Saturday, April 30, 2016

Kids Love Philips New Sonicare For Kids Connected Toothbrush and App

Teaching kids proper oral care habits can be a challenge for parents – and getting kids excited about brushing their teeth is even more difficult.

To make tooth brushing a more positive experience, Bluetooth® wireless technology connects the Philips Sonicare For Kids power toothbrush directly to its customizable FREE coaching app, which helps kids develop good oral care habits with the help of their (adorable!) personal brushing coach "Sparkly".

Sparkly teaches proper brushing techniques and rewards kids for doing a thorough job each time they brush. Fun, educational games encourage kids to brush longer each time, building up to the dental professional-recommended two minutes, while getting them excited about the daily activity.

In addition, a separate dashboard in the app allows parents to monitor their child's performance and progress as well as set up custom milestones and incentives to keep them motivated.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Taking Care of Your Teeth While Playing Sports

Being active is an essential ingredient to great health. Yet, some activities such as contact sports present certain health threats to our bodies. One threat is the possibility of blunt trauma to teeth. Since our permanent teeth are irreplaceable we should take every precaution to protect them. Let's look at how to do so.

Keep Your Smile Safe!

To protect your smile during a sporting activity you'll need to protect your entire mouth. Doing so requires that your outer mouth, inner mouth, tongue, gums, and teeth are all adequately covered during medium-contact and high-contact sports, such as martial arts, hockey, football, rugby and similar sports.

There are several different kinds of mouth guards available that can accomplish this. Here are the most common:

• Boil guards - Available in small, medium and large, you buy the appropriate size for your mouth, and boil it in water until it softens. You bite into the softened guard to create a mold. It will harden and protect your teeth.

• Ready-to-wear - Sold at several locations, including sporting goods stores and larger department stores, these are available in several sizes. Although they are inexpensive, they do not offer complete protection because their fit is not exact.

• Custom guards - Providing a great fit, these are made by your dentist or orthodontist. The doctor makes a mold of your teeth, creating a guard that is an exact fit. These are custom-made and durable, so you are fully protected and the guard won't get knocked out of your mouth if it is hit hard during a game.

The Dirty Secret of Mouth Guards

We see professional athletes handle their mouth guards all the time during a game. However, few understand what they are truly exposing themselves to when they touch their mouth guard during competition. The prevalent attitude is to ignore the risk and continue playing. Studies from Oklahoma State University find the following contaminants are found on athletic mouth guards that have been mishandled:

- Blood
- Yeast
- Tobacco products
- Animal feces
- Chemicals
- Bacteria
- Viruses
- Urine

Regardless of the age or size of your athlete, you need to make sure their mouth guard is clean. If you are playing a team sport get with a coach or trainer about supplying a mouth guard rinse and try to keep your guard in during play. When in doubt ask your dentist or hygienist about ways you can keep your mouth guard clean.

Before putting a guard in, and after taking it out, you should brush and thoroughly rinse your teeth. This helps get any bacteria from your teeth and mouth before you put your guard on. Remember, your mouth always contains bacteria, both good and bad.

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Oral Care Strategies to Prevent Gum Disease

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is classified in different stages. In the beginning, the disease begins as gingivitis. Gingivitis involves inflammation of the gums and a tendency to bleed when brushed or flossed. The individual will not feel discomfort at this stage, but when gingivitis goes untreated and escalates, it will bring on periodontitis.

Periodontitis is an escalated, more serious form of gingivitis. As the plaque buildup worsens, it reaches below the gum line and allows bacteria to grow close to the teeth's roots. In response to the bacterial presence, the immune system attacks the bone and tissues, causing severe inflammation and making the gums recede and separate from the teeth. Teeth may become so loose they require removal.

Risk Factors

Anyone who uses tobacco is at a higher risk of disease development. Additional risk factors include pregnancy, diabetes and high stress. Those who clench their jaw and grind their teeth may be more susceptible to the disease.

Gum Disease Treatment

The initial signs of gingivitis include overly red or swollen gums, consistent sour breath or reappearing mouth sores. When dentists identify gum disease at any stage, they will immediately perform a deep-cleaning treatment known as scaling to remove bacteria located below the gums. Either through a process called root planing or through laser treatment, the dentist will thoroughly clean each surface of every affected tooth.

Dietary Habits

The most detrimental substance for those suffering from the disease is sugar. Plaque composed of sugar coats the teeth to create an acidic environment that encourages bacteria growth. Additionally, a high amount of sugar in the diet will decrease the immune system's efficiency.

Alcohol consumption raises the risk of disease development. Plaque grows faster when the mouth is dehydrated, one of the main side effects of excessive alcohol consumption. Alcohol also lowers the level of B vitamins, resulting in a suppressed immune system and stalled regeneration of bone and tissue in the mouth.

Vitamins C, D, and A are all imperative diet staples to ward off gum disease. Those who wish to strengthen their mouth's defenses should consume a balanced diet designed for whole-body optimal health. Fish, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts are recommended. Alcohol, sugar, fats and carbohydrates should be avoided.

Regular Oral Care

While certain people may have genetic predisposition to the disease, regular care and cleaning can maintain a healthy mouth. Purchase fluoride toothpaste and brush thoroughly twice per day. Floss between all teeth at least once per day. Use a plaque-fighting mouthwash after both morning and evening tooth care.

Ultimately, oral health must be an important priority for every individual. Schedule regular appointments with your trusted dentist for early detection and intervention and to prevent gum disease.

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Mouth Healthy Moments: Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Did you know bacteria causes tooth decay, and that babies can catch bacteria from you? See why it's important to take care of your baby's teeth and gums.

Monday, April 18, 2016

How Fluoride Keeps Your Teeth Healthy

Fluoride is a common mineral found in several foods, such as milk and eggs. It is essential to oral health. It is so essential that many municipalities pump small amounts of the mineral into their communities' water supply.

Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, which helps to prevent tooth decay. When acids from sugary or acidic foods attack the enamel, fluoride creates a wall of defense against erosion.

It is especially important for adolescents to have an ample amount of fluoride in their diet. Adolescents' teeth are still developing and need the extra protection to grow stronger enamel. Adolescents also tend to favor sugary snacks and drinks such as candy and soda. Fluoride in their diet helps protect adolescents against such overindulgence. To help provide enough fluoride for their children, parents need to know some important facts about the mineral.

Where Do I Find Fluoride?

Since eggs and milk contain fluoride, you should include plenty of those foods in your teens' meals. If you live in an area served by a public water supply, check to see if your municipality adds fluoride to its water.

You can also purchase fluoride-containing mouthwash and toothpaste for your kids to use. Even if they don't remember to brush as often as they should, the fluoride in their mouthwash and toothpaste can help stave off tooth decay.

If your kids need a little extra help fighting tooth decay, your children's dentist may prescribe extra-strength fluoride products for them to use. Be sure to take them for a regular teeth cleaning twice a year. Most dentists include a topical fluoride application as part of the procedure for patients from six to sixteen.

How Do I Keep My Kids From Getting Too Much Fluoride?

Although the right amount of fluoride is essential to oral health, too much fluoride can cause adverse effects. Keep a close eye on your kids' teeth. If you notice staining, pitting, or a lacy appearance, your child may be getting too much fluoride. Make an appointment with your dentist to have them checked for a condition called "fluorosis."

If children ingest large amounts of fluoride, they may develop diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, and vomiting. For this reason, keep fluoride products out of the reach of young children. Teach your older children the importance of not swallowing their toothpaste or mouthwash, regardless of how good it tastes.

For more information about the best ways to use fluoride to maximize oral health for you and your children, contact your child's dentist. If it's been a while since your children had a teeth cleaning and dental checkup, make an appointment with their dentist today.

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Friday, April 15, 2016

Top Attributes to Look for in a Family Dentist

Finding a family dentist is a great thing to do to keep everyone healthy. It is important to be comfortable with the selection, especially for those households with young children. Having doctors who are patient and caring when dealing with little ones is a prime example of a good dental practice.

While it would be simple to look in the phone book or online and find a dentist randomly, you will get better results by putting forth effort in researching several dental practices. Here are some characteristics to think about when searching for a family dentist:

Proximity to Home

The proximity of the dentist's office is an important aspect of choosing a practice. Check for offices near the home or along a regularly used route. Being close to the practice makes it convenient to get to appointments. It also helps to be close in the event of emergencies. If a treatment causes some painful side effects, being close to home will make dealing with that pain more tolerable since there will be no long car rides.

Insurance Coverage and Payment Plans

Dental services can be expensive, so it is crucial to be certain that the dental office accepts the family's insurance. Call the insurer to get a list of preferred dentists from the provider. This list will help narrow down the choices because preferred providers will save money on out-of-pocket expenses like deductibles or co-pays.

For those who do not have insurance or anticipate needing many treatments, be sure to ask if they are willing to work out payment plans or offer other forms of payment. Some practitioners will provide credit services through outside providers in order for their patients to pay for treatment. It could be necessary to apply and be approved for that credit.

Do They Provide Pediatric Services?

It is important to ask about patient age requirements when choosing a family dentist. Some practices do not see patients under a certain age. For those with young children, particularly under age five, this is often a concern if the entire household wants to see the same doctor. In order to build those personal and caring relationships with the office, consider having the entire household see the same practitioner.

Do They Provide Orthodontic Care?

If anyone in the home will need braces or other forms of orthodontia, see if the doctor provides these services in his or her practice, or ask about whom they refer these services to. Often dental offices have close relationships with orthodontists. Some even invite orthodontists to provide care in their facility in order to service their patients directly.

Choosing a family dentist is important, so research thoroughly. Call different dentist offices with any questions or concerns that may arise. Even better, ask friends and family who they recommend.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Bruxism: Grinding Your Teeth

Even if you've never heard of this term, chances are, you are familiar with what it is. Bruxism is the technical term for grinding or clenching your teeth. It is an extremely common problem and affects between 30 and 40 million children and adults.

There are two types: awake bruxism (which happens during the day) and the most prevalent - nocturnal or sleep bruxism (which happens at night.) It's most common cause is stress or anxiety, though it can also be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, as a side - effect of some nerve disorders and as a side effect of certain medications.

Because it usually happens at night, you may not even realize you are grinding your teeth until symptoms start to develop. You might be a bruxer if you wake up to or experience any of these symptoms:

  • Sore jaw
  • Increasingly sensitive teeth
  • Headaches
  • Facial pain
  • Teeth that are worn flat or chipped
  • Broken dental fillings
  • Swollen jaw joint

What Bruxing does to your teeth

With age and time, everyone teeth become naturally worn down and appear to be more "flat". With bruxism, however, the grinding motion wears your natural teeth down much faster than normal attrition. If left untreated, what used to be "normally" shaped become short, flattened, chipped stubs of where teeth used to be. Constant grinding, whether during the day or at night, puts heavy pressure on the opposing teeth. This motion of grinding back and forth can cause the teeth to be sore the next morning and noticeable fracture lines and chips may occur. The enamel is slowly, but steadily worn away until the yellowy "dentin" layer of the tooth is visible and can cause tooth sensitivity. Your dentist can add filling to these teeth to try to lengthen them back out and stop the sensitivity, but without getting to the root of the issue, the fillings will be ground down and knocked out, just like your natural tooth structure.

What to do?

If you suspect you are a tooth grinder, see your dentist. He/she will examine your teeth to check for dental problems related to bruxism - including your "bite" and tooth or gum damage. He will discuss treatment options with you depending on the most likely cause of the bruxism. (Some options include a custom fitted mouth guard or a splint.)

Note that Bruxism is extremely common in children, especially under the age of five. While most cases of childhood bruxism resolve on their own around age ten, the same symptoms that adults face are also applicable to children. If you hear your child grinding his/her teeth or they are complaining of a sore jaw or other symptoms mentioned above, see your dentist. He will examine to check for damage and causes and can counsel you on appropriate treatment options, which might include a night guard or relaxing exercises before bedtime.

If you think you might have bruxism, make sure to contact your dentist.

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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Cosmetic Dentistry Services - A Reason for Your Enhanced Smile

Nothing on your face makes a greater contribution to how you look than your smile. This is why there are many patients who embrace opportunities provided by cosmetic dentistry procedures to enhance their smiles.

However, even if you are such a person, it may be difficult to understand and choose exactly what treatment options are right for you, but with assistance from a dental practitioner, you can get the way forward and select from a number of available avenues for improvement.

There are many forms of cosmetic treatments for your teeth to help you get a better looking smile over time, which is why you need the help of a professional to determine which options are healthy and safe for you depending on the state of your current smile.

Cosmetic dental procedures can offer several advantages, including brighter, whiter teeth, straighter teeth and correction of broken teeth, among many others. Missing teeth can also be replaced, and when coupled with restorative procedures, you can have stronger teeth in the process.

Below is an outline of a few procedures and who they are prescribed for:

Tooth whitening

Whitening is a procedure used to correct tooth staining or discoloration for various reasons. The procedure can also be prescribed if you simply want a whiter smile, even if you don't have discolored or stained teeth. Tooth whitening is a simple, non-invasive, convenient and affordable procedure available at most dental clinics.

Prior to setting up the appointment, it's important to schedule a consultative examination to ascertain that the discoloration isn't the result of any underlying causes which may need intervention.


Veneers are another popular cosmetic dentistry option that can improve the aesthetic appeal of your smile dramatically. They are ideal for patients who have worn, gappy, chipped, misaligned or discolored teeth. For the procedure, the dentist must custom-make veneers suited to your exact tooth size and shape as the veneers will be bonded permanently on the front part of your teeth.

Porcelain veneers are most commonly used since they are closest in appearance to a real tooth, and they are an ideal option for restorative purposes, since they offer extra strength/support to natural teeth. They are a good alternative to orthodontic treatment to correct crooked/misaligned teeth.


Bonding is another common treatment option where composite resin is bonded to your teeth. It is a corrective procedure for tooth fractures, chipping, discoloration and different stages of decay. A tooth-colored material is applied to give a brighter and natural-looking smile. Bonding can be used in the same cases veneers are used; it all depends on what you want and the practitioner's recommendations.

White fillings

White fillings are made of composite resin material and are mainly used to improve/restore teeth that have decayed. They are a better alternative to the metal fillings that were used in the past since they look more natural and thus blend in with the appearance of the existing teeth. As such, they can be used to correct damage resulting from tooth decay at various stages of progression.

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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Dental Health Is More Important Than Ever

No one can deny the importance of regular dentist visits. As a window into the overall health of an individual, dental health is crucial. It can show early signs of many diseases and also leaves one with a healthy smile. Research continues to prove that any conditions of the body can be discovered via oral health, and of course poor oral health can lead to other problems.

Since research also shows that good oral health may actually prevent certain diseases from occurring. Cheap dental plans are available to ensure that everyone has a chance for good oral health care.

Be on the Lookout for Gum Disease

The relationship between gum disease and other health complications has been discovered by the ADA or American Dental Association along with many other organizations. Heart disease and stroke are both found to be related to poor oral health. Another condition that is affected directly by poor oral health is pregnancy. Women often give birth to smaller and pre-term babies when they don't execute good oral health care.

Further studies prove that almost 100% of diseases that involve all the organs of the body have some relation to poor oral health. Anyone who is suffering from ulcers of the mouth, swollen gums, dry mouth or other oral issues should be seen immediately to assess for the following diseases:
  • Leukemia
  • Diabetes
  • Oral cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Kidney disease
Since most patients on cheap dental plans get periodic oral health examinations there is a good chance that they will have early diagnosis of possible health problems in the early stages before it becomes a bigger issue.

Avoid Unnecessary Pain

Those who don't take the time to enroll in a cheap dental plan and don't care for their gums and teeth may be subject to more health problems than those who do. Facial pain and of course oral pain are usually because of gum infection. Tooth loss is another problem as the gums support the teeth and if they aren't doing their job, teeth will easily fall out. Gingivitis is said to affect a large percentage of the world's population, in fact almost all of it. It is an early form of gum disease and can be easily detected during regular visits under a cheap dental plan.

One can also protect their heart and other organs by avoiding oral infections. Important functions are ceased when inflammation occurs due to bacteria build up.

Finally, digestion issues can be brought on from poor oral health. Failure of the intestines, irritable bowel syndrome and many other digestive disorders are just some of the problems that one can face.

What Can Be Done

Regular visits to a dentist under a cheap dental plan can keep one's mouth healthy as possible and prevent problems, but also help detect any happenings that can lead to possible health issues. Exams are crucial and dentists can guide patients to proper hygiene and nutrition and identify any potential problems.

They will teach patients good oral hygiene that includes brushing teeth twice daily for at least two minutes using a toothpaste with fluoride, daily flossing to remove plaque that isn't reached during brushing, and a healthy diet full of vitamins.

Further, even on cheap dental plans, dentists will advise patients to not smoke or use chewing tobacco. These products promote oral cancer and gum disease. Preventative care is the most important way to find early signs of periodontal disease. A great dental provider will ensure there are regular checkups scheduled and keep their patient informed on every detail of their oral health, as dental needs change throughout a patient's life.

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Sunday, April 3, 2016

When Is The Right Time to See an Orthodontist?

For those who are embarrassed by their smile, a trip to the dentist might not be good enough. While dental professionals can help ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy, there is little he or she can do about straightening your smile.

While it may seem straightforward for some, figuring out if you need to simply see your dentist or go to a specialist can be hard. Not everyone who sees an orthodontist needs to have braces because of overcrowding. Mouth breathing, grinding teeth, or even the inability to close your lips can all be indications of a much deeper problem.

When the Time Is Right for Children

According to the American Academy of Orthodontists, children should have at least one orthodontic evaluation by age seven.

The prominent reason for early exams is so that the doctor can catch some of the problems early and allow for treatment during the natural growth process. For example, your orthodontist may notice that your child has a cross bite, a condition where the lower teeth close outside the upper ones. The addition of a palatal expander to your child's daily routine can correct this issue without painful oral surgery.

The other reason most doctors suggest early exams is so that they can tell if there are orthodontic problems that may need to be treated later. Every child grows at his or her own pace, but there are ranges in which teeth should erupt. An expert can tell if your child has a problem or if they are within the correct range of development. Your doctor can also tell if your child will have adequate space to accommodate all his or her permanent teeth.

Even if your orthodontist determines that your child has a problem, do not expect to see your kindergartner in braces. Most treatment will not begin until a child is between 9 and 14 years old.

When Adults Should Go

It is easy to know when your child needs to go to a dental specialist. However, it is not so easy to know when an adult should make an appointment.

The most common indicator is if you are self-conscious about your smile because you do not want people seeing the crooked, overcrowded teeth in your mouth. If this is the case, you should make an appointment to have your teeth examined.

Believe it or not, braces are not just for children anymore. With the rise in popularity of clear aligners and lingual braces-ones that fit on the inside of your teeth-adults can get the straight teeth they want. Straighter smiles are easier to maintain and less subject to abnormal wear and tear.

While straight smiles are the most common reason an adult would go to the orthodontist, it is not the only reason. Problems with your jaw shifting or making sounds can be a sign of a serious problem. Only an orthodontic specialist can help you treat the problem and keep you from undue pain and suffering.

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