My Blog

Posts for: December, 2016

By Dr. Steven L. Rattner DDS & Associates
December 24, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene   flossing  
HavingTroubleFlossingTryUsinganOralIrrigator

Though you don't like to admit it, you don't floss very often. Oh sure, you know it's important to remove the film of bacteria and food particles called plaque that builds up between and on your teeth. And you know you should do it every day.

It's just that, well… you're not very good at using dental floss.

While it's effective, dental floss takes some technique to hold it with your fingers and work it between your teeth. It can be hard for people to get the hang of it — and some aren't physically able or have obstacles like braces that make it harder.

There is a solution: an oral irrigator. Available for home use for decades, these devices deliver pulsating water at high pressure through a handheld device that looks like a power toothbrush. The water flows through a special tip to loosen and flush out plaque from between teeth.

You may have encountered oral irrigation during dental visits. They're a regular part of dental cleanings especially for treatment of periodontal (gum) disease. Because gum tissue weakened by disease may gradually separate from the teeth, large voids or gaps called periodontal pockets can form. These pockets can become further infected and accumulate plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) that can also extend to the roots. Oral irrigation is a way to remove much of the plaque from these hard to reach places.

Oral irrigators have also proven effective for orthodontic patients whose brace hardware inhibits regular dental floss. A 2008 study, for example, found orthodontic patients were able to remove five times as much plaque with an oral irrigator as those who used only a manual toothbrush.

If you're simply looking for an effective alternative to dental floss, an oral irrigator is a good choice. We can help choose the right model for you and give you tips on using it. Your goal is the same as if you were using dental floss — remove the plaque between your teeth to keep disease at bay and your smile healthy.

If you would like more information on flossing options, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cleaning Between Your Teeth.”


By Dr. Steven L. Rattner DDS & Associates
December 12, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

Discover the multitude of cosmetic dental services we offer here in Gaithersburg to help improve your smile!

It’s truly amazing how many different ways our Gaithersburg, MD dentists Dr. Steven Rattner and Dr. Maryam Roosta can help you cosmetic dentistryachieve the perfect smile. Dental imperfections and problem areas don’t have to get you down. Discover the different cosmetic dental treatments we offer so that you can get your smile back on track.

We are happy to offer treatments to cater to every patient’s needs and goals. Cosmetic dentistry can improve the appearance of your smile as well as boost your self-confidence, and who doesn't want that?

Cosmetic dentistry ranges from minor, non-invasive treatments to more aggressive options, depending on what you are looking to achieve. Sometimes patients only require a couple tweaks here and there and so more major cosmetic dentistry isn’t necessary. However, there are some patients who haven't set foot in the dentist’s office in many years. These patients may require both a restorative and cosmetic makeover in order to get their smile looking its best.

Here are just some of the dental issues cosmetic dentistry can help with:

  • Chips, cracks and breaks
  • Stains and discolorations
  • Misshapen, malformed and oddly shaped teeth
  • Teeth that are uneven or worn
  • Misalignment issues (e.g. crowding, spacing, crookedness)
  • Missing teeth
  • Gummy smiles

We offer a full range of services including:

  • Dental bonding
  • Tooth reshaping and contouring
  • Teeth whitening
  • Porcelain veneers
  • Dental crowns and bridges
  • Dental Implants
  • Invisalign

You too can have a beautiful smile and cosmetic dentistry can help you achieve that. If you are interested in finding out what cosmetic dentistry can do for your smile then call Dr. Steven Rattner and Dr. Maryam Roosta at Grove Dental Arts in Gaithersburg, MD.


By Dr. Steven L. Rattner DDS & Associates
December 09, 2016
Category: Oral Health
InTodaysNFLOralHygieneTakesCenterStage

Everyone knows that in the game of football, quarterbacks are looked up to as team leaders. That's why we're so pleased to see some NFL QB's setting great examples of… wait for it… excellent oral hygiene.

First, at the 2016 season opener against the Broncos, Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers was spotted on the bench; in his hands was a strand of dental floss. In between plays, the 2105 MVP was observed giving his hard-to-reach tooth surfaces a good cleaning with the floss.

Later, Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor was seen on the sideline of a game against the 49ers — with a bottle of mouthwash. Taylor took a swig, swished it around his mouth for a minute, and spit it out. Was he trying to make his breath fresher in the huddle when he called out plays?

Maybe… but in fact, a good mouthrinse can be much more than a short-lived breath freshener.

Cosmetic rinses can leave your breath with a minty taste or pleasant smell — but the sensation is only temporary. And while there's nothing wrong with having good-smelling breath, using a cosmetic mouthwash doesn't improve your oral hygiene — in fact, it can actually mask odors that may indicate a problem, such as tooth decay or gum disease.

Using a therapeutic mouthrinse, however, can actually enhance your oral health. Many commonly available therapeutic rinses contain anti-cariogenic (cavity-fighting) ingredients, such as fluoride; these can help prevent tooth decay and cavity formation by strengthening tooth enamel. Others contain antibacterial ingredients; these can help control the harmful oral bacteria found in plaque — the sticky film that can build up on your teeth in between cleanings. Some antibacterial mouthrinses are available over-the-counter, while others are prescription-only. When used along with brushing and flossing, they can reduce gum disease (gingivitis) and promote good oral health.

So why did Taylor rinse? His coach Rex Ryan later explained that he was cleaning out his mouth after a hard hit, which may have caused some bleeding. Ryan also noted, “He [Taylor] does have the best smelling breath in the league for any quarterback.” The coach didn't explain how he knows that — but never mind. The takeaway is that a cosmetic rinse may be OK for a quick fix — but when it comes to good oral hygiene, using a therapeutic mouthrinse as a part of your daily routine (along with flossing and brushing) can really step up your game.

If you would like more information about mouthrinses and oral hygiene, contact us or schedule a consultation.