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Soda and your teeth

MARCH 30, 2016 BY MEGHAN NAATZ

Soda can negatively impact your health in more ways than one. It is well known that an excessive consumption of soda can lead to diabetes, obesity, and osteoporosis. One area that seems to get overlooked is the effect it has on your dental hygiene.

This sugary, carbonated beverage results in serious dental erosion and cavities. The acids present in soft drinks eat away at your tooth enamel, the protective layer on your teeth, and cause it to soften. After this is done, the soda is able to make its way into the next layer, the dentin. This is where cavities come into play, especially if you have poor dental hygiene habits.

Children are at an increased risk of developing dental problems from soda. Their enamel is vulnerable to the acids and they are still learning to practice good dental hygiene habits.

Prevention:

The most obvious and simple form of prevention is to stop drinking soda all together. And while you’re at it, you might as well cut out juices and other acidic, sugary drinks. However, this can be very hard for some people.

If you cannot quit cold turkey, attempt drinking in moderation. Substitute more soda for more water.

When you do indulge in a drink of soda, be sure to practice positive dental hygiene habits. Preferably brush your teeth soon after drinking a sugary, acidic drink. If you can’t brush your teeth, rinse your mouth with water.

Avoid any sugary or acidic food or drink close to bedtime. Letting the sugar and acid sit in your mouth all night will give your teeth ample time to be attacked, causing softened enamel and cavities.

As always, visit your dentist regularly for check ups and cleanings. This will help promote good dental hygiene in everyway.

If you’d like to learn more about soda and your teeth, give us a call!


Diet and nutrition in pediatric dentistry

MARCH 23, 2016 BY MEGHAN NAATZ

We all know that poor diet has negative effects on our dental hygiene. The same principal works in reverse as well! A nutritious diet will have positive effects on your overall dental hygiene.

This is extremely important especially in the line of pediatric dentistry. When kids are still young, they are still developing their teeth. This requires nutrients to build a strong and healthy smile.

If a child is eating too much candy and junk food, that will have negative impacts on their teeth, possibly resulting in cavities.

Here are a few suggestions to bring into your child’s diet:

Fruits and veggies, as always –

These foods are packed with nutrients and offer a healthy alternative for snacking! One thing to keep in mind is that some fruits are high in sugar, so keep an eye on that. Consider brushing after eating fruits.

Water instead of juice or soda –

We all know that soda is not so good for a healthy diet and both soda and juice are full of sugar. Have your child drink water instead. It is healthier in every way.

Don’t forget the calcium –

Calcium is a crucial part to making string and healthy teeth! Encourage your child to drink milk, eat yogurt, or broccoli. These high calcium foods and beverages will promote a wonderfully healthy smile!

While diet and nutrition are an important part of preventative dentistry, make sure you are still scheduling your child for regular check ups and cleanings.

Talking with your dentist about good nutritional choices for your child’s diet is an important part of preventative dental care. Maintaining a nutritional diet is even more so a part of preventative dental care.

If you would like to know more about the correlation between nutrition and pediatric dentistry, give us a call or set up an appointment to speak with one of our dentists.

Dental Bonding

MARCH 16, 2016 BY MEGHAN NAATZ

If you have chipped, gapped, or discolored teeth, dental bonding may be for you.

Dental bonding is a dental procedure where dentists apply white colored resin that bonds to the tooth in efforts to improve the overall look of your smile.

As for cosmetic dentistry, dental bonding is one of the simplest and most affordable options to improve the look of your teeth.

So how exactly is it achieved?

To match the color of your teeth, the dentist will pick the color resin that is the closest match. Next, it’s time for the dentist to roughen up the surface of your tooth or teeth. The resin needs a rough surface for a successful bonding. When the resin is applied, the dentist will mold the material to line up smoothly with the original shape of the tooth. Once it is in the perfect position, the resin is hardened using an ultra violet light. After the added material is hardened, your dentist will trim, shape, and polish the teeth with bonding to make it look natural.

As there is no necessary anesthesia, there really isn’t any recuperation time. This type of cosmetic dentistry is so simple, and safe for almost all ages!

The most important part about dental bonding is that care after the treatment. You want to keep your smile looking as healthy as possible! That, of course, means adhering to good dental hygiene practices like regular brushing, flossing, and exams/ cleanings. Another tip for dental bonding care is, avoiding foods and beverages that cause staining like red wine, coffee, etc. And if you can’t avoid them, be cautious of your consumption as it could potentially cause discoloration.

If you’re interested in dental bonding or if you have additional concerns or questions, feel free to let us know! We’d love to help.

What you need to know about sedation

MARCH 9, 2016 BY MEGHAN NAATZ

Sedation is the administering of sedative medication to ease dental procedures. Sedation may be used in the following situations, to calm a patient with dental anxiety, to help ease pain for patients with sensitive teeth, to put a patient to sleep for more complex procedures, as well as others.

There are three main types of sedation available, IV Sedation, Nitrous Oxide, and Oral Sedation.

IV Sedation –

This is the deepest form of sedation, often used for procedures like wisdom teeth removal, dental implants or other large treatment cases. Being so potent, you will need someone to drive you home from the appointment and you will need to rest until you are feeling back to normal, but your dentist will let you know those specifics prior to your appointment. IV stands for intravenous, meaning through the vein, most likely in the hand or inner elbow. This type of sedation allows you to be completely calm, making it easier for your dentist to preform the necessary procedures in a timelier manner. For this type of sedation, it is important to meet with your dentist and go over medical issues or medications you are taking. Will skilled individuals working with you, your appointment will be a breeze, and you most likely won’t even remember it!

Nitrous Oxide –

On the other end of the spectrum, nitrous oxide is one of the lightest forms of sedation. A soft nosepiece is placed over the nose and the patient breathes in nitrous oxide during the appointment. After the procedure is done, the patient will be placed back onto 100% oxygen to rid the reparatory system of the nitrous oxide. It is safe for the patients to drive themselves home. This type of sedation is commonly used to calm patients with dental anxiety or to ease the discomfort of patients with sensitive teeth. As this is a lighter form of sedation, it doesn’t need as much planning or gathering of medical issues as IV sedation.

Oral sedation –

Oral sedation would be in the middle range of sedation types. This type of sedation uses a prescription strength medication that relaxes patients for 3-5 hours. Most patients describe oral sedation as feeling like they are dreaming or that they took a short nap. Oral sedation can be used for similar reasons as nitrous oxide and slightly more invasive procedures. With this type of treatment, you will be unable to drive yourself home from the appointment.

Talk to your dentists about which type of oral sedation will be best for you and your dental procedure!

Periodontics

FEBRUARY 24, 2016 BY MEGHAN NAATZ

Periodontics is the dental specialization in preventing, diagnosing, and treatment of periodontal disease, which is located in the structure of the mouth like gums, cementum, periodontal membranes and so on.

Periodontal Disease can come in many different ranges of severity and can affect people of all ages. But with increased severity comes increased risk of serious damage to the gums and jawbone.

Prevention:

The best thing is to do your best to prevent periodontal disease. Bacteria in plaque are a major contributor to developing periodontal disease. It is crucial that you brush and floss your teeth regularly as directed by your dentist. This will prevent plaque buildup. Staying healthy by maintaining a balanced diet and staying active can actually prevent periodontal disease as well! This includes staying away from poor health habits like smoking, as this will increase your risk.

Diagnosis:

To officially be diagnosed with periodontal disease, consult with your dentist, as they will be able to tell you for sure. Some symptoms you may experience if you did have periodontal disease are swollen gums, bad breath, toothache and several more. You may even experience bleeding of the gums.

Types of Periodontal Disease:

Your dentist will be able to identify the type of periodontal disease you may have. Gingivitis is the most common type of periodontal disease as well as one of the least severe. Other types are chronic periodontitis, aggressive periodontitis, and necrotizing periodontal disease.

Treatment:

Treatment varies depending on the type and severity of your periodontal disease. This will ultimately be left up to your dentist based on your specific case. They may instruct you to change your toothbrush or they prescribe medication to treat your condition. In severe cases your dentist may recommend surgical treatment of your root, if that is where your issue is located.

The most important part of periodontal dentistry is prevention. Be sure to visit your dentist for routine cleanings and check ups regularly. They will instruct you on what else you can do to minimize your risk for periodontal issues in the future.

If you have any questions or concerns about periodontal disease or if you would like to schedule an appointment for a cleaning with one of our dentists, give us a call. We’d love to hear from you!

Dental Emergencies

FEBRUARY 17, 2016 BY MEGHAN NAATZ

When we encounter a medical emergency, we know exactly what to do. We go to the hospital emergency room.

In the case of a dental emergency, it’s not as instinctive. What do you do when you chip a tooth, lose a crown or filling, or experience a serious injury of the soft tissues in your mouth, like your tongue or cheek? You need to find an emergency dentist.

That’s all well and good, but it will take a while to call them and get to the office, so what do you do in the mean time. Here are some suggestions based on different dental emergencies:

Chipped or broken teeth –

Save the pieces that broke off. Rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold pack to the outside of the mouth where the tooth is to relieve any pain.

Completely knocked-out tooth –

Keep the tooth and rinse it off. Make sure it remains clean and avoid touching it. If bleeding is occurring in the tooth socket, apply gauze to ease the bleeding and again, use a cold pack to help with pain.

Lost filling –

You can use sugar free gum to cover the area until you get to the dentist. Do not use gum with sugar in it, as it will cause pain.

Lost crown –

Keep the crown. It is best not to try to reinsert it yourself. Wait until you can see your dentist.

Broken braces or wires –

Use some of the orthodontic wax that you were given with your braces to cover the sharp end until you can make it to your dentist.

Infection –

If you notice a new infection or worsening of an infection in your mouth, see your dentist as soon as possible to keep it from spreading throughout your body. In the meantime, rinse your mouth with salt water several times a day.

Soft tissue injuries –

Again rinse with salt water. Use gauze to control bleeding and a cold pack to help with pain. If bleeding persists and you can’t see a dentist, you could opt for the emergency room in this case.

Be prepared for dental emergencies and have an emergency dentist in mind. Know their phone number and location. This will make it easier in case of emergency!

Wisdom Teeth Removal and Recovery

FEBRUARY 10, 2016 BY MEGHAN NAATZ

If you are experiencing wisdom tooth growth accompanied by pain, swelling, or infection, you’re wisdom teeth may be growing in at an angle or they may be stuck all together. Wisdom teeth are prone to infections, as they are located in the very back of your mouth, making them difficult to keep healthy and clean.

When these issues present themselves, your dentist may recommend extraction of your wisdom teeth. Wisdom tooth extraction is a very common operation, as problems with wisdom teeth are prevalent for most patients.

It is a mild procedure that your dentist probably does almost everyday!

During the procedure, you may be given an anesthetic and possibly a sedative. This is to prevent pain during the procedure.

This is not to say you may not experience pain during your recovery period. It is quite common. After your extraction, you may experience minor pain, bleeding, swelling and inflammation.

To ensure a healthy and speedy recovery, follow these simple tips:

  1. Get plenty of rest during the recovery period. Too much activity can cause bleeding.
  2. While resting, prop your head up on a pillow. Laying flat may cause additional bleeding.
  3. Be sure to stick to a soft or liquid diet toward the beginning of your recovery. As you get further along in the recovery process, gradually begin implementing chewable foods.
  4. After meals, rinse your mouth with warm salt water to reduce pain.
  5. Use gauze to control the bleeding and change it regularly to prevent infection.
  6. Use ice or heat to deal with the pain.
  7. If your dentist prescribed you antibiotics, be sure that you finish the prescription as directed.

To determine whether you need to have your wisdom teeth removed, see your dentist. They will be able to inform you if removal is necessary and prepare you for your procedure based on your specific needs.

If you would like to learn more about wisdom teeth removal, let us know!

All About Flossing

FEBRUARY 3, 2016 BY MEGHAN NAATZ

It doesn’t matter as much how you do it, just as long as you make sure to do it, floss! The American Dental Association recommends that you floss at least once a day. You can use any type of floss or even a dental prick, as long as you are cleaning the spaces between your teeth where the toothbrush cannot reach. This could be at night, in the morning or any time of day, it could be before brushing or after brushing, whatever works best for you! If you neglect to clean these areas, the plaque left behind after brushing could harden and form into calculus or tartar.

What are the potential consequences of neglecting to floss?

Atherosclerosis –

This is a disease where plaque builds up inside your arteries, making it difficult for blood to flow throughout your body.

Diabetes –

Those with diabetes have been proven to be more at risk of developing dental issues such as gum disease or gingivitis. People with diabetes should take special care to floss their teeth regularly.

Halitosis –

Also known as bad breath, halitosis originates from the gums and tongue. To keep your gums in tiptop shape, floss once a day.

Heart Disease –

Periodontal disease has been said to be linked to increased risk of heart disease. Take care of your gums; take care of your heart.

Periodontal Disease –

More commonly known as gum disease, periodontal disease is caused by lack of brushing and flossing. This can be accompanied by swollen gums and bleeding after brushing/flossing.

Respiratory Problems –

Existing lung conditions may worsen with poor dental health and there is a possibility of developing a respiratory condition with poor dental hygiene.

Oftentimes these issues present themselves in tandem. If you have one, it is likely that another will not be far behind.

Take the time to protect yourself now. The majority of dental work is preventative. Make it your new goal to floss at least once a day!

To make an appointment for a check up or cleaning, give us a call!

Benefits of laser dentistry

JANUARY 28, 2016 BY MEGHAN NAATZ

Laser dentistry has many uses for oral health. Your dentist can use laser dentistry for tooth decay, gum disease, tissue reshaping and tissue removal. The laser sterilizes the area, kills bacteria, and reduces the growth of new bacteria while remaining extremely precise.

So what are the benefits of laser dentistry?

Less painful

Laser dentistry has been proven to be much less painful than the traditional dental drill. This may be due to the maximized precision, allowing healthy teeth and gums to stay intact.

Reduces the need for anesthesia

As this method is less painful, the need for anesthesia is greatly reduced for any of the aforementioned procedures.

Precise

The laser allows the procedure to be done with as much precision as possible, reducing bleeding/swelling and leaving the healthy teeth and gums as they are.

Easier on patients with anxiety about the dentist/traditional dental drill

Being less painful and much more relaxed, laser dental treatments are very popular for those patients that do not enjoy going to the dentist.

5 Dental Tips for Kids

JANUARY 21, 2016 BY MEGHAN NAATZ

It is important to maintain good dental hygiene starting from a young age. Over the years, keeping your teeth and gums healthy will become a habit. Developing good dental practice and technique will benefit your kiddos for a lifetime!

1. Start Early.

You can and should begin brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they grow in. This can be as early as 6 months old!

2. Keep the first dental visit fun and informative.

Before scheduling your appointment, consider bringing your child into the office to meet the staff and get comfortable in the space. Be sure the dental office you are working with meets your requirements as a parent.

3. Brush and floss correctly.

The dentist should show your child how to brush and floss their teeth properly using the correct tools.

4. Maintain a good diet.

Eating and drinking sugary foods or drinks can cause poor dental health.

5. Promote good oral health.

Demonstrate to your child the importance of oral hygiene and be sure that you practice what you preach.

How to stay calm at the dentist

DECEMBER 11, 2015 BY AURORADENTALAK

Going to the dentist can cause serious anxiety and stress for some people. It makes sense; it is odd to have a stranger poking around in your mouth for an hour or more. So we have an appointment and it looms over our heads for months, just building up the anxiety. Once the appointment arrives, how are we supposed to stay calm?

First off, let your dentist know how you are feeling. They understand and will be sure to take special care of you to ensure that you feel comfortable. To build this sense of comfort, visit the office a couple of times before the initial appointment. Familiarize yourself with the staff and the environment that you will be in.

During the appointment, remain calm. Try to exercise mindfulness at this time. Focus on your breathing, how your chest rises and falls. Look out the window; is there a nice forest or meadow? Imagine yourself in a serene atmosphere. These tactics will help keep you calm, not focusing on the dental procedure as much.

After your appointment, take care of yourself. Follow the dentist’s recommendations, but remember to treat yourself too. The more you take care of your dental hygiene, the less serious your next appointment may be!

If you have concerns about dental care, feel free to reach out to us. We are here to make our patients feel comfortable and answer any questions they may have.

5 Holistic Dental Hygiene Tips

DECEMBER 10, 2015 BY AURORADENTALAK

With increasing information about the benefits of holistic health habits, the more popular they become. If we can maintain healthy teeth and gums, we will require less invasive dental treatments in the future.

Here a few holistic tips to continue keeping your dental hygiene in check!

1. Don’t forget to brush your tongue.
We know and remember to brush our teeth diligently, however, the tongue is often forgotten! It has been proven that the tongue is the leading cause of bad breath; imagine all the other damage it can do to your health.

2. Think about your diet.
A bad diet can contribute to poor dental hygiene as well. Too much sugar can cause cavities. Too much acidity in your diet can cause loss of tooth enamel. Be sure to consider how different foods may affect your teeth.

3. Oil Pulling.
By swishing coconut oil around in your mouth for about 5 minutes a day, you can help fight off bacteria, plaque, and gingivitis that may be hindering your oral health.

4. Drink Tea.
Incorporating tea into your diet can help make your gums healthier and can also prevent cavities.

5. Always get your regular check ups.
Though these tips can help improve and maintain healthy dental hygiene, it is still important to get your regular check ups to ensure everything is doing well!

 
 
 
Wasilla Dentist | Blog. Del Jean Dedeker is a Wasilla Dentist.