Oil Pulling – Is It Good For Your Oral Health?

To ensure good oral health, the ADA recommends brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Also, you must clean between teeth once a day with interdental cleaner or floss. Doing this practice on a daily basis will keep your gums healthy and prevent cavities. You can also use ADA-Accepted mouth rinses as this reduces gingivitis and plaque formation.

It helps to be discriminating when choosing a mouth rinse to reduce gingivitis and plaque. Look for essential ingredients such as methyl salicylate, thymol, menthol and eucalyptol as these can prevent gingivitis and the formation of plaque. The ADA Seal you see on over-the-counter oral care products gives assurance that such products have been evaluated by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs, which is an independent group of experts. Most importantly, this seal guarantees that it does what it claims to do.

Recently, the practice of oil pulling or swishing oil in the mouth is making a buzz. Websites supporting natural therapies are hopeful about this practice since it claims that it can whiten teeth, enhance oral health, and boost overall health and well-being. But due to the lack of solid proof, oil pulling is not yet recommended.

A Closer Look at Oil Pulling

Oil pulling has been practiced for centuries in India and southern Asia. This is a traditional folk remedy and a holistic Ayurvedic technique. This practice will involve placing a spoonful of edible oil like sunflower, coconut, olive and sesame oil inside the mouth, and swishing the oil through the teeth and oral cavity for around one to five minutes or longer.

A study about the use of a chlorhexidine rinse versus oil pulling showed that chlorhexidine is more effective when it comes to reducing S. mutans levels in saliva and plaque. But the same study has not looked at whether the reduction in S. mutans prevented cavities.

There are limitations on the potential health benefits of oil pulling.

Current studies are unreliable for several reasons such as the misrepresentation of results because of lack of demographic information, the absence of negative controls and small sample size. Today, there is still no clinical evidence confirming that oil pulling whitens teeth, decreases the incidence of dental caries, and enhances overall health.

There are plenty of over-the-counter products promising therapeutic effects when used. But it is only through in-depth scientific analysis that the dental profession can be assured of the effectiveness and safety of a certain product or therapy. After all, the ADA policy statement on unconventional dentistry emphasized that the provision of dental care must only be based on rigorous scientific principles.

To know more about science-based care for your teeth, look for a reputable dentist in Burtonsville, MD. Dr. Aaron Nicholas and our team will be happy to help you. Contact us today!

What Causes Periodontal Disease in Adults?

Dental professionals can never stress enough the importance of keeping teeth and gums in good condition in order to ensure overall physical health. Every year, countless campaigns are launched for the purpose of encouraging everyone, young and old, to take oral health seriously.

For older folks, however, dental professionals are no longer just encouraging good oral care practices; they are compelling adults to consistently implement proper dental hygiene. This is mainly due to the fact that numerous studies have proven the direct relationship between periodontal disease and life-threatening illnesses such as diabetes and liver ailment. Researchers discovered that even mild periodontal disease such as gingivitis aggravates these serious health woes.

What causes periodontal disease in adults anyway?

First of all, it’s important to establish that bacteria are always present in people’s mouth that’s why consistent proper oral care is a must. You’ll definitely have more if you smoke and have other unhealthy habits.

These bacteria, along with mucus, food debris and other particles, if not brushed and flossed away form plaque (a sticky, colorless film) on teeth. If plaque is allowed to build up, it will harden and turn into tartar – that hard, yellowish buildup at the base of teeth and down beneath the gums that tooth brushing and flossing cannot remove.

The longer plaque stays on the teeth and beneath the gums, the more harmful it actually becomes. Not only will it lead to cavities, but also the bacteria present in it can cause infection and inflammation. When gums become inflamed, they become prone to bleeding and swelling – this is gingivitis, the mildest form of periodontal diseases.

Now, if gingivitis is not treated right away, it can worsen and turn into periodontitis. With this condition, tooth loss is highly likely because the gums will start to pull away from the teeth. This isn’t the only risk. There’s also a higher likelihood of developing other complications because the pockets created by the pulling away of the gums will allow bacteria to further breed.

How do you know if you have periodontal disease?

  • You’ll have halitosis (bad breath)

  • Red, swollen gums

  • Sensitive gums prone to bleeding

  • Chewing food is painful

  • Your teeth are loose

  • Your gums recede

How is gum disease treated?

Treatment always starts with a visit to the dentist. The dentist will properly assess the situation and determine the most appropriate treatment program. Treatment always includes deep dental cleaning to get rid of plaque and determine the gravity of the disease. Medication is also prescribed to treat the infection. There may be other procedures necessary (such as surgery) but all these depend on how serious the disease is.

Periodontal disease is no light matter so if you’re concerned about it, want to prevent it, or if you wish to be treated for it, our Dentist in Burtonsville MD, Dr. Aaron Nicholas and our staff would love to hear from you. Contact us today for an appointment and consultation.

Daily Oral Care: A Toothbrush Buying Guide

With all kinds of toothbrushes available in the market today, most people either just get the first one they could find or something from a familiar brand. While choosing one should not take too much of your time, it’s also important to scrutinize the features and design of the toothbrush before making a purchase.

As important as choosing the right toothbrush is, knowing how to use it properly is just as important. No matter how great your brush is, you are still going to have dental problems if you do not know the right brushing techniques that will allow you to clean your teeth well. Having a good toothbrush and using it properly will keep your teeth relatively safe from cavities.

Follow our toothbrush buying guide the next time you buy a toothbrush for yourself or family:

1. Yes, size matters.

The bigger the head of the toothbrush, the more difficult it is to maneuver inside the mouth, plus you will not be able to clean areas that are hard to reach like the molars. It is recommended that you buy a toothbrush with a head that is half an inch wide and one inch tall. Also, go with a brush with a handle that you are comfortable holding.

2. Go for the right type of bristles.

We all brush our teeth differently. For instance, some people may need more careful brushing due to teeth or gum sensitivities. Generally, it is recommended that you use a soft bristled toothbrush because you can actually do some damage to your gums and root surface over time especially if you brush too hard. Also, brushes with round tips are the best ones.

3. The choice between manual or electric toothbrush depends on personal preference.

The truth is, it all boils down to what you are comfortable with and the money you are willing to spend on a toothbrush. If you are comfortable with having a toothbrush that vibrates in your mouth, then you should go for it. There was a study that was conducted if there was any significant difference between a manual and electric toothbrush. The results were almost the same save for an electric toothbrush called the rotation oscillation. It has been found that this type of electric toothbrush is more effective than a manual toothbrush.

4. Look for industry approval.

When it comes to safety, you should always look for the seal that indicates it has been tested and approved by authority dental associations.

If you are in Maryland and have dental concerns, do not hesitate to contact us at Nicholas Dental Care. Call us today and set an appointment.


The Importance of Senior Dental Health Care

Some elderly people view dental problems as a consequence of aging. But the truth is that oral health is important, whatever your age is.

Senior Dental Health CareIf you are a senior or someone who cares for one, you need to be aware of a few alarming statistics. For one, more than 30% of older adults have cavities which are left untreated. About 25% of seniors have a periodontal disease which has been associated with a few chronic health problems including diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory problems. Finally, around 30% of the elderly lose their teeth due to different factors.

Why is senior dental health care important?

The most important reason why the elderly should pay careful attention to their dental health is because they do not need to lose their teeth while they age.

On top of that, the human mouth changes over time. And if you do not pay close attention to this and your overall dental health, you could face serious consequences related to your health.

As you age, you can become vulnerable to different dental problems brought about by different factors. For example, some medications have been known to cause dry mouth as a side effect. Low levels of saliva can make you vulnerable to bacteria and other microorganisms which can cause issues like gum disease and cavities.

Also, a person’s diet can also negatively impact one’s health. For example, if you consume too many hard and sticky treats, starchy foods, and drinks and foods that dry your mouth, you risk facing problems like difficulty in chewing your food as well as having a dull sense of taste.

Other problems associated with poor oral health in seniors include pneumonia, heart disease, and oral health.

Fortunately, seniors can improve their oral health and keep these aforementioned problems at bay through good oral hygiene.

Ideally, elderly people should continue brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day.

If you are wearing dentures, remember to clean these once a day and remove from your mouth for at least four hours.

Drink lots of water as this can help keep tooth decay at bay. And if you have not stopped smoking, consider kicking this habit from your life.

If you are currently looking for a dentist in Burtonsville, MD, Dr. Aaron Nicholas and our staff would love to hear from you. Contact us today.

What Causes Tooth Decay?

Tooth DecayWhat Causes Tooth Decay?

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, dental caries, more popularly known as tooth decay, are some of the most common chronic diseases in both kids and adults. This is despite the fact that it is a preventable condition.

But what exactly causes tooth decay?

Tooth decay is caused by a diverse number of factors. A Laurel, MD dentist lists the most common causes below.

Poor Oral Hygiene

If you do a poor job of cleaning your teeth, you become more vulnerable to getting tooth decay.

How do you take good care of your teeth and gums? Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. Brush your teeth for at least two minutes and remember to clean your tongue as well.

Enamel Issues and Deep Tooth Crevices

If you have either of the two, or both, you are highly likely to get tooth decay. This is because the bacteria and plaque in your mouth have room to grow.

To counter this problem, ask your dentist about dental sealants.

Poor Nutrition

If your diet consists of lots of food which are rich in sugar, carbohydrates and acid, you may face tooth decay sooner or later.

Try your best to keep these foods to a minimum and replace these with healthier fare.

Dry Mouth

The saliva in your mouth helps keep the bacterial population inside in check. However, if you are a diabetic, if you are taking medications that affect saliva protection, or if you have a genetic condition, your mouth may become dry and leave you at risk of tooth decay.


Bruxism or teeth grinding while sleeping wears away the teeth’s enamel. This leaves your teeth vulnerable to the attack of the bacteria in your mouth.

Keep bruxism in check by wearing a night or bite guard. You may also consider practicing relaxation techniques.


Some people are, simply put, more vulnerable to tooth decay because of the genes they inherited from their parents.


Tooth decay can become prevalent during old age. However, age may be just one part of a larger equation. Other age-related factors that may come into play include medications which dry the mouth, poor oral hygiene, and recession of gums.

Not Seeing Your Dentist

Good oral hygiene can only do so much for your teeth and gums. You also need to visit your dentist regularly to help keep your mouth healthy.

Regular visits to your dentist in Burtonsville allows you to get your teeth professionally cleaned. These checkups are also a good way for you and your dentist to keep potential problems like tooth decay in check.

Dental Crown Facts | Here’s What You Need to Know

Dental Crown FactsDental Crown Facts

Dental crowns are one of the more versatile dental treatments currently available. These tooth-shaped caps are used for the restoration of the size and strength of teeth. Dental Crowns may also be used to improve the appearance of your teeth. The professionals at Nicholas Dental Care share a few dental crown facts that can help you.

When is a Dental Crown Recommended?

According to a Laurel, MD dentist, a dental crown can be used for different situations.

If you have a tooth weakened by tooth decay, a broken or worn down tooth, or a tooth with a large filling, your dentist may recommend the use of a dental crown.

Dental crowns may also be used to hold dental bridges, as a covering for discolored or misshapen teeth, as a cover for dental implants, or for other cosmetic modifications.

Kids can also benefit from crowns. They may be used for teeth severely damaged by tooth decay, for protection of the teeth that are at high risk for tooth decay, and for patients who may not use general anesthesia.

There are several types of crowns currently available today. These include crowns fabricated out of stainless steel, metals like gold alloy and base metal alloy, porcelain fused to metal, resin, ceramic or porcelain, and zirconia or milled crown.

There are also temporary and permanent crowns. A temporary crown is usually fabricated in the dental office while permanent crowns are made in a dental laboratory. Temporary crowns are usually used until the permanent crown has been fabricated.

How are Dental Crowns Installed?

In order to have a dental crown installed on your tooth, you will need to visit your dentist twice.

During the initial visit, your dentist will need to take X-rays of your teeth in order to ensure that the tooth that is receiving the crown is healthy and is not infected.

Afterwards, your dentist will administer anesthesia and then file down the chewing surface and sides of the tooth that will receive the crown. The amount that needs to be removed will depend on the type of crown that will be used. In cases wherein the tooth does not have sufficient mass, the dentist will instead use filling material to support the crown.

Once your dentist is done reshaping your tooth, he or she will apply a paste or putty to make an impression of the tooth. Here, your dentist needs to make sure that the crown will not affect your bite. Once the impressions have been taken, these will be sent to the dental lab to fabricate your crown.

It usually takes two to three weeks to fabricate crowns. If the crown is made out of porcelain, your dentist will need to choose a shade that matches the color of the nearby teeth. Before going home, your dentist will install a temporary crown.

Follow Up Visit 

On your next visit, your dentist will install the permanent crown. Your dentist will need to check the color and fit of the crown before cementing it permanently into place. If the color or fit needs adjustment, the crown will be modified.

With proper care, dental crowns can last up to 15 years. A dental crown does not require significant additional care. However, you will need to practice good oral hygiene and avoid chewing and biting on hard objects as well as grinding and clenching your teeth.

The Downsides of a Dental Crown 

Be aware that dental crowns have a few downsides including discomfort and sensitivity. Crowns can also be chipped, become loose, or even fall off. If you have chosen a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown, a dark line on the crowned tooth may develop.

Contact your local dentist in Burtonsville at Nicholas Dental Care to discuss more dental crown facts and options.


Looking for a Dentist in Silver Spring?

dentist in silver springFinding a New Dentist in Silver Spring, MD

If you’re looking for a new dentist in Silver Spring, there are plenty of things you should take into account. It is important to ask yourself, “How do I go about finding a dentist near me?” Before you begin your search, we are here to help you come up with the criteria to make your search a little bit easier.

Finding a Dentist Who Can Work With Your Schedule 

There are elements that will determine which dentist is the best fit for your family. Location is one of them. It’s expected that you would prefer to go to a Silver Spring dentist who has an office near your home, work, or school. It’s easier to schedule an appointment with a dentist that is within a five mile radius of you. You may find it easier to choose a dentist that is near your work if you are a single person. You can schedule your appointment before work as soon as the office opens or on your way home from work if time permits. If you have dental appointments to schedule for your entire family, you may want to consider a Silver Spring, MD dental practice with multiple dental chairs available so you can schedule everyone in the same block of time. It really just depends on your scheduling needs.

Special Needs 

Another thing that may narrow down your choices right away are any special need you might have. For instance, if you or someone in your family has a fear of the dentist, addressing those concerns with the dental staff ahead of time will be important. Also, if you have kids, you might prefer to go to a pediatric dentist or licensed orthodontist.

Off the top of the head, the following are some other factors that may influence the initial part of your search: dental plan, languages spoken, office hours, as well as special office features. If you ask around or even just do some online research, you’re sure to find several possibilities in your area.

When finding a new dentist, you definitely need to call or visit the office to be sure you are comfortable. Once you have chosen a new Silver Spring, MD dentist it is time to get to know them. Below we cover some common dental patient concerns when choosing a new dentist.

What happens in the first dental exam?

Expect to have a conversation with your dentist about your oral and general health history. They will ask you other pertinent information such as medical conditions and medicines you may be taking. This is a great time to discuss any concerns you may be having about your teeth. During your dental examination, the dentist will perform a visual inspection of your teeth and gums. As a new patient, x-rays and a cleaning may also be part of your first visit. 

Can I review dental treatment options and costs before committing to the work?

The short answer is yes, absolutely. Dental treatment options can be tricky to discuss over the phone since the dentist will likely need to examine and diagnose the issue on their own regardless of what a previous dentist may have found. Give your new dentist some leeway here and be willing to come in for an exam to get a properly diagnosed treatment plan. Once the dental treatment plan has been identified, you will be able to negotiate a payment plan that works for your budget and insurance.

How does your local dentist office respond to patient emergencies before or after regular office hours?

Most dentists are ready to take on emergency dental cases outside office hours. Dental emergencies do happen and the right Silver Spring Dentist will have a plan for that. However, different dentists will define what they consider a dental emergency. Be sure that you understand what those terms are ahead of time so that you are prepared.

There might be other questions you want to ask your new dentist, such as credentials, longevity, and what they do to keep their dental skills updated. Make a list to ensure that you don’t forget anything. Pay attention to the demeanor of the person you talk to and how he or she made you feel during your exchange. We hope all these tips will help you choose the dentist that best suites your needs.

If you are searching for a dentist in Silver Spring, MD contact the professionals at Nicholas Dental Care!