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Caring for Your Teeth Through Christmas and New Years

Holiday dental cleaning: Dental assistant cleaning a young girls teeth with Santa hats on.

The holidays are a time to relax and have fun—but that doesn’t mean you should forget about dental hygiene. Otherwise, you’ll have to get a crown or filling when you get back. Caring for your teeth reduces the risk of dental emergencies, eases tooth pain, and eliminates the plaque, sugar, and bacteria that linger on your teeth. You don’t have to skip your favorite foods and snacks—just eat responsibly so you can enjoy holiday dinners without compromising your health.

How to Care for Your Teeth During the Holidays

Before you leave for your holiday trip, schedule a cleaning at Lexington Family Smiles to prepare your teeth for drinks and sugary snacks. Afterward, follow these tips to maintain your dental hygiene.

Add an Extra Brushing and Flossing

During the holidays, you consume more sweet and fattening foods than normal. You might eat multiple dinners in one day when you visit your extended family. Food particles get trapped in your mouth and start to eat away at your enamel. At the end of the holiday season, you find a cavity or notice that your infected tooth is getting worse.

Adding an extra brushing to your already two times a day routine may sound like overkill, but it protects your teeth. Surgery and fatty foods tend to make you crave more food. Brushing and flossing your teeth can break the craving for more fatty foods.

Schedule a Post-Holiday Cleaning

After the holidays, visit your Lexington dentist for a cleaning. You might not see the plaque on the surface, but even if you brushed your teeth regularly, bacteria gather in hard-to-reach areas. A general dentist cleans, polishes, and flosses your teeth to eliminate plaque that built up over the holidays.

If you have a cavity or tooth decay, schedule an appointment immediately after the holidays. In fact, make a New Year’s resolution to visit your dentist regularly. Most insurance plans cover cleanings, and you’ll prevent issues before they begin. No need to dread a visit to the dentist because you need a root canal.

Avoid Sweets and Sugary Drinks

Holiday dinners come with soda, fruit punch, sweetened tea, and coffee. Cookies, pastries, and brownies appear after every meal, and no one leaves without a slice of pumpkin pie. You don’t have to eliminate sweets altogether, but enjoy them in moderation. Sugar creates acid in your mouth that leads to tooth decay.

When you consume sweets, brush your teeth as soon as possible. Brushing your teeth often might be inconvenient, but it protects your teeth so you can enjoy sweets for years to come. You’ll also freshen your breath and clean unsightly particles off your teeth.

Limit Your Wine Intake

Enjoy the occasional glass of wine with your meals, but don’t overdo it. Pigments in red wine stick to your teeth, staining the enamel. White wine is high in acid that wears away the enamel on your teeth. Surprisingly, brushing your teeth after drinking wine makes it worse—the brush might damage your weakened teeth.

Wait at least 30 minutes after your last drink to brush your teeth. In the meantime, drink plenty of water to wash the stains off your teeth without damaging the enamel. Drinking water also increases saliva production, which removes acid from your teeth. You could also brush your teeth before you drink—this keeps the wine from sticking to the plaque.

Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking water prevents cavities and tooth decay. When you drink water, you wash away the food, particles, and stains that accumulated on your teeth. Water washes away bacteria and dilutes the acid in your mouth, reducing your risk of tooth decay. If you drink tap water with fluoride and calcium, you’ll get added protection for your teeth.

Water also keeps you hydrated during the holidays. As you rush to different houses, you might subsist on a diet of soda and eggnog. Drinking water increases saliva production, keeps your body functioning, and prevents digestive issues like indigestion.

Handle Emergencies as Soon as Possible

If your teeth crack or break, don’t wait until the holidays end to visit a dentist in Lexington. A cracked tooth has sharp edges that could cut the inside of your mouth. More importantly, tooth decay and cavities eat away the enamel, exposing the roots underneath. A lost crown exposes damaged bone and nerves and potentially leads to an infection.

Schedule an appointment as soon as possible when you have a dental emergency. A dentist will fix the issue as quickly as possible so you can resume your holiday activities. After all, it’s hard to enjoy the holidays when you have a sore tooth that hurts every time you eat.

Bring Travel-Sized Products

As you pack your bags, add travel-sized toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss to your suitcase. Bring enough that you can brush your teeth at least two times a day and possibly three. Oral health might seem like a minor concern, but if you suffer from a dental emergency while you’re far from home, you’ll have to find a dentist or suffer until you get back.

When you travel with family members, remind them to brush their teeth throughout the trip. People, including adults, mimic the behavior that they see in friends and relatives. This also holds you accountable for your dental hygiene.

Serve Healthy Foods

When your guests arrive, serve healthy food along with sweets and hearty dishes. Not all your guests eat fruit and vegetables but keep healthy snacks available for yourself and health-conscious individuals. Raw vegetables wear plaque off your teeth and provide a healthy alternative to chips and pretzels. Fruit, nuts, and leafy greens build strong teeth and stimulate saliva protection.

In addition to raw fruit and vegetables, serve nutrient-rich dishes with ingredients like cheese, salmon, and onions. These ingredients have vitamins that strengthen your bones and kill bacteria in your mouth. Plus, lighter dishes won’t cause weight gain during the holiday season.

Schedule an Appointment with Lexington Family Smiles

Enjoy the holidays by scheduling an appointment with Lexington Family Smiles before you leave. We offer cleanings, fillings, crowns, implants, X-rays, dentures, bridges, tooth removal, and cosmetic dentistry so you can surprise your family members with a mouth full of white, shining teeth. Other services include cancer screenings and sleep apnea treatments for overall health and wellness.

Currently, we’re accepting appointments from new and returning patients. Fill out the form on our website to request an appointment. Our office will get back to you to schedule your appointment and talk about what you can expect from your visit. To save time, download the new patient forms on our website and bring the completed forms when you arrive.

Teeth Whitening: A Solution for Stained Teeth

A woman after teeth whitening treatment.

Stained, discolored teeth can shake your confidence and make you reluctant to smile. Unleash your smile and watch your confidence soar with great oral hygiene and the right dental care. Have you considered teeth whitening services to perfect your smile? At Lexington Family Smiles, we provide at-home and in-office teeth whitening services to clients in Lexington, SC, and the surrounding communities. This guide provides the information you need to begin your journey toward a whiter smile!

What’s the Difference Between Teeth Bleaching and Teeth Whitening?

Let’s start with one of the most frequently asked questions we get from our clients. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), teeth whitening restores the natural color of your teeth by obliterating stains on the surface. The cleaning agents used in whiteners are also found in some mouth rinses and toothpaste. Meanwhile, bleaching refers to making your teeth lighter than their natural shade. Ingredients used in bleaches include hydrogen peroxide and other bleaching agents.

What Are the Effects of Teeth Whitening on Tooth Enamel?

Yellow discoloration often indicates damaged enamel. When performed correctly, teeth whitening does not damage your enamel. Dentin makes up the majority of your teeth under the enamel and is naturally yellow and usually undetectable with the naked eye. During the teeth whitening process, you or your dentist coat the teeth with the whitening solution. The solution removes any stains bringing your teeth to their natural color. For some, their natural color is white, for others their natural color is gray, or a tint of yellow. The entire process takes about an hour.

If after the treatment your teeth are not the shade of white that you were hoping for, it doesn’t mean that the treatment didn’t work. It simply means that your natural shade is less than white. Don’t fret, there are still options, like dental veneers. But first, let’s talk about the different types of stains.

Intrinsic Vs. Extrinsic Stains

There are two main types of tooth stains, intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic discoloration happens inside the tooth and extrinsic discoloration occurs on the surface of the tooth. Whereas extrinsic stains typically don’t represent a threat to your dental health, intrinsic discoloration may indicate underlying issues with your oral health.

Of the two, intrinsic stains are the most difficult to remove. However, with the right care, you can achieve noticeable results. We recommend in-office whitening solutions for intrinsic stains for the best results.

Causes of Teeth Stains

There are many factors that contribute to stained teeth. The most common causes of tooth discoloration include:

  • Food: Berries, black tea, soy sauce, red wines, colas, and curry can all discolor your teeth over time. Avoid acidic foods and foods that can worsen stains to achieve a brighter smile.
  • Tobacco: Cigars, cigarettes, pipes and chewing tobacco stain your teeth and contribute to oral dental health.
  • Fluoridated Water: Water treated with fluoride can leave brownish stains on your teeth.
  • Medications: Excess fluoride and tetracycline-related medicines can stain your teeth.
  • Other Factors: Tooth decay, trauma and the aging process also contribute to tooth discoloration.

Avoiding these factors can help you maintain your bright smile following teeth whitening treatment.

Treatment Options In-Home and In-Office

It’s important to discuss the pros and cons of in-home versus in-office teeth whitening treatments. Our dental team can help you determine which one would work best for your teeth.

Take Home Teeth Whitening

We can provide customized whitening trays for at-home teeth whitening. Typically, it takes about four weeks to see maximum results. Our dentist will provide trays that fit your teeth without irritating your gums.

At-home whitening kits purchased at our dental office are safer and more effective than over-the-counter alternatives.

In-Office Teeth Whitening

Dr. Michael Moulton can also apply bleaching agents in our office. This process uses a laser to make the process go faster. As a result, you can see significant results after a single session. Although in-office teeth whitening treatment uses stronger active agents, Dr, Moulton takes care to protect your gums and other tissues, making this the preferred option from an oral health standpoint.

Veneers as an Option for Irreversible Stains

Unfortunately, many years of smoking, drinking coffee, and eating foods that stain your teeth can take their toll. These habits can turn your teeth brown or yellow. In some cases, teeth whitening treatment won’t remove all the stains on your teeth. Also, if you continue the same habits after your treatment, the stains will return. If you have resistant stains that don’t respond well to teeth whitening treatment, dental veneers could be the best option to brighten your smile.

A woman getting veneers color matched.

Dental veneers fit over your natural teeth and protect them from further stains and damage. You may be a good candidate for dental veneers if you have strong, healthy teeth. Clients are often amazed by the drastic improvement achieved with dental veneers.

At Lexington Family Smiles, we can install porcelain veneers custom-made for your teeth. They look and feel like natural teeth but resist stains. Porcelain veneers last for years when you care for them properly. Continue brushing, flossing, and keeping up with your annual exams and cleanings for best results.

How White Can You Go?

Although you can achieve dramatic results from teeth whitening treatment, there’s a limit to how white you can go. At a certain point, the peroxide cannot whiten your teeth any further. So, leaving the solution on longer isn’t a good idea. It can break down the proteins on your enamel and leave you more vulnerable to future stains and other issues.

Most clients can achieve shades two to eight shades lighter than before the treatment. Even two or three shades lighter can have a dramatic impact on your smile.

Side Effects

Teeth whitening treatment can improve the appearance of your smile and encourage you to flash your teeth more often. However, you may wonder whether there are any side effects that could hurt your teeth. Oral irritation and tooth sensitivity are the most common side effects reported by clients. Typically, the effects are temporary and short-lived.

Lexington Family Smiles

At Lexington Family Smiles, we work hard to create an inviting atmosphere. From TVs in every treatment room to complimentary Wi-Fi everywhere in our office, we do all we can to make your wait time and appointment more pleasant.

If you become chilly in the treatment rooms, we can provide blankets and pillows. It’s important for you to feel relaxed during your dental treatment. There’s a refreshment stand where you can get a drink to elevate your mood and we serve warm cookies at checkout

Contact our office today to find out more about our teeth whitening services or to make an appointment!

Dental Crowns and Tooth Extraction in Lexington

A man getting dental crowns.

Have you ever had a toothache? If not, then you must be lucky. A toothache can give you a sleepless night, almost making you go crazy.

Fortunately, with the advancement in technology, there has been improvement in dealing with cavities and tooth decays. In fact, tooth decay has become one of the most common diseases affecting both young and older adults. A tooth doesn’t need extraction when fillings and dental crowns are an easy fix. However, there are times when a dentist cannot save a tooth and it must be extracted.

We’ll talk about when a tooth needs to be pulled and when a dental crown is an option so keep reading.

What Is a Dental Crown?

It is a tooth-shaped cap that a dentist places on top of a damaged tooth or covers a dental implant. Dental crowns consist of metal, composite, or porcelain materials and look silver or tooth-colored. They cover, protect and restore the shape, size, and strength of your teeth.

Benefits of A Dental Crown

Many benefits come with dental crowns that make them a logical choice for tooth repair. These benefits include:

Strengthen Teeth

A dental crown completely covers a tooth. By doing so, the crown gives strength to a weak tooth, protecting the teeth from further damage. It also helps preserve a tooth from further decay that could lead to tooth loss. In addition, a dental crown can strengthen worn-down teeth due to bruxism.

Restores Teeth Shape

Our dental team creates teeth that perfectly match your other teeth. A dental crown restores a tooth to its original shape and size. The restoration is essential as it enhances your smile and oral hygiene. It also relieves bite issues while chewing food.

Stays In Place

A dental crown, once fixed, is permanent. Dental crowns are comfortable to wear and allow you to chew food with ease, unlike traditional dentures that are loose.

Tooth Extraction vs. A Dental Crown

Tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth by a dental professional. Extraction should be your last resort when saving a tooth is not possible. Our dentist, Dr. Michael Moulton, may recommend an extraction, especially if severe tooth decay affects the nerves and does not respond to treatment, such as a root canal.

If you have a toothache and have had sleepless nights, you may need a tooth extraction. Sometimes it may not be necessary as a dental crown could save your tooth. Removing the tooth may be the easiest way but not necessarily the best choice. A tooth extraction affects your smile.

When a Tooth Needs To Be Pulled

No one wants to lose a tooth, but there are times when extraction is the better option. Despite the significant improvements in tooth restoration, sometimes dentists have no choice but to extract a decaying tooth. Dr. Moulton will examine the extent of the damaged tooth and offer options for repair. When a tooth is cracked below the gum line, is too weak, or has excessive decay, Dr. Moulton may advise you to have it pulled.

It may be a tough decision, but it would be better to extract it than wait for the tooth to affect the gumline and nearby teeth. In addition, if you have overcrowded teeth, Dr. Moulton may advise you to have teeth pulled to allow the other teeth to align.

Did you know overcrowded teeth can affect your speech? Overcrowded teeth will affect the way you pronounce some words and also affect the way you chew food making it more difficult. You may have to avoid eating certain foods.

When Is a Dental Crown an Option?

With the advancement in dental techniques, dental crowns have become more common, especially with cracked teeth. The crown requires no special care as brushing and flossing are the same as with natural teeth. The crown is indistinguishable from other natural teeth when using porcelain or composite resin.

Here are scenarios when a dental crown is an option:

When You Have a Cracked Tooth

If your tooth is badly cracked or is worn down, a crown will restore the tooth. It prevents further tooth damage, making it strong enough to chew food and brush at ease.

After Undergoing a Root Canal

This treatment involves removing the infected inner pulp from a tooth. Removing the inner pulp leaves a hole in your tooth. A crown covers the top of the tooth and the hole. The crown restores the tooth and its shape to enable it to continue functioning as it should.

Reshaping Damaged Teeth

Everyone desires to have a good-looking smile. But when you have damaged teeth, you may not feel like smiling at people. Dr. Moulton will reshape the teeth by adding a crown to regain your perfect smile.

Finishing a Dental Implant

If you receive a dental implant to replace a tooth, a dental crown will be essential in replacing the missing tooth gap. The dental crown will help to strengthen the newly implanted tooth allowing it to function just like the other teeth. This helps in restoring your smile and improving your long-term oral hygiene in the process.

Dos for Proper Oral Care

  1. Brush. Brushing your teeth several times in the day is crucial or after every meal with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste.
  2. Floss. Flossing every day ensures that you remove food particles that get stuck between your teeth.
  3. Rinse. After flossing, use a good mouthwash to rinse your mouth and remove food particles. When participating in a physical sport like rugby, it is essential to use a mouth guard for protection. In addition, if you grind your teeth, especially while sleeping, it is essential to use a nighttime mouth guard to help you avoid worn down teeth and avoid gum recession.

Don’ts for Proper Oral Care

  1. Avoid consuming a lot of sugary products as they can lead to tooth decay.
  2. Avoid eating acidic foods as they may harm your tooth enamel.
  3. It’s advisable to avoid smoking tobacco because it can lead to cancer and cause other dental problems such as tooth decay.

If you in our around Lexington, South Carolina, chances are you have heard about Lexington Family Smiles, a medical group that specializes in Dentistry. They are one of the best professionals offering exceptional dentistry services in Lexington and the surrounding areas. Having been in the dental professional business for a long time, they are among the best when it comes to skills and knowledge in dental examination and cleaning.

Contact Lexington Family Smiles to schedule an appointment.

What Is the Goal of Pediatric Dentistry?

A boy and girl at a pediatric dental office.

Pediatric dentistry is critical because it solves dental issues affecting children. Research shows that approximately 42% of kids aged 2 to 11 years have had cavities. While diet can contribute to these issues, it is essential to note that children need to observe proper dental hygiene. It plays a crucial role when it comes to your children’s dental health.

One of the best ways to ensure your child doesn’t struggle with teeth problems is by taking them to a pediatric dentist. Why should you care? Pediatric dentists can diagnose and treat dental issues in teenagers, children, and infants. Read this guide to learn more about pediatric dentistry and why every child needs it.

What Does a Pediatric Dentist Do?

A pediatric dentist is a professional who deals with children’s dental needs. Their work involves preventing, diagnosing, and treating oral cavity conditions and diseases. They can handle gums, teeth, mouth, and maxillofacial areas, including jaw, face, neck, and head.

A pediatric dentist aims to help patients maintain healthy gums, teeth, and mouth. They also provide clients with tips for maintaining proper oral habits. Typically, these experts can:

  • Collaborate with doctors and other dental experts when necessary to ensure appropriate care
  • Treat different maxillofacial and oral conditions and diseases, including gum disease and tooth decay
  • Offer preventative dental and oral care such as fluoride treatments and dental cleanings
  • Diagnose maxillofacial conditions and diseases based on findings from their evaluation
  • Prescribe pain medications and antibiotics
  • Interpret imaging and laboratory tests such as saliva and X-rays tests
  • Educates patients about a broad range of topics, including oral disease prevention, proper oral hygiene, diseases, and conditions

A pediatric dentist can also be known as a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD), Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS), a children’s dentist, or a pedodontist.

Who Should Consult a Pediatric Dentist?

Children and adolescents should receive pediatric dental care throughout childhood regardless of their mental and physical abilities. A regular visit to a pedodontist is essential for preventing gum disease, cavities, and other oral issues.

It’s best to start caring for your child’s oral health when they develop their first tooth. Pediatric dental care may include evaluation after every six months and routine dental cleaning. Everyone is unique, and a child’s dental care frequency depends on their personalized dental problems. Contributing factors may include gum disease susceptibility, decay rate, calculus, and plaque buildup.

When to See a Pediatric Dentist

Apart from regular dental care and exams, you may want to take your child to a professional pediatric dentist if your child displays any of the following conditions and symptoms:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Delayed tooth loss or eruption
  • Jaw, mouth, and tooth pain
  • Dry mouth and bad breath
  • Discolored or crooked teeth
  • Teeth pain or sensitivity when chewing cold or hot foods
  • Medical conditions that enhance dental problems risk like diabetes
  • Changes in tongue, lips, gums, and teeth

For adolescents and children, some behaviors can increase the likelihood of developing oral health problems. These may include frequent snacking, excessive alcohol use, smoking, oral sex practices, and playing contact sport.

What Conditions and Diseases Can a Pediatric Dentist Treat?

A pediatric dentist can treat various conditions and diseases, including:

  • Toothache
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder
  • Teeth grinding
  • Oral trauma, such as tooth loss and broken teeth
  • Mouth infections, tumors, and sores
  • Misaligned teeth (Malocclusion)
  • Gum disease (gingivitis)
  • Dry mouth
  • Discolored teeth
  • Plaque, tooth decay, and cavities

How to Care for Children’s Teeth at Home

Family brushing their teeth.

If you want to ensure your child doesn’t get tooth decay, you should begin dental care early. Here are a few helpful tips.

Teach Your Child Proper Dental Habits

Excellent dental hygiene stems from proper habits. It would be best if you taught your child the importance of brushing and flossing early on. One of the primary reasons you should ensure regular visits to the pediatric dentist is to allow your child to learn the essential dental practices they need as they grow.

Consider Healthy Snacks

Children need healthy eating as their teeth develop. To prevent your child from getting possible teeth decay, you should ensure your child or children eat healthy foods, including fresh vegetables and fruits. Foods containing a high amount of sugar can cause tooth decay and damage children’s teeth.

Drink Water

The drink you want to consider for your child should be water. Drinks with added or natural sugar are not great for your kids. These may include chocolate, flavored milk, fizzy drinks, cordial, fruit juice.

Discourage your child from snacking and eating sugary foods. These can attract bacteria which can lead to cavities.

Floss Your Child’s Teeth

As a parent, you may wonder, when should you start flossing your kid’s teeth? You want to do so as soon as you notice your child has two teeth on the upper and lower jaw. At the age of 10, children can start flossing on their own.

Is Fluoride Safe for Kids?

Fluoride is safe for your children and can protect their teeth. You want to use it early because it’ll offer extra protection as their teeth develop. Check with the local water authority to know whether the tap water you use in your household has fluoride. If not, you may ask your primary care provider to recommend fluoride drops that are suitable for your kids.

Protecting Your Child’s Teeth When They Start Playing Games

Children’s safety should be a priority for sporting activities, but this isn’t always the case. Errant passes, collisions, and stray balls are some incidences that can lead to dental injuries in children during sports. Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Use protective mouth wear
  • Consider wearing a helmet
  • Understand rules
  • Minimize using sports drinks

Get Top-Notch Pediatric Dentistry Treatment from Lexington Family Smiles

Seeking help from a qualified dentist is critical for your child’s dental hygiene. This is why you want to work with experienced pediatric dentists at Lexington Family Smiles because they have what it takes to treat you professionally and ensure you achieve a stunning smile. Why is Lexington Family Smiles your best choice?

Our team is highly skilled and dedicated to offering excellent services to patients. We understand every patient is unique, so we evaluate your dental situation and provide personalized treatment solutions according to your needs. We also make the environment relaxing and welcoming. Here are a few things you can expect:

  • Treatment rooms with TVs
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Blankets, Hot Towels, and Pillows
  • Patient Refreshment Station
  • Warm Cookies at Checkout

Pediatric dentistry is something no parent should ignore if they want their children to have healthy teeth and acquire proper habits. If your child is battling a dental problem, don’t hesitate to consult experienced pediatric dentists at Lexington Family Smiles. Reach out today at (803) 353-1886 or text at (803) 951-0991 or schedule an appointment online. We’ll be glad to help.

Treatment for Bruxism and Ways to Stop Teeth Grinding

Bruxism is the involuntary habitual grinding, biting, and clenching of the teeth that often occurs while sleeping. According to cross-sectional survey studies and self-reports, sleep-related bruxism affects 8 to 10 percent of adults and 15 to 40 percent of children. It is known to be far more common among children, particularly around growth spurts or when losing baby teeth.

People of all ages may grind their teeth from time to time with only mild and temporary side effects and may not even be aware they do it until someone else draws their attention to it. Other people, though, do end up with headaches, earaches, jaw discomfort, or tooth damage from their involuntary teeth grinding.

Should You Consult With a Medical Doctor?

If you are aware of a bruxism struggle in your home, consider this: Teeth grinding may be a side effect of prescribed medication or a part of a behavioral or sleep disorder. If you suspect any of these is to blame in your case, consult with a medical doctor. Based on your specific symptoms and stressors, your physician may take one of these approaches:

  • Muscle relaxers: medication can help you to relax and muscle relaxers can relax the muscles of the jaw and stop involuntary grinding. Talk to you doctor if you are taking antidepressants because they could be the cultprit to developing bruxism.
  • Behavioral strategies: Psychologists work with patients to identify triggers and address them through stress management and relaxation training. There is technology for doctors to show patients how relaxing technique help relax muscles.

Could Self-Care and Dental Treatments Work for You?

In most cases, bruxism is a result of common stressors or lifestyle choices that are within your control. You can outgrow it or manage it with some self-care and dental treatments. If you are interested in more information on self-care tips or dental treatments for teeth grinding, read on.

Self-Care Tips to Stop Bruxism

Here are suggested self-care tips you could try that may provide you or your child relief from bruxism, or involuntary teeth grinding.

Take Deep Breathes

Stress may be the number one cause of bruxism or grinding your teeth at night. So whether you are aware of what is stressing you out or you are not, try to breathe it out. A few deep breaths before bed or throughout the day can work wonders.

Learn to Unwind

Some people may need to talk through their stressful issues with a trusted friend, family member, or professional psychologist. Another idea is to adjust your nightly routine and do something that calms you down and puts your mind at ease. Here are some ideas:

  • Avoid computer and phone screens at least an hour before bed
  • Avoid intense mental stimulation
  • Read a book
  • Watch a calming TV show (ending an hour before bed)
  • Listen to calming music
  • Meditate
  • Take 10-15 minutes to enjoy doing nothing
  • Drink a cup of decaffeinated tea or other warm drink

Take a break from Alcohol and Caffeine

Not all, but some people will find they grind their teeth a lot more after drinking alcohol before bed. Likewise, people who drink a lot of caffeine throughout the day will notice it interferes with a peaceful night’s sleep. It may not be easy, but try to go a few days without these beverages. You may find after a few days that your jaw muscles are not as tight at night and you no longer wake up with headaches.

Gently Massage Your Jaw

Taking five minutes to gently massage your jaw can help alleviate pressure and pain in your jaw. You can also try a heating pad, hot bath, or hot shower, especially at night before bed, to relax your muscles and calm yourself before lying down to sleep.

Avoid Chewing Gum all day

Chewing an occasional piece of gum for a brief period can be refreshing. But it is best to not chew gum or chewy foods like taffy or jerky for too long. Chewing too much will exhaust your jaw and could bring on bruxism at night. Cutting back on gum chewing may not eliminate bruxism entirely, but it will help.

Don’t Bite on Your Pens, Pencils, Straws, or Toothpicks

Chewing on things you should not chew on can cause tooth pain and damage. It can cause your jaw muscles to cramp or strain. It can also cause a habit of clenching when stressed. At night when you’re trying to relax, your brain doesn’t know whether to bite down on something or not. Instead of biting on objects, find other ways to fidget, or chew on soft foods.

Add a New Physical Activity or Hobby

Exercise and physical activity for at least 15-30 minutes each day has positive effects on both physical and mental health. A creative hobby can also transform your thinking and transport you from a stressful place to a place you are looking forward to.

Treatments for Teeth Grinding

Treatment for bruxism depends on your symptoms and the underlying cause. Some adults and children may not need treatment from a dentist. However, if you’re suffering from bruxism and you have already tried the self-care tips for a few weeks without significant improvement, consider a custom mouth guard to help prevent further oral damages.

Try a Mouth Guard for Bruxism

We will custom make your bruxism mouth guard (or night guard) fit your mouth perfectly. It is similar to an athletic mouth guard (which we also offer), but it’s designed to work in different ways. Bruxism mouth guards are designed to prevent teeth grinding and jaw clenching.

Off-the-shelf mouth guards do not work as well because they are not custom-fitted to your mouth. This can cause future complications. Our custom-fit mouth guards have a much higher success rate for treating bruxism.

We offer a mouth guard designed for bruxism sufferers. All of our mouth guards are custom fit to our patients. We would be happy to discuss your needs with you. Contact us at Lexington Family Smiles or schedule an appointment online.

While our bruxism mouth guards are effective in preventing additional damage, they are not a cure for bruxism. You may still want to consult with a medical doctor regarding your case.

Preventive Dentistry: How to Prevent Cavities and Tooth Decay

Woman holding a large cupcake in hand and a large tooth in the other

Cavities and tooth decay affect almost everyone. In fact, tooth decay is one of the most common diseases in the United States, second only to the common cold, with cavities affecting a large percentage of U.S. children.

Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to keep your teeth and gums healthy and to prevent cavities and tooth decay. Read on to learn more about preventive dentistry and what you can do to care for your teeth and gums.

What Are Tooth Decay and Cavities?

Tooth decay occurs when your teeth are exposed to acid. The acid that can harm teeth and gums results from eating starchy or sugary foods. Even though foods may not contain a lot of acids initially, some of the normal bacteria in your mouth that help you digest those foods turn the carbohydrates into acid. The acid damages the enamel on your teeth.

If you don’t take steps to prevent tooth decay, your teeth will lose minerals and enamel, and cavities begin to form. A cavity is a hole in your tooth, caused as a result of extended tooth decay over time.

You may not experience any symptoms when tooth decay is in its early stages. Even a cavity may not make its presence known. If not stopped, however, tooth decay can result in tooth sensitivity and pain. Visible holes in the tooth or staining on teeth may occur. While our general dentist at Lexington Family Smiles can fill cavities to prevent further damage, there are steps you can take to stop tooth decay in its tracks.

Preventive Dentistry Tips to Fight Cavities and Tooth Decay

Take a look at these preventive dentistry tips that can help you prevent tooth decay and cavities.

1. Get a Dental Checkup Regularly

By visiting our dentist regularly, you get oral exams and teeth cleanings that can help spot and deal with cavities, tooth decay, and other dental issues. At your checkup, your dentist and dental hygienist will remove plaque and check for tooth decay. Ask our dentist how often you should come in.

2. Add Fluoride to Your Dental Routine

Fluoride is a powerful preventative treatment for tooth decay. You may get sufficient fluoride if the drinking water in your community is fluoridated. Your dentist can also provide you with prescription levels of fluoride, to be delivered via custom trays that fit on your teeth, if you need it.

3. Use an Antibacterial Mouth Rinse

Those who are especially susceptible to tooth decay, possibly because of other medical conditions, may want to add antibacterial treatments, such as mouth rinses, to keep harmful bacteria at bay. Ask your dentist what treatment they would recommend.

4. Brush Your Teeth Regularly (With the Right Brush)

Brushing your teeth regularly is one of the most effective steps you can take to protect your teeth against decay. Use a soft-bristled brush to protect your gums — and don’t forget to brush your gums and your tongue as well as your teeth.

Brush after every time you eat and brush again before you go to bed, using toothpaste that contains fluoride. Make sure you brush the inside surfaces of the teeth as well as the parts that are visible when you smile. You should plan on replacing your toothbrush every few months.

5. Don’t Forget to Floss

Your toothbrush can’t get to all the tiny crevices between your teeth and gums. That’s where flossing comes in. Your general dentist can demonstrate the best way to floss for protection against tooth decay and gum infections.

6. Don’t Smoke

You already know that smoking is bad for your body in so many ways — and that includes your teeth. Yes, smoking stains your teeth, but it can also play a part in gum disease and tooth decay (not to mention oral cancer). Quit the use of all tobacco products to help protect your teeth.

7. Avoid Carbohydrates (or Brush After Eating Them)

Carbohydrates — both starchy ones such as pretzels and bread and sweet carbs such as candy and cookies — can leave behind remnants on your teeth. An added danger comes from fruit juices, which are packed with sugar.

If you don’t brush away the carbohydrate particles quickly, they’ll combine with your mouth’s natural bacteria to form the acid that causes tooth decay. Take a toothbrush with you to work to make sure you can brush whenever you need to.

8. Ask Your General Dentist About Dental Sealants

Your dentist can apply sealants, which are thin plastic coatings, on your teeth to protect them against bacteria and avoid developing cavities. Sealants are particularly useful for molars, which have lots of little crevices where food can get stuck. Acting as a barrier to keep food and bacteria from becoming trapped, sealants can be especially helpful for children or teenagers.

9. Eat Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Eating fresh veggies and fruits increases the flow of saliva, which helps wash away food particles. Drinking plenty of water and unsweetened beverages also help in this process — and if your tap water is fluoridated, you get extra protection.

10. Avoid Acidic Beverages

That morning cup of coffee, your afternoon tea, or the latte you pick up to give yourself a boost during the day are all problematic for your teeth. Coffee and tea are both filled with acid — and if you add sugar or milk to your drink, you end up compounding the problems. Don’t worry — you can still enjoy your coffee. But follow it up with a chaser of water to rinse the acid from your mouth, or brush your teeth once again after you finish your morning joe.

11. Use Mouthwash

Another way to get the fluoride that helps prevent tooth decay is to rinse your mouth each day with a mouthwash that contains fluoride. Many types of mouthwash also contain antiseptic elements, which fight the bacteria that help cause plaque and tooth decay.

12. Don’t Eat After Your Bedtime Tooth Brushing

While you sleep, your flow of saliva decreases. That means that any fragments of food or acid clinging to your teeth are unlikely to be washed away overnight. If you do end up indulging in a late-night snack or wandering into the kitchen if you can’t sleep, make sure to brush your teeth one more time before hitting the pillow again.

Visiting your general dentist, brushing and flossing regularly, and getting regular dental checkups are all key to preventing tooth decay and cavities. If you would like a dentist to examine your teeth for decay, call or schedule an appointment.

Teeth Whitening Services in Lexington, SC

Woman in dental chair after teeth whitening treatment

Over time, stains and discoloration can build up on your teeth, causing a yellowed appearance. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your teeth are unhealthy—discoloration can be a cosmetic issue rather than a sign of tooth decay. However, yellowed teeth can shake your confidence when you look in the mirror. You feel self-conscious about your teeth, leading you to avoid smiling in public or cover your mouth with your hand.

Our teeth-whitening treatments at Lexington Family Smiles give you sparkling white teeth that make you want to smile more often. After about four weeks of treatment, you’ll notice whiter teeth and increased confidence. Treatments are simple and comfortable—in fact, you can whiten your teeth at home with a little help from our professionals.

Can’t You Use Whitening Strips from the Drugstore?

When you go to the drugstore, you see boxes of whitening strips on the shelf. These products might look convenient, but they’re not necessarily the best option for your teeth. Whitening strips bleach your teeth to remove the discoloration. If your whitening strips contain harmful ingredients, they could strip the enamel from your teeth. This puts you at a higher risk for infections and tooth decay.

Whitening strips can also irritate your gums and increase tooth sensitivity. If you accidentally use the strips more than the recommended number of times, you could wear away your enamel and damage your teeth. Ultimately, it’s best to talk to a professional about whitening your teeth.

How Does the Whitening Process Work?

To start, call our office or set up an appointment online. You can get in touch with us if you have any questions before you jump in. Once you arrive, Dr. Moultin will examine your teeth and talk to you about what you can expect. You’ll get the chance to ask questions about the treatment so you know what you’re getting into before you get started.

Afterward, Dr. Moultin will fit you for the whitening tray. You’ll get a custom whitening tray made specifically for your teeth. While whitening strips from the store might sit awkwardly on your teeth, whitening trays fit perfectly and allows the treatment to get between the teeth. The whitening strip just touches the front surface of your teeth leaving discoloration between your teeth.

Dr. Moultin will give you specific instructions on how to use your whitening tray. According to directions, you’ll slide the tray over your teeth and leave it there for the recommended amount of time. Make sure you follow the directions exactly for the best results.

Over the next 2-4 weeks, you’ll start noticing whiter teeth when you look in the mirror. As the stains start to fade, you’ll beam with newfound confidence and look for reasons to smile wherever you go. Generally, your newly whitened teeth will last anywhere from several months to a few years.

Is Teeth Whitening Right for Everyone?

Before you get started, you’ll talk to our professionals about your teeth whitening options. Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that makes your teeth look clean and white without treating any underlying issues. If you simply have discolored teeth, our treatments will give you a brilliantly white smile. However, we might recommend a different treatment if you have a condition that causes your stained teeth.

Can You Come Back for Touch-Ups?

Our treatments keep your teeth white and sparkling as long as possible. However, you might want to come back after several months for touch-ups or another whitening session. Our custom-fitted trays allow you to touch up your teeth without going through the entire process all over again. We’ll send you home with more gel so you can whiten your teeth at home and keep enjoying a breathtaking smile.

What Causes Teeth Discoloration?

If you have stains on your teeth, it might be from one or more of the following factors:

  • Tobacco use. People who smoke or chew tobacco suffer from stained teeth, bad breath and other dental hygiene issues.
  • Diet. Drinking a lot of coffee, soda and tea could leave stains on your teeth. Certain foods like berries and vinegar can also stain your teeth.
  • Disease. Even if they’re not specifically related to dental hygiene, some conditions like liver disease can cause tooth discoloration.
  • Medication. Certain medications and treatments like chemotherapy might discolor your teeth.
  • Trauma. In particular, children’s teeth are susceptible to permanent damage. Adult teeth can also change colors if the trauma damaged the teeth or nerves.
  • Genetics. Some people simply have genes that result in whiter teeth. Others are more susceptible to discoloration, especially as they get older.
  • Aging. As you get older, your teeth might start to look increasingly aged and discolored.

How Effective Are Teeth Whitening Services?

If you follow through with the treatment, teeth whitening services can make your teeth look bright, white, and healthy. Cosmetic dentistry is much more effective than store-bought whitening strips because we use a specialized treatment. Our treatments can also whiten your teeth more quickly than products from the drugstore. Plus, you’ll get advice and guidance from a team of professionals with years of experience in the industry.

Get Started Today

At Lexington Family Smiles, our services go well beyond cosmetic dentistry. We offer regular cleanings to keep your teeth healthy as well as bridges, crowns, implants, X-rays, exams, and screenings. If you have children, we offer pediatric services that take care of your child’s teeth in a safe, comfortable environment. We also offer dentures, mouth guards, and full mouth reconstructions. To take your teeth whitening a step further, talk to us about porcelain veneers.

Many patients have anxiety about visiting the dentist. That’s why we provide a calm, relaxing environment with professional staff and a state-of-the-art facility. We’ll talk to you about every procedure so you know exactly what to expect. We’re also here to answer your questions about teeth whitening, dental hygiene, tooth repair, cancer screenings, and other dental-related topics. Check out our patient testimonials to see what we can do for you.

Want to set up an appointment? We accept appointments from both new and returning patients. Request an appointment online, or call us to schedule your visit. You can also call the office to talk more about our treatments, cleanings, and screenings for children and adults. Get in touch with us today—we can’t wait to see you smile again.

Do You Need Emergency Dental Care?

3D vector of a dental emergency symbol

When you suffer from pain, bleeding or severe toothaches, you might be tempted to “tough it out” until your next dental visit. However, pain and inflammation can be a sign of a dental emergency that needs immediate treatment. If you don’t address the problem now, the condition could worsen or cause a bacterial infection. You might end up with a much more severe condition that could have been prevented with early intervention.

Lexington Family Smiles offers emergency dental care for patients who need to see a dentist as soon as possible. If you’re not sure if you have a dental emergency, here’s a guide to help you evaluate your symptoms.

What Are Signs of a Dental Emergency?

Dental emergencies are usually characterized by severe pain or bleeding that interferes with your regular life. You might need emergency dental care if you’re suffering from one or more of these symptoms:

  • Swelling in your cheek, jaw or gums
  • Severe headaches or jaw pain
  • Frequent bleeding from your gums
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • A bitter or unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • Severe tooth pain
  • Loose or dislodged teeth
  • Broken teeth with sharp edges that could cause mouth trauma
  • Cuts or lacerations in your gums
  • Loss of a tooth

If you’re in doubt, call Lexington Family Smiles to see if you need to see an emergency dentist. You can call the office or send a text message with information about your situation.

What Are Some Common Dental Emergencies?

Dental emergencies can happen to just about anyone. Here’s a look at some of the common dental emergencies that we see at Lexington Family Smiles.

Missing Teeth

Blunt force trauma could knock a tooth right out of its socket. When that happens, don’t waste any time—contact us immediately so we can perform an emergency restoration. We might be able to save the tooth if you reach our office quickly enough. If possible, try to keep it in the socket or place it in a cup of milk to preserve the tooth.

Lost Crowns

When you have a damaged tooth, a dentist places a crown over the tooth to restore the shape and protect your tooth from further damage. A lost crown exposes the damaged tooth, potentially leading to more damage or bacterial infection. The tooth could even cut the inside of your mouth if it has sharp edges. Get in touch with us right away so we can reapply the crown, and bring the original crown, if possible.

Toothaches

A toothache might seem like a common ailment, but they’re actually a sign of a serious issue that we need to correct as soon as possible. Toothaches are a potential sign of numerous problems, including the following:

  • Gum disease. When your gums pull away from your teeth, it can expose the roots, causing tooth pain. Gum disease can also cause bleeding, inflammation and other sources of pain in your mouth.
  • Loss of enamel. Not brushing your teeth regularly can cause a loss of enamel. As your enamel wears away, your teeth become more sensitive to hot and cold foods.
  • Tooth decay. Acid creeps into the enamel if you don’t brush your teeth after you eat, which leads to cavities and tooth decay. The decay can reach all the way to the pulp if you don’t see a dentist in time.
  • Wisdom teeth. If you didn’t get your wisdom teeth removed, they’ll cause pain when they start to push through your gums. You might have to get your wisdom teeth extracted to stop the pain.
  • Teeth grinding. Your teeth could crack if you grind your teeth in your sleep.

The signs of toothaches include swelling, jaw pain, headaches, fever, sensitivity, bleeding, and discharge. Sign up for an appointment so we can determine the cause of your toothache and figure out a treatment plan.

Chipped Teeth

You could chip a tooth by chewing a hard piece of food, grinding your teeth in your sleep, or suffering from blunt force trauma. Chipped teeth usually don’t ache constantly, but you could experience pain and sensitivity whenever you eat. A chipped tooth could develop an infection, so visit an emergency dentist as soon as possible. The dentist might give you a filling to restructure the tooth.

Bleeding Gums

Bleeding, sore and inflamed gums are often a sign of periodontal disease. You’ve probably heard the term “gingivitis,” which refers to the earlier stages. If you don’t visit the dentist for treatment, you could suffer from gum disease that’s much harder to treat. The gums could pull away from the teeth, increasing sensitivity and causing tooth loss. Gum disease also makes it painful to eat and chew solid foods.

Lost Filling

Like a dental crown, fillings reshape your teeth and reduce the risk of infection. This allows you to go about your life as if the damage never happened. If you lose a filling, your teeth are more likely to contract a bacterial infection. You could also suffer from more tooth damage that could expose the pulp, causing severe pain. It might seem like a minor issue but call our office right away if you lose a filling.

Abscesses

A dental abscess is a painful infection caused by pus developing at the root. You could suffer from a fever, severe pain, swollen lymph nodes, difficulty swallowing, or shortness of breath. The abscess could also rupture in your mouth. To treat the abscess, the dentist will drain the pus to clear out the function. If the infection is severe enough, the dentist might perform a root canal or extract the tooth altogether.

Where Can You Go for Emergency Dental Care?

Lexington Family Smiles offers emergency dental care for people who need immediate treatment. This includes replacement crowns and fillings, gum disease treatment, mouth reconstruction, tooth extraction, and much more. Call us any time if you think you have a dental emergency on your hands. If you do, we’ll see you as soon as possible — and if not, you can still set up an appointment for a cleaning and treatment. We offer services for both children and adults, including new and existing patients.

Other services include cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, sealants, cancer screenings, sleep apnea treatment, dental bridges, and fluoride treatments. We also offer regular cleanings for people who want to stay on top of their dental hygiene. Regular cleanings can prevent dental emergencies before they happen, so set up an appointment if you want to start taking care of your teeth. You can contact us online, over the phone, or through text messages. To learn more, check out the Testimonials page to see what other patients in the area think about us.

Why Tooth-Colored Fillings Are Best

Young man smiling at dental office

A recent study showed that over 90 percent of Americans over age 20 have had a cavity at some point in their lives. The majority of cavities are treated with fillings. Once upon a time, a filling meant putting in a piece of metal to seal off your tooth. Now, there is a new option: tooth-colored fillings.

This guide to tooth-colored fillings will tell you everything you need to know about resin fillings, and why they are an improvement over the older metal type. 

What’s in a Tooth-Colored Filling?

Since the 1830s, dentists have had the option to use metal for tooth fillings. The mixture, often called an amalgam filling because it’s a mix of metals, usually includes mercury, silver, tin, and copper.

3D rendering of teeth with different dental fillings.
3d render of teeth with gold, amalgam and composite inlay dental filling over white background

This style of filling started losing popularity in the 1990s when a new type of filling arrived: resin. These new resin fillings are made of tiny particles of glass and bio-compatible plastics. 

Dr. Moulton can customize the color for resin fillings to exactly match your tooth color using water. All of the components of a tooth-colored filling are body-safe.

Most new fillings are done with tooth-colored fillings, but metal amalgam fillings are still FDA approved. However, there are risks and problems associated with metal fillings that resin fillings don’t have. 

Health Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings

The biggest health risk for amalgam fillings is mercury. Over time, the mercury in the filling will vaporize. Your body can absorb these vapors and breath them in through your mouth. If you absorb enough, it can harm your organs, especially the kidneys and the brain. 

Aside from the mercury, amalgam fillings can also crack your teeth accidentally. Extreme temperatures can make the metal expand or contract. Cold foods might shrink the filling a tiny amount, but hot foods will make it expand slightly. 

Gradually, this back and forth puts pressure on your tooth. This pressure can lead to cracks or breaks. Once that happens, a filling won’t work anymore and you’ll have to get a crown or implant in its place. 

Finally, amalgam fillings are difficult to fit sometimes. Often, the dentist will need to shape the tooth to the filling, not the other way around. This can lead to losing some of your healthy tooth enamel, and not just the decaying portion. 

One of the best things about tooth-colored fillings is that none of these issues happen with them. The material isn’t a health risk for your body and you won’t inhale anything harmful. 

The resin also won’t change shape; once it dries in your tooth, that’s the shape that it will stay in. Dr. Moulton won’t even need to remove any of your healthy tooth enamel to fit it in. He can fit the resin into the space left after he takes out the decay. A better fit means a longer-lasting filling and a better seal. 

Aesthetic Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings

Even if a metal filling isn’t causing a patient any physical harm, they may want to replace it anyway. While metal fillings are more common on back teeth like molars, the dark silver color is still visible when you talk or laugh. This might bother some patients.

Aside from the numerous health benefits of tooth-colored fillings, they also have aesthetic benefits. Unlike metal fillings, tooth-colored fillings will blend in seamlessly with the rest of your teeth. 

Dr. Moulton can customize a resin filling to match the exact color of your teeth. Right in the office, Dr. Moulton can mix the resin composite with water until it matches your natural teeth. By the time you’re done, you won’t know you have a filling just by looking!

The fillings will be invisible, whether they are in the front or back of your mouth. You can talk, laugh, and eat all without anyone ever noticing your fillings. 

What to Expect at Your Appointment

When you get tooth-colored fillings or other restorative dentistry, knowing what to expect from the appointment can help it go smoothly. Most importantly, know that your dental team is working hard to make sure you have a good experience.

If you’re getting an amalgam filling replaced with a tooth-colored filling, then the first step will be for Dr. Moulton to remove the old filling. Your dentist will use a local anesthetic to minimize your discomfort. 

Once the old filling is out, Dr. Moulton will prepare your tooth for the new filling. If this is a first-time filling, this is where your Dr. Moulton will start. He’ll remove any tooth decay and fill the cavity with the tooth-colored filling resin.

The whole process should only need one visit, especially if it is only one filling. For patients who may need multiple fillings or multiple replacements, then Dr. Moulton might recommend multiple visits. Your personal tolerance for dental work will be a factor in the decision.

Once all of your fillings are in place, they should last for at least ten years. Proper dental hygiene, including twice-daily brushing and flossing, and regular dental check-ups, will help extend the life of your fillings. 

Get Tooth-Colored Fillings at Lexington Family Smiles

If you think you might need tooth-colored fillings, we can help! Request an appointment at Lexington Family Smiles today. Our team will gladly help you find the right dental solutions for you and your entire family. 

Whether you’re interested in replacing old fillings, or think it’s time for a first filling, we’ll make sure to keep you smiling for years to come!

Why You Should Visit A Family Dentist Regularly

a family dentist talks with a mother and her daughter.

When was the last time you and your family had a dentist’s checkup? Has it been months? Maybe even stretching into years?

There is a reason that family dentistry exists to make sure you and your family are maintaining happy and healthy smiles. Not sure if it’s worth it? Read on for a complete guide on why you should visit your family dentist. 

What Is a Family Dentist? 

A family dentist ensures that your teeth are on the right track to a perfect smile. They can alert you to any concerns that you might be unaware of, or recommend procedures that you might be interested in. They can serve all of your family members for check-ups, teeth cleanings, fillings, and more.

A family dentist is a necessity for a healthy family. Because of this, you should visit your dentist regularly.

Not convinced yet? 

Let’s discuss some of the benefits of a family dentist.

Benefits of a Family Dentist

Having a family dentist is so much more than an occasional visit when something pops up. You will have a professional individual ready to dedicate their care to help you. 

Routine Check-Ups

dental appointment scheduled on a calendar

Many people only ever visit the dentist when they start to have a toothache or a problem.

The truth is, you should be visiting the dentist at least every six months, whether you are having a problem or not.

These routine dental check-ups can ensure that no problems are arising. This way, you can fix the problem before it becomes painful or an issue.

Many times a dentist can see an issue with your teeth and you may not be experiencing any pain at all. Because of the lack of pain, you believe your teeth are fine. You believe you don’t have to go to the dentist.

When we start experiencing dental pain it is because a problem is progressively getting worse. With routine check-ups, you can spot issues before they become painful. When they are caught early on, fixing the problem will be less of a hassle too. 

Routine dental check-ups are an essential part of your dental health. 

Dental Cleaning

Just like having a check-up, you should also be having your teeth cleaned every six months too. 

This isn’t just a simple brushing that lasts a couple of minutes; it is a deep clean that removes plaque build-up and polishes your teeth. 

The recommended time for brushing your teeth is at least two minutes. The average American, however, only spends about 45 seconds brushing their teeth. 

This is over a minute less than what we are supposed to be brushing. Because of this, seeing a dentist regularly for a tooth cleaning helps get rid of the plaque and dirt that you aren’t brushing away. 

That said, even though a dental cleaning can help your teeth, you should still spend at least two minutes twice a day brushing your teeth for good oral health.

Promote Oral Health in Your Family

It is important to establish good oral health in your family early on. Your children should understand at a young age how important it is to take care of their teeth and how to do so. 13% of children ages 5-19 are reported to have untreated tooth decay. 

When a family dentist does a check-up, they can also recommend to you and your family how to keep up proper health. They could spot possible issues in your teeth cleaning routine and help you understand what you should be doing.

Having a professional give your kids the tips and advice they need can push them towards making an effort with their oral health. 

If your children understand how to properly take care of their teeth, this will also prevent dental issues in the future. If your child develops a cavity or other issue due to poor oral health, this will be more costly to fix in the long run and an unpleasant experience for your child.

Besides your children, maybe you yourself also need some help understanding how you should be better at taking care of your teeth. Our dentist can push you in the right direction and even offer you the different services available for your care.

Having good oral health is important for both you and your family. 

Develop a Relationship

Having a family dentist isn’t a one-and-done experience. Our family dentistry will stick with you as your family ages. 

Your dentist can develop a relationship with you and know exactly how to care for your needs and the needs of your family. Having this relationship is helpful because your dentist will automatically know how to help your child when they need it. 

Being able to have a stable and regular dentist will help the dentist serve your family properly and maintain their health for the years to come. 

What To Look For In a Family Dentist? 

You shouldn’t just choose any family dentist. While having one is important, choosing the right one is just as important. 

Testimonials

Searching for the testimonials of a family dentist is important to see the experiences of other people.

Everyone was so friendly, Dena did a awesome job on cleaning my teeth. You can tell she loves her job and takes pride in it. Dr Moulton took the time to explain all my options and get a game plan going for my parcel. Would recommend

Geraldine Ricard
5-stars review

Was the customer service good? Were the people friendly? Did they feel properly cared for? Was it worth the pricing?

If a dentist has bad reviews, chances are it’s not the dentist for you. You want to make sure you choose a dentist that is reliable and recommendable. 

Insurance

Before choosing your family dentist, you will want to call ahead and check to see if they accept your insurance. If they don’t accept your insurance, it can be much more costly in the long run.

There are other options to pay for your dental visit outside of your insurance, such as an HSA or financing options. A good and caring dentist will be flexible so you can receive the dental care you need.

Credentials

In the United States, all licensed dentists must have three basic requirements. They must have an education requirement, a writen exam requirement, and a clinical exam requirement. Dentists will also proudly display their licenses on the wall.

Who Are They?

Lastly, you should consider who your dentist is as a person. What are they like? Are they polite? Caring? Happy? 

Your experience with your dentist could depend on how this person interacts with you. Schedule an appointment for a consultation to get to know your dentist.

Services of a Family Dentist

A family dentist offers much more than just routine check-ups and teeth cleaning. 

Depending on what you are looking for, your dentist can offer you a vast array of services to fit your needs. 

Dental Implants

dental implant 3d illustration

Maybe you have a missing tooth that needs to be replaced. Not all family dentists can handle this for you. But Lexington Family Smiles can perform dental implants.

Dental implants are a perfect way of fixing up your smile and blend the implant in with the rest of your teeth. 

The dental implant is placed into your jaw bone by the dentist. It naturally infuses with the rest of the bone over time.

If you need a fix for your smile, dental implants could be the solution, and a family dentist can help you. 

Porcelain Dental Veneers

Is your smile a little crooked? Are your teeth chipped in certain places?

Porcelain veneers could be the solution you are looking for. 

These veneers create the natural look of teeth and blend in perfectly. Each set is crafted specifically for the individual to make sure it looks natural and authentic. 

The best part is, dental veneers require the same care as your normal teeth, so you won’t need to switch up your routine. 

Teeth Whitening

Maybe your smile is discolored from aging or products that stained your teeth. 

You can brighten your smile with our teeth whitening service. Teeth whitening is a simple way to get the smile you want so it can be as bright as ever. 

Rather than having the treatment done in the office, you can even do a take-home treatment for your convenience. 

There’s no excuse for you to keep living with a smile you might not love.

Now What?

This is only the beginning of the services that Lexington Family Smiles offers. 

You now know the importance and benefits of having a family dentist, so what’s stopping you? 

Contact us today to get started on your healthy smile!