Mall of Georgia Dentistry's Blog

"Making you smile from the inside out"

Brush Up on Brushing Technique November 18, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 4:23 pm

Brushing your teeth is so routine that you may take it for granted that there is a right way and a wrong way to get the most out of your two daily tooth brushings. Here are a few basic things to remember:

2 minutes. Brush for two minutes and continually move the brush around the entire inner and outer arch of the upper and lower teeth, being sure that back and front of all teeth are attended to. Most electric toothbrushes are set to run a 2-minute cycle.

Focus on the gum line. As you move your brush around, don’t just brush the teeth alone but you should also be brushing the gums, so focus along the gum line. The gum line is where most of the food debris and plaque deposits will collect anyway, and it can be like a little massage for the gums, keeping the gums clean and healthy supports the overall health of your teeth. The gums are important!

45-degree angle. Brushing at a 45-degree angle aims the bristles of the bush for optimum cleaning between the teeth and under the gums as you focus along the gum line and go around the teeth. So angle the brush upward 45 degrees on the upper arch and downward 45 degrees on the lower arch.

Opt for Soft. Soft bristled brushes are just a effective at cleaning the teeth and removing plaque as hard or medium, and unlike hard or medium, soft or extra soft brushes are gentle on those oh-so-important gums. Using a soft touch is also important. Too-hard brushing can damage the gums and cause gingival recession.

2 times per day. Brushing twice daily keeps the bacteria in the mouth in check.  In the morning and before bed are generally the ideal times to brush. Some patients may be recommended a different frequency, but 2 times is generally the best. Brushing too often may be hard on the enamel and gums.

Many people may have learned to brush a certain way at a very young age and could have developed improper or sub-par brushing techniques that have been ingrained into habit over many years.  An occasional review of the best techniques currently recognized in dentistry can also be a helpful reminder to review your own brushing routine and make sure it’s as good as it could be, and to help teach children learning to brush on their own.  All of us at Mall of Georgia Dentistry know that good brushing and flossing are the foundation of great oral health, and we want the best for our patients… so brush up!


Receding Gums? November 5, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 2:25 pm

Gingival recession is not just something that affects the appearance of your smile, it is an indication of an underlying oral health concern. It can be cause by various oral health issues such as one of the following:

  • Periodonal Disease
  • Bruxism
  • Trauma
  • Brushing too Hard

Other possible causes or contributing factors could be malocclusion, orthodontic movement of the teeth, genetics, systemic diseases, smoking, or other factors.  Receding gums can cause issues with tooth sensitivity or put you at risk for bone loss or tooth decay in the root of the teeth.

Good oral hygiene and routine dental care can help you avoid receding gums. If you have receding gums, it is important to get a consultation to identify underlying causes and discuss treatment options. If periodontal issues are to blame, you must treat this immediately, usually with a procedure called  scaling and root planing, followed by regular periodontal maintenance cleanings, to halt further recession. Locally placed antibiotic agents may also help. Brushing with a soft bristled brush and avoiding abrasive toothpastes or alternative brushing products is also necessary.

If gum recession is having a negative impact on your oral health or your satisfaction with the appearance of your smile, a gum graft is a possibility. This is a surgical procedure that may be performed by a specialist where tissue is usually taken from elsewhere in the mouth, often roof of the mouth. A gum graft covers exposed tooth roots to help protect them from bone deterioration and to improve the appearance of the gum line.

If you are worried about receding gums, book an appointment as soon as you can to have it evaluated and a treatment plan made for you. This is a problem that only gets worse with time if left untreated. Give us a call at either Mall of Georgia Dentistry office to discuss your concerns or with any question you may have.


Trick or Treat for your teeth? October 22, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 2:45 pm

cavitiesMost of us are looking forward to trick-or-treating or handing out candy this Halloween, but candy can really do scary, ghoulish things to your teeth. How to keep Halloween treats from playing mean tricks on your teeth? Read on…

The worst Halloween candies are the ones that stick to your teeth. Things like caramels, gummies, and taffy cling to the teeth and are hard to remove. As the sugar sits on your teeth, it’s feeding the bacteria in your mouth and producing enamel-eroding acids. Then there’s the sour candies… sour candies contain acidic ingredients to give them the sour taste, so they already contain acids before the bacteria even get to work on them. Of course, sour candies that are also sticky and chewy are the worst of the worst.

But don’t loose hope! A pretty good candy choice for your teeth, believe it or not, is actually plain chocolate. Plain old dark or milk chocolate (not filled with nuts or nougats or caramel) melts and washes off the teeth more easily than most other sugary Halloween-night goodies.

Other things to keep in mind: It is a good idea is to eat candy at meal times or in one limited sitting and follow it by drinking plenty of water to rinse and wash off the teeth. The more frequently you eat candy, the more often you would introduce sugar to the bacteria that love to turn it into acid, so the idea is to keep those times few and far between rather than constantly grazing over the day.

Thanks to the bacteria that live in your mouth, sugar can be hard on your teeth, but you don’t have to avoid all treats! Just be moderate and smart about it, and take great care of your teeth with an impeccable home hygiene routine and regular dental visits. The entire staff of Mall of Georgia Dentistry wants all our patients and friends to have a really smiley Halloween!


How Long Does a Filling Last? October 8, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 1:32 pm

Dental restorations such as fillings are subject to wear and tear and will usually need to be replaced at some point. There are many individual factors that can play a role in how long a filling lasts, including the material used and your oral hygiene routine. Let’s look at some of the expected lifespans of various fillings and what factors might affect their lifespan:

Amalgam fillings: Amalgam fillings are the silver ones. The estimated longevity of an amalgam filling is around 12 years.

Composite filings:  Composite fillings are white fillings. On average, composite fillings last 5-7 years before they need to be replaced.

These averages are not guarantees, some fillings last less than one year while some may last more than 20 years!  The above lifespans come from a review of multiple studies. A research team that compiled data from multiple studies that had been done prior to 2002 found that 80% of amalgam filling were still functioning properly at the 10 year mark, while only around 60% of composite fillings lasted even 8 years.  Common reasons for a filling to fail include the breakage of the filling itself, tooth decay developing under the filling, or the filled tooth weakening and breaking around the filling.

You can help your fillings last by maintaining a great oral hygiene routine of daily brushing and flossing, regular dental cleanings and check-ups, and wearing a night guard to protect them from the effects of nocturnal clenching and grinding (some people may benefit from wearing a bite guard during the day time as well).  Grinding your teeth causes them to crack and break, fillings included! Avoiding things that contribute to decay, such as frequent snacking on sugar and carbs, or sipping on sodas and other acidic beverages throughout the day, can also help restorations last.

Remember, your oral health depends on your oral hygiene, so take an active role in maintaining your teeth and the restorations they have.  At Mall of Georgia Dentistry, we aren’t just here to fix teeth that have problems, but to help you learn how to prevent problems too! Brush for two minutes two times a day using a 45-degree angle at the gum line and all around each surface of each tooth, and floss daily with a c-shape gently up and down each inner tooth surface.


Are you high-risk for cavities? September 24, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 1:45 pm

Many people dread their regular cleaning visit for fear that they’ll be told they have cavities.  But most people can avoid getting cavities by avoiding lifestyle factors and habits that put them at an increased risk of developing tooth decay. Some of the most common factors that are associated with high risk for cavities are:

  • Sticky or acidic foods. Some foods are more likely to contribute to decay. Foods that stick to your teeth, especially sugary foods like chewy candy (gummies, caramels, etc), cakes, cookies, and dried fruits and raisins cling to the teeth. The bacteria in your mouth converts the sugar into acid, then the acid weakens the enamel and opens the door for decay. Carbohydrates like chips, crackers, and cereal have the same effect. Keep sweets and carb-based snacks to a minimum or enjoy only in a single sitting or at meal time instead of snacking all day.
  • Frequent soda and sports drink sipping. When you steadily sip sodas or sugary beverages, you give mouth- dwelling bacteria more fuel to produce acids that attack your teeth and weaken enamel. Beverages like soda and energy drinks don’t just contain sugar, they also contain acid, so drinking them douses your teeth in acid right away and increase the likelihood for decay as well. If you drink sugary or acidic beverages, use a straw to help bypass your teeth.
  • Inadequate brushing and flossing. Plaque forms pretty quickly after eating and drinking. Plaque produces acid and must be removed thoroughly and frequently. Brushing well both morning and night for two minutes and flossing at least once a day are the foundation for controlling decay
  • Dry mouth. Dry mouth is caused by a lack of saliva. Saliva helps prevent tooth decay by rinsing away food particles and plaque from your teeth. Adequate saliva flow can help counter the acid produced by decay-producing bacteria and help avoid tooth decay. Medications are a common cause of dry mouth, but sipping on pure water all day long can help.
  • Too little fluoride. Fluoride is a catalyst for remineralization of the tooth enamel. Acid weakens the enamel by disrupting the chemical bonds that hold the minerals in your teeth together. Fluoride helps these bonds reform, and it also weakens acid-producing bacteria. This is why modern dentistry considers fluoride a must for excellent dental health!
  • Worn fillings or dental devices. Dental fillings can weaken, begin to break down and wear out over time. Worn areas can allow food particles or plaque to build up more easily and make it harder to clean the plaque or food away. Fillings and dental prosthetics that leak or don’t fit well allow decay to begin underneath. Get regular check up so a dentist can evaluate your dental restorations and devises regularly.
  • Heartburn and Vomiting. Digestive acids weaken enamel just like the acids in food or acids produced by bacteria. Make sure you treat any Gastroesophageal reflux disease with a medication approved by your doctor, and take extra care of your teeth with extra rinsing and brushing if you get sick with a stomach bug that causes vomiting.

Many of the factors above may be familiar to you but a few may not be so obvious as contributors to tooth decay.

All of us at Mall of Georgia Dentistry know that it’s the daily things that can make or break a good oral health deal with your mouth. Keeping up with your routine 6-month visits is an essential part of helping keep your teeth in great shape, and routine visits are a great opportunity to talk to our staff about any lifestyle factors that could you could change to improve your teeth and oral health. We’d be happy to help answer any questions you have and help you protect and improve your smile!


We’ve Moved! And Other News… September 8, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 2:16 pm

After 15 years, we’ve moved our Buford office! We are now located at 1905 Mall of Georgia Blvd, Suite 1, Buford GA 30519, just a few stop lights away from our original location. Our new location still has the same great staff you know and love (and the fresh Krispy Kreme donuts!) in a roomier setting where we can better serve our patients’ needs. We are excited for all of our awesome Buford patients to see our new office at their next appointment!

Our new office location is fitted with four operatories (or in other words: dental chairs!) with room for future growth if needed. We have a roomier waiting area for our patients, comfortable for when all your kids plus you parents are all scheduled together, or for patients with wheel chairs or strollers.  You’ll still see the train making it’s way around the whole office!

Perhaps most excitingly, Dr. Vancil’s associate, Dr. Michelle Whyte, is now part of our team! They have dreamed of practicing dentistry together since they were study partners in dental school, and that dream is now a reality. We are so excited to have Dr. Whyte on board and we know our patients will love her.

Finally, the news that Mall of Georgia Dentistry has expanded by acquiring an additional office location on Braselton Hwy in Dacula- Mall of Georgia Dentistry Hamilton Mill- has been pretty commonly known for several months, but did you know you can now schedule at either office location? It took some time to integrate the patient databases and get the Hamilton Mill office set up on the same management software as Buford, but we now have both offices on the same page and patients can be seen at either location.

All of us at Mall of Georgia Dentistry are excited about our growth and expansion and all the new ways we can better serve our patients. Our goal is inspiring people to “smile from the inside out”!


Your Mouth on Meds August 26, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 12:29 pm

Many over-the-counter and prescription medications come with a side effect which can have an adverse effect on your oral health: dry mouth. Dry mouth means a lack of adequate amounts of saliva in the mouth. Without enough saliva, the environment of the mouth is not able to cope as well with everyday things.

Saliva acts as part of the defense mechanism against gingivitis, tooth decay, and infections. Saliva bathes your mouth in a protective solution containing calcium ions, and saliva helps teeth to remineralize after being weakened by a little acid exposure. It helps wash away food that is stuck to the teeth, and can help keep plaque from quickly building up to levels that can cause gingivitis.

Hundreds of medications can cause dryness of the mouth. Some categories of medications known to have this side effect include antidepressants, allergy & asthma medication, anti-anxiety drugs, blood pressure medication, antacids, & more…. including some vitamin supplements. If you feel you that you are experiencing dry mouth, talk to your pharmacist or doctor, or ask your doctor to prescribe a different medicate that does not cause dry mouth as a side effect.
If a change in medication is not advisable a few things can help you cope with dry mouth.   Avoid using toothpastes that contain sodium lauryl sulphate and mouth rinses that contain alcohol. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep the mouth hydrated. Reduce your caffeine intake since caffeine can aggravate dry mouth. Breathe through the nose, not mouth – air flowing in and out of your mouth will dry up saliva. Keep up with your brushing and flossing routine impeccably and get regular cleanings and check ups. Some patients can benefit from wearing custom made trays at night filled with special remineralizing products, or special prescription mouthwashes.
If you are dealing with dry mouth, please feel free to talk to our office. Dr Vancil and the Mall of Georgia dentistry team will be glad to make suggestion of things that might help keep you smiling.


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