Posts for: December, 2017
A “perfect storm” of dental disease could be brewing for your teenager undergoing orthodontic treatment. As braces or other appliances complicate hygiene efforts, newly erupted permanent teeth and changing hormone levels could also increase their susceptibility to tooth decay or gum disease.
Here are a few tips for helping your teenager maintain healthy teeth and gums while wearing braces.
Eat a Healthy Diet. Nutrition is a key component in a healthy mouth. Your teenager should eat a diet low in sugar, a key food source for bacteria that cause dental disease, and acidic foods and beverages that cause enamel erosion. Limit between-meal snacks to only a few times a day and drink acidic beverages only at mealtime.
Brush all Tooth and Gum Surfaces. For patients who wear braces, it’s important to thoroughly brush above and below the wire running through the affixed brackets. Holding the brush at a 45-degree angle, brush between the wire and gums all the way around both the upper and lower jaws, then repeat the same technique brushing surfaces below the wire.
Clean Between Teeth. Flossing can be difficult while wearing braces, but plaque removal from between teeth is necessary for healthier teeth and gums. Orthodontic patients can benefit from special flossing tools like floss threaders, small interdental brushes or irrigators that remove plaque with sprayed water under pressure.
Incorporate Fluoride into Your Dental Care. A proven decay-fighter, fluoride strengthens enamel against erosion and infection. In addition to hygiene products and many drinking water systems, we can also supplement fluoride through gels or varnishes applied to the teeth during office visits, as well as prescription toothpastes or rinses with higher levels of fluoride for patients at higher risk of dental disease.
Use an Antibacterial Mouthrinse. Orthodontic patients with gingivitis (gum inflammation) or other bacterial-induced conditions may benefit from over-the-counter or prescribed antibacterial mouthrinses.
Maintaining an orthodontic patient’s teeth and gums can be difficult, but not impossible. A little extra attention — along with regular office cleanings and checkups — will go a long way in preventing dental disease.
If you would like more information on effective oral hygiene while undergoing orthodontic treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”
No one wants to live with missing teeth. The gaps are unsightly, and the changes to oral function and gum and bone density begin immediately and last a lifetime--that is, unless you choose dental implants from our Marietta, GA dentist, Dr. Casey Hart. He places innovative dental implants for the best possible smile makeovers. You, too, could qualify for these state-of-the-art prosthetics.
Just what is a dental implant?
It's a completely artificial tooth, but unlike conventional bridges and dentures, single-tooth implants and implant-supported dentures and bridgework reside right in the jawbone. Your Marietta dentist surgically inserts dental implants during an in-office procedure.
To determine a patient's fitness for this restorative treatment, the dentist performs a complete oral examination, checks medical and medication histories and takes digital X-rays and other kinds of advanced imaging. If the jaw is strong enough, the implant procedure is a go.
Dr. Hart opens the gums and creates a small hole in the jaw bone, inserting the titanium implant screw. Then, he sutures the area closed.
Over the ensuing weeks, the dental implant and the jaw bone join together through a natural process called osseointegration. Studied, tested and placed for about fifty years, fully integrated dental implants provide superior stability, reliability and aesthetics, say experts at the Academy of Osseointegration. When the implant site is completely healed, Dr. Hart re-opens the area and bonds on a metal alloy post and customized porcelain crown.
Caring for a dental implant
Just as with natural teeth, consistent home brushing and flossing are key to implant longevity and health. So are semi-annual check-ups and hygienic cleanings with Dr. Hart and his team because while implants cannot decay, implant sites are subject to peri-implantitis, an infection similar to gum disease. In fact, aside from trauma from a car accident or sports, peri-implantitis is the only serious threat to implant retention. Most dental implants can last a lifetime when well cared for.
Learn moreIf you are missing one, two or even all of your teeth, don't despair. Instead, close those smile gaps with dental implants. In Marietta, GA, contact Dr. Casey Hart today to arrange an implant consultation. Call (770) 926-8371.
If you’ve had a total joint replacement or similar procedure, you will want your surgeon to decide if you need to take an antibiotic before you undergo dental work. This is a precaution to prevent a serious infection known as bacteremia.
Bacteremia occurs when bacteria become too prevalent in the bloodstream and cause infection in other parts of the body, especially in joints and bone with prosthetic (replacement) substances. It’s believed that during invasive dental procedures bacteria in the mouth can enter the bloodstream through incisions and other soft tissue disruptions.
Joint infections are a serious matter and can require extensive therapy to bring it under control. Out of this concern, the use of antibiotics as a prophylactic (preventive measure) against bacteremia once included a wide range of patients for a variety of conditions and procedures. But after an in-depth study in 2007, the American Dental Association concluded that the risks for many of these patient groups for infection triggered by a dental procedure was extremely low and didn’t warrant the use of antibiotic premedication therapy.
As a result, recommendations for antibiotic therapy changed in 2009, eliminating many groups previously recommended for premedication. But because of the seriousness of joint infection, The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons still recommends the therapy for joint replacement patients about to undergo any invasive procedure, including dental work. It’s especially needed for patients who also have some form of inflammatory arthritis, a weakened immune system, insulin-dependent diabetes, hemophilia, malnourishment or a previous infection in an artificial joint.
The guidelines for antibiotic premedication can be complex. It’s best, then, to speak with both your orthopedic surgeon and us about whether you should undergo antibiotic therapy before you undergo a dental procedure. The ultimate goal is to reduce the risks of any disease and to keep both your mouth and your body safe from infection.
If you would like more information on the use of antibiotics in dental care, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Premedication for Dental Treatment.”