Dental Tips Blog

Apr
22

4 Reasons Your Dentist Wants You to Floss Daily

Flossing isn’t a “dentist thing.” It’s a health thing. Here are four reasons your dentist is hammering the flossing issue.

  1. Your cleaning appointments will be easier for you.

Daily flossing reduces buildup between teeth. If you don’t floss, you’re more likely to develop tartar, or calculus, deposits.

These rock-like formations can only be removed during a professional dental cleaning. The bigger and tougher the calculus deposits, the more your dentist or hygienist will have to work at removing them. That doesn’t make for a very pleasant cleaning session.

  1. Flossing could lower your risk for heart problems.

Along with tartar, bacteria also like to hide out between teeth. Certain germs are responsible for triggering gum inflammation.

If bacteria cause inflammation in your gums, then they can travel in your bloodstream and affect parts of your arteries. This could potentially cause a dangerous blood clot.

Preventative flossing disrupts those bacteria, lowering your risk for gum disease, and thereby reducing your risk for other serious complications.

  1. Your cavity risk will go down.

Any little bit you do to disturb bacteria between your teeth is going to keep the cavity-causing germs from wearing away enamel. Besides that, flossing removes food debris that your toothbrush misses. Those leftover bits could contain acids that only erode enamel further.

  1. You’ll have better breath.

Bacteria and leftover food get lodged between teeth. It’s just a fact: the more buildup between teeth, the more you’ll smell.

Flossing to keep your breath fresh isn’t just a courtesy to your dentist when he or she checks your teeth. Others around you will thank you, as well!

Schedule a dental checkup to get some tips on easier flossing.

Posted on behalf of:
ConfiDenT
11550 Webb Bridge Way, Suite 1
Alpharetta, GA 30005
(770) 772-0994

Mar
6

4 Reasons to Schedule that Dental Check Up Right Now

It’s time to stop putting it off. Here are four reasons to pick up the phone in the next five minutes and call your dentist for a visit.

  1. You Have the Time.

Given the choice, which would you prefer?

A.) Have a routine dental cleaning and checkup at your convenience

B.) Use up a sick day at work to call in for an emergency root canal

Surprisingly, most people somehow make time for option B.

It’s simple, really. Get it over with so that you can stay more in control of your life.

  1. Your Health Depends on It.

Many a routine dental visit has revealed health problems patients never knew they had. Your mouth is connected to the rest of your body. Dentists know what is and isn’t normal in the oral environment. A simple dental examination could uncover early signs that you should see your doctor.

  1. You Can Take Advantage of Your Insurance Benefits.

Insurance benefits usually reset at the start of the new year. If you have a dental checkup now, you can get a good idea of what your oral health priorities are. Your dentist will help you create a to-do list that suits your schedule and budget and lets you strategically maximize your benefits right through the end of December.

  1. You Just Never Know What’s Lurking Beneath the Surface.

A lot of dental issues can be kept manageable (and affordable) just by catching them early enough. Routine x-rays, examinations, screenings, and preventative treatments will keep you on top of your oral health and minimize any unpleasant surprises.

So what are you waiting for? Contact a dental office near you today.

Posted on behalf of:
Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
1820 The Exchange SE #600
Atlanta, GA 30339
(770) 953-1752

Feb
11

Have You Been To The Dentist Recently?

When was the last time you visited the dentist? If you’re keeping up with your cleanings and exams, it was probably less than six months ago, which is fantastic.

Unfortunately, not everyone stays on schedule to visit the dentist twice a year. Some people have a change in insurance or a family emergency that causes the need to reschedule. But we also know there are many people who simply don’t book their dental exams or preventive cleanings due to anxiety.

New Techniques for a New Age

Modern dental practices have moved far beyond the black and white mental picture that makes you so anxious. The chairs are comfortable. The anesthetic really works, so you shouldn’t feel anything at all. Your dentist does everything possible to help you relax and feel comfortable, whether it’s by having movies to watch, a blanket to stay warm in, or the chance to listen to your own music and tune out everything else. But more importantly, your dentist also offers sedation dentistry.

There are two forms of sedation that most dentists offer to patients with heightened feelings of trepidation: Oral Conscious Sedation and Nitrous Oxide. You might be familiar with Nitrous Oxide, or “laughing gas.” Inhaling it allows you to remain aware of your environment, but without the edgy nervousness that dental anxiety can provoke. Oral Conscious Sedation comes in pill form that’s taken about 30 minutes prior to treatment. The pill, a light sedative, allows you to remain conscious, but feel like you are taking a light nap. You probably won’t even remember the appointment afterwards!

Your six months dental cleanings and any necessary dental treatments are a big part of staying healthy. Contact your dentist to find out if sedation dentistry is right for you!

Posted on behalf of:
Park South Dentistry
30 Central Park S #13C
New York, NY 10019
(212) 355-2000

Dec
19

5 Foods You May Not Realize Are Destroying Your Enamel

Tooth enamel is one of the hardest substances in the body. Yet, it can be gradually worn away by the most surprising things. Foods with acid in them can cause enamel to thin out, making it prone to sensitivity and decay.

Coffee

Java, joe, hot, or cold, call it what you want and take it how you want. Coffee is right up there on the list of acidic foods and there’s a lot of it out there!

Tomato Sauce

Pasta-lovers, be warned! Fresh or simmered into a sauce, tomatoes find their way into our diet in manifold ways. They’re also highly acidic. Take a break from the ketchup, pizza, and spaghetti once in a while and give your enamel a break!

Bagels

What’s so acidic about a bagel? This one’s on the list to remind you that simple sugary carbohydrates are actually harmful to enamel. Doughy products like bagels are apt to stick in and around your teeth long after you eat them.

Citrus Fruits

High in vitamin C, these fruits are great for your health. Eaten straight-up too often, however, they will leave a mark on your teeth.

Vinegar

At this point, you’re not surprised to see tangy acidic vinegar on the list. But you should stop from time to time to check and see just how often this enamel-eating substance winds up on your plate. Vinegar is present in bottled sauces, marinades, dressings, pickles, and more.

Enjoy acidic foods in moderation. Pair them with less-acidic foods and rinse well with water after a meal. Visit your dentist often for routine dental checkups and cleanings to make sure your teeth are holding up against the effects of acid in your diet.

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

Dec
12

Will Calcium on My Teeth Cause Cavities?

Two dental cleanings and exams a year are usually enough to help you avoid a heavy buildup of tartar —  or calcium deposits — on your teeth. Besides the fact that buildup looks unsightly, there are some health reasons for getting it removed on a regular basis.

You might be surprised to learn that cavities have nothing to do with it.

What Is That Calcium?

The mixture is actually bacteria that are calcified (hardened) into a cement-like substance with minerals found in your saliva. Calcium phosphate, to be precise. This conglomerate debris is more technically called “calculus” in the dental setting. You might know it as tartar.

You can’t necessarily control the rate at which you form calculus. But you have some control over how heavily it develops. Frequent brushing and flossing will remove that plaque before it has time to harden and calcify.

How Calculus Affects Teeth

Once a layer of calculus forms on tooth enamel, not much can happen to the tooth. The cavity-causing bacteria inside calculus are dead and immobile so they won’t be able to produce acids that wear away teeth.

Even though tartar does not cause cavities, it can seriously irritate your gums. The rough texture of calcified bacteria provides the perfect hiding place for living colonies of bacteria. The kind that cause problems like gingivitis and periodontitis.

So those biannual teeth cleanings don’t just keep your smile sparkling. They help you avoid a buildup of calculus that can negatively impact your gum health. Without professional cleanings, your gums can develop an infection that results in losing your teeth themselves.

Do yourself, your teeth, your gums, everyone a favor by visiting your dentist regularly to remove that “tartar!”

Posted on behalf of:
Heritage Dental
23945 Franz Rd Suite A
Katy, TX 77493
(832) 709-2429

Nov
29

Getting More Out of Your Dental Insurance

Love it or leave it, your dental insurance can help you keep your teeth strong and disease free for life. Even if you have chronic tooth problems, taking advantage of all of your insurance benefits can help you reduce how much you pay for treatments over time, and cut your number of dental appointments down in the future.

Try these tips:

Maximize Your Preventive Benefits

The #1 rule when it comes to keeping teeth healthy is prevention, prevention, prevention. See your dentist twice a year for a dental checkup, cleaning, and any recommended x-rays. Ask if your plan covers add-ons like fluoride or sealants, which can block out cavities before they ever have a chance to start.

Ask. Don’t Assume

Depending on the type of policy you carry, it’s ok to see a dentist that’s not in your insurance network. Your company may tell you that it “could be more expensive” but until you crunch the numbers, there’s no way to be certain. Get an estimate from your favorite dentist to see if you can still keep going to their office like you always have.

Get Alternative Treatment Options

Let’s say your dentist recommends a specific procedure (it’s what they would want on their own tooth, after all,) but your insurance company says it isn’t covered. Instead of skipping out on the treatment altogether, ask your dentist if there’s another alternative that they might suggest. The 2nd option may have better coverage and reimbursement from your insurance policy.

Talk to your dentist today about finally getting your dental needs under wraps. The earlier you treat them, the more affordable they will be!

Posted on behalf of:
Muccioli Dental
6300 Hospital Pkwy # 275
Johns Creek, GA 30097
(678) 389-9955

May
25

How Much Time Do You Spend on Your Oral Hygiene Routine?

Good oral hygiene between routine dental exams and cleanings will help your teeth and gums stay healthy.  It’s actually not enough to just scrub a brush in some toothpaste bubbles for a few seconds. You need to invest a little more time in your routine to get the full benefit.

Is Your Brushing Worth Your Time?

Dentists generally agree that you should be brushing a solid two minutes to get any real benefit from the activity.

Dental plaque is made up of bacteria that coat themselves in a protective slime layer. This means that they can’t be killed off with toothpaste or mouthwash the way hand sanitizer kills germs on our hands.

It takes a little time to physically displace these germs which cause bad breath, gum disease, and cavities. A toothbrush is your best tool for removing the majority of bacteria.

When brushing, make sure you hit all the important areas:

  • Chewing surfaces
  • Inner gum line
  • Outer gum line
  • Backs of the last teeth in each arch

It takes a little time to make sure your brush is accessing all of these areas for a thorough plaque removal!

That’s Not All, Folks . . .

If your dentist recommends that you use a mouthwash, make sure you do that the right way, too. A strong fluoride rinse usually needs one minute to deliver the most benefit to your teeth. A lot of anti-plaque rinses require a solid 30-second swish.

Don’t forget the flossing! At least once a day make sure you run something between your teeth where a brush can’t reach. The time needed for this will vary from person-to-person, so check with your dentist about the routine that’s right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Pleasant Plains Dental
5850 W Hwy 74 #135
Indian Trail, NC 28079
(704) 815-5513

Jan
27

How to Make the Most of Your Dental Benefits Before the End of the Year

Posted in Dental Costs

As this year comes to an end, it is a good idea to use up your dental insurance plan benefits before they are lost. How can you use this to benefit your smile?

Here are some reasons why it’s beneficial to schedule a visit before the New Year:

  • Dental issues can get worse – When you put needed dental treatment on hold, those problems will only get worse.  If you wait to fill a cavity today, it could end up needing a root canal next year.
  • You paid your premiums – Since you are paying monthly premiums to have dental insurance, you need to use your benefits so that you’re not paying more for the very same work.
  • Maximum renews each year – Most dental plans have a maximum amount of dental benefits they allow each year.  If you don’t use these benefits up to the maximum, you will lose them because they will not carry over into the next year. Use this to your benefit.
  • Preventive care – The services you can always use your dental insurance benefits on is getting regular dental cleanings and exams.  Your dentist will check for gum disease, cavities and oral cancer.  If you do need further dental treatment, you can use the remainder of your benefits on those procedures before the end of the year.  Regular preventive visits help you limit the need for treatments like fillings or crowns later.

Have you and your dependents used up the maximum of your dental benefits for this year?  If not, call your dentist and schedule a cleaning and exam for each of you before the end of the year.  This will help you to not only maintain your dental health but to also receive the maximum dental benefits that you have already paid for!

Posted on behalf of:
Gainesville Dental Group
1026 Thompson Bridge Rd
Gainesville, GA 30501
(770) 297-0401

Jan
26

3 Tips to Keep Your Smile Bright Through the Holidays

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Families are together, the weather is cooler and lots of delicious holiday food and treats are made. One concern though, is how will the holiday food affect your beautiful smile?

What are some tips to keep your smile bright during the holidays?

Limit the sweets– Since sugary food and drinks can combine with germs in your mouth to cause gum disease and cavities, it is important to limit the amount of food and drinks sweetened with sugar.  It is ok to still have an occasional treat during the holidays…just try not to make these foods your entire holiday diet!

Limit drinks that stain teeth– If you like drinks such as coffee, tea or red wine, you can still occasionally drink them but like sweets, you will want to limit how many drinks you have.  This way, you will not constantly bathe your teeth with these tooth-staining liquids. When possible, drink them through a straw.

Brush and floss after each meal– It is always a great idea to brush with a fluoride toothpaste and to floss after each meal to prevent your mouth germs from causing harm to your gums and teeth.  You will also reduce the chances of drinks staining your teeth if you brush with a whitening and fluoride toothpaste.

If you can’t brush and floss after each meal, at least rinse your mouth out with water afterward to lift extra stain particles.

What if you have a toothache during the holidays?  Make sure you understand your dentist’s emergency policy and keep their number on hand. The last thing you want to have during the holidays is a dental emergency!

Posted on behalf of:
Alan Horlick DDS
6572 Hwy 92 #120
Acworth, GA 30102
(770) 591-8446

Jan
6

Dental Care for Retirees

It is an exciting time when you reach the point of retirement.  You leave behind your worries and cares of your past career.  There is one thing that you should not leave behind though…your health, including your oral health.

Your oral health is related to your overall health.  It is very important to include a trip to your dentist along with trips to your medical doctor on a regular basis.  Your dentist will examine your teeth for cavities, check your gums for gum disease, screen for oral cancer, and address any other dental concerns you may have.

As you age, you can encounter some new challenges when it comes to your oral health.  One of the possible oral health challenges of aging is dry mouth.  As you age, you tend to take more medications which can reduce your flow of saliva as a side effect.  As a result, your teeth are more susceptible to cavities since you have less saliva in your mouth to help flush away the bacteria.

Some suggestions to help fight cavities with dry mouth are:  to stay hydrated, eat a low-sugar diet, use topical fluoride, and buy artificial saliva to re-lubricate your mouth.  Another concern that you should be watchful for throughout adulthood and into your older years is gum disease, which is a major cause of tooth loss in adults.  It is preventable and even reversible if you catch it early.

It is very important to have good oral hygiene habits on a daily basis, including brushing twice a day, low-sugar diets, avoiding tobacco, and flossing at least once a day to avoid these new challenges.

Remember that regular check-ups with your dentist can prevent you from needing more treatment over time. Be sure to schedule an exam at least every 6 months!

Posted on behalf of:
Gold Hill Dentistry
2848 Pleasant Road #104
Fort Mill, York County, South Carolina 29708
(803) 566-8055

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