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.

The Importance of Flossing

September 19th, 2014

You may be brushing a few times every day, but if you’re not taking the time to floss as well, your smile isn’t getting all the attention it deserves.

In general, we recommend flossing at least once a day to remove the food that has collected between your teeth during the day. If you choose not to floss, this food can stimulate the growth of decay-causing bacteria. It can also turn into plaque over time. Together, bacteria and plaque release toxins that cause bad breath, in addition to destroying tooth enamel and causing gum disease. And once gum disease sets in, there is no absolute cure.

That’s why flossing is so important.

How to Floss Effectively

If you’re not sure how to floss effectively, let your dentist or hygienist know at your next appointment. They would be happy to show you how. For best results, floss between every tooth, including your very back teeth.

Your dental team can also recommend a specific type of floss for you to use, in addition to talking with you about the rest of your oral health routine. For optimal oral health we recommend that patients:

  • Brush at least twice a day, or after every meal if possible
  • Floss at least once
  • Rinse with an antibacterial or fluoride mouthwash

You can also learn about proper flossing by watching the video below.

Rejuvenate Your Smile with Custom Porcelain Veneers

September 7th, 2014

164125777When you look in the mirror and smile, are you happy with what you see? For millions of Americans, unsightly stains, cracks, chips, and other imperfections make smiling something to be avoided rather than shared with the world. If you are dissatisfied with the appearance of your smile, know that there is a way to completely transform your smile in as little as two visits to your local dentist’s office with porcelain veneers.

How Do Porcelain Veneers Work?

Porcelain veneers effectively correct common cosmetic flaws by covering them with thin layers of durable dental porcelain. Issues like discoloration, yellowing, cracks, chips, misalignment, and gaps quickly and seamlessly vanish; a gorgeous, flawless smile can be yours in less time than ever before with porcelain veneers. Your veneers are custom crafted from fine, stain-resistant dental ceramic. They fit perfectly over your existing teeth, giving you the perfect, movie-star look you want and deserve.

Before your porcelain veneers are placed, your dentist will prepare the front surfaces of your natural teeth to accommodate them. This will ensure that your veneers lie flush with your gum line for a completely natural look and feel. Patients are encouraged to bring along some photos of smiles they like and admire; your dentist will work with you to craft a stunning smile that will turn heads for all of the right reasons.

Schedule Your Veneers Consultation

Your dentist is your trusted partner in all things related to oral health and cosmetic enhancement. From teeth whitening, general checkups, thorough cleanings, and gum disease care to customized porcelain veneers that perfect your smile in just two visits, the possibilities are endless with today’s state-of-the-art technology. Contact your dentist today to schedule your consultation and to learn more about the benefits of porcelain veneers. 

The Issue with Wisdom Teeth

August 22nd, 2014

462039415Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that emerge when a person is a teenager or even in their twenties, and for years, the removal of them has been seen almost as a rite of passage as children become adults. Is it really necessary, though? Some patients aren’t sure. While this is a matter that should definitely be discussed with your local dentist, here are some common reasons why wisdom tooth extraction is often important for your overall oral health:

  • Due to their position in the mouth, wisdom teeth often don’t have enough room to grow properly. This can cause them to erupt at an angle, even horizontally.
  • Wisdom teeth can also only partially emerge, or even remain completely hidden, leading to them becoming trapped within your jaw. Because this area is difficult to clean properly, gum disease and other infections are much more common to occur.
  • If you experience chronic pain in your gums near your wisdom teeth, extraction can help prevent further infection.
  • A cyst can sometimes form in the area, which can damage bone and tooth roots.

Of course, there are also some situations in which wisdom teeth extraction might not be necessary. These include:

  • If the teeth are fully healthy
  • If they’ve grown in correctly and emerged completely
  • If their positioning matches the rest of your smile
  • If you’re able to properly clean and care for the wisdom teeth, ensuring their future health.

Of course, every patient’s situation is unique. If you have concerns over the state of you or your child’s wisdom teeth, please contact your local dentist or oral surgeon. They can inspect the area with the help of X-rays in order to determine their position and current health, as well as what you can expect from the extraction process, should it be needed.