Protect Yourself Against Oral Cancer

April 21st, 2016

It may not be one of the most publicized types of cancer, but oral cancer kills more people than cervical, testicular, or liver cancer. In fact, one American loses the battle against oral cancer every hour. The good news is that if it’s diagnosed in the early stages, there is a 90 percent survival rate for the disease. Early detection is the key.

Are you at risk for oral cancer?
Men are at a higher risk of oral cancer, and tobacco use increases your risk. Age also plays a role in your oral cancer risk. Even so, 25 percent of victims of oral cancer have no specific risk factors.

What are the warning signs?
Common symptoms of oral cancer include unexplained mouth bleeding, unusual bumps or thickenings, hoarse voice or changes in your voice, changes in the color of your oral tissues, and difficulty chewing or swallowing. Sometimes your dentist can detect problem areas even before symptoms arise, so it’s important to maintain regular checkups even if you don’t notice symptoms.

What can I do to prevent oral cancer?

  • Pay attention to the warning signs, and don’t ignore your body. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Quit using tobacco and alcohol, both of which increase your cancer risk.
  • Eat a balanced diet, rich in fruits and vegetables.
  • Stay out of the sun as much as possible, and use sunscreen on your lips when you are outside.
  • Examine your lips, gums, tongue, cheeks, and the roof of your mouth yourself regularly.
  • See your dentist routinely. In addition to thorough checkups, some dentists use special screening tools to looks for oral cancer. You should visit your dentist every six months.

Oral Cancer Screening Richmond VA

Common Kids Dental Emergencies

April 14th, 2016

Kids will be kids, and emergencies happen that can affect the mouth. To avoid long-term damage, extensive pain, or unsightly results, it’s important to know what to do in a dental emergency. Let’s learn what you should do when your child has one of the following common oral problems.

Severe toothache
Look for food stuck between the teeth, and if so try to dislodge it with floss. Clean the affected tooth and rinse the mouth well with warm water. Swollen gums may indicate an infection, which requires a dental visit. Facial swelling can be relieved with cold compresses, but if it accompanies severe pain you should take your child to the dentist or emergency room. Try giving over-the-counter pain reliever, but don’t place the medication directly on the gum or tooth.

Chipped tooth
If your child chips a tooth, contact your dentist immediately. Fast action can help save the tooth, reduce the risk of infection, and prevent extensive procedures. Have your child rinse with cold water. If you can find the tooth fragment, take it to the dentist in case it can be bonded back in place.

Knocked out tooth
The first thing to do is locate the missing tooth. Hold it by the crown instead of the root, and rinse it gently. Try replacing the tooth back in the socket, and have your child bite a piece of gauze or cloth to hold it in place until you get to the dentist. If you can’t insert it, place it in a cup of cold milk to take with you. Time is important in saving a displaced tooth, so see your child’s dentist immediately.

Cut lip, tongue, or cheek
Ensure your child’s teeth are undamaged, and apply firm pressure with a moist washcloth or teabag to the bleeding area. If it doesn’t stop in fifteen minutes, call your child’s dentist or head to the emergency room. If the tongue is bleeding, there’s not much you can do except wait to see if it stops bleeding on its own within fifteen minutes. If not, visit the dentist or emergency room.

Kids dentist in Richmond Virginia

Achieve the White Smile You Have Always Wanted

April 7th, 2016

As we age, our teeth naturally yellow and look darker. The foods we eat and lifestyle choices we make can also hasten this process. If you would love to enjoy a bright, vibrant smile, several different options exist to help you attain the desired results.

Having a gorgeous set of pearly whites can boost confidence and improve self esteem, so why not make an investment in yourself?

In-Office Whitening
With chairside whitening, your dentist can remove discolorations and brighten teeth up to 10 shades in one appointment. Products such as Zoom! Whitening or BriteSmile can make you look and feel years younger.

Professional Take-Home Kits
Some individuals prefer to whiten on their own timetables or to control the level of brightness. At-home whitening produces stunning results in just 10 to 14 days. Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth and send these molds off to a lab for creation of your custom trays. Simply apply the professional-strength gel as directed by your dentist, and wear the trays for the specified time period.

Store-Bought Whiteners
These days, you can find rows of whitening products at your local grocer or drug store. Although these options are much cheaper than professional whitening through your dentist, over-the-counter whitening agents may not work as well and they can cause sensitivity or damage to teeth or gums if not used properly. It’s best to whiten your teeth under the guidance of your dentist.

Home Remedies
You should always be careful about what you try at home, but these simple tips can temporarily give your smile a little pizzazz:

  • Use a toothpaste with baking soda, which lightens stains
  • Eat crunchy foods like carrots, apples, and celery to naturally remove surface stains
  • Choose clothes with dark colors to help bring out the white in your smile

Bright, new smiles at BRS Dentistry, Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Richmond Virginia.

What is a Dental Emergency?

March 28th, 2016

Sometimes an injury or tooth pain can occur suddenly, and immediate dental care may be required. It’s not always obvious when a problem needs emergency care, but some dental emergencies do need to be treated quickly to avoid infections or permanent damage.

Here’s a guide to situations that are usually considered dental emergencies.

  • Cracked or broken tooth – contact your dentist immediately. Rinse your mouth with water and hold a cold compress to the affected area until you can get to your dentist’s office.
  • Excessive bleeding with lip or tongue bite – clean the area and use a cold compress. Go to the emergency room if the bleeding is severe or won’t stop.
  • Jaw injury – if you think you may have broken your jaw, apply a cold pack and immediately to your dentist’s office or the emergency room.
  • Knocked out tooth –rinse the root of the lost tooth if it’s dirty. Do not scrub or removed any tissue left on the tooth. Try reinserting the tooth into its socket, but if that isn’t successful, see your dentist right away. Placing the lost tooth in milk may help preserve the tooth until you can get professional help.
  • Loose tooth – see your dentist immediately if one of your teeth is loosened. Take over-the-counter pain reliever if needed, and apply a cold compress.
  • Lost crown or filling – place the crown or filling in a safe place and contact your dentist. To decrease sensitivity, you may apply clove oil and dental cement available at your drugstore, but only if you’ve gotten approval from your dentist.
  • Severe or sudden toothache – rinse your mouth with warm water and gently floss around the tooth. Contact your dentist if your toothache persists.
  • Swelling – painful swelling in your mouth may indicate an abscess, which is an infected area of pus that can become serious. See your dentist as soon as possible, and try rinsing your mouth with saltwater in the meantime.

Emergency Dentistry Richmond VA

Pregnancy and Your Dental Health

March 21st, 2016

Having a baby is usually a time for celebration in a woman’s life. With pregnancy, your body changes in obvious ways and in some not so noticeable areas, including inside your mouth. According to the American Dental Association, not taking proper care of your teeth and gums can impact your pregnancy and your overall health, as well as contribute to future oral health concerns.

When a woman is pregnant, hormone production increases and blood flow rises dramatically, between 30 and 50 percent. Because of the extra estrogen and progesterone, as well as the increased blood flow, about half of pregnant women develop pregnancy gingivitis, which can create swollen, bleeding, or sensitive gums. In fact, severe gum disease has been linked to premature birth, so it’s important to take the condition seriously. Practicing good oral habits, like brushing twice a day and flossing regularly, will help with the symptoms. During your second trimester, schedule a visit to the dentist for a checkup and cleaning; your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings during pregnancy to keep your mouth healthy.

If you have a problem arise during your pregnancy, contact your dentist right away. Most dentists will only perform fillings, root canals, or extractions during the second trimester and only if the procedure can’t be postponed until after the birth. If work must be done, your dentist will take every precaution to minimize risks to you and your baby. To be safe, a local injection of novocaine or lidocaine is the best choice for anesthesia. Usually, X-rays are avoided completely during pregnancy,

Dental Care During Pregnancy Richmond VA

Biomimetic Dentistry: The Future is Now

March 17th, 2016

Designed to imitate nature and preserve your teeth, biomimetic dentistry focuses on restoring weak, damaged, and decayed teeth to keep them strong and prevent bacterial invasion. With biomimetic dentistry, dentists study the properties of nature to duplicate them in their patients’ mouth. The goal is to rebuild teeth with materials that look, feel, and hold up more like natural teeth do.

In the past, dentists had to remove healthy tooth structure to place amalgam fillings and traditional dental crowns. Biomimetic dentistry encourages dentist to bond materials with the tooth to preserve its structure and integrity. These methods limit the amount of healthy tooth structure that is removed and offer more durable results. Reduction in cutting down teeth for inlays, onlays, root canals, and dental crowns is also promoted as a biomimetic dentistry idea.

Modern materials like solid ceramics and dental porcelain complement biomimetic dentistry. Whereas traditional metal fillings can leak or change shape over time, today’s restorations are designed to keep healthy tooth structure in tact. As well, sealing off the tooth against infection will protect the area from the threat of infection.

The concept of biomimetic dentistry has been in existence for the last 25 years. Researchers have worked at renowned universities in Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Japan, Italy, Turkey, the U.S., and many other countries to hone these ideas and share them within the dental community. Proponents of biomimetic dentistry in the United States have included Ray Bertolotti, John Kois, and John Kanca III.

Family Dentistry in Richmond Virginia

The 411 on Toothpaste Varieties

March 17th, 2016

Television commercials and print ads inundate consumers with toothpaste options that promise to provide whiter, healthier smiles. All these choices can cause you to wander aimlessly down the toothpaste aisle feeling overwhelmed. Understanding what these products really offer can help you find the right toothpaste for your family.

Follow these helpful hints as you make your selection:

Fluoride matters
No matter what you want, from tartar-control to breath-freshening toothpastes, choose a product with fluoride. Brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste can reduce tooth decay by up to 40 percent.

Watch for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal
Only toothpastes that have the scientific data to back up their claims and that meet the ADA’s criteria for safety and effectiveness receive this seal. Stay away from any product that doesn’t have the ADA stamp on it.

Whitening pastes actually work
Although the results are temporary, whitening toothpastes will brighten your smile. These products contain mild abrasives that erase surface stains on your teeth and more effectively remove those stains, so you should notice a difference in how white your teeth look.

Technique matters more than the toothpaste
Even with the best toothpaste on the market, you won’t see exceptional results if you don’t brush correctly. Place the brush at a 45-degree angle to get some of the bristles in between the tooth and the gums; then, make small, circular motions until you cover your entire mouth.

The ingredients might surprise you
Many people don’t realize that toothpastes actually contain things like seaweed and detergent. For instance, seaweed colloids, mineral colloids, and natural gums are used as common thickening agents. Also found in many shampoos and body washes, sodium lauryl sulfate creates the foaming action we experience and is deemed 100 percent safe by the ADA.

BRS Dentistry in Richmond VA

What an Oral Surgeon Can Do for You

February 28th, 2016

The idea of any type of surgery can be a frightening concept, but sometimes oral surgery is the best way to solve issues. Some surgeries are cosmetic, and others are necessary to save teeth or improve your health. Here are some common ways that an oral surgeon treats patients.

Impacted teeth
Instead of erupting normally, teeth sometimes grow sideways or get stuck. It can cause a great deal of pain when teeth erupt sideways or are trapped beneath, which may also negatively impact adjacent teeth. Oral surgery is needed in such cases to extract the impacted tooth or teeth. One of the most common examples of impacted teeth are wisdom teeth, although it can occur in other teeth as well.

Dental implants
A great option to restore missing teeth is the technology of dental implants, which provide artificial roots and tooth. Implants are secure and permanent, giving you back a fully functional and normal looking smile. The reason that surgery is needed is to insert the titanium implant directly into your jaw bone, so that it fuses with your bone and then will be ready for an artificial tooth on top to complete the restoration.

Jaw problems
When the upper and lower jaws do not fit together correctly, oral surgery offers a way to repair the problem. The surgeon can make your jaws fit together perfectly when you close your mouth, alleviating any pain or deformity.

Cosmetic improvements
Many advancements in oral surgery treatment allow smiles that are damaged for a variety of reasons to be improved. Your entire look can be transformed with corrections made possible by an oral surgeon.


Richmond Va dental office

Stop the Pop!!

February 21st, 2016

Whether you call it pop, soda, soft drink, or something else, these terms all refer to a sugary, carbonated drink popular all over the country. It is estimated that Americans consume over 13 billion gallons of soft drinks each year. These beverages can cause serious health problems, including negative effects on your oral health.

Soft drinks are one of the most significant reasons for tooth decay, and it impacts all age groups. From babies drinking it out of bottles to teenagers drinking it all day long to older adults sipping it in retirement homes, it is deteriorating tooth enamel and eroding gums of everyone who consumes it.

Why are soft drinks harmful?

The high sugar content in the drinks is the root cause of trouble, and the high acid content adds to the threat. The sugar combines with bacteria in your mouth to create an acid, which adds to the acid from the drink itself. Then this mixture attacks your teeth. Each time you take a drink of the carbonated beverage, an acid attack begins in your mouth. During this time, your tooth enamel is weakened and cavities are just waiting to form. You may think that the risk goes away by drinking sugar-free soft drinks. Although these are less harmful, they are still acidic and can lead to decay.

How can I avoid harming my teeth?

The ideal way to rule out risks from soft drinks is to cut them out of your diet completely. If you think you just can’t live without them, here are some suggestions:

  • Drink more water.
  • Set a good example. Drink alternatives yourself and encourage your kids to do the same.
  • Sip with straws. This helps keep the sugar from direct contact with your teeth.
  • Rinse with water. After drinking a soda, rinse your mouth with water to reduce the amount of sugar and acid hanging onto your teeth and gums.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinse. Using fluoride in your daily dental routine helps to reduce decay and strengthen enamel. Also ask your dentist about the possible need for professional fluoride treatments.


General dentist in Richmond VA

Reasons that Dental Veneers Are a Popular Choice

February 14th, 2016

Broken, chipped, stained, or crooked teeth can ruin an otherwise nice smile. Minor flaws like these can be easily corrected with dental veneers. They are a popular way to whiten, straighten, and improve smiles to get long-lasting and natural-looking results. Here are some reasons that veneers are chosen by many people wanting to change their look.

Better smile
Veneers are thin porcelain shells customized to fit securely onto the front surfaces of your teeth. They hide problems and fit in beautifully with the rest of your features. Your smile will be made brand new.

No more stains
Yellow or stained teeth can really make a smile look unattractive. Some discolorations are very hard to get rid of, even with professional cleanings or whitening. Veneers instantly brighten your smile to the shade of your choice, and resist stains so that you no longer have to worry about the foods and drinks you consume.

Straighter teeth
If your teeth alignment problems aren’t major and you don’t want to go to the hassles or expense of braces, veneers may be a solution. They go right over crooked teeth to create a straight smile.

Quick results
Veneers can be provided in just a couple of office visits. You will have a short time between getting temporary and permanent veneers attached, but once they are in you’ll immediately have an improved smile.

Long lasting
Veneers can last a lifetime if you take proper care of them. Regular brushing, flossing, and checkups will help ensure a sparkling smile for many years to come.

Few risks
Side effects with veneers are nearly non-existent. There may be some initial discomfort, but it subsides quickly and can be treated with over-the-counter medications. The only thing to remember is that veneers are permanent. Since a small amount of tooth enamel is removed to accommodate the veneers, you’ll have them forever or will need to get replacements at some point.


Richmond cosmetic dentists

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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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