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Cavity Prevention

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A radiant smile can go a long way. Whether we are meeting someone for the first time or it is someone we have known for years, we always notice nice, white teeth. We want to have teeth we are proud to flaunt.

But having healthy teeth is also important for our physical well-being. Nothing is worse than a painful toothache that won’t go away. The most important step to keeping your teeth looking and feeling good is using proper care techniques that will prevent tooth decay, which is better known as cavities.

 

What Are Cavities

As children, cavities were beaten into our heads as something horrible. We were constantly reminded about the importance of flossing and thorough brushing to prevent the dreaded occurrence. As stated earlier, a cavity is just another way to say tooth decay. This is directly influenced by our lifestyle; what we eat, what we drink, how often (and well) we brush, how often (and well) we floss, etc. Even hereditary factors influence cavities!

Although cavities are more prevalent with children, adults are also susceptible to cavities. The major types of cavities are:

  • Coronal Cavities – The most common type, these cavities are located on the chewing surfaces or between the teeth.
  • Root Cavities – As we age, our gums naturally recede, leaving parts of our roots exposed. There is no enamel protecting our roots, so these areas are very prone to cavities.
  • Recurrent Decay – Decay can easily form around existing fillings and crowns because these areas specialize in accumulating plaque, which leads to decay.

 

How Do I Know I Have a Cavity

This is a simple answer: regular check-ups with your dentist. There is no way for sure to know when we are showing early signs of decay, but dentists can quickly locate and fix cavities before more serious issues arise.

Cavities are developed below the tooth’s surface. Foods that are high in carbohydrates (sugars and starches) are some of the main culprits, as carbs are eaten by the bacteria in plaque, which produces acids that eat into our teeth. Over time, the tooth enamel starts to break down beneath the surface. As the sub surface enamel continues to deteriorate, the actual surface will eventually collapse, and our cavity is formed.

 

How Serious Are Cavities?

Not to be overly dramatic, but cavities are very serious if they go untreated. Over time, a cavity will rot the tooth and kill the sensitive nerves at its center. An abscess, an area of infection at the root tip, may form, and this can only be treated with a root canal, surgery, or a tooth extraction.

 

How Do I Prevent Cavities?

If you are someone who has been struggling with cavities your whole life, try some of these tips:

  • Brush a minimum of twice per day.
  • Floss daily to remove plaque buildup from between the teeth and below the gumline.
  • After you brush, rinse with mouthwash.
  • Use dental products that include fluoride.
  • Try to limit your sweets, including sugary juices and sodas.
  • Go to the dentist regularly.

So now that we know what cavities are and why they are bad, we can focus on the preventive measures listed above to limit them. None of these tips are particularly life altering, as we can easily incorporate them into our everyday life.

 

Here’s to having healthy, cavity-free teeth!


Meet Our Newest Dentist: Dr. Jiten Patel

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Our new dentist, Dr. Patel.

The newest addition to The Dentists at Brinton Lake: Dr. Jiten Patel.

Dr. Jiten Patel received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo, after graduating from the Georgia Institute of Technology.  Dr. Patel then completed a one-year General Practice Residency at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center.

Proficient in all phases of general dentistry, Dr. Patel provides comprehensive care to his patients.  “I’m thorough, and I always educate my patients on the procedures,” Dr. Patel says, “I always provide the highest possible quality of treatment I can.”

Born in London, England, Dr. Patel moved with his family to Atlanta, Georgia in 1996 when he was 10. He now resides in Wilmington, DE with his wife Prachi, an optometrist. Dr. Patel, a fan of motorcycles, rally cars, beer brewing, and the NFL, likes spending his free time with his family, friends, and dogs.


Smile Contest at the Dentists of Brinton Lake

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Share Your Smile Contest

Want to win a free Kindle Fire? Then enter the Dentists at Brinton Lake Share Your Smile contest! We’ve already announced the June winner, but you still have a chance to win for July and August!

The Kindle Fire is Amazon’s tablet/reader. At only 7.5 inches, the Kindle Fire allows you to carry around thousands of eBooks, surf the web, check your social media, and listen to music, all in a tablet you can put in your pocket.

To enter the Share Your Smile Contest, just take an awesome photo of your smiling face with your digital camera or smart phone (or have a friend take it). Go to our Facebook Contest page, and “like” our page to enter. Then upload your awesome picture. That’s it! For a more detailed, step-by-step guide to entering the contest, read this blog post.

Share the contest with your friends and family on Facebook, so they can vote for your picture by “liking” it. The photo with the most likes wins! Post your photo now – the earlier you post your picture, the better your chances of winning.

There are two chances to win: in July, and in August. The July contest ends July 31st at midnight, EST, and the August contest ends August 31st at midnight, EST. We’ll announce the winner on our blog and our Facebook page.

(You have to pick up the prize yourself at the Dentists at Brinton Lake, so the contest is only open to those who live in driving distance of Glen Mills, PA.)


Winner of the June “Share Your Smile” Contest!

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Congratulations Susan and Ryan! Your awesome picture won the June “Share Your Smile” contest with 238 votes! As for everyone else: there are still two chances to win a Kindle Fire! We’ll be holding the contest again in July and August. The July contest will launch tomorrow. Stay tuned for details.

Share Your Smile

Winner of the Share Your Smile contest!


Easy, Step-by-Step Guide to entering the Share Your Smile Contest.

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We’re at the home stretch of the Share Your Smile contest, and competition is heating up! You still have a chance to win a brand new Kindle Fire tablet and e-reader.

Entering the Share Your Smile contest is easy. All you need is a Facebook account and a picture of you, or your child, smiling. Here’s how you do it:

 

1. Like The Dentists at Brinton Lake Facebook page, at facebook.com/thedentistsatbrintonlake

 

2. Click on the Share Your Smile Photo Contest button.

 

3. Click on “Submit an entry.”

 

4. You can either use a picture you have on Facebook, or a picture on your computer’s hard drive. Click either “From Facebook,” or “Choose File,” depending on which you’d rather use.

 

5. Click “okay” whenever a popup marked “Photo Contest” asks for access to your Facebook photos or timeline (those are Facebook’s rules).

 

6. Click “Use your Facebook Information” to automatically enter your name and email address.

 

7. Click “Continue” at the bottom of the page. You’ll get one more request from “Photo Contest” to share your picture on your Facebook timeline. Click “okay,” so your friends will know to vote for you!

 

That’s it! Share it as much as you’d like – the more you share your picture, the better your chances of winning. The picture with the most votes on Sunday night wins!

 


3 Ways Your Old Toothbrush is Harming Your Mouth

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toothbrush

A properly cared for toothbrush can make all the difference in oral hygiene.

You probably know that you need to replace your family’s toothbrushes every few months – at least four times a year. But do you know why? It’s not a scheme by the toothbrush makers to get more money out of you. The Dentists at Brinton Lake, near West Chester, want you to know that your toothbrush is a vital part of your oral health regiment, and there are some important reasons why you shouldn’t keep the same one for years on end.


Here are the top 3 ways your old toothbrush could actually be harming your mouth:

Bacteria

Your toothbrush is a great tool for removing bacteria from your teeth and mouth. However, it doesn’t actually kill the bacteria. Though a good rinsing when you’ve finished brushing removes most of the bacteria, some of it stays in the brush. This isn’t a problem at first, but three months of bacteria is more than you should be putting in your mouth. And the best place for bacteria to breed and grow is in a warm damp environment – like your toothbrush.

Bristles

Like any tool, a toothbrush wears down. This affects your teeth in two ways. The first problem is that the worn bristles are tough on your enamel, and can wear it away over time. The second problem is that after three months of use, a toothbrush can be up to 95 percent less effective at removing plaque than when it was new. At that point it’s almost like not brushing your teeth at all.

Illness

It’s best to change your toothbrush after you’ve gotten sick. From something as simple as a cold, to oral illnesses like cold sores or strep throat, it’s a good idea to switch your tooth brush out. Get a new toothbrush when you feel the illness coming on, and a second one for when the illness has tapered off.

Bonus Tips

And just as a friendly reminder, here are some more tips on toothbrush use:

  • Use the brush recommended by your dentist.
  • Your brushing sessions should last two minutes or more.
  • Make sure your toothbrush is stored in the upright position.
  • Let it air dry.
  • Make sure it doesn’t touch any other toothbrushes.
  • Never share your toothbrush.


Stick by these, and you’ll have a foundation for a great smile for the rest of your life.


The Difference Between Plaque and Tartar

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The two most common oral care problems people hear about are Plaque and Tartar. While they are related, they are both very different maladies that need different kinds of treatment. The Dentists at Brinton Lake near West Chester, PA, has laid out the differences between the two, what they each look like, why they are trouble, and how to treat and prevent them.

Plaque

Plaque is a sticky, colorless, soft substance that builds up around the gum line. Plaque is film of bacteria made up of food particles and saliva, and it collects on your teeth every day. Plaque hurts your teeth and gums because it can cause cavities, periodontal disease, and gingivitis, and it can harden into Tartar if it isn’t removed each day.

Plaque causes cavities because of the acid contained within it. It attacks your teeth enamel after you eat, and if it does this long enough without being cleaned, it can break through the enamel, giving the cavity a place to take hold. Plaque also irritates the gums – if your gums bleed when you brush or floss, this could be because of plaque. If you don’t take care of this, the gums will pull away from your teeth, which may cause you to lose a tooth.

Luckily, Plaque can most easily be removed with daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing. Plaque forms within eight hours, so make sure you brush before bed, too.

Tartar

Tartar is yellow or yellowish brown. It’s hard, porous and crusty. It can be very unsightly, and forms along the gum line. Tartar is made up of hardened plaque that hasn’t been brushed away. It is hard because it comes from the mineral deposits in saliva.

Tartar is harmful because it’s hard and porous – bacteria build up inside the tartar on your teeth. It also causes cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss. If tartar isn’t removed it will continue to grow and calcify.

Tartar is not as easily removed as plaque. It can only be done professionally, by a dentist. Tartar is removed by scaling it – instruments are used to remove tartar from teeth. If the tartar has formed below the gum line, then you may have to get surgery to remove it. The best way to prevent all of this is through vigilant brushing and flossing. Tartar control toothpaste has also been shown to help.

Twice a Day

So remember to brush and floss at least twice daily, and if you see any sign of trouble, make an appointment at The Dentists at Brinton Lake, near West Chester, PA!