October is National Dental Hygiene Month. It’s a great time to talk about your first line of dental defense: your toothbrush.
Are you getting the most out of your tooth-brushing routine at home? Your toothbrush is the primary tool to maintain oral health on a daily basis, so here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Brush gently twice a day, every day, for two minutes each time using a soft toothbrush. Scrubbing with too much force or with hard bristles can damage gums and tooth enamel.
- Use fluoride toothpaste to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride is a mineral that builds tooth enamel to prevent tooth decay.
- Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months or when the bristles start to look frayed, curled, or worn.
- Rinse out your mouth thoroughly after brushing to get rid of bacteria and food debris that you worked loose from your teeth.
- Also rinse your toothbrush well after each use to wash away the debris and bacteria you just brushed from your teeth.
- Let your toothbrush dry out between uses. A toothbrush that is stored in a closed container can become a breeding ground for bacteria.
- Keep your toothbrush to yourself. Sharing toothbrushes is a way to share disease-causing germs as well.
Follow these pointers and come in for regular dental visits to help ensure healthy teeth and a bright smile. If you have any questions about your dental hygiene routine, be sure to ask us.
Have a fear of the dentist? Find out how sedation dentistry could help.
If you find yourself canceling dental appointment after dental appointment because you are scared to visit the dentist then it’s time you talked to our St. Louis, MO, dentists, Dr. William Schlotz and Dr. Art Von Rump, about sedation dentistry and how it could help you get the care you deserve without the fear.
The number one benefit to getting sedation dentistry in St. Louis is that it helps to alleviate anxiety that you may feel whenever you step foot in the dentist’s office. If even the thought of getting a routine cleaning has you nervous, we have just the thing to take the edge off. No matter your level of anxiety, sedation dentistry can certainly help you.
If you have severe dental anxieties then sedation dentistry could be the answer you’ve been looking for, particularly if your anxiety has prevented you from getting the dental care you deserve. As a result, you may be dealing with decay or other issues that need to be addressed to prevent further complications. In order to get the proper treatment your smile needs, sedation dentistry can help make that possible.
Sedation dentistry can also offer faster treatments, since the patient won’t be as nervous or anxious. Instead of having to make you come back for multiple treatment sessions, sedation dentistry could allow us the ability to provide you with the care you need in just one sitting. Sedation dentistry is also great for those with sensitive gag reflexes.
What types of sedation dentistry are available?
There are several different forms of sedation dentistry: oral, inhalation and IV. In most cases, oral and inhalation are the most common options. Oral sedation comes in the form of a pill (often Valium or another anti-anxiety medication), which you will take an hour prior to your treatment. The effects can last past the procedure so it’s important that you have someone who can drive you home.
Do you have questions about sedation dentistry? Do you want to find out if it’s the right option for calming your fears? Then it’s time you turned to Plaza Health Dentistry in St. Louis, MO, to get the answers you need. Your dental experience should be easy and stress-free; we want to make that possible.
Transforming your smile can be a huge undertaking. And while we have the technical skills, experience and understanding of aesthetics to perform a smile makeover, your input is just as necessary to achieve a satisfying result.
Your part really has to do with expectations — what do you see when you look in the mirror — and what do you want to change?
Here are 3 questions to help guide you in shaping your expectations for that new, beautiful smile.
What do you dislike about your teeth? This is really about specifics and not just a general feeling of dissatisfaction. Are your teeth misshapen, chipped or missing? Are they discolored or stained? Is the spacing off or do you have a poor bite (malocclusion)? Getting a sense of what you perceive as unattractive will help us formulate a plan to improve the appearance of those problem areas.
Are you concerned with how much your gums show when you smile? Your teeth may be perfect, but if your gums seem to steal the spotlight when you smile (known as a “gummy” smile), you may need some remedy like veneers, crowns or even corrective surgery. Which procedure depends on whether the crowns of your teeth are too short in proportion to the gums, or the muscles in your upper lip are allowing the lip to rise too high when you smile. A dental examination will tell all.
Do you want a “Hollywood Smile” — or just a more attractive, natural you? Smile makeovers aren’t just about clinical alterations — it’s just as much about your personal perceptions of beauty. Some patients want the perfectly shaped, aligned and dazzlingly white smile that’s the epitome of Hollywood. Others want only to enhance their smile, perhaps even keeping a few unique imperfections they’re comfortable with. It’s important to know which person you are, and to communicate that with us when we’re putting together your makeover plan.
Changing your smile is a big step in your life. You can help make the process more satisfying and successful if you understand what you want to change — and why.
If you would like more information on smile analysis and makeover, please contact us to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Great Expectations.”
Are bleeding gums something you should be concerned about? Dear Doctor magazine recently posed that question to Dr. Travis Stork, an emergency room physician and host of the syndicated TV show The Doctors. He answered with two questions of his own: “If you started bleeding from your eyeball, would you seek medical attention?” Needless to say, most everyone would. “So,” he asked, “why is it that when we bleed all the time when we floss that we think it’s no big deal?” As it turns out, that’s an excellent question — and one that’s often misunderstood.
First of all, let’s clarify what we mean by “bleeding all the time.” As many as 90 percent of people occasionally experience bleeding gums when they clean their teeth — particularly if they don’t do it often, or are just starting a flossing routine. But if your gums bleed regularly when you brush or floss, it almost certainly means there’s a problem. Many think bleeding gums is a sign they are brushing too hard; this is possible, but unlikely. It’s much more probable that irritated and bleeding gums are a sign of periodontal (gum) disease.
How common is this malady? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of allÂ Americans over age 30 have mild, moderate or severe gum disease — and that number increases to 70.1 percent for those over 65! Periodontal disease can occur when a bacteria-rich biofilm in the mouth (also called plaque) is allowed to build up on tooth and gum surfaces. Plaque causes the gums to become inflamed, as the immune system responds to the bacteria. Eventually, this can cause gum tissue to pull away from the teeth, forming bacteria-filled “pockets” under the gum surface. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious infection, and even tooth loss.
What should you do if your gums bleed regularly when brushing or flossing? The first step is to come in for a thorough examination. In combination with a regular oral exam (and possibly x-rays or other diagnostic tests), a simple (and painless) instrument called a periodontal probe can be used to determine how far any periodontal disease may have progressed. Armed with this information, we can determine the most effective way to fight the battle against gum disease.
Above all, don’t wait too long to come in for an exam! As Dr. Stork notes, bleeding gums are “a sign that things aren’t quite right.” Â If you would like more information about bleeding gums, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bleeding Gums.” You can read the entire interview with Dr. Travis Stork in Dear Doctor magazine.
Regular dental examinations and dental cleanings are important in order to keep the teeth and gums their most healthy. Your dentist in Saint Louis, Missouri from Plaza Health Dentistry Dr. William Scholtz and Dr. Art Von Rump can provide a thorough examination of either children or adults to detect any potential problems that must be remedied in the mouth.
Common Dental Procedures
Some of the most common dental procedures include (and are not limited to): cosmetic fillings, dental implants, veneers, teeth whitening, crowns and bridges, dentures, root canals, Invisalign and other cosmetic dentistry options. One’s initial oral examination from our dentist in Saint Louis, Missouri will involve a visual exam, charting, probing, x-rays and then diagnosis and treatment options.
Bonding is a restorative dental procedure that helps to remedy fractured, discolored, decayed or chipped teeth. Bridges or implants are two procedures that are used to replace missing teeth. Bridges are anchored to neighbored teeth while implants are artificial teeth used to support replacement teeth in the mouth.
Extractions are necessary when a tooth is severely damaged. Dental fillings or cosmetic fillings are restorative in that they can repair teeth in an undetectable way. Root canals are performed to treat disease in a tooth root. Once a tooth is cracked, injured or decayed, it is important to open the tooth and clean out the infected tissue in the root. The space is then filled with a sealant to prevent this from occurring again.
Teeth whitening is performed to whiten stained teeth whether from smoking, trauma to a tooth or different foods or drinks. Lastly, veneers are strong, thin coverings that are bonded directly to the front of teeth to improve the appearance of a smile.
To learn more about dental procedures from a dentist in Saint Louis, Missouri from Plaza Health Dentistry, call to schedule an appointment today at 314-843-0500.
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