3 steps to Naturally Prevent Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is your smile’s worst enemy. It takes everything and leaves you with nothing, except pain. Kind of like what your ex did to you, but worse. The worst part is that it also affects your dental health, which means you could be changing your bodies overall health. Tooth cavities not only rob you of your beautiful and charming smile, but they also make eating difficult and painful, and, can also cause you to mispronounce certain words.

Tooth decay occurs because of certain careless habits. Luckily for us, it is very easy to prevent, and you can fight tooth decay through natural methods. In the paragraphs below, we will discuss how you can prevent and fight tooth decay using these natural methods. However, first, let’s go over what tooth decay is, and how it’s caused.

Tooth Decay

Have you ever seen a person with teeth that look green or black and they are missing a tooth or two? Well my friends, that is what tooth decay can do to you. Tooth decay is the erosion of a hard armor that covers the visible parts of your teeth. This super armor is called tooth enamel. It is the hardest of all tissues in the human body and is also responsible for the sparkle in your smile.

If the saliva becomes somewhat less alkaline, the enamel there starts losing its apatite crystals to saliva. This process is called demineralization of enamel. The less alkaline the saliva, the faster the demineralization, or erosion of the enamel. Also, the longer this state remains, the greater the cumulative erosion becomes. As a result, cavities start forming on the teeth. So, tooth decay is the product of two factors, reduction of alkalinity of saliva, and the period over which it exists. The key to preventing and fighting tooth decay lies in controlling these factors.

What Reduces Alkalinity of the Saliva?

What reduces the alkalinity of the saliva? You guessed it, bacteria! Bacteria is always present in our mouths. It is also on the food particles that keep sticking to your teeth after eating and drinking. The bacteria are quick at converting sugars and starches in our food to acid, and wherever the food particles are sticking, the saliva around those teeth loses alkalinity. This process creates Erosion.

How To Kick Tooth Decay’s Butt!

Natural Method 1 – Avoid Excessive Sugar and Starch

Avoiding excessive sugar and starch is the first, easy and natural step to reducing tooth decay. It will protect not only your teeth but also your general health by controlling the calories, breakouts, etc. Avoid foods rich in sugars and starches, such as fast food, bakery products, chocolates, and candy. When high-sugar foods are partially digested inside the oral cavity, their degradation products are acidic in nature, and they promote enamel demineralization. It must be noted here that it is not the quantity of the sugar intake that is important – rather, it is the amount of time between the intake of sugar that is crucial.

Natural Method 2 – Eliminate Phytic Acid from your Diet

Phytic acid is a known mineral and enzyme inhibitor and is found in whole grains, seeds, and nuts. Since minerals are the building blocks of the dental enamel, eating a diet that is rich in phytic acid can result in an accelerated demineralization of the teeth. Besides, phytic acid also devoid the body of various nutrients that are essential for ensuring the health of your teeth and gums. So let’s keep the Phytic Acid at to a healthy limit, for our beautiful smiles!

Natural Method 3 – Oil Pulling

Oil pulling, an ancient Ayurvedic folk practice, dates back 3,000 to 5,000 years to traditional Indian medical remedies. Interestingly, swishing a tablespoon of any medium-chain triglyceride based oils, such as coconut, sesame, olive, and sunflower oil, can stop teeth cavities! These oils enhance the resistance of teeth against demineralization and prevent various dental problems such as gingivitis and periodontitis. All you need to do is to swish coconut oil in your mouth for 10-20 minutes. Not only will your teeth look sparkly white, but you will also never complain of teeth sensitivity or cavities again! Just make sure you do not swallow the oil, this could cause diarrhea or upset stomach. Dispose of the oil in your garbage can, not your sink, because the oil could cause your pipes to become clogged!

By following these three simple natural tips, you can ensure that you and your family are limiting tooth decay. However, it should be emphasized here that these natural remedies are not an alternative to regular dental visits. After all, your dentist can detect and treat dental problems which are not even visible to the naked eye. Therefore, natural dental health remedies and regular dental visits must go hand-in-hand.

Happy eating! Moreover, happy smiling!

Introducing The Dental Selfie Stick!

 

Patients are beginning to increase their dental IQ and becoming less afraid to question the treatment their dentist proposes. Here at The Center of Dental Professionals, we keep this in mind, which is why one of the diagnostic tools we use is an Intraoral camera.

Dentistry has changed significantly over the past several years. We no longer rely on just digital radiographs, an explorer and the dentists training and education to diagnose specific treatment options. Although those are valid and advantageous ways to diagnose, we now have additional tools to help educate our patients and provide diverse treatment options.  With the advancements in diagnostic tools and scientific research, the days of using the explorer exclusively to feel for and diagnose decay are over. It is now almost standard practice to use magnification, intraoral cameras, and caries detection devices.

With today’s digital technology, we are now able to use an intraoral camera to take instant photos inside your mouth of preexisting conditions to be aware of and show these images to you as a patient.

We believe in the power of educating our patients to make an informed decision when it comes to their dental needs. When we can show our patients, in real time, what we see as dental providers, we are building the relationship of trust. It is important that when we present any treatment, our patients are fully aware, can see for themselves and then choose the path of treatment options offered by the dentist.

This revolutionary new technology gives patients the ability to fully evaluate their oral health by viewing existing restorations, gingival health, and cavities that may not be seen by the naked eye. Combining this technology with digital x-rays and the dentist training, as well as experience, allows patients to be completely informed and confident about the treatment options presented to them.

Here are five advantages of an intraoral camera:

  1. Instant Diagnosis: You can instantly see what your dentist or dental hygienist sees while they perform an oral health evaluation. You can even take the driver’s seat and peruse your mouth by holding the camera and watching live on the monitor as you move from tooth to tooth.
  2. Accuracy: You know the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” it truly is the case when looking at an intraoral image of your mouth. Using this technology allows a dentist to show you, a hairline fracture in your tooth, discuss the consequences of that fracture and enable you to decide to move forward with the recommended treatment confidently. It also allows us to track any changes that might occur over time.
  3. Referral Source and Second Opinion: If your dentist needs to refer you to a specialist, they can quickly take an intraoral image and email it to the specialist. An intraoral camera is also an excellent resource as a second opinion. You not only hear the dentist and his team relay to you what they see, but you can see for yourself on these clear images.
  4. Co-Planning: Together you and your dentist can discuss the best treatment plan for you – YOU get to decide the direction of your treatment.
  5. Educational Tool: An intraoral camera is a great educational tool and shows you exactly what is going on in your mouth. Your dentist can enlarge the image and show and tell you what they see.

Here is an example of a fracture, clearly visible on the intraoral image:

Intraoral cameras also enable the dentist to share before and after pictures of treatment performed in the office, allowing patients to see improvements in their teeth after procedures such as decay removal, amalgam replacement, crown and bridge work, gingival and periodontal treatment, and significant cosmetic cases. These photos can also be used to educate and show prospective patients any procedures that have been completed by the dentist.

In a world where consumers require the ability to access complete information while controlling their financial decisions, here at The Center of Dental Professionals we are excited to meet our patient’s needs in this regard. A diagnosis can now be made, shown and explained to a patient easily and efficiently, allowing patients an honest approach to dentistry.

While it may take a few minutes longer to perform an exam on a patient with the use of intraoral cameras, we find that our patients appreciate the time and effort that we take to help them fully understand their oral health needs.

Our commitment is that each and every patient leaves our office with a full understanding of their oral health needs, feel we are honest and transparent and that we work together to provide exceptional dental care.

Dental Bridges vs. Dental Implants

Living with a missing tooth is not easy! First, a missing tooth ruins your smile and personality; especially when you’re missing a front tooth. Secondly, you will have difficulty eating and digesting food properly, as each tooth has a role to play in breaking food into smaller particles to be more easily absorbed. A missing tooth (or teeth) will make it difficult for you to speak, and pronounce words clearly.

If you have lost one or more of your teeth, we suggest getting them replaced immediately with an artificial one. Replacing missing teeth is not only necessary for restoring your smile and facial aesthetics, but it is equally important for restoring your optimal chewing and speech capability. Currently, the most common options for missing teeth are dental bridges and implants. Both these options carry their own merits and demerits. Let’s look at which tooth replacement option is best for you!

You can watch a video of Dr. Hemmert explaining both processes by clicking this link. 

Dental Bridges; What are They?
A dental bridge is fixed prosthesis that is used for replacing one or more missing teeth. For placing a bridge, healthy teeth on both sides of the missing tooth gap are prepared, and crowns are placed over them. These teeth are known as the abutment teeth. For replacing the missing tooth, a crown, also known as the pontic, is placed over the space which is then connected to the abutment teeth on both the sides.

  • Advantages of Dental Bridges:
    • Fixed Prosthesis – unlike the removable dentures, which need to be taken out of the mouth while sleeping or brushing, dental bridges remain fixed inside the mouth. They also possess better strength and durability than removable dentures.
    • Cheaper – when compared with dental implants, bridges are less costly. Therefore, they can be used for missing teeth replacement in cases when a budget is an issue.
  • Disadvantages of Dental Bridges:
    • Loss of Natural Tooth Structure – for attaching crowns on the abutment teeth present on either side of the missing tooth gap, a layer of enamel needs to be removed. Therefore, dental bridges are less tooth conservative in comparison to dental implants.
    • Secondary Caries – if optimal cleaning is not maintained around a bridge, there are high chances of development of teeth cavities (also known as secondary caries) in that region. If these cavities are not immediately restored, bacteria can travel into the underlying dental pulp or the gums and cause severe infection.
    • Limited Lifespan – even the highest quality dental bridges have a limited lifespan, despite your best efforts to maintain optimal oral hygiene. In contrast, once an implant has been used to replace a tooth, it tends to serve for a lifetime.

Dental Implants for Replacing Missing Teeth
Nowadays, dental implants are considered as the best option for replacing missing natural teeth. This due to their ability to provide excellent aesthetics, their durability as well as their natural feeling.

What are Dental Implants?
An implant is simply a fixture that is surgically placed inside the jaw bone where a tooth is missing. One embedded inside the bone, they serve as the root component of an artificial tooth. A suitable prosthesis such as a denture, crown or bridge is then attached to the implant to replace the missing tooth. Currently, the most commonly used material for fabrication of dental implant is Titanium alloys. However, implants based on zirconia are also being introduced into the dental industry.

Who can Benefit from Dental Implants?
Dental implants are an ideal tooth replacement option for anyone who needs replacement of one or more missing teeth. However, an essential requirement for placement of the implant is the presence of healthy jaw bone in the region where the implant is to be inserted. If the bone in that region is not sufficient, a bone augmentation surgery needs to be performed before implant insertion.

  • Advantages of Dental Implants:
    • Excellent Durability – dental implants are fabricated from high-quality materials, which make them sufficiently strong and durable. If you ensure optimal oral hygiene and visit your dentist regularly, you can expect your implants to serve for a lifetime.
    • Aesthetics – dental implants are perhaps, the most aesthetic tooth replacement option available currently. Highly aesthetic crowns can be attached to the implants, which will not only restore your smile, but your confidence and self-esteem as well.
    • Natural Feeling – just like the natural teeth, dental implants are embedded into the jaw bone. Due to this, dental implants look and feel just like your natural teeth, and they won’t cause any discomfort or irritation.
    • Eat Anything You Like – dental bridge wearers are advised not to eat hard and sticky foods directly from the bridge, as it can lead to dislodgement. This is not the case with implants because they are firmly anchored in the bone. Therefore, you can enjoy all your favorite foods without having a fear of breaking or dislodging your artificial teeth.

What are the Conditions Where Dental Implants are Not Indicated?
There are certain situations where it is not possible to use dental implants for tooth replacement:

  • Poor Density of Jaw Bone – in senior patients, and those who have an underlying bone pathology, the quality or quantity of the jaw bone in the edentulous region is not sufficient to allow for implant placement. However, in these cases, bone augmentation can be performed to restore the density of the alveolar bone.
  • Underlying Medical or Dental Pathology – implant placement should also be delayed in patients who are having chronic medical issues such as renal, liver, immunodeficiency problems or tumors. Also, implants should not be placed in cases of active dental pathologies like gingival, periodontal, and alveolar bone infections. Once complete healing has taken place from these infections, placement of implants can then be considered again.

In cases where dental implants cannot be placed, dentists usually opt for tooth replacement with dental bridges, or with the help of removable dentures.

From the above discussion, we can see that dental implants offer more benefits in comparison to the bridges. If you want to enjoy a perfect smile and a set of teeth which give you a “natural” feeling, then Dental Implants are the choice for you! However, your dentist is the best person to guide you about a tooth replacement option that is best for you.

The Importance of Regular Dental Checkups

Many people are unsure why it’s necessary to see a dentist every six months. For some, going to see the dentist makes them anxious and uncomfortable, but seeing the dentist twice a year is necessary to maintain proper oral health including teeth and gums. In fact, by having regular dental checkups not only do you achieve optimum oral health, but you could also help prevent a variety of health concerns such as heart disease or stroke!The American Dental Association (ADA) advises adults and children to visit the dentist every six months for an oral exam and cleaning. Your dentist will check for signs of oral cancer or issues of misalignment, gum disease, or tooth decay.

The health of our teeth can go from bad to worse quickly which leads to a variety of oral health problems unless we maintain routine dental check-ups.

Our teeth become stained from tobacco, food we eat, and the beverages we consume.

  • Tooth decay can result from the build-up of tartar or plaque if we do not floss and brush properly. Once tooth decay forms, your teeth begin to rot and the only option is dental implants.
  • Soft plaque, if not cleaned off properly, sticks to the teeth and leaves the gum tissue irritated, which leads to gum disease.
  • Research shows that poor oral health is an underlying cause of several other health issues and you can prevent these occurrences by maintaining good oral health.

When is the right time to begin routine dentist visits?
It is recommended that you start regular visits to the dentist for dental check-ups as early as age one. You should teach your children the importance of proper dental care so that severe dental problems do not emerge from bad oral care.

What to Expect During Regular Visits
A thorough examination at the dentists’ involves a lot of procedures and checking for tooth decay is just one of them. Your dentist or hygienist will assess gum health, look for signs or oral cancer, and check for vitamin deficiencies including diabetes. Lower jaw joint movement, face, saliva, and your bite may also be examined. Your teeth will be cleaned, and the doctor will cover tips for maintaining proper oral care. The simplest way to maintain healthy teeth and gums is by visiting your dentist regularly. Remember, preventive dentistry remains your best bet in dealing with potential oral health issues before they lead to other complications.

Orthodontics and Proper Oral Health

According to the American Association of Orthodontics, over four million people in the U.S. at any given time, are undergoing some form of orthodontic treatment. And even though having a mouth full of metal may make brushing your teeth and flossing more difficult, oral hygiene during your orthodontic treatment is crucial!

Why is it so important to be diligent about maintaining a great oral hygiene regiment during your orthodontic treatment, you might ask?
The braces, wires, bands, and retainers trap food particles and make it difficult to brush or floss away plaque. Those food particles and plaque, if left, most likely will result in plaque buildup, tooth decay, and gum disease. Yikes!

Most orthodontists will, in fact, advise you against certain sticky, hard, or chewy foods altogether to avoid potential problems. However, even if these foods are avoided, cleaning your teeth is a must.

Here are some great tips to help with properly cleaning your teeth during orthodontic treatment:

1)Before you brush your teeth, rinse with water. This can prove to be useful because it can help loosen any food stuck in and around the braces.
2)Use fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth.
3)When brushing, make sure to brush every tooth at the gum line as well as above and below the brackets. This technique helps to reach the majority of the tooth’s surface and help to remove plaque and food debris.
4) Like always, make sure to clean between the teeth by FLOSSING! Flossing threaders are highly advisable, and making flossing with braces MUCH easier.
5) To further prevent cavities and bacteria growth, complete your oral hygiene regiment by rinsing with a fluoride mouth rinse.

Behind every smile is a unique and important individual

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Considering Orthodontics?

Getting braces is a big investment in your oral health, and like any investment, it takes time and routine check-ins to achieve a perfect result that lasts forever.

Orthodontic treatment creates a better bite, making teeth fit better and decreases the risk of future and potentially costly dental problems.

How to get started:

Come in for a Complimentary Consultation where we will address your concerns, orthodontic needs and present you with a cost effective treatment plan with easy and affordable financing options.

If you have Medicaid and are interested in getting braces for your child, it’s simple! Once you come in for your consultation with our one of our talented providers, our pre-authorization specialist will send out an authorization to Medicaid and request your child be pre-approved for paid Orthodontic treatment through your Medicaid insurance plan. Our pre-authorization specialists are dedicated to each individual case and works hard to make sure the approval process is worry-free for you.

At The Center of Dental Professionals, we understand how important oral care is. If you are not approved for orthodontic treatment through your Medicaid plan or if you do not have insurance, don’t worry! We will work with each individual to ensure they have the treatment they need.

We have a low, flat rate for your orthodontic treatment, including retainers! This low rate will allow you or your child to get the treatment you need with affordable monthly payments.

We accept all Insurance plans, Medicaid, Chip and patients without insurance.

If you are interested in a Complimentary Consultation contact us today at 801-747-8016.

Leave your bad breath behind

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No one wants to have bad breath – and especially not on Valentine’s Day! Follow our list of foods not to eat and you’ll be om your way to fresher breath!

Not only is bad breath uncomfortable, but bad breath can cause periodontal disease (inflammation of the gums). The sour smell comes from carbohydrates that cling to your tongue. Sugars and acidic foods dry out your mouth which reduces saliva flow and encourages bacterial growth.

Here’s our top list of foods to avoid:

-Garlic

-Onions

-Dairy

-Alcohol

-Coffee

-Seafood

Staying hydrated is the most important thing to remember when trying to keep your breath fresh! Skip the sweets, and don’t forget to rinse and repeat!

We hope this helps you when picking a restaurant or dish for dinner. Have a happy Valentine’s Day!

Prevent Tooth Decay!

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As soon as your child’s first tooth appears, they are at risk for tooth decay. Most areas affected by early childhood tooth decay are your upper front teeth but all teeth can be affected. Dont panic though – most tooth decay can be prevented!

-Begin cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as their first tooth grows in.
-Brush your child’s teeth twice a day (morning and night).
-As soon as your child has two teeth touching, you should begin flossing.
-Eat a well balanced diet! Limit starchy or sugary foods.

When your child is old enough to start brushing his or her own teeth, make sure they are doing it often, and correctly. Monitor that they are using the right toothbrush, and the right amount of toothpaste.

Be cautious, if you see a tooth that is becoming discolored, bring your child to their dentist to get it checked out. You do not want to let tooth decay go untreated because it will only get worse. If caught early on, it can help to prevent the need for crowns and dental restoration.

 

Now Offering Orthodontics!

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We are excited to announce that the Center of Dental Professionals now offers Orthodontic Services for children, teens and adults! Now you or your child can receive orthodontic care right here in our office and experience a straighter, healthier, and more beautiful smile.

Our providers have provided orthodontics for years and know just what your smile needs. We tailor each treatment plan specifically for our individual patients and their own unique needs!

If you know that you need braces, that your jaw or teeth are misaligned, or if you just want to come in and check us out, call us at 801-747-8000 to schedule a Complimentary Consultation and get one step closer to a perfect smile!

Is Arthritis Preventing You From a Healthy Smile?

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Is Arthritis Preventing You From a Healthy Smile?

By David L. Steed

As we all get older, maintaining proper care of our teeth can seem like a daunting task. Prescription medications and health conditions like arthritis that severely limit mobility in the hands and fingers can quickly deteriorate a healthy mouth. The circumstances of aging don’t have to be detrimental to your health. With the help of a proper Dental Provider, like the Center of Dental Professionals, you can continue to experience a beautiful smile.

The number one recommended practice for adults to maintain a healthy mouth is brushing teeth twice a day and flossing once per day to prevent oral health problems. These problems may include debilitating conditions like gum disease, root decay, tooth loss, dry mouth as well as a variety of other periodontal diseases. When proper tooth care is combined with regular visits to the dentist (every six months) people feel healthier and many individuals are able to sustain longer lives.

In 2008, a combined study by the American Dental Association and Crest/Oral-B found that most American adults believed that regular brushing techniques and visiting the dentist often were the key to proper mouth care. Of those individuals, 25% self-reported not having visited a dentist in the past year and an additional 54% only visited the dentist once.

It is because of this data that The Center of Dental Professionals urge all patients to visit the dentist regularly. With the help of a family dentist that you trust, most oral diseases are highly preventable or at the very least treatable with specialized care. Many healthcare providers are sensitive to the needs of their elderly patients and can make suggestions during consultation to meet individual circumstances. Other ailments such as arthritis, cancer treatments, and prescription medications should be discussed with your dentist to help them suggest alternative treatments to prevent bone loss or tooth decay.

At The Center of Dental Professionals we know that healthcare is a highly individual experience. Our amazing team of dentists, hygienists, and administrative staff want to find ways to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle for years to come. Please visit any of our office locations to discuss any concerns you might have about your oral health in Salt Lake City, Utah.