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Super User

Super User

If you are new to an area or looking for a new dentist, you may ask yourself, Siri or Alexa: "How do I find the best dentist near me?".  

Oddly, finding a dentist is sometimes one of the last things people look into when they move to a new area.  They find their dry cleaner, child's school, family doctor and favorite restaurants before their dentist.  However, seeing a dentist can be very important to your overall health.  There are many things to consider when searching for a new dentist.  Below are a few things to consider.

Google Searches for Dentists

If you use Google to research "dentists near me",  Google will provide you with a screen filled with options split into 3 sections. 

  1. Typically, the top section of the screen (above the maps box) is paid ads.  Those dentists pay a fee for each click to be listed at the top of the screen, and it may not always reflect on the reputation of the dental practice. 

  2. The next section of the options is what is called Google Maps.  Here you can view dentists by proximity to your device, and you can read reviews about the dentists nearby.
  3. Below the maps, is a listing of additional dentists that is called organic search.  

Online Reviews

Google Reviews and other 3rd party review sites are a good, unbiased way to learn about a dentist and how their patients feel about the staff, overall experience and more.  Third party sites publish all reviews - the good, the bad and the ugly.  Consumers know the reviews are legitimate.  That is why 8 out of 10 consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. 

Dentist Websites

Research the dentists' websites to make sure that they offer services that meet your needs.  Some dentists specialize in certain areas, while others may offer a wide range of services that meet the needs of your entire family -- from pediatric dentistry to senior dental services.  You might also learn about their staff and informative blog posts.

Recommendation from Friends & Family

You trust your friends and family, and they might be able to recommend a really good dentist.  However, you'll still want to do some basic research to make sure their recommendation meets your needs as far as specific services beyond standard teeth cleaning.

Professional Dental Organizations

Check to be sure that the dentist near you is part of professional dental organizations such as the ADA, Academy of General Dentistry and the Dawson Alumni Association - Dedicated to Complete Care Dentistry.

After you have done your research, and have been to visit the dentist for the first time, you can ask yourself questions such as:

  • Did I feel comfortable during my visit?
  • Was everything explained clearly to me?
  • Was there justification for each procedure?
  • Was the dentist wearing loupes (surgical telescopes)?

If all went well, you should feel confident that you did indeed "find the best dentist near me".



Copyright: maxpro / 123RF Stock Photo
“We’ll see you in six months for your next cleaning!” If you’ve been hearing that line from your Ooltewah dentist for as long as you can remember, you might never have stopped to question it. Or perhaps you’re one of those patients who knows they should stick to that six month appointment schedule, but find that life or anxiety gets in the way. Either way, there are several very good reasons why we hope you stick to this teeth cleaning schedule-- and it’s not just because we miss you.

You might wonder why you need to get your teeth cleaned twice a year. After all, there aren’t that many other things you have to do semi-annually-- besides certain sales at the mall, adjusting your clocks for daylight savings time, changing the batteries in your smoke detector, and get your car serviced. But just like those other matters of routine maintenance, your teeth need regular attention, too.

Even if you are a champ about brushing twice a day, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash, you still need a proper cleaning to stay ahead of the plaque that can cause gingivitis and gum disease. Even if you never eat sugary foods and drink fluoridated water, you need to check in and make sure that no periodontal conditions are running rampant in your mouth. We want to see you every six months so that you can hopefully avoid more serious visits, like having to schedule a root canal or a tooth extraction.

Just like you want to change the oil in your car every few thousand miles to keep the engine in peak condition (and to avoid an unexpected trip to the mechanic) we want to give your teeth a tuneup. It’s easy to think that a serious dental condition will never happen to you-- especially if it never has thanks to genetics, good luck, and those regular teeth cleanings we keep on about. But without those semiannual appointments, you could be giving bacteria and plaque many extra months in your mouth, which could make them harder to evict.

If all that gunk really makes itself at home, you could be looking at tooth decay and gum disease. If those conditions progress to a severe point, you could be affecting your overall health beyond your mouth. Dental diseases can not only spread to your tooth roots and jaw bone, but even impact your heart health.

As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Your twice-a-year dental cleanings might not be the favorite item on your calendar, but they’re pretty important. And if it’s been a little (or a lot!) longer than six months, another old saying applies, too. It’s better to see your dentist late than never. So give us a call at Tedford Family Dentistry in Ooltewah TN today so we can give your teeth the attention they’re due.
Monday, 18 December 2017 14:07

Cosmetic Mouthwash vs. Therapeutic Mouthwash

tedford dentist ooltewah tennessee mouth careDid you know there is more than one type of mouthwash? Cosmetic mouthwashes will address short term bad breath, while therapeutic mouthwashes are designed to address numerous dental concerns that can improve your oral health. Whichever type you pick, you’ll find there are plenty of reasons to reach for some type of mouthwash next time you’re are the store. Perhaps you’re on your way to a job interview or a date and are worried about your breath smelling fresh. Or you’re worried that flossing isn’t going far enough in your quest to get rid of plaque. Maybe your dentist told you to take an extra step to prevent gingivitis and tooth decay. Or maybe you’ve had a toothache, and you’re looking for a little extra relief.

Whatever your reason for wanting to swish, you don’t need to feel limited to a minty concoction with a harsh burn. Not only are there two main categories of mouthwash, there are many brands and flavors now on the market. Which one you choose depends on your dental health needs, price point, and what tastes you like. But here are few ingredients to look out for that might help you narrow down the playing field:

Therapeutic mouthwashes tend to contain ingredients including:

    • cetylpyridinium chloride
    • Chlorhexidine
    • essential oils
    • Fluoride
    • Peroxide

Cetylpyridinium chloride sounds like something out of chemistry class, but it’s not so complicated. It’s simply an antiseptic that kills bacteria in your mouth, including those that cause odor. Instead of simply covering up odors on your breath, this ingredient tackles the cause, and can help kill bacteria in hard to reach places after you brush or floss.

Chlorhexidine and essential oils can both be used to combat plaque and gingivitis. The main difference is that chlorhexidine can only be obtained by prescription. That’s because it’s so good at killing bacteria it’s also an ingredient in surgical hand scrub! Certain essential oils can also have antimicrobial properties, without killing good bacteria and while providing a tasty flavor.

Fluoride is a familiar ingredient you might recognize from your toothpaste package. It helps protect your tooth enamel by helping to repel acids, sugars, and bacteria in the mouth before they can cause trouble. You should wait for at least 30 minutes after using a fluoride product to give the ingredient a chance to reach maximum protective effectiveness.

Peroxide is also a way to disinfect your mouth, but it doesn’t have the harsh burn that many associate with alcohol-based mouthwashes. Not only can it help kill bacteria around your teeth and gums, it can also sooth mouth ulcers.

Keep in mind that children under 7 should brush their teeth and learn good flossing habits, but they shouldn’t use mouthwash because their swallow skills might not be developed enough to keep them from ingesting some of the product. Mouthwash is great in your mouth, but it’s not so great in your stomach!

If you still feel overwhelmed by the options, talk to your dentists and dental hygienists at Tedford Dentistry! We’d be happy to help you find a product that keeps your teeth clean and your mouth healthy that is just right for your smile. Whether you’re tackling a specific periodontal condition or just want to keep your whites bright and your breath smelling great, we’ll point you in the right direction.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017 14:12

9 Tips for Denture Care

Ooltewah Affordable Denture CareBelow are some simple, general tips from our Ooltewah dentist to keep your dentures, either complete or partial dentures, in good shape.

When you visit with Dr. Tedford, he will make recommendations on the best denture solutions for you.

1. Take Your Dentures Out Daily.
If possible, take your dentures out while you sleep. If this is not a good option for you, take them out for 6 to 8 hours a day during another time period. This will give your mouth tissues time to recover.

2. Help Retain Your Dentures Shape

Place your dentures in warm water (or a denture cleanser solution), when they are not being worn, to help retain the denture's shape, remain pliable and keeps it from drying out. Dentures should never be placed in hot water, which could cause them to warp.

3. Clean Your Dentures Daily

Like natural teeth, dentures must be cleaned daily to remove food particles, tartar and bacteria, and to help prevent dentures from becoming permanently stained.

Commercial denture cleansers for removable dentures come as tablets, creams, pastes, gels and solutions. The first step in cleaning dentures is to rinse away loose food particles and remove any denture adhesive.

Denture cleanser tablets are dropped into warm water to create an effervescent solution. Dentures are removed from the mouth and placed in the solution. Soaking dentures in the cleaning solution helps kill germs that can cause odor. The amount of time dentures should be soaked—from a few minutes to overnight—depends on the manufacturer’s instructions.

Denture cleansing creams, pastes or gels are brushed on the denture after it is removed from the mouth and then rinsed off, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Denture cleansers should not be used while dentures are still in the mouth.

Dentures can also be cleaned with toothpaste or soap—mild hand soap or dishwashing liquid—warm water and a soft-bristle toothbrush. However, denture wearers should never use bleach or powdered household cleansers, which can be abrasive, for cleaning their appliance as this may damage the denture.

4. Find Out if You Need Denture Adhesives

A film of saliva typically helps hold dentures in place. Denture adhesives may be used if the salivary glands do not produce a sufficient amount of saliva. Denture adhesives are not, however, a remedy for ill-fitting dentures. A denture that fits poorly (i.e., feels loose or causes discomfort) may need to be relined or replaced as it can contribute to the development of mouth sores.

Denture adhesives, also called denture adherents, are creams, powders, wafers or strips that are used to hold dentures firmly in place. The adhesive also helps form a seal that keeps food particles from sticking between the dentures and gums. Adhesive is applied to clean dentures, which are then positioned in the mouth and held in place for a few seconds, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

During denture cleaning, adhesive should be removed with gentle scrubbing to prevent contamination.

5. Look After Your Whole Mouth

You still need to care for your gums, even with complete dentures. When you take out your dentures, give your mouth a good rinse and then massage your gums with a washcloth or a soft toothbrush. If you have partial dentures, you still need to properly brush and floss your regular teeth every day.

6. See Your Dentist
You still need to see your dentist at least once a year. Dr, Tedford will examine your oral tissues for changes and for sores that might become cancerous and he will also provide advice as to oral hygiene and denture care.

7. Watch for Changes in Fit
If your dentures aren’t fitting properly or don’t feel right, please check in with Dr. Tedford, your Ooltewah Dentist. He may be able to adjust your dentures
or recommend a solution. The gums and bones in our mouths change over time, which can lead to an improper denture fit. Poorly fitting dentures can cause problems like sores, pain and burning and may be a sign of periodontal disease.

8. Nourish Your Body
Be sure to be eating a balanced diet. Research suggests that proper nutrition slows the progress of gum disease, so a healthier diet could even mean a healthier mouth.

9. Use ADA Approved Products

A company earns the ADA Seal of Acceptance by producing scientific evidence that demonstrates the safety and efficacy of its product, which the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs carefully evaluates according to objective requirements.

Look for the ADA Seal—your assurance that the product has been objectively evaluated for safety and efficacy by an independent body of scientific experts, the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs.

For more information, please contact our dental office in Ooltewah TN at (423) 238-8887.
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 19:45

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

You 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 Preventive 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 is important for proper dental care and to help keep your smile sparkling 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.

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