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Philly Dentistry

August 26, 2017
1 year ago

Many patients when starting orthodontics wonder why they need to continue seeing their general dentist for check-ups and cleanings regularly since they are seeing the orthodontist every month. Dr. Cirka and Dr. Meier stress to each and every patient that is seeing us or seeing the orthodontist for braces or for Invisalign that it is extremely important to continue with regular check-ups and cleanings.

The most important reason to see the dentist regularly is so that the hygienist can remove the plbracesaque and tartar that builds up. With orthodontic brackets and wires, there are loads more nooks and crannies where bacteria can hide. Not to mention there are areas harder to reach to clean too. The bacteria that stick underneath the gums as well as on the teeth themselves also physically stick to these brackets and wires. These bacteria can cause cavities, gingivitis, and even lead to patients developing infection that affects the jaw bone and overall health of your entire body.

Another important motivation to see the dentist regularly while you are in braces is to protect the teeth from forming white spots on the surfaces. These white spots are called “decalcification” and happen as a result of the teeth losing Calcium, an important mineral that keeps the teeth healthy. These white spots are not only unsightly but they are also weaker and can transform into cavities more easily than other areas of enamel.

By seeing the dentist regularly for cleanings it will also ensure that you stay cavity free. If cavities develop during orthodontic treatment they can significantly delay the treatment time and patients can end up in braces a lot longer than initially expected. When cavities arise during orthodontics, often the dentist must ask the orthodontist to take off all of the wires and metal bands so the dentist can properly access the teeth and clean the bacteria. At regular check-ups and cleanings your dentist and hygienists can provide fluoride treatments, dental sealants, and many preventative measures that help keep the teeth strong and cavity free.

Portrait of a happy patient with braces on the teeth, sitting in the dental chair, in the background a young doctor dentist

Keep in mind that for patients in clear aligner trays like Invisalign it is equally as important to see the dentist and have your check-ups and cleanings done regularly. Bacteria can build up around the attachments on the teeth as well as in addition to the areas where the orthodontist or dentist created space to help the teeth move.

See your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings both during orthodontics and afterwards to keep your teeth looking and feeling their best.

Call us to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Cirka and Dr. Meier at Philly Dentistry at 215-568-6222 today! Hope to see you soon!

August 16, 2017
1 year ago

There are a lot of people that believe their dog and cats mouths are cleaner than their own. There are other people that believe the saliva from a dog is actually a disinfectant and can help kill bacteria. Finally, there are those that are totally grossed out by kissing their pets and are worried that it could in fact make them sick. Looking into this deeper, there are a couple of things to keep in mind that are detailed below.

There are a lot of bacteria in both the mouths of humans and in animals. Keep in mind that not all of it is harmful. It is very rare for the bacteria in a pet’s mouth to make a human sick. The bacteria that is harmful that can pass from the dogs or cats mouths to ours are parasites such as roundworm, hookworm, and giardia. If you are taking your dog to the vet regularly for check-ups and your pet does not have any symptoms of sickness, then your dog likely does not have a parasite such as these.

As for viruses, these are uDog-kisssually specific to a certain species. This means that a virus does not pass from a human to an animal and vice versa. So do not worry if you have the flu or the common cold, you will not pass it to your dog or cat.

Humans that are immunocompromised, however, should avoid kissing their pets. If your immune system is already lower than average, if there does happen to be harmful bacteria in the animal’s saliva, you will not be able to fight it as well as a healthy person.

What you do want to keep in mind before kissing your dog or cat is what they may or may not have been doing earlier in the day. Dogs and cats tend to eat dirt, grass, and all kinds of things that people tend to stay away from. Any of the bacteria or particles that they may have been near or consumed earlier is absolutely a risk that can be transferred to people and should be kept in mind.

So far there is no compelling research showing that the pet’s saliva is a disinfectant; however, there is not definitive research proving that it is harmful either. Make sure that you know what they were up to earlier in the day and the main thing to keep in mind about kissing your pets is that you are doing it at your own risk.

August 6, 2017
1 year ago

Patients will often ask about piercings and tattoos in the mouth and how it could affect their teeth. In addition to affecting your teeth, there are a lot of potential issues that could pop up from oral piercings and tattoos that affect your overall health, not only in the mouth.

As body piercing and tattoos become more popular, it is important to understand the risks associated with them as well as to know what these risks are. Below I will detail six potential problems of piercings and tattoos in the oral cavity that you should be aware of:

  • Harm to the teeth, fillings, and gums- Patients that have oral piercings often report to me that they have a habit of clicking their piercing against Funny-Lip-Tattoothe teeth. This habit will not only damage the teeth, but it causes the gum tissue to become irritated and receded as well as fillings to become damaged. Sometimes I see evidence of this habit and patients are unaware that they are doing it. This leads me to believe that the habit is happening while the patient is asleep, which can be very dangerous and a choking hazard.
  • Infection- The mouth and tongue contain millions of bacteria. These bacteria can quickly adhere to areas around the piercings or the tattoos and cause an infection. Since the mouth is a warm, moist environment, infections can travel very quickly there. Any infection that causes swelling in the mouth, especially on the tongue, can quickly become life-threatening by closing the airway.
  • Damage to nerves- When piercings and lip tattoos are done, there is always a risk that damage can happen to the nerves in your mouth. Nerve damage is usually reversible; however, sometimes the feeling in your mouth never quite reaches what it originally was. Keep in mind that the tissue lining of the mouth is more delicate than the inside of the eyelid so there is a potential for damage.
  • Allergic reaction to metals– After having a metal piercing in your mouth sometimes patients develop an allergic reaction or hypersensitivity to metal
  • Difficulties with Dental XRays- Oral tattoos do not interfere with dental x-rays; however, oral piercings will sometimes interfere with the dental x-rays. The metal in the piercing can sometimes block anatomy that we are trying to look at in the image

6 Tips for Patients with Oral Piercings:

  • Be sure to keep the piercing and the area very clean. Ask your dentist and dental hygienist for tips on this.
  • Do not tap and click the piercing against your teeth. Also by being aware while you are chewing and talking you can try and avoid problems since each time we talk and chew our tongue touches the teeth and the piercing could cause damage.
  • 9089322_f520Check the fit of the piercing time to time with sanitized hands. This can help avoid the jewelry from getting loose or becoming a choking hazard.
  • Take the piercing out before engaging in sports activities to avoid any issues and protect the rest of your teeth with a mouth guard.
  • See your dentist regularly, and remember to brush twice a day and floss daily.

If you start to any signs of infection such as pain, fever, chills, swelling, or a red-streaked appearance around the site of the piercing or tattoo, be sure to contact your dentist immediately.

Any oral piercing or tattoo is an added responsibility that requires maintenance and upkeep. Be sure to talk to your dentist and dental hygienist so that you are aware of how to properly clean the area to minimize your risk of infection.

Call us at 215.568.6222 to schedule your free consultation with Dr. Ken Cirka and Dr. Jessica Meier. We look forward to meeting you!

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or contact us today for a free consultation with Dr. Cirka, Dr. Meier, Dr. Jeon or Dr. Smith in our Center City, Philadelphia office.

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