The Spirit Dental Blog | Stay In The Know

Porcelain Crowns & Veneers: What You Should Know

porcelain crowns

Are you unhappy with the appearance of your smile because of the condition of your teeth? Well, thanks to modern cosmetic dentistry, you don’t have to be anymore!

Both porcelain crowns and veneers are designed to give you a perfect, attractive smile. Check out the information below to learn more about what these options are and what they have to offer.

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What You Need to Know About Dental Sports Injuries

injuries

Whether you play sports or your kids play sports, it’s important to know that there is a risk for dental injuries with these activities. Below we’ve listed out some helpful information so you can have a better understanding of the risks, as well as what you can do to take the appropriate precautions to prevent these injuries.

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Pregnancy and Oral Health

pregnancy and oral health

Your body goes through a lot of changes while you’re pregnant. Could these changes affect your oral health? Or can your oral health affect the health of your baby? Get all of the answers you need below.

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Infants Thumb Sucking | The Dental Effects

thumb sucking

It’s totally natural for your infant to suck on his or her thumb or cry for a pacifier, but this is a habit that could adversely affect the health and appearance of your child’s teeth. Check out the information below to learn about when thumb sucking stops being soothing and starts being a problem.

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Millennials and Dental Care - Why They Need It and First Steps

millenials

Millennials are now the largest generation, so you’d think that there would be a lot of dental patients to take care of. But experts are finding that the opposite is true.

Are you a millennial who has been putting off seeing your dentist? Well, you certainly aren’t alone.

Keep reading to learn more about millennials and dental care, including why they need it and how they can take the first steps towards a cleaner, healthier, and more beautiful smile.


Millennials Are Likely to Have Tooth Decay, and Not Even Know It!

According to a study by the American Dental Association (ADA), just 30% of millennials visit their dentist annually. As a result, over 30% of millennials have tooth decay that’s gone untreated. That is the highest percentage for any age group.1 Whoa!

On top of that, 35% of millennials have trouble chewing and biting, while 38% of them have oral problems that make life less satisfying. And tooth pain is the most common complaint amongst individuals in this age group.1

Why are millennials reluctant to go to the dentist regularly? It could be because:

  • Millennials who have dealt with a difficult economy may not be able to find employment and get the income that they need to afford dental care. Of those who are employed and who have health insurance, many do not have a separate dental insurance plan. Therefore, financial concerns are part of the reason why millennials avoid dental appointments.
  • Millennials might be under the impression that, if you don’t feel any mouth pain, you don’t have any oral health issues. However, this is not always the case, as dental problems could advance without causing pain. Regular checkups would pick up on problems in their early stages so that less expensive and less invasive treatments can be provided.
  • Tech-savvy millennials are more likely to look up health issues online and self-diagnose. They may think that they don’t have any oral problems to worry about, even though this may not be the case because those problems could exist without symptoms.
  • The Millennial Generation is more likely to consume beverages that are bad for oral health, such as energy drinks, citrus drinks, and sugary sodas. The acids in these drinks could weaken tooth enamel, while the sugars could lead to cavities.
  • Millennials may not have a clear understanding of the link between overall health and oral health, so they put off taking care of their mouth.

Millennials: You’re Getting Older…

During your 20s and 30s, oral health problems may begin to arise, even if you never had to deal with those issues before. These ailments could include sensitivity to foods and drinks, teeth grinding as a result of stress, TMD (also known as TMJ) that could be the result of teeth grinding, and gum disease.

We know you don’t want to hear it, millennials, but you’re getting older and your body is changing with age, so stepping up your dental care game could help ensure you retain that lovely smile for many years to come.

A Millennial’s First Steps Towards Better Oral Health

Here are some more interesting stats: According to the American Dental Association, one in every three adults between the ages of 18 and 34 are actually reluctant to smile. And one in five millennials have even reduced the amount of time that they spend socializing with others. Why? Because they are already experiencing symptoms, such as tooth pain or inflamed gums, and they are self-conscious. But it gets more serious: 28% of these adults have stated that the way their mouth and teeth look has actually adversely affected their ability to go on job interviews!1 That’s not cool.  

What can you do? Well, in addition to brushing and flossing at home, simply seeing a dentist every six months, or at least every year, will allow you to get the x-rays and exams that you need to pick up on problems and resolve them sooner rather than later. And millennials who don’t have dental insurance can purchase affordable plans to get the care and cleanings that they need to keep their teeth strong and their gums free of disease.

Once millennials realize just how important dental exams are, and once they access the affordable dental insurance that they need, they’ll be on their way to having a pain-free smile that they’ll be ready to show off while socializing with friends or while landing their dream job.

Sources:

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/dianahembree/2017/03/28/why-some-millennials-arent-smiling-bad-teeth-hinder-28-in-job-search/#4fe9ab4a59c6
  2. http://www.firstchoicedental.com/news/first-choice-dental-group-says-millennials-who-avoid-dentist-face-increased-dental-health-risks  
  3. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/life-stages/adult-oral-care/article/ada-06-specific-oral-health-concerns-may-pester-millennials  
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Do Your Teeth Really Need a Lot of Calcium?

calcium

Calcium: you know you need it for strong bones, but do you also need it to keep your teeth strong and clean? It turns out that, yes, you do!

Here’s some information on why your teeth crave calcium, and how this vital nutrient can help you maintain that beautiful smile.

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Sedation Dentistry: A New Remedy for Anxiety

sedation

It’s totally normal to feel anxious when you need to see the dentist. In fact, anxiety in the dentist’s chair is so common that experts have come up with a solution that may be just what you need to feel more at ease, and it’s referred to as sedation dentistry.

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What You Need to Know About Your Wisdom Teeth

wisdom teeth
Wisdom teeth: they’re hard to keep clean, they can grow in at an improper angle and require removal, and they aren’t really necessary. What else should you know about these particular teeth? A few quick facts are waiting for you below.


Why Are They Called “Wisdom” Teeth?

Your wisdom teeth are nothing more than the third molars found on both the upper and lower jaws. They grow in all the way at the back of your mouth and they look like your other molars. So why are they referred to as “wisdom” teeth? Well, it’s for no other reason than the fact that they will typically grow in between the ages of 17 and 21, when you’re supposed to be older and wiser. Would you say that you were wise at that age?

What Can You Expect When Your Wisdom Teeth Grow In?

Growing up, you lost all of your baby teeth and you watched your permanent teeth grow in. Most of the time, you probably didn’t have any discomfort. But this might not be the case with your wisdom teeth, which could end up causing discomfort as they break through the gum line.

Why Do Wisdom Teeth Cause Problems?

Wisdom teeth have certainly earned their bad reputation. For many individuals, the wisdom teeth could be impacted to varying degrees, and they could end up causing pain and other complications. But not everyone will experience problems with their wisdom teeth. For some people, these molars will grow in perfectly fine and straight, and they will serve as an extra set of teeth for chewing.

Hold on, though, don’t get too excited. Even individuals who have straight wisdom teeth could experience problems associated with getting to the back of the mouth and keeping those teeth clean, and that might increase the risk of tooth decay. Not good!

So what’s the point of wisdom teeth if they have such a high potential of causing problems? Experts believe that these extra teeth were more useful to our ancestors, who had larger jaws that could accommodate the teeth more comfortably, and who could use the extra teeth for chewing foods that were tough and raw. Others believe that the wisdom teeth might have also come in handy when our ancestors’ other teeth would decay and fall out. Thankfully, we have modern dental care to take care of our chompers today!

Fun fact: some people will never develop any wisdom teeth, while others may have fewer than four. Perhaps evolution is working on slowly removing them so humans eventually won’t have to deal with them at all anymore? Only time will tell.

What Happens When Wisdom Teeth Don’t Grow in Straight?

If wisdom teeth don’t grow in straight, there is a higher risk of complications, as these molars might end up adversely affecting nearby teeth. Some of the problems that may occur include nerve damage, jaw damage, damage to the adjacent teeth, and crowding of the teeth. A dental x-ray will be able to tell your dentist how your wisdom teeth could be affecting your other teeth, and whether or not removing the wisdom teeth would be the best choice.

What Does It Mean When Wisdom Teeth Are Impacted?

Impacted wisdom teeth aren’t able to completely erupt through your gum line. They could be blocked by other teeth, there might not be enough room for them, or they might be stuck in the jawbone.

Symptoms that may result from impacted wisdom teeth include severe pain and discomfort, as well as infection and inflammation. Impactions might also increase the risk of damage to nearby teeth, as well as damage to the gums and jaw. Wisdom teeth could push your other teeth out of alignment (so much for the braces you endured for years!), and cysts could form around impacted teeth, damaging the nerves within the jaw and causing sinus congestion, pressure, and pain. Yikes!

Here’s a breakdown of the different types of wisdom tooth impactions:

  • Mesioangular Impaction: A mesioangular impaction means that the wisdom tooth is angled forward, facing the front of the mouth. This tooth could potentially end up pushing other teeth out of alignment.
  • Distoangular Impaction: This type of impaction will cause the wisdom tooth to be angled away from the second molar, so it will be tilted towards the back of the mouth.
  • Horizontal Impaction: A horizontal impaction will have the wisdom tooth lying on its side at a 90° angle.
  • Vertical Impaction: When a wisdom tooth is angled correctly but it has not erupted through the gum line appropriately, it is considered a vertical impaction.  

What Are Your Wisdom Teeth Up To?

The best way to know what your wisdom teeth look like, whether they have erupted completely or they haven’t shown up at all, is by seeing your dentist. He or she will be able to take dental x-rays that will reveal everything you need to know about these molars and whether or not you need to have surgery to remove them.

If your wisdom tooth, or teeth, need to be removed, it is highly recommended that you consult with an experienced oral surgeon. The level of difficulty and the risks associated with the surgery will depend upon the type of impaction and the problems that it is causing.

There’s no doubt that wisdom teeth can be a pain—literally—but seeing your dentist regularly and keeping an eye on those molars will help ensure you tackle problems at their earliest stages. And, who knows, you might be one of the lucky people who never have any problems with their wisdom teeth!  

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How to Be Prepared for a Dental Emergency

dental emergency

Have you ever had dreams involving your teeth breaking or falling out? They’re pretty terrifying, right? But what if that happened to you in real life? Would you know what to do?

Being prepared for a dental emergency will help you maintain a clear head throughout the ordeal. You’ll know what steps to take to salvage your tooth (or teeth), and you can act quickly without wasting precious time. So keep reading to learn a few tips on how to be ready if a dental emergency were ever to occur.

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Does Removing Gluten Affect My Dental Health?

gluten

You already know that what you eat can affect the health of your teeth and gums. But when it comes to gluten, in particular, is there anything that you should worry about? Should you be eliminating gluten from your diet for the sake of your teeth, even if you aren’t sensitive to it or you haven’t been diagnosed with celiac disease? We’ve got the answer to this important question below.

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3 Ways to Keep Kids Teeth Healthy This Summer

healthy teeth this summer

Summer is a time to kick back, especially for kids who are on break from school. But it could be easy for children to neglect their dental hygiene habits when they’re waking up late, playing or lounging all day, and letting go of all responsibilities (do you miss being a kid yet?).


As a parent, you know that good dental care has to last all year long to help maintain a beautiful smile. There are a few ways to keep your kids’ teeth healthy throughout the summer, three of which are listed below.

  1. Snack Healthy

Snacks that are commonly enjoyed during the summer could create an acid attack on your kids’ teeth. You certainly don’t want that!

Consider stocking your kitchen with all of the tasty veggies and fruits that the season has to offer so that your kids have healthier options to choose from. Naturally sweet fruits like berries and watermelon are a better choice than ice cream, cookies, and sugary ice pops.

When it comes to staying hydrated, your kids might want to reach for a glass of soda, iced tea, lemonade, or fruit juice, but these can also be acidic and loaded with damaging sugars. Encourage your kids to quench their thirst with pure, refreshing water so that they can take an extra daily step towards keeping their teeth and gums clean and happy.

Heading out for a long trip to a vacation destination? Travel smart by packing healthy snacks like pears, carrots, tomatoes, and sunflower seeds, while avoiding starchy carbs like crackers and chips.       

  1. Don’t Take a Vacation from Your Dental Care Routine

When your schedule is erratic or you are traveling during the summer, it could be easy to fall off your dental care track, whether you are an adult or a kid. Packing travel sized toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash might help your entire family stay on course.

If your family stops at a rest area while driving to your destination, consider using that time as an opportunity to brush your teeth at least twice a day so you don’t skip a beat. Or maybe you can use the bathroom at the airport if your flight was delayed. And once you get to your hotel, try to maintain a morning and nighttime brushing and flossing routine that your kids can follow just like they do when they’re at home.

  1. Plan for Emergencies (Hey, You Never Know)

Summertime is for swimming, hiking, biking, and loads of other fun activities that will keep your kids active and entertained. But these physical activities may increase the risk of dental injuries and emergencies.

To help keep your kids’ teeth safe, being prepared and taking precautions is key. As an example, you can teach your children to be careful when they’re diving into pools or walking on a slippery deck. An accident could cause them to lose or break a tooth—talk about a ruined summer vacation!

If your child does get hurt, head to a dentist as soon as possible after cleaning the mouth with warm water and applying a cold pack to reduce as much swelling as possible. Gauze can also be used to inhibit or stop bleeding. And if a permanent tooth was knocked out, keep it moist in milk, saliva, or water on the way to the dentist if you are unable to place it back in the mouth. Try to stay calm; we know how scary these emergencies can be, but you got this!

Summer: A Great Time to See a Dentist!

Because the kids are off from school, summer is also a fantastic time to take them to the dentist for their routine checkup and cleaning. Besides, who wants to deal with a toothache when they’re on vacation, right?

Sticking to a schedule at home, away from home, and at the dentist’s office could help keep your kids’ teeth sparkling and strong. And when September rolls around, they’ll be ready to head back to school with a healthy smile.

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Gum Facts - The Sticky Truth

gum facts

Do you like to chew gum just about every day? Before you grab that next piece, keep reading for a few sticky truths about chewing gum and whether or not it is actually a good thing for your pearly whites.


Chewing and Your Jaw Health

TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) is a painful condition that can be brought about by a wide range of factors. Chewing gum happens to be one of them.

Basically, when you chew gum, you could be putting stress on your jaw, and that might increase your risk of jaw problems. If you have symptoms like discomfort in your jaw, or you hear clicking or popping sounds when you open and close your mouth, it’s probably best to avoid chewing gum, as it may make the problem worse. Also consider consulting your dentist, who can help you find the cause of your jaw ailments and provide you with treatment options.

Gum and Fillings Don’t Always Mix

So this one is pretty scary. If you chew gum a lot, and you have dental fillings, you may want to ditch the habit. Researchers have determined that individuals who have amalgam (mercury) fillings and chew gum for hours every day also have greater amounts of mercury in their urine and blood. Whoa!

How you ask? Chewing gum could cause mercury vapor from the fillings to be released, allowing it to get into your blood. Considering the toxicity of mercury, you certainly don’t want it coming out of your fillings and getting into the rest of your body.

Sugary Gums Are a Big No-No

If you are chewing gum that contains sugar, you might be putting the health of your teeth and gums at risk. Why? Because bacteria can thrive on the sugar, and that could lead to the formation of yucky, sticky plaque, which can then harden into damaging tartar.

Here’s what else might happen when you chew sugary gum too often: the enamel of your teeth may become damaged, you may develop cavities, and your risk of gum disease may increase as well. In other words, if you are chewing on sugar-loaded gum, you are basically feeding the bacteria that can be detrimental to your overall oral health.

Minty Gum to Freshen Breath? Think Again

A lot of people reach for a piece of minty gum when they want to freshen their breath. But, again, if the gum contains a lot of sugar, you could actually be doing more harm than good. Plus, because that sugar could feed the bacteria in your mouth, it might cause your bad breath to become even worse! Consider putting the gum down and picking up a sugar-free mint instead.

If You Must Chew Gum…

Occasionally chewing sugar-free gum may actually be beneficial to your teeth and gums because it could help boost saliva production, which could help remove food particles from throughout the mouth while neutralizing acid. The ADA has recommended chewing sugar-free gum for about 20 minutes after a meal, as studies indicate that doing so might help reduce the risk of tooth decay.

Some research has indicated that chewing gum that contains xylitol may help to reduce bacteria that could lead to cavities. But the jury is still out on whether this natural sugar substitute provides any extra benefits compared with your regular sugar-free varieties, so dental experts recommend sticking with sugarless gums instead. You can even find products that have the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance, making shopping for your gum a no-brainer.

Now You’re Armed with the Truth!

Simply being aware of the potentially harmful effects of gum, as well as how to avoid them, could help you keep your teeth strong and healthy. Knowledge is power! But nothing can replace a trip to the dentist, so be sure to schedule your annual checkups and cleanings (you get three cleanings per year with every Spirit dental plan!) to be sure your entire mouth is in tiptop shape.

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Just the Facts: TMJ Syndrome

tmj syndrome

TMJ is short for temporomandibular joint disorder, which is also referred to as TMD (but what’s in a name, right?). This disorder affects the—you guessed it—temporomandibular joint, which is the hinge that connects the bones of the skull with the jaw. You can locate this joint in the front of each of your ears, as it allows you to move the jaw side to side, forward and backward, and up and down with ease when you open your mouth to speak and chew.

Below are a few of the main facts about TMJ syndrome so you can develop a better understanding of it.

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Summer Recipes That Are Mouth Approved

summer recipes

Summer has arrived, which means it’s time to indulge in some sweet, cooling recipes. But not all summer treats will be good at maintaining the health of your pearly whites, so we’ve compiled a short list of a few summer recipes that are mouth approved.


Treat Yourself to the Fresh Fruits of the Season

One of the best aspects of summer is the fact that so many delicious fruits are in season. And the right raw fruits can even help to keep your teeth clean in between daily brushings.

  • Pears and apples are great choices because they are fibrous and could help to naturally stimulate the production of saliva in your mouth. And pears also have the ability to neutralize acid on the surface of your teeth!

A salad that combines pears and apples, along with other fruits, such as grapes, peaches, berries, and watermelon, is a yummy and simple way to enjoy a refreshing breakfast or snack that will keep your entire mouth happy. Plus, it’s a good way to satisfy your cravings for sweets without having candy or high amounts of sugar.

Keep It Healthy on the Grill

Grilling is one of the many pleasures of the summer season, but when you head outside to cook this year, consider using ingredients that could help keep your teeth strong and beautiful.

  • Veggie burgers can provide nutrients that could help to protect your teeth. For example, combining black beans and rice in a veggie burger will provide your body with phosphorus and vitamin B3, which support the health of your gums and tooth enamel.

Start by cooking up ½ cup of brown rice with about 1 teaspoon of salt for flavor. Then mash up a can of black beans (remove the liquid first) in a mixing bowl. Using a food processor, you can quickly mince a small onion, ½ of a green pepper, and 3 cloves of garlic. Add this to your black beans. Then, in another bowl, beat 1 egg before adding in 1 tablespoon each of chili powder, pepper, salt, hot sauce, and cumin. Pour this egg mix, along with your brown rice, into the bowl with your black beans and veggies so that you can mix it all until it’s thick enough to form patties. Cook up the patties and serve however you prefer.1 Yum!

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth Without Damaging It

Summer is also the perfect time to try out some new dessert recipes, especially with all of the parties that you’ll likely be attending. But that doesn’t mean that you have to expose your teeth to the sugar that could damage them.

  • Xylitol can be used as a sweetener in place of sugar in your favorite cookie recipes. This ingredient could help prevent decay by reducing the growth of bacteria that could lead to cavities. Try it in homemade almond cookies:

Cream 2 cups of coconut oil and 1½ cups of xylitol, and then add in 2 eggs and beat the mixture well. Beat in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons of almond extract, and 1 teaspoon of maple extract. Then combine 4 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar, and 2 teaspoons of baking soda before adding this to your creamed mix. Line a baking sheet with tablespoonfuls set a couple of inches apart, place an almond in the middle of each, and bake for 12 minutes at 350°F.2

  • What’s summer without ice cream? Making ice cream at home, using natural ingredients without added sugar, is the best way to indulge while keeping the health of your teeth and gums in mind.

This recipe is so simple, it might surprise you. All you have to do is take 3 ripe bananas, peel them, cut them into slices, freeze them for about 2 hours, and then put them into a blender under they are creamy. If you want, you can even add in extra flavors like dark chocolate, berries, or peanut butter, but these could add a bit of sugar to the mix, so try using only small amounts.3

Refreshing Drinks That Won’t Contribute to Decay

What you drink can impact the health of your teeth, but the right beverages can be refreshing without contributing to the development of cavities. So the next time that you’re entertaining at your backyard barbecue or just enjoying some relaxing time with your friends, try out the following tooth-friendly recipes:

  • Rather than sweetened lemonade or juices, consider sticking with infused water, which you can make right at home. This is an ideal alternative to sugary sports drinks and sodas, and it is also super hydrating—perfect for those hot days that make you sweat. Just avoid using citrus fruits, whose acid can be harsh on your chompers.

Try infusing blackberry and kiwi by adding the berries and sliced kiwi to a bottle filled with cool water. Then just let the mix sit in your refrigerator for several hours as the flavors of the fruits make their way into the water (the longer, the better).4

  • Instead of drinking iced black tea or coffee, opt for green tea this summer. The caffeine could give you a boost of energy, the antioxidants could help protect your overall health, and the light color means it will not stain your teeth like dark drinks can.

To make your green tea even more flavorful and invigorating on hot and humid days, add some honey, mint, or lemon to your cup.

Enjoy Summer Flavors, but Don’t Forget Your Dentist!

Once the summer rolls around, you might realize that it’s also time to see your dentist again. Getting a checkup once or twice a year is highly recommended, regardless of what you eat every day, in order to ensure your teeth and gums are in tiptop shape. And with a Spirit Dental plan, you can even take some time out this summer to get one of your three annual cleanings so you can have a smile that shines like the sun!

Sources:

  1. https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/black-bean-rice-burgers.html
  1. https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/almond-cookies.html
  1. https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/banana-ice-cream.html
  1. http://helloglow.co/infused-water-ideas/
  1. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/teeth-whitening/article/does-tea-stain-teeth-0313
  1. https://www.newbergcommunitydental.com/best-summer-foods-for-your-teeth/
  1. http://drlordo.com/blog/5-summer-foods-great-oral-health/
  1. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/summer-entertaining
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Expert Teeth Brushing Techniques

expert brushing

You might think that your oral hygiene routine is doing its job, but in reality, you might be missing the mark. Improper brushing could make you more susceptible to dental decay and gingivitis. So, to be sure that you’re getting the very best clean every time you brush your teeth, follow the expert techniques and tips below.

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Dentistry Through the Ages

dentistry through the ages

Like other medical fields, the world of dentistry has changed dramatically through the ages. To discover just how much a trip to the dentist has evolved, check out the timeline below.

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Top Facts about Men’s Oral Health

top facts men

Below are just a few of the things that you should know if you’re a man and you want to keep your mouth in tiptop shape, your smile bright, and your teeth strong as you age.

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Dental Implants: Do or Don't?

dental implants

When confronted with the option of getting a dental implant, you might wonder if it’s worth going through with this procedure. After all, getting an implant will take time, and it could be expensive if you don’t have the right insurance plan in place.

To help you make the right choice, we’ve compiled some information on the benefits, as well as the risks, that are associated with dental implants.


Here’s Why You Should Go for a Dental Implant

The biggest reason why you should get a dental implant: everything that could happen if you don’t get one.

Basically, after you lose a tooth, bone loss within the jaw where the tooth once was could develop in as little as one year. The longer you wait to get an implant, the more bone loss could occur, and you might even need to get a bone graft to replace the missing bone if you do decide to finally get an implant later on. So if you are missing a tooth, getting a dental implant sooner rather than later is recommended. Plus, if you thought a dental implant was bad, a bone graft is more expensive and more painful.  

Failing to replace a tooth that’s missing could even cause the adjacent teeth to become damaged or move out of alignment. The more time that passes, the more you increase your risk of the teeth shifting so much that there may not be enough space for the implant. Or you might end up experiencing problems with your bite as the adjacent teeth shift, and you might develop temporomandibular joint pain, also known as TMD. What a difference one tooth can make! But it doesn’t even end there. You might also need to get orthodontics, such as braces, to realign your teeth. And who wants braces as an adult!?

Ultimately, the more you postpone getting a dental implant to replace a missing tooth, the greater the odds will be of additional problems and the need for costly, painful, and time-consuming procedures to fix those problems.

A Few of the Benefits Associated with Dental Implants

Still not sure whether or not a dental implant is the way to go for the health of your teeth and gums? Here are a few of the main benefits that an implant could provide:

  • Dental implants look, feel, and act just like your natural teeth, giving you a complete and beautiful smile, and making chewing easy. You won’t even know the implant is there!
  • Unlike dentures, which could be uncomfortable and inconvenient, a dental implant becomes a permanent fixture in your mouth.
  • A dental implant replaces the tooth above and below the gum line, protecting the jaw.
  • Unlike dental bridges, your other teeth don’t need to be altered when a dental implant is set into place.
  • You can take care of a dental implant just like the rest of your teeth: brush, floss, rinse, and see your dentist for checkups and cleanings. Easy!
  • Generally, there is a 98% success rate associated with dental implants, according to WebMD. Pretty great, right?

But Here Are Some Risks to Consider

As is the case with any other dental surgery, there are some risks involved with getting an implant, even though complications are rare. Also, if problems arise from a dental implant, they are typically easy to treat and minor in severity.

Some of the potential risks of getting a dental implant include:

  • Infection at the site of the implant
  • Nerve damage
  • Sinus problems
  • Damage to nearby structures, such as blood vessels or other teeth

Working with a dental professional who is experienced in placing implants will help reduce these risks.

The Verdict?

Oral health professionals highly recommend dental implants for one or more missing teeth. And if you are concerned about the cost, you can rest assured that, with the right dental plan from Spirit, your implant will be covered.*

So if your dentist has suggested getting an implant, consider the benefits that this one procedure can provide for the long-term health of your smile.

*Missing teeth prior to coverage are not covered by Spirit plans.

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What to Know Before Your First Root Canal

root canal

So your dentist has uttered that terrible phrase that you never want to hear: “You need a root canal.” And if this is your first root canal ever, you probably have a ton of questions running through your mind, combined with a lot of fear regarding the pain that you might have to endure. Well, we’re here to put your mind at ease.

Below are a few of the things that you should know prior to getting your first root canal. Hopefully this information will help you prepare for this common dental procedure so it won’t be so scary after all.

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5 Natural Remedies for Toothaches

natural remedies

A toothache is a sign that something is wrong, so seeing your dentist is necessary. But there are some natural remedies that you can try until your appointment. Below are five at-home tricks that might bring you some much-needed relief.

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