Posts for category: Oral Health
With cosmetic dentistry enjoying something of a golden era, it can be easy to focus almost exclusively on how our teeth look. But overlooking the basics, like preventing tooth decay and gum disease, can seriously impact our oral health, which in turn causes many of the most common cosmetic problems, like staining, discoloration and tooth loss. And while the cosmetic appearance of our teeth is certainly important, it does not have to come at the expense of our periodontal health. Dr. Jeffrey R. Wert & Associates - Family Dentistry in Pocono, PA, realize family and cosmetic dentistry work hand in hand to make sure that teeth and gums are as healthy and attractive as possible.
Family Dentistry in Pocono
The dentists at Pocono, PA, based group dental practice Dr. Jeffrey R. Wert & Associates - Family Dentistry recommend bi-yearly oral exams and professional dental cleanings starting from childhood, to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease in the future.
What is Family Dentistry?
General/family dentistry encompasses prevention and treatment of oral health problems, ranging from mild gingivitis to full blown periodontal disease. Even with daily brushing and flossing at home, residual oral bacteria can collect between the teeth and under the gums, eventually hardening into the tartar and plaque that lead to gum bleeding (a sign of gingivitis), and full-blown gum disease.
In addition to prevention, family dentists also provide essential dental services:
- Check-ups and oral cancer screenings
- Professional dental cleanings
- Diagnosis and treatment of tooth decay and cavities
- Root canal
- Dental restorations
- Dental implants
- Oral surgery (bone and gum grafts)
- Sedation dentistry
- Sealants (for pediatric patients)
- Orthodontics (braces and Invisalign clear aligner trays)
Whether you regularly visit the dentist twice a year or have been skipping dental treatment for some time, a family dentist is the first stop on the road to a healthy, beautiful smile at any age.
Find a Family Dentist in Pocono, PA
For more information on how to maintain healthy teeth and gums, contact the office of Dr. Jeffrey R. Wert & Associates - Family Dentistry by calling (570) 629-1570 to schedule an appointment with a dentist today.
The good and the bad foods for your smile
There are so many foods to choose from, it’s difficult to know what is good for your body and what might be doing more harm than good. When you consider your diet, don’t forget to include the needs of your teeth and your smile. Your Pocono cosmetic dentists at Dr. Jeffrey R. Wert and Associates, serving Pocono and Tannersville, Pennsylvania, want you to know what foods can enhance, or detract from your smile.
The dentists at Dr. Jeffrey R. Wert and Associates, serving Pocono and Tannersville, want you to know which foods are good for your smile. These foods can help keep your smile healthy, according to the American Dental Association:
- Yogurt is good for your teeth and your bones because it is high in protein and calcium, both of which make your tooth enamel and bones stronger. The millions of good bacteria in yogurt also keep your oral bacteria healthy. When you buy yogurt, always check how much sugar it contains, and buy the yogurt with the lowest sugar content.
- Cheese is also good for your smile because it raises the pH in your mouth, which can lower your risk of tooth decay. It also increases how much saliva you produce, and saliva can help protect your teeth from stomach acid. Like yogurt, cheese is another food high in protein and calcium to strengthen your teeth and bones.
- Leafy, green vegetables, and almonds also are an excellent source of calcium, which helps to strengthen tooth enamel.
When you chew celery and apples, the friction from chewing cleans your teeth of food particles and increases circulation to your gums and soft tissue. When you eat carrots, they increase your flow of saliva and rinse your mouth of food particles.
Now that you know the good foods, it’s time to talk about the bad foods. Your Pocono cosmetic dentists at Dr. Jeffrey R. Wert and Associates want you to know which foods can lead to tooth decay and erosion of dental enamel. Generally, you should avoid sugar, especially in liquid form, and also limit highly acidic foods like these:
- Citrus fruits and juices
- Chewy or hard candy
- Soda and sports drinks
What you eat does affect your whole body, including your teeth. If you eat healthy foods, you and your smile will benefit. Your Pocono cosmetic dentists at Dr. Jeffrey R. Wert and Associates want to help you establish a healthy diet and healthy habits, to ensure you have a beautiful smile for life. To find out more about how diet affects you and your smile, visit your Pocono cosmetic dentists at Dr. Jeffrey R. Wert and Associates in Pocono and Tannersville, Pennsylvania. Call today!
The Three “C’s” to a Relaxing and Informative Dental Appointment
Dr. Jeffrey Wert believes that his patients should use the three “C’s” when communicating with him. The three “C’s” are: communicate your concerns, come back for annual visits and continue improving on oral hygiene. If Pocono dental patients utilize this technique, they are sure to experience super oral hygiene and a well-informed, stress-free dental visit.
Communicate Your Concerns
Dr. Wert values patient relationships and makes it his priority to keep your dental visit relaxed and successful, according to your needs. Communicating any concerns with Dr. Wert before the appointment is crucial in ensuring the proper care is provided. If you experience mouth, tooth or gum pain, be specific on where the pain is coming from and how often the pain bothers you. Knowing this can allow the dentist to help diagnose the problem and get it fixed as quickly as possible.
Come Back for Annual Visits
You should visit the dentist at least two times a year for annual cleanings and check-ups. Seeing the dentist regularly is very important, not just for the health of your mouth, but also for your overall health. If you do not visit the dentist, you may be putting your health at risk. Research suggests that the health of your mouth is a reflection on the condition of your whole body. In fact, 90% of all systematic diseases have oral manifestations (swollen gums, dry mouth, mouth sores, etc.).
Continue Improving Oral Hygiene
Staying consistent with your oral hygiene regimen outside of the dental office is important as well. Listed below are some tips for ensuring you continue improving at-home preventative care:
- Get into the routine of brushing and flossing. Brush twice a day, and floss at least once.
- Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and replace the brush every 3-4 months.
- Use fluoride toothpaste.
- Brush the surfaces of each tooth.
- Brush your tongue from back to front.
- Limit sugary snacks.
- Avoid tobacco use.
Taking care of your mouth is easy, just follow the 3 “C’s” and you will have no stress about the dentist or oral hygiene. For more information on our services, as well as information on oral hygiene, contact our Pocono area dentist office today at (570) 629-1570.
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease (from the roots for “around” and “tooth”) starts with redness and inflammation, progresses to infection, and can lead to progressive loss of attachment between the fibers that connect the bone and gum tissues to your teeth, ultimately causing loss of teeth. Here are some ways to assess your risk for gum disease.
Your risk for developing periodontal disease is higher if:
- You are over 40.
Studies have shown that periodontal disease and tooth loss correlate with aging. The longer plaque (a film of bacteria that collects on your teeth and gums) is allowed to stay in contact with your gums, the more you are at risk for periodontal disease. This means that brushing and flossing to remove plaque is important throughout your lifetime. To make sure you are removing plaque effectively, come into our office for an evaluation of your brushing and flossing techniques.
- You have a family history of gum disease.
If gum disease seems to “run in your family,” you may be genetically predisposed to having this disease. Your vulnerability or resistance to gum disease is influenced by genetics. The problem with this assessment is that if your parents were never treated for gum disease or lacked proper instruction in preventative strategies and care, their susceptibility to the disease is difficult to accurately quantify.
- You smoke or chew tobacco.
Here's more bad news for smokers. If you smoke or chew tobacco you are at much greater risk for the development and progression of periodontal disease. Smokers' teeth tend to have more plaque and tartar while also having them form more quickly.
- You are a woman.
Hormonal fluctuations during a woman's lifetime tend to make her more susceptible to gum disease than men, even if she takes good care of her teeth.
- You have ongoing health conditions such as heart disease, respiratory disease, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, high stress, or diabetes.
Research has shown a connection between these conditions and periodontal disease. The bacteria can pass into the blood stream and move to other parts of the body. Gum disease has also been connected with premature birth and low birth weight in babies.
- Your gums bleed when you brush or floss.
Healthy gums do not bleed. If yours do, you may already have the beginnings of gum disease.
- You are getting “long in the tooth.”
If your teeth appear longer, you may have advancing gum disease. This means that infection has caused your gum tissue to recede away from your teeth.
- Your teeth have been getting loose.
Advancing gum disease results in greater bone loss that is needed to support and hold your teeth in place. Loose teeth are a sign that you have a serious problem with periodontal disease.
Even with indications of serious periodontal disease, it can still be stopped. Make an appointment with us today to assess your risks. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Assessing Risk for Gum Disease.”
Cleaning dentures is an important part of wearing them. However, did you know that recent research has revealed a link between denture hygiene and overall health? The evidence shows that oral bacteria have been implicated in chronic obstructive pulmonary (lung) disease, bacterial endocarditis (“endo” – inside; “card” – heart), generalized infections of the respiratory tract and other systemic diseases. While it is never our intent to frighten you, we feel it is important that we share some important tips on maintaining and caring for your dentures so that your oral health does not negatively impact your general health.
Our first tip focuses on fit, as denture slippage is an experience that anyone who wears dentures dreads. So if your dentures seem to slip or you have started increasing the amount of adhesive you are using to achieve the same level of denture retention that you had when first fitted, you need to make an appointment with us soon. Otherwise, an ill-fitting denture can cause discomfort, embarrassment and contribute to other oral health issues.
Next, we must focus on cleaning your dentures. It is critical that you clean your dentures daily. However, you should never use harmful or abrasive cleansers. Nor should you ever place your dentures into boiling water! The best method for cleaning is to soak them daily in a non-abrasive denture cleaner. And when you remove them, gently brush them with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Our last tip concerns how long you wear your dentures each day. Even if your dentures are extremely comfortable — for example, you forget they are in — you should not wear them 24 hours a day. Why? Because you will develop a chronic yeast infection called, “denture stomatitis” due to stagnation that develops under dentures when the lubricating and antibacterial effects of saliva are impeded. Unfortunately, the constant pressure on the gum tissues caused by wearing dentures can accelerate jawbone loss over time. Give your mouth and tissues a rest by sleeping without your dentures in your mouth.