Holiday Dental Care Tips

Holiday Dental CareHoliday Dental Care Tips

The holidays are right around the corner. That translates to gifts, parties and get-togethers, scrumptious meals, and holiday merriment.

But all the fun and excitement of the holidays does not mean that you are immune from dental problems. Specifically, you want to avoid dental emergencies at a time when dentists are also on holiday and may not be available to respond to your needs.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to minimize, if not totally eliminate, these risks. Just follow these simple holiday dental care tips outlined by a Laurel, MD dentist.

Use the right tool for the job

The main purpose of your teeth is to break down food in aid of digestion. But apart from helping you smile, you should not use your teeth for other purposes.

Under no circumstance should you use your teeth for cracking nuts. There’s a tool for that: a nutcracker. Do not test the strength of your teeth. That’s a gamble you cannot afford to lose.

Do not use your teeth as a substitute for scissors. If you need to open something, like a bag of chips, use scissors. You may end up taking more time to open something, but it is well worth making the effort knowing that you won’t be damaging your teeth unnecessarily.

Avoid chewy treats, if possible

You do not have to be a Scrooge and totally avoid sugary treats during the holidays. But as much as possible, avoid chewy and sticky candies like taffy and caramel which can stick to the teeth even after brushing and flossing.

Remember, too much sugar can contribute to cavities and tooth decay.

If you love eating candy canes or if you have a hard time resisting eating one, lick it instead of biting on it.

Watch out for nail biting

Although the holidays are all about fun, for some people, they can cause stress and anxiety.

If your primary coping mechanism for stress and anxiety is nail biting, you have to find a better option. Otherwise, you risk damaging both your nails and your teeth.

Set aside some quiet time for yourself. Go for a walk when the weather permits. Go to your local spa.

You do not need to miss out on all the fun and excitement if you wish to take better care of your oral health during the holidays. But you do need to be more mindful of your habits and actions. Contact your local Laurel, MD dentist to schedule a dental cleaning after the holidays. 

Extreme Tooth Sensitivity | Causes and Treatment

Extreme Tooth SensitivityReasons for Extreme Tooth Sensitivity

At certain points in your life, you are highly likely to have brought a spoonful of hot soup to your lips, or taken a bite out of an ice cream cone or sandwich, and suddenly felt a sharp pain in your tooth (or in more than one). You pause for a minute to recover from the pain and surprise, but then you simply shrug the experience off as something that always happens when you eat hot or cold foods, and continue eating.

Tooth Sensitivity Due to Temperature 

Experiencing some sensitivity to hot, cold or acidic foods is quite common, but as any reputable Laurel, MD dentist will tell you, it’s possible that you may need to be a bit more concerned about what the pain could be telling you. If you feel this pain in your teeth and you have a few other symptoms at the same time (examples are swollen gums, loose teeth or significant pain while chewing), then you may be more than just plain sensitive — you could be experiencing extreme tooth sensitivity.

To understand why you experience extreme tooth sensitivity, it helps to learn about the different parts of your tooth:

  • The crown is the part of the teeth found above the gumline. A layer of protective enamel covers the crown.
  • The root is the part of the teeth found below the gumline. It also has a protective coating like enamel, but it is called cementum.
  • Underneath both the enamel and cementum, there is a less dense coating called the dentin. The dentin becomes exposed whenever the first two layers become damaged or begins to wear away.
  • When the dentin is exposed (because of receding gums), the microscopic canals called tubules that are found in the dentin allow fluids to flow in them. These tubules are affected by heat and cold, and their reactions to temperature cause the tooth’s nerves to experience pain and sensitivity.

The Main Cause

The problem begins when the protective coatings of enamel and cementum start wearing away from the teeth. Often, this is the result of brushing the teeth too aggressively or consuming too many foods and beverages that are highly acidic. In other cases, people who overuse teeth whitening products also aggravate the loss of the protective layers.

For individuals with extreme teeth sensitivity, however, the major culprits are tooth decay, tooth fractures, or worn fillings which all cause more dentin to become exposed.

What are the Best Solutions?

The simplest and most effective way to address teeth sensitivity is to see dentist who can treat the underlying dental problem (gum disease, tooth decay or damage that requires a new crown, etc.) that is causing the exposure of the dentin. Some patients who have lost gum tissue around the roots might undergo a surgical gum graft. For more severe hypersensitivity cases, a dentist might recommend root canal to remove the nerves that are causing the pain.

Your Laurel dentist may prescribe the use of desensitizing toothpaste to help protect the tooth surface and provide pain relief.

Do Dental Sealants Prevent Cavities?

Dental SealantsDo Dental Sealants Prevent Cavities?

Dental Sealants are a thin resin coating typically painted on teeth that may be susceptible to cavities. This procedure is often used with children or teens but can also be useful for adults. They are designed to coat the teeth that may be more difficult to clean like molars.

Good oral hygiene practices such as brushing 30 minutes after having your meals, flossing properly, and using fluoride toothpaste, are excellent preventative care choices. However sometimes, life makes it difficult for you to stay consistent with proper daily oral care. Dental sealants can help with this problem especially in young children. Children don’t always know how to brush really well can benefit the most from dental sealants.

The real question here is not “Do dental sealants prevent cavities?”

According to a Laurel, MD dentist, Dr. Aaron Nicholas, dental sealants were developed precisely for the purpose of preventing cavities, and they are quite effective. When dental sealants are applied by an experienced dentist, the sealant will fill in all the pits and fissures of teeth where food normally gets stuck and leaves cavity-causing bacteria. Without that contact with food or sugar, your teeth will not be at risk for cavities.

How Long do Sealants Last?

Dental sealants last about six years, so your teeth are reasonably protected for that amount of time. You can request a reapplication if you’re happy that your teeth were properly preserved by the sealants. This only makes sense, because why would you compromise teeth that you properly preserved for six years? Your commitment should be to keep your teeth strong and healthy through the years, right?

And also, why wouldn’t you? It’s a pain-free process, and for the pretty affordable cost of covering a few vulnerable teeth (dental sealant per tooth costs just between $25 and $50), you can avoid costlier fillings and restorative procedures.

Now, if you’re concerned about the BPA in the plastic resin used for dental sealants, keep this in mind: It may be present, but not in an amount that is truly harmful to your health. This is usually the only thing that holds people back from getting dental sealants. The American Dental Association does not have any problem with this cavity preventative measure and nobody has been reported to have gotten seriously ill because of dental sealants, so do take these into account.

It’s completely up to you if you wish to use this method or not. One thing’s for certain about them: They truly are reliably effective in preventing cavities.To learn more, call the professionals at Nicholas Dental Care today!


Cavity Prevention Tips

Cavity Prevention TipsCavity Prevention Tips | How To Avoid Cavities

The most concerning oral health problem people deal with is a toothache. When you get a toothache, it’s simply impossible to function. There’s just no ignoring that throbbing pain that makes you want to pull your teeth out, which is what may actually need to be done by a dentist if the cause of your toothache is a damaged or completely decayed tooth or teeth.

To avoid toothaches, the solution is simple: Make sure you don’t get cavities or tooth decay. And to prevent cavities from developing, it’s all about smart oral care. So here are some cavity prevention tips to include in your oral care routine:

Brush your teeth properly and regularly.

This is really the most basic thing that you can do to prevent the development of cavities. However, people don’t really know how to go about this simple activity for oral care correctly. Dentists advise brushing after every meal and using a soft bristle toothbrush to protect the teeth’s enamel from scratches that can actually lead to the formation of cavities. Also, brush gently for about two to three minutes, dedicating about 30 seconds for the six sections of your set of teeth.


Always use fluoride toothpaste or rinse with a mouthwash that contains fluoride.

Fluoride toothpaste will strengthen the enamel and make it less prone to damage.


Floss well.

Flossing is able to target those little spaces between teeth where small bits of food get stuck. It’s hard to reach these areas with a toothbrush and only flossing can dislodge stuck food between teeth. There is a proper way to floss, though, to fully get rid of build-up: You don’t just move the floss up and down, move the floss sideways as well to target the base of the teeth where plaque usually form. Be careful not to cut your gums when you’re working the floss through those tiny spaces.


Avoid eating sweets.

Sugar acids from sweets corrode the tooth’s enamel. Reducing your consumption of candies and other really sweet foods will help prevent cavities from forming. But if you do consume sweets, do not brush your teeth right after eating. Drink water and wait about half an hour because immediate brushing and the presence of sugar acids in the mouth can actually weaken teeth and make it prone to cavities.


Drink more water.

Water will wash away food debris, hydrate and help restore the healthy pH level of the mouth, which is essential in preventing cavities.


Visit your dentist regularly.

Don’t miss appointments and have your teeth cleaned thoroughly by a Burtonsville dentist. Also, by visiting your dentist, you’ll have a better understanding of your teeth’s condition and what you should be doing to protect it better and prevent tooth decay.

There you go, the most basic cavity prevention tips; they’re so easy, there shouldn’t be any issue in applying them to your oral care routine.


Cavity Prevention | How To Stay A Step Ahead

cavity preventionCavity Prevention |  Leading Causes of Cavities

From your earliest years, and up to this day, dentists have been tirelessly educating and reminding their patients and the general public about the importance of keeping teeth healthy. Neglect them, and you will soon discover cavities in your mouth that will have to be treated to restore the full function and appearance of your teeth as well as prevent further damage.

What are these cavities? Cavity is another term for tooth decay. It is the result of the bacteria in your mouth creating an acid that eats away at your teeth. You may not notice it at first, but the damage begins with the acid wearing down the enamel on your teeth and working its way down to the succeeding layers until it ends up in the pulp, where nerves and blood vessels can be found.

Left untreated, cavities can lead to pain, infection, and even the loss of the affected tooth. Here are a few tips for cavity prevention: 


Staying one step ahead of cavities

Of course, the best cavity prevention is to learn the leading causes of cavities and to take preventative measures so you can maintain a healthy mouth and teeth. To help you in this regard, a trusted dentist in Silver Spring, Maryland shares five of these causes so you can become more aware and actively invested in fighting cavities.


  1. Failing to observe proper oral care habits.

It may be tiresome to hear, but dentists insist on emphasizing the importance of brushing teeth after every meal, flossing, and regularly using mouthwash because these habits indeed keep the cavities away when properly observed. At the very least, brush twice a day for about two minutes every time.


  1. Consuming food and beverages that are damaging to teeth.

Getting the proper nutrition is crucial in maintaining dental health. However, knowing what to avoid consuming is just as important as eating the right foods. Sugar and acid are two of teeth’s worst enemies and these can be found in candies, processed foods, fruit juices, and sodas, to name a few.


  1. Having existing dental problems.

If you are already experiencing some dental issues, leaving them unresolved can contribute to the development of cavities. For example, cracks and crevices in the enamel provide entry for harmful bacteria which can lead to decay. Similarly, if you have a dry mouth (often caused by genetics, prescription medication or certain medical conditions), bacteria can proliferate because you have limited amounts of saliva that can inhibit their growth. Addressing these dental issues first can do much to keep cavities from forming.


  1. Unconsciously grinding your teeth.

You may not realize that you unconsciously grind your teeth while sleeping, so it could help to have a parent, other relative or partner stay with you for a night as you sleep to determine if you are experiencing bruxism (often caused by stress). The friction from the grinding action can damage your teeth, and using a bite guard can prevent this from happening.


  1. Your age and genetics.

Finally, your specific bodily makeup could be a factor in the formation of cavities. You could inherit dental issues like crevices and enamel problems, or the number of years of failing to observe proper dental habits could finally be catching up with you. It’s best to consult your trusted dentist about the best treatment program so you can be free from cavities once and for all.

If you have additional questions about cavity prevention, contact your local Burtonsville dentist at Nicholas Dental Care. Let the dental professionals give you more information and answer any questions you may have.



What Causes Cavities?


What Causes Cavities?

It’s one of the things that parents often warn their children about: cavities. If these evil things find their way into the little ones’ mouths, there would be much pain and discomfort, and they would have to stay away from most (if not all) things sweet and delicious, as punishment.

As amusing as this may sound, it does hold truth — and it does so for both kids and adults. You can get cavities at any age, and unless you want to leave out many of the foods you love to eat from your diet for the long term, and go through some serious dental treatments, you may want to rethink your dental habits and keep your mouth, teeth and gums in the healthiest condition possible.

By definition, cavities (also known as caries) are the decayed parts of teeth. What causes cavities, you ask? Check out the list below:

Eating certain foods and drinks — Dentists advise patients to avoid foods and drinks that cling to the teeth as much as possible to avoid the development of cavities. Examples would be starchy foods like breads and dry cereals, and ones that contain lots of sugar, like hard candies, honey, milk, and raisins.

Drinking bottled water — You may think that water, as plain as it is, shouldn’t be causing your teeth harm, but choosing bottled water over tap water could actually be contributing to the presence of cavities in your mouth. Tap water typically contains fluoride which essentially protects the enamel on your teeth from the buildup of plaque. If you must drink bottled water, check the labels to see if it contains added fluoride.

Repeated snacking or eating several meals — If you eat several times a day, regardless of what you consume, your teeth becomes exposed to harmful acids longer and more often.  

Receding gums — The roots of the teeth aren’t provided as much protection by enamel when a person’s gums are receding; this makes the teeth more vulnerable to the buildup of plaque and, consequently, to decay.

How do cavities damage your teeth?

  • When the sugars in the food you eat aren’t cleaned off your teeth right away, bacteria begin to feed on them, and acids are produced. This leads to the formation of plaque; in the beginning, plaque is soft and can be easily removed, but if you miss this window of opportunity, plaque hardens and becomes more difficult to remove — and serves as breeding ground for more bacteria.
  • The resulting acids begin to take away minerals from your teeth’s enamel. This creates tiny holes, which are the first forms of cavities. The acids and bacteria can now access the next layer in the teeth, the dentin, which is softer than enamel.
  • When left unresolved, the acids and bacteria proceed deeper inside the teeth, into the inner pulp where blood vessels and nerves are found. When the decay reaches the pulp, you experience sensitivity, toothaches and pain every time you bite. An abscess — a pocket of pus — can also form.

How can you prevent cavities?

To prevent cavities from developing, or to address their presence in your mouth, it’s best to have your teeth and gums regularly checked or treated by your trusted dentist so you can get the problem taken care of once and for all.