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An Update from Alrez Family Dentistry

Our office is open and we are taking some added precautions to keep our staff and patients safe. Learn More.

News - Alrez Family Dentistry

Should I Get a Fluoride Treatment at The Dentist?

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Toothpaste in shape of a toothWe have all been asked by the dentist if we want a fluoride treatment, and we’ve all heard that it’s important for our dental health. But, most of us don’t know the correct amount of fluoride to use and where to get it other than the dentist office.

Fluoride can be found in some toothpaste, mouthwash, and tap water. But there are also treatments available (over the counter and prescription). With so many options, it’s hard to know the right amounts and places to get your fluoride from.

Importance of Fluoride

Teeth are continuously going through the process of demineralization and remineralization. This means they are constantly losing and gaining minerals.

When teeth are exposed to minerals, like phosphate, fluoride, or calcium, your enamel absorbs them and uses them to strengthen your teeth. These sources are found in food and dental treatments. Plaque is known to be a sticky substance created from leftover food particles and saliva that mix in your mouth. Plaque later forms an acid that removes those necessary minerals from your enamel.

Fluoride is an important nutrient for your teeth as it prevents the acids in your mouth from demineralizing your enamel. Fluoride can not remove decay but, once a dentist’s diagnoses decay, extra fluoride can prevent it from getting worse.

It’s important for children to be exposed to fluoride while their teeth grow in. This will ensure that their adult teeth are strong and healthy.

Fluoridex mouth washWhat Fluoride Treatments are Available?

  • Tap Water: Tap water is a good and accessible source of fluoride. Most towns add fluoride to their city water supply. Use the CDC water system map to see if your town is one of these.
  • Over the counter and prescription pastes and rinses: Many toothpastes and rinses, both over the counter and prescription, are filled with beneficial fluorides. We often recommend Fluoridex mouth wash to our patients. If your dentist thinks you may benefit from a prescription fluoride, they will discuss this option with you during a regularly scheduled checkup.
  • In-Office Treatments: Dentists often apply a fluoride gel, foam or varnish while you’re in for your check-up.
  • Supplements: Dentists may prescribe fluoride supplements in order to ensure that you’re getting the recommended amount of fluoride.

 

Am I Getting Enough Fluoride?

It is recommended by The American Dental Association that getting fluoride topically and internally is best. This would mean both fluoride in a toothpaste/rinse form alongside drinking fluoride-infused water or taking a supplement.

If you’re worried you aren’t getting the right amount of fluoride, consult with your dentist. They will be able to tell the amount of fluoride best for you and the best ways for you to get it.

Here at Alrez Family Dentistry, we always recommend getting fluoride treatment. Ensuring that you get the proper amount of fluoride, alongside the in-office treatment, are just two of the many reasons why you should be visiting the dentist for your 6 month check-ups!

 


COVID-19 Updates

Office Updates Comments Off on COVID-19 Updates

Dear Friends and Families,

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Therefore you will notice our clinical staff will be donning extra PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to include N95 masks, face shields and gowns when indicated.  The ADA has advised us to use the dental code D1999 to report the excess cost of PPE.  Our office will use that code and apply a flat $12 fee to cover the excess cost.

You may see some changes when it’s time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

  • Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You will be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.
  • We ask for you to kindly call the office from your car once you have arrived and we will let you know when we are ready to have you enter the building.
  • We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office.
  • We will take your temperature upon office entry and then you will be taken to the treatment room assigned to you.
  • You may notice that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, toys, books, and    so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
  • Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients.

As of today dental offices in Delaware County, PA have the go-ahead to resume business on 5/25/2020 but this situation remains dynamic.  We will be contacting those patients soon who were on the schedule the last couple of months and need to be rescheduled.  We are available at all times for dental emergencies.  Please call Dr. Alrez on her cell at 610-761-1424 in the event the business area is not open when you call the office due to reduced office hours.  Please stay safe and healthy!

Sincerely,

Dr. Alrez and Team

Email- alrezfamilydentistry@gmail.com
Office Text- 1(251) 581-7429
Office Phone Number- (610) 358-0313


Why Does Orange Juice Taste Bad After Brushing Your Teeth?

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Orange and orange juice isolated on whiteIt’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves. We did the right thing, brushing our teeth first thing in the morning to start the day off with clean teeth and fresh breath. Now, we want to sip on some refreshing, vitamin C-rich orange juice. However, most of us know this story all too well–the orange juice tastes horrible!

So, what’s the deal? Why does orange juice taste bad after you brush, and is there anything you can do to stop it?

The Ingredient to Blame: Sodium Laureth Sulfate

It’s all thanks to sodium laureth sulfate (SLS). This type of ingredient is referred to as a surfactant, it’s used to spread ingredients around in your mouth, which makes the toothpaste suds up and create bubbles and foam. SLS is also found in other ingredients, like body washes and shampoos.

While SLS helps the toothpaste to spread around the mouth, it has some other side effects. Namely, that it suppresses your ability to detect certain tastes, particularly sweet tastes. It also affects the phospholipids on your tongue, which are fatty acids that control the taste of bitter flavors.

This creates an unpleasant mix of heightened bitter tastes and suppressed sweet tastes, thus, the nasty tasting juice.

You Can Avoid SLS if You Want

If the taste of OJ after brushing really bothers you, there are ways to avoid it. The best way is to find a toothpaste that doesn’t contain SLS. The one downside is that SLS-free toothpaste won’t spread as easily.

To get the best of both worlds, you can try drinking a glass of water or chewing sugar-free gum between your brushing and OJ. Doing so will increase your saliva flow, rinsing the SLS away.

Why Not Brush Your Teeth After Breakfast?

Sound logic, but this isn’t a good idea. Orange juice is an acidic substance, so after you drink it, your enamel is temporarily weakened. Brushing your teeth while your enamel is in this stressed state can result in lasting damage. Pain, sensitivity, and cosmetic issues are some of the possibilities.

If you have 30 minutes to wait after eating your breakfast, that’s enough time for your pH to return to normal so that you can brush safely.

Have Clean Teeth Without Ruining Your Breakfast

We hope this clears away some of the mystery surrounding the bad taste of orange juice during your breakfast. Now, you have some strategies up your sleeves to help you enjoy your orange juice and keep your teeth clean.


4 Holiday Foods to Avoid

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Holiday foodsEveryone loves to eat their favorite foods, and certain foods are extra special because we only have them around the holidays! While we would never suggest that you skip out on your favorite holiday treats, we think it’s in everyone’s best interest to stay aware of which foods are the worst offenders.

We put together this list of our 4 least-favorite holiday foods. If you see one of your favorites on the list, be sure to enjoy it with plenty of water, so you can rinse your teeth. It’s also a good idea to brush your teeth 30 minutes after consuming them, once the pH in your mouth has had time to return to normal.

The 4 Worst Holiday Foods for Your Teeth

1.Egg Nog Eggnog and Other Alcoholic Beverages: Alcohol is not great for your health in many ways, and one of them is that it dehydrates you. When you’re hydrated, your saliva helps to rinse your teeth, washing away lingering food particles and bacteria. Eggnog is particularly harmful because it’s so thick, this results in it sticking on your teeth for longer periods of time.

2. Candy Canes: Candy canes are essentially pure sugar, so it isn’t hard to see why they’re not the best for our smiles. However, something that makes them worse than most sugary things is that they take a long time to eat. For the entire time that you’re sucking on your candy cane, a sugary film starts to coat your teeth (the same one that coats your chin and fingers). This increases the amount of time your teeth are exposed to the sugar, making the bacteria that live in your mouth very happy.

2. Caramel: Like candy canes, caramel is high in sugar. It’s also sticky, which makes it so that it gets embedded in all the nooks and crannies in your teeth. Once it sticks to all those crevices, it tends to hang around for a long time.

 4. Carbonated Beverages: We know that the sugar content in champagne and soda is problematic for our oral health, but there’s an additional culprit: carbonation. Carbonation is produced with carbon dioxide, which converts to carbonic acid once ingested. This acid can be corrosive to your teeth.

4 Foods to Enjoy Guilt-Free

1. farm fresh vegetables on tableVeggies: We know! Shocking. Veggies are healthy! One of the reasons why is they take a while to chew, and all that chewing stimulates your salivary glands. Like we said earlier, this increase in saliva production is good for rinsing off your teeth.

2. Turkey: Turkey is rich in phosphorus, which is great for your pearly whites. This is good news for many Americans who anchor their holiday meals with turkey.

3. Nuts: Nuts are little mini toothbrushes that gently scrape your teeth after each bite. They also contain calcium, which is an essential mineral for your chompers.

4. Cheese: Cheese has antibacterial qualities and a low pH balance, Both are great for your mouth!

No matter what you eat this holiday season, we hope you enjoy the season with your loved ones!


Root Canal Treatment

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Root Canal Treatment

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is performed when the dentist removes the infected pulp and nerve in the root of the tooth, cleans and shapes the inside of the root canal, then fills and seals the space.

 

Why do I need a Root Canal?

A root canal may be needed if you have a deep cavity, severe pain, repeated dental procedures that disturb the nerve of the tooth, a cracked or fractured tooth, Injury to the tooth, etc.

 

Who performs Root Canal Treatment?

Your dentist may do the root canal or your dentist may refer you to a dentist who specializes in the pulp and tissue, this specialist is an Endodontist. (Depending on the dentist the treatment takes 1 or 2 office visits to complete.)

 

Do I need a Root Canal?

If untreated, the tissues around the root of your tooth can become infected. If an infection occurs, you may get pain and swelling. An abscess may form inside the tooth or in the bone around the end of the root of the tooth. If left untreated, the infection in the tooth can spread to other parts of the body & in some cases even be life threatening.

 

Once my root canal is complete, do I need to do anything else with the tooth?

Yes. The dentist will place a temporary filling in the tooth after the procedure is done, after the follow up appointment the dentist will recommended a permanent filling or a crown on the tooth.

 

Do I need to go back to follow up?

Your dentist will usually let you know when he/she wants to see you back for a follow up after root canal treatment.

 

*Brush twice a day, use fluoride toothpaste & floss to properly care for your root canal and final restoration.

 


The Origins of Toothpaste

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How Did Toothpaste Come to Be?

toothpaste going onto brush

These days, we have so many choices for toothpaste, it’s almost annoying. It’s hard to imagine a time when toothpaste as we know it didn’t even exist. 

But there was such a time! Before we hit the mark with the perfect blend of humectants, detergents, flavorings, and gentle abrasives, people had some interesting takes on the best concoction for cleaning their mouths. 

We figured we’d kick off back to school season with a history lesson about how toothpaste began. 

The Ancient Egyptian Formula

The oldest toothpaste historians have found was from 5,000 B.C. Historians believe the ancient Egyptians used an interesting mix to scrub their smiles. 

The earliest toothpaste formula contained:

  • Crushed rock salt
  • Pepper
  • Mint
  • Iris flowers

Experts have called this the most effective ancient dental regimen. In fact, it wouldn’t be topped until the early 18th century. But before you run to your garage and start crushing up rock salt, this kind of paste is far from good for you. Over time, using this formula will result in damage to your enamel and gum bleeding.

The Evolution of Toothpaste

The Egyptians had their very abrasive solution, but around the same time, people in other parts of the world had their own idea for cleaning their teeth.

The Greeks and Romans used a special blend of crushed oyster shells and bones, and in China, they used a similar solution to the Egyptians, but added ginseng and skipped the iris and pepper. Other cultures brushed up with brick dust, pumice, ox hooves, burnt eggshells, ashes, chalk, and pulverized charcoal. Yum!

The rest of toothpaste evolution looked something like this:

  • 1780: Burnt breadcrumbs were used as toothpaste.
  • 1842: Dentist Dr. Peabody mixed soap in with the breadcrumbs. This later was replaced with sodium lauryl sulfate, which is still an ingredient in today’s toothpaste! This ingredient helps spread the paste around evenly. 
  • 1850’s: Chalk is added to the mix. It will stay as an ingredient for the next few decades.
  • 1873: Colgate comes out with the first ever toothpaste that is of a familiar consistency and scent. At this time, it’s sold in glass jars. 
  • 1892: Dr. Washington Sheffield invents the collapsable toothpaste tube.
  • 1914: The benefits of fluoride are discovered, and it’s added to toothpastes.
  • 1987: Edible toothpaste makes its debut. It’s invented by NASA for astronauts to brush in space, but it comes with an added benefit: so that children can safely learn to brush. 
  • 1989: Rembrandt releases the first whitening toothpaste.

At Alrez Family Dentistry, we’re glad to be born in these modern times when toothpaste is safe and effective!


I Have Cavities in Between My Teeth!

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Help: I Have Cavities Between My Teeth!

cavity in between teethCavities in between teeth, or interproximal cavities, are very common. They form when there is a breakdown of the outer, calcified enamel of the tooth by bacteria in your mouth.

However common they may be, cavities are easily preventable. And the more we know about interproximal cavities, the better chance we have at keeping them away!

Did You Know?

  • 35% of your teeth’s surfaces are in between your teeth. So if you skip flossing, you’re only cleaning two-thirds of your teeth!
  • Dental cavities are one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in people of all ages. The good news is, you can prevent them easily!

How Can I Prevent Cavities?

Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day. And check your technique. Make sure you’re using circular motions on the fronts and chewing surfaces of your teeth and short, up-and-down motions on the backs. Don’t forget those back molars!

Floss every day. This is another technique you’re going to want to hone for best results. Check out our guide on becoming the floss boss to learn the proper flossing method.

Your X-Rays are Important

dental X Ray
When you get your yearly x-rays from Dr. Alrez, she’s looking for early signs of decay. She can tell you’re about to develop a cavity if she notices dark areas developing around the outermost layer of your tooth (enamel).

If it turns out that you have a high risk of decay, Dr. Alrez may prescribe a mouth rinse or dental paste with extra fluoride.

It’s Too Late! I Already Have a Cavity

Don’t beat yourself up about it! After all, the past is in the past. However, if you start taking better charge of your oral hygiene, you can prevent future cavities. And luckily, cavities can be easily treated with dental fillings.


What’s the Difference Between Plaque & Tartar?

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Toothbrush and toothpaste on blurred background Maybe, you’re confused about the difference between plaque and tartar, or think they’re both the same thing. Or maybe, Dr. Alrez told you you need a deep cleaning to get rid of tartar (find out what that means here). 

No matter what, telling plaque and tartar apart can help you better manage your oral health, so keep reading for advice on keeping the difference straight!

What is Plaque?

Plaque is a colorless, sticky film of bacteria that coats your teeth and tongue between brushing. The food you eat helps to feed that bacteria, which helps it grow and cover more of your teeth. These bacteria create an acid, which over time, eats away at your enamel and causes cavities and gum disease. 

While the process of plaque developing in your mouth is inevitable, we do have a lot of control over the process! Brushing twice daily, flossing once daily, and drinking plenty of water are three things that will drastically reduce the effect plaque can have on your teeth. 

What is Tartar?

dentist's instruments with shallow depth of field blue tintedIf we don’t remove the plaque in time, it turns into a tough, hard deposit. This will sit on your teeth and cause discoloration, sensitivity, and gum disease. 

Tartar is a big reason why you need to visit the dentist twice a year! Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to remove tartar at home, it has to be removed by a dental hygienist. As long as you make it to your 6-month cleanings, tartar buildup won’t cause too big of a problem.

Come See Us Every Six Months!

We don’t just say it because we love seeing your face (even though we do!). Making it to your dental appointments twice a year will keep tartar in check, which will reduce your chances of developing gum disease and help your teeth stay white. 


Become the Floss Boss

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Become the Floss Boss

 

Why should you tie flossing in to your daily routine?

Flossing is a very important oral hygiene practice. Cavities and gum disease can develop when plaque sits on your teeth. It has been proven that more than 500 bacterial species are found in plaque; some good, some bad for your mouth.

How does plaque turn into cavities?

When plaque sits on your teeth it becomes hard. Plaque buildup gets between your teeth and gives bacterial a chance to destroy tooth structure. Flossing will remove plaque between your teeth where your brush can’t reach.

Prevention is Key

Maintaining good oral health starts with a routine. Brush for two minutes twice a day (with a fluoride toothpaste), floss at least once a day, and keep up with your dental visits.

How do I floss?

Flossing correctly will take time and effort. Once you develop a routine of flossing daily it will become easier. See the photo below for a good visual. At Alrez Family Dentistry we will show you how to properly floss at your cleaning appointments!

 

Oral-B makes a good point,  “Think of a carpet before and after you vacuum. You may not really see the dust and dirt, but once you vacuum and the dust and dirt is removed, the carpet looks brighter. The same principle applies to flossing.”

 

 

References: ADA, Oralb.com

 


Laughing Gas

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Laughing Gas

Nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” is a safe and effective sedative that may make you more comfortable during dental procedures. Nitrous is not intended to put you to sleep but instead make you feel relaxed and calm. A nose mask is placed over your nose and within a few minutes you will start to feel the gas working. Some people feel tingling in their arms and legs. After the mask is removed the effect of the nitrous will wear away quickly.

Consider Nitrous if you have a gag reflex, you have a dental phobia, or you are nervous/anxious about your upcoming appointment.

 
Nitrous

 

 

You are not alone! It is not uncommon to have a little, or even a lot, of anxiety about an upcoming dental appointment.

Ask Dr. Alrez today if Nitrous Oxide is right for you for your dental procedure!

No one is allergic to nitrous oxide and it can be used safely and effectively for most patients.