Having been a dental hygienist, the day I walked into Dr Tanya Browns office, I knew I was in good hands. I am so proud of my new smile & I receive compliments all the time.

– Candy

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What You Need to Know About Using Mouthwash

Chesapeake Cosmetic Dentist

Mouthwash can be helpful in decreasing the amount of bacteria in your mouth. It can also be a useful way of combating decay. But not everyone needs to use a mouthwash. If you are wondering whether you should be using a mouthwash, here’s what you need to know.

Types of Mouthwash

Not all mouthwashes are made equal. Antiseptic mouthwashes work to fight bacteria, helping to reduce your risk of developing gingivitis, plaque build-up, or bad breath. More specialized mouthwashes for those with periodontal disease or dry mouth are also available with a prescription.

Do I Need to Use Mouthwash?

Talk to our experienced, oral health team about your daily brushing and flossing habits to hear our suggestions. Generally, if you are brushing twice each day and keeping up with flossing, you likely don’t need to use mouthwash. However, if you develop decay easily, it is best to consider an anti-cavity rinse. According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), these mouthwashes are able to combat an additional 50% of decay-causing germs.

Mouthwash can also be effective at diffusing bad breath odors, so you can use it after eating strong smelling foods.

Tips on Using Mouthwash

If our dentist suggests you use a mouthwash, follow this advice. You should rinse your mouth after brushing and flossing. When doing so, your lips should be tightly closed as you swish the wash around. You will want to continue this for about 30 seconds. Make sure you spit the mouthwash out completely. Avoid rinsing your mouth out, as well as eating for the following 30 minutes.

Does Mouthwash Have any Side Effects?

When using an alcohol-based mouthwash regularly, you may feel burning in your mouth. Changes in taste are another effect to be aware of. If your mouth is beginning to develop sores, mouth ulcers, or increased sensitivity, stop using the mouthwash and schedule a visit to our office. For children, it is important that you supervise their brushing, as swallowing mouthwash, particularly with fluoride, can be dangerous.

Mouthwash can be a useful tool for anyone fighting bad breath, as well as those at an increased risk of developing oral issues such as gingivitis. If you will be using mouthwash, know how to use it the right way for maximum impact. If you keep up with your daily oral hygiene routine, mouthwash is not necessary. You can talk to our team during your next visit to learn more.

For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next appointment, please contact our office.

X-Rays: What You Need to Know When You Visit the Dentist

Cosmetic Dentist Chesapeake

X-rays provide useful visual data for dentists to utilize when treating you. Occasionally, guests to our office ask about the radiation from x-rays and the dangers associated with high-exposure. Rest assured, a dental x-ray is one of the safest medical imaging procedures there is. Here’s what you need to know about getting a dental x-ray.

The Purpose of Oral X-Rays

X-ray imaging of the mouth can show our dental team damage to your teeth as well as disease. They can also show incoming teeth that could be problematic. X-rays allow our team to prevent problems by addressing them early. Rather than wait for excessive tooth damage to become visible, a simple x-ray procedure can identify it before it becomes painful.

Dangers of X-Ray Radiation

Excessive radiation exposure has been linked to increasing the risk of cancer. However, not all radiation sources are the same. It matters greatly where the radiation is coming from, how much you are exposed to, and for what length of time. X-rays have not been shown to present a significant increase in cancer development.

Comparing X-Ray Radiation

Dental x-rays are among the lowest dose of radiation producing procedures in medical imaging. It would take roughly 1,200 panoramic x-rays of your mouth to equal one CT Scan. Did you know that when you fly in an airplane you are exposed to a small amount of radiation? A panoramic x-ray of your mouth is only half of the radiation you’re exposed to on a 7-hour plane ride. The amount of radiation is even lower for a routine x-ray exam. A routine procedure including 4 intraoral images is about the same dose of radiation from a 1-2 hour plane ride. A dental x-ray provides less than the amount of radiation you are exposed to in the average day from natural radiation.

Safety First

Even though dental x-rays are safe and expose you to a small amount of radiation, our office takes additional measures to keep you safe. First, state laws and regulations set the limit of radiation patients can be exposed to. We never exceed these restrictions. Our experienced team is also trained to use the x-ray equipment. Visitors are provided with a shield or bib that provides additional protection.

What You Can Do

Communication is key. If you are a new patient, please provide us with your medical records so that our team knows about any previous medical imaging you have had. Talk to our dentist about your concerns. Together we’ll work with you to ensure you are treated in a safe environment.

Dental x-rays are a safe and incredibly helpful procedure. They allow our dentist to detect problems and develop solutions specific to your mouth. Dental x-rays provide a significantly lower dose of radiation than other safe medical imaging methods. We strive to create an atmosphere where our guests are comfortable. If you have any concerns, please let us know.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule your next examination, please contact our office.

Gum Health and Alzheimer’s Disease

Chesapeake Cosmetic Dentist

Dental Implant Restorations

Your gum health may have an impact on your cognitive function. One recent study found a correlation between gum disease and increased cognitive decline for people living with early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. While more studies are needed to make a definitive connection, this study illustrates the importance of continuing the conversation about oral health and its impact on your entire body.

Details of the Study

The study was administered by King’s College London and the University of Southampton. It observed 59 patients with early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Blood tests were utilized to examine inflammatory markers present in the bloodstream, while patients’ dental health was examined by dental hygienists.

What it Found

The study found that patients with gum disease experienced cognitive decline at a rate 6 times faster than those without gum disease. The study suggested that the body’s reaction to inflammation may be responsible for causing the rapid decrease in brain function.

Importance of Healthy Gums

Previous studies have determined that gum disease can increase your risk of developing complications such as heart disease and stroke. Maintaining healthy gums is essential to staying healthy overall. You can keep your gums healthy by following good daily oral hygiene habits. This includes brushing twice each day for two minutes, as well as flossing regularly.

For those living with Alzheimer’s disease, it is imperative to maintain good oral health. If you are a caregiver of someone with the disease, make sure they are following an effective daily oral hygiene routine, as well as visiting our office for regular examinations. Keeping your gums healthy may be one key to keeping your body and brain healthy throughout your lifetime.

For more information about gum health, or to schedule your next visit to our office, please contact us.