How Does the Cold Weather Affect Your Teeth?

When most people think of cold weather and their health, they think of sniffles, sore throats, and the flu. Although all of these things do happen more during the winter months, cold weather can affect your dental health, as well. When cold temperatures hit, these are some of the reasons you may need to seek dental care in Lake Stevens, WA .

Sensitive Teeth

If you have tooth sensitivity, your symptoms may become worse in the winter. Simply taking a deep breath of cold air could trigger a shock of pain, and sipping on hot drinks can make it worse. Tooth sensitivity occurs when you have exposed dentin, which occurs as the result of erosion and plaque and tartar buildup, so stick to a careful dental hygiene routine and limit your consumption of acidic drinks to prevent further sensitivity from developing. Outside in cold temperatures, make an effort to breathe through your nose, so your teeth aren’t exposed to cold air. Try drinking coffee and other hot drinks through a straw, so that your teeth come into less contact with the liquid.

Dry Mouth

Because colds are so common during winter, cases of dry mouth also increase. When you have a cold, your nasal passages can become congested. In response, you tend to breathe through your mouth more, which in turn causes your mouth to dry out. Sip water and chew on sugarless gum to keep your mouth moist during the cold weather months, and consider cutting your coffee habit, since caffeine will further dry out your mouth. If your dry mouth is persistent or it happens year round, have a dental checkup to find out if there is an underlying cause. A dry mouth can increase the risk of cavities, so talk to your dentist to find a solution.

Low Levels of Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays an important role in keeping teeth healthy. Because sun exposure is a key part in maintaining healthy levels of vitamin D, your body’s supply may not be adequate during winter, when you spend more time indoors. Ask your dentist if you should consider taking a supplement to protect your teeth. Drinking more milk and eating more fatty fish can also help.

Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?

When you visit your dental office in Lake Stevens, WA and you have wisdom teeth, chances are that your dentist will recommend removing them. Most people have their wisdom teeth removed, so why do we have them in the first place?

Watch this video for insight into the evolution of wisdom teeth. These teeth are generally thought to be leftovers from an early stage of evolution that have not gone away yet. Although some people never get any wisdom teeth at all, those who do often experience problems with them. Since there is no advantage to having wisdom teeth, part of dental care today usually involves extracting them. Getting rid of wisdom teeth prevents pain, infections, and other complications that they usually cause.

Choosing Dental Implants for a Beautiful Smile

If you have missing teeth, your dentist will discuss your restoration options with you. For many people, there is a clear choice—dental implants. Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth and are often preferred by patients over other forms of false teeth, like dentures. Are you considering dental implants in Lake Stevens, WA ? Here are some of the advantages of using these restoration options to restore your smile.

Dental implants are rooted into your jaw using a post that acts as an artificial tooth root. As such, they fit securely and mimic your natural teeth. You can brush and floss them as normal, and you don’t have to make changes to your diet, as you do with dentures. Dental implants don’t rely on neighboring teeth, like bridges, so they don’t put any of your remaining natural teeth at risk, and because they are anchored in your jawbone, they help to prevent the bone loss that can occur with dentures.

What to Do Before and After Laser Teeth Whitening

Laser teeth whitening can make your smile look brighter and help you look younger. This cosmetic dentistry treatment is easy, fast, and effective, even if you have stubborn, deep stains. To get the most from your teeth whitening treatment in Lake Stevens, WA , it helps to pay attention to the pre- and post-treatment care plan recommended by your dentist. Here are some of the things you can do to have a successful teeth whitening experience.

Before Laser Teeth Whitening

Before a teeth whitening treatment, the focus is on protecting your teeth and gums as much as possible, to reduce the chances of post-treatment sensitivity. The night before and the morning of your treatment, brush your teeth very gently, taking care to avoid your gums as much as possible. This will reduce the chances of developing abrasions on the gum line. If you have an electric toothbrush, ask your dentist if you should switch to a manual brush right before your treatment to further reduce abrasions. Don’t floss, as you could cut your gums, which will cause discomfort after your treatment. Using your regular mouthwash is fine. There is no need to avoid food before your teeth whitening treatment. In fact, you won’t be able to eat for a few hours after your appointment, so have a meal before that will keep you full.

After Laser Teeth Whitening

When your teeth whitening session is complete, you will need to restrict your diet to clear liquids for at least two hours. After that time has passed, you can eat any kind of white food that won’t stain your teeth, such as chicken, pasta, and potatoes. An easy way to decide if you can have a particular food is to consider if it would stain a white shirt. If it would, then you should avoid it. For the first two days after your treatment, brush your teeth gently with white toothpaste that does not contain whitening ingredients or baking soda. After the first 48 hours, you can resume your normal diet, but keep in mind that new staining can occur as you consume red wine, coffee, and other dark-colored foods and beverages.

Which Whitening Treatment Is Right for Your Smile?

Proper dental care and avoiding certain foods are two of the best ways to maintain a brighter, younger-looking smile. However, taking these steps isn’t always enough to prevent your teeth from becoming dull or discolored with time. If your teeth aren’t as bright as you’d like them to be, then consider taking advantage of one of these options for teeth whitening in Lake Stevens, WA : teeth - whitening

In-Office Deep Bleaching

When it comes to obtaining a whiter smile fast, many patients choose in-office deep bleaching. Unlike the whitening treatments that you can purchase from the drugstore, in-office bleaching treatments can provide you with a noticeably whiter smile after a single appointment. This advantage means that instead of waiting weeks or longer to get the brighter smile that you want, in-office deep bleaching can provide you with same-day results. During this treatment, your dentist will use a special gel or shield to protect your gums before applying the bleaching gel to your teeth. Then, after allowing the gel to set, your dentist will remove it from your teeth to reveal a brighter smile.

In-Office Laser Teeth Whitening

If you have stubborn stains on your teeth that respond poorly to other whitening options, then your dentist may recommend laser teeth whitening. This in-office treatment makes use of recent advancements in teeth brightening technology to help provide patients with the best possible results. During a laser teeth whitening session, your dentist will apply a high-intensity bleaching gel to your teeth and use a specialized laser to boost its whitening effect. Also, this process can be repeated during a single office visit to help you obtain the whiter smile that you desire.

At-Home Kits

Finally, if you would like to enjoy the benefits of professional-grade whitening gels in the convenience of your home, then speak with your dentist about at-home whitening tray kits. First, your dentist will take impressions of your teeth and use these to create your custom-made whitening trays. Then, you will be provided with comprehensive instructions, the whitening trays, and a whitening gel to take home and use at your convenience.

Signs You’re Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard

Did you know that it is possible to brush your teeth too hard?

Brushing your teeth twice a day is the recommended best practice when it comes to good oral habits. If you follow this advice and clean your teeth morning and night, then you should feel proud of your dental care habits. However, some people take this oral care step too far and manage to overbrush their teeth. Yes, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing – even when it comes to good oral habits.

To learn if you may be among those who brush their teeth too hard, watch for these signs:

  • Receding gums
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Bleeding gums

Receding Gums

Gum recession has several potential causes, and one of them is overbrushing. Brushing your teeth too hard can damage the delicate gum tissue and cause it to recede backward. This process can cause teeth to look longer and feel sensitive as well as lead to swollen, red, or tender gums. You may see areas where the gum does not reach the tooth and instead a brownish area remains. Gum recession can eventually expose tooth roots and lead to
painful sensitivity and even tooth loss.

Your gum tissue needs to be brushed as well as your teeth but gentle brushing maneuvers are all you need. When it comes to your gums a gentle touch is better than an aggressive touch. Brushing your gums harshly could aggravate existing gum recession and cause gums tissue to recede further. Your gums play a critical role in supporting and protecting your teeth, so if you think you may be suffering from this condition, then ask about your treatment options during your next dental office visit.

Sensitive Teeth

Having sensitive teeth is no fun. In fact, some people have such sensitive teeth that they can only eat or drink things at room temperature. Anything hot or cold will be too uncomfortable to consume. Brushing too harshly can lead to tooth sensitivity.

Tooth enamel helps give you a bright smile, but it’s also responsible for protecting your teeth. If you brush your teeth aggressively, you may wear down the enamel and expose the sensitive dentin underneath, which can lead to tooth sensitivity. Also, as mentioned, overbrushing can cause tooth sensitivity due to gum recession, and this happens because the gums no longer cover the entire tooth root. Exposed tooth roots can be both uncomfortable and put you at greater risk for cavities, so it’s best not to ignore this symptom of overbrushing.

While sensitive teeth can be treated with the right oral care habits, specific toothpastes and help from your dentist, once tooth enamel is gone it can’t be replaced.

signs brushing teeth too hard dentist wa

Bleeding Gums

Lastly, one of the most common signs of aggressive tooth brushing is bleeding gums. Contrary to what many people believe, it’s not normal for gums to bleed during brushing. Bleeding gums are often a symptom of gingivitis and poor oral hygiene, but they can also signal that you’re brushing your teeth too hard. If you clean your teeth consistently and find that your gums are swollen, red, or tend to bleed, then consider brushing more gently and switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush.

How to Prevent Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard

  • Watch your toothbrush
  • Be gentle with your brushing
  • Use an electric toothbrush
  • Replace your toothbrush regularly

One of the easiest steps to help reduce your risk of brushing too hard, refrain from using a medium or hard bristle brush. The best toothbrush to use for your teeth is a soft brush. Soft or even extra soft brushes can do just as an effective a job at cleaning your teeth, and are less likely to damage your enamel.

When brushing hold your toothbrush with only three fingers or use an electric toothbrush to help from brushing too hard. Both of these will help ease the pressure you are putting on your teeth when you brush. Additionally, don’t forget to buy a new toothbrush every few months and floss daily.

While undergoing teeth cleanings and dental check-ups in Lake Stevens WA , patients are frequently told how vital it is to brush their teeth twice per day, every day. We certainly advocate that our patients follow good oral hygiene habits but we also want to make sure they don’t go overboard.

So keep up the good habits when it comes to brushing and flossing – just make sure you don’t overdo it and cause harm to your teeth and gums by overbrushing or brushing too hard.

Choosing the Best Toothpaste for Your Needs

When shopping the dental care aisle, the number of toothpaste options that are available can be nothing short of overwhelming. Considering this, it’s not surprising that patients often have questions about choosing the right toothpaste when they visit their dental office in Lake Stevens, WA . If you’re wondering what product you should be putting on your toothbrush, then start by looking for toothpaste that addresses your personal needs.

Do you have sensitive teeth? If so, then selecting toothpaste that is formulated for sensitive teeth may help improve your symptoms. Similarly, if you have sensitive gums, then look for options that are designed to help keep gums clean and healthy. For individuals who want to maintain their tooth whitening results, using toothpaste that contains whitening ingredients may help keep their teeth brighter for longer. If you’re still not sure which toothpaste to use, then speak with your dentist for advice on which options may be best for you.

toothpaste - brush

Tips for Taking Your Child to the Dentist

Dental care for your child should start as soon as her first tooth comes in, and trips to the dentist should begin early, as well. If you’re wondering when to schedule your child’s first visit to her family dental office in Lake Stevens, WA , then watch this video for some helpful tips.

According to experts, kids should see a dentist by the time they are age one or within six months of getting their first tooth. Also, teaching your child about dental care early in life can help her develop good oral hygiene habits. To do this, ensure that your child is brushing all of her teeth, including the ones in the back, and consider using a song or a timer to get her accustomed to brushing for two minutes every time.

Why Fluoride Treatment Is Important for Your Child

You’ve probably heard that fluoride plays a significant role in children’s dental care, but do you know why? If not, then there are a few things that your kid’s dentist in Lake Stevens, WA would want you to know about fluoride and the role it plays in protecting teeth.

Bacteria on your child’s teeth can slowly erode her tooth enamel and eventually lead to cavities. Fluoride, which is a mineral that is found naturally in the earth’s crust, can help prevent tooth decay by strengthening her tooth enamel. Because it can fortify the protective surface that surrounds your child’s teeth, fluoride can help promote her oral health. In this way, just like regular dental check-ups, the use of fluoride can be important for protecting your child’s teeth from cavities. To ensure that her teeth get enough fluoride, your kid’s dentist may recommend that she use a fluoride-containing toothpaste and receive occasional fluoride treatments.

child - dentist

What Can You Do to Reverse Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. If allowed to worsen, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis and cause cavities, bone loss, and even tooth loss. Luckily, this condition is often reversible. If you’ve been diagnosed with gingivitis, then keep reading to learn how you can address this gum condition with the right dental care in Lake Stevens, WA . gingivitis - image

Understand the Cause

Every day, a film of bacteria called plaque forms on your teeth. At this stage, the plaque can be brushed away easily with a toothbrush. However, if left alone, plaque hardens into tartar, which must be removed by a dental professional. The bacteria in plaque and tartar can get under the gum line, causing infection and symptoms like inflammation, redness, and tenderness. It’s this process that leads to gingivitis.

Improve Your Routine

To reverse your gingivitis, it’s important to prevent plaque and tartar from accumulating on your teeth. By brushing away the bacteria that cause gum disease, you can provide your gums with a chance to heal, as well as improve your symptoms. To do this, up your dental care routine by flossing your teeth once per day and brushing your teeth twice per day for a full two minutes. Your dentist may provide you with additional or different instructions to help you reverse your gingivitis. Also, your saliva plays an important role in washing away plaque, so try to keep your mouth moist by drinking plenty of water.

See Your Dentist

Finally, one of the best steps that you can take to help reverse your gingivitis is to visit your dental office regularly. Ideally, schedule dental exams and teeth cleanings once every six months or according to your dentist’s recommendations. During these visits, your dentist can examine your mouth to monitor the state of your gums and teeth. Also, your dental hygienist will clean your teeth to remove the plaque and tartar buildup that can cause gum disease.