Surprising Tidbits from Your Dentist

home_welcome_img2Though most people don’t enjoy planning a trip to the dentist, it’s not always a barrel of fun for your provider if you neglect your smile. People don’t realize that they can take steps to improve their dental health and make their visits more pleasant. Consider these useful insights as you prepare for your next appointment.

Make sure to brush enough
If you don’t brush for twice a day for at least two minutes, you are leaving plaque and bacteria on your teeth, which could create oral health problems.

Oral cancer is deadly
Many times, people don’t notice warning signs of oral cancer, like sores or unusual bumps in their mouths. Because it is often caught at later stages, oral cancer kills more people than cervical cancer, thyroid cancer, and Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Make sure to report anything out of the ordinary to your dentist right away.

Exercise can impact your dental health
Working out is great for staying in shape and promoting a healthy lifestyle, but you need to understand how it affects your mouth. Rigorous exercise can lead to dehydration and limit the production of saliva, which can increase cavities and bacterial accumulation.

Tooth decay isn’t just caused by sugar
Getting rid of sweet treats isn’t enough to prevent cavities. Eating a selection of healthy foods like low-fat dairy, whole grains, fruits, and vegetable will significantly reduce your risk of decay.

Keep an eye on your tongue
Often, you can glean information about your overall health from your tongue. Redness on the tip of the tongue may indicate a thyroid defect or heart problem. A tongue with yellowish-green coloring can signal liver or gallbladder problems, whereas a grayish-brown tint usually means there is an issue with digestion.


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Cosmetic Treatments that Straighten Teeth

summer-smileVisiting a cosmetic dentist can offer many different methods to improve your smile. You may choose to seek cosmetic dental treatment for a number of oral problems that you would like to have altered to improve your look. One common complaint that patients have is misaligned or crooked teeth. Cosmetic dentists can help in a variety of ways.

Traditional braces
Metal braces are the longtime type of orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth. They are bonded onto your teeth, and contain brackets and wires that are adjusted during treatment as your smile progresses. Treatment can take anywhere from less than a year up to several for more severe cases. The braces will be removed once teeth have moved into the positions desired.

Aligning trays
Another type of orthodontic treatment involves using clear plastic aligning trays instead of braces. They are aesthetically pleasing because they are nearly invisible, plus they can be removed at any time for eating and cleaning. Often, treatment can be completed in about one year.

Cosmetic dentists may provide the effect of straight teeth by applying dental veneers. These thin porcelain shells are bonded directly onto the fronts of your teeth to hide problems like crookedness, gaps, chips, and discoloration. Veneers are a permanent solution that can’t be removed, although they may require replacement after ten years or so.

Another alternative is tooth contouring, which can make teeth look straighter just by altering their shape. Chips can be removed, and teeth that are too long can be shortened. Contouring isn’t always a teeth straightening solution, but sometimes it is all that is needed to change a smile just enough to make it appear more perfect.

Oral surgery
Considered more of a last resort, surgery may be required to realign jaws or alter the mouth in some other way. Sometimes surgery is the first step in straightening teeth, and then braces might be needed afterwards.


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Helping Your Baby with Teething

kidsSeeing your child in pain is difficult for any parent, so we all try to protect our kids from hurting. Unfortunately, teething is a normal part of your baby’s development; however, this time can be trying for both children and parents. Understanding the process and discovering how to soothe your little one can make teething go more smoothly.

When do children start teething?
Most of the time, baby teeth come in between the ages of three and 12 months. The bottom front teeth erupt first, followed by the four upper front teeth.

How can I tell if my child is teething?
The most common signs include fussiness, drooling, slightly swollen gums, and changes in appetite. Generally, the peak of unpleasantness hits between four and six months. After this point, babies tend to become accustomed to the teething sensations.

What can I do to comfort my baby?
Hard, cold teething rings will help sore gums. Make sure the toys are put in the refrigerator not the freezer because frozen objects may cause tissue damage. Gently massaging your child’s gums may also provide some pain relief.

Should I be worried if my baby doesn’t have any teeth yet?
Typically, your child will cut his or her first teeth by 12 months. Often, the age that the first tooth breaks through is hereditary, so if you or your spouse got teeth at six months, your baby will likely follow suit. If no teeth have appeared by 14 months, schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist to make sure there are no problems delaying the eruption of the primary teeth.


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Steps to Dental Implants

oldersmilingcoupleReplacing missing teeth has been revolutionized by the process of dental implants. It offers a permanent, secure, and natural looking way to restore your smile. Here are some common questions that patients ask about dental implants.

Are implants right for me?
For optimal success, patients must meet certain health qualifications. Adequate bone density is important, because the implants fuse with the jaw bone and it must have sufficient density for proper attachment. General oral health is also required, since problems like cavities or gum disease may increase bacteria levels in the mouth. Patients should be in good physical health overall so that healing is not impeded.

How should I prepare for treatment?
Sometimes procedures are necessary prior to implant surgery. A bone graft might be performed to enhance bone density in the jaw bone area. Periodontal treatment may be recommended to heal gums before surgery. If any teeth are infected or damaged, extraction might be needed to regain good oral health.

What about the procedure itself?
Implant surgery is performed using anesthesia or dental sedation so that no pain is felt during the procedure. A small incision will be made in the gums, the titanium implant will be placed in the jaw, and then the gums will be stitched up.

What can I expect during recovery?
The period of healing is vital to successful dental implants. This is aided by proper care as directed by the physician, rest, and consuming approved foods and drinks. It usually takes several months for the site to fully heal and the implant to integrate with the bone. Once healing is complete, a crown will be placed on top to finalize the restoration.


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