Archive for December, 2015

Dispelling Denture Myths

Monday, December 28th, 2015

When considering dentures to replace your missing teeth, you may be deterred by the wide array of myths that exist. The fact is, with proper fit, maintenance and dental care, dentures can help you achieve your best health and appearance. Some of the common myths regarding wearing dentures include:

“Dentures look fake and everyone will know I’m wearing them!” Poor fit, stains or an unpleasant odor from improperly maintained dentures are the main cause of this myth. Regular dental examinations followed by vigilant home care are essential steps to assuring a more natural appearance to your dentures.

“Denture wearers aren’t able to eat normally or speak properly.” Wearing dentures has very little effect on your speech or the types of food you can eat. Again, these problems are created most often from a poor fit, which can be addressed and corrected by your dentist.

“I will have to use messy adhesives in order to wear dentures all day.” Dentures are made to fit precisely and should not require an adhesive to ensure comfort. If your dentures are requiring constant use of an adhesive to stay in place, you should see your dentist immediately.

“I’ll suffer without teeth for days if I have to bring my denture in for fitting or repair.” Advances in modern dentistry allow your dentist to reline or repair your dentures quickly. Often, the correction can be made right in the office on the same day in as little as one hour.

To dispel any of other myths you may have heard and find out more about how dentures can help to improve both your oral health and appearance, schedule a consultation with your dentist.

Dental Care and Chemotherapy

Monday, December 21st, 2015

Cancer patients usually have so many doctor appointments, medications, and concerns that the last thing on your mind is your teeth. However, your oral health should not be forgotten during treatment such as chemotherapy. Researchers have learned that good dental hygiene for cancer patients can mean a quicker recovery, and that neglecting oral care can jeopardize your overall health. Oncologists may instruct patients not to visit the dentist while undergoing cancer treatment, but there are still steps you can take to maintain your oral health in the meantime.

What can chemotherapy do to my teeth?
Chemotherapy releases toxic chemicals into your body to kill cancerous cells. It is hard on your body, taking a toll on other cells like bone marrow and hair follicles. Chemotherapy also weakens the immune system and can lead to excessive bleeding. Preventative actions are important during treatment so you can protect your body from further illness.

Is a healthy mouth more important for chemotherapy patients?
Chemotherapy makes your body more vulnerable to infection and more fragile in general. It weakens your bones, including your jaw structure and support for your teeth. When your teeth are weak, there is more of a threat of decay. That provides a breeding ground for bacteria in your mouth, potentially leading to infection. If your body is weak and your immune system is hindered, infection can spread quickly and impact your entire health.

What can I do?
Proper brushing and flossing is the basis of good dental hygiene, allowing you to remove plaque. Dentists recommend brushing regularly with a soft-bristle toothbrush and may suggest specialized toothpaste for those undergoing cancer treatment. It may also help to use an alcohol-free antibacterial mouth rinse to kill bacteria in your mouth and wash away food particles. Cancer patients should not use products that dry out your mouth, because saliva is important to help clean inside your mouth so that bacteria can’t grow as easily.

 

 

Dentistry Richmond VA

Beating Bad Breath

Monday, December 14th, 2015

If you’re always covering your mouth and have a stash of breath mints in your pocket, you may be a victim of halitosis. Stinky breath is a universal problem that strikes many people, and in most cases is a result of poor dental hygiene. If you don’t brush and floss your teeth regularly, food particles may get stuck in your mouth and will begin to decay and produce bad odors.

What causes bad breath?

Certain foods and drinks are linked to halitosis, such as garlic, onions, cheese, soda, and orange juice. Also, bad breath can be caused by health conditions such as dry mouth, chronic diseases, and respiratory conditions. Tobacco use is another common cause of smelly breath.

How can I fight bad breath?

  • Avoid foods and drinks that are known to cause bad breath.
  • Brush your teeth for at least two minutes after every meal, and floss your teeth daily.
  • Brush your tongue to get rid of dead cells, especially the back of your tongue where bacteria often collects.
  • Drink plenty of water to maintain a moist and clean mouth. Don’t substitute other beverages, especially caffeinated ones, because water is really the best for treating and preventing halitosis.
  • Eat more vegetables and fruit each day, and eat less meat.
  • Visit your dentist for checkups at least twice a year for a thorough exam and cleaning.
  • Clean dental appliances daily, including dentures, bridges, and removable braces.
  • Chew sugarless gum or suck hard candy to stimulate saliva, which can help wash away bacteria and food particles.

What if my breath still stinks?

If you still feel you have bad breath after following these tips, see your dentist to find out what may be causing your halitosis. There may be a buildup of plaque that the dentist can remove, or perhaps you have gum disease that requires treatment. If your dentist can’t uncover the cause of your halitosis, you might need to visit your primary care doctor to see if there’s another physical reason for your bad breath.

 

Dentists in Richmond VA

The Lost Art of Flossing

Monday, December 7th, 2015

Flossing should be an important part of your dental routine. If it isn’t, you’re endangering your mouth and increasing your risks of plaque buildup and cavities. The goal of flossing is to remove plaque from between your teeth, in places where your toothbrush can’t reach. It also helps prevent gum disease. You should floss your teeth at least once daily, no excuses!

How should I floss?

It doesn’t matter if you begin on your top or bottom teeth, or in the front or back of your mouth. Just be sure to floss all your teeth on every side. Here are a few simple steps:

  • Wind about 18 inches of floss around each of your middle fingers. Pinch the floss between your thumbs and index fingers, allowing a 1-2 inch length in between. Use your thumbs to guide the floss between your teeth.
  • Keep the floss taut between your fingers, and gently move up and down in a sawing motion. Don’t snap the floss because that can damage your gums. Contour the floss around the sides of each tooth.
  • Slide the floss up and down next to your tooth surfaces and under your gum line. Floss the sides of every tooth, even if there isn’t a tooth next to each one. As you move to new teeth, unwind the floss and rewind it to access a clean section of floss each time.

Should I get a certain kind of floss?

Many types of floss are available from your dentist or drugstore. Some are waxed, flavored, or contain fluoride. Choose one that meets your needs and that you’ll be most likely to use.

Does it matter when I floss?

Try to floss before every tooth brushing, but always floss in the evening before your last brushing of the day. After flossing, brush your teeth and rinse with water.

What if I’m having trouble?

If you have difficulty using dental floss, try one of the many flossing aides available. Tools like disposable dental flossers or interdental cleaners can make flossing easier.

 

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