All posts by Flawless Dental

Summer Is Coming

Summer is coming, which means frozen drinks by the pool, picnics, barbeques, and lots of ice cream & popsicles. If you’re not careful, all that indulging can lead to increased risk of damage to your teeth. We know you’d rather be having fun in the sun rather than sitting in the dentist chair, so here are some tips to keep your teeth looking and feeling their best this summer.

Show restraint with sugary treats: With warmer temperatures comes a rise in consumption of frozen goodies. It’s perfectly fine to treat yourself, but try to be mindful of the sugar content. Many brands of ice cream and frozen yogurt offer low-sugar or sugar-free varieties that taste just as good as the originals! Do your best to go for these enamel-friendly options when you can, and to stay away from flavors with extra sneaky, sticky sugars like caramel, marshmallow, and fudge. Also, try to enjoy these after your meal and gently rinse your mouth with water after finishing.

Frozen cocktails by the pool are a summer staple. But these—as well as soda, juices, and other chilled drinks—are often loaded with sugar (and calories!). Try the 50/50 rule: for every sugary beverage you drink have a glass of water follow it with a glass of water to make sure you’re properly hydrated and to rinse your mouth of the sugars. Or better yet, switch to fruit-infused ice water or sparkling water to keep you refreshed.

Attacking the impulse for snacking: Picnics, family gatherings, and beach days can turn your daily meal routine into a day-long snackfest, continuously exposing your teeth to erosion and decay. Try to stick to your normal meal routine to limit endless munching and give your teeth a break.

If you know you’ll be in a place where you’ll be prone to grazing, be prepared! Rather than bringing an entire bag of chips to the park, prepare individual portions instead. Pack some of the fresh, healthy veggies and fruit in season during the summer months that are rich with nutrients and vitamins necessary for strong teeth. Stick to low-sugar/acid options like avocados, apples, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries while avoiding high-sugar/acid fruits like watermelon, pineapple, grapes, and bananas.

Lip tip: While being mindful of what goes in your mouth during the summer months, don’t forget about what goes on it! Make sure that in addition to your regular sunscreen, you’re using a lip balm that affords some protection from the sun. Look for one with an SPF of 15 or above. This seemingly small detail can be an important and inexpensive factor for helping prevent oral cancer.

So, hit the beach, hit the road, have fun, and stay healthy! Taking a few moments to think about and make a few easy, beneficial choices are all it takes to be confident in your oral health this summer.

Too Much Bottled Water Could Be Bad for Your Teeth

With more and more Americans using less and less tap water, a lack of fluoride could be a real concern. How many water bottles do you and your family buy in a year? How much is too much?

Ensuring that children get fluoride from a young age is very important. Most brands of bottled water aspire to have a ‘clean’ feel, but some lack fluoride which is a key ingredient in tap water that keeps children from developing tooth decay.

Fluoride’s main goal is to help diminish the dental decay that leads to cavities and oral diseases. Fluoride is said to “strengthen tooth structure while also inhibiting the bacteria’s capacity to produce acid from sugars.” Although there is no current research that confirms that bottled water is a direct cause of tooth decay, fluoride filled water is said to statistically “reduce tooth decay by 25%.” If you and your family mainly drink water out of a bottle, consider starting your child on a fluoride rinse to help prevent the development of cavities. Note that fluoride rinses are suggested for children ages 6 and older.

We all consume H2O multiple times a day in order to maintain a healthy balanced diet and rid our bodies of bad toxins. Studies have found that if you add fluoride along regular water consumption you will reduce your risk for oral health problems.

If you have any individual questions regarding which water is better, how to get more fluoride into your daily routine, or questions about how much fluoride is safe, ask your local dentist and/or set up a time to talk with them to discuss this. He/she may also prescribe fluoride-filled toothpaste that allows you to get your source while brushing if drinking fluoridated tap water isn’t an option.

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Common Signs of Teething

Your baby is growing up, and so are their teeth! According to the American Dental Association most babies develop their first tooth around six months of age. After that first eruption your baby will have a full set of primary teeth in three years.

Although it is usually pretty easy to spot teething, we created a list of some common signs of teething. If your baby exhibits any of these signs along with irritability and excessive drooling, then get out your teething tools and even ask your dentist or doctor about what you can do to help your teething toddler.

Decreased Sleeping

Is your little one not falling asleep as easily as they used to? If so, teething could be the problem. As the teeth begin to come in your child will experience pain, which makes it more difficult for them to fall asleep and stay asleep. Teething toddlers will wake up more often due to the gum discomfort and pain that they feel.

Excessive biting or gnawing

If your tiny tyke can’t seem to keep things out of their mouth, then they could be developing teeth. Oftentimes babies bite and gnaw on things to help relieve the pressure from their gums. Instead of hiding every toy, try a teething ring to keep your toddler happy.

Rubbing of ears or cheeks

If your child is pulling at their ear or cheek, it could mean a couple of different things. It could be a sign of an ear infection, or it could mean teething. When teeth erupt they can cause pain that spreads across the cheeks and ears. If this happens, a trip to the doctor may be needed to rule out an ear infection.

Loss of appetite

When teething begins, a child experiences sore and tender gums. The pain that they feel typically makes them refuse food. Try softer foods to help your baby get nutrients while their teeth transition in.

Make sure to take good care of your child’s teeth and mouth even before the eruption of the first tooth. After teeth begin to develop, make sure to schedule a dentist’s appointment to make sure that everything is going well in your child’s mouth.

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The Wisdom Behind Wisdom Teeth

Getting your wisdom teeth out usually means a few different things. While it’s a great opportunity to miss school or work, it can also result in pain. It can be especially painful for those of us who had to wait until winter break or summer vacation to get them out. In that case it can mean not being able to eat Grandma’s Christmas cookies, or being cooped up in bed while everyone else is at the beach.

Wisdom teeth typically come in between the ages of 17 to 21. While some people can live their entire lives without any problems with their wisdom teeth, some people have pain, infections, tooth decay, and gum inflammation associated with their wisdom teeth. If you have any of these issues with your wisdom teeth, then it is likely that you need them to be removed.

While having your wisdom teeth removed can be a painful experience, it is necessary because many wisdom teeth do not come in normally, but rather become impacted.

Impacted wisdom teeth are trapped beneath the gum and bone of the teeth in front of them. If impacted teeth do erupt, they may only erupt partially and be tilted sideways. They can cause damage to the teeth surrounding them and thus they need to be removed.

Your dentist will tell you if you need to have your wisdom teeth removed.

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Factors that Impact Denture Cost

If you or a loved one needs dentures, you’re almost certainly thinking about the financial aspect. And why shouldn’t you be? Dentures are an investment that will positively impact the life of the wearer for years to come. While we obviously can’t tell you exactly how much your new dentures are going to cost without a consultation, we can tell you some factors that may impact the cost, so you have an idea of what you will need.

Complexity


Of course, the most basic indicator of how much your dentures will cost is how complex the dentures will need to be to allow you full functionality of your teeth again. Are you missing just a few teeth (partial) or a whole row (complete)? Will other teeth need to be extracted to make room for the dentures? Obviously, the less complex your denture needs, the less expensive they will be.

Implant Support


If you do end up needing a complete set of dentures, you will have the option of having them “implant supported”. Implant supported dentures look the same as regular dentures, but offer more stability, and eliminate the need for adhesive. If you choose implant-supported dentures, your dentist will install metal implants into your gums which will help fix the dentures into place. Implant supported dentures tend to have a high rate of satisfaction because of how low-maintenance they are, but because of the more involved installation procedure, they tend to be more expensive than a standard set.

Expediency

Any denture procedure is going to take time, as your new custom smile has to be fabricated from scratch to fit your mouth perfectly. However, sometimes the process can be expedited for a slightly higher cost, so if this is of interest to you, be sure to ask your dentist if this is a service that you’re eligible for.

Of course, these are just guidelines, and the best way to determine exactly how much your new dentures will cost is to schedule an appointment with your dentist! We’ll be happy to walk you through every step of the procedure while answering any questions that come up!

Bacteria-Causing Gum Disease May Lead to Oral Cancer Growth

As the body ages it becomes increasingly important to pay close attention to your oral hygiene. Keeping up with your dental health wards off common issues such as cavities and plaque. More important than this however, maintaining good hygiene limits your risk for gum disease and oral cancer.

A study from Case Western Reserve University states that the “fatty acids from bacteria present in gum disease may cause Kaposi’s Sarcoma (KS)-related lesions and tumors in the mouth.” The study suggests the “byproducts of fatty acids” caused these oral tumors. As are the results with many forms of cancer, the research proposes pre-screenings of people with periodontal disease to catch tumors before the situation worsens. People with periodontal disease are known to have high levels of bacteria present in their mouth’s saliva, which can exacerbate the situation.

When the research group was examined, people wanted to find out why some were developing these cancerous tumors, but also why those were not and what separates them from each other. This specific research concluded “the fatty acids impacted the replication of KS.” With fatty acids present, the body could not prevent the growth of the cancer.

To ensure that you are not at high-risk for oral cancer as you age, make sure to not let your regular oral hygiene fall by the wayside. It’s also important to regularly schedule appointments at your local dentist’s office. If you already have periodontal disease, make sure you follow the treatment plans outlined by your dentist.

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