How To Deal With Dental Anxiety

Dec 31st, 2018
Easton Dentists Dec 31st, 2018

It’s almost time to schedule your 6-month cleaning and the dread of seeing a dentist keeps holding you back. While dental anxiety might seem like an impossible battle to overcome, it’s important to know that you and 75% of the American population can cope with the fear of dental appointments. According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, three out of four people in the U.S. have encountered dental anxiety at some point in their lives. Although dental anxiety is very common among patients, it’s important to seek ways to manage constant fear, especially if it keeps you from pursuing crucial dental treatment. The good news is that there are many steps that can be taken to eliminate dental anxiety and improve your overall experience at the dentist.

 

1. Find A Trustworthy Dentist

When you’re looking for a Dentist, it’s critical that you chose a dental professional who also cares about the best interest of you and your health. Is the dental office convenient to your work or home? Are they in-network with your Dental Insurance? Do they offer reasonable payment plans? Does the dental staff educate their patients and give appropriate dental instruction? Do you feel welcomed from the moment you step into the dentist office? These are all questions you should ask yourself when seeking the best Dentist for you and your dental anxiety. When you are comfortable with the cost of treatment and the quality of patient interaction, you can feel at ease that your care is in the hands of a trusted dental professional.

 

2. Express Your Concern

Like most anxieties, the first step to overcoming fear is discussing the issue at hand. Some patients are afraid of needles while others worry about the cost of the visit. Some people avoid the dentist because they’ve had poor experiences in the past. Whatever the concern, be sure to inform your Dentist and the staff that you have dental anxiety. Doing so will help them proceed treatment with attentiveness, making you feel more comfortable when sitting in the dental chair.

 

3. Understand The Treatment

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If the dentist is using a tool that is unfamiliar to you, don’t hesitate to become knowledgeable and fully understand their dental procedures. When reviewing a treatment plan with a Dentist, ask as many questions as you need to ensure that you fully comprehend the course of action. It’s important to stay educated at all times so that you know what to expect before your appointment.

 

4. Don’t Go Alone

Sometimes people with dental anxiety feel more comfortable with other people around. Bring your spouse, mom, dad or friend to help keep your anxiety at bay. Talking with someone that you feel comfortable with can help manage the level of nervousness that you might otherwise experience alone.

 

5. Use Relaxation Techniques

Anxiety is effectively treated through many different relaxation techniques. This is also true for dental anxiety. Use deep breathing methods before, during and after the dental appointment to help manage the degree of dental anxiety. Find other distractions that steer your attention from the actual fear itself. For example, playing a game on your phone or reading a magazine in the waiting room helps steer your focus on a different activity. Whatever it is that distracts your anxious mind from the root of your dental fears, use it as a tool to overcome dental anxiety.

If you are delaying dental treatment because of anxiety, don’t let the problem take over your health. It might be comforting to know that modern dental treatment is significantly gentler, softer, and quieter than it has been notorious for in the past. By neglecting routine dental care, you are also risking the chances of oral pain, tooth decay, and other dental health issues down the road. Dental anxiety can be managed, so take a deep breath and beat the stress.

 

6. Sedation

Should none of the above mentioned suggestions work for you, maybe you should consider sedation dentistry.

Most Popular Cosmetic Procedure

Dec 31st, 2018
Easton Dentists Dec 31st, 2018

Cosmetic dentistry is on the rise and for good reason. Cosmetic dental procedures refer to any dental work that is used to improve the appearance of the patient’s smile. The most common cosmetic services are usually provided at a dental office and specifically focus on improving the alignment, positioning, size and color of the teeth. In addition, some cosmetic dental procedures can also be used to provide restorative benefits. Between teeth discoloration, gaps, and misalignment, cosmetic dentistry can correct a variety of oral flaws. With such a wide range of dentistry services to choose from, there are many ways to help improve, restore or enhance the appearance of your teeth.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening is a very common cosmetic procedure used to treat tooth discoloration. Teeth whitening is often performed by using bleaching agents, such as hydrogen peroxide, to restore the tooth’s natural color. There is a false perception that certain toothpastes can have a whitening effect when used consistently. Unfortunately, most stains need the help of a trained dental hygienist or dentist in order to enhance the whitening of an off-colored smile. Whether the stains are a result from an illness or by consuming dark-colored food and beverages, opting for a professional teeth whitening procedure can ensure that you are receiving the safest and highest quality of cosmetic oral care. While different teeth whitening methods are available, professional whitening can provide quicker and longer lasting results.

Dental Implants

A dental implant is typically designed to permanently replace missing teeth. This cosmetic procedure involves a metal screw that is surgically positioned into the jawbone to act as an anchor for an artificial tooth. Many people opt for dental implants because it is a great long-term solution to a very common dental problem. Dental implants come in many different shapes and sizes, which is why it’s important to consult with a dental professional to help determine the best type of implant for you.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain Veneers are a popular way to treat cracks and chips that form from worn enamel or damaged teeth. The cosmetic procedure of bonding porcelain veneers includes the act of reshaping, repairing, lengthening, or shortening teeth. Porcelain veneers can also help hide the worn enamel or closing unwanted gaps between the teeth. Porcelain veneers cover the surface of the damaged tooth with a thin layer of composite that gives it a more natural appearance. This procedure can serve both a functional and aesthetic role, as veneers can help protect the tooth as well as enhance a smile.

Cosmetic Bonding

Cosmetic bonding is a common procedure that is performed by applying a top layer of thin plastic to the teeth. For patients who have worn enamel, the plastic acts as a strong, artificial layer while also protecting the surface and improving the aesthetics of the tooth. The materials used for cosmetic bonding can match many different tooth shades and colors, making it a very popular option for those who struggle with discolored teeth. Like veneers, cosmetic bonding is typically used to restore cracks, chips, or decay.

Invisalign

Orthodontic treatment is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures that can help both children and adults straighten their smiles. Although traditional braces are often a common choice, Invisalign is considered a more convenient and aesthetic method to straightening teeth. Invisalign is a custom-made, removable aligner that can be taken out while brushing, flossing, eating or drinking. Invisalign is easily removed and hardly noticeable, making it a convenient option for those who don’t like the look of braces.

A confident smile can go a long way, both physically and mentally. That’s why it is important to take action on the cosmetic dental flaws that get you down. Whether you are looking to brighten your smile or straighten your teeth, cosmetic dentistry can help improve your quality of life. With the many different cosmetic procedures to choose from, there are countless ways to address your oral concerns. By consulting with a trusted dentist about the best cosmetic procedures for your smile, you are one step closer to restoring your confidence and living a healthier, happier life.

How Stress Affects Oral Health

Dec 21st, 2018
Easton Dentists Dec 21st, 2018

Most of our patients know a thing or two about stress. Whether you’re dealing with chronic stress, or a brief stressful life circumstance, we all encounter it from time to time. Most people associate stress with heart attacks or ulcers, but do you know how stress can affect your oral health?

Stress may negatively affect your oral health in indirect ways.

For starters, stress can cause folks to reach for coping strategies that aren’t so good for your teeth (or the rest of your body).

Junk food, sweets, cigarettes, or alcohol are just a few examples. When these substances interact with your teeth, they can do a lot of damage in the way of gum disease and tooth decay.

Secondly, when we are stressed, we tend to stop making positive health behaviors a priority. Let’s say you’re in the hospital after a car accident; your brushing and flossing routine will not be forefront on your mind.

Even a minor bout of stress from a tough day can have us reaching for our cozy bed and some relieve instead of taking the time to brush first.

And of course, keeping up with routine dental visits may fall completely off our priority list while under stress. This can prevent us from finding the early signs of decay and can cause more pain and stress later on.

How does stress affect our mouths directly?

Well, lots of folks grind their teeth as a physical way to deal with stress. You may be doing it without even realizing it! Ask a partner or someone who knows you well to tell you if you have this habit. Many of our patients benefit from wearing a mouth guard at night to protect against the damage of grinding their teeth. It protects wear and tear damage and alleviates muscle tension from the forces exerted when tightly clenching your jaw.

Also, when we are stressed we have higher levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, that put our body in a “flight or fight” state. This causes our blood pressure and blood sugar to increase, and our digestive and immune function to decrease. When our immune system isn’t functioning as it should, this can make periodontal disease more likely. It can also slow down the healing of other oral issues or injuries we may have.

What can you do about it?

The best thing you can do to prevent the stress of oral health issues is to maintain good dental hygiene and visit us regularly for routine visits. We want what’s best for you — and that includes a healthy mouth for a lifetime! Schedule an appointment today!

Is It True That Gum Disease Can Cause Heart Attacks?

Nov 26th, 2018
Easton Dentists Nov 26th, 2018

Gum disease is a bacterial infection that can affect more than just oral health. There are many studies showing that people with gum disease also have significantly high rates of developing cardiovascular problems, such as heart attack or stroke. While scientists continue to research the theory, it has been recognized that there is a strong relationship between gum disease and heart attacks.

Heart attacks are considered the most common medical condition in the general population. It is also known that heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States. On the other hand, many researchers have found that gum disease affects nearly half of American adults over the age of 30. Because the two conditions similarly affect the population, the idea that gum disease links to heart attacks is prevalent. During a study that was conducted in 2012, known as PAROKRANK, researchers evaluated a group of dental patients to back up the theory. The results showed that 43% of heart attack patients also suffered from gum disease. They also found that people with gum disease had a 50% higher chance of a heart attack than those without.

When it comes to the link between gum disease and heart attacks, inflammation caused by bacteria may be the culprit. It is understood that the common factor between gum disease and heart attacks include the same type of bacterial infection. The bacteria found in gum disease produces inflammation in other areas of the mouth when left untreated. By continuing to live with this condition, the bacteria can eventually spread to other parts of the body. Infection caused by gum disease can easily enter the bloodstream through everyday activities, such as brushing, flossing, and chewing food. As the bacteria spreads throughout the body, it can eventually reach the circulatory system, causing blood vessels to swell and increasing the risk of blood clots and heart attack. Because inflammation is the body’s instant response mechanism, the inflammation can cause the formation of plaque. It is known that the existence of excess plaque can cause the clogging of arteries, similar to how it causes tooth decay.

With the proper care and consistent follow-up with your dentists, the possible health risks of gum disease can be avoided. Everyday care is essential to keeping the signs of gum disease at bay. Continuing to correctly brush and floss each day as well as avoiding alcohol and tobacco can prevent gum disease from forming. Regular cleanings and dental visits can also help with early diagnosis of gum disease. During dental appointments, your dentist can evaluate and measure the gums for inflammation, build-up, and possible bone loss.

The bottom line is that prevention and treatment of gum disease can ultimately save our bodies from further health conditions, such as heart attacks. That is why it’s important to contact your dentist if you suffer from any of the related symptoms:

* Red, swollen, tender gums

* Bleeding gums after brushing, flossing, or eating

* Receding gums

* Loose or separating teeth

* Pus surrounding the gums

* Mouth sores

* Bad bread

* A change in bite

Gum disease has been debated as a possible cause of heart attacks for many years. While research continues to be conducted on the direct link, it’s best to take the proactive steps to beat the possibility

How Late In Life Can One Get Braces?

Nov 26th, 2018
Easton Dentists Nov 26th, 2018

Childhood is frequently viewed as the prime time to get braces. However, more adults of all ages are choosing orthodontic treatment to fix many of their oral health problems and opting for braces. According to The American Association of Orthodontists, one in five people who seek the treatment of braces is over age 18.

While the appearance of a beautiful, straight smile is a common motive for adults to get braces, there are many other reasons why someone might be interested in their later years of life. Whether it is the natural effects of aging, misalignment, or underlying health conditions, it is never too late to seek orthodontic care. In fact, proper teeth alignment becomes even more crucial as people grow older.

 

Braces are more than just creating attractive smiles.

Braces help correct improperly positioned teeth, which will also prevent common oral health issues. Crowding pressure, tooth decay, and the deterioration of enamel can cause a substantial amount of pain and discomfort without the proper treatment. Getting braces to fix the positioning of your teeth can end up saving a lot of distress and money in the long run, no matter the age.

Aging can cause the teeth to shift. As we age, it is not uncommon for our teeth to start moving. As the jawbone changes, the midline shifts from it’s ideal positioning. This can happen even if our teeth have been straight throughout our whole life. The continuous, yet slow shift of the midline can ultimately result in crowding and overlapping of the teeth. Braces can undoubtedly straighten age-related crooked teeth at any age.

Some health conditions contribute to misalignment. While aging is a large factor, sometimes health conditions and injuries can influence our teeth to move in an undesirable way. Periodontal disease, a condition caused by bacteria living under gum tissue, can also lead to the spreading of teeth. Stress is another common factor when it comes to teeth shifting and misalignment. Grinding, clenching, nail biting and tongue thrusting are all examples of unconscious habits that cause wear and tare on your teeth. If an adult is noticing that their teeth are changing their shape and size, they might seek the advice of an Orthodontist to see if braces are right for them.

Problems that were left untreated as a child can get worse with time. Common oral issues, such as a misaligned jaw or bite, can lead to further health complications that might urge a person to be interested in braces. Headaches, TMJ, and gum disease name a few conditions that a person might run into when misalignment is left untreated. As an adult, the getting braces can help correct these issues and improve your overall health and wellness.

Neglecting the use of retainers. Sometimes, adults who have had braces when they were younger may need to go through a second or third course of treatment. This is usually due to not wearing retainers as instructed by their orthodontist. The proper use of retainers long after wearing braces can prevent the teeth from shifting back to its original state. When a previous orthodontic patient neglects that responsibility, the chances are high that their teeth might become crooked again. It is not uncommon to see an adult get braces multiple times throughout their life.

Modern braces make a difference. Sometimes, children and adolescents choose not to wear braces for aesthetic reasons. Now, with more reliable options such as clear brackets and Invisalign, braces are more socially acceptable, even for adults. That is not to mention that braces today are more affordable than they have been in the past. Adults might decide on orthodontic treatment later in life due to financial reasons. Today, most orthodontic offices accept dental insurance and create reasonable payment plans for all patients.

With the right treatment, braces can be beneficial at any age. Braces used to be a type of dental care that was more commonly seen on children and teenagers. Now, statistics show that more than 20% of orthodontic patients are adults, including those in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. It’s never too late to make improvements to our health and wellbeing, which is why more adults are getting braces to straighten their smiles.

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!