4 Ways to Comfort A Child Who Is Afraid of the Dentist

It’s common for children to be afraid of the dentist, but as a parent, you can assuage those fears. Below are some ways that you can make your child’s first – and subsequent – visit to the dentist an overall positive experience. Here’s what we recommend.

1. Pretend Visits With the Dentist

Play “going to the dentist” with your child. As the dentist, introduce yourself kindly, then ask your patient to sit back while you examine their teeth. After a minute or two of a pretend “examination,” do something silly to make your child smile.

Playing in a harmless way shows your child that there’s nothing to fear, and can help put your child in a positive frame of mind. If your child wants to take the lead and play dentist next, allow your child to examine your teeth.

2. Talk About the Dentist in Positive Ways

Your child may absorb some of your own attitudes toward the dentist. If you feel anxious when visiting the dentist, try not to let on!

Make a point of talking about your recent visits to the dentist in front of your child. Use positive language when talking about the dentist, so your child will be able to see that you have good feelings about the dentist.

3. Take Your Child to a Dentist Who’s Prepared

Children do best when they’re visiting a dentist who can put them at ease. Take your child to a dentist who has extensive experience treating young people. Dentists who are prepared for pediatric patients often have toys and special equipment to make them feel welcome.

Often, experienced dentists use humor, kind words and a gentle demeanor to make kids feel welcome. You want that kind of dentist for your child!

To find out whether a dentist is right for your child, call them in advance to ask questions about their experience working with pediatric patients. Find out what they do to help children feel less anxious.

4. Start Visits With the Dentist Early

Younger children often adjust more easily to visits with the dentist than older children. Start taking your child to the dentist as soon as their first tooth appears. To make an appointment, contact Dr. Kenneth Schweizer’s office.

 

Common Causes of Jaw Pain

It’s not unusual to experience a painful or sore jaw from time to time, especially after chewing something hard or sticky. But when your jaw pain starts to negatively affect your quality of life, it’s important to see a healthcare professional. Jaw pain is treatable with an individualized plan of care.

5 Common Causes of Jaw Pain

Here are the five most common causes of jaw pain we diagnose at our dental office in Sarasota, FL:

  1. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder: your temporomandibular joints are located near your ears and attach the jaw bone to the rest of your skull; the tissues in and around these joints can become irritated or misaligned, leading to classic symptoms like pain, stiffness, clicking, popping, or even the sensation that your jaw will get “stuck” or pop out of place
  2. Tooth pain due to abscess or fracture: an infected tooth can refer pain to the jaw area
  3. Misaligned or overcrowded teeth: some people even experience jaw pain as a result of their wisdom teeth coming in!
  4. Migraines: these may occur with additional symptoms like a pounding headache and nausea
  5. Whiplash: acute trauma that causes forceful flexion of the head or neck can lead to jaw pain and stiffness along with a number of other symptoms.

Even emotional stress can lead to jaw pain as a result of grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw.

How Our Sarasota Dentist Can Help Alleviate Your Jaw Pain

Our dentist in Sarasota helps people of all ages find effective solutions for jaw pain. Usually, the first step in finding relief is coming in for a comprehensive dental exam and cleaning. This gives our dental team a chance to evaluate your teeth and gums, take X-rays if necessary, and pinpoint the cause of your discomfort.

Based on our findings, we’ll be able to recommend a specific plan of care. Interventions may include:

  • Prescription medications for infected teeth
  • Root canal or extractions of infected or damaged teeth
  • Fitting of nighttime mouthguards
  • Lifestyle counseling, including advice about specific foods to avoid or minimize in the diet

We’re also happy to refer our clients to other providers as needed.

Are you tired of struggling with a painful stiff jaw? Contact the Sarasota, FL office of Dr. Kenneth Schweizer, DDS at (941) 926-4888 to schedule an appointment today.

veneers information

Porcelain Veneers – What to Expect After the Procedure

It is pretty amazing just how much of a difference dental veneers can make when you have imperfections in your smile. The procedure is straightforward, recovery is easy, and the end results are nothing short of amazing for most patients. Here are a few things to expect after the procedure.

Recovery After Initial Veneer Placement

The recovery after getting your new dental veneers should go pretty smoothly, and minimal discomfort should be expected. You may have a bit of soreness around your gums, and you may have just a bit of swelling and redness as well. Some patients report that they have some tooth sensitivity, which is a result of the bonding agents used to install the veneers. In general, you should feel much better within just a few days if you have any discomfort at all. Keep in mind as well that it can take a bit of time to get used to how your teeth feel after veneers have been installed. They may feel odd against your tongue, when you speak, or when you chew. Most patients overcome the newness within a few weeks.

Guidance from Your Dentist About Your New Veneers

Once your porcelain veneers are placed, the dentist will give you a detailed explanation of what to expect and how to treat your veneers going forward. Every patient’s experience can be different, so it is important to get guidance from your Sarasota dentist. Before you leave the office after the procedure, the dentist will advise you about:

  • How to handle any discomfort once you get home
  • What medications to take for inflammation and swelling
  • How long to wait before eating or drinking
  • When to come back in for a checkup

Taking Care of Your New Smile with Veneers

Your new veneers have the potential to last many years with the proper care. as you get adjusted to how your teeth feel with the veneers, take care when you bite and chew. Try to avoid eating anything especially hard to chew in the first few weeks. Porcelain veneers are much more resilient than most patients anticipate, but they can still sustain damage with a direct hit or eating something like hard candy.

Let’s Talk About Dental Veneers in Sarasota, FL

If you believe you would be a good candidate for dental veneers, reach out to us at the office of Dr. Kenneth M. Shweizer, DDS to schedule an appointment for a consultation.

5 Reasons it’s Time for a Check Up

There are life events and symptoms that may not seem to be related to the mouth that can warrant a visit to the dentist. Five of these reasons are listed below.

5 Reasons it is Time for a Check Up

  1. You Quit Smoking

Since you quit smoking, the blood flow to your gums increases, therefore, if you have gum disease, you may notice that your gums appear redder than usual. They may also bleed easily as you brush your teeth. While these changes are expected, now is a good time to make an appointment for a dental cleaning and exam.

A thorough cleaning can help brighten your teeth. If you do have gum disease, this cleaning can also help decrease the swelling in the gingival tissue (i.e., gum tissue). By decreasing the inflammation, the body is able to attack the infection much quicker. Furthermore, now that you are a nonsmoker, your body will heal faster.

  1. Recently Diagnosed with Diabetes

Pre-Diabetes and type 2 diabetes affect approximately 100 million Americans. Besides negatively affecting various areas throughout the body, diabetes also increases the risk of developing periodontitis, which is a severe form of gum disease.

Periodontitis causes the gingival tissue to pull away from the teeth. Since the gingival tissue helps keep the teeth in place, the likelihood of the teeth shifting and tooth loss increases. Sometimes this issue can be addressed with a scaling and root planing procedure, however, there are times when gum surgery is the only option for addressing a receding gumline.

  1. Frequent Morning Headaches

If you frequently wake up with a headache that usually resolves itself within 30 minutes, you may have a condition called bruxism. With this condition, an individual subconsciously grinds his or her teeth during sleep. This grinding may damage your teeth, however, if you let Dr. Kenneth Schweizer know about this problem, a custom-designed mouthguard can be created for you to wear while you sleep.

  1. Diagnosed with GERD

One in five Americans have a condition known by its acronym GERD, which stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease. This condition is also frequently referred to as acid reflux. The symptoms of GERD result when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) muscle that is located between the stomach and the esophagus weakens. This muscle ring is responsible for keeping the stomach acid where it belongs. Once the acid exits the stomach and enters the esophagus, its lining becomes irritated, which causes the individual to experience a burning sensation. This sensation is frequently referred to as heartburn.

If the stomach acid continues up the esophagus and enters the mouth, the teeth are now at risk because this acid is strong enough to dissolve tooth enamel, thus, jeopardizing the health of the teeth. If you have recently been diagnosed with GERD, consider scheduling an exam with Dr. Kenneth Schweizer.

  1. You are Pregnant

The ADA recommends that pregnant women have three dental cleanings during their pregnancy. However, it is usually best to wait until the mother is near the end of her second trimester to perform any dental work that she needs.

If you are pregnant or have any of the conditions listed above, contact the office of Dr. Kenneth Schweizer to schedule an appointment. You can use the online form to request an appointment or just call the office at 941-926-4888. Dr. Schweizer’s office is located at 2920 Bee Ridge Road, Suite No. 201 in Sarasota, Florida.

Dental Care and Diabetes: Important Things to Know as a Diabetic

Ongoing dental care is even more important than usual when you have been diagnosed with diabetes. You may be more at risk of certain oral health problems and issues that can affect your smile. Controlling your blood sugar levels will help protect your smile, which is a good reason to make sure you are following the guidelines of your doctor, eating a well-balanced diet, and taking prescribed medications. However, there are a few things every person with diabetes should know about their dental health.

1. You may be more prone to periodontal disease as a diabetic.

Diabetes can change how blood circulates throughout your body, including into your gums. This change can make you more at risk of developing gum disease than the average patient.

2. You may need more frequent checkups at the dentist to monitor your oral health.

Even though some patients can get by with having only one dental checkup annually, as a diabetic, it is better if you seek a check every six months if possible. Since you are more prone to dental health issues, these more frequent visits will help to keep a closer watch on small problems so they can be handled quickly.

3. Halitosis can be an issue for diabetics.

One of the symptoms of diabetes or unstable blood sugar levels is dry mouth. Unfortunately, having a mouth that is drier than usual can also mean that you are more prone to experiencing bad breath. This occurs because there is not as much saliva to keep bacteria and food particles washed away from your teeth.

4. People with diabetes can be more likely to lose their teeth.

Bone infections, soft tissue breakdown, and lack of saliva are all issues that can contribute to tooth loss. As a diabetic, you are more at risk of all three, so you can have a higher risk of losing your natural teeth.

Lets Talk About Diabetes and Your Oral Health in Sarasota, FL

Overall, you need the help of a good dentist when you have diabetes because your smile could be even more at risk than usual. If you would like to schedule an appointment, reach out to us at the office of Dr. Keneth Schweizer DDS PA in Sarasota, FL so we can get a conversation started about taking care of your teeth.

 

Are Your Teeth Sensitive to Heat or Cold? Here’s Why That Happens

If you’re like most people, you truly enjoy a nice cold dish of ice cream or a freshly scooped ice cream cone no matter what time of year it is. However, few things are more unpleasant than taking a big bite of your favorite ice cream and experiencing sudden tooth pain as a result. Or perhaps you love starting your day with a just-brewed cup of hot coffee but have lately been noticing that your teeth have become increasingly sensitive to hot temperatures. Millions of Americans experience this condition, and the good news is that it’s almost always treatable. Here’s why tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures happens and what you can do about it:

Tooth enamel wears down over time, and because it provides a protective cover for the interior of the teeth, tooth sensitivity can occur.

Cracks in the Surface of the Tooth Enamel

One of the most common reasons for tooth sensitivity is small cracks in the enamel that you may not have even noticed. These cracks allow hot and cold sensations to seep through the enamel to the underlying nerves.

Worn Enamel

Worn enamel is another possible culprit when tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures is a part of the picture. This is a normal part of aging and is usually mild.

What You Can Do for Tooth Sensitivity

Many people find they are able to get relief from minor tooth sensitivity by using an enamel-building toothpaste. Be sure to choose one that’s recommended by the American Dental Association, and ask your dentist to recommend one if you’re unsure of which one to use. You can also switch to a brand of toothpaste designed for use on sensitive teeth as well as use a toothbrush with soft bristles.

Should You See a Dentist

Tooth sensitivity that persists or that turns into pain means you’re due for a visit to your dentist. This could be an indication that the inner pulp has somehow become infected. When this happens, the usual remedy is a root canal. Fortunately, advances in modern dentistry mean that today’s root canal procedures are less uncomfortable than their counterparts of the past.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at your convenience for more information on dental health issues or to set up an appointment.

 

Do You Have Gum Disease? What To Know If You’re Pregnant

Dental care is important for everyone. But if you are pregnant, a healthy mouth takes on a whole new meaning. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gingivitis affects 60 to 75 percent of pregnancies. If you already have red, swollen, or irritated gums, look at the top pregnancy-periodontal disease questions answered.

What’s the Pregnancy-Periodontal Disease Link?

Pregnancy hormones are change-makers in your body. Along with mood swings, thicker hair, and dewy skin, hormones can increase blood flow to the gums. This can result in inflammation, irritation, sensitivity, and easy-to-bleed gums.

The hormonal changes of pregnancy can also change the body’s response to infections. Gum disease happens when bacteria overrun the mouth and cause an infection. Decreased ability to fight off bacteria can increase the risk of periodontal disease.

What Are the Signs of Gum Disease?

Do you have pregnancy-related gum disease? While some of the symptoms are noticeable, others may give you pause — but not complete concern. If your gums bleed once after you eat something sharp (such as a tortilla chip), you likely have an injury.

Even though this type of injury should heal on its own, you should pay extra attention to the area and call a medical provider at the first sign of infection. The increased blood flow to the gums and decreased ability to fight off bacteria may increase the chances that a simple scratch on your gums turns into something more serious.

Gum disease signs can range from minor beginning symptoms to severe red flags. Many periodontal disease patients experience redness, swelling, discomfort, and bleeding. If you notice blood when you brush, inflammation, or a foul taste in your mouth (with no other known cause) you may have gum disease.

When Should a Pregnant Women Visit the Dentist for Gum Disease?

A healthy mouth is part of a healthy pregnancy. This makes early detection and treatment of gum disease important. Pregnant women should continue to see their dentist on a regular visit schedule. If you don’t have a visit scheduled during your pregnancy, make an appointment as soon as possible — especially if you have bleeding, irritation, or any other periodontal symptom.

Why Shouldn’t Pregnant Women Ignore Gum Disease?

No one should ignore periodontal disease symptoms. Gingivitis can progress into a serious infection that leads to tissue or bone loss. Without an adequate amount of healthy tissue or the proper bone support, you could lose a tooth. Likewise, tissue and bone loss/infection may make extraction necessary.

In pregnancy, gum disease can cause problems beyond oral issues. The infection increases the risk of pre-term birth or a low birth-weight baby.

How Can You Stop Gum Disease?

If you already have the symptoms of gum disease, you can make changes — and now. A 2018 study in the journal Advances in Preventative Medicine found that pregnant women who brushed less often had a higher likelihood of having poor birth outcomes than those who brushed more.

Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time. Make sure to brush all areas of the mouth, and floss to get the in-between spaces. Brush after meals, if possible, too.

Again, a visit to the dentist is necessary. Don’t wait to schedule an appointment. If you have concerns about caring for your gums before the appointment day, ask the dental office staff for recommendations. Gum disease patients may need to visit the dentist more often for professional cleanings or check-ups during pregnancy.

Are you pregnant? Are your gums inflamed, red, or irritated? Contact the office of Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA, for more information.

10 Things to Know About Your Teeth and Tartar

Dental tartar is a bacterial residue left behind on the teeth that can lead to stains and decay. Tartar can become very hard and bonded to your teeth, making it impossible to remove without the specialized skills and tools of a dentist in the area. Once tartar is formed on your teeth, it is even easier for additional tartar and advanced tartar, called calculus, to also adhere to your teeth.

Learn these ten things you should know about tartar.

1. Tartar Lurks Near the Gumline

Tooth tartar is also called dental calculus, and it typically forms in the nooks and crannies of your teeth, particularly around the gumline. Wherever your toothbrush or floss can’t reach is where tartar likes to grow.

2. Tartar Makes It Tricky to Brush and Floss

Tartar turns hard and sticky, making it more difficult to get a toothbrush where it needs to be. It also can make it very challenging, even painful, to floss between teeth and around the gums. This begins a vicious cycle; the discomfort and difficulty contribute to the formation of more tartar and eventual tooth decay.

3. Bad Breath Is an Early Sign of Problems

Have you noticed that you’ve had bad breath lately? Foul breath is an early sign of tartar and the need to increase flossing between teeth. If you fail to act, the tartar around the gumline will become harder and darker. This plaque is the beginning of gum disease and tooth decay. Prompt intervention from your dentist and vigilant dental hygiene may help control and reverse the condition, but it won’t restore any teeth that have decayed or been lost.

4. Tartar Is Stubborn

The process of removing tartar from teeth is often called descaling. Tartar is rough and raised on the smooth surface of your teeth; it must be removed with special instruments by your dental provider.

5. Tartar Can Get Worse

Things can get worse quickly with tartar. The bacteria growing in your gums and teeth can become infected, which is considered periodontitis. You may need antibiotics to recover from the infection, but it can cause permanent bone and tissue damage in your mouth.

6. Smoking Contributes to Tartar

Smoking contributes to the formation of tartar, so don’t smoke. Reports indicate that those who smoke or use tobacco products are more likely to have tartar buildup on their teeth.

7. Tartar Can Harm Your Heart

For years, studies have reported a link between plaque caused by bacterial tartar and heart disease. When plaque is not removed from the teeth, it can break free and be released into the bloodstream, where it could cause clogs or other complications.

8. Tartar Presents Serious Health Risks

Tartar impacts overall health and wellness; individuals suffering from tooth decay and disease caused by tartar may struggle with confidence or self-esteem. Many may experience depression. Furthermore, the physical inflammation and bacterial growth caused by poor dental hygiene can contribute to dementia.

9. Flossing Is Your First Defense

The most effective way that you can prevent the buildup of tartar and plaque between your teeth and around your gumline is to floss. Floss after every meal, and rinse with a tartar-preventing mouthwash each day.

10. You Need to See Your Provider Every 6 Months

Visiting your dental provider every six months is the best way to stay on top of tartar. Your dentist will descale your teeth to prevent the calculus from causing decay, discomfort, and tooth loss.

There are various other factors involved in whether you are susceptible to dental tartar or not, including age, diet, and genetics.

Is tartar compromising your dental health? Restore your smile with Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA. Choose to restore your teeth and regain your confidence.

What To Know About Peri-Implantitis

If you’re missing a tooth, you are probably considering options to replace the missing tooth, such as a dental implant. While dental implants are the most durable tooth-replacement option, they still can have complications, such as peri-implantitits. If you are considering getting an implant or you already have an implant, use this guide to learn more about this potential complication.

What Is Peri-Implantitis?

After you get an implant, the crown and titanium root will be invulnerable to decay, but your gums and jawbone can still be negatively impacted. When infection attacks the gums around the implant, they become inflamed, causing peri-implant mucositis. At this stage, only the gums are affected. Treatment is usually successful if caught at this stage.

If the problem continues, however, the inflammation reaches the bone supporting the dental implant’s titanium root. This causes the implant to lose stability and be more likely to fail. At this point, the symptoms will not reverse on their own because your body will not naturally regrow gum tissue or bone tissue.

What Causes It to Occur?

As with many conditions, there is no single cause for peri-implantitits, but there are many risk factors, which may increase your chances. In fact, peri-implantitis is so common that more than 28 percent of patients with dental implants develop this inflammation.

You can help avoid it by continuing good oral hygiene to avoid gum disease. If you smoke, quit now. The chemicals in tobacco restrict blood flow, and the area around the implant needs lots of fresh, healthy oxygenated blood. Certain medical conditions that affect healing and blood flow can also increase your risk. Unfortunately, some patients are simply genetically sensitive to the condition.

What Are the Symptoms?

Advanced peri-implantitis presents with severe symptoms, but at first, you may hardly notice any. Look for bleeding, tender, and red gums around the implant. In some cases, you may not notice the tenderness or bleeding unless you apply pressure to the gums such as from flossing or brushing. Some patients may even see, taste, or smell pus inside the mouth from the infection.

As the condition worsens, you may notice your implant begins to move a little, which can also cause pain. If the condition causes the gums to recede, you may begin to see the titanium root or bone loss. If the symptoms are still minimal, they may reverse on their own, but most likely, you’ll need professional treatments to reverse the effects.

What Treatments Are Available?

The first step is to fight the infection and inflammation. Your dentist will help with this by performing deep cleanings and providing special antibiotics. If you have any condition that affects your oral health, such as diabetes, you will also need to seek treatment for those. However, if you already have peri-implantitis, more advanced treatments are needed.

While non-surgical treatments like laser and air abrasive systems are available, they don’t seem to work well. This leaves surgery as the only choice for many patients. If bone and gum tissue has been lost, you may need grafts, and depending on the extent of the damage, the implant may need to be removed and replaced.

Dental implants are one of the best ways to replace missing teeth because they are so durable and may even last for the rest of your life. However, unless you take great care of your teeth and gums after treatment, problems can arise.

Peri-implantitis causes a lot of pain and wasted money. If you would like to know more about peri-implantitits or dental implants in general, contact us at Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA today.

Finding The Right Flossing Option For You

Some dentists tend to treat flossing as a one-size-fits-all option. While flossing may do a great job of keeping your teeth clean, some people have adverse reactions to flossing or need to use a brand free of substances that create problems for them. And many people have trouble remembering to floss or finding the motivation to do so every day. You may need an approach specific to you and your mouth.

Here are some steps to take to find the right flossing option for you.

Try Sensitive Floss

Some dental floss styles are simply are harsher on your gums and teeth than others. Trying a gentle dental floss that’s designed not to make your gums bleed is the first line of attack when you’re wondering why flossing doesn’t work for you.

If you have the manual dexterity needed for flossing but find that your gums don’t react well, a sensitive floss may be what you need.

Consider Allergies

Many dental flosses are made of nylon, but some are made of silk or bamboo or even other plant fibers. And coatings may contain bee products, flavor additives, or other substances that may cause allergic reactions in some. If you suspect this is happening to you, talk to your dentist or doctor about the possibility of an allergic reaction.

You can also try switching to an uncoated floss or using interdental brushes for a couple of months to see if that helps.

Start With Water Flossing

If you’ve never built up a regular flossing habit because it always turns into a bloodbath from which your gums don’t recover before the next day, perhaps your gums are irritated. Keeping them clean will help them become less sensitive. However, this advice may seem like catch-22 because flossing itself can help you keep your teeth clean.

One solution is using a water flosser to help clean along the gumline. Water flossers have been shown to reduce gum sensitivity and bleeding, which means that after you’ve used the water flosser for a while, your gums may not mind the flossing as much. So try working up to actual floss after you’ve gotten into the habit of water flossing every day.

Look Into Flossing Tools

In addition to interdental brushes and water flossers, several other types of flossing tools are on the market to help you clean between your teeth if dexterity is an issue. Floss picks are considered slightly inferior to string floss because they don’t allow the floss to hug the side of your tooth as well, but they’re still better than nothing. Or you could try a floss holder.

Use an Electric Toothbrush

It takes much less effort on your part to clean your teeth with an electric toothbrush because you don’t have to use a back-and-forth brushing motion. This may help to conserve your energy and time so that you can manage to floss more often now that you’re not putting all that energy into brushing.

Another benefit is that some electric toothbrushes are designed to clean along your gumline and in the cracks between your teeth better, so there’s not as much plaque left for your floss to clean out. This innovation could mean less time spent on flossing, or it could mean that you can make do with just a floss pick.

These steps can help you work up to a flossing habit, eliminate products that you could be sensitive to, or find alternatives to assist you with dexterity issues. Remember, daily oral hygiene habits are your first line of defense against cavities and gum disease. And professional dental visits are only periodic, rather than daily, but they’re just as important.

To schedule a professional dental cleaning or other dental services, contact the office of Kenneth Schweizer, DDS, PA, today.