Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles, Prevention.

woman eats chocolateWe’ve got some fantastic news for all of our patients and neighbors with an active sweet tooth! It may come as a surprise, but the team at our Asheboro dental office is telling everyone to go ahead and eat chocolate — for your smile’s sake! But before you head out to buy a dozen of your candy bars, keep in mind that not just any chocolate will do.

Dark Chocolate: The Secret Cavity Fighter

Recent studies conducted by researchers in the United States, England, and Japan show a strong correlation between dark chocolate its ability to ward off decay, cavities, and problem causing plaque. There’s even some evidence to support the idea that dark chocolate may be just as effective, or perhaps more-so, at fighting off cavities as fluoride. However, we’re not suggesting that you pass on your regular fluoride treatments. More research and testing is needed before we can make an absolute claim as to effectiveness of dark chocolate.

Why Dark Chocolate?

It’s not necessarily the dark chocolate itself that has all the oral health benefits. In fact, most credit is being given to compounds found within dark chocolate, or more specifically the cocoa bean husk. All of the beneficial compounds found in dark chocolate are incredibly unique in that they have the ability to fight off both bacteria and plaque. There are even talks of one of these compounds, CBH, becoming an active ingredient in some dental products such as mouthwash and toothpaste because of its benefits.

Why is This Good News?

When we eat anything that contains a lot of sugar, we put our teeth at risk for decay and cavities. As we snack on these sweet treats, sugar gets left behind in the mouth. But it’s not the sugar itself that causes the problem, it’s the bacteria that feed on the sugar. As bacteria fuel up on leftover sugar particles, they also release acid as a byproduct. This acid wears away the protective enamel, leaving teeth exposed to decay. What’s so unique and interesting about dark chocolate is that the bacteria and plaque fighting compounds counteract this process by eliminating bacteria from the beginning.

Remember, Not All Chocolate is Good Chocolate

It’s important to remember that these studies and beneficial oral health claims are limited to dark chocolate and do not include milk chocolate or white chocolate. Even so, not all dark chocolate is created equal either. Try to find dark chocolate with less than 8 grams of sugar per serving. If you can get your hands on organic dark chocolate, that’s even better. Besides having oral health benefits, dark chocolate is also loaded with antioxidants and can be beneficial to overall health too, so don’t shy away from snacking on it.

As always, it’s also important, to maintain a proper oral hygiene routine at home and visit our dental office in Asheboro twice a year for an optimally healthy mouth.  

Posted by & filed under Gum Disease, oral health, TMJ Treatment.

holiday stressEvery year around this time, we begin the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Coordinating schedules, braving the crowds at the grocery store and in the mall, cooking meals, and all the craziness that comes along with preparing for the holidays is bound to increase stress levels. But during a time when we’re supposed to be enjoying friends and family, stress is that last thing we want to get in the way. After all, as everyone at our dental office in Asheboro knows, stress can wreak havoc on not only our overall health, but oral health as well.

A Little Clench & Grind

During times of increased stress, we tend to subconsciously clench our teeth tightly together or grind them against each other. While this may seem like no big deal, if done repeatedly over a long period of time, grinding and clenching can cause damage to both the teeth as well as the jaw joint. Putting constant force on the teeth can lead to chipped, cracked, or fractured teeth, while habitually engaging jaw muscles may cause TMJ disorder. TMJ disorder can be painful and may lead to long term problems. So if you’re experiencing any popping, clicking, or locking in the jaw joint, we recommend contacting your Asheboro dentist.

Gum Disease

Usually we talk about gum disease being caused by an improper hygiene routine or missing regular visits with your dentist. However, recent research has also shown a positive link between stress and the development of gum disease. Gum disease is a serious condition that not only affects your mouth, but your whole body as well. If left untreated, gum disease can cause tooth loss, heart disease, and pregnancy complications, along with a host of other health problems.

Take It Easy for Health’s Sake

To help protect your body and oral health during the stressful holiday season, we encourage you find ways to help yourself relax. Check out the following tips for a few things to try.

  • Breath it Out. Something as simple as setting aside a few moments to take a few deep breaths can really help lower stress. Practicing deep breathing exercises has been proven to lower blood pressure and reduce overall anxiety levels.
  • Work it Out. Hit the gym, go for a walk, do some yoga. Whatever you choose to do, just get your heart pumping and sweat it out. Physical exercise can do wonders to decrease stress, and all the other health benefits don’t hurt either.
  • Sleep it Off. It can be difficult to get enough sleep during non-crazy times of the year. And during the holidays it can be even harder. Remember to schedule in time to make sure you’re catching enough zzz’s. Giving your body a chance to relax can keep you healthy so you can actually enjoy everything the holidays have to offer.

From all of us at our Asheboro dental office, we hope you have a great holiday season with limited stress and anxiety and packed full of friends, family, laughs, and great memories.

Posted by & filed under oral health, Prevention.

Great American SmokeoutEvery year on the third Thursday in November the American Cancer Society puts on the Great American Smokeout, which encourages smokers to try and quit once and for all. The team at our Asheboro dental office can certainly get behind an event that promotes health! Which is why we’re covering a few reasons why quitting smoking, even if you’ve tried before, is a worthwhile goal.

Smokers are 50% more likely to get gum disease than non-smokers

Advanced research has shown smoking has been linked to an increased risk of infection, including gum disease. Gum disease can be a painful problem that may eventually lead to tooth loss.

Smoking inhibits your body’s ability to heal

Whenever your body undergoes trauma, whether that’s a major surgery or minor cut, it relies on a strong flow of healthy blood to heal. Smoking, however, restricts blood vessels and diminishes the amount of blood that moves throughout the system.

Tobacco users are 6 times more likely to develop oral cancer

While oral cancer can occur in anyone, people who use tobacco are at a much greater risk. Oral cancer can affect the tongue, throat, cheeks, or any other area of the mouth. If caught early oral cancer can be successfully treated.

Yellow teeth and bad breath are incredibly common

Tobacco products contain tar and nicotine. Both of these ingredients can stick to teeth, gums, and the tongue and are difficult to remove. Because of this, smokers and users of other forms of tobacco usually have discolored teeth and unpleasant breath.

Using tobacco decreases saliva production

This may not immediately seem like a huge concern, but to your dentist in Asheboro, decreased saliva production could mean serious trouble. Saliva helps neutralize acids in the mouth and rinse away bacteria. Without it teeth are left exposed to the damaging elements and the likelihood of decay increases.

Tooth loss is 2 times more prevalent in smokers

Due to several of the other reasons above, such as a drier mouth and a decreased ability to heal, smokers are more likely to suffer more tooth loss than non-smokers. Oftentimes smokers may lose their teeth earlier than their non-using counterparts.

If you’re unsure where to start the quest towards a smoke-free life, we welcome you to call our dental office in Asheboro. We can work together to determine how quitting can benefit your oral and overall health and talk about ways you can try to quit.

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

woman afraid of dentistYou have a dental appointment early tomorrow morning…and you can’t sleep. You toss and turn in bed, you feel tense and can’t seem to relax, you start sweating, your heart starts pounding, and you may even start to feel nauseated. Does this sound like you? If so, you’re one of an estimated 80 million Americans that suffer from dental fear. The dental team at our dental office in Asheboro understands that dental fear is very real and very hard to overcome, but we’re here to try to help.

Top 4 Causes of Dental Fear

Before we launch into some tips that can help ease your fear of the dentist, it’s important to take a look at some of the most common reasons why people have dental fear.

  • Pain
  • Loss of Control
  • Embarrassment
  • Negative Experience

All of these reasons may keep patients from maintaining regular visits with their dentist in Asheboro, and that’s concerning.

Regular Visits Are Important

According to the Dental Fears Research Clinic in Seattle, nearly 20% of Americans will only see the dentist when it’s absolutely necessary instead of taking a preventative approach to oral healthcare. While visiting the dentist may be uncomfortable and cause a lot of stress, seeing your dentist bi-annually can really help keep more involved treatments to a minimum and, in turn, lower anxiety typically associated with the dental office.

Overcome Your Fear

When a fear or anxiety is so strong, it may seem as if all hope is lost and you’ll never overcome it. But give yourself some credit. By opening and reading this blog, you’ve already taken the first step to understanding your fear and how to help alleviate it. Below we highlight our guide to overcoming dental fear. We hope it helps you continue to learn more about your fear and gives you some hope.

  • Talk with friends and family to get a list of potential dentists. Then pick up the phone and call them. Notice the feeling you have on the call and how your concerns are addressed before you even step into a dental office.
  • Take your pick of all the offices you spoke with and call them back to schedule a new patient appointment. Remember to be open and honest on that call about your dental fear so the team is prepared at your visit.
  • Bring a friend or family member to that first dental appointment, preferably one without a dental fear. Just knowing you have a trusted person with you can really help you relax and feel comfortable.
  • Distract yourself by bringing some music and headphones or talk with your dental team about any amenities they may have to help ease stress such as blankets, sunglasses, or noise cancelling headphone.
  • Always be honest with your Asheboro  dentist and dental team. Dental professionals are committed to both your health and overall comfort and they should be willing to help you relax so you can get the best care.

If you’d like to come into our Asheboro  dental office for a visit, we welcome you to give us a call. We’re always happy to see new patients and are dedicated to providing gentle dentistry in a relaxing and calm environment.

Posted by & filed under oral health, Prevention.

hygiene appointmentWhen most people think of October, we doubt they immediately think of their teeth. In fact, they might not think about teeth at all except if a piece of Halloween candy does some unexpected damage. That’s where we’re a little different. At our dental office in Asheboro, when we think of October, we think of National Dental Hygiene Month, our dental hygienists, and their dedication to keeping patients’ mouths healthy.

About National Dental Hygiene Month

Every October, the dental community celebrates National Dental Hygiene Month. Sponsored by the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) and the Wrigley Oral Healthcare Program (WOHP), National Dental Hygiene Month is designed to increase awareness of how proper dental hygiene is crucial to maintaining a healthy mouth and healthy body. According to the American Academy for Oral Systemic Health (AAOSH) there is a link between oral health and several whole body concerns such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and others.

The Daily 4

The main focus of National Dental Hygiene Month this year is on the top four necessary components of a proper at home oral hygiene routine. These four aspects include:

  • Brushing
  • Flossing
  • Rinsing
  • Chewing

Read on to learn more important information from your dentist in Asheboro.

Brushing

We all know we should brush our teeth everyday, but according to American Dental Association (ADA), there are certain guidelines you should follow to get the most out of your brushing routine. Make sure to brush twice a day for two minutes each. You should select a soft-bristled toothbrush and a small, gentle circular motion instead of a back and forth scrubbing technique to reduce potential damage to your enamel.

Flossing

Sometimes we’re asked if flossing is really necessary. The short answer? Absolutely. Why? We’re glad you asked. When you only brush your teeth and don’t floss you’re missing out on cleaning about 35% of each tooth. That’s a lot of opportunity for bacteria to get comfy and start the decay process. Make sure you’re removing as much bacteria and plaque as possible by flossing in between each tooth and up under the gum line.

Rinsing

Mouthwash may seem like an unnecessary part of an oral healthcare routine. However, the right product can help reduce bad breath, gingivitis, decay, and plaque. Look for one that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This means the product has been scientifically tested and evidence supports the claims made on the label.

Chewing

Brushing your teeth after you eat is ideal, but we realize that may not be possible for everyone all the time. When you can’t brush after a meal, chew a piece of sugarless gum instead. Chewing gum helps produce saliva which aids in neutralizing bacteria that may be left over from your meal.

We encourage every one of our patients and neighbors to follow The Daily 4 diligently for a healthy, happy mouth. However, it’s still important to maintain dental cleanings and bi-annual appointments with your dentist. These visits help remove stuck-on plaque or tartar that you just can’t get at home and ensure there are no problems lurking in your mouth. If you’re looking for a new dental team, we’re always accepting new patients and would love to see you. Give our Asheboro dental office a call to schedule an appointment.

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

dental night guardTooth grinding is a surprisingly common problem that affects many people. The frustrating part is you may not even realizing that you’re a grinder. At our dental office in Asheboro, we understand that tooth grinding, also known as bruxism, can most often be experienced during sleep, when you have no recollection of ever doing it. So how do you fix something that you may not even know you do? We’re glad you asked.

Recognize the Signs of Bruxism

Since bruxism can occur during sleep, and there’s no way you can be aware of it while you’re snoozing, knowing the signs can help you identify the problem.

  • Flat or chipped teeth
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Waking up with sore jaw muscles
  • Neck or facial pain
  • Headaches

If notice any of these indicators of bruxism, talk with your dentist in Asheboro about the right treatment for you.

Night Guards for Bruxism

One of the most recommended treatments for those who grind their teeth is a custom night guard. These form-fitting appliances help protect your teeth from damage caused by rubbing them against each other. They can also help position your jaw in a comfortable position and limit your ability to move your jaw around during sleep. Night guards are available either over the counter or from your dentist.

Custom vs. Over The Counter Night Guards

While over the counter night guards tend to cost less, a custom-made night guard from your dentist ends up being the better, most cost-efficient choice. Custom night guards are created using professional molds of your teeth. This means they end up being more comfortable than their drugstore counterparts. Night guards made by a dentist also take your jaw position into consideration. Without adjusting the guard to fit your jaw alignment, you may just end up with more problems. Finally, custom-made, professional night guards tend to last up to 10 years while store-bought, boil and bite guards last for a considerably shorter amount of time.

Other Bruxism Treatments

Night guards are a common treatment for bruxism, but it’s not the only option available. Other treatments to help you stop grinding may include:

  • Straightening your teeth with orthodontics
  • Reducing stress
  • Limit caffeine intake

Tooth grinding isn’t something you need to live with. You can get relief and stop through proper treatment from your dentist. If you’re looking for a solution, or suspect you suffer from bruxism, we welcome you to call our Asheboro dental office. We’ll evaluate your individual situation and talk with you about the best treatment for you.

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

smiling male dentistWhether you’re new to the area or just looking for a new dentist, choosing the right practice for yourself and your family can be an intimidating process. It’s important to know that not all dentists will be a good fit for your unique needs. But don’t worry, there’s a practice just for you, and we’d like to help you find it.

Do Your Research

The first step to finding the best dentist in Asheboro for your family is to do a bit of research. Ask friends, family, neighbors, or coworkers who they trust with their dental care. Then, compile a list of each and every one. Consider how close to work or home you’ll want the office to be and hop online to look into the office specifics. What services do they offer? What do their reviews say? Narrow down your list to a few that hit your most important criteria and pick up the phone and call them.

Ask Questions

Once you get someone on the phone, use this opportunity to ask questions and get a feel of the personality of the practice. Some questions you should consider include:

  • How does the dentist keep up with new technology or training?
  • Will my treatment plan and financing options be discussed with me?

Having a conversation with a team member in the office can reveal a lot about the dentist and the practice. The team member should answer pleasantly and be willing to answer any questions you have.  

Schedule An Appointment

Once you think you’re ready to make a commitment to one of the dentists you called, it’s a good idea to make an initial appointment and use that visit as a ‘test’ to make sure that you’re comfortable, that you’re treated well, and that the office is clean. At this visit, you should have the opportunity to meet with the dentist so he or she can get to know about your health history, any concerns you may have, and what your oral health goals are. Your first visit should also include a thorough examination of your teeth and gums, an oral cancer check, and any necessary x-rays.

Searching for a new dentist in Asheboro is no easy task. You’re looking for someone who can treat your family the way you want to be treated and who makes you feel comfortable. And even though there are plenty of dental offices to choose from, following the tips above can help make the search easier and ensure you find the right practice for you.

Of course, if you’d like to visit our Asheboro dental office, we always welcome you to give us a call. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have to help you to find the best dentist for you.

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles, oral health, Prevention.

dentist explains to patientAt our dental office in Asheboro, we’re all about preventive dental care and doing everything we can to keep our patients’ smiles healthy. We also believe in educating our neighbors about oral health. After all, the more you know, the healthier you can be. Check out the top seven things we feel are most important for you to know.

  • There’s more reasons to brush your teeth in the morning besides freshening your breath. As we sleep, mouths tend to become dry, and when there’s a dry mouth, there’s usually bad breath. Your morning brushing routine can help combat the ‘morning breath’ smell, but it’s also helpful in removing plaque that has built up on teeth overnight.
  • Unremoved plaque can lead to tartar. When plaque isn’t removed by properly brushing and flossing everyday, it sticks to teeth and transforms into tartar. Tartar is plaque that has calcified and can only be scraped off through a gentle, yet thorough, cleaning by your Asheboro dentist.
  • Brushing too much or too hard is a real thing. We typically recommend brushing twice a day every day. You should choose a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently brush teeth using a small, circular motion. If you scrub your pearly whites vigorously you may do more harm than good. Rough brushing can damage gums and cause them to recede.
  • Sugar isn’t the only cavity culprit. When we think of cavity causing foods, we naturally blame the sugar packed treats that help quench the sweet tooth in all of us. But sugar isn’t the only thing that feeds bacteria and causes decay. Foods high in starch such as pasta, bread, and crackers are full of carbohydrates. When carbohydrates begin to break down, they’re converted into sugar, and we all know how bad sugar is for teeth.
  • Constant snacking is dangerous for your smile. The more food you ingest daily, the more your teeth are exposed to decay-causing bacteria. As you eat, bacteria in your  mouth also eat. And like all living things, bacteria also eliminate waste. The waste emitted from bacteria is highly acidic. These acids are what attack tooth enamel and cause decay.
  • Dental health can affect overall health. Poor dental health has been linked to several whole-body diseases including increased risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes. To keep both your smile and overall health safe, remember to brush, floss, and receive dental cleanings at least twice a year.
  • It’s not normal if your gums bleed. If you see blood in your sink after brushing or flossing, it’s not something you should ignore. Any sign of bleeding gums could be an indicator of gum disease. Gum disease is a serious condition that could lead to tooth loss and other systemic diseases.

If you have questions about your oral health, or if you’re looking for a new dentist, we welcome you to call our Asheboro dental office to schedule an appointment.

Posted by & filed under oral health, Prevention.

back to school babyNotebooks? Check. Backpack? Check. Pencils? Check. Every parent has their own list of back to school supplies that their child needs to start the school year off on the right foot. No matter what’s on your back to school to do list, our dental office in Asheboro wants to make sure a dental visit is one of them.  

Oral Health is Linked to Overall Health

While there are several reasons children should see their dentist in Asheboro before heading off to their first day of school, perhaps the most important one has more to do with their whole bodies, not just their smiles.

Poor oral health has been linked to several serious diseases including:

These chronic health issues are so common in children that, according to the National Institutes of Health, 20-30% of American children and adolescents suffer from diseases caused by poor oral health. It’s our goal to keep the children in our community healthy, and their regular dental visits can help. Dental cleanings and checkups at least every six months help identify any problems early while they’re easier to treat and before they start to affect the rest of the body.  Cavities can be filled before they cause pain, sealants can be applied to help protect teeth against decay, and gum disease can be treated.

Poor Oral Health Can Affect Grades

Another reason we like to encourage parents to get their children to the dentist prior to beginning school is to help keep kids in school so they can learn. Any dental problem that isn’t caught before the school year begins can cause pain which distracts kids from learning, and even cause children to be absent from class. In fact, a study conducted by the American Journal of Public Health Dentistry concluded that of the six days of school missed each year on average, two of them were because of a dental related issue. In order for children to thrive in school and get good grades, they need to be in school. Seeing a dentist for a clean bill of health can help.

Doing Your Part at Home

Dental checkups at least every six months are only one part of protecting teeth from decay and gums from disease. We also need to practice good oral hygiene habits at home. This means making sure your kids (and you!) are brushing twice a day and flossing once a day.

Looking for a family dentist? Call our Asheboro dental office to schedule an appointment!

Posted by & filed under oral health, Prevention.

woman biting her nailsEven if you brush twice a day, floss each night, and visit our dental office in Asheboro at least twice a year, you may be doing other things that could be damaging your smile… and you may not even know it. Today we’d like to talk about some of the most common smile-damaging habits and offer ways to help you break them.

Brushing Your Teeth

Yes, your dentist in Asheboro just said that brushing your teeth can be causing damage to your smile, but there’s a catch. Brushing your teeth too hard can cause gums to recede. Once the protective gum tissue pulls away from the tooth, you can experience painful sensitivity and, if left untreated, could eventually cause gum disease or even tooth loss. Avoid using a back and forth scrubbing motion and focus on brushing in soft circles. Also, make sure you’re using the right toothbrush for you. Usually a soft bristled brush is best.

Biting Your Nails

This is one of two habits that’s not only dangerous for your oral health, but also your overall health (we’ll get the other one is just a bit). Nail biting can introduce all sorts of bacteria that are hiding under nails into your system. And as we know, bacteria isn’t good and can make us sick. In reference to your oral health, biting your nails can lead to jaw issues as well as tooth damage. The position your jaw is in while nibbling on nails can place unnatural pressure on the joint. Doing this repeatedly over years can result in jaw pain or TMJ/TMD. Nails are also made of a hard material, and hard material doesn’t mix well with teeth. Biting nails can lead to chips or cracks in your teeth. To help you break the habit, try using a bitter-tasting nail polish (it even comes in clear if you’re not into colorful nails) to make putting nails to mouth less appealing.

Smoking or Using Tobacco

We mentioned we’d be talking about another habit that’s both dangerous to oral health and overall health… smoking or any type of tobacco use.. It’s fairly common knowledge that using tobacco can lead to all sorts of health problems, but it can also cause some pretty scary oral health issues. Not only can tobacco in any form cause yellow teeth, it can also increase risk for oral cancer or gum disease, which bring on a whole set of problems of their own. We encourage anyone who uses tobacco to try to quit. We know it’s incredibly hard, but we know you can do it.

Clenching and Grinding

Clenching and grinding teeth typically occurs as a response to stress, but it can also happen subconsciously during sleep. No matter when it happens, the results are usually the same. People who clench or grind their teeth tend to experience jaw pain and suffer from TMJ/TMD. What’s more, damage to teeth or dental restorations can also occur. Most times, relief is found by using a nightguard which keeps the teeth from rubbing together or the user from biting down forcefully.

Even though our Asheboro dental office is all about preventing dental problems before they arise, we know that issues will still occur, sometimes as a result of any of the habits listed above. If you ever encounter a problem with your smile, we always welcome you to give us a call.