May 21st, 2013
It’s no secret that many people don’t floss their teeth. When you visit your dentist, you probably hear about the importance of flossing regularly. That’s not news to most people; even though we hear flossing is important, it’s not something people enjoy. You might change your mind if you realize it lowers your risk for oral diseases, minimizes the time spent in the dental chair, and can even save you from losing teeth. It’s never too late to start flossing, so here are some tips to help you make it a habit.
When to floss
Knowing when to floss is the first step. A good guideline is flossing after eating anything, especially foods prone to getting stuck between teeth like apples, meat, and candy. Flossing soon after eating reduces the time that food contacts your tooth enamel. Dentists suggest flossing before you brush, which removes food debris and loosens plaque. That makes it easier for your toothbrush to wash those items away, and it also allows the fluoride in your toothpaste to reach every tooth surface. Flossing and brushing together helps lower your risk of tartar buildup that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
How to floss
The goal of flossing is to reach all of the areas that your toothbrush can’t get to by itself. This means you should spend time cleaning every angle on every single tooth, working the dental floss all around each tooth and along the gums. Don’t forget to floss your back molars too.
Flossing will help keep your teeth and gums healthy, but there are other benefits as well. Experts have linked poor oral health with other medical issues, like increased risk of heart disease, respiratory problems, and type 2 diabetes. Maintaining a consistent regimen of flossing, brushing, and regular dental checkups will all contribute to a healthier mouth and a healthier body.
Family dentist in Richmond Virginia
May 14th, 2013
Sometimes brushing and flossing your teeth isn’t enough. Your teeth have tiny grooves in them that are so narrow that a toothbrush can’t fit inside to remove plaque. To prevent decay in the grooves, dentists can apply a plastic coating to the chewing surfaces of your back teeth. This is called dental sealant, and it acts as a barrier to prevent cavities. Sealants are easy, painless, and require no drilling. Let’s learn more about how this simple technique can put extra power behind your dental health.
How can dental sealants help?
Sealants provide complete protection from decay on the chewing surface of your teeth. Even when it’s placed over minimal decay, the sealant enables the decay to not worsen.
Who should get sealants?
The risk of developing decay begins early in life, so kids and teens are perfect candidates for sealants. Even adults may benefit from sealants. If a tooth already has a filling, then sealant is not applied to that tooth.
How are sealants applied?
The sealant is painted on the tooth enamel of the chewing surfaces of your back teeth, where it bonds into the grooves and hardens.
Why aren’t sealants used on all teeth?
The liquid plastic fills the grooves of your teeth, but it doesn’t work on your teeth’s smooth surfaces. That is why it is not used on the fronts, backs, and sides of teeth.
How long do they last?
Sealants withstand normal chewing, and usually last two to four years before a reapplication is necessary. Sometimes sealants last up to ten years! Your dentist will monitor the condition of the sealants at your regular checkups, and reapply them if chipping or wearing occurs.
Are sealants the best way to prevent cavities?
While sealants can be a great way to help you protect your teeth from decay, they are not the only solution. You must continue your daily routine of brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing. Eating healthy foods and avoiding sugary and acidic foods is also helpful, as is seeing your dentist for regular checkups.
Richmond Virginia dentist – BRS Dentistry
May 8th, 2013
Tooth stains, chips, cracks, and discolorations can keep you from letting others see your teeth. If you are self-conscious about your smile, then dental veneers may be the answer for you. Veneers can correct a variety of imperfections and give you a natural, beautiful smile.
What are dental veneers?
Made from tooth-colored porcelain, veneers are attached to the front of your natural teeth. They feel just like the rest of your teeth, and are durable and do not irritate your gums. Since porcelain is resistant to stains, you’re able to eat and drink as you wish. Good oral hygiene helps keep veneers and your natural teeth strong and healthy.
What are the benefits of getting veneers?
There’s a reason that veneers are one of the most popular options in cosmetic dentistry. They provide a solution to many problems and can dramatically improve the appearance of your smile. Veneers are the answer for tough stains or discolorations that can’t be repaired by teeth whitening. They can also make your teeth look straight and even. Veneers provide an answer for chipped or broken teeth too.
Are there any disadvantages?
The main thing to remember is that your original tooth might need to be reshaped to a smaller size and shape to allow the new, thin coating of the veneer to be placed over it. The coating will make your tooth look like a normal, perfectly shaped tooth. However, if the veneer is ever removed, it would need to be replaced to keep your smile looking nice. Dental veneers are a life-long solution to creating your best smile.
Porcelain Veneers Richmond VA
April 28th, 2013
Brushing and flossing your teeth mean more than just maintaining a nice smile. These dental hygiene techniques may help save your life! Studies suggest a link between your oral health and cardiovascular, or heart, disease. Heart disease is a leading cause of death in America, and many people are affected without even knowing it. So can those inexpensive, everyday dental tools on your bathroom counter actually help you lower your risk of heart disease?
How dental hygiene helps
Proper brushing gets rid of plaque buildup and harmful bacteria residing in your mouth. Daily flossing decreases the germs and plaque in between your teeth and in areas your toothbrush can’t reach. Performing these tasks well decreases your risks of gum disease, which is believed to be a link from your mouth to heart disease. People with gum disease are nearly twice as likely to have coronary artery disease then those with healthy gums. Gum disease patients have a higher risk of heart attack. Studies also suggest that heart disease may be linked to other mouth problems like cavities and missing teeth.
How your heart is impacted by your mouth
Bacteria from your mouth can get into your bloodstream through your gums. Experts theorize that the bacteria stays in the blood and contributes to blockages. Another possibility is that your body responds to the invading bacteria by becoming inflamed. As the bacteria goes through your body, the blood cells swell and narrow your arteries, leading to a higher risk of clots. Blood clots can block normal blood flow, and restrict nutrients and oxygen to your heart.
See your dentist
Heart disease can be difficult to catch in its early stages, because sometimes there are no symptoms. In many cases, patients aren’t seeing a heart specialist. That means regular visits to your dentist can be a great way to catch early warning signs of oral health problems that may be linked to heart problems.
Dentist is Richmond VA
April 21st, 2013
Reaching for a sports drink may seem like a smart way to rehydrate during a big game or after completing your exercise regimen, but you may not be as educated as you think. Consumption of sports drinks is on the rise, with 62 percent of American teenagers drinking at least one a day. That’s why it’s important to inform consumers that these drinks which are touted to help your body can also take a toll on your health, at least on your oral health. Let’s find out exactly how sports drinks can negatively impact your teeth.
What makes sports drinks harmful?
You might guess that sugar is what makes these drinks less appealing. It’s true that you should avoid the brands heavy in sugar, but that’s actually not your teeth’s biggest enemy in sports drinks. It’s the high acid content that presents the most danger. Researchers have found that sports drinks have so much acid that they can start damaging your teeth after just five days of regular consumption.
Aren’t they better than drinking soda?
Most people choose these drinks thinking they will enhance their sports performance, and that they’re a better option than soda. Sports drinks are not that different than soda because they contain as much or more sugar. It’s simply not true that sports drinks are healthier for your teeth than soda.
What kind of damage can they do?
The acid in sports drinks can cause irreversible damage to your teeth. They erode your enamel, which is the shiny outer layer of your teeth, causing them to become sensitive to temperature changes and to touch. It also increases your risk of decay and cavities.
How can I avoid harming my teeth?
If you just can’t give up sports drinks, at least try to minimize the amount you consume. Rinse your mouth with water afterwards, but don’t brush your teeth immediately because it might spread the acid around your mouth. Wait about an hour for the pH level in your mouth to normalize, and then brush. You can also chew sugarless gum after having a sports drink, which increases your saliva flow and helps to return your mouth’s acidity levels back to normal.
Family & Cosmetic Dentist in Richmond VA
April 14th, 2013
If you’re embarrassed by your smile for whatever reason, transforming it into a beautiful smile may be a real possibility. You don’t have to go through life afraid to laugh, or hiding your teeth behind your hand when you get close to others. From teeth whitening to implants to straightening techniques, your dentist can use the latest technologies to help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted. Aside from just wanting a nicer smile, what are some common reasons that people choose to makeover their smiles?
If you are self-conscious about your teeth, it affects your attitude and ability to feel at ease. With a restored smile, you will be able to laugh freely instead of holding back or concentrating on hiding your smile. Your confidence level will increase and you’ll feel better, especially in social and business situations.
Your stress level will go down when you are no longer full of anxiety created by feelings of embarrassment about your old smile. Plus, smiling more often has been shown to reduce stress symptoms such as high blood pressure, poor digestion, and unbalanced blood sugar. Your physical and your emotional health can both benefit from a smile makeover.
The more you smile, the better you feel in general. Your feelings of happiness also are noticed by others, who will enjoy being around the new you. Your improved smile will improve your mood, which can even rub off on those around you!
Don’t forget the benefit that a smile makeover has on all those family photos. You may have a long history of a subdued expression or a smile with closed lips, but those days can be gone when your restored smile is bright and beautiful. You can show off your smile to everyone.
Richmond VA Cosmetic Dentist at BRS Dentistry
April 11th, 2013
The word cancer strikes fear and dismay in most people, and it’s no different when the diagnosis is oral cancer. Nearly 37,000 Americans are diagnosed with this disease each year and about 8,000 succumb to it. You should know the risk factors and symptoms so that you can either avoid it completely, or catch it early enough that you’ll have the best chance of recovery.
Who is at risk?
Oral cancer is not contagious, but there are some activities that put you at higher risk for the disease. Both smoked and smokeless tobacco are linked to oral cancer, and the more you use tobacco the greater your risk becomes. Excessive alcohol consumption also increases your risk, and paired with tobacco use your risk is even higher. Sun exposure heightens your chances of developing cancer of the lip.
What are the symptoms?
Oral cancer patients may experience any of these signs of the disease:
• A sore in the mouth or throat that bleeds often and doesn’t heal within two weeks
• A thick area or lump in the cheek
• Patches in your mouth or on your lips that are red, white, or a mixture of the two
• Pain or difficulty swallowing
• Difficulty wearing your dentures
• A sore throat
• Tongue or mouth numbness
• Difficulty chewing, or moving your jaw or tongue
What should I do if I have symptoms?
If you notice any of these signs, visit your dentist right away to get screened for oral cancer. When diagnosed early, there is an 80 percent survival rate. Unfortunately many patients wait too long to see their dentist, and late-stage diagnosis is the reason for most oral cancer deaths.
Richmond VA Dentist
March 30th, 2013
If you have decided to update your image, you want to select a cosmetic dentist who has the training and vision to create your dream smile. Cosmetic dentistry is not recognized as a dental specialty so any dentist can claim the title of cosmetic dentist. Picking the wrong person can cause you lots of hassle and possibly even some pain. These tips will help you find the right dentist to transform your smile:
Get a referral.
Talk to friends, colleagues, and relatives to gather recommendations. Word of mouth can give you names of dentists the people close to you trust.
Use the Internet.
Surf the Web for cosmetic practices in your area. Many dentists have Web sites that will give you a glimpse into the services and personalities of potential candidates.
Visit the practice.
Once you have a list of possible dentists, schedule a consultation so that you can meet with the doctor and get a sense about the office. Some people prefer a warm, homey feel while others want a practice with state-of-the-art facilities and technology.
Review before and after photos.
Seeing actual pictures of patients a cosmetic dentist has treated will give you an idea of whether that doctor could be the right person to enhance your smile.
Discuss education and experience.
You only get one smile, so you want to make sure the cosmetic dentist you choose has a certain level of skill before you begin treatment. For certain procedures, like porcelain veneers, you want to find a dentist who consistently performs this service, which will help keep the doctor up-to-date on the latest advances.
Cosmetic dentist in Richmond VA
March 22nd, 2013
In the past, metal (also known as amalgam) fillings were the only choice for repairing teeth. Fortunately, dental science has made many advancements, giving dentists and patients a better option – composite fillings. Not only do the composite (tooth-colored) fillings look more attractive, but they provide other benefits as well.
For more than 150 years, metal dental fillings were composed of silver, tin, mercury, and zinc. These fillings are fairly inexpensive and can last a while. However, with time the metal fillings can change shape and may even start to leak. Additionally, metal fillings can turn gray, which doesn’t help your smile look its best. Recently, concerns have been raised about the mercury in amalgam fillings and whether this exposure to this chemical might cause health issues. Some people are opting to have old metal fillings removed. Talk with your dentist if you are worried about amalgam fillings.
During the last two decades, composite fillings have become the gold standard for tooth restoration. Made from resin, which is a synthetic compound, composite fillings look like your natural teeth so they blend in with your smile. Tooth-colored fillings also require less removal of healthy tooth structure, allowing dentists to perform more conservative restorations. Because the composite fillings actually bond to the tooth, these fillings won’t change over the years.
At one time, composite fillings were much more expensive than their metal counterparts. As composites have improved, more insurance companies are covering these restorations. Check with your specific plan to find out what types of fillings your benefits will allow.
Our dental team at BRS Dentistry in Richmond VA cares about your smile. Give us a call today!
March 16th, 2013
For years, people have been warned about the dangers of smoking. We all know that smoking affects your overall wellbeing, straining your heart and lungs. Many people don’t realize that smoking can also damage your oral health. While you may dislike the yellow stains caused by the nicotine in cigarettes, smoking can cause even bigger problems for your gums and oral tissues.
One of the big concerns with smoking is the risk of oral cancer. Though smoking is often associated with lung cancer, smokers are at an increased risk of developing oral cancer. Some individuals have switched to chewing tobacco because they think it is a healthier alternative, but it actually elevates your oral cancer risk.
Another issue caused by smoking is gum disease. Compared to non-smokers, individuals who smoke are six times more likely to develop gum disease or other problems. Treating gum disease is also more difficult because smoking reduces the body’s ability to heal. As well, research has shown that smokers have less good bacteria in their mouth and more of the bad bacteria, which makes fighting gum disease harder.
The best choice for your oral health would be to stop smoking completely. Because many people have both a physical and psychological addiction to smoking, it can be difficult to quit. Ask your dentist or doctor for recommendations about programs to help you stop smoking. Until you quit, make sure to let your dentist know about your smoking habit. Your dentist may recommend more frequent checkups to protect your oral health.
General Dentist in Richmond Virginia treating Gum Disease