Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Oral Care When Your Hands Are Difficult To Use

When dealing with arthritis or another condition that limits use of the hands, dental care can actually become difficult. At Garrison Family Dentistry in Smithville, MO, we want all of our patients to know how to get good at-home oral care. Take some tips for brushing and flossing with hand difficulty!

Your first tip for brushing with arthritis or other hand conditions is to find the right toothbrush. Make sure you pick one that has a non-slip grip and a thick handle. This makes holding onto it and maneuvering around your mouth much easier. In addition, look for a toothbrush with a small head. This also helps you with reaching all of the areas of your mouth. Electric toothbrushes may be a good idea because they do most of the work; they just need to be held in the right places. There are also toothbrushes specially made for patients with arthritis.

When it comes to flossing, to get more control, tie your floss into a loop. You can use your hands to pull it taught easier. Floss picks may also help.

If you are having difficulty keeping good oral hygiene, you may need to ask for help or inquire about a mouthwash. You will also want to get more frequent professional cleanings.

To schedule a cleaning with Garrison Family Dentistry in Smithville, MO, call our office at (816) 532-8778 or visit our website,

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

How Teeth Turn Yellow

A beautifully white smile is something many patients desire, but white teeth can be difficult to maintain. It is for this reason that at Garrison Family Dentistry in Smithville, MO, we want our patients to understand the science behind teeth turning yellow. Knowing how it happens can help you avoid the discoloration of your smile.

There are typically two different kinds of discoloration that can happen to teeth; intrinsic and extrinsic. Extrinsic stains usually occur from the foods and drinks a patient consumes. Foods like blueberries, cranberries, and soy sauce can darken teeth, as well as drinks like wine, cola, and coffee. In addition, tobacco habits like smoking cigarettes and using chewing tobacco can also stain teeth over time.

Intrinsic stains occur below the enamel’s surface, in the dentin. Examples of causes include medications like tetracycline, chlorhexidine, and minocycline. These medications can turn the teeth a brownish or yellow color from the inside out. Thin or worn-down enamel may cause the discolored dentin to show through even more. This is one reason why it is important to preserve your enamel. Additionally, popular “homemade” whitening solutions like baking soda can be very abrasive if used incorrectly, which may lead to thinned enamel.

If you are unhappy with the shade of your smile, be sure to keep a fantastic oral hygiene routine and avoid stain-causing habits. To schedule a cleaning or whitening consultation with Garrison Family Dentistry in Smithville, MO, contact our office by calling (816) 532-8778 or by visiting our website,

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Electric Toothbrushes Vs. Manual Toothbrushes

When looking to invest in a new toothbrush, there are so many kinds; it can be overwhelming. Your dental hygiene is important, so picking out the right toothbrush is essential. Probably the biggest difference between toothbrushes is that some are manual and some are electric. Many of our patients want to know which is better. Because at Garrison Family Dentistry in Smithville, MO, we want our patients to be well-informed on the best dental care, we are laying out the facts.

Since electric toothbrushes were first made in 1939, there have always been debates about whether or not they do a better job of cleaning teeth than manual toothbrushes. Well, the evidence is in. There have been studies done; and as it turns out, manual toothbrushes and electric toothbrushes do the same job.

The studies showed that electric toothbrushes did not do any better than manual toothbrushes, and vice versa. A good cleaning all depended on who was brushing. However, since they do the same job, electric toothbrushes may be a better option for those who have trouble using their hands. For instance, those with arthritis cannot move their hands as well to maneuver the toothbrush around the mouth. Electric toothbrushes mostly do all of the work, so you just need to hold them in the right place.

Picking out the best toothbrush for you can be a little confusing, but not when you have the facts right! To learn more about dental hygiene and Garrison Family Dentistry, call our Smithville, MO office at (816) 532-8778 or visit our website,