How To Keep Your Dentist Happy During Halloween


Halloween is often associated with cavities and dental fillings. But, for all that Halloween gets blamed for a lot of dental issues among children, there are some things you can do this upcoming Halloween to keep your kids’ teeth healthy and your dentist happy.

Consider Having Sealants Applied Before Halloween

Sealants are a protective coating that can be applied to your children’s teeth by our dentists here at Bridge Creek Dental. This treatment requires the underlying teeth to be healthy, as sealants quite literally seal the teeth and help to prevent damage from harmful bacteria. The cost of sealants can vary, though on average, per tooth sealants can cost around $35-$40. Dental insurance can discount or completely cover sealant treatments, and in the end, sealants are far less expensive than cavities, root canals, or cosmetic dental treatments that may be needed down the road.

Ways To Protect Your Kids Teeth On Halloween

Along with having sealants put on your children’s teeth, there are some steps you can take on Halloween. These steps can help reduce the damage of the upcoming candy frenzy.

Eat Before Trick-Or-Treating

Before you take the kids out trick-or-treating, be sure to feed them a hearty meal. Not only will that help prevent sugar crashing—and related temper tantrums—but with a good dinner in their stomachs, your children won’t fill up completely on candy. Ideally, a high protein meal with fiber-rich vegetables will help satiate their appetites and help your kids fill up.

Carry Water

Another good way to protect your children’s teeth while taking them out trick-or-treating is to carry water with you. Between munching on candy, have your kids take a drink of water. The water will help wash away the sugar residue. Also, along with assisting with sugar buildup prevention, having water on you can help prevent dry mouth. When your kids’ mouths are dry, their saliva is unable to breakdown the candy particles efficiently, which allows more bacteria to gather and eat.

Have A Set Ending Time

Kids often have a walk-’til-they-drop attitude when it comes to collecting free candy on Halloween. But the longer they are out eating candy and gathering more candy to consume later, the more at-risk their teeth can become. So, before your family sets out on Halloween, set a firm ending time. Most kids will push until they drop, and you don’t want your children to be too sleepy to effectively brush their teeth.

Ensure Good Brushing & Flossing After

Depending on the age of your children, after trick-or-treating on Halloween, you may want to brush your kids’ teeth and help them floss. With children over eight years old who can brush their teeth on their own, you can likely just double-check to make sure that any sticky, sugary residue is gone. Also, in the days following Halloween, you may want to consider trading your kids for their candy stash. Things from swapping candy for a special trip or nonfood treat, or simply paying a certain rate per candy weight is a great way to have your kids give up indulging in too much sugar.

Schedule A Dental Cleaning After Halloween

Lastly, you can schedule a dental cleaning for your kids after Halloween. Not only will this help make sure that your children’s teeth are in good shape post-candy binging, but it can also assist in ensuring that your kids’ dental health is in top condition going into the rest of the holiday season. If you would like to schedule your children’s dental cleaning, sealant treatment, or other dental services you and your family may need, feel free to contact us today. We look forward to helping you keep your family’s smiles healthy!

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Bruxism – How To Stop Grinding Your Teeth


Occasional involuntary jaw clenching and grinding of your teeth is a normal occurrence and generally shouldn’t be a problem for you. However, it’s when you regularly grind your teeth that the condition is called bruxism, and it is an issue for your oral health.

Often, when someone suffers from bruxism, they are fitted with a dental appliance to protect their teeth from being ground down. Problem is, using something like a nightguard does not address the underlying cause of bruxism, which can be anything from stress to too much caffeine.

To help you stop grinding your teeth, our dentists here at Bridge Creek Dental will work with you to find the cause of your bruxism and help you treat it.

What Causes Bruxism

Often, teeth grinding can be attributed to some sort of stress. However, there are other factors that influence your bruxism.

Anxiety and Stress

A significant source of teeth grinding is due to stress and anxiety. People who have high-stress workplaces or other stressful circumstances can often end up expressing that stress and anxiety in teeth grinding at night.

Sleep Disorder

Sleeping issues such as obstructive sleep apnea—when the airway becomes blocked during sleep by slack muscles—can lead to bruxism. The physically stressful circumstances of having their airway blocked as they sleep can cause people to grind their teeth during their sleep.

Bite Issues

During your sleep, you may end up grinding your teeth due to a missing tooth or a misaligned bite. You may instinctually clench your jaw and grind your teeth as you subconsciously try to bite your teeth evenly.

Caffeine Consumption

Stimulants like caffeine can cause the physical symptoms of stress, as caffeine helps open up your blood flow and increase your alertness, much like stress and anxiety.

How Do You Know If You Grind Your Teeth

Since teeth grinding mostly happens when you are asleep, it can be tough to be sure that you are dealing with bruxism. Here are some of the most common signs of bruxism:

Wake up with headaches – Clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth during the night can cause a lot of tension to build up. That tension can leave you waking up with low-grade headaches most mornings.

Often have a sore jaw – The pressure from grinding your teeth during the night can leave your jaw sore and tender. Some people have expressed that there are mornings where they can’t even open their mouths enough to eat breakfast.

Worn-down teeth – As you brush your teeth, take a look at your teeth. Your teeth—the molars in particular—may look worn-down and shorter. If the grinding is caused by a bite issue, you may have one side of your teeth that is more worn than the other.

Chipped or cracked teeth – When you find you have a chipped or cracked tooth without a clear reason, it may be due to the excessive pressure of grinding your teeth. Also, your teeth may become weakened by nighttime grinding and become chipped or cracked by something as simple as biting an apple.

Partner mentions grinding – A pretty indicator that you have bruxism is if your partner tells you that they hear you grinding your teeth as you sleep.

If you do have worn-down teeth or have developed other types of dental damage due to your teeth grinding, you can have these issues addressed with cosmetic dentistry as you work on preventing your bruxism.

Ways To Prevent Teeth Grinding

There are a number of ways you can protect your teeth and prevent teeth grinding. Some solutions to bruxism you may want to try are:

  • Use a nightguard or other oral appliance – One of the dental services offered at our dental clinic is custom nightguards that will protect your teeth at night. Our dentists can also order other oral appliances if night guards don’t work for you. While a nightguard may not stop your bruxism, it can protect your teeth as you work on implementing other solutions.
  • Relax your muscles – Tension is a major predictor of bruxism. If you relax your muscles before bed—i.e., focused meditation, hot shower, heating pad to tense muscles, etc.—you can reduce the chance that you will grind your teeth.
  • Regularly engage in exercise – Exercising regularly can be a great way to naturally reduce the stress and tension that you carry. Cardio is a good option to get your heart pumping, but you should choose a form of exercise that you enjoy and will stick with long term.
  • Catch daytime jaw clenching and grinding – When under stress or when you feel anxious, you may clench your jaw and even grind your teeth during the day. Try to check in with yourself to see if you are doing this and actively work on relaxing your jaw.
  • Avoid chewing unnecessarily – No, we aren’t advocating that you go on a liquid diet or try to bolt food without swallowing. But if you are prone to chewing on pens, or chewy snacks like gum and taffy, you should avoid these habits as it can exacerbate your teeth grinding.
  • Skip caffeine – While you may still have a cup or two of coffee in the morning, you should skip all forms of caffeine a few hours before you are looking to go to bed.
  • Work with a therapist – Working with a mental health specialist can help you develop the tools to effectively manage your stress and anxiety.

As you do these things, be sure to come into our dental clinic for your biannual dental cleanings. That way, if there are any potential issues developing, our dentists can catch them before they become a serious issue.

If you want to address your teeth grinding issue, you can feel free to contact us and have a consultation with our dentists.

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Dentist Digest Monthly: Protecting Your Kid’s Teeth During Sports


Team sports can be an excellent addition to a growing kid’s developing, teaching life skills like teamwork, dedication, hard work, and other valuable accomplishments. Yet, there is an element of dental danger to playing sports.

In popular contact sports like basketball, soccer, volleyball, and others, there is a high possibility that your child’s teeth can be damaged. While often the damage can be resolved fairly easily with some minor cosmetic dentistry, there are instances where the dental trauma can be more severe.

As your local family dentists in Billings, MT, here is some dentist-approved advice to help your kids to stay safe while enjoying their time participating in sports.

What Sports Are Most Likely To Cost Your Kid A Tooth

While it is completely possible for your kid to trip and knock out a tooth while participating on the cross-country team, the likelihood is pretty slim. Below are the sports that are most likely to cause your child to hurt their teeth and potentially lose one.

Basketball – While basketball is technically a non-contact sport, there are many instances of contact during the course of the game. Knocked out or cracked teeth due to flying elbows and collisions are not uncommon.

Ball and stick games – Sports that incorporate the use of a ball and players with sticks—such as lacrosse, baseball, hockey, etc.—have high incidents of tooth trauma. There is a good deal of protective gear that comes with most ball and stick sports but the damage due to being struck forcefully with either a player’s stick or the ball.

Skateboarding – As most young skateboarders like to skip out on wearing any protective gear, while still taking hard falls, they have some of the highest incidents of dental damage. Especially since one bad move generally means that a skateboarder will make contact with unforgiving asphalt and concrete.

Martial arts – A clear contact sport is various martial arts, from traditional styles like Tae Kwon Do and karate, as well as other sports like boxing and wrestling. Most of these martial arts require the use of a mouthguard, which can keep the dental trauma down, but there is still the potential for problems.

Football – There is plenty of protective gear worn during while playing football, yet your child’s teeth can still take a hit. Often, damage occurs when there are multiple players involved in a tackle, as the first jolt can knock the mouthguard out of position then the next hits can make contact with the teeth.

Other Sports That Can Lead To Dental Damage

Along with the top offenders, there are other sports where there is a significant risk of breaking, chipping, or losing a tooth. Other sports where children and teens can benefit from wearing a mouthguard are:

  • Volleyball
  • Equestrian sports
  • Inline skating
  • Snowboarding and skiing
  • Water polo
  • Rugby
  • Track and field events
  • Racquetball
  • Soccer

Have Your Child Fit With A Custom Mouthguard

One of the dental services we offer at our dental clinic is custom mouthguards. With a store-bought mouthguard, they are generally “boil and bite”, where you boil the mouthguard and then bite down to get an impression of the wearer’s teeth. However, these often aren’t a great fit and can still move around while wearing them, which provides less protection for your teeth.

With a custom mouthguard, an impression of the teeth is taken. From that impression, a mouthguard is created. With a custom mouthguard designed to fit your child’s teeth perfectly, there is less likelihood that the mouthguard will slip and not protect your kid’s teeth. Also, the better the mouthguard fits, the less likely your child will be to skip wearing it due to discomfort.

What To Do If A Dental Injury Occurs

If your child does suffer from a dental injury while playing sports, do your best to stay calm. If the tooth is still in place but damaged, call us to set up an emergency appointment. We keep time open for our recurring patients in case of an emergency. Even if you aren’t a dental patient at Bridge Creek Dental, you can still access our emergency dental services.

Also, if the tooth has been knocked out, you can place it in milk and bring it along to the appointment, as there is a chance that it can be re-implanted.

Also, be sure to contact us to set up appointments to bring your kids in for their biannual dental cleaning. That way, if there is any tooth trauma that may have gone under the radar, our dental staff will be able to find and correct the problem before it becomes a serious issue.

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Meth Mouth: The Effects Of Meth On Dental Health

Meth Mouth - Bridge Creek

Highly addictive drugs like methamphetamine—commonly called meth—can wreak havoc on people’s lives. Here in Billings, Montana, the effects of meth are becoming more widespread. The Billings Police Department as reported a 75% rise in meth-related violent crime, tracked from 2010 to 2017.

Along with the criminal impact of meth usage, people using meth can experience a number of health consequences ranging from high blood pressure to permanent brain damage. One of the more outwardly obvious effects of meth is its impact on a user’s dental health.

Meth mouth is a shorthand term to describe the severe oral health impact of using meth. In an effort to help heal the effects meth has had on our community, our staff here at Bridge Creek Dental is here to help provide insight on meth mouth, its symptoms, and how meth mouth can be treated.

Meth Mouth Defined

Technically, there is no dental condition called meth mouth. However, there are several common oral health issues that are common among meth users, according to a study by the American Dental Association. The survey of over 550 meth users found:

  • 96% of surveyed meth users had multiple cavities
  • 40% said they were embarrassed by the appearance of their teeth
  • 31% of participants were missing at least 6 or more of their teeth
  • 23% of surveyed meth users had all of their natural teeth

And among the older meth users in the study group, 6% of them had fewer than 10 of their natural teeth. Overall, most of the participants had severe gum disease that presented as gum inflammation, as well as broken, stained, and rotting teeth. These issues combined are what is commonly called meth mouth.

Symptoms Of Meth Mouth

As those who abuse substances like methamphetamines often neglect their oral hygiene and indulge in sugary drinks and foods, it is not surprising that their oral health takes a hit. Other clear symptoms and signs of someone with meth mouth can be:

  • Red and Swollen Gums
  • Unusually Short Teeth
  • Dry Mouth
  • Grinding or Clenching of Teeth
  • Crumbled, Broken, or Fractured Teeth
  • Tooth Sensitivity
  • Loose Teeth

Also, the gums of long-time meth users who inject the drugs by smoking it may be pale, as meth narrows the blood vessels in the gums, which restricts blood flow.

What Causes Meth Mouth To Happen

Substance abuse of any kind can lead to oral health issues, but meth mouth gets its own term thanks to the severe dental damage it causes. Meth mouth can occur thanks to several different factors.

Stimulants Like Meth Trigger Tense Jaw

As meth users often have weakened teeth, clenching, and teeth grinding that is triggered by meth can cause the brittle teeth to chip or shatter completely.

Meth Dries Out The User’s Mouth

We need our saliva to protect our teeth and gums from harmful bacteria buildup, break down food particles, and to neutralize acid. Since meth dries out the mouth, there is no helpful saliva to protect the user’s vulnerable teeth and gums.

People Tend To Neglect Oral Health When High On Meth

Unsurprisingly, when high on methamphetamines, people don’t generally take care of their dental hygiene. By skipping out on teeth brushing and flossing, plaque is allowed to build up, and infection can set into the gum more easily to lead to periodontal disease.

Blood Vessels Are Shrunk By Meth Use, Causing Oral Health Issues

When meth is used, blood vessels become shrunken and lessens the blood supply that can reach the mouth. Without enough blood, it is harder for the mouth to fight off infections, making it easier for gum disease to occur and tooth loss. Also, the vessels can die altogether, which just accelerates oral issues.

Dangerous Chemicals Are Found In Meth

Made up of a cocktail of abrasive and eroding chemicals like lithium and ammonia, meth is a toxic mix that is guaranteed to damage tooth enamel and abraid the gums.

Individuals Using Meth Often Crave Consumable High In Sugar

Combine a craving of sugary drinks and foods with poor oral hygiene—as well as the other factors listed above—and you are looking at a recipe for tooth decay and gum disease.

While not all these factors may take place when someone is abusing methamphetamines, generally, enough of them for meth to make a serious impact on the user’s oral health.

Ways Meth Impacts Oral Health

As you might have assumed from what causes meth mouth, there are some pretty severe oral health repercussions to using meth. Some of the most common ways that meth impacts a person’s oral health are:

  • Bruxism – This dental condition describes when a person clenches, gnashes, or grinds their teeth. While it is often during sleep that bruxism is at its worst, it can affect people during the day.
  • Tooth decay – With the combination of poor oral hygiene, the corrosive ingredients in methamphetamines, and sugary consumables, tooth decay is a common issue among those who use meth.
  • Gum disease – Unsurprisingly, the tooth decay tends to pair with gum disease, especially as food particles and bacteria become lodged near the gumline. Since meth users tend to neglect oral hygiene, gum disease often becomes serious as it is allowed to progress.
  • Tooth loss – Between gum inflammation and tooth decay, many meth users tend to lose at least one tooth, with older meth users missing the majority of their teeth.
  • Jawbone density loss – As meth users lose teeth and struggle with gum infections, their jawbones also take a hit, and the bone density tends to deteriorate.
  • Oral cancer risk increase – With the combined neglect and abrasive ingredients in methamphetamines, the risk of developing oral cancer is higher in meth users.

Even with the severe impact of meth on a person’s oral health, not all is lost. With the right dental services, meth mouth can be treated.

Treatment For Meth Mouth

Having meth mouth treated can be a critical part of recovery from methamphetamine abuse, along with finding the right resources thanks to groups like the Montana Meth Project. With dental treatment, some of the visible signs of meth use—like meth mouth—can be corrected.

Often, when a recovering meth user is ready to address their dental issues, many of their teeth have been damaged beyond repair. These teeth require extraction and can be replaced with things like dental bridges, dental implants, crowns, and dentures. Depending on the extent of the damage, sometimes jawbone grafts, and gum treatments can be required for a former meth user’s dental treatment.

If you have a loved one who has struggled with meth and needs help to recover their oral health, Bridge Creek Dental is here to help. Contact us to set up a consultation with one of our dentists, and we will help your loved one get their dental health back on track.

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Dentist Digest Monthly: Can Baby Teeth Predict Autism?

Our dentists here at Bridge Creek Dental are committed to continuing their education when it comes to bringing you the latest in dental research. In pursuit of innovative research, there is a study that has found that baby teeth may be a good way to predict autism.

Baby Teeth With High Lead And Low In Other Minerals May Indicate Future Autism

In an exciting new study, researchers examined the layers of enamel and dentin in baby teeth. Like how the rings of a tree can help you learn the age of the tree, there was key information found in the layers of the examined baby teeth.

Children who were diagnosed with autism had higher levels of toxic lead in the layers of their teeth and were lower in manganese and zinc than in children who did not have autism. The researchers first worked with sets of twins, then non-twin siblings as part of their research to reach these findings.

The presence of toxic lead in baby teeth, in particular, was a major predictor in autism. This lead was processed by the fetus while in utero, which was confirmed when the researchers looked at how the baby teeth developed.

Genetics And Environmental Stressors Contribute To Autism

However, while this research is exciting, there is still a genetic component to autism that is still unpredictable. Also, while there was a connection between high levels of lead and low levels of manganese and zinc found in baby teeth, the solution is not quite as simple as removing lead and adding these minerals in.

For one thing, manganese in high doses can also affect brain development in babies and has been linked to autism. In fact, many vitamins and minerals in high doses can be toxic, so it is best not to load up on a ton of supplements.

Also, when it comes to lead, most sane people aren’t intentionally ingesting lead. However, lead can be present in your environment and contribute to issues without you even realizing the lead is present. To help you manage these factors, our dentists have some advice.

Ways To Remove Lead And Boost Essential Minerals

While the genetic factors can’t be controlled, there are steps you can take to control the environmental factors which may contribute to the development of autism in children. Some of the things you can do are:

  • Discuss dental issues with our dentists – If you or your loved one is pregnant, it is critical that you take care of any dental issues. By accessing our dental services during your pregnancy, you can protect your teeth and the health of your child, who can be affected by things like gum infection.
  • Check local water quality reports – Your water is one of the most common sources of lead ingestion. You can check your local water quality report and see what level of lead is present in your area. For Billings, MT, the local water quality report has stated that there is a low presence of lead in our water, which is likely due to natural deposits and the erosion of lead plumbing systems.
  • Filter your water – By filtering your water, you can help strain out the excess lead. Carbon filters are commonly recommended, but you should check before you purchase a filter to be sure what minerals are removed.
  • Consume foods high in manganese and zinc – Rather than overload your system with supplements, it is best if your vitamins and minerals mainly come from a varied diet. Foods that are high in both manganese and zinc are things like nuts, legumes—pinto beans, lima beans, etc.—dark leafy greens, whole grains, and other foods.

Pregnancy can be tough on your teeth as well as your developing baby’s teeth. For personalized dental assistance to help you make it through pregnancy with healthy teeth, contact us to set up an appointment. We offer a variety of other dental services, so no matter what stage of life you are in, you can count on Bridge Creek Dental, your local dental experts in Billings, MT.

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5 Reasons Your Should Stop Using Toothpicks

You can find toothpicks everywhere, from restaurants to your kitchen jumble drawer. Since they are everywhere, it is assumed that these little sticks are safe. But your local Billings dentists are here to give you five reasons why you should stop using toothpicks starting today.

1. Gum Tissue Can Be Damaged

A toothpick is just a small, shaped stick of wood, and most people have no problem jamming that piece of wood into their gums. We wouldn’t stab ourselves with a sliver of wood in other circumstances, but that’s often what happens when toothpicks are used.

Not only is it painful to slip when using a toothpick, but you also can cut your gums and leave an injury that takes a painful amount of time to heal.

2. Wooden Toothpicks Can Splinter

Wooden toothpicks have the potential to splinter as you use them. As wooden toothpicks are cut out of thin sheets of wood, they have the ability to shred as you use them, as they are not sealed in their shape.

And if there is somewhere you don’t want to get a splinter, it’s in your sensitive gums. Also, if you do end up with a splinter, it can be incredibility difficult to get it out, especially if it becomes lodged near your teeth.

3. Toothpicks Can Invite Bacteria And Infection

Even if you manage to avoid toothpick splinters and obvious cuts, toothpicks can still invite bacteria and infection.

Consider this—you pick out a stubborn kernel of popcorn with a toothpick, and your gums take a micro-tear. It isn’t enough for you to see any bleeding, and any pain is covered up with the relief that the irritating food is out. But the tiny cut is still there.

That cut can become infected by the bacteria that live in your mouth, causing significant amounts of pain and may require medical intervention to clear up the infection.

4. Food Can Be Pushed In Deeper

Counter-productive to using a toothpick, this device can actually wedge the food deeper in-between your teeth, rather than help fish it out. If food does become further trapped, it can attract more bacteria to help break it down, which can lead to tooth decay, cavities, and other dental issues that will require our dental services to correct.

5. Rough Use Can Crack Weakened Teeth

Should there be a cavity developing that has weakened your teeth, using a toothpick roughly can cause a crack to appear. Not only is it painful, but it can take a small cavity and turn it into a serious problem.

What To Use Instead Of Toothpicks

If you are ready to swear off of toothpicks but aren’t sure what to use instead, but you still want something to help you get things out from between, consider using these things instead:

  • Plastic toothpicks – The issues of splintering can be negated by using plastic toothpicks, though if you are rough when you use them, you can still cut your gums.
  • Floss – Using floss is one of the best ways to remove stuck food. This dentist-approved tool can safely move between your gums and teeth without the issues that toothpicks cause.
  • Floss toothpick combos – If you don’t want to pull out a string of floss out when you are out and about, you can use a pre-strung floss that also comes with a pick.
  • Small travel toothbrush – Along with floss, using a small travel toothbrush is a safe way to remove trapped food from between your teeth.

Coming in for your regular dental cleaning is one of the best ways to be sure that your oral health hasn’t been damaged by toothpicks. To schedule a dental cleaning appointment, feel free to contact us today!

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Schedule Summer Dental Cleanings

Here at Bridge Creek Dental, our dentists recommend that people come in for dental cleanings twice a year. We understand life can be busy, and it can be difficult during the school year to ensure that your whole family makes it to the dental office for their biannual dental cleanings.

Yet, summer is one of the perfect times to bring the whole family into the dental office for one of their dental cleanings.

Ways Summer Gives More Opportunities For Family Dental Care

Summertime doesn’t necessarily mean adults have more free time for dental hygiene appointments. However, school-aged children are far more available for dental cleanings at this time of year as children have fewer commitments during the summer. Other ways summer gives more opportunities for family dental care are:

  • It can be easier to schedule dental appointments as a group during the summer. This group scheduling can ensure no one accidentally misses one of their biannual cleanings.
  • Being available to go with your younger children can reassure them before their dental appointment.
  • A good dental cleaning can start off the summer right as well as catch any problems which may have cropped up since your last dental cleaning.
  • If problems are discovered during a summer dental checkup, summer is the perfect time to recover from a longer dental procedure.
  • Summer provides plenty of opportunities to reward children after a dentist visit without resorting to food rewards for good behavior while at the dental office.

Schedule Dental Cleanings Before Summer Family Vacations

Before you go on your much-anticipated family vacation, it is important to ensure everyone in your family has made it into our dental office for their summer dental cleaning. Encountering a dental emergency during vacation can make the family vacation incredibly stressful and derail plans significantly.

Also, if you or your family member need emergency dentistry, the intervention can be very expensive as your family vacation spot is likely outside your insurance network.

By ensuring that everyone in the family has a dental cleaning this summer before the family vacation, you can avoid most dental emergencies as our dentists will be able to identify potential dental problems before they become serious issues.

Visit Bridge Creek Dental This Summer

Whether you are looking to have a dental cleaning, cavities filled, cosmetic dentistry, or other dental services, you can have these things taken care of this summer at Bridge Creek Dental. Make the best use of the summer and contact us to set up an appointment for you and your whole family.

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What Are Snap-On Dentures?


Dentures are an excellent way to restore your smile when you have extensive dental damage and missing teeth. But what you may not know is that there are multiple options when it comes to choosing dentures.

One of the dentures options you may want to investigate when you visit us at Bridge Creek Dental is snap-on dentures.

What Are Implant Overdentures—AKA Snap-On Dentures

Snap-on dentures, also known as implant overdentures, are a type of cosmetic dentistry procedure that combines dental implants with dentures to create a strong and stable smile.

Unlike regular implanted dentures, two implant rods per jaw are usually used to place snap-on dentures. With just two rods, you can more easily snap the denture into place then remove it at night.

Like with permanently implanted dentures, receiving snap-on dentures is a multi-step process. First, the two implant rods are placed in the jawbone. It takes anywhere from 3-6 months to heal from the implanting the titanium rods, then an impression of your mouth needs to be made so that your new dentures can be fabricated. Then, once everything is healed and your dentures are created, you can use your snap-on dentures.

Pros And Cons Of Snap-On Dentures

With snap-on dentures, you combine some of the best attributes of implant dentures and the removability of traditional dentures. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t drawbacks to snap-on dentures. To help you determine if snap-on dentures are for you, here are the pros and cons of this type of dentures.

Pros to snap-on dentures:

  • Provides a high amount of stability when using, more than traditional dentures and very similar to permanently implanted dentures.
  • More affordable than permanently implanted dentures, though a bit pricier than traditional dentures, as the implant procedure adds extra cost.
  • Improves your confidence when speaking, smiling, or eating, as the implanted rods will hold the dentures steady.
  • Easy to remove the dentures for cleaning and for storage at night.
  • Helps patients who have a gag reflex and find the traditional suction of normal dentures uncomfortable.

Cons to snap-on dentures:

  • This style of dentures doesn’t provide as much stability and biting force as permanently implanted dentures, though snap-on dentures are still more stable than traditional dentures.
  • The snapping on and off of the dentures can wear down the connecting snap area, requiring the denture to be replaced.
  • Gum tissue and jawbone loss still proceed with snap-on dentures, leaving them to need to be relined to maintain a good fit.

Consult With Bridge Creek Dental About Snap-On Dentures

Snap-on dentures can be an excellent option if you are missing many teeth or need to have multiple teeth replaced. Not only is it more affordable than individual dental implants, but snap-on dentures are able to be removed and cleaned easily. If that appeals to you, our dentists can help.

To consult with one of our dentists here at Bridge Creek Dental to see if you are a good candidate for snap-on dentures, please contact us today. The sooner we schedule your consultation, the sooner you can achieve your ideal smile!

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Celebrating 4th of July In Billings, MT

Independence Day in Billings, MT - Bridge Creek Dental
With Independence Day 2019 rapidly approaching, it’s time to start planning what you want to do, especially if you have children who are looking forward to celebrating. Here in Billings, MT, and the nearby town of Laurel, you can find plenty of fun free or cheap activities that can appeal to people of all ages.

Kick Your Independence Day Off With A Pancake Breakfast

To start the celebrations off right, you can catch a pancake breakfast in Laurel. Bring the whole family to enjoy the breakfast, which costs:

  • $8 per adult
  • $5 for children 12-7
  • Free for children 6 and under

Be careful with the syrup though! While it may be delicious, you don’t want the sugar sitting on your teeth for hours and leading to tooth decay. Our dentists here at Bridge Creek Dental recommend limiting syrup and at least rinsing your mouth out with water if you can’t brush your teeth to take out the remaining sugary topping.

Participate In The 22nd Annual Chief Joseph Run

Also located in the town of Laurel, you can catch the 22nd Annual Chief Joseph Uphill Run, which starts near the Laurel High School track at 6:30 am. It’s best that you get there 10-15 minutes before the race to ensure an ideal starting spot. There are three different runs you can enter, which are: 2-mile, 4-mile, and 8-mile races.

All three of these races have a $25 sign up fee, though the price is set to rise after June 20th, so if you want to join in the fun, it’s best to do it sooner rather than later.

Snag A Spot Watching Two Parades For Maximum Fun

While you are there in Laurel, be sure to catch one or both of the parades that will be held! The two parades available are:

  • The Kiddie Parade at 10 am. The parade starts at Western Security Bank and will end at the Firefighter’s Memorial (address: 2nd Ave and 1st St.).
  • The Grand Parade at 11 am. This parade will start at Alder then head west on Main St. all the way to First Ave., then north to 8th St., then end by heading west to 3rd Ave.

Enjoy The Food And Craft Fair

For all-day fun, you can attend the Food and Craft Fair in Laurel. This fair starts at 9:00 am and ends at 9:00 pm, so you have plenty of time to stop by and enjoy the various food vendors, entertainment, and shop for homemade crafts.

In Billings, the fun won’t start until 5 pm, at which time, you can come to participate in the Celebrate Freedom festival. There are tons of fun things to do at the Celebrate Freedom event, such as:

  • Rock climbing
  • Putt-putt croquet
  • Udap bear spay activity
  • Laser tag
  • Pre-K play zone
  • Horse riding
  • Archery
  • Splash park

All this and the live entertainment are all completely free! You will need to pay for the food, but there is plenty of affordable treats and free water to stay hydrated during your busy 4th of July.

Catch Firework Shows For A Dazzling Display

The firework show that will occur in Laurel will begin once it is dark. Known for going all out when it comes to fireworks, you can be sure to enjoy a dazzling display of fireworks at Laurel.

Celebrate Freedom will also have a firework show in Billings, put on by Pyro F/X. It will be held at Castle Rock Park, as with the other Celebrate Freedom activities.

Also, among all the festivities, don’t forget to schedule a dental cleaning for you and the family this summer! Juggling appointments during the school year can be tough, so to find out what appointment openings we have for your family, contact us today.

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How Your Dentist Can Help Fix Your Bad Breath

How Your Dentist Can Help You Fix Bad Breath - Bridge Creek
It’s one thing to wake up with some hair-curling bad breath, but what do you do when simply brushing your teeth doesn’t fix the issue?

Halitosis, more commonly just called bad breath, can be a source of painful embarrassment for someone who is struggling with it. Worse, if you are the person with bad breath, it is possible to become so accustomed that you don’t notice, but someone you were hoping to impress won’t have that sort of immunity.

Our dentists here at Bridge Creek Dental have helped people tackle their bad breath along with many other dental issues, and they are here to help you determine where your bad breath is coming from and what can be done to fix it.

Potential Sources Of Bad Breath

There is a large number of potential reasons why you may have bad breath. This variety can surprise people, as many people assume halitosis is simply due to poor oral hygiene. But the reality is, you can have bad breath even if you have good oral hygiene. Other reasons why you might have halitosis are:

Nicotine Products

The chemical nicotine can cause a variety of issues in your mouth, from staining your teeth to weakening the enamel so that bacteria have an easier time taking hold. Using nicotine products like vapes, cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and other things can also contribute to gum disease, which also can cause bad breath.

Bacteria Build-up

Having bacteria in our mouths is normal, and many of the types of bacteria are helpful, assisting in breaking down food. However, bacteria are living organisms, and as they consume the food particles in your mouth, the bacteria produce waste. If not removed, this waste can cause cavities and other dental issues as well as leading to halitosis.

Medical Issues

Several types of chronic and acute medical issues such as diabetes, gastroesophageal reflux disease, cancer, liver problems, can produce bad breath. This form of bad breath is often due to how the chemicals in your body are interacting, and some of the gases are excreted orally in the form of bad breath.

Gum Disease

You develop gum disease when plaque builds up at the gum line of your teeth. This build-up, if not removed by brushing and flossing, can irritate your gums and cause them to swell and bleed. As bacteria in the plaque also continues to develop, bad breath is a natural result.

Dry Mouth

The saliva in your mouth is something of a self-cleaner product. It allows you to automatically clean up remaining food particles with any conscious effort. But when your mouth dries up, these particles are left to decay in your mouth and cause bad breath to happen.

Leftover Food

Even if your saliva is working as it is supposed to, you can still have food particles trapped near the gum line or between your teeth. If these particles are left to decay, it can attract bacteria and cause bad breath as long as the particle remains trapped.

How Our Dentists Can Help Correct Your Bad Breath

For the bad breath that doesn’t go away, it is time to visit our dentists. Our dentists will be able to rule out the many dental hygiene-related issues or find that your bad breath may be being caused by something like gum disease. With a professional cleaning to remove plaque build-up and other necessary treatments, your bad breath can be defeated.

There is also the potential that bacteria could have become trapped under your dental crown, causing the crown to smell. In that case, you need one of our dentists to clean under the dental crown and remove the trapped bacteria build-up to remove the smell.

What To Do At Home To Prevent Future Bad Breath

When it comes to preventing bad breath, there is a good deal of preventative dental care you can engage in. Some of the best things you can do are:

  • Drink plenty of water to help support your saliva production.
  • Use mouthwash to help reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth.
  • Brush at least twice a day in the morning and night.
  • Floss once a day between all your teeth and along the gumline.
  • Come in for dental cleaning with us every six months.
  • Use a tongue scraper to clean any build-up off of your tongue.
  • Quit using any products that have nicotine in them.

To have our dentists help you deal with your halitosis or other dental issues, contact us to set up an appointment today!

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