Is There A Best Time To Brush?

Does it matter when we brush our teeth? Professionals tend to agree that as long as we brush twice a day for at least two minutes at a time it is purely a matter of personal preference as to precisely when we do it. It may be a good idea however, to follow a specific routine. Put aside a time when you will be able to give your full attention to brushing and flossing, it’s not something you should hurry through.

We often like to brush soon after we get up in the morning to get rid of the “yucky” feeling in our mouths that we wake up with but brushing right before breakfast can affect the taste of your food. A better choice may be to wait until after eating, but brushing in the a.m. does help to replenish the flow of saliva that naturally slows when we are sleeping.

Brushing too soon after eating can be hard on the tooth enamel. Any food or drink with a high acidic content will begin to eat away at a tooth’s surface and brushing while the enamel is so vulnerable will only add to the stress. If you know you will be eating or drinking something particularly acidic it’s better to brush before your meal. A fluoride toothpaste will serve to reinforce and strengthen the enamel.

Common sense tells us that brushing our teeth after eating something sweet and sugary is beneficial in the fight against tooth decay. The longer our teeth are exposed to the threat the higher the risk for damage. This is also something to remember at bedtime. Brushing your teeth before you go to bed will help get rid of the bacteria that has collected in your mouth over the course of a day.

Dr. Conway heads up the staff of Spokane Valley Dentistry. The practice is proud to provide patients with the best in care and the latest in dental technology. Call the office @ 509-926-6261 or visit the website www.spokanevalley.com to schedule your appointment online.

Home And Professional Care Combine For Success

A great smile comes with a dedication to the maintenance of your own oral health. You may be fortunate enough to have inherited the genes that make the job easier, but you still have to put forth some effort.

Home care will include sticking to a routine of good habits like brushing and flossing every day and eating the foods which contain the vitamins and minerals that promote healthy teeth and gums and avoiding the ones that can cause harm.

There are sources available that will offer advice that can help you to make healthier choices. The American Dental Association for instance, has posted a top nine list of foods that we should definitely keep at arm’s length for the sake of our dental health. The complete list of no-no’s can be found on the ADA’s Mouth Healthy website but just to give you an idea, sticky sweets and citrus fruits are among the culprits.

Your lifestyle influences your general health in many ways but there are certain habits that are specific to your oral health. Tobacco is a known contributor to gum disease which in turn is a leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Continuous tobacco use may cause the gum tissue to separate from the teeth making a perfect space for infectious bacteria to collect. Some smokers attempt to hide their addiction by sucking on a piece of hard candy or chewing a stick of gum to mask the telltale odor. Hard candies and chewing gum are both on that list of restricted foods put out by the ADA.

Even the best of intentions will fall short without professional dental care. No matter how faithful you are to your home regimen you won’t be able to keep up with the accumulation of plaque like your dental hygienist can. Six month dental checkups will improve your odds of preventing disease and if a problem does arise an early diagnosis can save you a lot of money in the long run.

One of the objectives at Spokane Valley Dentistry is to give every patient the time attention that they deserve. Call 509-926-6261 for your personal appointment.

Everyone Can Benefit From Extra Protection

The biting surfaces of your teeth, the parts that do all the work, are not smooth. They are filled with pits and crevices that make perfect little places for bits of leftover food particles to collect. If they are left to fester there the bacteria can cause tooth decay. That’s why dentists and hygienists continue to stress the importance of daily brushing and flossing but some people may need more protection and that’s when dental sealants come into the picture.

A sealant is a thin coating of plastic like dental material that is applied directly onto the surface of the teeth blocking out the harmful bacteria. The success rate of dental sealants in children who have proven to be at high risk for cavities is great. Studies have shown that among those children most at risk the ones who did not have sealants were much more likely to develop cavities than those who did. After reviewing the results of the studies the American Dental Association has advised that children can start to benefit from the extra protection that sealants provide starting as soon as the permanent teeth begin to erupt.

Even though dental sealants are most often thought of as a preventive for children, adults can also take advantage of this simple treatment. Your dentist can do it in one sitting and the added protection can save you money in the long run. Check with your insurance company as many do cover the expense of the procedure.

Once the sealant is bonded to the teeth it can be expected to last for up to ten years but if the sealant is damaged in any way it can be easily replaced. Your dentist will check for chips or cracks during your regular six month checkups.

If the idea of dental sealants sounds like something you would like to explore, talk to your dental professional at Spokane Valley Dentistry. He can evaluate your needs and discuss the options. Spokane Valley is welcoming new patients every day. Call 509-926-6261 to arrange for a consultation.

Reduce The Risks To Your Tooth Enamel

Tooth enamel varies in the shade of it’s color and it may change over time. Its hard surface allows the enamel to protect the inner layers of the teeth from harmful bacteria that can lead to tooth decay. The surface of your teeth are harder than your bones. In fact, tooth enamel is the hardest tissue in the body. Because it is so important to keeping our teeth healthy we should do everything in our power to preserve our tooth enamel.

When tooth enamel begins to deteriorate or if it is cracked or chipped its protective level suffers. When this happens the dentin underneath is exposed. Dentin is much softer than enamel and so is more likely to assume the color of the foods and drinks that we consume.

Plaque and tartar seem to attract stains. Staining between the teeth is harder to remove. The only way to keep this from happening is to brush and floss on a daily basis and have your teeth professionally cleaned at regular six month intervals. Rinse with a disclosing solution after brushing to detect any plaque that may have been left behind.

A lot of people enjoy the feeling that they get by rinsing with a refreshing mouthwash. Using an antibacterial rinse can also help tooth enamel resist staining, giving you two results with one effort. The whitening potential of some mouthwashes may boost the resistance factor.

When you take the time and go to the trouble to take good care of your teeth you will no doubt want to keep the results that you have worked to achieve. But you don’t want to give up all of the foods and drinks that you love. There are ways to compromise. When you have a cola or a glass of iced tea for instance, drink through a straw to eliminate direct exposure to these stain producing agents.

The dental professionals at Spokane Valley Dentistry are ready to answer any questions you may have concerning your oral health. Call today @ 509-926-6261 in Spokane Valley, WA.

So Many Choices

There are a multitude of over the counter oral health products on the market today. You can find toothpastes claiming to whiten and brighten your teeth or make them less sensitive to the touch. Toothbrushes come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. Some are designed to appeal to kids, others advertise deep cleaning features or a contour that is easier to grip and manipulate. And that’s just the start. There are tongue scrapers, irrigation devices and a slew of dental flosses to consider. You can choose between waxed or unwaxed flossing tape, flavored or plain, and there are pre prepared flossers for people who have trouble using any kind of string. There are also dental piks that are intended to produce the same results that flossing between the teeth does. Now you can move on to the mouthwash aisle.

Whether or not to use mouthwash is a matter of personal preference but rinsing with a fluoride solution can provide extra protection against cavities and help to prevent gum disease. An antibacterial mouthwash can help to ease the discomfort from canker sores as well. A minty mouthwash can make your breath feel fresh and mask the unpleasant odors that can come from eating certain spicy foods.

Some people prefer electric toothbrushes to the more traditional ones. They are particularly advantageous for those of us who have trouble managing a manual brush. Whichever type you choose be sure that the bristles are soft and replace the brush head every few months. Bacteria can collect on the bristles of your toothbrush so if you come down with a cold or the flu for instance, be sure to switch out your toothbrush or brush head once you’ve recovered.

Always read the labels on the dental products that you shop for. Look for the Seal of Acceptance from the American Dental Association, make sure the mouthwash and toothpaste products contain fluoride and ask your dentist or hygienist for their recommendations.

Spokane Valley Dentistry professionals take the time to connect with every patient on a personal level. Call 509-926-6261 to arrange for a consultation.

A Warm Welcome Means A Lot

You’ve no doubt heard people refer fondly to their “extended family,” “work family,” or “church family.” A dental family can be just as significant. The support and compassion that comes from the consistent relationship with a staff of dental professionals can benefit every member of your family.

Just like the Cheers song goes, “sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name…. “ A dental appointment can often bring with it some level of anxiety but it’s a good feeling to be able to walk into your dentist’s office and be recognized and greeted by name.

Aside from the emotional advantage the convenience of finding dental care for your entire family under one roof is a definite factor. It eliminates having to run all over town to take the little ones here and older family members there.

Regular dental checkups and preventive home care can keep a comparatively minor issue from becoming something a lot more serious. An early diagnosis can save you from having to undergo invasive and more expensive treatments. A small surface cavity can easily be remedied and in some cases reversed. Finding signs of gum disease while still in the earliest stage will keep it from advancing.

By the time your child is seven years old he or she will be ready to brush their own teeth. A friendly dental hygienist can help them learn the proper way to brush and floss, what kind of toothpaste to use and recommend foods that can strengthen their tooth enamel. Your family dentist is often the first one to suspect that your child may be a candidate for orthodontic therapy. If necessary he can recommend a specialist in the field for further examination.

Seniors have their own particular dental needs. Dry mouth for instance, can be the cause of cavities in older people. The condition can be brought about by certain prescription medicines. If symptoms of dry mouth are discovered by your family dentist you can alert your doctor who may be able to change or adjust your medication.

Look to Spokane Valley Dentistry for the best in family dental care. Call today @ 509-926-626 in Spokane Valley, WA.

Keep Up With Good Oral Health Habits

Just as it is a fact that children are more susceptible to tooth decay older adults are at a higher risk for some other dental issues. The years of daily use and abuse will take a toll. The most common repercussion is gum disease and the only way to prevent it is to adopt a regimen of habits that will be beneficial to every aspect of your good oral health.

Because we ask so much of our teeth we have to take good care of them in return. Brushing and flossing are fundamental in order to remove harmful bacteria and avoid plaque buildup but there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about it. Your toothbrush for instance, should be stored in an upright position and open to the air so that it can dry thoroughly.

Bacteria thrives in a warm and moist environment. If you pack your travel toothbrush in a plastic tube, be sure to rinse it completely before your next brush. Clean the tube out with water and mouthwash. You might even want to consider keeping several unopened new brushes on hand for travel purposes, and overnight guests.

“Don’t brush where you flush.” The bacterial spray from a single flush of your toilet can travel further than you might think. Store your toothbrush at least six feet away and always put the toilet lid down before you flush.

You don’t have to look forward to flossing your teeth and you don’t have to enjoy doing it but if you want to do a thorough job of cleaning your gums and teeth you do have to floss at least once a day. While brushing is important too your toothbrush can’t reach deep in between your teeth like dental floss can. Ask your dental hygienist to give you some tips about how to make flossing easier.

Find out more about how to protect against dental disease at your next appointment with the professionals at Spokane Valley Dentistry. Call today @ 509-926-6261 in Spokane Valley WA.

Changing Colors?

Have you noticed that your teeth seem to have changed in color? This can be caused by one of several factors. You may be surprised to know that the particular shade of the color can help to pinpoint what’s causing the change. If for instance, the discoloration is a brownish yellow or orangy color you may assume that the change is being brought about by the foods and beverages that you consume. This kind of stain is likely to have a uniform effect. Remember – any food or drink that is dark in color is likely to stain your teeth.

Some darkening is to be expected as we grow older. Our teeth are covered in a protective coat of enamel that becomes thinner over time. When this happens the underlying layer of dentin which is considerably darker in color, will begin to show through the weakened enamel.

Genetics also plays a role. Some people have teeth that are naturally lighter in color while others are more grayish. Dentists consult what they call a “shade guide” to match the color of a veneer or a crown to that of the patient’s natural teeth.

Anything that affects the nerve tissue of a tooth may result in changing its color either entirely or partially. A previous injury or extensive root canal therapy can trigger the change.

“White spot lesions” are the only early signs of tooth decay that you can actually see. They usually appear when plaque has been left to collect on the teeth sometime in hard to reach areas of the mouth or around orthodontic apparatus.

The color of your custom made dental crown will not change but when your natural teeth begin to yellow with age or darken from stains the crown will no longer match them. Consult your dentist before using an over the counter whitening solution.

When gums start to recede more of the dentin layer of the teeth will be exposed meaning that they will take on the yellowish to tan color of the dentin. Periodontal treatment may restore the natural gumline.

Spokane Valley Dentistry is accepting new patients @ 509-926-6261 in Spokane Valley, WA. Call for your appointment today.

Root Canal Therapy Can Save Your Tooth

Most root canal therapies are non-surgical procedures commonly done to remove an infection that has affected the pulp of the tooth. The pulp is located in the root canal that extends from the root to the crown of your tooth. Once the tooth is completely developed it no longer needs the support of the pulp.

During root canal therapy a small opening will be drilled into the surface of the tooth so that the infected pulp can be removed. The root canal will be cleaned out and your dentist will apply an antiseptic solution. Next, he will fill the canal and seal it off to prevent more bacteria from getting in and causing further infection. Your dentist may prescribe an antibiotic as an extra dose of prevention. Soon after root canal therapy he will install a permanent filling or a crown to restore the tooth’s structure.

Don’t put stock in the stories you may have heard. Non-surgical root canal therapy is a lot like having a tooth filled. Novocaine is used to prevent you from feeling any pain during the procedure which can often be completed in one session. The best thing about the treatment however is that it can keep you from losing your natural tooth due to trauma or decay. It can restore your ability to chew your food thoroughly and with ease and let you get back to living without the pain of infection.

If your tooth was causing you pain before the therapy was performed it may take a few days for the discomfort to subside completely. In the meantime an over the counter medication should work to make you more comfortable. A follow up appointment will be scheduled usually within the next six months, just to assure that the healing process is proceeding as expected but if you have any concerns before then don’t hesitate to call your dentist.

Dr. Conway of Spokane Valley Dentistry is technically equipped and personally experienced in performing non-surgical root canal therapies. Call the office @ 509-926-6261 to arrange for a consultation and evaluation today.

Call For Immediate Care

When a tooth has been damaged whether due to trauma or disease, there is always the potential for infection. Your body will react to the invasion of bacteria by forming an abscess to block it out. An abscess will be noticeable soon after the onset of an infection and may form at the root of the tooth or between the gum and the infected tooth. People who suffer from gum disease are more susceptible to a periodontal abscess.

An abscessed tooth is usually accompanied by pain severe enough so that a person will seek relief and call their dentist right away. This is fortunate in a way because the sooner an infection is treated the better. Other symptoms that may occur with an abscess include redness and swelling, bad taste in the mouth and increased tooth sensitivity.

Your dentist can recognize the presence of an abscess by examining the tooth and confirm the diagnosis with x-rays. Once the infection has been determined your dentist will drain the abscess and perform root canal therapy to clean out the bacteria, replace the pulp, seal off the area and restore the tooth. He may place a crown over the tooth for added protection and to improve its appearance. The process may require more than one appointment and you may experience some discomfort after a procedure. It can usually be controlled with an over the counter pain reliever but your dentist can prescribe a stronger medication if you feel the need.

As with any medical matter, prevention is key. If you take care of your teeth by brushing and flossing daily and seeing your dentist for six month checkups you can probably avoid any serious issues. However, do not ignore symptoms. Call your dentist’s office as soon as you feel anything unusual even if it’s not time for your regular visit. If something is wrong getting immediate treatment is the best way to avoid serious repercussions.

Spokane Valley Dentistry is prepared to meet your dental emergency. Don’t hesitate to call us with your concerns. The number in Spokane is 509-926-6261.

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