They come in all sorts of colors and flavors – it’s almost
impossible to choose a favorite. Some are used to bake. Some are better off as snacks
dipped in peanut butter or caramel and on a stick. Yes, we are talking about
apples. From infancy through adulthood, the apple is one sweet treat that we
have our entire lives, in all of its various forms. Originally from Central
Asia and with 7,500 varieties available around the world, apples have become
world-renowned as a go-to fruit. So much so, this Saturday (September 19) is
International Eat an Apple Day.
But it isn’t just the sweet snack that has captured our hearts – did you know that apples also have loads of health benefits that range from our bones to our heart, while also improving our smile? It’s true – this crispy fruit is fantastic for producing saliva, which is our natural way of keeping our mouths clean and bacteria free. Additionally, the fibers within the apple play an added role in cleaning our teeth in a way similar to a toothbrush. However, apples are a healthy snack, not a replacement for your daily dental hygiene routine. Just a natural way you can improve your smile while enjoying a tasty treat.
How will you celebrate International Eat an Apple Day? Snack on an apple with a bit of peanut butter or a slice of apple pie. In fact, because this fruit is international, why not try some German apple cake or Polish apple pancakes? Even the French and the English got in on the fun by making a popular fermented drink called cider. With so many options, you may need a week to properly celebrate!
When we go to the dentist, we cross our fingers that all of the effort we’ve put in between checkups is good enough to keep our mouths healthy. After all, a dentist is there to help keep your smile healthy, but your efforts are really what keeps things running smoothly. If you put in the work, the checkups go much smoother. If not, trouble will be afoot. One of the more common issues is developing gum disease.
While it is a common occurrence, periodontal disease, or gum disease, can cause a significant amount of unwanted damage to your oral health and hygiene. These dental damages include swelling, bleeding gums, persistent bad breath, and permanent tooth loss. If you find that you have these symptoms frequently, it’s a good idea to have a dental professional examine the developing issue in order to ensure things are okay.
The good thing is gum disease can be prevented, and it doesn’t
take a whole lot of effort. To avoid having these long-term damages and prevent
periodontal disease, follow these simple steps:
Brush after meals. Brushing after meals is highly
effective when preventing periodontal disease because brushing allows you to
remove food particles and plaque that accumulate in the mouth. Just make sure
you wait a half hour after your meal.
Flossing. It may not be your favorite part of the
day, but flossing is also extremely important when preventing periodontal
disease because it removes any plaque buildup that cannot be removed from
Keep your dental appointments. Only a professional can thorough examine your teeth to determine how well your oral health is. Schedule regular appointment to ensure you are steering clear of periodontal disease.
They happen to the best of us, but they are awful any way you look at it. Those sharp pangs can become unbearable if you don’t get help soon. Unfortunately, you’ve gotten yourself a toothache. And if you’ve ever experienced an extremely painful toothache, you probably weren’t surprised to find out you needed a root canal. And who are we kidding – those two little words are some of the worst your dental professional can utter. But what exactly is a root canal?
A root canal is a procedure that treats the inside of your
tooth. If you have an untreated chip or cracked tooth (or other trauma), it can
expose the pulp which then can become inflamed and infected. Thus, the pulp
inside of your tooth becomes damaged. It is this point where you are likely to
set up an appointment, because if left untreated, the pain will continue to
worsen and may result in an abscess.
When your dentist performs a root canal, the damaged pulp is removed entirely from the inside of the tooth. After it is removed, your tooth will be cleaned and disinfected and sealed. Afterwards, the tooth is restored with a crown or a filling for protection.
Modern root canal treatment is similar to having a routine
filling and may be completed in one or two appointments, depending on the
condition of the tooth. Contrary to popular belief, root canals relieve the
pain that an infected tooth is causing. The procedure isn’t as grim as it is
made out to be.
With proper care, most teeth that have had root canal treatment can last as long as other natural teeth and often for a lifetime with proper dental hygiene practices.
Now that we begin to loosen up restrictions in the world, it is a good time to make sure quarantine didn’t lead to any dental issues by visiting your dental professional for a quick checkup. But as we wait for an appointment to be scheduled, you can give your smile a bit of a boost by heading outside for a picnic. Not only does the sunshine improve your overall health with a burst of vitamin D but having a bit of a picnic while soaking it all in can also improve your smile. June 18th is International Picnic Day – so pack yourself up a healthy meal option and head on out to celebrate. Here are just a few of the picnic foods geared towards brightening your grin:
Traditional. If you are considering a traditional, family-friendly
option, there are lots of choices that can benefit your dental health. Cheeses
and various proteins can help strengthen your teeth, while fruits and veggies help
scrub them and encourage saliva production, which is key to rinsing
cavity-causing bacteria while you eat.
Wine and cheese. If you are of legal drinking age and
have a more sophisticated palette, you may opt for a nice wine and cheese
pairing. Cheese is full of calcium, which strengthens your teeth enamel, and
red wine also has dental benefits. But be careful – too much acidic red wine
will begin to break down your tooth enamel and begin to stain your teeth.
When you’re out and about, it is important to maintain some type of hydration at all times so make sure to pack plenty of water in your picnic basket. Enjoy your picnic!
A typical patient thinks all dental checkups are the same but that’s completely untrue. There are various procedures used to keep your smile maintained. After all, you are the main person keeping your smile healthy, but there are some spaces even your toothbrush and floss can clean thoroughly. But don’t worry – regular dental visits will make up for these gaps in dental hygiene. Many patients have asked the question, “What is the difference between a dental cleaning (prophylaxis) and a periodontal maintenance visit?” This is a great question and it is important to understand the difference.
The medical term for a professional dental cleaning,
prophylaxis, is purely a preventive measure and not a treatment for disease. Part
of your dental checkup, prophylaxis is used to remove dental plaque and other
irritants from the oral cavity. As these deposits build on your teeth, they
form dental tartar, which contributes to most dental problems. Unfortunately,
some of these deposits can’t be removed with regular brushing and flossing and
it is important to have them removed by a dental professional.
The term periodontal maintenance refers to a dental cleaning performed by a dental professional that is for the treatment and maintenance of periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontal diseases range from simple gum inflammation to serious disease that results in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. In the worst cases, teeth are lost. Periodontal disease is a condition that cannot be cured unfortunately, but with regular visits for these more detailed dental cleanings it is a condition that is very treatable and patients with periodontal disease can keep their teeth for a lifetime.
If you’ve kept up with the news, you know that many developments are being made with creating things with a 3D printingmachine. It is fun to see the funny things being created, but also quite inspiring when they turn out to be advantageous for society as a whole. One of these developments falls in the dental industry. CEREC® allows dental professionals to quickly restore damaged teeth with natural-colored ceramic fillings, saving patients time and inconvenience. But there is something special about CEREC that revolutionizes the dental world – restorations in a single dental visit.
That’s right. CEREC® is the world’s only system for the
fabrication of all ceramic dental restorations in one office visit. Imagine
getting in and out of the dental chair with a permanent, all-ceramic crown,
onlay, or veneer. This means fewer injections, less drilling, and less time out
of your hectic schedule for dental care. Here’s how it works:
The tooth that requires a CEREC® restoration is prepared and
a 3D photograph is taken of the prepared tooth. From there, we use
computer-aided design CAD software to create the restoration digitally.
Using a single block of porcelain that is color-matched to
your current tooth shade, the digitally designed restoration is sent to a milling
machine where your restoration is cut. The milling process usually takes about
15 minutes per restoration.
Once the restoration is finished being milled, it is fitted
onto the prepared tooth and adjusted until the bite is accurate.
So, if you think you need to have a dental procedure done, contact your dental professional for a consultation. This procedure is great for crowns, veneers and the replacement of old fillings to give you the longest-lasting, best-looking restorations.
When we think about visiting the dentist, we generally lump them all into one category – teeth fixers. But there are many facets to dentistry that it needs various areas of expertise. Endodontics is one of those areas. But what does an endodontist do?
Endodontics involves the tooth pulp, which in the center of
the tooth made of living connective tissue and cells. Endodontists skillfully
handle pulpal oral pains through pulp therapy, root canal therapy, nonsurgical
of root canal systems, surgical removal of tissues, and surgical removal of
tooth structure. An endodontic specialist will examine a patient’s damaged
tooth and determine if the pulp is infected of inflamed. Some individuals argue
that a general dentist has equivalent qualifications to treat endodontic
related predicaments, however, an endodontist will encourage patients to visit the
office for a wider range of treatment options. If you find that you have any of
the following symptoms, you may want to look up your nearest endodontist for a
Pimple-like swelling of the gum over the infected tooth
Swollen glands of the neck
Swollen area of the upper or lower jaw
In case you wonder, these signals are serious indicators on infected pulps, which can only be treated by an endodontist. We may not like to visit any type of dental professional, but rest assured you need to see a professional is you experience any of these symptoms. Refrain from ignoring these major signals of pulp infections in order to save your teeth from further infection.
It is important to maintain a steady dental hygiene routine
in order to have a healthy smile. But there is more to it than just a nice smile.
Preventative steps must be taken to also prevent diseases like gum disease and
oral cancer. And since April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, it’s important to
take a second to learn a bit more about this particular form of cancer.
Let’s throw out some statistics so you can get a better grasp on why we need to be aware of oral cancer. Oral cancer will cause over 9,750 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day. Of those 53,000 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years. (Approximately 57%) This is a number which has not significantly improved in decades. The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of cancers which we hear about on a regular basis such as cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, cancer of the testes, and endocrine system cancers such as thyroid, or skin cancer (malignant melanoma). Although smoking and tobacco use is still a major risk factor for oral cancer, the fastest growing segment for oral cancer patients are young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals due to the connection to the HPV virus.
During an oral cancer screening, your dental professional will examine your mouth for red or white patches, and your throat and neck for any lumps that may be developing. Some may have a specific screening dye or laser to further examine your mouth. It’s all painless and part of your typical dental checkup, so there’s no need to worry about a thing.
More often than not, people think that cosmetic dentistry is only for the vain, that it offers no such functional and health benefits whatsoever, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, the main focus of cosmetic dentistry is to improve one’s appearance in order to make patients feel better about themselves, but the field actually offers much more than just improving appearances.
First off, the psychological and social benefits of having a nice-looking smile have been well-documented. In relationships, the opposite sex is more likely to be attracted to you if you have a good smile, more so than your body type, style or even your hobbies. In the workplace, having a good-looking smile is often a sign of honesty and trustworthiness. It also makes you look more affable, which can go a long way in helping you get that promotion. Yes, your self-esteem and confidence will benefit greatly if you’re able to flash your smile more often without having to worry about what others may think.
While the main goal is to straighten teeth to give them a
better appearance, the health benefits just can’t be ignored. Mainly, tooth
straightening takes care of the many risk factors of having crooked teeth. This
includes increased risk for gum disease, tooth injuries and other health
complications, as well as difficulty in chewing and unnecessary wearing in
Cosmetic dentists can use the same laser used to help those
with gummy smiles to remove and seal hollows that trap and promote bacteria
growth, which then helps prevent future infections, including:
Let’s face it – no one wants to go to the dentist. In fact, we dodge it at all costs. But there are times when we must buckle under the pressure – when we get a toothache. Yes, when we have a pain in our mouth that aspirin can’t help, we make that dental appointment. Because as much as we hate to admit it, it looks like we may need a root canal treatment.
But what exactly is a root canal in the first place and why
does it hurt so much? Well, a root canal in your tooth can become infected due
to a cavity or fracture that allows in bacteria. When a root canal becomes
infected, it can die. At this point, you will begin to feel pain and pressure
in and around the infected tooth. This is generally your first sign and when
you become irritated by the sudden pain growing inside your mouth and you make
that appointment. Without treatment, the infection spreads and could lead to
When you get treatment, expect the following steps: When the
damaged pulp in the root canal of the tooth is cleaned out of all the diseased
pulp and the canal is reshaped. Next, the canal is filled with material to
prevent re-contamination of the tooth. Lastly, the tooth is permanently sealed
with a post or crown to prevent issues from reoccurring.
We should maintain good dental hygiene practices in order to keep our mouths healthy, and this includes visiting the dentist regularly. But if things happen, you can rest assured that a root canal is a relatively simple procedure with little or no discomfort, involving one to three visits. Best of all, it can save your tooth and your smile.