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Woman with beautiful white teeth having them check at dentist

A Guide to Having Healthy Teeth

Brockport Dental sees a lot of patients over the course of a typical year. Some people have a lot of dental issues, while others do not. What are some tips for having healthy teeth? Read on, and find out…

Tips for Having Healthy Teeth

Do you brush your teeth before you go to bed? That’s one way to have healthy teeth. Ideally, people should brush their teeth at least twice daily, with one of those times being before they go to bed. Some people brush after every meal and/or snack. It’s a good idea to brush teeth in order to get rid of germs, plaque, etc. When brushing, be gentle, using circular motions. Brush your tongue, too.

What kind of toothpaste do you use? Choose one with fluoride– this helps defend against tooth decay.

Do you floss? You should. This gets little pieces of food out from in between the teeth. Flossing also stimulates the gums and helps reduce inflammation.

What about mouthwash? Mouthwash, like Listerine, can really help improve your oral health. Mouthwash reduces the amount of acid in the mouth as well as re-mineralizes teeth. It’s also good for cleaning out hard-to-brush parts of the mouth. It’s a good thing to do in addition to flossing and brushing.

How about what you eat and drink? If you can cut down on pop, do so, since pop can rot your teeth enamel. Ideally, drink more water. Rinse your mouth with water after a meal. As for food, crunchy fruits and vegetables are great for your teeth; Carrot sticks? A great choice! It’s better to eat carrots than sugary, sticky candy. Keep in mind that sugar converts into acid in the mouth– this leads to enamel erosion of your precious teeth– no bueno.

Finally, for healthy teeth, see your dentist twice a year for cleanings and check-ups. Some people avoid going to the dentist for years, only to find out little issues have turned into major, catastrophic issues. Don’t avoid the dentist if you want healthy teeth.

Dentist checking patient's mouth for gum disease.

Gum Disease: When Should You Be Worried About It?

When you think of the dentist, you usually think of teeth, right? But don’t forget the gums! Did you know that many adults have some form of gum disease? How would you even know you have gum disease? What are some signs to look for?

Bleeding and Swollen Gums

First, if you notice bleeding when you brush or floss, that could be a sign you have gum disease. Bleeding gums are something you should mention to your dentist at your next appointment.

Next, when you take a look at your gums in the mirror, check to see if they look abnormally red or swollen. Are they sensitive to touch and/or extreme temperatures, like when you chew ice? If so, that could be a problem and you should talk to your dentist about it.

Exposed Roots

Thirdly, gums can recede or pull back, making teeth look longer and eventually leaving the teeth roots exposed. When this happens, bacteria likes to eat away at the roots– and that’s not good. A receding gum line is not a good thing.

When the gum tissue separates from the tooth root, and decay sets in, you’re likely going to have a loose tooth. Perhaps it needs to be extracted by a dentist. Or maybe a pocket reduction can be done whereas the gum tissue is brought back into contact against the tooth root.

Abscesses

Finally, be on the lookout for an abscess in your gums– this is basically an infection that can cause swelling, pain, fever, etc. An abscess might need to be professionally drained to eliminate the infection.

Keep in mind that gums play a role in your health and shouldn’t be overlooked in favor of just your teeth when you visit the dentist. In Brockport, NY, make an appointment to visit Brockport Dental if you suspect you might have gum disease. Call 585-636-0555 for more information.

woman with crooked teeth smiling

Why Do Some Teeth Grow in Crookedly?

Some people are blessed with “perfect teeth.” Most people, though, are not… Indeed, most people experience crooked teeth in their lifetime, whether it’s their baby teeth and/or permanent teeth coming in crooked.

Baby Teeth

Baby teeth typically come in crooked because they’re just too small to fill the amount of gum space available. Baby teeth can also come in crooked due to prolonged sucking on a pacifier, bottle or thumb, which causes teeth to become “pushed out” or crooked. Tongue thrusting and mouth breathing can also contribute to crooked teeth. Can heredity and genetics play a role, too? Definitely.

As baby teeth fall out and permanent teeth replace them, there’s a chance a young person experiences tooth decay and/or trauma to the mouth. When baby teeth fall out sooner than they would naturally, then permanent teeth are likely to grow out of the gums at a slanted angle rather than a straight one.

Rother Reasons

What are some other reasons teeth can be crooked? Today’s diets require less chewing than the diets of people who lived centuries before us. This has actually altered our collective jaw size over time! Shorter, smaller jaws make for more crowded and crooked teeth. Furthermore, many young people have a malocclusion– a misaligned jaw– resulting in an overbite or underbite where teeth don’t “match up” when taking bites– and you might get crooked teeth.

Poor dental care (not brushing or flossing, never visiting a dentist) and/or poor nutrition can also lead to crooked teeth. And if a kid gets hit in the mouth with a ball or punched by a sibling, that too could cause crooked teeth.

Many people with crooked teeth invest in braces to straighten them so they “look nicer” and “work better.” If you’d like to know more about dealing with crooked teeth, call Brockport Dental of Brockport, NY, at 585-636-0555.

Closeup of a young American football player with his mouthguard hanging from his helmet during a team practice session

Here’s Why Your Child Should Wear a Mouthguard While Playing Sports

Kids play sports. Whether it’s soccer, hockey, volleyball, baseball or basketball, there are plenty of opportunities for kids in Western New York to play sports at all different times of the year. And when they do, you– the parent or caregiver– want them to be as safe as possible. What’s something you can encourage kids to do when they play sports? Buy them mouthguards.

Mouthguards Protect Myriad Oral Injuries

Kids should wear mouthguards when playing sports or engaging in recreational activities where they need to protect their mouth just in case they receive a blow to the face. It could be that a ball or puck hits them in the face, or another kid’s hand or elbow swats them. Either way, the mouthguard should be in place to protect against broken teeth as well as injuries to the lips, tongue, face and/or jaw.

Mouthguards typically cover the upper teeth. They can be custom-fitted, stock (pre-formed, ready to wear), or “boil and bite,” whereas they’re first softened in boiling water, then inserted and given time to adapt to the shape of a kid’s mouth.

Did you know dentists can make custom mouthguards? And if your kid wears braces or some sort of fixed dental appliance, mouth protectors for the lower teeth exist as well.

If and when your kid gets a mouthguard, have them rinse it before and after each use. Mouthguards can be cleaned in cool, soapy water. Avoid leaving mouthguards in hot water and/or the sun. Replace them if/when they become worn or broken.

For more info about mouthguards, call Brockport Dental at 585-636-0555. Brockport Dental is located at 1000 Transit Way #200 in Brockport, New York. See some of the services offered, here. Brockport Dental serves all sorts of people, young and old alike, from Brockport, Holley, Hamlin, Byron-Bergen, Spencerport, Rochester, and beyond.

Dentist providing woman with a dental filling

How a Dentist Determines Whether You Need a Crown or Filing

How does a dentist determine whether you need a filling or a crown? If you’re royalty, you need a crown! Joking aside, what’s the real deal?

Cavities Mean Fillings

Well, most cavities need fillings. If you have a tooth that has decay and/or a cavity, the dentist fills that space up with porcelain, composite resin or gold or silver amalgam. A good filling helps prevent bacteria from spreading while also restoring the tooth’s overall health. Now when might the dentist say you need a crown? This would be when your tooth’s structure has been impaired by decay, breakage or fracture. A crown is like a cap for the tooth! Made from porcelain, composite resin or other materials, dental crowns are made to look and feel like natural teeth so if and when you get a crown, people probably won’t even know it’s there! Generally, crowns are more expensive than fillings and last a longer time.

Variables at Play

Typically, dentists have several factors that go into whether or not they choose to give you a filling or crown. For starters, there’s the size of the cavity. If it’s “not too big,” then a filling makes sense. If the cavity has affected a significant part of the tooth, however, a crown might make more sense. Then there’s the tooth condition to take into account. Is it weak or strong? Is it in danger of cracking completely? Will it be prone to infection in the months to come? Is the tooth broken or cracked? When the problem is bigger than just a small cavity, then it makes sense to get a crown put on.

Root Canals

Have you ever had a root canal procedure done? When this happens, the core of the tooth is infected and that infection needs to be cleaned out by your dentist. The inside of the tooth can become hollow and weak, so the dentist usually chooses to put a crown on it to strengthen it and that way you won’t need to have the tooth extracted.

Brockport Dental can help you feel better if you have problems with your teeth. If you need fillings and/or crowns, Brockport Dental can take care of your needs. Please call 585-636-0555 to make an appointment.

Dentist puts mouth guard with fluoride gel in male patient's mouth

Don’t Forget About Fluoride Treatments When Making a Dental Appointment

You’ve probably heard of fluoride, and that it can help prevent tooth decay, but how much do you really know about it?

What is Fluoride?

Fluoride is actually a mineral that’s found naturally in water sources. It gets released from rocks into soil, water and the air. As for it in water, almost all water contains some fluoride but not enough to prevent tooth decay. Many municipal water systems therefore choose to specifically add higher concentrations of fluoride to their water in order to improve overall public oral health. You’re also likely to find fluoride in oral care products you buy at the store– it’s often found in toothpastes and mouth rinses, for example.

Why is Fluoride Good For Your Oral Health?

What good is fluoride for your teeth? Well, it actually helps rebuild weakened tooth surfaces through a process called tooth remineralization. This process involves fluoride being absorbed into teeth, thereby restoring lost minerals that make teeth hard. The reason kids and adults utilize fluoride is because it helps strengthen teeth while preventing decay. One question that often gets asked is, “But is it safe?” Yes, fluoride use has been widely studied and no harmful effects have been found– for more info about the safety of fluoride, check here.

What are some reasons adults, in particular, might need fluoride? Well, as people age they often experience issues like dry mouth, gum recession, more and more fillings, crowns and bridges, as well as poor hygiene in general. Teeth aren’t as strong as they age, so fluoride helps strengthen them.

At a dentist’s office, fluoride can be applied using an in-office varnish. There are also at-home prescription pastes/rinses available.

Do you want to know more about fluoride? Visit Brockport Dental in Brockport, NY, and talk to the dentist or hygienist about it; Call 585-636-0555 to schedule your appointment or use the online scheduling page, here.

Brockport Dental is located at 1000 Transit Way #200, Brockport, NY, 14420.

Sugary soft drink that is bad for your teeth

Which Foods Do the Most Damage to Your Teeth?

Which foods or drinks do the most damage to your teeth? One ingredient, that’s in a lot of the foods we eat, is sugar, and it can definitely damage your teeth over time. Be careful about the amount of sugar you take in.

Candy

Do you love sugary sweets and candies? Most people do. However, there are certain foods such as caramels, hard candies and jelly beans that aren’t that good for your teeth. That’s because they stay in your mouth for a while, and that makes it harder for saliva to “wash away the sugar.” Besides those foods, there are cakes, cookies, pies and other desserts that can also lead to tooth decay. For those who love sugary foods, at least try to brush your teeth afterward.

Soft Drinks

What about soft drinks like Coke or Pepsi? These are not great for your teeth! They contain acid, which leads to things like dental erosion and cavities.

Surprise Foods

Here’s a food you might not have guessed: pickles! Pickles involve vinegar which has acid, and that acid wears away at tooth enamel. Besides pickles, there’s ketchup, which contains vinegar and high amounts of sugar– not the best for your teeth.

Do you like to drink wine? It can soften your enamel because it likely contains acid. And red wine, for example, has tannins which not only dry your mouth but also stain teeth. Yikes.

Citrus Foods

How about citrus fruits? Again, there’s the issue of acid, and in this case it’s citric acid which wears away at tooth enamel. Be careful with citrus/fruit juices, too, because they have acid and a lot of sugar.

If you do eat or drink things that are “bad for your teeth,” wait a couple minutes for your saliva to re-mineralize your enamel that the acid dissolved and then brush your teeth and/or rinse with water.

Do you need a dental check-up to deal with troublesome teeth? Schedule an appointment at Brockport Dental by calling 585-636-0555

3d rendering of a root canal procedure

Don’t Believe These Things About Root Canals

People often get scared at just the mere mention of the dreaded two words: root canal. Their first response is usually to freeze up their face into a painful look, followed by the words, “Please, no, anything but that!” But are root canals “that bad?” There are three common myths about them you should know…

Pain

First, the myth is that root canals are painful, as in “the worst pain I’ve ever experienced in my life.” That’s not true. Maybe you’ve seen fictionalized TV show/movie accounts of them, where they made it look bad, but the reality is that modern technology and today’s anesthetics make root canals a breeze. Seriously, it’s like getting a cavity filled, and you can handle that!

Prone to Disease

Next, some people believe the myth that root canals cause people to become ill or get certain diseases. A long time ago there was a research study that claimed that, but it wasn’t designed properly and has since been debunked. Try and find any valid and scientific evidence that root canal treatment is linked to disease anywhere in the body– you won’t find it.

“Easier” Options

Finally, there’s the myth, especially considered by older people, that pulling a tooth on your own is better than having a root canal treatment. The reality is that it’s better to save your natural teeth rather than yank one out. A natural tooth that gets “fixed” is better than having no tooth there at all. Furthermore, today’s treatment is highly successful with results often lasting a lifetime. Why pull a tooth when you can just have it fixed?

In Brockport, New York, you can find out if you need a root canal by visiting Brockport Dental. Located at 1000 Transit Way, #200, in Brockport, you can reach the office by calling 585-636-0555 to schedule an appointment.

Woman in dentist chair holding mouth from tooth pain

What Can Happen If You Ignore Tooth Pain?

Do you have tooth pain? Are you trying to ignore it, hoping it goes away on its own? What can happen if you ignore tooth pain?

Pain is the Body’s Way of Communicating Something is Wrong

Pain has a purpose. It tells you that something is wrong. In the case of tooth pain, it could mean you have a bacterial infection in your tooth. Once inside your tooth, that infection can spread to your bloodstream, which means it can spread all over your body. Tooth pain may be linked to more serious health issues that affect the heart, brain or other parts of your body. Furthermore, ignoring tooth pain could result in having an abscess in/around the tooth. This is excruciatingly painful. You might end up having to have the tooth extracted.

It’s Better to Be Proactive than Reactive

You don’t want to have to have a tooth extracted unless it’s totally necessary, right? Well tooth pain can also signify that you have a cavity. If left untreated, because you choose to ignore it, you might eventually need a dental crown, onlay or inlay to solve the problem of the ever-expanding cavity– and these options are costlier than simple fillings.

Be Worried About Gum Disease

And then there’s gum disease– another thing you don’t want. It’s not something that you get overnight. Instead, it develops over months or years. Tooth pain may be accompanied by painful, swollen, bleeding gums. You might have gum disease whereas bacteria has infiltrated your gum tissues. You want to have a dentist check you for that, and help you mitigate it.

Tempted though you may be to ignore tooth pain, it’s best to visit Brockport Dental for a professional checkup to see exactly what’s happening with your teeth and gums. Don’t wait until it’s too late– call Brockport Dental to schedule an appointment at 585-635-0555. It’s best to figure out what’s wrong when pain starts, rather than to wait a long time, trying to ignore the pain.

patient at the dentist getting dental fillings

Amalgam Versus Composite Fillings

Did you know there are two major types of dental fillings? When people have cavities, they can be filled using amalgam or composite. What are the differences between the two?

Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam fillings, also referred to as silver or metal fillings, are usually made from a variety of metals, such as silver, mercury, zinc or copper. They’re affordable and last a long time. They’re very durable. However, in recent years, they’ve gotten a bad rap because they often contain mercury. If you have amalgam fillings, every time you chew you release a small amount of mercury from your filling(s) into your body. People are worried about mercury poisoning, which is known to cause headaches, insomnia, tremors, nerve damage, kidney issues and respiratory failure. Mercury toxins can lead to long-term brain damage, too. It’s not unusual for people to visit a dentist to have them remove their amalgam fillings and replace them with composite fillings, simply because they want to get mercury out of their mouth!

Composite Fillings

Composite fillings are the norm these days. They are tooth-colored fillings that blend in beautifully with a person’s natural teeth, such that you get them and you might not even remember where they are in your mouth because they blend so perfectly! Composite fillings are made from acrylic and ceramic. They may need replacing “down the line,” but, that said, at least you’re not putting mercury in your mouth.

If you think you have a cavity that needs filling, composite is the better choice for most people these days. You can talk about the pros and cons of both types with the dentist/staff at Brockport Dental. Please call 585-636-0555 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Brockport Dental is a family-oriented dental office located at 1000 Transit Way, #200, in Brockport, New York, serving clients of all ages, including kids and seniors. We offer gentle, high-quality, affordable care.

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