth to have a healthy layer of plaque to protect the enamel. If you don’t wait, you may damage your enamel, which is more exposed post-meal.
  • Right after vomiting – While it is understandable that you want to brush your teeth after vomiting, it can be incredibly damaging if you do. The acid from your stomach can attack your teeth as you try to brush out the taste. Instead, clear your mouth out with plain water and wait 20-30 minutes for your mouth to rebalance before you brush.
  • Before you eat something acidic – If you know you are going to eat or drink something acidic, be sure you don’t brush your teeth beforehand. That way, your teeth will have its protective layer of healthy plaque to help protect your enamel from the acidic foods and drinks you consume.

Brushing And Flossing Best Practices

Along with coming in for your bi-annual dental cleaning, there are daily tooth brushing and flossing practices you should implement to protect your oral health.

  • Remember to brush at least twice a day, but give yourself time between your meals.
  • Make sure you use a soft-bristled toothbrush to keep from damaging your teeth.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste to help strengthen your teeth against tooth decay.
  • Floss at least once a day, usually right after you brush your teeth in the evening.

For expert dental care in Billings, MT, contact us for an appointment. Our dentists will be happy to help you achieve the best oral health possible.

The Role Healthy Gums Play In Your Mouth

Healthy Gums

Our teeth often garner the most attention, but the gums play a vital role as well. To help you understand why you should spend more time caring for your gums, our dentists at Castle Rock Dental have provided some insights.

Why Your Gums Are Important

Your gums are the foundation of your teeth. When the gums are healthy, they protect the root of your teeth from bacterial incursions and keep your teeth firmly in place.

When gums are unhealthy, not only does that endanger your teeth and can potentially cause you to lose them, but there are other health risks associated with unhealthy gums. Some identified dangers are:

  • Increased severity of diabetes
  • Higher risk of chronic respiratory disease
  • Can lead to pregnancy complications
  • Greater risk of developing dementia
  • Leads to jawbone density loss
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular disease

Signs Of Unhealthy Gums

While those risks can be intimidating, there are signs of unhealthy gums that you can watch out for so you can protect yourself against unhealthy gums.

  • Discoloration – Healthy gums should be bright pink. Pale gums, or ones with red sore spots, can be a sign that your gums are unhealthy.
  • Bleeding – When you brush your teeth or eat, if your gums are healthy, they should not bleed unless you are brushing them too hard. If you often find your gums bleed, it is a sign you need to work with our dentists on treating periodontal disease.
  • Tenderness – Like bleeding gums, your gums should not feel tender on a regular basis. Even if the tenderness in your gums isn’t gum disease, it can be a sign of a cavity.
  • Swollen – If your gums are swollen all over, it is likely that your gums have developed gingivitis, if not the more advanced stage of periodontal disease. However, if your gums are swollen in only one area, you may have developed a tooth infection and potentially an abscess.
  • Loose teeth – Often, by the time your teeth are loose, your periodontal disease is advanced, and you may require dental replacement options.

Ways You Can Protect Your Gums

There are multiple things you can do starting today to better protect your health and integrity of your gums.

  • Brush with a soft toothbrush
  • Floss every night when you are done eating for the day
  • Avoid smoking
  • Eat a varied and nutritious diet

Lastly, to ensure your gums stay healthy, it is important to come in for your bi-annual dental cleaning. Our staff will assist you by taking X-rays, cleaning, and checking for any issues during your cleaning. Contact us to set up your appointment today!

Denture Talk: How To Whiten And Prevent Stains On Your Dentures

Denture Talk

When you are fitted with a good set of dentures, whether complete or partial, it can be cause for celebration. You’ve gotten back your white, bright smile! So it’s all the more disheartening if, over time, your dentures become stained, yellowed and dull. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to prevent discolored dentures and whiten them to get back your glossy grin.

Here at Castle Rock Dental, we don’t just consider having a good fit a denture success story. We want you to enjoy your dentures as long as possible, so you can save money on a replacement and feel your best. Here are a few tips from our dentists.

Regular Cleaning Helps Prevent Stains On Your Dentures

Dentures don’t just look like natural teeth, they share some similar characteristics. If you don’t regularly clean your dentures, plaque builds up on them just as it does on unbrushed teeth. When plaque is left to flourish it forms tartar, making your dentures more susceptible to absorbing stains from highly pigmented food and beverages as well as from smoking.

With this in mind, make sure you clean your dentures every day. Start by taking your dentures out and giving them a good rinse to remove any loose food particles. Next, brush your dentures with a non-abrasive cleaner and a denture brush or a soft toothbrush. Another way to clean your dentures is to soak them overnight in a denture cleaning solution, then rinse and brush them in the morning. Our dentists can give you recommendations when it comes to products for effective denture care.

Going Au Naturel Can Help Keep Your Dentures Clean

Some people have good success using natural solutions for denture cleaning. For instance, you can make a solution that’s half white distilled vinegar and half warm water. Soak your dentures for at least 30 minutes or, ideally, overnight. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and the acid it contains can help dissolve built-up tartar.

Avoiding Deeply Pigmented Items Prevents Denture Stains

Deeply pigmented drinks like coffee, tea, and wine can stain your dentures, as can berries and even tomato sauce. It’s recommended that you avoid these. If refraining from these things feels like cruel and unusual punishment, you can take the following measures.

Use A Straw

Drink your favorite caffeinated beverage or wine through a straw. You may look eccentric but it will prevent your dentures from becoming stained. Besides, as Eleanor Roosevelt once famously said, “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.”

Do A Quick Cleanup

If you eat or drink something that can stain your dentures, try to brush them afterward or at least give them a quick rinse. If nothing else, swish some water around in your mouth in order to remove the natural tannins found in things like coffee, tea, berries and pomegranates, which can stain your teeth.

Be Wary Of Over-The-Counter Tooth-Whitening Products

Avoid trying to whiten your teeth with over-the-counter products like tooth-whitening toothpaste or tooth-whitening strips. These generally contain chemicals like peroxide or chlorine that can brighten tooth enamel but don’t whiten denture resins. Any harsh or abrasive products can weaken and damage your dentures.

Your best bet is to get your dentures polished at our office, where the professional attention can help them stay pearly white. Most dentists recommend you have your dentures professionally cleaned twice a year, just as you would real teeth.

If you’re considering getting custom-fitted dentures, or have questions about how to care for them, contact us to make your appointment with Castle Rock Dental.

What Is My Dentist Looking For In Dental X-Rays?

Dental X-Rays

Since most people have been taking dental X-rays since they were children, they may not have questioned what their dentists are looking for with the exam.

Here at Castle Rock Dental, our dentists utilize X-rays to provide you with the best quality dental care possible, as X-rays can help them identify a host of disguised dental problems.

Dentists Use X-Rays To Unveil Hidden Oral Issues

Once your X-rays are taken, our dentists will review them before performing their own examination of your oral health. Dentists do this to ensure no dental problems are missed. Our dentists look to see if you have:

  • Abscesses
  • Gum infection
  • Cavities
  • Impacted wisdom teeth
  • Missing or developing teeth
  • Defective dental work

Some of these issues may be visible to the naked eye, but to make sure no problem is missed or misdiagnosed, our dentists use your X-rays to give you a thorough checkup. After problem areas are identified, our dentists can offer the right dental services and products.

Different X-Rays Are Used To Look For Certain Conditions

If you have gone to different dental offices, you may have noticed that not all dentists use the same kind of X-rays to look for these hidden issues. Dentists use different types of X-Rays to examine your mouth depending on what they are looking for during your appointment.

Intraoral X-rays

An intraoral X-ray refers to a type of X-ray where our dentists will place a dental tool in your mouth to assist with imaging. There are three types of intraoral X-rays.

Bite-wing X-rays – To take a bite-wing X-ray, our dentists will ask you to bite down on plastic that contains X-ray film. This type of X-ray is used to check a specific area in your mouth. Sometimes you will undergo multiple bite-wing X-rays to check for a range of dental health issues such as cavities lodged between teeth and gum disease.

Periapical X-rays – Using a rod with X-ray film, you will be asked to bite down on the device to take a periapical X-ray. This type of X-ray will provide a narrow view of one section of your mouth and is used to check for issues in the teeth-supporting bone as well as the roots of your teeth.

Occlusal X-rays – Performed very similarly to bite-wing X-rays, occlusal X-rays are most often used by pediatric dentists for children who have unerupted teeth to check on their development.

Extraoral X-rays

An extraoral X-ray is performed completely outside of your mouth. There is typically just one type of extraoral X-ray you will encounter at a general dentist office.

Panoramic X-rays – While biting down on a rod to keep your teeth evenly apart, a panoramic X-ray is used to take a panoramic view of your entire mouth, telling our dentists how everything in your mouth is doing.

There are other types of extraoral imaging with more advanced technology than you will find in a general dentist office. This dental technology is used to diagnose deeper dental concerns such as cysts, fractures, salivary gland issues, tumors, and other problems.

To find the best dental care in Billings, Montana, contact us here at Castle Rock Dental.

Daily Denture Do’s and Don’ts

Daily Denture

Dentures are a great option for replacing missing teeth. While the pearly whites in your new smile are artificial, you still need to engage in a regular maintenance routine to ensure your dentures last and you stay in good oral health.

At Castle Rock Dental, we don’t just want you to start off happy with your dentures, whether full or partial. We want you to stay happy. So here are some do’s and don’ts you should keep in mind when it comes to daily denture and oral care.

Do These Things To Take Care Of Your Dentures And Oral Health

DO rinse your dentures with water after eating to remove food debris and other loose particles.

DO brush your dentures every day using a denture-cleaning brush, denture cleaner and warm water to remove food, plaque and other build-up. If food particles aren’t removed, they’ll start to decay, leading to problems like bad breath and gum disease.

DO soak your dentures each night in water or a denture solution, using fresh solution every time. Dentures must remain hydrated to keep their shape.

DO come to Castle Rock Dental for regular checkups, so our doctors can make sure your dentures fit well and are in good condition.

Don’t Make These Mistakes With Your Denture Care

Don’t drop your dentures. They’re surprisingly delicate. When you’re cleaning your dentures, placing a towel on the counter or in the sink—or fill the sink with water—so they won’t break if you fumble and drop them.

Don’t use regular toothpaste when cleaning your dentures. It’s too abrasive and can cause tiny scratches where bacteria can grow. Instead, use a gentle toothpaste made for dentures.

Don’t soak your dentures in hot or boiling water, as it can warp them.

Don’t forget to take good care of your mouth and gums, because for dentures to fit properly, they need to rest on healthy gums. When you remove your dentures for cleaning, gently brush your tongue, gums, cheeks and palate as well as brushing and flossing any remaining teeth. This removes bacteria and debris and encourages blood flow, which keeps your mouth tissues healthy.

Don’t try to adjust or repair your dentures on your own. You may accidentally break them. If your dentures are loose, see your dentist as soon as possible. Loose dentures can irritate your mouth, causing sores or infection.

Don’t sleep in your dentures. Your gums need a chance to rest. If you leave dentures in too long, you can develop swelling in your mouth and gums as well as infections and sores where bacteria can flourish.

Don’t use denture cleaner in your mouth, and make sure you rinse your dentures before putting them back in your mouth after soaking. Denture-cleaning solutions may contain harsh chemicals that, if swallowed, can cause pain, burning or vomiting.

Don’t use toothpicks or hard scrapers when you’re wearing dentures. Unlike teeth, dentures don’t feel sensations like pain, so you might inadvertently poke and harm soft mouth tissues.

Taking care of your dentures—and your mouth—will improve the efficiency of your dentures and extend their lifespan. Take heed of a few do’s and don’ts and you’ll have something to smile about for years to come.

At Castle Rock Dental, we offer an array of products and services including:

  • Bridge and implant restoration
  • Dental implants
  • Dentures
  • Dental X-rays
  • General dentistry
  • Teeth whitening

Are you wondering if dentures, full or partial, are right for you? Contact us today to make an appointment with one of our excellent doctors for a consultation.

How To Know You Are Getting The Best Preventative Dental Care

Dental Care

Finding the right dentist in Billings, MT for preventative dental care doesn’t have to be tough. If you look for a few things, you can feel reassured that your oral care is in good hands.

Your Dentist Should Discuss Exam Results With You

During a regular dental check-up, you will undergo a series of exams, such as X-rays, cleanings, and gum testing. A hallmark of a good dentist is one who will discuss your exam result with you.

As dentists are often the first medical professionals to identify oral cancer and other serious oral health risks, it is especially important to work with dentists who are excellent communicators. Here at Castle Rock Dental, our dentists make it a point to cover every aspect of the dental check-up so you can have a clear picture of your dental care. Our dentists will also cover what you should be doing at home to maintain your oral health. Some of our recommendations are:

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Brush after every meal
  • Floss once a day, preferably in the evening
  • Avoid foods high in processed sugar

A Good Dentist Will Give You Options

When a dental problem is found during a routine cleaning, you should never feel like there is only one option to correct it. As dental care can be expensive even with insurance, a good dentist like the ones at Castle Rock Dental will offer you multiple solutions.

One example of this is when you need to have a tooth replaced. While some dentists may push their preferred option, you will never encounter that at our dental clinic. We have a variety of dental services designed to help you, such as:

  • Dental implants are excellent devices which create the most natural-looking and strongest tooth replacement.
  • There are also a variety of dental bridges that can be used, some of which are more affordable to fabricate than others.
  • Dentures are an excellent option for someone who is missing a large number of teeth, with different types of dentures available.

Quality Dentists Aren’t Afraid Of Questions

Lastly, you should never feel like you can’t ask your dentist questions. Your overall health can be seriously affected by your dental health, so you should feel confident that your dentist can answer any oral health-related question you want to ask.

If you are ready to work with experienced dentists who make your oral health their priority, then contact us at Castle Rock Dental.

What Are All-On-Four Dental Implants?

When many people think about dentures, the image that comes to mind is the removable dentures they saw their grandparents wear. However, thanks to modern dentistry innovations, our dentists at Castle Rock Dental can offer all-on-four-dental implants as a permanent denture solution, giving you a brand-new smile.

All-On-Four Dental Implants Basics

All-on-four dental implants require two different dental products to come together. Four titanium rods will be implanted into your jaw. In some circumstances, our dentists may recommend six titanium rods. As these rods fuse with your jawbone to create strong roots for your new teeth, your dentures will be created to match your color specifications and the size restrictions of your mouth.  

Once the rods have fused with the jawbone, our dentists will be able to seat your dentures in place and will either use dental cement or screws to secure the teeth to the dental implants. Since the whole structure of the dentures rests on just the four dental implants, which is why this type of implanted dentures are called all-on-four dental implants.

With the teeth attached to the dental implants, you can use them like you would your natural teeth, as they will just as sturdy.

Potential Drawbacks To Choosing All-On-Four Dental Implants

Depending on your circumstance, there may be some potential drawbacks to choosing to receive all-on-four dental implants.

  • Difficulty sensing bite strength – The periodontal ligament in our natural teeth tells us when we need to stop biting down and makes our teeth sensitive to force. If you have upper and lower all-on-four dental implants, it is possible to bite hard enough to chip or fracture your implanted dentures.  
  • Potential speech retraining – Like with other denture products, it can be difficult for some patients to become used to the way their dentures change how words are formed. The soft tissue of the mouth is generally reduced with all-on-four dental implants, as they need to be relatively bulky to retain their strength. However, over time and with practice, this problem can be overcome.
  • Can be damaged by teeth grinding – If you are prone to bruxism (teeth grinding), jaw clenching, or other forms of irregular chewing, your all-on-four implanted denture can be damaged. This damage is due to the force you can exert without even noticing it. If you still want all-on-four dental implants, our dentists may recommend a bar-supported overdenture. With this in place, you can remove your implant-supported dentures and place a nightguard on when you sleep.

All-On-Four Dental Implants At Castle Rock Dental

If you are interested in receiving all-on-four dental implants, contact us for an appointment. Our dentists will consult with you to determine if you are a candidate for this treatment and will help you receive the all-on-four dental implants if you are eligible for them.