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 www.spokanevalleydentistry.com

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.

Preventive Dentistry Is Making Strides

Of course daily brushing and flossing are both key elements in the crusade for good oral health but there are other factors involved. Educational resources, lifestyle tendencies and regular professional care are all important in a preventive dentistry program.

The American Dental Association along with various state and local organizations offer sources of information presented through school and community programs that are designed to make people aware of the need for early and continuous dental care. They concentrate on the value of a fluoridated drinking water supply for instance, and stress the influence that a healthy diet can have on a lifetime of good oral health.

The calcium content in some foods can help to maintain the natural strength of our tooth enamel which is essential in cavity prevention. The enamel is the only thing standing between the more sensitive layers of the teeth and the bacteria that can cause tooth decay.

Even though tooth enamel is known for its strength and endurance, it is not indestructible. Sugars and starchy foods encourage the production of the acids that work to weaken the effectiveness of the enamel. Saliva is nature’s way of rinsing away leftover food particles and bacteria that can lead to tooth decay. Any foods that increase the flow of saliva in your mouth e.g., crunchy vegetables, will contribute to that cause.

Regularly scheduled dental appointments that include cleanings, exams and x-ray technology when appropriate will allow your dentist to measure the presence of oral bacteria, detect the early signs of gum disease and monitor the condition of your teeth and gums looking for any changes that might signal a problem. A yearly oral cancer screening can pick up on the potential for disease before it can pose a real threat.

The ultimate goal of preventive dentistry is to avoid oral disease or to stop it in the earliest possible stage of advancement. Share any concerns you may have about the state of your oral health with the dental professionals of Spokine Valley Dentistry. Call today @ 509-926-6261.

Don’t Wait For Your Next Scheduled Appointment

Dentists recommend that most of their patients schedule a checkup and teeth cleaning once every six months, those with periodontitis or extensive dental work will be advised to come in more often. Even with regular professional care things can happen between visits and certain symptoms should be brought to the attention of your dentist asap.

One of the first signs of gingivitis is an inflammation of the gum tissue which will present with redness and swelling. At this point gum disease can be treated and in most cases reversed before it can advance to the next stage. Gums may noticeably begin to recede from the teeth if symptoms are ignored.

Increased sensations when you drink something hot or cold could mean that a filling needs to be replaced or repaired or it could indicate that infection has broken through your tooth enamel and a cavity is developing. Early treatment will be less extensive than if you wait too long.

Your toothache is trying to tell you something even if it comes and goes. See your dentist if the pain is persistent.

As we age we’re bound to need a medication for something or other from time to time. When you begin a new prescription or if you add an over the counter product to your daily health routine be sure to be aware of any change that it may bring about. Dry mouth is a common symptom and the lack of saliva can encourage a buildup of oral bacteria which in turn can lead to an oral infection.

Canker sores or cold sores can be extremely painful and caused by a score of possibilities ranging from an outside irritation (ill fitting denture, braces or a mouth piercing) to some type of infection or fungus. A mouth sore that doesn’t go away in over a week’s time should be evaluated by your dentist.

See your dentist at recommended intervals but don’t hesitate to call with any concerns you may have in the meantime. Spokane Valley Dentistry offers emergency services along with regularly scheduled appointments. Contact the office today, call 509-926-6261.

What’s Changed?

Tooth sensitivity can change at any time. You can be going along enjoying all the foods that you always have when all of a sudden you bite into an ice cream bar for instance, and WOW! Where did that pain come from?

There are various reasons for the onset of such sensitivity, but your symptoms will tell your dentist a lot. If your pain is contained to a single tooth for example, it probably means that you have a cavity or that you’ve cracked or otherwise damaged that tooth. If on the other hand, your entire mouth is hurting chances are that something about the way you care for your teeth or something in your diet has changed.

Tell your dentist if you’ve switched toothpastes, some are more abrasive than others. If you’ve recently gone from a manual brush to an electronic one you may be applying too much pressure which can break down the surface enamel of your teeth making them more sensitive.

If you’ve introduced a particularly acidic food to your regular diet, maybe you’ve been on vacation eating more exotic dishes than your mouth is used to experiencing, it could definitely stimulate sensitivity. If this is the case the reaction should go away as soon as things get back to normal.

Has your stress level increased? A common reaction to stress or anxiety is to start grinding or clenching your teeth. These actions are often involuntary so you may not even realize what’s happening but eventually your tooth enamel will show signs of the wear and tear.

Allergies often bring on uncontrollable fits of sneezing that after some time will put a lot of pressure on your teeth. Sinus conditions that provoke persistent blowing and sneezing can produce a similar effect.

Before you see your dentist take a mental inventory of any of these changes that may have occurred in your day to day lifestyle. Once a diagnosis is made treatment can begin and relief from your symptoms will follow. Call Spokane Valley Dentistry @ 509-926-6261 and make your appointment today.

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.

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