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Ooltewah TN Dentist Blog

Use of Laughing Gas for Ooltewah Pediatric Dental Procedures

laughing gas ooltewah pediatric dental proceduresTo ease anxiety during dental procedures, a mild form of sedation called Nitrous Oxide can be used. We are happy to explain the procedure, why it relaxes patients, and how it makes them feel.

Among the benefits of its use are the reduction or elimination of anxiety in patients, enhancing patient communication and cooperation, raising the pain reaction threshold, making longer appointments more tolerable, aiding in the treatment of mentally or physically disabled patients, reduction of gagging, and general sedation.

Who Discovered ‘Laughing Gas’?

Nitrous Oxide, commonly known as “laughing gas,” is a colorless, almost odorless gas, first discovered in 1772 by the English scientist and clergyman Joseph Priestley (who was also famous for being the first to isolate other important gases such as oxygen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, ammonia, and sulfur dioxide). He hoped it would serve as a preserving agent, but with no success. Humphry Davy of the Pneumatic Institute in Bristol, England, experimented with the physiological properties of the gas, such as its effects upon respiration. He noted that it appeared “capable of destroying physical pain” and might serve as an anesthetic agent in minor surgical procedures.

Before widespread use for that purpose was adopted, “laughing gas” was primarily used recreationally, sometimes at carnivals where the public would pay to inhale the gas, laughing and acting silly until the euphoric effect wore off.

During one of these public nitrous oxide exhibitions, a local dentist named Dr. Horace Wells watched with interest as a man injured his leg while staggering into some nearby benches, then went back to his seat, unaware of his injury until the effects wore off. The next day, Dr. Wells inhaled the nitrous while another local dentist extracted one of his molars. Experiencing no pain during the procedure, he declared that a dental and medical painkiller was born, replacing the far more dangerous (and explosive) ether as an anesthetic. Ironically, Dr. Wells would later be given the accolade of discovering anesthesia, but he was shunned while demonstrating with a tooth extraction at Harvard Medical School in Boston after the patient expressed some discomfort. Never mind that the patient would have experienced excruciating pain without the use of the nitrous!

More than a century later, dentists now use Nitrous Oxide as a mild sedative and analgesic. It offers some degree of painkilling ability while reducing anxiety that patients may have toward dental treatment.

Use of laughing gas is not always effective because it requires the patient to breathe through the nose while his or her mouth is open to allow access to the teeth and gums.

Risks of and Guidelines for Nitrous Oxide Use for Pediatric Dental Patients

Dentists today use laughing gas because it is safe and effective. Its use is mostly limited to professionals because it is a compressed liquefied gas and asphyxiation risk. The euphoria felt during use causes short-term decreases in mental performances and manual dexterity, as well as spatial and temporal disorientation. In other words, you’re fine inhaling it while comfortably seated during a dental procedure, but you don’t want to run a marathon or try to drive a racecar while huffing the stuff.

Nitrous oxide also depletes vitamin B12 levels, but this is generally not an issue when administered during a dental procedure. Nitrous oxide does have a negative environmental impact on the greenhouse effect, but this is primarily from natural emission from bacteria in soils and oceans, as well as the burning of fossil fuels. We also have to prevent room air contamination due to the occupational risks associated with prolonged exposure to the gas.

Like any substance producing euphoric states, laughing gas is susceptible to abuse. Many states have laws regulating the possession, sale, and distribution of nitrous oxide. Such laws usually ban distribution to minors or limit the amount of nitrous oxide that may be sold without a special license. Nitrous oxide/oxygen must be administered only by appropriately licensed individuals, or under the direct supervision thereof, according to state law. The practitioner responsible for the treatment of the patient and/or the administration of analgesic/anxiolytic agents must be trained in the use of such agents and techniques and appropriate emergency response.

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, nitrous oxide exhibits a superior safety profile with no recorded fatalities or cases of serious morbidity when used within recommended concentrations. Nausea and vomiting are the most common adverse effects, seen in 0.5 percent of patients.

What to Know about Laughing Gas During Your Child’s Dental Procedure

When reviewing whether your child is a suitable candidate for nitrous use, medical history is assessed. It’s important to tell us about:

  • Allergies and previous allergic or adverse drug reactions.
  • Current medications including dose, time, route, and site of administration.
  • Diseases, disorders, or physical abnormalities.
  • Previous hospitalization to include the date and purpose.
  • Recent illnesses (eg, cold or congestion) that may compromise the airway.

Nitrous Oxide use has an excellent safety record precisely because it is used by trained personnel on carefully selected patients with appropriate equipment. The reason we ask questions during a procedure is to monitor a patient’s level of consciousness and to make sure the respiratory rate is suitable for normal breathing.

It's called "laughing gas" for a good reason. Reactions to dental anesthesia have been the stuff of memes. “David After Dentist” is the name of a YouTube video uploaded in January 2009 featuring a young boy’s reaction after a May 2008 dentist appointment. The clip is known for receiving more than 3 million views in three days, becoming YouTube's second most watched video of that year. After his surgery was completed, the youngster asked deep questions including "is this real life?" and "Is this going to be forever?" It was even spoofed in a Star Wars parody. A heavier form of sedation than nitrous oxide was likely used in this instance. 

At the end of most procedures, we administer 100 percent oxygen once the nitrous oxide has been discontinued. This usually results in patients feeling like their normal selves again before leaving our office. We encourage patients to communicate about any residual disorientation and to wait additional time in the waiting room before attempting to drive if there are residual effects felt from the laughing gas. Also, maybe make sure the person taking you home promises not to record you on video and share it with the world unless you are a really good sport about that sort of thing. 

Answering your questions about Nitrous Oxide and Pediatric Dentistry Services Ooltewah

Let us know if you or your child may benefit from laughing gas during a dental procedure. We are happy to discuss specifics at our office by calling (423) 238-8887 or scheduling an appointment to visit our family dentistry office located in Ooltewah, TN. We also serve Collegedale TN, Chattanooga TN and Cleveland TN communities.


Photo: © One Blink / 123RF Stock Photo

Blog © 2018 Tedford Family Dentistry: Tedford Keith DDS Ooltewah TN 37363

Chattanooga Preventive Dentistry

Chattanooga Preventive Dentistry Eating for Healthy Gums and TeethPart of our mission for Chattanooga Preventive Dentistry is encouraging and educating patients to achieve a more balanced, healthy life in general. Poor nutrition affects oral health in ways that may not seem as obvious as usual culprits of gum disease or cavities. 

Eating for Healthy Gums and Teeth

Foods that can Damage Teeth and Gums

You’ve probably already guessed what we are going to say. The American Dental Association (ADA) has promoted the message for years: Junk Food is bad for you and your teeth. Sugars are easily the arch-nemesis of many a dentist. Cake, cookies, candies, milk, and other sugary foods may taste delicious but these can cause tooth decay. Starchy foods like pretzels and potato chips aren’t good for teeth either. The longer these carbohydrates stay on the teeth, the more damage is done.

Non-Food Consumables that can Damage Teeth and Gums

This time of year, a lot of people get a cough. Cough drops may contribute to tooth decay. The next time you have one in your mouth, run your tongue over the front of your teeth and you can feel it leaving a coating. The same concept applies to lollipops, hard candies, and mints. 

More Fruits and Vegetables = Nutritious Diets

More nutritious choices can include raw vegetables, fruits, plain yogurt, and non-microwave popcorn. Other nutrient-dense foods include salmon, seaweed, garlic, shellfish, potatoes, liver, sardines, blueberries, and egg yolks. Studies show these foods contain powerful antioxidants, can help us lose weight, lower blood pressure, and help to fight cancer. Potatoes can be very filling while also high in potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, and manganese, plus vitamin C and most B vitamins. Make lean protein choices, such as lean beef, skinless poultry, and fish. Try and vary your protein choices to include eggs, beans, peas, and legumes, too. Fortified soy drinks and tofu, canned salmon, almonds and dark green leafy vegetables all help to promote strong teeth and bones. Phosphorus, found in eggs, fish, lean meat, dairy, nuts, and beans is good for strong teeth. Vitamin C promotes gum health, so eat plenty of citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, potatoes, and spinach. 

Strategies for Better Nutrition for Improved Oral Health

It’s easy enough to grasp what’s good or bad for us, but how are we to actually put better eating habits to work? There are a few suggestions you may want to try if you’ve always wanted to eat better but weren’t sure how to make it happen…

  • Limit sugar to part of a complete meal rather than as snacks throughout the day. A sweet dessert immediately following the entrée is the best time. Why? Because mealtime usually means increased saliva in the mouth, which always makes it easier to wash food particles away from the teeth. Swallowing a beverage at mealtime amplifies this process.
  • Substitute cheese for snacks instead of sugary, sticky and chewy foods. Snacks like raisins, dried figs, granola bars, oatmeal or peanut butter cookies, jelly beans, caramel, honey, molasses, and syrup all tend to stick to teeth, whereas cheddar, Monterey Jack, Swiss, and other aged cheeses at least trigger the production of saliva to help wash food particles away.
  • Substitute water instead of milk, formula, juice, or soda. Even milk contains sugar; water doesn’t. Adding more water aids in washing away food clinging to teeth. Some sports and energy drinks contain a lot of sugar, as you’d expect.
  • Reduce the frequency of snacking to two or three times per day. That’s more important than how much is eaten per snacking session, so remember it is frequency rather than quantity. Frequent bouts of snacking, without brushing teeth after, create more opportunities for bacteria to grow, increasing the likelihood of plaque developing on teeth and around gums.
  • Sometimes the best way to make sure you eat better is to make better decisions at the grocery store. Look for foods that come unsweetened or sugar-free. Foods with the sugar substitute xylitol can potentially help to prevent cavities.
  • Check the sugar content in everything you eat or drink before buying -- spaghetti sauce, cereal, and canned fruit may be loaded with a lot of sugar.
  • While reducing unhealthy foods from your diet, add more of the ones that are better for you. Good sources of calcium like broccoli and yogurt add calcium to your diet. Calcium, as we know, is good for strengthening bones, including the teeth.
  • When all else fails and you backslide on your old dietary habits, continue to use fluoride and brush and floss teeth every day to reverse tooth decay. A fluoride mouthwash also helps.
  • Get kids in the habit of brushing between meals and flossing at least once a day. If no toothbrush is available during the day, rinse the mouth with water several times to at least remove those pesky particles between teeth and below the gum line.
  • Beware of kids’ foods loaded with sugar like many breakfast cereals, trying a whole-grain cereal instead. 

How to Transition to a Healthy Eating Lifestyle

How do you get the family to skip candy, cookies, and cake to instead munch on kale? Follow a process to gradually wean yourself of these unhealthy foods and replace them with healthier alternatives. It is important to always replace bad food with healthy food that you enjoy. For example, eat fruits as snacks, drink water instead of soda, eat whole grain bread instead of white bread, add steamed greens to dinner, focus on poultry and seafood while limiting intake of red meats, make homemade pizza instead of ordering, and snack on nuts like unsalted peanuts or raw almonds instead of potato chips. Berries can offer a sweet substitute to satisfy sweet cravings instead of sugar-loaded chocolate candy.

Regardless of how it is achieved, fruits and vegetables need to make up half of what is eaten daily, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. You don’t have to become a vegetarian to eat better, but you’ll end up healthier the more you transition away from sugary foods and starches to dishes that grow out of the ground instead of coming in a can. With these healthy eating guidelines, you can reduce your risk of enamel erosion and cavities to keep your smile looking healthier, plus you may just live longer too. 


Photo: © Evgenya Amanenko / 123RF Stock Photo

Blog © 2018 Tedford Family Dentistry: Tedford Keith DDS Ooltewah TN 37363

Senior Dental Care Chattanooga

Our seniors are precious and need special consideration to remain healthy. Dr. Tedford works to provide affordable senior dental services like dentures, implants, bridges and more to the Ooltewah, Chattanooga, Collegedale, and Cleveland, TN communities. In fact, we have a dedicated page on this website to specifically address senior citizen dental care needs.

Readers can learn more about minimizing root decay that can lead to age-related gum loss and tooth loss. Lost Bone mass can also harm the jaw and increase the need for dental implants. Wear and tear related to time also impacts how well dentures fit. Decades of exposure to coffee, wine, and sodas show erosion of the dental enamel. Dr. Tedford assists seniors with routine dental care and cleanings, implants, dentures, veneers, bridges, and teeth whitening.

It’s important that our retirement years be spent comfortably, which includes retaining our ability to chew food correctly and without pain to nourish the body. Poor dental health can lead to problematic infections, according to experts at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Brushing teeth twice daily, flossing and going for regular dentist check ups are recommended as part of a Consumer Reports Health Checklist for Seniors

The Importance of a Senior Dental Care Program

senior dental care chattanoogaIt makes perfect sense that our teeth and gums require extra attention as we get older, the same as other health conditions complicated by age. Some of the unique situations affecting seniors:

  • Tooth Decay from old fillings.
  • Less exposure to tooth-protective fluoride in water systems over their lifetime.
  • Dry Mouth as a side effect of medications to treat chronic health conditions.
  • Reduced saliva production, making plaque more likely to stick to teeth.
  • Receding Gums leaving tooth roots exposed, sensitive to temperature extremes and vulnerable to germs.
  • Tooth and Gum Damage related to diabetes.
  • Oral Cancer Screening after long-term smoking.
  • Loose-fitting Dentures.
  • Complications brushing or flossing due to Arthritis.
  • Seniors generally become more susceptible to disease.

And just because someone is of advanced age, that doesn’t mean we never see patients wishing to correct crooked teeth by getting fitted with braces or have teeth whitened. If someone has been sensitive about his or her smile for most of their life and now have the discretionary income to do it, why not?

Special care is needed when treating dementia patients who suffer from jaw, tooth and gum pain. It’s also a good idea to prepare a list before an appointment to tell Dr. Tedford during visits about all drugs taken by seniors, the dosage and how often these medications are taken. Such information can affect the recommended Senior Dental treatment plan.

Dental Implants Ooltewah

Seniors are the primary consumers of dental products like dentures, bridges, and dental implants. The later can be a great option following tooth loss, but the patient needs healthy enough gums and bone to hold an implant in place. Bone density loss is a significant concern for women age 65 and older in particular. Discuss this Dr. Tedford during the initial consultation before such a dental procedure happens.

Dental Care for Seniors with Medicare

Access to regular dental care is often difficult for seniors. Medicare doesn’t cover it, and Medicaid coverage is limited. Out-of-pocket expenses can be prohibitive to those on a fixed income. Most seniors must rely on either Medicare Advantage plans or private insurance to get coverage, but there are options.

Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) is a Medicare and Medicaid program that allows people 55 or older who otherwise need a nursing home-level of care to remain in the community, covering dentistry, x-ray services, and other services. There are two PACE organization plans in Tennessee, both through Alexian Brothers Community Services

The Senior Dental Care insurance program is available to most Medicaid recipients at no additional cost.  Veterans may be eligible for dental benefits provided through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Ask us about payment options such as payment plans and reduced prices based on need.

Affordable Dental Care for Seniors

Dr. Tedford wants to help seniors keep their natural teeth longer and maintain good oral health so they can smile through their golden years. Call us at (423) 238-8887 or make an appointment to visit our office at 9380 Bradmore Lane, Suite 108, Ooltewah Tn 37363.


Photo: © Vadim Gozhda / 123RF Stock Photo

Blog © 2018 Tedford Family Dentistry: Tedford Keith DDS Ooltewah TN 37363

dental veneers Chattanooga TN cosmetic dentist

Dental Veneers: What They Are and How to Take Care of Them

A great smile can be positively life-changing. Taking good care of our teeth helps, but cosmetic dentistry procedures like dental veneers can take us “over the goal line”, as the saying goes. In this month’s blog, we look at reasons for getting dental veneers, some of which go beyond merely cosmetic considerations.

Veneers Mask Stained Teeth

Dental Veneers are the next step after unsuccessful teeth whitening

When teeth whitening fails to completely decrease stains and discoloration, dental veneers become the recommended cosmetic dentistry procedure. The thin wafer of porcelain becomes bonded to camouflage the actual color, shape, or position of the existing tooth. All cosmetic procedures work best when they enhance your smile rather than radically change it. You want people to notice the positive change but remain puzzled as to what was done. The smile should improve without appearing fake.

Porcelain Veneers Can Fix Teeth that are Damaged and Worn Down

Veneer Teeth Address Chipped Teeth

Veneers can be done to one tooth (as in, say, repairing a single chipped tooth after tripping and falling) or a group of teeth, depending on your needs and budget. Veneers also support natural teeth that have been weakened or compromised by broken or old fillings.

Dental Veneers Fix Teeth Gaps and Crooked Teeth

Veneers and crowns are methods of fixing gaps in teeth, along with dental bonding, implants, dentures, retainer/orthodontics, braces, and teeth gap bands. The differences between Crowns and Veneers? Both involve the bonding a thin porcelain shell to teeth with the goal of fitting properly and looking natural. Whereas veneers bond to the front of the tooth, dental crowns fit OVER most of a tooth. The term “bridge” refers to a type of crown to fix several teeth at once.

Another distinction: Veneers primarily address cosmetic needs, creating a uniform look. Crowns, in contrast, usually fix broken/cracked teeth caused by some sort of trauma or decay. You may also see the term “Lumineers,” which refers to a brand of veneers that are thinner than traditional veneers. 

Dental Veneers Improve Strength and Resilience

It’s pretty amazing that veneers have the durability to withstand years of wear and tear (while repelling stains) even though they are composed of the thinnest dental porcelain. Ideally, when shopping for a dentist nearby to add dental veneers, you’re able to ask a former patient who had the procedure a decade before if he or she remains happy with the results. Sometimes you can use a person’s Facebook photo gallery as a way of seeing before and after photos to at least get a sense of the cosmetic benefits of dental veneers.

What to Know Before Getting Dental Veneers

Veneers are an Irreversible Procedure

The natural enamel of your teeth gets eaten away by years of consuming acidic foods and drinks. Lost enamel does not grow back, but veneers can serve as a treatment for enamel abrasion and enamel erosion. Because we remove a portion of the outer layer of enamel on a tooth before bonding veneer teeth (for the purposes of a snug fit), the procedure cannot be reversed.

Let your dentist know about other cosmetic procedures you’re planning

Perhaps veneers are just one part of cosmetic enhancements you have planned. It’s important to discuss these with your cosmetic dentist because other forms of facial plastic surgery can negative what we are trying to accomplish. Lip injections, for example, can cast a shadow over teeth, making them appear gray. To find the perfect shade of grey for veneers, to match other teeth and appear natural, some dentists use a person’s skin tone to customize the shade that looks best. 

How Much Do Dental Veneers Cost?

Affordability can be a factor in deciding whether to get this procedure done, as it is generally great to get but not usually essential. You should talk to your dentist to get all of the information needed to decide whether dental veneers are an investment that will make a positive change in your life. Factors affecting price can include the experience level of the dentist and how many veneers you get at one time. Incorrect placement can lead to requiring several trips to a dentist to have improperly placed veneers fixed. You also need to consider whether your dental insurance plan covers any part of the cost of veneers since they are a cosmetic procedure. We are happy to give you a quote when you call (423) 238-8887 to set up an appointment with Dr. Keith Tedford.

How to Take Care of Dental Veneers

Veneers are Resistant to Chips and Cracks, but…

Once you have your veneers, you should avoid gnawing on ice or using your teeth to open packages. Barring any accident impacting the mouth, you should not experience any breakage or damage to your veneers, even under the daily pressures of biting and chewing food. While there may be some increased sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures for the first few days after a procedure, this usually does not last. Drinking a hot coffee or eating a cold bowl of ice cream should not produce any noticeable effect on your veneers.  

Maintain Preventive Dental Care

To keep your veneers in top shape, keep up with regular visits to your dentist twice a year and be sure to brush and floss daily. You don’t want to develop any cavities because they can compromise the integrity of the veneers. If you’re going to go to this much effort to improve your smile, we’re sure that you probably don’t need too much reminding to take basic care of your oral health.

Dental Veneers to Achieve the Smile of Your Dreams

Veneers can make a big impact on the quality of your smile. Because the procedure is irreversible, you definitely want to put some forethought into the work that is to be done and the desired outcome. We encourage you to use this information when researching whether to pursue veneers for yourself. Learn more about our Cosmetic Dentistry in Ooltewah, TN, then call us at (423) 238-8887 to set up an appointment with Dr. Keith Tedford.

Copyright: subbotina / 123RF Stock Photo

Written by Steven Stiefel

professional teeth whitening ooltewah tnA bride or groom feeling self-conscious about their smile may ask a wedding photographer to use Photoshop for the illusion of having white teeth in their wedding photos. Perhaps you’ve adjusted the settings on Instagram to hide a yellow tinge in your own smile before sharing a social media post. In real life, we can’t hide behind layers of pixels. Every time we encounter someone face-to-face, they see our teeth and recognize whether the enamel is yellowed or stained.

If you’ve worried about the appearance of your smile, perhaps you’ve researched how to whiten your teeth at home. Maybe you’ve wondered “how much does professional teeth whitening cost?” without ever following through to find out. But while the Internet may offer lots of ways to cut corners and save money, including home remedies for removing plaque naturally, you may not want to experiment with unqualified advice off the web about do-it-yourself bleaching yours with chemicals that may not even do anything.

Cosmetic services by a professional dentist, on the other hand, come with the expectation that procedures for teeth whitening to decrease such discoloration will be safely performed and prove effective, leading to better results and, in turn, more self-confidence.

In this month's blog, Tedford Family Dentistry (which offers teeth whitening at our Ooltewah TN dentist office) wants to shed some light on real solutions to this common issue.

What’s the Best way to Whiten Teeth?

Does Baking Soda Whiten Teeth?

There is some merit to the idea of brushing with baking soda because it contains natural whitening properties, adds alkaline to your mouth that deters bacteria growth, and it is a mild abrasive so brushing with it can work sort of like buffing away stains while scrubbing your tub clean.

Studies of toothpaste containing baking soda do suggest some whitening occurs, although there’s no proof that it makes you ready for your close-up overnight. 

Does hydrogen peroxide whiten teeth?

If you are considering peroxide teeth whitening, you might experience more success if you ask your dentist to mold a gel tray to your mouth. Most of the products on pharmacy shelves are made to fit most mouths rather than being a snug fit for more optimal results.

Mixing hydrogen peroxide heavily diluted with mouthwash may help overall with oral hygiene because of its ability to kill bacteria. But be careful to avoid strong concentrations or overuse, which may result in irritation or increased tooth sensitivity.

Some other supposed natural teeth whitening methods include eating pineapples, mixing baking soda with strawberries, drinking apple cider vinegar, using activated charcoal, Kaolin clay, fruit peels, but there’s no scientific evidence these substances work effectively and are safe. In fact, excessive use could actually damage teeth. A diet high in fruits and vegetables is good for you, but don’t expect to wake up with a dazzling white smile after eating some the night before and remember that berries can stain teeth. 

Some solutions may only clean stains on the surface of teeth but not last long. Discontinue using any home remedies or commercially-available whiteners if you experience serious tooth sensitivity. To reduce the risk of using unsafe products, we recommend you look for the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance.

Consider a Professional Teeth Whitening Treatment

During professionally applied treatments, dentists may use higher concentrations of bleaching solutions that aren’t available in over-the-counter products, but you have the comfort of knowing that procedures are done under supervision with protective steps taken before we begin.

Discoloration involves increased visibility of Dentin, a yellowish tissue under the enamel of a tooth, over time. Thinning of the enamel is a root cause of discoloration, so it’s wise to involve your dentist in the solution. Regular cleanings at the dentist’s office prevent the build-up of plaque. Keep on a schedule to stop plaque build-up. The best approach for whitening teeth at home may be to stay persistent in regular brushing and flossing.

The Bottom Line: It Can Take Weeks to Notice Results

When trying to get whiter teeth, patience is needed. It's dangerous to risk a “quick fix” solution in search of expediency. You need to talk to your dentist before trying any of the things we've covered here. He or she could save you time and money, along with protecting your gums from chemical oversaturation.

Take Action to Prevent further Tooth Stains

Whitening won’t be a major problem if you limit exposure to the things that stain teeth in the first place, like coffee, red wine, sodas, and dark berries. Avoid smoking and chewing tobacco too. Some changes to your diet can also help things along. Foods with calcium can help protect teeth erosion while eating less sugar can lead to less plaque buildup on teeth.

It’s understandable that we want to present a gorgeous white smile that communicates health and good hygiene, but we need to be careful and avoid risking damage from chemical remedies that aren’t proven to work. The best thing for patients to be is to be patient and not expect overnight results. Meanwhile, make some dietary changes, limit exposure to staining foods and beverages, and keep brushing and flossing daily to help see improvement.

Talk to your dentist before you try whitening your teeth with chemical solutions at home. Saving a little money, but correcting damage caused by careless use may cost more in the long run. 

Copyright: puhhha / 123RF Stock Photo Written by Steven Stiefel

Thursday, 19 April 2018 15:51

Got Gingivitis? Here’s 5 Ways to Stop Gum Disease

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dentists near collegedale tnDoes your mouth bleed when you brush your teeth? Noticing plaque and tartar above the gumline? Gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums, appears as the first sign of someone at risk for periodontal disease.

At some point, a dentist has no doubt warned you about it before, but you should take gum health seriously. If left unchecked, a domino effect of oral damage progresses, often resulting in the loss of one’s teeth and increased risk of serious health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory infections, and other afflictions. Preventing that from happening is worth 3 to 5 minutes of your time, twice a day, right?

A survey reported in the Journal of the American Dental Association found that a majority of adults have gingivitis. This suggests that people aren’t taking good enough care of their teeth beyond occasional cleanings with their dentist. With that in mind, our dentists near Collegedale TN offer 5 ways to stop gum disease and the damage caused by gingivitis:

Brush Twice, Floss Once



The American Dental Association recommends taking the time to brush your teeth in the morning and before bedtime. Flossing should happen during one of those cleaning sessions at home. It’s easy to forget or disregard if you’re in a hurry, but we should make oral health an important part of our daily routine.

Pay More Attention to the Gumline While Brushing



Gingivitis starts with plaque accumulating around the gumline. People often neglect the gums when brushing, but you can easily attack both areas at the same time by angling your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. You might also occasionally “scrape” the tongue with your toothbrush to remove bacteria and toxins.

Keep Your Toothbrush Germ Free



Brushing daily won’t have as much positive impact if we store our toothbrushes in moist environments that promote the growth of germs. Store in the upright position if possible. Possibly alternate between 2 toothbrushes so one can completely dry while the other is used.

Examine Your Nutrition and Lifestyle



Getting at least 800 milligrams daily of Calcium, known to strengthen bones, can reduce the chances of developing gum disease (which may eventually loosen teeth), according to a study from the State University of New York at Buffalo. The National Institute of Health recommends a daily dose of 100 to 200 milligrams of Vitamin C to check bleeding gums. Studies suggest Vitamin D shows anti-inflammatory benefits, which may reduce bleeding between the gums. Excessive smoking and drinking drain the body of vitamins and minerals. Raw vegetables clean and stimulate teeth and gums. Stress and exposure to toxic chemicals can also contribute to oral decay.

Use a Mouthwash After Brushing



A study in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology suggests that mouthwash containing the chemicals cetylpridinium chloride or domiphen bromide inhibited the development of plaque and reduced gingivitis. Listerine, for example.

Tedford Family Dentistry in Ooltewah offers preventive dentistry to help stop gum disease and other oral health risks. To learn more about our full preventive dentistry services and doing your part at home to fight gingivitis, visit http://tedfordfamilydentistry.com/dental-services-ooltewah-tn/preventive-dentistry-ooltewah-tn

Copyright: fsstock / 123RF Stock Photo

Written by Steven Stiefel

 

Monday, 12 March 2018 16:37

How To Find " The Best Dentist Near Me ".

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If you are new to an area or looking for a new dentist, you may ask yourself, Siri or Alexa: "How do I find the best dentist near me?".  

Oddly, finding a dentist is sometimes one of the last things people look into when they move to a new area.  They find their dry cleaner, child's school, family doctor and favorite restaurants before their dentist.  However, seeing a dentist can be very important to your overall health.  There are many things to consider when searching for a new dentist.  Below are a few things to consider.

Google Searches for Dentists

If you use Google to research "dentists near me",  Google will provide you with a screen filled with options split into 3 sections. 

  1. Typically, the top section of the screen (above the maps box) is paid ads.  Those dentists pay a fee for each click to be listed at the top of the screen, and it may not always reflect on the reputation of the dental practice. 

  2. The next section of the options is what is called Google Maps.  Here you can view dentists by proximity to your device, and you can read reviews about the dentists nearby.
     
  3. Below the maps, is a listing of additional dentists that is called organic search.  

Online Reviews

Google Reviews and other 3rd party review sites are a good, unbiased way to learn about a dentist and how their patients feel about the staff, overall experience and more.  Third party sites publish all reviews - the good, the bad and the ugly.  Consumers know the reviews are legitimate.  That is why 8 out of 10 consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. 

Dentist Websites

Research the dentists' websites to make sure that they offer services that meet your needs.  Some dentists specialize in certain areas, while others may offer a wide range of services that meet the needs of your entire family -- from pediatric dentistry to senior dental services.  You might also learn about their staff and informative blog posts.

Recommendation from Friends & Family

You trust your friends and family, and they might be able to recommend a really good dentist.  However, you'll still want to do some basic research to make sure their recommendation meets your needs as far as specific services beyond standard teeth cleaning.

Professional Dental Organizations

Check to be sure that the dentist near you is part of professional dental organizations such as the ADA, Academy of General Dentistry and the Dawson Alumni Association - Dedicated to Complete Care Dentistry.

After you have done your research, and have been to visit the dentist for the first time, you can ask yourself questions such as:

  • Did I feel comfortable during my visit?
  • Was everything explained clearly to me?
  • Was there justification for each procedure?
  • Was the dentist wearing loupes (surgical telescopes)?

If all went well, you should feel confident that you did indeed "find the best dentist near me".

 

 

Copyright: maxpro / 123RF Stock Photo
Thursday, 25 January 2018 19:10

Why You Should Get A Teeth Cleaning Every Six Months

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“We’ll see you in six months for your next cleaning!” If you’ve been hearing that line from your Ooltewah dentist for as long as you can remember, you might never have stopped to question it. Or perhaps you’re one of those patients who knows they should stick to that six month appointment schedule, but find that life or anxiety gets in the way. Either way, there are several very good reasons why we hope you stick to this teeth cleaning schedule-- and it’s not just because we miss you.

You might wonder why you need to get your teeth cleaned twice a year. After all, there aren’t that many other things you have to do semi-annually-- besides certain sales at the mall, adjusting your clocks for daylight savings time, changing the batteries in your smoke detector, and get your car serviced. But just like those other matters of routine maintenance, your teeth need regular attention, too.

Even if you are a champ about brushing twice a day, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash, you still need a proper cleaning to stay ahead of the plaque that can cause gingivitis and gum disease. Even if you never eat sugary foods and drink fluoridated water, you need to check in and make sure that no periodontal conditions are running rampant in your mouth. We want to see you every six months so that you can hopefully avoid more serious visits, like having to schedule a root canal or a tooth extraction.

Just like you want to change the oil in your car every few thousand miles to keep the engine in peak condition (and to avoid an unexpected trip to the mechanic) we want to give your teeth a tuneup. It’s easy to think that a serious dental condition will never happen to you-- especially if it never has thanks to genetics, good luck, and those regular teeth cleanings we keep on about. But without those semiannual appointments, you could be giving bacteria and plaque many extra months in your mouth, which could make them harder to evict.

If all that gunk really makes itself at home, you could be looking at tooth decay and gum disease. If those conditions progress to a severe point, you could be affecting your overall health beyond your mouth. Dental diseases can not only spread to your tooth roots and jaw bone, but even impact your heart health.

As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Your twice-a-year dental cleanings might not be the favorite item on your calendar, but they’re pretty important. And if it’s been a little (or a lot!) longer than six months, another old saying applies, too. It’s better to see your dentist late than never. So give us a call at Tedford Family Dentistry in Ooltewah TN today so we can give your teeth the attention they’re due.
Monday, 18 December 2017 14:07

Cosmetic Mouthwash vs. Therapeutic Mouthwash

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tedford dentist ooltewah tennessee mouth careDid you know there is more than one type of mouthwash? Cosmetic mouthwashes will address short term bad breath, while therapeutic mouthwashes are designed to address numerous dental concerns that can improve your oral health. Whichever type you pick, you’ll find there are plenty of reasons to reach for some type of mouthwash next time you’re are the store. Perhaps you’re on your way to a job interview or a date and are worried about your breath smelling fresh. Or you’re worried that flossing isn’t going far enough in your quest to get rid of plaque. Maybe your dentist told you to take an extra step to prevent gingivitis and tooth decay. Or maybe you’ve had a toothache, and you’re looking for a little extra relief.

Whatever your reason for wanting to swish, you don’t need to feel limited to a minty concoction with a harsh burn. Not only are there two main categories of mouthwash, there are many brands and flavors now on the market. Which one you choose depends on your dental health needs, price point, and what tastes you like. But here are few ingredients to look out for that might help you narrow down the playing field:

Therapeutic mouthwashes tend to contain ingredients including:

    • cetylpyridinium chloride
    • Chlorhexidine
    • essential oils
    • Fluoride
    • Peroxide

Cetylpyridinium chloride sounds like something out of chemistry class, but it’s not so complicated. It’s simply an antiseptic that kills bacteria in your mouth, including those that cause odor. Instead of simply covering up odors on your breath, this ingredient tackles the cause, and can help kill bacteria in hard to reach places after you brush or floss.

Chlorhexidine and essential oils can both be used to combat plaque and gingivitis. The main difference is that chlorhexidine can only be obtained by prescription. That’s because it’s so good at killing bacteria it’s also an ingredient in surgical hand scrub! Certain essential oils can also have antimicrobial properties, without killing good bacteria and while providing a tasty flavor.

Fluoride is a familiar ingredient you might recognize from your toothpaste package. It helps protect your tooth enamel by helping to repel acids, sugars, and bacteria in the mouth before they can cause trouble. You should wait for at least 30 minutes after using a fluoride product to give the ingredient a chance to reach maximum protective effectiveness.

Peroxide is also a way to disinfect your mouth, but it doesn’t have the harsh burn that many associate with alcohol-based mouthwashes. Not only can it help kill bacteria around your teeth and gums, it can also sooth mouth ulcers.

Keep in mind that children under 7 should brush their teeth and learn good flossing habits, but they shouldn’t use mouthwash because their swallow skills might not be developed enough to keep them from ingesting some of the product. Mouthwash is great in your mouth, but it’s not so great in your stomach!

If you still feel overwhelmed by the options, talk to your dentists and dental hygienists at Tedford Dentistry! We’d be happy to help you find a product that keeps your teeth clean and your mouth healthy that is just right for your smile. Whether you’re tackling a specific periodontal condition or just want to keep your whites bright and your breath smelling great, we’ll point you in the right direction.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017 14:12

9 Tips for Denture Care

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Ooltewah Affordable Denture CareBelow are some simple, general tips from our Ooltewah dentist to keep your dentures, either complete or partial dentures, in good shape.

When you visit with Dr. Tedford, he will make recommendations on the best denture solutions for you.

1. Take Your Dentures Out Daily.
If possible, take your dentures out while you sleep. If this is not a good option for you, take them out for 6 to 8 hours a day during another time period. This will give your mouth tissues time to recover.

2. Help Retain Your Dentures Shape

Place your dentures in warm water (or a denture cleanser solution), when they are not being worn, to help retain the denture's shape, remain pliable and keeps it from drying out. Dentures should never be placed in hot water, which could cause them to warp.

3. Clean Your Dentures Daily

Like natural teeth, dentures must be cleaned daily to remove food particles, tartar and bacteria, and to help prevent dentures from becoming permanently stained.

Commercial denture cleansers for removable dentures come as tablets, creams, pastes, gels and solutions. The first step in cleaning dentures is to rinse away loose food particles and remove any denture adhesive.

Denture cleanser tablets are dropped into warm water to create an effervescent solution. Dentures are removed from the mouth and placed in the solution. Soaking dentures in the cleaning solution helps kill germs that can cause odor. The amount of time dentures should be soaked—from a few minutes to overnight—depends on the manufacturer’s instructions.

Denture cleansing creams, pastes or gels are brushed on the denture after it is removed from the mouth and then rinsed off, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Denture cleansers should not be used while dentures are still in the mouth.

Dentures can also be cleaned with toothpaste or soap—mild hand soap or dishwashing liquid—warm water and a soft-bristle toothbrush. However, denture wearers should never use bleach or powdered household cleansers, which can be abrasive, for cleaning their appliance as this may damage the denture.

4. Find Out if You Need Denture Adhesives

A film of saliva typically helps hold dentures in place. Denture adhesives may be used if the salivary glands do not produce a sufficient amount of saliva. Denture adhesives are not, however, a remedy for ill-fitting dentures. A denture that fits poorly (i.e., feels loose or causes discomfort) may need to be relined or replaced as it can contribute to the development of mouth sores.

Denture adhesives, also called denture adherents, are creams, powders, wafers or strips that are used to hold dentures firmly in place. The adhesive also helps form a seal that keeps food particles from sticking between the dentures and gums. Adhesive is applied to clean dentures, which are then positioned in the mouth and held in place for a few seconds, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

During denture cleaning, adhesive should be removed with gentle scrubbing to prevent contamination.

5. Look After Your Whole Mouth

You still need to care for your gums, even with complete dentures. When you take out your dentures, give your mouth a good rinse and then massage your gums with a washcloth or a soft toothbrush. If you have partial dentures, you still need to properly brush and floss your regular teeth every day.

6. See Your Dentist
You still need to see your dentist at least once a year. Dr, Tedford will examine your oral tissues for changes and for sores that might become cancerous and he will also provide advice as to oral hygiene and denture care.

7. Watch for Changes in Fit
If your dentures aren’t fitting properly or don’t feel right, please check in with Dr. Tedford, your Ooltewah Dentist. He may be able to adjust your dentures
or recommend a solution. The gums and bones in our mouths change over time, which can lead to an improper denture fit. Poorly fitting dentures can cause problems like sores, pain and burning and may be a sign of periodontal disease.

8. Nourish Your Body
Be sure to be eating a balanced diet. Research suggests that proper nutrition slows the progress of gum disease, so a healthier diet could even mean a healthier mouth.

9. Use ADA Approved Products

A company earns the ADA Seal of Acceptance by producing scientific evidence that demonstrates the safety and efficacy of its product, which the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs carefully evaluates according to objective requirements.

Look for the ADA Seal—your assurance that the product has been objectively evaluated for safety and efficacy by an independent body of scientific experts, the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs.

For more information, please contact our dental office in Ooltewah TN at (423) 238-8887.
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