Posts for: July, 2015
Taking care of your teeth is a life-long endeavor. And like any other aspect of healthcare, it can be costly — from regular dental visits and cleanings to more expensive treatments and procedures for protecting and preserving your teeth.
But what if you’re limited in your financial ability — does that mean your dental health has to suffer? Not necessarily — if you’re careful to adopt and follow an effective strategy for oral care.
Here, then, are 3 considerations you should keep in mind as you develop your dental care strategy and action plan.
Practice thorough, daily oral hygiene. Many of the potential dental problems people face are the result of not practicing or not properly performing oral hygiene — daily brushing and flossing along with semi-annual dental visits for cleanings and checkups. The aim is to remove bacterial plaque, the sticky film that adheres to teeth after we eat, and keep it from building up on tooth surfaces. Removing plaque reduces your chances of developing the two major dental diseases caused by it, tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease, which could result in additional treatment costs. However, even with excellent oral hygiene you’ll still form tartar (hardened plaque deposits) on your teeth, so professional cleanings are also a must.
Take care of the rest of your health. Your teeth and gums aren’t islands unto themselves — your oral health is heavily influenced by other conditions in the body, especially systemic diseases like diabetes or cardiovascular disease. So, be sure you’re eating a nutritious diet, follow an exercise plan and see your physician regularly to monitor your health. Your teeth, as well as the rest of your body, will be healthier for it.
Work out treatment plans with us to fit your finances. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee your teeth and gums won’t need advanced care sometime in your life, even with proper hygiene and diet. If you’re in need of extensive treatment or you feel you need to enhance your smile, talk with us. We’ll be glad to discuss your options, and work out both a treatment and financial plan that fits your needs and budget.
If you would like more information on oral care with financial limitations, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Finances and Dental Care.”
Have you started orthodontic treatment recently? Are you having a little trouble getting used to your braces? If so, you are not alone: Everybody goes through an adjustment period during which they momentarily wonder if they’ll really ever get used to this. Don’t worry — you will! And we’ve never heard anyone say, on the day their braces come off and their new smile is revealed, that they aren’t glad they went the distance. Just ask Houston Rockets all-star center Dwight Howard, who discussed his own orthodontic treatment in a recent interview.
“I’m sure I was no different than anyone else who has ever had braces,” he told Mediaplanet. “At first I hated them so much… That changed once I got used to them and I actually grew to love them.” What’s Howard’s advice? “Do exactly what your orthodontist says and know that the outcome is well worth it in the end.” We couldn’t agree more! Here are some tips for wearing braces comfortably:
- Hard & Chewy Foods: If you love fresh fruits and vegetables, that’s great; there’s no reason to give them up, just the really hard ones. You don’t want to bite into an apple or carrot or any other hard foods like bagels and pizza that have any “size” to them. Small pieces may be ok as long as they can’t bend your wires. Chewy, sticky candy should really be avoided completely. Same with soda, sports drinks and so-called energy drinks because they contain acids that promote tooth decay and can cause a lot of damage around the braces.
- Effective Oral Hygiene: Keeping your teeth clean is more important than ever, but also more challenging than ever. It’s easy for food to get stuck under wires and around brackets, but failing to remove it can cause tooth decay, gum irritation and soreness. Therefore, the cleaner your teeth and your braces are, the healthier you will be. Use interdental cleaning brushes and/or a floss-threader to get behind your wires. A mouthrinse can also help strengthen teeth and keep bacteria in check. If you have any questions about how to clean between your teeth, please ask for a demonstration at your next visit.
- Pain Relief: Some soreness at the beginning of orthodontic treatment is normal. To relieve it, you can use an over-the-counter pain reliever and/or a warm washcloth or heating pad placed on the outside of the jaw. If brackets or wires are rubbing against the inside of your cheeks or lips, try applying wax to these areas of your braces. If this does not offer enough relief, we may be able to trim the end of a poking wire. Call us if you need help with this.
Our goal is to make your orthodontic treatment as comfortable as possible on the way to achieving your all-star smile. If you have questions about adjusting to braces, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”
The lingering ache of a decaying tooth is often regarded as one of the most annoying and aggravating types of pain. Waking up in the middle of the night or not being able to get through the day because of pain can be a brutal experience. A common cause of this type of pain is tooth decay. Depending on severity, tooth decay is easily treated in the form of a root canal. For more information on Root Canal Treatment in Lawrence, KS please call Rockledge Dentistry today!
A root canal is needed when the tooth pulp becomes damaged due to infection in the nerve of the tooth, caused by a cavity, or tooth decay. The root canal treatment removes both the nerve and tooth pulp, after which the inside of the tooth is cleaned, sealed and filled. A protective crown is then placed over the tooth to prevent future breakage.
What causes tooth pain?
A cavity is formed when bacteria in the mouth attach to the enamel of the tooth and multiply, causing plaque. That plaque causes cavities, then eats away at the enamel of the tooth, causing small openings, and allowing the bacteria to enter the actual tooth, eating away at the tooth pulp. When the decay gets to this point, the pain could be severe and the patient probably has sensitivity while eating or biting. Sometimes, the body tries to heal itself, which can result in an abscess of the tooth, something that is also very painful and must be dealt with immediately to prevent infection.
How can a root canal help?
Root canals remove the pain-causing infection via removal of the tooth pulp and nerve. The tooth is then thoroughly cleaned and sealed, leaving no bacteria remaining, and, once filled, the tooth will function normally. It also repairs any holes or cracks in the tooth, leaving an aesthetically pleasing result. While root canals are often thought of as painful, most patients claim this is a myth, and the procedure is as pain-free as having a tooth filled.
How can I avoid tooth decay?
Many steps can be taken to prevent tooth decay, including, but not limited to:
- Brushing and flossing regularly
- Avoiding sugary foods and drinks
- Using fluoride-containing tooth-related products
- Regular dental exams
- Leading a generally healthy lifestyle
Regular dental exams can be the deciding factor between suffering from tooth pain or catching and treating a cavity in the early stages. Rockledge Dentistry takes pride in providing compassionate and professional care. Visit www.pdherreradds.com to schedule an appointment today.