Top 5 Questions You Should Ask When Coming to See Us

Every dental visit presents an opportunity to talk about your oral health and ways of learning how to effectively care for your set of whites.

Not only is it a great moment to learn more about your dental condition, but is also a good way to avert problems that you might possibly encounter in the long run. Here are some questions to ask your dentist when you come in for a visit:

What You Can Do to Improve Your Oral Health

There are many possible questions you can ask, but the most important question is to learn how to properly care for your teeth. Your dentist will advise you on effective ways of brushing the teeth after every meal and the importance of flossing. Asking questions like those below will help you fully understand dental hygiene, which is a precursor to having a healthy set of teeth.

  • How often do I need to brush or floss my teeth?
  • When do you need to increase or decrease your fluoride intake?
  • How often should I visit my dentist?

Tooth Maintenance and Dental Visit Schedules

Not everyone has the same health needs, so it is important for you to discuss your dental needs and how often you should visit your dentist. Depending on your oral health status, your family dentist will recommend the appropriate times you should visit and how often you should have a maintenance schedule. This allows you to have a customized plan, including your office visits and home care. Some questions you might possibly ask include:

  • What’s my overall dental health status?
  • How often should I come in for a dental care and maintenance checkup?

Asking your dentist of any dental concerns you might have will help you understand oral health better. If you want more information and how to approach your dentist regarding your concerns, simply give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.

 

Times Where You Need to Carefully Clean Your Tongue

The tongue is one of the most important parts of our mouths. The tongue is what gives you the sense of taste, and tasting delicious food is one of the most pleasurable sensations that are available for anybody. But other than giving us the feeling of taste, the tongue also plays an important part in every person’s dental health.

The tongue is actually the first body organ that kick-starts your digestive system. It gives off saliva that will slowly break down the food and make helps the mouth chew on it.

The food then travels down to our stomach where the saliva helps the process of converting those foods to useful cells and particles for our body to use.

The Importance of Cleaning Your Tongue Properly

Since the tongue, by nature of its location and use, is one of the first body parts that touches any food or beverage that comes into your mouth, it is normal to have a number of bacteria or even food specks to remain on the surface of your tongue. Since it is made up of muscles, the tongue can be easily irritated, and you will notice some white spots or even feel soreness.

When should you clean your tongue carefully? All the time! However, proper attention should be given when you have the colds or if you can feel halitosis, or bad breath. Also, if you notice that you are getting quite a lot of white spots, please brush your tongue, but this time longer but lesser force. You do not want to have a ruptured or irritated tongue, as it is painful.

If you are feeling discomfort with or having a swollen tongue, please visit us so that the problem will not be aggravated. Any complications to your tongue is a serious issue, and we want to help you take care of your dental needs. Schedule an appointment with us and let us help you.

Are Your Allergies Worse Because of Poor Oral Health?

Can your allergies get worse because you are not practicing proper dental hygiene? When allergy season is in full swing, they may, in fact, be worse because you haven’t been brushing or flossing or even going to the dentist as you should be.

Here are some things to look for when it comes to seasonal allergies and oral health.

Tooth Pain

Sinus pain can cause tooth pain and vice-versa. When not brushing and flossing, seeing a dentist regularly, or even using a good mouthwash, this can cause tooth pain, and they can cause your sinuses to act up. Your nose, ears, and throat are connected so if something happens to one; something is going to happen to the other as well.

The Connection Between Dry Mouth and Cavities

There is a link between dry mouth and cavities. One can cause the other and vice-versa. Once you have a dry mouth because of allergies, from breathing through your mouth, this can in turn cause cavities to form.

Sore Throat

If you have a sore throat because of allergies, this can then cause problems with your oral health. You will not feel like brushing your teeth or using mouthwash. You will not feel like flossing either. Because you do not feel like doing these things, they can cause problems with your oral health.

The Importance of Seeing a Dentist and a Family Doctor

It is important to see both types of doctors when you are sick. One can treat your illness while the other one can treat the problems caused by your oral health because of the disease. You may not feel like going to see either one, but you really should so you can start to feel better.

Contact us for more information on the link between poor oral health and allergies. We will be happy to give you the information you need on all of this.

 

 

 

First Signs of Wisdom Tooth Decay to Pay Attention To

Wisdom teeth appear between the ages of 17 to 25 and unless something is wrong with them, people barely notice that they are coming out. Unfortunately, problems with wisdom teeth are very common considering its location and limited gum space.

One of the most common wisdom tooth complications is tooth decay because it is usually difficult to reach wisdom teeth while brushing, which means dental plaque remains on the teeth for a long time.

If you experience pain at the back part of your gums or notice that your breath is bad, it is best that you see us immediately for a dental examination.

How to Address Wisdom Tooth Decay

Wisdom tooth decay can be addressed in two ways depending on the situation. For one it can be repaired like ordinary teeth by using dental fillings, provided that the wisdom tooth is readily accessible, fully exposed, and the cavities or level of decay is relatively small. If that is not the case, the only option would be extraction.

In the majority of cases, wisdom tooth extraction is the better option rather than tooth restoration or repair. If you have trouble reaching the wisdom tooth when you brush your teeth, then it is most likely difficult to access with dental instruments as well.

It is important to note also that even though the wisdom tooth can be repaired using dental filling, it would still be difficult to keep it plaque-free considering its location. Hence, the chance of recurrent decay is very high. Considering all these things, extraction appears to be a more practical and sensible option.

Call us to set an appointment today so we can carefully examine the condition of your wisdom teeth and discuss with you the available options on how to prevent wisdom teeth problems and other oral health issues as well.

After Acidic Foods and Drinks, How Long Should You Wait to Brush?

Brushing teeth after eating is good and for all reasons you may think of such as cleaning bacteria and doing away with food particles that may contribute to the growth of bacteria and formation of plaque. There is nothing wrong with brushing your teeth after eating, but it will depend on what you have eaten.

Things are a little different if you are taking acid foods. You may want to know when to brush if you are taking such acidic foods or drinks.

What Happens When You Eat Acidic Foods?

If you take sugary or acidic foods and drinks, they tend to soften the enamel. If you brush right after you have taken these foods and drinks, it may not be good for you. Brushing after taking sugary or acidic snacks or drinks abrades your tooth structure. A soft enamel due to acids will wear out easily when brushing.

The American Dental Association points out that if your teeth are repeatedly exposed to phosphoric acid that’s present in soft drinks, it can contribute to erosion of the hard tissue or the enamel. This can result in permanent damage to the teeth.

How Long Should You Wait?

When you have eaten foods containing acidic substance or sugars, you may want to allow the acids to be dissolved. It is advisable you wait for about 30 minutes or so to brush your teeth. During this time, the acids will be diluted and washed away by the saliva or the water you take after a meal. That’s why it is important to drink a glass of water, soon you finish eating so that it can help wash away the acids.

That said, there are alternatives to waiting to brush the teeth once you have taken sugary or acidic drinks and foods. You can try eating foods low in sugar and carbohydrates after you have taken something acidic. When you do this, it helps reduce the damaging acids, which are created by such foods.

Contact our office to discuss about your oral care and health. We can help you keep a healthy smile by ensuring the right oral care and treatment.

 

 

 

Educating Yourself Can Ease Dental Anxiety

Dental anxiety or fear of going to the dentist is a very common phenomenon among people of various age group, race, or background.

In the United States alone, it is estimated that 15% of Americans suffer from this condition. While the causes for fearing the dentist are quite varied, most of them actually stems from fear of the unknown.

Assuming the worst without any valid basis can trigger anxiety, which is why you should try to learn more about the dental procedure you need to undergo to beat nervousness since knowledge gives you power. Educating yourself helps you to be mentally and physically prepared, thereby easing the unreasonable fear.

Other Ways to Cope with Dental Anxiety

There are several ways on how to cope with dental anxiety apart from arming yourself with loads of information, so you know what to expect. For one, you can come visit us first and see how we deal with our patients.

Have a look around, chat with our receptionist, and ask us questions. Feel free to share your thoughts and what you are most anxious about when you think about dental examinations or checkups. This way we can rationally and objectively address what you are anxious about.

Secondly, you can also come to your appointment with your friend, so you have someone you trust to support and be with you during the whole time. You can also bring your earphone and listen to music while we check your teeth to keep your focus off your fear towards something that you perceive to be more enjoyable.

You can also suggest for us to take breaks if you feel overwhelmed or to come up with hand signals, so you can still communicate what you want even when you are unable to talk during a dental procedure.

Whatever it is, we are here to help you not only with your oral health needs, but for you to appreciate the benefits of paying us a regular visit as well.

Dental Myths No 2

Thinking about Dental mythsThrough the many years of practicing dentistry I have heard many patients repeat the following dental myths and quotes. Some of these I hear almost on a daily basis from well-meaning patients who struggle to make sense of all the information that is presented to them. This is the second of a five-part series on common dental myths. Read them and hopefully you will learn from them.  They will help you make better decisions in the future.

6-White tooth colored fillings don’t last as long as silver. Properly placed tooth colored composite fillings can outlast silver fillings. Composite fillings can truly be restorations that will strengthen teeth through bonding and don’t expand like silver amalgams which often crack teeth. In addition bonded composite restorations don’t contain mercury like dental amalgams. Mercury is toxic to the body so avoid it if you can.

7- Denture wearers have no need to see a dentist. People with dentures benefit from seeing a dentist to evaluate the fit of their dentures. There is a 2 billion dollar a year market for dental adhesives in the US for a reason- lots of ill fitting dentures.   Patients with dentures often have yeast infections and soft tissue lesions. See a dentist even you don’t have teeth. They will also check your mouth for oral cancer during this exam.

8-Root Canals don’t work, teeth are lost anyway. A properly done root canal combined with a proper restoration can and will often last a lifetime. The success of root canals done by a competent dentist should be in the high 90% range. If most of your root canals fail then I suggest you change dentists.

9-Bad teeth run in my family. Bad teeth may run in families but not for the reason you think. People blame genetics for bad teeth, The reality is that most bad teeth are the result of poor habits. A lack of brushing , flossing and a lack of regular visits to the dentist. It is even possible that everyone was just seeing the same old time dentist. Tooth decay and gum disease are the result of food and bacteria (plaque) sitting on teeth. Remove the plaque and you lessen the chance of decay. Fix problems when they are small and you keep your teeth for a lifetime.

10-Tooth whitening destroys enamel- Teeth are strong, whitening is safe as long as it is monitored by a professional. I’ve had patients who tried this on their own with over the counter products and have seen some nasty burns. Crest white strips are safe and work for some but see your dentist for a more effective solution.

Hope you enjoyed these. There are more to follow. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Keep Smiling LI…

 

 

 

Are You Forgetting to Brush the Roof of Your Mouth?

woman getting ready to brush her mouthThis is a typical dental hygiene routine for most people. They brush their teeth what they believe to be long enough, sometimes brush their tongue, and rinse their toothbrush. When they have time, they make sure to floss and then rinse with mouthwash.

Then, the person goes on about their day believing they did enough to keep their mouth healthy and clean. There are actually a few things wrong with this scenario.

How to Properly Care for Your Mouth

First, you need to make sure you are brushing for the full two minutes. Shorting your brushing time is not good, just like brushing too long can be a problem, too. Second, you should always brush your tongue each time you brush your teeth.

This simple move can cut down on how many bacteria you have floating around your mouth at any given moment. Finally, you need to make sure that you also brush all of the surfaces of your mouth before you go to rinsing your toothbrush.

This should include the insides of your cheeks, the outside of your jaws, and the roof of your mouth. The more of these surfaces that you miss, the more bacteria get left in your mouth to cause trouble.

You should also make sure to floss your mouth at least once every single day, and always use mouthwash after flossing to ensure you get anti-microbial agents where you just removed debris from flossing.Brushing before bedtime is best.  Call our office today to find out more about if you are brushing properly or not.

We will examine your entire mouth and look for any signs that you may be missing areas of your mouth with your toothbrush. If you are missing places, we will help you correct any damage there may be, and restore your oral health.

How Mouth Guards Can Benefit Your Oral Health

Oral hygiene is so important. We only get two sets of teeth, and we don’t have the first set for very long. Our adult teeth can literally last a lifetime if taken care of. Some people cringe at the thought of dentures or other dental procedures required to replace teeth.

They good news is there is a way that we can protect our teeth. You can get yourself a mouth guard. Let’s go over the reasons to consider one.

Why Should You Get a Mouth Guard?

Anyone can have a mouth guard. It should be placed in your mouth after taking out any removable pieces like a retainer or bridges. A mouth guard is used to protect your teeth. People that play sports usually use a mouth guard. Mouth guards are designed, when fitted properly, to absorb impact away from your teeth and jaw.

They do have guards you can buy at sporting goods stores and pharmacies, but the are most likely going to be big and bulky and could even fall out. I have seen the boil and bite mouth guards shift teeth and create spaces between teeth.  It’s best to have us fit one for you. This one will be the safest for you to use and will protect the best from fracturing or losing teeth.

They can also be used to protect your teeth at night while you sleep. Many people are guilty of grinding their teeth at night. Grinding teeth can wear them down over time and cause problems for you. It can lead to sensitivity or dental procedures. If you have had procedures like braces or bridge work, we are able to fit you with a mouth guard.

We will take a mold of your mouth using our 3D iTero scanner so it’s the right fit just for you. You will want to bring your mouth guard with you to follow up visits so we can examine it. We will make sure it still fits correctly and check it over for wear.

Keeping your teeth in good shape is definitely a benefit to your oral health. When teeth chip, break, or fall out, that can lead to numerous problems. Reach out to us if you have any oral problems. We can help!

Please contact us if you have any questions.

Dental Myths One

Dental Myths One

Thinking about Dental mythsThrough the many years of practicing dentistry I have heard many patients repeat the following dental myths and quotes. Some of these I hear almost on a daily basis from well-meaning patients who struggle to make sense of all the information that is presented to them. This is the first of a five-part series on common dental myths. Read them and hopefully you will learn from them.  They will help you make better decisions in the future.

Cavities Hurt

1-Cavities hurt. MAYBE. How can I have a cavity if I don’t have any pain? Cavities hurt only they get deep enough to affect the nerve within the tooth. This point is well past the point when the cavity should be repaired. Small cavities mean quick, easy, lest costly and more predictable fixes. If you wait till you have tooth pain you will ultimately wind up with either a root canal or extraction. Don’t wail till your teeth hurt. Regular visits to the dentist will help you avoid painful teeth. When cavities are caught early they can often be treated without any anesthetics and be still restored pain-free!

Bleeding Gums are OK

2-Bleeding gums are OK. NOT! When I graduated from  dental school I worked for a dentist who told his patients to brush their teeth until their gums bled. Unfortunately for his patients most of them wound up in full dentures. If you cleaned any other part of your body and it bled you would be concerned. Gums shouldn’t bleed if they do you have gum disease! Gums bleed as a result of inflammation. Inflammation has been linked to systemic illness. Through this process gum disease has been linked to heart disease, diabetes and even cancer. Gum disease also cause tooth loss. More teeth are lost to gum disease then decay. So…bleeding gums are not OK!

You Lose Your Teeth as You Age

3- As you get older you lose teeth. NOT. You can and should keep all of your teeth until the end. In the early 1960s even some dentists believed this-now we know this is definitely not the case. Fix your small dental problems and you wont have big ones. This is important as longevity has been linked to tooth loss. Lose your teeth and the quality and quantity of your life will be affected. If you are interested, here is a link to an article on the subject.

Pregnancy Causes Tooth Loss

4-Pregnancy will cause tooth loss. NOT. Pregnant women can keep their teeth and gums healthy by keeping up with their regular dental visits. They can even get any needed dentistry done in the second trimester. Dental cleaning during a pregnancy will help prevent pregnancy gingivitis (swollen, bleeding  gums during pregnancy). Gum disease has been linked to low birth weight babies, so get your teeth cleaned!

You Need to See Your Dentist Twice a Year

5-You need to see your dentist twice a year. MAYBE. This idea started with a Pepsodent toothpaste commercial years ago. For some people twice a year works, but many patients need to see their dentist/hygienist up to four times a year.

Keep an eye out for our next post of more dental myths. You can subscribe to our blog as well. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment please call us today. Keeping your teeth looking great and lasting a lifetime shouldn’t be a problem for you or your dentist.

Keep Smiling LI…