Dental Hygiene Tips

A Word From Dental Hygienist Natalie: Tooth Sensitivity

Posted on July 19, 2012. Filed under: Dental Hygiene Tips, Dental Hygienist, Dental Treatment, Oral Health, Smile Savers Dentistry, Teeth, Teeth Sensitivity, Tooth Sensitivity | Tags: , , , , |

Dental Hygienist Natalie at Smile Savers Dentistry in Columbia MarylandTooth sensitivity can come and go over time. If your teeth or a single tooth is sensitive or even painful when breathing in cold air – or with hot, cold, sweet or acidic foods and drinks, then you have sensitive teeth. Almost half the world’s population suffers from tooth sensitivity. However, tooth sensitivity issues can be treated with either in-office or at-home treatments. The type of treatment will depend on what is causing the sensitivity.

First, it’s important to share with your dentist or dental hygienist if you have a sensitive tooth so that your mouth can be examined to see if the problem is in fact tooth sensitivity (dentin hypersensitivity). If it is, they will help you choose the best form of treatment. Your dentist/hygienist may recommend that you use a low abrasion toothpaste that is made especially for sensitive teeth. You will have to brush with this paste twice a day to achieve results.

Your dentist may instead prescribe an inexpensive brush-on fluoride gel or a fluoride rinse, or a high fluoride level toothpaste that is formulated to make your teeth less sensitive and provides extra protection against decay. These tooth sensitivity treatments are done at home when you are brushing your teeth.

There are other treatments for sensitive teeth that your dentist or dental hygienist can provide in the dental office. These include treatments that are painted onto the teeth and fillings – such as fluoride varnish sealants and plastic resins.

You can reduce your chances of getting tooth sensitivity by keeping your mouth as healthy as possible with good oral hygiene to help prevent periodontal disease. Call our dental office in Columbia today if you are overdue for a cleaning or exam, or if you are experiencing tooth sensitivity.

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A Word From Dental Hygienist Beth: Fluoride Varnish

Posted on July 11, 2012. Filed under: Dental Health, Dental Hygiene Tips, Dental Hygienist, Fluoride Treatment, Fluoride Varnish, General Dentistry, Xerostomia | Tags: , , , , |

Dental Hygienist Beth at Smile Savers Dentistry in Columbia Maryland
What is Fluoride Varnish?

Fluoride varnish is a sticky substance that is painted on to the teeth with a tiny brush to prevent new cavities and stop cavities that have already started. It is quick, painless and doesn’t have a bad taste. The protection from fluoride varnish can last for several months after application.

Who should get Fluoride Varnish Treatments?

Fluoride is safe and recommended for children of all ages – you should know children as young as 12 to 18 months can get cavities!

But fluoride isn’t just for children. Adults can also benefit from fluoride varnish. Some reasons adults may require additional fluoride:

  • Tooth decay in the past (susceptible get more)
  • Head and neck radiation / Xerostomia patients (more susceptible to decay because of the lack of saliva)
  • Gum recession (roots are exposed and could be targeted by bacteria)
  • Bridge or crowns (margins can be hiding places for bacteria that cause decay)
  • Braces (catch food and bacteria that can harm and discolor the teeth)

We know now that people can keep their teeth for much longer than was previously possible. With the use of fluoride and good oral hygiene practices you can ensure that your teeth remain healthy as you age. Start today – ask your favorite Smile Savers dental hygienist for a fluoride varnish!

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A Word From Dental Hygienist Natalie: Four Benefits of Electric Toothbrushes for Your Oral Hygiene

Posted on June 21, 2012. Filed under: Dental Hygiene Tips, Dental Hygienist, Electric toothbrush, Periodontal Disease, Smile Savers Dentistry, Teeth | Tags: , |

Dental Hygienist Natalie at Smile Savers Dentistry in Columbia Maryland

  • An electric toothbrush removes up to 80% more plaque then manual toothbrushes.
  • Electric toothbrush vibrations aid in stimulating the gums to firm up tighter and healthier to the tooth, preventing periodontal progression and disease.
  • Providing your teeth and gums with a better cleaning can help save money in dental restorations for your future.
  • Electric toothbrushes are proven more effective at removing coffee, wine and tea staining compared to manual brushes.

So while the upfront cost may be more than you would like to spend, I encourage you to make the investment for your own dental health future! If you have any questions about which electric toothbrush might be a good choice for you, feel free to stop by or call me at the dental office.

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A Word From Dental Hygienist Natalie: Benefits of Fluoride

Posted on May 2, 2012. Filed under: Dental Health, Dental Hygiene Tips, Dental Hygienist, Fluoride Treatment, General Dentistry, Kids Dental Health, Kids Oral Health, Oral Health, Smile Savers Dentistry | Tags: , , , , |

Dental Hygienist Natalie at Smile Savers Dentistry in Columbia Maryland
Fluorine (from which fluoride is derived) is actually a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods, water and in the air.

Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. It also has the ability to reverse early decay areas.

Each day, minerals are added to and lost from a tooth’s enamel layer through two processes: demineralization and remineralization. Minerals are lost from a tooth’s enamel layer when acids, formed from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth, attack the enamel. Minerals such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate are then redeposited to the enamel layer from the foods and water we consume. Too much demineralization without enough remineralization to repair the enamel layer will eventually lead to tooth decay.

Children and adults who are at low risk of dental decay can stay cavity-free through frequent exposure to small amounts of fluoride. New research indicates that topical fluoride, from toothpastes, mouth rinses, and in-office fluoride treatments, are as important in fighting tooth decay as in strengthening developing teeth. Fluoride supplements are also available as liquids or tablets but must be prescribed by your dentist.

The following are certain conditions that may offer an increased risk of tooth decay and would therefore benefit from additional fluoride treatment:

  • Dry mouth conditions
  • Gum disease – Also called gingivitis, gum disease can expose more of your tooth and tooth roots to bacteria increasing the chance of tooth decay
  • History of frequent cavities
  • Presence of crowns and/or bridges or braces

If you have more questions about fluoride, feel free to ask me during your next visit to the office!

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A Word From Dental Hygienist Beth: Smart Snacking = Healthy Teeth

Posted on April 25, 2012. Filed under: Dental Health, Dental Hygiene Tips, Dental Hygienist, Kids Oral Health, Oral Health, Oral Health and Nutrition, Plaque, Smile Savers Dentistry | Tags: , , , , |

Dental Hygienist Beth at Smile Savers Dentistry in Columbia Maryland
What’s wrong with sugary snacks?
Sugary snacks are so yummy to eat – but they aren’t good for your teeth, or your body. Candies, cakes, cookies and other sugary foods can cause tooth decay, but what you may not know is that starchy snacks like potato chips can also break down into sugars once they’re in your mouth.

How do sugars attack your teeth?
Bacteria live in your mouth in plaque on the surface of the teeth. When you eat sugars, the bacteria take the sugar and turn it into acids. These acids attack the enamel on your teeth. That’s how cavities begin. If you don’t eat much sugar, the bacteria can’t produce as much of the acid that destroys enamel.

How can I protect myself from cavities?
Before you choose a snack, ask yourself what’s in the food that you’ve chosen. Is it filled with sugar? If it is, make a better choice! Chewy foods stick to your teeth and stay in your mouth longer than foods that you can quickly chew and swallow; they give your teeth a longer “acid attack.” Acid attacks can last as long as 20 minutes. This means that the more times you put sugar in your mouth during the day, the more often you fuel bacteria that cause cavities.

Right after you eat sugars … in any meal or snack … brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste. And, the next time you are about to eat that cookie, eat a handful of nuts instead!

For additional questions about sugary snacks contact us at Smile Savers Dentistry near Ellicott City. We’re here to help!

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A Word From Dental Hygienist Beth: You Should Whiten Your Teeth If You …

Posted on March 21, 2012. Filed under: Dental Health, Dental Hygiene Tips, Dental Hygienist, Smile Savers Dentistry, Teeth Bleaching, Teeth Whitening, Tooth Whitening | Tags: , , , |

  • Have stains on your teeth – Teeth whitening will lighten the yellowish stains that have built up over the years from smoking, coffee, tea, red wine and other foods that have discolored your teeth.
  • Want to stop smoking – You won’t want to stain your bright smile with unhealthy cigarette stains after you whiten.
  • Are getting married – You should look your very best for that very special day.
  • Have a job interview – A bright smile will up your confidence and will help make that most important first impression.
  • Are attending a class reunion – Let those old classmates wonder how they over-looked your brilliant smile in high school years ago.
  • Have aging teeth – Age can cause your teeth to develop a yellowish tint that makes one look old and unhealthy.

There are a few reasons you may not be a good candidate for tooth whitening. For example, injury, certain medications, fever and root canal treatment can permanently discolor the teeth and make it difficult to get good results. Your dentist or hygienist can let you know very quickly if you are a good candidate. A beautiful white smile reflects to everyone that you are conscious of your oral hygiene and have an overall appearance of physical health. Make 2012 the year to look and feel healthy with whiter teeth, contact us today about NiteWhite Teeth Whitening.

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A Word From Dental Hygienist Beth: Bleeding Gums Are Not Okay!

Posted on February 13, 2012. Filed under: Dental Health, Dental Hygiene Tips, General Dentistry, Oral Health, Smile Savers Dentistry | Tags: , , , , |

Bleeding gums can be a sign that you will, or may already, have periodontal (gum) disease. If you have bleeding gums when you brush or floss, your circulatory system is susceptible to “attack” by the bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria cause health problems such as digestive disorders, risk for heart attack, diabetes, and even stroke. Symptoms like swollen or bleeding gums are warning signs that our body gives us so that we can take action to prevent the underlying cause from getting out of control.

To keep the tissues that surround and support your teeth healthy for a lifetime, it’s extremely important to establish an oral hygiene program with your dental hygienist and get that bacteria under control!

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A Word from Dental Hygienist Natalie: Helpful Hygiene Tips for Kids

Posted on February 6, 2012. Filed under: Childrens Dental Health, Dental Health, Dental Hygiene Tips, General Dentistry, Kids Dental Health, Kids Oral Health, Oral Health, Smile Savers Dentistry | Tags: , , , , , , , |

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, so it is a great time to provide parents with helpful tips! Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps your children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

Helpful Hygiene Tips:

  • Electric or battery-operated toothbrushes help make brushing fun while providing a great cleaning!
  • Place a two minute timer near the sink and offer your child a challenge to brush until the timer rings.
  • Disclosing tablets offer a fun what to show kids where they missed.
  • Help your kids get in the routine of flossing at an early age. Kids usually do not have the dexterity until after age 12, so they need your help. (And they’ll love the extra mom/dad time and attention!)
  • Flavors are a great way to entice your children to brush longer … try Tom’s of Maine orange and strawberry or Crest Kids. This goes for flavored mouthwash as well. Bubblegum flavored ACT helps prevents cavities with fluoride – and tastes great.

Visit our About Teeth page on our website to view dental development beginning at 6 months to learn more about how your children’s teeth will grow. ANd if you are new to our dental practice, click here to see what to expect on your first visit at Smile Savers Dentistry.

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