You know about the importance of visiting your dentist twice yearly for regular dental cleanings and checkups — but what about your pet? It’s something we don’t often think about, but our cats and dogs have very similar dental hygiene needs to us — but they aren’t able to brush or floss their own teeth. While the average cosmetic dentistry patient spends anywhere between $5,000 to $6,000 on improving their smiles, most people spend $0 on making sure their pets’ teeth are healthy.
As a result, a stunning 80% of dogs and 70% of cats will display signs of dental disease or decay before they reach three years old. And unlike people, pets are unable to take advantage of peroxide-based teeth whiteners, veneers or dental implants to help correct the effects of dental disease.
To help combat these statistics, the American Veterinary Dental Society has named the month of February National Pet Dental Health Month to help encourage pet owners to bring their cats and dogs to the veterinarian’s office for dental cleanings.
Here are three things you can do to help your pet’s dental hygiene throughout the month of February:
Feed your pet the right diet
Much like with our own dental health, our pets’ diets play a big role in how healthy their teeth are. The right pet food should help fight plaque and tartar build-up, not contribute to it. Be sure to give your cat or dog high-quality, additive-free pet food that’s right for his or her age, size and breed.
Regularly inspect your pet’s teeth
You can tell a lot about your pet’s dental health by simply looking at his or her teeth. Your pet should have white teeth, light-pink gums that aren’t swollen, and relatively fresh breath. Loose teeth, bumps on the tongue and discolored gums are all signs of concern.
Ask your pet’s veterinarian to perform regular dental cleanings and exams
You should already be bringing your cat or dog to the veterinarian twice a year. At these regular checkups, ask your veterinarian to give your pet a dental cleaning as well. This allows your pet to get a professional teeth cleaning and helps the veterinarian detect signs of disease or complications in your pet’s teeth.
Have any other questions for us on finding a dentist office, or about cosmetic dentistry? Get the conversation going — feel free to ask us anything by leaving a comment below!
Many of us know that consuming too many sugary foods and beverages can lead to tooth decay, periodontal disease and a slew of other complications.
But there are other foods and drinks that aren’t necessarily sugar-laden, but still take a significant toll on your dental health and the appearance of your teeth. As a result, your diet might be harming your teeth without you even knowing it! With the popularity of teeth whitening procedures rising by more than 300% in the last five years, and 75% of people reporting feeling that an unattractive smile is harmful to one’s success, you can’t afford to let your diet have an adverse impact on your teeth.
Which foods should you be avoiding? To make sure your dental cleanings are quick, easy and cavity-free, the American Dental Association recommends that you avoid these foods — or enjoy them in moderation:
As stated before, too much exposure to sugary foods leaves your teeth highly vulnerable to decay. Because hard candies stay in your mouth for at least an hour before dissolving, they are able to do even more damage. And before you bite down on a hard candy, beware — biting down on hard foods like these can lead to emergencies like broken, chipped or fractured teeth.
Too many citrus fruits
Citrus fruits — lemons, limes and oranges — are all great dietary choices for the health-conscious dieter. They’re rich in vitamins and fiber, and are low in calories. Sadly, eating too much citrus throughout the day could be harmful. In addition to the high sugar content of citrus fruits, they’re also packed with citric acid — which eats away at your teeth’s natural protective layer of enamel. Enjoy citrus fruits in moderation, and drink plenty of water to offset their effects on your teeth.
Sticky foods don’t just include taffy and other candies — dried fruit can also stick to teeth, exposing them to sugar longer. When snacking on trail mix or dried fruits like raisins and cranberries, be sure to drink lots of water in addition to frequently brushing and flossing your teeth. Your dentist will appreciate your efforts at your subsequent dental cleanings!
This one isn’t really a food — but many people have a habit of chewing on ice. It’s a habit that jeopardizes your teeth every time you bite down. Chewing on ice damages the enamel of your teeth, and can even break or chip your teeth in certain cases. If you can’t break your ice habit, simply suck on an ice cube — no chewing! — or drink some chilled water.
Have any other questions or comments for us on how to find a local dentist office or what to expect during dental exams and dental cleanings? Share all your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Tooth decay is one of the most common dental ailments and can affect anyone. There are a few different things that can cause tooth decay, but preventing it really comes down to practicing good hygiene and seeing a dentist regularly. Here are four of the main risk factors for tooth decay.
1. Poor Hygiene
One of the biggest risk factors for tooth decay is, of course, poor dental hygiene. It’s important to practice good dental hygiene routines. Brushing should be done at the very least twice a day with a good toothbrush. Flossing should be done frequently as well, to reduce the chances of tooth decay between teeth, and rinsing with an alcohol-based mouthwash can help clean the hard-to-reach areas. Furthermore, getting regular professional dental cleanings is essential.
2. Misaligned Teeth
Another risk factor for tooth decay is misaligned teeth. Severely crooked teeth can be tough to clean, since there might be more tight spaces and harder to reach areas between and around the teeth where food can get trapped. The more food gets trapped, the more plaque there will be, which leads to tooth decay. This is another reason getting regular dental cleanings is important — dentists have the right scaling tools and ability to get into the really hard-to-reach areas and clean plaque.
3. Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is actually another really common risk factor for tooth decay. A sufficient amount of saliva is important for preventing tooth decay, since it helps wash away plaque and food particles. If a person’s mouth is not producing enough saliva, this could leave food and plaque lingering in the mouth to cause or contribute to decay.
Another contributor to tooth decay is genetics. The shape and size of teeth really depends on the genetic factors that a person gets from his or her parents. Genetics can also cause the darkening of teeth. Getting regular dental exams and professional dental cleanings can help keep teeth clean and prevent any decay from happening in deep pits of teeth or between teeth that are situated closely together.
There are a number of different options for people who have even very advanced tooth decay. Though they may seem like an unpleasant option, there are a number of different types of dentures and other dental technologies for people who suffer from tooth decay. Dental implants have been shown to be 98% successful, and are a permanent option for the correction of missing teeth.
Do you have any questions about the common causes of tooth decay or how to prevent it from happening? Feel free to ask in the comments section below.
Over the summer and fall of 2014 Kirkland Dentistry hosted a special refer-a-friend program for charity. Each time an existing patient referred someone, a contribution was earmarked for the Hopelink End Summer Hunger Campaign.
Thanks to your support we recently presented Hopelink with a check for $1000.
David Richardson DDS at Hopelink
Hopelink created the End Summer Hunger Campaign to provide parents with help feeding their children over the summer when the school discounted lunch program is not available. We are thrilled that our patients joined with us to provide community support to the campaign.
Please consider making a donation to Hopelink during their winter holiday campaign. Your gift will give children an opportunity to experience fond holiday memories, while ensuring that they have shelter, food and warmth throughout the winter. Click to visit Hopelink’s Donation Page.
A new study shows that humans aren’t the only ones who benefit by wearing various types of dentures to replace missing teeth.
According to a Dec. 3 The Cattle Site article, Argentinian researchers found that cows that wore false teeth were healthier and lived longer than those that didn’t. Cattle dentures also helped increase the number of calves per cow, due to the cows living longer.
Outfitting cattle with dentures also had no negative impact on pregnancy rates, body weight or condition, the National Institute for Agriculture and Livestock Technology (INTA) study found. In fact, no detrimental health effects were found among the cattle that had dentures at all.
According to The Cattle Site, the cows’ dentures need replacing around the five-year mark, with slight variations occurring due to pasture type, water quality and other factors. Researchers affixed the dentures inside the cows’ mouths with a special bovine denture glue.
No word yet on how much these cattle dentures cost — but it’s probably safe to say that these dentures cost a little more than human dentures prices! However, they allow each cow to enjoy a longer lifespan, which can help farmers save money in the long run.
Dentures have plenty of health benefits for people, too. They help maintain a person’s face shape and prevent it from sagging inward due to missing teeth, which can make a person appear older. They also act as a vital aid for eating and speaking along with offering a boost in one’s self-confidence.
Considering the health benefits that a set of dentures can offer both humans and cows, it’s clear they’re a great choice for anyone who no longer has all their natural teeth.
Have any questions about getting dentures of your own or finding a dentist office that’s right for you? Go ahead and ask by leaving a comment below this article.
A growing number of dentist offices around the country have increasingly and aggressively begun to over-diagnose patients in a move to drive up profits.
According to MyFOXChicago.com, one group of 11 dental patients recently filed a class-action lawsuit against a prominent corporate-run chain of local dentists that operates throughout New York City.
“Maybe they came in because they had a toothache and maybe needed a filling; they walk out with a two- or three-thousand-dollar treatment plan,” Brian Cohen, a New York-based attorney representing the 11 patients in the class-action lawsuit, said. The group’s lawsuit alleges that the dental clinics are guilty of practicing unlawful corporate medicine.
“They lure patients in with promises of free X-rays and exams and the quicker they can get them out of the dental chair to the sales chair, the better,” Jeffrey Norton, the lawsuit’s co-counsel, said.
The group’s lawsuit is one of the more extreme examples of this growing trend to focus on driving up profits at dental practices. Over-diagnoses can be as simple as telling a patient his or her dental condition needs to be treated with a special procedure when the issue can be managed or monitored non-surgically, MyFOXChicago.com reports, or giving a tooth a filling that it might not have needed.
With these corporate-minded and profit-prioritized dentist offices on the rise across the country, how can one find a dentist that will focus on patient’s dental health rather than getting more money?
When looking for a dentist, it’s usually a good idea to read dentist reviews online to get a clear, unbiased look at the clinic’s business practices.
And if your current dentist makes a diagnosis that doesn’t make sense to you, feel free to speak up or go to a different dentist office to seek out an alternate opinion.
Have you ever felt like your dentist over-diagnosed you during a dental cleaning or check-up? Share your experiences with us in the comments below.
If you’ve simply been combing the local results when you type “dentist” into Google, you may be getting frustrated in your quest. The good news is that there are better ways to find a dentist. Here are some answers to questions on how to find a local dentist that meets all your needs.
Do you have any other tips on how to find a local dentist? Share how you found the dentist of your dreams in the comments.
When people think of solutions for crooked or discolored teeth, traditional braces and in-office whitening procedures are probably the first things that come to mind. Did you know that there is another method used by cosmetic dentists that can fix both of these issues without metal wires and potent bleaching gels? Veneers are becoming a more popular treatment for people who want to achieve a straight and bright smile, with veneer solutions increasing in popularity by more than 250% in the last five years alone.
What are Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers are a thin, tooth-colored material that is adhered to the front surface of the teeth. Veneers can enhance the look of teeth, improving their shape, alignment and color. Porcelain or resin composite are typically used to make veneers, though porcelain veneers are often more natural looking and resist stains better than resin veneers. Dental veneers typically last anywhere between five and 10 years, after which they need to be removed and replaced with new veneers.
Who Should Get Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers can fix a number of different issues that patients might have with their teeth. Veneers can provide a solution to teeth that are chipped, broken, uneven, discolored or have a noticeable space between them. Veneers offer an alternative solution to painful braces or costly teeth whitening procedures, but it is important to ask a dentist first if it is the best solution for your teeth.
What are the Benefits of Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers have many benefits. First and foremost, it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between real teeth and veneers since they are specifically designed for each individual patient. Veneers are also resistant to stains that affect natural teeth, allowing you to enjoy your favorite foods and beverages while maintaining a bright, white smile. Since veneers fix several different issues, from discolored teeth to crooked teeth, they allow you to solve multiple problems with a single treatment.
Dental veneers are a great alternative to the traditional methods of fixing crooked, discolored teeth. As they become a more popular cosmetic dentistry technique, it is important to consider them as a viable dental solution for a number of different problems.
Finding a dentist can be a daunting task. Sure, Google can get you a hundred names of dentists near you who can easily handle your dental exams and professional dental cleanings… but that’s usually not the only reason people are picky when it comes to their dental health. Here are some common questions when looking for a dentist.
“How do I find a dentist for my kids’ teeth?”
Most dentist’s offices will have at least one certified pedodontist (children’s dentist), so you may be able to consolidate your and your kids’ appointments into one trip. Very occasionally, a general dentist will also specialize in children’s teeth (this can happen more often in smaller towns), but if you’re looking for a one-stop shop, you’ll likely have to schedule with two different dentists for you and your children.
“Is it possible to find a dentist who does regular exams and cosmetic procedures?
There’s usually a distinction between “general” dentists and “cosmetic” dentists. That being said, many general dentists now provide a few basic cosmetic services. Chemical whitening, for instance, is a fairly straightforward procedure using a peroxide-based mixture to oxidize stains away from your teeth. Over the past five years, as more and more general dentists add whitening to their menu of services, the amount of procedures performed has gone up 300%.
“How do I know what kind of dentist I really need?
With all the specialties out there, confusion is understandable. Orthodontists deal primarily with misaligned teeth, and can help patients avoid gum disease, tooth loss, and unnecessary wear on their enamel. Periodontists deal with the gums specifically. Oral surgeons specialize in reconstruction and complicated cosmetic work. Endodontists deal with the inside of the tooth (the root and the pulp).
“How can I find a dentist I can trust?”
For many, this is the most important question of all. After all, your teeth are the gateway to your overall health — the healthier your teeth, the healthier your body and its various systems. As such, don’t be afraid to ask any potential dentists questions (like if they offer emergency services, or how large their referral network is). It’s okay to interview your dentist to see if it’s going to be a good fit. And never, ever be reluctant to switch dentists if you don’t feel you’re getting the best possible care at all times.
July 7, 2014 in Blog
Cosmetic dentistry is sometimes referred to as a purely appearance-based specialty of dentistry, without any real connection to health. However, as more and more research points to the strong link between the health of our mouths and the health of our bodies, more and more “cosmetic” procedures are proving to provide a big benefit to our overall physical health and well-being. Here are a few examples of cosmetic procedures that are actually pretty good for you.
In order to quickly and effectively cover decay spots, hide severely discolored teeth, or even out an irregular bite pattern, patients may elect to have porcelain veneers installed. These are custom-shaped, thin porcelain shells that are installed directly over the front part of a crown, offering a brand new facade and an immediately improved look. The health benefit? When porcelain veneers are used to cover decay spots, they effectively seal up the affected areas, preventing further damage.
Modern reconstructive cosmetic dental surgery usually begins with the placement of dental implants. These are small posts, made of titanium alloys, which are inserted into the jawbone to act as surrogate roots for replacement teeth. Implants can help patients who are missing one tooth, several teeth, or all their teeth have a beautiful, brilliant smile again. The health benefits? The new dentures are permanent dentures (implants can boast a 98% success rate), so digestion is improved, gums are better protected, and the patient’s diet is completely free of restrictions, unlike with traditional dentures.
Chemical whitening involves the application of a peroxide-based solution to the enamel in order to oxidize stains and discoloration away. While whitening is perhaps the most “cosmetic” of the cosmetic procedures, with arguably the fewest direct health benefits, the psychological, emotional, social, and even financial benefits are not to be ignored. A whiter smile can make a person more confident, more friendly, and yes, even more hirableto the world, especially in professions with a lot of camera time and media exposure. Better success, quite simply, leads to better health across the board.
The simple truth is, the healthier our teeth, the healthier and happier we are, whether it’s a direct physical benefit or a less-measurable but no-less-important boost in our self-esteem. Keep them looking great, and you’ll keep yourself feeling great for years and years to come.