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Confused About Which Toothpaste To Buy?

April 27, 2012

DO YOU EVER FEEL OVERWHELMED by the wide variety of toothpaste choices available at your grocery store or pharmacy? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone!

A recent American Dental Association survey found more than half the adults surveyed are concerned about caring for their teeth and gums and are confused about which dental products to buy!

Toothpastes come in a dizzying array of flavors, colors, and formulations, and it’s normal to feel a little swamped by the choices. Fortunately, choosing the right toothpaste for you really doesn’t need to be stressful!

If you brush and floss daily, get regular dental checkups, and use a “standard” toothpaste that contains fluoride, you don’t have much to worry about. However, to help you on your quest for the perfect tube of toothpaste, here are some suggestions…As you’ve probably noticed, some specialty toothpastes include:Tartar Control: these toothpastes usually contain sodium pyrophosphate or sodium hexametaphosphate, which help keep the tartar at bay and prevent stain above the gum line. However, these toothpastes are only useful in preventing new tartar, not getting rid of the stuff that’s already there! You’ll need a professional cleaning for that.

Antimicrobial: these toothpastes often contain stannous fluoride, which is an antibacterial agent that helps prevent cavities and treat sensitivity.

Whitening: Whitening toothpastes help remove and/or prevent stains from settling on your teeth. If used regularly, these toothpastes can make your smile brighter.

Choosing your toothpaste is a very personal decision; everyone has different preferences and dental concerns…Always remember, the best choice is one that you like enough to use twice a day!

Fortunately, toothpastes today are so versatile that you can choose one that you love that also meets your specific needs. If your teeth are yellowing, choose a whitening toothpaste in your favorite flavor. If you’re worried about tartar control, choose a toothpaste that serves that purpose. If you’re struggling with bad breath, try a brand that contains baking soda. If you have sensitive teeth, choose something that is indicated it’s for sensitive mouths. You get the general idea.

Have a specific brand/flavor of toothpaste that you love? Feel free to leave a comment below, or on our Facebook Timeline. We’d love to hear your opinions!

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.

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!

Are You Using Mouthwash?

February 10, 2012

EVEN THE MOST DILIGENT FLOSSERS AND BRUSHERS sometimes forget about the added benefits of mouthwash.

But don’t worry—even if you already brush, floss, AND rinse with mouthwash everyday, you’ll find this content useful. The affect that mouthwash has on your oral health is often dependent upon the type of mouthwash you use.

So, before we get into the do’s and don’ts of choosing a mouthwash, let’s talk a little bit about why we recommend it.

Not only can mouthwashes make our mouths feel and smell fresher, they help prevent cavities and periodontal disease. They also help reduce the amount of plaque and bacteria in our mouths. However, don’t let these facts fool you into depending on mouthwash alone! Brushing and flossing are still essential to our oral health as rinses cannot adequately remove food and plaque on their own—they simply help prevent plaque.

Now, what’s the key difference between all the varieties of mouthwashes? Frankly, some help more than others, and some may even contain ingredients that should probably be avoided. For example, fluoride helps prevents cavities, but sodium lauryl sulfate tends to dry and irritate mouths, especially if you suffer from canker sores.

Be careful when choosing your mouthwash, and feel free to ask Drs. Bradley and Dr. Boswellfor a recommendation that will suit your specific dental needs!

Here’s a little cheat sheet of ingredients to look for that should help you in the meantime.

If you have any additional questions regarding mouthwashes or dentistry in general, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Facts About Teeth

February 3, 2012

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN CURIOUS about all the odd facts dental professionals like Drs. Bradley and Dr. Boswell have floating around in their heads all day? Well, it’s your lucky day! Let’s switch things up a bit and devote a post entirely to random dental facts. Sound fun?

Did you know…

  • Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in a human’s body.
  • Toothbrush bristles were originally made from cow hair.
  • A shark goes through about 40 SETS of teeth during its lifetime.
  • A person’s teeth set is unique—much like their fingerprints. Even identical twins do not have exactly the same set of teeth. Did you know that your tongue print is also unique?
  • The average woman smiles about 62 times a day! A man? Only 8!
  • Kids laugh around 400 times a day. Adults… just 15.
  • According to the Academy of General Dentistry, the average person only brushes for 45 to 70 seconds a day. The recommended amount of time is 2-3 minutes.
  • People who are right-handed typically chew their food on the right side of their mouth. Left handers? The left side.
  • 50% of people consider the smile the first facial feature they notice.
  • 80% of people are not happy with their smile.
  • 78% of Americans have had at least one cavity by age 17.
  • 32% of Americans cite bad breath as the least attractive trait of a co-worker.
  • According to the recent American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry survey, 92% of Americans believe that an attractive smile is an important social asset.

Well, there you have it! We hope you enjoyed those facts! It never hurts to know a little more about your smile. Contact us if you have any other dental-related questions or to set up an appointment!Oh, and please “Like” us on Facebooktoo!

We look forward to seeing you during your next visit!

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!

Interested In Whitening Your Smile? You’ve Come To The Right Place.

December 16, 2011

SMILE WHITENING HAS BECOME VERY POPULAR over the past few years, and for good reason!

There’s something remarkable about a smile that sparkles versus one that doesn’t. Who doesn’t want a whiter, and brighter smile to help make a statement? Teeth whitening is certainly one of the least invasive cosmetic dental procedures available, and although there are many different whitening processes available over the counter, none of those products will whiten your teeth as effectively as the products we can give you here at Lake Oconee Dentistry. Not to mention that most of them certainly can’t bring you the fast results you may be looking for!

If you happen to fall under the category of someone looking for high quality & fast results, go no further. Here at our practice we offer Zoom2! whitening, as seen on ABC’s Extreme Makeover, and it’s the best cosmetic teeth whitening available—nothing whitens better, or faster. With this gel + laser treatment, your teeth will get an average of 8 shades whiter in just45 minutes!

We’ll simply sit you down, cover your lips and gums so that only your teeth are showing, apply the Zoom! special whitening gel, and then apply the Zoom! light. Together, the light and gel will work together to penetrate your teeth and break up the stains and discolorations.

Zoom!’s effectiveness and safety have been clinically proven, and teeth whitening is one of the safest cosmetic dental procedures available.

Unfortunately, not ALL tooth discolorations are correctable. Since different types of whitening procedures work better for certain teeth, the tooth whitening process can be very effective for some, while others may not get their desired results. For example, if you’ve had bonding, veneers or tooth-colored fillings in your front teeth, there may be potential problems. Our office can advise you about which procedures will most likely give you the best results, so set up a consultation with Drs. Bradley and Dr. Boswell first.

Here at Lake Oconee Dentistry, we offer both in-house, and take-home whitening products, allowing us to design a plan that best fits your lifestyle, wants, and needs. If you choose bleaching trays, the process will start with an office visit to custom-fit the trays, but then most of the bleaching process can be done at home. You’ll wear the mouth trays for a designated amount of time and the bleaching agent surrounds your teeth as it works.

Don’t delay that whiter smile you’ve been wanting, ask us today about which technique would be best for you!

Oh, and don’t forget to become a fan of our Facebook page!! We look forward to seeing you there.

The Remarkable Benefits Of A Healthy Mouth

November 9, 2011

GOOD NEWS! Taking care of our mouths actually improves our smiles! In fact, today’s research continues to connect the dots between your healthy mouth and your healthy body. Here at Lake Oconee Dentistry we know that it’s never too early to start teaching children about the importance of consistent dental care. Healthy habits learned at a young age pay off in the future!So, here are some of the ways that taking care of your teeth affects your body.Good oral health…– can boost your confidence and self-esteem

  • Gum disease and decaying teeth can lead to LOTS of problems—including an unsightly smile and foul breath. This can be so bad that your self-image is affected. If you keep your mouth healthy you’ll be much more inclined to smile!

– has been directly linked to lowering your risk of heart disease

  • Gum disease can cause inflammation that can be directly associated with cardiovascular problems.

– can preserve memory

  • Believe it or not, in recent studies show that adults with gingivitis actually performed worse on cognitive skills/memory tests than those without gum disease. Those with gingivitis are also more likely to have delayed verbal recall.

– reduces risks of inflammation and infection

  • Poor oral health is linked to the development of infection in other parts of the body. Eat a balanced diet, visit Drs. Bradley and Dr. Boswellregularly, and practice good oral hygiene to reduce bacteria and gingivitis.

– helps keep your blood sugar stable

  • Those with diabetes are more likely to develop gingivitis, making it more difficult to control sugar blood levels. Reducing your risk of gingivitis by protecting your oral health can help you regain better control of your blood sugar.

– helps pregnant women carry a baby to term

  • Gingivitis becomes a greater risk to women when they are pregnant. Unfortunately, there may be a connection to gum disease and pre-term infants, so be sure to visit Dr. Dentist as part of your prenatal care.

Well, there you have it. Keeping your mouth healthy really can improve your overall health and well-being. Feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions about the benefits of preventive care.

Oh, and don’t forget to join us on Facebooktoo! We look forward to connecting with you there!

Straighten Your Smile With Zero-Reduction Veneers

November 2, 2011

FOR SOME OF US, THERE MAY BE A SIMPLER, YET EFFECTIVE way to have a drop-dead gorgeous smile. Here at Lake Oconee Dentistrywe offer a leading-edge “prepless” veneer solution that answers the concerns some people have had about smile makeovers.

Traditional veneers require a considerable amount of tooth reduction—that is, the size of your teeth must be reduced in order to “cap” or cover your teeth with a veneer. Unlike traditional veneers, our prepless veneers are extremely thin (generally about 0.2 to 0.4 mm) and require little to no reduction of your tooth enamel. Plus, they’re unbelievably strong!

Prepless veneers are also aesthetically pleasing because they block out undesirable colors and allow the beauty of the natural teeth to shine through. Because all of the color is built straight into the veneer instead of added onto the surface, Drs. Bradley and Dr. Boswell are able to make the most of the available space.

Though the simplicity of a prepless veneers procedure makes it one of the most appealing of our cosmetic dentistry options, it is not always the best solution for everyone. Because the veneers are so thin they are best suited for patients whose teeth are a little smaller or slightly spaced out. The only way to really determine if you are a good candidate for prepless veneers is to visit with Dr. David Bradley or Dr. Patti Bradley or Dr. Boswell And keep in mind… Individuals who clench and grind their teeth are typically not the best candidates for prepless veneers as those activities could cause the veneers to chip or crack.

If you are wondering whether or not prepless veneers are the solution for you thenset up a smile consultation today! Our doctors would love to go through your options with you.

We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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