Brushing Teeth for Baby and You – Taking Care of Your Smile During Pregnancy

Pregnancy may mean you are smiling more than usual. Make sure you are taking good care of that smile for the health of you and your growing baby.

Common Dental Health Problems During Pregnancy

Pregnancy brings about a lot of changes in a woman’s body. Beyond the typical things like gaining weight and feeling more hungry than usual, a lot of biological things are taking place as well. For one, your hormone levels drastically change, which can bring about cravings for different foods and changes in your mouth. Pregnant women can be more at risk of periodontal disease because of these changes. Additionally, you may have some problems with swollen or bleeding gums due to increased blood flow. Some women are more prone to cavities during pregnancy as well, which may be partly related to craving new foods but also related to swollen gums more likely to allow bacteria below the gumline. It is also worth noting that morning sickness that leads to vomiting can cause oral health concerns because of the excess stomach acid that ends up in your mouth.

How Poor Oral Health Can Affect Your Growing Baby

The growing fetus is getting everything it needs from its mother. Unfortunately, this exchange of nutrient delivery and shared blood flow also means that problems mom has in her mouth can mean the fetus is also exposed. The CDC says that bacteria from decaying teeth may be transmitted to the growing baby, which may mean the child will eventually be more prone to dental decay after they are born. Likewise, if you have untreated conditions like an abscessed tooth, the infection could potentially be passed to the baby and create a worrisome situation. There are also some known links between periodontal disease and premature delivery.

Dental Care Product Safety During Pregnancy

Of course, you want to be vigilant about oral health care at home during pregnancy, which means plenty of brushing and flossing. Nevertheless, you do need to make sure the products you use are safe for you and your growing child. Make sure the products you use for brushing, rinsing, and flossing are safe for use during pregnancy and discuss any questions about products with your dentist to be safe.

You want your baby to love your smile as soon as they come into this world, and you want your baby to grow to be healthy with a beautiful smile of their own. Reach out to us at Travis Wilson Family Dentistry in Owensboro to schedule an appointment.

4 Ways Drinking Water Can Benefit Your Smile

Most people perfectly understand just how important it is to get in the proper levels of H2O throughout the day. Nevertheless, the benefits of drinking enough water go far beyond good skin, healthy organs, and better vision; your smile actually benefits just the same. Here is a look at some of the ways drinking enough water can be good for your oral health.

1. Prevent issues with bad breath.

It is estimated that one of four people deal with bad breath on a regular basis. While a lot of factors can contribute to bad breath, one factor may be the fact that you are not staying well hydrated by drinking enough water. Water washes away the bacteria in your mouth, helps loosen food particles from your teeth, and keeps your tongue moist. All of this can mean fresher breath.

2. Keep acid levels in your mouth at bay.

The body has a natural acid level that is considered normal, and this level of acidity can fluctuate in your mouth depending on what you eat and drink. Unfortunately, higher-than-usual pH levels can contribute to problems with decay. Drinking water helps to neutralize acidity in your mouth to keep the environment better pH-balanced like the rest of your body.

3. Ensure your soft tissues are well hydrated.

Your teeth are only as healthy as the soft tissues in your mouth. If your gums are not moist and supple, they can be more prone to damage and inflammation. Drinking plenty of water helps to protect the soft tissues in your mouth to encourage a healthier smile.

4. Avoid problems with decay.

Lack of hydration can contribute to tooth decay for a few reasons. As already noted, water helps keep acidity levels at bay and helps to wash food particles and bacteria away from your teeth. When food particles and bacteria are allowed to hang out on your teeth, they can contribute to decay.

Schedule a Dental Checkup in Owensboro or Beaver Dam

At the end of the day, drinking plenty of water is only going to do your body good, and you can grab some advantages for your mouth as well. If it has been a while since you’ve had a dental checkup, reach out to us at Travis Wilson Family Dentistry to schedule an appointment.

Tips to Save Your Teeth For a Lifetime

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could keep your teeth and gums healthy for your entire lifetime? There are many cosmetic dental treatments available for issues ranging from missing teeth to discolored teeth; but it’s almost always easier to use preventive measures to take great care of your natural teeth. Here are some tips to save your teeth for a lifetime!

Visit the Dentist Regularly

Your dentist isn’t just the professional you turn to when something goes wrong. You should also make a practice of visiting the dentist on a routine basis. During every visit, the dentist performs an oral exam to see if there are any developing problems. If your dentist sees anything amiss, they will work to nip the problem in the bud so you don’t risk permanent teeth damage. Of all the tips on this list, visiting the dentist regularly is the most important!

 

Avoid Sugar

Professionals know with absolute certainty that bacteria consume sugar for survival. The more sugar you consume, the greater the population of bacteria in your mouth. Bacteria rot your teeth over time, so it’s crucial for dental health to do everything in your power to control bacteria levels. If you avoid sugar, you’ll be setting yourself up for a lifetime of healthy teeth. This includes avoiding sugary drinks like alcohol, too. Keep sugary snacks to a minimum or avoid them altogether.

 

Floss Teeth

Even after brushing, small food particles can remain in your mouth, between teeth. If you’ve ever had something stuck in between your teeth, you know how easily this happens. Flossing helps to get rid of those smaller food particles that brushing leaves behind. If you want to avoid tooth loss in the future, make a habit of flossing after each meal. This will go a long way toward ensuring your teeth last a lifetime.

 

Use ADA-approved Products

There are many tooth care products on the market, but they are not all equal in quality and effectiveness. To ensure you’re using the correct toothpastes, rinses and brushes, use only ADA-approved products. It’s easy to spot them; you’ll see the ADA label on anything that’s approved.

These are the best ways to take care of your teeth so they last as long as you need them. For more tips, talk to your professional dentist.

 

Diabetes and Your Smile | Important Things to Know

It is estimated that just over 10 percent of the American population is living with diabetes. Being diagnosed with diabetes means you have a few more health concerns than the general person, and one of those concerns is regarding your oral health. Take a look at some of the things you should know about your smile as a diabetic.

You will need more vigilant attention to oral health.

Having diabetes can mean you are more at risk for a range of oral health problems. Therefore, you will have to be more attentive to your oral health. Regular brushing and flossing, routine visits to the dentist, and careful monitoring of your blood sugar levels can help you maintain a healthier smile.

You could be more prone to tooth loss.

People who are diabetic have been found to lose twice as many teeth as people who are not according to the latest research. Changes in saliva, blood flow, and other bodily functions that affect the mouth can heighten the risks of losing your teeth. Any small issue that you notice should be immediately assessed by your dentist to help prevent your risks of losing teeth due to an issue.

You have to watch out for signs of gum disease.

Gum disease affects a high percentage of adults who have diabetes. Unfortunately, gum disease has a direct link to tooth loss, so it is an oral health issue that you have to be watchful of as a diabetic. Some signs of gum disease to watch for include:

  • Excess bleeding from your gums
  • Discoloration around the gum line
  • Changes in the color of your gums
  • Swelling and inflammation of the gums
  • Foul breath with no explanation

Reach Out to Us for a Dental Checkup in Owensboro, KY

Even though you have diabetes, it does not necessarily mean you have to lose your smile. There are many proactive measures you can take to prevent dental problems, and it starts with keeping your blood sugar levels in check. If you would like to schedule an appointment to get a thorough assessment of the health of your smile, reach out to us at Travis Wilson Family Dentistry in Owensboro, KY.

Candy Alternatives This Valentine’s Day

Candy is the traditional gift on Valentine’s Day. The stores are already full of heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and decorated packages of candy for you and your loved ones. Valentine’s Day is a wonderful holiday to show your loved ones how much you are. But it doesn’t have to be a day filled with sugary treats. As you know, sugar and oral health don’t go well together. Sugar has been proven to be a leading cause of cavities and other oral health problems. This year, why not expand your horizons and consider some candy alternatives this Valentine’s Day? Here are some ideas to consider.

Gifts Instead of Candy

One great idea is simply to give a gift instead of candy. This is especially good for children who are already at risk of eating too much sugar on a daily basis. A small Valentine’s Day themed gift tucked into your child’s lunch box, like a plush toy or a racing car will make them smile just as much or more than a bar of candy. For your spouse or loved one, why not offer a special piece of jewelry or a bejeweled hair ornament?

Homemade Instead of Candy

Another interesting idea is to gift the gift of something homemade for Valentine’s Day. This could be something as simple as a decorated picture frame or as special as a knitted sweater. You could even make homemade foods, such as a few jars of homemade spaghetti sauce, or some canned pickles made from cucumbers from your own garden.

Experience Instead of Candy

Finally, your loved ones might prefer a day or evening doing something fun instead of a sugary box of candy. An experience will create lasting memories of time spent together, while a piece of candy will be quickly forgotten. Some ideas for experiences include a sporting event, a day at the zoo or something else appropriate for your budget and your family.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a day where you give treats that don’t align with your healthy lifestyle. These three ideas will be just as much—if not more—appreciated as a box of store-bought candy. Maybe a candy alternative might even become Valentine’s Day tradition in your family!

 

A New Year and New Resolutions for the Health of Your Smile

Every year, the new year rolls in and you make a lot of resolutions. Many people will resolve to be more attentive to their health, but are you forgetting just how important oral health is to the equation? Take a look at a few New Year’s resolutions you can make to ensure the upcoming year means way more smiles.

Resolve to visit the dentist at least twice a year.

Getting a checkup once a year and having your teeth cleaned twice a year is an important part of a good overall oral health plan. According to the American Dental Association, 100 million people fail to see a dentist every year, and many of those people will see their oral health decline because of that fact. Regular dental checkups and cleanings are imperative because:

  • Your dentist gets the chance to monitor changes in your oral health that could be indicative of other problems
  • Problems with cavity and decay can be tended to immediately before a tooth is beyond the point of repair
  • You can prevent issues with plaque and tartar buildup that affect the health of your mouth

Resolve to quit smoking or using smokeless tobacco products.

Many people vow to quit using tobacco products at the beginning of a new year. While it is always good for your health to kick the bad habits of smoking or using smokeless tobacco for your overall health, it is also a good resolution for the health of your smile. People who smoke or use smokeless tobacco are more prone to:

  • Oral infections
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Losing teeth

Resolve to eat plenty of crunchy veggies.

If you’ve already made resolutions about eating better then fitting in more crunchy veggies shouldn’t be an issue. One perk of eating a lot of crunchy vegetables is the fact that they actually help slough plaque and tarter off of your teeth. Raw broccoli, carrots, celery, cauliflower, and other dense foods can help keep your teeth clean between brushings.

Visit Travis Wilson Family Dentistry for a Smiling New Year

Your New Year’s resolutions are always worth keeping. Reach out to us at Travis Wilson Family Dentistry in Owensboro and Beaver Dam if you need help keeping your resolutions for the new year.

Halloween Candy: Some Varieties Are More Tooth Friendly Than Others

With Halloween just around the corner, now is a great time to review the best practices when it comes to candy consumption. Candy tastes good, which means it will be extremely difficult to persuade your children into boycotting these delectable treats; instead of a boycott, consider controlling your child’s candy consumption. This can be accomplished in several ways: By choosing the specific times when your child eats his or her candy as well as making suggestions as to the types of candy your child eats. The truth is that some forms of candy have the potential to damage the teeth and create cavities quicker than others.

Why Does Candy Cause Cavities?

Sugar is the major cause of cavity development. The sugar feeds the naturally-occurring bacteria that live in the mouth, the bacteria then release an acid, which attacks the hard, protective coating on the tooth (i.e., enamel). Once the enamel is compromised, the tooth is vulnerable to decay.

What Kinds of Candy Tend to Damage the Teeth Quicker?

Since chewy and sticky candy remains in contact with the teeth for long periods of time, they tend to be more damaging than other types of candy. When a child eats taffy, caramel or fruit-flavored chews, remnants of these candies remain on the surface of and in between the teeth. The longer the sugary substance remains on the teeth, the longer the bacteria have to consume the sugar and create acid. Additional acid means an increase in the likelihood that your child will develop cavities.

Controlling your child’s consumption:

  • Limit your child’s consumption of sour candy — In order to intensify their sour flavor, these candies frequently contain citric acid, which can damage the teeth through erosion and cavity development.
  • Give your child candy that he or she can eat quickly — This limits the amount of time the sugar has contact with his or her teeth.
  • Encourage your children to thoroughly rinse their mouths after they eat any kind of candy — This is a good practice to establish following the consumption of anything (e.g., a meal, beverage or a snack). Once a half-an-hour has passed, your child can go ahead and brush his or her teeth. Your child needs to wait half-an-hour to brush because the enamel on the teeth remains soft for some time after eating and/or drinking.
  • Try to steer your children away from the sticky treats — Avoid gummy candy, popcorn balls, taffy, and caramels.
  • Before you send your little ones out to trick-or-treat, have them eat a good meal — This will make them less likely to fill up on candy while they are out.
  • If you are handing out treats, consider purchasing something other than candy to hand out — Check your local department store. Chances are you will find a variety of fun, non-food Halloween items.

Got Bad Breath? Good Questions to Ask the Dentist

Medically referred to as halitosis, bad breath affects a number of people, even though many people never share their concerns with other people or their dentist. If you are experiencing breath that makes you self-conscious when you open your mouth, this is an issue you should discuss with your Owensboro dentist. Here are a few questions to ask.

Do you have gum disease?

Gum disease and bad breath can be directly linked, and if you have gum disease like gingivitis, it can mean that the health of your teeth is at risk as well. Gum disease may generate a host of symptoms beyond halitosis, such as:

  • swollen gums
  • receding gums around your teeth
  • red, irritated gums that bleed easily

If you struggle to combat bad breath, make sure to ask your dentist if gum disease could be to blame. If issues with your gums are not addressed, it can make problems with bad breath far harder to control.

Are there products you can use to thwart bad breath issues?

Products with baking soda can help keep poor-smelling breath at bay, mouthwash may offer some relief, and even sugar-free gum can help. However, your dentist may actually prescribe something like a medicated mouthwash specifically formulated to eliminate the germs and bacteria that can cause bad odors. Your dentist may also offer helpful recommendations, such as recommending that you come in for hygiene visits more frequently or switch to a different type of toothpaste.

Is there anything the dentist can do to help with halitosis?

Some people have problems with bad breath due to issues with their teeth. For instance, if your teeth are crowded, it can make it easier for food to get trapped between your teeth, which leads to bacteria in your mouth and more instances of foul-smelling breath. Your dentist may be able to combat some problems through typical dental treatments.

Bad breath can make you self-conscious about how you interact with the world around you, but this issue is not uncommon and you should never e embarrassed about asking for advice. Reach out to us at Travis Wilson Family Dentistry and set an appointment so we can help you out.

Exploring the Common Causes of Tooth Pain

When tooth pain comes on suddenly, it can feel so intense and distracting that you can think of little else except feeling better. Irritation or damage to the nerves of a tooth are the most common reasons to experience tooth pain. This type of discomfort can arise from severe tooth decay or one of several other common causes that we explore below.

Tooth Decay

When you have a cavity, the plaque on your teeth converts to bacteria and acid that can erode the outer enamel of your tooth and cause significant pain. Extreme sensitivity occurs once the bacteria succeeds in forming a small hole in your tooth. At the same time, bacteria reaches the soft dentine located in the enamel underneath your tooth. You probably have a mild cavity if you have throbbing pain that comes and goes. Severe sensitivity to touch and temperature usually occurs as the decay gets closer to the dentine layer.

Gum Disease

As gum disease progresses, the gums pull away from the teeth and expose the roots. This can result in significant pain. Before gum disease reaches this point, it can cause discomfort due to chronic inflammation. This can cause a toothache, irritation of the gums, and gum abscess before eventually causing the gums to pull away and expose the roots.

Teeth Grinding

Although this is a common habit, many people don’t realize they do it because it occurs during sleep or during times of great stress. Chronic teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can cause pain due to the extensive loss of tooth enamel and dentine. It can also cause one or more teeth to chip or fracture. Unfortunately, tooth pain caused by bruxism usually extends to several teeth.

Tooth Sensitivity

For most people, the first sign of tooth sensitivity is pain when consuming a hot or cold beverage or piece of food. You can also trigger sensitivity just by brushing and flossing the affected tooth. This typically occurs due to the exposure of dentine micro-tubules that enable stimulus to reach the roots and nerves of the tooth.

Contact Dr. Travis Wilson as the First Sign of Tooth Pain

With offices conveniently located in Owensboro and Beaver Dam, Kentucky, Dr. Wilson is available to assess and treat your tooth pain promptly. Please contact the office nearest you for an appointment.

Why getting regular dental check ups is so important

As adults, we have one set of teeth that need to serve us our entire lives. Protecting those teeth is essential. And, one of the cornerstones of good dental hygiene and health is regular dental checkups.

What Happens at a Check Up?

A dental checkup has two parts. First, cleaning is performed, a dental hygienist will perform a service known as scaling. During scaling, special dental tools are used to remove tartar, a hard substance that can accrue on your teeth near the gum line. You will probably also have your teeth polished. Polishing involves using a gritty substance to remove any surface stains to improve the appearance and cleanliness of your teeth. Finally, the hygienist will floss. This removes any material from between teeth and helps dental professionals assess the health of your teeth and gums.

dentist and patient

The other part of your dental checkup involves a dental exam. Your dentist or another professional from the office will visually examine your teeth, gums, tongue, and the interior tissue of your mouth. They will look for issues that can include cavities, cracked teeth, inflammation, and more. Your gums will be checked with special tools that help assess the depth of the spaces between your gums. In healthy gums, those spaces are shallow. However, when someone has gum disease, the spaces may become deeper as gums recede.

X-rays may also be a part of your dental exam. These can reveal issues with your teeth that are not visible to the naked eye.

Catching Potential Issues Early

During this exam, your dentist may see issues that include cavities, gum disease, and more. When problems are noticed, dental care can be scheduled to correct them.

Experts recommend that you go for check-ups twice a year. Going this often allows your dentist to catch any potential issues early before they become big problems. The sooner a problem is found, the easier it is to correct.

By engaging in regular preventive care, you can keep your teeth stronger and healthier now and throughout your life. Is it time for your next checkup? Call to schedule one today.