How to Care for Aging Teeth

Everyone assumes that when they get older they will lose their teeth and wear dentures. Thankfully, this is not always the case. In fact, if we take care of our  aging teeth every day, we will be able to enjoy a healthy smile for a lifetime.

As we get older the nerves in our teeth are not as large as they are  in a younger person’s mouth. This causes cavities to go undetected and often overlooked. Furthermore, it is important to see your dentist for regular checkups, x-rays and teeth cleanings.

What are some dental conditions that may occur with age?

Dental conditions such as periodontitis, dry mouth, root and coronal caries may occur with age.

What are some tips on how to keep aging teeth healthy?

• Brush twice a day and floss between teeth daily
• Drink a lot of fluoridated water, this will help prevent cavities
• Stop smoking, this will prevent gum disease and tooth loss
• Visit your dentist regularly by getting x-rays and regular teeth cleanings
• Eat a healthy diet with low sugar

By choosing a healthy life style by eating less sugar and maintaining your teeth every day, your smile should end up lasting a lifetime.

For more information on aging teeth, click on this link to read this article.

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.

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!

Soda

Why should I limit my soda consumption?

There is nothing like a sip of a cold soda on a hot summer’s day. Whether it’s the cool refreshing taste of a pepsi or a coke, we all have our signature drink. For those of you who just can’t get enough of your favorite soft drink though, there can be some negative consequences for your teeth. While we are not here to tell you to never drink soda again, there are some important facts you should keep in mind.

First and foremost, soda consumption has a strong correlation to tooth decay and other medical issues. In other words, the more soda you drink, the more likely you are to have cavities and other oral issues. In today’s society, more and more people are passing up water or milk for these sugar packed beverages, and more and more people are having oral issues as a result.

The fact is that when you drink soda, the sugar in the soda combines with the bacteria already present in your mouth to create acid. Then, this acid attacks your teeth and tooth enamel. Regardless if you opt for sugar free options, there is acid that works to harm your teeth in all soda products. According to the American Dental Association and the Wisconsin Dental Association, acid attacks your teeth for about 20 minutes after you drink a soda. Therefore, they use the slogan “sip all day, get decay.”

The number one thing you can do is remember to drink soda in moderation. Soda is not inherently bad, as long as your practice good oral health and avoid over consumption. If you are a frequent soda drinker, start by trying to reduce your consumption to once a day. Then perhaps you can move to only drinking soda on weekends and when you go out to eat.

However, soda is not the only sugared beverage to consider. You should also try to limit your consumption of 100 percent juices and other high sugar content drinks. These also combine with bacteria in your mouth to form acid and attack your teeth.

While you may love soda and sugary drinks, it’s important for you teeth that you remember what these are doing to your body. Limiting soda consumption will drastically reduce your risk for tooth decay, cavities, and other oral health issues.

Oral Health

Why You Should Smile Every Day

Smiling comes naturally to us. Whether it be because someone told a funny joke or because you just got a promotion, you smile when you are happy. But did you know smiling could actually trigger positive thoughts in your brain? Smiling actually trains your brain to think more positive thoughts. So don’t hesitate on showing off your pearly whites – here are 5 reasons to smile daily!

1. It can improve your mood.

2. Smiling makes you more trustworthy.

Many psychological studies have shown that people with smiles are evaluated as more trustworthy than those with other facial expressions.

3. It can reduce stress.

Some people unwind with a glass of wine or a massage, but did you know that smiling can do the trick? A 2012 University of Kansas experiment showed that people who were asked to perform a stressful task experienced a reduced heart rate and quicker stress recovery when told to smile while completing the task.

4. It makes you stronger.

Because smiling can reduce the stress in your mind, it can reduce the stress in your body as well. Your cells can distinguish if your body feels safety or danger and will adjust themselves accordingly. When you smile, your cells detect safety and will become less rigid. This can help make your cells stronger and healthier.

5. Smiling makes you more approachable 

Would you want to talk to someone who looked angry or someone who had a smile on their face? Obviously most people would choose the smiling person. People who are smiling appear more approachable than those who are not.

We’ve given you some great reasons to show off that beautiful smile of yours, and we hope you will put these tips to use and smile daily for a happier, healthier you! If you’re not happy with your smile, we can help! Come visit us at Masters Dental today and we can give you the smile you’ve always dreamed of.

Teeth

How To Get Your Kids To Brush Their Teeth

Taking care of your oral health isn’t always fun. Kids always want to try to sneak into bed without brushing their teeth. However, it is important to brush your teeth, especially when your young. To help make that morning or bedtime routine with your kids a little easier, here are a few simple tips to make brushing their teeth fun and easy.

  1. Make it fun. Whether you need to sing the ABC’s or play their favorite song while they brush their teeth, the first step is to make it an enjoyable experience. If it is simply the task you yell up the stairs at them, your kids are not going to want to do it. Be positive. Then they will look forward to or at least want to brush their teeth more than before. It will be less a chore and more fun.

  2. Choose the right toothpaste. Some children are sensitive to the type of toothpaste being used. Even though we don’t swallow toothpaste, we still taste it. The best way to make brushing an enjoyable experience is to give them toothpaste they like using, even if it means trying a few different ones out before getting the right one. Many stores carry children’s versions of toothpaste, although sometimes children may prefer the adult version. It all depends on your child.

  3. Make it a routine. The best way to get oral hygiene into children’s daily lives is to get them in the habit of a morning and evening routine. After a few weeks, when they roll out of bed in the morning, brushing their teeth, washing their face, and hopping in the shower will happen almost automatically. Plus this routine will not just promote good oral health, but can promote overall positive hygiene as well.

  4. Brush your teeth! Finally, we have all heard the familiar saying lead by example. If you don’t enjoy brushing your teeth, perhaps you should join your child in singing the ABCs or find a better toothpaste, because now more than ever you need to brush your teeth too. Your kids are watching you, and they need to see you think brushing your teeth is important.

These four simple tips should help you make that morning or bedtime routine with your kids a little easier. It is all about being positive and making brushing a fun, happy experience.

Braces

Will I Need Braces?

Around the time of middle school, you will likely begin to see a lot of kids wearing braces. At that point, we start to wonder, will my child need braces? Here is what you need to know.

Not everyone needs braces, some people have naturally straight teeth with no problems. However, many of us do need braces whether for aesthetic reasons or due to overcrowding on our mouths. It is also possible you think your bite should be adjusted.

No matter the reason the first step in knowing whether or not you need braces is speaking to your dentist. They will able to refer you to an orthodontist that can talk to you about your options. Most people see an orthodontist for the first time between the age of seven and fourteen. While the earlier the better, it is not uncommon now for adults also to be seeing an orthodontist and having braces.

However, if you are impatient and want to get a general idea of the various signs you may need braces before talking to your dentist, here are some of the top signs you need braces:

  1. Crooked teeth. The main purpose of braces is often to make your teeth straighter. Therefore, if you can tell your teeth are not straight, you may need braces. Plus, it is interesting to note people who lose their baby teeth relatively early in life tend to need braces more often than people who do not. This is because their adult teeth were growing and coming in while they still had baby teeth or the adult teeth could have taken longer to grow in. As a result, the teeth may not have come in as straight or as normally as for people who lost their baby teeth later on.

  2. Crowded mouth. Another big reason people get braces is because their mouth is overcrowded. When your mouth is overcrowded, there are simply too many teeth in your mouth. This leads to an inability to clean the teeth properly and other dental issues. In some cases, teeth may have to be pulled to make room in your mouth. If this is the case, braces will be needed after to realign your teeth.

  3. Jaw shifts. Some people have an issue with their jaw moving or making sounds. This is a result of an issue with the formation of your teeth and jaw line. While less common, this is a problem that orthodontists can help address.

  4. Underbite, overbite, crossbite, and openbite. These four different problems are very similar and all have to do with the alignment and overlap of your teeth. An overbite is the vertical and horizontal overlap of the front teeth, which causes the front teeth to stick out farther than the bottom teeth. A crossbite is when the upper tooth is behind the lower tooth, and an underbite is when all of the upper front teeth are behind the front lower teeth. Finally, an open bite is when the front teeth do not touch. While these are all slightly different, they share some things in common. While you may want to get them fixed for aesthetic reasons, there problems all have other medical problems associated with them that would lead someone to need to be treated.

  5. Hard time chewing food. This may just seem like a nuisance, but it actually is bad for your teeth and overall health. Usually this is caused by the teeth being improperly aligned of there being large gaps between teeth. Braces can easily fix this problem.

These are just the top five signs you may need braces. Knowing whether or not to get braces is an important decision, one that should be done with the help of your dentist and orthodontist. To get help with this decision, contact an oral health care professional.

Toothbrush

The 5 Secrets to Fresh Breath

No one likes bad breath. The problem is that sometimes it can seem like you brush and brush and use breath mint after breath mint, but the smell just won’t go away. The secret to fixing bad breath though isn’t as secret as you may think.

Bad breath is not a direct result of poor oral hygiene. In fact, the bad smell comes from bacteria stuck inside your mouth. When the bacteria lingers, not only does your breath smell, but the bacteria multiply and the smell gets worse. Naturally then, brushing your teeth is the biggest way to eliminate that bacteria and get rid of the smell.

However, there are plenty of other ways to fight it. We have come up with a few simple tricks to cure bad breath.

  1. Use mouthwash and floss. Both of these go beyond simply brushing to help eliminate bacteria in your mouth, and the less bacteria, the better your breath. Flossing is especially important as it can remove food particles from hard to reach areas. If left unattended, the food will only lead to more and more bacteria.

  2. Try antacids if you have GI problems. Often, GI issues cause the bad smell in your mouth from a result of burping. By using antacids, you can put your stomach at ease.

  3. Watch what you eat. What you eat can both help and hurt you. Some foods such as yogurt can boost the good bacteria in your mouth and help your stomach. This ultimately leads to better breath. At the same time, foods such as onions and garlic that have a strong odor linger after you eat them. These food also have particles that are hard to remove from your mouth and will lead to more bacteria. You can either try to avoid these foods, or you can make a point to brush and floss immediately afterwards so that the particles cannot stick around creating more bacteria.

  4. Drink more water. One of the easiest ways to fix bad breath is to drink more water and get rid of your dry mouth. Without sufficient water, your body will not be able to produce enough saliva to clear bacteria in your mouth. Drinking less coffee and more water is the way to go.

  5. Stay healthy and treat congestion. Bad breath is often a sign of poor overall health, and it often accompanies illnesses such as sinus infections. By treating your congestion or sinus infection right away, you are also treating your bad breath.

If you try these five things, your breath should be smelling better in no time, and you no longer need to be embarrassed. Worrying about how your breath smells will be a thing of the past.

Thanksgiving

Be Thankful For Your Teeth

Even though Thanksgiving Day is over and are stomachs are full of delicious homemade apple pie and our mother’s mashed potatoes, it is still important this holiday season to stop and be thankful, even for things as small and as simple as our teeth.

At the end of the day, our teeth are a huge deal, and without them, we would not be able to eat our delicious Thanksgiving feasts. It is simple to forget, but teeth allow you to chew your food into smaller bites to be swallowed and digested.

Your incisors are responsible for cutting up the food in your mouth, while you canines tear it apart. Then, your molar grind up the food making it small enough to swallow. Without our teeth, that turkey would be impossible to eat without cutting it into tiny pieces with a knife or pureeing it with a blender.

If we did not have teeth, we also would not be able to talk to all our friends and family this holiday season.

Our teeth allow us to properly create sounds in our mouth to form words. Think about when as a child you lost your two front teeth. It is possible some words sounded funny for a while until your adult teeth grew in.

Finally, your teeth are part of your beautiful smile. Over the holiday season, we have so many people and things to not only be thankful for, but also to be happy and smile about. Without our teeth, our smile would not be quite as grand.

Therefore, this holiday season, as you are eating your favorite holiday dish, singing your favorite Christmas carol, or smiling with family and friends, remember to be thankful for the little things that have a big impact, like your teeth.

Pregnancy

What to Expect When Your Expecting: Dental Facts

In the excitement of preparing to welcome your new bundle of joy into the world, don’t forget to take care of yourself and your oral hygiene when you’re expecting. Your oral health is more important than ever at this special time in your life.

Luckily, if you have good oral health, most of your habits will not change. For instance, your normal routine dental visits are safe for you and your baby. However, it is important you let your doctor know during your visit that you are expecting and to inform your doctor of any new medications you are taking. You may also continue to perform your normal hygiene routines at night using toothpaste and mouthwash.

During your visit, your doctor may want to perform x-rays of your teeth. Since you will be covered with a lead apron, the x-rays will not be harmful to you or your baby. However, you should talk with your dentist about your pregnancy to get his professional opinion and to determine if the x-rays are necessary.

One major problem that affects pregnant women is an increased risk for gingivitis. This is a mild form of gum disease that inflames the gums causing tenderness and soreness that makes your gums appear red or darker pink in color. You can combat gingivitis by having more frequent cleanings during pregnancy or by simply making a more concerted effort to keep your teeth clean. When left untreated, it can lead to a more serious gum disease.

Also, it’s important to keep in mind that your baby’s teeth will develop between the third and sixth months of your pregnancy. During this time, it is even more important that you are consuming ample amounts of key nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and D, protein, calcium, and phosphorous to help your baby’s teeth grow in strong and healthy.

In general, what you eat will also affect the baby and your teeth, so make sure you are choosing your diet wisely. One tip is to choose foods that are low in sugar, but high in nutrients. Some of these foods include yogurt, cheese, fruits, and vegetables.

Finally, a common issue that plagues women is dreaded morning sickness. This causes nausea and vomiting, especially in the first trimester. This can make it especially difficult to brush your teeth and practice good oral hygiene. One suggestion is to try rinsing your mouth with a small amount of baking soda mixed with water in order to combat the stomach acid attacking your teeth and partially causing morning sickness.

Overall, the most important thing during pregnancy is to take care of yourself and your teeth in order to take care of your baby. But remember that good oral hygiene does not stop after the baby is born. It is important to continue taking care of your teeth and keeping your baby’s gums and teeth clean after he/she is born.