Blog

Dental New Year’s Resolutions for 2018

One popular activity in late December is to think about new year's resolutions. Are you going to make any? It's common to resolve to lose weight, to stop smoking, to finally get organized, or to make strides in your career. One way that you can improve various facets of your health is to make new year's resolutions that center around your teeth. You might not think that a dental resolution will dramatically change your life, but it can change the way you feel about your smile, how healthy your gums are, and how much time and money you're spending in your dentist's office. Check out this short list of new year's resolutions that will make your teeth happy. Resolve to Floss Daily There are two groups of people: those who floss daily and those who mean to, but don't. If you're...

Are You Clenching and Grinding Your Teeth?

Do you ever wake up with headaches or sore molars? Maybe your sleeping partner complains that you're making strange noises in your sleep. Does your jaw hurt often? It's possible that you are clenching and grinding your teeth during the night. While it's also possible to clench and grind (which is called bruxism, by the way) during the day, most people who do it aren't aware of it because it happens in their sleep. If you think that you might be clenching and grinding, read on for suggestions on how to stop. Try Relaxation Techniques Many times, bruxism is caused by stress. If you can reduce your stress levels, particularly before bedtime, less clenching and grinding might be the result. Try meditation or yoga before bed. You can also listen to guided relaxation audio files. Increasing your exercise levels can help...

Using Your Dental Insurance in 2017

The end of 2017 is just weeks away, and many patients are wondering whether it makes sense for them to have non-urgent work done now or if they should wait until after the new year. While every dental insurance plan is different, here are some tips on maximizing your benefits before the end of this year. Check Your Maximum Many dental insurance plans have a yearly maximum allowance. This is the maximum amount that your plan will pay out over the course of a calendar year. If you are approaching your maximum, it's important to know that, because if you have expensive non-urgent work that needs to be done, you might be better off waiting until after the new year to minimize your out-of-pocket expenses in December. On the other hand, if you still have a lot left before you hit your...

How to Clean Your Teeth With Braces

Having orthodontic braces put on your teeth can change everything you have ever known about oral hygiene. No longer just a matter of using a toothbrush and dental floss the way you've always used them, oral hygiene takes on a new dimension when braces are added. Read on for some tips on how to best care for your teeth when you have braces on. Brush Your Teeth More Often When you have braces, food debris can get caught between the brackets and under the wires. This is not only unsightly but it can also lead to tooth decay if it's not cleaned out properly and often. Your orthodontist will give you a tiny brush to clean out under your wires. In addition, you'll also use your toothbrush to clean out any food remaining under your wires after you eat. Make it...

Frequently Asked Questions About Baby Teeth

Whether you're a brand new parent or you've already mastered playing the tooth fairy several times, you might have questions about your child's baby teeth. Good dental hygiene now can set the stage for a lifetime of excellent dental health, so it's important that you get your little one on his or her way with good habits and regular checkups. Check out this list of baby teeth-related FAQs. When Should My Baby See a Dentist? Ideally, your baby will see a dentist when the first tooth erupts. If that's not possible, then make the appointment for when he or she turns one. This first visit will be a time for the dentist to take a look at your baby's teeth and to talk to you about brushing, flossing, and subsequent visits. You'll be holding your little one. Some parents prefer to...

How to Tell If You’re Getting a Cavity

Are you ever surprised at the dentist when he or she tells you that you have a cavity? Tooth decay can sneak up on us, and it's never pleasant to find out that you have it. The good news is that the sooner a cavity is detected, the more easily (and inexpensively) it can be treated. If left to progress, a cavity can turn into a root canal, a crown, or even an extraction! The best way to keep this from happening is to see your dentist twice yearly for a checkup. It's also important to be aware of the signs that a cavity is forming. Here are some of them: Darkness Between the Teeth Over the course of the six months most people go in between dental appointments, sometimes staining shows up in the areas near where two teeth touch...

What to Do If You Lose a Filling

You might have experienced the sudden panic of losing a filling. It often happens when biting into hard or chewy food or while chewing gum. Your initial concern might be that you'll have pain. Next, you'll likely notice that the tooth feels sharp to your tongue. If it's the weekend or you're away from home, you might not know what to do. Read on to find out how you can handle this situation. Don't Panic If you lose a filling, it's usually not a dental emergency. Yes, you should have it taken care of, but unless you're in pain or the sharp edge of the tooth is cutting into your tongue or cheek, it doesn't have to be addressed on the weekend or overnight. The first thing you should do is assess whether the tooth hurts. In some cases, it will be painful...

So, You Need a Root Canal

Many patients get nervous when they're told by their dentist that they need a root canal. Root canal therapy has a bad rap; your mental image might include pain and a long healing period. The good news is that most of that is a gross exaggeration of what you'll actually experience. Here is a rundown of what you might expect and how you will likely feel during and after your root canal treatment. You'll Be in the Chair for a While A root canal entails cleaning out the nerve spaces of the tooth, and this procedure does take a while. Depending on how many canals your tooth has (anywhere from one to four), you could be in the chair for an hour or longer. Consider bringing along your earbuds so you...