Summertime Dental Tips

Summer! It makes us all think of our favorite treats; lemonade, fresh fruit, ice cream, and cook outs with sweet corn on the cob. While all of these treats bring a smile to your face, they can be a bit hard on your smile. Staying up late at family get togethers can make it hard to remember that evening 2 minutes of brushing, and it’s awfully tempting to reach for sweet tea or icy lemonade to hydrate instead of water, but just because the seasons change doesn’t mean your oral hygiene should suffer.

While you’re enjoying your favorite outdoor activities try to keep hydrated with water, instead of sugary drinks, or acidic drinks like lemonade. If you do enjoy a lemonade or a soda (who doesn’t?) try following it with water to help rinse the sugar away if you can’t brush immediately. Especially after you brush for the evening always reach for water if you feel thirsty. As tempting as it can be to crunch on ice on a hot summer day, it can cause damage to your teeth and is not advisable. Try sticking to sipping on ice water.

Summer brings a bounty of sweet, vine or tree ripened fruit. After you snack on all the lovely fruit, it’s a good idea to brush your teeth to remove the extra sugar that can linger and lead to bacterial growth. Each brushing session (even an ‘extra’ one) should last 2 minutes.

Hosting a cookout or packing a picnic? Be sure to provide some floss, or handy floss picks, to clear those pesky corn bits from between teeth. Speaking of flossing, don’t let go of your nightly brushing and flossing routine. Consider moving it up in the evening if you plan on staying up late. Brushing and flossing right after desert, especially if dessert is a nice ice cream cone or sundae, is a good way to be sure you don’t forget before bed time, and it’s also a good way to curb nighttime snacking. When you are continually snacking your saliva doesn’t have a chance to do it’s natural job of rinsing the sugars and acids that cause decay away from your teeth.

At Clark Family Dental we recommend taking good care of your smile all year, and we’re always here to help. Summer is a great time to schedule an appointment for an exam and cleaning. Starting the summer with a spic and span smile is a great way to kick off the celebrations!

Root Canal Treatment

Our culture places a great deal of fear around the idea of a root canal. It has become synonymous with anything painful and uncomfortable. Much has changed in dentistry over the years however, and root canal procedures and management of discomfort have improved significantly. Understanding the procedure start to finish can go a long way in helping to ease the nerves.

What Is A Root Canal?
When a tooth is damaged due to neglect, decay or injury, a root canal is done in order to save the tooth from having to be removed, allowing you to keep the natural tooth structure. Once a cavity has spread through the enamel and dentin to the tooth’s nerve tissue within the pulp chamber, painful infections or an abscessed tooth caused by bacteria growing around the nerve is almost always the result.

If the infected tooth is left untreated, the following complications will eventually occur:
-Swelling
-Bone loss around the tip of the root
-Severe tooth pain
-Discoloration of the tooth
-Increased sensitivity to hot or cold temperature
-The infection drains into the gums or the cheek
-The living tooth will die and decay

What Happens During A Root Canal?
Depending on the condition of your infected tooth and your history with the dentist, a root canal procedure will generally take one or two visits. The first step is getting a local anesthetic to numb the infected area. The dentist will make sure that the area has been sufficiently numbed. Then, a rubber dam may be placed surrounding the tooth being worked on so that harmful bacteria is kept out. A small hole will be created in the tooth to gain access to the root canal. Once the damaged area can be reached, the pulp (nerve) will be cleared out by our specialists, and the canal will be thoroughly cleaned. Specially shaped files will be used to clear away the infected nerve tissue. The empty pulp and root canals will then be thoroughly disinfected. Once all of the infected areas are removed, the now clean and empty area will be filled. The hole that was created to reach the infection will then be covered up with a filling. Depending on where in your mouth the root canal took place, a filling and or a crown will be needed in order to protect the tooth from further damage.

Tips To Follow After Root Canal Treatment:
-Sometimes it’s not always possible to reach all of the infected areas. Taking any prescribed antibiotics is essential to prevent further infection.
-If you experience pain after the procedure for an extended period of time, call your dentist right away.
-Follow proper hygiene habits and clean the tooth and gums regularly where your root canal occurred. Use a fluoride toothpaste and brush for a full two minutes. Follow up by gently flossing between each tooth to remove any built-up food in the gaps
-Avoid putting too much pressure on the side of your mouth where you had your root canal. Steer away from foods that are chewy, hard or crunchy. Give your tooth time to heal.

Schedule an Appointment
Drs. Chris and Beth Clark at Clark Family Dental focus not only on your comfort but also your health and the health of your teeth. Our New Albany, OH dental office serves patients from surrounding New Albany communities. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and let us restore health and comfort to your mouth.

Helping Your Teen Achieve Independent Oral Health Care

As children get older and become more independent it gets harder and harder for parents to have a direct influence on their child’s dental care. When your child makes this transition into adolescence it seems that schedules become more crowded and teens get more responsibility. Often responsibility over their oral health care is pushed to the side and before you know it dental issues arise. It’s important to catch these issues early on. Here are some tips that will help you and your teen to keep dental care a priority.

Keep dental supplies in a convenient spot

It’s always nice when you get to use a new toothbrush right? Your teen feels the same way. They may feel independent but they aren’t buying their own toothbrush yet. Make sure there’s plenty of toothpaste, floss and mouthwash available.

Orthodontic Consultation

You can get braces at any age but it is most common during the teenage years. During this time your teen grows so fast including their facial muscles and bones. Our office can guide you in the direction you and your teen need to go and see what options are best for you. There are many options available that may surprise you.

Healthy Habits

It’s hard to control what your kids eat especially when they aren’t with you. But you can make sure you have healthy food choices in your home. Having a good variety of healthy food and snacks will allow them to still choose for themselves while staying healthy at the same time.

A healthy smile is an attractive smile

Teenagers are certainly more aware of their looks during this time that almost any other time in their lives. You can use this to your advantage by emphasizing how attractive a healthy smile can be. It is one of the top reasons each of us cares for our teeth. A white, healthy, sparkling smile is what we all want right?

Regular Dental Checkups

It’s important that regular dental checkups are a priority. We know that you and your family are busy but don’t neglect this area of your teens life. If you do it could affect their overall health, including self esteem. Don’t tell your teen this, but they are still kids and it’s your job to stay on top of dental appointments. Show teens the importance of regular dental care and checkups, a habit that will benefit them the rest of their life. Give Clark Family Dental a call and schedule an appointment for your tee today!

Why You Shouldn’t Open Things With Your Teeth

Every day we use different tools to accomplish something. Whether it is fixing a tire or opening a can of pickles. Sometimes the tools we use are simply our two hands. Sometimes we need an electric drill. Something we shouldn’t use as tools are our teeth. Biting our fingernails is a common one. Using our teeth to open a bag of chips is another. Opening the following items with your teeth may seem like a good idea but it is just not worth the risk of damaging those pearly whites.

Packages

Any sort of sealed package like a bag of chips, an object that is in shrink-wrap, or closed boxes with packing tape usually require a sharp edge of some sort to open. It’s certainly appealing to quickly rip into them with your teeth because you think it saves time, but the sharp plastic of shrink-wrap or tape can result in cuts, and if the material doesn’t tear easily, you can even dislocate your jaw out of place from the strain of trying to tear it.

Bottles

You might think you are impressing people because you know how to pop the metal top off of a glass bottle with your teeth, but you run the risk of chipping or cracking a tooth in the process. The sharp metal edge of a bottle cap could cut your gums or mouth and if the glass breaks you would have further injury. If you don’t have a bottle opener handy, you can also bang it open on a sturdy table edge.

Nuts or Seeds in a Shell

It seems convenient to use your teeth to open a nutshell and hey if a squirrel can do it then why not right? Wrong! You are very likely to end up with a cracked or chipped tooth instead of a cracked shell. It’s worth the effort to look through your kitchen drawer for that nutcracker. It just might save you an emergency trip to the dentist office.

Sales Tags

Sales tags on clothes are annoying. And sometimes seem relatively easy to remove. But don’t underestimate the strength of that plastic. They can be surprisingly strong and hard to break. And will make a weakened tooth worse. Save yourself a damaged tooth and use a pair of scissors or nail clippers instead.

No matter what the object is, it’s never a good idea to use your teeth as tools for anything other than chewing your food. But if you ever find yourself with a damaged tooth Clark Family Dental offers cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry treatments. We are here to help and will answer any questions you may have. Contact us today!

Diabetes and Oral Health

Diabetes can lead to many health problems which can be overwhelming. Clark Family Dental is here to help with oral health related issues as a result of Diabetes. Did you know that Diabetes can lead to gum and teeth problems? Without addressing these issues and without proper care any oral health problems you may have will just get worse, which can lead to even more health issues. This is why It’s important to be aware of the oral symptoms that Diabetes can lead to.

Dry mouth and Gum Disease

Dry mouth is one of the most common problems that those with Diabetes have. You have probably experienced this for yourself or have heard someone talk about it. Dry mouth symptoms can include a dry tongue, dry and cracked lips, difficulty chewing, swallowing and talking. These are all annoying and uncomfortable but more importantly than that, dry mouth can also lead to more serious issues. Because Diabetes reduces your mouth’s saliva production it can make your teeth more vulnerable to decay and lead to gum disease. Saliva helps wash away plaque and tartar; the less saliva that is in your mouth, the more likely chance you have of plaque and tartar build up.

Diabetes can reduce the blood supply to the gums which increases the risk of gum disease. One form of gum disease is gingivitis and if left untreated can lead to more serious issues. Diabetes also reduces the body’s resistance to infection and it puts the gums at risk even further for gingivitis.

Oral Surgery Complications

Diabetes can complicate oral surgery if you ever need it, especially if it is poorly controlled. Because Diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection it also makes it harder to heal which can increase the risk of disease. Sometimes you blood sugar levels may be more difficult to control after oral surgery as well. As a result, It is important to find a dentist that is aware and sensitive to your needs and has your best interest at heart.

At Clark Family Dental we understand that having Diabetes can be overwhelming, especially when you are first learning about it. We keep up-to-date on periodontal therapy and we can work together with your physician if needed to find the best solution for you. We want you to feel comfortable working with us and the treatment you need will be specialized and tailored toward your specific condition. Clark Family Dental is your clear choice in the New Albany area. Contact us today.

New Year’s Dental Health Resolutions

We have started a new year. Do you have resolutions? We all want to make goals and they usually include bettering ourselves in some way. What if one goal could help you look and feel better? What if accomplishing that goal was right around the corner and could improve your smile and as a result confidence? Making a dental health goal for yourself can do just that. Whether you would like help in preventative dentistry or you would like to take that smile from ordinary to extraordinary, we can help you accomplish it! Our friendly staff is here to help you with your New Year’s Resolution of obtaining that sparkling smile that you’ve always wanted.

All too often people get discouraged about their New Year’s resolution because it’s too big or they feel too overwhelmed after a few days or weeks. They haven’t planned well enough or they get too busy and forget to keep track of their original plan. Maybe at the beginning they had some support but soon everyone gets too busy with their own lives and the support starts to dwindle. What if we could make the plan for you? What if we planned out the goals and made the appointments for you? What if we were your own personal hotline to answer any questions you may have on your specific plan? What if we said that it is our job to support you and we love it? Would you want to know more?

That goal of a beautiful smile is right around the corner and more attainable than you think. We have a bright office and friendly staff that are ready and excited to help you to achieve your dream smile. We can lay out a plan that works best for you and your schedule. No more feeling discouraged about not accomplishing your resolution. A few steps taken by you and the rest is up to us and you can feel confident that we take pride and care in helping our patients accomplish their beautiful smile goal. You won’t feel any pressure from us, we are here to serve you and find the best suited plan that fits your life and goals. What are you waiting for? Ready to feel confident again? Ready to take on your day with a glowing smile? We love our current patients and are also accepting new patients so contact us today and make your first appointment in accomplishing that New Year’s Resolution of having a more beautiful and healthy smile!

Helpful Tips To Cope With Dental Fear

Dental Phobia Is Real

If dental appointments make you nervous, then you aren’t alone. Unfortunately, because regular dental checkups are essential to your overall oral care, skipping check ups can exacerbate dental problems. Here are a few tips for overcoming dental fear, so that you can get the dental care that you need:

Tips for Overcoming Dental Fear

  • Establish a Hand Signal to Stop Treatment: It isn’t always easy to communicate with your dentist when his or her hands are in your mouth, which is why establishing a hand signal is such a good idea. Before your appointment begins, agree on a hand signal with your dentist that will tell your doctor that you need a break. For example, you could hold up your index finger to show that you need a break.
  • Read More About Your Procedures: Sometimes, people are simply afraid of the unknown. If you are nervous about undergoing a procedure that you are unfamiliar with, take a few minutes to research the topic. Reading about root canals or crown placements might not seem like a fun topic to research, but when you know what is happening, you might not be as likely to stress.
  • Ask for Laughing Gas: If your dentist offers Nitrous oxide, also called laughing gas, consider making it a regular part of your dental visits. This safe, breathable gas relaxes patients, so that you can kick back and stay calm.
  • Bring Distractions: Consider bringing along a few distractions, such as a smartphone or a friend. Instead of listening to drills and suction tools, you might be able to relax and enjoy your favorite music or podcast. Friends or family members can talk with you or hold your hand, which can help to soothe your nerves.

Here at Clark Family Dental, our goal is to make each and every one of our patients as comfortable as possible. If you have dental appointment anxiety, please let us know. We will do everything in our power to make your visit relaxing.

Toothbrushing Tips

At Clark Family Dental, we provide preventive dentistry in New Albany. When you come to see us, we will treat you with respect and as an individual. Each person has different dental hygiene needs and is at a different point when it comes to having a healthy, happy smile. We will work with you and take the time to talk to you about what your oral hygiene concerns are.

One of the best ways to maintain good dental health is by brushing your teeth regularly and maintaining good brushing habits. Your toothbrush is the main tool you have to maintain oral health.

So, we have assembled some tips on how to correctly brush teeth.

-Brush your teeth gently two times a day for two minutes each time. Be careful not to scrub too hard as this can damage gums.

-Replace your toothbrush every three to four months. If the bristles on your toothbrush start to fray or curl, replace your toothbrush.

-Rinse the toothbrush after you use it.

-Let your toothbrush dry between each use. In a closed container, a toothbrush can grow bacteria.

-Don’t share toothbrushes.

What kinds of toothbrushes are best?

Soft versus hard bristles

While hard bristles may make it easier to scrub the plaque away, they aren’t better overall. In the end, hard bristles also scrape off tooth enamel and can bother gums. This can even lead to a greater risk of gum recession.

We recommend using a soft-bristle brush and ditching any toothbrushes that have hard bristles.

Manual versus powered brushes

As technology has improved, modern electric toothbrushes have become better at reaching plaque in hard-to-reach spots than manual brushes. While in the past there wasn’t a big difference, many electric brushes today have benefits over manual toothbrushes.

Electric toothbrushes have been found to reduce plaque by up to 21 percent more than a manual toothbrush. Also, it can be easier to brush for two minutes with an electric brush as you don’t have to press down as hard.

How should toothbrushes be stored?

Store the toothbrush upright in a place where it can dry out. Also, make sure you keep your toothbrush stored in a place as far away from the toilet as you can.

Schedule an Appointment

If it’s been awhile since you’ve last seen a dentist, schedule an appointment at Clark Family Dental. Our staff members are friendly and helpful. We are happy to schedule appointments for new and existing patients.

Halloween Tips and Tricks for Maintaining Oral Health

At Clark Family Dental, we know that Halloween is a fun time of year full of tricks and treats. As your New Albany dentist, we are particularly concerned about the “treats” part of Halloween. We know that everyone deserves to have some treats sometimes. But, all those sweets and treats hanging around can be tempting, and this can lead to some oral hygiene consequences if you aren’t careful. We can help you keep your oral hygiene, and the oral hygiene of your kids, in tip-top shape during Halloween.

This guide of tips and tricks from our staff at Clark Family Dental can help you enjoy the sweets that are around while still making sure your family maintain healthy mouths and bright smiles.

Here are our suggestions:

1: Use good brushing and flossing habits to keep the treat damage at bay

Brushing your teeth helps prevent tooth decay. After eating candy or sweets, brush and floss your teeth. This can help keep the bacteria away and mitigate some of the damage caused by sugary candies and sweets.

2: Make a plan for you and your family.

Deciding ahead of time how many treats to let your kids eat is a good way to keep them from ingesting too much. There isn’t one way to do this, but you could decide to have your kids only eat a few pieces of candy a day, or something along those lines.

3: Eat candy and sweets with your meals.

Saliva production increases during meals. This helps wash away harmful bacteria that can cause cavities and tooth decay. If you and your family eat treats around the same time that you eat meals, it can reduce the risk of tooth decay.

4: Plan on eating healthier snacks when you get an urge to eat more treats.

We all can have a sweet tooth sometimes, but, if you make a plan ahead of time, you can have an alternative in place. We’re not saying you can never have some of that Halloween candy, but, sometimes, another option is a good idea.

Schedule an Appointment

After this season of treats and spooks is over, it’s a good time to schedule an appointment with Clark Family Dental for a check-up. We can schedule an exam or cleaning at a time that works with your schedule. We are always happy to help give more ideas on how to help your family maintain good oral hygiene as the holiday season approaches.

Why You Need to Replace That Missing Tooth

Are you missing a tooth? If you have a tooth that has been extracted, it leaves behind a large gap in your smile. It is in your best interest to replace the tooth as a missing tooth can lead to a number of oral health problems. Clark Family Dental specializes in providing patients with affordable, long-lasting dental procedures, allowing you to enjoy sharing your smile with others. Here are some of the reasons why you need to replace a missing tooth.

Teeth Shifting and Bite Problems

When a tooth is extracted, the area in the mouth no longer has a support in place to keep the other teeth from moving. It is common to see the other teeth start to shift, leading to a crooked smile. Shifting teeth can cause several issues with your bite, and can even lead to differences in your speech. It is important to meet with a dentist soon after an extraction to discuss the options that are available for missing teeth replacement in New Albany, OH. Dental implants are the preferred option as they are long-lasting, and look as close to a traditional tooth as possible.

Face Shape Alteration

When teeth are extracted from the mouth, they no longer have a root structure in place to continue nourishing the jawbone. The body stops sending nutrients to the jawbone, which will lead to bone deterioration. As the bone begins to deteriorate, it can cause the shape of your face to change. Quite often the cheeks will start to have a “sunken in” look to them. Dental implants are the best option as they do continue to keep the jawbone strong, keeping your appearance the same.

TMJ

Many patients end up with a condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) following an extraction. TMJ is when the upper and lower jaws do not meet properly, causing excess stress on the jaw joint, leading to pain and possibly can lock a jaw in place. It is important to meet with a dentist regularly to check for shifting of the alignment of your teeth as it can lead to TMJ and other painful conditions.

Gum Disease

Without the teeth in place to nourish the mouth, we often see an increase in gum disease. Gum disease occurs when the teeth shift out of alignment and patients are unable to reach all the areas in the mouth properly to remove plaque and bacteria.

Contact Clark Family Dental today to discuss your options for missing teeth replacement New Albany, OH. We want to help you be proud of your smile by offering effective, long-lasting oral health solutions. Call today to schedule your consultation.