Archive for October, 2019

Why the Dental Office Doesn’t Have to Be Scary

If the thought of going to the dentist makes you nervous, you’re certainly not alone. Plenty of people struggle with dental anxiety. Sometimes, it can be severe enough to make a person delay getting needed dental treatments. Unfortunately, the longer you put off going to the dentist, the worse your oral health will get. Plus, you’ll be more likely to require more intensive treatments. Instead, try these strategies for conquering your dental anxiety.

Explain your concerns and discuss your past experiences.

The first step in overcoming dental anxiety is to talk with the staff about it. Dental professionals often work with patients who struggle with this problem. The more they know about your specific concerns, the better they can help you. You might want to mention whether you’ve previously had a bad experience in the dentist’s chair. You should also discuss any effective coping strategies you’ve used in the past. In addition, explain if there is anything specific that makes you nervous, such as the sound of the drill, the prospect of discomfort, or the bright lights in your eyes. The dental team may be able to make modifications that can help.

Collaborate on coping strategies.

The dental team can suggest coping strategies that may help you. There may be headphones available, for example, or you can bring your own. You should also feel free to let the dentist know when you need a break. Simply raise your hand to alert the hygienist or dentist.

Ask about sedation dentistry services.

When drug-free coping strategies aren’t sufficient, patients might want to consider sedation dentistry. This refers to the use of inhaled, oral, or intravenous medications. There are different levels of sedation. Your dentist can tailor your experience to suit your specific needs.

At the office of John R. Carson, DDS, we work with patients with dental anxiety. We’ll go the extra mile to optimize your comfort and peace of mind throughout your entire appointment, and we always welcome questions and feedback. Call us in Tucson at (520) 514-7203 to schedule an appointment, and be sure to ask us about our sedation dentistry services!

Tooth Whitening After-Care Tips to Know

While over-the-counter (OTC) teeth whitening products may be popular, they won’t give you results as impressive as those you’ll get at a dentist’s office. Professional teeth whitening can lighten your teeth by several shades in just one quick visit! Plus, you’ll receive all of the post-whitening after-care tips you need to know, including the following.

Practice good oral hygiene.

Dentists always recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. However, after you have your teeth whitened, it’s particularly important to practice good oral hygiene to preserve your results. For at least the first 24 hours, you should brush your teeth gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush after each time you eat or drink something other than water.

Avoid smoking cigarettes.

The use of cigarettes or chewing tobacco will stain your teeth and ruin the results from your whitening appointment. Many patients who have recently quit smoking decide to schedule a teeth whitening treatment. This is a great way to reward your remarkable accomplishment! However, make sure that you don’t give into your cravings afterward, as the tobacco will stain your teeth a yellowish-brown color. Consider talking to your doctor about using safe, FDA-approved nicotine replacement products, such as the patch.

Exercise caution while consuming pigmented foods and beverages.

Pigmented foods and beverages will stain your pearly whites. Some dentists recommend sticking only to non-pigmented foods for at least the first 24 hours after a whitening appointment. Some examples of food you can eat include cauliflower, white potatoes, bananas, vanilla yogurt, and pasta with a white cheese sauce. Some examples of highly pigmented foods include berries, marinara sauce, red wine, soy sauce, tea, and coffee.

If you desire a dazzling smile you’re proud to show off, schedule a teeth whitening appointment at the cosmetic dentistry office of John R. Carson, DDS. We offer in-office whitening and professional-grade take-home kits for your convenience. You can reach us in Tucson at (520) 514-7203 to schedule your visit.

Should You Schedule Dental Work While You’re Pregnant?

There are many things that are off-limits during pregnancy for the sake of the baby’s health and proper development. However, preventive dentistry isn’t one of them. In fact, dentists strongly recommend that women who are pregnant or planning to be should schedule a professional cleaning and exam. Here’s why dental care is essential during your pregnancy.

Preventive dentistry is essential during pregnancy.

Pregnancy increases the risk of gum disease. This is because expecting mothers have major fluctuations in hormone levels. The extra hormones can cause the gum tissue to become swollen, which readily traps food particles and bacteria. This can lead to gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease. Gum disease is dangerous even for patients who are not pregnant, since it can lead to tooth loss. However, for women who are pregnant, gum disease is particularly hazardous, as it may increase the risk of preterm births and low birth weight. Visit your dentist for preventive cleanings, and call the office right away if you notice bleeding or swelling of the gums.

Routine dental work may be necessary.

Some dental treatments may be necessary during pregnancy to reduce the risk of additional problems, such as the spread of oral infections. For example, if you have a cavity, you’ll definitely need it treated. It’s best to treat these problems as quickly as possible. It can be challenging to lie on your back in the dentist’s chair for a long time during the third trimester.

Elective dental work should be postponed.

Although some dental work should be done as soon as possible during pregnancy, you’ll still want to postpone any elective dentistry. Non-essential dental work includes teeth whitening, veneers, and other cosmetic dentistry treatments.

If you would like to schedule a teeth cleaning and exam in the Tucson area, you can call the office of John R. Carson, DDS at (520) 514-7203. Our team provides friendly, personalized care to each of our valued patients. We look forward to helping you have a healthy pregnancy.

Dental Cavities: Facts vs. Myths

Tooth decay, cavities, and dental caries: They all mean the same thing—trouble. A cavity is essentially a bacterial infection on a tooth. It occurs when the enamel on the outside of the tooth gets worn away, allowing bacteria to attack the tooth and penetrate to the deeper layers. The longer a cavity is left untreated, the more serious problems it can cause. Make sure you schedule a dental exam every six months, plus an extra appointment if you notice any unusual symptoms.

Myth: Sugar by itself causes cavities.

Sugar does cause cavities, but it doesn’t work alone. Each time you consume sugar in any form, it feeds the bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria can use the sugar to produce acids. The acids dissolve the enamel layer of the tooth, allowing the bacteria to invade the inner layers.

Myth: Cavities always hurt right away.

Actually, by the time a cavity causes pain, it’s become a serious problem. Cavities won’t hurt right away because in the early stage, the infection is confined to the outer layer of the tooth. As the decay advances into the tooth, it can affect the nerve, which results in pain and sensitivity. This is why it’s important to visit your dentist every six months for an exam, even if you haven’t had any symptoms.  

Myth: Sugar-free sodas are safe for your teeth.

Limiting your sugar intake will definitely support your oral health, but sugar isn’t the only problem contributing to tooth decay. Remember that sugar is problematic in part because it contributes to acid formation. And unfortunately, sodas are highly acidic, even when they are sugar-free. Consuming any type of soda will encourage enamel erosion and increase the risk of cavities.

If you think you might have a cavity or other dental health problem, get in touch with the office of John R. Carson, DDS right away. You can schedule an appointment in Tucson by calling (520) 514-7203. You’ll find our dental office to be a welcoming, friendly place that prioritizes your health and safety.