Most of us do it twice a day. Many of us do it at least once. You guessed it! Brush our teeth. And maybe floss. We all know how to do it, and that’s a good thing. But there’s more to a good oral hygiene regimen, regardless of how often you do it.
What is a Good Oral Hygiene Regimen?
There are four fundamental tasks for basic oral health, and you may already do them. Still, we can all use a refresher course on how to do those tasks as well as we can.
Step #1: Brushing When? Preferably twice a day – when you wake up and when you go to bed. If you can’t do this, brush at least once every 24 hours. If you have breakfast prior to your first-of-the-day brush, wait to brush for 45-60 minutes, particularly if breakfast included orange juice or grapefruit. Acidic foods like these can loosen tooth enamel and brushing may damage your teeth.
Why? The #1 reason is to prevent cavities. Brushing removes plaque (a coating of bacteria) on your teeth which, if left to settle in, causes tooth decay. Just as important is that brushing also stimulates your gums. Gum disease does more than ruin your teeth. It can lead to major health problems, including stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.
How? Position your brush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth and gums and brush up and down on the front and back, and back and forth across the top. Brush for a minimum of two minutes. (You can buy electric toothbrushes that beep every 30 seconds, so you can brush each quarter of your teeth for the same length of time.) The American Dental Association recommends using a soft-bristled brush and an ADA-approved toothpaste.
Step #2: Flossing When?Before you brush. And at least once a day. Whatever is in your mouth when you fall asleep has all night to do its damage, so flossing just before bedtime is the optimal time.
Why? Flossing loosens up the bits of food that are too small to see. The ones stuck between your teeth and under your gums. Flossing loosens plaque as well, and that will help your brushing do a better job.
How? You can use dental floss wrapped around your fingers or one of the easy-to-use floss picks (a plastic holder with a piece of floss attached). Slip the floss between your teeth and guide it gently up and down along the side of each tooth and down into the space between tooth and gum. Don’t forget those molars in the back!
Step #3: Rinsing When? Every time you do Steps #1 and #2, also rinse with mouthwash. Pick a flavor you like (brand doesn’t matter) so you’ll be more likely to do it regularly.
Why? For the same reason you usually drink something after eating. Flossing and brushing are most important, but even done well, they can miss some things. Rinsing flushes out the last few bits of toothpaste and food. Not to mention that mouthwash makes your mouth feel – and taste – totally refreshed!
How? It’s simple! Fill the cap of the bottle with mouthwash and move the liquid around in your mouth for 30 seconds, then spit it out. Be sure to keep your lips closed while rinsing, so the mouthwash can do its job.
Step #4: Scraping When? You needn’t do this after every time you floss, brush, and rinse, but it’s a good idea to make scraping your tongue a regular part of your routine. And it only takes a minute!
Why? Food, bacteria, and dead cells collect on your tongue when you eat or drink. And all that debris can dull your taste buds and lead to tooth decay. While it may seem that brushing would be effective for your tongue as well as your teeth, it isn’t. In fact, one study found that using a tongue scraper can significantly reduce the number of bacteria known to cause bad breath and tooth decay.
How? Use a tongue scraper. They’re designed specifically to clean the tongue. After flossing, brushing, and rinsing, look in the mirror and stick out your tongue. Lay the rounded edge of the scraper across the back of your tongue (or start in the middle if the back activates your gag reflex). Pull the scraper gently along your tongue from the back to the tip. Never push the scraper from the tip to the back! One or two scrapes should do the job.
How Can I Tell If my Hygiene Routine Is Working?
The first indication will be almost immediate – your mouth will feel fresh, clean, and healthy. Over time, you’ll notice other conditions – and the lack of some – that demonstrate your success.
Your breath will smell fresh and your teeth will feel clean even when you first wake up
Your gums will look pink and healthy, and they won’t bleed when you floss and brush
Your mouth will flinch less when you eat or drink something hot or cold
What Else Do I Need to Know?
Here are a few extra guidelines for taking the best care of your mouth:
Eat plenty of crunchy vegetables and fruit
Limit food and drinks that are sugary or acidic
Drink plenty of water, and never chew ice
Keep your toothbrush clean and get a new one often
Don’t use tobacco
Of course, some problems and conditions can’t be seen in your bathroom mirror. So, it’s important to see us at least twice a year for a checkup and a thorough cleaning. We encourage you to contact us or make an appointment online. Your mouth will thank you!
A juicy steak. Rich, velvety chocolate cake. A bowl of warm, spicy tortilla soup. Food! It’s what keeps us alive. But for most people it does much, much more. It brings families together. It sets the stage for a first date. It’s the basis for a treasured memory. And it eases the awkwardness of many a serious and not-so-serious discussion.
So, what would life be like if you couldn’t enjoy the foods you love? If you didn’t have teeth to chew your favorite steak or if warm soup always hurt your mouth? Unfortunately, gum disease, if left untreated, has the potential to make such a bad dream reality.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is inflammation of your gums caused by bacterial growth around your teeth and along the gum line. It happens when plaque builds up and is not thoroughly removed; and after a while, it causes red, inflamed gums. It’s a chronic condition which, according to the American Dental Association, is a major cause of tooth loss, and which 47.2% of Americans 30 years old or older have. Like many others, gum disease is a progressive disease, meaning that left to its own devices — that is, left untreated — it will simply get worse, and worse, and worse.
Gingivitis is the lowest level of gum disease, when it can be stopped, and even sometimes reversed, with proper dental hygiene bolstered by professional treatment. Left alone, gingivitis develops into periodontitis. The early stages of periodontitis cause slight loss of the bone that supports your teeth. As the disease gets worse, your teeth will lose more bone support and they may even begin to feel looser than normal and bleed when you brush and floss.
In the final stages of periodontitis, your symptoms will continue to worsen. Teeth will get looser and looser, and you may find that your mouth and teeth hurt when you bite into or chew food. Once your gums reach this stage, nothing you can do will help. The damage at this point is not reversible and dental treatment is usually needed to return as much normal function as possible to your mouth.
How is Gum Disease Treated?
The goal of gum disease treatment is simple: to clean out the bacteria that has settled in the pockets around your teeth to prevent further destruction of bone and tissue. Choice of treatment depends on the disease severity, your overall health, and your lifestyle habits.
Professional Dental Cleaning
If your gum disease is in its early stages, we may begin treatment by scheduling you to have a thorough, professional cleaning — and an examination of your gums — every three months rather than twice a year. Professional cleaning is not a cure for gum disease; however, when paired with a more vigorous daily oral hygiene regimen, additional cleanings can help slow its progression.
Scaling and Planing
When better oral hygiene and additional professional cleanings aren’t enough, the most common first treatment is a two-step, non-surgical procedure called scaling and planing. Scaling is done first, to remove the plaque and tartar that is below the gum line. Once the compromised tooth is free of bacteria, root planing smoothes the surface of the tooth’s root so your gum can more easily, and more strongly, reattach to the tooth. Here at Lifetime Dental Health, we use advanced laser technology to remove build-up and inflamed tissue painlessly. Scaling and planing require more time than a standard cleaning and may involve an anesthetic. And, depending on the condition of your teeth and gums, you may need more than one scaling and planing procedure.
Surgical procedures are a last resort for advanced periodontitis, and two procedures are commonly used: flap surgery and grafts.
Flap surgery is most often deemed necessary when calculus has moved into deep pockets between teeth or to help reduce the depth of a pocket so that keeping it clean becomes easier. The procedure involves physically lifting the gums off the compromised tooth and maintaining the distance between tooth and gum while the plaque and tartar are removed. The gums are then sutured back into place, so they will fit as closely to the tooth as they did before the surgery. While patients often notice no difference in appearance or feel, occasionally teeth may appear longer than before.
Bone and tissue grafts are the most involved treatment for periodontitis, as they are done in order to regenerate bone or gum tissue that has been completely destroyed. A bone graft replaces lost bone with a natural or synthetic bone material, which will then promote new growth of the natural teeth. In a soft tissue graft, tissue taken from another part of the mouth (or synthetic material) is used to cover exposed tooth roots so they can heal.
Two additional procedures are sometimes done in tandem with flap surgery: guided tissue regeneration (GTR) and bone surgery. In GTR, a piece of mesh-like fabric is inserted between the bone and the gum as a barrier that helps direct new bone and tissue growth to the area of the damaged tooth. This keeps gum tissue from growing where bone should be and enables bone and connective tissue to fill in their natural space. Bone surgery smoothes shallow dips in bones affected by bone loss. The tooth is then reshaped to eliminate the dips where bacteria can congregate and grow.
Gum disease is a serious concern, and while we at Lifetime Dental Health are not dental surgeons, we are here to help you avoid gum disease if possible and keep it from progressing when it has occurred. If you have symptoms of gum disease, we encourage you to contact us for a check-up and cleaning soon.
If you play checkers, you’ve had the experience of “crowning.” It’s a simple action. When one of your checkers makes it across the board to your opponent’s last row, you smile and say, “king me!” Your opponent must put a checker on top of that one – like a crown – and that checker can then play backward as well as forwards. Giving a checker a new way to play its game is just what a dental crown does for a broken, damaged, or decayed tooth: gives it a second chance! Learn more about this and our other services here.
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a fixed prosthetic device that is fitted over a damaged or decayed tooth in order to keep the tooth from getting worse. Think of it as working like a baseball cap on a bad hair day. The crown “caps” the damaged tooth and keeps it from being an unsightly blip in your sparkling smile or from enduring more damage — and causing more pain — as you go about your daily living.
You may need a crown if you have a large filling in a tooth that isn’t big enough to hold the filling. Crowns are also used to hide badly shaped or discolored teeth, cover a tooth-replacing dental implant, or attach a bridge to the teeth next to it.
Each crown is custom-fitted to the contours of the tooth it will fix, so it will look, feel, and function as if it were a natural tooth. It will completely cover the entire tooth and it will be fitted into your gum. This tight seal is essential to keeping bacteria from getting under the crown, so the tooth that’s covered cannot sustain any additional damage.
What Are Dental Crowns Made of?
The modern crowns dentists use today owe their existence to Charles Land, who, in 1903, created the first crown made of porcelain and gold. Through the years, crowns have been improved, and now crowns are made of metal, porcelain, resin, or ceramic, or a combination of these materials.
Metal crowns have the longest history, for a number of reasons. The metals used — gold, nickel, copper, etc. — resist corrosion and can withstand the force of biting and chewing, so metal crowns rarely break or chip. They also require removing the least amount of your natural tooth. Metal crowns look like the metal they’re made of, so they are used today mostly for out-of-sight areas.
Metal + Porcelain
Metal-and-porcelain crowns have a metal-based that is covered with porcelain, which can be matched to the color of your natural teeth. Because of the solid metal base, these crowns create a stronger “new tooth” than does an all-porcelain crown. In addition, they are a better crown for preventing additional decay.
Porcelain or Ceramic
For fixing broken or chipped teeth within your smile, crowns made of porcelain or ceramic provide a color match that comes so close to your natural tooth color that only you (and your dentist) will know. The downside is that entirely porcelain or ceramic crowns aren’t quite as strong as metal crowns and may not last as long.
How Long Does a Dental Crown Last?
A crown will last about 10 to 15 years with proper care: brushing and flossing daily and visiting your dentist regularly for a checkup and cleaning. In addition, to maintain the health and strength of a crown:
Avoid hard candies, large nuts, and other crunchy foods that require a strong bite
Avoid sticky foods such as toffee and caramels, and don’t chew gum
Don’t chew ice
What’s Involved in Getting a Dental Crown?
It depends on the crown. Traditional crowns are recommended in certain cases, such as back teeth subject to strong biting and chewing. Getting a traditional crown takes two dental visits. On the first visit, the dentist will clean the tooth of any decay and file it down to make a good foundation for the crown; then a mold of the tooth to be crowned will be made and sent to a dental lab for processing. This usually takes about two weeks, during which time you will have a temporary crown to keep the damaged tooth safe from additional harm. When the crown is ready, your second appointment will involve placing the crown, testing the fit, and securing it with dental cement.
At Lifetime Dental Health, we offer an innovative alternative to a traditional crown, called a CEREC crown. A CEREC (Chairside Economic Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics) crown is also referred to as a one-day crown because you can be measured, prepared, and fitted with a permanent CEREC crown in a single visit. As the name implies, a CEREC crown is made of high-grade ceramic. It’s a durable, long-lasting crown that looks and feels like your natural teeth. And it’s made right here in our office using computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) to replace the mold and the dental lab. Over the 30+ years that dentists have been providing CEREC crowns, they have proven to be as sturdy and durable as crowns from other materials.
CEREC crowns aren’t a solution for every tooth problem. Nevertheless, for most situations where a dental crown is called for, a CEREC crown offers two advantages, speed and precision.
A single dental visit can accommodate the entire crown procedure, from measuring to modeling to the final fitting and installation
The use of an intraoral camera paired with the CAD/CAM process ensures a final creation that provides an exact replica of your damaged tooth
A broken damaged, or decayed tooth can affect your smile as well as how you talk or eat. If you believe you might need a crown, contact us for a free consultation today.
Do you shy away from going to the dentist? Do you go anyway but feel anxious and tense through the entire visit? Are you nervous enough that it interferes with what your dentist needs to accomplish? You’re not alone. In fact, Healthline reports that nearly 3% of men and 5% of women are just like you.
Nervousness about going to the dentist manifests itself along a broad continuum of intensity, from simply disliking the smell or sound of a dental office or dental equipment to a full-blown phobia called dentophobia, defined as an extreme or irrational fear of going to the dentist. Regardless, there’s good news. Here at Lifetime Dental Health we offer a full range of sedation dentistry, including IV sedation, so you can relax during your dental visit, even while we complete that dental work you’re fearful of.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is just what it sounds like: dentistry that includes help for you to relax while you’re in the dental chair, whether it’s for a checkup, a dental filling, or a root canal. It uses medication to calm you and allow you to feel comfortable and at ease while you undergo whatever dental procedure you’re receiving. The level of sedation can range from minimal to moderate to deep, depending on the patient, as well as the procedure to be completed.
Who Could Benefit from Sedation?
Almost any patient may find sedation helpful, although it is generally provided to patients who:
Have had a distressing or traumatic dental experience
Are afraid of all dentists or dental offices
Are allergic to typical smells and tastes involved in dental work
Have hypersensitive teeth or an over-active gag response
Need a lengthy treatment or one that could be particularly uncomfortable
Are unable to stay still for the time a dental procedure will take
Want to feel less tense for any the reason
What Types of Sedation Are Available?
Patients at Lifetime Dental Health may receive any of three types of sedation to lessen, or eliminate, their nervousness and fear of dental procedures, and allow them to be totally relaxed and comfortable. We offer the following sedation methods, depending on your needs and your level of concern. And rest assured, you will be entirely safe throughout, because we will monitor your vital signs constantly.
Oral sedation is administered as a tablet or capsule, which you take with some water as you might take an aspirin. It’s a prescribed dose of a sedative that will make you feel sleepy, although you will be able to converse with our dental professionals during the entire procedure.
Inhaled sedation means nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas. This sedation requires a nose mask through which you breathe in the gas. The result is mild, but effective, and because it’s a gas, it kicks in quickly – as soon as 30-60 seconds after you start inhaling it – and disperses just as fast.
Simple oral or inhaled sedation is enough to relax many patients with moderate anxiety about dental visits. However, for some this isn’t enough. For patients with excessive trepidation about having dental work, we offer intravenous (IV) sedation – sedation administered by an injection – that is also called conscious sedation.
We often recommend IV sedation for patients who exhibit a severe dental phobia, or whose anxiety could interfere with their safety during a dental procedure. This type of sedation can be particularly effective when a patient needs several procedures at one visit or a single procedure that will take a long time. In addition, patients with a sensitive gag reflex or with special needs will likely find this type of sedation helpful for staying in the dentist’s chair for longer lengths of time
There are two types of IV (intravenous) sedation used in dentistry. We offer the lighter of the two variations, called “twilight” sedation, wherein you will feel sleepy as you do with oral sedation or laughing gas, but unlike with laughing gas or oral sedation, you are not likely to remember any of the procedure after you come out. Of course, you will not be totally unconscious. If we need to wake you up for any reason, we can.
Preparing yourself for IV sedation will be more involved than simply showing up for your appointment. You may need to avoid eating or drinking for a period of time before your procedure, and you will be unable to drive yourself home, so you’ll want to have a family member or a friend on call to pick you up after the procedure is completed. Be ready to stay at home and rest for the remainder of the day, too. Although you don’t actually sleep through the procedure, you will likely feel tired until the effects of the IV sedative wear off.
What Dental Procedures Can Be Done Under Sedation?
Almost anything that is commonly accomplished in a standard dental office can be done while a patient is under sedation, be it oral, inhaled, or intravenous. This includes everything from filling a cavity or giving a whitening treatment, to applying dental veneers or crowns, installing braces or aligners, even removing wisdom teeth. The decision to use sedation will be made between our dental professionals and you, our patient.
Would you like more information or to discuss whether sedation is applicable to your dental care needs? Be sure to contact us for a free consultation. We’ll be happy to further explain our sedation offerings and assist you in making a decision that works for you.
It’s often seen as a figure in a cartoon — someone with a line of Zs floating above their head — indicating that they are peacefully asleep, and snoring. Cute and comical, but only in a cartoon. In real life, snoring can be a symptom of a serious problem called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which the American Sleep Apnea Association estimates that about 22 million Americans have. And it’s the reason many dentists have begun asking patients about their sleep habits. How long they sleep. How well they sleep. Do they ever – or often – wake up gasping for breath.
Okay, we understand. You probably have never made a connection between how well you sleep and your oral health. Most of us don’t. Because most of us don’t need to. But the link between OSA and oral health is clear to sleep specialists as well as to dental professionals.
What Is Sleep Apnea and What Causes It?
Sleep apnea is a common breathing disorder. In fact, sleep apnea comprises 80% of the sleep disorders people experience. OSA causes your upper airway to narrow, or even completely collapse, while you sleep, cutting off the flow of air to your lungs, no matter how hard you breathe in. As you may imagine, not getting air into your lungs is a problem, which makes OSA a dangerous condition to have, especially if you don’t know you have it and it isn’t being treated. OSA is also known to contribute to several serious non-dental health conditions.
In addition to risk factors that have nothing to do with your oral health — excess weight, family history, smoking, alcohol dependency, and use of sedatives or tranquilizers to sleep — certain characteristics of your mouth can also contribute. Having a large tongue, having intact tonsils, or exhibiting a significant underbite are all risk factors for sleep apnea that come under the purview of a dental professional.
How Will I Know If I Have It?
One of the most common signs that you may have sleep apnea is that you snore. Loudly and persistently. We snore because the tissues in our throats relax, and when they do, they vibrate. If they relax too much, they can block your airway entirely, and cause you to wake up suddenly, struggling to breathe. Therefore, if you snore, you have sleep apnea, right? Not necessarily. You can have sleep apnea even if you don’t snore. And you can snore even if you don’t have sleep apnea. In addition, many of us have no idea how much we’re snoring until our partner tells us. Sometimes in no uncertain terms.
So, what other symptoms should you look for if you think you may have sleep apnea? In addition to snoring, sleep apnea is characterized by:
waking up in the middle of the night gasping for air
waking up frequently
chronic dry mouth or sore throat upon waking
daytime sleepiness or fatigue
difficulty getting up in the morning
depression, irritability, or forgetfulness
Of course, most of us have experienced many of these symptoms occasionally. But if the annoyances in this list are a regular part of your life, it may be because of sleep apnea.
How Is Sleep Apnea Treated by a Dentist?
Sleep apnea is not a dental condition, it’s a medical one. And the most often prescribed treatment is the use of a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device, which is a face mask that’s worn overnight to maintain a consistent flow of air to a person’s lungs. CPAP machines are quite effective and considered the best solution for everyone. Unfortunately, some people simply cannot tolerate a CPAP treatment. The mask is uncomfortable until you get used to it, it’s noisy, it’s hard to adjust to your personal sleeping style, and sometimes it’s simply impractical for any number of reasons. For people with sleep apnea who cannot tolerate the CPAP therapy, their dentist has options.
Dental devices to treat sleep apnea, called oral advancement appliances, are custom made to fit your mouth, and can be quite helpful. They are designed to keep air passages open while you sleep, so that you receive the oxygen you need. By breathing more easily and waking up less often, you can get more – and better – sleep. In fact, studies have found that such appliances, used properly, can reduce the number of apnea episodes a person has by up to 60%.
What Are The Pros and Cons of a Dental Sleep Apnea Appliance?
An oral sleep appliance is not perfect. It must be custom-made and fitted to your mouth. It can be as uncomfortable as CPAP machine, may not be sufficient for treating severe symptoms, and can cause excess saliva as well as problems with your temporomandibular joint.
Nevertheless, there are times and situations in which a dental appliance can make a difference. While no therapy is as effective as a CPAP machine, an oral appliance can be a good choice if:
You travel or go camping often, because it is small and portable, and requires no electricity to operate.
You are on CPAP therapy at very high pressure, because an oral appliance can keep the jaw from falling backwards. The CPAP machine can then be set for a lower level of pressure, which is usually more comfortable.
Cost is a consideration, because an oral appliance is covered by medical, not dental, insurance.
As dentists, we can’t diagnose sleep apnea, but we can recognize its symptoms. Now you know why we may ask you about how you are sleeping. If your answer includes any of the symptoms we listed here, it may be time to contact our office.
“Fill ‘er up” is a perfect phrase to utter when your car is out of gas, your coffee cup is empty, or a tooth is exhibiting decay. And just like filling your gas tank or brewing a pot of coffee, there’s a relatively simple solution – a “fill-up” – for your aching tooth. It’s called a dental filling, and it’s the most requested dental service other than a routine check-up and cleaning.
What Is a Dental Filling And How Does It Work?
A dental filling is just what it sounds like: something that fills an empty space – a cavity – in a tooth that has begun to decay. A decaying tooth, whatever the cause of the decay, is a weakened tooth. Filling the cavity is the simplest way to eliminate the decay, strengthen the injured tooth, and restore its natural look and feel.
Having a tooth filled is usually a single-appointment procedure. The area of your mouth where the target tooth is will be numbed with a local anesthetic, so your mouth will be pain-free, even when the numbing wears off. After removing all of the decay in the compromised tooth, and before inserting the filling material, your dentist will thoroughly clean the tooth and check to make sure the decay hasn’t reached the root area. After insertion, the filling material will be shaped and smoothed to fit the contours of the repaired tooth.
Is There More Than One Type of Filling?
The earliest known dental filling was made of bitumen, a material currently used as a road surface. Fortunately, times have changed and so have the materials dentists use to fill cavities. There are several choices of materials to be used, depending on the size and location of the cavity, your insurance coverage, and the out-of-pocket cost of different fillings. Here’s a brief description of the materials today’s dentists use to fill teeth.
Many of us are most likely to be familiar with dental fillings made of gold or silver. Gold is more durable than silver, but silver is more common, because a gold filling can cost up to 10 times that of a silver filling. Although newer materials are available, the durability of metal fillings is an important factor still. A metal filling can last up to 15 years before it must be replaced.
One of the least expensive filling materials is amalgam, which has been in use by dentists since the late 1800s. Several metallic elements are combined to make amalgam, so amalgam fillings are quite strong. This makes them a good choice for cavities in your molars, because that’s where most of your chewing takes place.
Sometimes referred to as “resin fillings,” composite fillings are popular because they can be tinted to match the color of your teeth. (Since natural teeth are not pure white, ever.) Not quite as long-lasting as metal ones, composite fillings are still fairly durable and ideal for small cavities in teeth that aren’t subjected to significant chewing. Learn more.
Another material used to fill tooth cavities is ceramic, usually porcelain. Like composite fillings, ceramic fillings can be made to match your tooth’s color, with the advantage that they are rather less likely to show tooth stains over time. Ideal in some specific situations, ceramic fillings are, however, nearly as expensive as gold fillings.
A glass ionomer filling is a specialized filling that is sometimes used if the root of your damaged tooth has been compromised. It’s a blend of acrylic and glass that, when made into a dental filling, releases fluoride to help protect the tooth from further decay. This filling material is significantly less durable than other materials and may need to be replaced in as few as five years.
Can a Dental Filling Ever Be a Problem?
Nothing, including a dental filling, is perfect. Nearly every filling — regardless of the material — eventually needs help.
A filling can separate from the tooth to which it’s attached, leaving behind a space where bacteria can hide and eventually cause additional decay. Such a situation can usually be repaired if caught early.
A filling can be cracked or damaged if you bite down on something hard — hard candy, for example, or large nuts — or if you’re hit in the face while playing a sport. Chewing on a damaged filling can cause a crack to widen or the filling to wear away (even fall out!).
If you notice either of these conditions, check in with our office as soon as possible.
How Should I Take Care of a Dental Filling?
Treat a filled tooth as you do every other tooth. For a brief time after getting a filling, you may have some discomfort, but it will be short-lived and should not be used as an excuse to be less than conscientious about your oral health care. Maintain your normal dental hygiene routine of brushing and flossing. If you experience discomfort while brushing, you may want to switch to a toothpaste intended for sensitive teeth, at least for a while. There are many on the market and we’d be happy to help you choose the best one for you.
If you have a problem tooth, as well as for routine oral healthcare, we’re here to help. It’s easy to contact our office, and we look forward to serving all your dental needs.