First Dental Associates – Family & Cosmetic Dentistry https://firstdentalassociates.com Reading, MA Dentists Mon, 05 Oct 2020 10:54:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.1 https://firstdentalassociates.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/cropped-first-dental-assoc-logo-menu-32x32.png First Dental Associates – Family & Cosmetic Dentistry https://firstdentalassociates.com 32 32 Mouth-Body Connection Between Periodontal Disease and Other Diseases https://firstdentalassociates.com/mouth-body-connection-between-periodontal-disease-and-other-diseases/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mouth-body-connection-between-periodontal-disease-and-other-diseases Mon, 05 Oct 2020 10:48:34 +0000 https://firstdentalassociates.com/?p=5222 Periodontal disease can affect your whole body

Your mouth and body are connected in more ways than you may realize. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that more than 47% of U.S. adults age 30 and older have some form of periodontal disease, or periodontitis. Also called gum disease, this is a serious infection that can cause severe […]

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Periodontal disease can affect your whole body

Your mouth and body are connected in more ways than you may realize.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that more than 47% of U.S. adults age 30 and older have some form of periodontal disease, or periodontitis.

Also called gum disease, this is a serious infection that can cause severe damage to your gums. If left untreated, it can also lead to jawbone loss and deterioration. By brushing, flossing, and following a solid oral care routine, you can help keep periodontitis at bay. But did you know there are other benefits to prioritizing your gum health?

Today, we’re sharing how closely connected your mouth is to the rest of your body and exploring the ways periodontal disease is linked to other physical conditions that may ail you.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is a chronic infection that affects the soft tissue of your gums. Without proper treatment, it can invade the jawbone that surrounds your teeth and holds them in place. Over time, this can cause your teeth to loosen and can even lead to tooth loss.

While it might be one of the most common dental health concerns around, gum disease is very preventable and usually occurs as a result of poor oral hygiene. As long as you brush at least two times a day, floss daily, and attend regular dental checkups, you should be able to avoid this condition. If you do notice any symptoms, you can immediately treat the early signs that may occur.

Symptoms of Periodontitis

Are you concerned that you may have periodontitis? A few of the most common, telltale signs to look out for include:

  • Swollen or inflamed gums
  • Gums that are tender when touched
  • Bright red or purple-hued gums
  • Gums that easily bleed
  • Bad breath
  • Signs of blood on your toothbrush or in the sink after brushing
  • Loose teeth or teeth loss
  • Receding gumline
  • Pain while chewing

If you notice any of the above symptoms, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

While gum disease is usually a sign of poor oral hygiene, it can also be associated with other health concerns. Next, let’s take a look at some of the strongest connections between your gum health and your overall physical health.

Gum Disease and Diabetes

According to the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), people who suffer from diabetes are at a greater risk of developing periodontitis. In fact, 22% of people diagnosed with diabetes also have periodontal disease. Why is this the case?

Most researchers believe the connection lies in a diabetic person’s increased susceptibility to contracting infections. Especially if your diabetes is poorly managed or not under control, this risk can increase exponentially. Unless your blood sugar levels are carefully monitored, you could experience gum health issues.

Moreover, the connection is a two-way street. Not only can diabetes trigger an onset of gum disease, but the presence of gum disease can also lead to further diabetic complications.

For instance, when your gums are infected, it can make it more difficult to safely control and monitor your blood sugar. This is because severe periodontal disease can cause your blood glucose to spike, requiring your body to function with a high level of blood sugar for increased periods of time.

With more than 34 million people in the U.S. living with diabetes, this is a connection that should be taken seriously. Other dental care issues that could stem from poorly managed diabetes include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Difficulty tasting food
  • Delays in oral wound healing time
  • Higher risk of developing cavities
  • Inflamed, bleeding gums (gingivitis)
  • Increased susceptibility to oral infections
  • Premature tooth eruption (in children)

Periodontal Disease, Heart Disease, and Stroke

While your gums are inflamed and achy, you might not think too much of your heart health. Yet, studies show these two entities are very closely connected.

Most of the time, the inflammation associated with gum disease is identified as a trigger for heart disease and stroke. Researchers believe the bacteria present in gum disease are capable of traveling throughout your body. As they do so, they can cause your heart vessels to become inflamed and your heart valves to become infected.

When this type of inflammation occurs, it can catalyze a number of cardiac events, including:

  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes
  • Other sudden vascular events

This risk is even greater in persons who have high cholesterol. Researchers have found oral bacteria within the fatty deposits of people who suffer from atherosclerosis, which is a condition that causes plaque to amass on one’s arteries. Without treatment, these deposits can thicken and narrow the arteries.

In some cases, the deposits can even break loose and clog the arteries, both of which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Although the connection can be made, it’s important to realize there are various sources of inflammation within your body. This can make it difficult for healthcare practitioners to directly link your heart condition to the condition of your gums.

At the same time, periodontitis can also exacerbate any existing symptoms you’re feeling as a result of heart disease or any other heart condition. As such, most dentists will prescribe antibiotics for patients who are at risk for infective endocarditis, or heart valve infection, before performing any kind of dental procedure. If this step is required, your dentist should work closely with your cardiologist to determine the best route forward.

Periodontal Disease and Pregnancy

You know the importance of eating the right foods and getting enough rest during pregnancy, but you can’t forget to keep up with your oral care routine!

Both the AAP and the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) have established a connection between periodontal disease and an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, including preterm or low-birth-weight babies. In some cases, it can also lead to preeclampsia, a condition that is characterized by high blood pressure and damage to other organ systems, such as your liver or kidneys. If you also suffer from diabetes, this risk can be even greater.

Why are these connections present? There are a few reasons researchers believe periodontitis can lead to prenatal and postnatal complications. First, periodontal disease can elevate the prostaglandin levels of an expectant mother, especially if the condition is severe. Prostaglandin is a compound found in one of the oral bacteria strains most closely associated with periodontitis. As it’s known to be labor-inducing, it can lead to premature birth or low birth weight in some babies.

Then, there is the potential elevation of your C-reactive protein levels. Also linked to heart disease, C-reactive protein is known to cause preeclampsia and premature birth in babies. If you have a periodontal infection, your C-reactive protein levels will elevate, which can trigger allover inflammation.

Finally, there is the issue of bacteria. If you have gum disease, bacteria are allowed to colonize in your gum pockets. From there, it can easily travel throughout your bloodstream. As it does, it can affect other areas of your body, which can alter the outcome of your pregnancy. This bacteria can even colonize in your coronary arteries and internal mammary glands.

Periodontal Disease and Osteoporosis

Bone health and gum health go hand in hand. This is why there is often a connection made between periodontal disease and osteoporosis. The latter is a condition characterized by an imbalance between bone formation and subsequent resorption. It can cause the bones in your body to become brittle and weak. So, where is the link to gum disease?

Both conditions have a central element of bone loss or bone resorption. On its own, osteoporosis is characterized by bone mass reduction, while periodontal disease leads to the resorption of the alveolar bone. While a direct link is still being researched, experts believe the onset of osteoporosis can trigger or exacerbate periodontal disease.

This is especially true in older men and older women who have experienced menopause. In periodontal disease, the bone loss occurs around the teeth, while it’s more systemic in osteoporosis.

If you’re in the early stages of osteoporosis, your dentist might be the first medical professional to notice, as there will often be accompanying signs of tooth loss or gum disease.

Osteoporosis causes your bones to lose density, and this includes those in your jaw. If this happens, it could leave your gums susceptible to periodontal bacteria and put you at an increased risk of experiencing a fracture or permanent tooth loss. In addition, it can also affect the fit and position of your dentures, making eating and speaking more difficult.

With age, one experiences bone loss at a drastically quicker rate. Many times, this can quicken or aggravate the breakdown of periodontal tissue. In addition to age, other shared risk factors for both conditions include:

  • Genetics
  • Hormonal shifts
  • Alcohol or tobacco use
  • Calcium levels
  • Nutritional status
  • Immune deficiency
  • Vitamin D levels

Periodontal Disease and Respiratory Disease

You breathe through your mouth, so it’s logical that your respiratory health would be connected to your oral health, and it’s true.

Researchers have discovered a link between the onset of certain respiratory infections and the presence of periodontal disease. Some of the most common infections include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, acute bronchitis, and pneumonia.

Some of the leading causes of death in the United States, these infections develop when bacteria from your upper throat travels into your lower respiratory tract through inhalation. This journey is made possible due to the anatomical continuity that exists between your lungs and your oral cavity.

This immediate connection makes it possible to breathe, but it can also cause adverse effects. In addition to worsening respiratory conditions, it can easily turn your mouth into a gathering place for respiratory pathogens, which can aggravate existing symptoms of gum disease.

Some oral disorders, including periodontal disease, can lead to this condition. For instance, you could aspirate oral periodontopathic bacteria into your lungs unknowingly, which can lead to aspiration pneumonia. Or, your teeth could act as reservoirs for respiratory pathogens to colonize, which can trigger a subsequent condition known as nosocomial pneumonia.

At the same time, both periodontal and respiratory conditions are often marked by significant inflammation. Both conditions cause your body’s natural inflammatory process to overreact, which can destroy important connective tissue. This process is especially prevalent in conditions like, emphysema and COPD, and can help explain the link between gum disease and those conditions.

In most people, this negative effect is blocked by sophisticated immunological mechanisms that prevent oral bacteria from reaching the lower respiratory tract. For healthy patients, this means their distal airway and lungs remain sterile, even in the presence of a heavy load of oral bacteria.

However, it isn’t impossible. In fact, there are three mechanisms by which periodontal bacteria could be allowed to enter the rest of your body. These include:

  • Aspiration of the oral pathogens into the lungs
  • Colonization of dental plaque, followed by aspiration
  • Colonization of the upper airway by periodontal pathogens

The Importance of Healthy Teeth and Gums

You’ve long understood the importance of establishing a great oral hygiene routine. Yet, these connections between periodontitis and whole-body health should make you take a closer look at your approach to dental care.

Rather than feeling discouraged and overwhelmed, use this data and turn it into a powerful starting point. While there are restorative dentistry services available to help you reverse signs of gum disease, prevention is always the best measure.

By brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist for routine appointments, you can identify and reverse the earliest signs of periodontal disease before the condition worsens. This way, you can stay on top of your overall health and help your loved ones do the same.

To learn more or schedule an appointment, reach out to our office and we’ll take care of the rest.

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Is Smile Direct Club a Good Idea? 8 Questions Answered https://firstdentalassociates.com/is-smile-direct-club-a-good-idea-8-questions-answered/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=is-smile-direct-club-a-good-idea-8-questions-answered Fri, 02 Oct 2020 20:00:02 +0000 https://firstdentalassociates.com/?p=5218 Is Smile Direct Club right for you

What is the best option to straighten your smile? In your quest for a straighter smile, you’ve likely encountered plenty of options that claim to offer the ultimate fix. One of the most popular and oft-discussed options is the Smile Direct Club, a teledentistry program that provides clear aligners designed for mild to moderate teeth […]

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Is Smile Direct Club right for you

What is the best option to straighten your smile?

In your quest for a straighter smile, you’ve likely encountered plenty of options that claim to offer the ultimate fix.

One of the most popular and oft-discussed options is the Smile Direct Club, a teledentistry program that provides clear aligners designed for mild to moderate teeth correction.

As with any dental solution, this one can be a little complicated to understand, and you likely have plenty of questions. If you’re considering Smile Direct Club or any competing clear-aligner treatment, such as Invisalign, we’re here to help. Today, we’re sharing our answers to 8 of the most common questions surrounding teeth straightening, including what to expect as you begin this journey.

1. What is Smile Direct Club?

Smile Direct Club is a three-step process that helps you create custom-fitted clear aligners from home. You can choose to visit one of the company’s SmileShops for an in-person scan, but Smile Direct also states that you can do it yourself at home. Using the scan, Smile Direct Club can create a 3D image of your teeth and send it to a state-licensed dentist or orthodontist, who will approve your custom treatment plan.

Your aligners will arrive at your doorstep, and Smile Direct claims that the treatment can be completed in just four months.

2. What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is another short-term orthodontics solution, although it isn’t performed via telemedicine. Rather, you’ll first visit your orthodontist in person for a comprehensive exam, where you’ll play a role in mapping out your treatment plan.

Then, your orthodontist will use advanced 3D imaging technology to create a digital impression of your teeth and jaws. Using this impression, they can plan for future adjustments and create a series of custom aligners. You wear these aligners throughout the process to ensure correct positioning.

3. What are the advantages of Invisalign?

There are a few distinct advantages that Invisalign wearers are able to enjoy. Let’s take a look at a few!

SmartTrack

One of the major advantages of Invisalign is that the aligners are made from a patented material called SmartTrack.

This flexible material is only found in Invisalign clear aligners and helps make them easier to wear and take off. A few of the benefits it provides include:

  • Gentle, constant force.
  • Improved tooth control movements.
  • More snug fit.
  • More predictable teeth straightening.
  • Quicker treatment time.

Optimal Longevity

In addition, Invisalign aligners are designed to shift, not only tilt, your teeth into place. As a result, you can enjoy the results for a longer period of time. When your teeth look great and function at their best, you’re also better positioned to enjoy optimal oral health!

IPR Available

It might sound like a super technical term, but interproximal reduction (or IPR) is relatively simple in theory. This is a common orthodontic practice that involves mechanically removing a small amount of enamel between your teeth. This adds extra space that enables your teeth to naturally and comfortably realign.

If your teeth are crowded or misaligned, IPR treatments are usually required. While not every clear aligner solution offers this service, IPR can be performed in conjunction with your Invisalign procedure.

Personal Consultations

The process of moving teeth is very technical and involves myriad factors. In addition to the external part of your teeth that you can see, your orthodontist must also take into account the root of your teeth, as well as your jawbone.

What is the structural integrity of your jaw? What about its density? What does your root alignment look like? Your bite might be misaligned because of the way your teeth grew in, or there could be an underlying issue with your jaw placement.

These are important questions that can only be fully answered through in-person consultations and X-rays. It’s difficult to accurately diagnose your condition and prescribe a treatment plan without these kinds of in-depth conversations and analyses. If a clear alignment brand assumes these details through a teeth impression alone, it could mean pursuing a plan that isn’t 100% designed to fit your needs.

4. What is the expected treatment time for Invisalign?

How long should you expect to wear your Invisalign clear aligners? With this solution, you’ll wear each aligner for about two weeks. Then, when that time is up, you’ll graduate to your next aligner. Your orthodontist will specially customize each aligner to ensure that your teeth gently shift into their new positions at precisely the right time.

Typical Invisalign patients will use around 18 to 30 aligners during the course of their treatment, and their treatment periods usually last between nine and 15 months. These are rough estimates, and your orthodontist can help you create a tailored treatment plan that may differ slightly according to your needs.

5. How much does Invisalign cost?

If you’re considering pursuing an orthodontic treatment for you or your child, we’d love for you to book an appointment at First Dental Associates. During your appointment, one of our expert dentists will provide a comprehensive exam and create your custom treatment plan.

At this time, our team can share important information on the costs associated with your plan. As each patient is different, there are multiple factors that will influence the final price, and an in-person visit can help you understand all of these details.

In terms of dental insurance, while policies can differ, most plans that include orthodontic coverage will also cover Invisalign to the same extent as they would cover traditional braces.

6. Why choose clear aligners?

One of the biggest benefits of straightening your teeth with clear aligners is that the solution is practically invisible! Compared to metal braces, these aligners are barely noticeable. In addition, most patients also report that they are more comfortable and easier to wear, too.

Another benefit? You can also enjoy your new smile sooner! Clear aligners require less time than metal braces, and you’re the one who stands to benefit the most from this fast-acting power.

7. When are metal braces best?

Even with the development of clear aligners, conventional metal braces are still very effective. In fact, they are even preferred in certain situations where regular aligner use might not be feasible.

For instance, if you have a young teenager, you may prefer metal brackets simply because they aren’t removable. Keeping up with your aligner and remembering to put it on and take it off at the right time can be a lot to manage, especially for younger children.

In addition, metal braces often work best when there are more complex dental issues that require correction.

8. What are the advantages of working with an orthodontist?

Whether you choose to straighten your teeth with traditional metal brackets or clear aligners, it helps to have your orthodontist perform your exam and follow your treatment through to completion. A dental professional is not only well-versed in every aspect of the procedure, but is also familiar with your teeth and gums.

In addition to being part of the Academy of Orthodontics, many orthodontists (including Dr. Sadeghi) are also Certified Preferred Invisalign providers. This way, you can rest assured that you’re getting expert care at every turn.

Straighten your teeth and improve your confidence.

Are you ready to achieve that straighter, more confident smile you’ve been dreaming about for years? If so, the right solution is within reach!

Whether you choose a telemedicine service like Smile Direct Club or work directly with your orthodontist for a custom Invisalign solution, the key is finding a plan that you are comfortable with and can commit to maintaining. For more information on the orthodontic solutions we provide, feel free to contact us today.

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8 Fun Fall Activities to Do in Reading, MA https://firstdentalassociates.com/8-fun-fall-activities-to-do-in-reading-ma/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=8-fun-fall-activities-to-do-in-reading-ma Mon, 28 Sep 2020 10:36:21 +0000 https://firstdentalassociates.com/?p=5213 Fall activities in Reading, MA

Plan out a safe and festive fall season with your family in Reading, Massachusetts. Fall is right around the corner, and with it comes cooler weather, beautiful scenery, and the start of the major holiday season. Just like the unique summer we’ve experienced, we’re also expecting fall to be a little different this year compared […]

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Fall activities in Reading, MA

Plan out a safe and festive fall season with your family in Reading, Massachusetts.

Fall is right around the corner, and with it comes cooler weather, beautiful scenery, and the start of the major holiday season. Just like the unique summer we’ve experienced, we’re also expecting fall to be a little different this year compared to 2019.

Social distancing and safety guidelines may change your usual fall activity schedule, but it by no means needs to put it to a halt. With a little creative thinking, you can have a festive, memorable fall right here in Reading, MA while staying safe and helping to protect our community’s health.

Here are 8 great ideas to consider when brainstorming with your family.

1. Jump in a leaf pile and take some time to plant some spring-blooming bulbs in your yard.

Raking up leaves isn’t exactly fun, but allowing your kids to dive into the leaf pile before bagging is a classic fall moment—not to mention a great photo op! While you’re cleaning up your yard, another wonderful idea is to plant spring bulbs in your flower beds. An hour or two of time now will reward you and your family with beautiful flowers come spring.

2. Schedule a Halloween-themed spooky board-game night with your family or friends.

Scary movie nights with the family or a couple of close friends is a must for Halloween, but why not change it up with scary board games instead? Hop onto Amazon and search for ‘spooky board games’ to find a variety of games, from card games to board games, just for the adults or kid-friendly!

3. Spend an afternoon creating autumnal-themed arts and crafts for all ages.

Arts and crafts are a great way to spend an afternoon, especially when combined with tasty snacks and a classic fall holiday movie on in the background. Crafts can also be scaled up or down depending on the ages in your family. For example, a leaf printed banner for a doorway or fireplace is simple enough for kids while a DIY fall wreath is perfect for teens and adults.

4. Go on a nature hike or take a daylong Sunday drive to see the leaves change.

One of the most beautiful aspects of the fall season is seeing the leaves change color. Trees will start this process as early as September, but the peak time to see the leaves change is around mid-October. Take full advantage of this annual event by going on a hike at a local park or even a daylong road trip.

5. Trick or treating may be up in the air, but you can encourage Halloween spirit by decorating your home.

Even though trick or treating will likely be different this year, that doesn’t mean Halloween is canceled. We can work together to keep up the Halloween spirit in our neighborhoods by decorating our homes. As for parents with kids who love Halloween, you can still dress up in costumes, watch scary movies, and enjoy your favorite seasonal snacks.

6. Put up some bird feeders (or create your own!) to help the native birds thrive through fall and winter.

Our native wild birds in Massachusetts can really use extra help to get through the colder weather and upcoming winter season. Setting up a few bird feeders is a great way to support our native bird species and is rewarding for animal-lovers of all ages. You can even add in some crafty DIY fun by creating your own bird feeders, like this feeder made of a pinecone, something easily found during fall.

7. Bake a batch of apple cider donuts or create your own homemade caramel apple creations.

Fall is definitely the season for delicious apple treats. Local orchards around Reading will be offering fresh apple cider, a bunch of different apple varieties and some will be open for customers to pick their own apples while practicing social distancing. Once you have your bushel of apples, consider trying these baked apple cider doughnuts or homemade apple fritters. Don’t forget about the caramel apples!

8. Speaking of baked treats, don’t forget to schedule those end of the year dental checkups!

You and your family will probably be indulging in sweets and baked goods more in fall thanks to Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the start to the winter holiday season. To ensure your oral health is in great shape for the remainder of the year right now is the perfect time to come in for a dental checkup, cleaning, or to get that cavity fixed before a toothache ruins a holiday get-together.

Beat the holiday rush and book your appointments with First Dental Associates now.

Between Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and other major holidays, your schedule is going to be jam-packed before you know it. Get ahead of the holiday rush and check ‘dental cleanings’ off your to-do list by booking your appointments now.

You can either give our office a call or fill out our online appointment request form. If you have multiple family members due for a cleaning or checkup, give us a ring and we’ll do our best to schedule your appointments the same day.

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What to Do in a Tooth Emergency https://firstdentalassociates.com/what-to-do-in-a-tooth-emergency/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=what-to-do-in-a-tooth-emergency Wed, 23 Sep 2020 10:39:55 +0000 https://firstdentalassociates.com/?p=5207 Be prepared for dental emergencies

Learning how to keep your cool and handle different dental emergencies. Between your kids’ clumsy moments and their enthusiastic play, you’re likely very familiar with the routine of putting a kiss or a Band-Aid on minor scrapes and cuts. While we all do our best to keep an eye on our kids and ensure that […]

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Be prepared for dental emergencies

Learning how to keep your cool and handle different dental emergencies.

Between your kids’ clumsy moments and their enthusiastic play, you’re likely very familiar with the routine of putting a kiss or a Band-Aid on minor scrapes and cuts. While we all do our best to keep an eye on our kids and ensure that they’re playing safely, accidents do happen—and when they do, it’s best to be prepared. While most people are at least vaguely familiar with how to handle a broken bone, many don’t know what to do when their child suffers a dental injury.

 Handling a dental emergency properly and knowing when to call the emergency dentist can impact whether or not the dentist will be able to save the tooth. Similarly, acting calm and collected will help your child feel less scared. There are many different types of dental emergencies, however, and knowing how to handle each one can be tricky. To help you know exactly how to take control of a situation if a dental emergency does happen, we’ve detailed what you should do if you’re ever faced with some of the most common dental emergencies we see in our office.

Broken Tooth

If your child breaks a tooth, do your best to collect the broken pieces and have your child rinse their mouth with warm water to ensure there aren’t any pieces in their mouth. Hold onto the tooth fragments, as your family dentist may be able to use dental bonding to reattach them to your child’s tooth. Use gauze to stop any bleeding or to provide a buffer that will prevent any jagged edges on the tooth from cutting your child’s cheek or tongue, and call your dentist immediately to schedule an emergency appointment. You can use a cold compress to minimize swelling and relieve pain while you travel to the dentist, but be careful not to keep ice on the area for too long, as that can cause other problems.

Chipped Tooth

You should handle a chipped tooth in much the same way you would a broken tooth; if you can find the piece that chipped off your child’s tooth, hold onto it just in case their dentist can use it to repair the tooth. A chipped tooth is only a dental emergency if your child is in a lot of pain or if it has created a sharp edge on your child’s tooth, so you may not need to rush straight out to the emergency room. You should still call the dentist right away and schedule an appointment for your child, as the rough surface and thinner enamel of a chipped tooth is more vulnerable to decay and it may be more susceptible to another injury. It’s best to have a dentist look at and treat the tooth at the next available appointment.

Toothache

There are many different types of toothaches—sharp, aching, throbbing, and more—with a large variety of potential causes. Not all toothaches are dental emergencies, but they should all be taken very seriously and all warrant a call to the dentist. A toothache is considered a dental emergency if it’s severe or if it’s accompanied by symptoms like swelling, a fever, or visible pus. In these cases, you should call your family dentist immediately for an emergency appointment; severe toothaches can signal a major cavity or an abscess, both of which require immediate treatment. Make sure you ask your child to describe their pain and report this to the dentist when you call, as the descriptors they use can provide hints to the cause of their pain. While you head to the dentist, you can use cold compresses, over-the-counter pain medications, or proven home remedies like clove oil to minimize your child’s pain—just make sure to tell us what you’ve already given your child for pain when you arrive at our office.

 In contrast, if your child has a more minor or moderate toothache, try flossing their teeth and having them rinse their mouth with lukewarm water to make sure there’s no food stuck in their gums. If this doesn’t resolve the problem, your child may have a severe cavity or similar issue that will only get worse if you try and wait for it to go away on its own, so call your family dentist right away to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

Cracked Tooth

A cracked tooth can be incredibly painful and risks exposing the soft dentin—or, in severe cases, even the tooth pulp—to oral bacteria and decay, so it requires immediate treatment. Thankfully, cracked teeth are relatively simple to handle, as you don’t have to go searching for pieces of your child’s tooth. Have your child rinse their mouth out with warm water straight away, do your best to clean the area, and use a cold compress to keep any swelling down while you call your emergency dentist to get your child an appointment right away.

Sudden Pain

Sudden pain in one or more of your child’s teeth is definitely a cause for concern, and like other types of tooth pain, it can have a range of causes, from a cavity to an infection or a cracked tooth. When your child begins reporting these symptoms to you, it’s wise to take them seriously—whether it’s sharp and disappears immediately afterward, or throbbing and constant, severe, sudden onset pain in a tooth needs to be addressed by an emergency dentist right away. Like with other toothaches, have your child describe their pain to you so that you can share this information when you call their dentist to schedule an emergency appointment.

Knocked-Out Tooth

If one of your child’s teeth gets knocked out, handling the tooth properly and getting your child immediate emergency treatment is more essential than ever as it can impact whether or not their dentist will be able to save the tooth. Your family dentist will have the best chance of saving your child’s tooth if you arrive at the office within 30 minutes of the accident, so call your child’s emergency dentist as soon as possible. In the meantime, you should pick up their tooth by the crown, which is the visible chewing surface of the tooth, and rinse it off with lukewarm water. Never touch the tooth by its root and never scrub the tooth or remove any tissue that seems to be hanging off of it.

 If possible, put the tooth root back in your child’s mouth and have them hold it in place by gently biting down on a piece of gauze or by applying gentle pressure with their fingers. When this isn’t an option, the tooth needs to be kept wet, so submerge it in a small container filled with your child’s saliva, milk, or water. On the way to the dentist, use gauze and light pressure to try and control the bleeding and a cold compress to help with swelling and pain. You can also give your child over-the-counter pain medication, but make sure to tell us what you’ve already given them for pain when you arrive at our office.

When in Doubt

Admittedly, it can be hard to know when your child is facing a dental emergency, especially when less obvious symptoms like tooth pain are involved. It’s hard to know exactly how severe your child’s toothache is, especially since you’re relying on their description of their pain rather than evidence you can see. Are they being a little overdramatic? Or are they downplaying their pain because they don’t want to go to the dentist?

 In situations like this, or if you simply aren’t sure whether your child’s tooth is chipped severely enough to warrant an immediate call to the emergency dentist, a good rule of thumb is this: when in doubt, call your dentist immediately. It’s always better to get in to see a dentist right away and learn that the problem isn’t as dire as it could have been than it is to wait and allow the issue to become more severe—and more painful—in the meantime. When you go ahead and call the emergency dentist, the worst-case scenario is that your child will get treatment a little sooner than they otherwise would have—and that’s a pretty good outcome. 

 You may not be able to prevent dental emergencies from happening, but learning how to handle them before they do will help you stay calm in the moment and prevent you from making mistakes that could make things worse. Instead, you’ll be able to take control of the situation, keep your child calm, and take the right steps to ensure that they get immediate treatment with the best chance of success.

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Dental Implants: Answering Your Frequently Asked Questions https://firstdentalassociates.com/dental-implants-answering-your-frequently-asked-questions/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dental-implants-answering-your-frequently-asked-questions Mon, 24 Aug 2020 18:49:57 +0000 https://firstdentalassociates.com/?p=5196 dental implants FAQ

Get the answers to 8 of your most common dental implant questions. Dental implants have been booming in popularity as a superior solution for missing teeth and the trend isn’t expected to stop anytime soon. More dentists than ever before are offering dental implant services right alongside traditional restorative care, including the First Dental Associates […]

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dental implants FAQ

Get the answers to 8 of your most common dental implant questions.

Dental implants have been booming in popularity as a superior solution for missing teeth and the trend isn’t expected to stop anytime soon. More dentists than ever before are offering dental implant services right alongside traditional restorative care, including the First Dental Associates team!

If you’re considering dental implants for the first time, you probably have many questions about this unique restorative technique. Here we’ve answered 8 of the most common questions that come up during our patient consultations.

1. Are dental implants expensive?

Dental implants are more expensive than other restorative care options, but in terms of cost versus value, their numerous advantages and longevity make them well worth the investment.

Many factors can affect the final cost of treatment, such as insurance or the need for additional services.  Because of this it’s hard to offer an estimate until your consultation. However, we always provide our patients with as accurate a quote as possible prior to treatment so you’ll never be caught off-guard by the final cost.

2. What are the benefits and drawbacks of dental implants?

Dental implants are the most natural solution for tooth loss in terms of beauty and, most importantly, function. Implants maintain the health of your jawbone, prevent teeth from shifting, and feel just like natural teeth when it comes to chewing. They are permanent and require no special care, just a regular routine of brushing, flossing, and biannual dental checkups.

There are very few drawbacks to dental implants. Most patients are extremely happy with their decision to get one (or a few!), despite the long healing period involved.

3. How long until my dental implant is healed?

Osseointegration, the process of your jawbone growing around your implant post, can take anywhere from four to six months before it’s fully integrated or healed. You’ll then have a healing cap placed on top of the healed post, which requires about two more weeks of healing.

Afterward, you’ll have your abutment placed (the foundation for the crown) and a temporary or permanent crown. For temporary crowns, you may wear one for a couple of weeks before the permanent is placed.

4. Does it hurt to get a dental implant?

Getting a dental implant is an oral surgery procedure so there’s naturally more discomfort compared to a filling. The actual placement of the implant itself is relatively painless since you’ll be numb. Afterward, it’s very normal to feel sore and tender. Most patients with high to average pain tolerance find the discomfort very manageable, especially after the first couple of days.

Pain tolerance is a very personal matter and we do everything we can to ensure our patients with low-pain tolerance are as comfortable as possible during the healing process.

5. How long do dental implants last?

Dental implant posts can last well over 20 years or even a lifetime if you maintain a good level of oral health. The dental crown placed on your implant can last 10 to 15 years before it may need to be replaced with a new one.

6. Will dental implants affect future dental work?

Dental implants are permanent and cannot be removed. You can still get orthodontic care, Invisalign, and cosmetic services, but these options will need to work around your dental implants. For example, if you want Invisalign your dentist will design your smile plan so your aligners do not move the implant, but only the teeth surrounding it.

If you’re interested in both orthodontics and dental implants, it’s best to straighten your teeth first to make things easier.

7. What’s a bone graft and do I need one?

Dental implants require a healthy amount of jawbone in order to be successful. A bone graft allows us to replace lost bone in the jaw so an implant is able to be placed. This will be done prior to the actual placement of your dental implant post to allow for healing.

You may need a bone graft if you’ve experienced damage from gum disease or decay, lost a tooth in the past and bone has been reabsorbed, or if your jawbone is very thin or soft.

8. How can I tell if I’m a dental implant candidate?

Ideal dental implant candidates are older teens, adults, and seniors who have a good level of oral and overall health. Gum health is particularly important, though you may certainly be a future candidate after gum disease treatment.

Certain health conditions can negatively affect candidacy. These include suppressed immune systems, uncontrolled diabetes, and cancer. With that being said, advancements in dental implants have really opened the realm of possibilities. You may be pleased to find you’re able to get a dental implant during your consultation.

Schedule your dental implant consultation with First Dental Associates.

The first step to a beautiful new smile is to book a consultation appointment. During your consultation, you’ll discover more about dental implants and find out if you’re a candidate. Once your appointment is scheduled, check out the New Patient Forms page to get a head start on your paperwork.

Even if you’re not quite ready to pursue dental implants at the moment, we still encourage you to give our office a call. A consultation with Dr. Singh can help you gain a better understanding of the dental implant procedure and help you make an informed decision about your future smile.

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Dental Implants 101: Diagnosis, Treatment Procedure, and Aftercare https://firstdentalassociates.com/dental-implants-101-diagnosis-treatment-procedure-and-aftercare/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dental-implants-101-diagnosis-treatment-procedure-and-aftercare Mon, 24 Aug 2020 18:33:23 +0000 https://firstdentalassociates.com/?p=5192 Dental Implants 101

The basics of dental implants, from candidacy to post-treatment. Dental implants are steadily becoming the go-to permanent solution for patients with missing teeth. If you’ve experienced tooth loss in your past or you’re about to undergo extractions, you may already be interested in dental implants as a possible solution. Dental implants have been around since […]

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Dental Implants 101

The basics of dental implants, from candidacy to post-treatment.

Dental implants are steadily becoming the go-to permanent solution for patients with missing teeth. If you’ve experienced tooth loss in your past or you’re about to undergo extractions, you may already be interested in dental implants as a possible solution.

Dental implants have been around since the ’70s, but numerous advancements in technology and technique have made today’s modern implants superior to most other forms of restorative care. More often than not dentists will highly recommend dental implants over other tooth loss solutions if a patient is a candidate.

If you have no experience with dental implants and need a crash course introduction, we’ve got your back! Here is a rundown on the basics of dental implants to help you feel prepared for a consultation at First Dental Associates.

What Dental Implants Are and How They Work

A dental implant is made of three parts:

  • A small titanium post
  • An abutment
  • A crown to cover the abutment

The titanium post is placed within the jawbone and an abutment is attached to the top of the screw-like post head. This abutment serves as the foundation for the fake tooth. The finished crown conceals the abutment and looks just like a natural tooth.

Dental implant technology has also expanded to the world of dental bridges and dentures. If you’re missing multiple teeth or all of your teeth, you have the option of implant-supported bridges or implant-supported dentures.

In terms of how they work, dental implants strongly mimic natural teeth. After your implant is placed a process called osseointegration occurs in which your jawbone will bond to the post. The result is a secure, stable post that functions just like the root of a tooth. It’s every bit as strong and capable of normal chewing pressure.

Dental implants have a success rate of over 95% and can last for well over 20 years or more. The dental crown itself has a lifespan of about 10 to 15 years as standard, though longer is possible.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Dental Implants

Here are some of the major advantages of dental implants:

  • They have the potential to last a lifetime with proper oral hygiene.
  • They prevent future jawbone loss and the shifting of teeth.
  • They keep your face looking youthful and firm.
  • Your diet won’t need to change.
  • You’ll feel more confident than ever before.
  • You won’t worry about feeling embarrassed (i.e., dentures slipping).
  • Your speech won’t be affected.

As far as drawbacks go, there are two to be aware of.

Firstly, dental implants are a more expensive treatment option. However, their cost versus value makes them a fantastic investment. In the long run, you’ll spend less on a dental implant than on a dental bridge or dentures.

Secondly, dental implants do have a lengthy healing period that spans anywhere from four to six months. Most patients with dental implants will quickly agree that they’re well worth the wait, however.

Ideal Candidates for Dental Implant Treatment

Ideal candidates for dental implants are older teens, adults, and seniors who are healthy overall and don’t have any serious health conditions. Candidates also need to have fairly healthy gums. While a dental implant can replace a decayed tooth, healthy gums are a must.

Health conditions that may make you a high-risk candidate include diabetes, cancer, immune systems disorders, and heart disease. Alcoholism and tobacco use can also reduce the success of a dental implant. Keep in mind that medications can also affect dental implants. You’ll notice that your dentist will ask you plenty of questions about your health history and medications for this reason.

The Process of Getting a Dental Implant

If your dental implant consultation goes well and you’re deemed a candidate, you can expect your treatment plan to have about five or six steps.

Step 1: Any underlying oral health issues will be addressed, such as the removal of the decayed tooth that will be replaced with the implant.

Step 2: If needed, a bone graft will be performed. This is usually the case if your tooth has already been missing for a while and bone loss has occurred. The healing process for this step can add an additional few months of healing.

If you don’t need a bone graft, you’ll move right along to step 3.

Step 3: Your dentist will place the implant post. In some cases, this will happen during the same appointment as the removal of a decayed/damaged tooth. After placement, you’ll go through a four to six month healing period while osseointegration occurs.

Step 4: Once osseointegration is complete you’ll come back for a checkup and to have a healing cap placed on top of the now healed implant. This requires some removal of the gum tissue that’s grown over the implant. This will heal in about two weeks.

Step 5: In this next appointment the healing cap will be replaced with the abutment. You may also have a temporary or permanent crown placed in the same appointment. If you received a permanent crown you’re now done with treatment.

Step 6: If you received a temporary crown, your final appointment will be the placement of your permanent crown.

What to Expect After Your Dental Implant Surgery

The healing period for a dental implant can seem intimidating, but we assure you that we’ll do everything possible to ensure you’re comfortable.

The average patient will feel sore and tender for the first couple of days after the implant post has been placed. This is completely normal as a dental implant is a surgical procedure, making it more invasive than a filling or crown. Discomfort can be controlled with over-the-counter pain relievers and we’ll supply you with detailed instructions on aftercare.

You will need to be very careful with your diet during the first few weeks, eating soft foods and ensuring your meals are as nutritious as possible to aid with swift healing.

After you’re fully healed and your dental implant is finished, you can treat your new faux tooth just as if it was a natural one. Continue with a great at-home oral care regimen and biannual dental visits as recommended by your dentist.

Get started by booking a consultation with First Dental Associates.

The first step to getting dental implants is to book a consultation appointment by calling our office.

During your consultation, we’ll evaluate your current oral health, determine if you’re a candidate, and design a treatment plan that will work best for your individual smile. From there we’ll schedule your next appointments and you’ll be well on your way to a beautiful, permanent solution for your tooth loss woes.

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Quarantine-clean: Cleaning Supplies You Can Make at Home https://firstdentalassociates.com/quarantine-clean-cleaning-supplies-you-can-make-at-home/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=quarantine-clean-cleaning-supplies-you-can-make-at-home Thu, 23 Jul 2020 17:08:39 +0000 https://firstdentalassociates.com/?p=5184 Homemade Cleaning Supplies

Here’s how to take a natural approach to cleaning supplies. The kiddos are home and they are making a mess like it’s their job. You’ve run out of store-bought cleaning products. What are you going to do? Why not try these natural cleaning alternatives with supplies you’re likely to have on hand? Believe it or […]

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Homemade Cleaning Supplies

Here’s how to take a natural approach to cleaning supplies.

The kiddos are home and they are making a mess like it’s their job. You’ve run out of store-bought cleaning products. What are you going to do? Why not try these natural cleaning alternatives with supplies you’re likely to have on hand?

Believe it or not, you probably have the ingredients for some seriously awesome cleaning supplies right in your cupboard. The key is knowing how to mix the right things—and know what should never go together—to stay on top of your cleaning during this unusual time.

The team at First Dental Associates knows all about the importance of proper sanitation.

Read on for our top favorite DIY cleaning supply mixtures and how to use them. We’ve even thrown in some instructions for DIY hand sanitizer.

A Quick Note on What Not to Combine

Before we get into our DIY household cleaners, it’s important to discuss the fact that you should always do some research before coming up with your own cleaning supplies. While our suggestions are not a comprehensive list of all possibilities, there are some combinations that can create a very dangerous gas. For example, you should never combine any cleaners that contain ammonia with bleach.

Believe it or not, there are some natural-sounding combinations that can also threaten your health. Do not combine bleach with vinegar or rubbing alcohol. You should also never combine hydrogen peroxide with vinegar.

What to Look for in Your Cupboard

It’s more than likely that you won’t have to run out to the store to collect the ingredients we use for our homemade cleaners. You probably have them at home already. It’s okay if you don’t have everything on our list as many of them can be used on their own or in combination with one or two other ingredients.

Baking Soda

This is one that can be used on its own with a little bit of water. Normally you use it for baking but now you can use it to cut through grease and other stuck-on substances. Plus, it makes a great deodorizer.

White Vinegar

Distilled white vinegar is great for eating away at stains, soap scum, and more. The higher the concentration of vinegar, the better.

Rubbing Alcohol

You probably keep rubbing alcohol in your medicine cabinet. Rubbing alcohol is a great addition to spray-on glass cleaners and it’s essential for our DIY hand sanitizer.

Essential Oils or Lemon Juice

These are just extras, although lemon juice does have antibacterial properties. Add these natural ingredients to your cleaners to enhance their smell.

How to Make Your Cleaning Supplies

Now that you’ve gathered your ingredients, let’s start mixing.

All-Purpose Green Cleaner

For this all-purpose cleaner, you will need one part vinegar and one part water. To add a fresh scent, you can also toss in the rind of a lemon or a few drops of your favorite essential oil.

Combine the ingredients in a clean spray bottle and shake them up. If you’re adding a scent, it’ll take about three or four days for the scent to infuse with the mixture.

You can use this cleaner on everything except for granite countertops. Acidic cleaners have a tendency to etch into the stone.

Baking Soda Paste

Baking soda paste is an absolute marvel. It will eat away at stains that even the strongest chemical cleaners can’t touch. Use it to clean your stainless steel appliances and they’ll look brand new.

Take a 1/2 cup of baking soda and combine it with a few tablespoons of warm water, mixing it and adding more water until you have a spreadable (but thick) paste. You can apply this paste to any surface and let it sit for up to 20 minutes. Then, use a damp cloth to wipe it away.

Glass Cleaner

This is another cleaning solution that works best if you mix it in a spray bottle.

Combine two cups of water, 1/2 cup of vinegar, and 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol in your spray bottle. Once again, you can add some lemon juice or essential oil to improve the smell. Shake the mixture thoroughly before spraying onto windows and mirrors.

Try to avoid using this glass cleaner on particularly hot days. If it dries too quickly, it will be hard to remove the smudges.

How to Make Hand Sanitizer

For this recipe, you’re going to need an extra ingredient—aloe vera. This will help give your hand sanitizer that gel-like substance we’re used to and keep your hands from drying out. Add some lemon juice or essential oils to cut the alcohol smell that tickles the nose.

Make sure that your rubbing alcohol has a 99% alcohol volume. Most pure rubbing alcohol does, but double-check before you rely on your homemade hand sanitizer.

The key is to use two parts alcohol for every one part aloe vera. This ensures that you’re sticking around the 60% alcohol ratio the CDC says is necessary to kill viruses. Then, add as much of your added scent as you’d like.

Don’t forget to clean your teeth.

Whether you’re running low on store-bought cleaning supplies or you’re looking for greener alternatives, these recipes are a great solution.

While you’re keeping your house squeaky clean, don’t forget to keep your gums and teeth squeaky clean, too. Good oral health is one of the keys to a healthy, high-functioning immune system. As long as you tackle your plaque twice a day, your immune system can regulate the rest of your body, rather than fighting off run-of-the-mill oral bacteria.

As always, we’re here for you at First Dental Associates, although we’ve had to make some adjustments just like you. We have a new protocol to ensure your safety during this time and we are back offering regular dental appointments, so go to our contact page and call our office phone number to book in a visit.

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7 Immune Boosting and Stress Management Activities You Can Do at Home https://firstdentalassociates.com/7-immune-boosting-and-stress-management-activities-you-can-do-at-home/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=7-immune-boosting-and-stress-management-activities-you-can-do-at-home Thu, 23 Jul 2020 17:01:43 +0000 https://firstdentalassociates.com/?p=5179 Immune Boosting and Stress Management Activities

How to Fight Anxiety While Improving Your Health Are you feeling stressed about COVID-19 and the measures we need to take to stay healthy? Believe it or not, that stress could be one of the factors taking the biggest toll on your immune system. Countless studies have been conducted that all came back with the […]

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Immune Boosting and Stress Management Activities

How to Fight Anxiety While Improving Your Health

Are you feeling stressed about COVID-19 and the measures we need to take to stay healthy? Believe it or not, that stress could be one of the factors taking the biggest toll on your immune system.

Countless studies have been conducted that all came back with the same response: ongoing stress, even if it’s mild, suppresses the cell production that helps our body fight viruses and bacteria.

Our team at First Dental Associates has come up with 7 strategies that you can incorporate into your weekly or daily schedule to manage your stress and boost your immune system.

Read on for our top 7 stress management activities that will help put your mind at ease and get your body in tip-top shape.

1. Video chat with loved ones.

It’s wonderful that we can now head over to a friend’s house or host a family dinner. And thanks to modern technology, we can also spend quality time together even when staying home. Free apps such as Apple’s FaceTime or Google’s Hangouts allow us to talk face-to-face with friends and family across the globe!

If you can’t catch up in person, set up a weekly video chat with your loved ones. That way, social time doesn’t start encroaching on your work or parenting schedule and you still get the stress relief of sharing a laugh or a cup of tea with some of your favorite people.

2. Read uplifting books.

Reading is a great way to relax the mind and enter a space other than the one you’re inhabiting. Choose books that increase your empathy, make you smile, or remind you that people are capable of making the world a better place.

We may feel like we’re being bombarded with a constant stream of negative news. Picking up a fantastic, uplifting book is a great way to remind ourselves that things won’t always stay this way and help us to maintain a positive mindset. We recommend books such as Ross Gay’s The Book of Delights or The War for Kindness by Jamil Zaki.

3. Use yoga as a stress management tool at home—or free.

Whether you usually attend a weekly yoga class or you’ve never done yoga in your life, there are tons of free yoga classes available on platforms like YouTube. We’re head over heels for the “Yoga with Adriene” series!

Adriene makes videos for beginners, experts, and even kids, so the whole family can practice body mindfulness. Yoga is a great stress management activity that also helps get the blood flowing, which is a great way to boost the immune system.

4. Get into a new “headspace”.

Try the meditation app, headspace, and see how just a few minutes of meditation every day can lower your stress levels and help you feel mentally refreshed.

While this app does have a cost, you can give their free trial a shot before making the financial commitment. You just might find that paying a few dollars a week for this amazing guided meditation program is worth it!

5. Take good care of your oral health.

As we mentioned earlier, stress and immunity can become a vicious cycle. You want to stay healthy so that your immune system is working in full gear, but this fixation on health causes stress. In turn, your stress negatively impacts your immune system.

One of the best ways to combat this particular strain is to take simple measures to boost your health. Did you know that having a good bill of oral health does more than brighten your smile and improve your breath?

Oral health is directly connected to your overall health. A build-up of plaque on the teeth and gums becomes a breeding ground for bacteria which causes inflammation of the gums. Inflammation is your body’s way of signaling to the immune system that the inflamed area needs special attention, which means your immune system is busy fighting that localized bacteria and can’t focus as closely on the rest of the body.

Avoiding this outcome is simple! Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day for two minutes, scrubbing the fronts and backs of every tooth as well as your tongue. Follow your brushing routine with thorough flossing and finish it off with an ADA-approved mouthwash to knock out any remaining bacteria.

6. Eat foods that make you feel good.

What we eat has a direct impact on our overall health and our mental health.

Eating foods that are high in carbs and sugars gives our mind and body short bursts of energy followed by a crash that leaves us feeling sluggish and down. When you replace those foods with clean proteins and nutrient-rich fruits and veggies, you stabilize your energy and thus your mood. Plus, you send tons of vitamins and minerals through your body that help to maintain the production of white blood cells which act as your immune system’s sidekick.

7. Head outdoors for stress management.

Now the beautiful summer weather is here, it’s important that we step outside and soak up some mood-boosting, stress-fighting Vitamin D.

Go out in the yard and read a book in the sun or tend to your garden. Take a walk around the neighborhood, making sure to give your neighbors ample room to pass!

It might feel like we’re at a slight stand-still right now. Seeing that nature carries on is a great way to feel at peace and remind ourselves that this, too, shall pass.

Stress management activities keep your mind and body healthy.

This is a stressful time for all and it can be hard not to get caught up in the negative. Practice stress management activities on a regular basis to improve your mood and, in turn, boost your immune system. Talk about a win-win!

We encourage you to take great care of your oral health and we are thrilled to be able to welcome back our patients. We have a new appointment protocol to ensure your safety during this time. To book an appointment visit our contact page or call our office phone number.

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Invisalign Aligners Overview https://firstdentalassociates.com/invisalign-aligners-overview/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=invisalign-aligners-overview Wed, 24 Jun 2020 18:15:55 +0000 https://firstdentalassociates.com/?p=5173 Invisalign Aligners or Braces?

Is Invisalign right for your child? Invisalign deserves a lot of the praise it gets; it’s an effective teeth straightening treatment that erases or improves upon many of the drawbacks associated with traditional braces. Despite the many positive Invisalign reviews the internet has to offer, no treatment is perfect; each treatment, no matter how amazing, […]

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Invisalign Aligners or Braces?

Is Invisalign right for your child?

Invisalign deserves a lot of the praise it gets; it’s an effective teeth straightening treatment that erases or improves upon many of the drawbacks associated with traditional braces. Despite the many positive Invisalign reviews the internet has to offer, no treatment is perfect; each treatment, no matter how amazing, has its own unique set of benefits and drawbacks. While many patients feel that Invisalign’s benefits outweigh its drawbacks, we know that it’s important to make this decision with as much information as you can gather. To help you out, we’ve provided an overview of Invisalign aligners, from what you can expect from the treatment and how it will impact your child’s daily life to how much Invisalign costs.

What dental problems can Invisalign treat?

Invisalign can treat a wide range of dental issues on both upper and lower teeth, producing just as dramatic an improvement in your child’s smile as braces. In addition to straightening misaligned teeth, Invisalign can remedy overcrowding, gaps between teeth, overbites, underbites, crossbites, open bites, and can help bring a crooked jaw into alignment. Invisalign can even be used on children of all ages because they work well on both baby and permanent teeth, though an adult must be committed to ensuring that a younger child’s aligners are given proper care and worn throughout the day and night.

While there are serious dental issues that Invisalign can’t solve, the aligners are an option for most patients; your child’s dentist can tell you if they’re a good fit for Invisalign. If you’d like to see real-life examples of what Invisalign can do, we’ll be happy to show you before-and-after photos of our Invisalign patients during your child’s consultation.

How does Invisalign measure up to braces?

Invisalign aligners are so clear and discrete that many people won’t even notice your child is wearing them, but braces are impossible not to notice. Some children genuinely enjoy choosing fun colors for their braces, but braces make the majority of kids self-conscious of their smiles. Invisalign allows your child to remain confident in their smile throughout the teeth straightening process. Additionally, while braces have metal brackets and wires that can scrape or cut the skin on the inside of the mouth, Invisalign is smooth and designed to fit perfectly in your child’s mouth to ensure it feels natural and comfortable.

Since your child can take their aligners out whenever they need to, they won’t have to struggle to brush and floss around metal wires and brackets and can eat all of their favorite foods throughout their treatment—even popcorn and caramel! The trade-off is that clear aligners stain easily, so your child will need to commit to removing their aligners whenever they’re planning on eating or drinking anything other than water and will need to brush their teeth after every meal—even snacks. If they don’t, their aligners will quickly become stained, making them much more visible.

How long does treatment take with Invisalign versus braces?

Straightening teeth with Invisalign takes an average of 12 to 18 months, while using braces takes an average of 24 months. To be fair, however, the average treatment time for braces is likely skewed by the fact that they’re often used for severe dental issues that can take up to three years to treat; patients with more minor issues can be treated with braces in as little as 12 months.

Can my child remove the aligners whenever they need to?

Yes, but the key word here is “need.” Your child can remove the aligners for short periods of time when they absolutely need to, such as during meals or for a band recital, but the aligners need to stay in your child’s mouth for at least 22 hours every day. If your child is taking the aligners out so often that they’re regularly failing to meet this minimum requirement, it’ll take longer for Invisalign to straighten their teeth.

Is Invisalign really completely invisible?

Invisalign aligners are usually nearly invisible, making it incredibly hard for others to notice them. If they aren’t well cared for, however, your child’s aligners will become more visible as they accumulate stains. The good news is your child will have a fresh start every time they switch to a new aligner, so they won’t be stuck with a stained aligner for too long. Another factor that can impact the aligners’ visibility is whether or not your child needs SmartForce attachments placed on their teeth to provide the aligners with a little more leverage. The aligners fit tightly around the attachments to make them less noticeable, but they can make the aligners slightly more visible.

Not all children need attachments, however, and those who do usually only need a couple; this doesn’t have much effect on their aligners’ visibility, especially if the attachments aren’t on prominent teeth, but children who need many attachments will look like they’re wearing clear braces. This is still preferable to braces for many kids, especially since they can still eat all of their favorite foods, but it’s an important detail that you may want to ask your pediatric dentist about before you commit to Invisalign.

What’s the process for getting Invisalign?

Once you decide to get Invisalign for your child, their dentist will use a special tool to take a digital scan of your child’s teeth. This scan will be used to create a customized treatment plan that outlines each step of the teeth straightening process. The aligners are made in an outside lab and take about four weeks to arrive at our office; when they’re ready, you’ll make an appointment so your kids’ dentist can make sure they fit properly, give you and your child directions on how to care for the aligners, and answer all of your last-minute questions. It’s as simple as that!

What does the treatment involve?

Braces and Invisalign both work by exerting gentle, gradually increasing pressure on your teeth to get them to shift in the desired direction. Orthodontists increase the braces’ pressure to your teeth by tightening their wires, but Invisalign accomplishes this by having your child switch to a new set of aligners. Your child’s specialized treatment plan will determine how often they do this, but most patients make the switch every one or two weeks. Your child will still have to visit their pediatric dentist about as often as children with braces do—every four to six weeks—to ensure their teeth are moving the way they’re supposed to.

What care do Invisalign aligners require?

In addition to the regular oral hygiene we mentioned earlier to keep your child’s aligners clear, the aligners themselves need to be cleaned at least once a day. This will contribute to keeping the aligners clear and will ensure they smell fresh. Hot water can soften the plastic and cause your child’s aligners to warp, so make sure your child cleans them with cold water, a non-abrasive toothpaste, and a soft-bristled toothbrush.

What is treatment with Invisalign really like?

Your child will need to adjust several of their habits and put in a little work to ensure the treatment is successful and that their aligners stay clear. The biggest changes your child will have to make involve their oral hygiene and eating habits. While your child can eat whatever they want, they’ll need to keep a toothbrush and toothpaste with them at all times and really dedicate themselves to brushing their teeth after every meal and snack. Your child should drink water throughout the day and save dark drinks, such as tea, soda, and coffee, for meals or snacks when they’ve already removed their aligners. They’ll also need to be careful not to take the aligners off too often or for too long. Additionally, Invisalign will cause mild pain or discomfort after your child switches to a new aligner—just like braces will. It should only last for a day or two and can be easily knocked out with ice or an over-the-counter pain reliever if necessary.

What happens if my child loses their aligners?

If your child loses their current set of aligners, notify their dentist right away so they can order a replacement set if necessary. If your child was just about to change to a new set of aligners anyway, their dentist may tell them to go ahead and make the switch instead of worrying about getting replacements. If your child just started a new set of aligners, however, they should go back to their most recent set while they wait for the replacements to arrive.

What’s the difference between Invisalign and SmileDirectClub?

While Invisalign and SmileDirectClub’s aligners look very similar on the surface, making SmileDirectClub’s less expensive price tag sound like a great deal, there’s actually a huge difference between the capabilities and quality of the two treatments.

SmileDirectClub saves money by relying heavily on remote service. Getting to stay at home might sound tempting, but it has its consequences; the quality of care your child will receive goes down because there’s no dentist to physically examine them. SmileDirectClub representatives don’t take your child’s medical history, oral health, or previous dental procedures into account when they advise you regarding their treatment, and you only check in with them online every three months once the aligners arrive. You’ll also end up completing a lot of steps yourself, like taking your child’s dental impression using a kit that SmileDirectClub sends you in the mail; dental impressions are notoriously difficult and can be ruined by a few stray air bubbles, so you might not get it right the first time.

Since you get Invisalign through your child’s dentist, they’re involved in the process from day one, examining your child’s mouth and tailoring their treatment to their individual needs and medical history. If you run into any problems, you can contact their dentist right away for a quick, personal response—something you can’t do with SmileDirectClub.

The biggest weakness in SmileDirectClub is the lack of supervised care from an experienced dentist with a hands-on view.

How much is Invisalign?

Invisalign has a reputation for being more expensive than braces, and while this was true when it first hit the market, it’s certainly not anymore! Nowadays, aligners from Invisalign cost about the same as braces, though exactly how much your child’s Invisalign costs depends upon the length of their treatment and what dental issues need to be fixed.

Will my child need to wear retainers once their treatment is complete?

Yes. Dentists recommend everyone who completes any type of orthodontic treatment, including Invisalign, should wear retainers once their treatment is complete. Think of it this way: Your child’s teeth have been convinced to move, but they’re not set in their ways yet. Retainers ensure that your child’s teeth won’t start shifting back to their original positions; if your child forgoes retainers, they’ll likely lose at least some of the benefits they gained through Invisalign. Everyone is different, so your kids’ dentist will give you specific instructions regarding how long your child will need to wear their retainer. Generally, however, they’ll need to wear a retainer for at least 22 hours a day for up to six months, after which they can begin only wearing them at night.

Invisalign is an effective, comfortable, and convenient teeth straightening method that gives your child confidence and the freedom to keep eating all of their favorite foods, but they’re not effortless; getting quick, discrete results requires your child to commit to forming new habits and taking care of the aligners. If you’re interested in Invisalign but aren’t sure if it’s right for your child yet, feel free to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sadeghi, Dr. Singh, or Dr. Tang to explore your options.

The post Invisalign Aligners Overview appeared first on First Dental Associates - Family & Cosmetic Dentistry.

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How Do I Choose the Best Dentist Near Me for Dental Implants? https://firstdentalassociates.com/how-do-i-choose-the-best-dentist-near-me-for-dental-implants/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-do-i-choose-the-best-dentist-near-me-for-dental-implants Wed, 24 Jun 2020 17:46:21 +0000 https://firstdentalassociates.com/?p=5168 Who Is the Best Dentist Near Me for Dental Implants?

Picking the perfect dentist is the key to a wonderful dental implant experience. Dental implants have helped over 3 million people get their smiles back, and every year another 500,000 patients opt for this beneficial restorative dentistry procedure. The process of getting dental implants is very safe, but it is a more intensive procedure compared […]

The post How Do I Choose the Best Dentist Near Me for Dental Implants? appeared first on First Dental Associates - Family & Cosmetic Dentistry.

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Who Is the Best Dentist Near Me for Dental Implants?

Picking the perfect dentist is the key to a wonderful dental implant experience.

Dental implants have helped over 3 million people get their smiles back, and every year another 500,000 patients opt for this beneficial restorative dentistry procedure.

The process of getting dental implants is very safe, but it is a more intensive procedure compared to something routine, like getting a cavity filled. To get the best experience possible, you want to pick a dentist that’s both skilled with dental implants and makes you feel comfortable in their chair.

How Dental Implants Work and Why It’s Important to Choose an Experienced Dentist

Before you start looking for a dentist, it’s a great idea to familiarize yourself with how dental implants work and the process of getting one. Knowing what to expect can ease dental anxiety and help you feel more confident when speaking about dental implants with a prospective dentist.

Getting dental implants is usually a straightforward process.

Most patients will find that getting dental implants isn’t really a complicated process but, rather, one that takes longer than other dental procedures.

There are six main steps for getting a dental implant:

  1. You’ll first visit your dentist for a consultation to see if you’re an ideal candidate for a dental implant. You can expect a visual exam, as well as plenty of X-rays.
  2. Once you’re cleared as a candidate, your next appointment will be the placement of the dental implant post.
  3. Following your implant placement, you’ll be in a period of recovery to allow for osseointegration. This is the process your jawbone undertakes to grow around the new implant post. It can take a few months for this process to be complete.
  4. After you’re completely healed and your jawbone is properly fused to the implant post, your dentist will place the abutment. This is the foundation for your future tooth.
  5. The final step is the creation and placement of your new tooth. This is usually in the form of a crown and could be broken down into two appointments—one to take an impression or mold to create the crown and another appointment to place the permanent crown.
  6. From there, you’ll likely have a few follow-up appointments to ensure your dental implant is healthy and happy.

The exact process of your dental implant placement may skip a step or have an additional step. For example, you may need a bone graft if you’ve experienced bone loss in your jaw, or your dentist may combine your abutment placement during the implant placement.

You can’t be too picky or ask too many questions when choosing your dental implant dentist.

From start to finish, it can take anywhere from three to nine months between your initial consultation appointment and having a 100% healed dental implant. This is a fairly long time for a procedure, and it means you’ll be visiting the dentist you choose quite a bit. You’ll also be trusting them and their experience to guide you through every step of the process.

You can never be too picky when it comes to who you trust with your oral health, and this couldn’t be more true than when it comes to choosing a dental implant dentist.

It’s also a good idea to ask general questions about the dental office, such as:

  • What dental insurance they accept
  • What their office hours are and whether they offer weekend/evening appointments
  • How dental emergencies are handled
  • If you can get cost estimates before agreeing to treatment
  • What specific training the dentists have

Asking plenty of questions is an important part of choosing the best dental implant dentist for you. At First Dental Associates in Reading, MA, we love answering our patients’ questions and helping them learn more about our office practices, as well as specific procedures like dental implants.

Online testimonials are a great way to learn what patients think about a dental office.

While you’re searching for a dental implant dentist in Reading, MA, it’s a good idea to look for online patient testimonials.

Back in the day, you’d have to rely on word-of-mouth recommendations and your own intuition when it came to choosing a dentist. Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to look over unbiased reviews from real patients talking about their experiences with your prospective dentist.

While you’re reading patient testimonials, look for trends in patients’ experiences. If you see multiple testimonials citing compassionate care, friendliness, and professionalism, chances are that dental office will make you feel very welcome.

“Everyone is so friendly, welcoming, and pleasant to work with. Carol makes you feel like family as soon as you walk in, Sue is a fabulous hygienist, and Dr. Sadeghi is very approachable and knowledgeable.”

—cathlinl (First Dental Associates Patient Testimonials page)

You can also look for patient testimonials from long-term clients, as it shows that the level of care given by the dentist is very high if they’ve retained so many patients throughout the years.

“I’ve been a patient of Dr. Sadeghi’s for more than 15 years, and at First Dental since they opened. I wouldn’t go anywhere else. Just excellent, always, and incredible people as well.”

—Joe Musolino (Google review)

Take the first step by scheduling a dental implant consultation with First Dental Associates in Reading, MA.

First Dental Associates proudly offers compassionate dental care to individuals and families in the Reading, MA, community.

Our team will guide you through the process of getting dental implants, from consultation and planning to implant placement and after-care support while you heal. Our menu of dental services also includes other forms of restorative care, cosmetic dentistry, routine preventive care, and more. That means, even after we help you get your smile back with dental implants, you can continue to visit us for all of your dental care needs.

When you’re ready to take the first step and book a dental implant consultation, you can either give our office a call directly or fill out our online appointment request form.

The post How Do I Choose the Best Dentist Near Me for Dental Implants? appeared first on First Dental Associates - Family & Cosmetic Dentistry.

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