Electric Toothbrush vs. Regular Toothbrush

South Charlotte Dentistry in Ballantyne

Everyone needs to brush their teeth daily. It should make you feel good and clean. But which type of toothbrush do you prefer? We asked Dr. James Wells to give us his expert opinion on which is better: an electric toothbrush or the standard manual toothbrush.
“Both do an adequate job of cleaning your teeth if used properly,” says Dr. Wells of South Charlotte Dentistry located in Ballantyne.

The Difference

The history of the toothbrush goes back a long time. According to WebMD, the evolution of the toothbrush has gone through many stages from twigs of sweet smelling woods to being made with hog bristles and bone handles to the plastic ones with nylon bristles that are still used today.
However, with the invention of powered toothbrushes, we seem to have more choicse than ever. The aisle at your local store might be filled with dozens of choices from the very basic to the very expensive.
Regular toothbrushes are simple consisting of small bristles and a plastic handle. Electric toothbrushes are identical except the handle is larger to encompass a battery. With the touch of a button, the bristles of the electric toothbrush move up and down or in a circular motion. With a regular toothbrush, the user moves the bristles around the mouth manually.

Which is better?

“It depends on the user. Kids tend to like an electric toothbrush and it can create a fun atmosphere when teaching them to brush their teeth,” says Dr. Wells. Proper technique is key when teaching children. Making sure all surfaces of the teeth are brushed is important. An electric toothbrush can help children maneuver through the mouth concentrating on reaching every area instead of focusing on moving the toothbrush in a certain motion. Electric toothbrushes also help older patients with arthritis clean their teeth with more ease.
“Although, a regular toothbrush can do a great job, it is recommended to brush your teeth longer if using a regular toothbrush,” says Dr. Wells. A powered or electric toothbrush can clean your teeth in less time.

Cost Effectiveness

Electric toothbrushes can cost almost 3x as much as a regular toothbrush. Some brands, like Sonicare or Oral-B Precision, can cost a $100 or more. Also, the brush part of the device will need to be replaced almost as often as a regular toothbrush.
There is evidence from a study done in March 2000 that was published in the Journal of American Dental Association, that oral hygiene can be improved by using an electric toothbrush. But the improvement was not substantial when compared to patients that used a regular toothbrush.

Preference

“It really comes down to preference,” says Dr. Wells, “The key is to use the right toothbrush for your mouth, and to use is properly.” South Charlotte Dentistry helps their patients learn the correct procedure and their staff takes the time to answer questions about which toothbrush is right for their patients. South Charlotte Dentistry is a family practice located in Ballantyne. To make an appointment visit their website, or give them a call at 704-759-0908.
Kelly Bladl
Google Author and CCP Web Design Writer

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What do you look for in your Dentist?

 

The friendly Team at South Charlotte Dentistry looks forward to seeing you!

The friendly Team at South Charlotte Dentistry looks forward to seeing you!

 

 

Going to the Dentist is a task a lot of us do not like. It can be a pleasant experience or an intimidating one. At South Charlotte Dentistry, we strive to make our patients comfortable while still providing outstanding care.

Let’s be honest, some dental procedures can be nerve-wracking or sound unpleasant. But Dr. James Wells and his team have created an environment to help ease your fears and achieve excellent results.

Qualities to look for in a Dentist

Knowledge. First and foremost, a dentist needs to have an extensive knowledge about the teeth, gums, and mouth. This knowledge will help them evaluate your mouth and recommend the correct solutions. Their knowledge should be up to date with the latest technologies and procedures to ensure your safety, comfort, and achieve excellent results. Dr. Wells graduated from West Virginia School of Dentistry in 1996 and continues to participate in advanced education opportunities.

Steady and Gentle Hands. The mouth is a tight area and Dr. Wells understands that you can only open your mouth so wide. A good dentist needs to be precise with his movements in order to perform minute tasks in their patient’s mouth. Having dexterous fingers and endurance will help your dentist not tire during long procedures. Being gentle is a must because the mouth is a very sensitive place.

Communication Skills. Being able to break down complex dental problems and solutions in layman’s terms is an essential quality for a dentist. Dr. Wells understands that dental hygiene and oral health is a very personal matter. He aims to explain complicated information and solutions to his patients so that his patients can make the best choice. He also relies on his staff to communicate effectively with him.

Compassion. Knowing your dentist genuinely cares about you is crucial to your dental experience. Dr. Wells and his staff aim to create a relaxed environment and build relationships with their patients that will last for years to come. They empathize with what you are feeling and try to make your experience as good as possible. Your oral health is your dentist’s top priority, but easing your fears and discomfort also needs to be a main concern.

South Charlotte Dentistry, located in Ballantyne, is a dental practice that implements these qualities throughout their practice. Dr. Wells participates in continuing education to keep on top of the latest dental trends. South Charlotte Dentistry also implements the latest technology, like Intraoral Cameras. He has steady hands and a gentle approach during procedures. Dr. Wells and his staff will explain thoroughly their recommendations so that you can make informed decisions. And Dr. Wells truly cares for his patients and community.

For more information or to make an appointment, call 704-759-0908 or visit our website.

Kelly Bladl

Google Author and CCP Web Design Writer

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The Best Time to Brush Your Teeth

The Best Time to Brush Your Teeth

Best time to BrushWe all know that maintaining the habit of brushing and flossing our teeth makes for good oral health. But is there ever a bad time to brush your teeth?

Have you ever noticed a friend or co-worker brush their teeth right after lunch? You may

feel guilty for not doing so, but new research shows that it may be bad to brush your teeth immediately after eating. At South Charlotte Dentistry, we want never want you to feel guilty.

Conventional wisdom tells us to rid our mouths of food particles that can get stuck on our teeth and cause bacteria to grow. Sugar from the food and bacteria can cause cavities and tooth decay. But if you brush your teeth too soon after a meal or drink, you could be causing more damage.

Ph Balance of Your Mouth

Ideally, the ph balance in our mouths should be neutral, around 7. However, after eating or drinking acidic substances the ph balance can alter significantly. A soda, even a diet soda, can lower the ph balance of the mouth to 2.5. “If you brush your teeth right after drinking or eating, you could be rubbing acid into your teeth,” said Dr. Wells.  Acid can demineralize and weaken the tooth surface making it prone to decay.

Rinse Instead of Brushing

After ingesting acidic foods or drinks, rinse your mouth out with water. This will help balance your mouth’s ph level. If you want to prevent plaque from producing more acid, you can consider rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash.

Chew on This

Another way to reduce your chance of tooth decay is to pair acidic foods with something else. A classic combination is wine and cheese. The chewiness of the cheese make you salivate and the proteins in your saliva help buffer the acids. The natural occurring chemicals of the cheese also help promote tooth remineralize. Chewing sugar free gum after a meal can also be good for the same reasons.

Bedtime

Dentists recommend brushing twice a day, but if you can only brush once do it before bed. At night, our mouth salivate less which can allow cavity-causing substances to take hold.

If you are going to indulge in soda or wine or even citrus, consider rinsing with plain water afterwards. This will help keep your mouth balanced. And stop feeling guilty for not brushing after every meal.

Schedule a check-up to find out what’s really going on in your mouth!

Kelly Bladl

Google Author and CCP Web Design Writer

Posted in Brushing, Cavities, cavity causes, Charlotte Dentist, Dental Conditions & Treatments, Dentistry Advice, Patient Relations | Leave a comment

South Charlotte Dentistry Compares Dental Implants vs. Traditional Bridge

Dental Implants vs. Traditional Bridge

At South Charlotte Dentistry, we are committed to finding the best solutions for our clients. If you have a missing tooth or a tooth that needs to be removed, you have a couple options for replacing it.

Traditional Bridge. For decades now, dentists have been using bridges and crowns to replace or cover damaged teeth. A dental bridge is a dental prosthesis that joins an artificial tooth permanently to adjacent natural teeth. The procedure requires that the adjacent natural teeth be reduced in size and covered by prosthesis as well. The artificial tooth is called the pontic. Usually bridges are permanent and cannot be removed.

Since bridges have been a part of dentistry for decades, they are usually cheaper than dental implants. However, bridges can create problems for the natural teeth that are on either side of the bridge. The filed down natural teeth are prone to bacterial plaque accumulations, decay, periodontal disease, and create potential for further root canals.

Dental Implants. Dental implants have been around for over 25 years, yet they are still making their way to the forefront of dental practices. The dental implant aims to recreate the missing tooth with a titanium implant the sits in the original tooth’s bone pocket. The titanium implant will actually form a bond with the bone over time, much like the original bond between the tooth and jaw bone. This helps prevent bone loss that can occur with bridges. The last stage of an implant is to place a crown that resembles the enamel of the missing tooth. Dental implants usually work just as well as the original tooth, sometime even better!

The cost of a dental implant may seem initially higher, but implants do not cause damage to the surrounding teeth like a bridge is prone to do. Over time, a dental implant can be the most cost effective way to replace a missing tooth.

At South Charlotte Dentistry, we offer both traditional bridges and crowns as well as dental implants. We examine all factors when recommending a procedure for a patient, including cost, recovery time, and effectiveness. You can set up a consultation today.

Kelly Bladl

CCP Web Design Staff Writer and Google Author

 

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INVISALIGN in South Charlotte: Modern Braces for Adults!

Do you want straight teeth but are afraid of looking like a teenager?invisalign vs braces

Invisalign is a new and modern way to fix your teeth. South Charlotte Dentistry understands the desire to have straight teeth, but also knows traditional braces are not a look everyone wants, especially adults. Invisalign at South Charlotte Dentistry is the new modern way people are choosing to straighten their teeth. They’re basically invisible braces! Instead of looking clunky with the brace and wire method of traditional straightening contraptions, Invisalign uses a series of clear plastic aligners that are custom fit to your mouth.Straightening your teeth is more than a cosmetic desire. With Invisalign,

Dr. Wells at South Charlotte Dentistry can effectively fix overbites, under bites, gapped teeth, cross bites, open bites and overly crowded teeth. And the great thing is you can take the aligner out to enjoy your meals. No one will be able to tell you are getting your teeth aligned.

Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces

  • The Look. Invisalign clearly wins in this category. Traditional braces are obvious and obtrusive. Invisalign allows adults to achieve the smile of their dreams without the embarrassment.
  • The Cost. Invisalign cost about the same as traditional braces. Of course, the costs are specific to the needs of our patients. Depending on what issue Invisalign is fixing, the costs can vary.
  • The Process. This is where Invisalign really wins. The first step is to create a custom mold of clear plastic to fit your teeth. The plastic aligners are then created to match the mold. Wearers of these aligners will gradually and gently see a shift in their teeth correcting the ultimate problem. A new set of aligners replaces the old set about every two weeks. Traditional braces have a much more in depth process, including bonding the braces to the teeth and using wires to straighten your teeth. Traditional braces are usually more painful and can cause mouth sores. Discoloration of your teeth and tooth decay can also be a concern. You also have to restrict your diet with traditional braces – no more popcorn, chips, candies, apples and more. With Invisalign, you can take your aligner out to eat- so no food restrictions!

Getting braces as an adult is a big decision, but with Invisalign you have a great option. Whether you are wanting to fix a cosmetic problem or more, South Charlotte Dentistry can help. Call to schedule an appointment and consultation to discuss if you are good candidate for Invisalign. At South Charlotte Dentistry, we pride ourselves in listening to our patients needs and concerns to give you the best care for your teeth! Call us today 704-759-0908. We are conveniently located at 7741 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy Ste 102 Charlotte, NC 28277

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Invisalign: A modern approach to straightening teeth

Invisalign-infographic

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What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

If you are not happy with your smile for any reason you may want to consider cosmetic dentistry.  South Charlotte Dentistry offers a number of cosmetic dental procedures that can fix a small problem as well as a bigger concern.  From cosmetics contouring to tooth whitening, there are tools and techniques to get you smiling again.

    Repair Crooked Teeth   |   Treat An Injury   |   Improve Overall Appearance

  • Cosmetic fillings — Alternative, natural-looking materials to conventional silver-colored fillings made from porcelain and composite resins, which are colored to match natural tooth enamel.
  • Tooth Whitening – Using different levels of bleach, this procedure can reverse the effects of such things as aging, food and tobacco stains and medication use.
  • Veneers — Thin laminates used to cover stains, correct discolored, worn down, cracked and chipped teeth, and even close unsightly gaps between teeth.
  • Bonding – A tooth-colored material that looks like the enamel of your teeth and is used to improve the color of a tooth, or close unsightly gaps.
  • Cosmetic reshaping – A relatively simple procedure that can correct crooked, chipped, cracked, and even overlapping teeth.
  • Implants – Synthetic or ceramic structures placed in the area of the tooth normally occupied by the root. Implants are sometimes a viable alternative to partial dentures.
  • Crowns – Synthetic caps typically made of porcelain that is placed on the top of a tooth to restore its function and appearance, attach bridges, cover implants, or prevent a cracked tooth from becoming worse.
  • Crown resizing –Done to reshape gums and bone tissue, and often used to correct a “gummy” smile.
  • Bridges — Natural-looking dental appliances that replace a section of missing teeth and restore the natural contour of your teeth as well as the proper bite relationship between upper and lower teeth.
  • Specialty dentures – Lightweight dentures that mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. Most dentures are made from a combination of metals and synthetic material such as acrylic resin, and can be either partial or complete sets.

Don’t put off any issue that is preventing your form showing the world your smile.  Call South Charlotte Dentistry today.

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A Sticky Combination – Holiday Sweets and Tooth Decay

Holiday Sweets and Tooth Decay

Holiday Sweets and Tooth Decay

Holiday sweets mean more sugar and it’s no secret that more sugar leads to tooth decay. From the end of October to the end of December, sugar sneaks into every crevice of daily living, for adults and children.  Because of all the holidays that fall in the last three months of the year, candy, cookies, and cakes can be found almost everywhere you look. Office parties to ugly Christmas sweater competitions, sweets take over our diets. Is it even possible to survive the Holiday season without partaking in these treats? Dr. Wells knows that the answer is probably not. Here are some helpful tips to survive the holiday season with minimal damage to your teeth.

As most of us know, sugar can cause tooth decay.  Dental Cavities are an infection caused by a combination of carbohydrate-containing foods and bacteria that live in our mouths. The bacteria in our mouth feeds off the sugar it finds. As the bacteria digest the sugar, acid is produced. This acid begins to dissolve the hard enamel that forms the outer coating of our teeth. This acid attack can last up to 20 minutes every time we eat sugary foods! “Avoiding sugary food is the best way to prevent cavities from forming,” said Dr. Wells, “But for most of us, that is impossible this time of year.” If you find yourself enjoying the pleasures of this season, the best thing to do is brush your teeth afterwards.

Also, keep in mind that some types of candy and sweets, like gummy bears, caramels, jelly beans, peanut brittle, have a tendency to get stuck in your teeth. At this time of year, Dr. Wells sees an increase in repairing crowns or bridges that have been pulled off by sticky candy. These candies may be difficult to resist, but in order to protect your dental work it might be the best choice.

After the holidays, be sure to schedule a teeth cleaning to ensure your dental health! The beginning of the year is a great time to make that appointment.

 

Cynthia Schick,

CCP Web Design Staff Writer and Google Author

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Prevent the Pain of Sensitive Teeth

painMany people experience tooth sensitivity or discomfort when eating or drinking food and drinks that are either very cold or very hot.  You should consider this pain or sensitivity a messenger that there’s a problem with a tooth or several teeth that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. This pain is pointing to one or more problems including tooth decay, worn tooth enamel, a cracked tooth, worn filings or exposed tooth roots and is most likely the cause of the sensitivity you are feeling.  Oftentimes, the problem is simple and can be addressed in a single visit to your dentist.  But if left untreated, it will create a bigger issue that could require more time, visits and money to fix.

Natural Protection
Teeth are protected by a couple of natural substances. The exposed part of the tooth is protected by enamel and the roots are protected by something cementum. Under both these natural protectors is another layer of protection called dentin.  Once this dentin is compromised or exposed, heat, cold, acidly or sticky foods can stimulate the nerves and cells inside the tooth and cause pain or discomfort.

Some Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
There are a number of things that can expose the dentin of a tooth and believe it or not, brushing your teeth too hard is one of them.  In the dental world, this is formerly called aggressive tooth brushing and can wear down both tooth enamel and tooth fillings. You can also injure your gums by brushing your teeth incorrectly or too aggressively.

Periodontal disease is also a main cause of tooth sensitivity. This is an infection the gums and the bone that support your teeth.  If this goes untreated, gum tissue will separate from the tooth and form pockets that will be attract bacteria.

Long-term use of mouth wash can also wear down the dentin and expose the nerves and cells therefore causing discomfort.

Treatment
Depending on the cause of your tooth sensitivity, for the most part, it can be treated. Desensitizing toothpaste contains substances the block sensation from the tooth surface to the nerve.  However, several applications need to be applied before experiencing relief.  Look for the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance to make sure the desensitizing toothpaste meets the criteria for safety and effectiveness.

If toothpaste does not work, talk to your dentist about a fluoride gel or special desensitizing agents that can be applied to sensitive areas of affected teeth.

 

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Six Months Smiles- the Fastest Way to Straighten Teeth

The Sredheadix Month Smile system is now available at South Charlotte Dentistry.  It is one of the best techniques out there for straightening teeth.  It also happens to be the fastest way of straightening teeth with any substantial results.

The Six Month Smile treatment works just like the traditional braces or the Invisalign braces we offer, in that it straightens crooked teeth and shapes the smile. The Six Month Smile braces are also invisible, making them less embarrassing than traditional braces!

As it says in the name, the Six Month Smile system only takes six months to complete, making it the fastest acting corrective orthodontic fixture available. Most orthodontic treatment with traditional braces can take as long as 36 months, and in some extreme cases even longer! With Six Month Smile, the results occur most often after six months and no later than nine months for the vast majority. The amazing thing about this treatment is that most of Dr. Wells’ patients expect the Six Month Smile treatment to be less effective than traditional braces, and yet most customers are seeing the exact same results as others who have gone the traditional braces route. To determine if they are a good candidate for Six Month Smile, patients should check out this website (http://www.6monthsmiles.com/pages/patient_home/is_it_right_for_me.aspx) where they can take a smile assessment!

The Six Month Smile treatment system does not work on everyone, especially those with a very complicated problem with their tooth alignment. But Six Month Smiles is usually only a problem for the most complicated cases. The majority of people who come to South Charlotte Dentistry interested in the Six Month Smile are able to get it.

If you are interested in straightening your smile in a matter of months without the hassles of traditional braces, please check out the smile assessment tool linked above and call or stop by South Charlotte Dentistry to find out if Six Month Smile is right for you!

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