3 Signs You Might Need a Night Guard

If you grind your teeth at night (a condition called bruxism), you could be doing real, lasting damage to your teeth. Teeth grinding puts pressure on your tooth enamel and can lead to broken, chipped, or even lost permanent teeth.

Nightguards play an important role in the protection of your tooth enamel. Unfortunately, many people who grind their teeth at night are unaware that they’re doing it. You can protect yourself from teeth grinding with nightguards in Bellbrook, OH, but how do you know if you need them? Below are three signs.

1. You Wake Up With Headaches

Tension and pressure from bruxism reverberate up the jaw and into the cheek, head, and neck. This tension can lead to headaches that patients experience when they first wake up in the morning. If you get headaches in the mornings, this could be a sign that you grind your teeth throughout the night.

2. Your Spouse Noticed You Grinding Your Teeth

You may not be able to tell if you’re grinding your teeth at night, but your spouse will likely notice. Teeth grinding creates a noise that bed partners often pick up on. If your spouse has noticed you grinding your teeth, especially if they notice it regularly, see your dentist to get a nightguard.

3. Your Teeth Are Worn Down or Damaged

Grinding your teeth can cause the tooth enamel to become worn or can cause your teeth to become broken. If you have bruxism, you may even notice your permanent teeth becoming loose.

You may not know these are signs of bruxism, but your dentist in Bellbrook, OH, will. Seeing the dentist on a regular basis can help you identify problems like bruxism, so you can get a nightguard. Most dentists recommend that their patients come in for dental appointments every six months. Maintaining this dental exam schedule can help you catch the signs of bruxism early before problems like loose permanent teeth develop.

The professionals at Bellbrook Family Dentistry prioritize patient dental health. Our experienced professionals can recognize problems like damage created by bruxism. To stay on top of your dental health, contact Bellbrook Family Dentistry to make an appointment.

Having a Problem With Bad Breath? What That Could Mean

Bad breath is usually amended when you brush your teeth. If your bad breath isn’t fixed with proper tooth brushing practices, then it may be time to see your dentist in Bellbrook, OH. Chronic bad breath, also called halitosis, can be a symptom of a dental problem. Here’s what you should know about bad breath.

What Causes Bad Breath?

Bad breath can be caused by a variety of problems.

  • Poor oral hygiene. If your oral hygiene routine is inconsistent or you don’t brush and floss properly, then your bad breath could result from poor brushing, flossing, and dental cleaning habits. Your dentist can show you the proper way to brush and floss if you would like a tutorial the next time you go to the dentist.
  • Bacteria. Bad breath that’s caused by a normal amount of bacteria will go away easily when you brush your teeth. However, if you have a cavity, infection, or inflammation with excessive bacteria, brushing may not fix the problem.
  • Food in the bloodstream. Some foods continue to hang out in the bloodstream and affect your breath long after you’ve eaten them. Garlic and onions are good examples of this. You may be able to tell if your bad breath is the result of your diet by paying attention to what you’re eating and noticing when your breath seems to be the worst.

What Should You Do If You Have Bad Breath?

If you have bad breath that can’t be fixed by visiting the dentist and don’t believe your problem is related to the food you’re eating, contact your dentist. You could have a condition like gum disease, a cavity, or an infection in your tooth. Your dentist can help you diagnose the problem and recommend treatment.

If you have a cavity, a filling will be required. If you have an infection in your tooth, you may need a root canal treatment.

Get Help for Your Bad Breath From Your Dentist

At Bellbrook Family Dentistry, we provide dental cleanings and exams in Bellbroook, OH. Get your bad breath checked out today: call to make an appointment.

Scaling and Root Planning – FAQs

While typical dental hygiene appointments in Centerville, OH, are an important part of your routine dental care, sometimes, teeth cleaning must be a more intensive process. Knowing what to expect will be vital if your dentist recommends a deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing. Take a look at a few of the most common questions associated with deep dental cleaning.

What does scaling and root planning mean?

Scaling and root planing is a type of deep dental cleaning that involves removing calculus and buildup that has collected below the gum line. While standard oral hygiene appointments take care of everything above the gum line, scaling, and root planing is a deeper process. Usually, only certain sections of the mouth are completed during one visit. For example, you may have four appointments, and each will target a section of the mouth.

Is deep dental cleaning painful?

Deep dental cleaning requires the hygienist to go beneath the gum line to clean the base of the tooth. Therefore, there can naturally be more sensitivity due to the interaction with the soft tissue. However, before the cleaning process begins, you will be given injections of local anesthetic. This medication desensitized the areas being targeted to keep you comfortable during the cleaning. You may also have some minimal tenderness after your appointment, but this is manageable with over-the-counter pain relievers.

How long will the appointment take? What about recovery?

An appointment for deep cleaning can take a bit longer than a standard dental hygiene appointment. This is because anesthetic is used, and the cleaning process can be a little more time-consuming. However, most scaling and root planning visits are completed within about 45 to 60 minutes. After the appointment, the gums will begin to heal and reattach to the base of your teeth. The healing process can take a few weeks, but the benefit to your overall dental health can be substantial.

Discuss Your Oral Health with a Centerville Dentist

If you are looking for a good general dentist in Centerville, be sure to look for a compassionate care provider with the collection of services you need. Reach out to the team at Bellbrook Family Dentistry to schedule an appointment.

When Do I Need Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT)?

Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) is a way for medical professionals to learn more about the anatomy of your face. The difference between this technology and other imaging technologies lies in the details. While X-rays certainly can provide insight into everything from the health of your teeth to the strength of your jawbone, dentists may need even more information in the case of a difficult diagnosis or a more complex procedure. We’ll look at what it is and why a dentist in Bellbrook, OH might recommend it.

What Is CBCT?

CBCT uses a special beam to create a 3D view of the interior of your face. The device is named for its cone shape, and it’s excellent for rendering crisp, clean images of your bone structure, soft tissue, and teeth positions. This is an important tool for many dentists because a variety of conditions start out as microscopic.

If you’re experiencing symptoms, such as discomfort while chewing or locked jaw, this imaging technology can be exactly what you need to help a dentist diagnose and treat the issue. From TMJ to dental tumors to implant planning, you may be asked to have a CBCT scan for a variety of reasons.

Knowing Is Half the Battle

While the dental field is rooted in science, the reality is that not all dentists are created equal. Some will rely on traditional measures to diagnose and treat problems, even if there are more advanced techniques available. When you choose a dentist who invests in their equipment, you choose a professional who will stop at nothing to help you protect your oral health.

Find a Dentist in Bellbrook

If you’re interested in CBCT technology in Bellbrook, OH, Bellbrook Family Dentistry is here to help. Whether it’s because a past dental treatment hasn’t fixed the problem or because you can’t find a root cause for your symptoms, we’re here to get to the bottom of the matter. We can also employ CBCT if you’re interested in getting a specific procedure, such as tooth implants. Contact us today to learn more about how we use the latest equipment available to help you stay healthy.

What is Cone Beam Computed Technology?

Cone beam computed technology, or cone beam computer tomography (CBCT), is a method of creating a 3D scan of the teeth and surrounding tissue and bone. This technology enables your dentist in Bellbrook, OH, to acquire a three-dimensional image of the interior of the mouth.

Why Aren’t X-Rays Sufficient?

X-rays are sufficient for diagnostic purposes in most cases. However, when x-rays indicate that something more serious may be happening, CBCT provides a much more comprehensive image of the oral cavity.

When is a CBCT Scan Needed?

There are a number of situations that may call for a CBCT scan, including:

  • assessing symptoms of a root canal infection
  • to diagnose the source of pain and swelling from an unknown cause
  • to discover the extent of certain teeth, gum and bone diseases
  • to gain a comprehension of the conditions in the root canal
  • to assess the extent of injury resulting from trauma to the teeth and jaw area
  • and more

CBCT Benefits

The benefits of cone beam technology include:

  • less radiation exposure than traditional x-rays
  • better treatment options decision-making
  • ability to pick up early indicators of injury months after a traumatic accident
  • digitized images of CBCT scans can be used to build models of the jaw for making prosthetics

What Happens With a CBCT Scan?

When your dentist determines that a CBCT scan is needed, you will see for yourself the remarkable results of this technology. A CBCT scan only takes a few extra minutes to complete. It is completely non-invasive and painless. Many patients report that a CBCT scan is easier than traditional dental x-rays. The process of getting a CBCT scan is simple. The patient will sit still in a chair while the CBCT machine is placed into position. The machine will rotate around the patient, taking digital images as it moves. These images will then be combined to create a 3-D image that the dentist will study.

Why Don’t All Dentists Have CBCT?

Not all dentists have the training and machinery needed for CBCT scans. Special training is needed to operate the machinery. Your dentist in Bellbrook, OH also had to undergo special training in order to interpret the resulting 3-D scans from CBCT. Since treatment options are dependent on careful and accurate scan evaluation and interpretation, this makes your Bellbrook dentist’s skills highly valuable.

For more information about cone beam computer technology in Bellbrook, OH, contact us today.

What Is Bone Loss, and How Does It Affect My Smile?

Bone loss can occur when you lose a permanent tooth and put nothing in its place. So, if you’re having a tooth extracted, or if you’ve lost a tooth due to trauma or disease, talk with your dentist in Bellbrook, OH, about your options for replacement. Immediate replacement can help you avoid the damage that can occur due to bone loss.

How Does Bone Loss Happen?

Bone loss is a natural occurrence that happens when a tooth socket remains empty over a period of time. Your body begins to reabsorb the bone, causing a cup-like indentation in the gums where the tooth used to be. Because there is no tooth in place to add pressure, the bone simply recedes.

Over time, this can cause problems with your surrounding teeth as they begin to spread out and reposition. Eventually, you may begin to have difficulty biting, chewing, or speaking as a result.

How Does Bone Loss Affect My Smile?

Bone loss can cause a malocclusion, including an open bite. This is when your upper and lower teeth no longer come together when your mouth is closed. An open bite may cause a speech impediment and may make it difficult for your teeth to bite and tear food. It can also cause the teeth surrounding the empty socket to shift and spread, causing unsightly gaps in your smile.

Can Bone Loss Be Prevented?

Your dentist can help you avoid bone loss by placing a dental implant into the empty socket left behind by the lost or extracted tooth. Once an artificial tooth is in place, this will prevent the bone beneath the tooth from receding.

If you’re concerned about a tooth that’s missing or that may need to be extracted, schedule an appointment with Bellbrook Family Dentistry today. Our experienced clinicians are happy to sit down with you to discuss your smile goals. And we’ll go over all your options for tooth replacement if your permanent tooth can’t be saved. We can help prevent bone loss in Bellbrook, OH, and we’re only one phone call away. Contact us today to set up a time that’s convenient for you.

6 Little-Known Facts about Dental Insurance

As you probably already know, dental insurance is extremely important if you don’t want to carry the burden of paying for your preventive and dental treatments out of your own pocket. However, understanding dental insurance can be quite confusing and there are many hidden facts contained in that infamous small print most people aren’t aware of. That’s why we are going to give you some little-known facts about dental insurance before you visit a dentist in Bellbrook, OH.

Fact #1: Dentists Charge the Same for All Patients

Dentists charge the same dental fees for all their patients, regardless of the patient’s insurance coverage. The problem is that sometimes the fees paid by your insurance company might be lower than the fee your dentist charges. It all depends on the benefits included in your policy. That means the patient must pay the difference.

Fact #2: Dental Insurance Doesn’t Usually Pay 100% of Everything

Dental insurance is meant to supplement your payments. It doesn’t usually cover 100% of everything you need. So if you need family dentistry in Bellbrook, OH, it’s best to contact the dental office to see if what you need is covered first. If not, you can talk about your options for paying out of pocket.

Fact #3: The Truth about Dental Fees

When a patient must pay some of the dental fees because they aren’t covered by their insurance, dentists will usually tell their patients the fees they are being charged are above the usual and customary fees. What that means is your insurance benefits are not high enough to cover them.

Fact #4: Insurance Company Down-Coding

It’s common practice for an insurance company to use what’s called down-coding. For example, down-coding is when an insurance company will only pay for a composite filling at the lower rate of a silver filling. So they tell you they pay for composite fillings, and that’s true, but they only pay up to the amount a silver filling would cost. That means you end up paying the difference.

Fact #5: What You Think Is Covered and What’s Really Covered

Many insurance companies will tell you you’re covered up to 80% or 100%. However, any dentist will tell you that most insurance plans only cover about 40% to 60% of any given fee. Everything is determined by how much your employer actually paid for the plan. If your employer paid less for the insurance, you in return will receive less in benefits. The words “up to” are used broadly to skim over the fact that your benefits are actually lower than you have been led to believe.

Fact #6: The Truth about Using Preferred Providers

An insurance company will sometimes encourage you to use a “Preferred Provider.” This is because an insurance company’s preferred providers are the ones who have agreed to lower their fees to get more patients. However, those preferred providers will frequently use cheaper materials, foreign dental labs, and other cost-cutting measures to make up the cost for the lower fees. This will generally, but not always, result in lower quality dentistry that will have to be redone sooner rather than later.

What’s Next?

If you need dental services, please Contact Bellbrook Family Dentistry today. We are committed to providing you with the highest quality dental care in Ohio.

Do Babies Need to Go to the Dentist? An FAQ

Babies have no teeth for the first many months of their life. Once the teeth start to grow in, parents need to make the decision of when to take their child to the dentist. Taking your child to regular dental appointments helps set them up for a life of good oral hygiene. If you’re a new parent or just have questions about your child’s dental cleaning routine, answers to these frequently asked questions can help.

Do babies need to go to the dentist?

According to the American Dental Association, babies need to go to the dentist when their first tooth appears or by their first birthday. Seeing the dentist this early is beneficial for a number of reasons.

It gives the pediatric dentist in Bellbrook, OH a chance to determine whether something is going wrong with your child’s dental health. It also helps your child get used to seeing the dentist at an early age. Doing this can affect your child’s attitudes about the dentist for years into the future.

What happens during a dental appointment for a toddler?

During your child’s first visit to the dentist, your child will be seated in a dental chair – either alone, or on your lap, depending on what your child needs. The dentist will gently examine the appearance of your child’s teeth, looking for injuries or potential problems.

Your child’s dentist will show you how to clean and care for your child’s teeth. Your child’s dentist will recommend an approximate date for the next appointment, and ask you if you have any questions. Once this is done, the pediatric dental checkup in Bellbrook, OH will be finished.

Why should I bring my child to the dentist if they don’t have most of their teeth?

Children who start seeing the dentist from an early age have a longer period of time to adjust to seeing the dentist. This can help your child understand how important dental hygiene is, and that seeing the dentist is a regular part of their dental hygiene routine.

Make Your Child’s Next Appointment with the Dentist

If your child is one year old or has their first teeth, it’s time for their first appointment. Contact Bellbrook Family Dentistry to make an appointment today.

What Causes Bleeding Gums?

When you are brushing, flossing, or admiring your smile in a mirror, the last thing you want to see is bleeding gums. If you do, this may be a sign something is amiss and needs to be corrected. While it could be due to something simple, it could also be a sign indicating a more serious condition. As for the common causes of bleeding gums, here are some to keep in mind the next time you visit your dentist in Bellbrook.

Vitamin K Deficiency- When bleeding gums result from a Vitamin K deficiency, it can mean you are not eating enough leafy green vegetables, drink an excessive amount of alcohol, or perhaps suffer from a nutrient malabsorption condition such as Crohn’s disease.

Brushing Too Hard- If you are using a toothbrush with hard bristles, switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush will probably eliminate your bleeding gums. If the problem is too much force or associated pain, consult with your dentist in Bellbrook.

Hormonal Changes During Pregnancy- When this occurs, your gums will become sensitive to plaque and bacteria, creating the condition known as pregnancy gingivitis.

Improper Flossing– If you have just started flossing, have not done so in several days, or are flossing multiple times per day, this can cause your gums to bleed.Try increasing your flossing to see if that alleviates the problem.

Use of Blood Thinners- If you suffer from certain bleeding disorders and are on blood-thinning medication, this can lead to easier bleeding at your gum line.

Poor-Fitting Dentures- Should you have dentures or other dental appliances that do not properly fit inside your mouth, your gums can become irritated in numerous spots and bleed quite frequently. Help for dental problems in Bellbrook is available at your dentist’s office.

Vitamin C Deficiency– When you don’t eat enough citrus fruits and potatoes regularly, you can develop a Vitamin C deficiency that leads to a condition known as Scurvy, which over time can cause your gums to bleed very easily.

While it is likely proper brushing and flossing, along with seeing your dentist in Bellbrook on a regular basis for checkups, will eliminate the plaque that eventually turns into tartar and causes gum disease, don’t take anything for granted. Should you be experiencing persistent gum bleeding or other related issues, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

How to Deal With Getting Adult Braces

If you live in Centerville, OH or Beavercreek, OH, adult braces are available to help improve your smile. Of course, adult braces can be just as challenging to wear as teenage braces. You may have a feeling of looking different or having other people notice your braces and not your smile. If you’re a professional, you may even feel like people won’t take you seriously if you are wearing adult braces. While that’s not the case, the feelings are real and shouldn’t be ignored. Here are some helpful tips on how to deal with getting adult braces.

Consider Invisible Braces

Nowadays, you have more options when it comes to adult braces. You and your dentist can decide what’s right for you, but you may want to consider invisible braces. These kinds of braces are very low-profile and hardly noticeable, even close up. If your work means being in the public eye, you may find yourself feeling more comfortable wearing invisible braces than metal braces.

Be Prepared to Change Your Eating Habits

No matter what kind of braces you decide upon, you may need to alter your eating habits. For at least a little while, you may have to give up chewing gum or eating certain things like fried chicken (because the batter might be too hard), hard candy and similar items. Don’t worry, though. It’s all temporary, and you’ll be able to resume your regular diet after your braces come off.

Tell Co-Workers Ahead of Time

If you’re self-conscious, consider mentioning to your co-workers ahead of time that you’ll be getting adult braces. This way, you won’t get that startled look the first day back in the office with braces. In fact, you’ll probably find that most people are very supportive. You may even find that co-workers are asking you for advice about whether they should get adult braces!

Get Excited

Your adult braces are just a small step on the way to a more beautiful smile. Look forward to the unveiling; the day you get your adult braces removed and can enjoy the rest of your life with perfectly aligned teeth.

Getting adult braces may be the best decision you’ve ever made about your teeth. Contact us now for a consultation to discuss your options!