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Root Canals Are Nothing To Fear!

August 3, 2011

DO YOU HEAR THE WORDS “ROOT CANAL” AND CRINGE? For some crazy reason, a root canal seems to be the default treatment used in just about every tired joke that revolves around dentistry. Somehow, root canals have established an infamous reputation for being painful, causing people to do all they can to avoid them.

Of course, here at Lake Oconee Dentistrywe remind everyone that they should do all they can to keep their teeth healthy and to minimize the amount of restorative dental work needed. However, here’s the deal… In most cases, root canals are no more uncomfortable than having a cavity filled, and the benefits greatly outweigh any minimal discomfort.

Sometimes, if you have a decaying, dying or dead tooth, a root canal may be the only way to save it—and saving your natural teeth is nearly always the best way to go. Healthy, stable, natural teeth allow you to eat the foods you want and to maintain proper nutrition. They are an integral part of your lifelong health. A root canal is often the very best way to preserve that natural tooth. Alternatives to root canals are typically far more involved, are more costly, and require additional treatments including having the tooth completely extracted and replaced with a bridge, implant or denture.

Here at Lake Oconee Dentistry we want to be sure you understand that there are potential side effects that can result from an untreated root canal infection, including:

  • Abscess: An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that forms at the end of the roots of your tooth.
  • Swelling: This swelling can spread to other areas of your face, neck, or head.
  • Bone Loss: You could lose part of the bone around the root of your tooth.
  • Drainage Problems: A hole can occur in the side of the decaying tooth, which causes drainage into your gums or even into your skin through your cheek.

When it comes to keeping your teeth healthy and doing your best to avoid a root canal, the bottom line is always the same one we all should have learned as kids… Brush, floss, and schedule regular cleanings and checkups. Also wear a mouth guard when playing sports.

Do all you can to minimize the need for a root canal. BUT, when necessary, don’t avoid or postpone one. Root canals can be a huge blessing in disguise when it comes to restoring the health of your smile.

If you have more questions about root canals, please speak with one of our doctors. Thanks for the trust you put in our practice.

Also, be sure to connect with us on our Facebook Page by clicking on the image below:

Why Children Should Visit the Dentist

June 3, 2011

WE UNDERSTAND THAT THOSE OF YOU WITH YOUNG CHILDREN probably have quite a few questions about caring for your children’s teeth. So, we thought we’d take a few moments to talk about why your little one needs a dentist too…

Although there are a host of benefits associated with proper pediatric dental care, the long term health of your child’s smile is obviously the most important benefit of all. The American Dental Associationrecommends that a child’s first visit to the dentist be right before their first birthday. During this checkup, Dr. David Bradley will teach you the proper brushing and flossing techniques to use on your child, make sure his or her baby teeth are coming in correctly, check to see if there is any baby bottle tooth decay, and ensure that your child’s gums are healthy.

Children should typically come in to see our practice about every six months to ensure that their teeth are receiving the best possible care.

Once all your child’s primary teeth have come in, Dr. Patti Bradley will typically start applying topical fluoride to harden the tooth enamel and protect those young teeth from cavities. Dental sealants can also be applied as a means of providing further protection from bacteria.

Another important thing to consider when taking care of your children’s teeth is their diet. An abundance of sugary foods and unhealthy snacks like potato chips and pretzels should be avoided.

Don’t wait until your child has a full set of teeth to visit the dentist. Set up an appointmentwith Dr. Patti or Dr. David or Dr. Phil Boswell today if you have any additional questions or if you have a child due for a checkup! We want to make sure your child’s smile stays confident and healthy for life!

It’s Extra Important To Take Care Of Your Teeth With Braces!

March 20, 2011

DO YOU HAVE BRACES? Or does someone you love have braces? Underneath all that metal, your beautiful pearly whites are moving—and, inching you ever closer each day toward an absolutely fantastic smile!Dr. Patti Bradleyreminds us, “Wouldn’t it be a shame, if once those braces came off, you had a bunch of cavities under there!? That would be awful!”

So, don’t let that happen!

All the gadgetry in your mouth—from the springs and the wires to the rubber bands and spacers—can attract food AND plaque. Dr. David Bradley, here at Lake Oconee Dental, reminds each of us with braces, “It’s important to brush properly and to use floss and/or mouthwash per your orthodontist’s recommendations. When plaque is left behind on your teeth and around your braces it can cause your gums to swell, your teeth to become discolored, chronic bad breath and even (sometimes) cavities.”

Cleaning Your Braces The Right Way Is A Chore, But It’s Worth It

Millions and millions of people wear braces. If you’re one of them (or your child) be sure to take the time to pay attention to detail. While it requires spending a little more effort before bedtime… In the long run it WILL be worth it.

The purpose of today’s post isn’tto go over all the details of caring for teeth with braces. We just want to focus on cleaning them. Your orthodontist has likely already told you lots of do’s and don’ts. But here are a couple little reminders: There are foods you should probably just avoid including taffy, caramels, and hard nuts. And don’t chew ice or bubble gum. Be careful with things that are hard to bite like bagels and apples.

Take a minute to learn from this video created by the good folks at Howcast:

Please contact us if you have any additional questions, and if you haven’t yet had a chance to become a fan of our Facebook page, do it now by clicking on the image below:

We look forward to seeing you the next time you visit!

Take It Easy On The Sugary Drinks

February 2, 2011

IT’S KNOWN BY MANY DIFFERENT NAMESpop, soda, soft drinks, soda pop… But there’s no difference when it comes to its effect on your teeth.

Sugary sodas have not only added many pounds to the nation’s obese population, but the acidic sugar byproducts and acids soften your tooth enamel, contributing to more cavities. Dr. David Bradley adds, “Brushing gets even harder when your tooth enamel gets softer, creating an unwanted one/two punch.”What about sugar-free drinks? Well, they’re less harmful, but can still cause acidic damage. Unfortunately, they only account for 14% of the nation’s soda-consumption anyway.

Each year, the amount of soft drinks we consume in the United States increases dramatically—especially among teenagers and children. At least one in five children consumes a minimum of four servings of pop each day, and some teenages drink much, much more. In fact, the problem has become so bad that the American Academy of Pediatrics sounded an alarm about the dangers and suggested guidelines for helping children create good better habits.

So, What Can I Do?

  • Reduce the amount you drink. Seems obvious, right?
  • Drink more water. It will help take away your cravings for soda.
  • Use fluoride toothpastes and/or mouth rinses.
  • Find substitutes you enjoy that are more healthy.
  • When you DO drink soda pop, rinse your mouth with water when you finish.
  • Don’t forget to schedule regular dental checkups.

Here at Lake Oconee Dental, it is our goal to help you keep your beautiful smile for life. If you have questions about different beverages and their effect on your teeth, be sure to ask us. We love talking to you, our valued patients, about your oral health.

Don’t forget to join us on Facebookand Twitter for more discussions about your dental comfort, heatlh, and appearance. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

Living With Sensitive Teeth?

December 21, 2010

WHO’S READY FOR A SENSITIVE DISCUSSION? Sensitive teeth discussion, that is. While we know not everyone deals with sensitive teeth, we also understand that for those of you who do, it’s something that can really change the way you view food.Tooth sensitivity can come from just about anywhere—sweet or sour foods, hot or cold temperatures. For some, even simply biting down causes problems. Pain from these things can be mild to severe, and many times is very sharp—shooting directly to the nerve endings.No matter the cause of sensitivity, they all create the same results—the nerve endings in your teeth become too easily exposed, creating a lower tolerance for the things you put in your mouth.No matter the level, Drs. Bradley and Boswell know that tooth sensitivity is not pleasant. While every situation is different, here are a couple of basic things you can do to help prevent sensitivity:

  • BRUSHING:Keeping up proper hygiene will help prevent tarter buildup. Brushing helps reduce the risk of exposing nerves. Also make sure to use a soft bristled toothbrush when you brush. This creates less abrasion and reduces potential gum recession. There are also several brands of toothpaste that help decrease sensitivity with regular use.
  • DAILY ROUTINE:Daily use of a fluoridated mouthwash can also decrease sensitivity. Highly acidic foods, which can contribute to the dissolve of tooth enamel, can increase sensitivity. Limiting foods like this helps add to preventive care. Teeth grinding and clenching can also lead to wearing of the enamel.

We want to be your greatest information resource in preventing and solving your sensitive tooth issues. After learning about your habits and understanding your teeth, we can find you solutions and help with steps to make your teeth less sensitive, and your daily life more pleasant.In addition to our list, here’s a short video that highlights care for your sensitive teeth:If you have any general questions about tooth sensitivity make sure to let us know during any visit to our office. Or send us a question through our Facebook page by clicking on the logo below: