We believe in creating a relationship with our patients that goes beyond the office doors. We've specially created this section of our site to share with you important events from our office.
If you have ever suffered through a dental emergency, you likely are eager to avoid repeating the experience. True, some situations cannot be anticipated, but there are steps that you can take to steer clear of sudden dental pain and infection. Below are a few of our suggestions to help keep patients smiling.
1) Seek Regular Preventive Care: Your dentist will recommend a dental cleaning, periodic evaluation, and x-rays on an interval that is customized to your dental risk. For some people with low risk, this may mean going more than 6 months between cleanings. For others, it could mean we recommend treatment of your teeth and gums every 3-4 months to prevent complications from periodontitis (a disease of the bones and gums surrounding your teeth.) It is important to remember that your dentist can detect problems sooner than you may feel them: dental cavities are not typically painful in their early stages, and by the time a patient can feel a tooth "loosening" due to gum disease there may not be much we can do to prevent the tooth loss.
2) Pay Attention to the Early Warning Signs: Over the years, I have heard numerous patients who arrive to our office in pain report that their symptoms began "last year" or "3 months ago." Many things may keep patients from seeing the dentist (anxiety, financial concerns, busy schedules, hope that the problem will just "go away"), but delaying treatment will only cost you more pain and suffering. Dental pain that is ignored can result in spreading infection, that may be life threatening.
3) Make Healthy Choices Each Day: The best way to avoid dental emergencies is to do your "homework." Brush with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes twice each day, and floss before bed! Avoid sipping on soda (even diet!) or sweet tea, which can contribute to cavities. Wear a mouthguard for sports or other activities when your mouth may be hit. See your medical doctor regularly to take care of your overall health, especially conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure. Believe it or not, cardiovascular disease and diabetes are related to your oral health! Also, if your blood sugar or blood pressure are not in a healthy range, it may result in a delay to emergency dental treatment. Patients with uncontrolled diabetes typically take longer to heal after dental extractions and are at greater risk for pain and infection after treatment. Working with your doctor (and following dietary recommendations) to keep your health in check will help make your dental treatment less complicated.
In February we take extra time to celebrate our younger patients: it is National Children's Dental Health Month! Here at Wilkes Public Health Dental Clinic, we know what a difference good oral health can make in the life of a child, and we are committed to helping every family acheive that for their kids.
Did you know that tooth decay (also known as caries) is the most common chronic disease of childhood? 43% of kids 2-11 will have had a cavity in their primary teeth and 23% will have had a cavity in their permanent teeth! Fortunately, tooth decay is preventable. Here are some recommendations to avoid this disease:
> Choose water or white milk to drink instead of juice, soda, sweet tea, or flavored milk
> Brush nightly with a fluoride toothpaste: it doesn't take much! The recommended amount is a smear the size of a grain of rice for kids under 2 years old, and a pea-sized amount for kids 2-5 years old.
> By age 1 your child should see a dentist! This gives your child a chance to develop a positive relationship with the dentist, and it gives parents a chance to learn more about preventing tooth decay or mouth injuries. Don't wait until you see dark spots or your child has pain.
If you are interested in having your child's teeth examined, give our office a call!
Mark you calendars! Wilkes Public Health Dental Clinic will be hosting a free community dental health fair on Saturday, February 24th from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. There will be games and face painting for kids. We will be giving out door prizes and free toothbrushes and toothpaste. Our staff will be on hand to provide information to help you on your path toward oral health.
If you have ever thought about becoming a patient or take a look at our clinic, stop by to meet our team of dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants! Bring the entire family for an afternoon of healthy fun!