Featured

Oral Health & Diabetes

Doctors Learn about Maintaining Oral Health and More as a Diabetic

Our doctors took a course with Dr. John Devlin about the importance of oral health with diabetes. Dr. John Devlin is a medical director at Mercy Hospital Diabetes Center in Portland, Maine. He is also a consultant with Endocrine Medical Services, Maine General Medical Center, and VA Medical Center and Associate Professor at Tufts University. He has written for many journals and authored many book chapters about the subject and our office was excited to attend and learn more about treating diabetic patients.

This fascinating course discussed the following:

  • Nutritional management
  • Medical therapy
  • Managing diabetes in the presence of other chronic conditions
  • New technologies in diabetes management

Understanding diabetes as a doctor is important in treating patients, especially when it comes to oral health. The course involved a variety of facets for understanding diabetes and how it may affect many aspects of the body. Participants learned the classification, epidemiology and environmental influences of diabetes. General principles in nutritional management and diet were discussed, as these can directly affect oral health.

The Importance of Constant Learning of Medical Conditions & Technological Advancements

New technologies are important to stay on top of as well regarding diabetes and the ever-evolving advancements in medical care. The course finished with covering the latest in diabetes management, including insulin pump-therapy, continuous glucose monitoring devices and newer insulins. By knowing medical conditions of all different patients, we can properly diagnose and treat your dental condition.

Advertisements

Avoid a Spooky Smile from Your Halloween Costume

During the month of October, children and adults across the US are anticipating the spookiest day of the year, Halloween. Between the creative outfits and the delicious sweets and treats, there’s a lot to look forward to on this popular holiday. Of course, we want you to be careful about enjoying too much candy since it’ll hinder your overall health, including your smile, but there’s more to dental care than just monitoring the amount of sweets you eat. Below, your Brunswick dentist wants to discuss other potential, harmful instances you can run into on your Halloween night.

 

Start Out the Night Right – With a Clean Smile

There are tons of costumes that go above and beyond, helping trick-or-treaters and others who dress up to look exactly like their ideal design. Sometimes, this includes wear fake or false teeth. Whether you’re looking for fangs to complete your vampire aesthetic or you need to add some gold to your grin with your swanky, rich outfit, these additions can help bacterial build-up.

 

Once you get your new (temporary) smile, make sure it’s properly cleaned and you feel comfortable wearing it in your mouth. If it’s uncomfortable or causing you pain, it could tear up your gums and potentially cause bleeding. We highly recommend forgoing the additional smile if it’s hurting you. If you feel comfortable, then make sure to brush your teeth before wearing them for an extended period – the latest bacteria and debris won’t have anywhere to hide and won’t linger while you’re out having fun.

 

Don’t Wear Your New Smile for Too Long

While you don’t want to downplay your outfit, you also want to make sure that your teeth and gums are healthy and unharmed. We highly suggest limiting the amount of time that you wear your fake teeth to reduce the chance of any damage or discomfort. Obviously, these teeth aren’t made to bite and chew like your natural smile, so we want you to avoid using them as such. Remove your plastic teeth when eating or drinking to avoid any difficulty or potential damage.

 

Be Careful – Not Everything is Safe for Your Smile

Besides plastic teeth, there are other costumes that may require a “mouthpiece.” For instance, if you’re playing the popular Sherlock Holmes, your costume may come with his infamous pipe. But if you’re not entirely sure of how it was made, you may want to either complete a thorough cleaning or avoid the piece altogether. Your oral health is much more vulnerable than you think and on this night of costumes and candies, your teeth could be in danger!

 

Believe us: we want you to have a fun and special Halloween night! But we simply wouldn’t be doing our part of your Brunswick dentist if we didn’t give you some helpful tips and tricks to protect your teeth. We hope you have a wonderful Halloween and don’t forget to schedule your visit with us by calling our office today at (207) 729-4144.

Importance of Caring for Children’s Teeth

We’re all familiar with tasty sweets, chocolates, and candies that we love to indulge in. It’s no surprise that children are big fans of those treats, too. Unfortunately, too much of something as delicious as candy can be detrimental to your smile, especially against baby teeth. That’s why your Brunswick ME dentist believes it’s extremely important to establish good, healthy habits to help children avoid cavities, decay, early tooth loss, and other oral health problems.

There are numerous ways that candy is intertwined in a child’s life. Sometimes, it’s reflexive, like giving them candy or chocolate to stop them from being upset. Other times, it’s a reward for doing well in class or in a public situation. This can be used as a default tactic, but we highly encourage patients to not use this method. Instead, we want children to know how candy can hurt their teeth and why they shouldn’t have such a large amount in one sitting and so frequently.

What are the best snacks and drinks for my child to have?

Some of the best snacks for children to play are, of course, fruits and vegetables. While they’re not always the ideal snack for kids, their teeth will be thankful. Some of the most convenient and tasty are bananas, tangerines, carrot and celery sticks. Rice cakes and plain popcorn are also great alternatives.

Because of their convenience, parents are likely to buy dried fruits since they don’t expire nearly as fast as fresh fruits do. Unfortunately, dried fruits can be extremely high in sugar and are quite sticky. They can get in hard-to-reach places in your teeth and can cause bacterial build-up. Try to avoid enjoying these as often as fresh fruits, but note that they can be a better alternative than other candies and snacks.

Instead of sodas and sugary fruit juices, try to switch their daily beverage to water. Another great drink for children to have is plain milk. Don’t be afraid to ask us which kind of milk, whether it’s whole milk or skimmed milk, that is best for your children’s teeth.

Protect your family’s smile by avoiding too many sweets and treats

No matter how old you are, candy is still dangerous to your oral and dental health. We want to share this information with our patients because children’s teeth are extremely sensitive and aren’t as strong as adult teeth. It’s important to take care of their baby teeth to make sure this area is healthy enough for their adult ones to grow in. If children suffer from cavities and decay when they have their baby teeth, their adult teeth are also at risk.

If you’re interested in learning about more tips to protect your child’s smile, whether it’s about food, drinks, or bad habits, please feel free to call your Brunswick ME dentist at (207) 729-4144 today.

Common Brushing Mistakes

To ensure the best oral health, we believe that you should brush your teeth twice daily, once in the morning and once at night, to ensure the best oral health possible. Don’t worry, we understand – you lead a busy schedule that may cause you to skip or forget your daily dental routine, but we don’t want bacterial build-up to get the best of you and harm your teeth. Below, your dentist in Brunswick a few mistakes that may occur while brushing your teeth and what you can do to correct them.

 

Before you start, you have to make sure that the toothbrush you have is the best one for you. There are tons of various kinds of toothbrushes available, but we highly recommend using a soft bristle brush that has a head size you’re comfortable with. If you have a toothbrush with the head that’s too big for your mouth, you could be missing some areas that you’re supposed to brush. This is where the bacteria can build up and cause cavities, decay, and more. Electric toothbrushes are also a viable option, but make sure you’re still performing the right technique.

 

Speaking of technique, you’re probably wondering – what is the best technique to brushing your teeth? There are several notes that you have to remember during your morning and nightly routine, including brushing for at least two minutes, making sure you’re cleaning every area of your mouth (yes, this includes the very back), and holding your brush at the right angle to reach all of those tough spots.

 

Something you may not have known is that brushing your teeth for too long is harmful! Your teeth, while strong and durable, can also become sensitive if it’s exposed to the ingredients in toothpaste for too long and too often. You’ll weaken your enamel, which will cause sensitivity when enjoy hot or cold foods and drinks.

 

Another note to take down is knowing when to get rid of a toothbrush. It’s recommended that you replace your toothbrush every three months, or after you’ve been sick with something contagious like a cold or flu. When you see your bristles starting to fray, that’s when you know it’s time to go! Even if you don’t see them fray, the bristles aren’t cleaning at their full potential and we want you to have the best brush each and every day.

 

By correcting some of these common mistakes while brushing your teeth, you can be working towards the best, healthiest smile for you. Couple these practices with your routine, bi-annual visits with us by calling us today at (207) 729-4144 to schedule your appointment.

You Cracked a Tooth… Now What?

The sound and pain of cracking or chipping a tooth can be terrifying. Not everyone has been there, so if you have experienced this feeling, consider yourself among the minority. Depending on the severity, there are many ways you can recover from this travesty.

Repairable – In the Front

Maybe you fell and broke your fall with your front teeth (if that is the case, we are very sorry that this happened to you) … or perhaps you were trying to open a bottle of champagne and accidently corked yourself in the mouth (trust us, you’ll be laughing about that later on in life). Either way, chipping a front tooth (or teeth) can be a scary experience.

The first time you smiled in a mirror, your heart probably sank. Worry not, though, 90% of front tooth damage is repairable! Here are a few ways with the help of your dentist in Brunswick ME:

  • Dental Bonding (composite material that is shaped to replace the missing parts of the tooth and cured)
  • Veneers (porcelain cover for the front)
  • Crowns (porcelain cover for entire tooth)

Ultimately, you don’t need to worry too much about your cracked or chipped tooth. At least not for long!

Irreparable – Any Tooth

If your tooth is so heavily damaged that the root is impacted from the chipping or crack, you’ll find that more drastic measures will need to be taken to save your smile. You may find in some cases that the tooth is complete unsalvageable and will require extraction.

If your tooth is salvageable, it will require a root canal and a crown. This is often the case with severely damage molars. If the root can be repaired, you can keep your natural root and simply have a crown placed on top.

However, if your tooth is not salvageable (could be the case with both molars and front teeth), you will likely need it extracted. You can either get a bridge or an implant to replace the missing tooth or teeth. A bridge will crown the outer teeth (the teeth around the missing tooth) and a filler tooth will be firmly affixed between them. A dental implant will replace the tooth altogether with an anchoring screw.

What is the Next Step?

If you have a cracked or chipped tooth, schedule an appointment with your dentist right away. They will be able to determine what your best solutions will be. The longer you wait, the more likely it will become irreparable and require extraction!

Call your dentist in Brunswick ME today at (207) 729-4144 to schedule your visit and protect your damaged teeth.

Teeth Removal: When This is a Must

With proper teeth care, most people try to avoid removing a tooth. In the mind of many people, a tooth is only removed because there is no hope for the tooth. And this is the case sometimes. However, this is not always the reason for removing a tooth.

Why Teeth are Removed?

There are several reasons why teeth are removed, and it is important that you realize this does not mean that you did not take care of your teeth. Even those who brush and floss twice daily still have some issues with their teeth, as many teeth issues are genetic. Some of the reasons why the teeth may be removed:

  1. There are extra teeth coming into the mouth that are not needed
  2. Baby teeth sometimes have to be removed in order for permanent teeth to come in straight
  3. Certain drugs, like those for cancer, can weaken the teeth and these have to be removed
  4. If the tooth is causing an infection, then these teeth are almost always removed
  5. Wisdom teeth are constantly removed from people due to lack of room or having infections set in

How Teeth are Removed?

There are two main ways in which teeth removal occurs in the dental office. These extractions are:

  1. Simple Extraction: this is performed when the tooth can be seen in the mouth. These are rather common, especially if baby teeth are being removed.
  2. Surgical Extractions: These are a bit more in-depth, as they are used when the tooth may be broken off into the gum line, it has yet to break through into the mouth. These are done by specialists called oral surgeons. Many people find that this is who their wisdom teeth are removed.

It is important to remember that teeth removal is often a must for the health of the person’s mouth. It is important that you go see your Brunswick ME dentist about any tooth related injury you may have and ensure that you are following their directions to a “T” in order to stay healthy!