Here’s Some Helpful Valentine’s Day Dental Tips

February 13th, 2015

138066200This Valentine’s Day, you’re probably looking forward to spending some quality time with your sweetheart, as well as indulging your sweet tooth with some yummy treats. Of course, it’s important to remember to show your smile some love as well! Here are some helpful guidelines for avoiding decay and making sure your teeth truly shine when you step out on the town with your date:

  • While bad breath can be a common symptom of a great meal, it’s probably not that appealing to the person you’re sharing it with. Keep some floss in your pocket so that you can quickly get rid of food particles and pesky bacteria in the bathroom; then, pop in a mint to give your smile a fresh, appealing feel. If your bad breath persists even after the minty scent has worn off, though, that means it’s time for a checkup with your local dentist.
  • Cross your fingers for chocolate on the big day! Solid chocolate (the ones without chewy or sugary centers) don’t tend to stick to the teeth like more chewy treats too, making them better for your oral health. In fact, dark chocolate is an even better option, as it contains less sugar than milk chocolate!
  • It’s best to avoid gummy candies, hard candies, and sticky caramels, if possible. These can be a nightmare for your teeth. Instead, why not give your loved one flowers, a card, or even a romantic dinner at home?
  • If you and your main squeeze just can’t stay away from the candy, it’s best to enjoy a few while our meal or just after it in order to keep from constantly exposing your teeth to sugar and harmful bacteria. Also, be sure to drink water and practice a good, thorough hygiene routine afterwards!
  • Looking to surprise your sweetheart? Teeth whitening may be just the gift your smile needs to look its very best! Your local dentist can use this common cosmetic dentistry method to erase stubborn stains and improve the color of your teeth by several shades.

Pediatric Dental Care 101: Teach Your Children to Love Their Teeth!

January 21st, 2015

158879326Teeth need love too! Especially your child’s teeth. The healthy development and maintenance of your child’s first teeth are vitally important to their future health and well being. Primary teeth help children learn to speak clearly and chew naturally. Primary teeth also forge the path that adult teeth follow when they’re ready to erupt. Healthy dental care foundations laid early in life will lead your child to positive dental outcomes in the future. You should choose a family or pediatric dentistry with a friendly environment that focuses on your child’s growth, development, and oral health education. Prevention, in the form of regular dental checkups, will help you take charge of and protect your child’s dental health.

When Should Your Child Start Seeing a Pediatric Dentist?

Children should start having comprehensive dental exams twice a year, beginning around their first birthday.  Their very first visit will establish a positive outlook towards dental care and dental practitioners.

Does your child have a fear of the dentist?

To help a fearful child visit the dentist, talk with them about the visit. Discuss the positive aspects of good dental care, and remind them that going to the dentist is a privilege for big boys and girls. Try not to use words such as fear, needle, pull, drill, or pain. There are many online resources to help you find dental language that is pleasant and non-frightening to children. Try to reassure your child that dentists and dental office helpers will always be gentle and friendly.

Choose Pediatric Dental Care for a Lifetime of Healthy Smiles

Remember, regular pediatric dental visits give children a solid foundation for a healthy life, through adolescence and adulthood. You should look for an experienced and gentle pediatric dental practice in your area. Pediatric dentists have at least two extra years of specialty training following dental school to treat the special dental needs of children. Pediatric dentists can be the primary or specialty dental care providers for infants, children, and teens. Show your love this season, and make a dental checkup appointment for your child with a qualified pediatric dentist today.

The Oral-Systemic Connection

January 5th, 2015

145991961We live in an era of health consciousness, and that’s a good thing. Many people try to exercise and eat right. But being healthy is not simply a matter of what you put in your mouth, it’s also dependent on how you take care of your mouth. More and more evidence shows that there is a direct link between oral health and overall health.

The oral-systemic connection characterizes the link between diseases and conditions in the mouth and health problems throughout the body. For example, periodontal or gum disease—called gingivitis in its early stages and periodontitis later—is caused by bacteria that can have access to the bloodstream when gum tissue bleeds, a common symptom of gum disease. Thus, preventing or treating gum disease and other oral infections early can be critical to avoiding secondary health concerns. So, those bi-annual dental checkups are more than just a matter of clean teeth. They can mean the difference between life and death.

Medical Conditions that Start in the Mouth

While research continues, the following is a partial list of medical conditions and diseases that have already been found to have a connection to oral health:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Osteoporosis
  • Diabetes
  • Some forms of cancer
  • Some autoimmune disorders
  • Low birth weight in newborns

Furthermore, the importance of maintaining oral health in order to have a proper diet and nutrition cannot be understated. People who have missing teeth are often unable to eat raw fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods that require chewing. Therefore, they choose softer foods that tend to be higher in saturated fats and sugar, both of which can have detrimental effects on the body when over consumed.

The Oral-Systemic Connection and You

What can you do to keep your oral-systemic connection healthy? First of all, brush your teeth and floss twice each day. Be sure to floss well below the gum line where bacteria hide. Secondly, see your dentist at least twice each year for a checkup. With regular visits, you and your dentist will better be able to recognize changes in your oral health and fend off any conditions that could compromise your general health.

Make Your New Year’s Resolution Count with Biannual Dental Checkups

December 21st, 2014

1666691562014 is rapidly coming to a close, and New Year’s Day is just around the corner. People from all around the world are coming up with ideas for their New Year’s resolutions, hoping to make this the year they make great strides toward self-improvement and better health. As we all prepare to welcome 2015 in style, we’d like to take a few moments to suggest one resolution that is not only easy to keep but incredibly rewarding as well.

Dental Checkups for the Whole Family

Biannual checkups and cleanings are critical components of any oral hygiene regimen. They present you with the perfect opportunity to ask your dentist any questions you may have about your teeth and gums, as well as any other concerns you may have at the time. These simple visits also include a thorough exam and cleaning, two things your teeth desperately need to stay healthy for life.

Unfortunately, many people still believe that it’s fine to skip out on their routine checkups because they haven’t noticed any problems that warrant a dental visit. The problem with that line of thinking is that not every oral health concern presents with noticeable symptoms. The early stages of gum disease, for example, may be virtually undetectable. Small cavities – particularly those that form between the teeth – may be difficult to see or feel until they have progressed to a more advanced stage of decay. Even a root canal infection may slip under your radar without the practiced eyes of a dentist to spot the signs with a detailed x-ray.

The great news about dental checkups is that they are covered by most dental insurance plans; you may not have to pay a single penny to get your teeth cleaned by a dedicated professional!

Make the Smart Resolution Today!

While vowing to eat healthily, save money, and get in shape are all viable and popular resolutions, we suggest placing more emphasis on your oral health this year as well. Your mouth serves as a portal to the rest of your body, and the status of your teeth and gums can potentially affect your overall health. This New Year’s Eve, make the decision to treat your smile well with routine preventive visits at your local dental office. You’ll be glad you did.

Have You Gotten the Most from Your Benefits This Year?

December 5th, 2014

calendar

Now that December is here, it won’t be long until we’re taking down our calendars for 2014 and replacing them with ones for 2015. For most, the focus of the month is primarily on gift giving and holiday preparations, but there’s something else you should add to your year-end checklist: one last checkup with your dentist. Why should you include a dental appointment in your December activities? There are a few reasons.

Yearly Maximum

Your insurance company allots a yearly maximum to help you pay for certain kinds of services and procedures. Unfortunately, that money doesn’t rollover from one year to the next. Any amount you don’t use, you will lose at the end of the year.

Deductible

Your deductible will be renewed every year, too. Before your insurance provider will start covering your care, you have to meet your deductible. In many cases, this amount is around $50.

Insurance Fees

Additionally, you may find that your premiums and co-pays from one year to another are different. But without knowing what they’ll be for 2015, it’s a good idea to take advantage of what you already have before it changes.

Another New Year is almost upon us, but there may still be time to schedule an appointment with your local dentist. Call today to see about scheduling an appointment.

Keep Your Smile Happy and Healthy This Holiday Season

November 26th, 2014

84468671The holidays are a great time for family, lots of food, and guilt-free indulgence. However, the last thing you probably want is to have to spend some quality time with your local dentist right in the middle of all this fun. That’s why it’s always important to make smart choices and be aware of potential problems that could threaten your oral health. Here are five helpful tips to keep in mind when you’re sitting down at the table with your loved ones to enjoy that big, scrumptious meal:

  • Be careful when it comes to chewy treats. Having a sweet tooth is fine in moderation, but when it comes to sticky substances, less is always more. Foods like caramel and taffy can encourage tooth decay and even yank out fillings.
  • Don’t crack nuts between your teeth. Nuts offer several valuable health benefits, but don’t treat your mouth like you would a nutcracker’s. Shelling nuts with your teeth can cause serious enamel and gum damage. You’re definitely better off removing the shells before enjoying your snack.
  • Enjoy your wine, but not too much. The high acidity levels in wine can eat away at the enamel on your teeth, which is really important to retain when it comes to fighting off decay and cavities. Avoid swishing wine around in your mouth for too long, and be sure to drink plenty of water in between glasses.
  • Don’t let stress get you down. Holiday anxiety is a very common, understandable problem, but be careful – it can lead to grinding and clenching of the teeth. Seeing your local dentist about a nightguard can help you protect your smile while you sleep and avoid unpleasant damage.
  • Feel free to feast! Yes, you heard right! When you eat, more and more saliva is produced, which can be a beneficial agent when it comes to neutralizing acids and repairing tooth enamel. Just be sure to take breaks here and there from the food so that it has time to work within your mouth.

Holiday Teeth Whitening Advice

November 15th, 2014

There are many reasons to smile this time of year. We have beautiful decorations, holiday gatherings with family and friends, delicious meals, savory desserts, and the joy of gift giving. But what will your family and friends see when you smile this holiday season? Over time, our teeth can discolor and stain because of foods and beverages like coffee, tea, and sodas. Your teeth can also yellow and stain from tobacco and alcohol use. However, they don’t have to stay that way. If you want your family and friends to see the dazzling white smile you had before discoloration and staining set in, make an appointment for professional teeth whitening today. You could brighten your smile this holiday season in just one hour with professional teeth whitening.

What About Teeth Whitening Toothpaste?

You may have already tried switching to a teeth whitening toothpaste. But whitening toothpaste is truly the least effective whitening option. Whitening toothpastes are made with mild abrasives that can only polish away shallow surface stains. They don’t contain the bleaching agents needed to truly alter the color of the enamel. It’s best to reserve whitening toothpaste to care for your teeth after you have used a more effective teeth whitening treatment.

Does Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Really Work?

These products may include whitening kits, whitening gels, whitening strips, or whitening rinses. They are widely available and they make a lot of promises. Yet, it can take several weeks of daily use to get any significant results with these products. In the mean time you’ll have to avoid any coffee, tea, soda, or wine until you’re finished with the treatment. Additionally, any misstep in their application could result in irritation or infection in your teeth or gums. The time, inconvenience, and risk of misapplication make these products difficult to recommend.

Professional Teeth Whitening for the Holidays

The easiest and most reliable choice is to visit your dentist for professional teeth whitening. Your dentist can offer you a one visit treatment or an easy-to-use take-home option. The dentist uses powerful bleaching agents that can whiten your teeth several shades in just one-hour. But, unlike the over-the-counter treatments, the dentist can make sure that your teeth and gums are not irritated in the process. Moreover, bleaching agents may not be able to remove some forms of discoloration and deep staining. Your dentist will be able to recognize this and offer alternatives like dental bonding or veneers. Don’t make the mistake of using the wrong teeth whitening method.  Get the brighter and whiter smile you deserve this holiday season with a professional whitening treatment from your dentist.

Don’t Just Brush Your Teeth… Brush Your Teeth Correctly

October 27th, 2014

brushingMost people know that good oral hygiene includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day. And for most, those two times are usually in the morning—as you’re rushing to work or getting the kids off to school—and at night, when you’re fighting to keep your eyes open before falling into bed. Regardless of whether your day is beginning, ending or somewhere in between, proper brushing is worth the time and effort for good oral health.

First off all, did you know that proper brushing requires at least two minutes? Most adults spend a fraction of that time brushing their teeth every morning and night. Try looking at the clock when you start brushing, then brush normally and check the time when you’re finished. Chances are you didn’t spend enough time to thoroughly clean your teeth. To really do a good job and ensure better oral hygiene, spend two minutes brushing.

What is the Best Technique for Brushing Teeth?

When brushing your teeth, it’s important to hold your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle against the gum line and sweep or roll the brush away from your gums. Don’t brush side to side, which can scrape your gums. And be sure to use short strokes as you brush away from your gums.

Start out cleaning the outer surface of your upper teeth and then your lower teeth. Continue by brushing the inner surface of upper and lower teeth. Then, brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth, concentrating on your molars. Finally, be sure to brush your tongue, too.

Tools for Proper Brushing

Always choose a soft brush with round-ended bristles. Stiff bristles can hurt your gums. A powered toothbrush can be a good choice, too, especially if you have difficulty brushing because of limited manual dexterity. The type of toothpaste you choose is an individual matter. There are a variety of toothpastes to address a variety of concerns from teeth whitening and cavity prevention to eliminating tartar and reducing teeth sensitivity. Talk with your local dentist about which toothpaste is best for you.

 

Prepare Little Smiles for Trick-or-Treating with Preventive Dentistry

October 17th, 2014

160051708Halloween is undeniably a favorite holiday for millions of children from across America, offering the perfect opportunity to dress up in creative costumes and bring home tons of sweet treats. While we’d never discourage any of the festivities and fun of trick-or-treating, we do want to emphasize the importance of keeping those precious pearly whites healthy this holiday season. With preventive dentistry solutions like dental sealants and fluoride supplements, we can help ensure your child’s continued oral health all year round.

Preventing Cavities this Holiday Season

The two most common childhood dental concerns are tooth decay and periodontal disease. Because prevention is always the best medicine when it comes to your child’s oral health, routine dental exams and cleanings are integral to a future of healthy smiles. Particularly around the holidays, it is important to consider the effects of sugary treats – including Halloween candies like lollipops, chocolate, and candy corn – on a child’s vulnerable teeth. Your child’s tooth enamel isn’t as resistant to plaque buildup, so twice yearly cleanings are vital.

During your child’s dental visit, ask about dental sealants and fluoride supplements. Dental sealants effectively protect teeth from cavities, especially in hard-to-reach places like the first and second molars. Fluoride supplements can actually fortify tooth enamel, remineralizing the surfaces of the teeth to further ward off attacks from cavity-causing bacteria. After your child is done divvying up all of his or her favorite treats from Halloween, consider donating the excess to a Halloween buyback program. This will help keep those cavity-causing temptations out of reach, further protecting your child’s smile.

Keep Your Child’s Smile Shining Brightly!

Your child’s dentist is your ongoing partner in building a strong foundation for oral health in the future. If you have questions about preventive dentistry services, including fluoride and dental sealants, contact your local dentist’s office for more information.

Dental Myths Put To Rest

September 22nd, 2014

485017745There are many things in life that are shrouded in mystery. Things like urban myths and old wives’ tales always keep our curiosity tickled, and you may be dying to get to the truth of an issue for peace of mind. Your smile is no different! There are so many things that people may not know about their smiles; things that they may not know are true or not. Your smile is something you should never play around with, and we would like to clear up a few myths in order to contribute to your peace of mind.

A dental myth that you may have heard is that is teeth whitening weakens the durability of your smile. For those who want to brighten their smiles with teeth whitening, you have nothing to worry about, as this myth is completely false. When you go to have your smile whitened, the gel that the dentist places on your smile only affects the color of your enamel, not the strength. Though it is normal to experience some sensitivity with your smile after having the procedure done, it does not weaken the internal structure of your teeth.

Another dental myth that you may have heard is that you should not brush or floss your teeth if your gums are bleeding. This is actually the exact opposite of what you want to do, and there could be many reasons why your gums could be bleeding. Bleeding gums is usually a sign of plaque and other particles irritating them, and it is important to remove whatever is aggravating your gums as soon as possible. Brushing and flossing your teeth as well as you can is one avenue you can take in order to stop your gums from bleeding.

Dental myths seems to plague the minds of many people, and by putting some of them to rest, we hope that you are able to experience better oral health and better knowledge as to what goes on with your smile.