Seal the Deal on Cavity Prevention

Most children start life with healthy, sound teeth. Yet all too often, they suffer from cavities before they reach adulthood. In fact, the CDC says tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among children and teens aged 6 to 19.  It’s four times more common than asthma among adolescents aged 14 to 17.

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Sealants are a great way to keep your child’s smile as healthy at 14 as it was at age 4, like Roman, pictured here.

The CDC suggests sealants as a way to prevent childhood cavities, in addition to maintaining good oral hygiene. This non-invasive process literally seals off the tooth. It protects from bacteria and acids that destroy tooth enamel and result in tooth decay.

We recommend sealants for the back teeth, specifically the molars and premolars, which are prone to childhood cavities. Children usually get their first molars around age 6, followed by the second molars around age 12.

Molars are especially vulnerable because food particles enter the tiny grooves in the teeth. These particles are extremely small and difficult to remove, especially for young brushers. Despite their small size, tiny food particles can wreak major damage to the molars.

Sealants protect for five to ten years before reapplication is needed. They are a safe, painless and cost-effective way to shield against tooth damage that can be costly and time-consuming to treat later. As Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

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Dental Rejuvenation: Part 2

Years ago, middle age was associated with a decline in oral health and appearance. The good news is, that’s no longer the case! This is especially true for the Baby Boomers, who are entering their 50s and 60s and 70s with different expectations for their health and appearance than the generations before them.

Born between 1946 and 1964, Baby Boomers are known for active, dynamic, healthy lifestyles — both pre- and post-retirement. And they want their smiles to match! Here in Part 2, we delve into some of the ways dentistry can restore and rejuvenate your smile.

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Baby Boomers are setting a new standard for aging gracefully and actively. Modern dentistry allows us to have a smile to match!

Revitalizing Your Smile: Studies show that people equate a nice smile with youthfulness. Baby Boomers are well aware of this. In one survey, more than half of people over age 50 said they believe a beautiful smile can overcome the effects of aging.

Time is not always kind to your mouth, even if you’ve practiced great oral hygiene for years. Some of the most common complaints are discoloration, altered tooth shape due to wear and tear or damage, receding gums, and missing teeth that affect face shape. Luckily, you’re not stuck with the smile you’ve got. Dentistry has come a long way since our parents’ and grandparents’ time. In both techniques and products, there have been incredible strides in veneers, implants, whitening and gingival plastic surgery.

These are just a few of the ways we can help you feel great about your smile and improve your oral health. You can, and should, love your smile throughout your life. We’ve even had patients whiten their teeth at age 90-plus!

Best Face Forward: We work with dentures that offer a rejuvenating visual effect that patients love. They’re designed to improve the structure and smoothness of the face.

These dentures are placed in a way that complements the position and function of the muscles — providing the greatest support, stability and better facial aesthetics. Patients tell us they love the results, and the fact that it’s a surgery-free, non-invasive to gain confidence in their appearance.

Some insurance plans partially cover the cost of these dentures, because in addition to the cosmetic benefits, they allow a patient to eat normally. The product offers the highest level of quality, comfort and customization. To learn more, ask your dentist if you are a candidate for this option.

If you missed part 1, click here to learn about dry mouth caused by medication, tooth sensitivity and more.

Dental Rejuvenation: Part 1

Each stage of life presents different challenges for oral health. The best way to ensure a great smile at every age is to recognize your dental priorities and needs.

May is Older Americans Month, a great opportunity to examine how our dental needs change over time. Whether you’re a retiree or years away from collecting social security, it’s important to know what to expect from your oral health.

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When it comes to cosmetic improvements, studies show many people would rather spend money on their teeth rather than plastic surgery.

For our younger patients, even “millennials,” this is the perfect time to begin thinking about the future of your smile. Just as sun damage reveals itself years after it occurs, we often pay for our past lifestyle choices when it comes to oral health. Skipping flossing and neglecting hygiene appointments could lead to gum disease or bone loss later. Your dental habits today will directly affect your smile tomorrow!

Medications = Dry Mouth: Saliva is one of the primary defenses against tooth decay. Unfortunately, hundreds of medications cause dry mouth. In our 50s and 60s, we’re often prescribed meds to control high blood pressure or cholesterol. These are two of the many “likely suspects” that can cause dry mouth. Lack of saliva puts us at risk for a variety of oral problems, but there are ways to monitor and treat the problem. Please tell Future of Dentistry if you’re on a medication that causes dry mouth.

Feeling Sensitive? There are many causes of tooth pain and sensitivity, but sometimes it’s simply the result of time. As we age, we’re more likely to experience enamel deterioration and to develop tiny cracks that lead to fractures. Ask the Future of Dentistry team about the products available to help you with this problem. We even have a new item for you to try, Crest’s Sensi-Stop Strips, which are designed to provide immediate relief when applied to sensitive teeth.

The Tie That Binds: Studies show a connection between gum disease and many serious health problems associated with aging — including stroke, heart disease and diabetes. This is why Dr. Casazza and his team practice an approach we call “Healthy Body Dentistry.” People are like ecosystems; what happens in one part of the body affects the whole body. We treat your oral health as an essential part of your overall well-being.

Learn more in part 2 of this blog topic, which will be posted soon!

Sleep Better, Live Better, Smile More

In 1985, the Better Sleep Council designated May as “Better Sleep Month.” Sound silly?Maybe so, but there’s no shortage of data demonstrating the importance of sleep in a person’s health, longevity and productivity. Everything from weight loss to heart health is affected by sleep, according to recent studies.

Two of the most troublesome sleep impediments — sleep apnea and bruxism — are related to oral health. Sleep apnea often goes undiagnosed for years. People who snore, and their loved ones, oftenInside Spread_2 laugh off frequent and intense snoring. But if you have this condition, it’s not a laughing matter. The snoring results from a breathing problem that deprives you of oxygen, putting you at risk for serious health problems like heart disease and stroke.

There are also many misconceptions about sleep apnea. For example, not everyone with the condition snores. And although apnea and obesity are often linked, many people with the condition are not overweight at all. In fact, many athletes have apnea — even Shaq!

Future of Dentistry is able to provide an oral appliance for sufferers of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It fits like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer and is worn only at night. Covered by many health insurance plans, these oral appliances work by supporting the jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open upper airway.

Other symptoms of OSA include high blood pressure; choking or gasping for breath during sleep; long pauses in your breathing; and daytime sleepiness despite how many hours you’ve slept. If you think you may have sleep apnea, talk to your doctor. The sooner you diagnose or rule out the problem, the healthier and better rested you’ll be.

Bruxism is better known as teeth grinding or clenching. It can happen at any time, though it’s common during sleep, when we are unaware and unable to control the grinding behavior. On the dental side, it can decay enamel, wear down the biting surfaces of teeth and create cracks that lead to broken teeth. Bruxism may also be a factor in TMJ/TMD, a chronic and painful jaw condition.

Studies link bruxism to stress, anxiety and sleep disorders. Lifestyle factors may also lead to bruxism, including diet, smoking, alcohol, drugs, caffeine and even excessive use of chewing gum.

If you’re living with soreness and poor sleep due to clenching or grinding your teeth, you don’t have to. We provide custom-made night guards that protect your teeth and mouth. Our appliances are more personalized than what is available over the counter. They are shaped to the nuances of each individual’s teeth and mouth, allowing you to position your jaw and tongue comfortably.

Ask your dental insurance provider if night guards are covered, or if you’re uninsured, ask about our Membership Program to save on this service.

As with many health matters, early intervention is the best thing you can do. Not all bruxism needs to be treated, but a medical professional should determine whether there is a problem and whether it needs to be monitored or treated immediately.