The Importance of Fluoride for Teeth

importance of fluoride for teethFluoride has been a controversial topic for some – but we want to elaborate on its importance and what previous studies and research have shown to help shed light on the issue.

The World Health Organization (WHO) conducted several studies on fluoride and its effectiveness in preventing cavities and came up with this conclusion: that the addition of fluoridated water helps to decrease tooth decay.

How So?

We’ll break the reason down for you. Two processes occur in your mouth that involves bacteria, sugars, and plaque: demineralization and re-mineralization.

When the bacteria in our mouth work to attack our tooth’s enamel, then demineralization is occurring. When minerals act to strengthen what was broken down – this is called re-mineralization. When the re-mineralization process occurs, any fluoride in your mouth will be used up to further strengthen your tooth’s enamel and increase resistance to acid attacks.

Final Verdict

Fluoride should be seen as a critical factor in helping to promote tooth enamel strengthening. However, fluoride is to be thought of as a prevention tool. It cannot and does not reverse tooth decay that has already been classified as a cavity. Cavities should be filled with a material of your choice (often composite resin as opposed to metal/silver/amalgam) in order to prevent the decay from spreading further.

Children can also benefit from fluoride usage. Pediatric dentists often recommend waiting until about age 2 where a “pea-sized” amount of fluoride toothpaste may be introduced.

Fluoride can be found in water (most of the US have fluoridated tap water), mouth rinses, toothpastes, and certain foods.

Common Issue Explained: Why Do People Fear the Dentist?

One of the most feared doctors in the medical field is the dentist. But why do people fear the dentist? Why do dentists get such a bad wrap?

Perhaps because their workspace, the human mouth, is one of the most intimate and sensitive places on the body.

Learn why people fear the dentist.The mere thought of someone – we don’t care who they are or where they’ve been trained – coming near our mouths with a sharp object, is terrifying… at least at first. Like anything in life, we humans get used to the idea of someone working on our mouths. The brain has a fantastic ability to assimilate. Any anxiety we feel in relation to the dentist will dissipate from the initial exposure to the dental experience.

Now, there are some factors – the reception the dentist gives his or her patients, the connection you feel to your dentist and hygienist, the over all state of mind the patient is in, their past experiences with pain or trauma – any and all of these can trick your mind into thinking that the experience they are about to have will be the same. Some people think pain and fear is just a part of their trip to the dentist, so they just gear themselves up for the worst and hope for the best. If they can walk out of the dentist thinking ‘that wasn’t so bad’, then it’s been a good day.

The instruments dentists use, the look and feel of the dentist’s office, the smell, what music is playing, can all contribute to a fear of the dental experience. In extreme cases, these and other psychological factors can even build up so much anxiety that it results in a phobia, and a refusal to go to the dentist at all.

The dentist could be the nicest person you’ve ever met, but until the fears and blocks one has to the simplicity of dental care -because let’s face it, when we wipe away all the made up fears and anticipation of pain, it is simple – people will continue to be stuck in their prison of negative thoughts.

The Trick to Conquering Your Fears

The trick is to trick yourself into being open to the possibility that the dentist is your friend, and go from there. The more we can change our own minds into positive thinking machines, the more we can change the reputation of dentists from people to be feared, to people we can trust to care for us.

Why are Invisalign® Braces so Popular?

Invisalign braces are a popular choice for both adults and teenagers.

The difference is literally night and day.

The answer is simple: because they work and are invisible (for the most part)! The main benefit of Invisalign braces are the simple fact that they are indeed clear braces; making them harder to be seen by your peers. This happens to be one of the main selling points, too. It’s even implied by the name “Invisalign” – or invisible aligners.

But I’m Too Old For Braces…

Absolutely not! Believe it or not, more and more adults are flocking to their nearest orthodontist because they want to improve their smile. They’re tired of not being completely satisfied with the way they appear to the outside world. Let’s face it: the way we look and perceive ourselves drastically affects our self-esteem.

An adult having braces is becoming a lot more commonplace and with the option for clear, removable braces such as Invisalign – it becomes that much easier to straighten our teeth without enduring a year or two with odd-looking wires and brackets.

Social Media Plays a Role?

Speculation points to social media being a huge factor in driving people to seek ways they could improve their appearance: plastic surgery, cosmetic dentistry, gym memberships, etc. We want to be able to impress our friends, families, peers, and future employers. Being presentable in our society today has never been so important. Is this a bad thing? That’s up for you to decide – but we like to believe seeking to enhance our lives is never a bad thing!

Stay Cavity Free This Halloween with Tips from Cheyenne Dental Group!

cavity-free halloween tips, alternatives to candy halloween, halloween 2014It’s almost that time again where both children and adults enjoy a bit of candy binging that most often results in heavily induced sugar rushes, kids that bounce off walls, and of course dental dangers. Unfortunately, the ones who really take the most beating from Halloween are our teeth. In order to stay stay cavity free this Halloween, consider our advice.

Sticky Situations

Many candies such as anything with caramel, gummies, or lollipops that are sucked on for long periods of time are the worst culprits. Why? Because our teeth are exposed to the sugar for longer than other candies that we simply chew and swallow without much thought. Try avoiding candies that have the potential to stick to our teeth, as long exposure to sugar is harmful to our teeth. This will only increase our chances of decay and cavities, especially if you go to bed with all of that sugar still stuck on your teeth.

Consider Alternatives

There are plenty of alternatives that exist besides candy. Most candies contain milk chocolate in some form and our suggestion is to find the candies that contain dark chocolate. This doesn’t necessarily make it a great choice, but dark chocolate does not contain the same sugary ingredients as milk chocolate. The more cacao content, the more pure it is – which is a good thing.

Sugar-free gum with xylitol is another great alternative. Not only does it have the potential to curb your appetite, but helps stimulate saliva production which is important for managing the bacteria in our mouth responsible for decay. There’s a wide variety of flavors to choose from also, so grab your favorite and chew away.

Fruit is Nature’s Candy

You may have heard this phrase before, but we like to believe that fruit is nature’s candy. Fruit can be loaded with sugar, but it’s natural and far healthier than anything artificial because it contains vitamins our bodies need on a daily basis. Just don’t go too overboard with fruit. Limit yourself, just as you would candy.

Moderation is Key

We don’t want to bore you by saying don’t eat any candy at all. It’s OK to indulge in small amounts of candy here and there, but that’s the key thing to take note of: “small amounts”. Your body and teeth will benefit when things are done in moderation. We cannot stress this enough.

Of course, you should always add extra effort to stay on top of your brushing and flossing routine, especially during the Halloween season. This combined with visiting your dentist for a checkup to ensure you haven’t rot your teeth out in a few weeks, as well as seriously considering our advice should enable you to have a cavity-free, fun, and a safe Halloween!

3 Foods That May Chip Your Teeth While Eating

We all love indulging in food. With the abundance of different foods and flavors that roam the world, it’s hard to say you have tried everything. However, there are many foods out there we have tried that you may be unaware pose risks to your teeth while eating. Be careful of these foods that chip teeth, crack teeth, pull fillings out, or even the whole tooth (if you’re unlucky).

Meats

foods that chip teeth, tooth chipped while eating, chip teeth fixing

Meat sure looks good, but watch out for the bone!

It’s not necessarily the actual meat that you should be cautious of, but rather the bones that are attached to the meat. If you’re the type who loves eating directly from the bone, then you may want to make sure you are not biting down on the bone. This goes for certain fish too that may have bones stuck in them. Not only can you damage your teeth from fish bones, but you may also choke on them! The best advice we can give you is to examine each bite before you place it into your mouth; it’s a good habit to develop.

Ice

Water is one of the most harmless substances on the Earth, but when in solid form it can cause havoc on your teeth. We’re talking about people who love to chew on ice (yes, it can be addicting) but that’s part of why it’s so dangerous to our teeth – because when we chew ice we’re normally doing it while completely mindless about the situation. Instead of chewing or gnawing on the ice, consider sucking on it instead.

Hard Candies

There are many hard candies that we indulge in, especially during the night when our sweet tooth is calling. However, hard candies can be the worst to bite down on – causing many chipped teeth. Hard candies, like ice, should be sucked on. Besides, you’ll savor more of the flavor this way!

What Can You Do

If you manage to accidentally nick a tooth – not just from food but in any fashion – then first thing’s first: don’t panic. Your teeth can and will be fixed. Modern dentistry offers a procedure designed to fix or correct any situation. Chip or cracks can be corrected with dental fillings, dental bonding, dental crowns, or porcelain veneers depending on the circumstances.

If you manage to lose a tooth, then schedule an emergency dentistry appointment as soon as you can with your nearest Las Vegas cosmetic dentist. Be sure to salvage any part of the tooth if possible and bring it with your to your appointment.

Teeth 101: Understanding How to Avoid Ruining Your Teeth

how to avoid ruining teeth

Brushing is a great first step in understanding how to avoid ruining your teeth!

If you maintain your teeth and keep them in tip-top shape, then you will reap the benefits of healthy teeth which includes less pain, less hassle, less hearing your dentist nag you about your dental habits every visit, and – here’s the big one – a fatter wallet because you won’t have to spend money on correcting mistakes. It’s truly a win-win situation. By understanding what we have to say in regards to teeth, you will become a “judo master” in avoiding situations that damage teeth.

Your Teeth are Not Tools

Many people have what appears to be an instinctual desire to use their teeth as tools to accomplish certain tasks. We’re referring to those people who pop open bottle caps with their teeth or rip open potato chip bags using their teeth. It’s times like these where you just may have enough bad luck to chip – or even break – a tooth. Bottomline: it’s not worth the risk of ruining or damaging your teeth.

Your Teeth are Not Made of Steel

Chewing ice can be one of those sensations that just feels good – similar to the oral act of smoking a cigarette*. We get it, but there are some precautions you should take. The next time you’re chewing ice that has been in the drink you just finished off, consider the fact that many people have ruined their teeth because of these overlooked habits.

The same goes for chewing on any substances or foods which are hard to bite down on. Common examples include many varieties of hard candies, apples, popcorn kernels, and even various nuts for certain people. Hard candies are made to suck on, as well as ice. Resist the urge to bite down forcefully and chew slowly if you have to.

Your Teeth Need Love

Everyone needs love, right? This also happens to include your teeth. It may sound like a “bum analogy”, but as dentists we have to beat this fact into your brain somehow. When we say “your teeth need love” we’re simply referring to the fact that they need to be brushed and flossed (you definitely didn’t see that one coming did you?). When this doesn’t occur, then problems arise and they may arise quickly.

It’s OK if you’re teeth have more than one lover, too. Even the American Dental Association agrees! They recommend you visit a dentist twice a year, so you only have to share your teeth with a dentist two times per year, that isn’t too bad right? Seriously though, don’t skip out on your routine dental visits. It’s important for dentists to remove any damage that has accumulated since your last visit – which we’re hoping hasn’t been more than a year.

Your Teeth are Not Made for Storage

What we’re referring to here is mainly how certain foods we chew will become trapped in our teeth. The biggest factor here are meats of any sort – raw, medium rare, well done, chicken, turkey, pork, and definitely any type of jerky will all find their way stuck in between your teeth. If you don’t remove it the same day with floss, then it will sit in your mouth while bacteria have themselves a loud party until the police arrive in the form of a nagging toothache – pointing to a sign of tooth decay.

*We would never recommend smoking to anyone as it’s a habit that can lead to many undesirable consequences of your mouth, and body too. Smoking and oral health are just not meant to be.

Common Dental Problems Adults Are Likely To Experience

common dental problems adultsIn comparison to our whole body, it’s amazing how much importance we place on our mouth – specifically our teeth and gums. We do this for good reason though because oral hygiene is something that needs to be performed on a daily basis. When we do not follow up with routine oral hygiene, then problems quickly arise.

Common Dental Problems Adults Face

Gum Disease

Believe it or not, when we brush our teeth we do it more so for our gums than our teeth. If our gums are bad, then are teeth will inevitably become bad (in absolute worst case scenarios our teeth would just fall out).

How many times have you been to the dentist and heard a bunch of numbers being thrown out at rapid speed? These numbers refer to your gums and the amount of pocket space between them. The higher the number, the worse off your gums are – typically resulting in special treatments such as gum irrigation, deep cleaning, antibiotic shots (i.e. Arestin), and more frequent trips to your dentist in an effort to correct the mistakes.

Remember: early stages of gum disease CAN be reversed, but later stages cannot.

Bad Breath

We’re not referring to bad breath from consuming too many onions or garlic – we’re talking about bad breath that is a result of your teeth. Bad breath can be tricky to pinpoint, but is often the result of a lack of brushing and flossing that leads to decay in your mouth.

You can mask the smell using mouthwash, chewing gum, or other solutions – but if the problem is consistent then warn your dentist about it the next time you’re in.

TMJ

At some point or another, you may begin experiencing jaw pain or a clicking sensation in your jaws. This is known as TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, and can also be difficult to pinpoint the cause. Teeth grinding is often the reason why many experience TMJ. The worst part is that sometimes we grind our teeth at night without even realizing it.

Your first instinct may be to let your general doctor or primary care physician handle the situation, but it’s actually better to let an orthodontist take care of this one.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay – the main problem that many of us struggle with even as children. Unfortunately, it can only become worse with age. Just keep these three things in mind in order to gain control over a war that you will face forever: stay hydrated, brush and floss your teeth, and visit your dentist.

What does hydration have to do with tooth decay? Good question. Our main defense against tooth decay is actually the naturally occurring saliva in our mouths. This fights off the swarm of bacteria living in our mouths. When we’re hydrated, our body is producing saliva at an appropriate rate.

If you enjoyed reading this article, then you may be interested in reading about the common dental symptoms that people face.

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