Why Are Dentist Visits So Important for My Oral Health?

Imperative To Oral Health

Parents, guardians, and even school teachers may have told you about the need to visit your dentist every six months, at the least. Some do not believe it is even a priority as far as oral health is concerned. Some do believe but find out later that negligence has led to serious issues. This is not an idle saying; only a professional dental practitioner can ascertain your issues and ascribe treatment. Find out more.

A regular dental visit involves two parts – an oral examination or checkup and a cleaning, also called oral prophylaxis. It is advised every 6 months, or upon your dentist’s recommendation.

An oral examination allows your dentist to determine your current oral health status. The professional will check the presence of early cavities or tooth decay; tartar and plaque may be found in places you have failed to clean thoroughly; chips or cracks you don’t see with the naked eye can be discovered. If you are a first-timer patient, an X-ray will be taken of your entire oral cavity that will be the baseline photograph of your oral health state. It is unique to you and it identifies you from all others. It may show your dental fillings, if any, crown and root alignment, missing teeth, arch characteristics, and presence of any cyst or mass in your soft tissue or bone. X-rays may be taken again to update the changes in your records.

Your gums will also be checked. Signs of gingivitis may manifest of which you are not aware; gum recession and the presence of pockets between gum and teeth are early warnings of serious gum problems. Among others, your tongue will be checked for growths and change of color, as well as checking for changes or the presence of sores on the soft tissue around the mouth, particularly along your throat. An examination of your face, the head and neck are part and parcel of a thorough dental examination. All the information is entered into your personal record that the office keeps.

Oral prophylaxis is part of a 6-monthly dental visit. This is the best chance to ensure that your teeth and gums are clean and healthy. Only a professional cleaning using specific tools and materials can safely and effectively remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. You cannot do it on your own.

Remember that while regular dental visits are important, you must be able to keep your mouth healthy in between these visits by following your dentist’s instructions on proper oral hygiene and other recommendations.


Your Partner In Optimal Oral Health in Issaquah

Have regular dental checkups in Issaquah. Your Issaquah dentist is your best partner in achieving optimal oral health.

Warning Signs of a Cracked Teeth

A crack in your tooth is nothing to trifle with. Any fracture in your tooth represents a breach of your protective enamel layer, which invites decay at least as bad as any cavity.

To make matters worse, you can have a crack in your tooth without even realizing it for weeks on end. They might feel normal to the touch, and not exhibit any symptoms until the bacteria infect your pulp and you require a root canal.

Possible Warning Signs

With this in mind, be on the lookout for the following warning signs:

  • A potentially erratic pain, particularly when you chew. The pain might come when you release your bite.
  • Swollen, pocketed, or painful gums.
  • Sensitivity to exposure to hot or cold substances. It is common for cold temperatures to be particularly painful.
  • Irregular feelings on the surface of a tooth, like a rough or sharp feeling.

If you think that you may have cracked one of your teeth, make an appointment with our Issaquah dentist right away. It may be your best shot at saving the tooth.

How to Overcome Childhood Dental Anxiety

Dental Anxiety

Millions of people suffer from dental anxiety, and most of them can trace the roots of this problem back to their childhood. Indeed, fostering comfort with the dental office is something that should begin at an early age.

Tips to Help Dental Anxiety

You can help your child feel better about his or her dental appointments with Meadow Creek Dental in Issaquah by considering the following tips:

  • The general recommendation is that a child’s first dental visit should occur at the age of one. Bringing him or her in at an early age is not just a good way to prevent decay, but also a great way to acclimate the child to the experience of being in the dentist office.
  • Children have a surprising sense of the emotions of their parents. If you are anxious about visiting the dentist, your child could be picking up on this and learning from your example.
  • Present the dentist office to your child with a positive light, but avoid using language like “everything will be alright”. You want to avoid losing your child’s trust if he or she experiences discomfort during your visit.
  • Never offer your child a bribe to go to the dentist. Children are smart enough to realize that, when you promise them a reward, there must be something bad to look forward to.

Most Common Dental Emergencies In Children

What Every Parent Should Know

Most parents likely panic when their young children should suddenly have a dental emergency. It’s important to know what to do next to better manage an otherwise nerve-wracking situation. Here are some of the most common emergencies and what it takes to have you calm and prepared.

A broken tooth

A cracked or broken tooth needs to be attended to right away by your dentist even if the damage does not look extensive. However, immediately rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area, and, if swelling is present, apply cold compresses on the area of the face to lessen swelling. See your child’s dentist as soon as possible.

A knocked-out tooth

If a tooth has been knocked-out and is a permanent one, keep it moist in a container of milk or a tooth preservation product that will keep the tooth alive for 24 hours until a dentist can replant it. If it’s a baby tooth, there is no need to moisten it but must be brought to the dentist as well if it is found.

A loose tooth

It is best to leave the loose tooth in place though it may be a discomfort to the child. Let nature take its course, falling out without assistance. A permanent tooth coming loose may be the result of injury or trauma and needs to be attended to right away at the dentist.

A toothache

Firstly clean the area by rinsing the mouth with warm water. Remove any food debris caught in between teeth. Do not use aspirin. If the pain persists, contact your child’s dentist. It may indicate the presence of tooth decay.

Swelling gums

It may or may not be painful. See your dentist right away. It can indicate the presence of an infection of the gums.

Bitten tongue or lip

If your child bites his tongue or lip, clean the area gently with water and apply a cold compress. See your child’s dentist or go to the emergency room as soon as possible.

Broken jaw

If you think your child’s jaw is broken, apply cold compresses to control the swelling. Go to your child’s dentist or a hospital emergency department immediately.

Accidents can happen anywhere and any time. Always keep your dentist’s contact information handy.


Available Dental Emergency Treatments in Issaquah

At Meadow Creek Dental, a dental emergency is our priority. Whether you walk in or call ahead, we make every effort to accommodate dental emergencies on the same day.

No Pain? Doesn’t mean you don’t have Cavities

Some people will never go to the dentist’s office unless they feel pain or sensitivity.

After all, people will think the pain will go away or take medication to decrease the pain. Why should they go through the effort if there’s nothing wrong with their teeth?

This is a very unhealthy mindset to have and is a concern for many dentists because this mindset, of many people, puts them at serious risk of debilitating dental problems.

Prevention is Key

The fact is that, when it comes to tooth decay, you’re most likely not going to feel any pain until your cavity has penetrated all the way to the soft pulp at the center of the tooth. Once this occurs, you’re past the point where you can benefit from a simple filling and will need a full root canal, which a bit more of a procedure, may cost more, etc.

Indeed, if you need a filling, the only way to know for sure is to have a dental x-ray. This is why it is so important to go in for a dental checkup every six months. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your teeth are healthy just because you don’t feel pain, and always keep your routine appointments with our dentist in Issaquah.

Building Good Flossing Habits

Flossing may be a difficult habit to develop, but it’s one that our Issaquah dentist strongly advises. Good flossing is in many ways more important even than brushing in terms of maintaining a clean mouth, as much of the surface of your teeth is out of the reach of your brush.

Flossing Tips

If you need a refresher course on how to floss, try following these simple steps:

  • First, pick a floss that works for you. Some people have narrower gaps between their teeth, for example, and need a narrower floss.
  • Floss at least once a day, preferably before your final brushing before going to sleep.
  • Use a length of floss about as long as your forearm (or around eighteen inches). You should then wind either end around your index fingers such that you’re holding about two inches between your hands. Unwind from one finger and wind up on the other as you go, giving yourself a clean piece of floss for every tooth.
  • Begin flossing, gently maneuvering the string into the space between your teeth and between your back teeth and gums. Make sure that you get both edges of all teeth, pulling the floss into a “V” shape against either surface as you go.
  • Take care with your gums! If you routinely draw blood, it might be because you’re sawing at your delicate tissues.

Acid Reflux and Dental Care

Effects of Acid Reflux on Oral Health

Some patients have the common condition called GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease, where stomach contents go up the esophagus from time to time usually caused by relaxation of the sphincter muscle of the stomach that prevents the escape. Doctors call it GERD or more informally as acid reflux. Some patients experience it several times a day while others, less often.

Stomach fluids are highly acidic and their passage up and down the esophagus causes some degree of burning sensation felt at the middle of the chest or the heart area. Hence, it is commonly called heartburn. Sometimes contents reach the top of the esophagus and into the mouth, referred to as a regurgitation. On the other hand, some patients don’t notice because they are symptom-free.

People who suffer from acid reflux also have tooth erosion and periodontal issues. Stomach acid, with a pH of 2 or 1, dissolves tooth enamel (pH of 5.5) on a day-to-day contact leading to thinning and weakening of the protective coating of teeth. It will soon expose the inner dentin and that is when a person with GERD will feel tooth sensitivity. If it goes on untreated, other symptoms can manifest, like bloating, burping, nausea, hiccups, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness and weight loss. It merits medical attention. Even brushing, flossing or mouthrinses may be unable to protect teeth.

Patients will feel tooth sensitivity to hot, cold and sweet drinks, gum and mouth irritation, sharp tooth edges, shortened or darkened teeth, especially the back molars. And even if you don’t notice the symptoms, and hence not go to your doctor-specialist, your dentist certainly will notice.

Regular Dental Visits Matter in Issaquah

That is why regular dental visitations can do you a lot of good. Over at Meadow Creek Dental, your regular visits can tell you not just the state of your oral health but your overall well-being as well. This comes from fresh oral examination every time you see us. Our experienced Issaquah dentist can tell you more about systemic conditions seen in your mouth.

What Are The Benefits of Bringing My Child to A Pediatric Dentist?

Leaving It To The Dental Experts

Many parents think that for their dental health, if their family dentist is good enough for them, it’s good enough for their children. While that works in many cases, there will be children with special needs who may benefit more under the care of a specialized dental professional – the pediatric dentist. Find out the unique advantages of working with a pediatric dentist.

There are children with behavioral problems and other special needs. Pediatric dentists are skilled in the guidelines for establishing trust between the child and provider. A comfortable, pleasant, and non-threatening environment is crucial in building confidence in the first visit and future visits. The dental staff is also trained to keep the patient at ease and focus on preventive care.

A great pediatric dentist is good with children, is calm and accessible, and able to deal with a child’s anxiety or expressed tantrums. Children with medical conditions require treatment modalities that suit the patient situation. Ethical values also influence the decisions in the treatment, as in the use of general anesthesia.

A child’s first dental visit carries some significance. Usually, a child should be first seen by the dentist no later than his or her first 12 months of age. Cavities may already be detected and its progression checked before it becomes a potential problem. The pediatric dentist can advise the parents on early detection of caries and other oral diseases on the first visit.

So it becomes very beneficial for parents to choose a good pediatric dental practice for their children’s welfare. Firstly, you leave your child’s oral health in the hands of professionals who know what they’re doing as that is what they are trained to do. Pediatric dentists are skilled in the knowledge of your child’s unique developmental stage. Finally, you are able to initiate your child to a happier dental experience so as for him or her to have positive memories where their oral health is concerned.

A good dental practice that caters to children should at least offer the following services:

  • Regular checkups and cleanings
  • Fluoride treatment
  • Tooth-colored fillings
  • Sealants
  • IV Sedation
  • Orthodontia
  • Emergency dental care


Best Dental Experience in Issaquah

Do you want your kids to look forward to a welcoming and relaxing experience when they visit their dentist? Then look no further than your pediatric dentist at Meadow Creek Dental in Issaquah.

Quick Questions You’d Like To Ask About Invisalign

Straight Forward Invisalign Q&A

Let’s say you know a few things about Invisalign but you want ready answers at your fingertips when an Invisalign question pops up in your head. Keep this list handy to help you decide if Invisalign is for you.

How safe is Invisalign?

It is a very safe treatment option for aligning crooked teeth. Your treatment plan is personally and regularly supervised by your dentist-orthodontist. If you adhere to your care team’s advice and instructions, you should be able to reach treatment goals as per plan, safely and successfully.

How long does treatment take?

Most treatment plans last between six and twelve months. That depends on how complex is your state of initial teeth alignment. It can last longer if your situation is more extensive.

How long should Invisalign be worn daily?

Ideally, the wear time is 24/7 because consistent pressure is highly desirable. However, 20 to 22 hours will do as well and the only times they should be off are: when you eat, brush and floss, and when you clean your trays. The longer it is off, the more prolonged the treatment will be.

What alignment issues can Invisalign correct?

Depending on your choice of specialist, Invisalign can correct crooked teeth, overlapping teeth, crowding, gaps between teeth, and misaligned and malpositioned jaws.

How much does it cost?

The average national cost of Invisalign ranges from $3,000 to $5,000, according to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry. That depends on how minimal or aggressive the suggested treatment plan needs to be.

Is Invisalign covered by insurance?

Yes, if your dental insurance plan includes orthodontic coverage. If it doesn’t it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to cover some of the costs of Invisalign with insurance.

How often are dental visits during treatment?

After you get your first set of Invisalign trays, you should visit every one or two weeks (or when your dentist-orthodontist tells you) for check-up of progress, for degrees of movement, and when you can move on to the next set of trays.

How soon can positive results be noticed?

Most patients start noticing results within a matter of weeks.


Answering More of Your Questions on Invisalign

If you have more questions than these, come see your Invisalign dentist in Issaquah today.

How is Invisalign Compared to Braces? Is it for Everybody?

Clear Aligners Versus Braces

There are many reasons to choose Invisalign over the traditional teeth straighteners – braces. While braces still work for others, Invisalign has more amazing benefits. It also has its downside, though. You’ll know if Invisalign is for you by reading on.

For starters, Invisalign does away with metal braces and wires. The brand uses soft, flexible patented plastic called SmartTrack. They come in trays. Aside from being more comfortable to wear, it gives you a clear, neat look that is barely there. Generally, no one will suspect you are under treatment for crooked teeth, so it is more aesthetically pleasing. It is designed to be more gentle on your tissues and hence, more comfortable.

Invisalign is removable, unlike conventional braces. You can take it off during meals and afterwards attach it again. No worries about what you want to eat; you can enjoy apples or any crunchy food without fear of breaking your straighteners; because they’re off while you eat. They are also very easy to clean, unlike braces; let alone cleaning your teeth while with braces. You can go on without bother while engaging in brushing and flossing your teeth. Henceforth, you deter the likelihood of developing cavities or plaque buildup as your aligners are not permanently attached.

While under treatment, you are provided with backup aligner trays. In cases that you might crack or break a tray, you always have a reserve. Likewise, it can happen that you lose a tray or misplace it. You do not need to rush to your orthodontist for an emergency appointment.

There are a couple of downsides to Invisalign, though. Using Invisalign requires a certain degree of compliance. This means that even forgetting to reapply your aligners, even by just a few hours, you could set your progress back. Remember that Invisalign requires some 20 to 22 hours each day of wearing.

Another issue is that Invisalign may not work for certain teeth misalignment issues. It’s not effective for complex bite problems, it’s not used for impacted teeth, too large spaces, or presence of bridgework. This suggests Invisalign is more effective for people whose teeth require only certain kinds of movement.

Nonetheless, a visit to your orthodontist can clear up things for you and help you determine if Invisalign is the best teeth aligner for you.


Finding More Benefits of Invisalign in Issaquah

When you think that Invisalign might be an option for you, knowing their benefits over braces, come see your certified Invisalign professional here at Meadow Creek Dental. We are happy to help.