Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Give Kids a Smile Campaign From the ADA

In this season of giving, we'd like to spotlight the very worthwhile efforts of the Give Kids a Smile program. Many of us take things for granted, such as access to affordable, quality dental care. That's why it is important to reflect on the admirable efforts of those responsible for reaching out to children in need.  Last year, the ADA celebrated the 10th anniversary of its "Give Kids a Smile" campaign.


Two dentists started the program in the Greater St. Louis area in 2002. They set up a temporary 2-day, full-service clinic that offered free treatment. In those two days, close to 400 underserved children were seen by the dental professionals. Their efforts caught the attention of the ADA and created awareness within the dental health community of the tremendous need for such a program. So, in 2003, the agency brought it to the national level.

Now, dentists and other volunteers give their time and services, to provide screenings, treatments and education to children across the country. As the program has grown, it has benefited approximately 4.5 million children through over 1,500 events, annually. The program is made possible through of the efforts of more than 325,000 volunteers and 100,000 dentists.

Importance of Dental Care for Kids

The National Institutes of Health reports that close to 80 percent of the tooth decay in the U.S. is experienced by 25 percent of the country's children. Furthermore, data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show that, "for every child younger than 18 years old without medical insurance, there are at least two children without dental insurance." The fact that state budgets allocate only 2 percent or less for dental services is yet another reason why the "Give Kids a Smile" or GKAS, program is so vital. Dental professionals and volunteers also work within their state and local governments to inform policy makers about the dental health challenges faced by at risk families.

The work done by the GKAS campaign encompasses education, screening, prevention, clinical evaluation and treatment. Thanks to generous donations and thousands of volunteers, public non-profit clinics have been set up, where children can receive services such as x-rays, cleanings, extractions, fillings, fluoride treatments, and dental sealants.

The GKAS campaign has stated its vision: "To eliminate cavities in U.S. 5-year olds by 2020."

Sign up here for Give Kids a Smile Day-2014.

To learn about programs in your community, please use this helpful GKAS finder.

To see what's going on right now, across the country with volunteers and happy participants alike, visit the Give Kids a Smile Facebook page.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Ways to Keep Teens and Young Adults on Track with Their Dental Care

For parents, instilling the importance of routine dental care in their children is an ongoing process. As kids grow up and become more independent and responsible, it's easy to assume that they're taking care of brushing regularly, flossing, and eating healthy snacks. Or is it?

Anyone living with teens and young adults knows that with their erratic schedules and sleep patterns that monitoring their activities, including dental hygiene, is far easier said than done. Some may even compare keeping tabs on these age groups similar to herding cats!

As a parent, maintaining the foundation for dental hygiene that you've built through childhood is difficult during this murky period. Here are a few suggestions from Dr. Melcher that should help:
  • Appeal to your young person's vanity and remind them that having fresh breath and a white smile will make them more attractive to peers and others.
  • Create two dental "tool-kits," one for home and one for their car or sports bag. Fill it with everything they could possibly need such as: a toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste, floss, dental rinse, tongue scraper, and lip balm. Encourage them to use all of the products and let you know when items need replenishing.
  • Let them say "Yum" to gum. In recent years, the ADA has supported the use of sugarless chewing gum as an effective tool in the fight against tooth decay. According to the ADA, chewing gum after a meal increases the flow of saliva in the mouth, which in turn, "actually helps to neutralize and wash away the acids that are produced when food is broken down by the bacteria in plaque on your teeth." However, not all chewing gum acts in this way-offer your young adults only sugarless brands that bear the ADA seal of approval AND discuss the proper disposal methods for chewing gum!
  • Since nagging is usually ineffective, set your child up for success by having healthy snacks at home and plenty of water to drink. Make these items "grab & go" friendly and designate a specific pantry spot and another area in the fridge for cut-up fresh fruits and veggies, cheese, whole grain pretzels, crackers, packages of nuts and dried fruit. Also, purchase a few BPA-free water bottles and have them filled, chilled and ready to grab.
  • In the ongoing quest to make brushing fun, discuss how brushing to some favorite music will ensure that proper brushing time is achieved. If music is not easily accessible, outfit the bathroom space with a small radio or mp3 player as an added incentive. A small, 3-minute hourglass style egg timer is another way to increase brushing time.
  • For those young people who play contact sports, wearing a mouth guard and having a spare in their gym bag is non-negotiable!
  • To encourage young people to be in charge of their dental health, make sure their dentist's office has their e-mail address and cell phone number as well as yours. That way, they will receive appointment reminders and any other helpful communications sent from their dentist's office.
  • It's never too late to remind older kids about the importance of regular brushing and flossing along with the correct "how-to's," such as brushing gently in circles in the direction the teeth grow and flossing between every single tooth. Improper brushing can result in receding gums and gum disease.
Of course, scheduling regular checkups and cleanings are part of a successful dental health routine. Please call our office to schedule an appointment. Our team of dental professionals will also be happy to discus and demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques with your young adult or teenager. Just give us a call at: (919) 782-0548

Monday, November 25, 2013

Dental Sealants for Kids

Since they were introduced in the late 1970s, dental sealants have evolved into one of modern dentistry's greatest technological advances. Although fluoride use among children makes a significant difference in the fight against cavities, it is not a cure-all. The use of sealants in conjunction with fluoride, flossing, regular brushing, and routine dental visits, provides maximum protection against tooth decay for kids.

Because teeth contain a variety of nooks and crannies, the application of a topical sealant works to prevent bacteria and food particles from entering those hard to brush areas. Sealants are so effective because they are made of a clear plastic material, which is applied directly to the surface of the teeth. With children, sealants can only be applied after the teeth have fully erupted. For most kids, that means between the ages of 5 and 8 years of age.

In a child's mouth, sealants can be applied to both permanent and primary teeth. The material is actually brushed on the chewing surfaces of the molars and along the grooves and depressions of the teeth. For kids, the craggy surfaces of molars are the most common places to develop cavities. For adults, it's sometimes tough to reach all of the spots between the teeth, even with flossing and an electric toothbrush. That is why it is so important for youngsters to receive sealant treatment. They are still learning how to properly take care of their teeth.

The sealant application process is easy, fast, and painless. The tooth is cleaned, dried, and then the sealant is painted on. A special heat light cures or dries the sealant coat and that's it! Sealants are invisible and in no way interfere with a child's day- to-day activities, including playing an instrument, singing, or smiling. They last for years and if they become rough or cracked, they may be reapplied.

Please remember that dental sealants are just one part of an effective dental hygiene routine. Additionally your child should also:
  • Brush twice a day with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste
  • Clean between the teeth daily with floss or another interdental cleaner
  • Eat a balanced diet, with healthy snacks-avoid sugary, sticky foods and beverages 
  • Refer to these Tips for Great Dental Hygiene
  • Visit Dr. Melcher and his friendly staff on a regular basis!
Call our office to consult with Dr. Melcher regarding dental sealants for kids: 919-782-0548

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Good Nutrition is Directly Tied to Good Dental Health

As a nation, Americans are finally waking up to the fact that diet is a direct link to overall health and well-being. The foods and beverages we eat and drink affects all of the physical systems that make up the human body. Poor nutrition can be linked to a variety of health problems such as obesity, cardiovascular issues, diabetes, and even arthritis. It should come as no surprise then that the foods we eat can either maintain and improve our dental health or destroy it.

Consider the process of eating and digesting food. Next, think of your mouth, teeth, tongue, and gums as the first stop along the "Digestion Highway." Just like a highway sees wear and tear from heavy equipment, eating unhealthy foods inundates your teeth and gums with substances that wear them down and cause decay and disease. In fact, when foods that are full of sugar, acid, salt, preservatives, and other artificial ingredients are consumed, your general health and dental health are likely to suffer.

In its campaign to promote better health for everyone, the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, which is an agency overseen by he U.S. Department of Agriculture, has created the website ChooseMyPlate.gov.

Here are a few suggestions from the site:
  • Of all the food you eat daily, at least half should consist of fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice, and whole wheat bread is preferable over highly processed bleached, white flour and other grains that have been stripped of their nutritive qualities, including fiber
  • Low-fat and fat-free dairy products are essential for the development of healthy teeth and bones
  • Protein should be lean such as skinless poultry, fish, or lean cuts of beef and pork. Cook it without added fat by baking, grilling, or roasting. A serving of meat should be no larger than a deck of cards. Also try to have several meatless meals a week with non-animal protein sources such as legumes, soy and beans
Please consider what the American Dental Association says "If your nutrition is poor, the first signs often show up in your oral health."

Be sure to check in on your dental health regularly by scheduling appointments with Dr. Simon Melcher at Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh every six months.  Request an appointment online or call us today at 919-782-0548.

Related Posts:
Rethink Your Drink Campaign
Best "Go-To" Snack Choices for Healthy Teeth
Nutrition and Your Dental Health

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Concerns About Sensitive Teeth

A variety of factors may come into play when it comes to discovering why a patient is experiencing sensitivity in his or her teeth and gums. Sometimes the sensitivity is just minor. However, please keep in mind that although it may be bearable, it is likely a warning sign that something is wrong.

Sensitivity occurs in several ways, such as discomfort brought on by hot or cold foods or beverages, sugary foods, or even brushing and flossing. The cause of the problem is typically due to the fact that the teeth in question have worn fillings, damaged enamel, cracks, or decay. Overly aggressive brushing can also cause the gums to recede, which leaves a tiny portion of the roots of the teeth exposed - ouch!

Periodontal disease is one more contributing factor that can result in painful teeth and gums. Still other explanations for dental sensitivity are the over use of mouthwashes and whitening products. The consumption of highly acidic foods such as citrus, tomatoes, pickles, or tea can lead to enamel erosion and make one's teeth and gums sensitive.

To alleviate and prevent the pain and discomfort caused by dental sensitivity, regular visits to the dentist are extremely important. Your dentist and hygienist can review proper brushing and flossing techniques and identify the real source of any problems. For example, you may be grinding your teeth and unaware of it. Your dentist could suggest having a mouth guard made which will protect your teeth in the long run. Some other things that may help are:
  • Using a soft-bristled toothbrush which is easier on the gums
  • Switching to a brand of toothpaste that is especially for sensitive teeth and gums
  • Using fluoridated toothpastes and rinses which can also prevent the discomfort caused by sensitivity
  • Being diligent about regular brushing and flossing
  • Eating a well-balanced diet with plenty of natural teeth cleaners like apples, carrots, and celery
When you follow the guidelines suggested by your dentist and still have problems, please don't worry.  There are a few treatments that can help. Bonding can cover the exposed root tissue, and reduce pain. Applying a fluoride varnish or dentin sealer are also ways to tackle the issues of dental sensitivity.

If you are experiencing any discomfort and would like to have a thorough checkup conducted by Dr. Melcher or one of our highly skilled and professional dental hygienists, please request an appointment online or call us today to schedule an appointment: (919) 782-0548

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Enjoy a Brighter Smile with Teeth Whitening

With the holidays fast approaching there will likely be an abundance of gatherings with friends, family, and co-workers. Will you be ready to smile and say "cheese" for all those photo-ops?

For adults, years of tobacco use, coffee and tea consumption plus the side effects of certain medications can make teeth look dull and stained. If your smile has lost its luster, you may have considered some of the new over-the-counter whitening products. Although drugstore whitening kits are ok, professional treatments are much better, for a variety of reasons. At Implant & General Dentistry in Raleigh, Dr. Simon Melcher and his staff can use professional teeth whitening treatments help make your smile its very best!

Since you only have one set of grown-up teeth, it's a good idea not to take any chances with your dental health. Before making any attempts to whiten the teeth, it is always advised to have a thorough check-up with a dental professional. Having a preliminary exam is important because should whitening agents be used when there are existing issues, such as cavities or cracks, other problems may arise. In other words, proceeding with a whitening regime before have a dental checkup is like putting the cart before the horse.

Another concern is that over-the-counter kits that claim to whiten the teeth can possibly damage your tooth enamel. This occurs when these types of over the counter products are used too often. Oxygen radicals in the stain removers can cause the pores of the teeth to open, which can jeopardize the health of the enamel.

Lots of whitening kits only address the front teeth and leave the back teeth out. Have you every seen anyone who has whitened just their front teeth? If they knew a line of demarcation was present, they would definitely allow their dentist to tackle the job! In addition to having better access to a patient's entire set of teeth, a dental professional is also able to employ the use of specialized lighting and magnification tools When you have the whitening done by a skilled professional, such as Dr. Melcher, your whites will match!

So, if your smile is not as brilliant as you would like, make your appointment early - the holidays will be here before we know it!  Call us today at 919-782-0548.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Reviews for Dr. Simon Melcher at Implant & General Dentistry

Raleigh Oral Surgeon, Simon Melcher Gives His Patients Plenty to Smile About!

If you are in need of a full-service dental office in the greater Raleigh area, please consider contacting the office of Dr. Simon Melcher of Implant and General Dentistry. From bridges to wisdom teeth, our team of dental professionals is skilled and experienced in the latest strategies and treatments for improving the dental health and hygiene of our clients.

In addition to traditional care, such as fillings, crowns, root canals, and bonding, we also take great pride in offering cosmetic procedures. Our office provides veneers, implants, inlays, and whitening. Of course we are also able to address the needs of those who may require dentures, partials, or bridges. See details about each of our dental treatments.

Our friendly staff of dental hygienists goes the extra mile with each of our patients. Everyone can use a refresher now and then about the right way to brush and floss, which is why we're dedicated to hands on help. No wonder our clients leave smiling! Here's what a few of them have had to say lately:
"I really appreciate the quality of service this practice offers to me. Friendly staff, great dental education, plus thorough 6-month check-ups. Also, excellent care when dental treatment is required. Everyone is great!"
 - by Carolyn Sexton on 09/03/2013 (5 stars)
"Wonderful office, with friendly, knowledgeable staff and great doctors. This office is always welcoming and ready to help patients solve any problems, then calling to follow up with patients afterward. They all go above and beyond. I would recommend this office to anyone looking for a caring dentist. Thank you for taking such good care of me!"
 - by Paula Brantley on 08/28/2013 (5 stars)
"Would recommend this practice to any of my friends!"
 - by Anne McKee on 08/13/2013 (5 stars)
"I had a filling replaced, and it was a painless experience. I would highly recommend Dr. Melcher."
 - by BJ on 08/01/2013 (5 stars)
"The whole team is EXCELLENT! Thank you for thinking outside the box rather than taking my money for something i didn't need. The Skidmore's love your team and will be back!"
 - by Rivka Skidmore on 07/25/2013 (4 stars)
Thank you so much to our patients who take the time to provide feedback.  We value all your comments and appreciate your business.  We invite you to read more reviews and testimonials on our website and to contact us directly to schedule a consultation: 919-782-0548.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Premium Smile Makeover from Implant & General Dentistry in Raleigh

Sometimes, making the first step towards change is the most difficult of all. At the office of Raleigh dentist, Dr. Simon Melcher, we also appreciate that busy schedules plus work, school, and family commitments often keep us from taking care of ourselves. Just as you would enlist the help of a professional for assistance with a legal matter, home improvement project, or auto repair, your family dentist is the one who can provide experience, skill, and know-how when it comes to improving the appearance of your smile.

In addition to routine general dentistry, our office also offers a variety of treatments for making your smile the best it can be.

As the saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words," so please have a look at our smile gallery to a few of our smile makeovers for happy patients.

Learn more by giving us a call to schedule an appointment: 919-782-0548. Our office is located at 3340 Six Forks Road in Raleigh, NC.  See details at www.theraleighdentists.com.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Dental Hygiene Begins at Home

At the Raleigh, N.C. office of Dr. Simon Melcher - Implants and General Dentistry - we believe that excellent dental care begins at home. Dr. Melcher and his team of experienced dental hygienists, work with each patient on the basic requirements for taking care of their teeth and gums. Our goal in doing so is to ensure that between their regular visits, patients are diligent and confident in establishing their own "at-home" regiment. Please use our handy checklist to make sure that your dental health is the best that it can possibly be!

  • Create your dental tool kit - As with any routine task; having the proper tools is essential. Having these items on hand will make it easy to take great care of your teeth and gums:
    • Soft-bristled toothbrush-manual or battery-powered*
    • Fluoridated toothpaste
    • Floss-waxed, nylon, or flavored 
    • Dental rinse that contain fluoride
    • Tongue scraper
    • Egg timer
    • * The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. Also, rinse well after each use and allow it to air dry to prevent the growth of bacteria
  • Brush at least twice a day - It is ideal to brush after every meal and snack. If that is not possible, then brush twice each day and always before bedtime. Make sure to use small, gentle circular strokes to also keep the gums healthy. Pay close attention to the hard to reach spots and take the time to brush back molars, inside the upper and lower rows of teeth, tongue, and inner cheeks.
  • Brush for 2 minutes each time - This is why you'll want to have an egg timer in your tool kit!
  • Floss - This activity cleans the sides of your teeth and hard to reach places that are impossible for your toothbrush to reach. Flossing also stimulates circulation and conditions the gums. Did you know that each tooth has 5 sides? That is why brushing alone is just not enough.
  • Scrape your tongue - Using this simple tool helps keep your breath fresher. Tongue scrapers are especially valuable in reducing bad breath because they enable the user to remove decaying bacteria that produces volatile sulphur compounds or VSCs.
  • Rinse and swish - Complete your routine by swishing and rinsing with a fluoridated dental rinse or mouth wash. That adds a little extra oomph and a rinse can reach spots that brushing and flossing missed!
  • Keep healthy snacks on hand and avoid sugar - Drinks and snacks loaded with sugar are harmful, cause the buildup of plaque and promote decay. Snack on fresh fruits and veggies and drink water!
Having a spare "tool-kit" to use at school or the office will also help you establish regular good habits.

Our team at Implant and General Dentistry are at your service if you have any questions, concerns, or just need a refresher on how to floss or brush correctly.  Please contact our office to schedule an appointment: 919-782-0548

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Importance of Dental Care for Teens

Teens are busy with school, sports, and social schedules, so you can be assured that taking care of their teeth is not exactly at the top of most teens' "To-Do" lists. Many teenagers may neglect their dental hygiene, even though their childhoods were likely filled with regular dental visits and lots of parental reinforcement about the importance of regular brushing, flossing, and making healthy food choices. As they begin driving and being away from home more, it's almost impossible to know for sure if they are taking proper care of their teeth at all!

By the time the teen years roll around, it takes more than anticipated visits from the tooth fairy to ensure good habits are in check for first-rate dental health. The late middle school and high school years are also when many young people either have braces or have just had them removed. The diligent flossing and brushing that took place during the time the braces were on certainly should not be abandoned when they come off!

The key to ensuring that teenagers take excellent care of their teeth and gums is this: make it extremely easy for them. Here are a few pointers:
  • Do discuss (one more time) how vital regular brushing and flossing are for maintaining dental health, white teeth, healthy gums, and fresh breath.
  • Talk with your teenager about the importance of eating wholesome, natural foods and snacks rather than those loaded with sugar, additives, and artificial ingredients. Then, make those food items readily available at home by stocking the fridge and pantry with choices such as fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, low fat dairy like yogurt and string cheese, and whole grain crackers.
  • If they play contact sports, mountain bike, skateboard or snowboard, impress upon them that participating without a mouthguard is not an option.
  • Assemble a few dental kits to ensure they'll always have what they need. Put one in their bathroom and one in their car or gym bag. Include these items: dental rinse, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and sugarless gum. For the "on-the-go" kit, include a water bottle, to make rinsing easier!
  • Invest in a Sonicare electric toothbrush and several battery-operated ones as well. Again, the key to success is having the right tools on hand. 
As always, be sure to keep your teen on-schedule with his or her routine appointments at Implant & General Dentistry in Raleigh. Give us a call if you're not when your next appointment is: 919-782-0548

Thursday, September 5, 2013

10 Signs You Need to See Your Dentist

"Lack of time" is a prevailing excuse as to why many adults fail to have regular dental checkups. The sad truth is that by ignoring their dental health, millions of Americans set themselves up for serious conditions such as tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancers. Treating these conditions requires a great deal of time, effort, discomfort, and money.

Seeing a dentist regularly and when problems first arise practically ensures that the treatment plan will be easier and more affordable. If you have been putting off a trip to the dentist, for whatever reason, please review the following list. These are 10 signs that indicate a dental appointment is necessary:
  1. When you floss, your gums feel irritated, bleed, and become puffy
  2. Your breath is frequently unpleasant and you have a bad taste in your mouth
  3. There is a family history of tooth decay or gum disease
  4. You notice sensitivity when eating or drinking hot or cold foods
  5. There is painful swelling in your mouth, face, or neck
  6. You have noticed a spot or sore on your gums, tongue, or elsewhere inside your mouth
  7. You are not happy with the outward appearance of your teeth, gums, or smile
  8. Sometimes your jaw pops, is painful, or your bite is uneven
  9. Swallowing and chewing is sometimes difficult
  10. You frequently suffer from dry mouth
Even if you do not have any of these symptoms, seeing a dentist routinely is extremely important. Dental professionals are highly skilled at recognizing signs and possible issues before they develop into something more serious. Visiting a dentist and having regular cleanings are preventative measures everyone should take. There also may be new products and dental hygiene techniques that they can tell you about.

So, please make an appointment today with Dr. Simon Melcher at Implant & General Dentistry: 919-782-0548

For a little more incentive, see this excerpt from a study from the Center for Disease Control:

"One out of every two American adults aged 30 and over has periodontal disease, according to recent findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) The study, 'Prevalence of Periodontitis in Adults in the United States: 2009 and 2010,' estimates that 47.2 percent, or 64.7 million American adults, have mild, moderate or severe periodontitis, the more advanced form of periodontal disease. In adults 65 and older, prevalence rates increase to 70.1 percent."

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Preventative Dental Care

Reaching adulthood without ever having any cavities is commendable. However, be aware that dental diligence is vital at any age. In fact, we are at risk of tooth decay our entire lives, even past the formative years. Adults have a new set of factors that can impact dental health, such as coffee and tea consumption, smoking, and certain piercings.

Take the following steps to ensure you'll always have healthy teeth and gums and a beautiful smile.
  • Brush at least twice a day with a soft bristle brush and an ADA-approved fluoridated toothpaste. Sonicare brushes and battery-operated ones do a very effective job towards fighting plaque and decay. Make sure to replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months.
  • Flossing a minimum of once a day will take care of tough to reach places between the teeth where a toothbrush can not. Waxed, flavored flosses are nice to use, leave your mouth feeling fresh, and keep gums healthy. Flossing also helps remove plaque. When left unchecked, plaque can build up, harden and result in tartar. At that point, a professional cleaning will be necessary.
  • By adding a dental rinse, tongue scraper, and sugarless gum to your dental hygiene kit, your teeth and gums will benefit greatly. Using a few extras such as these is a nice way to boost the power of regular brushing and flossing.
  • Keep a spare set of dental care tools plus a bottle of water with you to make taking care of your teeth a regular habit, even when at work, school, or on the go.
  • Come see Dr. Simon Melcher at General & Implant Dentistry regularly. Every six months is recommended and immediately if there are any issues. Get the most from brushing and flossing by having your dental hygienist refresh your memory on the proper techniques.
Preventative care for your teeth saves discomfort, pain, time, and money down the road and is well worth the investment in new toothbrushes, floss, and other dental care tools as well as the time it takes daily to properly use these tools.  We strongly encourage you to take excellent care of your teeth and to come and see us often!  Call today to schedule an appointment: 919-782-0548.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Reviews for Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh

Here's What Our Patients Have to Say!

In our ongoing quest to offer the best in dentistry and patient care, we encourage feedback from our clients. Here are a few recent samples we'd like to share with you. By the way, these were all 5-star ratings on our RateADentist.com site. Our current rating based on over 50 responses is 4.9 stars. 5 is the highest and we will continue to reach for the stars where our patients and quality of care are concerned!

-"I am very comfortable with the staff in this practice and appreciate the care I receive concerning my teeth." by G. Glass on 04/15/2013

-Thank you for the great dental care you provide for Dawn and me. We could not be more pleased. Thank you, Ken Lucas" by Ken Lucas on 04/17/2013

-"Well now, where do I begin?? Wonderful care, wonderful people, wonderful clean bathroom and to top it all off--WONDERFUL price!! Oh, and I just love my brand new puffy pucker (not really a word, I guess) kissable lips!! All in all, I had a great time and walked out with a super glued tooth! Love that glue! I have almost given up tootsie roll pops for good and haven't eaten one with the glued tooth!! I have to wean off of them!!! Thanks for everything and I will see you soon." by Margie on 05/17/2013

-"Jennifer was fantastic. Best hygienist I have ever been to. Not only is she gentle, she is very thorough. I will recommend her to my friends. Thank you" by Anonymous on 05/20/2013

-"As with each visit, my most recent visit with this office was outstanding. I no longer live in the Triangle, but I make sure to schedule my appointments every six months when in town. My experiences have been just that great. EVERY staff member greets me by name and a genuine smile. I have never waited in the waiting room for longer than 5 minutes. Once in the chair, the cleaning starts immediately, and the hygienist informs me of everything that is going on and even checks on specific things that I mentioned in previous visits. I have had nothing short of stellar experiences with the Implant & General Dentistry Team across the board. You guys are truly awesome." by Anonymous on 06/18/2013

-"I'm always happy with the dental care I receive at Implant and General Dentistry." by Janice Bolick on 07/01/2013

Read more reviews and schedule an appointment to meet with Dr. Melcher and his staff at Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh: 919-782-0548

Monday, August 5, 2013

Rethink Your Drink Campaign

In addition to being a major culprit that contributes to weight gain, poor beverage choices also wreak havoc with your dental health. Many are loaded with corrosive sugars and acids that contribute to severe tooth decay.

At Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh, we love the Rethink Your Drink campaign from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  They provide nutritional information on typical drinks - and drink serving sizes - that can be very eye opening.

For instance, they show a realistic example of a person who chooses a medium cafe latte made with whole milk with their breakfast, a 20-oz non-diet cola with their lunch, a 16-oz sweetened lemon iced tea in the afternoon, and a 12-oz glass of ginger ale with dinner as adding 796 calories to their day!  Wow - for some of us, that's almost half of our daily recommended caloric intake just for drinks. Check their site to see alternatives that add up to only 155 calories.

Here are some tips from the CDCP on how to choose the best drinks for your overall health.

Learn to be a savvy label reader and go for beverages that have zero to very little added sugar and artificial ingredients. Of course, water is always the best choice, but for those times when H2O won't do, please consider the ingredients and pay close attention to the sugar content.

For ideas about healthier alternatives, review the following suggestions and see if there is any room for improvement where your "go-to" drink options are concerned.
  • According to the American Heart Association, "women should limit added sugars to only 100 calories per day (approximately 6 teaspoons), while men should take in no more than 150 calories in sugar (about 9 teaspoons a day)." It was recently revealed that the average American consumes 22 teaspoons a day!  Be on the lookout for these added sugars:
    • High-fructose corn syrup
    • Fructose
    • Fruit juice concentrates
    • Honey
    • Sugar
    • Syrup
    • Corn syrup
    • Sucrose
    • Dextrose
  • Make Better Choices:
    • Let water be your #1 drink choice
    • Try using less or 0 sugar in coffee and tea
    • Make a "natural" soda by mixing ½ seltzer with ½ fruit juice
    • Try lower calorie and lower glycemic sweeteners like Stevia and Agave syrup
    • Keep soda and sugary drinks out of your house-just don't buy them! Instead, chill jugs of water and use lemon slices and fruit or herb filled ice cubes to make H2O a more enticing choice!
    • Invest in BPA free water bottles and carry them with you daily
    • If you have to have a soda, go for the 8 or 6-ounce size
    • At mealtime, set the table with water goblets and fill an attractive pitcher with ice water
By changing just a few habits, you will likely see a big improvement in your overall well being, not to mention your dental health.

If you have questions regarding your dental health, please don't hesitate to contact our Implant and General Dentistry office in Raleigh, NC to schedule an appointment: 919-782-0548

Related Posts:
Nutrition and Your Dental Health
Your Diet and Your Dental Health
Best "Go-To" Snack Choices for Healthy Teeth

Monday, July 29, 2013

Dental Treatments in Raleigh, NC

At Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh, NC, Dr. Simon Melcher and his staff offer a wide selection of dental treatment options. We strive to address the full scope of our patients' needs. Here is a brief overview of our treatment programs:

Bonding - Typically used to repair cracks, chips, gaps, and stains, this simple procedure often requires no anesthetic. Also see: Dental Bonding to Repair and Protect Teeth
Bridges - When healthy teeth surround areas where teeth are missing, a bridge can fill the gap. We wrote about this treatment in detail here: Dental Bridges to Repair Spacing or Missing Teeth
Crowns - This is an effective method to "crown" a tooth that is severely damaged, decayed, or broken. Also see: Crowns for Damaged, Decayed or Broken Teeth
Dentures - Here is an excellent way to tackle the issue of missing teeth, or help patients with irreversible decay problems. In addition to improving your smile and ability to chew food, the extra support of dentures prevents droopy facial muscles. Learn more: Dentures and Partial Dentures
Fillings - Although dentists have been using fillings as a routine treatment for decayed or damaged teeth for 100s of years, we offer our patients state of the art options regarding filling materials and procedures. Find details here: Need Cavity Fillings in Raleigh NC?
Hygiene - In addition to providing our patients with the latest techniques and products for maintaining and improving their dental health, our team of hygienists also teach the best methods for proper brushing and flossing. See: Routine Teeth Cleaning and Dental Hygiene
Implants - One of the best solutions for treating patients with missing teeth are implants, which are known for their natural appearance, strength and stability. Find more details: Dental Implants in Raleigh NC
Inlays - This is another type of treatment for restoring severely damaged teeth. Learn more: Dental Inlays and Onlays for Tooth Restoration
Periodontics - This treatment regime is necessary for those individuals with severe gum inflammation caused by gingivitis.

Root Canal - Having a root canal is usually the best way to address deep decay or other factors causing inflammation within the dental pulp.More info here: Root Canal Treatment in Raleigh, NC
TMJ - Temporomandibular Joint Disorder - An array of problems can be attributed to this diagnosis, including headaches, bite issues, and popping sounds. The good news is that TMJ is treatable. Find out about TMJ treatments here: Is Your Pain Caused By TMJ?
Veneers - This cosmetic remedy for damaged, discolored, or broken teeth can drastically improve a patient's appearance. Veneers can Improve the Appearance of Your Smile
Whitening - over the last 20 years, this process has come along way, with numerous over the counter products now available. However, to ensure professional, even results, a dental professional is still your best bet. See our options for Teeth Whitening Treatments at our Raleigh NC Office
Wisdom Teeth - For many young adults, extracting wisdom teeth is essential for maintaining proper alignment of the teeth and overall dental health. Learn more about our treatments for wisdom teeth: Wisdom Teeth Removal
The variety of treatment programs offered through our office can make a huge difference in your overall dental health and confidence. Please call our office to schedule an appointment and discuss dental treatment options with Dr. Melcher: 919-782-0548

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Why Use a Tongue Scraper?

If you are not familiar with this simple tool, chances are, you could benefit from making it part of your dental hygiene routine. Made of plastic or metal, tongue scrapers are used to remove food, bacteria, and dead cells from the surface of the tongue. Individuals prone to sinus problems also find that tongue scraping helps remove the buildup of postnasal drip mucous.

Sounds pretty gross, huh? However, in the quest to maintain excellent dental health, a dazzling smile, and the fresh breath that comes along with it, tongue scraping is a winner! These simple tools are especially valuable in reducing bad breath because they enable the user to remove decaying bacteria that produces volatile sulphur compounds or VSCs.

Although the act of brushing your tongue with a toothbrush may help, tongue scrapers are more effective. A 2004 study from the University of Sao Paulo revealed that, "through tongue scraper use, a 75 percent reduction in VSCs was achieved, compared to only a 45 percent reduction in VSCs when a toothbrush was used to clean the tongue." Since VSCs have been shown to cause 80 to 95 percent of all cases of halitosis, aka "bad breath", tongue scraping is a solid solution.

Tongue scrapers are inexpensive and easy to use. Just make sure to use them where you can rinse, both your mouth and the tool. If you have other concerns about bad breath, please discuss them with Dr. Simon Melcher and the staff at Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh.  Visit online at www.theraleighdentists.com or call today: 919-782-0548

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Why Regular Visits to the Dentist are Important

Many adults, especially young adults, are under the impression that a visit to the dentist is only necessary when there is a problem. The assumption that regular self care, such as brushing and flossing, are all it takes to keep one's teeth and gums healthy. There are several reasons why visiting a dental professional a minimum of every six months is very important.

Having a thorough cleaning by a dental hygienist is a vital part of maintaining excellent dental health. Because a hygienist is able to examine areas of your mouth, that you simply can not see or reach, they are able to detect issues early. They are trained to take a critical look and may even be able to show you ways to improve your brushing or flossing techniques.

Professional cleanings and polishing are the best way to remove months of stains caused by food, beverages, and tobacco products. Failing to have plaque removed regularly at the dental office can lead to gum disease. When plaque hardens and adheres to the teeth, it is virtually impossible to remove with just brushing and flossing.

Dentists and their hygienists routinely discover problems that patients were unaware of. Tiny cracks, broken or loose teeth, damaged fillings, gum and tongue changes, plus spacing deviations between the teeth, are all pretty impossible to find on your own!

In addition to checking for tooth decay and gum disease, plus screening through the use of x-rays, dentists these days understand the importance of conducting detailed hands on examinations.  A variety of conditions, including oral cancers, diabetes, and vitamin deficiencies may be uncovered through an inspection of the patient's head, neck, throat, inner cheeks, bite, and jaw movement.

When you see your dentist on a regular basis and follow daily good oral hygiene practices at home, you are more likely to keep your teeth and gums healthy!

Contact Dr. Simon Melcher at Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh today to schedule your next routine teeth cleaning!  919-782-0548

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Benefits of Using Mouthwash

What's that? Rinsing with a mouthwash is not part of your daily dental routine? Think that's just for those faced with bad breath? If you are like many individuals, mouthwashes are purchased and used sporadically. Oftentimes, when the product runs out, restocking it is not a priority until the next perceived "bad breath" emergency. Along with a good toothbrush, toothpaste and floss, mouthwash is an essential part of an effective dental hygiene kit. Here are a few reasons why:
  • The American Dental Association supports the regular use of a mouthwash
  • Rinsing with a solution specifically for dental health improves the effects of brushing and flossing.
  • In addition to improving the breath, mouthwashes help decrease bacteria and plaque.
  • Mouthwashes or dental rinses that contain fluoride help reduce and prevent tooth decay.
  • Because of its liquid state, a mouthwash is effective for getting to hard to reach spots, such as the back of the mouth, cheeks, and between gums.
  • It helps fights gum disease.
If these benefits have your wheels turning, perhaps you're ready for a little more information?

What are the different types of mouthwashes?

There are two basic types-one is considered "cosmetic" and the other "therapeutic".

Cosmetic rinses only serve to freshen the breath. They do not contain any of the bacteria or cavity fighting ingredients necessary to promote better dental health. Therapeutic mouthwashes on the other hand are loaded with several ingredients such as fluoride and other anti-microbial agents that fight cavities, eliminate bacteria, plaque, and the germs that lead to gum disease, gingivitis, and bad breath.

When is the best time to use a dental rinse - before or after brushing or flossing?

In regard to this question, the jury still seems to be out! Those health care professionals that support the "before" school of thought say that using a mouthwash will help loosen particles and make brushing more effective.

Those on the other side of the fence who believe using a mouthwash "after" brushing note that doing so handles any particles or areas that were missed by brushing and flossing. Using a rinse last also leaves a bit of the product in the mouth, on the teeth and gums, so it likely continues to work longer.

Before choosing a mouthwash or dental rinse...

Please discuss with Dr. Simon Melcher and his staff which products will be most beneficial to you. Know that using mouthwashes or fluoridated dental rinses is never a substitute for brushing and flossing! Be aware that alcohol is often an ingredient and therefore any mouthwash containing it should not be used by children 6 and under. There is always a danger they may swallow it.

Get more tips on good dental hygiene and dental health here on our blog or directly from Dr. Simon Melcher at Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh.  Call us today to schedule a consultation! 919-782-0548

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Best "Go-To" Snack Choices for Healthy Teeth

It is no secret that some foods are highly beneficial in maintaining and improving our dental health. Some act as "natural toothbrushes," many are loaded with vitamins and minerals that our teeth need to stay healthy, and others simply have a magical combination of ingredients that are naturally good for our teeth. Here's a list of foods that are recommended for their positive impact on teeth and gums. Make sure to include them in your snack stash!

Apples and celery - the hard crunchiness of these serve to clean the teeth, stimulate the gums and promote the flow of saliva, which cleans the mouth even more.

Cheese - It contains casein, which helps strengthen tooth enamel.

Kiwi - Loaded with vitamin C that helps maintain the collagen in the gums, which prevents infections and periodontal disease.
Pears - More fibrous than apples, these luscious fruits can help neutralize the acid on the surface of teeth, helping them stay strong and healthy.

For smart beverage choices, that will benefit your teeth and bones, choose either water or milk (See also: Why Sugary Drinks Should Be Avoided). Water helps keep your mouth, teeth, and gums hydrated and naturally washes away food particles that could lead to tooth decay. The calcium and vitamin D in milk are essential to building strong bones and teeth.

If you have questions or concerns about your diet, nutrition, and dental health, please call our Raleigh office today to schedule a consultation: 919-782-0548

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tongue Thrusting Causes and Treatments

Among children, one common explanation for the development of misaligned teeth is the habit of "tongue thrusting." It occurs when the child moves the tongue forward and pushes it outward towards the front teeth. The habit can develop as part of the actions involved with swallowing, sleeping, or when the child is at rest. 
It may contribute to both speech and orthodontic problems. Tongue thrusting is most prevalent in children between the ages of 5 and 8 years old. In the US, it is estimated that between 70 and 80 percent of children go through a tongue thrusting phase.

A number of causes have been cited for contributing to the development of this habit. Some of the most prevalent explanations are thumb sucking, mouth breathing, genetics, tongue size, and the presence of muscular abnormalities. Once the diagnosis of tongue thrusting has been made, there are two preferred treatments.
1. Therapy - A dental professional or speech pathologist will work with the patient to help re-educate the muscles of the tongue in an effort to break the habit. A regime of therapy and exercises will be designed to correct the problem.

2. Custom appliance - Although this method has not been as successful as the therapeutic approach, some individuals may benefit from the use of a specially made appliance. It serves to re-train the individual to limit the tongue thrusting habit by holding the tongue slightly back and down.
If you are concerned that your child has or may be developing this habit, Dr. Melcher will be happy to discuss the diagnostic and treatment process. Please call our office today to schedule a consultation: 919-782-0548

Thursday, May 30, 2013

3 Benefits of Professional Teeth Whitening

Having clean, glistening white teeth is certainly something to smile about! However, for many adults, years of staining caused by coffee, tea, smoking, and certain medications, can dull even the most perfect teeth. There are a number of products that claim to whiten the teeth in just a few days or even overnight. Although it may be tempting to try one of these methods on your own, the best choice is to seek the advice of your dentist. Here are 3 benefits you'll gain when choosing a dental professional to whiten your teeth:

1. Before beginning any whitening regime, it is advised that a thorough check-up by your dentist or dental hygienist take place. If untreated cavities or undetected cracks are present, efforts to whiten the teeth can exacerbate the problem. When a professional who is familiar with your individual situation takes care of the
whitening process, you'll have piece of mind in knowing that your dental health will not be jeopardized.

2. Sometimes the frequent use of over the counter whitening kits can cause the pores of the tooth enamel to open. This is due to the presence of oxygen radicals that are typically contained in stain removal products.  Avoid potential damage and pain by allowing your dental professional take care of brightening your smile!

3. Would you try to mix up your own paint color for your home or would you visit a paint store for assistance? Matching the subtle color variations in your teeth can be tricky. Due to individual tint differences in each of your teeth, it is quite difficult to get perfect results on your own. When a dental professional is able to employ the use of specialized lighting and magnification tools, you'll know that your whites match!

Please contact the Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh to schedule a consultation for teeth whitening today! 919-782-0548

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Take a Virtual Tour of Our Office in Raleigh

If you're a new patient or a potential new patient and have never been to our office in Raleigh before, then you may appreciate taking a virtual tour through the convenience of your computer screen.  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Why Sugary Drinks Should be Avoided

It is estimated that on average, Americans down 45 gallons of soft drinks per year. For many, sodas are the "go to" beverages of choice, and are often mindlessly served at mealtime. In addition to being the #1 cause of the nation's obesity epidemic, sugary drinks wreak havoc with the teeth.

The two main culprits contained in carbonated soft drinks, sports drinks, and energy drinks that spell only bad news for our teeth are their high volumes of sugars and acids. Some sodas come with 11 teaspoons of sugar packed into just one 12-ounce serving. The larger 20-ounce bottles can contain close to 20 teaspoons of sugar! Consider individuals who routinely consume 2 to 3 sugary drinks a day-and then reflect on the American Heart Association's guidelines for daily sugar intake:

        "For women it is no more than 5 teaspoons a day and for men, no more than 9 teaspoons a day. Each teaspoon of sugar contains 4 grams of sugar. According to the AHA, kids should have no more than 3 teaspoons of sugar a day."

Please do not think that sugar-free choices or artificially sweetened beverages are an alternative. In addition to numerous questionable, artificial and unpronounceable ingredients, they are also filled with acids. The added acids and sugars in these drinks mix together with your mouth's naturally occurring acids and the combination is too much for your teeth to handle. The sugar-laden acids destroy the tooth enamel and over time cause decay and pitting of the teeth.

Sports drinks, iced tea, lemonade, and fitness water are no better! Along with significant amounts of sugar, they also contain additives and organic acids that are extremely erosive to the teeth and gums. Recent studies have revealed that non-carbonated drinks and sports drinks are 5 to 10 times more likely than soft drinks to cause enamel damage and cavities.

The bottom line is to avoid such beverages all together. If that is impossible for you, limit your consumption to no more than a 12-ounce serving and brush and use a dental rinse immediately afterwards. The best choice for improving and maintaining your overall health is to make water your #1 beverage choice!

For more information, visit Rethink Your Drink from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you have concerns about your dental health or nutrition habits that may be affecting your teeth, please call our office in Raleigh for a consultation: 919-782-0548

Friday, May 3, 2013

Tips to Reduce the Risk of Cavities

It seems that there are a few lucky folks who inherit great genes when it comes to their teeth. They may never have any serious issues if they follow their dentist's guidelines for brushing, flossing and regular check-ups. However, there are many more individuals who must pay careful attention to maintaining their dental health.

Whether it is a matter of diet, genes, environment or other health issues that place some of us in more jeopardy when it comes to tooth decay, there are a few simple steps that will reduce the risk of cavities.
  • Frequent Brushing - Brushing after every meal and snack is not just something to encourage small children to do! Establish this habit now for a lifetime of better dental health.
  • Avoid Snacking Between Meals - Snacking between meals can be detrimental to your teeth and gums. Problems arise because snacks are often not a "whole food" or nutritionally sound choice, and brushing afterwards rarely happens. That's why it is best to avoid between meal snacking entirely. Hungry? Drink water!
  • Stay Away from Sugary Foods and Drinks - Sugar is lurking everywhere! In addition to common white sugar and high fructose corn syrup, there are over 20 possible added sugars that may be in your food! This includes naturally occurring sugars in fruits and vegetables. They all  present problems for the teeth. Sugars have the tendency to adhere to teeth and the bacteria in your mouth combines with these sugars and releases acid, which is the main cause of tooth decay. It's so simple - stay away from sugary foods and drinks! If you must have them, brush, floss, and rinse immediately afterwards.
  • Drink Water! Rely on basic, unprocessed food and beverage choices for your meals and snacks. Water is hands down the beverage of choice.
Preventing cavities through good nutrition and excellent dental habits is your best bet to maintaining a beautiful smile that lasts a lifetime.  Call Dr. Simon Melcher at Implant and General Dentistry today to schedule an appointment with the dentist and dental hygienist: 919-782-0548

Friday, April 26, 2013

Nutrition and Your Dental Health

Taking excellent care of your teeth and gums requires much more than regular brushing and flossing. When you view your set of teeth as your body's food processor, it should become more apparent that the foods you eat play a major role in your dental health. Just like there are certain foods that can wreak havoc on a food-processing appliance, the same holds true for your teeth!

A healthy diet comprised of whole foods as opposed to packaged or processed choices plays a key role, not only in maintaining your dental health, but the health of your entire body. Try to eat a diet that is heavy on fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean meats and fish. Always be on the lookout for snacks and beverages that fit into one of those basic categories. With all processed food there is the almost guaranteed risk of added fat, sugar, sodium, refined flour, and artificial ingredients, such as colors and flavorings. To avoid sabotaging a healthy diet, learn to read and understand food labels and ingredient lists. Just like bad gas can ruin a car's engine, what you eat and drink directly impacts your dental and overall health. Other things to consider when making good choices for your teeth and gums are:
  • What form is the food in? Will it stick to your teeth, stain them or linger between them, causing bacterial growth and possible decay?
  • Sugar and acid are present in many beverages, including milk, fruit juices and soft drinks. Even sugars and acids that occur naturally are linked to tooth decay and should be consumed rarely. Water is always the beverage of choice.
  • If you can't brush after each meal or snack, remember to eat something that can help clean around the teeth, such as an apple, celery, or carrot. Or drink a cup of plain herbal tea because flavonoids and other ingredients in tea seem to prevent harmful bacteria from sticking to teeth, and also block production of a type of sugar that contributes to cavities. Tea also contains high amounts of fluoride.
It is up to you to look after your body! In addition to regular brushing, flossing, and visits to your dentist and family doctor, take charge by:
Visit these sites to learn more about adopting a healthy diet for you and your whole family: choosemyplate.gov and fda.gov/food.

Contact Dr. Simon Melcher and the staff at Implant & General Dentistry in Raleigh to schedule your next appointment: 919-782-0548.

Friday, April 19, 2013

When Does Thumb Sucking Become Damaging To The Teeth?

Thumb sucking, finger sucking or using a pacifier are ways that very young children comfort themselves. It is completely natural and parents should not be overly concerned. As for damaging the teeth, since most of these activities take place during the pre-school years, when the child has baby teeth, there is really nothing to worry about.

However, vigorous thumb or finger sucking or excessive pacifier use after the child’s permanent teeth come in should be discouraged. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the permanent teeth usually begin coming in between the ages of 4 and 6. This is the time when these activities could cause the front teeth to develop incorrectly, create protrusions and may affect the child’s jaw and roof of their mouth as well. For some reason, many dental professionals and parents confirm that it is easier to break the pacifier habit than stop thumb sucking.

Fortunately, the time that permanent teeth begin appearing is also when many children begin pre-school. Peer pressure and classroom rules often work wonders for helping a child to give up these habits. This is also when children become more mobile and have plenty of other things to keep them busy. Many become so engaged in exploring their world, that the old habits are forgotten.

Of course there are exceptions, and some kids have a very hard time leaving their “binky” behind, or forgetting about their thumb and fingers. The American Dental Association cites 4 years of age as the time to put an end to these behaviors. If your child has begun to get their permanent teeth and thumb sucking is still an issue, discuss it with us. That way, Dr. Melcher can monitor the child’s jaw and teeth to ensure that they are developing properly.

Please consider:
  • Scolding or shaming a child for these behaviors is not effective.
  • Investigate what causes the child to need a self-comforting tactic and try to alleviate that anxiety or avoid those situations.
  • Positive reinforcement and tangible rewards are effective ways to encourage the preferred behavior of not sucking their thumb or fingers or using a pacifier.
If you're concerned about your child's oral habits, call 919-782-0548 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Simon Melcher with Implant & General Dentistry in Raleigh, NC.

Friday, April 12, 2013

What Causes Bad Breath And What Can I Do About It?

Having bad breath is like having a bad hair day - it’s something that will eventually happen to everyone. It’s when friends and family tell you that your breath is persistently bad that it becomes a problem. Although mouth washes, mints, and gums may be seem to be a solution, in reality they are only masking the root of the cause.

Cases of bad breath are brought on by a variety of factors. We can address some of those. However, some of the causes may need the attention of your family doctor or specialists such as an ENT or Gastroenterologist. That’s because sinus drainage, and difficulties with respiration and digestion can also result in offensive breath.

If it is considered to be a case of poor oral hygiene, your dentist and hygienist can assist you with other ways to combat the issue. They can show you proper brushing and flossing techniques. Many patients do not realize they should also gently brush the inside of their cheeks, roof of their mouth, and tongue. Believe it or not, food particles and plaque can build up in these spots as well and result in the growth of foul smelling bacteria. Using a tongue scraper and tying a knot in your dental floss to boost its ability to clean between teeth that may be food trappers are other ways to fight bad breath.

Since having bad breath can greatly affect your confidence and self-esteem, it is an excellent idea to include Dr. Melcher in the battle to banish it!

If you're having persistent bad breath, contact Dr. Simon Melcher of Implant & General Dentistry in Raleigh, NC at 919-782-0548.

Friday, April 5, 2013

How Often Should I Visit My Dentist?

Just as you schedule regular visits to maintain your car, you should also be diligent about regular appointments to your dentist. Routine oral exams and cleanings should occur no farther apart than every six months. Do not think that frequent brushing, flossing, and rinsing on your own is enough. No matter how well you take care of your teeth, it is virtually impossible to remove plaque that builds up even with the most conscientious individuals. The rate at which plaque builds up varies greatly from patient to patient and is unpredictable. That is also why those with gum issues need to see their dentist even more often.

Waiting until there is a problem is never a good idea. When you wait until there is pain or a visible issue, the situation can become much more serious and more difficult to treat. Along with cleaning your teeth, Dr. Melcher and our dental hygienists will evaluate your individual teeth, gums, oral mucosa, cheeks, neck, and tongue. It is very important to discover signs of decay and tooth fractures early, before bone loss and infection can set in.

During your regular six-month appointments, we will perform the “6 Step Screening for Oral Cancer.” This simple procedure could save your life. Do not assume that because you don’t smoke, you are not at risk.

And… look into your schedule to make sure you have set aside a minimum of two dates this year for your regular dental check-ups. Just like your car or home, your teeth must be cared for regularly. Doing just that, will give you plenty of reasons to smile!

Call Implant & General Dentistry in Raleigh, NC at 919-782-0548 to schedule your exam with Dr. Simon Melcher!

Friday, March 29, 2013

My Gums Bleed When I Brush. What Does It Mean?

If you've noticed some bleeding after you brush or floss your teeth, it's most likely an early sign of gingivitis - a condition that causes your gums to swell due to the accumulation of plaque. Gingivitis is not a serious health risk in and of itself; however, if left untreated, gingivitis can lead to more serious issues like periodontitis and bone loss.

A patient with gingivitis will usually have red, puffy gums, especially after brushing or flossing. Fortunately, proper oral hygiene will usually resolve gingivitis. In other words, if you can improve your dental care routine, you may be able to cure gingivitis on your own, without having to make a trip to the dentist's office. Some patients find that using an antiseptic mouthwash along with proper brushing and flossing helps prevent gingivitis.

It should be noted that not every case of gingivitis is caused by plaque. Sometimes, gingivitis is the result of a specific virus, bacteria or fungus. Other cases may be caused by trauma, reaction to foreign bodies or even genetic factors. If you find that your gingivitis is not going away, even with improved oral hygiene, it may be that your condition is a non-plaque induced gingival disease. Talk to your dentist about the possible causes for your condition and the necessary treatment.

If you're not sure whether you have gingivitis or not, here are a few common symptoms to be mindful of:
  • Bright red or purple gums
  • Gums are tender, uncomfortable
  • Gums are painful to the touch
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Gums appear puffy and swollen
  • Gums have receded
If you have noticed any of the above symptoms, don't hesitate to contact Dr. Melcher. These may not be serious risks to your health at first, but if left untreated it could lead to significant problems in the future. Implant and General Dentistry is open Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm. Call us at 919-782-0548 or visit us online to schedule an appointment.

Friday, March 22, 2013

What is Root Planing and Why is it Done?

Root planing is a technique dentists use to stop the adverse effects of periodontal disease. It involves a procedure in which the dentist will thoroughly clean below the patient's gum line (known as scaling), then smooth the roots or the tooth (or teeth). The purpose of smoothing the roots is to help facilitate gum reattachment and prevent bacteria from spreading. When the roots are smooth, the gum tissue is more prone to reattach itself and is less vulnerable to the accumulation of bacteria.

This technique is also known as "conventional periodontal therapy" or "non-surgical periodontal therapy." It is effective against fighting mild cases of periodontitis, sometimes only requiring one session to achieve the desired results. However, for moderate to severe periodontal patients, root planing and scaling may be the initial therapy prior to surgery.

If your dentist has suggested a root planing procedure for your dental health, you may be a little nervous but rest assured, the procedure is not as uncomfortable as it sounds. Your dentist will most likely use a local anesthetic to numb your gums and the roots of your teeth. Most patients experience little to no discomfort during the process.

Like many dental and medical procedures, there are a few risks involved. Root planing and scaling can introduce harmful bacteria into the bloodstream. Dr. Melcher may prescribe antibiotics for you to take before and after the procedure. Be sure to let us know if you have a condition that makes you vulnerable to infection, such as an immune deficiency or recent surgery. If you have any questions about this procedure, schedule an appointment with Dr. Simon Melcher, D.D.S of Implant & General Dentistry by visiting us online or calling 919-782-0548.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Do Water Irrigation Systems Replace the Need for Flossing?

Oral irrigation products like Waterpik systems or water jets can be very useful in removing retained food particles from hard-to-reach areas between your teeth. However, using these systems should not replace your daily flossing routine. These devices help dislodge bits of food that can sometimes get stuck between teeth, but they do not help in removing plaque. Only regular brushing and flossing (along with regular dentist check-ups) can keep plaque buildup at bay and maintain a truly healthy smile.

Of course, if your dentist has recommended you use a water irrigation system for your teeth, you should follow your dentist's advice. These products can be very effective for people whose traditional manual oral hygiene is less than ideal. In some cases, a dentist will recommend an oral irrigation system along with antibacterial solutions to help maintain the health of periodontal patients. Patients who may benefit from oral irrigation the most include those with orthodontic appliances, implants, crown and bridge work, diabetes, or gingivitis.

Like any other self-care dental device, oral irrigation systems are most effective when used on a daily basis - unless your dentist instructs you to do otherwise. These devices should be a complementary action to a patient's daily dental care routine - it should NOT be a substitute for it.

For more information on water irrigation devices for your dental health, talk to Dr. Simon Melcher. He can help you determine if using these devices is right for you and your lifestyle. Contact Implant & General Dentistry at our website or call us at 919-782-0548 to schedule an appointment.

Friday, March 8, 2013

What Causes Gum Disease?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, occurs when bacteria builds up along the gum line. This buildup, when left untreated, will start to irritate the gum line, eventually leading to an inflammation reaction. When a person's gums become irritated and inflamed, swelling and bleeding can occur. This further exacerbates the situation, allowing more bacteria to irritate the gum tissue and the existing bacteria to travel deeper below the gum line.

If this condition is left untreated, the bacteria may even travel all the way to the mouth and jaw bone, resulting in demineralization. When demineralization occurs, the bone can actually break down and dissolve, which then leads to bone loss and eventually tooth loss. Once the bone material surrounding a tooth breaks down, the tooth has nothing to support it. Even if the tooth is relatively healthy, it could still fall out due to improper gum care.

As you can see, gum disease is something that starts out as a minor problem, but it can quickly escalate into a major health issue. Almost like a domino effect, where one thing leads to another and so on, untreated periodontal disease can cause significant damage to a person's gums, bone and teeth - usually in that order. To prevent periodontal disease, make a habit of brushing and flossing regularly, as well as visiting your dentist for professional cleanings and check-ups every six months.

If you feel you may have periodontal disease, feel free to call our office at 919-782-0548 to schedule an appointment. We can help put you on the right track to treatment while offering helpful advice for future prevention. Our full service dental office is open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. Call or visit us online to schedule an appointment.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Mouthguards for Children While Playing Sports

Should my child wear a mouthguard while playing sports? The answer is yes and so should you! Please don’t think that mouthguards are just for kids who play football and hockey. The American Dental Association’s website cites several studies that have shown the benefit of mouthguard protection, even for noncontact sports such as gymnastics and skateboarding. In fact, the research conducted by those in the field of sports dentistry reveals that, “everyone, from children to adults, should wear a mouthguard during any recreational activity that might pose a risk of injury to the mouth, including practice and training sessions.”

Since the use of mouthguards has been shown to reduce the risk of injury significantly, as a parent, you must make it your job to see that your child’s teeth are protected. Injuries that cause severe damage to the dental structure can be very painful, potentially disfiguring, and often require months of corrective therapy. This is why the ADA endorses the preventive value of orofacial protectors. According to the ADA’s site, those include helmets, faceguards, and mouth protectors. They should be used by anyone participating in activities where there are any levels of injury risk.

Mouthguards are essential for anyone with braces or bridgework. They can act as a cushion between the soft tissue of your lips, tongue, gums, and cheeks. They can also serve as a shock absorber and limit the damage caused by an injury. Mouthguards are made of a very flexible material and come in several different models.
  • One size fits all-inexpensive ones
  • Boil and custom fit models
  • Custom made mouthguards from your dentist, which will have the best fit
All mouthguards should:
  • Be odorless and tasteless
  • Be tear resistant
  • Easy to clean
  • Stay firmly in place
  • Not limit talking or breathing
  • Be replaced with any signs of wear
Usually mouthguards are just for the upper teeth. However, for those with braces, bridges, or retainers on the lower teeth, having your dentist make a custom mouthguard is advised.

Give us Dr. Simon Melcher of Implant and General Dentistry a call if you have any questions: 919-782-0548.