Dental Tips Blog

Jan
10

Could a New Health Care Plan Affect Your Dental Care?

There’s plenty of buzz about how proposed changes to health care coverage will affect the nation. Millions of people are rightly concerned about the future of their family’s medical (and dental) treatment.

Will The New Bill Affect Dental Care?

According to the Health Affairs Blog, while the Trump administration’s proposed plan would make many changes to health care, it’s not expected to impact the dental field as extensively. That’s because the current Affordable Care Act didn’t stipulate much in the way of dental care for adults.

But the previously mandatory pediatric dental benefits may change. People dependent on Medicaid dental coverage would also be significantly impacted.

What You Can Do Now

In the face of uncertainty, it doesn’t hurt to take advantage of the benefits you have right now. Don’t put off getting that aching tooth looked at. Bite the bullet and get that filling done. Make the most of any preventative dental treatments your family is entitled to.  If you currently have coverage for routine dental cleanings and checkups, it might be a good idea to get your scheduled before your coverage changes.

Talk It Out With Your Dentist

Your local dental office has probably already had many discussions with patients about potential changes to health care coverage. Plan a visit as soon as possible to find out what changes they are anticipating. The practice likely has a system in place to make payment easier on the uninsured. Ask whether any financing plans are available.

How new plans affect dental care remains to be seen. But that makes it all the more urgent to do what you can now with the resources at your disposal. Schedule a dental checkup today to get on top of your oral health.

Posted on behalf of:
Fair Lakes Family Dentistry
15103 Mason Rd, Ste. B-8
Cypress, TX 77433
(281) 973-2843

Dec
31

How Dentists Diagnose Cavities

Apparently, you have another cavity. But you don’t see anything there. You’re not entirely convinced the dentist isn’t making this up.

Before you jump to conclusions, keep in mind that a dentist is trained to pick up on tooth decay long before it turns into an ugly brown hole in your tooth.

How do dentists detect cavities? Here are a few of the main ways.

Classic Exploration

Those scary metal hooks the dentist “pokes” your teeth with are called explorers. The fine tipped instruments are very sensitive. With years of practice, your dentist can skim the tip of the tool over your tooth and notice unusually soft spots indicative of decay.

Lasers

More and more dental offices are incorporating the use of special lasers that ping back a result when they scan weakened tooth enamel. These lasers really come in handy when checking for cavities in the back teeth during your six-month dental visits.

X-Rays

Yearly x-rays are taken almost entirely because of cavities. A regular set of bitewing images helps the dentist see in-between your teeth where no one else can. Dark triangles in the enamel at the point where neighboring teeth touch mean that there is decay going on.

Dye

Some dentists use a non-toxic dye to check for signs of decay. This usually comes in handy when he or she is cleaning a cavity from a tooth and wants to make sure it’s completely gone before placing the filling.

Through routine dental cleanings and checkups, your dentist will make note of areas that are prime to develop decay and alert you to them. You will then get recommendations for treatment like fluoride or sealants to help you avoid cavities altogether. Schedule your routine dental examination today!

Posted on behalf of:
Salt Run Family Dentistry
700 Anastasia Blvd
St. Augustine, FL 32080
(904) 824-3540

Jun
28

4 New Year’s Dental Health Resolutions For Your Family

What can you do this year to boost your family’s oral health?

Making the following four resolutions your resolutions can make a big difference, even saving your family money that would otherwise be spent on dental care.

  1. Floss More

We’ve all set this as a resolution at some point (usually while we’re in the dental chair.)

Make it work for you this year by trying out new methods for flossing. Your family will probably floss more if they have easier ways to do it. Floss picks, floss threaders, and water flossers are all motivational tools.

  1. Switch To Water

Cutting out sweetened drinks in favor of drinking more water is one of the best things you can do for your health, in general.

By reducing your exposure to sugar, you significantly reduce your chance of getting cavities.

Avoid keeping soda, juice, and sports drinks in the house as everyday beverages. Save them for special occasions!

  1. Get Oral Cancer Screenings

Do you know your oral cancer risk? This disease is one of the deadliest cancers, not because it’s hard to treat, but because it usually goes unnoticed until it’s too late.

Educate your family on the seriousness of oral cancer and how to do a self-exam to check for suspicious growths.

  1. Visit The Dentist At Least Twice A Year

Make sure that every family member, including your kids, gets to see the dentist at least twice a year for a dental cleaning and checkup.

Regular visits help your dentist stay on top of your family’s dental health. You’ll also experience more preventative benefits which can postpone the need for more expensive treatment.

Make an appointment with your dentist to find out what other resolutions are right for your family.

Posted on behalf of:
Meridian Campus Family Dental
3201 Willamette DR NE
Lacey, WA 98516
(360) 200-5505

Jun
9

5 Ways to Protect Your New Smile

At long last, your smile makeover is complete, and boy, do you look good!

Next on your list of priorities is making this gorgeous investment last a long time. How can you do so? Keep the following five tips in mind as you go about your daily routine.

  1. Avoid Staining Foods

Most of your new restorations should do well with resisting stain. But your natural teeth will be just as prone to stain as ever before.

If your teeth darken because of exposure to staining foods and drinks, they’ll stand out in contrast with all your shiny white restorations.

You may need to whiten your teeth on occasion to keep them bright. Limit how often you eat things like:

  • Coffee
  • Red wine
  • Curry
  • Soda and sports drinks
  1. Wear Mouthguards For Sleep and Sports

One of the deadliest things to a new smile is trauma. Grinding your teeth in your sleep or taking a blow to the mouth during a sports game are quick ways to undo all that beautiful dental work.

  1. Wear Your Retainer

If your smile makeover included orthodontic treatment, make sure you wear your retainer as directed. This ensures that you won’t need to repeat any expensive tooth realignments.

  1. Practice Great Oral Hygiene

Keep your gums plaque-free to ward off inflammation and avoid getting any more cavities! Daily flossing is a must.

  1. Keep Your Dental Appointments

Now that your smile is “fixed,” it’s easy to forget that it won’t stay that way on its own.

Regular dental checkups and cleanings will ensure your smile makeover is still holding strong. Your dentist will alert you to potential problems so that you can fix them while they’re still small.

Posted on behalf of:
Smiles by Seese
610 Jetton St #250
Davidson, NC 28036
(704) 895-5095

Jan
30

“What’s That ‘Buzzing’ Tool My Hygienist Uses?”

All you know is that it tingles when it bumps your tongue, there’s a lot of water, and your teeth feel nice and smooth afterwards.

What is that thing?

Some people feel it’s a device that shoots out a jet of water powerful enough to blast teeth clean. Close. . . but not close enough.

Ultrasonic Powered Tooth Cleaning

You can thank ultrasonic energy for the zingy sensation. ‘Ultrasonic’ refers to sound waves that are extremely high-pitched. These sound waves generate energy.

The vibration actually comes from the metal tip which is moving back and forth too fast to see. In fact, the motions are very small. This energy helps to break up things like tartar, plaque, and stain. It’s also very effective at disrupting bacterial colonies which don’t like ultrasonic energy.

Where does the water come in?

Ultrasonic machines include a channel for water flow which helps wash away debris and cool the tip of the instrument. All that energy generates heat! That wouldn’t feel good on your teeth, at all.

Ultrasonic Scalers – The Benefits

Traditional teeth cleaning instruments are called ‘scalers’ because of the way they gently smooth the surface of teeth.

Ultrasonic scalers are electrically powered and use that special energy to break up microscopic deposits.

It’s a lot easier on everyone all around when your hygienist doesn’t have to vigorously scrape your teeth by hand. A mini power tool makes it easier for him or her to do the job and means less pressure on your mouth.

These powerful instruments have several interesting functions. Ask your hygienist about them at your next dental cleaning.

Posted on behalf of:
River Ranch Dental
203 George Hopper Rd #100
Midlothian, TX 76065
(469) 672-4245

Jan
30

Is Flossing an Outdated Oral Hygiene Practice?

Recently, the dental community was shaken up by some groundbreaking news.

A review found that there are no formal, scientific studies to date conclusively showing that individual flossing prevents oral disease.

Does this overturn everything your dentist has told you so far? No. Here’s the main reason: it’s extremely difficult to measure flossing.

The Challenge of Critiquing Floss Effectiveness

Flossing studies are limited by:

  • The number of participants
  • Dishonest participants
  • How long the study is carried out
  • Individual flossing technique

What Makes Flossing Effective

Flossing can be completely pointless if it’s not done correctly. If you ask your hygienist to show you at your next dental cleaning and checkup, you’ll learn that the action is a bit more involved than an up-down motion. Flossing also takes daily commitment to experience the benefits.

Why Should You Bother?

One thing everyone agrees on is the fact that dental plaque is responsible for cavities and gum disease. Get rid of the plaque on a daily basis and you reduce your risk for these problems.

Tooth brushing usually isn’t enough to access spots between teeth that hide bacteria. Whether you use floss, an interdental brush, a water flosser, or anything else, plaque removal is the ultimate goal.

Supplement Your Flossing Efforts

What people need to understand is that it’s not flossing in itself that’s so important.

You need to reinforce your teeth with fluoride and have them professionally cleaned twice a year or more. Special ingredients in mouthwashes and toothpaste help prevent plaque development in the first place.

The bottom line is this: flossing by itself is not the solution but it is an integral part of your preventive dental care. Ask your dentist for a professional opinion.

Posted on behalf of:
Southern Charm Dental
7119 FM 1464 #312
Richmond, TX 77407
(832) 648-3685

Aug
10

3 Myths About Dental Cleanings

Perhaps you’ve heard one or more of the following statements come from a trusted friend. Or you may have caught yourself thinking these things! Read along as three common but misguided statements about professional dental cleanings are debunked.

  1. “They’re just for looks.”

Dental cleanings do far more than just shine up your smile. They remove plaque and tartar deposits that can irritate your gums and cause oral disease. If your oral health stands to benefit from any changes, your dentist and hygienist will make personalized recommendations. Additionally, your overall health is closely connected to your oral health. Keeping your mouth healthy with regular cleanings is good for your whole body!

  1. “All that scraping is bad for your enamel.”

Scraping EVERYDAY is not good for your enamel! But the relatively small amount of abrasion from dental instruments on an infrequent basis won’t harm your teeth. All dental hygienists are trained to remove as much stain and debris as possible with the minimum amount of force. Regularly using fluoride will help to reinforce your enamel against any abrasive forces it experiences.

  1. “One or two cleanings per year is enough for me.”

Two cleanings per year should be the minimum for everyone. Your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend more, however. This could be done in an effort to keep gum disease under control. Perhaps you tend to build up tartar more quickly than most people. An extra cleaning or two a year will help you to stave off inflammation and prevent serious disease from setting in.

Don’t miss your next chance for a full cleaning and dental examination! Contact your local dentist to schedule a visit.

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. Farhan Qureshi, DDS
5206 Dawes Ave
Alexandria, VA 22311
(703) 931-4544

Jun
22

The Real Danger of Dental Plaque and How to Remove It

You hear about dental plaque all the time in advertisements for toothpaste and mouthwash. Just what is plaque, why do you need to efficiently get rid of it, and how can you do so?

Learning these answers can make all the difference in the state of your dental health.

How a Biofilm Forms

Dental plaque is a biofilm. It occurs naturally and is made up of living things. It’s essentially a combination of food debris, natural fluids produced by your mouth, and naturally occurring bacteria. Everyone has plaque! It forms within hours after brushing and is invisible until it significantly accumulates. The longer it stays undisturbed, the more harmful bacteria gather.

Plaque – Why Is It Bad?

When allowed to grow uninterrupted, the biofilm in plaque multiply and live safely within the matrix, or fluids, of the plaque. The presence of the bacteria is what triggers an inflammatory reaction in the gums.

Have you ever had a splinter in your finger? The wound gets swollen and inflamed because your body is reacting to remove the unwelcome germs. Your gums respond similarly to the bad bacteria in plaque.

This inflammation is what makes your gums puffy, sensitive, and prone to bleeding when brushed or flossed. This happens because small blood vessels in your gums have expanded. This inflammation is called gingivitis.

What You Can Do

Control plaque formation by:

  • Regular brushing and flossing
  • Use of an antimicrobial rinse
  • Having regular professional dental cleanings

Visiting your dentist is imperative to make sure your gum health is stable. If your current routine of oral care needs adjusting, then the team at your local dental office will give you the best personalized recommendations. Call your dentist today!

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David Kurtzman D.D.S.
611 Campbell Hill St. NW #101
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 980-6336

Oct
27

3,2,3…2,1,2… What Do Those “Probing” Numbers Mean?

Posted in Gum Disease

It’s that time, again. Time for us to update your periodontal chart! This means that you’ll hear your hygienist measuring your teeth and reporting the numbers found. What exactly is being measured? And what do these numbers mean?

What Is a Periodontal Chart?

A periodontal chart is a map reflecting the clinically-measurable levels of gum and bone structure that protect and support your teeth. This chart records a total of six measurements for each tooth. These measurements are updated on a regular basis to document what areas are affected by recession or gum disease and helps us decide what treatment to recommend.

How and Why Is Probing Done?

Probing is done with a periodontal probe – a tiny dental ruler marked in millimeters. This probe is gently moved around each tooth just below the gumline. The probe measures from the top of the gum-line to the base of the shallow pocket created by the healthy seal between the gums and the tooth.

The Numbers: Keys to Your Periodontal Health

This shallow pocket, or sulcus, typically measures 1-3 millimeters in health. At this depth, you can keep your gums clean with a toothbrush and floss. Multiple measurements of 4 millimeters indicate that the gums are getting puffy from inflammation. This condition is reversible and is known as gingivitis. Measurements of 5 millimeters and greater can mean that the inflammation has advanced past the gums to involve the underlying ligaments and bone. This is periodontal disease. You want lower numbers!

Now that you know what those numbers mean, you’re ready to take action to keep them low! Visit your dentist for regular professional dental cleanings and checkups on the health of your gums.

Posted on behalf of:
Grateful Dental
2000 Powers Ferry Rd SE #1
Marietta, GA 30067
(678) 593-2979

Nov
7

Floss Is Your Friend; Use It or Lose It

Isn’t brushing twice a day enough?  The answer to that question is, NO!   

The number one question dentists and hygienists ask each patient who come in for a dental cleaning is, “Do you floss”? More often than not, the patient’s answer is “No.”

It comes down to this; if you want your teeth to last a lifetime (which they are designed to do) take care of your teeth for life. A toothbrush cannot reach spaces between teeth. This is a common area for tooth decay to develop when flossing isn’t part of your oral hygiene.

It takes less than a minute to floss once a day. Factor in a couple minutes to brush twice a day. If you spend three minutes every day to properly care for your teeth, you are investing 21 minutes a week to your oral health.

Over time, plaque left in between teeth and near gums can cause inflammation. This is the first stage of gingivitis (gum disease). If gingivitis is left untreated, this could lead to periodontitis. Periodontitis damages the alveolar bone, which is where your teeth connect to your jaw. This advanced stage of periodontitis, when bone loss occurs, can lead to tooth loss.

Healthy and Simple Habits

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Chew sugar free gum.
  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash and toothpaste.
  • Change out your toothbrush every two months.
  • Brush your tongue.
  • Carry floss with you.
  • See your dentist twice per year for routine teeth cleaning and checkups.

Prevention and consistency are the lock and key for a healthy, beautiful smile for life.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Mitul Patel 

Google

Most Popular

Tori, Exostosis, and Extra Bone Formation in the Mouth

A fairly common occurrence in the mouth is the existence of extra bone development along the outside or inside of the jawline near the teeth, or in the roof of…

Difference Between Conscious and Unconscious Sedation

Sedation dentistry is a wonderful option for many people who would not or cannot tolerate dentistry in a traditional dental setting.   Many people have a fear of visiting the dentist,…

Lingual Frenectomy versus Lingual Frenuloplasty

Lingual frenectomy and lingual frenuloplasty are both dental procedures used to correct a condition called ankyloglossia. Ankylogloassia, more commonly known as ‘tied tongue’, is an abnormality of the lingual frenulum….