Our Blog

When was your last dental checkup?

January 4th, 2019

While Dr. Baruffi and our team tell you daily oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing, are essential to optimal oral health, regular dental checkups at Southcenter Dental ensure your teeth are treated to a deeper level of cleaning.

We recommend for most of our patients to have a cleaning at our office at least every six months. In addition to a thorough cleaning and polishing of your teeth, visits with Dr. Baruffi help us detect and prevent the onset of tooth decay and gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. During your visit, we will check the health of your mouth, teeth, gums, cheeks, and tongue for signs of any decay or disease. We will also check old fillings and restorations as these can wear away over time due to chewing, clenching, or grinding.

If you are predisposed to any oral diseases, Dr. Baruffi may recommend checking in with us more often than every six months. We want your teeth to get the professional attention they deserve! With most dental plan benefits rolling over January 1st and you are overdue for a cleaning, now is a great time to call us  at 206-575-1551 to schedule a checkup! See you soon!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

December 19th, 2018

Southcenter Dental will be Closed starting Monday, December 24th to Tuesday, January 1st. We will be back in the office at 7am on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019.

For dental emergencies please call Dr. Whitfield at 206-575-1000.

(Located right across the hall)

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year

Four Ways to Keep Your Teeth Healthy During the Holidays

December 5th, 2018

The holiday season is almost here, which leaves many of us daydreaming about parties, festive sweets and the occasional holiday cocktail. It's also around this jovial time of year when healthy routines like oral health habits begin to take a backseat to holiday cheer.

For example, it is easy to get off schedule when it comes to flossing and brushing after meals, especially if you’re on the go. Another problem is the fact that during the holidays we consume significantly more sugar than we do any other time of the year, which can be bad for our teeth. But even with regular flossing and brushing, your teeth could still be at risk for a major holiday dental faux pas. To help you better prepare this season, we’ve put together a list of our best dental tips to get you and your smile through the holidays.

Get Rid of Wine Stains on Your Teeth.

While this is not the worst problem to have, wine-stained teeth can become an issue when it’s time to greet your holiday guests, or even when you pose for that family group photo. One surprisingly effective way to remove wine stains from your teeth is to eat cheese. As it turns out, cheese is not just delicious. It's also a great cleaning agent for your teeth. Cheese cleans your teeth by closing micro-pores which can keep wine from sticking and staining. If you have an allergy to cheese, try opting for white wine instead.

Drink More Water.

There is nothing worse than being stuck talking to someone who has offensive breath. It’s even worse if the offender happens to be you. In order to have the freshest breath possible, make sure you’re balancing out eating those delicious holiday hors d'oeuvres by drinking plenty of water. If you can, try to drink at least six to eight glasses a day. Drinking water helps wash away bacteria and food particles from your mouth that could be causing bad breath. If you feel like water isn’t doing the trick, try chewing on gum as it stimulates saliva production in your mouth.

Use Caution When Drinking Hot or Cold Liquids

One of the best things about the holidays is getting to drink libations like apple cider, hot buttered rum and the occasional spiked eggnog. While these boozy beverages may be tasty, they can also be painful to those with tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity happens when the layer of your teeth called dentin becomes exposed. Dentin is composed of tiny tubules which are all connected to nerve endings. Essentially when dentin becomes exposed, your teeth are at a higher risk for sensitivity. If you fall into the sensitive teeth category, be extra mindful about the temperature of any liquids you might consume.

Carry an Emergency Dental Kit.

It’s always a good idea to carry a small emergency dental kit with you. This can be especially helpful during times when you’re bouncing from one holiday festivity to the other and don’t have time to brush properly. Try to include a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash and toothpicks. Having these items in your arsenal will help you be prepared for any holiday photo or event.

 

 

Article by: Cassidy Rush

The Daily Grind: Do You Suffer from Bruxism?

November 29th, 2018

Do you ever clench your top and bottom teeth together when you’re stressed or wake up with an inexplicable headache? According to the Academy of General Dentistry, “one in three people suffer from bruxism,” or potentially damaging teeth grinding. This alarmingly widespread condition can lead to extreme discomfort and raise your risk for other dental issues, such as decay or fracture. In the following blog, we discuss the basics of bruxism so you can find out if you suffer from this condition and seek appropriate treatment from Southcenter Dental Dr. Baruffi and our team.

Who is at Risk for Tooth Grinding?

Some patients are more likely to suffer from bruxism than others. Common risk factors for this condition include:

  • Personality and stress level. The American Academy of General Dentistry’s fact sheet on bruxism reads: “Bruxism is triggered by people with certain types of personalities. They may have a nervous tension and a hard time handling stress. Anger, pain, and frustration can cause people to start showing the beginning signs of bruxism without them even knowing it. People who are aggressive, competitive, and hurried may also be at a greater risk for bruxism.” Many people grind their teeth unconsciously during sleep as a response to stress or other emotional factors.
  • Malocclusion. If your bite (the way your front and bottom teeth align) is distorted, you may be more likely to grind your teeth.
  • TMJ disorderBruxism and issues with the temporomandibular joint (the span of tissue that acts as a hinge between your temples and your lower jaw) are often linked.
  • Age. Many young children habitually grind their teeth.
  • Substance use. Research indicates that patients who smoke, drink caffeine, or use stimulating drugs such as Ecstasy or methamphetamine are typically more likely to suffer from bruxism.

These above can help you better understand your risks, but even patients who do not fall into these categories may grind their teeth.

Symptoms of Bruxism

You may grind your teeth if:

  • You notice yourself crushing your top and bottom teeth together at any point.
  • You suffer from numerous broken, chipped, flattened, or otherwise damaged teeth, especially if your injuries are more prominent on your teeth’s chewing surfaces.
  • You experience tooth sensitivity due to eroded, worn down enamel.
  • Your jaw or face aches or feels tight.
  • You frequently awaken with a headache.
  • You notice small tooth-shaped indentations along your tongue.
  • You’ve damaged the insides of your cheeks by inadvertently chewing them.
  • Your partner or a family member can hear your teeth grinding against each other as you sleep.
  • Your jaw cannot open or close properly.

If you experience any of the above, contactSouthcenter Dental for a consultation. Dr. Baruffi will assess your teeth, perform any necessary diagnostic tests, and discuss your concerns with you to determine if you suffer from bruxism and design an appropriate treatment.

Our Treatment Options

There are many available treatments for bruxism. Most often, Dr. Baruffi custom makes night guards for patients who grind their teeth. These oral appliances cover the teeth’s chewing surfaces, shielding them from damage. We can also help repair the damage wrought by bruxism with restorative dentistry procedures such as tooth colored fillings  or dental crowns. In some cases, using stress reduction techniques or taking muscle relaxant medications may help you avoid grinding your teeth.

Put a Stop To Your Daily Grind

Southcenter Dental and Dr. Baruffi can help diagnose and treat bruxism to give you a healthier, more beautiful smile. To learn more about this condition or schedule a consultation, contact our office at 206-575-1551.

 

Article by Cindy Flanagan

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