Wednesday, February 13, 2019

How to Clean a Night Guard

Night time teeth grinding can seriously damage a person’s enamel and cause them a lot of jaw pain. We at Southern Cross Dental in Colorado Springs are pleased to see patients with bruxism using night guards to protect themselves, but night guards need to be cleaned properly. Otherwise, they could become a source of halitosis and covered in bacterial build-up.


In the morning, a wearer should brush the night guard after removing it. As with anything dental-related, only a soft-bristled toothbrush should be used. Although soaking a night guard in soap and water or a cleaning solution will eliminate some bacteria, most manufacturers still recommend daily brushings. But fluoridated toothpaste is unnecessary and should be avoided; the minerals in it could scratch the night guard’s plastic, giving bacteria a hiding place.


While dentures should be kept wet at all times, night guards need to be patted dry and put in a clean, ventilated case. (Washing the case every day is also a good idea.) The case should not be left anywhere hot enough to put the night guard at risk for warping, and the wearer should not attempt to adjust it themselves. It is expected that the wearer’s teeth will migrate slightly, but a night guard can usually be refitted professionally.


Drs. Navid and Faranak Rahimpour operate Southern Cross Dental at 1855 S Nevada Ave, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 80905-2516. To schedule an appointment, call 719-471-1717 or visit Southern Cross Family Dentistry and fill out a contact sheet.


 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Caring For Your Retainer

Many orthodontic patients require a retainer at the end of orthodontic treatment.  Removable retainers are an easy step to take to preserve a straight smile. At Southern Cross Dental we see many patients who use retainers, and we knowcaring for your retainer properly is important so that it functions and lasts as long as possible.  A silly but common mistake people make with their retainers is trying to cut corners -- don’t try to clean or brush your retainer while it’s still in your mouth!  You can’t quickly scrub your retainer while brushing your teeth -- the retainer cannot be completely cleaned of debris this way, and toothpaste can also be abrasive to the plastic of the retainer.  Always remove your retainer before cleaning thoroughly with water and your toothbrush, and use a mild dish or hand soap to help clean off debris, never abrasive toothpaste.


You should clean your retainer daily, and also treat it weekly by soaking.  Soaking helps maintain the cleanliness of the retainer and keep it from drying out.  To soak the retainer, dissolve denture cleaning tablets in water or add a little baking soda to water to make a solution.  Storing your retainer properly is also important for its longevity.  Get in the habit of always using and carrying a case.  Too retainers have disappeared after being folded up in napkins!


Visit www.scdsmile.com for more information about the services we provide. To schedule an appointment with one of our doctors at Southern Cross Dental in Colorado Springs, CO, call 719-471-1717.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

What Is Arestin?

When the body develops a bacterial infection, an antibiotic is used to treat it. The same applies to infections that start in the gums.  Southern Cross Dental can use arestin for patients with periodontitis who need a scaling and root planing procedure performed. Periodontitis is a chronic bacterial infection, caused by plaque, which has settled underneath the tooth’s surface below the gum line.


Arestin has the ability to reduce the severity of periodontal disease.  After a scaling and root planning procedure, the medicine is applied to gums in powder form.  In a clinical study, when used in addition to scaling and root planing, arestin reduced harmful bacteria by nearly 2 times as much as scaling and root planing alone. This is because adding arestin to the mix disrupts the progression of periodontitis by specifically targeting the active infection.


If you have questions or concerns about the status of your periodontal health, please give us a call. To learn about all the treatments provided at the practice, visit www.scdsmile.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with one of our doctors at Southern Cross Dental in Colorado Springs, CO, call 719-471-1717.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Smoking and Dental Pulp Infections

The body contains natural defenses against tooth infections, but smoking can compromise them. At Southern Cross Dental in Colorado Springs, we frequently provide reliable endodontic treatment to people with infected dental pulp. But new scientific research has uncovered why smokers are likelier than other people to suffer pulp infections, and why their infections tend to be more severe.


Dental pulp becomes inflamed as an automatic immune system response to an infection or injury. This prevents bacteria from spreading and flushes the infected area with white blood cells and antimicrobial peptides. The latter are molecules that attach to the disease-spreading bacteria, neutralizing or killing them. But smokers suffer from pulp infections that are twice as likely to require root canals, and a new study found that their pulp has far fewer antimicrobial peptides.


A root canal removes infected dental pulp, but there is always a possibility of an infection returning. We use antibacterial washes to reduce that chance and provide periodontal therapy to combat infections that spread to gum tissue. But patients should be aware that worse pulp infections are one more consequence of smoking, and that there is some evidence that renewed antimicrobial peptide production is one of the benefits of quitting.


Drs. Navid and Faranak Rahimpour operate Southern Cross Dental at 1855 S Nevada Ave, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 80905-2516. To schedule an appointment, call 719-471-1717 or visit Southern Cross Family Dentistry and fill out a contact sheet.


 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

What Is An Apicoectomy?

The doctors at Southern Cross dental perform many root canals to save and repair teeth that are badly damaged or infected.  A root canal procedure involves removing any inflamed or infected tissue, and thoroughly cleaning the root canal system.  In most root canal cases, the tooth heals and doesn’t require further treatment. When an infection won’t go away or the canals become re-infected, our doctors can perform an apicoectomy.


An apicoectomy removes damaged tissue and seals a tooth’s root from any further infections.  The procedure involves a small incision in the gums, followed by removal of any infected tissue and finally the end of the root tip itself.  A root-end filling is placed there to act as a seal, preventing reinfection. The gum is sutured, and most patients only feel slight discomfort or swelling during healing.  If you have a tooth infection lingering after a root canal gone wrong, please contact us to discuss your treatment options.


To learn more about the apicoectomy procedure and all the services provided at the practice, visit www.scdsmile.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with one of our doctors at Southern Cross Dental in Colorado Springs, CO, call 719-471-1717.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Water Flossing

A little floss goes a long way when it comes to oral health. Flossing is an important step to remove food particles that have been left behind after brushing. Flossing can significantly reduce periodontal disease and cavity-causing causing bacteria that leads to tooth decay, but sometimes the act of flossing is difficult for a patient with orthodontics.  The doctors at Southern Cross Dental may suggest using a water flosser for those hard to reach places!


A safe, easy, and effective way to remove plaque around dental braces is to use a water flosser. A water flosser is a handheld device that sprays streams of water in steady pulses. Not only is this beneficial to patients with traditional braces, water flossers are also an option for people who have trouble flossing by hand. You should never get by on flossing alone. It’s important to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day to reap the maximum benefits of a healthy mouth.


To learn more about flossing and the services provided at the practice, visit www.scdsmile.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with one of our doctors at Southern Cross Dental in Colorado Springs, CO, call 719-471-1717.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Post-Extraction Swelling

We’re trusted tooth extractors at Southern Cross Dental in Colorado Springs. As an office that serves people of all ages, we’ve assisted lots of teenagers with wisdom tooth removal, ensuring they will have hygienic, healthily aligned bites. Although we strive to make our patients as comfortable as possible, some swelling after this procedure is normal. We want our patients to understand why so they’ll be more at ease and better able to recognize if something does go wrong.


When a tooth is extracted, the jaw bone will be briefly exposed before the blood clots and seals the socket. The immune system recognizes this as a wound and triggers inflammation. This process prevents harmful bacteria that may have entered the socket from spreading to the rest of the body and concentrates white blood cells where they’re needed. Generally, inflammation is proportionate to the complexity of an extraction, so extractions done with incisions can be expected to cause more swelling.


In the initial aftermath of an extraction, we advise patients to limit swelling by applying cold packs. They should follow the fifteen-on-fifteen-off rule: never put an ice pack on the skin for more than fifteen minutes and always allow fifteen minutes to pass between applications. Swelling should peak within forty-eight, after which the patient can apply the same procedure with hot packs. If swelling is still increasing after three days, the patient should call us for assistance. Red discoloration is a normal part of inflammation, but if the tissue near the surgical site turns black or white, the patient should seek emergency care. In most cases, swelling can be controlled through conventional means and over-the-counter pain medication is sufficient.


Drs. Navid and Faranak Rahimpour operate Southern Cross Dental at 1855 S Nevada Ave, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 80905-2516. To schedule an appointment, call 719-471-1717 or visit Southern Cross Family Dentistry and fill out a contact sheet.