Posts for: May, 2015
Have you started orthodontic treatment recently? Are you having a little trouble getting used to your braces? If so, you are not alone: Everybody goes through an adjustment period during which they momentarily wonder if they’ll really ever get used to this. Don’t worry — you will! And we’ve never heard anyone say, on the day their braces come off and their new smile is revealed, that they aren’t glad they went the distance. Just ask Houston Rockets all-star center Dwight Howard, who discussed his own orthodontic treatment in a recent interview.
“I’m sure I was no different than anyone else who has ever had braces,” he told Mediaplanet. “At first I hated them so much… That changed once I got used to them and I actually grew to love them.” What’s Howard’s advice? “Do exactly what your orthodontist says and know that the outcome is well worth it in the end.” We couldn’t agree more! Here are some tips for wearing braces comfortably:
- Hard & Chewy Foods: If you love fresh fruits and vegetables, that’s great; there’s no reason to give them up, just the really hard ones. You don’t want to bite into an apple or carrot or any other hard foods like bagels and pizza that have any “size” to them. Small pieces may be ok as long as they can’t bend your wires. Chewy, sticky candy should really be avoided completely. Same with soda, sports drinks and so-called energy drinks because they contain acids that promote tooth decay and can cause a lot of damage around the braces.
- Effective Oral Hygiene: Keeping your teeth clean is more important than ever, but also more challenging than ever. It’s easy for food to get stuck under wires and around brackets, but failing to remove it can cause tooth decay, gum irritation and soreness. Therefore, the cleaner your teeth and your braces are, the healthier you will be. Use interdental cleaning brushes and/or a floss-threader to get behind your wires. A mouthrinse can also help strengthen teeth and keep bacteria in check. If you have any questions about how to clean between your teeth, please ask for a demonstration at your next visit.
- Pain Relief: Some soreness at the beginning of orthodontic treatment is normal. To relieve it, you can use an over-the-counter pain reliever and/or a warm washcloth or heating pad placed on the outside of the jaw. If brackets or wires are rubbing against the inside of your cheeks or lips, try applying wax to these areas of your braces. If this does not offer enough relief, we may be able to trim the end of a poking wire. Call us if you need help with this.
Our goal is to make your orthodontic treatment as comfortable as possible on the way to achieving your all-star smile. If you have questions about adjusting to braces, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”
Find out how your Turlock, CA dentist can preserve your smile with a root canal.
While no one wants to think about it, at some point in our lives we will have to face dental decay. Decay affects about 92 percent of Americans between the ages of 20 to 64 years old. If the decay is left untreated it can wreak havoc on your tooth, causing pain, inflammation, and even infection. Find out how your Turlock, CA dentist Cesar Acosta, DMD, can prevent the tooth from further damage with a root canal.
What is a root canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure that requires your Turlock dentist, Dr. Acosta, to remove the inner structure of your tooth, also known as the pulp. The pulp of the tooth contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue and is considered the “feeling” part of the tooth.
What is the purpose of a root canal?
Your Turlock, CA dentist, Dr. Acosta, will recommend that you get a root canal if you are suffering from severe decay or cavity, an infection or direct trauma that has caused irritation of the pulp. An infected or irritated pulp must be removed in order to preserve the rest of the natural tooth and to prevent further damage. The first sign that a tooth may be infected or damaged is tooth pain. If you are experiencing tooth pain then you may need a root canal.
What should I expect when I get a root canal in Turlock, CA?
Forget all the horror stories you may have heard about root canals. Now this procedure is no different from getting a tooth filled. Before we begin, we will administer a local anesthetic so you won’t experience discomfort during your treatment.
Once the anesthesia has taken effect we will drill through the enamel until we reach the inside of the tooth. Then we will carefully remove the damaged pulp and clean out the inside of the tooth to remove debris, bacteria and pus. Once the tooth is thoroughly disinfected we will begin to rebuild the tooth using a rubber-like substance known as gutta percha. After this is complete, we will often place a custom-made dental crown over the tooth to restore complete function and strength back into the weakened tooth.
If you are experiencing tooth pain or discomfort this could be the first sign of a cavity. Nip this problem in the bud right away to protect the health of your smile. Call your Turlock dentist, Dr. Cesar Acosta, right away at (209)250-2560 and put your oral health first.
Dental implants have become the standard for long-term tooth replacement. From mechanics to movie stars, people from all walks of life have discovered the advantages of replacing a missing tooth with an implant. Obviously, restoring your smile is a definite advantage, but an implant can also help to maintain the health of your jawbone and adjacent teeth.
The implant is a small, screw-like titanium post that is placed into your jawbone to function as the root part of the tooth. The living bone tissue will actually attach to the titanium post, fusing them together. This will not only provide a sturdy anchor for a natural-looking crown, but will provide stability for bridgework or dentures. You will then be able to smile, chew and talk as if all of your teeth are natural. The procedure will also help to stabilize the bone, reducing long-term bone loss that occurs when a missing tooth is not replaced.
At this point, if you are thinking that there must be a lot of pain involved, I have good news for you. There is very little pain involved after the procedure is completed and no pain at all during the procedure. Typically, it is a routine surgery that takes place in a dentist’s office under local anesthesia where the immediate area is numbed. If there is any apprehension at all about the procedure, we will offer alternative anesthesia or sedation options during the planning process.
To determine who will be a good candidate for the implant procedure, a plan must be in place to assure the success of the implant. Part of the plan includes:
- Reviewing your past medical and dental history. We must know your complete past and present medical history and medication use, since good health is essential. There are certain conditions and diseases that can affect the healing of an implant.
- Performing a comprehensive dental examination. An evaluation of your dental problems and needs will determine if implants are in your best interests. An assessment of the health and mass of the jawbone as well as the number and location of the implant(s) that are needed to restore your bite and smile back to health will also be determined.
When the implant procedure has been successfully completed, there is one more step. As with your natural teeth, preventive maintenance is crucial for long-term success. A daily routine of brushing and flossing along with regular professional dental cleanings and checkups will help ensure continued gum health and proper functioning of your implants.
If you are wondering whether dental implants are right for you, contact us for more information or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about dental implants by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implants” and “Dental Implant Surgery.”