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    Dental Topics

    Who is the Best Cosmetic Dentist in the United States of America?

    Who is the best cosmetic dentist in the United States? If you are looking to whiten, straighten, or somehow change the cosmetic look of your teeth, and smile, who is the best one to do it? Questions like this arise all the time. We always want to know who is the very best in any one particular field. Who is the best athlete? Who is the best actor, or actress? Etc. etc. The problem with finding the very best cosmetic dentist is that what looks good to one person might not look good to another person. It is akin to asking who is the best painter, or sculptor, in the country. The quality of the art is dependent upon the person viewing it.  The same can be said for cosmetic dentistry. Some people like all of their teeth the exact same length. Some people like their canines very pointed. Some people would like the color of their teeth to be as white as a piece of paper. Variations like these, and many more, make it nearly impossible to judge what is the perfect smile. This is one of the reasons that the American dental Association does not even have a specialty labeled cosmetic dentist. Specialties in dentistry exist, such as orthodontist, periodontist, and oral surgeon. But there is no registered specialty for cosmetic dentist. It is, in fact, illegal to advertise yourself as a cosmetic dental specialist as no such certification exists. Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. Famous individuals such as Michael Strahan and Madonna have large gaps in between their front teeth. Certainly that would not be considered cosmetically perfect for a smile. Yet both of those people, who are perfectly capable of getting that fixed, leave it just the way it is. So how do you know? How does a person wade Through the myriad of dental advertisements claiming to be the best cosmetic dentist and find who is truly the right cosmetic dentist to do the work on you or your loved ones? My number one suggestion would be to ask around. Find people who’s smile you like. It may seem odd to ask people about their teeth but to approach someone and say “your teeth look absolutely beautiful who is your dentist” is never taken as an offense. After you have a few suggestions, for dentists, then schedule appointments with those dentists to get ideas and estimates on getting you the smile you want. Any dentist who claims to dabble in the cosmetic realm will have before and after pictures of cases they have done. After you have chosen a dentist ask to be involved in the work. Ask if the dentist uses a local lab and if it would be alright to actually visit the lab and/or talk to the technician that will be doing the work. Bringing someone with you to the appointments is also a very good thing. Getting a third party opinion, from someone you trust, is a great way to ensure that you don’t do something that you thought looked good at the dentist but looked a lot different once you get it home. And finally, the old saying that “you get what you pay for” is something that applies here. If someone is offering you cut rate deals on teeth than I would probably steer away. I’m not saying that you need to find the most expensive dentist in town but teeth are something that you shouldn’t be afraid to spend money on.  Your smile says multitudes about you. A bright, beautiful, smile can brighten a room, make people feel comfortable, and give you the confidence that you may have been lacking for so long. Brighter, whiter, straighter, healthier teeth are worth every penny.

    Keeping up on the Entire Families' Oral Health

    How to Provide The Best Oral Health For Your Family

     

    As parents, we are the main role models for our children and family. As the ‘grown-ups’ we make all the decisions on what we eat and the lifestyle our family will pursue. Therefore as parents, we are responsible to lay a foundation for our family’s healthy development. We also are highly influential in establishing healthy routines that will serve each family member for a lifetime. 

     

    The respiratory system and digestive system both begin in the mouth. They are two of the most important system of the body. Therefore by having a strong oral hygiene routine, we give ourselves the best chance to have good overall health. As parents, we can empower our children by teaching them good oral hygiene practices so they can take ownership of their own oral health and gain the tools that will benefit them for a lifetime.

     

    These practices are simple techniques and habits that are available to everyone to achieve good oral health. Here are 4 practices we can do to help provide our families to have the best oral and overall health.

     

    Practice Good Eating Habits

    Eating a diet that is balanced and packed full of nutritional value is an essential step in caring for the health of our teeth. According to the American Dental Association, consuming foods that are rich in calcium and protein can help protect and rebuild tooth enamel.

     

    Cutting back our sugar intake is another major step in caring for our family’s oral health and overall health. Not only does sugar feed the bacteria that contributes to tooth erosion it also can mess around with other systems in our body. Scientific research has shown that sugar is the only food molecule that the human body doesn’t recognize; therefore our body doesn’t know how to metabolize it and so will process it in unbeneficial, even harmful ways.

     

    Practicing good eating habits and reducing our family’s intake of sugar is one of the best things we can do to put them on the right track to good oral health and good general health.

     

    TIPS FOR REDUCING SUGAR AND EATING A BALANCED DIET:

    • Be the example – Children watch our every move. So by eliminating sugary food from the pantry and setting the goal ourselves to reduce sugar in our diet will teach our kids that it is possible and beneficial. Side benefit – we’ll feel great health-wise ourselves.
    • Empower children – We can do this by involving our kids in the process of shopping and making healthy food choices. Take them food shopping and give them a role such as to find healthy snacks the whole family can enjoy or to find a healthy alternative to a family favorite meal. Go to the fruit and veg section and tell them how each item will benefit them, such as oranges are packed full of vitamin c and will help them fight a cold, or avocadoes are rich in essential fats and will help them grow strong.
    • Give treats that aren’t food related – We often treat our child’s good behavior with ice cream or other types of sugary food. Why not treat them instead with a fun activity or making a healthy snack together.

     

    Teach Our Kids to Floss Consciously

    Now we obviously know that we all must be conscious in order to floss. Flossing consciously simply means being aware of what we are doing (flossing), keeping in mind why we are doing it (to clean and extract particles our toothbrush otherwise can’t get to), and to look out for signs of infection or disease. By teaching our children to pay attention to how they floss and explaining to them why its important will help encourage them to take oral hygiene seriously. It will also encourage them to place it as an important part of living a healthy life.  It will also teach them that flossing is as essential as brushing their teeth and should be part of their good oral hygiene practice.  

     

    TIPS ON HOW TO FLOSS CONSCIOUSLY:

    • Each time you run the thread of floss between your teeth stop and take a look at what is on the floss. Look out for;
    • Discoloration such as red or yellow shades.
    • Odd smells
    • Swelling, pain or sensitivity

     

    By noticing these things you are consciously flossing and keeping on the lookout for any indications of gum disease or infection between the teeth. By noticing these things straight away means you can do something about it before the problem gets worse.

     

    Teach Our Kids the Proper Way to Brush

    Emphasis is on the word ‘proper’ here. It is one thing to get our children into the habit of brushing twice a day, it’s another thing to teach them how to properly brush each tooth effectively to remove debris and food particles that have built up through the day. 

     

    Teaching our family the correct brushing technique will help them to prevent cavities and maintain a clean and bright smile. It will also teach them good oral hygiene habits that will benefit them their whole life.

     

    TIPS TO HELP OUR KIDS BRUSH PROPERLY:

    • Use short gentle strokes and pay attention to the gum line and hard to reach areas
    • Clean the outer surfaces of the upper teeth, then the lower teeth
    • Clean the inner surfaces of the upper teeth, then the lower teeth
    • Next, clean the chewing surfaces
    • Finish by gently brushing the tongue
    • Brush for at least 2 minutes and twice daily

     

    Take The Family For Regular Check-ups

    Each family member should visit the dentist once a year and a dental hygienist twice a year. This will ensure that each member of the family is maintaining good oral hygiene. At these appointments, a dental hygienist will focus on detection, treatment, and prevention of gum disease and tooth decay. Here, the family will also receive expert education and tips on how to floss and brush properly. This, in turn, will help to motivate them to continue putting in the time and effort to maintain a good oral hygiene practice.   

    Bad Headaches? It may have something to do with your Oral Health.

    Bad Headaches? It could be a Sign Of an Oral Health Problem.

     

    Have you been suffering from headaches or neck aches for years? Have you tried everything to get to the root of the problem but keep coming up empty?

     

    The connection between headaches and dental problems may not be an obvious one but many studies have shown that chronic clenching of the jaw is a common theme when it comes to the causes of headaches and neck pain. In fact, the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain estimates 80% of headaches are caused by muscle tension, which often originates in the jaw.

     

     

    Tension Headaches and The Dental Connection

    Tension headaches occur when a muscle, ligament, or tendon that attaches to the skull or neck is either torn or damaged. These tears or soft tissue legions can trigger a pain response in your nervous system causing disturbances to vision, balance, sinuses, and digestion. Typically tension headaches feel like a dull throbbing inside your head.

     

    If you habitually grind or clench your teeth the muscles in your jaw tighten with the muscles in your neck. This build-up of tension in the muscles will prevent them from relaxing and the soft tissue legions are not given an opportunity to heal.

     

    Teeth grinding or TMJ disorder can play a huge factor in why you are getting tension headaches or neck pain.

     

    Identifying Contributing Factors

    The clenching and grinding of teeth are common problems dentists notice when they peer into their patients’ mouths. However, as common as the problem is, so too are the 3 top reasons why it happens, which often happens unconsciously.

     

    Factor one - Disturbed sleep patterns. Having consistent good nights of rest is central to your overall health and wellbeing.  If your airways are obstructed while you sleep this will interfere with your body’s ability to rest and recuperate.

     

    Factor two –Stress. Ah, the culprit for many health problems, and one that cannot be easily ignored. Stress can come from different angles however, such as social stress, family and work stress, nutritional stress, postural and physical stress, just to name a few.

     

    Factor three – Pain. Pain found anywhere in the body can cause clenching of the jaw. As mentioned above, this can cause soft tissue legions resulting in headaches or neck aches.  

     

    Assessments & Treatments

    If you feel you are suffering from headaches caused by involuntary clenching or grinding of the jaws then take a closer look at the following areas. Some areas you will be able to change yourself, others you may need treatment and advice from a health professional.

     

    First, look at how you sleep. Assess how best you can sleep to support your neck and jaw to relieve any pressure and to assist clear airways through the night. Splints or night guards can be a huge help in keeping your airways open so you can have a restful nights sleep.

     

    Next, notice how your teeth and jaw joints move. Do your and jaw joints click and pop when you open and shut them? Do you feel any discomfort in moving the joint? This can tell you a lot about how your jaw joint is functioning and how well your upper and lower teeth fit together. Your dentists can give you a full assessment and treatment plan.

     

    Next, look at postural stress. Postural stressors can prevent soft tissue legions from healing. Ask relevant healthcare practitioners for advice to better your sleeping posture, walking and working posture, and foot mechanics. Having good posture allows joints to function as they should, relieving pressure from joints and supporting healthy movement.

     

    Lastly, take an honest look at your nutrition and exercise.  It is important that you create an environment in your body that is conducive to healing, restoring energy, and reducing inflammation. Choosing sustainable exercises and a diet balanced in proteins, correct fats and carbohydrates will help you achieve this.

     

    While there are a range of reasons for headaches and neck pain, addressing them does not need to be a huge ordeal. Taking an honest appraisal of your lifestyle habits, general health, diet, and sleeping postures may lead you to the simple fix you have been searching for to stop annoying headaches interrupting your day. 

    10 Strategies to Combat Teeth Sensitivity

    10 Strategies to Combat Sensitivity Caused by Teeth Whitening

     Have you noticed your teeth aren’t as bright as they once were? Do you feel stains cling to your teeth more, even after thorough brushing and flossing? Have you been considering getting your teeth whitened but worried your sensitive teeth won’t be able to handle the discomfort?

     There are many teeth whitening systems that exist today. Both in-office and at-home treatments offer quick fixes or long-term results. However, if you have sensitive teeth, some of these methods can be painful and uncomfortable, which can put you off going down that road altogether. The good news is there exist simple strategies you can do to help alleviate the sensitivity you may experience.

     Before we get into them, let’s look at what tooth sensitivity is and why whitening products can irritate your teeth and gums.

     Why Are You So Sensitive

    Firstly, teeth sensitivity is often caused when the enamel that protects your teeth becomes thinner, exposing the underlying surface called dentine, or when gums recede exposing the root. These factors reduce the protection that normally acts as a shield for the tooth and root, thus causing sensitivity and pain.  You may experience a rush of pain when your teeth are exposed to cold air or water.

     The exact reason why tooth sensitivity is often felt when whitening your teeth is largely unknown. However, it is known that peroxide (the main ingredient in most teeth whitening products) can irritate the tooth nerve. This sensitivity can be felt as a tingling or sensitivity to extreme temperatures.

     However, just because you have sensitive teeth it doesn’t mean you can’t achieve pearly whites without pain or discomfort. Try the following techniques to help with the sensitivity you may feel venturing down the road to a brighter smile.

     Strategies to Kick Pain to The Curve

    #1. Follow the instructions to the letter

    This includes if you decide to get treatment by a dentist or with at-home treatments. Always follow the instructions carefully and precisely.

    #2. Try the less is more approach

    If sensitivity starts to intensify try applying the treatment every other day, giving your teeth a days break between treatments. This short break can help to dull the pain.

    #3. Take a painkiller

    Taking a painkiller such as Advil an hour or so before your treatment may help to reduce or prevent the symptoms from surfacing. 

    #4. Choose a product that has a lower peroxide level

    Although it’s tempting to use a product with a high peroxide level because you think it will work better, it’s not worth the pain. Instead, choose a product with 6-10% peroxide.

    #5. Try to limit cold food and drinks

    If you suffer from sensitive teeth, you already know cold food and drinks can trigger pain. Yet, whitening products can further exasperate the sensitivity.

    #6. Don’t overuse the product

    Remember, you are using chemicals on your teeth and these chemicals can cause sensitivity. Use the recommended amount or you can end up damaging your teeth.

    #7. Use a toothpaste formulated for sensitivity

    These kinds of toothpastes are designed to help alleviate symptoms of tooth sensitivity.

    #8. Use a soft bristle brush

    Using a soft bristle brush can be gentler on your teeth and gums and won’t exasperate your symptoms.

    #9. If symptoms persist notify your dentist

    There may be another reason for your symptoms such as cavities.

    #10. Use a desensitizing product

    Ask your dentist for a desensitizing product that can be applied in the clinic. They have been used to help reduce sensitivity caused by many different issues.

     

     

    Teeth whitening systems have come a long way in recent years. High-quality ingredients are now being used in both in-house and over-the-counter treatments. They are designed to be much gentler on teeth and gums. However, if sensitivity is a real concern for you then consult your local dentist first. They can determine the cause of your sensitivity and recommend to you the best approach to take. They also have extensive and up-to-date knowledge of the new products that are entering the market both in-office and DIY drugstore systems.

    Tooth-Friendly Alternatives to Sugary Drinks

    Who doesn’t like a cold soda on a hot day or an iced-cold Starbucks cinnamon roll frappuccino to get you through that 3pm slump?

     Sugary drinks can be addictive, but too much of a “good” thing can often end badly, and it’s no exception when it comes to sugar-laced liquid beverages.

     It’s not a surprising fact that sugary drinks are incredibly corrosive to tooth enamel and can cause tooth decay. Sugar is also highly inflammatory and offers no nutritional value. So it’s no wonder that dentists around the globe are not advocating sugary drinks.

     But we’re not here to send you on a guilt trip after all life is about moderation, we just want to offer some pretty delicious alternatives you can consider to help reduce your daily sugar intake and even add a little more nourishment to your body. 

     

    Home-Made Flavored Water

    Your run-of-the-mill tap water can get a little boring after a while, so why not flavor things up by adding a few slices of fruit. This will not just add flavor but also reduce your sugar intake. You can add things like cucumber, strawberries, lemon, raspberries, or herbs like thyme or mint. As well as being delicious you will also be well hydrated throughout the day.

     

    DIY Iced Teas

    Majority of store-bought iced-teas are loaded with sugar and other tooth busting nasties. However, who doesn’t love the thirst quenching effects of gulping down an icy cold ice-tea on a hot day! Making your iced-tea at home means you can get that same effect minus the added sugar. Simply brew your favorite black tea, green tea, or a herbal blend, as you usually would then pop it into the fridge to chill. Add some ice or slices of orange or lemon to give it an extra kick.

     

    Smoothies

    Fruit juice is highly acidic and contains loads of naturally occurring sugars that can take a toll on your tooth enamel. But if fruity drinks are your jam then opt for making smoothies instead. When you use the whole fruit rather than just the juice, the acidic content becomes greatly reduced. Also choose more tooth-friendly fruit such as strawberries, kiwi fruit, or blackberries. By adding yogurt or kefir you will also get an added boost of calcium, which is a great help to strengthen your teeth. While smoothies aren’t the perfect drink for tooth health as they still contain a lot of naturally occurring sugars, drunken in moderation they are still a better alternative to soda.

     

    Kombucha

    Kombucha is a fermented drink that is becoming more popular in the western world for its wondrous effects on digestive health and detoxifying the body. While the fermentation process is aided by sugar, by the end of the process the sugar content is a tiny 2-6grms. It is also delicious! You can find this health-boosting tasty drink at most health food stores, also its popularity is causing it to pop up in better-known supermarkets.

     

    Coconut Water

    We’re talking the natural, no added sugar, unflavored variety here. This delicious nectar is rich in electrolytes and high in potassium making it super hydrating and great for digestion. It has a sweet and nutty taste that is refreshing and satisfying. It is fairly easy to come by nowadays and won’t harm your teeth.

     

    So next time it’s beverage o’clock, try reaching for one of these nourishing alternatives instead. Your teeth and gums will love you and your overall health will reap the benefits.