Tips for a Healthy Back to School Smile from a Family Dentist in Apex

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It’s that time of year!  Back to school!!!  The time of year that Moms and Dads are found scratching their heads at Target trying to figure out whether the 3 prong, plastic, 2 pocket folders comes in 5 different colors so they can check it off the school supply list (There is always one item that makes buying the whole list in one trip impossible).  We have been there!

Along with school supply shopping, it is also time to start thinking about what to pack in your child’s lunch.  Among the seemingly endless options there are prepackaged lunches and individual serving sizes of chips and cookies. These foods are usually high in sugar, sodium, and fat and, while easy to grab at the last minute before you miss the bus, do not make the best choices for school lunches.  Sticky foods, such as fruit roll ups and fruit snacks, get stuck in the grooves of your child’s teeth and will likely stay there until they brush later that evening…giving bacteria an abundant supply of sugar.

The good news is that there are other choices that are convenient and far healthier for your child’s teeth and body.

Here are a few ideas the are both convenient and healthy (and please feel free to share your ideas in the comment section below…we believe in the “it takes a village” philosophy).

Cheese- Cheese is actually one of the best foods for your teeth because it neutralizes acids caused by bacteria and contains calcium, which can help the teeth remineralize. Cheese sticks are convenient because they offer single portion servings.

Hard boiled eggs-another healthy and convenient option that provides protein which is helpful for tissue development.

Nuts-especially raw nuts, the rough texture can help clean acid off the teeth and the provide protein.

Vegetable cups- vegetables are much lower in sugar than fruits and also tend to provide more fiber.  Carrots and cucumbers are popular, but try sugar snap peas or sweet bell peppers to keep kids from getting bored as this often makes them crave quick and often unhealthy alternatives.

Water-Opt out of sending juice boxes and sport drinks to school and just send water, which neutralizes the acids in the mouth and cleanses your teeth.

Another important part of helping keep your child’s smile healthy is by keeping them up to date with their dental exams, cleanings, and fluoride treatments. In 2015, the CDC reported that almost 20% of school age children have untreated dental decay.  Taking your child to visit their Apex Dentist helps keep their teeth healthy and helps them have positive dental experiences from a young age.

If your child is old enough to play sports requiring mouthguards, ask your Apex Dentist if they can provide you with a custom mouthguard.  It is important for your child to protect their teeth by wearing a mouthguard. One thing we know is that a better fitting mouthguard is one your child is more likely to actually wear.

Good luck to all our beautiful kids on their first day back at school, whether its the first day of kindergarten or their senior year of high school.  They grow up so fast, so remember to cherish every moment and every (healthy) smile!

Everything You Need to Know About Dental Sealants from a Family Dentist in Apex

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What is a sealant?  

A sealant is a tooth-colored resin material that is placed on chewing surfaces of teeth to help them stay cavity-free.

crack

Why do teeth need sealants?

Molar and premolar teeth often have very deep pits and fissures.  While bacteria can easily enters these groves, toothbrush bristles are often too large and therefore ineffective.  As a result, these areas become the perfect breeding ground for bacteria to multiply which can lead to dental decay. A sealant does just what its name suggests…it seals off the grooves so that bacteria can’t enter.  After a sealant is placed these areas can no longer harbor bacteria and your tooth brushing once again becomes effective.

tooth-groove

What teeth need sealants? 

Any teeth that have deep groves or pits can benefit from sealants.  These are most often found on molar and premolar (teeth right in front of the molars) permanent teeth, but varies from one individual to another.  One person might benefit from sealants on all molars and premolars (16 teeth), while another may only need their molars (8 teeth) sealed.

Once a tooth has a dental filling in it, it no longer benefits from a sealant.

People often think that only children benefit from sealants.  That is because sealants are typically placed on a child’s molars when they first erupt.  The reality is that any teeth with deep pits and fissures (that do not already have fillings) can benefit from sealants because they  will help prevent future cavities.

How is a sealant applied?

No tooth structure is removed in order to place a sealant.  Instead it is kind of like painting your fingernails: resin material is only added, nothing is taken away.  The tooth is thoroughly cleaned with a pumice and etch.  The tooth is then washed thoroughly. Finally, the sealant material is applied and then cured with a light in order to harden it.

before-after-sealantHow long do sealants lasts?

Sealants typically last two to five years.  Although, it is not uncommon to see sealants in adults that were placed in childhood and are still intact.

Avoiding sticky, chewy, and hard foods can potentially prolong the life of a sealant.

If a sealant is no longer fully intact then it is no longer effective and should be replaced by your dentist.  If it has been less than two years since the sealant was placed, ask if your Apex family dentist offers a warranty for sealants.

Four Things to Consider When Choosing a Dentist in Apex NC

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apex

Are you new in town or looking for a different dental experience?  There are many dentists to choose from in the Apex Cary area and so sometimes it can be overwhelming as you try to find a good fit for you and your family. It is important to choose a dentist who you feel you can trust. Look for a dentist who…

 1)  Is an Active Listener

You should feel like your dentist gives you a customized dental experience. Not a one size fits all appointment.  This can only be done if the dentist takes time to not only look in your mouth, but to listen to you.  The dentist might be an expert on what is going on in your mouth, but you are the expert on why.  What’s is going on in your life and how is that effecting your overall and dental health?  Are you a mom who is busy doing a fabulous job taking care of your children but tend to put yourself on the back burner?  Are you a bride preparing for your wedding and want the best smile of your life?  Did you just get your first job, have dental insurance for the first time since before college and want to get back on track? How do you feel about your smile?  If there is something you could change about your smile, what would it be?

Your dentist should be interested in you.  Not just your mouth.

2) Respects Your Time and Your Resources

A dentist should not keep you in the waiting room too long and should be punctual for appointments.  Scheduling coordinators should give you options for appointments that are convenient for you. If taking off work is difficult, find a dental office that offers appointments on Saturdays or late weekday hours.

 A dentist should also offer different billing options so that your financial resources can be optimized.  For example, hopefully they file your insurance, have financing options, and/or offer a cash discount if you are a cash paying patient.

3)  Educates You about all aspects of your appointment

The entire dental team should be good educators.

The dentist will educate you on all matters related to your oral health and how it effects your overall health and well being. This includes performing oral cancer screenings as a part of a head and neck exam.

The dental hygienist should educate you on what you can do daily to keep your teeth healthy and maintain your smile.

Insurance can get confusing.  What you will pay, what insurance will pay? Do you pay up front?  Or only the difference? The financial coordinator’s job is to help you understand all aspects of your financial arrangement.

4)  Stays Current with Technology and Continuing Education

 You wouldn’t use a phone from 15 years ago.  So why go to a dentist who does not stay up to date with current technology?  Advancements in technology in the dental field offer many of the same benefits as those outside the field.  More comfort, less time, better results. For example, same day CEREC crowns mean less wait time for patients. They also mean no annoying temporary crown while you wait for the permanent one to come back from the lab.

Continuing education allows dentists to stay current with technology and procedures.  It gives them an opportunity to brush up on procedures they are already comfortable with and expand their scope of practice.

Not sure what your dentist does to stay up to date?  Just ask!  If your dentist is already doing this, he/she would most likely love the opportunity to share this information with you!

 

Overall, just remember to trust your gut.  Taking some time to find a dental practice that meets your specific needs is worth the effort. Perhaps that means calling to ask for an office tour and to meet the dentist and staff before scheduling your first appointment.  Once you find the right fit, you will be glad you did!

Our Apex NC Dentist Explains the Importance of Annual Dental Checkups

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Top Rated Apex NC Dentist

Getting an annual dental checkup is as important as finding a top rated dentist in Apex NC. Herein lies the biggest misconception. Just because a person is looking for a top rated dentist in Apex NC, doesn’t mean that dentist will provide the best care. Finding the right dentist and dental care is not just about finding the best Apex NC family dentist. Finding the best dental care consists of knowing a few things first.

What Makes Our Apex Family Dentist Stand Out?

1) A good family dentist will offer annual dental exams. Having annual dental exams are important. It’s not enough to brush and floss twice day. That part is important, but not all important. The rest lies in the care that the family dentist provides. Dental exams can give all parties involved an overview of what is going on.

2) Another reason for having checkups is a person avoids having future problems with their teeth.. When a person goes in to have a checkup, the dentist can see if there are any issues. If there are, he or she will know how to tackle them the best.

3)If a person waits too long, it could prove detrimental to their mouth and pocket book. This is especially true with the really big treatments.

4) It shows the person knows how to take care of themselves. Those who take proper care of their teeth and gums, will always look attractive and appealing to others. The person will also feel more confident about who they are inside. A persons’ smile can tell a lot about who they are. By skipping this step, a person winds up not feeling to good about themselves.

5) Having regular checkups reduce the chance of gum disease. It’s not just about making sure the teeth are pretty and attractive. One must also look at their gum tissue. Are the gums starting to bleed a little bit? This could be a sign that the person is not taking proper care of their mouth. That is why having annual checkups are so important.

Our Dentist in Apex Shares FAQs Regarding Dental Sealants

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What are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are thin coatings that are made out of plastic. They are placed over the teeth in order to prevent them from decaying. They help keep the food particles and germs out of the grooves of the teeth. Sealants are considered preventative dentistry.

Are Sealants 100 Percent Effective?

Some studies have shown that sealants can be 100 percent effective. The tooth will be protected as long as the sealant remains in place.

Can you see Sealants?

Sealants are clear and white. That is why they can only be seen up close.

How Long do the Sealants Last?

The sealants can potentially last for several years. In some cases, sealants can last over 10 years.

Are Sealants Expensive?

Sealants are affordable. Because they can prevent tooth decay, they can also help you save money on dental care. Your general dentist will discuss the cost of sealants.

Will my Teeth Look Different?

One may feel the sealants on their teeth. However, because the sealants are thin, they do not cause discomfort.

Who Needs Sealants?

The best candidates for sealants are children because their permanent teeth have just come in. However, older patients may also benefit from getting sealants. If your general dentist believes that you are at a higher risk for getting tooth decay, then you may need to get sealants.

Will I Still Need Fluoride Treatments?

Fluoride treatments are still needed. It helps strengthen your enamel and provides additional protection from tooth decay.

Why do I Need Sealants?

Decay can cause permanent damage to your teeth. Sealants help you save time and money by protecting your teeth. It is also important to remember that a filling is not an easy fix for a cavity. A tooth gets weaker every time that it is drilled.

If you are interested in getting sealants, then you will need to contact our dentist office.

Our Apex Dentists Teach You How to Brush Your Teeth the Proper Way

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Our Apex dentists are eager to show you the proper tooth brushing tips in order to prevent gum disease. Most people report some confusion when it comes to tooth brushing tips. Some dentists will recommend one way, while other dentists say something else. There doesn’t seem to be one uniform recommendation for oral health. But as long as you following the tips of our Apex dentists, you will experience a healthier oral hygiene routine in no time.

Split Mouth into Four Groups

Draw an imaginary line down the middle of your two front teeth on the top and bottom of your mouth. You should now have four distinct sections of your mouth: the top left, the bottom left, the top right, and the bottom right. Brush each section thoroughly for 30 seconds. This is how you can be sure that you’re spending enough time with your brushing habits. Many people just don’t brush long enough.

Use Gentle, but Firm Strokes

Don’t grip your toothbrush with a tight fist. Use the same grip you would use for a pencil. All you need is short, gentle strokes to get rid of plaque and prevent gum disease. Applying too much pressure to the brush will irritate your teeth and gums. As long as you brush for two full minutes twice per day, you shouldn’t have to apply a lot of pressure when you brush.

45 Degree Angle

You want to hold the brush at a 45 degree angle when you use it. This is the most effective angle to remove plaque and keep it from building up in your mouth. Use short, horizontal strokes in a circular motion. This can be difficult on the sides and in the back of your mouth. But you should be able to fit the brush into those areas of your mouth enough to get the job done.

Twice Per Day

It can’t be stated enough that you must brush twice per day. It’s easy to get into the routine once you make an effort. You won’t even need to make an effort after a while since it will be automatic. You could set reminders on your phone each morning to tell you to brush your teeth. You need to brush twice per day so that the plaque doesn’t build up too much. Your breath will taste and smell better with regular brushing, and your oral health will improve.

Apex Dentist Shares 5 Ways to Manage Your Dental Anxiety

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Apex dentists recognize that different patients experience dental anxiety for different reasons. It’s much better to tell your dentist right away when you feel uncomfortable. They won’t think any less of you. In fact most dentists appreciate honest feedback from their patients. Once you make them aware of your fears, they can form a strategy to ease them. They will show you that there is no need to be afraid of the dentist. Consider these five ways that the dentist will manage your dental anxiety.

Watch Television

Television is a welcome distraction for dental patients. You won’t stress out about the dental work if you’re too busy watching something entertaining. A show you enjoy can help you avoid focusing on the negative aspects you associate with dentistry. Distractions ease your worries so that the dentist can provide the care you need.

Hold a Conversation

A quality dentist will tell you exactly what they are doing if you ask. Some patients are afraid of the dentist because they don’t understand what tools the dentist is using and why the dentist is using those tools. Many people imagine large, sharp instruments that will inflict tons of pain. Modern dentistry is nowhere near as uncomfortable as dentistry was a generation ago.

Rescheduling

Apex dentists will be glad to reschedule an appointment if you feel that you can’t comfortably receive treatment. It’s better for you to collect your thoughts and feelings before you attempt to visit the dental office again. Dentists understand that fear overtakes people sometimes. It can be a natural reaction to something you experienced in the past. The dentist will help you feel as comfortable as possible.

Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry makes comfort a reality for many anxious dental patients. Your dentist could choose laughing chase, IV sedation, and other methods depending on your personality and needs. You’ll be able to relax and let the dentist do the job they need to do. Sedation is also a great option for children who desperately need dental work. They will learn to trust the dentist once they see they won’t get hurt.

Listen to Music

Music can be such a calming element in a dentist’s office. You’ll be listening to the tunes while the dentist does the important work on your mouth. The right music can help you drift away and forget about your dental anxiety. You’ll leave the dental chair with a sense of confidence that the dental procedure went well.

Our Apex Dentist Shares Why Getting Dental Crowns Is A Good Thing!

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You already have plenty of reasons to be anxious about going to see your doctor. Dreading the thought of having a crown installed shouldn’t be one of them! As you’re about to find out, dental crowns are tremendously reliable and they play a very important role in restorative dentistry.

Reasons Why You May Need Dental Crowns

Crowns are dental appliances that almost always cover the entire surface of a tooth. (In certain cases your dentist may recommend a partial crown, but these are rare.) Dental crowns are necessary in a wide variety of different situations, from major cavities to supporting other forms of restorative dentistry. If you’re also having a bridge or a partial denture installed, for instance, you may require one or more crowns to support the larger appliance.

Any tooth that is vulnerable to further damage and incapable of functioning normally is a good candidate for a crown. Large cavities are probably the most common reason to install crowns, but plenty of others exist. Physical damage may call for a crown after an impact-related injury. Crowns may even sometimes be required to protect a tooth following a root canal.

How An Experienced Dentist Installs Crowns

Your road to a successful crown installation begins with a preparatory visit. The first thing your dentist will do is shape your tooth to receive the new appliance. This is done under anesthesia to minimize discomfort. Depending on the kind of crown you and your dentist pick out, roughly 1 millimeter of material needs to be removed from your natural tooth.

Once your tooth is ready, your dentist will take impressions to send to a dental lab. You’ll then likely be fitted with a temporary crown to keep your teeth in working order while the permanent piece is created. Once it’s ready, you’ll return to your dentist’s office so your new crown can be cemented in place.

One of Restorative Dentistry’s Greatest Success Stories

While no artificial replacement can match a healthy, natural tooth for strength and longevity, properly-installed crowns come close. Most experienced dentists will confidently predict that a crown will last at least ten years. In fact, longer lifespans (thirty years of more) are entirely possible if you take care of your crown and your other teeth.

Few dental appliances are quite as refined and reliable as good crowns, and they can make a world of difference in your mouth. Talk to our apex dentist today if you already know you need a crown installed.

 

One Stop Dental Needs with Our Apex Family Dentists

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A good family dentist is not only in their child’s life from infancy to adulthood but also can give great care to the kid’s grandparents. It is hard to find a dentist that has the skill level to treat all of the young, the adults, and the elderly in the family. Most dentists give excellent care to one age group but are lacking in other areas. A family wants a dentist that they can build trust with, to encounter no problems with, and to eliminate the wait time. The search is over with our Apex family dentists.

They provide general dentistry and expert care for the entire family and take care of all of the family needs. Most children despise going to the dentist. The local dental office provides a painless and comforting experience. Apex family dentists is a one stop destination for all of the family needs. Be on a first name basis with the staff and experience an extremely friendly atmosphere.

The family’s dentist appointments do not have to be a hassle anymore. Currently, many families are separated into general dentistry all over the city. Who would prefer that over the whole family with coordinated appointments in one day? No more working around everyone’s schedule to get every family member an appointment that works with them and each different dentist. The local dental office will provide everyone coordinated appointments with a fantastic experience.

Some parents even have to deal with the kicking and screaming of their children because they hate the dentist. They have to actually convince or bribe the child to go to the dentist. No parent wants that stress. Get rid of it with Apex family dentists. Their dentists have complete expert training making them a very professional practice and an irreplaceable family dentist. Make the family’s lives easier and their teeth healthier.

 

Gingivitis Prevention – What You Need to Know to Maintain Good Oral and Physical Health

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Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease. It causes your gums to become reddened, irritated and swollen. Many people are unaware they have this condition, but it’s important to take symptoms seriously and seek treatment promptly as it is the early stage of gum disease.

When diagnosed early, this conditions can be treated and even reversed. However, if left untreated, this condition can advance to gum disease, which is a far more serious oral health issue that is not reversible. Gum disease can result in tooth and bone loss, and is one of the leading causes of tooth loss among adults. Gum disease affects more than your mouth, proven by recent studies that have linked gum disease to diabetes, heart attacks and strokes.

Associated Symptoms

Healthy gums appear pale pink and are firm. This condition is rarely painful, making it difficult for you to be aware of its presence. The following are symptoms you should look for:

  • Receding or swollen gums
  • Soft, puffy gums
  • Occasional tenderness of gums
  • Bleeding gums from flossing or brushing
  • Dusky red gums
  • Bad breath

Causes of This Early Gum Disease

Typically, poor hygiene is the primary cause of this mild gum disease. The following are also contributing factors:

  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Certain medications
  • Genetics
  • Stress
  • Substance abuse
  • Pregnancy
  • Poor nutrition
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Certain diseases and conditions
  • Puberty

Steps for Gingivitis Prevention

The most important step in prevention is to visit your general dentist on a regular basis. You should have dental maintenance visits at least twice per year, unless told otherwise by your local dentist office. This condition can usually be reversed with a thorough, professional cleaning and dental checkup followed by good oral health practices at home.

To be sure you are cleaning your mouth properly, ask your general dentist to show you the proper technique. According to the American Dental Association, your teeth should be brushed, using the proper technique, twice per day. In addition, an interdental aid, such as dental floss should be used daily. Other recommendations for gingivitis prevention include using a toothpaste with antimicrobial properties, and including your tongue in your brushing routine.

While sleeping, there is no disruption to the growing bacteria in your mouth. Therefore, your mouth should be the cleanest before going to bed so bacteria aren’t doing damage to your teeth and gums while you sleep.

If you’re concerned about gingivitis or have noticed symptoms, don’t delay and schedule a visit to our local Apex dentist office today.