Diabetic Dental Care

March 28th, 2014

People with diabetes are more likely to have oral health problems. Infections and gum irritations are harder to treat in diabetics, and can more easily progress into advanced stages. Therefore, if you have diabetes, it’s vital to be extra careful about practicing good dental hygiene and maintaining optimum oral health.

Some of the dental issues that diabetic patients face include:

  • Higher risk of gum disease like gingivitis and periodontitis
  • Increased risk of cavities
  • Trouble fighting bacteria, allowing increased plaque buildup on teeth
  • More tartar, which irritates the gums
  • Higher risk of tooth loss if gum disease reaches advanced stages
  • More susceptible to bacterial infections, which can delay the healing process
  • Higher risk of dry mouth, which often causes cavities

Unfortunately, oral health problems can also affect your overall health. If you have diabetes and also gum disease, it is harder to control your diabetes. Severe gum disease elevates blood sugar, which in turn puts you at higher risk of diabetic complications.

As a diabetic, follow these recommendations for dental care:

  • Visit the dentist at least every six months, and discuss any changes in your condition or medications.
  • Brush a minimum of twice daily, and floss every day.
  • Consider using an anti-bacterial toothpaste or mouthwash to prevent gum disease.
  • If you wear dentures, properly care for them to avoid oral thrush.
  • Discuss scaling and root planning procedures with your dentist, which can clean your teeth better so that bacteria can’t cling to them as well.

Another thing to remember is to report any health issues to your dentist if you have any dental procedures scheduled. Complications like trouble regulating your blood sugar level can impact the safety of certain procedures, such as oral surgery or implant placement. It can also affect your ability to heal properly.

BRS Dentistry – Dental office in Richmond VA.

What Makes a Pediatric Dentist Different

March 21st, 2014

In young babies, thumb sucking is a good self-soothing option. As children grow, this habit can cause dental problems. Roughly 18 percent of children from ages two to six suck their thumbs. As permanent teeth grow, ask your dentist for advice about how to get your child to break the habit. The following tips may help speed up this process:

Don’t pressure your child too soon
Talk with your pediatrician and dentist to determine the best age to work on quitting. Many health care providers don’t worry about thumb sucking until permanent teeth start to come in, usually around age five or six.

Establish a reward system
Encourage your child to stop thumb sucking through positive reinforcement. Try stickers on a chart and small prizes after so many days of progress.

Start small
Begin the process by working with your child on curtailing the habit in public. Slowly move on to more difficult times, such as bedtime.

Be patient
Realize that your child will have slip-ups and setbacks. Don’t punish or yell at your child because these actions can actually make your child upset or nervous, which may lead to more thumb sucking.

Use peer pressure
If you child sucks his or her thumb around other people, talk with your child about what the kids say about this behavior. Sometimes, this discomfort is enough to motivate your child to quit.

Consider additional help
Look into purchasing a thumb guard. These devices make thumb sucking difficult, if not impossible, and may give your child an additional boost with giving up this habit.

Your child’s health is our priority at BRS Dentistry in Richmond Virginia

Ouch! I Have a Mouth Sore!

March 14th, 2014

There are few things more irritating than having a painful, swollen sore in your mouth. It bothers you while eating, talking, and even just sitting around. There are a number of types of mouth sores with different causes. Some are infections from bacteria, viruses, or fungus. Or they can be a result of an ill-fitting denture, broken tooth or filling, or loose orthodontic wire. Mouth sores can also be a symptom of a medical condition. Here are some details about common mouth sores.

Canker sore
These small sores occur inside your mouth, and are white or gray with a red outline. They aren’t contagious, but are recurring and can happen one-at-a-time or several at once. Experts believe that lowered immune systems, bacteria, or viruses are risk factors. Canker sores often heal by themselves in about a week, and topical anesthetics or antibacterial mouthwashes may provide relief.

Cold sore
Also called fever blisters, these sores occur outside of your mouth around your lips, nose, or chin. These blisters filled with fluid are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1, and are extremely contagious. Once you have been infected with the herpes virus, it remains in your body and occasionally flares up. Cold sores usually heal in about a week on their own. Topical anesthetics may help, and your dentist might prescribe antiviral medications to reduce outbreaks.

Candidiasis
Also called oral thrush, candidiasis is a result of the yeast Candida albicans reproducing in large quantities. It usually happens to those with weakened immune systems, and is common with people wearing dentures or with dry mouth syndrome. Candidiasis is also linked to taking antibiotics. Controlling candidiasis is done by preventing or controlling the cause of the outbreak. Ask your dentist for advice.

Leukoplakia
Common with tobacco users, leukoplakia are thick white patches on the inside of your cheeks, gums, or tongue. In addition to tobacco use, they can also be caused by ill-fitting dentures or continual chewing on the inside of your cheek. Leukoplakia is linked with oral cancer, so your dentist may advise a biopsy if the patch looks suspicious.

 

 

Schedule a dental check up visit today at BRS Dentistry in Richmond VA.

Pulling Baby Teeth

March 7th, 2014

Losing baby teeth shouldn’t be a rite of passage to be feared. It’s a natural part of the process of growing up, and usually doesn’t hurt nearly as much as getting the teeth in the first place. As a parent who desires to make the process as painless as possible, here is some advice about baby teeth and the best ways to lose them.

At around age six, most children begin to lose their primary teeth to make room for permanent adult teeth. They often fall out in the order they come in, so the bottom front two teeth are the first to go, followed by the two top teeth. Most kids lose all their primary teeth by around age 13. Dentists suggest allowing the teeth to fall out on their own, because they typically come out right before the permanent tooth is ready to make its appearance. If your child has a loose tooth, it may be met with excitement. After all, a visit from the tooth fairy may be imminent! However, the idea of losing a tooth hurting or bleeding may strike fear in your child.

Either way, you can’t let a loose tooth hang on forever. Waiting for it to fall out by itself decreases the risk of bleeding, and can reduce the chance of infection. However, a dangling tooth or a child afraid of swallowing the tooth will be reason for a parent to get involved. Here are some tips:

  • Encourage your child to wiggle the tooth with their finger or tongue.
  • Since your child can tell exactly how loose the tooth is and how much force is painful, encourage the child to pull the tooth on their own. Offer a piece of gauze or tissue to get a firmer grasp on the tooth.
  • Allow food to do the job. Have your child bite an apple or popsicle.
  • Don’t be tempted to tie the tooth with a string to a door and slam it. This is not a painless way to pull a tooth!

 

 

Dentist for kids in Richmond Virginia

The Benefits of an Electric Toothbrush

February 27th, 2014

Maybe you’ve wondered if using an electric toothbrush is a fad that will pass, going the way of pet rocks or the thighmaster. The truth is that there are a number of reasons that electric toothbrushes will probably stick around for a long time. Let’s find out why you should consider using an electric toothbrush in your own dental hygiene routine.

First, there is a difference between electric toothbrushes and those that are battery-operated. Toothbrushes powered by batteries that make the bristles vibrate a bit really aren’t much different than manual toothbrushes. True electric toothbrushes plug into an outlet to recharge, and you change the brush heads every few months. You can choose from several types depending on how the heads rotate, oscillate, or use sonic technology.

Once you’ve chosen an electric toothbrush, and are committed to brushing twice daily using the correct technique, you should expect to start reaping the benefits. Dentists recommend them as the best way to keep your teeth clean. Their bristles remove plaque faster and better than manual toothbrushes, and can often access hard-to-reach areas. Also, you’re able to control how hard you brush better with an electric toothbrush. You just hold the brush and the moving bristles work on their own. This helps you avoid injuring your gums or removing tooth enamel.

Another big appeal of electric toothbrushes is that they’re easier for people with physical limitations to use. These have larger handles making them easier to grip, and their powered bristles do much of the cleaning for you. They also reach areas that may be normally hard to access. Electric toothbrushes also help you brush for the appropriate length of time, since most models have a timer that lets you know when you’ve brushed for the recommended two minutes.

So if it’s time for you to get a new toothbrush, consider switching to an electric model. Your mouth will benefit from your willingness to try something new.

Family dentist in Richmond VA – BRS Dentistry

Are Oral Piercings Dangerous?

February 21st, 2014

You may like the way oral piercings look, but you might not like the dangerous risks that come with them. Because your mouth contains millions of bacteria, infection and swelling often accompany oral piercings. It can really take the fun out of this popular way to express yourself. Make sure you think it through before getting a piercing, to make sure you’re ready for the responsibility and willing to perform tasks to keep the area healthy. This information will help educate you about what oral piercings involve.

What kinds of things can an oral piercing cause?
Piercing your lips, tongue, cheeks, or uvula can interfere with speaking, swallowing, or chewing. It can also cause:

  • Infection – the moisture in your mouth is home to lots of active bacteria, so it’s a perfect place for infection. Infections can be life-threatening if untreated, and associated swelling can block your airway.
  • Nerve damage – your tongue may be numb after piercing, which may be temporary or permanent. It can affect your ability to taste and move your mouth.
  • Gum, teeth, and fillings damage – biting or playing with your piercing can harm your gums and crack or scratch your teeth. Piercings can also damage fillings, and cause tooth sensitivity.
  • Allergic reactions – some people are allergic to metals and have reactions at the piercing site.
  • Drooling – tongue piercings can increase saliva production and cause drooling.
  • Dental care problems – oral jewelry can hamper dental care and block X-rays.

What should I do if I already have piercings?
If you have any oral piercings, contact your dentist or doctor right away if you have signs of infection. These include swelling, pain, fever, chills, or red streaks near the piercing site. Always keep the piercing area clean and use a mouth rinse after meals. Avoid clicking the jewelry against your teeth and gums, and remove it before participating in sports. See your dentist regularly for checkups.

BRS Dentistry is a general dentistry practice in Richmond VA

Make Over Your Smile with Cosmetic Dentistry

February 14th, 2014

A healthy and attractive smile can be life-changing if you have a smile that you find embarrassing. An unsightly smile can not only hurt your self-esteem and social life, it can also hurt your career. Your teeth should present an image that you are content with as you communicate and interact with others. If your smile doesn’t, then a smile makeover may be in order.

Cosmetic dentistry offers all sorts of techniques and procedures that can improve your look. Even subtle changes in your smile can make a huge impact on how you look and feel. Here are some of the most popular ways to enhance your look.

Teeth whitening
There are a number of products and treatments available to brighten your smile. Whitening your teeth at home is an option, but it requires more time and commitment than professional whitening methods. If you choose in-office whitening, you can expect dramatic results in as little as one hour. Whatever method you select, teeth whitening is a safe and effective way to improve your smile.

Veneers
Commonly made of porcelain, dental veneers are customized thin shells that cover the fronts of your teeth. They hide embarrassing flaws like chips, cracks, and discolorations.

Bonding
For minor tooth problems, bonding is a great option. A composite resin is applied to the tooth to alter its shape or color. It is a painless procedure that provides a natural and quick change to your smile.

Dental implants
You don’t have to be a senior citizen to experience tooth loss. Patients of all ages can benefit from dental implants to restore one or more missing teeth. These permanent and natural-looking replacements for teeth don’t impact your chewing or speaking. There is no messy maintenance and you may even forget your implants aren’t your real teeth.

Orthodontics
Whether major orthodontic work like completely moving your teeth and jaw into better positions, or minor tooth movement is all that is needed, orthodontics can be a great way to makeover your smile. New technologies such as clear braces offer subtle ways to undergo orthodontic treatment.

Cosmetic dentist in Richmond VA

Teaching your Child about Oral Health

February 7th, 2014

The sad statistic about children’s teeth is that tooth decay is a widespread disease among kids today. Dental problems are reported to be five times more likely in kids than asthma. Because of this disturbing trend, dentists are stressing the important role that parents play in teaching their children about oral health.

Parents should begin taking their children to the dentist much earlier than many believe. It is recommended to take kids for their first dental checkup around the first birthday. Even though it may be a challenge, it is the best way to ensure optimum oral health, learn hygiene tips, and help get your child accustomed to visiting the dentist. Most children are more relaxed and cooperative in the morning hours, and can pick up on anxiety in parents. Show your ease at the appointment, and don’t use a dental visit as a bribe or punishment. It is better to have your child buy into the importance of good oral care as early as possible. Then maintain dental checkups each year for the best results.

Your dentist will explain how to help your child properly brush and floss. It will be a number of years before you can expect kids to perform dental hygiene tasks on their own. Even after your child is old enough to brush alone, it’s important to check the teeth and gums to make sure they are being cleaned well enough. If not, step in and help until you are certain your child can consistently do a better job.

Why is good dental care important for your child? Oral health not only affects the mouth, but also overall health. Infections can cause various health problems, and decay can lead to teasing and low self-esteem related to an unsightly smile. Poor dental hygiene may ultimately cause tooth loss if it is not addressed. If your child is already showing signs of poor oral health, it’s not too late. Consult your dentist immediately to learn about treatment options, and make sure your child understands the consequences of poor dental care. Hopefully you’ll be able to turn your child’s dental habits around so that a lifetime of good oral health will be in the future.

 

 

BRS Dentistry – Kids dentist in Richmond VA – Pediatric dentistry Richmond Virginia

Finding the Right Endodontist

January 28th, 2014

Hearing the news that you need a root canal procedure may not be the most welcome turn of events. Your dentist will examine your tooth and let you know if this treatment is the best way to correct the problem and save your tooth. With a procedure like this, you need to seek the help of an endodontist. This type of dentist specializes in the pulp and tissue that surrounds the roots of your teeth. An endodontist is the most qualified and experienced professional to perform root canal treatment.

Finding the right endodontist may seem overwhelming, especially when you might be experiencing pain and discomfort associated with a damaged or infected tooth. Here are some tips to help you in your search:

  • Ask your general dentist for recommendations of a reputable endodontist. This should not be an unusual request, so it is likely that your dentist’s office has that type of information readily available.
  • Don’t feel like you are locked into using your dentist’s recommendation, however. Find the right endodontist for you.
  • Ask family, friends, and coworkers for recommendations. You might be surprised about how many people you know have gone through root canal treatment. Their first-hand experience with the endodontist will provide you with helpful details.
  • Research on the internet to locate endodontists near you. Read the reviews and look for medical credentials.
  • Select an endodontist with experience so that you don’t feel like you are providing practice for a new doctor, but another case for someone who has performed many procedures like yours.
  • Schedule a consultation to make sure you feel comfortable and confident with the endodontist and staff. If you aren’t, you can always visit another endodontist until you find the one you like best.

Schedule your appointment today to learn more about root canal options at BRS Dentistry in Richmond Virginia

Understanding the Limitations of Teeth Whitening

January 21st, 2014

Whitening your teeth to improve your smile is a popular cosmetic treatment, but you should understand that it does have some limitations to consider. If products are used correctly or if you seek the professional help from a qualified dentist, you can usually achieve a bright and appealing smile. Here are some things to think about when it comes to teeth whitening.

Methods
You should not expect over-the-counter methods to whiten your teeth more than a couple of shades. The whitening ingredients available in products at your drugstore are not as strong as those used at your dentist’s office. Consistent and correct use of over-the-counter options can help whiten your teeth, but it may not be as much as some patients hope will occur. On the other hand, professional methods can produce dramatic and quick improvements to the color of your teeth.

Habits
Certain habits contribute to stains on your teeth and if you don’t limit or stop activities prone to discoloring teeth, your newly whitened teeth may become discolored again. Foods like berries and curry, drinks such as coffee and red wine, and habits like smoking will all likely negatively affect your tooth color.

Restorations
Bridges, crowns, and laminates might not respond in the same way to whitening agents as your natural teeth do. Ask your dentist about how your restorations might react to teeth whitening.

Side effects
Tooth sensitivity is the most common side effect of whitening procedures, causing some patients to be unable to handle some methods of treatment. Gum sensitivity is another potential problem, but usually dissipates soon after the whitening procedure. Weakening of a restoration may also occur during whitening treatment, sometimes making it necessary to replace them.

Expectations
Teeth whitening must be occasionally repeated if you want your bright smile to remain for a lifetime. The effects do not last indefinitely, because aging and activities can stain your teeth. Excessive bleaching may damage your teeth though, so be sure to discuss your whitening treatment with your dentist.

Teeth whitening dentist in Richmond VA

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804-754-4161

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Dear Dr. Brown,
I wanted to thank you and your entire staff for my recent dental experience at your Patterson office. Everyone exceeded my expectations in making my dental visits comfortable, from scheduling to the finish of my procedure. I truly felt everyone cared about me as an individual and took special steps to

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