Posts for: January, 2021
That newfound time at home can be used to brush up on better oral care.
Your smiles are integral for laughing, enjoying your favorite foods, and talking to loved ones. Your smile is there for you through all the most important parts of your life, so it’s also important that you are showing it how much you care by practicing good oral hygiene. You can easily prevent cavities and gum disease, and our Charleston, SC, family dentist Dr. Denise Stone can provide you with helpful at-home strategies to support healthy teeth and gums during quarantine:
Brush your tongue
Did you know that bacteria don’t just settle on teeth and along gums, but also love to set up camp on the tongue and other soft tissues of your mouth? If you’re wondering why you deal with bad breath, you may want to turn your attention to how often you clean your tongue.
You can easily brush your tongue while brushing the rest of your teeth, or you may choose to use a tongue scraper. Either way, cleaning your tongue will certainly reduce bad breath and the bad bacteria in your mouth.
Don’t rinse right away
If you use fluoride toothpaste the last thing you want to do is immediately wash it all away with mouthwash. Fluoride is great for helping to remineralize and strengthen enamel (it even has the power to repair very early signs of decay); however, if you immediately rinse your mouth out you also wash away the fluoride. Wait about 15 minutes after brushing to use mouthwash.
Replace your toothbrush frequently
When was the last time you replaced your toothbrush or toothbrush head? You mustn’t be using the same old toothbrush head for months on end (they have a shelf life of about 3-4 months). When the bristles splay out that’s when you know it’s time to change them; however, if you’ve just gotten over an illness or you’ve come back from a trip then you’ll want to immediately replace your toothbrush head.
Floss every day
Most people think that brushing alone will keep their mouths fully clean; however, it’s the power of both brushing and flossing combined that helps keep your teeth and gums healthy and problem-free. If you aren’t flossing every day, now is the time to pick up the habit. It only takes a couple of minutes and it can remove plaque and food between teeth that brushing can’t. Trust us; flossing is one of the easiest and best things you can do for your smile.
If you have questions about your at-home dental care routine our Charleston, SC, family dentist is happy to answer your questions. For all of your questions or concerns, please call Stone Family Dentistry at (843) 556-6566.
If your dental health isn't in the best of shape, a survey conducted by the American Dental Association (ADA) says the cause is likely one of three common oral health problems. The survey asked around 15,000 people across the country what kinds of problems they had experienced with their teeth and gums, and three in particular topped the list.
Here then are the top three oral health problems according to the ADA, how they could impact your health, and what you should do about them.
Tooth pain. Nearly one-third of respondents, particularly from lower-income households and the 18-34 age range, reported having tooth pain at one time or another. Tooth pain can be an indicator of several health issues including tooth decay, fractured teeth or recessed gums. It's also a sign that you should see a dentist—left untreated, the condition causing the pain could lead to worse problems.
Biting difficulties. Problems biting or chewing came in second on the ADA survey. Difficulties chewing can be caused by a number of things like decayed, fractured or loose teeth, or if your dentures or other dental appliances aren't fitting properly. Chewing dysfunction can make it difficult to eat foods with greater nutritional value than processed foods leading to problems with your health in general.
Dry mouth. This is a chronic condition called xerostomia caused by an ongoing decrease in saliva flow. It's also the most prevalent oral health problem according to the ADA survey, and one that could spell trouble for your teeth and gums in the future. Because saliva fights bacterial infections like gum disease and helps neutralize acid, which can lead to tooth decay, chronic dry mouth increases your risk of dental disease.
If you're currently dealing with one or more of these problems, they don't have to ruin your health. If you haven't already, see your dentist for diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible: Doing so could help alleviate the problem, and prevent even more serious health issues down the road.
If you would like more information on achieving optimum dental health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Top 3 Oral Health Problems.”
Even though coronavirus lockdowns have prevented TV hosts from taping live shows, they're still giving us something to watch via virtual interviews. In the process, we're given occasional glimpses into their home life. During a Tonight Show interview with Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife, R & B performer Ciara, Jimmy Fallon's daughter Winnie interrupted with breaking news: She had just lost a tooth.
It was an exciting and endearing moment, as well as good television. But with 70 million American kids under 18, each with about 20 primary teeth to lose, it's not an uncommon experience. Nevertheless, it's still good to be prepared if your six-year-old is on the verge of losing that first tooth.
Primary teeth may be smaller than their successors, but they're not inconsequential. Besides providing young children with the means to chew solid food and develop speech skills, primary teeth also serve as placeholders for the corresponding permanent teeth as they develop deep in the gums. That's why it's optimal for baby teeth to remain intact until they're ready to come out.
When that time comes, the tooth's roots will begin to dissolve and the tooth will gradually loosen in the socket. Looseness, though, doesn't automatically signal a baby tooth's imminent end. But come out it will, so be patient.
Then again, if your child, dreaming of a few coins from the tooth fairy, is antsy to move things along, you might feel tempted to use some old folk method for dispatching the tooth—like attaching the tooth to a door handle with string and slamming the door, or maybe using a pair of pliers (yikes!). One young fellow in an online video tied his tooth to a football with a string and let it fly with a forward pass.
Here's some advice from your dentist: Don't. Trying to pull a tooth whose root hasn't sufficiently dissolved could damage your child's gum tissues and increase the risk of infection. It could also cause needless pain.
Left alone, the tooth will normally fall out on its own. If you think, though, that it's truly on the verge (meaning it moves quite freely in the socket), you can pinch the tooth between your thumb and middle finger with a clean tissue and give it a gentle tug. If it's ready, it should pop out. If it doesn't, leave it be for another day or two before trying again.
Your child losing a tooth is an exciting moment, even if it isn't being broadcast on national television. It will be more enjoyable for everyone if you let that moment come naturally.
If you would like more information on the importance and care of primary teeth, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Importance of Baby Teeth.”