Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

woman with clear dental alignerIt seems like every day there’s a new option for patients to straighten their smiles at home or on their own with mail-order orthodontics. But are they safe? Are they effective? Are they worth the discounted prices compared to more traditional orthodontics? Your dentist in Asheboro will be the first to tell you that if you or someone in your family needs a straighter smile, you should rely on professional help!

There are plenty of reasons why your smile care should always stay in the hands of a dedicated, educated, and caring professional. Here are three of the biggest reasons to avoid do-it-yourself orthodontics at home.

Reason #1 – There’s Damage to Be Done

Undergoing any orthodontic treatment should be taken seriously. You need someone in the driver’s seat who knows the route you want to take so that you can avoid an unnecessary accident down the road. The clear aligner treatments you see advertised on TV and online rely on a dental impression that you create at home. If there are any flaws or mistakes in that impression, your treatment could completely change your smile in a not-so-good way. You could have bite problems down the road, including chipping or breaking teeth.

Reason #2 – Aligners Might Not Work for You

Every person is different, and so are their smiles. There are so many ways to achieve a healthy, more confident smile thanks to all of the advancements in dentistry and orthodontics. Mail-order kits can only offer you clear aligner therapy. You’re taking a big chance on whether it’s going to work for your smile. When you see a trusted dental health professional like your Asheboro dentist, they can help you choose an orthodontic solution that’s right for you. Read the reviews associated with the mail-order or DIY aligners.. some people say it made their smile and bite worse!

Reason #3 – It Could Cost You More in the Long Run

So, you’re super excited about your DIY aligner therapy. You’re saving some money by doing it all on your own. You get the kit. Make your impressions. Receive your aligners. You go through the process. Unfortunately, your teeth take a turn for the worse and the next thing you know — your bite isn’t right. If you choose DIY orthodontics, there’s a chance it could harm and not improve your smile. When that happens, you could face more costly, lengthy orthodontic treatment, or maybe even surgery. We’ll have to repair the damage that’s been done and then find the right treatment to set things straight. 

Whatever the reason you’re trying to straighten your smile, everyone at our Asheboro dental office is here for you. Don’t let the ads fool you. Talk to us before doing anything to your teeth. We can find a sensible, affordable solution for patients of all ages. 

Posted by & filed under Cosmetic Dentistry.

dental veneersThanks to the internet, we can now buy basically anything we want in just a few clicks and have it delivered right to our front door. Unfortunately, this mindset of buying things online has made its way into the dental world, and patients can purchase anything from teeth whitening kits to at-home orthodontics and DIY dental veneers without ever seeing their dentist in Asheboro. Today, we want to talk about some of the problems with DIY veneers and why you should think twice before adding these temporary appliances to your shopping cart. 

What Are DIY Veneers?

DIY veneers are dental appliances that anyone can buy online. They’re often made from cheaper materials and are designed to give users a temporary new smile. DIY veneers are usually affixed to natural teeth through a dental adhesive. Some brands may require patients to take and mail-in molds of their teeth prior to creating the appliance while other brands do not. 

Disadvantages of DIY Veneers

We understand that the lower price tag can make DIY veneers attractive to someone looking to improve the appearance of their smile. However, our dental team in Asheboro encourages anyone considering DIY veneers to read these disadvantages before buying. 

  • Temporary – DIY veneers are only meant to be worn occasionally, and some patients can only tolerate them for a few hours at a time. Additionally, the materials used in many DIY veneers are of low quality. This means it’s highly likely that multiple sets will need to be purchased over time. So while the lower price tag may have had its appeal at first, the fact that patients only get short periods of an improved appearance can quickly counteract any savings. 
  • Not Custom – Unlike professional veneers from your dentist in Asheboro, DIY veneers are not truly custom — even the brands that require molds of your teeth aren’t really custom. There’s nobody to take the size of your natural teeth or mouth into consideration and nobody to monitor how the device fits in your mouth. This often results in an uncomfortable fit and an unflattering appearance.
  • Bite Problems – A bigger concern of using DIY veneers relates to how they can affect the rest of your mouth, specifically your bite. If the appliance is uncomfortable or doesn’t fit correctly, patients tend to unknowingly adjust their bite or put unnecessary strain on their teeth and jaw joints. This can cause pain and, over time, problems with the TMJ/TMD. 
  • Decay – Another problem that can occur from an ill-fitting DIY veneer appliance is decay. If there are any spaces between the appliance, the glue, and the natural teeth, it gives food particles and bacteria the perfect place to hide and cause damage. The longer the food pieces of bacteria are left to linger, the more likely a patient is to get a cavity or severe decay.  

You don’t need to rely on a cheap and concerning DIY dental appliance that you can buy online. There are many different forms of cosmetic dentistry available to fix any problem you may have. If you’re unhappy with any aspect of your smile, do yourself and favor and call your Asheboro dentist to set up a consultation. It’s the best way to make sure you get a truly custom, permanent solution that you’ll be happy with. 

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

fluoride conceptWhen it comes to the oral health of you and your family, you may have heard about the importance of fluoride. You may have also heard a few arguments against it. At our dental office in Asheboro, we want to take the opportunity to talk a little bit about fluoride, what it is, why it’s crucial for our smiles, and yes, even discuss a few risks. 

What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral that’s found in nature, specifically in soil, water, plants, and the air we breathe. In the world of dentistry, fluoride is used to help strengthen tooth enamel and protect teeth against decay and cavities. It can also help repair early decay caused by demineralization. 

Demineralization occurs when acids from bacteria and foods linger around and actually begin to eat away at the protective layer of enamel. But enamel isn’t the only thing affected during demineralization. Our teeth can also lose minerals such as calcium, phosphate, and fluoride. These minerals are essential to keeping our teeth tough and strong to fight off decay…  so it’s important to replace them either through the foods we eat or from fluoride treatments from your Asheboro dentist

Who Should Get Fluoride?

When you think of fluoride, you may assume that it’s only important for kids. But nearly everyone’s smile can benefit from fluoride. Your dentist in Asheboro will most likely recommend that both you and your children receive a fluoride treatment at every dental appointment to help build strong teeth and protect against cavities. These treatments are typically either a varnish, foam, or gel that are applied in the dental office. 

Where to Get Fluoride?

Besides having your dental team apply a fluoride treatment, there are other ways you can help your teeth get enough fluoride. Most public water supplies have added fluoride, and it can be found in some foods you eat. There’s also fluoride in many kinds of toothpaste and mouthwash. Fluoride supplements are also available and may be recommended if you don’t have fluoridated water or if you need an extra boost of fluoride. 

Is Fluoride Safe?

Fluoride is safe for children and adults in recommended amounts, which will vary based on things such as risk, need, and age. However, fluoride can be hazardous if it’s used too much. This risk is extremely low as it’s extremely difficult to expose yourself to dangerous levels of fluoride through fluoridated water, toothpaste, and fluoride treatments from your dentist. A good rule of thumb is to remember to always follow your dentist’s recommendations, don’t swallow toothpaste or mouthwash, and monitor children’s brushing habits at home. 

If you’re unsure if fluoride is right for you or your family, or if you have questions about fluoride, we welcome you to call our Asheboro dental office and schedule a visit. We’re here to help!

Posted by & filed under Dental Hygiene, oral health, Prevention.

dental flossWhen it comes to great oral health, you’ll often hear your dentist in Asheboro talk a lot about proper brushing and the importance of doing it every day. But there’s a good chance your dental team also talks to you about why you should be flossing every day. And with good reason.  Flossing greatly lowers your risk of developing cavities or gum disease, and if you don’t floss, you miss out on cleaning about 35% of your teeth! So today, we’d like to cover some of the different types of dental floss available so you can find the one that’s best for you. 

Traditional Floss

The tried and true traditional string floss is probably the most commonly used floss out there. It’s been tested and proven time and again to effectively remove plaque buildup in-between teeth and up under the gum line, allowing for healthier mouths overall. There are many positives to using traditional floss including: 

  • It’s compact and easy to store or travel with
  • It works 
  • It’s pretty cheap

But traditional floss doesn’t come without cons. Some people find this type of floss difficult or cumbersome to use and, therefore, don’t get a very thorough cleaning. Younger children or those with limited use of their hands or fingers may have trouble effectively using traditional floss and should seek an alternative. 

Floss Picks

Individuals who may have trouble using traditional floss may choose to try floss picks. These plastic picks can be easier to use and are still convenient to store and pack in your travel bag. Floss picks use a threaded piece of floss in between two sturdy posts; this eliminates the need to wind loose floss around your fingers and work to fit them into the back of your mouth. However, many times more than one floss pick will be needed for each flossing session so you may go through your supplies faster than traditional floss. 

Water Flosser

The most high-tech flossing option is an electric water flosser. These devices are highly effective at removing plaque and bacteria safely and gently. They can even help decrease time spent flossing. The truth is, your dentist in Asheboro is probably a big fan of using a water flosser. But again, they may not be the right fit for everyone. They are electric, which does require them to be plugged in or charged regularly, and they can also be pretty big so they’re not the most convenient thing to store. Lastly, water flossers are more expensive than traditional floss or floss picks. 

The most important thing to remember when choosing the best dental floss for you is to make sure you pick an option that you’ll use. If you need some guidance on finding the type of floss that will work best for your oral health, as well as your comfort, talk with your dentist in Asheboro

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

kids swimmingSwimming pools may seem like an odd thing for your dentist in Asheboro to talk about, but besides being a long-time summer favorite and a relaxing escape from the heat, swimming pools may actually pose an unwanted threat to your teeth. Now, before you forego all pools this summer (trust us, we don’t want that!), let’s take a look at just how and why pool water may be dangerous for your smile.

Pool Water & Your Oral Health

It’s worth noting that not all pool water is dangerous pool water. But it is important to talk about the pool water that can be a threat to your oral health. The problem with pool water and your oral health arises when the pH falls below an acceptable safe range (usually 7.2 and 7.8). When the pH is too low, pool water can actually become acidic. That’s where the problem lies. Acidic pool water can not only cause burning eyes and skin irritation, but it can also contribute to enamel erosion and tooth discoloration

The Importance of Tooth Enamel

Tooth enamel is the incredibly tough outer layer of teeth and protects our pearly whites from decay, bacteria, and sensitivity. While tooth enamel is incredibly strong, it can become damaged over time. Often, either brushing too hard or exposing your teeth to too much acid are the main causes behind enamel erosion. This includes prolonged exposure to acidic pool water. 

What are the Signs of a Problem?

The most immediate signs that your pool water’s pH is too low are burning eyes and irritated skin. But over time you may begin to notice damage to your smile, including increased sensitivity caused by the tooth roots becoming exposed, or little brown spots known as swimmer’s calculus. If you notice any of these signs, call your dentist in Asheboro to schedule an appointment

Who’s At Risk?

Many times a casual swimmer won’t experience the damages of pool water, but the more time spent in a pool, the risk increases. In fact, according to a study of competitive swimmers conducted in the 1980’s, nearly 40% of them had some level of enamel erosion.

Protecting Your Smile

One of the best ways to protect your smile is, of course, to brush and floss properly and see your dentist in Asheboro regularly. But when it comes to protecting your smile against the potential dangers of pool water, make sure to test your water’s pH regularly and try your best to keep pool water out of your mouth as much as possible.

Posted by & filed under oral health, Prevention, Wisdom Teeth.

wisdom teethWisdom teeth can be a pesky problem, whether they need to be removed or not. While there are times when your dentist in Asheboro may suggest keeping wisdom teeth around, it’s most common to have wisdom teeth removed. In fact, over 90% of Americans have their wisdom teeth removed. So when can they stay and when do they have to go?  

Reasons Wisdom Teeth Need to be Extracted

There’s No Room For Them

The top reason wisdom teeth need to be removed is that there’s no more room in your mouth for four more teeth. If this is happening, your dental team will be able to identify it early through dental x-rays. When there’s simply not enough room for your wisdom teeth, extraction will be recommended. If treatment is not completed and the teeth start to erupt, a whole host of issues can occur including overcrowding, crookedness, and jaw pain. Your wisdom teeth may also become impacted, which is just a way to say that the teeth become stuck. Once wisdom teeth are impacted, the surgery is a bit more complicated but still fairly easy.

Proper Care Becomes Difficult

If you’re one of the rare cases where your wisdom teeth grow in straight and healthy, your Asheboro dentist may still recommend having them removed. This is to prevent additional problems such as cavities and gum disease in the future. You see, wisdom teeth are way in the back of the mouth and are very difficult to brush and floss properly. This can cause bacteria and plaque build-up, which will put you at an increased risk of decay.

When Don’t Wisdom Teeth Need to be Removed?

Even though 90% of Americans need to have their wisdom teeth out, there are a few cases when wisdom teeth grow in just fine. If your wisdom teeth have enough room to fully erupt without disrupting the neighboring teeth and you’re not having trouble taking care of them, you may just be able to keep them. Remember, your dental team will continue to monitor their health to make sure they’re still ok where they are, and that your mouth and smile are staying healthy.

Seeing your dentist regularly is the best way to determine whether or not you should have your wisdom teeth removed. If you think you may need to have your wisdom teeth checked out, give our Asheboro dental office a call to schedule an appointment today.

Posted by & filed under Gum Disease, oral health, Prevention.

examining gums with mirrorYour dental care isn’t only about your teeth. Your gums also play a key role in not only the health of your mouth but also the health of your body. At our dental office in Asheboro, we care for your entire mouth and are always on the lookout for gum disease. Gum disease is a serious infection that can lead to concerns with your overall health and, of course, your oral health.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is an infection within the gum tissue. You may have heard gum disease referred to as periodontal disease, gingivitis, or periodontitis. While these are all gum disease, they do not all mean the same thing.

  • Periodontal disease – Periodontal disease is the technical name for gum disease. While there are different stages of gum disease, the term periodontal disease essentially refers to gum disease in general.   
  • Gingivitis – Gingivitis is the term used for early-stage periodontal disease. During this time, you may not be able to recognize the symptoms. In that case, your gum disease may go untreated and get progressively worse. If that happens, your gums are harder to treat, and your teeth and overall health can be at serious risk.
  • Periodontitis – Periodontitis is used to describe gum disease that has progressed into a more severe stage. This happens when bacteria spreads below the gum line. Your gums may become irritated or inflamed and can cause the gum tissue to weaken. This can cause loose teeth or even the loss of one or more teeth.

How Does Gum Disease Affect the Body?

The bacteria in gum disease can cause various health issues throughout the body. Numerous studies have shown that gum disease has been linked to serious medical conditions and diseases including:

Early diagnosis and treatment of gum disease can help keep your body protected from these serious health concerns. This is one reason you should see your dentist in Asheboro regularly.

What Are the Signs of Gum Disease?

  • Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing
  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
  • Receding gums
  • Loose or shifting teeth

If you’ve noticed any signs of gum disease if you’re due for a dental checkup, we welcome you to call our Asheboro dental office as soon as possible. We’re here to keep your mouth, and your body, healthy.

Posted by & filed under Cosmetic Dentistry.

smiling womanAre you looking for a Asheboro dentist who can help you with your cosmetic dentistry needs? We hope you’ll take a minute to read this blog packed full of tips you can use to boost your knowledge about cosmetic dentistry and what kind of treatments are available today. We’ve put together some simple steps you can take to get started today.

Step 1: Ask yourself: “Will cosmetic dentistry give me my perfect smile?”

Just like the title of this blog suggests, it’s a good idea to really take an internal audit of your goals and feelings about cosmetic dentistry and what it can do for you. Do you often look at yourself and your teeth in the mirror and not like what you see? Are your teeth noticeably discolored or chipped and it embarrasses you? Do you have a broken or missing tooth that you’ve been putting off having fixed? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it might be a good idea to consider talking to a dentist in Asheboro who can review your candidacy for a cosmetic transformation.

Step 2: Do your homework and know your cosmetic dentist.

The search for a cosmetic dentist doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Just be sure to check out a dentist’s website to get an idea of their office culture and credentials. You can always browse through before and after photos, read reviews, and check doctor bios for training and expertise.

Step 3: Decide what you’d like to change about your teeth.

What’s the one thing that bothers you the most about your smile? Is it the gaps between your teeth? Is it the staining from drinking too much coffee or tea? Are you just looking for a little boost to your confidence now that you’re finally able to enjoy life without a house full of kids? Whatever one of these questions resonate with you, just know there’s a cosmetic dentistry solution that will work for you. It’s just about finding out what treatment or procedures are going to give you the results you’ve been dreaming about.

Step 4: Research your possible treatment options.

There’s no surefire way to tell if you’re an ideal candidate for a cosmetic dentistry transformation until you see your dentist for a consultation. With all of the advancements in dental care today, there are so many options you can choose from to stay within your budget and exceed your goals. Some of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures performed across the country include veneers, whitening, crowns, bonding, recontouring, and more.

We hope you were able to learn a little something about cosmetic dentistry and how to get started in pursuing a change for your smile. If you’re considering cosmetic dentistry, we hope you set aside some time to check out our Asheboro dental office. No matter how small or how big your dental needs may be, we’re ready to answer your questions and take the next step towards a beautiful, functional smile, and results you’ve always wanted.

Posted by & filed under oral health, Prevention.

pregnant woman brushing teethThere are so many new questions and complications that can arise when you find out you’re expecting a little one. It’s such a beautiful time and moment in an expectant mother’s life, and we want you to be able to relax and enjoy all of the positive sides of pregnancy. Your Asheboro dentist doesn’t want you to worry about taking care of your smile, no matter if you’re an existing patient or someone new who is looking for a dental family they can trust.

Let’s explore some of the dental-related questions or concerns some pregnant women seem to struggle with. We’ll show you how everything is going to be alright, no matter what your smile needs to stay healthy during pregnancy.

Helpful Tip #1 – Blame Your Hormones

One of the first things that happens when a pregnancy begins to develop is your hormones get all out of whack thanks to rising and falling levels of both estrogen and progesterone. In about half of all pregnant women, there’s a risk of developing something referred to as “pregnancy-related gingivitis”, according to the American Dental Association. It causes pain, swelling, tenderness, and excessive bleeding in your gums. Your dentist in Asheboro can always take a look at your gums and bleeding to determine a plan of action. Sometimes we recommend more frequent cleanings, and sometimes the issue clears up on its own.

Helpful Tip #2 – Take Additional Steps to Protect Your Teeth from Acid Erosion

Sickness and vomiting during pregnancy are one of the most common side effects that most women tend to experience early on in their pregnancy. When you get sick, excess stomach acid can eat away at your tooth enamel leading to decay. Remember these helpful tips you can use at home to help protect your teeth from acid:

  1. Rinse with water – Swish some water around in your mouth following a bout of morning sickness to remove some of the acid from your teeth.
  2. Wait an hour – Wait at least an hour before brushing after you’re sick. Rinse with water in the meantime. The acid may weaken enamel, and brushing can scratch the enamel and lead to decay.  
  3. Keep drinking water – The more water you drink, the lower the acidity level in your mouth will be.
  4. Smear on toothpaste – Putting a dollop of toothpaste on your finger and rubbing it on your teeth can further protect them against acid.
  5. Use a tongue scraper – After you get sick, if you take a tongue scraper across your tongue, you can successfully remove some of the acid that may stick around on the tongue and then transfer to the teeth.

Helpful Tip #3 – Don’t Ignore Your Oral and Overall Health Connection

You might have heard at our Asheboro dental office about how closely your mouth is connected to the rest of your body. It can act as a mirror for underlying medical conditions present elsewhere in your body. This is why not one but three of some of the country’s most respected dental/medical organizations (the American Dental Association, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Academy of Pediatrics) encourage every mother to see the dentist, especially during the earlier phases and stages of your pregnancy. It’s important to address any issues early for improved health for you and your baby.

By now, you probably know how crucial it is to see your Asheboro dentist throughout your pregnancy along with maintaining your brushing and flossing routine at home. No matter where you are in the course of your pregnancy, we hope you’ll give us a call to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about your smile health. We’ll be here to help you every step of the way on your beautiful pregnancy journey!

Posted by & filed under oral health, Prevention.

dentist examines x-rayYour tooth is throbbing, and you’re in a lot of pain. It’s unlike any pain you’ve ever felt before, and it’s definitely worse than a typical toothache. What could be going on? You may have an infection called an abscess. Besides the pain, the team at our dental office in Asheboro wants you to know other signs that could indicate an abscessed tooth.

What Exactly is An Abscessed Tooth?

Before we launch into some of the usual signs and symptoms of an abscessed tooth, let’s take a closer look at what it is. An abscessed tooth is a deep tooth infection that has spread into the root. The infection begins inside the tooth in an area known as the pulp chamber. The pulp chamber houses the tooth’s nerves. As the infection grows, it moves into the root and eventually the bone. This will cause severe pain.

Signs of an Abscess

We already know that pain is a warning sign of a problem. But there are a few other symptoms that could help you identify whether the pain is caused by an abscess such as:

  • A dark, discolored tooth
  • Increased pain when pressure is applied
  • Swelling on the gums that resembles a pimple
  • A bad taste in the mouth
  • Swelling of the jaw or face

While pain is usually the most recognized sign of an abscess, there are times when an abscessed tooth doesn’t hurt or show any of the symptoms above. In those cases, an abscess is typically diagnosed by your dentist in Asheboro at a routine appointment through dental x-rays.

What Causes an Abscess?

There’s no one single thing that causes a tooth abscess. Many times an abscess forms from an untreated cavity and when the decay seeps into the pulp chamber. An abscess can also be caused by a tooth injury or injury to the mouth, prior dental treatment such as a root canal, crown, or filling, or from too much tooth grinding or repeated clenching.

How to Prevent an Abscess?

The best way to protect yourself from an abscess is by taking good care of your teeth and overall oral health. This means brushing and flossing every day and maintaining regular visits to your dentist in Asheboro at least every six months.

Tooth pain, and especially pain caused by an abscess, can take its toll on you. If you’re experiencing any pain or signs of an abscessed tooth, call our dental office in Asheboro as soon as you can. The earlier you seek help, the more successful treatment can be.