Dentist in Edmond

Dentist in Edmond: Basic Hygiene Part III

Welcome to your Dentist in Edmond’s last Basic Oral Hygiene article!

Here we are at that last article in the series, your Dentist in Edmond hopes that you’ve enjoyed our trip down memory lane with our review of some basic oral hygiene. Let’s jump in.

Dentist in Edmond: You are what you eat.

We won’t be going into nutrition as much as we will be discussing how foods interact with plaque and the bacteria that eat away at your tooth enamel. Your Dentist in Edmond is sure that at this point it’s news to no one sugary foods help bad bacteria in your mouth grow. The sugar helps those bacteria multiply making it harder to get rid of them and harder on your teeth, even sugar from fruit can help them grow. If you’re looking for foods that won’t harm your teeth you can look for cheeses and dairy, which will rinse off easily, and non-acidic vegetables and meat.

Damage to teeth

Your Dentist in Edmond sees a fair amount of damaged teeth, most are the results of accidents, but a chip no matter how small can cause larger problems. Out teeth are protected by tooth enamel, beneath that is the dentin, a softer bone material that protects the roots. Once the enamel has been breached the dentin is fair game and will erode much faster. Getting chipped teeth repaired right away is the only way to avoid your teeth from falling prey to the aggressive bacteria in your mouth.

It’s still important to come see us

Even if you have excellent tooth health and you have excellent oral hygiene practices it’s still important to come in for a checkup. You Dentist in Edmond can perform oral cancer screening, x-rays that let a patient know their teeth are growing in properly and if there will be any complication.

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Dentist in Edmond: Basic Hygiene Part II

Dentist in Edmond’s Basic Oral Hygiene Part II

Your Dentist in Edmond is back at it this week talking about basic oral hygiene, and how fighting the basic plaque that forms on teeth can save your teeth and your wallet lots of pain. Let’s get into this week by continuing to talk about the plaque.

Dentist in Edmon: The effects of plaque

Over time plaque will pick up mineral from the saliva in your mouth and form tartar. This hardened tartar is so hard that removing it at home with a brush and flossing is impossible and a patient will have to go to the dentist to get it removed. Tartar build begins in between the teeth but it can quickly spread out from there in extreme cases. If the tartar is left it can cause gingivitis or periodontal (gum) disease causing the gums to pull away from the teeth.

Brushing and Flossing the right ways:

If you brushing and flossing your already on your way to good oral and dental health, however, you could be doing it wrong. When you floss you want to pull the floss at an angle so that it moves against your tooth. Simply pushing the floss up and down through the gap won’t do enough to clean out the plaque and can damage your gums, causing them to bleed from the trauma. Your Dentist in Edmond also sees people who brush too hard, or who have purchased a toothbrush with stiff bristles that hurt their gums. When you finish brushing your teeth you don’t want your gums to feel like they’ve been scoured. Brushing too hard can actually damage the gums where they protect the root of the tooth.

Thank you for staying with us

Thank you for reading our series on basic oral hygiene, next week your Dentist in Edmond will be wrapping up the series, talking about foods, eating habits, and chipped teeth. Find us here next week!


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Dentist in Edmond: Basic Hygiene Part I

Dentist in Edmond: Back to basics

Sometimes in all the discussion about what procedures to choose or what products to use patients can lose sight of some of the simple facts about dental health. So, it’s back to basics for the next couple articles as your Dentist in Edmond talks about plaque and basic oral hygiene, let’s get started.

There is a biofilm that is stuck to your teeth right now called Plaque. Plaque is very thin and is the root of most tooth decay and several oral diseases. That’s the bad news about the plaque coating your teeth. The good news is that it’s relatively easy to get rid of, it’s probably nothing new to anyone who’s gone to a dentist but brush twice a day and flossing once a day keeps plaque at bay and your teeth healthy!

Plaque doesn’t sleep

When you sleep plaque is on the move, growing and multiplying, this is why we experience “morning breath.” Brushing in the morning and before bed can stop the progression of Plaque in your mouth. If you have dry mouth due to medication this is a prime condition for plaque to multiply. If you have chronic dry mouth chewing sugar-free gum and staying hydrated are the best way to combat dry mouth and the spread of plaque. If you experience dry mouth for long periods of time you should consult your dentist or doctor to find the root cause.

Hiding in plain sight

Plaque is sticky by nature and covers every surface of the tooth so unless your physically brush the plaque off it will stay on the tooth’s surface. This is why flossing is so important, brushing will clean most surfaces but won’t get deep down in between the teeth where plaque can hide. Unless that plaque is removed it will stay there forever eating away at the tooth enamel.

Dentist in Edmond will return in part II

We still have so much to cover which is why this article will be in two parts. Stay tuned next week as your Dentist in Edmond covers more basic oral hygiene.

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Dentist in Edmond: Use your benefits in January!

Dentist in Edmond on why you should use your dental benefits in January

Now that the new year is here and all the holiday parties are over many people are looking forward to the new year and the changes they want to make. However, not many people are thinking about using their dental benefits. If your insurance is in the majority then your dental benefits will have been reset on January 1st of this year. That means if you started a procedure and you need to finish it January is the month to do it. January is typically slow for dentists as many people rushed to get their procedures in during the last two months of the previous year. Book an appointment in January is likely to be more flexible in terms of appointment dates.

Dentist in Edmond explains how Dental Benefits reset

Most dental insurance plans run during the calendar year, meaning January to December. During that time whenever your dentist submits your procedures as an insurance claim, any applicable deductible is applied to your coinsurance claim. It’s rare that a single procedure will use all of your deductible. However, in order to know for sure make sure you look over your insurance paperwork or call your insurance company to see how much you have left. In many cases, insurance companies will have the information accessible online.

Using benefits in January

Many people use this benefits reset to their advantage by starting a procedure in December, using up their benefits, and then completing the procedure in January when those benefits reset. Even if your not one of these people getting in to see your Edmond Dentist in January or February can still save you time. And if you start the year out by planing to use all your benefits by the end of the year you won’t be facing a time crunch to get all your work done.

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Dentist in Edmond: Why It’s important to replace missing teeth

Dentist in Edmond why do teeth need to be extracted?

One of the more routine procedures that your Dentist in Edmond will do is the pulling and replacing of teeth. A tooth can need to be pulled for a number of reasons. The most common being trauma, a tooth being broken due to collision with something harder, disease, or crowding. In the case of crowding it is not uncommon for an orthodontist to recommend extraction of teeth in order to get your teeth to set right in the jaw structure that’s available. Likewise, wisdom teeth often get extracted due to their awkward positioning in the mouth and their tendency to cause crowding.

The effects of tooth loss according to your Dentist in Edmond

When teeth are lost or removed it leaves a gap where the interplay between tooth and bone is important. When the teeth are gone the gum and bone are no longer stimulated, resulting in the jaw bone receding and the gum pulling back. This recession will weaken the neighboring teeth, eventually, these weakened teeth will collapse. In these cases, the teeth in the opposite jaw will begin to grow into the gap that was left.  The effects of missing teeth on a person appears is noticeable. The missing teeth and reduced jaw bone will make a person look older and their face more wrinkled. The lose of teeth mean that the cheeks will look hollow as there will be nothing in the jaw to keep them from falling inward.

How the Dentist in Edmond combats the effect of missing teeth

If you have missing teeth don’t worry there are several ways that dentist can combat the effects of missing teeth. Most common is a bridge. If you only missing a few teeth a bridge can be installed to cover the gap with a natural looking replacement. Dental implants have also become popular as medical technology has advanced. The implants allow a dentist to implant natural looking teeth directly into the jaw bone.


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Dentist in Edmond: Oral Cancer

Dentist in Edmond on the Importance of Oral Cancer Screening

At your next visit to your Dentist in Edmond, you will want to ask about getting an oral cancer screening done, this will tell you if you are at risk to develop oral cancer. These screenings are important and try to catch the early signs of developing oral cancer before it can progress to a more advanced stage.

Oral Cancer is extremely treatable if it’s caught early enough in its development. Around 84% of oral cancer can be caught early if a screening is performed by a dental health professional.

How does an Oral Cancer Screening work at your Dentist in Edmond?

Your Dentist in Edmond will use many different tools during the oral cancer screen. During the screening, they will look for things in your mouth that should not be there, such as discoloration or mouth sores that don’t have an apparent cause. While it might feel invasive it is important for your dentist to feel around your mouth for lumps or abnormalities that would indicate the presence of Oral Cancer. If your Dentist in Edmond find’s something they feel needs to be looked at then they will take a sample and send the tissue off to be tested.


Dentist in Edmond explains risk factors for oral cancer

How can you know if you are at risk for oral cancer? The list below includes some of the risk factors associated with oral cancer.

  • If you’re over 40
  • Smoking or using tobacco products
  • Frequent alcohol usage
  • If you have HPV(Human Papillomavirus)
  • Men are more likely to develop Oral Cancer
  • A poor diet
  • Prolonged exposure to the sun

While most people who develop oral cancer usually have one or more of these risk factors the number of people who develop oral cancer and have no risk factors at all are rising. This is the biggest reason to get yourself screened during your next visit.

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Dentist in Edmond: Why are carbs bad for your teeth

Dentist in Edmond explains why carbs can be bad for your teeth

No, you don’t have to cut out carbs from your diet completely. Just like sugar, you can have a diet with carbs and sugar and still have perfectly healthy teeth. The Dentist in Edmond is here to explains why carbs can damage your teeth.

The main reason carbs are bad for your teeth is the same reason sugar is bad. It can mix with bacteria in your mouth and form an acid that will erode your teeth. In fact, the reason this happens is because the carbs in your mouth break down into the same simple sugars found in soda, cookies, and other sweets! You can avoid the damage carbs can do the same way you can avoid the damage sugar can do. Always keep in your mouth as little as possible and rinse with water regularly. Now, carbs are not nearly as damaging as sugar because it takes longer for the reaction to happen and form acid. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be wary of it though. Another kind of food that can damage your teeth are highly acidic foods like lemons and limes. The acid from these foods is potent enough to breakdown the enamel in your teeth. Avoid keeping acidic fruits and foods in your mouth for any length of time.

You can help keep your mouth clean and strong by eating plenty of fresh fruits and veggies. The texture of many of these foods will provoke saliva production and help to clean away any sugar and carbs that might be hanging around in your mouth when you eat. Black and Green tea can also help to suppress the creation of bacteria in your mouth.

Start the new year off with a radiant new smile. Call Ballinger Family Dental, Dentist in Edmond, today at 405-844-8445!

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Dentist in Edmond: The Holidays and Sensitive teeth

Dentist in Edmond: Don’t let sensitive teeth ruin your holidays!

The Dentist in Edmond knows what the holidays mean: hot chocolate, pumpkin pie, chocolate santas, and many more tooth rotting sweets. With Thanksgiving down and christmas on the way there’s still plenty of dinners and sweets to go around. This is also the time of year people notice they’re teeth are sensitive to hot and/or cold. Especially after Halloween and Thanksgiving it’s important to stay on top of brushing and flossing otherwise you may have problems with sensitive teeth.

There are a number of reasons why your teeth might be sensitive:

  • Cavities
  • A broken or fractured tooth
  • Fillings that have been worn down
  • Gingivitis
  • Worn enamel

Your teeth are wrapped up in a substance called enamel that acts like a protective layer on the crowns of your teeth. It also protects the cementum underneath your gunline. Beneath all this lies the dentin, a softer substances that’s lined with extremely tiny tubes. Once the dentin wear out it exposes the root of the tooth underneath to the food your eat. When the food is hot or cold the hypersensitivity is often very unpleasant.

Depending on the reason, the dentist in Edmond may recommend different procedures:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste: Desensitizing toothpaste contains medicines that help block the nerve’s transmission from the tooths surface. This approach usually requires you to apply it several times. The American Dental Association has several kinds of toothpaste that it can recommend.
  • Fluoride gel. Fluoride gel helps to strengthen the tooths enamel which protects the tooth as a whole.
  • A crown, inlay or bonding. If there is structural damage to the tooth having it repaired will reduce the sensitivity of the exposed never.
  • Surgical gum graft: If there is gum tissue missing from around the root a gum tissue graft will help protect it again.
  • Root canal. If the sensitivity is too severe then your OKC Dentist may want to perform a root canal to reduce the pain.

Keeping your Oral Health in check is key to preventing many tooth sensitivity issues. Ask your dentist about treatment option if your experiencing sensitive teeth. Call today and schedule and appointment today at 405-844-8445!

Happy Holidays from your Dentist in Edmond

Year-End Benefits

Dentist in Edmond on Year-End Benefits

Many dental insurance plans operate on a calendar year if your plan is one of those you’d better hurry the year is almost up. As we approach the end of the year many people don’t know that they still have unused benefits left in their plan and that those benefits will expire on December 31 of this year. You Dentist in Edmond knows that you have a lot of things to get done before the end of the year, but if you let unused dental benefits expire it’s like throwing that money out the window. Once the year ends your benefits will be reset, so call us now at setup your appointment before January 1st.

Find how much you have left in unspent benefits

3Call your dental insurance provider and aks how much you have left in unspent benefits, however, some insurance companies will provide this information online. Once you know how much you have left you can speak with your dentist about a plan for using those benefits. Some procedures can be started in December, using the existing benefits and then finished in January when the calendar year plans reset. But there’s no way to know unless you ask.

Dentist in Edmond wants to make sure you receive the best level of care

The Dentist in Edmond hopes that you take away two things from this article. The first thing is that we hope you contact your insurance agent or company and find out how much you have left in unspent benefits, typically cosmetic dentistry won’t qualify but be sure to ask what procedures can be covered. The second thing is we hope you’ll take those benefits and work with your dentist on an action plan for treatment. Letting dental benefits expire is like setting a pile of money on fire. Once you’ve used all your benefits the Dentist in Edmond and Ballinger Family Dentistry can help you chart a roadmap for treatment going into next year.

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Dentist in Edmond on Oral Cancer Screenings

How can your dentist help fight cancer? Dentist in Edmond explains how.

You’ve heard it so many times throughout your life. It’s been seared into your brain by The American Dental Association. See your dentist twice a year for regular cleanings and check-ups. Clean and healthy teeth are part of it for sure, but another reason to visit the dentist is to screen for abnormalities. Your mouth can develop problems just like any other part of your body. Oral Cancer screenings are just as vital as screenings for cancer elsewhere on the body. According to the American Dental Association, 42,000 Americans will develop oral and throat cancers this year. The 5-year survival rate for these kinds of cancers is slightly higher than 64%. When cancer is detected and treated early, symptoms and treatment related problems are reduced. Oral cancer doesn’t just mean your mouth either, it can be anywhere from your lips all the way to the back of your throat. That’s alot of surface area not being checked regularly if your not going to the dentist. As your dentist in edmond, I’ll look for any signs of abnormality beyond just decaying teeth. I’m looking for redness, lumps, lesions and examining your bite. When I ask about your mouth, I’m wanting to know about soreness, tenderness or swelling. It may not seem like a big deal, but it could be symptomatic of a larger problem. I may ask about your family history, that might seem weird for a dentist but it can give me an idea of what diseases to look for.

If your in between visits and you notice anything off with your mouth, please do not hesitate to call your doctor. They will happily schedule an appointment even just to put your mind at ease. Remember, there are usually many reasons for things like redness, swelling, or anything abnormal. According to The American Dental Association, symptoms of Oral cancer can include:

  • A sore or irritation that does not go away
  • Red or white patches
  • Pain, tenderness or numbness in mouth or lips
  • A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth


Patients are at higher risk for these factors past the age of 40. But it’s not impossible to find these symptoms in people much younger. Contributing factors include HPV infections as well as tobacco use. Keeping your mouth healthy with brushing, flossing, fluoride, a good diet, and of course visiting your dentist will all help in the prevention of oral cancers and other oral problems. And of course, don’t neglect your twice yearly appointments with us here at Ballinger Family Dentistry, dentist in edmond. Call today and schedule your appointment at 405-844-8445


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