Have you ever noticed when the weather is bad your teeth may be more sensitive? This isn’t just because you’re having a bad day, it is actually very common to experience dental pain when it’s the weather is cold, rainy and dreary (like it has been for the past few weeks)! As the weather changes, your teeth can contract and expand in response to the changing temperatures and pressures outside. This can cause pain, similar to when you drink ice cold water and your teeth may feel sensitive. This expanding and contracting, if severe enough, can actually cause tiny cracks to form in your teeth. If you have large fillings, cavities beginning to form, or don’t have healthy oral hygiene you are at even greater risk for these cracks to form. If they get big enough, your enamel can erode and cause dentin, the inner part of your tooth, to be exposed. Dentin contains the nerves of your teeth, so if dentin is exposed you will most likely experience a severe toothache. These tiny cracks will definitely cause the need to have dental treatment in the future.
Another reason your teeth may feel pain during winter is actually from your sinuses! Sinuses are quite close to the root of your tooth, and if you have a stuffy nose or a sinus infection (which is common in the winter time) your sinuses may actually be pushing against the nerve of your tooth and causing pain. Many times this can cause quite severe pain in patients since the nerve is very sensitive, but it may actually not even be a problem with your tooth! After your sinus infection clears up, your tooth may even stop hurting. If it doesn’t, you are most likely dealing with another dental problem related to that tooth and not just your sinuses!
During this cold, rainy, flu-season it’s a great idea to keep an eye out for tooth pain. Does your tooth hurt mostly on rainy, cold days? Or when you wake up congested do you feel extreme pressure in your tooth? Or maybe you even have a toothache all of the time but it gets worse when you drink cold water! Any of these signs may be showing that you have an untreated dental problem that may need to be addressed. At the home page of our website we have a new “dental emergencies” feature. We encourage you to see if your dental problem shows up there and what advice we have for you, and if it’s severe enough to come in to be seen by one of the dentists to see if you need any dental treatment.
Whatever the reason, if you are experiencing dental pain this winter please don’t hesitate to call our office. Many times dental pain will not go away on its own, especially if it is related to the nerve or a cavity, so it is important to come in to see us so that your dental pain does not worsen.
Call us at 859-442-8200.
It’s the start of a new year, new decade, and a new season of opportunities. Whether or not you have made New Year’s Resolution’s in the past, this year we encourage you to make a 2020 resolution to try and better yourself at the start of the new decade. And, as your dental team, we specifically would love to see our patients try a New Year’s Dental Resolution. Oral hygiene is connected to all over body health, and as new research comes out we are finding dental health is even more important than ever before because of its implications in total body health. Additionally, practicing good oral hygiene will also save you money by helping to prevent the need for dental treatments such as fillings. There is no better time than now to start practicing good oral hygiene, and luckily we have a list of potential resolutions for you to try out!
- Floss every single day. If you’re already doing this, start flossing twice a day. If you never floss, try starting every other day and then working your way up to every day. Flossing helps to prevent gum inflammation and diseases such as periodontal disease, and also helps get food and bacteria that was stuck between your teeth out to prevent cavities. Try Dr. Depp’s favorite Cocofloss. It comes in flavors such as strawberry and vanilla and is coated with coconut oil to decrease inflammation in the gums and help the floss slide between your teeth easier.
- Brush twice a day. If you already do this maybe try brushing after lunch as well! Brushing is the best way to get built up bacteria and leftover food off your teeth, and also freshens your breath. This is such an important key to bettering your oral hygiene.
- Purchase a Waterpik water flosser or a Sonicare electronic toothbrush. Proper oral hygiene is so important, and these cool dental tools help make oral hygiene easy, can be more effective than traditional methods, and can help improve your oral hygiene in 2020. We sell both of these products in-office, so stop by to purchase one or both!
- Chew more sugar free gum. Yes, your dental office is telling you to chew gun! Chewing sugar free gum between meals helps to get leftover bacteria off your teeth and actually helps to clean them! Bonus points if you use Xylitol – this tasty sugar-replacement actually helps fight cavity causing bacteria in your mouth as well.
- Start using mouthwash. Mouthwash is a great tool to eliminate extra bacteria in your mouth and freshen breath. However, not all mouthwash is created equal. Make sure to ask your hygienist about good mouthwash options. Add this to your daily routine to improve your oral health!
- Eat less sugar. Sugar is a huge culprit for causing cavities. It sticks to your teeth, eats away at bacteria, causes acid buildup and in turn causes cavities. Try to cut back on the sugar in 2020, you may also experience other benefits from this like losing weight as well!
- Drink more water! Not the bottled waters that may actually have had the good minerals removed and be detrimental to your teeth, but good old-fashioned filtered tap water. If you really want to drink a bottled water, look for those that have a balanced or more “basic” pH. In pH the higher the number the more “basic” the water is. Waters that are in the 7-9 range are better for your teeth.
- Schedule your dental appointment. Whether you’ve been putting off your biannual cleaning for a few months, or have unscheduled treatment that is causing you pain, make it a resolution to call our office and schedule that treatment you’ve been putting off.
We hope this list has inspired you to make a resolution this New Year and to improve your oral health in 2020. Don’t forget to call our office at 859-442-8200 for any questions you may have about your oral health, and to schedule a cleaning to start the new decade with great oral health.
Did you know if you don’t use your dental benefits by the end of this year, you could lose them? With a little under 2 months left in the year, this is your friendly reminder to use those dental benefits now before they run out! Every insurance plan is different and has different benefits, so call your insurance company or our office to figure out what specific benefits are included on your plan. If you haven’t been into our office lately, we also recommend that you make sure you’ve gotten your 2 yearly cleanings and have scheduled any necessary treatment – read further to learn more about dental benefits and how to make the most out of these last few months of 2019.
Preventative cleanings are fully covered by many insurance companies (not all insurance plans cover these cleanings, so call your insurance company to see if your plan includes them) – this usually includes 2 cleanings a year. If you have periodontal disease and require a deeper cleaning, they are not always covered in full, but there is usually some type of discount or amount taken off. If you have only gotten 1 cleaning this year, or none at all, you should definitely call our office and see if you still have unused benefits and schedule another appointment! Not only might you have benefits to cover the appointment, but it is also recommended to get your teeth cleaned twice a year to help prevent cavities and asses your oral health, so it’s very important to get these cleanings to have the healthiest smile possible. Also, by January 1st you could potentially lose whatever benefits you haven’t used, meaning if you haven’t gotten your biannual cleanings yet you should call ASAP to make sure you don’t miss out!
If you have unscheduled treatment, call and set up an appointment to get it done as soon as possible as well. Not only will your dental pain get worse without treatment (which could lead to a larger and more invasive treatment plan), but also you may still have benefits left in your yearly maximum to put towards treatments– if you don’t use it you will lose it! This money does not roll over and may expire January 1 for many insurance plans, so contact our office to figure out what benefits you have left and how to maximize them. Many times, our Doctors are able to help “stage” treatment for you so that you can start back up again in January when benefits renew. We are always here to help you achieve the best oral health possible.
Appointments fill up very quickly during this busy time of the year, so call as soon as possible to make sure you get in before December 31st. We look forward to seeing you soon! Contact us at 859-442-8200
Happy Halloween! Even though we are a dentist’s office (sugar, candy, cavities, oh no!) we actually love Halloween time! So, instead of discussing the hazards of candy and the potential for cavities, we are going to provide a list of some healthy treat options to pass out on Halloween! We will include some sugar free options and also some healthier alternatives to hard, chewy sticky candy so that you can have the healthiest Halloween possible this year!
1. TOYS! – most kids love toys. While everyone else is passing out the same 10 types of candy, at your door mix it up. Kids love slime, sticky hands, bouncy balls and temporary tattoos. This will keep children busy, won’t get them all hyper from sugar and will last more than one day! Dentists and parents will thank you!
2. Snack Treats – this is always a fun treat I loved to receive, like spooky shaped pretzels, gold fish, snack bars and crackers. These treats are fun because kids can take them to school in their lunch box and they’re a healthy alternative to sticky, sugary, gooey candy.
3. Coupons – I know when I was younger Frisch’s Big Boys and Wendys used to have coupon booklets that people could buy and pass out on Halloween. What a great idea! I’d much rather have a Wendy’s Frosty than a Laffy Taffy anyway!
4. Candy with Xylitol – many companies have started making ‘healthy candy’ with xylitol and low sugar. Xylitol actually cleans children’s teeth instead of causing cavities, and the low sugar content will prevent hyper children on “sugar-highs”. At our office we purchase Dr. Scholl’s candy – a line of sugar-free, Xylitol candies that you can buy on Amazon including everything from lollipops to chocolate and they taste amazing!
5. Candy – if you can’t break from tradition and love candy, we have some tips for how you can make it healthy. First of all, look for candies with real fruit juice that have no added sugar, these are much better than artificial sugar-packed treats. Candies with nuts or nut-butters are a great idea and tend to be healthier, although with so many nut allergies you have to be careful with this and provide nut-free options too. Another option would be to opt for dark chocolate instead of regular chocolate – dark chocolate has been found to have more nutrients and benefits than regular chocolate.
No matter what you pass out, we wish you and your family a Happy Halloween and encourage you to brush and floss your teeth very well for the next few weeks to prevent cavities and don’t forget to schedule your biannual cleaning with our office to ensure your smile is healthy and cavity-free! Call our office at 859-442-8200; the end of the year is filling up fast!
September 29this officially one of our favorite days – it’s National Coffee Day! You may be wondering why your dental office cares enough about coffee to write a blog on it – well let us be the first to tell you that this delicious drink has a “dark side” when it comes to dental health.
The Bright Side
Let’s start out with the positives. It improves your energy! Coffee contains caffeine, which is usually why we all drink it – to get a boost of energy in the morning. Coffee also improves your metabolism, meaning it may be able to help with weight loss, and it contains many beneficial, essential nutrients, including Vitamin B2, B3 and B5, manganese and potassium. It can also lower your risk for certain diseases and is extremely high in antioxidants. So, what’s the problem? Keep reading to find out.
The Dark Side
From a dental standpoint, one of the most negative downfalls of coffee is that it stains your teeth! One cup a day will cause your teeth to gradually yellow because minerals in coffee stick to your teeth and cause them to darken. Coffee is also considered a mildly acidic drink; when you drink it and it sticks to your teeth it can actually erode away your enamel and create cavities. Of course it also causes stinky coffee breath, which isn’t very pleasant.
Avoiding the Downfalls
The best way to avoid the downfalls of coffee is to never drink it – unfortunately many of us rely on this drink in the morning to start our day right and quitting it is not an option. So, here are some tips for those coffee-addicted people like most of us. The first tip is simple – drink coffee through a straw. Drinking coffee through a straw will ensure that the coffee barely even touches your front teeth, preventing staining and not allowing as much bacteria to build up. Another tip is to drink water during/after you drink coffee. This will help rinse away extra bacteria and liquid that can cause staining and cavities. Chewing sugar free gum after coffee can help prevent bad breath and also clean some of the bacteria from the teeth too. Also, it is best to avoid brushing your teeth right after you drink coffee. Since coffee is acidic, if you brush your teeth directly after your coffee you will be scrubbing the acid into your teeth and actually causing more damage than helping them!
Go out and get yourself a special cup of coffee this year on National Coffee Day, and follow these tips to protect yourself from damage all year! If you feel as though you are experiencing some negative effects from coffee-drinking, call our office and schedule an appointment! Our thorough dentists can help treat existing decay, protect your teeth from cavities, and we offer a variety of whitening treatments to reverse the yellowing effect of coffee as well! Visit our website at www.dentalblu.com to see a list of our whitening options, or call our office at 859-442-8200!
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