Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Is your baby teething?

Teething can be a difficult time for both baby and parents. Usually between 4 to 7 months of age, your baby will begin teething. So some children this process can last up to age 3, allowing time for a set of 20 teeth to erupt (push through the gums).

How will I know when my baby is teething?
A few common signs your baby is teething are:
-Your baby may become very fussy.
-He or she may have trouble falling asleep.
-He or she might not want to eat like normal.
-Your baby might start to drool more than usual.

How can I make my baby more comfortable?
Fussiness, sleeplessness and refusing to eat are all behaviors that can result from sore or tender gums. Try soothing your baby's gums by rubbing them with a clean finger, a moist washrag or gauze pad. Letting your child chew on a clean cool teething ring also may relieve some of the discomfort he or she may be feeling. Only use oral gels if it is proscribed and overseen by your child's health care professional.

When should my start to see the Dentist?
As soon as your baby gets that first tooth or by his or her first birthday you should schedule a well-baby visit. This visit allows your dentist to check for signs of early tooth decay along with her to be able to talk with you about habits and conditions that can affect your baby's teeth. Your dentist also can show you the proper way to brush your child's teeth.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Supportive Spouses & Case Success!

Sitting at the front desk in our office, our Office Coordinator heard him say it loud and clear, "that thing is going to make you look so silly. Really? I mean it's just so sexy." The husband of a long time patient was speaking to his wife about her new night guard. It was just a common ribbing from one spouse to the other, simple teasing, joking really; no harm, no foul, right?

A major reason people treated by dentists are not successful with night guards and occlusal guard care is because they don't wear them, either enough or at all in some cases. Your guard may need checked and adjusted, bring it in! Many men and women we've spoken to admit they don't wear them because of their spouse.

An occlusal guard can help patients with a variety of dental
concerns including TMJ, bruxism, mobility and more. (Photo
from Total Care Dentistry)
Our immediate reaction might be considered rather harsh. We wonder if the unsupportive spouse would prefer to have a mate without natural teeth. In some cases, that could be the end result of untreated grinding (bruxism), TMJ, and other serious dental conditions.

According to Dr. Mary Dooley, there are different kinds of guards made for specific reasons individual to each patient. Custom made occlusal orthotics are very hard guards that help with the treatment of TMJ. Night guards help with patients who grind their teeth causing wear beyond what is typical, cracks in the teeth in some cases. Guards are also made for many patients to protect smile reconstruction. Guards are not only an investment in the restored comfort of patients, but also an insurance policy for the investment made in valuable treatment already performed.

We know the husband in our example wasn't trying to do permanent damage to his wife's psyche or teeth. Still, take a moment to consider your spouse. It's the smile that stares at you that you'll be enjoying (or not) later.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The 411 on Dental Emergencies

Accidents happen, and knowing what to do when one occurs can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth. Traumatic cases may need emergency room attention, but  here are some tips for common dental emergencies:

· For a knocked-out permanent or adult tooth, try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. If that’s not possible, place it in between your cheek and gums, in milk, or use a tooth preservation product that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Then, call us right away.

· For a cracked tooth, rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area. Put cold compresses on the face to keep any swelling down. See your dentist ASAP.

· If you bite your tongue or lip, clean the area gently with water and apply a moist cold compress.

· For toothaches, rinse the mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between the teeth. Do NOT put aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues. It may cause a burn on your cheek or gums. You can swallow an aspirin as you would for any other pain.

· For objects stuck in the mouth, try to gently remove with floss but do not try to remove it with sharp or pointed instruments.

There are a number of simple precautions you can take to avoid accident and injury to the teeth:

· Wear a mouthguard when participating in sports or recreational activities. A custom made guard will protect your teeth far better than one bought over the counter.

· Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels and hard candy, all of which can crack a tooth.

· Use scissors, NEVER your teeth, to cut things.

     “It is important for patients to  follow with a dental visit. X-rays are imperative, you can’t always feel a problem inside your mouth. Many silent problems are discovered with x-rays and can be treated early and with less discomfort,” says Dr. Mary Dooley.

     At Total Care Dentistry, our patient promise means we will see your emergency the same day. We never want you to be in pain, and will even see new patients on a moments notice. Give us a call at 757-486-4880. (Source: ADA)


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Candy doesn't cause cavities! (ok, keep reading...)

      We've all heard the phrase "sweet tooth," and many of us have one! It might be that secret desire to go gorge yourself on a giant ice cream sundae with all the sprinkles, nuts and fixing's  possible at the local self-serve ice cream bar, or maybe its that gotta-have-it chocolate bar you grab at the
convenience store when no one's looking. Sometimes you've just got to give in to that need for a sweet fix! We know you do it, we do too!

      No one knows for sure where the phrase originated, some believe it was derived from the toothache you may feel when eating sugar, others say it's just the food-mouth connection. While opinions are split, people have referred to the "sweet tooth" since the 1400's as the desire to eat sweet foods. You can imagine our surprise when we staffers at Total Care Dentistry heard Dr. Dooley say it's OK to have sweets, "go ahead, it's that time of year," she said recently. What????? "Sweets don't give you cavities, that's only part of the story," she continued.

      We had to hear more! Did we just get a free pass to eat sweets? Really? They won't hurt our teeth? Turns out Dr. Dooley's main point was that eating sugary treats isn't bad, as long as you don't let the residue sit inside your mouth afterwards. Candies and treats that are heavily chewed are concerning when you don't brush the leftovers out of the crevices of your teeth. Removing the gummy remnants and even flossing it out of tight spaces makes a major difference!  Don't take this the wrong way, sugar isn't good for you. But simply eating a piece of candy won't hurt your teeth as long as you are diligent about your oral hygiene. Otherwise, the sugar you ate, can eat your teeth. Here's the scientific explanation for all you detail types:

"When sugar is consumed, particularly sucrose, naturally occurring bacteria inside the mouth interact with the sugar and produce acids that demineralize enamel on teeth. This demineralization process creates dental caries (lesions on teeth), which produce pain and, if left untreated, will erode and destroy teeth."  (National Institutes of Health)

That said, if you experience pain or sensitivity when eating sweets, that could signal a problem. Please schedule an appointment to have the tooth examined and treated.

Willy Wonka's dad was a dentist after all, he had to know something about the whole thing, right?


So the next time a major candy holiday comes around, you can tell you Trick or Treater or Easter basket binger to go ahead... they may get a sugar high and bounce off the walls for a bit... but as long as they brush after they chow down, they should be just fine! Oh, and you should be too!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sterilization practices key to patient safety

            The case of an Oklahoma Oral Surgeon in trouble  because of allegations of wrong-doing are unsettling to many dental patients. The Tulsa area doctor is accused of using unsanitary and unsterilized surgical tools and equipment on patients in an office he admits has a “higher than normal proportion” of patients of HIV and hepatitis. The surgeon has surrendered his license, still nearly 500 patients have had to be tested for the diseases at the local health department.
            The news is scary, and sad because it is preventable.  Federal and state guidelines are in place to protect against the spread of blood-borne pathogens. We want to assure patients of Total Care Dentistry that we us the most up-to-date methods of sterilization to ensure the health and safety of our patients and staff.  Our staff undergoes routine training at regular intervals to make sure all OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommendations and continuing education in the area are completed.  We were excited to welcome an infection control expert into our suite for an extensive review earlier this spring!    
       According to the National Institutes of health Hepatitis is more common than most people think. About 4.4 million Americans have the recurring liver infection and most of them don’t even know it.
     This article was republished from the April edition of the Patient Connection, a monthly newsletter produced by Total Care Dentistry, and Dr. Mary T. Dooley, DDS.



Your FAQ's: When do I replace my toothbrush?

The Your FAQ's titled posts are truly inspired by our patients and prospective patients. Please take the time to read these thorough explanations of the most common questions we hear in our practice.

Q: "When do I replace my toothbrush?"

A: This is a question we hear quite often. Dr. Dooley's
answer is always the same, even though your toothbrush
usage and kind you use my be different than that of another patient!

You can use the same toothbrush for as long as it maintains it original shape. Ignore those color-changing, or fading bristles, the shape is what matters. Most toothbrushes can keep their shape for about three to six months. If your brush is wearing out sooner, you could be brushing too hard. (Yes, that's a big problem! We'll tell you more about that another time.)

Still don't know if your toothbrush is good enough to keep getting the job done? You can also bring your toothbrush with you to your next visit. We'll take a glance and tell you if it's time to get a new one. Schedule your next appointment online on our website or Facebook page or call us at 757-486-4880.