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    • 25 MAR 15
    • 0

    Does Your Mouth Feel Like The Sahara Desert?

    What to do if you suffer from xerostomia (dry mouth)

    Do you go through life with your mouth constantly dry? Does it feel like the Sahara Desert has taken up residence in your mouth? If you answered yes, then you may be suffering from xerostomia – commonly called dry mouth.

    Dry mouth is caused by a lack of saliva. We all need saliva to moisten and cleanse our mouths and digest food. Saliva also prevents infection by controlling bacteria and fungi in the mouth.

    sahara-desert-sand-dunesWhen you don’t make enough saliva, your mouth gets dry and uncomfortable. Fortunately, many treatments can help against dry mouth, also called xerostomia.

     

    What Causes Dry Mouth?

     

    Side effect of certain medications. Dry mouth is a common side effect of many prescription and nonprescription drugs, including drugs used to treat depression, anxiety, pain, allergies, colds, obesity, acne, epilepsy, hypertension, diarrhea, nausea, psychotic disorders, urinary incontinence, asthma and Parkinson’s disease. Dry mouth can also be a side effect of muscle relaxants and sedatives.

    Side effect of certain diseases and infections. Dry mouth can be a side effect of medical conditions, including HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, anemia, cystic fibrosis, Sjögren’s syndrome,  rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and mumps.

    Side effect of certain medical treatments. Damage to the salivary glands, the glands that make saliva, can reduce the amount of saliva produced. For example, the damage could stem from radiation to the head and neck, and chemotherapy treatments, for cancer.

    Nerve damageDry mouth can be a result of nerve damage to the head and neck area from an injury or surgery.

    DehydrationConditions that lead to dehydration, such as fever, excessive sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, blood loss, and burns can cause dry mouth.

    Surgical removal of the salivary glands.

    Smoking or chewing tobacco can affect how much saliva you make and aggravate dry mouth. Breathing with your mouth open a lot can also contribute to the problem.

     

    What Are the Symptoms of Dry Mouth?

     

    A sticky, dry feeling in the mouth

    Frequent thirst

    Sores in the mouth; sores or splitskin at the corners of the mouth; cracked lips

    A dry feeling in the throat

    A burning or tingling sensation in the mouth and especially on the tongue

    A dry, red, raw tongue

    Problems speaking or trouble tasting, chewing, and swallowing

    Hoarseness, dry nasal passages, sore throat

    Bad breath

     

    Why Is Dry Mouth a Problem?

     

    Besides causing the symptoms mentioned above, dry mouth also raises your risk of gingivitis (gum disease), tooth decay, and mouth infections, such as thrush.

    Dry mouth can also make it hard to wear dentures.

     

    How Is Dry Mouth Treated?

     

    If you think your dry mouth is caused by certain medication you’re taking, talk to your dentist at Personal Care Dentistry. He or she may suggest you check with your medical doctor to adjust the dose you’re taking or switch you to a different drug that doesn’t cause dry mouth.

    Your dentist at Personal Care Dentistry may also suggest an oral rinse such as Biotene to restore mouth moisture. If that doesn’t help, you may want to consider a medication that boosts saliva production called Salagen.

    You can also try these other steps, which may help improve saliva flow:

    Suck on sugar-free candy or chew sugar-free gum.

    Drink plenty of water to help keep your mouth moist.

    Brush with a fluoride toothpaste, use a fluoride rinse, and visit your dentist regularly.

    Breathe through your nose, not your mouth, as much as possible.

    Use a room vaporizer to add moisture to the bedroom air.

    Use an over-the-counter artificial saliva substitute.

     

    SOURCE: WebMD

     

    • 19 MAR 15
    • 0

    Can’t Afford Quality Dental Care?

    Think Again – Personal Care Dentistry’s Comprehensive Dental Care Plan is Very Affordable 

    Happy-family-of-four-smiling-300x135Just because you don’t have health or dental insurance doesn’t mean you can’t have access to quality dental care at an affordable cost. Personal Care Dentistry recently introduced its Comprehensive Dental Care Plan, which is an annual reduced-fee saving plan for families and individuals that allows all members to receive quality dental services at greatly reduced prices. Unlike conventional insurance, with the Personal Care Dentistry’s plan there are no deductibles, no yearly maximums, and no waiting periods to begin treatment. The Comprehensive Dental Care Plan  begins immediately on plan registration.

     

    Benefits include:

    Free simple teeth cleaning (up to two per year)

    Free two annual scheduled exams per year

    All X-rays needed to complete annual exam(s)

    Free initial teeth whitening trays and mini-kit. Subsequently one courtesy mini-kit at each renewal

    Free two fluoride treatments per year

    A 20% savings on all dental procedures

    A 15% savings on all implant and Invisalign procedures

     

    A Comprehensive Dental Care Plan membership is $349 and only $299 for each additional family member.

    Eligible family members include spouse and dependent children under the age of 19 (up to age 23 if dependent child is a full-time student). All Care Plan membership fees are due and payable at the time of registration and are non-refundable. Plan duration is for one year from registration date. All patient portions for services received are due at time of services in order to receive benefits. Interest-free payment plans of 6, 12 or 18 months are available on request with approved credit. Repayment duration is based on service totals. When a payment plan is used, your Care Plan members savings maximum will be reduced by the percent of interest charged to us based on the duration of repayment at 6, 12 or 18 months. A missed appointment fee of 25% of treatment total will be charged for all missed dental appointments. Please notify our office at least 48 hours in advance if you must change a scheduled appointment.

    Give us a call today and we can answer any questions you may have and get you enrolled in our Comprehensive Dental Care Plan.

     

    • 18 MAR 15
    • 0

    How Much Do You Know About Your Pearly Whites?

    Your teeth and the structure of your mouth play important roles in your ability to eat and speak and stay healthy.

    Most of us take our teeth for granted … until something goes wrong. Our teeth help us chew and digest food, play an important role in speech, and impact our health overall. And by brushing up on your dental health knowledge, you’ll be taking the first step toward giving your teeth the attention they deserve.

    Loving Couple Smiling Together At HomeHow much do you know about your pearly whites?

    The Development of Teeth

    Humans have two sets of teeth, primary (or baby) teeth and then permanent teeth, which develop in stages. Although the timing is different, the development of each of these sets of teeth is similar. Here are some facts about how people develop teeth:

    Teeth tend to erupt in parallel, meaning that the top molar on your left side should grow in at about the same time as the top molar on the right.

    Tooth development begins long before your first tooth becomes visible. For example, a baby’s first tooth appears at around six months of age, but development of those teeth actually begins during the early second trimester of pregnancy.

    The crown of a tooth forms first, while the roots continue to develop even after the tooth has erupted.

    The 20 primary teeth are in place by age 3 and remain until around 6 years of age when they begin to fall out to make way for the permanent set of teeth.

    Adult teeth start to grow in between 6 and 12 years of age. Most adults have 32 permanent teeth.

    are larger and take longer to grow in than primary teeth.

    The Parts of the Tooth

    A tooth is divided into two basic parts: the crown, which is the visible, white part of the tooth, and the root, which you can’t see. The root extends below the gum line and anchors the tooth into the bone. Your teeth contain four substances and each does a different job. These include:

    Enamel. Enamel is the visible substance that covers the tooth crown. Harder than bone, enamel protects the tooth from decay. Enamel is made up of phosphorous and calcium.

    Dentin. Underneath the enamel you find dentin, which is calcified and looks similar to bone. Dentin is not quite as hard as enamel, so it is at greater risk for decay should the enamel wear away.

    Cementum. This tissue covers the tooth root and helps anchor it (cement it) into the bone. It is softer than enamel and dentin; the best way to protect this softer tissue from decay is by taking good care of your gums. Cementum has a light yellow color and is usually covered by the gums. But with inadequate dental care, the gums may become diseased and shrink, exposing the cementum to harmful plaque and bacteria.

    Pulp. Pulp is found at the center of your tooth and contains the blood vessels, nerves, and other soft tissues that deliver nutrients and signals to your teeth.

    Types of Teeth and What They Do

    Teeth help you chew your food, making it easier to digest. Each type of tooth has a slightly different shape and performs a different job. Types of teeth include:

    Incisors. Incisors are the eight teeth in the front and center of your mouth (four on top and four on bottom). These are the teeth that you use to take bites of your food. Incisors are usually the first teeth to erupt, at around 6 months of age for your first set of teeth, and between 6 and 8 years of age for your adult set.

    Canines. Your four canines are the next type of teeth to develop. These are your sharpest teeth and are used for ripping and tearing food apart. Primary canines generally appear between 16 and 20 months of age with the upper canines coming in just ahead of the lower canines. In permanent teeth, the order is reversed. Lower canines erupt around age 9 with the uppers arriving between 11 and 12 years of age.

    Premolars. Premolars, or bicuspids, are used for chewing and grinding food. You have four premolars on each side of your mouth, two on the upper and two on the lower jaw. The first premolars appear around age 10 and the second premolars arrive about a year later.

    Molars. Primary molars are also used for chewing and grinding food. These appear between 12 and 15 months of age. These molars, also known as decidious molars, are replaced by the first and second permanent premolars (four upper and four lower). The permanent molars do not replace, but come in behind the primary teeth. The first molars erupt around 6 years of age (before the primary molars fall out) while the second molars come in between 11 and 13 years of age.

    Third molars. Third molars are commonly known as wisdom teeth. These are the last teeth to develop and do not typically erupt until age 18 to 20, and some people never develop third molars at all. For those who do, these molars may cause crowding and need to be removed.

    Your mouth is important. Don’t take your teeth or oral health for granted. For good dental health, brush and floss your teeth regularly, don’t smoke, eat a healthy diet, and see your dentist regularly for dental cleanings and checkups. A healthy mouth makes for a healthy body … and a great smile.

    Source: Everyday Health

     

     

    • 11 MAR 15
    • 0

    Do You Keep Making Excuses to Not Floss Your Teeth?

    Learn the 8 most common excuses and what you can do to solve each one

     

    flossingDo you floss? Or, like many people, do you always seem to find a reason not to? A 2014 survey found that only 41% of Americans floss daily, and 20% never floss. That’s most unfortunate, because flossing is even more important than brushing when it comes to preventing periodontal (gum) disease and tooth loss.

    The list of excuses for not flossing are varied and many. But for every excuse, there is a simple workaround that can help you consistently floss and enjoy better oral health.

     

    Excuse #1: Food doesn’t get caught between my teeth, so I don’t need to floss.

    Flossing isn’t so much about removing food debris as it is about removing dental plaque, the complex bacterial ecosystem that forms on tooth surfaces between cleanings. Plaque is what causes tooth decay, inflamed gums (gingivitis), periodontal disease, and eventually tooth loss. Flossing or using an interdental cleaner is the only effective way to remove plaque between teeth.

     

    Excuse #2: I don’t know how to floss.

    Flossing isn’t easy. In fact, it’s often considered the most difficult personal grooming activity there is. But practice makes perfect. Here’s a great primer on how to floss from the American Dental Association:

    Start with about 18 inches of floss. Wrap most of it around the middle finger of one hand, the rest around the other middle finger.

    Grasp the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers, and use a gentle shoeshine motion to guide it between teeth.

    When the floss reaches the gum line, form a C shape to follow the contours of the tooth.

    Hold the floss firmly against the tooth, and move the floss gently up and down.

    Repeat with the other tooth, and then repeat the entire process with the rest of your teeth, “unspooling” fresh sections of floss as you go along.

    Don’t forget to floss the backs of your last molars. By far, most gum disease and most decay occurs in the back teeth.

     

    Excuse #3: I’m not coordinated enough to floss.

    Many tooth-cleaning options exist for people whose manual dexterity is compromised by poor coordination, hand pain, paralysis, and amputations — or simply by fingers that are too big to fit inside the mouth.

    One option is to use floss holders. These disposable plastic Y-shaped devices (some equipped with a spool of floss) hold a span of floss between two prongs to allow one-handed use.

    Another option is to forgo floss and clean between teeth using disposable toothpick-like dental stimulators (Stim-U-Dents, Soft-Picks, and so on); narrow spiral brushes (interproximal brushes); or the conical rubber nubs (tip stimulators) found at the end of many toothbrushes or mounted on their own handles.

     

    Excuse #4: I don’t have time to floss.

    flossbrushEffective flossing does take a while — once a day for several minutes is recommended. But even 60 seconds of flossing is of enormous benefit. As with exercise, bathing, and other daily activities, the key is to make flossing a habit. Keep floss in plain view, alongside your toothbrush and toothpaste. If you’re too tired to floss before bed, floss in the morning or afternoon. Or keep floss on hand and use it when you find the time.

     

    Excuse #5: It hurts when I floss.

    If flossing causes gum pain or bleeding, odds are you have gingivitis or gum disease — precisely the conditions for which flossing is beneficial. Stopping flossing because of bleeding [or pain] is just the opposite of what you should be doing. The good news? With daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing, gum pain and bleeding should stop within a week or two. If either persists, see a dentist.

     

    Excuse #6: My teeth are spaced too close together to floss.

    If unwaxed floss doesn’t work for your teeth, you might try waxed floss or floss made of super-slippery polytetrafluoroethylene. If the spacing between your teeth varies (or if you have significant gum recession), yarn-like “superfloss” may be a good bet. It stretches thin for narrow spaces and fluffs out to clean between teeth that are more widely spaced.

     

    Excuse #7: The floss keeps shredding.

    In many cases, broken or fraying floss is caused by a cavity or a problem with dental work — often a broken or poorly fabricated filling or crown. Consult your dentist.

     

    Excuse #8: I have dental work that makes flossing impossible.

    Try floss threaders. These monofilament loops make it easy to position floss around dental work.

     

    SOURCE: WebMD

    • 04 MAR 15
    • 0

    All Dental Fillings Are Not Created Equal

    A Guide to Options in Tooth Filling Materials

    image_07Most of us know that when you visit your dental office with a cavity, your dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then “fill” the area on the tooth where the decayed material was removed. Fillings are also used to repair cracked or broken teeth and teeth that have been worn down from misuse (such as from nail-biting or tooth grinding).

    Once the decay in the tooth has been removed, you have multiple options for dental filling materials. Teeth can be filled with gold; porcelain; silver amalgam (which consists of mercury mixed with silver, tin, zinc, and copper); or tooth-colored, plastic, and glass materials called composite resin fillings. The location and extent of the decay, cost of filling material, patients’ insurance coverage, and your dentist’s recommendation assist in determining the type of filling best for you.

     

    CAST GOLD FILLINGS


     

    Advantages

    Durability — lasts at least 10 to 15 years and usually longer; doesn’t corrode

    Strength — can withstand chewing forces

    Aesthetics — some patients find gold more pleasing to the eyethan silver, amalgam fillings.

    Disadvantages

    Expense — gold cast fillings cost more than other materials; up to 10 times higher than cost of silver amalgam fillings.

    Additional office visits — requires at least two office visits to place

    Galvanic shock — a gold filling placed immediately next to a silver, amalgam filling may cause a sharp pain(galvanic shock) to occur. The interaction between the metals and saliva causes an electric current to occur. It’s a rare occurrence, however.

    Aesthetics — most patients dislike metal “colored” fillings and prefer fillings that match the rest of the tooth.

     

    SILVER FILLINGS (AMALGAMS)


     

    Advantages

    Durability — silver fillings last at least 10 to 15 years and outlasts composite (tooth-colored) fillings.

    Strength — can withstand chewing forces

    Expense — is less expensive than composite fillings

    Disadvantages

    Poor aesthetics — silver fillings don’t match the color of natural teeth.

    Destruction of more tooth structure — healthy parts of the tooth must often be removed to make a space large enough to hold the amalgam filling.

    Discoloration — amalgam fillings can create a grayish hue to the surrounding tooth structure.

    Cracks and fractures — although all teeth expand and contract in the presence of hot and cold liquids, which ultimately can cause the tooth to crack or fracture, amalgam material — in comparison with other filling materials — may experience a wider degree of expansion and contraction and lead to a higher incidence of cracks and fractures.

    Allergic reactions — a small percentage of people, approximately 1%, are allergic to the mercury present in amalgam restorations.

     

     TOOTH-COLORED COMPOSITES


     

    Advantages

    Aesthetics — the shade/color of the composite fillings can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth. Composites are particularly well suited for use in front teeth or visible parts of teeth.

    Bonding to tooth structure — composite fillings actually chemically bond to tooth structure, providing further support.

    Versatility — in addition to use as a filling material for decay, composite fillings can also be used to repair chipped, broken, or worn teeth.

    Tooth-sparing preparation — sometimes less tooth structure needs to be removed compared with amalgam fillings when removing decay and preparing for the filling.

    Disadvantages

    Lack of durability — composite fillings wear out sooner than amalgam fillings (lasting at least five years compared with at least 10 to 15 for amalgams); in addition, they may not last as long as amalgam fillings under the pressure of chewing and particularly if used for large cavities.

    Increased chair time — because of the process to apply the composite material, these fillings can take up to 20 minutes longer than amalgam fillings to place.

    Additional visits — if composites are used for inlays or onlays, more than one office visit may be required.

    Chipping – depending on location, composite materials can chip off the tooth.

    Expense — composite fillings can cost up to twice the cost of amalgam fillings.

     

     OTHER FILLING TYPES


     

    In addition to tooth-colored, composite resin fillings, two other tooth-colored fillings exist — ceramics and glass ionomer.

    Ceramics – these fillings are made most often of porcelain, are more resistant to staining than composite resin material but are also more abrasive. This material generally lasts more than 15 years and can cost as much as gold.

    Glass ionomer is made of acrylic and a specific type of glass material. This material is most commonly used for fillings below the gum line and for fillings in young children (drilling is still required). Glass ionomers release fluoride, which can help protect the tooth from further decay. However, this material is weaker than composite resin and is more susceptible to wear and prone to fracture. Glass ionomer generally lasts five years or less with costs comparable to composite resin.

     

    WHAT ARE INDIRECT FILLINGS?


     

    Indirect fillings are similar to composite or tooth-colored fillings except they are made in a dental laboratory and require two visits before being placed. Indirect fillings are considered when not enough tooth structure remains to support a filling but the tooth is not so severely damaged that it needs a crown.

    During the first visit, decay or an old filling is removed. An impression is taken to record the shape of the tooth being repaired and the teeth around it. The impression is sent to a dental lab that will make the indirect filling. A temporary filling (described below) is placed to protect the tooth while the restoration is being made. During the second visit, the temporary filling is removed, and the dentist will check the fit of the indirect restoration. Provided the fit is acceptable, it will be permanently cemented into place.

    There are two types of indirect fillings — inlays and onlays:

    Inlays are similar to fillings but the entire work lies within the cusps (bumps) on the chewing surface of the tooth.

    Onlays are more extensive than inlays, covering one or more cusps. Onlays are sometimes called partial crowns.

    Inlays and onlays are more durable and last much longer than traditional fillings — up to 30 years. They can be made of tooth-colored composite resin, porcelain, or gold. Inlays and onlays weaken the tooth structure, but do so to a much lower extent than traditional fillings.

    Another type of inlay and onlay — direct inlays and onlays — follow similar processes and procedures as the indirect, but the difference is that direct inlays and onlays are made in the dental office and can be placed in one visit. The type of inlay or onlay used depends on how much sound tooth structure remains and consideration of any cosmetic concerns.

    Give us a call at Personal Care Dentistry and make an appointment with one of our dentists if you have a cavity that needs attention. We can go through all of your filling options and answer any questions you may have.

     

    SOURCE: WebMD

     

     

    • 25 FEB 15
    • 0

    The Ugly Truth About Your Toothbrush

    Your toothbrush may be nastier than you think. Find out when to ditch it.

    As you reach for your toothbrush each morning, you may not realize what’s hanging out on its bristles.Toothbrushes colorful

    “Toothbrushes can become contaminated with oral microbial organisms whenever they are placed in the mouth,” says Sharon Cooper, PhD., a clinical associate professor at the University of Florida College of Dentistry.

    Viruses and bacteria from an infected person’s mouth can live for weeks on a toothbrush surface, and continue to cause illness, notes Dr. Cooper.

    Even normal, healthy microorganisms can cause infections, especially if they enter your gum tissue due to an injury, a break, or an oral ulcer, she adds.

    Toothbrushes don’t have to be sold in sterile packaging, so they may have bacteria right out of the box, says the American Dental Association’s official statement on toothbrush care. So what should you do to avoid getting sick from your toothbrush?

     

    Keep It Clean

    You may not give much thought to cleaning your toothbrush, since you’re wetting it every day to scrub your teeth. However, it’s important – and easy – to do. How?

    Wash it. Give your toothbrush a thorough rinse with tap water to remove debris. If you have a systemic illness or immune disorder, you may want to soak it in antibacterial mouthwash or run it through the dishwasher, Dr. Cooper says.

    Try deep cleaning. There are many types of toothbrush sanitizers on the market, Dr. Cooper says. Some use ultraviolet light to kill microorganisms.

    Store it properly. After use, don’t pop that wet toothbrush back into your medicine cabinet, drawer, or bathroom cup and forget about it. Store it upright, in a rack or cup, where it can dry out. Look for a cover that lets air circulate and prevents mold, but isn’t completely sealed. The lack of air can foster bacteria.

     

    When to Call It Quits

    How long should you keep a toothbrush to prevent the ick from building up? Here are a few useful tips:

    Know when to let go. Replace your toothbrush about every 3 to 4 months, or when it shows signs of wear. “Frayed bristles will not clean the teeth and gums adequately,” Dr. Cooper says.

    Toss toothbrushes after illness. Throw away a brush you or anyone in your home used while sick. Yes, that means all toothbrushes. Treat electric or power models the same way you handle an old-fashioned one. Chuck the brush attachment after an illness or when the bristles begin to show signs of wear, Dr. Cooper says.

     

    No Sharing

    Tempted to lend a toothbrush to a family member? Don’t. Toothbrush sharing can transfer saliva and bacteria – even the kind that cause tooth decay. “Tooth decay is considered an infectious disease – one more reason not to share or borrow a toothbrush,” Dr. Cooper says.

     

    SOURCE: WebMD

     

    • 20 FEB 15
    • 0

    Personal Care Dentistry Earns Esteemed 2014 Angie’s List Super Service Award

    Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

    Personal Care Dentistry has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2014. This is the third straight year that Personal Care Dentistry has won the Super Service Award, having earned the award in 2012 and 2013 as well.SSA_2014_lowres

    According to Dr. Walter Hunt, who founded Personal Care Dentistry in 1977, “We practice the Golden Rule of Dentistry – caring for all of our patients the way we would care for our family – by blending the latest technology with a gentle touch in a warm, caring and compassionate atmosphere. We’ve taken this approach for 37 years, and we are thankful that our patients recognized our care team for their efforts.”

    “Only about 5 percent of the dentists in the Twin Cities have performed so consistently well enough to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a really high standard.”

    Angie’s List Super Service Award 2014 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

    Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality. Over the last several years, 67 of the 69 Angie’s List members who reviewed Personal Care Dentistry gave an “A” rating to the clinic.

     

    • 18 FEB 15
    • 0

    Don’t Let the “Bad Guys” of Oral Health Defeat You

    Why Are Plaque and Tartar So Bad for Your Oral Health?

    Most of us have grown up hearing about how you should brush your teeth after every meal and floss daily. But why exactly is that so important to your oral health? Because skipping those essentials of good tooth care opens the door to the bad guys of oral health, plaque and tartar. This “deadly duo” combines to cause gum disease, tootwoman frowningh decay, and unsightly staining of your teeth if not detected and taken care of early.

    What is Plaque?

    Plaque is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria and sugars that constantly forms on our teeth. It is the main cause of cavities and gum disease, and can harden into tartar if not removed daily. Everyone develops plaque because bacteria are constantly forming in our mouths. These bacteria use ingredients found in our diet and saliva to grow. Plaque causes cavities when the acids from plaque attack teeth after eating. With repeated acid attacks, the tooth enamel can break down and a cavity may form. Plaque that is not removed can also irritate the gums around your teeth, leading to gingivitis (red, swollen, bleeding gums), periodontal disease and tooth loss.

    What is Tartar?

    Tartar, sometimes called calculus, is plaque that has hardened on your teeth into a mineral. Tartar is fairly easy to see if above the gumline, because it causes a yellow or brown color to teeth or gums. Tartar can also form at and underneath the gumline and can irritate gum tissues. Tartar gives plaque more surface area on which to grow and a much stickier surface to adhere, which can lead to more serious conditions, such as cavities and gum disease.

    Not only can tartar threaten the health of your teeth and gums, it is also a cosmetic problem. Because tartar is more porous, it absorbs stains easily. So if you are a coffee or tea drinker, or if you smoke, it is especially important to prevent tartar buildup.

    Preventing Plaque and Tartar Buildup

    There isn’t much you can do once tartar starts to build up except visit a dentist. However, since plaque becomes tartar, a good regimen of brushing, flossing and watching what you eat can keep plaque from building up and thus prevent the problems of tartar. Personal Care Dentistry recommends the following approach:

    Brush thoroughly at least twice a day to remove plaque from all surfaces of your teeth. Use any tooth brushing method that is comfortable, but do not scrub hard back and forth. Small circular motions and short back and forth motions work well. To prevent decay, it’s what’s on the toothbrush that counts. Use fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is what protects teeth from decay.

    Floss daily to remove plaque from between your teeth and under your gumline, where your toothbrush may not reach. Remember to ease the floss between your teeth. Snapping it into place may damage your gums. The best time to floss is before you go to

    Another way of removing plaque between teeth is to use a dental pick — a thin plastic or wooden stick. These sticks can be purchased at drug stores and grocery stores.

    Limit sugary or starchy foods, especially sticky snacks. Food residues, especially sweets, provide nutrients for the germs that cause tooth decay, as well as those that cause gum disease. So less is better when it comes to sweets.

    How Do I Know If I Have Plaque?

    Dental plaque is difficult to see unless it’s stained. You can stain plaque by chewing red “disclosing tablets,” found at grocery stores and drug stores, or by using a cotton swab to smear green food coloring on your teeth. The red or green color left on the teeth will show you where there is still plaque—and where you have to brush again to remove it. Stain and examine your teeth regularly to make sure you are removing all plaque.

    How Is Tartar Removed by a Dentist?

    Once tartar has formed, only your dentist or hygienist can remove it. The process for removing tartar is called scaling. During a scaling, the hygienists at Personal Care Dentistry use special instruments to remove tartar from your teeth above and below the gumline.

    Sources: National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research; American Dental Association; Colgate-Palmolive, Inc.

     

     

    • 04 FEB 15
    • 0

    Are Water Picks Worth The Cost?

     

    For Many People, the Answer is Definitely Yes

     

    water pickWith the hundreds of products available on the market today for cleaning your teeth, it can be difficult for dental patients to determine which product will best meet their needs. The dentists at Personal Care Dentistry are happy to assist patients in choosing the appropriate products for cleaning their teeth, as every smile is different.

    Among the many types of toothbrushes available, the general categories are manual and electric toothbrushes.  However, a more unique solution for cleaning your teeth at home can be found with a water pick.

    How does a water pick work?

    A water pick is also sometimes referred to as a water flosser.  Water picks work by using water to irrigate the spaces between your teeth and powerfully blast away debris from other hard to reach places.  A water pick works to mimic the high pressure water cleaning that your dentist uses to prepare your teeth for procedures or to rinse them during professional cleanings.

    Is using a water pick the same as brushing?

    It is important to know that using a water pick is not a substitute for brushing and flossing your teeth.  Over time plaque builds up on the surface of your teeth. This plaque harbors bacteria and germs that can lead to bad breath, gum disease and tooth decay.

    When you use a water pick, you’re not only dislodging any particles or debris and bacteria you might have missed when brushing, you are also gently massaging the gums, which helps promote blood flow in the gums and keeps them healthy. While water picks are an excellent addition to your daily fight against gingivitis and other periodontal diseases, they are incapable of fully removing plaque, which is why the dentists at Personal Care Dentistry want to remind you to keep brushing and flossing every day.

    Is using a water pick the same as flossing?

    While water picks work to provide extra cleaning power for your smile, it is important to know that they do not ever take the place of brushing or flossing. Despite the nickname “water flosser” water picks do not get completely in between each of your teeth. Water picks may not be an effective solution for cleaning between teeth that are crooked, overlapping or tightly spaced. Floss is the only guaranteed way to eliminate debris from between your teeth.

    What are the advantages to using a water pick?

    People with painful gum disease or highly sensitive gums may find water picks useful or even therapeutic. However the use of a water pick is only advised as a supplement to regular brushing and flossing, especially in patients with advanced gum disease.

    Orthodontic patients, especially those with traditional metal braces may find added benefit from using a water pick to flush out hard to reach places within their wires and brackets.

    If you are considering adding a water pick to your daily at home dental care routine it is important to understand that these devices do not replace traditional brushing and flossing.

     

    So how do you choose the right water pick?

    Water picks are available for home or portable use. The home versions tend to be larger and use standard electrical outlets, while portable models use batteries. Aside from the size difference, they work in the same manner, both using pulsating water streams. A more crucial difference between water picks is the ability to adjust the pressure. Most home models will let you choose from several pressure settings, depending on how sensitive your teeth and gums are. Most portable models have only one pressure setting. If you want to use mouthwash or a dental rinse in your water pick, check the label first; some models suggest using water only.

    If you’d like more information about how to best care for your teeth at home, including information about water picks at home, contact Personal Care Dentistry today.

     

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    • 21 JAN 15
    • 0

    No Insurance But Need Dental Care?

    Check Out Personal Care Dentistry’s Comprehensive Dental Care Plan

    slider-3a2Just because you don’t have health or dental insurance doesn’t mean you can’t have access to quality dental care at an affordable cost. Personal Care Dentistry recently introduced its Comprehensive Dental Care Plan, which is an annual reduced-fee saving plan for families and individuals that allows all members to receive quality dental services at greatly reduced prices. Unlike conventional insurance, with the Personal Care Dentistry’s plan there are no deductibles, no yearly maximums, and no waiting periods to begin treatment. The Comprehensive Dental Care Plan  begins immediately on plan registration.

     

    Benefits include:

    Free simple teeth cleaning (up to two per year)

    Free two annual scheduled exams per year

    All X-rays needed to complete annual exam(s)

    Free initial teeth whitening trays and mini-kit. Subsequently one courtesy mini-kit at each renewal

    Free two fluoride treatments per year

    A 20% savings on all dental procedures

    A 15% savings on all implant and Invisalign procedures

     

    A Comprehensive Dental Care Plan membership is $349 and only $299 for each additional family member.

    Eligible family members include spouse and dependent children under the age of 19 (up to age 23 if dependent child is a full-time student). All Care Plan membership fees are due and payable at the time of registration and are non-refundable. Plan duration is for one year from registration date. All patient portions for services received are due at time of services in order to receive benefits. Interest-free payment plans of 6, 12 or 18 months are available on request with approved credit. Repayment duration is based on service totals. When a payment plan is used, your Care Plan members savings maximum will be reduced by the percent of interest charged to us based on the duration of repayment at 6, 12 or 18 months. A missed appointment fee of 25% of treatment total will be charged for all missed dental appointments. Please notify our office at least 48 hours in advance if you must change a scheduled appointment.

    Give us a call today and we can answer any questions you may have and get you enrolled in our Comprehensive Dental Care Plan.

     

    • 14 JAN 15
    • 0

    Is Bruxism Damaging Your Health?

    gritted-teeth

    Grinding Your Teeth – Bruxism – Can Lead to a Host of Oral Health Issues

    Most people probably grind and clench their teeth from time to time. Occasional teeth grinding, medically called bruxism, does not usually cause harm, but when teeth grinding occurs on a regular basis the teeth can be damaged and other oral health complications can arise.

    Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?

    Although teeth grinding can be caused by stress and anxiety, it often occurs during sleep and is more likely caused by an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth.

    How Do I Find Out if I Grind My Teeth?

    Because grinding often occurs during sleep, most people are unaware that they grind their teeth. However, a dull, constant headache or sore jaw is a telltale symptom of bruxism. Many times people learn that they grind their teeth by their loved one who hears the grinding at night.

    If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth, talk to your dentist at Personal Care Dentistry. He or she can examine your mouth and jaw for signs of bruxism, such as jaw tenderness and abnormalities in your teeth.

    Why Is Teeth Grinding Harmful?

    In some cases, chronic teeth grinding can result in a fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. The chronic grinding may wear their teeth down to stumps. When these events happen, bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures, and even complete dentures may be needed.

    Not only can severe grinding damage teeth and result in tooth loss, it can also affect your jaws, result in hearing loss, cause or worsen TMD/TMJ, and even change the appearance of your face.

    What Can I Do to Stop Grinding My Teeth?

    Your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding during sleep.

    If stress is causing you to grind your teeth, ask your doctor or dentist about options to reduce your stress. Attending stress counseling, starting an exercise program, seeing a physical therapist, or obtaining a prescription for muscle relaxants are among some of the options that may be offered.

    Other tips to help you stop teeth grinding include:

    Avoid or cut back on foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as colas, chocolate, and coffee.

    Avoid alcohol. Grinding tends to intensify after alcohol consumption.

    Do not chew on pencils or pens or anything that is not food. Avoid excessive chewing of gum as it allows your jaw muscles to get more used to clenching and makes you more likely to grind your teeth.

    Train yourself not to clench or grind your teeth. If you notice that you clench or grind during the day, position the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This practice trains your jaw muscles to relax.

    Relax your jaw muscles at night by holding a warm washcloth against your cheek in front of your earlobe.

     

    SOURCE: WebMD

    • 08 JAN 15
    • 0

    Make a New Year’s Resolution for Better Oral Health

    10 Tips to Help You Achieve Your Goal

    flossbrushWhether you’re one of those people who like to make a set of New Year’s resolutions at the start of every year – or even if you aren’t – setting goals for better oral health is something that is worth doing just about any time of the year. See if you can make these 10 tips part of your regular oral health regimen and you’ll have a brighter smile and healthier teeth by the end of 2015.

    1. Go on a white-teeth diet.

    If you’re quaffing red wine and black tea, or smoking cigarettes or cigars, expect the results to show up as not-so-pearly whites. Other culprits to blame for dingy teeth include colas, gravies, and dark juices. Bottom line: If it’s dark before you put it in your mouth, it will probably stain your teeth. Brush immediately after eating or drinking foods that stain teeth and use a good bleaching agent, either over-the-counter or in the dentist’s office. For convenient teeth-cleaning action, eat an apple.

    2. Chuck your toothbrush…

    …or change the head of your electric toothbrush at least every two to three months. Otherwise, you’re just transferring bacteria to your mouth. The best way to brush is by placing your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against your gums and gently moving it in a circular motion, rather than a back-and-forth motion. Grip the toothbrush like a pencil so you won’t scrub too hard.

    3. Clean your tongue.

    Use a tongue scraper (available at most drug stores) every morning to remove tongue plaque and freshen your breath. One major cause of bad breath is the buildup of bacteria on the tongue, which a daily tongue scraping will help banish. Plus, using a tongue scraper is more effective than brushing your tongue with a toothbrush.

    4. Eat ‘detergent’ foods.

    Foods that are firm or crisp help clean teeth as they’re eaten. We already mentioned apples (otherwise known as nature’s toothbrush); other choices include raw carrots, celery, and popcorn. For best results, make ‘detergent’ foods the final food you eat in your meal if you know you won’t be able to brush your teeth right after eating.

    Bottle Of Cider With Apples5. Gargle with apple cider vinegar.

    Do this in the morning and then brush as usual. The vinegar helps help remove stains, whiten teeth, and kill bacteria in your mouth and gums.

    6. Brush your teeth with baking soda once a week

    This will remove stains and whiten your teeth. Use it just as you would toothpaste. You can also use salt as an alternative toothpaste. Just be sure to spit it out so it doesn’t count as sodium intake! Also, if your gums start to feel raw, switch to brushing with salt every other day.

    7. Stay fresh.

    To check the freshness of your breath, lick your palm and smell it while it’s still wet (we know, sounds a bit odd, but it works). If you smell something, it’s time for a sugar-free breath mint. Shopping for mouthwash? Make sure it is alcohol-free. Most over-the-counter mouthwashes have too much alcohol, which can dry out the tissues in your mouth, making them more susceptible to bacteria.

    8. Practice flossing with your eyes shut.

    If you can floss without having to guide your work with a mirror, you can floss in your car, at your desk, while in bed, and before important meetings. In which case, buy several packages of floss and scatter them in your car, your desk, your purse, your briefcase, your nightstand.

    9. Brush your teeth when you first get out of bed and before you get back in at night.

    They’re the two most crucial times. That’s because saliva (which keeps cavity-causing plaque off teeth) dries up at night, so it’s best to have all plaque cleaned off the teeth before sleep. It’s also important to brush first thing in the morning to brush off plaque and bacteria (morning breath!) that may have built up as you slept.

    10. Conceal with color.

    Ladies: Choose a medium coral or light red lipstick. These colors make your teeth look whiter, whereas lighter-colored lipsticks tend to bring out the yellow in teeth.

    SOURCE: WebMD and Stealth Health/Reader’s Digest