Does your spouse avoid kissing you in the morning? About 95 percent of people experience bad morning breath from time to time. Before Dr. Greenfield can treat your bad breath, take this self-assessment to determine what’s causing your morning breath.
- Does your mouth feel dry? Your salivary glands slow down and produce less saliva while you sleep. This means that there is no moisture to wash away oral bacteria. Oral bacteria don’t sleep when you do, so they thrive in the dry environment all night long, contributing to a bad odor when you wake up. Your mouth will naturally dry out as you sleep, but keep a glass of water next to your bed to stay hydrated during the night.
- Do you practice healthy hygiene? Brushing and flossing your teeth before you go to bed will help remove bacteria and food particles that could cause a stink when you wake up. By clearing out debris, you are also giving your oral bacteria less to feed on during the night—which will also help reduce your risk of decay. In addition, if you use mouthwash, make sure it has little to no alcohol content because alcohol further dries out your mouth. Additionally, don’t eat less than three hours before bedtime so you have enough time for food particles and bacteria to dissolve.
Only about half of Americans visit the dentist every year. It’s essential to visit Dr. Greenfield twice a year for a professional dental cleaning and checkup. What exactly does a dental checkup involve? Here are the important components of your professional checkup with Dr. Greenfield.
During the first part of your checkup, Dr. Greenfield will perform a full examination of your mouth, including:
- Visible tooth-by-tooth exam to check for decay, chips, fractures, and other noticeable problems
- Digital X-rays to evaluate detailed images of your teeth, roots, bite, and facial bones. X-rays can help detect tooth decay, gum disease, misalignments, and other dental conditions in their developing stages so they can be treated early on.
- Head and neck exam to check for signs of TMJ
- An occlusion analysis to evaluate your bite
- Periodontal exam to assess the color and tenderness of your gums, as well as treat bacteria along your gum line
- Oral cancer screening using the VELscope system to detect tissue abnormalities
- Cosmetic analysis to check for discolorations, gaps, chips, and other imperfections. Dr. Greenfield will then recommend treatment options that will restore and improve your smile.
- Your dental examination will also address your dental discomforts, including phobias and anxieties. We will provide comfortable accommodations for all our patients.
As a holistic dentist in Lake Orion, Dr. Greenfield is devoted to patient health and safety. Tomorrow, April 7, is World Health Day, which focuses on the theme that good health adds years to your life. Dr. Greenfield wants to remind you that good dental care and holistic techniques can keep you and your smile healthy for years to come.
Oral-Systemic Health in Lake Orion
Dr. Greenfield practices several techniques to keep all our patients happy and healthy. Here’s how your Lake Orion dentist will treat your mouth and body in the safest way possible:
- Metal-Free: Dr. Greenfield is a strong advocate of holistic dentistry, which means we only use materials that are accepted by your body. At our Lake Orion dentist office, we do not offer amalgam fillings. Because of the risks associated with mercury, including allergies, leakage, and toxicity, we only provide our patients with safe, composite fillings. If you need Dr. Greenfield to remove amalgam fillings, he exercises special precautions so you will be exposed to the least amount of harmful mercury.
- Conservative: When we place composite fillings, we practice our conservative philosophy of leaving as much natural tooth structure in place as possible. Composite fillings bond to your tooth structure, eliminating the risk of leakage, cracking, and shape change.
Drinking alcohol impairs your mind and body, but it also negatively impacts your oral health. April is Alcohol Awareness Month, and Dr. Greenfield encourages you to be aware of the dental problems associated with alcohol consumption. Let’s determine how alcoholic beverages are destroying your smile.
Alcohol Decays and Erodes Your Teeth
Most alcoholic drinks—like beer, gin, rum, brandy, whiskey, and wine—are very concentrated in sugar. The bacteria in your mouth feed off these sugars and produce an acid that attacks your teeth. Furthermore, that tangy sensation you get from alcohol is caused by acid in the drink. Many mixed beverages also combine alcohol with soda or citrus juice, increasing the sugar and acid content. High sugar and acidity can increase your risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and enamel erosion.
Alcohol Weakens your Gum Tissue
The acid in alcohol can burn or irritate the soft tissues in your mouth. Your gums, tongue, cheeks, and throat are all very delicate, and alcohol can corrode your tissues. When your gums become irritated, they weaken, swell, bleed, and are no longer able to support your teeth.
If you avoid the dentist due to anxiety or sensitivity, you’re not receiving the professional dental care you need to keep your mouth healthy. At Lake Orion Family Dentistry, we want you to feel completely comfortable and confident during your appointment. Dr. Greenfield will discuss your individual dental phobias and recommend the sedation treatment that’s best for you. We offer three types of dental sedation to keep your body and mind relaxed during your appointment.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a light sedation that is recommended to relieve anxiety for children and adults. You will inhale a gas through a facemask and begin to feel a little lightheaded. Dr. Greenfield will control the amount of nitrous you receive to keep your body safe and comfortable. You will remain awake during treatment, but your body will be relaxed and unaware of pain or discomfort. Once we remove the nitrous mask, you will immediately be able to continue with your daily activities and drive yourself home.
A study in the Australian Dental Journal revealed that 80 percent of children were infected with cavity-causing bacteria by the age of two. Children aren’t born with cavities, so they must get it from somewhere in that two-year time frame. At your child’s “Happy Visit” with Dr. Greenfield, your Lake Orion dentist will help protect your children’s teeth and show them proper oral care.
What Influences Cavities in Children?
Children are easily influenced by their surroundings. Consider answering these questions to determine what could be causing your child’s poor dental health:
- How much time does your child spend watching TV? As your children watch TV, more than two-thirds of the advertising they see features junk food commercials with fun toys and cartoon spokespeople. Children believe that sugary treats will make them happy.
- How do you calm your crying baby? Many mothers put sweetened liquids in a baby’s bottle, or dip a pacifier in sugar. The sugar can stick to their gums and developing teeth. If you allow your child to fall asleep with a sweetened bottle, there won’t be enough saliva flow available to rinse away the sugar.
- Do you share items with your child? Many children catch cavities from their mothers. Sharing a spoon or cup with your children will pass bacteria from your mouth to theirs. To prevent the spread of cavities, make sure everything that goes into your child’s mouth is clean.
- Do you help your child brush? Young children lack the ability and attention span to thoroughly brush and floss their teeth. Show your child the proper hygiene behaviors and encourage them to do it correctly.
Baby teeth are weak and can easily be destroyed by cavities. Fortunately, Dr. Greenfield offers sealants and fluoride applications to keep young teeth healthy and strong. Contact Lake Orion Family Dentistry at (248) 693-6213 to schedule an appointment for you or your child. We welcome families from Lake Orion, Oxford, Rochester Hills, Clarkston, and the surrounding communities.