Category Archives: tooth ache

Afraid Of The Dentist? Tips To Help You Achieve The Smile You Desire!

Fear of dentistry is a common problem, maybe more than most people realize. Some surveys estimate that, worldwide, anywhere from 13% to 24% people struggle with it. In the U.S., an estimated 75% of adults have some level of fear associated with dental visits. Of those, 5 – 10% can be categorized as dental phobics, adults who are so fearful of dentistry that they avoid treatment until pain forces them to seek care.

For most who deal with dental fear, however, it is manageable. Once the individual has found a dentist he or she trusts, many relax. A few other things can help fearful patients get through their dental visits without a white-knuckled grip on the treatment chair. These include:

• Soothing Office Environment: When a dental office doesn’t have a look, feel or smell of a dental office, it can relax anxious patients from the get-go. For example, our Reception Area features a beverage bar and wide screen monitor of beautiful nature videos set to soothing music. We’ve had many patients comment on the relaxing sensation they get from watching and listening to these clips.

• Well-managed Appointments: A long wait in a reception area can cause anxiety to build up. We want your brief wait to be a “catch your breath” opportunity, allowing you to relax. Our goal is to ensure our patients feel they are a priority from arrival through check-out. This is why we are so committed to seeing patients within 10 minutes of their appointed time. In some instances, emergencies or unpredictable situations can cause delays. However, we try to keep the waiting patient informed when this occurs to prevent anxiety from building.

• Relaxing Distractions: When patients listen to music or watch a movie, their focus is often taken off the treatment they’re receiving. For fearful patients, this can help. As you are being seated in the treatment chair, ask about music and video choices. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at our vast inventory of selections!

Dr. Barbat with happy, relaxed patient.

• Good Communication: While some patients prefer to be distracted from what’s taking place in their mouths, others feel more confident knowing each step. Before, during and even after a procedure, we keep patients informed of what we are doing so they feel a sense of control. During this process, we may also use monitors to show images of areas being treated and to explain the treatment’s advantages.

• Oral Sedation: Some patients prefer the added relaxation of Oral Sedation. This deep relaxation aid is in pill form and takes effect even before the patient arrives. Although the patient can walk to the chair and is not ‘officially’ asleep, Oral Sedation does provide a dozing state throughout treatment. Recovery is quick and most people have little or no memory of the procedure after.

• I.V. Sedation (Twilight Sleep): We have certain patients who wish to be “put under” for certain dental procedures. For these, we recommend I.V. Sedation, or “twilight sleep.” This is a deeper sleep-state of sedation that is administered in the vein by a trained professional. As patients snooze, the procedure is completed while they are carefully monitored by trained staff and safety equipment throughout (as with Oral Sedation as well). I.V. Sedation typically erases all memory of the procedure after but does require more recovery time than for Oral Sedation.

• Committed Team: Our entire office – from the administrative team to the clinical staff to the doctors who administer your procedures – are all ONE when it comes to creating a welcoming, respectful and compassionate environment for patients, especially those who have dental fears. We understand that these fears may be the result of an unfortunate experience in another dental office. However, some people cannot pinpoint why these fears exist, they just know they are there.

Our unified goal is to have patients smiling as they enter our front door and smiling as they leave. We know that, even for patients who have dental fears, your dental visit can be a positive experience. We also know, however, that we must first get you in the door so you can experience that!

Begin with a friendly conversation with our phone staff by calling 586-739-2155. Then, ask for a no-cost, no obligation consultation. During this, we’ll relax in comfy chairs in a private consultation room that is removed from the clinical side of the office. You can share your concerns and ask questions, which I’ll answer thoroughly.

If you’re too uneasy about coming in for a consultation, ask for a phone consultation. We can discuss your needs over the phone and you can determine when a personal visit is the next step. If you like, we can also put you in touch with several patients who, like you, once had dental fears and now enjoy healthy smiles. Hearing from someone who has ‘been there, done that’ can often help.

Don’t let imagined complications keep you from achieving the smile you desire. Imagine your life with a healthy, attractive smile. With our help, we believe you can achieve your goal while getting dental fears behind you!

Inlays & Onlays Explained

Keeping natural teeth is important for reasons in addition to just creating an appealing smile. A natural tooth provides a number of advantages both above and below the gum line.

It has been shown that people who have their natural teeth live an average of ten years longer than people who wear dentures. And, it is a fact that, when a natural tooth is lost, the next to be lost will be one adjacent.

When most people think of having a cavity in a tooth repaired, a ‘filling’ is typically the anticipated procedure. However, large cavities of teeth that have an overload of decay or previous fillings are often crowned. A crown (or ‘cap’) covers the entire top and sides of the tooth to protect the remaining structure. This helps preserve the tooth along with its roots that are so beneficial to the health of the jaw bone that supports them.

In the past, many dentists used a silver ‘amalgam’ material to fill the portion of the tooth that was removed.  Because of the concerns surrounding the suspected hazards of amalgam’s mercury content, non-amalgam filling materials became the standard choice for most dentists.

Non-amalgam tooth-colored fillings contain no mercury and provide a more tooth-like appearance. Yet, there are times when a filling is not quite right and a crown may be more than is needed. This is where inlays and onlays are a better option.

Inlays and onlays are ideal when a large, biting surface area of a tooth needs repair. Inlays and onlays are like porcelain puzzle pieces. They are custom-designed to fit precisely into the tooth, similar to how a puzzle piece fits snugly into a jigsaw puzzle.

The procedure begins with removing the decayed area and preparing the tooth. You are fully numbed during the procedure. While you relax, a mold is made of the area to be replaced with the inlay or onlay. A temporary ‘restoration’ will be provided to protect the area while a dental lab creates your final porcelain inlay or onlay. Once the restoration is ready, you’ll return to our office to have it ‘seated’ into placed and secured with a special dental adhesive.

The porcelain used in inlay and onlay construction provides exceptional durability and provides a highly natural feel and function with exceptional longevity. During both appointments, your comfort is a priority. If desired, oral sedation can be added to treatment for added relaxation.

When a tooth needs repair beyond the adequacy of a simple filling (or less than the need for a full crown), an inlay or onlay may be the ideal remedy. If this is best for your individual situation, I’ll be happy to explain the procedure, comfort options, treatment time and estimated cost.

Call 586-739-2155 to request a no-cost, no obligation consultation.

Soft Drinks & Your Smile

It’s MAY already? The year is flying by. Not always a bad thing! After a Michigan winter, May’s warming weather reminds us that we’re ready for some fun in the sun.

With outdoor gatherings and activities, you’ll often find a cooler of drinks nearby. Before you pull that tab, though, consider that those soft drinks can lead to costly, time-consuming dental repairs.

“Soft drinks.” Now, that’s a misleading name for what they can do to teeth and gums. Colas can contribute to a number of health problems, including an ability to cause cavities and enamel erosion. Yet, most people are unaware of just how erosive the acids from cola can be. Even sugar-free soft drinks can cause a similar erosion level as those containing sugar.

The acidity levels in colas have been compared to that approaching the levels in battery acid. Colas are so acidic because they are infused with phosphoric acid that adds flavor. Phosphoric acid is inexpensive and widely available and is a common ingredient in fertilizers, detergents and industrial cleaners. In certain uses, it is accompanied by arsenic.

Phosphoric acid is so erosive it can remove rust from aircraft carriers and ships. Imagine the damage that can be done to your teeth and bone health.

When you add the erosive acids in a cola to the acids that occur naturally in the mouth each time you consume food or beverages, the boosted levels of acidity have tremendous potential to erode tooth enamel. Symptoms of dental erosion include temperature sensitivity, pain, transparent teeth, cracking and darkening of teeth.

As bad as the erosion factor is on teeth, it’s often the way colas are consumed that ramps up the damage. Take, for example, someone sipping on a cola for a period of time. Remember, every time we eat or drink, an acid attack begins in the mouth as part of our digestive process. This ‘natural’ acid flow is active for about 30 minutes after eating or drinking ceases.

So, when you sip a cola for a half-hour period, the acid attack lasts that long PLUS another 30 minutes. When you combine the sugar and acid in the drink to your digestive acids, you reduce surface hardness of tooth enamel for an extended period of time.

Because soft drinks can weaken tooth enamel, they become more vulnerable to decay. In this state, it is also easier for teeth to become stained. The caramel color in many colas easily contributes to the yellowing of teeth.

The U.S. has the highest per-capita consumption of carbonated soft drinks in the world. According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation, Americans drink more than 50 gallons per capita of carbonated soft drinks annually. In addition to tracking the consumption of carbonated soft drinks, the organization also monitors consumption of bottled water, coffee, tea, milk, fruit drinks, beer, wine and spirits. Of all those they track, carbonated soft drinks make up the largest segment.

Health concerns about soft drinks have led many schools to remove sodas from drink machines and cafeterias. Obviously, dentists are also urging children, teens and adults to steer clear of sodas.

While it is important to stay hydrated, especially when participating in sports or working outdoors, colas are the opposite of hydrating. Colas not only contain phosphoric acid, they contain caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic that causes water depletion. It has been shown that consuming carbonated drinks during hot weather can result in dehydration and heighten the risk for heat stroke.

Don’t let the commercials about “refreshing” soft drinks fool you. You can do your smile and your overall health a favor by reaching instead for a bottle of water. If you prefer flavor in your beverage, add apple, strawberry, cucumber or orange slices to chilled, filtered water.

Rethink your cola consumption this summer and what you ice down in your cooler. Colas are no friend to your smile. Bypass the soft drinks for water and avoiding cavities, tooth erosion, and the need for fillings, crowns and other repairs that can be costly and time-consuming.

 

Dental Woes From Sugar & Carbs Date Back To Ancient Ancestors

If your family’s Easter holiday was like ours, you’re probably still feeling full from chocolate bunnies, marshmallow Peeps, sugar-glazed ham and coconut layer cake. Like many American holidays, we surround celebrations with yummy eats, most laden with sugar with a big percentage in carbohydrate form.

As a matter of fact, there are few holidays that don’t include sugary and starchy indulgences. We go from homemade fudge and sugar cookies at Christmas to pumpkin pies and candied yams at Thanksgiving followed by cream-filled chocolates at Valentine’s Day, sugar-filled Easter baskets, summertime ice-cream and colas and finally roll our way into a Halloween candy high.

We Americans love our sugar. So, it’s no surprise that the University College London and the London School of Hygiene cited the United States as the world’s highest consumer of sugar.

One of the most common diseases worldwide is tooth decay. When the University College and London School of Hygiene researched public health records from around the globe, they found that almost 90% of America’s school age children have had tooth decay. Adults with cavities came in even higher – 92%. When compared to other countries with a very low sugar diet, such as Nigeria where only 2% of the population have experienced tooth decay, the problem – and solution – seems pretty simple.

Yet, denying ourselves sugar and carbs is tough, especially when they stare us in the face so often . You can’t even go to a gas station without having sweet treats, sugary beverages, chips and ice cream within arm’s reach of the check-out counter. Even my dry cleaner has a stand of Tootsie Pops by the cash register.

Here is where the problem lies, however, as far as your dental health goes. All food or beverages create an acid attack in the mouth. This is a normal part of the digestion process. However, sugar and carbohydrates (which also break down into sugar) give oral bacteria an added boost. As bacteria reproduce in the mouth, tooth decay can occur more easily.

Because of the way sugar reacts in the mouth, it becomes a particular problem for teeth. Oral bacteria eat, reproduce and thrive on sugar as they attack gum tissues and tooth enamel. This onslaught of bacteria causes the gums to become inflamed, instigating the initial stage of periodontal (gum) disease. Not only does oral bacteria create cavities and gum disease, it is the leading factor in adult tooth loss.

Sugar’s destructive force on teeth is nothing new, of course. You may find it interesting that an architect and his team discovered early attempts at filling teeth, dating back 13,000 years. It is believed that the Upper Paleolithic era introduced changes in diet, including the cultivation of grains and other carbohydrates. In the mouth, these carbs break down into simple sugars and feed cavity-causing bacteria. Hence, cavities and other dental problems appeared with much greater frequency. (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/ancient/worlds-oldest-dental-fillings-packed-with-hair-asphalt-and-lots-of-pain/?utm_source=TWITTER&utm_medium=social&utm_term=20170411&utm_content=857321840&linkId=36410650)

The World Health Organization recommends no more than 5% of daily caloric intake from sugar. Sounds logical until you consider that sugar is everywhere. For example, look at the sugar content on the label of your pasta sauce, catsup or salad dressing. Being bombarded by hidden sugary ingredients can make it challenging to stick to the WHO’s 5% guideline.

Even with our best efforts to limit sugar and carbs, we are battling a powerful foe. Sugar is addictive, so much so that MRI scans show sugar activates the same regions in the brain as those turned on by cocaine. The problem is made worse by our ability to develop a tolerance. This means that the more sugar we eat, the more we crave. Simply put, this is a trait of drug addiction and symptom of substance dependency.

Sugar should be a minimal part of our daily intake. In addition to the damage that can occur from oral bacteria, a balanced diet of proteins and fiber from fruits and vegetables is better for your weight, heart and digestive system.  To avoid dental repairs, be committed to twice daily brushing, daily flossing, and lots of drinking water.

If you are behind on your 6-month dental cleanings and check-ups, call toll free 1-866-9Smiles. During this time, we will remove bacterial build-up so you can avoid treatment time and expense in a dental chair.

Gentle Dental Care + Sedation = Confident Smiles!

If going to the dentist invokes feelings of anxiety, nervousness or fear, you are in good company. Over 70% of American adults are estimated to have some level of fear or anxiety associated with dental visits.

For many adults, this keeps them from having regular dental care. And, it’s the regular cleanings and exams that help to prevent problems in the first place. Because fear holds many people back from having these appointments, their needs become gradually more complex as a result. As a matter of fact, many high-fear adults only see a dentist when a problem becomes so painful they are forced to set their fears aside to achieve pain relief.

As far as who has dental fear, it certainly doesn’t discriminate. With fearful adults, there is no typical age group, income level, or gender and it effects all ethnic groups.

As a dentist who has built a reputation for a gentle touch, I see a number of patients who come from a wide vicinity because of their fear issues. Sadly, by the time they arrive, many high-fear patients have already lost natural teeth and are at risk of losing more. A large percentage have some level of periodontal (gum) disease.

In addition to being the nation’s leading cause of adult tooth loss, the bacteria of gum disease has been found to trigger inflammatory reactions elsewhere in the body. This infectious bacteria has been associated with heart disease, stroke, some cancers, arthritis, diabetes, impotency, preterm babies and more. This greatly amplifies the need for good oral health.

In addition to providing respectful care with a gentle touch, we offer Oral Sedation or I.V. Sedation (twilight sleep) in addition to our standard relaxation features . We also pace your care according to what is comfortable for you. Patients tend to relax when they realize they are in charge of what is done at each appointment and how frequently those appointments occur.

No matter how you would categorize your anxiety when it comes to dental care, we know you can overcome these challenges and achieve a healthy mouth and confident smile. Many of our formerly-fearful patients have even overcome their dread of dental care altogether. We love seeing these patients walk in with a smile and leave smiling – and knowing that they love sharing their smile often!

Begin by calling 1-866-9-Smiles to arrange a no-charge Consultation. This is a discussion that takes place in a private, living-room style setting that is removed from the clinical side of the office. During this time, we’ll discuss your concerns and how we can help you move at a pace that’s right for you.

Let your smile be a beautiful reflection of who you are, inside and out! We’ll help you convert your fear of dental visits to the terrific smile you desire.

Position Of Each Tooth Can Effect More Than You May Realize

In dentistry, precision is everything. As a neuro-muscular dentist, I know just how true that is.

Good oral health relies upon a delicate balance of upper teeth to lower teeth as well as the unity of teeth on both sides. What occurs when a tooth is lost and not replaced is a perfect example of the the problems that can occur without each tooth in its proper position.

When a tooth is lost, the tooth above or below the open space is left without an opposing tooth. The opposing tooth helps to keep its upper or lower ‘neighbor’ at a proper length. Without it, the tooth grows longer. Additionally, the teeth adjacent to the open space are no longer held in their proper positions. These teeth can soon tilt into the open space and lean into range of the elongated tooth.

The longer tooth can now ‘hit’ the leaning teeth in chewing or speaking. Initially, this may cause a dull tooth ache. As the tooth grows longer and the others tilt further, chips, fractures or breaks can occur. The effects of bite misalignment don’t stop there, however.

Bite misalignment tends to put stress and strain on the jaw joints. These are the joints just in front of your ears that hinge the lower jaw to the skull. Stress on these joints is referred to as TMJ disorder.

When the bite is misaligned, the jaw joints become so as well. During sleep, there becomes a subconscious struggle as the jaw joints search for a proper relaxation point during sleep. As the jaws seek this out, clenching and grinding can occur. This can result in worn teeth, frequent headaches, migraines, soreness when opening the mouth, ear ringing, facial muscle pain and dizziness. Jaw Joint

Yet, you don’t have to be missing a tooth for these problems to occur. A crown that is placed at an improper height can just as easily disrupt the balance required for teeth and jaw joints to work together harmoniously.

My advanced training in neuromuscular dentistry and modern technology are ways I help our patients avoid the long list of problems that can easily occur when the delicate balance of occlusion is disrupted. Proper bite alignment is an important element in the overall skeletal alignment. Without it, a domino effect is set into motion.

If you are experiencing any of the problems related to bite misalignment or TMJ disorder (as mentioned above), call to arrange a no-cost consultation. During this time, I’ll discuss ways that we can determine if your bite is truly the source of your problems. If so, there are several options available to help restore the balance of a healthy bite.

If you are not experiencing these problems, you can rest assured that the work you have performed in our office will be done in a way to help you avoid them. It’s simply a perk of our commitment to exceptional care for each patient!

Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles for a consultation time that works for you.

What To Do If A Crown Comes Off

surprised-cartoonIt’s Murphy’s Law — the worst things seem to happen at the worst times. While there is never a good time to lose a crown (also referred to as a ‘cap’), disasters tend to happen at the worst times, like the morning you’re leaving on vacation or the night before an important job interview. And, they always seem to happen on a weekend when waiting for a Monday dental visit seems an eternity.

A crown is a custom-designed ceramic shell made to cover a natural tooth. They are typically placed to protect the health of a tooth. A crown is often recommended when a tooth has developed cracks or has too much filling material for the tooth structure. Crowns are also placed for esthetic reasons or to correct bite alignment.

Porcelain crowns are ‘cemented’ in place with a special adhesive. This adhesive is designed to secure the crown for most normal functions, such as eating, biting and flossing. However, things like eating ice, an injury to the mouth, or night-time grinding may disrupt the adhesive and dislodge the crown.

If you lose a crown, don’t panic. There are simple measures you can take to protect the tooth structure and temporarily replace the crown until you are seen in our office.

As soon as the crown comes off, rinse it while holding carefully. Place the crown in a hard container (such as one that holds a retainer or mouth guard or even a clean pill bottle). Rinse the mouth gently with lukewarm water. Call our office immediately to schedule a time to have the crown re-cemented. If your crown comes off after our normal business hours, the recording will give you instructions on how to reach me.

Fortunately, you can temporarily secure the crown until it is re-cemented. Most drugs stores sell a putty-like dental cement made to temporarily hold crowns in place. Denture adhesives can also provide temporary grip. Follow the directions carefully and then avoid chewing in the area of the crown. Floss only in a downward motion to avoid dislodging the crown again.

If you cannot get to a drug store, apply petroleum jelly to the inside of the crown. This will provide some help in holding it in place, although for a brief time.

NEVER use household glue to reattach your crown! Most of these products contain highly-toxic ingredients which can leak into your mouth and get into your system. And, because glues like Super Glue and Gorilla Glue are ‘permanent’ glues, removing this material can be very difficult and even damage the tooth structure during attempts to remove it. Too, the crown can be damaged in the process of removing this type of glue.

If you’ve lost the crown, your remaining tooth structure may be sensitive to hot or cold until a new crown can be created and attached. If this occurs, the area should be covered until you can be seen in our office. For this, use a layer of the drug store dental cement on the tooth to fill it in and cover sensitive nerves. Again, avoid chewing in that area and floss downward only.

Regardless of what caused your crown to come off, our goal is to get you smiling comfortly and confidently again – and as soon as possible! Call us at 586-739-2155. We always welcome emergency patients who have experienced mishaps that result in a crown coming off or tooth loosening (or loss).

Why Healthy Teeth & Gums Improve Overall Health

We’ve all had moments where we wanted to take the easy route to solve a problem. This is especially true when adults feel stressed and money is tight. These circumstances make it hard to ‘stay the course’ when a less costly, ‘quick fix’ solution seems so appealing.

For missing teeth, dentures and partials may seem like such a simple solution. Although these recreate the presence of teeth in the mouth, these do little to improve one’s oral or overall health.

The pressure of dentures or partials on the gums actually contributes to bone loss. Bone loss occurs naturally when tooth roots are no longer present in the jaw bone(s). Bone loss is what causes difficulty eating, embarrassing slips and changes that age facial appearance far beyond one’s actual years.

Although it may seem ‘easier’ to have teeth removed or cheaper to avoid dental visits, the long-term health repercussions will eventually emerge in costly ways — physically, emotionally and monetarily.

When your mouth is healthy, you avoid the expense of dental repairs, including tooth replacement. It requires just minutes each day to keep teeth and gums in good shape through a twice-a-day commitment of brushing, daily flossing and regular dental check-ups.

However, problem after problem and frequent dental visits and associated expenses can be depleting. For those who are contemplating dentures to ‘solve’ their dental problems, here’s my advice: Ask someone who has worn dentures for over ten years, if they could go back in time, would they have made more effort to keep their natural teeth?

At this time, nearly half of all American adults fail to brush twice a day. When you assess the damage to not only your teeth and gums, but your overall health, these few minutes at the sink are the simplest ways to enjoy a healthier YOU! And, research has proven that your oral health affects many other aspects of your overall health.

Research has shown that adults who are missing all of their natural teeth die at an age that is ten years earlier, on average, than those who have their natural teeth. Research also indicates that toothless adults (regardless of whether they wear dentures) have a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes.

One study linked the effects of having fewer teeth and bleeding gums. In the study, cardiovascular (heart) problems, high blood pressure and high cholesterol showed a connection to the number of natural teeth and gum disease.

Poor dental hygiene and bleeding gums contain up to 700 types of bacteria. Through tears in weakened gum tissues, these bacteria are able to penetrate the bloodstream. This bacteria, once bloodborne, can increase the risk for heart attack regardless of how fit and healthy the adult is otherwise.

Studies have also shown that the number of natural teeth one has affects their potential for internal inflammation. A Swedish study of over 15,000 adults showed that, as the number of teeth declined for an adult, the higher the levels were for increased inflammation and conditions that lead to hardening of the arteries.

Along with higher cardiac risk, having few teeth was related to higher levels of cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure and waist circumference. Those with fewer teeth also meant a higher potential for developing diabetes.

It is also important to understand that your gum health is just as important as healthy teeth. Gum disease symptoms are often ignored when “nothing hurts,” including bad breath and tender, bleeding gums. This results in plaque, a sticky film of oral bacteria, on teeth and gums. Once it hardens into calculus (which takes less than two days) the results are the beginning of cavities, gum disease, receded gums and tooth loss.

It’s amazing that the risk of developing heart disease can be reduced by maintaining a healthy mouth. As research continues to reveal correlations between oral health and overall health, our population’s commitment to achieving and keeping a healthy mouth will hopefully increase significantly.

Call us toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to begin a path to achieving a healthy smile and an overall well-being.

Excuses, Excuses! Reasons We Hear For NOT Flossing!

Modern advancements in dental technology, techniques and materials are amazing. Yet, to avoid cavities and gum disease, there is still nothing better than a tooth brush, tooth paste and dental floss — AND a diligent user!

ToothbrushBrushing and flossing has progressed somewhat over the years. Toothpaste now has a fluoride additive. Some have whitening agents. Toothbrushes offer better shaped to reach tight angles. Electric toothbrushes can also make brushing more effective.

But flossing? That is the missing link that is often overlooked in the daily oral hygiene routine of American adults. Yet, it’s so necessary! While brushing removes oral bacteria that accumulates in the mouth, flossing removes the particles that create it in the first place!

While we encourage our patients to floss, we know lecturing is not helpful. And, whatever the excuse is, we’ve probably heard it over and over. Some of those we hear most often include:

“My hands are too big.”
Consider using floss holders. These are especially helpful for people with dexterity problems, such as arthritis sufferers.

“My gums bleed.”
Gums that are red, swollen, or bleed easily indicate gingivitis, the initial form of gum disease. This should be treated immediately. Gum disease can damage your oral health and create inflammatory reactions elsewhere in the body.

“I have my teeth cleaned twice a year, so I don’t need to floss.”
In less than two days, plaque on teeth can harden into calculus. To remove calculus, a professional cleaning is required. The easiest way to prevent calculus is through daily flossing. Once in the habit, flossing takes very little time and energy.

“My teeth are too tight for the floss.”
Waxed or polymer floss is recommended for people with tight spaces between teeth.

“Flossing takes too long.”
Once you have the hang of daily flossing and are comfortable with the technique, the time required is less than two minutes. This brief amount of time can save you greatly in time and money by helping you avoid dental problems.

“I may damage my gums when flossing.”
Technique is important and our hygienists are happy to help you with proper motions to avoid popping the floss between teeth onto tender gum tissues.

Begin your commitment by watching a brief video on our web site that walks you through simple steps for thorough flossing: http://www.banrbarbatdds.com/dental_care.php

Think of brushing without flossing as taking a shower without soap. Yes, you’ll get cleaner than not taking a shower at all, but your time in the spray will be far more effective with a good sudsing up!

 

Dental Emergency Guidelines

Christmas morning often brings bikes, skateboards, roller blades and balls & bats as gifts for both young and not-so-young! We can now add hover boards to the list. While these create fun and entertainment in our lives, as a dentist, I’ve seen a number of chipped, broken, cracked and knocked out teeth as well as cut lips and gums.roller-blading

Mishaps can occur with any of these items, regardless of your age. Should the unexpected happen, here are some tips to help you lessen the impact and hopefully lead to a better outcome:

FIRST AID FOR DENTAL EMERGENCIES

TOOTHACHE – Clean the area around the sore tooth thoroughly. Rinse the mouth thoroughly with warm, salt water or use dental floss to gently dislodge trapped food or debris. If the face is swollen, apply a cold compress. Take acetaminophen for pain and call us as soon as possible. Do not place aspirin on the gum or the aching tooth.

CUT OR BITTEN TONGUE, LIP OR CHEEK – Apply a cold compress to bruised areas. If there is bleeding, apply firm but gentle pressure with a clean gauze or cloth. If bleeding does not stop within 15 minutes or cannot be controlled by simple pressure, go to a hospital emergency room without delay.

KNOCKED OUT PERMANENT TOOTH – Handle the tooth by the top portion rather than the root. Rinse the tooth, but do not clean or handle the tooth unnecessarily. Try to reinsert the tooth into the socket and hold the tooth in place by biting on a clean gauze or cloth. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, place the tooth in a cup of milk or water and call us immediately. Time is a critical factor in saving a tooth.

BROKEN TOOTH – Rinse dirt from injured area with warm water. Place cold compresses over the area of the injury. Save any broken tooth fragments and call our office immediately.

POSSIBLE BROKEN JAW – If a fractured jaw is suspected, use a tie, towel or handkerchief to tie underneath the chin and over the top of the head. This will help to keep the jaws from moving. Go immediately to the nearest emergency room.

BROKEN BRACES & WIRES – Fortunately, most loose or broken appliances do not require emergency room attention. If the appliance can be removed easily, take it out. If not, cover sharp or protruding portions with cotton balls, gauze or chewing gum. If a wire is stuck in the gums, cheek, or tongue, do not attempt to remove it. Call our office immediately.

Our office has after-hours instructions on the answering machine in case you need to contact us. We will do everything possible to assist you.

By the way, a custom-fitted mouth guard is an excellent companion to these holiday gifts. And, they can save you tremendously in costs, treatment time, and more. Ask about mouth guards at your next visit or call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to learn more.