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 in Sarasota or doctor about the possibility of an allergic reaction.

You can also try switching to 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.

Impacted Cuspids: Causes And Treatment For This Common Issue

Teeth come in many different varieties, including the incisors, premolars, and cuspids. The latter type is the second most common to impact when a child develops their adult teeth. Understand this problem — and its treatment options — to avoid complications with a child’s oral health.

Importance of Cuspids

The cuspids — or canine teeth — provide many benefits that make them critical for oral health. First of all, cuspids tear into tough food, like meat, to make these foods more manageable to eat. Second, they help you to speak. And third, they support the surrounding teeth.

The development of cuspid teeth typically occurs when a child is between 11 and 13 years old. Before that age, a child’s teeth don’t have the same kind of sharp edge provided by the cuspids. However, cuspid growth may be complicated by impaction in the jaw.

Consequences of Impacted Cuspids

As adult teeth grow into a child’s mouth, the risk of impaction grows. This problem occurs when the tooth is blocked and unable to erupt from the jaw properly. For example, a cuspid may grow underneath of another tooth and threaten to damage that tooth with its growth.

Other issues include eruption behind other teeth or in front of them. Improper cuspid eruption affects not only a child’s overall dental health but their physical appearance as well. Therefore, treating erupted cuspids is critical to perform as early as possible.

Reasons Cuspids Impact

Impacted cuspids occur for a multitude of reasons. Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition for this problem. As a result, parents who suffered from impacted cuspids need to track their child’s teeth growth to ensure that this issue doesn’t affect them as well.

The late development cycle of cuspids may also contribute to a higher risk for impaction. Typically, an impacted tooth occurs when little room is left in the mouth for its growth. As the mature cuspid may develop or grow after most of a child’s adult teeth have grown in the mouth, the risk for impaction is higher than with other teeth.

Treatment for Impacted Cuspids

Parents concerned about their child’s impacted cuspids have many treatment options. First of all, early detection is critical. X-rays and other schematic examinations of oral health provide parents and dentists with a better understanding of how a child’s teeth are growing.

If the Sarasota dentist notices problems with the cuspids, they can relocate the tooth and avoid impaction problems. For example, autotransplantation carefully repositions the tooth in a way that avoids impact and keeps the canine straight and strong in the mouth. Another possibility is to use braces to move the teeth interfering with the cuspid’s growth.

These two treatment options help prevent the need for a dental implant or prosthesis to replace the extracted cuspid. Dentists only recommend extraction if the impaction is too severe to manage or if the root of the tooth is severely damaged.

After these treatments finish, parents should regularly take their child to the dentist to track potential complications. For example, the tooth may still try to grow improperly in the mouth after some surgeries or may suffer rejection from the gums. If these issues develop, other surgical methods may be necessary for correction.

Dentists Help Manage Cuspid Development

If your child’s cuspid teeth appear to be coming in improperly or trigger severe pain in their mouth, please don’t hesitate to contact or visit us at Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA, right away to learn more about this issue. Our dental professionals will examine your child’s mouth, find out why their cuspids are impacting, and work hard to manage this problem as effectively as possible.

E-Cigarettes And Dental Health

E-cigarettes have grown in popularity. Even though vaping may seem like a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes, these aerosol-producing pens, mods, and systems can still cause serious oral health issues. Whether you or a loved one vapes, look at what you need to know about e-cigarettes and how they can affect your mouth.

E-Cigarette Research

What does science have to say about vaping and oral health? As a newer form of smoking, research on the subject is still ongoing. Unlike the effects of tobacco-containing cigarettes, which have decades’ worth of research to back them up, the results of e-cigarette use are still somewhat unknown.

Even though research on vaping is still in its infancy, medical experts do agree that using any nicotine-containing product is unhealthy and dangerous. Current research into vaping does show that while it doesn’t have quite the same impact of using traditional tobacco-containing products, vaping comes with dental health risks. Read on to learn more about the potential problems that vaping can cause.

Oral Cancer Risk

Mouth cancers (cancers that occur on the lips or mostly anywhere in the mouth) have many different causes. Risk factors have traditionally included smoking cigarettes, chewing tobacco, using pipes or cigars, drinking large amounts of alcohol, exposing the body to the sun for large amounts of time, and getting the human papillomavirus.

However, along with regular cigarettes, smoking e-cigarettes can also put the user at an increased risk for oral cancers. The Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health found that smokers who used non-cigarette products (including e-cigarettes) also had exposure to carcinogens.

Not only were non-cigarette users at risk, but the levels of carcinogens they had exposure to were often comparable to those of exclusive cigarette smokers. Exposure to carcinogens, such as those in cigarettes and e-cigarettes, can lead to cancers of the mouth.

Gum Damage

Along with raising the risk of developing oral cancer, e-cigarette use can lead to serious gum problems. Research published in Oncotarget found that e-cigarette use can contribute to gum tissue cell damage.

If you think that this type of damage is less than what a tobacco-containing cigarette would cause, think again. Nicotine-containing e-cigarette vapors have comparable gum-damaging properties as the traditional type of cigarette.

The gum cell damage that vaping can cause puts the user at an increased risk for periodontal infections. Periodontitis — a serious infection of the gum — destroys the soft tissue, potentially causing gum recession, tooth loss, or systemic infections.

Catching periodontal disease early is essential. A dentist’s diagnosis is necessary, as well as professional-level treatment. While stopping e-smoking can prevent future damage, this won’t reverse existing effects.

In some cases, depending on the extent of the gum damage, routine cleanings and care may promote gingival healing. Extensive damage may require root planning and scaling, gum flap surgery, or other similar treatments.

Oral Infections

While vaping itself doesn’t cause oral infections, it can reduce blood flow to the mouth area. Like traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes also contain nicotine. Even though nicotine doesn’t contain teeth-staining tobacco, the nicotine ingredient can negatively impact the user’s body.

Nicotine’s effects on blood vessels can cause problems throughout the body. Along with potentially causing cardiac issues, the restricted blood flow to the mouth can make the area more susceptible to infections.

If the user isn’t willing to stop smoking e-cigarettes, the increased risk for infection requires proper routine dental care — including at-home care and regular dental visits. While this won’t eliminate the risk, this can help to reduce the likelihood of a bacterial invasion. Learn more about this from our Sarasota Dentists.

Do you vape? Does your teen, spouse, or loved one use e-cigarettes? If you or someone you love vapes, you need professional dental care to prevent or reverse damage. Contact Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA, for more information.

Are Your Teeth Appearing To Shrink?

While some patients feel that their permanent teeth are too large or too long, others are concerned about their smile falling on the other side of the size spectrum. You may grow in a relatively small set of teeth as a teen, which is apparently a natural step in our evolution, or you may notice your teeth seem to get smaller as you’re getting older.

The appearance of shrinking teeth may be caused by actual loss of tooth material or other changes in your mouth that simply make them look smaller. Your dentist in Sarasota is the only one who can determine what’s affecting your teeth.

Wear and Grinding

If the individual teeth are actually smaller than they once were, the problem is most likely physical wear. Jaw clenching and tooth grinding, also known as bruxism, is the most common culprit, but extremely weak teeth can slowly wear away just from normal chewing and brushing.

A diet high in acids and poor brushing and rinsing habits also accelerate wear on the teeth. Your dentist will take measurements over a course of time to understand the amount of damage you’ve experienced. Dental crowns and sealants can prevent further damage but only after the original bruxism or other cause of wear is addressed.

Natural Aging

Years and decades of chewing and repetitive forces change the appearance of the front teeth. By the time a person is in their 70s or 80s, the front teeth tend to look significantly shorter through either wear or a frontward tilt that makes an intact tooth appear smaller.

Many people lose some or all of their teeth by this age, so tooth loss isn’t a major concern as long as it’s primarily cosmetic. If a person’s ability to eat or speak is impaired, your dentist can remove the teeth and add implants to replace the most worn or tilted teeth and restore function quickly.

Gum Overgrowth

In younger patients and menopausal women alike, gum spreading and overgrowth is a common cause of teeth that suddenly look smaller and shorter without any wear or tear on the edges. Teeth turn translucent around the worn surfaces, so the problem may be the gums swelling or spreading and covering some of the tooth surface is signs of wear are missing.

Gum overgrowth is often triggered by an underlying infection or hormonal change. When gum growth has no distinct underlying cause, the dentist can remove the unnecessary gum tissue to restore the usual appearance of your teeth.

Orthodontic Treatment

Some people think that their teeth look smaller after having braces removed or other orthodontic treatments completed. In most cases, this is simply due to the patient getting used to the appearance of the extra hardware and forgetting the true size of their original teeth.

Removing parts of the braces, such as the wire attachment points, does require some minor abrasion and polishing of the teeth. The orthodontist may also need to polish some corners or edges to help teeth fit together properly in the end. All of these treatments leave you with slightly smaller teeth, although few patients can truly tell a difference in the end.

Tooth Reshaping

Finally, if you asked your dentist to shave down or reshape teeth you feel are too large, the result will definitely cause the appearance of shrinking. Your dentist has to add a veneer or crown to make teeth look bigger, so you and your dentist should make the right decisions before committing to any dental reshaping.

Schedule an appointment with our team here at Kenneth Schweizer, DDS, PA, to figure out if your teeth are shrinking or just look smaller. Regardless of the problem, we’ll help you keep your smile healthy and beautiful.

Dental Problems And Care In Old Age

As you age, you are likely to suffer more dental challenges than the younger generation. Your body weakens and becomes more susceptible to diseases and injuries. With proper care, however, you can maintain strong and healthy teeth into your sunset years. Here are some of the dental problems you may face in old age and how to manage the challenges.

Tooth Discoloration

As you get older, your teeth are likely to discolor due to a variety of issues. For one, you have exposed your teeth to a variety of colored foods over the years, and their accumulated effect is bound to show up in old age. Secondly, the increase in diseases in old age, and their medications, may also discolor your teeth. Lastly, teeth enamel naturally thins with age and loses its effectiveness.

Here are the tips to deal with age-related dental discoloration:

  • Limit discoloring foods since your teeth are highly susceptible to staining at this time.
  • Whiten your teeth with approved bleaching products.
  • Get dental veneers to cover up the discolored spots.

Talk to your dentist in Sarasota, FL for advice on what is best for you.

Xerostomia

The salivary glands, which produce saliva to moisten the mouth and wash away food remains, reduce their productivity in old age. The decrease is partly due to aging and partly due to the diseases and medications you get exposed to in old age. Unfortunately, xerostomia (dry mouth syndrome) increases your risk of dental problems, such as decay and bad breath.

To deal with xerostomia, avoid habits that dry up your mouth. For example, limit the use of caffeine products, don’t smoke, and avoid mouthwashes with alcohol. Also, sip water regularly to hydrate your body and mouth. Lastly, chew sugar-free gum to stimulate your salivary gland to produce more saliva.

Gum Disease

A lifetime of bad oral habits, for example, may catch up with you and trigger gum disease in your old age. Some of the diseases that tend to strike people in old age, such as diabetes and anemia, also increase the risk of gum disease.

Gum disease is a serious dental condition that requires treatment from a dentist. Maintain a good oral hygiene routine to reduce your risk of gum disease, but if you do develop the condition, consult your dentist as soon as possible to prevent tooth loss and other complications.

Root Decay

One of the effects of gum disease is that it exposes the root of your teeth. The teeth roots get exposed when the gums pool away from the teeth. Unfortunately, the teeth roots are not as strong as the rest of the tooth, which means the roots are also more susceptible to decay.

The best way to prevent root decay is to prevent gum disease and maintain a good oral hygiene routine (brush and floss daily). Treatment for root decay is roughly similar to treatment for tooth decay. However, root decay can easily make you lose your teeth so you should treat root decay as soon as the decay starts.

Bone Deterioration

Your bones become thin, lose their density, and become fragile as you get older. Bone deterioration affects your dental health because the jawbone anchors your teeth. With a deteriorated jawbone, your teeth may lose some of their alignment, dental implants may take longer to heal, and dental devices may not fit you properly.

Apart from a good diet and regular exercise, there isn’t much you can do to prevent bone deterioration in old age. Fortunately, your dentist has enough skills to treat your dental ailments despite your weak bones.

You don’t have to suffer the above dental problems in your old age. At Kenneth M. Schweizer DDS, PA, we have experienced professionals who will work with you to ensure you maintain healthy teeth in your senior years. Contact us for all your dental health needs and we will give you compassionate dental care.

What Is Enamel Erosion?

Plaque and the bacteria that feed on it are the culprits behind cavities. But, the microbes in your mouth aren’t responsible for enamel erosion. If the pearly white outer layer of your teeth is wearing away, take a look at the what’s, how’s, and why’s of this all too common dental dilemma.

What Is Enamel?

Before we answer the question, “What is enamel erosion?” you need to know what enamel is. Enamel is the white part of your teeth that acts as a hard outer coating and is visible when you open your mouth or smile. In a healthy mouth, enamel covers the softer dentin and pulp layers. The enamel protects your teeth during normal daily use.

Erosion happens when enamel wears away. Unlike your skin, which also serves a protective function, enamel doesn’t regenerate, meaning it won’t repair itself or come back.

How Does Erosion Happen?

There are several different causes for enamel erosion, like mechanical processes of the mouth, which can result in this type of dental damage. The mechanical or physical activities that can result in enamel erosion include:

  • Brushing: Even though brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes can lead to a healthy mouth, overdoing it or brushing too forcefully can lead to erosion.
  • Grinding: Stress and anxiety can cause some people to grind their teeth. This motion wears away the outer surface of the teeth involved.
  • Biting: If you bite your nails, chew hard items (such as ice), or use your teeth to open bottle caps, you run the risk of removing the enamel.

Along with physical erosion, enamel can wear away by chemical methods. These methods typically include acidic wear on teeth and can come from sources such as:

  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD): Stomach acid that rises up through the esophagus and into the mouth can wear away enamel. This situation is often the result of GERD, a digestive disorder that happens after eating.
  • Vomiting: Vomiting every once in a while, like during a stomach virus, won’t erode the enamel of your teeth. But, constant vomiting can bathe the teeth in enamel eroding stomach acid. People with the eating disorder bulimia are at an increased risk for this process and the resulting erosion.
  • Alcoholism: Like with vomiting, an infrequent alcoholic drink won’t ruin your teeth. But chronic alcoholism can result in enamel erosion. According to one study of 1,064 teeth from the North Alcoholic Regional Centre, almost 50 percent of the teeth (belonging to alcoholics) had enamel erosion.
  • Soft drinks: The high levels of citric and phosphoric acids in soft drinks can lead to enamel erosion. Like some of the other causes, you need to consistently drink sizable quantities of soft drinks to see this undesirable result.
  • Fruit drinks: Along with the decay-causing sugar in juices, fruit-based drinks are often highly acidic. Drinks such as grapefruit, cranberry, or orange juice can cause enamel erosion over time when ingested in large quantities.

Even though physical and acidic causes are major culprits behind enamel erosion, some dental patients experience this issue as a result of medication use (especially with prolonged aspirin use), as a genetic condition, or from dry mouth (low saliva).

Why is Enamel Erosion Important?

Without the protective layer the dentin is left exposed. This exposure may cause discomfort or sensitivity. Along with sensitive teeth, exposed dentin shows through as a yellow color. If you’re looking for a celebrity-white smile, exposed dentin will ruin your pearly white look.

Reducing acidic intake, increasing dairy product intake (especially at the ends of meals), and visiting your Sarasota dentist regularly can help to reduce the risks of enamel erosion.

Do you have existing erosion? Contact the office of Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA for more information.

The Flu And Your Dental Care

There have been between 9.2 million and 35.6 million cases of the flu since 2010, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates. Along with a high fever, chills, aches, pains, and general fatigue, the flu can result in the near-inability to tackle your normal daily activities. This includes routine dental care.

Before tossing your brush aside the next time that the flu hits you, take a look at the whys and hows of keeping your mouth healthy during an extreme illness.

Remove Microorganisms

The flu is caused by a virus. But that isn’t the only microorganism living in your body when you’re sick. Your mouth is filled with bacteria. Most oral bacteria are harmless and won’t lead to serious problems, but when the bacteria get out of balance, they can cause dental decay.

Regularly brushing and flossing your teeth helps to remove particles of food that the bacteria feed on, reducing the likelihood of developing cavities. Even though the virus in your body makes getting out of bed difficult, skipping out on your regular brushing routine could lead to an overgrowth of bacteria.

While a few days of poor oral care won’t necessarily lead to decay, it can start a vicious cycle that results in damage or dental caries.

Clean the Brush

Using your toothbrush twice a day for two minutes each time helps to keep your mouth clean — whether you’re already sick or not.

Under normal conditions, a quick rinse of your brush can remove leftover food particles and microorganisms that may linger. But if you’re sick, the flu virus may stay stuck to the bristles or back of the brush. Not only can the virus transfer from your mouth to the head of the brush, but you can also transport it from your fingers to the brush’s handle.

According to the CDC, the flu virus can live on hard surfaces for as long as 48 hours. While you won’t re-infect yourself during mid-flu illness, your germ-covered brush can infect other members of your household — especially if you keep all of the family’s toothbrushes in the same cup or holder.

Help everyone else in your household to stay safe and healthy by cleaning your brush off well. If you keep your brush in close quarters with other people’s brushes, find a new place to stash the dental device during your illness.

Rehydrate Yourself

The flu can quickly lead to dehydration. Along with dehydration due to nasal symptoms, some people (especially children) may experience vomiting too. A dry mouth makes it challenging for your body to wash away leftover food particles and microorganisms in the mouth. This increases the likelihood of developing dental decay or disease.

Sip on hydrating liquids, such as water, during the day to keep your body quenched. This can reduce the chances of developing decay-causing dry mouth. Avoid drinking soda or sports drinks. These contain high amounts of sugar, making it easier for oral bacteria to take over and cause dental damage. Even though orange juice is a sick-day staple, it’s also extremely high in sugar. Again, this can also lead to dental caries.

Select Sugar-Free Options

Beverages aren’t the only culprits behind dental decay. The cough drops that are soothing your sore throat are also bathing your teeth and gums in sugar. This creates the ideal environment for bacteria to grow and flourish.

Regular cough drops are basically hard sugar candies. Choose drops that are labeled sugar-free to reduce the risks associated with sugar and dental decay.

Do your teeth need a professional-level cleaning following an illness? Contact the office of Dr. Kenneth Schweizer DDS, PA, for more information. Contact our Sarasota FL Dentist for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Protect Your Teeth From Cracks Or Chip

How to Protect Your Teeth From Cracking or Chipping

Many dental issues, like cavities, develop over time and may stay unnoticed until detected by an oral health professional. However, some serious dental problems, like cracks in a tooth’s enamel, can occur in an instant and immediately change the way you eat, smile, and speak.

While your dentist in Sarasota can repair a cracked or chipped tooth, it’s smarter to prevent this type of dental injury when possible. In this blog, we provide you with steps you can take to prevent cracks and chips in the future.

Address the Symptoms of Bruxism

One of the biggest risk factors for cracking and chipping is the enamel wear that results from teeth clenching and grinding over long periods of time.

If you find yourself clenching or grinding during the day, you may be experiencing too much stress or have a muscle issue in your jaw. Find ways to reduce your stress and see a doctor for any persistent symptoms.

If you often wake up with a headache, tightness in your jaw, or aching teeth, you may have bruxism. Talk to your dentist about solutions for this nighttime dental condition.

Avoid Hard Food Items

Cracking and chipping almost always result from biting down on a hard object, whether the object is food or not. To protect your teeth from becoming chipped on food items, think about the foods you eat and which, if any, could threaten your teeth.

Common culprits include:

  • Bone-in meat
  • Corn on the cob
  • Hard candies
  • Ice cubes
  • Popcorn kernels

You may not need to eliminate these foods entirely, but you should come up with safer ways to eat them. For example, you can cut meat off the bone and corn off the cob, suck on hard candies and ice, and inspect your popcorn for kernels as you eat.

Don’t Use Your Teeth as Cutting Tools

Your teeth are designed for normal chewing. When you use your teeth to take tags off of new items, cut thread, or open containers, the motion strains your teeth in an abnormal way. This unusual motion makes your teeth more vulnerable to breakage.

If you often feel tempted to use your teeth as cutting tools, invest in a small utility tool you can carry with you, like a pocket knife or pair of sewing scissors.

Find Alternative Fidgeting Fixes

Sometimes you may not even think about the non-food items you put in your mouth. People who chew on pens, pencils, and other household items are more likely to experience cracks and chips in their teeth.

If possible, find other ways to release your excess energy. Doodle, play with a fidget toy, or even chew gum to avoid gnawing on the nearest pen.

Get Fitted for a Mouthguard If You Play Sports

Some tooth breakage occurs due to impact injuries, usually sustained during contact sports or accidents. You may not be able to predict when you might slip and fall, but you can predict when your teeth will be at risk during a recreational activity.

If you play a contact sport, get fitted for a mouthguard. Wear the mouthguard during practice and games to reduce the risk of dental injury.

Maintain a Mouth-Healthy Diet

The stronger your tooth enamel is, the less likely it is to break when put under stress. You can bolster your enamel strength by making smart eating choices.

  • Your mouth-healthy diet should contain:
  • Calcium, commonly found in dairy
  • Fiber, like apples
  • Folic acid, commonly found in dark green vegetables
  • Probiotics, like Greek yogurt
  • Protein, like low-fat meats

Discuss your nutrition options with your dentist and your primary care doctor to make smart decisions about what you put into your body.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

In addition to eating well, you must also establish a good oral hygiene routine to keep your tooth enamel strong. Choose high-quality floss, mouthwash, and toothpaste for your best results. You can learn more about toothpaste shopping in our previous blog, “What to Look for When Buying Toothpaste.”

Make and keep regular dental appointments and teeth cleaning in Sarasota, FL. No matter how good your at-home routine is, many dental conditions can only be detected and addressed by your dentist.

Seek Dental Treatment for Any Tooth Breakage

If you suspect that you have a broken tooth, seek dental attention right away. Your dentist may be able to reattach a broken part of your tooth but only within the first few hours after the incident.

Otherwise, your dentist may use a dental crown, veneers, or dental bonding to repair the damage. In this case, it is still important to see a dentist as soon as possible since cracks and chips can worsen over time and compromise the structural integrity of the tooth. If left unaddressed, this type of injury can necessitate extraction.

Use these guidelines to prevent acute dental injury and achieve better oral health overall.

Easing Dental Phobia: The Hall Technique

Your child needs to have good experiences at the dentist when he or she is young so that anxiety isn’t carried into adulthood. Between 9 and 20 percent of adults avoid the dentist because of a dental phobia. Dental phobia is a problem since an individual may shirk preventative care and let problems fester.

While dental phobia has several causes, the fear of pain is a big factor. When children have cavities, they often fear the pain of shots — or injections of anesthesia. Even though injections are quick, this brief pain can make your child hesitant to visit the dentist in the future.

If your child has a mild cavity, instead of having it filled or extracted, you may want to opt for a shot-free route: the Hall technique.

What Is the Hall Technique?

The Hall technique was created by Scottish dentist Dr. Norna Hall. Instead of preparing the enamel and filling a cavity, the Hall technique is a simple procedure where a stainless-steel crown is placed over the infected tooth.

This crown protects the tooth from further infection since bacteria will no longer have access to oxygen and sugars. As long as no dental abscesses develop or pulp tissues become inflamed, the tooth will be protected.

Many children are good candidates for this technique. Your child will not need a shot for this procedure, and he or she won’t need to listen to a dental drill since the tooth doesn’t need to be prepared. If your child is already showing signs of dental phobia, then the Hall technique is an ideal route since it isn’t invasive or painful.

In fact, some teeth are better off if they are not prepped with a drill for fillings. This action can sometimes cause an inflammatory response or irritate the nerve. The goal is to keep the baby teeth healthy enough that they fall out naturally, so if that can be done without a filling, the Hall technique is a great option.

How Does the Procedure Work?

Before the dentist fits the crown to the tooth, they will make sure that your child has adequate space around the infected tooth. The crown is slightly larger than your child’s natural tooth, so the dentist may need to place orthodontic spacers beforehand to give the prostheses room to fit.

Once enough space exists for the crown, the dentist will fit the crown over the tooth to make sure it feels comfortable. If the crown fits well, then the dentist will then cement it in place over the baby tooth.

The dentist will then have your child bite down to make sure the crown sets properly. The good news is that once the crown is firmly cemented, it never has to be removed. When your child loses his or her baby tooth, the crown will naturally fall out too.

How Do We Avoid Cavities in the Future?

While the Hall technique can ease your child’s dental phobia, you and your child should try to avoid cavities altogether.

Young children can develop cavities even with good oral hygiene. They have a hard time reaching their back teeth and brushing properly since their fine motor skills are still developing. To give your child the best chance of avoiding cavities, ask your dentist in Sarasota, FL about dental sealants.

Dental sealants are light coatings of resin that are placed over your child’s teeth. Like the Hall technique’s crown, the sealant will create a barrier so bacteria cannot break down the enamel.

The placement of dental sealants is completely painless and quick, making it an ideal procedure to eliminate dental phobia. During this procedure, the dentist will first clean your child’s teeth of plaque. He or she will then place an abrasive solution, so the sealants will adhere better to the teeth. He or she will then place the sealants and use a curing light to set them.

Contact Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA, for more information on making your child’s dental visit as painless as possible. We are committed to our patients and want you to have a great experience with your dental care.

Denture Care For New Denture Wearers

Dentures need proper care just like your natural teeth. In addition, your mouth still needs proper care even when you wear dentures. If you’re new to wearing dentures, you may not have the handle on maintaining your dentures yet. These tips will help you through the process of caring for your dentures and your remaining natural teeth.

Handle Dentures Over a Towel

Dentures in Sarasota are breakable and should not be dropped onto a hard surface. When holding your dentures, handle them over the sink and place a towel inside to pad the fall if you should drop them accidentally. If you’re not feeling steady for any reason, you might need to get help with your dentures from a loved one or friend.

Clean With the Right Cleaner

Never clean your dentures with toothpaste. Normal toothpaste contains tiny abrasive bits that will scratch and pit your dentures over time. Instead, use a dedicated denture cleaner to clean your dentures at home, and use a brush meant for cleaning dentures. The brush you use should be soft-bristled to avoid scratching your dentures.

If you find yourself traveling somewhere and you don’t have your denture cleaner, use a mild soap (like hand soap or equivalent) to clean your dentures.

Brush Daily and Remove Nightly

You should brush your dentures twice daily as with your natural teeth. Ideally, you’ll clean them once at night just before going to bed. If you take your dentures out at night as well, you’ll give your jaw and tissues a chance to recover and you won’t need to clean them in the morning. However, you should still clean them one other time during the day, such as after a meal.

Leave your dentures to sit in a solution overnight, as recommended by your Sarasota dentist. Most dentures need to stay moist in order to retain their shape, so your dentist will probably recommend that you leave your dentures in water or in a special solution. Put your dentures in the solution after performing a normal cleaning.

Dentures that have metal pieces may start to tarnish if they’re left in water, so be sure to follow your dentist’s instructions about what kind of liquid that the dentures should be left in overnight. Your dentist will be able to tell you how to soak your dentures without damaging the pieces. Do not soak your dentures in hot water or boiling water, as this can cause them to warp.

Rinse Frequently

Rinsing your dentures between meals helps to remove food particles so your teeth will stay clean throughout the day. If you are not able to rinse your dentures, swish water in your mouth after eating.

Brush Your Mouth When the Dentures Come Out

Brushing out your mouth when the dentures come out can help remove plaque and acids that might have built up inside the mouth beneath the dentures. Brushing inside your mouth also stimulates the flow of saliva and can help stimulate blood flow. This stimulation helps the tissues inside your mouth remain healthy. Brush your tongue, your gum line, and the roof of your mouth.

Take Your Denture to the Dentist If Broken

If your denture should become broken at any time, take it to the dentist for a repair. Do not try to repair your dentures yourself as you may inadvertently break them.

Contact Your Dentist for More Questions

If you have more questions about how to care for your dentist, contact a reputable dentist in your area. At Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA, we’re happy to answer patient questions about denture care. Contact us today for more information.