illustration of tooth and text: older adults and oral health - take the quiz

Know What You Need to About Aging and Oral Health? Take this Quiz.

September is Healthy Aging Month! Stonehaven Dental wants support adults living healthy lives as they age by making sure everyone knows what they should about oral health for older adults.

Ready to test your knowledge? True or False:

  1. Bacteria stick to both natural teeth and dentures.
  2. As we age, we enter a second cavity-prone stage in our lives.
  3. Research has shown links between oral health and health problems common to older adults, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and pneumonia.
  4. The average age of for people diagnosed with mouth cancers is 62.

 

How do you think you did? If you answered TRUE to each point above, then you got them all right! (Click on any point above to visit our sources.) Whether you aced the quiz or were tripped up by a few surprises, keep reading so you know the best steps to take to protect your teeth and mouth.

Brush Twice and Floss Every Day – Dentures Too!

 

This is one of the basics of oral health care at any age, and should be continued throughout your life. If you wear partial or full dentures, this also means brushing your dentures daily since bacteria in your mouth attaches to dentures as well as teeth. Be sure to use a cleaning product made for use with dentures; don’t use standard toothpaste or household cleaners! These can hurt your dentures and cause unnecessary expense if you have to replace damaged dentures.

Drink Plenty of Water

 

Many adults’ cavities are brought on by dry mouth. While dry mouth itself is not expected in typical aging, it is a side effect of hundreds of over-the-counter and prescription medications. Saliva does some important work in the mouth, including washing away bits of food, neutralizing acids in food and beverages, and providing defense against infection. When your mouth is too dry, you’re not producing enough saliva, and cavities can become more likely as a result. To combat dry mouth, drink lots of water, check with your family dentist about an oral rinse, or consider talking with your physician about possible medication alternatives.

Visit Your Dentist At Least Once a Year

 

Your local dentist can offer the best recommendation on how often to be seen for checkups, but at a minimum, you should be going once each year. Prevention and early detection are so important! The nerves in your teeth get smaller and less sensitive as you get older, and the decreased sensitivity means that you are less likely to feel pain from a cavity early in its existence. When you do feel pain, it is possible that the cavity may be too far gone and cause you to loose your tooth.  And remember the links shown between oral health and other health issues? Your dentist and dental team can help spot warning signs of other health problems, as well as perform oral cancer screenings. Last but not least, be sure to let your dentist know about any medications you are taking.

We want everyone to age happily and in good health! If you follow the steps above and maintain your oral health routine, you will be well on your way to ensuring a healthy mouth for a long time. Time for a visit? Just click below to request an appointment and any of our offices.

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close up of boy in sports jersey with mouthguard

Why We Love Mouthguards (And You Should Too!)

Ahh, fall. The season for crisp, clear evenings, leaves changing color and crunching underfoot, pumpkin everything, and – of course – fall sports! As the season approaches and you prepare your kids for football, hockey and other sports, don’t forget one of the best ways you can protect their smiles: a mouthguard.

What makes a mouthguard so important?

1. Sports-related dental injuries affect a lot of people.

Naturally, no one wants their child to be injured in any way while playing sports, but, unfortunately, dental injuries happen more frequently than you might think. From the American Dental Assistants Association’s Sports-Related Dental Injuries and Sports Dentistry educational materials (emphasis ours):

“Approximately 20 million children participate in various sports programs in the United States and another 80 million are involved in unsupervised recreational sports. In addition, 15 million Americans suffer dental injuries and 5 million teeth are lost annually in sports-related injuries. During a single athletic season, athletes have a 1 in 10 chance of suffering a facial or dental injury. In fact, the lifetime risk of such an injury is estimated to be about 45% according to the National Youth Sports Foundation.”

2. Mouthguards are effective in preventing dental injuries.

There are a few types of dental injuries. Teeth can become chipped, broken, loose, or lost altogether. Dealing with a dental trauma can be hard for anyone, especially kids. Your teeth affect how you smile, how you eat, and how you speak. Treatment for dental injuries can also be costly. A mouthguard helps by protecting your teeth and decreases risk of all of these types of injuries. In fact, studies have found that mouthguards are not just one way to prevent sports-related dental injuries, they are the most effective way.

3. Mouthguards are available for a range of prices.

There are three kinds of mouthguards:

  • Ready-Made: These mouthguards can be found in many grocery and drug stores and are ready to wear out of the box. They are the least expensive option, and while they do work for some, they don’t often fit very well, and as a result can be uncomfortable and make speaking difficult.
  • Boil-and-Bite: Also available in drugstores and grocery stores, as well as sporting goods stores, boil-and-bite mouthguards are a way to get a better fit while still being relatively inexpensive. Before initial use, you soften the guard material by boiling, and then “bite” into it, allowing the material to mold around your teeth and gums.
  • Custom-Made: A custom-made mouthguard is made just for you by your family dentist. For many people, this option offers the best and most comfortable fit. When your dentist makes your mouthguard, s/he can also tailor it to the needs of the individual athlete and their sport. These are also the most expensive mouthguards, but are a worthwhile investment for active kids (and adults).

If your child needs a mouthguard for the fall sports season, just get in touch with us! We’re here to help.

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bot and girl running with backpacks, text: Beat the back to school rush!

Is your child ready for school?

  • Pencils – Check!
  • Paper – Check!
  • Crayons – Check!
  • Dentist Appointment – !!!

There’s so much to do when it’s back to school time, it’s easy to forget about a visit to the dentist. But many states now require proof of a dental screening or exam before a child can be registered for school. Even when not required, keep reading! Though a dental visit may not be required for school, oral health is important to every child’s success in school.

Studies have shown a link between a child’s oral health care and performance in school.

What’s the connection? Oral health can impact a child’s ability to perform well in school in a number of ways, including absence from school, dealing with pain, inability to chew properly, being unable to focus, and feeling self-conscious.

  • In one study, children with poor oral health were nearly 3 times more likely than their peers to miss school as a result of dental pain. Interestingly enough, the same study found that absences due to pain were associated with poorer school performances, where absences for routine care were not.
  • For children and teens in families with lower incomes, the kids who had a toothache within the last 6 months were almost 4 times as likely as their peers to have an average GPA below a 2.8. (National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center)
  • Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease for children ages 6 to 19. (CDC website)

The Good News: Preventative dental care can make all the difference!

Make sure your child is prepared to succeed in school and in life by helping them to stay healthy. For their oral health, this means brushing twice a day and flossing daily, eating a balanced diet, and seeing the dentist regularly. We’d love to see you before school starts!

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photo of smiling baby with text: don't believe this baby myth

THE Most Harmful Myth About Your Baby’s Teeth

If someone says to you, “Baby teeth fall out, so you don’t have to worry about them, right?” You tell them, “Wrong!”

Okay, maybe you don’t want to just shout “Wrong!” at them, but you can tell them that in truth, baby teeth are important to a child’s overall health and wellness. Inadequate care of baby teeth, a.k.a. primary teeth, can leave behind bad effects on a child’s overall health and wellness, even when the teeth are long gone.

4 Ways Baby Teeth Are Important To Overall Health And Wellness

  1. Baby teeth help young children chew food properly.
  2. Baby teeth are a part of speech development.
  3. Baby teeth hold space for permanent teeth to grow in.
  4. Baby teeth can decay, and untreated decay “can result in a broad range of functional impairments that have far-reaching implications for growth, development, school performance, and peer relationships.

Fortunately, caring for baby teeth is as easy as caring for your own.

How To Care For Your Baby’s Teeth And Gums

Prior to teething, use a soft, warm, wet cloth to gently massage your baby’s gums. Once teeth begin to appear, you can brush with a soft toothbrush, but don’t use toothpaste until around age two. Kids can begin learning to brush their teeth around age two or three, but they will need help or supervision typically until age 6 or 7. Finally, you should schedule regular checkups with your child’s dentist, beginning at 12 months of age, or within 6 months from when baby’s first tooth appears.

For more helpful information on children’s oral health, check out our Parent’s Guide to Dental Hygiene infographic! Need to schedule an appointment? Help is just a click away.

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tooth next to medical kit - illustration

Don’t Let Your Teeth Land You In The ER

Now more than ever, it’s not just a good idea to visit your dentist regularly, it’s a necessity.

An increasing number of people are visiting the emergency room for dental issues, often for problems that have become severe because they put off basic dental care.  Not only is this harmful to your health, it’s harmful to your wallet. From a recent article on rising ER visits for dental problems:

“By law, ERs have to see patients even if they can’t pay. But although they often provide little more than painkillers and antibiotics to dental patients, the visits cost more than three times as much as a routine dental visit, averaging $749 if the patient isn’t hospitalized — and costing the U.S. health care system $1.6 billion a year.”

Making Dental Care Affordable and Convenient

About 40% of U.S. adults (18+) have not visited the dentist in the past year. And though dental cavities are the number one most common chronic disease for children and teens (ages 6 – 19), around 18% of kids’ cavities are going untreated. Why is this happening?

Two common barriers that we often hear are that dental care is expensive, and that visits are inconvenient. We can help with that!

With 6 dental offices, from South Jordan to Spanish Fork, Utah, we likely have an office near where you live or work. And while there are many factors that contribute to the cost of care, there are three ways we’re trying to keep visits affordable for patients.

  1. We accept most major insurance plans. We are also happy to check with your insurance provider to provide payment estimates for treatments! Call us and see if we accept your insurance.
  2. We accept Care Credit. CareCredit is a credit card designated for health, dental and wellness expenses.
  3. We offer a comprehensive dental plan. Under the plan, there are no yearly maximums, no deductibles, and no waiting periods.

Save yourself and your family from extra trips to the ER.

Many dental issues that start out small can become complex and more expensive to deal with if you avoid regular dental care. Your oral health is closely tied to your overall health, and helping you achieve your optimal health and well-being is our primary goal.

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photo of female dentist with dark hair, smiling

The 3 Best Questions You Can Ask Your Dentist

Want to make the most of your next visit to your family dentist? Try asking these three questions to maximize your time spent in the dental chair.

1. What is my overall oral health situation?

This question is about getting a broad view of your oral health. Knowing whether you’re generally doing pretty well or are not in the best shape can help you to make more informed decisions about treatments. It can also provide insight on other areas of your health or lifestyle – nutrition or exercise, for example – that are contributing to, and being affected by, your oral health.

2. What will improve my oral health?

Be on the lookout when you ask this question for both steps that you can take your own, as well as treatments that your dentist or hygienist can offer. Your dentist can help you figure out if a specific kind of toothpaste is better for you, whether you’re brushing correctly, or whether a new product you’ve seen is worth a try. When you’re talking about treatments, your dentist can offer advice on what is most needed, what can be done at another time, and whether there are any alternatives.

3. Is there anything my family doctor needs to know about?

Your oral health is closely linked to your overall health. Sometimes, your dentist may be first to spot symptoms that can indicate health issues your family physician or general practitioner (GP) needs to know about. Asking this question helps to ensure that relevant information is shared with all the right people.

BONUS: Be prepared.

Ok, this isn’t a question, but being as prepared as you can is also important to getting the best possible dental care. If you’re experiencing any kind of problem in your mouth, like a sore jaw or sore gums, or notice anything unusual, such as a lump or irritation, be sure to speak up about it. Even if it doesn’t seem like a big deal to you, your dentist will be able to tell if it’s something that needs to be monitored or addressed.

Feeling ready for your next visit? We hope so! If you don’t have one scheduled, just call us or click below to get one set.

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Call (801)-701-9799
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