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Cavities Are On The Rise In Preschoolers

April 19, 2012

A RECENT STORY IN THE NEW YORK TIMES has left parents worrying about their young children’s oral health. Why, you ask? Tooth decay is on the rise, especially in toddlers and preschoolers. However, even if you don’t have kids this age, or kids at all, you may have grandkids, neighbors, and/or friends with kids that might find this information useful. Spread the word!!

More and more, dentists like Drs. Bradley and Dr. Boswell are seeing preschoolers with an average of 10 cavities at a time. In fact, the article points out that the problem has become so serious that many kids now require general anesthesia during their cavity fillings because they are unable to sit through such extensive procedures when they are awake.

In the news report, one poor 2-year-old boy had 11 cavities, forcing him to endure two extractions, a root canal, and 7 other fillings and crowns for the rest of his decayed teeth. And this toddler is not alone! Research shows that oral infection is the number one chronic disease in children, and over 50% of today’s toddlers will have some sort of tooth decay before they are 5.So, what is causing all this decay, and how do we prevent it!?

Severe tooth decay can be caused by a variety of young children’s habits such as endless snacking, sugar-rich foods, refined foods such as white bread, sweet drinks before bedtime, un-fluoridated bottled water, lack of flossing, and a general abhorrence of oral care. Many parents have to fight with their children to brush their teeth once a day, let alone the recommended “two-minutes, twice-a-day!” However, this is one battle that is definitely worth fighting.

A lot of parents are also unaware that they should bring their babies to the dentist by age 1 to be checked for future cavity risk.

So, here’s what you can do: cut the overload of sugary snacks out of your children’s diets like raisins and fruit roll-ups, make sure you are giving them tap water instead of bottled, help them brush their teeth at least twice a day and floss once until they are 8 or able to write in cursive, and bring them to our practice for regular checkups!

We look forward to helping you improve your child’s oral health!!Request an appointment.

String Floss Or A Waterpik?

April 12, 2012

AN OFTEN-ASKED QUESTION here at our practice is whether or not to use regular string floss or a waterpik during daily oral care. Let’s talk a little bit about the pros and cons of each…

The pros/cons of regular floss:

Dental floss is an effective and inexpensive way to keep your teeth and gums healthy. It is great at reaching those tight spaces in between your teeth, and it has the ability to scrape plaque off the sides of each individual tooth. This is important because it is able to remove the plaque before it can turn into tartar, helping prevent tooth decay and gingivitis.

However, for those of us with sensitive gums, flossing can be quite irritating and even cause bleeding. It is also less effective for patients with braces, as it is unable to penetrate the wires and reach the gums beneath.

The pros/cons of waterpiks:

Waterpiks are gentle on the gums and less likely to cause bleeding in people with sensitive teeth/gums. They are also ideal for patients with braces, as the water can reach behind the metal wires and flush away food particles where your floss can’t reach. People dealing with gum disease also find waterpiks quite effective because of their ability to flush out bacteria from inside the deep pockets that form when the gums pull away from the teeth.

On the other hand, waterpiks can’t remove plaque from teeth as well as floss can. Floss can scrape the sticky bacteria right off your teeth, but waterpiks just rinse it.

 

What’s the consensus? Waterpiks should not be used as a substitute for flossing. Though they are great tools for helping improve oral health, they are not a good enough tool on their own to keep your mouth gingivitis-free.

So, make sure you are brushing twice daily, flossing at night, and using your waterpik to reach the places that your floss can’t (like under the wires of your braces)!

Oh, and since plaque and tartar are nearly impossible to avoid completely, don’t forget to come in for your bi-yearly checkups with Drs. Bradley and Dr. Boswell! Your oral health will thank you.Request an Appointment.

Chewing Tobacco Can Harm Your Smile

April 4, 2012

LET’S FACE THE FACTS…chewing tobacco may be smokeless, but it’s definitely not harmless! In fact, the effects of chewing tobacco on your teeth and overall health are very serious, so don’t stay in the dark.

Smokeless tobacco just isn’t worth it. In fact, the effects it has on your teeth alone should be enough to scare anyone away! Here’s why…

  • Increased Tooth Decay: The sugar that is added to smokeless tobacco may improve its taste, but it can also damage your tooth enamel and contribute to cavities.
  • Tooth Abrasion: The sand and grit in chewing tobacco products can wear away tooth enamel, resulting in added sensitivity and potential corrective treatment.
  • Tooth Discoloration & Bad Breath: Prolonged use of chewing tobacco can stain your teeth and give you hard-to-mask foul breath…two unattractive traits.
  • Gum Recession: Keeping a small wad of chewing tobacco in your mouth causes constant irritation to your gums. This can result in permanent damage to your gums and the bones supporting them. Injured gums pull away from the teeth, exposing the roots underneath them which can cause extreme sensitivity and additional decay. If the bone is eroded too much, it can even result in permanent tooth loss.
  • Oral Cancer: Chewing tobacco leaves your gums, cheeks and lips in constant exposure to irritating juices that can lead to a pre-cancerous condition called leukoplakia. Most brands of smokeless tobacco are packed with high concentrations of potentially cancerous agents. This can result in cancer of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, and esophagus.

If you regularly chew smokeless tobacco, ever have in the past, or know someone who does, be on the lookout for some of these early signs of oral cancer:

A lump or white patch
A sore that won’t heal
Difficulty chewing
The constant feeling that something’s in your throat
A prolonged sore throat
Restricted movement of your tongue or jaw

Unfortunately, pain isn’t typically one of the early symptoms, which is why it’s extra important to visitour practice regularly and inform us of any concerns or symptoms you may have. Early detection goes a long way in preventing problems in the future. Your oral and overall health are our number one concern.

If you have any additional questions about chewing tobacco or oral cancer, feel free to contact us, write on our Facebook Timeline, or leave a comment below!

Understanding Dental Implants

March 19, 2012

THOUGH THE TERM MAY SOUND VERY FAMILIAR, you might still be a little unsure about what dental implants actually are—and why they are such a great solution for tooth loss. Don’t let that embarrass you! Drs. Bradley and Dr. Boswellunderstand that most people are actually in the dark about this. Talking about dental implants isn’t exactly common social conversation! We can help.

The process of applying dental implants begins with inserting small titanium posts into the jaw as the “root structure” for a denture, bridge, or crown. The next step involves several weeks of healing so that these small implants can fuse with your bone and produce a strong anchor. A temporary crown is worn above the implant during the healing time until you are ready for your custom-made crown, bridge, or denture to be securely attached to the small metal post. In the end you’ll be left with a natural-looking, long-lasting, AND beautiful smile!

Here is a short list of benefits:

Eating Will Be Enjoyable Again! — Because dental implants are anchored in the bone, they can provide biting force similar to natural teeth.

You’ll Save Your Healthy Neighboring Teeth! — In most cases, adjacent teeth are not altered or harmed in any way.

Easily Maintenance! — Dental implants are just as easy to brush and floss as natural teeth.

A Permanent Solution! — Your implants can last a lifetime!

Very High Success Rate! — With a 95% success rate, dental implants are one of the most successful options available for replacing missing teeth.

Thank you for the trust you place in our practice. Don’t forget to schedule an appointment to visit with us! We look forward to helping you smile with confidence.

Also, be sure to take a moment to join us on Facebook by clicking on the image below. It’s the best place to stay connected with our practice. and, it gives us a chance to better get to know you.

Links Between Your Oral Health And Heart Disease

March 9, 2012

IF YOU’RE LIKE OUR OTHER PATIENTS HERE AT OUR PRACTICE, you want to take the very best care of your heart, right? Of course! Well, did you know that your lowly toothbrush ranks right up there with your gym membership when it comes to keeping your heart healthy? It’s true! There are a number of recent studies that suggest gum disease—and other oral health issues—are DIRECTLY related to heart problems.

In a recent American Academy of Periodontology study, it was reported that people who have periodontal disease are nearly twice as likely to have heart disease. Another study found that common oral health problems, including missing teeth, gingivitis, and/or cavities areas good at predicting heart disease as are bad cholesterol levels!Crazy, huh!?

While there’s still a LOT MORE to learn about these connections, the evidence seems to be mounting each year. Bacteria can enter your bloodstream through your gums, and then get clumped up in your arteries. One theory suggests that they stick to the fatty plaques in your bloodstream, directly contributing to blockages.There are other theories that revolve around your body’s defenses against bacteria, including the natural response of inflammation. Oral bacteria traveling through your bloodstream can cause blood cells to swell, which can lead to narrowing of arteries and clot risks.

Though the EXACT relationship between cardiovascular disease and periodontal disease is still unclear, today’s research continues to conclude that there’s definitely a connection. This DOESN’T mean you can ignore all of the other things you can do to keep your heart healthy, and just focus on brushing! Keep eating healthy foods, exercise regularly, and take care of risk factors like diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.

And, since it’s SO EASY to clear up any periodontal disease problems with Drs. Bradley and Dr. Boswell’shelp, why not take advantage? Your oral and overall health will thank you. EARLY DETECTION goes a long way in preventing problems in the future.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask!We love visiting with you—our friends and patients.

Oh, and don’t forget to “Like” our Facebook page by clicking on the image below!

Is A Canker Sore Irritating Your Smile?

March 2, 2012

CANKER SORES ARE NO FUN, especially when it’s time to brush your teeth. Fortunately, there are quite a few ways in which the pain from these bothersome blisters can be relieved. However, before we get into the best ways to treat canker sores, let’s talk a bit about the causes.

Though the exact cause is unknown, one theory suggests that canker sores can result from certain mouth washes and toothpastes that dry out the mouth. Try to avoid toothpastes with the ingredient sodium lauryl sulfate if you are prone to getting canker sores. Others theories suggest that stress, genetics, mouth trauma, and immune system reactions are responsible for this unwanted pain.

If you happen to be suffering from a canker sore, don’t despair—like we said, they are easily treated, so stop enduring the pain!

 

Here are a few at-home treatments you can try:

  • Rinse your mouth several times a day with a mixture of warm water, salt and baking soda.
  • If you’re up for a little extra pain, dab the sore directly with some salt or baking soda and leave it on for a few minutes. This will desensitize the pain as well as speed up the healing process.
  • Licorice Root. This plant has actually been getting rave reviews for healing canker sores!
  • Vitamins.
  • Yogurts with live cultures. This delicious food is useful for more than just breakfast—simply hold it in your mouth for a few seconds, and swallow!
  • Stress Relief. Don’t overwork yourself—your body will suffer.
  • There are also many remedies that can be purchased at local drug stores and pharmacies to help treat the pain! Talk to Drs. Bradley and Dr. Boswell if you need a prescription!

How Can I Best Prevent Canker Sores In The Future?

  • Avoid foods that irritate your mouth, specifically those that are spicy or contain a high acidic content
  • Avoid excessive gum chewing—this can cause unwanted irritation!
  • Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled brush after each meal, and floss daily to keep your mouth free of foods that might trigger a canker sore.

When Should I Visit My Dentist About A Canker Sore?Luckily, canker sores rarely last over 10-14 days, and the pain goes away even faster. However, please come see us if you have any of the following symptoms…

  • Unusually large sores
  • Sores that seem to be spreading
  • Sores that last longer than 3 weeks
  • Intolerable pain despite pain resultant from trigger foods and over-the-counter medication
  • Difficulty drinking enough daily fluids
  • A high fever that accompanies your canker sores

We hope you have learned everything you need to know about canker sores. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to ASK US! Your health and comfort are our #1 priorities.

Also, don’t forget to “Like” our Facebook Page so that you can stay informed about all the exciting things going on at our practice.We look forward to seeing you again soon!

Here’s Some Information You May Not Believe!

February 24, 2012

WELL, WE THOUGHT WE HAD HEARD ABOUT ALL the crazy dental trends here at our practice, but apparently we were wrong.

Remember the “tooth gap” fad that became popular back in the 1970s? Supermodels and celebrities caused young fans with perfect teeth to want a gap between their two front teeth! Well, if you thought that trend was surprising, you might not believe this new fad in the East!

Tokyo Dental Salon Specializes in Giving Girls “Crooked” Teeth:

images via OddityCentral and InventorSpot

Yup. Women in Japan are actually paying to make their teeth crooked. You heard us correctly. What we call “fangs” and “snaggle teeth,” are being referred to as “yaeba” in Japan—a term that directly translates to “double tooth.”

Famous celebrities and various blogs have begun popularizing this unique new look. These fang-like yaeba teeth are supposed to make the girls seem more cute and approachable, causing men to be more attracted to them. Consequently, women are spending upwards of $400 on these “stick-on” fangs. The procedure simply consists of a dentist applying the plastic teeth directly onto existing teeth with glue. Imagine how much harder flossing would be if you had a few extra teeth glued to your existing ones!

So, now we want to hear from you! What are your thoughts on these yaeba? Would you spend money to have us make your teeth crooked?

Two Minutes, Twice A Day

February 17, 2012

EXCUSES FOR NOT BRUSHING OFTEN are all over the map! In a recent survey conducted by the Chicago Dental Society, more than half of the dentists surveyed said that their patients’ top excuse for not brushing or flossing is that they don’t have enough time. We’ve definitely heard that excuse before here at our practice.

Fortunately, proper brushing techniques don’t require a lot of time at all! Simply brush for two minutes, twice a day…that’s only 240 seconds total. If it really is a time issue you’re dealing with, set your alarm clock back 2 minutes. Your oral health is worth it and your smile will thank you!

Now, although two minutes really isn’t very long in the grand scheme of things, it can seem like a long time to brush your teeth if you’re used to a 20-second scrub. So, next time you’re in the bathroom brushing, bring along your phone and time yourself!

To properly brush your teeth, use gentle strokes and pay extra attention to your gum line, those hard-to-reach places, and the areas surrounding your fillings or crowns. If you concentrate on thoroughly cleaning each section of your mouth, those 2 minutes will fly by!Here is a great video by Colgate that illustrates proper brushing techniques:

By the way, among the most interesting responses from that same survey suggested that pets crave toothbrushes as well as homework. But now that you’re motivated to take your brushing and flossing seriously, you won’t need to pretend like the dog ate your toothbrush! You’ll be a brushing pro.

If you have any additional questions about maintaining good oral hygiene, feel free to leave a comment below!

Oh, and be sure to Like us on Facebookand visit our website for additional information!

Request an appointmenttoday.

Frenectomies Greatly Help People

January 26, 2012

TROUBLE STICKING OUT YOUR TONGUE OR SPEAKING CORRECTLY? A FRENECTOMY MAY BE JUST THE SOLUTION FOR YOU….

The muscles of the lips and cheeks are attached to the gums by a piece of soft tissue called a frenum. Sometimes, a frenum can be attached too high on the gums, resulting in recession or spaces between the teeth, and even preventing baby teeth from coming through. Unfortunately, the problems don’t end there. For many, this condition also interferes with speech, causes limited tongue mobility and results in severe discomfort. Drs. Bradley and Dr. Boswell can help!How many of you recently saw The King’s Speech? In the film, King George VI deals with a speech impediment caused by a large frenum that limits his tongue movement, forcing him to enlist the help of a speech therapist.

Learn more about the movie by clicking image below:

And here is the actual recording of King George VI!

Drs. Bradley and Dr. BoswellCould Have Helped King George VI…

What if we told you that those years and years of speech therapy could have been replaced by a 5-10 minute procedure from Drs. Bradley and Dr. Boswell?! Well, it’s true!

Frenectomies are simple procedures where either part, or all of the frenum is removed in order to return the mouth to a healthy balance. Recovery time is usually within minutes, and never more than a few days. Too bad King George VI didn’t have Drs. Bradley and Dr. Boswell in his life.

If you experience pain when stretching your tongue, or are struggling with speech problems, please don’t hesitate to contact us! We’d love to help you say goodbye to those speech impediments for life!

Also, don’t forget to follow us on our Facebook Page to keep up with everything going on in our practice! We look forward to connecting with you there.

From Silver To White

January 19, 2012

HAVE YOU RECENTLY VISITED WITH a friend or coworker and had a flash of silver catch your eye? We’ve all seen them, and some of us may still have them. To what are we referring? Those unsightly silver amalgam fillings that used to be the standard way of filling all cavities.

Fortunately, today’s advances in dentistry and oral health awareness are causing these silver alloy fillings to gradually become thing of the past. Here at Lake Oconee Dentistry we now offer you, our valued patients, beautiful white composite fillingsthat match your teeth. When you open wide and visit with people, your fillings will no longer draw unwanted attention. In fact, it’s practically impossible to even tell the fillings are there!If you still have silver amalgam fillings from your past, we recommend that you consider having them replaced—and not just because of their less aesthetically-pleasing appearance. Silver amalgam fillings don’t bond as well to teeth—in order to make sure the filling is held in place, it has to be prepared with “undercuts” that can weaken the tooth structure and result in fractures. Amalgam fillings can also corrode over time as they swell and expand, putting you at risk for cracks. Additional problems can also occur as moisture and bacteria leak through microscopic spaces that develop between the tooth and the filling over time. Often, if not given immediate attention, this can cause a tooth to decay completely and/or break.

White composite fillings don’t require undercuts in your teeth, making them much more proficient in bonding, and definitely superior. In fact, such fillings can actually help strengthen teeth. And of course they’re much more aesthetically pleasing.

Still have questions about silver amalgam fillings and what to do about them? Set up an appointment with us. We’d love to go over all the options with you.

And don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook so we can stay connected with you!

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