Mall of Georgia Dentistry's Blog

"Making you smile from the inside out"

Are you using an electric toothbrush? January 14, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 5:30 pm

An electric toothbrush is an easy way to get really, really clean teeth at home.  Electric toothbrushes remove more plaque from hard-to-reach places than manual brushing. Make sure to use soft bristles to keep it gentle on the gums. Good-quality electric toothbrushes effectively clean teeth that have braces, and they are gentle on restorations like crowns, cement, implants, as well as thinning enamel.

Did you know that most people only brush an average of 45-70 seconds? It seems we are pretty bad at estimating time, so an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer is a great thing! Most of the nicer models have a built-in timer, so you never have to count or watch a clock or worry that you have under-brushed.
At Mall of Georgia Dentistry, we highly recommend investing in a good electric toothbrush (if you aren’t already using one!) We carry a coupe of really good models at our office, and you can often find good deals from online retailers or warehouse clubs.  It’s one of the best things you can do to keep your smile healthy and bright!

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New Georgia Dental Regulations January 1, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 3:06 pm

Effective January 1, 2018, Georgia dentists have the option to authorize dental hygienists to provide dental hygiene services under “general supervision”- that means that the dentist does not need to be physically present in the office during the cleaning. Dental cleanings are performed under general supervision throughout the country; Georgia is actually one of the last states to pass legislation that allows dental hygiene under general supervision.

According to the Georgia Dental Hygienist’s Association, “General supervision means that a licensed dentist has authorized the delegable duties of a licensed dental hygienist but does not require that a licensed dentist be present when such duties are performed.” Procedures hygienists are allowed to perform under general supervision include:

  • Oral Prophylaxis and Assessment
  • Application of Sealants
  • Fluoride Treatment
  • Oral Hygiene Instruction and Education
  • Exposure and Processing of Radiographs

In order for a patient to receive their cleaning under general supervision, they must be an established patient of the authorizing dentist, meaning that they must have been clinically examined as a new patient at an initial visit and be a patient of record. Also, a patient must be examined by the dentist at a minimum of 12 month intervals, so any patient not seen by the authorizing dentist within the past 12 months is not eligible for a cleaning under general supervision.

Offices are required to notify patients in advance of the appointment that the dentist will not be present or performing the examination during that appointment, but that they will be treated by a licensed dental hygienist under general supervision. It’s important to communicate with patients to give them an opportunity to let us know if they have any dental concerns that require a dentist at their appointment so we can schedule them accordingly.  The Mall of Georgia Dentistry staff is committed to providing top-notch care for our patients at all appointments, including cleanings done under general supervision. If you have any questions, please do hesitate to reach out to us!

 

How to Avoid a Dental Emergency December 3, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 8:22 pm

Knowing what kinds of things are most likely to put your teeth at risk of injury and taking precautions to protect them can help save you from the pain and expense of a broken tooth and unexpected trips to the dentist. Here are a few things to be aware of:

-Wear a bite guard for any sporting activities. Many dental injuries are caused by falls or blows to the face sustained during sports participation and recreational actives.

-Do not bite into or chew ice or hard candy. Those things are simply too hard for the teeth, and they are not meant for chewing. Unpopped popcorn kernels should also be avoided.

-Use actual tools or scissors- never you teeth-  for things like opening packaging or bottles or untying knots.

-Wear a night guard if you clench or grind your teeth. The wear and tear of clenching and grinding can really take a toll on your teeth.

-Get regular cleanings and check-ups and have any restorative work done within the recommended time frame. Regular exams increase the likelihood of finding potential problems early so they can be taken care of before they become urgent.

Broken teeth are no fun…. Mall of Georgia Dentistry wants to help you take great care of your teeth so that nothing takes away from your occasions to smile!

 

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.

 

 
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