Is it Safe for Kids to Use Whitening Products?

girl smiling holding a tooth brush

Noticing your child’s smile becoming a less-than-appealing shade of yellow? Yellowing teeth may have you questioning if it’s safe for kids to use a whitening toothpaste or even other readily available at-home whitening products. Permanent teeth are not as naturally white as primary (baby) teeth, which can cause a color-contrasting smile, and bring issues like stains and discoloration to light. This leads to many parents questioning if teeth whitening is safe for children and we have your answer!

Why Your Child Has Yellow Teeth

When it comes to teeth stains, the reason why is typically the same as an adult with stained teeth. Here are a few reasons why your little one’s teeth are yellowing:

Poor Dental Hygiene

Getting your child excited about brushing their teeth and the importance of their oral hygiene is a tall order to fill as a parent. Many children do not receive the adequate brushing they should, which causes the teeth to become yellow or leads to tooth decay and cavities.

Make tooth brushing time more enjoyable by:

Using a Special Toothbrush

Letting your child pick out their own toothbrush with a character or characteristic that appeals to them is a great way to get them excited about brushing. If brushing their teeth for the full two minutes is your issue, try a musical toothbrush with a timer. Many of these are also electrical, which helps give kids a better clean.

Brushing Together

A family that brushes together has excellent oral hygiene together. Brush as a family so your kids can see that everyone needs to take special care of their teeth. If your child is under the age of 6, it’s recommended that a parent assist them with brushing their teeth to ensure a thorough clean.

Dental Fluorosis

Typically occurring in children 8 years old and under, this condition is caused when too much fluoride is consumed as permanent teeth are forming under the gums. Letting your child use a fluoride toothpaste too early, when they do not understand the importance of not swallowing toothpaste, can lead to ingesting too much fluoride and ultimately dental fluorosis.

Permanent Teeth Look More Yellow Than Baby Teeth

The side-by-side comparison of a baby tooth next to a permanent tooth can be shocking to some parents as their child begins to get their permanent teeth. Permanent teeth have a layer underneath the enamel called dentin, which is naturally gray or yellow in color, and is thicker than in baby teeth. If you’re concerned about your child’s permanent teeth being significantly more yellow than their baby teeth, just bring them in for an exam to be safe.

Are Whitening Products Safe For Children?

The first rule in whitening products for children is that if your child still has baby teeth, whiting is not recommended. Children under the age of 16 should avoid any over-the-counter whitening products because a lot of them contain high levels of hydrogen peroxide that may be too strong and harm their tooth enamel. Damage to tooth enamel can cause irreversible yellow teeth because your enamel can never be repaired or replaced.

The side effects of teeth whitening products in children are:

  • Increased sensitivity
  • Dentin Demineralization
  • Variations in tooth color
  • Damaged gum tissue
  • Injured tooth pulp or nerves
  • Interference with composite or plastic fillings
  • Enamel Pitting


Teeth Whitening Alternatives For Kids

Preserving the whiteness of enamel can be done with a few additional steps to care for your child’s teeth on a daily basis including:

  • Avoiding certain beverages that are high in sugar and dark in color
  • Establishing healthy eating habits by consuming hard fruits and vegetables
  • Limiting sugary and acidic foods
  • Maintaining a brushing and flossing routine
  • Scheduling regular dental exams and cleanings

Encourage your kids to brush and floss twice a day and brush within 30 minutes after consuming sugary or acidic foods and drinks. Consistently making an effort to remove stains that cause discoloration on the teeth is the most effective natural whitening solution. For more whitening tips, ask Cherrywood Dental Associates at your next exam.

Is Your Teen Responsible Enough For Invisalign?

Dentist showing to the female patient how to use mobile orthodontic appliance for dental correction

Invisalign orthodontic treatments are becoming increasingly popular with both adults and teens, and it’s easy to see why. With the ability to straighten a smile all while being virtually undetectable, more and more of today’s teens are asking their parents for the option of Invisalign rather than traditional braces.

Your initial thought might be that there is no way your teen is responsible enough to manage their own aligners to gradually straighten their teeth, but you may want to think again. Invisalign offers an alternative to traditional braces that many teens and parents find fits their lifestyle, and Invisalign is easier to manage than you might think.

The Difference Between Invisalign and Invisalign Teen

For the most part, Invisalign and Invisalign Teen only have two major differences. They are both similar in shape, material, and patient treatment time. The two major differences in treatment are:

The Dot

The first major difference in the two orthodontic treatment options is a small dot on the back of only Invisalign Teen aligners. This dot is used to let us know how often your teen is actually wearing their aligners. The more the aligners are worn, the more the dot changes in color from blue to clear or white. Because Invisalign aligners require being worn a minimum of 22 hours a day, this small dot allows for both doctor and patient to check their progress to ensure they are right on track with the treatment schedule.

Replacement Aligners

The second major difference between Invisalign and Invisalign Teen is the number of aligners provided throughout treatment. Invisalign provides more replacement aligners for those with Invisalign Teen just in case a set gets broken or lost because we understand that teens aren’t always as careful with where they place things as an adult would be. We want to ensure you walk away with the smile of your dreams and replacement aligners help us keep you on track with your treatment.

Why Teens Love Invisalign

Besides the obvious reasons, teens are able to transform their smile without the use of bulky and noticeable braces, and this is making for happier orthodontic patients (and parents too!) everywhere. Here are the top reasons why teens say they love Invisalign.

Style Matters

If your teen enjoys their orthodontic treatment, they are going to be more committed to following it through. Orthodontic treatments are not a one visit and done type of commitment, and it’s up to your teen to remember to wear their aligners, keep track of appointments, and take care of their teeth while going through treatment. Studies have shown that teens wear their Invisalign aligners for an average of 21 hours per day, which confirms what we already know about teens – style matters!

Easy To Use

One of the biggest benefits of Invisalign for any patient, whether adult or teen, is that this alternative to traditional braces is incredibly easy to use. Functioning like a removable retainer, your teen will take them in and out as needed because there is nothing fixed in place like traditional metal braces. This also means that there’s no risk of them eating certain foods that put their brackets and wires at a risk of breaking, and it also keeps them from missing out on things like a pizza party with friends, or taking a big bite out of a burger without worrying about food being stuck in their braces.

Healthier Teeth Post Treatment

Since the aligners are completely removable, it’s easy to keep teeth clean when going through treatment. Aligners also lessen the chance of developing stains or even cavities because food doesn’t get stuck along the brackets and underneath wires. As an added bonus, teeth need to be cleaned before the aligners are replaced after eating, so your teen will be doing some extra cleaning during treatment.

Comfort is Key

Many Invisalign patients make comments about how comfortable their treatment is. Any time you are moving teeth, there is bound to be some level of discomfort whether you’re wearing traditional metal braces or Invisalign. Switching to a new aligner will make teeth slightly sore for a day or two, but aligners do not rub sores against the cheeks and inside of the mouth like traditional metal brackets and wires do, which reduces the chances of getting sores and cuts during treatment.

To learn more about whether Invisalign Teen is an alternative to traditional braces for your teen, schedule an appointment with Cherrywood Dental Associates. Together, we can give your teen the smile of their dreams!

Why is Dental Implant Recovery Time So Long?

woman dentist take implant tooth

Dental implants are by far the most effective way to replace a missing tooth, but many patients are put off by the very lengthy process described by their dentists when describing the complete procedure that can take as long as 6-8 months to complete.

Here’s an overview of what to expect during an implant healing process, and why the treatment time is as long as it is in order to have a successful implant.

Planning Out Your Personal Implant Timeline

There are several factors that impact the exact length of time it will take to complete your specific implant procedure. For example, the process will take considerably longer if you require a bone graft first before any actual implant procedure can begin. In order to have a successful implant, you must have sufficient jawbone density to accommodate the dental implant.

If You Need A Bone Graft

If you have advanced stages of gum disease, or if you wait a long time to replace a missing tooth, it can result in an erosion of the bone structure beneath your missing tooth. In this type of situation, you may require a bone graft to restore the strength and density of the bone in your jaw prior to undergoing the dental implant procedure. A bone graft allows your dentist to use your own bone, or a processed bone material to rebuild your jawbone structure. Requiring a bone graft extends your length of time it will take to complete your implant because your body needs to be completely healed before the implant procedure can begin, which generally takes 3-4 months.

Dental Implant Placement and Osseointegration

Once your jawbone and gum tissue is healthy and completely healed from your bone graft, the first phase of your dental implant procedure will be to surgically insert the dental implant into your jawbone. It generally takes about an hour to place a single implant and once placed, it will take roughly 4-6 months to heal.

What is Osseointegration?

During the healing process after your implant has been successfully placed, the bone will then fuse around your new implant. This process is called osseointegration, and it’s what allows your dental implant to function just like a regular tooth root. One of the primary reasons dental implants are so much more effective than other alternatives is because they are the only option that replaces your root as well as the tooth, creating a complete restoration.

When Exactly Will I Get a Replacement Tooth?

One of the things most patients don’t realize prior to having a dental implant is that the actual implant isn’t a tooth, but a post that fuses to your jawbone. Once osseointegration is completed and your jawbone is healed, you’re ready for the final stages of the implant process – getting a prosthetic tooth.

An abutment will be attached to your dental implant and your new prosthetic tooth, connecting the two together. Your gums will once again go through a healing process after the abutment is attached, which typically takes a few weeks. During this healing time, your new prosthetic tooth will be crafted, creating a dental crown. Once the crown is complete and your gums are healed from the abutment, you will have a finished implant and a fully functional replacement tooth.

For Patients Requiring Multiple Implants

If you are missing one or more teeth due to decay, injury or disease, you may be a candidate for TeethXpress. TeethXpress is for patients with a full denture that is ill-fitting and with no teeth in both jaws, or in one jaw. To find out more about whether you’re a candidate for this procedure, request a consultation with Cherrywood Dental Associates.

While the implant process takes a long time, it’s well worth the wait to have a restoration that feels and acts just like a natural tooth. If you need to replace a missing tooth, contact Cherrywood Dental Associates today to schedule your consultation appointment.

Is Invisalign Painful?

Smiling Woman with silicone trainer. Invisible braces

Gone are the days where getting straighter teeth translates to a commitment of living your adult life with metal wires and brackets. Straightening your smile can be achieved without the discomfort, awkwardness, and embarrassment that can accompany braces as an adult. Invisalign is the best way to see straighter teeth without an uncomfortable treatment plan.

How much pain is Invisalign going to cost you?

Typical Invisalign Patient Discomfort

Those who are familiar with traditional metal braces know that orthodontic treatments typically come with pain and discomfort. After all, when moving teeth and straightening the bite, there is bound to be some pain. And just like traditional braces, you will experience tenderness and discomfort with Invisalign, but in general, it is less painful than traditional orthodontic treatments.

Patients typically experience discomfort from:

Beginning Treatment

The whole point of Invisalign is to shift your teeth into a straighter, more becoming, healthier smile. In doing so, the aligners have to put pressure on the teeth in order to get them to move, and pressure often means soreness.

New Aligners

Each and every time you switch from an old aligner to a new one, your teeth will have to adjust just like they did with the very first aligner. This soreness can be pronounced during the first few days after putting in a fresh set of aligners, but will eventually go away on its own as your teeth shift.

The Rest of Your Mouth

The edges of the aligners, while not sharp, can be irritating to your gums and the insides of your lips as your mouth gets used to wearing them. After a couple of weeks, your mouth will adjust to the feeling of wearing the aligners and will develop the necessary callouses to prevent further irritation.

Rough or Sharp Edges

Pain caused by rough or sharp edges on your aligners can easily be remedied by Cherrywood Dental Associates. If you run your tongue along the edge of the aligner as you are becoming familiar with the shape and feel of the aligners in your mouth, a cut can easily happen on your tongue if there is a rough finish on the aligner. Just let us know where the sharp edge is, and we can take care of it right away so no further injury happens.

Soothing Sore Teeth During Invisalign

The most discomfort and pain you will feel during treatment is when you switch to a new set of aligners. The discrepancy between the current alignment of your teeth and the shape of the new aligner where your teeth need to go will be greatest when you first start wearing them.

Try using these tips and tricks to help soothe sore teeth during treatment:

Wearing Your Aligners More

Yes, one of the best ways to alleviate the pain you experience with a new set of aligners is to wear them more! The more you wear your aligners, the quicker your teeth will be able to shift and conform to the fit of the new aligner and your teeth will become more relaxed.

Switch to a New Aligner at Bedtime

Help to minimize the amount of discomfort you notice by switching to a new set of aligners right before you go to bed. This easy time change allows your teeth to begin to adjust during sleep when those first few hours of pain really set in.

Keep a New Aligner In as Long as Possible

An extra bonus to switching to a new set of aligners at bedtime is the fact that your teeth will have several hours of wearing the new aligner before they have to be removed. Often times, taking out the new set of aligners is the most uncomfortable part, so making the switch from one set to another at night lets your teeth have some hours of adjustment.

Managing Your Pain

An Over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever can be an effective way to help control aligner discomfort. These drugs work by inhibiting the formation of some of the compounds that help to stimulate body pain receptors. You can get a head start on this inhibitory effect by taking a dose of your selected OTC pain reliever an hour or so before you switch to your new set of aligners for an easier transition.

Check With Your Dentist Before Any Self Adjusting

If you find the edge of an aligner to be sharp and irritating, before making an attempt to adjust on your own, simply give Cherrywood Dental Associates a call and bring your aligner in so we can make a quick adjustment for you. This type of adjustment is quick with zero cost to you.


How Long Does Invisalign Take?

invisible orthodontic removable aligners for treatments bruxism

Finally deciding to move forward with an Invisalign treatment means you’re one step closer to the straight smile you’ve always dreamed of. For many patients, one of the first questions we get asked is “how long is this going to take?” and rightfully so. The choice to use Invisalign to straighten your teeth is more than likely a result of a few factors including being an adult and not wanting to have adult braces that interfere with your job or your personal life.

So just how long is this going to take?

Average Invisalign Treatment Length

Moving teeth is a serious business, and treatment times will always vary from case to case. Your treatment time will depend on your unique situation and the current state of your teeth. On average, Invisalign treatment for adults will take about 12 months, all depending on the severity of the patients dental needs as well as how diligent they are with the aligners and doctor’s instructions.

Factors That Play A Role In Treatment Time

Invisalign aligners don’t have to be worn 24/7, but your aligners do have to be worn for a significant amount of time in order for them to keep schedule with your treatment plan. These factors all play a role in how to speed up your treatment time:

Don’t Skip Appointments

Invisalign will require you to visit your provider every 4-6 weeks to track your progress and ensure that your teeth are moving along as scheduled and planned by your doctor. Missing an appointment might take some time to reschedule and will delay your treatment plan. In some cases, this means that patients end up wearing their Invisalign longer than initially planned for.

Wearing Your Aligners

Invisalign aligners only work when they’re properly placed on your teeth for at least 22 hours a day. While that may not seem like a big deal before wearing the aligners, taking them out every time you eat or drink and remembering to replace them immediately after can be a bit of an adjustment. Setting a reminder on your phone every time you take them out will help you to get in the habit in no time.

Keeping On Schedule

Every time you receive a new set of aligners, your teeth are going to be sore for a few days while the new aligners do their job to move and shift your teeth. It might be tempting to skip soreness by avoiding your new aligners, but this will make your treatment take longer in the end.

Perfecting Your Oral Hygiene Routine

The only way to emerge from Invisalign cavity-free is to take your brushing and flossing routine up a notch and make sure you’re taking the time to properly care for your teeth. Not brushing before replacing your aligners after eating will only trap the cavity-causing bacteria on your teeth.

Removing Your Aligners To Eat Or Drink

Remember to remove your aligners every time you eat or drink anything other than water to prevent staining of the aligners. The point of Invisalign is to be able to straighten your teeth in a less obvious way, and dingy, stained aligners are anything but undetectable.

When Will I First Notice Straighter Teeth?

Once you’ve began treatment, you’re going to be pretty anxious to begin to see noticeable results, and one of the major advantages of clear aligners is that you are able to see your teeth straightening along the way. Most patients begin to notice their teeth looking different around tray numbers 2 to 5, which is typically 4 to 10 weeks into treatment.

Taking a picture of your teeth every time you switch to a new aligner will give you a great reminder of where you started and where your teeth have moved to throughout the process.

How Can I Finish My Invisalign Treatment Faster?

Staying diligent throughout your entire treatment process is the best way to finish treatments faster. With Invisalign, how well (or how poorly) the aligners work is in your hands! Your regular appointments with Cherrywood Dental Associates are a great time to discuss how your treatment is progressing and if there is anything the doctor can recommend to accelerate treatment time. We have many patients whose hard work and determination cut down treatment time to as little as 7 months. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that statistic!

Does Dental Insurance Cover Veneers?

middle age woman sitting at dentistry while male dentist working at background.

Dental veneers are a great way to restore the beauty of a single tooth, or your entire smile if your teeth are discolored, misshapen, chipped or misaligned. If you’re considering veneers to correct and transform your smile, your next question is probably: are veneers covered under my dental insurance policy?

Since most dental insurance companies consider dental veneers to be a cosmetic procedure, they are typically not covered under most insurance plans.

Read on to learn how you can help make veneers fit into your budget.

Veneers at Cherrywood: Does Any Insurance Cover Dental Veneers?

The cost of a single dental veneer is typically between $1,000-$2,000 and the cost can fluctuate depending on certain factors like what material is being used and the skill and expertise of the dentist placing the dental veneers in addition to where you live geographically.

In most cases, dental insurance doesn’t cover elective cosmetic treatments like veneers. Checking with your insurance provider to see if you have any coverage for veneers before beginning treatment is already recommended so you know exactly what to expect and how much your new teeth are going to cost you out of pocket.

How Can I Make Lumineers More Affordable?

For our patients who need financial assistance, Cherrywood Dental Associates offers our patients two different options to make payments manageable, including CareCredit and Lending Club Patient Solutions. CareCredit allows us to offer 3-24 months of interest-free payment plans and extended payment plans for larger treatments such as veneers and other cosmetic dentistry, and Lending Club offers interest-free financing options.

What Is CareCredit?

CareCredit is the credit card exclusively for healthcare services. With no upfront costs and no prepayment penalties, CareCredit lets you pay over time and frees up cash and credit cards for the other things in your life you may need them for. CareCredit offers monthly payment plans for healthcare procedures not commonly covered by your insurance provider, including dental treatments.

CareCredit offers:

  • No minimum monthly payments
  • No upfront costs
  • No prepayment penalties

What Is Lending Club Patient Solutions?

Our practice is pleased to present flexible payment plans through Lending Club Patient Solutions that offers:

  • Plans with low fixed rates
  • Low monthly payments that never change over the life of the loan
  • Patient-friendly, true no-interest plans with no retroactive interest
  • No upfront payments
  • No prepayment penalties

How Cost Effective Are Dental Veneers?

The success rate of dental veneers is extremely high, with patients veneers lasting an average of ten to twenty years or more. Veneers don’t stain, leaving your teeth as bright as you choose. Veneers are cared for with the same good daily oral hygiene that you perform to care for your natural teeth, making it an easy transition into a new smile.

Although dental veneers are strong, it’s advisable to resist the urge to use your teeth as tools and crunch on hard candies or chew on ice to prevent damaging your investment.

Having dental veneers placed is not a reversible procedure, so we always advise patients to be sure of their decision before beginning treatment and to take care of their veneers to the best of their capability.

Ready To Learn More?

Whether you seek to correct a slight imperfection in your smile, or are hoping to completely transform the appearance of your front teeth, Cherrywood Dental can use veneers to achieve nearly any result you desire. We offer the best porcelain veneers to our patients and Dr. Barzgar has been transforming patients’ smiles with Lumineers for the last eleven years.

Schedule your consultation appointment today and discover what Cherrywood Dental can do for your smile!

5 Scary Effects Alcohol Can Have on Your Oral Health

Bottles and glasses of alcohol drinks

The overconsumption of alcohol puts your body at risk for several diseases and conditions like cancer, heart disease and even increased risks of dementia. And while you may look forward to sitting down at the end of a long day with a drink, nightly drinking will likely promote the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth while simultaneously stunting the development of helpful, probiotic bacteria that keeps your mouth and the rest of your body running smoothly.

Having too many harmful bacteria in your mouth is known to lead to these five oral health risks.

Oral Cancer

While tobacco use has been proven to increase the risk of developing oral cancer, those who use both tobacco and alcohol are at an exceptionally high risk of contracting the disease. These two substances are known to increase one another’s harmful effects on the body from the dehydrating effect of alcohol on cell walls enhancing the ability of tobacco carcinogens to permeate mouth tissues.

The top contributors to oral cancer are:

Age – Majority of people are over the age of 40 at time of discovery

Gender – General ratio statistics show every 2 men to 1 woman

Race and Ethnicity – Occurring twice as often in the black population as in the white population

Lifestyle Choices – The use of tobacco and alcohol consumption are considered the top causes for those who develop the disease.

Stained Enamel

If you tend to reach for a heavily colored alcohol of choice, you increase your chances of developing stained teeth in the process. Alcoholic beverages like red wine, sangria, and hard alcohols dark in color that you sip slowly linger on your teeth long after your beverage is finished. Fight back against stained enamel by counteracting dark colored beverages with a whitening toothpaste, rinsing your mouth with water after consumption, and using whitening products on a regular basis.

Dry Mouth

One of the top side effects of consuming alcohol is how it dehydrates your body – mouth included. Because of the way alcohol dehydrates your body, you will experience a decrease in natural saliva flow which causes the harmful bacteria from food and drinks to cling to your teeth instead of being washed away naturally. Having these harmful bacteria present increases your risk of tooth decay. If you’re consuming alcohol, balance your drink ratio with a glass of water for every drink you consume to help keep your saliva flowing.

Teeth Grinding

Clenching or grinding your teeth on a regular basis can harm your teeth and lead to other oral health issues. While teeth grinding can have different causes, it’s most often triggered by stress, medical conditions, or crooked or missing teeth. Grinding your teeth can get worse after drinking alcohol or caffeine, so if you already have a history of grinding your teeth in your sleep, try skipping your glass of wine before bed or your caffeinated cocktail to help reduce grinding.

Plaque Buildup & Cavities

Alcoholic beverages that are high in sugar content can be a major risk factor in developing tooth decay and plaque buildup. The bacteria in your mouth survives on sugary foods and drinks and consuming items that are high in sugar gives those harmful bacteria fuel to destroy and conquer your enamel. Choosing beverages that are lower in sugar can help aid in protecting your teeth, and alternating alcohol with a glass or bottle of water to help replenish the saliva in your mouth will keep your mouth cleansed.

Other Ways Frequent Alcohol Use Can Impact Your Teeth and Gums

In addition to increasing the risks of developing tooth decay, gum disease and stained teeth, heavy drinking can cause irritation of the tissues inside your mouth and can even lead to severe issues like losing teeth. Your dentist is often the first healthcare professional to detect health issues caused by the overall effects of alcohol and drug consumption.

If you find yourself consuming an alcoholic beverage on a daily basis and are concerned that your happy hour habit is affecting your oral health, ask Cherrywood Dental Associates how alcohol consumption is impacting you at your next dental checkup.

Great Oral Hygiene Could Keep More Than Your Mouth Healthy

Close up portrait of a beautiful older woman smiling with sweater on blue background

You’re probably already aware that having great oral hygiene and taking proper care of your teeth and gums is a vital step in preventing tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath. But did you also know that not taking proper care of your oral health can have a direct impact on the rest of your body’s overall health?

It may sound like an obvious statement, but your mouth is connected to the rest of your body and we’re breaking down which health conditions may be directly linked to your dental health.

The Top Health Conditions Connected To Poor Oral Health

Heart Disease

Studies have proven that people with bleeding gums from poor dental hygiene could be increasing their risk of developing heart disease. One theory is that when you have bleeding gums, bacteria from the mouth is able to enter the bloodstream and stick to platelets, which can then form blood clots, interrupting the flow of blood to the heart and ultimately triggering a heart attack.

Alzheimer’s Disease

A bacterium called Porphyromonas gingivalis is usually associated with chronic gum disease, and past studies have tried to prove a direct link between patients affected with Alzheimer’s, their brains, and the consistent finding of Porphyromonas gingivitis in these patients. There is sufficient scientific evidence to show that two of the three gum disease-causing bacteria are capable of motion and have been consistently found in brain tissue of those affected with Alzheimer’s.

Pancreatic Cancer

Reports of strong evidence on a link between gum disease and pancreatic cancer began back in 2007 when the findings of periodontitis, a specific type of gum inflammation, was associated with pancreatic cancer. Research has suggested that there may be a link between high levels of carcinogenic compounds found in the mouths of people with gum disease and pancreatic cancer risk. While this is not an established risk factor, one could assume that gum disease could very well create an environment favorable to the development of pancreatic cancer.

Why Hasn’t There Been a Definitive Gum Disease & Systemic Health Study?

Both gum disease and potentially associated conditions like heart disease are incredibly complex conditions, with so many defining factors. It is difficult to stage a study that is comprehensive enough to deliver a definitive answer, while controlling the necessary variables. But as more and more studies yield an unexplainable gum disease – heart disease connection, researchers continue to explore the reasons for this link.

Knowing Your Risks For Developing Gum Disease

There are certain factors that make you more likely to experience gum disease at some point in your life. While some of these factors are unavoidable, many are completely preventable by taking extra care of your oral hygiene and habits to keep your smile intact and healthy.

The risk factors of gum disease include:

  • Genetics – A family history of gum disease makes certain people more likely to develop periodontal disease.
  • Age – Being over the age of 65 increases your risks of developing gum disease by as much as 70%.
  • Medications – Certain medications like oral contraceptives, antidepressants and certain heart medications can affect your oral health. These types of medications can cause dry mouth and lack of natural saliva which has a direct negative impact on your oral health.
  • Poor Nutrition – A diet that’s lacking nutrients can compromise the body’s immune system, making it that much more difficult for your body to fight off infection – including infection in your gums. Research also shows that obesity may increase the risk of periodontal disease.
  • Systemic Diseases – Certain health and medical conditions like diabetes, arthritis and heart disease are linked to gum disease.
  • Use Of Tobacco Products – If you are someone who uses tobacco products of any kind your risks of developing many serious illnesses such as cancer, lung disease, heart disease, and periodontal disease may be heightened.


Preventing Other Health Conditions By Preventing Gum Disease

It’s a proven fact that certain diseases show up in your mouth first, making your dentist the initial defense against new health problems. While you may not see your physician on a routine basis, scheduling regular dental exams every six months could help you keep not just your teeth and gums healthy, but the rest of your body as well. Do your part by:

  • Brushing your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste
  • Flossing once a day between your teeth to clean places your toothbrush cannot reach
  • Eating a nutrient-rich and balanced diet
  • Limiting snacking between meals
  • Scheduling regular oral exams and professional cleanings every six months with your dentist

Call Cherrywood Dental today and schedule your next cleaning and exam to determine if you’re at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease.

Dental Implant Aftercare: What to Expect

Woman talk to dentist in dental clinic

If you’ve made the big decision to have dental implant surgery, congratulations are in order! Choosing to replace a missing tooth with a dental implant is an excellent, long term solution to tooth replacement and will keep you smiling for years to come.

But what happens next? And how can you expect to feel after your dental implant procedure? We’re here to help you know exactly what you can expect so you can be as prepared as possible in how to take care of your new implant.

What to Do Immediately After Implant Surgery

Immediately after implant surgery, the most important thing you can do is not disturb the wound. Your mouth and your body just went through a lot, so avoid any vigorous rinsing, spitting or touching of the area on the day of surgery.

You can expect:

Bleeding. Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for about 24 hours. Excessive bleeding where your mouth fills up rapidly with blood can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues, give us a call and we can discuss what to do next on a case by case basis.

Pain. You can begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, take two Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Advil, or Motrin every 3-4 hours as needed to help manage pain. For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed by your doctor.

Antibiotics. Take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection.

Swelling. Some swelling is normal and expected to occur after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag wrapped in a thin towel on your cheek over the area of the surgery. Applying ice or a cold compress as much as possible for the first 48 hours will help to minimize swelling and promote healing.

Diet. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid any hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery, and you can return to a normal diet as soon as your body is comfortable and ready.

Dental Implant Success Begins with Home Care

Good oral hygiene is essential to promote good healing. The night of surgery, use any prescribed oral rinse and follow your provider’s cleaning instructions. The day after surgery, prescribed rinses should typically be used twice daily, after breakfast and before bed. When rinsing, be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds, spitting the liquid out afterwards. Warm salt water rinses should be used at least 4-5 times a day, especially after meals, to help aid the mouth in healing properly and as quickly as possible.

Brushing your teeth and the healing abutment is not an issue, but be gentle initially with brushing around the surgical areas.

Letting Your Body Heal

Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery, and allow your body to rest and recover. If you try vigorous exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur, and you should discontinue exercising immediately until your mouth has had proper time to heal. Consider delaying exercise until you’re able to return to a normal diet so your body has the proper fuel and ability to power through.

Remember, rest is your friend when it comes to a recovering body, and pushing yourself will only delay healing.

What Happens Next on My Implant Journey?

You may need additional surgery to place the abutment, or the piece where the crown will eventually attach. This minor surgery is typically done with local anesthesia in an outpatient setting.

To place the abutment:

  • Your oral surgeon reopens your gum to expose the dental implant
  • The abutment is attached to the dental implant
  • The gum tissue is then closed around, but not over, the abutment

In some cases, the abutment is attached to the dental implant metal post, when the post is implanted, which means you won’t need this extra surgical step.

It’s perfectly normal to feel a bit nervous about getting a dental implant, but the Cherrywood Dental team is here to make the process as easy and manageable as possible. If you have any questions before, during or after your dental implant procedure, we’re here to help and are just a phone call away!

Been Years Since You’ve Seen a Dentist? Here’s How to Prep

patient at the dentist appointment

If dental anxiety is the reason behind why you’ve been putting off going to the dentist, it probably took a lot for you to make that exam appointment. Maybe the reason behind you finally scheduling a visit is consistent discomfort from tooth pain, or perhaps you have decided to conquer your fear of the dentist once and for all.

We have some tips to help ease you back into the dental chair and put your mind at ease when it comes to recommitting to dental checkups.

Identify the Potential Cause of Your Dental Anxiety

Try to think back to when your anxiety over visiting the dentist began. For most patients who experience dental anxiety, it’s something that’s been with them for years, sometimes even since childhood.

What are the main causes of dental anxiety?

Fear of the Unknown

The unknown is the root of many other types of anxiety, and not knowing exactly what is going to happen when you visit the dentist’s office can cause someone to become fearful. Having fear of the dentist finding issues such as cavities, gum disease, or even the need for something more serious like a root canal can have a patient worrying about potential treatments, pain, and the unknown costs to fix these types of issues.

Negative Past Dental Experiences

If you’ve had an uncomfortable dental exam or procedure in the past, then you will find it more difficult to be open to future dental care. These experiences often stem from childhood, as children are nervous about what their exams might be like and what the final outcome will be.

Fear of Needles

Other fears that can be related to dental care can also cause someone to have dental anxiety. You may have another phobia such as a fear of needles or sensitive gag reflex, and these stressors can prevent you from receiving dental care comfortably.

Find a Dentist You Feel Comfortable With

The right dental office should feel comforting and soothing. Crowded facilities and dated equipment will only heighten your dental anxiety. Finding a practice with a friendly and communicative staff will help you in easing your anxiety. Before choosing a provider, check out testimonials and reviews of the office ahead of time so you can have a glimpse of what being a patient of that practice is really like (for better or worse).

When looking for a provider that is a good fit for you, be sure to:

  1. Look for a provider that makes you feel listened to and cared for
  2. Read patient reviews online
  3. Ask around and find out what friends and family members have a dentist they love and would recommend
  4. Let your dentist know you have dental anxiety and are a little nervous! We’re here to help calm your nerves.

Focus on the Positives

If you experience dental anxiety, it’s probably been longer than 6 months since you were last seen by a dentist for a checkup. Scheduling an exam will help improve your anxiety for a few reasons.

  1. The sooner you see a professional, the sooner you can know exactly what’s going on in your mouth. You may have gingivitis or gum disease, cavities, or other conditions that are causing you to live in discomfort and pain.
  2. You’re more likely to avoid serious dental problems by receiving regular preventative care, and catching issues while they are still minor and inexpensive to treat.
  3. Replacing negative dental experiences with positive ones will help reduce bad memories and replace them with great new ones.

Signs of dental problems that will be resolved with an exam

There are certain signs that it’s time to see a dentist sooner, rather than later.

  • Yellow teeth – This can mean plaque buildup and poor oral hygiene. A teeth cleaning will help remove external stains and eliminate plaque for a fresh start.
  • Swollen gums – Gums that are swollen or bleeding are a sign you may have gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. Gingivitis is simple to treat, and can be improved with better oral hygiene.
  • Bad breath – Can signify you have a cavity, and can also be a sign of gum disease from increased bacteria in the mouth.
  • Receding gums – Your gums can recede for reasons related to gum disease, or it could be an effect of long-term teeth grinding. Too much recession can lead to tooth loss.

Don’t let fear stop you from having a healthy smile. Cherrywood Dental Associates will do everything we can to ensure you feel comfortable and relaxed through all of your dental checkups and treatments, and we are proud to offer laser dental treatments that offer a more pleasant dental experience to our patients.

Can’t remember the last time you walked through the dentist door? Schedule a checkup with us today!

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Dr. Barzgar is an excellent dentist

Dr. Barzgar was very professional and gentle. When I first came to his office to see Dr. Barzgar I had a major trust issue between dentist and patient from my past experiences. Dr. Barzgar is an excellent dentist, whose priority is making sure his...

L. Howard

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