Crossing the Bridge: A Guide to Dental Bridgework

Are you missing one or more teeth? If so, you’re not alone. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, an estimated 35 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. Luckily, dental bridgework is an accessible solution.A dentist works on installing dental bridgework for his patient

Dental bridgework is a common solution to the problem of missing teeth. A dental bridge can help improve your appearance and help maintain your oral health. If you’re thinking of getting dental bridgework, you probably have a lot of questions. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about dental bridges.

 

What is Dental Bridgework?

Missing teeth don’t just affect your appearance; they can also change your speech. Additionally, your existing teeth will become crooked as they shift to fill the open space.

Dental bridgework fills the gap before your teeth have a chance to. A dental bridge consists of one or more artificial teeth, made of porcelain, gold, or other metal alloys. They are usually held in place by attachment to your existing teeth.

There are several types of dental bridges. These include:

  • Fixed bridges: Also called traditional bridges, these are the most common type of bridges. Fixed bridges are attached to healthy teeth, which are covered by dental crowns.
  • Cantilever bridges: This type of bridge is attached to a healthy tooth on just one side.
  • Resin-bonded bridges: Also called Maryland bridges, this type of bridge is attached directly to healthy teeth instead of crowns.

 

Am I a Candidate for Bridgework?

If you’re thinking about a dental bridge, the first step is to talk to your dentist. Your dentist will consider your overall oral health. According to the American Dental Association, the success of a bridge depends on a healthy foundation. For a bridge to be properly supported, you must have existing teeth with strong roots. Some patients will need root canal procedures before having bridgework put in place.

 

How Much Will Bridgework Cost?

The cost of bridgework varies according to the number of teeth you’re missing and the type of bridge your dentist recommends. In general, bridges may cost between $700 and $1,500 per tooth. Fortunately, most dental insurance plans will pay some portion of the cost. If you’re concerned about pricing, it’s best to contact your dental insurance company to find out what percentage they will cover.

 

Are Bridges Permanent?

Bridges do not last forever, but they can last between five and fifteen years. Caring for your bridge will help extend its lifetime. Proper care includes avoiding foods that are very hard or overly sticky, brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, and visiting your dentist for check-ups as often as recommended.

 

What Can I Expect During the Procedure?

Getting a dental bridge is normally a two-appointment procedure. During your first appointment, your dentist will prepare the teeth that will support your bridge. Your dentist will also create an impression of your mouth. It will take approximately two weeks to make your custom bridgework. In the meantime, you may receive a temporary bridge.

At your second appointment, your dentist will attach your new bridge. Your temporary bridge will be removed, and your permanent bridge will be cemented in place. As with custom clothing, proper fit is key to the success of your dental bridge. Your dentist will adjust the new bridge to make sure it fits correctly. If you notice any issues or discomfort, contact your dentist right away. If you have any questions about your bridge, be sure to ask your dentist, either during an appointment or by contacting the office.

 

Simply Beautiful Smiles has 17 convenient locations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. If you have questions about dental bridges, or if you’re ready to make an appointment, contact us today. Our caring staff is ready to help you take the first step to a simply beautiful smile.

Five Foods That Will Deliver A Healthy Smile

happy young man with a bag of food for a healthy smileIf you’re obsessed with attaining and maintaining a gorgeous, healthy smile, you’re not alone! At Simply Beautiful Smiles we know a thing or two about beautiful smiles; it’s what we do! Beyond providing excellent care through our amazing network of dentists, we also provide information on dental hygiene and general care to our clients. Because there’s more to a healthy smile than regular cleanings and flossing, we’ve created this list of the top five foods for a healthy smile. So, treat your teeth to foods that taste great while helping your teeth stay strong, sparkling, and cavity-free.

 

Water

You’ve heard it a thousand times before. You need to drink more water.

Well, this is just another gentle reminder that water is not only good for your energy levels, skin, digestion, and mood, it’s also great for your oral health. Water, especially fluorinated water, makes teeth resistant to acids which cause cavities.

With nearly 75% of the U.S. population having access to water with fluoride, a simple glass of water from the tap is one of the easiest things you can do to improve your oral health.

Looking for a simple mouthwash? Use warm tap water and throw in a teaspoon of salt. Gargling salt water is just as effective as a store-bought mouthwash and is beneficial in many ways:

  • Soothes mouth sores and bleeding gums
  • Heals a sore throat
  • Loosens and removes food
  • Freshens breath

 

Nuts

Nuts are a great snack choice for optimum oral health. They are packed with minerals, such as calcium and phosphorus, which teeth need to repair enamel after exposure to acids from sugary foods and carbohydrates. In addition, nuts stimulate saliva production which reduces the risk of tooth decay. Watch out for sugar-coated or heavily salted nuts which can cancel out these natural benefits.

Incorporating nuts into everyday meals is a simple yet strategic way to enjoy this vitamin-rich power food.

 

Sugarless Gum

Next time you’re waiting in the grocery check-out line, grab a pack of sugarless chewing gum.

In addition to nuts, sugarless gum stimulates saliva production washing away acids produced by bacteria in your mouth. This saliva also coats your teeth with calcium, further strengthening tooth enamel.

Don’t believe chewing gum is good for your mouth? The American Dental Association (ADA) awards its seal of acceptance to companies who demonstrate scientific evidence showing the safety and efficacy of their product. The only chewing gums to date receiving the seal are sugarless gums.

 

Milk, Cheese, and Yogurt

According to a study done by the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) in 2013, consuming dairy products may help protect against cavities.

AGD spokesperson Seung-Hee Rhee, DDS, says, “It looks like dairy does the mouth good. Not only are dairy products a healthy alternative to carb- or sugar-filled snacks, they also may be considered as a preventive measure against cavities.”

If you have kids at home, limiting sodas and sugary drinks can be a challenge. However, if they aren’t fans of white milk, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry still recommends a tall glass of chocolate milk as a tasty alternative to sugary snacks.

 

Raw Vegetables

Any vegetable that has a crunch is more than likely a power-packed superfood for your teeth.

Snacking on carrots, celery, and apples stimulates your gums and helps maintain healthy teeth. Essential for Vitamin A production, raw vegetables contain high levels of beta-carotene which prevent dry mouth and promote healing.

To make raw veggies a bit more palatable, try pairing them with hummus, guacamole, or your favorite salad dressing.

Give your teeth a break from the sugary treats! Not only will your smile thank you, but you’ll feel better and enjoy the many benefits of choosing healthy foods and snacks.

A lifestyle rich in smart food choices is only part of a comprehensive dental care plan. Regularly scheduled cleanings and records are also essential for oral health giving you a beautiful smile that will last for years and years. Ready to start your journey toward perfect pearly whites? Schedule an appointment with Simply Beautiful Smiles today!

Best Practices for Caring for Orthodontic Appliances

woman caring for orthodontic appliancesIf you’re receiving care from an orthodontist, you’re probably using an orthodontic appliance. These pieces of rubber, wire, and metal will get you on your way to a healthy, beautiful smile, but you’ll have to put in a little effort to ensure you get the results you want. Whether your new gear is a retainer, mouth guard, palatal expander, or braces, caring for orthodontic appliances is a necessity.

 

Caring for Removable Orthodontic Appliances

Retainers and mouth guards are the most common removable orthodontic appliances, and they require the same general care. Below are a few hints for taking care of removable appliances.

Remove Before Eating and Brushing

One crucial aspect of care is to remove your appliance before eating and brushing.

Eating causes build-up and can even cause damage. For example, the delicate wire of retainers cannot withstand heavy crunching or chewing. Additionally, eating with removable appliances in place can trap food beneath or behind them. This can cause tooth decay and also complicate or prolong orthodontic treatment.

Brushing your teeth with removable appliances in place increases the likelihood that your teeth and gums will not be adequately cleaned. You will need to remove your orthodontic appliance to reach every area of your mouth and prevent decay from getting a foothold.

Cleaning Your Removable Appliances

Removable appliances should be cleaned daily to remove bacteria, food, and debris that can lead to bad tastes and odors or contribute to tooth decay. To clean a removable appliance, rinse it thoroughly with warm water whenever you take it out of your mouth. Do not use hot water, and never immerse any orthodontic appliance in boiling water in an attempt to sterilize it. This will lead to warping and break your appliance.

In addition, be sure to brush your removable appliance at least once per day. You can use toothpaste if you wish, but avoid abrasive compounds to prevent scratching soft components. Rinse the appliance after brushing, and keep it stored in a clean, dry location away from moisture. Do not store a removable appliance in a sealed plastic bag, as bacteria will quickly multiply in the damp environment.

Once per week, you will need to provide your removable appliance with a thorough cleaning. Soak the appliance in a solution of warm water and baking soda for two hours. You can also use denture cleaning tablets! Do not use bleach or alcohol; these chemicals could damage the appliance.

 

Caring for Fixed Orthodontic Appliances

Fixed orthodontic appliances include braces and palatal expanders. Caring for orthodontic appliances that cannot be removed is slightly different, but no less important. These appliances can be damaged if neglected or abused, making proper care a critical part of your orthodontic treatment.

Avoid Hard & Sticky Foods

Fixed orthodontic appliances are vulnerable to damage from certain foods. The best course of action is to avoid certain culprits. Crunchy foods such as chips, nuts, hard candies, and ice can destroy fixed appliances. Additionally, sticky foods such as gum and cheese can make cleaning difficult and can even cause breakage.

Clean Fixed Appliances Often

Another problem associated with neglected fixed appliances is tooth decay. Brush your teeth and orthodontic appliances after meals or at least twice per day. Be sure to brush in and around appliances, and use a soft toothbrush to avoid damaging delicate components.

If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t brush, swish around warm water to rinse your teeth and appliances, or use a non-alcoholic mouthwash.

In addition to brushing, be sure to floss! If you find that ordinary dental floss snags on your orthodontic appliance, use specialized floss designed for use with braces or other orthodontic obstructions.

 

Caring for Headgear

Headgear belongs in a class of its own when it comes to maintenance. Most headgear doesn’t require regular cleaning, but wiping down the wire and neck strap can help the appliance maintain its durability. Do not immerse your headgear in any cleaning substances, as these can cause damage.

 

If you have questions about the care and maintenance of any orthodontic appliances, be sure to contact your orthodontist! If you’re looking for a new orthodontist or dentist, Simply Beautiful Smiles is here to help! Our team is ready and able to help you with all of your orthodontic needs.

Helpful Ways to Prepare for Your Child’s First Dental Visit

Are you wondering whether your child should start going to the dentist regularly? You’re not alone! Many parents worry about when to plan that first dental visit, but the answer is far Your child's first dental visitmore simple than you’d expect. Dentists recommend scheduling an appointment within 6 months of the appearance of the first tooth and no later than a year after. If your child is older than this, don’t worry. It’s never too late to make your child’s first dental appointment.

That being said, planning your child’s first dental appointment can be stressful. Your child will have fears and feelings of nervousness, so putting them at ease should be a top priority. Before your child’s first dental appointment, consider taking the following proactive measures to prepare your child for the experience.

Remember: when you create healthy habits early on, you’re paving the road for your child to practice healthy dental habits for the rest of their life!

 

Schedule an Office Tour

Choose a top-rated dental office that you trust. Simply Beautiful Smiles works with 17 private offices, giving you access to a network of top-notch dentists. All our offices employ highly experienced staff members that are upbeat, caring, and compassionate. Whether you’re still deciding on an office, or have already picked one out, ask to schedule a tour before making your appointment. Bring your child along so they can experience the office and exam room firsthand. They’ll also have a chance to meet the staff as well as the dentist. This strategy will help develop your child’s expectations of what a trip to the dentist’s entails.

 

Dental-Themed Books & TV Shows

You know all those shows your child loves watching? Their favorite characters probably have a book or episode dedicated to visiting the dentist. If your child sees their favorite characters completing a trip to the dentist, they’re more likely to get excited about their first visit. We live in a world where media is always readily available, making it easy to expose your child to dental-related storylines that highlight the importance of a oral health as well as the fact that a trip to the dentist is never as terrifying as you might think. Here are a few books and shows that may help settle your child’s nerves:

Books

  • The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss
  • Dora the Explorer: Show Me Your Smile by Christine Ricci
  • The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist by Stan and Jan Berenstain

Television

  • Peppa Pig – “Peppa’s Pearly Whites”
  • Arthur – “Arthur’s Tooth”
  • Bubble Guppies – “A Tooth on the Looth”

 

Keep a Positive Attitude

Children mimic adult behaviors. They’re very sensitive and perceptive to the attitudes and energies of those around them. If you are nervous for your child, chances are they’ll be nervous too. Maintain a positive and relaxed exterior, no matter how anxious you may on the inside. Rather than using big words like ‘x-rays’ or ‘machines,’ focus on the positive aspects of the process. Use words like ‘strong,’ ‘healthy teeth,’ ‘fun chair,’ etc. If you are happy and confident, chances are, your child will be too.

 

Bring Along Comfort Items

Arrive early to avoid rushing around and compounding your stress. If your child has a favorite blanket, toy, or stuffed animal, bring it along. We all benefit from a familiar source of comfort, and this could make all the difference in the world.

 

Plan for a Simple Reward

Toddlers and kids love the simple life. Whether it’s ice cream, a new coloring book, or a trip to the playground. Before your child’s first dental visit, promise to reward a well-behaved, successful visit. They’re more likely to remain calm and focused if there’s a “light at the end of the tunnel.” It will also create a great mental distraction to make it through the visit if they’re having a difficult time.

 

Reinforcing Dental Hygiene with Simply Beautiful Smiles

Those adorable baby smiles don’t last forever! Your toddler’s new pearly whites deserve the best quality treatment, and Simply Beautiful Smiles is here to help you schedule your appointment. Remember to reinforce the importance of visiting the dentist and paint each visit as an adventure. Your child will be more relaxed with your guidance and support. With the right preparedness, your child’s first trip to the dentist can be a pleasant one.

5 Easy Ways to Treat and Prevent Sensitive Teeth

If you felt a tinge of pain in your mouth the last time you enjoyed a hot or cold beverage, youtreating sensitive teeth probably have sensitive teeth. This sensitivity occurs when there is a breakdown in your tooth enamel that exposes your tooth’s dentin. Caused by the build-up of plaque or poor dental hygiene habits, sensitive teeth can be a painful nuisance but are easily treated. Read on, to learn everything you need to know about preventing and treating sensitive teeth.

 

1. Switch to a Soft Brush

Yes, sensitive teeth are often the result of an irregular brushing routine, but tooth sensitivity can also be caused by over-brushing. You may be surprised to learn that your sensitive teeth could be the result of brushing too harshly. One of the reasons many dentists recommend a soft bristle brush is that both medium and hard bristles can scrape away the enamel on your teeth over time. Switch to a soft brush and brush gently (and consistently!) to help your enamel recover.

 

2. Cut Back on Acidic Foods and Beverages

If your diet has a high acidic content, you could be wreaking havoc on your mouth with every sip or bite. While there are obvious culprits to avoid such as soft drinks, there are also a few surprising foods you may want to limit. For instance, fruits (especially citrus) contain low pH levels, indicating high levels of acidity. The best way to ensure highly acidic foods do not damage your teeth is to brush immediately after consumption.

 

3. Chew Sugar-Free Gum

The idea of chewing something while your teeth are feeling sensitive might seem a bit counterproductive, but the truth is that your saliva will help you in this situation. Chew on a piece of sugar-free gum to encourage saliva production throughout your mouth. Saliva can help cleanse your teeth of irritants, and even harden your tooth enamel! Just be sure that the gum is completely sugar-free, or you might be doing more harm than good.

 

4. Avoid Over-the-Counter Whitening Solutions

Everyone likes the idea of a perfect smile, but if you regularly use over-the-counter whitening products, your sensitivity is very likely linked. The chemicals used in whitening products might be affecting the nerves in your mouth, causing the sensitive feeling. If you’re after that perfect smile, consider consulting your dentist for professional options that will whiten your teeth with little to no sensitivity.

 

5. Consult Your Dentist About Special Care Products

There are lots of over-the-counter options available if you’re in search of relief. However, finding the right product may require the expertise of your dentist. Ask your dentist to recommend rinses, mouthwashes, or toothpaste designed specifically for sensitive teeth. Toothpaste for sensitivity usually contains potassium nitrate which can help calm the nerves in your mouth, while mouthwash designed for sensitivity is usually alcohol-free and contains fluoride.

Your teeth may also be sensitive if you grind them while you sleep. Though you have no control over this function while sleeping, your dentist should be able to supply you with a mouthguard to provide nighttime protection.

 

Sensitive teeth can ruin an otherwise wonderful beverage or meal. They can make you irritable and leave you in constant pain, even preventing you from falling asleep at night. If you are experiencing pain while eating or drinking, contact your dentist and take a closer look at your daily oral care routine. Simple changes can do wonders when treating sensitive teeth. Here’s the recap: Switch to a soft bristle brush and brush gently. Avoid foods high in acidic content and ask your dentist about the benefits of toothpaste with potassium nitrate. Do you have questions? Reach out to your local dentist or schedule an appointment with Simply Beautiful Smiles today!

Dental Insurance Q&A: What To Do If You Don’t have Insurance?

Simply Beautiful Smiles - New Year Offer pageWhat to Do When You Don’t Have Insurance

We all know that keeping our teeth and mouth healthy is important. But knowing what’s important and being able to pay for it are two entirely different things. In fact, about 40% of adults have no dental insurance coverage at all. Without this important financial protection, it can be difficult to make dental health a priority.

Luckily, there are options available to you to help make dental costs affordable, even if you don’t have insurance. Here are some alternative options for paying for dental care:

Try a Payment Plan

The dental profession is aware of how stressful it can be when you need dental work but you don’t have any help to pay for it. That’s why many dentists make no-interest or low-interest payment plans available. Most dentists offer more than one type of financing. For example, a standard loan for major expenses and a credit card type for more routine services. Today’s dental practices also accept major credit cards. In addition to financing plans, some dentists offer discounted care to those with limited resources.

Join a Membership Plan

Many dentists offer special membership plans, which give patients access to discounted services. Most membership plans require you to pay a monthly fee in order to participate. Membership plans are often set up as tiered plans with higher monthly fees for access to more services. Unlike insurance plans, services are only available through the dentist offering the plan. Despite this, they can offer a substantial savings.

SBS Dental Plan

For those who prefer an insurance-style arrangement, a Specialty Benefit Solutions (SBS) plan offers the security of a standard insurance policy along with discounted costs. SBS plans are often provided by employers as a supplement to medical insurance and other benefits. When you enroll you get access to a network of providers to offer their services at special rates for members.

Each of the above has its advantages and disadvantages. If you have an established relationship with a dental provider then financing with that dentist may be the way to go. For many people, however, a more flexible plan such as an SBS dental plan offers the best of both worlds. You get access to a network of providers and you pay a discounted cost, and it is a great alternative when dental insurance isn’t available to you.

Parents’ Guide to Baby’s Teeth

Everything New Parents Need to Know About Your Baby’s Teeth

As parents, we look forward to the many milestones our babies reach. Special “firsts” help us monitor our child’s development and reassure us that things are progressing as they should. One of these big milestones is the appearance of baby teeth.

How soon your baby’s teeth come in varies. For some, the first teeth may appear at five months, for others, it will be a little later. By three years old, all 20 of the baby teeth will have come in. You can expect the top four and bottom two center teeth to come in first.

There’s a lot to know about baby teeth, especially if you’re a first-time parent. We’ve broken it down for you, and are sharing the most important things you need to know.

The Purpose of Baby Teeth

You might not have taken a chance to think about WHY baby teeth are important. Well, there are several purposes for them!

  • First, and perhaps most obvious, they allow children to chew solid foods.
  • They act as placeholders so permanent teeth can come in correctly.
  • Baby teeth place a big role in speech development. The teeth actually help to guide the tongue to its proper position for speaking.

Teething

Even if this is your first baby, you’ve definitely heard teething stories from other parents. But how do you know if your baby is teething, or something else is going on? Teething symptoms include:

  • Drooling.
  • Swollen gums.
  • A slight fever.
  • Irritability.
  • Trying to bite, chew, and suck on things.

Teething is an uncomfortable time for babies, but there are some ways you can help.

  • Rub the gums with a cool cloth.
  • Get a teething ring.
  • Check with your pediatrician to see if an over the counter medication is safe.

Oral Hygiene

Did you know that you can start practicing oral hygiene before the teeth even come in? The earlier you get started, the better!

  • Wipe your baby’s gums with a soft, moist washcloth twice a day to clean away bacteria and plaque.
  • As the teeth come in, switch to a soft, small head toothbrush.
  • Use water to start and move to a small amount of fluoride toothpaste once most of the teeth are visible.

Starting early with good oral hygiene can help you avoid problems later on. It will also teach your child that taking care of their teeth is a daily job that should not be overlooked.

When your child is about a year old it’s time to start visiting the dentist. Your dentist can offer dental cleaning tips, spot signs of trouble before they develop into serious problems, and offer advice on things like thumb sucking, pacifier use, and cavity prevention.

It’s never too early to start practicing good oral health! Taking care of your child’s baby teeth, developing an oral hygiene routine, and starting early with regular dental checkups will provide your child with a lifetime of benefits, a beautiful smile, and a happy healthy mouth.

2018 Guide to Dental Insurance

What you need to know about Dental Insurance

A new year often means new dental benefits, and for most people means a fresh slate on your yearly coverage!  The truth is that dental insurance can feel confusing, which is why we want to be there to help!

What is your plan?

The very first place to start is to know if you have dental insurance and what it is.  It seems that every year there are changes to employee coverage and also in individual plans.  What you had last year may not be the same as what you have this year.  The best place to star tis to find out IF you have dental insurance and through which company.

What Does Your Coverage Mean?

Any type of insurance can feel confusing, especially if you don’t deal with the lingo and policies on a daily basis.  Odds are, you only think about it a few times a year.  Conversely, we think about insurance on an hourly basis in our practices.  If you’re confused about what your benefits mean and how they actually apply to services, know that we are here to help.  Give us a call and ask us your questions.  We can often explain basic coverage questions simply.  If something requires more research, we can also always be a resource because we know how to contact insurance companies directly.

What is Covered?

Most dental plans will cover your hygiene cleanings, but when you start looking into other procedures like sealants, x-rays, fillings, etc. it can get a little confusing.  More extensive procedures like crowns, bridges, or other cosmetic procedures can be even more confusing.  We speak the language of dental insurance here and we are happy to help translate your coverage!

Deductibles

You’ll encounter deductibles within your dental plans and they can feel confusing sometimes.  A deductible is the amount of money you need to pay out of pocket before insurance will cover your expenses. If you have a low monthly premium, chances are that your deductible is higher and vice versa. If your premium is higher monthly, than it is likely the opposite with a lower deductible. A good thing to ask when you’re researching insurance info is what your deductible is and if it’s family or individual.

The beginning of the year is a great time to evaluate what your coverage is and how you might need to use it.  Insurance can be confusing, but know that we are here to help!

What if I don’t have dental insurance?

We believe that everyone deserves quality dental care, regardless of if you have insurance or not.  At Simply Beautiful Smiles, we’ve created the SBS Discount Dental Plan, which gives you 20%-65% savings off of most dental treatments and procedures.  To learn more about this cost-saving plan, click here to get all the details!

The Connection Between Oral Health and Heart Health 

February is the month set aside for tending to matters of the heart, and not just the frilly kind of hearts that we see on Valentine’s cards. The heart we are talking about is the one that keeps you alive. Yes, February is National Heart Health month.

Each year, the American Heart Association spends February raising awareness of heart health and what we can do to prevent heart disease. There are many things you can do to commemorate this important month. You can wear red, make a donation to a charity focused on heart health, or you can learn an important skill like CPR. All of those things can make a difference. But, believe it or not, one of the most important things you can do to make sure that your heart is healthy is to schedule a visit to your dentist.

Of course, there is no guarantee that if you keep your mouth healthy you will avoid heart disease. Studies have shown, however, that oral diseases such as periodontitis and gingivitis can contribute to heart problems. The connection between oral health and heart health is believed to be bacteria. In particular, bacteria spread from your mouth to your bloodstream. It’s believed that these bacteria cause diseases such as endocarditis (infection of the inner lining of the heart) and atherosclerosis (clogged arteries).

So what can you do to make sure that you don’t fall victim to heart disease due to the neglect of your oral health?

  • Get regular dental check-ups: Your dentist is your first line of defense when it comes to oral health. He or she can look for warning signs and help you design an oral hygiene regimen that will keep your smile healthy. Of course, it’s up to you to follow your dentist’s recommendations!
  • Eliminate poor lifestyle habits: If you smoke or use tobacco products, stop now! Not only is smoking bad for your overall health, it is terrible for your oral health.
  • Keep your mouth clean: You’ve heard it a million times but here is one more reminder—brush at least twice a day and floss daily. Starting and ending the day with a clean mouth will go a long way toward maintaining oral health.
  • Respond to warning signs: Pain, irritation, and bleeding gums can all be indications of gum disease. Don’t ignore them. Persistent bad breath and inflammation can also be a sign of a mouth condition that needs some attention.

So this February as you think about hearts and flowers, remember to think about your physical heart too. Make an appointment to see your dentist and talk about what you can do to keep your mouth in tip-top shape. By stepping up your oral care, you’re helping prevent oral-health-related heart disease.

Any time is a great time to give your heart a little love, but National Heart Month is the perfect time to go the extra mile. It’s a great time to make sure that you do everything you can to keep your mouth healthy.

 

What Moms Need to Know About Teeth During Pregnancy

Oral Health Care During Pregnancy

When you’re pregnant, it seems that everything in your world revolves around that tiny life growing inside of you. You think about how every single thing you do will impact your health, and ultimately the health of your child. It’s common to make changes to your diet and exercise routine. You’ll have lots of check-ups with your doctor. But have you factored your oral health into your prenatal plan?

Here are some things that pregnant women need to think about when it comes to oral health:

  • Get your teeth checked regularly—Even if you’ve already got tons of doctor’s appointments, don’t forget to get your teeth cleaned and checked during your pregnancy. Your oral health may seem removed from your child’s health, but that’s not the case. If you get an infection in your tooth, then that infection can spread into your bloodstream. This infection could eventually infect your baby, leading to serious health problems and pregnancy complications.
  • Beware of gingivitis—Some of the physiological changes to your body during pregnancy can lead to having sore and puffy gums. If your gums become so inflamed that they start to bleed, then you could wind up losing teeth. That’s why it is so important to maintain a routine of brushing and flossing regularly.
  • Be up front—It’s important to let your dentist know that you’re pregnant. Dental care can still take place during pregnancy, but modifications may need to be made. Your dentist needs to know about your pregnancy so they can make any necessary adjustments to your treatment. You should also be sure to share what medications and vitamins you’re taking.
  • Don’t let morning sickness get in the way—Many pregnant women talk about extreme tastes setting off morning sickness. If your toothpaste is making you nauseous, you might feel like avoiding it altogether. This isn’t the solution! Instead, find a brand of toothpaste that has a mild taste. If you find yourself with a serious case of morning sickness, try rinsing your mouth out with baking soda and water. This will help remove the acids in your mouth from vomiting.
  • Use mints—Best-case scenario, you have a toothbrush on hand to keep your teeth fresh. If that’s not a viable option, you can keep some chewing gum or mints in your bag. Make sure they have xylitol in them. This substance helps rid your mouth of bacteria that can cause tooth decay.
  • Eat properly—Diet is likely already a huge part of your prenatal care. Diet plays a huge part in your oral care, too! You should eat foods that are high in protein and vitamin-rich. Try to steer clear of sugary snacks and drinks, even when the pregnancy cravings kick in!

Pregnancy is an exciting time. It’s important to spend a little extra time taking care of yourself and paying attention to your overall health. Don’t forget to take care of your teeth and gums, too.

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