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dentist in edmond

Dentist in Edmond: Why Sugar is bad for your teeth

Dentist in Edmond talks about why and how sugar rots your teeth

Many of you probably heard that sugar will rot your teeth when your were a kid. While most of the time our parents were just trying to save us from a stomach ache, it is true that sugar is the main cause of tooth decay. However, protecting your teeth from the decaying effects of sugar doesn’t mean cutting the sweet substance out of your life completely. You can avoid tooth decay and cavities even with sugar in your diet with regular dentist appointments and these tips from the dentist in Edmond!

Why is sugar do bad?

Sugar causes tooth decay by mixing with the bacteria in out mouth. This creates an acid that will start to eat away at the enamel in our teeth. Once the enamel is broken down, bacteria makes it’s way inside the teeth and causes further damage and decay. This can lead to cavities and even tooth loss. Those who practice poor dental hygiene are more susceptible to these problems.

How can you protect your teeth?

It can be a little overwhelming to think of sugar as the main cause of tooth decay, mostly because it’s in so many foods that it’s nearly impossible to cut out. Fruit, milk, and bread all have sugar in them just like cookies, soda, and candy. The biggest thing to remember here is this: sugar needs time to mix with bacteria and create the acid that rots teeth. So the less time sugar spends in your mouth, the less harm it can do.

Sugary liquids and sodas are the biggest tooth decayers because they tend to sit in your mouth longer than something like a bite of cake or bread. Candy is another big culprit, crunchy candy that you can swallow quickly will do far less damage than something like a jolly rancher or jawbreaker that sit in your mouth longer. Rinsing your mouth with water afterwards is another way you can limit the amount of time sugar is in your mouth.

Fluoride is also a good choice. Fluoride creates a protective layer around your teeth that is resistant to the acid created by sugar. That’s why brushing with fluoride toothpaste is one of the best ways to fight tooth decay. Your dentist may also add more fluoride products and treatments to your dental routine if you have a history of cavities.

Maintain your dental visits

While your oral health care routine and diet is your main defense against tooth decay, it is still vital to see your dentist regularly. The dentist will help clear away decay causing bacteria that hides in your mouth and will be able to see early signs of cavities so that you can take steps to avoid further issues. If you live in the OKC area and have questions about how to prevent tooth decay, please contact us today at 405-622-5612!

While a good oral health routine and diet are the main way to maintain your oral health, it is still vital to see your dentist regularly. The dentist in Edmond will help clear away decay causing bacteria and look for the early signs of cavities. Call today and schedule an appointment at 405-844-8445!

Impacted Wisdom Teeth- dentist Edmond

Dentist In Edmond Shares Most Common Wisdom Teeth Impaction

Mesial Impaction Of Wisdom Teeth

To avoid problems, when teeth grow in there has to be proper conditions such as plenty of room to grow, proper alignment, and full eruption to occur. The most common failure, especially for wisdom teeth is due to impaction. This breaks down even further into different types of impacted teeth, but today our Edmond dentist is focusing on mesial impactions, because these happen most often.

So what is a mesial impaction?

Mesial impacted wisdom teeth are simply those third molars that occur when the tops of the teeth have grown in facing forward towards the other teeth in front of them. Most people have their wisdom teeth start growing in from late teenage years to early adult years (usually ending by age 24). If one or more wisdom teeth comes in angled too far toward, other problems can occur. The following are signs our dentist in Edmond warns you to be mindful of:

  • Pain in the jaw
  • Swelling around the gums or around the jaw
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bad breath
  • Difficulty opening your mouth
  • An unpleasant taste in your mouth

Although many of the common symptoms mentioned could also signify periodontal disease, it’s important to pay attention and have either our dentist in Edmond or your own local dentist remove impacted teeth to prevent further damage to neighboring teeth. When making an assessment of the level of difficulty that’s expected for an extraction, our dentist in Edmond will pay particular attention to its angulation. All you have to do is show up and let us handle the hard work!

If you have an impacted wisdom tooth or any of the symptoms of one, please don’t hesitate to contact Ballinger Family Dentistry. Our dentist in Edmond can be reached by calling 405-844-8445.

The Condition Called Thrush- Dentist Edmond

Dentist In Edmond Explains The Condition Called Thrush

Dentist Edmond: Revealing Information On Thrush

Have you discovered a white coating inside your mouth? If so, you just might have a condition called thrush. Today, our dentist in Edmond is going to discuss what to look for and how to take care of your oral hygiene and other things you can do to treat and prevent thrush.

Thrush is actually an infection caused by the candida fungus, a yeast that can grow and cause rashes. What many people don’t realize is that candida fungus is always present in the mouth, digestive tract, and in the skin. It is actually supposed to be there, but sometimes other illnesses or problems within the body can trigger the overgrowth of the fungus. Smoking, wearing ill-fitting dentures, and having poor dental hygiene are also all reasons candida fungus can grow out of control.

Here’s what our dentist in Edmond would tell you to look for in your mouth to determine the possibility of thrush.

Thrush Symptoms: White, slightly raised areas on tongue, inner cheek, roof of mouth, gums, tonsils, or the back of your throat. You may see curdled looking spots much like cottage cheese. In some cases the areas may be painful and might bleed when you brush your teeth. 

Treatment of thrush can be taken care of in most cases with an anti-fungal medication prescribed by your doctor.

As our dentist in Edmond mentioned earlier, prevention is possible. Prevention begins with good oral hygiene practices including:

  • Brushing your teeth at least twice per day
  • Flossing at least once per day
  • Having dental checkups at least every 6 months
  • Rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash once or twice per day
  • Quit smoking or limit time around smokers
  • Treat chronic health issues
  • Limit foods with sugar and yeast

It’s important to note that anyone can get thrush, but it happens most for those with vulnerable immune systems. Take care of your body and your oral hygiene for best prevention! To have a dental checkup and make sure you’re in the clear, please feel free to contact our dentist in Edmond.

Ballinger Family Dentistry can be reached by calling 405-844-8445.

Young Man With Tongue Piercing- Oral Piercings- Dentist In Edmond

Dentist In Edmond Shares How Oral Piercings Causes Risks

Dentist In Edmond Shows Piercings Impact Health

Have you been waiting until you turned 18 just so you could go and get the “really cool” oral piercing that you’ve always wanted? While in the short term it may sound like something you really want to do, think about what getting your tongue, lip, or cheek could really mean for your overall dental health. Today, our dentist in Edmond lists a few common problems dental patients may experience as a result of their decision to get piercings.

1.) Teeth Become Chipped: When you’ve gone your whole life without having something extra near your mouth, it’s understandable that you’d want to mess with the jewelry a lot in the beginning stages of having a new piercing, possibly causing chipped teeth. That being said, even if you are careful the jewelry could accidentally hit against your teeth while you’re sleeping, eating, or talking. If you care about your teeth that means you may need restorative dental work to be done, from simple fillings and crowns all the way to possible root canals, as a result.

2.) Nerves Become Damaged: Sometimes piercings can lead to temporary or permanent nerve damage in the mouth which can negatively impact one’s ability to feel, taste, or even move their tongue properly. Imagine trying to visit our dentist in Edmond and being unable to control your tongue during dental care procedures.

3.) Problems Develop In Gums: Having an extra hole anywhere near your mouth means more space that needs to be cleaned. Improperly cleaning the area could lead to bacteria growth in the mouth which can lead to infections and gum diseases. Likewise, gums could be damaged by jewelry rubbing against the area and exposing roots.

4.) Infection In The Body: Your tongue is a one-way ticket to the rest of your body. As our dentist in Edmond mentioned already, oral piercings of any kind can lead to bacteria forming in the mouth. If this bacteria enters the bloodstream in can cause problems such as the development of hepatitis. Plaque getting stuck in piercing holes (especially the tongue) can cause heart problems, too.   

This information is not meant to scare you out of your choice, but instead to help you understand the risks involved with your overall health. Our dentist in Edmond hopes that this information will inform readers of ways that dental health can also be impacted as a result of oral piercing. If you are thinking about getting any sort of oral piercings, take extra precaution to always keep your mouth as clean as possible and certainly maintain routine dental check-ups.

To book an appointment with our dentist in Edmond, please contact Ballinger Family Dentistry at 405-844-8445.

Male Dental Patient- Diabetic- Dentist In Edmond

Dentist In Edmond Discusses Diabetic Patient Dental Health

Dentist In Edmond: About Dental Health For The Diabetic

Many diabetic patients learn about many ways that the disease can impact other areas of their body such as their heart, eyes, nervous system, kidneys, and other organ systems in the body. What many fail to realize is that having diabetes can also lead to dental health concerns, as well. Today, our dentist in Edmond is here to share more about what diabetic patients should be on the lookout for when it comes to their dental health.

As a dentist, we always tell our patients to take care of their mouths, but this is even more important for those with diabetes. This isn’t to be harsh or cruel, but instead as a precaution as dental patients with diabetes are at a higher risk for periodontal or, gum disease and some mouth infections.

What does periodontal disease do?

Once the gum line and bones that hold teeth in the jaw area are damaged, the sore or infected tissue can lead to pain while chewing or talking. Periodontal disease can also make it difficult for a patient to control their blood glucose or blood sugar.

Our dentist in Edmond will also warn that series periodontal disease can even lead to some patients losing some or all of their teeth. Another common symptom for diabetic patients is dry mouth. The problem with dry mouth is that it can cause soreness, tooth decay, and ulcers.

As an important side note, our dentist in Edmond would like to warn that people who smoke will have a harder time keeping gum disease in check as smoking only makes the problem worse.

What can you do?

Our dentist in Edmond agrees with standard medical care procedures which state that diabetic patients should start trying to control their blood glucose, or blood sugar, as this is the biggest factor in preventing mouth problems.

Of course, most diabetics are already doing this, so we say keep it up, because neglecting to do so will often cause gum disease to develop at a higher frequency than patients who control their diabetes. The best defense is often a good offense and in the case of gum disease it’s true. Brushing at least twice daily can help keep gum disease from happening in patients with diabetes.

If you want to know more about your dental health or want to book an appointment, please feel free to contact our dentist in Edmond. Ballinger Family Dentistry can be reached at 405-844-8445.

Toothbrushing Mistakes Often Made- Part 2- Dentist In Edmond Blog

Dentist In Edmond Shares Toothbrushing Mistakes Often Made: Part 2

Dentist In Edmond: Toothbrushing Done Incorrectly

In part one of this series, our dentist in Edmond talked about 4 different mistakes patients often make when it comes to their dental care routine at home. More specifically, these mistakes were all about the troubles of toothbrushing technique. Today, we’re going to continue the discussion with 4 more mistakes that you could be making and provide simple solutions at the end of each one.

  • Brushing Back And Forth: Taking your toothbrush back an forth along your teeth doesn’t effectively clean the surface area and it can cause you to push harder, doing damage to your enamel. It is a common error that many patients have admitted to making. Instead, our dentist in Edmond suggests using tiny circular motions and going up and down your teeth as you move the toothbrush along.
  • Skipping The Gum Line: Forgetting to brush near your gum line can cause a build up of plaque and bacteria in the gum tissue which can lead to dental diseases like gingivitis. As our dentist in Edmond mentioned in part one of this series, this is why it is important to have soft enough bristles which will bend and get just under the gum line as this will help to keep that area clean.
  • Going Straight On: If you keep your brush at a straight angle you will also be more inclined to skip over important grooves and the gum line. Instead, our dentist in Edmond agrees with experts that say to keep your toothbrush at a forty-five degree angle which will help you get those important spots along with the entire tooth surface.
  • Skipping Your Tongue: Your teeth aren’t the only parts of your mouth that have bacteria build up. Your tongue also accumulates quite a bit of bacteria, as well. So as you’re brushing your teeth from the outside to the inside parts that touch your tongue, just take a few extra seconds to scrub the surface of your tongue, too.

Once again, our dentist in Edmond hopes that these mistakes listed above will help you correct any mistakes you may have been making with your toothbrushing routine!

As always, we’re more than happy to help if you need to book an appointment with Ballinger Family Dentistry. To do so, please give us a call at 405-844-8445.

Toothbrushing Mistakes Often Made- Part 1- Dentist In Edmond Blog

Dentist In Edmond Shares Toothbrushing Mistakes Often Made: Part 1

Dentist In Edmond: Toothbrushing Done Incorrectly

When it comes to your at home dental care it may seem simple enough. After all, you can just go to the store, pick out any toothbrush, and get busy with your toothbrushing routine as soon as you get home, right? The truth is that there are quite a few toothbrushing mistakes which are often made by many dental patients. Today, our dentist in Edmond is sharing a few of these mistakes as you could be doing some things incorrectly.

  • Choosing The Wrong Brush: Bristles range from soft to hard and often times our dentist in Edmond hears patients say they believe the harder bristles help them clean their teeth better. The truth of the matter is that the bristles need to be soft enough to bend and get under the gums, without doing damage to them. Additionally, some people also have smaller mouths than others so don’t get a brush size that is too large for you.
  • Pushing Too Hard: It’s ok to want to be thorough when brushing your teeth, but it’s not safe to push down against teeth too hard. Our dentist in Edmond suggests using a softer, more massage like motion to gently loosen the plaque from your teeth without destroying your enamel.
  • Getting Into A Hurry: If you brush at least twice per day that usually leaves the option of brushing once in the morning and once at night. In the morning it can get hectic as you try to get out the door for work, school, or whatever activity you’re going to. At night, after a long day you may be inclined to brush quickly to jump into bed. Our advice is to slow down. Take at least 2-3 minutes to brush your teeth ensuring to get all the way in the back and between grooves.
  • Keeping The Brush Too Long: It can be intimidating standing in the toothbrush isle as there are tons of toothbrush options so we get that when you finally find one you like that you just want to keep it for a while.  As we once mentioned in an old blog post (found here), our dentist in Edmond recommends changing your toothbrush out every 22 days to prevent bent or dirty bristles from entering your mouth. Additionally, frayed bristles can cause tooth damage and you don’t want that!

Our dentist in Edmond, Ballinger Family Dentistry, hopes that these mistakes listed above will help you recognize what you may have been doing wrong. We also hope that the solutions we have provided will allow you to improve your toothbrushing technique! To learn more stick around for part two of this series, which will be posted next week!

If you’re needing to book an appointment with Ballinger Family Dentistry, please give us a call at 405-844-8445.

Xylitol- Sugar Replacement- Dentist In Edmond

Dentist In Edmond Discusses Whether Xylitol Really Prevents Tooth Decay

Dentist In Edmond Shares ADA’s Findings On Xylitol For Dental Health

Over the years several artificial sweeteners have hit the market in claims of being better for health and teeth as they weren’t regular sugar, but studies found many reasons to debunk those claims. Then, xylitol came along. It is made out of naturally occurring alcohol found in plant material, including many fruits and vegetables. Many claims were made, in the beginning, that this “miracle extract” could actually even prevent the growth of decay-producing bacteria. Today, our dentist in Edmond reveals the American Dental Association’s (ADA) findings on xylitol.

The first article of reference our dentist in Edmond reviewed (also published as case study by the ADA) when considering xylitol’s capability to reduce tooth decay was found on Cochrane Library. Research was conducted by the Cochrane Oral Health Group which included gathering data from 10 studies that investigated a total of 5,903 participants. The overall findings showed “low quality evidence to suggest that fluoride toothpaste containing xylitol may be more effective than fluoride-only toothpaste for preventing caries in the permanent teeth of children, and that there are no associated adverse-effects from such toothpastes.”

Furthermore, it was stated that “the effect estimate should be interpreted with caution due to high risk of bias and the fact that it results from two studies that were carried out by the same authors in the same population” and that the evidence “is insufficient to determine whether any other xylitol-containing products can prevent caries in infants, older children, or adults.”

Other research reviewed by our dentist in Edmond came from the United Kingdom. This group from University of Manchester also came to the conclusion that evidence of xylitol in toothpaste helping teeth was very low. Moreover, other products with xylitol in them such as syrups, lozenges, and tablets showed little to no evidence of having any benefit in preventing tooth decay.

Finally, our dentist in Edmond regarded what a panel of experts assembled by the ADA had to say on the matter. This panel looked at the evidence found in each study and came to the determination “that the evidence from the two trials was insufficient to support any statement regarding the caries preventive effects of xylitol in dentifrices.”

It is for this reason that our dentist in Edmond cannot fully back the safety of xylitol for teeth. As always, the best thing you could do for maintain a healthy smile is routine dental care which includes a regular regime at-home as well as proper dental visits!

If you need to make an appointment with our dentist in Edmond to keep your teeth shining brightly, please feel free to give Ballinger Family Dentistry a call 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.

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!