Smiles for a Lifetime
Header

The answer to this question is quite simple…. as soon as they can comfortably sit in a dental chair by themselves or lay back on a parent’s lap. Dental schools often state a magic age of 3 years old. However, this has absolutely no scientific foundation.

Unfortunately, many parents wait until their child has a toothache or an obvious cavity before bringing them to the dentist. This creates a situation in which one of the first experiences a child has with a dentist involves invasive and threatening procedures. It takes approximately seven good experiences to repair the psychological damage of one bad experience in a dental office. It should be clear that it would be better for the child’s psychological development to have several fun and enjoyable dental experiences before having to have any type of invasive procedures performed.

In our Sidney, Ohio office, we encourage all young mothers, or even expecting mothers, to bring their infants in with them to their own dental appointments. This enables the child to become familiar with our office, sounds, and attire in a non-threatening manner. I’ll usually perform a brief examination of an infant’s mouth and palate at no charge for our patients of record to introduce him or her to dental care sensations and to check early on for developmental problems such as cleft palate. Oral hygiene instructions and dietary counseling can also be presented to the parents at these early appointments as well. The earlier a child is introduced to dental care, the better.

For tips on helping your child overcome their fears of the dentist, visit Parents.com.

Germs that cause gum disease, gingivitis, and tooth decay live in groups. These bacteria are much less destructive when their groups, called colonies, are mechanically broken up with a toothbrush. Another problem caused by bacterial colonization is the production of foul odors.

The surface of the tongue is covered with many little tissue projections, called papillae, which serve various functions such as detecting taste. Papillae also provide protection for bacterial colonies. Since foul odors originate from bacteria, an unclean tongue is a major source of bad breath, or halitosis.

Brushing the tongue is an effective way to manage halitosis. It also reduces overall amount of germs in the mouth to help prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Some dentists also advocate scraping the tongue routinely with special tools as treatment for halitosis. Probably the most effective time for brushing and/or scraping the tongue for the management of halitosis is when brushing the teeth in the morning.

Some general tips:

Tilt the brush at a 45 degree angle against the gumline and sweep or roll the brush away from gumline.

Gently brush the outside, inside and chewing surface of each tooth using short back-and-forth strokes.

Gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen breath.

You can visit animated-teeth for more information on brushing your tongue. Call our Sidney, Ohio office today to schedule a cleaning!

The third set of molars are often called “wisdom teeth” because they developed around what used to be called “the age of wisdom”, which is around 18. They have absolutely nothing to do with intelligence. In fact, quite the opposite. Most wisdom teeth can’t even figure out how to erupt through the gums crown first!

There have been many theories and myths about why wisdom teeth should be extracted or left in place. Many dentists used to encourage leaving wisdom teeth in place if they erupt fully, even if they come in crooked, as they could make a good support tooth for a bridge of the second molar would be lost for some reason. In reality, though, wisdom teeth make poor abutment teeth because their root structures are weak and unpredictable. One of the theories that was used to justify extraction claimed that wisdom teeth “pushed” teeth forward, causing the front teeth to crowd. Good research has proven time and time again that wisdom tooth impaction and/or eruption has absolutely no effect on the lower front teeth.

So, what do we know? We know that wisdom teeth are so far back in the mouth that they are almost impossible to clean with normal hygiene practices. Therefore, wisdom teeth are very susceptible to dental decay, especially later in life when dexterity may be compromised by arthritis, etc. Impacted wisdom teeth have the potential to cause cysts which can weaken the jaw bone and cause damage to the adjacent second molars. Partially impacted teeth, which poke through the gum, can become infected and cause damage to the gums and bone surrounding the adjacent teeth. Sometimes, severe infections can result.

I personally do not know of any logical reason for not having third molars removed at a young age, unless there is some underlying medical reason that would complicate the extraction surgery. The risks of keeping wisdom teeth usually far outweigh the benefits of taking them out. The younger a person is when the procedure is done, the less risk is involved and better healing potential exists. Once the roots are completely formed, surgery becomes more complicated in many cases.

It goes without saying that mastication, or chewing, is an absolute necessity of normal living. As we age, eating becomes one of the only pleasures that most of us can enjoy in almost any setting. All one has to do is to take a look at the plethora of fine public eating establishments in the area to understand how important comfortable mastication is to our society.

Chewing gum has been around for many years, and the act of chewing gum has been criticized by teachers, scolded by parents, and encouraged by dentists. YES! Chewing sugarless gum can reduce the incidence of tooth decay. The process of chewing stimulates production of saliva, which is necessary for digestion and also serves as a buffer to neutralize the pH of our mouths. Since most food contains sugar, which stimulates the production of lactic acid from normal bacteria in our mouths, saliva plays a vital role in cavity prevention. Chewing sugarless gum immediately following eating and continuing for twenty minutes has been proven to aid in the pH neutralization process.

Gum that contains sugar, however, has exactly the opposite effect. It increases the incidence of tooth decay because it allows sugar to be in the mouth for prolonged periods of time, feeding the germs that cause tooth decay. Chewing gum of any kind can also be a problem in people who suffer from muscular headaches or TMJ symptoms of any kind because it stresses the jaw joints in chewing muscles. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, make sure to schedule an appointment at our office in Sidney or by using our online form to contact our office.

For more information on chewing gum related to dentistry, visit Delta Dental.

Continuing from our last post, Improve Your Oral Health With These Foods, we will be going over  4 more foods that can help to improve your overall oral health. 

Ideally, you want to avoid food that combines high sugars, acid and stickiness. When you eat food that is high in sugar and acid, you’re not only feeding yourself, but the plaque that can wreak chaos inside your mouth. The resulting acids from the combination of sugars and plaque can attack your teeth for up to 20 minutes after you are finished eating!

Cheese is an excellent source of calcium, and low in both sugar and acid. This makes it an ideal choice. Even more, cheese contains a protein called casein, which is found in milk and is very useful in fortifying the surface of teeth.

Sugar-Free Gum brands such as B-Fresh, Spry, Xponent, Xylichew and Trident all contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener. Note that not all sugar-free gum contain xylitol. Unlike other artificial sweeteners, xylitol prevents the bacteria in plaque from metabolizing sugar, acting more like an “anti-sugar” than a sugar substitute. Regular sugar can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, while xylitol fights against them. Gum even helps to remove bacteria and plaque from your teeth.

Tap Water, more often than not, contains optimal levels of fluoride which helps to prevent tooth decay. The reason for this is simple; fluoride helps to remineralize teeth, reversing the harmful effects of acid, which works away enamel. Most bottled water doesn’t contain enough active fluoride to have any benefit. 

Pears help to stimulate saliva reproduction, like all high fiber containing fresh fruit. Pears are a great option, as they have a larger neutralizing effect on acid than other types of fruit, such as apples, bananas, mandarins and pineapples.

Yogurt, just like cheese, is another excellent source of casein, calcium and also phosphates that help to remineralize teeth, the same as fluoride does. This makes it another ideal candidate for fighting against cavities. 

For even more on foods that can help to improve your oral health, visit the Huffington Post. Don’t forget to schedule your next appointment by calling our office in Sidney, Ohio.

My patients are always asking for new ways to improve their oral health. A great way to maintain a bright and healthy smile is to make optimal overall health your priority. Staying mindful of how we treat our body is vital to being healthy inside and out.

Common oral bacteria known as Streptococcus Mutans cause the mouth to be highly susceptible to discoloration and decay. This bacteria causes plaque buildup and can lead to increased bacteria reproduction. To keep your mouth healthy, there are several foods that can be beneficial to your oral and overall health.

Carrots are a great snack that can appeal to both children and adults. These sweet and crunchy treats help to stimulate the saliva in your mouth which naturally helps to wash away plaque. They also are rich in Vitamin A, which is great for your eyesight. Carrots can help keep your vision strong and your enamel clear.

Celery, although rather tasteless, is extremely low in calories and can be dipped in peanut butter or ranch dressing for added flavor. It requires chewing which helps to increase saliva in your mouth, which assists in washing away plaque. The fibrous strands in celery also help to naturally clean your teeth.

Pineapples are a sweet treat that is full of vitamins and minerals.They are also rich in bromelain, a protein-breaking enzyme which can also help to keep your teeth clean.

For more foods that can improve your oral health, check back with us later this month!

Have you set up your next appointment yet? Call our office in Sidney, Ohio today to schedule one! Or contact us via our website.

Symptoms of Oral Cancer

April 29th, 2014 | Posted by Jeffery R Van Treese DDS in News - (0 Comments)

According to the ADA, nearly 42,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or throat cancer this year. Regular oral cancer examinations are the best way to detect oral cancer early on.

The ADA states that if symptoms do not disappear within 2 weeks, make sure to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Signs and symptoms to look for include:

  • Irritation that won’t go away
  • Red or white patches
  • Pain, tenderness or numbness in the mouth or lips
  • A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth

Visit the ADA’s website to read more about oral cancer. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more dental health tips.

My main priority is to provide the best possible dental care for the people of Sidney and all surrounding areas. Along with providing excellent care, I make it my priority to educate my patients so they can better understand the dangers of things like gum disease.

Gum Disease, also known as Periodontal Disease, can be very damaging to both your mouth as well as the rest of your body. Many are aware of the dangers of Periodontal Disease but not many know why it is so threatening. The most common forms of Gum Disease: Periodontitis (gingivitis plus bone loss around the teeth) and Gingivitis (red, bleeding and/or puffy gums) are caused by an accumulation of plaque and tartar around your teeth. Plaque and tartar contain bacteria that release toxins which irritate your gums. These toxins cause inflammatory responses in the body, which leads the body to, in essence, attack itself. This causes the gums to separate from the teeth and bone and form pockets that can become easily infected by the bacteria in your mouth. This can cause the bone structure of your mouth to deteriorate. If not treated, the pockets between your gums caused by this condition can grow larger, important gum tissue and bone is destroyed, and the condition can lead to tooth loss.

The best defense against gum disease is prevention and early detection, and of course, treatment to arrest the disease process when it occurs. Give our office a call to get an oral cancer screening. For more information on how to prevent gum disease, visit the American Academy of Periodontology or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

One of the most common questions from my patients in Sidney is how they can whiten their teeth and brighten their smile. Our teeth are composed of enamel, which acts as a protective barrier that prevents cavities and tooth decay. Enamel also give your teeth their white color. Certain products we consume can break down the enamel in our teeth and cause stains. This can be caused by the acidity levels or by artificial food colorings.

Rule of thumb: If it can stain your carpet, it can stain your teeth.

Darkly pigmented beverages such as coffee, tea and cola can greatly discolor your teeth. Microscopic ridges on each tooth can catch residue from these beverages, which can cause discoloration. Cola also contains high levels of acidity, which can actually break down the enamel in your teeth. The food coloring in several processed foods that we eat can also cause staining as well. This includes fruit juices, popsicles and even ketchup. Visit Supersmile for more examples of foods that can stain your teeth.

Maintaining regular brushing and flossing is the best way to eliminate discoloration and keep your smile bright. Call our office  to set up your next teeth whitening. For more tips on how to maintain proper oral hygiene, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Oral health and overall health are linked in several ways that many people do not realize. At the office of Dr. Jeff Van Treese, it’s very important to us that we help our patients in Shelby County live healthy lives. Although junk food can be a treat every so often, these foods can lead to severe oral health problems that can effect the rest of your body.

Large amounts of sugar can lead to cavities and increases your risk for gum disease. Gum disease, along with weakening your bone structure, can also cause a systemic inflammatory response which can increase risk of heart disease and other inflammatory conditions.

Sugar is found in excess in fizzy soft drinks and confectionaries. This makes them high in calories and low in nutritional value. Candies, sodas, flavored waters, energy drinks, and sports drinks are also filled with high fructose corn syrup which is unhealthy for your teeth and bad for your body. Even “diet” drinks have high acid levels that contribute to the breakdown of your enamel. Limiting your consumption of these food items can greatly increase your oral and overall health.

Visit the American Dental Association for more information on oral health. Call our office to schedule your next visit!