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What Is the Difference Between Hygiene Cleaning and Periodontal Cleaning?

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Dental Health Info
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Dental Health Info

What Is the Difference Between Hygiene Cleaning and Periodontal Cleaning?

periodontal cleaning

The importance of oral health stretches far beyond having a beautiful smile. Your teeth and mouth can tell you a lot more about your overall health than you think. Regular dental cleaning is essential to oral health.

At Stellar Dental, we are proud to offer both hygiene cleaning and periodontal deep cleaning, in addition to many other services and cosmetic procedures.

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Dental Health Info News and Community

Is It Safe to Go to the Dentist Right Now?

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, some may be wondering whether it is safe to go to the dentist, even with vaccinations becoming more widespread. At Stellar Dental Care, we understand the hesitancy people have experienced, since as a dental office health and wellness are of paramount importance to us.

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Dental Health Info

Do you or your child suffer from sleep apnea?

We can help improve your sleep and your quality of life. Please read an insightful testimonial from one of our patients:

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Dental Health Info

Sleep Disordered Breathing? Stellar Dental Care can Help!

Does your child exhibit symptoms of Sleep Disordered Breathing such as mouth breathing, snoring, fatigue, congestion, ear infections, ADHD or bed wetting? You may be a candidate for an evaluation of facial growth! Call for a consult with Dr. Kagan at Stellar Dental Care today!

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Dental Health Info

Smokeless Tobacco Still Means Trouble

Chew it, dip it, suck it or “snuff” it–there’s no smoke involved with many forms of tobacco, but no matter how you use it, you’re still playing with fire! While cigarettes catch a lot of heat for causing lung cancer, many don’t realize that other types of nicotine use can be just as damaging to your general and oral health. Before reaching for the stuff, get a closer glimpse at what you’re really being sold and why it might be more harmful than you think.

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Dental Health Info

Everyday Habits That Harm Your Smile

Everyday Habits That Harm Your SmileYour teeth are supposed to last a lifetime. But some common habits could be reducing the durability of your teeth without you even realizing it.

By recognizing the habits that can compromise the structure and health of your smile, you can take steps to protect it.

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Dental Health Info

Not a fan of flossing? Try these alternatives

First there was the toothpick, then there was floss, and now there are a bevy of new dental tools making their way to the shelves of your local stores. Why the need to keep innovating? Simply put: plaque removal is just not fun…but these alternatives sure help!

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Dental Health Info

Gum Removal – Right for You?

/Unless you were blessed with a perfect smile, something’s usually got to give in order to improve it…even your gums! Dentists call it “crown lengthening”, but if you’re worried this means you’ll walk away with receded gums, it’s not what you think. In certain cases, less gums are actually a GOOD thing – and if your dentist has confirmed you are a candidate for such a procedure, here’s why.

Cosmetic vs. Restorative Crown Lengthening

From an aesthetic standpoint, some may find their smiles to look “too gummy”, and wish for a more balanced look. Treatment varies based on the severity of the problem, but a gum lift, even if it’s just to one or a few teeth suffering from excess gum lining or unevenness, can help the smile appear more symmetrical. In general, this type of procedure usually focuses on the upper front gums, since they are the most visible when you smile.

Beyond appearances alone, there may also be health reasons a dentist would recommend crown lengthening. If, for example, he or she discovers tooth decay below the visible surface of the tooth, gum removal or contouring may be the only way to ensure the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and filled. On a similar note, accidents or injuries that cause a tooth to fracture may require exposing more of the tooth’s surface in order for it to be fully restored.

Regardless of whether you undergo this treatment for cosmetic or restorative purposes, however, crown lengthening can benefit your oral health by exposing more of the tooth’s surface for thorough and easy cleaning.

What to Expect

While crown lengthening is considered a form of oral surgery, and may come at an additional cost above what your insurance covers, it is a relatively short, one-time procedure. Afterwards, there is no special maintenance required other than good at-home hygiene and regular dentist checkups.

During the surgery, little if any pain is felt thanks to anesthesia, but sedation is an option for those who may feel anxious about the work involved with gum removal. The dentist will make small incisions and gradually remove gum tissue, and if necessary, also remove some bone close to the root area of the tooth. Gums are then stitched up, and patients can expect a healing time of 1-2 weeks before stitches are removed. A total healing period of up to three months is normally required before any crowns or fillings are put in place.

Risks of Crown Lengthening

A special mouth rinse is typically prescribed for recovering patients, and a water irrigator may also be recommended to gently remove food particles, but it is still possible to encounter the following risks:

  • Infection, if bacteria from food gets stuck and inflames the raw gum area
  • Excessive bleeding due to medications or existing health conditions
  • Tooth sensitivity, especially if bone was removed close to the root of a tooth
  • Loose teeth, if too much gum or bone was removed

If you experience any of the above, contact your dentist and/or periodontist immediately.

Weighing Your Options

As rewarding to your smile as crown lengthening can be, the decision of whether or not to undergo the procedure should not be made lightly. Cost, time and other factors should be carefully considered, and being aware of all the pros and cons is critical. If you are curious about crown lengthening, or if your dentist has recommended it, schedule a consultation with him or her for further information specific to your dental needs and overall health situation.


Sources:

Crown Lengthening. (2013, March 4). Retrieved July 13, 2015, from http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/Oral-and-Dental-Health-Basics/Checkups-and-Dental-Procedures/Periodontal-Disease/article/Crown-Lengthening.cvsp

Sheehan, Jan. (2009, August, 19). Crown Lengthening for a Prettier Smile. Retrieved July 26, 2015, from http://www.everydayhealth.com/dental-health/cosmetic-dentistry/crown-lengthening.aspx

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Dental Health Info

How to Stop Thumb-Sucking

No Crying Necessary: Simple Ways to Stop Thumb Sucking

Thumb SuckingAt first it was adorable, but now it has become worrisome. Starting to fear your child is addicted to thumb sucking? Push those worst-case scenarios and harsh weaning tactics from your mind. Here is the truth about the dental risks, when it is necessary to intervene, and effective ways to break the habit for good.

Long-Term Effects of Non-Nutritive Sucking

Prolonged sucking can ultimately lead to a number of oral issues: jaw misalignment, protrusion of the upper teeth, crookedness and/or bite problems.

Left unchecked, sucking can also alter the natural position of the jawbone and change the shape and sensitivity of the roof of the mouth, which can lead to a lisp over time.

While corrective action and regular dentist visits can save your little one from such dental trauma, timing can make a big difference in the experience for parent and child.

When Should Parent Intervene?

According to the American Dental Association, dental problems associated with thumb sucking typically occur with the arrival of permanent teeth. This means that if your child only has primary teeth, you can table extreme measures to curb the habit for now.

In fact, thumb sucking is a natural, self-soothing reflex for many babies and toddlers, and a wise (and non-traumatic) course of action may simply be to wait and see if your child outgrows the behavior over time.

If your child starts to lose baby teeth, however, and still sucks his or her thumb aggressively, you’ll need to step in to prevent dental problems from emerging.

How to Put an End to the Thumb Sucking for Good

Just as there are different reasons that drive children to suck their thumbs, there are also a number of options to help stop it. Here are a few tried-and-true methods worth considering:

  1. Provide alternate means of comfort: if the habit seems born out of anxiety or stress, see if a well-timed hug or kiss, or offering a favorite toy does the trick
  2. Reward his or her efforts: enthusiastic praise, a sticker, or other special treat can be very motivating and make the process fun
  3. Use creative reminders: agree on a special signal to help discretely halt the behavior if you catch your child doing it in public, and try a bandage over the finger or a sock over the hand to deter thumb sucking at night
  4. Seek help from the dentist: a mouth guard or special coating for the thumb may ultimately be recommended depending on your child’s dental situation

No matter which route you choose, keeping a positive approach and demeanor will go a long way in making the experience less stressful for both you and your child.

It could also be helpful to team up with your dentist to tackle the issue. A dental examination and professional guidance can help point you in the right direction depending on the severity of thumb sucking and your child’s age. Schedule a consultation to share your concerns, and/or provide an update on the situation during your next appointment.


Sources:

Feature, H. (n.d.). Help Children Stop Thumbsucking: 9 Tips. Retrieved June 2, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/9-ways-to-wean-a-child-off-thumb-sucking

Thumbsucking. (2014). Retrieved June 2, 2015, from http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/thumbsucking

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Dental Health Info

Understanding Fluoride Treatment for Kids

Understanding Pediatric Fluoride Treatment

It’s undeniable that fluoride has played a major role in the decline of dental cavities in the United States. However, what isn’t so clear to many parents is whether or not fluoride treatments are safe and/or beneficial for children.

After all, children receive fluoride on a regular basis from many different types of foods and even water. Through these sources alone, minerals lost due to plaque, bacteria, and sugars are remineralized on teeth.

So, is an additional fluoride treatment at the dentist necessary and if so, at what age are the treatments most beneficial? Read on to find out.

Why You Should Consider Fluoride Treatments for Your Child

While it’s true that fluoride found in foods and water can replace lost minerals, it sometimes isn’t enough to strengthen teeth and protect against cavities. In fact, if you don’t consume enough natural fluoride, demineralization will occur much more quickly than remineralization, leaving enamel at risk and causing tooth decay.

Fluoride treatments speed up the natural remineralization process, providing prolonged protection against demineralization and related tooth decay. They are particularly effective in children because they can reverse early decay while protecting permanent teeth as they develop.

Scheduling Your Child’s Fluoride Treatments

Children should start fluoride treatments at around 6 months of age and continue at least until they turn 16 (and ideally, beyond this age as well). Treatments vary based on age and also on whether they are done at home or at the dentist’s office:

    • Drops, Chewables, Tablets, or Lozenges – These treatments are typically used at home for children 6 months and older who don’t receive enough fluoride in their water.
    • Fluoride Toothpaste – After the age of two, children’s teeth should be brushed using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste with fluoride.
    • Fluoride Varnish – Once baby teeth have appeared, children should have a fluoride varnish applied to protect against tooth decay. Typically, varnishes are applied by a dentist twice per year for children two and older.
    • Gels and Foams – As children get older, a dentist commonly applies gel or foam fluoride treatments using a mouth guard. This typically takes about five minutes.
  • Mouth Rinses – A fluoride mouth rinse may be prescribed for children over 6 years of age who are at risk for tooth decay due to genetics or other factors. A mouth rinse is typically used in combination with other fluoride treatments.

Protecting Your Child from Too Much Fluoride

The most common concern about fluoride treatments is that large amounts can be toxic to the brain, bones, kidney, and thyroid. However, products intended for home use have extremely low levels of fluoride, meaning that you generally don’t have to worry.

Still, there are precautions you can take to ensure you’re not only keeping potentially dangerous products away from children, but also using fluoride properly:

  • Store any fluoride supplements or products out of reach of young children.
  • Use limited amounts of fluoridated toothpaste on a child’s toothbrush.
  • Don’t allow children to use fluoridated toothpaste without supervision until the age of 6.

Fluoride Treatments Play a Vital Part in Your Child’s Smile

Although some parents view fluoride skeptically, professional treatments are integral to your child’s smile starting at 2 years of age.

By doing your part at home and scheduling regular appointments, you can help prevent cavities and give children the strong teeth they need both now and in the future.


Sources:

Dental Health and Fluoride Treatment. (2014, October 9). Retrieved on June 3, 2015 from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/fluoride-treatment

Guideline on Fluoride Therapy. (2014). Retrieved June 3, 2015 from http://www.aapd.org/media/Policies_Guidelines/G_fluoridetherapy.pdf

Reinberg. S. (2014, May 6). Docs Should Give Toddlers Fluoride Treatments: Panel. Retrieved on June 3, 2015 from http://www.webmd.com/parenting/news/20140506/doctors-should-give-toddlers-fluoride-treatments-us-task-force