Dental Hygiene Tips to Take Anywhere – On-the-Go Knowhow

When you are away from home, it can be easy to forget to keep up with your regular oral care routine. Be it due to laziness or lack of daily structure, being someplace aside from your own bathroom can cause you to fall behind on brushing, forget to floss, or forgo other parts of your normal oral hygiene regimen. Along with keeping up with oral care, there are other travel tips to note that will keep your oral health in check while you are vacationing or away from home. Follow these on-the-go guidelines and you will be in great shape when you’re not running through the usual day-to-day drill. Oral care is so important no matter where you are or what you’re doing, so don’t let your trip trip you up.

I forgot my toothbrush…now what?

Packing is always a challenge, and most of us tend to leave something behind…even the essentials. If you forgot to pack your toothbrush, there is no need to panic. If you are staying at a hotel, go to the front desk and simply ask for one. More likely than not they will have a complimentary one for you in a pinch. Same goes for toothpaste. If your hotel does not have a toothbrush for you to use, there is sure to be a convenience store, supermarket, or pharmacy nearby. To avoid this common oversight, purchase a few travel-sized toothbrushes and leave them in your luggage or carry-on bag for your next trip. Better safe than sorry. Even if you remember to bring along your toothbrush, there’s a good chance that someone you are traveling with forgot theirs. Help them out so they can maintain their oral care too.


Do I really need to floss while I am away? Can’t I skip it ‘til I return?

Flossing is an important part of oral health. It is not advisable to skip a week or even a few days…even when you are away. In fact, when you are vacationing, you are probably more likely to indulge in foods that you normally would not eat at home. Perhaps you will give in to sticky sweets or other fare that is far more likely to get lodged between teeth, which can lead to decay. It only takes a few moments to care for your mouth. Leave the floss by the sink and get in there at least once a day while you’re away. Pack some convenient floss picks in your bag to tend to teeth during the day as well. You never know when you’re going to need one.

My schedule is all over the place when I am traveling. What if I can’t brush and floss when I want/need to?

It makes sense that you will be on a completely different schedule when you are out of town. From sleeping in to sightseeing to late suppers, your run-of-the-mill routine will be reworked. It is not necessarily important to stick to the exact same schedule you do at home as long as you find time to tend to your teeth and gums – every day, at least twice a day. You should be able to brush when you wake up and before bedtime, no matter what those times may be. Mid-day dental care is just as important, but chances are that you will miss out unless you pre-plan. Take along a small toothbrush and travel-sized toothpaste in your handbag or backpack so you can brush after lunch or snacking. If you can’t find a place to get the job done discreetly, chew on a piece of sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva flow to keep your mouth cleaner ‘till you are able to brush. An apple does the trick too.

Should I come in to the office for a dental exam before traveling?

If you can plan ahead and schedule your general exam close to your departure date, it is a smart idea. If you have any cavities or other dental issues looming, you are best off taking care of this before heading out of town. If you require emergency care while far from home, there is no guarantee you will be able to see a dentist you can trust, one who accepts your insurance (particularly if you are traveling out of the country), or if there will be anyone available at all. You will be less worried about your oral health so you can focus on having fun.

When you are on-the-go, your teeth don’t know the difference. You may want to let loose or do things differently than you do normally, but the one thing to keep up with is oral care. It only takes a few minutes to go through the motions, so make it your mission to be good to your mouth. If you want to get an oral checkup before debarking on your trip, consider scheduling a cleaning with Lifetime Dental Health! Safe travels!

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Prevention is Power – How to Protect Proactively

Conscientious choices from the start lead to overall satisfactory oral health. Your teeth and gums need to be taken care of, before something bothersome or bad happens. Gum disease can go on to become something far-reaching, potentially leading to issues as severe as heart disease. A smart and savvy patient is proactive, and with Dr. Barry on your side from the get-go, your mouth will be well-maintained and you will be better for it. Here is what you can expect when it comes to the preventative measures you can take…


How can I practice preventive care?


A great way to get on track is by coming in for a dental appointment for a general cleaning and complete oral examination. Your entire mouth will be carefully and thoroughly checked for any signs of gum disease, tooth decay, weakening teeth, cavities, jaw functionality issues like TMJ, and more. You will even be screened for oral cancer. No area is left unlooked at or untreated. A full-service exam is always performed to protect you, offering peace of mind as well as preventative care.


How will the dentist clean my teeth better than I can at home?

Brushing and flossing at home is so important and daily upkeep is essential. But when you come into the office, you will get a deep clean you just can’t get with the average toothbrush. We get well beneath the gum line to remove unhealthy plaque as well as any food particles that may have gotten wedged in without your knowledge. Keeping these sensitive areas free of debris takes you one step closer to the prevention of tooth decay and gum disease. But the part you will love most is that dazzling mega-watt smile!


Does preventative care include X-rays?

Yes. When you come in for a cleaning and oral exam, X-rays will be taken along with an exam performed with a high-tech cavity detecting laser – DIAGNOdent and an intra-oral camera. These devices can help us see more than the naked eye is capable of. Even the slightest first sign of something wrong can be addressed and tended to before time takes a toll. And we are pleased to provide our patients with digital X-rays, which reduce the amount of radiation by 90% compared to the “old-fashioned” kind. With these modern devices and all they can deliver, your dental appointments are more advanced than ever, making your preventative care even closer to perfect.


Will there be a fluoride treatment during the exam?


To tackle tooth decay, the American Dental Association (ADA) has determined there are positive benefits associated with the application of topical fluoride treatments in-office. You will receive a fluoride treatment every 3-6 months during your oral exam and cleaning. Thanks to these quick treatments, your teeth will be far stronger, cavities will be less likely to creep up, and those with tooth sensitivity may find relief.


Will the preventative dental exam include anything else?


Dr. Barry takes your entire overall health into consideration whenever you come in for an exam or procedure. During your oral exam, you can expect a blood pressure screening, directions for better brushing and more efficient flossing at home, and in-depth discussion about your oral health, including proper nutrition and perhaps the need for a nighttime bite splint if you clench your jaw or grind your teeth at nighttime. She will answer any questions and address any concerns you may have.

How can my oral exam help prevent gum disease?


By scaling and root planning, we can get deep down to the surface of the root to eliminate unhealthy and damaging plaque and tartar, while clearing away bacteria and other toxins. With gum health kept in check, you will be less likely to develop gum disease that can lead to other physical problems elsewhere in the body if left untreated.

Depending on your age and the condition of your teeth, a dental sealant may be applied to the molars and premolars to prevent tooth decay and cavities. These teeth are treated due to the ridges, depressions, and grooves that make up their shape and structure. The thin plastic coating is brushed onto the surface of the teeth once they are prepped, then they are bonded in place with a special light. The process is quick and painless and can last up to ten years.


Preventative dentistry is the key to a healthy mouth. When you come in to Dr. Barry’s office, getting to the root of the issue before it causes pain and problems down the road is what we’re after. So, even when you are feeling fine, still remember schedule (and keep) your appointment and stay on top of your oral health. Prevention is a positive thing!

Dental Sealants – Tooth Decay’s Deterrent

Prevention is the proactive way to keep your teeth healthy and strong. While there is no way to stop tooth decay from developing completely, slowing it down by keeping teeth protectively sealed is a “coat of armor” your teeth will benefit from in the long run.

Dental sealants are the solution, specifically for the harder-to-reach back teeth – the molars and premolars. These “chewing” teeth are more susceptible to the wrath of tooth decay due to their unique shape and structure, unlike the front teeth which are far smoother in surface. And tooth decay is nothing to take lightly, as it is so much more than an appearance issue. Tooth decay can seriously compromise the teeth, leading to potentially serious oral health problems down the road when not nipped in the bud before the damage is done and teeth are too far gone to get back in good standing.

What are dental sealants and how does the dentist apply the sealant to the teeth?


Dental sealants are liquid – a special thin plastic coating that is delicately brushed onto the chewing surface of the molars and premolars at the back of the mouth. These teeth are initially prepped for the fast and pain-free in-office process with a deep and thorough dental cleaning and plaque removal. The rugged surface of the tooth is etched slightly for more effective coverage, then the etching material is cleaned off and the tooth is dried completely so the dental sealant sticks to the surface. Cotton is stuffed onto the sides of the molars and premolars to keep saliva away while the dental sealant is being brushed on. The dental sealant is then applied by brush and securely bonded/cured to the tooth with the aid of a special light. Then you will rinse out your mouth with water and the sealing process is complete. This protective shield is a strong barrier between your molars and premolars and the grit and grime that is trying to take away your most sparkling smile. It only takes a few minutes to apply – minutes that mean a great deal to the health of your teeth for the long haul.


Why don’t the other teeth (aside from the molars and premolars) get the dental sealant treatment?


We tend to treat the molars and premolars exclusively (unless there is an exceptional issue with a patient) because these back teeth are far more vulnerable to tooth decay than the smoother-surfaced front teeth. The uneven depressions, grooves, and fissures on the surfaces of these flat-topped teeth are more difficult to clean than the teeth up front which have a smoother surface and are far easier to clean. Plaque, bacteria, food particles, and debris can get stuck, sink in, and settle into these depressions, grooves, and fissures in the molars and premolars, leading to tooth decay if left to linger. When you are treated with a dental sealant, the chances of getting cavities goes down by up to 86 percent. A few brushes on the surface of the teeth to ward off cavities is a smart step towards a healthier mouth.


Am I a good candidate for getting dental sealants?


Children and teens are generally the best patients for dental sealant application. As soon as the molars and premolars come in completely, we will recommend protecting them right off the bat before bacteria and the other “bad stuff” have a chance to contaminate these new teeth. Adults can benefit too. If there are no fillings in the teeth or existing decay to be found, the dental sealants can keep these back teeth in their best shape moving forward. Dr. Barry will be happy to let you know if you are a good candidate and when the best time to get dental sealants would be. Every patient is unique, so there’s no cut and dry determination.


What do I need to do to care for my teeth after the dental sealant is applied?


You should brush and floss as you normally would and use a fluoridated toothpaste for extra protection against decay. You can find this type of toothpaste among the others in the dental care section of your pharmacy. Down the road at a future appointment with Dr. Barry, you may need a redo to keep your teeth in tip top shape, as dental sealants last an average of ten years before fading and being less protective. The process will be the same, and you’ll get more years of protection for these teeth.

Once your “nooks and crannies” are covered, you can stress less about the dread and potential damage of decay. Discuss dental sealants with Dr. Barry and see if your teeth would benefit from the quick and painless procedure. Your optimal dental health is our mission, making every smile a success story!


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The Way to a Whiter Smile

One of the best ways to turn your smile from dull to dazzling is by whitening your teeth. The change in shade makes a considerable difference, especially for those who have been reluctant to show their teeth due to discoloration or darkening. There is no need to hide your happiness any longer. When you whiten with Lifetime Dental Health, flashing a stunning smile will come second nature. You will look better, feel more confident, and be ready to show the world your smile. Here is our complete guide to teeth whitening:

How can I get a whiter smile?

Far more advanced than over-the-counter whitening toothpaste and strips, we go above and beyond when it comes to brightening. We offer both in-office and at-home whitening options with professional-grade strength. For best results, we recommend our in-office whitening. In just one appointment, your teeth will be shades brighter. If you prefer to whiten at home, we offer customized whitening trays and a heavy-duty bleaching agent. While the at-home option may take a bit longer (usually 10-14 days), it will still produce dramatically whiter results and leave your smile brighter than ever.

How does whitening work?

When it comes to stains on your teeth, there are two different classifications; extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic stains are surface stains, while intrinsic ones are much deeper rooted. Over-the-counter whitening products often target extrinsic stains, while professional whitening products target intrinsic ones, making them more effective. The whitening ingredient in our products goes deep inside of your enamel to help whiten discolored molecules. Simply put, our whitening products brighten your teeth from the inside out.

How long does whitening last?

The effects of whitening can vary from person to person based on dietary and lifestyle differences, but overall they may last up to three years. It is important to care for your smile after it has been whitening with good oral hygiene to maintain your results as long as possible. You should also avoid food and drink that can bleach and stain your enamel. To help maintain your new, pearly-white color, we offer at-home touch up options. We will explain all of this and more when you come in for a whitening consultation.

Will whitening damage my teeth?

Whitening will not damage your teeth or enamel. It is completely safe when done under the supervision of your dentist. You may, however, experience some sensitivity after whitening. This should go away in a few days and is completely normal. If you are experiencing sensitivity, avoid very hard or cold beverages and make sure you are brushing gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Look for products with the ADA seal of approval to help with your sensitivity.

If you are whitening at home with our take-home kits and notice sensitivity, take a break between treatments or wear your whitening trays for a shorter amount of time.

Is teeth whitening covered by insurance?

Most of the time, no, whitening is not covered by insurance. However, in general, the treatment is affordable. Prices between in-office and at-home treatments may vary. Come see us to learn more about the cost and to find a whitening plan that is right and affordable for you.

Will whitening damage my restorations?

In general, whitening will not damage restorations such as fillings, veneers, crowns, bridges, etc. It is important to remember though, that whitening will not be effective on many of these appliances. Many of these restorations are made of composite resin or porcelain, and the bleaching agents in whitening products will have no effect on them. When you come in for whitening, we may recommend replacing your appliance to better color-match your new smile.

Are there ways I can do my part in keeping my teeth stain-free?

Even those who take great care of their teeth via brushing, flossing, and regular check-ups and cleanings will likely see dullness, discoloration, and staining over time. It’s only natural and hard to predict or prevent. That said, there are some steps you can take to keep your teeth as white as possible. Refrain from smoking (a health benefit in more ways than one), and limit coffee and tea consumption as well as other dark beverages including red wine. Even chocolate, berries, tomatoes, and sauces can stain. Certain medications may cause tooth discoloration including some antibiotics.

If you are not satisfied with the current state of your smile, it’s time to make a change and start saying “Cheese!” with confidence. You deserve to look your best, starting with a bright white smile. Come see us today to get a smile that you are proud of and teeth that shine.

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Smile: It’s Good for You!

Your smile is more powerful than you may know. Scientists have studied many aspects of smiling, such as how it affects your brain, your health, and your overall experience of life. Even the situation you’re in and the people around you are influenced by your smile. The findings may surprise you. Or, if you’re someone who smiles often, they may just confirm what you already know. Dr. Barry and Dr. Love in Columbus love a good smile and want to help you smile more—to let us convince you to smile more and to maintain that smile with a healthy dental routine, keep reading! Read more ›

Have You Been Avoiding the Dentist?

We’ve all got our reasons. Money. Time. The fear of pain. Juggling insurance. Facing one more reminder that we really should be flossing more. Any of these might cause us to avoid and put off regular visits to the dentist.

Has it been so long since your last dental appointment that you’re not even sure how to find a dentist you can trust? Or perhaps you know and love your dentist but you dread the idea of trying to catch up on life with the hygienist while your mouth is being propped open by a tiny plastic jack. (Yes, we think about that too!)

Columbus dentists, Dr. Barry and Dr. Love, are happy to help you prioritize your dental health, which is why we go to great lengths to remove any barrier that might keep you from stepping through our doors. Read more ›

Essential Oils for Oral Health

Essential oils are time-tested treasures gaining new popularity among fans everywhere. These potent liquids are fun and fresh ingredients that you can customize for almost any oral hygiene need.  As with any DIY dental treatment, do your research and be cautious. Not all oils are safe to ingest, and some may hurt you if applied directly to your skin.

Essential oils are distilled from plants and usually sold singularly with one ingredient per bottle, although you can also find oil blend products. Like other supplements, the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate their safety or efficacy. Read more ›

How Dental Nightguards Can Help You

It’s common to see people wearing mouth guards in Columbus for protection during all kinds of sports, such as football, basketball, and boxing – but did you know that lots of folks wear mouth guards at night for their dental health? People who grind their teeth (bruxism) and people with sleep apnea can get relief from their symptoms simply by wearing a specially-designed mouth guard at night. Dr. Barry and Dr. Love have helped many Columbus residents improve their quality of life with nightguards. Our team at Lifetime Dental Health invite you to come visit us today to find out more. Read more ›

5 Common Questions About Sedation Dentistry

For many Columbus residents, one thing stands in the way of a healthy, beautiful smile – fear of the dentist!  Even routine cleanings can be scary for folks with dental phobia. However, at Lifetime Dental Health we have made it our business to offer you the most comfortable dental experience possible, which is why Dr. Barry and Dr. Love offer sedation dentistry services. There’s a lot of misinformation floating around, so here are the facts about sedation dentistry. Read more ›

Can You Treat a Toothache at Home?

When you’re suddenly struck with a toothache, floating ideas of home remedies may quickly come to mind. Whether you heard it from your great-aunt or saw it on Pinterest, at-home treatments are everywhere. Columbus dentist, Dr. Barry and Dr. Love can explain more about how to care for a toothache and when to come in for a visit. Read more ›