Dental Anxiety

Do you or a person that you know suffer from Dental Anxiety (Dentophobia)?

Have you ever met a wealthy person with bad teeth? Often, you will run across a poverty stricken person with bad teeth, simply because they could not afford to care for their teeth, or visit their dentist. If money is a factor in good oral hygiene, then what is the deal with those who have money and have bad teeth? Immediately, you will be surprised at how many people avoid going to the dentist due to Dental Anxiety, despite their financial status.

None the less, most of us have had a positive experience at the dentist office. However, we would not place it on top of our list of fun things to do. For some people, a trip to the dentist office can be very frightening, and they would rather pull a tooth than visit their dentist. If you or a person that you know suffers from Dental Anxiety, here are some questions that you may have…

What causes Dental Anxiety?

Most people who suffer from Dentophobia have experienced a bad day at the dentist office as a child. Those experiences were usually caused by a painful procedure, equipment appearances, sounds, smells, or because of their dentist had a bad bedside manner. To be exact, there are many reasons that triggered the fear of dentist visits. If a person does not overcome these issues soon enough, he or she will end up with tooth decay, tooth loss, and serious gum diseases.

How does a person overcome Dental Anxiety?

Research has estimated that all but 25% of adults have experienced Dental Anxiety. For many, overcoming their fears of visiting a dentist may be something that a sufferer will put on the back-burner. Significantly, getting over Dental Anxiety is actually easier than one would think. The number one cure for Dentophobia, is to first realize the problem, then find out where the fear originated.

Finally, if you feel that you are suffering from Dental Anxiety, talk to your dentist before your procedure. Also, be sure to ask your dentist any questions that you may have. Most Dental offices practice techniques to ensure that your visit is a relaxing one.

What are some tips to help ease symptoms of Dental Anxiety?

• Research local dental office reviews
• Listen to the office’s soothing music
• Share your fears and concerns with your dentist

If you would like to learn more tips on how to combat Dental Anxiety, click on this link. For more information on how to take care of your dental health, check out our blog.

Dental Sealants

Dental Sealants Protect Molars from Cavities and Tooth Decay

Many people protect their car’s paint by waxing their car every three to six months. In most cases, people will use plastic covers to protect their cars from debris and weather erosion. The question is: what do people do to protect their back molars from harmful bacteria and acids? In the modern dental world, Dental Sealants are on the rise to protect your teeth.

These sealants protect your teeth the same way that wax protects the paint on your car. While brushing and flossing are key to good oral hygiene, it is difficult to cover all the surface area in your mouth. This extra protection serves to reduce risk for tooth decay and cavities. If you have yet to hear about how this procedure can help prevent your teeth, continue reading for more information.

What are Dental Sealants?

They are another method of protecting the tooth’s surface from cavities, when brushing and flossing fails. Primarily, they are placed on the back molars, due to their hard to reach locations. According to the American Dental Association, “sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of decay by nearly 80% in molars.”

What are Dental Sealants made of?

They are made with a liquid based resin that adheres to the biting surface of the back molars. After that, the resin quickly dries, and turns into a hard plastic-like material. Actually, Dental Sealants are invisible, and do not feel any different than the natural tooth, and can last up to ten years.

Who can benefit?

Although Dental Sealants are not for everyone, most dentists will only recommend them to patients who are prone to getting cavities. In other words, children and adults can both use them to help protect their teeth. However, dentist suggests that the earlier in life they are used, the better.

What are the Pros and Cons?

Alike most things, there are always pros and cons. If you would like to dig deeper, and find out more about Dental Sealants and procedures, read this article for more information.

To learn more about about tooth decay and how to protect your teeth from decay, check out other articles on our blog or view our educational videos.

Braces

Regular Dental Checkups Important for Patients with Braces

Most people who wear braces often think that because of their regular orthodontic checkups, they will not have to visit their dentist. As a matter of fact, it is very important that patients with braces continue to visit their dentist for regular checkups.

Why is it important to visit your dentist while wearing braces?

Braces have a tendency to catch food particles around the wired brackets, causing tartar and plaque to build up. As a result, cleanings and proper daily dental care are extremely necessary, more than ever.

What may happen when patients with braces don’t visit their dentist?

While at home, it is very important to brush, floss, and use a water pick, because if your teeth aren’t properly cared for, one or all of the following problems may occur …

  • Bad Breath
  • Tooth Decay
  • Gum and tooth pain
  • Cavities
  • Gingivitis

If you would like to learn more about dental checkups, and cleaning your teeth while wearing braces, read here for more helpful tips on how to properly care for your teeth.

BabyBottles

Have you heard about Baby-Bottle Tooth Decay?

Often we hear more about tooth decay damaging permanent teeth. However, did you know that infants can experience tooth decay between birth and seventy-one months of age?
If you are not aware of how Baby-Bottle Tooth Decay attacks baby teeth, here are three things that you need to know….

What is Baby-Bottle Tooth Decay?

This issue is typically found around the front region of an infant’s mouth. More important, when sugary liquids, such as juice, milk, and formula leave a residue on the infant’s teeth, bacteria producing acids will attack the baby teeth.

Caring for baby teeth is very important

Just because baby teeth are temporary, does not mean that dental hygiene should be overlooked and ignored. Baby teeth are very important, because if they are lost too soon, a child may end up with crooked teeth, speech problems, severe pain, and life-threatening infections.

Tips on how to avoid Baby-Bottle Tooth Decay

1. Be sure to bring your infant in for a dental checkup, at the age of one.
2. Make sure that you do not give your child sugary liquids before napping or sleeping.
3. Begin brushing your child’s teeth, as soon as the first tooth comes in.
4. Using gauze or a wet cloth: wipe your infant’s gums and teeth once or twice a day.

For more information and tips on how to prevent Baby-Bottle Tooth Decay, click on this link. Find more helpful information about dental health on our blog.

Strawberries

Eat More Strawberries!

It’s almost summer time! One of our favorite parts of summer is fresh fruit. From strawberries to peaches, fresh fruit is delicious and has some awesome health benefits. Did you know strawberries are actually good for your oral health?

The reason that strawberries are so good for your oral health is that they contain malic acid. This is an acid that occurs naturally in many of the fruits we eat normally.  For example, malic acid is often found in apple juice.

What is malic acid? Inside your mouth, malic acid works as a natural enamel whitener. So next time you are devouring some juicy strawberries, you can be happy you are also help brighten and whiten your smile. Many people also try to make a homemade whitening treatment using strawberries. We found a great article on using strawberries’ malic acid to create your own teeth whitening treatment on health.com. Here are the directions from Health.com.

The DIRECTIONS
  1. Crush the strawberry to a pulp, then mix with the baking soda until blended.
  2. Use a soft toothbrush to spread the mixture onto your teeth.
  3. Leave on for 5 minutes, then brush thoroughly with toothpaste to remove the berry–baking soda mix.
  4. Rinse. (A little floss will help get rid of any strawberry seeds.) Carrel says you can apply once a week.”

We hope you enjoy lots of delicious fruit this summer, and if you try this recipe, let us know what you think in the comments! For more ways to enhance your dental health, check out more articles on our blog or our educational videos.

Water

Fluoride in water will help prevent cavities

We all know the healthy benefits of drinking water, but did you know that drinking fluoridated water effectively prevents tooth decay? As a matter of fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), water fluoridation is one of the top public health achievements of our time.

What is fluoridated water? Fluoride is a natural chemical substance produced by a living organism, found in water, or added to water at water treatment facilities. When fluoridated water is consumed, the water will strengthen tooth enamel, and will help prevent cavities. Above all, the American Dental Association (ADA) has named fluoride “nature’s cavity fighter”.

Fluoridation of water began in 1945, when the public did not have access to fluoride found in toothpaste and mouthwash, today. Now that fluoridated products exist, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has suggested 0.7 milligrams per liter of drinking water, based on other sources that are providing fluoride to today’s population.

Above all, despite the ongoing debates about whether or not fluoridated water is good for you, below are a few facts about the positive benefits of fluoridated water….

  • Helps reduce and prevent tooth decay
  • Strengthens the tooth enamel
  • Helps save money and prevents dental procedure costs

For more information about community water fluoridation and fluoridation statistics, you can read more about it on this link.

Electric Toothbrush

Electric Toothbrushes: The Pros and Cons

One of the frequent questions we get at Masters Dental is whether or not to use a normal manual toothbrush or to switch to an electric one. Do you need to use one over the other? Is there really a difference?

The goal of this post is to answer all of those questions and more, but the simple quick answer is that the most important part of having good oral hygiene is not what tooth brush you use, bu that you use a tooth brush and brush your teeth. It is really that simple. Nevertheless, it is important to consider the positives and negatives of both manual and electric toothbrushes.

Manual Toothbrushes

Let’s start with manual toothbrushes. First off, manual tooth brushes are much less expensive, as they are often free when you go to the dentist. Additionally, they are easier to deal with. You can easily have more than one, which makes travel easy. There are no annoying batteries or charging platforms. Finally, there is a wide variety of manual tooth brushes out there to choose between.

On the other hand, manual tooth brushes require more work from you to clean your teeth effectively, and even if you do clean them effectively, manual tooth brushes are not the most efficient. It may take you some time to do, and you don’t have a timer the way you do with a electric toothbrush.

Electric Toothbrushes

Now, let us consider the electric tooth brushes. Keep in mind there are two types of electric toothbrushes, oscillating and sonic. Oscillating toothbrushes have small tooth brush head that move quickly in one direction and then another. Sonic, on the other hand, vibrate using a typical tooth brush head, that is less round than a oscillating toothbrush head. Which ever one you pick, there are some positives and negatives to consider.

To start off, electric toothbrushes are fun and practical. Often parents choose electric toothbrushes for their kids because it encourages them to brush their teeth, but also if you have arthritis or other conditions that limit your movement, electric toothbrushes can reduce strain on you. Another benefit is these toothbrushes have timers that tell you how long to brush for at t given time. Finally, the official research does show that electric toothbrushes are more effective at removing plaque, and thus they are more effective at preventing periodontal disease.

The electric toothbrush is not without its cons though. It is expensive upfront, and then you need to continue to buy replacement heads. Plus, like everything else, it can break causing you to need to buy a whole new one! You also have to charge it, which will make it more challenging and annoying to travel with. Also, there are far less options in terms of electric toothbrushes than there are for manual toothbrushes.

In summary, choosing an electric toothbrush has some serious benefits, but it also has its drawbacks. Consider both your oral health and your lifestyle and then make the best decision for you!

Smile

Science behind your Smile

Smiling is one of the most important things in the world. It may be small, but your smile has a huge impact. In case reminders about periodontal disease and cavities can’t convince you to come into the dentist, perhaps the positives of having a beautiful smile can convince you to take care of your teeth.

Your smile is very, very powerful, so you might as well make it beautiful. In fact an article by Forbes reported that  scientists concluded “smiling can be as stimulating as receiving up to 16,000 Pounds Sterling in cash.”

Each and every time you smile, chemicals are released in your brain. According to Psychology Today, when you smile, neuropeptides are released. These can help fight off stress by allowing neurons to communicate with one another. Smiling actually has many of the benefits of getting a good nights sleep.

Additionally, neurotransmitters such as dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin are released. As a result, your body relaxes, your heart rate and blood pressure lowers, and you feel happier. The serotonin specifically acts as an antidepressant. Therefore, if you are having a difficult and stressful day, it will likely actually help you if you smile!

There are many other advantages of smiling. For example, if you are in pain these natural chemicals can actually help relieve your pain, so next time you have a head ache try flashing a smile. Plus, smiling has even been shown to make people more attractive. People who smile more often are even sometimes treated differently. Just imagine how much more attractive your  smile will be after a trip to the dentist!

Teeth

Do you have a Dental Abscess?

If you think you have a dental abscess, you probably do! The pain is hard to miss. While the best way to identify and treat a dental abscess is to visit your dentist, it is still nice to know some information about dental abscesses before your visit. After you have set up an appointment at the dentist, here are some things you may want to know:

First and foremost, what is it? According to dentaly.org, it is “a pocket of pus that accumulates when a bacterial infection breaks down tissue.” This is a general definition as you can get abscesses all over your body. Abscesses form when your body is trying to protect itself from infection. When an abscess forms in your mouth, it can be both painful for you and harmful for your oral health.

The first thing your dentist will do after identifying the abscess is determine what type of abscess it is.

  1. There are gingival abscesses, also known as gum abscessed that can be found on the gingiva or gum line of your teeth.
  2. Then, there are periodontal abscesses that are more serious because they occur deep into the actual gum pockets leaving nowhere for the pus to drain.
  3. Finally, there is periapical abscesses found in the soft tooth pulp. This abscess is normally the result of decay inside the tooth.

While all abscesses are painful, and quite frankly no fun, some are much more serious then others. The best thing you can do is practice good oral health as a preventative measure. This means brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups.

Practicing good oral health will also help you if you do get an abscess. The earlier you identify it, the easier it will be to treat. Also, catching it early will decrease the likelihood of it progressing into something worse and causing significant oral damage. If you are concerned you have a dental abscess, make sure to see your dentist right away.

Mapping your Mouth

Have you ever wondered what is really going on inside your mouth? Well now it is time to find out. On your dental visits, you may hear your dentist call your teeth by specific names such as molars or incisors. Today, we are here to tell you what’s what in your mouth so you understand what your dentist is talking about.

If you take a look at the diagram below from Phoenix Children’s Hospital,  you can see where all of the different teeth are located in your mouth and around what age the teeth come in.  For more information on what each tooth is about see more information below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First, you have your central or lateral incisors. There are four incisors on each jaw, or in other words four on the top and four on the bottom. These teeth generally come in first and appear at the front of your mouth. Incisors are especially fitted for cutting your food as it enters your mouth.

Right after the incisors, you have your canine teeth. Canine teeth are also called cuspids, and these are the fang like teeth that are sharp and pointed. The purpose of these teeth is to help hold on to and tear food apart. One fun fact is that these teeth are often one of the largest teeth.

Finally, we have your molars. These are the teeth located at the back of your mouth used for grinding food. These teeth normally take the longest to come in and mature.

Keep in mind, this diagram is not always the same for everyone. We are all unique and different. Some people may have more of less teeth than others. However, generally this is what most of our mouths look like!