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first-dental-health2Is your next dental appointment creeping up on your calendar? After years of visiting your dental office, you may think that you’ve got the process down, but are you really getting the most out of your regular checkups? After all, it’s not like you get to see your dentist every week.

In order to maximize your time, you should be fully prepared before you take a seat in the dental chair. Here are five simple tips for getting the maximum benefit from your appointment so that you and your teeth will live a long and healthy life:

1. Prepare Your Questions

You’re brushing your teeth when you start to wonder if the toothbrush you’re using is really up to the task. What’s the best way to floss the back of your teeth? And what can you do to keep you breath fresh and clean? These questions may pop into your head at random, but as soon as you’re face-to-face with your dentist, your mind goes completely blank. Instead of freezing up, why not write down your inquiries in advance? In this way, you can rest assured that you’ll walk out of your appointment with all of the answers you’ve been looking for.

2. Take Notes

During your checkup, both your dental hygienist and dentist will provide you with advice and information that pertains to the care of your teeth and gums. Whether they’re recommending a specific brand, telling you that you may need to have your teeth scaled, or discussing specific problem spots and treatment methods, you may find it difficult to remember everything that was said during the visit. Never hesitate to write things down. This will help you to remember everything and take ownership of your oral health.

3. Share Your Dental History

Dentists are able to provide you with the highest quality of care when they are able to take a look at the “big picture” of your oral health history. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been seeing the same dentist for awhile or setting an appointment somewhere new — having access to your dental records can be a big help.

4. Be Honest

Most patients strive to please others and want to get an “A+” from their dentist — even if that means fibbing about how frequently you brush or floss, or about other habits that could be impacting your oral health. Being dishonest, though, will only hurt you in the end. It will make it more difficult for your dentist to accurately assess the condition of your teeth and gums. Just remember that honesty is always the best policy — even in the dental office.

5. Don’t Overdo It

It happens all the time: A patient realizes that his or her appointment is just around the corner and they start amping up their dental routine to the extreme. If you haven’t been flossing, a sudden and vigorous “crash” regimen isn’t going to instantly resolve anything, just like an aggressive brushing routine won’t correct long-term habits. In fact, doing so may damage or aggravate your gums and tooth enamel. Just stick with your usual techniques before the appointment. If you need to make improvements to your routine, your dentist will provide you with advice during the checkup.

Don’t let your smile down during your next dental appointment. By taking a little time to prepare yourself for your visit, your dentist will be able to provide you with the right care and information so that you have the best experience possible. If you’d like to schedule an appointment or have further questions, Bruce C. McArthur, DDS will help you achieve your dental health goals. Contact us today!

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What’s that smell? Is it me?

At one point or another, most of us have had this thought while immersed in conversation with a friend or co-worker. Having bad breath (or even worrying that you might) can make you feel self-conscious, embarrassed, and unhygienic. And while you can brush and rinse while at home, you may find yourself unable to perform these routines while on-the-go. Fortunately, keeping your breath fresh throughout the day is easier than you might imagine. Here are a few fail-safe – and completely natural – ways to keep your mouth happy all day long.

Starting the Day Right

Ever wonder what causes “morning breath”? Your digestive system works hard all through the night to remove toxins from your body, many of which are then deposited on your tongue. Tongue scrapers are the most effective tools for removing these toxins and bacteria which can cause foul odors. After scraping your tongue, brush your teeth well. Using baking soda can help to reduce acidity levels that promote bacteria growth. Be sure to floss and rinse, as desired.

Good Habits Throughout the Day

Here are a few quick tips to follow throughout the day to keep your breath smelling fresh:

  • Reach for H20 – One of the simplest ways to keep your breath fresh is to drink plenty of water while minimizing the consumption of coffee and soft drinks. Water is odorless, will wash away bacteria and debris, and won’t stain your teeth. What better motivator to stay hydrated than the promise of fresher breath?
  • Floss Regularly — Flossing is an absolute must if you hope to prevent nasty stuff from accumulating between your teeth. All-natural dental floss will make it simple for you to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth that would otherwise release an unpleasant odor while causing damage to your gums. It’s a good idea to always keep a container in your purse, glove compartment, or your office desk drawer.
  • Leave it to Leaves — Mint and parsley leaves can be a real lifesaver! These leaves are high in chlorophyll which has a natural deodorizing effect. Although simply chewing on the leaves will certainly help to provide you with relief, swallowing the leaves and allowing them to be digested will provide continuous breath freshness for quite awhile. This is because mint and parsley plants seem to reduce the production of intestinal gas and promote improved digestion.
  • Stimulate Saliva — When it comes to washing away food particles and bacteria, saliva is your very best friend. When your mouth is dry, though, you’re not generating enough saliva to get the job done. Chewing on natural gum is the perfect solution. Gum made from spearmint or peppermint essential oils will not only help to simulate saliva production, but the oils will also eliminate odor-causing bacteria, allowing you to kill two birds with one stone!
  • When You Have Lemons — No, don’t make lemonade – freshen your breath! Lemons are nature’s natural cleaners. Although you want to avoid introducing too much acid to your teeth as it can wear away your enamel, sucking on a lemon can be used in dire situations, such as instances where you need to neutralize onion or garlic breath.

Ending the Day on a Good Note

Prevent the buildup of excessive plaque and bacteria by going to bed with a clean mouth. Always brush and floss thoroughly before turning in for the night.

Establishing a daily oral hygiene routine is the most effective means to ending problems associated with unpleasant breath. By taking just a few simple steps, you can boost your confidence and feel fresh around the clock in a way that is safe and completely natural. For more helpful tips, contact the office of Dr. Bruce McArthur and we’ll get you started on your future of healthy teeth.

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Sleep apnea is no fun for the sufferer or for anyone within a five mile radius. Okay, so maybe we’re exaggerating just a bit, but those with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) tend to bring down the house with loud snoring, choking, and gasping for breath throughout the night. On top of being disruptive, OSA makes it difficult for sufferers to feel rested and refreshed, and is even a potentially life-threatening disorder. In order to remedy these issues, many dental experts recommend the use of various oral appliances.

Read on to learn more about this effective alternative treatment:

 

What are oral appliances?

Do you have a snoring or breathing problem throughout the night? If so, it’s because your airways aren’t remaining open enough during sleep. An oral appliance is specifically designed to address this issue. These devices look like the mouth guards that football players wear while out on the field. Instead of protecting your teeth and jaws, though, the oral appliance will work to position your lower law slightly forward of its normal rest position.

How do oral appliances work?

Not convinced that a slight jaw movement could actually provide positive results? Try this simple exercise: Start making a snoring sound right now. In the middle of doing so, thrust your jaw forward. What happened? The snoring sound will immediately stop. You simply cannot continue to make the sound while your jaw is in this position!

Is an oral appliance invasive or uncomfortable?

Not at all! Once you and your dentist have decided that an oral appliance is the right solution for you, a device will be specifically fitted to your mouth. Most users feel that the device is comfortable, and after a brief adjustment period, they say that it is virtually unnoticeable.

What are the advantages of oral appliances?

One of the greatest things about using an oral appliance is that you will begin to notice results right away. By repositioning the jaw, tongue, soft palate, and uvula, your lower jaw and tongue will both remain stabilized throughout the night, allowing for open air passageways and a more restful, complete sleep cycle. You’ll find yourself more energized throughout the day, and less likely to nod off unintentionally. Disturbances related to snoring and gasping will also be eliminated. These appliances are very small, making them convenient and easy to carry when you are traveling. And finally, the non-invasive approach to treatment with an oral appliance makes it completely reversible should you decide to go with another form of treatment.

Who should use oral appliances for OSA?

Whether your OSA is mild, moderate, or severe, an oral appliance could be the right solution for you. Typically, dentists will recommend the use of these devices to patients  who:

1. Primarily snore and either don’t respond to or aren’t appropriate candidates for other treatment measures.
2. Patients who are intolerant to treatment with nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy.
3. Patients who are not candidates for certain corrective operations.
4. Patients who do not respond to other methods of treatment.

Other Considerations

After beginning to use your new oral appliance, be sure to monitor your progress. Should symptoms of breathing difficulties persist with or without the use of the appliance, be sure to notify your dentist immediately. You may initially feel some soreness or discomfort as your jaw and teeth adjust to the device, but if this discomfort persists, discuss the problem with your dentist. You may need to have the appliance re-fitted.

The use of oral appliances can be a godsend to many patients, but this is something that you’ll want to discuss with your patients. Bruce C. McArthur, DDS understands the concerns of his patients and will help you find the best solution for whatever ails your teeth. Contact us today for an appointment!
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The health of the general public has increasingly become a concern to millions of Americans. Unfortunately, many of our lives are already hectic as it is, so it’s sometimes difficult to squeeze in even a small amount of exercise, despite the fact that it’s essential for good health. But what if we told you that you can get a little exercise each day while you’re brushing your teeth?

You probably already know that it’s recommended that you brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. Four minutes per day might not seem like much, but it all adds up in the end. Why not use that time to your advantage? To get you started, here are a few simple exercise that you can do to lose a few calories while waging the war on plaque:

Squats

Doing this exercise is a great way to improve your flexibility and will go a long way to strengthening your core. To perform a proper squat, first pull your hips and buttocks back as you go down toward a sitting position. Your knees should stick out a bit toward your toes if you have the correct form, but they should not protrude past your toes. Keep your back straight and feet flat on the floor. If your knees move inward, you’re doing the exercise incorrectly. Then just push yourself back up and repeat the motion.

Lunges

You’ll need a little more room in your bathroom to perform this exercise, but if you can pull it off, more power to you! Keep your upper body straight, with your shoulders back. Take a step forward with your left leg and lower your hips until that leg’s knee is at 90 degrees. Your rear knee should touch the ground. Then repeat with your right leg, and alternate accordingly. If you’re on point, you can get quite a few of these done in that scant two minutes.

Calf Raises

This is one of the easiest exercises to do while brushing your teeth, or even just in general, and are quite effective at toning and shaping your legs. All you need to do is stand with your feet directly over your hips, then lift your heels. At the apex of the lift, lower yourself right back down again and you’ve already done one. Make sure, of course, that you’re doing this is a slow and controlled motion to get the most benefit out of it.

Single Leg Balancing

For this exercise, the idea isn’t to burn calories so much but rather improve your balance. If you don’t wish to exert yourself at times, this might be the perfect one for you. It’s performed by lifting one leg to the front, then the back, and finally to the side. And, of course, you switch to the other leg and do it again. For a real challenge, try performing this balance technique with your eyes closed. Just don’t get upset with us if you get a dab of toothpaste on your shirt. This will improve as your balance improves.

There are numerous ways that you can start improving your dental health today. Contact the offices of Bruce C. McArthur, DDS and we’ll get you started right away!

 

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The Beauty of Veneers

by on May 13, 2015 | Posted in Blog

Have you always wanted the perfect smile, but no matter how vigorously you stick to a flossing and brushing regimen, you’re not quite happy with it? You’re not alone — millions of Americans are unhappy with their smile and want to make it better. To accomplish this, dental patients often turn to dental veneers, which can take care of a slew of problems that many people are suffering from.

If you’ve been considering the application of veneers as a way to improve your teeth and overall appearance, you’re in luck because that’s exactly what we’ll be discussing today.

A Little History Lesson

People tend to believe that dental veneers are a relatively new concept, but the truth is that their history started back in 1928. A movie was filming in California that called for the temporary alteration of the appearance of an actor’s teeth, but none of the current techniques looked good enough for the director. The producers hired a local dentist, Charles Pincus, to develop a practical and effective way to do this, and Dr. Pincus came up with the veneers. Nearly a decade later, he expanded on his invention and fabricated acrylic veneers. At the time, they were very temporary due to a lack of adhesion, but luckily for us, these dental applications have evolved nicely over the years.

So … What Exactly are Dental Veneers?

Quite simply, a dental veneer is a thin shell that is bonded to the front of your teeth in order to achieve a natural, attractive appearance. They allow for a cosmetic use while fixing teeth that have been chipped, stained, misaligned, etc. They can even fix the appearance of abnormally spaced teeth.

Dental veneers are created by a dental technician in a laboratory environment. There are two types of veneers — composite resin and porcelain. Composite resin is a mixture of plastic and fine glass particles used for fillings, whereas a porcelain veneer consists of … well, porcelain, obviously. Some people are hesitant of porcelain because they feel that this material is brittle. While that is true, once firmly bonded to your teeth with a resin cement, this material typically becomes very durable and resistant to damage.

How Long Do Veneers Last?

Whether you choose composite resin or porcelain veneers, it is important to realize that neither will last forever. Many patients choose composite resin because they’re a less expensive choice. The downside is that they only last between four and eight years. Porcelain veneers, which can cost several times more than composite, will often last up to 20 years, though the average is between 10 and 15 years.

Part of achieving this longevity, of course, is determined by the care you take. Many patients believe that they no longer need to care for their teeth as well as they had in the past because now they are “protected” by the veneers. This is simply not true. Veneers must be cared for in the same way as your teeth. This means flossing and brushing at least twice a day, in addition to a cleaning every six months. Stick with this maintenance schedule and your veneers are more likely to last for quite a while, especially the porcelain ones.

Whether the desire for dental veneers or other dental procedures is due to a problem with your teeth or more of a cosmetic nature, you have plenty of options to choose from that will give you the smile you’ve always wanted. The professionals at the offices of Bruce C. McArthur, DDS are always available to field any questions that you may have, and we’ll make each dental visit as nice and comfortable as possible. Contact us today with any questions about procedures or dental care!

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As adults, it’s easy to recognize the need for good dental health and we can take steps necessary to improve it. Children, on the other hand, don’t have a real sense of consequence. They don’t realize that not caring for their teeth in the proper way will lead to problems later on in life, maybe even before they hit their teens or adolescence.

This is where you come in. As a parent, it is your duty to ensure that your child’s dental health is a priority, from the time before his or her teeth start coming in until your little one has a full set of chompers, and even beyond. This can save them pain, frustration, and yes, even money in their later years. Unfortunately, many parents are unaware of the steps they should take in the first few years of a child’s life in regards to dental health. That’s why we’ve compiled a few tips that you can use to improve your child’s dental health right now.

Clean Your Infant’s Mouth

Many parents don’t realize that you can actually begin prepping for a life of good dental health even before your child’s teeth have begun to come in. That’s because even though they lack teeth, a child’s gums need to be cared for. You can clean an infant’s gums by gently running a damp washcloth over them on a daily basis. This will help wipe away bacteria and prevent deterioration and harm to the gums.

Get That First Toothbrush Early

As soon as your child’s teeth begin to come in, don’t hesitate. Go out to the store and purchase his or her first toothbrush (you can frame it later, if you wish, but please scrub it clean first). You want to start with off with a soft-bristle brush since an infant’s mouth is so sensitive. Gently clean the gums with the brush and plain water. That’s all you need.

Plan Your Child’s First Dental Visit

The reason to schedule your child’s first dental visit at a very early age — around the time of their first birthday is perfect — is two-fold. First, doing so promotes good dental health, something that you should continue to follow through with in the future. Second, it’s no secret that many people are afraid of the dentist. This is especially true with children who don’t begin dental visits until they’re older because they equate such visits with pain or discomfort. Starting them off early can alleviate these fears quite effectively.

Ensure the Use of Toothpaste

For the first couple of years, you’ll be brushing your child’s teeth. When most kids reach the age of two, they should able to spit on their own with no problem. This is when you should take advantage of their newfound skills and teach them how to brush their teeth themselves using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. However, you will still want to supervise your child closely until  they’re approximately five years old.

Commit This to Memory: 2-2-2

The “2-2-2 rule” is an easy way to ensure that your child is on his or her way to good dental health. First, your child should be flossing and brushing two times a day. Next, brushing should last for two whole minutes for the best results. If this seems too long for them, have your child brush along to a two-minute song and the time will fly by. And finally, you should be taking your child to a dentist two times a year. If you follow this simple 2-2-2 rule, you’ll definitely seem improvements in your child’s dental health.

It is never too early to begin educating your child on the importance of dental health. Starting early will not only prevent potentially harmful problems with their teeth and gums in the future, it will eventually teach them good flossing and brushing habits. If you’d like more information about dental health or need to schedule an appointment, contact the office of Bruce C. McArthur, DDS.

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