Put Your Dental Health on Your Resolution List

Have you started thinking about your New Year’s resolutions yet? I know I have. As hard as they are to make and stick to, it is a tradition that I think helps us look toward the new year as an opportunity for change and improvement. That’s why I often encourage my patients to make their smiles part of their New Year’s resolutions. Here's how:

 

Four Tips to Get Your Smile Healthy and Keep it That Way

  • Keep up on your dental visits. Not only do cleanings keep your teeth and gums feeling good, it gives my Lenexa dental team more chances to keep an eye on your oral health and stop problems before they get serious. That saves both your teeth and your wallet.

  • Get serious about your oral hygiene routine. Your smile doesn’t only allow you to talk and chew. We sometimes forget that it is directly connected to the rest of your body. That means that your mouth is an easy way for bacteria to get into your bloodstream. In fact, if you have gum disease, your risk for everything from heart attacks and cancers to low birth weight babies and tooth loss goes through the roof.
  • Don’t just eat for your body, eat for your smile! You know that sugary foods or refined carbs can be bad for your overall health. They can also be bad for your smile. Acidic drinks like sodas and sports drinks can too. Try eating more crunchy fruits and vegetables, drinking green tea and coconut water, and eating foods high in  calcium and phosphorus to protect tooth enamel and even help remineralize them.
  • Feel self conscious about your smile? Do something about it this year! The truth is, even elective procedures like whitening or veneers can have health benefits. Feeling confident helps you move through the world with more power – and that can make you smile more, release more endorphins, and even stick to your New Year’s resolutions more effectively!  

 

 

Why not schedule a checkup and cleaning with my Lenexa dental office today? We’ll look at what is going on in your mouth and we can discuss your needs. Then all you have to do is sit down and plan how to keep the rest of your resolutions! I’d love to help my Lenexa, Overland Park, and Kansas City neighbors feel better about themselves in 2016!

The Nightly Grind - Battling Bruxism While You Sleep

As the holidays approach, so can major stress. I mean, really, we are all stressed enough as it is, so the stress of preparing for the holidays can put us right over the top. I often see more patients in these high-stress times than ever. Why? Bruxism.

 

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is just a fancy word for clenching and grinding of teeth. And if you have a tendency to clench, you do it more in times of stress. Of course, there are other reasons people clench and grind, but stress is a big one. If your stress is off the charts, call my Lenexa dental office. You may want a nightguard to protect your teeth!

Do I Really Grind my Teeth?

Many people who grind and clench their teeth don’t realize that they do it. Often it takes a broken tooth, an observer, or a dentist to realize it is happening.

If you notice any of these symptoms, you may be suffering from bruxism:

  • Worn, chipped, broken teeth

  • Flattened tooth surfaces

  • Exposure of tooth layers and loss of enamel

  • Tooth sensitivity

  • Jaw pain

  • Headache and facial pain

  • Earache from jaw muscle tension and contraction

  • A scalloped tongue or irregular tongue edges

  • Damaged mouth tissue

What Causes Tooth Grinding and Clenching?

We already mentioned stress, but there are other things that could compound your risk or cause tooth grinding and clenching even if you are a super-relaxed person. These causes include:

  • Sleep disorders

  • Stress, tension, or anxiety

  • Misaligned jaw or poor bite alignment

  • Acid reflux

  • As a result of some diseases such as Parkinson's disease

  • As a side effect of some medications

What Can I do to Protect my Teeth?

At my dental office in Lenexa, we want to help protect your smile. We offer comfortable, custom-fitted mouthguards to ease the pain of clenching and grinding and keep your teeth – and your precious restorations – strong and intact. Give us a call today and find relief!


Serving teeth clenchers and grinders in Lenexa, Overland Park, and Kansas City.

Dos and Don’ts of Denture Care

Many of our patients experience tooth loss, and while dentures can provide a solid solution for missing teeth, there’s still a maintenance routine that needs to be done to extend the life of dentures and protect overall oral health. At my Lenexa dental office we want all of our patients to get the most out of their dentures, so we’re here to talk about the dos and don’ts of proper denture care.

 

Why is Proper Care Important ?

Not only does proper denture care protect your investment in a tooth replacement option, but it also helps keep your mouth and any remaining teeth healthy. If dentures are not well taken care of, it could lead to an uncomfortable fit and even some serious oral health concerns. When a proper denture care routine isn’t followed, plaque particles can collect and lead to chronic bad breath, gum disease, and tooth loss of any remaining teeth.

How to Extend the Life of Your Denture

There are some common dos and don’ts of denture care that can either prolong the life of your denture or cause complications.

Dos

  • DO rinse dentures after every meal to eliminate as many food particles as possible. If foodstuffs aren’t removed, they’ll begin to decompose and result in bad breath or gum disease.

  • DO brush your dentures daily. Similarly to rinsing, brushing takes cleaning away food one step further. Brush gently at a 45 degree angle, just like you would your natural teeth.

  • DO soak your dentures every night in water or a denture solution. Dentures need to remain hydrated, and soaking is the way to do it. Make sure you’re using a solution recommended by your doctor.

  • DO visit your Lenexa dentist regularly. Regular checkups are important to ensure a proper fit and to monitor any possible signs of a problem.

Don’ts

  • DON’T use harsh or abrasive paste or bristles. They can damage the denture.

  • DON’T try to adjust or fix your own dentures.

  • DON’T drop them. They’re very delicate and can break easily.

  • DON’T let them dry out. Whenever you’re not wearing them, make sure they’re soaking.

For additional information on denture care, or to see if they’re a solution for you, give my dental office in Lenexa a call. We’ll work with you to see if dentures are right for you and discuss any and all treatments available.


Accepting patients from Lenexa, Overland Park, and Kansas City.

Healthier Mouth, Healthier You

We’re always talking to our patients about the importance of a proper oral hygiene routine of brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and visiting my dental office in Lenexa regularly.  But did you know these guidelines can do more than just ensure a healthy mouth? They can also provide insight to other whole-body problems.

 

The Mouth/Body Connection

Many systemic diseases (whole-body diseases) have oral manifestations and often first show signs in the mouth. Some of these overall health problems are incredibly serious, such as:

  • Heart disease

  • Pancreatic cancer

  • Leukemia

  • Diabetes

Notice Any of These Signs?

If you see any of these symptoms, it’s important to call your Lenexa dentist as soon as possible. Early detection is key for the most successful treatment, so don’t wait. Serious signs include:

  • Swollen, red, or bleeding gums

  • Gums that have pulled away from teeth

  • Chronic bad breath

  • Ulcers

Steps to Better Health

In addition to a proper, at-home hygiene routine and regular dental visits, there are several ways you can help protect your smile against dangerous bacteria, and your body against serious disease.

  • Water, water, water. When it comes to choosing your beverage of choice, select water whenever possible. It helps rinse away bacteria and acid in the mouth and hydrates your body.

  • Say no to tobacco. Besides the effects smoking or chewing tobacco can have on your smile, using any form of tobacco can lead to overall health complications.

  • Practice proper nutrition. Eating well-balanced meals is important for proper body function as well as optimal oral health. Avoid snacking throughout the day, especially sticky, sugary foods.

Your dentist could be the first line of defense against many serious diseases. If you’re experiencing any of the signs above, or if you haven’t seen a dentist in awhile, give my Lenexa dental office a call. We’ll perform a thorough exam, talk with you about any potential problems we find, and stand with you through your individualized treatment plan. Your health is the most important thing to us, and we’ll help any way we can.

Welcoming patients from Lenexa, Overland Park, and Kansas Cit.

Sleeping and Your Oral Health

Your teeth are at risk all the time--even while you sleep! Here at my Lenexa dental office, we help our patients protect their teeth day and night with treatment and care tips. We believe a little education can go a long way toward keeping your teeth strong and healthy day or night.

Here are a  two night time habits or issues, and the solutions that may save your teeth:

Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Not only is snoring a possible sign of sleep apnea, a potentially deadly disorder that disrupts your sleep, it’s also a common cause of dry mouth.  Everyone needs saliva to keep their mouths healthy. Saliva works to:

  • Lubricate the tissues of your mouth

  • Cleanse and rinse the oral cavity and teeth, minimizing plaque build-up, washing away trapped food particles, and removing dead cells that can lead to bad breath, infections, and sores.

  • Neutralize the acids plaque produces to stop enamel erosion.

If you snore or wonder if you have sleep apnea, please call us or talk to your physician or dentist right away. Sleep apnea won't just dry your mouth out, it can lead to all kinds of health problems from extreme fatigue to an increased risk for strokes and heart attacks.

Grinding or Bruxism

Stress, certain medications, and dental problems can all cause people to grind and clench their teeth during sleep, a disorder called bruxism. Bruxism seems pretty self explanatory in the fact that it can cause your teeth to break, chip, crack, and even decay because of enamel erosion, but did you know it can also lead to a variety of other problems?

Problems caused by bruxism may include:

  • Headaches, especially in the morning

  • Toothaches

  • Facial pain

  • Jaw pain and dysfunction sometimes known as TMJ disorder

  • Gum disease

  • Facial aging due to shortening of teeth

  • Tooth damage

If you or someone you know grinds or clenches their teeth at night, please call my dental office in Lenexa. We’ll work with you to diagnose what’s going on in your mouth and recommend the best solution for you so you can get back to oral health and back to a good night’s sleep.

Welcoming patients from Lenexa, Overland Park, and Kansas City.

Dentistry Through The Ages

Just as with all medicine, dentistry is an ever-evolving field. At my dental office in Lenexa, we’re constantly updating technology and improving our knowledge to better serve patients just like you.

But imagine if you lived 200 hundred years ago. What was dentistry like then? How about during the middle ages? Would the dentists of those times have been able to replace your lost tooth? Would they have been able to fill a cavity? What would they have recommended you do for a toothache?

Let's take a look.

Dentistry in the middle ages

For the common folk, dentistry consisted mostly of self-care and occasional visits to practitioners or barber surgeons who treated a toothache by pulling the offending tooth and  suggested things like kissing a donkey to cure the toothache. It also wasn’t unheard of to recommend concocting a mixture of newts, lizards, and beetles into a powder and applying it to the painful tooth throughout the day.  

The truth is, in spite of inconsistent professional care, most medieval commoners had clean, white teeth. Why? Their diets were similar to what a modern dentist would recommend for a healthy mouth: One very low in sugar and refined flours and high in calcium.  They also used all kinds of fairly effective tooth cleaners and mouth rinses, including a paste made from crushed peppermint and rock salt.

Dentistry in the 19th Century

Dentistry didn’t begin to resemble what we think of as dentistry today until the early 18th century, and by the 19th century, dentistry began to seem quite modern. European surgeons had begun experimenting with implanting teeth; dentures were being created out of both human teeth, the teeth of animals, and porcelain; and nitrous oxide, the same laughing gas we sometimes use today, was introduced by Humphry Davy around 1800. In 1840, the Baltimore College of Dentistry, the first dental college, was founded by Chapin Harris and Horace Hayden. It was the first step into dentistry as we know it today.

Our Dentistry

At my Lenexa dental office, we’ve continued to adapt and improve our services as the advancements in dental care improve. We always ensure the utmost in comfort, technology, and service. To schedule an appointment and experience the difference, give us a call today!

Welcoming patients from Lenexa, Overland Park, and Kansas City.

 

Top 3 Solutions to Ease Bad Breath

Whether it was following a particularly garlicky meal, morning coffee, or a few drinks after work, everyone has experienced bad breath at some point in their lives. Usually, it’s nothing to worry about. However, when bad breath becomes an ongoing issue, there’s a possibility your mouth may not be in tip-top shape. At my dental office in Lenexa, we’d like to offer a few solutions to remedy bad breath and provide reasons why it could be pretty serious and should not be ignored.

What Causes Bad Breath?

Bad breath is caused by high levels of bacteria in the mouth. When bacteria feed on plaque, they produce hydrogen sulfide. It’s this byproduct that gives breath its stench.

Here’s How to Keep Bad Breath at Bay

1. Brush & Floss. You know brushing and flossing are what helps keep your mouth cavity-free and makes for good dental checkups. But it can also help rid your mouth of bad-breath causing bacteria. Make sure you’re brushing twice a day for at least two minutes each time and scrubbing each surface of each tooth. Flossing at least once a day helps to reach those spots a toothbrush can’t.

2. Clear the Tongue. The tongue shouldn’t be ignored when brushing. Due to its texture of bumps and grooves, it makes it a favorite place for bacteria to burrow in and hide. You can help remove the bacteria by gently brushing the tongue each time you brush your teeth. If the brush isn’t an option due to a sensitive gag reflex, try a tongue scraper instead.

3. Drink H₂O. A hydrated mouth is a happy mouth, and a healthy one, too. Drinking plenty of water encourages saliva production. Saliva naturally rinses bacteria away and protects your mouth from bad breath. However, if a mouth becomes dehydrated and dry, it produces less saliva and increases the chance of bacteria lingering around.

Why Is Bad Breath Serious?

While staying hydrated and maintaining excellent oral hygiene can help keep bad breath away, it’s still very important to visit your dentist if it becomes an ongoing problem. Bad breath may be much more than embarrassing. It could actually be a sign of gum disease, which is serious.

If untreated,gum disease may cause increased sensitivity, receding gums, and tooth loss. But that’s not all. Gum disease can also lead to other problems throughout the body like increased risk for heart attack and stroke.

Don’t let something that seems small, like bad breath, create a serious problem for your overall health. If you notice signs of chronic bad breath, schedule an appointment at my Lenexa dental practice. We’re here to help diagnose what’s causing it and work with you to cure it in a judgement-free, caring office. Give us a call today.

Serving patients from Lenexa, Overland Park, and Kansas City.

What’s Your Excuse? Top Reasons People Aren’t Flossing

Flossing is one of the main ways to keep your gums, mouth, teeth, and whole body healthy. Yet more than half of all Americans fail to floss daily, and another 20% don’t floss at all. This is of particular concern for all of us at my dental office in Lenexa. So we wanted to shed  a bit of light on why so many people aren’t flossing.

So, What’s the Deal?

There are several reasons people aren’t flossing on a regular basis. Check out a few of the more common ones below.

They Don’t See The Point.

Flossing reaches places in your mouth that a toothbrush can’t. While brushing your teeth is still absolutely important in maintaining proper oral health, if you skip flossing, all of the spaces in between teeth are left uncleaned. With so many people forgoing the floss on a regular basis, it’s no surprise that most cavities are found in these exact spots. What’s more, flossing your teeth helps remove bacteria from below the gum line which can help reduce the risk of gum disease. Gum disease is an incredibly serious problem that can actually affect the whole body by increasing the risk of stroke and heart attack.

They Aren’t Sure How to Floss Correctly.

Although it seems pretty straightforward, there is a right way and wrong way to floss. Flossing will be uncomfortable if you’re not sure how to do it right. But we promise, it’s easy. Just follow the American Dental Association’s steps to successful flossing:

  • Use about 18 inches of floss. Wrap the ends around each middle finger.

  • Tighten the floss and wiggle it in between the space between teeth using a back and forth motion.

  • When it reaches the gum line, form the floss into a “U” around the shape of the tooth.

  • Press gently and glide the floss in an up and down motion.

  • Repeat between each tooth, unwrapping a new, clean section of floss.

They Have Pain or Bleeding.

There’s a common misconception that if flossing hurts, you should stop. The truth is quite the opposite. If flossing is a bit painful, it’s actually a sign of not flossing enough. Additionally, if gums bleed, it could be a sign of gum disease. Even if flossing isn’t so comfortable, it’s important to get into the habit of doing it regularly. Like exercising, it hurts less the more you do it.  

If you’re having trouble flossing, or are experiencing pain or bleeding when you do, give my Lenexa dental office a call as soon as possible. We’ll work with you to find a flossing solution that works well for you and your health. And if we happen to find signs of a more serious problem, we’ll create an individualized plan to treat it.

Your Oral Health and Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease that mainly affects women over the age of 50. But it can happen to anyone no matter age or gender. Osteoporosis causes bone density to decrease, making breaks and whole-body concerns much more common. At my Lenexa dental office, we want to talk about how your oral health may be linked to osteoporosis.

Your Mouth & Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis affects 10 million Americans, and there are 34 million more who are at risk. As with many serious diseases, early detection is key. You may not even know there’s a problem until it’s too late. Sometimes signs aren’t obvious. So how do you get diagnosed if you’re not experiencing any symptoms? Your dentist!

In fact, your dentist may be the first member of your healthcare team to catch osteoporosis. When patients visit the dentist, the team is not just looking at their teeth, they also look at x-rays. These x-rays provide a wealth of information about what’s going on below the teeth, including bone density, and show us signs you or your medical doctor may not see or notice.

Signs & Symptoms

While we will be vigilant at your exams, here are some of the signs and symptoms we encourage our patients to watch for:

  • Loose dentures

  • Tooth loss

  • Bone loss around the teeth or in the jaw

  • Gum disease

Prevention

In addition to maintaining visits to your Lenexa dentist, there are other preventive actions you can take to decrease your chance of osteoporosis.

  • Quit Smoking

  • Consume caffeine limitedly

  • Lower alcohol intake

  • Get out and exercise

  • Get enough vitamin D and calcium

If you’re experiencing any signs of osteoporosis, visit your doctor. Even if you’re not having difficulty currently, make sure to keep up with your regular visits to my dental office in Lenexa. We actively look for signs of potential osteoporosis and may be the first line of defense against the disease.

Accepting patients from Lenexa, Overland Park, and Kansas City.

You’ve Got Dental Questions, We’ve Got Answers

We know dentistry can be confusing, but at my Lenexa dental office, we want to make sure all our patients are comfortable coming to us if they have questions. We’re always happy to answer or clarify anything. In fact, in this blog, we want to talk about a few questions we hear a lot.

“Why are dental visits so important?”

The reasons behind regular visits with your dentist are much more broad than simply ensuring your teeth are cavity-free and getting those pearly whites cleaned and polished. Dental checkups are usually conducted every six months so we’re able to keep an eye on any potential problems and catch them before they become or create more serious issues. Most dental disease can be treated easily if caught early, so that makes regular appointments incredibly important. If you’re at increased risk for certain problems, like oral cancer or gum disease, we may recommend visits more than twice a year.

“Is it a big deal if my gums bleed when a floss?”

If your gums bleed at all, with or without the floss, you should get to your dentist in Lenexa as soon as possible. Bleeding gums are not normal, even though it’s often overlooked if the bleeding occurs while flossing. Sometimes, people even stop brushing or flossing if they feel the bleeding is caused by that alone. Typically it’s not. Bleeding gums is a key sign of gum disease and should be checked out so treatment can begin. Some other signs of gum disease are inflammation around the gums, red gums, or gums that appear to be pulling away from the teeth.

“I know smoking is harmful to my teeth. What about smokeless tobacco?”

Just because smokeless tobacco doesn’t have the smoke doesn’t mean it’s not dangerous. Using smokeless tobacco may lead to gum recession and permanent damage to gum tissue, tooth discoloration, bad breath, and even cancer. If you do use smokeless tobacco, make sure to keep up with regular dental visits and keep an eye out for sores that don’t heal, a white spot or lump, or if you feel it’s become difficult to chew food. If you notice any of these issues, contact your dentist immediately.

If you have a dental question, give my dental office in Lenexa a call. We’d love to have you come in for a visit to talk about your concerns and get your questions answered. We strive to ensure each and every patient is educated, comfortable, and in good health.

Accepting patients from .Lenexa, Overland Park, Kansas City

 

Time to Toss Your Toothbrush?

How long has your toothbrush been in use? Is it past its prime? Is it time to toss it in the trash and invest in a new one? At my dental office in Lenexa, these are important questions that we’d like to provide some answers to.

Toothbrushes are designed to remove as much plaque, tartar, and bacteria as possible. They’re also designed to last a specific amount of time. The older the toothbrush, the less effective it will be. So, just how long can you expect your toothbrush to still be good at its job? What are some signs of an old, outdated, ineffective toothbrush?

Its Time is Limited

According to the American Dental Association, a toothbrush should only be used for about three or four months. Any longer and it will begin to show signs of wear and tear, and it won’t remove all of the dangerous particles hanging around. An ineffective toothbrush equates to an ineffective at-home oral health routine, which could create serious problems.

Signs You Should Toss It

As a toothbrush ages, there are some obvious signs that will show it’s time to toss it. Many key indicators are found in the bristles. Keep an eye out for:

  • Fraying

  • Flattening

  • Crisscrossing

  • Discoloration

If you notice any of these signs, head to the store and pick up a new toothbrush. Your teeth with thank you.

Proper Toothbrush Care

Once you have your new toothbrush, there are ways you can extend your time together.

  • Rinse thoroughly after each use

  • Never share your toothbrush

  • Let it air dry

Just remember, even if you’re taking optimum care of your toothbrush, it won’t last forever. Always check it for signs of aging.

Having and using an effective toothbrush at least twice a day, every day, is only half of what we recommend for a healthy mouth. The other half is maintaining regular visits at my Lenexa dental office. Professional cleanings remove plaque and bacteria that even the newest toothbrush can’t. For a happy smile, make sure you’re doing both.


Welcoming patients from Lenexa, Overland Park, and Kansas City.

How to Handle a Dental Emergency

Any emergency is serious and should be treated as such. Dental emergencies, which include any injury to the teeth, gums, or mouth, are no exception. At my Lenexa dental office, we understand that a dental emergency can be scary, so we’re here to help give you a few tips on how to handle several types.

Abscess

An abscess is a very serious dental problem and should not be ignored. An abscess is an infection that affects the root or the space in between teeth and may feel like a painful pimple-like protrusion on the gums. If left untreated, an abscess might damage surrounding teeth, tissue, and the infection can even spread to other parts of your body. Because of these very serious concerns, it’s extremely important to get to your dentist as soon as possible. Prior to your appointment, try rinsing with warm salt water several times a day. This should ease the pain and encourage the bacteria inside to come to the surface.

Lost Filling

If you lose a filling, sugarless gum can be a temporary fix. Just make super sure it’s sugarless or you’ll experience some serious pain. Take a piece of the gum and place it into the cavity. Then call your dentist to get a permanent fix.

Chipped/Broken Tooth

A chipped or broken tooth might result from anything like a popcorn kernel, opening packaging with your teeth, or a fall. When a tooth is chipped, the first thing to do is rinse your mouth out with warm water and find any pieces, if possible, and rinse them off, too. Then apply gauze and slight pressure if there is any bleeding, and a cold compress to the cheek to ease pain. Get to your dentist to fix the chip.

Toothache

A toothache is your mouth’s way of letting you know that something is not right. Ease the pain and help keep other problems away by first rinsing with warm salt water. Salt water can help decrease swelling and keep dangerous bacteria from attacking. If the pain is severe, try placing a cold compress against your cheek or apply a bit of clove oil to the sore spot. Again, get to your dentist as soon as you can.  

One of the best ways to avoid a dental emergency in the first place is to maintain regular visits to my dental office in Lenexa. Regular checkups and cleanings allow us to catch and treat any potential problems before they can turn into an unexpected dental emergency. However, anything can happen at any time, so if you do experience an emergency, give us a call right away.


Welcoming patients from Lenexa, Overland Park, and Kansas City.

No Toothbrush? No Problem!

It’s the time of year when we all venture out of our hometowns and spend some family time on vacation. To prepare, you’ve packed extra clothes, necessary medications, and even snacks. But you’ve forgotten your toothbrush. Now what? Not to fear, my Lenexa dental office has some tips to help.

Toothpaste but no brush?

This is probably the best case scenario. When you have toothpaste, you just need to find something to put it on to act as a toothbrush. Some people use a finger, others just swish some around in their mouths. The best thing to do? Find a clean washcloth or paper towel, wrap it around your finger, wet it slightly, and apply the paste. The washcloth or paper towel will act as a toothbrush and is better than a finger alone since they both have texture that can mimic toothbrush bristles. Make sure whatever you choose isn’t coarse or it can damage tooth enamel.

No paste and no brush?

Again we turn to our trusty paper towel or washcloth. Simply wet your make-do brush of choice and wipe each tooth individually from top to bottom for your top teeth, and from bottom to top fro your lower teeth. Make sure to rinse your towel between each tooth to limit the amount of plague that can get transferred from tooth to tooth. When finished, rinse well to remove any loose particles.

Got gum?

As a last resort, sugarless gum (emphasis on the sugarless), a teeth-buffing snack, or both, can help. Chewing gum naturally causes you to produce more saliva. More saliva means more bacteria is rinsed away and doesn’t stick around to cause decay. Nibbling on a smile-happy snack like cheese, crunchy carrots, or crisp apples can serve as micro-scrubbers if a toothbrush is nowhere to be found.

Thirsty?

One of the most important things you can do not only when you find yourself toothbrush-less, but every day, is drink plenty of water. Water hydrates your mouth and is a safe way to rinse away smile-damaging particles that tend to stick around.  

If you find yourself without a toothbrush, don’t panic. The tips above can get you through a night or two without one, just don’t make them permanent replacements for a real toothbrush. Get to the store to pick up a new one as soon as you can.

As always, we encourage visits to my dental office in Lenexa regularly to ensure a healthy smile and to check for any problems. If you’re heading out of town and want to get a checkup before you leave, just give us a call. We’ll be happy to help.

Welcoming patients from Lenexa, Overland Park, and Kansas City.

To Brush, or Not to Brush at Work

There’s been a debate about whether or not it’s acceptable to brush your teeth at work following lunch or snacks. Is it gross to brush in the office bathroom? What do co-workers think about those who do? Is there any reason we should even consider doing this? At my Lenexa dental office, we’d like to weigh in and explain why we’re absolute supporters of brushing at work.

When it comes to great oral health, one constant is brushing at least twice a day. However, while it’s common to do this at home in the comfort of your own bathroom, there is a huge benefit to storing a toothbrush and toothpaste at work to use after lunch.

After eating, even when all evidence of food is gone, there are still particles lurking in the mouth. If not scrubbed away, these particles contribute to decay and even gum disease. But if you brush following a meal, the chance for dental problems greatly decreases. Not only will following this routine help keep your mouth healthy, it can help keep your career intact too.

Healthy Mouth, Healthy Job

We aren’t saying that your healthy mouth will ensure job happiness or will give you immunity from a demotion, but we will confidently say your oral hygiene may directly affect the opinion of co-workers, bosses, or, if you’re looking for a job, a hiring manager.

According to a study of 1,000 people by the Academy of General Dentistry and Oral-B that asked respondents about oral health care habits at work, the majority did not brush after eating (a whopping 86%) but still said a healthy smile was important in the workplace.

Check This Out

  • 40% said a smile was the first thing they noticed about a co-worker

  • 32% claimed bad breath was the least attractive trait of fellow employees

  • 96% believe a good smile is very or somewhat important to a person’s appearance

If you’re a bit uneasy about brushing in public, don’t be. The workplace is changing and it’s becoming increasingly common for employees to brush in the bathroom. Many bosses actually prefer this over meeting a client with awful breath or missing work time for dental problems. So go ahead, brush away!

Packing a toothbrush in your briefcase and transitioning into this routine of proper oral health care can keep your smile healthy for years to come. Pair that with regular visits to my dental office in Lenexa and you’re well on your way to a happy mouth and happy co-workers.

Accepting patients from Lenexa, Overland Park, and Kansas City.

Don’t Forget About Your Tongue!

At my dental office in Lenexa, we always talk about how important it is to brush everyday, twice a day, and to floss at least once. Following this routine is a great way to keep your mouth protected from harmful bacteria and acid, but there’s one thing we’re forgetting and want to make sure you don’t forget about it too.

The Tongue

We often forget about our tongues when we talk about oral hygiene. But we shouldn’t. A clean tongue is just as important as having clean teeth and clean gums. The tongue is home to about 10,000 taste buds and tons of other tiny bumps called papillae. These bumps and crevices create a great place for bacteria and acid to thrive. And that makes a clean tongue very important for a healthy mouth.

The Cleaning Routine

Every time you brush your teeth, make sure to gently scrub the surface of your tongue. This easy task is the best way to keep your tongue, and your mouth, healthy.

Sometimes we have patients who can’t successfully brush their tongues due to a sensitive gag reflex. For these patients, we recommend using a tongue scraper. A tongue scraper is just as effective, if not more so, as brushing. A gentle scrape with this tool can immediately lower the amount of bacteria in the mouth and keep your mouth, and your teeth protected.

The Reason

Your teeth and your tongue are almost always touching. This means that anything on the tongue is directly affecting your teeth. If acid and bacteria are left to linger on the tongue, your chance for tooth damage increases. What’s more, a cleaner tongue can actually make food taste better since your taste buds aren’t covered with taste-inhibiting bacteria.

Along with proper brushing and flossing, and a clean tongue, you’re well on your way to getting your smile healthy. To ensure everything is working well for you and there aren’t any potential problems, it’s also really important to maintain regular appointments at my Lenexa dental office. We’ll work with you to ensure you’re getting the proper care you need and that your mouth is healthy for a lifetime.

Welcoming patients from Lenexa, Overland Park, and Kansas City.

Keeping Teeth Safe During Morning Sickness

Pregnancy is pretty incredible. You’re bringing a new life into the world, you’re growing your family, and you’re becoming a parent again or for the first time. But the reality is, not all things that go along with pregnancy are awesome. At my dental office in Lenexa, we’d like to talk about one of those less exciting aspects of pregnancy: we’re talking about morning sickness.

Around 80 percent of pregnant women experience some sort of morning sickness. You don’t need us to tell you how much this reality is a huge burden and inconvenience to all aspects of life. We know that during this time your teeth are probably the last things on your mind, but you only get one set, so we’d like to share some information and tips to protect your mouth during pregnancy..

Vomiting or reflux caused by morning sickness can expose the teeth to a large amount of stomach acid. This acid can lead to decay and result in serious oral health concerns. But what can you do to decrease the amount of acid exposed to teeth if you continue to experience morning sickness?

Minimize the Risk of Decay

If you suffer from morning sickness, here are a variety of tricks to help keep your teeth healthy during pregnancy.

  • Rinse with water after vomiting. Water is a great way to help remove dangerous acids from the teeth and can diminish the chance of decay.

  • Wait to brush. Brushing immediately after vomiting can actually lead to more damage. Since the stomach acid can weaken enamel, scrubbing it with your toothbrush might cause scratching and more dental problems.

  • Apply toothpaste. Smearing a small amount of toothpaste on your teeth can protect them against acid.

  • Rinse with mouthwash. Choosing an alcohol-free mouthwash to swish around following any episode of morning sickness can also help keep teeth protected from stomach acid.

If you’re pregnant, first accept our sincerest congratulations. Then, call my Lenexa dental office to get a preliminary check up. We’ll make sure there’s nothing of concern in your mouth and we’ll talk with you about ways to keep your teeth healthy for the duration of your pregnancy and long after.

Welcoming patients in Lenexa, Overland Park, and Kansas City.

Dental Care for Your Furry Friends

At my dental office in Lenexa, we love animals, and we want to let all of our patients know that dental care for pets is just as important to keeping your furry loved ones healthy as it is to keeping your own smile healthy. While we don’t accept four-legged patients, we do want to provide you with some insight to proper pet dental care.

Signs of a Problem

Before we discuss how to keep your pet healthy, it’s extremely important to know the signs of some serious dental concerns.

  • Bad breath

  • Loose teeth

  • Excessive drooling

  • Bleeding

  • Refusal to let you near the mouth

If you notice any of these symptoms, please contact your vet as soon as possible as they may be signs of something serious.

Chew on This

Anyone who has ever owned a puppy can attest to the fact that dogs specifically have a natural desire to chew. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing (we know, tell that your favorite pair of now-shredded slippers). Chewing helps strengthen teeth, massage gums, and scrape away tartar. So stock up on chew toys and let them chomp away.

Brush, Brush, Brush

Clean teeth are just as important to pets as they are for humans. Like their owners, pets can develop serious dental disease that not only affects their mouths, but their whole body. Certain dental problems can lead to heart, lung, or kidney disease. Don’t take pet dental care lightly. It’s recommended that all pets receive professional cleanings at the vet once a year. In between those visits, you can brush at home. All it takes is a clean piece of gauze wrapped around a finger, some pet-friendly toothpaste, and some practice. Get in the habit and brush two or three times a week.

Following the advice above can help keep your pet’s teeth healthy for a lifetime. Following a proper at-home oral health care routine and maintaining appointments at my Lenexa dental office can help keep your own health in its best shape. Don’t let dental problems plague you or your pet. Make the commitment to proper oral health.

Welcoming patients from Lenexa, Overland Park, Kansas City, and nearby neighborhoods.

Stop Missing Work Because of Your Teeth

There’s nothing worse than tossing away a well-earned vacation day because you have a dental emergency. Good news! You can stop missing work due to your teeth! How? Let my Lenexa dental office show you.

Oftentimes we avoid the dentist if we don’t have a problem. But that itself is a problem. Prevention is key! If we wait until we have signs of a dental issue, like pain, bleeding gums, or even a toothache, we’ve already waited too long. There’s a common myth that says you’d know it if you had a dental concern, but the truth is, that’s just not the case.

Many dental problems have no warning signs. Cavities, for example, don’t hurt when they’re shallow, new, and haven’t reached the nerves. If caught early, treatment is simple. If left to advance, cavities can cause pain and could need more in-depth treatment.

On a more serious note, oral cancer and gum disease may have little-to-no signs in the early stages. As they progress, however, they become extremely dangerous not only for your smile, but for your entire body. This is why we emphasize catching problems as early as possible. When detected in the first stages, both oral cancer and gum disease can be treated. Like anything else, if they’re not caught and are left alone, oral cancer becomes really serious and gum disease could lead to whole-health problems like heart disease, stroke, and even difficulty managing diabetes.

Since it is so important to catch serious dental problems as soon as they appear, even if you can’t feel them, it makes keeping regularly scheduled appointments with your Lenexa dentist extremely important. We traditionally recommend appointments at least every six months, sometimes even sooner. It’s not only important to keep these appointments to keep your mouth healthy, they can help catch any lingering problems before they become serious issues.

As always, appointments with us are important, but equally so is a healthy at-home routine. This means brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day (yes, flossing is that important).

If it’s been awhile since you’ve been to a dentist, or if you’re due for a visit, give my dental office in Lenexa a call. We’re always happy to see you and will work with you to get your smile healthy so you can get back to enjoying your deserved time off.

Serving patients from Lenexa, Overland Park, Kansas City, and neighboring areas.

 

Oral Health Care for Seniors - Yes, It’s That Important

It’s an inevitable fact. We’re all growing older every day. With age and body changes, medical issues tend to erupt, and dental care becomes even more important. At my dental office in Lenexa, we’d like to explain why regular visits for seniors is so crucial for a healthy body.

Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body

The mouth is the window to the rest of the body, and a lot of oral health problems are linked to problems elsewhere in the body. This makes it incredibly important to let your dentist in Lenexa know if you have certain health conditions that can affect your oral health. Some of these diseases include diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. When your dentist knows what’s going on in the rest of your body, they’re able to treat you properly. However, just like whole-body conditions can impact your oral health, your oral health can impact the rest of your body.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is incredibly prevalent among the older population. In fact by age 65, 1 out of 4 has gum disease. Additionally, the American Academy of Periodontology estimates 20-30 percent of adults have gum disease severe enough to put them at great risk for tooth loss. Gum disease not only increases the chance of losing natural teeth, it greatly affects the rest of your body.

This scary oral health disease has been linked to very serious conditions including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Gum disease is treatable so it’s important to catch it early before it creates some dangerous problems. There are several things that can make someone more susceptible to developing gum disease including:

  • Poor oral hygiene

  • Bad diet

  • Smoking

  • Medications

Dry Mouth

Speaking of medications, they can work wonders in easing pain or treating chronic problems. However, they can also lead to a very dry mouth. Dry mouth is a big concern in keeping a mouth healthy. Without saliva, teeth are at increased risk for decay, oral infections can develop, and could lead to gum disease.

Grandparents, parents, and any elderly person should be seeing a dentist regularly to ensure optimal health. If it’s been awhile since the last dental visit, give my Lenexa dental office a call.


Accepting patients from Lenexa, Overland Park, Kansas City, and nearby neighborhoods.