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The Basics of Preventative Dentistry

The Basics of Preventative Dentistry

As its name suggests, preventative dentistry is all about protecting your teeth and caring for them before problems occur. Preventative dentistry includes teeth, mouth, and gum care to prevent cavities, gum disease, enamel wear, and other dental concerns.

Though you may think you’re caring for your teeth properly, you may find some of these important steps to preventative dentistry you’ve missed. Keep reading to learn more about the importance of preventative dentistry!

Why does Preventative Dentistry Matter?

Preventative dentistry is important for several reasons. Proper dental care helps people to avoid or lessen the effects of dental conditions, including loss of tooth enamel, gingivitis, cavities, periodontitis, and other unwanted conditions.


Parts of Preventative Dentistry

Preventative dentistry does not just refer to one thing that helps keep your teeth in great condition. It’s a combination of several practices that people take to keep their teeth healthy. Below, we’ll explore some of the basic steps you can take to start keeping your teeth and mouth healthy.

  • Brushing your Teeth: Though it may seem simple, brushing your teeth each day for enough time is one of the most fundamental components of preventative dentistry. You should brush your teeth at least twice daily, using high-quality fluoride toothpaste.
  • Changing your Toothbrush: People often forget that toothbrushes don’t last forever! The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends replacing your toothbrush at least three to four times per year, or if you’ve noticed serious wear or fraying of the toothbrush bristles.
  • Flossing is another important component to prevent dental problems. Flossing helps remove the buildup between your teeth which helps to prevent cavities.
  • Frequency of Dental Visits: Regular dental cleanings should be performed at least once to twice annually. Many insurance plans will cover at least one or two visits to have your teeth cleaned by a hygienist. In addition, the dentist will give you an exam which will look for potential problems in your teeth or gums.

Regularly scheduled visits to the dentist are one of the best ways to prevent dental problems that are bad for your health. In addition, did you know dental problems can also be costly? Visiting your dentist a few times a year can help you save money on expensive dental procedures and care.

  • Limit Sugar: Your teeth come in direct contact with the food you eat daily. As such, eating sugary foods or drinks can cause cavities and other wear and tear on your teeth. In addition, eating a well-rounded diet helps protect your tooth by providing adequate nutrients to keep them strong and healthy. The vitamins you eat help support good oral health and prevent illnesses of all types.

The important steps listed above are just a few of the ways to help care for your teeth and protect them from developing dental conditions. While these things require diligence and a daily regimen, they’re an important investment to help protect your teeth as you age.…

When Is It A Good Idea For Dentures?

When Is It A Good Idea For Dentures?

Our smiles are the gateway to so much in life. It’s the first thing people see when they meet us. Our smile sets the tone for how we’re approached.

Your smile may mean and say a lot more to people about you than you think. So, it’s important to ensure your smile is always on point, which explains why dentures are such a hot commodity.

As we get older, we don’t want to lose those important first impressions to lost teeth, face sags, and other issues that affect how we present ourselves, so we tend to think more about the role dentures play in our lives.

Whether you’re contemplating dentures for yourself or someone close to you, this article will help answer some commonly asked questions about dentures.

Why Use Dentures

Regular visits to the dentist have proven that our teeth are not guaranteed to last forever. We can lose teeth, they can decay, and without our healthiest teeth, it can be difficult to eat certain foods. When our teeth are at their worst, they can cause serious pain or cause oral health issues. Our teeth help to form our face structure and without them all in place, our face can sag causing us to look older.

Dentures are great substitutes for your initial teeth that are no longer in place. Dentures are artificial teeth and gums created specifically for your mouth by your dentist. That means they’re custom-formed so that they place easily and fit nicely into your mouth and should look like your own teeth.

Dentures can replace all of your teeth or a subset of teeth. They can improve your appearance when teeth are missing and help keep the structure of your mouth in place by supporting other parts of the mouth.

Dentures make it possible to eat foods that otherwise, would be impossible or hard to eat without the appropriate teeth to bite down on.

What Are Dentures Made Of?

Dentures have come a long way over the years. What used to be porcelain or plastic, is now more of a hard resin and is more fragile than natural teeth. That means they can wear down quicker and can easily chip or crack without proper care. Because of this they generally need replacing after about five years.

Types of Dentures

Dentures can be custom-made to replace a portion of your teeth or all of your teeth, so there is more than one type.

  • Partial Dentures – Partial dentures are used to replace one or more teeth that are missing, but not all of your teeth. They are made to fit the gumline and are fastened to surrounding teeth to help keep them in place. They can be easily removed to be cleaned or taken out before going to bed.
  • Full Dentures – Full dentures are complete dentures that replace all of your natural teeth. They are easily removed as partial dentures but are held in place by an oral adhesive or suction.
  • Immediate Dentures – Immediate dentures are placed in your mouth until permanent dentures have been made. Immediate dentures are placed after extraction and during your healing process, so you won’t be without teeth. After the healing process, the immediate dentures are disposed of and replaced with permanent dentures.
  • Overdenture – Permanent dentures can be uncomfortable for some people. Overdentures are fitted over the roots of natural teeth (if some remain) or on dental implants. This serves the same function as permanent dentures and preserves the remaining teeth.

How To Care for Dentures

Just as it’s important to take care of your natural teeth, you also have to care for your dentures. Dentures should be cleaned daily by running water over them and removing food particles that may be stuck in between teeth. Use a soft toothbrush to gently brush over the dentures with a denture cleaner. Continue to care for any remaining natural teeth and your gums regularly as you should.

How Much Do Dentures Cost?

No one price is available for the cost of dentures. The cost of dentures varies depending on your particular needs, the fees the dental practice charges, and other determining factors, like location, the complexity of the treatment, and how long it will take.

Talk with your dentist to know how much your dentures will cost.

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SOURCES USED:

https://www.gotoapro.org/dentures-faq/

Wisdom Tooth Removal – It’s Not As Bad As You Think!

Wisdom Tooth Removal – It’s Not As Bad As You Think!

Wisdom tooth extraction is a common surgical procedure many people experience in their lives. It involves the removal of one or more ‘wisdom teeth’ that are four adult permanent teeth and are located at the very back corners of the mouth.

Why are they called ‘wisdom teeth’?

They are referred to as ‘wisdom teeth’ as we develop them later in life, or with experience and wisdom. Historians suggest that Aristotle came up with the name.

For oral surgeons though, they are referred to as third molars.

Why do we have wisdom teeth?

Researchers believe that our wisdom teeth are an evolutionary feature we have. Our ancestors ate lots of hard nuts, crunchy leaves and uncooked, tough meat, so they needed more teeth to get the job done.

Today though, much of our food is cooked and we eat in smaller portions (due to utensils) and over time the wisdom teeth become redundant in our mouths.

How do they grow?

Just like any other teeth, they are formed after we start losing our ‘baby teeth’ when we are young. The third molar is that last of our permanent teeth to grow.  They may or may not erupt to the surface of the gum line like other teeth.

Why are they such a problem?

Wisdom teeth often cause crowding of other teeth or can become impacted and create mouth pain. Oral surgeons will often recommend wisdom tooth extraction even if an impacted tooth is not causing any pain.  

When do wisdom teeth appear?

As mentioned, they are the final of the permanent teeth to appear and most people see them erupt to the surface from ages 17 to 25. Some fortunate people never develop wisdom teeth, and other fortunate ones grow wisdom teeth that erupt normally and don’t cause pain, become impacted or crowd other teeth.

What signs might there be that I need to get my wisdom teeth removed?

Generally speaking if someone is older than 17 years and experiences any of the following symptoms, they should see their dentist who may then refer them for a consultation with an oral surgeon. If someone experiences these then it’s important to act fast:

  • Pain around the back of the mouth
  • Food constantly getting stuck around the wisdom teeth
  • Gum disease around molars
  • Tooth decay (cavities) on a partially erupted wisdom tooth
  • Develops a cyst (fluid-filled sac) around one or more wisdom teeth
  • Gets sustained damage to nearby teeth or surrounding bone.

How Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Either a dentist or an oral surgeon extracts wisdom teeth. If a patient only has one or two wisdom teeth, that are fully erupted, not impacted and there’s no sign of infection, a dentist may decide to remove the teeth themselves. If it’s no more complicated a procedure than regular tooth extraction, a dentist may perform the procedure.

If the removal is more complicated because the wisdom tooth/teeth sit below the gum line, are impacted or there is sign of an infection then an oral surgeon will likely be needed to do the procedure.

An x-ray is performed to make this determination.

Local anesthetic is used by the dentist for the area where the tooth is to be extracted. Sometimes further sedation is given to relax a patient.

A small incision is made at the site of the tooth. From there it is extracted via a number of techniques that are aimed to minimize any surrounding nerve damage and post surgery pain.

If an oral surgeon is to perform wisdom teeth extraction, a general anesthetic is given, as it is a medical procedure performed in a hospital. This is more than likely a quick same-day procedure, but patients need someone to take you home while the anesthetic wears off. Pain medication is often prescribed for the days after the surgery. Patients also won’t be able to eat solid foods, and regular salt water rinses will help prevent infection post surgery.

SOURCES USED:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/wisdom-tooth-extraction/about/pac-20395268

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisdom_tooth

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/wisdom-tooth-removal/what-happens/

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/22119-wisdom-teeth-removal

What Age Should Children First See the Dentist?

When you have a baby, it can be hard to know just when to take your child to see the dentist for the first time. After all, it takes months for the first tooth to come in. Should you take your baby when there’s a tooth, or perhaps when all the teeth are in? Should you go before one comes in? Is there a specific age or a specific number of teeth?

In general, the first time that you need to take your baby to the dentist is when they sprout their first tooth. That’s when you need to start taking care of your baby’s oral hygiene. The first tooth usually appears when a baby is about six months old. But no matter when it comes in, you need to make that dental appointment when you see it. However, if you see problems before then, such as bleeding or white spots in your child’s mouth, you need to call right away for an appointment.

Why Your Baby Needs to See the Dentist So Early

It may seem like the eruption of one tooth isn’t enough to see a dentist, but dentists recommend it at this time for a reason. Nearly 20% of kids under age five already have some tooth decay. When this starts to develop early, your dentist can treat the problem before it gets worse. The dentist can get your baby off to a good start to a healthy smile. Having a good baseline also allows the dentist to track changes to your baby’s mouth in case of any problems.

If you have had your baby’s pediatrician look inside their mouth, even if there is already a tooth there, this doesn’t substitute for seeing a dentist. A dentist has highly specialized knowledge and can better care for your child’s oral health than a pediatrician alone. A dentist can also give your child a fluoride treatment when they are about nine months of age. This can help to protect the teeth so they are less likely to develop tooth decay.

A Baby’s Oral Health

Young boy looking at the mirror with toothy smile sitting on the chair with dentist and assistant at the dental office

At a young age, your baby needs to have their oral health taken care of, and they are unable to do it themselves. There are several ways that you can care for your child’s dental health at home, and your dentist can give you those recommendations and show you how to do them. Being able to tend to your baby’s dental health keeps their teeth and gums healthier, and it sets them up for a lifetime of good oral hygiene.

When you care for your baby’s teeth, the methods you use will change with your child’s age. This allows you to keep up with their dental health at every stage in their development until they’re able to care for their teeth themselves. This means that they will experience dental care every day and will be firmly in those habits as adults.

Getting into these healthy habits and having consistent dental care is always important to a person’s oral health. When kids know that it’s important, they will understand that they need to care for their teeth and gums for better overall health.

SOURCES USED:

https://healthblog.uofmhealth.org/childrens-health/when-should-a-child-see-a-dentist-for-first-time

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/kids-oral-care/when-to-take-a-child-to-a-dentist-for-the-first-time

To Veneer Or Not To Veneer…

The Benefits of Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are a popular cosmetic dentistry option to help enhance your smile! Using a thin shell that covers the front of teeth, dental veneers can help cover cosmetic flaws in teeth such as chips or yellowing. Many people opt for this type of cosmetic fix to help boost their confidence in their smiles.

If you’re thinking of getting dental veneers, you may not have considered all their benefits. Below, we’ll highlight the many reasons to get dental veneers.

What are Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers are made of either porcelain or resin, which is colored to match natural teeth. They can be done in various shapes, helping to match your ideal tooth shape. To place veneers, a cosmetic dentist needs to shave a thin layer of the enamel of your natural teeth. This is necessary to help prepare the tooth surface for bonding.

Benefits of Dental Veneers

There are many advantages to consider when considering dental veneers. Below are the top seven reasons you’ll love having dental veneers:

  • Immediate New Smile: Unlike other tooth correction and cosmetic dentistry options, dental veneers provide an instantly new smile. You won’t have to wait months or years, such as the time it takes for braces to straighten teeth. The process of getting veneers is done in either one or two visits, depending on your specific needs.

 If you don’t want to wait a long time for your perfect smile, dental veneers are an excellent option. Plus, the process of getting dental veneers is simple and not painful. Unlike some other procedures, the risks associated with a dental veneer placement procedure are quite low.

  • Whitening: Do you have staining on your teeth? Instead of whitening treatments which are not effective for everyone, dental veneers instantly brighten your smile. Dental veneers are designed to look natural, while also staying very white. You’ll love smiling with your teeth in photos!
  • Customizable: Your dentist can make dental veneers in any shape you’d like. This benefit of veneers allows you to get the tooth shape you want. Some individuals may prefer rounded-off teeth, while others prefer straight, square teeth. No matter what your dream smile looks like, dental veneers can make it happen.

Not only can you make your smile look exactly like you want it, but you’ll also have a long-lasting smile. Most veneers last at least ten to fifteen years, or longer, with proper care. That makes dental veneers an excellent investment!

  • Cosmetic Improvements: One primary reason people choose to get veneers is that they are unhappy with their natural smiles. This may be because of staining or discoloration. Or this may be because of chips or cracks they have in the teeth. Dental veneers can instantly improve self-confidence. Veneers can immediately conceal your most bothersome cosmetic flaws.
  • Resistant to Stain: While natural teeth can quickly become stained, dental veneers are made to be stain resistant. This means you can safely eat or drink your favorite foods and drinks, such as coffee, without worrying about ruining your white smile. The naturally stain-resistant materials used to make dental veneers will stay nice and white!
  • Improved Confidence: Feeling embarrassed or insecure about your smile can impair one’s self-confidence. Dental veneers are affordable cosmetic dentistry options that can help improve your self-esteem. In turn, you’ll enjoy smiling and have a higher quality of life.
  • Add Strength to Teeth: Veneers can be used to reinforce the natural tooth’s durability. If your teeth have eroded or weak components, dental veneers can help. Your dentist may encourage veneers if you have serious signs of weakening teeth.

Ask About Dental Veneers Today

Not sure if dental veneers are for you? Talk to your dentist to learn more about dental veneers and receive a consult. Based on your individual goals and requirements, your dentist can help advise you on the best ideas for dental veneers. If you’re not happy with your smile, dental veneers can be a game-changer to make you feel confident!…

No Dental Insurance? No Problem!

The Benefits of In-House Dental Plans

Dental insurance can be expensive, and it often doesn’t cover very much. If you don’t have dental insurance, it can benefit you to use an in-house dental plan that will help you with the cost of the dental services you need. Getting preventative care is especially helpful for good dental health, and in-house plans are often very good at paying for the preventative care appointments that you need.

Don’t Pay Full Price

If you are uninsured, paying full price for dental care may seem like your only choice, but dental practices are increasingly adding in-house dental plans that allow you to purchase coverage directly from your dentist. This generally requires a yearly payment for the plan with different prices for single people, couples, and family coverage. Some plans have a start-up fee as well as an annual fee.

 In-house plans often offer deep discounts on your twice-yearly dental exams and cleanings with many paying 100% of those visits. Other services have specific discount amounts based on the type of treatment needed.

Many patients find that they are unable to pay for the treatments they need without their in-house plan. Dental care can get expensive, and these plans offer a great way to save a significant amount of money over the course of the year or even for just one treatment.

How You Benefit

The main benefit is that it makes getting dental care more affordable. Without preventative care, you risk having serious dental and gum problems affect your health. When you are able to get your semi-annual dental exams, the dentist can find a small problem before it becomes a larger one. This can mean that you need fewer treatments than you would need without those exams. This means that you pay even less because you won’t need as many treatments.

If you’ve been going without needed dental treatments, this can easily snowball and cause worse and worse problems. It may also mean that you are embarrassed by your smile. Getting an in-house plan can help you to finally get the work that you’ve needed for a healthier and stronger smile.

In-house plans often offer discounts for a wide range of treatments needed. It can be hard to know which treatments you will need in advance, and a surprise dental bill can be hard to handle. Whether you need restorative care, cosmetic care, or preventative care, most in-house plans offer discounts on it all.

It’s easier to sign up with an in-house dental plan than it is to apply and be accepted for insurance. Getting independent dental insurance can be a long process that takes time to become active. With an in-house plan, you can sign up for plans quickly and easily. You can even do it the next time you’re in the dentist’s office so that it’s easy and convenient.

Being a part of an in-house dental plan is much simpler than getting independent dental insurance. Because the plan is initiated by the dental office, you know that the office will accept it. While independent insurance plans may or may not be accepted by your dentist, the in-house plan always will be. You also don’t have to go through a separate insurance company to find out how much you will owe for your appointment or wait for paperwork and claims to go through.

With an in-house plan, you will know exactly how much you will pay up front. The dental office has specific pricing, and your dental plan will have a specific percentage off that price. You don’t have to worry about any surprises when it’s time to pay.

If you’ve ever had to contact an insurance company, you know how difficult it can be. To get simple answers can be incredibly difficult, and that’s after you’ve stayed on hold for an hour. With an in-house plan, your plan’s provider is the same place you go for your dental appointments, so you can ask all of your questions directly and get straight answers.

There are so many important benefits to these plans that it’s a great idea for many patients to enroll in one of these plans to pay less and get the treatments they need.…