healthy teeth

A Word from Dental Hygienist Bonnie Carroll, RDH: The Importance of Dental Hygiene

Posted on December 11, 2013. Filed under: Dental Care, Dental Health, Dental Hygiene Tips, Dental Hygienist, General Dentistry, healthy teeth, Oral Health, Smile Savers Dentistry | Tags: , , , , , |

Bonnie Carroll at Smile Savers DentistryWe like to educate our patients on the importance of keeping up with your regular dental cleaning visits. At Smile Savers Dentistry, we use the latest technology and take the time to gather information about your oral health status.

Your oral hygiene is not only important for the health of your teeth and gums, but also for the health of your entire body! Your mouth acts as a portal of all things traveling through your body. More than 75% of Americans have some form of periodontal disease (gum disease), but only 60% are aware of the problem. Periodontal disease has been linked to many systemic diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease to name a few.

When patients come in for their cleanings, there are many things that the dentist and hygienist look at to advise the patient about their oral care. At Smile Savers Dentistry we perform several procedures for diagnostic purposes.

One of the procedures that is used to help keep you at optimal oral health are X-rays (bite wings and a panoramic). The bite wings are taken once a year and they are used to check the spaces between your teeth for decay and bone levels around the teeth. The panoramic X-ray is taken every 3 years and this X-ray shows us the whole mouth and your joints and sinuses.
dentalpatient-sm

Then there is periodontal charting which is done once a year to measure the bone level around the teeth by doing this regularly your dental professionals are able to catch periodontal disease in its early stages and design a proper treatment plan to get you back to optimal oral health. As for the microscope evaluation, we use this as a tool to take a sample of the plaque bacteria that is in your mouth and blow it up to viewing size under the microscope showing you what is exactly going on at a microscopic level in your mouth.

Last but not least is a periodic exam that Dr. Stewart performs for your routine oral health and cancer screening. It’s also to evaluate X-rays and treatment that may be needed to keep your teeth and gums healthy, as well as your entire body.

If you are overdue for your exam and cleaning, call Smile Savers Dentistry at 410-730-6460 for your appointment. I look forward to seeing you!

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Healthy Teeth Tips For Your Thanksgiving Dinner from Smile Savers Dentistry

Posted on November 25, 2013. Filed under: Dental Health, healthy teeth, Oral Health, Oral Health and Nutrition, Smile Savers Dentistry | Tags: , , , , |

Healthy Teeth Advice from Smile Savers DentistryThe Thanksgiving holiday is a time to enjoy the company of your family and friends, and of course to enjoy (sometimes too much) delicious food. It’s really not the time to think of your diet or your oral health, for that matter. Don’t worry, we’re not going to be the voice of doom and gloom for the holidays.

Bacteria just loves sugar and starch! They feed on the sugar that enters your mouth and it causes the enamel of your teeth to break down, which results in sensitivity and pain! So, as you indulge this Thursday, try to follow some of these tips so that we don’t see you in the office until you are due for your next cleaning!

Avoid Grazing: It’s easy to graze during a holiday feast like Thanksgiving. The problem with grazing is two-fold. Because you are aimlessly reaching for appetizers and cookies, you have no real measure of the amount of food you are eating, which does not help your waistline. The sugars from the food can also sit in the plaque on your teeth. Try to rinse your mouth with warm water after snacking.

Say No Thanks to Sugary Drinks: Opt for water or unsweetened tea. Not only will your teeth thank you for being so protective, your waistline will thank you too. Another idea is to make a low-sugar, sparkling cranberry punch to serve with dinner.

Limit Teeth Staining Foods and Drinks: If you plan to be drinking red wine, pair it with some cheese cubes. Cheese provides a protective barrier between your tooth enamel and the red wine. Antioxidant-rich, brightly colored fruits and veggies, and coffee and tea can also cause staining.

Add Some Veggies and Crunch To Your Plate: Make a veggie platter to satisfy you and your guests as appetizers, over the more fattening options of chips and crackers. Prepare an inviting salad to enjoy before, or with, dinner. The crunchy veggies help in removing the plaque from your teeth and won’t add inches to your waistline. Substitute potatoes with sweet potatoes instead and serve fiber-rich broccoli for Thanksgiving dinner. These foods will aid in saliva secretion that helps in flushing out the accumulated acid from the other food.

After Dinner Drinks Do’s and Don’ts: Sorry coffee lovers, it’s better to choose tea over coffee after dinner. The polyphenols within the tea can help the veggies to get rid of the harmful acid producing bacteria in your mouth.

Carry a Toothbrush: If you’re not enjoying Thanksgiving at home, toss a toothbrush in your purse or coat jacket. Duck in to the bathroom and rinse your mouth with warm water and brush your way to a nice, fresh mouth for the end of the evening.

Remember, proper nutrition is essential to maintaining good oral health but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the holiday food offerings! And of course it goes without saying, make sure you are scheduled for your routine checkup and cleaning here at Smile Savers Dentistry to avoid future dental issues. Call the office today at 410-730-6460 to make your 2014 appointment.

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A Word From Dental Assistant Deanna: Why You Can’t Ignore Cavities

Posted on October 23, 2013. Filed under: Dental Assistant, Dental Care, Dental Cavity, Dental Health, Dental Hygiene Tips, Dental Treatment, General Dentistry, healthy teeth, Oral Health, Oral Health and Nutrition | Tags: , , , , |

Deanna Roberts at Smile Savers DentistryAs Halloween approaches, it’s always tempting to eat the delicious candy that seems to appear just about everywhere you look. As we all know, sugar is directly related to cavities which are considered a disease. Cavities are decay, they damage and break down your teeth causing a hole to develop. This hole can be microscopic or it can be visible to the naked eye. It just depends on how bad the cavity is. When left untreated, cavities just get worse causing more pain and the chance of the tooth becoming so badly damaged that you lose it.
Candy and Cavities
I’ve been a dental assistant at Smile Savers Dentistry for over a year and I’ve also seen countless cases where patients wait too long to take care of a cavity and end up having to deal with needing an extraction, root canal or crown. All of these procedures will cost you more time and money along with added stress.

The main reason that I love my job at Smile Savers Dentistry so much is that I have the ability to help people. My main concern is that you are happy and healthy! I don’t want to see a simple cavity turn in to a root canal, and I especially don’t want to see anyone in pain, especially pain that could have been prevented. I would love for you to call our dentist office here in Columbia, MD at 410-730-6460. to talk about your treatment options and to see what is involved with fixing cavities. I will gladly answer any questions that you have and hopefully put your fears to rest.

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A Word From Dental Assistant CJ: Why Should You Straighten Your Teeth?

Posted on October 16, 2013. Filed under: Dental Assistant, Dental Braces, Dental Care, gum disease, healthy teeth, Invisalign, Invisalign Preferred Provider, Oral Health, Periodontal Disease, Quality Dental Care, Smile Savers Dentistry, Teeth alignment, Tooth straightening | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

CJ Burwell at Smile Savers DentistryMalocclusion and Periodontal Disease: A Destructive Relationship

So how are these two things related, and what do they even mean? Malocclusion simply means that the teeth are not aligned properly. This can cause pressure and force on your teeth that they are not meant to handle. These extreme forces can eventually cause trauma to your teeth, such as breaking or chipping which is painful, unpleasant and involves costly dental work. It’s the same principle as a chip in your windshield. At first it’s small and doesn’t seem to matter, except for aesthetic reasons, but you hit a bad speed bump and that small chip turns into a broken windshield. This all could have been prevented if that small chip was fixed! After straightening your teeth, the chance of them breaking is greatly reduced because the force of your bite will be evenly distributed to all your teeth rather than just a few.

Periodontal disease refers to a disease relating to the gums. The more crowded your teeth are, the harder it becomes to clean them. Plaque and harmful bacteria build up on all surfaces of your teeth and below your gums. It’s difficult to remove plaque from areas in your mouth with a lot of crowding because you can’t brush or floss as well there. After straightening your teeth, you will have better access to all the surfaces of your tooth reducing the need for more in depth cleanings, bad breath and the chances for cavities.
Invisalign dentist Columbia MD
Invisalign ® is a great first step toward keeping your teeth healthy for the rest of your life. People who have healthy teeth and gums live 10 years longer than people who don’t. When periodontal disease is left untreated, you are at a greater risk for heart disease, stroke and complications with diabetes. Adverse pregnancy outcomes and respiratory diseases are also side effects of periodontal disease.

But how are these things possibly related? They are related because the same blood that travels through your whole body also travels to your teeth and gums. When bacteria are lodged below the gum line or in between your teeth they begin to eat away your tissues. This allows more bacteria to grow and eventually they enter the blood stream. When the bacteria get into your blood stream they are free to flow to any part of the body blood travels to, including your heart.

I’ve been a dental assistant here at Smile Savers Dentistry for 5 years now and the best part about my job is helping my patients become as healthy as possible. It’s a great feeling knowing that I can change someone’s quality of life simply by informing them about how important it is to keep their teeth and gums healthy. I really care about my patients and their dental health, as it truly does have an effect on your overall health. If you have any questions about Invisalign, or anything else regarding your teeth, please give me a call at our dental office in Columbia, MD at 410-730-6460.

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The Many Causes of Halitosis by Dr. Daniel Stewart of Smile Savers Dentistry

Posted on July 17, 2013. Filed under: Bad Breath Causes, Dental Care, Dental Health, Dental Treatment, Halitosis, healthy teeth, Oral Health, Oral Health and Nutrition | Tags: , , , , , |

Dr. Daniel Stewart at Smile Savers Dentistry in Columbia MarylandA frequent question we get at Smile Savers Dentistry is “What Causes Bad Breath?” And believe it or not, the question about bad breath is usually not from the offender, but actually from a long-time suffering family member or spouse. Unfortunately, there are many causes of bad breath, which is called “halitosis” – some serious and some not. Many people decide to just live with it, but the good news is that diagnosing and treating bad breath is easy.

So to answer the question as best as I can, here is a brief list of causes; in no particular order.

Food Containing Pungent Oils Garlic and onions may be extremely healthy, but they also contain oils which may cause an unhealthy reaction to those around you. These odors come from the lungs, last up to 72 hours and can be tough to cover up. Mints, gum and rinses are your best bet for your breath.

Dry Mouth A dry mouth allows dead cells to accumulate on your gums, tongue and cheeks. And while morning breath is a perfectly normal phenomenon due to lower salivary activity at night, it shouldn’t last all day. Those who snore, mouth-breathe, take certain medicines, or even those in their middle ages are prone to dry mouth.

Smoking Smoking dries out your mouth and also, tobacco just plain stinks. If lung cancer and heart disease aren’t reason enough to give up the cigarettes, maybe a constant foul mouth will help you make that life-saving decision?

Routine Illness Colds, sore throats, coughs and sinus infections all cause mucus to get trapped in our mouths, throats or noses, which causes foul breath until the illness is gone.

Chronic Disease or Condition Many serious diseases such as lung infections, kidney failures, diabetes, cancer, anorexia, bulemia and other diseases can cause very specific types of halitosis. The good news is that these are on the rare side, but if anything along these lines is suspected, seek the appropriate doctor.

Causes of Bad Breath

Bad Breath Alert!

Poor Dental Hygiene and Gum Disease Ahhhh… this our favorite at Smile Savers Dentistry. Not because we like people to have poor dental hygiene and gum disease, but because these are very common causes of bad breath and we can usually treat them quite easily here in our Columbia MD dentist office. It’s important that you don’t wait too long. Gum disease, which usually starts with poor brushing and flossing habits as well as a lack of routine dental visits, can do much more than just make your mouth smell.

In just a short period of time, gum disease can advance and eat away at the gums and bone which hold your teeth in place. The result? Loose, unstable teeth which will eventually be lost if not treated. Catching gum disease early is great as treatment is typically conservative. But wait too long and it gets much more difficult and extensive.

So to wrap up, bad breath is not normal! Seeing your dentist and dental hygienist on a regular basis is your best bet for making sure your teeth and gums stay healthy, your smile stays bright, and your breath doesn’t cause others to run for cover in the opposite direction.

If you have any questions about halitosis or any other oral health or dental topic concerning you or someone you care about, please feel free to give our office a call at 410-730-6460. My fantastic, caring dental team at Smile Savers Dentistry are here to help you. You can also visit the Smile Savers Dentistry website for more information about our dental practice. My team and I strive to be the best dentist office in Howard County!

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At Smile Savers Dentistry You’ve Entered the No Judgement Zone: by Dr. Daniel Stewart

Posted on October 24, 2012. Filed under: dental fear, Dental Health, fear of dentist, General Dentistry, healthy teeth, Oral Health, Smile Savers Dentistry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Dr. Daniel Stewart at Smile Savers Dentistry in Columbia MarylandToo often when a new (sometimes emergency) dental patient comes in, we are told it has been two, three … maybe even up to 5 years since their last cleaning or exam. When asked why they have waited so long, the main reason given is actually a tie. They have either had a bad prior experience with another dentist … or it has been so long since their last visit that they were too embarrassed to come in, so they continued to put it off until something was wrong.

The simple fact is, that as dentists, we really do see a lot of bad teeth … all of the time. Although you may think that your teeth need a lot of work, this is not new or unusual to what we see, sometimes on a daily basis. If shame, embarrassment or even guilt are keeping you away from making an appointment with a dentist, you’ve got a lot of company. That being said, don’t let any of those issues get in the way of getting the dental help you need and deserve.

At Smile Savers Dentistry, we don’t judge, yell or lecture. Our friendly and caring Columbia, MD dental staff wants all of our patients to be healthier and happier during and after their treatment. We believe that a healthy mouth helps to make a healthy body! We will help you take care of your oral health and keep your teeth looking beautiful and feeling healthy for as long as you are a patient of ours. After visiting our dentist office, you will have a healthy mouth and you can then feel proud that you overcame something that once seemed impossible!

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A Word From Dental Hygienist Liz: Prescription Toothpaste Now Available at Smile Savers Dentistry

Posted on September 12, 2012. Filed under: Clinpro 5000, Dental Health, Dental Hygiene Tips, Dental Hygienist, Fluoride Treatment, General Dentistry, healthy teeth, Oral Health, Prescription Toothpaste, Teeth | Tags: , , , , |

Friendly Dental Hygienist at Smile Savers Dentistry in Columbia MarylandWe are excited to now be offering prescription anti-cavity toothpaste right here at Smile Savers Dentistry. Clinpro 5000 toothpaste delivers more fluoride, helps strengthen enamel and repairs early lesions better than conventional 5000 ppm prescription fluoride toothpastes. This prescription toothpaste helps to eliminate sensitivity, can reduce sensitivity before whitening, strengthens enamel, helps reverse white spot lestions and helps further prevent caries for high caries risk patients.

The optimized formula in Clinpro 5000 toothpaste makes it an outstanding choice. It contains fluoride as well as calcium and phosphate, which are components naturally found in saliva. Clinpro 5000 inhibits demineralization and enhances remineralization. The flouride in the toothpaste inhibits the process by which bacteria metabolize carbs and sugars to help reduce the formation of caries. Clinpro 5000 delivers more fluoride to the tooth than other leading brands tested!

Please ask me about this toothpaste during your next cleaning or, if you don’t want to wait, call or stop by the Smile Savers Dentistry office for a tube. We are offering the 4 oz. flip-top tube in the pleasant tasting, spearmint flavored paste for $25. Cheaper than Amazon!

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A Word From Dental Hygienist Natalie: What is Your Mouth Telling You?

Posted on August 15, 2012. Filed under: Dental Health, Dental Hygiene Tips, General Dentistry, Gum Surgery, healthy teeth, Oral Health, Oral Health and Nutrition, Smile Savers Dentistry, Xerostomia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Dental Hygienist Natalie at Smile Savers Dentistry in Columbia MarylandWhen it comes to your overall health, your mouth is a good indication of what may be going on on the inside. Head on over to the mirror every week or so and take a peek. Changes in your gums or saliva could point to some unseen health issues.

If your gums are bright red, puffy or have small abscesses it could mean that you have gum disease. If there is pus or blood when you brush you may have some sort of bacterial infection which could be a sign of something more serious. Your dentist will want to take a look to confirm if you are having serious issues.

Stick your tongue out! If it’s pale in color, you most likely have iron-deficiency anemia. If you think you may be anemic your doctor can confirm this with a simple blood test. Eating plenty of green leafy vegetables, seafood, meat and beans (or a vitamin supplement) will help increase your iron.

Prescriptions and over the counter drugs could be causing dry mouth. If your saliva is thick or stringy, then you have dry mouth (xerostomia). If dry mouth is left untreated it can lead to gum disease, tooth decay and oral yeast infections. You will want to talk to your dentist or doctor about your dry mouth and medications.

If you have any questions about your oral health, feel free to stop by or call me or Dr. Stewart at the dental office here in Columbia.

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A Word From Dental Assistant C.J.: Want to Keep Your Teeth Strong and Healthy?

Posted on August 1, 2012. Filed under: Dental Assistant, Dental Health, Dental Hygiene Tips, General Dentistry, healthy teeth, Kids Oral Health, Oral Health, Smile Savers Dentistry, Teeth | Tags: , , , |

CJ Burwell at Smile Savers Dentistry
Your teeth may be strong but they can’t compete with abuse or neglect. Here are several suggestions on things you should avoid – to keep you from heading straight to our Columbia MD dentist office well before you are due for your checkup!

Don’t brush your teeth immediately after eating. You can brush away tooth enamel that has become soft after your meal. It is better to wait 30-60 minutes before you brush.

Don’t use your teeth as a tool. You can crack, chip or break a tooth by popping off bottle caps or even ripping open a bag of chips.

Don’t skip your checkups! Check in with your dentist every six months. Allowing more time between visits will give plaque a chance to form tartar and the plaque will then go deeper into your gums.

Don’t overindulge in a lot of sugary sodas, sports drinks and fruit juices. Also watch your coffee, tea and red wine intake. Drink water and when possible … use a straw to avoid tooth staining.

Don’t smoke! Smoking is bad for your teeth and gums. And the nicotine stains can make teeth more susceptible to bacteria. Smoking can also lead to periodontal and bone disease.

Don’t pierce your tongue. You can chip or crack your front teeth. Just by talking you are moving your tongue around with the metal piercing constantly hitting in to your teeth.

If you are experiencing any dental issues, don’t hesitate to contact us at Smile Savers Dentistry in Columbia so we can take a look. Otherwise, I’ll see you at your next checkup!

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