A Personal Approach To Good Oral Health

Your permanent teeth are meant to last your lifetime, whether they will or not is at least partially up to you. Your diet, lifestyle habits and the way you take care of your teeth all figure into the maintenance of your oral health.

Let’s start at home. The foods and drinks that you consume have a lot to do with your overall health, some are particularly good, or bad, for your teeth. Young children are more prone to getting cavities than adults are although no one with natural teeth is ever immune. Parents must be more diligent, however, about restricting the intake of sugar for the little ones in the family, young tooth enamel is more susceptible. The trick here is to limit sweets without making them appear to be so good that they are only for special occasions or as a reward.

Older members of the family may be taking a medication that could result in the condition known as “dry mouth.” That’s when the production of saliva is reduced putting us at higher risk for tooth decay or gum disease. These folks need to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day and see their dentist for further evaluation.

Teenagers are busier than ever these days. School, sports, and social activities leave little time for sit down, well-balanced meals. There are healthy snack foods that parents can offer in place of pizza or chips and soda. Fruit slices, carrot or celery sticks, and yogurt are all good. The teen years are often the time to try new things. Unfortunately, some of the choices that teenagers make are not the best. A good home example will go a long way to discourage habits like smoking or oral piercings which both threaten good oral health.

Everyone should adhere to a home regimen along with regularly scheduled professional checkups and cleanings to guard against oral disease. Call Spokane Valley Dentistry today @ 509-926-6261.

Wait No Longer

If you’ve been avoiding the dentist for a while but now you feel as though it’s time to make that overdue appointment you’re ready to start the research that will eventually put you in touch with a dental practice that is near your home or workplace and offers the services that you need right now or may require in the near future.

Hopefully, you know or work with someone who can recommend a few names and from there you can go online to find the pertinent information that you will need to make your decision. A detailed website will tell you everything you want to know about location, history, staff and contact information. Some will offer new patient discounts and convenient request forms. Maps and directions are usually shown here and virtual office tours are often available.

It’s one thing to visit a website but a personal encounter is the real test. Most dentists will welcome a meet and greet so that you can get a real feeling for the office environment and how friendly and accommodating the staff may be. Making sure that the practice is on board with your insurance or credit service can avoid any confusion about payment arrangements down the line.

Your first appointment is the time to share your concerns with your dentist. If you suffer from dental anxiety, for instance, tell your dentist, there are numerous methods for oral sedation that he can suggest. Or, if you’re interested in having a cosmetic procedure to improve the appearance of your smile try to explain your expectations so that you and the dentist are on the same page – maybe bring a picture.

If you haven’t had your teeth cleaned for over a year you may well have some plaque or tartar buildup. The first thing your hygienist will do is to remove it so that your dentist can get a clear view. Your dentist will probably order a full set of x-rays, also to help in his initial examination of your teeth.

So, no more procrastinating? Call Spokane Valley Dentistry today @ 509-926-6261.

Is It Gingivitis?

Swollen, red gums can be a sign of impending gum disease and should never be ignored or thought of as just a temporary reaction to over brushing or using a new brand of toothpaste or mouthwash, for instance. If you notice these symptoms see your dentist right away, don’t wait for your next scheduled appointment. The treatment for the early stage of gum disease known as gingivitis is relatively simple compared to the more invasive therapies that may become necessary if the disease is allowed to advance.

Periodontitis is nothing to take lightly, it can lead to the deterioration of the bone structure that is fundamental in supporting the teeth. With nothing to support them the teeth are in jeopardy. As the disease progresses patients will begin to see that their gum tissue is receding, creating a space that dentists refer to as “pockets.” These spaces are an open invitation for the bacterial plaque that encourages the progression of gum disease.

If your dentist confirms that you do have gingivitis he will recommend that you up your regimen for home dental care. You may not be brushing with a soft bristle toothbrush or you may not be brushing often enough. Don’t forget to floss – it’s easier than ever to do, ask your hygienist for tips. There are toothpastes and mouthwashes that are formulated especially for the prevention of gum disease. Look on the label of any dental product that you buy for the Seal of Approval from the ADA to be sure it has been tested and lives up to its claim.

Scaling and root planing is a procedure that is advised for patients with a more advanced stage of gum disease. It is done to remove the bacteria and smooth the surface of the tooth’s root so that it is less likely to retain future plaque. Your dentist will advise that you avoid sticky or acidic foods for a while after the procedure and that you continue with regular brushing and flossing.

Consult with Dr. Conway of Spokane Valley Dentistry if you suspect symptoms of the early onset of gum disease. Call today @ 509-926-6261.

Deep Cleaning May Be Right For You

Most of us would agree that having our teeth cleaned is one of the high points of a visit to the dentist. It leaves the mouth feeling fresh and clean and it adds a special gleam to the smile.

Regular teeth cleaning procedure concentrates on removing plaque and debris from the surface and in between the teeth and is done as part of every six-month checkup for patients with minimal to average plaque buildup. Patients who have been diagnosed with gum disease, however, need something more. In order to gauge the progression of the disease, the hygienist will use a dental probe to determine how deep the spaces are between each tooth and the gum tissue that has receded from it. If the measurement is more than five millimeters a deep cleaning will be recommended.

A deep cleaning, also known as “scaling and root planing,” goes beneath the gumline to reach the bacteria and tartar that has collected there. If it is not removed swelling and infection will continue to spread resulting in bone loss and the eventual loss of teeth.

Because a deep cleaning process is more invasive it does require a local anesthetic, but it is usually done over 3 or 4 sessions so that only one section of the mouth is numbed each time. Each session should take about thirty to forty-five minutes. In the weeks after the entire deep cleaning process has been completed and with proper home care the gums should begin to get healthier. A bacterial mouthwash may be recommended. The hygienist will re-measure to confirm improvement as part of the follow-up visit.

The major cause of gum disease is the lack of good oral health care. The best care regimen consists of daily brushing and flossing, eating healthy foods and limiting sugar intake. This along with regular professional checkups and cleanings can mean the difference.

New patients will be impressed by the reviews on the Spokane Valley Dentistry website. Join our dental home today, call 509-926-6261.

Look For Ways To Reduce Your Risk

Kids look forward to losing their baby teeth it’s almost a status symbol among their peers – and then there’s the Tooth Fairy! When we become adults, however, it’s a whole other story, now it’s a fight to keep our permanent teeth for as long as we possibly can, hopefully for a lifetime. Ironically, the way we take care of our teeth and gums during our childhood will help to determine the quality of our oral health for years to come.

If you were introduced to professional dental care at an early age you probably grew up accepting regular visits to the dentist as just another part of life, like doing your schoolwork or cleaning your room. Unfortunately, many children don’t have that advantage. As a result, they often develop a fear of the dentist and put off treatment until it is too late. A lack of proper home care can have an effect on how we take care of our teeth and gums as adults. Nutrition is another factor that can influence our dental health.

Even if we didn’t get off to the greatest start it’s never too late to begin to take care of our gums and teeth. Overcoming the dental anxieties that may be left over from a childhood memory is a great first step.

Dentistry has changed a lot over the years. Oral sedation, for one thing, has made going to the dentist a much more comfortable experience. There are now so many options for sedation therapy that most people can find one that will benefit their specific needs.

One of the easiest things we can do to advance our dental health is to improve our diet. If snack foods are your downfall, try switching from chips and candy bars to nuts and fresh fruits. While it is a fact that children are more susceptible to tooth decay that doesn’t mean that adults are immune. Cut back on your sugar consumption to reduce your risk.

Looking for a family dentist who can provide a wide variety of services? Call Spokane Valley Dentistry today @ 509-926-6261.

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.

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