The Oral Systemic Connection

Taking great care of your oral health is hugely important, not just generally speaking, but because of the oral-systemic connection.

What is the oral-systemic connection?

Oral systemic link refers to the connection between your oral health and the health of the rest of your body. Poor oral health is linked to several more serious health conditions. It’s important to take oral health seriously and engage in preventive methods to ward off tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Which conditions are linked to poor oral health?

Gum disease can result from poor oral hygiene; it begins with inflamed or bleeding gums and bad breath. At this stage, gum disease is known as gingivitis. When gingivitis is left untreated, it can lead to periodontitis. This later stage of gum disease can result in gum recession that exposes the teeth and their roots, leaving gaps for the build-up of bacteria. In the worse cases, the roots can become severely damaged, and the teeth can even fall out.

Periodontal disease and poor oral health have been linked to conditions such as respiratory illnesses, heart disease, diabetes, pregnancy complications and some types of cancer. Osteoporosis is a bone-weakening condition that’s also been linked with tooth loss and periodontal bone loss. Bacteria and infections from your mouth and other parts of your body can spread through your bloodstream; a process that’s apparent in Endocarditis whereby the inner lining of your valves become infected. Prioritizing oral care is essential to prevent the build-up of bacteria.

Warning signs

Some symptoms in the mouth can be a warning sign that there is an underlying disease elsewhere in the body. If you notice any symptoms like ulcers or sores, swollen gums, dry mouth, sudden sensitivity or gum recession; you should schedule an appointment with your dentist to check your symptoms.

Taking care of your oral health

Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly is of optimum importance in oral health care. Aggressive brushing can lead to gum recession, so ensure that you brush thoroughly but gently around the gums. Eating a healthy diet and avoiding foods and drinks with a high sugar content will also make sure that your teeth and gums stay in good condition. Drink lots of water because this will help to wash away bacteria and keep your teeth clean. See your dentist regularly so that they can provide a professional cleaning to eliminate the build-up of plaque. Dentists can also provide you with a fluoride treatment to help strengthen the enamel of your teeth.

Links to your wellbeing

When we take care of our physical health, this affects our mental health positively too. Those who eat healthily, exercise and take good care of their teeth are setting themselves up to feel positive and happy. Excellent oral health can also affect your confidence because if you are unhappy with your teeth and gums, this could lead you to feel insecure and anxious. Staying on top of your oral care is a vital priority for both the body and mind! Contact us to schedule an appointment for treatment today!

Children’s Dentistry FAQs

Here at Clark Family Dental, we offer children’s dentistry that will ensure that your child’s oral hygiene starts out in the right way. Here are some of the FAQ’s that parents have about children’s dentistry in order to help with the process:

When do their first teeth appear?

A child’s first two front teeth (also known as central incisors) appear at around 6 months old, which are then followed by the two upper central incisors. The rest of their baby teeth appear over the next 18-24 months.

When should you begin using toothpaste on your child’s teeth?

After birth, you should make sure that you are cleaning your child’s gums with water and a clean washcloth. Once their teeth start appearing, parents should start to use a small amount of toothpaste on a suitable-sized toothbrush to brush their teeth twice a day.

What type of toothbrush is suitable for children?

The first thing you should look for when buying your child’s first toothbrush is one that has soft bristles and a small head. If you are unsure as to which one is right for your child’s age, look out for an age rating on the packaging. If you want to make brushing exciting for them, choose a toothbrush with their favorite Disney princess, action hero or cartoon character on them. It’s essential to demonstrate the importance of brushing to them, so that plaque bacteria is removed.

How much fluoride is my child getting?

Fluoride is crucial is protecting a child’s teeth. Our dentists will help you to understand the amount that your child needs, with a regular checkup and oral exams.

How old should my child be for their first dental appointment?

It’s recommended that by their first birthday they should have their first visit to the dentist. In order to prevent any dental problems from occurring, from the first teeth appearing, your child should have an appointment scheduled every 6 months.

Are there any food restrictions that I should be aware of before/after my child’s appointment?

This, of course, depends on whether they are having any treatments. However, in general, a child should avoid eating anything that’s too heavy before the appointment. If they have a fluoride treatment, they should try not to eat for at least 30 minutes in order for the treatment to work effectively.

What should I expect from my child’s first appointment?

At their first appointment, the dentist will discuss how important a child’s diet is in relation to their teeth and how often you should brush their teeth. They will then take a seat in the chair (if it’s possible for them to do so) and the dentist will check their teeth and brush them lightly. Taking your child for their first visit is a big step, but our dentists will show that there is nothing to fear.

What can you do to continue your child’s dental care?

As time goes on, your child will become more comfortable with visiting the dentist. It’s important to reinforce the importance of these checkups and regularly brushing their teeth in order to prevent decay, cavities, etc. You should also ensure that they are aware of how different foods can affect their teeth.

What children’s dentistry services does Clark Family Dental offer?

Why you should schedule an appointment for a checkup with Clark Family Dental

With years of experience in dentistry, our New Albany family dentistry practice can provide those of all ages with a high standard of dental care. With a comprehensive list of treatments and all of the basic family dentistry services, we have your child’s oral health covered. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Dental Caps and Crowns

Have you ever wondered what treatments are available from a dentist? As an experienced dentist in New Albany, we provide various types of dental treatments. Some of our most common procedures are restorative treatments.

Restorative dentistry returns a damaged tooth back to a good condition. There are lots of restorations we carry out, and caps/crowns fall under this category. You may have heard of these terms before, but do you know what a dental cap or crown is? More to the point, how will they benefit you?

What is a dental cap/crown?

Dental caps and crowns are the same thing. More often than not, they’re referred to as crowns. They’re made in the shape of your tooth, and they get placed over the tooth you’re having treatment on. Instead of having a damaged tooth, you’ve now got one that looks natural and maintains its size and shape.

Dental crowns are made out of different materials – depending on what type you want – these include:

  1. Porcelain
  2. Porcelain fused to metal
  3. Metal

Porcelain crowns are the most natural looking as they match your teeth. Metal ones are the cheapest, but stand out the most.

How is a dental crown made?

A crown is made by taking impressions of the tooth you’re receiving treatment on. Before this is done, your dentist will shape your tooth to make it easy for a crown to be placed. This often means they remove any decay or damaged parts, and you’re left with a small stump-like tooth.

This might sound strange, but it’s all to help the crown fit properly. An impression is taken, which lets the lab create the perfect crown to fit over your newly shaped tooth. The crown then gets cemented in place, covering the entire tooth.

What are the benefits of dental crowns/caps?

The main benefit of crowns is that they improve the way your teeth look. If you’ve got a damaged or chipped tooth, then a crown helps restore it to its normal shape. Is your tooth discolored or worn down because of decay? A dental crown lets you restore your tooth back to its former glory.

Not only will your teeth be more visually appealing, but you also regain function too. Damaged or weakened teeth can impact the way you chew. With a crown, you can chew as normal, without any problems.

Crowns and caps also help protect your teeth from further damage. Teeth that have decay can get that decay removed, then a crown fitter over the rest of the tooth. As such, it prevents further decay from happening and damaging the tooth.

Schedule An Appointment For Restorative Treatment

Do you want to restore your teeth and make them look good as new? If so, then schedule an appointment with us today. We provide restorative treatment, so you can get a lovely crown placed over your tooth. Then, you will feel confident when you smile, keep the function of your teeth, and prevent further issues from occurring.

Foods That Can Help Whiten Your Teeth

Nothing makes you feel more confident than a bright, beautiful smile. At Clark Family Dental, we specialize in creating radiant, white, healthy smiles and we’re always happy to share secrets and offer advice to help you keep your pearly whites in check. If you long for sparkling white teeth, making changes to your diet can have a positive impact. We often hear all about the foods we shouldn’t be eating, but there are plenty of items you can add to your shopping cart to bolster oral health and make your smile shine. Here are some foods that can help to whiten your teeth.

Tooth whitening foods

Raw vegetables

Raw vegetables offer an array of health benefits. As well as being packed with vitamins and minerals, foods like carrots, cucumbers, celery, and broccoli are also great for your teeth. Chewing these foods increases saliva production, which cleanses the mouth, reduces acidity and helps to prevent staining. Broccoli is particularly beneficial for those aiming for an ultra-white smile, as its iron content helps to prevent enamel staining and reduce the risk of plaque formation.

Cheese

Cheese is a tooth-friendly food due to its high calcium content, but it can also offer whitening benefits. Calcium is essential for strong, healthy bones, teeth and nails, and dairy products are an excellent source. Cheese also has a high pH, which is beneficial for neutralizing acids, and hard cheeses can also reduce the risk of discoloration. Gouda, for example, can remove food particles that linger in the mouth, eliminating the risk of staining.

Strawberries

Strawberries are a summer staple for many of us. The good news is that strawberries aren’t just delicious. They’re also a natural whitener for your teeth. Strawberries contain malic acid, which has organic whitening properties, and these juicy red berries also have a rough surface, which gently removes surface stains.

Pineapple

Pineapple is a fantastic choice for dessert if you’re keen to keep your smile in tip-top condition. Pineapple is one of few foods that contain bromelain, a compound that boasts anti-inflammatory properties and helps to remove superficial stains. Although pineapple is very good for you, it is acidic and it does contain natural sugars, so make sure you eat it before or after a main meal, and have a glass of water to rinse your mouth out afterwards.

Nuts and seeds

If you’re on the lookout for a healthy snack, it’s worth considering nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds contain essential oils, healthy fats, and protein, and they can also help to break up food debris and get rid of surface stains thanks to their abrasive coating. Almonds are a perfect choice for dental health, as they are an excellent source of calcium and they have very low sugar content.

Many of us long to preserve our beautiful smiles for as long as possible. As well as maintaining good oral hygiene and coming in for a check-up every 6-12 months, the Clark Family Dental team also strongly recommends adopting a tooth-friendly diet. If you’re eager to ensure your smile sparkles, make sure you add these foods to your shopping list. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry

Smiling can be one of the simplest ways to brighten our day. It can also brighten the day of those around us. For some smiling isn’t always something they look forward to. There are those who hold back their smile because of crooked, stained, or missing teeth. This takes more of a toll on your health than you realize. Here are some benefits that cosmetic dentistry can have in your life and will have you feeling more confident in that beautiful smile in no time.

Improve Your Self-Confidence

Bad teeth is the number one reason people avoid to smile and have low self-confidence. Unsightly and unhealthy teeth can even have an effect on one’s career. In fact, according to some reports, bad teeth have a negative impact on professional success. If you are embarrassed by your teeth and avoid smiling it can often lead to other’s unwanted judgement. However self-confidence doesn’t come because of what others think of you but it sure feels good to feel confident in your smile, especially when you are around and working with other individuals often.

Looking Younger

You may still be in your twenties but look at least 10-15 years old just because of how your teeth look. Healthy teeth will make you look younger and there are different cosmetic dentistry procedures, such as dental veneers, dental implants and teeth whitening, that can help improve your smile and make you not only look younger, but feel younger as well.

Health Benefits

The health benefits alone of what cosmetic dentistry can do is impressive.

Mental health benefits– As mentioned above a beautiful smile can boost your self-confidence. It can also lower stress and improve mental health. As confidence in your smile increase so does your happiness and therefore reduces your overall stress level.

Physical health benefits– Misaligned teeth can often cause severe headaches. In fact, any bite that isn’t normal can cause you headaches and tooth pain. Cosmetic dentistry can help fix those misaligned teeth. It can also correct cracked, decayed, or missing teeth. This will make it easier for your to chew and eat the foods that are healthy for you which will improve your physical health.

Oral health benefits– When you invest in improving your smile it will help you to stay motivated to take care of your smile and maintain your beautiful results. You will look for for ways to change your eating and drinking habits in order to avoid staining and harming your teeth. When chipped or cracked teeth are repaired they will no longer be vulnerable to decay thus improving your overall oral health and decreasing your risk for gum disease.

Invest in yourself and your health today and see what cosmetic dentistry can do for you. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

Oral Health Tips for The New Year

When a new year begins we like to reflect on the things that we have accomplished and learned. We also like to make new goals for ourselves and our families. Improving our overall oral health is often something we wish to improve and for good reason. A healthy mouth often is a good indication of one’s overall health. Here are some ways to improve your dental health this year.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Just as your body feels better when you put good food in it, your teeth and your mouth will also thank you for making good food choices. Healthy food promotes healthy teeth. Leafy greens are rich in calcium, folic acid and lots of important vitamins and minerals that your teeth and gums love. Carrots are full of the most important minerals and vitamins for your mouth. Yogurt is packed with calcium and probiotics that protect you against cavities, gum disease and even bad breath. If you are striving to keep your teeth and mouth healthy search for foods that will aid you in your quest for healthy teeth. There are so many!

Avoid Foods and Drinks That Stain Your Teeth

You probably already know that there are lots of different foods that stain your teeth. Some are obvious. Wine for example, will stain your teeth if you are not careful about how much you drink and how often you drink it. Other common foods and drinks that will stain your teeth include: coffee, tea, soda, dark juices, tomato sauce, and berries. There are others that can stain your teeth if you’re not careful. When possible stay away or consume them in moderation. When you do enjoy them from time to time make sure to rinse or brush afterward.

Drink Lots of Water

Water is always a good choice! It improves your overall health and improves and strengthens those pearly whites. Drinking water with fluoride is one of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do to help prevent cavities. Fluoride is nature’s cavity fighter. Water is also a great mouth cleaner because it washes away leftover food and residue that cavity-causing bacteria love to eat. Water also dilutes the acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth. Always drink lots of water!

Regular Dental Checkups

Regular dental checkups are such an important step toward your dental health. Any conditions with your teeth or mouth will be caught at these appointments. The problems will be addressed and resolved and your teeth will continue to serve you well for the rest of your life. Start the new year right by scheduling an appointment with us today. Whether you are new to Clark Family Dental or you’ve been with our dental family for years your dental health is important to us. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Dental Care Tips for the Holidays

The holidays are for family, friends, fun, and food. However, even when you are having a good time, it is important to still keep your dental health in mind. This way you can start the new year with healthy teeth and gums! Consider these dental tips as you go through the holiday season.

  • Don’t use your teeth as tools. Teeth are great for many things like chewing and enunciating. But they do not make good tools. Using your teeth to open bottles, packages, or snacks will not lead to good things. That includes using your teeth as a nutcracker. Do not do this! With time these tool like activities with your teeth will weaken the enamel and the more fragile edges of your teeth will lead to chipping and cracking and can lead to an expensive, necessary cosmetic repair.
  • Avoid certain holiday foods. Sticky, hard, chewy and sugary foods may taste good but they are no friend to your teeth. That includes the popular candy cane, soft mint chews, ice cubes and chestnuts. It might be hard to stay away from these foods, but think of them as something that could lead an expensive dental filling instead, that may curb your desire to snack on them.
  • Chew cinnamon gum. Besides having a holiday flavor to it, cinnamon gum actually can provide other benefits. It contains an ingredients called “cinnamaldehyde.” This in an essential oil that gives the gum that crisp, spicy flavor. It can also hunt down and destroy cavity-forming bacteria and that is ideal during this time of year. Not to mention that cinnamon gum can keep your breath fresher longer, which will definitely help with all those parties you’ll be attending.
  • Drink Plenty of Water. Water has so many benefits especially during the holidays when sometimes you don’t feel your best. Water will help skin looking fresh and hydrated. It will also help freshen your breath and aid in digestion and elimination. Which can’t hurt since you may be eating a little more junk food than usual. Water just makes you feel better all around and is so good for you. It can’t hurt to keep up with the drinking water habit during this time of year.
  • Keep up with your daily dental routine. Stick to your brushing and flossing daily habits. Twice-daily flossing will only help get all that junk out of your teeth. With just a little bit of extra planning and effort during this time of year, you can look forward to a clean bill of dental health in the coming year.
  • Schedule an appointment. This may be last on the list but is probably the most important. Regularly visiting your dentist will do the most good and help to keep that mouth free from bacteria that accumulates during the holiday season. Call Clark Family Dental today to schedule your appointment and have a wonderful Holiday!

Healthy Halloween Tips & Treats

Halloween is right around the corner! It is a time for fun, tricks, and best of all TREATS! It can be hard to avoid sweet temptations, especially with the amount of leftover candy that accumulates after the big day. While eating candy on Halloween is perfectly fine, it is important to have a game plan in order to not go overboard. Your teeth will thank you later.

Brush twice a day.
It is extra important to make sure you’re brushing twice a day while consuming sugary treats, but this should be a rule of thumb you follow every day. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes to ensure your teeth are taken care of.

Eat Halloween treats shortly after mealtime.
When you are going to eat candy, get your fix with or shortly after a meal. According to the ADA, saliva production increases during meals. This can help cancel out the acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and rinse away food particles. Eating candy post mealtime will help reduce the residue that causes tooth decay.

Avoid hard and or sticky candies.
Hard and sticky candies are the worst Halloween sweets. Hard and sticky candies can remain in your mouth for longer periods of time. How long a sugar treat stays in your mouth affects your oral health. The stickier the candy, the longer it will take for your saliva to wash away the sticky residue.

Drink more water.
It’s always a good idea to drink plenty of water, especially when you are eating sugar. Fluoridated water helps fight cavities and prevent tooth decay!

Choose your Halloween snacks wisely.
Snacking will increase your risk of cavities, and it increases even more if those snacks are loaded with sugar. Those treats are easy to get to during Halloween. But snacking on candy throughout the day in not ideal for your dental health. Choose some healthy snack options like these to help curb that craving:

  • Pretzels
  • Apples
  • Beef Jerky
  • Goldfish
  • Popcorn
  • Raisins
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Dried Fruit
  • Snack Packs of animal crackers, graham crackers, or baked cheese crackers
  • Cheese and Crackers

Visit a dentist regularly.
Regular visits to your dental office is always a good idea. Scheduling a visit after Halloween is a great idea! At Clark Family Dental we care about our patients. While oral health should be taken seriously, you should always remember to have fun. Give our office a call today to schedule your checkup!

Tips for Reducing Your Oral Cancer Risk

Oral cancer is a very real and deadly plague. Though not as talked about or given as much attention as other types of cancer, as it is currently measured, its five year survival rate is only 60%. It is also more common than you may have thought – according the OCF (Oral Cancer Foundation), approximately 42,000 Americans are affected by oral cancer each year. That means that 115 individuals get diagnosed with it per hour!

Oral Cancer is a group of cancers that develop in parts of the mouth, face, throat and eyes, as well as in the tongue, tonsils and gums. It is characterized by deformed or unhealthy looking tissue. Here at Clark Family Dental, our qualified dentists are trained to recognize sign of oral cancer, and if it’s been a while since you’re last checkup, we highly recommend that you schedule an appointment with one of them. When you come in, you will find that we genuinely care about the health and well being of our patients.

Here three of some the best things you can do to reduce the likelihood becoming a victim of oral cancer:

  1. Don’t use tobacco. Due to the extremely high correlation that this practice has in relation to the development of oral cancer, if you have this habit, we advise you to cut it out of your life. All around, you will feel healthier and stronger, and you will also reduce the likelihood of receiving other deadly illnesses such as lung cancer.
  2. Practice good oral hygiene. One of the simplest ways you can preclude the development of oral cancer is by simply brushing your teeth and flossing every night. In addition to giving you a cleaner, whiter smile, this practice can save you from all sorts of diseases and health issues!
  3. Get a checkup. Because oral cancer does not typically cause pain or provoke other noticeable symptoms until it has continued to other parts of the body, many people do not know they have oral cancer until it’s too late. According to a recent statistic, only about 15% of people who visit the dentist get checked for it. When it comes to protecting yourself from this cancer, getting it diagnosed and treated early has everything to do with survival!

Contact us to schedule an appointment with Clark Family Dental today! Whether you be a new or current patient, we will be more than happy to perform your checkup and answer any questions you may have.

How to Avoid Painful and Expensive Dental Issues

Taking care of your teeth is more important than most people believe. If you don’t take care of your teeth now you may end up spending thousands of dollars in the future to fix dental problems that could have been avoided with proper preventative care. Take the time to be informed on the daily things you can be doing to help with future dental issues. It will be worth it in the long run and will save you time, money, and pain.

What is Preventative Dentistry?

Preventative dentistry is the practice of caring for your teeth to keep them healthy. This helps to avoid cavities, gum disease, enamel wear, and more. There are many forms of preventative dentistry such as daily brushing and dental cleanings. To maintain optimal oral health ,the American Dental Association recommends visits to the dentist at regular intervals determined by a dentist. These practices are designed to ensure that teeth are clean, strong, and white. Children should be taught proper oral hygiene at an early age. Here are some ways to practice preventative dentistry:

Brush your teeth daily– The most important part of preventative dentistry is to brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste. Most people should replace their toothbrushes three to four times per year.

Floss daily– Daily flossing helps to clean out the tight spaces between the teeth. If you have braces, you may need to use floss threaders to get between the metal brackets.

Visit your dentist– You should see your dentist at least once or twice per year for an exam to check for any problems in the teeth or gums. Dental cleanings and exams allow dentists to identify problems and take care of them right away.

Eat a balanced diet– Eating a balanced diet also helps to protect your teeth by providing them with the nutrients they need. Limit your sugar intake, including simple carbohydrates.

What are the Benefits of Preventative Dentistry

Preventative dentistry prevents people from developing dental problems later on in life. If you use proper dental care, you can avoid or lessen the effects of cavities, gingivitis, enamel loss, periodontitis. Everyone benefits from preventative dentistry. Children, in particular benefit because it allows their newly developing adult teeth to come in strong and healthy. If you’re an adult you can benefit from preventative dentistry because it helps you to keep your real teeth healthy and strong. Oral health is connected to the health and your body as a whole. This is because the mouth is a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Maintaining a clean mouth benefits your overall health.

In addition to reducing your risk for health issues, practicing good preventative health can save you money. Even with dental insurance, the costs associated with poor oral hygiene can add up. Preventative dentistry can go a long way in reducing your need for costly treatments. Request an appointment today with our friendly staff at Clark Family Dental. We can help on your road to good dental hygiene and help save you time, money and pain.