cavities

Myths about taking care of bad breath.

Bad breath, can be a major problem, one that can directly affect your personal and professional life. The good news is that bad breath can often be prevented with some simple steps.

Bad breath is caused by odor-producing bacteria that grow in the mouth. When you don’t brush and floss regularly bacteria accumulate on the bits of food left in your mouth and between your teeth. The sulfur compounds released by these bacteria make your breath smell.

Certain foods, especially ones like garlic and onions that contain pungent oils, can contribute to bad breath because the oils are carried to your lungs and out through your mouth. Smoking can also be a cause of bad breath.

There are lots of myths about taking care of bad breath. Here are three things you may have heard about bad breath that are not true:

Myth #1: Mouthwash will make bad breath go away.

Mouthwash only gets rid of bad breath temporarily. If you do use mouthwash, look for an antiseptic (kills the germs that cause bad breath) and plaque-reducing one with a seal from the American Dental Association (ADA). When you’re deciding which dental products to toss into your shopping cart, it’s always a good idea to look for those that are accepted by the ADA. Also, ask your dentist for recommendations.

Myth #2: As long as you brush your teeth, you shouldn’t have bad breath.

The truth is that most people only brush their teeth for 30 to 45 seconds, which just doesn’t cut it. To sufficiently clean all the surfaces of your teeth, you should brush for at least 2 minutes at least twice a day. Remember to brush your tongue, too. A lot of bacteria actually stay on the surface of your tongue. It’s equally important to floss because brushing alone won’t remove harmful plaque and food particles that become stuck between your teeth and gums.

Myth #3: If you breathe into your hand, you’ll know when you have bad breath.

Wrong! When you breathe, you don’t use your throat the same way you do when you talk. When you talk, you tend to bring out the odors from the back of your mouth (where bad breath originates), which simply breathing doesn’t do. Also, because we tend to get used to our own smells, it’s hard for a person to tell if he or she has bad breath.

If you’re concerned about bad breath, make sure you’re taking care of your teeth and mouth properly. Some sugar-free gums and mints can temporarily mask odors, too.

If you brush and floss properly keep up with your regular cleanings, preferably twice a year but  occasionally more frequent visits are needed, especially if you have braces. But if your bad breath persists, you may have a medical problem like gum disease. Give us a call to schedule an appointment! So we figure out if something else is behind your bad breath and help you take care of it.

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5 reasons why flossing is extremely important.

Proper dental care (which includes regular flossing) can do more than keep your smile pretty and healthy. A healthy mouth can also help prevent much more serious diseases,But if you’re still not convinced that you should add flossing to your daily routine, we’ve got five examples to make the case that flossing is extremely important:

#5. Flossing and Brushing Are More Effective Than Brushing Alone

Unlike a toothbrush, which cleans the tops and outer surfaces of the teeth and gums floss is designed specifically to clean the tight spaces between the teeth and the gap between the base of the teeth and the gums.

These are places that a toothbrush can’t reach. And while antimicrobial mouthwash can kill the bacteria that form plaque, it can’t remove the stubborn tartar and bits of food that can lodge in these places.  That’s where floss comes in. It’s a tool specifically made to remove plaque from the tight spaces between the teeth and under the gums. The ADA suggests that flossing before you brush also helps make brushing more effective: With less plaque caught between your teeth, the fluoride in toothpaste can get to more parts of your mouth. Think of floss and a toothbrush as a detail paintbrush and paint roller, respectively. You could paint your living room walls with just one of the tools, but using them together will provide a much better result.

#4. Flossing Protects Your Gums

The places where the gums and teeth meet are where flossing plays its major role. Tiny particles of food can get lodged here, and plaque in this area will harden and over time they form tartar, a thick deposit that only the dentist can remove with a scraper. Tartar buildup can lead to gingivitis, red, swollen gums that are the first stage of gum disease. If left unchecked, the bacteria-laden tartar and plaque can spread even deeper below the gum line, causing periodontitis: severe gum disease characterized by severe inflammation and eventual tooth and bone loss.

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#3 It can save you money!

In an era of rising health care costs and diminishing insurance benefits, it pays to take steps to reduce your medical expenses. Dental Preventive care now can pay significant dividends down the road. Also consider the point above, If your general dentists deems that the extent of gum disease would be better treated by a specialist, your coinsurance might be higher at the specialists’ office.

#2 Flossing Helps Prevent Other Diseases

Tooth and gum disease can have effects that go far beyond discolored teeth, discomfort or bad breath. Extensive research has shown that the bacteria that flourish in an unhealthy mouth can harm the rest of the body, leading to heart disease, diabetes and respiratory illness. This is such a significant issue that, in 2003, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began calling for public health initiatives to address oral health as a step toward addressing these potentially life-threatening systemic diseases, conditions that affect multiple organs and body systems.

#1 Preventing the build up of tartar, makes your 6 month check up and cleaning a breeze!

Few parts of a regular dental visit are as uncomfortable as the scraping the dentist or hygienist must do to remove tartar. Tartar is a hard buildup of plaque that forms around the gum line. Once it’s there, it can’t be removed without professional help. But thanks to floss, health-conscious individuals have a powerful tool to fight this stubborn problem.

Flossing allows you to remove the plaque that causes tartar while it’s in its early form: sticky, but soft and pliable. Since plaque doesn’t harden into tartar until it’s been undisturbed for a period of time, regular flossing can keep buildup from happening.

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Oral hygiene is important- and not just for your smile!!

Dental cavities and tooth decay is one of the most common medical conditions experienced by Americans and the single most common disease of childhood.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 19 percent of children have untreated cavities and approximately 41 percent of children have decay in their “baby teeth.”

Cavities are the result of gradual tooth decay caused by the build-up of plaque and breakdown of protective enamel. Initially cavities are painless, but they open the tooth up to infections, eventually exposure the nerve resulting in pain. The internal structures of the tooth can also be destroyed, ultimately causing the loss of the tooth. While this might not seem important in “baby teeth” as they are going to be lost anyway, infection can cause damage to the growing teeth and subsequent treatments can be painful and expensive.

Overall, oral hygiene is an essential component of one’s health. Researchers from the American Heart Association recently shared findings that professional dental care can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Experts tracked 100,000 people for an average of 7 years in Taiwan. They found that those who had their teeth professionally cleaned at least once every two years were 24 percent less likely to have a heart attack and 13 percent less likely to have a stroke.

Regular dentist visits and oral hygiene reduces the growth of inflammation-causing bacteria that causes periodontal disease. However, these bacteria can also cause inflammation of the vessels, with studies showing that these bacteria are associated with elevation in C-reactive protein, a marker for blood vessel inflammation.

Dental health should begin in childhood as even babies are susceptible to cavities. Most children get their first tooth around 6 or 7 months of age and dental care should begin promptly thereafter with a visit to the dentist, as well as, regular tooth brushing. One major risk for early childhood cavities is consumption of sugary liquids, particularly allowing your child to fall asleep with a bottle of juice or milk.

The extended contact with sugar increases the rate of tooth decay. Avoiding sticky foods and frequent snacks are other strategies to ward off cavities. Instilling these routines in childhood promotes their continuation into adult life and with more studies showing broad health benefits from dental hygiene it is essential.

So don’t forget to schedule your six month check up and cleaning!
Call our office today for an appointment.

Making your child’s dental visits a smooth process.

 Fear of the dentist is pretty common for kids, especially for younger ones who can get overwhelmed with all the lights, sounds, smells and tools.

Regular checkups and cleanings are as important for children as they are for adults, and it’s vital to help them feel comfortable so they don’t form dentist-avoidance habits in the future. Here are a few things you can try to help them overcome their fears and make your trips to the dentist pleasant ones.

• Talk to your child about the dentist and create excitement. Don’t say “It won’t hurt” or “Don’t be afraid” because your child many not even associate these with a visit to the dental office until you bring it up.
• Explain the importance of prevention to them. They may find teeth cleanings a little uncomfortable, but it’s by far the least invasive procedure.
• The younger your child is when they begin regular visits, the better chance that they will grow accustomed to dental visits rather than developing a fear of them. Even if at each appointment the child just sits on the chair to get familiar with the dental office, little by little they will become comfortable with dental visits and the dentist. 
• Schedule their dental appointments at the same time as yours when possible and have them in the room with you while you get your teeth cleaned. This will show them that there is nothing to fear.
• Keep dental visits consistent (about every 6 months) to avoid problems associated with long breaks, like cavities and plaque buildup. Remember, the longer the break between visits, the longer and more difficult the cleaning will be.
• Let Dr. Scopu or one of the dental assistants know if your child is a little nervous, and they’ll do everything they can to help ease their fears. At DentAlign studio, we deal with this all the time and have gotten pretty good at helping kids feel comfortable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

By: Paola H.

How do tooth cavities develop?

Many people are prone to cavities due to improper maintenance of the teeth,  so it is very important to take good care of  them from early stages to prevent any tooth decay or disease.

Cavities will form due to a buildup of bacteria and plaque on the teeth’s surface. The tartar and plaque will build up on your after a period of time, create a very acidic environment in the area and eat away at the enamel forming tiny holes in the hard surface of the tooth, otherwise known as tooth decay.

With time, this acidic environment keeps getting stronger on the surface area of your tooth and  these tiny holes will increase in size and become larger cavities. Symptoms of cavities include irritation, sensitivity to foods that are hot, cold or sweet,  and may cause toothaches. Treatment of the cavity includes tooth remineralization and restorations such as composite fillings, ceramic inlays, onlays or after extensive decay endodontic treatment,  the dreaded root canal.

Tooth remineralization includes reversing very shallow cavities by treating them with a substance that contains fluoride or calcium that re-hardens and remineralizes the tooth structure.

Restoration  such as composite fillings or inlays are the most basic types and are placed when a there is small or average sized cavity. However, when the cavity increases in  size, an onlay may be needed to restore the tooth.

In more serious cases, if the cavity extends to the center nerve of the tooth and becomes infected, a root canal will need to be performed.

These  could easily be prevented if you make sure to drink a lot of water, brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss regularly and visit the dentist at least twice a year.

 

 

 

 

By: Lillian B.