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

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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

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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

 


Top 10 Reasons To Visit Your Dentist

Visit Your Charlotte DentistYou smile deserves regular attention. If you haven’t been to the Steele Creek Dentist for a dental checkup in a while, consider the following:

  1. Check Up: It’s time, and this is the best way to prevent dental problems.
  2. Clean Up: Our dental hygienist is ready to give you a super clean smile.
  3. Brush Up: If it has been a while since your last dental visit, it’s probably time to come in for a refresher course on proper dental hygiene.
  4. Avoid Pain: If you have dental pain and have been putting off a trip to the dentist, come in now, because we specialize in relieving dental pain.
  5. Fillings: We can find and fill all your dental cavities in almost no time at all. This will help you avoid more painful problems down the road, and helps some of those sensitivities to hot and cold.
  6. Prevent Gum Disease: We’ll assess the health of your gums and suggest treatments or practices that are available to help you improve the health of your gums.
  7. A Whiter Smile: We can help. We have tooth whitening options available that will enhance your smile and make your teeth whiter.
  8. Tooth Replacement: If you are missing a tooth, we can help restore your smile with the latest in tooth replacement technology.
  9. Cosmetic Dentistry: Considering making improvements to your smile? We can help you analyze the options.
  10. Confidence: Nothing brings you more confidence than a healthy,  smile.

At The Steele Creek Dentist, our dental checkups and cleanings are something to smile about. We also offer general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next appointment 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

 

ArticleID 176

What Does Your Dentist Need To Know?

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For good dental health, you should visit The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. This is a good time to make sure that you are brushing and flossing properly. It is also important that you discuss issues related to dental health.

Make sure to tell us about any medications that you are taking. If you are using any tobacco products, we need to know that, too. We might be able to offer you a program that can help you stop.

Furthermore, let us know if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. If you have any type of eating disorder, you should also discuss this. Ditto if you have a special health issue such as a heart condition. Oral health is an integral part of your overall physical health and cannot be isolated.

Your regular check-up is also the perfect opportunity to inquire about cosmetic dentistry procedures. We can combine multiple procedures to give you a total smile redesign. If you have ever wondered what a new smile could do for you, now is the time to find out!

At The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte, we offer general and cosmetic dentistry. We make seeing us as convenient as possible with evening and weekend hours. Schedule your next appointment 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

 

ArticleID 6050

Do You Eat A Smile-Healthy Diet?

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This post from The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte explains how specific foods and eating behaviors affect our teeth.

The Sugar Problem
Sugars get converted by bacteria in the mouth to acids. It is the acids that begin to attack enamel and initiate decay for men and women of all ages. Fruits have high water content which can dilute the effects of the sugars they contain and get the saliva flowing so they aren’t really forbidden. It’s the chocolate bars, hard candies, cookies, cakes and pies that are.

Acidic Food Coupling
Oranges, tomatoes, lemons and the like should be eaten as part of a meal to minimize the acidic effects. It is a good idea to eat a variety of healthy foods such as cheeses, chicken, other meats, nuts and milk. The calcium and phosphorus will encourage tooth remineralization.

Timing of Meals
The more often you eat the more often your teeth are subject to the decay process. This can be tempered by picking healthy snacks. And keep in mind, the later at night you eat the more likely you are to not only eat unhealthy foods, but to skip oral hygiene altogether.

At The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte, the dental health of each patient is our primary concern. We offer general and cosmetic dentistry services. Schedule your next 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

 

ArticleID 5592

Are You At Risk For Bone Recession?

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We all know that a healthy smile requires decay-free teeth and healthy gums, but how often do we appreciate our jaw bone? Our teeth need a strong firm foundation to remain healthy and beautiful.

Today’s post looks at bone recession. Occasionally, a patient experiences bone recession in their jaw which can cause tooth loss and other problems. However, it is generally the other way around. The bone loss occurs as a result of a lost tooth because the blood supply and stimulus required for maintaining healthy bone is taken away.

Let’s look at the most common causes of jaw bone recession:

Extracted Teeth
Bone is living tissue and needs stimulation to stay healthy and retain its size and density. Biting, chewing, talking and all the other normal mouth functions keep the portion of the bone surrounding the tooth root healthy. When a tooth is extracted, the bone that used to anchor the tooth root recedes as if it understands that it is no longer needed. A dental implant provides stimulation similar to the natural tooth and can prevent bone recession.

Gum Infection
A gum infection can result when gum inflammation goes untreated and progresses to periodontitis. With periodontitis, the gums pull away from the teeth creating pockets which provide the perfect breeding ground for the detrimental infection.

Gum infections can proceed undetected, though there are usually warning signs. Swollen, painful gums, loose teeth, and gums that bleed when brushed are symptoms of periodontitis. The infection dissolves bone as the gums pull away from the tooth. Inadequate oral hygiene increases the risk of gum disease but other factors can compromise gum health. These include smoking (no surprise here), hormone levels, diseases that lower immune system effectiveness, medications that cause dry mouth, and genetic predisposition.

Abscessed Tooth
An abscess is a pus-filled pocket of infection that occurs in the nerve and roots of a tooth. As the infection attacks the tooth and bone tissue it creates a space that fills with pus. There are several treatments for a tooth abscess including antibiotics to kill the infection, a root canal, or extraction, if required.

If you would like to replace a missing tooth with an implant, but don’t have enough bone at the implant site, you might be a candidate for bone grafting. Bone grafting may sound like major oral surgery but it is really a routine procedure performed in a dental office.

The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte provides general and cosmetic dentistry, including dental implants. Schedule your next appointment 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

 

ArticleID 7006

Both Smoking And Vaping Put Your Smile At Risk

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A recent study on the impact of e-cigarettes on oral health has more bad news for those who believe vaping is less dangerous than regular cigarettes. In a study published in the journal Oncotarget, researchers determined that e-cigarettes may cause chronic inflammation and permanent cellular degeneration. These conditions, in turn, can result in periodontitis, oral cancer, and tooth loss.

E-cigarettes, as defined by the FDA, “are devices that allow users to inhale an aerosol containing nicotine or other substances.”

Before e-cigarettes emerged on the scene in 2005, the number of individuals who smoked traditional cigarettes had remained fairly steady. The unanticipated rise in popularity of e-cigarettes, however, has generated a substantial health risk, especially for the nation’s adolescents.

Between 2011 and 2015, the U.S. Surgeon General found e-cigarette use among high school students increased by 900 percent, with more teens now using e-cigarettes than cigarettes.

At The Steele Creek Dentist, we treat patients suffering from smoking-related oral health problems with expertise and compassion. We also strive to deliver reliable information about public health issues. Our services include pediatric dentistry, and 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

 


How Oral Inflammation Affects Your Health

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Swollen and painful gums are symptoms of periodontal disease, an inflammatory gum disease. Swelling occurs from an auto-immune response of the body reacting to an infection. If it’s caught early by The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte, it is treatable.

Gum infections are noticeable through pain, redness, and warmth. If the infection is left untreated, it can affect the bone near the teeth. The body’s immune system wants to rid the bone of the dangerous material the bacteria is creating. Over time, bone loss will occur.

Inflammation in the gums also is associated with atherosclerosis, the occurrence of fatty deposits inside of the body’s arteries. Inflammation coincides with an increase of the blood protein CRP (C-reactive protein), produced by the liver. The more inflammation there is, the more the liver produces CRP. The more CRP present, the more likely cardiovascular disease is present, along with related problems. CRP production is also related to arthritis, auto-immune disorders, and intestinal issues.

Scientists are currently looking into the relationship between periodontal inflammation and CRP level and the effects outside of the oral cavity. Links have already been discovered between periodontal disease and pancreatic cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

If inflammation is left untreated, gums can develop pockets that provide the perfect breeding ground for infection. The longer the infection persists, the more likely bone loss will occur, eventually causing tooth loss.

It is vital to practice preventive dental care daily at home and have regular visits to the dentist. Dental appointments should include an exam, cleaning, and full mouth x-rays, along with the critical knowledge and instruction on how to properly care for teeth and gums at home. It is also very important to see your dentist immediately if a tooth suddenly becomes sensitive or you see any other changes.

The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte provides general and cosmetic dentistry. Make an appointment 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