All posts by Katie Harris

7 Signs it’s Time to See the Family Dentist

7 Signs it’s Time to See the Family Dentist

 

Dental EmergencyThere is just something about the months of October, November, and December that can make our teeth hurt! Oh yeah … the holidays! Between Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, we are bubbling over with tasty treats and busy schedules. The combination can mean making less than smart choices about what we eat, and perhaps getting a little lax on our oral hygiene habits like brushing and flossing day and night no matter what.

Obviously, everyone on staff at Hatch Dentistry in Blackfoot will tell you to brush, floss, and stay away from sugar. But even when we do our best, sometimes our teeth just need a little TLC! And ignoring that toothache or sign of trouble until after the holidays just is not a good idea. The sooner you have the problem addressed, the sooner you can be back smooching under that mistletoe! Plus, there are some other pretty basic reasons you should get a checkup!

Here are nine signs you need to make an appointment soon:

  1. You should never have pain in your teeth; that is not natural. If there is pain, it could be a sign of an underlying problem like a cavity or damaged nerve.
  1. Bleeding gums. Are your gums bleeding quite a bit when you brush or floss? Do they sometimes get swollen and irritated? Is there a history of gum disease in your family? All reasons to make an appointment soon. Getting ahead of gum disease can make a world of difference for your oral health down the road.
  1. Spots & sores. Remember when you were little and lost a tooth, and your tongue immediately went to that area because it felt funny? That sensation never goes away. If something is amiss in your mouth, your tongue will probably find it – then obsess over it. If you have a sore in your mouth that lasts more than a week or is causing serious discomfort, you should make an appointment with a dentist ASAP.
  1. Trouble eating. Are you experiencing pain or discomfort while chewing or swallowing, no matter the consistency or texture of the food? Time for a visit to the dentist!
  1. Dry mouth. You should not always feel parched. This could be a side effect of a new medication or a sign of something else. A dentist or doctor is a good place to start.
  1. Jaw pain. Does your jaw sometimes pop when you’re chewing or opening and closing your mouth? Do you experience pain when chewing or first thing in the morning? It is not normal for a jaw to hurt or muscles to be sore.
  1. Pregnancy! It’s not uncommon for expecting moms to have some minor dental issues. For example, pregnant women may be more likely to develop “pregnancy gingivitis” which can trigger sore, tender gums. Plus, if you’re experiencing morning sickness, your teeth are taking a beating from all the acid. It’s perfectly safe to have routine dental checkups, cleanings, and x-rays while you’re pregnant – and in fact, it’s recommended.

The longer you wait to have a potential dental problem looked at, the bigger the problem could become. When you feel or see a problem arising, don’t hesitate to call Hatch Dentistry right away. Our trained staff can talk to you about what you’re experiencing, and get you into the office and back out on your way good as new in no time.

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Your Oral Hygiene in Blackfoot is Important

Your Oral Hygiene in Blackfoot is Important

When you start suffering from dental issues or just need your routine care, you may try getting out of that dentist appointment at Hatch Dental in Blackfoot. Some of the most common reasons people procrastinate when it comes to dental appointments is because they don’t have the time or they fear the pain. Avoiding your local dentist at Hatch Dental is not a good idea. Putting off dental care can turn small problems like cavities, into large problems like root canals and tooth extraction. Short appointments turn into long ones with more work and higher expenses.

What happens when you wait?

That small cavity on your lower bicuspid could have been filled easily and has turned into a large cavity. Larger cavities require more work to fill it. However, large cavities are only a minor problem compared to the more advanced issues. That minor toothache that has been bothering you for the past few weeks could be a small fracture or an abscess. Small fractures can sometimes be repaired, but if you wait too long the fracture can increase and you may need to get a crown.

The early stages of an abscess are easy to treat, but ignoring the abscessed tooth may lead to root damage and the need for a root canal. The infection can spread to other teeth, multiplying the damage. These treatment will require more time and money than you would have spent if you would have taken care of the problem earlier on.

Even putting off that routine cleaning can lead to tooth decay. Even if you brush, floss, and rinse every day like you are supposed to, you still need a professional cleaning at Hatch Dental in Blackfoot. Plaque that is left behind will harden into calculus or tartar that you cannot remove by yourself. A build-up of calculus can also lead to gum disease. Don’t risk it! Contact Hatch Dental to take care of your oral hygiene in Blackfoot!

Keep Your Smile Healthy

blackfoot dentistDon’t make the mistake of avoiding your local dentist in Blackfoot. Lack of time may be your main concern, but waiting until the problem gets worse may mean that you have to give up substantially more time later on. Don’t suffer from needless pain from your tooth problems. Visit Dr. Dennis Hatch at Hatch Dental in Blackfoot for your regularly scheduled cleanings and exams to ensure your smile stays happy, healthy and bright.

 

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Brux of the Matter

Brux of the Matter
Blackfoot Family Dentist

Bruxism

Grinding one’s teeth at night is called “bruxism”. This produces a disconcerting noise for anyone within earshot, but it is also really bad for your teeth. Grinding one’s teeth wears down tooth enamel. On top of that, bruxism may lead to shifting of teeth and weakening of underlying bone to the point where it can contribute to periodontal (gum) disease. 

To prevent these adverse effects, the dentist can fabricate a custom-fitted mouth guard, which prevents teeth in the upper and lower jaws from contracting one another. As effective as mouth guards are in protecting teeth, patients who grind their teeth should also look into stress-reducing techniques (such as meditation) that reduce the anxiety that so often leads to teeth grinding. Relaxation is essential to breaking this potentially harmful habit.

Children grind their teeth in early ages but it can become a habit.  Adults also grind their teeth in sleep due to many physical, psychological and stressful conditions. Often adults and parents of children neglect bruxism and think that this is normal condition.

If bruxism occurs in day time, you can catch yourself or you can catch your child. But it usually occurs at night when you are not aware of teeth grinding.

In adults, bruxism mainly occurs due to stress. Adults face stress at home, at work place and outside. When you go to sleep, you don’t forget about the stressful situations which you faced in the day time. Adults also think about the next day problems in the night only. Try to be mindful of teeth grinding early to prevent more severe problems in the future. For more information you can call Dr. Hatch in Blackfoot.

 

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Dental Hygiene for Children

family dentist blackfoot

If you have children, chances are you’ve wondered if you are doing everything you should to protect your child’s teeth from bacteria and decay. You may have questions about when your child should first visit a dentist, when the right time is to begin brushing and flossing, and if there is anything else you can do to prevent tooth decay and cavities.

When habits are formed early, it is often easier to maintain those habits as we get older. As parents, it is important to begin thinking about oral health before your child’s first birthday, as many children develop cavities well before they turn five years old. Understanding how children get cavities and what you can do to prevent tooth decay can set your child up for better oral health as they grow older.

Early Stages of Dental Care

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, your child should visit a dentist around their first birthday, or when teeth first begin to appear. Home care can begin even earlier to reduce bacteria growth and to promote healthy gums.

Before your child has teeth, you can use a soft washcloth to wipe their gums after feeding to combat bacteria. After teeth begin to arrive, you should begin brushing using an infant toothbrush and a small amount of toothpaste. You should not use fluoridated toothpaste until your child is able to spit properly, usually at about age 2 or 3.

When Can My Child Brush Their Own Teeth?

Most children can begin brushing their own teeth with adult supervision when they are 2 or 3 years old. Once your child can spit properly, experiment with allowing them to do the brushing. Do not begin using fluoridated toothpaste until they learn to spit. Encourage healthy habits by brushing with your child, providing instruction and encouragement.

It may be a struggle to get some kids to brush twice a day. Seek ways to make brushing a fun, rewarding experience. Award gold stars, offer rewards or use music to make brushing more fun. You should supervise brushing until your child is older, and possibly perform a final brush until they get better about brushing all the surfaces of their teeth.

Flossing should begin whenever two teeth are touching. Brushing rarely gets all the food stuck between the teeth, especially the ones in the back of the mouth. Teach your child how to floss, or use special flossers or floss picks safe for use by kids. Flossing should be done daily.

Dental Sealants and Fluoride Usage

Dental sealants are often recommended for children, as sealants provide a barrier between your kids’ teeth and cavity causing bacteria. They are generally applied to teeth in the back of the mouth where most chewing takes place. The thin resin coating protects the teeth and allows them to get stronger as your child grows older.

Fluoride treatments can also be applied at the dentist to help teeth become stronger. Most municipal water supplies are treated with fluoride, and most toothpaste will contain a small amount of fluoride. Your dentist will be able to recommend additional fluoride supplements if necessary.

Establish Healthy Habits for Oral Health

It is important to encourage healthy habits early in life, as your child will continue these habits throughout life. Teach your child to brush and floss regularly, and work with your dentist to identify any other steps that may be necessary to promote healthy teeth and gums.

Visit the dentist regularly to check for early signs of tooth decay and to have sealants and fluoride treatments applied. Talk to your child’s dentist about any concerns or questions you may have about their oral health and dental care.

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Look Younger With Brighter Teeth

Look Younger With Brighter Teeth

Teeth Whitening Blackfoot Dentist We hardly need scientific evidence that whiter teeth make a person look more attractive and youthful, but a study conducted by a major manufacturer of oral-health products does just that. The study showed that whiter teeth can make a person look as much as five years younger and increase attractiveness by 20%.

Brightened smiles also seem to increase the perception that a person is more successful, more employable, and better educated. Nearly one-third of the men surveyed think that white teeth demonstrate wealth and status and double the perception that a person has received education at a private university. With all of this in mind professional tooth whitening may be as helpful in getting a job as in getting a date.

Are You Looking for Whiter Teeth?

Discolored teeth are a common cosmetic concern for people.  It is actually the most common complaint people have about their smiles. Luckily, it is also one of the most treatable.
Teeth whitening is a common option, with both take-home and in-office teeth whitening available. Which is right for you depends on the nature of your stains, how white you want your teeth to get, and how quickly you need results.  For people with stains that don’t respond to whitening, porcelain veneers are another way to achieve that white smile you’re looking for.

Teeth whitening is a great option for removing many types of stains, such as food and tobacco stains. However, there are other types of stains that can’t be removed with whitening because they’re inherent in the enamel. If you have thin enamel, very dark colored dentin, staining due to poor enamel formation or enamel defects, or a dead tooth that has turned dark, teeth whitening cannot help.

To learn more about your options for achieving that white smile you desire, please contact Dr. Dennis Hatch in his Blackfoot office today.

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Pregnancy and Dental Health

Blackfoot Family Dentist We all know that pregnancy causes a lot of changes in a woman’s life. But did you know that pregnant women are at a higher risk of getting periodontal diseases? Pregnant women may experience a host of dental issues that often affect their way of life. But most women don’t take dental care during pregnancy seriously.

Hormonal changes that occur when a woman is pregnant can cause alterations in the mouth exposing the woman to common oral conditions like gingivitis. Oral health is often neglected when one is pregnant because even the appetite levels change and this greatly affects the oral health.

It’s very important for them to take oral hygiene seriously and even watch their diet. Some of these issues that manifest during pregnancy may escalate even after the baby is born if proper treatment is not administered. If left untreated, a condition like gingivitis can lead to periodontitis.

Another very common problem among pregnant mothers is bleeding gums. Because of the hormonal imbalance during pregnancy, dental issues like these are bound to arise. Consider a dental checkup even before you plan on starting a family. You need to ensure that any dental problems are detected early and treated effectively before you get pregnant.

But in many cases, routine dental treatment can be administered to pregnant mothers safely. Instead of living with an untreated dental issue that causes pain and discomfort, you need to visit a dentist who will advise on the safest dental treatment.

Living with an untreated dental problem can also expose you to infections that need to be treated with medications. To avoid this, you need to start dental checkups immediately after knowing that you are pregnant.

Remember that oral health is a very integral part of prenatal care that you need to consider. If you have any questions please the office of Dr. Dennis Hatch. 

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Considering Tooth-Whitening?

Teeth Whitening Blackfoot Professional tooth-whitening can totally change the appearance of your smile, making it look healthier and decades younger. Tooth-whitening is one of the most popular and highly sought after cosmetic dental treatments – a treatment that can revolutionize your smile and your self-confidence. Let’s take a look at some of the ins and outs of tooth-whitening.

Before Whitening

It’s recommended that you have your teeth professionally cleaned before teeth whitening to ensure that you get the best possible results. Dental plaque and tartar don’t respond to bleaching. Whitening without removing plaque and tartar will leave you with a smile that is discolored and unhealthy. You’ll also want a thorough check-up at the time of treatment to determine the exact reason your teeth aren’t a healthy white color. If the problem is due to tooth decay, poor oral hygiene or even gum disease, your dentist will first recommend treatment before proceeding with any cosmetic teeth whitening. In most cases the cause behind tooth discoloration and staining is prolonged exposure to dark, tannin-rich foods and beverages, like coffee, tea and wine

In-Office vs. At-Home

When whitening your teeth, you’ve got two options: in-office-based teeth bleaching, or at-home care. There are pros and cons to each option. Before you try at-home tooth-bleaching kits, talk to your dentist. Not everyone will see good results. Tooth-whitening done by your dentist can get teeth brighter faster. The most dramatic results are generally three to eight shades brighter.

At-home systems contain from 3% to 20% peroxide (carbamide or hydrogen peroxides), while in-office systems contain from 15% to 43% peroxide. Generally, the longer you keep a stronger solution on your teeth, the whiter your teeth become. But you will want to be careful. The higher the percentage of peroxide in the whitening solution, the shorter it should be applied to the teeth.  Keeping the gel on longer will dehydrate the tooth and increase tooth sensitivity.

Tooth bleaching can make teeth temporarily sensitive and is sometimes uncomfortable for people who already have sensitive teeth. When used incorrectly, home kits can also lead to burned, even temporarily bleached gums.

Tooth-whitening works best for people with yellow teeth and is less effective for people with brown teeth. If your teeth are gray or purple, tooth bleaching probably won’t work at all. Bleaching will not whiten porcelain crowns or composite tooth-colored bondings.

Talk to your dentist before you use an over-the-counter tooth whitening kit, to be sure tooth-whitening is worth your time and money. The staff at Dennis Hatch, DDS is happy to answer your questions concerning teeth whitening in Blackfoot.

 

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How to Choose a Family Dentist in Blackfoot

Choosing a good family dentist is not always easy. Your dental health is an important part of your overall health, and you need to see someone who is experienced, stays up-to-date on new techniques or procedures, and who is convenient for you to visit in Blackfoot. Cost and insurance coverage are also deciding factors. Take the time to do a little research, learn about the dentists in your area, and select someone who will meet your needs. The office of Dr. Dennis Hatch is happy to help answers questions you may have. Here are a few things to consider when selecting a family dentist in Blackfoot.

family dentist BlackfootConsider Costs

The first place many people look when choosing a new dentist is a list of providers covered by their dental insurance. Make sure you understand your dental coverage, and verify with the dentist’s office that they do accept your insurance plan.
Ask about accepted payments and if payment plans are available. Costs for certain procedures can vary greatly between different practices in the same community. You may want to get an estimate of out-of-pocket costs for common procedures like a filling or root canal.
Some dentists will offer a discount if payment is made at the time of service, so be sure to ask about any additional ways to lower your costs. If you do not have insurance, you may still qualify for a dental discount plan or a payment plan.

Location and Office Hours

It’s important to choose a dentist whose office is close to your home or work and who is available at times that are convenient for you. It is not uncommon for dentists to have several offices to serve a wider area, so be sure to confirm their hours of operation before scheduling an appointment.
Be sure to inquire about emergency care and whether the dentist is available outside of regular office hours to treat emergencies. You’ll also want to know if they offer most major dental procedures, or if you would be referred to another office for more serious procedures.

 Experience and Qualifications

Dental offices should be forthcoming when answering questions pertaining to the dentist’s training and experience. Find out where they obtained their education and how long they have been practicing. Also check to see if they belong to any trade associations, and if they receive continuing education.
Use your own judgment when evaluating the experience and education of a dentist for your family. Consider your own personal preferences and decide if you’d rather see someone with years of experience and who has an established practice in your community or someone who has less experience but more recent education.
You can also check with your state licensing board to verify that the dentist is licensed to practice in your state and whether any disciplinary actions have been made against them.

 Ask Friends and Family for Referrals

Asking your friends, family or coworkers about their dentist can provide valuable insight that can help you make your decision. Ask them what they like about their dentist, how they started seeing him or her, and if they’ve ever had any problems with scheduling, visits or billing.

Of all the research you can do, getting an honest opinion from someone you trust is often the most insightful. Many times your friends or family will have had experiences with other dentists as well, so be sure to ask if you have someone in mind.

Making the Final Decision

As you can see, several factors should be considered when deciding which dentist you should see. Rank your priorities and try to focus on the items that are the most important to you personally. Find a dentist that you like and can trust, and that you can openly discuss any concerns you may have about your dental health.

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Blackfoot Dentist and Tips to Prevent Tooth Decay

Preventing Tooth Decay from Acidic and Sugary Foods

It’s no secret that the things we put in our mouth have a direct impact on the health of our teeth and gums. The acidity or sugar levels of some foods and drinks may speed up tooth decay, so it’s important to know just what you are consuming and what it’s doing to your teeth.

The science is pretty simple—your mouth naturally has a neutral pH. When we consume acidic foods or drinks, it affects the pH level and speeds up tooth decay. Sugary foods create bacteria in your mouth that also lead to tooth decay.

There are a few tips—and a few foods and drinks to avoid—that can help prevent tooth decay caused by acidic or sweet foods.

Limit Acidic or Sugary Foods and Drinks to Prevent Tooth Decay

Soda is the first thing that comes to mind when people think about foods or drinks that damage their teeth—and they’re right. Not only is soda acidic, but it is also filled with sugars that will cause bacteria that break down the enamel on your teeth.

Alcoholic drinks as well as citrus fruits or juices are also acidic. Swap for a less acidic beverage, or use a straw to limit contact with your teeth. Keep an eye out for acidic especially if they are vinegar or tomato based.

 If You Must, Consume Acidic Foods with Other Foods

Generally speaking, you can reduce the level of acid in your mouth by consuming acidic foods or drinks as part of a meal. The additional foods will neutralize or wash away the acid and can reduce damage to your teeth.

Some foods also have preventative qualities that make them ideal for eating with acidic or sweet foods. Crunchy foods like apples or carrots can help remove plaque from your teeth. Dairy foods and items high in calcium can also help protect your teeth.

If you must snack during the day, avoid foods with sugar, and this includes crackers and most breads, which actually have high levels of sugar. Check the labels, and choose healthy snacks to prevent tooth decay.

Brush your teeth regularly, floss every day, and use a fluoride mouth rinse after brushing to reduce plaque and to promote enamel. Good dental hygiene is the number one defense for preventing tooth decay and gum disease.

See Your Dentist for Regular Check-Ups

Your dentist will be able to tell you if you are experiencing tooth decay and can offer additional guidance for prevention. Regular check-ups ensure that potential problems can be addressed sooner, preventing prolonged tooth decay that can cause cavities.

Many people feel that visiting the dentist on a regular basis for prevention is cost prohibitive, and may postpone a visit until they can no longer tolerate the pain. Most tooth problems do not get better on their own, and the sooner you address the problem the less pain you will have and the easier it will be on your pocketbook.

Also keep in mind that if the cavity or other problem is a result of consuming acidic foods or bacteria caused by sugary foods, your other teeth may be decaying if you don’t make a change.

Know What You Consume and How it Impacts Your Health

The main point to takeaway is that the old saying is true—we are what we eat. Take the time to read the labels on the products you consume on a regular basis and you will be surprised to learn just how much sugar is in the foods you eat every day.

Limit acidic foods and avoid eating acidic or sugary foods as snacks. Drinking lots of water will help wash away some of the acid and sugar, but not all. Be sure to take care of your teeth brushing and flossing everyday, and you will have an advantage over most when it comes to tooth decay.

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Basic Types of Dental Practices in Blackfoot

Here is a look at the basic types of dental practices. Dr. Dennis Hatch, DDS can take care of your families basic dental needs and works with some of the best specialists in the area for patients needing more specialized services. The dental practice of Dr. Hatch in Blackfoot, Idaho serves patients of all ages and needs.

Basic Types of Dental Practices

1) Fine Dentistry and Prevention

This type of dentistry is dedicated to achieving Optimum Health and Optimum Repair of the oral health system. A thorough examination is completed and goal setting is instituted to create a Master Plan that focuses on maximum protection and preservation of the oral health complex. Crucial to the continuation of Optimum health care good daily oral hygiene habits and a strict regiment of professional examinations and hygiene visits to prevent decay and gum disease.

 2) Maintenance Dentistry

Drilling of toothThe quality of care is good and preventive measures are fairly effective, but the patient is not dedicated to achieving Optimum health. Optimum health of the natural teeth has as its goal the restoration of teeth to ideal beauty, function, comfort and longevity. Usually maintenance dentistry is intermediate dentistry such as silver and plastic fillings, which last 3-5-years. Maintenance dentistry is removable partial dentures rather than fixed or stationary bridgework.

3) Repair Oriented Dental Practice

No long term thought is given to either prevention of decay, gum disease or bite (occlusion-related) problems. The interesting thing about patients who go to this kind of practice is that they don’t like it, but may have given up on dentistry and what it can do for them.

 4) Emergency Dental Practice

Patients are seen only for emergency treatment. The majority of patients in this type of practice lost their teeth between the ages of 35-50.

Dr. Dennis Hatch’s  Dental Practice in Blackfoot, Idaho

Please note that Dr. Hatch makes every effort to maintain a type 1 and 2 dental practice. We have absolutely no interest in being either a “drill, fill and bill” practice, or an emergency only practice.

In order for us to enjoy our practice and our lives we believe we must be providing a worthwhile service for people we value and respect.

                We believe in establishing long-term relationships built on freedom of choice and mutual respect and value for each other

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