The Ultimate Guide to Dental Hygiene

“Numerous recent scientific studies indicate associations between oral health and a variety of general health conditions — including diabetes and heart disease.” (- American Dental Association)

Whoa! You probably know that brushing your teeth is a good idea, but many people don’t realize just how important dental hygiene is. Since October is National Dental Hygiene Month (#NDHM15), we thought there was no better time than now to spread the word and make sure you have this handy guide to keep your teeth and mouth in tip-top shape!

Ultimate Guide to Dental Hygiene infographic

 

So, to recap, for optimal dental hygiene, just remember:

  1. Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day
  2. Floss Daily
  3. Rinse With Mouthwash
  4. Chew Sugar-Free Gum After Meals

 

It’s that easy!

 

photo of candy corn with text: Swap Your Sweets!

Swap Your Sweets!

Halloween is right around the corner! No, we’re not going to tell you or your kiddos not to enjoy any candy, BUT we do want to let you know about a fun way to enjoy *some* of your candy and send the rest to our troops overseas!

During the first week in November (through November 7th), you are invited to Swap Your Sweets! You can bring in your extra or unwanted Halloween candy to any Mortenson Family Dental, Braces Braces Braces, or Kid’s Dentistree location (in KY or IN) during that office’s regular hours to get a $5 gift card*! Here are the rules and details:

  • Each person may swap one bag of candy.
  • You must have at least a sandwich-size bag of candy.
  • Please do not include any chocolate! (It melts in the mail when shipped overseas.)
  • *Each of office selects their own gift cards, and some offer $5 cash. We can’t guarantee what might be available at any given location, but you are welcome to call an office to ask!

All of the candy that we collect will go to Operation Gratitude, a nonprofit organization that annually sends 150,000+ care packages filled with snacks, entertainment, hygiene and hand-made items, plus personal letters of appreciation, to New Recruits, Veterans, First Responders, Wounded Warriors, Care Givers and to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed overseas.

Have a safe and fun Halloween, and remember, you have until November 7th to swap!

photo of man in suit relaxing barefoot on beach

4 Pro Tips for a Relaxing Dental Visit

A lot of people get nervous or scared about seeing their dentist. We understand and are sensitive to patients’ concerns, and want to make your dental visit as comfortable as possible. Next time you need a dental appointment, try one or more of these tips for making your experience a positive one.

1. Talk to your dentist and dental team.

Talking to us about your concerns is THE most important thing you can do. We’re here to help and want to make you comfortable!

If you’re a new patient… Would you like a tour of the office? Do you have questions you want to ask the dentist before you make a decision? Just let us know!

If you’re already a patient… Do you like extra time to ask a lot of questions? Or maybe you’d rather not hear certain details? Is there something specific you would like to have done or not done during your treatment? You can always ask for breaks during treatment by raising your hand if you’re unable to speak. Every person is different, so the more you can help us get to know you, the better we’ll be able to tailor your experience to your needs and preferences.

2. Ask us for extras!

Most of our offices have comfort items available for you, like protective eye wear, pillows for a sore neck, blankets if you tend to get chilly, and bottled water if you are thirsty. Many offices have TVs available for patients to watch during treatment, so if you’d rather have a movie on than a cooking show, just say the word. (If there is something you know you will want, call us in advance to make sure that it is available at the office you visit.)

3.  Make yourself comfortable when you come in.

Wear your most comfortable clothing. If you have a favorite sweatshirt or flannel pants, wear ’em. If it will help you relax, wear your soft flannel pajamas! We won’t judge you for what you wear- we’ll be totally jealous that you get to wear PJs. Many patients like to listen to music or other relaxing sounds like ocean waves when they come in, so feel free to bring your phone, iPod or other device if this might help you. Another trick for helping you stay comfortable is chapstick. Put some on when you come in, or ask us if you forgot yours. Need something to do with your hands? Try bringing along a stress ball. Finally, if you are concerned about soreness, ask your dentist if it would be okay to take an over-the-counter pain reliever before your appointment.

4. Talk to your dentist about sedation dentistry.

Most of our offices offer some form of sedation dentistry. Sedation options include nitrous oxide gas (laughing gas), medication to help you relax, and conscious IV sedation. The type of sedation that is best for you will depend on your unique needs, including your personal comfort level and treatment needed. If you think you might benefit from some kind of sedation, your dentist would be happy to talk about the options with you.

We have lots of ways to help our patients feel more comfortable with their treatment. The more comfortable you are, the better we can help you maintain your dental health, and your optimal health is our number one priority! If you’re due for a checkup or have other dental needs, just give us a call – 502-244-9595 – or use the button below!

Request an Appointment

illustration of tooth with text: Older adults and oral health - take the quiz

Know What You Need to About Aging and Oral Health? Take this Quiz.

September is Healthy Aging Month! Mortenson Family Dental wants support adults living healthy lives as they age by making sure everyone knows what they should about oral health for older adults.

Ready to test your knowledge? True or False:

  1. Bacteria stick to both natural teeth and dentures.
  2. As we age, we enter a second cavity-prone stage in our lives.
  3. Research has shown links between oral health and health problems common to older adults, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and pneumonia.
  4. The average age of for people diagnosed with mouth cancers is 62.

 

How do you think you did? If you answered TRUE to each point above, then you got them all right! (Click on any point above to visit our sources.) Whether you aced the quiz or were tripped up by a few surprises, keep reading so you know the best steps to take to protect your teeth and mouth.

Brush Twice and Floss Every Day – Dentures Too!

 

This is one of the basics of oral health care at any age, and should be continued throughout your life. If you wear partial or full dentures, this also means brushing your dentures daily since bacteria in your mouth attaches to dentures as well as teeth. Be sure to use a cleaning product made for use with dentures; don’t use standard toothpaste or household cleaners! These can hurt your dentures and cause unnecessary expense if you have to replace damaged dentures.

Drink Plenty of Water

 

Many adults’ cavities are brought on by dry mouth. While dry mouth itself is not expected in typical aging, it is a side effect of hundreds of over-the-counter and prescription medications. Saliva does some important work in the mouth, including washing away bits of food, neutralizing acids in food and beverages, and providing defense against infection. When your mouth is too dry, you’re not producing enough saliva, and cavities can become more likely as a result. To combat dry mouth, drink lots of water, check with your family dentist about an oral rinse, or consider talking with your physician about possible medication alternatives.

Visit Your Dentist At Least Once a Year

 

Your local dentist can offer the best recommendation on how often to be seen for checkups, but at a minimum, you should be going once each year. Prevention and early detection are so important! The nerves in your teeth get smaller and less sensitive as you get older, and the decreased sensitivity means that you are less likely to feel pain from a cavity early in its existence. When you do feel pain, it is possible that the cavity may be too far gone and cause you to loose your tooth.  And remember the links shown between oral health and other health issues? Your dentist and dental team can help spot warning signs of other health problems, as well as perform oral cancer screenings. Last but not least, be sure to let your dentist know about any medications you are taking.

We want everyone to age happily and in good health! If you follow the steps above and maintain your oral health routine, you will be well on your way to ensuring a healthy mouth for a long time. Time for a visit? Just click below to request an appointment and any of our offices.

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