Think again before falling asleep without brushing your teeth.

Q:How bad is falling asleep without brushing your teeth?
A:Most people are shocked to hear this, but going to bed without brushing your teeth is like going to bed with poop in your mouth.

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How can that be? Every time you have a meal, the bacteria that naturally reside in your mouth feast on the food you eat. Just like every other living organism, these bacteria excrete waste after a meal. This waste is highly acidic and breaks down tooth enamel, causing root decay and cavities.

When you hit the sack without brushing, plaque starts to harden and calcify on your teeth. Once plaque has calcified, it’s impossible to remove with a toothbrush and floss and can only be removed by the hygienist during a teeth cleaning.

It gets worse. The gums see plaque buildup as an infection, so your immune system springs into action to attack that infection. By attacking the plaque buildup, your body starts to destroy the healthy tissues that hold your teeth in place, making the gums begin to pull away from the tooth.

Inflammation is a good thing that lets your body protect itself, but it can cause damage when it’s present for the long term. When you have the flu, inflammation destroys foreign invaders to get you healthy again. But imagine having the flu for years. Chronic inflammation puts extreme wear and tear on the body and studies have linked chronic inflammation in the mouth to hearing loss, dementia, and heart disease.

Okay, but is all this going to happen in just one night? No, but if you make a habit of not brushing and flossing before bed, this will absolutely happen over time.

So if it comes down to washing your face, changing into your pajamas, or brushing and flossing, you know which one I recommend. Taking two minutes to brush and floss before bed will save you years of pain and even extend your life.

Why Dentist Prescribe Dental X-rays?

 

Dental X-rays, also called radiographs, are an important tool for the dentist. The three most common types of dental X-rays are the bitewing, periapical and panoramic X-rays. Bitewing X-rays are those that are taken during most routine dental check-ups and are useful for revealing dental cavities between the teeth. Periapical X-rays show the entire tooth, including the roots, as well as the bone surrounding them. A full series of x-rays or FMX is a set of 14 periapicals and 4 bitewing xrays that gives us a complete detailed view of the teeth. These X-rays are useful in helping to diagnose a dental abscess, a cavitiy as well as periodontal gum disease. The third type of x-ray commonly used in dentistry — the panoramic X-ray gives a broad overview of the entire mouth. This X-ray supplies information about the teeth, upper and lower jawbone, sinuses, and other hard and soft tissues of the head and neck.

 

One advantage of the panoramic X-ray is its ease of use. Unlike other X-rays where the film is placed inside the patient’s mouth, the panoramic film is contained in a machine that moves around the patient’s head. Some people may be familiar with the panoramic X-ray because it is usually taken when the wisdom teeth are being evaluated. The X-ray will also reveal deep cavities and dental gum disease, but it is not as precise as bitewing or periapical X-rays. The panoramic X-ray has many other applications, including evaluating patients with past or present TMJ or jaw joint problems; those who require full or partial removable dentures, dental implants or dental braces; those who are at risk or suspected of having oral cancer symptoms or other tumors of the jaw, have impacted teeth (especially impacted wisdom teeth) or have had any recent trauma to the face or teeth (i.e. can help identify a fractured jaw); and for those who can not tolerate other types of films (severe gaggers).

 

The panoramic X-ray can also identify some not so common problems, such as calcification within the carotid artery that may indicate the potential for a stroke. In one unusually situation, a patient who mentioned that he had suffered for years with recurrent sinus infections.A panoramic X-ray was taken that revealed an infected tooth–upside-down and stuck in his sinus!

Flossing Tips

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Every dentist will tell you there’s little more important to a regular dental health regime than proper flossing. But not everyone approaches flossing the right away, according to many dental health professionals. Even when they’re fresh from the dentist, Jupiter patients might not be doing it quite right; there are a few important things to remember when you’re taking care of your teeth and gums.

First, you need to choose between nylon (multifilament) floss and the PTFE (monofilament) variety. Nylon floss is the kind most people are familiar with, and it comes either waxed or unwaxed, flavored or unflavored. It works exceptionally well for nearly all patients; for those with particularly tight spaces between their teeth, however, PTFE floss is more durable and is less likely to fall apart when being used in a tight spot.

The idea behind flossing is to remove food particles and plaque from between the teeth and along the gumline. This means you have to do more than just get the floss between each tooth. Hold the floss tightly and work it between your teeth, then moving it up and down gently, putting pressure on both sides in succession. Don’t press too hard into the gums, but be sure to go beneath the gumline, as this is where a lot of plaque is left behind.

Finally, as you move from one space between teeth to the next, shift your position on the floss so as to be using a clean stretch of line for each new space. This keeps the floss fresh, so that it’s doing the best job possible for every tooth.

For more information about general dentistry Jupiter residents need to know, or to schedule an appointment at our clinic, please give us a call today!

 

Emergency Dentists Recommend Sedation Dentistry for Anxious Patients

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If you suffer from apprehension about going to the dentist, you’re not alone; recent estimates put the number of people in the U.S. who suffer from dental anxiety at around 30 million — for perspective, that’s equivalent to the entire population of Canada.

And if you’re suffering from dental anxiety, the absolute last thing in the world that would help is suffering from a sports injury or other trauma that requires the help of an emergency dentist. The stress of the situation, compounded with an existing anxiety about dental care in general, can be more than one might be expected to bear.

Fortunately, the solution to dental anxiety surrounding a visit to an emergency dentist is the same as the solution to apprehension about a regular visit to a dental professional — it’s called sedation dentistry, and it’s helped millions of patients get the dental help they need in a relaxed, comfortable manner that improves care and speeds recovery.

Sedation dentistry is just what it sounds like, a gentle care dental practice that incorporates relaxing medicine into a patient’s dental treatment. Sedation dentistry techniques have a gradual, step-by-step escalation of treatment that starts with an oral medication that puts patients at ease moments after swallowing a pill. For patients who require a greater amount of relaxation, additional medicine can be administered either by IV or through inhaling a pleasant-smelling gas.

A patient’s vital signs are carefully monitored throughout the procedure, and the result is improved dental care for patients who might otherwise find a visit to the emergency dentist too unpleasant to contemplate. Sedation dentistry offers those patients an opportunity to experience a high level of care without a high level of anxiety; for more information about emergency sedation dentistry, please contact us today!

Teeth Whitening at the Dentist: Quick and Effective

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There is now laser whitening or ‘power whitening’.

Teeth whitening has quickly gone from a relatively rare procedure to the single most popular aspect of cosmetic dentistry available, and with good reason. Professional teeth whitening performed by a dentist can improve the appearance of a patient’s smile quickly and safely, with zero downtime and in a cost-effective manner.

Unlike home teeth whitening kits, which contain relatively weak levels of whitening agents, teeth whitening at the dentist offers access to professional-grade materials and methods, bringing better whitening results in less time – and in a manner consistent with the needs of your individual teeth and your overall dental health, as evaluated by a cosmetic dentistry professional.

Stains that result from food, coffee or smoking can be removed more effectively with a professional dentist’s teeth whitening procedure, and with marked results from a single visit rather than filling tray after tray of whitening agent with a home-based teeth whitening kit. What’s more, a dentist can advise you when teeth whitening procedures are exactly right for you, and when you may need to consider additional cosmetic dentistry options to get your smile to look and feel the way you want it to.

There’s a psychological aspect to a whiter smile that affects the way people think about a person; a whiter smile appears younger and more vibrant, and projects confidence. Similarly, a darker or more yellow smile gives the impression of advanced age or sickness, and can indicate a lack of self-esteem or friendliness. In-office teeth whitening procedures can brighten teeth in as little as a single visit, improving the appearance of a person’s smile quickly and painlessly.

Remember, your smile is often your first chance to make a lasting impression; let us help you make it a good one! For more information about teeth whitening or other cosmetic dentistry procedures we offer at our dentist practice, please contact us  at our Jupiter and Tequesta FL office!

Sedation Dentistry

Fear No More with Sedation Dentistry

Are you a dental phobic?

If you answered yes, you don’t have to worry about your dental health any longer. We’re the dentist office in Jupiter that likes to see patients who don’t like to see the dentist. Whether you’re simply terrified of a dental procedure or you have sheer dental phobia, we welcome you!

The Sedation Dentistry Services we offer in Jupiter can help you overcome your fears. Perhaps you’ve had a bad dental experience in the past or you’re terrified of going to the dentist. Our dentists and dental staff will work to regain your trust by making you comfortable personally and physically. Put your dental phobia to rest today!

You can overcome dental anxiety.

We are the dentist office that puts your comfort first. Getting you the dental care you need in a way that best suits you is our first priority. When you are our patient, you can expect personal attention and a staff who wants you to be comfortable.

Sedation Dentistry

You can take care of your smile with Sedation Dentistry services. You don’t have to worry about being judged, embarrassed, or hurt by needles or a certain procedure. We truly welcome you and work with you to tailor your care. We offer sedatives to alleviate your pain and fears of dental procedures, even ones that will keep sounds and smells at a minimum. Think of it as “Relaxation” or “Anxiety-Free” dentistry.

Laughing Gas

Patients who need to be extra comfortable to undergo dental treatments can choose Laughing Gas services. We use Nitrous Oxide, which is also known as Happy Gas for good reason. It can keep your fears and anxieties at bay. With us, your comfort level is always a priority.

For more information about sedation dentistry or any of the procedures we offer and methods we employ, please contact us at (561)744-0677 today!

Why Do Dental Implants Take So Long?

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In the ever-advancing world of the cosmetic dentist, it seems we find an increasing number of procedures are designed to be done with great speed, and finished quickly; procedures like teeth whitening are a great example of a technology that has advanced over the years and transformed itself, at least in the cosmetic dentist’s office, into one that can be performed quickly.

A common question among patients who are considering dental implants concerns why it takes so many months to complete, rather than just a few hours or weeks. It’s important to understand how the process of dental implants involves not just the surgery itself, which is not insignificant, but also how it incorporates your body’s own healing process into the mix – taking time, of course, but also helping the procedure’s post-surgical longevity.

The dental implant is placed directly into the jawbone, a metal screw that replaces the tooth’s natural root in what will eventually anchor the new artificial tooth in place. That first surgery requires between three and six months for the area to sufficiently heal – the jawbone grows around the new implant, truly locking it in place over the healing process.

After those months have passed and the area has healed, the cosmetic dentist places dental abutments on the now-permanent dental implants – these abutments will form the foundation for the next step, the placement of artificial teeth or permanent crowns.

It’s a lengthy, involved process that isn’t for the patient seeking a “quick fix”; after surgery, it falls on the patient to maintain their new dental implants with a strict regiment of oral hygiene and regular visits to the cosmetic dentist for follow-ups. But for patients who tire of wearing dentures or bridgework, its well worth it. For more information, contact us today at (561) 744-0677 !

 

Turn Off the Cell Phone

Cell phone calls and texting are simply a way of life these days…instant communication. Texting is now banned in many states while driving, but another place you might want to think twice about taking those cell phone calls and texting is while sitting in the dentist’s chair.

Turn off your cell phone at the dentist office!

Consider this:

  1. Your dentist needs you positioned properly in the chair for treatment purposes. Moving your head or sitting up to answer a call or text hampers your dentist’s ability to provide treatment.
  2. How clean is your phone? Your dentist wants to maintain as sterile an environment as possible while providing care to you.

A recent survey of dentists resulted in some interesting statistics:

  • 88% of dental professionals consider cellphone use a major distraction
  • 76% of patients asked if they could take a call during a procedure
  • 67% said cell phone usages interrupts an appointment at least twice a day.

The goal of Dr. Villalobos is to provide superior dental care to his patients. We will give you our undivided attention, but ask you also do the same for us. Let your office or family know of your appointment. They are welcome to leave a message with our Patient Coordinator to return a call as soon as the appointment is complete.

We are conveniently located if you are in the Jupiter, Fl or Tequesta, Fl area. Call Dr Villalobos at (561)744-0677 to arrange an appointment.

Is brushing your teeth ruining your teeth?

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The toothbrush. The most essential and basic dental health tool. Most of us have been brushing our teeth since we were small, but did you ever stop to think that the toothbrush you use could be damaging your teeth even as you scrub away the plaque?

How to damage your teeth by brushing

Believe it or not, you can actually do some serious damage to your teeth simply by brushing improperly or using the wrong kind of toothbrush.

Stiff Bristle

Most dentists recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush even if it feels like you’re not able to scrub very well with it. Stiff-bristled brushes can scratch your teeth and eventually scrub away the enamel! Some people have even cracked their teeth simply from brushing with a stiff toothbrush for so long that it continued to wear down the tooth even after wearing away the enamel layer. It can also cause the gums to recede or pull away from the teeth. This damage is easily preventable simply by using a soft one.

Too Much Force

Another way to damage your teeth by brushing is to always brush the same direction or apply too much force, which could scratch your teeth. For example, if you always scrub your teeth side-to-side, your dentist will probably be able to tell by a horizontal roughness on the surface of your teeth. Proper technique is more important than all the bells and whistles of the tool with which you do it.

Toothbrushes: What’s the Difference?

Walk down any oral health care aisle in the store, and you’ll be overwhelmed by all the products claiming to whiten your teeth, give you fresh breath, blast away plaque and do the BEST job of taking care of your mouth. They can’t all be the BEST, but are there really significant differences between any of them?

Electric or manual? Stiff-bristled or soft? Plain handle or squishy gel support grip? Many dentists give their patients a free toothbrush whenever they get a cleaning. Should we avoid the toothbrush because it’s a cheap giveaway, or should we use it because the dentist knows what toothbrush would be best?

The abundance of options might cause you to not care at all and use whatever toothbrush you happen to grab on the shelf, or it might send you into a frantic search for the perfect toothbrush. With a few quick tips, however, you don’t have to settle for either of these options.

The Best Toothbrush

Rather than going for the toothbrush with the most sparkly packaging or the longest list of extra features, here are a few simple guidelines for choosing the best toothbrush.

  • Soft bristles – You don’t want to scrape off the enamel along with the plaque!
  • Fun handles – For children (or adults!), this could help encourage good dental habits by making it fun. The same goes for grown-ups: If a contoured gel handle in your favorite color will help you brush more often, you don’t have to settle for the plain gray plastic! But if you don’t want to shell out an extra $2 for a fancy handle, the plain plastic is just as effective.
  • Brush head – Some people like to use a large toothbrush head because they feel like they can cover more surface with each swipe, but some people with a sensitive gag reflex or who want to reach every crevice may prefer smaller heads. This is entirely up to personal preference.
  • Electric toothbrushes don’t necessarily do a better job of cleaning your teeth, they simply make it easier to brush. It’s up to you if you prefer to move the brush around yourself or let a couple of batteries do it for you.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3 months so germs don’t build up and the brush doesn’t become worn out and ineffective. If you don’t like your current toothbrush, you can switch to a new one.

Keep these tips in mind, and next time you’re in the market for a toothbrush,  you’ll be able to discern what is important and what is simply a matter of preference.

What is a water pik and do I need one?

 

Water picks, sometimes called “oral irrigators,” make an excellent addition to your regular home care regimen of brushing and flossing. Especially helpful to those who suffer from periodontal disease and those patients of ours undergoing orthodontic treatment with full-bracketed braces, water picks use powerful tiny bursts of water to dislodge food scraps, bacteria, and other debris nestled in the crevices of your mouth. Children undergoing orthodontic treatment may find using a water pick is beneficial if their toothbrush bristles tend to get caught on their wires or brackets.

When you use a water pick, you’re not only dislodging any particles or debris and bacteria you might have missed when brushing, you are also gently massaging the gums, which helps promote blood flow in the gums and keeps them healthy. While water picks are an excellent addition to your daily fight against gingivitis and other periodontal diseases, they are incapable of fully removing plaque, which is why Dr. V and Patty want to remind you to keep brushing and flossing every day.

If you have sensitive teeth or gums and find it uncomfortable to floss daily, water picks are a good alternative to reduce discomfort while effectively cleaning between teeth. Diabetics sometimes prefer water picks to flossing because they don’t cause bleeding of the gums, which can be a problem with floss. If you have a permanent bridge, crowns, or other dental restoration, you may find that a water pick helps you keep the area around the restorations clean.

So how do you choose the right water pick?

Water picks are available for home or portable use. The home versions tend to be larger and use standard electrical outlets, while portable models use batteries. Aside from the size difference, they work in the same manner, both using pulsating water streams. A more crucial difference between water picks is the ability to adjust the pressure. Most home models will let you choose from several pressure settings, depending on how sensitive your teeth and gums are. Most portable models have only one pressure setting. If you want to use mouthwash or a dental rinse in your water pick, check the label first; some models suggest using water only.

Please give us a call at our office if you have any questions about water picks, or ask Dr.V or Patty during your next visit!