Should I Brush Before Flossing?

Nov 16th, 2018
Easton Dentists Nov 16th, 2018

The age-old question – should you floss before you brush or after? If you asked any one of our team members, you just might get a different answer on this one!

Before you report them for not knowing their stuff, each response can be right! As long as you’re doing a thorough job, we don’t care when you floss!

The Case for Flossing Before Brushing

Theoretically, flossing first dislodges the gunk between your teeth, letting the fluoride in your toothpaste reach those crevices better.

Also, behavioral scientists say since most people don’t like to floss, it’s better to get the least-pleasant half of your dental routine out of the way first – you’ll be less likely to skip it. Once you have a minty, fresh mouth from brushing, you might be less inclined to feel the need to floss afterward.

The Case for Flossing After Brushing

Some say flossing last is better because it clears your mouth from extra food and debris that could otherwise be carried by the floss into the very spaces you’re trying to clean out.

Plus, it might be more pleasant to put those flossing hands into a clean mouth versus an unbrushed one.

Bottom Line

Floss when it works for you. But make it a habit! Choose the same time every day, floss once a day, and floss thoroughly.

And don’t forget to use the right flossing method: for each new set of teeth, use a new section of floss, and hug each side of the tooth by dragging the floss upward in the shape of a “C.”

Want us to show you how? Just ask!

Electrical or Manual Toothbrush: Which is Better?

Oct 26th, 2018
Easton Dentists Oct 26th, 2018

This is one of our most frequently asked questions! Our answer? It’s not the brush that matters, it’s who’s doing the brushing.

Let’s break that down. The goal of tooth brushing is to remove plaque from your teeth on a consistent (daily!) basis, so that we prevent the buildup of tartar which leads to tooth decay. A manual toothbrush is a great and inexpensive tool that helps us do just that. Make sure to brush two minutes per day, twice a day. Gently brush ALL surfaces and make sure to reach those back molars.

For some people, it can be difficult to brush properly with a manual toothbrush. Those with some form of motor disability or arthritis may benefit from using an electric toothbrush. An electric brush can also be helpful for kids or anyone with braces.
The same tooth brushing rules apply – two times per day, two minutes at a time. One advantage of an electric toothbrush is that some have a built-in timer. If you’re one of those quick brushers who has a hard time making it to two minutes, consider using a timed electric brush.

At your next dental visit, ask us whether we think you would do better with a manual or electric brush! And, as always, don’t forget to floss!

What Should You Do When a Dental Emergency Occurs to Your Child?

Oct 12th, 2018
Easton Dentists Nov 12th, 2018

You are sitting with other parents while the kids are in the middle of playing in a Little League game. All of a sudden, everyone is looking at you and you can hear the unmistakable sound of your young baseball player sobbing and holding his mouth in obvious pain. He’s been hit in his front teeth on a misplayed ground ball, and a brand new permanent tooth has been knocked out.

While you try to calm your wet-faced, bloody son, one of the parents suggests that you to put the tooth in a glass of cow’s milk. What kind of suggestion is that? You wonder if that has to be an old wives tale, but it turns out not to be. One thing you know for sure is that you need to get him to an emergency dentist as soon as soon as you can.

Dental emergencies can happen at any time. Knowing what to do when the moment arrives can mean the difference between your child keeping or losing his tooth.

 

A Few Common Dental Emergencies and How to Handle Them

Make an effort to have a dentist saved on your cell phone. Severe pain or broken teeth can happen at any moment and can bring even the most stubborn people to the dental office.

 

Knocked Out Tooth

Kids rough house, teenagers play sports, and adults take a “you only live once” approach to learning how to skateboarding. At the moment when a tooth does get knocked out, pick it up by the crown (not the root), gently rinse with water, and try to gently push it back into the socket. Should this not be possible, place it in a glass of milk and make contact with your dentist (or one that you can get a more immediate appointment.)

 

Toothache

A toothache can totally immobilize you. Possible causes can be: tooth decay, infection, tooth eruption, an abnormal bite, or trauma to the tooth. Make an appointment with a dentist and rinse your mouth with warm salt water, take an ibuprofen or acetaminophen, apply an over-the-counter antiseptic and a cold compress to the outside cheek next to where  you believe the afflicted area is located to relieve pain or swelling.

 

Crown or Filling Falling Out

Should your crown falls out, gently wipe the crown or filling clean, proceed to wrap it in a clean cloth, , and schedule an appointment with your dental center.

 

Chipped or fractured tooth

Cracked or chipped teeth don’t always hurt, but the nerves can get damaged if you wait t0o long to get it taken care of. Even if it’s not a big bother, it’s still a good idea to make an appointment with a dental professional to get it taken care of.

 

Concussed Tooth

Should your little boy have an incident where he bangs his tooth on a girl’s head and it doesn’t fall out, he still might experience a discolored tooth. Other than having unfortunate year-of-the-dark-tooth school photograph, it’s not exactly a serious dental emergency, but may still be worth getting it examined.

 

How to Avoid Dental Emergencies:

 

  • Don’t use your teeth for anything other than eating or chew very hard foods (such as lollipops)
  • Wear a mouth guard when playing in athletic games
  • Schedule regular teeth cleanings & checkups
  • Brush and floss your teeth daily

Should you have a need of an emergency dentist, contact Easton Dental Center immediately for an appointment ASAP.

How Does Smoking Impact Dental Health?

Oct 11th, 2018
Easton Dentists Nov 12th, 2018

The use of tobacco products is the leading preventable cause of disease and early death in the United States.

Smoking has been linked to a myriad of dental health problems. The most well-known are bad breath and tooth discoloration. On a more serious note, smoking can be linked to a higher risk of gum disease, loss of bone mass in the jaw, and oral cancer.

And yet, approximately 42 million Americans still smoke cigarettes!

Every year, the American Cancer Society’s celebrates the Annual Great American Smokeout – one day each year that is set aside to encourage people to make the pledge to quit smoking.  Easton Dental strongly encourages people to quit smoking and thus promote better dental health. Why?

Because…

A person that smokes has twice the risk for gum disease as a non-smoker. The American Academy of Periodontology makes the assertion that the use of tobacco is one of the greatest risk factors in both the origin and progression of gum disease.

Not only does smoking increase likelihood of gum disease, but has also been discovered to make the treatment of gum disease not as effective.

A list of serious health conditions due to tobacco use includes heart attack, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.  Gum disease has been found to also be a leading cause of tooth loss, along with being linked to complications during pregnancy.  At least 75% of cancers of the mouth, lips, tongue and throat are found in people that use an excessive amount of tobacco.

But all is not lost. It has been found that the effects of smoking begin to reverse themselves almost immediately once a smoker quits this harmful habit.  According to the American Dental Association, even after many years of heavy tobacco use, reducing the amount a person smokes or quitting all together is very beneficial.  This action can greatly reduce the health risks, even so far as reducing the likelihood of gum disease to the point as if that person had never smoked!

A life without the cigarettes can lead to: Better breath, whiter teeth, healthier gums, and overall better health. Who would not want that?

How Apples are Good for Your Teeth

Oct 5th, 2018
Easton Dentists Oct 5th, 2018

Good for my teeth

People have been asserting that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” since the 19 th century. While it may not necessarily be true that those who eat apples never have to see a doctor, apples certainly have great health benefits for our bodies! Did you know they can even be good for our teeth? Let’s take a look at what the research says …

It’s widely thought that chewing a crisp, fresh apple can help brush away plaque on our teeth. We’re not too sure on this one, as some studies show a higher plaque content on teeth after eating an apple. At the same time, there is evidence to suggest some polyphenols in apples can lower the ability of cavity-causing bacteria to adhere to teeth. Further, some studies have shown that the antioxidants in apples can help prevent periodontal disease.

Apples even contain a (very) small amount of fluoride. This is worth noting, as fluoride is so important in helping prevent cavities.

Lastly, the act of chewing an apple stimulates saliva production. Saliva helps wash away food debris and bacteria. Remember, though, apples contain sugar and acid so it’s best not to go overboard with them.

You can even swish with water after eating one to wash away some of the sugar left behind. As the science continues to look into how apples affect our teeth, one thing we know is true: regular dental visits, along with daily tooth brushing and flossing, is your best defense against tooth decay! Schedule an appointment today!

Are Dental Procedure Costs on the Rise? 

Sep 30th, 2018
Easton Dentists Oct 30th, 2018

Over the last several years, the cost of dental care has been increasing at a faster rate than most healthcare services. With such rapid developments made to dental procedures, technology, and education, the average American cannot afford many of the treatments that are often recommended by dentists. Although most Americans are insured with some form of healthcare, the expense of a dentist visit often outweighs those benefits, especially during the more demanding procedures, such as root canals and tooth extractions. As a result of this abrupt increase in the cost of dental care, research has shown that only 36% of Americans actually go to the dentist on an annual basis. Unfortunately, when cost is the only thing standing in the way of proper dental care, we are either forced to pay the expenses out of pocket or skip the recommended treatment overall. This in turn, can lead to further health complications down the road. 

With such an increase in dental bills, many of us find ourselves wondering why a trip to the dentist is so expensive. Professional dentistry requires extensive knowledge and advanced technology in order to deliver the highest quality of treatment. Studies show that 80% of what a patient pays after their dental procedure goes toward the expense of running an up-to-date dental practice. Considering the cost of office space, payroll of certified staff, health and business insurance, taxes, supplies, and updated technology, it’s no wonder why dental visits are costly. The quality of products that are manufactured in dental labs are also on the rise, resulting in a much higher demand in order to afford reliable crowns, dentures, and other dental products that are being placed inside patients’ mouths.  

Dental Fillings 

Dental fillings have come an extremely long way over the last 150 years. Dental filling advancements that might affect the higher treatment costs, include the variety of updated bonding techniques. Now, we have the option of treating our cavities with dental fillings that blend with the actual color of the tooth, making it more aesthetically pleasing to the patient. Tooth composites are also being produced to be a stronger, more translucent material. While a traditional, silver amalgam filling can cost as little as $50, there are some porcelain fillings that can cost almost $4,500. With so many options to choose from, the price of treating tooth decay will most likely continue to increase. 

Tooth Extractions 

Sometimes, dental procedures require surgical and non-surgical extractions to fix the issues that can’t be treated. While the cost of tooth extractions depend on the difficulty and length of the treatment, the actual procedure usually involves administering anesthesia. Furthermore, the latest anesthesia technology is expensive, and even the most basic forms can get pricey. Depending on the severity, the average tooth removal can cost anywhere from $75 to $700 per tooth. 

Root Canals and Crowns 

Dental procedures, such as crown placements, normally follow a root canal, turning the treatment into a couple weeks worth of dental visits. The cost of a crown is usually tied to the type of material that it’s made of. Dental labs are making the material more durable so that there are less chances of the crown cracking later down the road. The improvements made in the material of dental crowns make the overall costs range from $300-$700. That’s not to mention that the root canal procedure can cost a couple hundred dollars as well. 

Running a Dental Office 

With the rise in modernized dental procedures and technology, running a dental office as a professional can cost a small fortune. A small dental office serving roughly 1500 patients per year can cost several hundred thousand dollars per year to operate.  

Studies have recently shown that more and more people continue to skip the dentist office all together because of the unpleasant bill that comes along with the visit. However, it’s important to remember that the high costs are associated with giving the patient the best quality of care and satisfaction. Dental care is an essential part of living a healthy life, thus why such extensive measures have been taken to make all dental procedures as reliable as possible. 

 

Does Teeth Whitening Damage Teeth?

Sep 3rd, 2018
Easton Dentists Oct 3rd, 2018

There is a common misconception that teeth are supposed to be as white as a sheet of paper. The reality is that tooth enamel can be a number of different shades that actually produce an off-white, almost yellowish color. Over time, the natural color of our teeth can start to become darker. Whether that change is from genetics, aging, or from the use of certain medicines, there are multiple factors that can create an unwanted appearance of dark yellow looking teeth or pesky stains. Teeth whitening is a procedure that uses safe chemical treatment to brighten the tooth and change its natural exterior to appear white. There are a handful of ways that you can achieve this look, including the use of abrasive toothpastes and over the counter whitening agents. In most cases, professional bleaching tends to be more beneficial and longer lasting.

What Whitening Can Manage: Discoloration happens to even the healthiest of teeth, but there are ways to reverse it. Having your teeth professionally bleached may help conserve your overall oral condition by removing unhealthy stains almost immediately. Discoloration from coffee, tea, and pigmented foods can sometimes lead to other oral issues, such as tooth decay and enamel breakdown. Having your teeth whitened every now and then might be a positive step toward managing such stains. The process is fast and easy, making it more appealing for those who are looking for quick fix.

The mental effect that teeth whitening has on patients can also help promote healthier habits. Having a brighter looking smile may boost confidence levels, resulting in higher determination to want to take care of your teeth. Being proud of the color of your teeth might just be the ticket to necessary cleaning and maintenance. Keep in mind that before committing to a bleaching treatment or any other kind of whitening procedure, you should consult with your dentist to be sure that it is the right practice for you. What it Cannot Manage: Another common misjudgment that some patients make is assuming that teeth whitening can replace the daily practice of personal oral hygiene. Whitening is certainly not a substitute for healthy habits such as routine cleanings, brushing, flossing or the avoidance of certain food and drink. That’s not to mention that even whitening doesn’t last forever. It takes appropriate maintenance and upkeep in order to hold those sparkling results for longer than a few months. The only way that you can ensure long-term whitening is by following the basic oral health guidelines. Avoiding smoking, coffee, tea, wine, and other acidic food and drink to help prevent staining and darkening. By taking good care of your teeth at all times, you may not need another treatment for another 12 months.

Again, it is important to consult with your dentist to confirm that your oral history won’t affect the results of teeth whitening. For example, those who suffer from tooth decay and receding gums might be extremely sensitive to the treatment, causing unnecessary nerve and gum pain. Also, whitening will not cure cavities or tooth decay. In fact, it’s highly recommended that all cavities and areas of decay are treated beforehand. Bleaching veneers or teeth that have porcelain or ceramic crowns can also result in an unsuccessful process.

It’s crucial to understand that while teeth whitening can be very useful toward improving the brightness of your smile, it can also cause some unwanted symptoms if used incorrectly. That’s why the guidance of a professional can help you reap the full benefits of teeth whitening in the safest way possible. It’s no secret that creating a whiter smile can be a favorable change to your overall health. If you are struggling with tough stains on your teeth or discoloration, it might be worth your time to learn more about how teeth whitening can help manage your teeth!

What Dental Careers Are Available, Outside of Being a Dentist 

Aug 30th, 2018
Easton Dentists Oct 30th, 2018

Dental careers are often desired because of their patient interaction, well-paid salary and work-life balance. There is substantially high demand for dental professionals that don’t involve the extensive education of becoming a dentist or related doctor. Positions, such as dental hygienists, dental assistants, dental lab technicians, and administrative assistants are also great ways to make a living in the dental field. With flexible hours and lower educational costs than dentists, the accredited training programs for such positions might be worth your time.   

Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are considered one of the 25 fastest-growing occupations in the United States, providing a variety of tasks that help support the dental team on a daily basis. The responsibilities of a dental assistant often range from taking patient x-rays and sterilizing equipment, to recordkeeping and scheduling appointments. In some cases, dental assistants are also trained to take impressions of patients’ teeth for braces and retainers. Although the tasks of a dental assistant range from office to office, they often have many different opportunities for gainful employment and career advancement. Becoming a dental assistant is a great way to get into the dental care field without the expense of obtaining a degree. However, most states require the completion of an accredited program of one to two years in order to receive the proper credentials. Dental assistants, on average, tend to make about $37,000 a year as a mid-level career.  

Dental Lab Technician  

Becoming a dental laboratory technician is another great way to work with a dental team without a degree. Dental lab technicians help produce dental and orthodontic products, such as bridges, retainers, braces, crowns, dentures and more. While there are many courses that can help prepare you for the responsibilities that come with being a lab technician, most of the training can be done on the job. Although the salary depends on the practice, the average dental lab technician makes about $35,000-$37,000 a year. 

Dental Hygienist

A Dental Hygienist spends the majority of their day working directly with the patients under the supervision of a dentist. Averaging a salary of $74,000, Dental Hygienist are professionals with experience in cleaning tooth deposits, removing tough stains, and examining patients for signs of disease. Dental Hygienists are also trained in administering local anesthetics and providing preventative education for long term dental care. Dental Hygienists must acquire an Associate’s Degree to be considered for the role in a dental practice.  

Administration

Every healthcare office requires administrative support in order to operate smoothly. Someone with a friendly face to greet patients, answer phones, and schedule appointments is the ideal candidate to create a welcoming atmosphere and outstanding patient care. The demand for Administrative Assistants, Front Desk Coordinators, and Office Managers is extremely high with no education needed to pursue. The average income for an administrative role on the dental care team typically ranges from $30,000-$40,000 a year.  

 On a doctorate level, becoming a general dentist isn’t the only line of professional that is available. Orthodontists, Periodontists, and Oral Surgeons name a few who specialize in dental health and help improve the quality of life for thousands of patients.  

Orthodontist

Orthodontists are specialists who help with the alignment and positioning of the teeth. After a long journey of education and schooling, Orthodontists are constantly staying up-to-date with the most advanced straightening techniques and appliances. If becoming an Orthodontist is a career that interests you, it requires up to 12 years of schooling and advanced specialty education. Although the road to becoming an Orthodontist is a long one, this dental career is projected to grow faster than moth careers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, the employment of Orthodontists is predicted to see a growth of 21% by 2020.

Oral Surgeons

Oral surgeons, also known as Maxillofacial Surgeons, specialize in reconstructing the teeth, jaw, and facial bones, that can’t otherwise be treated through orthodontics. They often perform surgery and other procedures on the oral regions to treat diseases, injuries, and defects. The steps to become an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon include a four-year education, four years of dental school, and the completion of a hospital-based residency program.

Periodontist

A Periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the care of inflammation and disease of gums, the alveolar bone, and the periodontal ligament. To become a periodontist, one has to complete dental school and obtain a postdoctoral certificate, which often takes more than three years to receive.  

The dental field has many different careers that are available. Depending on the degree of education in which you prefer, every dental position has the advantage of helping patients achieve healthier smiles.
 

 

What Makes Invisalign Superior To Traditional Braces?

Aug 3rd, 2018
Easton Dentists Oct 3rd, 2018

Traditional braces have been around since the early 1800’s. Of course, the technology used today to create straighter smiles is significantly more effective than those that were used back then. With the advancements that have been made to teeth correction, it’s no doubt that braces have come a long way. Now, with the option of Invisalign, it’s easy to get confused on which treatment is the right one for you. Invisalign is a custom-made alternative to braces. The aligners are made up of clear trays that are almost invisible. While both traditional braces and Invisalign have its perks and downfalls, Invisalign seems to take the cake in most cases.

Invisalign Require Less Treatment Time. Traditional braces involve a chain of metal brackets that are generally worn for 2-3 years depending on the patient. Because each treatment plan is unique to its own, some cases are more severe and can drag out even longer! Invisalign has a shorter treatment time with an average of 10-20 months.

Invisalign Require Less Adjustments. Braces are high maintenance. A long with the long list of directions that you’ll receive on the day of application, you’ll also realize that every 4-6 weeks require tightening and readjusting by your orthodontist. During these follow-up visits, your orthodontist will check for pokey wires and unwanted shifting to make sure that everything is moving the way it should be. This can get hard to manage with a busy schedule to coordinate with. Not only does Invisalign require less follow-up appointments, but the check-ups also last half as long as those with braces.

Invisalign is More Comfortable. Besides the slight discomfort after changing into a new set of trays, Invisalign is pain free throughout the entire treatment. Without the poking of wires and the feeling of scratchiness against your cheek, you won’t even realize they are there. That is not to mention that you won’t have to deal with the tugging and pulling of adjustments every six weeks.

Invisalign Boosts Self-Esteem. Invisalign is virtually invisible, hence why it got its name! This is great for those who don’t like the look of brackets or who are trying to avoid the extra attention to their teeth. The aligners are made with clear plastic that is custom fit, making it more appealing to its porcelain cousin.

Invisalign Is Great for Athletes. Playing contact sports can get tricky when you have a mouthful. Braces need a special kind of mouth guard that is often bulky and uncomfortable. Invisalign makes it easier to find a smaller guard to keep your teeth in tact so that you can enjoy all of your favorite activities!

Invisalign Is Easy To Maintain. Invisalign trays have very simple directions to help keep them bacteria-free. Instead of carefully brushing around each individual bracket, all you have to do is gently scrub your aligners with a toothbrush each night for easy maintenance. Consistent cleaning of your aligners, proper brushing and flossing is all you need to keep them fresh. It is also important to keep in mind the liquids that are consumed when trays are being worn. Juices and coffee can easily stain the plastic, making it much harder to clean.

Invisalign is Food Friendly. Who likes being told they can’t eat popcorn, pretzels, and all the other chewy, sticky, crunchy food? With Invisalign, you no longer have to worry about damaging your braces from eating your favorite snacks. Simply remove your trays prior to each meal and replace them after a good brushing. It is highly recommended that Invisalign trays are worn for at least 20 hours a day for the best results. As long as you don’t keep them out for too long during the day, removing them while eating is completely harmless.

Effects of Soda on Your Teeth

Jul 23rd, 2018
Easton Dentists Jul 23rd, 2018

Ever seen those videos where someone puts a baby tooth in a glass of soda and watches it decay? Well, the effect of soda in an actual mouth is a bit different.

You have your saliva to help wash away the sugar, you eat other things throughout the day, and brush at least twice a day to remove debris or plaque. Nevertheless, soda is not something we recommend you consume more often than a once-in-awhile treat. Here’s why:

 

1. Sugar

Soda has an extremely high sugar content. The bacteria that cause tooth decay feed off of sugar and excrete acid, which is what causes tooth decay. The more sugar our teeth have to interact with, the more prone to decay they will be.

 

2. Acid

Think diet soda is a better alternative? Even though it contains zero sugar, it can still contain acids such as phosphoric acid or citric acid. Acid eats away at a tooth’s enamel and leaves it prone to decay.

 

3. Colors

Caramel color, Yellow 5, etc. Any type of artificial coloring can cause tooth-staining. If you prefer your teeth sparkling white, it’s best to stay away from soda.

 

Alternatives!

Instead of soda, we recommend spicing up your daily beverages with other alternatives. How about some sparkling water or plain water infused with fresh fruit?

When you do drink soda, make sure to rinse with water afterwards. And, as always, keep up with regular brushing and flossing to protect those precious teeth!