Regular visits to the dentist are vital to maintain optimal oral health. Many people make time to clean their house, car, garage, or closets at least twice a year. However, they often forget to include oral health on their “to-do” list. Don’t wait until you experience pain to schedule an appointment with your dentist.
Regular Professional Cleaning and Examinations
Regular professional cleaning and examinations are your first line of defense against tooth decay, periodontal disease, oral cancers, and other oral illnesses. These routine visits allow for early identification and treatment of any oral illness, which leads to less-invasive treatment options and improves outcomes.
Why Do We Avoid Going to the Dentist?
The HDI institute, in a study done with the American Dental Association, lists some of the main reasons why people sometimes delay going to the dentist. The most common causes are cost, low perceived need, time, and anxiety. However, delaying oral care can lead to more serious issues.
When Should We See the Dentist?
The American Dental Society recommends maintaining twice-yearly visits for cleaning and examinations. In addition, make an appointment with your dentist for any of the following concerns:
- Pain in your mouth, teeth, or face
- Injury to your mouth, teeth, or face
- Conditions that can affect oral health, such as diabetes
- Jaw pain or stiffness
- Bleeding, swelling, or redness in your gums
- Recent dental treatment, such as fillings, crowns, implants, or root canal
- Pain or difficulty eating or drinking
- Chronic dry mouth
- Smoking or tobacco use
- Sores in your mouth that are not healing
- You have questions or concerns about your oral health or hygiene
Take Action Now
Don’t wait until you’re in pain to see your dentist! Our team is here to help you achieve and maintain your best oral health. Schedule your next appointment now by contacting our office.
Determining Which Type of Denture is Best for You
Dentures can either be a replacement of all of one’s teeth known as complete dentures or a section of teeth, known as partial dentures. When arriving for your scheduled appointment here is what you can expect. X-rays to look for any issues that might affect fit. In some cases, the addition of crowns, may be needed to accommodate the new partials. Once fitted, your dentist will recommend keeping them in for one week to make any necessary adjustments. Next, how you should care for them, why it is important to note any misconceptions, and any future questions you might have will go down here in this handy guide. Always consult your dental professional should you have any questions or concerns.
Fitting of Partial Dentures
Having been fitted with your partials, you will be ready to schedule a follow up appointment you’re your dental professional to make any adjustments and address any concerns you are having during this first week period. There will be different types of products available to you the consumer for taking care of your new partials, and that it is important to know what to expect when wearing and caring for them. Some of the commonly held misconceptions are listed below and are summarized from the ADA’s recommendations.
Misconceptions and how to Care for Them Below, is a look at some differences, and what you can expect when caring for your new partials. The many different types of products available to you over the counter and caring for them will change. Below, we can see how and what will be done different.
- Never brush your dentures with a regular toothbrush. Always use an approved denture brush designed specifically for dentures themselves, otherwise you can damage them.
- Avoid any non-approved denture toothpaste not designed for dentures. They are far too abrasive and again you risk damaging them.
- Instead, using a mild household soap and water is perfectly acceptable and will not damage them.
- Your dentist will probably recommend a cleanser. Look for denture cleaners sold over the counter that are ADA acceptable and the label clearly indicates this.
- Finally, if at any time your dentures become damaged, either they have been chipped or are missing one or more teeth, consult your dentist immediately.
Whether you are deciding which type of dentures, either partial and full replacements, you should now have a basic understanding of what to expect with full or partial ones. Avoiding cleansers and brushes that will cause harm or damage and following the recommendation of your dental professional are crucial in making your new partials last a long time. Please contact our office below.
Enamel erosion is a serious dental problem that can cause a variety of issues such as white spots, sensitivity, cracks, chips, and indentations on your teeth. The enamel is the hard, protective coating that surrounds your teeth, and while it is the hardest substance in the human body, it can still erode over time. This erosion can lead to tooth decay, abscesses, pain, and even tooth loss
There are several factors that can cause tooth enamel erosion. Some of the most common ones are related to everyday habits such as consuming sugary, acidic, or alcoholic drinks. If you regularly drink soft drinks or sugary fruit drinks, you may be damaging your teeth. Similarly, alcohol can erode enamel, as can a diet that is high in sugary or starchy foods. The bacteria in your mouth can also transform starches and sugars in foods such as bread into damaging acid.
Other factors that can cause enamel erosion include gastrointestinal problems, genetically inherited conditions, teeth grinding, or improper dental care. All of these issues can impact the health of your enamel and ultimately your teeth. Once the enamel is worn or chipped away, it cannot be replaced.
To prevent enamel erosion, there are several things you can do. Firstly, it’s essential to exercise moderation with your consumption of soft drinks, alcohol, sugars, and starches. It’s also important to take extra care if you have any medical conditions that could affect your dental health. In addition, good dental care is essential to protect your teeth from enamel erosion. Regular brushing and flossing can help to remove plaque and bacteria that can harm your enamel.
You can also take additional steps to protect your smile from enamel erosion. For example, boosting saliva production can neutralize harmful acids in your mouth. You can achieve this by drinking water and chewing sugar-free gum. Cheese and yogurt are also excellent foods to add to your diet, as they are high in calcium and help to neutralize harmful acids in your mouth.
Regular visits to the Bellingham WA dentist are also important to identify enamel erosion and discuss potential causes and solutions. During your appointment, your dentist can examine your teeth for signs of enamel erosion and provide advice on how to protect your teeth from further damage. If necessary, they can also recommend treatments such as fluoride treatments or dental bonding to help restore your enamel.
Did you know that chocolate might not be as bad for your teeth as people may have thought? You can now eat your favorite treat without feeling guilty. Studies have shown that there are benefits to eating chocolate, however, not all chocolate is created equal. It is important to note that these benefits apply to dark chocolate, not milk chocolate or white chocolate. Dark chocolate is rich in Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese and a few other minerals.
A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains:
- 11 grams of fiber
- 67% Iron
- 58% Magnesium
- 89% Copper
- 98% Manganese
- It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium
Here are more advantages to eating dark chocolate and how to maintain good oral health while doing so.
Chocolate and Your Teeth
Chocolate is a candy that dissolves quickly in your mouth, resulting in less time on your teeth. It does less damage than a chewy or sticky candy because the sugar doesn’t cling to your teeth as long.
Chocolate and Your Health
Cocoa and dark chocolate are also a powerful source of antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. Many experts believe this damage is a factor in the development of blood vessel disease, cancer, and other conditions. The bioactive compounds in cocoa can improve blood flow in the arteries and cause a small but statistically significant decrease in blood pressure.
Eating chocolate can lower your risk for cardiovascular disease. A study also showed that the flavanols from cocoa can improve blood flow to the skin and protect it against sun-induced damage.
Remember to eat responsibly as too much sugary food can be harmful, regardless of the benefits. Eating dark chocolate and brushing your teeth after will reduce the negative effects of chocolate.
While you can indulge on your favorite chocolate treat occasionally, be sure to keep up with your oral hygiene routine. Brush at least twice each day for two minutes, and floss regularly. To schedule your next visit to our Bellingham dentist, please contact Love Dentistry.
Probiotics are typically advertised as being helpful for digestion. However, studies have shown that they can also improve oral health. Probiotics are beneficial for fighting infections that lead to oral disease.
A study published in Contemporary Clinical Dentistry has found that probiotics can reduce gum bleeding in patients with moderate to severe gingivitis. In the trial, children were given either a placebo or two different combinations of probiotics. At the three-week mark, it was discovered that children who took probiotics had significant improvements in their gingival status.
Periodontitis is another oral disease that probiotics have been shown to fight. Periodontitis is caused by harmful bacteria that separate teeth from the gums creating pockets that can become infected. Probiotics can fight harmful bacteria and lessen the inflammation to help heal the mouth.
Another finding from the trial of the Contemporary Clinical Dentistry showed that children who took probiotics also saw a significant decrease in plaque. The reduction of plaque leads to less decay. Probiotics fight the plaque and occupy the spaces on the teeth where bad bacteria thrive.
Minimizing Bad Breath
Another benefit of probiotics is the effect they have on bad breath. Bad breath is usually caused by volatile sulfur compound bacteria releasing odor-causing gases. Because probiotics are healthy bacteria, it is believed that they can eliminate the bad bacteria and maintain a healthy bacteria balance in your mouth.
The benefits of probiotics are not just limited to the digestive health. Researchers continue to conduct studies to discover new ways probiotics contribute to a healthy mouth and body.
Osteoporosis is a disease that affects roughly 10 million Americans, according to statistics from the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Additionally, another 44 million people are at an increased risk of developing the disease due to of low bone density. Symptoms appear in more than one-third of women over the age of 65. Fractures, pain, and mobility limitations can occur from osteoporosis. Understanding the signs and symptoms, as well as prevention methods, can decrease your chance of developing osteoporosis.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a disease that decreases bone density and weakens bones. Many people are unaware that they have this disease, and only catch it after an injury. Bone fractures can greatly diminish your quality of life through persistent discomfort and limited mobility.
Oral Health Linked to Osteoporosis
If you suffer from osteoporosis, your oral health is also at risk. Your jawbone may begin to weaken, leading to significant oral health complications. A routine visit to our dental office can allow us to detect early signs of osteoporosis. Tooth loss and gum disease are potential indicators of an underlying health issue. Our team will take X-rays of your jawbone and surrounding teeth. If we detect diminished bone density, or signs of bone loss, we will discuss the best course of action with you.
What You Can Do
The risk factors associated with osteoporosis include genetics, calcium deficiency, smoking, menopause, excessive caffeine or alcohol, and an inactive lifestyle. Simple changes such as increasing your daily calcium and vitamin D intake, exercising, quitting smoking, decreasing consumption of caffeine and alcohol, and visiting our Bellingham dentist regularly can help lower your risk.
Osteoporosis affects the lives of millions of people. It can significantly diminish your quality of life. Through regular oral health examinations, our Bellingham WA dentist may be able to identify early signs of bone loss.
Even a healthy mouth is lined with bacteria. Normally, your daily oral hygiene routine helps prevent oral health complications. However, it is possible to develop an excess of bacteria and fungi, which can lead to additional problems. Here’s what you should know about oral thrush and what you can do to prevent it.
What is it?
Oral thrush is caused by a collection of the fungus Candida in your mouth. Bacteria and fungi occur naturally in your mouth, but it is important that they are not permitted to build up. Thrush can appear as white, thick scrapes on your tongue or inner cheek. It may also look like patchy, white sores.
Who does it affect?
Young children, infants, and the elderly are at a higher risk of developing oral thrush. If you have a weakened immune system or diabetes, it is even more important that you stay active to keep your mouth healthy and prevent issues like oral thrush. Smokers also tend to develop oral thrush more than other patients.
What can it do?
Oral thrush can lead to trouble swallowing and tasting. As it develops, it can become painful. Oral thrush can make affected areas feel like they are burning, and slight bleeding can occur if you are scraping your tongue or cheeks. Some describe the feeling as having cotton in their mouth.
Thrush can spread. If you have a weakened immune system, it is possible that thrush moves into your lungs, digestive tract, and even your heart.
How can I prevent It?
Our best recommendation for preventing oral thrush is a vigilant daily oral hygiene routine that includes a thorough brushing and flossing of your teeth, and includes your tongue. We sometimes recommend a patient use a tongue scraper to clean your tongue. Just like brushing your teeth, your tongue depends on daily cleaning to stay healthy and free of germs and bacteria.
The American Dental Association recommends that for some patients it might be helpful to consider an antimicrobial toothpaste or mouthwash. Check with our doctor to see which solutions might be best for you.
We cannot overstate the importance of regularly scheduled dental exams. If you are a diabetic, it is even more important that you schedule regular visits to our office. By having your mouth checked by our staff, we can work with you to prevent oral health issues like thrush.
For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next visit, please contact our office.
Resources: The American Dental Association http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Science%20and%20Research/Files/patient_18.pdf?la=en
The hazards surrounding vaping are not entirely clear. More research is needed in this area, but a recent study indicates that e-cigarette vapors could be damaging to your mouth. Here’s what you need to know.
The Vapor Ingredients
Electronic cigarettes are not regulated in the same way tobacco cigarettes are, meaning that their contents can be inaccurately labeled without any oversight. Contents that e-juice usually contains include nicotine, glycerin, chemical flavoring, and propylene glycol. Some of these substances are safe in food, such as chemical flavors, but the effects of inhaling them is not well researched. Heating these chemicals can form dangerous carcinogens such as formaldehyde. E-cigarettes might also include tiny metals and particles that you inhale while smoking.
What This Means for Your Oral Health
A recent study from UCLA found that vapors from an e-cigarette can kill the cells in your oral cavity, or the area of your mouth beyond your teeth and gums. The study placed oral cells in an environment where electronic cigarette smoke was produced for 24 hours, in a machine simulating how a person would smoke. During the test, 85% of the cells died. According to the lead author of the study, they plan to move forward to test the impacts in humans.
These cells are your mouth’s defense by helping to release antioxidants. As the cells die off or become less effective, your mouth becomes more vulnerable to oral diseases.
Another study by the University of Rochester Medical Center concluded e-cigarettes are just as bad for your gums as tobacco cigarettes are. Nicotine, which both types of cigarettes contain, is a known factor in contributing to gum disease.
Steps You Can Take
Since the e-juice industry is largely unregulated, it is best to avoid smoking electronic cigarettes. The carcinogenic contents pose serious risks to your health, especially to your mouth. Your mouth relies on the functions of these important cells to defend itself against dangerous bacteria and other substances. Without your mouth’s natural defense system, you open yourself up to oral disease.
Make sure you are regularly visiting our office, especially if you are a smoker of either tobacco cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes. Our experienced dental team will perform a complete oral examination during your visit to check for signs of oral disease. Being proactive is your best defense against combating oral disease.
For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next visit, please contact us.
When buying a toothbrush, toothpaste, or coming into our office, you often hear the word “plaque” associated with the health of your teeth. Plaque is one of the main reasons why it is so important to keep up with a daily oral hygiene routine that includes brushing two times each day for at least two minutes, and flossing regularly as well. Here’s what you need to know about plaque and what it can do to your smile.
What is Plaque?
If you haven’t brushed your teeth in a while, you might feel a film-like, sticky buildup on your teeth. This is plaque, a bacteria layer that grips onto your teeth. There isn’t anything you can do to stop plaque from forming, but brushing and flossing as well as keeping up with regular dental visits are your best defenses for cleaning plaque off your teeth.
What Plaque Does to Your Teeth & Mouth
Without regular brushing and cleaning, plaque builds up and multiplies. As plaque is left untreated, it hardens to form tartar (also known as calculus). Plaque also leads to decay, as it produces an acid that damages your teeth. When you come into our office for a dental examination, we thoroughly clean your teeth to ensure that any buildup is taken care of. Tartar can cause staining on your teeth if left untreated. Plaque is the leading cause of gingivitis, causing your gums to swell and become red or bloody.
What You Can Do
The most important steps of keeping plaque in check is to stick to a daily brushing routine. This means brushing twice each day, for two minutes each time, and flossing at least once daily. Plaque occurs naturally, and when you come into our office for a complete examination, we work with you to clean off any buildup. Maintaining regular visits to our office is one way to ensure tartar buildup is minimized and managed. It is particularly important that you are brushing your teeth all the way to the gum, because the gum line is an area that is prone to plaque buildup. Brush gently, as vigorous brushing will only do more damage than good, especially to your gums.
Sticking to your daily brushing and flossing routine will help keep your teeth free of plaque buildup. Make sure you are brushing in the morning and before bed. If you don’t brush before bed, bacteria and plaque will build up throughout the night. Schedule a visit to our office so our experienced, professional dental team can clean your teeth, giving you a smile you can be proud of.
Painful, infected teeth are not a pleasant experience, but they are common symptoms of tooth decay. The good news however is that tooth decay is preventable. Your best defense against decay is a daily oral hygiene routine, as well as regular visits to our office. It can be helpful to know more about tooth decay and what causes it so that you are better equipped with the knowledge to prevent it.
More Than Just Sugar
Sugar is a leading cause of tooth decay. Sugar build-up and deposits on your teeth lead to the erosion of the tooth. While it is important to be mindful of the sugary products you are consuming, sugar is not the only culprit in causing tooth decay. Acids can also damage your teeth. Foods that are high in acidic content can speed up the process of decay. Our dentist suggests you avoid drinks and candies with high sugar or acid content. If you find yourself consuming such things, make sure to keep up with your daily oral hygiene routine.
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research recommends avoiding snacks between meals, limiting sugary drinks and fruit juices, and not eating or drinking before bedtime after brushing.
You Can’t Always Tell
Decay doesn’t always have noticeable signs. When discomfort is felt, it could be a sign the decay has spread beyond one tooth. In other words, by the time you do feel it decay is far along. This can be prevented by regular visits to our office. Our doctor can help identify potential issues early and you will receive the best possible treatments for your teeth.
Teeth with Fillings Still Need to Be Cared for Properly
Previous fillings do not mean that your teeth are free of decay forever. It is essential you maintain proper daily care of your teeth. It is possible to develop decay around existing fillings, so be sure you are taking extra care especially around fillings. If you feel your existing fillings are giving you trouble, schedule an appointment to see us.
Tooth Decay Not Just a Kids Thing
All age groups are equally at risk of developing tooth decay. Parents should keep an eye on their children’s sugary snacks and treats, but this advice holds true for everyone. Senior citizens are particularly vulnerable because of certain medications can damage their teeth. It is essential that all age groups are receiving twice-yearly dental examinations.
Tooth decay is a common dental issue. However, with the right knowledge you can prevent damage to your teeth. Watch your diet and make sure you limit sugary candies and snacks. Remember, you won’t always be able to see or feel decay, so contact our office to schedule a regular visit.
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