pet dental

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

At our dental office in Erdenheim, we’re in the business of helping each one of our patients get and keep a beautiful, healthy smile. We’ll even often give advice on what you can do at home to protect your dental health. But humans aren’t the only ones that can benefit from at-home dental care. Just like people, pets also rely on good oral health for overall wellness. To achieve this, follow our pet-friendly tips.

  1. Choose the right tools

An important part of your pet’s dental care is similar to your own. We’re talking about brushing teeth. And just like we recommend you choose a toothbrush that’s right for you, you need to choose a brush that’s appropriate for your pet. There are toothbrushes designed just for dogs and cats and can be found at many pet stores. But a clean piece of gauze wrapped around a finger will work pretty well too. When it comes to which toothpaste to use, don’t use your own. Human toothpaste can cause stomach problems in animals. Instead, ask your vet for a recommendation.

  1. Use the right technique

The technique behind brushing your animal’s teeth is not unlike brushing your own. Hold the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle and gently massage in a small circular motion. You may want to focus more attention on the cheek side of the teeth as that’s where the most tartar tends to accumulate. You don’t need to brush your pet’s teeth as often as you brush you own, however. Two or three times a week is typically standard.

  1. Stay Aware

Animals can get gum disease too, and you should know the signs that something may not be right. Keep an eye out for:

  • Bad breath
  • Excessive drooling
  • Swollen gums
  • Loose teeth

If you notice any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your vet.

While we can’t help keep your pet’s smile in top shape, following the tips above and visiting your vet regularly can do wonders in ensuring your furry loved ones are healthy. When it comes your pearly whites, we’ll be more than happy to see you at our Erdenheim dental office. Call today to schedule an appointment.

Welcoming (human) patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill and beyond. 

first visit

Posted by & filed under Pediatric Dentistry.

Our dental office in Erdenheim gets asked questions quite often, and we’re always here to help in any way we can. One of the more common questions we get is from new parents curious about when they should bring their child in for their first dental appointment, and we’re more than happy to guide them.

First Visit by First Birthday

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that all children see their pediatric dentist by their first birthday, or within six months of getting their first tooth. Some may be surprised by the early timing, but studies show it’s an important step in protecting growing smiles. In fact, many kids get cavities as early as age 2, and the occurrence of cavities in preschool aged children is on the rise — more than 1 in 4 have had at least one cavity by age 4.

What to Expect

At your child’s first visit to her dentist in Erdenheim, she’ll have a quick exam to start getting her comfortable with dental visits. During this exam, the dentist will check for any areas of concern, evaluate her risk for developing cavities, and look for any potential issues with her bite, gums, and jaw.

Your child’s dental team may also discuss some things with you that can help keep your child’s smile healthy in between office visits. Some of these items may include:

  • Tooth brushing tips
  • Appropriate use of fluoride
  • Teething
  • Oral habits like thumb sucking
  • Nutrition for healthy teeth

Following the visit, your child’s dentist may recommend a schedule of how often she should be seen. The schedule varies depending on your child’s need and cavity risk level. Typically, she should start to see the dentist every six months as she grows.

Why a Pediatric Dentist?

There are many different types of dentists, and they all have specific training to treat different types of patients. When it comes to pediatric dentists, 2-3 years of additional education specifically designed around dental care for infants, toddlers, children, and even those with special needs is required.

If you’re looking for a dentist for your child, give my Erdenheim dental office a call to schedule an appointment.

Accepting new patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill and the surrounding areas.

baking soda

Posted by & filed under Cosmetic Dentistry.

Everyone wants a white smile, but everyday habits can really take a toll on our teeth. Red wine, smoking, coffee, tea, and many other culprits have a tendency to transform our once pure white grins into dull, discolored smiles. The good news? It doesn’t have to be permanent. There are multiple ways we can effectively whiten our teeth.

Baking Soda as a Whitener

At our dental office Erdenheim, we want you to not only have a smile you’re happy with, but also help you get it safely and effectively. Baking soda is often promoted as an effective way to whiten teeth, and while it can eliminate some staining, there are several things you should know about the technique before giving it a shot.

It May Not Work

Yes, baking soda has been proven to remove some types of tooth staining, but not all. Since baking soda is abrasive by nature, it can basically scour away minor surface stains and help give your smile a whiter appearance. But if teeth have more severe staining, or staining that actually resides below the tooth surface, baking soda probably won’t work. If this is the case, you may find an in-office professional whitening treatment or cosmetic dentistry, like veneers, more effective. Talk with your dentist in Erdenheim to figure out what’s best for you.

There’s a Right Way to Use It

Whitening your teeth with baking soda may seem easy and harmless, but there is a correct way to use it.

  • Mix the baking soda with equal parts water to tone down the level of abrasiveness
  • Brush gently, don’t scrub
  • Don’t use it every day — once or a twice a week is the recommended limit
  • Remember to still use your regular toothpaste every day, twice a day to continue to protect against bacteria

Be Aware of Possible Disadvantages

Using baking soda to whiten teeth is appealing to many people due to the fact that it’s low cost, yet effective, but there are still risks associated with it. Even though the abrasive texture is what makes it an effective whitener, it’s also one of the major risks. If used too often or inappropriately, baking soda can damage enamel and increase the risk for decay and tooth sensitivity.

If you desire a smile that’s whiter, give our Erdenheim dental office a call today to schedule an appointment. We can work together to determine which whitening treatment is best for you.
Welcoming patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill and beyond. 

holiday gifts

Posted by & filed under Pediatric Dentistry.

No matter how you celebrate, there’s no denying that ‘tis the season of holiday parties, family feasts, and gifts galore — especially when you have kids. But figuring out what presents to get isn’t always easy. Let our dental office in Erdenheim help with some fun, dental-inspired gift ideas that are sure to not only make kids happy, but keep smiles happy too.

A Shiny, New Toothbrush

Perfect as a stocking stuffer or smaller gift, a new toothbrush isn’t only practical, it can be fun too. Browse the internet or the aisle of your local supermarket for something different — either a cool color, one with glitter, or that’s shaped like a popular cartoon character. There are tons of options available, just make sure the bristles are soft and that the head is appropriately sized for your child’s age.

A Handy Holder

Now that there’s a brand new toothbrush to use for a few months, pair it with an equally fun toothbrush holder. Just like brushes, there are thousands of designs just for kids. Find one that ensures the toothbrush is stored upright and away from others.

A Tooth Timer

Kids (and adults!) should brush their teeth for a minimum of two minutes. But sometimes it’s hard to know when two minutes is up, especially if you’re not sure how to tell time yet! Help out your little one by getting a timer, setting it to two minutes, and allowing them to brush until it dings.

A Fun Flavored Paste

Not all toothpastes need to have the traditional minty fresh taste. Surprise your child with something a little different. You can choose from flavors like cupcake, bubble gum, pickle, and even bacon.

Don’t forget, the best gift you can give your child’s smile is regular visits to a dentist in Erdenheim. Dental cleanings at least every six months help keep little one’s teeth clear of harmful bacteria and allow for early detection and easy treatment of cavities.

If your child is in need of a dentist, give our Erdenheim dental office a call to schedule an appointment today.

From all of us to all of you, Happy Holidays!

Accepting new patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill and beyond. 

diabetes

Posted by & filed under Gum Disease.

Over the years, we’ve treated numerous patients with diabetes at our Erdenheim dental office. We always want every patient to make sure they’re taking great care of their teeth, but it’s important for folks with diabetes to be even more vigilant about maintaining their oral health care routines. Why? Unfortunately, diabetes can leave you more susceptible to other issues that affect the mouth and teeth. These include: periodontal (gum) disease, infections, poor healing, and dry mouth.

We’ve put together this list of tips to help you make sure both you and your mouth are healthy:

Tip #1 — Keep Blood Sugar Numbers Stable

  • It’s estimated there are nearly 30 million Americans living with diabetes, and every single one of them knows maintaining their target blood glucose numbers is of the utmost importance. But making sure blood glucose is stable helps your oral health too! If your levels are poorly controlled, there’s an increased risk of developing gum disease or loose teeth, compared to non-diabetics. Like any other infection, serious gum disease may be a factor in causing blood sugar to rise, making diabetes more difficult to control.

Tip #2 — Remember to Eat Healthy

  • Following a healthy diet is good for both your oral and overall health, no matter if you have diabetes or not. Getting rid of sugary foods is best! Try to eat healthy fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to keep you and your smile healthy. Be sure to work with your doctor to design a dietary plan that’s suitable for your needs.

Tip #3 — Maintain Your Oral Hygiene Routine

  • Your Erdenheim dentist knows that keeping your teeth and gums healthy starts with great at-home care. Always make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to protect against tooth decay. Usually first thing in the morning and then again at night before bed works best. Be sure to use a soft brush and soft circular motions to clean the front, back, and top of each tooth. Don’t forget to clean your tongue too. You should also floss at least once a day. Flossing will help keep pesky plaque from building up and causing potential problems. If you have dentures, keep them clean, take them out nightly, and have them adjusted if they’re loose or uncomfortable.

At our dental office in Erdenheim, we want our patients and their smiles to be in the very best health every day. If you have diabetes and notice anything unusual about your mouth or teeth as you go about your daily hygiene routine, please do not hesitate to give us a call. We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have.

Welcoming patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill and the surrounding areas.

spit

Posted by & filed under Pediatric Dentistry.

Did you ever notice how it always seems, no matter what type of sporting event, kids always feel the need to spit? The same goes for professional athletes too! At our dental office in Erdenheim we often wonder why kids and adults go to such great lengths to get rid of saliva when it’s actually quite helpful to our teeth. (It’s a good thing we produce up to a liter of saliva daily!)

Here are a few ways spit actually protects teeth:

  1. A Mean Cleaning Machine

Food is what keeps us going, but after a big meal, it’s saliva that starts working hard to help clear away extra food that could get stuck on and in between teeth. When food sticks to teeth, it can actually contribute to decay. Bacteria love to feed on the food debris left behind, and it’s these bacteria that cause trouble. Spit helps remove this food source, and can even help wash away the bad bacteria.

  1. The Acid Neutralizer

When plaque builds up on teeth, it can lead to cavities for kids and grownups alike. Plaque produces acid and acid erodes the protective enamel, leaving teeth more exposed to bacteria and germs. Acids are also found in so many of the liquids we drink and foods we eat. Saliva contains helpful molecules called “buffers” that are extremely good at neutralizing acid and its negative impact on teeth.

  1. Power to New Teeth

When babies are teething there is a constant, steady flow of drool. It may be messy, but the saliva is actually working hard to protect the teeth that are preparing to make their entrance into the world. When these baby teeth first show up in the mouth, their protective enamel is not fully developed. Spit can fill the new tooth’s weak spots with calcium, phosphate, and even fluoride. It gives these new teeth a fighting chance against some of our mouth’s worst enemies.

  1. Bye Bye Bacteria

Spit is a powerful antibacterial agent too, with the power to destroy any nasty bacteria that dares to enter its path. This benefits teeth, and the rest of the body too. There’s even evidence of specific spit components that are particularly good at slowing the growth of a cavity-causing bacterial strain. Thank you saliva!

We hope you learned a little bit about the importance of saliva and how it can be a big help to our teeth, and our bodies. It’s always important to keep up with regular checkups at our Erdenheim dental office to help keep bad bacteria from doing damage to your little one’s precious smile. Schedule your appointment today!

Accepting new patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill and beyond.

dental implant

Posted by & filed under Dental Implants.

As things tend to get spooky this month, our Erdenheim dental office wants you to know that living with a dead tooth can be a thing of the past thanks to dental implants. These extremely durable and natural looking replacements are specifically designed to bring life back to your smile.

Implant Magic

The curative power of a dental implant is almost magical. Not only can an implant make a smile look whole again, it can also restore function as if the natural tooth and its root never even left. The implant post, made of titanium, actually mimics your tooth root and helps to prevent facial bone loss. Implants are anchored to the bone, creating a solid foundation for a porcelain crown, bridge, or even a set of dentures.

Beware of the Bite

When a tooth is not operating to its full capacity, surrounding teeth may suffer due to the fact that they have to pick up the extra slack when it comes to the rigors of everyday function. Some people tend to chew only one side of their mouth, which could cause an imbalanced bite that is potentially damaging. This is where the titanium posts come into play.

Titanium Has:

  • Super Strength – Titanium is a silver transition metal with low density and high strength that is resistant to corrosion.
  • High Acceptability – It turns out our bodies are highly likely to welcome the titanium post and integrate it neatly within the jaw bone for a delightfully durable, permanent pairing.

After the post is set, a porcelain dental crown can be custom created and placed capping the post. The crown is strong, looks natural, and is very good at restoring full biting force.

Goodbye Bad Teeth. Hello, Implants!

Are you missing teeth? Do you have a tooth that’s doing more to harm or hurt your smile, rather than boost its beauty? You should know that you’re not alone. Our dental office in Erdenheim is always available to speak with you about how a dental implant may be able to restore your smile.

Your Erdenheim dentist will be able to assess your individual needs and decide whether an implant could bring your dying tooth back from the dead. It’s a great way to help you enjoy a more comfortable bite, lessen the chances of gum disease, boost confidence, and improve speech. Ask us how implants can restore life to your smile

Accepting new patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill.

Halloween candy

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles, Pediatric Dentistry.

At our dental office in Erdenheim, we know how much fun Halloween can be. The costumes. The parties. The chills. The thrills. It’s also the time of year when an abundance of sweet treats are available and tempting to young teeth.

We want everyone – parents and kids alike – to have a healthy and safe Halloween this year, and every year. Here are some tips to help kids stay free from cavities.

Tip #1: Watch Out For The Ooey & The Gooey

  • Chewy and sticky sweets are very popular, not just at Halloween, but also all year round. They tend to end up in trick-or-treat bags in abundance. We’re talking about things like caramels, taffy, and gooey gummies. They are the real cavity culprits because they’re super good at clinging to teeth, allowing bacteria to thrive. Kids don’t have to avoid them, but it’s definitely a good idea to limit the number of these treats.

Tip #2 When In Doubt, Eat Chocolate

  • Americans eat nearly 600 million pounds of candy every Halloween. That’s a lot of treats! Compared to sticky or hard candies that tend to hang around on teeth long after we’re done chewing, chocolate dissolves more quickly and washes away more easily, so it’s less likely to cause decay.

Tip #3 Everything In Moderation

  • When trick-or-treating leads to heaps of unhealthy candy, it might be a good idea to dole out the treats in moderation. Our dental office in Erdenheim, recommends that you try limiting your little one with a piece or two with meals, instead of letting them have free reign whenever they want one. Now that’s a sweet idea!

Tip #4 Consider the Alternatives

  • Even though other parents may be handing out loads of sweet treats, set a new trend by offering healthy, non-candy alternatives to trick-or-treaters. Try small bags of pretzels or even apples. You can even hand out small toys or temporary tattoos. Just beware of anything that might pose a choking hazard.

Our Erdenheim dental office wants you and your little ones to have a great Halloween. By following some or all of these helpful tips, you can limit the amount of sweet treats your kids eat and reduce the risk of cavities. Always remember to keep little teeth healthy by brushing and flossing each and every day. We hope you have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Accepting new patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill.

jaw lock

Posted by & filed under Jaw Pain & TMJ.

Lockjaw and jaw lock are two very similar terms that could mean two very different things. While both insinuate the jaw becoming stuck, or ‘locked,’ and both can have similar symptoms, only one is actually related to dentistry. At my Erdenheim dental office, we want to explain the difference between the two.

Lockjaw

Many times dental patients will describe the sensation of a stuck jaw as lockjaw. This isn’t entirely accurate. Technically, the term lockjaw refers to symptoms associated with the bacterial infection called tetanus. Tetanus is usually contracted from a wound caused by a rusty piece of metal, while the bacteria itself thrives in soil, dust, and manure. When someone gets tetanus, muscle spasms are a common side effect. These spasms can affect the muscles in the face and jaw, causing the joint to tighten and allowing the person to feel as if the jaw is, in fact, locked. Tetanus is a very serious infection and can result in death if not treated. Although less prevalent nowadays thanks to vaccines, tetanus is still possible so make sure to seek medical attention if you’re experiencing symptoms of a tight or locked jaw.

Jaw Lock

Jaw lock is the term used to describe a locked jaw caused by the temporomandibular joint, also commonly referred to as the TMJ. Although still painful, scary, and serious, jaw lock won’t lead to death, but should still be evaluated and treated by a dentist in Erdenheim.

Patients with jaw lock typically can’t predict when their jaw will become stuck, either opened or closed, and most of the time there’s a lot of pain when trying to move it. There are several explanations to how and why this happens. It could be related to a bad bite (malocclusion), causing the jaw and facial muscles to become inflamed and function improperly, or it may be a result of an injury to the cartilage in the jaw joint, sometimes caused by grinding or clenching.

Signs of a Problem

Signs of a TMJ issue can vary from person to person, and not everyone experiences the locked jaw sensation. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Earaches or headaches
  • Popping or clicking when opening and closing your mouth
  • Pain associated with yawning, chewing, or opening your mouth wide
  • Change in the way your teeth fit together when teeth touch teeth

If you’re experiencing signs of a jaw problem, call my Erdenheim dental office to schedule an appointment. We’ll review your symptoms and discuss the best treatment to help relieve the pain and annoyance of a locked jaw.

Accepting patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill

 

Gluten Free

Posted by & filed under Pediatric Dentistry.

Eating gluten-free has been increasing in popularity over the past couple of years. Sometimes this dietary change is due to choice. Other times, it’s out of necessity. Those with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance avoid gluten because it makes them very sick. In these individuals, gluten can also cause irreversible tooth damage and other serious oral health concerns.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is basically the proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley. They act like a glue that holds food together and allows foods to keep their shape. Many foods contain gluten, even some that may not suspect, so checking labels carefully is important.

Why is it Bad for Gluten-Sensitive Teeth?

When someone who has celiac disease is exposed to gluten, their immune system reacts negatively and blocks the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals. This includes Vitamin D. Without these vitamins, tooth enamel isn’t protected and begins to erode. In fact, 85% of those with celiac disease have enamel damage. Without the protection of enamel, teeth are left exposed to decay and other oral health problems. But that’s not all. For those who are gluten-sensitive, consuming gluten may also cause:

  • Canker sores
  • Painful, red, swollen gums
  • Tooth discoloration
  • And even pitted teeth

It’s important to note that gluten negatively affects the teeth of those who have celiac disease or other form of gluten sensitivity, but it does not affect those who do not have a gluten sensitivity. Everyone at our dental office in Erdenheim encourages you to speak with a physician before switching your child’s diet, or your own.

Protect Your Little One’s Smile

Sometimes signs and symptoms of gluten sensitivity don’t show in the gastrointestinal tract, which is usually the norm. Instead, they show in the mouth first. To make sure your child’s teeth are protected, even he doesn’t have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, it’s important that he visits our Erdenheim dental office regularly so we can monitor any potential problems.  

If he has been diagnosed with celiac disease, make sure you’re keeping gluten away from him to keep both his mouth and body healthy. Also practice an at-home oral hygiene routine of brushing twice a day for at least two minutes and flossing once a day.

Accepting patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill.