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Holiday Teeth Whitening Tips!

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‘Tis the season for giving and of course, feasting! Indulging in your favorite holiday foods and festive drinks this time of year is inevitable, so it’s important to take special care of your teeth to ensure they stay healthy and white as snow. Follow these teeth whitening tips to keep your teeth merry and bright throughout the holiday season and beyond. Sip Through Straws Seasonal lattes, coffee, tea, hot buttered rum, red wine and other dark beverages should always be sipped through a straw in order to prevent tooth stains and yellowing. Using straws will reduce how much your favorite beverages come in contact with your front teeth. So, the next time you’re offered a drink at a holiday gathering or restaurant, politely ask for a straw, or better yet, stash one in your pocket or purse so you always have one on hand. Give Your Mouth a Good Rinse Rinsing your mouth with water after eating and drinking is essential for keeping your teeth pearly-white during the holidays and throughout th…

Tooth Fairy Traditions

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1. THE UNITED STATES AND BEYOND

In America (and other primarily English-speaking countries), kids are paid off for their teeth—lose a tooth, put it under your pillow, go to sleep, and at some point, a fairy will arrive to exchange the tooth for some cash. In 2017, the going rate was an average of $5.70 a tooth - Losing teeth really isn’t so bad! 2. INDIA, CHINA, JAPAN, KOREA, AND VIETNAM Kids who lose teeth from their lower jaw will throw their teeth onto their roof, while upper jaw teeth go on the floor or even under it (the idea is the new tooth will be pulled towards the old tooth). That’s not all, though, because as the tooth-losing kiddo tosses their teeth, they sometimes yell out a wish that the missing tooth be replaced by the tooth of a mouse. Mice (and other rodents) have teeth that continually grow, which sounds like a wise request when one goes missing. 3. SPAIN

One of Spain’s most beloved myths centers on Ratoncito Perez, a.k.a. Raton Perez, a.k.a. Perez Mouse, a.k.a. El …

Dental Care Concerns For Seniors

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Like every other part of our bodies, our mouths change as we age. As the carefree days of youth fade you may be faced with new challenges when it comes to your oral health, or you may start to pay for bad habits from your younger days. And even if you’ve taken good care of your teeth & treated problems as they arise, some old solutions may age as well and need to be repaired or replaced. Darker or Yellower TeethPerhaps the most notable change as we age is the color of our teeth. Over time, the hard outer layer of your teeth called enamel, gets thinner. Because enamel is semi-transparent, this makes it so the dentin underneath shows through, which makes teeth appear duller and yellow. A lifetime of teeth staining habits, such as smoking tobacco or drinking red wine, coffee or tea can also eventually lead to discolored teeth. A dentist may be able to help whiten your teeth with a professional teeth whitening treatment. Discuss your goals for brightening your teeth with your dentist s…

Diabetes and Oral Health FAQ's

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People with diabetes have special concerns when it comes to dental care. In fact, 1 in every 5 cases of total tooth loss is linked to this widespread health conditions. Let's go over some frequently asked questions about oral health and diabetes.

In addition to gum disease, what other oral health problems can develop for people with diabetes?
While gum disease is the most common problem, having diabetes also makes you prone to other mouth problems such as oral infections, thrush, poor healing and dry mouth. Remember, good dental care can result in a healthy mouth and a smile that will last a lifetime.

Can I get a dental implant to replace a missing tooth even if I have diabetes?
A number of studies have shown that people with diabetes can be good candidates for dental implants, but there are some concerns regarding dental implant treatment, which involves minor surgery. Wounds tend to heal more slowly in people with diabetes, who are also more infection-prone than those without diabet…

Do you know WHY we lose our teeth?

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Why do we lose our teeth?
As we age many factors contribute to our overall health. Taking care of our teeth by brushing, flossing and routine checkups are the easiest ways to maintain a lifetime of healthy smiles!

So, why do we lose teeth during our lifetime? The answer is rather simple.

Losing Baby Teeth
During childhood, we grow our first set of teeth commonly referred to as “baby teeth.” Dentists actually call these our “Deciduous” or “Primary” teeth. Typically, the growth and loss of these teeth follow a specific timeline.

Primary teeth provide the foundation for our adult teeth. By helping to develop the oral cavity and creating the space necessary to guide our permanent teeth into place, baby teeth act as placeholders for the adult teeth to follow.

The root area of a baby tooth allows the permanent tooth a place to grow and easily pass through the gums. As the body grows, the jaw increases in size creating space and causing the primary teeth to loosen and eventually fall out.

Teet…

Got Questions? We've got the answers!

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Frequently Asked Questions 
Hewlett Family Dental has the answers to the most commonly asked dental questions. If you have a question that is not addressed here, let us know! FAQsWhat causes bad breath? Bad breath is generally a result of dental decay and periodontitis, a disease affecting the gums and bone. Periodontitis occurs when the gums become inflamed and infected, ultimately spreading pockets of plaque and tartar from the gums to the bone that supports the teeth. The teeth may become loose and eventually fall out if left untreated. Periodontitis is treatable, but good oral hygiene is the best method of avoiding this problem. How do I repair a cracked tooth? Teeth can crack or chip for a variety of reasons. Especially if they are subjected to chewing hard foods or biting on an unexpectedly hard object, or if teeth have been subjected to large restorations. You may also experience painful chewing, unsolicited pain or discomfort due to cold air. Most cracks can be repaired using…

Dental Tips For a Healthy Halloween

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!
Halloween is upon us, which for most children means bags of free candy and a chance to build a stockpile of sweets for the winter. No surprise, Halloween can also present parents with a variety of health and safety challenges. It’s OK to eat that candy on Halloween but it’s important to have a plan!

Here's how you can help your family stay "mouth healthy" on Halloween and year-round.
Time It RightEat Halloween candy (and other sugary foods) with meals or shortly after mealtime. Saliva production increases during meals. This helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and rinse away food particles.
Stay Away from Sweet SnacksSnacking can increase your risk of cavities, and it’s double the trouble if you keep grabbing sugary treats from the candy bowl. Snacking on candy throughout the day is not ideal for your dental health or diet.
Choose Candy CarefullyAvoid hard candy and other sweets that stay in your mouth for a long time. Aside from how …

Dental Care During Pregnancy

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When you’re pregnant, you do everything you can to help prepare for a healthy baby. Maintaining good oral hygiene while you’re pregnant is an important part of your overall health. Many expecting women have questions like “Can I go to the dentist when pregnant?” and “Are my teeth affected during pregnancy?” 

Dental Care & Pregnancy
According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, dental health is an important part of overall health during pregnancy and throughout your lifespan. Be assured that the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of oral conditions are safe during pregnancy. Should you have to have a dental procedure completed while you’re pregnant, local anesthesia (lidocaine with and without epinephrine) is also safe while you’re pregnant. 

X-Rays & Pregnancy
According to the American Dental Association (ADA) current guidelines say that it is more risky for a pregnant woman to postpone dental treatment than to have treatment completed, and the best way for …

My Wisdom Teeth Don't Hurt. Do I Still Need Them Out?

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When Wisdom Teeth Don't Hurt Many people often ask if they need to remove wisdom teeth that don't hurt. Keeping your wisdom teeth will require more care when it comes to brushing and flossing those hard to reach areas. So, if your dentist feels they are correctly aligned, there won't be problems biting or chewing, and feels you will be able to clean and floss those teeth, he may tell you to keep them. Your dentist will look at not just your short-term care but your long-term care as well and will talk to you about all options.   Wisdom Teeth Telling You it's Time to Come Out Visible signs that you or your dentist will detect include decay, misalignment, and partial eruption. All of these have grave effects on the teeth. Other signs to look for include: ●    Swollen gum tissue ●    Slight pain in the teeth region ●    Gum disease ●    Tumors ●    Prolonged tooth decay ●    Stiffness in the Jaw ●    Cysts What's the Perfect Time to get your Wisdom Teeth Removed? Most o…

Canker Sores

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Many people can experience canker sores triggered by certain foods, such as acidic fruits and vegetables: strawberries, pineapples, oranges, apples, lemons, figs, and tomatoes. Pain caused by canker sores generally lasts only a couple of days, and the sore itself should heal in about a week or two.

Helpful ways to speed up the healing process:
Use an over-the-counter gel medication or patch. The gel is applied directly on top of the canker sore to prevent further irritation. You can also use a medicated mouth rinse found at drugstores which will clean the area, relieve pain, and help to stop infection. A salt rinse solution is a more natural alternative to a medicated mouth rinse but should not be an exclusive replacement if a medicated mouth rinse is necessary.Practice good oral hygiene by brushing twice daily and use a soft bristled brush to prevent canker sores from becoming infected.Avoid certain foods which are very acidic, salty, or spicy, hot drinks or food with rough edges that …

Nitrous Oxide. Is it safe for dental procedures?

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Nitrous oxide has been around for decades, but some patients don’t realize it’s still a great option for dental patients and procedures. Nitrous oxide provides conscious sedation at times when full sedation isn’t required, but a local anesthetic isn’t quite enough. It’s one of the safest and most effective ways to get through challenging dental situations.

What Is Nitrous Oxide?
Nitrous oxide is a colorless, odorless gas that has been used in dentistry for over a century. The gas is administered via a small mask that fits over the nose and is inhaled by the patient. It’s also known as laughing gas because of the sense of relaxation and even euphoria it can create in patients. Because of its many advantages and overall lack of side effects, nitrous oxide is the most commonly used gas-form anesthetic in the world, according to the American Dental Association (ADA).

Why Is Dental Sedation Needed?
Sedation is a key part of any dental practice, allowing dentists to perform needed work on pa…

"My crown came off! What do I do now?"

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Although losing a crown not a serious emergency, many patients experience a disconcerting sensation when their crowns are not in place. If your dental crown came off, don’t panic, but do call to make an appointment right away. In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to put it back in place and alleviate your pain before you are able to see the dentist.

What Do I Do if My Crown Fell Off?
When your crown pops off, immediately get it out of your mouth, or find it (if it is in your food, on the floor, in the sink, etc.). You don’t want to swallow it, because, although it would probably pass without a problem, you would not be able to reattach it, and would need to have a new crown fitted. 

Call and schedule an appointment to get the crown reattached.
Let the office staff know that your crown came off and give details. They will try to get you in as soon as possible (within a week at most).

DO NOT use super glue/dental adhesive/cement 
These substances could cause more damage to the s…

What To Do About Sensitive Teeth

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If you suffer from sensitive teeth, you already know the frustration of having a type of pain that is hard to deal with. Because tooth sensitivity is sometimes unpredictable, you can't necessarily take medication to ward off the pain like you could if you just felt a headache coming on.

However, there is still something you can do about sensitive teeth. Use the following tips to help put your sensitivity and pain problems with your teeth behind you!

Use the Right Toothbrush: Select a toothbrush made just for sensitive teeth, or the softest bristles possible. This helps you avoid putting any extra pressure on your teeth or gums.

Use Sensitive Toothpaste: There are several good options for toothpastes made just for sensitive teeth today. Usually, toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth will be fluoridated and use a non-abrasive formula. The toothpaste will help with the pain usually associated with brushing and flossing if you use it regularly.

Avoid Trigger Foods: You may have noti…

How What You Eat Affects Your Teeth

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When most of us think of the affect of food on our teeth, we probably think of the age-old wisdom that sugar causes tooth decay. And while sugar is a notorious culprit, there are many other ways that the foods you eat affect your teeth, & not all of it is bad news.

First of all, it’s good to review how sugar actually causes cavities. It’s not the sugar itself that’s responsible for decay. Sugar acts as a food source for bacteria on your teeth & gums, which digest it & turn it into an acidic byproduct you’ve probably already heard of, called plaque. Plaque is sticky & adheres to your teeth, where its acids start to dissolve the hard outer layer of your teeth called enamel. Bacteria can then get into this hole in the enamel & start to destroy the inside of the tooth, causing toothaches & abscesses that require treatment from your dentist (root canals, tooth extractions, etc).

Clearly, it’s a good idea to avoid sugar as much as possible & to brush & floss…

How Fillings Have Changed...

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If it’s been a while since you last had a filling done, you may be surprised at the new options available. Read on to see how fillings used to be, as well as what’s available today. Mercury FillingsThe original standard of dental fillings involved squeezing a mold of a metal alloy called dental amalgam. This amalgam contains predominantly silver, hence the common name of silver fillings, but also up to 50 percent mercury. This led to many health concerns, as mercury is toxic even in small quantities. Despite the mercury in a cured filling not being available as free mercury, and thus having a small risk of entering the patient’s general system, the other concern is that amalgam fillings require undercutting. This is the removal of extra tooth matter to create a better position for the filling to stay within. However, some dentists note that amalgam fillings are stronger than the more popular composite and are still a worthwhile choice for back teeth. Tooth-Colored CompositeIf mercury fil…