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3 Common Dental Pitfalls You Must Avoid

January 6th, 2018

Looking after your teeth means avoiding certain dental pitfalls. In fact, good dental habits and a good diet are the 2 basic things that you need to keep your smile bright and avoid unnecessary trips to the dentist for emergency dental work.

What are the 3 most common pitfalls that you must avoid to care for your dental health?

Not brushing and flossing regularly

Being in the habit of not brushing your teeth or flossing every day is one of the basic dental pitfalls you need to avoid.

Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is essential to keeping your teeth healthy and free from cavities. Your toothbrush should have soft bristles and you should use fluoride toothpaste.

Just as important as brushing regularly is flossing. Flossing between your teeth helps to remove debris that can cause plaque, cavities, and lead to gum disease.

Consuming too much sugar

Too much sugar in your diet will definitely have a negative impact on your teeth.

Sugary sodas, candies, chocolate, and even fresh fruit juice all contain lots of sugar that produces an acidic environment in your mouth. This weakens the protective enamel on your teeth and also increases the number of bacteria.

So, if you frequently have to get fillings in your teeth because of decay, you should think about cutting out as much sugar as possible.

Not visiting your dentist regularly

Not visiting your dentist regularly is another pitfall to avoid if you want to care for your oral health. Bi-yearly checkups allow your dentist to check for the first signs of tooth decay or gum disease as well as any signs of oral cancer. This means that any dental work you need will be cheaper and less painful than if you only visit your dentist when you have dental problems.

Smile, the New Year is Almost Here!

December 28th, 2017

We’ve been celebrating the new year for a really, really long time. It goes way back, but it started formally in 1582, when Pope George XIII made January 1st the official holiday for ushering in the new year. The idea was to yell, cheer, and blow horns to scare away all the evil spirits of the previous year with the hope that the new one would be filled with happiness and opportunity.

While scaring away evil spirits isn’t what’s on our mind these days, we still ring in the New Year by cheering and hollering with friends and family. It’s a time to set new goals, refocus on old ones, and look forward to all the surprises the coming year will bring.

Whether you’re saying hello to the New Year snuggled up at home on your couch in the Gresham, OR area or by gathering your friends for a social celebration, here are some tips to help ensure you welcome this new chapter with a smile.

Tips for a great New Year’s Eve celebration from Premier Dentistry

  • Stay safe. This one’s vital, because nothing puts a damper on your party like an emergency trip to the hospital. Stay responsible and try to plan ahead, whether that means taking a taxi, staying with a friend, or recruiting a designated driver. Do what you have to do to keep yourself and everyone around you safe.
  • Spend time with the people you love most. The way we see it, the whole point of the holiday season is to cherish your family and friends. Regardless of what you’re doing, make sure there’s something for everyone. It’s essential to do something the whole group will enjoy!
  • Smile! Whether you get all dressed to go out or have a quiet gathering with family and friends, make sure you accessorize with a smile. There’s always something to smile about!

We can all agree that change can be scary sometimes, but ringing in the New Year is an observance we all welcome with open arms. We hope you’ll enjoy this transitional holiday in a fun, healthy, and safe way. You have endless possibilities ahead of you!

From Dr. Kevin K. Shim, have a fantastic New Year!

Signs of Oral Cancer Your Dentist Can Identify

December 27th, 2017

Most people assume that during their regular visits to their dentist they only look for signs of tooth decay or gum disease. However, you may not realize it, but your dentist also can identify early signs of oral cancer.

Oral cancer is not common, however, as with diagnosing all types of cancer, early detection can improve the prognosis and successfully treat oral cancer.

Signs of Oral Cancer

Some of the signs of oral cancer that your dentist checks for during routine checkups are:

  • Unusual red or white patches
  • A lump, rough spot, or small eroded area in the oral cavity.
  • Pain or tenderness around your gums, lips, or mouth.

You should also mention to your dentist if you have noticed increased difficulty chewing or swallowing or if you’ve noticed a change to your bite – i.e., how your teeth fit together when you close your mouth.

What Happens if Something Suspicious is Found?

If your dentist finds something suspicious, you shouldn’t panic. Usually, a follow-up exam will be required to see if the suspicious lesions are healing. In some cases, your dentist may refer you to a specialist who will take a biopsy for testing to help rule out cancer.

How to Reduce your Risk of Oral Cancer

It is important to reduce your risk of oral cancer. According to the American Dental Association, smoking and heavy drinking are two of the main risk factors for oral cancer.

Should You Get Your Teeth Whitened?

December 21st, 2017

If your teeth are yellow or discolored, getting your teeth whitened may be your answer to regain your bright smile. The good news is that teeth whitening is becoming more accessible to many people. However, there are many options to consider before getting your teeth whitened.

Before we answer the question, should you get your teeth whitened, let’s look at the reasons for tooth discoloration.

Why White Teeth Turn Yellow

White teeth turn yellow as we age because the outer enamel on the teeth become thinner. Factors like wear and tear, acidic foods, or drinking tea and coffee can either wear down enamel or discolor it.

When the outer tooth enamel becomes thinner, a darker substance on the inner part of your teeth called dentin shows through.

Why Get Your Teeth Whitened?

Getting your teeth whitened will give you a beautiful white smile with healthy-looking teeth. There are two basic types of teeth whitening available.

Intrinsic teeth whitening

Intrinsic teeth whitening helps to bleach the inner part of your teeth. This makes your teeth appear lighter and white. This method to whiten teeth doesn’t affect the outer enamel.

Extrinsic teeth whitening

Extrinsic teeth whitening removes stains on the enamel which covers the outer part of your teeth. This helps to remove tea, coffee, wine, and cigarette stains.

Speak to your local dentist to find out which kind of teeth whitening is best for you. At the same time, your dentist can check your teeth to look for signs of tooth decay and gum disease.

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