Resources

 

  • Tooth Care Tips
  • After Care
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Other Health Tips

 

Here are some helpful tips about brushing, flossing and rinsing that will help you take the best care of your teeth! Please contact us if you have any questions!

 

   Use the right softness and size brush (too many people use too hard or too large of a brush)

   Use a toothpaste that is best for your teeth (e.g. if you have sensitive teeth, you may want to avoid "gels")

   Brush in slow, circular motions

   Don't press too hard, let the brush and paste do the work!

   Brush for at least 2 minutes and make sure you've covered all surfaces and gumlines

   Use mouthwash at least once per day (more if you can't brush)

   Floss daily using the string floss or floss sticks (these are handy for purse or pocket too!)

   Limit your intake of sugary or acidic foods and drinks

   Don't eat sugary or acidic things things at all before bed but after brushing

   Visit your dentist twice per year for a checkup

 

 

 

We hope you find the following information helpful after any major procedures. Please contact us with questions!

 

ROOT CANAL THERAPY

It is best to refrain from eating for at least 2 hours and until the anesthesia has worn off to prevent possibly injury to your soft tissue. This will also allow the temporary restorative material to harden. You will most likely feel soreness in the area as well as pressure when you bite down. For this reason, you should avoid hard and chewy foods. Do not eat on the treated side of your mouth for at least 24 hours. The soreness should decrease within a week. Take any antibiotic medication prescribed to you by the doctor as this will eliminate any remaining infection in the tooth. If you notice any of the following symptoms please contact our office: (a) increasing tenderness or swelling in the area surrounding the tooth, (b) a reaction to the medication, (c) loss of the temporary filling material (d) tooth fracture

 

CROWNS AND BRIDGES

It is best to refrain from eating for at least 2 hours and until the anesthesia has worn off to prevent possible injury to your soft tissue. Please be careful when cleaning around the temporary restoration. Do not pull up on the temporary when flossing this area. Make sure to brush this area gently and not to chew any hard foods on the restoration. If your temporary comes off between appointments, please call our office so that we can reapply it for you. Sensitivity to hot and cold is to be expected following treatment. For the first few days, try to avoid extremely hot or cold foods and beverages. It is normal to have discomfort in the gums around the tooth after the anesthesia wears off. If you feel discomfort in the gum tissue, rinse the area with warm salt water. You can also take an Advil or Tylenol if the discomfort persists. When the final restoration is placed, your bite may feel a little different. This is just your mouth adjusting to the new addition. If it still feels off in a few days, please call the office for a slight adjustment. It is important to resume regular brushing and flossing immediately. A consistent daily home care routine will increase the longevity of the restoration.

 

TOOTH COLORED FILLINGS (COMPOSITE RESINS)

It is best to refrain from eating for at least 2 hours and until the anesthesia has worn off to prevent possible injury to your soft tissue. Sensitivity to hot and cold is to be expected following treatment. For the first few days, try to avoid extremely hot or cold foods and beverages. It is normal to have discomfort in the gums around the tooth after the anesthesia wears off. If you feel discomfort in the gum tissue, rinse the area with warm salt water. You can also take an Advil or Tylenol if the discomfort persists. It is important to resume regular brushing and flossing immediately. A consistent daily home care routine will increase the longevity of the restoration.


SCALING AND ROOT PLANING

After your scaling or root planing appointment, it is best to rinse your mouth 2-3 times per day with Peridex (a prescription strength antibiotic rinse we can prescribe when treatment is started). You should start home care immediately, although you should be extremely gentle with the treated areas. If you feel discomfort in the gum tissue where you had treatment, an Advil or Tylenol may be taken to relieve this feeling. The treated areas may be sensitive to hot and cold. It is best to refrain from eating any hard or chewy foods for the next 48-72 hours while the treated area begins to heal. You may also experience some swelling or jaw stiffness. If this does occur, you can place a cold compress on the swelling or a hot towel on the stiffness. Smoking should be terminated for a period of 48-72 hours following these procedures. Please contact the office if the discomfort or swelling persists.


EXTRACTIONS
It is normal for minor bleeding to occur for the first 24 hours following surgery. If slightly heavier bleeding occurs:

1. Place a piece of gauze over the surgery site.
2. Bite firmly on the gauze for at least 30 minutes. DO NOT chew on it.
3. If the bleeding continues, call the office at 417-887-3860.
4. Do not suck on area where surgery occurred, smoke or drink through a straw during the first 48 hours.

Rinsing: Don't spit or rinse the surgical area on the day of the surgery. The day after you may gently rinse with warm salt water. You may brush your teeth and your tongue after the surgery but be careful!

Eating: You should start with liquids and very soft foods for the first 24-48 hours. If the area feels a little better, you can then move on to a normal diet. Be careful of chewing on hard foods near the surgical area.

Pain & Swelling:
It is normal to experience some degree of swelling. If you do experience swelling, you can place ice over your face for 20-30 minutes at a time during the first 24 hours. This should help to reduce discomfort and swelling. Do not ice after the first 36 hours. If you feel discomfort, it is recommended that you take an Advil or Tylenol to ease the pain. If the discomfort persists, please contact the office.

 

Q: How often should I brush and floss?

A: Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an ADA approved soft bristle brush (electric is fine) and toothpaste. Brush at 45 degree angle to the gums in a small, circular motion. Brush all surfaces of your teeth and brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath. Brushing and flossing help control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental disease. And remember to Floss daily as well! Flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline.  If you are unable to brush/floss after a meal, you should at least rinse with a mouthwash or water. If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it's a good idea to consult with your dentist or dental hygienist on its appropriateness for you.

 

Q: What should I do if I have bad breath?

A: Some studies have shown that simply brushing the tongue reduced bad breath by as much as 70 percent.

Brush at least twice a day with an ADA approved fluoride toothpaste and toothbrush.  Floss daily to remove food debris and plaque from in between the teeth and under the gumline.  Brush or use a tongue scraper to clean the tongue and reach the back areas.  Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months.  If you wear dentures or removable bridges, clean them thoroughly and place them back in your mouth in the morning. See your dentist regularly - Get a check-up and cleaning at least twice a year. If you have or have had periodontal disease, your dentist will recommend more frequent visits. Other things you can do are: stop smoking/chewing tobacco, drink water frequently to wash away bacteria, use antiseptic mouthwash/rinse.

 

Q: Are amalgam (silver) fillings safe?

A: Dentists have used this blended metal to fill teeth for more than 100 years. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), up to 76% of dentists use silver containing mercury to fill teeth.  The ADA also states that silver fillings are safe and that studies have failed to find any link between silver containing mercury and any medical disorder. The general consensus is that amalgam (silver) fillings are safe. Along with the ADA's position, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization, the FDA, and others support the use of silver fillings as safe, durable, and cost effective.  The U.S. Public Health Service says that the only reason not to use silver fillings is when a patient has an allergy to any component of this type of filling. 

 

Q:How often should I have a dental exam and cleaning?

A: You should have your teeth checked and cleaned at least twice per year, though your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend more frequent visits if certain concerns are present. Regular dental exams and cleaning visits are essential in preventing dental problems and maintaining the health of your teeth and gums.  At these visits, your teeth are cleaned and checked for cavities.  

 

Q:How can I tell if I have gingivitis or periodontitis (gum disease)?

A: Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don't know it!  Unlike tooth decay, which often causes discomfort, it is possible to have periodontal disease without noticeable symptoms. Periodontal disease begins when plaque, a sticky, colorless, film of bacteria, food debris, and saliva, is left on the teeth and gums.  The bacteria produce toxins (acids) that inflame the gums and slowly destroy the bone. Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease: red and puffy gums, bleeding gums, persistent bad breath, new spacing between teeth, loose teeth, pus around the teeth and gums, receding gums, tenderness or discomfort.

 

Several things contribute to or make you more at risk for Periodontal Disease: smoking or chewing tobacco, certain tooth or appliance conditions, certain medications, pregnancy/body changes, systemic diseases, even genetics may play role - Some patients may be predisposed to a more aggressive type of periodontitis.  Patients with a family history of tooth loss should pay particular attention to their gums. Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.

 

Q: How can cosmetic dentistry help improve the appearance of my smile?

A: If you're feeling somewhat self-conscious about your teeth, or just want to improve your smile, cosmetic dental treatments may be the answer to a more beautiful, confident smile. Cosmetic dentistry has become very popular in the last several years, not only due to the many advances in cosmetic dental procedures and materials available today, but also because patients are becoming more and more focused on improving their overall health.  This includes dental prevention and having a healthier, whiter, more radiant smile.

 

There are many cosmetic dental procedures available to improve your teeth and enhance your smile including: Teeth Whitening, Composite (tooth-colored) Fillings, Porcelain Veneers, Porcelain Crowns (caps), Dental Implants, and Orthodontics. Thanks to the advances in modern dentistry, cosmetic treatments can make a difference in making your smile shine!

 

Avoiding Sleep Apnea

 

Every day we gain new information indicating the aftereffect of untreated sleep apnea. The list ranges from diabetes and heart issues to the connection with cancer and even behavioral issues in children. This ongoing stream of data and research has provoked us to find a list of factors that increase the risk of sleep apnea, so that we are better able to manage some of those risks, when possible. Knowledge is power!

 

Before diving into the list, let’s review the definition of sleep apnea to ensure that we are all on the same page. For the most part, there are three types of sleep apnea — central (happens in the brain), obstructive sleep apnea (most common), and mixed (both central and obstructive). Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat collapse, causing the airway to close. Now that we share a common definition for sleep apnea, let’s chat about the nasty risk factors to stay clear of to reduce the risk for obstructive sleep apnea.

 

Obesity - This is a BIG one. Did you know that obese adults are seven times more likely to develop OSA than people of a normal weight range, (according to WebMD)? This is because excess weight creates additional mass tissue in the airway, which constricts the diameter of the airway opening. Here’s a situation in which carrying around that extra spare tire may not be such a snappy idea.

 

Neck Circumference - Have you ever been envious of a world class bodybuilder’s physique? If so, this next snippet of information may help you put your envy to rest. Overly muscular individuals, commonly found in professional athletes, who may not necessarily be obese, have a much thicker neck circumference than the rest of us non-Hulk people. The thicker neck size works against the optimal airway opening circumference. This is similar to what happens in obese individuals, where the extra mass tissue located in the airway narrows the opening for air. Bulging fact: There’s a higher risk for developing obstructive sleep apnea in men that have a neck circumference greater than 17 inches and women over 15 inches.

 

Age - Even though this disease can attack every age group, including infants and children, it is more commonly found in older aged individuals. This is because as we age, we begin to lose tone and elasticity, including the soft tissue in our throats which makes it more likely for the airway to collapse.

 

Family History - When it comes to obstructive sleep apnea, family history can play a huge roll. Certain physical characteristics, such as a narrow jaw or a side profile indicating a lack of the correct chin to neck space ratio, may be indicators for an elevated risk for sleep apnea. In addition, if a family member has sleep apnea, you are also at a higher risk for being diagnosed with sleep apnea.

 

Alcohol Use - Whether you have sleep apnea or not, alcohol acts as a muscle relaxant and may lead to episodes of sleep apnea. In those individuals that do have sleep apnea, alcohol makes the apneic events longer, worsening the severity of apnea throughout the night. Note to self: Booze and sleep apnea don’t mix well.

 

Race - Sleep apnea discriminates. Whoa. Studies show that both sleep apnea risk and sleep apnea severity vary by race. This may be due to anatomical differences in the airways of different ethnic groups and races.

 

Smoking - Here’s another reason to quit while you’re ahead. Smokers are 2.5 times more likely to have sleep apnea, (2001 study). Smoking irritates airway tissues and causes swelling to occur, which ultimately restricts the opening of the airway. Ick!

 

Gender - Did you know that middle-aged men are twice as likely to have obstructive sleep apnea as women of the same age? The difference may be due again to anatomical differences, especially since many times men are bigger than women…well, sometimes. Please note that even though sleep apnea may be male favorable, it is also known to significantly impact women.

 

We hope the above information was helpful. All humor aside, sleep apnea is serious and it’s not going away. On the flip side, it’s growing at a rapid speed with help from the escalating obesity numbers in our country. As a life threatening sleep breathing disorder, it needs to be addressed and understood by everyone. If you or a loved one thinks you may have sleep apnea, please call us today for additional information.