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Stay Informed About Early Childhood Caries

July 19, 2011

EACH YEAR, MANY INFANTS AND TODDLERS SUFFER FROM EXTENSIVE TOOTH DECAY that could be avoided—and the culprit is surprising. Milk and sweet liquids are the biggest contributors to something referred to as ECC (Early Childhood Caries).

Just like adult mouths, babies’ mouths are full of bacteria that feed on the sugars found in the foods and liquids they consume. One of the byproducts of these bacteria buffets is an acid that can attack tooth enamel and cause cavities.

Now, don’t worry… We’re not suggesting that you stop using baby bottles or that you don’t give milk to your infants and toddlers. Drs. Bradley and Dr. Boswell simply recommend being aware of the issue and taking some simple preventive steps to help avoid a potential problem.

Here’s a short video from Nursery Water about preventing baby bottle tooth decay:

Many parents give their children a bottle to suck on as a way of helping them settle down and doze off at night. Unfortunately, studies show thatwhen a baby falls asleep with the bottle in his or her mouth, the fluid from the bottle can settle in a pool around their fragile teeth. This allows the bacteria in the baby’s mouth to feed off the sugar present in the liquid ALL night long, creating a steady stream of tooth-decaying acid. If your child absolutely needs a bottle to suck on as he or she goes to sleep, your best bet is to fill it with warm water. Or, once asleep, at least be sure to remove the bottle from your child’s mouth.

Here are a few other ways you can take care of your baby’s teeth:

  • Only Fill Bottles with Milk Or Formula. If you choose to give your child juice or other sugary drinks, make sure you only do so in a sippy cup so that the sugar doesn’t sit at the front of their mouths too long.
  • Clean Your Baby’s Teeth and Gums. Even before your child’s first teeth have come in, it’s important to gently wipe their teeth with a wet towel or gauze after they are fed.
  • Don’t Dip Pacifiers In Anything Containing Sugar. Some parents dip pacifiers in sweet substances like honey. This can be very damaging for baby teeth.

ECC is an infectious disease that can begin as soon as the baby’s first teeth appear, and it can have lasting, damaging effects on your child’s oral health. Here at Lake Oconee Dentistry we want to help you take care of your baby’s teeth. Not only are they more susceptible to cavities than are adults, but they are also at risk of gum disease if the bacteria in their mouths gets too out of hand.

If you think your child may be a victim of baby bottle tooth decay, set up an appointment to come in and see one of our doctors, or a member of our team today. We’d love to help return your baby’s mouth to its healthiest state! Feel free to contact usif you have any additional questions or concerns!

Thoughts On Oral Piercings…

June 28, 2011

ALTHOUGH ORAL PIERCINGS’ ORIGINS TECHNICALLY GO BACK TO ANCIENT MAYAN AND AZTEC tradition and religion, this unique form of accessorizing didn’t really become a means of self-expression until just a few decades ago.

As with traditional earrings, oral piercings come in a variety of styles including rings, barbells, and studs. However, piercing your tongue, cheek, or lips involves a lot more risk than piercing your earlobes. Before considering having any sort of oral piercing, get some advice from our doctorsand take a few minutes to learn about the risks…

  • Infection: Our mouths are filled with zillions of bacteria, putting you at significant risk of infection after an oral piercing.
  • Prolonged Bleeding: Sometimes blood vessels are punctured by the needle during piercing which can result in serious blood loss.
  • Pain and Swelling: Both pain and swelling are typical side effects of oral piercings. In some extreme cases, the tongue can swell up so much that it can block your airway.
  • Chipped or Cracked Teeth: When a tooth makes contact with oral jewelry it can often lead to tooth damage.
  • Injury To Your Gums: Metal jewelry can injure your gum tissue and cause your gums to recede, putting you at greater risks of decay and gum disease, and leaving your mouth much less attractive.
  • Interference With Normal Oral Function: The presence of jewelry in your mouth can cause excessive saliva flow, make it more difficult to chew or swallow, and impede your ability to speak correctly.
  • Blood-borne Diseases: The National Institutes of Health have identified oral piercings as possible factors in transmitting hepatitis B, C, D, and G.
  • Endocarditis: The wound that is created from an oral piercing gives the bacteria in your mouth the opportunity to enter your bloodstream where they can travel to the heart, putting you at risk of endocarditis, an inflammation of the heart valves and tissues.

Because there are so many risks surrounding oral jewelry, even after the initial wound has healed, the safest decision you can make is to avoid oral piercings altogether. However, if you or a loved one has an oral piercing, make sure you come in and see us at the first sign of pain or trouble so that any potential ‘bigger’ problems can be avoided.

Are you a parent with a child who may be considering oral piercing? Yes, we understand… Sometimes kids won’t listen to a parent, but they may listen to a healthcare professional. Don’t hesitate to contact Lake Oconee Dentistry and ask for our help if you feel like it would be appropriate. We’re here to help.

Before you go—click on the image below and join our practice on Facebook to keep up with everything going on in our office. We look forward to connecting with you there!

Become An Expert In 30 Seconds

June 17, 2011

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE… We all love teeth, right? You love them because they help you nourish yourself without using a blender, and they certainly make your smile less creepy than it would otherwise be.

At Lake Oconee Dentistry, here in Greensboro, we don’t just love teeth—we love YOUR teeth. Your teeth, your smile, and your complete oral health are interesting and important to each member of our team. Our doctors know that you will likely never share our level of enthusiasm for great oral health (nor would it be normal for you to do so). However, modern science continues to connect the dots between your oral health and your overall health. So it’s not only important to be concerned about how your teeth affect your appearance, but it’s also important to understand all of the things that go on inside your mouth.

In part, that’s why we’ve implemented (and integrated) a number of social media tools to help us stay connected with you, our valued patients. Any dental practice can make claims about how satisfied their patients are by launching a static website with a bunch of “filler” information.Boring. Here at Lake Oconee Dentistry, we’ve created a dynamic online environment where we can interact with you and learn how to serve you better—and have a little fun along the way.

Fun? A dental practice… fun? YES! What’s cool about connecting with us through social media is that it’s honest, transparent, and spontaneous. The best way to BE ASSURED you’re with the right dentist is by getting to know us in this untraditional, and “un-staged” way. The fact is, we all prefer associating with people we ENJOY being around. It’s just human nature. YOU’LL get to know our practice culture better, and WE’LL get to know YOU better too.

So, stay in touch with us. Ask us questions. We promise to be responsive.If you haven’t had a chance to LIKE our Facebook page, now would be a great time BY CLICKING ON THE IMAGE BELOW:

Thanks again, for being our valued patients and friends.

Beautiful Smiles Through Cosmetic Veneers

June 9, 2011

ARE YOU UNHAPPY WITH YOUR UNEVEN AND/OR DISCOLORED SMILE? Have you noticed small chips or cracks in any of your teeth? Well, don’t worry—Drs. David and Patti Bradley and Dr. Boswell can help! Dental veneers are an affordable and reliable solution to imperfect smiles, and here at Lake Oconee Dentistry, we’re highly experienced in cosmetic veneer treatments.

Dental veneers are a form of cosmetic dentistry in which the surface of the tooth is covered with a layer of tooth-colored porcelain composite to protect the tooth from additional damage, and give you the beautiful smile you desire. In fact, veneers can solve most, if not all, of your cosmetic dental issues, including:

Uneven Tooth Alignment: Through the years your teeth can become uneven as a result of grinding, or wear and tear.

Wide Spacing: Veneers can (if needed) add an extra layer to widely spaced teeth, filling in those gaps, and giving you a more symmetrical smile.

Worn Enamel: Over time, the thin protective layer of enamel that covers your teeth may become dulled, discolored, and worn. Though this can sometimes be caused by genetics, it’s usually the result of smoking or drinking soft drinks, coffee, and/or tea.

Wear And Tear: As we age, our teeth naturally wear down and become less resilient. Aged teeth are also more susceptible to minor cracks and chips.

Here at Lake Oconee Dentistry we can help you change the color, shape, alignment, spacing, and length of your teeth using cosmetic veneers! Cosmetic veneers are considered a form of cosmetic dentistry because they create vibrant and beautifully aligned smiles—but, they also protect the surface of your teeth and can help eliminate future damage and additional treatment!

Here’s a short overview video about veneers from the American Dental Association:

Many times, in just two or three visits to our practice, you can walk away with a brand new, gorgeous smile. So what are you waiting for?! Set up an appointment with Drs. Bradley and Dr. Boswell today to determine if veneers are right for you!

And don’t forget to Like us on Facebook by clicking on the image below:

We look forward to seeing you soon.

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!

A Discussion About Sensitive Teeth

May 27, 2011

ARE YOU READY FOR A “SENSITIVE” DISCUSSION? A sensitive teeth discussion, that is…

Here at Lake Oconee Dentistry, we realize that this isn’t an ongoing problem for a lot of our patients. However, it is for some. And, it’s almost certainly a periodic problem for most people.

Dr. David Bradley reminds us, “Tooth sensitivity can come from many things including sweet or sour foods and hot or cold temperatures. For some, simply biting down can hurt. The resulting pain can be mild to severe—and sometimes very sharp, shooting directly to tooth nerve endings.”Regardless of the level of pain, tooth sensitivity is not pleasant. If the pain is long lasting or severe, you should probably make an appointment to visit with us. If the pain is minor and/or very occasional, here are a few basic things you can do to help prevent sensitivity:

Proper Brushing

Keeping up great oral hygiene prevents tarter buildup. This helps reduce the risk of exposing nerves. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush causes less abrasion and reduces potential gum recession. There are also several brands of toothpaste that, with regular use, help decrease sensitivity.

Fluoridated Mouthwashes

Daily use of a fluoridated mouthwash can decrease sensitivity.

Avoid Highly Acidic Foods And Drinks

Highly acidic foods and drinks can contribute to the dissolving of tooth enamel, which in turn can increase sensitivity. Limit such items—including many sports drinks. It can also help to rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking acidic items.

Don’t Clinch Or Grind Your Teeth

Teeth grinding and clenching can also lead to enamel wear, which can cause sensitivity (and a host of other problems). Visit with Dr. Patti or Dr. David or Dr. Phil Boswell if you suspect this is a problem you need help with.

As always… Our sincere thanks for the trust you place in our practice. Here at Lake Oconee Dentistry, we want to be your greatest information resource for preventing and solving tooth sensitivity issues.

Here’s a short video you’ll enjoy about this topic.

We look forward to seeing you during your next visit!

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All About Wisdom Teeth Extraction

May 16, 2011

MOST PEOPLE’S WISDOM TEETH APPEAR between the ages of 17 to 27 years. They grow in the very back of the lower and upper jaw bones and are the last big molars to develop in the four corners of the mouth. You guessed it… They’re called “wisdom teeth” because people are supposed to be wise by then, right?

Sometimes, wisdom teeth can become a big problem for our patients. When that’s the case, Drs. Bradleywill often suggest that they be removed.

Some wisdom teeth only partially erupt or don’t erupt at all. The term “impacted wisdom tooth” is used to describe this condition which can lead to a host of other problems in your mouth—including gum disease, bone-destroying cysts, crowding or damage to adjacent teeth, and unwanted decay (due to the difficulty in keeping the area clean). For some people, wisdom teeth grow in fine and don’t cause any problems at all.

The illustration below (created by Bupa UK) shows the relationships of all the teeth in your mouth, where your wisdom teeth are located, and how they might look if they grow in without any problems:

Dr. Boswell and our team have a great deal of experience in extracting wisdom teeth. Whether or not you have obvious problem symptoms, it’s important to evaluate existing or potential problems with your wisdom teeth. Sometimes, removal is the wisest decision for your well-being and oral health.

Have you had your wisdom teeth removed? Is there an interesting experience you’ve had related to either keeping them or having “let them go”? Share it with us below in the comments section! And if you have questions, let us know.

Or, visit us on Facebook and share your story there by clicking on the image below!

April Is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April 28, 2011

Drs. Bradley and Dr. Boswell Remind All Of Our Valued Patients That Early Oral Cancer Detection Saves Lives

IT’S SOMEWHAT SURPRISING THAT ORAL CANCER DOESN’T GET THE “PRESS” that other types of cancer seem to get. The numbers are significant. In the United States alone, over 35,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer every year. Here at Lake Oconee Dentistry, PC, early detection is very important because it can boost survival rates to 80–90%! Unfortunately, many times if people do not see their dentist regularly, the cancer is not diagnosed before it reaches a more advanced stage.So, why does oral cancer so often go undetected? Dr. David Bradley says, “One of the reasons is because many of the symptoms are not painful, and people just don’t know.” Sadly, detecting oral cancer in its later stages significantly lowers survival rates.According to the Oral Cancer Foundation,if you experience any of the following symptoms, you should have Drs. Bradley and our team take a look:

  • A sore inside your mouth that doesn’t heal within two weeks
  • A lump or thickening of your cheek
  • A white or red patch on any part of your inner mouth or throat
  • Chronic difficulty swallowing or chewing
  • Difficulty moving your tongue or jaw
  • Numbness inside your mouth
  • Jaw swelling

Although there may be other causes for these symptoms, having them checked here at Lake Oconee Dentistry, PCwill provide peace of mind in knowing the cause.And of course, it goes without saying—the best offense is a great defense… That is, keep those regularly scheduled cleaning appointments and screenings. Doing so GREATLY increases the likelihood that any problems will be detected early. It’s absolutely worth it, so make your appointment today.As your trusted, lifelong oral health partner, we want to keep you and your loved ones as healthy as possible. Let us know if you have any questions about oral cancer or any of the symptoms mentioned above. And share this information with someone you love! Staying informed helps us all stay healthier.If you haven’t had a chance to LIKE our Facebook page, now would be a great time by clicking on the image below:

Let’s Talk About Some Root Canal Basics

April 20, 2011

IF YOU’RE LIKE SOME OF DRS. BRADLEY AND DR. BOSWELL’SPATIENTS HERE IN LAKE OCONEE DENTISTRY, PC, you may have heard rumors that root canal therapy is painful and/or difficult. However, surveys continue to show that most people’s dental procedure fears are more about “perception” than they are about “reality”.The sad thing is that inaccurate information about root canals (and other dental procedures) can cause people to make uninformed—and often unwise—decisions that can cause additional expense, hassle, and unneccesary damage to their teeth, their oral health, and possibly their overall health. So, before you believe any rumors or hype, we thought we’d help clear up the top five myths about root canal therapy.

MYTH #1: Root Canal Treatments Are Painful

Typically, it isn’t that the actual root canal treatment is painful—rather, the irreversible condition that is requiring the treatment is far from comfortable in the first place! Most people who have root canal therapy admit that the pain they experienced was prior to the procedure, not during it… And, they felt so much better after.

MYTH #2: Root Canals Always Require Several Appointments

Typically, a root canal treatment can be completed in as few as one or two visits with any one of our dentists. Some cases require a tooth to be restored after the root canal is completed, but these appointments are not part of the actual root canal process.

If you are already scheduled for root canal therapy with our dentists, and if you’re experiencing discomfort, here are a few ideas from our friends at eHow:

MYTH #3: Root Canal Therapy Leads to Illnesses

This myth stems from some research that is 100 years old—and, has NEVER been duplicated or confirmed through modern research. That is, the bacteria that may be present from doing the root canal procedure can somehow make you sick after your root canal therapy. The fact is that all kinds of bacteria can be found in your mouth at any time, even if you don’t have decaying teeth, gum disease, or an upcoming root canal treatment. This myth truly is just that—a myth you don’t need to worry about.

MYTH #4: Root Canal Therapy Isn’t Necessary Until Your Tooth Hurts

Teeth in need of root canal therapy don’t always hurt. In fact, some dead teeth may just require a root canal to prevent infection. You may have a tooth in need of a root canal and not even know it.

MYTH #5: The Benefits of Root Canal Therapy Don’t Last Long

This fifth myth probably starts with people who have had a tooth crack at some point after having had a root canal treatment. While it’s true that when a nerve is removed from a tooth, the blood supply is eliminated and the tooth can become brittle—making it more fragile and susceptible to cracking. Technically, this means that although the complete restoration solution may need to be examined, it doesn’t mean that root canal therapy doesn’t “last”. Often, our dentists will recommend having a crown placed over your tooth to prevent this from being an issue.

Well, there you go…the top five myths about root canal therapy shattered right before your eyes! We hope that you now feel a little less fearful of root canals, and much more informed.

If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact us or connect with us via our Facebook Page. Thank you for being our valued patients and friends!

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Tooth Knocked Out? Drs. Bradley Remind Us What To Do…

April 12, 2011

REGARDLESS OF HOW WELL YOU TAKE CARE OF YOUR TEETH, something as common as an overly aggressive flag football game, or something as unexpected as tripping over a curb can result in a knocked-out tooth. If that happens, don’t just sit there and fret about it! If you act quickly, there’s likely no need to look like a pirate for the rest of your life!

Even if your tooth is completely removed from its socket, our dentists here at Lake Oconee Dentistry, PCcan probably successfully replace it. But in part, it depends on YOU!

Here are the steps you should take if you find yourself, a friend, or a family member with a knocked out tooth:

Act quickly.

• Hold the tooth by the crown, NOT by its root.

Never try to wipe off the tooth because remnants of the ligaments that attach the tooth to your jaw may still be present and are vital to replacing it.

If possible, place the tooth back into the socket immediately.

Keeping your tooth moist is one of the most important things! If you are unable to replace the tooth in the socket, keep the tooth moist inside your cheek or in a glass of milk until you can see one of our dentists.

• Talk to us as soon as possible. Your best chance for saving your tooth is to see any of our doctors within 30 minutes of it being knocked out.

Once you are under our care we can likely replant and stabilize the tooth. We may not be able to tell what other procedures, if any, may be necessary at a later date.

If your tooth can’t be saved, don’t worry. It’s not the end of the world. Modern dentistry, as practiced here in our office, offers many attractive, viable solutions for tooth loss.

Here’s a great video about what to do if you knock out a tooth:

Please contact us if you have any additional questions or if you need to make an appointment!

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