Preventive Dentistry and Your Dental Health

Serious dental  health problems such as tooth decay (cavities), tooth infections and gum disease can be painful, costly and time-consuming. The best way to treat these problems is to avoid having them in the first place with preventive dentistry.  Preventive dentistry refers to a group of dental services that can be used to prevent dental health issues.  These services include but are not limited to dental cleanings and checkups, fluoride treatments and sealants.

Dental cleanings and checkups provide a great opportunity for your dentist to check for any signs of decay, infection, gum disease and oral cancer.  It also enables a specially trained dental hygienists to clean your teeth using specialized equipment.  A professional cleaning by a trained dental hygienists can remove any plaque or tartar from the surfaces of your teeth that cannot be eliminated with regular flossing and brushing. If you do not have any major dental health issues, you should visit your dentist’s office every six months for a routine dental cleaning and checkup.  If you have severe decay or gum disease, you may need to visit the dentist’s office more often.  Pregnant women and people with braces are sometimes recommended to visit the dentist for dental cleanings more often than every six months.

Fluoride treatments are special treatments that can be used to strengthen the teeth and prevent tooth decay.  This painless treatment can be performed during a routine dental checkup and can be used for children as well as adults.

Sealants are a protective coating that can be placed on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to prevent cavities.  This is also a painless treatment that can be performed during a routine dental cleaning and checkup.  Sealants are recommended for children and in some cases, adults.

The old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is especially true when it comes to your dental health.  If you have not been to visit your dentist in more than six months, schedule an appointment today!

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health

 

 
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Protecting Your Teeth With a Mouthguard

Spring is in the air and that means soccer, baseball, lacrosse and other children’s sporting activities are in full swing.  While participating in contact sports can be great for kids in terms of exercise, character development and more, it can present a danger to their dental health.  That is, unless the proper protection is used to prevent dental traumas.  Basically, if your child participates in a contact sport, he or she needs to wear a mouth guard to protect his or her teeth.

There are three different types of mouth guards including the following:

•  Custom fitted

•  Stock

•  Boil and bite

Custom fitted mouth guards are made specifically for you, by your dentist.  This is the most expensive option but fits the best and may provide the best protection for the teeth.  This is because it is custom-fitted to your specific mouth.  Stock mouth guards can be purchased at most big box stores and come pre-formed, ready to wear.  Unfortunately, often times they do not fit well, and can make breathing and talking difficult.  Boil and bite mouth guards can be purchased at drug stores and most sporting goods stores.  They are first softened in water (boiled) and then inserted and allowed to conform to the shape of your mouth.  They provide a better fit than the stock mouth guards yet are less expensive than the custom mouth guards.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), custom-fitted mouth guards provided by dentists provide the best protection for teeth.  However, boil and bite mouth guards are a more economical option and do provide some measure of protection.  The important thing is for your child to wear some form of mouth guard to protect the teeth from trauma and injury.  When teeth are lost, it causes problems with smiling, eating talking and your overall dental health.  While there are good options for replacing lost teeth, they can be costly and labor intensive.

If your child is going to be participating in contact sports this spring, put a mouth guard on your list of equipment.  You will be glad you did!

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health

 
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Options for Whitening Severely Discolored Teeth

If you long for a beautiful, white, star quality smile but have severe tooth discoloration that does not respond to over-the-counter whitening strips or toothpastes, you are not alone.  Many adults have severe discoloration due to smoking, medications taken as a child or stains developed while wearing braces.  Fortunately, there are a variety of options that can be used to treat this problem.

The whitening solutions that are made available through a dentist are stronger than the ones that are sold over-the-counter and may be just what you need to achieve a bright, beautiful smile.  Many dental offices offer a teeth whitening system that an be used at home.  It consists of custom trays that are filled with a whitening solution and worn over the teeth for a certain period of time.  With these systems, you can choose how often to whiten your teeth.  Many dental offices also offer an in-office teeth whitening solution that can be completed in a little over an hour.  This type of system involves coating the teeth with a special solution and then curing it with a special light.

The two different types of teeth whitening solutions offered by dentists are highly effective for most individuals, however, if your tooth discoloration is very severe, they may not work for you.   In this case, you may have to consider either crowns or porcelain veneers.  A crown is a restoration that can be placed over a tooth the improve its appearance.  This type of solution works for patients who have one or several teeth that are discolored, not their entire set of teeth.  Porcelain veneers are extremely thin shells that can be laminated to the front surface of teeth to improve their appearance.  This solution is better suited for individuals with severe tooth discoloration on all or most of the teeth that show when they smile.

If you desire a whiter, brighter, more vibrant smile, talk to your dentist today about the available teeth whitening solutions.  Your dentist can help you select the system that is best suited to your particular needs.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health

 
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Easter Basket Treats and Your Child’s Dental Health

If you are a parent, you are very well aware of the fact that parenting requires a delicate balancing act.  As parents, everyday we are faced with the task of letting our children enjoy their childhoods and keeping them safe.  It is not an easy task!  The same is true when it comes to Easter Basket treats and your children’s dental health.

Despite recent advances in education, oral hygiene and dental care, tooth decay in American children remains a serious problem.  We know that eating foods that are high in sugar can cause tooth decay, particularly when they remain on the teeth for prolonged periods of time.  This is because when those sugary foods break down, they produce bacteria and the bacteria is what causes tooth decay.

So, how do you let your children enjoy their Easter treats without sacrificing their dental health?  Again, it requires a delicate balancing act on the part of the parents.  Basically, you can allow your child to enjoy sugary Easter treats, however, you need to limit the frequency and amount.  You can also be smart about helping your child choose the types of sweets he or she enjoys.  Sticky, gooey treats such as gummy bears and worms, licorice, fruit rollups and taffy will adhere to the teeth and tend to stay on the teeth longer.  If you are going to allow your child to enjoy these types of treats, you should limit the frequency and encourage him or her to brush their teeth immediately after they finish eating.  Or, if a toothbrush is not readily accessible, you should encourage your child to rinse his or her mouth out with water.

You can also make suggestions to the Easter Bunny about what types of treats to leave in your child’s basket.  This year, ask the Easter Bunny to mix in some fruit, pencils, stickers, crayons, sidewalk chalk etc. into your child’s Easter basket.  That way, you can still enjoy this fun family tradition, without the guilt!

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health

 
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Should You Invest in An Electronic Toothbrush?

When you walk down the aisle of the grocery or drug store these days, you are hit with a myriad of different choices of toothbrushes.  Not only are there many different brands, but there are also different types.  These different types include regular old-fashioned toothbrushes, battery-operated spinning toothbrushes and electronic toothbrushes that plug into an outlet, such as the Sonicare brand.  These toothbrushes are not only different in brand and type, but they are also very different in price.

The plain, old-fashioned toothbrushes are the least expensive followed by the battery-operated spinning toothbrushes.  The electronic toothbrushes that plug in, like the Sonicare brand, are the most expensive option.  But is an electronic toothbrush really worth the extra cost?  Most dentists will tell you that the most important thing is to brush your teeth thoroughly, using any type of toothbrush, at least twice daily.  They will also tell you to be careful about how hard you brush and the technique you use.  Dragging a toothbrush across your teeth and gums with too much pressure can damage your gums.  Using a toothbrush that is too firm can also damage your gums.  It is better to brush with a soft or medium bristled toothbrush and to make small circular motions.

One of the good things about electronic toothbrushes is the fact that they eliminate the need apply pressure when you brush.  You can simply hold the electronic toothbrush over the teeth and gums, and let it do all the work.  This is a good option for individuals who have gum recession or who tend to brush with too vigorously.

Your dentist is the best person to help determine which type of toothbrush is right for you.  If you have questions about what type of toothbrush to buy or about your oral health in general, please visit your local dentist today.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health

 

 
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Proper Toothbrush Care Equals Better Dental Health

Toothbrush care is probably not something you think about very often.  Most of us brush our teeth twice a-day and do not think any further about properly caring for our toothbrushes.  However, taking proper care of your toothbrush can help to improve your overall dental health.  Perhaps we should spend a little more time thinking about it.

To properly care for your toothbrush, you should let it dry between uses so that it will not become a breeding ground for germs, fungus and bacteria.  After use, you should tap it vigorously to get rid of the extra water and then store it upright so it can dry out.

When storing your toothbrush after use, you should make sure that it is not touching any other toothbrushes.  This will prevent the transfer of germs from one toothbrush to another.  Stands that have different slots for different toothbrushes are very helpful in keeping them from touching.

So, how often should you replace your toothbrush?  Most dentists agree that you should replace your toothbrush every three months.  After three months, the bristles start to wear down and are not as effective in removing plaque from your teeth and gums.  If you have a cold, flu, mouth infection or sore throat, you should replace your toothbrush.  This will prevent the germs from causing the sickness to reoccur.

Lastly, when you are traveling, you should make sure that your toothbrush stays covered in transit.  This can be accomplished using a plastic cover that they sell in the drug stores and grocery stores.

For more information about proper toothbrush care, talk to your dentist today.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health

 

 
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