holiday dinner table

Dental Tips for Surviving the Holidays

The holidays are a favorite time of year for many. From the extra family time, to gift giving and the generally cheerful times they bring. But the holidays can also be a time when we’re putting our teeth in danger.  Here are some tips for surviving the holidays with your oral health intact.

Candies, Cookies & Foods Galore

Regardless of which holidays you celebrate, one thing that’s most common this time of year is gathering with family and friends for dinner and bonding. Celebrations usually include elaborate meals with traditional dishes and baked goods. Some foods we may only see once a year. That might be a reason to go for a second helping, but you’ll want to be cautious about the foods you’re eating- even if only one time a year. Practice eating sensible portions, staying away from treats and candy that are hard or sticky and could become stuck in the teeth and if you must eat it, always brush and floss when you are done. Letting the sugars sit stuck on your teeth until the next morning when you regularly brush is a sure way to bring on cavities.

Stay Hydrated, Drink Responsibly

The holidays are also a time when drinking to celebrate is also common. Be sure to drink responsibly but also remember that drinking plenty of water will keep you hydrated and even move some of the bacteria out of your mouth. Swishing water around in your mouth is also a great way to remove some of the pieces that may be stuck to your teeth and while not the optimal option, can assist at keeping cavities at bay. Water is the best option for a beverage if you have a choice since sodas are acidic and sugary and will contribute to oral issues. If you will be consuming alcoholic beverages, consider skipping the red wine since it is known to stain teeth.

Be Prepared for Dental Health

The best way to fight dental issues as you navigate the holidays is to be prepared. If you’ll be visiting with family and away from home, pack a toothbrush with you so you can excuse yourself after a meal and brush your teeth.

Good habits are one way keep tooth decay and other oral issues away. Scheduling regular dental visits will ensure dangerous plaque is cleaned from your teeth and cavities or gum disease aren’t present.

Fried Dentistry is conveniently located on CT-150 off Main Street in Wallingford, CT with availability for existing and new clients looking for an experienced and professional dentist who can get the job done right. Contact us today!

See a Dentist Right Away to Get Treatment for an Abscess

treatment-for-abscessIf the inside of your mouth gets irritated or injured, bacteria can cause an infection. The area may fill with thick, yellowish pus. If the pus is not able to drain out, the area can become swollen and painful and can develop an abscess. The abscess forms a barrier around the inflamed area and is the body’s way of trying to prevent the infection from spreading. An abscess often forms soon after an infection starts. If the infection is not treated, it can last a long time and can damage the bone and teeth in the surrounding area.

Types of Abscesses

Two types of abscesses can form. A gum abscess, or periodontal abscess, is caused by an infection between the tooth and the gums and can develop if food gets trapped there. Gum abscesses usually heal quickly if the area is thoroughly cleaned, the pus is drained, and the infection is treated. If you have periodontal disease, bacteria can build up under the gums and in the jawbone. The periodontal disease will need to be treated.

A tooth-related abscess, or periapical abscess, is found inside the tooth where the nerve is dead or dying. An abscess begins at the tip of the tooth’s root and can spread to the bone.

An Abscess Can Be Painful

When pressure builds up, it can cause pain. An abscess is usually painful, but sometimes the infection does not cause any pain.

A hollow tunnel called a fistula or sinus tract may form through the bone and skin to let the pus drain. This opening looks like a pimple and might be visible on the inside of the mouth. It can produce an unusual taste in the mouth. When pus drains through a fistula, it relieves pain, but the infection is still present. If you have a swollen area that looks like a pimple on the inside of your mouth, you should rinse your mouth with saltwater several times a day to draw out the pus and relieve the pressure.

If a fistula has formed, your dentist will find the source of the infection by inserting a flexible piece of material into it. The fistula should close on its own after the dentist cleans out the infection.

A Root Canal May Be Necessary to Treat an Abscess

If the abscess is not treated, a fluid-filled bubble called a cyst can form in the jawbone. If the tooth is extracted, the cyst may come out. The tooth might be able to be saved with a root canal. If a root canal does not heal the cyst, surgery may be needed to remove it. In some cases, the infection can spread and lead to serious health problems.

If the infection is inside a tooth, the dentist will make a small hole in the tooth to drain the abscess. A root canal will be necessary, followed by a filling or crown. If the abscess is large or the damage to the tooth is severe, it may be necessary to extract the tooth. The dentist will make a hole in the gums through the jaw to allow the pus to drain and prevent the infection from spreading. The dentist may prescribe antibiotics and painkillers.

Make an Appointment at Fried Dentistry to Have Your Abscess Treated

If you have pain in your mouth and believe you may have an abscess, you should make an appointment at Fried Dentistry in Wallingford, Connecticut as soon as possible. You may need to have the abscess drained, have a root canal, and get antibiotics to treat the infection. Make an appointment today, before the infection spreads and the pain gets worse.

The Advantages of Composite Fillings over Silver Amalgam

Silver Amalgam FillingThese days, whenever a dentist recommends a filling, you’re presented with two options: the classic, long-standing metal amalgam option and a resin-based composite. What’s the difference?

Metal amalgam, first off, has been around for over a century and is considered more malleable. Additionally, it’s known to last longer, but as many can attest, the darker color sticks out within the mouth. Resin-based fillings, on the other hand, have more of a natural appearance; while they’re not known to last as long, the material is said to bind better to the tooth.

Generally, your insurance approves resin-based fillers for the front, but won’t for the back of your mouth. As a result, metal amalgam tends to be more affordable in this regards.

So, when you’re at the dentist next and having to deal with a cavity, why pick a composite resin-based filling over it metal amalgam counterpart?

Aesthetic Reasons

Resin’s typically used for fillings toward the front of the mouth, and that’s because the material – a ceramic or plastic compound, including acrylic, quartz, or porcelain – visually mimics the appearance of teeth.

For years, dentists claimed resin’s weaker composition didn’t make it a good fit for the back of the mouth; specifically, they insisted it wouldn’t hold up to repeat chewing and grinding. Yet, over the past 10 years, stronger versions have been introduced, so, not only do the fillings look more natural, but they’re also sturdy enough to be placed at the back.

Better Bonding

Aside from the aesthetic aspect, composite materials tend to bond better to the existing tooth’s structure. As a result, using it as a filling increases the strength of the tooth being restored. Along with withstanding day-to-day wear and tear, this aspect makes the tooth easier to polish during dental appointments, and creates a stronger seal.

However, be aware that composite resin dissolves slowly over time. During this period, your tooth might take on a stained appearance.

When Should You Consider Metal Amalgam?

While composite resin continues to improve, there are a few instances in which metal continues to be the right choice:

  • When cost is an issue
  • When you need something long-lasting: Metal amalgam lasts about 20-percent longer.
  • You’re extremely concerned about wear and tear at the back of the mouth

Are you having to make a choice between fillings? Fried Dentistry offers both materials. To set up an appointment or learn more, give our Connecticut location a call today.