Dental Tips Blog

Aug
3

Top 4 Oral Hygiene Aids for Braces

The better you take care of your teeth while wearing braces, the better your outcome will be.

Certain tools can make it easier for you to keep your braces clean and your teeth healthy during treatment.

Powered Toothbrush

The vibrating motion of electric brushes frees plaque from hard-to-reach places. This makes it easier for you to angle the brush head in different directions around your brackets for a thorough cleaning.

Additionally, many powered toothbrushes come with small brush heads designed specifically for orthodontic appliances.

Water Flosser

Water flossers send a powerful stream of water that you can direct between teeth, around wires, and along the gum line. “Flossing” with water is a good idea if you find it challenging to use regular floss.

You can get some extra therapeutic benefits from a water flosser, as well. Some devices let you irrigate your teeth and gums with a mixture of water and mouthrinse.

Interdental Cleaners

For those times when you don’t have access to your powered hygiene tools, it’s good to keep interdental cleaners on hand. An interdental cleaner is a small plastic appliance you can poke underneath the archwire to remove plaque from between teeth. It looks like a small pipe cleaner on the end of a handle.

Orthodontic Flossers

An orthodontic flosser is an inexpensive and disposable tool. One end of the flosser slips underneath the wire, taking a short length of flossing tape along with it so that you can clean your teeth without having to loop the floss around your wires.

In addition to the right tools, your teeth may benefit from extra fluoride and an antibacterial rinse.

Visit your dentist or orthodontist to find out which hygiene tools and tips are right for you.

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

Aug
3

Fear of the Dentist: Normal…and Curable!

Some people with dental anxiety are willing to live with intense pain, chronic bad breath, and missing teeth rather than see a dentist…simply because they’re that afraid.

Also, there’s often a measure of shame. Some are hesitant to admit that they’re afraid of the dentist and come up with a million excuses to hide the fact; by the time they need to see someone, they’re often too embarrassed about their teeth to let a professional examine them.

Do you suffer from an unspoken fear of the dentist?

You’re Not Alone

Dental fear can range from mild anxiety to phobia. An estimated 9-15% of Americans (up to 40 million) avoid the dentist because of such fear. Understanding how common it is may assure you that it’s normal to be afraid of the dentist.

How to Cure Fear of the Dentist

Consult a mental health professional. This is a practical step to take if you suffer from a serious phobia. Cognitive behavioral therapy or sessions with a counselor can help you learn to look at dental care in a new light.

Try sedation. Medication can help you relax during treatment and forget all about it. When sedation helps you get through one appointment, you’ll feel more optimistic about future trips to the dentist.

Distract yourself during treatment. Close your eyes. Listen to music. Apply essential oil like lavender for soothing aromatherapy. Some dentists even have televisions mounted on the ceiling!

Concentrate on the benefits of treatment. What are your smile goals? How can having healthier teeth improve your health, career, and social life? Motivation to reach your goals can help you rise above a fear of dentistry.

Talk with your dentist. Get to know your dentist as person away from the dental chair. Take the opportunity to express your concerns and learn how they can help you feel more comfortable. Finding an understanding dentist is often the most effective way to conquer your fear.

Posted on behalf of:
Soft Touch Dentistry
1214 Paragon Dr
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 622-5050

Aug
3

Are You Buying the Right Toothpaste for Your Family?

Toothpaste is more than just a special cleaner for the teeth – it has many other smile-friendly benefits. That’s why you need to select the right one based upon unique needs in your family.

How Do You Choose a Toothpaste?

There’s a wide range of packaging designs and flavors when it comes to toothpaste. Do you choose one based upon how it tastes? How much it costs? How sparkly the package is?

The most important basis for choosing a toothpaste for you family is its ingredients list.

Different toothpaste components serve different purposes.

For example:

  • Triclosan – prevents gingivitis
  • Baking soda – helps whiten teeth
  • Fluoride – cavity prevention
  • Potassium nitrate – anti-sensitivity

What Do You Need Toothpaste to Do?

Consider what your family members’ oral hygiene needs are and then select a toothpaste that will help address those concerns.

A sensitivity toothpaste is good for someone with gum recession, worn enamel, or lots of dental restorations. Fluoride pastes are good for everyone since they prevent cavities, but they’re especially important for children.

Whitening toothpastes won’t bleach teeth, but they are good for maintaining a bright tooth color after bleaching and reducing new stains. These are also ideal for your image-conscious teenager.

If someone in your family has swollen gums, braces, or a history of gum disease, then they could use the help of an antigingivitis toothpaste for plaque control.

Young kids like mild fruity flavors and bright colors in their toothpastes. It’s a bonus if it comes in a box with their favorite cartoon character on it. This type of fun toothpaste is great for getting your kids to cooperate when it’s time to brush their teeth.

Ask your dentist to suggest a cost-effective toothpaste that meets your family’s needs.

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

Aug
2

Is It Normal for Gums to Hurt During Pregnancy?

You may be expecting right now, but you never expected to have such sensitive gums.

Sore gums are actually very common during pregnancy, usually setting in around the second trimester.

Why Gums Hurt During Pregnancy

There are a few reasons why gums may get sensitive when you’re expecting:

  • Increased levels of hormones
  • Blood vessels throughout the body are enlarged to promote circulation
  • Bouts of dry mouth
  • Snacking habits promote bacterial plaque growth

Why You Should Care for Your Gums During Pregnancy

Sensitive gums are at risk for disease because they overreact to plaque. Women who develop severe gum disease are then at risk for delivering premature or low birth-weight babies and developing preeclampsia.

Some bleeding and sensitivity in the gums may be normal during pregnancy. They will go back to normal after you deliver your baby. But that doesn’t mean you should brush this off as nothing to worry about. You still need to do your part to keep your gums healthy.

How to Take Care of Your Gum Health

If possible, have a dental health checkup before a planned pregnancy. It’s easier to take care of problems before you’re carrying baby. You may need an additional one or two gum health checks during the first couple trimesters.

Avoid extreme temperatures in food that may bother you. Switch to a very soft toothbrush and brush gently a few times throughout the day to reduce plaque. Get a little extra vitamin C to boost your gum health.

Call your dentist if you notice a lot of bleeding, strange growths, loose teeth, or toothaches in addition to sensitive gums. These can be signs of a cavity or gum disease.

Posted on behalf of:
Precision Digital Dentistry
674 US-202/206 Suite 7
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
(908) 955-6999

Aug
2

5 Reasons You Should Floss Daily

You only stand to benefit if you make it your habit to floss every day. Here are five reasons flossing is good for you.

  1. Flossing Freshens Breath

Food and germs that get stuck between teeth can create quite an odor. It’s especially bad if a piece of food gets stuck under your gums. Flossing is the best way to remove leftovers that cause bad breath, giving you a sweet-smelling smile.

  1. Flossing Whitens Your Smile

Teeth darken when they’re exposed to food stains and acidic dental plaque. If you remove these stain-causing factors by flossing, you’ll keep your smile whiter for longer.

  1. Flossing Lowers Your Risk for Tooth Decay

Flossing disrupts bacterial colonies that grow between teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach. Dental floss works perfectly to wipe away food and plaque acids that can erode tooth enamel and start cavities.

  1. Flossing Slows Tartar Buildup

Do you hate the look and feel of that gritty yellow tartar that grows along your gum line? Also called dental calculus; tartar is calcified plaque. If plaque isn’t removed from teeth daily, it hardens with minerals from your saliva. Calculus dulls your smile and can trigger gum inflammation. Flossing every day removes the bacteria that can turn into this mineral deposit.

  1. Flossing Prevents Gum Disease

Just as flossing slows down the activity of cavity-causing germs, it does the same with bacteria that cause gum disease. The most serious form of gum disease is periodontitis. This can lead to gum recession and tooth-loss. That’s why you can say flossing will help you save your teeth. Regular flossing will also save you a trip to a periodontist.

Need some help with setting up a good flossing habit? Contact your local dentist for advice and suggestions.

Posted on behalf of:
Group Health Dental
230 W 41
st St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 398-9690

 

Aug
1

Fluoride – The Benefits, The Risks, The Alternatives

Some people believe fluoride is a toxin. Others, a vital defense against decay.

What are the facts?

Benefits of Fluoride

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral found around the world. Ingesting small amounts during childhood helps fortify the teeth and bones while they’re still developing.

Long into adulthood, regular topical fluoride exposure via toothpaste and rinses continue to help. They reinforce existing enamel with a natural cavity-resistant tooth material called fluorapatite. This process also attracts other minerals like calcium to strengthen weak spots.

Additionally, fluoride prevents cavity-causing bacteria from growing on the teeth.

Fluoride Risks

  • Ingesting too much fluoride during childhood can make teeth brittle and discolored
  • Ingesting a lots of fluoride at one time can cause an upset stomach

Besides these, fluoride has no other documented risks. You can easily reduce the only known risks by keeping fluoride products out of reach of children, and use as directed by your dentist.

Alternatives to Fluoride

Decay and enamel wear are caused by bacteria in plaque. This plaque forms within hours after brushing. The longer it’s on your teeth, the more likely it will cause damage. Fluoride keeps on working despite the presence of plaque. But without fluoride, you’ll probably have to brush and floss a lot more.

Make some diet changes. Cutting out sweet drinks, limiting snack sessions, reducing processed carbs, and eating lots of calcium are effective for reducing your cavity risk, naturally.

There are even some fluoride-free toothpastes on the market. To find one that works for you, ask your family dentist.

Proper use of fluoride is a smart way to prevent decay. Talk to your dentist to learn more!

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

May
6

What to Expect at Your Child’s First Dental Visit

With a little positivity and preparation, your child can enjoy a pleasant first trip to your family dentist and be on the road to a healthy smile for life.

Baby’s First Dental Visit

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and many pediatricians urge parents to bring their babies to the dentist by their first birthday. If your baby’s teeth start coming in before then, bring him or her in even sooner.

A dental checkup for a baby is a matter of just a few minutes. The dentist will look at your baby’s mouth and make sure the teeth are coming in on schedule.

Taking Your Child to the Dentist for the First Time

At the first appointment for an older child, expect the dentist and dental hygienist to spend more time having fun with your son or daughter. The goal is to create a relaxed environment your child feels comfortable in.

Your child may be able to explore the dental air hose, vacuum, and water sprayer. There may be some fun “brushing” practice on a toy or model teeth. A dental examination and brief cleaning will likely finish up the session.

Listen Up!

Perhaps the most important part will be what the dentist has to say to you. You’ll get the latest in tips and recommendations for keeping your son or daughter’s smile healthy, no matter their age. Pay close attention and put the suggestions into practice.

Your child’s first dental appointment doesn’t have to be traumatic. Keep the experience relaxed and informative for your little one. With the help of your local dentist, your son or daughter will soon be an old pro when it comes time for dental checkups!

Posted on behalf of:
Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-172

May
6

Are You Using the Wrong Floss?

Yes, your dentist is glad you’re using ANY kind of floss, at all!

But did you know that flossing could be such a chore for you because you’re flossing incorrectly? You may even be using the wrong type of floss, altogether.

Getting your flossing right could get you excited about keeping your teeth in tip-top shape.

Embrasure Space

No, this isn’t hugging etiquette!

The embrasure space is the dental term for the gap between teeth: how big it is, the shape of it, and how much of it is filled with gum tissue.

That space is affected by things like:

  • Tooth alignment
  • Tooth size and shape
  • Gum recession
  • Missing teeth.

Flossing is all about cleaning between teeth – the front and back-facing sides that don’t get reached with a toothbrush. But the type of floss you choose has to suit that embrasure area in order to do a good job.

Floss Options and Alternatives

Choose floss by keeping in mind those gaps between your teeth. For teeth tightly packed together, you’ll want something thin and smooth, like a waxed ribbon floss or tape. Large gaps like tufted or “fluffy” floss for wicking away plaque.

Only have a couple lonely teeth left? Show them some love by flossing with a piece of soft yarn or gauze that reaches all sides.

If you have braces or just find it difficult to floss with your hands, a water flosser could be right for you.

Some flosses come mounted on a horseshoe shaped toothbrush head for easy reaching.

Along with regular dental checkups and cleanings, flossing is an essential part of a healthy mouth and body. Find out how you can improve in your flossing technique by scheduling a visit with your local dentist.

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

Mar
6

3 Surprising Causes Behind a Toothache

There are no signs of a cavity or infection, so why does your tooth suddenly hurt?

Here are a few reasons for a toothache that most people don’t suspect, at first.

  1. Sinus Problems

Is it an upper molar that’s killing you?

Upper tooth roots can sometimes extend close to the sinuses. If you’re familiar with sinus infections, then you know just how miserable that pressure can make you!

That very same pressure caused by infected sinuses can press on the tooth roots. Voila! Instant toothache.

  1. That Time Your Mouth Got Hit . . . A Long Time Ago!

You were just playing with your kids. You ran into the side of an open door.

Whatever the cause, it’s easy to take an accidental whack to the mouth. Your tooth may hurt for a couple hours, but then it’s fine and you move on.

But the tooth that was “fine” can flare up with pain when you least expect it. If you have an unexpected toothache, it could be a fracture or nerve damage dating back to an event you nearly forgot about more than a decade prior.

  1. Gum Recession

Gums can start to pull away from teeth for a number of reasons:

  • Age
  • Gum disease
  • Aggressive tooth brushing
  • Braces
  • Poor tooth alignment

When they do, they expose the sensitive dentin on the tooth root. This can give your teeth a sharp shock in temperature changes.

Although sensitive teeth don’t seem as serious as a cavity, you should still see your dentist. Exposed tooth roots are quick to develop decay.

Is a toothache ruining your life?

Get relief by discovering the cause of your dental pain. Contact your dentist to schedule a visit.

Posted on behalf of:
Springfield Lorton Dental Group
5419-C Backlick Rd
Springfield, VA 22151
(703) 256-8554

Feb
11

Your Oral Hygiene May Help You Control Type II Diabetes

Years of research suggest that there is a definite connection between gum disease and diabetes. Having one condition seems to put you at increased risk for developing the other.

Uncontrolled diabetes worsens gum inflammation, and uncontrolled gum disease makes it harder to control blood sugar levels.

Yet another recent study highlights the role that bacteria play in this relationship.

Conducted at the University of Barcelona in 2017, this controlled study compared the glycemic levels of patients with type 2 diabetes after receiving different gum health treatments.

One group of diabetic adults received a deep cleaning treatment to remove bacterial plaque, tartar, and toxins from tooth roots. The other group received a superficial dental cleaning that did not extend below the gums.

Both groups of study participants had their blood glucose and bacteria levels tested at 3- and 6-month intervals over the course of the study. Interestingly, those treated with the deep cleanings had improved HbA1c levels and fasting plasma glucose. Most of these positive results correlated with decreased levels of bacteria.

So in summary, this study backs the idea that oral health affects diabetes, especially when it comes to plaque bacteria.

If you have type 2 diabetes, then you need to pay careful attention to your gum health. You can prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria in your mouth by:

  • Brushing at least twice daily
  • Flossing every day
  • Using an antimicrobial mouth rinse

Regular trips to the dentist for a routine dental checkup and cleaning can also help you keep your blood sugar levels in check.

Call your local dentist to schedule a gum examination and to learn more about the connection between diabetes and oral health.

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

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