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Did You Floss Today? 1 in 3 People Didn’t

When’s the last time you flossed your teeth? Chances are, you haven’t done so in a while.

According to CNN, a recent study performed by Center for Disease Control (via the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) collected startling data about Americans and their flossing habits.

How to Use Dental FlossResearchers surveyed more than 9,000 adults older than age 30 and as it turns out that only about 1 in 3 reported flossing daily. The study found that 32.4 percent of the people surveyed said that they don’t floss at all during a typical week; 37.3 percent said they flossed occasionally, but not daily; and 30.3 percent said that they flossed every day in the past week.

Even if you take good care of your teeth otherwise by brushing regularly and avoiding acidic foods, if you don’t floss, you could still end up with a number of serious gum and tooth issues down the line. Flossing removes food particles that get stuck between your teeth that brushing can’t clean out, and once the food sits there long enough it turns into tartar. Tartar and plaque are very damaging to your teeth. Tartar breaks down your teeth and gums, causing problems such as gingivitis or gum disease, halitosis or bad breath, and can even cause teeth to fall out. Once your teeth and gums are riddled with gingivitis – which will cause a long list of issues for you – it can be a long road back to having a healthy mouth.

The simple solution to preventing these problems with your pearly whites and protecting your smile down the line is to floss daily. Once you get into the habit of doing it, it won’t seem like such a big deal. Losing a tooth and dealing with painful gum disease is certainly a bigger deal!

For more information on the benefits of flossing, talk with your dentist at your next appointment – another vital part of keeping and happy and healthy smile. To schedule your next visit to have your teeth cleaned and checked, make an appointment online now or call Brockport Dental today at 585-589-0000.

Filling in the Gaps About Fillings

One of the most common dental procedures that patients have done is checking for cavities and having any that are discovered treated with fillings. As most of us know, fillings, which are also called amalgams, are the most common method for treating cavities, but where did this popular treatment method come from?

Cavity FillingSome say that fillings may have been around for more than 6,500 years, with some of the earliest fillings believed to have been made from beeswax and installed after the patient was already deceased, according to 123Dentist.com. Since the concept of fillings is thousands of years old, it’s no surprise that they have gone through many different incarnations to become what we know today.

Moving forward into the 19th century, metal fillings became more popular. These were a variety of metals, most commonly gold, tin and silver, that were softened and fitted into the cavity in the tooth. As the century marched on, amalgams became more commonly used. This mix of metals blended tin, silver, mercury and copper to create a filling material that was more efficient and affordable to create.

Before long, the predominant use of mercury was discontinued as people began to realize that the metal could seep into a patient’s body and cause damage. Upon the realization that fillings were causing mercury poisoning, the method was denounced, but many fringe dentists continued the practice of using mercury due to how inexpensive and easy these fillings were to use.

The use of mercury in fillings has been dramatically diminished, and these days, amalgams are mostly made of gold, porcelain, silver and composite resin, with trace amounts of mercury used to bind the amalgam materials together. Dentists and chemists alike have concluded that using these other metals in the fillings is much safer while still providing excellent results for teeth in the process.

At Brockport Dental, we provide both traditional amalgam fillings as well as new composite fillings that more closely match the look of teeth – perfect for fillings in front teeth or more visible teeth. To learn more about fillings or to schedule your next dentist’s appointment, call us today at 585-589-0000 or request a visit online now.

Children and Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Baby Bottles Starting infants and toddlers off with good oral health habits will protect their teeth in the years to come. Though temporary, baby teeth are still susceptible to cavities, and one of the most common problems with children’s teeth is baby bottle tooth decay, or tooth decay in infants and toddlers. Strong, healthy teeth are important for children in chewing their food, speaking and having a strong smile, so taking steps to prevent tooth decay is vital to your child’s dental development.

Most often occurring in the upper front teeth, baby bottle tooth decay is caused by many factors. A common cause is prolonged exposure to drinks that contain sugar. When a baby is put to bed with a bottle or when a bottle is used as a pacifier, baby bottle tooth decay can occur. An increased risk for tooth decay also occurs when your infant or toddler does not receive an adequate amount of fluoride, whether through supplements or your tap water.

Mothers or primary caregivers can pass cavity-causing bacteria to their infant through saliva. So, if you put your baby’s feeding spoon in your mouth or clean a pacifier in your mouth, this can cause bacteria to transfer to your baby from you.

Numerous ways to prevent baby bottle tooth decay exist. For starters, try not to share saliva with your baby through common use of feeding spoons or licking pacifiers. You could also wipe your child’s gums with a clean, damp gauze pad or washcloth after each feeding, suggests the American Dental Association. One of the most important ways to prevent tooth decay is to brush your child’s teeth with a child-sized toothbrush and a grain-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste until the age of 3. Increase the amount of toothpaste used to a pea-sized amount between the ages of 3 and 6.

When bottle feeding, use only milk, formula or breast milk in bottles, and avoid filling the bottle with sugar water, juice or soft drinks. Ensure your infant finishes their bedtime and naptime bottles before going to bed. Similarly, avoid sugar exposure by not dipping your child’s pacifier in sugar or honey. Lastly, encouraging your child to drink from a cup by their first birthday can also help encourage healthy oral habits.

One of the best ways to prevent, control and treat baby bottle tooth decay is with a visit to your dentist. Brockport Dental has a passion for helping kids enjoy their dental visits, taking great care to make your child’s visit as comfortable and relaxing as possible. Our flexible scheduling options also help accommodate your busy lifestyle. Make an appointment online now or call us at 585-589-0000 to schedule a visit to take care of your child’s dental health today!

 

Don’t Forget Mouth Guards for Spring Sports

With spring here, children are taking to the fields and playing spring sports again – if they haven’t already. Before your little athlete takes the field, parents need to think about equipping them with a mouth guard.

Mouth GuardsMouth guards help protection your children’s teeth from flying objects, namely baseballs, softballs, soccer balls, tennis balls, basketballs and anything else you can think of. While these sports are fun to play, one bad catch can crack or chip your child’s teeth, requiring sometimes-expensive dental procedures.

April was National Facial Protection Month, an awareness campaign from the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. “Many oral and facial injuries can be easily prevented with the use of sports safety equipment like helmets and mouth guards,” the organization wrote on its information page.

Mouth guards are particularly easy to use. Costing only a few dollars, they can be purchased at any sporting goods store, along with large national retailers like Target and Walmart. All parents need to do is boil them in water, softening them to be put in a child’s mouth where they can mold to your child’s teeth and create a perfect fit.

From then on, the mouth guard will protect your child’s teeth while on the field. Mouth guards prevent many injuries that could otherwise be prevented. They may also make your child feel a little bit more tough, giving them an added piece of equipment that lets them know it’s time to play.

Of course, mouth guards are also for more than just teeth, and studies have shown that wearing mouth guards can cut an athlete’s risk of concussion by more than half. For even more on the concussion protection offered by mouth guards, check out this blog from DearDoctor.com.

At Brockport Dental, we want to treat children with healthy teeth, and we never like to see a child come in with a broken tooth that may need a root canal or other invasive procedures. We’d rather see a child who has worn a mouth guard, taken the time to brush and has a beautiful smile. If you have any questions about mouth guards, call us or ask your child’s dentist at their next appointment. Schedule your next visit online now, or call us today at 585-589-0000.

Get the Facts About Fluoride

From an early age, children are taught to brush their teeth multiple times a day, including just before heading to bed, as a way to establish good dental hygiene for the rest of life. While brushing teeth helps remove plaque and other harmful bacteria from the mouth, the toothpaste also includes fluoride that helps rebuild and maintain tooth enamel. Fluoride helps make the tooth more resistant to acid attacks and reverses early signs of tooth decay.

Plaque and other sugars break down tooth enamel through a process called demineralization, but by adding such minerals as fluoride, calcium and phosphate to the diet, the process can be reversed. This is especially important for young children, as fluoride can be incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it more difficult for acids to harm the teeth they will have the rest of their life.

Fluoride is included today in many toothpastes and mouth rinses, and is added to the water in many areas. This passive addition of fluoride is not always enough, though, which is why Brockport Dental offers two fluoride-based treatments that, combined with brushing and other healthy habits, can help maintain strong teeth.

Topical fluoride treatments strengthen teeth once they have erupted, seeping into the outer tooth enamel and resisting decay. This is the type that is included in over-the-counter products, but children should have a professional application twice a year during their dental checkups to protect teeth going forward.

Systemic fluoride treatments strengthen teeth that have erupted, along with those developing under the gums. This fluoride comes mostly through foods and the water supply, but it can also be prescribed as a gel by your dentist or physician and is generally recommended for young children through teenagers.

Your dentist may offer other alternatives if they notices signs of deep pits or fissures on the chewing surfaces of teeth, frequent sugar or carbohydrate intake or a history of dental decay. To learn more about fluoride treatments or to schedule your next appointment, call the team Brockport Dental at 585-589-0000 or request an appointment conveniently online now.

Celebrating the First Woman Dentist

According to the University of Michigan Dentistry School, Lucy Hobbs was the first woman to ever earn a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the Ohio College of Dental Surgery in 1866. She was an extraordinary woman, committed to the practice of dentistry and being a good doctor to her patients, but it took her many years and a lot of determination to become the first female dentist. As we celebrate Women’s History Month, let’s take a look at this pioneering dentist.

Hobbs was born in Constable, New York in March 1833, the seventh child in a family that would eventually have 10 children. She went to school at the Franklin Academy, and after she graduated she became a teacher in Michigan.

Schoolteacher was one of the few jobs that women held during Hobbs’ time, but while she was living in Michigan she rented a room from a doctor, who sparked her interest in medicine.

Thus inspired, she moved to Cincinnati in 1859, says People’s World, where she applied to the Eclectic College of Medicine, the only college that was accepting women at the time. She was denied, however, because the college had reversed its decision to accept female students.

Study of DentistryAfter she was rejected, Hobbs didn’t give up. She found a professor who was willing to tutor her privately. Once the professor saw how talented Hobbs was, he suggested that she pursue dentistry. Hobbs was again denied admission from a school, however, this time the Ohio School of Dentistry.

Rather than give up and move on, Hobbs opened her own dental practice in Ohio, then moved to Iowa where she was recognized among her male peers despite not having a degree. She was elected to the Iowa State Dental Society and attended the American Dental Association’s annual convention in Chicago as a delegate from the state society. After successfully treating patients for four years, Hobbs was finally granted admission to the senior class at the Ohio School of Dentistry, where she graduated in 1866.

Hobbs is known for saying that she wanted “to enter a profession where she could earn her bread not alone by the sweat of her brow, but by the use of her brains also.” She continued her dentistry practice until her death, though largely retired from active practice following the death of her husband in 1886.

During March, Women’s History Month, we should remember to honor the women who were brave enough to keep trying until they succeeded at accomplishing their dreams while also pushing boundaries and changing the conversation for their children.

This month – and every month – it’s also important to remember your dental health. Don’t forget to schedule your next dentist’s visit! Request an appointment online now or call Brockport Dental at 585-589-0000 today to schedule your next visit.

Hallmarks of Healthy Gums

If you went to a mirror right now could you tell if your gums are healthy or not? What if you touched them and saw if they changed color with pressure? Many of us have to rely on our dentists to tell us if our gums are healthy, but there are a few easy ways you can tell at home between your routine appointments if there is anything to worry about.

Healthy GumsAn easy way to tell if your gums are healthy is by brushing and flossing your teeth.  When you brush or floss do you bleed at all? If the answer is no, you are in good shape.

Another way to tell if your gums are unhealthy is if they are red, swollen or tender. Healthy gums should generally be pink in color and not swollen.

When you come in for your regular exam at Brockport Dental, we perform a few checks to see if you do in fact have healthy gums. These include using a periodontal probe to check the depths of the pockets surrounding each tooth. A healthy gum line will have pockets that are 3 millimeters or less in depth, if you have gum disease, your pockets will be deeper than this amount.

Another visual check that a dentist performs is when they are probing during the cleaning. If you do not bleed, your gums are generally considered healthy. Your gums should hold tight to your teeth, and be able to resist movement when pressed upon by the probes.

If you do have healthy gums, your dentist will recommend that you keep you your routine care and home and maintain your regular checkup schedule of twice per year. However, if your gums are unhealthy, your dentist may recommend you start a treatment plan to monitor and try to improve your gum health.

The best way to find out your dental health is, of course, seeing the dentist. At Brockport Dental, we offer early morning and late evening hours to help provide a more accommodating schedule so that even the most busy among us can schedule a visit at a time that’s convenient for them. To schedule your next appointment, call us today at 585-589-0000 or request an appointment online now.

History of Dental Floss

Throughout history, people have used various implements – including pointed sticks – for cleaning between their teeth. One of the hardest places to reach – and virtually impossible using only a toothbrush – interdental cleaning is an important part of overall dental health.

Dental FlossNowadays, we have a cleaning tool perfect for interdental cleaning – dental floss. Dental floss is a cord of thin filaments used to remove food and dental plaque from between teeth in areas where a toothbrush cannot reach. Floss comes in a variety of colors, textures and even flavors.

So how did we go from pointed sticks to dental floss? Here's a brief history.

Levi Spear Parmly, a New Orleans dentist, is credited with the invention of dental floss as we know it today, according to a history compiled by OralB. In 1815, Parmly began using and advising his patients to use a thin silk thread to clean between the teeth.

The concept grew over the years, and more than half a century later, Codman and Shurtleft Co. based in Randolph, Massachusetts, began marketing an unwaxed silk dental floss in 1882. Johnson & Johnson followed in 1896, taking out a patent in 1898 for dental floss made from the same silk material used by doctors for silk stiches.

In the 1940s, nylon, with its consistent texture and resistance to shredding, replaced silk as the preferred dental floss material. Waxed floss in the ‘40s and dental tape in the ‘50s developed as a result of using nylon as well.

The variety of dental floss today includes newer materials like Gore-Tex and different textures that range from spongy to soft. Floss also includes stiffened ends now as a way to help with flossing around braces or other dental appliances.

A key factor in maintaining oral health, floss reaches between the teeth to get rid of plaque and to reduce the risk of dental diseases such as gingivitis. Along with brushing twice per day and regular use of mouthwash, flossing concludes the ultimate trifecta in a healthy dental routine.

Of course, no dental regimen is complete without regular visits to your dentist. To schedule your next appointment with Brockport Dental, call us today at 585-589-0000 or request an appointment online now.

Lost a Tooth? Here Are the Steps to Take

To most people, having a tooth knocked out can seem like a really scary ordeal. Not only do you have to deal with the pain of the injury, but you also have to go through dental surgery to have a fake tooth implanted. Well, contrary to popular belief, having a tooth knocked out may not actually be as bad as you might think, and you may even be able to save your tooth­ – but you have to be prepared to act quickly to care for the tooth when the injury occurs.

Teeth are knocked out fairly frequently, especially in the colder months with popular winter sports such as skiing and ice hockey and more dangerous walking and driving conditions. In fact, more than 5 million teeth are knocked out per year. That’s a lot of teeth!

So, if you ever have a tooth knocked out, the first thing you need to do is find the tooth and handle it by the crown only – the part of the tooth that you bite with. If you touch the root of the tooth, you run the risk of causing permanent damage to the tooth.

If the tooth is dirty, you can rinse it gently with your own saliva or whole milk. If neither of those are feasible options, you can rinse it very gently with water, but saliva or milk are the preferred options to get rid of any grime.

The next step is to get to a dentist – immediately. The longer you wait, the more unlikely it is that your tooth can be successfully re-implanted. During transport, if you can, you can place the tooth back in the socket gently, and bite down on gauze or a tea bag to keep the tooth in place. If the tooth can’t fit back into the socket, you can keep the tooth in your mouth, either under your tongue or between your lower lip and gums. You can also transport the tooth in a container, as long as it is covered with a small amount of saliva or whole milk. The key is to keep the tooth moist at all times, as once it dries out, the tooth won’t be viable for re-implantation.

Consider adding one of these Save-a-Tooth containers to your home’s first aid kit or adding one to your roadside emergency bag. These containers are an ADA Seal of Acceptance product, meaning that they have been reviewed and approved by the agency’s Council on Scientific Affairs as a means of safely transporting your tooth.

The most important thing to remember if you ever lose a tooth is to stay calm and follow these steps. If you act quickly, your tooth can be successfully re-implanted and last you for many more years to come. In the meantime, don’t forget to wear your mouth guard when you’re playing sports and watch out for black ice on sidewalks and roadways!

Of course, dental care is more than just emergencies like lost teeth – it’s also routine cleanings and preventative care to keep cavities from forming and identifying any potential issues early before they become serious problems. Don’t forget to schedule your next appointment with the team at Brockport Dental. Call us today at 585-589-0000 or request an appointment online now to schedule your next visit!

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Are you unhappy with your smile or looking to get rid of your dentures? Are you ready for a sustainable solution to missing teeth? After speaking with your dentist, you may decide to get dental implants.

Dental ImplantsDental implants are natural-looking artificial roots and teeth that are surgically embedded into the jaw. Implants are an excellent option when you are looking for a more permanent solution to missing teeth or using dentures, and can also even be used to reduce joint pain or restore your confident smile. Dental implants are a stable and strong choice when you are looking for a long-lasting solution.

Unlike dentures or other daily-wear options, you need to brush and floss dental implants regularly just like you would with natural teeth to avoid gum disease and other problems which could result in an implantation failure. Dental implants will last for years when properly cared for, but still may require occasional re-tightening due to normal wear.

If you keep a proper dental hygiene regimen and maintain check-ups with your dentist, your dental implants can last a lifetime, unlike crowns which don’t tend to last beyond 15 years. Although implants in the back of the mouth, which receive more wear, do tend to need replacement more often than those near the front.

Dental implants have become the norm in tooth-replacement. More reliable than dentures and dental bridges, dental implants provide excellent support and don’t decay. Plus, you will be able to chew without slipping and won’t feel pressure on your teeth!

Due to the advancement of dental implants, failures and rejections are rare and most problems occur due to preexisting medical conditions. Consult with one of our friendly and professional dentists at Brockport Dental to see if dental implants are right for you. Call us at 585-589-0000 or request an appointment online now.

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