Dental resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions to Smile About

Did you know that the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions started with the Babylonians 4000 years ago? Since the Babylonian New Year coincided with the planting of new crops, their most common resolution was to return borrowed farm equipment. That’s probably not one of your resolutions, but there is something about that blank calendar or planner that makes the start of a new year a logical time for a fresh start.

Today the most common resolutions have to do with health issues such as losing weight, exercising more, or eating healthy. Here are four resolutions that will improve your dental health in the coming year.

  • Schedule your dental checkup

    Even if you’re not having any dental problems, call your dentist at the first of the year to schedule an appointment. Use your new calendar or planner to record the date.

  • Commit to brushing and flossing

    Most of us brush twice a day but often neglect to make flossing part of our daily routine. Just as you keep your toothbrush easily accessible on the bathroom counter, put the floss where you will see it when you brush your teeth.

  • Reduce your sugar intake

    Reducing the amount of sugary foods and beverages you consume can reduce your risk for tooth decay. Start with easy substitutions like sugar-free gum and replace sodas with water. Add more dairy products and high-fiber foods to your diet. Your waistline will also benefit!

  • Stop smoking

    Most of us know the health risks associated with smoking, but we may not be aware of the increased risk for gum disease. Use your new calendar to schedule healthy activities to help take your mind off the cravings. Enlist the help of your family and friends. Look forward to the day you can write “Tobacco Free” on your calendar!

Studies show that it can take thirty days before a new habit becomes routine so don’t give up.  Commit to these resolutions for your dental health one day at a time!

The Ultimate Guide to Dental Hygiene

“Numerous recent scientific studies indicate associations between oral health and a variety of general health conditions — including diabetes and heart disease.” (- American Dental Association)

Whoa! You probably know that brushing your teeth is a good idea, but many people don’t realize just how important dental hygiene is. Since October is National Dental Hygiene Month (#NDHM15), we thought there was no better time than now to spread the word and make sure you have this handy guide to keep your teeth and mouth in tip-top shape!

Ultimate Guide to Dental Hygiene infographic

 

So, to recap, for optimal dental hygiene, just remember:

  1. Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day
  2. Floss Daily
  3. Rinse With Mouthwash
  4. Chew Sugar-Free Gum After Meals

 

It’s that easy!

 

photo of man in suit relaxing barefoot on beach

4 Pro Tips for a Relaxing Dental Visit

A lot of people get nervous or scared about seeing their dentist. We understand and are sensitive to patients’ concerns, and want to make your dental visit as comfortable as possible. Next time you need a dental appointment, try one or more of these tips for making your experience a positive one.

1. Talk to your dentist and dental team.

Talking to us about your concerns is THE most important thing you can do. We’re here to help and want to make you comfortable!

If you’re a new patient… Would you like a tour of the office? Do you have questions you want to ask the dentist before you make a decision? Just let us know!

If you’re already a patient… Do you like extra time to ask a lot of questions? Or maybe you’d rather not hear certain details? Is there something specific you would like to have done or not done during your treatment? You can always ask for breaks during treatment by raising your hand if you’re unable to speak. Every person is different, so the more you can help us get to know you, the better we’ll be able to tailor your experience to your needs and preferences.

2. Ask us for extras!

Most of our offices have comfort items available for you, like protective eye wear, pillows for a sore neck, blankets if you tend to get chilly, and bottled water if you are thirsty. Many offices have TVs available for patients to watch during treatment, so if you’d rather have a movie on than a cooking show, just say the word. (If there is something you know you will want, call us in advance to make sure that it is available at the office you visit.)

3.  Make yourself comfortable when you come in.

Wear your most comfortable clothing. If you have a favorite sweatshirt or flannel pants, wear ’em. If it will help you relax, wear your soft flannel pajamas! We won’t judge you for what you wear- we’ll be totally jealous that you get to wear PJs. Many patients like to listen to music or other relaxing sounds like ocean waves when they come in, so feel free to bring your phone, iPod or other device if this might help you. Another trick for helping you stay comfortable is chapstick. Put some on when you come in, or ask us if you forgot yours. Need something to do with your hands? Try bringing along a stress ball. Finally, if you are concerned about soreness, ask your dentist if it would be okay to take an over-the-counter pain reliever before your appointment.

4. Talk to your dentist about sedation dentistry.

Most of our offices offer some form of sedation dentistry. Sedation options include nitrous oxide gas (laughing gas), medication to help you relax, and conscious IV sedation. The type of sedation that is best for you will depend on your unique needs, including your personal comfort level and treatment needed. If you think you might benefit from some kind of sedation, your dentist would be happy to talk about the options with you.

We have lots of ways to help our patients feel more comfortable with their treatment. The more comfortable you are, the better we can help you maintain your dental health, and your optimal health is our number one priority! If you’re due for a checkup or have other dental needs, just give us a call – 801-701-9799 – or use the button below!

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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!)

As parents, we’re always concerned with keeping our children safe. When it comes to sports, one of the best ways to protect your child’s teeth–and their brain–is a mouthguard.  Whether you’re preparing your kids for soccer, football, basketball, hockey or any other sport, don’t forget one of the best ways you can protect their dental health and reduce concussion risk.

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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Call (801)-701-9799
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