Summer Foods That Your Smile Will Love

summer foodsAs you’re enjoying the sun this summer and the foods that tend to go along with long summer days and nights, the team at our Lewisburg dental office wants to share a few snack ideas with you that your smile will love.

Top 4 Summer Foods for Your Smile

When choosing what to eat this summer try this basic rule of thumb: if it’s good for your body, it’s good for your teeth. Try some of the following:

  • Cheese – Cheese is a great snack for your teeth and your bones. It contains both calcium and vitamin D which work together to keep teeth and bones nice and strong. Cheese can also increase saliva production which will help rinse away bacteria and sugar.
  • Chicken – Enjoying a piece of grilled chicken breast may sound perfect, after all, it’s healthy and delicious. But the drumsticks, thighs, and wing can be more beneficial for your smile since they contain collagen. Collagen is incredibly important for strong, healthy teeth and gums.
  • Vegetables – Crispy, uncooked vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, and celery are fantastic snack options for similar reasons as the other foods. Raw veggies rub away buildup on your teeth as you chew and protects your smile against decay. This quick cleaning may also help keep bad breath away.
  • Water – So this one isn’t really food, but it is really important. Keeping your mouth hydrated by drinking plenty of water will help rinse away food particles and bacteria before they have a chance to settle in and cause damage.

What to Avoid

The truth is, not all summer snacks are great for your teeth. There are some that can increase your risk of decay and cavities such as:

  • Condiments
  • Soda
  • Alcohol

These foods and drinks either have a lot of sugar, are acidic, or can dry out your mouth — all of which can increase the chance of decay and cavities.

Choosing healthy snacks (and drinks!) this summer can go a long way in protecting your teeth against decay. But that doesn’t mean you have to completely avoid some of your favorites if they’re on the “avoid” list. Just remember to enjoy those in moderation and of course, see your dentist in Lewisburg regularly.

Welcoming patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Williamsport, and nearby areas.

What To Do For a Dental Emergency

man with dental painNobody ever wants to experience an emergency, including a dental emergency. Dental emergencies, including injuries to the mouth, teeth, or gums, can be painful and scary. Knowing what to do for a dental emergency depends on the nature of the injury. Our dental office in Lewisburg is here to give you some tips on what to do for several of the most common types of dental emergencies.

The Most Common Dental Emergencies

The best thing you can do in the event of a dental emergency is to schedule an appointment with your dentist in Lewisburg as soon as possible. But there are some ways you can relieve discomfort and increase the chances of an easier treatment in the meantime.

  • Knocked Out ToothGetting a tooth knocked out can certainly be scary. Acting quickly and calmly can actually help save your tooth, but there are some things you should know. After you find the tooth, only touch the crown and avoid contact with the roots. If you can, put the tooth back into the socket gently. If you can’t, place the tooth in a cup of milk or store it under the tongue with some spit and get to a dentist.
  • Lost FillingThere are a number of things that can cause a filling to fall out, leaving a hole in your tooth. This can be painful as your tooth roots may now be exposed. The best thing to do is to fill the hole to protect those roots. Many pharmacies and grocery stores have dental cement you can buy and use to fill the hole. While this may help reduce pain, it is a temporary solution, and you should still see your dentist as soon as you can.
  • Chipped or Broken ToothAn injury or even something hard and crunchy can chip or break a tooth. Don’t panic. First, find any pieces of the tooth and rinse them off with water. If you’re bleeding, apply a piece of gauze and press. A cold compress can help with the pain and any swelling that may occur. There are many ways a tooth can be fixed, so again, schedule an appointment with your dentist.

Avoid a Problem

Even though nobody can really anticipate a dental emergency, you can help reduce your risk of one by making sure you see your dentist in Lewisburg every six months for regular checkups. These visits can help identify any potential problems before they become a painful surprise. You can also watch what you eat and make sure you wear a mouthguard when playing sports to further protect your smile.  

The team at our Lewisburg dental office is here to help our patients and community stay healthy. Schedule an appointment with us today!

Welcoming new patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Williamsport.

Your Guide to Becoming a Dental X-Rays Know-it-All

dental x-raysWhen you visit our Lewisburg dental office for a checkup, there’s a good chance we may need to take some x-rays of your teeth – especially if it’s your first time seeing us. Both you and your dentist will benefit from the valuable imaging that the x-rays have the power to collect. Since dental x-rays are so valuable, let’s get to know a little bit more about what they are and how they work.

What Exactly is A Dental X-Ray?

X-rays (also referred to as radiographs) can be 2D or 3D images that quickly become an important part of how your Lewisburg dentist prepares an accurate treatment plan. The images give us an idea of what’s going on inside your mouth, highlighting your jaw bone health and tooth structure that lies beneath your gums and enamel. It gives us the added ability to find out if something is going on inside your mouth or teeth that’s not 100 percent visible to the naked eye.

With the advancements in dental technology, there are many different types of x-rays available on both traditional film and digitally. Most dental offices have made the switch to digital x-rays because they tend to emit nearly 80 percent less radiation than film x-rays. Many dentists find that digital x-rays free up appointment times and are easy to save to a patient’s file for future reference and use.

Intraoral and Extraoral: The Two Main Categories of X-Rays

Besides having the ability to be either taken on film or stored digitally, x-rays are divided down into two other categories of either being intraoral or extraoral. How it breaks down is pretty straightforward, and it goes something like this:

Intraoral x-rays – involve any imaging taken from INSIDE your mouth

Extraoral x-rays – involve any imaging taken from OUTSIDE your mouth

Intraoral x-rays give us the chance to see really minute or fine details of both your supporting bone and teeth. They are the most common type of dental x-ray and provide an extremely high level of detail to help us diagnose cavities, examine your tooth roots, look over your bony areas, check the status of developing teeth or ones that have yet to erupt, and more.

Extraoral x-rays are usually relied on to help dentists and orthodontists focus on the bones in your head, particularly your upper and lower jaw. Think of them as x-rays that can help us see the big picture of what’s going on in and around your head and mouth. They help us look at growth and development, monitor impacted teeth, and assess bite issues. Extraoral x-rays tend to be less detailed than the intraoral variety.

Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

Most of the x-rays used in dental offices across the country today give off a minimal amount of radiation. It’s important to note that you should always limit your exposure to x-rays and avoid repeated use as it can damage cells over time due to the small, continued radiation aftereffects.

Dental x-rays are certainly safer than ever thanks to advancements in dentistry over the years. Dentists now rely on using lower x-ray dosages, higher quality film, film holders, and well-designed, full-body aprons lined with lead. It’s important to note though that most of the modern dental x-ray technology that’s available today give off very little stray radiation.

We hope you’ve learned a little bit about dental x-rays and how critical they are in helping your dentist in Lewisburg make sure your mouth is always in optimal health, from your teeth to your bones. X-rays can help you big time because they allow us to detect issues early before they become more costly to fix down the road. If you have any questions about your dental x-rays or when you’re due for a new set, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Welcoming patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Williamsport, and surrounding areas.

Calcium and Teeth: 3 Things You Need to Know

foods containing calciumWe believe in doing everything we can to help you have a healthy smile at our Lewisburg dental office, and that includes helping you decide what nutrients are good for your teeth. Today, we thought we’d focus on calcium because it’s beneficial for strong bones and teeth.

#1: Calcium can help protect your teeth.

Your bones and teeth store nearly all of the calcium within your body, according to findings from the National Institutes of Health. Calcium can make your teeth more resistant to bad stuff such as cavities and decay.

Besides making your bones and teeth stronger, calcium also helps your muscles and blood vessels work more effectively. Babies need calcium to help their teeth and bones grow strong. Young children are the same way.

#2: Adults need the right amount of calcium in their diet.

Your Lewisburg dentist will tell you calcium is 100% good for your smile because it can help strengthen your enamel so that you’ve got added protection against early tooth deterioration. That’s why adults should make sure that they monitor their calcium intake too, in order to avoid osteoporosis or brittle bones as they age. But what is the daily recommended amount of calcium for adults? According to the Mayo Clinic it’s around:

MEN

  • 19-50 years old – 1,000mg daily
  • 51-70 years old – 1,000mg daily
  • 71 and older – 1,2000mg daily

WOMEN

  • 19-50 years old – 1,000mg daily
  • 51 and older – 1.200mg daily

#3: Calcium doesn’t always have to come from dairy.

Helping your smile stay healthy with calcium can be tricky if you struggle with lactose intolerance… or simply don’t eat or like dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, and milk. The good news is that companies are starting to wise up and fortify their food products with calcium. You’ll see this in orange juices, waffles, and even tofu. Canned fish, leafy greens, almonds, beans, and soy milk are calcium-rich dairy substitutes you’re welcome to try at home.

Getting the right amount of calcium in your diet, no matter what your age, is very important to help keep your smile and your gums healthy. It’s really a benefit that your whole body will thank you for. We thank you for reading your blog. If you have any questions about your smile or need to schedule a visit with your dentist in Lewisburg, call us to get started.

Welcoming patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Williamsport, and nearby areas.

Oral Cancer Awareness Month

oral cancer awarenessIt’s always scary whenever we hear the word ‘cancer.’ Despite advancements in cancer treatment, it continues to affect millions of people every year. Oral cancer, while not as widely talked about as other cancers, is still very serious and can be deadly. During this Oral Cancer Awareness Month, our dental office in Lewisburg wants to share some important information about this serious disease.

Oral Cancer Facts

  • More than 50,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer every year
  • Oral cancer kills one person every hour, every day
  • Nearly 80% of oral cancer diagnoses are in tobacco users
  • About 70% of those diagnosed with oral cancer are heavy drinkers
  • Men are two times more likely to develop oral cancer than women
  • The majority of oral cancer patients are over the age of 55

Early Detection is Key

Even though oral cancer takes the lives of so many people every year, it is a very treatable cancer when caught early. This is one more reason it’s so important to see your dentist in Lewisburg every six months. During your checkups, your dental team is looking for any potential signs of oral cancer so that you can get treatment right away. When caught and treated promptly, the survival rate greatly improves.

Recognize the Signs of Oral Cancer

You may only see your dentist twice a year, so knowing what to keep an eye on between those visits is crucial. Some common signs of oral cancer include:

  • Chronic bad breath
  • A sore or several sores that don’t go away
  • A lump on the cheek
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Changes in your voice

Keep in mind that a lot of oral cancer symptoms can easily be mistaken for other problems. If you recognize any of these signs, call your dentist in Lewisburg immediately.

This Oral Cancer Awareness Month, make a commitment to decrease your risk of oral cancer by quitting smoking/using chewing tobacco or drinking alcohol excessively. Also, make sure to visit us regularly. A dental visit may just save your life.

Serving patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Williamsport, and nearby areas.  

What Are Signs That I Grind My Teeth?

man grinding his teethDo you or someone in your family grind their teeth? Did you know you could be grinding your teeth and not even know it? At our dental office in Lewisburg, we see so many side effects of teeth grinding (also known as bruxism) on teeth of patients of all ages. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about grinding your teeth and what we can do to stop the damage to your smile.

What You Need to Know About Bruxism

Your Lewisburg dentist can tell if you grind your teeth just by looking at them. Grinding usually wears teeth down, causing cracks and chips that can lead to further damaged or broken teeth. That’s why it’s important to address any bruxism issues you may have as soon as possible so your smile stays healthy for a lifetime.

Some additional signs that your grinding or clenching your teeth can also include:

Jaw joint pain or discomfort

– Facial pain

– Headaches or migraines

– Jaw muscle contractions

– Broken restorations

– Tooth sensitivity

– Enamel loss

– Damaged gums

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, there could be a good chance that you’re one of the nearly 30 million people who grind their teeth either during sleep or even subconsciously as you go about your day.

Is there something not right about your smile? Are you concerned that you’re grinding your teeth? The best way to help yourself is to call our Lewisburg dental office right away. We can give you a comprehensive, thorough exam and learn more about the symptoms you’ve been experiencing. From there, we’ll be able to see what kind of shape your teeth are in, address the severity of your teeth grinding, and put together a personalized treatment plan for you.

Don’t put your teeth at risk for damage. Talk to the talented team at our dental office in Lewisburg today! Our job isn’t just to do fillings and clean teeth, we’re here to provide you with complete oral health care you can always rely on. Whatever the outcome of your consultation or what your needs may be, we’ll take the time to diagnose your condition so you can get the right kind of treatment to help you and your smile stay pain-free.

Welcoming patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Williamsport, and surrounding areas.

Why Eating Right Will Never Be Wrong for You (And Your Smile)

national nutrition monthIt’s probably safe to say that most people know that they need to eat healthy for their bodies and their teeth to be able to function properly and perform optimally for an entire lifetime. (Well, except maybe toddlers and young kids who would take candy over carrots any day.)

In honor of National Nutrition Month, our dental office in Lewisburg thought it might be a good time to have a little refresher blog about the benefits of eating less sugary and processed foods and more delicious fruits and veggies.

What Foods Will Help My Teeth?

Your dentist in Lewisburg agrees with the American Dental Association that certain foods and beverages can benefit your oral health because they’re rich in calcium and other beneficial tooth nutrients. They include:

  • Milk
  • Plain yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Tofu
  • Leafy greens
  • Almonds
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Celery

Foods like red meat, eggs, poultry, and fish can also be rich in smile-boosting proteins and can be part of a healthy diet (unless of course you choose to stick to a strictly vegetarian or vegan diet). Just remember that foods and beverages rich with calcium and protein have the power to protect and fortify your tooth enamel, which is essential to maintaining your oral health. Once you lose your enamel or it begins to break down, there’s no way of getting it back.

You Can Never Go Wrong With Fruits and Vegetables

The reason why fruits and vegetables are so good for our smiles and our bodies is that most of them are rich with vitamin C and vitamin A. Can you guess what these powerful vitamins can do for your smile? They can keep your gums healthy, help wounds heal more quickly, and can also help build strong tooth enamel just like calcium and protein.

Most veggies and fruits also contain a good amount of water and fiber, which your entire body can benefit from. You can be sure you’re also stimulating your salivary glands and helping to wash away bacteria from your teeth when you crunch down on fresh fruits and veggies. This goes to show you why it’s super important to keep your smile healthy, so you’re able to enjoy these things without pain or discomfort.

The Obligatory ‘No Sugar’ Talk

So, we’re sure you already know our Lewisburg dental office is never going to recommend a sugar-filled diet for any patient at any age. It is just not good for you or your teeth. The truth is, sweets can damage teeth because they cause acid levels to rise significantly with every unhealthy bite. This acid loves to attack your valuable tooth enamel that is impossible to recreate artificially, despite all of the advancements in modern dentistry. When your enamel wears down, your teeth are at risk for:

We always want to do everything we can to ensure total body health for our entire family of patients. If there’s something that you’re struggling with in terms of diet and how it could be affecting your smile health, please don’t hesitate to give us a call so we can talk. Together we can find a solution that works for you!

Welcoming patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Williamsport, and nearby neighborhoods.

What Causes Bad Breath?

bad breathWhile bad breath can be embarrassing, there may be a bigger cause for concern if it’s something that affects you every day. The team at our dental office in Lewisburg knows that bad breath can be a temporary problem… or… even a sign of something more serious. Join us as we look at some of the main things that cause bad breath and also some ways that you can help get rid of it.

Cause #1: Dry Mouth.

Dry mouth is something that can initially appear as a minor problem that comes along with some discomfort. But the truth is, when there isn’t enough saliva in the mouth to rinse away bacteria, they can build up and cause some seriously bad breath and other oral health problems such as decay.

What You Can Do: Dry mouth can be caused by medications, or it could also be hereditary. Treatment would vary depending on the cause of your dry mouth, but the easiest way to help is to make sure to drink plenty of water every day. Keeping your mouth hydrated is an important step in keeping it healthy. If you suspect medications are causing dry mouth and bad breath, talk with your doctor about other potential solutions.

Cause #2: Foods

Perhaps the leading cause of temporary bad breath is the foods we eat. Potent foods such as garlic, onions, or fish can pack a heavy odor that can linger on our breath even after we’re done eating. Many times this type of bad breath will go away over time and isn’t cause for concern.

What You Can Do: To help make the stench caused by food disappear faster, try chewing a piece of sugarless gum. Not only will the minty flavor help mask any lingering food smells, but gum can also help stimulate saliva production and help rinse away bacteria or food particles. If you don’t have gum, swishing with water or snacking on apples or carrots can help.                  

Cause #3: Gum Disease.

If your bad breath stays around long after you’ve eaten and it’s become an everyday thing for you, we recommend seeing your dentist in Lewisburg as soon as possible. Chronic bad breath can be an early warning sign of gum disease. Gum disease is a serious oral health problem that can lead to tooth loss and other concerns throughout the body such as heart disease.

What You Can Do: The best way to prevent gum disease and the bad breath that tends to go with it is to brush and floss daily and to see your dentist regularly for professional cleanings. However, if you already have gum disease, it’s crucial to get help sooner rather than later while treatment in reversing the disease is still highly successful.

Bad breath isn’t something that you have to live with. In fact, you shouldn’t take bad breath lightly. If you’re concerned about your bad breath and are looking for a solution, we welcome you to call our Lewisburg dental office to schedule an appointment with us today. We will help find the cause of your bad breath and work with you to cure it.

Welcoming patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, and Williamsport.

How to Ease Toothache Pain

woman with toothacheCan you believe that there’s actually a day dedicated to toothaches? It’s true! February 9th is recognized as National Toothache Day, and in honor of this ‘holiday,’ the team at our dental office in Lewisburg is here to celebrate by giving you advice on how to ease toothache pain.

What Causes a Toothache?

There’s no one thing that leads to a toothache, but oftentimes toothaches can be caused by:

  • Erupting teeth (in children)
  • Decay or cavities
  • Chipped tooth
  • Food that’s become wedged deep in between teeth
  • Improper brushing and flossing

The Truth About Toothaches

The truth is, toothaches don’t usually just pop up out of nowhere. They’re typically a sign of an underlying problem. While at-home toothache remedies can provide temporary relief, it’s wise to see your dentist in Lewisburg sooner rather than later. Early intervention will help diagnose any problems quickly and when treatment is usually easier and more successful.

Toothache Remedies

If you’re experiencing a toothache there are things you can do to help ease the pain before your dental visit including:

  • Rinsing with warm salt water
  • Holding an ice pack to your cheek
  • Gently flossing the sore spot
  • Taking over-the-counter pain medicine

Nobody wants to experience a toothache. They’re painful and annoying for anyone, and the discomfort can absolutely affect our quality of life. When and if you get a toothache, treat it gently and with care and schedule a visit to our Lewisburg dental office as soon as you can.

Avoiding Toothaches

The best ways to avoid a toothache in the first place is to make sure you’re brushing and flossing properly every day and getting dental checkups at least every six months. Practicing preventive care can reduce the risk of toothaches and help keep painful problems away.

We’re always welcoming new patients at our dental office and welcome you to schedule an appointment with us today!

Serving Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Williamsport, and surrounding neighborhoods.

Do You Really Need to Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?

wisdom teeth on dental x-rayMany of us will develop our wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, at some point in our lives. Most commonly they start to show themselves in our teens but can make an appearance later in life… or perhaps never at all. However, these new molars can present a whole host of problems for us and are usually removed. But is this procedure really necessary? Let our dental office in Lewisburg help.

First, it’s important to know that more than 90% of Americans need to have their wisdom teeth removed. It’s an incredibly common procedure that’s relatively easy, and thanks to advancements in technology, fairly comfortable. But why is it so important to have wisdom teeth removed?

No More Space

The most common reason why wisdom teeth need to be removed is due to the lack of space in the mouth for four more teeth. Dental x-rays will be able to tell if this is the case pretty early in the development stages and wisdom teeth removal will be recommended. However, if this is not caught early, or if treatment is not completed, the teeth will begin to erupt, pushing the other teeth out of the way. This will cause overcrowding and crooked, overlapping teeth. There’s also the possibility that the teeth will get lodged under the gum line and in the jaw bone. This is known as impaction. Impacted wisdom teeth can be very painful and the procedure to remove them becomes more complicated. Lastly, impacted wisdom teeth can increase the chance for infection or an abscess.

Erupting The Wrong Way

Wisdom teeth tend to erupt just like any other teeth with the roots facing the jaw bone and the crown pointing toward the gum line. However, there are times when wisdom teeth can become crooked or start to erupt at an angle or sideways. If the happens wisdom teeth to be extracted before they have a chance to cause permanent damage to not only the other teeth but also to your bite.

Let’s Say Everything is Perfect

Perhaps you’re one of the lucky ones whose wisdom teeth came in nice and straight and had plenty of room. Your dentist in Lewisburg may still recommend that they be removed to prevent problems later. Since wisdom teeth are hard to take care of properly — brushing and flossing all the way back there can be very difficult — they do increase the risk of decay and even gum disease.

The best way to reduce the risk of your wisdom teeth causing you trouble is to monitor their development by visiting our Lewisburg dental office regularly and following through with any recommended treatment.   

Serving patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Williamsport, and nearby neighborhoods.