5 Major Differences Between Traditional Braces And Invisalign

5 Major Differences Between Traditional Braces And Invisalign

Everyone wants beautiful, straight teeth! Orthodontics and cosmetic dentistry are rapidly growing fields that allow men and women to dramatically change their smiles. When it comes to straightening teeth, traditional braces and Invisalign are two of the most popular options we offer here at Bridge Creek Dental. What are the differences between these two methods? Read on and find out.

1. Braces are visible, while Invisalign is discreet.

If you’ve ever heard the terms “brace face” or “metal mouth” in adolescence, you know that braces are known for being particularly attractive. Braces involve brackets, wires and sometimes rubber bands that all work together to put your teeth in the correct position. While they are very effective at this, it isn’t the most glamorous process. Invisalign straightens teeth with clear plastic aligners that are very discreet.

2. Braces are better suited for making functional improvements than Invisalign.

Invisalign is great at making more minor aesthetic adjustments, while braces can help patients with more complex cases of crowded and crooked teeth. They can close large gaps, align teeth that are twisted and help with bite issues. Fixing these issues will make your smile look better but they can also improve the overall health and function of your teeth.

3. Invisalign is more comfortable than traditional braces.

While it may taking a little getting used to, wearing clear plastic aligners is much more comfortable than dealing with metal brackets and wires. Plus, with traditional braces you will be getting your braces adjusted and tightened regularly. Oral B estimates that these adjustments usually happen every 4 to 6 weeks. Patients with traditional braces often suffer from some soreness and tenderness after an adjustment.

4. There is more room for patient error with Invisalign.

Invisalign users are instructed to wear their aligners for 22 to 24 hours a day and to only take them out for eating, drinking or other special occasions. But the truth is that many patients do not keep their aligners in that much and as a result the treatment does not work as well as intended. With braces, taking them off at home is not really an option, which means there is little chance you can derail the process.

5. Certain foods are restricted with traditional braces.

Popcorn, caramels, gum, nuts and corn on the cob are just a few of the foods that are no-no’s with traditional braces. Eating anything overly sticky or hard can hurt your braces. With Invisalign you can simply take out your tray and enjoy anything you would like!

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Sensory Processing Disorder – Dental Care Techniques For Children Sensitive To Touch

Sensory Processing Disorder - Dental Care Techniques For Children Sensitive To Touch

There are many ways that dental visits have to be adapted to cater to specific patients and their individual needs. One of the biggest challenges for many working within the dental field is working on children with Autism. In particular, sensory processing disorder.

A study done by the University of Southern California found that children who experienced stimulation sensitivities were far calmer and more relaxed during visits to dental offices that had been remade to address those sensitivities. Some of those features included lower lighting, soothing music, projected images moving slowly across the ceiling, and chairs with butterfly wings that were cushioned to feel more like the chair was hugging the child.

Another issue that might need to be addressed is tooth sensitivity. This is a difficult enough problem to handle in adults. But children, especially those on the Autism spectrum who may struggle with touch in the first place, could end up totally resistant to any dental procedure if there is pain or discomfort involved.

Why Children With Sensory Processing Disorder Dislike The Dentist

There could be a number of reasons why a child who has sensory processing disorder may dread going to a dentist. Some of them will be the same as any other child’s anxieties:

  • Fear of pain
  • The look of instruments like drills
  • Past bad experiences
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Stories they have seen in cartoons
  • Stories they have heard from classmates

But a child with sensory issues will have other triggers to take into consideration:

  • Difficulty coping with bright lights
  • Fear or pain caused by loud sounds
  • Discomfort in unfamiliar places
  • Discomfort over textures, such as the chair beneath them
  • Inability to relax around strangers
  • Difficulty coping with breaks in routine

All of these will be compounded when they walk into a dentist’s office. It doesn’t even account for other annoyances that most of us take for granted every day, such as traffic, loud noises in the street, or the long wait before an appointment. A child on the Autism spectrum could experience these as major triggers before they ever get into the dentist’s chair.

What Parents Can Do

Parents reading this can use some tricks to help their child get through the stresses of a dental exam or procedure. Some of them happen long before they leave the home.

  • Find a dentist ahead of time that understands the needs of your child, and is willing/able to accommodate them.
  • Begin explaining the process of the dental visit days ahead of the appointment, if possible. Show them videos, books, or drawings that go through everything step by step.
  • Put on a fake dental visit where you play the dentist, so they can get a feel for the procedures and exams.
  • Make sure you follow their routine through the day in every way other than the visit, to lessen anxiety.
  • Remain communicative and present before, during and after the examination.
  • Lessen sensory triggers; bring sunglasses or a sleep mask for lights, earplugs or headphones with soothing music for sound, and a special toy, blanket or other comfort object.
  • Don’t be afraid to direct the dentist. They will not know your signs of your child’s distress, but you do. You can let them know when breaks are needed, or if there is something they can do to make the process go more smoothly.
  • Consider sedation. Though a last resort, for long, painful or frightening procedures, you may wish to consent to your child being put under for the duration. Keep in mind that this has to be planned in advance, so speak to your child’s dentist before finalizing an appointment. You may also wish to speak to your child’s primary care doctor about anti-anxiety medication for appointments.
  • Start good habits as soon as possible. One of the most important things you can do for your child is to make sure they take good care of their teeth. This won’t mitigate the need for annual exams, but it will lessen the chances of serious dental procedures later on. The best treatment is often prevention, especially when your child has difficulty managing appointments.

What Dental Professionals Can Do

If you are a dental professional reading this, there are things you can do to help, as well. The study mentioned in the introduction showed how offices are already adapting in ways that cater to children with sensory processing disorder. But these tactics can help other children feel more at ease when they slip into your chair, as well:

  • Install light dimmers in the waiting room and exam rooms. Most procedures require an overhead light, which means having the rooms themselves less bright won’t impact your work.
  • Provide more play options for children in the waiting room, and during longer procedures that require waiting.
  • Have music in each room that is soothing and relaxing, but is also appropriate for young children.
  • Consider butterfly chairs. These are special chairs with softer cushions. There are wings that fold up from underneath, creating a ‘cocoon’ that can hug the child while keeping them sitting still. Many children find them comforting, and even fun to sit in.
  • Speak as you go along, gently telling them each part of the process in terms they can understand.
  • Communicate openly and effectively with parents. Ask them if there is anything that can be done during an appointment to help their child feel more at ease. Take their suggestions into consideration. Remember that you are a team, and working together for the best care possible is the ultimate goal.

Making The Dentist a Peaceful Place For Everyone

The dentist’s office can be a stressful environment. Yet, when we look at it from the perspective of a child with sensory processing disorder, we can get a wider view of the environment and ways to improve it. By putting a little bit of time, effort and thought into how dental exams are conducted, we can begin to make the experience less dramatic for everyone.

Find out more about this and other dental topics at Bridge Creek Dental.

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Adhesives To Try Out For More Comfortable Dentures

Adhesives To Try Out For More Comfortable Dentures

ADHESIVE TIPS

For many people, denture adhesives are key to achieving that perfect fit. They help fill in any gaps that appear as your mouth changes over time. They also improve chewing ability, reduce slippage, prevent food from collecting under your dentures, provide added comfort and give you more confidence. Different forms of adhesives can be traced back to the late 18th century when vegetable gum was used to hold dentures in place.

Here is the low down on types of adhesives and tips for application and use.

TYPES OF ADHESIVE

Cream – Cream adhesives are the most commonly used and they are easy to apply. They key to a snug fit is creating a tight seal between your dentures and your mouth and cream adhesive helps strengthen that sealing bond. The most common way to apply a cream adhesive is to place a series of small dots of cream along curve of your denture and then press them firmly into your mouth and hold for a few seconds. You will know you are using too much adhesive if it oozes out the sides when you press it down in your mouth.

Powder – Powder denture adhesive is another great option for getting the perfect fit. To use a powder adhesive, first clean your dentures but don’t dry them, leaving them slightly wet. Then take a small amount of powder and (many people use a 1/4 of a teaspoon or so) and spoon it evenly on your denture. Then lightly tap or shake your denture and let any excess powder fall off. then press your denture firmly into place and bite down for a few seconds to secure the seal. When you first begin using powder adhesive start using a small amount and then add more if you need to. It’s always smart (and economical) to only use what you need and no more.

ADHESIVE TIPS

ONE | Consult with your dentist. If you are thinking about using a denture cream, ask your dentist his or her opinion, they can give you recommendations. They can help you know if your dentures need to be relined or reshaped or if some simple denture adhesive can do the job.

TWO | Watch for Zinc. In 2011, the FDA warned consumers about the dangers of denture adhesive containing zinc. Studies found that the level of zinc in adhesives was actually poisoning denture wearers and causing serious nerve damage. Many manufacturers have since cleaned up their products but it’s always a good idea to check your ingredient list! If your adhesive does contain zinc, be careful to use only recommended daily amount and no more.

THREE | Clean & Dry. Before you apply any adhesive, make sure your mouth and dentures are clean and dry.

FOUR | Rinse Well.This might sound like a no-brainer, but make sure to clean off tiny bits of adhesive at the end of the day. Remnants can build-up and affect your fit.

FIVE | Try different brands. There are many different brands of adhesive on the market and the only way to find the best one for you is to try them! The local drugstore and Amazon are great places to do research and read reviews of leading denture adhesive brands like Polident, Fixodent, DenTek, Poligrip, Sea Bond, Cushion Grip and more.

Denture Adhesive Reviews is another great resource that lists the pros and cons of each brand of adhesive. For instance, some adhesives require you to wait 20 minutes after application to eat while others have no waiting period. Make a list of your top priorities for your adhesive and then find the one that fits the bill.

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Building A Stronger Jaw With Bone Grafting For Your Dental Implant

Building A Stronger Jaw With Bone Grafting For Your Dental Implant

Dentistry Today recently addressed a growing question in the dental community: are bone grafts really the best form of treatment in every case? The answer was that there are other solutions that may be more budget friendly, but when it comes down to it, there is no denying that bone grafts are the most useful treatment.

One problem that the article points out is of consent. Patients don’t always understand all of their options. They see the price tag, freak out, and end up leaving without any work done at all. Of course, the benefits of bone grafting can’t be overstated.

The Good And The Bad Of Bone Grafting

BONE GRAFTING PROS BONE GRAFTING CONS
1. Stronger jaw bone 1. Potentially painful
2. Better anchor for dental implant 2. High out-of-pocket cost
3. Slows degenerative problems 3. Small chance of graft failure
4. High success rate

As you can see, not everything in the outlook is rosy. But the number of patient rejections is rather low, while the success rate is high. Bone grafting benefits usually outweigh the risk, though a thorough examination is crucial to ascertain whether it is the right choice for each individual.

Does Insurance Cover Bone Grafting?

This depends on the plan selected. It may also depend on why a bone graft is being recommended. If the work being done in conjunction with the graft is mostly cosmetic, it is unlikely that insurance will cover it. But if it is being sought as a necessity, they may cover at least part of the cost. Dental discount plans may also offset costs.

Most dentists provide a line of credit through their office, for those who wish to pay on a payment plan. Keep in mind that most grafting procedures can vary between $250 per region, to $2,000 per region. Crowns and other dental implants come with additional costs. A full jaw graft with implants can cost in the tens of thousands. Thankfully, patients tend to agree it is worth the money, as it can vastly improve quality of life, and even self esteem.

Find out more about how bone grafting can change your life by visiting Bridge Creek Dental.

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Dramatically Change the Appearance of Your Teeth Without Surgery

Dramatically Change the Appearance of Your Teeth Without Surgery

If you’re unhappy with your smile, you do have a few options that can improve it. One of those options, especially if you have a history of severe dental problems, is to get dental implants. Implants are natural-looking faux teeth that are installed in the place of your natural teeth. However, getting implants requires a long, drawn-out process over several visits, including oral surgery. For many people, that seems like a hassle…especially for multiple teeth.

Two other options are crowns and bondings. Crowns are often used on damaged teeth or those that have had root canals. Tooth-colored bondings (made from a very durable plastic material) can be used to repair chips, cracks, or even change the shape of a tooth. If neither of these things appeal to you, you do have other alternatives.

About Dental Veneers

For those seeking a long-lasting and dramatic change, dental veneers are often an attractive option. Also called porcelain veneers or porcelain laminates, dental veneers are very thin shells of a porcelain or resin composite material. They are custom-made to be bonded over the front your existing teeth, and can completely change the appearance of your smile for the better, even in severe cases.

Veneers are generally used to change the shape, size, length, and color individual teeth, creating a whiter, more uniform look without gaps.

What Veneers Can Do for You

Dental veneers can fix a number of issues with your smile, but they are most often used to improve the following conditions:

  • Chipped or broken teeth
  • Uneven, misaligned, or irregularly shaped teeth
  • Teeth with gaps in between them
  • Discoloration (due to root canals, large fillings, stains, excess fluoride, etc.)
  • Teeth that have been worn down over time

Veneers may be made from porcelain or a resin composite. While porcelain is more resistant to stains and reflects light more naturally, we can help you decide which option is best for your situation. Both types of veneers can greatly improve the look of your smile without surgery.

The Procedure

As you can probably imagine, the procedure for getting dental veneers is simpler and much less invasive than getting implants. Veneer placement also doesn’t require re-shaping of teeth the way crowns would. While the process usually requires three dental trips, there should be minimal, if any discomfort involved.

Your first visit will be a consultation, where we will discuss with you how veneers may be helpful,, and which material is the best fit. The next two visits are where the veneers are designed to fit your teeth, then bonded permanently. Veneers can be placed over a single tooth, or as many as you like to improve your smile.

Making Your Treatment Plan
First, you’ll need to let us know how you’d like your smile to look. We can give you an exam to ensure you’re a good candidate for veneers, and fill you in on what the process entails. You should leave this appointment with an understanding of both the benefits and limitations of veneers.

Preparing for Veneers
In order for the veneers to adhere to your teeth properly, we will need to remove a very thin layer of enamel from the surface of each affected tooth. This very thin layer equates to the approximate thickness of the veneer. Before this is done, you may be given a local anesthetic to ensure you remain comfortable. Then, we’ll be able to make impressions of the target area. Those impressions are sent to a dental lab, and are used to make perfectly-fitted veneers just for you. This usually takes 2-4 weeks. If you don’t want to wait that long, we may be able to put temporary veneers in place during this time.

Bonding Your Veneers
Once back from the lab, and with your teeth properly prepared, your new veneers are ready to be bonded to your teeth. We will do a temporary fitting first, to ensure the right placement and color. There may be some trimming needed, and we may also use a specific shade of cement when the veneers are applied, helping to adjust the color. Before your veneers are permanently placed, your teeth will need to be cleaned and polished, as well as “etched.” Etching roughens up the tooth’s surface to ensure a strong bond. Cement will then be applied to the veneer, and your veneers will be placed. Once we are sure the placement is just right, we will apply a special light beam to activate the cement and cure it almost instantly. After your veneers are in place, any final adjustments to your bite will be made, if necessary. We may schedule you for a follow-up visit a couple of weeks later, to double-check the placement and ensure your gums aren’t having a bad reaction to the veneers (which is pretty rare).

The Advantages

Obviously, we all want to have a beautiful smile. Veneers can help those with even severe dental cosmetic issues achieve a smile they’ll be proud to show off. Whether those issues are due to past dental health problems, injury, or something else, veneers could be the answer, offering:

  • Stain resistance (porcelain)
  • Natural appearance
  • Even, uniform look
  • Whiteness
  • A more conservative approach than crowns or implants
  • A lifetime of 7 to 15 years
  • No special care required — just good oral hygiene

Potential Drawbacks

Dental veneers are strong, and give your smile a more natural look than crowns. They are also less invasive to receive than implants. However, they might not be appropriate for everyone. Here’s why:

  • Veneers are irreversible and must be replaced when worn out
  • Veneered teeth can still decay
  • Should they chip or crack (which isn’t likely), they must be replaced, not repaired
  • Teeth may become sensitive due to the removal of some enamel
  • Veneers may not perfectly match the color of other teeth
  • Under excessive pressure (biting pencils or nails, grinding teeth), veneers can become dislodged

Considering Veneers?

If you’re unhappy with your smile due to past dental problems, tooth injury, or more, veneers may represent a good option for you. As long as you don’t have active decay or gum disease, dental veneers may be the answer for improving the look of your teeth without surgery or other invasive procedures. Talk to us by phone or at your next appointment to learn if veneers can give you a more beautiful smile.

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Billings Dentist Brings Veneers To Montana Residents

Billings Dentist Brings Veneers To Montana Residents

Veneers are one of the greatest advancements in dental technology. Their popularity is exploding across the country — and right here in Montana at BridgeCreek Dental!

FUN FACTS

Here are some interesting and insightful facts about veneers.

BENEFITS OF VENEERS

Veneers are thin shells, usually made from porcelain or resin, that we apply directly to your teeth to give you the smile you desire. There are many reasons people choose veneers over other treatment options, but some of the biggest advantages are that they can help you achieve your perfect smile in the shortest amount of time possible — we are talking two office visits over a couple of weeks. That sure beats years of braces and whitening! Porcelain is also stain resistant and very durable.

BRIEF HISTORY OF VENEERS

Veneers were invented by a California dentist in 1928 for Hollywood actors. Since then they have been improved and changed over the years. Around 1959, etching with hydrofluoric acid was introduced to the veneer process and it improved the bond strength of veneers. It basically is a way of roughing up the tooth material before adhering the shell. Over the next few decades, bonding agents were improved and lessened complications like cracking, chipping, discoloration and leaking of veneers.

VENEER PROCESS

The process of receiving veneers begins with a consultation where we will determine if you are a candidate. Issues like decay, gum disease need to be cleared up beforehand, and bruxism (teeth grinding) can affect your ability to receive veneers as well.

If your smile goals are attainable, we will get to work taking impressions and x-rays to be sent to the so your customized shells can be created. We will also computerize those images to show you the final result and make any tweaks if need be.

Then we will prepare your tooth by removing a small portion of your tooth and etching the surface. At this point you might need some temporary veneers before we place your final version. Then we will place your permanent veneers. After any small adjustment are made, we will then use a special light to cure or harden the bond. It’s as easy as that!

FINANCIAL INVESTMENT

Veneers can be a bit more expensive upfront, but we do have great financing options available to clients.

If you’re interested in this service, please call us to schedule a consultation!

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Invisalign Braces at Bridge Creek Dental

Invisalign Braces at Bridge Creek Dental

Want a gorgeous smile without having to endure a mouth full of metal? Invisalign may be the answer! Also known as clear aligners, Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that uses removable clear aligners to straighten and adjust your teeth. They have been in use since 2000.

Not only are they invisible, they are much more comfortable than traditional braces that can leave your mouth tender and sore.

It’s important that you come in to discuss your smile situation with us to determine if you are a candidate for Invisalign. Invisalign fixes the crowding of front teeth very well and is a great solution for those who have had traditional braces in the past but have experienced some movement since.

To start Invisalign, we begin with taking taking x-rays, photographs and impressions of your teeth. Those materials are then computerized and sent to a lab to create aligners for each stage of the straightening process. Every two weeks you will change to a new tray that will bring you one step close to your dream smile.

Here are few FAQ’s about Invisalign.

HOW MANY HOURS A DAY DO I HAVE TO WEAR MY ALIGNER?

Aligners should be worn for at least 22-24 hours a day for two weeks. You should basically only take them out for eating, drinking or other special occasions.

HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO USE INVISALIGN TO SEE RESULTS?

The average Invisalign user wears aligners for 12 months, but treatment can range from 12 to 48 months.

HOW MUCH DOES INVISALIGN COST VERSUS THE AVERAGE PRICE OF METAL BRACES?

Angie’s List estimates that the average cost of adult braces in the US is $4,937 (without dental insurance). RealSelf puts the average cost of Invisalign at $4,975 — quite close.

However, both of these numbers are estimates and the extent of your dental needs can affect the price of both traditional braces and Invisalign. If you have major crowding, you will need more time to straighten, which means you will be wearing braces or aligners for a longer period of time, thus increasing the cost.

IS INVISALIGN SAFE?

Yes. Invisalign is made with BPA-free plastic.

WILL INVISALIGN AFFECT MY SPEECH?

It may take some getting used to initially, but few patients have a continuing issue with speech restriction.

If you’re interested in perfeting your smile and using Invisalign, call our office today to set up a consultation!

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Kids and Lifelong Dental Hygiene Practices

Kids and Lifelong Dental Hygiene Practices

Establishing healthy dental habits from a young age is vital for maintaining good lifelong dental hygiene. However, getting your little ones to brush their teeth after a long day, when all you want to do is get them in bed, can be really hard. You’re tired, they’re tired and this often can result in a full on tantrum right in the middle of the bathroom. If you’re a parent that struggles with getting your children to brush their teeth, try implementing the following tips.

Start Young

It may come as a surprise, but you should start caring for your child’s teeth before they even have teeth. When you have a baby, you should care for their gums by using a soft, damp washcloth and gently wiping down their gums after each feeding and before bed time to ensure that bacteria doesn’t cling to their little baby gums. Once they start to get teeth you can use a wet toothbrush to massage their teething gums and then graduate to a children’s toothpaste when those teeth finally come through. Make sure that you’re only using as much toothpaste as a grain of rice, because they won’t be able to spit it out yet. When you start brushing your child’s teeth from infancy, they won’t dispute it later in life because it’s become part of their routine.

Get Into A Routine

According to Vanderbilt University, ” teaching independence with self-help skills like hand washing, brushing teeth, and dressing/undressing is an important step in development that can be achieved when children are taught how to do each step in each routine. Initially, it takes an adult’s focused attention to teach children how to do these skills.” Children respond well to established routines, because they know what to expect and how to react to it. Furthermore, by consistently following through on routines, your child is gaining skills to make them independent. Find a routine that works for your family and stick with it.

Let Them Pick

Your children will be much more excited to brush their teeth every day when they get to pick out their own supplies. Make it an exciting outing, and explain that they get to pick out whatever toothbrush, floss and toothpaste that they want. Not only will this make them eager to use them later on, but it will also giving them a chance to express their individuality and self determination.

Make It Fun

Try and find a way to make brushing teeth fun for your children. This might include making up a silly song that you sing while they clean their teeth, or having your children race to see who can get their pajamas on the fastest, and whoever starts brushing their teeth first wins. Another fun idea is to have your children come and let you “inspect” their teeth after they’re clean by running to you and saying “Ding!” or “Shine!” or whatever they’d like.

Get an App

If you find that your children struggle with brushing their teeth long enough, you should consider getting a toothbrush app on your phone or tablet. They have fun apps that come with a timer to ensure that your kids are brushing their teeth for the full two minutes. Once they’re done brushing, a fun picture will be revealed, or they’ll even have access to play a game. If you don’t want to get an app, try using a two minute sand or egg timer, anything that will let them know that they’ve brushed their teeth for long enough.

Plaque Discoloring Tablets

Plaque is sticky but colorless which can make it difficult for your child to see how effectual their tooth brushing is. Buy some plaque discoloring tablets so that they can see how good of a job they’re doing at brushing their teeth. First they will brush and floss their teeth like normal, then they chew on the tablet and let it sit in their mouth for about 30 seconds. Next they can smile and see how well they did. If their mouth is full of color then make sure and teach them that they need to brush their teeth better in those areas. Your children will love having their teeth change colors, and it will allow them to clearly see the effects of diligent oral hygiene.

Reward System

Nothing motivates children more effectively than the promise of a reward or treat. Create a table or use a calendar and mark off each day that your child brushes their teeth perfectly, and make sure to include whatever stipulations you’d like. This might include, for the full two minutes, without any complaining, twice a day, etc. Once they’ve had a perfect week, month or whatever amount of time you agreed upon, reward them with a new toy, their favorite treat, or maybe a trip to the movies, you both can decide.

Be an Example

One of the best ways that you can instill the importance of proper oral hygiene into your children, is to lead by example. When your children see you brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day, they will want to emulate your good habits. It might be beneficial to brush your teeth with your children, this way they can copy your example and learn how much toothpaste to use, how long to brush, and how to floss.

Get To the Dentist

You should bring your child in for a dental check-up as early as when their first tooth appears and no later than their first birthday. Make sure to continue scheduling check-ups for you and your family every six months. This is vital to ensuring that your family has the best oral health. You would hate for your child to have a cavity go untreated and result in a root canal that they would have to manage for the rest of their life. Rest assured that we will be certain that your child has a good experience at the dentist. It can be scary to go to the dentist at first, this is why we insist on making dental appointments as fun as possible for our young patients.

By implementing these nine tips into your family’s daily schedules, you can take comfort in knowing that you’ve prepared the way for your children to have healthy oral hygiene throughout their life.

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How Bottled Water Could Be Leading To Tooth Decay & Cavities

How Bottled Water Could Be Leading To Tooth Decay & Cavities

You have probably heard from dentists like us that soda and sports drinks are bad for your teeth but do you know about the damaging effects of bottled water?

It is estimated that Americans drink up to 8.4 billion gallons of bottled water every year and it is easy to see why. For starters, most consider it a great alternative to soda and other soft drinks since it contains no sugar or calories. Bottled water is also popular because:

  • It provides a convenient way to hydrate on the go.
  • Most people consider it safer than tap water.
  • Some people prefer the taste compared to other beverages.

While it is true that water is the healthiest drink for your teeth, not all water is created equal. It might surprise you to learn that bottled water may be just as harmful to your dental health as sugared or carbonated drinks. Here’s why.

pH Basics

Recent studies have shown that some popular brands of bottled water are predominantly acidic with a pH as low as 4.0. Thinking back to your chemistry class, you’ll remember that a pH of 7 is considered neutral. Anything with a pH above that is considered alkaline and those below it are considered acidic.

Since our teeth essentially bathe in whatever liquid we drink, continuously sipping bottled water throughout the day constantly exposes them to high levels of acidity. This in turn corrodes or breaks down your tooth enamel, making you more susceptible to cavities and tooth decay. Once cavities occur, the only help for your teeth is to get dental fillings.

You might be wondering how bottled water becomes acidic since water normally has a neutral pH of 7. The acidity is caused by the extreme filtration and oxidation processes bottling companies employ to treat water before bottling it. While this treatment is meant to make the water safe, it actually increases its acidity, making it harmful to our teeth.

Better Choices Lead To Healthy Teeth

The more we educate ourselves about the drinks and foods we consume, the better we can protect ourselves from cavities and tooth decay. In order to lower your risk of developing cavities, we advise you to carefully research the acidity of the bottled water brands you choose to drink. Alternatively, you can drink pH neutral water such as spring or tap water.

When you come in for your next appointment at Bridge Creek Dental, feel free to ask us any questions you have regarding water consumption and your teeth. We will be happy to address all your concerns.

Book an appointment today by calling us on (406) 652-1600 and let us help you improve your dental health.

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Having Your Teeth Whitened At Bridge Creek Dental

Having Your Teeth Whitened At Bridge Creek Dental

When our patients come into our office at Bridge Creek Dental, we like to make sure that they are completely happy with their smile, so we often ask “What can we do to achieve your perfect smile?” The answer that we get back most often is “I’d like to have whiter teeth.” While you may think that this involves vast amounts of time and money, you’ll be happy to know that this request can easily be achieved.

You can couple a teeth whitening appointment with other work being done like a cleaning or a filling, but we like to schedule these in advance so we can be sure to have enough time for you in our chair.

Taking Impressions Of Your Teeth

First, we’ll make an exact model of your teeth by taking impressions to create a mold of the teeth in your mouth, their exact shapes, and how they all fit together. These molds are made from a powder called alginate. We mix it with water and scoop it into a tray that you bite down on for 60 seconds. In that time, it will harden around your teeth we’ll fill it with plaster to create the model.

Can I Choke On It?

Although this alginate mixture can be mildly uncomfortable and trigger your gag reflex, rest assured that it will not choke you. It appears to be runny, sort of like sillyputty. But it hardens quickly. So it wont drip down your throat.

Teeth Whitening

Depending on how busy our staff is the day you have your impressions taken, we can usually get your bleaching trays finished and delivered the same day. We’ll send you home with your trays and tubes of teeth whitening gel that you can use at home to whiten your teeth. If you notice any tooth sensitivity while whitening, try whitening for less time, and use a sensitive toothpaste.

Caring For Your Molds

Once you’re done whitening your teeth, it might make sense to just use toothpaste to clean out your tooth tray but over time this will actually cause the trays to dry out and crack. Instead use denture cleaner, or a light dish soap to clean your trays after every use.

Achieving that perfect white smile that you’ve always wanted is very obtainable, call or schedule an appointment with us today and we’ll get you on your way.

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