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.

 

Tips for Relieving Dry Mouth, from Our Apex Family Dentist

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Occasionally, a patient will visit our office expecting to have no dental cavities, and is very surprised to learn that they have one. Often, this patient is middle-aged or older, brushes and flosses every day, and has no prior history of tooth decay. When this happens, dentists immediately begin to suspect dry mouth caused by new medications or an undiagnosed condition. Dry mouth causes a decrease in saliva production, which is crucial for regulating oral bacteria and keeping the teeth healthy. Below is more information about the causes of dry mouth, and some treatments that can help.

Common Causes of Dry Mouth

Many medications can cause dry mouth as a side effect. Common dry-mouth inducing medications include muscle relaxants; pain medications; antidepressants; blood pressure and heart rhythm medications; Parkinson’s and Alzheimers disease medications; antihistamines; and decongestants. Recreational drug use, chemotherapy, nerve damage due to injury or surgery, and poor nutrition can also cause dry mouth. Note that this list is far from comprehensive; to learn whether a medication, behavior or condition may be causing your dry mouth, consult with your doctor or pharmacist.

Treatments for Dry Mouth

Regardless of the cause of your dry mouth, it’s important to do something about it, as lack of saliva can lead to cavities, gingivitis (gum disease), and halitosis (bad breath). Below are some tips on managing dry mouth from our Apex dentist.

Stay Hydrated

Hydration is important for many aspects of your health in general, but for those suffering from dry mouth, it is even more important. Strive to drink at least 8-12 eight ounce glasses of water a day, unless your doctor advises against it. Taking small sips throughout the day will benefit you more than consuming a large amount in one sitting, as it helps to “wash” your teeth all day long.

Chew Sugarless Gum

Chewing sugarless gum can help to stimulate saliva production, providing your salivary glands are still operational, and not permanently damaged by injury or chemotherapy. The best sugar substitute, from a dentist’s perspective, is xylitol, a plant-derived sweetener that actively kills harmful tooth bacteria. Sucking on sugar-free lollipops can also help boost saliva production.

Avoid Drugs, Alcohol & Citrus 

Alcohol, caffeine, and citric acid can all dry out the mouth and inhibit saliva production. If you use an alcoholic mouthwash, you might want to try switching to a saltwater rinse instead. On the subject of indulgences, tobacco and marijuana can also worsen dry mouth, so if you use these, try to decrease or eliminate your use. Note that the nicotine in electronic cigarettes also contributes to dry mouth.

Add Moisture to Your Environment

Moistening dry foods with broth, sauces, milk or melted butter can make it easier to chew and swallow; you could also simply try adding more non-citric fruit and vegetables to your diet. You can also use a humidifier to add moisture to the ambient air around you, especially while you sleep.

Suffering from Dry Mouth? Talk to an Apex Dentist Today  

As oral healthcare specialists, dentists are able to assess potential causes of dry mouth, and prescribe or recommend products that can treat it. Many moisturizing gels, lozenges, and mouthwashes designed specifically to treat dry mouth are available over the counter; if these prove to be ineffective, your dentist can prescribe medications that stimulate the saliva glands. To reach a dentist in Apex NC, please click here.

Our Apex Dentist Explains Why Hydration is Good for Your Teeth!

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You probably already know that water is good for your overall health, but did you know that it has significant health benefits for your teeth, too? It’s true! Staying hydrated helps strengthen your teeth and keep your smile bright and strong. Below are some reasons to encourage your entire family to drink plenty of water, as shared by our Apex family dentist.

Fight Tooth-Destroying Bacteria  

We generally think of saliva as something rather purposeless, but saliva is actually your mouth’s first line of defense against tooth decay. Its neutral PH levels are low enough to dilute acid from soda and other foods, and high enough to impede tooth-destroying bacteria. It also contains minerals like calcium and phosphate that keep your teeth strong. The drier your mouth, the easier it is for bacteria to thrive and grow. So if you want to fight tooth decay, stay hydrated!

Flush Away Sugars and Starches

Whenever you eat or drink anything sweet or starchy, sugar residue is left behind on your teeth. Both of these ingredients are favorite foods of tooth-destroying bacteria, which convert them into acid that eats away at enamel. Staying hydrated helps wash away leftover sugar and carbohydrates, helping to starve bad bacteria and prevent tooth decay.

Get Enough Fluoride

The U.S. is one of the many countries that add fluoride to municipal water. Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral, like calcium or salt, that has been consistently shown to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay. The more municipal water you consume from your tap, the more fluoride you apply to your teeth and the stronger they become. And, unlike fluoride treatments you have to pay for at the dentist’s office, this fluoride is totally free!

Water: Dentists’ Favorite Drink!

If dentists around the world filled out a survey on the #1 beverage they recommend to patients, water would top the list. It does not cause stains, like coffee, wine and tea; it does not erode the enamel, like citrus juice and soda; and it doesn’t contain high amounts of sugar, like “energy” drinks and sports drinks. With zero calories and plenty of health benefits for the rest of your body, water is the best beverage you can choose every time!

Get a Bright, Healthy Smile at Our Apex Dentist Office

If you are looking for a pediatric dentist in Apex NC, head over to Hansen Dentistry. Our amazing dental team is dedicated to creating a comfortable, relaxing environment from the moment you walk through the door! To request an appointment, please click here.

Dog Owners: Watch Out for These Household Items Containing Xylitol 

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We have written before about xylitol, a sugar alcohol that has excellent benefits for dental health. Although xylitol is highly recommended for fighting tooth decay in humans, however, it poses a significant risk to dogs. When a dog ingests xylitol, its body releases a massive surge of insulin, and this rabid influx can quickly become life-threatening. Therefore, it is important to look out for the following common household products which contain xylitol, and keep them out of your pup’s reach. 

Sugar-Free Gum

Dentists love when our patients chew sugar-free gum containing xylitol. Not only is the ingredient deadly to harmful tooth bacteria, the action of chewing stimulates also saliva production, which further helps cut down on bacteria. However, xylitol-containing gums can cause serious problems for your dog. In fact, the Pet Poison Helpline cites gum as the source of nearly 80% of xylitol poisoning cases. The solution? Keep all of your gum in a closed cabinet or high place. If your dog does get its teeth on some gum, be sure to note the brand and your best guess at the amount ingested. Since different gums contain different amounts of xylitol, this is crucial information for your vet. 

Food Items  

More and more consumers are checking the calories in food items before making their purchases, so in order to keep the calories low, many companies are forgoing natural sugar in favor of xylitol. These items, sometimes marked as “low-sugar” or “sugar-free,” are much more dangerous than other items on this list, because they contain a much higher amount of sweetener. Therefore, pay close attention to the ingredient list on all foodstuffs you buy, and never let a dog snack on human food, no matter how cute their begging face might be. Ketchup, peanut butter, protein bars, and pudding are all common culprits of doggy xylitol poisoning. 

Lotions, Gels, and Deodorants

While xylitol is used in food as an artificial sweetener, it also has great humectant properties, or the ability to help a product retain its moisture. For this reason, many lotions, gels, toothpastes, and liquid or “meltaway” medications contain it. Like everything on this list, your best course of action is to keep such products out of reach of your four-legged friends. Even if you think it’s unlikely your pooch will take a bite out of your deodorant, it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Hansen Dentistry is a family dentist located in Apex, NC. We provide dental exams, dental cleanings, cavity fillings, oral surgery, same-day crowns, and more to our Apex and Cary patients. To schedule an appointment, please click here