Lending Lagniappe to Your Dental Experience
// COSMETIC DENTIST
What’s included in a comprehensive exam?
Your exam will be more than just a cavity check. During a comprehensive exam, we evaluate your medical and dental history and discuss any medications that can affect the oral cavity. We also discuss your diet, oral hygiene habits, and your comfort needs to help control anxiety. We perform a periodontal evaluation, including a periodontal probing to evaluate the health of the gum and bone. We take diagnostic images, including dental X-rays, to look for any signs of disease or decay. We also evaluate the teeth and restorations for decay, chipping, and signs of enamel wear. You can request an appointment with me or Dr. Stacey Smith at DentalDesignsByAlisaReed.com.
How does my dentist screen for Sleep Apnea?
Worn teeth can be one of the first signs of sleep apnea, resulting from grinding and protecting the airway. Receding gums, chipped and cracked teeth, jaw pain, and an enlarged tongue are also signs. Patients suffering from sleep apnea many times suffer from acid reflux or GERD, elevated blood pressure, fatigue, sleepiness, and lack of concentration.
I like sweets! How can I make it less likely to get a cavity while still enjoying my favorite treats?
Remember that sugary/starchy foods and time lead to cavities! You can enjoy sweets as your dessert after a meal instead of snacking on sweets throughout the day. The saliva produced with meals helps to dilute the sugar/acid content. Be sure to hydrate wisely by choosing water during the day instead of sipping on sugary drinks or coffee. I recommend always rinsing your mouth with plain water after snacking and waiting about 30 minutes to brush your teeth. Xylitol gum helps reduce the bacteria that can cause cavities. Elevated pH rinses, such as those with hydrogen peroxide, will help to reduce the acidity in your mouth.
How long does smile whitening last?
Teeth whitening is one of the most safe and conservative ways to brighten your smile and look. Most patients who undergo this treatment can expect the results to last five years or more. While some fading is inevitable, those who smoke, drink teeth-staining beverages such as coffee, wine, and tea, are more likely to experience faster fading. Brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings can help to extend the results of the whitening. The best way to extend the life of professional whitening is to use over-the-counter whitening such as trays and whitening strips every few months.
Do I really need to floss?
While there have been studies published that debate the need for flossing, the fact is, flossing between your teeth is the only real way to remove food that is left between them. Food that is lodged between teeth will contribute to bad breath, gum inflammation and disease, as well as cavities. It only takes a minute, so why not? Most dentists will agree that in their practice, the patients who floss regularly have fewer dental problems and healthier gums and therefore keep their teeth longer.
About the Expert
Alisa M. Reed, DDS
Dental Designs by Alisa Reed
Dr. Alisa M. Reed has more than 25 years of experience in everything from preventive to cosmetic dentistry. After graduating cum laude from Louisiana Tech University with a biology degree, Dr. Reed earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery from Louisiana State University and an Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency at LSU. Passionate about staying on the leading edge of dentistry, Dr. Reed regularly attends dental continuing education classes on state-of-the-art procedures as well as best practices for safety and sterilization.
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