Rethinking Outdated Dental Advice

In August 2016, the New York Times surprised many Americans with its article, “Feeling Guilty About Not Flossing? Maybe There’s No Need.” Questioning the accuracy of research studies promoting the virtues of daily flossing, the article revealed that the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Health and Human Services had quietly eliminated recommendations on flossing in their most recent dietary guidelines. This left many diligent dental patients wondering if the dental advice they’ve followed for years may need some updating.

The NY Times article certainly generated a fair amount of controversy. Many dental experts offered their opinion as the issue played out in both dental offices and public forums. The larger point was dentistry suddenly found itself in the news, which is rare. The situation presented an opportunity for dentists to reach out to their patients and communicate their thoughts on the topic, as well as other issues impacting their patients’ dental health.

Although there have been many innovations in dentistry, there are also strategies and tools that haven’t been carefully considered in generations. The nylon-bristle toothbrush is one such example. First invented more than 80 years ago, there has been minimal advancement in its design since then. Because there is plenty of evidence that nylon-bristle brushes can contribute to gum recession and be a contributing factor in periodontal disease, the time has come to look at alternatives that can effectively clean teeth while protecting fragile gums? This was the impetus for the development of the PeriClean. By replacing abrasive nylon bristles with gentle rubber bristles, food and plaque can be brushed away without the risk of overbrushing.

Dentists as Thought Leaders
With patients having access to an unlimited amount of dental-related content via the Internet, they appreciate, more than ever, the expert advice from a dentist who has taken the time to sort through the hype and offer the most up-to-date, accurate dental advice. In some cases, this may mean contradicting an eye-catching headline. It may also include recommending tips, strategies and tools that may challenge the tried and true practices that we’ve all grown up with over the years. Like with any aspect of healthcare, knowledge is powerful when it comes to dentistry. Dental professionals, who are able to stay on top of the latest innovations, will find that the added benefit of being a true thought leader with valuable advice provides a powerful way to build and sustain a loyal patient base.

How to Ensure You and Your Family Have Healthy Teeth and Gums

From a baby’s first tooth to visits from the tooth fairy to twice yearly dental visits, and braces, childhood is filled with plenty of dental memories. To ensure healthy teeth for years to come it is vital for children to learn preventive dental care habits from a very early age. This includes brushing of course as well as several necessary steps to help keep teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime.

Floss Daily

While kids are notorious for disliking flossing, it is an essential part of oral hygiene. Flossing is the only way to get in between teeth to remove food particles and plaque. Brushing alone cannot effectively remove bacteria and food. Ninety percent of bacteria reside in between teeth, and only dental floss can access these areas of the mouth. Teach by example and continue to stress the importance of flossing even when you get complaints and protest! It might not be until they become parents themselves but your children will thank you later on!

Do Not Forget the Tongue!

While teeth and gums are a primary focus, it is also important to teach kids to clean their tongues. The tongue has areas that can hide bacteria and promote the development of plaque and bad breath. Make it fun by sticking tongues out in front of the mirror and brushing while making funny faces!

Schedule Twice Yearly Cleanings

Tartar forms when bacteria builds up on the teeth. This can result in inflammation and even bleeding gums. When this happens, it is time to visit the dentist. Remember only dentists and dental hygienists can safely remove tartar from teeth. A dull ache or even sensitivity when brushing may be signs of more significant problems such as receding gums or a dead nerve inside a tooth. Ask your dentist about sealants for the biting surfaces of your child’s teeth. The grooves are susceptible to decay even with good brushing habits.

What about Brushing?

Get your kids in the habit of brushing at an early age. Advise them to brush for two minutes twice daily front, back and on biting surfaces. It is also important that they have the right technique and type of toothbrush to protect their teeth and gums. Standard nylon toothbrushes can be especially harsh and irritating for children’s delicate, sensitive gums. Children (and adults too!) often brush much too aggressively, which can lead to serious problems later on in life!

Each year, an estimated 24 million people suffer from what the Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry has labeled as “toothbrush disease.”The term means gingival recession and wear of the root surface caused by over brushing, which contributes to receding gums and hypersensitivity of the teeth.

Do yourself and your family a favor: put up a sign in your bathroom to remind your family: faster and harder brushing does not mean cleaner teeth. Over-brushing can lead to receding gums and painful surgery!

Another option is to get in touch with me about purchasing a specialty toothbrush I created called the PeriClean and PeriKids Ultra Soft Specialty Toothbrush for children up to 12 years old. Its patented, ultra gentle design allows children to brush their teeth easily and comfortably even when losing their primary (baby teeth) and as their permanent teeth grow in. I also designed it with a thick, contoured handle making it easy for children to use.  

Just remember this: proper dental care is a lifelong responsibility that begins in the toddler years and continues throughout adulthood. By teaching these important habits during the formative first years, you can give your child one of the most amazing gifts of life – a healthy smile!

Dr. Jack Gruber, DDS is a periodontist in clinical practice for more than four decades.  After many years of research and testing, Dr. Gruber created the PeriClean, an alternative to standard nylon toothbrushes to combat gum recession caused by toothbrush abrasion. Its design minimizes forceful brushing that causes damage to the teeth and gums while removing plaque with a textured surface. 

Dr. Jack Gruber Named Teacher of the Year by Northwell Health

We are proud to share that Dr. Jack Gruber, creator of the PeriClean and PeriKids Ultra Soft Specialty Toothbrushes, has received the 2016 Outstanding Teacher Award from Northwell Health!

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Read why Dr. Gruber was selected for this honor:

“While deciding who should be nominated for teacher of the year, it was necessary to consider what constitutes a truly great teacher. It became clear that describing a great teacher and describing Dr. Gruber are one and the same. The list of teachers we’ve all had over the years is endless; however the list of those we’ve learned from is undoubtedly shorter. Dr. Gruber is someone we continue to learn from both in and outside the operatory. His skill as a practitioner is obvious, but his character with all those he encounters whether they are patients, staff, or first year residents is what makes him a unique and admirable individual. When faced with a question or concern, the person to turn to is Dr. Gruber. His kindness, understanding, listening ear, and willingness to help are only a few of the reasons we have chosen to nominate him as teacher of the year. Our patients have Dr. Gruber to thank for pushing each and every one of us to be the best practitioner we can be.”

Excellent work, Dr. Gruber!

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Dr. Jack Gruber is a renowned Periodontist whose experience spans over 40 years as a pioneer in Periodontal Medicine. He maintains an active private practice and has treated thousands of patients with all forms of periodontal disease. Dr. Gruber is an accomplished Periodontal Surgeon and trains Dentists on how to excel in their craft. He is an accomplished instructor, lecturer and researcher who contributes immeasurably to the field of Dentistry and to the health of his patients.

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Protecting Teeth and Gums from Bone Loss and Sensitivity

Did you know that both your tooth enamel and gums are extremely thin? Tooth enamel is actually about the thickness of an egg shell, while gums are merely paper-thin!

Due to the fragility that this creates, brushing too hard can break down tooth enamel and wear away gums. If you’ve experienced sensitive teeth, it could very well be due to gum recession, which can lead to bone loss and sensitivity.

However, there is a way you can help prevent this! Brushing with the ultra-soft PeriClean reduces the chances of damage from vigorous brushing, thus protecting teeth and gums.

The Role of the Dental Hygienist in the Management of Dentin Hypersensitivity

Many Americans experience dentin hypersensitivity – or sensitive teeth, as we typically call it – but many do not think to ask their dental hygienist for ways to care for and possibly rehabilitate this painful issue. Dental hygienists can offer advice on brushing techniques, diet, and other factors that may ease sensitivity. Most importantly, if a hygienist is aware of the issue, they can track the progress of dentin hypersensitivity from appointment to appointment. To learn more, click here.

Dentin Hypersensitivity and Gingival Recession

One of the leading causes of dentin hypersensitivity (sensitive teeth) is gingival recession. Gingival recession can be caused by many factors, but the two main causes typically have to do with anatomic factors or oral hygiene habits. While gingival recession is easily preventable, it can also very easily occur, even to the most oral-hygiene-attentive patients. To learn more, click here.

Dentin Hypersensitivity: Current State of the Art and Science

Over the years, the history and causes of dentin hypersensitivity have been thoroughly researched. It has been found that dentin hypersensitivity is frequently found in those with periodontal disease. The factors that can lead to dentin hypersensitivity include loss of enamel and cracked teeth – occurrences that wear down the tooth and expose dentin, therefore making it more susceptible to sensitivity. To learn more about the history and causes of dentin hypersensitivity, click here.

How The PeriClean Helps Receding Gums with Dr. Jack Gruber DDS

Dr. Jack Gruber DDS discusses his invention – the revolutionary PeriClean Ultra Soft Toothbrush for receding gums and sensitive teeth. Dr. Gruber discusses how he uses the PeriClean with his patients, what it feels like and how many of his patients have avoided gum surgery by using it.

Should You Keep Or Remove Your Wisdom Teeth? Dr. Jack Gruber DDS Explains

There is a big debate among Dental Professionals as to whether or not Wisdom Teeth should be removed. Dr. Jack Gruber DDS shares his insights on the subject based on over 40 years in clinical practice as a Periodontist.

Using Dental Sealants In Children with Dr. Jack Gruber DDS

Dr. Jack Gruber DDS provides expert, in-depth answers to listener questions. Topics include: using dental sealants in children, whether or not to have gum grafting surgery, preventing/removing dental tartar and more.