The Truth About Regular Teeth Cleanings
When it comes to dental health, one of the most common pieces of advice is to get your teeth professionally cleaned every six months. But is this biannual routine really necessary for everyone, or is it just an overcautious recommendation? Let’s dive into why regular teeth cleanings are important and whether the six-month guideline is a must-follow rule for everyone.
Understanding the Importance of Regular Teeth Cleanings
Preventing Plaque and Tartar Buildup: Regular brushing and flossing at home are crucial, but even the most diligent oral hygiene routine can miss spots. Professional cleanings effectively remove plaque and tartar that regular brushing can’t, preventing potential gum disease and tooth decay.
Early Detection of Dental Issues: Regular visits allow your dentist to spot early signs of problems such as cavities, broken fillings, or more severe conditions like oral cancer. Early detection often means easier and less costly treatments.
Maintaining Overall Health: Poor oral health has been linked to various systemic health issues, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Regular cleanings help maintain not just oral health but also contribute to overall wellbeing.
Is the Six-Month Rule Right for Everyone?
While the six-month rule is a good general guideline, it may not be necessary for everyone. The frequency of dental cleanings should be tailored to individual needs.
Low-Risk Patients: If you have good oral hygiene and a history free of cavities and gum disease, your dentist might suggest lengthening the interval between your cleanings.
High-Risk Patients: For those with a history of dental issues, such as gum disease, frequent cavities, or certain health conditions like diabetes, more frequent cleanings may be recommended. This could mean visits every three to four months.
Factors Influencing the Frequency of Dental Cleanings
- Personal Oral Hygiene: The better you maintain your oral hygiene, the less frequently you may need professional cleanings.
- Age and Lifestyle: Children, older adults, smokers, and those with a high-sugar diet might require more frequent dental visits.
- Medical History: Certain medical conditions, like heart disease or diabetes, increase the risk of oral health issues.
Making the Right Choice for Your Dental Health
The best way to determine how often you need a dental cleaning is to have a candid conversation with your dentist. They can assess your individual risk factors and suggest a personalized schedule.
Regular teeth cleanings are a cornerstone of preventive dental care. While the six-month guideline is a solid standard, remember that your specific needs might differ. Staying on top of your dental health with a schedule tailored to you is key to maintaining a healthy smile and overall wellbeing.
At Thrive Dental, we’re committed to providing individualized care. We’re here to help you make the best decision for your oral health. Contact us at (850) 463-0229 to schedule a consultation and learn more about the ideal dental care routine for you.
Back to School Dental Check-Up
Now that the rush of going back to school is over, it is time to schedule a visit to the dentist. And not just for the kids! At Thrive Dental, we make this easy to do by offering online scheduling on our website or by calling our office. This allows you to find a date and time that works best for you and your family. With the busy holiday season approaching, it is important to maintain a happy, healthy smile.
How often should you go to the dentist?
For regular dental check-ups, we recommend visiting every six months. Check-ups at least every six months will allow you to keep your mouth healthy. It also allows our team to stay up to date on any changes that may have occurred. According to the American Dental Association, a check-up and cleaning every six months is the best way to maintain a healthy smile. A good habit of brushing and flossing daily will keep teeth clean and healthy in between visits.
Why are dental check-ups important?
Through examination by a trained dentist, many oral health concerns can be detected and then treated. Dental checkups provide professional cleanings, oral cancer screenings, and digital X-rays to check for hidden issues. This helps to eliminate plaque buildup and other bacteria that daily brushing and flossing won’t effectively eliminate.
Why are brushing and flossing so important?
It is important to brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time. While you are brushing, make sure to brush every surface of the tooth. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush with a shape that best fits your mouth will result in the best cleaning. A toothbrush that correctly fits into your mouth will allow you to reach every tooth effectively. Brushing before school and before bed is a great schedule to aim for. Adding flossing to your brushing routine will take the cleaning to the next level. Flossing allows you to get a deeper clean between the teeth, where a toothbrush might not reach. Starting a thorough oral hygiene routine is key to maintaining optimal oral health in between dental visits. It might seem difficult to start, but add it to the morning routine before school.
Regular dental checkups are a must to keep a healthy and clean mouth. Talk with your dentist about any issues you are having with your teeth. The key is continually to visit the dentist for regular teeth cleanings to prevent problems altogether. Here at Thrive Dental, we’re always here to help you. Call our office at (850) 463-0229 to get an appointment for a dental checkup.
What To Know About Wisdom Teeth
What are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are your third, and last, set of molars to come in. Wisdom teeth usually come in somewhere between the ages of 17 to 25.
Why Do They Matter?
When wisdom teeth come in, they are usually misaligned. This means they can crowd or damage nearby teeth, or even your jawbone or nerves.
Impacted wisdom teeth are when wisdom teeth are stuck under your gums, or only partially break through the gums. Impacted wisdom teeth are often difficult to brush because of their position in the mouth, making tooth decay or gum disease more likely. Additionally, they can allow an opening for bacteria around the tooth, and a resulting infection can cause pain and swelling.
What Do I Do About Wisdom Teeth?
First, talk to your dentist about wisdom teeth. He or she can regularly x-ray your teeth, and decide if you should see an oral surgeon.
Sometimes, a dentist or oral surgeon will recommend removing wisdom teeth early. This will keep problems from developing later, and prevent a more complicated future surgery. It is also easier to remove wisdom teeth in young people, before the roots are completely developed.
What Does Wisdom Teeth Removal Involve?
The oral surgeon will give you either a local anesthetic to numb the area around where the wisdom teeth are being removed or a general anesthetic, depending on the procedure. The surgeon may also give you a sedative, you should ask your surgeon about this before the surgery to make sure you can drive yourself afterwards.
What Can I Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Only consume liquids until the numbness from the anesthesia wears off. After that, only eat soft foods for a few days. Depending on the type of pain medication you’re taking, you may need to avoid alcohol.
What Else Do I Need to Know About Recovery?
Take any antibiotics or pain medication as prescribed by your doctor. It’s also important to keep brushing your teeth after a wisdom tooth removal, but avoid the area where your wisdom teeth were removed for a day. Brush this area gently afterward.
Face swelling around the extraction site is common for the first day after removing. Bleeding may occur for several hours after the surgery as well.
Dry socket is another common complication that usually occurs several days after the extraction. Dry socket is caused by a blood clot failing to form in a removed tooth’s socket or when a blood clot did form, but got dislodged. This slows the healing process and can cause moderate to severe pain. If you experience dry socket, contact your dentist or oral surgeon for treatment.
What Issues Can Invisalign® Fix?
Invisalign® revolutionized the way people look at orthodontic treatment. The clear aligner system from Invisalign® made it possible for people to discreetly improve their smiles. While Invisalign® allows people to love the appearance of their smile and avoids many of the discomforts of braces throughout the process, there should be more to consider when choosing orthodontic treatment. You should consider which treatment option will best treat your individual situation. While you should speak with our doctors before making your final decision, we have included issues that Invisalign® can effectively treat.
Invisalign® is very effective at treating crooked teeth. The clear aligners offer a great solution for people to align their teeth and love their smile.
Overbite & Underbite
Invisalign® can be used to treat both an overbite and an underbite. An overbite is when the top front teeth extend beyond the bottom of your bottom front teeth. An underbite is when the lower jaw rests in front of the top jaw when the mouth is closed. Invisalign® can be used to move either the top or bottom teeth into the right place so that they align properly with the mouth closed.
A crossbite occurs when teeth don’t line up properly with the mouth closed. This could be the top teeth in the back of your mouth resting inside your bottom teeth or could be one or more of your top front teeth resting behind your bottom front teeth. Invisalign® can move teeth into the proper positions and treat a crossbite.
Gaps in Teeth & Crowded Teeth
These opposite issues can both be treated by Invisalign®. Gaps in teeth occur when there are large spaces between teeth. Crowded teeth happen when there is not enough room in the jaw for all of the teeth, often causing them to overlap or twist. Crowded teeth can make it easy for food to get stuck or plaque to build up, and should be addressed to keep optimal oral health.
Limitations of Invisalign®
While Invisalign® is an excellent option for many orthodontic issues, it does have its limitations. There are times when it may be best to go with braces. For severe orthodontic issues and intrusion and extrusion, braces often offer the force that is needed. It’s also important to note that Invisalign® continues to get better and better. We can now treat more complex orthodontic situations than we could even a few years ago. If you are interested if Invisalign® is the right treatment option for you, contact our Milton office at (850) 463-0229.
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Are Dental Implants Safe?
Dental implants have become a go-to procedure at Thrive Dental Associates for replacing missing teeth. Dental implant surgery replaces tooth roots with metal, screw-like posts and replaces damaged or missing teeth with artificial teeth that look and function much like real ones. This surgery is a great alternative to dentures and can offer an option when a lack of natural teeth roots don’t allow building denture or bridgework tooth replacements.
What are the risks?
Like any type of surgery, there are a few risks to getting dental implants. However, the problems that come with dental implant surgery are rare and typically minor and very treatable. Risks include:
- Sinus problems, when dental implants placed in the upper jaw protrude into one of your sinus cavities
- Injury or damage to surrounding structures, such as other teeth or blood vessels
- Nerve damage, which can cause pain, numbness or tingling in your natural teeth, gums, lips or chin
- Infection at the implant site
The advantages of using dental implants.
Dental implants are one of the most reliable dental procedures with a 95% success. They also offer advantages that other missing teeth solutions do not, such as:
- Appearance – Implants look and feel like your natural teeth.
- Speech – No need to worry about slipping dentures or loose bridges that can cause slurred speech.
- Comfort – Implants are permanent and stable, so no chaffing or discomfort will happen like with dentures.
- Oral health – Implant placement does not require modifying surrounding teeth as a bridge does. Also, implants stop bone deterioration and stimulate healthy bone tissue growth.
Dental Implant Procedure
When considering having a dental implant procedure, a patient will typically go through the following steps:
- First, the patient will go through a thorough exam and consultation with the dentist. The dentist will then make an individualized treatment plan.
- At the next appointment, the team will place your implant, which acts as a substitute tooth root.
- Then, the tooth is given time (about 2-3 months) to heal and integrate with the bone tissue.
- Once the implant has bonded to the bone tissue, a small connector called an abutment is attached to the implant.
- Impressions are taken of your teeth to create either a custom crown to replace one tooth or an implant-supported bridge or denture for multiple missing teeth. Crown restorations are custom tinted, so they blend in beautifully with your natural teeth.
- The finished crown, bridge, or denture is attached to the implant(s).
Once you get the finished implant in Milton, FL, your new teeth are ready to use! If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us at (850)463-0229. At Thrive Dental Associates, want your implants to look and feel like real teeth and you smile looking its best!
Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
Teeth Whitening Procedures
Teeth Whitening has been around for decades and millions of people use whitening products – including plenty of dentists. According to dental professionals, they haven’t seen an increase in problems like cavity risk or tooth fractures after teeth whitening procedures. Thrive Dental Associates works to provide safe teeth whitening services for our patients.
Side Effects of Teeth Whitening
- Teeth Sensitivity: Your teeth may become more sensitive after getting them whitened. You may experience this after your first or second treatment, and it can diminish with time. Ask your doctor if they can recommend products for treating sensitivity at your next appointment.
- Irritated Gums: You may also experience gingival irritation, which happens when your gums become irritated. If the whitening products touch your gums, then they may become irritated, but Thrive Dental Associates takes precautions to eliminate this risk.
Benefits of Teeth Whitening
- Safety: The American Dental Association (ADA) has stated that hydrogen peroxide whiteners are safe and effective. At Thrive Dental Associates, we care for our patients like they are our family. The side effects of teeth whitening stated above usually only occur with at-home teeth whitening products. At our office, we work to minimize the side effects as much as possible.
- Quick Process: Our whitening process is quick and effective. You can walk away with whitened teeth in just one session rather than waiting months for at-home products to take into effect.
- No Recurring Appointments: You won’t have to keep coming into our office for additional appointments because whitening your teeth too frequently can actually damage your teeth. With just a couple of sessions of professional whitening, you can achieve the bright, white smile that you desire.
If you are worried about your upcoming teeth whitening procedure or worried about an at-home product you are using, you can always ask your doctor if the product is safe. Thrive Dental Associates offers professional teeth whitening that is safe and effective. If you would like to schedule a teeth whitening appointment, use the button below to schedule online, or learn more about teeth whitening at our office.Schedule Your Teeth Whitening Appointment
Learn More About Teeth Whitening at Thrive Dental Associates
White Spots On Teeth: Causes and Treatment
White teeth are typically associated with great oral health and good hygiene. But, this isn’t always the case. White spots on teeth, typically called white spot lesions, can be one of the earliest signs of tooth decay. There are a variety of reasons that these spots can appear on your teeth.
Causes of White Spots
White spots may be due to fluorosis, enamel hypoplasia, diet, and poor oral hygiene. The good news is that it’s treatable.
- Fluorosis (overexposure of fluoride). Fluoride is known for its benefits to teeth but too much fluoride, especially in teeth that are still developing, can have a negative effect.
- Enamel Hypoplasia (thinner enamel). Having thinner enamel than normal is usually a result of a nutrient deficiency. This can result from hereditary factors, vitamin deficiencies, or trauma to teeth.
- Poor Diet. Overconsumption of acidic or sugary food and beverages can cause white spots on your teeth. Because acid and sugar both erode enamel, you are more likely to experience white spots if your diet involves high amounts of acid and sugar.
- Poor Oral Hygiene. When you don’t properly brush and floss, plaque begins to accumulate. When plaque builds up, it eats away at your enamel, which can cause white spots to appear.
Treatment for White Spots
Treating the white spots/discoloration can involve enamel microabrasion, topical fluoride, teeth whitening, or dental veneers.
- Enamel Microabrasion. Your dentist will remove a small amount of your tooth’s enamel to reduce the appearance of white spots. This is typically followed by teeth whitening so teeth appear uniform in color.
- Topical Fluoride. Fluoride is applied to help the development of enamel on the teeth. This is commonly used for people who suffer from enamel hypoplasia.
- Teeth Whitening. Whitening can help balance the color between your teeth and the white spots, and other stains.
- Dental Veneers. Veneers are custom made with layers of ceramic materials and bonded to the front of your teeth. This is a great alternative if your teeth color can’t be improved with bleaching alone.
If you notice white spots on your teeth, contact your dentist for a consultation. While it may be a sign of early tooth decay, it can also be purely cosmetic. There are a variety of options to treat these spots. If you have any questions about white spots on teeth, contact our office!Contact Us
What Is The Best Teeth Whitening Option?
Teeth can become discolored for a variety of reasons and many people want their teeth to be bright and white, so they look into teeth whitening. When it comes to getting a brighter smile, you can whiten your teeth at home or get a professional treatment. At home whitening typically includes over-the-counter products like whitening strips, pens, or toothpaste. Professional whitening includes custom-made whitening trays you take home or an in-office appointment. What might work best for some, might not necessarily work best for another. So what’s the best teeth whitening option for you?
Both over-the counter and professional treatments use peroxide bleaching agents as the main active ingredient. The difference between each option is the amount of peroxide it contains. Over-the-counter solutions use 3 – 20 percent where professional solutions contain 14 – 43 percent. Solutions with higher amounts of peroxide should be left on for a shorter amount of time. Keeping the solution on longer will dehydrate your teeth and make them more prone to sensitivity.
Professional teeth whitening options are much safer and more effective. Additionally, it ensures that all of the proper precautions are taken. So, when it comes to protecting your gums, the whitening agent only gets on your teeth.
At-Home Whitening Products
Over-the-counter products are cheaper, generally take longer to see results, and have limitations depending on your tooth color and health prior. If used incorrectly, at-home teeth whitening kits can lead to burned gums, tooth sensitivity, or pain. It’s always best to talk with your dentist to decide the best treatment option for you.
If you choose to go for an over-the-counter solution, we recommend that you use one from the list of bleaching products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.Bleaching Products with ADA Seal of Acceptance Learn More About Teeth Whitening
What Are the Pros and Cons of Dental Implants?
One of the hottest topics in dentistry today is the use of dental implants. Implants have certainly revolutionized the field of replacement teeth. If you are considering tooth implants for missing teeth, you need to know the facts. There are pros and cons of dental implants that are carefully weighed by your dentist before surgery can be scheduled.
Research continually shows that dental implants are the best long term solution to replace missing teeth. However, like any type of surgery, there are advantages and disadvantages.
Cons of Dental Implants
No procedure is right for everyone, including dental implants. While there are some risks associated with dental implants, they are relatively mild. The disadvantages include:
1. You have to meet a set of requirements
In order to have dental implant surgery, you first have to meet certain criteria. As the procedure involves anchoring the implant to your jaw bone, if you’ve experienced significant bone loss as a result of losing teeth, there may not be enough for the dental implant to be successful. You also have to be in good health so your jaw bone can fully recover.
2. The cost of the procedure
While dental implants are the best long term solution for tooth loss, they’re not always the most cost effective. However, dental implants are well worth the price for the comfort, confidence and natural feel they give you.
3. The procedure can be lengthy
Dental implants are not a quick fix and can take several months to complete. If you’re replacing an existing damaged tooth, this will first need to be removed. Your dentist will then need to prepare the tooth site before fitting the implant anchor. Once the anchor has been fitted, you’ll need to wait several months while it heals and the surrounding bone grows. The final stage of the procedure involves placing the artificial tooth.
Pros of Dental Implants
While there are some drawbacks to dental implants, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
1. They look and feel like natural teeth
Dental implants have the appearance of real teeth. In fact, once your implant has been fitted, you’ll hardly be able to tell the difference between your replacement tooth and your real teeth. Implants also won’t feel any different from your regular teeth. Since the implants are anchored to your jaw, they’ll feel just as strong as your regular teeth too.
2. You can eat and chew with ease
Unlike dentures, implants won’t feel any different than your regular teeth when eating and chewing. Once the dental implant procedure is complete, you can eat what you want! Whether you fancy crunchy snacks, chewy foods, or hot or cold drinks, you can eat and drink without concern — just remember not to overdo the sugary treats.
3. Dental implants can last a lifetime
Implants are a long-lasting tooth replacement solution. You may need to replace the crowns every 10-15 years, but if you look after the implants, they can last a lifetime.
4. They’re easy to take care of
You should take care of your implants the same way you would take care of your regular teeth with daily brushing and flossing, regular dental checkups and a healthy diet.
5. They prevent bone loss
Dental implants are anchored into your jaw, similar to your real teeth. The screw thread of the implant acts as the root of a natural tooth, so with dental implants, your jaw bone remains strong and you won’t experience bone loss.
You can see that the advantages heavily outweigh the disadvantages. Dental implants have been proven to be a great option for people who suffer from tooth loss. We always want to make our patients look and feel great, and dental implants is a great way to do that. We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have, so contact us!
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One Year Update: COVID-19 and Dental Offices
It’s been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic changed almost every aspect of our daily lives—including regularly visiting the dentist. However, this should soon be a thing of the past. Not visiting the dentist was one of the many ripple-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and even though it is not over, yet, things are looking up.
According to the ADA Health Policy Institute, confidence in going back to the dentist hit a new high since the pandemic started, with 94% of patients stating they are ready to go back to the dentist or they have already gone back to see the dentist, compared to August of 2020 where only 78% of patients had been back or were ready to go back to the dentist.
If you’re ready for your next dental checkup, contact us today to setup an appointment!
Continued Safety Protocols
As more and more people become fully vaccinated, the CDC has started to provide less-restrictive guidelines for these people. However, most recommended precautions, such as using personal protective equipment, have not changed for health care settings, including dental offices.
Even though we are seeing COVID-19 case numbers trending down, we still ask that you follow our guidelines for your safety and the safety of others, including:
- Do not come to the office if you have any symptoms of COVID-19
- Limit the number of people you bring to your appointment, if possible
- Wear a mask until notified that you can remove it
Per the CDC, we are regularly consulting with our state and local health departments for region-specific information and recommendations, as they monitor trends in local case counts and adjust accordingly.
We understand that you may not feel comfortable quite yet, or you have questions about the protocols we’ve implemented in our office to keep patients safe. You can review our entire list of COVID-19 Safety Protocols or you can contact us and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.