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To Choose, or Not to Choose the Toothbrush

shutterstock_206881837How much thought goes into choosing your toothbrush? Chances are your choice was based on price and color, but what about the health and well being of your mouth? Did you think about that?
Toothbrushes should be replaced every three months, after you have been sick, or when they start to show wear.  This means at least four times a year you will find yourself in the toothbrush isle faced with the decision of what type of toothbrush to purchase.
So what should you consider when selecting a toothbrush? Bristles, the shape of the head, and the handle are all important factors.
Soft bristles are often the best choice because they are best at removing plaque from your teeth, while staying gentle and not damaging the gum line.
The shape of the toothbrush head can be important as well. A small toothbrush head allows you to navigate better and reach further back in your mouth, where plaque is hiding. It also proves to be less invasive for those prone to gagging.
Additionally, a nonslip flexible handle can ease the process. It will also allow you to cover more surface area without the risk of slipping and harming the inside of your mouth.
Next time you find yourself in the toothbrush isle, be sure to consider the head, handle, and bristles of the brush as well. If you have any other questions, please give me a call today at 907-276-5522.  

Gingivitis and Your Overall Health

dentist AnchorageDid you know that the health of your mouth could affect your overall wellbeing? In the last decade, research has consistently shown that oral health is linked to a number of systemic conditions—especially in conjunction with periodontal disease. Gum disease, a common dental condition, has been linked to cardiovascular problems, diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s. Our experienced dentist explains.

An Overview of Gum Disease

The onset of gum disease is difficult to detect; in fact, many patients do not experience noticeable symptoms at first. Gingivitis involves the beginning stages of periodontal disease, where the gums become irritated by plaque and tartar buildup. Plaque is a sticky and slightly translucent substance that coats teeth and gums. Filled with bacteria, when plaque is not removed by brushing and flossing, it will inflame the gums. As plaque builds up and hardens into calculus, the condition will worsen without professional treatment and prophylaxis. Advanced gum disease is a destructive condition that is capable of eroding bone and soft tissues. It is also the leading cause of tooth loss in adulthood.

The Connection between Gum Disease and Overall Health

Gum disease can increase a patient’s risks for heart disease and immune impairment. The link between oral health and overall health is two-fold. For example, diabetics are more susceptible to gum disease and those with gum disease hold a higher risk for developing diabetes. When gingivitis advances, the gums are systemically infected. This infection could potentially reach a patient’s blood stream and cause further health complications.

Preventing Gum Disease

The best ways to prevent gum disease are to commit to visiting your dentist regularly for dental checkups and cleanings and to adopt a thorough oral hygiene routine. Dental cleanings are important for removing tartar, which cannot be removed by brushing and flossing, while checkups can detect gum disease at its earliest stages. Patients should brush their teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day, preferably at night.

To learn more about protecting your health, feel free to bring up any questions you may have at your next visit to our office. To schedule an appointment, call our friendly team today.

Innovative Alternatives to Braces

shutterstock_197324459We understand the importance of a healthy bite structure and the aesthetic appeal of brilliantly straight teeth. We also understand the financial and physical pain of braces (snapping rubberbands and food stuck in your brackets is never fun).

Therefore, Dr. Mandanas has teamed up with Ortho-Tain® and Six Month Smiles® in order to offer our customers alternatives to traditional braces.

Ortho-Tain®

What differentiates Ortho-Tain® from metal braces is that the appliance is the only removable orthodontic appliance approved by the FDA to correct both functional and aesthetic issues regarding your teeth. Ortho- Tain® can even correct overbites, buck teeth, crowding, spacing, TMJ disorders, and malocclusion, all at a lower more affordable price than traditional braces.

Six Month Smiles®

Six Month Smiles® is designed for those who wish for a short-term orthodontic solution. The use of clear brackets and wires that match the shade of your teeth, serves to be less noticeable than traditional braces in a manner that is more comfortable and conservative. Results can be obtained in approximately six months.

Are you interested in any of these new and impactful treatments? If so, give us a call today at (907) 276-5522.

What is considered a dental emergency?

dentist AnchorageSometimes, patients encounter dental problems that require urgent attention, such as facial trauma that damages or even knocks loose a tooth or a severe toothache that causes significant discomfort. A broken dental appliance may also warrant immediate assistance. An abscess, which is an infection around the tooth’s root or between the tooth and the gums, is another cause for concern, as the infection can easily spread throughout the body, threatening the patient’s overall health. Abscesses also tend to be quite painful.

Any such situation may be considered a dental emergency.

In cases of a dental emergency, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible. Most dentists have some flexibility in their schedules to accommodate same-day appointments for patients who are affected by a dental emergency. In some cases, the dentist may recommend that the patient go to the emergency room and then schedule a follow-up appointment with the dentist for any additional treatment that may be necessary. 

In cases of a dental emergency, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible.

Although dentists may accept brand new patients with dental emergencies, it is preferable to have an existing relationship with a dentist so that if you do find yourself in need of urgent dental care, the dentist will already be familiar with your case.

Your dentist will schedule an appointment with you as soon as possible, but there still may be a short period of time when you are waiting to be seen.

As such, patients should also be prepared to take necessary steps to address the situation while they are waiting for their appointment. For example, when a tooth has been knocked out, it can be stored in a container of milk or in a growth medium like Save-a-Tooth until the patient gets to the dentist. A lost filling can be replaced with dental cement or even sugar-free gum, in a pinch. Dental pain can often be managed for a short-time with over-the-counter painkillers.

It’s best to be prepared by both having your dentist’s phone number handy and compiling a dental emergency kit to keep at home. For additional tips, contact the office of Dr. Owen C. Mandanas at 907-276-5522 today.

Teeth Whitening: Is it Really Possible to Have a Brighter Smile?

As you get older, you may notice that your “pearly whites” aren’t quite as white as they used to be. Coffee, tea, red wine—they all leave a mark on your teeth, and as long as you continue to consume your favorite beverages, your teeth will only become more stained. However, it truly is possible to have a brighter smile thanks to teeth whitening options available through your dentist.

One popular teeth whitening procedure is in-office laser whitening. A hydrogen peroxide bleaching solution is applied to the surface of the teeth, and laser energy activates it, thus accelerating the whitening process. As a result, you can have whiter teeth in under an hour.

 The benefit of laser whitening is that your teeth can become several shades lighter quickly and conveniently.

The benefit of laser whitening is that your teeth can become several shades lighter quickly and conveniently. In addition, in-office laser whitening is comfortable and safe, as only a licensed dentist can administer it, thus guaranteeing you the best results. Your dentist will also provide you with complete aftercare instructions so that you can keep your teeth looking white.

If you prefer teeth whitening in the comfort of your own home, then Opalescence take-home whitening is a fitting choice for you. This system is only available through your dentist and is ideal if you want a variety of whitening options—such as choosing to wear the gel for just 30 minutes a day or all night. The solution also comes in different flavors.

With Opalescence take-home whitening, you can get professional results in a customized, quick and efficient way. The gel features fluoride, which helps to guard your teeth against cavities as well. It also contains potassium nitrate, which reduces tooth sensitivity. As a result, this teeth whitening system not only whitens your smile but also actually makes your teeth healthier.

Whether it’s in the workplace, at church or in social groups, your smile says a lot about you. Make sure it’s making the kind of statement you want it to make. Contact the office of Dr. Owen C. Mandanas today to find out how we can help make your teeth brighter than ever before.

Dental Implants: A great solution to long-term issues

No one wants to just let their oral health slide downhill. Life happens, throwing curveballs that can leave us without enough options or information to protect our smiles. The result can be extensive dental diseases, tooth loss, or insufficient restorations.

While these situations are sometimes unavoidable, it is recommended that you take the appropriate steps to correct the damage as soon as you are able. For example, no matter the reason for your missing teeth, your dentist can offer dental implants as a solution that will enable you to avoid the long-term issues associated with tooth-loss.

The damage to your self-confidence is perhaps the most common long-term result of tooth loss. The change in the way that you look and feel can hit you harder than you might expect, and it’s a feeling that can be difficult to overcome. Many patients find that they are still self-conscious about their smiles even after they have chosen to have their teeth fixed! It’s an emotional issue that many patients greatly underestimate.

The structural deficiency that comes with missing teeth is best resolved with dental implants. In terms of risk vs. benefit, implants only strengthen your smile without compromising it in any way. The neighboring teeth will benefit from the additional support, and the jawbone will be stimulated by the presence of the artificial tooth root. No other tooth replacement features a replacement tooth root which transmits the natural sensations of chewing every time that you enjoy a meal.

Finally, even one missing tooth can result in a significant loss of chewing capacity. Each top tooth must be evenly paired with a lower tooth in order to process the foods that we eat. Without that dynamic relationship, the limited food choices and the reduction in chewing efficiency can have a long-term negative impact on your digestion and your nutrition.

For help in choosing the right solution to the long-term issues of tooth loss, contact the office of Dr. Owen C. Mandanas today to learn more about dental implants. Call 907-276-5522 to schedule a consultation.