Monthly Archives: December 2015

Flossing 101: Back to the Basics

flossing: dental services in Prescott

You’ve heard it before, you’ll hear it again, flossing is vital towards keeping your oral health in tip-top shape. As much as everyone knows this fact, still not enough people floss daily along with their twice daily brushing routine. According to the American Dental Association, only about half of Americans floss every day and nearly 20% don’t floss at all! The following is a list of reasons why you should take the extra couple minutes a day to commit yourself to better dental hygiene, and be sure to visit Prescott Dentistry for all of your dental services in Prescott, AZ.

1. Gum Disease is worse than you think.

There are many studies that have been and still are being conducted examining the connection between gum disease and an amplified risk of premature births, stroke, respiratory diseases, diabetes and heart disease. There has yet to be any totally conclusive evidence, however, it can’t hurt to take an extra minute to floss to hedge your bets against some of these terrible diseases. Gum disease itself isn’t a fun one to deal with either!

2. There are plenty of flossing products and options on the market.

Holding floss isn’t always the easiest task. Luckily for our generation, there are tons of new alternatives that can be found at pretty much any grocery store! A popular item are the floss sticks which are basically just small plastic pieces that suspend a short piece of floss between the two ends. These are especially helpful for those of us who have teeth that are very close together or crowded. Another common alternative is a interdental cleaning device that looks sort of like a tiny pipe cleaner.

3. Dental Plaque is bacteria.. and it’s not pretty.

If you’re squeamish at all, this one should be a good motivator. The plaque than infects your teeth, causing cavities and gum disease consists of millions of microscopic bacteria. If that doesn’t make you want to grab a nice length of dental floss and go to town on your mouth, we’re not sure what will! If you are a sucker for keeping things clean and washing your hands to avoid germs – don’t forget about your mouth!

Has it been awhile since you’ve pulled out the dental floss? Don’t wait any longer and contact Prescott Dentistry today to schedule any needed dental services in Prescott today!

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (12/29/2015) angela n. (Flickr)

Healthy Teeth Holiday Tips

Healthy Teeth Holiday Tips

We made it through Thanksgiving, but the holiday season is far from over. Whether it’s Christmas, New Years, Hanukkah, or any other winter holiday, there is likely plenty of food and drink involved. At Prescott Dentistry, we hope you have a warm and happy holiday season, but we also want to make sure your oral health doesn’t suffer too much in the process! In the spirit of saving your teeth for the holidays, we’ve put together a small list of healthy teeth holiday tips to help keep your teeth white as snow! Don’t forget to visit Prescott Dentistry, your preferred dentist in Prescott AZ, for a post-holiday cleaning to help remedy any damage done.

1. Load up on veggies

When the holiday snack trays are out, skip the sugary brownies and cookies and opt for the veggies. Carrots and broccoli are loaded with Vitamin A which strengthens enamel.

2. Stay clear of candy canes

Hard candies are one of the worst treats for your teeth. Biting down on them can crack your teeth. If you are going to indulge in hard candies like candy canes, just suck on them to let them dissolve in your mouth. Then brush your teeth shortly after to remove the excess sugar.

3. Teeth aren’t tools!

We know you’re eager to open all your awesome presents, but if the packaging is too hard to get into, don’t resort to your teeth! Take a minute and find some scissors or a box cutter. No one wants a chipped or broken tooth for Christmas!

4. No soda, no problem

It’s been said time and time again, there’s not much worse for your teeth than soda! If you want something bubbly, go with fizzy water. If you absolutely must drink soda, try to use a straw so that there is less contact with your precious pearly whites!

5. No need to graze, you’re not a cow!

As cute and lovable as cows are, you are not one. Therefore, you should not be grazing! It’s tempting to leave treats out all day and never really stop eating, but that’s not good for your teeth or your waistline!

Dr. Montes and the entire staff at Prescott Dentistry hope you have a happy and healthy holiday season. Contact us to schedule your post-holiday dental cleaning today!

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (12/23/2015) HarshLight (Flickr)

Biomimetic Dentistry & Fighting Dental Fear

Biomimetic Dentistry & Fighting Dental Fear

Dr. Montes and the staff at Prescott Dentistry strive to provide a comfortable and painless experience for our patients by implementing minimally invasive biomimetic dentistry procedures. However, there are some people who suffer from dental fear or anxiety when confronted with even routine dental visits. Procrastinating and putting off your checkups can exacerbate problems with your dental health. It is important to understand that the nature of biomimetic dentistry in itself is one reason to ease your anxiety about visiting the dentist. Biomimetic dentistry utilizes preventative measures to repair one’s teeth to their original form and function as opposed to more invasive procedures commonly found in traditional dentistry.

One thing is for sure, dental phobia is not something that should be easily dismissed. About 10% of people suffer from dental fear and it can severely effect their health by leading to years of dental neglect. According to Dara Gasior, doctor of Psychology, there are a couple of effective techniques for fighting dental fear.

1. Systematic Desensitization

While it has a scary sounding title, this method is actually both effective and fairly innocuous. With this method, whatever the person is afraid of, you work at slowly introducing. In the case of dental fear that could be just placing a call in to your dentist in Prescott. Another possible step could be just watching a quick video about dentistry. The third step might be just visiting the waiting room of a dental office without actually setting up an appointment. The important thing is that it is done in small steps.

2. Mindfulness

If the first approach doesn’t work, additional coping skills may be required. Meditation and mindfulness, when practiced routinely, can help you control your thoughts enough to focus on something other than what is causing you fear and anxiety. For children, this could be as simple as having a stuffed animal or blanket with them to hold onto and focus on while they are in the chair. The key however, is to practice mindfulness even when not in stressful situations, so that when the pressure is on you have enough mental practice to control your thoughts more effectively.

Lastly, phobias are rarely the result of rational thought. Telling somebody that they way they are thinking of feeling is irrational doesn’t tend to be helpful. Lack of belief in someone’s fear is far from helpful, and it doesn’t provide any comfort. If you are fearful of the dentist, don’t hesitate to contact Prescott Dentistry, even if you just want to call to feel things out before you commit to an appointment.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (12/16/2015) Iryna Yeroshko (Flickr)

Biomimetic Dentistry Advances Continue Part II

Biomimetic Dentistry in Prescott

Every few weeks a new article or study comes out backing up the effectiveness of biomimetic dentistry or highlighting a recent advancement in that field. The tide definitely seems to be shifting towards biomimetic methods and further away from traditional drill and fill dentistry. To demonstrate that point perfectly, Sagar Kaushik, a UAB graduate student, has won a national award for his development of an advanced nanogel formula that encourages teeth to self-rejuvenate.

Kaushik was inspired by his mentor Ho-Wook Jun, Ph. D. who developed nanogels that are capable of regrowing tissue to damaged areas of the heart. The new treatment consists of antibiotics metronidazole and ciprofloxacin, as well as a dose of nitric oxide. The elements are then encapsulated in a biomimetic nanomatrix gel that is injectable. The biomimetic gel mimics the body’s natural extracellular matrix which aids in the formation of new blood vessels in previously infected tissue. The nanogel releases targeted low concentrations of the antibiotics. The idea is that the reason teeth die is from a lack of blood vessels, and if the infection is removed and new blood vessels are created, the teeth can be rejuvenated.

For this amazing work, Kaushik is being honored by the Biomedical Engineering Society with a Graduate Design and Research Award. His nanomatrix gel is undergoing trials on clinical samples and will soon begin pilot animal studies.

For more information about biomimetic dentistry read all of our articles here. Dr. Montes and the staff at Prescott Dentistry are leading the way with biomimetic dentistry in Prescott, AZ. Contact us for more information on what techniques are currently employed, and to schedule your appointment to experience this new form of dentistry first hand!

Photo Credit: (Flickr)