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Mouthwash: Do You Need It?

You already know that you should brush and floss your teeth regularly in order to keep them healthy and strong. Did you know that mouthwash might also be an important part of your dental hygiene regimen? On the other hand, sometimes it's not the right choice for a particular person to use. The best way to determine whether you should be using mouthwash is to ask your dentist for personalized advice. You can also read on for information about different types of mouthwash and when they might be right -- or wrong -- for you. Antiseptic Mouthwashes One popular brand name of antiseptic mouthwashes is Listerine. Most stores have a generic version as well, which often costs less money and has the same ingredients. In addition to these over-the-counter mouthwashes, your dentist can prescribe a stronger antiseptic mouthwash if you need...

Cold Sores and Canker Sores: What’s the Difference?

Cold sores and canker sores are both nuisances, and both cause sores in or around the mouth. Many patients confuse the two and are not sure whether they're dealing with a cold sore or a canker sore when they experience an uncomfortable lesion. Here are some tips on differentiating between the two, what you can do about them, and when to see a dentist for help. Cold Sores Cold sores are sometimes called fever blisters, and they occur on the outside of the mouth, on or around the lips. They're caused by a contagious herpes virus, and once you have the virus in your system, it remains there, dormant. At times of stress, illness, or just because, one or more cold sores can erupt. People can get the virus through kissing or sharing utensils. Most adults have been exposed to the...

Medications and Your Oral Health

6451575117_49b9673c64_zDo you take prescription or over-the-counter medication for any health issues? You probably already know that any medicine can cause unwanted side effects. Your doctor has prescribed the medication you're taking because the benefits outweigh the risks. Sometimes, however, the side effects can be uncomfortable or affect other parts of your body. If your medication is causing oral health symptoms, don't stop taking it; instead, talk to your doctor about ways to reduce the side effects. In some cases, it might be possible to switch to another medication, but this is something your doctor will need to decide. In the meantime, here are some ways that medications can affect your oral health, as well as suggestions on how to handle it. Dry Mouth One common side effect of many different medications is a dry mouth. If you're only taking the medication...

Dental Care for Seniors

1663269727_471a74b122_zAs you age, you have different medical needs. Dental care is no exception. Those in their senior years often have conditions that can affect their dental health. If you have questions or concerns about your teeth and gums, you should see your dentist, who knows your individual circumstances. In the meantime, here are some ways that your dental care might change as you get older. Medications Can Affect Your Oral Health If you are on medication for your heart, diabetes, or other health conditions, they can sometimes affect your teeth and gums. One common side effect of many different medications is a dry mouth. Having a dry mouth is not only uncomfortable, but also contributes to dental decay. Saliva washes away bacteria and plaque, and not having enough of it can lead to cavities and gum disease. If you are on...

Crown Preparation: What to Expect

14425627083_62cff473a7_zIf you've been told that you need a crown on one of your teeth, you might be nervous and not know what to expect. The good news is that a crown prep is generally a painless procedure. There are multiple steps, though, so you might want to ask your dentist to explain what's happening as he or she goes through each phase of the treatment. Here is a primer on what you might expect during your crown preparation appointment. Impressions Before your dentist begins to prep your tooth for the crown, he or she will want to take an impression so the lab knows how your teeth currently fit together. The goal is for your crown to fit naturally into your bite. You might need full upper and lower impressions done, or your dentist or dental assistant might take impressions of...

Root Canal vs. Extraction: Which Is Right for You?

2121691688_320638e94d_zIf you've had an aching tooth for a while or if you suddenly started experiencing pain and swelling, you might have been told by your dentist that you need a root canal or an extraction. Sometimes, the choice is clear-cut, but other times, it can take some discussion and brainstorming to come up with the right solution. Here are some considerations to keep in mind as you decide between root canal therapy and the extraction of your tooth. Location If your tooth is in the front of your mouth and it can be saved with a root canal and a crown, this is probably the option you're going to want to choose. If the tooth is the last one in your mouth and you don't have one opposing it, however, an extraction might be warranted. Anywhere else, it might not be...

Are Dentures Right for You?

Are dentures right for you?

Are dentures right for you?

If your dentist tells you that you should have all or most of your teeth extracted and dentures made, you might experience a range of feelings. If you've been struggling with your dental health for some time, you might feel a sense of relief. On the other hand, if you still want to try to save your natural teeth, you might feel frustrated, sad and angry. It's important that you feel secure in the knowledge that having dentures put in in place of your natural teeth is the right decision for you. Take a look at these considerations to keep in mind as you make your decision. What Type of Dentures? Not all dentures require the extraction of all of your teeth. In fact, if any teeth are strong and...

All About Your Dental Assistant

What does a dental assistant do?

What does a dental assistant do?

You might sometimes refer to the person who helps your dentist with procedures as a "hygienist" or a "nurse." It's actually a dental assistant in most cases (occasionally a hygienist will assist with procedures, but that's not their main job function). If you aren't sure what a dental assistant does, read on to find out! Chairside Assisting The main job of a dental assistant is to assist the dentist with various procedures. While assistants can do some procedures on their own, such as taking impressions, taking x-rays, and getting patients prepped for surgical procedures, most assistants spend a good majority of their day doing what's often called "four-handed dentistry." This means that your dentist's hands and your assistant's hands move in harmony to treat cavities, perform root canal...