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Ooltewah TN Dentist Blog
Wednesday, 09 September 2015 12:42

Keeping Your Toothbrush Clean

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dentist Ooltewah TNOur toothbrushes help to keep our mouths squeaky clean, but how clean is your toothbrush? Follow these tips to keep your toothbrush clean and your mouth healthy and sparkling.

  • Don’t store your toothbrush in a closed, dark, moist space. These conditions are a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Change your toothbrush every 3 months or when it begins to show signs of wear. Regularly replacing your toothbrush will ensure better brushing and help reduce the buildup of bacteria.
  • Sharing toothbrushes leaves you susceptible to transferring bacteria that can lead to more serious dental issues like tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Rinse your toothbrush after each use to remove any debris in the bristles. Soaking the toothbrush in mouth wash is a good way to deep clean it.
  • Keep your toothbrush at least 6 feet from the toilet. Flushing disperses particles through the air that can contaminate your toothbrush and make you sick.
  • Allow your toothbrush to dry upright. This will help it to dry completely and prevent the development of mold.

Keeping your toothbrush clean can help improve your overall health. Follow these tips for a squeaky clean toothbrush and mouth.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015 17:13

Tips for Making Brushing Fun

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pediatric dentist OoltewahGood oral health habits start when children are young. Our Ooltewah dentist understands that it can be a challenge to get your children to brush their teeth. Here are a few helpful tips to make teeth brushing a little more fun:

  • Try brushing your teeth with your children. Children mimic the behavior of their parents, so why not teach them better brushing techniques. Brush your teeth for 2 minutes alongside your child and then follow up with those flossing skills.
  • Use a sand or kitchen timer to help ensure that your children are brushing their teeth for the recommended 2 minutes. Allow your child to start the timer themselves then start brushing.
  • Let your child select the toothbrush and toothpaste of their choice. There are a variety of toothbrushes specially designed for children complete with bright colors or their favorite characters. Also let them choose toothpaste in a fun, fruity flavor they will enjoy.
  • Story books and short videos may be another valuable tool when it comes to teaching children the importance of good oral hygiene. Stories and videos can help to make oral care more fun and something that they are able to relate to.
  • Making a chart complete with star stickers can be an effective reward system. Give your children a star to put on the chart every time they brush their teeth. This will help to reinforce the importance of brushing twice a day.
  • Regular visits for the dentist are another component of good oral health. Reward your children after a successful trip to the dentist with a special treat like a healthy snack or trip to the park.
Thursday, 23 July 2015 17:48

The Effects of Smoking

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dentists Ooltewah tn Bad breath, tooth discoloration, plaque buildup, gum disease, tooth loss and oral cancer are all side effects of smoking. The damages caused by smoking can impact your oral health, just as it does your overall health. Statistics have found that 50% of smoking adults have gum disease and are approximately twice as likely to lose their teeth or need a root canal.

When it comes to tobacco products there isn’t one product that is any safer than another. Both cause damages that extend beyond the mouth. Smoking and smokeless tobacco products both affect the soft tissue and bone attachment. Tobacco use also leaves smokers more susceptible to infections and gum disease.

The chemicals found in these products also increase the risk oral, throat and esophageal cancers. Smokeless tobacco irritates the gums and as a result, the gums begin to separate from the teeth. This separation can increase the risk of tooth decay and increase sensitivity, making eating and drinking difficult.

The American Cancer Society reports that 90% of people with mouth, lip, throat and tongue cancer are tobacco users. Their research also concluded that smokers are six times more likely to develop these cancers. The easiest way of preventing these issues is to stop smoking or reduce your habit. Studies have shown that reducing your intake can lower your risk of developing these conditions all together. Your doctor and dentist can both help you to calm your cravings and stop smoking with a variety of medications.

Thursday, 23 July 2015 17:44

Teen Dental Care: Fact or False

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pediatric dentist OoltewahQ: Energy drinks don’t cause cavities?
A: Energy drinks are filled with sugar, which can be damaging to your teeth. Bacteria and plaque on your teeth use sugar as a means of growth. The sugar also acts like a glue and can cause the bacteria to stick to the teeth and can ultimately lead to tooth decay. To combat the problem, limit the number of sugary drinks you consume. After drinking something sweet, rinse your mouth with water and remember to brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.

Q: Tobacco isn’t bad for your mouth, teeth and gums?
A: All types of tobacco are harmful to your health. Bad breath, tooth discoloration, plaque buildup, gum disease, tooth loss and oral cancer are all side effects of smoking. The easiest way to prevent these conditions is to stop smoking.

Q: Mouth protection is necessary when playing sports?
A: Mouth guards should be worn when playing any sport, especially contact sports. These devices will protect your teeth from being broken or knocked out upon impact.

Q: Whitening is harmful to your teeth?
A: While you should wait until age 14 to whiten your teeth to reduce sensitivity, whitening isn’t harmful to your teeth. If you wear braces, you should wait until they have been removed before using any teeth whitening products.

Q: Mouth jewelry and piercings can be dangerous?
A: Oral piercings can be dangerous, leading to infection and pain. The piercing can cause the tongue to become infected and lead to more serious problems. The jewelry can also come loose and cause you to choke or can chip and crack teeth.

There are numerous myths when it comes to dental health. Know your facts and follow the basic steps for good oral health. Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, floss regularly, eat a balanced diet and visit your dentist every 6 months. Let our Ooltewah dentist office keep your smile healthy and white.

Thursday, 07 May 2015 13:55

Selecting the Correct Toothbrush

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Ooltewah dentist officeWith a variety of toothbrushes on the market, it can be difficult to select the one best suited to your needs. From soft to hard bristles to electric options, deciding on the perfect style can be a challenge. Here are a few tips from our Ooltewah dentist to help you select the perfect brush:

·         Soft bristled brushes are the best for removing plaque and debris. These brushes are also good for brushing hard to reach areas.
·         Don’t purchase those cheap, no name brushes. A brush made of quality materials will help to give you the best clean possible.
·         As for the handle grip or bristle shape, it is a matter of personal preference. Select an option that is comfortable and allows you to easily reach your teeth.
·         If you have limited dexterity or problems brushing, an electric toothbrush may be a good fit.
·         Toothbrushes come in a variety of sizes based on ages. Select the appropriate style for infants, toddlers, children and adults.
·         Replace your brush every three months or sooner if bristles show signs of wear.
·         After brushing your teeth, thoroughly rinse the brush and store upright to dry.

The best toothbrush for you is one that you will use. Make sure that the handle is easy to grip, that the head is comfortable in your mouth and you are able to reach all the surfaces of your teeth and gums. Happy brushing!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015 14:17

Our Ooltewah Dentist Can Calm Your Dental Fears

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Ooltewah dentist officeDental phobia is one of the leading reasons adults don’t visit the dentist. The American Dental Association posted findings estimating that seventy- five percent of adults in the United States have a mild or extreme fear of the dentist. For many, their fear of the dentist is so severe that many avoid setting foot in a dentist office unless there is a dental emergency.

You shouldn’t let your fears of the dentist stop you from receiving the dental care you need. There are many ways to minimize your fears and ultimately conquer your dental phobias. Here are our top tips for overcoming your fears of the dentist’s chair.

  • Communication is the most effective way of coping with you anxiety. Talk with your dentist about your fears. Discussing procedures beforehand can help you to feel more relaxed and give you a sense of control in the situation. When the doctor is aware of your fears he can take steps to better accommodate your needs and put your anxiety to rest.
  • Just as distractions can work to occupy an unruly toddler, they can help to keep your mind off your fears and the dental procedures at hand. Consider bringing headphones and listening to music while the dentist is treating you.
  • Relaxation techniques have also been proven to calm fears. When you are upset, your body releases stress chemicals that can heighten anxiety and make your pain receptors more sensitive. Deep breathing can be helpful in these situations.
  • Modern technology has virtually made dental procedures pain free. With topical anesthetics, anesthesia and laser drills, patients don’t have to endure the pain formally associated with dental procedures.

Dr. Tedford and the staff of his Ooltewah dentist office can help to ease your fears of the dentist and keep you smile at its brightest and healthiest.

Thursday, 19 February 2015 16:10

Tips for Better Oral Health

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Ooltewah dentist office Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you, so it’s important to keep it at its best. Brushing and flossing are important to overall dental health, but there are other steps you can take to keep your teeth pearly white.

Visit the Dentist
It is estimated that approximately 50% of adults in the United States do not have yearly dental appointments. One of the best ways to keep your teeth at their healthiest is by visiting the dentist twice a year. Regular dental visits will help to catch issues like decay and gum disease while they are still in treatable stages.

Brushing & Flossing
Good dental health starts with proper brushing and flossing. Bacteria and food particles can linger in your mouth long after meals. Brushing twice a day can help to remove the food build up. When brushing it is important to in gentle, short, circular motions. Flossing is the only way to reach the areas between teeth, so it is important that you floss regularly.

Reduce Your Sugar Intake
Sugar is the leading cause of tooth decay. Sugary snacks and sodas make your teeth more susceptible to cavities and cause a plaque buildup which can eat away at tooth enamel. To keep your pearly whites at their best, try to limit your sugar intake and brush after meals.

Stop Smoking
You’ve heard it before, but smoking is detrimental to the health of your mouth and body. Not only does the nicotine and tar in cigarettes cause teeth to yellow, but smoking causes gums to recede. The bacteria found in cigarettes damages the gums and degrades the jaw bone that supports the teeth. Additionally, the chemicals in tobacco are a leading cause of oral cancer.

Along with proper brushing and flossing and regular visits to the dentist, you can keep your smile shinny bright.

pediatric dentist OoltewahSucking on a thumb or pacifier is extremely common in babies and toddlers. It offers a sense of safety, security and relaxation. However, prolonged sucking on a pacifier or thumb can result in a variety of dental issues. Thumb sucking or the use of a pacifier after age two can lead to a misalignment of teeth, changes in the shape of the roof of the mouth and result in problems with proper mouth growth. The risk of dental complications increases if the behavior continues after the teeth start coming in.

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the majority of children will stop using a pacifier or sucking their thumb on their own between the ages of two and four. Here are a few tips to help your child break the habit:

·         Limiting the use of a pacifier can help to decrease the dependency on it.
·         There are a variety of creams found at your local pharmacy that you can apply to the thumb to help break the sucking habit.
·         Reward your child as they begin to stop the action.

Since the behavior is common and soothing, there are a few precautious that help to limit the amount of permanent damage.

·         Use “orthodontically correct” pacifiers as they reduce the risk of dental damage.
·         Never give a baby a bottle of juice at bedtime, opt for water instead.
·         Don’t use honey or sugar on the pacifier to help calm the baby.
·         Try to only use a pacifier at nap or bed times.

Breaking a thumb sucking or pacifier habit can be very challenging for some children. Consult with our Ooltewah pediatric dentist to help your little one kick the habit and ensure healthy teeth.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015 15:31

Oral Health Problems in Seniors

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dentures ChattanoogaAge, health conditions and other factors can all put seniors at risk for a number of oral health issues. Oral health is an important component of overall health and well-being, but can often be overlooked. There are several conditions that are commonly found in senior patients:

Cavities effect all ages, not just children. As you age, the risk of tooth decay increases, simply because adults do not visit the dentist as regularly as children. When cavities go undetected and untreated for longer periods, the problem ultimatley worsens. No matter your age, you should visit the dentist on a regular basis.

Dry mouth or xerostomia, is a condition plaguing many seniors. It is estimated that upwards of 20% of seniors suffer from dry mouth. Typically it is caused by a variety of medicines. Common prescriptions such as decongestants, antihistamines, pain medicines, antidepressants, diuretics, muscle relaxers and high blood pressure medicines can all cause the condition. To help alleviate dry mouth, drink plenty of water and limit you caffeine and alcohol intake.

Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Periodontal disease is an infection that effects the gums and tissues surrounding the teeth causing them to become inflammed or seperate from the teeth. In the early stages, the disease is painless, but as it advances it becomes more painful, causing sore gums and pain when eating. Proper brushing and flossing can prevent gum disease. Seniors are more prone to the disease due to arthritis and limited dexterity.

Many seniors can also have difficulty eating due to cavities, missing teeth, gum disease, or poorly fitting dentures. These oral health problems can make it challenging to eat and force an adjustment in the balance of their diet.

Good oral health habits are important at any age. Regardless of age, brushing twice a day, flossing and regular visits to the dentist can keep your teeth at their healthiest.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014 12:05

Caring for Your Cosmetic Dental Procedure

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cosmetic dentist OoltewahYour smile is one of your best features, and usually the first thing people notice. If you are less than pleased with your pearly whites, cosmetic dentistry may be the answer to your dental issues. Cosmetic dental procedures such as teeth whitening, dental veneers, and dental implants can all provide a permanent improvement and give you the confidence you need to really make your smile shine.

Like any other medical procedure, there are steps you should take to maintain the results of your cosmetic dentistry enhancements. Following your treatment, there will be instructions for care and for maximizing the benefits of the procedure. It is important that you follow these instructions and contact your dentist if a problem should arise. Additionally, there are a few other behaviors to avoid if you want to keep your smile at its best.

  • To keep your smile at its brightest, you will want to reduce your intake of soda, tea and coffee. When consuming these beverages, use a straw to minimize contact with your teeth as the liquids can stain.
  • Switch that sugary snack for one that is high in protein. Diets that are high in sugar can lead to tooth decay resulting in more invasive dental work, while high protein diets support oral health.
  • Ice crunching is a common habit, but can lead to serious tooth damage. The crunching behavior can fracture or crack your teeth resulting in more invasive dental work.
  • Wear a mouth guard at night to prevent teeth grinding. Continual grinding increases your risk of cracks or fractures in your teeth or dental veneers.
  • Biting your fingernails puts excessive pressure on your teeth and can be especially harmful if you have dental veneers. Consider nail polish or acrylic tips to help reduce the biting urge.
  • When you use your tongue to press against your upper teeth, you can cause your teeth to shift over time. This pressure can ultimately change the appearance of your teeth and lower face.

Keep your teeth at their healthiest and your smile at its whitest and brightest with cosmetic dental enchantments from our Chattanooga dentist.

Written by Tiffany Hutton
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