Federal Way Family Dentistry – Useful Facts

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Biting Your Cheeks: Are Your Teeth to Blame?

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Every so often, we’re all going to bite down on the inside of our cheeks. It’s a painful experience, and one that tends to get worse before it gets better. When it happens, some people get to wondering if they have a problem. Are my teeth at fault? Is this something I should take to my Federal Way dentistry clinic? Fortunately, the answer is generally quite simple.

Biting your cheek is really pretty normal, even if you have perfectly straight and healthy teeth. The trouble that arises when you bite your cheek is that you’re likely to get some swelling in the cheek tissues, which makes it all the easier to bite yourself in the same place and aggravate the swelling. When this happens, it’s easy to think that you might have a chronic problem.

What you want to do in this situation is to be mindful of your injured cheek. Be careful when you chew so that you can let the tissues heal and break the vicious cycle. In some cases, you may benefit from some orthodontic wax or another product to protect your cheek. Consult your dentist if you require more information.

What is a Fissured Tongue?

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Do you have grooves or cracks across the surface of your tongue? This is something that our Federal Way dentistry clinic knows as fissured tongue.

Fissured tongue, sometimes referred to as “plicated tongue” or “scrotal tongue”, is a condition that affects between 2% and 5% of the population of the US. It is characteristic of fissures that run across the top and sides of the tongue that run as deep as six millimeters. These fissures sometimes emerge during childhood, though they more commonly appear during adulthood and deepen with age.

The good news is that a fissured tongue is probably nothing to worry about. The condition is often harmless, representing a simple variation on the more typical tongue. You may need to take particular care in scraping your tongue in order to clear away detritus that may get stuck in the grooves and cause irritation, but you will probably not require any further treatment. If you would like more information on fissured tongue, consult your dentist.

Healthy Teeth for a Healthy Memory!

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Are you having trouble remembering important dates and appointments? Our Federal Way dentistry clinic advises that one of the first things you should drill into your memory is your regular dental care routine! Not only is this a good habit to get into for the sake of your teeth and gums, it can also help you to remember the other important things going on in your life.

In a scientific study, loss of memory was linked to gum disease. Adults with swollen or bleeding gums showed poor performance in memory and cognitive skills, like verbal recall and subtraction skills, while subjects with healthy gums performed better. Therefore, if you find yourself struggling with some of your day-to-day mental tasks, it may help to “brush up” on your memory!

Premature Birth and Gum Disease

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Are you pregnant, or planning on becoming pregnant? Our Federal Way dentistry clinic advises that you take particular care with your oral hygiene. The health of your teeth and gums has a strong relationship on the health of your developing child.

It has been found that women with gum disease are more likely to have a baby that is born prematurely. The reasons behind this are not fully understood, though it likely has something to do with the inflammation of the tissues and the infections that are attacking your mouth. Meanwhile, the hormonal changes that your body goes through during pregnancy leave you all the more vulnerable to developing gum disease or other dental problems. It’s a vicious cycle, and one that must be guarded against with strict dental care if you want to save both your teeth and your unborn child. For further information on how to take care of your teeth during pregnancy, talk to your dentist.

Eating Cheese for a Better Mouth

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Say “cheese”! That’s what people say when they want you to flash your winning smile for the camera. But what if you don’t have a particularly good smile to flash? Again, cheese could very well help you out in this department. Try making cheese a bigger part of your diet, and you may find yourself having better checkups at our Federal Way dentistry clinic.

It’s not just that cheese is rich in the calcium that is so important to the health of your teeth. Most cheese also contains substances like casein and whey proteins, which go a long way towards fighting the demineralization of your tooth enamel. This prevents cavities, keeping your teeth stronger and healthier.

Wear Your Mouthguard!

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Our Federal Way dentistry clinic recommends that anyone who participates in contact sports, and even some of the more brutal non-contact sports, wear mouthguards during their chosen form of athletics. A proper guard gives you invaluable assurance against horrible dental injuries. Even children participating at a “pee wee” level, where injuries may be fewer and less severe, should get started on mouthguards if only to become accustomed to them. They can take some time to get used to, but if an athlete begins wearing them at a young age, they will shortly start feeling comfortable and natural.

There are several options available when it comes to buying a mouthguard, and the quality of protection that you get is going to match the quality of the product. The cheapest mouthguards are not designed to fit the unique form of your teeth and are therefore less comfortable and offer less protection. “Boil and bite” mouthguards are an inexpensive way to custom-fit a guard to your mouth, but these can be unreliable and difficult to fit. The best way to make that you’re getting the most beneficial mouth guard is through a dental professional. Please contact Bella Dental for more information.

Thrush and Your Child’s Mouth

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Thrush is a fungal condition when the candida fungus flourishes in an unprotected mouth. It can happen at any age, though it is most common with infants and toddlers. You can help to protect yourself and your young ones from this unfortunate condition by taking the following advice from your Federal Way dentistry clinic:

The candida fungus is generally present in everyone’s mouth at any time, though it is usually going to be kept regulated by your saliva. This is why stress, smoking, medication, and anything else that causes dry mouth can allow the fungus to get out of control. If you can mitigate such factors in your own life, you are less likely to infect your vulnerable infant’s mouth.

Aside from this, it’s mostly a matter of getting proper dental care for your child; impart proper hygiene with your child, limit his or her consumption of sugary or yeast-heavy food, and take him or her in for appropriate dentist appointments. Should all else fail, please contact Bella Dental.

The Trouble with Thumb-Sucking

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Parents come to our Federal Way dentistry clinic with concerns about their child’s thumb-sucking habit. It’s well understood that habitual sucking of the thumb can cause teeth to come in wrong, which may call for costly orthodontia treatment. You should encourage your child to stop sucking on his or her thumbs or pacifiers before the permanent teeth begin to erupt. Most children will give up the habit between the ages of two and four, but if they persist beyond this point you might need to get serious.

Many insecure children will suck on their thumbs to comfort themselves. Examine what may be at the heart of their anxiety and help them to get over these issues. You can also keep your child aware of the habit by putting a bandage around his or her thumb, or putting socks over his or her hands when he or she goes to bed.

Your dentist can also be valuable in helping to kick the habit. We can gently advise your child on the consequences of thumb-sucking, and particularly problematic cases can be given a special product to avoid serious damage. Talk to your Federal Way dentist today for more information.

Do You Have Tonsillitis?

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Tonsillitis, or an inflammation in the tonsils, is frequently a manifestation of a viral or bacterial infection in the tonsils. It can be a condition that requires professional medical attention, so our Federal Way dentistry clinic advises that you maintain a lookout for the following warning signs:

  • A pain or tender feeling in your throat
  • Blisters or ulcers developing in your throat
  • A coating of white or yellow on your tonsils
  • An unexplained hoarseness, or a loss of voice
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Headaches
  • Earaches
  • Fevers or chills
  • Halitosis
  • A loss of appetite
  • Difficulty breathing through your mouth
  • A swelling in the glands of your neck or jaw

Finding Sugars in Unexpected Places

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Most people have a pretty good understanding of what brings about tooth decay. We probably don’t need to explain to you that candy, bubblegum, and soda are a few of your mouth’s bigger enemies. Unfortunately, this isn’t where the story ends. Our Federal Way dentistry clinic cautions you to keep an eye out for some of the more unexpected sources of sugar in your diet.

People often get into the bad habit of assuming that food is either healthy or unhealthy, and that a food that is good for your body is also good for your mouth. This is not always true. As nutritious as fruit may be, it represents a pretty big source of sugar. They are a great source of vitamins and fiber, but even all-natural, organic fruits can be just as sugary as some candies. Dried fruit and authentic fruit juices are all the more sugary.

You should also look to your medicine cabinet for hidden sugars. Many medicinal substances are packed with sugar, cough drops being one of the more brutal. A minute or two of sucking on a cough drop can be as bad as chewing a mouthful of taffy. Try to remember to rinse out with water after soothing your aching throat, or take a little milk or cheese to help neutralize the acid caused by the sugar.

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