The Options Can Overwhelm You

There are so many over the counter dental products on the market today that is is hard for consumers to know which ones to choose. Some toothpastes for instance, claim to contain a whitening agent while others promise to relieve sensitivity or keep you from getting so many cavities.

Some people include a mouthwash as a part of their daily oral health regimen. Here again, there is a wide range of selection. What do you want your mouthwash to do? Do you use it for the refreshing taste or do you count on it to help prevent tooth decay or gum disease?

Manual or electric, soft, medium or hard bristle? Your toothbrush has to be easy to maneuver and feel comfortable in your mouth. After all, you’ll be using it twice a day for a full two minutes at a time, right?

Is an oral irrigator right for you? Some people who find it difficult to use a typical flossing string have turned to a water pressure system as an alternative. There are several model options to choose from depending on your particular goals and how much you want to spend.

If you are confused by all the advertising hype and the maze of product displays, ask your dentist or hygienist for advice. They have seen first hand the results of many of the various products that their patients have experienced. There are some factors that professionals definitely take into account when making product recommendations. Fluoride for instance, is a proven deterrent to tooth decay. If the ingredients label on that box of toothpaste or bottle of mouthwash includes fluoride you can be assured that it will help to prevent cavities.

The choice of toothbrush is totally one of personal preference. Dentists may however, suggest an easier to use electronic model for patients who suffer from arthritis or some other condition that may make it harder to manipulate a traditional toothbrush.

Talk to Dr. Conway of Spokane Valley Dentistry about the best choices for your particular needs. Call today @ 509-926-6261.

What Causes Your Teeth To Stain?

We all strive to preserve a nice, bright smile but unfortunately some of our favorite foods and drinks can interfere with our best efforts to avoid the unsightly stains that can ruin it.

Fruits are healthy foods, they provide the vitamins and minerals that the body needs to help you stay active and feeling good so that you can enjoy life to the fullest. Darker fruits however, do have a tendency to stain your teeth. If you’re concerned about staining you should probably stay away from blueberries or raspberries, for example. The crunchiness of apples and pears on the other hand, helps to increase the flow of saliva and the fiber in these fruits can actually work to diminish tooth stains. These beneficial fruits do contain sugar, so be sure to brush after enjoying them.

Food coloring will have the same affect on your teeth as it does on your Christmas cookies or your birthday cake frosting and that green beer that you drink on St. Patrick’s Day, it may turn your teeth green as well. The good news is that the discolor will fade in time and may even be washed away by brushing. Over exposure to food dye can however, can eventually dull or yellow your teeth.

Tea is just as bad as coffee when it comes to causing tooth stains. In fact, tea contains a higher degree of the tannins which are known to produce stains. Red wine is another threat. Even though it has recently been proclaimed as beneficial to our good health the acidity can weaken tooth enamel making it more susceptible to the staining tannins that are present in the wine.

There are some things that you can do to lessen the chances of some of these foods and drinks staining your teeth. The sticky film of plaque that forms over your teeth makes them more susceptible to staining. Brush and floss thoroughly before you indulge in that glass of red wine for instance, and be sure to rinse after drinking it.

Learn more about how to protect your teeth from the ill effects of the foods and drinks that you love. Spokane Valley Dentistry is accepting new patients today @ 509-926-6261.

Get The Care That You’ve Been Lacking

Don’t put your oral health or possibly even your overall physical health in jeopardy just because you’re too embarrassed to see a dentist. If you’ve fallen short in your efforts to maintain healthy teeth and gums or if your dietary choices have been less than nutritionally suitable it is more important than ever to make some changes.

If any of this sounds familiar, don’t feel like the Lone Ranger. Studies have shown that one out of every three people in the US do not see a dentist on a regular basis. That doesn’t mean to say that it’s ok or that it gives you an excuse to keep avoiding the dentist, just that your situation is not isolated.

You may feel that it’s too late to make a difference, but you will be surprised at the advancements that have been made in dental technology and all the possibilities that have opened up for both general and cosmetic improvements.

A lack of dental care can have a detrimental affect on your smile which may well be a good enough reason to do something about it. Being ashamed of the way your teeth look when you smile can influence your self confidence about meeting other people or being able to move forward in the workplace. A cosmetic dental procedure may be able to restore your morale along with your smile.

You may consider yourself lucky if you’ve been able to avoid the discomfort that can be the result of ignoring your dental health. But some issues can sneak up on you. It may take awhile for the symptoms of gingivitis for instance, to show up. You may have noticed that your teeth have become more sensitive to hot or cold or that your gums bleed a little when you brush or floss but if you’ve chosen to disregard the signs, your gum disease may have advanced to a more serious stage that should really be dealt with asap.

Dr. Conway and the staff at Spokane Valley Dentistry is there to evaluate your needs and discuss an appropriate treatment plan. Call the office today @ 509-926-6261.

There Are Choices To Be Made

When a tooth has been damaged by infection the decay will need to be removed and the cavity filled. A filling will restore the tooth and protect it from the harmful bacteria that could cause further deterioration. There are several options for filling materials depending on the location of the tooth and how extensive the decay is. You should discuss any concerns about cost or insurance issues with your dentist before a final decision is made.

There are pros and cons associated with any kind of dental filling material. Gold for instance, is noted for strength and stability but a gold colored filling will obviously be more noticeable than a tooth colored composite. It will cost significantly more as well.

A tooth colored composite filling is chosen in part for its aesthetic value. Today’s technology can match the color to that of the surrounding natural teeth so closely that no one will notice the difference. It will take a bit longer to apply however, and a composite filling is less durable than some others.

A silver amalgam filling is a composite material containing silver, zinc and copper along with a healthy dose of mercury. The material is strong and able to withstand the pressure of daily chewing. It is often used for larger fillings in the back teeth where the silver color won’t be so noticeable. Amalgam material is not as compatible to hot or cold sensations and may be more prone to expand and contract in response. The constant adjustment can make the filling more susceptible to breakage.

After a thorough evaluation your dentist will be able to begin. The first step will be to remove the decay and the old filling that may be left behind. Once that is done the dentist will clean and rinse to be sure the area is free of bacteria. When that has been determined the filling will be layered into the socket, cured and polished.

Dr. Conway of Spokane Valley Dentistry is able to apply the advanced x-ray technology that allows him to share results right along with his patients. Call for a consultation @ 509-926-6261.

Replace Your Loss Right Away

Studies have shown that some of us are more apt to lose a permanent tooth than others. Age, lifestyle habits and ethnic background all factor in.

Extraction is necessary when a tooth has been damaged or diseased beyond repair, but what’s most important is that we replace the loss asap. There are plenty of options but the final decision will depend on each individual’s particular needs. Dentists will evaluate and offer a professional recommendations for the patient’s consideration.

A dental implant is a popular choice for replacement. A titanium screw is surgically anchored to the jawbone. An abutment extends from the screw to which the crown of the new tooth is attached to create the look and feel of a natural tooth.

Dentures are the more traditional replacement option. A partial removable denture aka a bridge, is used when there are adjacent natural teeth available to hold the manufactured ones in place. A full or complete denture is appropriate for patients who are missing all of their natural teeth.

A complete denture can be conventional, meaning that it will be fitted several weeks after the natural teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has had adequate time to heal. The alternative is an immediate denture which is fabricated and ready to be installed immediately after the extraction procedure. An immediate denture eliminates the patient ever having to go without teeth or having to wear a temporary appliance, but there is also the chance that the bones and tissues will shrink during the healing process. If this happens significant adjustments may be necessary. The ideal solution might be to wear the immediate denture until it’s time to install the conventional one.

As soon as an adult tooth is lost the consequences begin to show. That could mean loss of muscle tone or a weakened jawbone structure that could alter the entire facial expression. Don’t put it off too long, talk to Dr. Joshua Conway of Spokane Valley Dentistry about your choices for tooth replacement. Call 509-926-6261 today.

What’s More important To You?

What do people look for when they’re trying to find a family dentist? Surveys have shown that insurance coverage, convenience, leading edge technology and personal attention are some of the things on a potential patient’s checklist.

People who have dental insurance through their employment often rely on the recommended lists of dental practices that honor their employer’s particular plan. Patients appreciate help from the dental office staff in handling claims. Those who aren’t covered at work look for a dentist who accepts payment arrangements from the various credit companies that cater to dental services or who offers an in house payment plan.

Busy family schedules center around school events, work, and social obligations. A dental office that is conveniently located somewhere within the daily route to and from home and work will rate high on a list of pros v cons. A visible office location is an asset in attracting dental patients.

How often do you click on the customer review page when shopping online? People want to know what others think of the product or service that they are considering for purchase. A positive review from a current patient will go a long way in convincing a potential one.

Time is again a factor in the decision. A dentist who offers one day crowns for instance, will appeal to the busy working population. Digital radiology lets the patient view the images of their own gums and teeth as the dentist explains his findings and discusses possible treatments. Comfort is of course a major concern. Most people feel some anxiety about keeping an appointment with their dentist. Advanced technology that can serve to make the dental experience more pleasant is a big plus for a majority of potential patients.

While online websites are major sources of reference, nothing can be more influential than a personal recommendation from a family member or close friend. Patient referrals are definitely beneficial.

Spokane Valley Dentistry is located for patient convenience on Broadway Ave. in Spokane Valley, WA. We are accepting new patients today @ 509-926-6261.

Know What To Expect Before You Go

Insurance providers typically categorize dental procedures as preventive, basic or major. Knowing which division your next procedure falls under will give you a better understanding of what to expect and how to prepare.

Diagnostic dental services such as examinations, cleanings, x-rays and fluoride treatments are considered to be preventive as they can be used to diagnose a problem in its early stage when treatment is simple and most likely to prove successful. There is no particular preparatory plan that is required before any of these proceedings but as a matter of common courtesy patients should always rsvp to the reminder notice from the dentist’s office and try their best to arrive for the appointment with plenty of time to spare.

Basic dental services include straightforward treatments such as root canal therapy, routine extractions and fillings. Some procedures take more time than others so patients should plan ahead and set aside ample time for their scheduled dental appointment.

Dental procedures that call for some kind of oral sedation or extensive laboratory work are among those listed under major services. Implants, bridgework and oral surgery all apply. Depending on the type of sedation used for a particular procedure the patient may need to make arrangements for another person to be in charge of transportation to and from the appointment. There also may be dietary restrictions to follow.

The best way to make sure you are ready for your dental procedure is to talk to your dentist beforehand to get a clear picture of what will happen step by step throughout and following the procedure. Get answers to questions about pain prevention, relaxation methods and any after effects that you can expect.

Sedation dentistry has made it possible for dentists to perform more than one procedure in a single appointment. If time is an issue for you consult with Dr.Conway of Spokane Valley Dentistry about the possibility of combining treatments. Your comfort and convenience is of utmost importance to the entire staff at Spokane Valley. Call today @ 509-926-6261.

A Visit With Your Dental Hygienist

What do you want from your dental hygienist? The hygienist is often the first professional you will see after checking in for your dental appointment. The connection that you make can set the tone for the entire visit.

A good dental hygienist has the patient’s best interests in mind. She will strive to make the patient comfortable in the dental environment and greet the new patient with a smile and a welcoming handshake. Patients who have been coming to the practice for any amount of time will naturally feel better being called by name, but for now we’ll concentrate on the newbies.

Any business engagement can benefit by a personal touch and the dental appointment is no exception. It can break the tension and put both parties more at ease with each other. A dental appointment can be a cause for anxiety on the part of the patient but if the hygienist can lighten the mood any feelings of insecurity will be relieved.

How are you doing? A small question, but the answer can reveal a lot. If things aren’t going so well in some other area of a patient’s life it may not be the best time for a discussion about the need for an extensive, or expensive, treatment plan.

Some patients enjoy a little chit chat while others would prefer to get right down to the procedure. A savvy hygienist will be able to tell right away. Body language for instance, can say a lot.

No one likes to feel that they are completely vulnerable in any given situation but particularly one in which he is apprehensive to begin with. The dental chair is designed for the comfort of the patient and the convenience of the dental professional while a dental exam or procedure is being performed. Once the exam has been completed however, the patient will feel more comfortable being at eye level with the hygienist and may be more receptive to her recommendations.

Spokane Valley Dentistry will set aside the necessary time and direct personal attention to the needs of every patient. Call 509-926-6261 today.

Most Disorders Of The Tongue Are Easily Treated

As long an everything is working well and we’re feeling physically fit and able to maintain our everyday lifestyle we tend to take our good health for granted. The tongue for instance, is a multi-purpose organ that we use all day, every day. It enables us to speak clearly and taste and swallow our food but when something goes wrong it can be extremely distressful. Unfortunately, there are a number of conditions that can keep the tongue from functioning properly. The good news is that most of them are easy to treat.

A coating of white over the tongue used to be considered a defining sign of general illness. The condition known officially as “leukoplakia” is actually caused by an irritation and is often associated with tobacco use. Candidiasis is another disorder of the tongue more commonly known as “thrush.” It is a yeast infection which presents with spotty clusters on the surface of the tongue and most often affects young children. In adults, thrush may be an indication of an underlying cause.

A healthy tongue is normally pink in color so when your dentist notices an extraordinary redness he may suspect a vitamin deficiency and recommend that you add more folic acid or vitamin D to your diet. Fish and dairy products are good sources of both.

“Geographic tongue” is so called because the symptomatic red spots form a pattern over the tongue that seems to resemble the shape of a road map. These harmless lesions usually disappear within a week or so but if they do persist consult with your dentist.

Canker sores can also be caused by a lack of one or more vitamins including D and B12. They can also be a symptom of a gastronomical syndrome such as colitis. Canker sores can be quite painful but in most cases will heal well without special treatment. Citrus drinks or acidic foods may irritate the condition.

Is it time for your regular dental checkup? Call Spokane Valley Dentistry @ 509-926-6261 to make your appointment. The friendly staff will make every effort to accommodate your busy schedule.

Don’t Forgot The Fluoride

Fluoridated drinking water has been dubbed “nature’s cavity fighter.” Not only is it good for your teeth but water promotes the flow of saliva that prevents dry mouth, and it is sugar – and calorie – free. So, the only decision left to make is what kind of water you will choose to drink. The options abound. Bottled water has its own section in your local supermarket, and it’s a long aisle. You will find the high end brand names, plenty of flavored varieties and the ever popular sparkling waters.

Bottled waters continue to be in demand because they are so convenient to use – just throw a few in the cooler and head out to the softball game. The bottles are disposable, you don’t have to worry about ice cubes and there are no glasses to wash. If you buy bottled water in bulk however, which is one of its appeals, it can be heavy and hard to load into the car. You will also need room to store it at home. And, even though the bottles are easily disposed of they do mount up and they’r not so good for the environment.

Let’s get back to the issue of fluoride. You may assume that your bottled water contains fluoride but some don’t. Check the label to make sure. Today’s municipal drinking water supplies are fluoridated, but some remote rural areas still rely on underground well water, which is not. Most of us however, can turn on our tap for a constant supply of beneficial fluoridated water.

Drink more water. Instead of reaching for that can of soda in the fridge, hit the button that dispenses a nice cool drink of water. If you don’t have that convenience keep a pitcher of cold water on hand. Pour yourself a glass at mealtimes as a better alternative to the coffee or tea that is apt to stain your teeth.

Ask your dental hygienist at Spokane Valley Dentistry more about the benefits associated with drinking fluoridated water on a regular basis. Call 509-926-6261 for your appointment.

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