When it comes to finding solutions for dental health issues, knowing what will work best for you personally and for your lifestyle is key to making the right decision. Two such solutions to choose from include dentures and dental implants. Patients today are living successfully with either of these, and you can too.
To better help you determine which may be right for you or a family member, here are tips on what it’s like to live with dentures and to live with dental implants.
What It’s Like to Live With Dentures
Thanks to ongoing improvements and advancing technology, dentures have become more comfortable than ever before. Patients today can feel completely normal while wearing them and worry less about the possibility of slippage while eating or talking.
If you are considering dentures or are already in the fitting process, it helps to understand how they will affect your lifestyle. Whether you have partial or full dentures, how you wear, use, and care for them will be much the same.
After your final fitting, it will take a little while to get used to the feel of the dentures in your mouth. A good fit prevents any pain or discomfort, so if you feel either of these, let your dentist know immediately.
Allow yourself the time you need to get used to wearing the dentures. Initially, you may experience a lisp as you talk, but in time, you can train your mouth muscles to adjust to the new dental appliance. Practice reading out loud and identify those words that are difficult to pronounce. Say those words over and over again until it feels natural.
As for chewing food with dentures, you will most likely need time to adjust to how this feels. When drinking, try using a straw until you feel more comfortable.
Dentures can slip, particularly if you make sudden movements, such as when you laugh, smile, or sneeze. If you do feel a slip, bite down gently and swallow. In some instances, your dentist will recommend using an adhesive to help keep your dentures in place.
Living with dentures also requires the following:
Avoid allowing dentures to dry out.
Whenever you remove your dentures, such as at night as you sleep, always place them in a cup of water or dental cleaning solution. Dentures are like natural teeth in that they need moisture to keep from drying out, which can potentially lead to fracturing, cracking, or warping.
Take daily care of your dentures
Care for your dentures involves brushing at least twice a day to remove bacteria-causing plaque, which can lead to halitosis, or bad breath. You also want to gently brush your gums. Your dentures sit atop your gums, so caring for them is essential. Removing dentures at night also lets the gums rest.
Schedule bi-annual dental appointments
Living with dentures requires you to remain diligent in their care and the surrounding tissues in your mouth. For this, be sure to schedule bi-annual dentist appointments. In addition to a thorough cleaning, your dentist will conduct an exam of the dentures and your gum health, as well as check that the fit is still correct.
What It’s Like to Live With Dental Implants
Dental implants are another solution for dental issues and essentially function, look, and feel like your natural teeth. These implants are prosthetic devices that create an anchor to the jawbone, followed by the fitting of an artificial crown. You can choose dental implants to replace several teeth or just one, depending on your particular needs.
They do require a surgical procedure, after which you will need time to heal. Once this healing occurs, however, you can return to normal activities and also reintroduce your normal foods back into your diet. While the crowns are not as strong as your natural teeth, they are highly durable, and you can eat normally without worry.
In addition, dental implants help improve your speech, and you won’t need to worry about them shifting since they are anchored in place.
As for the care of dental implants, you’ll be able to treat them much like your natural teeth. That means brushing twice daily, flossing, and scheduling bi-annual dental cleanings and exams.
While you will need to make more lifestyle adjustments with dentures than dental implants, both offer a solution for your oral health needs. Talk with your dentist to determine which is right for your particular circumstances.
Contact Lifetime Dental Health in Columbus to Learn More
When it comes to optimal oral hygiene and health, Dr. Richard Barry and his team at Lifetime Dental Health in Columbus can provide the information you need to make the best decisions for you and your family. To learn more about dental implants or dentures, or any other dental option, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.
If you’re like many adults today, you have your share of cavities, most acquired during childhood. And, like many adults, you probably have some not-so-cherished memories of the drilling, and the stuffing, and the discomfort that can accompany getting a filling. Filling cavities in our teeth is important, but it can’t quite be called fun. And it’s not a sign of healthy teeth, either. Cavities signal tooth decay, but how can you keep that decay away? Call on dental sealants.
Do Dental Sealants Help Prevent Cavities?
Brushing your teeth and flossing daily removes most of the food and bacteria from your teeth. But not all of it. Especially on teeth in the back of your mouth — molars and premolars. These are the teeth that do most of the work, the grinding and chewing, when you eat. And the surface grooves and fissures —which all teeth have — are deeper on these teeth than on others, and harder to reach when you brush, especially for young children.
Dental sealants consist of a thin coating of liquid plastic that’s painted onto the chewing surface of molars and premolars. They serve as an extra barrier to help protect these hard-working teeth from decay. Sealants work much like the commercial packaging we find on perishable foods in a store. They keep food particles, bacteria, and plaque from settling into the hills and valleys of your tooth’s surface in the way that a package, be it a can or a bag, keeps dust and dirt out of the food on your grocer’s shelves.
Dental sealants are permanently bonded to a tooth’s surface. To apply a dental sealant, we first use an acidic solution to roughen the surface of the tooth so that the sealant solution will stick as well as possible. Once the acid is rinsed off, the sealant is carefully painted onto the surface of your tooth. As the sealant is applied, it flows into all the crevices in the tooth, some of which are thinner than a strand of human hair. The final step is hardening the sealant, called polymerizing, accomplished by shining a curing light on the tooth for a few minutes.
Their application takes little time — most often less than 45 minutes — and helps ensure that your tooth will be ready to keep out bacteria and food particles for years to come. And it’s usually painless, a plus for children who fear the dentist or people who have particularly sensitive teeth.
How Well Do Dental Sealants Do Their Job?
Keeping cavities out of teeth in order to avoid the need for a dental filling is one of the main jobs dental sealants are specifically designed to do. Although they are most often used on children’s teeth, sealants can work well for adults, too. The statistics are impressive:
According to the American Dental Association, sealants can not only prevent cavities, but they can also sometimes halt the progression of tooth decay that has not yet created a cavity.
Is The Cost of a Dental Sealant Worth It?
Typically, placing dental sealants will cost from $30 to $60 per tooth, depending on the teeth, your overall oral health, and the number of teeth to be sealed. Most dental insurance plans either don’t cover sealants at all, or offer minimal coverage. Nevertheless, even without dental insurance, sealants are likely to be less costly in the long run than handling tooth decay by putting in a filling.
The initial cost of filling a cavity is significantly more than the cost of a dental sealant. A filling can cost as much as $150 depending on the size of the filling needed and the type of filling desired. And cavities, and the need to fill them, are not uncommon. According to Zentist, a dental insurance website, on average:
42% of children age 2 to 11 have cavities in their primary teeth
59% of adolescents age 12 to 19 have cavities in their permanent teeth
92% of adults have at least one cavity
Even if cost isn’t an issue, time and inconvenience often are. At the least, like getting a dental sealant, filling a cavity means a visit to your dentist. But getting a filling takes longer, can be uncomfortable during the procedure, and may cause pain (from mild to severe) that keeps you from your normal activities for the rest of the day. Sealants can be applied rather quickly, compared to filling a cavity, and they usually cause no pain or discomfort. And, unlike replacing a filling, which requires re-drilling the tooth, if a seal is broken, for whatever reason, the sealant can easily be reapplied.
As with any oral health decision, the real first step to stopping cavities with dental sealants is to talk with your dentist. We at Lifetime Dental Health are here to help, right from the start. To talk to one of our dental professionals or to make your first appointment, contact us. We’ll be happy to help you stop cavities in their tracks, before they reach your pearly-whites.
Many of today’s adults share common memories from childhood. Sunday drives, visits to grandma and grandpa, trips to the local playground or the city zoo, and hearing the iconic phrase – do as I say, not as I do – over and over again. Why? Because children are natural mimics and will do exactly what Mom and Dad do, no matter what it is. Of course, some of the things children mimic are things they shouldn’t do. But there is one daily habit parents can be proud of modeling for their children: Good oral hygiene.
Is Good Oral Hygiene Different for Children?
While many healthful habits are different for children than for adults, taking care of teeth is almost exactly the same: floss and brush daily, avoid certain foods and drinks, see your dentist regularly. Simple, right? Right. And easy to follow. For adults and motivated teenagers.
But for younger children, especially babies and toddlers, it’s a hard act to mimic. Nearly one in every five children between the ages of 5 and 11 has untreated tooth decay. Even baby teeth (now called primary teeth) can get cavities! And if cavities in primary teeth aren’t treated, permanent teeth could be negatively affected. Untreated tooth decay, even in early childhood, can lead to other dental and medical problems in adult life. Of course, all of those primary teeth will disappear eventually, but by the time that starts – when your child is around six years old — the damage from tooth decay will have already happened.
My Child Is Still a Baby. How Soon Should I Start?
Caring for your child’s teeth should start as soon as they come home from the hospital. It’s up to you to teach good oral hygiene habits, and here’s how to start:
Until your baby is about a year old, simply wipe their teeth with a soft, damp washcloth after the morning feeding and right before bedtime. This washes away bacteria and sugars that can cause tooth decay.
Never, ever let your baby fall asleep with a bottle. (As harmless as it may seem, this simple activity often generates tooth decay.) When teeth start coming in, usually around a child’s first birthday, begin using a soft child-size toothbrush and plain water.
When your child reaches toddler age, you can add a small dab of a non-fluoride toothpaste (non-fluoride toothpaste is safe to swallow).
As soon as your child is old enough to spit out the toothpaste, switch to one that has fluoride in order to give your child the extra protection fluoride provides.
You should introduce flossing — and demonstrate it — when your child starts brushing their teeth on the own. (Hint: the floss that comes on a plastic holder is easier for children.)
How Can I Make Good Oral Hygiene Habits Appealing?
Children get bored easily, we know, and caring for their teeth may not be as exciting as other things they could do. But children will understand caring for their teeth if you tell them (as one 5-year-old declared): “Plaque makes your teeth dirty, and you have to wash them.” It’s up to you, as a parent, to help make it interesting enough — even fun! — that they will establish a solid habit. Good oral hygiene habits will serve them well throughout their life. And they will look to Mom and Dad to learn what to do.
One of the most successful ways to instill oral health habits in your children is to make establishing those habits as much fun as the other things they enjoy. You know your children best, so you probably already have an idea of what will work. But just in case you’d like some fresh ideas:
Let your child choose their own toothbrush – their favorite color or a cartoon character they love. Just make sure the one they choose is a good size for their hand and has soft bristles.
If they want to, let them choose their own toothpaste, as well. They may not want the mint you like, but some companies have toothpaste with flavors like strawberry or watermelon.
Set up a system to reward your child for good oral care with something they’ll appreciate, such as staying up a little longer, watching a favorite movie, or being read a special story.
Avoid sugary treats or drinks as rewards, though. (This kind of defeats the purpose.)
Find a song your child likes and record exactly two minutes of it. Then play that two minutes when it’s time to brush. The American Dental Association advocates two minutes of brushing twice a day for both children and adults.
Best of all, let your child see you brushing your teeth correctly…and enjoying it. When children are young, anything Mom and Dad does is something they want to do, too, including brushing their teeth.
What if I Need a Bit of Help?
Come on in, and bring your child! At Lifetime Dental Health, we’ll be happy to discuss how best to handle your child’s at-home dental hygiene. We’ll explain ways to maintain your children’s teeth that are similar to how you take care of your own and explain anything you need to know based on the specific condition of your child’s teeth. In addition to setting the stage for healthy adult teeth, introducing children to dental care as early as possible can go a long way toward eliminating the fear some children experience when their first time in a dental chair includes lots of uncomfortable scraping and the scary sound of a dental drill.
To talk to one of our dental professionals or to make your first appointment, contact us. We’ll be happy to serve you and your little ones.
If your dentist has recently mentioned dental sealants, or if you’ve read about them online and you’re not sure what they are, don’t worry. You’re not alone. While dental sealants are becoming more and more popular, many people don’t know exactly what they are or how they work.
What are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are a form of preventative care. Your dentist may recommend these to help prevent any future cavities or tooth decay, especially if you are at high risk for developing these due to an illness or vitamin deficiency. Dental sealants are thin plastic caps or coatings, similar to a crown, that go over your teeth to protect the enamel. These sit on top of your teeth and do not require any additional work such as drilling.
Why Should You Consider Getting Dental Sealants?
No matter how well you brush, floss, and rinse your mouth, there will always be some food particles leftover – either stuck in between your teeth or in the grooves of your molars. Over time, these can build up and attract bacteria to your mouth while slowly decaying your teeth. Dental sealants will help prevent this from happening by covering the enamel of your tooth, preventing both food and bacteria from getting into the grooves and weakening your teeth.
Dental sealants are also a good idea if you have any health condition or vitamin deficiency that results in weakened enamel. While a sealant won’t protect your teeth from your body, it will protect your teeth from any bacteria that try to take advantage of your weakened enamel. This will save you time and money in the long run as you won’t have to pay for more expensive repairs such as fillings, crowns, and even extractions. It can also keep you from pain — so long as your teeth are protected and don’t have cavities, your chances for an infection or your tooth breaking are greatly reduced.
What is the Process for Getting Dental Sealants?
Placing dental sealants is actually a fairly simple, painless process, which is another reason that they are so popular.
First, your dentist will most likely want to perform a cleaning. It is important to make sure that your teeth are as clean as possible so that no bacteria are trapped. If bacteria are trapped, then you will be unable to reach them while brushing, and this can greatly harm the condition and health of your teeth.
Your dentist will then dry your teeth and line them with cotton swabs, so they remain dry throughout the procedure. If you have ever had a filling placed, then it is similar to that process. The teeth are then prepped for the sealant and recleaned and dried. Finally, the sealant is applied and left to dry.
This process is quick and simple, and so long as no complications occur such as your teeth needing to be dried again, it will only take a few minutes for all of your teeth to be sealed and completed.
Is There Any Aftercare for Dental Sealants?
One of the best things about dental sealants is that they do not require special treatment or care after they are placed on your teeth. In order to keep them in good condition, and therefore your teeth in good health, it is important to practice proper dental hygiene. This includes brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash twice a day. Chewing sugar-free gum is also advised. You also need to continue seeing your dentist at least once every six months. This is not just for your biannual cleaning, but also so that your dentist can check your dental sealants for any flaws or imperfections. A crack in the sealant can allow bacteria to reach the inside and damage your teeth, and your brush won’t be able to reach in that crack. A cracked or flawed dental sealant will need to be repaired or replaced immediately. Other than this, however, there are no major lifestyle changes that you will need to make.
How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?
How long your dental sealants last depends on how well you take care of them. Of course, as you read above, the aftercare is fairly simple and doesn’t require anything other than proper dental hygiene and regular dentist visits. So long as you follow your dentist’s instructions, your dental sealants should last for around ten years. However, if they become chipped or cracked, it does not mean that you will have to go through the entire process again. Your dentist will be able to reapply the sealant to a single tooth whenever problems or flaws arise.
If you are interested in learning more about dental sealants or scheduling an appointment to have some placed over your teeth, contact our practice today or give us a call at (614) 333-9442.
Most summer plans revolve around traveling, water fun, and family bonding. Oftentimes we don’t take advantage of the summer days to take care of important business. We allow ourselves to get wrapped up in the summer nostalgia, neglecting responsibilities that could quickly be addressed during the summer break, such as dental checkups.
Today we are going to discuss the benefits of utilizing the summertime for dental checkups. We will also discuss some summer tips to keep your kids’ teeth as healthy as possible while enjoying the summer break.
Why should I schedule dental checkups for my children during the summer?
Although your family may be planning nonstop vacation fun, the summertime provides a more flexible window to schedule a dental appointment. You would not have to worry about planning around your child(ren)’s school schedule or their after school activities, possibly hindering the scheduling of the dental checkup.
More recovery time
Recovery time runs parallel with convenience. The summertime window provides more recovery time should your child need to have dental work, such as a root canal or wisdom tooth extraction. This way, they do not have to worry about missing any school days while they recover from the procedure.
Beat the Sugar Bugs
Children, as well as adults, tend to consume sugary foods and drinks during the summertime. The increase in sugary food can damage your kids’ oral health. Getting him/her into the dentist’s office early in the summer can help with preventative measures, so everyone can stay on track and be prepared for the upcoming school year.
My children will be visiting their grandparents out of state– how do I determine the best time for my children’s dental checkups?
It is common for children to visit grandparents or even attend summer camps and enjoy weeks of adventure and fun during the summertime. Ideally, we would suggest setting up an appointment before your child leaves for their summer adventure. It is beneficial to have the appointment before they leave for the summer, just in case the dentist discovers any cavities or any dental issues at all. This will allow time for any dental issues to be addressed before your child is away from home.
If you are unable to have your child seen by a dentist before they leave for the summer, don’t omit the appointment altogether. At least have a dental appointment set up when they return home, before starting school.
Are there are particular tips to help me successfully schedule and attend my child’s back-to-school dental appointment?
The number one way you will adequately execute this task is by planning ahead. If you wait and try to schedule a dental appointment around your child’s summer activities or any family plans you may have, you will likely find it impossible for your dentist to see your child at a time that works best with your schedule.
Although summertime is the best known time for relaxation, it is still best that you remain as organized as possible. Being organized will ensure you don’t double book your appointments, leading to cancellations.
Research suggests that when appointments are canceled last minute or because of ‘no shows,’ they often aren’t rescheduled for months.
Are there any additional tips to help keep my kids’ teeth healthy during the summer?
Family Oral Hygiene
It would be best to practice oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing, as a family. Doing this as a family will help keep your kids more involved. Since they see you, the parent, taking care of your teeth, they are more likely to participate without question.
You can also try some fun brushing games and activities, such as taking silly pictures or a brushing calendar; doing so will help keep your children interested in daily brushing and flossing.
They may even start reminding you to brush, because they are looking forward to the family fun.
Buy New Supplies
It is common for most people to use their toothbrushes for months on end. It is recommended to replace your toothbrush every three months, so the summertime would be a perfect time to update your dental supplies if you haven’t already.
It is also an excellent way to get the kids involved. You could let them choose their own toothbrush and toothpaste or maybe help pick family dental supplies.
Your kids can enjoy the summer fun without overindulging in sugary sweets. Be sure to reinforce healthy snacks during the summer activities to avoid cavities down the road.
If you are ready to book your appointment or if you have any questions, give us a call at 614-333-9442. Here at Lifetime Dental, we value your time and will work to get you and your family seen by one of our dental professionals ASAP.
As summer grows near, most people are looking forward to some well-deserved relaxation. During this time, you are primarily concentrating on picking the perfect destination, the best time to travel and even arranging an intense, yet flawless vacation schedule to fully enjoy yourself.
Often we seem to overlook a thing or two during the craziness of vacationing; even though oral hygiene probably takes less time to complete than most of your daily tasks, it is one of the most common activities that seem to be easily overlooked during vacation.
Below we will discuss the importance of executing proper oral care; which will include five super simple tips that will help you stay on top of your oral hygiene while on vacation.
Why is it important?
Daily oral hygiene is essential because it helps eliminate bacteria that can lead to bad breath, gum disease, and even tooth decay. As recommended, you should brush and floss at least twice a day to make sure you are adequately cleaning your teeth and gums.
Once you have this type of positive oral cleaning routine, you do not want to fall out of habit, especially because of a vacation. Just going one to three days without brushing and flossing can cause severe plaque buildup, although it may take more than one to three days for a cavity to develop.
However, if you happen to lose your routine and get out of the habit of the proper daily oral care, it may make it easier to skip a day here and thereafter you return from vacation, which will eventually lead to more serious dental issues down the road!
How can I stay on top of oral hygiene while vacationing?
Acknowledge the importance of healthy teeth
First, you want to recognize the importance of having healthy teeth. If you can agree that keeping your teeth clean is just as important and essential to life as eating or drinking, then you will be more likely not to omit to complete the task as needed.
Bring your dental kits
As you are packing, be sure to include your toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash. It is recommended that when you pack your dental supplies to pack the travel sizes. Doing this helps you pack light and makes less of a hassle.
If you happen to forget to pack your toothbrush, or maybe the kids left it at the last destination, do not fret, most hotels have complimentary toothbrushes and toothpaste at the front desk.
Another suggestion would be to make sure and pack a few extra travel size dental supplies, just in case you find yourself in a pinch.
Bring some bottled water
Depending on where you are traveling or how you are traveling, bottled water can be essential to have.
For example, if you are driving for an extended period of time and there are not any rest stops available to brush your teeth after you had your morning coffee, then having a bottle of water would definitely be beneficial. It would only take a few moments to find a place to stop and brush your teeth, using your travel size dental kit and bottled water to rinse when you were done.
Bottled water would also be beneficial if you were in an area that did not have clean drinking water. You do not want to brush your teeth with water you cannot drink!
Don’t over-do it on the sugar
It is your vacation, so you should definitely enjoy the new foods you may encounter during your trip.
You don’t have to steer clear of your favorite sweet treats either. However, you want to be sure not to overindulge on the sugary treats. No matter how delicious or how “well deserved” the sugary sweetness may be, any sugar can contribute to tooth decay.
If possible, keep fruits, nuts, and other low sugar snack options for enjoying in between your vacation style meals.
Be prepared for dental emergencies
No one plans to experience a dental emergency, such as chipped teeth or gum abscesses, but we all know that life happens and it is possible. You always want to be prepared for a dental emergency in any situation, but especially while on vacation!
While vacationing, you should plan ahead and locate the dentist offices closest to where you will be staying.
You should also carry your dental information with you. That way if you were to experience a dental emergency, you would easily be able to provide the applicable information to the dentist office, and ultimately expedite your care.
What did we learn today?
Overall you can enjoy a relaxing, successful vacation without omitting your oral hygiene care. If you realize the importance of including a proper oral hygiene routine in your vacation planning, it will not feel as if you are not doing any extra work. Also, the tips listed above will help you jump-start the process and help put your mind at ease.
Call us today at Lifetime Dental Health at 614-333-9106 to schedule your check-up before vacation, or if you have any summer dental hygiene questions.