Archive for September, 2019

Tips for Coping with Sensitive Teeth

If you feel a sharp pain in your teeth when you sip on hot coffee or drink cold water, then you are familiar with the distinctive discomfort that sensitive teeth can cause. Sensitive teeth are usually caused by erosion of the hard tooth enamel, which exposes the softer dentin underneath. Dentin is full of tiny holes containing sensitive nerve endings, which respond to triggers like hot and cold. Fortunately, you don’t have to continue suffering with sensitive teeth. With a little help from your dentist along with the following tips, you can restore your teeth and reduce the discomfort of tooth sensitivity. 

Use the right toothpaste.

Regular brushing with toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth can help to shore up the tooth enamel and reduce sensitivity. These types of toothpastes contain the active ingredient potassium nitrate in addition to fluoride, and this will eventually help block off openings in the dentin where nerves are exposed. Additionally, you may need to change up your toothbrush and brushing habits. When you brush, do not scrub aggressively. Instead, make gentle circles without applying heavy pressure, and always be sure to use a soft-bristled brush. 

Talk to your dentist about tooth grinding. 

If your tooth sensitivity is accompanied by headaches and jaw pain, then tooth grinding may be to blame. Since tooth grinding typically takes place during sleep, you might not know you do it until your dentist spots the signs. To put a stop to grinding your teeth, your dentist may prescribe a mouthguard to wear at night. The dentist may also be able to apply coatings to the teeth to desensitize them. 

Stay away from acidic foods and drinks. 

Many people think of sugar as the natural enemy of the teeth, but acid can actually do the most damage on its own. Acidic foods and beverages can cause the enamel to erode, so you may need to cut down on sodas, wine, coffee, and certain fruits. If you do consume acidic foods and drinks, wait at least an hour to brush your teeth after, since the combination of acid and brushing can do even more damage to the enamel. 

At the office of Dr. John R. Carson, DDS, you will find exceptional care for your smile with solutions for everything from tooth sensitivity to sleep apnea. To schedule an appointment in our Tucson dentist’s office, call (520) 514-7203. 

How to Help Your Children Maintain Good Dental Hygiene in the Busy Back to School Season

When school starts back up, it can be a challenge just to get everyone dressed and out the door each morning. However, there are some parts of your routine that shouldn’t go by the wayside just because schedules are fuller this time of year. Dental hygiene, for example, should remain a priority, especially for kids who are just getting the hang of regular brushing and flossing. Here are some tips for helping your children keep their teeth and gums healthy as they go back to school this year. 

Schedule Check-Ups for the Whole Family

A visit to the dentist’s office at the start of the school year can help your child remember the importance of daily brushing and flossing. If he or she has been brushing and flossing well, then the results of that effort will show with a cavity free smile. Celebrating this achievement is good motivation to keep up that effort. Alternatively, any cavities or signs of gum disease might be motivation to start the school year with better habits. 

Make Dental Hygiene Part of the Daily Routine 

Having a written schedule for the household can help reduce hecticness in the morning and keep things running smoothly each school day. Remember to include time to brush teeth in the morning schedule and make it a priority each night before going to bed. If your kids are younger, you might set a good example by brushing your teeth and flossing with them each day. 

Pack Healthy Snacks in School Lunches 

Your child’s diet can have a profound impact on his or her oral health. Your child’s school lunches are the perfect way to sneak in some extra nutrition. For example, apple slices can be a great substitute for a sugary dessert, and they will actually help to scrub the teeth clean after lunch. Other healthy options include whole grain crackers, veggie sticks, and yogurt. 

At the office of Dr. John R. Carson, DDS, you can find dental care for the whole family. Call our friendly Tucson dental practice at (520) 514-7203 to schedule cleanings and checkups for you and your children. 

When to Consider Replacing Your Metal Fillings with Composite Fillings

Today’s composite resin fillings have numerous advantages over their metal counterparts of the past. They are aesthetically pleasing with a color that blends into the natural teeth, and they only take a few minutes to bond to the tooth and harden. Furthermore, they can minimize drilling into the tooth, since the resin is able to take any shape and form fit to the remaining tooth structure. 

With so many advantages in composite fillings, you might think that it’s ideal to replace any metal fillings with updated composite ones. However, this isn’t necessary for everyone. Replacing a metal filling when it is still in good condition can do more harm to the teeth than good. But, if you have any of the following concerns, you can benefit from visiting the dentist to talk about replacing your metal fillings. 

Your tooth has become fractured. 

Metal amalgam fillings are commonly associated with tiny fractures in the teeth, which can weakens the tooth and can allow bacteria to invade the inner structure of the tooth. Composite resin fillings bond to the tooth rather than simply sit on top of or wedged in it. 

Your tooth has decayed further. 

Because of the way metal fillings sit on top of or wedged in the tooth, eventually saliva, food particles, and bacteria may make their way in through any small gaps. This can cause further tooth decay, which may require a new composite filling or replacement of the whole tooth when cavities are larger. 

For modern, comfortable dental care in Tucson, schedule a consultation with Dr. John R. Carson, DDS. Dr. Carson blends both art and science in our restorative and cosmetic dental services, which can give your teeth a new life. To make an appointment in our dental office where you can discuss your options for updating metal amalgam fillings, call (520) 514-7203.

Why a Waterpik Can’t Replace Daily Flossing

Water flossers like the Waterpik have become a popular addition to dental hygiene routines, often because they are recommended by dentists and other healthcare professionals. However, it’s important to recognize that a Waterpik is not intended to replace your daily flossing. Instead, it should be used to improve your flossing routine, allowing deeper cleaning and gingivitis prevention.

Water flossers cannot clean as closely as traditional floss.

Many people believe that a water flosser is simply the next generation in dental floss, offering the same results as normal flossing. But water flossers cannot achieve the same close contact with the teeth as traditional floss, which helps to remove film and bacterial buildup that causes gum disease and tooth decay. Water flossers can help remove food particles, and they can also help to reduce bacteria beneath the gum line.

Water flossers should supplement your flossing routine. 

Because water flossers can improve the results of flossing, they can be a great investment for your oral hygiene routine. While you may have a clean feeling in your mouth after using a water flosser, there can still be film and plaque that remains between the teeth. However, a Waterpik can get into places that regular floss cannot while massaging the gum tissue, so the two combined will provide the best results. If you have difficulty flossing with regular floss, you may find that floss holders and other assistive devices can help you maneuver the floss more easily. 

If you are unsure about your dental hygiene routine, scheduling an appointment with Dr. John R. Carson, DDS can help you get back on track. Our Tucson dental office provides comfortable, personalized care for patients of all ages. Call us at (520) 514-7203 or visit our website to schedule an appointment for your next dental cleaning and exam.