How to Prepare for Root Canal Treatment

A root canal is recommended when the pulp inside of the tooth becomes infected usually due to a deep cavity, a cracked tooth, or issues from a filling. In general, patients will need a root canal when they notice prolonged tooth sensitivity to cold and hot or chewing, or when an infection is detected on an x-ray.

If your dentist has recommended a root canal treatment, you may feel nervous as to how the procedure will go. To help you prepare, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Ask your dentist about antibiotics. If the tooth is infected, it may make dental procedures more painful than it needs to be. If an infection develops, ask your dentist about antibiotics to clear the infection and shorten the recovery time. Additionally, your dentist may also recommend over-the-counter pain killers to help reduce inflammation before the procedure.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol and smoking. Avoid drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours before the treatment. Alcohol can dry out the mouth and lead to complications, so it’s best to avoid drinking after the procedure as well. You should also avoid smoking before and after the procedure, as it can affect the healing process.
  • Before getting a root canal, make sure to get a good night’s rest to prepare for the procedure. Make sure you eat before your procedure since the effects of the local anesthesia may last several hours after the procedure.
  • After the procedure, take some time off to rest and recuperate to shorten the recovery time and avoid complications.
  • Discuss with your dentist whether you will have sedation for this treatment. The before and after care protocol may change in case of sedation.
  • Ask your dentist questions. If you have concerns about the procedure, you can always ask your dentist. He or she can address your concerns and help you better understand what the procedure entails and other ways you can facilitate a smooth recovery.

Tips to Help Extend Your Teeth Whitening Results

Professional teeth whitening can greatly enhance the appearance of your smile. However, you may be surprised to know that the results do not last forever. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to extend the results of teeth whitening to its full potential. Read on to learn a few simple yet effective tips that will make your teeth whitening results last longer.

Tooth Whitening procedure may temporarily affect the integrity of your tooth enamel, making it more porous for a short period immediately after the treatment. To prolong your teeth whitening results for as long as possible, avoid staining foods like dark chocolate, tomato-based sauces, and acidic foods. You should also avoid staining beverages like coffee, red wine, and black tea.

Maintain dental hygiene habits

Performing dental hygiene habits consistently makes a big difference in the appearance of your smile. For maximum results, brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss after every meal. It also helps to use whitening toothpaste and a soft toothbrush.

Schedule regular dental cleanings

Regular dental cleanings can remove most of the external stains on the surface of your teeth in addition to preventing gum disease by scraping away the plaque and tartar build-up.

The effects of tooth whitening will gradually fade over time. To maintain your whitened teeth longer, you will need to re-apply the whitening procedure periodically. To determine how often you should get your teeth whitened, it’s best to consult your dentist after the procedure.

Best practices for healthy teeth and gums

Brushing too hard or using a hard-toothbrush can damage tooth enamel and the gums. That can lead to tooth sensitivity, permanent damage to the protective enamel on the teeth, and gum erosion. The American Dental Association (ADA), recommend using a toothbrush that has soft bristles. ADA, recommends to change your toothbrush every 3 months or when the ends start to look frayed, whichever comes first. Always use fluoride, which helps to prevent cavities. Lack of fluoride can lead to tooth decay, even if a person takes care of their teeth otherwise.

  • Floss and Brush atleast twice a day (preferably, after every meal)
  • See a dentist regularly
  • Do not smoke
  • Limit sugary foods and starches
  • ADA recommend eating plenty of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables as well as dairy products without added sugar.

A child's primary teeth, which people sometimes call baby teeth, are just as important as their permanent teeth. Baby teeth help a child chew and speak. They are placeholders for the future permanent teeth. If a child loses a baby tooth to decay, this can disrupt the space in the mouth and make it difficult for the adult tooth to develop correctly. The following practices will help keep a child's teeth and gums healthy:

Wipe a baby's gums with a warm, wet washcloth every day, even before they have any teeth. Doing this removes sugars from the gums and can help a baby become familiar with the feeling of cleaning their teeth. Babies and toddlers should not go to bed with bottles or sippy cups. Milk and juice contain sugars that can cause tooth decay if they remain on the teeth for extended periods. As a baby approaches 1 year of age, start getting them used to a sippy cup. Aim to stop using bottles by their first birthday. Allow toddlers to sip water from sippy cups between meals, but save juice or milk for meal times only. Once a baby has teeth, brush them twice a day with a soft baby toothbrush. Use a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste, no bigger than a grain of rice. Children who are 3 to 6 years of age may use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Parents or caregivers should brush the child's teeth for them until they can clean all of their teeth thoroughly without help. Monitor them to make sure that they spit out the toothpaste. Keep the toothpaste out of children's reach when it is not in use. The ADA recommend that children see a dentist within 6 months of their first tooth appearing or at 1 year of age, whichever comes first. Parents and caregivers should not share eating utensils with a child or clean pacifiers by putting them in their mouth. Both of these actions can pass the adult's cavity-causing bacteria to the child.

How to avoid common dental problems?

Gum disease is an infection of the gums and is known as periodontal disease. Gum disease is the main cause of tooth loss of adults, and although it usually occurs after the age of 30, everyone is at risk. According to the NHS, "most adults in the UK have gum disease to some degree and more people experience it at least once.” The symptoms of gum disease are bad breath, and sore, red, bleeding, and swollen gums. Make sure to brush twice a day and see your dentist for a checkup regularly. Smoking can also increase your risk of gum disease.

Tooth sensitivity

If your teeth are particularly sensitive to hot and cold air, food, and drinks, you will benefit from using a specialist toothpaste for sensitive teeth on a regular basis. Sensitive teeth can also be a sign of a cracked tooth, an abscess, or worn fillings, and if this is the case, you need to see a dentist prevent losing a tooth. Proper oral hygiene is the key to preventing sensitive tooth pain.

Tooth Decay

Also known as cavities, tooth decay occurs when plaque combines with the sugars and starches of the food we eat to produce acids that attack tooth enamel. Tooth decay can occur at any age but is particularly common in children. The best way to prevent the chances of tooth decay is to brush twice a day, floss daily, avoid foods with high sugar content, and go for dental check-ups regularly. The better your oral routine, the less chance you will have of suffering tooth decay.

Mouth sores

Mouth sores usually last more than two weeks but are not a major concern. There are two main types: canker sores and cold sores. Canker sores, or aphthous ulcers, occur inside the mouth and are not contagious, while cold sores appear on the outer lips and are contagious. Cold sores will come and go and are not entirely curable.

Bad Breath

Bad breath is also called halitosis and can be a result of an underlying dental condition. For example, gum disease, cavities, oral cancer, and bacteria on the tongue all cause bad breath. Using mouthwash will certainly help reduce bad breath, but it will not cure an underlying issue. Make sure to see your dentist for a check-up if you have any concerns.

Dry mouth

We all suffer from a dry mouth occasionally, but if you feel your mouth is consistently dry, you might need to seek treatment. Certain medications and health conditions can be the cause of a dry mouth, however, it can also be caused by tooth decay as this can result in decreased salivary flow. Having a dry mouth itself is not serious, but you need to address the underlying cause of the problem.

Learn About Periodontal Disease

There are many types of periodontal diseases. People of all ages can be affected, from children to seniors. Below, are the stages of this disease that you should know about.

  • Gingivitis: This is a mildest from of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become red and swollen and to bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage. Gingivitis can be reversed with treatment in our herndon dental office, and good oral care at home.
  • Chronic Periodontitis: This form of periodontal disease results in swelling and redness in the tissues around the teeth. Patients suffer loss of tissue and bone that may become more severe over time. In chronic periodontitis, pockets form and.or gum tissue pulls back. This is the most common form of periodontitis in adulta but can occur at any age. It usually gets worse slowly, but there can be periods of rapid progression.
  • Aggressive Periodontitis: This is a highly destructive form of periodontal that occurs in patients who are otherwise healthy. Common features include rapid loss of tissue and bone. This disease may occur in some areas of the mouth, or in the mouth.
  • Periodontitis As A Manifestation of Systemic Diseases: This form of periodontal is the result of a specific disease or disorder. Patients who have certain blood diseases or genetic disorders frequently show signs of periodontal disease.
  • Necrotizing Periodontal Diseases: This result in the death of the tissues surronding the tooth and connecting bone. This most commonly comes with pain, bleeding, and a foul odor. These infections can partly be caused by stress, tobacco use, malnutrition and HIV infection.

Peridodontal Care After Treatment

Once your periodontal treatment is completed, your dentist may recommend more frequent checkups. Regular dental visits and deep cleanings are important to keep periodontal disease under control. In some cases, your appointment may alternate between your general dentist and a periodontist.

Good oral hydiene at home is also important to help keep periodontal disease.= from becoming more serious or from coming back, It just takes a few minutes twice a day to care for your teeth and gums. Daily cleaning helps keep the plaque under control and reduces tartar buildup.

Tobacco contains chemicals tha can slow the healing process and make the treatment results less predictable. You don't have to lose teeth to periodontal disease. Brush, clean between your teeth, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

How to Deal with Tooth Sensitivity?

A bite of ice cream. A sip of an ice-cold soda. If you have sensitive teeth, these everyday cold foods and drinks can unexpectedly trigger a jolt of pain fast. That's because, over time, your protective layer of tooth enamel can wear down, exposing the soft, inner part of your tooth called dentin, where the nerves live. Certain triggers—including cold foods, drinks, or even a burst of air—can aggravate the nerves, causing a short, sharp pain, also known as tooth sensitivity.

Here are a few tips for dealing with tooth sensitivity:

  • Drink Through a Straw: Sipping on cold beverages can be painful. Instead, drink them through a straw so the liquid bypasses your teeth and will be less likely to trigger a twinge of sensitivity.
  • Eat Dessert Differently: You don't have to give up your favorite frozen desserts—just try eating them differently. Do not bite into ice cream. This way, you'll avoid direct contact with your teeth and get to savor it longer.
  • Breathe Through Your Nose: To prevent a gust of cold air from hurting your sensitive teeth, cover your mouth with a scarf and breathe through your nose when you are outside so your teeth aren't exposed.
  • Practice Good Oral Care: Reduce your risk of sensitivity to cold by brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled or electric toothbrush and by flossing every day. A good oral care routine can help protect your teeth and prevent conditions like enamel wear or receding gums, which can lead to sensitive teeth.
  • Brush every day: Floss and brush after every meal.

Why do dentists recommend night guards?

Your dentist may recommend a night guard to help you with morning headaches, for TMJ jaw pain relief, and to prevent damage to your teeth, jaw, crowns, and other dental restorations.

Causes of Periodontitis

Bacteria in the mouth infect tissue surrounding the tooth, causing inflammation around the tooth leading to periodontal disease. When bacteria stay on the teeth long enough, they form a film called plaque, which eventually hardens to tartar, also called calculus. Tartar build-up can spread below the gum line, which makes the teeth harder to clean. Then, only a dental health professional can remove the tartar and stop the periodontal disease process.

Risk Factors of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal Disease is a more serious form of gingivitis. Some of the factors that put you at greater risk of periodontal disease include:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Stress
  • Heredity
  • Crooked teeth
  • Underlying immuno-deficiencies—e.g., AIDS
  • Fillings that have become defective
  • Taking medications that cause dry mouth
  • Bridges that no longer fit properly
  • Female hormonal changes, such as with pregnancy or the use of oral contraceptives

When should you floss?

The ADA recommends flossing at least once a day. Some people prefer to floss during their morning routine, while others like one final cleaning before bed. It’s generally recommended that you floss your teeth before brushing them. When you floss, you typically loosen food particles and plaque around your teeth. The brushing action then helps to remove the plaque and particles that you’ve removed from your teeth and gum line.

Having tooth problems can be such a nuisance as it can intervene with our daily activities. If you are having these problems, better to get them addressed right away. Set up an appointment by calling us at 703-709-0102.

The Effects of Sugar on Your Teeth and Why It’s Bad for You?

We've all heard that sugar causes cavities, but many people don't understand why sugar is terrible for your teeth. It's not the sugar itself that's the problem, but the bacteria that thrive on it. Sugar by itself is not harmful to your teeth. What it does is give a convenient supply of nourishment for the harmful bacteria in your mouth which then produce acids as a byproduct that can harm your teeth. You may reduce this process in your mouth by restricting your sugar intake, which will result in fewer dental cavities in the future.

How Your Mouth Protects Against Tooth Decay?

Bacteria may thrive practically anywhere, which is why your mouth has developed special anti-tooth decay defenses.

Saliva acts as a barrier against bacteria and food buildup on your teeth. When you swallow, your saliva washes away particles of food from your teeth, as well as a variety of harmful microorganisms.

Remineralization process strengthens your tooth enamel by using calcium and phosphates. Fluoride is also quite crucial in the process, which is why it is found in so many toothpastes, mouthwashes, and even municipal water supplies.

Preventing Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is one of the most common oral health problems around the world. If left unmanaged, it may lead to serious dental problems and eventually tooth loss. Fortunately, there are several ways we can prevent it such as:

  • Rinsing with fluoride mouth wash
  • flossing daily
  • Brushing with fluoride toothpaste
  • Having regular checkups & necessary x-rays to allow your dentist to detect any cavities while there are still small
  • Eating food low in sugar and starch
  • Asking your dentist about dental sealants & in-office Fluoride treatments

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease can be caused by inflammation or infections in the gums that surround the teeth. Its symptoms include:

  • Bad breath or bad taste that won’t go away
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Gums that have pulled away from your teeth
  • Changes in your bite

If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is advisable that you get checked for a proper diagnosis. Contact us today.