Did you know research suggests a link between poor oral health and conditions such as cardiovascular disease? Besides the obvious cavities, there are many reasons for taking preventive dentistry seriously!
Regular brushing and flossing are important but seeing your dentist on a regular basis is another crucial step in taking care of your oral and physical health. If you want to avoid serious health problems, then don’t neglect your oral health.
Here are some reasons why preventive dentistry is so important.
What Is Preventive Dentistry?
Like preventive medicine, preventive dentistry is seeing a medical professional on a regular basis to avoid developing health issues. It’s best to see your dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup.
By going for an exam and cleaning every six months, you’ll ensure the dentist catches any oral health issues in the early stages. At a routine exam, the dental hygienist gives you a thorough cleaning. You’ll also get x-rays to detect any deep decay, abscesses, or other issues.
The dentist examines your mouth when the hygienist completes your cleaning.
Benefits of Preventive Dentistry
It’s important that you partner with your dentist in preventing oral health issues. You should brush your teeth at least twice daily and floss once daily. It’s best to floss before you brush your teeth at bedtime.
By taking care of your teeth AND seeing a dentist, you’ll reap these benefits.
Cavities are one of the most common issues when it comes to teeth. More than 25% of adults between the ages of 20-44 have untreated cavities.
To avoid cavities, it’s most important you brush and floss your teeth. Regular dental visits help you avoid cavities because the cleanings you get at the dentist are so thorough. The hygenist cleans in areas that are hard for you to reach with a regular toothbrush at home.
It’s important to start preventive dental care at a young age. Dentists can help children avoid cavities by placing dental sealants on their pre-molars and molars. This helps keep the chewing surfaces free of debris that causes decay.
Fluoride treatments are another prevention method that dentists use. These treatments help prevent fluoride deficiency which can lead to cavities. Some tap water has fluoride in it but many parents use bottled water for mixing formula.
Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens teeth so it’s important for your kids to get enough. The dentist will let you know if you need a fluoride treatment.
Gum disease is serious and advanced gum disease can cause tooth loss. The initial stage of gum disease is gingivitis.
Symptoms of gingivitis include red or swollen gums. You may have gingivitis if your gums bleed when you’re flossing or brushing your teeth. Gum disease often starts due to the buildup of plaque that hardens into tartar.
There are four stages of gum disease:
Catching gum disease in its early stages helps prevent more dangerous gum disease. A dentist treats gingivitis with dental cleanings and a more aggressive brushing and flossing routine.
Chronic periodontitis is a common gum disease in adults and causes receding gums as well as pocket formation between the teeth and gums. The dentist will give you a treatment plan for taking care of your mouth and gums if you have chronic periodontitis.
Does your child have chronic unpleasant breath? Does she complain of tooth pain? She may have aggressive periodontitis.
You may even notice pus in your child’s mouth. It’s important to have the dentist check these symptoms.
Necrotizing periodontitis puts you at risk for bone, ligament, and tissue loss in the mouth. Smokers are more at risk for necrotizing periodontitis. If you need another reason to quit smoking, this is a good one!
Dentists use general and local anesthesia for painful procedures but why not avoid those procedures in the first place? It seems counterintuitive, but you can save yourself time in the dentist’s chair by going to the dentist more often.
It takes less than an hour for most dental cleanings and checkups. If you need a cavity filled or a root canal, it takes several hours. Let the dentist identify small issues before they become big, time-consuming, expensive problems.
Some people don’t realize they’re grinding their teeth (bruxism). Teeth grinding can develop into temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders if left unchecked. TMJ problems can cause a misaligned jaw or headaches.
The dentist sees the early signs of bruxism and helps you take preventative measures such as a mouth appliance.
It’s especially important to take young children to the dentist for preventive dentistry. The dentist can identify misalignment and crowding and recommend a course of action. Preventive measures lead to a better smile as your child progresses to adulthood.
As an adult, twice-yearly dental visits help you keep your smile looking great. Regular dental cleanings remove stubborn stains. Professional dental whiteners also do a better job of getting your teeth white than store-bought teeth whiteners.
Maintaining good oral and dental health is a partnership between you and your dentist. Floss and brush every day. Remember to get a new toothbrush every three months or sooner if the bristles on the brush appear frayed.
The American Dental Association recommends using an approved fluoride toothpaste for brushing.
Eating a healthy diet with proper nutrition is another way to keep your teeth healthy. Avoid excessive sugar, especially sugary drinks. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
Preventive dentistry helps more than your oral health. It also helps you avoid other dangerous health conditions. Keep yourself healthy by visiting your dentist twice a year.
Do you live in the Indianapolis area? Are you looking for the best dentist near you? Contact us today to schedule your next preventive dental appointment!
Dr. Holly Austgen, DDS of Southeast Family Dental in Indianapolis, Indiana reveals what that weird blue light is that your dentist uses, how it works and if there are any risks to your teeth and gums when using it. https://youtu.be/gddhQso_frs [https://youtu.be/gddhQso_frs] If you can not see the embedded video above please use the following link: What is that weird blue light my dentist uses? [https://youtu.be/gddhQso_frs] Transcript Hi everyone. My name is Dr. Austgen from Southeast Family Dental and today I’m going to talk to you about a question we often get here at the office, and that is, what is the blue light that we use and is it dangerous? So what is it? That blue light is a dental curing light. It’s basically a piece of dental equipment that we use to harden or cure our resin or basically, tooth-colored filling materials, as well as some other materials that we use such as cements and bonding agents that we use to restore your teeth back to health. So how does this light work? When fillings are placed in the teeth, they are very soft so that they can be molded to the correct shape and anatomy. When the dentist or the assistant who is placing the filling is happy with the shape and the contour, they will then set the material to make it hard. That’s where the blue light comes in. We press the light, the blue light shines on it, and it will make the material hard as rock, strong enough for you to be able to chew on as soon as you leave. Okay, so here’s the big question. What about the blue light? Everyone wants to know what it is. So I’ll tell you what it’s not. It is not a UV light and it is not a laser. What it is, is a very strong blue light and it’s blue because it falls into the range of the wavelengths under the blue light spectrum. So like I said, it’s not a laser and it’s not a UV light. So it’s not going to cause any damage to your teeth or your gums. The only danger is if you look at the light for too long. It’s kind of similar to looking at the sun for too long. Dentists and assistants who place fillings are the most at risk. That’s why there is an orange filter on the light to protect our eyes. So no need to be concerned about the blue light or the curing light. It’s been a significant advancement in dentistry for us and allows us to place fillings that are hard, exactly the way we want them to be so you’re ready to use your tooth just like you wanted when you leave. Thanks for listening and remember, at Southeast Family Dental, we love to make you smile.
Do you suffer from fears and anxiety when going to the dentist? Or, maybe a trip to the dentist is a scary event for your child, which also stresses you out? Dental fears, anxiety and phobia are extremely common. It’s estimated that between 5% and 8% of Americans avoid going to the dentist due to fears. Some people (perhaps up to 20%) experience so much anxiety that they’ll only go to the dentist when it’s absolutely necessary. People experience dental anxiety and fears for various reasons, including: * Previous bad experiences at the dentist’s office. * Fear of pain. * Feeling helpless or not in control of the situation. * Embarrassment about the state of their teeth and gums. Being unfamiliar with the instruments, noises and smells in the dental office. This is especially true for young children. At Southeast Family Dental, we understand how the dentist’s office can cause anxiety and fears. But calming fears isn’t just for kids, some adults need help calming their anxiety at the dentist, too. So a dentist located in Northbrook, IL, has found an ingenious way to do just that. He brings a trained comfort dog into his office. The golden retriever soothes nervous kids and adults alike by comforting them during dental exams. In fact, the golden retriever has a sixth sense when it comes to figuring out exactly who needs him the most. A comfort dog really is an excellent idea to calm dental fears, because animals tend to have a soothing effect on people. Other ideas that dentists may use to calm your fears, include: * Providing you with an iPad and headphones, so you can listen to relaxing music or watch a TV program to distract you. * Offering you a blanket for warmth, comfort and the feeling of security. * Giving you nitrous oxide or other sedatives to help you feel relaxed during dental exams or procedures. If you suffer from dental anxiety and fears, talk to our team at Southeast Family Dental. We can talk to you about what to expect during your appointment and help you find ways to ease your fears. We want to make sure your dental experience is as calm, comfortable and stress-free as possible for you.
Stress is a normal part of life. Everyone experiences it at some point. It can cause you to feel anxious, sad, or stressed about a situation. While the occasional feeling of stress is normal, having feelings of stress all the time can take a toll on your health. IMPACT OF STRESS ON ORAL HEALTH Stress can have a major impact on your health, and it can have a similarly major impact on your oral health. Most people have probably experienced an ulcer at some point in their life, and an ulcer is just one example of the way chronic stress can negatively impact your oral and overall health. * When your body is stressed, it releases cortisol, which is a hormone that increases your blood glucose levels. This increase in blood sugar can lead to inflammation, which can trigger the body's immune response to fight off infection or injury. However, when the immune system is overstimulated, it can lead to an increase in gum disease. * Not only can stress increase the chances of developing gum disease, but it can also increase your risk for more serious diseases, such as cancer. This is because your immune system becomes weakened by stress, and compromised health can make it harder for your immune system to fight disease effectively. * Additionally, stress can cause bruxism – an abnormal clenching of the jaw and grinding of teeth while sleeping. This can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). TMD causes pain in your jaw that can be chronic. And, since it does affect your smile, it's considered part of your oral health. If you are suffering from this, we may be able to help by finding a custom oral appliance you can wear at night to protect your teeth from damage. We can also recommend other ways to cope with stress and advise you on steps you can take to improve your oral health. WAYS TO MINIMIZE STRESS Fortunately, there are things you can do to minimize the effects of stress on your body. Regular exercise is one of the best options, as it can help keep your body healthy, strong, and balanced. You should also try to stick to a healthy diet, limit alcohol consumption, drink plenty of water during the day, and try to get enough sleep each night. When you're under a lot of stress, you should make sure to keep up with your regular checkup and cleaning appointments. We can work with you to identify problem areas in your smile and take steps to help you prevent symptoms from getting worse over time. If you're overdue for your annual exam and cleaning, then it's time to give us a call to schedule your next appointment. We can be reached at (317) 359-8000. Our dentist's office is located in Indianapolis, IN, and we look forward to helping you keep your smile healthy for many years to come!
Southeast Family Dental is pleased to announce that Dr. Mark Bohnert and Dr. Laura Geiger have been selected by a vote of their peers to be Top Dentists, www.usatopdentists.com. and featured in the “Best of Indy” December issue of of Indianapolis Monthly. Indianapolis Monthly December 2018Dr. Bohnert is a 10-year winner and Dr. Geiger is a 3-year winner of the Top Dentist award. This honor is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which dentists and specialists throughout Indiana cast votes on the abilities of other dentists and specialists. Inclusion in Top Dentists is considered a singular honor. Dr. Laura Geiger responded to the announcement. “We are thrilled to have been voted Top Dentists. This honor shows us that we are meeting our mission to change the way you feel about going to the dentist, while giving you more reasons to smile.”
Drinking water is essential to your health. Water helps to transport nutrients in your body, regulates your body temperature, lubricates your joints, helps build muscle, digests food and improves your skin complexion. And, yes, water really is healthy for your teeth, especially if it’s fluoridated. Some reasons why water is beneficial to your teeth include: * Tap water may contain fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that naturally occurs in almost all water supplies. Also fluoride can be added to a town’s water supply. Fluoride helps to prevent tooth decay. According to the American Dental Association, it has been shown to reduce the rate of cavities by as much as 60%. However, it’s important to note that not all bottled waters contain fluoride. * Water naturally rinses your teeth and keep them clean. When you drink water, especially after eating, it helps wash away food particles and acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth. Therefore, if you can’t brush your teeth while you’re out, drink a glass of water and swish the water around in your mouth to help clean your teeth until you can get home and brush. * Drinking water helps to decrease the pH level in your mouth. The neutral pH level in your mouth is 7.0. When you eat or drink acidic foods and beverages, the pH level can drop below 5.0. Too much acid can cause bad bacteria to grow, leading to tooth decay, which occurs when the pH level in your mouth is 5.5 or lower. But drinking water can help neutralize the effects of acid in your mouth. * Water helps alleviate the symptoms of dry mouth. When your salivary glands don’t make enough saliva in your mouth, dry mouth can occur. You need an adequate supply of saliva to neutralize the acids produced by bacteria and to wash away food particles. Otherwise, a mouth that’s too dry can increase your risk of developing tooth decay. Drink water as part of your daily dental health routine As you see, drinking water really is healthy for your teeth. So make drinking water a regular part of your daily dental health routine, in addition to brushing and flossing. But be careful of some seltzer waters. Some are advertised as water, but contain additional sweeteners that make them just as harmful as soda. Also, they are more acidic than flat water so should be limited due to their ability to erode teeth. Also, remember to schedule your biannual dental checkups with Southeast Family Dental by calling us at (317) 359-8000.