Oh goodness, what do I do with my knocked-out tooth?

Sharma Mulqueen RDH

Oh goodness, what do I do with my knocked-out tooth?

A knocked-out tooth can be a surprise, but it can be more than that if you don’t take action quickly. A broken or chipped tooth can also constitute a dental emergency, but a knocked-out tooth demands an immediate appointment. The importance of caring for your tooth, handling your tooth after it’s been knocked out and cleaning it is very important to return it to its original position.

Handling the Tooth with Care

After you have noticed that one of your teeth has been knocked out of your mouth, the first step is to handle it with care. If you want your dentist to be able to salvage your natural tooth and quickly repair your oral health, you’ll need to handle the knocked-out tooth correctly. Make sure you don’t touch its root and instead handle it by its crown. If you touch the root, you might damage the tooth and minimize your chances of having it placed back in its socket.

Cleaning and Repositioning

If your tooth has been knocked into dirt, mud, covered in blood or the ground in general, it’s a good idea to clean it while you wait to see your emergency dentist. Start by rinsing your dislodged tooth with water. Remember hold it by the crown and avoid using soap to clean your tooth, and don’t dry it off when you’re done cleaning it either. If you replace your tooth quickly, you might be able to salvage it by inserting it into its original socket. Although, inserting it is not always successful, it is recommended to try and place it. If this is not possible, you’ll have to store it safely.

Storing and Visiting the Dentist

When you find yourself in need of emergency dental care but you cannot immediately see your dentist, you should store your tooth in milk or inside your mouth. Call one of our Signature Dental offices to get scheduled with the Dentist as soon as you can to maintain your oral health.

Sources:

www.deltadentalma.com

www.colgate.com

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A Conversation About Plaque

Arianna Marsden, RDH

A Conversation About Plaque

Has your hygienist ever recommended that you brush twice daily?  I made this recommendation to a patient recently, and he informed me that because he brushed his teeth at night, he did not need to brush his teeth in the morning.  This patient asked me, “why would I need to brush my teeth in the morning?  I didn’t eat anything while I was sleeping, so my teeth are still clean.”

It became apparent to me that this patient had a misunderstanding of how plaque develops on his teeth, and I think that other people may have the same misconception about how plaque forms.  This patient and I were able to have an educational conversation about how plaque develops, and my patient was surprised to learn something new at the dentist.

So, first of all, what is plaque?  Plaque is the white, fuzzy stuff you feel on your teeth after not cleaning your teeth for a while.  This plaque is filled with bacteria that cause gum disease and cavities.  Seconds after a cleaning, whether from your hygienist or from brushing your own teeth, the plaque starts to come back.  It begins as a protein layer of slime that our mouths produce naturally, called the acquired pellicle.  Bacteria that are always present in our mouths bind to this pellicle and begin to colonize.  When bacteria colonize, they bind together into a film that you can see and feel on our teeth; the white fuzzy stuff we call plaque.  This plaque will form whether or not food is eaten.   It’s important to remove plaque about once every 12 hours, or twice per day, to help reduce the amount of bacteria present in our mouths, and to prevent cavities and gum disease.

During my conversation with my patient about how plaque is formed, we speculated about why he might have had a misunderstanding about plaque.  He asked me, “I thought you were supposed to brush after eating, because the food makes the plaque and the plaque gives you cavities.”  Part of this is true; brushing after meals does help to prevent cavities, but not for the reasons he initially thought.  The plaque that is already present uses the sugars in the foods we eat, and produces an acid, which is what causes the cavities.  By brushing after we eat, we remove the plaque so it doesn’t have the opportunity to produce acid; we also neutralize any acid that may have already been produced, thus preventing cavities.  We also discussed that removing, or disrupting plaque about once every twelve hours prevents the colonized plaque from mineralizing into calculus.  Calculus is the hard stuff that gets stuck on your teeth that you can’t brush off; it most commonly develops on the tongue side of lower front teeth.  This calculus, and the embedded bacteria, are one of the main causes of gum disease.  Calculus can’t be removed with a toothbrush, so it’s important to see your hygienist regularly for professional cleanings to remove the calculus deposits which have formed.

When my patient understood why brushing more than once per day would benefit his oral health, he expressed that he would consider brushing twice daily, and we would observe the results of his efforts at his next cleaning appointment.  Often times understanding why we do something is half the battle.

Sources:

What is a crown?

Becky Larson, RDH

What is a crown?

 

Sitting in the dental chair can lead to confusion sometimes.  After all, dental professionals speak in an entirely different language!  Most patients have had a least a few fillings in their life and know what to expect.  However, not everyone has experienced the placement of a dental crown.  So what is a crown?

It’s exactly as it sounds.  A dental crown in similar to a king’s crown that has a rim the whole way around.  Crowns are often referred to as “caps” and are made in the exact shape of the tooth they are covering.  Crowns are restorations used to help improve a tooth’s size, shape, strength, and/or appearance.  When permanently cemented, they cover the entire tooth to the gumline.  

Crowns are indicated for many reasons including:

  • To restore a decayed or broken tooth with less than 50% of tooth structure remaining
  • To replace large fillings
  • To stabilize a tooth that is beginning to fracture
  • To hold a dental bridge
  • Cosmetic reasons including tooth shape and color
  • To cover a dental implant

Crowns are usually placed in two visits.  The first visit consists of preparing the tooth (removing decay and building up the tooth if necessary) and placing a temporary crown.  Permanent crowns are fabricated in a lab and usually take a few weeks for completion.  The second visit consists of placing the permanent crown and taking an xray to ensure proper placement.  

There are several different materials that can be used to make a dental crown including porcelain fused to metal, stainless steel or base metals, ceramic or porcelain, and gold.  Please talk to your dentist to see which material he/she would recommend for you.  

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-crowns#2

http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/bridges-and-crowns/article/different-types-of-dental-crowns-0215

How to Care for Your Infant’s Teeth

Lora Cook, RDH

How to Care for Your Infant’s Teeth

When to start cleaning your baby’s teeth

​You can start before your baby even has teeth, it is best to incorporate mouth cleaning at bath time. This routine will help your baby get used to you cleaning their mouth, which can allow a smoother transition when you do begin to brushing their teeth. This will also help you to know when your babies teeth first start to push through their gum tissue.

​The bacteria that lives in the mouth is not harmful to the gum tissue, but can be harmful to the teeth. The enamel on baby teeth are 50% thinner than adult teeth. Therefore baby teeth are more susceptible to the bacteria that causes cavities.

How to clean your infants teeth

​To clean your babies mouth before tooth eruption use a clean wet wash cloth. Wrap wash cloth around your finger then rub it gently around your babies gums.

When to transition to a tooth brush

​When the teeth have started to erupt, this will be time to transition from a wash cloth to a baby tooth brush. Look for a tooth brush specifically made for infants. This will usually start around six months old. This will also be the time to change from bath time mouth cleaning to brushing two times daily.

​It is fine to just dry brush with just tap water, or a fluoridated tooth paste can be used. When using toothpaste, use the tiniest smear. It is never too early to help create a good brushing routine for your child.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.myhealthunit.ca/en/livehealthyandprotectyourhealth/Caring-for-Your-Child-s-Teeth.asp

https://www.mambaby.com/en-us/faq/oral-care-teethers/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI24-c-oih1QIV05d-Ch0rNgnXEAAYAiAAEgL24PD_BwE

 

Got Teeth?

Amanda Orvis, RDH

Got Teeth?

It’s that time of year again; our children are starting back to school and getting back into sports. Does your child play sports? Does your child wear an athletic mouthguard? Can you picture your child with a missing permanent tooth? It is very possible that if your child is in a contact sport or activity, that one or more of their teeth could become loose, become fractured, or even be knocked out from a direct impact to their mouth. A hit to the jaw can put a tremendous amount of pressure on our teeth which can cause traumatic damage to our smiles. Maybe we can help answer questions you may have about the pros and cons of athletic mouthguards.

A mouthguard is like a shock absorber, it takes away the brunt of the force upon impact. If you can diffuse the blow and evenly distribute the pressure through use of the mouthguard, then you can reduce the chances of injury and/or tooth loss.

Boil-and-Bite mouthguards can be bought through your local pharmacy or sporting goods store. These mouthguards can be formed to your teeth simply by boiling the plastic and biting down into the mouthguard while it is still warm.

Pros: Affordable, easy to use, and easily replaceable if your teeth are changing in position or shape (due to orthodontics or dental work).

Cons: Bulky, can become loose over time and need to be replaced, hard to speak while wearing it, and hard to disinfect as heat can distort the fit of the mouthguard.

Custom fit mouthguards can be made through your dental office. Dental impressions are taken to form models of your teeth, which are then used to fabricate the mouthguard specifically fit to your teeth.

Pros: Slimmer fit, fits very snuggly around your teeth and does not generally loosen with repeated use, easier to speak with, easily disinfected, and lasts significantly longer than other mouthguards.

Cons: More expensive than a boil-and-bite mouthguard, and they can take some time to receive the mouthguard due to the fabrication process.

There are several types, brands, custom and non-custom mouthguards to choose from, but no matter what type you choose always remember to remind your athlete to wear it. It cannot protect them if it is not being worn. Broken teeth or jaw damage can have lasting effects. Please call our office if you have any questions regarding mouthguards.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com


Source:

http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Science%20and%20Research/Files/patient_69.ashx

Fluoride: It’s Not Just for Kids

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Andra Mahoney BS RDH
Fluoride: It’s Not Just for Kids
 

When someone says fluoride, most of us automatically think children.  While it is true that fluoride is an important part of our children’s oral health, it is also a necessity for adults as well.  Adults, just like children, get cavities. So adults, just like children, should receive fluoride.  In fact, there are many age related problems that increase our need for fluoride.  Some examples include:

  • Eating disorders
  • Drug or Alcohol abuse
  • Lack of regular professional dental care
  • Poor Oral Hygiene
  • Exposed root surfaces of teeth, recession
  • Decreased salivary flow, resulting in dry mouth
  • Poor diet
  • Existing fillings
  • Tooth enamel defects
  • Undergoing head and neck radiation therapy

I’d like to address recession and dry mouth specifically, since those are very common problems.

 

Recession

Recession is when the gums have receded below the crown of the tooth, exposing the root to the tooth.

This creates two main problems. First, the roots of the teeth do not have enamel, they are covered by cementum.

As we all know, enamel is the hard material that protects the surface of the tooth. Enamel is 70 times stronger than cementum.  This, unfortunately, means that the roots of the teeth are more prone to decay than the crowns of the teeth.  The best recommendation for recession and the prevention of decay is fluoride.  Make sure you are using a soft bristled brush with soft brushing (to prevent further recession) in combination with fluoride toothpaste.  Also, you may received fluoride treatments at your dental appointments.  The most beneficial would be fluoride varnish.  Your hygienist is able to apply this for you at each appointment.  The varnish coats the tooth in a protective layer of fluoride to aid in the prevention of decay.

The second problem that recession creates is sensitivity.  When the root is exposed tiny little tubules open up on the tooth and the chances for sensitivity increase.  This makes eating or drinking cold or sweet things painful.  You will often notice a sharp zing when the area of recession comes in contact with cold or sweet items.  The best recommendation for sensitivity due to recession is fluoride.  Sensitivity toothpaste, such as Sensodyne, contain an increased amount of fluoride (as opposed to regular toothpaste) to assist in the prevention of sensitivity (and decay).

Fluoride varnish is also helpful as it coats the tooth and temporarily closes the tubules decreasing the sensitivity. 

Xerostomia

The last topic that I wanted to address is dry mouth, also known as xerostomia.  Many adults take medicine and the most common side effect of many medications is dry mouth.  A decrease in saliva increases your risk for decay.  Saliva is important in washing away bits of food, neutralizing acids created by bacteria, as well as containing minerals that help prevent tooth decay.  If you are having problems with dry mouth, try rinsing with a fluoride mouth was or a saliva substitute.
    

All these reasons and many more show the importance of fluoride use for adults.  If you have any other questions about the other problems that fluoride can help with, feel free to make an appointment with us and we’ll answer all your questions! 

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

Fluoride Treatments in the Dental Office ADA: http://www.ada.org/sections/scienceAndResearch/pdfs/patient_72.pdf

Can Fluoride Help Adults? Colgate: http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/Oral-and-Dental-Health-at-Any-Age/Adults/Adult-Maintenance-and-Care/article/Can-Fluoride-Help-Adults.cvsp

Recommendations for Using Fluoride to Prevent and Control Dental Caries in the United States CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5014a1.htm

Adverse Effects of Not Replacing Missing Teeth

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Katie Sias, BS RDH

Adverse Effects of Not Replacing Missing Teeth

According to the American College of Prosthodontists, more than 35 million Americans do not have any teeth, and 178 million people in the United States are missing at least one tooth. Tooth loss occurs due to a number of issues such as decay, gum disease, injury, cancer, or wear. Your teeth are designed to work together to help you chew, speak, and smile. There are several tooth replacement options your Dentist may suggest depending on your needs such as implants, bridges, or dentures. However, do you know the risks of not replacing those missing teeth?

Bone Loss:

When a tooth is extracted or missing, bone loss can occur. The jawbone is preserved through the pressure and stimulation of chewing. When a tooth is missing, the bone resorbs and results in less density and width/height of the bone. Unfortunately, if left untreated for a long amount of time, the bone can start deteriorating around the adjacent teeth as well.

Shifting Teeth:

When a tooth is missing, the opposing tooth that is still there can often shift and super-erupt because it does not have a tooth to occlude with. Adjacent teeth can start drifting forward in the place of the missing teeth. These can cause a change in bite that will eventually affect your chewing and lead to more serious side effects.

TMJ Problems:

When your teeth shift out of alignment and your upper and lower jaws do not meet properly, it strains and damages the jaw joint. Muscle soreness may occur as you will tend to favor the other side of your mouth for chewing.

Periodontal Disease:

Missing teeth increase the risk of periodontal disease. When teeth shift out of alignment, it makes it harder to properly brush and floss those teeth.

Esthetics:

Missing teeth can affect the esthetics of your face. Many people feel less confident about their smile when they have gaps from missing teeth. If you are missing many teeth, the skin around your mouth loses support and will start to droop, which can make you appear older than you are.

Speak and Eat:

Missing teeth can alter the way you speak and eat. Depending on which teeth are missing, it may become difficult to bite and chew certain foods. Often times, you will most likely being overusing the other teeth to compensate for the missing tooth or teeth. You may develop a lisp or change in your ability to clearly pronounce certain works.

Most patients are unaware of the adverse effects of not replacing their missing teeth. Now that you know some of these risks, please consult your Dentist for the best replacement option for you!

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

https://www.gotoapro.org/facts-figures/

http://crowncouncil.com/why-replace-lost-teeth

https://www.perio.org/node/222

https://www.nobelbiocare.com/content/patient/international/en/home/missing-teeth/why-is-it-important-to-replace-missing-teeth-.html

Tooth Enamel

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Lora Cook, RDH

A closer look at tooth enamel.

Tooth enamel is one of the toughest structures of the human body, however it still needs protecting.  What exacting is tooth enamel?  It is the outer layer of your tooth and the hardest substance in your body.  Enamel is translucent and can stain from the food, drinks, smoking and chewing tobacco. Enamel cannot be regrown by our bodies.  Once it is chipped cracked or eroded or worn away it cannot be replaced naturally.

Signs of enamel problems.

Darkening:  As enamel wears away this can cause the tooth to become darker.

Sensitivity:  Your teeth may become hypersensitive to hot, cold, sweets or sour foods.

Notching:  There may be notching at the gum line

Cracks and chips:  Irregular or jagged tooth surfaces, also fracture lines can appear.

Protecting your enamel.

Custom night guard:

The power of our bite is incredible.  Out incisor can have 55 pounds of pressure or biting force, while our molars have 200 pounds of pressure.  Clenching and grinding your teeth during times of stress or at night while sleeping experts excess force and wear on your teeth. Over time you can literally grind away your enamel layer.  Ask your dentist about a custom night guard to protect your enamel for a lifetime.

MI Paste Plus:

This is not a tooth paste to brush your teeth with.  This is a paste to coat your teeth with in order to put minerals back into your enamel to help remineralize the enamel. MI Paste plus contains calcium, phosphate and 900ppm of fluoride.

“MI Paste and MI Paste Plus contain RECALDENT™ (CPP-ACP); Casein Phosphopeptide (CPP) are natural occurring molecules which are able to release calcium and phosphate ions and stabilize Amorphous Calcium Phosphate (ACP)”

These minerals helps to strengthen and remineralize the enamel.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.colgateenamelhealth.com/enamel-101/what-is-tooth-enamel

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/tooth-enamel-erosion-restoration#1

http://www.mi-paste.com/about.php

SMILES for HOPE

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Wendy Parker, RDH

SMILES for HOPE

Do you feel like you’re ready for a little change in your smile without spending a lot of money?  Well, look no further!  I know it sounds a little bit like a gimmick, but it’s true!  Whitening your smile, the professional way, can change your smile for just a small cost!  I know many of us have tried over the counter products and have come away frustrated or not seeing the difference, but in the next few months, you can use the best products out on the market to help you get results and help someone else in the meantime!

The best two ways you can whiten your smile with the greatest results are with either an at home kit or an in-office procedure.  Both are safe and effective.

With the at-home procedure, we take an impression of your teeth and make custom fitting whitening trays.  Once the trays are made, you take them home and once a day you can apply whitening gel into the trays and wear them for about an hour.  You would brush and floss before whitening to make sure all the food and plaque has been removed, then place the gel in the trays and wear them for about an hour.  After the time has passed, remove the trays and brush and floss again, rinsing your mouth and trays thoroughly from any remaining gel. Do this as many days as you would like, for up to 2 weeks, or till you’ve reached your desired whiteness. Then keep the trays for any future touch up use.

The in-office procedure is slightly different, in which case, we do all the work and you just sit back and enjoy the ride.  You will spend about 2 hours with us in the office, doing a series of 3 whitening treatments in one sitting.  While protecting the tissues, we are able to apply whitening gel and achieve greatest results in such a short time. So, if you don’t have the patience to do the at home treatment, this procedure is right for you!
If you’ve been with our practice for a while, you know that this time every year we participate in a fundraising opportunity that starts in March and runs through the end of June, called Smiles for Hope.  During these few short months, our office donates all the proceeds that we earn from any whitening product and procedure to a charity called Hope Arising.  We join teams in an effort to raise money to help those in Dara, Ethiopia.  Twice a year our doctors, and several others, take supplies and their abilities, to travel to Ethiopia and spend a week giving service to help fulfill dental and medical needs in their town.

So, if you’re looking to get your sweetheart or loved one a treat for their birthday, anniversary, Valentine’s Day, or any other occasion, here is a great opportunity to help them AND help someone else.  Oh, and did I mention, it’s 100% tax deductible?  That’s right!  It’s considered a charitable contribution since 100% of the proceeds go to charity!  Don’t hesitate to ask any of our friendly team questions about how you can participate in Smiles for Hope this year!

Both at home and in-office whitening $250
In-office Whitening $200
At home Whitening $150
Sources: 

Why Do We Need to Brush and Floss?

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Andra Mahoney, BS RDH

Why Do We Need to Brush and Floss?

Many of you know two questions that your Dental Hygienist will inevitably asked you when you go in for your regular check-up visit:  “Are you brushing two times a day?” and “How is your flossing going?”

As an Hygienist, we do not asked these questions to get after you.  We promise we do not love nagging you to floss.  We do it because we genuinely care for your health and helping our patients understand how brushing and flossing can keep you healthy is one of our professional goals.

Most of you know the guidelines. For optimum dental health, you should brushing two times a day for two minutes, and floss one time a day.  We know that is what we are supposed to do.  But do we know why?

Plaque (that soft, filmy, white stuff that grows on our teeth) accumulates constantly.  24/7.  It never stops growing.  Even if you do not eat food, it grows (common misconception that plaque only grows when you eat).  Inside plaque lives bacteria.  This is the bacteria that causes cavities and gum disease.  It is recommended that we brush two times a day to remove the plaque and disrupt the bacteria’s harm on our mouth.  If we do not remove the plaque, then we are allowing the bacteria to start creating cavities and cause inflammation and infection in our gums.

If the plaque is left in an area for a while then it will harden and calcify.  This is what we can tartar build-up, or you may even hear us refer to it as calculus.  While plaque is soft and can be removed with a toothbrush and floss, tartar is like a rock cemented onto your tooth.  You can brush and floss all day long, once it’s turned into calculus, it’s not going any where.  The biggest down side of that is that it still has the bacteria inside of it.  Now it’s stuck on your tooth, not going anywhere, with all this bacteria.  Even better for gum infections and things to occur.

Don’t worry, your awesome Hygienist will save you.  We have the tools and know-how to remove that calculus and get your mouth back to health!  But, so do you!  You can brush and floss every day, remove that plaque, and prevent that calculus from even forming!

Now many of you do brush your teeth.  Which is fantastic!  We love when you do that!  However, not as many of you floss.  I’m not sure why.  It’s just as important, and doesn’t really take that long.  Here’s something to remember when you want to skip flossing tonight… You can be THE most amazing brusher in the whole world, but you will never be able to clean between your teeth with just a toothbrush.  It’s a fact.  The best technique will not maneuver those toothbrush bristle to places they cannot physically reach.  Floss is the only way to clean the remaining 35% of your tooth that the brush did not get.  Floss is a toothbrush’s best friend.  They go hand in hand.  One just as important as the other.

I hope this helped you understand a bit more why we always ask these two simple questions.  If you have any other questions, we are here for you!  Just ask!

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/f/flossing

http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/teeth.html

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/dentalhealth/Pages/Teethcleaningguide.aspx

http://www.businessinsider.com/what-happens-if-you-dont-brush-and-floss-your-teeth-2014-2