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.

smiling

Posted by & filed under Cosmetic Dentistry.

There are so many reasons to smile — a funny joke, a cute kitten, a new baby, and many, many others. But at my Erdenheim dental office, we want to give you a few more reasons to smile big and wide.

Health Benefits of Smiling

There’s a little bit more involved with smiling than just the simple motion we’re used to. When we smile, our brains produce and release more of the “happy” hormones known as endorphins. Serotonin levels also rise, making us feel relaxed. Smiling can even help keep us healthy since it increases antibodies and white blood cells, both of which help boost the immune system and fight off germs.

Pass it On

You can actually share all those health benefits of smiling by sharing a grin with those around you. Smiles have an unexplainable effect on people. When we see someone flash their pearly whites, whether a friend or complete stranger, we naturally and unconsciously return the favor. That’s right. Smiles are, in fact, contagious.

There’s another neat thing about smiles. They’re universal and there’s no room for misinterpretation due to language or cultural barriers. What’s this mean? It means smiling is quite powerful. Smiling at people you encounter initiates that natural response to smile back, allowing not only yourself to access the health benefits of smiling, but offering everyone else the same.

“What if I Hate to Smile Because I’m Embarrassed of My Teeth?”

There are a number of things that can make us uncomfortable with the way our smile looks. Whether it’s because teeth are a little crooked, there’s a gap between them, or they’re not quite white enough for you, there are ways to help. Cosmetic dentistry from your dentist in Erdenheim can transform any smile through a variety of treatments including:

If the way your teeth look is holding you back from experiencing all the health benefits smiling provides, call my dental office in Erdenheim. We will talk about your smile goals and the best ways to achieve them.
Welcoming new patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill and beyond. 

kids gum disease

Posted by & filed under Gum Disease.

Gum disease is a serious oral health concern that affects nearly half of all Americans. While it’s typically more common in older adults (as high as 70% in those over 65), at my Erdeneheim dental office, we want all of our patients to know that gum disease can also occur in children.

What is Gum Disease?

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gum tissue and the bones around the teeth. It’s a serious problem that, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. There’s also research that links gum disease to other whole-body problems such as heart disease.

Signs & Symptoms

There are common signs that should alert you to the possibility that gum disease is lurking in your child’s mouth. They include:

  • Bleeding gums, especially during brushing or flossing. It’s never normal to bleed while cleaning your teeth.
  • Bright red, swollen gums
  • Receding gums
  • Chronic bad breath

If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your dentist in Erdenheim as soon as possible to schedule a thorough exam.

What You Can Do

Diagnosing gum disease early is key to a successful treatment and limits the risk for even more damage. That’s why it’s important to make sure your child visits their pediatric dentist at least every six months. But these dental cleanings and checkups are only half of a strong prevention plan. Starting good oral health habits early and ensuring they happen on a daily basis can also help keep gums healthy. Make sure your child brushes twice a day and flosses at least once a day.

If you suspect your child may have gum disease, give my Erdenheim dental office a call. We’ll schedule an appointment as soon as possible, perform a comprehensive exam, and discuss any findings with you to determine the best treatment available.  
Welcoming new patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill.

piercings

Posted by & filed under Home Care.

Oral piercings, whether it’s the tongue, the lip, or the cheeks, may help you express yourself, but despite how cool they look, they also come packed with concerns. All of us at our Erdenheim dental office want you to be able to do what you’d like with your body, but we also want to let you know some of the oral health problems that may happen as a result of an oral piercing.

The Risks

Oral piercings can affect the way you speak, how well you can chew, and may also lead to some serious dental and whole-body concerns. Nerve damage in the tongue is a common effect of an oral piercing. It’s not unusual to have some numbing after getting a piercing, but it’s possible that this numbing won’t ever go away, which can affect the way you taste foods. Besides that, infection is always a concern, as it is with any piercing. Infections can be minor, but if left untreated, can be extremely serious.

Infections in the mouth are especially dangerous since it provides the perfect breeding ground for bacteria to multiply. It’s damp, it’s dirty, and bacteria love it. If the infection become severe, your tongue may become swollen and can even block your airway, making it incredibly difficult to breathe.

Taking Care of an Oral Piercing

Now that you know the risks, if you still decide to get an oral piercing, it’s crucial to take care of it properly to reduce the risk of a problem.

  • Clean it, clean it, clean it. Your mouth, no matter how often you brush and floss, contains millions of bacteria. These bacteria can creep into the piercing site and cause an infection. To avoid this, make sure to keep the piercing and the jewelry clean at all times. After eating, rinse with water to help keep food particles from coagulating and getting stuck around the metal.
  • Don’t play with it. Try really hard to avoid clicking your jewelry against your teeth. Trust us. Constant clanging against teeth can weaken them and may lead to cracks or chips.
  • Get it tight. Ensure your piercing is secure often. This can reduce the risk of a piece falling off which can lead to choking or damaged teeth.
  • Seek medical attention at the first sign of infection. If your piercing becomes infected, you’ll know it. Keep an eye out for swelling, redness, and a fever or chills.

If you do already have an oral piercing and notice any of the symptoms of a potential problem, call our Erdenheim dental office to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

Before going to a trusted professional to have any part of your mouth pierced, we encourage you to talk to your Erdenheim dentist to discuss any concerns either of you may have so you can make the best, educated decision for you.

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