Dental Tips Blog

May
19

7 Things to Avoid During Recovery from Oral Surgery

Posted in Oral Surgery

Did you just have your wisdom teeth removed? Get a gum tissue graft? Whatever the reason may be, a restful recovery will help you heal quickly and get back on your feet in no time.

Smoking

Smoking is the biggest thing that can slow down healing in the mouth. It constricts the blood vessels, which prevents healing nutrients from reaching the surgical site. If you smoke, try to give the habit a break for at least a few days.

Drinking Through a Straw

Sipping on a straw creates a vacuum in the mouth that can pull the healing clot right out of a surgical site. You need that clot to stay in place to stop bleeding and promote healing.

Exercise

Physical activity ups your blood pressure. While you do need plenty of circulation around the injury, too much pressure can put stress on the tissue and disturb the blood clot.

Bending Over

Bending over too often or for too long can also increase blood pressure in your head and mouth, disrupting the healing site.

Sleeping Laying Down

Keep your head always slightly elevated, even while sleeping. This will keep both swelling and blood pressure to a minimum.

Vigorous Rinsing

You may have instructions to swish with a medicated rinse or warm salt water in the first days after a tooth extraction. Just be extremely gentle – a vigorous swish can unplug the healing clot and lead to dry socket.

Hard or Chewy Foods

Soups, smoothies, and ice cream are the safest things to eat right after oral surgery.

Your oral surgeon may have other instructions tailored to your needs so contact him or her if you have any other questions or concerns.

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

May
19

5 Ways to Prepare Your Kids for Their First Dental Appointment

Your child should have their first dental checkup by the time they are a year old or get their first tooth. This will help to make sure that your child’s smile develops normally and provide intervention early, when necessary.

But what if your child is beyond their toddler years and just now has their first dental visit coming up? It’s wise to prepare them in advance by following this advice:

Keep Your Tone Positive

When you tell your child about the upcoming appointment, try to sound cheerful about it. This can help your kid to also stay positive and avoid unnecessary anxiety.

Have Practice Sessions

Small children may enjoy a few “practice” sessions where they get to play “dentist” on your teeth. You can also take a turn “counting” their teeth. This will help them know what to do and expect at their first appointment.

Promote Good Oral Hygiene

Emphasize the importance of toothbrushing. If your child already knows how important dental hygiene is, he or she will better appreciate the need for seeing a dentist. Your child may even take a measure of pride in showing the dentist how clean their teeth are.

Let Them Watch First

Have your littlest one watch while a dentist examines your or an older sibling’s teeth. They’ll see that there’s nothing to be afraid of and even get to know the dentist and staff.

Plan a Reward

Set up a special reward to celebrate your child’s first dental visit. However it goes, your child can look forward to ending their day on a happy note and feel good about their accomplishment.

Ask your children’s dentist about more ways to prepare your child for their first appointment.

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

May
18

Why You Need a Filling Even if Your Tooth Doesn’t Hurt

Posted in Fillings

It might seem counter intuitive to fix a tooth that feels fine. But the thing about cavities is that they can do a lot of damage long before you notice any symptoms.

What Is a Cavity?

A cavity is a hole in your tooth caused by a bacterial infection. Harmful germs (which live in everybody’s mouth) eat the sugars and carbohydrates from the foods that you eat and produce an acid, which wears away tooth enamel. As the decay process continues, the cavity grows.

Why Cavities Don’t Always Hurt

Inner layers of your tooth have channels that lead to a larger nerve, but the hard enamel layer on the outside insulates and protects the more delicate parts. Your enamel doesn’t have any nerves.

When a cavity starts eating away at your tooth, you won’t feel much of anything, at least until the cavity has worked its way through your tooth and has exposed the sensitive dentin.

If you have tooth pain, it usually means the cavity is quite advanced.

Get That Filling Right Away!

Dentists can detect cavities long before they start to bother you. Dental x-rays are the main way to find the start of a cavity. Your dentist will likely recommend that you fill your cavity before it can get any bigger.

The sooner you treat a small spot of decay, the smaller the filling will be. Big fillings weaken teeth and ultimately lead to your needing a crown or extraction sooner rather than later. Take preemptive action by treating cavities while they’re still small and you’ll hold onto your tooth much longer.

Schedule a dental checkup to find out for sure whether you’re cavity-free or need some early intervention.

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

May
18

What Is Crown Lengthening?

Posted in Veneers

If you have short teeth that need to be restored, then you may be a candidate for a procedure called “crown lengthening.”

How to Make Teeth Longer

Dental crowns are very effective restorations that fix teeth with root canals or large cavities. But you can’t cap a tooth when there isn’t much of it there! In that case, the dentist will lengthen your tooth to provide more surface area for a crown to hold onto.

Crown lengthening usually involves trimming away a portion of gum tissue around a tooth. Sometimes, even the bone around a tooth also has to be reduced down. This exposes more of the tooth for treatment.

Do You Need Crown Lengthening?

You might qualify for crown lengthening if you just don’t like the look of your teeth, because they’re worn down. Your dentist can comfortably remove some of the excess gum tissue to give you a fuller smile. Cosmetic crown lengthening is often followed up with porcelain dental veneers.

In other cases, crown lengthening is a necessity. Fractured or severely decayed teeth often need crowns. But some teeth are so damaged that they can’t be capped. A dentist needs to expose more of the tooth in order to get a secure fit for the crown.

If you have any flat, broken, or otherwise stubby-looking teeth, then crown lengthening may be an option.

It’s a procedure that can help you avoid an unwanted dental extraction!

Who Can Lengthen Teeth?

Periodontists typically perform crown lengthening surgeries. The procedures are not too complex, but these gum experts have the specialized skills and tools to treat the area around teeth.

Your dentist will likely work along with a periodontist to bring your crowns to the proper length.

Contact a cosmetic, restorative dentist or periodontist in your area to schedule an appointment.

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

May
18

Oral Hygiene Travel Tips and Hacks

Here’s what you should know to stay healthy even while wandering abroad or on your next business trip.

Downsize

Stock up on mini toothpastes and mouthwashes and foldable toothbrushes. Pack two or three of everything; they’re small! You’ll be glad to have some extras kicking around in case you lose something.

Keep All You Need in Carry-On Baggage

The last thing you want is to be stuck in an airport for 13 hours with no toothbrush because you got separated from your luggage. Keep the essentials with you at all times.

Stay Hydrated and Use Clean Water

Staying hydrated will keep your mouth’s pH balanced and reduce plaque buildup. Brush your teeth only with water that’s safe for you to drink. If you’re abroad, use bottled water.

Get Tips from Fellow Travelers

If you need help in a pinch, ask around to find a reputable clinic that offers treatment with the same standard of care you’re used to back home. Not all clinics abroad are as trustworthy, but there are plenty that are!

Bag Your Brush

Make sure your toothbrush gets a chance to air-dry between uses. But wrap it in a plastic baggie before stuffing it in your luggage (if you don’t have a case).

Fluoride

Should you find yourself without a toothbrush, try to at least get your hands on some fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride can strengthen your teeth even if you can’t get all the plaque off.

Avoid Sugar

It’s tempting to indulge when you’re on vacation, but try to cut back on sugar to prevent decay.

Get a Dental Check-Up Before You Leave

Before you head out, get caught up on dental x-rays and teeth cleanings. This will minimize your risk of any unpleasant surprises on your trip.

Schedule a dental cleaning and checkup before your next flight out of town!

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

May
18

No Bottles in Bed for Baby!

Many well-intentioned moms and dads put their babies to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. But pediatric dentists and pediatricians have this strong warning for parents: don’t put your baby or toddler to bed with anything besides a bottle of water.

The Dangers of Bedtime Bottles

Toothless newborns may need to be fed at the oddest hours. But there is a significant danger associated with putting a toddler to bed with a bottle of milk or juice.

Juice and milk may seem healthy since they don’t have any added sugar. But they do have plenty of natural ones.

The sugars found in beverages are responsible for wearing away tooth enamel. They also fuel the germs that cause tooth decay. If your child gets to slowly sip on these sugary drinks over the course of hours throughout the night, then her teeth are at extreme risk for cavities.

Toddlers’ teeth are highly prone to decay since they have weaker enamel than adult ones do. Once a cavity starts in a baby tooth, it can quickly spread to other teeth and even trigger a dangerous abscess.

Baby Teeth Are Important!

Your child’s first teeth are all they have to speak, eat, and smile with. They also act as placeholders to ensure the adult teeth come in straight. If those baby teeth rot and fall out too soon, that could permanently damage your child’s chances at having a healthy smile later in life.

If a bottle of water will soothe your baby at bedtime, then that’s perfectly fine. But for the sake of her irreplaceable little teeth, don’t fill that bottle with anything else between mealtimes!

Talk with your child’s dentist to learn more smile-friendly tips.

Posted on behalf of:
Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC
1295 Hembree Rd B202
Roswell, GA 30076
(770) 475-6767

May
18

How to Prevent People from Noticing Your Denture

Posted in Dentures

The idea of wearing a denture can be scary and shameful for some people. As much as possible, you don’t want others to know that you’ll soon be getting “false” teeth.

How do you hide the fact that you’re wearing a denture?

It’s easier than ever. Here are a few tips to put your mind at ease.

Your Denture Will Look Natural

Dentures are designed to perfectly contour to the shape of your mouth so that they stay in place with suction. You can also choose the color of the gums and the shape and color of the teeth on your denture. It won’t look like a stock photo set of perfect teeth; your dentist will help you design a denture that looks natural.

Practice Makes Perfect!

Plan to spend a lot of time at home in the first weeks after getting a denture. You’ll need to practice quite a bit until you feel confident laughing, sneezing, eating, and talking with a “plate.” The more you practice at home, the sooner you’ll be able to go out with friends and enjoy their company without worrying about whether or not they’ll notice your new prosthesis.

Implants Can Help

For the most secure fit possible, consider getting implants to lock your denture in place. Implant-retained dentures won’t slip and slide no matter what you do. They’re also the best way to reinforce the bone in your jaw and prevent it from shrinking, maintaining a natural-looking smile for years.

Implant stabilized dentures aren’t for everyone, so make sure to discuss the idea in full with your dentist.

How else can you get a comfortable and natural-looking denture? Contact your dentist to find out.

Posted on behalf of:
Montevallo Family Dentistry
711 Wadsworth St
Montevallo, AL 35115
(205) 665-2224

May
18

Here’s What to Expect When You Get Laughing Gas

Nitrous oxide, perhaps better known as “laughing gas,” is a very common sedation dentistry option.

Has your dentist recommended laughing gas to help you stay calm during treatment? If it’s your first time to use it, here’s what you can expect:

Setting Up Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide is a combination of nitrogen and oxygen. These are mixed together and the ratio is adjusted just until the point that the nitrogen has a mild sedative effect on you. The two gases come in separate canisters and piped in to or on a cart next to the dental chair.

To breathe it in, the dentist will place a soft rubber hood over your nose. This nosepiece has a small tube coming out of either side. One hose pipes in the gases and the other suctions away whatever you exhale. The air current inside the nosepiece feels cold, but it’s safe to inhale.

Laughing Gas Effects

You’ll be instructed to breathe in and out only through your nose. This prevents excess nitrogen from escaping into the environment.

As the dentist increases the nitrogen, you might feel a bit light-headed. In rare occasions, patients can feel a little panicky or nauseous, but this quickly passes. Once the laughing gas kicks in, you’ll suddenly feel very light, as if you could fly; the goal is so that you don’t care about much else going on around you!

Other common effects include:

  • Dulled hearing
  • Giddiness
  • Numb or tingling limbs
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Increased pain tolerance

You should feel very relaxed, carefree, and remain conscious throughout your entire procedure. The dentist and certified team will monitor you closely the entire time.

Recovery from Laughing Gas

Happily, there are no serious effects from laughing gas. You may feel a bit dizzy or sleepy afterwards, but these quickly wear off.

Ask your dentist about making your next laughing gas dental procedure a safe and successful one.

Posted on behalf of:
Mansouri Family Dental Care & Associates
4720 Lower Roswell Rd
Marietta, GA 30068
(770) 973-8222

May
18

Does Flossing Cause Gums to Bleed?

Posted in Gum Disease

When you bleed every time you run a thin thread of floss between your teeth, then it’s easy to assume that flossing is the problem.

Dentists don’t recommend doing something that will make your gums bleed or unhealthy, however. So why is this happening?

Flossing Does NOT Make Gums Bleed!

Done properly and regularly, flossing will not make gums bleed.

Your flossing technique, however, could pose a problem. Pulling the floss straight down between teeth can make it cut painfully into the tender gums underneath. Infrequent flossing is even more problematic, as gums become infected and bleed when touched.

How to Floss Properly 

Wrap the floss tautly around one side of a tooth in a C-shape. Wiggle it slowly down the side and pull it back and forth to work it through the tight point of contact between teeth.

Once through the tight spot, continue to hug one side of a tooth as you carefully slip the floss below the edge of the gums, cleaning where your brush doesn’t reach. Then, gently lift the floss out and switch to the other tooth before pulling the floss firmly out from between your teeth.

When Flossing Isn’t the Problem 

If even the gentlest flossing technique still bothers your gums, then your gums themselves are likely to blame.

Inflamed or infected gums will swell up. As they do, their skin thins out and the blood vessels inside the gums also expand and thin. This makes your gum tissue highly susceptible to bleeding if it’s bumped the tiniest bit.

Flossing Prevents Bleeding Gums

Regular flossing prevents the growth of bacteria that cause gum inflammation and gum disease. Bleeding gums are often, in fact, a sign that you aren’t flossing enough.

So floss your way to healthier gums! Ask your local dentist for more oral health tips.

Posted on behalf of:
Marietta Dental Professionals
550 Franklin Gateway SE
Marietta, GA 30067
(770) 514-5055

May
18

Do You Really Need Dental Implants? 4 Questions to Ask Yourself

Posted in Dental Implants

Is a dental implant a necessity or a luxury?

It all depends on what your priorities are. Ask yourself the following four questions to find out if you need dental implants to replace missing teeth.

Can I See Myself Wearing a Denture?

Dental implants are securely and permanently fitted into your mouth, unlike dentures. If you think you’d feel insecure wearing something removable at any point in your life, then you probably want to consider dental implants.

Can I Maintain a Complicated Oral Hygiene Routine?

Dental bridges, partials and full dentures require special maintenance. If you like to spend minimal time on your mouth, are as easy to brush and floss as your natural teeth.

Would I Mind Sacrificing Some of My Favorite Foods?

Can’t imagine giving up that juicy steak, crisp salad, or crunchy tortilla chips?

You may have to pass on your favorite foods if you get a denture one day. It can be tricky to grind chewy or crunchy foods with a removable prosthesis. A dental bridge can even be prone to trapping certain foods underneath it. That’s why an implant may be your most natural option.

Would it Bother Me if My Smile Started Shrinking?

Right now, dental implants are the only tooth replacement treatments that maintain the shape of your facial contour, bone, and bite. Dental bridges don’t provide the stimulation bone needs to stay strong, which can lead to craters and gaps underneath the bridge. Dentures may even actively wear down the bone in your jaw.

If maintaining a youthful smile is important to you, then implants are probably your best tooth replacement option!

Contact your dentist to learn more about dental implants.

Posted on behalf of:
Les Belles NYC Dentistry
420 Lexington Ave #228
New York, NY 10170
212-804-8884

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