Saturday, 8 November 2014

Tooth Fractures: Possible Causes & Prevention

Dental Problems, Treatment, and Prevention Bowie
Dental Problems, Treatment, and Prevention

Causes and Prevention

  • Teeth can occasionally chip or fracture when you bite down on something hard, like a popcorn kernel or hard bread.

  • Often teeth that have fillings or root canals are at higher risk, because they are not as strong as those that have not had these procedures. However, even intact teeth can chip or fracture if you happen to bite down in just the wrong way on something hard.

  • If you have fillings on your back teeth, try to avoid chewing on bones, hard candies, and ice. Wear a mouth guard if you play sports that could injure your teeth. A survey of college basketball players found that mouth guard users had a much lower risk of dental injuries.

  • Teeth are built to chew and grind food. But if you grind or clench them often, you can damage their surfaces over time.

  • Too much grinding can also cause headaches, muscle pain, and jaw injury.

  • Many people who grind a lot don't realize they have a problem until a dentist notices the signs on their tooth surfaces. That is why it is so important to get a routine checkup every six months!

  • Researchers think stress or anger may lead to tooth grinding. Try to manage your stress by taking walks, meditating, yoga, or other activities that are soothing and relaxing.

Here are some cases before and after of tooth fractures that were restored in our office!

  • Patient 1

Before Teeth Treatment Bowie
After Teeth Treatment Bowie

  • Patient 2
Before Tooth Treatment Bowie
After Tooth Treatment Bowie

Need more information on What is a tooth fracture? - Contact Maryland Dentist fixing your FRACTURED TEETH

Friday, 18 July 2014

Oral Surgery Care | Tooth Extraction Surgery Bowie, MD

Post Op Instructions After Oral Surgery Procedures

One of the most common questions we get from our patients is how to take care of their mouths after any type of Oral Surgery; primarily extractions.  While the mouth can be a bit sore after procedures such as prepping for a crown, fillings, etc. (swishing with warm salt water will help soothe the gums), we run into the most problems when it comes to extractions.  The following tips will help heal the gums as fast as possible and make for an experience involving as little pain and discomfort as possible!

1. Starting the day AFTER the extraction, swish 3 to 4 times a day with warm salt water (about a teaspoon of salt to 8 ounces of water).  After swishing for about 30 seconds, stand over the sink and let the salt water mixture “drool out”, do not forcefully spit it out!

2. DO NOT drink through a straw for at least 72 hours.

3. If you are a smoker, hold off for as long as possible.  We recommend at the VERY LEAST 72 hours, however the longer the better.  If you smoke before the 72 hour time frame you can experience what is known as a “dry socket” and experience extreme pain.  For more information on the definition, symptoms, causes, and remedies of a dry socket visit: 

4. Stick to as soft of a diet as possible.  Foods such as mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, ice-cream, Jell-O, applesauce, broth, scrambled/poached eggs, etc.  Avoid anything that can get stuck in the area such as popcorn, peanuts, rice, chips, spicy foods, alcohol, etc.

5. In many cases Ibuprofen is recommended to help subdue discomfort (over the counter Ibuprofen can be used, but in some cases the doctor may write a prescription for a higher dosage of Ibuprofen).  Ibuprofen also acts as an anti-inflammatory so it will help reduce swelling and soreness.

6. Always schedule a follow-up appointment to see your doctor so they can evaluate the extraction site and verify that you are healing accordingly!

**Always be sure to follow your doctors’ specific directions for home care after any type of oral surgery!  Each patient is different and may require further and/or different care instructions!**

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Dental Floss | Flossing Techniques | How to use Dental Floss

The Importance of Flossing - Dental Care

Bowie MD Dental Floss | Flossing Techniques | How to use Dental Floss

One of the questions that we ask every one of our patients is how often do you floss your teeth?  The most common answer we get is two to three times per week.  While we highly recommend flossing once a day (preferably at night after you have brushed your teeth), we want to give our patients some other uses for all that dental floss that they have lying around!

5 Simple Uses For Dental Floss

 1. Use unflavored dental floss to cut through cakes, soft cheeses, fresh baked bread, etc.  Simply wind the floss around your pointer fingers and use a slight sawing motion to get the perfect slice!

 2. Use dental floss to hang pictures, ornaments, and even wind chimes!  During the holiday season dental floss can be used to string popcorn together to decorate your Christmas tree by tying it to the end of a sewing needle!

 3. If you are ever camping and run out of fishing line, dental floss can be used as a perfect substitute!

 4. If you just took cookies out of the oven and need to serve them quickly, you can slide a piece of dental floss underneath of the cookie to prevent it from crumbling and put it directly onto your serving dish!

 5. If you ever have a leaky sink that is keeping you awake at night, tie a piece of dental floss around the faucet and make sure the floss is long enough to reach down into the sink.  The water will slide down the piece of floss ending the dripping noise!
Hopefully you are using your dental floss predominantly for cleaning in between your teeth, but we hope these few tips and tricks will be helpful to you in your everyday lives!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Top 5 Ways to Combat Dental Phobia

Overcome Dental Anxiety

Let’s face it; we have all been scared to go to the dentist at one time or another.  However, for some of us, going for our dental check-up every six months is downright terrifying.  Whether it is because of a bad experience as a child, fear of the unknown, or what we call “white-coat syndrome”, we want to help our patients to move past this fear and make their experience at our office the most pleasant and comfortable that it can be. 

The best things that you can do to overcome your dental phobia are as follows:

  1.  Make sure you are comfortable with your dentist.  This may seem like a simple request; however it is of the utmost importance.  If you are not comfortable with your provider you may feel that you cannot ask him or her questions or express your thoughts and concerns which can lead to problems in the future.

  2.  Inform yourself!  Before having any procedure done, do some research on your own and make sure you understand exactly what is going on.  Also be sure to ask your dentist ANY and ALL questions that you may have.  Good communication is key!

  3.  For many of our patients, the noises of the instruments are scarier than the work that is actually being done in their mouth.  We have installed Netflix in our office, which has been a great comfort to our patients as a way to take their mind off of what is being done around them.  Many of our patients also bring headphones in order to block out the noises from the instruments and focus on their favorite music or audio book.

  4.  Don’t wait to bring your children to the dentist!  The best time to bring a child to the dentist for their first check-up is when their first tooth erupts.  These appointments are mostly to get them used to being in the “dental atmosphere”, get them acquainted with the surroundings, and to let them know that they are in a safe and comfortable place.

  5.  As a last resort, most offices offer Nitrous gas as a means of relaxing patients.  Commonly referred to as “laughing gas”, the Nitrous is used to “take the edge off” which makes the dental appointment more bearable for the patient.  In addition, for extreme cases of dental phobia, medication can be prescribed before even coming to the office in order for the patient to feel the most comfortable.

Remember, dentist visits may seem scary but we are only trying to get you and your mouth in the best health as possible!J 

Tags: Dental Phobia, Combat Dental Phobia, Dental Tips, Dentist Bowie MD, Dental Anxiety, Overcome Dental Fear, Fear of the Dentist, Easing Dental Fear in Adults, Coping With Dental Phobia 

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Monday, 24 March 2014

At Home Whitening | Teeth Whitening - Home Remedies

How to Whiten Your Teeth At Home

These days, where you see celebrities plastered all over magazine covers smiling with perfectly white, straight teeth, it is understandable that many of our patients have been very interested in whitening their own teeth. Our in-office KOR whitening as well as the take home whitening kits are both phenomenal systems, however sometimes finances come into play and these systems are not affordable. We want to give our patients other alternatives, especially those who have invested a lot of energy and effort in sustaining a healthy mouth!

Steps to take for cleaner, whiter teeth:

1. Avoid sodas and dark colored beverages (i.e. red wine, tea, coffee, etc.) as much as possible. If you cannot give them up, make sure to drink through a straw in order to minimize the amount of liquid touching the teeth.

2. After having your morning cup of coffee, swish with water and spit it out in the sink so the leftover particles of coffee do not sit on your teeth for the rest of the day and cause stains.

3. Some foods to avoid are blueberries, blackberries, ketchup, and hard candies (anything that turns your tongue a neon color is affecting your teeth too!).

Recipes for at home whitening treatments:

1. Mix about two tablespoons of Hydrogen Peroxide with baking soda until it is the same consistency as regular toothpaste. Brush your teeth with that mixture and rinse afterwards. This paste can be used twice a week.

2. Another good whitening agent that most of us have at home is apple cider vinegar. Simply dip your toothbrush into the vinegar and brush your teeth. Rinse afterwards, since apple cider vinegar does contain acids.

3. A final tip for whitening is banana peels! Although we have not tried this one out, many experts say that if you peel a banana and rub the inside of the peel around on your teeth, leave it sit for two minutes and then brush your teeth you will see whitening effects. If you've tried this one, let us know about your experience!

**Always keep in mind that with any whitening treatment (whether it is at home or something stronger from your dental office) abrasive materials are in the ingredients and can cause some tooth sensitivity**

We hope these tips and recipes are helpful to you in your whitening journey! :)

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Tags : Teeth Whitening, Home Remedies, Natural Tooth Whitening Ideas, At Home Whitening Remedies, At Home Whitening Tricks, Affordable Dentist Bowie MD

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Oil Pulling | Oil Swishing | Oral hygiene | Mouthwash

With products on the market for every ailment ranging from headaches to hangnails, homeopathic and organic methods for banishing things we don’t want in or on our bodies are becoming more and more appealing.  An ancient trend that is making its way back into the 21st century is called oil pulling.  Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic technique that only requires you to swish anywhere from a teaspoon to a tablespoon of organic coconut oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes in order to eliminate toxins and bacteria.

Oil Pulling
The Benefits of Oil Pulling

An assistant in our office has been oil pulling for quite some time and loves the benefits!  She feels that her teeth are cleaner and whiter and her gums are much healthier.  Oil pulling with coconut oil has several other benefits such as clearer skin, headache relief, and clearing up halitosis.  Check out the articles below for more information and let us know your thoughts!  Happy swishing! J      


Coconut Oil Pulling


Thursday, 20 February 2014

What the best and worst foods are for healthy, strong teeth ?

So many patients are always asking us what the best and worst foods are for healthy, strong teeth. Unfortunately, it is true that if you eat predominantly “bad” foods, the chances of developing a cavity are greatly increased.   In order to distinguish between good and bad foods for the teeth, it is important to know how cavities form.  

The steps to forming a cavity are as follows:

1.       First you need a thin, sticky film of bacteria to form on the tooth surfaces.  This film is called plaque.  Plaque accumulates if someone does not practice good oral hygiene techniques (i.e. regular brushing and flossing).

2.       The plaque then needs to come into contact with sugars and starches to produce acids that can attack our teeth for 20 minutes or more after we finish eating.  Continuous attacks can result in tooth structure breakdown and ultimately result in cavities.

Now that we know the steps necessary for cavities to form, it is important to see what foods increase the chances for developing cavities and which foods minimize our risk.

Foods that promote healthy teeth:

  • Fruits and veggies high in fiber (i.e. beans, artichokes, raspberries, blackberries, etc.) are great because these foods produce more saliva flow, which is like a natural mouthwash.  Our saliva neutralizes acids that destroy our teeth and contains minerals that rebuild spots on our teeth that have been attacked by bacterial acids.
  • Yogurt, Cheese, and milk all produce saliva and have minerals that also restore weak spots in the teeth.
  • Certain Teas (Green and Black Specifically) have a substance called polyphenols that suppress and kill bacteria.
  • Sugarless-gum helps produce saliva, which washes food from the teeth.

Foods to stay away from:

  • Sticky sweets (i.e. lollipops, cough drops, Jolly Ranchers, etc.).  The longer sugary substances stay in your mouth, the greater the chance for the bacteria to convert the sugar to acid.
  • Starchy foods such as chips and bread that can get stuck in the teeth.
  • Sodas and carbonated drinks not only contain high levels of refined sugar, but also phosphoric or citric acid that can damage tooth surfaces.

With these tips, as well as good home care (brushing and flossing two times per day) you can maintain healthy, clean, and strong functioning teeth!