Teaching Your Child Proper Dental Care

Mar 1st, 2019
Easton Dentists May 18th, 2019

Teaching your child proper dental care in their younger years is an investment in their health that will pay off in their latter years. Start by setting an example; taking good care of your own teeth sends a message that oral health is something to be valued.

To help your child protect their teeth and gums, teach them to these simple habits:

  • Brushing twice a day to remove plaque-the sticky film on teeth that’s the main cause of tooth decay.
  • Flossing daily to remove plaque from between your teeth and under the gum line, before it can harden into tartar. Once tartar has formed, it can only be removed by a professional cleaning.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet that limits starchy or sugary foods, which produce plaque acids that cause tooth decay.
  • Use dental products that contain fluoride, including toothpaste.
  • Take your child to the dentist for regular checkups.

Supervising your children until they get the hang of these steps may be a good idea:

  • Use a pea-sized dab of toothpaste. Teach your child not to swallow the toothpaste.
  • Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, brush the inside surface of each tooth first, where plaque may accumulate most. Brush gently back and forth.
  • Clean the outer surfaces of each tooth. Angle the brush along the outer gumline. Gently brush back and forth.
  • Brush the chewing surface of each tooth. Gently brush back and forth.
  • Use the tip of the brush to clean behind each front tooth, both top and bottom.
  • Don’t forget to brush the tongue.

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!

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!

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!

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.
 

 

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!

Causes of Sensitive Teeth

Jun 9th, 2018
Easton Dentists Jul 9th, 2018

There’s nothing better on a hot summer’s day than a scoop of nice, cold ice cream. That is, unless you suffer from sensitive teeth. If you do, eating cold foods like ice cream can cause you a lot of pain. There are many causes of sensitive teeth. Below, we’ve outlined a few of the most common ones.

1. Brushing your teeth too hard

It may come as a surprise that you could be brushing your teeth too intensely. After all, we tend to think that the harder we brush, the cleaner our teeth. In actuality, however, brushing your teeth too hard can wear away the protective layers of your teeth. Over time, this will expose the tiny hollow tubes that lead to your dental nerves. Once this happens, you’ll likely experience sensitivity to extreme temperatures as well as acidic and sticky foods. Luckily, switching to a softer tooth brush and treating your teeth more gently can go a long way toward preventing increased sensitivity.

2. Grinding your teeth

Grinding your teeth causes sensitivity similarly to how brushing your teeth too hard causes sensitivity: you wear away the protective layers of your teeth until your nerves are easily triggered. If you suspect you grind your teeth, you should see a dentist right away. A mouth guard can help to prevent further damage.

3. Receding Gums

If your gums are receding, the sensitive roots of your teeth with be exposed. As a result, you’ll experience severe sensitivity. Receding gums can be caused by gum disease and grow more common with age. If you believe your gums are receding, you should see your dentist right away. He or she will develop a treatment plan to cure your gum disease and may also perform a procedure to seal your teeth.

If you’re suffering from sensitive teeth, be sure to mention it to your dentist. There may be fairly simple steps you can take to decrease your current sensitivity and to prevent further sensitivity in the future.

What to Do When You Crack a Tooth

May 21st, 2018
Easton Dentists May 21st, 2018

Ouch!

Chomp on something your tooth didn’t like? Or get hit in the mouth with a hockey puck?

If you think you may have a cracked tooth, or if you’re holding a piece of your tooth in your
hand, follow these steps!

1. Give us a call to schedule an appointment at 614-414-0111. Let us know about your emergency and we will make our best effort to see you right away! We always try to hold some appointments open for these occasions.

2. If there are tooth fragments that have fallen out, preserve them in a clean container with a moist solution (cold mik, water, saliva), and bring them in to your appointment.

3. Apply a cold pack to your jaw to lessen any pain and swelling.

4. If bleeding, bite down on a gauze pad or a moist tea bag until bleeding stops.

It is also possible to have a cracked tooth and not know it.

If you have any pain when biting down, or when eating something hot or cold, it’s best to get it checked out.

In order to prevent further damage to the tooth or an infection, it’s very important to correct a cracked tooth immediately. Don’t wait until the pain is unbearable. Let us help right away!