Work To Maintain A Healthy Mouth

Maintaining good oral health boils down to achieving some fundamental goals. Clean teeth and healthy colored gums along with a fresh smelling breath are all the result of following a routine for proper home care along with a scheduled program of professional exams and cleanings. If your dentist can detect a cavity or the beginning signs of gum disease while still in the early stages the chances for successful treatment and in some cases, a reversal of minimal affliction improve greatly. The best way to assure that kind of outcome is to visit your dentist every six months, at least.

If you have been lax in scheduling regular dental appointments you can make up for it by seeking the help that you need asap. The sooner you do so the better. If you have a tooth that is beyond restoration it’s best to have it extracted and replaced right away, sometimes even in the same appointment. There are so many different methods of replacement available today that most patients can find one that will work for them. Your dentist will evaluate your condition and you can consult with him about the various factors associated with each possibility.

As far as your home care goes it’s important that you brush and floss every day. The way you go about it, however, and the tools that you use also matter. Fluoride is our best weapon in the war against tooth decay. Most toothpastes on the market today are fluoridated but it never hurts to check the label to make sure. Always look for the Seal of Approval from the American Dental Association (ADA). Your toothbrush should have a soft bristle head and you should manipulate it gently in and around each individual tooth in a circular motion.

Your dental hygienist can advise you as to the various dental products, which ones actually live up to their claims and those that don’t. Make your next appointment with Spokane Valley Dentistry today, call the office @ 509-926-6261. We are accepting new patients now.

Are You Vulnerable?

Gum disease can sneak up on you. The symptoms in the early stage of gingivitis may include bleeding gums or redness which could easily be attributed to other causes such as brushing too hard or using the wrong kind of toothbrush. That’s why it’s important to talk to your dentist about your vulnerability. If gum disease is a factor in your family dental history, for instance, you may be more aware of the symptoms. Your dental hygienist is trained to identify the signs that may indicate an early diagnosis of gum disease, keep to a schedule for regular six-month checkups and cleanings.

Everyone experiences the occasional occurrence of bad breath. It could come from something you have had to drink or from the spice in a food that you have eaten. That’s one case scenario, but chronic halitosis may indicate the onset of gum disease. If regular brushing and rinsing with a mouthwash only mask the symptom temporarily it may be time for a professional evaluation.

You may have something to say about it. Other than genetics, poor dental health habits and some lifestyle choices can contribute to your chances of developing gum disease. If you can adhere to a regimen of home care that includes brushing twice a day and flossing after meals together with keeping up with professional exams and cleanings you will greatly increase the odds in your favor for avoiding issues such as tooth decay and gum disease.

If you need another reason to quit smoking consider the fact that smokers seem to collect more tartar on their teeth than nonsmokers do. Tartar is a major contributor to gum disease and is formed when a buildup of bacterial plaque hardens onto the tooth enamel. Tartar cannot be removed just by brushing, it must be done with a hygienist’s tool.

Consult with your dentist and hygienist at Spokane Valley Dentistry about how to prevent the advancement of gum disease. Treatment is highly successful in the early stages of infection. Call Spokane Valley today @ 509-926-6261.

Precaution Pays Off

Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. By the time we are adults we should pretty much know what is and is not good for our teeth, right? We probably even reprimand our kids for chewing gum or eating too many sweets, so why do we continue with our own lifestyle habits that are known to have a bad effect on our oral health? Maybe we just aren’t aware.

Biting down on any hard surface could cause you to break a tooth. A glass of refreshing iced tea can taste awfully good on a hot summer’s day but chewing on the ice cubes is a definite no-no if you want to protect your tooth enamel.

Adults like to play games too. Men’s amateur baseball leagues, for instance, provide a perfect outlet for a little friendly competition but baseball is considered to be a contact sport, a mouthguard should be a part of the uniform. There are over the counter products or your dentist can provide a custom fit guard that can help prevent damage to your teeth.

Bruxism is the habit of grinding or clenching your teeth together. It can be a totally reflex action that we are not even aware of. Stress is the most common contributing factor for adults who experience bruxism. It could also be linked to a misalignment of your teeth or it could be a side effect of a particular medication. See your dentist for a thorough evaluation.

You may set restrictions when it comes to how much candy your children are allowed but did you know that most cough drops contain a large amount of sugar? Some adults get in the habit of sucking on cough drops throughout the day never realizing that they are contributing to their risk for tooth decay.

Speaking of sugar, carbonated beverages and energy drinks are full of it. They also contain the acids that can damage your tooth enamel. Water is the much better choice both for your children and yourself.

Providing the best in patient care and information about preventive dentistry innovations are top priorities at Spokane Valley Dentistry. Call the office today @ 509-926-6261.

Follow Post Procedure Instructions

When your dentist has completed a thorough examination including the latest in x-ray technology innovation and has determined that even root canal therapy is not sufficient to save your tooth, extraction may be recommended. By this time you are probably so tired of putting up with the increased discomfort that you will actually be relieved to be rid of it. Truth be told, a simple tooth extraction is much less troublesome than you may have been led to believe.

A “simple” extraction indicates that the tooth is intact and will be able to be removed without the need for an incision into the gum tissue. Your dentist will use what is known as an “elevator” to loosen the tooth in readiness for extraction by dental forceps.

After consulting your medical history and previous dental procedures that you have undergone your dentist will prepare the area of extraction by applying a numbing gel before injecting a local anesthetic. Some patients require a higher dosage than others, the dental assistant will check on your progress as the time passes.

Following the procedure, your dentist will send you home with a complete list of dos and don’ts including dietary restrictions and physical limitations. Bleeding should be minimal and easily controlled with cotton swabs. An over the counter pain reliever should be sufficient but your dentist will write you a prescription for something stronger if you prefer. An ice pack will help to reduce any facial swelling – 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off. Start warm water/salt rinses a full day after the extraction.

The most important thing to avoid is what is known as “dry socket,” which can be extremely painful. After extraction, a clot will form in the empty socket in order to protect the underlying nerve center from invasion by outside forces. When the clot is dissolved so is the protection. Any sucking motion like sipping through a straw or smoking a cigarette will increase the risk.

Dr. Conway and the team at Spokane Valley Dental are renowned for their attention to patient care and comfort. Make your appointment today, call 509-926-6261.

Gain Control Over Gum Disease

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported a prevalence of gum disease among the adult population of the US. If you suspect that you are one among the many who suffers from some form of the disease your first inclination should be to make an appointment with your dentist for further evaluation and a professional diagnosis.

What symptoms should get your attention? Barring injury, there is no good reason for your gums to bleed. If you do notice bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth, for instance, consider that it may be an early sign of gingivitis which is the first stage of gum disease. At this point, the disease is easily treated and can be prevented from advancing to a more serious condition. Your dentist will likely recommend using an antibacterial toothpaste/mouthwash and upgrading your overall home care routine. A professional cleaning is part of an effective therapy plan.

Plaque buildup comes from leftover food debris and bacteria that is not removed with proper oral care. Chronic bad breath can be a result of poor oral health and is often a symptom of impending gum disease. Check for fraying bristles on your toothbrush and make sure to brush twice a day for a full two minutes each time.

Are your gums receding? Check in the mirror to see if your gum tissue may be pulling away from your teeth if so your teeth will appear to be longer than usual. Be aware of increased tooth sensitivity, another common symptom of gum disease.

Pay attention to these symptoms in order to avoid the more serious complications that can occur when gum disease is allowed to progress to full-blown periodontitis which can lead to the deterioration of bone structure and ultimate tooth loss.

Don’t wait any longer, get a professional opinion asap so that you can begin treatment and anticipate any further repercussions of gum disease. Call Spokane Valley Dentistry to arrange a consultation with Dr. Conway and his team of professionals. Call today @ 509-926-6261 in Spokane Valley, WA.

Take Charge And Make Changes That Can Save Your Teeth

There are some things in life that you have control over like what you’re going to eat for breakfast on any given day and other things that you have no say in, like the weather. Well, it’s the same with your dental health. A few of us are at higher risk for premature tooth loss than others. Some factors are undeniable, you can’t change your age and there are certain health issues that may have been passed on to you through genetics. On the other hand, you CAN improve the way that you take care of your teeth and you CAN give up smoking and change your diet to limit sugary drinks and foods that are high in starches.

Research has shown that a poor diet and inadequate dental care go hand in hand in increasing your odds of losing one or more of your permanent teeth, the ones that were meant to last a lifetime. Change is not always easy but if you consider the consequences that come with early tooth loss you may be willing to do whatever it takes to prevent it.

Tooth loss affects your lifestyle in more ways than one. It can make it hard to enjoy the foods that you love, it can lower your self-esteem and the necessary restoration or replacement can be costly. It’s hard to meet new people or introduce yourself to a potential business connection if you are too self-conscious to smile.

It is easier than ever to find tasty substitutes for some of the foods in our diet that we know are bad for our teeth. Sugarless chewing gums and candy, for instance, come in a wide range of flavors to appeal to many tastes. The savory quality of sugar substitutes has also improved over time, so much so that many people find it hard to tell a difference from the real thing.

Share your dental concerns with Dr. Conway of Spokane Valley Dentistry. The practice welcomes new patients @ 509-926-6261.

Do What You Can To Protect Your Tooth Enamel

A pH (potential of hydrogen) scale measures the acidity of something, including the foods and drinks that we consume. The scale ranges from 1 to 14 with the lowest number being the most acidic and the higher the most alkaline or non-acidic.

Tooth enamel is the protective outer layer of the teeth. Even though it is a thin covering, enamel is exceptionally strong although not indestructible. The biggest enemy of tooth enamel is the acid that is produced when the sugars and starches in the foods that we eat combine with some of the bacteria that are a natural part of the mouth’s environment. Tooth enamel is not made up of living cells so it cannot reproduce, once it is lost you can’t get it back. The more the enamel deteriorates the more your teeth are in jeopardy of the bacterial invasion that leads to tooth decay and gum disease.

When you consider the pH factor and the potential for damage you will realize how important it is to protect your tooth enamel if you want to preserve your natural teeth. The best way to do that is to combine regular professional care with a personal plan for oral health maintenance at home. That plan will need to include a rule for moderation where foods and drinks with a low pH factor are concerned.

When you’re looking for foods and drinks that are bad for your teeth you will find cola at the top of every list with a pH level of 2.5. Juices and energy drinks are not far behind. You can find the pH levels of various flavors and brand names online or consult with your dentist about which drinks are the better choices.

A thorough professional exam, teeth cleaning and dental x-rays can prevent a small problem from turning into something more serious and more difficult to treat. Visit the website

What Can You Do In The Meantime?

You can’t predict how or when the pain from a toothache may strike. The throbbing sensation could be enough awaken you from a sound sleep or it could start out as merely a nagging discomfort and progress from there. Whatever the case may be you will want relief asap but you might not be able to get to your dentist right away. There are a variety of over the counter products and home remedies that can offer a temporary respite from the pain.

A salt water rinse comes highly recommended and is a long standing home remedy for toothache pain relief. Stir ½ teaspoon of salt into an 8 oz. glass of warm water and swish gently around the aching tooth. Use a piece of dental floss to remove any food particles that may have gotten stuck in the tooth. A rinse of equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water is another popular, but temporary remedy.

A clove of garlic can add a lot of flavor to a home cooked meal. It also contains a liquid known as allicin which has been helpful in the treatment of some oral diseases more common to children. Pop a piece and chew or chop it up and let it rest on your tongue, it could help ease your discomfort, though it won’t do a lot for your breath.

Over the counter pain relievers that contain benzocaine will produce a numbing effect that will mask the pain of a toothache. These products come in the form of a gel or a liquid and can be found in the tooth care section of your pharmacy.

The main thing to understand about any of these remedies and others along the same lines is that they are only a temporary fix. A toothache can be a symptom of a serious dental issue and should be evaluated by your dentist.

Spokane Valley Dentistry offers complete care emergency services. Dr. Patterson and his team of professionals are on hand to treat your needs @ 509-926-6261 in Spokane Valley, WA.

Take Immediate Action

One of the deciding factors in choosing a family dentist is location. If the office is in the general vicinity of your home, school or workplace you can save yourself a lot of time by not having to deal with unexpected traffic or road construction issues, you will be familiar with the route. It’s important to arrive for your scheduled appointments on time and it’s always nice to know that help is close at hand in case of emergency.

A dental emergency calls for a cool head and getting to professional help asap. If you know where you’re going and can get there in short order you are less likely to panic and will be better able to cope. Once you have administered first aid to the accident victim and done what you can to preserve the tooth you will need to call your dentist’s office to let them know what has happened and that you are on your way in. Be sure to include the after hours number on your mobile phone contacts list. It may save precious time to let someone else make that call while you’re enroute.

Time is critical when a tooth has been knocked out. If you can take the proper precautions and get to your dentist within thirty minutes after the incident there is a much better chance that the tooth can be saved. Find the tooth and pick it up carefully trying not to touch the root. Rinse gently with water and if possible replace the tooth into the socket and hold it there.

A fractured tooth is another dental emergency that requires immediate professional attention. Here again, call your dentist’s office so that they can be prepared to spring into action as soon as you arrive. In the meantime you may be able to reduce swelling with a cold compress. Any over the counter product other than aspirin can be used to relieve pain.

Spokane Valley Dentistry is equipped to handle your dental emergency. Call 509-926-6261 for immediate consultation.

Communication Is Key

Have you wondered why the office receptionist in your dentist’s office asks you to update your contact information and your medical history so often? It may seem to you that these questions are redundant, you may even be annoyed at having to fill out the same forms time and again.

The fact is that your dentist and hygienist need to stay current on the medications that you are taking in order to guard against the risk for dangerous drug interaction. As far as contact information is concerned the office may need to inform you of closings or of some change in the date or time of your next appointment. They also need to know who to call in case you should become ill or are in need of transportation. It’s a good idea to keep a list of your prescription medications with you at all times. Note any over the counter products as well.

Don’t hesitate to ask. Even if your teeth and gums are healthy right now you’ll want to keep it that way. Your dental hygienist will be glad to share her insight about dental products that may have recently been introduced on the market and how they may be beneficial to you. Any tips she can give you about how to improve upon your home care regimen will be well worth knowing.

Change can indicate trouble. If you see or feel anything that is different, a lump or sore spot for instance, that doesn’t go away on its own don’t wait for your next scheduled appointment, call your dentist right away. It may be nothing but knowing that will give you peace of mind which is a lot better than putting yourself through weeks of worry.

If you’re experiencing more and more incidents of bad breath don’t be embarrassed to tell your dentist or hygienist. They can help you get to the root of the cause and prescribe a treatment plan. It may be something as simple as a change in diet, but you won’t know until you ask.

Make your next appointment with Spokane Valley Dental today. Call 509-926-6261.

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