Common Dental Myths Debunked

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Facts About Dental Myths

With the magnitude of information available to us these days, it’s harder than ever to separate facts from myths; especially when it comes to your health. There are a million dental related myths that might steer you in the wrong direction when it comes to a healthy smile. It’s important to be informed and know the facts. Here are a few common dental myths, followed by the facts.

Oral Hygiene Only Affects Your Teeth

Many people hear the phrase “oral hygiene” and they think of the simple act of brushing or flossing. While oral hygiene is important for keeping your teeth healthy, poor oral hygiene can be linked to several other health problems- including heart disease. Taking care of your mouth actually means taking care of a lot of things within your body. Untreated periodontal disease contributes to more low birth weight babies than both drinking and smoking combined.  Having poor oral hygiene can cause a multitude of problems- not all of them related to your teeth.

You Shouldn’t Get Your Wisdom Teeth Out Until They Start to Hurt

Typically, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, and your dentist will generally advise you of the same. If you wait for your wisdom teeth to become painful, they might have already done other damage to your gums or teeth. Many people believe that as long as they have no pain, there’s no reason to have an unnecessary surgery. In rare cases, wisdom teeth can stay intact as long as they are not interfering or causing damage. One of the most common reasons to remove wisdom teeth is because they are so difficult to keep clean and rather than incurring costly repairs to those teeth many dentists will suggest having them removed.  Frequent exams are necessary in this case to monitor and maintain your health. It’s generally better to have your wisdom teeth removed before any pain, rather than take the gamble.

White Teeth Are Healthier Teeth

Teeth are actually not meant to be pure white. Tooth color can vary widely, for example, depending on your race, pigmentation varies greatly.  Also, as you get older, your teeth will naturally take on a more faded color as things do with time, however they can still be perfectly healthy. A color beyond a light yellow could be cause for concern, but generally the pinkness of your gums is a better indication of oral health as opposed to how white your teeth are.

If Teeth Look Healthy, and Are Not Hurting, There is No Reason to Visit a Dentist

The most common mistake people make regarding their dental health is skipping regular preventive visits because they do not see or feel any problems. Even in the absence of a visible problem or discomfort, regular visits for x-ray exams, cleaning and necessary restorative care are necessary to maintain your teeth and gums for life. Discovering diseases in the mouth earlier rather than later will typically reduce cost, recovery time and severity of dental treatment that may need to be performed.

It’s important to educate yourself on the facts surrounding whole body health and well-being. Muddled information and common misperceptions can leave people confused. The best way to combat myths and augment dental health is to see and speak with your dentist regularly. Have open dialogue and productive conversations about what is and is not true. Being informed, savvy and educated will keep you and your dentist smiling.

Dr. Terry Hunt
River Dental Arts
1690 Wright Ave
Rocky River, OH 44116

The Value of Mouthguards

shutterstock_131180210Are your kids playing sports? Whether it’s football, basketball, or water polo, mouth guards are necessary and extremely important to prevent injury to teeth from either teeth grinding or sporting injuries.  Every season I see patients in my office who have suffered trauma from a sporting event accident.  The most common athletic dental injuries that I see in my office are a result of a basketball or soccer injury.

In order to protect your teeth during athletic activities, a mouth guard is crucial.  A properly fitted mouth guard will help cushion an impact to the mouth.  Mouth guards can also help protect you from chipped or broken teeth, jaw injuries or cuts to the lip and tongue.  We can fabricate a mouth guard for you or your child in our office.  Many of our patients prefer custom mouth guards to the over-the-counter mouth guards that you boil at home as they fit significantly better.  We find that patients are more likely to wear our mouth guards as they are less likely to restrict breathing and speech, more comfortable, less likely to fall out, more resistant to tears, durable and easy to clean.

So, whatever sport you play, be safe and stop by our office to get fitted for a high quality mouth guard!

Dr. Terry Hunt
River Dental Arts
1690 Wright Ave
Rocky River, OH 44116

5 Candy Alternatives That Will Keep Trick-or-Treaters Smiling

The fall season brings an amazing amount of fun activities for you and your family. tooth-fairy-octoberFrom the excitement of Halloween, to school fall festivals, kids and parents alike look forward to the cool weather and family memories. Unfortunately, Halloween and fall festivals can also do a number on your child’s teeth. Hard candies, sweet treats and sugary snacks can be cavities waiting to happen. Handing out Halloween candy doesn’t mean you have to hand out oral health disasters. There are a number of healthy alternatives to the candy bars and licorice- some that trick-or-treaters might even enjoy more than the sugar rush. The days of handing out apple slices and pennies to avoid contributing to tooth destruction are gone! Take a look at some of these creative trick-or-treat alternatives that will leave all the little ghosts and ghouls smiling throughout the year.

Applesauce Pouches

Applesauce is still a sweet treat, and not nearly as hard on the teeth. Not only that, they’re portable, affordable and a great way to avoid the mess of some other treats. You can get a pack of 48 pouches for about 35 dollars on Amazon, which is enough to give all the trick-or-treaters something healthy to smile about.

Mini LaraBars

Larabars are gluten free, vegan, kosher and only have about 8-11 grams of sugar per bar. They also come in mini form, making them perfect to hand out on Halloween. The great thing about these treats is that the kids won’t even know they’re healthy! LaraBars have flavors such as cherry pie, apple pie and cashew cookie and are just as delicious as the other mini candy bars that will be weighing down their bag. If you can’t find LaraBars, or they’re a little too pricey for you, granola bars of any kind will be a better choice than chocolate.

Vegan Rice Crispy Treats

Rice crispy treats are a delicious sweet treat for trick-or-treaters, but you don’t have to use all the sugary marshmallow to make them amazing. There are a number of recipes you can follow which swap out a few classic ingredients for something a little healthier in order to create the perfect Halloween snack. By using brown rice syrup instead of marshmallow, brown rice crisps instead of white rice and coconut oil instead of butter- you can make delicious, healthy treats that many claim are better than the original. Check out one the recipes here.

Sugar Free Gum

While sugar free gum may not be the most exciting item in your child’s bag, it’s still a quality alternative to all the junk they’ll be getting. You can get tasty sugar free gum such as Dubble Bubble and throw a few pieces in along with other healthy treats. Parents will appreciate the lack of sugar, and the kids (especially those kids who love their chewing gum) will be happy with a full bag of “candy.”

Toys

If you want to skip the food items altogether, many parents have opted to hand out toys instead. There are a number of items you can get in bulk for cheap such as pencils, erasers, stickers, mini water guns, temporary tattoos, mini play dough, sidewalk chalk, bouncing balls, bubbles and more. The possibilities are endless and none of these things will land your child in the dentist’s chair. If you’re thinking of skipping the candy and handing out toys, head to your local dollar store to find amazing deals on bulk items.

There’s also the option of handing out pre-made veggie and fruit snacks, however this may only be a good idea if you’re close with the surrounding neighbors. Parents are often a little leery of pre-prepared snacks and the time and money you spent might simply end up in the trash. These days there really are dozens of candy alternatives that don’t skimp on the flavor. Do your own research to find what works best for you and your family, have fun with it, and get everyone involved. Keep in mind that most trick-or-treaters will be over-flowing with the sugary stuff- so its good practice as a parent and oral health advocate to provide something that will keep their smiles healthy throughout the year.

Dr. Terry Hunt
River Dental Arts
1690 Wright Ave
Rocky River, OH 44116

Learn How Dental Sealants Protect Teeth

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A weak tooth without sealants is prone to cavities and decay like this.

Do you know what a dental sealant is?
A dental sealant is a liquid plastic material that hardens to form a shield over the chewing surfaces of the teeth.  It is applied to decay-prone surfaces of the teeth, usually the back molars and pre-molars.

Why get sealants?
Sealants keep out the germs and food that cause tooth decay.  Food and germs can get stuck in rough, uneven surface areas where toothbrush bristles cannot reach.  Germs in the mouth change the sugar in food to acid that can start a cavity in the tooth.  Sealants prevent decay from ever starting.

Who should get sealants?
I recommend that children get sealants on their permanent molars and pre-molars as soon as the teeth come in, before decay has a chance to attack the teeth.  Sealants also protect worn and sensitive surfaces on adult teeth.

How are sealants put on?
The tooth is cleaned, dried, and prepared for bonding with the sealant.  When applied, the liquid sealant hardens in just a few seconds and is invisible to the naked eye.

As you can see, dental sealants are an enormously helpful preventative measure when it comes to protecting vulnerable teeth from cavities. It simply makes sense! If you or a loved one might be a candidate for dental sealants, get in touch with us so Dr. Hunt can take care of you! We hope this has helped give you a better understanding of the benefits of dental sealants. If you have a question, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or give us a call.

Dr. Terry Hunt
(440) 331-7380
1690 Wright Avenue
Rocky River, Ohio 44116