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An Update from Alrez Family Dentistry

Our office will open May 25th, but we will be taking some added precautions to keep our staff and patients safe. Learn More.

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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!

 


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.

 


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.


Fluoride, Fluoride, Fluoride

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Fluoride, Fluoride, Fluoride

Fluoride helps adults and children.

Fluoride helps remineralize weakened tooth enamel & aids in reversing early signs of tooth decay.

Dr. Alrez always recommends in-office fluoride rinses for any patient with a high to moderate risk of decay. At our office we have two types of fluoride, a topical fluoride which is applied to the surface of your teeth or a Fluoride rinse; it’s all about patient preference.
Dr. Alrez may also recommend an adjunct to your at home routine. Dr. Alrez sometimes will encourage patients to use prescription fluoride rinse or prescription toothpaste for patients with pre-existing restorative work or patients with a high to moderate risk of decay.

Fluoride is naturally found in most water sources. Most water suppliers have fluoridated water to help prevent tooth decay. If you are unsure if you have fluoride in your water, call your supplier and ask.

 

 

 


Pregnancy Dental Tips

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Pregnancy Dental Care Tips

 

You think you may be pregnant, but it’s still early, should you tell your dental professional? Yes. Let your dentist know any medications you may be taking & how far along you may be.

How will Pregnancy affect my mouth? Most women will make it 9 months with no dental issues, Regular checkups and good homecare will keep you and your baby healthy. Some women develop “Pregnancy Gingivitis,” which is inflammation of gums. The reason women sometimes develop this is from the hormonal changes your body goes through during pregnancy. Your dentist could recommend more frequent cleanings if this occurs. Some insurances will also pay for an extra cleaning if you’re pregnant.

Are X-Rays safe during pregnancy? Yes. Dental radiation is extremely low, the dental professional will cover you with a leaded apron that will minimizes exposure.

I brush twice a day and floss daily, what else should I do? Keep up the good work! Stay on top of your cleaning appointments and any recommended treatment your dentist suggested.

 


White Spots

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White Spots

An often question we get is, ” Can we do something about these white spots?” Answer is, Most likely, “YES.”

Before & After Icon was preformed!

The procedure requires no drilling or anesthesia

Not just minimally invasive dentistry. . . micro-invasive!

At Alrez Family Dentistry we try everything to make our patients happy and feeling confident.


Frequently asked Dental Hygiene Questions

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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.


Sealants

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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.


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