For How Long Should a Toothbrush Last?

Want your toothbrush to last longer?

Here are some tips!

So when you’re getting ready to go to sleep, try soaking the bristle-portion of your toothbrush in mouthwash over night (or whatever time of the day you sleep during.) This will help to kill lingering mouth bacteria on your toothbrush that would otherwise multiply while you sleep! (And don’t store it next to the toilette. The toilette particles float around in the nearby air. And believe us you don’t want that (insert 4-letter-word) in your mouths!)

Typically, we’d suggest to change the bristle-part of your toothbrush approximately every 3 months for the manual kind, or potentially every 6 months for the electric kind if the bristles hold up well.

It might be a wise idea to mark the toothbrush-change date on your calendar, or pick a special day (like your birthday!) and make a habit out of changing it on that special day, then 3 months after that, then at the 1/2 year mark, etc.

You will not regret it. DB.


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Got Migraines? We have TMJ Treatments that Could Help!

Here are the basics:

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the jawbone to the skull. Located at the sides of the head near each ear, these joints play an essential role in eating, speaking, and making facial expressions. The TMJ joint is one of the most frequently used, strained, and complex joints in the entire body!

When the temporomandibular joints stop working properly, is misaligned or stressed, it can result in a syndrom with symptoms that include chronic ear pain, jaw stiffness and soreness, opening the mouth, jaw popping or jaw clicking, neck pain, and migraine headaches. Sufferers of TMJ pain may experience either sharp pain or a dull, constant ache.

Some of the treatment options are mouth guards, bite therapy and TMJ exercises. This painful condition of the jaw and neck area can also be alleviated by injecting Botox into the sight, which relaxes the muscles (prevents them from contracting) and can keep someone comfortable while undergoing treatment to correct whatever their TMJ problem is. Botox treatment is by its nature a temporary treatment and when the treatment effects are gone, they are gone completely.

Chronic pain is no light thing and can be extremely detrimental to person’s life quality. Aches and pains and headaches are signals that your body is out of balance, and you don’t have to be complacent by taking the pain. Get help!

If you have any questions about TMJ treatment, as always, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Migraines, TMJ Trauma, and Sleep Disorder Medicine are all areas that I have veteran experience working in, and I am 

Have a great day. DB.


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Pediatric Oral Health & In-Utero Oral Health MATTERS!

Yes-­-­children’s teeth fall out and they get new adult teeth in place. But no-­-­this does not mean that we can let the baby teeth rot away with sugar because “they’re gonna come out anyway”! That logic is kind of like eating a bacon cheeseburger right before open-­heart surgery to clear the arteries. (Which we’re not advocating for!)

In the American Academy for Oral Systemic Health newsletter, (an Academy of which Dr. Blum is a founding member), another member Dr. Ellie Phillips wrote an article on Pediatric Oral Health (click for the original article), and there are a few points that the article made we thought might be good to share here!

Transmission of Dental Disease

Dental caries is a bacterial infection that is shared as bacteria spread from a parent’s mouth to children. (From mouth to bloodstream, and via placenta to fetus). Newly erupting teeth are easily infected, although preventing this infection will offer profound and long-­term health benefits for a family. Children born by caesarean section are at greater risk for this infection, a finding most likely explained by the fact that bacteria from the birth canal provide protection against strep.mutans infection.

Dental disease will be controlled most easily if protocols are explained to parents before the disease has transmitted to the baby. This means the message must be delivered during preg-­ nancy or at early “well child” pediatric visits. Parents most often seek advice from a dentist too late -­ after cavity-­producing bacteria have caused damage.

Tooth Eruption (aka incoming new teeth)

Oral bacteria quickly colonize erupting teeth and studies show that the first bacteria to colo-­ nize grooved and fissured teeth become the dominant strain of strep. mutans in the mouth (9). Ensuring a healthy oral flora prior to the eruption of molar teeth (primary and adult) is vital for oral health as it has been shown to reduce a child’s chance of tooth decay by up to 80%. This method of caries control is less costly than sealant placement and may be more appropriate for communities with limited access to care (10).

Healthy Flora as Teeth Erupt

Pediatric studies show that children with decay in primary molars at age 4 are 85% more likely to have a lifetime of damage in their permanent dentition. Knowing the importance of infection during eruption explains why this is so. Permanent molars erupt during the fifth year of life and if grooves of these teeth become infected, damaging bacteria will colonize the grooves and dominate the oral flora. The concept of cultivating a healthy oral flora before adult molar erup-­ tion (1-­6 years of age) is of extreme importance and can reduce the chance of caries by 80% (11).

So in summary, in-­utero and pediatric oral health matters!

Please feel welcome to get in touch for more information on in-utero/pediatric oral health and wellness practices!



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Le Mouthguard Expose: Custom Fit Mouthguard

It’s been a very long while since I last posted on the blog, and for that I am truly sorry! This is a piece that we wrote earlier this year that’d we’d like to share with you, on mouthguards and sports oral/facial injuries! More new stuff to come later this week!  – Dr. Blum

Le Mouthguard Expose: Custom Fit Mouthguards

It’s  true:  any  athlete  who  plays  a  sport  involving  any  contact  play or  that  has  high  risk  of  sudden  impacts, recreational  or competitive,  should  wear  a  mouthguard.  Properly  diagnosed,  designed,  and  custom fabricated  mouthguards  are  truly essential  in  the  prevention  of  athletic  oral/facial  and brain trauma injuries.  The  $1.99  boil-­and-­mold  mouthguards  can be  convenient  and  are  inexpensive,  and  we  won’t argue  that  that,  in-­and-­of-­itself,  can  be  a  legitimate  reason  to  stick with that type of mouthguard. The boil-and-mold mouthguards do not make  the  cut  for  us,  however. There’s no comparison in function…

The  American  Dental  Association (ADA)  estimates  that  mouthguards  prevent  approximately  200,000   injuries  each  year  in  high  school  and  collegiate  football  alone.  From  an  elbow  to  the  face,  a  body-­check that   dislocates  the  jaw,  eating  mat,  or  accidentally  catching  a  softball  with  your  mouth  even  in  sports we  don’t   typically  consider  to  be  ‘contact  sports’,  the  risk  of  oral/head  injury  is  always  present.

Here  are  some  more  of  Dr.  Blum’s  thoughts  on  mouthguards:

Q:  What’s  the  good  of  wearing  mouthguards?

For  one,  mouthguards  act  as  shock-­absorbers.  When  someone  wearing  a  mouthguard  takes  a  hit  to  the   mouth,  the  mouthguard  absorbs  a  lot  of  the  shock  itself  so  that  the  teeth  and  teeth  joints  (where  the teeth   connect  to  the  jaw  bones)  don’t  get  knocked  loose,  and  also  to  minimize  the  risk  of  concussion. Also,  when someone  is  wearing  a  mouthguard,  their  upper  and  lower  teeth  are  usually  stabilized  against the  mouthguard   to  some  extent  or  another.  This  helps  keep  the  jaw  properly  positioned  and  when receiving  an  impact,  the   mouthguard  reinforces  that  proper  positioning  of  the  jaw  joint  (aka  the  TMJ  -­ temporomandibular  joint)  and   lowers  the  risk  of  jaw  dislocation.  Furthermore,  with  the  proper  bite  and proper  positioning  of  the  jaw   (facilitated  by  wearing  a  mouthguard),  the  airflow  passageways  are  best  positioned  to  function  at  full   capacity  and  more  efficiently  bring  oxygen  to  the  body.

Q:  What’s  the  advantage  of  custom-­fit sport mouthguards?

Custom  made  mouthguards  actually  fit  properly  and  cover  all  of  your  teeth.  They’re  designed  to  be  thick enough  in  all  the  right  places,  so  they  can  act  as  shock  absorbers  at  all  the  correct  angles.  They  can  also  be   designed  to  maintain  your  jaw’s  proper  positioning,  which  as  mentioned  above  can  make  taking  in  oxygen during  sport  more  efficient.  At  the  same  time,  any  good  athlete  on  a  team  sport  knows  that  in  most  cases, vocal  communication  on  the  field  is  a  key  element  to  any  cohesive  team.  Custom  fit  mouthguards  are designed  to  protect  AND  enable  fluid  vocal  communication,  and  are  nothing  like  the  $1.99  awkward  pieces  of   rubber  many  people  have  come  to  associate  with  the  standard  for  what  mouthguards  are.  With  them  you  don’t  have to  worry  about  whether  your  mouthguard  is  going  to  pop  out  when  you’re  talking  to  teammates  and  coordinating  the defense.

Q:  Tell  us  a  story!

I’ll  keep  it  short.  Just  think:  baseball  to  the  mouth,  concussion,  cracked  teeth,  crowns,  bonding,  back  in  to  braces  for   several  more  years,  and  a  whole  lot  of  owie.  That’s  a  lot  of  pain,  frustration  and  a  lot  of  money.  The  custom  fit   mouthguard  is  the  smart  investment  and  is  worth  it—believe  me.

Ellicott City Smiles is a certified provider of Under ArmourBite Custom Fit Mouthguards, in addition to designing our own Custom Fit Mouthguards.

Have more questions about mouthguards or sport injuries? Ask us!

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Whoopi Goldberg on Gum Disease and the Oral-Systemic Connection!

Because Whoopi Goldberg is an amazing actor, comedian, and person.

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