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What Causes Early Childhood Cavities and How To Prevent ECC

Monday, August 13th, 2018

What are Early Childhood Caries?

Dental caries, baby bottle tooth decay, or more commonly, dental cavities, is a common infectious disease. Among children, it is the most common infectious disease. The American Dental Association (ADA) defines ECC as “the presence of one or more decayed (non-cavitated or cavitated lesions), missing (due to caries) or filled tooth surfaces in any primary tooth in a preschool-age child between birth and 71 months of age.” The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has reported that early childhood caries (ECC) is five times more likely to be diagnosed than asthma. Early childhood cavities is the result of the interaction of sugar on tooth enamel and bacteria that live in your mouth, mainly Streptococcus mutans. The acid that develops as a result of the interaction breaks down the surface of the tooth and leads to decay. The American Dental Association recognizes that dental caries is a significant public health problem in pre-school age children that requires careful attention.

Detecting ECC

White spots near your child’s gum line may be the first sign of early childhood cavities. If these spots are not treated and continue to decay, they will turn brown and appear as holes in the teeth. If your child is experiencing any pain when eating, you’ll want to have his or her teeth looked at right away, as this may be an indication of ECC. Any change in your child’s teeth should be assessed quickly and taken care of. If your child does, indeed, have decay, the earlier the diagnosis, the better the prognosis.

Preventing ECC

Not allowing your child to sleep with a bottle that contains sweet liquid such as juice or milk is the main way to prevent early childhood caries. Unfortunately, this is the biggest mistake that we see parents make with their child’s teeth. When a child falls asleep with sweet liquid inside of a bottle, that liquid may pool and sit inside the mouth for a long period of time. The longer sugary liquid sits in a child’s mouth, the more likely the child will develop tooth decay. Once decay is present inside a child’s mouth, it will only continue to flourish. If your child needs a bottle while sleeping, be sure that the bottle only contains water. If your child falls asleep with sugar coated on his or her teeth, it becomes the perfect environment for bacteria to grow. Water, on the other hand, washes bacteria away to help avoid decay. Avoiding foods and drinks that contain large amount of sugar is also a good practice in general. We all know that sugar can lead to cavities, but a child’s fragile baby teeth are particularly susceptible.

Parent Education

Be sure that your child visits the dentist for the first time within six months after the first tooth erupts. After teeth have erupted, be sure your child’s teeth are being brushed twice a day. Getting your child into the habit of brushing is essential to overall hygiene health that will extend on throughout a person’s life. Children are usually able to take care of their own teeth once they are able to write their own name. Until then, a parent is responsible for making sure that their child’s teeth are taken care of. Introducing your child to a dental office early on will only make it easier for them (and you) down the line. The more educated a parent is about preventing early childhood caries, the healthier a child’s mouth will be.

Regular Dentist Visits

While early childhood caries can be prevented, if they are not treated, they can lead to much more serious infections that can affect a child’s growth and development. ECC can lead to a loss of primary teeth which can affect that way that secondary, adult teeth, develop. Parents and dentists together are responsible for preventing early childhood cavities and treating them before they become a problem. Taking care of a young child’s teeth can certainly be challenging due to attention span, cooperation, etc, but it will make life much easier in the long run. Be sure to start your child off early with good hygiene habits. Schedule an appointment with Reno Dental Associates to give your child the smile he or she deserves!

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How to Prevent Cavities – Reno Dental Associates

Friday, March 9th, 2018

Every person has dealt with cavities at some point in their life. Luckily, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to avoid cavities and prevent further tooth decay. Our Reno Dental Associates dentists have made a list of how to prevent cavities.

To prevent cavities, you should:

how to prevent cavities

What is a cavity?

A tooth cavity is a result of tooth damage from bacteria. You have hundreds of different types of bacteria living in your mouth. Fortunately, many bacteria in your mouth are helpful. Unfortunately, there are a few bacteria that play a direct role in causing tooth decay.

How do cavities occur?

The cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth use sugar to create acid. Overtime the acid builds-up inside your mouth. If preventative measures aren’t taken, the acid will cause tooth decay, and even worse, cavities.

Everyday in our mouth two sides wage war against each other. On the plaque side, colorless bacteria along with sugar and starch foods (such as cookies, milk, juice, and soda).

The bacteria use the sugar and starch gained from these foods to create acids that rot away the protective surface of our teeth, the enamel.

On the good side of the fight are all the minerals in our mouth. Inside our mouths are minerals such as calcium and phosphate working hard to protect our teeth. Along with these minerals is fluoride. Unfortunately fluoride does not occur in our mouth. Fluoride comes from toothpaste, water, and other sources.

This team (comprised of calcium, phosphate, fluoride, and you) works to fight back the build-up of acid. This team helps repair enamel by replacing lost minerals dissolved by acid.

If your tooth is exposed to acid frequently, you may notice a white spot appear on your tooth. This white spot is an indicator of weakening enamel and a loss of minerals. A white spot is an early sign of tooth decay.

At this stage, it is still possible to stop and reverse the damage. Enamel will repair itself with minerals, so long as you don’t create more acid from sugary foods. More damage to the tooth will result in permanent damage, a cavity.

How to prevent cavities and keep them away

It’s easy to ask how to prevent cavities, but how do we keep cavities away? Luckily, there are many ways we can lend a hand in the battle against cavities and the acids that cause them.

Use Fluoride to reinforce your defenses

Fluoride is the best way to add more minerals to strengthen your mouth. With fluoride, you can stop and reverse early tooth decay. Fluoride:

  1. Prevents mineral loss
  2. Replaces lost minerals
  3. Slows bacteria from making acid

You get fluoride by:

In some cases, your dentist may recommend some additional ways to get fluoride:

*While it is great to drink bottled water, most brands do not contain the fluoride necessary to prevent tooth decay. Talk with your dentist about whether you need additional fluoride.

Limit your consumption of sugary drinks

This includes fruit juices. While the idea of fruit in juice form may seem tempting and perfectly healthy, most fruit juices have additional added sugar. Sometimes, this may be more than soda!

Try to avoid drinking or eating sugary foods before bed

Our saliva is at its weakest when we are asleep, leaving us vulnerable to acid attacks.

cavity prevention

Visit a dentist regularly

Dentists have the tools and experience to clean your teeth better than you. A Reno Dental Association dentist will:

With this list, you no longer need to ask “how to prevent cavities.”

The dentists of Reno Dental Associates are ready to give you the smile you deserve. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.

(775) 786-3400

 

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What to Know When Selecting a Reno Cosmetic Dentist

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

teeth fixed with bracesYour oral health is paramount to good health overall. The desire for great-looking teeth and a healthy mouth is important to our day-to-day lives. Therefore, it is no wonder why many want to find the best dentist possible.

For those in need of cosmetic dental work, this is even more important. Anybody who has experienced the pain of a diminished smile wants results quickly, affordably and of a quality nature. If you’re looking for a Reno cosmetic dentist and want to know how to find the best, keep reading.

Look for Testimonials

When deciding on any Reno cosmetic dentist, you first need to consider what other people are saying. As such, perusing the reviews and testimonials of those who have had work done prior is absolutely crucial.

You don’t want to take a leap of faith when it comes to having major dental work done. Be sure that whoever you’re considering has an extensive reputation with positive reviews and testimonials. Otherwise, you’re taking a gamble, and one that you really can’t afford to take.

Examine Their Work

Any great Reno cosmetic dentist who will be more than happy to show you before and after shots of the work they’ve done. This can be one great way to inspect exactly how much of a transformation you can expect with comparable dental cosmetic surgery.

Most dentist offices that specialize in cosmetic surgery take plenty of pictures showing before and after. Some even offer their patients a discount for allowing them to do so. Before you agree to any work, ask any prospective dentists you’re considering to provide you with some examples of what they’ve done.

Evaluate Their Qualifications

You may find plenty of positive reviews online about some Reno cosmetic dentists, including before and after samples. However, you absolutely need to inspect their qualifications as well. In the age of the internet, you can find out where almost any dentist went to school, what courses they took and whether or not they’re AACD certified.

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry is the ideal certification you’re looking for from a dentist. Cosmetic dentists who hold this certification are those who have kept up-to-date with techniques, attended industry-specific seminars and trainings, and are generally the best of the best.

Have a Consultation

Before you commit to any work from a Reno cosmetic dentist, it’s important to have a sit-down meeting and explain what it is you need. Not only will this help you determine what is and isn’t possible, but it’ll help you learn more about the dentist before making any commitment. If you feel comfortable after consulting with a dentist over major dental work, then you’ll be better equipped to choose the right dentist for you.

At the end of the day, you should treat cosmetic dental surgery like any other major surgery. By shopping around, comparing qualifications, examining reviews and qualifications, and inspecting past work, you’ll help eliminate any Reno cosmetic dentists who just aren’t up to par.

Learn more about cosmetic dental surgery from Reno Dental Associates. or call us for a consultation. 775.786.3400.

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Reno DDS – Family Dentistry Best Practices

Monday, October 16th, 2017

teeth whiteningFinding the right dentist for you and your family may take some time and patience. Not everybody falls in love with their first dentist. Therefore, it never hurts to look around and try different solutions for your family. Each dentist’s office is made unique by its staff, culture, customer service and location.

For those in search of a new Reno DDS at the right family practice, you’ll want to consider several different aspects. In order to make the process easier for you, here is what you should be looking for at any family-friendly dentist office in the Reno area.

Plenty of Good Reviews and Referrals

The absolute first thing you must evaluate in a family-friendly dentist office is whether or not the referrals and reviews are good. Any Reno DDS worth its weight in advertising should have plenty of people talking about how great it is for both kids and adults.

Additionally, many offices will offer referrals upon request where you can personally talk to those who’ve had work done. Ultimately, you shouldn’t take an ad’s word for it. You should strive to see what others are saying before you take your family to any dentist!

Easy Financial Flexibility

Many families run on tight budgets. If your family has to worry about making ends meet, then the last thing you want is a huge dental bill thrown at you in one lump sum.

Many family dental practices in the Reno area understand the need for flexible payment solutions. Even if you are not in dire financial straits, finding an office that provides this service is generally a good sign. It speaks volumes about the level of compassion and concern with which they treat their patients.

Kid-Friendly Atmosphere

Any family-friendly Reno DDS should – by definition – be open and friendly toward children. A great dentist office that encapsulates this atmosphere will not just know how to treat kids, but will also offer a variety of amenities for them. This may include exclusive play areas for the kids, toys, games and magazines that they’ll enjoy.

By offering these features, the dentist is demonstrating that he or she cares about the experience each child has while there. Plus, this can make a trip to the dentist less frightening or boring for kids who may not otherwise wish to go.

Pediatric Dentistry

Last but not least, any family-friendly dentist should have at least one dentist on-hand who specifically works with children in his/her role as a Reno DDS. Due to the differences in behavior and mentality between kids and adults, pediatric dentists are more equipped to handle the challenges while in the chair. They are able to provide advice in a way that resonates with children, and otherwise keep them comfortable. This can make the entire process from start to finish a lot easier on both the dentist and the child.

Before concluding any search for a family-friendly dentist in the Reno area, be sure that you consider the following:

If you insist on these qualities in your next dentist, you’re much less likely to be disappointed. Check out how Reno Dental Associates can become the solution for all your family’s dental needs.

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5 Things When Looking for an Affordable Dentist in Reno

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

reno tooth extraction wisdom teeth removal

Finding the right dentist in Reno may take more work than you’d think. Of course, there are plenty of choices to consider, but not all dental offices and services are created equal. Most people searching for a new dentist want to balance affordability with quality of care, customer service and general availability.

Ultimately, those on fixed incomes and with limited budgets are more restricted in their potential selection. Because of this, it’s crucial to know how to find affordable dentists that provide the best care possible. Let’s take a look at what you should consider when looking for a Reno-based dentist.

Recommendations

Before you begin your broader search for a dentist in Reno, ask around the neighborhood for advice. Your family, friends and co-workers may all have their own stories about which dentists do great work (and which dentists to avoid). Personal recommendations are unfiltered and not incentivized by money or other benefits; this is why they can be very valuable tools in scoping out which dentists you should consider. Because dental work is so expensive, many people will also recommend dentists to you that offer affordable rates.

Flexible Payment Options

Let’s face it: dental work is costly. Ultimately, even an affordable dentist in Reno can charge rates that add up quickly, so you want to have wiggle room in case you can’t pay all at once. Many affordable dentist offices provide flexible payment plans for those in need of work, making it much easier to tackle the dental work you need bit-by-bit – and without breaking the bank.

Qualifications

Before you let anybody work on your teeth, you need to know that they have the proper experience and accreditations. Obviously, you want to make sure that the dentist in question has a license to practice as a dentist in Reno. Additionally, ADA accreditations – whether it be for taking new classes or attending recent training seminars – are also ideal.

Educational Background

Every dentist in Reno isn’t on the same playing field. One big problem many run into when searching for an affordable dentist is finding somebody who is educated in modern dentistry. There are some dentists who – while understanding the basics of dentistry and capable of performing a decent job – may not have access to the latest techniques or the most up-to-date equipment. This can be one reason why prices are lower, but it can sometimes lead to less than stellar outcomes.

Ambiance

When picking a more affordable dentist, you’ll definitely want to consider the overall ambiance of the practice. Does the office look clean? Is the staff friendly? Does the customer service experience seem straightforward? How easy is it to get an appointment? Factors such as these can impact not only how quickly you can be seen, but whether your treatment by staff will be what you deserve. Always consider how you “feel” when visiting any office and/or speaking with staff by phone before you make any commitment.

Finding an affordable dentist in Reno may be easier than you think, but finding the right dentist takes a bit more work. By considering these five issues when selecting your next dentist, you’ll be sure to get the quality care you deserve at a fair price.

Meet our doctors at Reno Dental Associates and call us today! 775.786.3400.

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The Benefits of Teeth Whitening

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Say Cheese! Teeth Whitening Has More Benefits Than Just a Pretty Smile.

In Reno, a bright white smile can take you a long way in your career, relationships, and personal pursuits. Teeth whitening is a great way to make a lasting impression and alleviate sensitive teeth. However, some may be sitting on the fence. Is teeth whitening worth the cost? Are there benefits to teeth whitening that go beyond just a pretty smile? The answers are yes and yes!

At Reno Dental Associates we know, through experience with our clients, that teeth whitening has many benefits beyond a pearly smile.

Whitening treatment increases self-confidence. When your teeth are white, you smile more often. You know your smile is great, so you don’t hesitate to smile. Smiling more is proven to increase happiness levels. The happier you are, the higher your self-confidence is.

White teeth look healthier. White teeth simply look healthier than teeth that are stained by coffee, tea, tobacco, and food. All of these things make your mouth look less clean and have been proven to make a person appear less approachable.

Whiter teeth motivates healthier habits. Once you get your teeth whitened, you start adopting better habits to maintain your look. You may brush your teeth a little more. You might opt for less coffee or cut down on sugary sodas. Remember, 28 days in a new habit and you are more likely to keep it for an extended period of time. So, teeth whitening can also help you get healthy!

The process of teeth whitening is more affordable than other methods. If you have been considering dental bonding, crowns, or veneers, a whitening treatment is a more comfortable measure to take toward a beautiful smile. Preparing your teeth (drilling) isn’t necessary with teeth whitening either. You are in and out in a flash with little to no discomfort.

If you live in Reno and want to increase your self-confidence, look healthier, be healthier, and do it all affordably, give us a call at Reno Dental Associates.

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Consult a Dentist for Teeth Whitening

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Why You Should Consult a Dentist For Teeth Whitening

If you’ve come across this post looking for teeth whitening treatment in Reno, you may be wondering if going to a cosmetic dentist is really necessary.

After all, aren’t there loads of products available online or over the counter promising to perfectly whiten teeth? And aren’t they considerably cheaper than visiting the dentist?

At Reno Dental Associates, we believe that it’s crucial to consult a professional dentist before embarking on any kind of teeth whitening treatment.

Teeth Whitening Products You Can Trust

A cosmetic dentist will only use whitening products that are tried, tested and known to be safe. Whitening products used by dental clinics, including our Reno Dental Associates practice, are well known for their high quality and trustworthiness. They have also been subjected to intensive testing before being deemed safe to use.

While it’s true that there are many products available online and from stores that claim to give you whiter teeth at a fraction of the cost of visiting a professional clinic; this comes with a caveat. They’re very unlikely to have been tested as comprehensively as those used by the cosmetic dentists at a professional practice.

Don’t Risk Damaging Your Teeth & Gums

In a best-case scenario, these untested, unapproved products simply won’t have an effect. You will have wasted both money and time, and your teeth will still be stained. However, the worst-case scenario is far more worrying. Some of these unregulated products can be dangerous, especially without a professional dentist’s instructions on how to use them properly. They can increase tooth sensitivity or even permanently damage your teeth, gums or mouth.  We’re sure you’ll agree that it just isn’t worth the risk to save a bit of money.

As with any cosmetic dental procedure, teeth whitening should only be carried out on normal, healthy teeth. When you come for a consultation with a cosmetic dentist at our Reno Dental Associates clinic, they will first examine your teeth, and treat any problems such as cavities or gum disease before starting whitening treatment. This helps decrease the risk of sensitivity during treatment, and ensures the finished result is exactly as you hope.

We Offer Two Whitening Options

Reno Dental Associates offers two teeth whitening options: in-office whitening from a cosmetic dentist here in the clinic, and tray whitening using special, custom-made teeth whitening trays which you can do at home.  The first option is more expensive but offers instant results, while the second option is more affordable but takes longer. Our highly trained and experienced cosmetic dentists will talk you through both options to help you decide which is the best one for you.

Call us today on 775.786.3400 and we will be glad to assist you. Keep smiling!

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5 Ways to Make a Healthier Mouth and Person

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

What’s better than having your mouth poked and vacuumed under a hot lamp? Well, a few things. Let’s be honest, whether you’re in Reno, NV, or New York City, the feelings around trips to the dentist are generally the same: it hurts, and all the nights you almost flossed don’t amount to much once that chair starts leaning back.

With tooth decay affecting 91% of Americans between age 20 and 64, it isn’t hard to understand why so many of us let out a heavy sigh when a postcard from the dentist arrives in the mail. But it doesn’t have to be this way; in fact, trips to the dentist can be a breeze with a few small changes in lifestyle and oral care routine:

Brush After Meals

This suggestion runs the risk of earning some well-deserved eye-rolls, but with research linking poor brushing habits to higher chances of Alzheimer’s, heart attack, and stroke, the brush needs a little attention. Tooth brushing comes as second nature to many of us, but it’s how well—and often—that makes the difference in the overall health of your mouth and body. According to the Mayo Clinic and American Dental Association, you should try for a good, two-minute brush with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day.

dentist Floss Everyday

You’ve done a beautiful, two-minute brush and your mouth feels fantastic—no one will ever know about the chili dog and fries, there’s simply no way. But, what about all that stuff in-between your teeth? Time to break out the floss. Sure, it’s a lot of work, but flossing is a key component to long-lasting oral health. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of all Americans over 30 have some form of gum disease. So, work some floss into your routine and make sure all that brushing doesn’t go to waste.

Eat with Your Teeth in Mind

Nothing affects the wellbeing of your mouth more than what you put into it. High-sugar foods produce acids that can damage tooth enamel and, ultimately, cause tooth decay. But by sticking with wholesome foods such as leafy greens, fresh fruits and vegetables, and cheese—that’s right, cheese—you can strengthen your teeth and avoid all that drilling.

Stay Hydrated

Did you know the tap water in Reno, NV, is some of the highest quality in the country? Grabbing some drinking water from your kitchen sink is a great way to not only stay hydrated but keep your mouth happy as well. Tap water is often infused with small amounts of the naturally occurring mineral fluoride which helps promote oral health, so drink up!

Frequent Visits

Once you’ve embraced a steady brushing and flossing regimen, and your diet rivals that of an Olympic athlete, it’s time to get on a regular schedule with your dentist. By going against your better instinct and getting in for an annual appointment, your teeth get the professional attention they deserve, and of course, your dentist gets to marvel at the beautiful work you’ve done.

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