When we interviewed a Trusted Hygienist, this is what she had to say….
1.) What can I do to improve my brushing skills?
For manual brushing: tilt the toothbrush bristles at a 45 degree angle toward gum line; create small circular motions with light pressure.
For electronic brushing: Brush will spin or vibrate up and down; use same method of 45 degree angle toward gum line though instead of making small circles; just guide or glide along gum line with light pressure.
2.) What toothpaste do you recommend?
We recommend a paste that will cover or provide scope of benefits. Next time you’re choosing/purchasing TP, look for brand that allows total care benefits. Key words to look for: anti-cavity, fluoride, anti-gingivitis, whitening. Just about all brands offer at least 1 type of paste with many or all these benefits. If you’re experiencing sensitivity try a paste like Sensodyne. There are pastes in office that can be offered for sensitivity.
3.) My Gums bleed when I brush or floss is this normal?
This could be normal in certain circumstances. If floss accidently “snaps” down onto gum tissue, one may experience localized bleeding. During time of pregnancy, puberty, or other like situations when hormones fluctuate can lead to gingivitis=bleeding, inflammation, discomfort of gum tissue. If you practice daily oral homecare like brushing, flossing, etc, this will allow for optional gum health and little to no bleeding.
4.) What kind of tooth brush should I be using?
If selecting from manual brushes, we always encourage choosing a brush with extra soft bristles. This is helpful for those patients that brush too hard.
In office, we recommend the Rotadent toothbrush and the Oral B toothbrush. We think the motions of these toothbrushes provide for the best clean and provide best gingival health.
5.) Should I be using fluoride toothpaste or mouth rinse?
YES! Topical fluoride can be acquired in different ways. Various methods are offered in office as well. By getting daily exposure to fluoride will help to remineralize enamel and help protect against cavities (break down of enamel.) There are no adverse effects to having topical fluoride.
What is a Dental Sealant?
A sealant is a protective coating that is designed to protect bicuspids and molars from cavities on the chewing surface.
When should my child get a sealant?
Sealants act as a preventative measure against tooth decay. As soon as your child’s permanent molars erupt we can place a sealant, this is as long as there is no evidence of decay.
Save money, are you in?
Filling cavities can cost almost 4 rimes as much as purchasing sealants. Most of the time dental insurances will cover sealants to a certain age.
*Sealants reduce cavities, the process is quick and pain-free, and sealants can last a long time.
Swimming is a wonderful summer activity. It gives the whole family a chance to spend time together in the great outdoors, having fun while getting some exercise, too! Now that summer is winding down, many of us will be giving the swimming pool a final farewell with a long, fun-filled day in the water.
We’re lucky that pools are chlorinated. If they weren’t, swimming pools would be pretty gross! Chlorine helps keep our family safe from the germs that can make us sick. However, chlorine isn’t harmless, particularly to our teeth.
Dental Issues With Chorine Exposure
Chorine works by making the water acidic, which kills germs. However, exposure to acidic substances can also be harmful to your pearly whites. Acids tend to reduce our saliva production, and believe it or not, saliva is essential to your oral health! By rinsing off your teeth and neutralizing acids, saliva protects your enamel and prevents germs from hanging around.
Reduced saliva production will leave you vulnerable to issues like:
- Decay and Gum Disease: When your saliva production is reduced, germs have greater opportunity to multiply, since they aren’t being rinsed away efficiently.
- Tooth Sensitivity: The acid in the pool water can weaken the nerves in your gums, resulting in sensitivity to hot and cold foods. Since saliva helps to neutralize acids, it’s one of the factors helping prevent this.
- Stained Teeth: Since saliva isn’t there to wash stain-causing substances from your teeth, they stick on your teeth for longer periods of time, increasing the likelihood that they will cause staining. (Check out our past blog post on how to avoid tooth staining!)
Does This Mean I Should Stop Swimming?
Absolutely not! There’s no need to give up your favorite summer pastime, as long as you follow these tips and encourage your family to do the same:
- Bring a toothbrush with you to the pool, and give your pearly whites a nice brush as soon as you finish your swim.
- Stay hydrated, which you should be doing anyway, especially when exerting yourself in the summer sun. The more water you drink, the better your salivary glands will function.
- When you’re underwater, keep your mouth shut! Also, make sure your children know not to drink pool water.
We hope you enjoy these last few weeks of summer with your family!
If you love to drink coffee, tea, wine, or cola, you may have noticed that there’s a negative to these tasty drinks–they can stain your teeth.
Even though these stains are medically harmless, many people find them unattractive. Choosing between your morning coffee and non-yellow teeth sounds like a huge bummer but don’t worry, it’s not necessary.
All you need to do is employ some simple tricks and you can enjoy your favorite foods and beverages while keeping your pearly whites pearly and white!
Beverages and Foods that Can Cause Tooth Staining
A good rule of thumb is that if a food stains your hands or t-shirt, there’s a good chance it will do the same to your teeth. Some common foods that cause staining are:
- Tomato sauce
- Soy sauce
- Dark beverages like tea, coffee, cola, red wine, grape juice, and cranberry juice
After looking over a list of foods that yellow your teeth, it may be comforting to know that there are yummy foods out there that have the opposite effect! Check out this recent post for more information about foods that whiten teeth.
Five Methods for Cutting Down on Staining
You can still enjoy the foods and drinks you love, without resolving yourself to a life of yellow teeth. Putting these tips to use can go a long way toward reducing the staining effects.
- Throw in Sips of Water: Each time you take a sip of wine, coffee, tea, cola, or juice, take a sip of water. This helps to rinse your teeth between sips. Plus, this can counteract the dehydrating effects of alcohol and coffee.
- Keep Your Mouth Clean: In addition to removing the substance that causes staining, keeping your mouth clean with twice daily brushing and daily flossing removes plaque. This substance creates a sticky surface for the stain-causing foods and drinks to grab on to. Brushing again after eating a stain-causing food is a good idea, however, you should wait 30 minutes. Since most of these foods are acidic, your mouth needs time to return to its normal PH balance. Brushing while the PH in your mouth is acidic can cause damage.
- Use a Straw: This can prevent the stain-causing beverage from ever touching your teeth.
- Make it to Your Dentist’s Office Twice a Year: As plaque sits on your teeth, it eventually hardens into tartar. This substance makes your teeth yellow and dull, and it can only be removed during a professional cleaning.
- Avoid Smoking: In case you needed another reason to quit smoking, using tobacco products seriously yellows your teeth.
What If It’s Too Late?
These tips will help prevent staining, but they won’t remove tooth stains you already have. Fortunately, professional whitening treatments can! Click here to learn more about the whitening services we have available.
What is a Crown or Cap?
A crown or cap covers your entire damaged tooth
Why should I consider a Zirconia Crown?
Zirconia crowns have a very smooth surface, helping reduce plaque build-up. Zirconia is metal-free, which will prevent darkening around the gum-line. Zirconia crowns are computer-aided, this provides a precise fit.
What are the advantages of a Crown?
Supports a tooth that was damaged by decay, Anchors a dental bridge, restores a tooth after a root canal was done.
How do I care for my new Crown?
Brush and Floss daily, making sure you hit the gum line when you brush. Sometimes your dentist will recommended a prescription toothpaste or mouth wash.
The most important step you can take to ensure the longevity of your crown is to practice good oral hygiene.
A Whiter Smile is a Bite Away…
Did you know some foods can naturally whiten teeth? Here are a few……………..
Yogurt and Milk- Diary products contain Lactic acid and enamel-fortifying mineral calcium, this helps whiten and strengthen teeth.
Water- Swishing water between wine or dark colored foods will help pigmented foods not stain your teeth.
Apples- Crunch, crunch- the crunch you hear when you bite into an apple actually helps make your gums stronger & the high water content in an apple will boost saliva flow. The extra saliva washes away bacteria that can cause discoloration.
Vegetables that give a CRUNCH when eating, can act as a natural stain remover. Veggies such as carrots, broccoli, and celery contain calcium & fiber!
February is Children’s Dental Health Awareness Month, and we are loving the celebration!
Dr. Alrez & Ashley traveled to a local elementary school to give a presentation about dental health. Ashley even dressed up in a molar costume!
Since it is Children’s Dental Health Month, the time is right for celebration. It’s also a good time to check in with your family and make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep your children’s teeth healthy as they grow. And it doesn’t need to be a chore! With the right mindset and technique, teaching your kids about oral hygiene can be a lot of fun.
Not sure where to begin? Try starting with our list of five ways to get your kids excited about dental hygiene!
Five Ways to Get Your Kids Excited About Dental Hygiene
- Lead by Example: Before you encourage your children to have good oral hygiene, check your own habits! Make sure your kids see you brush every morning and night and floss daily. Don’t forget to talk about how much fun it is and how much you love to take care of your teeth!
- Fun Supplies: Allow children to choose a toothbrush with their favorite cartoon character and fun cup for rinsing. Toothpaste flavors like watermelon or strawberry are also fun to have on hand.
- Sing Along: Find fun oral health songs to sing with your kids. Here is a playlist to get you started.
- Teeth Activities: Create fun, hands-on crafts with your kids to help them learn about oral health. Check out these activities.
- Offer a Reward: Create a chart for keeping track of your child’s brushing habits, marking each day with a cute sticker. After 7 days of brushing, your child gets a reward! Since you are pushing oral health, try to refrain from giving sweet treats as rewards. Some other ideas include choosing a movie to watch as a family, a playdate with friends, a trip to the park, or a certificate.
Scaling and root planning is often referred as a ‘Deep Cleaning’. Scaling and root planning is treatment of choice in patients with an infectious disease of the gum tissue and underlying bone termed periodontal disease. This process is also standard treatment for a patient who has healthy bone level, though has not had a regular dental cleaning over a period of time and simply has presence of moderate amounts of calculus (tartar) present below the gum line.
Periodontal disease typically starts with plaque left on the teeth and around gum line. When plaque mixes with saliva is creates calculus over time. Eventually, calculus containing bacteria will irritate gum tissues by attaching to teeth and root surfaces and releasing toxins resulting in inflammation and infection of gums. If untreated, this can ultimately lead to distraction of the bone (bone loss) that surrounds teeth further possible mobility or loss of teeth.
Scaling and root planning is the only non surgical treatment to help treat periodontal disease by mechanically removing all calculus and paired bacteria from teeth and root surfaces. To properly diagnose the presence of periodontal disease in a patient, it is important to get necessary radiographs (X-rays) and detailed measurements of all gum tissues that surround teeth. When bacteria resides in the mouth, it compromises the ligaments that attach gum tissue to root surfaces, therefore creating deeper pockets. Areas that measure greater than 3mm in depth are indicative of periodontal disease. Overall these measurement are imperative to understand severity of this bacterial infection throughout mouth.
In office treatment for deep cleaning can be done in one or two visits. These cleanings are completed by the dentist or dental hygienist by mode of ultra sonic scaler and/or hand instruments. In addition to the deep cleaning, antibacterial agents such as Arestin placement under gum tissue to help further reduce pocketing or Chlorhexidine rinse to reduce bacteria can be used. It is common to administer local anesthetic or other anesthetics for optimal patient comfort during and following procedures.
Maintenance program. It is standard protocol to keep periodontally involved patients on 3 or 4 month recall intervals. This means more frequent cleanings in a year’s time to properly combat periodontal disease and ensure stability of gum tissues and underlying bone. Every case varies, though periodic scaling and root planning may be needed after initial deep cleaning due to more compromised bone level. It is essential that all patients practice proper daily dental hygiene at home for best overall outcome and health of teeth and surrounding structures.