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.

The Benefits of Green Tea

August 8th, 2014

shutterstock_185075840People are always trying to find the tastiest and best ways to quench their thirst. Whether it is a glass of water or an energy-inducing sports drink, finding a beverage that is both satisfying to their taste buds and nourishing to their bodies can be difficult. What people may not realize is that tea, specifically green tea, has amazing benefits for your body, and is also delicious! Being excellent for your oral and bodily health, green tea is an excellent option for those who wish for something flavorful and wholesome.

For those who are heart conscious, green tea is amazing for your heart! Green tea contains catechin, which is an antioxidant that fights and prevents cell damage. This equals a strong, healthy heart. Studies have also proven that consuming green tea increases the amount of activity in the brain that controls working memory. Another instance where green tea is good for your brain, it has been shown that green tea blocks the development of the type of plaque that is linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

Green tea has also been shown to stabilize blood sugar levels, which is great for those who have diabetes. Having an amino acid called theanine, a calming effect can take place while drinking green tea. This is especially helpful for those who are under high levels of stress. Though losing weight is never an easy experience, green tea boosts your metabolism, making you burn more fat calories. A high valuable beverage, green tea has the potential to help your smile, heart, and brain!

Don’t Put Off Important Dental Care

August 8th, 2014

dental visitWe’ve all had moments where we put off something important. Maybe it was cleaning the house, or getting out to the grocery store, or getting your taxes in the mail. All kinds of things can get pushed aside and even forgotten because we’re simply not ready to tackle them yet. But when it comes to your oral health, procrastinating is the last thing you should do.

We understand that your time is precious, but so is your good health and wellbeing. Being proactive about important dental care will benefit your smile. It will also benefit your pocketbook and result in a more positive experience with your dentist.

When you put off essential care, that could mean a more invasive and more expensive procedure later on. But when you seek help early, right at the beginning of a problem, you can receive more conservative treatment. With conservative dentistry, the goal is to preserve as much of a patient’s natural smile as possible.

Some of the most common things that are put off are treatment for gum disease and cavities. But treatment for both is much easier and more cost effective when it happens early.

Do you have important issues that need immediate treatment? Don’t put them off any longer. Call your local dentist today for an appointment!

Periodontal Disease and Systemic Health: The Mouth-Body Link

July 22nd, 2014

Shutterstock Periodontal Health BodyMost people know that gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) can cause major problems like bleeding gums, tenderness, and even eventual tooth loss. The more serious complications associated with this common disease, however, are not as readily recognizable. Keeping your gums free of infection can actually help you avoid a variety of other health problems now and in the future.

Oral Health and Your Future

When your gums are infected, the bacteria that flourish there can easily travel through your body to other tissues and organs. Because this process takes time, you may not even realize that you are at risk until more pressing symptoms arise. Medical problems that have been linked to untreated gum disease include the following:

  • Complications in pregnant women, including pre-mature birth and low birth weight infants
  • Dementia in older patients
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Rheumatoid arthritis and other bone/joint problems
  • Complications in the treatment of diabetes

Treating periodontal disease now is one of the first lines of defense against these and other medical conditions. Your dentist can discuss with you the periodontal therapy process, providing you with all the information you need to make a decision regarding your oral health and your systemic well-being.

Healthy Gums, Healthy Body

If you have noticed the tell-tale signs of gum disease (including bleeding gums, sensitivity, redness, and a receding gum line), it is imperative that you make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Early treatment of gum disease helps ensure a faster recovery, thereby reducing your risk of developing diseases and health conditions like those listed above. Call your local dentist today and take the first step toward a healthier body and a happier smile with periodontal therapy.

Four Tips for Helping Your Child Have a Better Dental Visit

July 7th, 2014

children's dentistryAs a parent, helping your child create positive associations with the dentist is an important step in helping them build healthy habits. By creating positive associations at a young age, your child will be more likely to make daily care and regular checkups a priority. In today’s post, we want to offer four steps that will help your child have a better dental visit, in addition to helping him or her create healthy habits.

Encourage Regular Brushing and Flossing

Your first step should be to help your child learn the importance of daily care. One way you can do this is by demonstrating healthy habits yourself. Why not make brushing and flossing a family activity? There are even specially made toothbrushes that play music to make the experience more fun. Brushing and flossing every day will help your little one have healthy teeth, which will help him or her enjoy better checkups.

Talk to Your Child about What to Expect

If your child is visiting a dentist for the first time, talk to him or her about what to expect. Children are sometimes frightened by new places, sounds, or people. Bringing your child with on you on one of your own appointments can help dispel anxiety and get them accustomed them to the atmosphere of a dental office.

Avoid Scary Words or a Scary Tone

Whether or not your child needs extra care, avoid using words like “pain” or “shot,” and be careful about using your own dental history to relate to your child. Instead, think of ways you can encourage your little one before an appointment. Talk about the positives of having a healthy smile and the ways that dentists can help them improve oral health.

Avoid Bribery

It might be tempting to promise your child a special treat if they make it through their appointment, but this tactic can send the wrong message. Put the focus on good oral hygiene and the importance of a healthy smile instead. Teach them that healthy teeth are a reward in and of themselves.

Do you want to schedule an appointment for your child? Give your local family dentist a call today.

What Should You Do In a Dental Emergency?

June 23rd, 2014

shutterstock_150543056We all know that accidents happen, and usually at the most inconvenient times. Maybe you hit your mouth hard against a doorway accidentally, or your son or daughter bit down too hard on a particularly tough food. Whatever the case is, the reason for you or your child’s dental injury doesn’t need to be dwelled on; what’s important is that you act quickly and calmly so as to preserve oral health. Your first step should always be to call your local dentist’s office and make an appointment for as soon as possible, but in the meantime, here are some crucial tips for what to do in certain dental emergency situations.

Knocked-Out Tooth

First, rinse the tooth gently to get rid of any stray debris. Then, gently place the tooth back into its empty socket and hold it in place until you can reach your dentist. If this isn’t possible, place the tooth in a cup or baggie of milk instead and be sure to bring it with you to your appointment so that they can determine whether reattachment is possible.

Temporary Crown Falls Out

Can you find it? If the answer is yes, then dry your natural tooth, apply a small amount of toothpaste to the temporary restoration, and gently push it back into place. Temporary adhesive can also be used, as well as dental wax. Contact your local dentist so that they can reattach the crown as soon as possible.

Broken Tooth

Rinse the cracked tooth immediately with mildly warm water. Then, hold a cold compress to the affected area; this will help reduce any swelling while you’re on the way to your local dentist.

Bad Toothache

Thoroughly rinse your mouth and the area around the affected tooth. Then, floss around the tooth to make sure that there isn’t any debris that could be causing the discomfort. If pain persists, contact your local dentist.

How Chewing Ice Can Be Detrimental To Your Smile

June 6th, 2014

shutterstock_95116573Millions of people have odd habits- things that they do without even realizing it. For some, it is biting nails; for others, playing with their hair can be a habit. For many people, though, the habit of chewing ice is a function that is not thought of, but can surprisingly have serious negative effects on your smile. Though it may seem harmless, the act of chewing ice can leave literal and metaphorical impressions on your teeth as well as your gums.

One of the reasons why chewing ice is bad for your smile is because it wears down you tooth’s enamel. The pressure of having to crush the ice with your teeth makes your enamel less than sturdy. When your enamel is chipped, it increases your chance of experiencing sensitivity when you eat and drink. Another reason why chewing ice is bad for your smile is because of the repetitive hot and cold temperatures, increasing the possibility of your having a issue with your fillings. When the filling is exposed to hot or cold temperatures, it has the capability of expanding quicker than the tooth itself, shortening the life span of your filling.

Also, another reason why you should not chew ice is because it has the ability to hurt your gums in the process! Some parts of ice can be sharp, and because your gums are so sensitive, the sharp edges of the ice can puncture, scratch, and damage your gums. Because your gums are the foundation to any healthy smile, when they are compromised, the rest of your smile is, too. So the next time you feel the urge to chew on ice, make a healthy, smile-friendly choice instead, and you won’t be sorry!

Is Your Smile Summer-Ready? Helpful Oral Health Tips for Summer

May 30th, 2014

shutterstock_98421965The temperature is on the rise and school’s letting out for summer. Everywhere you look, people are heading out to the pool, to the beach, and to summertime parties with friends and family. Make sure that your smile is ready for summer with these top tips!

Keeping Your Smile Healthy All Summer Long

While you maintain your oral health at home with daily flossing and brushing, it’s still important to visit your dentist twice per year for a thorough exam and cleaning. Summer is a great time to schedule these general dentistry checkups for kids because now they won’t have to miss school for their appointment! Also, because many popular summertime beverages contain added sugar and citric acid (think lemonade, sports drinks, sodas, and wine spritzers), it is important to rinse your mouth often with a little water after sipping on these types of drinks. Be careful not to brush for at least an hour after your last beverage, though, because the substances within them can actually cause your enamel to become temporarily more susceptible to erosion.

Perhaps you’re not comfortable with the state of your smile due to cosmetic flaws. Before summer is officially in full swing, why not treat yourself to one of the many cosmetic dentistry procedures offered at your dentist’s office? Whether you opt for professional teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, or a full smile makeover, you’ll be glad you did when you’re finally able to smile with complete confidence.

Unexpected Causes of a Dingy Smile

Naturally, you’d love it if your teeth stayed radiantly white all summer long, allowing you to show off your smile freely whenever and wherever you’d like. Unfortunately, many of the activities in which we engage during the summer season can harm our smiles, including going to the pool frequently. How can going to the pool damage your teeth? If you go swimming every day and the pH balance of a swimming pool isn’t just right, it can actually cause teeth to become yellow over the course of just a few weeks. Just remember to brush at least twice per day, or preferably after each meal!

Surprise Dad on Father’s Day with Cosmetic Dentistry!

May 14th, 2014

shutterstock_156648317Father’s Day is right around the corner and everyone’s searching for the perfect way to show Dad how much he’s loved and appreciated. What better way to share your love and affection than giving your dad or husband the gift of a handsome, flashy new smile? Today’s cosmetic dentistry options make it easy to give dad a Father’s day present that’s as unique as he is.

Cosmetic Dental Treatments for Father’s Day

Studies have shown that men are substantially less likely to smile than women, and even when they do, many tend to feel insecure about the state of their teeth. Whether it’s crooked teeth, unsightly yellowing, or a combination of multiple cosmetic flaws, your dentist can help! Professional teeth whitening can transform a stained, dingy smile in as little as an hour or over the course of a couple weeks at home, depending on the type of treatment Dad prefers. Porcelain veneers effectively erase common problems like gaps between teeth, cracks or chips in enamel, and stains that are resistant to whitening treatments.

Of course, if Dad’s smile is just fine aesthetically but could use a thorough cleaning, why not treat him to the pleasure of that unparalleled “just-from-the-dentist” clean feeling we all love so much? However you choose to celebrate your father this year, he’ll be sure to thank you for thinking of such an unexpected and unique gift.

Give the Gift that Keeps on Giving

Father’s Day is the perfect time to give the special man in your life a real reason to smile: cosmetic dentistry services that suit his lifestyle. He’ll thank you for your thoughtfulness on his special day and every time he shows off his pearly whites all year round!

How to Care for Your Smile When You’re Expecting

April 22nd, 2014

pregnancy and oral healthThe months before you welcome a new member to your family will be some of the most exciting months in your life. But those nine months also come with changes, and not just the most obvious one.

For instance, studies have shown that pregnant women are more vulnerable to gum disease than women who aren’t pregnant. Studies have also shown that there’s a link between gum disease and certain complications, like preterm birth or low-birth weight.

All of which means that if you’re currently pregnant, you need to make your oral health a priority.

It’s common for pregnant women to experience the swollen, bleeding gums associated with mild gum disease. Why? Because of the increased amount of hormones in the body. As your hormones increase, your gums become more prone to irritation from plaque, potentially leading to gingivitis.

So what steps can you take to protect your smile? Here are three to consider:

  • Pay special attention to your gumline when you brush
  • Avoid starchy or sugary foods and instead stick to a diet high in fruits and vegetables
  • Talk to your dentist about extra appointments or home care tips

As a mom-to-be, you want to give your little one the best possible start in life. Making your oral health a priority during the nine months of your pregnancy are one way you can do that. If you haven’t visited your local dentist recently, call them today to reserve an appointment. Working side-by-side with your dentist, a healthy smile during pregnancy is possible.