Need A Filling – Don’t Worry its Almost Painless

Unfortunately, tooth decay is a part of life for most of us; and at that point a filling is necessary to prevent further damage.

When You Need a Filling
Many people have lots of anxiety about going to the dentist; however, the fact is in recent advancements in dental technology the process of getting a filling has become nearly painless.

Expectations
The first thing that needs to be done when you suspect a cavity is to schedule a visit with your dentist. He will most likely examine the tooth, press on it a little bit; and take x-rays. Also if you do need a filling, you should have a conversation with your dentist about what sort of filling is going to be used. There are a lot more option in fillings then there were a decade ago. They vary in appearance, cost, and function, so the best option needs to be discussed. Some different fillings available are gold, amalgam, composite, ceramic, and glass ionomers.

Anesthesia
When the time arrives to get your filling the dentist will numb the area with some anesthesia. Dentists attempt to make the procedure as comfortable and painless as possible. Often times they will use a rub to numb the pain from the shot that they use to inject the anesthesia.

Types of Drills
When the area is numb, the dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth with a specialized instrument. What they will use will depend on the severity, most often it is a drill but more dentists are beginning to use other methods such as air abrasion and lasers.

Air abrasion is a newer technique that uses a handheld device that spays a very small stream of aluminum oxide onto the decayed portion. This is typically used for small cavities and is a painless procedure.

Cleaning
After the cavity is cleaned out, your dentist will clean the area. Additionally, if the cavity is deap they may put a liner over the cavity before applying the filling. This is done to protect the nerve.

Polishing
Once the filling is installed your dentist will clean and polish your filling. You will feel numb for a couple hours after your dentist visit, but after that you will be back to normal and pain free.

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Baby Dental Care

Statistics
Children’s dental health is extremely important. A study was conducted and it found that tooth decay was the single most common chronic childhood disease, millions of school hours are lost each because of dental related issues, and it found that the poor are two times as likely to suffer from dental problems then the wealthy.
With these statistics it is very important to place an emphasis on children’s oral care.

Before the Teeth Come In
Often times, babies dental care gets neglected. This happens mostly due to lack of information and education about the issue. Babies do have dental needs, even without teeth. Plaque still grows in their mouths just as it does in anyone else’s.

To prevent plaque from building up, pediatrics suggest that parents should clean the infants gums with a damp washcloth after the feedings. Also make sure to take measures to prevent baby bottle tooth decay. This is a disease that happens in about 15% of children, and causes rapid baby tooth decay. It is important to make sure to avoid sugary products; even some formulas contain sugar. The more the baby teeth come in contact with sugar the more likely you will run into problems down the road.

How to Take Care of Baby Teeth
When the first teeth come in, it is important to schedule you first dental appointment. You should to get into a regular dental routine to prevent cavities and tooth decay, which are common in baby teeth.

Babies Need Special Attention
Babies do need some special attention when it comes to their dental health, when you do brush them make sure to use an extra-soft bristle tooth brush until your child gets over the age of 3. You should use a baby toothpaste that is safe to swallow, that is fluoride free and does not contain artificial preservatives or colors.

What to expect during an oral cancer exam

The statistics on oral cancer are frightening: More than 7,500 people will die this year from oral cancer, and another 35,000 people will be diagnosed, according to the National Institutes of Health. Even more, the five-year survival rate for patients diagnosed with oral cancer is only 60 percent, and experts warn that the disease can spread throughout the body at a fast pace. For this reason, early diagnosis and treatment is crucial. At your regular appointment, your dentist may conduct an exam to check for the presence of cancer. Read on to learn what to expect.

Before the exam, your dentist will ask you to remove any dentures and relax so your face, neck, lips, and mouth can be checked. The dentist will then use his hands to feel for any lumps under your jaw or along the side of your neck. He will also look at your tongue and the inside of your cheeks and lips for any noticeable signs of cancer, including red and white patches, swelling, or an abnormal texture. Next, the dentist will use gauze to gently move your tongue so he can see the underside and base of the tongue. Finally, the roof and floor of your mouth, as well as the back of your throat, will also be examined.

The entire exam takes only a few minutes and is entirely painless. Fortunately, this simple procedure can also help save your life. To learn more about the risks and symptoms, or request an oral cancer screening, talk to a dentist on your True Dental Discounts – dental plan.

Does your child need braces?

One of the benefits of taking your child to see the dentist regularly is that he or she can monitor your child’s teeth and alert you to the need for orthodontic treatment. Parents can also look for warning signs so they are prepared to ask the dentist about any problematic teeth or mouth structures. The American Association of Orthodontists suggests all children should be evaluated by the age of 7 to determine the need or timeline for orthodontic treatment. It is important to talk to your child’s dentist about your options if you notice any of the following signs:

  • Crowded/overlapped teeth or highly separated teeth
  • Upper and lower teeth do not touch when chewing
  • Upper front teeth fall behind the bottom teeth when chewing
  • Upper front teeth extend too far over the bottom teeth when chewing, or protrude at an odd angle
  • Lower jaw shifts to one side when chewing

In addition, if your child still sucks his or her thumb after age 6 or so, there may be an increased risk for crooked teeth. The same goes for people who experience early or late loss of baby teeth and consistently breathe through their mouths. Ask your child’s dentist if it’s time for an orthodontic review. By staying aware of these signs and communicating with your dentist, you can make sure your child gets the treatment she needs at the correct time.

Is there too much sugar in your diet?

We all know that eating a lot of sugar can have negative effects on our physical health. It can cause weight gain, energy swings and a weakened immune system. But what effects does sugar have on your oral health? According to the American Dental Association, when bacteria/plaque comes into contact with sugar in a person’s mouth, the acid that gets produced can damage teeth for 20 minutes or longer. Over time, this damage results in tooth decay. In addition, foods that are high in sugar are often filled with empty calories and lack other nutrients that are good for your health.

These sugary foods can lead to poor nutrition, which the ADA suggests can lead to faster progression of gum disease. Dietary habits are often developed in childhood, so it’s especially important for adults to teach their kids to eat healthily and get plenty of fruits, vegetables and calcium from a young age. Other precautionary steps include drinking a lot of water, limiting snacks in between meals, brushing twice a day, flossing, and visiting the dentist regularly. It may also help to keep track of all the food you eat so you can chart your progress and notice patterns of sugary food consumption. Talk to your dentist about your eating habits and develop a plan to cut back on sugar-filled foods. It’s a commitment that will benefit your body and your teeth!

The advantages of X-rays at the dentist

If you’ve ever seen an X-ray photo of your mouth, you’ve probably noticed that your teeth appear much lighter than the rest of the surfaces. This is because X-rays cannot penetrate hard surfaces like teeth as easily as they can gums and tissue. But why is it so important to get these high-tech photos of your mouth? The main reason is because many oral health problems cannot easily be detected during a normal examination. It’s possible for a patient to have spots of decay that are not visible to the dentist. By looking at an X-ray, dentists can look for signs of decay between teeth, gum disease, bone infections, and many other serious conditions, including hidden tumors.

The American Dental Association suggests that children are especially good candidates for X-rays, as their teeth are still developing and are more prone to tooth decay. Another benefit of X-rays is that patients can save time and money by catching any hidden problems early. X-rays may even help someone avoid having to undergo the complicated procedures that advanced-stage conditions often require. Talk to your dentist about your X-ray schedule and ask if you (or your children) are due for another screening. A little extra time in the chair at your next visit could pay off dramatically down the road.

Caring for your mouth after dentures

Even though dentures are different from a person’s original teeth, it is still very important to take care of your oral health once you switch to dentures. To do this, you must first continue to brush every morning. Using a brush with soft bristles, you should brush your gums, tongue and palate to get rid of any plaque that may have settled in your mouth. Brushing also helps a person’s circulation, so it should not be skipped once dentures are worn. Second, pay attention to what you eat. Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet is a good way to ensure oral health, regardless of whether a person has dentures or not. Finally, denture-wearers must still visit the dentist regularly.

Many people make the mistake of thinking they no longer need to go to the dentist once their teeth have been removed. This is not true. The American Dental Association explains that a dentist must still check patients’ mouths for the presence of oral diseases or cancer. A dentist can also monitor the fit of dentures to make sure the patient is comfortable and has no problems eating or talking. To determine how often you need to visit the dentist, just ask him. It differs for everyone, and your dentist will be able to advise you of a proper schedule. By following these tips, you can continue to enjoy a healthy smile long into your denture years.

Protecting your teeth from sports injuries

Sports are a great way to stay active, but they can wreak havoc on a person’s teeth in case of an injury. This is especially true for contact sports such as football, hockey and basketball. One of the best ways to protect your teeth is by using a mouth guard. These plastic protectors can prevent broken teeth or tissue damage in the case of a stray ball, tough tackle, or other impact to the face. The three main types of mouth guards are stock, “boil and bite,” and custom – each offering differing levels of protection for a range of prices. Stock mouth guards can be found in any sporting goods store and are already pre-formed. Depending on the size of the athlete’s mouth, these may not fit well and can be uncomfortable. They do, however, still provide a minimal amount of protection.

Boil and bite” guards can also be purchased at sporting good stores, but these are able to be fitted to a person’s mouth by allowing the plastic to become flexible in hot water and then molding them around the teeth. This is usually a better option than stock mouth guards, but they can be a bit pricier, running up to $40 or so. The final option of custom mouth guards are the most expensive, but they also provide the highest level of protection. These guards are typically made by a dentist and are designed to custom-fit an athlete’s mouth. A dentist takes an impression of the person’s mouth and then fills it with plaster to create a model of that individual’s teeth and gums. Custom mouth guards are generally the most comfortable and are priced anywhere from $100 to a few hundred dollars.

The American Dental Association highly recommends wearing a mouth guard during all sporting activities, particularly for people who have braces. Braces can easily cut into gums and other soft tissue, creating an extra hazard for their wearers. It’s important to make an appointment with your dentist or orthodontist to discuss your options for wearing a mouth guard. With the addition of this small safety precaution, you can help ensure that you have a beautiful smile all year round.

Protect your child’s teeth by monitoring their diet

It is common knowledge that too many sweets can lead to tooth decay, but research points to another food group that parents should watch out for: starches. Starch can be found in a wide variety of foods – even so-called “healthy” ones like crackers, bread, pasta and pretzels. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry suggests checking food labels for the presence of sugars and starches and then limiting those foods to mealtimes instead of as a snack. When consumed with other foods and drinks, sugars and starches are more easily washed away and removed from around a child’s teeth. For the same reason, sticky-sweet foods like dried fruit are more likely to damage your child’s teeth because they often get stuck in the crevices.

One common trap that many parents fall into is giving their child access to sugar-laden condiments, like many kinds of ketchup and salad dressings. These types of foods are not always associated with being sweet, but they often have lots of added sugar and can cause problems for kids who like to dip everything from chicken nuggets to apples. Finally, for very young children, experts recommend never putting them to bed with any liquid other than water. Juices and even milk are full of sugars that can sit on your child’s teeth while they’re sleeping and produce cavity-causing bacteria. To be safe, ask your True Dental Discounts pediatric dentist for her input on your children’s diet. She can recommend healthy foods that are good for their bodies and their teeth.

Good oral hygiene may be linked to memory health

In the last decade, mountains of research have been conducted on the brain and the way a person’s memory changes over time. But before you reach for the Ginkgo Biloba, you may want to consider reaching for the toothbrush instead. Researchers at West Virginia University are studying the effects of gum health on a person’s memory, and many experts predict that brushing and flossing may reduce the number of people suffering from Alzheimer’s. Studies have already shown that gum disease increases a person’s risk for heart disease and stroke, perhaps due to the inflammatory response caused by periodontitis or microorganisms in the mouth.

Now, researchers suspect that mental health can also be affected by a person’s gums. According to the West Virginia University Health Sciences Center, connections have already been found between severe dementia and gum disease. To keep your gums healthy, it is important to brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily, as well as use fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwash. Most importantly, schedule regular visits with a dentist on your True Dental Discounts – dental plan and ask questions. Staying informed is the first step to staying healthy.