Photo of a smiling, dark-haired female dentist

The 3 Best Questions You Can Ask Your Dentist

Want to make the most of your next visit to your family dentist? Try asking these three questions to maximize your time spent in the dental chair.

1. What is my overall oral health situation?

This question is about getting a broad view of your oral health. Knowing whether you’re generally doing pretty well or are not in the best shape can help you to make more informed decisions about treatments. It can also provide insight on other areas of your health or lifestyle – nutrition or exercise, for example – that are contributing to, and being affected by, your oral health.

2. What will improve my oral health?

Be on the lookout when you ask this question for both steps that you can take your own, as well as treatments that your dentist or hygienist can offer. Your dentist can help you figure out if a specific kind of toothpaste is better for you, whether you’re brushing correctly, or whether a new product you’ve seen is worth a try. When you’re talking about treatments, your dentist can offer advice on what is most needed, what can be done at another time, and whether there are any alternatives.

3. Is there anything my family doctor needs to know about?

Your oral health is closely linked to your overall health. Sometimes, your dentist may be first to spot symptoms that can indicate health issues your family physician or general practitioner (GP) needs to know about. Asking this question helps to ensure that relevant information is shared with all the right people.

BONUS: Be prepared.

Ok, this isn’t a question, but being as prepared as you can is also important to getting the best possible dental care. If you’re experiencing any kind of problem in your mouth, like a sore jaw or sore gums, or notice anything unusual, such as a lump or irritation, be sure to speak up about it. Even if it doesn’t seem like a big deal to you, your dentist will be able to tell if it’s something that needs to be monitored or addressed.

Feeling ready for your next visit? We hope so! If you don’t have one scheduled, just call us or click below to get one set.

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X-Ray of impacted wisdom tooth with text: Wisdom toot, not that wise

Why Are Wisdom Teeth Called Wisdom Teeth?

If you get your wisdom teeth out, don’t worry! The dentist won’t be removing your good sense. The name for your third molars, a.k.a. your wisdom teeth, comes from when they show up in your mouth. Wisdom teeth typically appear around age 17 to 25, right about the time people become adults and begin to gain some – you guessed it! – wisdom. Wisdom teeth have been called that for hundreds of years, replacing an even earlier (and clunkier) name, teeth of wisdom.

The pesky thing about wisdom teeth? 9 out of 10 of people have at least one impacted. This happens when the tooth cannot grow in fully, often because of a lack of space. If impacted teeth are left in the mouth, they can harm the teeth next to them, become infected, or attract bacteria due to the difficulty of cleaning them well. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons recommends that you have wisdom teeth evaluated early on in their growth, when you’re a young adult. Best bet? Talk to your family dentist about it.

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Of course you could get lucky… Not everyone has wisdom teeth! One estimate says that about 35% of the population is born without them.

 

 

photo of tired looking woman at work, eyes closed

Not Sleeping Well? Two Ways Your Dentist Can Help

Do you often feel like you don’t get a good night’s sleep? When your sleep is disrupted, it’s not only unpleasant, it can be bad for your overall health. There are lots of reasons you might be sleeping poorly, and your dentist can be your ally in discovering or ruling out certain causes.

1. Oral Appliances for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disorder in which your upper airways close off and interrupt your breathing while you sleep. Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:

  • Routine loud snoring
  • Waking gasping for air
  • Feeling overly fatigued during the day
  • Falling asleep unintentionally in the daytime

If you think you may have OSA, talk to your doctor. To properly diagnose OSA, you will have to do an overnight sleep study. Many people diagnosed with OSA can be treated using an oral appliance, a small, plastic device that you place in your mouth while sleeping that helps keep your airways open. Your dentist can help to fit you with an oral appliance made specifically for your unique needs.

2. Mouthguards for Teeth Grinding

Grinding your teeth, also known as bruxism, can also cause you to sleep poorly. If you grind your teeth or clench your jaw at night, your sleep might be disrupted by the sound of the grinding, hard clenching, or associated pain. Some signs that you might be grinding your teeth include:

  • Pain in your teeth, mouth or jaw
  • A clicking or popping sound in your jaw
  • Visibly worn down teeth
  • Sensitive teeth

If you’re thinking these sound like you, talk to your dentist. Your dentist will be able to examine your teeth and mouth to help determine if you are grinding your teeth. Often, teeth grinding can be treated with a mouthguard, which your dentist can custom-make for you.

Don’t neglect your sleep. Talk to someone.

Your sleep is important to your health, so don’t ignore signs that you’re not getting adequate sleep. Give us a call, we’d be happy to schedule an appointment to see you. 502-244-9595 You are also welcome to use our online appointment request form by clicking the button below.

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illustration of skyline inside a smiles with tag #BestLouSmiles

#BestLouSmiles Parade Contest: Win a Balloon Ride and Whitening!

Louisville, show off your smiles during the 2015 Pegasus Parade on April 30th for a chance to win a free balloon ride and teeth whitening*! We love to see our community smile, so Mortenson Family Dental, Braces Braces Braces and Kid’s Dentistree have teamed up to offer this prize to one lucky winner.

Entering our #BestLouSmiles contest is easy:

  • During the 2015 Pegasus Parade, snap a selfie of your smile, you and your friends or family, or you with one of our mascots who will be in the parade.
  • Post your photo on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tag it #BestLouSmiles. Extra cool points if you tag our accounts as well!
  • You must be 18 or over to win.

We’ll choose a winner at random and announce the winner on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter during the following week. Good luck, and keep smiling!

How to find us on social media:

Mortenson Family Dental:

Kid’s Dentistree:

Braces Braces Braces

* This prize has no cash value and cannot be redeemed for dental care. The balloon ride is subject to weather conditions and all applicable regulations. Must be 18 or older to win.

UPDATE:

Congratulations to Alycia W. on winning the #BestLouSmiles contest!

Photo of Alycia W. smiling

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