Into The Thick Of It, The Skinny On Toothpaste

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At The Fayetteville Dentist we urge all of our patients to brush and floss their teeth at least twice a day. This very good habit is the single most important thing you can do to maintain your dental health.

What kind of toothpaste should you use? There is no one-size-fits-all product on the market. One patient might be interested in whitening toothpaste, and another may need something for sensitive teeth.

There’s an almost bewildering selection of toothpastes in the oral care section of any grocery store, from those aimed at children to so-called natural toothpastes. You want to make the best choice for your teeth, but it isn’t always easy to make up your mind.

Different types of toothpastes have specific active ingredients that make them work. Fluoride is by far the most important thing to look for. But there are many other ingredients; what follows is a rundown of the more common ones.

  • Detergents. Sodium lauryl sulfate is nearly ubiquitous, not only in toothpaste, but in other personal care products like shampoo. Sometimes it’s called Sodium laureth sulfate or sodium lauryl ether sulfate. It’s the stuff that makes products foamy. Some people are sensitive to it, and some consumer advocacy groups say it can be hazardous. There are toothpastes that don’t have it.
  • Whiteners. The most common toothpaste whitener is hydrogen peroxide, but there are others, like polyphosphates. While they do a modest job whitening teeth, many experts agree that the whitening agents aren’t strong enough, or in contact with the teeth long enough, to do a really good job. To get really white teeth, try professional whitening from a dentist.
  • Desensitizers. Some people’s teeth are more sensitive to hot and cold foods than others. And some are more tactile-sensitive. Used on a regular basis, desensitizing toothpastes can be very effective, but it’s a good idea to get a dentist’s recommendation first.
  • Plaque fighters. A toothpaste ingredient called triclosan is believed to fight plaque and gum inflammation. While it seemed promising at first, more recent studies indicate triclosan may contribute to antibiotic resistance, and disrupt hormones and the immune system.

Feel free to ask us for a recommendation, and what might be best for your particular set of teeth. Always read the label, and make sure the toothpaste you’re considering has the American Dental Association label. If you see it, it means the ADA considers it safe and effective. Whatever you choose, brush and floss twice each day!

At The Fayetteville Dentist we offer general and cosmetic dentistry, and children’s dentistry. We also have an office in Hope Mills. Schedule an appointment with us today!

Contact The Fayetteville Dentist:

910-213-3789

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4251 Ramsey St Ste 8 and 9
Fayetteville, North Carolina
28311

 

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Halitosis And Xerostomia (Bad Breath And Dry Mouth)

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In this post from The Fayetteville Dentist, we address the unpleasant topic of halitosis, also known as bad breath.

While poor dental hygiene is the most common cause of halitosis, many elements can contribute to or exacerbate the condition. One of these is the lack of saliva, or xerostomia.

Saliva and Oral Health
One of the functions of saliva is moistening the teeth and gums and removing odiferous dead cells. Saliva also neutralizes the ever-present acids on the tongue, gums, and cheeks and the minerals in saliva help to maintain enamel stability. Immunoproteins in saliva curb the overgrowth of microbes in the mouth, thereby shielding the gums from gingivitis. Saliva also functions as a disinfectant by cleansing the mouth of leftover food, bacteria, and fungi. This protects against cavities and infections.

Many people are plagued with dry mouth sporadically; perhaps when they are perceiving anxiety or stress. Limiting caffeine, chewing sugar-free gum, using OTC saliva substitutes, and using a humidifier can add moisture to the mouth.

If you have occasional periods of dry mouth, there is probably nothing to worry about. Constant dry mouth, however, can result in additional oral and physical health problems.

If you are plagued with either condition, we recommend that you set up an exam and consultation with us at The Fayetteville Dentist. We will help you discover the source and guide you on treatment. Our services include general and cosemtic dentistry, and have extended evening and weekend hours for your convenience. We also have an office in Hope Mills. Schedule an appointment today!

Contact The Fayetteville Dentist:

910-213-3789

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4251 Ramsey St Ste 8 and 9
Fayetteville, North Carolina
28311

 

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Dental Questions? We Have Answers.

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At The Fayetteville Dentist we strive for excellence in dentistry every day. Providing the best possible dental care goes beyond cleanings and exams. We like patients who ask a lot of questions, because that tells us they are taking a strong interest in their dental health.

Frequently Asked Questions

One of the questions we’re frequently asked is whether it’s really necessary to have a cleaning and checkup every six months. Our short answer is, yes! But a more nuanced answer includes the time-honored truth that prevention is the best medicine.

Every appointment includes a thorough cleaning by a hygienist. Then the dentist examines your teeth and gums, looking for any new cavities and signs of gum disease. Every checkup also includes a screening for oral cancer.

Sometimes we need to see patients more frequently. Someone with gum disease, or who is undergoing orthodontic treatment, should have appointments more often than twice a year. We determine that on a case-by-case basis.

More Questions

Patients often wonder how long a filling will last. Some people think they’ll last a lifetime, but unfortunately that is not usually the case. Fillings can break down or become loose over time. If that happens, decay can get into the area around it and cause problmes. You can extend the life of any restoration with good oral hygiene at home. If you have any questions about what that means, don’t hesitate to ask.

What kind of toothbrush is best? This is among the most-asked questions for any dentist. Manual and electric toothbrushes, used properly, both do an excellent job. We recommend soft bristles, with mixed bristle heights and angles. They do a better job getting between the teeth.

To really get between the teeth, we also recommend daily flossing. String floss is best, but whether it’s waxed or unwaxed, flavored or not, or wide dental tape is up to you.

And More!

When it comes to toothpaste, we recommend one that has the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. That means it contains fluoride, which strengthens and protects your teeth.

These are just some of the questions we get from our patients at The Fayetteville Dentist. Have we missed anything you’ve wondered about? Never hesitate to bring your questions to your checkup. We offer general and cosmetic dentistry, and have an office in Hope Mills. Schedule your next appointment today.

Contact The Fayetteville Dentist:

910-213-3789

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4251 Ramsey St Ste 8 and 9
Fayetteville, North Carolina
28311

 

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Preventive Dentistry At The Fayetteville Dentist

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At The Fayetteville Dentist we do everything we can to keep the teeth and gums of our patients clean and healthy. In other words, we really stress dental health: how to get it and how to keep it. One of the best approaches is with preventive dentistry.

Preventive dentistry – or preventative, as some say – combines good dental hygiene at home with regular visits to our office. The goal is avoiding gum disease, tooth decay, and enamel wear.

Twice A Year

As a rule of thumb, we recommend a dental appointment every six months. At each visit, one of our hygienists will inspect and clean your teeth. We may take x-rays, too. The cleanings you get in our office go beyond the brushing and flossing you do at home. Even with good home care, most patients have at least a little tartar built up on the teeth. The only way to get it off is with a professional cleaning.

The dentist also does an inspection of your teeth and gums. If there is any new decay we’ll fill it. We’ll also check for any signs of gum disease.

Brush and Floss

At home, you should be brushing your teeth at least twice a day, and flossing at least once. This is easily the most important part of preventive dentistry. Use a toothpaste with fluoride, and has the American Dental Association seal on the tube. Use a soft-bristled brush, and replace it every three months or so.

Manual or electric toothbrush? That’s up to you. Just be sure to use the one you have!

Flossing your teeth every day is how you clean out the spaces between your teeth. There’s no way a toothbrush can get the gunk that builds up. If you have any questions about flossing, ask our hygienist for some tips at your next checkup.

Remember, prevention is always the best medicine, and preventive dentistry is the best way to maintain healthy teeth and gums! Be sure to see us at The Fayetteville Dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. Our services include general and cosemtic dentistry. Schedule your next appointment today!

Contact The Fayetteville Dentist:

910-213-3789

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4251 Ramsey St Ste 8 and 9
Fayetteville, North Carolina
28311

 

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10 Terrific Tooth Tips From The Fayetteville Dentist

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In addition to cleanings and checkups, The Fayetteville Dentist likes to share useful information to help you stay on top of your dental health. So without further introduction, here are some terrific tooth tips:

  1. If you have kids and your municipal water supply does not have the recommended level of fluoride, talk to your pediatrician about fluoride supplements. Fluoride strengthens both the teeth you can see and the ones still forming in the jaw.
  2. Set a timer when you brush to make sure you spend at least two minutes thoroughly (but gently!) cleaning all surfaces. Don’t forget your tongue – it provides a cozy home for bacteria to flourish.
  3. Floss before you brush so that tooth bristles can better reach between teeth.
  4. If you can’t brush after a meal, chew some sugarless gum with xylitol. Xylitol may curb the growth of bacteria on your teeth to reduce plaque formation.
  5. Eat carbohydrates with meals instead of alone as snacks. More saliva is generated while eating a meal and this can lessen the effects of carbs sitting on your teeth.
  6. An oral fluoride rinse used right before bedtime adds an extra measure of decay deterrence. Fluoride rinses (not traditional mouthwash) work best when swished over teeth for at least thirty seconds after flossing and brushing. After spitting it out, don’t rinse with water.
  7. Let the residue protect and strengthen your enamel all night long. This is especially important for kids – just make sure they don’t swallow it.
  8. If you have diabetes, it is important to understand that unhealthy blood sugar levels can increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Your dentist can help you maintain oral health in spite of your condition.
  9. Beware of the dental risks of chronic dry mouth (xerostomia). Continual saliva production is essential for keeping the mouth lubricated, washing the food from tooth surfaces, and neutralizing the acid caused by plaque. Decongestants, blood pressure medications, antidepressants, and painkillers are some of the medications that can cause dry mouth.
  10. Wearing a mouthguard when you participate in sports can prevent tooth injury.

At The Fayetteville Dentist, we want all our patients to take good care of their teeth. Brush and floss daily, and see us for a checkup every six months. Services include general and restorative dentistry. We also have an office in Hope Mills. Schedule your next exam today!

Contact The Fayetteville Dentist:

910-213-3789

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4251 Ramsey St Ste 8 and 9
Fayetteville, North Carolina
28311

 

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Saliva And Dental Health

Saliva And Fayetteville

In  this blog post from The Fayetteville Dentist we examine saliva, and its role in your dental health.

Saliva is mostly water. No surprises there. A small portion of it, though, is made up of enzymes, antibacterial substances, mucus, and minerals. The ideal pH balance of the mouth is maintained by saliva, and pH balance is a critical factor for preventing cavities.

The minerals in saliva help to maintain the enamel surface of the teeth. Immunoproteins in saliva curb the overgrowth of microbes in the mouth, thereby protecting the gums from gingivitis.

Now that you know how important saliva is to dental health, you can probably see why adequate salivary flow should concern you. For most people, everyday chewing is enough to stimulate salivary glands to release saliva. But a condition called dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is an ailment that should be dealt with quickly before oral health problems occur.

At The Fayetteville Dentist we want the best possible dental health for each of our patients. We’ve also got an office in Hope Mills. Services include general and cosmetic dentistry, and we have extended evening and weekend hours for your busy schedule. Schedule an appointment today!

Contact The Fayetteville Dentist:

910-213-3789

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4251 Ramsey St Ste 8 and 9
Fayetteville, North Carolina
28311

 

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Bad Breath Q & A

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This post from The Fayetteville Dentist offers some answers to common questions about bad breath.

Q. My wife says my breath is horrible, but I brush twice a day. Shouldn’t that be enough?
A. Bacteria can propagate and stink in hidden crevices that can only be reached with floss. Time to start flossing. If your breath hasn’t improved in a few months, make an appointment so we can review other possible causes of your halitosis.

Also keep in mind that brushing just the teeth may not eliminate food particles between the teeth and up in the gums. Gently brushing the gums, sides of the mouth and the tongue in addition to the teeth may make the difference.

Q. My breath seems to get worse during hay fever season. What’s up with that?
A. Allergies can change mouth odor in a couple of ways. First, anything that stimulates post-nasal drip can be a trigger because bacteria at the back of the throat mixes with the mucous and gives off a smelly odor as it breaks down. Second, hay fever medications often cause dry mouth which can lead to smelly breath. Antihistamines can diminish post-nasal drip so this is a catch-22. If you take antihistamines, drink water frequently throughout the day to keep your mouth moist, suck on sugar-free mints to stimulate saliva production and rinse with a non-alcohol mouth rinse.

Q. What health conditions can bring about bad breath?
A. As addressed before, any condition that lessens saliva generation can cause halitosis. It is also a common side effect of diabetes, kidney failure, and liver failure. Of course, if your kidneys or liver is failing, you have bigger problems.

Q. Why did my breath become offensive when I went on a strict low-carb diet?
A. Ketones were probably the culprit. Ketones are produced when the body digests fat—which is usually the goal of a low-carb plan. On the plus side, sounds like you weren’t cheating!

At The Fayetteville Dentist, we offer our patients a full range of general and cosmetic dentistry services. Schedule your next cleaning and checkup with us today, and ask about treating your bad breath! We have offices in Fayetteville and Hope Mills.

Contact The Fayetteville Dentist:

910-213-3789

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4251 Ramsey St Ste 8 and 9
Fayetteville, North Carolina
28311

 

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Dental Confidence Or Caution

Whether you are one of the folks who goes willingly for your check-up, or are hesitant about getting dental work done, The Fayetteville Dentist wants you to make and keep regular appointments for cleanings and checkups.

Regular dental appointments are important because they help keep your teeth and gums healthy. For most patients, we recommend a visit to our office every six months. We occasionally need to see a patient more often.

Parts 1 & 2

There are two parts to an average dental appointment: a cleaning and a checkup.

  • During a cleaning, one of our dental hygienists inspects your teeth and gums, and uses special tools to remove any plaque and tartar that have built up. It also includes polishing your teeth, which removes any surface stains. The last step is flossing.
  • During a checkup, the dentist checks your overall dental health. If there are any issues, like a cavity or signs of gum disease, we’ll usually schedule a follow-up appointment. It will be planned for your convenience, of course, but sooner is better.

What you do between your six-month visits is really important. Plaque is contantly forming on the teeth, so we recommend – and we cannot say it strongly enough! – that you brush and floss your teeth. Ideally, you’ll do this twice a day.

You have a lot of toothpaste choices. The flavor is up to you, but be sure to choose one with fluoride.

By seeing us twice a year, and maintaining a good dental health regimen at home, you can have confidence that your teeth and gums are in great shape. At The Fayetteville Dentist, our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. If you haven’t already, schedule your next appointment today! We also have an office in Hope Mills.

Contact The Fayetteville Dentist:

910-213-3789

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4251 Ramsey St Ste 8 and 9
Fayetteville, North Carolina
28311


Our Top Priority At The Fayetteville Dentist

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At The Fayetteville Dentist, the dental health of each of our patients is our top priority.

Too often dental health is not taken seriously enough, even by people who should know better. In this post, we are going to review some of the most important reasons for taking good care of your teeth and gums.

First, let’s get to the most obvious ones. A healthy mouth helps to prevent:

  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Bad breath

Those are three pretty good reasons. But there are other really good reasons why you should make brushing and flossing your teeth a practice you wouldn’t dream of skipping.

Poor dental hygiene may put you at greater risk of the following:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes

You may wonder: why does my mouth have so much to do with my overall health? If the eyes are the windows to the soul, the mouth is a window to the rest of your body.

An examination of the mouth, and saliva in particular, can reveal the presence of systemic conditions such as AIDS and diabetes. Incredible as it may seem, more than ninety percent of systemic diseases reveal themselves in the mouth. Saliva testing can also reveal the presence of environmental toxins that indicate hepatitis and other serious illnesses.

Brushing and flossing may not help you ward off systemic conditions, but they can be detected by a dental exam.

We’ll wrap up this post with a predictable reminder: never go to bed without brushing and flossing your teeth first. Remember to brush for at least two minutes and to thoroughly brush the inside and outside of your teeth. And don’t forget your tongue!

At The Fayetteville Dentist, we want all our patients to have happy mouths – in other words, good dental health. It’s our top priority with every patient who sits down in one of our chairs. We offer general and cosmetic dentistry, and also have an office in Hope Mills. Schedule your next checkup with us today.

Contact The Fayetteville Dentist:

910-213-3789

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4251 Ramsey St Ste 8 and 9
Fayetteville, North Carolina
28311

 

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Bleeding Gums After Your 6-Month Cleaning?

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Regular dental check-ups and cleanings with The Fayetteville Dentist are critical for good dental health. Sometimes a patient’s gums may bleed after a thorough cleaning. Is this a problem?

Well, it depends. If your gums bleed for a day or two, you don’t need to be concerned. But if the bleeding and tenderness last longer, you really need to return to our office for some follow-up. There is the possibility of gum disease.

Gum disease is usually the result of poor brushing and flossing habits. When you don’t brush and floss on a regular basis, there is a build-up of plaque, which hardens into a substance called tartar. That’s why we recommend our patients brush and floss twice a day. It’s the best way to prevent plaque from building up.

No amount of brushing and flossing will remove tartar from your teeth. It takes a professional cleaning to remove it, which is why we want to see our patients twice a year.

Risk factors for developing gum disease include:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Genetics
  • Certain illnesses, like AIDS, and their medication
  • Medication that reduces the flow of saliva

The symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Red or swollen gums
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Painful chewing
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums

The type of treatment a patient gets for gum disease depends on the extent of the condition. Part of the treatment might include behavioral changes, like giving up smoking. And it is essential that the patient adopts good daily dental care.

We think there already are plenty of reasons to quit smoking, and to start brushing and flossing twice a day. But if you’d like another, there it is: to head off a disease that could result in losing your teeth.

The unfortunate truth is that anyone can get gum disease. But there is hope; the earlier it is detected, the sooner treatment can begin. The Fayetteville Dentist provides gum disease treatment, as well as general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact The Fayetteville Dentist:

910-213-3789

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4251 Ramsey St Ste 8 and 9
Fayetteville, North Carolina
28311

 

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