Oral Health’s Simple Considerations

Simple Concerns of Teeth and Gums

Oral health is one of those things many people don’t give as much priority to as with medical conditions. There will be times when dental issues have gone far advanced when they could have been prevented or reversed or attended to sooner. Simply put, oral health is all about care for teeth and gums. Additionally, it helps to know the ‘enemies’ of our oral structures and what makes our teeth and gums vulnerable.

Taking excellent care of your teeth can make them last for a long time. There are people who can keep most of their natural teeth for much of their lifetime with some occasional issues of tooth decay and tooth loss. However, we subject our teeth everyday to continual forces and stresses of eating, drinking, speaking and breathing, among others, that lead to wear and tear of these otherwise hard and durable structures.

The types of food and beverages we consume are also causing issues with our teeth. Consumables that are rich in sugar and starch tend to stick and hide in our teeth and gums. As bacteria feeds on them, they can build-up and harden leading to plaque and tartar that weaken the enamel. Cavities can form on tooth surfaces and burrow into the deeper layers. If unchecked, this decay can destroy part of or the entire tooth and even its neighbor. This is not to mention that tooth decay can also impact gum health.

Gum Disease

On the other hand, another concern is gum disease, a highly common issue in oral health that starts as simple gingivitis. Gums swell, become puffy, or change in color; sometimes they also hurt. Most times, gingivitis does not hurt and that is why most are not aware they have it. It usually is due to poor oral hygiene. Plaque builds up at the necks of the teeth, along or under the gumline, hardens and over time, causes inflammation of the gums. If gingivitis goes on uncheck it can lead to its more serious form – periodontitis – where pockets form as gums pull away from the tooth, exposing the root. Eventually, it can destroy gum tissue including the underlying bone. Tooth loss can occur in these cases.

Hence, to help our teeth and gums serve their purpose proper care is essential. Good oral hygiene is the cornerstone of healthy teeth and gums. Simply put, at least twice daily tooth brushing with fluoride and daily flossing keep tooth decay and gingivitis at bay. This should also be accompanied by a well-balanced diet, a healthy lifestyle, and regular dentist visits. All these account for oral well-being.

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Healthy Teeth and Gums in Downtown Seattle

Want to know more about what else you can do to keep your teeth and gums healthy? Then visit us at Smile Art and see Dr. Jaime Lee in Downtown Seattle.

Trending: Why Adults Today Want Braces

Dental Braces For Everyone

If you think you’re past 60 and that you wouldn’t have any use for dental braces, then you’re all wrong. It’s never too late. Many older men and women are wearing braces for the first time. Braces are becoming more common for adults. It’s not just adults in their 20s, 30s, but people over the age of 50 are also making visits to the orthodontist’s office. There is indeed a growing trend. The percentage can be higher for offices that specialize in adult services.

Why do adults get braces anyway?

The reasons are varied and personal. Some who are not good candidates for dental implants get braces. Some have braces to spread out the teeth so that a single bridge can fit into the wide gap later on. Some older patients want braces for cosmetic reasons or they simply do not like the way their teeth look. People just want to look better. Some clients just need something fixed. For others, their teeth are simply showing the wear and tear of five or more decades of dental work, or a past dental work is causing problems, or a bite needs to be adjusted.

People are thinking more about aesthetics. Some surveys point out about the impact bad teeth can have. Like a poll saying adults avoid smiling because of their teeth’s appearance. In the past, older adults’ teeth and gums were simply in unsuitable conditions for braces. Today, due to superior dental care, technology and prevention measures, adult teeth are in better shape.

There seems to be a stigma that’s disappeared regarding braces for adults. While many who were children before didn’t get braces, past experience doesn’t seem to matter because braces on older adults is becoming more common. That’s because the technology today is better. Installation is easier to manage, outside appearances are better (as in the use of clear braces such as Invisalign), and treatment duration is shorter. Social media has also made the trend acceptable.

Are there any obstacles to adults getting braces?

There are factors that make braces for adults more difficult to process. One is gum disease. A significant percentage of adult patients have gum disease. Some orthodontists have as high as 70% of clientele over age 65 years having gum disease. However, there are many patients just over 30 who have gum issues and depending on severity, may not be suitable for braces.

Bone loss is another obstacle. Adult jaw bone is not as thick as children’s. They might not hold up well against the force of the braces. And because the treatment involves moving teeth, there may be problems as teeth are moved through thinner adult bone. In addition, teeth tend to migrate more slowly in older patients, unlike in children in whom teeth are moved more easily.

Past dental work is another hurdle. In adults, the presence of crowns, fillings, and other previous work can present problems. Most children don’t have as much past work done on their teeth; that’s not the same with adults. In addition, orthodontists say that most children have healthier mouths, much more different with adults.

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Looking for a dentist in Downtown Seattle?

Find out more about your options as adults seeking to wear dental braces. Here at Smile Art we can let you know which option is the best for you.

How To Take Care of Your Dental Fillings

Making Fillings Last Longer

The different types of dental fillings – amalgam, composites, gold and porcelain inlays – are all viable filling options. They each, however, have their advantages and disadvantages. You can significantly increase the longevity of fillings if you understand the value of dental filling care and what it entails.

It is no different than caring for the rest of your teeth in order to prevent cavities and tooth decay. However, you can prevent re-infecting the tooth and thus prolonging the life of the affected tooth.

Here are some tips in caring for teeth whether they have fillings or not.

  • Brush at least twice daily and floss at least once. Use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft bristle toothbrush. Use gentle, circular motions when brushing especially in and around the dental filling. Flossing well will eliminate debris and buildup in between teeth, including those with filling.
  • Rinse with an alcohol-free, therapeutic mouthrinse to reduce oral bacteria in the mouth. Remember that bacteria can sometimes be reintroduced into filled cavities in as much as when food debris is left behind on intact teeth for bacteria to thrive on.
  • Limit your consumption of sugary, sticky snacks and choose healthier options. High sugar and starch-containing foods can stick around longer. They can be detrimental to filled cavities as well.
  • Instead of sodas and juices, opt for water instead. Remember that these beverages are acidic and, if they linger in your mouth, the acidity can weaken the enamel; even the enamel of teeth with dental filling.
  • Avoid biting down on hard foods and chewing ice. You can easily break a tooth, cause cracks or chips to appear on enamel and weakening them. More so if you have a cavity-filled tooth, the enamel may be further weakened in which bacteria can gain access.
  • Avoid foods that stain enamel, like coffee and tea, red wine and certain fruits. Wasah down with water when you do indulge in these food types. Tobacco products can also stain teeth. Some fillings can easily be stained and can look unsightly.
  • See a dentist at least twice a year for check-ups and cleanings.

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Caring For Your Fillings in Downtown Seattle

When you have your fillings with us in downtown Seattle, you’ll get your best and most suitable option, plus doable care tips to make your fillings last for a longer time.