Should My Child Be Using Mouthwash?

Fluoride mouthwash for kids

Many adults incorporate mouthwash into their oral hygiene routine to help freshen breath and keep cavities at bay. Not only does mouthwash help your mouth to feel clean and invigorated, but it can also assist with the buildup of plaque that you may have missed while brushing or flossing.

Mouthwash provides excellent benefits when used regularly, which may leave you wondering if your child should also be using mouthwash after brushing. Before introducing a new product, here are a few things to consider.

 

Cosmetic Vs. Therapeutic Mouthwash

There are two general categories of mouthwashes available:

 

Cosmetic Mouthwash

Cosmetic mouthwash helps to give your mouth a clean, pleasant taste while reducing bad breath. Cosmetic mouthwash will effectively treat the symptoms of bad breath; however, the underlying cause of the issue will not be effectively treated, and the bad breath will return.

 

Therapeutic Mouthwash

Therapeutic mouthwash helps to treat tooth decay, prevents gingivitis, and reduces plaque buildup. Therapeutic mouthwash may not effectively freshen your breath as well as a cosmetic mouthwash will; however, it is effective at treating the underlying cause of bad breath.

 

What About Fluoride?

Mouthwash with fluoride is specifically designed to reduce tooth decay from developing on the tooth enamel, which makes your teeth more resistant to cavities. Fluoridated mouthwash will not remove plaque, and it should not be considered a substitute for brushing and flossing your teeth. Protecting your teeth from harmful acids that eat away at the tooth enamel is the primary function of fluoride.

 

Benefits of Mouthwash

Because mouthwash isn’t a must-use for every child, check in with your child’s dentist before using it. Kids should always be supervised when first introducing a mouthwash to ensure they do not accidentally swallow it. Typical benefits that mouthwash can provide are:

  • Boosted effects of brushing and flossing
  • Can give kids fresher breath
  • Provides extra cavity protection for kids over the age of six
  • Can loosen bits of food that often get stuck in brackets for children wearing braces
  • Can reach areas that may have been missed during brushing or flossing

 

Choosing The Right Mouthwash For Children

There are a number of excellent mouthwash options specifically designed for children. These products are typically alcohol-free and feature popular children’s cartoons and fun flavors that kids love. From bubblegum to grape, unique flavor combinations help to encourage kids to use the product routinely. Mouthwash for kids should be therapeutic and help to prevent cavities with fluoride as an essential ingredient. As a general rule, mouthwash should not be used by children under the age of six. However, in certain instances, your child’s dentist may prescribe a mouthwash for a child under the recommended age in individual cases.

 

Always Look For the ADA Seal of Approval

The American Dental Association tests the effectiveness and safety of oral products. To attain the ADA seal of approval, a product must prove to be safe and effective. We always suggest that you look for the ADA seal of approval prior to purchasing a product. Looking for the ADA seal will help you find a mouthwash that has been rigorously tested and approved by a legitimate association that advocates for oral health.

 

Remember: A Mouthwash Can’t Replace Great Oral Care Habits

Mouthwash is an extremely helpful tool to encourage your child to learn proper oral hygiene habits to keep their teeth and gums in great shape. Always remember that mouthwash cannot and should not replace great oral care habits including brushing and flossing. If you would like more information on what type of mouthwash your child should be using, ask Cherrywood Dental Associates for a personal recommendation at your child’s next exam.

 

Use These Tricks To Make Novocaine Wear Off Faster

Novocaine elimination tips

Many patients have anxiety over having their mouth numbed as part of a dental procedure. Numbness is defined as a lack of sensation. This type of anesthesia is achieved in dentistry by placing an anesthetic medication near a cluster of nerves, which affect the synapses and blocks many sensations, including pain.

While you may be grateful for not feeling any pain or discomfort during your treatment, you will likely want any anesthesia to wear off as quickly as possible after your procedure is finished. Use these helpful tricks to make Novocaine wear off as soon as possible.

 

What Is Novocaine?

Novocaine is a brand of procaine. This local anesthetic drug is frequently used to numb a specific part of the body. Unlike general anesthesia, local anesthetics don’t make you lose consciousness. Your dentist may use Novocaine or another brand of anesthesia during the following minor procedures to perform a treatment with minimal to no pain:

  • A filling for a tooth cavity
  • Wisdom tooth removal
  • Other minor dental procedures
  • Minor skin procedures, including mole or wart removal
  • Certain types of eye surgery, such as cataract removal
  • A biopsy (when a sample of tissue is removed from a part of your body for examination under a microscope)

Tricks To Make Novocaine Wear Off Faster

In most situations, the anesthesia your dentist uses will numb the tooth for 1 to 2 hours. The following 3 to 5 hours may leave your lips, face, and tongue numb, which can be frustrating if you’re attempting to return to normal activities immediately following your appointment. Have patience when it comes to letting the feeling and sensation in your mouth return. While the numbness will naturally wear away with time, these at-home remedies may help speed up the process.

Massage Your Skin

If no swelling is present, apply a warm compress to help increase blood flow to the affected area. In addition to using a warm compress, try massaging your lips to warm them, and increase blood flow. Avoid touching the treatment area directly, and always wash your hands before and after massaging your lips, mouth, and face.

Get Active

Ask your dentist if it’s safe to participate in physical activity following your dental procedure. Taking a brisk walk, going for a bike ride, or even a few minutes of jumping jacks will aid in naturally reducing numbness. Being active stimulates blood flow in the body, which helps to carry the anesthesia away from the injection site. The encouraging movement will enable your body to break down and metabolize the Novocaine that was used during your treatment.

Take a Nap

While taking a nap is the opposite of being active, falling asleep can help to get your mind off of the fact that some regions of your mouth and face are numb. Sit back, relax, and allow the numbing sensation to pass until the anesthetic wears off peacefully.

Ask For Another Injection

Some dental practices use medicine that can reverse the effects of general anesthesia. While this will mean another injection, a second reversal injection can also help to make the numbness dissipate twice as fast as just waiting it out. A reversal injection typically costs $25-$75, and most insurance companies will not cover the injection because it is not medically necessary.

 

Have Patience

Since different types of dental procedures require different amounts of anesthesia, there is no one-size-fits-all answer for how long your mouth will stay numb after a procedure. Factors that come into play as to how long the numbing sensation will last, such as your height, weight, and how fast your body can metabolize the anesthesia. Where in your mouth you needed work done also comes into play as the bottom jaw is a large nerve block that controls sensations to more areas of your face.

Have patience in allowing the anesthesia to fully wear off before eating a big meal or giving a big presentation at work. You should soon be feeling like yourself in no time. If you have any concerns regarding prolonged numbness, contact Cherrywood Dental Associates today.

 

How To Use Remaining Dental Insurance Benefits Before They Expire

Expiring Dental Insurance Benefits

As you prepare to kiss the year goodbye, don’t forget to take advantage of your valuable dental insurance benefits before they expire on December 31st. As the end of the year approaches and your annual health benefits come to an end, don’t leave money on the table with your dental health insurance benefits.

If you’ve been putting off the idea of visiting the dentist, here are a few reasons why you should use your remaining dental insurance benefits before they expire.

Check Your Annual Dental Insurance Maximums

Your dental insurance plan gives you a maximum for what can be spent on your annual dental care. This amount varies between insurance companies, and averages around $1,000 per person, per year. These maximums are typically reset at the end of the year. Any unused benefits will be forfeited and will not roll over to the next year.

Maximize Any Out-of-Pocket Deductibles

The amount of money that you are required to pay out-of-pocket before your benefits begin to take effect is commonly referred to as a deductible. Varying between insurance companies, your deductible is outlined in the details of your plan. Deductibles can be higher if your preferred dentist is outside of your network. When your dental insurance renews in January, you will be required to pay your deductible again before you can begin taking advantage of your benefits.

Use Premiums You’ve Already Paid For

Many people who pay for their dental benefits monthly do not fully exercise their ability to use them. If you are paying for dental benefits each month out of your paycheck, you should ensure that you are taking full advantage of your investment. Not using benefits you have already paid for allows for the insurance company to take your money without having to pay anything to your dentist in return.

Watch For Fee Increases

It is common for insurance rates to increase to accommodate the cost of living or increased material costs each year. Before this year’s dental benefits come to an end, remember to use any remaining benefits you may have. An increase in fees can also raise your copay amount, which can make the same treatment cheaper in December than in January.

Address Any Outstanding Dental Issues

By delaying treatment of a decaying tooth or other dental issues, you may be allowing for a more extensive and more expensive treatment to be necessary in the future. What may have started as a small cavity can quickly turn into a root canal or tooth extraction down the road. Taking care of any outstanding dental issues now will save you both time and money in the future.

Commonly Covered Treatments

Dental insurance plans will commonly cover what is considered preventative care. This coverage often includes two professional cleanings and exams per calendar year. Professional teeth cleanings performed by a trained dental hygienist every six months are considered routine care, in addition to exams performed by a dentist. Most standard dental insurance policies will also cover a certain percentage of a restoration treatment based on the predetermined maximum of your specific plan, including:

  • Preventative care, such as bi-annual cleanings, exams, and x-rays
  • Basic procedures, including fillings, root canals, and extractions
  • Fluoride treatments for children
  • Some major procedures, such as dentures, crowns, bridges, and implants

 

Making The Most of Your Insurance or FSA

Whether you’re paying for dental care through a benefits plan or using a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), your current plans will most likely run out on December 31st. Don’t let your hard-earned dollars go to waste, and take advantage of any benefits before they expire for the year.

Prevention is always better than treatments when it comes to your oral health and your pocketbook. Most insurance plans typically pay for 100% of the cost of a preventative appointment. If you have not had your teeth cleaned and examined for a first or second time this year, now is a good time to schedule an appointment with Cherrywood Dental Associates. End-of-year dates are booking up quickly, so call us today to schedule your final cleaning of 2019.

 

Metal Braces Alternatives That Teens Love

Braces alternatives for teens

From an aesthetic standpoint, it’s easy to see why a teenager may be reluctant to have traditional metal braces put on. While metal braces are one of the most effective ways to move teeth in a relatively short period, many older teens are often reluctant of having to sport braces to homecoming dances, prom, and the everyday adventures of High School.

Fortunately for today’s teens, there are excellent alternatives to achieving a straighter smile without their orthodontic treatment getting in the way of their social life. Here are the top metal braces alternatives that teens love.

Noticeable Braces Aren’t Your Teen’s Only Option

Many teens struggle with standing out in a crowd of their peers, so it stands to reason why they would be hesitant over metal braces. Luckily for your teen, traditional braces aren’t what they used to be. There are many effective and inconspicuous ways to achieve a straighter smile in today’s orthodontic market, allowing your teen to feel comfortable and confident as they work to straighten their teeth. 

Invisalign For Teens

Invisalign resembles the plastic retainers that most teenagers get when they are done with their metal braces treatment when the teeth still need to be set in place. The clear retainers, which are referred to as aligners, move teeth in a similar way to traditional braces by putting pressure on the teeth. This allows for the aligners to gradually shift the teeth into a more appealing alignment. Every two weeks, your teen will replace an aligner set with a new one, slowly shifting the teeth one aligner set at a time.

Top Benefits of Invisalign For Teens

Invisalign is truly the most invisible way to straighten your teen’s teeth. This orthodontic method allows patients to straighten their smile without it taking over their self-confidence. The top reasons teens love Invisalign are:

 

Discreet 

The main complaint teenagers have about mental braces is that they are so visible and prominent in their everyday lives. Although any kind of orthodontic treatment is temporary, most teenagers love the benefit of achieving a straighter smile without everyone around them knowing.

 

Fewer Food Restrictions

If you’re raising a teenager, you already know that teens love their snacks, and metal braces can put significant restrictions on what your child can and can’t eat because of their braces. Invisalign allows teenagers to eat the same foods as their peers without braces because aligners are completely removable.

 

Easy To Care For 

The cleaning process for Invisalign is the same as someone without orthodontic treatment, making patients far less likely to experience cavities or other damage to the teeth after treatment is finished.

 

Less Social Sacrifices

Traditional braces can lead to patients being unable to play certain sports or instruments while undergoing treatment because there is an increased possibility of damage to the braces and teeth. Invisalign allows patients to remove an aligner during activity or keep them in because there is no pain from the lips pressing against the brackets.

 

Other Alternatives

If you’re unsure of whether your teen is responsible enough for Invisalign, there are other excellent alternatives to traditional metal braces, including:

 

Lumineers 

While veneers don’t work like conventional braces to correct crooked teeth, they are an option when it comes to altering the appearance of your teeth. Lumineers are often described as caps that are attached to your child’s teeth and designed to look like straight and healthy teeth. Teeth that have become discolored, fractured, or misshapen can often be corrected with Lumineers

 

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are similar to traditional metal braces, except the brackets and wires are typically transparent or opaque. Ceramic braces easily blend in with the color of your child’s teeth; however, they can become stained if not cleaned properly.

 

Lingual Braces 

Lingual braces are incredibly similar to traditional braces, except they are placed on the back of the teeth instead of the front. They are invisible from the outside but can be more challenging to keep clean and are often more uncomfortable than traditional braces.

 

Keeping Your Teen Confident and Comfortable

With proper education and commitment, Cherrywood Dental Associates can help your teen to feel confident during their orthodontic treatment. If you’re unsure whether Invisalign or another metal braces alternative, is the right choice for your child, schedule a consultation with Cherrywood Dental Associates today.

 

Invisalign After Retirement: Why It’s Never Too Late

Invisalign after retirement

While braces are typically associated with children and teenagers, it’s becoming more and more common to see adults achieving the straight smile they’ve always wished they had. If you are over 50 and are interested in getting a straighter, healthier smile, Invisalign may be the ideal option for you.

 

Invisalign Works At Any Age

With the right treatment option, you can straighten your teeth at any age. Many adults believe that they are beyond the age where orthodontic treatment is effective because their teeth are fully set in their jaws and can no longer move. In truth, as you put pressure on teeth of any age, they will slowly, but surely, start to move.

Whether you have relatively straight teeth already and want to correct a few minor imperfections, or if all of your teeth are misaligned, Invisalign can help. The most common alignment issues Invisalign can be used to treat, include:

 

  • Gapped teeth
  • An overbite where the upper teeth protrude out over the lower teeth
  • An open bite where the teeth are not aligned properly
  • Overcrowding
  • Cross-bite
  • General misalignment

Braces After 50: Not Just Cosmetic

As our bodies age, your teeth also move and change and frequently suffer from wear and tear. Gradual bone loss in the jaw can push teeth inwards, crowding them, and sometimes affecting the way we speak or chew. Crooked teeth with poor alignment aren’t just cosmetic concerns. Increased gum and bone loss, tooth decay, erosion of tooth enamel, headaches, and jaw joint pain are just some of the potential concerns your dentist may have as your teeth and jaw continues to age.

While many older patients choose to embark on orthodontic treatment to improve the look of their smile, many find themselves looking into Invisalign as a way to improve their oral health. Orthodontic treatment is the most effective way to put an end to dental discomforts. Crowded and crooked teeth are harder to clean, causing more dental plaque to form. This can increase inflammation throughout the mouth and beyond. The best way to reduce inflammation and the bacterial count in the mouth is by having healthier positioned teeth and jaw structures.

Calculating Invisalign Cost For Seniors

The cost of orthodontic treatment for adults varies widely; however, it is typically within the range of $3,000 to $8,000. Prior to beginning treatment, it’s wise to check with your dental plan to see if orthodontic treatment, including the option for Invisalign, is covered. Many orthodontists and dental offices also offer different payment plans to make treatment more affordable.

Two essential factors determine the cost of Invisalign:

  1. The extent of alignment that your teeth require
  2. The number of aligners that you will need to complete your treatment

Protecting Your Investment

If you’re ready to straighten your smile with Invisalign, it’s recommended to take note of the following to make the most of your investment:

 

  • You must wear your aligners for the complete duration of two-weeks before switching to your next set of aligners. Your teeth will move into position within the first few days of wearing them. The next two-week period will allow the bone to shore up the tooth root in the new position. Avoiding this period will cause the teeth to become loose and fall out.
  • You must wear aligners for 22 hours per day, except for while eating and practicing dental hygiene, including brushing and flossing. This will ensure that your treatment plan stays on track.
  • The saliva in the mouth contains essential minerals that fight bacteria. However, with the aligners present on your teeth, these minerals won’t be providing your teeth with the minerals they need to wash away potentially harmful food debris and sugars. This is why you must remove your aligners and brush and floss after every meal to maintain oral health.

 

Straightening Your Smile At Any Age

Orthodontic treatment can dramatically improve the quality of your daily life. Don’t let age trick you into believing that it’s too late to straighten your smile. Schedule a consultation appointment with Cherrywood Dental Associates to learn more about how Invisalign can boost your confidence and your overall health.

 

Checking Your Child’s Halloween Candy To Keep Them (and Their Teeth) Safe

Keeping Kids Safe This Halloween

Halloween is a holiday favorite of kids and adults alike. While the day is typically full of fun times and sweet treats, it’s essential to be on guard for any potential dangers or hazards associated with Halloween candy. You may already trust your neighbors, but it’s always wise to check trick-or-treating candy just in case to keep your kids (and their teeth!) safe.

Additionally, knowing which threats can cause the most harm to your kids’ teeth can help parents limit the amount of potential damage.

 

Halloween Candy Safety Tips

As a parent, you want to ensure you are taking certain precautions when it comes to Halloween candy safety. While tampered Halloween candy is thankfully rare, it can still happen. Establish Halloween candy rules before heading out of the house, and discuss your concerns for safety with your children. Following these Halloween candy safety tips can alleviate parent anxiety while keeping your kiddos safe.

Wait Until You’re Home To Sort and Snack

Discuss expectations with your kids on snacking before heading out the door to go trick-or-treating, Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and sort candies before any snacking.

Look For Tampered Wrappers

Always check that candy has not been tampered with before consuming. Many hospitals will do complimentary X-rays to ensure that your child’s candy is free from any harmful objects.

It’s a great ideal to explain to your children why inspecting all candy is necessary before consuming. Keep your kids involved by inspecting their stash together under a bright light and ask them questions such as:

 

  • Why is it important to inspect the candy with mom or dad before you eat it?
  • What should we be looking for?
  • What do we do with candy that doesn’t look safe?

Check Labels For Allergies

If you have a child with allergies, it’s likely that you’re already used to checking labels carefully before handing something off. As far as trick-or-treating goes, it may also be wise to bring two separate bags to help separate any potential allergen candy from the safe candy as you go door to door.

Avoid Choking Hazards

Certain candies such as gum, hard candies, and even round candies like Whoppers can be dangerous choking hazards. Younger kids should only eat these treats in the presence of an adult.

When In Doubt, Throw It Out

While it may be thought of as a kind gesture to the preparer, you should discard any homemade treats from strangers, including popcorn balls and caramel apples. Additionally, any candy that has been repackaged in a bag may have also been tampered with. The best rule to follow when faced with cookies, brownies, or baked goods from people you don’t know is when in doubt, throw it out.

 

Make Healthy Teeth A Priority

 

You’re not alone in cringing at the thought of how many potential cavities lie within those brightly wrapped treats this Halloween! However, before you pull out the toothbrushes and toothpaste, keep these tooth-friendly tips in mind:

 

  • Kids under three should use a grain of rice sized amount of toothpaste
  • Kids 3-6 years old should use a pea-sized amount to minimize swallowing
  • Kids 8 and under should be supervised to develop proper brushing and rinsing habits
  • It’s best to wait 30 minutes after eating sugar to brush your teeth
  • Rinse your mouth with water immediately after snacking on sweets
  • Brush twice a day for a full two minutes

For more Tooth-friendly Halloween safety tips, contact Cherrywood Dental Associates. When it comes to your family’s health and their teeth, you can never be tooth careful.

 

4 Reasons Why Fall Is The Best Season To Start Invisalign

beautiful fall smile

If you’ve been unhappy with crooked front teeth for years, it can feel even more challenging to take the straightening plunge. But with a treatment like Invisalign, the decision doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Alternative orthodontics allows adults to achieve their perfect smiles without the hassle and fuss of metal braces.

 

For patients already interested in Invisalign, the biggest question is: when should I get started?

 

Benefits of Invisalign

Invisalign allows for you to gradually and discreetly straighten your teeth over time with easy maintenance and fewer appointments than traditional braces. Some of the benefits of Invisalign over braces for adults include:

 

Easier Dental Hygiene

Invisalign clear trays can be taken in and out when you eat and brush your teeth which means there is less of a chance for white spots developing on the surface of your teeth. Additionally, you are less likely to have cavities with Invisalign because you can thoroughly clean your teeth without any obstructions.

 

Aesthetically Pleasing

Since Invisalign trays are transparent and nearly invisible, you’ll have the benefit of smiling and talking without worrying about people seeing brackets or wires in your mouth.

 

Comfortable

Aligners are manufactured from smooth, flexible plastic, and they are extremely comfortable to wear. There are no brackets and wires to potentially irritate your lips, cheeks, or inside of your mouth. After a few weeks, you won’t even realize you’re wearing them.

 

Time-Saving

Invisalign requires fewer follow-up appointments than traditional braces. You will be given multiple sets of trays at each check-up which means you won’t have to come back to our office as often, saving you time in your already busy schedule.

 

Appointment Flexibility

Scheduling check-up appointments can be difficult for those with busy schedules. The Fall and Winter seasons are typically excellent seasons for a wide-range of availability because people stay home as much as possible. On the same note, Fall and Winter check-ups mean you won’t miss any fun in the Summer sun due to scheduling conflicts. Kids going back to school also means parents tend to avoid pulling kids out of school for dental and orthodontist appointments, leaving more openings for you.

Treatment Will Be Finished In Time For Summer

Depending on your treatment plan and length of time Invisalign will need to straighten your smile, you could be looking at your dream smile by next summer. This means you will be able to flash your best grin in all of your summer vacation pictures next year. Since Invisalign is completely removable, you will also be able to eat and enjoy all of your favorite meals and treats during the Holiday season without interrupting your treatment.

You’ll Have More Time For Oral Hygiene

The Fall and Winter seasons are the times of the year where you spend more time indoors and take better care of yourself. Brushing, flossing, and rinsing after each meal is more simple because you will have easier access to dental hygiene products and supplies. Keeping your aligners clean and removing food particles from your teeth before placing them back is essential to your overall health. It also prevents your aligners from trapping food, sugar, and bacteria against your teeth which leads to decay and odor.

 

Fall In Love With Invisalign

Finding the best time of year to start your Invisalign treatment is easy. Whether you begin treatment in the Fall or Winter, rain or shine, your smile should always be a priority in your life. Fall in love with Invisalign this year and be one step closer to achieving the straight and healthy smile that you’ve always desired. Contact Cherrywood Dental Associates today to learn more about Invisalign and what the treatment can do for you!

Tips For Maintaining Your Smile Between Professional Cleanings

Maintain smile between cleanings

The best way to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth in excellent health is through regular professional teeth cleaning with a dental hygienist. In addition to your daily oral hygiene routine, we recommend maintaining your smile between professional cleanings. Not only will good teeth cleaning habits keep you in good oral health and hygiene, but it will also keep your mouth feeling fresh, prevent bad breath, and can keep your teeth white and bright.

 

Keeping Your Teeth Clean and Healthy

After having your teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist, it’s recommended to maintain your fresh smile by cleaning your teeth at least twice a day. Taking excellent care of your teeth after cleanings help your gums to heal quickly by reducing the triggers of sensitivity and discomfort.

 

Brush Effectively 

When brushing where your teeth and gums meet, place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. Gently rock your brush back and forth in circular movements. Do not scrub or brush vigorously since this can make your gums pull away from your teeth and can even scratch your tooth enamel. Finally, replace your toothbrush after every three months or as soon as the bristles become weak.

Floss Regularly

Flossing your teeth is another important aspect of home dental hygiene. Almost 80% of cavities form in the pits, grooves, or fissures of the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Pass the floss through your teeth, moving from side to side. Doing this will help you eliminate food particles that get caught between the teeth where a brush can’t reach. If left unchecked, such food particles cause tooth decay over time.

Avoid Bad Habits

Maintaining your oral hygiene after teeth cleaning extends to more than simply brushing and flossing. Avoid harmful foods, drinks, and habits that can wreak havoc on your teeth, including:

Soda. This type of beverage is full of excess sugar that causes your teeth to break down over time. The fizzy ingredients like citric acid and phosphoric acid erode your enamel and make you susceptible to cavities.

Sugars. Decreasing your intake of sugar will keep your teeth healthy and hygienic in between cleaning appointments. Sugar promotes acidity and the growth of bacteria in your mouth, which causes plaque to form. Plaque attacks your gums and tooth enamel and potentially leads to tooth decay.

Smoking. Tar and nicotine found in cigarettes destroy your gums, while smoking increases plaque and bacterial production in the mouth. Smoking is a terrible habit that makes you susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease while also increasing your risk for oral cancer and tooth loss.

Use Mouthwash

Using a mouthwash that contains fluoride can help to prevent tooth decay by helping to re-mineralize soft spots in your enamel. Don’t eat or drink for at least 30 minutes after using a mouthwash to allow the beneficial effects to take place.

Visit Your Dentist Every Six Months

Regular professional cleanings help you to maintain your oral health and alert you to potential issues before they become severe. Making regular visits to your dentist assures you that any oral care issues that may arise will be addressed immediately, saving you time, potential discomfort, and money. Teeth cleanings are not only designed to improve the appearance of your smile but also help to maintain your overall oral health.

Why Professional Teeth Cleaning Matters

Regardless of how healthy your smile appears to be, it does not mean you should avoid seeing your dentist if everything feels okay. Seeing your dentist every six months should be an essential part of your routine. Here are just some of the reasons why professional teeth cleaning matters and why you should see your dentist regularly:

 

  • ​To remove tartar and plaque buildup, two culprits for gum disease and decay.
  • To remove unsightly dental stains.
  • Detect small oral issues using sensitive x-ray technology.
  • Monitor small issues to prevent them from becoming worse.
  • Detect gum disease and start treatment to avoid tooth loss.
  • Use restorative options to improve your gums and teeth.
  • Detect oral cancer and any other precancerous growths in time.
  • Your dentist teaches you good at-home oral hygiene as well as how to floss and brush your teeth properly.
  • Provide preventive dental options like fluoride treatment and dental sealants to reduce future risk of decay.

 

Finding an Affordable Dentist

Regular teeth cleaning is essential. Brushing and flossing, in addition to these other tips, will help to maintain your oral health until your next dental exam. Frequent visits to your dentist are essential in preventing and managing dental issues, so call Cherrywood Dental Associates today!

 

7 Simple Steps to a Successful Dental Implant 

 

The best possible treatment option to replace a missing tooth is a dental implant. Implants can provide patients who are missing one or more teeth with a beautiful and long-lasting solution. Move through the entire dental implant experience with confidence and ease by knowing exactly what to expect ahead of time.

 

Initial X-Rays

The very first step towards having a successful dental implant is meeting with your dental implant specialist for an initial consultation. During this appointment, they will do a comprehensive dental exam, X-rays of your mouth, and impressions. During this appointment, your dentist will discuss with you their recommendations for a treatment plan. At this time, the steps of the entire procedure will be reviewed with you, including what you can do to promote healing during your recovery. The first stage of the process will then be scheduled after your consultation.

 

Tooth Extraction

If your dental implant is replacing an existing tooth that is unable to be saved, the tooth will need to be extracted to make room for the implant. During the extraction, your dentist’s goal will be to preserve as much of the buccal plate and surrounding bone as possible. Following careful removal of the tooth, the condition of the extraction site will be assessed by exploring the socket with an endodontic or periodontal probe to search for any bone defects. As long as the buccal plate and other bone surrounding the socket is intact, the process of placing the implant can then move forward.

 

Graft The Socket

The process of bone grafting involves removing a piece of bone from another part of the jaw and transplanting it into the jawbone. Alternative options today include obtaining bone from a cadaver source or an animal source to replace the missing bone. These options provide less morbidity to the patient while preventing a second surgical site. It may take several months for the transplanted bone to grow enough new bone to support the placement of a dental implant. Once there has been an appropriate amount of time allowed for the grafted extraction site to heal properly, the implant process can move forward. This stage typically takes up to several months to heal.

 

Implant Placement

Once the jawbone can successfully support the new dental implant after months of healing, the dental implant process will resume. The dental implant will replace the tooth root, and also requires proper healing time. During this healing period, the integration of the bone with the implant itself (osseointegration) occurs. The bone cells attach to the implant rod, filling in any spaces to secure the implant in place permanently. Implant placement typically takes between three to six months to heal completely.

 

Abutment Placement

The abutment is a post that connects the implant to the prosthetic tooth. Essentially, the abutment is a bridge that spans through the gum line so that the implant can remain buried and undetectable. Just as with all of the other previous steps, the abutment has a healing period of its own. The gum around the abutment must heal and form a cuff, or collar, around it before the crown can be permanently placed.

 

Final Impressions

Roughly three months after abutment placement, the final impression can be taken, and the healing abutment can be removed if necessary. The removal process will reveal a healthy and esthetic soft-tissue collar around the implant site, which has been guided by the healing abutment during implant placement. An impression coping is then connected to the implant, and a closed-tray impression can be taken for the fabrication of the final restoration.

 

Permanent Crown

Once the implant site and abutment have successfully integrated, the prosthetic tooth that was fabricated from the final impressions can be placed. Crowns, which are the tooth-looking part of a dental implant, can either be screwed into the abutment or cemented into place. Having a permanent crown installed will be the final stage of the dental implant process.

 

Implants Aren’t a Single-Day Procedure

It is always our goal to establish realistic expectations of dental procedures during consultation appointments. While dental implants aren’t a single-day procedure, your new implant will last you a lifetime with proper care. We strive to help our patients recover from a dental implant procedure as quickly as possible, so be sure to follow the specific instructions provided to you after surgery to promote healing. Contact Cherrywood Dental Associates today if you have additional questions regarding the dental implant process.

The Real Reason Why Your Permanent Tooth Is Loose

woman laying down with tooth ache

A loose baby tooth is a healthy life occurrence; however, a loose permanent tooth is hugely concerning. A loose tooth as an adult is typically an advanced sign of disease that could lead to losing the tooth entirely.

 

Some causes of loose teeth in adults are harmless, while others require the care of a dental professional to save the tooth before it’s too late.

 

Potential Causes of a Loose Tooth

Adults may be alarmed when they notice that a permanent tooth feels loose because adult teeth are designed to last a lifetime with proper care. Some causes of loose teeth are harmless. Others require the attention of a dental professional to save the tooth, and early detection is critical. If the tooth is unable to be saved, your dentist will likely recommend the tooth be removed and replaced with a dental implant or bridge.

 

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease that causes the bones to weaken and become porous. As a result, even minor bumps and impacts can easily lead to broken bones. Osteoporosis most commonly affects the spine, hips, and wrists; however, it can also damage the bones in the jaw that support the teeth. Less-dense jawbones may cause the teeth to loosen and fall out.

 

Gum Disease

Also known as periodontitis, gum disease involves inflammation and infection of the gums. Poor dental hygiene habits typically cause gum disease to take form. When brushing and flossing aren’t performed correctly, gum disease can develop. Dental plaque, which contains bacteria, sticks to the teeth and hardens over time. Once hardened, this plaque is referred to as tartar. Tartar causes the gums to pull away from the teeth, creating pockets that become infected.

 

Other signs of gum disease include:

  • Gum recession
  • Gums that are tender, red, painful, or swollen
  • Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down
  • Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth

 

Pregnancy

Elevated levels of estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy can affect the bones and tissues in your mouth. An oversupply of these hormones can alter the periodontium, which is the collection of bones and ligaments that support the teeth and keep them in place. When the periodontium is affected, one or more teeth may feel loose.

 

While feeling your teeth become loose can be terrifying, the changes to your periodontium levels are only temporary and will resolve after pregnancy. Even though they are not a cause for concern, anyone experiencing pain or loose teeth during pregnancy should still see a dentist to rule out gum disease and other oral health issues.

 

The American Dental Association and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists state that it is perfectly safe for pregnant women to have dental checkups, cleanings, and X-rays.

 

Tooth-Related Injuries

Your teeth are pretty strong and durable, but an impact of force from a car accident or a blow to the face can damage teeth and surrounding tissue. The result may be chipped or loose teeth. Anyone who suspects that an injury has damaged the teeth should see a dentist as soon as possible. Sports injuries, accidents, and falls, for example, can easily cause dental damage that you might not even be aware of until it’s too late.

 

Teeth Grinding

Clenching the teeth during times of stress, or grinding your teeth at night can quickly wear down the tissues and cause the teeth to become loose. Many people are unaware of their teeth clenching or grinding habits until they result in jaw pain. A dentist may be able to detect the problem before the teeth are permanently damaged.

 

Signs of teeth grinding include:

  • Teeth that are flattened, fractured, chipped or loose
  • Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of your tooth
  • Increased tooth pain or sensitivity
  • Tired or tight jaw muscles
  • Jaw, neck or face pain
  • A dull headache starting in the temples
  • Sleep disruption

 

When Your Dentist Can Help

These causes can be grave – and lead to more significant problems than a shifting bite. If you notice that a permanent tooth is feeling loose, it’s time to get professional help. Cherrywood Dental Associates can assist in treating the underlying cause of your loose teeth, and help you to take any other necessary steps to prevent further damage.

 

If you’re experiencing loose teeth, make an emergency appointment today!

 

Meta Title: The Real Reason Why Your Permanent Tooth Is Loose | Cherrywood Dental Associates

Meta Description: Your teeth are designed to last a lifetime in Woodbridge with proper care. These potential causes are likely the reason why your permanent tooth is loose

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