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    Is It Time for a Smile Makeover in 2019?

    by Saunders DDS on December 18, 2018

    When you’re making New Year’s Resolutions this year, chances are you’ve made some commitments to live healthier.

    Perhaps you’ve resolved to better manage your stress, eat more vegetables, or visit your dentist every six months. Either way, the New Year is a time to start fresh.

    If you’re unhappy with your smile, it’s time to make a New Year’s resolution to feel great about yourself in 2019. By getting a smile makeover, you can not only help your teeth look better but to actually be healthier.

    Is it time for you to get your beautiful smile back? Let’s look at some of your potential treatment options for a smile makeover in 2019.

    Who Qualifies for a Smile Makeover?

    Anyone who wants to improve their smile may qualify for a smile makeover. This includes people who want their smile to be:

    • Whiter
    • More uniform in shape
    • Straighter
    • Have less space between teeth
    • Replace missing teeth

    You can always talk with your Asheville dentist to see whether or not you would qualify for the specific treatment you’d like to have to improve your teeth.

    The following cosmetic treatments could be an option for you depending on your unique smile!

    Dental Veneers

    Dental veneers can help fix numerous issues with your teeth in just one treatment rather than undergoing several treatments for separate issues.

    Porcelain veneers are a hard yet thin shell made out of ceramic that’s placed over your natural teeth to visually correct problems. Veneers may be able to cover:

    • Crooked or crowded teeth
    • Gapped teeth
    • Chipped or broken teeth
    • Teeth that are stained and do not respond to a professional whitening

    When you consider all the issues that dental veneers can fix, you may be able to forgo orthodontics, teeth whitening, and dental bonding to simply get veneers.

    Veneers are a definitive form of treatment, so be sure to discuss all your options with your dentist in Asheville to ensure this is the best choice for you.

    Teeth Whitening

    For when you just want to improve your natural smile, a professional teeth whitening can help you have a brighter smile in just one visit.

    Cost-effective but dramatic, a teeth whitening can boost your confidence and remove deeper surface stains that a regular cleaning might not be able to remove.

    Teeth whitening is great for weddings, job interviews or promotions, anniversaries, and even getting back into the dating realm. When you want to treat yourself this New Year in just one appointment, consider a professional teeth whitening!

    Dental Implants

    When you’re missing teeth and want to restore the look as well as the functionality of your smile, dental implants can help.

    Dental implants consist of a titanium or zirconium implant that’s inserted into your jawbone with a crown affixed onto the end. Implants are one of the strongest restorations you could have for missing teeth.

    Dental implants are for people who have enough bone in their jaw to support the implant and for people who have a healthy smile, as you’ll need to heal up properly after the procedure. Dental implants may not be the right choice for you if you smoke, have gum disease, or are lacking bone in your jaw.

    However, bone grafts are available for patients who qualify, so ask your Asheville dentist about your candidacy for dental implants to see if these sturdy restorations are an option for restoring your smile.

    Dental Bridges

    Dental bridges rely on the surrounding teeth to support a restoration that fills in the gap of a missing tooth or several missing teeth.

    While dental bridges can help restore your appearance and functionality, you’ll need to replace your dental bridge every few years while dental implants will never need to be replaced.

    One major advantage of a dental bridge is that it can replace one or more missing teeth in a row, eliminating the need for numerous restoration procedures. You may qualify for dental bridges if you’re missing one or more teeth in succession and don’t qualify for dental implants.

    In addition to helping you chew and speak properly, replacing missing teeth helps stimulate jawbone which can keep your face looking full and youthful for the New Year!

    Tooth Bonding

    Tooth bonding is a cosmetic procedure that consists of using a tooth-colored resin to fix minor imperfections in your smile.

    Tooth bonding may also be referred to as dental bonding or cosmetic bonding and can be used to:

    • Fix chips and cracks that might be harmful or visible in the smile
    • To lengthen teeth in the event that one tooth is shorter than the others
    • Prevent fractures from getting worse or cracks from sustaining decay
    • To close minor gaps in the smile

    People who have suffered broken or chipped teeth often rely on tooth bonding to restore the appearance of their smile. If you have minor cosmetic issues that need to be fixed, tooth bonding may be able to help.

    However, if your teeth have severe chips among other issues such as staining or misaligned teeth, a more comprehensive treatment such as dental veneers may be able to give you the smile you’re looking for in 2019!

    Tooth-Colored Fillings

    If you have silver fillings—also called amalgam fillings—that need to be repaired, you have the option of replacing your silver fillings with tooth-colored fillings with your dentist in Asheville.

    Dr. Saunders can help you safely remove amalgam fillings that are damaged and replace them with fillings that match your natural teeth and will be virtually invisible in your mouth.

    However, if your silver fillings are not damaged, we don’t recommend taking them out. You can visit Dr. Saunders for a comprehensive exam to determine if your fillings need repair. Getting your fillings checked out regularly can help prevent decay from recurring underneath damaged fillings!

    Let’s Discuss Your Perfect Smile

    Make an appointment with us at Saunders DDS to discuss your perfect smile in the New Year. With so many restorative options available to make your dream smile come true, there’s no reason to spend another year feeling embarrassed about your teeth.

    From chips and staining to replacing missing teeth, let us help you get your smile back into shape in 2019. We look forward to helping you have a healthy and happy smile in the New Year!

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    Avoid Dental Emergencies This Holiday with These Tips

    by Saunders DDS on December 6, 2018

    It’s officially holiday season and people are preparing to enjoy this time of year and all that it offers. From spending time with family and friends to taking vacation time, the holidays provide people with a chance to catch up with loved ones and relax.

    No one wants to deal with a dental emergency this time of year, and indeed, many dental practices don’t have business hours on actual holidays. When it comes to something as important as your smile, how can you avoid dental emergencies during the holiday season?

    The following are just some of the ways you can protect your smile this holiday and have healthy teeth and gums for the New Year with the support of your dentist in Asheville!

    Get Your Checkup Early

    With all the festivities coming up, why not get your dental exam now before things get busy? Getting your checkup before the holidays are officially in full swing gives you a chance to address any issues with your smile now and avoid emergency room visits later.

    For example, if you have a filling that’s cracked or loose, holiday treats this time of year could just dislodge your filling, leaving you with a painful hole in your tooth. Your Asheville dentist would be able to spot potential problems such as these during your exam, so take advantage of this time to get your smile evaluated.

    Getting your dental exam with your trusted dentist can allow you to skip seeing a dentist away from home and taking the chance of something going wrong with your smile. When your dentist ensures your smile is healthy, you won’t have to worry about experiencing pain while being away from home or in the middle of a get-together.

    Also, if you have dental insurance, you may need to use up your benefits before they restart at the beginning of the New Year. There’s no better time than now to get in and see your oral healthcare professional!

    Be Choosy about What You Eat

    This time of year, it’s hard not to be tempted by all the delicious food going around. However, this makes it even more important to make the right choices for your smile.

    You have the opportunity to incorporate plenty of vegetables and fruits in with whatever treats you want to eat. It’s important to remember that very sticky or hard foods such as nut shells, toffee, caramel, and popcorn kernels can crack a filling or a crown. Getting emergency help may be difficult if not impossible depending on where you are and you don’t want to risk having issues during your holiday.

    Other foods to be wary of include olives and cherries, which contain hard pits, bones, and candy canes. These all have the potential to injure your teeth!

    However, there are some snack foods that are great for your smile and that are often available during the holiday season. These include cheese, which is high in calcium, and nuts, which can help combat inflammation. Exercise caution when eating nuts and remember that raw varieties are generally safer choices for your teeth compared to roasted or candied nuts.

    Manage Stress

    Stress is, unfortunately, a part of the holiday season for many people. We know that stress can have detrimental effects on our bodies, especially chronic stress—but what about our smiles?

    Stress makes teeth grinding more likely, which can chip or fracture teeth in addition to irritating the gums and even causing painful headaches. Stress also impacts your immune system, so if gum disease or another oral health problem is present, your body will be less likely to fight off an infection.

    Stress can also cause you to bite your nails or to chew on other objects, which can injure teeth. Managing your stress can keep your entire body in better health and protect your smile, so whether you need to take some time for yourself this holiday, take on less at work, or just take a few deep breaths, don’t neglect to manage your stress!

    Make Oral Health a Priority

    This time of year can get hectic, but it’s important to make oral health a priority regardless of whether you’re traveling or staying home this year.

    Neglecting your normal oral care routine can mean trouble for your smile. Even skipping brushing for one night leaves plaque and bacteria to accumulate in your mouth, especially if you’ve been indulging in sweets or alcohol.

    It’s possible to still enjoy the holidays and stick to your oral care routine. Be sure to brush twice a day and floss once a day like usual. It doesn’t hurt to keep a spare toothbrush on hand or a spare container of floss when traveling or for guests at your home!

    Be sure to drink plenty of water as well—staying hydrated not only helps to balance your oral bacteria and protect your teeth, but can also act as a buffer so that those extra sweets don’t damage your tooth enamel.

    Be Prepared

    It never hurts to be prepared. This holiday, be sure you have all the things you need to keep up with your oral care routine. If you’re traveling, take along an extra toothbrush just in case!

    Making an emergency dental kit can help you be prepared and stay safe during a dental emergency while you’re on vacation. If you have kids with braces, include orthodontic wax in your emergency kit. If you or your kids will be playing sports, don’t forget the mouthguard! You can also keep numbers and information for dentists in the area as well as gauze, over-the-counter pain medication, and a container for a lost tooth in your kit.

    Don’t delay in calling your dentist for advice during a dental emergency—it could just save your smile!

    Have a Smile-Friendly Holiday Season

    It’s easy to have a smile-friendly holiday when you’re prepared for what’s ahead. By visiting your dentist before the end of the year, keeping an emergency kit on hand, and making oral care a priority, you can help ensure that there won’t be any emergencies this holiday season.

    Contact us at Saunders DDS if you live in the Asheville area and would like to schedule a comprehensive dental exam. You can have a healthy, beautiful smile with the right care this holiday!

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    Common Symptoms That Could Mean Your Bite Is Misaligned

    by Saunders DDS on November 20, 2018

    There are several different types of misaligned bites, also called malocclusions. Malocclusions are responsible for a number of different dental health symptoms people may experience due to their teeth not aligning properly.

    People may have an underbite, an overbite, a crossbite, or an open bite. These types of malocclusions tend to be common, with most people experiencing one of them to some degree.

    While misaligned bites are often the result of genetics and lifestyle factors, accidents can also cause the jaw and teeth to shift, therefore creating a problematic bite.

    For some patients, it’s obvious when a malocclusion is present. For others, the signs are less noticeable. What are some common symptoms that could mean your bite isn’t aligned properly?

    You’re Having TMJ Symptoms

    The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a joint present on each side of your face that hinges your lower jaw to your skull. This joint plays an essential role in helping your jaw to have the necessary range of motion for chewing, speaking, and yawning. However, the TMJ is also subject to problems, especially if your bite is off.

    Symptoms of issues with your TMJ include pain when you move your jaw, stiffness and soreness, and clicking noises when opening and closing your mouth. TMJ issues present as different disorders, many of which are caused by a problem with your bite.

    Jaw pain could mean a variety of things so getting your symptoms evaluated is important. If your jaw is aching or hurting, it’s time to get an evaluation with your Asheville dentist. Understanding the root cause is essential to discovering your treatment options. There’s no reason to live with TMJ pain when your symptoms may have a definitive cause that can be treated!

    You Have Headaches

    While many issues can cause headaches, one of them is having a misaligned bite. You may suffer from the occasional tension headache or be experiencing migraines on a regular basis.

    When your bite is out of alignment, it’s possible for the muscles that move your jaw to become strained and tense. This tension can cause headaches that range from mild to severe and have the potential to impact your everyday life.

    If you experience headaches, don’t rule out your jaw as the culprit. A simple exam with your dentist in Asheville can tell if your head pain could be the result of your teeth simply not aligning.

    Sometimes You Have Trouble Speaking

    While not everyone who has a misaligned bite will see this symptom, some certainly will. You may have trouble pronouncing certain words due to stiffness in your jaw. For some patients, a malocclusion will give them a speech impairment that isn’t cognitive in nature—your jaw just isn’t working properly.

    Fortunately, for most patients, orthodontics or oral appliances can help their jaw get back into its proper position, effectively alleviating this issue.

    You Grind Your Teeth

    Teeth grinding is a serious issue that can have major consequences for your smile. If you grind your teeth, you may experience pain in your jaw as well as headaches, which could all be related to your malocclusion.

    Bruxism, the technical name for teeth grinding, is more likely in people whose bite just doesn’t fit right. The stress placed on the jaw due to the incorrect positioning of the teeth makes grinding more likely. Teeth grinding can also cause uneven wear on the teeth and tooth fractures, so getting treatment is essential.

    Your Teeth Are Difficult to Clean

    Crowded teeth can play a role in misaligned bites. For some people who have teeth that are crooked or crowded, these teeth may have been forced into these positions by an improper bite. If your teeth feel difficult to clean—or are impossible to floss in places—you might have a malocclusion that’s preventing your teeth from aligning properly.

    Your dentist in Asheville can tell if your crowded teeth are the result of a bite that needs to be corrected with orthodontics or other treatment in order for you to have a healthy, beautiful smile.

    Signs Your Dentist May Notice

    Other than the symptoms you’re experiencing, there may be signs that your dentist notices during your checkup that could point to a malocclusion.

    Your dentist’s trained eye can easily spot teeth that just don’t fit together properly, even if your smile looks fine. While some patients have severe overbites or underbites, others are less easy to tell. Your dentist, however, can usually spot these smiles and take x-rays to determine how off the bite actually is.

    Your dentist will also be able to tell if your teeth aren’t evenly wearing. During our lives as we chew, our teeth very slowly wear down. This kind of wear is normal as our teeth are designed to last a lifetime, so it typically doesn’t impact our smiles too much.

    However, if you have a misaligned bite, your teeth may be wearing down in odd places. Uneven wear of the teeth can cause enamel erosion and subsequent tooth sensitivity that may be painful. If your bite is found to be the cause of your tooth wear, correcting your bite can even out the problem.

    Treatment for Malocclusions

    Getting treatment for your misaligned bite will vary based on your unique smile, but you have many options today to correct teeth that aren’t in their proper positions and are causing symptoms such as jaw pain, bruxism, or headaches.

    For many patients, getting their teeth into the correct position to facilitate a healthy bite is possible with orthodontics. With so many options for braces today, you don’t have to be stuck with traditional metal braces. Invisalign and other incognito braces options can be effective at correcting a variety of bite problems.

    Your first step is a trip to your dentist in Asheville for a comprehensive exam and a referral. With the right diagnosis and treatment, you can discover if your bite needs orthodontics or if another therapy is needed to stop your discomfort and get you back to a healthy you!

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    Why Are My Gums Receding? And Other Periodontal FAQs

    by Saunders DDS on November 7, 2018

    Gum tissue is an essential part of our smiles. Our gums not only help to support our teeth, but also prevent bacteria from reaching our tooth roots. When gum tissue begins to pull back from the teeth, it can result in painful sensitivity, infection, and even tooth loss.

    Since gum disease affects nearly half of all American adults, getting your gums evaluated as part of your regular dental checkups is an important part of protecting your smile.

    Here, we answer some of your most frequently asked questions when you’re concerned about your gum health and the possibility that you might have gingivitis or its advanced version, periodontal (gum) disease.

    What Could Be Causing My Gum Recession?

    Gum recession happens when gum tissue begins to recede or pull back from the teeth. You might notice that your teeth have a longer appearance or be seeing brownish tissue near the gumline which could indicate exposed tooth root.

    You may also experience mild to severe tooth sensitivity when gum recession is present. But what could be causing your gums to pull away from the teeth?

    There are several possible causes of gum recession. You may be brushing your teeth too aggressively with a toothbrush that has stiff bristles, which can irritate the gum tissue. You should always brush gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush to protect your teeth while removing plaque.

    Receding gums may also be the result of gum disease, in which plaque and bacteria build up near the gumline and cause the gum tissue to become inflamed and can even cause infection underneath the gumline. By removing any plaque and tartar present, your Asheville dentist can help reverse this early stage of gum disease.

    Smoking is another common reason gum recession may be happening, as cigarette smoke also irritates the gum tissue and can cause it to pull away from the teeth. It’s important to find out the cause of your gum recession with your dentist, as professional treatment is the only thing that can restore gum tissue that’s receding.

    My Gums Bleed Sometimes. What Does This Mean?

    Bleeding gums are usually trying to tell you something! While bleeding gums could be the result of brushing too hard, getting an exam with your dentist in Asheville can determine whether or not your bleeding gums are actually a sign of gum disease.

    If you haven’t flossed in a while and are just starting again, it’s normal to see a bit of blood or irritation until your mouth gets used to your flossing routine again. However, bleeding gums could also be a sign of gum disease.

    Getting a checkup can help ensure that your gums get the treatment they need if gum disease is found to be causing your bleeding gums. Even if your gums are just bleeding on occasion, your dentist can help you determine the cause and implement a treatment if necessary.

    Could My Child Have Gum Disease?

    Yes, it’s possible for children and teenagers to have gum disease. In fact, some experts speculate that teenagers are more at risk due to changing hormones in the body.

    Your child could also be genetically predisposed to have gum disease and therefore be more likely to get the disease earlier in life. Bacteria that cause gum disease may also be able to be transferred from mother to child via saliva.

    However, getting a checkup with your dentist can help you determine if your child has gum disease and what you can do about it. Catching gum disease in its early stages increases the chances for a successful treatment!

    My Gums Feel Fine—Why Do I Need a Checkup?

    In many cases, gum disease won’t cause noticeable symptoms until the disease has progressed. Many patients won’t experience major discomfort as a result of their gum disease, especially in its early stages, when the disease is more easily treated.

    This is especially true for people who smoke or chew tobacco as well as people who use e-cigarettes. The nicotine in these products inhibits blood supply to the gum tissue, which can conceal symptoms of gum disease until the condition becomes severe.

    Even if your gums look and feel fine, an exam with your dentist can catch gum disease and treat it before it gets worse. Gum disease is generally easier to reverse if caught early!

    It Feels Like My Teeth Have Shifted. Is This a Symptom of Gum Disease?

    Shifting teeth could happen for a variety of reasons, but one of these reasons is gum disease. Since gum disease can attack the connective tissue that helps to hold your teeth in place, loose teeth are often a symptom of gum disease, especially if the condition has progressed.

    Only an exam with your dentist can tell if your shifting teeth are the result of gum disease that’s affecting your smile!

    I’m Pregnant—Should I Be Worried About My Swollen Bleeding Gums?

    Pregnancy causes hormonal changes that can certainly affect gum tissue. An increased risk for gum disease is one of the oral health risks that pregnant women experience.

    If you’re pregnant and notice that your gums are tender, bleeding, or red, it’s time to get a checkup with your Asheville dentist. Although gum disease that’s brought on by pregnancy can subside once your pregnancy has ended, leaving gum disease untreated during this time can have consequences for you and your baby.

    In fact, mothers who have gum disease are more likely to give birth prematurely or to babies who have a low birth weight, so getting treatment for your gum disease is important. You can talk to your dentist about your symptoms and possible treatment during your pregnancy!

    How Can I Treat Gum Disease?

    Gum disease is a progressive condition. If the problem isn’t taken care of, it will continue to get worse. To properly treat gum disease, you need treatment from a professional dentist. Depending on how severe your gum disease is, you may need one or more of the follow treatments:

    • Deep Cleaning. Also known as scaling and root planing, this deep cleaning at the dentist’s is designed to remove debris including plaque, bacteria, and any infection below the gumline. For patients with gingivitis, this may be the only treatment that’s needed.
    • Antibiotics. Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics to help clear up any infection that may be present due to your gum disease.
    • Additional Measures. For people who have severe periodontal disease, surgery may be necessary to help remove deep pockets of infection and restore connective tissue near the gumline.

    If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of gum disease, getting a comprehensive exam with your dentist is going to be an instrumental first step in getting the issue resolved. Gum disease can wreak havoc on your smile and is not something you want to ignore. Schedule an exam with us at Saunders DDS to ensure your smile is healthy and free of gum disease!

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    Surprising Health Issues Your Dental Exam Can Uncover

    by Saunders DDS on October 17, 2018

    Most people know they should be getting a dental exam regularly. While every patient will differ on how often they need to come in, a general rule is every six months to one year.

    However, many patients don’t realize exactly how important a dental exam is for their health. Yes, a dental exam can prevent cavities and gum disease, but it can also uncover surprising health issues that could be detrimental to your body.

    Don’t underestimate the importance of getting your smile checked out by a professional. If you have any of the following health concerns, your Asheville dentist might encourage you to follow up with your doctor after your next visit!

    Diabetes

    Patients who have diabetes are more likely to get gum disease. Most people who have gum disease will not have diabetes, but if your dentist suspects diabetes may be the issue based on your symptoms, he or she will refer you to your physician for a diagnosis.

    If you have diabetes and you’re managing the disease, you won’t have an increased risk of gum disease compared to other patients. However, if you have diabetes and don’t know it, you may have uncontrolled blood sugar which could lead to more aggressive gum disease and tooth loss.

    Bacteria in the oral cavity thrive on sugars, so high glucose levels in the blood can encourage bacteria to grow. In fact, the American Dental Association claims that bacteria from gum disease can enter the bloodstream which may trigger an immune response that leads to a higher blood sugar level.

    Keeping your gums healthy can not only improve your oral health but has the potential to help you better manage your diabetes and reduce your risk of developing gum disease!

    Anemia

    Anemia is a condition in which not enough red blood cells are present in the body. Symptoms of this condition may include dizziness, fatigue, trouble concentrating, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, and even trouble sleeping.

    If the softer tissues of your mouth are very pale, your dentist in Asheville might suspect anemia. In addition, your tongue may look smooth instead of textured or be painful or swollen.

    Anemia can be diagnosed by a blood test and there are different types of anemia, so your dentist will suggest you see your doctor if you have signs of anemia during your dental exam.

    Cancer

    Oral cancer may be localized or it may metastasize to affect additional locations in the body. Catching oral cancer through oral cancer screenings with your Asheville dentist can help you have the best chance for a successful treatment.

    Oral cancer includes cancers of the lip, cheek, tongue, gums, and on the floor and the roof of the mouth. For some patients, oral cancer will take the form of lesions in the mouth, but these abnormalities can be difficult for patients to spot on their own.

    During your exam at Saunders DDS, Dr. Saunders will check for signs of oral cancer. If he suspects you have oral cancer, he’ll recommend further testing to attain a diagnosis.

    Heart Disease

    Gum disease could put you at risk for heart disease. Bacteria involved in gum disease have been found in the arteries leading to the heart; however, a causal link has not been established.

    When there’s disharmony in the body, evidence is often present in the mouth. Symptoms of gum disease—including swollen, bleeding, or tender gums—could be an indicator that the patient is at risk for heart disease.

    If your Asheville dentist diagnoses you with gum disease, it’s imperative to get treatment to reverse the disease before it progresses and could even impact your vascular system.

    Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

    When gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is present, stomach acid can irritate the esophagus—a place it would normally never be—and even end up in the mouth. When these acids end up in the oral cavity, they can virtually dissolve tooth enamel.

    Some patients might not necessarily have symptoms of GERD but still have the disorder. Some people even experience this illness while asleep at night and the symptoms may present as insomnia.

    However, the fact remains that GERD can erode tooth enamel and ruin your smile. If your dentist sees evidence of GERD during your exam, he or she will refer you to your doctor or a gastroenterologist for a diagnosis.

    Osteoporosis

    Osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to weaken, won’t be obvious from your smile. However, the presence of osteoporosis may affect alveolar bone, which is the bone in your jaw that helps to support your teeth.

    If your dentist in Asheville is concerned about loss of alveolar bone or is seeing a receding gum line or loose teeth, he or she may be concerned that osteoporosis is present. Talking with your doctor can help establish a diagnosis and treatment that might just save your teeth!

    Stress

    We all know that stress can have detrimental effects on the body. From chronic disease to premature aging, chronic stress isn’t healthy for anyone.

    Stress can take its toll on your smile in the form of bruxism, or teeth grinding. Most patients grind their teeth while asleep and so don’t remember grinding their teeth, but they may wake with headaches or an aching jaw from teeth grinding.

    If your dentist notices premature enamel wear and suspects teeth grinding, you may need a nightly mouthguard in addition to stress reduction techniques to help stop this habit. Fortunately, you can receive treatment at your dental practice in Asheville for teeth grinding without an outside referral.

    Getting an Exam Is Easy

    Your dentist plays an important role in not just keeping your teeth and gums healthy, but contributing to your entire bodily health. Since many people see their dentist more often than their doctor, your Asheville dentist is more likely to uncover these health issues.

    From diabetes and anemia to heart disease and cancer, your dentist might just surprise you during your next checkup. Make an appointment with us for a comprehensive dental exam and oral cancer screening and be sure to follow up with your physician if suggested by Dr. Saunders—you’ll be glad you did!

    Pregnancy can be an exciting yet challenging time. During this busy time of keeping up with appointments, taking care of yourself, and preparing for the new arrival, many women don’t give much thought to their oral health during their nine months being pregnant.

    However, oral health during pregnancy deserves more attention than you think. Hormone changes in the body as well as other changes cause a variety of oral cavity concerns that you should know about during pregnancy. In fact, dentists suggest you should get a checkup at some point during your pregnancy to ensure your smile is healthy, especially if you’re experiencing any adverse symptoms with your teeth and gums.

    When it comes to protecting your health and the health of your baby, maintaining proper oral health during pregnancy is important. Be aware of the following dental concerns you might experience during your time being pregnant!

    Gum Disease Is More Likely

    Perhaps the oral health concern you’ve most likely heard about—and the most common—is the onset of gingivitis during pregnancy.

    Although not full-blown periodontal disease, gingivitis causes gum swelling and bleeding. Fortunately, gingivitis is considered reversible, and for many pregnant women, is usually temporary, peaking in the month just before birth and subsiding after your child is born.

    Gum issues during pregnancy happen as the result of hormonal shifts in the body. Both progesterone and estrogen are higher and can lead to a growth of bacteria that are responsible for gum inflammation. Many women notice that their gums are red, tender, or bleed during pregnancy.

    Due to these changes, the immune response to these harmful bacteria is more complicated as well. Your body may not be as adept to fight off these bacteria and lead you to be more susceptible to gum disease.

    Since gum disease has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight, getting this issue addressed is paramount. Keeping up with your oral care routine as well as visiting your dentist in Asheville can help you keep your gums healthy during pregnancy.

    Enamel Erosion

    Although not every woman will experience morning sickness during pregnancy, more than 50% will. Morning sickness doesn’t just happen in the morning—nausea and vomiting can happen at any point during the day and is most prevalent between six and twelve weeks of pregnancy.

    Unfortunately, vomiting can have negative effects on your oral health. The acids from your stomach are extremely harsh, and when they end up in your mouth, they can erode away enamel on the back of your teeth. With damaged tooth enamel, tooth sensitivity and tooth decay are more likely.

    Although morning sickness is considered normal, you may want to visit your dentist if you’re vomiting often to see what you can do to help protect your teeth. Remember to not brush immediately after vomiting, as stomach acids will weaken your tooth enamel and make it more likely to be damaged by your toothbrush bristles.

    What you can do is rinse with water after vomiting and again before brushing about 30 minutes later. It’s essential to take care of your teeth during this time to protect against irreversible enamel damage, so consult with your dentist if you’re concerned about the effects of morning sickness on your smile.

    Dry Mouth

    Dry mouth is a less common oral health symptom of pregnancy but can be a side effect of morning sickness. The hormonal shifts we discussed earlier can also cause dry mouth during your pregnancy.

    Experiencing dry mouth can make you more susceptible to tooth decay and buildup of plaque, which, as we know, can cause tooth decay and gum disease. It’s essential to stay hydrated to help combat the effects of dry mouth. Drinking plenty of water, reducing your caffeine intake, and chewing gum with xylitol can help your oral cavity stay moist and protected.

    Dry mouth can also cause bad breath, so staying hydrated can help you curb this annoying problem. Certain medications can cause dry mouth as well, so if you’re on any of the many medications that can cause dry mouth and pregnant, your symptoms may be worse and you may need to speak with your doctor about switching medications in order to help protect your smile during this time.

    Pregnancy Tumors (Pyogenic Granuloma)

    Technically called pyogenic granuloma, pregnancy tumors are overgrowths of tissue in the mouth that only affect 5% of pregnancies.

    This tissue typically grows between the gums and is never cancerous. Appearing between the second and third trimester, these tumors are suspected to be the result of hormonal changes throughout the body during pregnancy.

    If you do experience a pregnancy tumor, you might see a period of rapid growth before the tumor stabilizes. If your tumor is obstructive or uncomfortable, you can opt to have it removed by your dentist in Asheville.

    Pregnancy tumors usually only require monitoring, not treatment, but getting them evaluated by your dentist is always a good idea, especially if you’re experiencing any discomfort or symptoms as a result of the excess tissue in your mouth.

    Since pyogenic granulomas have a lot of blood vessels, they typically appear reddish in color and can bleed. Bleeding is the most common complaint of people who have pregnancy tumors.

    Maintaining a Healthy Smile Throughout Your Pregnancy

    While pregnancy brings many changes, one of the changes you shouldn’t overlook during this time are the changes to your oral health. With some oral health issues having the potential to be hereditary, it’s important to have the healthiest smile possible for your baby.

    Being aware of changes in the oral cavity due to hormones can help you to better prepare for your pregnancy. Fortunately, you don’t have to bear the responsibility of having great oral health alone—your Asheville dentist is here to help you maintain a healthy smile throughout your pregnancy.

    Checking in with your dentist during your pregnancy can help you to ensure your teeth and gums are ready for your little one to arrive safe and sound. We invite you to schedule a consultation with us at Saunders DDS when you’re expecting to ensure a safe and healthy smile. We look forward to helping you with your oral care!

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    Does My Child Really Need a Custom Mouthguard?

    by Saunders DDS on September 18, 2018

    Fall sports are well underway with the most popular sports—soccer, football, lacrosse, and wrestling—all requiring a mouthguard for your child’s participation.

    When it comes to purchasing the right mouthguard for your child, how can you be sure that you’re getting the right one? Of course, there are the mouthguards from sporting stores that cost little and allow you to boil the mouthguard and attempt to mold it to your child’s bite.

    But do these mouthguards provide everything your child needs to have a safe and fun sport season? Unfortunately, many parents realize too late that a store-bought mouthguard doesn’t provide adequate protection for their child.

    Your child’s mouth isn’t the same as another person’s, so the mouthguard they need won’t be the same either. In order to fully protect your child’s mouth, here’s why you need to consider a custom mouthguard.

    Custom Offers a Superior Level of Protection

    Custom mouthguards are able to help protect each and every one of your child’s teeth. They help to shield the teeth and the jaw from absorbing an impact during an accident, making each and every tooth less likely to be harmed by an injury.

    With store-bought mouthguards, you’re trusting your child’s teeth to a device that wasn’t made for them. With a cheaper mouthguard comes sub-optimal protection. You won’t be able to protect your child’s jaw and teeth from an injury with a mouthguard that wasn’t made to protect them specifically.

    Keep Braces and Orthodontic Appliances Safe

    If your child has braces, protecting their smile is even more important. In the event of an injury—a fall or even a blow to the face or head—the brackets and wires can actually cut your child’s mouth and require stitches in severe cases.

    Any orthodontic work including braces and retainers can be fully protected with a custom mouthguard. The right mouthguard will shield your child’s gums from the metal braces in the event of an impact, saving you a trip to the emergency room and keeping your child safe to continue playing sports even with their orthodontic work. 

    Get the Right Fit for Total Protection

    When you invest in a custom mouthguard, your Asheville dentist ensures that the fit is the right one to protect your child.

    Dr. Saunders will take an impression of your child’s teeth, creating an accurate model which will serve as the foundation for creating your child’s perfect mouthguard. Once the mouthguard is ready, Dr. Saunders will be sure it fits your child for optimum protection.

    Enable Better Performance

    Picking up a mouthguard at the store seems harmless, but in reality, it could actually be dangerous for your child. Many of these mouthguards are too bulky to be the right size, meaning your child will have to keep their mouth closed to hold the mouthguard in.

    An ill-fitting mouthguard can not only make speaking difficult, it can make breathing difficult as well. Not being able to speak and breathe properly can be frightening and limiting during sports when adequate breathing is required for children to play their best and have fun.

    Custom mouthguards allow your child to breathe, speak, and even swallow properly, therefore allowing them to do their best and have fun with their friends without worrying about accommodating a bulky mouthguard or suffering a tooth injury by going without. The American Dental Association recommends that both children and adults wear proper-fitting mouthguards in any sport where there’s a risk for injury!

    Enhanced Comfort for Your Child

    Since a custom mouthguard is made to fit your child’s teeth, there’s no excess material. The result is just a comfortable device that protects your child’s mouth. Having the correct fit makes it more likely that your child will actually wear his or her mouthguard.

    In addition, getting a custom mouthguard for your child when they’re young will allow them to get more familiar with the mouthguard and have a positive experience with these essential devices early on, making sports and other forms of exercise fun and safe.

    Get Kids Excited About Sports (and Safety!)

    Getting a custom mouthguard allows your child to choose their favorite design or color with your Asheville dentist. You can get your child excited about wearing their personalized equipment while also reducing the chances that your child will miss a practice or a game. By helping to prevent teeth and jaw injuries, you allow your child to attend every game and not miss a moment!

    Reduce Chances of a Severe Impact

    When you properly protect your child’s smile during sports, you may actually be able to reduce their chances of suffering from a concussion. Tentative research shows that mouthguards can help to absorb the impact of a blow and may actually be able to stop a concussion from happening.

    Although the research isn’t conclusive at this time, it never hurts to protect your child’s teeth and help prevent a severe sporting accident from affecting their jaw or skull with a custom mouthguard. 

    Prevent Emergency Bills

    A custom mouthguard can help cut down on dental costs and reconstructive services that may come with a cheap mouthguard. Consider the cost of emergency services due to knocked out teeth or stitches, not to mention the restorative work that will need to happen afterward for tooth injuries.

    You can protect your child’s teeth in addition to any restorative work they may already have. Braces, retainers, or cosmetic work can be expensive to repair. Keep your bills down with one smart investment in a custom mouthguard! 

    Tips for Getting the Perfect Mouthguard

    If you’ve decided to consider your options for custom mouthguards, the process is simple. First, you’ll need to schedule a consultation with your dentist in Asheville to see if you can get a custom mouthguard for your child. You’ll need to tell your dentist what sport the mouthguard will be used for. Sports such as football and boxing will need to be thicker than mouthguards for sports such as tennis.

    It’ll also be important to inform your Asheville dentist of any previous restorative work your child may have had done or if your child is planning on getting braces in the future.

    Once your dentist is able to take impressions of your child’s teeth, you’re on your way to getting a custom-fit mouthguard to fully protect your child’s smile during their sport so the whole family can enjoy the season without worrying about a tooth injury.

    If you’re in the Asheville area, make an appointment with us at Saunders DDS to get your child fitted for a custom mouthguard. Investing in a custom mouthguard for your child can not only help prevent injury, but can make the sport season more enjoyable for everyone!

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    How Exactly Do Dental Implants Work? What You Can Expect

    by Saunders DDS on September 5, 2018

    Dental implants have provided patients, with missing teeth, a way to effectively restore their smile without dentures. These sturdy tooth replacements consist of a titanium screw that’s implanted in your jaw and allowed to heal, then restored with a dental crown.

    Besides offering a tooth replacement that may last a lifetime, dental implants are durable and feel and function just like your natural teeth. With all the reasons to get a dental implant, it makes sense that more patients are pursuing this option when they lose a tooth due to an accident or decay.

    How do dental implants provide a carefree smile for patients around the world? Here’s your guide to the dental implant procedure and what you can expect during this restorative dentistry process.

    Consultation with your Asheville Dentist

    Before you can begin to consider dental implants as an option, you’ll need to schedule a consultation with your dentist in Asheville to determine your candidacy.

    The best candidates for dental implants are those who have optimal oral health—this includes being free of gum disease.  Having a healthy smile gives you your best chance to fully heal from the procedure and have a strong dental implant for life.

    During your consultation, your Asheville dentist, Dr. Saunders, will examine your smile to determine the location of the missing tooth, the state of your oral health, and if you have enough bone in your jaw to properly support the dental implant.

    Without enough bone in your jaw, you may not qualify for dental implants, or you may need a bone graft before the procedure can be considered. Typically, patients who have been missing a tooth for quite some time are at risk to experience bone loss, while those who have recently lost a tooth should still have enough jaw bone to support a dental implant.

    People who are allergic to titanium, although extremely rare, may also not be considered for the dental implant procedure.  This is due to the fact that most dental implants are fabricated from a titanium alloy. Tell your Asheville dental practice if you have a metal allergy and ask whether or not a different kind of material is available.

    If you smoke, you may also not qualify for dental implants. This is because smoking can greatly hinder your oral health and your dentist may not want to risk the procedure, as there’s a greater chance that your body would reject the dental implant.

    Procedure to Insert the Implant

    If your dentist determines that you’re a candidate for dental implants, you can discuss moving forward with the procedure. You’ll schedule a time to come in and typically only local anesthesia is used, although you can discuss all of your sedation options with your dentist.

    During the procedure, a small hole is made and the post is inserted into your jaw. During the next few weeks, the post will be allowed to fuse to your bone, which makes it strong and also facilitates generation of new jaw bone. Having proper jaw bone density not only helps your smile to remain strong, but also supports a fuller face which can help facilitate a younger-looking appearance.

    After the procedure, you’ll need to follow your dentist or oral surgeon’s instructions for healing. You should gently brush around the surgical site, but do not be aggressive. You should rest for the first day and avoid any excessive activity.

    Swelling is normal and may last for up to three days following the procedure. Should you ever have any questions or concerns, contact your dentist immediately. In the meantime, you can use ice to decrease the swelling and eat foods that are easy to chew.

    Healing Time

    Following the initial procedure to place the actual implant, your body will need time to heal. During this time, the actual implant will fuse to your jaw bone in a process called osseointegration. Once this process is complete, your dental implant will be ready for the final part of the procedure—your dental crown.

    The healing time will vary from person to person depending on how healthy your mouth is, with healing time being between two and four months. Your dentist can let you know more about what to expect based on your unique smile and how well the healing process is going during your checkup appointments.

    Your dentist may be able to fit you with a temporary restoration during this time, but this should only be worn after the swelling has gone down. Following the procedure, your dentist will need to see you back in for checkups to monitor the healing process and discuss getting your dental crown.

    Getting Your Permanent Crown

    Once your actual dental implant is fully healed, it’s time to get your definitive restoration—a dental crown. Dental crowns are made to function just like your natural teeth and are virtually indistinguishable from your real teeth.

    Your dentist will be able to make your dental crown look the exact shape and shade that you want and then fix it onto the end of your dental crown. With proper care, crowns have the potential to last ten years or more, so be sure to take care of your crown for the littlest maintenance possible!

    Once you have your final appointment for your dental implant, you’ll be ready to enjoy your new permanent tooth and be able to follow up with your dentist in Asheville for regular appointments as needed.

    Considering Dental Implants?

    If you’re considering dental implants but aren’t sure whether or not you qualify, schedule a visit with us at Saunders DDS in Asheville. Dr. Saunders will review your oral health to determine if you’re a candidate for the procedure as well as be able to talk with you more about what the procedure will entail.

    If you’re missing a tooth or several teeth, getting them replaced as soon as possible can help prevent shifting of your teeth and bone loss in your jaw. If you’re concerned about needing numerous dental implants, you have options such as all-on-four dental implants to simplify and accelerate the procedure.

    Ask your dentist in Asheville about dental implants during your next appointment to fully restore your smile and enjoy proper function of your teeth again!

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    7 Ways Alcohol Can Hurt Your Smile

    by Saunders DDS on August 21, 2018

    One of America’s most popular and widely abused beverages is also harmful to your teeth. Alcohol not only has negative consequences for your body; it also damages your smile.

    From beer to wine to liquor, alcohol is corrosive to tooth enamel and can irritate the gums, especially if you’re not brushing, flossing, or visiting your Asheville dentist regularly.

    If you choose to drink alcohol, it’s important to know how this beverage will affect your teeth and gums. Here’s how alcohol can hurt your smile and why this beverage made it to our top six worst drinks for your teeth!

    Alcohol Dehydrates You

    Similarly to caffeinated beverages, alcohol dehydrates you. Its dehydrating effect on the body also dries out your mouth and decreases your saliva production, which means there’s more of a chance your teeth will be impacted by bad bacteria.

    Dehydration can even affect cognitive function, so staying hydrated while drinking alcohol is important. To do this, simply sip water with your drink or have a glass of water after each drink to help both your smile and your body to remain healthy and less impacted by the alcohol.

    Alcohol Is Acidic

    Saliva helps to keep our mouths at a healthy pH, somewhere near neutral (7 on the pH scale). Alcohol, however, is very acidic and most alcoholic drinks fall somewhere in the 3-5 range on the pH scale. What does this mean for your smile?

    The more acidic a food or beverage is, the more likely it is to erode your tooth enamel. Acidic drinks encourage oral bacteria to turn harmful, which can actually eat away at tooth enamel, especially over long periods of time (think sipping a drink over a period of hours).

    Adding citrus fruits to your alcoholic drinks is even worse, as these fruits have even lower numbers on the pH scale. For instance, a lemon has a pH of just 2!

    Alcohol Can Stain Your Teeth (And Not Just Wine)

    We all know that red wine can stain your teeth. What many people don’t realize is that beer—especially darker brews—can also stain teeth.

    Although regular cleanings with your Asheville dental practice can remove surface stains and a professional  teeth whitening may be able to more comprehensively remove deeper stains, your best bet is to drink alcohol in moderation to avoid unsightly stains that can impact the appearance of your smile.

    You can also sip your drink through a straw, which means the liquid will almost completely bypass the teeth to help prevent staining. Another helpful tip is to drink water with your drink; this not only helps to prevent dehydration but also creates a buffer between your teeth and the alcohol that could stain them.

    Sugar from Mixed Drinks Damages Teeth

    If you enjoy mixed drinks, keep in mind that many syrupy add-ons and sugary substances such as soda can make your alcoholic drink extra harmful to your teeth.

    Sugar encourages bacteria in the mouth to produce harmful acids, which lowers the pH and can harm tooth enamel. Once tooth enamel is worn away, it can’t be replaced. Eroded tooth enamel causes symptoms such as tooth sensitivity, discoloration, and tooth decay.

    Enamel erosion is a common side effect of eating too much sugar or exposing the mouth to sugar over long periods of time. However, when mixed with alcohol, your alcohol consumption can become even more damaging to your pearly whites.

    Alcohol Abuse Increases Your Risk for Oral Cancer

    Oral cancer includes cancers that develop in the mouth. Over 10,000 people die from oral cancer every year, and over 50,000 people are diagnosed with these cancers annually.

    Alcohol abuse is the second largest risk factor for developing oral cancer with tobacco use being the first. Alcohol and tobacco use combined especially raises your risk for oral cancer.

    In fact, 70% of people diagnosed with oral cancer are heavy drinkers. You can protect yourself from oral cancer by quitting smoking, reducing your alcohol consumption, and regularly visiting your Asheville dentist for checkups and oral cancer screenings.

    Alcohol Increases Your Risk of Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

    People who drink alcohol frequently have more dental plaque than people who don’t. Research shows dependency on alcohol leads to more plaque regardless of your oral care habits.

    As a result of increased plaque, alcohol can increase your risk for tooth decay and gum disease. In general, people who drink have a higher risk to develop cavities, especially if your drinking is so heavy that you frequently vomit.

    Vomit contains harsh stomach acids and is extremely corrosive to teeth, eroding away enamel and causing irreversible damage. If your drinking is so heavy that you vomit, it might be time to seek help.

    Alcohol May Be Linked to Teeth Grinding

    Although no causal link has been proven between alcohol and teeth grinding, research has shown that alcohol use has been “associated highly” with grinding your teeth while asleep.

    Teeth grinding (also called bruxism) is extremely harmful to teeth. It inflames the gum tissue and can cause fractures in your teeth. If left untreated, bruxism can even cause tooth loss.

    Bruxism is treatable by your dentist in Asheville. If you find you’re grinding your teeth or wake with a sore jaw or a headache, it’s time for a dental exam. Your Asheville dentist can talk with you about your symptoms and if your alcohol consumption could be contributing to your bruxism.

    Concerned About Your Smile?

    If you’re concerned about your smile, consider making an appointment with Dr. Saunders at Saunders DDS. From oral cancer screenings to comprehensive exams, we provide a full range of services for our patients in Asheville.

    Is your alcohol consumption causing issues with your smile? There is help for people who struggle to control their drinking. When it comes to your oral health, you can decrease your risk of oral cancer, cavities, and gum disease simply by cutting back on alcohol or quitting altogether.

    Come in and see us at Saunders DDS for an exam. We can help you protect your smile and prevent further damage!

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    How to Find the Best Dentist for You

    by Saunders DDS on August 9, 2018

    Finding a good dentist is more than just picking a professional to clean your teeth. Having a partner in your oral health care that you can trust is invaluable. Your teeth and gums not only affect your appearance, but a growing body of research suggests your oral health is linked to chronic disease, premature birth, and even cancer.

    So how can you find a dentist that fulfills this important role? To find an Asheville dental practice that’s convenient, trustworthy, experienced, and professional, follow these tips to find the best dentist for you to help you keep up with your oral health.

    Place a Priority on Communication

    With any professional, especially a healthcare professional, it’s important to have good communication. Dentists aren’t just doctors; they’re educators. A dentist that simply cleans your teeth and sends you on your way might not be your best choice.

    A good Asheville dentist, and dental hygienist, will explain what spots you’re missing when you brush, offer tips for reaching difficult areas, and can suggest other areas of improvement. A dentist may or may not recommend a specific type of floss or toothbrush, but they should want you to take good care of your teeth and gums and show you how to do a good job.

    In addition, if you need any type of treatments other than a cleaning, your dentist in Asheville should thoroughly explain the treatment as well as all of its risks, what benefits it offers, and any alternative treatments available. For nearly every dental issue, there is more than one treatment. Your dentist should be able to clearly communicate your choices so that you feel confident that you’re making the best decision for you.

    If your dentist can’t communicate well or doesn’t invest their time in your oral health, consider getting a second opinion or searching elsewhere for your oral care.

    Consider Convenience

    Staying on top of your dental health is a key factor in preventing diseases such as periodontal disease and catching other problems such as cavities and oral cancer early. Therefore, it’s important to choose an Asheville dentist who will be convenient for you so you can regularly make appointments.

    Depending on what’s most important to you in an oral healthcare professional, you may place a priority on a location that’s easier for you to access or hours that work with your schedule. Take convenience into account when researching dentists in your area.

    You may also consider other details of convenience, such as whether or not the dentist is in your insurance network, if you need a dentist that sees both adults and children, or a dentist that offers emergency care hours on the nights and weekends.

    Regardless of what factors you need to evaluate for convenience, be sure to choose a dentist who will suit your schedule so that you’re more likely to keep your regular appointments!

    Weigh Insurance vs. Out-of-Pocket Expenses

    Don’t let lack of dental insurance prevent you from receiving the oral care that you need. Although searching for a dentist that’s out-of-network or looking for a dentist when you don’t have dental insurance can feel difficult, you still have options.

    Many dentists offer discounts or specials, so you should absolutely ask about these. For example, many dentists offer new patient specials that involve an exam and a cleaning. If you need any work done outside of an exam and cleaning and you don’t have dental insurance, you’ll want to evaluate prices.

    You don’t have to forgo a quality dentist just because you don’t have dental insurance. You deserve the best care, and many excellent dentists are affordable.

    You may also consider signing up for a dental discount plan, but be aware that some dentists don’t participate in these plans. You can also ask a dentist you’re considering about their policy on payment plans, their payment options, and discounts for specific groups, such as military discounts or senior citizen discounts.

    Evaluate Your Comfort

    Most importantly, how comfortable you feel at your dentist’s office is the most important thing. You want to feel comfortable asking questions, asking for what you need, and communicating with the dentist as well as the staff.

    You also want to feel secure addressing any concerns you may have, such as dental anxiety. Some experts speculate that up to 15% of the American population experiences dental anxiety, so don’t feel like you’re alone in addressing your concerns. Other research estimates the number to be even higher.

    Your dentist should also have minimal waiting time, a clean office, and a friendly and professional staff. It’s imperative that you feel good about your dentist in Asheville, otherwise, you may be less likely to follow through with your oral care.

    Take the Kids

    When you need a dentist that’s good with kids to help take care of your children’s teeth, you may be able to ask your child’s pediatrician for a recommendation, or you can schedule a few visits with dentists who see children in your area. When you need to be sure your little ones are getting their checkups, having the right dentist can make the appointments go by much easier—for you and your kids!

    Where to Start

    Finding the best dentist can begin at many starting points. First, you may ask friends, family, co-workers, or neighbors for references. If you’re new to the area, this can be especially helpful instead of just trying to find a dentist on your own.

    You can also utilize the American Dental Association’s search tool for approved professionals. Your insurance company can help you locate dentists in your network, but you’ll need to do your own research to determine if any of these dentists are a good fit for you. If not, it may make sense to seek a dentist outside your network. Ask your insurance company what their policy about receiving out-of-network care is if you have dental insurance.

    If you’re moving to a new area, you can always ask your current dentist for a referral to a professional in your new location. Your former dentist will be happy to hear that you’re continuing your oral health care!

    Don’t waste time finding the right dentist for you. Whether you invest time in doing your own research or ask for a recommendation, the best dentist can make your oral care easier and make your smile healthier and brighter. Make time to visit your local dentist in Asheville to evaluate the team and maybe even make an appointment—your smile will thank you!

    5 Dental Trends That Could Be Damaging Your Teeth

    July 10, 2018
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    Many of us hear about the latest crazes that tend to take over now and then. When it comes to health trends that claim to be good for you, it can be harmful to engage in a practice that’s not been proven to help anything! When it comes to your teeth, you want to be […]

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    Your Restorative Dentistry Options

    June 25, 2018
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    If your smile has experienced any type of decay, trauma, or disease, rehabilitating your smile is important. Restorative dentistry provides you with several options to restore the function and appearance of your smile. Although your dentist in Asheville will do their best to protect your natural teeth, restorative dentistry also involves using tooth replacements when […]

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    Why Are Baby Teeth So Important? 6 Reasons to Care for Your Little One’s Smile

    May 22, 2018
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    Did you know that your child’s 20 primary teeth are already included in the jaw when they’re born? These teeth begin to erupt between the ages of six months to one year old. In the past, there have been many misconceptions about the role of baby teeth. People once speculated that it wasn’t important to […]

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    Should I Have My Amalgam Fillings Removed?

    May 8, 2018
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    Amalgam fillings—also called silver fillings—have been used in dentistry for more than a century. While the American Dental Association verifies that amalgam fillings are safe, many dentists are turning away from using this material for fillings and instead relying on non-mercury fillings for their patients. While the mercury used in amalgam fillings has not been […]

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    What Health Problems Have Been Linked to Gum Disease?

    April 17, 2018
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    It’s becoming more apparent that gum disease, also called periodontal disease, affects more than just the oral cavity. Gum disease has been linked to numerous systemic diseases in scientific research. Your gums are an essential part of your smile. They help protect your teeth and the ligaments that anchor them in place. Keeping your gums […]

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    Watch Out: Your Child Can Have the Following Dental Problems

    April 12, 2018
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    Children are not immune from many of the same dental health problems that adults can have.  Just because a child will eventually loose his or her baby teeth doesn’t mean keeping their smile healthy is any less important! The following dental problems are issues that almost any child of any age can have.  This is […]

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    What Are Those White Spots On My Teeth? Dental Fluorosis and Treatment

    March 20, 2018
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    Dental fluorosis is a condition in which your tooth enamel is hypomineralized during the developmental stage, leaving white areas on your pearly whites. People who have dental fluorosis have tooth enamel marked with white spots or lines. It’s estimated that slightly less than a quarter of people between the ages of 6-49 have some form […]

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    How Different Types of Smoking Affect Your Oral Health

    March 6, 2018
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    With approximately 1 billion smokers worldwide, 7 million people die each year from tobacco-related diseases. It’s time to talk about how smoking affects the oral cavity. With many different types of tobacco, herbal smoke, and electronic options available today, it’s important to realize that each of these different types of smoking still damage your teeth and […]

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    Don’t Delay in Catching These 5 Dental Problems Early

    February 26, 2018
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    You know that keeping on top of your oral health is important—but many people don’t realize just how important it is. With gum disease affecting an estimated 47% of the American population and over 50,000 people estimated to get oral cancer this year, it’s more important than ever to take care of your teeth and […]

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    Why Your Teeth May Be Hurting More in the Winter

    February 20, 2018
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    You might be ready for spring, but we’ve still got a little while to go! You’re tired of the cold weather, the snow, and flu season being in full swing. One of the other reasons you might be ready for winter to be over is because your teeth are hurting—but why? Here are a few […]

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