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5 Things to Know Before You Get Dental Implants

5 Things to Know Before You Get Dental Implants

There are a lot of advancements in oral care, now if you lose a tooth it can be replaced with more than just a removable denture or bridge. Dental implants can be incredibly helpful for those who have lost a tooth or several teeth, as well as repairing a smile, or replacing classic dentures. Dental implants are currently the best option in dental care for replacing lost teeth, if you are needing a dental implant here are some things you should know:

If you need dental implants or are considering getting a dental implant talk to your dentist or oral surgeon about your risk factors and how an implant can help you. Dental implants have become incredibly helpful for maintaining your smile and lifestyle.

Stop Teeth Grinding by Lowering Stress

Stop Teeth Grinding by Lowering Stress

Bruxism is one of the most common dental disorders in the U.S. Today, about 10% of American adults and 15% of children suffer from bruxism. In people with a family history of the disease, about 50% of people have bruxism. While bruxism has many causes, one of the most common is stress. 

Unfortunately for many people, that can make bruxism seem challenging to treat and virtually impossible to get rid of. After all, how do we limit stress in our fast-paced lives? How do we stop doing something we don’t even know we’re doing?

Fortunately, there are answers. Here’s a breakdown of a few of our favorite tactics for diminishing stress and getting rid of your bruxism:

The Connection Between Bruxism and Stress

The link between bruxism and stress has long been proved by science. According to one 2011 study published by the National Institute on Aging, bruxism occurs in much higher rates in people with anxiety and depression than people with lower stress levels. According to the study: 

“The grinding of teeth has long been held as one physical manifestation of stress and anxiety. For example, individuals who grind their teeth tend to report more symptoms of anxiety and depression than non-bruxers. And, compared to non-bruxers, those who grind their teeth tend to report greater life stress and are more likely to suffer from DSM-defined depression and anxiety disorders. Even in rats, experimentally inducing emotional stress leads to brux-like symptoms, compared to controls.”

In a separate study, conducted by German researchers, study participants volunteered to help identify a link between bruxism and stress. Within the study, 69 people, including 48 known bruxers, were issued a questionnaire to see if they reported “daily problems, trouble at work, fatigue, or physical problems.”

Each participant was between 20 and 40 years old and had a sleeping partner that reported grinding sounds during the night over the past six months. Participants also reported one or more bruxism symptoms before the study, including muscle fatigue or pain on awakening, abnormal tooth wear or shiny spots on restorations and enlarged jaw muscles.

Researchers concluded that participants with high sleep bruxing activity tend to feel more stressed at work and in their daily life, and, according to the questionnaire, seem to deal with stress negatively. Bruxism is a dangerous dental problem that can not only wear down teeth but also make them sensitive or loose or even fracture them. Besides worn tooth surfaces, symptoms can include headaches and a sore jaw.

As you can see, the connection between bruxism and anxiety is well-documented. If you’ve been suffering from tooth grinding, then, the apparent first step toward treatment is to lower your stress and bring more relaxation into your life.

5 Tips to Lower Your Stress Levels

Reducing the stress levels in your life serves several vital purposes. In addition to helping you treat your bruxism and keep your teeth healthy, it’s also a great way to make your life more pleasant and relaxing, and lower your risk of depression, cancer, and other stress-related chronic diseases. Here are a few of our favorite tips for reducing stress:

1. Get Enough Exercise

Exercise is one of the most effective methods for battling stress. There are a few primary reasons for this. 

  • Exercise limits stress hormones. It may seem counterintuitive that putting your body through stress can decrease your body’s stress hormones, but it’s true. Exercise helps release endorphins, improve your mood, and serve as natural painkillers.
  • Exercise improves sleep quality. Sleep is the first thing to go when you feel stressed or anxious. Fortunately, ample exercise can help restore healthy sleep. By contributing to a night of deeper sleep, it may also help diminish your bruxism naturally. 
  • Better state of mind. Exercise helps you process stress and organize your days more efficiently. By improving your mental health, it can go a long way toward boosting your daily outlook.

Never been a big fan of exercise? You don’t have to join a CrossFit gym right away. Instead, start walking, try a yoga class, or go hiking with friends.

2. Supplement for Your Health

Diet and supplementation can go a long way to decrease your daily stress and anxiety. If you feel like your bruxism has recently gotten worse, consider supplementing with a system-soothing compound like the following:

  • Ashwagandha. Used throughout Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha has long been used to treat stress and anxiety. It soothes the nervous system and can help the whole body take a deep breath.
  • Valerian. Valerian root is a favorite sleep aid among people who have trouble getting enough Zs but don’t want to use harsh medicines. Valerian contains valerenic acid, which alters gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors and helps minimize anxiety.
  • Green tea. Instead of dosing on coffee every day, swap a cup out for some green tea. Green tea contains polyphenol antioxidants, which can boost serotonin levels and decrease anxiety. 

3. Practice Meditation

Meditation is becoming more popular in the mainstream, and for a good reason. Studies show that even a few minutes of meditation a day can have a profound impact on stress in as little as eight weeks of practice. If you’re nervous to start meditation, begin with a simple app like Headspace, which features beginner-friendly guided meditations that last 5, 10, or 20 minutes and are easy to incorporate into your daily life. 

See Your Dentist if Bruxism Continues

There are dozens of things you can do to limit your stress levels every day. Simple steps like incorporating more exercise, starting a meditation practice, and focusing on a healthy diet and supplementation can go a long way. If your bruxism continues despite these stress-reduction methods, though, it might be time to visit your dentist. 

Your dentist will be able to make a recommendation about additional treatment options, ranging from a mouth guard to dental alignment and more, all of which can help you be more comfortable while also protecting the surface of your teeth. 

 

Ready to put an end to your bruxism? Contact our team today. 

4 Ways to Protect Your Child’s Mouth During Sports

4 Ways to Protect Your Child’s Mouth During Sports

Sports are great for kids they help build confidence, build team working skills, and help your child be healthy. Sports are great to get your child involved in most teams require safety gear and training for your child, a lot of sports do not require or provide mouth protection during sports. Have no fears there are things you can do to help keep your child’s teeth safe!

Talk to your dentist before your child starts playing sports to find the right protection for their needs and risks. Your child may not like wearing a mouth guard etc. at first but they will adjust and adapt. It is important to keep this habit to keep your child’s mouth safe!

What to do When your Child Loses a Tooth

What to do When your Child Loses a Tooth

When your child loses teeth, it’s the first sign of a bunch of exciting things coming down the pipe. First and foremost, your baby is growing his or her adult teeth – the teeth that will remain in the mouth throughout adulthood. Secondly, your child is learning about proper oral hygiene and preparing to meet the tooth fairy for the first time. 

Exciting stuff!

If you’re like most parents, though, you’re not exactly sure what to do when your baby starts losing teeth. Don’t worry – it’s not as complicated as it sounds. In this post, we’ll lay out some simple ways to navigate this life phase and ensure you’re giving your little one everything he or she needs. 

When Your Child Starts Losing Baby Teeth

Baby teeth are fascinating things. They start forming before a baby is born and play an essential role in speech development and other critical issues. Here are a few facts to consider about your baby’s teeth:

  1. Most kids get all 20 baby teeth within their first three years of life
  2. Teeth are critical for processing food, obviously, but also for helping kids learn to speak
  3. Generally, kids get their first tooth by six months of age
  4. Baby teeth, while not permanent themselves, offer spacing for adult teeth and help guide them as they push through the gums
  5. Young children lose their teeth at various rates – molars and canines don’t generally fall out until ages 9-13, while incisors fall out between ages 6-8  
  6. Toddlers and infants who drink sugary juices from bottles, or who regularly fall asleep with bottles in their mouths can suffer premature tooth decay 
  7. Parents should start promoting good dental health in babies within the first few weeks – rubbing thee gums with a clean cloth or a finger is a great start
  8. Proper dental development helps kids chew properly, which then supports healthy digestive and GI function 
  9. Parents should take their babies to the dentist by the time the first tooth pops through the gums 
  10. According to a June 2015 study, babies who are exclusively breastfed for six months were 72% less likely to have crooked or overcrowded teeth

According to information from the Mayo Clinic, most kids start losing their first teeth around the age of six years. While the timing varies slightly from child to child, it’s still smart to visit the dentist if your baby loses teeth as the result of an accident or premature dental decay. If the tooth loss is normal, there’s no reason to make an emergency trip to the dentist, although maintaining your regular check-ups is smart. 

As a general rule, a child’s teeth will fall out in the order in which they first broke through the gums. Usually, this means your baby will lose the first two teeth on the bottom fist. From there, it will spread to molars and moe. Generally, the shedding of the baby teeth lasts from about age 6 to age 12 or 13. In some cases, teeth can take a few days or weeks to fall out. If this is the case for your child, avoid the urge to yanked the tooth out forcefully, and try to discourage your child from touching the tooth excessively.

According to the Mayo Clinic:

“Baby teeth usually stay in place until they are pushed out by permanent teeth. If a child loses a baby tooth early as a result of tooth decay or an accident, a permanent tooth might drift into the empty space. This can crowd permanent teeth and cause them to come in crooked.”

Pulling at ooh prematurely – even when it’s loose or wiggling – can expose the socket too early, creatine ga direct pipeline for infection, bacteria buildup, and more. Once a tooth falls out, a new one should replace it within six months. If no new tooth grows in that timeframe, take your child to the dentist to ensure there’s no underlying problem.

What to do After a Child Loses a Tooth

Before you summon the tooth fairy, take some time to care for the new gap in your child’s mouth! Here are a few steps to follow:

  • Have the child gargle with saltwater. When a tooth falls out, it exposes a part of the mouth that’s not used to being exposed. This, in turn, creates an opportunity for infection and more. To prevent this, have your child gargle with salt and warm water once the tooth is gone. This is especially important if the space is bleeding. Encourage the child to spit all the water, rather than swallowing it. 
  • Brush around the space. Bushing directly over the exposed socket can create irritation and pain. With this in mind, have your child to brush around the socket, and avoid pushing too hard on any space that is sore or painful, as this can cause excessive irrigation. Your child should continue brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. 
  • Avoid foods that can damage teeth. To maintain a healthy mouth, have your child avoid consuming soda, candy, and other foods that can damage the teeth. This is critical as the vulnerable socket is exposed. The more sugar and bacteria you introduce into the space, the more likely it is that the socket will become irritated or infected. 
  • Schedule regular dental visits. Dental care is critical as your child’s mouth continues to change. With this in mind, maintain your regular schedule of dental visits, and make sure you’re not skipping appointments. Your dentist will be able to identify problems before they flare into significant issues, and ensure that your child’s teeth are all falling out and growing in normally. 

When to Call a Doctor

There are very few reasons to seek out medical help as your child loses and grows new teeth. If,  however, you notice your baby’s mouth is bleeding excessively, that new teeth are not growing in the places of old teeth, or that your child seems to be losing too many or not enough teeth, it can be smart to pay a visit to your doctor. The doctor will be able to evaluate your baby’s mouth and ensure everything is progressing normally and that there aren’t any warning signs to be aware of. 

 

Has your child started to lose baby teeth? Give our office a call! We’ll help guide you through this process and ensure your little one’s mouth is healthy and happy. 

5 of The Worst Habits For Your Teeth

5 of The Worst Habits For Your Teeth

We all have bad habits, some bad habits have side effects that can cause real issues. There are some bad oral health habits that can take a toll on your teeth. Your oral health bad habits can be hard to break and there a few you should try and break as soon as possible.

5 of the worst habits for your teeth

If you suffer from any of these bad oral habits, do not stress you can break your bad habits and your dentist will be there to help. You do not have to suffer from your bad habits and their nasty side effects there is hope!

Surprising Foods That are Actually Good for your Teeth

Surprising Foods That are Actually Good for your Teeth

We all know that some foods are bad for our teeth: soda, candy, and ice, for example. While avoiding these foods is critical to dental health, it’s also wise to get acquainted with the foods that are good for your teeth, and eat more of those. Fortunately, there are dozens of tooth-healthy food options out there. You just have to know which ones to choose.

In this post, we’ll cover a few of our favorite tooth-boosting snacks and meals. Let’s dive in. 

6 Foods That Strengthen Your Teeth

You are what you eat. That’s as true for your teeth as it is anything else. To boost the health and wellbeing of your teeth, incorporate these delicious, flavorful foods into your diet more regularly:

1. Cheese

Cheese lovers, rejoice! It’s one of the top foods dentists recommend eating for good dental health. 

According to a study published in a 2013 issue of General Dentistry, eating cheese boosts the pH of your mouth, thus lowering the risk of dental decay. Additionally, chewing cheese increases saliva production, thereby coating and protecting teeth and restoring balance to the dental environment. Finally, cheese contains calcium and protein, nutrients that strengthen tooth enamel.

With that in mind, grab a slice of cheddar next time you need a tasty, mouth-healthy snack. 

2. Carrots

Crunchy, nutritious, and delicious – oh my! Carrots are a great snack as far as your oral health is concerned. Chock-full of fiber and vitamin A, carrots increase your mouth’s natural saliva levels, thus reducing your risk of cavities. Additionally, the texture and crunch of carrots can give teeth a light cleaning, serving to wipe away bacteria and plaque buildup. 

3. Almonds

Almonds are a heart-healthy snack, but they’re also great for your teeth. A great source of protein and enamel-boosting calcium, almonds are low in sugar and nutritious to boot. Add a few sliced almonds to a stir-fry or salad, or eat a handful of raw, unsalted almonds next time you need a mid-afternoon blood sugar boost. 

4. Yogurt

Yogurt, like cheese, is an excellent source of protein and calcium. Because of this, it’s a great choice for anyone who wants a stronger, healthier, cleaner teeth. Additionally, yogurt contains naturally-occurring probiotics, which balance the bacteria levels in the mouth, banish cavity-causing bacteria, and restore healthy oral pH. If you decide to eat more yogurt, be sure you’re opting for protein-dense Greek yogurt varieties with no added sugar. 

5. Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are great for everything from your heart to your digestive system. So is it any surprise that they’re excellent for your teeth, as well? Packed with minerals, vitamins, and nutrients, while also being low in calories, leafy greens contain calcium to build tooth enamel, folic acid, and B vitamins that can reduce your risk of dental disease and bacteria buildup. If you have trouble getting enough leafy greens in your diet, consider adding a handful to a stir-fry, smoothie, or your lunchtime sandwich. 

6. Celery

Celery might taste a little less exciting than yogurt or cheese, but it’s great for your chompers. Like carrots, apples, and other crunchy fruits and veggies, it acts as a natural toothbrush, scrubbing the teeth and removing bacteria and plaque buildup. Celery is also a great source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, as well as fiber. Top your celery with cream cheese or almond butter for an extra nutrient-dense snack. 

Eating for Your Dental Health

Just like you can eat to lower your blood pressure, decrease blood sugar spikes, or build muscle, you can eat to promote strong, healthy teeth. Here are a few tips from the American Dental Association to do just that:

  • “Drink plenty of water
  • Eat a variety of foods from each of the five major food groups, including:
    • whole grains
    • fruits
    • vegetables
    • lean sources of protein such as lean beef, skinless poultry and fish; dry beans, peas, and other legumes
    • low-fat and fat-free dairy foods
  • Limit the number of snacks you eat. 
  • If you do snack, choose something healthy like fruit or vegetables or a piece of cheese. Foods that are eaten as part of a meal cause less harm to teeth than eating lots of snacks throughout the day, because more saliva is released during a meal. Saliva helps wash foods from the mouth and lessens the effects of acids, which can harm teeth and cause cavities.” 

In addition to following the tips above, it’s also essential to keep your dental habits up to snuff. This means brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Look for a toothpaste with the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. To keep teeth healthy and prevent plaque buildup, floss daily and visit your dentist regularly – at least twice a year, or more frequently if you have particular dental concerns. 

Finally, keep your teeth healthy by being mindful of what you eat. Foods with high sugar content contribute to dental decay and other dental conditions. To limit your sugar intake, start reading the nutrition facts and ingredient labels on the foods you consume. Be mindful of sneaky sources of sugar – like beverages, fruit juices, and whole fruits. Stay away from distinct sources of processed sugar, like candy and soft drinks. 

If you do have a sweet snack, be sure to flush your mouth with water immediately afterward, and to brush your teeth as quickly as possible. This will limit the amount of time the sugar has to impact your teeth and wash away any residue that could contribute to dental decay. Even if you brush your teeth immediately afterward, avoiding sugar is still the best bet to keep your mouth healthy. 

Building Strong Teeth Doesn’t Have to be Hard

If you want to boost your oral health and experience less frequent trips to the dentist, start by evaluating your diet. Even a few simple changes can go a long way toward improving your dental health and creating better outcomes for your teeth. Your dentist and your mouth will thank you. 

 

Concerned about your dental health? Overdue for your check-up? Give our team a call today to book your annual cleaning!