Dr. Shawn Davis
Dr. Jamison Metcalf

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7 Things You Should Know About Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

August 10th, 2018

Image with wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth tend to come in around the age of 17-25 or when a person is old enough to have gained some wisdom. Unfortunately, wisdom teeth can often cause serious complications, which is why we typically recommend getting them taken out (Don’t worry, you won’t lose your wisdom!). Here’s what you need to know before you head to your appointment.

Eat a light meal

If you will be on a local anesthesia during the surgery, it’s good to have a light meal before going in to help keep your blood sugar levels up. For any other anesthesia, an empty stomach is best.

Bring a friend

Don’t even think about driving home after your surgery! Instead, bring a friend to our office not only for moral support, but to help you after the surgery. Everyone reacts to anesthesia differently, so you may wake up feeling groggy or drowsy. This is why it’s important to have someone with you during or after your appointment

Sedation Options

We offer a variety of sedation options to our patients in order to help you feel more comfortable during your surgery. These options include local anesthetic, nitrous oxide, IV sedation, hospital-based general anesthesia, etc. We will help you determine which one will be the best for your case.

Eat soft foods

The best way to heal after surgery is to stay away from solid, hard or crunchy foods. We recommend stocking up on broth, juice, and smoothies that you can drink for the first 24 hours. And remember, no straws!

Ice and elevation

There will be swelling after your surgery. To help with the recovery, keep your head elevated and place ice packs on your cheeks for the first few days. This will allow you to heal faster and can help with swelling.

Get plenty of rest

After the anesthesia wears off, you’ll most likely need some pain medication, which can cause drowsiness. Use this is as an excuse to catch some extra zzz’s. Getting plenty of rest will help speed up the healing process.

Don’t brush your teeth

It will be very tempting to want to brush your teeth right after surgery, but resist the urge for the first day. The first 24 hours after surgery are very important for the healing process, and brushing, rinsing or spitting can disturb this process.

While this post covers the basics of what you should know before getting your teeth removed, each case is different. If you have any questions, be sure to ask Dr. Davis or Dr. Metcalf before you have surgery.

Taking Care of Your Toothbrush

August 8th, 2018

Did you know your toothbrush could be covered with almost ten million germs? We know … it’s gross! That’s why you should know how to store your toothbrush properly, and when it’s time to replace it.

If you need to brush up on your toothbrush care knowledge, we’ve got you covered so brushing will always leave you feeling squeaky clean.

Keeping a Clean Toothbrush

Your mouth is home to hundreds of types of microorganisms, so it’s normal for some of them to hang onto your toothbrush after you’ve used it. Rinsing your brush thoroughly with water after each use can get rid of leftover toothpaste and food particles that cling to the bristles. Some dentists suggest soaking your toothbrush in mouthwash every now and then can help reduce the amount of bacteria further.

Store your toothbrush in a cool, open environment away from the toilet or trash bin to avoid airborne germs. Closed containers should be avoided because they provide a warm, wet habitat that bacteria love to grow in.

If you have multiple people sharing one sink, an upright holder with different sections will keep everyone’s brushes separated and avoid cross contamination. In addition, we would hope this is a no-brainer, but please don’t share toothbrushes!

Microwaves and dishwashers are not suitable tools for cleaning a toothbrush, because brushes aren’t built to last through this kind of treatment. If you want a really clean toothbrush, your best option is simply to buy a new one.

Replacing Your Toothbrush

The American Dental Association recommends you replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner depending on individual circumstances. Dr. Shawn Davis and our team agree. If you have braces, tend to brush too strongly, or the bristles become frayed, it’s time for a new brush.

Children will also need replacement brushes more frequently than adults. If you or your child has been sick, you should replace the toothbrush immediately to avoid re-exposing yourself to illness.

Worn-out brushes are not only unsanitary, they don’t do a good job cleaning teeth. Bristles that are worn out and dull won’t scrape away plaque and bacteria as well as a fresh toothbrush can.

 

Though the idea of ten million germs can be worrisome, if you take a few small precautions, you may ensure your toothbrush stays in good shape. And the cleaner the toothbrush, the cleaner the smile!

Five Easy Ways to Prevent Gum Disease

August 1st, 2018

Gum disease can be painful and lead to missing teeth if you don’t treat it properly. However, there are plenty of things you can do to lower your risk of getting gingivitis and periodontitis. Here are five easy ways to prevent gum disease.

1. Brush your teeth.

Basic oral hygiene is the first line of defense against gum disease. The reason is due to the way gum disease progresses. There are bacteria in your mouth that produce a sticky substance called plaque. Plaque can build up and form tartar. Together, plaque and tartar lead to the painful symptoms of gum disease. You can remove plaque from your teeth with regular careful brushing, but you can’t remove the tartar with your regular toothbrush. So, it’s best to brush at least twice a day, or after each meal, to continuously remove plaque from your teeth. Also floss your teeth and use mouthwash to prevent the bacteria in your mouth from having anything to eat.

2. Stop smoking.

Smoking is a major risk factor for gum disease. Your risk of getting gum disease if you’re not a smoker is one-seventh the risk of someone who does use tobacco. It’s also worth quitting smoking even once you do get gum disease, since treatment is less effective when you’re using tobacco.

3. Eat right.

Gingivitis is a bacterial infection, and a strong immune system helps fight it. Many nutrients are essential for a well-functioning immune system. For example, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, such as citrus fruits, broccoli, and strawberries, for their vitamin C, which is an antioxidant. Vitamin E, which is another antioxidant, is in nuts, plant-based oils, and wheat germ.

4. Visit our St. George office regularly.

You might not be able to detect that you have gum disease, even if you watch for symptoms. Dr. Shawn Davis can detect signs of gum disease before you do.

5. Catch it early.

Since only we can remove tartar once it forms, keep watching for signs of gum disease. They include sensitivity while brushing your teeth or when eating hot, cold, or sugary foods, painful or bleeding gums, and loose teeth. You might also notice that you have bad breath for no reason. Make an appointment with at our St. George office if you think you may have gum disease.

Questions on Dental Implants? We’ve Got You Covered.

July 25th, 2018

Whether you’ve lost a tooth from decay, are preparing for dentures, or were born with a gap where a tooth should have been, you could be a candidate for dental implants.

Dental implants have changed a lot since their debut in 1965, thanks to continuing advances in design and technology. Today, you no longer have to worry about whether dental implants might have a negative aesthetic impact on your smile.

So what are dental implants? Pretty much what they sound like: An implant is a replacement tooth that substitutes for a missing natural one. It gets placed through several steps; it’s a process that can take a few months.

The initial step involves the surgical implantation of the implant root, which resembles a small screw. After that’s placed, the top is covered with gum tissue to enable it to heal faster. This is an essential phase in the process, since this portion of the implant will serve as the base of support for everything else.

In the second step, the implant gets uncovered and an implant restoration (or crown) is created and affixed to it. After that, you’ve got yourself a new tooth!

While dental implants require a little special care, it’s all easily manageable. All you have to do at home is make sure you brush and floss your implant daily, the same as you would for any other tooth. Although an implant can’t develop a cavity, if something were to get stuck in it, that could lead to a gum infection.

If you have any other questions about dental implants, give our St. George office a call!

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