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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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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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Is Your Family Flossing?

family dentist blackfoot Do you and your children know how to floss? For some parents this idea is laughable. You might think “I rarely remember to floss, how can I teach my children to floss?” When you visit the dentist, how to do you respond to the age old question, “are you flossing?” If your answer is no, then you will probably need some tips on how to teach your children to floss.

Opportunities Are Knockin’

The first step in teaching your kids how to floss is to show them that you are committed to flossing as well. This is a great time to not only help your children grow and improve, but you can improve yourself as well. The best practice is to floss with your children. You are making a lifestyle change for yourself and teaching your kids some valuable hygiene exercises!

Pick The Right Floss!

There is a wide variety of floss out on today’s market that will work for children. Some floss is even catered specifically to children and have fun texture and flavors. It is generally recommended that you use a soft floss to start out with.

Handling Floss

Now, we need to learn how to properly hold dental floss to get the best results possible. You don’t want the floss to cut off circulation to your children’s fingers, but you also don’t want them to hold the floss too loosely. Make sure there is a good 12-18 inches of floss and that they know how to hold the floss properly.

Practice Makes Perfect!

On a daily basis show your children how to move the floss around in between their teeth. Make sure they aren’t making rough motions or they could cut their gums. Keep practicing and you and your children will be flossing pros in no time!

Is your family in need of a dentist in Blackfoot? Call Dr. Dennis Hatch today! Dr. Dennis Hatch is a highly experienced dentist in Blackfoot who strives to educate patients about oral hygiene. The staff at Hatch Dentistry care about you and your children and will make sure that every visit to our dental office leads to a great experience! Call us know to schedule an appointment today!

 

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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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