Proper Brushing For Preventive Dental Care

Preventative Dentistry pic
Preventative Dentistry

Dr. Christopher Lillo is a respected Toms River, New Jersey, dentist, who has practiced with the Oak Ridge Dental Group, PA, for more than two decades. Experienced in periodontal treatment, Dr. Christopher Lillo emphasizes the importance of proper at-home teeth and gum care among patients.

The basics elements of teeth and gum care include brushing, flossing, rinsing, and eating the right foods. Brushing should be performed twice each day and, ideally, following each meal. If possible, wait 30 minutes after eating to brush, as this gives any enamel softened by acid in the food time to fully re-harden.

The acids in play are created by bacteria within the plaque coming into contact with food particles. If the acids are not addressed, they can result in cavities. Brushing effectively removes plaque, which is the film of bacteria around the teeth. The key to proper brushing is to position the brush at a 45 degree angle relative to the gum line and using a small circular motion to reach every accessible crevice. Avoid pressing too hard, as this can cause gum damage and lead to other types of infection. Before or after brushing, thoroughly floss as a way of dislodging hidden food particles stuck between the teeth.


Root Canals – What to Expect

Root Canals pic
Root Canals

As vice president of Oak Ridge Dental Group in Toms River, New Jersey, Dr. Christopher Lillo has offered comprehensive dental care to patients since 1995. Dr. Christopher Lillo focuses largely on molar work and has performed numerous root canal procedures over the course of his career.

Although decay of a tooth’s crown is typically treatable with a simple filling, infected pulp is much more dire. As the infection deepens, it threatens to spread beyond the tooth to nearby soft tissues and cause a dangerous abscess. Root canal treatment sometimes allows a dentist to remove the infected material and thus save the tooth which otherwise would require extraction.

A root canal procedure begins with the application of local anesthesia, which numbs the area. In fact, many patients find that keeping the mouth open for the entire procedure is the most uncomfortable element of the oft-maligned root canal. The dentist may then continue to prepare by introducing a rubber dam to surround and protect the tooth from bacteria.

The dentist begins the procedure itself by drilling a hole to provide access to the tooth. He or she then removes the infected pulp and the nerve tissue using a series of increasingly wide files, while periodic application of water or sodium hypochlorite clears removed material away. The dentist must then seal the tooth, which some dentists prefer to do after the tooth has had a week to heal. Healing takes place under a temporary filling, which keeps food and saliva out of the drilled hole.

The procedure is completed with the application of a crown, which offers strength to the hollowed-out tooth. This final step prevents the deadened tooth from cracking and allows the patient to use the tooth normally.

The Importance of Preventive Dental Care for Young Children

Preventative Dentistry pic
Preventative Dentistry

Dr. Christopher Lillo is a Toms River, New Jersey, dentist who offers restorative and cosmetic dental care. As a member of the Oak Ridge Dental Group, PA, Dr. Christopher Lillo provides fillings, crowns, and periodontal treatment, as needed, but emphasizes preventive care to his patients.

Preventive care, such as brushing and flossing, is critical in maintaining healthy teeth and should begin at an early age. Many parents, believing that the baby teeth will be replaced soon, do not place a premium on their young children’s dental care. Unfortunately, this laissez-faire approach is misguided, as the baby teeth function as “place holders” for the permanent teeth that follow. Cavities are contagious, with bacterial infection often transferring from the old teeth via the gums to the newly erupting ones. Children who develop caries in their baby teeth often have decay problems with their adult teeth.

In addition to brushing and flossing, preventive care for infants includes avoiding the use of sippy cups with sugary juices, as well as decreasing the amounts of candy and snacks allowed. In addition, children should visit their dentist for the first time by their first birthday.

The Importance of Scaling and Root Planning for Gum Health

Dental prophylaxis pic
Dental prophylaxis

Serving patients in the Toms River, New Jersey, community, Dr. Christopher Lillo runs the Oak Ridge Dental Group, PA. Dr. Christopher Lillo offers complete general dentistry services, ranging from crowns and bridges to dental prophylaxis.

Dental prophylaxis involves the cleaning of the teeth, including scaling the roots of the teeth. A conservative treatment, scaling is effective in fighting and preventing periodontal disease, which involves inflamed and infected gums. Scaling is the removal of plaque and tartar, with a focus on that which collects where the root begins, below the gum line.

Regular scaling is critical in maintaining tooth and gum health, as plaque is filled with bacteria, which actively contribute to tooth decay. As the sticky film gradually hardens, it becomes calculus or tartar. Root planing targets rough and irregular parts of the root surface, where plaque is most likely to become lodged and harden. This treatment smooths the roots and ensures that all remaining calculus is removed.

The Denture Design Process Involves Several Steps

Christopher Lillo has practiced general dentistry in New Jersey for the greater part of his career, and in addition to his practice, he provides pro bono dental services to those in need. For example, for elderly residents of local nursing homes, Christopher Lillo has designed dentures at no cost.

When a full conventional denture is made for a patient, a dentist ideally begins this process eight to 12 weeks after the teeth are extracted or lost from the mouth. The dentist takes measurements of the jaw and makes a series of impressions or molds of the supporting tissues that will hold the denture in place. Before casting the denture, the dentist tries a model on the patient to ensure a proper fit and bite, as well as an aesthetic color and shape.

The design process then usually requires a weekly patient visit over a four-to-five-week period. After the completed denture is placed, the patient may need to return to have the dentist make adjustments. In cases where teeth extractions have been planned in advance, the patient may opt to have temporary dentures made. In these situations, the dentures are designed before the teeth are extracted. The temporary appliance is used until the gums and bones have healed and a conventional permanent denture is constructed.

Dr. Christopher Lillo: Garden State German Shepherd Rescue Fosters Dogs in New Jersey

The nonprofit Garden State German Shepherd Rescue (GSGSR) is a volunteer organization dedicated to helping German shepherds. It serves New Jersey and parts of New York. The GSGSR thrives on foster families, volunteers, and donations; one supporter of the organization is dentist Christopher Lillo, who serves patients in New Jersey’s Ocean and Monmouth counties.

Located in Milltown, New Jersey, the GSGSR rescues German shepherds that come from pounds and shelters in the state. Families foster the dogs, and the organization provides the dogs with medical care. It also offers a referral service for current German shepherd owners who can no longer care for their dogs, and it assists in placing the dogs with other families.

As vice president of Toms River, New Jersey’s Oak Ridge Dental Group since 1997, Dr. Christopher Lillo oversees staff and ensures that the dental group is compliant with Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability regulations. In addition to his work with Garden State German Shepherd Rescue, Dr. Lillo donates to another animal foundation, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.