Sunday, June 30, 2013

When It Comes to Toothpaste, Does Brand Matter?

As with most hygiene products these days, it's easy to get confused by the sheer amount of varieties of toothpaste available on the market. For most people, regular toothpaste with no special additives will work just fine. However, there are a few key features to look for when deciding on a toothpaste.

Brush up on your toothpaste knowledge and consider some of these criteria the next time you're in the drug store's oral hygiene aisle:

Check for the seal

The American Dental Association puts a seal of approval on all brands that meet their quality standards. Each toothpaste is subjected to careful testing to ensure it meets the quality standards of the ADA. A tube without the seal may not offer the same protection and benefits as an ADA approved brand. Brands don't matter so much, but the ADA seal is a good indicator of quality.

Decide what you need

Many types of toothpaste advertise extra features or ingredients for whitening, sensitive teeth, or extra fluoride. These may or may not be helpful to you depending on your teeth. For instance, whitening ingredients contain abrasives to scrub stains from your teeth, but can damage enamel with prolonged use. Toothpaste for sensitive teeth contains potassium nitrate, which works to relax the nerves in your teeth.

Anti-cavity products contain a higher level of fluoride than normal toothpaste - your dentist can tell you whether elevated levels of fluoride are necessary for you. If that's the case, he or she can also recommend a prescription toothpaste with the proper amount of fluoride.

Some more pointers:
  • Whether it's a gel or a paste you're after, either option has the same mouth-cleansing benefits. Choosing a gel or a toothpaste is really up to personal taste.
  • Cover all your oral-care bases by reaching for a toothpaste that fights both bacteria and gum inflammation
  • Fluoride is a very teeth-friendly mineral. In fact, it's the most important ingredient in your tube of toothpaste because of the level of protection it leaves
  • Also look for triclosan in the ingredients list. It's an antibacterial agent that helps to prevent gingivitis
  • Keep in mind that although novelty-flavored toothpastes like bacon or cupcake might sound like fun, their dental-care qualities might not be up to snuff if the packages don't carry the ADA stamp of approval

Again, regular toothpaste is fine for most people; the most important thing is steady brushing and proper technique along with regular dental visits. Avoiding sugary drinks and coffee will help you avoid stains. If you think you may benefit from a toothpaste with special additives, your dentist can advise you on how to suit your particular needs.

Arthur Willet is a health writer on health and oral care topics. Discover similar high quality information from a top quality dentist in Greeley, Colorado. Dedicated to dental care for your family's good health, he is one of the top Greeley dentists offering personalized and preventative services.
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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Dental Pain and Emergencies: What You Need to Know

One out of every four people experiences a dental emergency at some point in their lives. Whether it's pain that keeps you up at night or a tooth knocked out while playing sports, dental emergencies require prompt treatment by a dentist. But when is a dental emergency a true emergency, and when does it necessitate simply the next available appointment with your dentist? Here are some ways to distinguish between true emergencies and simple situations that require a consultation with your dentist.

When Is It a Dental Emergency?

There are some times when it's obvious you need an emergency dentist appointment. A hockey player receiving a blow to the face and experiencing jaw pain should go straight to the emergency room. A spill from a bicycle that knocks a tooth out requires immediate treatment by a dentist in order to try to save the tooth. Anytime a tooth is cracked, broken, or knocked completely out of the socket, it's a true emergency and you need to see the dentist right away.
Here are some common reasons for an emergency dental visit. Each is indeed an emergency and requires prompt treatment:

  • Knocked out tooth
  • Fractured tooth
  • Toothache, especially a toothache that worsens when you lay down at night or over time
  • Abscess or dental infection
  • Broken denture or partial
  • Loose tooth
  • Wisdom teeth pain
  • Lost crown or cap
  • Lost filling
  • Dry socket

Anytime dental pain is accompanied by fever or swelling, contact your dentist immediately. These are signs of a dental infection. Dental infections are serious infections that can spread to other parts of your body. You will need to see your dentist immediately.

Pain Is Your Body's First Warning System

Pain is your body's way of telling you that something is wrong. Think of it like your body's first warning system. Your teeth are no different. Anytime you feel pain in your teeth or jaw, it's time to make an appointment with your dentist. Only a dentist can distinguish among the many possible causes of tooth or jaw pain, diagnose the problem, and offer treatment options to get you out of pain, fast.

Pain Relief Until You Can Get to the Dentist

If you have a toothache, there a few steps you can take for pain relief until you can see the dentist. Try taking an over the counter non-steroid anti-inflammatory pain relief medication as allowed by your doctor. Don't take aspirin, which can exacerbate bleeding. Remember, this is just to keep the pain at bay until your dental appointment. Pain relief medication masks pain but doesn't treat the source of it. Your dentist needs to evaluate and treat the source of the problem so that you get permanent pain relief.

A warm salt water rinse made from one teaspoon of table salt mixed into one cup of warm salt water and swished gently around the mouth can ease the pain from an infection or a cavity. Another simple technique is to use an ice pack or cold compress applied to your cheek on the area that hurts. Use it for only 20 minutes, and then remove it and let the area warm up for 20 minutes.

Afraid of the Dentist? Sedation Dentistry May Help

Many people delay making an appointment with the dentist even when they're in pain because they suffer from dental phobias or fears. If you're afraid of going to the dentist to the extent that you'd rather suffer from dental pain than make an appointment, you're probably one of the millions of people suffering from dental phobia. Consider finding a sedation dentist to help you get the treatment you need. During sedation dentistry, IV sedation is used to keep you sleepy and comfortable while the dentist completes your treatment. It's smart to find a sedation dentist who works with a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA). A CRNA monitors your sedation levels and vital signs during the treatment so that the dentist can focus on completing your dental treatment. The dentist's attention isn't divided between dentistry and monitoring your vital signs; he can focus solely on your treatment.

Whether you have a serious emergency such as a cracked tooth or dental infection or are experiencing temporary dental pain, be sure to make an appointment with your dentist. Only by correcting the cause of the problem can your dentist relieve dental pain and contribute to your overall good health.

Shamblott Family Dentistry, 33 Tenth Avenue South, Suite 250 in Hopkins, 952-935-5599,, is run by Hopkins dentist Dr. Scott Shamblott and offers a wide variety of dental treatments including sedation dentistry with a certified registered nurse anesthetist. Emergency dental appointments are welcome. Please call ahead to make sure we can fit you into the schedule today. We welcome patients who suffer from dental phobias and fears, and offer a calm, no-fear, no-shame atmosphere for your treatment. Visit for more information or to download our free eBooks, No Fear Dentistry and Exploring Sedation Dentistry and Other Options.
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Monday, June 24, 2013

The Importance of Regular Dental Cleanings

Professional cleaning involves the removal of plaque and calculus. Plaque is a thin layer of film that forms on the teeth. It is comprised of bacteria from food and saliva. The bacteria in plaque, if left untreated, eats away at the enamel of the tooth and may cause tooth decay, inflammation of the gums, periodontitis (gum disease), and even tooth loss. When plaque has been left on the teeth and hardens, it becomes calculus, which forms on the teeth and gum above the gum line. Calculus can only be removed using professional dental instruments.

Professional cleanings may be done by a dentist or Registered Dental Hygienist (RDA). A Dental Assistant may also be present during your appointment. During routine cleanings, dentists do not use any invasive tools such as drills, and there is nothing to be nervous about. The treatment should only take around thirty minutes, and may include the following:
  • Scaling: Your dentist or hygienist will use a dental scaler and other hand-held instruments to gently remove plaque and tartar from the surface of the teeth. The deposits will be carefully scraped off of the teeth, and washed and suctioned away with an air-water syringe.

  • Tooth polishing: The removal of unsightly stains and plaque that was not removed during brushing or scaling. The dentist or RDA will likely use an ultrasonic instrument that moves continually in circular motions to remove the stains. This might cause a slight "tickling" sensation, but should not be uncomfortable. The air-water syringe will be used to suction away excess saliva and water. If there is a lot of plaque and tartar build-up, the polishing may take longer than normal. After the polishing, the teeth will usually have a smooth, clean feeling.

  • Root planning: Root planning may be necessary if gums have either started to recede or if calculus has built up around the roots of the teeth. Much like with scaling, ultrasonic instruments will be used to remove plaque and debris from the teeth, providing a deep cleansing effect.

Application of fluoride: After the cleaning is complete, the dentist or RDA gives you a fluoride treatment. Fluoride foam or gel is applied topically to the teeth, usually for about thirty seconds. Sometimes it is given to the patient as a rinse, which the patient would swish around in their mouth like mouthwash and then spit out. The fluoride helps to strengthen and protect the teeth from cavities and decay. The dentist will ask you not to eat or drink anything immediately after the fluoride treatment has been applied.
It is a good idea to book an appointment for a professional dental cleaning every six months as a preventative measure. Plaque and tartar build-up will be carefully removed from your teeth, providing them with a deeper clean than just brushing and flossing. It will also give you an opportunity to touch base with your dentist about any oral health concerns you may have, and to nip and potential problems in the bud early on.

For more information on cleaning and prevention, go to Ora Dental Calgary
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Friday, June 21, 2013

Cosmetic Dentistry Services

Over the past 10 or 15 years, there has been a significant increase in demand for cosmetic dentistry. A bright, healthy smile not only promotes confidence, but allows that confidence to be perceived by others as well. Fortunately, in the last decade, there have been considerable advances in cosmetic dentistry techniques making it possible for each of us to achieve our ideal teeth and smile. Some of the services generally provided by cosmetic dentists include tooth whitening, porcelain veneers, porcelain crowns, dental implants, and porcelain inlays and onlays.

Tooth whitening is one of the most basic services provided by cosmetic dentists. It's a very simple, non-invasive treatment that serves to remove stains and discolouration from your teeth. The colour of teeth is one of the first things we notice about a smile, and while there are many different home whitening products, nothing is quite as effective as the procedures provided by cosmetic dentists. Moreover, your cosmetic dentist will be able to ensure your whiter teeth also match the colour of any dental fixtures you may have including fillings and crowns.

Porcelain veneers are very thin, custom coverings made in a professional dental laboratory that are bonded to the front of your teeth. Ultimately, veneers are utilized to improve imperfections in your smile, and they are often an alternative to crowns. In fact, as a dental restoration, porcelain veneers are useful to solve a wide variety of dental problems including correcting crooked or misshapen teeth, severely discoloured teeth, uneven spaces between teeth, and worn and chipped teeth.

Porcelain crowns are a cosmetic dental procedure meant to correct broken or fractured teeth, decayed teeth, fractured fillings, or as a cosmetic enhancement. There are actually many types of crowns, but porcelain crowns are among the most popular because they closely resemble natural teeth.

Dental implants represent the most permanent solution to missing or severely damaged teeth. Unlike dentures, dental implants are a fixed solution that provides more natural support and stability. Implants include an artificial root that is placed into the jaw bone, and artificial teeth that look and feel like natural teeth.

Porcelain inlays and onlays are a restoration for broken or fractured teeth, cosmetic enhancement, decayed teeth, and fractured or large fillings. Made by professionals in a dental laboratory, inlays and onlays serve similar purposes but they are slightly different. Inlays are permanently cemented to your teeth, and they are a more natural alternative to conventional fillings. On the other hand, onlays are sometimes known as partial crowns and are an alternative to crowns because they affect less of the tooth structure.

These are just a few of the services provided by a cosmetic dentist, and as you can see there are many restorations your cosmetic dentist can provide. Ultimately, the goal of cosmetic dentistry is to help you restore your smile and your confidence.

For an experienced cosmetic dentist in Calgary, please visit Signal Hill Dental Centre at 5743 Signal Hill Center SW, Calgary, AB T3H 3P8
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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Healthy Eating Prevents Tooth Decay

Did you know that a healthy diet can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease? According to the American Dental Association (ADA), what you eat and drink can determine how often cavities occur and how they progress.

It is generally believed that a balanced, healthy diet consists of:

Fruits and vegetables




The United States Department of Agriculture's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) recommends eating lean proteins and low-fat or fat-free dairy products. The CNPP further suggests that half the grains you eat should be whole grains, and that fruits and vegetables should cover half your plate at meal time. CNPP dietary advices are based on scientific research with the goal of improving the health and well-being of Americans.

Fruits and vegetables have a high concentration of water and fiber. They help stimulate the production of saliva, which washes away harmful acids and food particles in the mouth. Firm and crunchy fruits and vegetables are especially beneficial due to their high water content. Fruits and vegetables also contain vitamin C and vitamin A. Vitamin C helps with wound healing and maintaining healthy gums. Vitamin A is an important nutrient in building tooth enamel.

Foods rich in calcium, phosphorous and other nutrients are good for tooth and gum health as well. Calcium and phosphorus in particular help protect and rebuild tooth enamel. It is believed that both nutrients replace the minerals on tooth enamel that are naturally removed by acids.

Calcium is found in cheese, milk, yogurt, leafy greens, seaweeds like kelp, beans, figs and nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, sesame and pistachios. In addition to supporting good oral health, calcium also builds strong bones, regulates muscle contraction, plays a role in blood coagulation, and helps with communication between the brain and other parts of the body.

Phosphorus comes from protein-rich foods such as meat, poultry, fish and eggs, along with bran, pumpkin, squash, watermelon seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, toasted wheat germ, Brazil and pine nuts. It works in conjunction with calcium to build and maintain healthy bones as well as teeth, and helps the body absorb vitamin B.

Other food related-factors that can influence oral health include:

Whether the food is a liquid, solid, sticky or slow to dissolve

How often sugary and acidic foods and beverages are consumed

The combination of foods eaten

The order in which foods are eaten

Limiting the sugar in your diet plays a key role in preventing tooth decay and maintaining good oral health. Bacteria in the mouth feed off of the sugars contained in food, and release acids that are harmful to your teeth. Sweets and snack foods not only contain large amounts of sugar, they have virtually no nutritional value. This includes sugar-laden drinks like soda, lemonade, and sweetened coffee or tea. Sipping heavily sugared products results in a sugar bath over the teeth that can result in tooth decay.

The potential for cavities, gum disease and tooth loss can also be increased due to medical conditions such as acid reflux and eating disorders.

Maintaining a balanced diet is not only necessary for your overall health, it's one of the easiest ways to prevent cavities, gum disease and avoid the cost of cosmetic dentistry and dental oral surgery.

Dr. Michael Vold, DDS, JD, (Northbrook Court Dental, Northbrook, IL has been practicing dentistry over 30 years & is a national lecturer. See more at

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Tips to Rid Your Mouth of Bad Breath

We all get bad breath from time to time, but if loved ones are complaining about the way your mouth smells, chances are good that your co-workers are also getting an unpleasant whiff when you're nearby. Not only is bad breath (or halitosis, as the condition is known medically) embarrassing, it can be hurtful, especially if your significant others are recoiling from you each time you try to get intimate.

Fortunately, there are some simple fixes and behavior adjustments that can help you control the odors from your mouth. Here are a few tips:

Stay hydrated

The dreaded morning breath stink that we're all accustomed to is often a result of sleeping with your mouth gaping open. A dry mouth (xerostomia) or problems with salivary glands means there's less saliva around to naturally cleanse our teeth, gums, tongues and cheeks of dead cells, acid and plaques that have accumulated.

Decomposition of these cells can lead to foul odors when we exhale. Drinking more water and chewing sugarless gum throughout the day can stimulate saliva production and wash away those particles.

Target your tongue

A twice-daily oral hygiene might include brushing and flossing, but are you ignoring your tongue? There are billions of bacteria on its surface and although bad breath isn't exactly visible, the forming of a yellow or brown film on the tongue can be a solid indicator of nasty odors. A good way to eliminate bad breath is to add tongue scraping to your regular oral hygiene routine or to brush your tongue.

Watch your diet

Obviously, the common culprits contributing to nasty breath are foods such as onions, garlic and coffee. To combat bad breath with food, choose fresh and fibrous and abrasive foods like celery, apples and carrots, which will also help to dislodge food particles from your teeth. Vitamin C-rich foods such berries, melons and citrus foods like oranges also help to sterilize our mouths and prevent bacteria production.

Stop smoking

Quitting tobacco products is a good start if you want to ward off objectionable breath. Smoking cigarettes can cause plaque buildup. Repetitive inhalation of hot gases can also dry out your tongue and pungent chemicals from the cigarette may also linger inside your mouth. Smokers are also more susceptible to periodontal disease and gingivitis.

Swing by the dentist's office

Mouthwashes and mints may only go so far to mask offensive smells. If you followed the above steps and you still suffer from bad breath, a professional cleaning at the dentist may be in order. Regular dental checkups may also lead to the diagnosis of a medical disorder that may be linked with bad breath such as acid reflux.

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Nu Calm - Regency Dental

Dr. Burton demonstrates NuCalm. It is a revolutionary relaxation treatment to make your dental experience stress free and calm. See more at

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Write Off the Rot in Root Canal Before It's Too Late

You can never tell what is going on inside your mouth unless you go through regular dental checkups. Timely detection of dental ailments is the best way of preventing major dental trouble and tooth loss. Deal with germs before they can reach to the interiors of teeth and cause greater damage.

Its surprising how something built to make things easier, can start doing just the opposite. Machines are meant to make life easier for humans, like a car. It does an incredible job of taking us to our desired destination, while we sit comfortably in a place. It saves enormous amount of time and effort everyday. But when your car breaks down or shows performance issues, would it still be doing its job of saving time and effort? You will have to put in extra effort to get the problem fixed, spend time and money.

Similarly, our teeth are like machines too. You have to keep them in good shape, polish everyday to keep them healthy. Teeth are responsible for one of the most important activities in our lives, chewing food. Healthy teeth can easily break down your food into tiny pieces so that your body doesn't have to work extra hard to digest it.

But when teeth encounter a problem, they not only stop doing their job properly but also hurt you while doing it. Root canal is one such treatment which is used to fix this incredible white machinery in your mouth, from the roots.

The need for this therapy may arise when you have incurred an injury to teeth or your teeth have been affected by a gum disease. Due to a hit on a tooth, it can get damaged internally. Any damage done on the outer surface of the tooth, whether because of injury or infection, allows germs to enter the root canal of the tooth and cause disturbance in the pulp chamber. Pulp along with nerve tissue, which is essential for the nourishment of a tooth, can get infected and permanently damaged, starting a rapid downfall in tooth's health. If treatment is delayed, it can even lead to tooth loss. This is where root canal therapy steps in as a life saver for the affected tooth.

Early detection and treatment of this condition can save the damaged tooth from possible death. The most prominent sign of infected dental pulp is increased sensitivity to cold or hot consumables. Pain while chewing, discolouration of the tooth, swelling around gums are some of the most common symptoms of decay in dental pulp. As soon as you notice any one of these signs, visit a dentist immediately and have your teeth diagnosed for an infection in the roots.

This procedure requires removal of decayed dental pulp and the dead nerve from the chamber. For that, dentist would penetrate through the surface of the tooth and extract the pulp. During the procedure, the biting surface of the affected tooth is damaged, which later has to be replaced by a crown in most cases. The therapy not only protects the tooth from permanent damage but grants it new strength.

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Benefits of Dentures

There are some people who have a negative perception of dentures. This is mainly due to the negative stigma that some people attach to them. Contrary to what they might believe, these devices actually provide several different benefits.

For instance, dentures give people the opportunity to avoid the everyday embarrassment of having missing teeth. It may not be right, but there are actually some people who make jokes about those who are missing one or more of their teeth. They may not mean any harm by it, but their comments definitely hurt some of those it's aimed at. There are even some comedians and sitcoms that incorporate these types of jokes into their comedy skits. Imagine watching one of these shows, knowing that the joke is being aimed right at you. Of course, there are some people who wouldn't take it too hard, but there are others whose feelings would definitely be hurt. If they were with other people when the joke was being made things would be even worse. That's where some of those feelings of embarrassment would come in.

Not only can dentures help to prevent certain embarrassing situations, but they can also help people when it comes to eating. Trying to eat with missing teeth can be quite difficult, especially depending on exactly which teeth are gone. For instance, people missing some of their front teeth would have a difficult time biting their food. On the other hand, people missing some of their back teeth would have a hard time chewing their food. The good news is that people don't have to just live with these issues. There are replacements available that work just as well or even better than real teeth.

Lastly, dentures help to improve people's overall aesthetic appeal. This isn't to say that just because some people are missing some of their teeth that they can't look attractive or appealing, especially if the missing teeth are in the back where people can't really see them. However, let's face it. Most people would probably agree that having all of their teeth, especially in the front, is much better than missing a few. Because this improves people's appearance, it also raises their self-confidence levels, which is also very important.

So, dentures are way more beneficial than some people might think. Of course, they help to improve people's appeal and self-esteem. However, they can do more than that. They can help to prevent embarrassing situations as well as make mundane tasks such as eating much easier to handle.

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Monday, June 3, 2013

How Cosmetic Dentistry Can Change Your Life

You might find it odd that improving a smile can cause instantaneous improvements in the overall quality of life, but I know it to be true because I've seen it over and over.

Self esteem is perhaps the one trait that determines more than anything else the success one enjoys in life, and an attractive smile is one of the key components in self esteem and self confidence.

But there are many people who don't like to smile, not because they aren't happy, but because they don't like the way their smile looks. Perhaps they have dark teeth, crooked teeth, missing teeth, or even decayed teeth.

Whatever the reason, people with a poor smile are always self-conscious about it. They try not to smile or laugh, or to hide it when they do smile. People of all cultures genuinely love to smile and laugh. It's one of our favorite things. That is why feeling bad about smiling goes against our very nature and is a heavy burden to carry for a lifetime.

When you don't smile due to embarrassment about your smile, people perceive you as being glum or negative. Or they wonder if they have offended you, or if you don't like them. It is not the impression you want to give to those around you.

On the other hand, when you give another person a warm, genuine smile, you tell that other person that he or she is attractive, pleasant, and likable in your estimation. The physical action of smiling releases brain chemicals called endorphins that make you feel happy and raise your self-esteem. When you smile, you feel and act in a more personable way to everyone around you and exude a feeling of positive attitude.

Smiling more at people literally changes how they feel about you. They perceive you as being happier, more friendly, and more successful. In short, they like you better as a person.

Every time you smile, you not only make other people feel better about themselves, but you raise your self-esteem, increase your level of positive attitude and feel better about yourself as well. You will start to build healthy relationships all around you.

That is why a happy smile is so powerful. The way you feel about your smile affects you and everyone around you... all the time.

I can tell you exactly what happens when cosmetic dentistry allows someone to go from having a smile they hate to a smile they love. First of all, every time they see themselves in the mirror, it gives their self esteem a boost rather than detracting from it. The terrible burden of being afraid to smile in every social, and work situation is gone. And what happens? They smile more. They smile all the time.

And smiling all the time changes everything. People like you more, because they feel like you like them more. People are happier to see you, because they feel like you are happy to see them. People will literally think some great thing has happened in your life.

The good news is that you don't have to live with a smile you don't want. Modern cosmetic dentistry offers many ways to make a dramatic, immediate improvement in your smile. If you are embarrassed or self-conscious about your smile, do yourself a favor and find out what can be done to improve your smile and your life.

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