Fluoride and Your Dental Health

Apr 26th, 2016
Easton Dentists May 6th, 2016

fluoride trays

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you went to the dentist as a child, you probably remember the fluoride treatments that the hygienist gave towards the end of your appointment. You may have questioned why you weren’t allowed to eat anything for the next thirty minutes but it’s doubtful that you questioned the role that fluoride plays in your dental health. Now as an adult you may be wondering what fluoride is and how it helps keep our mouths healthy.

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can be found in some foods and in most cases, is also found in your city water.

What Role Does Fluoride Play in Dental Health?

The outermost layer of our teeth, our enamel, is made up of tiny crystals that are fortified with minerals such as calcium, fluoride, and phosphate. The foods that we eat, particularly sugar and grains, can cause acid to be produced as it breaks down the food. Those acids can then affect our enamel, causing mineral loss, also referred to as demineralization.

When tooth enamel suffers from demineralization, it leaves your teeth more prone to bacteria build up and tooth decay. Through our diet and through dental treatments and fluoride enhanced products, we are able to supplement lost fluoride and aid in the remineralization of our tooth enamel. Strong, healthy tooth enamel is the first line of defense against tooth decay and also tooth sensitivity.

Who Can Benefit From Fluoride?

It was once believed that only children with developing teeth and bones could benefit from topical fluoride treatments. Today, however, it has been shown that fluoride aids adults in the remineralization process and is beneficial for their oral health as well.

Do I Need More Fluoride?

Most over the counter toothpastes and mouth rinses are fortified with fluoride and provide sufficient supplementation for adults. To gain the most benefit, try brushing with fluoride toothpaste or using a fluoride mouth rinse 1-2x a day.

Be careful with children, especially those under the age of 6, as they do not require the same amount of fluoride as adults. Use only a small amount of fluoride toothpaste for young children and monitor their exposure to fluoride in other sources to keep exposure at a safe and beneficial level.

At Easton Dentists, we believe that preventative care, which includes regular dental checkups, is one of the most important factors in maintaining your oral health. If you’re ready to schedule a visit at our Columbus Dental Center, contact us today. We’re here to help you move towards greater oral health!

Everything You Need to Know About Sealants

Apr 11th, 2016
Easton Dentists May 6th, 2016

Maybe you’ve recently taken your child or teenager to the dentist and it was recommended that your child get sealants put on their teeth. Now you may be wondering, what exactly are sealants and how will they benefit your child’s oral health? We will explore these questions and more in today’s post.

What are sealants?

A sealant is a topical, plastic coating that can be safely applied to the chewing surface of the teeth. Sealants are most often applied to the pre-molars and molars of children between the ages of 6 and 14, but can also be used on adults.

What do sealants do?

Teeth, especially back teeth, have various pits and grooves on their chewing surface. Food particles, plaque and bacteria can collect in those grooves and cause tooth decay. A sealants job is to protect the tooth by covering the pits and grooves and preventing that build up from ever occurring. In this way, sealants help prevent tooth decay and prolong the need for dental treatments such as fillings, crowns, or caps.

Who should get sealants?

As we mentioned above, sealants are typically recommended for children and teenagers who are at risk for developing cavities. Once a child has their pre-molars or molars, applying sealants to these back teeth can help prevent cavities from occurring and keep their teeth healthy, longer. Children tend to have pits and grooves in their teeth that are deeper and less calcified than adult teeth, making them the perfect fit for sealants.

Does insurance cover sealants?

There are many insurance companies that cover sealants for children, up to a certain age. It is best to check with your dental insurance provider to see if they cover sealants and if so, what exclusions there might be surrounding the treatment.

Do sealants hurt?

Having sealants applied is completely painless. The teeth being treated will be cleansed, dried, and prepped before the sealant is painted on. Once the paint hardens, the treatment is complete. It is very quick and does not cause any discomfort.

How long do sealants last?

Sealants can last up to 10 years. However, it is important to practice good oral hygiene and visit the dentist regularly to make sure the sealants have not been damaged or worn off. Sealants can always be re-applied if needed, however insurance may not cover a second application.

At Easton Dentists we recommend sealants as part of your oral preventative care, especially for children. So, if you’re ready to schedule an appointment for yourself or your child to have sealants applied, contact us today and we’d be happy to get you an appointment!

 

What To Do For Dry Mouth

Mar 24th, 2016
Easton Dentists Mar 25th, 2016

If you ask any dental clinic Columbus Ohio doctor about dry mouth, the answer always comes down to saliva production. Complaints of a dry mouth are not uncommon among patients that come to Easton Dentists, or any dentist for that matter. We hear this concern quite a bit and would like to address the issue so that you can get on with your life without having to worry about the effects of dry mouth.

dental clinic columbus ohioFirst of all, how do you know if you have a dry mouth? If you do have dry mouth, you probably don’t need this question answered. However, some common symptoms include a dry, sticky feeling in the mouth, frequent thirst or feeling the need to constantly wet your mouth, sores in the mouth, cracked lips and sides of the mouth, and bad breathe.

Unfortunately, dry mouth leads to more than an uncomfortable feeling or bad breathe. People who have dry mouth and do not take measures to correct the issue are more likely to experience dental problems such as gingivitis, tooth decay, and even oral infections.

Saliva plays an important role in both your oral and overall health, so not having enough of it can be problematic. A few ways that saliva keeps our bodies and teeth healthy include:

-Helping to moisten and cleanse our mouths after eating and in between meals

-Promoting digestion (there are enzymes found in saliva that break down food before it moves to the stomach)

-Preventing infection by controlling bacteria and fungi in the mouth

When patients do not have enough saliva production, there are many factors that might be causing the issue. Some factors you can control, such as the lifestyle choices listed below. Other factors such as disease and infection require you to work with your doctor to address the root cause and make adjustments where necessary.

Dental Clinic Columbus Ohio & Lifestyle Factors

-Consuming too much alcohol or caffeine

-Smoking

-Chewing tobacco

-Breathing through your mouth

Certain medications are also known to cause dry mouth. Medications used to treat depression, anxiety, allergies, and common colds are among the worst offenders. If you suspect that a medication might be contributing to your dry mouth, talk to your doctor about alternatives.

If you have a dry mouth and it is not caused by disease or medication, what can you do? We give our patients the following list of suggestions when talking about treatment for dry mouth. Try implementing some of these habits and see if your dry mouth doesn’t improve.

What You Can Do

-Use a fluoride toothpaste

-Rinse with fluoride instead of an alcohol based products

-Make a habit of breathing through your nose

-Chew on sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free mints

-Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially between meals

-Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco

If you implement these changes, your issues with dry mouth should resolve fairly quickly. If you continue to struggle with dry mouth and have already talked to your doctor concerning your overall health, schedule an appointment with a dental clinic Columbus Ohio provider such as Easton Dentist. Our staff will be happy to examine your mouth and provide additional advice on how you can cope with dry mouth.

Contact us todayto schedule an appointment!

Should I Get an Electronic Toothbrush or a Manual Toothbrush?

Mar 9th, 2016
Easton Dentists Mar 11th, 2016

If you walk into your Columbus dentist office, you will probably see a model electronic toothbrush display somewhere during your visit.

columbus dentistMaybe you’ve been considering using an electronic toothbrush but want to know if it’s the right choice for you. Let’s look at some of the benefits of both the electronic toothbrush, as well as the manual toothbrush and then you can decide for yourself which is better.

The Manual Toothbrush

  • The manual toothbrush model has been around for decades. There really isn’t much to it besides the obvious handle and bristles. Some of the benefits of using a manual toothbrush include:
  • More control over exerted pressure- with a manual brush, you are more easily able to monitor how much pressure you are applying when brushing your teeth. Remember that brushing your teeth should not require a lot of exertion and the pressure you apply should be fairly light.
  • Brushing too hard can lead to the breakdown of tooth enamel and lead to sensitive teeth. Convenient size- manual brushes are small and easy to store. Due to their slender handle, most brushes will fit in any toothbrush case for travel. You don’t have to worry about how to store your brush, as most holders for the bathroom easily accommodate a manual brush.
  • Inexpensive- not only are manual brushes less expensive to purchase, they are also less expensive to maintain. You do not need to worry about buying a charging station or batteries with a manual brush. In fact, most dentist offices provide you with a free brush at each six month cleaning appointment!
  • Lots of styles- manual brushes come in a wide variety of colors and styles. You can choose the type of bristle and head size you want for a more customized approach to brushing.

The Electronic Toothbrush

Electronic toothbrushes starting to gain popularity in the 1990’s and have become mainstream since. With electronic brushes, the bristles rotate and perform the cleaning motion for you. Some benefits of electronic brushes include:

  • Smaller head- the head size of most electronic brushes is smaller than that of a standard manual brush. The smaller head size helps you more easily reach difficult or awkward areas of the mouth.
  • Does the work for you- like we mentioned above, the electronic toothbrush performs the majority of the movement for you. The oscillating bristles allow you to move the brush from tooth to tooth without having to perform much movement on your end.
  • Work better for some people- electronic brushes are more suited for some individuals than others. In particular, children or those who have motor issues. Children tend to do better with electronic brushes because they make brushing fun. Individuals who have a difficult time moving a brush around in their mouth due to motor issues or arthritis also do better with electronic brushes.

Now that you know the benefits of each, the choice is yours! Remember however, manual brushes work just as well as electronic brushes so long as you are brushing for the recommended amount of time (2-3 minutes) and are using proper brushing technique.

If you have more questions about the difference in brushes, just ask us! Call our Columbus dentist office (614) 414-0111 or simply ask a member of the staff next time you’re in. We are always happy to answer your questions and want you to be able to make the best decision based on your needs.

What Is Tooth Enamel?

Mar 4th, 2016
Easton Dentists Mar 11th, 2016

You may have heard your dentist talk about tooth enamel but do you know what he/she was referring to? We’re going to discuss the important role that tooth enamel plays in your dental health so you can understand how to better take care of your teeth.

dental clinic columbus ohioWhat is Enamel? For starters, tooth enamel can be defined as the highly-mineralized, hard protective outer covering of the teeth. When you look at your teeth in the mirror, what you are seeing is tooth enamel.

Enamel protects the teeth from a variety of factors such as the force of mastication (chewing), and the varying temperatures of the foods and beverages we eat and drink.

Serving as an insulator to the nerves in the teeth, enamel helps us enjoy eating and drinking different foods without pain.

What happens when tooth enamel is damaged? Unfortunately, tooth enamel has no living cells which means that once it is damaged it cannot be repaired.

This is why it is so important to understand the role enamel plays in your oral health and to take steps to maintain the enamel that you do have. If you’re concerned about your dental health, contact our Ohio urgent dental care office.

Steps to Protect Your Tooth Enamel

Even though tooth enamel cannot be regrown or repaired without the use of bonding or a crown, you can take certain steps and modify your behavior in ways that will help you to keep the enamel you do have strong and functioning properly.

  • Avoid drinking high acid, sugary drinks.
  • We hate to break it to you, but we are specifically talking about soda (regular and diet) and fruit juice. Both of these beverages contain highly acidic and sugary ingredients which are the biggest culprits for eating away at healthy tooth enamel. Sports drinks and energy drinks should be avoided for the same reasons.
  • Consume citrus or other acidic foods in moderation. Although citrus foods such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruit are good for you, they still contain high levels of acid which is an enemy of enamel. If you choose to eat these foods, do so in moderation. You can also try eating these foods first and following with other less acidic foods to help cut down on the acid leftover in your mouth.
  • Chew sugarless gum after eating. Saliva helps protect your enamel by coating the teeth and moving acid and other particles of food out of the mouth and into the stomach. Chewing gum stimulates saliva production and helps this process even further.
  • Address health concerns. Remember, health problems such as acid reflux, gastrointestinal disorders, and other issues may be causing trouble for your oral health. Get these issues addressed as soon as possible to help protect your enamel from being exposed to excess acid.
  • Be careful what you chew. Once enamel is chipped or cracked, it cannot be restored. For this reason it is important that you do not chomp on hard items such as hard candy or ice.

Our dental clinic Columbus Ohio staff care of your tooth enamel care. It may not sound like a high priority but it is something that you should take seriously. It isn’t until your enamel becomes damaged that you will notice the nasty side effects, so take every precaution to protect your enamel while you can.

If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity or pain, that may be a sign that you have damaged tooth enamel that needs to be addressed by a dentist.

Contact The Dental Center at Easton Town Center today at 614-414-0111. We can set up a consultation with Dr. Gilmer to inspect your tooth enamel.

How To Properly Brush Your Teeth

Feb 29th, 2016
Easton Dentists Mar 11th, 2016

Brushing your teeth is part of your everyday routine (at least we hope) and probably doesn’t seem like a difficult task.

dentist columbus ohioYou might think that you know how to properly brush your teeth but have you ever been taught the appropriate technique? After all, proper brushing and flossing can help prevent bad breath, cavities, and other dental issues that can cost you money down the road.

We have outlined the steps you need to take to make sure you’re getting the most benefit from brushing your teeth:

  1. First, choose a soft bristled tooth brush that fits your mouth. The head of your brush should be small enough that you can reach all areas of your mouth easily.
  2. Set a timer for two minutes or simply watch the clock to make sure you are spending at least a full two minutes brushing your teeth.
  3. Place your tooth brush at a 45 degree angle to your gums and move the brush in a back & forth motion, using short strokes.
  4. Brush the outer surfaces of your top teeth, then the outer surfaces of your bottom teeth.
  5. Brush the inner surfaces of your top teeth, then the inner surfaces of your bottom teeth.
  6. Brush the chewing surfaces of your top teeth, then the chewing surfaces of your bottom teeth.
  7. Tilt your tooth brush vertically to brush behind your front teeth and then do the same to brush behind your bottom teeth. Brush your tongue to remove any bacteria that can cause bad breath.

Our dentist Columbus Ohio offices can help you improve your brushing techniques. Simply get in touch with us and we’ll help you make an appointment.

If you follow these steps, you should easily be able to effectively clean all of your teeth. Remember to floss your teeth at least once a day in addition to brushing. Flossing teeth helps remove hard-to-reach food particles and plaque that builds up in between your teeth and can cause tooth decay and other oral problems.

Here at The Dental Center we recommend flossing your teeth in the evening following your brushing routine and after you’re done eating for the day. In order to make sure your tooth brush is effective, replace your brush every 3-4 months or before if there are visible signs of wear such as bent bristles.

We also recommend that you replace your tooth brush following an illness like the flu or a cold, as bacteria can get on your toothbrush and possibly cause reinfection.

Finally, in order to maintain a healthy mouth and teeth, visit your dentist for a routine cleaning every 6 months. Routine cleanings are important for removing built up plaque and checking for oral issues like cavities, gum disease, and other problems that can pop up between dental visits.

To schedule your next cleaning, contact our dentist Columbus office today!

Should I Get Veneers?

Jan 31st, 2016
Easton Dentists Feb 1st, 2016

If you’re searching for ways to improve the appearance of your smile, you might want to add veneers to your list of options. Veneers are thin shells of either composite resin material or porcelain that are custom made to perfectly fit the surface of your existing teeth. At Easton Dentists, we perform all kinds of cosmetic dentistry, including the placing of veneers.

So how do you know if veneers are a good option for your specific situation? We’re here to help you decide. Let’s quickly discuss what veneers can help achieve in regards to improving your smile.

Veneers can be a good choice if you are looking to:

  • Change the color of your teeth
  • Change the size or shape of your teeth
  • Cover up discoloration or other aesthetic issues such as a chipped tooth
  • Correct a gap in your front teeth
  • Correct minor misalignment issues

On the other hand, veneers may not be the best option for you if:

  • You have untreated tooth decay, gum disease or a root canal infection

*Once you have these issues treated by Dr. Gilmer, veneers may be an option for you.

  • Are prone to grinding or clenching your teeth

*Veneers are not easily chipped or broken but if you grind and clench your teeth, you run the risk of chipping or cracking a veneer. For this reason, veneers are typically not a good option for you. If you want to learn more about tooth grinding (bruxism), read our blog post here.

Choosing to get veneers is a big decision since the process is irreversible. However, the pros certainly outweigh the cons for many individuals who choose to move forward with getting veneers.

Contact The Dental Center at Easton Town Center today and we can set up a consultation with Dr. Gilmer to see if veneers are the right option for you! 614-414-0111

Acid Reflux And Tooth Sensitivity

Dec 21st, 2015
Easton Dentists Dec 18th, 2015

As if acid reflux wasn’t painful enough, now your teeth are aching. Are acid reflux and tooth sensitivity related? We have the answer.

Do you have acid reflux? Common symptoms of acid reflux include a burning sensation within the chest and throat, dysphagia, sore or hoarse throat, the feeling of a blockage or lump within the throat, and of course the acid reflux itself; or sour regurgitation of ingested foods and liquids that comes up with a burning sensation. While this illness has much to do with heartburn, did you know it could also have a staggering effect on the health and wellness of your teeth? We’re looking at how acid reflux and tooth sensitivity are related.

Acid reflux is caused by a backup of bile or stomach acids that make their way into the esophagus, causing pain and discomfort along the way. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that 7-million Americans suffer from acid reflux and may not realize the damage it is doing to their teeth until decay has already become severe. One way to ensure the health of your teeth is to inform your dentist of any medical conditions you may have, including acid reflux. This will help your dentist best determine which procedures and medications you should be prescribed. He may also be able to help you develop a safer diet for your stomach, and your teeth.

Other ways to avoid the negative effects of acid reflux is to avoid ingesting acidic foods and beverages, wash your mouth out with water immediately after reflux and avoid brushing your teeth for at least one hour after an acid reflux experience. These will help you stand on guard against this frustrating illness.

Contact The Dental Center to discuss your relief options from severe tooth aches and sensitivity. Call today (614) 414-0111 to schedule an appointment.

9 Signs That You Are Grinding Your Teeth At Night And How To Stop

Dec 14th, 2015
Easton Dentists Dec 17th, 2015

Is anxiety ruining your teeth? It could be. Here are 9 signs that you’re grinding your teeth at night, and how you can stop.

Grinding your teeth, officially referred to as “bruxism”, involves the involuntary gnashing, clenching, and grinding of the teeth. This can be a painful side effect of stress. Teeth grinding can contribute to serious dental issues such as broken teeth, sore teeth and jaw, strain or stress on the temporomandibular joint, wear on the teeth causing a need for fillings, pain or limited movement in the jaw, and cracked enamel.

Signs Of Teeth Grinding
Doctor’s suggest that those who suffer from nervousness, an undue amount of stress or frustration, anger issues, or aggressive behavior may be at risk to grind their teeth during sleep. Because bruxism happens during the night it is commonly considered a sleeping disorder. Common symptoms and signs that you are grinding your teeth at night include:

Jaw clenching throughout the day

Teeth sensitivity

Ringing in or fullness of the ears

Head and neck aches

Jaw or ear pain, especially when clenched

The sounds of tooth grinding during sleep

Tooth enamel that is unduly chipped or cracked

Loose teeth

Loss of cheek tissue due to sleep-related biting or grinding

How To Stop Grinding Your Teeth At Night
When it comes to repairing damaged teeth due to night-time grinding, visit your dentist to repair any tooth loss or to get a filling if needed. Ask your dentist about a mouth guard you can wear as you sleep to further protect your teeth. While there are several things your dentist can do to help repair your teeth, the rest will be up to you. It is recommended to contact your doctor or therapist to deal with stress and learn techniques for relaxation. These will help you to break the habit of stress-induced teeth grinding.

Don’t let anxiety take its toll on your mouth; conquer the bad habit of grinding your teeth at night. Call Easton Dentist today and schedule an appointment to talk about teeth grinding and how we can help.

Eating For Dental Health – Which Foods Help, Which Foods Hurt

Dec 7th, 2015
Easton Dentists Dec 17th, 2015

What foods should you be eating for your dental health? We’re talking about dental diets – which foods help and which foods to avoid.

When it comes to your health, you’re well aware that the foods you put into your body have a direct impact on your overall wellbeing – but what about your teeth? What you eat matters, and there is a distinct line between what food is good for your teeth, and which ones will take a quick toll on your dental health. While it’s common knowledge that too much candy and sugar are harmful to your teeth, there may be some foods on the list that surprise you. We’re looking at which foods to eat for good dental health, and which ones to avoid.

Foods For Healthy Teeth
On top of keeping up with your daily brushing and flossing, if you’re looking to keep your teeth healthy and strong, these are the foods for you:

Milk. It’s no secret that calcium is great for your teeth. Not only will it help keep the teeth and jaw strong, it will also help guard against gum disease.

Almonds. In a well-portioned diet, almonds are perfect for helping keep teeth healthy. These delicious nuts contain both protein and calcium, and are low in sugar.

Strawberries. This delicious fruit contains vitamin C, which produces gum strengthening collagen. Just remember to floss afterwards.

Cheese. Another great source of calcium is cheese. Furthermore, studies indicate that cheese will raise the pH balance in the mouth and reduces the risk of tooth decay.

Foods That Are Bad For Your Teeth
When it comes to snacking, there are certain foods that should be avoided in order to maintain great dental health. Here are some foods you should swap out of your diet.

Ice. It may seem fun and satisfying to crunch an ice cube in half, but this habit is detrimental to your oral health. While ice doesn’t contain any sugars, chewing on these rock hard morsels can actually damage your tooth enamel.

Lemons. Lemons and limes contain a pH level of 2, meaning these delicious drink toppers are strong enough to erode your tooth enamel. This can lead to teeth yellowing and sensitivity.

Hard Fruits And Vegetables. Vegetables and fruits are fantastic for your diet, but hard or crunchy fruits such as apples can actually damage sensitive teeth. Avoid taking an eager bite into the side of hard or crunchy foods. Instead, ingest such foods in small, bite-sized pieces.

Sodas. Sodas are notoriously full of sugar, and are terrible for your teeth. Even diet sodas will wreak havoc on the integrity of your teeth. If you can’t kick this deliciously bad habit, try sipping your soda through a straw. The farther away this carbonated beverage gets from your teeth, the better.

Corn On The Cob. Corn on the cob can cause some unfortunate damage to fillings and orthodontic wires attached to braces, as well as damage dentures. Don’t worry; you can still enjoy this delicious food, just not on the cob.

Looking for a dentist in the Columbus Ohio area? Come to The Dental Center at Easton Town Center. We offer restorative dentistry, emergency care, and accept a wide variety of dental insurance plans. Drop in, or schedule an appointment today.