Handling Dental Emergencies: Your Guide to Quick Relief

Dental issues might not be the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to emergencies. However, dental emergencies can occur unexpectedly and often require immediate attention to alleviate pain, prevent further damage, and ensure oral health. If you believe you are experiencing a dental emergency in the Germantown, MD area, call Suburban Dental at (301) 916-8570

Understanding Dental Emergencies:

Dental emergencies include a variety of critical dental issues that demand prompt professional assistance. Severe toothaches, knocked-out or broken teeth, lost fillings, broken braces, and other emergencies can occur. Recognizing the signs of a dental emergency is crucial to initiate timely action and minimize potential complications.

Immediate Steps to Take:

When confronted with a dental emergency, it’s essential to stay calm and take immediate steps to mitigate pain and prevent further damage. Here are some actions you can take:

  • Toothache: Rinse your mouth with warm water, floss gently to remove any food particles, and apply a cold compress to the affected area for temporary relief.
  • Knocked-Out Tooth: If a tooth is completely knocked out, keep the tooth moist in milk or a tooth preservation kit and seek dental help immediately.
  • Fractured Tooth: Rinse your mouth with warm water, apply a cold compress to reduce swelling, and visit a dentist as soon as possible.
  • Lost Filling or Crown: Use dental cement, which can be purchased at a local pharmacy, to temporarily cover the exposed area until you can visit a dentist.

Seeking Professional Dental Care:

While the initial steps mentioned above provide temporary relief, it is essential to schedule an appointment with a dentist promptly. Dental professionals are trained to handle emergencies and can provide the necessary treatment to alleviate pain, prevent infection, and restore oral health. Delaying professional care can lead to more significant problems and complications down the line.

Prevention and Preparedness:

Although dental emergencies are unexpected, you can take preventive measures to minimize the risk. Maintain good oral hygiene practices, such as regular brushing and flossing, and visit a dentist for routine check-ups. Additionally, wearing mouthguards during physical activities and avoiding chewing on hard objects can help reduce the likelihood of dental injuries.

Dental emergencies can be distressing, but knowing how to handle them can make a significant difference in protecting your oral health. By understanding common dental emergencies, taking immediate steps to alleviate pain, seeking professional care promptly, and practicing preventive measures, you can minimize the impact of these situations. Remember, in any dental emergency, always consult a dentist for the best course of action. Stay prepared, stay calm, and prioritize your dental well-being. 

Visit Suburban Dental to learn more about dental emergencies and the available services.

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How to Fix an Overbite

Boost Your Confidence and Breathe Easy: The Impact of Fixing Your Overbite

Overbites are very common in both children and adults, with many having at least a tiny overbite. While not typically the most serious dental problem, a significant overbite can lead to several dental health problems. There are several ways to prevent or treat an overbite, and here at Suburban Dental, we can help find the right treatment for you or your child.

What is an Overbite?

An overbite is when a person’s upper teeth extend beyond their bottom front teeth. The most frequent cause of this is the size of the jaw or teeth – there may not be enough space in the jaw to fit one’s teeth.

Other causes can include frequent nail biting, teeth grinding, and for children thumbsucking and using a pacifier after age three. Read more about the causes of an overbite.

Is an Overbite Bad?

An overbite can cause several problems, such as tooth decay, gum disease, and jaw discomfort. Since the upper and lower teeth are misaligned, an overbite can also cause enamel to be worn down or teeth to be chipped or cracked due to friction between teeth. An overbite can also make it more difficult to chew and bite since the teeth are misaligned.

How to Fix an Overbite

There are different ways to treat children and adults for an overbite. For children, braces can be used to slowly shift the teeth into a proper alignment. This is followed by a retainer to keep the teeth in place. Another treatment option for children is to use palate expanders, a type of growth modification device, to reposition the jaw during growth spurts. Another option is to extract baby teeth or permanent teeth to create room for adult teeth.

For adults, extracting teeth to create room for the remaining ones is also an option. Another treatment option is to use clear aligners, such as Invisalign®, to reposition teeth impacted by the overbite. This is an excellent option for many adults, as they are discreet and can be removed when eating.

Come to Suburban Dental for Overbite Correction Treatment

If you or your child is experiencing an overbite, don’t wait for serious issues to develop. Call our office today at 301-916-8570. We’re here to help you get the best possible treatment in a safe and comfortable environment!

Is Water Flossing Better Than String Flossing?

Unleashing the Power of Water Flossing for a Healthy, Happy Smile

Water flossers or water picks, technically oral irrigators, if you’re asking, are increasingly popular, but are they effective? Only 32% of adults floss daily, so there is absolutely a need for an easier way to clean between teeth. Going without daily flossing, or some form of interdental cleaning, leaves all of those people, most of us, at serious risk of gum disease. So let’s find out if water picks live up to the hype.

Are Water Flossers Better Than String Floss?

Water flossers seem to be very effective according to current research. A 2013 study on the effectiveness of water flossers compared to string floss found that water flossers were “significantly” more effective than string floss. Specifically, they found that after a single use water flossers were 29% more effective at removing plaque. They were particularly better at removing plaque and accumulations from between teeth, and that’s most of why we floss, isn’t it?

Something that may be worth considering is that one of the authors of the 2013 study, Deborah Lyle, was employed by the Waterpik Corporation from May 2004 until January 2022 as their Director of Clinical Research. Waterpik’s page for clinical research about water flossers lists many studies that include Deborah Lyle as a contributor.

However, other researchers were involved, and other studies exist that point to the effectiveness of water flossers. A 2021 study on the effectiveness of water flossers compared to string floss is an example, though they did not have such strong conclusions as the 2013 Deborah Lyle study did. They found instead that water flossers were just as effective as string floss, not more so. That is why they recommended water flossers to those with braces, retainers, or who have fine motor skill issues.

So, water flossers do seem to work and could potentially replace string floss or floss picks in your oral health routine. But are they superior to string floss? They might be, but considering, there doesn’t seem to be a reason to knock yourself if you haven’t hopped on the bandwagon just yet.

Are There Any Downsides to Water Flossers?

While great at cleaning your teeth, there are a few things to consider before you run out and get one. Water flossers can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria, according to a 2021 study. Put simply, because water flosser heads touch your mouth and stay wet, oral bacteria can grow on it. Even despite following the provided cleaning recommendations. That’s not all, this study limited itself to studying only the nozzle, not the hose or water reservoir itself. So while trying to clean your mouth there is the possibility that you could be spraying your teeth with bacteria.


It’s no secret that toothbrushes can be a source of illness and can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria. However, proper storage and sanitary precautions, even ones as simple as rinsing your toothbrush and letting it dry, have been shown to reduce bacteria considerably. Allowing it to dry is crucial and would be much more time-consuming to practice with a water flosser. Because a water flosser is a reservoir of water with an attached hose it seems proper cleaning would require draining it and its components and allowing them to dry after each use, at a minimum. Certainly, more time-consuming than standard care and cleaning instructions for proper use.


Besides cleanliness, it’s also worth considering that no one is likely to travel with a water flosser. That just means that you’ll need to keep using string floss for overnight stays. That is to say, even if you get a water flosser, don’t throw out all your old string floss. You’ll still need it if you intend to keep up a daily hygiene routine.

If I Get One, What’s The Best Water Flosser? 

The ADA, the American Dental Association, has an approved list of water flossers. The ADA only allows its seal to be used on products that “include data from clinical and/or laboratory studies that demonstrate safety and efficacy according to product category requirements developed by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs”. The ADA is one of the largest professional organizations for dentists meaning that any product bearing the ADA seal can be reasonably trusted. If you are considering trying a water flosser we strongly encourage you to factor the ADA’s recommendations into your decision.

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What Does Flossing do?

Learn What Flossing Does With Suburban Dental

Flossing prevents gingivitis, or gum disease, by preventing the build-up of plaque on and between your teeth. Plaque is a form of biofilm a sticky bacteria that if left unchecked can cause serious harm to your teeth by causing cavities, decay, and even risking infections if you have an oral injury.

Flossing can also prevent halitosis, or bad breath, by removing excess food particles from your mouth. Some bacteria that naturally occur in your mouth also cause bad breath if left unchecked. The American Dental Association recommends flossing, stating that it can remove the vast majority of plaque. By flossing you prevent the bacteria from growing and spreading to the point where it can smell. Much of the bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath will also feed on food stuck in your teeth.

Is Flossing Really Necessary?

Some people might feel like they already have oral health issues or that since they’ve neglected flossing so far, so there’s no reason to start now. But the truth is that there is never a point where starting good oral hygiene habits won’t help.

The long-term effects of allowing bacteria to grow are serious and can range from cavities to gum disease and eventually loss of teeth and bone loss. Losing bone from your jaw is a serious and effectively irreversible consequence of long-term oral health neglect. But preventive maintenance, including flossing, can greatly reduce the risk of any of these problems.

Tips for Effective Flossing

A study published in a journal by the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) found that flossing before brushing is the most effective. This is particularly true when using toothpaste that contains fluoride.

Traditional string flossing has also been shown to be more effective than pick-style flossers. However, the most effective form of flossing is what works for you and will make you more likely to floss. While we might recommend that you try to floss the old-school way, the most important thing is that you figure out a style and routine for flossing that you’re able to maintain.

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Is Teeth Whitening Safe?

Whitening Procedures at Suburban Dental

Teeth whitening has been around for decades and millions of people use whitening products – including plenty of dentists. According to dental professionals, they haven’t seen an increase in problems like cavity risk or tooth fractures after teeth whitening procedures. Suburban Dental works to provide safe teeth whitening services for our patients in Germantown.

Teeth Whitening Side Effects 

  1. Teeth sensitivity: your teeth may become more sensitive after getting them whitened. You may experience this after your first or second treatment, and it can diminish with time. Ask your doctor if they can recommend products for treating sensitivity at your next appointment.
  2. Irritated gums: you may also experience gingival irritation, which happens when your gums become irritated. If the whitening products touch your gums, then they may become irritated, but Suburban Dental takes precautions to eliminate this risk.

Benefits of Teeth Whitening

  1. Safety: The American Dental Association (ADA) has stated that hydrogen peroxide whiteners are safe and effective.
  2. Quick process: you can have whitened teeth in just one session rather than waiting months for at-home products to take effect.
  3. Saves time: you don’t have to have your teeth professionally whitened very frequently whitening your teeth frequently can damage your teeth. With just a couple of sessions of professional whitening, you can achieve the desired color of your smile.
  4. Don’t have to worry about safety: we take care of your teeth like they are our own at Suburban Dental. We only provide the safest procedures at our office, the side effects of teeth whitening usually apply to at-home products that can damage your smile.

If you are worried about your upcoming teeth whitening procedure or worried about an at-home product you are using, you can always ask your doctor if the product is safe. Suburban Dental offers professional teeth whitening that is safe and effective. If you would like to schedule a teeth whitening appointment, use the button below to schedule online or learn more about teeth whitening at our Germantown, MD office.

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Is Vaping Bad For Your Teeth?

The Relationship Between Vaping and Your Oral Health

Vaping, or e-cigarettes, is popular with older former smokers and younger first-time nicotine users. As the health effects of vaping are discussed and researched, most attention has been on lung health. But you may be wondering, does vaping affect oral health, and is vaping bad for your teeth? Whether trying to make an informed decision about the health of your teeth, are about to get braces, or are prepping for oral surgery we’ll look at what effects vaping can have on your oral health.

Is Vaping Bad for Your Teeth?

Vaping does have many negative effects on overall oral health. These range from increased bacteria, to damage to tooth enamel and cosmetic changes. 

  • It increases the amount of bacteria stuck to your teeth. Vegetable glycerin is a common base for vape liquids which can trap bacteria on your teeth. This increases the risk of cavities. This additive alongside other additives can also soften enamel, presenting more opportunities for cavities to form.
  • An ingredient called propylene glycol lowers saliva levels. Saliva naturally reduces the amount of bacteria present in the mouth and stuck to teeth. Dry mouth can cause cavities and other issues such as gum sores.
  • Vaping could worsen other oral health issues. Because vaping can soften enamel, trap bacteria, and lower saliva levels it has the potential to worsen other ongoing oral health issues.
  • Teeth stains can be caused or worsened by vaping. Vaping’s effects on enamel hardness and bacteria retention can create conditions for or worsen teeth discoloration or yellowing.
  • There is evidence of a range of health problems caused by vaping. Research indicates that vaping can disrupt the oral microbiome, increase the risk of gum disease, and expose users to chemicals that can cause oral and other cancers.

Vaping, Braces, and Oral Surgery

Vaping can negatively impact the effectiveness of orthodontic treatments. Nicotine use can change the rate at which teeth move when wearing metal braces, Invisalign, or other aligners. This could lead to slower corrections and prolonged treatment. 

Any oral surgery that requires healing can be slowed by vaping. Nicotine use lengthens the body’s natural healing time. Boston University research has shown no evidence of harm reduction between smoking and e-cigarettes. Advice to avoid smoking after certain dental procedures covers any nicotine use because of the increased healing time associated with it. This is doubly true of any oral nicotine use because it increases bacteria in the mouth and the risk of infection after certain procedures. 

Harm Reduction and Surgery Recovery

If you’re concerned about the effects vaping or other nicotine use can have on your oral health, stopping is the best way to prevent further damage. Of course, nicotine cessation is not easy. If quitting isn’t possible but want to limit any negative effects it’s best to stick to the fundamentals of oral hygiene. Twice a day brushing, flossing, using a fluoride mouthwash, and scheduling regular checkups can all help.

If you are planning a treatment for which it is recommended you temporarily cease nicotine use or if you want to quit for your long-term oral health the Mayo Clinic has an online guide to help.