Weston Family Dentist

Weston Dental Office Tips on Summer Travel Oral Health Routine

How to Maintain a Good Oral Health Routine During Summer From Weston’s First Dental Office

Summer is here which means school is out and traveling for many families. It is easy to forget your oral hygiene routine when you’re out of your usual schedule or on the road. Here are some oral hygiene tips for summer travel:

  1. Visit your dentist before you go away for the summer. Having major tooth problems and having to make an emergency appointment somewhere while on vacation is no fun.
  2. Remember to brush or rinse after every meal
  3. Take it easy on the snacking especially on long car rides
  4. Bring sugar free gum with xylitol
  5. Be sure to brush and floss before bed

 

Here is a list of some essentials to bring with you on your summer travels to help keep up your dental hygiene.

  • Travel Sized Mouthwash and Toothpaste
  • Bring your floss and remember to floss at least once per day
  • Electric Toothbrush & Charger
  • Travel size Waterpik
  • New toothbrush—get one for your trip and throw it out at the end of the vacation.
  • Toothbrush Holder—a simple and cheap way to keep your toothbrush clean

 

Maintaining your oral health routine on the road can be a challenge but by following these few tips you can have a happy smile all summer.

Weston family dentist : Kids : Anxiety

How to Lessen Anxiety Over your Kid’s First Visit to the Family Dentist

As a Weston family dentist office we treat a large and growing number of kids at our practice. From time to time we think it is a good idea to remind parents just how important getting children started with good dental hygiene habits is and how important their part as role models are.

Getting your child ready for their first visit to the dentist (a new and therefor unpredictable experience) can be made easier if you take the time to familiarize him or her with what to expect (in general terms). Rule number one is not to mention anything that can be associated with pain.

Easing the anxiety kids have about dentists

When your child asks what the dentist is going to do answer in very general (but truthful) terms like he’s going to ask you to say “ahh” and then he’s going to count your teeth and check your smile.  You may even want to role play at that point. Have your child sit down, say ahh and then use a tooth brush and count his or her teeth. If you hold up a mirror they can see what’s going on and the experience is no longer totally unpredictable.

If you have no personal anxiety about visiting the dentist, you may want to bring your child with you on your next appointment. This way they can become familiar with the surroundings and sample the toys, blankets, TV and aquarium that we keep just for kids.

Dr. Pyle has been treating kids for over 25 years and is an expert in managing their anxiety and concerns. Leave the “explaining” to him and don’t attempt to explain x-rays, cavities or any other procedures. Just tell your kids that the dentist is the person who keeps their teeth strong and healthy.

If you have any questions about scheduling your child’s first appointment, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Read more:

Family Dentistry : Services : Weston

Family Dentistry at Stephen J Pyle, DDS serves as the first line of defense and detection for serious health problems like gum disease and oral cancer. A dental exam typically includes periodic x-rays where these problems can be spotted and appropriate action taken. Serious gum disease can contribute to heart disease and stroke making the dental exam even that much more important to a family member’s overall health.

Family Dentistry…Did You Know?

When people think of family dentistry they most likely think dental exams, digital x-rays, teeth cleaning, extractions and teeth polishing. However today, a trained dentist like Dr. Pyle can offer can offer additional services that might surprise you:

  • NTI Tension Suppression System. This is a custom fit dental appliance that patients can wear at night to significantly reduce migraine headaches and migraine associated stress headaches. Dr. Pyle was the first to offer this non-surgical, no-drug, no side effects therapy in Weston.
  • Customized sports guards. If you or your children play a contact sport or a sport that could potentially result in a dental injury (like tennis or racquetball) Dr. Pyle can create a custom mouth guard for protection.
  • Tooth colored fillings. This filling material looks and feels more natural and is an excellent alternative to traditional silver filling material.
  • Dental hypnosis. Certified by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis Dr. Pyle can put anxious patients at ease using dental hypnosis making the dental treatment process less stressful.
  • Sleep Apnea Oral Appliances.  If you have been diagnosed with mild to moderate Sleep Apnea, Dr. Pyle can custom fit you for an oral appliance to treat your sleep apnea ( rather than using a CPAP – Continuous Positive Airway Pressure – device.)

Family dentistry is an important part of your family’s overall health care program. Regular dental examinations and maintenance can prevent major (and expensive) dental issues later on: read more

Dental Anxiety – Weston Dental Blog

What is dental anxiety?

Dental anxiety is a fearful response to dentists and dental office visits.  About 75% of Americans experience some form of dental anxiety, most often mild apprehension.  However, for a smaller fraction, dental anxiety is much more serious.  Serious dental anxiety occurs in up to 10% of the population, and can lead to behavior such as difficulty making appointments, panic attacks, or extreme anxiety leading up to and during a dental appointment.

Why is dental anxiety problematic?

A person with severe dental anxiety may avoid dentists entirely.  Their teeth will decay without regular dental cleaning, which can result in pain, embarrassment, ugly teeth, bad breath, and most critically can lead to poorer general health.

What are common symptoms of Severe Dental Anxiety?

General panic symptoms are typically seen with Severe Dental Anxiety, including difficulty breathing, sweaty palms, racing heart, lightheadedness and feeling queasy.

How can Dental Anxiety be Managed?

One of the easiest and most effective ways is to learn relaxation techniques, such as breathing or meditation, which can help relax them during an appointment.  A similar option that we make available to our Weston Area dental patients is dental hypnosis, which is very effective in relaxing a willing patient.

Just knowing that there is a problem can allow our dental staff to address phobias, such as by telling our patients what we are doing in each step, or avoiding a particular procedure if at all possible.  We can make arrangements for you to signal us to pause during treatment while you calm down and relax.  We also offer other relaxation aids such as TVs and music and a beautiful salt-water living reef aquarium in our state-of-the-art Weston dental location: Read More

 

 

Dental Care at Summer Camp | Weston Dental Blog

How can I ensure that my child’s teeth stay healthy while they are away at camp over the summer?

The best way to keep your child’s teeth healthy over the summer is to make sure they follow the same good dental habits they do at home.  Remember to pack them a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss, and remind them that just because they not at home doesn’t mean they do not have to take care of their teeth.

In addition, many camps allow you to pack your child a meal or snacks. Nuts, fruits, cheese and crackers, and seed mixes are not only healthy, but also much better for your child’s teeth than a sugary packaged snack would be.  If your child is not yet using products containing Xylitol, now would be a good time to start.

Why Xylitol?

Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener found in various fruits, berries, and vegetables. Studies have found that Xylitol promotes oral health, and is also thought to promote the repair of damaged enamel.   Xylitol is available in both gum and candies.   So when your child is eating at camp and a toothbrush is not readily available, chewing Xylitol gum is the next best alternative to brushing after the meal.

Mouth Protection

Finally, many summer camps (especially sports camps) involve a lot of strenuous physical activity.  All of this provides plenty of opportunities for a mouth injury.  If you know that your child’s camp will involve sports or other demanding activities, consider getting a mouth guard. Mouth guards prevent a variety of injuries, including jaw damage, loose or knocked out teeth, cuts in the mouth, and can even protect braces.

We advise our Weston area dental patients that with a little thoughtful preparation, they can prepare their children to have both a fun time at summer camp, as well as insure that their teeth stay healthy! : Read More

 

Getting the Facts about Dental X-Rays

What are Dental X-Rays?

Dental X-Rays are X-Rays used by dentists to examine your mouth and teeth.  These X-Rays can be used to check for cavities, bone loss, and tissue masses, cysts, or tumors, as well as to examine the jaw and jaw joints.   X-Rays can also be used to examine new teeth (in children, or wisdom teeth) and tooth damage that cannot be seen just by looking in the mouth.  Dental X-Rays are generally useful for monitoring the state of your oral health, and are good at detecting oral health issues early before they become major problems.

What are the different types of Dental X-Rays?

There are several different types of Dental X-Rays, each of which focus on different parts of the mouth.

Periapical X-Rays focus on showing an entire tooth, including the tip of the root and the surrounding bone structure.

Panoramic X-Rays give a quick overview of the whole mouth, including the jaw and nasal area, but are not as detailed as other types.

Occlusal X-Rays are used to view either the floor or roof of the mouth.

Bitewings are a type of X-Ray that show the tops of the upper and lower back teeth and how they fit together.  They reveal cavities between the teeth and bone level around the back teeth.

How often should I have Dental X-Rays?

On average, an adult patient should receive bitewing X-Rays every 1 to 3 years.  However, this frequency is based on a variety of factors.  Younger children and teens need bitewings more frequently; children should receive bitewings every 1 to 2 years, and teens every 1 to 3 years.  Adults with a history of tooth decay are at higher risk of continued tooth decay, and so should also receive bitewings more frequently, with the exact frequency to be determined by your dentist.  For more information, visit our website at http://www.firstwestondentist.com

What is TMJ disorder and TMD? | Weston Dental Blog

What is TMJ disorder and TMD?

The Temporomandibular Joints (TMJs) are the joints in your jaw. Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD, also frequently called TMJ disorder) refers to a number of possible problems that can arise within the TMJ or surrounding area. Low level TMDs may affect a large percentage of the population – up to 50% in one study. In some cases, TMDs can become severe, leading to chronic pain and limiting the movement of the joint. According to a recent survey, up to 9 million Americans suffer chronic pain from TMJ disorders.

What are symptoms of TMDs (TMJ disorders)?

Since TMDs are a family of problems, there are a large variety of symptoms. Common symptoms include clicking or popping noises coming from the jaw joints, pain in the jaw or nearby regions (face or neck), difficulty opening the mouth fully, a sticking or locking sensation in the jaw, or a feeling of discomfort when biting or pressing teeth together. Some forms of TMD can also cause headaches or earaches.

What are causes of TMDs (TMJ disorders)?

TMDs are generally caused by damage or misalignment of the joints and muscles in the jaw area. Accidents and sports injuries are one way this can happen. TMDs can also develop gradually, such as by grinding or clenching the teeth chronically, arthritis, or a misaligned jaw which receives stress when chewing. Diseases or substances (such as nicotine) that effect muscles can also cause TMDs to develop.

How are TMDs (TMJ disorders) diagnosed and treated?

If we suspect TMD in one of our Weston area dental patients, we will first look at X-rays of the jaw, and examine the patient’s bite action and jaw muscles. Further tests may then be needed to narrow down the severity and exact type of TMD. There are a variety of treatments for TMDs; one common treatment is to ‘rest’ the jaw by minimizing chewing and jaw motion, often involving a soft or liquid diet. Another option is to add a piece of plastic known as a bite splint to the teeth, which adjusts the way teeth fit together in order to minimize stress on the TMJ. Treatment is generally effective – the vast majority of cases treated by licensed dentists result in reduced or eliminated symptoms.

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If you feel that you may have a TMJ disorder based on the symptoms you are experienced, please contact our Weston area dental office to make an appointment for a TMJ disorder assessment.

What is Bite Disease? | Weston Dentist Blog

What is Bite Disease?

Occlusal Disease, or Bite Disease, is one of the three major diseases that affect the teeth (along with cavities and gum diseases). However, Bite Disease is often much harder to detect since it is not as well known. Bite disease is usually caused by a misalignment of the tooth surfaces or by excessive tooth grinding and clenching.

What are the symptoms and dangers of Bite Disease?

Bite Disease has a variety of painful consequences to your teeth. Common symptoms of Bite Disease include excessive tooth wear, increased sensitivity, sore muscles or jaw joints, headaches, cracks in teeth, loose teeth, or even broken teeth. These can cause serious damage, necessitating bridges, crowns, and other repairs for the teeth.

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What can be done about Bite Disease?

We tell our Weston area dental patients that if bite disease is caught early, it can be treated before it causes major damage to the teeth.  This early detection will reduce the number of bridges and crowns required throughout a patient’s dental treatments.

How is Bite Disease detected and treated?

Our Weston dental office staff is trained to recognize early signs of bite disease before it becomes more serious (such as cracks or sore muscles instead of broken teeth). Your dental exam will include diagnosis for bite disease by examining the way you bite down (occlusal analysis), or by making a model of your teeth to study your bite. If you are diagnosed with Bite Disease, our dental staff will then begin any needed treatment. A common beginning treatment for Bite Disease, is a bite splint, a piece of plastic added to your teeth in order to create a temporary perfect bite, which will reduce the symptoms and prevent further damage. For a more long-term solution, we may reshape your teeth so that they fit together better and don’t grind against each other.  Like many diseases, the key to effective treatment of Bite Disease is catching it early, so be sure to schedule regular visits to our Weston area dental office for early detection of any symptoms of Bite Disease!

How Does Oral Health Affect Overall Health? | Weston Dentist Blog

Is My Oral Health linked to my overall health?

Although the exact linkages are unclear, an increasing amount of research is pointing to links between how healthy your mouth is and how healthy the rest of your body is. One theory indicates that there is a linked inflammatory response – the inflammatory response to bacteria in the mouth is gum disease, while many of the overall health problems linked to poor oral health (such as early birth/low birth weight, diabetes, and heart disease) are linked to other inflammatory responses in the body.

Oral Health and Pregnancy:

During pregnancy, hormonal changes affect the mouth, leading to a higher than normal buildup of bacteria and an increased risk of gum disease. Unfortunately, in recent studies gum disease in pregnant woman has also been shown to lead to low birth weight babies. Gum disease has also been linked to premature birth – in one study, pregnant women with gum disease were 7 times more likely to undergo an early birth, worse than women who both smoked and drank.

Oral Health and Diabetes:

In this case, the health of your overall body can affect your mouth: children with diabetes have been shown to begin developing signs of gum disease earlier than their non-diabetic peers, and have an overall risk of developing gum disease that is twice as high as children without diabetes.

Oral Health and Heart Disease:

Starting about a decade ago, a large array of studies determined that gum disease in the mouth leads to an increased bacterial count in the bloodstream. This higher bacterial count has been linked to blood clots and heart disease, which translates to a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Oral Health and Other Diseases:

Although the links are not as well researched, there is some evidence that poor oral hygiene is associated with osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and immune system disorders.

How can I have great Oral Health?

Gum disease is thought to be the major cause of mouth-related problems with your general health. We tell our Weston area patients (both kids and adults) that good oral hygiene through brushing and flossing is the best way to remove plaque and cut down on bacteria in the mouth. Regular visits to our Weston dental office are also important, as we can remove tartar (hardened plaque not removed by brushing or flossing), and evaluate your oral health and assign special treatment to keep you in great oral health.

Detecting Oral Cancer | Weston Dental Blog

Stephen J. Pyle DDS

What is Oral Cancer?

Oral Cancer is cancer that occurs in and around the mouth.  The most common location for oral cancer is on the tongue, but it can also develop on the floor of the mouth, cheeks, gums, throat or roof of the mouth.  In fact, there has been a recent increase in the occurrences of cancers on the soft palate and in the throat.  Screening for Oral Cancer is part of the standard of routine dental care that we provide to our Weston area dental office patients, both adults and children.

What causes Oral Cancer?

Like many cancers, oral cancer appears to have a genetic component and is linked to aging; studies have shown that men over the age of 40 are the most vulnerable to oral cancer.  Oral cancer also has more concrete causes – studies have linked a variety of lifestyle choices to higher oral cancer rates.  One of the largest (and fastest growing) causes of oral cancer is the HPV (Human papillomavirus) virus.  Several HPV variants commonly cause oral cancer, so if you know you may have HPV be sure to notify your dentist.  Other major behavioral causes of oral cancer are tobacco usage and excessive drinking.  Oral Cancer has also been linked to poor oral hygiene, a poor diet (especially if it doesn’t include enough fruits and vegetables), bacterial infection, and rough surfaces within the mouth (either natural or artificial, such as caused by a poorly made denture).

What can I do about Oral Cancer?

The best way to prevent oral cancer is to not use tobacco; Smoking and other forms of tobacco usage account for up to 75% of oral cancers.  You should also try to avoid the other causes mentioned in the list above, especially by maintaining proper oral hygiene and eating fruits and vegetables.  However, all of this is no guarantee of preventing oral cancer. Fortunately, oral cancer that is caught early is very treatable (80 to 90% success rate).  In order to catch oral cancer early, our Weston area dental office recommends being screened for oral cancer at least once a year.  At our Weston office, this doesn’t require anything special – we check for unusual lesions and other early warning signs of oral cancer as part of our regular preventative dentistry appointment (for both adults and children).  Oral cancer is just one more reason why it is important to your overall health to schedule regular checkups at our Weston dental office.