Straws and Your Dental Health

Posted by on Jul 18, 2019 in Cosmetic Dentistry, Dental Hygiene | Comments Off on Straws and Your Dental Health

Drinking your beverages through a straw may help prevent certain oral health issues, but don’t fall for the assumption that they are the answer to consuming unhealthy drinks. Using a straw the right way can be great for your oral health, but incorrect use can cause even more damage than drinking without a straw.

The Benefits of Using a Straw

If you consume acidic drinks, using a straw may help decrease some of the damage caused to your anterior teeth. The liquid bypasses your front teeth, limiting the stains that soda, tea, and certain juices may cause.

Positioning the straw perfectly in your mouth may even help avoid damage to your posterior teeth. Positioning the straw so that the liquid doesn’t touch any teeth and goes right to your throat can help eliminate the risk of excessive sugar and acids eating away at your enamel.

If you drink water with a straw, you not only hydrate your body, but protect your teeth at the same time. The concentrated flow of water over your teeth and tongue may help wash away debris and bacteria that would otherwise turn into plaque and eat away at your enamel.

The Disadvantages of Using a Straw

Just as positioning the straw perfectly can help your teeth, not positioning it correctly could put certain anterior teeth in danger of excessive decay. If the positioning of the straw allows acidic and sugary drinks to pool on a few anterior teeth, those teeth may decay faster.

Some patients assume if they use a straw that they can consume acidic and sugary drinks more often. Instead of water, they choose soda, tea, and juice. Not only do the sugary/acidic drinks cause damage to your teeth, but they cause damage to your physical health when excessively consumed.

The concentration of the sugary drinks that hit your tongue still affects your teeth, no matter where you position the straw. Any liquid that you consume has to pass over your tongue and your tongue gets in constant contact with your teeth, putting your teeth at risk again.

Choose your drinks wisely, with or without a straw. Choosing water over soda, tea, and juice helps eliminate the risk of excessive decay and keeps your saliva production high. If you do consume the occasional soda, juice, or tea, use a straw and position it so that the sugar and acid don’t hit your teeth.

Call the staff at River Valley Smile Center at 479-646-0706 if you have any more questions straws and your oral health. We’d be happy to answer your questions today.

The Top Reasons to Love Dental Implants

Posted by on Jul 11, 2019 in Cosmetic Dentistry, Dental Hygiene, Oral Surgery | Comments Off on The Top Reasons to Love Dental Implants

Missing teeth cause embarrassment as well as difficulty with chewing and talking. At River View Smile Center, we have many tooth replacement options including dental implants. The rumors about dental implants cause many people hesitation. Keep reading to learn the top four reasons you should consider dental implants today.

No One Will be Able to Tell

We love the realistic look of dental implants. Unless you tell someone – no one will know that you have them. We customize the appearance of your implants so they look identical to your other teeth. With the titanium screw ‘roots’ in your mouth fusing to your jawbone, no one will be able to tell that you have crowns or bridges in place of your natural teeth.

Implants Stimulate Your Jawbone

When you lose teeth, your jawbone doesn’t get the stimulation it needs. This causes the jawbone to disintegrate, which could cause the ‘sagging face’ that is so characteristic of older people. Dental implants, however, mimic the look and feel of your natural tooth roots. The titanium even fuses with your jawbone, giving it the stimulation it needs. You don’t have to worry about losing jawbone or loss of your facial structure with dental implants.

Get a Long Life out of Your Artificial Teeth

Losing your natural teeth means a loss of durability in your mouth. Traditional bridges and partial dentures offer a great solution, but they last for an average of 10 years, depending on how you use them. Dental implants offer the closest thing to your natural teeth and with proper care, can last 20 years or more.

Don’t Worry About Slipping or Clicking Sounds

Implants hold your artificial teeth securely in place. Whether you have one missing tooth or several, we have solutions to replace your missing teeth without the risk of slipping or clicking sounds. Whether you opt for a denture or bridge replacement, the implants hold the artificial teeth in place allowing you to talk, chew, and smile with ease.

Dental Implants Don’t Require Special Care

Once the dental implants are in place, they don’t require special care. You treat them just as you would your natural teeth – brushing twice a day and flossing at least once. Typically, patients can consume the same foods and have close to the same biting capabilities they had with their natural teeth.

You can also learn more here:

Are you ready to learn more about dental implants? If so, call River Valley Smile Center at 479-646-0706 to ask your questions or to make your appointment for a consultation today.

5 Dental Anxiety Tactics

Posted by on Jul 3, 2019 in Cosmetic Dentistry, Dental Hygiene | Comments Off on 5 Dental Anxiety Tactics

Fearing the dentist is a natural reaction – more than 5 percent of Americans fear the dentist. While fear is normal, don’t let it keep you from your dental appointments. Your overall dental health depends on regular checkups and cleanings, as well as any necessary dental work. So what can you do to alleviate your dental anxiety? Keep reading for the top tips.

Choose a Caring Dentist

Dental anxiety often revolves around the fear of the unknown. At our dental practice, we welcome our patients in prior to the start of the appointment. This gives you time to get acclimated to your surroundings. Take a look around the office, look at the dental tools, and ask us any questions you have before your visit to make yourself comfortable.

Verbalize Your Fear

Letting us know about your fear ahead of time can help us help you. If you have a fear of the tools, such as the drill, help us identify the reason. If it’s the noise, we can help distract you by allowing headphones and your favorite television show or songs. If you have a fear of needles, we offer solutions that help numb your mouth before we use the needles. Our staff can also distract you while the dentist administers the needles to avoid unnecessary anxiety.

Prepare Yourself

We are happy to sit down with you and discuss the treatment beforehand. We can give you the step-by-step lowdown of what we will do and how we will do it. We can even come up with a specific hand gesture or movement that signals that you need a break during the procedure, should you feel uncomfortable. Knowing you have a way out can help you stay calmer.

Know Your Relaxation Techniques

Tensing up only makes the process worse. It sends your mind racing and subsequently makes your heart and pulse speed up. Instead, learn how to take slow, deep breaths before your procedures. Simply breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth as slowly as possible (while counting) can help put everything, including your mind in check.

Bring a Trusted Friend or Relative With You

If you can’t get yourself to even walk in the door, bring a trusted friend or relative (that doesn’t fear the dentist) with you. Having someone with you, helping you through the process can give you the push you need to get through it. With our calm bedside manner and ability to work with you through your anxiety, you are sure to get through it just fine.

At River Valley Smile Center, we cater to patients with dental anxiety. We’ll walk you through each step, ensuring your comfort the entire time. Call us at 479-646-0706 today for your appointment.

6 Signs that Your Gingivitis is Getting Worse

Posted by on Jun 26, 2019 in Cosmetic Dentistry, Dental Hygiene | Comments Off on 6 Signs that Your Gingivitis is Getting Worse

Gingivitis is a common disease that is completely reversible during its early stages. Unfortunately, if you fail to take the right steps, the condition could worsen and lead to periodontitis, which is not reversible. There are several signs that may indicate that your gingivitis has gotten worse and you are headed toward periodontitis, and if you experience them, it is important to visit us right away to discuss your options.

Red, Swollen Gums that Bleed Easily

One of the earliest signs of gingivitis is gums that appear red and puffy, as well as gums that bleed easily when brushing and flossing. Good oral hygiene can help to correct this issue, but if your gums continue to experience these symptoms – or they seem more severe – your gingivitis may be progressing.

Loose or Shifting Teeth

When gingivitis is untreated or is not treated properly, it can advance into periodontitis. This disease can lead to the inner portion of the gum and bone pulling away from the teeth to form pockets. Then, since so many of the supporting structures of the teeth are no longer in their proper positions, the teeth could feel loose or shift in the mouth. Your once straight smile could suddenly appear crooked, and gaps, crowding, and bite issues may result. The teeth may become so loose that they fall out altogether or require extraction because there is no longer enough supportive structures to keep them in place.

Chronic Bad Breath

Most cases of chronic bad breath are caused by anaerobic bacteria that live in the mouth and congregate in the gum pockets. Gum disease allows these pockets to form and provide a place to harbor the odor-causing bacteria. A thorough gum cleaning in our office will help to clean out these pockets of bacteria, allowing them to heal. The result should be healthier gums as well as less prevalent bad breath.

Gum Recession

Receding gums are a condition that is characterized by gums that pull back from the surface of the teeth. This can ultimately expose the root surfaces. It is a serious consequence of poor oral health and worsening gingivitis, and it can ultimately lead to tooth loss. While there are many treatment options available depending on how severe the loss of tissue might be, the best thing to do is to treat your gingivitis before it even occurs.

Pus between the Teeth

A gum abscess may result from worsening gingivitis and can display as pus between the teeth. Gum disease is an inflammatory condition that develops with plaque accumulation, and when plaque isn’t removed, an infection could result in abscess formation. Besides pus, symptoms could include severe pain, especially when chewing, loose teeth, and sensitivity to hot and cold.

Developing Health Conditions

Did you know that there is a significant connection between gum disease and certain health conditions? If you have been living with gingivitis but now have medical issues like diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, or respiratory disease, your gum disease could be getting worse. This occurs when the bacteria associated with gum disease travels into the blood stream and affects other parts of the body. Alternatively, treating your gum disease could improve your overall health and the prevalence of these issues.

If you’re concerned that your gingivitis might be getting worse and developing into periodontitis, don’t delay in getting an appointment set up with us. We can help reverse the problem before it leads to long-term damage, but we need to see you in our office to discuss treatment options. For your convenience, fill out an online appointment request form, or call us today at 479-646-0706.

Dental Sealants

Posted by on Jun 19, 2019 in Cosmetic Dentistry, Dental Hygiene | Comments Off on Dental Sealants

When you were younger, you may have had dental sealants placed onto your back teeth to prevent decay. Now that you are an adult, you aren’t automatically ruled out of candidacy for sealants. By better understanding these dental treatments, you can make an informed decision about whether or not sealants are right for you.

What Exactly Are Dental Sealants?

A dental sealant is a thin film of plastic that bonds to the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars. They work to prevent tooth decay by acting as a physical barrier to block acid and bacteria from affecting the teeth. In some cases, they will provide complete protection so long as they stay intact, and research has found that they can actually stop a cavity from progressing if placed on top of a tooth with slight decay, as the action blocks nutrients from reaching the cavity.

Who Should Get Dental Sealants?

Children and teens are the most obvious candidates of dental sealants, as they tend to have the most difficulty with decay. The depressions and grooves of the back teeth have a high likelihood of developing decay, and since younger people don’t always have the best oral hygiene, it is logical that they should have dental sealants put into place as soon as the back teeth come in. This way, the sealants will protect the teeth during the most cavity-prone time of their lives.

Sealants might also be good options for adults who want to avoid tooth decay. Adults without decay or fillings in their back teeth might be good candidates, and there are several reasons that adults should consider sealants:

-Prevent decay. There is never a wrong time to protect your teeth from tooth decay, and you’ll never be immune to it. Dental sealants can reduce the occurrence of cavities by protecting your teeth.

-Semi-permanent. Dental sealants are semi-permanent, and they can protect your teeth for up to ten years. After that, they may need to be reapplied.

-Prevent the buildup of food. Sealants can also prevent food build up on the surface of the teeth, especially in the pits and grooves of the molars.

If any of these benefits sound of interest to you, please talk to us about applying dental sealants at your next appointment.

How Are Dental Sealants Applied?

Another great benefit of getting dental sealants is that the process is quick and painless, and it can be completed in a single visit to our office. In fact, it only takes a few minutes for us to apply the sealant to each tooth using the following process:

-We clean each tooth thoroughly, so we often add the sealants after you’ve had your regularly-scheduled dental cleaning with one of our hygienists.

-We dry the tooth, and then cotton is placed around the tooth to ensure it stays dry until the process is completed.

-An acidic solution is put onto the grooves and chewing surfaces to roughen up the tooth. This helps the sealant to adhere to the tooth.

-The tooth is rinsed and dried again before the sealant is painted onto the enamel. It will bond to the tooth and harden into place.

You’ll want to avoid eating and drinking for a little while after the placement of your sealants, but after that, they should offer no inconvenience to your life.

Whether you are interested in dental sealants or you’d like to discuss other ways to keep your teeth healthy, we are here to help. The first step is to make an appointment in our office. You can do this by either calling us at 479-646-0706 or scheduling an appointment using of convenient web form. A friendly office staff member will be with you shortly.