Posts for: December, 2017
As the old song says, “’Tis the season to be jolly.” And for many of us, the year-end holidays offer a perfect opportunity to break out of our daily routine and get together with co-workers, friends and family. Whether it’s a casual gathering at home or a night on the town, one thing is for sure: There’s likely to be plenty of food and drinks at hand to keep the good times rolling.
We’re not going to say that you should never indulge in a sugar cookie or a tumbler of eggnog. But everyone knows that too much of a good thing can be bad for your health. So here are some simple tips to help keep your oral health in good shape while you’re enjoying the holiday season.
Choose Healthier Snacks — good-tasting munchies don’t have to be bad for you. Plant-based hors d’oeuvres like hummus with raw vegetables can be just as delicious and satisfying as chips and dip—and a lot healthier, with plenty of vitamins and fiber, and little or no sugar. Cheese, yogurt and other dairy products, eaten in moderation, can actually be beneficial for your oral health: they can stimulate the flow of saliva and restore minerals to the teeth. If you choose to eat sweet snacks, limit them to around mealtimes. That way, your mouth gets a break from sugar and acid in between meals.
Drink Plenty of Water — Sure, there are plenty more exotic beverage choices. But for better health, alternate those fancy drinks with glasses of water. Sugary, acidic beverages like soda (or even juice) can feed decay-causing bacteria and weaken the tooth’s enamel, leading to cavities. Alcohol dries out the mouth, which can cause a number of oral health problems. But water promotes the body’s production of beneficial saliva, and keeps you healthy and hydrated. It also helps neutralize tooth-eroding acid and wash away sticky food residue that can cling to your teeth.
Don’t Neglect Your Oral Health Routine — Sure, between frantic holiday shopping and eagerly anticipated get-togethers, it may seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day. But it’s always important to maintain your regular oral health routine—and even more so at this time of year. Brushing twice a day for two minutes each time and flossing once a day are proven ways to prevent cavities and gum disease. Find a few minutes to take care of yourself and you can keep your smile looking good all year long.
The holidays are a time for friends, family, fun and celebration. We offer these suggestions with our best wishes for a safe and healthy season. If you would like more information about how to maintain good oral health—during the holidays or any time of year—please contact our office or schedule a consultation. Read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Nutrition and Oral Health” and “10 Tips for Daily Oral Care at Home.”
Most of us know what to do to slow bleeding or stabilize a broken bone, but handling dental emergencies isn't usually covered during first aid classes. Arlington, TX, emergency dentist Dr. Joseph Reed of Arlington Dental discusses several common dental emergencies and explains what you should do if they occur.
You have the worst toothache of your life
One day, you or a family member may wake up with severe, throbbing pain in a tooth due to a dental abscess. Over-the-counter pain killers and ice may dull the pain a little, but won't provide complete relief. Abscesses are caused by a bacterial infection in the pulp in the center of a tooth. If the infection isn't treated promptly, it may spread to other parts of your body.
If you experience abscess signs, which include facial swelling, pus, or a pimple on the gum around a tooth, fever and swollen lymph nodes, in addition to severe pain, call our Arlington office immediately. Abscesses are treated with a prescription for antibiotics and a root canal to remove the infected pulp.
Your tooth was knocked out
Although roots do an excellent job of holding your teeth firmly in place, they can be knocked out if you receive a strong blow to the face. If you visit your emergency dentist within an hour or two of your accident, it may be possible to reimplant your tooth. After you rinse off the tooth, put it back in the socket or between your gum and cheek. If neither of those options work, place the tooth in a sealed container filled with milk or your saliva.
Your tooth is suddenly a little loose
The same accidents that cause teeth to be knocked out can also loosen them or move them out of position. If your tooth has moved, gently push it back to its normal position if you can. Don't push on loose teeth, play with them with your tongue or chew on the affected side of your mouth. Ice and over-the-counter pain medication can dull the pain until you visit our office.
Your tooth broke
Cover the ends of your broken tooth with dental cement to reduce sensitivity and prevent cuts to your lips or tongue. Take over-the-counter pain killers if your tooth still hurts after using dental cement.
Prompt treatment is extremely important if you experience any of these dental emergencies. Call Arlington, TX, emergency dentist Dr. Joseph Reed of Arlington Dental at (817) 303-5700 to schedule your emergency appointment.
It’s something you think about often—especially when you look in a mirror or at a photo of yourself. You wish something could have been done about it a long time ago. But now you think you’re too old to correct your misaligned teeth—your “crooked” smile.
Actually, you can transform your smile through orthodontics, whatever your age. Millions of your peers have done just that—currently, an estimated one in five orthodontic patients is an adult.
If orthodontics isn’t right for you it won’t be because of age, but most likely the condition of your gums and underlying bone or your overall health. That first factor is extremely important: if you’ve lost a significant amount of bone due to periodontal (gum) disease, there may not be enough to support the force of moving the teeth during orthodontics.
Health conditions like severe heart-valve disease, uncontrolled diabetes or drugs to treat arthritis or osteoporosis can also make tooth movement difficult. And, if you have restricted saliva flow (dry mouth), wearing orthodontic devices could be uncomfortable and increase your risk of tooth decay.
If, however, your mouth and body are reasonably healthy (and you don’t have a difficult bite problem to correct), there’s no reason why you can’t undergo orthodontic treatment. The only other thing that might hold you back is concern over your appearance during treatment. Many adults balk at the possible embarrassment of wearing metal braces “at their age.”
If this is a concern, you may have an alternative: clear aligners. These are a series of computer-generated clear plastic trays that conform to the individual contours of your teeth. Each tray is slightly different—you wear one for a short period of time (usually two weeks) before moving on to the next tray to successively and gradually move your teeth. They’re nearly invisible to others and, unlike fixed metal braces, you can take them out for a rare special occasion.
The only way you’ll know whether correcting your misaligned teeth is a viable option is to undergo a full orthodontic evaluation. From there we can help you decide if and how you want to gain a straighter, more attractive smile.
If you would like more information on adult orthodontics, 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 “Orthodontics for the Older Adult.”