Toothpaste does a great job of cleaning teeth, but there are many other uses for toothpaste that you might not expect. The same ingredients that help polish our teeth can also soothe some common ailments, make items sparkle, and get rid of stains and pungent smells. Read these tricks shared by our 21742 dentist on how toothpaste can do much more than leave your smile looking bright.
Relieve irritation from bee stings and insect bites. Apply a small amount of toothpaste to the sting/bite to stop the itching and decrease any swelling. The toothpaste dries up the wound and helps it heal faster.
Remove crayon and other marks from painted walls. Rub a damp cloth with toothpaste gently on the marked-up wall and watch the marks disappear. The best part is that it won’t remove the paint off the walls.
Prevent mirrors from fogging. Rub toothpaste on the mirrors and wipe it off before your next shower. This will help you save time during your morning routine by not waiting for the mirror to clear up.
Remove scuffs from dirty shoes. Our Hagerstown, MD dental team recommends to apply toothpaste directly to the dirty or scuffed area, then scrub with a brush and wipe clean. Stubborn stains may require additional toothpaste or multiple applications to remove completely.
Make silver jewelry and diamonds sparkle. Rub toothpaste onto jewelry and leave overnight. Wipe clean with a soft cloth in the morning. You can also shine diamonds by gently scrubbing them using a toothbrush, toothpaste and water.
Remove scratches on DVDs and CDs. This technique works well on only shallow scratches and smudges. Apply a thin coating of toothpaste to the disc, rub gently and rinse clean. Repeat the process if there are many scratches.
Decrease the size of a pimple. Apply toothpaste to the affected area at night before bed and wash it off in the morning. Toothpaste will dry out the area and speed up the healing process.
Deodorize hands. Pungent foods, cleaning products and fragrances can linger on your hands no matter how many times you wash them. Try washing your hands using a small dab of toothpaste in addition to soap and water.
Fill in small nail holes in walls. Squeeze toothpaste into the hole and use a putty knife to remove excess toothpaste. Let the toothpaste dry and your wall will look good as new. If needed, you can also touch up the paint.
At your next appointment to our dental office in Hagerstown, MD, be sure to tell our dentist how you decided to use toothpaste other than for your teeth!
According to the American Association of Endodontists (AAE), there are popular misconceptions people may have regarding root canal therapy. Unfortunately, these patients may make decisions about their health care based on this incomplete or inaccurate information. Below are some common myths shared by our dentist in 21742 that you may have heard about root canal treatment.
Myth 1: Root canal treatment is painful.
In reality, the only pain that is generally associated with root canal therapy is caused by the underlying reason for the treatment – tooth decay or infected or diseased tissue. The root canal treatment removes this damaged tissue from the tooth, relieving the pain in the process.
Myth 2: Root canal treatment can spread infection.
In fact, root canal therapy has been proven to have a much lower incidence of bacteria entering the blood stream than tooth extraction and causes much less discomfort for the patient. Recent research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has also found that patients who have had multiple endodontic treatments have a 45% lower risk of cancer than patients who have not.
Myth 3: It’s better to just extract problem teeth.
By saving the natural tooth whenever possible, doctors and patients avoid the need for further, more costly treatment. Root canal treatment has a very high success rate and can often allow the natural tooth to last a lifetime.
If you still experience anxiety about the prospect of root canal treatment, there is another option you may consider. Valley Dental Associates of Hagerstown is pleased to offer sedation dentistry. Whether you have sensitive teeth that make treatment difficult, prohibitive anxiety that keeps you out of the dental chair, or multiple treatments that need to be done in one sitting, sedation dentistry can remove the worry from dental care.
Don’t let dental anxiety prevent you from receiving the quality care you deserve. Our qualified team is fully certified to offer sedation dentistry. Turn a potentially stressful trip to the dentist into a relaxing experience while receiving the care you need. To learn more about our sedation offerings, contact our dental office in Hagerstown, MD today!
Periodontal disease ranges from a mild inflammation of the gum tissues to periodontitis, a major oral disease that can result in soft tissue and bone damage. Periodontitis is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the United States.
One of the major causes of gum disease is practicing poor oral hygiene habits. Daily brushing and flossing and regular professional exams and dental cleanings are essential to maintaining optimal oral health. When these practices are not followed, plaque can form on the teeth and along the gum line. If this plaque is not properly removed, it may harden over time and become tartar. Once that occurs, only a dental professional can remove the tartar from teeth.
If gum disease is not treated in a timely manner, tartar may continue to build unchecked. When this occurs, the gum disease may advance to gingivitis. In this stage, gums redden, swell, and become prone to bleeding from normal activities, such as brushing or eating. Some other common symptoms include: chronic halitosis (bad breath), sensitive teeth, and difficulty or pain with chewing. At this point, professional periodontal treatment is needed to prevent the gingivitis from advancing to periodontitis.
When gingivitis is not treated in time, it may become periodontitis. Periodontitis is the most advanced form of periodontal disease. With periodontitis, gums begin to pull away from the teeth, creating small “pockets” along the gum line. These spaces are highly difficult to clean without professional intervention and can lead to rapid worsening in overall oral health. Without prompt and thorough treatment, bone, gums, and soft tissues may be destroyed by periodontitis.
Some of the most common factors that contribute to periodontal disease developing include poor oral hygiene habits, diabetes, smoking, and hormonal changes in women. Some medications can cause gum tissue to grow abnormally, which can increase difficulty in proper cleaning of the teeth. People who are receiving treatment for AIDS are also at increased risk of developing periodontal disease.
Many recent studies have found that untreated periodontal disease may negatively impact other aspects of your overall health, especially for patients with cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Periodontal disease can also increase the risk of developing certain pregnancy complications, such as low birth weight or premature birth.
Our dentist in 21742 has the training and experience to diagnose and treat every stage of periodontal disease. If you have symptoms of periodontal disease, contact our dental office in Hagerstown, MD to schedule a consultation.
White spots on your teeth can be irritating and affect how you feel about your smile. The good news, however, is that they are preventable and rarely cause for concern. Here are things our dentist in 21742 wants you to know about what causes white spots, how to prevent them, and what options are available should you already have them.
What causes white spots on teeth?
1. Dental Fluorosis – This can happen when a child consumes or is exposed to too much fluoride during the development of their teeth. While undesirable, this is harmless and can happen before teeth even emerge. The most common cause of fluorosis in the US is the use or ingestion of too much toothpaste.
2. Poor Dental Hygiene – Forgetting to brush regularly can cause white spots to develop.
3. Braces – Wearing braces for an extended time can affect the coloration of your teeth and create white spots.
4. Acidic or Sugary Foods – These foods can damage your teeth as well as change the color of their enamel. Rinsing your mouth after you consuming acidic or sugary items can help negate these effects.
How can I prevent them from appearing?
Following a proper oral hygiene regimen is the best way to prevent white spots on teeth. Ensure your child uses the correct amount of toothpaste – children under 3 should use a smear the size of a rice grain, and children over 3 should not use more than a pea-sized amount. It is common for children to accidentally swallow or fail to spit out toothpaste, so be sure to supervise your child as they are learning.
What are options for treatment?
If you are already dealing with white spots, you have options. Whitening or bleaching can make the coloration of your teeth more uniform. Dental veneers can restore the entire appearance of your teeth, solving not just the problem of white spots. In some cases, topical fluoride or enamel microabrasion upon the white spots themselves can do the trick.
Our doctor will recommend the optimal solution for treating white spots on your teeth. Contact our dental office in Hagerstown, MD for a consultation today.
Discomfort and pain in your jaw, clicking while you talk or chew, and swelling on the sides of your face can be caused by Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD). TMD can make talking and eating both painful and uncomfortable. Our dental team in Hagerstown, MD understands how TMD can make your day a challenge. We’ve compiled a list of helpful tips for managing TMD discomfort, but also encourage you to schedule a visit to see us for a full evaluation.
Finding Relief at Home
If your jaw is swollen, try applying a cold compress to your face. We recommend holding the compress in place for about 10 minutes. If you are able, try a few gentle jaw stretches. After the cold compress, apply warm, moist heat to the same area. You can keep this warm compress in place for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
If your discomfort is particularly noticeable, try over-the-counter pain relievers such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or ibuprofen. If you find yourself taking pain relieving medications daily, please contact our dentist in 21742 immediately.
The “Don’ts” of TMD
Applying excess pressure to your jaw can make your TMD discomfort worse. Don’t use your hand as a rest for your chin, as doing so increases the amount of pressure and strain placed on your jaw. If you talk on the phone frequently, avoid holding the phone on your shoulder while bending your neck to keep it in place.
Clenching your jaw and keeping your teeth tightly closed can also lead to a build-up of pressure in the jaw. During the day, try to keep your teeth from touching. By create a little space between your teeth, you will be relieving pressure from your jaw.
Our team is here to help you. Schedule a consultation with our dentist to learn more about the solutions available for people just like you dealing with TMD discomfort. We will provide a thorough examination to determine the best course of treatment for your TMD.
Relief may be closer than you think. Contact our dental office in Hagerstown, MD to learn more today.
Enamel is the guardian of your teeth and the hardest material in the body. It’s the first defense against harmful bacteria which may lead to tooth decay. When you eat certain foods, it creates bacteria which attack your tooth enamel. Carbohydrates and sugary foods are examples of these foods. Our dentist in 21742 agrees that brushing directly after eating can be harmful to your enamel.
Why this is a problem
When eating or drinking, the pH balance in your mouth changes. After each bite of acidic food, the pH balance moves towards a level which causes demineralization. The new acidity softens the enamel which can cause bacteria to get into the teeth. Brushing right after you eat may damage your enamel. This is important because enamel protects your teeth from damage.
Steps you can take to protect your enamel:
If you’ve had anything acidic, don’t brush for at least 30 minutes.
Fruits with citric acid are one example. If you are planning ingesting acidic foods or drinks, you can brush beforehand.
A glass of water will help remove the acid. Follow this by chewing sugarless gum. These steps help create saliva which will help bring back the necessary pH balance needed for a healthy smile.
Try to avoid soda as prolonged phosphoric acid can cause permanent damage.
Our dental team in Hagerstown agrees that brushing your teeth twice a day is an important habit for optimal oral health.
Have you ever been told you should brush your teeth right after eating? While this may sound like the right habit to adapt, this practice could be detrimental to the health of your teeth. Rinsing your mouth with water after eating may be a better option to keep enamel strong. Visit our office for an exam and we can give you for tips for healthy, strong teeth. Call our dental office in Hagerstown, MD today.
When you travel by plane, your flight attendant will advise that in the rare case of an emergency, you must first put on your air mask before attempting to help those around you. When this is not followed, the results can be catastrophic, both for you and for those you might otherwise have been in a position to assist. While this is crucial information for all, our dentist in 21742 agrees that many women particularly require this gentle reminder to prioritize their own needs above those of others.
All too often, we meet women who work tirelessly to fulfill the needs of their families. We see working moms, both at home and in office, who prioritize the health and wellness of their children, spouse and even friends before their own.
We get it: there’s joy and fulfillment in taking care of others. However, it may be time to “put on your oxygen mask” and consider whether you are remembering to care for yourself. Your health, both mental and physical, should be one of your top priorities. This will allow you to have the energy and strength you need to assist with the needs of those around you.
Smile restoration can take years off your appearance, while adding years to your life by improving your health. If you’re looking for a way to jump start your new self-care inclusive way of living, contact our dental office in Hagerstown, MD for a cosmetic consultation. Your friends and family will love to see you with a vibrant, beautiful, healthy smile. You deserve it.
How often does your child eat candy? According to a study conducted by the USDA Economic Research Service, children under 12 consume an average of 49 pounds of sugar in one year. While candy is not the sole source of sugar in a child’s diet, the impacts of sugary candy treats are particularly harmful to teeth. Here’s what our 21742 dentist needs you to know about candy and how it might be damaging your child’s smile.
The Impact of Sugar on Teeth
The real culprit in candy is the high sugar content. Certain types of bacteria that are present in your mouth can feed on sugar. These destructive bacteria then create acid that wears away tooth enamel. When enamel is weakened, your risk of developing decay increases. Your mouth is effective at neutralizing acids and aiding minerals that strengthen enamel if the amount of sugars and acids is not excessive. Your mouth can only do so much, which makes it essential to limit your sugar intake and maintain a regular and thorough oral hygiene routine.
Watch Out for Sticky, Sugary Candies
Not all candies are made equal. For a general rule of thumb, the sticker the candy, the worse it is for your teeth. Sticky candies leave sugary residue on your teeth long after you are done eating. This gives the bacteria in your mouth more time to start demineralizing enamel. Watch out for sticky candies like gum drops and taffy.
Suckers, lollipops, and hard sucking candies are troublesome because they are in your mouth for an extended period of time. Like sticky candies, this allows for more time for harmful bacteria to get to work by weakening your teeth. You can also chip or crack a tooth if you bite too hard.
Other problematic candies include those that are gummy and coated in sugar. Think of gummy worms or another sour covered, chewy critter. Not only are they high in sugar content, but they also typically contain harmful acids that contribute to a loss of enamel.
Steps for Preventing Decay
You can help your child by limiting their candy and sugar intake. In some instances, this can be tricky and even out of your control when your child is at school or a friend’s house. What you can do is instill good oral hygiene habits in your child. Make sure they are brushing for two minutes twice each day. You can make brushing fun. Sing a song together for the two minutes, and allow them to choose a fun toothbrush and toothpaste flavor.
Candy is a fun treat. You don’t have to take it away from your child altogether, but limit their exposure to such treats and educate them about the impacts candy can have on their teeth. When left untreated, decay can spread leading to pain and infection. Maintaining a schedule of regular visits to our office is essential. More than just a cleaning, our dental team in Hagerstown will provide a thorough examination to check for decay.
If you haven’t already scheduled your child’s next appointment, please contact our dental office in Hagerstown, MD.
You may not realize it, but you could be at risk of developing an unsightly medical condition known as hairy tongue. While it is harmless in most cases, hairy tongue is still an unpleasant ailment. The causes are not always completely known, but practicing good oral hygiene at home and visiting our dental office for cleanings can help prevent the issue. Here’s what you need to know.
What is hairy tongue?
With hairy tongue, your tongue may look like its covered in fuzz or hair, but this condition is actually caused by an accumulation of bacteria. The surface of your tongue is covered in small, rough papillae which gives it its rough texture. Overtime, these papillae grow, shed, and are replaced. Occasionally, the older papillae may fail to shed properly. This causes a buildup on the tongue and can cause a hair-like appearance.
Who is at risk of hairy tongue?
According to the American Academy of Oral Medicine, as much as 13% of the population may have hairy tongue. Anyone can develop the condition, but certain risk factors such as age and tobacco use increase your chances.
What causes hairy tongue?
While the exact causes of hairy tongue are not known, there are a variety of factors that can put you at a higher risk of developing the condition. Poor oral hygiene and a diet of soft foods can put you at an increased risk, as a lack of stimulation on the tongue can prevent the shedding of older papillae. Excessive consumption of certain substances, including tobacco, alcohol, coffee, and tea have been shown to contribute to this condition. Dehydration and dry mouth can slow down the tongue’s natural refresh cycle of replacing papillae.
The best defense against hairy tongue is a regular at-home oral hygiene routine that includes twice daily brushing, flossing, and mouthwash. Visiting our dentist in 21742 at least twice a year for dental cleanings can also give us an opportunity to regularly examine your mouth and catch any early signs of hairy tongue.
If you’re past due for your regular cleaning or are concerned that you might be developing hairy tongue, don’t hesitate to contact our dental office in Hagerstown, MD for an appointment today.
It is not uncommon for many of us to grab a bite to eat in a hurry. Americans have grown accustomed to bigger food portions at restaurants, but our mouths have not. Trying to fit that oversized sandwich or apple in your mouth might be worse for you than you have ever imagined. Below are some reasons from our dentist in 21742 why this could be detrimental for your oral health and what you can do about it.
Why This Is a Problem
According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), taking bites that are too big for you to chew can not only cause jaw and teeth issues, it can also cause digestive problems. Discomfort, swelling and difficulty eating may result from opening your jaw too wide. Taking large bites may also result in food not being chewed thoroughly, which can lead to weight gain and digestive issues.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)
Constantly opening your jaw too wide becomes an even larger problem for people with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). The temporomandibular joint connects the jaw to the skull bones enabling movement during chewing. People with TMD, usually have a restriction with how wide they can open their jaws. Taking large bites of food, especially hard foods like apples, can aggravate this condition making pain and jaw clicking worse.
What You Can Do
If you have food that is too large to chew or starts to cause jaw discomfort, try cutting your food into smaller portions. This makes food easier to eat with less hassle. Also consider eating softer foods that won’t harm your teeth or irritate your jaw.
Tip: Avoid chewing on ice, popcorn kernels, hard candies, and opening nuts with your teeth. This can lead to a chipped tooth!
Contact our dental office in Hagerstown, MD today to schedule an exam and cleaning.
VISIT OUR HAGERSTOWN DENTAL BLOG
May 15th 2022
Toothpaste does a great job of cleaning teeth, but there are many other uses for toothpaste that you might not expect. The same ingredients that help polish our teeth can also soothe some common ailments, make items sparkle, and get...
May 1st 2022
According to the American Association of Endodontists (AAE), there are popular misconceptions people may have regarding root canal therapy. Unfortunately, these patients may make decisions about their health care based on this incomplete or inaccurate information. Below are some common...
April 15th 2022
Periodontal disease ranges from a mild inflammation of the gum tissues to periodontitis, a major oral disease that can result in soft tissue and bone damage. Periodontitis is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the United States. One...