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."