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Wednesday, 31 May 2017 19:45

Should I Go to the Dentist If I’m Sick?

cancel appointment if sickYou may be asking yourself this question if you have a dentist appointment but are feeling a bit under the weather. As many dental appointments can be difficult to reschedule, you might find yourself uncertain of what to do. To cancel or not to cancel? Here’s a guide on whether you should cancel your appointment if you’re sick.

How Sick Am I?

The first thing you must decide is, “How sick am I?” The type of ailment, depending on your symptoms, can greatly affect your appointment. You must evaluate the severity of your sickness, and the level of pain and discomfort. Patients who are unable to sit still through an appointment should consider rescheduling.

Am I Contagious?

Contagious? If you don’t want to infect others, always reschedule.

However, you might not always know if you are contagious. If you are coughing or sneezing, you may have a common cold, a virus, or maybe even the flu. In this case, you should carefully listen to your symptoms.

Even if you are no longer sick, but have been feeling under the weather over the past several days, you might still be carrying the virus. Studies report that carriers can remain contagious to others for up to one week.

What Should I Do If I Keep My Dentist Appointment If I’m Sick?

In the event that you are experiencing congestion, let our Tedford Family Dentistry staff know. Patients who often have trouble breathing through their nose may also struggle through dental procedures, as their mouth is occupied at times during treatments or exams. If you choose to keep your dental appointment, always communicate to your hygienist, dental assistant, or Dr. Tedford, if or when you experience any discomfort during your visit.

Cancelling My Dentist Appointment

Whether you have a dental emergency or are getting a routine checkup, as a general rule of thumb, we recommend that patients only cancel an appointment in the event of an emergency (sickness included).

While the majority of dental offices understand the need to cancel at times, we do urge you to keep your appointment to avoid any unnecessary cancellation fees. Plus, rescheduling appointments may take time, depending on availability.

If you are sick or contagious, contact our office today and ask us about our policy for these situations. It’s likely we’ll reschedule you for a different date. Get well soon!
Thursday, 20 April 2017 14:49

5 Step Oral Cancer Self-Examination

Self Examine Oral CancerSince April is Oral Cancer Awareness month, it is important to set aside a few minutes to regularly check your gums, tongue, and mouth for any abnormalities. It is especially important to perform these routine checks if your family has a history with oral cancers. Take the time to perform these 5 oral self-examinations at home because you never know, what takes only a minute could save your life.

1. Examine your tongue for anything strange in appearance, such as darker spots. Next, touch the tip of your tongue to the top of your mouth. Examine the underside of your tongue and the pallet under the tongue. Both should be consistent in surface and shading.

2. Examine the top of your mouth, feeling with your tongue or fingertips. To make this easier, tilt your head backwards and check the roof of your mouth for color or texture changes on the surface.

3. Visually examine your cheeks using a mirror and lifting cheeks outward. Look for discoloration, and shaded splotches. Next, examine the gums of your cheek. With one finger resting on gums and one outside of the cheek, use a circular pinch motion to examine for sensitivity or masses.

4. Examine your neck and head for unevenness, bulging, or swelling. Applying moderate pressure, slide your fingertips around your neck, jaw line, and lymph nodes.

5. Examine your lips for any extreme changes in color or persistent sores, lesions, blisters, ulcers, and lumps. Note: sores are not always an indication of lip cancer. Since the lips are prominent and visible, lesions can be seen and identified easily. This allows for early diagnosis.

To prevent oral cancers, avoid smoking cigarettes and tobacco, reduce your alcohol consumption, minimize sun exposure, eat a healthy, balanced diet, and wear an SPF lip balm. If you are interested in learning more about oral cancer awareness, consult with Dr. Tedford or primary healthcare physician.

 
This website is designed for general patient educational and information purposes only and does not render medical advice or professional services, unless we otherwise indicate. The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional health care, and is designed to support - not replace - the relationship you have with your health care provider. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency medical services immediately.

Root Canal xray Ooltewah

Two words: root canal. These words often come with a chill, followed by jaw clenching, and phantom tooth pain. While the procedure has gained a bad rap among the general population, root canal treatments have significantly improved through the years with advancement in technology. In an attempt to bring awareness to Root Canal Week, March 27 - April 2, we hope to answer your endless endodontic questions on root canals.

When is a root canal needed?

If your Ooltewah dentist or endodontic specialist recommends root canal treatment, you may have inflammation, infection, or an abscess, resulting from deep decay, a cracked or chipped tooth, or injury. Root canal treatments are needed to save a tooth after the soft tissue inside the root canal, known as the pulp, becomes inflamed or infected.

What are the symptoms for necessary endodontic treatment?

Symptoms include: tooth pain, extreme sensitivity to touch, chewing, and temperatures (hot or cold), tooth discoloration, inflammation and swelling, and excessive drainage of lymph nodes. In some cases, the listed effects may or may not be visible; sometimes, there are no symptoms at all. Consult your Ooltewah dentist for further examination if you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms.

What steps are involved in the procedure?

Step 1.Following an examination and x-rays, a local anesthetic will be administered to numb the inflamed or infected tooth. Next, a small “dental dam” is placed over the tooth area to keep it clean during the procedure.

Step 2. A small opening is made in the crown of the tooth. Using minimally invasive instruments, the pulp from the chamber is cleaned which makes room in the canal for filling.

Step 3. Once cleaned, the root canal is then filled with a rubbery, thermoplastic material called gutta-percha, which is placed with an adhesive cement to ensure a proper seal of the root canals. A temporary filling is often placed to close the opening, and later removed by your dentist.

Step 4. On your final visit, a crown is placed on top of the tooth, which is used to restore to original function.

Ask your Ooltewah dentist at Tedford Family Dentistry for more details about the specific restoration process, and how root canal treatments can keep your smile beautiful and bright!

Ooltewah Root Canal
ooltewah tips for a sparkling smileWhile coming up with your resolutions this year, don’t overlook your smile. Oral health resolution strategies can guarantee a sparkling smile by following these simple tips to keep your teeth and gums healthy all year long.

Brush, Floss, Rinse, and Repeat. This is something you hear each time you leave the dentist, and for good reason! It is recommended to brush twice daily and floss once daily. Take charge this year with superior oral health at home. Doing so will protect your pearly whites from tooth decay and gum disease, not to mention, keep them sparkling bright.

You Are What You Eat. Diets are not a new addition to the resolution list, however, it is important to maintain a healthy and balanced nutrition plan for overall general health, including oral health. Your daily dose of fruits and veggies can increase immunity to common colds, bacteria leading to gum disease, while also removing plaque and bad breath.

Stay Hydrated. Water is your best friend when it comes to overall health and wellness. This is especially true in oral health. Sugary and acidic drinks can over time, break down enamel on teeth, thus increasing the chance for tooth decay.

See Your Dentist for Regular Preventative Care. Scheduling routine cleanings and dental exams is the number one thing you can do to keep your smile shining bright. It is recommended to schedule a visit for routine cleanings every six months. This can help prevent dental disasters and expensive treatments.

Call us to schedule your next appointment today!
Thursday, 16 February 2017 15:33

National Children’s Dental Health Month

Childrens Dental Health Ooltewah Dentist An entire month to celebrate dental awareness? Yep, and it’s one of our favorites! Celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month this February with us as we promote healthy gums, teeth, and overall oral hygiene in children. Looking for ways to improve your child’s dental habits? Here’s what you need to keep your little one’s teeth clean and healthy.

Start Brushing. Bacteria and decay can begin as soon as baby teeth come in. Once they erupt, the American Dental Association says an early start is crucial. It is recommended to brush baby teeth twice daily, instead of waiting until children are older.

Use Fluoride. Toothpaste warning labels reading, “harmful if swallowed” can often scare parents from using products containing fluoride in children. However, it is encouraged to begin healthy habits and dental prevention at an early age. So how much is recommended? When you start brushing, smear only the tiniest amount of toothpaste on your child’s toothbrush, as it doesn’t take much. At 24 months, the amount can be increased to the size of a grain of rice. At three years of age and older, the amount should increase roughly to the size of a pea. If you are concerned about the amount or your child’s inability to spit, consult your pediatric dentist or pediatrician for more information.

Start Flossing. Once your child develops their baby teeth, it’s never too early to start flossing. Child-friendly flossing tools are available to help make cleaning easier until your little one learns how.

Drink Water. Water is excellent for overall wellness, especially in oral health. Drinking the appropriate amount of water containing fluoride per day can help protect little teeth from pesky cavities.

A Clean Mouth is a Happy Mouth. Keeping a pacifier in their mouth can almost seem like a full-time job, and the same goes for utensils. However, if you are picking these up and putting them in your mouth, then back in theirs thinking that it’s cleaner, think again. Doing so can introduce new germs and bacteria transmitted from your saliva.

Schedule the First Dental Visit. How soon should you schedule your baby’s first visit? This major milestone should take place soon after your baby’s first tooth and no later than their first birthday.

For more information regarding good dental habits in children and pediatric dentistry, give us a call today to schedule your baby’s first appointment.  

ooltewah dentistWhether you’ve recently moved or are making the switch to a new health care professional, choosing the right dentist in Ooltewah is an important decision for proper dental care and to help your smile continue to sparkle bright. Here are the top 5 do’s when picking the right dentist in Ooltewah for you, your family, and overall oral health and wellness:

1. Do Read Patient Reviews

When searching for the best dentist in Ooltewah, TN and which is the right choice for you, do your homework first. Online patient reviews are a great way to find a qualified dentist near you. See Google reviews, yelp, and healthcare websites, such as Health Grades to see what other patients are saying about their overall experience.

2. Do Ask Around for Recommendations

If you’re still searching for a licensed dentist in Ooltewah – ask friends, family, and even co-workers for their suggestions. If you are moving out of city or state, ask your current dentist for their professional recommendation.

3. Do Inquire About Specific Dental Needs

With each unique smile, comes unique needs. Perhaps you need an experienced pediatric dentist for your family or a full service cosmetic dentistry in Ooltewah. Compare the dental services to understand the best dental options for you.

4. Do Check Location & Office Hours

Do you live or work in the Ooltewah surrounding area? Consider the travel distance and office hours. Since regular dental cleanings are the key to maintaining oral health, it might be easier to follow up with your recommended 6 month dental examinations and appointments if you’re within a reasonable driving distance.

5. Do Inquire About Insurance Options The deciding factor when choosing a dentist in Ooltewah may come down to insurance, so don’t forget to discuss payment methods. If insurance does not cover a necessary dental procedure, ask about other financing options that may be available to you.

6. Do Consider Tedford Family Dentistry to Meet All of Your Dental Needs In Ooltewah, TN and Surrounding Chattanooga Areas

Please contact our dental office in Ooltewah, TN if you have any questions or to schedule an appointment. We look forward to providing you and your family with the very best dental care possible. Make an appointment with us and experience our family friendly dental care that's sure to make you smile.

Thursday, 15 September 2016 17:20

Oral Hygiene Improves Well-Being

55469042 lHealthy mouths and healthy bodies are one in the same. Not only will proper oral care ensure a bright, white smile, good oral hygiene can improve your overall health. Improving your oral health can help reduce your risk of disease and has been linked to a stronger memory later in life.

Proper oral care during childhood years can really pay off during adulthood. Healthy brushing, flossing and rinsing habits, along with regular trips to the dentist can boost your overall health. Here are six ways teeth and gum care leads to a healthy mouth and body.

Increases Self-esteem and Confidence
The bad breath and discolored teeth that accompany gum disease and decaying teeth can limit your confidence and self-esteem. With healthy mouths come an increased quality of life. Individuals with healthy mouths are able to eat a broader diet, sleep better and experience less tooth pain and mouth infections.

Lowers Heart Disease Risk
Gum disease causes a chronic inflammation of the tissues surrounding the mouth. This inflammation has been associated with heart disease, blockages of blood vessels, strokes and other cardiovascular problems. While experts have not confirmed the link between gum disease and other health conditions, research indicates that maintaining oral health can improve overall health.

Preserves Memory
According to reports from the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, adults with gingivitis performed worse on memory and cognitive tests than those with healthy gums and mouth. Individuals with gingivitis scored lower on tests involving delayed verbal recall and subtraction.

Gingivitis causing bacteria can be reduced with antibacterial mouthwash and toothpaste.

Reduces Inflammation and Infection
Infection in other parts of the body has been linked to poor oral health. Specifically, research has indicated an association between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis, a condition that causes inflammation of the joints. Regular visits to the dentist, a balanced diet, brushing, flossing and using an antiseptic mouthwash can all lower your risk for tooth decay and gum disease.

Stabilizes Blood Sugar
Many people with diabetes also have gum disease. Since diabetes weakens your ability to fight infection, it can increase your chances of developing severe gum problems, making it more challenging to manage blood sugar levels. For diabetics, proper oral health may help with blood sugar control.

Benefits Pregnant Women
Gingivitis increases during pregnancy. There has also been evidence of a correlation between gum disease and low birth weight, preterm babies.

Visit our Ooltewah dentist office to keep your smile bright and white and improve your overall health.
Friday, 05 August 2016 14:49

The Chew on Gum

13746892 lAccording to a 2015 study, 100 million bacteria can be removed from the mouth after 10 minutes of chewing sugar free gum. There are more benefits to chewing gum than just minty fresh breath. It can help various other aspects while you chew:

Oral Health
Chewing sugar-free gum after meals can help to clean teeth by rinsing off and neutralizing the acids left behind by plaque and bacteria. In addition to preserving tooth enamel, chewing sugar free gum stimulates saliva flow up to ten times the normal rate.

Xylitol, the artificial sweetener found in sugar free gums, prevents the growth of oral bacteria and cavities. The ingredient prevents bacteria from adhering to the tooth, stopping cavities from forming.

Cognitive Function
Not only does chewing gum help to strengthen teeth, but it has also been linked to improving cognitive function. The action increases blood flow to the brain and elevates the body’s glucose level which aids in fueling the mind.

Stress Relief
Chewing sugar free gum can also work to reduce stress. The rhythmic motion can relax the body, reducing tension and leaving you satisfied. It can also help to reduce nervous energy.

Aids Digestion
Digestive health can also be improved by chewing gum. It increases saliva flow which increases swallowing and prevents acid reflux.

Though chewing gum can be beneficial to your oral hygiene, it should not replace brushing or flossing.
Tuesday, 12 July 2016 17:05

Super Foods for a Healthy Smile

53380148 lWe’ve all heard the saying that you are what you eat. Those words couldn’t be more accurate when it comes to oral health. According to the American Dental Association, your dental health is the first thing to suffer from a poor diet. Improve your overall health with these super foods:

Cheese
Cheese lovers, rejoice! Not only is it delicious, but it has been shown to increase the pH levels in your mouth and lower your risk of tooth decay by neutralizing the acids in your mouth. It is rich in calcium, protein and other nutrients. Cheese strengthens tooth enamel which protects your teeth from sensitivity.

Celery
Filled with vitamins A and C, celery is great for your gums. It can also act like a toothbrush, scraping away food particles and bacteria as you eat.

Yogurt
Plain yogurts with no added sugars are super foods for your teeth. Yogurt is filled with calcium and protein which help to create strong and healthy teeth. The probiotics, or healthy bacteria, found in yogurt also fight bacteria that can lead to tooth decay.

Leafy Greens
We all know that leafy greens are good for your health, but they are beneficial to our oral wellness too. Low in calories, yet packed with vitamins and minerals, spinach and kale promote oral health. Their high calcium content protects the enamel on your teeth and fights gum disease in pregnant women.

Apples
While most sweets can be harmful to your teeth, apples can be beneficial to your oral health. High in water and fiber, apples can fight bacteria and rinse away remaining food particles. Eating them can also stimulate your gums.

Carrots
Crunch away on carrots as they are filled with fiber and reduce your risk of developing cavities. They are also rich in Vitamin A which can help with vision and immune function.

Almonds
Almonds are healthy snacks for weight loss, but a good source of calcium for your teeth. Similar to leafy greens, they keep tooth enamel strong and healthy.

In addition to regular brushings and cleanings, drinking plenty of water and eating more dairy and vegetables can help to create a strong, healthy smile. For more information on strong, healthy smiles contact our Ooltewah dentist office at 423-238-8887.

Friday, 10 June 2016 19:38

Navigating Your Toothpaste Options

Ooltewah TN dentistsWith countless toothpaste options available, it can be overwhelming to select between all natural ingredients, whiteners and fluorides. When selecting toothpastes your preferences and personal needs should be your primary consideration. This brief overview can help you to navigate the dental care aisle and select the best toothpaste.

Fluoride
One of the most important ingredients in toothpaste is fluoride. This naturally occurring mineral helps to fight cavities and tooth decay. The sugars, starches and left over food particles found in your mouth are the ideal energy source for the bacteria in your mouth. As the bacteria feed, they release a damaging acid. Fluoride strengthens the enamel on your teeth, making them less susceptible damage. Using a fluoride toothpaste can also protect against tooth decay.

Even if your water contains high levels of fluoride, studies have shown that using a fluoride toothpaste can help to strengthen teeth.

Tartar Control
There are a variety of tartar controlling toothpastes with fluoride available. Plaque is a layer of bacteria that occurs on teeth. If plaque isn’t removed, it hardens to form tartar. Tartar is more difficult to remove and overtime can build up and lead to gum disease.

Pyrophosphates, zinc citrate and other chemical compounds reduce tartar buildup. There are some brands on the market that also contain triclosan, an antibiotic that kills bacteria. Toothpastes that contain multiple plaque fighters are more effective in controlling tartar buildup.

Sensitive Teeth
Toothpastes with potassium nitrate or strontium chloride are ideal for sensitive teeth. These ingredients fight tooth sensitivity by blocking the nerve pathways. These toothpastes do not provide immediate relief. In most cases, it takes approximately 4 weeks to notice a decrease in sensitivity.

Whitening
Whitening toothpastes are some of the most popular choices on the market. Rather than containing bleaches, most whitening toothpastes contain abrasive chemicals or particles. These substances help to polish the teeth and bind to remove stains. Abrasive whiteners have found to be no harder on tooth enamel than any other varieties of toothpaste.

There are more factors to consider when selecting a toothpaste. Choose one that contains the American Dental Association seal of approval. This marking indicates an independent review board has evaluated its safety and effectiveness. Also, steer away toothpastes that are made in China. The FDA found some to contain diethylene glycol, a potentially toxic substance.

With such a wide variety of toothpastes available, it can be challenging to select which is the best fit for you. Beyond fluoride protection, the other ingredients are a matter of preference. No matter which type of toothpaste you choose, it is important to brush your teeth thoroughly for approximately 2 minutes, twice a day.

Our Ooltewah dentist at Tedford Family Dentistry can help you to select a toothpaste and create a bright, shining smile. Call us at 423-238-8887 to make your dentist appointment today.

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