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Braces? Here are some tips for keeping your teeth clean while you wear them July 25, 2014

Filed under: Dental health — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 10:00 am
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Oral hygiene is especially important when you are wearing orthodontic hardware, aka “braces”.  They make cleaning your teeth much more difficult.  However it is very important that you clean your teeth as well as possible to prevent both cavities and gum disease while you are wearing your braces.   Here are a few tips on how to do that.

Brushing – Make sure you clean both above and below the wire.  Use a soft multi tufted microfine bristle brush that will reach all the necessary areas.  Be sure to brush the gum line.  Brush the chewing surfaces.  Ensure as you brush that you do so both above and below the wire as well as on both the cheek and gum side of the teeth.

Flossing – Its a little harder but very important.  You can floss with special floss holders and threaders.  You may also want to consider “interdental brushes”.  And finally you may want to consider a pick that sprays water under pressure as another way to clean between teeth with braces.

Fluoride – What you don’t want to happen while wearing braces is decay and “decalcification”, i.e. the early loss of tooth enamel.  One of the best ways to prevent both of those conditions is to use a fluoride toothpaste.

Mouthrinses – A good, over-the-counter mouth rinse will help reduce bioflim and gum inflammation.  Use it regularly when you clean your teeth.

If you faithfully follow these recommendations, you’ll reduce the possibility of tooth decay and gum disease.  And when the braces come off you’ll not only have a beautiful smile, but a healthy one as well.

Mall of Georgia Dentistry

 

Sensitive Teeth July 17, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 1:29 pm

Sensitive teeth can be a real downer. It’s no fun when all those yummy hot, cold, and sweet foods and drinks reach the tooth nerve and cause pain. This happens when the dentin inside the tooth becomes exposed, such as from receding gums or thinned enamel. Things that may lead to sensitive teeth include:

  • Brushing too hard. Using a hard–bristled brush or brushing too hard or incorrectly can wear down enamel and expose the dentin. It can even cause gingival recession, exposing the tooth root and opening the door to the nerves of the teeth.
  • Enamel erosion. Brushing too hard can contribute to erosion, as can using abrasive tooth pastes such as “whitening” toothpastes, and acid consumption -too many acidic foods and drinks can weaken enamel and contribute to enamel erosion.
  • Receding gums. As stated above, receding gums can be caused by brushing too hard, but it can also be caused by periodontal disease as a result of continuous improper dental hygiene, or sometimes have other causes such as orthodontia.
  • Gingivitis. Inflamed and sore gums can expose the root surface of the tooth, providing a direct route to the nerve.
  • Cavities. Tooth decay that is deep enough into the dentin or that occurs near the gum line commonly results in sensitivity.
  • Cracked, chipped, or broken teeth. Broken or cracked teeth harbor bacteria that can make their way to the tooth pulp and result in inflammation, pain, and sensitivity.
  • Bleaching. Teeth whitening products have a reputation for causing temporary sensitivity in many people.
  • Bruxism. Grinding or clenching your teeth can wear away enamel, exposing underlying dentin.
  • Dental procedures. Temporary sensitivity can occur following procedures such as a cleaning or root planing, or crowns and other restorations. It usually goes away in 4 to 6 weeks.

To reduce the chances of tooth sensitivity occurring, maintain an excellent oral hygiene routine, brushing properly with a soft-bristled toothbrush gently but thoroughly with focus along the gum line at a 45-degree angle for two minutes twice a day, and flossing at least once per day. Avoid abrasives like so-called “whitening” toothpastes, but use a fluorinated toothpaste. Keep up with your dental check ups and cleanings every 6 months, and wear a bite guard regularly if you grind your teeth. If you are doing whitening treatment, special sensitive toothpastes such as Sensodyne can help.

If you have been experiencing tooth sensitivity, we know it can really cramp your style smile… feel free to talk to our office about your situation and let us help you get smiling again!

 

HPV now leading cause of oral cancer in the US July 11, 2014

Filed under: Dental health — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 10:23 am

Did you know that Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) has overtaken tobacco use as the leading cause of oral cancer in the US?

HPV is common virus that is usually transmitted sexually.  The particular strain of the virus (HPV 16) is the same one responsible for the majority of cervical cancer in women.

Oral cancer kills almost 3 times as many people as cervical cancer every year.

That’s why we recommend routine oral cancer screenings.  Like other cancer screenings you may engage in, opportunistic oral cancer screenings are a highly effective means of finding cancer in its early and highly curable stages.

Believe it or not, the fastest growing segment of the oral cancer population are people in the 25-50 range who’ve never smoked.  Smoking, high alcohol consumption and smokeless tobacco still remain high risk factors, but the HPV virus is now the leading cause of oral cancer.

The good news is that when women began to be screened for cervical cancer we’ve seen a dramatic decrease in that disease.  We recommend you make oral cancer screening a routine part of you dental care.  Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions.

Mall of Georgia Dentistry

 

Pregnancy and Oral Health July 3, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 12:49 pm

Pregnancy is a very special state in a woman’s body that can have an effect on any body part or system in the entire body, including the teeth and mouth. If you or a loved one is currently expecting (or planning to be), it’s a good idea to keep certain aspects of dental health in mind. Here are a few things to consider:

Morning Sickness: Morning sickness and frequent vomiting can expose your teeth to the erosion of stomach acids. Be sure to rinse you mouth well if you’ve had a bout of morning sickness that resulted in vomiting. You can even try making an alkaline rinse with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water to help stop stomach acid from attacking your teeth. The baking soda’s alkalinity will help neutralize the acid.

Pregnancy Gingivitis: Thanks to hormonal changes, many women may find they are prone to a mild form of gum disease, pregnancy gingivitis. Gums can be red, tender, and sore. Keeping your teeth clean is the best way to help prevent gingivitis, and more frequent cleanings may be recommended to help control gingivitis. Untreated gingivitis can lead to more serious gum disease, so call our office if you notice any changes in your mouth during pregnancy.

Nutrition and Baby’s Teeth: Your baby’s teeth will begin developing between the third and sixth month of pregnancy. Great nutrition is always stressed during pregnancy, and sufficient quantities of nutrients like vitamins, protein, and minerals like calcium and phosphorous are essential to the best development of your baby and his or her little baby teeth.

Increased Appetite: All the extra nutrients your body needs means pregnancy can cause an increase in appetite. If the desire to eat more leads to tons of snacking, that can increase the odds of tooth decay. Snacks high in carbs, sugar, or acidity are the worst. Try limiting snacks to certain times, choosing healthy snacks most of the time, and drinking plenty of water.

Pregnancy comes with plenty of things that require a little extra caution and care, and your teeth on the list! Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing between your teeth once a day, and getting regular check-ups are ever more important while you’re pregnant. Eating a balanced diet and limiting between-meal snacks is a good idea too. Call us at Mall of Georgia Dentistry if you want to make to sure that your dental routine is doing the best for you and your baby. With so many future smiles to look forward to, start taking great care of them now!

 

Teeth Bleaching Options June 23, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 4:50 pm

The most popular way to brighten your smile is simple whitening, or bleaching. We offer a variety of bleaching products at Mall of Georgia Dentistry, including in-office whitening procedures and take home bleaching kits.
Teeth bleaching products contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Carbamide peroxide products are active for a longer time than hydrogen peroxide-based products. Both substances lighten the teeth by penetrating the porous surface of the enamel and oxidizing the stains, resulting in a lighter shade of dentin and brighter tooth color. The dentin is what actually determines the color of your teeth, enamel is fairly translucent. Dentin is easily stained by dark liquids and foods and smoking, but it is also pretty easily lightened with whitening solutions.
Bleaching strips and tube bleach both work well, but tube bleach used with custom fitted trays is faster, usually lightening several shades in a few weeks.  In-office whitening uses a special light spectrum that helps lighten the tooth color almost instantly, but it is the most expensive of the options. It’s a great option if you have an upcoming event, such as a wedding, and you don’t have time to allow the other products to work.
Whitening toothpastes generally do not contain bleaching agents and simply contain abrasives to remove surface stains from teeth. Since tooth color is primarily determined by the dentin underneath, and whitening toothpaste only works on the surface, this is not a way to really lighten the teeth noticeable. The abrasives can also wear away and damage enamel, so it’s best to avoid “whitening” toothpaste to keep your enamel in good shape.
At Mall of Georgia Dentistry, we would be happy to assist you with any of your whitening needs… just call or come by the office if you want to find out more about bleaching your teeth for a brighter smile!

 

The “how” of dental implants June 20, 2014

Filed under: Dental health — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 12:23 pm

Dental implants have become more and more popular as they’ve been able to solve problems that were difficult for traditional dentistry.  But we’re often asked how dental implants work.  What happens to make them work so well and, in effect, replace the tooth or teeth you’ve lost? Here’s a short list that outlines how the process works:

  • First, the dentist surgically places the implant into the jawbone. Your dentist may recommend a diet of soft foods, cold foods and warm soup during the healing process.
  • Next, the bone around the implant heals in a process called osseointegration. What makes an implant so strong is that the bone actually grows around it and holds it in place. Osseointegration means “combines with the bone” and takes time. Some patients might need to wait until the implant is completely integrated, up to several months, before replacement teeth can be attached to the implant. Other patients can have the implants and replacement teeth placed all in one visit.
  • Finally, it’s time for the placement of the artificial tooth/teeth. For a single tooth implant, your dentist will customize a new tooth for you, called a dental crown. The crown will be based on size, shape, color and fit, and will be designed to blend in with your other teeth. If you are replacing more than a single tooth, custom-made bridges or dentures will be made to fit your mouth and your implants. (Note: The replacement teeth usually take some time to make. In the meantime, your dentist may give you a temporary crown, bridge or denture to help you eat and speak normally until the permanent replacement is ready.)

If you think you are a candidate for implants, we’d be glad to discuss that with you.  They have helped thousands restore lost teeth and improve their oral health.

Mall of Georgia Dentistry

 

When thumbsucking can become a threat to your child’s oral health June 13, 2014

Filed under: Dental health — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 1:33 pm

Thumbsucking is as natural as breathing in small children.  It helps make babies secure, aids them in sleeping and generally helps them adjust to their new world.

But there comes a time in every child’s life when the benefits erode to the point that continued thumbsucking can begin to effect their oral health.

Thumbsucking (or sucking on a pacifier) may cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth and alignment of the teeth. It can also cause changes in the roof of the mouth. Pacifiers can affect the teeth essentially the same ways as sucking fingers and thumbs, but it is often an easier habit to break. The intensity of the sucking is a factor that determines whether or not dental problems may result. If children rest their thumbs passively in their mouths, they are less likely to have difficulty than those who vigorously suck their thumbs. Some aggressive thumbsuckers may develop problems with their baby (primary) teeth.

Children usually stop sucking their thumbs between the ages of 2 to 4.  That’s usually before their primary teeth begin to come in.  If you’re having some trouble breaking your child of the thumbsucking habit, here are a few tips that may help:

  • Praise your child for not sucking.
  • Children often suck their thumbs when feeling insecure or needing comfort. Focus on correcting the cause of the anxiety and provide comfort to your child.
  • For an older child, involve him or her in choosing the method of stopping.
  • Your dentist can offer encouragement to your child and explain what could happen to their teeth if they do not stop sucking.

If the habit persists, you may want to consult with your pediatrician and dentist.  They may be able to provide you with additional advice or means for helping break the thumbsucking habit.

Mall of Georgia Dentistry

 

 
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