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If you’re the type to make resolutions for the new year, take this opportunity to pledge to care for your smile in 2017! This is a great time for you to recommit to your dentist-recommended oral hygiene routine. Our O’Fallon dentists are here with some suggestions on how to maintain your teeth and gums this year.

Brushing your teeth helps to keep your smile looking clean and bright, and helps to prevent cavities and gum disease.

· Make sure that you’re brushing morning and night

· Use a toothbrush that is appropriate for you—most people should be using soft bristled toothbrushes—talk to your dentist if you are unsure

· Brush your smile for at least two minutes every time that you brush

· Use gentle circular motions to buff away plaque—too much pressure can actually cause enamel or gum tissue damage

Many people don’t take the time to floss as recommended, but this is a mistake!

· The American Dental Association recommends that patients floss once a day

· The best time to floss your smile is right before you brush your teeth at night

· Make sure that you are flossing between all of your teeth, and that you’re moving your piece of floss all the way down into your gum tissue

There are also some simple habits that you can incorporate into your daily routine in order to refresh your smile:

· Rinse your mouth with water after meals

· Make sure that you are drinking enough water every day, as this enables your body to produce oral-health-boosting saliva

· Don’t use abrasive toothpicks to clean between your teeth—if you need to dislodge a piece of food, do so using gentle floss

Our O’Fallon dentists can give you more information about caring for your smile at home. Please feel free to call our office to speak to a member of our team and schedule your consultation!

Protecting your smile over the long-term means being thoughtful about the types of substances you allow to sit on your teeth. Different types of foods and drinks can lead to damage and discoloration over time. In this short article, our O’Fallon dentists are giving you some more information about how various substances may affect your smile.

Tobacco Products

Let’s get this out of the way first—all tobacco products are bad for your smile, and will negatively affect your teeth over time. When you use tobacco products, you are an increased risk of suffering from gum disease, tooth loss, and jawbone tissue deterioration. Tobacco decreases the blood flow to your oral tissues, and make it difficult for your mouth to fight infections and heal. Plus, tobacco products cause dental enamel staining—so your smile will start to look yellow and dark over time.

Acidic Substances

There are a number of very popular foods and drinks that are quite acidic: soft drinks, coffee, wine, fruit juices, citrus fruits, and more. When your dental enamel is exposed to these acidic things, it softens and becomes more prone to erosion. So, make sure that you do not brush your teeth for at least twenty to thirty minutes after consuming something acidic. You can also rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking to help neutralize acid.

Hard Foods

Many people make the mistake of chomping on hard candies, mints, and ice. These substances are too hard for your dental enamel to handle, and chewing on these things regularly can cause small cracks and chip in the dental enamel. Often, these cracks are so small that they are not visible to the naked eye, but these weak spots become prime spots for bacteria to accumulate.

If you have questions about how to protect your smile day to day, please feel free to contact our O’Fallon dentists for more information!

Sedation dentistry has transformed the dental experience for many different types of dental patients. If you have been considering whether sedation treatment may be right for you, our O’Fallon dentists are here with some more information. Keep reading to get the scoop on this exciting development in dentistry.

The purpose of sedation treatment is to keep the patient calm and comfortable throughout the treatment process. People use sedation because:

· They suffer from dental anxiety that prevents them from even getting into the dentist’s chair in the first place

· They are prone to pain and sensitivity during treatment

· They are undergoing complex or multi-phased dental treatment. Sedation can actually enable our dental team to complete more dental treatments in a single appointment, because the patient does not become as fatigued and stressed in the dentist’s chair

One of the tried and true sedation treatments is laughing gas, or nitrous oxide. This type of sedation is inhaled by the patient during the appointment. As a result of nitrous inhalation, the patient starts to feel clam, spaced out, and even a little giggly. Nitrous oxide never renders the patient unconscious, and the effects wear off naturally post-treatment.

A recent and very useful development in relaxation treatment is oral conscious sedation. Oral conscious sedation requires the patient to take a small pill about an hour before they come in for treatment. This sedative helps the patient feel calm right away (so keep in mind that you will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment). Oral conscious sedation has amnesic effects, so you likely won’t remember any of the treatment process after it is complete. However, you will technically be conscious and able to respond to our dental team throughout your appointment.

Don’t let fear, anxiety, or dental sensitivity keep you from getting the high-quality restorative and preventive treatments that you need. Our O’Fallon sedation dentists are here to answer any questions you may have—give us a call to get started!

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