Smile Blog

Do you have dental anxiety?

Do you have dental anxiety or fear before coming to the dentist? If you do, then you probably have a Dental Phobia. 20% of Americans have a dental phobia and avoid treatment that is recommended by the Dentist. Dental phobia is the fear of the dental office and everything that comes with it. Why do you say? The number one cause is the fear of pain. In other words fear of numbing, fearing that anesthetics will not work, or even the fear of side effects from the anesthetics. Many people do not go to the dentist on a regular basis because of the anxiety they get by walking in the office. Those 20% that don’t come to the dentist, only come because they are in so much pain and need help.

  • Here are some signs you might have dental phobia:
  • Trouble sleeping the night before a dental appointment
  • Nerves start to work up while sitting in the reception area
  • Feeling ill or like you cannot breathe while sitting in the dental chair

All of these things are a big part in why people do not like to come to the dentist. Did you know that there is a way to help with all these fears? Talking to the Dentist and/or the dental office team is a great way to help with the anxiety. They can provide the help of calming of your nerves, and help explain what your visit is going to consist of. They will make you feel more comfortable, and the dentist will be able to determine the best ways to ease your mind and make you less anxious about the visit. Fearing the dental office is normal, but do not let it stop you from coming on a regular basis or when you are in pain. Just remember there is a dental team that can help ease your mind and make it the best dental visit!

Mountain Dew

  • Mountain Dew Mouth

    Mountain Dew Mouth

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Did you know that Mountain Dew contains one of the highest levels of caffeine of any soft drink? Most soda companies use high levels of sugar and high fructose corn syrup to mask the bitter taste of caffeine. The combination of high sugars and low PH levels can cause accelerated tooth decay. Mountain dew has one of the highest sugar levels with 11 teaspoons of sugar, along with a low PH of 3.22. Water has a ph level of 7.0, so clearly that is pretty low. Tooth decay occurs when the teeth are bathed in a sugary and acidic environments for extended periods of time. Sipping on sodas throughout the day, especially when at work, can cause rampant tooth decay.

Rampant tooth decay can cause your teeth to turn a brown color, as well as causing sensitivity. Teeth can also break down so bad from the acid and sugar levels that teeth start breaking down. Mountain dew drinkers can have the same appearance as meth users, which is where “Mountain Dew mouth” was dubbed from. The standard treatment for this condition is to address the tooth decay with fillings, crowns or replacement teeth, but many dentists also stress the need for proper education on the effects of soda on teeth, and let the patient know they need to reduce the amount of sugary beverages consumed during the day or they will have recurrent decay on all the teeth that were restored.

The best prevention is to steer clear of sugary sodas ,but if you do drink them, they need to be consumed in 5 minutes or under to reduce sugar and acid exposure on the enamel. Try to swish with water afterwards also to increase the pH level in your mouth. Don’t forget that diet sodas also have high acidic levels that can also cause cavities. The rule is that sodas, whether diet or regular, are not beneficial to your dental health. Good old H2O will always be the best choice of drink for your dental health as well as your general health!!!

Your Child’s First Dental Visit

  • Your Child's First Dental Visit

    Your Child's First Dental Visit

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Questions about your child’s first dental visit? Does your child now have teeth, and you are asking what do I do now? We recommend children to be seen at our office as soon as they have teeth or at least by the age of 1. When children are seen at a early age, we can give parents the education they need for their children’s oral health, and the child can become comfortable having their teeth looked at and cleaned. But before you assume that getting your child into the dentist’s chair will involve a tantrum, remember that your child doesn’t harbor any ill will toward their first dentist. Keep a positive outlook, and expect the first dentist appointment to be short and informal. It’s more of a meet and greet for your child and the hygienist/dentist. Depending on your child’s age and comfort level, you may be asked to hold your child while the dentist looks around their mouth. Remember tooth decay can occur as soon as the first tooth erupts. During this appointment, the doctor can go over oral hygiene, the best way to clean your child’s teeth, proper diet, and fluoride treatments. Also, habits such as thumb-sucking and sucking on a pacifier can be addressed at the appointment. Baby teeth are very important for a child, and can help them with speech, chewing, and holding spaces for their permanent teeth. Some baby teeth stay in a child’s mouth until the age of 12, so keeping a cavity-free mouth is very important.

Are you brushing too hard?

  • Brushing to hard

    Brushing to hard

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Are you brushing to hard? A general indication that you are brushing too hard is that you start having sensitivity in your teeth especially at the junction of tooth and gum line. The teeth that are particularly affected are your upper anterior’s (the front six teeth) and lower canines.

Ever been to a dentist and they look and ask you if you are brushing too hard?

You think to yourself, “Wow he must be really telepathic; how did he know that i’m brushing too hard?” Well if you raise your lip in front of the mirror and look closely you will be able to see tooth structure abraded away at the junction of tooth and gum line and that’s how he was able to tell. The abraded structure is almost like little semi-lunar craters on your teeth. This results in exposing a layer of tooth called dentin that is not suppose to be in contact with oral fluids and that’s what is causing sensitivity.

Now coming to addressing what can you do to rectify the situation?

  1. Ask yourself this Are you scrubbing your teeth back and forth like how you would be scrubbing your clothes?
  2. Are you using a hard bristle tooth brush ?
  3. Are you using too much force to brush because it gives you the mental satisfaction that you cleaned  your teeth really well?

If your answer is yes on one or all of them then its time to modify your brushing technique. Get a soft bristled tooth brush and use gentle force to clean your teeth. Keep the brush at 45  degrees angle half on your gums and half on tooth and gently brush towards the mouth so all the food and debris moves away from the gum line. Another great alternative is to get a powered toothbrush which already has an inbuilt controlled force and brushing action.

To correct the sensitivity from the damage that is already there  either the dentist can apply the desensitizing agent in that area or you can have a tooth colored filling done there which also make it look aesthetically more pleasing.

Halloween Candy

  • Halloween Candy

    Halloween Candy

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Halloween is coming, y’all… Did you know that Halloween is known for visually famous things? Costumes, pumpkins, candy, and cavities… What is your favorite Halloween candy? Gummy bears, Starbursts, Laffy Taffy, or Chocolate. Do you know what will happen to your teeth if you continue to eat all those sticky and chewy candies?” Sticky candy in any way is not a good candy to enjoy. It sticks to the grooves of your teeth, and unless you brush it off right away, starts the decay process.  Sugar, itself, is not the cause for cavities.  The cause is the germs and bacteria in your mouth feasting on the sugars and producing acid, which eventually weaken your enamel and cause holes.  For all you health nuts out there, giving out pretzels instead can actually do the same damage, because pretzels can stick to the grooves of your teeth as well.   “Do you know what the best kind of candy to eat is?” Instead of sugar, do sugar free! Milk Chocolate, such as Hershey Kisses, is actually better to eat since it can dissolve much quicker than hard sugary candies. It also does not have the acidity gummy bears, starburst, or any other kind of sticky, tacky, sugary candy does. It can be good for you to eat Dark Chocolate, but only in moderation. Dark Chocolate can also help your heart. Here is a short list of the best tasting sugar free candies we found available in stores.

  • Hershey’s Sugar-Free Milk Chocolate Miniatures
  • Jelly Belly Sugar-Free Gummi Bears
  • York Sugar-Free Pepperment Patties
  • Twizzlers Sugar-Free Strawberry Twits
  • Reese’s Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Cup Minis
  • Jolly Rancher Sugar-Free Hard Candies

As a general rule, THE BETTER IT TASTES, THE WORSE IT IS FOR YOUR TEETH! So remember, after all that Halloween candy, make sure to brush and floss twice a day to keep the sugar bugs away! For parents, we suggest going through your children’s candy stash and removing all the sticky and chewy candies! Now, that doesn’t mean that you can eat all that candy for yourselves. Leave us a comment if you have other suggestions or tips.

Drinking Lemon Water or Green Juice

  • Lemon Water

    Lemon Water

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We have a current trend of drinking lemon water or green juice There is currently an epidemic of hypersensitive teeth linked to this trend, as well as a rise in cavities. If you are wanting to cleanse your body with lemon water, make sure you are drinking it very quickly and not sipping on it. Lemon water is very acidic, and the more time you take to drink it, the more your teeth are exposed to acid. Another trend that is affecting people’s teeth is drinking green juice. It usually consists of lots of fruits and vegetables, and is therefore, pretty acidic too just like lemon water. It might be good to be receiving all those nutrients, but is it taking you a long time to drink it? If the answer is yes, you need to drink it quicker and always try to swish with water right afterwards. Another recommendation is to use a high fluoride mouthrinse such as ACT to remineralize any areas in your mouth. Best way to do that is to brush and floss at night, and swish for 30 seconds and immediately go to bed.

green-juicen

Have you ever thought about when you eating out that they always put lemon on your water glass? JUST SAY NO!!! When eating out, you are probably less conscious about how long you have been sipping on that lemon water and I would not be surprised if it had been an hour or so. The best thing you can do for your teeth is to put that lemon wedge aside, and drink plain old water all by itself. Just remember, the longer you spend sipping on acidic drinks, the more damage you are doing to your enamel!

Keating Dental Arts Dental Mashup

  • Can't Feel My Face (Cover) by Andrew HuangWe always knew this was written about a dentist! Thanks for this Andrew Huang!#TheWeeknd #CantFeelMyFace Posted by Keating Dental Arts on Thursday, September 3, 2015

Take a look at this fun video from Keating Dental Arts in California.

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