Imagine it’s still winter … you’re standing at the door, ready to brave the cold. You’re layered-up with three shirts and a sweatshirt, your heavy winter coat, and two layers of socks underneath your waterproof winter boots. Then you’ve got those awesome jeans with the flannel on the inside, your comfy hat, scarf, and gloves. You’re set! But wait. As you step toward the door, you suddenly realize you have an itch … and it’s deep down … buried beneath all those layers. And, try as you may, every attempt to reach that bugger-of-an-itch fails. Defeated, you realize the only relief you’re ever gonna’ get is to remove each one of those layers. Where are we going with this?!

The Tongue

We’re going inside your mouth, of course, to your tongue – this is a dental article, after all! Because whether you know it or not, like you in the wintertime, your tongue is also “all covered up” – buried beneath layers of bacteria, fungi, and food residue that can inhibit your ability to taste, let alone cause your tongue to appear various shades of yellow, white, or green! Remove the bacteria, though, and your food will once again directly interact with those taste buds, and return to its natural hue. So how does one do that? With a tongue scraper, of course!

WHAT is a tongue scraper?

A tongue scraper is a U-shaped device designed to “scrape” the top layer of scum from your tongue. They have been in use since ancient times, and have been made of everything from wood to whalebone. Nowadays, they are made of more hygienic material, and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, designs and colors.

WHY use a tongue scraper?

The residue on your tongue includes things like the cavity-inducing Streptococcus mutans bacterium, fungi, rotting food (that’s not good), and what’s referred to as “volatile sulfur compounds.” In other words, sulfur – that “rotting egg smell.” Talk about ew! So, as you can see, there are several reasons why you’d want to get rid of this gunk in your mouth. Let’s tackle them one by one:

HOW does one use a tongue scraper?

In general, make sure to rinse your tongue scraper before and after use. Apply the tongue scraper to the back of your tongue and drag it forward. Then, rinse and repeat. Make sure to get the sides of your tongue as well, not just the center! Make sure not to press too hard or you can cause yourself to bleed. And, if you’re wondering if you should scrape your tongue while recovering from a dental procedure, that’s a good question … ask your dentist for the best advice particular to your situation. Still not sure how this thing really works? The next time you’re in ask Dr. Bansch for a quick tutorial!

WHERE do I buy one?

Tongue scrapers are relatively inexpensive, and can be found at any local drugstore. It doesn’t matter the material, color, or brand – just find the one you like and get scraping!

It’s National Heart Health Month! Did you know that oral health can be directly linked to heart health? Delta Dental has recently provided evidence that gum disease in both moderate and advanced stages puts you at a greater risk for developing heart disease than you be with healthy gums. Regular oral screenings can also help point doctors to a variety of other diseases that may start with warning signs in your mouth.

How Does Your Oral Health Connect to Your Heart?

Every system in your body is connected. Just like consuming food through your mouth makes its way to your stomach, any bacteria or germs that start off in your mouth can fairly easily be spread throughout the rest of your body through your blood stream.Mayo Clinic and theAmerican Heart Association have been able to show that this bacteria can actually attach itself to any already damaged areas when it gets to your heart. The attached bacteria can then lead to further inflammation, which has been linked to clogged arteries and even strokes.

Are You At Risk?

People who suffer from chronic gum diseases like gingivitis or advanced periodontitis are at the highest risk for developing heart disease as a direct cause of poor oral health and dental hygiene. It is important to know that plaque buildup from skipping just one brushing or flossing session a week can easily add up to create issues with your gums.

How To Prevent Heart and Oral Diseases

Keeping up with your regular cleanings and examinations here at Belvedere Family Dentistry & Orthodontics is extremely important in protecting yourself against harmful bacteria and diseases. Call our front desk today at 704-927-5499 to schedule your next appointment with us! If you have any concerns surrounding your oral health, and gum diseases especially, be sure to talk to one of our dentist and explain all of your symptoms.

Read this article by Tracey Sandilands, published for Colgate, to learn more about how your heart and mouth are related and what you should do to prevent disease from growing.

Taking vitamins everyday can help with a number of issues that people have on a daily basis. When the vitamins are not taken, it can become apparent due to the nutrients that are holding them back since the body does not have any. The professionals here at Belvedere Family Dentistry know how important having the right vitamins can be to your oral health. Improve your oral health with the use of these high rated vitamins that will improve and strengthen your smile.

Improve Your Oral Health With Vitamins

Charlotte DentistA lot of these vitamins are not surprising to many patients. They know their body should have them, but sometimes the food and drinks we consume are not enough to keep up on oral health. This is why a multi-vitamin that has these items is oftentimes recommended, especially when the body doesn’t absorb nutrients very well.

Speak with a Dentist For More Help

Speak with our dentists here at Belvedere Family Dentistry, the best dentist in Charlotte, North Carolina, to find out how we can help your oral hygiene and health along. You want to have that perfect, bright smile. Now we are here to provide the help needed to achieve it. Make sure you’re covered each and every time you smile.

Oral hygiene/dental hygiene means the overall maintenance of the mouth, gums and teeth. It includes daily maintenance at home as well as regular dental checkups and professional teeth-cleaning treatments. Just as it is important for you to brush and floss your teeth regularly, it is equally important that you get professional cleanings done from your dentist/dental hygienist. This is the best way of keeping your natural teeth for years to come.

The Oral Hygiene Process

Regardless of how religiously and meticulously you brush & floss every day, over time there will be a build-up of calculus on the teeth. As this calculus builds under the gum line, bacteria begin invading the area and can lead to a range of dental problems. Your dental hygienist will ensure that this calculus build-up is eliminated. This helps in maintaining optimum oral health.

Maintaining Oral Health

Dental hygienists are experts at scraping away all the hard plaque & in removing calculus deposits. They take x-rays for your dentist and the latter will check thoroughly for dental decay, tumors, cysts or changes in the bone-support of the teeth.

Once the hygienist has finished cleaning the teeth, your dentist will then examine your gums and teeth for any signs of gum disease or tooth decay. The American Dental Association recommends that patients should visit the dentist & dental hygienist 2 times every year. This goes a long way in promoting good oral health.

Unsightly dental work performed in the past can hinder a person’s confidence and make them self-conscious about their appearance. Bad dental work also results in poor occlusion, improper mastication, infections and tooth loss. Our Charlotte dentists offer several methods of improving a patient’s smile and facial esthetics through specialized cosmetic dentistry solutions as noted below:

Tooth-colored Fillings
Existing amalgam or silver fillings can be replaced by tooth-colored materials. Although durable, the silver fillings darken and fracture over time leaving gaps between the tooth structure and the restorations. Plaque and bacteria accumulate in the pits and fissures of the tooth leading to infections and pain. Most amalgam restorations can be replaced with a sturdy composite material that matches the natural pigmentation of the dentition.

Porcelain Laminate Veneers
Permanent discoloration of anterior (frontal) teeth can be corrected with the application of veneers. This method of improving the patient’s smile is a great alternative to more invasive procedures, such as crown placement. The veneers are typically recommended by Charlotte dentists for patients with severely discolored teeth or multiple diastemas. Medically compromised patients are not good candidates for this procedure. Cosmetic dentistry services are focused on correcting any existing dental issues without compromising the function or facial esthetics.

Crowns and Bridges
Excessive tooth structure loss and root canal treatments often require the application of crowns and bridges. Bad dental work can also be corrected by this technique and provide the patient with a beautiful smile. Our Charlotte dentists will carefully inspect the health status of each tooth and determine if the patient can benefit from this procedure using CEREC technology to accomplish a successful treatment with only 1 visit to our office. The color and the shape of the crowns are perfectly matched to complement any existing dentition.

Removable Prosthetics/Dentures
In cases where a crown or a veneer may be out of your budget, you may want to consider the benefits of partials and dentures. Non-metal prosthetics can be manufactured replacing missing teeth and improving the patient’s smile and oral functions at a more affordable rate. Our cosmetic dentistry services offer these dental appliances by using the highest quality materials at discounted prices.

If you have any questions or would like more information about our cosmetic dentistry treatments, please feel free to contact our Charlotte dentist office at 704-927-5499 or by using our convenient online appointment request form.

Sitting around the table with family and friends while eating a plate of delicious, traditional Thanksgiving food is something the we look forward to all year long. Unfortunately, some of those foods are extremely harmful to your teeth. Swap out a few of the worst Thanksgiving foods and your teeth will be thankful.

Turkey Bones

If you enjoy eating the turkey leg, be aware of scraping your teeth against the bone. The hard bone can chip and break teeth, making a trip to the general dentist necessary. Never attempt to bite the meat off of the bone with your back molars, as this can cause fillings or crowns to become loose. Instead of eating meat off of the bone, try cutting it off first and then eating it with a fork.

Pecan Pie

This tempting dessert has 31 grams of sugar per slice, not including the amount of sugar in the whipped cream or ice cream that is often served alongside it. Sugar is used by plaque as energy; when too much sugar is eaten, tooth decay and cavities may result. In addition to the high sugar content, the pecans themselves pose a risk to teeth as they can become wedged in-between teeth and require help for removal from your local dentist office. Try eating a slice of pumpkin pie instead and skip the creamy sides.

Dried Fruits

Apricots, prunes and raisins often appear in a nut-and-fruit tray served as a Thanksgiving appetizer. Though many people believe that dried fruits are a healthier option, their concentrated sugar content makes teeth susceptible to decay. Chewy or sticky foods, such as dried fruits, also stay on the teeth longer and are more difficult to remove without proper teeth cleaning. Look for fresh fruits, vegetables or soft cheeses to snack on instead while waiting for the big meal.

Alcohol

Many people enjoy a glass of wine with their Thanksgiving dinner. Unfortunately, the high acid content in alcohol erodes the teeth over time. Alcohol also dehydrates the mouth, removing saliva that works to wash and protect the teeth. Additionally, red wine also harms the teeth because the dark tint may stain your pearly whites over time. Always drink a glass of water after drinking alcohol in order to rinse your mouth and decrease your risk of dehydration.

Contact your general dentist at your local dentist office today. The friendly and professional dentists and staff are experts in teeth cleaning after indulging during the Thanksgiving holiday.

A general dentist provides a basic amount of restorative and preventative treatments to a patient’s teeth. These procedures can repair damage caused by decay, prevent infections and other issues that can cause bone atrophy, or prevent issues.

How Can a General Dentist Help to Prevent Dental Problems?

There are a number of ways that a dentist can help to prevent problems in the mouth. These include things from dental exams to more complicated procedures involving cleaning below the gum line.

Some of the preventative treatments general dentists tend to offer include:

Preventative care from a dentist tends to help reduce the number of restorative treatments that a patient may require. They can also prevent irreversible conditions, such as advanced periodontitis, from occurring.

What Restorative Procedures Do Dentists Perform?

Restorative procedures are designed to restore the function and form of your teeth. These procedures are generally conducted within your local dentist office. Most are completed within one to two appointments.

Some examples of restorative procedures your dentist may perform are:

Keeping Your Smile Healthy

The procedures listed above are just a few examples of the procedures that can stabilize and restore your mouth’s health.

When you’re ready to rejuvenate your smile, then call our local dentist office. We can schedule an appointment for exams and a consultation to ensure your is functional and beautiful.

What is a Pediatric Dentist?

A pediatric dentist is trained in the care of children’s oral health. They typically treat children who are infants through the teenage years. Children normally begin to get teeth when they are six months old. Between the ages of six and seven, many children begin to lose their first set of teeth and grow in a second set that is permanent. A pediatric dentist has special qualifications in caring for children’s teeth, gums and mouth throughout all of these stages.

A pediatric dentist must complete:

Additionally, many pediatric dentists receive additional training in treating children with special needs, such as autism, anxiety or hyperactivity.

What Treatments are Typically Done by a Pediatric Dentist?

A children’s dentist can provide:

At What Age Should My Child See a Pediatric Dentist?

Proper dental hygiene for children is a growing concern with tooth decay being five times more common in children than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever. Tooth decay can cause infections, pain and problems with proper tooth alignment.

Because of this, it is important to schedule regular visits with a children’s dentist. The American Dental Association recommends that a child’s first visit to the dentist occur as soon as their teeth being to grow in, between six and 12 months of age. An appointment from the local dentist office should be requested as soon as teeth begin to appear.

What Can I Expect from a First Appointment?

During the first visit, a child’s teeth, gums and mouth will be thoroughly examined. This exam may include taking x-rays. The child’s teeth will then be cleaned and a fluoride treatment may be applied to the teeth. The dentist can teach parents the best ways to clean the child’s teeth, remove plaque, give dental hygiene tips and answer any questions that parents may have about their child’s oral health.

A pediatric dentist will be able to provide specialized care for children of all ages. The local dentist office will be able to recommend a pediatric dentist that will give individual care for whatever the child may need.

Many people do take great care of their teeth and gums at home. Regular brushing and flossing are the only ways to prevent cavities, plaque, and gum disease. But everyone needs to see the dentist at least twice per year. A general dentist can clean your teeth professionally and check for signs of gum disease that you can’t detect on your own.

Dental exams are vital for a healthy and happy life. You can consult a local dentist office for general dentistry as often as you like. Find a dentist that you are comfortable with. Check out these reasons for general dentistry.

1. Preventative Care

The best way to treat any problem is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Many people only seek emergency dental care when their problems reach advanced stages. But a general dentist can help you avoid those problems in the first place. Regular cleanings and exams are your safest measures to take when it comes to your oral health. You only need two dental exams each year to experience the benefits of preventative care.

2. Increased Home Maintenance

When you visit a local dentist office, the dentist can offer tips to improve your home care routines. They can recommend specific toothpastes and brushes for your unique oral care needs. You may be doing a good job with your home oral care routine, but it’s possible that you could do even better. You’ll never know the home treatments available to you for maximum oral health if you never visit the dentist. Once they clean your teeth, they can tell you how to keep your teeth clean and safe.

3. Cavity Treatment

Many people have cavities without even realizing it. It’s best to have them treated when they are small. You’ll experience less discomfort and disruption in your life if you go to the dentist regularly. A general dentist will take care of cavities quickly and easily. During the dental exam, the dentist might discover cavities that you didn’t know you had. It’s important that you allow the dentist to check your mouth thoroughly for signs of gum disease as well. Early treatment is always the best.

Contact a local dentist office today to schedule dental exams. Make sure your children get the dental checkups they need as well. The entire family should have clean, healthy mouths. You’ll enjoy all the smiling faces with healthy teeth in your home.

Since the introduction of the power toothbrush in the 1960s, this tool has undergone many technological advances, from design and bristle motions to rotation oscillation and sonic vibration.

What is rotation oscillation? That’s when the head of the toothbrush alternately rotates in one direction and then the other. Power toothbrushes can deliver up to 50,000 strokes per minute, which is much more effective than the average 300 strokes per minute with a manual toothbrush.

A smaller brush head is available for hard-to-reach areas, which is a good alternative for small mouths. The brush heads are replaceable and should be changed every three to six months. Each family member should have his or her own brush head while sharing the base motor. What a great deal! Check the handle size. A large handle is better for members of the household with arthritis, children, or family with other physical disabilities.

A rechargeable toothbrush is ideal. It should deliver enough power on a full charge for one week of brushing.

We recommend you brush for a minimum of two minutes. Some electric toothbrushes include a signal you can hear, such as a beep every 30 seconds, to indicate it’s time to switch to a different area of the mouth. Others sound an alert after the full two minutes has elapsed.

Will an electric toothbrush harm the teeth or gums? Studies indicate that people tend to apply more damaging pressure to their teeth and gums during manual brushing than when they use an electric toothbrush. If you experience tooth sensitivity, choose a model with pressure sensors that stop the toothbrush any time you press too hard.

Who would benefit from an electric toothbrush? Everyone! Consumers with a physical disability may have specific needs that power toothbrushes can address. Children also tend to maintain better oral health hygiene when they use an automatic toothbrush. Plus, many of them find it fun to brush!

Automatic toothbrushes really do remove debris better than the old-fashioned way. You may have heard the term “biofilm.” Better known as plaque when it occurs in the mouth, biofilm is the debris and bacteria that cause infections to your teeth. It regenerates quickly; so healthy habits are the best defense for a healthier you! With a healthier mouth, you face a lower risk of gum disease and other conditions like heart disease: mouth health has been linked to heart health.

When you’re ready to make your decisions, be a wise comparison shopper. Consult with our team at our Uptown Charlotte dentist office to decide what is best for you!

Uptown Charlotte Dentistry & Orthodontics

Specializing in Braces, Invisalign, Composite Bonding, Veneers and Crowns.

We do our best to make it easy for you to get the beautiful smile you deserve! Our office accepts nearly all major insurance plans. Even though dental insurance is a private arrangement between you and your company, we will file your claim, handle all the paperwork, and help you get maximum insurance benefits.

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