Keep Teeth Healthy During Pregnancy

Dental Cleanings During PregnancyIf you are pregnant, your oral health may be the last thing on your mind. But many women notice an increase in dental issues during pregnancy. This post from The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte has information about oral health for expectant mothers and those planning to become pregnant.

First, let us know that you are expecting when you come in for an appointment. This will influence decisions about X-rays, pain relievers, antibiotics, and conscious sedation.

We recommend having a thorough dental cleaning early in your pregnancy. Lying in a dentist’s chair can be uncomfortable during the last trimester. A professional cleaning by one of our hygienists, along with diligent brushing and flossing, helps prevent gum problems that are often connected to hormonal changes.

The American Dental Association has found a positive correlation between gum disease and preterm deliveries and low birth weight. If you are currently pregnant and have sore, swollen, or bleeding gums, schedule an appointment today. (Once the baby is here, it may be harder for you to make time for a dental visit.)

Hormonal changes cause an increase in plaque production which can result in cavities. If you are eating numerous small meals during the day, take care to brush after eating. If you avoid sweet snacks, your teeth will be less likely to develop cavities.

Remember, your oral care, nutrition, and lifestyle impact your baby. It is critical that you eat a healthy diet with a variety of foods. A poor diet can harm your baby’s tooth and bone development. Be sure to get enough calcium, iron, vitamins A, D and C, protein, and phosphorus. Your Ob/Gyn can give you specific guidance for your age, height, weight, and medical conditions.

At The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte, your dental health is our top priority every day. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next checkup today.

Contact The Steele Creek Dentist:

704-800-0252

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4815 Berewick Town Center Dr
Charlotte, North Carolina
28273

 

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The Techno-Toothbrush

Are electric toothbrushes any better at cleaning your teeth than manual toothbrushes? The answer depends on who you ask, because both have their advocates. In this article from The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte, we aren’t going to recommend one over the other. We’re just going to take a look at the world of the electric toothbrush.

Electric toothbrushes have been commercially available in the United States since the 1960s. But they first appeared in Switzerland, where they were invented. They caught on quickly, and have evolved considerably since then. When it comes to electric toothbrushes, there is a lot of choose from.

Those earliest electric toothbrushes did not have rechargeable batteries; you had to plug them in. That wasn’t really much of an issue, unless you like to walk away from the sink while you brush.

Rechargeable batteries are standard in most modern electric toothbrushes. In fact, they have features that those 1960s inventors probably never dreamed of. Some models have:

  • Timers, so you can make sure you brush at least two minutes
  • Digital alerts, to remind you it’s time for a new brush head
  • Pressure sensors that tell you if you’re brushing too hard
  • Multiple brush head capability, so different types fit
  • Variable brushing features like pulsing and oscillating capability

Sonic

And then there’s the sonic toothbrush. Sonic toothbrushes take electric brushes to a whole new level. Toothbrush manufacturers consider them a subset of electric brushes, but they are in a class by themselves.

Sonic toothbrushes can deliver up to 40,000 strokes per minute. Compare that to an ordinary electric toothbrush, which deliver between 2,500 and 7,000 strokes per minute. That’s quite a difference. For some people, that’s over the top. But advocates say that sonic toothbrushes out-perform any other type of toothbrush you can find.

When all is said and done, it depends on the person doing the brushing. A manual toothbrush used properly does a perfectly fine job cleaning your teeth. But you can always take it to the next level with a standard electric, or even a sonic, toothbrush.

At The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte, what we really want is for each of our patients to brush and floss their teeth twice a day. It’s the best way to ensure good dental health. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next checkup with us today.

Contact The Steele Creek Dentist:

704-800-0252

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4815 Berewick Town Center Dr
Charlotte, North Carolina
28273

 


Everything You Never Wanted To Know About Saliva

Charlotte dry mouth relief

This post from The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte discusses the complexity and importance of your saliva. This typically yucky substance is, in reality, a finely balance body fluid that not only maintains dental health but also aids in digestion of your food. So, without further ado, here are the main components of saliva.

  1. Water. No surprise here! You saliva consists mostly of water.
  2. Enzymes. Enzymes are essential biological catalysts that speed chemical reactions. The enzymes in saliva begin the process of digestion.
  3. Immunoproteins. These are effective cells that fight cellular invaders, such as bacteria. Those in saliva inhibit the overgrowth of microbes in the mouth. This is essential to avoiding gingivitis and keeping a healthy pH balance in the mouth.
  4. Minerals. Saliva minerals assist in maintaining the protective enamel surface of the teeth.

Most of us produce enough saliva, but some suffer from dry mouth, which is a lack of saliva. It is often a side effect of certain medications. Dry mouth can be dangerous to your dental health, so be sure to let us know if you experience this.

At The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte, the dental health of each one of our patients is our number one priority. We offer general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule a cleaning and checkup with us today.

Contact The Steele Creek Dentist:

704-800-0252

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4815 Berewick Town Center Dr
Charlotte, North Carolina
28273

 

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Dental Breakthroughs On The Horizon

dental breakthroughs Charlotte

At The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte, we use advanced technology to provide our patients with the best possible dental care. We also keep up with the most recent dental research that is propelling the industry forward.

Here are some of the intriguing dental technologies currently being evaluated and tested:

Fill and Heal: Bioactive Glass
A new type of filling created from ‘bioactive glass’ has been shown to lengthen the life of fillings by restricting secondary decay and replacing lost minerals.

“Bioactive glass, which is a type of crushed glass that is able to interact with the body, has been used in some types of bone healing for decades. This type of glass is only beginning to see use in dentistry, and our research shows it may be very promising for tooth fillings.”1 Jamie Kruzic, professor of advanced structural and biomaterials at the Oregon State University College of Engineering

Stem Cells
Stem cell regenerative medicine is poised to furnish a host of exciting innovations in dentistry.

A research team from the University of Nottingham and Harvard University is applying stem cell technology to dentistry with the development of stem-cell based biomaterials that regenerate tooth dentin.2 The objective is to use them in fillings and root canals to save and regenerate tooth structure. The research is in its early stages, but this technology could one day help preserve millions of smiles for men and women worldwide.

3D Printing
3D printing is already being used in some dental offices to engineer aligners, retainers, drilling guides for implant placement, and extremely accurate models for restorations. As the printers become faster and less costly, you will be seeing them in more North Carolina  dental offices.

Advanced technology has its place, but experience, skill, and a warm and attentive chairside manner are just as vital. The team at The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte invites you to experience the difference. Services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Call today to make an appointment.

Contact The Steele Creek Dentist:

704-800-0252

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4815 Berewick Town Center Dr
Charlotte, North Carolina
28273

 

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The Value of Dental Health

At The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte, we place a lot of importance on the dental health of each and every one of our patients. Too often dental health is not taken seriously enough, even by people who should know better. In this post, we are going to review some of the most important reasons for taking good care of your teeth and gums at home, and seeing us for a checkup twice a year.

First, let’s get to the most obvious ones. A healthy mouth helps to prevent:

  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Bad breath

Those are three very good reasons. But there are lots of other reasons why you should prioritize your dental health.

Poor dental hygiene may put you at greater risk of the following:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes

You may wonder: why does my mouth have so much to do with my overall health? The answer? If your eyes are the windows to the soul, the mouth is a window to the rest of your body.

An examination of the mouth, and saliva in particular, can reveal the presence of systemic conditions such as AIDS and diabetes. Incredible as it may seem, more than ninety percent of systemic diseases reveal themselves in the mouth. Saliva testing can also reveal the presence of environmental toxins that indicate hepatitis and other serious illnesses.

Brushing and flossing may not help you ward off systemic conditions, but they can be detected by a dental exam.

We’ll wrap up this post with a predictable reminder: never go to bed without brushing and flossing your teeth first. Remember to brush for at least two minutes and to thoroughly brush the inside and outside of your teeth. And don’t forget your tongue!

At The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte, we want all our patients to have happy mouths – good dental health, in other words. We offer general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next checkup with us today!

Contact The Steele Creek Dentist:

704-800-0252

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4815 Berewick Town Center Dr
Charlotte, North Carolina
28273

 


Getting Soft: Your Toothbrush and You

At The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte, we almost always tell our patients to use a soft-bristled toothbrush on their teeth. Our recommendation is usually enough, but sometimes patients ask, why? Why soft? We’ll use this blog post to explain.

The short answer is that soft-bristled toothbruses are gentle on your gums, but at the same time are rigid enough to clean plaque and other debris off of your teeth. That’s the main goal of brushing: removing plaque. If it’s left on your teeth it can harden into tartar. This can cause cavities and also lead to gum disease.

If soft-bristled toothbrushes are so much better for you, why do toothbrush companies even bother making medium and hard-bristled brushes? The answer is that harder bristles are preferred in some cases. An example is someone with an artificial tooth or dentures. Soft bristles may not get them clean enough. The same holds true for people with braces.

For most people, though, soft is better. Hard bristles can actually damage the gums and the enamel of your teeth, especially if you’re a vigorous brusher. Even medium bristles can do that kind of damage. That’s why for the majority of our patients, we recommend soft-bristle brushes.

But don’t buy just any old soft-bristle brush. Get one that you like. Some toothbrushes are going to feel better in your hand. If you like your brush, you’re more apt to do a good job brushing.

When you’re at the store you’ll see a lot of different types of brushes. Don’t be afraid to shop around and try different types of brushes. Eventually you’ll find the one that’s right for you.

At The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte, our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Call our office to schedule your next checkup and cleaning today.

Contact The Steele Creek Dentist:

704-800-0252

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4815 Berewick Town Center Dr
Charlotte, North Carolina
28273

 


Between-Meal Cleaning

At The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte, we constantly remind our patients to brush and floss their teeth after every meal. And most of our patients take that advice to heart. But what are you supposed to do in the middle of the day? You’re out and about, and your usual stuff – that favorite toothpaste, the container of dental floss – is at home in the bathroom.

What’s the best way to keep your teeth clean between meals?

One of the best things you can do is rinse your mouth with water after you eat. That alone will give your whole mouth a quick cleansing.

A quick brushing is good, too. An excellent trick is what we call dry brushing. That means brushing your teeth without toothpaste. Yes, it sounds a bit strange – but it’s effective, especially if you can use a little water, too. (We know of other dentists who do it themselves.) It isn’t the way you would brush at home, of course, but it’s going to clean the surfaces of your teeth – and that’s half the battle.

The other half of the battle is the stuff that gets between your teeth. A good solution here is using floss picks. They’re no substitute for regular dental floss, but because they have a little handle, you can do it one-handed and without the aid of a mirror. (Just be sure you use regular floss later on, before bed.)

Another effective trick is chewing sugarless gum. It only takes about five minutes of chewing to get the benefits. The gum will remove a lot of the surface debris from your teeth. It also gets your saliva going, which in turn promotes re-mineralization. That’s the process of replacing minerals in your teeth.

Still another good idea is to eat healthy snacks. Raw vegetables and nuts are always a better choice than a cookie or candy bar, or some other sugary treat. Not only that, these rough-textured foods help to scrub your teeth as you chew.

At The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte, we want each of our patients to keep their teeth clean during the day, and hope these suggestions help. We would also like to see you in the office every six months. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next checkup and cleaning with us today.

Contact The Steele Creek Dentist:

704-800-0252

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4815 Berewick Town Center Dr
Charlotte, North Carolina
28273

 


Best Practices For A Healthy, Beautiful Smile

cosmetic dental Charlotte

Even if you value a healthy smile, it’s easy to become somewhat lax about taking care of yours. In this message from The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte, our goal is for you to evaluate where you stand and consider whether you could step it up a notch. Committing to oral health best practices can prevent future problems and benefit your quality of life.

Brushing

Good: Brush teeth once a day.
Better: Brush teeth properly after each meal.
Best: Brush after each meal and floss properly before bed.

Dental Checkups

Good: See the dentist if you get a toothache.
Better: See us once a year even if you don’t notice any dental problems.
Best: Twice-yearly, have an intensive dental exam and professional dental cleaning at The Steele Creek Dentist.

A White Smile

Good: Use a whitening toothpaste.
Better: Use an OTC whitening product at home.
Best: Schedule an in-office whitening treatment.

Missing Tooth

Good enough for some people: Ignore it. (We don’t recommend this.)
Better: Get a quality dental bridge.
Best: Restore your smile with a beautiful, stable, and natural-functioning dental implant. (Consult with Dentist Dentist to find out if you are a good candidate for an implant.)

Smile-Friendly Nutrition

Good: Eat a nutritious diet.
Better: Eat a healthy diet and limit sugary snacks and beverages.
Best: Eat a sensible diet, limit between-meal snacking, eat lots of calcium-rich foods, minimize sugar-filled foods, abstain from energy drinks and soda, and sip water throughout the day to keep acid at bay.

For Young Smiles

Good: Never put your infant to bed with a bottle. When your toddler starts drinking from sippy-cup, don’t let them sip juice or milk all day.
Better: Follow the previous counsel and schedule his/her first dental checkup before the first birthday.
Best: In addition, talk to us about dental sealants when your child is young. When your little athlete starts participating in sports, make sure he/she wears a protective mouthguard. Set a good example of daily dental hygiene and healthy lifestyle choices.

The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte wants all of our patients to enjoy good dental health, and to see us for a checkup and cleaning twice a year. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Make an appointment today.

Contact The Steele Creek Dentist:

704-800-0252

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4815 Berewick Town Center Dr
Charlotte, North Carolina
28273

 

ArticleID 7397

Dental Care For ICU Patients Lowers Infection Risk

Charlotte best family dentist

This post from The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte focuses on an article that appeared on ScienceDaily.com. The article describes a study of Brazilian ICU patients that compared infection rates of those who received enhanced oral care instead of routine oral care. The patients who received the more intense dental care were 56 percent less likely to develop a respiratory infection during their stay.

“Enhanced dental care included teeth brushing, tongue scraping, removal of calculus, atraumatic restorative treatment of caries, tooth extraction and topical application of chlorhexidine corresponding to each patients’ needs four to five times a week,” said Fernando Bellissimo-Rodrigues, MD, lead author of the study. “Comparatively, regular treatment consisted of mechanical cleansing using gauze followed by topical application of chlorhexidine three times a day.”

He went on: “Bacteria causing healthcare-associated infections often start in the oral cavity. This study suggests that having a dentist provide weekly care as part the ICU team may improve outcomes for vulnerable patients in this setting.”1

Though this study pertains to ICU patients, it is also a reminder to all of us. If a member of your family has serious health matters, you may want to talk to their doctor about the oral health implications of their condition.

Receiving consistent quality dental care and practicing proper daily oral hygiene is vital for everyone. Some patients have an inaccurate view of oral health – they seem to have the notion that it exists autonomously. It is actually interdependent with general physical health.

At The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte, we see ourselves as key members of your healthcare team. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry, and emergency dental care. Schedule your next appointment with us today.

1Wanessa T. Bellissimo-Rodrigues, Mayra G. Menegueti, Gilberto G. Gaspar, Edson A. Nicolini, Maria Auxiliadora-Martins, Anibal Basile-Filho, Roberto Martinez, Fernando Bellissimo-Rodrigues. Effectiveness of a Dental Care Intervention in the Prevention of Lower Respiratory Tract Nosocomial Infections among Intensive Care Patients: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, 2014; 35 (11): 1342 DOI: 10.1086/678427

Contact The Steele Creek Dentist:

704-800-0252

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4815 Berewick Town Center Dr
Charlotte, North Carolina
28273

 

ArticleID 6828

Twice A Year!

We say it all the time: see us twice a year for a dental checkup. And thank goodness, most of our patients at The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte are really good about making and keeping their appointments. It’s the best way to stay on top of their dental health.

As important as healthy teeth are, you should know that good dental health is also directly related to your overall health. Poor dental health has been linked to various diseases and conditions, such as heart disease, premature birth and low birth weight, and diabetes.

Furthermore, poor dental health leads to gum disease. With regular brushing and flossing, and twice yearly dental checkups, gum disease is 100 percent preventable.

The above should be enough to get anyone in to the dentist’s office twice a year. But if it isn’t, here are three more very good reasons why you should get a cleaning and checkup every six months.

  • Plaque and tartar. Even with brushing and flossing twice a day, plaque can build up on the teeth and gums. Plaque hardens into tartar. Simply put, there are areas in the mouth that your floss and toothbrush just cannot reach. Professional cleanings, however, can.
  • X-rays. By taking dental x-rays and updating them regularly, we can detect problems that a simple visual inspection won’t turn up. The sooner new issues are treated, the better: treatment will be easier, less painful, and less expensive.
  • Oral cancer. It isn’t just smokers who need to be concerned about oral cancer; anyone can get it. Finding it in its earliest stages gives you the best chance for successful treatment and a full recovery. We can check for any symptoms, and if we find them, tell you what you need to do.

As you can see, there are lots of reasons why it’s important to see The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte twice a year for a dental checkup and cleaning. We also provide general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment today!

Contact The Steele Creek Dentist:

704-800-0252

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4815 Berewick Town Center Dr
Charlotte, North Carolina
28273