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Despite the rash of very unhealthy foods that range from two pieces of fried chicken sandwiched on either side of a mound of cheese and burgers made with a pair of glazed donuts, many people are turning to foods that will help them lose weight, have more energy, and overall gain a more healthy lifestyle.

While it’s good to think of your body as a whole, one thing that’s easy to overlook is dental health. What you eat and drink can drastically affect the condition of your teeth, to the point that going overboard on sweets and whatnot can severely damage your chompers and lead to costly dental treatments or tooth loss.

How can you prevent such things from happening? We suggest that you start by adopting these four lifestyle changes:

Cut Out the Sugary Sodas

At times, this country seems to have been built on Coke and Pepsi. We know how difficult these drinks are to resist. After all, they’re everywhere you go, from gas stations and convenience stores to fast food restaurants and movie theaters … and, of course, they’re quite tasty. But make no mistake — these sugary sodas are highly acidic and detrimental to your overall health, and they eat away at your teeth like nobody’s business. This is especially true for office workers and others who “nurse” their soda for hours, because it results in a constant acid bath and film of sugar on your teeth. Although diet sodas try to fool you into thinking they’re a healthy alternative, they’re not really any better. Avoid them at all costs and switch to flavored water with no preservatives or a squeeze of lemon. You’ll improve your over health and your dental health.

Increase Your Water Intake

We’re sure you get tired of hearing people tell you to drink more water, but it’s absolutely true. Water does a fantastic job at cleaning sugar and other harmful substances from your mouth, in addition to improving your overall health in a lot of ways. If you insist on drinking sugary acidic drinks from time to time, at least make sure that you drink water to wash away the nastiness, which will help prevent bad breath and tooth decay. Although not everyone agrees to have much water you should drink on a daily basis, going by the “old school” belief of eight cups per day is a great standard to achieve.

Move on from Chewy Candies

If someone out there is ever able to create tasty, chewy candies that don’t hurt a person’s oral health in one way or another, they’ll be richer than Midas. As it stands now, though, this just isn’t happening. It’s not just when you eat the candy that’s harmful. The problem is that these sticky sugars are allowed to hang around for an extended amount of time. Hard candies dissolve and disappear much more quickly from your mouth, but if you insist on chewy candies, make sure that you drink some water afterwards to flush out the sugar.

Switch to Xylitol Gum

Many gum users — or chewers, as the case may be — may already be aware that chewing gum is really good for your mouth because it helps it stay moist, which freshens your breath and keeps your tongue and gums healthy. If you want to go one step further, you should chew xylitol gum. This type of gum doesn’t contain sugar, but it’s still sweet and your mouth can’t break it down, which can also help prevent bad breath and tooth decay.

Although these lifestyle changes can help improve your dental health, nothing beats regular dentist visits, because this is where you can learn the condition of your teeth and gums, and what can be done to make improvements. Contact the office of Dr. Bruce McArthur, DDS and we’ll get you started on a regimen that will keep your teeth healthy and clean.

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Although we don’t have a whole lot of time before summer ends, many families are still planning to take a trip before the season is out. The travel essentials that most people consider are things like clothes, sunscreen, and electronic games for your kids to keep them occupied (and quiet — let’s be honest here).

But what about dental essentials? A vacation should be fun, but that doesn’t mean that it’s okay to forgo the need for proper dental health. Yes, it may sound a little stodgy, but the simple truth is that going even a few days or a week without proper oral care can damage your teeth and prompt a visit to the dentist after you get back home where one could have been avoided.

What are these essentials exactly? These are the ones that we would recommend:

Toothbrush and Floss

These are obviously a no-brainer. The most important things to take with you to ensure proper dental health are your toothbrush and floss. If you want to save some space or don’t want to take your normal toothbrush with you for whatever reason, then pick up a travel toothbrush for the trip. You can find a travel brush at any local drugstore or even at the airport or hotel in case you forgot yours or lose it.

Toothbrush Holder

To avoid your toothbrush coming into contact with other items in your bag, it’s recommended that you pick up a toothbrush holder. This will keep bacteria and germs from other items away so that you don’t brush your teeth with an infected brush.

Travel Mouthwash

Most containers of mouthwash are kinda big, so you might want to avoid sticking a standard-size bottle into your bag unless you have plenty of room. A great alternative is to pick up a travel-size container. These can be found at your local drugstore as well. This is especially important if you’re flying since a travel-size bottle will conform to TSA regulations.

Pack of Gum

Truth be told, you should always have a pack of gum nearby for “fresh breath” emergencies. This is especially important when you’re on vacation because you never know where you might end up or what you might be doing. It’s possible that you may be away from a bathroom for an extended period of time and chewing on a piece of gum can help freshen your breath and keep your teeth clean in a pinch.

Plastic Baggie

If you simply toss your dental supplies in your bag, you’re just asking for trouble. With all the movement that happens on a trip, there’s a good chance that you might find yourself with an exploded tube of toothpaste or spilled mouthwash. To keep the rest of your belongings safe, keep your dental care items in a plastic baggie.

Paraffin Wax

Here’s one item that many travelers don’t consider. While on vacation, anything can happen. So you want to be prepared. For example, you could experience a chipped tooth due to summer-related activities or simple carelessness. If this happens, you can apply paraffin wax to the jagged edge to prevent cutting your mouth, which is a common occurrence when you can’t get to a dentist right away.

Carrying these items with you on vacation will help you ensure proper dental health. Once you return home, it’s a good idea to get your teeth checked out by a professional to avoid future problems. Dr. Bruce McArthur, DDS has been treating patients for a variety of dental issues for several years. No matter what your problem might be, Dr. McArthur can get you on the track to better oral health. Give us a call and you can start today!

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Leading Causes of Bad Breath

by on July 16, 2015 | Posted in Blog

The fear of having bad breath is one of the leading causes of social anxiety. Okay … so we can’t back that up with case studies or anything, but if you’ve ever had someone discretely (or bluntly) tell you that you have bad breath, it will be a while before you trust that your breath isn’t on the verge of wilting nearby flowers every time you leave the house.

There are ways to cover up bad breath with the use of items such as gum, mouthwash, mints, or … hmm, is Binaca still a thing?

While using one of the these items to mask your bad breath will help in the short-term, it’s important to realize that this issue — medically termed halitosis — is due to the build-up of bacteria inside your mouth, and the best way to fix bad breath is to understand its leading causes, especially since some of the causes might indicate something more severe.

Poor Oral Hygiene

The most common cause of bad breath is also the simplest to prevent. We all know that our lives these days can be quite hectic, but if you skip brushing and flossing on a regular basis, the accumulation of trapped food particles in your teeth will create a foul stench that will not make you a popular person to be around. Be sure to brush and floss twice a day for two minutes, and especially after meals whenever possible.

Gum Disease

If you do brush and floss on a regular basis and still have problems with bad breath, then you very well could be suffering from gum disease, which is caused by a consistent build-up of bacteria and plaque. Since this can lead to more serious dental issues, all the way up to possible tooth loss, contact your dentist immediately if you believe gum disease is the culprit.

Cavities

Many people seem to be surprised at how bad their breath can be when they only have a small cavity. That’s because a cavity, as most are aware, is the decay of a tooth. And when things decay, a foul-smelling odor typically emerges. If you notice that a cavity has formed, however small, contact your dentist and set up an appointment right away. And make sure that you’re getting a routine exam performed every six months.

Dry Mouth

As if sufferers of dry mouth weren’t annoyed or uncomfortable enough, they also have to deal with the possibility of bad breath. That’s because a primary function of saliva is to wash away bacteria and dead cells, in addition to neutralizing acids. If you’re not producing a healthy amount of saliva, then — you guessed it — bad breath!

Dentures

Just because dentures aren’t “real”, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care for them as if they were your original teeth. Food can get stuck in dentures just as easily as your previous choppers, causing the growth of bacteria. You can prevent this by cleaning your dentures as instructed by your dentist.

Diseases

In addition to gum diseases, there are other ailments that can cause bad breath. These include something a bit mild like sinus infections and acid reflux to more severe conditions that include respiratory tract infections, diabetes, liver problems, and kidney issues. This means that heading to your medical practitioner should also be on your list of things to do.

Are you suffering from bad breath or would to need a dental check-up to ensure oral health? The office of Dr. Bruce McArthur, DDS has helped hundreds of patients will all sorts of dental health needs. Give us a call today and we’ll set up an appointment to get you started on the road to oral health.

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Summer is the time for hitting the beach, barbecuing with friends, playing out in the sun, and letting loose. Allowing yourself to enjoy some rest and relaxation, though, doesn’t mean that you should get careless with your oral health and dental routine. In fact, you should be extra diligent with the changing of the seasons. To ensure that you and your mouth both have a happy and healthy summer, here are a few tips for proper care and maintenance.

Swimming

If you regularly hit the pool during the summer, listen up: frequent swimmers can develop yellowish-brown to dark brown stains on their teeth after prolonged exposure to chemical additives in the water. The brown spots are referred to as “swimmer’s calculus.” This condition is especially likely to occur in those who swim more than six hours per week. Work to prevent staining by brushing 3 times per day with an ADA-approved whitening toothpaste. If a buildup of swimmers calculus has already occurred, you should speak to your dentist about a professional deep cleaning.

Diving

Many people decide to explore the depths of the sea by trying SCUBA diving during the summer. When the proper precautions aren’t taken, though, jaw joint pain, gum tissue problems, or “tooth squeeze” (a pain in the center of the mouth) can occur. These conditions are related to biting too hard on air regulators. It’s a good idea to have your dentist check out your overall level of dental health and discuss the fitting of your air regulator’s mouthpiece before hitting the water.

Moderate Intake of Sweets

Summertime fairs, festivals, and trips to the boardwalk often lead to the consumption of sweets like ice cream, sugary lemonade, cotton candy, soda, and more. The high volume of sugar present in these types of foods can lead to excess plaque, cavities, and the loss of tooth enamel. To avoid these problems, be sure to moderate your snacking. After eating or drinking something sugary, be sure to brush your teeth right away. If brushing isn’t possible, chew on sugarless gum for 20 minutes. This can reduce tooth decay and plaque.

Treat Teeth Kindly

We see it all the time – a patient walks into our office with a chipped tooth after attempting to open a bottle with their teeth or chewing on ice. Although it can be tempting to try to use your teeth as a bottle opener when you’re craving a cold one, remember that your teeth aren’t tools. Save yourself from the pain and expense of dental issues by using your teeth only for their intended purpose.

Use Mouth Guards

Summer sports enthusiasts, beware! You could very well be putting your teeth at risk when you don’t work to protect your mouth. Custom mouth guards can be made to safeguard teeth. These mouth guards are fitted to your mouth for maximum comfort and protection. Making the small initial investment will help to reduce the likelihood of cracked or chipped teeth, bleeding gums, and jaw injuries.

Don’t Forget Your Lips

Although most people remember to apply sunscreen on their bodies before spending time outdoors, many tend to forget about their lips. This is a huge problem because your lips are more susceptible to burning than most other parts are of your body. By utilizing a lip balm with an SPF of at least 15, you can prevent the pain and discomfort associated with burning while also taking preventive measures against developing skin cancer.

Whether any of the above apply to you or not, it’s important that you maintain your oral healthy throughout the year. Summer is the perfect time to get a dental check-up, so it’s time to call Dr. Bruce McArthur, DDS and set up an appointment.

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These days, moms can really have it rough. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, a single mother, or have a flourishing career to take care of, it’s sometimes difficult to get everything done each day in a 24-hour period, and that often means that certain things fall by the wayside. Unfortunately, oral health is one of those things that busy moms can quickly take for granted.

Caring for your teeth should not be something that you take lightly, no matter how busy you are, but it’s an easy thing to forget about if you’re not careful. The good news is that busy moms can have clean teeth, too. It’s not a difficult goal to achieve once you keep a few simple things in mind, which we’ve detailed for you right here:

Drink Water Throughout the Day

With all the sodas and various flavored drinks that are chock-full of sugar and unhealthy ingredients on the market, many people forget to drink enough water on a regular basis. The truth is that drinking eight cups of water on a daily basis can improve your health in a number of ways, and this includes your dental health because it flushes toxins from your mouth, clearing it of bacteria that can cause cavities and other issues. You should always have drinking water available in a variety of places, such as a water dispenser in your kitchen, a pitcher in your fridge, a full glass on your nightstand before bed, and a bottle in your car. This will keep you hydrated all day and will improve your oral health.

Carry Toiletries in Your Purse

You never know when you might find yourself in a situation where you need to brush your teeth or freshen your breath. This is why it’s always a good plan to keep toiletries for clean teeth — toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash — in your bag at all times. While these items are available at your corner drugstore, it may not be convenient for you to plan a trip there because, as the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Keeping toiletries in your purse can also be a godsend at the office after you’ve eaten a lunch that is less than favorable for your breath.

Keep Healthy Snacks Available

Yes, we realize that the vending machine down the hall is an enticing option. Where else can you find potato chips, licorice, and cookies all in one convenient location? These items are not healthy, however, and will do harm to your oral health. Instead of relying on vending machines or even fast food, what you want to do is keep healthy snacks in your car. What you choose is up to you, but a few examples include fruits, vegetables, nuts, pretzels, seaweed snacks, popcorn, and protein bars. For packaged items, what you want to focus on are items that are high in protein, but low on sugar and with few ingredients. Concentrating on these types of snacks, whether packaged or not, will provide you with healthy alternatives to fast food and candy throughout the day.

Whether you’re a busy mother or father, it’s important that you maintain a healthy regimen for clean, strong teeth. Having a reliable dentist to help you reach your goals is a great start, and that’s why you should give Dr. Bruce McArthur, DDS a call right away. With many years of experience, our office can help you meet all your dental needs and give you back the oral health that you once had or help you maintain what you’ve fought so hard to achieve. Contact us today for more tips or to schedule an appointment!

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Having a toothache is a real pain! Sufferers can experience a range of senses from feeling some mild soreness to an unbearably sharp or throbbing pain in the teeth, gums, or around the jaws. These feelings can be caused by a host of underlying issues including cavities, infections, a cracked tooth, an exposed root, gum disease, loose fillings, jaw joint disorders, and more. Because of this, it’s extremely important to seek out the professional opinion and care of your dentist.

In the meantime, though, you’re probably looking for some relief. Here are a few things you can try in order to dull the pain:

1. Painkillers

The first thing that people typically do when experiencing a toothache is to check out the various over-the-counter painkillers available in their local pharmacy. Both aspirin and ibuprofen are able to decrease inflammation and reduce pain. If there is no inflammation, you may want to try acetaminophen as it blocks pain messages in the brain. Oral pain relievers like Anebsol and Orajel are also great temporary solutions. Always make sure to inform your dentist of any OTC drugs that you have been taking to treat your condition.

2. Salt Water

In many cases, toothaches are amplified by the inflammation of the gums surrounding them. Salt can act as an anti-inflammatory, working to dull the pain while also decreasing the spread of bacteria that could cause further pain or infection. Mix approximately one tablespoon of salt with a glass of warm water and swish the solution around in your mouth for 30 seconds. Repeat this process, as needed, throughout the day. If you are on a low-sodium diet due to high blood pressure or other medical issues, you should talk to a physician before trying this particular remedy.

3. Cloves

You may be surprised to learn that cloves possess anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anesthetic properties. You can either apply a mixture of ground cloves and olive oil to your tooth, or slightly dampen a cotton ball in clove oil and rub it on the area where the pain is occurring.

4. Asafetida

Both toothaches and sore or bleeding gums can benefit greatly from this handy powder. Blend about a one-half teaspoon of powered asafetida with two teaspoons of lemon juice. Many users choose to warm the mixture up slightly. Dip a cotton ball or pad into the solution and dab it onto the problem spot(s) for fast relief.

5. Garlic

Garlic does more than ward off vampires – it can also ease up some of your tooth pain. Garlic has antibiotic and medicinal properties that can work wonders. Crush a garlic clove and apply the garlic directly to the affected area to gain some pain relief.

6. Guava Leaves

Like cloves, guava leaves are known for their anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antimicrobial properties, all of which can alleviate toothaches. Chewing on one or two leaves will allow the juice to start to work its magic on the affected tooth.

7. Ice

Whether it’s your jaw or your teeth, icing the sore spot could help to dull the aching sensation. Fill a plastic baggie with several ice cubes and hold it against the outside of your cheek along the area that hurts. If the ice is too cold, try wrapping the bag in a paper towel or thin cloth.

Although it can be painful, don’t allow a toothache to stop you from enjoying your life. These simple home remedies can quickly and effectively ease your pain while you wait to work with your dentist to pinpoint the underlying cause and restore your oral health. Give Dr. Bruce McArthur, DDS a call today and we’ll get you started on a great dental strategy!

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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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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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