This Thanksgiving, Be Thankful for Your Dental Health

Thanksgiving is the time of year when we give thanks for all of our blessings.  This can include family, friends, wealth and even our health.  If you are blessed enough to have good oral health, you probably have not spent enough time thinking about this particular blessing.  However, when our dental health goes south and we experience painful and expensive dental problems, it is then that we realize what a big blessing this is. Good dental health gives us the ability to chew and eat properly and to properly digest the foods we eat.  It also has a big effect on our confidence and our quality of life.

Unfortunately, many American adults are not blessed with good oral health.  This is evidenced by the fact that according to the American Dental Association (ADA), more than 20 million people in the United States are missing all of their teeth.  The ADA also reports that more than 100 million people in the United States are missing between 11 to 15 of their teeth. Tooth decay in America is also a problem, especially in children.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tooth decay affects more than 1/4 of U. S. children between the ages of 2 and 5 and half of children between the ages of 12 and 15.  Lastly, periodontal disease is rampant in American adults.  According to the CDC, half of American adults have some stage of periodontal disease, many of them undiagnosed.  This is unfortunate because untreated periodontal disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss.

Cavities, periodontal disease and missing teeth are largely preventable dental health conditions.  Many of these cases can be avoided with proper daily dental hygiene, regular dental care and a healthy, well-balanced diet.  If you are one of the many Americans who is not blessed with good oral health, now is the time to turn things around. Talk to your dentist today about the steps you can take to improve your dental health in the new year.

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

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Enjoying Your Thanksgiving Feast With Dental Implants

For most Americans, Thanksgiving represents a special time to gather with friends and family and to express thanks for our many blessings.  A huge Thanksgiving feast of turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce and sweet potato casserole is also part of the Thanksgiving tradition for many families.  This is the time when we set our tables with our best linens and china, turn off our cell phones and other electronics, and enjoy a long, relaxing meal around the table.  However, if you are dealing with ill-fitting, loose or uncomfortable dentures, Thanksgiving dinner may not be all that enjoyable to you.

Dentures that slip or fall out easily can make it very difficult to enjoy a meal, especially when the meal involves a group.  Even if it is with your family members, the last thing you want is for your dentures to fall into your dinner plate!  In addition, loose or uncomfortable dentures can make it difficult to chew and properly digest certain foods.

If you notice that your dentures have recently become loose, ill-fitting or uncomfortable, it could be due to changes with the bone in your jaw.  When pressure is not exerted on the jawbone on a regular basis, it can cause bone loss.  This in turn can make dentures that at one time fit well, not fit well anymore.  It is a vicious cycle.

You can break the cycle of ill-fitting dentures with dental implants.  Dental implants are a revolutionary tooth replacement  solution that provide for replacement teeth that look, function and feel like natural teeth.  There a a variety of tooth replacement options that can be used with dental implants including dental-implant-supported crowns, bridges and dentures.

If you are tired of worrying about your dentures slipping or falling out or if your dentures have become uncomfortable, talk to your dentist today about dental implants.  After a thorough evaluation, your dentist can determine if you are a candidate for this life-changing dental procedure.

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

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Enamel Shaping and Bonding for an Improved Smile

Do have one tooth that is a little more square than another?  Do you have a rough spot on one of your teeth or a small chip in your tooth?  If so, you may be a good candidate for a painless cosmetic dental procedure called enamel shaping.  With enamel shaping, dentists use the same tools that are used to polish the teeth during a dental cleaning to remove a small amount of the tooth’s surface. This quick procedure can create an improved look and better feel.  Typically, enamel shaping is done without an anesthetic.  This may not be the case in patients with severe tooth sensitivity.

Dental bonding is another painless cosmetic dental procedure that is basically the opposite of enamel shaping. With dental bonding, a small amount of composite resin material is added to the tooth to fill in holes, cracks or gaps in the teeth.  Once the dental bonding material has hardened, it is polished to smooth the surface.

Enamel shaping and dental bonding are relatively inexpensive cosmetic dental procedures that can be used to improve your smile.  These procedures are appropriate when one or two of your teeth is in need of improvement.  If you wish to improve all of or a majority of the teeth that show when you smile, porcelain veneers may be a better option. This is also the case when there is severe tooth discoloration in multiple teeth.  With porcelain veneers, extremely thin shells are laminated to the front surfaces of the teeth to improve their appearance and bring balance to your smile.  Porcelain veneers are a highly effective way to dramatically improve the appearance of your smile but are quite a bit more expensive than bonding or enamel shaping.

If you are interested in improving the appearance of your smile but are not sure which type of cosmetic dental procedure to choose, talk to a qualified cosmetic dentist today.  After a thorough consultation, your dentist can recommend the procedure or combination of procedure that best suits your goals while staying within your budget.

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

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EPA Wants New Standards to Reduce Dental Mercury Entering the Environment

Mercury is a naturally occurring metal that can be mixed with other metals to make amalgam:  a popular compound used to make dental fillings.  However, Mercury is a know neurotoxin and exposure to Mercury at certain levels has been linked to a number of health problems.  As a result, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is concerned about the amount of Mercury entering the environment.

Mercury is introduced into the environment when dentists remove old amalgam fillings or remove excess amalgam when placing new fillings. As a result, about half of the Mercury that enters water treatment systems comes from dental offices.  The EPA is proposing new standards to reduce the amount of Mercury released from dental offices.  These changes would fall under the Clean Water Act and would reduce metal discharge to water systems by almost 9 tons a year.

Currently, there are standards set by the American Dental Association (ADA) that give guidelines for the safe removal and disposal of amalgam materials.  Many state and local governments currently require amalgam separators and other practices in dentists’ offices in order to reduce the release of mercury. The American Dental Association strongly recommends such measures. These standards are already in place in approximately 40% of dental offices across the country.  This new rule would serve to strengthen the human health protection that is already in place.

Due to health concerns regarding exposure to Mercury vapors from amalgam fillings, many individuals are electing to have their amalgam fillings removed and replaced with composite resin or porcelain fillings.  Others make this decision purely for cosmetic reasons.  If you have amalgam fillings in your mouth and would like to have them removed, talk to your dentist about the safe removal of these fillings today.

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

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Choosing the Right Toothpaste

If you take a stroll down the dental health aisle at any grocery store or drugstore, you will see over 40 different types and brands of toothpastes. There are toothpastes with added fluoride, toothpastes for kids, teeth whitening toothpastes, tartar control toothpastes, toothpastes for sensitive teeth and more. With all these choices, how do you choose the one that is right for you? Here are some tips:

1. Choose a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps to strengthen your teeth. Studies have shown that using a fluoride toothpaste helps to increase the concentration of fluoride in the teeth. This can help protect your teeth against tooth decay.

2. Choose a toothpaste that is approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). Toothpastes that have earned the seal of approval from the ADA have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness by an independent panel of experts. All toothpastes that are approved by the ADA contain fluoride.

3. Consider any special needs including tooth sensitivity, tartar buildup or tooth discoloration. If you have any of these issues, you may want to choose a toothpaste that is specially made to treat your condition.

Most dentists agree that the type of toothpaste you choose is not the important factor in your dental health. The most important factor in your dental health is your daily dental hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth thoroughly at least twice daily and flossing your teeth at least one time per day.

If you are still confused over which type or brand of toothpaste to buy, talk to your dentist. He or she can give you some recommendations based on your particular dental health needs and dental health history.

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

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Caring For Your Dentures

Dentures are an investment and have a large bearing on your ability to eat, speak and chew with confidence. And, just like regular teeth, dentures require proper care and attention to keep them functioning at a high level and to make them last a long as possible. So, how should you properly care for your dentures? Read on to find out.

Keeping your dentures clean is one of the most important aspects of regular denture care and should be done on a daily basis. This includes cleaning them daily with a denture brush and soaking them in a cleanser solution. Cleaning your dentures daily will help to keep them white and bright and will prevent plaque buildup. Daily cleanings can also help to prevent denture odor. However, it is important not to brush too hard when you are cleaning your dentures as this can cause damage. Moistening the dentures prior to cleaning them can help you avoid scratching or damaging the delicate metal and plastic parts.

Before putting your dentures back into your mouth, you should brush your gums, tongue and any natural teeth (in the case of partial dentures) with a fluoride toothpaste. You can also rinse with a mouthwash to help get rid of bacteria in your mouth and give you a clean, refreshed feeling.

When you are not wearing your dentures, you should keep them moist to keep them from drying out and losing their shape. You can store them a container that is specially made for this purpose with either water or soaking solution.

If your dentures become loose or uncomfortable, you should notify your dentist as soon as possible. He or she may need to make certain adjustments to improve their fit and comfortability.

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

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