- Wide floss, also known as dental tape, may be a better choice for people with bridgework. Dental tape also is recommended when people have wider-than-average space between their teeth.
- Waxed floss can be easier to slide between closely spaced teeth.
- Unwaxed floss will squeak against cleaned teeth, indicating plaque has been removed.
- Bonded unwaxed floss does not fray as easily as regular unwaxed floss, but does tear more than waxed floss.
- Soft-bristles – most dental professionals agree that a soft-bristled brush is best for removing plaque and debris from your teeth and along the gum line.
- Comfort is key – pick whatever shape and size is most comfortable for you. The best toothbrush is one that fits your mouth and allows you to reach all teeth easily.
- Powered toothbrushes versus regular brushes – powered toothbrushes are fun and may remove more plaque than regular toothbrushes. Regular toothbrushes work fine, but powered toothbrushes make brushing easier.
Reminder: Your tooth brush or brush head (electronic or sonic care) should be routinely changed every 3 months or after an illness.
Myths about Root Canals
Root canal treatment doesn't cause pain, it relieves it.
The perception of root canals being painful began decades ago but with modern technologies and anesthetics; root canal treatment today is no more uncomfortable than having a filling placed. In fact, a recent survey showed that patients who have experienced root canal treatment are six times more likely to describe it as "painless" than patients who have not had root canal treatment.
Most patients see their dentist or endodontist when they have a severe toothache. The toothache can be caused by damaged tissues in the tooth. Root canal treatment removes this damaged tissue from the tooth, thereby relieving the pain you feel.
The myth: Patients searching the Internet for information on root canals may find sites claiming that teeth receiving root canal (endodontic) treatment contribute to the occurrence of illness and disease in the body. This false claim is based on long-debunked and poorly designed research performed nearly a century ago at a time before medicine understood the causes of many diseases.
In the 1920s, many dentists advocated tooth extraction—the most traumatic dental procedure—over endodontic treatment. This resulted in a frightening era of tooth extraction both for treatment of systemic disease and as a prophylactic measure against future illness.
The truth: There is no valid, scientific evidence linking root canal-treated teeth and disease elsewhere in the body. A root canal is a safe and effective procedure. When a severe infection in a tooth requires endodontic treatment, that treatment is designed to eliminate bacteria from the infected root canal, prevent reinfection of the tooth and save the natural tooth.
Truth—Saving your natural teeth, if possible, is the very best option. Nothing can completely replace your natural tooth. An artificial tooth can sometimes cause you to avoid certain foods. Keeping your own teeth is important so that you can continue to enjoy the wide variety of foods necessary to maintain the proper nutrient balance in your diet.
Endodontic treatment, along with appropriate restoration, is a cost-effective way to treat teeth with damaged pulp and is usually less expensive than extraction and placement of a bridge or an implant. Endodontic treatment also has a very high success rate. Many root canal-treated teeth last a lifetime.