Dental Tips Blog

Mar
27

Going on Vacation? Get Your Teeth Checked First, Dentists Urge

When you’re making plans for a trip out of town, visiting a dentist isn’t exactly at the top of your list of priorities.

It’s not exactly reasonable to head to the dental office every time you take a roadtrip. But what if you have more serious plans in the works…say, international travel? Getting a dental checkup could be the smartest thing you do before your trip!

For one thing, it’s a pain and inconvenience to develop a toothache while you’re out of the country.

Where would you go for treatment in a dental emergency?

Who could you trust to safely repair your smile?

What about all those expensive tours and activities you booked? That dental pain won’t let you enjoy a minute of what you planned.

There’s also this thing called “barodontalgia” that’s worth considering.

Barodontalgia is tooth pain that results from a change in pressure. A previously unnoticed fracture in a tooth can suddenly explode with throbbing pain at an extremely inconvenient time. Some call this issue “tooth squeeze.”

What changes in pressure, you ask? Flying. Commercial jets fly at an altitude of around 30,000 feet.

Tooth squeeze starts to be felt at altitudes over 9,000 feet.

How does a killing toothache on a nine-hour flight sound?

If your vacation package includes scuba diving at any tropical destinations, then that can trigger a tooth issue, as well. Atmospheric pressure increases the deeper you go.

So consider this your friendly reminder to make sure your teeth are good before you head out! The point of a vacation is to forget your worries, for a while. Tooth pain will only add unwanted stress.

Schedule a dental checkup before your next exotic excursion!

Posted on behalf of:
Gilreath Dental Associates
200 White St NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 514-1224

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

9 Herbs and Spices That Are Good for Your Smile

Ready for something fresh? These nine herbs and spices are great natural sources of smile-boosting factors.

  1. Green tea. Loaded with antioxidants and an excellent natural breath-freshener, a cup of green tea every morning could do you a lot of good. Just take it without sugar so that it doesn’t become a cavity hazard.
  2. Cloves. Did you know this simple kitchen staple is the foundation for a lot of numbing agents in dentistry? You can enjoy clove’s anesthetic properties by chewing on a whole one when something in your mouth hurts.
  3. Cinnamon. Enjoy it in a hot drink, yogurt, or oatmeal every day to experience the way it can regulate blood sugar and cut down your sugar cravings. This is good for lowering your cavity risk!
  4. Fennel, 5. Cardamom, and 6. Parsley. These get grouped together as a trio of powerful breath-refreshers. Munching on them stimulates saliva flow which washes away traces of acid from your last snack.
  5. Rosemary. A tablespoon of this very average herb actually contains about 4% of your recommended daily value of calcium. Add it to a cheddar sauce over steamed broccoli for a calcium-loaded dinner.
  6. Turmeric. This spice is up-and-coming in research in terms of how powerfully beneficial it is. It lends a bright golden glow to Indian foods. Turmeric could potentially work better than the best mouthwash. Enjoy this spice in a variety of stir-fries and curries.
  7. Garlic. While this one may not be the best for breath, it is great at fighting virtually everything else. It’s best eaten raw, so try to incorporate it into salads, dressings, and sauces.

Remember, no natural herbal remedy can replace the help of your dentist so schedule a dental checkup and cleaning soon!

Posted on behalf of:
Milton Dental Specialists
13075 Hwy 9, Suite 110
Milton, GA 30004
(770) 521-2100

Dec
26

Serving Smile-Safe Summer Snacks

Tasty treats are a part of what makes summer special. But keep these healthy tips in mind so that your kids’ smiles stay in great shape and are ready to go by the start of next school year.

Get Creative!

Look to Pinterest and other online DIY articles for inspiration. It doesn’t have to take much work to up the wow-factor of some pretty basic foods. Turn plain fruits and vegetables into eye-catching displays of creativity to encourage your kids to eat them.

  • Freeze berries in ice cubes to chill a glass of water
  • Arrange sliced apples, celery, carrots, strawberries and bananas to form a smiley face or make food look more appealing
  • Sneakily swap whole grain bread for the white in French toast
  • Offer whole grain tortilla chips as a snack with a few healthy dip options like hummus or low-fat yogurt.

Check Ingredients

Even products that you would never consider a sweet or dessert often have some added sweetener to enhance flavor (i.e., sliced deli meat, pasta sauces). High-fructose corn syrup is a major culprit of obesity, digestive problems, and tooth decay but it’s the number one sweetener out there.

Be careful when selecting carbs like pretzels, crackers, and breads which often contain lots of sweeteners. Get smart about checking the ingredients, and you can serve your family with peace of mind.

Encourage Balance

You want to be a cool parent who lets their kids enjoy traditional summer treats. But balance is necessary. Make sure your kids are fueling up on necessary nutrients, not just freezer waffles all day. Encourage munching on calcium-rich snacks like cheese slices and sugar-free yogurt to support strong teeth.

Also, don’t forget to visit your dentist.  Summer is a great time to schedule your kid’s dental cleanings and checkups and taking care of any dental issues before the school year starts.

Posted on behalf of:
Huebner Smiles Dentistry and Orthodontics
12055 Vance Jackson Rd #103
San Antonio, TX 78230
(210) 625-7056

Jun
4

Could Chocolate Be Good for Your Smile?

In spite of its sugar, caffeine, and fat content, chocolate is receiving more attention for its ability to ward off dental disease.

Why Candy Is Bad For Teeth

All of those simple carbohydrates are very acidic to tooth enamel, to begin with. Throw in the fact that these carbs help power acid-producing bacteria to do their dirty work, and you’ve got a recipe for cavities.

Worst of all are candies that stick to teeth for a long time or that you suck on slowly over the course of an hour or so.

What’s In Chocolate?

If you’ve got to have your sweets, chocolate is a good choice. It melts quickly, so it doesn’t leave behind too much residue that can cause enamel erosion.

Even better is the fact that chocolate contains some key ingredients that can give your smile a healthful boost:

  • Antioxidants – can help fight gum disease
  • Polyphenols – natural chemicals that limit the effects of harmful bacteria
  • Epicatechin – a flavonoid that helps slow tooth decay
  • Tannins – plant compounds which prevent bacteria from sticking to teeth

Smile-Healthy Chocolate Habit

This isn’t to say you can just munch on a chocolate bar in place of brushing your teeth. You still need to maintain a steady routine of flossing, rinsing, and wielding a toothbrush.

To get the fullest benefits from chocolate, choose a kind that’s as dark as possible; at least 70% cocoa is ideal. You still need to eat it in moderation.

Don’t forget to keep your regular dental appointments for checkups and professional cleanings. Your dentist will let you know whether your chocolate addiction is helping or harming your smile!

Posted on behalf of:
Rolling Hills Dentistry
53 North Street
Danbury, CT 06810
(203) 743-0783

Jan
9

What Happens During A Dental Cleaning

An hour might seem like a long time to clean your teeth when brushing takes only two minutes. You’ve been going to the same office for years – why can’t they make this any faster?

Well, not all of the appointment is cleaning, but it IS all important.

Getting Ready

Before your hygienist can start working on your teeth, he or she needs to review your health history. You’ll be asked all sorts of questions about any changes in your health or medications. You might not realize that some changes can make it unsafe to have dental treatment. The hygienist wants to make sure you’re ready for any procedure scheduled that day.

Checking the Teeth

Your dental hygienist is going to “poke around” at your teeth for a minute. He or she will probably ask questions as they do so. They’re just looking for changes in your smile such as:

  • Signs of fracture and decay
  • How the gums look
  • Tooth wear
  • Damage to fillings and restorations

You might need some diagnostic imaging with x-rays or cavity-detecting lasers. This is how dental professionals get an initial idea of what’s going on with your smile.

The Actual Cleaning

Depending on what your teeth need, you might experience:

  • Scaling with hand instruments
  • Ultrasonic scaling and irrigation
  • Polishing
  • Flossing
  • Rinsing

This part can take more or less time depending on how many teeth you have and how much buildup is on them.

A basic teeth cleaning appointment varies by office, hygienist, and your individual needs. But one thing is for sure: dental cleanings are important! Contact your local dental office to schedule yours every six months.

Posted on behalf of:
Mundo Dentistry
3463 US-21 #101
Fort Mill, SC 29715
(704) 825-2018

Sep
9

Ditch the Sports Drinks

If you take a look around the gym, your kid’s sporting activities, or a professional sports ring, you’ll likely see people drinking plenty of sports drinks. We’ve been told they rehydrate us better, make us stronger, and improve our performance. But what a lot of people don’t know, is that they aren’t much more effective than water and that they even cause tooth decay! That’s right, even the healthiest of athletes with great diets and activity levels can have just as many cavities as people who enjoy sodas because of the effects that sports drinks have on their teeth.

Why is this? Sports drinks contain natural or artificial sweeteners that convert to acids once they are in your mouth. That’s the body’s way of digesting them. Since it’s in a liquid form, these acids can coat all of the surface areas of the teeth…especially areas between the teeth and in the deep grooves and pits on the chewing surfaces. Most athletes will drink their sports drinks over an extended period of time, allowing the acids to have a longer contact time (and more destruction) on the enamel.

What can you do instead? If you’re going to drink a sports drink, try to have it all at once and then immediately rinse your mouth out with water. Or better yet, just keep water with you. Water contains fluoride, so it helps strengthen your teeth as it rinses away bacteria in your mouth. If you’re breathing through your mouth (as many athletes do), water helps prevent dry teeth, which are more susceptible to tooth decay. Water is cheaper, has zero calories, and rehydrates you exactly the way nature intended.

If you’re an athlete, it’s important to get your routine dental cleanings and checkups to make sure your sporting habits haven’t actually done anything to your smile!

Posted on behalf of Grateful Dental

Google

Apr
25

Bi-annual Dental Check ups

Every person should have a local dentist that he or she goes to for bi-annual dental cleaning and check ups. Bi-annual dental visits help to ensure that the teeth, gums, and entire mouth are healthy and clean. Without bi-annual visits to the dentist, small issues can develop into serious problems that affect a person’s oral health as well as the rest of the body. Keeping regularly scheduled dental check ups allow for the mouth to be thoroughly cleaned, thus drastically reducing the chance of oral health problems arising.

The standard recommendation is that everyone should visit the dentist twice a year for check ups and cleanings. That is typically four hours out of the entire year for people to work into their busy schedules. While this may seem very easy to do, many people cancel their appointments and reschedule them multiple times throughout the year. But keeping dental appointments is very important.

Not only does the dentist or dental hygienist thoroughly clean the mouth of plaque and tartar, but it gives him/her the opportunity to see if there are any issues that have made an appearance. By visiting the dentist on a regular bi-annual basis, oral issues such as gingivitis, oral cancer, a cracked filling, etc. can be treated right away before serious results occur. People who have any medical issues that are found in an early stage are much more likely to fully recover.

Before you decide to put off your next dental visit, think again. Your bi-annual dental check up is a vital part of your overall health management plan. Taking care of your mouth promotes a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Mansouri, Lawrenceville Family Dental Care, P.C.

Google

Jan
17

Best Practices for Dental Hygiene

Most people assume that dental hygiene is complicated. They just accept that you go once or twice a year and typically you will get a cavity or two. Maybe even have the start to gum disease or other issues. However, dental hygiene isn’t complicated. It does take some work. But once it’s in your normal routine you will be good to go.

Gum disease, cavities, mouth sores, etc. – they all can be avoided with good dental hygiene. So – what’s that all about? Well – it’s simple. It comes down to 3 best practices:

  • Brush/floss your teeth:  When it comes to brushing – it’s not just a simple brush either. Really brush your teeth completely. Covering every area of your mouth. Typically a good tooth brushing takes about 3-4 minutes. Last but not least, brush your tongue before you finish. You need to brush/floss at least 2 times per day.
  • Routine dental appointments: These routine dental checkups are important because they can discover problem areas before the areas get worse. Also, the dental hygienist will clean your teeth very well and remove any plaque build-up. These dental appointments should happen at least twice per year.
  • Maintain a healthy diet: Eating healthy foods like fruits and vegetables as well as drinking lots of water help your teeth to be strong. Your body will likely have higher immune system as well. This will help your gums fight against infection as well.

And that’s it – just three easy things to remember. Brush and floss your teeth, keep routine dental appointments, and maintain a healthy diet. With those three steps you will have a happy oral health, which means a happier you!

Posted on behalf of Randy Muccioli

Google

Jul
4

How Often Should I Have My Teeth Cleaned?

Dentists and hygienists typically recommend having your teeth cleaned every 6 months, but for some people this may be less (or more) frequent than what they personally need. Oral hygiene maintenance is assessed on an individual level at every dental appointment, but 6-month recare visits are typically what the majority of dental patients need.

Why have recare visits on a frequent basis? Because everyone develops plaque and tartar buildup. Tartar is calcified bacteria that deposits itself on the tooth and the roots of teeth below the gums. If left in place, this bacterium causes an immune response in the body to target and destroy the area of infection. As a result, supporting gum tissues and bone are destroyed. Over time this becomes so severe that teeth become mobile and fall out. By maintaining low levels of bacteria and tartar through frequent dental cleanings, patients can avoid the risk of developing periodontal disease.

More frequent visits are needed for patients that suffer from active gum disease, have had a history of periodontal disease, or that just build up larger amounts of tartar than other people do. Frequent removal of calcified bacteria is essential to prevent the recurrence of dental disease. In some rare cases, certain patients have such exceptional oral hygiene and naturally limited tartar buildup that they may only see the dentist once a year for cleanings, but we stress that this is not typical.

If it’s been years since your last cleaning, don’t worry. Your dentist and hygienist see patients like this on a regular basis. It’s never too late to have a healthy smile.

Posted on behalf of Dan Myers

Google

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