7 Reasons You Need to Visit Your Dentist Regularly

7 Reasons You Need to Visit Your Dentist Regularly

In order to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy, you should be visiting your dentist for a routine check-up once every six months. Why do you need to see your dentist regularly though?

1. To Prevent and Treat Cavities

The superior cleaning you get at your dental checkup can help keep cavities from ever developing in your beautiful pearly whites. Additionally, the inspection part of your checkup may reveal a cavity in its earliest stage. Cavities that go untreated continue to grow and can ultimately affect the deeper layers of your teeth, which can lead to infections and even tooth loss. It’s good to remember that cleaning appointments are much less costly than getting a filling.

2. To Prevent and Treat Gum Disease

Your dentist will look at the spacing between your teeth and your gums. The deeper the spacing, the more likely gum disease is developing or is already present. Healthy gums have shallow spaces between your gum line and your teeth. If your dentist discoveries you’re at the early stage of gum disease known as gingivitis, your doctor may be able to stop the disease in its tracks with a simple deep cleaning. On the other hand, if left undiagnosed, gum disease can ultimately result in the need for surgery.

3. To Get X-rays

X-rays can detect cavities between your teeth that your dentist would not be otherwise able to see with the naked eye. They allow dentists to see what’s happening beneath the surface of your mouth. An example of this is the development of wisdom teeth, which can potentially push the rest of your teeth out of line resulting in all sorts of problems for your oral health. X-rays additionally let your doctor determine if you have a healthy jawbone. Ultimately X-rays protect and prevent any major oral issues or dental destruction.

4. To Receive a Proper Extensive Cleaning

Dental hygienists clear away any buildup of plaque you may have developed on your teeth. While you may practice regular dental hygiene at home, there are blind spots you might be missing. Hygienists can better clean between your teeth and at your gum line especially if you have crooked or tightly spaced teeth. Even the best brushers and regular flossers may still have plaque and tartar that can only be removed at the dental office. Plaque is a form of bacteria, which if left untreated can lead to cavities, gum disease, and so many other oral diseases.

5. To Ward Off or Diagnose Any Serious Oral Health Issues

Oral cancer is often discovered at regular dental checkups. An early stage detection of oral cancer is typically easy to treat, but without regular visits to the dentist, it may be too late to stop the potentially deadly disease in its tracks. The only way to know for sure that your mouth is cancer free is a checkup to your favorite oral health professional. Your dentist may also be able to diagnose diabetes or vitamin deficiencies.

6. To Determine That Your Teeth Are Developing Properly

Who’s the first person to realize you need braces, have an overbite or underbite, need a tooth pulled, or are getting your wisdom teeth? Your dentist, and these types of discoveries happen during regular dental visits. The dentist also looks for things like proper spacing between your teeth and any discoloration. At the end of the day, you want your smile straight and your teeth perfectly white, and the best way to achieve this goal is to make regular trips to your dentist.

7. To Address Any Questions or Concerns You May Have

Though you may feel like your dentist appointments come quickly, half a year is a long time for your teeth. Over those six months, you may develop questions or concerns. Is this normal? Are my teeth developing properly? What toothbrush do you recommend? Any tips for better flossing my back teeth? All sorts of questions may be floating around in your brain and your semi-annual checkup is the perfect time to have your dentist check these things out and answer your question to make sure your perfect smile is right on track.

Your oral health is dependent on these semi-annual checkups with your dentist. In the long run, oral health checkups save you pain, discomfort, and money that are associated with the pricey procedures necessary to treat an unhealthy mouth. If your child is due for a dental checkup, contact our dental office to schedule an appointment today!

When Should My Child Start Seeing A Dentist?

When Should My Child Start Seeing A Dentist?

When you have a baby, they have a lot of firsts. From the day they’re born you’ll be wondering when they’ll take their first step, say their first word, and have their first laugh. So many beautiful memories start but don’t forget about the first steps they take into healthcare. When it comes to a healthy smile, you don’t want to miss the mark on when your child’s mouth should start receiving professional attention. So when should you start bringing your baby to the dentist?

When Their First Tooth Appears

Just because they’re baby teeth that will eventually fall out, doesn’t mean they don’t need to be properly cared for. This is a huge mistake that sadly too many parents make. Underneath those temporary baby teeth, your child’s permanent teeth are developing. That’s why you should bring your child to the dentist when their very first tooth appears. Your pediatric dentist will be there to make sure those teeth are developing properly so that your child continues to have a healthy smile now and throughout their adult life.

Baby teeth aren’t just there as a placeholder for your child’s permanent teeth though. Baby teeth also help teach children how to speak and chew properly. Their oral health is a vital part of their overall development. So don’t wait, when the first tooth appears, call and schedule an appointment for their very first dental appointment.

Before They Reach Their First Birthday

By the time your child celebrates their first birthday, you also should have already celebrated their first dental appointment, even if their first tooth has yet to appear. Children who go to the dentist before the age of two may have a lower risk of cavities. Kids who visit the dentist regularly receive not only checkups but proper and more extensive cleaning than obtainable at home. Ensuring good dental care, including making dental checkups a regular part of their life, should start when kids are young so that they continue that level of care into their adult life.

Putting off your child’s dental visits can result in a build-up of plaque and cavities. You don’t want their first trip to the dentist to result in cavities getting filled and painful scraping of deep plaque removal. You want to get your child to the dentist before problems arise. In the end, it’s all about preventive care.

Once your kids take over their daily dental care such as brushing their teeth, flossing and scraping their tongue, you’ll want to make sure they know how to do it correctly. That can depend immensely on having a comfortable relationship with a dental office they know so that both you and your children can be assured by a professional that they are caring for their teeth properly and are developing a healthy smile.

To get your child’s first dental checkup on the books call our office and schedule an appointment today!

14 Things Your Teeth Can Reveal About Your Overall Health: Part 2

14 Things Your Teeth Can Reveal About Your Overall Health: Part 2

Whether you’re a talker or on the shy side in your personal life, your teeth have a lot to say about your overall health. So when you make your regular dental visit, your doctor can look out for the following conditions that may be affecting your overall health:

8. Alcoholism

Surprise, surprise, a dentist can smell alcohol on your breath. Alcoholics are also more likely to develop gum disease, which may be connected to the fact that drinkers are more likely to have poor oral hygiene. Alcohol can also help keep plaque and bacteria alive. It makes your body slower in saliva production that would normally help to wash away unwanted plaque. Less saliva also results in dry mouth giving just one more indicator from your body that you’re abusing your alcohol intake.

9. Heart Disease

Gum disease which can show up as red, puffy, or even bleeding gums, is linked to heart disease. Treating gum disease can actually produce a healthier outcome of heart disease. This shows once again how important dental health is to your overall health as heart disease is the world’s number one killer for both men and women.

10. Osteoporosis

This condition of fragile bones has been linked to gum disease. The disease may also damage a person’s jaw. It can additionally result in a loss of teeth. If the jaw does become damaged it can make it difficult to wear dentures or have them fit properly in place. Regular dental visits are necessary to delay, correct, or prevent any oral health problems related to osteoporosis.

11. Overwhelming Stress

Grinding or clenching your teeth might just be a result of stress. Dentists may be able to tell your stress levels from flatted teeth, abnormal bites, or even missing or crooked teeth all of which are related to bruxism, a condition where patients consistently grind their teeth or clench their jaw tightly. Gum disease and canker sores can also be related to stress.

12. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Acid from your stomach can actually wear away at your teeth. It can show up on the backside of your teeth where it may actually destroy enamel as well as the layer beneath your enamel known as dentine. This erosion is particularly prominent in the elderly, but at no age should it be considered normal. Recurring acid reflux can be harmful to your whole body and should be discussed with your doctor immediately.

13. Problematic Medications

When a medication is off, your gums can begin to grow over your teeth. Swelling gums is an easy indicator that your current medication needs to be adjusted. Certain drugs will accelerate the growth of your gums which in turn makes it difficult to keep up with basic dental hygiene and poor dental care can result in gum disease. So if your gums are growing over your teeth speak with your doctor to have your medication balanced at a healthier rate.

14. An Eating Disorder

Some eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia can affect your teeth and the condition will become clearly apparent to your dentist. Purging occurs in both of these conditions and gastric acid from your stomach can wear away at the enamel of your teeth as well as dentine, which is the softer layer beneath the enamel. This damage is typically seen on the backside of your teeth.

At the end of the day, oral health is a reflection of your overall health. That means you should never skip a dental checkup, as your dentist may be the first step to noticing a larger problem in your health. For more revelations, your teeth may show about your health refer to 14 Things Your Teeth Can Reveal About Your Overall Health: Part 1.

Are You Brushing the Right Way?

Are You Brushing the Right Way?

Just brushing your teeth isn’t enough. You have to make sure you’re brushing your teeth the right way.

“Despite most of us thinking that we’re brushing our teeth correctly or flossing frequently enough, dentist visits are often full of surprises. Irritation, cavities, gingivitis ― the list of our maladies goes on and on.”

Proper Dental Hygiene

Your oral health is dependent on your dental hygiene routine. That means brushing twice a day—morning and night, for at least a couple minutes. You also need to make sure you’re not brushing too hard or too softly. Brushing should not hurt so make should you’re applying a gentle amount of pressure. Finally, it’s vitally important to make sure you’re brushing every part of your teeth. Not just top and bottom, but front to back, and don’t forget about the side facing your tongue.

To learn more about the proper brushing technique and what area you’re most likely to miss refer to You’re Probably Forgetting To Brush This Part Of Your Teeth.

Results of Grinding Your Teeth: Part 2

Results of Grinding Your Teeth: Part 2

Grinding your teeth can have long-lasting effects on your smile. Whether you’re a night grinder or a daytime clencher, bruxism is a serious oral health issue that may result in the following:

6. Structural Issues With Your Teeth

As teeth become loosened from grinding your smile will develop open pockets that are susceptible to bacteria. When this bacteria is allowed to grow in such large spaces it can attack the supporting bone and destroy the basic structure of your teeth. This damage might be irreversible which is yet another reason why bruxism cannot go untreated.

7. Cracked or Broken Teeth

Grinding your teeth can actually fracture your tooth. As your teeth begin to wear down they become more susceptible to trauma. Your teeth are used to the motions of chewing, but they were not made for grinding and therefore bruxism may begin to crack your once perfect smile. Missing teeth and gaps don’t have to be a result of your teeth grinding, but only if you seek professional care.

8. Damage to Your Jaw

Your jaw can ache from clenching, and that pain is telling you that you’re causing damage to your jaw. Your jaw may become tight as it’s exhausted from that constant trauma. You may not be able to even open or close your mouth fully. Experiencing lockjaw can negatively affect your life in a variety of ways such as being able to properly chew your food and perform basic dental care.

9. Headaches

While you grind your teeth your mouth may experience a series of spasms in the muscles, which can result in painful headaches. That pain can even travel to your neck and throughout your upper back. Earaches may even occur even though the problem originates in your mouth. Grinding your teeth is an unconscious act, but you will definitely be conscious of the resulting pain.

10. Worn Out Tooth Enamel

Grinding wears away healthy enamel. Your teeth were not made to withstand that kind of constant friction. The more your enamel begins to break down your teeth will become more fragile to the point where the ends begin to chip off. The underlayer of dentine may become exposed which will, in turn, make it more difficult for you to eat, care for your teeth, and may result in regular pain. At the end of the day, healthy enamel is there to protect your teeth and you can experience a world of pain without it.

If you suffer from teeth grinding, talk to your dentist as soon as possible. Our office can offer you support and fit nighttime grinders for mouth guards that will help to protect your precious smiles. For more information on the long-lasting effects of teeth grinding refer to Results of Grinding Your Teeth: Part 1.