4 Tips to Make You a Flawless Flosser

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4 Tips to Make You a Flawless Flosser

Gum disease begins at the gum line and between teeth. Daily flossing is an important part of your oral health care routine to help remove the plaque from these areas where a toothbrush doesn’t completely reach. But to truly reap the benefits, you need to use proper flossing technique.

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The Ultimate Toothpaste Guide

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The Ultimate Toothpaste Guide

There are more than 40 toothpaste brands available on the market, and each promises that they're better than the next. But how do you know which one is right for you? Here's Arizona Biltmore Dentistry's guide to the most popular kinds of toothpastes on the market, so you can choose the perfect toothpaste for you.

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10 Foods That Are Great for Your Teeth

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10 Foods That Are Great for Your Teeth

Brushing, flossing and visiting your dentist regularly are the most important steps you can take to ensuring great oral hygiene. But did you know that there are also certain foods you can eat that help too? Here's a list of 10 foods/drinks that are great for your smile.

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5 Common Flossing Mistakes

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5 Common Flossing Mistakes

Flossing is a key component of maintaining healthy teeth and oral hygiene. It's important to floss properly to avoid plaque and tartar buildup. Here are some common flossing mistakes to avoid.

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6 Signs You Need to See a Dentist

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6 Signs You Need to See a Dentist

Regular dentist visits are vital to maintaining good oral health. But if you're experiencing pain or any other dental issues, you should visit your dentist right away. Here are a few of the most common signs that you need to see a dentist.

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Don't Let the Word FILLING Fool You!

 

 

Written By Brittnie Heddlesten

 Have you ever been told that you need a dental filling and were not sure what this meant? Or maybe you have thought, well it's JUST A FILLING...it's not that important!


There is often confusion about what needing a dental filling means. Most often, a dental filling is the recommended treatment for a cavity in a tooth. Excess bacteria on the teeth will eat away at the enamel and dentin of the tooth, which causes this cavity or hole in the tooth. The best way to restore the tooth to a healthy state is to have the dentist remove the cavity, clean the area, and place a dental filling also called a restoration where the decaying tooth structure was removed.

I was told I have a cavity, but my tooth does not hurt, what's up?
Having a cavity can cause pain, but often there is little to no discomfort or pain when the cavities are small.  If the cavity is not removed it will continue to grow and can expand to the nerve of the tooth, causing the need for a root canal or loss of the tooth.  We recommend not waiting until you have pain because then the repair is more costly. Getting a filling done to remove the decay from the tooth is easier, less expensive and a less invasive procedure.

Cost is a common reason why people do not follow through on dental treatment for cavities. However, many times it is not the cost of treatment that should be the main focus, but rather what the cavity in your teeth will cost you in the long run.

Give us a call at Arizona Biltmore Dentistry if you have any questions!

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No More Metal Mouth

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No More Metal Mouth

Traditional braces definitely have their time and place and necessity, but with time and technology come evolution and advancement. Read this blog to see why Invisalign is the right path to take.

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Toothpastes Galore!

It is pretty overwhelming when perusing the toothpaste aisle. How do you go about selecting the correct product? Really focusing on the status of your oral cavity can assist you to know which would be better for you. Here are some helpful tips when looking for the proper paste. . .

Most people purchase whitening toothpastes nowadays.  These pastes are very abrasive due to the silica that is in the product.  Be mindful that these pastes can brighten those teeth but can also cause sensitivity.

If you have sensitivity due to recession of the gums or just have teeth that cringe at the sight of ice cream, a good product to look for is one containing potassium nitrate.  This ingredient can be found in brands such as Sensodyne.  Also, if you have crowns or veneers on those front choppers, a low abrasive toothpaste such as Sensodyne will not scratch up your investment!  Prescription strength toothpastes can also do the job.  Seek a toothpaste from your dental professional such as Fluoridex or Prevident which will also help to fight off those sugar bugs!

If you feel that you have a lot of plaque build up (or your dental professional has mentioned it to you in the past) there are many ingredients that can aid in the reduction of that bacteria.  There are natural products such as tea tree oil, myrrh and other essential oils that work very well.  If you are looking for a mainstream product, you can find Triclosan in Colgate Total. Listerine also carries essential oils for plaque reduction in both a regular alcohol based formulation as well as a non-alcohol (less burning sensation).

If you happen to notice particles that reside in the mouth after brushing, you might have a sensitivity to a product called Sodium Laurel Sulfate.  Many people do have an allergy to this and do not even know it.  A few toothpastes without this product are Sensodyne ProNamel and there are also prescription pastes that leave that ingredient out.

If you happen to have a lot of fillings or crowns in your mouth or gum recession, there are a few things to consider.  Using a prescription toothpaste would be very valuable to help maintain those restorations and to prevent future restorations.

For a list of toothpaste abrasiveness, or if you have anymore questions about which toothpaste is right for you, click the button below:

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Risky Business

In life, we are faced with many choices. On a daily basis we are challenged to make decisions that hopefully the benefit will outweigh the risk. Just thinking of a few of these items:

  • Tobacco: puts you at risk for periodontal disease, cardio vascular disease, oral cancer
  • Coffee: acidity causes enamel stain and erosion
  • Medications: some control health risks but at the same time cause xerostomia (dry mouth)
  • Alcoholic Beverages: can cause enamel stain and erosion, risk of oral cancer, xerostomia
  • Energy Drinks: acidity can cause enamel stain, erosion and create cavities

There are many risks in life, but weigh out the risks versus the benefits. Are there alternatives that can be substituted? If not, consider counteracting against these ill effects

  • Consider using tobacco cessation products
  • Drink water after sugar and acid consumption and avoid brushing until oral pH can get back to normal (20 min approx.)
  • Use products that keep the oral cavity hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is a wonderful idea but there are also rinses and natural candies that can aid such as Biotene, ACT Dry Mouth, Vaseline, Xylitol products (Ice Chips, Spry Products) Pilocarpine Lollipops just to name a few.

Consult with the professionals at Arizona Biltmore Dentistry if you have any questions!

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10 Tips To Fight Off Cavities

Poor oral health can lead to cavities. The problem occurs when plaque builds up on the surface of the teeth and the bacteria in the plaque react with food and saliva in your mouth to form acids. The tooth enamel is damaged by these acids and a hole can form on the tooth’s surface. If it remains untreated, the cavity will become larger and you may need crowns, fillings, or inlays.

To effectively prevent cavities long term, here are ten tips that you can follow consistently:

  1. To fight off cavities, it is essential that you brush your teeth properly at least twice a day and after meals with a fluoride toothpaste and floss daily. If you are unable to brush after meals, rinse with plain water to remove food debris.
     
  2. Clean your tongue after brushing your teeth. You can do this with a toothbrush or you can also buy a special plastic tongue scraper from pharmacies.
     
  3. Proper nutrition plays an important role in good dental health. Eat healthy, tooth-friendly foods like fresh fruits and vegetables and unsweetened drinks.
     
  4. Limit snacks and avoid chips, candies and chewy toffees that get stuck in your teeth unless you can brush immediately after eating them. Limit the amount of juice or sugary drinks throughout the day.
     
  5. Consider using a microbial mouth rinse if you are at significant risk of developing cavities. Rinsing with one of these mouth rinses after brushing or eating can aid in cavity prevention.
     
  6. Don’t forget to drink lots of water to curb acid erosion. Drink fluoridated tap water regularly.
     
  7. For strong teeth you need calcium and since your body does not produce it, you need to drink a glass of milk every day to fortify your teeth.
     
  8. You can chew sugar-free gum after each meal, as it helps increase the flow of saliva in the mouth to flush out any leftover debris and acid from the meal.
     
  9. Consider Dental sealants if you’re at risk for developing cavities. Dental sealants are a protective coating that is applied to the biting surfaces of the back teeth, which protects the tooth from getting a cavity by shielding against bacteria and plaque.
     
  10. Visit your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings. They are a key factor in preventing cavities and staying on top of good oral hygiene.

Untreated cavities and gum disease may lead to many serious infections and conditions, such as diabetes and respiratory diseases. So instill good oral habits, choose a healthy diet and do visit your dentist for annual exams to keep your teeth happy.

Make the time to pay closer attention to your brushing habits. If you have any questions, talk to our dentists in Arizona Biltmore Dentistry.

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Xylitol Should Be Music To Your Ears

Did you have a little xylophone when you were a child? It was such a great gift. . .it delivered wonderful music to all I am sure. Xylitol sounds similar to that wonderful instrument in pronunciation and it also delivers a great gift. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that can be found naturally in some foods such as apples and mushrooms but can also be found in some gum, mints and candies currently if you don’t care to partake in fungi. It works wonderfully by killing bacteria when they try to ingest it. It kills the bacteria that cause cavities and also can aid to stimulate saliva in those that suffer from dry mouth or xerostomia. It is a wonderful sugar substitute. . .may be a little costly but it is less expensive than a filling! Five a day will keep cavities away. But do not do any`more because it will cause gastric issues. Be mindful of your canine friends though, they really enjoy the taste but it can be very harmful to them.

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Do You Need Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Many people wonder whether wisdom teeth removal is something that is necessary to maintain optimal oral health and comfort. Each patient is unique and the correct answer depends on a number of factors. But generally wisdom teeth removal is widely believed to be an effective technique for preventing gum infection, tooth decay, and discomfort due to pressure inside the mouth. Here is a little more insight and information regarding wisdom tooth removal and the status of your oral health.

What are wisdom teeth?

You have three molars on each side of your upper and lower jaws, for a total of 12. The wisdom teeth, otherwise known as the third molars, are the last set of large teeth to emerge. Because they generally make their appearance between 16 and 25 years of age, long after the eruption of other molars, they are called “wisdom” teeth.

Reasons for Wisdom Teeth Removal

There are a number of reasons when wisdom tooth extraction is recommended.

In many cases, the presence of wisdom teeth may contribute to the overcrowding of other teeth throughout the mouth. When wisdom teeth are left untouched, they also have the potential to cause the shifting of existing teeth that have already undergone orthodontic correction.

Wisdom teeth can increase your risk of developing tooth decay and periodontal disease due to the fact that crowded teeth are more difficult to clean properly. The problem may be the wisdom tooth itself or else its neighboring tooth, the adjacent 2nd molar. If the positioning of a wisdom tooth is such that it becomes difficult to clean, it will be at increased risk for cavity formation.

Another reason that wisdom teeth are removed involves the health of your gums. If a wisdom tooth erupts partially through the gum, the resulting opening in the gingival tissue can serve as a potential site of infection. This may also lead to “Pericoronitis”, which refers to a bacterial infection located in the soft tissues that surround the crown portion of a partially erupted tooth. It occurs when bacteria accumulation builds up but cannot be adequately cleansed away due to the configuration of the gum tissue that surrounds the wisdom teeth.

The most common reason for wisdom tooth extraction is impaction. When a tooth is impacted, it becomes trapped within the jaw and may cause damage to bone tissue, nerves, and adjacent teeth. Impacted teeth can cause problems with chewing or periodontal problems and damage adjacent teeth.  Timely removal helps to prevent this damage before it becomes serious and painful for the patient.

People also seek an evaluation of their wisdom teeth because they have experienced a painful episode. Having pain is the most common third molar symptom. 33% of patients who have symptoms report this as one of them.

Some people are lucky and never need surgery as their wisdom teeth grow into proper position, or the teeth stay in the jawbone and don’t cause problems. Others don’t need surgery as young adults, but their wisdom teeth may cause problems later in life.

When Can You Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?

In general, it’s best to have wisdom teeth taken out between ages 16 and 22. The crown of each tooth is formed first, and is pushed up when the root of the tooth develops. In young adults, the root formation is not complete, so there are fewer complications and risks. But there’s no age limit to getting your wisdom teeth removed. As you get older, the surgery is more difficult, recovery is more difficult and the risk of complications is higher. But if your dentist recommends surgery, don’t wait.

Schedule Your Consultation Today

Do you suspect that you may be suffering from an impacted wisdom tooth? Contact Arizona Biltmore Dentistry to schedule a one-on-one consultation. Our team can’t wait to help you discover real relief from wisdom tooth pain, allowing you to smile comfortably and happily once again.

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What Are the Risks of Not Flossing?

Many people find flossing tedious and try to avoid it. But it should be an integral part of your oral care routine because it is the most effective method of reducing the need for a dentist and preventing disease. The purpose of both brushing and flossing is to reduce the millions of bacteria which inhabit our mouths, feeding on food particles left on our teeth. They produce acid, which eats into tooth enamel creating cavities. If this wasn’t bad enough, the bacteria also pour out volatile sulfur compounds creating embarrassing bad breath.

Over time when you eat and drink, a buildup of bacteria occurs within a mesh of mucus and debris, called plaque. Regular brushing removes the plaque and the bacteria plaque contains. Unfortunately, many people only brush, forgetting that flossing is a key component to any good oral hygiene program.

If you do not floss and allow plaque to remain in between teeth it collects at the gum line and eventually hardens into a substance known as tartar. Unlike plaque which can be easily removed by brushing, tartar can only be removed by your dentist.

Dentists recommend that you floss daily. Flossing every day will dislodge pesky food particles and will help prevent plaque buildup in places your toothbrush can’t reach.

What Happens If I Don’t Floss?

By choosing not to floss, you may run the risk of developing not just a few cavities but also diseases that have a bigger impact on your overall health. To help you understand the risks of not flossing, here is a compilation of the terrifying things that could affect your mouth and wellbeing.

Gum Disease


If your gums bleed when you brush, floss or eat, then there is a strong chance that you may have gum diseases like, gingivitis or periodontitis. Healthy gum tissue does not bleed. If you have gum disease, the bacteria from swollen or bleeding gums can travel through the bloodstream, potentially worsening or causing other types of health problems. Gum disease may be a risk factor for a number of serious health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, pneumonia, diabetes and other respiratory disease.

Tartar Buildup


When plaque accumulates and is not removed from teeth, it can harden and turn into tartar. Unlike plaque, which can be tamed by brushing and flossing, tartar is a very hard substance that can only be removed by a dental professional because tartar buildup bonds strongly to enamel.

Halitosis


Neglecting to floss may be the culprit for bad breath that you can’t seem to get rid of. Halitosis or bad breath is caused by sulphur-producing bacteria that normally live on the surface of the tongue and in the throat. Sometimes, these bacteria start to break down proteins at a very high rate and odorous volatile sulphur compounds are released from the back of the tongue and throat. It can have a major impact on a person, even cause a loss of confidence and self-esteem

Premature Tooth Loss


Gum disease causes the gums to pull away from the teeth, leaving pockets of space for bacteria to grow and weaken the tooth structure. This leads to premature tooth loss. Without proper flossing, dangerous types of bacteria build up within tartar, which produce toxins that irritate and inflame the gums. They invade not only the gums but also the bones and the structures supporting the teeth. This can lead to bone loss, loose teeth, and teeth which fall out.

Problems during Pregnancy


Controlling bacteria in the mouth is important during pregnancy. Bacteria in the mouth can be absorbed into the blood stream of the mother and baby, resulting in low birth weight babies. PLBW babies have a higher risk of developing complications like asthma, ear infections, birth abnormalities and behavioral difficulties.

Yellow Teeth


If you want a shiny, white smile then skipping the floss is not a good idea. Removing the buildup between the teeth helps your smile appear whiter and cleaner, which improves your appearance and confidence too. For an attractive smile regular flossing is necessary.

Cavities


Harmful bacteria in the mouth will eventually lead to tooth decay (cavities). When the plaque is allowed to build up, the acid can begin to break down the outer surface of your tooth and can eventually enter creating holes or ‘cavities’, damaging the soft part at the centre of the tooth. Cavities are problematic not just because they require fillings, but because they disrupt the original tooth structure. Once a tooth has a filling or two, it slowly becomes weaker, leading to more necessary dental work down the road. If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to further problems such gum disease or dental abscesses.

You can avoid all this happening to your mouth if you spend just 1-2 minutes flossing every day. If you need help learning how to floss properly, or if you still aren’t convinced that flossing is for you, we hope you will contact our dentists at Arizona Biltmore Dentistry.

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What’s All The Hoopla over Hookah?

Hookah use is becoming more prevalent in our country and actually its use began centuries ago in other countries. Today we are seeing an increase in younger kids and adults utilizing the hookah pens. This device actually has some of the same components that are in cigarettes such as nicotine and other chemicals and then creates a vapor. There is very little research currently available on the health risks associated with these electronic products, but considering the products involved, we should realize that these devices can raise health risks of heart disease, lung, stomach, esophageal and bladder cancers as well as oral cancer. In Arizona, we have the ASHLine that can help you or your loved ones with this addiction. http://azdhs.gov/tobaccofreeaz/health/quitting.html

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Fluoride Should Be Your Friend. . .At ALL Ages!

Fluoride is more than an ingredient in your toothpaste . . . it is a mineral that is available in foods and naturally in some waters. It is added in some communities where the natural levels are not enough to benefit the teeth (0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water.) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers fluoridation of water one of the greatest achievements in public health in the 20th century. In our day to day lives, there is a constant war of the acids which weaken and strengthen the enamel of our teeth. When the acid wins, that is when cavities can start forming. We can use fluoride to help repair those areas and if caught early enough we can “fix” the cavity. This is for all ages-not just children. There are many conversations that fluoride is detrimental for a person’s health, but in the dental field we do recognize the importance and reliability of fluoride. We recommend that people that have concerns do research before deciding to avoid fluoride. You can view the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/ for further information. Your health depends on it!

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Do not Let your Dental Insurance Compromise the Quality of Your Care

Dental insurance benefits began in the 1950’s but did not start becoming popular until the 1960’s. Oddly enough, the plan benefits back then are not much different than they are today. Over the years, we have discovered more in regards to dental health. One other thing that we know is that all people are not the same. Dental insurance does not have you complete a physical assessment like life insurance does so it is not tailored to your specific needs. As a person, we all play “host” to a varied set of bacteria. So, while some people can maintain their dental health by having regular 6 month visits, there are really others who could benefit from visiting their dental office every 3 months (sometimes even more!) Compromised immunity and overall health play a large part in that dental health as well. And vice-versa–dental health can play a part in your overall health. We recommend that you do not let your insurance dictate your health. Make it a choice to be healthy in 2015!

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Brushing & Flossing

Over 50% of the American population lives with gum disease. This really is a staggering number. Likely, your dentist or hygienist has recommended for you to brush and floss. When we talk about floss, we are really encouraging cleaning between the teeth and below the gum line. In today’s advanced world, we have many options and methods for that type of cleaning. There are various brushes as well as different types of floss. One such device does not even require cutting off the circulation in your fingers and placing both fists in your mouth. A very effective way to clean is with a WaterPik Water Flosser. Water flossers sometimes do a better job than string in certain areas. This oral irrigation device was actually first created in 1962 after 145 attempts. It was first made from a hollowed out piston! Now you can find the countertop models today at many retail stores as well as great pricing online and at your local “Big Box” warehouse club. For those who want the ease and convenience of containing the water in your shower, there is also the ShowerPik! It hooks right in to your existing shower head. Remember. . .you only need to floss the teeth that you want to keep!

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