Maintaining healthy teeth and gums provides many benefits. It is believed that there is a correlation between the oral health condition and the status of overall health, so developing a strong oral hygiene regimen along with regular visits with your dentist are very important.
Getting an Early Start for Maximum Benefit
Did you know that a child’s first visit to the dentist should occur around the age of twelve months? Protecting baby teeth is important as they lay the groundwork for the permanent teeth that will erupt … the teeth that are needed to chew correctly, speak properly, and that will impact appearance for the rest of our lives.
Early dental visits consist primarily of an exam. The dentist is looking for existing or potential problems. These early visits provide the perfect opportunity for caregivers to learn the advantages of proper dental care for your child. Developing a strong oral hygiene regimen will provide protection for your child that will hopefully follow them into adulthood.
The Advantages of a Good Oral Hygiene Program
Brushing teeth twice a day is fairly common knowledge. Flossing daily is necessary to reach areas your toothbrush can’t get to between teeth. Daily oral care will help control the plaque that can form on teeth. When plaque is allowed to build on teeth it provides the potential for bacteria to breach the protective tooth enamel resulting in dental decay. Decay will not go away on its own. The advantages of maintaining regular visits to the dentist are that harmful plaque and tartar is removed and a dental exam is performed that may find and resolve problems early before they can escalate.
Failure to maintain good oral health can lead to more concerns than dental cavities. While preventing decay is important, controlling the onset of gum disease is a huge concern especially as you age. Gum disease can lead to problems like bleeding gums, bad breath, and eventually tooth loss.
Additionally, the inflammation connected to gum disease may be linked to serious health issues like stroke, heart disease, Type II diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
The importance of developing good oral habits early as well as eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, and not using tobacco, coupled with regular visits with our team at Bliss Dental are needed to develop a strong basis for optimum oral and overall health.
When you visit your dentist, you may be asked if you are flossing … the reason is not to berate or scold. Did you know that when you brush your teeth, you’re only reaching about two thirds of the surfaces of your teeth? That is because the remaining one third is located between your teeth … an area your toothbrush can’t reach. So a simple answer to your question is YES, flossing really is that important.
What Does Flossing Do?
When you floss between teeth, you are removing food debris left behind. Areas between teeth are often the spots where decay begins. Debris that is left if you don’t floss eventually can allow plaque and tartar buildup. The bacteria in plaque and tartar work to remove the minerals in the hard outer protective layer of your teeth – the enamel. Once enamel is breached, this can mean the onset of decay.
In addition, flossing daily provides a great stimulus for gum tissue. When performed correctly, the massaging effect from flossing keeps blood flowing throughout gum tissue enhancing overall gum tissue health.
There are multiple flossing products on the market today. It does not matter which one is used, but the frequency and technique are important.
Floss once a day … it is advised that flossing at night right before bed is ideal. Brush first, floss, and be sure to rinse thoroughly as you want everything to be flushed from your mouth.
The technique can mean the difference between a good job and a painful result. Make sure to floss between all teeth. Do not exert a lot of pressure against gum tissue.
What Else Should I Know About Flossing?
You are taking steps to prevent the onset of gum disease as well as decay prevention. Patients who take great care of their teeth and gums are much less likely to be faced with problems associated with gingivitis and periodontitis.
So whether you use regular dental floss, floss picks, floss threaders, a water pic, or any other type of flossing product, you are taking the steps needed to maintain your oral health.
And remember to honor all concerns regarding your dental health … do not use tobacco in any form, watch what you eat and drink, brush and floss every day, and visit our team at Bliss Dental every six months or as directed.
Just because your tooth does not hurt at this moment does not preclude the need for a root canal. In many cases, there are no obvious symptoms that indicate the need for a root canal. But you could have an infection brewing that could result in a serious toothache as well as an abscess that has the potential to make you sick.
What Is A Root Canal?
When the nerve of a tooth is damaged from trauma, infection, or deep decay, the patient has two options. The first is to have endodontic therapy (a root canal); the second is extraction. Whenever possible, your dentist will always advise that the tooth be saved.
When the need for a root canal is indicated, the process is actually very simple and straightforward. A dental x-ray is taken to identify the number of roots involved and their exact position. It is important that all roots be treated to prevent further infection or the need for retreatment.
The tooth is segregated using a rubber dam. This keeps the area dry.
The tooth is anesthetized. Even though the patient may have advised that they don’t feel pain, this is a necessary action taken for the comfort of the patient.
An access point is created in the tooth. Endodontic files are inserted into the tooth to remove the contents from the canals of each root. This includes pulp, blood, nerve, and infectious material, if present.
Throughout the procedure the doctor and assistant are using suction to remove these contents. Once all canals have been treated and flushed, this part of the procedure is completed.
The Final Step
The access point must be sealed. Depending on the tooth treated, this can be done with a bonding material; in many cases, a dental crown is recommended to seal the tooth.
Before sealing the tooth, a material is used to pack the root canals called gutta percha. This material fills the now empty canals as the final step before the permanent seal is applied.
A tooth saved from extraction with a root canal can last a lifetime. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact our office today.
The porcelain veneers procedure is a non-invasive cosmetic enhancement that serves many purposes. In addition to being a permanent solution, veneers can actually strengthen treated teeth allowing the patient many years to enjoy their beautiful new smile.
Benefits of Porcelain Veneers
While there are many benefits with porcelain veneers, five of the top include:
- They are a solution for many issues: Unlike other dental procedures aimed at a specific problem, veneers can be used to treat deep dental stain, chipped or cracked enamel, uneven dentition, and/or unwanted gaps between teeth. A patient suffering from one or many of these dental conditions can get results from this one cosmetic process.
- Permanent: This is not a temporary fix. To place veneers, your dentist will remove a small amount of enamel from the front of teeth to be repaired making this treatment option permanent.
- Self-confidence boost: In a matter of weeks and a couple of dental visits, you can totally revamp your appearance eliminating the things you dislike about your smile.
- Ease of care: Once porcelain veneers are cemented in place, you will provide the same care for all your teeth … brushing and flossing daily and visiting your dentist every six months for cleaning and dental exam. There is nothing special needed for their care.
- Non-invasive: The procedure does not require any surgery or treatment requiring time off from work or school
Veneers Provide A Long Lasting Treatment Option
With proper care, veneers are designed to last for many, many years. The patient is advised that they must take care to avoid biting their nails, opening packages with their teeth, and biting into hard or chewy foods. In the unlikely event a veneer should break or become dislodged, it would need to be replaced.
Veneers offer flexibility in that one or multiple teeth can be treated.
Another positive aspect of porcelain is that it is naturally resistant to stain. This also means that if the patient is considering teeth whitening, that should be completed before the veneer process is initiated so your dentist may match the veneers to your newly lightened teeth shade.
Porcelain veneers … an ideal solution that can transform your smile in a few short weeks. Contact our team at Bliss Dental today to schedule a consultation.
If you are a dentist, teeth are a serious business. However, there are times when you may want to share some of the fun facts about teeth.
Fun Dental Facts
- Today we have access to a multitude of dental products to help us maintain great dental health. But before modern dentistry, individuals cleaned their teeth using twigs, crushed egg shells, and ground animal hooves to clean and polish their teeth.
- Dental enamel is the hardest structure in the human body, but it is not invincible. It can be worn away with improper brushing tools and technique or damaged due to teeth grinding. Consuming sugary foods and beverages can leave teeth unprotected if there is a breach in dental enamel.
- Dental decay is the second most experienced disease. Number one is the common cold. This should trigger just how important it is to manage our oral health.
- Teeth actually begin forming in the womb. Baby teeth are present at birth in gum tissue just waiting for the right time to erupt beginning at three to six months of age. Once baby teeth are lost, permanent teeth come in. We only get these two sets of teeth and no two sets are alike. Our teeth are as unique as fingerprints.
The Serious Side of Dental Care
Our teeth are important for speaking clearly, chewing our food, and smiling with self-confidence. Caring for our adult teeth is no joking matter. Things you can do to promote great oral health include:
Diet: Drink water; soda or sugary flavored drinks should be saved for special occasions. The major food groups that we should consume daily include fruits, vegetables, dairy, healthy grains, and proteins.
Lifestyle: Do not use tobacco products in any form. This includes e-cigarettes and vaping products. Do not use illicit drugs and limit alcohol consumption.
Brush and Floss Daily: Brush twice daily for a minimum of two minutes each time using a fluoridated toothpaste. Floss every day to remove what your toothbrush missed.
Visit our team at Bliss Dental at least twice a year for a cleaning and exam. Not only will teeth look their best, but regular visits allow your dentist to spot problems before they have a chance to escalate. Call our dental office today to schedule your next appointment.
Tooth enamel is like a protective shield covering your teeth. It can be chipped or worn away, and once it is gone, it does not grow back. It is imperative that you do everything you can to protect tooth enamel. Brushing twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste coupled with twice yearly visits with your dentist for cleaning and dental exam are minimum requirements. There are other things you can do.
Helpful Dental Tips
Watch Your Diet: Eating nutritious foods versus sugary snacks should be a priority. Foods high in Vitamin D and calcium like dairy products help maintain bone health and keep teeth strong.
Brushing: It’s more than just the act of brushing … the tools you use and your technique are very important. It is not necessary to scrub teeth to clean them sufficiently … a toothbrush with soft bristles is best. A hard bristle toothbrush and a strong hand can result in worn dental enamel as well as premature gum erosion.
Fluoride: Fluoride helps strengthen dental enamel. Tap water is an excellent source of fluoride as well as many of the foods we eat … if you drink only bottled water, your dentist may recommend fluoride treatments to help protect your teeth.
Dry Mouth: This is more than just aggravating. It can result in decay and the onset of gum disease. There are multiple products available to help promote saliva production. Talk to your dentist for a recommendation.
Teeth Grinding: This can become a habit. It often starts subconsciously during periods of sleep, but can become so ingrained that patients will grind their teeth throughout the day as well, not even realizing they are doing it. Grinding can lead to worn enamel, and even broken teeth.
Work With Your Dentist
Follow the instructions provided to help preserve precious dental enamel. Skip sipping soda … water is a far better choice. If you experience dry mouth, chewing sugar-free gum may help. If teeth grinding has begun, a mouthguard may provide a solution. And an electric toothbrush is a valuable investment. Most come with a timer reminding you to brush for two minutes. Finally, visit our dentist every six months for a professional cleaning and dental exam.
Teeth whitening provides a noticeable change in your appearance for a very reasonable investment. A consultation with our dentist will show you how this cosmetic dentistry procedure can improve your smile in a short period of time.
A Few Questions About Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening products are everywhere … how do I know which one is best for me?
As a licensed dental provider, your dentist can provide you with safety tested, quality teeth whitening products that contain the most powerful whitening agents available.
Are there any other advantages in acquiring teeth whitening from my dentist?
Absolutely … if you purchase a kit, paste, rinse, blue light, or any other whitening products online or at your corner pharmacy, you are given products and written instructions. But if you have questions or concerns, who are you going to ask? If you purchased teeth whitening from your dentist, you have a dental professional to work with alleviating any concerns you may have.
What kind of results can I expect from teeth whitening?
Everyone is different. A consultation provides an excellent opportunity to address your questions. It is very likely you will be advised to have your teeth cleaned prior to whitening to remove topical stain and any plaque that has formed since your previous cleaning. Most patients experience very noticeable results.
What can I do to make my whitening experience last as long as possible?
Learn the foods, beverages, and lifestyle habits that result in teeth discoloration. Foods like tomato based products, many berries, and dark sauces can result in stain. Coffee, tea, red wine, and cola are likely to stain. Drink cold drinks with a straw to allow much of the beverage to bypass your teeth. Finally, smoking and all tobacco products discolor and stain dentition.
Cosmetic Dentistry Has A Lot To Offer
There may have been a time when only the wealthy or movie stars invested in their smile. But with the many advancements and products widely available, you can now enjoy a beautiful smile. A consultation with our dentist at Bliss Dental will demonstrate what can be done to enhance your appearance … teeth whitening is a great place to start.
Craving something sweet can occur any time of day. How you handle the urge to satisfy your sweet tooth is important for your oral health. What you eat and how often you give in can impact your teeth and overall health as well. Your dentist has many suggestions for keeping teeth and gums healthy … and remember to visit your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning to remove plaque that has formed and built up since your previous visit.
If you get a little creative, you will find there are many ways to satisfy your sweet tooth. Some basic suggestions include naturally sweet fruits like apples, grapes, peaches … fresh fruit is high in fiber (skin on) and vitamins making fruit a great choice.
Dried fruit (in moderation) is acceptable, but can be very high in calories so watch portion size. Dried figs are delicious and contain iron, fiber, and vitamins.
Dark chocolate can be used in numerous ways. You can enjoy a piece of dark chocolate on its own or mix in a small portion of shaved sweetness with a serving of plain greek yogurt, melt and dip your favorite fruit and chill for a cool treat, add in with granola or nuts (watch your serving size), or melt with a spoon of natural peanut butter and pour over a serving of popcorn you popped (not microwave or prepackaged). Hot chocolate is sweet and can take a while to drink allowing you to enjoy your treat even more.
Greek yogurt can be enjoyed on its own, but add in some crumbled graham crackers (plain, cinnamon, or chocolate), fruit, granola or nuts to add variety … but all greek yogurts are not created equally … read labels carefully to prevent consuming one loaded with sugar.
You can make your own ice cream by blending ripened bananas or puree your favorite fruit, mix with a a small amount of lime or apple juice, and freeze for a healthy frozen treat.
When the sweet tooth strikes, another solution to snacking is to take a walk, exercise, or engage in a distracting behavior until the urge passes. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and don’t allow yourself to get so hungry that you grab the first thing you see.
Vacationing or a busy schedule should never be an excuse for neglecting your oral health. If you’re away from home for one day or an extended trip, plan for whatever you may need so when you return home you know you did whatever you could to keep teeth and gums healthy. If your plans call for you to be absent from home for an extended period, make sure you visit your dentist before departing for a cleaning and dental exam.
Dental Care Away From Home
Just because you are not home, you still need to maintain that same daily oral health regimen you practice at home (and if you don’t have one, it’s never too late to start). Pack a toothbrush, fluoridated toothpaste, and dental floss. If you forgot to pack, unless you’re in the wilderness, you can easily pick up the tools needed to take care of your teeth.
If your travels take you to areas where brushing is more difficult, make sure you have plenty of bottled water. Before you leave, invest in a pack of disposable toothbrushes that have a tooth cleaning agent already on the brush. Just make sure you dispose of them appropriately.
Disposable toothbrushes are a great tool for those with a busy schedule as well. Pop into a restroom following meals; brush, and toss away before continuing on with your day. Just remember, many foods and beverages can soften dental enamel so brushing too soon following consumption may do more damage than good. Waiting thirty minutes to brush is a good rule of thumb. If you don’t have that much time, give your mouth a good rinse and/or chew sugar free gum.
I’m Away From Home and Need a Dentist
A toothache or trauma to teeth that results in the need for a dentist can happen at any time. If you are away from home, a quick call to your own dentist to seek advice may be in order. Even at night or on weekends, your dentist may have an emergency number you can call.
If this is a true emergency, or if excessive bleeding is evident, a trip to the hospital emergency room is in order. Very often, stop gap measures can be taken until you can get home and see your regular dentist for follow-up treatment.
For more information or to schedule a visit, contact our team at Bliss Dental today.
Did you know that retaining your wisdom teeth could significantly increase your risk for developing periodontal (gum) disease? It’s true; foregoing wisdom tooth extraction increases a person’s risk for many oral health conditions. Wisdom tooth removal will significantly lower the risk for gum disease and improve oral function and quality of life.
The emergence and retention of wisdom teeth is problematic to gum health for a few reasons. First, it is important to know that wisdom teeth are actually a third set of molars. This third set of molars came in handy for our ancestors, many of whom lost their first and second molars before adulthood. Wisdom teeth are no longer biologically necessary; so having a wisdom tooth extraction will not negatively affect oral function.
Reasons to Remove Wisdom Teeth
Since modern humans keep their second molars much longer than their ancestors, there is rarely enough room in the mouth for wisdom teeth to come through the gums in healthy positions. Instead, due to the crowded situation, they partially erupt – leaving some of the tooth exposed and the rest concealed by the gingiva.
Partial tooth eruption means that debris and bacteria can easily collect beneath the exposed portion of a tooth and the gingiva. With no way to dislodge trapped debris, the gums can become easily infected. Moreover, the location of wisdom teeth at the very back of the mouth makes keeping the gums and exposed portions of teeth clean.
Gum Disease and Your Oral Health
Periodontal disease is a major threat to oral health and quality of life – especially when this condition is not treated quickly. Gum disease, when left undiagnosed and untreated, can quickly progress into a systemic health condition that can destroy the gums, teeth, and bone. Since gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss, it is important that patients of all ages practice proper oral hygiene and receive routine professional care.
Our team offers gentle wisdom tooth extraction. We utilize advanced surgical techniques to reduce invasiveness and promote expedient recoveries. Call Bliss Dental today to reserve an appointment.
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