Saturday, February 27, 2021

Aging and Cosmetic Dentistry

You're never too old to improve your smile. With age, teeth sometimes become discolored, worn or chipped, or other damage may occur. Find out how treatment options like tooth whitening, veneers, tooth-colored fillings or dental implants can make your smile look years younger.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

What Is a Dental Bridge

Dental bridges should be used to bridge gaps between teeth, where teeth are actually missing and in cases where the tooth stump is present. Speak to your dentist for more information.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Why Do I Need to Floss?

Dr. Ward demonstrates the importance of flossing. Remember, if you're not flossing, you're only cleaning two-thirds of your teeth.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

What Is Causing Tooth Pain After My Filling?

The first few days after a tooth filling, it is normal to have some pain in the surrounding area. If after a few days, the pain has not subsided, there may be an underlying issue with the tooth or filling. If this is the case, it is important that you schedule a follow-up appointment with your dentist immediately.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Why Do We Have Such Crooked Teeth?

A lot of humans need or want braces to fix their crooked teeth, but why do you never see a dog walking down the street with headgear? Our ancient ancestors and mac and cheese may be to blame! 

*Correction: Even though hyraxes look similar to rodents, they're actually in the order Hyracoidea, not Rodentia! They're more closely related to elephants and manatees than to mice and guinea pigs.*

Friday, February 12, 2021

Home Remedies for Toothaches

What can you do when you get a toothache and can’t get to your dentist? Try a home remedy to help manage your pain until you can get in to see a dentist.

Over-the-Counter Toothache Treatments

When you need to relieve the pain of a toothache, you can go with the tried and true over-the-counter pain relievers.

Benzocaine gels, like Orajel, can be applied directly to the affected area and provide a temporary numbing sensation that can help manage toothache pain.

You can also try anti-inflammatory analgesics like Ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Tylenol) to relieve toothache pain that is caused by swelling.

*Always call your dentist before taking any medication for your toothache.

Homeopathic Toothache Treatments

Not a fan of over-the-counter medications? There are some natural, homeopathic remedies you can try. Many of them may even be hiding in your pantry or kitchen cupboards.

Saltwater Gargle – Saltwater cleans out infected areas, loosening debris and providing temporary relief. Swish a small amount for 30 seconds and repeat once or twice. This will help to get rid of some nasty bacteria and pus for short term relief.

Clove Oil – Clove have a natural anesthetic called eugenol. It numbs whatever it comes into contact with. Put a couple of drops on to a cotton ball and place it on the affected area. That should give you a few minutes of relief.

WARNING: Clove oil can make the pain worse if it comes in contact with other sensitive areas of your mouth. Be very careful.

Peppermint Tea Bags – Peppermint has similar numbing properties to cloves. Wet a peppermint tea bag and place into the freezer for a few minutes. Then, apply the cooled tea bag onto the affected area. Keep it on for 20 minutes. Also, like clove oil, it’s a short-term remedy.

Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse – Like salt water, hydrogen peroxide acts as a cleansing aid. However, it doesn’t just remove bacteria, it attacks it. Mix equal parts 3% hydrogen peroxide and water and swish for 30 seconds. (Repeat once or twice.)

WARNING: Do NOT ingest and DO NOT use this remedy for children

Bourbon-Soaked Cotton Ball – Like most alcohols, bourbon has numbing properties. Put some on a cotton ball and place on the affected area. You’ll get some short-term relief that wears off as the alcohol evaporates away.

WARNING: Do NOT use this remedy for children.

Garlic – Acting like an antibiotic, garlic can inhibit the growth of bacteria that is attacking your tooth. To use it, first mash a garlic clove with a pinch of salt and apply to the affected area. Next, pop a clove of garlic in your mouth and chew. Repeat this process a couple of times a day. You may get some temporary relief unless the pain is caused by temporomandibular joint disorder, in which case you get no relief.

*Always call your dentist before trying a homeopathic toothache remedy.

Toothache Next Steps

Call your dentist and make an appointment. Your toothache pain may be an indicator of a serious oral health condition like an abscess, TMJ, sinus trouble, or heart disease.

Whether the cause is serious or not, a toothache lasting more than a day warrants a visit to your dentist.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Causes of Yellow Teeth | Crest

Poor oral hygiene is one of the causes of yellow teeth, but even the most diligent brushers and flossers can develop the discolored teeth that occur simply with age. In this Oral Care Tip, learn about the causes of yellow teeth.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Does Bottled Water Have Fluoride?

Drinking water with fluoride can reduce your risk of cavities by 25%! Still, not all bottled water has nature’s cavity fighter. ADA dentist Dr. Matthew Messina explains what to look for when buying or drinking bottled water.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

When Should a Child Have Their First Dental Visit?

Let’s be real. Taking your child to their first dental visit? Probably not top on your list of fun ways to spend the afternoon. You know it is important to schedule regular dental exams for babies and children, but do you really know why?

In fact, you probably have a whole host of questions going through your head, like: When exactly should I schedule my child’s first dental visit? Or: Why do I take my child to the dentist when her baby teeth just fall out anyway? Or even: How in the world do babies sit still enough for a dental exam?

The thought of scheduling a dental exam for a baby makes many parents break out in hives, but there is a bright spot to all this worry. Your child’s first dental visit is actually pretty quick and easy, and over the long term, establishing a dental home early helps reduce stress for both you and your child.

Your Child’s First Dental Visit Before Age One

If you aren’t sure when to schedule your child’s first dental visit, you’re not alone. University of Michigan Health surveyed 2,000 parents with kids under age five and found that over half (55%) didn’t get any instruction from their baby’s pediatrician about when to start dental exams. Many parents just don’t know enough about that first dental visit or what to expect when they get to the dental office.

The majority of children get their first baby tooth by six months old, but some kids stay toothless until fourteen or fifteen months. So, if your child is a late bloomer in the tooth department, don’t wait. If you haven’t seen any teeth yet, schedule your child’s first dental visit for around the same time as their one-year checkup.

The Long Road to a Set of Healthy Teeth

As with most things in the crazy world of parenting, we play the long game here. When it comes to dental exams for babies, starting early builds a solid foundation for lifelong oral health. A child’s first dental exam is important, even though their mouth is still pretty empty of pearly whites.

During your child’s first visit, the dentist checks for early signs of decay. Early tooth decay is tough to spot in adults, let alone in young children with itty bitty teeth. Don’t wait until you notice problems - start those trips to the dentist at an early age.

What to Expect at Your Child’s First Dental Visit

A dental exam for a baby typically lasts about 30-45 minutes. Sometimes, this includes a gentle cleaning, but don’t be surprised if that doesn’t happen during the first visit.

Expect to answer questions about his or her medical history. Bring a list of any medications, the name and contact number of your pediatrician, and information about your dental insurance.

The dentist will also check for healthy growth and development by examining bite, gums, and overall structure of the mouth and jaw. And as a bonus, you might score some quality tips for soothing a teething baby and saving your sleep-deprived sanity.

If you’re nervous, it helps to write down questions beforehand so you don’t forget them in the hustle and bustle.

Tips for a Positive Trip to Your Child’s Dentist

If your child turns into a banshee during new experiences, don’t worry. Experts at Mouth Healthy for the ADA remind parents that dental professionals expect a child’s first dental visit to be a little rough.

“If your child cries a little or wiggles during the exam, don’t worry,” say the experts at Mouth Healthy. “It’s normal, and your dental team understands this is a new experience for your child.”


It’s also okay to sit your baby or young child on your lap. Even if a child is capable of sitting alone in the dental chair, a lot of parents opt for the lap the first time around.

Many dentists recommend scheduling dental exams for babies and young children in the morning, when most kids are rested and more cooperative.

Also remember: a calm parent is one of the best recipes for a successful trip to the dentist. If you personally panic within a two-mile radius of the dentist’s office, take steps to reduce your own stress before and during the appointment.

Does Insurance Cover Dental Exams for Babies?

And finally, the pocketbook. Raising a child is expensive, but at least going to the dentist doesn’t have to be.

Most dental insurance plans have low or no out-of-pocket costs for routine checkups and cleanings. Dental exams for infants usually fall under the category of “routine care.” This means that unless the dentist finds cavities or other unexpected problems, you’ll likely pay little to nothing for your child’s first visit.

That being said, every insurance plan is different, so check with your insurance provider about the specifics of your coverage. After that? Go forth, schedule a first dental exam for your baby, and check one item off your new-parent to-do list.