8 Bad Oral Habits To Stop Immediately

Bad oral habits can result in cracking or chipping teeth. Timely advice from your Provo, Utah Dentist

Bad habits can easily become part of who we are, but they can also really hurt us. When our bad habits affect our oral health, the results can be painful for our mouths and our wallets. Here is a list of the worst habits that can harm your mouth and should be avoided as much as possible. Smoking Smoking is one of the most destructive habits, as it not only causes discoloration of the teeth and bad breath, but can result in loss of bone density in the jaw, inflamed salivary glands, as well as gum disease, and oral cancer. Thumb Sucking Children who suck their thumbs are constantly placing pressure on their mouths and run the risk of misaligning their new adult teeth and even causing deformities in the roof of the mouth. Brushing Too Hard Vigorous brushing can irritate gums, which can cause them to recede, and can erode tooth enamel. Signs of aggressive brushing are if your toothbrush bristles are splayed and worn down. Bristles should only lightly brush against teeth and gums without causing redness. Clenching and Grinding Teeth grinding can erode enamel and can leave teeth exposed to decay. Jaw clenching can cause issues such as pain and discomfort that can lead to lockjaw and cracked and chipped teeth. Crunching Ice Our teeth are not designed for crunching ice and doing so can cause teeth to crack or chip. Grinding ice against teeth can cause your teeth to crack and chip, as well as damage the tooth enamel. Wearing down your tooth enamel leaves your teeth more susceptible to decay and it can increase their temperature sensitivity. Using Teeth as Tools Using your teeth to open containers, cut clothing tags, and rip through packages can result in cracks and chips, which can leave teeth exposed and unprotected against tooth decay. Biting Your Nails Biting your nails can damage your teeth and any past dental work, as well as expose your mouth to the bacteria that lives under nails, increasing your chances of illness and infection. Nail biting could also result in a chipped or cracked tooth. High Sugar Consumption Constantly exposing your teeth to destructive sugars, such as those found in carbonated drinks, feeds harmful bacteria and causes plaque to be produced at a much quicker rate in the mouth. Without proper dental hygiene, this plaque then turns into difficult to remove tartar, which can cause tooth and gum decay. Biting and Chewing Foreign Objects Food should be the only thing you hold in your mouth. Chewing on pencils or biting the arms of your reading glasses can damage past dental work and crack or chip your teeth. Constantly doing this can wear down teeth and make them more susceptible to damage and decay. Replacing missing or broken teeth is expensive and stressful, so if you listen to these tips, follow them every day, and take your dentist’s advice you’ll be happier for it in the long run and have a healthy mouth and smile.

Feeling Sick? Should You Cancel Your Dentist Appointment?

An emoji of a person who is sick and blowing their nose. Dr. Ryan Hamilton Dr. Seager Dr. Michael Robert. East Mountain Dental. General, Cosmetic, Restorative, Family Dentist in Provo, UT 84606

Whether you hate cancelling an appointment or have a dental issue and really need to see the dentist, you may need to ask yourself if it is best for you, the dental staff and other patients, to visit the dentist when you are sick.   How Sick are You? If something like a headache is making you feel unwell, you are still able to make the appointment as a headache will only test your individual discomfort tolerance. However, contagious illnesses, such as the flu, is a different story. If you are coughing and sneezing, you can possibly pass your illness on to someone else in the dentist’s office.   Contact Your Dentist If You Are Sick   If your illness is contagious, it is best to contact your dentist’s office and let them know the situation. They can either reschedule your appointment or take other precautions to accommodate your illness. Either way it is recommended to phone and find out what their policy is regarding sick patients. If you do go for your appointment, it is important to let the dental staff know how sick you are and follow any procedures recommended by the staff. The biggest issue when visiting the dentist when you are sick is congestion. As breathing through your mouth is not an option when you are in the dentist’s chair, the experience can be uncomfortable and difficult for the patient and the dentist to efficiently do their job. Steps You can Take to Avoid getting Others Sick: Using a handkerchief or covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing Wash your hands when you arrive Carry hand sanitizer and sanitize before and after touching anything in the dentist’s office Avoid direct contact with others Tell staff you are contagious You should never cancel an appointment unless you have a good reason, as you could be liable for a cancellation fee. However, if you have a contagious illness, you don’t want to spread it. Following the above advice will give you the best opportunity to see the dentist without infecting others and be as comfortable as possible during the visit.

Facts and Myths about Cavities

A logo of a tooth with a cavity in its surface. Dr. Ryan Hamilton Dr. Seager Dr. Michael Robert. East Mountain Dental. General, Cosmetic, Restorative, Family Dentist in Provo, UT 84606

By the time we are able to brush our teeth on our own, most of us can remember being told about cavities. If you have ever needed a filling or other dental work, you may know a bit more about cavities than someone who is yet to have the experience. However, there are still some misconceptions about how we get them and what you should do about a cavity. Here are some common myths that surround cavities and the reality behind these misconceptions: Myth: If my teeth don’t hurt, nothing is wrong. Fact: By the time a tooth begins to hurt, it means the cavity and tooth decay has gone deep into the tooth and is now irritating the nerve. The longer you leave an issue, the more complex and expensive the treatment will be. Therefore, regular checkups are necessary to catch dental issues before they become extensive. Waiting for there to be an issue in the mouth before going to the dentist can mean the difference between a simple filling and a root canal. Myth: Sugar-free soda can’t cause cavities. Fact: Sugar is a huge contributor to the cause of cavities, as it creates a food source for harmful bacteria in the mouth, but it is not the only contributor. Anything that makes your mouth more acidic, such as diet sodas, can cause erosion. The harmful bacteria metabolize the sugar or acids left on your teeth and excrete lactic acid that creates small holes in tooth enamel. Myth: With good dental care, teeth can repair their own tooth enamel (remineralisation). Fact: Experts have said that teeth can replace some of the minerals that its enamel has lost. This process is called remineralisation and can slow or even stop decay. However, once bacteria and decay get through that enamel, the damage is done, and the erosion can not be reversed. The cavity has to be treated or it will continue to erode away at the tooth until it reaches the nerve. The nerve will eventually die. Depending on how long you leave a cavity, you could be looking at needing a root canal or a tooth removal. Myth: A filling is forever and can not get cavities. Fact: Although fillings can last for over a decade, they do eventually wear and break down. Tooth decay can not affect a filling but it can set in to the tooth around the edges of a filling or underneath the filling if it is broken. Myth: Cavities are for kids Fact: Anyone who has poor dental hygiene and consumes a lot of sugary food stuffs is at risk of developing cavities. Saliva is a natural buffer to all the acids in your mouth, so adults who smoke or take medications that cause dry mouth are at an even greater risk, as they have low saliva production. There is always a risk of developing a cavity, whether you are 6 or 76 years old. The important thing is to look after your dental health through daily care and regular dentist visits. At East Mountain Dental, you can be sure to get great dental care. Contact our Provo office today.

Why CEREC is Right For You

Dental Crowns East Mountain Dental dentist in Provo ut Dr. Ryan Hamilton Dr. Seager Dr. Michael Robert. East Mountain Dental. General, Cosmetic, Restorative, Family Dentist in Provo, UT 84606

CEREC is the short term for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, or CEramic REConstruction. This advanced technology uses computer aided design and manufacturing to quickly take dental impressions and generate perfect, custom fitted ceramics. This means if you are up for a dental crown, filling, inlay or onlay procedure, you can get everything done in one trip to the dentist office. Traditionally, multiple trips need to be made to complete the placement of a dental crown. Now, instead of sending dental impressions to a lab and waiting for the final, permanent crown before fitting, we at East Mountain Dental can create and place a crown in a single day. CEREC technology saves you time and guarantees great results. The CEREC Process Once your tooth has been prepped for the fitting of a ceramic restoration, which is done by filing and shaping the tooth, the CEREC process allows our team to use digital impressions to make a mold for the restoration. Digital impressions are more comfortable and more accurate than traditional impressions that are made with plaster. The mold is then used to create the restoration from a single block of solid ceramic materials. CEREC technology can manufacture a custom dental crown in as little as 90 minutes. The restoration is then fitted and bonded into place. Additional CEREC Technology Benefits It is not only the convenience of CEREC technology that makes it so great, but the restorations also look after your comfort and appearance. Here are 4 ways in which CEREC technology gives you the best possible restoration. CEREC technology allows people to avoid the stage of traditional restoration treatments that require patients to have a temporary restoration fitted, instead of having their permanent fixtures fitted right away. While temporary restorations fulfil the basic role of protecting teeth, they have many downsides, such as chewy and sticky foods easily damage these temporary fixes. Some people also experience discomfort while having temporary restorations removed before their permanent ones are fitted. The lifespan of CEREC restorations is longer than restorations made with traditional methods, meaning they will look better for longer. An impressive 95.5 percent of crowns made with CEREC technology survive for at least nine years after they have been fitted. The tooth shade of CEREC ceramic materials can be precisely matched to the color of your natural teeth, rendering the restoration virtually unnoticeable. The accurate fit of CEREC restorations are less likely to cause sensitivity, as most cases of sensitivity arise from restorations that do not fit correctly. Some patients also experience sensitivity during the period when wearing temporary restorations. As these are not necessary with CEREC restorations, the technology removes another possible source of sensitivity. With CEREC technology, patients enjoy the advantages of long-lasting, comfortable, well-fitting crowns, fillings, inlays or onlays. Ask our team at East Mountain Dental if CEREC technology can be used in your next restoration procedure.

What is Endodontics?

Root Canal performed in Provo, UT near Springville Dr. Ryan Hamilton Dr. Seager Dr. Michael Robert. East Mountain Dental. General, Cosmetic, Restorative, Family Dentist in Provo, UT 84606

Endodontics is the branch of dentistry that focuses on the care, diagnosis and treatment of dental pulp and tissues surrounding the roots of a tooth. What is Dental Pulp? Dental pulp sits inside your tooth, covered by layers of specialized bone, connective tissue and enamel. Our dental pulp is filled with blood vessels and nerves that connect the tooth through its roots to the rest of the mouth. Why is Endodontics Important? It is important to keep the dental pulp of a tooth healthy because it is responsible for the blood flow to the tooth, the creation of one of the layers of the tooth (dentin), and provides a sensory function, such as a reaction to differences in temperature. The infection and decay of dental pulp can lead to severe pain and the death/removal of the tooth. What Procedures Does an Endodontist Handle? Endodontists perform root canal treatments, address traumatic dental injuries, and place dental implants. The real goal is to save your natural teeth, but if this is not possible, an endodontist will look for the best course of action to preserve and restore your dental health. When To See An Endodontist? If you’re experiencing tooth pain, have injured your tooth, experience extreme sensitivity to hot or cold food items, and/or have swelling around the teeth, gums or face, then you should make an appointment to see your dentist. Your dentist may then refer you to an endodontist for specialized treatment. Trust in East Mountain Dental’s Endodontics At East Mountain Dental, we are able to evaluate and treat your endodontic-related problems. By saving your tooth, we can help you keep your smile as natural as possible, which allows you to continue eating your favorite foods and maintain your overall dental health.

What is Dental Bonding?

Woman smiles confidently after receiving dental bonding. What is Dental Bonding? Dr. Ryan Hamilton Dr. Seager Dr. Michael Robert. East Mountain Dental. General, Cosmetic, Restorative, Family Dentist in Provo, UT 84606

What is Dental Bonding? Dental bonding is the application of a tooth-colored composite resin, much like a plastic, to the teeth. It is applied to repair decayed, chipped, fractured or discolored teeth. Bonding can be done in a single dentist visit as it does not need to be manufactured in a laboratory or need a customized mold. What is Dental Bonding Used For? It is an easy and inexpensive cosmetic dental procedure, which can improve the appearance of discolored or chipped teeth. It is also used to fill in gaps between teeth, and can be used to modify the shape or length of teeth for cosmetic purposes. The composite resin can be shaped and polished to match the surrounding teeth for the perfect finish. Dental bonding has also been used as an alternative to amalgam or metal fillings since the composite is able to blend in with the rest of the patient’s natural teeth for a more appealing smile. Another use is the application to protect a portion of a tooth’s root that has been exposed as a result of receding gums. How is Dental Bonding Applied? Anesthesia is not necessary in this process unless the bonding is being used to fill a decayed tooth. There is no extra preparation that needs to be done before this dentist appointment. In the appointment, your dentist will use a color guide to select the composite resin that will match the natural color of your teeth. The dentist will then slightly etch the surface of the tooth to make its surface rough and then coat the tooth in a conditioning liquid. This is so the composite resin will stick to the tooth. When the tooth is prepared, the tooth-colored, putty-like resin will be applied. The resin is molded and smoothed into its proper shape. An ultraviolet light or laser is then used to harden the material. Your dentist will further trim and shape the bonding once it has hardened. The tooth will then be polished until the bonding matches the natural sheen of your teeth. The whole process can take between 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the amount of work that needs to be done. If you’re having more than one tooth done, you may need to schedule different appointments. What to Avoid After a Dental Bonding Procedure Substances, such as tea, coffee and cigarette smoke can stain the dental bonding resin and should be avoided to maintain the resin’s original color. To prevent or minimize stains, avoid eating or drinking foods that can stain for the first 48 hours after any composite procedure. Patients should continue to brush their teeth twice a day, maintain a good oral hygiene regime and have their teeth cleaned regularly by a dental hygienist to ensure the dental bonding lasts as long as possible.

Try these Foods for a Whiter, Brighter Smile!

A man eats a strawberry that contains acids to whiten teeth Dr. Ryan Hamilton Dr. Seager Dr. Michael Robert. East Mountain Dental. General, Cosmetic, Restorative, Family Dentist in Provo, UT 84606

Try these Foods for a Whiter, Brighter Smile! We all know that wine, tea, coffee and sodas can discolor and stain our teeth. Most people are unwilling to give up their coffee or soda addiction and could not possibly think of starting their morning without coffee or have a meal without a soda. Luckily, like most things in nature there is a balance. Whereas these liquids can stain your teeth, there are foods that can be eaten to whiten your teeth. So although it may be a good idea to cut down on your coffee or soda intake to prevent stains, these foods can work as an extra combatant against discoloration. Teeth whitening foods: An apple a day not only keeps the doctor away, but can also keep you away from having your teeth whitened at the dentist. Apples, celery and carrots increase saliva production in the mouth. Since saliva is the mouth’s self- cleaning agent, these foods make sure it is not in short supply and their crunchy texture helps scrub teeth. The acidity in oranges and pineapples is just enough to act like a mouthwash. These fruits also stimulate saliva production. Yogurt, milk and cheese contain lactic acid that protects the teeth from decay, which can cause discoloration in teeth. Proteins in yogurt attach themselves to the surface of teeth to protect them from acids that cause cavities. Hard cheeses are also great for teeth whitening and they help remove stray food particles in the mouth. Strawberries contain malic acid that whitens teeth. You can turn strawberries into a paste that you can place on your teeth. Leave the paste on for five minutes before rinsing it off and then brush and floss as usual for whiter teeth. Seeds and nuts have an abrasive texture that works as an exfoliator for your teeth. High fiber, coarse foods, such as broccoli, act as a scrubbing agent. These foods can be used to remove and prevent stains on the exterior of the tooth, which is normally called extrinsic whitening. If you try the above foods or other extrinsic whitening products, such as a teeth whitening toothpaste, and you are not getting the results you want, it could be because you have intrinsic discoloration. Intrinsic whitening deals with the whitening of the interior of the tooth. Age, genetics, acidic foods, smoking and even medications slowly discolour the dentin in our teeth. Dentin is a layer of calcified tissue underneath our tooth enamel. Teeth discolouration is a natural process, however, the above mentioned factors and tooth decay can speed up the process. This is why intrinsic teeth whitening treatments, such as bleaching gel are available. Most intrinsic procedures have to be administered at a dentist’s offices. To figure out what is the best teeth whitening treatment for you, speak to us at East Mountain Dental.

Why is My Tongue White?

A white substances grows on this patient's tongue Dr. Ryan Hamilton Dr. Seager Dr. Michael Robert. East Mountain Dental. General, Cosmetic, Restorative, Family Dentist in Provo, UT 84606

What is the White Substance on my Tongue? A healthy tongue is pink looking and moist or it may have a thin white coating on its surface. The surface of your tongue should have small bumps all over, called papillae. Our taste buds sit on these bumps. There are a few other surface textures that are considered normal but this is your classic or textbook tongue. However, there are many people who struggle with a surface texture that looks more like a blanket of white, or maybe they have developed patches of white under their tongue or on their cheeks. This is not a normal or healthy tongue or mouth. White tongue conditions Oral thrush or candidiasis is a yeast infection of the mouth caused by the fungus Candida. White patches develop on the tongue and throat that have a cottage cheese look and feel to them. If you scrape the substance off your tongue, you will expose a red patch. This infection is most likely to occur after a treatment of antibiotics as there is an unbalance of bacteria in the mouth. Other factors that can cause oral thrush include smoking, poor oral hygiene, dentures that don’t fit properly, dry mouth, diabetes, or chemotherapy. If you think you have oral thrush you need to see your doctor immediately as it will only worsen if left untreated. Oral thrush is normally treated with a 7 to 14 day course of antifungal medication. Leukoplakia is the formation of white patches inside the mouth and on the tongue due to excessive cell growth. The most common cause is tobacco. It is extremely important to visit your dentist to have them determine the cause of the Leukoplakia as it can be a precursor to oral cancer. Oral lichen planus looks like a spider web of raised white lines on your tongue or the inside of your cheeks. It is normally caused by an autoimmune response and is a chronic inflammatory condition. The condition should be monitored, however, it normally disappears on its own. In very rare cases it can lead to oral cancer. Risk factors for the above and other tongue conditions include smoking, alcohol, poor diet, poor oral hygiene, a weak immune system or viral infections. To keep your tongue healthy, it is recommended to brush your tongue before brushing and flossing your teeth. It is most effective in the mornings. Brush your tongue from the back to the front, rinsing the brush after each stroke to avoid placing bacteria scraped off the tongue back in the mouth. Any discomfort, sores, swelling, as well as color, texture or taste changes in the mouth or on the tongue should be monitored and seen to by a dentist or doctor.

The Fuss about Floss

Dr. Ryan Hamilton Dr. Seager Dr. Michael Robert. East Mountain Dental. General, Cosmetic, Restorative, Family Dentist in Provo, UT 84606

Every dental hygiene article will tell you that an adequate oral hygiene regime includes brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day.   However, according to data from the latest National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which was compiled in 2016, it states 32.4 % of American adults over the age of 30 never floss. The results also showed that 37.3 % of these adults floss but not everyday; and only 30.3 % floss on a daily basis. Other interesting findings include more men failed to floss when compared to women and low-income participants are less likely to floss than those in higher income brackets.   But why do these statistics matter? What is the fuss about flossing? For one thing, these statistics are an indicator of why the Center of Disease Control finds a high prevalence of gum diseases in America, especially in the Southern States.   What is gum disease? Gum disease in its most common form is called gingivitis. The symptoms include tender and swollen gums that bleed easily when brushed. Gingivitis can be caused by the failure to maintain oral hygiene.   When someone neglects their oral hygiene, food particles can get stuck between the teeth and mix with saliva and bacteria in the mouth. This mixture forms plaque, which can harden into tartar that can not be removed through normal toothbrushing. The bacteria in plaque and tartar create acids that eat into our tooth enamel and create holes called cavities.   Bacterial infection and tooth decay fester in cavities and can affect the gums, causing gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can develop into a more advanced stage of gum disease, which can cause nearly irreversible damage to the gums, teeth and jawbone. Flossing ensures that food particles do not get stuck between our teeth, where our toothbrush can’t reach, and cause cavities. Preventing gingivitis is also a preventative measure against a number of other health issues, such as respiratory diseases, which can be caused by bacteria in the mouth affecting the lungs. Tips for flossing: Floss before bedtime as this is when you will get the best result as it is after you have eaten for the day. Start with 18 inches of floss and work it around each middle finger until you have around two inches. Hold the floss taut between your thumb and index finger and gently move it up and down between your teeth. Carefully glide the floss around the base of each tooth, going beneath the gum line. Use new sections of floss for each new tooth. Remove floss from your teeth by mimicking the same up and down motion.