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Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Travel: Is Dental Care Abroad Safe?

If you are planning a trip out of the country it may be helpful to schedule a dental checkup before you leave, especially if you'll be traveling in developing countries or remote areas without access to good dental care. If you’re considering a vacation outside the United States for dental treatment in an attempt to save money, often referred to as "dental tourism," there are some things you should first consider. 

Question: Is dental care abroad safe? 
Answer: The procedures, equipment and drugs used by dentists in the U.S. are held to high standards. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has comprehensive guidelines on infection control procedures for dental health-care settings. They exist to prevent the spread of infections, including blood borne illnesses such as hepatitis and AIDS. U.S. dentists must abide by regulations for radiation safety (X-ray equipment and its use) and for proper disposal of biomedical waste. Also, the drugs and dental instruments and materials used by dentists in the U.S. are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ensure that they are safe. These standards are in place for your safety. 

Q: What recovery time and follow-up care will I need? 
A: Many dental procedures are surgical in nature and may require months of healing. This should be factored in to your travel plans. Significant dental procedures require follow-up care to make sure everything is healing and functioning properly. Post treatment risks after dental surgical procedures include bleeding, pain, swelling and infection. Continuity of care is important and should be a consideration when making treatment decisions. Establishing a "dental home" provides you with comprehensive oral health care so conditions such as gum disease and tooth decay can be diagnosed at an early stage when treatment is simpler and more affordable. A dentist who knows your case history can provide you with guidance on good oral health habits, preventive oral health services and diagnosis and treatment of dental disease based on your individual needs. 

Q: What qualifications are required of dental professionals? 
A: Dentists trained in the U.S. graduate from a dental school accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation. In addition, dentists must pass national examinations and meet state requirements before they earn a license to practice. Similar levels of training may exist in the country to which you are travelling, but this may be difficult to determine if that country does not have similar dental regulations. 

Q: Will my insurance cover dental procedures in other countries? 
A: If you have insurance for dental care performed outside of the U.S., you should confirm with your insurer and/or employer that follow-up treatment is covered upon your return to the U.S. You should consider arranging follow-up care with a U.S. dentist prior to travel to ensure continuity of care upon your return. If you do not have a dentist in the U.S., you can find an ADA member dentist in your area at ADA Find-a-Dentist. You should confirm with your U.S. dentist and the dental care provider in the other country that the transfer of patient records to-and-from facilities outside of the U.S. is consistent with current U.S. privacy and security guidelines.

Q: What about travel advisories?
A: The U.S. Department of State issues travel alerts to disseminate information about short-term conditions, generally within a particular country, that pose imminent risks to the security of U.S. citizens. In the spring of 2009, for example, the Department of State issued a travel alert cautioning people to avoid non-essential travel to Mexico because of an outbreak of H1N1 influenza in that country that resulted in a number of deaths. In addition, the alert recommended that travelers check the department's Web site for new travel advisories as well as the Web site of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for any additional information or recommendations. 

Bottom line: If you’re considering travelling for dental care, remember, saving money overseas may lead to greater expense to your health and your wallet when you arrive back home. 

The above article is from mouthhealthy.org

Palm Beach Smiles 
Michael Barr, DDS
COSMETIC & FAMILY DENTISTRY
650 W. Boynton Beach Blvd, Suite 1- Boynton Beach, FL 332426
(561) 736-2377
http://palmbeach-smiles.com/

Clean Teeth: How to Clean Your Teeth for a Healthy Mouth

The best way to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth in good health is through regular and effective teeth cleaning. In addition to your regular oral hygiene routine, most dental professionals recommend professional teeth cleaning. Not only will good teeth cleaning keep you in good oral health and hygiene, it will also help keep your mouth feeling fresh, prevent bad breath, and can help keep your teeth white and bright.

Brushing for Clean Teeth
Brushing your teeth is the most important and effective method for teeth cleaning. Most dentists recommend you brush at least twice a day, but brushing after every meal is even better. Whether you choose electric or manual, select a toothbrush that allows you to easily clean all surfaces and in hard to reach areas. And don't forget to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months.
  • Picking a Toothbrush: Make sure your toothbrush fits your mouth. It’s easier to achieve clean teeth if you aren’t using a brush that’s too big. If you have a small mouth, you may find it easier to clean teeth by using a toothbrush with a compact head instead of a full-sized head. Some people find that electric toothbrushes make it easier to spend the dentist-recommended two minutes on teeth cleaning. Oral-B Vitality Toothbrushes provide thorough teeth cleaning and help to remove plaque and surface stains.
  • Picking a Toothpaste: Crest Pro-Health Toothpaste is available in several varieties (Clean Mint, Smooth Peppermint, Whitening Power, Sensitive & Enamel Shield). All types of Crest Toothpaste help protect against tooth sensitivity and help fight cavities, tartar, plaque, gingivitis, stains and bad breath.
  • Proper Brushing Technique: You can maximize clean teeth by using the most effective techniques for teeth brushing. Hold your toothbrush at approximately a 45-degree angle to the teeth you are brushing. Use small strokes and brush your teeth in sections. Don’t forget to go all the way behind your last tooth on each side. Use small, tooth-sized strokes to brush the surface of each tooth, rather than large, sweeping strokes. Cleaning teeth includes cleaning all three sides—front, back, and top of the chewing surface.
Flossing for Clean Teeth
  • Picking Floss: A thorough teeth cleaning routine includes daily flossing. Oral-B Glide Deep Clean Floss, slides easily between the teeth to remove food particles and reduce the daily buildup of plaque and bacteria on the teeth.
  • Proper Flossing Technique: Flossing is an essential part of teeth cleaning. You should floss regularly to remove food particles from in between your teeth. This can help reduce plaque and tartar build-up between teeth. If you have trouble sliding floss between your teeth, try waxed floss or wide floss. The American Dental Association recommends using about 18 inches of floss, so you have a clean piece of floss to use on each tooth in the cleaning teeth process. Curve the floss into a C-shape as you slide it up and down along the side of each tooth. Don’t forget to floss the back sides of your back teeth on both the left and right of the upper and lower teeth. 
Rinsing for Clean Teeth
  • Picking a Mouthwash: Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection Mouthwash boosts your teeth cleaning routine with additional germ-killing and plaque-preventing properties.
  • Proper Rinsing Technique: Mouthwash is a great method for teeth cleaning and also leaves your mouth feeling fresh and clean. If you don’t like the burning sensation you get from alcohol-based rinses, look for formulas that are made without alcohol.
Get a Professional Teeth Cleaning
The happy, healthy mouth feeling you get after a good teeth cleaning is invaluable. Visiting a dental professional at least twice a year is an important part of your oral hygiene regimen. Professional teeth cleaning removes the tartar you just can’t get to at home, and regular exams will ensure your teeth and mouth are in good health. After cleaning teeth, a dentist will examine your mouth for signs of problems including:
  • Tooth loss: Cleaning teeth professionally helps keep them in good condition to promote better chewing and swallowing.
  • Gum disease: Gum disease can be avoided or caught early if a dentist sees problems while cleaning teeth.
  • Dental damage: You may not notice if you have broken fillings or damaged crowns, but a regular dental visit can identify these problems and fix them before they become serious enough to require surgery or tooth removal.
  • Oral cancer: Mouth cancer is usually treatable if diagnosed early, and a dentist can screen for oral cancer during a visit for cleaning teeth. 
How to Maintain Clean Teeth
In addition to following a complete oral care routine, you can support your cleaning teeth efforts by avoiding cigarettes and other tobacco products, eating healthy, and visiting a dental professional regularly. Keep these other tips in mind to maintain clean teeth:
  • Rinse away stains: if you can’t brush your teeth after consuming food or beverages that may stain your teeth, preserve clean teeth by rinsing your mouth with water or a mouthwash.
  • Quit smoking: Smoking is one of the top factors that undermines clean teeth. You can go a long way toward having a healthy mouth if you avoid tobacco products. That includes not only cigarettes, but cigars, pipes, and chewing tobacco (chew/dip). If you use tobacco products, it’s not too late to have a healthy mouth if you quit, or at least cut back. Studies have shown that smoking may contribute to gum disease by getting in the way when normal gum tissue cells try to do their job of maintaining a healthy mouth.
  • Eat right: Eating a balanced diet helps promote a healthy mouth, healthy teeth, and healthy gums. The American Dental Association recommends keeping between-meal snacks to a minimum to promote a healthy mouth. If you do need a snack, some healthy mouth choices include raw veggies, plain yogurt, cheese, or a piece of fruit, such as an apple or pear.
Benefits of Good Oral Health
Keeping a healthy smile is one of many benefits associated with teeth cleaning. If you keep your teeth and mouth healthy, you are sure to appreciate the following important benefits.
  • Good Oral Health: Regular teeth cleaning will keep your mouth and body healthy. Good oral hygiene can prevent plaque build-up, which can lead to gum disease. Numerous studies have suggested a correlation between poor oral hygiene, gum disease, and heart disease, so teeth cleaning is an important way to keep your entire body healthy.
  • Better Breath: Want to get a little closer? Regular teeth cleaning with any fluoride toothpaste can help freshen your breath. For a better breath bonus, choose mint toothpaste, and don’t forget to brush your tongue.
  • Brighter Smile: No one likes to have yellow teeth and an unsightly smile. Removing surface stains with daily teeth cleaning helps your teeth look brighter. Having a whiter smile helps improve your overall appearance, especially since your smile is an important part of making a good first impression.
  • Confidence: When you look great, you feel great. Flashing a bright, white smile after a good teeth cleaning will give you a new sense of self-confidence that is sure to show. Studies have shown that a bright, healthy smile gives you more confidence in both personal and professional settings.
  • Save Money: Following a regular teeth cleaning routine can eventually help you avoid costly dental visits to manage severe gum disease or tooth decay.
So, the next time you consider putting off your regular teeth cleaning for another month, remember all of this important information and think again before picking up the phone. You’ll be glad to have a happier mouth and smile once you’ve had a good teeth cleaning.
 
The above article is from crest.com

Palm Beach Smiles 
Michael Barr, DDS
COSMETIC & FAMILY DENTISTRY
650 W. Boynton Beach Blvd, Suite 1- Boynton Beach, FL 332426
(561) 736-2377
http://palmbeach-smiles.com/

Sunday, September 6, 2020

How Long Do Sealants Last And How To Wear Them Well

Even someone with a fastidious dental hygiene routine can be at risk for cavities. Certain people are simply more prone to dental caries due to the shape and structure of their teeth – not because they don't brush regularly. If your dentist notices you (or someone in your family) is prone to advanced decay despite good oral hygiene, he or she may suggest using dental sealants to help keep the teeth healthy.

Of course, concerns are normal: How long do sealants last? Will the application hurt? Here's a little more about why dental sealants may be a great option for a cavitiy-prone individual.

Why Dental Sealants?

Dentists don't suggest sealants to all of their patients. Rather, they're usually reserved for individuals who are especially prone to cavities, such as teens and young kids – including those who still have baby teeth. Sealants are designed to fill the deep pits and grooves of your molars, which are uniquely susceptible to caries because they're known to trap food particles in these areas of the teeth. When bacteria become trapped in this way, it's often a recipe for cavities, so the sealants protect the tooth from caries altogether.

Applying sealants before decay starts, as noted by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), allows the sealant to block the area of bacteria and food particles from attaching to the surface of the teeth.

Will They Hurt?

It's understandable to be nervous about a dental procedure with which you have no prior experience. But dental sealants are virtually painless. The majority of them are made with liquid resin, which is then brushed onto the teeth so it can harden. The process only takes a few minutes, including application and drying. In fact, the procedure may be on offer in the dental center of some schools.

Once applied, the resin dries into a hard, plastic-like material in just a few seconds or when using a light to cure the sealant material. The material is invisible and won't feel any different than the surfaces of your natural teeth.

How Long Do Sealants Last? Can I Extend Their Wear?

Once your sealants have been applied, the NIDCR estimates they can last up to 10 years with proper care. You won't have to have them removed; instead, sealants gradually wear away over time, allowing you to receive new sealants as needed. Nonetheless, their hardened plastic material holds up remarkably well as long as you avoid behavior that puts undue stress on your teeth – such as using your teeth to open tough food packaging.

Once your sealants have been applied, your dentist will check on them each time you come in for a cleaning. He or she can even reapply if they seem to be wearing faster than usual, just to make sure your teeth are protected from the bacteria that can calcify into tartar when you're not in the dentist's chair.

Keep in mind sealants aren't the only way to ward off cavities, and are definitely not a substitute for regular oral care. If you or your child is especially prone to cavities, use products such as Colgate® Cavity Protection, which contains sodium monofluorophosphate fluoride – proven to protect teeth from the common cavity.

If you're wondering if dental sealants are the right choice for you or your child, ask your dentist about them during your next checkup. Provided you're the right type of candidate, sealants may be an excellent solution for warding off cavities and keeping your smile healthy.

The above article is from colgate.com

Palm Beach Smiles 
Michael Barr, DDS
COSMETIC & FAMILY DENTISTRY
650 W. Boynton Beach Blvd, Suite 1- Boynton Beach, FL 332426
(561) 736-2377
http://palmbeach-smiles.com/

Monday, August 24, 2020

Diastema (Gap Between Teeth)



Reviewed by the Faculty of
Columbia University College of Dental Medicine
What Is It?
A diastema is a space or gap between two teeth. It appears most often between the two upper front teeth. However, gaps can occur between any two teeth.

A mismatch between the size of the jaw bones and the size of the teeth can cause either extra space between teeth or crowding of teeth. If the teeth are too small for the jaw bone, spaces between the teeth will occur. If the teeth are too big for the jaw, teeth will be crowded.

Spaces develop for a few other reasons as well.

Sometimes some teeth are missing or undersized. This happens most often with the upper lateral incisors (the teeth next to the two upper front teeth). That can cause the upper central incisors to develop a space.

A diastema also can be caused by an oversized labial frenum. The labial frenum is the piece of tissue that normally extends from the inside of your upper lip to the gum just above your two upper front teeth. In some situations, the labial frenum continues to grow and passes between the two front teeth. If this happens, it blocks the natural closing of the space between these teeth.

Habits can also lead to gaps between the teeth. Thumb sucking tends to pull the front teeth forward, creating gaps.

Spaces can develop from an incorrect swallowing reflex. For most people, the tongue presses against the roof of the mouth (palate) during swallowing. Some people develop a different reflex known as a tongue thrust. When they swallow, the tongue presses against the front teeth. Over time the pressure will push the front teeth forward. This can cause spaces to develop.

Periodontal (gum) disease results in the loss of the bone that supports the teeth. In people who have lost a lot of bone, the teeth can become loose. This movement can result in gaps between the front teeth.

Children may have temporary gaps as their baby teeth fall out. Most of these spaces close as the permanent teeth reach their final positions.

Symptoms
A diastema that occurs because of a mismatch between the teeth and the jaw does not have symptoms. However, spaces caused by a tongue thrust habit or periodontal disease will tend to expand or grow with time. The teeth may become loose, and discomfort or pain may occur, particularly during biting or chewing.

Diagnosis
You may notice a space when brushing or flossing. Your dentist can see spaces during an examination.

Expected Duration
If the gap was caused by a mismatch between the permanent teeth and the jaw size, the spaces can be expected to remain throughout life.

Gaps caused by a tongue thrust habit or periodontal disease can get larger with time.

Prevention
Not all spaces can be prevented. For example, if the reason for a space is a missing tooth or a mismatch between the teeth and the jaw size, the spaces cannot be prevented without treatment.

Maintaining your gum health is essential to good oral health. Regular flossing and brushing will help to prevent periodontal disease and its related bone loss.

People with a tongue thrust habit can re-learn to swallow by pushing their tongue up against their palate. Breaking this habit can prevent widening of the spaces between teeth.

Treatment
Sometimes, a diastema is part of a set of problems that require orthodontic treatment. In other cases, a diastema is the only problem. However, some people may seek treatment for reasons of appearance.

Some people get braces, which move the teeth together. Often, no matter where the diastema is, you must wear a full set of braces — on both your upper and lower teeth. That's because moving any teeth affects your entire mouth.

If your lateral incisors are too small, your dentist may suggest widening them using crowns, veneers or bonding.

If you have a space because you are missing teeth, you might need more extensive dental repair. This might include dental implants, a bridge or a partial denture.

If a large labial frenum is causing the gap, the frenum can be reduced through surgery called a frenectomy.

If a frenectomy is done in a younger child, the space may close on its own. If it is done in an older child or an adult, the space may need to be closed with braces.

If the gap is caused by periodontal disease, then periodontal treatment by a dentist or gum specialist (periodontist) is necessary. When gum health is restored, in many cases braces can be used to move the teeth into place. A splint can be used to attach teeth to other teeth and prevent them from moving again. In some cases, a bridge will be required to close the spaces.

When To Call a Professional
If you have a space between your teeth or see one in your child's mouth, talk with your dentist. He or she will determine the reason for the space and may refer you to an orthodontist, a specialist in treatment with braces. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children be evaluated by an orthodontist by age 7. Treatment (if needed) may not begin right away. You and the orthodontist will discuss the overall treatment plan.

If your space is the result of periodontal disease, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist.

Prognosis
If a diastema is closed through orthodontics or dental repair, the space will tend to stay closed. However, to help prevent the space from coming back, wear your retainers as directed by your orthodontist. Your orthodontist may also splint (attach) the backs of the teeth to other teeth with composite (plastic) and a wire to prevent them from moving. Learn more about tooth whitening here.

The above article is from colgate.com

Palm Beach Smiles 
Michael Barr, DDS
COSMETIC & FAMILY DENTISTRY
650 W. Boynton Beach Blvd, Suite 1- Boynton Beach, FL 332426
(561) 736-2377
http://palmbeach-smiles.com/

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Dental Emergency

Accidents happen, and knowing what to do when one occurs can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth.

Here are some tips for common dental emergencies: 
  • For a knocked-out permanent or adult tooth, keep it moist at all times. If you can, try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. If that’s not possible, place it in between your cheek and gums, in milk, or use a tooth preservation product that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Then, get to your dentist’s office right away. 
  • For a cracked tooth, immediately rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area. Put cold compresses on the face to keep any swelling down. 
  • If you bite your tongue or lip, clean the area gently with water and apply a cold compress. 
  • For toothaches, rinse the mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between the teeth. Do not put aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues. 
  • For objects stuck in the mouth, try to gently remove with floss but do not try to remove it with sharp or pointed instruments. 
When you have a dental emergency, it’s important to visit your dentist or an emergency room as soon as possible.

Here are some simple precautions you can take to avoid accident and injury to the teeth:   
  • Wear a mouthguard when participating in sports or recreational activities. 
  • Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels and hard candy, all of which can crack a tooth. 
  • Use scissors, NEVER your teeth, to cut things. 
Most dentists reserve time in their daily schedules for emergency patients. Call your dentist and provide as much detail as possible about your condition.

The above article is from mouthhealthy.org

Palm Beach Smiles 
Michael Barr, DDS
COSMETIC & FAMILY DENTISTRY
650 W. Boynton Beach Blvd, Suite 1- Boynton Beach, FL 332426
(561) 736-2377
http://palmbeach-smiles.com/

Thursday, August 6, 2020

What to Do About Chipped Baby Teeth?

Children are naturally rambunctious with all their high-energy antics such as running, jumping, diving, or just biting down too hard on something. It goes without saying that a chipped baby tooth is a common experience during these early stages, especially a chipped front tooth.

If your child chips his or her tooth, don’t panic. Unless your child is in pain, a chipped baby tooth is usually nothing serious. Nevertheless, when a chipped tooth does occur, it’s wise to call the dentist and schedule an appointment. Because the sooner you deal with the problem, the better. After all, sometimes your child may not even realize what just happened, and there may be damage that you can’t see.

Chipped Baby Tooth Repair
There are many ways to deal with a chipped tooth and it’s worth reiterating that you should always see a dentist as soon as possible after the event, no matter how severe. A chipped tooth can cause pain and discomfort when chewing or when exposed to very hot or cold temperatures. Below is a list of methods on how best to deal with a chipped tooth.
  • Stay calm: Chipping a tooth is a common thing among children. When such an event happens, there’s no need for alarm. Also remember not to make your child feel self-conscious about their chipped tooth, even if it’s noticeable.
  • Check your child: You’ll want to check and see if your child is in pain or crying. Also check for blood.
  • Call the dentist: Remaining calm, explain what happened and follow any instructions your dentist may give you before scheduling an appointment.
  • Rinse / cold compress: Aside from calling the dentist, you’ll want to rinse your child’s mouth with cold water and apply a cold compress to reduce any potential swelling. You’ll also want to collect any teeth fragments from the scene of the accident and bring them to your dentist. In a case where you cannot find any teeth fragments and your child is having difficulty breathing, immediately take them to an emergency room to make sure they didn’t inhale any teeth fragments.
  • Pain relief: If your child continues to feel pain after the event, an advised amount of children’s ibuprofen is appropriate. If you are not sure, ask your dentist or doctor what the correct dosage before administering any medication.
  • Keep an eye on it: In some cases, the damage from the lost tooth will become visible later, such as a chipped baby tooth turning grey. Also make sure their gums do not become infected.
While it’s never fun when your child gets a chipped tooth, sometimes these things happen, and having a plan is essential in such an event.

The above article is from crest.com
Palm Beach Smiles 
Michael Barr, DDS
COSMETIC & FAMILY DENTISTRY
650 W. Boynton Beach Blvd, Suite 1- Boynton Beach, FL 332426
(561) 736-2377
http://palmbeach-smiles.com/

Friday, July 24, 2020

Tooth Pain and Sensitivity Before or After Filling Cavities

If you have cavity symptoms, you may have pain in your teeth or in your gums. Cavity pain relief depends on the extent of your tooth decay. Regardless if your cavity symptoms are mild or severe, you should visit your dentist as you may need a filling.

Tooth Fillings for Cavity Pain Relief
Dental fillings are among the most common ways to relieve cavity pain. Here’s a basic overview of cavity pain relief with a dental filling:

  • Numbness: The first thing the dentist will do is numb the area of the cavity.
  • Cleaning: Once the area is numb, the dentist removes the decayed part of the tooth.
  • Filling: The final step in cavity pain relief—the dentist places a filling made from the material of your choice.

Causes of Tooth Pain After Fillings
Fillings are used to replace the decayed area of a tooth, reducing the pain associated with the cavity itself. But tooth pain after filling a tooth is not unusual. Some common reasons for tooth pain after a filling include:

  • Tooth sensitivity: A tooth that has just had a filling placed will be more sensitive to hot foods and cold foods, air temperature, and the pressure of biting. This type of tooth pain after filling a cavity should resolve within a few weeks. If not, contact your dentist.
  • Cracked or loose tooth fillings: Tooth pain after filling a cavity can occur if the filling is not fitting properly to the tooth, or if it develops cracks. If you suspect that your tooth pain is caused by a cracked or ill-fitting filling, contact your dentist.
  • Allergic reaction to tooth fillings: Some people have allergic reactions to the material used for their fillings, such as silver. To help avoid tooth pain after filling a cavity, be sure to tell your dentist about any allergies when discussing your filling choices.

Tooth Filling Pain Relief
You can reduce your risk of tooth pain after filling a cavity by avoiding common sensitive teeth triggers, including very hot or cold foods. In addition, toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth can help minimize the possible sensitivity and tooth pain after filling a cavity. Crest Gum and Sensitivity oral care products are formulated to help relieve the pain associated with sensitivity fast while offering additional protection against food and drinks that cause sensitivity.

If you have cavity symptoms, you may have pain in your teeth or in your gums. Cavity pain relief depends on the extent of your tooth decay. Regardless if your cavity symptoms are mild or severe, you should visit your dentist as you may need a filling.

When you have a dental procedure, you may experience sore teeth afterward. Sore teeth are common after many dental procedures, whether it is something as simple as a cavity filling or as complicated as gum surgery.

Sore Teeth After Filling
Whether you suffer from short-term sore teeth after receiving a filling or long-term sensitive teeth, it is important to follow a complete oral care routine. The Crest Pro-Health Sensitive Shield collection of products can help keep sore teeth clean and healthy, with a toothpaste designed to protect your sensitive teeth.


The above article is from crest.com
Palm Beach Smiles 
Michael Barr, DDS
COSMETIC & FAMILY DENTISTRY
650 W. Boynton Beach Blvd, Suite 1- Boynton Beach, FL 332426
(561) 736-2377
http://palmbeach-smiles.com/

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Dentures

Dentures are removable appliances that can replace missing teeth and help restore your smile. If you’ve lost all of your natural teeth, whether from gum disease, tooth decay or injury, replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance and your health. That’s because dentures make it easier to eat and speak better than you could without teeth—things that people often take for granted.

When you lose all of your teeth, facial muscles can sag, making you look older. Dentures can help fill out the appearance of your face and profile. They can be made to closely resemble your natural teeth so that your appearance does not change much. Dentures may even improve the look of your smile.

Types of dentures:

  • Conventional. This full removable denture is made and placed in your mouth after the remaining teeth are removed and tissues have healed, which may take several months. 
  • Immediate. This removable denture is inserted on the same day that the remaining teeth are removed. Your dentist will take measurements and make models of your jaw during a preliminary visit. You don’t have to be without teeth during the healing period, but may need to have the denture relined or remade after your jaw has healed. 
  • Overdenture. Sometimes some of your teeth can be saved to preserve your jawbone and provide stability and support for the denture. An overdenture fits over a small number of remaining natural teeth after they have been prepared by your dentist. Implants can serve the same function, too. 

New dentures may feel awkward for a few weeks until you become accustomed to them. The dentures may feel loose while the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to keep them in place. It is not unusual to experience minor irritation or soreness. You may find that saliva flow temporarily increases. As your mouth becomes accustomed to the dentures, these problems should go away. Follow-up appointments with the dentist are generally needed after a denture is inserted so the fit can be checked and adjusted. If any problem persists, particularly irritation or soreness, be sure to consult your dentist.

Even if you wear full dentures, you still have to practice good dental hygiene. Brush your gums, tongue and roof of your mouth every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert your dentures to stimulate circulation in your tissues and help remove plaque.

Like your teeth, your dentures should be brushed daily to remove food particles and plaque. Brushing also can help keep the teeth from staining. 

  • Rinse your dentures before brushing to remove any loose food or debris. 
  • Use a soft bristle toothbrush and a non-abrasive cleanser to gently brush all the surfaces of the dentures so they don't get scratched.
  • When brushing, clean your mouth thoroughly—including your gums, cheeks, roof of your mouth and tongue to remove any plaque. This can help reduce the risk of oral irritation and bad breath. 
  • When you’re not wearing your dentures, put them in a safe place covered in water to keep them from warping. 
  • Occasionally, denture wearers may use adhesives. Adhesives come in many forms: creams, powders, pads/wafers, strips or liquids. If you use one of these products, read the instructions, and use them exactly as directed. Your dentist can recommend appropriate cleansers and adhesives; look for products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Products with the ADA Seal have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness.

If you have any questions about your dentures, or if they stop fitting well or become damaged, contact your dentist. Be sure to schedule regular dental checkups, too. The dentist will examine your mouth to see if your dentures continue to fit properly.

The above article is from mouthhealthy.org

Palm Beach Smiles 
Michael Barr, DDS
COSMETIC & FAMILY DENTISTRY
650 W. Boynton Beach Blvd, Suite 1- Boynton Beach, FL 332426
(561) 736-2377
http://palmbeach-smiles.com/

Monday, July 6, 2020

Is Composite Resin Bonding Right For You?

Composite resin bonding can be a fast, minimally invasive and inexpensive option for the beautiful smile you're looking for. But knowing what makes you a good candidate can help you determine if it's the right investment for you.

What Is Composite Bonding?

Composite bonding is a cosmetic technique wherein a type of dental material – in this case, composite resin – is shaped and molded on your teeth to give the appearance of straighter, whiter smile. It can be used as a cosmetic solution to chipped teeth, gapped teeth and staining in both teeth and fillings. Unlike porcelain veneer placement, which can take more than two visits, composite resin bonding can be completed in one appointment.

According to Everyday Health, the cost for bonding can range from about $300 to $600 per tooth for a simpler procedure, like a cavity filling. Although many dental insurance plans do not cover cosmetic bonding, it's good practice to ask whether they will cover a portion – especially if it's part of a medically necessary procedure, which some insurers acknowledge.

Whom Is Composite Bonding Right For?

Composite resin bonding isn't for everyone. If your smile is crooked as the result of an over- or underbite, this treatment won't serve to correct it. Instead, speak with your dentist to determine if more in-depth work is needed like adjusting your bite or any complex chips or gaps in your teeth. Bonding is primarily for those who seek a cosmetic solution for teeth that are otherwise healthy.

What Can You Expect During Your Visit?

Composite bonding is a safe and effective technique that was developed more than 50 years ago, and has been widely available for over three decades, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). The fillings and processes today are very efficient, making it easier for both you and your dentist.

The treatment itself often starts with the removal of some surface enamel, allowing the dentist to best shape the composite resin to your tooth, followed by the application of the bonding agent. Your dentist will then add the composite resin, cure it with a special light and finish by polishing your teeth. Because the process involves a high level of technique for a natural mold and shape, it's best to work with a dentist who has experience and specialty in this area.

What Aftercare Is Needed?

With normal care, today's composite material is durable enough to last without regular attention; you won't need to seek out your dentist for special visits and upkeep. Nonetheless, make sure to keep your regular dental checkup and daily oral care a priority. Mouthwashes like Colgate Total® Gum Health, for instance, can improve gum strength by 45 percent for those who find their gumline tougher to maintain after bonding treatment. You should also avoid biting down on particularly hard foods, or ice, to prevent cracking.

If you're interested in achieving a brighter smile, composite resin bonding is a great option. Be sure to take care of your other oral necessities, first, to ensure your natural smile is healthy inside and out.

The above article is from colgate.com

Palm Beach Smiles 
Michael Barr, DDS
COSMETIC & FAMILY DENTISTRY
650 W. Boynton Beach Blvd, Suite 1- Boynton Beach, FL 332426
(561) 736-2377
http://palmbeach-smiles.com/

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

What Is Dental Public Health? A Look At How It Can Help

Below is an excerpt from an article found on colgate.com

Many oral diseases can be prevented with routine care and regular dental checkups. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to access adequate oral care. Dental public health programs work to rectify that. They provide assistance and programs so people can avoid the pain and discomfort poor oral health causes.

Recognized by the American Dental Association as a dental specialty since 1950, public dental programs focus on oral health issues within populations and communities rather than individuals. The goal is to assure optimal oral health among Americans through disease prevention and dental health promotion. Here are just a few examples of such programs that aim to improve the oral health of all Americans.

Dental Care for Students

Dental problems in kids can also affect a child's health and even his or her performance at school. In a study of 1,500 elementary to high school children from disadvantaged backgrounds in Los Angeles, California, 73 percent were found to have dental caries, says a study from the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry at the University of Southern California. The study found a correlation between these dental issues, lower grades and increased missed school days.

Dental sealants can reduce child tooth decay by more than 70 percent, estimates the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is why several states have implemented school-based programs to provide sealants to children from low-income families who are at risk for cavities. Such programs identify a target market within a school district to meet the needs of children who are less likely to receive private dental care.

Dental Care for Seniors

Cost keeps many people away from the dentist, especially older adults. The problem: Avoiding preventive dental care will only lead to more extensive and expensive procedures later on. Furthermore, the severity of gum disease increases with age. As many as 23 percent of adults between the ages of 65 and 74 have severe gum disease, while people of all ages at the lowest socioeconomic level have the most severe gum disease, putting low-income seniors at risk, according to the CDC.

Medicare doesn't cover routine dental procedures and fewer than half of the states offer comprehensive dental benefits through Medicaid, leaving many seniors without necessary dental insurance. Some dental public health solutions include community outreach programs, like the Division of Geriatric Dentistry at Tufts University, which teaches the elderly about denture care and provides oral health and cancer screenings.

Dental Care for Expectant Moms

Dental care is especially important during pregnancy, but many women are unaware that oral health problems during this time can put both Mom and baby at risk. In a questionnaire provided to all maternity hospitals in the state of Iowa, 44 percent of women claimed they didn't visit a dentist during their pregnancy, reports the Iowa Department of Public Health. To help expectant moms stay informed and in charge of their overall health, the National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families launched an app called Text4Baby, which educates mothers on their baby's development and baby care through their child's first year. It can also be used to set reminders for prenatal doctor and dentist visits, so that women can get the care they and their child need. Agencies on the federal, state and local level have partnered with this app to provide resources and information to expectant moms in their communities.

Preventive dental care, from using a quality toothbrush with extra soft bristles especially for sensitive gums like Colgate 360 Enamel Health Sensitive, to regular checkups, is vital for maintaining a healthy mouth and overall well-being. Dental public health programs can improve the lives of those who otherwise wouldn't have access to dental care, while increasing awareness of quality oral care for all.

To read the entire article visit colgate.com

Palm Beach Smiles 
Michael Barr, DDS
COSMETIC & FAMILY DENTISTRY
650 W. Boynton Beach Blvd, Suite 1- Boynton Beach, FL 332426
(561) 736-2377
http://palmbeach-smiles.com/

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Dentists in Top Three Safest Places According to MIT COVID Study

Of course, I've known this to be true all along.   Told ya so!  😁

Dental offices are the LEADERS when it comes to infectious disease control protocols.  The proof is in the pudding, which is that there are literally ZERO cases of transmission of any infectious disease in the normal delivery of dental care while using "Universal Precautions."

Universal Precautions have been used in Dentistry since AIDS / HIV hit the scene over three decades ago.   Consider that even today, hospitals cause 1.7 million "nosocomial" (hospital-acquired) infections PER YEAR in the U.S. Of those 1.7 million infections, 90,000 - 100,000 of them are FATAL.

Dentistry is safe for dentists and patients.


Again... Dentistry has a PERFECT record. Many in the media have claimed that dental offices are "high risk."  They are conflating the facts.  Dentists are OCCUPATIONALLY at high risk due to high EXPOSURE to infectious germs.  That's nothing new.  We are EXPOSED to a lot of germs, because of the nature of our work.  HOWEVER, the risks are very effectively mitigated by Universal Precautions.  We do billions of dental procedures every year in the U.S., and there are virtually no dentists getting sick.  Universal Precautions WORK.

Universal precautions also work to protect our patients.  Again, we have a PERFECT record.  Dental patients don't get sick by visiting the dentist.  Hospitals?  Not so much!

MIT researchers say the dentist is safe!


Today, I came across an article about an MIT study regarding the safest and riskiest places you can be during the COVID "crisis."  Dental offices were in the top three safest places!

Click here to read the article:  MIT researchers say these are the unsafe businesses to avoid during COVID-19, and these are okay.

Consider that the government's recommendations - to close dental offices and keep liquor stores open contradicts what the MIT brainiacs found.

I made this meme summing up the article.  


If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call at 561-736-2377.  

PS:  Here's a video I made a short time ago about what we do (and have always done) to prevent the transmission of germs in our office:




Monday, June 15, 2020

What is Cosmetic Dentistry? Costs and Types

Below is an excerpt from an article found on crest.com

If your teeth are stained, discolored, worn, chipped, broken, misaligned, misshapen, or have gaps between them, modern cosmetic dentistry can give you a better smile. A “smile makeover” improves the appearance of your smile through one or more cosmetic dentistry procedures. Cosmetic dentists work with you to develop a treatment plan. Below you’ll find some information that can help you learn more about the various types of cosmetic dental procedures available.

Types of Cosmetic Dentistry

Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening can be one of the simplest and least expensive ways to improve your smile. Teeth can be bleached with in-office products in your dentist’s office for about $500, or you can buy a mold and gels from your dentist to bleach your teeth at home. There are also whitening products available over the counter at retail stores for convenient at-home whitening: whitening toothpastes, rinses, and whitestrips. These products together run about $3 - $50.

Dental Veneers
Dental veneers are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored porcelain or resin that cover the front surface of the teeth. After removing about a half-millimeter of enamel from the tooth surface, these thin shells are bonded (cemented) to the front of the teeth, changing their color, shape, size, or length. Veneers are often called “Hollywood teeth." Living up to that name, this process can cost up to $500-$1,300 per tooth.

Dental Bonding
In dental bonding, a tooth-colored, putty-like resin, which is a durable plastic material, is applied to the tooth and hardened with an ultraviolet or laser light, bonding the material to the tooth. Your dentist then trims, shapes, and polishes it. Bonding can repair decayed, chipped, cracked, or misshapen teeth; it is also a good cosmetic alternative to, or replacement for, amalgam or silver fillings. Bonding takes about 30 to 60 minutes, and $100 to $400, per tooth.

Dental Crown
A dental crown, also called a cap, fits over and replaces the entire decayed or damaged tooth above the gum line, restoring its shape, size, strength, and appearance. Crowns keep a weak tooth from breaking or hold a cracked tooth together; they can be used cosmetically to cover misshapen or severely discolored teeth. Crowns can be made from metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, resin, or ceramic, and cost about $500 to $900 each.

Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays, also called indirect fillings, are made from gold, porcelain, or composite materials and fill decayed or damaged teeth. Dental fillings are molded into place during an office visit; however, inlays and onlays are created in a dental laboratory and bonded into place by your dentist. The filling is called an “inlay” when the material is bonded within the center of a tooth; it is called an “onlay” when the filling includes one or more points of the tooth or covers the biting surface. Inlays and onlays preserve as much healthy tooth as possible and are an alternative to crowns. This cosmetic dentistry procedure costs about $650 to $1,200 per tooth.

Dental Implants
Dental implants are titanium replacement tooth roots inserted into the bone socket of the missing tooth. As the jawbone heals, it grows around the implanted metal post, anchoring it securely in the jaw and providing a foundation for a replacement tooth. This procedure can cost anywhere from $1,250 to $3,000.

Other Options
A bridge is made of crowns for the teeth on either side of a gap with false teeth in between. A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth. Dental braces can straighten crooked or misaligned teeth and works by applying continuous pressure over a period of time to slowly move teeth in a specific direction.

To read the entire article visit crest.com

Palm Beach Smiles 
Michael Barr, DDS
COSMETIC & FAMILY DENTISTRY
650 W. Boynton Beach Blvd, Suite 1- Boynton Beach, FL 332426
(561) 736-2377
http://palmbeach-smiles.com/

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Scaling and Root Planing for Gum Disease

Below is an excerpt from an article found on mouthhealthy.org

Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning below the gumline used to treat gum disease.

Why Do I Need It?
Gum disease is caused by a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Plaque is always forming on your teeth, but if they aren’t cleaned well, the bacteria in plaque can cause your gums to become inflamed. When this happens, your gums will pull away from your teeth and form spaces called pockets. Plaque then gets trapped in these pockets and cannot be removed with regular brushing. If untreated, gum disease could lead to bone and tooth loss.

If gum disease is caught early and hasn’t damaged the structures below the gum line, a professional cleaning should do. If the pockets between your gums and teeth are too deep, however, scaling and root planing may be needed.

A July 2015 study in the Journal of the American Dental Association finds that scaling and root planing is beneficial to patients with chronic periodontitis (gum disease that has advanced past gingivitis). Chronic periodontitis affects 47.2% of adults over 30 in the United States.

What Happens During Scaling and Root Planing?
This deep cleaning has two parts. Scaling is when your dentist removes all the plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) above and below the gumline, making sure to clean all the way down to the bottom of the pocket. Your dentist will then begin root planing, smoothing out your teeth roots to help your gums reattach to your teeth. Scaling and root planing may take more than one visit to complete and may require a local anesthetic.

After Care Tips
After a deep cleaning, you may have pain for a day or two and teeth sensitivity for up to a week. Your gums also may be swollen, feel tender and bleed.

To prevent infection, control pain or help you heal, your dentist may prescribe a pill or mouth rinse. Your dentist may also insert medication (subantimicrobial-dose doxycycline) directly into the pocket that was cleaned.

Your dentist will schedule another visit to see how your gums have healed and measure the depth of your pockets. If they have gotten deeper, more treatment may be needed.

Good dental care at home is essential to help keep gum disease from becoming more serious or recurring.  Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft brush, clean between your teeth daily, eat a balanced diet, avoid using tobacco and see your dentist regularly.

To read the entire article visit mouthhealthy.org

Palm Beach Smiles 
Michael Barr, DDS
COSMETIC & FAMILY DENTISTRY
650 W. Boynton Beach Blvd, Suite 1- Boynton Beach, FL 332426
(561) 736-2377
http://palmbeach-smiles.com/

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Dental Implants: A Permanent Tooth Replacement To Consider

Below is an excerpt from an article found on colgate.com

One of the most notable technological advances in dentistry has to be the development of dental implants. Prior to their launch, the only options available to people who had lost a tooth were bridges or dentures. Dental implants offer an attractive and comfortable solution for those who have lost a tooth to decay or injury, providing a permanent replacement option that looks and feels like a real tooth.

Advantages of Dental Implants

Because a dental implant feels and looks like a normal tooth, it can do wonders for a patient's self-esteem. Many people who were shy about smiling due to a space from a lost tooth feel perfectly comfortable after a dental implant. Beyond the aesthetics, a dental implant also makes it easier to eat and speak, since a titanium post secured directly in the jaw holds the implant in place. Thus, an implant doesn't come loose like a denture. Dental implants also benefit general oral health since they do not have to be anchored to other teeth, like bridges.

Dental Implant Success Rates

Dental implant success can depend on where the missing teeth are located, but the average success rate is more than 95 percent, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS). Because the implant penetrates the jaw bone and gum, certain people may not be a good fit for the procedure, such as those who smoke or suffer from diabetes. Your dentist will be able to evaluate whether dental implants are right for you.

Caring for a Dental Implant

Good oral health habits are required for the implant to be a success. Teeth must be flossed and brushed and regular dental visits should be made. It should be noted that most insurance companies do not cover the cost of a dental implant, and it can cost between $1000 to $2,000 per tooth and there is an additional cost for the crown that is attached to the dental implant. If you are missing a tooth and believe a dental implant might be the right solution for you, start by consulting your dentist.

To read the entire article visit colgate.com

Palm Beach Smiles 
Michael Barr, DDS
COSMETIC & FAMILY DENTISTRY
650 W. Boynton Beach Blvd, Suite 1- Boynton Beach, FL 332426
(561) 736-2377
http://palmbeach-smiles.com/

Friday, May 15, 2020

Hormones and Dental Health: What Every Woman Needs to Know

Below is an excerpt from an article found on mouthhealthy.org

Your weight. Your mood. Your sex drive. Your dental health. There’s one thing that can make all these aspects of your health go haywire — hormones. 

You may be surprised to learn that hormone surges may make you more vulnerable to gum disease. Here’s why: More female hormones (estrogen and progesterone) cause more blood to flow to your gums, which causes them to become more sensitive and “overreact” to anything that may irritate them. “Women are more sensitive to the presence of plaque and bacteria around the gums when the hormone levels are high,” says ADA dentist Dr. Sally Cram. “This can cause your gums to become inflamed, swell and bleed. If left untreated, ongoing inflammation in the gums can also lead to bone loss around the teeth and eventual tooth loss.”

Your hormones are a fact of life, but gum disease not so much. It’s actually preventable and reversible in its early stages. So what’s a woman to do? Start by paying extra attention and taking good care of your mouth during these five times in your life.

Puberty
Raging hormones can leave a teenage girl’s gums red, swollen and bleeding. (In some cases, the gums’ overreaction to plaque may cause gums to actually grow bigger.) Some teenage girls may also find themselves developing canker sores, which usually heal on their own.

The best treatment? Prevention. “Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, floss once a day and see your dentist regularly,” Dr. Cram says. “Removing plaque and bacteria thoroughly every day can reduce the inflammation, discomfort and bleeding.”  

Your Period
You may not notice any change in your mouth in the days before your period. (If fact, most women don’t). But if you have swollen gums, bleeding gums, canker sores or swollen salivary glands, hormones may be to blame. These symptoms should subside after your period stops — but if they don’t, then the increased bleeding by your gums is signaling something else. Talk to your dentist if you have questions about how your monthly cycle and apparent health of your gums are related.

Stay on top of your daily dental health routine, and if you find you have more sensitivity than usual before or during your period, schedule cleanings for about a week after it ends.  

Using Birth Control Pills
Inflammation may have been a side effect for women taking birth control in the past, but today there’s good news for your gums. The levels of estrogen and progesterone in today’s birth control prescriptions are too low to cause any issues with your gums, according to a February 2013 review in the journal Periodontology 2000.  

Still, it’s important make sure your health history forms at the dentist are up to date if you are taking birth control. Here’s why:
  • Your dentist may need to write you a prescription, and some medications can make your birth control less effective. 
  • If you’re having a tooth removed, you may be more at risk for a painful complication called dry socket. According to the June 2016 Journal of the American Dental Association, women who use oral contraceptives are nearly twice as likely to experience dry socket compared to those who do not. Of 100 women who took birth control, 13.9 experienced dry socket. Only 7.54 of 100 women who did not take birth control had this complication.

Pregnancy
During pregnancy, your body is in hormonal hyper drive. Some women find they have developed pregnancy gingivitis — a mild form of gum disease that causes gums to be red, tender and sore. It is most common between the second and eighth months of pregnancy, and you can help keep it under control through good daily habits. “Stay on top of your brushing, stay on top of your flossing and be meticulous about the care of your entire body,” says ADA dentist Dr. Alice Boghosian. 

Visiting your dentist during pregnancy is incredibly important — and absolutely safe. In fact, your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings during your second trimester and early third trimester to help control gingivitis. If you notice any other changes in your mouth during pregnancy, see your dentist. 

Menopause 
Menopause is a huge change in a woman’s life and a woman’s mouth, including altered taste, burning sensations in your mouth and increased sensitivity. “They’re all related to hormones,” Dr. Boghosian says.

Still, there are two critical changes to be aware of: dry mouth and bone loss. “Saliva cleanses the teeth and rinses cavity-causing bacteria off your teeth,” Dr. Boghosian says. “When you have dry mouth, your saliva flow decreases and you’re more at risk for cavities.”

Talk to your dentist if your mouth is feeling dry. “If dry mouth is a problem, suck on ice chips or sugar-free candy, drink water or other caffeine-free drinks and use an over-the-counter dry mouth spray or rinse to help reduce the dryness,” Dr. Cram says. “Your dentist may also recommend prescription strength fluoride toothpaste that helps reduce the risk of tooth decay.”

What you eat can also make a difference when it comes to dry mouth. Avoid salty, spicy, sticky and sugary foods, as well as and dry foods that are hard to chew. Alcohol, tobacco and caffeine can also make dry mouth worse. At night, sleeping with a humidifier on in your room can also make a difference.

Losing bone in your jaw can lead to tooth loss. “The decreased estrogen that occurs with menopause also puts you at risk for a loss of bone density,” Dr. Boghosian says. “Signs of bone loss in your jaw can be something as simple as receding gums. When your gums recede, more of your tooth is exposed and that puts more of your tooth at risk for decay. And if your mouth is dry, that’s a double whammy.”

To help reduce your risk of bone loss, work with your dentist or physician to make sure you’re getting the right amount of calcium and vitamin D, don’t smoke and avoid excessive alcohol consumption.

To read the entire article visit mouthhealthy.org

Palm Beach Smiles 
Michael Barr, DDS
COSMETIC & FAMILY DENTISTRY
650 W. Boynton Beach Blvd, Suite 1- Boynton Beach, FL 332426
(561) 736-2377
http://palmbeach-smiles.com/