oral health

Why You Should Never Delay Dental Treatment

Did you know tooth decay is one of the most chronic diseases in the U.S. today? Proper oral hygiene plays a big role in helping fight this disease but it is equally important to schedule regular exams and cleanings with your family dentist. Following through with treatment recommended by your dentist is vital. Here is why:

Regular visits to your family dentist ensure that dental issues are detected and treated before becoming more severe. Prompt treatment is key in avoiding: 

  • Severe pain
  • Infections
  • Chronic tooth decay
  • Disfigurement
  • AND ultimately higher treatment costs

Over time, lack of proper oral care can affect other areas of the body.  Studies have linked poor oral health in adults to diseases such as:

  • Weakened immune system
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  •  Lung Disease
  •  Cancer

How does this happen? Poor oral hygiene allows bacteria to build up on teeth, which can make the gums prone to infection.  Infection, left untreated, makes the rest of the body susceptible to disease.

According to the American Dental Association, tooth decay is the most chronic disease in children today, affecting 50% of children in the U.S.  Besides pain and discomfort, poor oral health can also affect children’s development in the following areas:

  • Development of primary teeth
  • Proper chewing and nutrition
  • Development of speech
  • Self-esteem and confidence
  • Attendance and performance in school

“The American Dental Association recommends that dental visits begin no later than a child’s first birthday to establish a “dental home.” Dentists can provide guidance to children and parents, deliver preventive oral health services, and diagnose and treat dental disease in its earliest stages. This ongoing dental care will help both children and adults maintain optimal oral health throughout their lifetimes.”  http://www.ada.org/en/about-the-ada/dentists-doctors-of-oral-health)


ALL SERVICES PROVIDED BY MS LICENSED GENERAL DENTISTS

Teeth-Friendly Halloween Ideas

Halloween child friendly treats with bananas and clementines made to look like pumpkins and ghostsThe Fall season is upon us and with that comes many favorites like cooler weather, colorful leaves, all things pumpkin and of course, Halloween! There’s no doubt that for most kids, collecting and eating as much candy as possible is the primary goal. For parents it can be a challenge to let the kiddos enjoy the season while keeping them healthy, especially their teeth. The good news is that healthy and fun alternatives abound.  Here are just a few:

The Trick Is Healthy Treats – Making healthy treats that look yummy and fun can help your family make better snacking choices. Try decorating healthy snacks in fun Halloween themes and make sure they are visible and accessible when it’s time for a treat.

Focus on Fall Fun – Fall activities are a great way to help take the focus off of sweets.  Pumpkin patches, costume parties and arts & crafts are some popular options. This is also a great time to get some physical activity while enjoying nature. Try going on a hike, bike ride or a simple walk.

Make It About Giving Not Just Getting – This is the perfect time of year to remind your family of the importance of giving to others in need. Find out what volunteer opportunities are available in your community and/or consider donating items, money or better yet, a generous portion of the Halloween candy that was collected.

Keep An Oral Health Routine – Dental professionals agree that teaching your children good oral hygiene habits early on will help them develop and maintain these habits as they get older. Take time this “sweet season” to teach your child about the effects of sugar on their teeth and the importance of fighting tooth decay with a daily oral hygiene routine.  Some easy dental tips to remember are:

  •  Limit sugar intake (hide sweet treats)
  • Avoid sticky candy that clings to the teeth and also hard candy
  • Allow a treat after a meal
  • Make sure they drink plenty of water
  • Brush and floss twice daily and after sweet treats
  • Schedule your next visit with your family dentist

Sweets may not be 100% avoidable, especially during this season.  However, combining healthy alternatives with a consistent oral health routine will certainly help keep your family’s smile happy and healthy.  Have a safe and happy Halloween!!

Happy Smiles Dentists are MS Licensed General Dentists.

7 New Year’s Resolutions For A Healthier Smile

Making a list of resolutions or goals is a great way to start the New Year.  It’s the perfect time to resolve to let go of old, bad habits and take on new, healthier ones.  One common topic you will find on many lists is “health”.  While on that topic, why not include resolutions for a healthier smile this year?  Studies have shown that good oral health helps promote good overall health.  In the same way, diseases in the mouth can lead to other health issues.  That is why it is especially important to maintain good oral hygiene.  For this new year, resolve to be better to your mouth.  Use these 7 tips to help you meet your goal:

Eat Fruits and Vegetables

It’s no secret that eating fruits and veggies is important for your overall health.  Good nutrition helps improve the entire immune system and also helps fight common oral disorders, including gum disease.  Antioxidants and other nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts improve your body’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation, helping to protect your teeth and gums. Crisp fruits and raw vegetables like apples, carrots and celery also help clean plaque from teeth and freshen your breath.

Limit Your Coffee, Tea & Red Wine

Beverages like coffee, tea and red wine are known to stain teeth.  Some stains can be superficial and polished off during your scheduled cleaning with your family dentist, but drinking these beverages frequently can also cause internal staining of the tooth enamel. Limiting these drinks and rinsing with water to help get the dark liquids off the teeth will reduce staining as well as risk of decay.

Drink More Water

Drinking plenty of water comes with many health benefits. Water keeps your body hydrated, energizes your muscles, and cleanses your body of toxins.  Water also contains zero calories and unlike acidic and sugary drinks that are harmful to your teeth, it helps prevent decay by flushing your teeth of food and acid.

Brush Twice a Day

Brushing twice a day is essential for removing plaque from your teeth.  Plaque is a soft, sticky film that builds up on your teeth on a daily basis and contains millions of bacteria. The bacteria in plaque feed on the sugars in your food and beverages producing acids that eat away at the tooth enamel.  Not brushing regularly allows plaque to sit on the teeth and causes the enamel to break down, eventually resulting in a cavity.  That is why it is so important that you brush twice daily.  Be sure to use a soft bristled toothbrush; stiffer bristles and aggressive brushing causes gums to recede and can wear enamel away from the teeth.

Floss Daily

Both brushing and flossing are equally important for good oral health.  Plaque that is not removed daily by flossing between teeth can eventually harden into tartar. As the tartar, plaque and bacteria continue to increase, the gum tissue can become red, swollen and possibly bleed when you brush your teeth. This is called gingivitis, an early stage of gum (periodontal) disease.

Visit Your Family Dentist Twice A Year

By seeing your family dentist at least twice a year, you can help prevent dental health problems before they cause discomfort or require more comprehensive or expensive treatment.  During your visit your dentist not only performs a deep cleaning to remove stains and tartar from your teeth but also screens for any other possible conditions.

Don’t Delay On Dental Treatment

A small cavity, left untreated, can easily grow into a large tooth abscess and require a root canal and a crown rather than a small filling.  Treating tooth decay early means that smaller and less invasive treatments will be required. This helps maintain the structure and stability of the remaining tooth, not to mention keeps treatment costs lower.  If left untreated, decay can also spread to other teeth and may cause infections throughout the rest of the body.

Happy Smiles Dentists are MS Licensed General Dentists