chewing gum- Dentist in Edmond

How You Can Chew Gum While Preventing Cavities

Dentist In Edmond Votes “Yes” For Sugarless Gum

What do you want? The ability to chew gum and prevent cavities! What if our dentist in Edmond told you that this can be easily solved? It’s true!

A lot of patients enjoy chewing gum, but many types are full of sugar. The problem with sugar is that it is used by plaque bacteria to produce acids. These acids will damage tooth enamel, which can lead to many issues like cavities and sensitive teeth. If you; however, remove the harm of sugar you learn that the sticky treat actually does quite a lot for oral hygiene.

The act of chewing sugarless gum increases saliva in the mouth which helps wash away food and debris. Saliva also helps neutralize the acids produced by bacteria in your mouth as well as help to fight diseases. Increasing the amount of saliva in your mouth will provide more calcium and phosphates, which in turn will strengthen the enamel on your teeth. In fact, chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals can help in the fight to prevent tooth decay, or cavities, as clinical studies have shown.

Gum packages will often come with an American Dental Association seal on the label as a good indication it is sugar free. All the brands with the American Dental Association seal will contain non-cavity causing sweeteners like aspartame, xylitol, sorbitol, and mannitol. The American Dental Association ensures that all products wearing their seal will adhere to the ADA guidelines, because the purpose of the seal is to let people know you can trust the claims made on the packaging.

Even though it’s safe for your mouth, our dentist in Edmond doesn’t suggest that you replace brushing and flossing your teeth with chewing sugar-free gum. As always the American Dental Association and dentist in Edmond recommends that everyone brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste as well as cleaning in between your teeth with floss once a day. Chewing sugarless gum should be seen as something extra you can do to ensure your dental health is well taken care of.

Sun Heat- Dentist in Edmond

Dentist In Edmond Warns Against Summer Heat

Dentist In Edmond Reviewing Dry Mouth Symptoms

It didn’t take long before the summer heat really cranked up in Oklahoma, right? The summer heat can lead to many health related concerns such heat stroke, sunburn, but also some serious life threatening problems like dehydration. Our dentist in Edmond knows patients often miss warning signs that could easily be detected if they were paying closer attention to their mouth.

Heat stroke is a bad enough problem, but then comes the risk of dry mouth cased by the heat stroke. Dry mouth can also be called Xerostomia, or a fancy way to say that your mouth isn’t getting enough saliva. Dry mouth isn’t a disease, but instead it’s usually a symptom of a medical disorder or can be caused as a side effect from some medications.

Why Is Dry Mouth A Problem?

Your mouth’s primary defense against cavities, or tooth decay, is saliva. The saliva helps to maintain your mouth’s hard and soft tissue, it also washes away food and other things that would hang out in your mouth. You also have bacteria in your mouth which will produce acid and your saliva combats the effects of this acid on your teeth. If that weren’t enough, your saliva provides first line defense against microbial invasions and overgrowth that would otherwise lead to disease.

Dry mouth can lead to issues within your mouth and throat these include a sore throat that doesn’t go away, burning sensations, trouble speaking, a dry sound voice, and having difficulty swallowing. There are times when dry mouth can lead to Sjögren’s syndrome, pronounced show-grins. Sjögren’s syndrome happens when the patient’s immune system will attack the moisture-producing glands of the body (notably salivary glands and tear producing glands); however, Sjögren’s isn’t just limited to those organs.

Our dentist in Edmond can help by recommending different ways to help you generate saliva so be sure to ask next time you come in for a check-up. To make an appointment with our dentist in Edmond, please click here.

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Sticking To Your Summer Dental Care Routine

Dentist In Edmond Encourages Ongoing Summer Dental Care

Summer time comes with a lot of social gatherings such as; birthdays, BBQs, and backyard parties. What you may not have realized is that all the added enjoyment of food also comes with an increases risk of tooth decay. Never fear, for it is possible to stay on track and keep your summer dental care routine under control!

Pack Extra Materials

As the sun seemingly stays out later, so do we. Taking the kids to various outing can leave you with the temptation to let them skip their bedtime teeth brushing. When you know you’ll be out and about, consider packing an extra bag for oral hygiene. Then, if you get stuck away from home for too long skipping the before bed brushing routine doesn’t have to happen! 

“Don’t forget about your smile over the summer,”  American Dental Association Pediatric dentist Dr. Mary Hayes says. “It’s important for families to consistently brush and floss, which keeps kids on track for healthy back-to-school dental visits.” 

Make A Calendar

You work hard to start a routine during the school year so our dentist in Edmond would hope you wouldn’t let that hard work go to waste. Maintaining a brushing schedule will help prevent expensive cavities once your kids go back to school. To help with this you can start a brushing calendar, or try brushing your teeth along with your children. Brushing twice a day and 2 minutes each session, all summer long, will go a long way for helping your children prevent tooth decay.

Say No To Sugary Foods

It’s common at most bbq’s for there to be lots of snacks and junk food. Sugary sports drinks often show up at tournaments as well as sporting and community events, making it easy for an increased intake of juice, soda, and other sugary drinks.

Dr. Hays says, “Consider sugary drinks treats to enjoy once in a while, and not often.” Water is the best drink to hydrate with, but milk with meals will also have added benefits. “Taking a break from snacking is healthy for your teeth,” says Dr. Hayes. “It allows time for saliva to bathe the teeth, wash away leftover food and get stronger. You can also take this time to snack smarter establishing healthy dietary practices.

Our dentist in Edmond hopes that these 3 simple practices could help you and your family stick to a summer dental health care routine. We care about keeping your smile as bright and healthy as we possibly can. To book an appointment with our dentist in Edmond, please click here.

Tooth- Periodontal Pockets- Edmond dentistTooth- Periodontal Pockets- Edmond dentist

Edmond Dentist Provides Insight Into Periodontal Pockets

Edmond Dentist: An Inside Look At Teeth And Gums

When you visited Dr. Ballinger, your Edmond dentist or any dentist you may have heard the dentist state that you have periodontal pockets while conducting a routine dental examination. Did you ever wonder what that meant, or why you might have them? Perhaps, you wondered, but you were too shy to ask.

While you should never be afraid to ask your dentist anything, we understand that you’d just want to let the dentist do their work so you can get out as soon as possible. That’s why Dr. Ballinger, your Edmond dentist offers answers right here; in case you ever get curious! Today, we’re going to explain a bit more about what these periodontal pockets are and why a patient can develop them.

You see, healthy teeth and gums are identified by gums that fit snugly around each tooth. More specifically, the distance between the gum tissue and its attachment to the tooth should be only one to three millimeters in depth. When gums have deeper spaces around the teeth these are referred to as periodontal pockets.

If you’re experiencing any plaque build-up, ongoing bad breath, bleeding, red and swollen gums or you see that some of your gums have pulled away from your teeth, these are all signs of the start of gum disease which are also all reasons these pockets appear. You should certainly allow Dr. Ballinger, your Edmond dentist, or your local dentist, to conduct a thorough examination of your mouth following this discovery.

Dr. Ballinger, your Edmond dentist can remove hardened plaque (tartar) during teeth cleanings to prevent the continuation of gum disease which can soon follow from periodontal pockets that are left uncleaned. By Dr. Ballinger, your Edmond dentist removing all of the tartar and plaque from your teeth and underneath your gums, the gums can heal and tighten around the tooth again.

If you’d like to make an appointment with Dr. Ballinger, your Edmond dentist, please feel free to contact us by calling 405-844-8445.

Root Canal Therapy- Dentist in Edmond

Dentist In Edmond Discusses 2 Painful Reasons Root Canals Are Needed

Dentist In Edmond: When Pain Leads To Root Canals

Horror stories about root canal therapy have plagued many dental patients for far too long. In fact, many people simply cringe at the thought of having a root canal completed, but many of them do not realize just how helpful this procedure can be to someone with chronic pain. The truth is that the treatment is not quite as complicated as it may seem. A few things can lead Dr. Ballinger, your dentist in Edmond to check for the necessity of root canal therapy. Today, we’ll explain a little bit more about 2 types of pain which could mean that a root canal is necessary.

The most common sign that something isn’t quite right is when a patient has ongoing tooth pain. No one should ever feel ongoing pain in their teeth! The pain can be different in circumstances where the tooth is still alive and when it is abscessed. Dr. Ballinger, your dentist in Edmond will clarify the differences for you.

If The Tooth Is Still Alive: A tooth that is still alive will often cause the patient to experience extreme sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks. This sensation will often continue even after the hot or cold item has been removed for a period of time. Some people may experience severe headaches as a result of the extreme tooth pain.

If The Tooth Is Abscessed: A tooth that is abscessed will most likely cause pain for a patient when they chew or put pressure on the tooth. The abscess can produce swelling and bleeding around the tooth, as well. You may also notice some swelling in the cheek, jaw, or throat.

In extreme situations of swelling or bleeding it is very important to be examined for a proper diagnosis. In most of these cases root canal therapy is necessary. Of course, Dr. Ballinger, your dentist in Edmond would be able to rule out the need for a root canal if something else were the problem. Do you agree that it would be better to be safe rather than sorry?

If you do need root canal therapy, rest assured that you’ll be in good hands. Dr. Ballinger, your dentist in Edmond will remove any infected and damaged material, sterilize the inside of your tooth, and then restore the tooth with filling material so that it can’t become re-infected.

If you are in ongoing pain caused by a tooth, please do not hesitate to call Dr. Ballinger, your dentist in Edmond right away so that we can see you and perform an assessment. Book your appointment by calling us at 405-844-8445 or by clicking here.

Gingivitis- Edmond dentist

Edmond Dentist Answers: What Is Gingivitis?

Edmond Dentist Shares Signs Of Gingivitis

Of all the dental terms out there you’ve probably heard of gingivitis more than anything else, but do you really understand what it is? You’d be surprised how many of our patients tell Dr. Ballinger, your Edmond dentist that they had no idea they had gingivitis. That’s why, today, we’re going to share a little bit about why you might have this problem and what you’d expect to see if you have this common gum disease.

The most common reason some patients come to Dr. Ballinger, your Edmond dentist with gingivitis is simply due to poor oral hygiene. This can be due to many risk factors which include:

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Older age
  • Dry mouth
  • Poor nutrition, including vitamin C deficiency
  • Poor brushing and/or flossing habits
  • Dental restorations that don’t fit properly
  • Crooked teeth that are difficult to clean
  • Immune system decrease from conditions such as leukemia, HIV/AIDS or cancer treatment
  • Certain drugs, such as phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek) for epileptic seizures, and some calcium channel blockers, used for angina, high blood pressure and other conditions
  • Hormonal changes, such as those related to pregnancy, menstrual cycle or use of birth control pills
  • Genetics
  • Medical conditions such as certain viral and fungal infections

When you have this gum disease, Dr. Ballinger, your Edmond dentist is able to notice by the build-up of plaque and tartar on your teeth. Irritation of the gums is also a characteristic of gingivitis. The following list is comprised of a few other signs of gingivitis:

  • Swollen or puffy gums
  • Tender gums
  • Receding gums
  • Bad breath
  • Gums that bleed easily when you brush or floss
  • Dusky red or dark red gums

Untreated gingivitis can progress to periodontitis which is gum disease under the tissue and bone. This is a much more serious condition that can lead to tooth loss. Thus, Dr. Ballinger, your Edmond dentist would encourage you to keep an eye out for signs of gingivitis. In addition, we would suggest daily brushing, flossing, and regular dental work to maintain a healthy mouth.

If you’d like to make an appointment with Dr. Ballinger,  Edmond dentist, we’d love to help you keep that smile bright! You may reach us at 405-844-8445.

Beef Jerky- Dentist In Edmond

Dentist In Edmond Shares A Story About A Broken Tooth

Dentist In Edmond Tells About Beef Jerky Breaking A Tooth

With many families ready to head off to the lake in less than a week’s time, many snack items will undoubtedly be packed for consumption. Among the fan favorites for easy packing and snacking purposes can often be the salty treat; beef jerky. This is what sparked the recollection of one patient’s story (we’ll call him “Joe” for privacy sake) about how chewing the hardened meat actually lead to a broken tooth! Dr. Ballinger, your dentist in Edmond gives you a glimpse into this incident here.

“Joe” started his adventurous day like any other laid-back weekend. He grabbed a hearty piece of beef jerky and pulled on it with his front teeth to tear it. At first, just a small crack appeared in the front tooth. A bit of time passed and the next time he went to munch on his favorite treat again, about 3/4 of the front tooth broke all the way off, almost to the gum-line. Of course, Joe was in total panic mode at this point not knowing what to do!

In this scenario, the crack was obviously a warning sign of decay and the tooth was weakening overtime. Cracks like these can spread much like a crack in a glass windshield. Dr. Ballinger, your dentist in Edmond has seen damage like this go deep into the root and into the nerve if nothing is done to correct the problem.

Luckily, in these situations, Dr. Ballinger, your dentist in Edmond is well-versed in dealing with dental emergencies! In fact, Dr. Ballinger, your dentist in Edmond is able to see most patients for emergency situations on the same day that they call.

You may not have ever though it possible that beef jerky could be tough enough to cause such a large amount of dental damage, but that’s exactly why ongoing dental care is so important! To maintain your dental health consider routine checkups and teeth cleanings.

To make an appointment with Dr. Ballinger, your dentist in Edmond, please contact Ballinger Family Dentistry at 405-844-8445.

Man Deciding Which Toothbrush- Electric Toothbrush- dentist in Edmond

Dentist In Edmond Shares Benefits Of Using Electric Toothbrushes

Reasons Dr. Ballinger, your Dentist In Edmond Recommends Electric Toothbrushes

Standing in the toothbrush isle of the grocery store and trying to decide which of the many choices would be the best option can be overwhelming. Who knew there could be so many different toothbrushes in the world? When did brushing your teeth become such a complicated decision making process? Dr. Ballinger, your dentist in Edmond understands the frustration, but we have some reasons to help you mull over the idea of choosing an electric toothbrush over a manual one!

As with anything else in this life, technology has brought us electric toothbrushes of many varieties. In case you’re still not sold on the idea of upgrading to an electric toothbrush, Dr. Ballinger, your dentist in Edmond will provide the following reasons why you might consider switching:

Dr. Ballinger, your Dentist in Edmond- Reason #1: They keep your gums, teeth, and tongue cleaner.

Even if you’ve been trying your best to use the proper brushing technique, with a manual toothbrush, it can be a little difficult to get all of the plaque and tartar between your teeth. An electric toothbrush, on the other hand, rotates so quickly that the bristles can clean better. This is due to the combination of pressure and motion.

Dr. Ballinger, your Dentist in Edmond- Reason #2: They’re simply just easier to use.

We don’t like to say it’s lazy more than efficient to let a toothbrush do the work for you! Anyway, it doesn’t do all the work for you, because you still have to move your hand around. An electric toothbrush does; however, scrub away the debris much easier without you having to manually move the brush in circles.

Dr. Ballinger, your Dentist in Edmond- Reason #3: They help fight disease and bad breath.

Since you’re likely to get a cleaner mouth by using an electric toothbrush versus a manual one, it stands to reason that you also have an excellent tool to fight off bacteria. By reaching hidden creases between your teeth the bristles of electric toothbrush can help prevent gingivitis and eliminate the plaque that causes bad breath.

Are you ready to switch to an electric toothbrush, now?

If you have any questions for Dr. Ballinger, your dentist in Edmond, or you’d like to schedule an appointment either click here or call us at 405-844-8445.

Ice Cubes- dentist in Edmond

Dentist In Edmond Explains Dangers Of Chewing Ice

Dentist In Edmond Helping Maintain Dental Health

When the hot summer air has you craving a cool treat, Ballinger Family Dentistry, your dentist in Edmond warns against chewing ice to beat the heat. We all know how easy it can be to fall in love with those little refreshing chips of melting cubes after you’ve downed a cold drink, especially if they’re anything like the ice made famous by Sonic. Quite sadly; however, there are unmistakable dangers for your dental health if you become addicted to chewing ice.

Chewing ice in smaller chunks (like the shaved ice found in the summer treat known as a snow cone) may seem relatively harmless, but it can have a detrimental impact on teeth. Dr. Ballinger, your dentist in Edmond has witnessed the dental damage that can come as a result of patients chewing on ice!

Here is a list of problems that Dr. Ballinger, your dentist in Edmond has noticed in patients who have had the long-term habit of chewing on ice:

  • Chipped teeth
  • Cracked teeth
  • Damage to tooth enamel (increasing risk of cavities)
  • Chipped dental fillings
  • Broken crowns
  • Increased sensitivity to hot or cold drinks

Dr. Ballinger, your dentist in Edmond recommends that if you truly crave the idea of chewing on ice that you have a physical checkup with your primary physician as this could be a sign of anemia. It is often reported that those with this condition crave ice cubes as a coping mechanism. Of course, it’s entirely possible to just become addicted to the habit without having an underlying health problem, but it’s always safe to be certain and those with anemia usually stop having the craving once the problem is remedied.

If you can kick the habit on your own, Dr. Ballinger, your dentist in Edmond suggests that you try all-natural homemade coconut water and frozen fruit popsicles for a healthier alternative to chewing ice chunks and without the added sugar or calories of store-bought products. In addition, regular visits to the dentist for routine dental care is vital to reduce and repair damage that may have been caused by chewing ice!

If you’d like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact Ballinger Family Dentistry at 405-844-8445. We’d love to help you maintain your dental health!

Toothpaste and Toothbrush- Dentist in Edmond

Start Summer Right With 3 Tips Provided By Our Dentist In Edmond

Dentist In Edmond & Teeth Cleaning Rituals

School has been out for a few weeks now and you’re probably still getting into the swing of things this summer. As you begin to make plans to everything (or nothing) this summer, Ballinger Family Dental, your dentist in Edmond encourages you to remember to factor in oral hygiene. It can be easy to loose track of everyday routines when summer break comes along and you might be tempted to snack more out of boredom. This behavior isn’t just bad for your body, but also bad for your teeth. Dr. Laura Ballinger, your dentist in Edmond decided now would be a good time to provide some much needed tips to help you stay on track with teeth cleaning rituals.

1.) Consider If It’s Time For A New Toothbrush: The American Dental Association (ADA) and our dentist in Edmond recommends that people should replace their toothbrush every 3-4 months. This is to be done sooner if you’ve experienced an illness as bacteria can live on the bristles. Additionally, if the bristles have frayed before the designated time frame, you should toss it.

2.) Start Brushing And Flossing Regularly: It’s easy to forget about routine when the summer gets you all relaxed, but now is a good time to re-establish your brushing and flossing regime, or start one if you’ve never really had one before. As a rule of thumb, you should brush at least twice per day to maintain a healthy mouth, but don’t forget about flossing! Plaque can build up under your gums if you’re not flossing which can lead to periodontal disease. To avoid this, try to make flossing at least once per day part of your daily routine.

3.) Schedule A Dental Checkup: If you haven’t had a dental checkup in about six months then you’re due for one! Ballinger Family Dental, your dentist in Edmond understands that visiting the dentist isn’t always top priority for patients, but keeping a regular routine is important as it allows Dr. Laura Ballinger to clean your teeth, perform an examination, and assess your teeth for cavities, gum disease, oral cancer, or any other dental health issues that may arise. Knowing these things quickly means that we begin treating the problems sooner.

Summer is a great time of year to start implementing rituals which you can carry into the following school year. Ballinger Family Dental, your dentist in Edmond hopes that you’ll also take good care of your smile and we hope to see you, soon!

If you need to make an appointment with our dentist in Edmond, please click here or call us at 405-844-8445.