Posts Tagged ‘Brown Reynolds & Snow Oral Health’

Gum Care

Friday, June 28th, 2013

It’s easy to concentrate on getting your teeth clean so that you avoid cavities, but it’s important to also pay attention to your gums. They are not only important to your dental health, but also your whole body. Gum disease can lead to many problems, even tooth loss, and unhealthy gums have also been linked to health issues like heart disease and stroke. Take the following steps to keep your gums healthy so that you can reap the benefits in your whole wellbeing.

Brush
At least twice a day, brush your teeth using fluoride toothpaste. Clean every side of your teeth and brush your tongue. Consider using an electric toothbrush with rotating and oscillating action, because experts say it’s better at removing plaque than a manual toothbrush. With any toothbrush you use, don’t apply too much pressure or brush too vigorously because it can damage your gums.

Chew gum
If you can’t brush your teeth right away, chew sugarless gum containing xylitol.

Floss
Floss your teeth gently at least once every day, getting between your teeth and along your gum line. Try dental threaders or other tools if that’s easier for you.

Rinse
Use an antiseptic or a fluoride mouthwash to rinse your mouth thoroughly after brushing and flossing.

Check your progress
Consider using disclosing tablets occasionally to see if you are brushing well enough. These chewable tablets color any plaque left on your teeth, so that you can see if you are doing a good job. You can find disclosing tablets at most drugstores.

Visit your dentist
See your dentist twice a year for checkups and cleanings. Be sure to tell your dentist if you’ve been experiencing any signs of gum problems, such as bleeding or swelling.

Dental office in Richmond VA – BRS Dentistry

Ingredients for a Winning Smile

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

You’ve probably heard all your life about some foods that are bad for your teeth, but did you know there are other foods that are great for your oral health? Let’s learn about some food ingredients that will keep you smiling.

Salmon
Full of vitamin D, which helps your teeth get the full benefits of calcium from foods that you eat

Onions
Contain sulpher compounds and lowers bacteria that leads to tooth decay

Strawberries
High in fiber and vitamin C, these berries help keep gums healthy while scrubbing your teeth when you eat them

Pineapple
Creates a natural mouthwash by increasing saliva production and providing citric acid. Also contains vitamin C and an enzyme called Bromelain, which promotes healing in your mouth

Quinoa
Grain full of teeth-strengthening minerals like calcium, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus

Sesame Seeds
Scrubbing qualities reduce plaque, and calcium content aids your teeth

Shitaki Mushrooms
Contain a sugar called Lentinan, known to prevent mouth bacteria

Wasabi
Japanese horseradish containing compounds that hinder bacteria growth

Sea Salt
Has a blend of minerals that strengthen teeth

Xylitol
Sugar substitute that prevents tooth decay, and is beneficial to gums

Stevia
Natural sweetener that doesn’t create acid on your teeth like sugar does

What’s an Oral Irrigator?

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

Do you have memories from long ago of watching Grandma use her water pick to clean her teeth? You may think those days are gone and a water pick can only be found at garage sales, but these days they are called oral irrigators. You may want to try using one in your goal of achieving healthier teeth and gums.

An oral irrigator is a water jet used to rinse your mouth and gums, serving to remove food particles and lower bacteria levels. It has proven to be helpful for people with gingivitis, diabetes, orthodontic work, crowns, dental implants, as well as those without specific dental issues.

It is important to remember that an oral irrigator is an accompaniment to your other hygiene tasks. Continue your routine of brushing and flossing your teeth, and then use an oral irrigator. It can be helpful in cleaning the deeper areas where brushing and flossing can’t reach. Oral irrigators are easy to use because the handles are specially designed with angled nozzles to reach deep into your mouth and to hard-to-reach areas. You don’t have to spend a great deal of time using an irrigator; even 60 seconds is enough to aid in your oral health.

What are the benefits of using an oral irrigator? There are quite a few reasons that you might want to add this to your dental hygiene regime. These include:

• Reducing bacteria and the associated risk of gum disease.
• Removing unattached plaque. Studies show that using an irrigator along with brushing and flossing can allow you to remove 99 percent more plaque than brushing alone.
• Controlling gingivitis, especially in people who aren’t good about practicing other proper dental hygiene techniques. Studies suggest that gum health can be improved up to 93 percent compared to just brushing.
• Reducing bleeding along your gums.
• Improving bad breath by getting rid of bacteria in your mouth.
• Providing extra cleaning of your tongue, which also controls bacteria and bad breath.

When used with traditional home dental care techniques, oral irrigation may be an easy way to help you gain optimum oral health. Consider adding it to your routine today.

What it Takes to be a Dental Hygienist

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

Most dental practices today employ hygienists to perform a portion of the dental procedures at your office visit. Have you ever wondered about their role, and whether you should trust them to work with you in addition to your dentist? Let’s learn about how the job of a dental hygienist fits into your oral health care.

Health care professionals

Dental hygienists, also called dental assistants, are health care professionals. They assist dentists in providing oral care. Often, the dental hygienist is the first one during a checkup to examine your teeth and gums, perform the cleaning, and look for signs of disease or other issues. The hygienist works closely with your dentist in giving you the best oral care possible.

Training

Many dental hygienists achieve a two-year degree from an accredited dental hygienist school. A strong background in biology, chemistry, and math are required to prepare for such schools. Some hygienists obtain even further education, getting a bachelor’s or master’s degree in dental hygiene.

Licensing

All dental hygienists are required to be licensed by The American Dental Association. This involves a written test as well as a clinical exam in a work environment. Some states require additional testing related to topics such as ethics and patient confidentiality.

Qualities

As with most health care providers who work directly with patients, the personal qualities of a dental hygienist are important to their job success. Hygienists must have strong communication skills, so they can adequately instruct patients on things like oral hygiene. The job also requires patience to work with a variety of people and ages. Hygienists need good manual dexterity to be able to use sharp instruments in small spaces, and they must provide good patient care during dental procedures. Finally, hygienists should be able to function as part of a team with the others in the dental office.

Troublesome Canker Sores

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Having a sore inside your mouth can be painful, and make eating and talking uncomfortable. From 20%-40% of Americans develop canker sores, which are small shallow ulcers that occur on the mucous membranes inside the mouth. They are not contagious, but many people have them multiple times. If you are one of those people, you’ll want to know more about them and what you can do to avoid them.

How do you get canker sores?
The exact cause of canker sores is unknown, but dentists have identified possible triggers. Oral trauma, stress, hormonal changes, certain drugs, and food allergies are some causes. Certain foods, like acidic or citrus fruits and vegetables, can trigger sores too. Sometimes a dental appliance can poke your mouth and cause a canker sore. Also, some underlying health conditions are known to lead to canker sores.

What are the symptoms?
Canker sores are usually painful, and can occur on the tongue, soft palate, or inside your cheeks. They are round, white or gray in color, and have a red border. Canker sores are not the same as cold sores. The most notable difference is that canker sores develop inside the mouth, while cold sores appear on the outside. Also, cold sores are contagious and canker sores are not.

How are canker sores treated?
Treatment usually isn’t needed because most canker sores go away on their own in a week or two. Pain often lessens in a few days. Check with your dentist if your sore is unusually large or painful, because mouth rinses or topical ointments may be prescribed for severe cases.

How do I avoid getting them?
Watching what you eat is the best way to avoid canker sores. Avoid foods that irritate your mouth, which may include spicy, acidic, or salty items. Don’t chew and talk at the same time so you won’t bite your mouth. If possible, try to reduce your stress levels. Brush with a soft toothbrush, and as always, follow good oral hygiene habits.

Dentists detect oral cancer

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

Oral cancer is a serious disease that strikes about 35,000 Americans yearly, with about 7,500 resulting deaths. The disease can affect any part of the mouth, lips, or back of the throat. Regular dental checkups are an important way to make sure this disease doesn’t affect you. At each dentist visit, your whole mouth should be examined for signs of precancerous spots. Sometimes trained professionals can recognize warning signs before you’re able to notice them yourself.

Who is at risk for oral cancer?

Risk factors for oral cancer include using tobacco, consuming heavy amounts of alcohol, eating an unhealthy diet, and getting too much sun. Also, people over age 40 are at higher risk and oral cancer is twice as common in men over women.

Signs of oral cancer

If you experience any of these symptoms for over two weeks, see your dentist for an examination:
• A sore, lump, irritation, or rough patch in your mouth, throat, or lips
• A feeling like something is stuck in your throat
• A white or red bump in your mouth
• Difficulty chewing or swallowing
• A swollen jaw
• Numbness on your tongue or in your mouth
• Problems moving your tongue or jaw
• Dentures that don’t fit
• A mouth or lip sore that bleeds easily or won’t heal
• Change in your mouth color
• Ear pain without hearing loss

Regular dental checkups

If your dentist finds anything suspicious, cells may be collected and sent to a lab for testing. If precancerous cells are present, treatment often involves surgical removal of the lesion. The tissue will be tested to determine if it’s oral cancer, and radiation or further treatment may be necessary. The risk of oral cancer is just one more reason it’s in your best interest to regularly visit your dentist.

Autoimmune Diseases and Your Oral health

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

More than 23 million Americans have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, which can affect various parts of the body depending on the type of disease. Basically, the body’s immune system mistakenly identifies some part of its own body as a foreign enemy and attacks it. The mouth is not safe from the effects of autoimmune disease. Even though the disease may not be attacking the mouth itself, the effects from the disease on the body may indeed impact the oral area. Here are some common autoimmune diseases and how they affect oral health.

Lupus
Over 50% of lupus patients develop sores on the lips, palate, and inside the cheeks. These lesions may be treated with topical ointments. Lupus patients also often experience dry mouth, increasing the risks of cavities and gum disease. Regular dental checkups are vital. Another potential oral problem is TMJ, which is a painful problem at the joints where the jaw comes together. A dentist can provide treatment options for TMJ as well.

Rheumatoid arthritis
Although it is a disease that causes joint inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis has been linked to gum disease. Good oral hygiene, regular dentist visits, and eating a balanced diet are all ways to reduce risks of tooth decay and gum disease. Also, some of the medicines for treating rheumatoid arthritis can irritate or dry out the mouth. A dentist may recommend extra fluoride or other treatments to help.

Sjögren’s syndrome
The main oral effect of Sjögren’s syndrome is xerostomia, which is severe lack of saliva. This can worsen the risks of cavities, gum disease, oral fungal infection, and bad breath. Patients may also become more sensitive to spicy foods, and problems may arise with wearing dentures due to the mouth dryness. Oral treatments related to Sjögren’s include at-home fluoride application and frequent teeth cleanings.

Scleroderma
This disease often restricts the jaw from opening as wide as normal, and making it move less easily. Scleroderma may make it hard to clean the back teeth, and difficult for the dentist to provide dental care. It is often tricky for the dentist to treat scleroderma patients with dentures, appliances, and crowns. Therefore, it is very important to maintain healthy teeth and gums to avoid future problems.

The Most Dangerous Sports for your Mouth

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

If asked which sports cause the most mouth injuries, would you answer hockey or football? If so, you would be wrong! As a result of increased safety precautions, injuries have dropped in those areas but remain high in other popular sports. Let’s learn about which sports pose the most dental risk.

Statistics
Dentists estimate that nearly 40 percent of mouth injuries occur while playing sports. Roughly 80 percent of those affect at least one of the front teeth. In fact, sports injuries are so common that an entire specialty has developed called Sports Dentistry to focus on the treatment and prevention of oral/facial athletic injuries.

Sports that cause dental injuries
Injuries to the mouth are commonly caused by high-impact sports, as well as individual sports where falls are often a risk. Team sports that report the majority of injuries include basketball, baseball, soccer, field and ice hockey, softball, and football. Risky individual sports are cycling, skiing, snowboarding, boxing, gymnastics, skateboarding, martial arts, horseback riding, and rollerblading.

Types of injuries
Minor dental injuries include a chip or crack in the tooth, and lacerations caused by biting the inside of the mouth. Athletes can lose teeth and suffer nerve damage. More serious injuries include fractures of the jaw, cheekbones, or eye sockets. Fractures may lead to trouble breathing, speaking, eating, or swallowing.

Injury prevention
Dentists believe that most sports injuries could have been prevented by wearing a mouth guard. It can limit the risk of injuries to an athlete’s lips, tongue, soft mouth tissues, and teeth. Mouth guards are made for athletes of all levels and ages, and may also be worn by those with braces.

Is it Time to Replace My Toothbrush?

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Brushing your teeth is obviously one of the most important ways to keep those pearly whites healthy and looking good. But that smile won’t last if you don’t take care of your toothbrush and change it frequently. Many Americans switch toothbrushes only a couple of times per year, but that’s not nearly enough!

When should I change my toothbrush?
• Replace your toothbrush at least every three to four months.
• Get a new one if the bristles show signs of wearing out, such as becoming frayed or out of shape.
• Change your toothbrush after an illness such as a cold or flu.
• If you use an electric toothbrush, replace the heads just as often as you would a disposable toothbrush.
• Children and people with braces should replace their toothbrushes even more often because of increased bristle wear and uneven strokes.

Why should I get a new one?
Toothbrushes can harbor millions of bacteria, so it makes sense to replace it with a fresh one to ensure good dental hygiene. Also the bristles wear out, making it much less effective at removing plaque than an old toothbrush. Worn toothbrushes can even damage gum tissue.

How should I care for my toothbrush?
• Store it upright instead of lying down.
• Don’t store it near a toilet, where flushing can spray bacteria into the air.
• Rinse it thoroughly with water after each use.
• Let it dry between brushings and avoid toothbrush covers and drawer storage, because a moist environment breeds bacteria growth.
• Don’t share your toothbrush with anyone else, and don’t even store them side-by-side. This will prevent cross-contamination.

What about sanitizing it myself?
There is no proof that toothbrush sanitizers have a substantial effect on oral health. Other cleaning methods like putting your toothbrush in the dishwasher or microwave oven could damage the brush. The best way to limit bacteria is to get a new toothbrush!

How to Deal with Bad Breath

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Approximately one in four Americans deals with halitosis, or chronic bad breath. Though this problem isn’t fatal, bad breath can make you feel unattractive, embarrassed, and self-conscious around others. Most people experience bouts of bad breath, usually caused by eating too much garlic or drainage from a head cold. If you tend to have frequent episodes of bad breath, talk with your dentist about how to address this issue.

Other tips to curb halitosis include:

Keep up with home care
When you neglect your oral hygiene routine, like brushing and flossing, food stays trapped between teeth. As a result, you may develop halitosis, and your risk for issues like cavities and gum disease also rises.

Remember your tongue
While brushing and flossing are critical for fresh breath, don’t forget to clean your tongue as well. This organ attracts bacteria and can become a breeding ground for foul odors.

Drink plenty of water
Hydrating your mouth keeps it moist and lessens the chances of dry mouth, another culprit that produces halitosis. Drinking water also helps rinses your mouth of food debris and bacteria.

Clean dental appliances
Dentures, retainers, and other oral appliances can harbor bacteria, which may contribute to bad breath. When you take out your device, make sure to wash and clean it thoroughly to remove food particles and bacteria.

Cut out tobacco use
Not only does smoking or chewing tobacco increase your risk for oral cancer, but these habits also dry out your mouth and leave a bad smell behind.

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804.886.3316

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