Category Archives: Dental Hygiene

tooth decay, dental

Early Intervention Tooth Decay

We have all heard about the best ways to care for our health. Exercise, eat a balanced diet, get the right amount of sleep, and reduce stress. These all help prevent heart disease, infections, and a multitude of other illnesses. How often do we think about preventing tooth decay or other dental disease? The doctors at Prescott Dentistry, located in Prescott Arizona, are here to assist in your journey for dental health. Their team can assist you in preventing dental disease.

What is Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is damage to your teeth caused by bacteria and the acids they produce. When these bacteria are allowed to build up on the enamel of your teeth, they feed on sugars you eat and produce acids which can eat away the enamel your teeth. This results in holes in the enamel called cavities. Pain, infection, and eventual tooth loss will result if this is not addressed.

Causes of Tooth Decay

When considering our preventative routine, the Prescott Dentistry team understands the importance of attacking ALL factors that contribute to decay. We know what it is that we are protecting against. We use natural antibacterial treatments together with good home care to combat the bacteria. There are special toothpastes and mouthwashes and dietary changes that we can recommend to reduce the acidity in your mouth. There are products like toothpastes and powders can provide minerals that will help strengthen the enamel.

Just as there are things we can do to keep our body healthy, there are things that we can do to prevent dental disease.

Ask your trusted Dentist at Prescott Dentistry how they can help customize your preventative routine for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (8/10/2017) Army Medicine (Flickr)

Smile, cosmetic, dentist

Smile Esteem

A smile is just a smile right? It has limited effect on yourself or your environment right? Wrong. A smile goes deeper than most people realize. It has emotional, mental, physical and environmental impacts. Your smile is extremely important. Prescott Dentistry finds your smile extremely important, and wants to ensure your cosmetic dentistry needs are met to give you the best smile.

How a Smile Affects Others

Everyone is looking to belong, be accepted for who they are, and not have to pretend to be something other than themselves. Oftentimes this world portrays people needing to be a certain way, look a certain way or act a certain way to be accepted. That is not true. That mindset just creates a deep dissatisfaction of when you’re not being yourself. A great way to build the esteem of others is simple; smile at them.

Smiling at someone communicates acceptance of who they are, that they are attractive and pleasant. A simple smile can be extremely impactful, more than we realize. It may be exactly what someone needs to be brought out of their negative mire, and help increase their self esteem. Smiling connects people across rooms, start relationships, and even begin marriages. Joy is released in a smile, and shows interest in someone who may feel completely unseen, unaccepted or rejected. You never know what a smile can do for someone. It is a powerful tool to impact another person around you, so slap on that beautiful smile of yours!

How a Smile Impacts You

Smiling is beneficial for those around you, bringing joy and acceptance. Not only does it help those around you, it also is beneficial for you! When you smile, it release hormones in your brain called endorphins, dopamine and serotonin. These hormones are the “happy drugs” where they stimulates positive mood and are your bodies natural painkillers. They increases your ability to see the positive side of life, and create more self confidence.

Your smile is bringing joy to your own life. When you smile, people perceive you as more joyful, confident, and personable. These characteristics tend to open doors to bigger opportunities than for people who smile less. When you are more approachable, you’re also seen as more capable, and thus promoted more readily.

It takes only twelve muscles in your body to create a smile, whereas it takes 113 muscles to create a frown. Do less work, and embrace your beautiful smile! What do you have to lose?

 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (6/21/2017) Gordon (Flickr)

Dental, Cosmetic Dentistry

Correct That Chip

Having confidence in your smile is important. However, this can be hindered when you have a chipped tooth. With a chip, it can create insecurities in showing your teeth and limit you from embracing the beautiful smile you have. Here at Prescott Dentistry we understand your cosmetic dentistry needs, and want to help you embrace the smile you were meant to have by correcting your chip.

How a Chip Occurs

Several people throughout their lives have to deal with a chipped tooth at some point. This is caused by the enamel wearing down. The enamel can be worn down from acidic foods and drinks that decrease the strength of the enamel. Biting into something hard, falling or having an accident can cause the weakened enamel to break and create chips in your teeth. Whatever the reason, there are a few options for how to fix it.

Dental Bonding

The process for correcting a chipped tooth will depend on the severity of the chip. If the chip is smaller on the front teeth, it can be corrected through dental bonding. This is a quick and more simple procedure, where anesthesia is not necessary. The tooth will be roughened to ensure the material will adhere to it. A putty will be applied to the tooth, which will be shaped and smoothed. Once the shaping is done, the material is hardened by an ultraviolet light and the process is complete.

Veneers

For a more complete and stronger option that could last up to 30 years, porcelain veneers may be the way to go. Veneers are a cover for your teeth and bonded to the front of your teeth. This is a longer process than bonding. Your dentist will make an impression of your teeth, where this will be sent to a lab to make the veneers. The veneers can be for one tooth or multiple for a complete smile restoration. The first appointment will be to prepare your teeth for the veneers, set a temporary veneer, where the second appointment will then set the custom veneers in place.

Crowns

If the chip on your tooth is severe or you have significant pain when eating/drinking, a crown may be what you need. This is a bit more invasive than the other options, but most common and long lasting. A crown is a tooth-shaped cap that covers your tooth to protect and improve the appearance of your tooth. This process includes anesthesia or sedation to ensure comfortability. The teeth need to be prepared for the crown, and then take an impression to have a mold made. A temporary crown will be used until the final impression comes in and can be bonded to the teeth in the second appointment.

 

Overall, whether your chip concerns are small to severe, there are several options to help. Prescott Dentistry wants to ensure that your cosmetic needs are addressed and the cracked chip gets fixed for you to embrace your true smile!

 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (6/19/2017) A Silly Person (Flickr)

Dental care, oral hygiene, dentist

Best Oral Hygiene Routine

We all want a bright, shiny smile to dazzle those around us. Going to the dentist is one important aspect of your dental care, and a great way to get a squeaky clean feel from professional cleanings. In between visits however, it is up to you to maintain a healthy mouth. Prescott Dentistry is here to address your oral hygiene needs, and help you come up with the best routine. We want to ensure that your oral care is the most thorough and effective. We have come up with some tips for your at home care.

1. Floss Daily

We know, we know. You’ve heard it all your life. Well, it still holds true. Flossing is a very important aspect of oral health care. It is able to reach plaque in between the teeth, limiting the possibility of tooth decay and gum disease. Once a day flossing it worth having healthier teeth and preventing mouth issues.

2. Use the Right toothbrush

It can be easy to not use the right toothbrush. Your dentist can recommend one specifically for your mouth. However, the best for adults is to use one with a small to medium sized head to comfortably get all around your mouth, especially in the back. The bristles should be soft to medium, and multi-tufted. Children need to use smaller brushes.

3. Change Your Toothbrush

It is important to recognize when to change your toothbrush. When the bristles are tired and worn out, they are not cleaning the way they should be. It is important to get a new toothbrush every two to three months for the most thorough cleaning.

4. Use Fluoride Toothpaste

Fluoride has consistently been shown to be important in toothpaste and even in water. It has been scientifically proven to prevent cavities as well as repair tooth enamel.

5. Brush Appropriately

Brushing twice a day is important. Ensure that you brush every night before bed to get off plaque from the day, and at least once throughout the day. Brushing too much can cause gum recession so it’s important not to over brush or brush too hard. When brushing, place bristles at a 45 degree angle on your teeth, brush in a circular movement on all surfaces of your teeth, inside and out. Also be sure to brush your tongue to help freshen breath and clean out bacteria.

6. Limit Unhealthy Habits

To help with your oral care, limiting unhealthy habits in your day is helpful. Sugary drinks, foods, and smoking can be a major cause to tooth decay and gum disease. If you have sugary foods/drinks, have them only at mealtimes. Best care is to limit these all together.

7. Drink Enough Water

Water is essential for your body in several ways. Not only does it help to hydrate you, it is important to keep your mouth moist. Having a dry mouth increases plaque and potential for gum disease. Water has various health benefits, but also helps maintain continual saliva production which is imperative for oral health.

 

Oral health care is essential in preventing plaque buildup and gum disease. Getting professional cleanings throughout the year are great for stubborn plaque buildup and to have the squeaky clean feeling. However, maintaining your mouth in between is imperative. For more information on what is best for your teeth, visit us at Prescott Dentistry and we will gladly guide you in your personal oral health needs.

 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (6/19/2017) Jorg Ramb Flickr)

Whiter Smile with Prescott Dentistry

No one enjoys smiling at someone knowing there are stains, discoloration or darkening of your teeth. We all want a bright white smile to greet those around us. Prescott Dentistry can help with all your cosmetic dental services, including whitening that brilliant smile of yours.

How Does Whitening Work?

The process is a lot less complicated that it seems. At Prescott Dentistry, our whitening process uses one of two different types of peroxide-based whitening solution; either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. The active oxygen in the peroxide naturally penetrates the pores in our enamel and breaks down stains (caused from substances such as, coffee, soda, tea, wine, blueberries, blackberries, pomegranates, smoking) into smaller particles, bringing back the natural color of your enamel and enhancing the whiteness of your teeth.

How Do They Whiten Teeth at the Dentist?

One important step to help whiten your teeth, is to have a professional cleaning. Our dental office has excellent, skilled dental hygienists who have the training and expertise to polish and remove surface stains from your teeth. This professional cleaning can help to remove the staining that occurs everyday and by itself make your teeth look brighter. After this, you can determine if you would need further whitening treatments.

The teeth whitening process involves taking impressions of your teeth and making custom-fit whitening trays. You then have a consultation with our staff and together evaluate the shade of your teeth and what you want to achieve with the whitening. We instruct you in using the whitening system and together, we get you the smile you want. The trays are convenient and comfortable and often you can’t even tell you are wearing them. Many patients wear the trays while working or while out and about running errands.

After Whitening

During and after teeth whitening, it’s important to know that some sensitivity may be experienced. Avoiding foods that are extremely hot or cold can help. Your dentist will have suggestions that can help alleviate and prevent this sensitivity. Along with whitening toothpaste, limiting smoking, and stain forming foods/drinks will help your white teeth last longer.
There is a bright side to every part of life, including your teeth! Seek out Prescott Dentistry today to help with your cosmetic dentistry needs.

 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (5/31/2017) Richard Foster (Flickr)

Straighter Smile

Create a Straighter Smile with Cosmetic Dentistry

At Prescott Dentistry, we provide cosmetic dentistry services to help create a smile to be proud of. We want to partner with you to increase your confidence in yourself and your smile. Crooked or misaligned teeth can hinder your confidence and create insecurities. The truth is that you are perfect just the way you are, but we want you to feel that at all times. We are here to help.

Types of Needed Cosmetic Needs:

Crooked Teeth

Crooked teeth can be results of various aspects depending on the source. There are varying opinions of how crooked teeth are caused. The varied causes of crooked teeth are hereditary or nutritional issues, but it can also be due to incorrect jaw development, thumb sucking during teeth development, teeth crowding or other persistent gentle pressure. Even consistent tongue pressure on the teeth over a time has been said to cause crooked teeth. Whatever the cause, crooked teeth can be more difficult to clean, and can cause pain or difficulty in eating.

Misaligned Teeth

Misalignment of the teeth can create an overbite or underbite. This is when the top teeth overlap the bottom teeth causing an overbite, or when the bottom teeth overlap the top teeth causing an underbite. Causes of this also vary from losing baby or adult teeth early, having issues with prior dental restoration, gum disease, persistent pressure on the gums or teeth, incorrect jaw development or trauma to the jaw.

Straightening Your Smile

Straightening processes can varying based on the severity of teeth. Options for straightening include braces, invisalign or even surgery. To correct misalignment, once the teeth are straightened and if braces are chosen, then bands can be added to help shift the jaw back into its proper place. Seeing your dentist to gain insight into what your teeth need is best. The dentist can make a mold of your teeth for invisalign, fit you for braces or discuss if a tooth needs to be pulled to help with crowding of the teeth.
The straightening process can be anywhere from six months to two years. This time frame may seem long, but it is nothing compared to many years of feeling confident in smiling and not having fear of your teeth showing. The peace of mind that comes from straighter teeth is priceless.

Having a straight smile is a universally known sign of happiness and health. It communicates a friendliness when shown. To gain straight teeth may be desired for the visual impact it brings, or for more practical reasons of ease of cleaning. Either way, there are a couple ways to get straighter teeth. Your specific need will be best diagnosed by your dentist to ensure you on the right path towards the straighter, impactful smile you’ve been hoping for.

 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (5/31/2017) Hannah Johnson (Flickr)

Prescott dentist, biomimetic dentistry

Warning Signs of Impacted Teeth

We all have had those moments when a tinge of pain in our body interrupts our day, and one of the oral health pains that can occur is through an impacted tooth. This pain can come out of nowhere and cause a major wrench in your day. An impacted tooth is when the tooth is unable to break through the gums or has only been able to partially break through, due to limited amount of space in the bone or crowding of other teeth. It is important to be aware of the signs that can signify an impacted tooth. Here is what we at Prescott Dentistry want you to be aware of.

Sign #1-Pain in the back of your mouth

When your teeth are impacted, specifically your wisdom teeth, it can cause throbbing pain in the back of your mouth that doesn’t go away. As the teeth go untreated, the pain can increase, radiating to other teeth around it.

Sign #2-Headaches or Jaw Ache

With the wisdom teeth wreaking havoc on your bone, the pain can radiate elsewhere. The bones in your jaw connect to your head and skull which would result in the added pressure extending throughout your head. The jaw bone may become increasingly tender as the wisdom teeth attempt to break through, and can cause regular headaches.

Sign #3-Swelling

Your body will try to compensate for the pain and impacted tooth through swelling of the tissue. Swelling and redness can begin in the gums around the impacted tooth and can cause swelling in your jaw itself. There is also a possibility for infection to develop, causing swelling in the lymph nodes and glands of the neck as well.

Don’t let pain interrupt or steal the energy from your day. Pay attention to what your body is saying and contact your local dentist If you feel that you are having these symptoms. Prescott Dentistry is here for all your oral health, cosmetic dentistry and biomimetic dentistry needs in Arizona.

Prescott dentistry, biomimetic

What Causes Sensitive Teeth?

When you get a twinge of pain eating cold foods, or pain when you brush, you may suffer from teeth sensitivity. This common condition occurs when the protective layer around your teeth, enamel, is broken down or when gums recede causing the dentin and nerve endings of your tooth to be exposed. The exposure of the nerve endings of your teeth causes heightened sensitivity to hot, cold, sweets, and even cold air. This can result from:

-Brushing or flossing too aggressively which causes the gums to recede and loss of enamel on your teeth. With receding of the gums, more of the roots and dentin of your teeth are exposed.
-Acidic foods and beverages such as soda pop, coffee etc. are proven to erode away your enamel.
-Grinding your teeth can overtime wear down the enamel on your teeth. There may be stress related to tooth grinding that if relieved can decrease the grinding. Until then, getting a dentist to help with cosmetic dentistry for a mouth guard may be beneficial.
-Worn or loose fillings.
-Gums receding exposing the nerve endings.
-Excessive plaque that has built up due to lack of brushing or cleaning.
-Dental procedures can cause brief sensitivity following the procedure.

The best way to understand what is causing your specific tooth sensitivity is to get it checked by your friendly dentist who understands biomemtic dentistry. This way you will have a tailored understanding of your teeth and how to best treat them. Treatment can be anywhere from new toothpaste to a new filling.

Don’t live with the pain of sensitivity. Embrace the feeling of a pain free life. Your teeth matter. Let Prescott Dentistry help with your dental needs in Arizona.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (5/16/2017) brownpau (Flickr)

Can Your Dentist Spot Diabetes?

Can Your Dentist Spot Diabetes

At Prescott Dentistry we understand that the health of all parts of the body are linked.  The health of your mouth affects more than just what’s above your shoulders, and the rest of your body can certainly affect your teeth and gums. Because of this, the state of your smile can be an indicator for other problems that might be found elsewhere in your body. This is why continually monitoring your dental health and restoring your teeth to their original, natural form and function is so important through the science and practice of biomimetic dentistry.

One example of this body-mouth connection comes from recent research that severe gum disease may in fact be in an indicator of undiagnosed type 2 diabetes.

The study discovered that a stunning 20% of people with severe periodontitis (gum disease) suffered from type 2 diabetes but didn’t know it. This is critical because both diabetes and periodontitis require early diagnosis to prevent further complications. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that 285 million people worldwide have diabetes, and it is suspected that nearly ⅓ could be unaware of it.

Because people with diabetes aren’t as able to fight off infection and inflammation, they generally  don’t respond very well to periodontal therapy. This is when your dentist knows to send you to your doctor to get tested for diabetes. Once the diabetes condition is under control, the gum disease can be easier to treat. The relationship of treating one assisting the other seems to work in both directions, but it is still unclear if there is any cause-and-effect relationship.

Are you suffering from severe gum disease and fear you may have diabetes? Contact Prescott Dentistry today and we will work in collaboration with your primary health care provider to help optimize your overall health and well being.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (2/28/2017) jason shultz (Flickr)

Tips for Cold Sensitive Teeth in Prescott, AZ

Tips for Cold Sensitive Teeth in Prescott, AZ

It’s not news to anyone in Prescott, Dewey or Prescott Valley that this winter has been decidedly chilly. From the recent torrent of snowfall and frigid temperatures, you might forget that we live in Arizona! With the advent of cold temperatures, those who suffer from tooth sensitivity might be cursing the weather due to increased pain and discomfort caused by the changing conditions. Whether your dental health is in good shape or not, the cold weather can leave you more susceptible to problems. Here are a few actions you can take to help cold sensitive teeth in Prescott, AZ.

Visit your Prescott Dentist

If you’re a bit behind on your biannual dental checkups and you are experiencing cold sensitivity in your teeth and gums, it is very likely that your oral health is compromised in one of a few different ways. These issues can range from brushing too hard and teeth grinding, to infections, receding gums, or gingivitis. It could also be due to weakened or cracked enamel. All of these conditions can be treated by Dr. Montes & Thompson using minimally invasive biomimetic dentistry.

Limit your Outdoor Exposure

This one may seem a little too obvious, but if your teeth are sensitive to the cold, you may want to consider staying in on the colder days. The materials that make up our teeth expand and contract due to changing temperatures. Sudden changes in temperature can even lead to hairline fractures on the surface of your teeth. If you have one of these fractures, it could be the cause of your cold sensitivity.

Hydration is Key

Many people skip out on proper water intake during the winter months simply because it’s not hot out. Don’t forget to drink water! It’s important to drink at least 2 liters of water a day. Drinking water will help your oral health by encouraging saliva creation and it will ensure your teeth and gums stay moist. Stick to water and avoid sugary or acidic food or drink.

Contact Prescott Dentistry today if you are experiencing painful, cold sensitive teeth in Prescott, AZ.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (2/3/2017) Missy Meyer (Flickr)