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8 Ways to Make Teeth Cleanings Less Painful

Plenty of people have intense anxieties about visiting the dentist. They might try to convince themselves that they don’t even need to get cleanings. Though necessary, teeth cleanings can be painful, but there’s noting to be done about that right? Well, not exactly, because there are plenty of steps you can take to make your next teeth cleaning far less painful.

Dr. Rebol prepping for teeth cleaning in Asheville

1) Use a Desensitizing Toothpaste

Over time, the inner parts or roots of your teeth begin to feel more sensitive from wear-and-tear and gum recession. Switching your toothpaste to something desensitizing will greatly improve your experience at the dentist’s office. Make Sensodyne Pro Enamel your new daily toothpaste.

2) Don’t Overbrush

Most if not all of us are over doing it when we brush our teeth. That only serves to damage our teeth, making them more sensitive. Additionally, brushing your teeth in the wrong direction makes them more porous and thus increases sensitivity. It’s important to make sure that you’re brushing your teeth correctly and in the correct direction. If you need a tip, check this out.

3) Prevent Gum Recession

Gum recession moves your gum down, exposing more of the sensitive part of your teeth. It occurs after your gum is inflamed following exposure to bacteria. When it heals, your gum recedes. Protect your teeth by preventing gum recession as much as you can. This involves brushing right and flossing daily!

4) Take Advil Ahead of Time

Take three to four regular-strength Advil one hour before the cleaning and once again six hours afterward. The Advil will help with pain and reduce the inflammatory response. Curious about other ways that you can treat sensitive teeth after a cleaning? Read here.

5) Get Numb

Speak to your hygienist about numbing up the area of your mouth during the cleaning, the same as you would get for a filling. This is probably best done with a small amount of anesthesia applied directly to the area.

6) Use Fluoride

Don’t forget to use fluoride! Fluoride is a very helpful mineral. You can find it naturally in water and food, and it helps to prevent tooth decay by lowering your mouth’s acid level, rebuilding your teeth-strengthening minerals, strengthening your tooth enamel, and helping protect your teeth’s sensitivity.

You can increase your exposure to fluoride by using a fluoride toothpaste, drinking water with sufficient fluoride levels, getting a fluoride varnish painted to your teeth, using a mouthwash with fluoride, and using gel and foams on your teeth to prevent tooth decay.

7) Use an Electric Brush

Electric toothbrushes are great at helping you brush more gently since the toothbrush does the work so you don’t have to. This is especially true if you tend to overbrush. Electric toothbrushes are also better for cleaning below the gum line, removing more of the plaque there that the hygienist would have to remove during a cleaning.

8) Choose the Right Hygienist

This one might be one of the most important! There are plenty of dentists and hygienists out in the world. You don’t want someone who will be too delicate and not get the job done, but you also don’t want someone who will make the experience unnecessarily uncomfortable. Finding the right balance will be important in finding a dental office that you’ll want to visit.

Teeth cleanings don’t always need to be painful or nightmarish, they can be perfectly fine experiences that you actually look forward to since you know that you’re helping keep your teeth healthy. If you have questions about teeth cleaning, general dentistry, or want to make an appointment with us, please feel free to reach out. We are currently accepting new patients at this time.

Rebol’s Harry Potter Giveaway

Picture taken at Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios

 

Our last Harry Potter Giveaway was so much fun that we decided to host another one. We’re sending two lucky muggles to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal Studios! One winner will win two single day passes to both parks. Sign up below to enroll in the giveaway, and stay tuned for tasks you can complete to earn extra entries! Current patients and non-patients are both welcome to participate. Good luck!

 

Enter to Win Your Free Tickets!

 

Giveaway Tasks

Earn extra chances to win by completing giveaway tasks! Our contest officially launches with a celebration on Wednesday, July 31st and runs until October 30th.

  • Task # 1 – Share our giveaway post on your Facebook wall and tag 3 friends!
  • Task # 2 – Refer a friend who needs a dentist in town.
  • Task # 3 – Follow us on Instagram and Like us on Facebook. we’re @reboldental!
  • Task # 4 – Check-in at our office on Facebook. Earn an extra entry by posting from our photo-booth!
  • Task # 5 – Post a review of our office on Google or Facebook!

 

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Getting Invisalign At Your Asheville Dentist

Did you know our Asheville dentists are trained in administering Invisalign? It may come as a surprise to  know you can go to your local dentist to get Invisalign instead of having to go to an orthodontist. Dr. Rebol has a lot of experience when it comes to this amazing way to get your teeth straightened.

Invisalign aligner at dental clinic in Asheville, NC

Invisalign was initially created for dentist to use. More orthodontists started to offer this cosmetic dentistry service once they learned more about this incredible technology. Orthodontists also have training that benefit them when it comes to treatment modification. However, this technology has become so sophisticated, treatment modification isn’t required that often anymore. More dentists are now able to provide this service, and we are happy to provide Invisalign for our patients in Asheville.

What is Invisalign?

If you’re not familiar with Invisalign, this technology straightens the teeth by using a series of clear, retainer-like aligners. It has become a really popular treatment option for adults who have crowded teeth or other common dental problems. Invisalign trays are practically transparent, and (typically) they are easier to keep clean compared to traditional braces.

Invisalign has been described as “revolutionary”, “life-changing” and “state-of-the-art” – for good reason. This dental treatment can be used to quickly straighten teeth. if you are looking to close a gap, realign crooked teeth or address an overbite, you should consider using Invisalign.

Yes, Invisalign does perform essentially the same function as traditional metal braces. What makes Invisalign truly revolutionary is the technology driving this function. The teeth are moved into proper alignment over the course of treatment using a series of clear plastic aligners. Aligners can be removed in order to eat or drink and most people won’t even notice you’re wearing them while you’re talking to them. Most patients see results faster with Invisalign too. Compared to the experience with traditional braces, it’s a night and day difference.

How Does Invisalign Work?

If you decide to invest in Invisalign, the first step in the process is getting a 3D scan taken of your teeth. This highly detailed scan is used to create your custom Invisalign trays. Once your trays already, but we brought back into our dentist office where was the show you how to put them in and take them out. We’ll also provide additional information on how to take care of your Invisalign aligners.

To get the best results, you should wear your trays 20 to 22 hours a day. You should only be taking them out to eat, drink and brush your teeth. This is a fact that we want to stress! The downside to the extra convenience is that some patients don’t keep their aligners in their mouth long enough each day. This can cause significant delays in the progress of your treatment.

Lifestyle Adjustments

Due to the fact that you can remove these clear aligners to eat, there are no dietary restrictions with Invisalign. You can drink water with them in your mouth, but be sure to remove them before drinking anything else (soda, coffee, wine, etc.). That’s one of the most common ways your trays can be stained. As dentists, we also can’t miss an opportunity to say you should be drinking more water and avoiding soda in any case. All of that sugar is not good for your teeth.

How Invisalign Moves Your Teeth

With Invisalign, you’ll be swapping out for a new set of aligners every 2 weeks. Each set is used to slowly push your teeth into proper alignment. This is why the 3D scan at the beginning is so important. You’ll come into our Asheville dentist office every 6 weeks (or so) to meet with Dr. Rebol or Dr. Sparks, so that they can monitor your treatment progress.

How Long Does Invisalign Take?

For adult patients in Asheville, they typically complete their Invisalign treatment in one year. Younger patients may need to wear their invisible aligners for longer. Treatment time depends on a number of factors, but you will get a projection from your dentist during the initial consultation. If you are seeking Invisalign after already having braces, then you may be able to get your teeth straightened in as little as 6 months. If you have further questions about this cosmetic dentistry service, then please contact our dental office at (828) 253-5878.

You can also use this easy form to request more information about any of the dental services we offer in Asheville.

Are You a Candidate for Invisalign?

Fortunately, most people who are interested in Invisalign are going to qualify for this type of treatment. This technology can be used to correct mild to more complex dental issues. Whether it’s a couple problem teeth or an entire row, you should consider sitting down with us to discuss whether Invisalign is a viable treatment path.

Viable candidates can use Invisalign to treat:

  • Crowded Teeth – Whether it be large teeth or a small jaw, it’s common to see some crowding with teeth. In certain cases, you may need to get a tooth removed before starting Invisalign.
  • Crossbites – This is when a tooth bites down against the inside of the opposite tooth. Crossbites can cause significant wear and bone loss if left untreated, so taking steps to address this issue is highly advised by your dentist.
  • Open Bites – When you bite down, do you notice that some of your teeth aren’t touching their corresponding opposites? This is called an open bites and they can cause speech impediments as well as pain in the jaw.

Invisalign can be used to treat overbites and underbites as well, but another form of treatment may be recommended depending on the severity of the case. Significant bite problems may also require orthodontic appliances, like a jaw expander, to fix. That’s not to say that Invisalign can’t be used during the later stages of your treatment.

Conclusion

If you’re an Asheville local who never needed braces, but has never been truly happy with your smile, you should see if your a candidate for Invisalign. Schedule an appointment with Rebol Family Dentistry today by calling us at (828) 253-5878 or using this convenient form. Our experienced dentists will be able to determine your candidacy, walk you through the treatment process and get you started if everything looks good.

You are literally steps away from getting the dream smile you’ve always wanted. Call Rebol today and ask about getting Invisalign clear aligners in Asheville.

Reducing Dental Waste at Home and in our Office with TerraCycle

Ever wonder what happens to the items you recycle? Thanks to modern advances, our recycling systems are constantly evolving and becoming more efficient. Unfortunately, there are still items we recycle that can’t be processed by municipal recycling plants.

What keeps certain recycled items from getting reused? Complications arise from incorrect sorting, contamination and others issues. It’s a complicated problem that has inspired many to seek new solutions – including our team at Rebol Family Dentistry!

Woman recycling dental waste in Asheville

Recycling can be kind of confusing. So, what can we do to save our waste from the landfill? Sometimes, it’s hard to make out those tiny little numbers on the bottom of our plastic containers. And what if something is made of a few different materials? Are toothbrushes recyclable? How about toothpaste tubes?

Recycling Dental Waste

We weren’t sure at first, so we did some research. Even though the individual components of toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes are recyclable, they ultimately are sent to the landfill by commercial recycling plants. However, we did find a solution! TerraCycle recycles toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes and dental floss containers. All we have to do is mail them in. Then, TerraCycle takes them apart and separates by materials. They shred and melt the recycled materials, then use them to make new products!

Working with TerraCycle

TerraCycle is an innovative recycling business that upcycles and resells collected materials to be used in new products. Founder Tom Szaky works directly with brands to design solutions to reuse all materials Terracycle receives. Rebol Family Dentistry is excited to be working with TerraCycle to make sure our dental waste is efficiently refurbished, upcycled and recycled!

Infographic about recycling dental waste in Asheville

Bring your Dental Waste to Us in Asheville

We’re thrilled to be offering these recycling services to our entire community in Asheville. Anyone can bring in rinsed toothpaste tubes and caps, toothbrushes, toothpaste cartons, toothbrush outer packaging, and floss containers to our office. We’re open Monday to Friday 8-5, so stop by at your convenience!

With your help, we can make an even bigger difference! Let your friends and family know about this service and keep us in mind when you replace your toothbrush – every three months 😁

Win an Unforgettable Asheville Staycation for Two!

Have you ever taken a staycation? Rather than packing, boarding the dog and arranging your accommodations, a staycation is a simple way to get a fresh look at your hometown.

Forget about the required planning and inevitable stress that comes with traveling to a new place. A staycation can give you a whole new appreciation for your local area. You can take a step back from your day to day responsibilities and enjoy Asheville like a tourist.

via GIPHY

Plus, you get to support your community’s local businesses while you’re at it!

At Rebol Family Dentistry, we love supporting our local community! We’ve based our brand around our amazing hometown and the incredible people we share it with. Rebol Family Dentistry is not just about dental care. We are passionate about bringing big smiles to our patients’ faces! So, we’ve decided to treat two lucky patients to an unforgettable Asheville staycation.

Two Ways to Spend Your Asheville Staycation

There are so many different experiences to have in Asheville, so we’ve included two different options for the winner to pick between! Our Stay Weird Weekend explores some of the funkier and newer attractions in West Asheville and the River Arts District. Our Luxurious Weekend “Away” treats the winners to Asheville’s classic favorites, like Biltmore Estate and Curate. Both weekends include a $100 Uber gift card, so you won’t have to worry about driving or parking!

via GIPHY

Which Weekend Would You Pick?

Stay Weird WeekendLuxurious Weekend “Away”
Friday night:
Dinner:
Tupelo Honey
    Activity: LaZoom Bus Trip
Saturday:
Breakfast:
Sunny Point Cafe
    Activities: River Arts Graffiti and Gallery Tour, with beer flight at Wedge Brewery
    Lunch: White Duck Taco
    Dinner: The Admiral
Sunday:
Brunch:
Biscuithead
Friday night:
Dinner:
Curate
    Activity: Drinks at AC’s rooftop bar
Saturday:
Breakfast:
Early Girl Eatery
    Lunch: Corner Kitchen
    Tour: Biltmore Estate
    Dinner: Biltmore’s Bistro
Sunday:
Brunch:
Rhubarb

Guidelines for Our Asheville Staycation Giveaway

The giveaway runs from April 24, 2019 to May 31, 2019. Patients can enter in the office or by completing the tasks that will periodically be posted to our social media. In order to win, you must be a Rebol Family Dentistry patient before June 30, 2019. Winners will receive the Stay Weird Weekend or Luxurious Weekend “Away” package for themselves and a guest.

Picture showing hotspots for an Asheville staycation

The Tasks You Must Complete For Our Giveaway

Task  #1: Share our Facebook giveaway post on your wall and let your friends know which weekend you want to win! Get an additional entry for every 10 likes, comments and shares.

Task #2: Comment on our blog post and let us know your favorite part of the weekend you want to win!

Task #3: Share a photo taken in Asheville that captures the spirit of our local hometown! Share on your wall or tag us on Instagram (@reboldental) to get an additional entry for every 10 likes, comments and shares.

Task #4: Leave us a Google, Facebook or Yelp review!

Task #5: Refer a friend who needs a dentist in town!

Deep Cleaning For Your Teeth – Do You Need It?

Let’s set the scene for you: You’ve come to the dentist’s office for a regular cleaning. Perhaps it has been a while since the last visit to your local dentist in NC. Using a dental mirror, your dentist will have a look around your mouth, inspecting your teeth, and they may decide that you need a additional cleaning, but you’ll need to come in for an additional appointment.

In this case, your dentist would likely be referring to a deep cleaning. This is different from a routine cleaning, which is meant to maintain good oral hygiene. Though you might be thinking that this is some kind of upsell, rest assured—a deep clean is very much an established dental treatment. Its technical term is “scaling and root planing,” and it has been part of dentists’ standard procedure for a long time.

How’s a Deep Clean Different Than Routine Dental Cleaning?

So what exactly is a deep clean and how does it differ from a normal dental cleaning? And most importantly, how do you know if you need it? During a regular cleaning, hygienists will use an instrument called a probe to measure the area around your teeth for pocketing. These are areas between the gum and the teeth where bacteria can gather. Normal pockets should be no more than three millimeters deep. If you have pockets deeper than five millimeters, your dentist will likely order a deep scaling and root planing appointment.

Fake teeth showing process for deep dental cleaning

Deep cleans often involve some sort of localized anesthesia. During a deep clean, a dentist or hygienist will use their tools to scrape away tartar and plaque that has developed around the teeth on the surface of the enamel under the gums. This differs from a regular cleaning, during which a professional will only clean along the gum line. They’ll also reach up along the roots of your teeth to your softer cementum, which they’ll smooth down to prevent plaque from forming in uneven spaces.

After the scaling and planing has been completed, your hygienist will brush your teeth using an electric toothbrush. It may sound a little loud, but using this brush is essential after a deep cleaning. If they don’t do it automatically, speak to the hygienist about flossing for you. Flossing at home is crucial to good dental hygiene, but having a professional attend to your teeth with floss is really helpful. At this point, you’ll rinse with a liquid that has some fluoride in it before you’re all set. A follow-up appointment might be necessary to measure pocket depth and determine whether your gums and teeth are getting healthier.

Why Do Dentists Insist on Deep Cleans?

Deep cleaning is all done in order to protect the health of your teeth, gums, and jaw. Plaque and tartar left untreated can evolve into periodontitis, a form of gum disease. Progressive periodontitis can lead to bone loss as well as chronic and systemic infection and inflammation. Periodontitis is a chronic infection usually due to infrequent flossing and inadequate oral hygiene. Bacteria will have collected in the pockets and spaces below the gum line, and they will secrete an acid that can dissolve the bone tissue that connect your teeth and jawbone.

If left untreated, periodontitis will continue to progress. It can cause you to lose teeth, and your jaw bone may suffer bone loss that cannot be restored. A chronic infection would be treated immediately anywhere else in your body, and your mouth should be no different.

Deep Cleans vs. Regular Cleaning

Comparing a deep clean to a regular dental cleaning is kind of like comparing apples and oranges. If deep pockets of bacteria are present, your dentist might refuse to do a regular cleaning, opting instead to schedule you for a deep clean. This is because regular cleanings can disturb the bacteria colonies existing in your mouth and may release them into your bloodstream.

Why is Deep Cleaning Necessary?

Dentists are serious about periodontitis and not just because it affects nearly half of all adults in the United States over 30. Periodontitis can have adverse effects on your health, impacting issues such as heart disease, COPD, other inflammatory diseases, diabetes, and pregnancy. For pregnant women, this is doubly important—gum disease has been linked to babies with low birthweight and preterm births. It may be frustrating to hear “no” from your dentists during a scheduled appointment, but trust us, your health may depend on it.

Most if not all patients experience a lot of relief after they’ve had a necessary deep clean. Brushing is often much less painful afterwards, and bleeding decreases drastically. If you have financial worries about this procedure, don’t hesitate to talk to our staff. Most insurance companies will cover a deep cleaning, and we file with all major insurance providers. Additionally, we are willing to set up a payment plan so that all people can receive the dental work they deserve.

Periodontitis is a serious condition that can result in the loss of both bone and teeth, but there are steps that can be taken to prevent this infection from progressing. You should visit your dentist regularly to receive cleanings and allow them to measure your gum pockets. If you don’t have a regular dentist in the Asheville area, get in touch with us to learn more. We are always happy to see new patients and our doctors are well trained in assessing periodontitis and deciding whether or not a deep cleaning is right for you.

Your First Visit to an Asheville Pediatric Dentist

Your child’s first visit to their pediatric dentist in the Asheville area is an exciting experience. This is the first time that they will meet their dentist, get an examination, and if all goes well, discover that a dentist’s office is not a scary place after all.

Child getting ready to go to pediatric dentist in Asheville

You and your child should familiarize yourself with what to expect during that initial visit. As a person who’s been to the dentist before, you’ll likely have insights that you can share with your child. This first step is important to encourage good oral health in your child, which is linked to good health overall.

The First Visit To The Dentist

There is a lot of varying information out there as to when a child’s first trip to the dentist should be. Some folks, including those at the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, believe that the first visit should take place before the first birthday. This is definitely good advice as early visits to the dentist promote healthier oral hygiene habits and establish a positive impression for your child early on. If you can’t make it within the first or second year, just be sure that you do so before your child’s third birthday.

What to Tell Your Kids Before Their First Visit

Take time before the actual appointment to talk to your child about what they will experience. Be sure to use positive terminology and a calm voice when you do so. Let them know that the dentist will do things like give their teeth a good cleaning and count how many teeth there are. They may even take pictures of their teeth. Avoid saying things like, “it won’t hurt” as that will only give them the impression that it might. A child’s fear of the dentist will only occur if they perceive that fear from an adult in their life. If your child has a fear of the dentist, there are ways to help them overcome it.

What Parent’s Should Expect

A child’s first dental visit is usually very quick and involves little actual treatment. Depending on the practice and doctor, you may be asked to come in and sit in a dental chair during the exam or you will be asked to wait outside in the waiting room so that the dentist can begin to build trust with your child.

The first exam will usually consist of a gentle inspection of your child’s teeth and gums. X-rays may be ordered to check on the progress of your child’s set of permanent teeth or look for decay. The first visit may also involve a light cleaning and a bit of topical fluoride to protect teeth. Most importantly of all, the dentist will go over with your child the proper ways to clean and care for their teeth and gums.

Preventative Care for Your Child’s Teeth

Preventative care is changing the way that the world looks at children’s teeth. No longer is it assumed that a child’s teeth will suffer from decay, thanks to the doctors and scientists who spend much of their time discovering what causes decay and how to prevent it.

In our office, we are very concerned with preventative care for children. That’s why we invest in the latest dental sealant technology to be used to protect children’s teeth. Sealants are high-tech plastics bonded to the surface of decay-prone teeth in the back of your child’s mouth. This is just one block set in the foundation of good oral care that we are setting for your child.

But so much of preventative care occurs in the household, which is why we need responsible parents like yourself to help us out by encouraging great oral hygiene habits, like brushing two times a day and flossing daily, and a good diet.

Cavities affect millions of adults and children throughout the world. They are often a result of a poor diet that is high in sugary, substance-less foods paired with a general lack of careful brushing. It is, of course, important for you to limit your child’s sugar intake and ensure that they brush regularly, but children that eat very slowly are at a higher risk of getting cavities because residue stays on their teeth for longer.

When a person eats something, an acid reaction takes place inside their mouth. Bacteria digest the sugars that are being ingested through food. This reaction usually takes about 20 minutes, during which time the acid can destroy the tooth structure which may eventually lead to cavities.

Dental Tips for Baby Teeth

Baby teeth will begin to appear in your child’s mouth at around six to eight months. They will appear periodically, starting at the bottom front and working their way back to the sides of the jaw. By three, your child should have all 20 of their baby teeth. Baby teeth are important for biting, chewing, speech, and appearance, which is why it is important that you take good care of your child’s baby teeth even if they aren’t permanent.

If you have more questions about visiting a pediatric dentist in the Asheville area, reach out to us. We would be happy to answer any of your questions or set you up with an initial appointment.

How to Treat Sensitive Teeth After a Cleaning

If you’ve had your teeth whitened before, then you are probably familiar with the boost of confidence that you’ll experience after the fact, as well as the slight sensitivity and pain that’s commonplace.

If you have gotten your teeth whitened in Asheville, you may experience some sensitivity afterward. Don’t worry this is common and it isn’t permanent. Even those with strong, healthy enamel can be susceptible to sensitivity. Regardless of what steps you take to prevent staining your teeth and keep them shining, you may find you’d like a little extra whitening.

Man has sensitive teeth after dental whitening in Asheville

The exact cause of tooth sensitivity following teeth whitening isn’t known, but peroxide (a main ingredient in most tooth whitening products) has been shown to have properites that irritate the tooth nerve. This irritation can cause symptoms like sensitivity to cold and slight tingling. The best approach to deal with potential tooth sensitivity is proactivity, so stock up on products that will offer relief and follow all your dentist’s recommendations for caring for your teeth.

Solutions for Sensitive Teeth

Desensitizing toothpaste and prescription toothpaste with additional fluoride in it can help to sooth teeth that are sensitivite after whitening. For best results, use these toothpastes up to two weeks prior to a scheduled appointment. Adding a bit of potassium nitrate to your whitening tray can further reduce sensitivity, but this substance is only accessible through your dentist, so you’ll have to talk to them about your plans prior to whitening.

Over-the-Counter Pain Relief

An Advil or Aleve can be very helpful in reducing the symptoms of your sensitivity is taken ahead of the application of the product. You want to look for something with anti-inflammatory response.

Avoid Cold Food and Drinks

If you’re experiencing sensitivity, limit the amount of cold food and drink that you ingest. Whitening exasperates sensitivity issues and adding a cold element that can cause some discomfort will not help. Using a straw to drink might also help your teeth avoid some inflammatory substances.

Additionally, overuse of whitening products is not going to help sensitivity. Excessive use can potentionally damage teeth in the long term. When in doubt, pull back on the whitening and give your teeth some time to heal. Either use the treatment less frequently or reduce the duration of the treatment or both.

Be Gentle When Brushing Your Teeth

Be gentle when brushing your teeth after a whitening treatment. Opt for a soft bristled brush and lukewarm water instead of icy cold to take a bit of the edge off your teeth. You could also leave the toothpaste in your mouth for a few minutes after you’ve finished brushing to give it some added time. Be sure that you’re brushing your teeth before whitening, not after. Brushing them after you’ve whitened will open pores of exposed dentin further, which will generate more sensitivity.

Choose Wisely

Do your research before deciding to use one kit over another. Not all kits or trays are made the same; some have more peroxide, who’s properties increase sensitivity. One of the most highly recommended whitening treatments for the home is Crest 3D Whitestrips. They can be purchased online or in most stores.

Don’t let the possibility of discomfort convince you not to whiten your teeth when there are so many good reasons to do it. Tooth whitening is an easy and affordable way to improve your smile and increase your confidence. It also has very few side effects, though sensitivity is known to be one of the most common. There are plenty of ways to address tooth sensitivity following whitening and tips to prevent it. If you are interested in speaking with a dentist about tooth whitening options and concerns, contact us to set up an appointment.

Your Dentist’s Guide to Primary (Baby) Teeth

The development of a smile is an important milestone for all people, and it often starts before you even celebrate your first birthday. Baby teeth are a normal phase in the early years, but they can sometimes cause mild discomfort for children or require extra care from adults.

Baby girl shows off her baby teeth in Asheville

We’ve run through all the variables that parents should be aware of when their children’s baby teeth begin to fall out so that you can feel prepared and can ensure the best oral health for your family.

The Basics of Baby Teeth

Children are born with 20 primary teeth present in their jaw, otherwise known as “baby teeth.” They begin to erupt, or push through the gums, between six months to one year after birth, and most children will have a full set by the time they are three years old.

Once primary teeth emerge, babies will experience sore and tender gums. This period of time is usually referred to as “teething.” A teething baby’s discomfort can be soothed by using wet gauze or a small, cold spoon. You can also give your child a clean teething ring to chew on. Sucking on a thumb or pacifier is alright as long as your child stops by the time they’re two years old.

Baby teeth are important to your child’s development. Besides helping a child chew and bite, baby teeth also prevent teeth from shifting too early, which will affect the way that adult teeth grow in later on. Primary teeth are also useful in properly developing your child’s speech as their tongue and lips touch the teeth, enabling them to pronounce words clearly. To ensure that your baby doesn’t lose their teeth too early, you should begin to take your child to the dentist six months after eruption—just another good reason to visit your local dental practice in Asheville.

Take good care of your child’s primary teeth by doing the following:

  • Encouraging them to brush daily with a small amount of fluoride toothpaste.
  • Providing a healthy and nutritious diet.
  • Taking your baby to the dentist regularly, with their first appointment occuring by the time they turn one.
  • Showing them the right way to clean their teeth. You’ll be in charge of cleaning their teeth for the first couple of years of their life, so be sure to show them the right way that they should be brushing.

Losing Baby Teeth

Most children will begin to lose their primary teeth around the age of 6, after the teeth have been growing in for a couple of years. This is just an average and will vary from child to child, but you should be sure to visit your dentist right away if your child loses a tooth prematurely do to accident or tooth decay. The latter could indicate a more serious problem. Additionally, the premature loss of a primary tooth might not leave enough room for the permanent tooth to grow in.

Teeth usually fall out in the order in which they erupted, meaning that the two bottom front teeth will fall out first. The last of their primary teeth, which is usually the second molar, is often lost by the age of 12 or 13. One of the most challenging parts of dealing with baby teeth is the wait: a tooth can take days or even months to fall out once your child realizes that it’s loose. The more that your child wiggles the tooth, the faster it will fall out, and the sooner that a new tooth will begin to appear to take its place. If a new tooth hasn’t grown in after six months, take your child to see their dentist as they may refer you to an oral surgeon.

After a Tooth Falls Out

Whenever a tooth falls out, have your child garge some warm water, especially if there’s some bleeding. Child-friendly toothpaste can continue to be used but make sure that your child knows not to brush too hard where the tooth has fallen out.

After the loss of baby teeth, you should take the opportunity to reinforce the importance of good oral health routines with your children. This would include brushing twice per day at minimum, flossing at least once per day, and observing healthy eating habits. Stress the importance of avoiding sugary drinks like soda and other damaging food and beverages while teaching them the right ways to clean their teeth.

Conclusion

Teeth are a very important part of keeping good health, and it’s never too early to use the best practices. Baby teeth may not be permanent, but they are an important part of your child’s development. Make sure that your children have access to regular dental visits and gentle, fluoride toothpastes from the beginning so that their teeth are well taken care of. Regular visits starting early will also help your child overcome any fear they have of the dentist. If you are in the Asheville area and looking for a new dental practice to call home, contact us to request more information or set up an appointment. Our practice offers dentistry services for the whole family.

Holiday stress could have you in physical pain

Woman experiencing physical pain due to holiday stress

The holiday stress is over, but what may not be over is residual tooth pain.

December and January top the charts for emergency dental visits and tooth problems related to holiday stress.

It’s a new year worth celebrating – but if you’re experiencing pain in your mouth, it’s time to see a dentist.

Here’s why this may happen. The holidays are a wonderful time full of love, family and good food, but it can also be a time of high stress. Clenching jaws or grinding teeth are common habits associated with nervousness or stress. This clenching and grinding is referred to as bruxism and is very damaging to your oral health. Tooth sensitivity is also a side effect of bruxism. When left untreated, this behavior even leads to loose or fractured teeth – and halting teeth grinding at the outset is easier than fixing damaged teeth.

Even if you aren’t experiencing severe jaw or tooth pain, reoccurring headaches can be a result of bruxism. Are you worried that you have tooth damage? Call your dentist and make an appointment. Explain your symptoms thoroughly and don’t be afraid to tell him or her about your holiday stress levels. Your doctor will examine your mouth during your exam and help determine if you have issues with clenching or grinding. If it appears that you have sleep bruxism (clenching and grinding at night), your doctor likely will recommend a night guard to help protect your teeth and jaws from damage.

Other oral issues that individuals suffer from – during and after the holidays – fall into the temporomandibular disorders (TMD) category. These are disorders that affect the joints in the jaw. You may notice pain, discomfort or “clicking” sounds when talking, chewing food or just opening your mouth.

Concerns related to holiday stress and TMD issues are:

• Jaw pain

• Pain in either of the temporomandibular joints

• Earaches or pain

• Pain while eating food

• Facial aches or pain

• Difficulty opening and closing the mouth

• A clicking or grating sensation when opening the mouth

If you experience any of these symptoms, take action and make an appointment with your dentist. These disorders have long-term effects on the wear and sensitivity of your teeth, and may cause headaches as well.

Whether it’s holiday stress or regular stress, keeping your tension levels under control will help both your oral and overall health. Relax, unwind and take some time for yourself. And ask you dentist to help!

holiday stress levels

Here’s an article from the American Dental Association that expands on dental health and holiday stress.