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.


5 Health Problems Your Dentist Can Predict

You probably think your dentist focuses solely on your oral health, but whenever he inspects your mouth, he’s actually looking after your overall health. The reality is that the condition of your mouth is one of the most reliable indicators of your actual well-being.

Numerous studies have proven that many dental problems are directly linked to serious health woes. They are often manifestations of abnormalities in your system, or they serve as tell-tale signs that you are at high risk of developing serious medical problems. For example, cavities or signs of tooth decay do not only indicate poor oral hygiene practice; they also indicate your unhealthy consumption of sugary or starchy foods that can lead to heart disease and diabetes. Meanwhile, yellowish, brittle teeth can indicate malnutrition (common among people who are always dieting) and being prone to kidney disease.

When you have a dental appointment, a good dentist doesn’t just see the condition of your mouth. Listed below are the five health problems your dentist can predict just from your check-up.

Cardiovascular disease

Whenever your dentist spots new cavities on your teeth, he knows right away that you’ve been eating too many snacks with trans fatty acids. Through trans fatty acids do not really cause cavities, they are, however, always present with ingredients such as fermentable carbs that do lead to cavities. High amounts of trans fatty acids and fermentable carbs are known to lead to heart disease.


Cavities are also indicators of unhealthy eating habits that cause diabetes to flare up. Frequent consumption of sugary drinks and foods tends to create calcular deposits that can lead to tooth decay, and at the same time, raise blood glucose, which is dangerous for people who are genetically prone to developing diabetes.


Your dentist knows if you’re a smoker or drinker – the color of your teeth and gums are dead giveaways, along with other factors. If you have these unhealthy habits, your dentist can actually tell how seriously they’ve affected your health and how susceptible you are to developing cancer by the condition of your mouth.


The dental situation that indicates susceptibility to heart disease and diabetes applies to obesity as well.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Studies have already established the link between dementia problems such as Alzheimer’s and loss of teeth. Dentists these days don’t rule out the possibility of people with periodontal disease developing Alzheimer’s.

If you want a dentist who will not only look after your oral health but your overall well-being as well, our dentist in Burtonsville, MD, Dr. Aaron Nicholas, is the man for the job. Contact us today and set up your first appointment!

TMJ Pain Treatment Options

TMJ Pain Treatment OptionsTMJ Pain Treatment Options

TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, refers to the joint located in front of the ears on both sides of the head. These joints and the surrounding ligaments and muscles connect the mandible, or lower jawbone, to the temporal bone of the skull. There are discs located between each joint that cushion the bones of the joints to enable smooth, painless movement. The TMJs are responsible for jaw movements that facilitate eating, speaking, and producing facial expressions.

TMJ Dysfunction – What Is It?

There will be instances when a person’s TMJs will become disconnected or improperly seated. When this happens, the nearby muscles work overtime to hold the jaw in proper position. Unfortunately, these muscles eventually become fatigued and swollen and put stress on local nerves. This condition is known as TMJ dysfunction or disorder (TMJD or TMD).

According to a trusted Laurel MD dentist, TMJ disorder causes intense pain and discomfort of various parts of the body, including the jaw, mouth, face, ears, neck, shoulders, and back. Some patients even experience tingling toes and fingers. Other symptoms of this disorder include toothaches, sinus problems, headaches and migraines, pain when chewing or yawning or when opening or closing the jaw, facial tension, clicking, and locked jaw.

TMJ disorder can be caused by one or more factors. The most common causes are:

  • Trauma to the jaw joint
  • Ear infections
  • Improper placement or adjustment of dental fillings
  • Grinding and/or clenching of the teeth
  • Bad occlusion
  • Osteo or rheumatoid arthritis and other types of autoimmune disorders

TMJ Pain Treatment Options

Dentists and other health practitioners offer various types of TMJ pain treatment.

Certain medications are needed to supplement nonsurgical treatments. These medicines can help relieve the pain associated with TMJ disorder. Pain relievers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, tricyclic antidepressants, and muscle relaxants can help relieve pain caused by TMJ disorders.

Recommended non-surgical, drug-free, and alternative therapies for TMJD include:

The use of oral splints or mouth guards or occlusal appliances

Many patients suffering from jaw pain can benefit from wearing a soft or firm device inserted over their teeth.

Physical therapy

Your dentist or healthcare provider will use ultrasound, moist heat and ice to provide pain relief. You will also have to do exercises to stretch and strengthen your jaw muscles.


An acupuncture specialist will treat the chronic pain by inserting hair-thin needles in your jaw and other areas on your body.

Relaxation techniques

Practicing the right breathing techniques can help you relax tense muscles which, in turn, can reduce pain.

If these methods won’t provide pain relief, you will be recommended to undergo surgery or other medical procedures. These include arthrocentesis, a minimally invasive procedure which involves the medical practitioner inserting small needles into the joint so that fluid can be irrigated through the joint to remove debris and inflammatory byproducts. Other options that may also be recommended are TMJ arthroscopy, modified condylotomy, and    open-joint surgery.

To find out which TMJ pain treatment options are best for you, make sure you have a thorough discussion with your Burtonsville dentist. Don’t suffer with pain from TMJ, contact Nicholas Dental Care today and allow them to help you get rid of your dental pain.



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.

Bad Dental Habits You Should Put an End to Now

Bad Dental Habits

Bad Dental Habits You Should Put an End to Now

Having great, healthy teeth is all about observing the right dental habits. Brushing your teeth after meals, flossing, following a smart diet, and paying regular visits to the dentist are all good dental habits that preserve oral health. However, you can easily sabotage the positive results of these habits if you have a few bad dental habits.

So which bad dental habits are the worst? A Laurel, MD dentist has rounded them up below:

Brushing Vigorously

You probably think that brushing really hard is effective in getting rid of food debris stuck between teeth and on teeth, it is — but not really more than brushing gently and properly. The problem with brushing too hard is it scratches teeth’s enamel, which can lead to cavities. Also, it can irritate gums and even cause bleeding. Instead of brushing vigorously to clean your teeth, the Laurel, MD dentist recommends using massage strokes because they’re not just effective in ridding teeth of food debris and bacteria; they’re also so much better for the teeth and gums.

Eating Ice Cubes

If you like to eat ice cubes because you’re anemic or you’re fighting morning sickness, you’re doing a lot of harm to your teeth. The extreme cold is already bad for the teeth, and if you combine that with the hardness of ice, you place your teeth at high risk of breaking or chipping. Instead of chewing ice cubes, drink slushy beverages instead.

Grinding Teeth

Teeth grinding is often done when a person is stressed or agitated. If you have the tendency to clench and grind your teeth, you’re wearing down your teeth and they may become prone to chipping and cracking.

Frequent Snacking

Munching on sugary foods constantly puts you at a much higher risk for cavities. Tooth decay isn’t the only issue you’ll deal with if you frequently snack; bad breath is likely to be a problem as well. Instead of junk food or candy, opt for a sugarless chewing gum; not only will it aid oral health, but it may also help you manage your weight.

Nail Biting

This can wear teeth down and hurt your jaw. You can manage this nervous habit by applying nail polish and keeping your hands busy.

Using Your Teeth as Tools

It doesn’t matter how strong your teeth are; you should not be using them to pop off bottle caps or to tear packages open. This habit can damage your teeth, and hurt other parts of your mouth and your jaw.

One of the best dental care habits is regular dental visits to your Burtonsville dentist at Nicholas Dental Care. Call the friendly professionals today to schedule your routine checkup.


Causes of Bruxism in Adults

Bruxism Causes of Bruxism in Adults

A lot of adults grind their teeth when they sleep. This is an oral health issue because the damage is inflicted when a person is unaware of it. Teeth grinding results in weakened and slightly deformed teeth. Along with this, it can create soreness in the mouth and jaw which, at times, may be accompanied by mild bleeding from the gums.

Known as bruxism in the dental world, teeth grinding is clearly no laughing matter because of the damage and physical discomfort it creates. But what really are the causes of bruxism in adults? Dental and sleep experts have rounded them up below:


A person’s daily routines, lifestyle preferences and tendencies can increase sleep-related issues. The frequent use of psychoactive substances such as alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, and even sleep aids can lead to bruxism.

Psychological factors

Anxiety, stress and other mental disorders can trigger teeth grinding. In fact, a study reveals that 70% of bruxism happens because of stress or anxiety — as if it were a subconscious manifestation of being at odds with situations. Other studies also discovered that people who suffered stress due to dissatisfaction or unhappiness with their shifting work schedules were more prone to bruxism than those who were not. Likewise, the men in this study demonstrated higher levels of work-related stress, depressive symptoms and bruxism whereas none of these symptoms were significant for the women who participated in the study.

Of course, it’s important to mention that not all adults who deal with a lot of stress grind their teeth while asleep. However, for those with bruxism, stress does often play a role in the condition.

Sleep disorders

Research presents that bruxism is quite prevalent among individuals with sleep disorders such as breathing pauses and obstructive sleep apnea, snoring, and parasomnias. It is said that nocturnal bruxism is the subconscious effort exerted by patients to protect their airway during sleep. Of the aforementioned sleep disorders, obstructive sleep apnea presents the highest risk factor because it’s lined with an arousal response.

There are a vast variety of treatments available for this condition. People with this condition can give them a try (as advised by their dentists or trusted sleep experts) in order to determine which is most effective for them. But perhaps, the easiest solution that many can try is a mouth guard; this will help make sure that even if people grind and clench their teeth, these are properly protected so they don’t wear away because these mouth guards prevent teeth-on-teeth action.

If you have additional questions for a dentist in the Burtonsville area, contact the professionals at Nicholas Dental Care today!


What Are the Signs of Teeth Grinding?

Teeth GrindingWhat Are the Signs of Teeth Grinding?


It’s hard to believe that you could be causing damage to your teeth even while you’re asleep, but for a lot of people, this is actually quite real.

Bruxism is the term used to refer to some behaviors that involve the teeth — clenching, gnashing, gritting and grinding — and these take place while a person is asleep. According to one study, one in three people suffer from this condition, and it can affect children and adults.


What Causes Bruxism?

Some of the most common causes of are stress and anxiety. During stressful periods, a person can develop a nervous, repetitive action that is meant to help relieve some of the tension they experience. For some people, this action could be nail biting or hair pulling, while for others, it’s teeth grinding. In other cases, having a hyperactive personality can increase incidences of bruxism because it becomes a way to release excess energy.


It may not be easy to accurately identify whether you are suffering from bruxism if there is no one spending the night with you in the same room who can observe and say for sure that you grind your teeth as you sleep. However, there are some symptoms that you can look out for to help you check if there’s a possibility.


The following are the most common signs of teeth grinding:
  • Dull or flat teeth (or even nubbed teeth)
  • Spots of wear on teeth
  • Worn-out enamel
  • Jaw and tooth pain
  • Indentations on the tongue
  • Damage to the insides of the cheeks
  • Earaches
  • Sensitive teeth


Bruxism Cure?

According to dental experts, while there is no single real cure for bruxism, there are things that you can do to reduce the symptoms. The best option would be to wear mouth guards while you sleep — specifically, night guards. You can purchase night guards from a drug store; these may not be a perfect fit, but they can be very effective in protecting your teeth from the worst of the damage as you grind your teeth while you sleep.

Alternatively, you can have a custom night guard made for you by your Burtonsville dentist. Your mouth and teeth will be properly and accurately measured so that the shape, comfort and fit will be right for you.


You can also observe the following practices to help relieve the condition: reducing stress, consciously relaxing your jaw and face as the day goes on, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, not chewing gum, getting more and better sleep, and drinking more water.


Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruxism