What Age Should I Bring My Child for Their First Dental Appointment?

Sharma RDH

Sharma Mulqueen RDH

What Age Should I Bring My Child for Their First Dental Appointment
and What Can I Expect?

Good Pediatric dental care during the first few years of a person’s life is essential to give the proper foundation for overall good health throughout life.  At Signature Dental offices we offer the benefit of preventative care as well as restorative care and diagnostic imaging.  The earlier you bring your child to the Dentist the better off they will be.  The goal is to have every child used to visiting the dentist without fear.

We recommend you bring your child for their first dental appointment between the ages of 2-3.  At that first visit you can expect an introduction to the Dentist and Dental Hygienist.  The goal is to have the patient lay back in the chair and count their teeth so the Dentist and Dental Hygienist can have a look.  Through experience I have had a few at this young age let me polish.  As providers we will do as much as the patient will allow.  Most children will cry at this appointment which is ok.  Crying actually lets us see everywhere in the mouth.

The Dentist and Dental Hygienist will go over some things parents can learn when caring for their children’s teeth.  We ask that the child start drinking from a cup at 1 year old. If they are using a bottle at night, the milk or sugar juice can cause cavities quickly.  Thumb-sucking and pacifiers should be stopped or greatly reduced at age 3.  Lastly, we ask that the parents start brushing or using a washcloth to clean their gums.

Early and regular checkups will prevent cavities in children.  Signature Dental can help you with scheduling your appointment, verifying your Insurance and most important making sure your child has a wonderful experience.  We want our little patients to enjoy going to the dentist at a young age.  Prevention is the key to success.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com


Sources:  
www.deltadentalmn.org
www.aapd.org

Why Are You Taking My Picture?

AriannaM

Arianna Marsden, RDH

Why Are You Taking My Picture In a Dental Office?

When you come into one of our offices for your first visit, we’ll likely complete a comprehensive exam for you.  As part of the comprehensive exam, our team assesses your teeth, gums, risks for oral cancer, dietary health, and makes recommendations for how to relieve pain, treat active tooth decay and gum diseases, and to improve your general and oral health.  The assessments we complete normally include a full-mouth series of radiographs, or x-rays, a thorough assessment of the health of your soft tissues, including pocket depths, bone loss, inflammation, and recession by your dental hygienist, and a thorough examination of the hard tissues by your dentist.  One important part of our comprehensive assessment, which you may not expect, is a series of photographs.

Normally, we take a series of photos as a record of how your teeth look, and how the lips drape over the teeth when you smile and at rest.  These photos allow us to show you your teeth in a way you’ve never seen them before; they are the most powerful tool we can offer you in making educated, informed decisions about your own dental health.  With these photos, you will be able to see every surface of every tooth, the condition of the gums, any teeth that are wearing or shifting, producing chipped or broken teeth, or unhealthy spacing or crowding of your teeth.  Zoomed-in intraoral photos can also help you to really see conditions that the clinical team identifies in your mouth, such as a filling that is leaking or has created fracture lines in your tooth.

As clinicians, we are concerned about your overall health, and we know that a big contributor to that is the health of your mouth.  We keep meticulous records of the conditions of your mouth, and treatments that have been recommended to achieve and maintain a healthy mouth.  Our records often include detailed written chart notes, but as the old adage states, a picture is worth a thousand words!  With these images, your clinical team can recall and understand what treatment was recommended and why, without digging through chart notes.   These photos also allow us to evaluate the quality of our work, often through before and after photos of a tooth that is being restored, or following a cleaning.   

Providing digital photography is just one of many techniques we utilize to comprehensively assess the health of your mouth, and to involve you in the process of making informed decisions about your dental health!

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

If You’re Not Whitening, You’re Yellowing!

AnnC

Ann Clark, RDH

 

If You’re Not Whitening, You’re Yellowing!
Every year our offices participate in a whitening opportunity that benefits not only our patients but also children and people in less fortunate areas of Africa.  Smiles of Hope is a non-profit organization where volunteers pay their way over to Africa to selflessly provide their services to benefit the less fortunate with eye and teeth assistance, while experiencing a life-changing adventure.  The whitening opportunity consists of products donated to our offices and we  happily donate our time.   100% of the money goes to the charity for product and supplies.  We offer 3 ways to whiten through trays and take home product,  In-office, Dentist supervised  applications to your teeth and the third option is through In-office Dentist supervised  applications with the trays and take home product as a package.  The prices are always at our lowest financial opportunity for you, the patient, during the months of March-June.
sfh
What is whitening and how does it work?
Tooth color is the result of genetics, drugs and meds during pregnancy,  the child during the tooth development stage, or an environmental factor such as increased fluoride uptake or maternal infections such as tetracycline stains, postnatal infection, measles, chicken pox, strep infections and scarlet fever.  Your tooth is made up of an outer hard enamel layer over the softer dentin. The enamel is porous and  will absorb stain from anything with color you put in your mouth…coffee, cigarette, foods.  Another layer basically forms on top of the enamel which we call a pellicle film.  We can clean this film with scaling and polishing, you can try to clean it with abrasive whitening toothpastes but this is like a scouring pad cleaning a dish.  As the film sits on your teeth, after years, is absorbs through the tooth’s pores.  Although these deeper stains are harmless they are unattractive.  This is when you need the “good stuff”.  Whiteners use bleaching chemicals to get down into the enamel and set off an oxidation chemical reaction that breaks apart the staining compounds.  Whiteners use either a carbide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide agent.  When used in the mouth, carbide peroxide breaks down into hydrogen peroxide and urea, with hydrogen peroxide being the effective agent.
 sfh2
Is whitening safe?
Most studies confirm that whitening is with effective and safe.  Whitening products with less than 10% carbide peroxide (3.6 hydrogen peroxide), have not been shown to cause any concerns to tooth enamel.  Higher concentrations can cause some weakening to the enamel but these also contain fluoride which counter-acts this potential side-effect.  If tooth sensitivity or gum irritation occurs it is best to reduce product frequency and time spent whitening.  Prescription  fluoride is used to treat sensitivity sometimes associated with whitening.  Gum irritation can result from any of the whitening options but is reversible and usually mild.  Over the counter oracle can also treat these symptoms.
sfh
Before any whitening service it is always recommended to have had a dental examination and any cavities filled or other dental work accomplished.
Sources:

SMILES for HOPE

KO6A0979-Edit[1]

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?

KO6A0990-Edit

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

Periodontal Probing

KatieM

Katie Moynihan-Sias, BS RDH

Periodontal Probing

During your routine dental hygiene visits, your hygienist will perform an assessment called periodontal probing. Periodontal means to surround or encase a tooth. This assessment is used to determine the health of your gums and supporting structures. A periodontal probe is used to determine how deep the pockets are around your teeth. This probe consists of millimeter increment markings that allows the hygienist to measure the space between the tooth and the gums. As the hygienist performs this assessment, each millimeter measurement is documented with its correlating tooth. These measurements, along with x-rays and other assessments taken throughout the appointment, allow the dentist and hygienist to accurately recommend a proper cleaning for you.

Here is a breakdown of what each number means:

Pocket depths 1-3mm: tissues are in health with no bone loss present. Usually gums are firm and light pink in color with no bleeding upon probing.

Pocket depths 4mm: gingivitis is present but no bone loss. Usually the gums are red and inflamed with light-moderate bleeding present.

Pocket depths 5+mm: periodontitis is present with bone loss visible on x-rays. Periodontal disease can be classified as mild to advanced. Usually the gums are severely inflamed and painful, bleed easily, and tooth mobility can occur. Mild periodontitis is present with 4-5mm probe depths. Moderate periodontitis is present with 5-6mm probe depths. Advanced periodontitis is present with >6mm probe depths.

Once your hygienist performs a complete periodontal assessment of your mouth, he or she will inform you of your periodontal health. The dentist and hygienist will review all clinical assessments before recommending a proper cleaning. A “regular” cleaning may not be suitable for everyone. Once a patient presents with signs of periodontal disease, non-surgical periodontal therapy, such as scaling and root planning (a deep cleaning), will be recommended to properly treat the active disease. For more information on that please visit Non-Surgical Periodontal Therapy. In signs of advanced periodontitis, a referral to a Periodontist may be recommended for further evaluation and treatment.

The next time you are in for a cleaning, ask your hygienist for a report of your latest periodontal probings! As always, routine dental cleanings and proper homecare is recommended to keep your mouth happy and healthy!

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.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/periodontal

http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/conditions/gum-disease/article/what-are-periodontal-pockets-0315

http://www.colgateprofessional.com/patient-education/articles/periodontitis

Staining and Whitening Toothpaste

KO6A3321-Edit

Becky Larson, RDH

Staining and Whitening Toothpaste

What’s the deal with whitening toothpaste?  Does it really work?

First off, let’s talk about what causes teeth to become discolored or less white.  The main cause is food.  Any foods that contain dark pigment can leave dark stains on the teeth.  These include coffee, tea, soda, wine, chocolate, dark fruits, etc.  Smoking or using tobacco products can also leave dark stains.  If plaque is not removed thoroughly from the tooth surface, it can harden and has a yellow appearance.  Most of these stains can be prevented or removed.  The only real way to prevent dark stains from adhering to the teeth is not eat or drink the foods that cause the staining.  Plaque that has hardened over time will need to be removed by your dental hygienist.  If cutting these foods or drinks out is not ideal, brushing with toothpaste before and rinsing with plain water after can help reduce the amount of stain present. Efforts to reduce the amount of plaque left include brushing with an electric toothbrush twice daily for 2 minutes and use the “C” shape method of flossing where the floss is wrapped around the lateral side of the tooth while flossing.

Using a whitening toothpaste can also help reduce surface stains as well.  Many toothpaste brands offer whitening toothpastes.  In our offices we offer the Colgate Optic White toothpaste.  While all toothpastes can remove surface stains because of mild abrasive ingredients, the whitening toothpastes tend to be slightly more abrasive to further remove those tough coffee, tea, or tobacco stains left on the teeth.  The Colgate Optic White does contain hydrogen peroxide, which has a history as a bleaching agent.  However, in toothpaste, the hydrogen peroxide usually combines with other ingredients (such as baking soda) and helps to polish and wear away surface stains left on the teeth.  Usually whitening toothpastes can help whiten teeth up to about 1 shade lighter, where as in office bleaching can whiten 3-8 times lighter.

If you are worried about staining on your teeth please talk to your dentist or dental hygienist to see which products would be best for you.  Happy brushing!

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.colgateopticwhite.com/whitening-toothpaste/fluoride-toothpaste-whitening

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/whitening-toothpaste/faq-20058411?reDate=03012017

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/teeth-whitening#1

http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/teeth-whitening/article/hydrogen-peroxide-toothpaste-four-common-questions-0814

How to Clean Your Denture/Partial Denture

LindsayW

Lindsay Olsen, RDH

How to Clean Your Denture/Partial Denture 

Rinse your dentures before brushing to remove any loose food or debris.

Use a soft bristle toothbrush and a non-abrasive cleanser to gently brush all the surfaces of the dentures so they don’t get scratched.

When brushing, clean your mouth thoroughly—including your gums, cheeks, roof of your mouth and tongue to remove any plaque. This can help reduce the risk of oral irritation and bad breath.

When you’re not wearing your dentures, put them in a safe place covered in water to keep them from warping.

Do not sleep with your dentures. Your tissues need to breath overnight. If you do not take out your dentures at night, you are at risk of developing oral fungal infections.

Occasionally, denture wearers may use adhesives. Adhesives come in many forms: creams, powders, pads/wafers, strips or liquids. If you use one of these products, read the instructions, and use them exactly as directed. Your dentist can recommend appropriate cleansers and adhesives; look for products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Products with the ADA Seal have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness.

Visit your dentist once every 6 months for a complimentary oral cancer screening, and to have the fit of your denture evaluated.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Nitrous Oxide

KO6A8495-Edit - Copy

Lora Cook, RDH

Nitrous Oxide 

What is it and how can it help you?  

Nitrous oxide, other wise known as laughing gas, is a form of sedation dentistry that our offices offer.

Nitrous is gas that you can breath. It was discovered in 1772 by Humphrey Davy. Humphrey did self administration to see if it would help on his own tooth ache he was experiencing at the time.

There is a lack of oxygen in pure nitrous so with longer periods of time using nitrous, this can lead to unconsciousness and even death. However, when nitrous is mixed with oxygen it is safe to use for longer periods of time.  The mix that is commonly used in dentistry is 70% oxygen to 30% nitrous.

Four Levels of Sedation with Nitrous Oxide

1.  Initial light headless, followed by a tingling sensation in arms and legs.

2.  Warm sensation

3. Feeling of well being or a feeling of floating

4.  Sleepiness, difficulty keeping eyes open.

Open communication 

Keep an open communication with your dental professionals on how you are feeling. Then goal is to remain in the first three levels of sedation.  If a nausea feeling comes over you this would indicate a overdose / over sedated.  Then dentist can simply adjust the percentages that you are receiving.

At the end of the procedure the dentist will administer five minutes of pure oxygen to clear any nitrous from your system.  All levels of sedation are then completely reversed.

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.dentalfearcentral.org/help/sedation-dentistry/laughing-gas/

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/n/nitrous-oxide

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/sedation-dentistry-can-you-really-relax-in-the-dentists-chair#1

Invisalign

KO6A3300-Edit[1]

Amanda Orvis, RDH

INVISALIGN

Invisalign is a uniquely designed orthodontic treatment developed to correct mild to severe cases of malocclusion, including crowding, protruding or crooked teeth, overbites and/or underbites. Invisalign is an affordable option for correcting most dental malocclusion problems.

WHAT MAKES INVISALIGN DIFFERENT?

You may be asking yourself, what is the difference between Invisalign and traditional braces? With Invisalign you can achieve very similar if not the same outcomes as traditional braces. The advantages of Invisalign are the comfort, flexibility, and ease of access to properly care for your teeth without having brackets, wires or rubber bands in your mouth.

Invisalign uses a series of aligners to straighten your teeth over the course of your treatment. Aligners are smooth plastic trays that you wear over your teeth. Each set of aligners is worn for a few weeks before changing to a new set.

ADVANTAGES

The great thing about Invisalign is that there are no personal sacrifices in terms of food! You do not have to give up popcorn, chips, bagels, pizza crust, pretzels, nuts, apples, carrots, or corn on the cob. Fortunately, Invisalign aligners are removable, therefore allowing you to eat and drink as well as brush and floss your teeth as you would normally do. The aligners are worn for 20-22 hours a day while they gradually move your teeth into their correct positions. The aligners should only be removed to eat as well as brush and floss your teeth.

HEALTHIER TEETH AND GUMS

Often times crowding or malocclusion issues can lead to swollen, red, bleeding gums. These are signs of periodontal disease. By properly aligning the teeth, inflammation is reduced, allowing your gum tissue to fit properly around the teeth. This provides a defense against potential periodontal problems.

Food debris and plaque build-up can lead to tooth decay. In order to maintain strong healthy teeth, simply remove your aligners and brush and floss as you would normally do. Try to avoid eating and/or drinking while your aligners are in your mouth.

THE INVISALIGN PROCESS

  • Talk to your dentist about your interest in Invisalign.
  • Your dentist will take impressions and photos and send them off to Invisalign. A customized treatment plan will be created just for you.
  • After your treatment plan is created, you will then go into your dental office for a brief viewing of a virtual presentation of your anticipated final outcomes.
  • Upon your approval of your anticipated outcomes, Invisalign then fabricates your series of aligners and sends them to your dental office.
  • Your dental office will then call you to schedule an appointment for you to come in and receive your first set of aligners.
  • Over the course of your Invisalign treatment you will change out your aligners every few weeks.
  • After the completion of all of your aligners, retainers are then made to keep your teeth in their new positions to keep that new smile looking great.

We look forward to helping you create that new smile that you have always wanted.

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.invisalign.com/how-invisalign-works

http://happytoothnc.com/braces-vs-invisalign/