Over 50? Be Aware Of These 5 Dental Issues

Over 50? Be Aware Of These 5 Dental Issues

WE’RE KEEPING OUR TEETH longer than ever before. But in order to stay in optimal health, we need to be vigilant against potential problems. Certain risks can increase as we age.

#1 Tooth Decay Risk Increases

Aging can cause the base of teeth to become softer. In addition, roots can become more exposed. These two issues can cause cavities either around the base or root of the tooth.

#2 Dry Mouth Is A Common Problem

Thanks to medications, hormonal shifts, and the natural results of aging, dry mouth risk increases with age. Saliva is one of the main warriors against tooth decay, and without it, your risk of tooth decay and gum disease spike. Sipping water throughout the day, or chewing sugar-free gum can help stimulate saliva.

#3 Gum Disease Is The Most Common Cause Of Tooth Loss

Untreated gingivitis (inflamed gums) can easily become periodontitis. Gums pull away from the tooth and create pockets, where infections develop. Periodontitis can cause tooth loss and deteriorate jaw bone. If you have bleeding, red gums, talk to us. More frequent dental cleanings can help us keep your gums healthy.

#4 Oral Cancer Risk Goes Up

Oral cancer incidences increase as we age. Oral cancer is linked to heavy alcohol use and smoking, but even folks without those risk factors should be regularly screened at our office for early signs.

#5 Crowded Teeth Make Dental Health More Difficult

Many people experience shifting teeth as they age. Teeth can become crowded and more difficult to clean, and put extra stress on your gums and your jaw. Keep your oral health manageable, and your smile beautiful with more frequent cleanings, and perhaps orthodontic treatment to get a retainer or spacer.

Pass This Message On To Someone You Care About!

Even if you’re not over 50, you know and care for someone who is. Share this message and let them know that you care about their healthy smile!

If you have any questions about your own oral health, or that of someone you care for, give us a call. We’re always happy to talk with you.

Thanks for being our valued patients. We appreciate you!

Top image by Flickr user slgckgc used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
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Use Your Smartphone To Brush Smarter

Use Your Smartphone To Brush Smarter

SMARTPHONE TECHNOLOGY IS AMAZING. It brings the world to our fingertips. And now, smartphone apps can help us with our daily oral hygiene routines!

Smartphone Apps For Both Adults & Children

Sometimes we all need a little extra motivation to do the right things! If you struggle with (or if your children struggle with) effective oral hygiene, consider downloading and trying these two apps from Oral-B. They’re effective and simple to use.

Make Brushing Fun For Kids!

Oral-B and Disney teamed up to make a fun dental app for children:

The app helps children brush for a full two minutes by giving them goals to work toward!

Need A Little Extra Motivation & Support?

As adults, we can use a little motivation too:

In addition, Oral-B has developed advanced, two-way communication apps that not only receive brushing data and report it back to you, but you can also program the app to communicate via Bluetooth® with your toothbrush to monitor your personalized brushing routine!

Remember, There Are Some Things Technology Can’t Replace

No matter how awesome these tools are in assisting with daily oral hygiene, they can’t replace the professional, personalized oral health care our team provides. Schedule your regular checkups and cleanings... And when you have questions or concerns about your oral health, never hesitate to visit with us.

We appreciate having you as our valued patient and friend.

Have You Used One Of These Apps?

Or, do you know of other great dental apps for your smartphone or tablet? Comment and share below! And if you decide to try out one of the Oral-B apps above, let us know how you like it!

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Teeth Grinding At Night Can Cause Severe Damage

Teeth Grinding At Night Can Cause Severe Damage

MOST PEOPLE CLENCH or grind their teeth from time to time. However, if you’re doing so frequently—especially while you’re sleeping—you may be damaging your teeth.

The Harmful Effects

If you grind your teeth at night (also called bruxing), you may already be experiencing the most obvious, immediate effects: namely, unexplained headaches and jaw pain.

Chronic grinding can cause tooth fractures, loose teeth, and even tooth loss. Grinding can also wear down teeth and severely damage fillings and crowns. Left untreated, bruxism can lead to eventual bone loss in your jaw.

Unconscious Habits Can Be Hard To Correct

What’s really frustrating about bruxing is that most people do it while they’re asleep. That means the problem often goes unidentified for a long time.

Do you find yourself waking up with headaches or a sore jaw? Does your loved one complain about these symptoms? If it has been happening for a while, you may actually start seeing worn-down teeth, or gums that are unusually inflamed.

We Can Help

We can diagnose bruxism, and make recommendations to help remedy it. There are many options, depending on the specific circumstances. Sometimes, treatment includes making a custom mouthguard to protect teeth. Or perhaps some dental adjustments can help your teeth better align.

Let’s talk about your lifestyle too. Perhaps stress reduction is in order and could help. We’re not only interested in your smile, but also in your whole-body health. If you or someone you care for is struggling with bruxism, let’s visit.

Thanks for being our valued patient and friend. We appreciate you!

Top image by Flickr user Tony Alter used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
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Removing The Fear Of Showing Your Teeth When You Smile

Removing The Fear Of Showing Your Teeth When You Smile

SHOWING YOUR TEETH WHEN YOU SMILE makes a huge difference in your confidence and appearance. Beautiful teeth make us all feel more approachable, better prepared, accepting of others, younger, and more attractive. Studies even show that 70% of people believe that a beautiful smile can make someone more attractive than does wearing makeup!

As We Age, Our Smiles Lose Their Luster

It’s an unavoidable part of life. As we get older, our teeth become worn, yellow, and misaligned. Micro cracks absorb stains easier and discolor teeth. Grinding and chewing can give our smiles a shortened appearance, making our faces look sunken.

Turning To Cosmetic Dentistry

People today turn to dentistry for anti-aging treatments! It’s amazing to see the difference smile improvements make in an entire look (and confidence)!

Removing The Fear Isn’t As Difficult As You May Think

We want you to show your beautiful teeth when you smile! Small improvements can make a big difference. Let’s visit soon about your particular concerns. We’re here to help!

Basic Cosmetic Procedures Overview

Veneers - Veneers are typically made of porcelain, shaped and bonded to the front of, or over teeth. Veneers are a great way to change a tooth’s color and shape and provide extra volume that can give your entire face a fuller look.

Whitening - The safest, fastest, and most effective way to whiten your teeth is with professional whitening. Talk to us about whitening options.

Composites & Implants - If you’re missing a tooth or have unsightly dark fillings, we can help. There are many options.

Straightening - Straightening your smile not only improves your appearance, but also your health! Modern options have improved the aesthetics, speed, and comfort of teeth straightening. Let’s visit about it.

Thanks for being wonderful patients!

Top image by Flickr user Thirteen Of Clubs used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
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Saying Goodbye To Your Old Toothbrush

Saying Goodbye To Your Old Toothbrush

THE AMERICAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION STRONGLY SUGGESTS that we replace our toothbrushes every 3–4 months for maximum effectiveness.

Know When To Say Goodbye

Take a close look at your toothbrush bristles. Are they frayed? Smashed? Discolored? Kinda gross? It’s time for a new toothbrush.

If you’re brushing correctly (gently), the signs of a less effective toothbrush may be less visible. That’s why it’s important to mark your calendar! After a few months, you may start noticing that although your brushing routine hasn’t changed, your teeth just don’t feel as clean.

When bristles become slanted and curved it prevents them from reaching where they need to—around the gum line and between teeth. Bristles also lose their elasticity, keeping them from achieving an important gentle-sweeping movement. Research also shows worn toothbrushes don’t reduce plaque as well as a new ones.

Turn Your Old Toothbrush Into A Playground!

TerraCycle® and Colgate® have partnered to create the Colgate Oral Care Brigade®, a free recycling program for oral care product packaging and a fundraising opportunity for participants.

Take Good Care Of Your New Toothbrush

  • Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after each use.
  • Don’t store it in a closed container. Allow it to air-dry.
  • Don’t share your toothbrush with others.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months!

Wondering About The Cool Toothbrush Image Above?

At the top of this blog post, there’s a closeup photo of a giant disco ball that was constructed to bring awareness for toothbrush recycling:

Share this blog post with your friends and coworkers!

Together, by sharing great information, we provide value and make small differences in our health and in our lives. We appreciate having you as our valued patient and friend!

Top image by Flickr user Jennifer Morrow used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original. In text image by Flickr user Jnzl used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
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Our Smiles Love Healthy Snacks

Our Smiles Love Healthy Snacks

WE KNOW that frequent snacking on processed, sugary foods isn’t kind to the waistline. But what about its effects on your oral health?

As we eat, naturally occurring bacteria in our mouths feed on sugars. This produces acid. When acids aren’t cleared away, they can erode tooth enamel, which leads to tooth decay.

Two Snacking Factors Can Increase Dental Decay Risk

Two major aspects of snacking affect cavity risk. They are:

  1. Consumption frequency, and
  2. The amount of time foods are in contact with teeth

The more frequently we eat, and the longer our teeth are exposed to the sugars in our food, the more vulnerable we are to tooth decay.

Consider The Texture Of Your Snack Foods

There are clues to snacking dangers that center around the texture of foods. Soft and/or sticky foods provide a more ideal environment for bacteria to adhere to teeth and thrive over time. So, given that clue which of the following snacks would you guess is better for your teeth... A hand full of animal crackers or a square of plain chocolate? You’re right—the chocolate.

Help Your Teeth AND Your Overall Health!

4 Snacking Tips

  • Avoid added sugar and acidic beverages to maintain a neutral pH in your mouth.
  • Brush twice a day (or after every meal) and floss every night before bed.
  • Rinse your mouth with water after snacking.
  • Snack on foods like almonds, cheese, fruits and vegetables with high water and high fiber content. Carrots and apples are great!

Oral Health Is Connected To Whole Body Health

It may seem silly to state the obvious... But always remember that what goes on inside our mouths is connected to what goes on throughout our bodies. In our modern world it’s really easy to get into the habit of snacking all the time. Make good choices to keep your healthy smile looking, and feeling, its best.

Thanks for being our valued patients and friends. We appreciate the trust you place in us!

Top image by Flickr user Eleazar used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
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2015: The Year Of The Smile

2015: The Year Of The Smile

IT ISN’T ALWAYS ABOUT looking like a movie star or supermodel. It’s about feeling confident and comfortable with your healthy smile!

Smiling’s Amazing Benefits

You may not typically think about it this way, but your smile is powerful:

  • Smiles can make you healthier. Smiling immediately lowers your blood pressure, slows your heart, and boosts your immunity. Endorphins released by smiling counteract stress and pain.
  • Smiles spread. Studies show that when you smile, 50% of people will smile back. Smiles are highly contagious, creating waves that help make people more productive, interactive, and satisfied.
  • Even fake smiles can brighten your mood! Studies have shown that smiles (real and fake) can cause a positive-mood feedback loop between brain and body.
  • Smiling makes great first impressions. Smiling makes you more attractive and can help lead to success in our professional and personal lives.

Get YOUR Smile On With These Feel-Good Facts!

Would You Like To Visit About Your Smile?

Feeling self-conscious about your smile should never prevent you from realizing the benefits of smiling! Restoring and maintaining a beautiful, healthy smile encompasses many considerations. Our goal is to always work together with you to provide the best solutions for your unique smile and circumstances.

Sometimes, something very minor like smile whitening can make a huge difference! Sometimes the answer is a gorgeous smile makeover. And sometimes we just need to help you get your smile healthy again, independent of any cosmetic considerations.

Whatever the case, we’re your trusted resource for clear information and honest recommendations. Thank you for the trust you place in our practice.

Share Your Smile More In 2015!

Make the world a better place with your smile.

Thanks for being a part of our practice family! We appreciate you.

Top image by Flickr user Josh used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
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Tips For Patients With Fixed Retainers

Tips For Patients With Fixed Retainers

MANY PEOPLE, AFTER COMPLETING orthodontic treatment, are fitted with a fixed retainer—a thin wire that’s bonded to the back of teeth, designed to help keep teeth straight and aligned.

Fixed retainers can be great! You never have to worry about losing it! However, fixed retainers can also make it more difficult to keep teeth and gums clean and healthy. One of the most common problems that can arise is plaque and bacteria buildup around the fixed retainer that can lead to gum disease.

3 Tips For Keeping Teeth With A Fixed Retainer Clean

  1. Don’t Neglect Flossing, Even When It’s More Difficult: Flossing can be especially difficult, depending on your fixed retainer’s specifications. Floss threaders or Superfloss are products that may help you floss more quickly and effectively.
  2. Brush Your Teeth Correctly: Angle your brush in order to get all the nooks and crannies around your teeth and fixed retainer. Be thorough and gentle as you brush the back of your teeth.
  3. Don’t Postpone Regular Dental Visits: When you visit us for your regular cleanings, we can get to all those difficult areas on the back of your teeth and around your fixed retainer... Areas you may often miss during regular brushing. If you have a hard time cleaning around your fixed retainer at home, you might want to schedule more frequent cleanings to prevent plaque build-up, and to decrease gingivitis risk. Another important reason to not procrastinate regular checkups is because if there is a problem, we can remedy it before the problem gets bigger.

Maybe Taylor Swift Needed A FIXED Retainer Instead...

And Here’s A Cool Trick For Flossing Around Fixed Retainers...

Together, Let’s Maintain Your Beautiful Smile!

Just as your fixed retainer helps you maintain your beautiful, straight smile, smart oral care habits help you maintain your dental health. If you’re having trouble with a fixed retainer, or if you know someone having trouble, give us a call and/or pass this information along.

Thanks for being our awesome patient! We appreciate you.

Top image by Flickr user Mike Licht used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
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Hormonal Changes Affect Women’s Oral Heath

Hormonal Changes Affect Women’s Oral Heath

HORMONAL CHANGES CAN AFFECT nearly every part of our bodies—including the mouth and gums. If you, or someone you love, is experiencing sore, swollen, extra pink or bleeding gums it may be a result of such changes. Studies show that changing hormones particularly affect women’s periodontal health.

Increased Gum Disease Risk

Throughout a woman’s life there are periods of time when hormones fluctuate a great deal including puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. Beginning an oral contraceptive regime can also affect hormone levels. During these times, changes in estrogen and progesterone can dramatically increase the chances of developing gingivitis.

Pregnant? Be Especially Aware

Pregnancy can be hard on a woman’s teeth and gums. The changes and associated lifestyle adjustments can wreak havoc on one’s mouth, including late night snacking, morning sickness, and dry mouth. Gum disease can even impact the developing baby.

(An Important Morning Sickness Tip)

Suffering from morning sickness? Protect your teeth and gums by rinsing often with ¼ teaspoon of baking soda dissolved into one cup of water. This helps rid your mouth of harmful acids. If you experience dry mouth, drink more water and try sugarless candy or gum to increase saliva production.

Thorough Oral Hygiene During Hormonal Changes

Are you, or is someone you love, going through one of these times in life? If so, it’s important to be extra thorough with one’s oral hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing every day—without exception—is one of the most important keys to gum health. If sore or bleeding gums continue, be sure to contact us right away so we can discuss other possible solutions and avoid bigger problems.

Do You Have Questions About Gum Disease?

Let’s visit! And please share this information with the women in your life. All of us can benefit from learning more about our bodies and how to adapt to hormonal changes.

Thanks for being our valued patients and friends!

Top image by Flickr user Hendrik Dacquin used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
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Tooth-Healthy Entertaining Tips

Tooth-Healthy Entertaining Tips

ENTERTAINING THIS HOLIDAY SEASON? Throw a party that your guest’s teeth can appreciate too with some tooth-healthy tips.

Consider Appetizers Light On Sugar And Starch

Sugary, starchy snacks can contribute to tooth decay. Mix up your appetizers with some of these suggestions...

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables are juicy and scrubby. Eating them is a little bit like washing your teeth. They’re also full of great tooth-healthy vitamins and minerals. Try this recipe for fresh fruit skewers, or some greek yogurt onion dip for your veggie spread.
  • Cheese can also have a cleaning effect on your teeth. This is especially handy if you have heavily pigmented food and drinks (like wine, berries, or curry). Here are some tips for making a great cheese plate.

A Few More Amazingly Simple Ideas

The American Academy Of Cosmetic Dentistry’s Recipes

Between the acid, the sugar, and the continuous sipping, both non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks can hurt your teeth. Turn holiday beverages into something that benefits your teeth instead by utilizing mouth-healthy super foods, like mint, ginger, carrot juice and lemongrass. Check out the AACD’s professional recipes by clicking on the image below:

Always Make Drinking Water An Easily Available Option

Water helps rinse our mouths between snacks and other drinks, which helps counteract tooth decay. You may even want to try something special with a beautiful, infused water. Here are some great recipes.

Let Us Know How It Turns Out!

Good luck with your parties! If you use any of our tips or the AACD’s recipes above, let us know about it! In fact, take some photos and share them on our Facebook page. We’d love to see them.

Thanks for being our valued patients and friends.

Top image by Flickr user Didriks used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
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