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Monday, March 5, 2018

Understanding your wisdom teeth

Many patients ask whether wisdom teeth are really necessary since so many people have them removed.
The fact is that wisdom teeth are a valuable asset to the mouth when they are healthy and properly positioned.
However, problems can occur that sometimes make it better to have them removed.
For example, when the jaw isn’t large enough, the wisdom teeth can become impacted – misaligned or unable to grow in properly. They may grow sideways, emerge only part way from the gum or remain trapped beneath the gum and bone.
The reasons wisdom teeth may have to be extracted include:
– The teeth have only partially erupted. This leaves an opening for bacteria which cause infection.
– There is a chance the wisdom teeth will damage adjacent teeth.
– A cyst forms which may destroy surrounding structures such as bone or tooth roots.
Ask your dentist about the health and positioning of your wisdom teeth.
Your dentist will tell you if there are any issues and will recommend any steps needed.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Choosing the right mouthwash to meet your needs

These days many people like to use a mouthwash and there is a huge range of options to choose from.
The key to choosing the right one for your needs is being clear about what you are using it for.
Many people opt for mouthwash because they want to have fresh breath.
But many mouthwashes contain alcohol which can cause the mouth to dry. It’s best to minimize the chances of suffering from dry mouth as it can increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Therefore if you want fresh breath, a breath spray or drops may meet your needs better.
Another reason for using mouthwash is when you’ve been told you have a gum disease such as gingivitis. In this case, you’ll need to choose a mouthwash that contains ingredients known to kill the bacteria that cause gingivitis.
If you like to use a mouthwash that improves your oral health, use one that contains fluoride.
Read the directions of your mouthwash and make sure you spit it out.
Don’t assume that the most expensive mouthwashes are best. Think carefully about your needs and check the ingredients.
Your dentist will be able to advise you on the best choice of mouthwash.

Monday, February 19, 2018

How to make visiting the dentist easy for kids

Your child should have their first trip to the dentist by the time they are 18 months old and it’s good to make the process as easy as possible for them from the start.
Dental staff are used to dealing with young children and they will know how to make them feel comfortable.
Sometimes, children under three may be treated on the parent’s lap. In this case, the parent sits in the dental chair facing the dentist, and the child is on their lap.
The dentist will tell the child what he or she is going to do in terms they can understand. They will usually have fun dental toys they can use to help.
They will start with an oral examination checking the teeth present and looking at the development of the jaw, gums and soft tissues.
Naturally, as in any new situation, some children are initially unsettled but this is usually short-lived as they get used to it.
Parents can help by ensuring they are calm and relaxed as any anxiety will transfer to the child.
With older children, the parents may stay in the background though sometimes children behave better when the parent is not in the room!
Work with your children and your dentist to find the best way of ensuring they get the treatment they need with minimum worries for everyone.

Monday, February 12, 2018

How cancer treatment affects oral health

When someone is undergoing cancer treatment, its important that they involve their dentist in their program of care.
They should schedule a dental exam and cleaning before the treatment actually begins and then repeat it periodically during the course of treatment.
Its important that they tell the dentist that they are being treated for cancer and that they also discuss any dental procedures, such as extractions or insertion of dental implants, with the oncologist before starting the cancer treatment.
Its therefore a good idea to ensure that the dentist and oncologist have each others details to enable them to discuss any issues to help the patient.
And the dentist and physician should be informed about any issues such as bleeding of the gums, pain, or unusual feeling in the teeth or gums, or any dental infections.
Maintaining excellent oral hygiene during cancer treatment is vital to reduce the risk of infection and to help aid the treatment process.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Should you be concerned about thumbsucking?

Some children suck on their thumbs and parents often wonder if it is harmful.
Sucking on something is a child’s natural reflex. It can help them feel more secure so they start to suck on their thumbs, fingers, pacifiers or other objects.
Since thumbsucking is relaxing, it may also help them sleep.
However, after the permanent teeth come in, sucking may cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth and the alignment of teeth. It can also cause changes in the roof of the mouth.
Whether or not dental problems will result depends on the intensity of the sucking.
A child who vigorously sucks their thumb is more likely to have difficulties than one who rests their thumb passively in their mouth. Young children who suck their thumbs aggressively may even cause problems with their baby teeth.
If you notice changes in your childs primary teeth, consult your dentist.
Usually children will stop sucking their thumbs between the ages of about two and four. They should have ceased sucking by the time the permanent front teeth are ready to erupt.
If your child is continuing to suck their thumbs, here are some tips:
– Praise them for not sucking, instead of scolding them when they are
– If they are sucking because they feel insecure, focus on correcting the cause of the anxiety
– For older children, involve them in choosing the method of stopping
If necessary, your dentist can help by encouraging the child and explaining what could happen to their teeth if they do not stop sucking.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Why its not inevitable that youll lose your teeth as you get older

Advancements in dental techniques and the increased focus on preventive dentistry means older adults are keeping their natural teeth longer than ever before.
A survey by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research showed that the rate of toothlessness in the 55 to 64 age group has dropped 60 percent since 1960.
Whatever your age, its important to practice good oral hygiene at home and to visit your dentist regularly. A few simple steps can help you maintain good oral health throughout your life.
Plaque, the sticky, colorless layer of bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease, can build up quickly on the teeth of older adults, particularly when they neglect oral hygiene. This can increase the risk for tooth decay and periodontal disease.
So its important to brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, and clean between your teeth daily with floss or interdental cleaners.
Regular dental checkups are also an important part of caring for your teeth.
This can help you save your teeth and gums and prevent other dental problems. It will save you time and money in the long-run as well.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Diabetes and your dental health: How your diet can affect your teeth

When diabetes is not controlled properly, high glucose levels in saliva may create problems that lead to an increased risk of tooth decay.
Your teeth are covered with plaque, a sticky film of bacteria. After you eat food that contains sugars or starches, the bacteria react with these sugars to release acids that attack tooth enamel. This can cause the enamel to break down and may eventually result in cavities.
Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between your teeth with floss or an interdental cleaner helps remove decay-causing plaque.
Plaque that is not removed can eventually harden into calculus, or tartar. When tartar collects above the gumline, it becomes more difficult to clean thoroughly between teeth. This can lead to chronic inflammation and infection in the mouth.
Because diabetes reduces the body's resistance to infection, the gums are among the tissues likely to be affected.
Periodontal diseases are infections of the gum and bone that hold your teeth in place. Patients with inadequate blood sugar control appear to develop periodontal disease more often and more severely, and they lose more teeth than those who have good control of their diabetes.
Because of the lower resistance and longer healing process, periodontal diseases often appear to be more frequent and more severe among persons with diabetes.
You can help reduce these risks through good maintenance of blood sugar levels, a well-balanced diet, good oral care at home and regular dental checkups.