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May is Save Your Tooth Month! Know the importance of preserving your natural teeth!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: May 20, 2022
Save Your Tooth Month

Every May we celebrate the importance of saving natural teeth! It is more important than ever to realize that nothing looks, feels, or acts like your natural teeth. In fact, teeth are one of the most important investments in life.

An AAE (American Association of Endodontists) survey revealed the following:

  • Millennials care about saving their natural teeth just as much as if not more than any other aspect of their body. 24% of millennials ranked their teeth as the number one thing they would save. This is as compared to baby boomers who ranked eyesight as number one.
  • 61% of women and 51% of men felt strongly that saving their natural teeth helps them feel better about themselves.
  • More than 95% of people said it is important to save your natural teeth.

On the other hand, research shows that as many as 178 million Americans have at least one tooth missing. Tooth loss cannot just affect psychological well-being, it can also lead to systemic diseases such as diabetes.

It is the habits that you create while you are young that determine whether you will be able to preserve this investment.

Top 5 reasons to save your natural teeth

Here are the top 5 reasons why you should save your natural teeth.

#1. They make you look beautiful

First things first! Natural teeth that are well-maintained are beautiful and make you look gorgeous. As they say, a smile is the prettiest thing you can wear! Those pearly white teeth can add to your confidence & beauty. In their absence not only do you experience physical issues, but it also impacts your psychological well-being. Thankfully, all you need to do to keep them looking sparkly is to brush them regularly with a fluoride toothpaste, floss and stick to regular visits to your dentist.

#2 Help enjoy your favorite food

Every tooth is uniquely formed to help you bite and chew your food. Crunching into those fresh fruits and vegetables is best done with your natural teeth. Unless you’re a perfect candidate for dental implants, you will find that things such as biting into a crispy apple, which you took for granted, now need tremendous care.

#3 Help in speech

Your teeth help you articulate your thoughts. In fact, you rely on your lips, tongue & teeth to help you form words together. Most sounds require your tongue to hit either your teeth or the roof of your mouth. With missing teeth, what is impacted is your ability to articulate well as also make certain sounds.

#4 Preserve your face structure

Natural teeth have roots that help anchor them into the jawbone. On chewing, the bone tissue is stimulated, and its shape and strength maintained. A replacement tooth cannot build bone. Additionally, anything that impacts your teeth such as grinding of teeth can impact not just the teeth but also the symmetry of the face.

#5 Offer better shock absorption

Natural teeth are known to have a periodontal ligament that acts as its shock absorbent system especially when you bite or chew. With dental implants this capability is lost. In fact, too much pressure in such cases can lead to bone loss.

When you are young, and your teeth and gums are problem free, you may not think much of these benefits. The fact, however, remains that neglecting your natural teeth can come with a lot of issues including but not limited to the fact that you would need to spend a lot of money on restoration and treatment over a period. The loss of natural teeth can also lead to:

  • Shifting among remaining teeth
  • Increased risk of decay if there has been shifting
  • Bone loss
  • Decrease in self-confidence, and more.

What is a natural restoration?

Should you face an issue with your teeth, the first line of action is a natural restoration that restores the natural health of your teeth. Some of the examples of natural restoration include:

  • Fillings
  • Crowns
  • Root canal treatment

However, it may be too late to save your natural tooth sometimes. This occurs when:

  • There is severe dental trauma.
  • Tooth decay is excessive.
  • If the oral cavity has been damaged.

In such cases the dentist would need to extract the natural tooth and replace it with a dental implant. Typically, the bone bonds with the implant and keeps it in place.

Tips for saving your teeth!

Prioritizing your dental health can go a long way in saving your natural teeth. Some of the tips for saving your teeth include:

  • Brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste twice daily.
  • Flossing your teeth regularly.
  • Scheduling six monthly dental appointments where your teeth can be cleaned, and any issues can be caught early.
  • Act immediately if you experience any pain or swelling. Seeing your dentist in time can ensure that the problem does not become bigger and more widespread.
  • If a tooth extraction is suggested, do check to see if a root canal treatment is a feasible alternative. Root canals are typically painless, they help in preservation of your natural teeth as also take away the risk of teeth shifting and bone loss. However, your dentist will be in the best position to suggest whether a root canal is a possibility, so you will need to go with the dentist’s recommendation.

To sum up

In the current times, the pandemic has caused a lot of people to put regular dental check-ups on the backburner. As the situation begins to ease, it is imperative that dental checkups be given the attention they deserve. This Save your Tooth Month, do ensure that you focus on saving your natural teeth! It is also time to raise awareness about tooth saving procedures such as root canal treatments! If you haven’t scheduled your dental appointment yet, this month is the opportune time! Here is to your oral health!

At Dental Oasis Family Dentistry, we do offer a full array of dental services including root canal, tooth whitening, Dentures, Tooth Extraction, & more to help you maintain healthy teeth. Call us on (925) 846-4491 or email us on office@dentaloasispleasanton.com to schedule a dental appointment.

Top reasons why regular dental check-ups are important for your health!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: May 16, 2022
Regular Dental Checkups

A bi-annual dental appointment may not be something that you look forward to, but its merits simply outweigh any dental anxiety that you may have. In fact, skipping these regular checkups can often lead to dire consequences. Here are some of the most important reasons to not miss that dental appointment:

1. Oral Cancer Detection

One of the biggest benefits of a regular dental check-up is the early detection of oral cancer. In turn, early detection ensures that the disease is treated before it becomes life-threatening. A qualified dentist can easily detect early signs and symptoms. The oral cancer detection check-up is non-invasive as well as pain free.

A screening exam typically involves an extra-oral exam of the head and neck as well as intra-oral exam of the lips, cheek, tongue, palate, gum tissues and floor of mouth. The dentist will look for any lumps, sores, discoloration and more. In case the dentist finds anything suspicious, they could refer you to an oral surgeon. Alternately they could also recommend a biopsy.

2. Plaque, Tartar, and Cavities

Even if you take pride in brushing your teeth and flossing regularly, the fact is that you could be missing out certain areas of the mouth. In turn, this leads to plaque build-up. The plaque can over a period solidify into tartar. With a regular dental check-up, you can have the tartar removed so that cavities aren’t formed in the teeth. In fact, regular cleaning can go a long way in keeping your teeth healthy.

3. Prevention of Gum Disease

Plaque and tartar build-up also lead to gum disease. In turn, it can cause swelling of gums, bleeding as well as soreness. It can also lead to breakdown of the gum tissue as well as of the bone that holds teeth in place. This results in tooth loosening and falling out. Allowing gum disease to progress could result in medication, deep cleaning and in extreme cases surgery. Regular dental checkups and cleaning therefore are an easy way to prevent gum disease from progressing.

4. X-Rays

What regular dental checkups can also include are x ray imaging of your teeth and jawbone. This facilitates diagnosis of issues that may not be visible to the naked eye. Some of these issues include:

  • Impacted teeth
  • Damage to jaw bone
  • Bone Decay
  • Cysts or tumours

5. Head, Neck, and Lymph Node Checks

Besides checking the mouth for any signs of oral cancer, regular dental check-ups also involve checking your neck, jaw as well as lymph nodes for any abnormalities. Swollen lymph nodes can often be early signs of diseases such as tuberculosis as well as cancer and hence early detection is key.

6. Damage caused by lifestyle or habits

Ever so often there could be damage to your teeth that might be a function of your habits or lifestyle. The following are some of the habits that can be harmful to your teeth:

  • Chewing of ice
  • Grinding teeth
  • Brushing too hard
  • Smoking
  • Excessive consumption of coffee or alcohol

Regular dental check-ups will ensure that the ill effects of any of these lifestyle issues are identified early and pointed out to you so that further damage can be prevented and any damage that has already been caused can be fixed.

What happens during a routine dental check-up?

A typical dental check-up includes the following activities:

  • Medical history including any changes in overall health and use of medicines.
  • A comprehensive oral exam.
  • X-Rays, if required.
  • Cleaning & polishing your teeth.
  • Prevention instructions, wherever required as well as education on proper dental hygiene.
  • Treatment options for any issues found. These might include referrals to other healthcare specialists, additional tests, advice for restoration work, and more.

Needless to mention that you should contact your dentist if you have any queries or concerns about your teeth. No issue is too insignificant to bring up; even if it does not have any health ramifications, it will surely bring you peace of mind to have it addressed.

To Sum Up

As the above reasons demonstrate, regular dental check-ups are absolutely worth it. Not only do they ensure that your teeth and gums are kept healthy, but they are also the key to your overall health. In fact, many times it is a regular dental checkup that has led patients to diagnosis of other diseases which if not caught in time could have been life threatening.

While skipping regular dental check-ups may not seem like a big deal, the long-term consequences can be quite severe. It is imperative, therefore, that you keep that appointment with your dentist. In fact, when you schedule a dental check-up twice a year, you get to know your dentist better and develop a relationship of trust. In fact, a relationship with your dentist allows him to know your special needs. With dental records available with him it is that much easier to track your oral health. What you get, therefore, is personalized care. For kids, early relationships ensure that dental anxieties are taken care of and dental check-ups become an intrinsic part of their adult life.

While twice a year appointments work for most people, you may need more frequent check-ups in the event you have a history of:

  • Gum disease
  • Plaque build up or cavities
  • Weak immune system
  • Stressful life events
  • Family history of oral cancer
  • If you consume tobacco

A dentist can offer you a visitation schedule that works well for your dental health.

However, you must ensure that you look after your teeth and gums in between dental visits. The following are some helpful hints:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day.
  • Ensure that you use toothpaste with fluoride.
  • Floss daily.
  • Ensure that you use mouthwash.

Here’s to not just your oral health, but to your overall health!

At Dental Oasis Family Dentistry, we offer regular dental check-up and services while maintaining a smile on your face and building honest and lasting professional relationships. Book your dental appointment with us and smile on your way to good oral health! You can also reach us via email at office@dentaloasispleasanton.com or call us on (925) 846-4491.

Find out the importance of Oral Cancer Screening on this Oral Cancer Awareness Month!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: May 2, 2022
Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Oral and oropharyngeal cancer (cancer of the mouth and upper throat) kill nearly one person every hour, every single day of the year in US alone. Data reveals that of the people diagnosed with these cancers, 40% do not make it beyond a lifespan of five years. These statistics are a grim reminder of the need for early detection as when treated early the survival rates may go up. In fact, when found early, oral cancers have an 80% or better survival rate.

April being the Oral Cancer Awareness Month, it will be good to look at the importance of oral cancer screening, the risk factors and prevention in detail. The only hope when it comes to saving lives from this deadly disease is raising awareness and early detection.

Causes & Risk factors of Oral Cancer

While smoking and the use of tobacco remain the major risk factors, the fact remains that a fast-growing segment is also young, healthy and non-smoking individuals who contract the HPV virus. Let us look at some of the causes of oral cancer in detail:

  • HPV is one of the leading causes of oropharyngeal cancer.
  • Tobacco, both smoked and smokeless is known to cause cancer
  • When tobacco is also combined with alcohol, the risk of contract oral cancer increases many fold.
  • While this may sound surprising but excessive exposure to sun may increase the risk of your contracting lip cancer.
  • Not eating a healthy, balanced diet may also increase the risk.
  • Age is a factor too, as most oral cancer patients are noted to be in the 40 plus age bracket.

The signs and symptoms of oral cancer predominantly include:

  • Sores and ulcers that do not heal soon
  • Discoloration of soft tissues in the mouth
  • Abnormality in the mouth that also bleeds easily
  • Lump or hard spot in the tongue
  • A sore under a denture
  • Lump in the mouth
  • Lump on the outside of the neck

In addition, HPV-caused oropharyngeal cancer can show the following symptoms:

  • Hoarseness that does not get better in a few weeks
  • A swollen tonsil, usually painless on one side
  • Persistent cough
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Earache on one side that lasts for more than few days

Oral Cancer Prevention:

Since prevention works much better than cure, let us also look at some of the preventive methods, which significantly lower your risk of developing oral cancer:

  • Cutting out tobacco in all forms
  • Cutting down on excessive alcohol consumption
  • Limiting exposure to the sun
  • Eating a balanced diet that includes abundant fruits & vegetables.
  • Exercising to maintain a healthy immune system
  • Ensuring that you see your dentist regularly

Practicing good oral hygiene is also key. This includes:

  • Brushing your teeth twice daily
  • Flossing it every day
  • Using a tongue scraper
  • Using an antimicrobial mouth wash

Regular oral cancer examinations are one of the best ways of detecting oral cancer in the early stages. In fact, if you have never had an oral cancer examination, there is no better time to schedule it.

What really does an oral cancer screening entail?

An oral cancer screening can be an important part of every dental checkup.

The screening begins with your dentist evaluating and updating your medical history-making a mention of any changes that may have occurred. Do remember to inform your dentist of any health issues as well as any new medications. A comprehensive medical history will also mean your dentist asking questions about any risk factors that you may display for oral cancer. Some of these include smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

The oral cancer screening will involve examining areas both inside and outside your mouth. This is a painless process, so you need not fret. Essentially the dentist will look for any abnormalities, sores, lumps, tissue changes and more. In case anything suspicious is found, the dentist will recommend you to an oral surgeon or suggest a biopsy.

How often should you be screened?

Typically scheduling an oral screening exam once every six months is a good routine to follow. In case you fall under a high risk bracket, your dentist may suggest the desired frequency.

When to check in with your dentist?

Should you see any signs or symptoms mentioned above that do not clear up, do not hesitate to see your dentist. Lumps, ulcers, and any such growth should not be taken casually. Additionally, any difficulty in chewing, swallowing, or speaking should be reported. If you witness any pain, numbness, or change in bite, you should promptly fix an appointment with your dentist. Waiting for the symptom to become painful only means that detection is delayed. In any case, pain isn’t a reliable indicator. Ever so often something that does not hurt can also be life-threatening. When visiting your dentist, it is also important to share all your concerns without worrying about the fact that they may be insignificant.

This April, make prevention & early detection a priority

Besides the six monthly dentist appointment, do remember to screen yourself at home. This will involve:

  • Examining your tongue for any patches and lumps
  • Feel for any lumps in the inside of your lips
  • Similarly feel for any lumps, white or red areas in the inside of your cheeks
  • Screen your gums for any abnormal changes
  • Check the roof of your mouth for any abnormalities
  • Look for any lumps or bumps on the floor of your mouth
  • Examine your tonsils for any enlargement, redness or unusual bumps.

In case of any abnormalities, do reach out to your dentist at the earliest.

While receiving a diagnosis and fighting cancer can be a hugely challenging time, you need to remember that early detection and a great team of medical professionals can make all the difference.

At Dental Oasis Family Dentistry, we offer oral cancer screening service. Schedule an appointment with us and smile on your way to good oral health! You can also reach us via email at office@dentaloasispleasanton.com or call us at (925) 846-4491.

How to prepare yourself for the first dental appointment?

By | Date posted: | Last updated: April 5, 2022
First Dental Appointment

Good oral health is the key to not just your physical health but also your mental health and social well-being. Lack of oral health can lead to a situation where you not only suffer physically but also find it embarrassing to meet people and socialize with them.

Good oral hygiene involves not just brushing and flossing your teeth but also making routine visits to the dentist. Comprehensive examination and thorough cleaning of your teeth can go a long way in keeping your healthier.

If you are getting ready for your first dental appointment, make sure you prepare for it, beforehand.

Here are some handy tips to ensure that your first dental appointment is smooth:

1. Make the right choice of dentist

Make sure you choose a trustworthy dentist who besides being the master of his or her craft also believes in keeping an open line of communication. That way, they will inspire confidence and help you establish a strong dentist-patient relationship. Reading up their website, checking reviews and testimonials can all be excellent resources to help you make up your mind.

2. Reconfirm your appointment

It will be a good idea to reconfirm your appointment a day before so that there are no chances of error. Also, you sure do not want to be late for the appointment and add to your anxiety levels.

3. Ensure you share your dental history

It is imperative that the dentist has access to your previous dental records. This may mean having your dental history transferred from a prior dental office. While this may sound like a lot of work, it is well worth it, as your dentist should not be in the dark when it comes to any prior dental treatment. If you are/were taking any medications, the dentist also must be told about it, along with the exact dosage.

4. Insurance Information

If your dentist needs to bill your insurance provider, make sure you carry all the information with you.

5. Be rested

Make sure you get a good night’s sleep. It can go a long way in calming your nerves. Lack of sleep, on the other hand can exacerbate your anxiety as also impact your decision-making powers. Good sleep will also ensure that you are in a good mood for your appointment.

6. Clean your mouth thoroughly

Mostly it is a good idea to clean your mouth before your appointment. That will mean thoroughly brushing and flossing your teeth. Sometimes though the dentist may feel the need to not work on a clean mouth. It is a good idea, therefore to check with the dentist beforehand on what the protocol should be.

7. Arrive early

Arriving early has multiple advantages. For one, it will help you fill up any paperwork required for your first appointment. Even otherwise, running late for an appointment may add to your anxiety; something that you want to avoid.

8. List all your concerns

It will help if you take a little time and list any questions that you might have. That will make it easy to go over with the dentist and also ensure that you do not forget any aspect. With your questions addressed, you are likely to feel more confident of the procedure.

9. Let your dentist know if you are anxious

It is a good idea to confide in your dentist and let him know if the visit is making you anxious. That way the dentist can decide whether you need sedatives.

If you know that you are prone to dental anxiety, you can work towards alleviating it by brining in an iPod filed with relaxing music or even a stress ball. Dentists often work with patients who are fearful by establishing a gesture, such as raising of hand to indicate that a break is required.

10. Be honest with the dentist

Make sure you open up and tell your dentist about your oral hygiene habits. Also make sure you discuss any pain or other concerns that you might have.

What to do before going to the dentist for your child’s first dentist appointment

Contrary to popular belief that young children do not need to visit the dentist as their milk teeth will in any case fall out, it is recommended that the first dentist appointment is made before the child turns 1 year of age. What you are doing with an early dental visit is also setting the stage for making visiting the dentist a lifelong habit.

Of course, long before the first dental office visit you need to be offering oral care to the child by gently brushing and wiping down the teeth and gums. One of the ways you can keep your baby’s teeth healthy is to never let them go to sleep with juice or milk in a bottle or a sippy cup. Not only does the sugar work on baby teeth, the saliva that helps to rid the teeth of sugars is not as prevalent while the child sleeps.

As far as preparation for the dental appointment with toddlers is concerned, it may work well to read stories to them about dental visits or even indulge in some pretend play about the dental visit.

To sum up

A study has found that more than one-third of Americans do not visit the dentist regularly. Clearly, this is a habit one needs to break. A dentist can help you take care of your oral health before it turns into an emergency.

We provide cutting-edge dental services while maintaining a smile on your face, and building honest and lasting professional relationships. Make first dental appointment with us and smile your way to good oral health! You can also reach us via email at office@dentaloasispleasanton.com or call us on (925) 846-4491.