Posted by Southeast Family Dental Aug 31,2020
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:
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:
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.
Tonsil stones, or tonsilloliths, affect a lot of people but it’s something that few people talk about. These small lumps that form on your tonsils can cause a range of issues, but the good news is that you don’t have to suffer! It’s possible to remove these stones and soothe them with home remedies until you do. In this guide, we’ll teach you more about tonsil stones and how you can cope with them. Are you ready to learn more? Then read on. What Are Tonsil Stones and What Do They Look Like? Tonsil stones are small, hard, white, or yellow masses that grow on the tonsils at the back of the mouth. They can resemble small rocks attached to your tonsils, hence the name. They can be painful, but they may also go unnoticed for some time before they’re noticed. They can also cause bad breath. What Causes Them? Your tonsils have many small nooks and crannies, where bacteria can grow. Due to the tonsils’ role being to help boost your immune system and catch bacteria and viruses, they are functioning as intended: stones are an irritating side effect! When bacteria or small bits of food and other detritus get caught in your tonsils, they build up over time to form tonsil stones. How Do You Know if You Have Tonsil Stones? The answer may not be immediately obvious. There are, however, some tell-tale symptoms that you should be aware of: * Foul-smelling breath, which is caused by the bacteria in the stones producing chemicals called sulfides * Feeling pressure in the back of the mouth: it may feel as though there is something stuck there that you can’t remove * Pain or pressure in the ears If you look in the mirror, you may be able to spot your tonsil stones if they’re big enough. They will look like a small rock stuck to your tonsils. They may also appear as small yellow flecks. Can a Dentist Remove Them? If you’re suffering from tonsil stones, you’re probably desperate to know whether a dentist can help you. The answer is yes! A dentist can remove them, so long as they can reach them. While tonsil stones can and should be removed if they cause irritation, it’s worth having some remedies on hand to soothe any pain or discomfort in the meantime. Gargling with salt water is a particularly good remedy, as salt is antiseptic. Make a solution of warm water and a spoonful of salt, then gargle it, allowing the salty water to wash over your tonsils. If you’d prefer, you could use mouthwash instead. The best way to prevent tonsil stones in the future is by maintaining good oral hygiene and having regular dental checkups. Help Is at Hand If you suffer from tonsil stones and would like some professional help, we’re here for you. Our expert dentists may be able to remove them and will be able to offer you dental hygiene advice that can prevent them from reoccurring. Schedule an appointment today! If you have any questions, call us at (317) 359-8000.
You do it every day – every single morning and every single night. It’s probably so ingrained into your routine that you don’t think about it before doing it. You just do it. Brushing your teeth is part of our daily routine that we don’t second guess. But you may be doing it wrong. Even if you’re in your late 20s and have been brushing your teeth regularly (which would be over 20,000 times), you may not be doing it correctly! Here’s what you could be doing wrong. * Using the Wrong Bristles When it comes to brushing your teeth, you want to make sure the toothbrush that you use is the right kind. As exciting as it can be to pick out a fun-colored toothbrush or a specific design you like, that’s not the way to do it. Not all toothbrushes on the market are up to the advised standards. You want to make sure that you see the word “soft” on the toothbrush that you purchase. The American Dental Association also recommends that you change out your toothbrush every few months or when you notice that the bristles are frayed. * Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard Applying too much pressure when brushing your teeth can be more detrimental than not brushing hard enough. If you brush too hard, over time, the enamel on your teeth can be brushed off. As this wears down, teeth become more sensitive, and you will have a higher likelihood of getting cavities. The purpose of the enamel on your teeth is to protect the tooth itself from getting damaged by food, biting/grinding, and bacteria in general. You can also start to harm your gums by brushing too aggressively as well. When you brush hard, the gum tissue recedes, which allows more of your tooth to be seen. Because this part of the tooth should not be out of the gum, it doesn’t have as much enamel. When there is not as much enamel, it is more sensitive and more prone to developing cavities. Sometimes, holding the toothbrush in your non-dominant hand can actually help you lighten the pressure that you put on your teeth. If you are using an electric toothbrush, you do not need to apply any pressure – the contact of the toothbrush on your teeth is enough. Getting regular checkups will help you to know if you are brushing too hard. Dentists can tell based on your gum line. * Rushing While Brushing It is recommended that you brush your teeth for about two minutes every morning and night. If you rush through your brushing job, you may not be hitting every tooth. If that’s the case, you are more likely to develop cavities since the bacteria can sit and grow on each tooth. As hard as it may be, it’s important to stay focused while brushing your teeth. If it helps, try to play your favorite song while brushing to make sure you go a full two minutes. You can even set a timer. Another great way to ensure that you are brushing your teeth long enough is to get an electric toothbrush that times the job for you. Some vibrate when it is time to switch quadrants of your mouth and then again when two minutes hits. * Using the Wrong Tooth Brushing Techniques Have you ever heard that there is a right angle to brush your teeth at? The proper angle to brush is 45 degrees. This should be hitting the side of your teeth while also lightly brushing against your gums. As you hold it at this angle, you gently want to go back and forth on each tooth or set of 2-3 teeth to make sure you are brushing the tooth itself as well as between them. If you fail to clean your gum line, tooth decay can occur under the gums. Gum disease can also occur if you fail to brush the gum line. But remember, do not brush it too hard or else that will cause the gum line to recede. * Don’t Forget the Tops of Molars and Backs of Teeth When you think of your smile, you only think about the fronts of your teeth. However, that is not every part of your tooth. When brushing your teeth, you want to make sure you touch every part of the tooth with the bristles. This includes behind every single tooth near the back of the gum line (roof of your mouth and under your tongue), as well as the tops of your molars where food may get stuck. If bacteria stays in these areas too long, the tooth can decay and cavities can start to form. * Don’t Go All the Way Back and Forth It can be easy to brush across your mouth quickly. However, the proper way to brush your teeth is by doing tiny circular strokes. To help you think about the proper way to brush, think that you are massaging your teeth rather than scrubbing them clean. * Am I Brushing My Teeth Wrong? After reading this article, you may have realized you’ve been brushing your teeth wrong for quite some time. But don’t worry, once you fix your habits, you will be doing it properly! Do not forget that you should also be getting preventative care for your teeth every six months. If you are due for a cleaning, contact us today so we can get you in and make sure your teeth are in tip-top shape!
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder causes a variety of symptoms, including jaw pain, headaches, a popping or clicking sound when you open your mouth, dizziness, earaches, and toothaches. The condition can be temporary or chronic, and it may go away on its own or require treatment. Botox is used to treat TMJ disorders in a few ways. WHAT IS BOTOX? Botox is an injectable treatment that temporarily paralyzes the muscles responsible for teeth grinding, jaw clenching, and other symptoms of TMD and headaches. The neuromodulator medication works by affecting the communication between nerves and muscles in the face. Potential patients must be screened first to determine if they are good candidates for the treatment. Our dentist offers Botox to patients in the Indianapolis area to help them reduce pain and tension caused by a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), a common condition that affects as many as 10 million people in the United States alone. Many people suffer from chronic problems associated with the disorder without even realizing it. If you think you may be experiencing the symptoms of TMD, schedule an appointment with us. We can perform a thorough examination to determine if you can benefit from treatments like Botox. THE SCIENCE BEHIND BOTOX BOTOX® is a purified protein that, when injected into facial muscles, blocks nerve impulses from triggering muscle contractions. This prevents the muscles from contracting and prevents the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. When applied to your temporalis muscle, this can help diminish or eliminate headaches and migraines caused by bruxism and other jaw conditions. Dentists are also trained to administer injections of Botox into the areas around your mouth to ease the pain and tension associated with the temporomandibular joint disorder. This can reduce pain, reduce tension, and pressure in the jaw area and even relieve migraines caused by TMD. It can also help minimize teeth grinding and clenching at night, which causes damage to your teeth over time. IS BOTOX SAFE? The FDA-approved formula of Botox is completely safe when applied by a trained professional like your dentist. When administered, Botox can temporarily relax the muscles in your face that create wrinkles. However, its cosmetic benefits are only temporary. Patients will need to have the treatment repeated every three to four months to keep their skin looking youthful and smooth. But Botox isn’t just used for smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles. It can also help with painful ailments like chronic migraines and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). By relaxing the facial muscles that produce headaches or lock your jaw in place, Botox can provide much-needed relief for patients who suffer from debilitating pain. If you are interested in using Botox to treat TMJ or relieve headaches, call our friendly staff at (317) 359-8000 today. We would be happy to schedule you for an appointment at our family dental practice in Indianapolis, IN. We look forward to working with you soon!
Good oral habits help us maintain good oral health. On the other hand, bad habits can jeopardize our oral health. Listed below are a few habits that can ruin our oral health. * Nail Biting Did you know that nail-biting ranks among the most common bad oral habits? It’s easy to do and can be done almost unconsciously while our minds are occupied with other activities. But it’s clear that if you’re someone who habitually bites their nails, it can lead to some serious damage to the mouth. For one thing, it can create gaps between the teeth that foster the growth of bacteria and cause bad breath. This can also result in misaligned teeth and bite problems. As for adults, it can weaken tooth enamel and cause sensitivity. * Smoking We all know about the harmful effects of tobacco on our general health, but it doesn’t occur to us that it could also have an impact on our oral health as well. In fact, both smoking and chewing tobacco are strongly linked to gum recession and oral cancer. Tobacco usage can also cause tooth discoloration and bad breath. This is because tobacco contains chemicals that stain the teeth and cause foul breath. Of course, quitting smoking may not be easy – in fact, most people struggle with this habit. But it’s important to be aware of the negative effects it has on your teeth and gums so that you can make better choices going forward. * Brushing Teeth Aggressively People who brush their teeth too hard can damage their enamel and encourage the gums to recede from the teeth. Enamel is the hard outer layer that protects the teeth and helps them stay strong and healthy. Brushing too hard can also cause the gums to recede or bleed. Dentists recommend that patients use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid damaging the teeth and gums. Patients should also place their toothbrush at a forty-five-degree angle to the gums as they brush and gently move the toothbrush in small circles over the surfaces of the teeth. If patients have questions about proper brushing techniques, they should consult with their dentists for more information. * Teeth Grinding Bruxism or teeth grinding is a common condition that affects many people. People suffering from bruxism may or may not be aware of their condition, which can be problematic and dangerous to their oral health. Teeth grinding can cause damage to your teeth’s structure. This can cause tooth sensitivity and even lead to tooth loss. If you grind your teeth at night, this is especially troublesome because you may not realize you are damaging them until it is too late. In order to prevent damage to your teeth and mouth, you should visit a dentist as soon as possible for assessment and possible treatment. More than likely, they will provide you with a custom-made night guard that will prevent you from grinding your teeth while you sleep. You will also be taught certain relaxation techniques that will help relax your body and your mind in order to minimize your stress level. This will reduce the amount of pressure you put on your teeth and will prevent them from being damaged when you sleep. * Using Teeth As Tools This refers to any activity that makes use of your teeth as a tool other than eating or speaking. This includes chewing on pencils, pens, and ice, ripping open packages with your teeth, etc. These activities put your teeth at risk in more than one way. Not only can they chip or break a tooth after trauma, but the added pressure can cause serious damage to the jaw joint as well. Avoid these activities at all costs to avoid potential damage to your teeth! If you have questions about the best ways to care for your smile at home, call our friendly staff at (317) 359-8000 today. We would be happy to schedule you for an appointment at our family dental practice in Indianapolis, IN. We look forward to working with you soon!
I was having lunch with a friend who sat down at the table spitting mad. She’d just taken her daughter Cathy to her dentist and been told that Cathy had a cavity. “What the heck,” she exclaimed, “I had sealants put on her teeth about seven years ago. She shouldn’t have a cavity!” She calmed down and we eventually had a nice lunch, but her comments got me thinking. I don’t know much about dental sealants, so I turned to the experts at Southeast Family Dental to get the full scoop. I had several questions – and they had the answers I needed about dental sealants. 1. Do I still need to brush my teeth if I have sealants put on my teeth? Southeast Family Dental Answer: Yes, sealants just protect the biting surface of the tooth, not between teeth or down by the gums. Flossing is also very important still to keep the gaps between teeth clean and free of debris that causes bacteria to grow and decay to form. 2. Can I still get a cavity? Southeast Family Dental Answer: Yes, you can still get a cavity in between your teeth or in other areas of the tooth if the sealant breaks down or wears. To prevent that situation, always have dental sealants checked during six-month appointments. 3. Do I only need a dental sealant treatment once? Southeast Family Dental Answer: Maybe. If a tooth hasn’t come in all the way (part of the tooth is still under the gum), it may need to have the sealant touched-up once it is in its final position. Again, having sealants checked during preventative dental appointments every six-months will allow for the dentist to address changes in teeth such as this situation. 4. Can sealants be placed over cavities? Southeast Family Dental Answer: We do NOT recommend this as a rule. However, it may be an option in some situations on a baby tooth where you know that the tooth is eventually going to come out. Every patient at Southeast Family Dental is someone with a unique situation and we address each person that way. So, while we generally don’t put sealant over a tooth with a cavity, it might be the best option for a patient with a unique circumstance. 5. How long do sealants last? Southeast Family Dental Answer: Usually, dental sealants are re-applied or touched up every few years. A lot depends on the patient’s personal habits. If a patient chews ice or eats a lot of sticky food, sealants may get worn down quicker than other patient’s sealants. Different people, different habits, different results. We get to know our patients and their habits so we know how to best provide dental services to them. 6. Why are sealants usually placed on children’s teeth? Southeast Family Dental Answer: Teeth have the deepest grooves and are most susceptible to decay in the first few years after they come in. While in some situations sealants are beneficial for adults, most are placed on children’s permanent teeth as they come in. So, while I am confident that my friend didn’t have (or remember) all the information that was relative to dental sealants, I have to believe that one cavity in seven years is pretty good. Sealants must have been a benefit to her daughter’s teeth after all!
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