November 6, 2014
If you have ever considered getting braces but did not want to have a “metal mouth”, we have a solution that might be right for you. Have you ever considered Invisalign? There are some benefits to Invisalign that you might not have considered.
*Enjoy the foods you like: Remove your trays (for a little while) and enjoy your cup of coffee or that bag of popcorn.
*Brush and floss normally: Just take your trays out and brush and floss as normal for optimal periodontal health
*Less office visits: We know you have a busy schedule. Invisalign allows you to come in for dental appointments less often. Only every 4-6 weeks!!
*Virtual invisible teeth straightening: Since the trays are clear people will hardly know you are wearing them.
*Smooth plastic trays: No metal that could irritate cheeks and gums.
These are just a few benefits of having Invisalign. Schedule an appointment with Dr Tillman and he can go over all the benefits and convenience of this great option!!
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October 16, 2014
With so many options in the dental health isle choosing toothpaste can be a little overwhelming. From baking soda, whitening, foaming, desensitizing, tarter control, anti-gingivitis, fluoride…the list can go on and on. No matter the brand always select a toothpaste with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval. Dr. Tillman has a few tips for choosing the right toothpaste for you and your family’s needs.
- Anti-cavity: Almost all the options on the market contain fluoride. Fluoride is just as important as brushing in preventing decay and it actively strengthens tooth enamel.
- Anti-gingivitis: Do your gums suffer from redness and bleeding? You might have gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease. Anti-gingivitis toothpastes help reduce oral bacteria and can be very effective at stopping this gum condition at its source.
- Desensitizing: Ever take a sip of hot coffee or a cold beverage and feel a shooting pain? This type of toothpaste might help to give you some relief – it helps reduce pain by blocking the tooth’s pain signal to the nerve.
- Tartar-control: As its name indicates, tartar-control toothpaste helps prevent the buildup of tartar. While this product is helpful in slowing new buildup on teeth, a professional dental cleaning is the only way to remove existing tartar and the bacteria it harbors.
- Whitening: Containing polishing or chemical agents that remove surface stains, this toothpaste is able to help maintain the natural color of your teeth.
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October 9, 2014
If you have been told you have periodontal (gum) disease, you’re not alone. Many adults currently have some form of the disease. Periodontal diseases range from simple gum inflammation to serious disease that can result in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. In the worst cases, teeth are lost.
Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Bad breath that won’t go away
- Red or swollen gums
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Painful chewing
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth
Any of these symptoms may be a sign of a serious problem, which should be checked out by Dr. Tillman and our hygienists. At your next dental visit the hygienist can check your gums for signs. They will also ask about your medical history to identify underlying conditions or risk factors (such as smoking) that may contribute to gum disease.
Whether your gum disease is stopped, slowed, or gets worse depends a great deal on how well you care for your teeth and gums every day, from this point forward. Dr. Tillman recommends keeping up with your routine exams and cleanings to help prevent and catch early signs of periodontal issues.
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October 2, 2014
Getting your kids to brush their teeth, yet alone like it, can be tricky. We have some tips that might help you to get your kids brushing and like it!!
Dr. Tillman recommends that you choose a small, child-sized, soft-bristled toothbrush. Soaking the brush in warm water for a few minutes before brushing can soften the bristles even more. Use a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
Monkey See Monkey Do: Modeling good behavior is one of the best ways to get your kids excited about brushing their teeth instead of thinking it’s a chore. When you brush your teeth, be happy that you’re doing it. If Mom and Dad make it look like fun, the kids will want to do it too. Let them copy you. Buy them the same color toothbrush as you have, or try an electric one, which may be more entertaining for them. Let them try brushing your teeth and then you can brush theirs to make sure they’re actually clean.
Give them a good story: Talk about why we need to brush – how the sugar bugs make holes in our teeth if we don’t brush them away. Sometimes kids need a reason or a good story to get on board.
Make bubbles: Encourage them to create lots of bubbles – that means they’re brushing well. You could hold a bubble-making contest with your kids to see who can create the most bubbles.
Make sure to bring your kids in for their routine check ups and cleanings and our hygienists can help encourage the kids with good brushing habits!
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September 18, 2014
When it comes to chewing gum, it’s the type of gum you chew that makes a difference in whether it’s helpful or harmful to your teeth. While chewing gum containing sugar may actually increase your chances of developing a cavity, there is evidence that demonstrates just the opposite for sugar-free gum. And there’s even better news when it comes to chewing sugar-free gum that is sweetened with xylitol.
Sugar-free gum helps to clean teeth:
Studies have shown that chewing sugar-free gum after meals and snacks can help rinse off the acids released by the bacteria in plaque, which are harmful to tooth enamel. Both the act of chewing and the flavor of the artificial sweeteners in the gum stimulate ten times the normal rate of saliva flow. Not only does the increased saliva flow neutralize the acids in your mouth, it also washes away food particles, helping to keep your teeth clean.
Xylitol reduces decay-causing bacteria:
Sugar-free gum sweetened with xylitol has the added benefit of inhibiting the growth of oral bacteria that cause cavities. In the presence of xylitol, the bacteria lose the ability to adhere to the tooth, stunting the cavity-causing process. With xylitol use over a
period of time, the types of bacteria in the mouth change and fewer decay-causing bacteria survive on tooth surfaces.
To chew or not to chew:
Although chewing sugar-free gum can be beneficial in most instances, there are some cases in which chewing gum is not recommended. For example, if you are experiencing any type of jaw pain you should refrain from chewing gum and talk to Dr. Tillman about what options are available to you.
For most people, chewing sugar-free gum (especially gum sweetened with xylitol) can be a good preventive measure in
situations when toothbrushing and flossing aren’t practical, but sugar-free or not, chewing gum should never replace good dental hygiene practices.
With all these options waiting at the checkout candy rack, it is easier than ever to satisfy your sweet tooth and protect it from cavities at the same time. The next time you are in the mood for a sweet treat, why not bite into a piece of sugar free or cavity-fighting gum that is good for your teeth instead of a sugar-filled candy? Your teeth will thank you.
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September 11, 2014
Is Bottled Water Bad for My Teeth??
Millions of Americans are embracing a healthy lifestyle and turning to bottled water as part of their diet. Bottled water is often marketed as being better for you, but it may be doing your teeth a disservice. Your bottled water could be missing some elements that promote oral health.
Fluoride (which many communities have added to their water supply), battles dental cavities by strengthening tooth enamel and re-mineralizing teeth damaged by acid. Unfortunately, the majority of bottled waters contain little or no fluoride.
If you’re deviating from your fluoridated community water supply, you may need to improvise to get your daily fluoride content. You can discuss your water sources, along with the appropriate level of fluoride you and your family should be getting, with Dr. Tillman. If you just can’t go back to the tap, Dr. Tillman may recommend a fluoride toothpaste or prescribe fluoride drops to help meet your needs.
The next time you buy a bottle of water or use a filtration system, think about your teeth, too. Fluoride helps prevent cavities, and since dental health is linked to overall health, you’ll want to take the right steps to keep your mouth in great shape. Talk to Dr. Tillman about the benefits of fluoride, and include dental care in your plans for a healthy lifestyle. After all, you’ve worked hard for that body –why not have a great set of teeth to go with it?
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September 4, 2014
Warning Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last teeth to develop and appear in your mouth. They typically come in between the ages of 17 and 25, a time of life that has been called the “Age of Wisdom.” These teeth can often grow in crooked, sideways, or otherwise misaligned. As they grow in, they can push on other teeth, causing problems of overcrowding.
When wisdom teeth come in, they can be painful. You’ll feel wisdom teeth pain at the back of your mouth, behind your molars. If you look into a mirror, you may even notice that your wisdom teeth have begun to poke through your gums. The area might also be red, enflamed and tender to the touch. However some people don’t have any visible symptoms of wisdom teeth pain.
When a tooth doesn’t fully grow in, it’s called “impacted”–usually unable to break through the gums because there isn’t enough room. About 90% of people have at least one impacted wisdom tooth.
An impacted wisdom tooth can damage neighboring teeth or become infected. Since it’s in an area that’s hard to clean, it can also invite bacteria that lead to gum disease. In some cases, a cyst can form around the base of the impacted tooth, which can lead to more serious problems.
Dr. Tillman recommends removing them when there are infections and/or periodontal (gum) disease, cavities that can’t be restored or there is damage to neighboring teeth and overcrowding. This is a common procedure that Dr. Tillman performs in the office and typically only a few days of rest are needed before returning to your normal routine.
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August 29, 2014
My Baby is Getting Teeth!!
Knowing what to do when those first teeth start poking through is the first step. Caring for your little one’s teeth is critical to ensuring their overall health and instilling good habits. With that in mind, we thought we’d share some tips on pediatric oral hygiene.
Don’t wait to start cleaning. A clean damp washcloth does wonders for the gums. As soon as that first tooth pokes through, begin twice daily brushing.
Get that baby to the dentist! It should happen sooner than you might think. Dr. Tillman recommends that the first visit
occur by the age of 1 or 2 years old, but no later than 3. The first visit is really more of a meet and greet. Dr Tillman wants to make your child feel comfortable with someone else looking in their mouth. This will pave the road for future “happy visits”. They will get to sit in the BIG CHAIR with Mom or Dad and they will get to meet our hygienist and Dr. Tillman. We will do as much of an
examination as they will sit through. Ideally Dr. Tillman wants to take a look in their mouth, checking their gum tissue and counting teeth. As your child grows Dr. Tillman will do more and more at each visit until they are ready for their full blow cleaning every 6 months.
Using the correct items:
- Toothpaste – until age 3, you should only be using a small dab (grain of rice size) of fluoride toothpaste. From about ages 3 to 6 that can increase to the size of a pea. If your child is not able to effectively spit, have them tilt their mouth so the paste dribbles out into the sink so that they won’t swallow it.
- Soft bristled toothbrush –Dr. Tillman recommends using something very soft and age/size appropriate – children’s brushes are sold with recommended age ranges listed, so they should be easy to find.
- Floss – you should begin flossing for your little one as soon as they have two teeth that touch. Doing this as a family can
encourage good habits for both you and your baby.
- Rinses – If you are uncertain that your little one can rinse and spit without swallowing, we suggest avoiding rinses. Typically around age 6/7 they will have this skill down. At this point Dr. Tillman recommends using a fluoride rinse twice a day under close adult supervision.
Make it FUN!! Usually singing 2 rounds of “Happy Birthday” is the approximate amount of time your little one should be brushing. KEEP THEM EXCITED!! Once your child is a little older, let them pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste. This can motivate them to use the items that they have selected. Just be sure to double check their work and help them get to the areas they might have missed.
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July 3, 2014
If you have a damaged or diseased tooth, extraction is not the only option. When possible, it is always best to save your teeth rather than lose them. Missing teeth may have negative effects on confidence, ability to chew, general health and oral health and the alignment of the remaining teeth. Consider the following treatment options before opting for an extraction.
Root canal remains the most popular alternative to extraction. A root canal procedure is performed when the nerve of the tooth becomes infected or the pulp becomes damaged. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed.
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants may be an option for people who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason. The implant emulates the shape of the root and is usually made of titanium and other materials that are well-suited to the human body. The implant is surgically placed into the jaw and incorporates into the bone over time to become a stable base for crowns. Dental implants have been used for several decades by patients of all ages. They can replace a single tooth, several teeth or support partial or full dentures.
An apicoectomy, or root-end resection, which is occasionally needed when inflammation or infection persists in the bony area around the end of your tooth after a root canal procedure can also be performed to save a tooth. In this microsurgical procedure, the dentist opens the gum tissue near the tooth to see the underlying bone and to remove any inflamed or infected tissue. The very end of the root is also removed. A small filling may be placed to seal the end of the root canal and few stitches or sutures are placed to help the tissue heal. Over a period of months, the bone heals around the end of the root. Local anesthetics make the procedure comfortable, and most patients return to their normal activities the next day. Postsurgical discomfort is generally mild.
Are there any other options?
For replacement of an extracted tooth, you may also consider a bridge or removable partial denture. These options require additional dental procedures on adjacent healthy teeth, and should be discussed with your dentist or specialist. Check with our office to discuss any concerns or if you just want more information.
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June 18, 2014
What are sealants?
Dental sealant is a thin, plastic coating painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth — usually the back teeth (the premolars and molars). The sealant quickly bonds into the depressions and grooves of the teeth, forming a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth.
Although thorough brushing and flossing can remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth, they cannot always get into all the nooks and crannies of the back teeth to remove the food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas from tooth decay by “sealing out” plaque and food.
Who Should Get Sealants?
Because of the likelihood of developing decay in the depressions and grooves of the premolars and molars, children and teenagers are candidates for sealants. However, adults without decay or fillings in their molars can also benefit from sealants.
Typically, children should get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as these teeth come in. In this way, the sealants can protect the teeth through the cavity-prone years of ages 6 to 14.
In some cases, dental sealants may also be appropriate for baby teeth, such as when a child’s baby teeth have deep depressions and grooves. Because baby teeth play such an important role in holding the correct spacing for permanent teeth, it’s important to keep these teeth healthy so they are not lost too early.
How Are Sealants Applied?
Applying sealant is a simple and painless process. It takes only a few minutes for your dentist or hygienist to apply the sealant to seal each tooth. The application steps are as follows:
- First the teeth that are to be sealed are thoroughly cleaned.
- Each tooth is then dried, and cotton or another absorbent material is put around the tooth to keep it dry.
- An acid solution is put on the chewing surfaces of the teeth to roughen them up, which helps the sealant bond to the teeth.
- The teeth are then rinsed and dried.
- Sealant is then painted onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. Sometimes a special curing light is used to help the sealant harden.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
Sealants can protect teeth from decay for up to 10 years, but they need to be checked for chipping or wearing at regular dental check-ups. Your dentist can replace sealants as necessary.
Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Sealants?
Many insurance companies cover the cost of sealants. Check with our office so we can verify if your insurance will cover the cost of sealants.
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