Can I Skip my Dental Appointment?

With tough economic times across the country, it’s tempting to consider skipping your dentist appointment to cut down on costs. Maybe you feel too busy to fit it in your schedule, or perhaps just plain don’t like going to the dentist. You must ask yourself though if putting off that appointment will be worth it in the long run, and if you’re willing to put your health at risk.

Experts recommend going to the dentist for a checkup and cleaning every six months. However many people go only once a year, or wait sometimes years between visits. This may be a dangerous choice to make in your oral health. Regular cleanings help keep your teeth strong and healthy. Prolonging these appointments allows more plaque and tartar to build up on your teeth, leading to more extensive and quicker decay. This can lead to more painful and expensive procedures like root canals, extractions, and crowns.

When you regularly see your dentist, minor tooth problems can be found before developing into major problems. A small cavity can often be easily filled at relatively low costs. On the other hand, if you skip your visit and the cavity goes undetected, the tooth decay will worsen and probably lead to more expensive procedures. Keep in mind that a root canal and crown might cost five times more than a simple filling!

Not going to the dentist at your scheduled checkup timeframe may seen to save you money and trouble, but chances are good that you will end up paying for it later. It’s better to take preventative action so you’ll be able to maintain a nice smile, good health, and lower costs in the long run.

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Autoimmune Diseases and Your Oral health

More than 23 million Americans have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, which can affect various parts of the body depending on the type of disease. Basically, the body’s immune system mistakenly identifies some part of its own body as a foreign enemy and attacks it. The mouth is not safe from the effects of autoimmune disease. Even though the disease may not be attacking the mouth itself, the effects from the disease on the body may indeed impact the oral area. Here are some common autoimmune diseases and how they affect oral health.

Lupus
Over 50% of lupus patients develop sores on the lips, palate, and inside the cheeks. These lesions may be treated with topical ointments. Lupus patients also often experience dry mouth, increasing the risks of cavities and gum disease. Regular dental checkups are vital. Another potential oral problem is TMJ, which is a painful problem at the joints where the jaw comes together. A dentist can provide treatment options for TMJ as well.

Rheumatoid arthritis
Although it is a disease that causes joint inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis has been linked to gum disease. Good oral hygiene, regular dentist visits, and eating a balanced diet are all ways to reduce risks of tooth decay and gum disease. Also, some of the medicines for treating rheumatoid arthritis can irritate or dry out the mouth. A dentist may recommend extra fluoride or other treatments to help.

Sjögren’s syndrome
The main oral effect of Sjögren’s syndrome is xerostomia, which is severe lack of saliva. This can worsen the risks of cavities, gum disease, oral fungal infection, and bad breath. Patients may also become more sensitive to spicy foods, and problems may arise with wearing dentures due to the mouth dryness. Oral treatments related to Sjögren’s include at-home fluoride application and frequent teeth cleanings.

Scleroderma
This disease often restricts the jaw from opening as wide as normal, and making it move less easily. Scleroderma may make it hard to clean the back teeth, and difficult for the dentist to provide dental care. It is often tricky for the dentist to treat scleroderma patients with dentures, appliances, and crowns. Therefore, it is very important to maintain healthy teeth and gums to avoid future problems.

 

Dentist for seniors in Weston FL Dr. Thanos

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Questions and Answers about Fluoride

In the past, cavities were the norm. Over the last few decades, tooth decay has shown a decline and fluoride is a key reason. Fluoride can reduce cavities up to 60 percent in baby teeth and up to 35 percent in permanent teeth. Learn more about fluoride with this brief Q and A.

Where do we find sources of fluoride?
A naturally occurring substance, fluoride is found in all water. In recent years, communities have added fluoride to their water supplies to help protect against tooth decay. People also get fluoride from toothpaste, mouth rinses, and topical applications in the dentist’s office.

Are children the only ones who need fluoride?
People of all ages benefit from fluoride. With young children, fluoride helps strengthen the enamel on developing teeth, making them resistant to the acids that generate decay. Fluoride also protects adult teeth from cavities.

Is fluoride safe?
For over 80 years, scientific studies have shown that fluoridated water, at the levels needed to safeguard teeth, doesn’t pose a health risk. For children under age two, make sure not to use fluoride toothpaste because this could create overexposure for their developing teeth. Too much fluoride can result in fluorosis, a condition that produces white lines or specks on teeth.

Will getting enough fluoride protect my teeth from decay?
Though fluoride plays a big role in keeping cavities at bay, you also need to brush twice a day, floss regularly, eat a healthy diet, and see the dentist for checkups every six months.

 

Family dentist in Weston FL – Schedule your appointment today.

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What Do You Know about Your Teeth?

To enjoy a fantastic smile, you have to protect your teeth and gums. Most people understand the basics of dental care: brushing, flossing, and dental checkups. However, you may know very little about your teeth. Learn more about your pearly whites with these fast facts.

 

  • Although teeth develop early in the second trimester of pregnancy, most infants don’t cut their first teeth until about six months of age.
  • When teeth come in, they tend to follow a consistent pattern. For example, the bottom right molar will erupt around the same time as bottom left molar.
  • Your primary, or baby, teeth consist of a set of approximately 20 teeth. Primary teeth help with normal speech development and serve as placeholders for permanent teeth.
  • By age three, most kids have all their baby teeth. Around age six, these teeth begin to fall out as permanent teeth erupt.
  • A complete set of adult teeth includes 32 teeth.
  • The outer covering of your teeth is enamel, the hardest substance in the body. In fact, enamel is harder than bone.
  • Diamond is the only naturally occurring material that is harder than tooth enamel.
  • Each tooth contains an enamel covering, a softer layer or dentin, and a nerve center called pulp, which supplies nutrients to the tooth.
  • Over a lifetime, the average American spends 38.5 days brushing their teeth.
  • Human beings have several different kinds of teeth, including incisors, canine teeth, premolars, and molars.
  • Just as fingerprints are unique, every person’s tooth prints are different.
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