Going to the dentist isn’t everyone’s favorite thing to do, and oftentimes, people ignore serious oral health issues to avoid the dentist entirely. In addition to your recommended bi-annual dental check-up, you should see a dentist if you experience any of the following.
1. You Broke a Tooth
This seems obvious, but if you broke a tooth, you should see a dentist as soon as possible to have the situation evaluated. If left unexamined, a broken tooth could lead to an infection or tooth decay, as well as further breakage and pain. If necessary, your dentist can cap your broken tooth to prevent potential issues or for aesthetic reasons, so your tooth looks whole again.
2. Your Teeth Hurt
Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire, and where there’s pain, there’s usually an underlying issue. Don’t self-diagnose or just suck it up–see a dentist and find out what’s causing the pain. Tooth pain can occur as a result of myriad issues, including clenching or grinding your teeth, tooth decay, gum disease, new teeth coming in, or shifting teeth.
3. You Have Persistent Bad Breath
If you have bad breath, despite having good oral hygiene, you should definitely get checked out. Bad breath can be a sign of gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, which can result in periodontitis and serious health issues. Chronic bad breath is also a symptom of a number of other conditions, and shouldn’t be left untreated. Even if your halitosis isn’t a result of a medical condition, your dentist will be able to help you control your bad breath.
4. You Have Mouth Sores
Any sore lasting longer than a week should warrant a dental examination. Mouth sores can be caused by a variety of conditions, and could be indicative of a larger health problem, or could lead to bacteria entering the bloodstream, causing infection.
5. Your Gums Are Inflamed
Like bad breath, gum inflammation can be a sign of gingivitis or poor dental hygiene. In either case, seeing a dentist is crucial to rectifying the problem, whether it’s a more vigorous and consistent flossing routine or something more serious.
6. Sensitivity to Hot and Cold
If you have trouble eating or drinking hot or cold foods and beverages, you should see a dentist. Many people have sensitivity to hot and cold, and your dentist may just recommend a mouthwash or toothpaste that reduces sensitivity; however, the issue may be the result of an exposed nerve or receding gums, which indicate larger oral health issues requiring treatment.
The issues we’ve mentioned above should not be taken lightly, as left untreated, they could cause serious health issues down the road. If you experience pain, sensitivity, inflammation, sores, bad breath, or tooth breakage, be sure to make an appointment with a dentist to evaluate and treat the problem, before it escalates.
Time to see a dentist? Give our office a call!
Getting your wisdom teeth removed can be intimidating if you don’t know what to expect. Don’t go in blind! Keep reading to find out average recovery time, what to expect after the surgery, and how soon you can go back to work or school.
What is recovery like?
After the surgery, the anesthesia and numbing agents will slowly wear off. It usually takes a couple of hours for the numbness in your mouth to be completely gone. You’ll experience some soreness and swelling in your mouth, as well as your jaws and cheeks. However, your oral surgeon will prescribe something to help reduce pain and swelling, as well as an antibiotic to prevent infection. You can also use ice packs on your cheeks and jaws to lessen swelling and pain.
When eating, you should take care to avoid anything hard, sharp, crunchy, or chewy, as these could be difficult to eat, cause pain, or get into your wound. You should also avoid using straws, sucking or slurping motions, and smoking, as these activities could dislodge the clot where your teeth were removed and cause a painful condition called dry socket, in which the bone is exposed.
It is important during recovery to drink lots of water and stay well-hydrated. Though your mouth may be sore, you shouldn’t avoid eating altogether, as your body will need nutrients to bounce back quickly. Some easy-to-eat recovery foods include:
Protein/meal replacement shakes/drinks
How long will it take me to recover?
As a general estimate, you can expect full recovery to take one to two weeks, and should be able to return to normal activities like work or school within three to four days. Recovery time depends on numerous factors, including your body’s resilience, the number of teeth that were removed, and how the teeth were coming in or impacted. The more difficult the teeth were to remove, the longer the recovery period will be.
If you experience dry sockets, you’ll need to see your dentist to have the socket treated. After treatment, expect a couple of weeks to fully recover.
After wisdom teeth extraction, the best way to shorten your recovery period is to follow your dentists directions for care: take the prescribed medication, avoid foods that could cause irritation or dry sockets, and don’t overexert yourself. If you follow these guidelines, you should have a healthy recovery and be back to normal in just a week or two!
Do you need to have your wisdom teeth out? Give Creason, Weber & Mountford Family Dentistry a call today!
We smile in pictures, we smile when we’re happy, and we smile to greet one another. A smile is the first way we present ourselves to the world, expressing joy, health, and confidence, all in one first impression. If you’ve ever felt like your smile could look better though, cosmetic dentistry could help.
What is Cosmetic Dentistry
Cosmetic dentistry is dentistry that works to create a positive change to your teeth and to your smile. Improving your smile can have dramatic results on your overall appearance, boosting your confidence, self-esteem, and even making you want to smile more.
Over time, your teeth can begin to yellow, move out of alignment, chip and crack, or the enamel can wear down. Instead of hiding your smile or avoiding showing teeth altogether , maybe it’s time you explored the treatment options of cosmetic dentistry.
There are a variety of procedures available that can be tailored and combined to tackle your needs. Treatments such as bleaching, reshaping gums, or implants can cause dramatic transformations, all at a surprisingly affordable price tag. Depending on your wants and needs, the cost of cosmetic dentistry depends on a number of factors including what you want to improve, the dentist performing the procedure, and the materials used. Here is a list of four of the most common treatment types and a quick glimpse at how much it may cost you.
Fixing Tooth Damage
Dental Veneers can help with worn tooth enamel, uneven tooth alignment, abnormal spacing, or chips and cracks in your teeth. These veneers are often made from composite resin (a tooth-coloring filling material) or porcelain. Veneers are placed over the front of the tooth to recreate the look of natural teeth. Traditional porcelain veneers can last 10 to 15 years while composite veneers, in comparison, may last 5 to 7 years. Dental Crowns, which are tooth-shaped caps that are placed over your tooth to restore the tooth’s shape, size, and strength as well as improve appearance.
Replacing Missing Teeth
Missing teeth is often more than a cosmetic concern, but a general oral health problem. Depending on how many teeth you’re missing or where in your mouth there are gaps, it’s possible to experience problems chewing. To replace those missing molars or incisors, your dentist may suggest either a dental implant or dental bridge.
Dental Implants are artificial tooth roots that provide a permanent base for fixed, replacement teeth. A connector called an abutment is attached to the implant, which eventually supports the prosthetic tooth.
Dental Bridges are another option for replacing missing teeth. As the name suggests, dental bridges bridge gaps between a missing tooth or missing teeth. Dental bridges are supported by the natural teeth around them or by implants. The bridge is made up of the pontic, which replaces the missing tooth or teeth, and two crowns which are attached to and cover the surrounding teeth.
Straightening Your Smile
Some people have teeth that are healthy and strong but crooked. Misaligned teeth not only can make you self-conscious about flashing a smile, but may be the cause of jaw pain and headaches. When our teeth don’t line up well in our mouths, are jaw will overcompensate by moving in strange directions and angles to make chewing and talking more comfortable. Thankfully, there are a couple options to combat poor alignment including braces or clear alignment trays to adjust the teeth’s position.
Getting a Brighter & Whiter Smile
Teeth whitening is a quick and non-invasive way to improve your smile. There are three options for teeth whitening: in-office whitening, professionally dispensed take-home whitening kits, or over-the-counter teeth whitening. With in-office whitening, the dentist will apply either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to protect your gums and apply bleach to the teeth. A special light or laser might be used to enhance the action of the whitening agent. While in-office whitening procedures cost more, the concentration of the whitening agent is lower in the take-home kits and the over-the-counter options than what your dentist would use in the office.
While most insurance providers do not cover the cost of cosmetic dentistry, considering your options for improving your smile and speaking with your dentist can help you find an option affordable for you. The best way to know if you can afford cosmetic dentistry is to get a complete estimate from your dentist and speak with the financing department about your options. Dental offices deal frequently with financing and will be able to provide you with all of the financing choices available to you.
Ultimately, cosmetic dentistry can be worth the cost to help you take pride in your smile. An improved smile can help you feel more confident, improve your overall appearance and make great first impressions. If you’re looking to improve your smile, consider scheduling an appointment with Drs. Creason, Weber & Mountford. We’re always accepting new patients and have everything you need to get the smile you’ve been hoping for with services like our ZOOM whitening. You can make your appointment by calling 616-842-0822 or by scheduling online today!
Unknowns can be scary. Going into situations that are inconsistent with your day-to-day routine can cramp your style, causing extra stress that we know you don’t need. We all know that going to your dentist frequently is a great investment in your oral health and your general well-being, but what can you expect from the time you get to the office to the time you leave? Here is our quick guide and checklist with everything you need to know and bring to your next dental appointment.
How Often You Should Go
For most, it’s recommended that people visit their dentist twice a year. However, if you’re in what’s known as the “high risk” group—smokers, diabetics, people with gum disease or immune system issues—should be seeing their dentist more frequently. After your checkup, ask your dentist when they think you should come in again for a cleaning.
First Things First: Check-In
Try to give yourself 10 to 15 minutes of time between your scheduled appointment and when you arrive. That way, when you get to the office, you will have enough time to fill out any forms from the dental receptionist. Remember to bring with you any necessary medical information you may need, such as any prescriptions you are currently taking or your dental insurance information. After all of the necessary forms are filled out, it will be time for you to head to your examination room.
Meet the Dental Hygienist
Once you’re brought back into the examination room, your dental hygienist will begin scraping and cleaning your teeth. When scraping, hygienists will use tools to remove plaque and tartar that’s built up on your teeth, which if left untreated can cause gum disease, cavities, and bad breath. Next, the hygienist will rinse out your mouth before beginning to polish and floss your teeth, making them sparkly and clean for your dentist to look at.
Finishing the Check-Up
The last part of your check-up will involve the dentist coming in to thoroughly examining your teeth. Often, at this point, the dentist will also take X-Rays. These x-rays can show problems that are otherwise hard to detect, such as abscesses, decay, cysts or tumors. As the dentist is waiting for the x-ray results, they will also be examining your teeth and gums, often doing some extra cleaning and asking some follow-up questions about your oral health and cleaning habits. When the x-ray results have been evaluated and the examination is finished, the dentist will offer suggestions on how you can keep your mouth healthy, and will suggest when you should come to see them again.
Last But Not Least, Check-Out
With your pearly whites cleaned, now it’s up to you to keep them that way. Before leaving the office, talk to the receptionist about when you should make your next dental appointment. He or she will help you find a date that’s convenient with your schedule and will give you an appointment card or follow up with you via email or text.
If it’s been a long time since your last appointment and you know you need to schedule a dental check-up, give the Creason, Weber & Mountford office a call at (616) 842-0822, we’d love to meet you! We always welcome new patients, and you can even get in touch with us online!
New Year’s Resolutions. Even if you don’t make them, the ringing in of the New Year does have a fresh-start feeling. This could be the year that you stop scrolling through Facebook before bed every night. Or maybe this is the year where you start focusing on your health.
Whatever resolution you may be trying to stick to, we’ve got a suggestion: Make 2017 your year for healthier, stronger teeth. Maintaining good dental health is crucial to your personal well-being, with poor habits causing cavities, tooth loss, and gum infections. To help you start forming better hygiene habits, here are 10 steps to take better care of your pearly whites.
STEP 1: Brush Your Teeth AT LEAST Twice a Day
The American Dental Association suggests that you brush your teeth in the morning when you wake up and again before you head to bed. Over the course of your day, bacteria within your mouth begins breaking down the food you’ve eaten throughout the day. As the bacteria is munching away on what’s left over from your lunch, it releases acids that can start damaging your tooth enamel. If you are only brushing once a day, it’s likely that the bacteria will begin to spread to different parts of the mouth which are often what causes the onset of gingivitis. It’s important to brush twice a day to keep all of the bacteria at bay.
STEP 2: When Brushing, Use a Fluoride Toothpaste
You’ve probably heard of fluoride as something that’s added to your water, or maybe as a child, your doctor prescribed fluoride tablets to help keep your teeth strong. But what is fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can be found in the Earth’s crust, water, and in foods. When fluoride is added to your toothpaste it can be absorbed into your tooth enamel where it can help strengthen the tooth by replenishing the phosphorus and calcium that has been lost. Although you may have fluoride in your water already, you should still consider giving your teeth the extra fighting power that’s provided by fluoride. (However, do not use fluoridated toothpaste with children under the age of two unless you’ve first consulted your pediatrician.)
STEP 3: When You Brush, Floss
Although you may be an avid brusher, the odds are that you are one of the 32% of Americans who never flosses. In a report from US News in May of 2016, a study found that over a third of Americans, a whopping 37%, floss their teeth “less than daily.”
The importance of flossing regularly is related to those pesky bacteria we mentioned earlier. When you brush, many parts of your teeth, like the cracks and crevices in between, are out of reach for the bristles to scrub clean. That’s where flossing comes in. By reaching in between your teeth, flossing is stripping away the bacteria that could continue eating away at your enamel or that could irritate your gums. By linking your flossing habits to your twice-a-day brushing routine, you have a much lower chance of enamel loss or tooth irritation and decay.
STEP 4: Start Using a Rinse or Mouthwash
You may think that mouthwash is simply an instant breath freshener, but it does a lot more than take away your bad breath. If brushing takes away most bacteria and flossing takes another swing at it, mouthwash is the knock-out punch. Mouthrinses can reach and clean within every nook and cranny your mouth has bacteria hiding within. But buyer beware, not all mouthwashes are going to break down the bacterial compounds that can lead to tooth decay.
When shopping in the mouthrinse aisle, look for the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. This seal is given to manufacturers whose products have shown statistical significance providing the health benefit they claim. Don’t just look for something to mask bad breath, look for a product that can fight and kill the bacteria. You can even find some mouthwashes that have the bacteria killing power and added fluoride to help keep your teeth strong.
STEP 5: Replace Your Toothbrush More Often
If you’ve had your toothbrush for more than five months, do yourself a favor and toss it. Your toothbrush can house lingering toothpaste and saliva, even if it’s been rinsed after you’re done brushing. To keep your teeth as clean as possible, you should be replacing your toothbrush every three to four months. Consider buying a toothbrush sooner if you notice that your bristles are beginning to fray.
STEP 6: Drink More Water
Most people don’t want to bring their toothbrushes and toothpaste with them to use after every meal. With our busy lives, that solution is impractical. Instead, try drinking more water throughout the day, especially during and after meals. The water helps wash off foods and bacteria clinging to your teeth. Also, staying hydrated will help your mouth’s production of saliva and give your body the water it needs to distribute nutrients and keep you functioning at full capacity all day long.
STEP 7: Avoid Acidic Foods and Drinks
One of the reasons fluoride is such a good addition to your dental hygiene routine is because of the damage acidic drinks and food can cause. When drinks like soda, coffee, and wine are introduced to your teeth, their acidity breaks down your tooth enamel. In addition to some of these drinks, many of our favorite fruits also contain a high acid content. Limiting how much acidic foods you eat and drink can help you keep your enamel strong to ward off tooth sensitivity and decay.
STEP 8: Curb Your Sweet Tooth
Candies and sugary drinks are just two culprits that affect your dental hygiene. When you eat sugary foods, the starches from them get stuck in your teeth’s cracks and crevices. These sugars are great food sources for your mouth’s bacteria. By cutting down on some of your favorite sweet treats, you are doing your teeth a favor and giving your mouth’s bacteria only a sliver of a chance. If possible, try to eat sweet and acidic snacks when you’re home so you can brush up right afterward.
STEP 9: Stop Using Tobacco
Whether you are using chewing tobacco or have a habit of smoking, the use of tobacco products causes serious damage to your teeth and mouth. In addition to the yellowing of your teeth and gums, tobacco use is linked to the onset of gum disease, tooth decay, and mouth and throat cancers. If you are seriously wanting to take better care of your teeth this year, kicking these habits to the curb is a huge victory.
STEP 10: See A Dentist
The most important step is the one we saved for last. Although all of these steps improve your oral hygiene, there’s no substitute for the expertise and care that comes with visiting a dental office. Understanding your teeth’s strengths and weaknesses are the key to having good health overall, and dentists are trained to help you find a care plan that will keep your smile healthy for years to come.
If it has been awhile since you’ve been to a dentist, we’d love to meet you! If you would like to set up an appointment to meet the staff or for a check-up, give the Creason & Weber office a call at (616) 842-0822. We always welcome new patients, and you can even get in touch with us online!