Think Before You Pierce

The Dangers of Oral PiercingIf you are considering piercing your lip or tongue to accommodate jewelry, this post from Winston-Salem Dental Group is for you. Please consider the following:

Infection
Your mouth is full of bacteria. Any opening in the tissue carries the risk of infection. The germs from your tongue and mouth can easily get into your bloodstream. Dentists and doctors are continually treating acute infections caused by oral piercings. Oral infections can be a real problem and should be a major consideration before getting an oral piercing.

Tooth Damage
It should come as no surprise that having a piece of metal bang around in your mouth can easily damage tooth enamel. Though tooth enamel is amazingly strong, once it’s chipped or cracked, it can only be restored with artificial material. Fortunately, we offer many tooth restoration options such as crowns and fillings, but our advice is to avoid the problem if you can.

Prolonged Bleeding and Swelling
The blood vessels in the tongue are often damaged when the tongue is pierced, causing prolonged bleeding and possible build-up of scar tissue. In some extreme cases, the tongue swells up enough to block the airway.

Gum Recession
A number of periodontal disease studies have shown that wearing oral jewelry is linked to periodontal disease which can bring about tooth loss. Periodontal disease can cause gum recession which exposes the root of your teeth, potentially causing hypersensitivity and pain. Again, our advice is to avoid the issue right from the start.

These are just a few of the dangers or oral piercings. At Winston-Salem Dental Group we suggest avoiding them by not piercing. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. We have extended evening and Saturday hours to fit your busy schedule. Call for an appointment with us today!

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 

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Gently Now (Protect Your Gums When You Brush)

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Everyone wants nice, pearly white teeth. It makes sense, then, to brush our teeth more often to get them – right? Well, no. As we explain in this post from Winston-Salem Dental Group, brushing too aggressively can result in receding gums.

Gum recession is when your gum line exposes more of your teeth, or in severe cases, your tooth root. It creates a pocket of space between your teeth and gum line.  Decay-causing bacteria can grow and fester in that pocket. This leads to serious issues down the line. Even tooth loss.

Longer or Harder?
A common misconception is the idea that if you want to lighten your teeth, you should scrub them really hard.

The best way to get white teeth is to brush longer, not harder. The key, though, is to use a very light touch. Gently brush your teeth until they’re squeaky clean. Run your tongue over them. Doesn’t that feel great?

Why?
When you brush your teeth too quickly, you may not remove all the food particles. You don’t want this debris turning into plaque.

If you truly want whiter teeth, brush in a slow, circular motion for about five minutes. Methodically go over each tooth surface.

Use a whitening toothpaste with fluoride. That way, you get all the recent gunk off and your teeth get a little bit whiter each time you brush. The fluoride helps your enamel re-harden.

Let’s Review
Brushing too aggressively can lead to gum recession. Gum recession can (and most likely will) cause a space to form between your teeth and gum line. This pocket collects bacteria. Bacteria causes cavities. Plus, if the gums continue to recede, the tooth can become loose.

The best approach is to brush longer, and with a light gentle touch. Don’t forget to floss!

If you’re gums have already begun to recede, don’t despair! It’s a treatable condition. At Winston-Salem Dental Group we offer a full range of general and cosmetic dentistry, and offer extended evening and weekend hours. Call to schedule an appointment today.

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 

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If My Gums Bleed, Should I Stop Flossing?

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This is an essential question occasionally asked by patients at Winston-Salem Dental Group. The answer, however, is “No!” Bleeding is probably a sign that you need to clean your teeth and gums more thoroughly—not leave them alone. It is all but impossible to clean effectively between teeth without using floss, or an interdental brush.

If you have never flossed before, your gums might bleed the first few times you do. The bleeding may be due to gum inflammation, the beginnings of gum disease. Keep flossing gently and the bleeding generally stops within a week or two.

Gingivitis and the more advanced periodontal disease is extremely common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that half of American adults aged 30 and over have periodontal disease.

If you don’t make flossing a habit, you may wind up with gum disease. The good news is that gum disease can be reversed with improved oral hygiene.

It is important to correctly use dental floss to remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth:

  1. Cut a length of floss about 18 inches long.
  2. Securely wind each end around your middle fingers.
  3. Take hold of the floss with your forefinger and thumb leaving about two inches to work with.
  4. Thread the floss between two teeth.
  5. Hold the floss tightly against the side of the tooth and move it up and away from the gumline. You want to clean the space between the tooth and gum without pulling more gum tissue away, so it’s essential to scrape up and out of the pocket.
  6. Move the floss around the tooth to clean every surface—especially those that your brush can’t reach. As you use a section of floss, unwind from one hand to access a clean piece. With 18 inches, you should have enough to provide a clean section for every tooth. If you run out, that’s okay. Just toss the used piece and cut a new one.

Some people find it easier to start on one end on the upper teeth and clean each gap one by one until they reach the other side. Then repeat for the bottom row. Whatever operation you pick, make sure you clean around every tooth, including the back surfaces of the last molars.

At Winston-Salem Dental Group we want the best possible dental health for all of our patients. Services include general and cosmetic dentistry, and we have extended evening and weekend hours for your busy schedule. Call for an appointment today!

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 

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Has Your Toddler Had A Dental Exam?

Children’s Dental in Winston-SalemThis message from Winston-Salem Dental Group looks at dental care for our youngest patients.

For years, the American Academy of Pediatrics advised parents to take their children to the dentist by the third birthday. Now parents are advised to take their toddler in for a checkup by his or her first birthday, or when their first tooth breaks through, whichever comes first.

Why? Prevention, prevention, prevention! Sadly, we continue to find severe tooth decay in very young children. This is completely unnecessary in a community with sufficient health and dental services.

High-risk little ones should be seen as early as possible. Following are some of the risk factors:

  • Sleeping with a bottle (if you put your child to bed with a bottle, we strongly urge you to stop this practice)
  • Drinking juice continuously during the day
  • Abnormal tooth development
  • Thumb sucking
  • Tooth grinding
  • A mother with considerable tooth decay
  • Other health troubles

The most effective way to ensure lifelong oral health for your child is to train him or her early on correct daily dental hygiene, provide a healthy, low-sugar diet, and form a relationship with a reputable family dentist. Doctor dentist urges all North Carolina parents to be passionate about their children’s dental health.

At Winston-Salem Dental Group we offer a full range of pediatric dentistry services, as well as general and cosmetic dentistry. Call to schedule an appointment with us today!

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 

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Why a Water Flosser Might be a Good Idea

Winston-Salem should I use waterpik?

Water flossers have been around for more than fifty years. During that time there have been at least that many studies on their effectiveness. In this post from Winston-Salem Dental Group we present what is known about water flossers, and whether they’re any better than ordinary string floss in preventing tooth decay, gum disease, and other issues.

First of all, the main benefit of standard dental floss – string floss – is that it passes easily between the teeth to remove food debris and plaque. It is easy to use, inexpensive, readily available, and a very efficient way of removing plaque.

On the down side, some people find it hard to reach certain areas of the mouth, like way in back. It can cause minor bleeding, and gum sensitivity. People with agility issues may find it hard to use.

Water flossing

Water flossers use pulsing water to clean between teeth and along the gum line. A special machine directs a jet spray that can be very effective. They too are easy to use, and in addition to cleaning your teeth can also massage the gums.

They’re also great for people with braces and other dental work. The stream of pulsing water makes it easy to get those areas that are harder to reach with string floss. They are also an excellent solution for people with agility issues.

On the other hand, water flossers can be expensive. You need to find a place to store them when not in use. And they require electricity.

The Bottom Line

It isn’t necessarily an either/or situation. The best dental health routine at home may well be to floss, brush, and water floss (not necessarily in that order). The sequence in which these are done comes down to your personal preference. To put it another way: whatever works!

At Winston-Salem Dental Group, we think the most important thing, by far, is that you establish a dental health routine that you practice every day. We also like to see you for a cleaning and checkup in our office every six months. We offer general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 

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Healthy Living Starts With A Smile

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What comes to mind when you hear the term “healthy living?” A dinner of grilled chicken breast and steamed broccoli? Hitting  your favorite jogging path for a run? If the picture in your mind includes a white, healthy smile with no tooth decay, the team at Winston-Salem Dental Group salutes you.

We encourage everyone with a smile (that includes you!) to include dental health in your definition of healthy living.

Brushing and flossing your teeth are an essential part of everyday oral hygiene. Brushing should be done at least twice a day. We recommend a soft-bristled toothbrush, and brushing in small, circular motions for 2-3 minutes. Be certain you reach all the surfaces!

Flossing should be done at least once a day. You need to floss to reach the areas your toothbrush can’t. A wide variety of floss is available, so experiment until find one you like.

At Winston-Salem Dental Group we want all of our patients to enjoy clean and healthy teeth and gums, and a bright beautiful smile. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next cleaning and checkup with us today!

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 

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How To Beat Plaque

Plaque is that sticky, filmy stuff that forms on teeth. It is the main cause of tooth decay and gum disease. For the best dental health, the team at Winston-Salem Dental Group reminds all of our patients to brush and floss their teeth twice a day.

Plaque forms when foods with sugars and starches are not brushed away. The bacteria that naturally occurs in your mouth thrive on these sugars and starches, and produce acids. Over time these acids destroy tooth enamel, leaving you with a cavity. Or maybe two.

Plaque is mostly colorless. When it isn’t brushed away, it leaves you with that rough or fuzzy feeling on the surface of your teeth.

Take Care Of Your Teeth!

You probably know where this short article is headed: keep your teeth clean! That means brushing and flossing.

  • Brush at least twice each day, for two minutes.
  • Use a soft-bristle toothbrush.
  • Use a light touch.
  • Be sure to get along the gumline, that place where your teeth and gums meet.
  • Use a toothpaste with fluoride.
  • Floss between the teeth to get bacteria and food debris.
  • Ask us whether dental sealants are a good idea for you.

Plaque is always going to be there. But brushing and flossing your teeth regularly can keep it under control, and greatly reduce your chances of developing cavities and gum disease. If it hardens into tartar it can only be removed with a professional cleaning.

Having your teeth cleaned and examined twice a year at Winston-Salem Dental Group should be part of your strategy for beating plaque and having a beautiful, healthy smile. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Call our office to schedule your next appointment today!

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105


Common Dental Questions

At Winston-Salem Dental Group, we strive for excellence in dentistry every day. Providing the best possible dental care goes beyond cleanings and exams. We like it when patients ask a lot of questions, because that tells us they are taking a strong interest in their dental health.

Common Questions

One of the questions we’re frequently asked is whether it’s really necessary to have a cleaning and checkup every six months. Our short answer is, yes! But a more nuanced answer includes that time-honored truth that prevention is the best medicine.

Every appointment includes a thorough cleaning by a hygienist. Then the dentist examines your teeth and gums, looking for any new cavities and signs of gum disease. Every checkup also includes a screening for oral cancer.

Sometimes we need to see patients more frequently. Someone with gum disease, or who is undergoing orthodontic treatment, should have appointments more often than twice a year. We determine that on a case-by-case basis.

More Questions

Patients often wonder how long a filling will last. Some people think they’ll last a lifetime, but unfortunately that is not usually the case. Fillings can break down or become loose over time. If that happens, decay can get into the area around it and cause problmes. You can extend the life of any restoration with good oral hygiene at home. If you have any questions about what that means, don’t hesitate to ask.

What kind of toothbrush is best? This is among the most-asked questions for any dentist. Manual and electric toothbrushes, used properly, both do an excellent job. We recommend soft bristles, with mixed bristle heights and angles. They do a better job getting between the teeth.

To really get between the teeth, we also recommend daily flossing. String floss is best, but whether it’s waxed or unwaxed, flavored or not, or wide dental tape is up to you.

And More!

When it comes to toothpaste, we recommend one that has the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. That means it contains fluoride, which strengthens and protects your teeth.

These are just some of the common questions we get from our patients at Winston-Salem Dental Group. Have we missed anything you’ve wondered about? Never hesitate to bring your questions to your checkup. We offer general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next appointment today.

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 


Dental Floss: Which Type is Best?

Along with brushing, flossing is the most important thing you can do for healthy teeth and gums. There’s a variety of floss types to choose from. Which one is best for you? It depends. At Winston-Salem Dental Group, we’re using this space to summarize what’s available, and what might influence your choice of dental floss.

The reason that flossing is so important is that it removes plaque and food debris from between your teeth, where your toothbrush can’t reach. Left on the teeth, plaque hardens into floss and contributes to tooth decay. The Academy of General Dentistry goes so far as to call flossing the most important thing you can do to fight plaque.

What Kind Is Best?

When it comes to what dental floss to use, there is a lot to choose from. Flavored or unflavored? Waxed or unwaxed? Wide or thin?

No single type of floss is right for everyone. You might even benefit from having more than one kind in your medicine chest. With a little trial and error, you can narrow down your choices to find what works best for you.

A recent study shows there really isn’t much difference, if any, in the effectiveness of the different types of dental floss. Here are some things to consider:

  • Waxed floss fits more easily into tight spaces
  • Unwaxed floss tends to squeak against clean teeth, an indicator that plaque is gone
  • Wider dental tape may work better in gaps between teeth, and on bridgework

One word of caution: we recommend traditional string floss that you can pull out in a long strand, as opposed to a flossing pick. Those little picks are popular, but they only have a tight strand of less than an inch of floss. That makes it all but impossible to wrap any floss around your teeth – and flossing is far more effective when you do that. The little picks are fine for a purse or backpack, when you’re on the go. Just be sure to use regular floss as part of your dental hygiene routine before bedtime.

Whatever your preference may be, the important thing is to floss at least once each day.

At Winston-Salem Dental Group we also like to see you for a cleaning and checkup every six months. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next appointment today!

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105


Six 10-Second Healthy Tooth Helps

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It doesn’t have to take a lot of time to improve your oral hygiene. In fact, you can form a new habit to benefit your oral health in 10 seconds. The team at Winston-Salem Dental Group has six ways to add essential dental care to each day.

Find a better place for your toothbrush.
Look around. In 10 seconds you can probably find 5 places to set your toothbrush that will permit air drying and can suppress the growth of microorganisms that a closed, moist environment would encourage.

Leave the floss on the counter.
If you want to create consistency, you need reminders. Deliberately setting out the floss will give you more commitment to use it. And if you see it, you’ll remember that commitment.

Swish.
If you’re in 20 seconds already, might as well grab the fluoride rinse and rinse away bits of food after flossing and freshen your breath at the same time. 10 seconds is the minimum but 20 is twice as good.

Smile in the mirror.
Check out those chompers. Examine for 10 full seconds. Inspect gums for bleeding or tenderness, missed fragments of food, staining, or other concerns.

Have a water chaser with dark beverages.
Rinse your mouth with a sip of water when drinking cola, tea, or coffee throughout the day. A mere 10 seconds that will suppress discoloration.

Call Winston-Salem Dental Group.

10 digits, 10 seconds, a short conversation and you can schedule a cleaning and checkup. We’ll examine your teeth and help keep your smile healthy and beautiful.

At Winston-Salem Dental Group, the dental health of each of our patients is our top priority every day. Services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Call for an appointment today!

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 

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