All posts in Dennis Hatch DDS

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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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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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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Keeping Your Child’s Mouth Healthy

Family Dentist Blackfoot | Dr. Hatch Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease, so it’s important to teach your child early about the importance of maintaining good oral health, especially during candy-focused holidays like Halloween, the winter holidays, Valentine’s Day and Easter. Not only does untreated tooth decay cause pain, it may also lead to infections that affect eating, speaking, and overall wellbeing. Fortunately, tooth decay and other oral diseases are preventable. Hatch Dental in Blackfoot is a general family dentist who is happy to answer questions about all your dental needs.

Proper Care

• Bring your child to his or her dentist for regular checkups.
• Protect your child’s teeth with fluoride.
• Talk to your dentist about dental sealants. Sealants protect teeth from decay and have the potential to nearly eliminate tooth decay in school-age children when used in combination with fluoride.

Teach Your Children These To-Do’s

• Make taking care of teeth fun! Let your child pick out their own toothbrush or perhaps make teeth brushing a family affair. It’s always fun to brush the tongue!• Brush teeth 2 times each day for 2 minutes
• Use a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste
• Spit and don’t swallow
• Angle toothbrush against gums
• Brush back and forth, gently, in short strokes
• Brush the front, back, and top of teeth
• Brush tongue to remove germs and freshen breath
• Have your child floss daily to remove plaque from between the teeth and under the gum line, before it can harden into tartar.

Kids will generally need help with brushing until age six or seven. Beginning around age 4, begin flossing for your child. By the time they reach age 8, most kids can begin flossing for themselves.

A Few Facts

• Kids should use a soft toothbrush with a shape that will allow them to reach all areas of their mouth.
• Plaque is a sticky film of germs that forms on teeth and gums after eating. Plaque that’s not removed by brushing twice a day and flossing once a day can lead to cavities.
• Taking good care of your own teeth sends a message that oral health is something to be valued.
• A balanced diet is necessary for your child to develop strong, decay-resistant teeth.
• Discourage frequent snacking between meals, especially sugary foods. The sugars and starches found in many foods and snacks like cookies, candy, and soft drinks attack the tooth enamel and may lead to cavities.

Call Hatch Dental in Blackfoot to schedule an appointment today.

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How to Prevent Tooth Decay and Cavities

family dentist blackfootTooth decay is incredibly common, but largely preventable through good oral hygiene. Changes to diet, regular visits to your dentist, and brushing and flossing regularly can prevent tooth decay and cavities. But what causes tooth decay to begin with, and what changes may be necessary to prevent further decay?

What is Tooth Decay?

Our teeth are made up of minerals, and tooth decay occurs when plaque builds up and acids in our saliva attack the hard surfaces of our teeth, resulting in mineral loss. The foods we eat and beverages we consume largely affects the acid levels in our mouth, as does the time of day we are consuming these items.

The acid is produced by a reaction between the sugars we consume and bacteria in our mouths from plaque. Sugary foods and those with a lot of carbohydrates can cause tooth decay, as can foods that tend to stick in our teeth. Limit your intake of foods or beverages with a lot of sugar, and avoid eating these types of snacks in-between meals. Over time, the acid produced by the bacteria reduces the strength of the enamel and can result in tooth decay or a cavity.

Does My Overall Health Affect Tooth Decay?

Each person is distinctively different and factors such as existing medical conditions, medications, family history and oral health history can all impact your risk of tooth decay and cavities. Talk with your dentist about your medical history and discuss ways to prevent additional tooth decay.

It is important to point out that regardless of your family history or your additional risk factors, tooth decay is preventable with the appropriate care. Flouride treatments and dental sealants both provide a barrier of protection against acids and bacteria causing tooth decay. Those with a family history or personal history may need to be extra diligent to effectively combat tooth decay.

Oral Hygiene Habits to Prevent Tooth Decay

Good oral hygiene can help prevent tooth decay. Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Brushing helps control plaque, and reduces the bad bacteria in your mouth. You should also clean in between teeth using floss or a type of interdental cleaner daily to remove plaque and any food that may be stuck between your teeth. You may also use a fluoride rinse after brushing.

See your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams. If you have problems with tooth decay, you may want to discuss fluoride treatments or dental sealants with your dentist.

Just as important as good oral hygiene, eating a nutritious and well-balanced diet can play a huge rule in preventing tooth decay. Avoid snacking on sugary or sticky foods, as these can promote the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Some foods containing carbohydrates like breads and cereals may not seem harmful, but they typically contain sugars and also promote acidity. Eating these items with other food items as part of a meal can counter the acidic reaction and lessen the potential damage.

Reducing Tooth Decay Through Daily Practices

It is possible to reduce tooth decay and to prevent cavities by making small changes in our daily routines. Make brushing and flossing a priority everyday. Avoid drinking sodas or sweetened beverages, and swap out sugary snacks for more healthy options.

If you have problems with tooth decay, your dentist can be your best resource for identifying things you can do to lower your risk of developing cavities. Talk to your dentist about your family history, and share any concerns you may have about tooth decay, plaque and cavities. If you are looking for a dentist in the Blackfoot. Call Dr. Dennis Hatch to schedule an appointment in Blackfoot. 

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Tooth-Colored Fillings

Family Dentist Blackfoot | Dr. Dennis Hatch While dental amalgam has proven itself to be an effective and relatively inexpensive material for filling cavities caused by tooth decay over the past 150 years, it is not the most pleasing aesthetic choice. Amalgam’s silver color stands in stark contrast to natural tooth color when placed in visible tooth surfaces.
For this reason, patients are likely to prefer composite-resin tooth-colored fillings, which can so closely approximate their natural tooth color as to be virtually unnoticeable. Composite resins may be somewhat less durable than amalgam fillings, and they may cost more, but patients’ concerns over cosmetics have made them an increasingly popular choice.
As far as dentists are concerned, the best filling is no dental filling. Prevention is preferred. Dr. Dennis Hatch can answer your family dentist questions and help you decide what is best for you and your family. For your family dental care in Blackfoot call Dr. Dennis Hatch.

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