Category Archives: Blog

Looking after Tongue Health: West Seattle Dentist

Help Tips for a Healthy Tongue

The state of your tongue can very well speak about your hygiene practices and can even tell the status of your overall health. You may not know that oral health is not just about teeth brushing and flossing. Your tongue needs as just much attention, too. A few tips might help you along.

Your tongue needs brushing, too. But do not use the bristles part of the toothbrush for that, instead the reverse part of it if that is provided for by your brush. Or you may use a brush specifically designed for tongue-brushing, sometimes called a tongue-scraper or tongue-cleaner.

The scraper must be thoroughly cleaned before use, that scraping must be in a downward motion two to three times and not too vigorously or you’d hurt your tongue. Do use toothpaste to coat your tongue before you scrape. Remember that you are removing harmful bacteria from your tongue and doing so regularly prevents them from growing and spreading.

While toothpaste neutralizes bacteria on the tongue, rinsing with mouthwash after scraping eliminates bad odor. However, mouthwashes may dry out the mouth so use them only occasionally. Take a half glass of lukewarm water and put in a half teaspoon of salt. Rinse your mouth five to six times a day with it.

Additionally, drink green tea; it eliminates oral bacteria, too. Drink plenty of water to hydrate your mouth. Know that sometimes, dehydration changes the tongue’s color. Avoid black grapes and berries also; they leave their color on your tongue. And if you notice a whitish layer on the tongue during high fever, you can scrape that off.

However, it is likely a fungal infection if it doesn’t get off. For that you might need to see your dentist.

Know More about Tongue Health! Ask our West Seattle dentist

When you come by your dentist in West Seattle the first time, you’ll surely go through a thorough oral examination that includes your tongue. Get to know a complete assessment of your oral status that can lead to a better understanding of what you might need for optimal oral health.

Tooth Bonding by West Seattle Dentist

The Best Uses of Tooth Bonding

If you’ve ever had tooth bonding, you’ve had a cosmetic procedure done on your tooth. It is simply using a tooth-colored material, such as resin, bonded to tooth using adhesives and a high intensity curing light. The procedure restores the natural appearance of teeth that were discolored, chipped or decayed.

Aside from repairing, bonding can alter the shape and length of teeth as may be necessary to align them with others, such as adding tooth-colored resin to edges of teeth that have been worn out. It can take the place of a gap between teeth and protect an exposed root portion after gum tissue has receded.

Bonding is a relatively easy procedure, takes minimal to no preparation unlike using veneers or crowns, and in most cases not requiring anesthesia except when a decayed tooth is involved. It is a common, short office visit (except if multiple teeth need treatment), and must be the least expensive of cosmetic dental procedures.

Due to some inherent limitations of its own, bonded teeth are best suited to small cosmetic changes, ideal for correction of frontal teeth owing to the less stress and pressure they are subject to.

Care for teeth that have undergone bonding is similar to that you give to your natural teeth. Proper oral hygiene as brushing and flossing are essential to maintain their appearance and function. Regular dental visits are as important to see to how bonded teeth are holding up and to check for any chips or discolorations on the surfaces. Your dentist will be able to tell you if bonding is right for you or may make other recommendations relative to your personal conditions.

Cosmetic Solution by Your West Seattle Dentist

A consultation with First Impressions Dental, can help determine if tooth bonding is just right for you. Your West Seattle dentist can provide options depending on the concerned tooth’s condition.

Brush Maintenance

Do you know how to take care of your brush? Some people make the mistake of simply placing this important tool aside in their bathroom cupboards every day, not sparing a thought to its maintenance. If this describes your general practice, consider the following tips to make sure that you continue to get the best out of your toothbrush:

  • Change Your Brush Regularly: The general rule is that you replace your toothbrush every three months. However, some variables may influence this, like if you brush too hard or if you have a gum disease. If the bristles begin to just out at odd angles, they are no longer strong enough to effectively remove plaque. Consider buying a brush with a color-change indicator.
  • Store Your Brush Upright: By standing your brush upright in a glass, you can allow it to air dry after brushing. This prevents the build-up of bacteria. Further, make sure that your brush isn’t stored so close to another person’s that the two can cross-contaminate.
  • Shield Your Brush: When your toilet is flushed, it sends up a light spray of water that can land on your brush if you store it too close.
  • Periodically Clean Your Brush: Occasionally dipping the bristles of your brush in hot water or an antibacterial mouthwash is a good way to kill off any bacteria that may be gathering therein. However, never wash your brush in the dishwasher or zap it in the microwave, as these will damage the delicate bristles.

Talk to our West Seattle dentist for more toothbrush-related tips.

Should I Use Tartar Control Toothpaste?

You have many options when you go to buy your toothpaste. When you browse through the dental care aisle, one of the terms you’re probably going to see a lot of is “tartar control”. But what does this mean, exactly, and how do you know whether or not this is the right choice for you and your family?

The purpose of a tartar control toothpaste is to give you superior protection against the development of tartar on your teeth. This is accomplished with the inclusion of chemical compounds, like pyrophosphates and zinc citrate, which are very effective in discouraging tartar buildup. Some tartar control toothpastes also feature antibiotics that help to control your oral bacteria.

Tartar control toothpaste can, indeed, be a good option. The important thing to remember is that it is only effective for preventing the development of new tartar, and it will not help you to remove tartar that is already on your teeth. You can only safely remove this tartar with the help of a professional dentist. Consult our West Seattle dentist to schedule a regular cleaning.

Anesthesia and Sedation in West Seattle

Different Ways to Block Pain

The choice of the right type of anesthesia and sedation for you will depend on several factors. Your dentist and you will agree on the particular treatment procedure you need, your level of apprehension will have to be considered, as well as history of allergies and your overall health.

Sedation methods come in various forms and strengths. One form is via inhalation, such as nitrous oxide gas, while there are also oral drugs and injectable sedatives. They can provide mild to moderate or deep sedation depending on the dental treatment employed. Sedatives can be administered before or during a procedure. You are actually conscious with mild or moderate sedation and can respond but maybe not speak.

Together with an anesthetic to block the pain, you are just more relaxed, more comfortable, and your recovery would be quick and easy. But if your treatment is complex and lengthy, deep sedation would be necessary.

Local anesthesia comes in injectable form. It aims to numb the area the dentist is going to work on by blocking the pain signals of the nerves therein. Sometimes, you might even request for topical anesthesia, which is an ointment applied to the area so you don’t feel the pain where the needle is to be injected. You are fully awake and able to respond under local anesthetics. On the other hand, there are situations that might merit using general anesthesia where there is total absence of consciousness during a procedure.

Painless Dentistry by West Seattle Dentist

First Impressions Dental in West Seattle offers different forms of sedation and anesthesia for pain numbing in our various dental procedures. Our methods are safe and effective and performed by certified and qualified practitioners. While we strive to achieve excellent treatment outcomes, we do this with our patients’ overall comfort and well-being in a stress-free environment.