Family Dentists Offer More Than Convenience

Family Dentist

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One of the most difficult things that people have to do when they move is to find a good dentist. It is often low on the list of the things that people think about when moving to a new area. The reason for this is partly due to the way that people choose their dentist in the first place. The choice that people make often ends up being a family dentist.

The reasons that people may give for choosing a family dentist can vary, but one of the most common is convenience. For a family it is easier for everyone to see the same dentist. This makes the scheduling of appointments and making the arrangements to get to the dentist a little easier, especially when kids are involved.

What Does a Family Dentist Offer

While convenience can be a reason to choose a family dentist, it may not be the best one. There are actually several other reasons why a person should choose a family dentist even if they are doing it only for themselves and not for the entire family.

  • Family Dentists are General Dentists – This may not always be true, but most family dentists are general dentists. That means they are capable of taking care of most of the dental needs that anyone has. They have the training to handle both preventative dentistry and emergency dental procedures.
  • Family Dentists work with all ages – Family dentists can handle all ages of patients. From early childhood to adulthood, the family dentist has the training to handle all of the different situations and issues that can arise.
  • Family Dentists offer a wide array of services – The family dentist does not specialize in any one area. Their office may not always include special equipment for a specific type of service. What they do have is the knowledge to handle many different dental services. They also have the equipment that allows them to get most of the different types of dental services done. Typical services can include preventative, root canals, extractions and cosmetic procedures such as dentures.

A family dentist allows a patient to become comfortable with them. The dentist becomes familiar with the patient and that can make any dental procedure a little less scary. They form a relationship that helps a person maintain better dental health practices. There is no reason not to turn to a family dentist when looking for the right dentist.

Do You Need a Partial or a Bridge?

Dental Partial

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If you have one or more teeth missing, you have more than one option when it comes to selecting the best replacement solution for you. If you are considering bridges and dentures, then you should evaluate which of the two will provide you with optimal oral health benefits and dental hygiene according to your lifestyle and dental needs.

Each and every tooth in your mouth plays a vital role in maintaining the proper alignment of teeth. When the spaces are not filled that are left behind due to tooth loss, big problems can arise. From bone loss to shifting and shape changes of the jaw itself; if you are missing a tooth it is imperative that you seek professional help to discuss the best replacement options for you.

Bridges versus Partial Dentures

When you are deciding between a bridge or partial denture, you must consider how well each will work with your remaining teeth. Both of the solutions will work to prevent movement within the mouth, as well as to improve the function of the mouth by restoring the ability to speak and chew. But, ultimately which solution will work best for you will depend largely on the structure of your existing teeth and overall oral health.

Partial dentures may prove to be the best solution if you have a large number of teeth missing that need to be replaced. Also, if there is a high probability that you will experience further tooth loss, then your dentist may recommend a partial denture over a bridge. Bridges will work best if you have a small gap on the same side of the mouth that needs filling. Partial dentures are generally easier to adjust and repair and are usually less expensive than bridges. However, partial dentures can more easily become lost or broken, while a bridge will remain safely intact, as it is a fixed replacement solution as opposed to removable.

In either case, if you are faced with the decision to choose a partial denture over a bridge as a replacement option, it is important to discuss both options with your dentist.

Dental Veneers Restore More Than Your Smile

Veneers

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When a person is not proud of the way their smile looks, it can cause them to avoid being seen altogether. They can become more withdrawn and often miss out on many opportunities because of their fear that people may look at them in a strange way. There are some things that cannot be controlled about the way that a person smiles and how they look, but there are some things that can be done to fix a smile that is not what a person wants.

What Veneers Can Do

Veneers are considered a form of cosmetic dentistry. When people hear the term cosmetic dentistry, they may assume that it is all about the way that a person looks. This is not all that veneers can do. Before passing judgment on veneers it is a good idea to understand what they are and what they can do.

Veneers are a thin laminate that is placed over the teeth. The care of the veneers is the same as teeth without veneers. They require regular brushing and regular visits to the dentists. Veneers can last for 5 to 10 years and are reasonably priced option for the things they can do.

Veneers are typically used to cover over discolored, stained, chipped or broken teeth. They are designed to cover over any abnormalities that people may have. They can cover over gaps in the teeth.

How Veneers Help a Person

While the obvious benefit of veneers is a bright white smile that an individual can be proud of, that is not all they are doing for the person. They are helping to restore the confidence that a person has in themselves. They are helping a person present a positive first impression to others. They are allowing the person to feel like they are normal and that can help a person both physically and emotionally.

A person that has veneers will have an improved smile. They will not have to worry about their teeth being discolored or people looking at a gap in the smile. They can get others to pay attention to what is important about a person and not just what their smile looks like. For many people, this is worth much more than the price they had to pay to get the veneers.

Caring for Your Mouth After an Extraction

Tooth extraction

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The thought of having a tooth pulled out is not a pleasant one. It may be part of the reason that the procedure is called an extraction. That does not sound as violent or painful. The good news is that modern dentistry has made the process of a tooth extraction much less painful and less scary.

There are many reasons why a person would need a tooth extraction. It is often done in young children before they get orthodontics put in to correct a problem with their teeth. Adults may have a problem with crowding as their teeth move slightly in the mouth. Extractions are also needed when a person breaks or chips a tooth. They are needed when a person is considering dental implants. Teeth that have suffered from decay due to disease could require an extraction. For the most part, extractions are done to improve the overall dental health of an individual.

While the reasons for extractions vary, there are some important things to think about. One of those things is properly caring for the wound that results from an extraction. If the proper care is not done, it could end up resulting in more problems that include infection or damage to other teeth.

What to do after an extraction

  • Do not worry about bleeding – Some bleeding is normal after an extraction. Gauze can be placed over the surgical area for 30 minutes before it is removed. Bleeding can last for a few hours, but should not be excessive. A tea bag can also be used in place of the gauze If it is excessive or continues for too long, check with a dental professional.
  • Do not spit out or suck in – Even through a straw as this could cause the wound to start bleeding.
  • Do not rub the area with tongue – This could cause irritation and open the wound up to something that could cause an infection.
  • Do not drink alcohol – Wait at least one full day before drinking any alcohol. Longer is better. All carbonated beverages should also be avoided
  • Do not smoke – This is always a good idea, but refrain from smoking for at least one day after surgery.
  • Do not brush the teeth – Wait at least 12 hours before brushing the teeth or rinsing out the mouth.

These are the things not to do. Basically, anything that could be considered harsh to the affected area should be avoided. Any food that is eaten should be soft and hot food is not a good idea. Most of the restrictions can start to be lifted after 24 hours and then it is a matter of monitoring the wound for any signs of infection.

Are You Getting Your Mouth Clean Enough?

Picture Source: MS Dental Board - https://www.dentalboard.ms.gov/msbde/msbde.nsf/webpages/AppForms_DentalHygiene?OpenDocument

Picture Source: MS Dental Board – https://www.dentalboard.ms.gov/msbde/msbde.nsf/webpages/AppForms_DentalHygiene?OpenDocument

Parents spend a lot of time teaching their children the importance of proper care for their teeth. They make sure they take their children to the dentist on a regular basis. They warn their children not to eat too many sweets or tit could result in cavities. Parents and adults repeat these messages to children over and over again. It is hard to figure out why many adults seem to ignore the lessons that are taught to children. It leaves many people wondering if they are doing the right thing when it comes to their own dental care.

What is The Right Dental Care?

There are several steps that should be taken to provide an individual with the best dental care they can and to keep their mouth as healthy as possible.

  • Diet – A healthy diet that does not include too much of the foods that stain the teeth is a start. It should also include foods that are high in fiber that can help fight the early stages of tooth decay. Drinking water with fluoride is also recommended.
  • Brushing – Teeth need to be brushed at least twice a day with a soft bristled brush. People that eat foods that can discolor the teeth may want to brush more often.
  • Flossing – Flossing helps remove particles that can in between the teeth. Flossing should be done at least once a day, but it is something that can be done more often when needed.
  • Visit the dentist – regular dental visits are essential to good dental health. Twice a year cleanings and annual checkups are a minimum for anyone that wants to keep their mouth clean.

Signs of Problems

Despite the best efforts to do all of the right things, a person may still experience problems with their mouth and teeth. The earlier these problems are detected, the easier it is to deal with them. A person should check their mouth regularly for signs that include:

  • Red or swollen gums
  • Bleeding when brushing or flossing
  • Habitual bad breath
  • Irregular pieces of tissues in the mouth that may be a sign of oral cancer

Paying attention to how you clean your teeth, how you are treating your teeth and looking for warning signs is the best way for a person to answer the question of whether their mouth is clean enough or not.

Unhappy With Your Dentures? You Have Other Options.

Many people—especially those accustomed to using their natural teeth—dislike the way their dentures feel and look. In years past, people who lost their teeth had few options besides either getting dentures or just doing without. Fortunately, strides in technology have allowed the development of some alternatives to dentures.

What are dentures, anyway?

A common misconception is that dentures replace your teeth. This is actually untrue: dentures are used when you don’t have any teeth. They are essentially false teeth affixed to a plastic plate that fits over the gums. They can be awkward to wear and, depending on how they are built, they can interfere with your ability to enjoy food.

Alternatives to dentures

One alternative to traditional dentures is dentures that snap into place over the gum. This allows the removal of the large plastic “plate” that is traditionally associated with dentures, restoring your ability to taste and speak as you normally would. This can be done by using a few dental implants to act as anchors for the dentures and then affixing the dentures to the implants.

If you want to have more realistic-looking and feeling teeth, you have the option of getting implants that will look, feel, and operate like real teeth. This procedure is a little bit more intensive and does take several visits to accomplish, but the end result is well worth it.

When getting implants, your dentist will first install several metal rods into your gums. He or she will affix temporary teeth to these rods to allow you to eat while the final product is prepared. Later on, your dentist will remove the temporary teeth and install a bridge onto the implanted rods. This bridge will look, feel, and function like a normal set of teeth. Unlike dentures, it does not need to be removed each evening.

The process of getting a full bridge can take 2-3 visits to be completed. While it is more costly than a traditional set of dentures, and installation takes more time, the end result is clearly superior and is virtually indistinguishable from real teeth.

At What Age Should You Begin Taking Your Child to the Dentist?

While it is important for your child to receive regular dental care, taking him or her to the dentist at too young of an age can be problematic. Small children are often unable to understand what is going on and the experience can be very traumatic to them. In addition to causing problems in the short term, taking them at too young of an age can leave deep emotional issues that could harm him or her later on in life. You don’t want to have a child who grows up fearing the dentist because he or she was forced to have his or her teeth cleaned at too young of an age.

When do you need to begin cleaning a child’s teeth?

Ideally, you should try to have your child’s teeth cleaned on a regular basis from the time that he or she gets them. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s suggestion is that a child go to the dentist for the first time no later than six months after the first tooth comes in.

Making your child comfortable

To assist in making the first visit less traumatic, you may want to consider bringing your child with you to the dentist when you are getting your own teeth cleaned. Let him or her watch the procedure so that he or she knows there is nothing to be afraid of. You can have the dentist play a short game, like sitting the child in the chair and counting his or her teeth. The idea is for the child to have positive feelings when he or she thinks of the dentist’s office.

Talk with the dentist before you come and together come up with a plan for what you may do if your child is being fearful or otherwise uncooperative. Also, talk with your child and explain to him or her why it is important to go to the dentist and what, exactly, is going to happen. This will help reduce the child’s anxiety and make the visit a more pleasant one for all parties involved.

Brushing Your Child’s Teeth

Properly brushing your teeth is a lifelong habit that you want to instill in your child as early as possible. Until he or she is able to properly brush, however, you will need to lend some assistance.

How to brush a child’s teeth properly

Remember that your child will probably offer some resistance at first. You can try to reduce this by telling him or her that you are going to tickle their teeth and that it will be fun. You may show him or her some cartoons of other people (or things) getting their teeth brushed and explain that you are going to do the same thing. The more you can make it feel non-threatening, the less resistance your child will offer, and the easier it will be for you.

The biggest thing to consider in brushing is that you want to hit every surface so you will need a system. Some parents start in the front and work to the back; others start on the inside and work to the outside. It really doesn’t matter too much what order you go in so long as you follow your system and make sure to get every surface.

Use small circular motions, as this will clean the tooth better than simply moving back and forth. Try cradling your child’s head and asking him or her to let you count all of his or her teeth. If he or she starts to cry, you can sometimes take advantage of the open mouth to get all the way to the back.

Although the process will be a struggle at first your child will quickly get used to it and will eventually sit quietly and allow you to do the job. It does help to use a child-friendly toothpaste flavor such as bubble gum or grape. The mint flavors that adults favor may be too strong and unfamiliar to your child and might even increase the trauma associated with the event. Keep talking with your child during the entire time, letting him or her know what you are doing and try to make it a fun time.

Frequently Encountered Dental Issues and Ways to Address Them

Few people go their entire lives without encountering at least a few issues with their teeth. Here are some of the more common issues people have, and potential solutions to each.

Decay in the tooth enamel

Usually if you have an ache in a tooth it is a sign of decay. The fix for this can be as simple as a filling, where the dentist drills out the decayed portion and replaces it with a filler substance, or as extensive as putting in a dental crown. The resolution will largely depend upon the extent of the decay.

Misaligned teeth

Although many people think that crooked teeth are a purely cosmetic issue, the fact is that when your teeth are crooked it can interfere with your ability to chew or even speak correctly, and some patients with crooked teeth have a difficult time keeping them clean. The treatment for this is generally some type of braces. Braces now come in a variety of styles (some of them are even clear) so talk with your dentist about your options.

Tooth discoloration

Diet, age, medications, and other factors can combine to discolor teeth. Frequently people attempt to resolve this through the use of over-the-counter whitening systems. However, these systems do not always work. Your dentist can apply a professional treatment to stubborn discolorations. Sometimes whitening simply doesn’t work and you may need to have veneers put in over the stains.

Wisdom teeth

For many people the eruption of the wisdom teeth signifies the onset of a new problem. Sometimes the teeth come in crooked; sometimes they only come in part way, leading to headaches, difficulty cleaning them, and other issues. Generally speaking, if you have an issue with your wisdom teeth, it’s best to have them removed entirely.

Missing teeth

Whether it’s from a trauma to the face, a diseased tooth, or some other reason, sometimes your teeth fall out. When this happens the result can be more than merely cosmetic in nature: missing teeth can affect your ability to eat, speak, and more. There are multiple replacement options available, each varying in cost and appearance. Talk with your dentist to explore your options.

Braces are a Great Option for Correcting a Crooked Smile

Everyone wants to have a great smile. There’s something about the impression you get when you meet someone for the first time and they have a nice, healthy smile with straight and beautiful teeth. Unfortunately for the majority of us, frequently our teeth don’t come in exactly as straight as we would like. Fortunately, we do have options.

Braces

Braces come in different styles. The first style—and probably what you thought of when you saw the word “braces”—is the traditional set of braces composed of metal brackets adhered to a wire running around the mouth. These can be uncomfortable and unsightly and require the wearer to modify his or her diet, as some foods will stick to the braces and cause other problems. Traditional braces are notorious for their tendency to irritate the gums and other soft tissues in the mouth. They have many nooks and crevices which have a tendency to rub against the cheek and cause lacerations.

Metal braces can take a significant amount of time to do their job and—at least in the case of adults—most people prefer not to get them if possible.

Invisalign

Many people prefer to go with an Invisalign or other similar system. These types of braces are clear plastic trays that sit over the teeth. They are virtually invisible when worn and, because they may be removed, the wearer is still free to enjoy his or her favorite foods without being concerned that they may become stuck in the braces. As the teeth gradually straighten, old trays are switched out for new ones until the teeth are in the desired position.

Another advantage of these types of braces is that they are smooth and, as such, are easier on the soft tissues inside the mouth. They are easier to keep clean because they may be removed for cleaning. Finally, they tend to work faster than traditional braces, meaning that patients can achieve their desired smile in a shorter amount of time.

Talk with your dentist to see which option is best for you.