Flossing is Important for Oral Hygiene | Fayetteville, GA

Flossing is a very important step for any oral care routine, and it’s usually one of the first questions posed during a visit. Routine flossing helps to ensure that the granules of residual food left after meals are removed to prevent cavities. When traces of food remain tucked away between our teeth, it becomes a source of food for corrosive sugars to feed on; over time, this becomes the source of pockets in the teeth for bacteria to settle and the problem to compound. Here are three ways you can make a habit of flossing a routine addition to your care routine.

  1. Find floss you enjoy

Waxed, non-waxed, plush, disposable picks, threaders, and water flossers are all available options. If one type of floss doesn’t make you want to floss, it’s less likely you will do it. It’s important to find a way to floss that suits your tastes. The tried-and-true thin waxed threads may irritate your gums, so trying a plush thread may alleviate your disregard. If the notion of putting thread between your teeth is off-putting, a water flosser that shoots a stream of high-pressure water may do the trick.

2. Set a reminder

If it’s not currently part of your routine, or you have so much going on it’s hard to remember, setting a reminder on your phone or a notecard by your sink may help you begin to incorporate this practice until its second nature. If the technique of flossing is something you struggle with, employ this practice as a means to check in with helpful guides that walk you through the proper steps until you get the hang of it.

3. Reward yourself

Marking off days on a calendar, watching an episode of your favorite show, or brewing a cup of your favorite tea are all great ways to reward yourself for remembering to floss. As you go along, allow yourself a special treat once a week, every two weeks, or once a month to reinforce the good hygiene habit you are forming. It takes about 21 days to form a habit, so whatever you do to encourage yourself to keep practicing for at least that long, will go a long way toward a lifetime of proper oral care.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about the beautiful smiles Dr. Sukari McMiller has created visit us online today at www.dreamworksdentalcare.com.

Dr. Sukari McMiller proudly serves patients from Fayetteville and all surrounding areas.

Prepare for Your Next Dental Visit | Fayetteville, GA

Visiting the dentist is an essential part of your oral health. Many people are timid about regular cleanings and check-ins, but they help you notice warning signs sooner. Here are some ways you can prepare for your next dental visit to get the most out of it. 

Discuss Your Concerns:

It’s important to remember that your dentist is on your team; they are open to answering your questions with knowledge and experience. If you have any concerns about your teeth, gums, jaw, or are experiencing any pain it is important to share that with your dentist. It’s easy to turn to the internet for answers to these concerns, but lifestyle habits among other things are factors your dentist can consider with you. If any of the following apply to you, it is important to discuss them with your dentist before they potentially get worse:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Sores in the mouth that do not heal
  • Sensitivity or pain
  • Clenching your jaws
  • Grinding your teeth
  • Problems with brushing or flossing

Share Health and Lifestyle Changes:

If you make changes to your lifestyle, such as reducing or increasing medications or the consumption of coffee or nicotine, it’s important to let your dentist know. These seemingly nominal changes can have a huge impact on your oral health over time. The acid in coffee may weaken your enamel over time, whereas reducing consumption may allow it to remain intact. The potential impact of nicotine from cigarettes or chewing tobacco on your oral health is another important thing to share so your dentist can look for signs of change.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about the beautiful smiles Dr. Sukari McMiller has created visit us online today at www.dreamworksdentalcare.com.

Dr. Sukari McMiller proudly serves patients from Fayetteville and all surrounding areas.

What to Know About Dry Mouth | Fayetteville, GA

Dry mouth is a condition in which one’s salivary glands produce an insufficient amount of saliva to keep your mouth wet. It can be caused by a natural inability of your glands to produce sufficient saliva, medication, aging issues, or as a result of radiation therapy.

Saliva is important because it naturally prevents tooth decay by neutralizing acids, limiting bacterial growth, and washing away food particles throughout the day. It also makes the consumption of food easier as enzymes in the saliva aid in the breakdown of food. While dry mouth is an inconvenience, it can also have a notable impact on your general and oral health.

Common symptoms include:

– Dryness or sticky mouth feel

– Bad breath

– Dry or grooved tongue

– Difficulty chewing, speaking, and swallowing

Try mouth complications:

– Increased plaque

– Mouth sores

– Tooth decay

– Gum disease

– Sores or split skin around the mouth

Due to the variety of causes for dry mouth, it’s important to discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor. Your dentist however may be a good resource for suggestions about how to protect your teeth.

Some suggestions may include a fluoride tray or rinse to prevent cavities. There are also prescription or over-the-counter artificial saliva or moisturizers to lubricate your mouth. These can be effective means of alleviating discomfort in addition to suggestions made by your physician.

At-home remedies:

– Sip water or chew ice chips during the day and during meals

– Chew sugar-free gum

– Over-the-counter saliva substitutes

– Breathe through your nose

– Utilize a humidifier

Dry mouth habits:

  – Consumption of caffeine and alcohol

– The use of tobacco, antihistamines, and decongestants

– Consumption of sugary, acidic, spicy or salty foods

To schedule an appointment or learn more about the beautiful smiles Dr. Sukari McMiller has created visit us online today at www.dreamworksdentalcare.com.

Dr. Sukari McMiller proudly serves patients from Fayetteville and all surrounding areas.

Fluoride: Friend or Foe? | Fayetteville, GA

Proponents of fluoride tout its ability to aid in the fight against cavities and tooth decay. Opponents say fluoride is a harmful neurotoxin that has been pumped into our community’s water without express permission by the people. Fluoride is and has always been, a controversial mineral. Its place in dentistry is long-withstanding, so we feel it’s important to have a deeper understanding of fluoride.

While trace amounts of fluoride have been added to public water for decades, it has yet to cause widespread neurological issues. According to smiledentalcenterct.com, “research has shown that by adding fluoride to public water supplies, tooth decay-related conditions decline by 25 percent among adults and children.” The addition of fluoride is meant to be a public health benefit, rather than a source of controversy.

As with anything, there is such thing as too much fluoride; two dental visits a year and drinking community water, however, isn’t likely to cause harm. Too much fluoride can cause dental fluorosis that changes the color of tooth enamel and is likely to impact children ages eight and younger as their teeth grow in. As a result, it is not recommended to give children fluoride toothpaste- especially as they develop the motor skills to properly brush and not swallow the paste.

A dentist may dissuade a patient from using fluoride toothpaste if they experience an allergic reaction, or if the individual feels strongly about the amount of fluoride in their daily lives. Fluoride-free formulas offer the same cleaning power and is recommended over not using toothpaste; the difference is that on average, fluoride formulas reduce the number of cavities and occurrence of tooth decay one may experience over their lifetime.

In general, trace amounts of fluoride in drinking water works to improve the oral health of our communities and the use of fluoride toothpaste is safe for adults. The decision to use fluoride toothpaste lies with the individual, but he or she may need to take extra steps such as mouthwash and flossing to ensure they receive the cavity-fighting benefits normally provided by fluoride formulas.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about the beautiful smiles Dr. Sukari McMiller has created visit us online today at www.dreamworksdentalcare.com.

Dr. Sukari McMiller proudly serves patients from Fayetteville and all surrounding areas.

Dental Specialties for Oral Care | Fayetteville, GA

If you are experiencing issues with your teeth, gums, jaw or overall oral health, there is likely a dental specialist who can assist you. There are a number of specialties within the field of dentistry, here are a few of the most sought after dental specialties:

Endodontists diagnose, treat and prevent infections and injuries to the pulp or nerves of teeth. You may seek the opinion of an endodontist if you experience acute pain in your tooth, injure a tooth or notice swelling around the teeth and gums. They perform root canals, treat traumatic dental injuries and apply dental implants.

Orthodontics. An orthodontist specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and correction of misaligned bites, and the neuromuscular and skeletal abnormalities of orofacial structures. You may visit an orthodontist to evaluate jaw alignment, straighten teeth, close gaps or improve speech. If you are referred to an orthodontist by your dentist, it is important to make a visit to better understand how you may improve your oral alignment as misalignment can lead to serious health concerns later on.

Periodontists are experts on gum health. Your dentist will recommend a periodontist if you show signs of gingivitis (gum disease), have a complex case of gingivitis or are at risk of tooth loss. Periodontists will aid in the prevention of gum disease, and support your natural or manmade teeth as they monitor your soft oral tissues.

Prosthodontist. A Prosthodontist repairs deficient teeth and replaces missing ones. As their name suggests, they work with prosthetics and custom fit dentures and crowns as permanent replacements for missing teeth. 

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. Oral surgeons treat diseases, injuries and defects of hard and soft oral tissues. They may work with patients whose cases require work on the jaw, face, and mouth with issues ranging from misalignment to tumors and cysts within this region.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about the beautiful smiles Dr. Sukari McMiller has created visit us online today at www.dreamworksdentalcare.com.

Dr. Sukari McMiller proudly serves patients from Fayetteville and all surrounding areas.

The Real World Benefits of Smiling | Fayetteville, GA

Everything in the human body is connected, and smiles have real-life implications for our physical and mental health. Friends may even encourage one another to smile during difficult times; that is because even a fake smile produces real endorphins. Smiling can trigger mood-boosting and relationship enhancing effects on our lives. Here are a few benefits of smiling:

Health Connections. When we smile, our brains release neuropeptides and neurotransmitters that alleviate the stressors of our day. The most common hormones associated with these results are dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. Dopamine and serotonin are “happy hormones”, acting as antidepressants. Endorphins offer mild pain relief; together, they have been shown to reduce stress and our heart rate. A smile a day can go a long way to making us feel better and look out onto the world with a positive attitude.

More Positive Relationships. People who smile more often are seen as being more approachable, likable, creative, and productive. Smiling can also have a “ripple effect” as one person’s expression of joy can cause an onlooker to also feel joy and smile too. The next time you are out with friends, or a loved one could use a pick-me-up, remind them of their positive attributes and share a smile with them!

It is important to note that there are individuals who experience smile anxiety, which occurs when an individual becomes reluctant to smile in public because he or she dislikes, or is embarrassed by, the aesthetic appeal of their smile. There are many factors that may cause someone to feel this way including trauma, decay or the angle adult teeth may have grown in.

Its important to retain gentle kindness if you know a loved one struggles with the appearance of their smile, though there are several means of restoration your dentist may recommend.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about the beautiful smiles Dr. Sukari McMiller has created visit us online today at www.dreamworksdentalcare.com.

Dr. Sukari McMiller proudly serves patients from Fayetteville and all surrounding areas.

IV Sedation and You | Fayetteville, GA

If you experience a physical reaction to the idea of certain stimuli being triggered by going to the dentist, you may have dental anxiety. Dental anxiety is common among kids and adults alike. Continue reading to learn if IV Sedation may be right for you.

When dentists perform restorative procedures, there are typically a variety of sedation options available to the individual. The two main ones being nitrous oxide or intravenous (IV) sedation. The inhalation of nitrous allows a patient to relax, but IV sedation can guide the patient into a deeper relaxation and in some cases, lull them to sleep.

The following are benefits to utilizing IV sedation for sleep dentistry.

– Administration of the drug tailored to the patient’s needs

– The results of IV sedation are reliable and the most effective means of sedation

– If you are particularly sensitive to your gag reflex, IV sedation will relax the reaction,    but your dentist may recommend nitrous oxide

– In contrast to general anesthesia, IV sedation is safer and allows you to retain    consciousness.

– Due to the amount of control your practitioner has with the dosage of IV administered,    your recovery time is shorter than with oral sedation.

Remaining consistent with your oral health in your daily life, as well as with regular check-ups, are the best way to avoid unfavorable experiences at the dentist. If you do enter into a restorative process, discuss your concerns with your dentist to see if IV sedation may be right for you.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about the beautiful smiles Dr. Sukari McMiller has created visit us online today at www.dreamworksdentalcare.com.

Dr. Sukari McMiller proudly serves patients from Fayetteville and all surrounding areas.

Oral Infections | Fayetteville, GA

We all know that brushing our teeth for two minutes, twice a day along with regular dental visits contribute to positive oral health. You may not know the infections that can occur as a result of not practicing consistent oral hygiene routines. Here are some of the most common oral infections that may result from poor oral hygiene.

Gingivitis– Simply put, Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. It is the precursor to Periodontitis, the escalation of Gingivitis should it go untreated. Gingivitis is the result of plaque buildup that spreads from the gums to the ligaments that support the teeth.

Periodontal Disease– When left untreated, Gingivitis may spread below the gum line, affecting the supportive tissues and bone of our teeth. This progression is known as Periodontal Disease which deteriorates these supports leading to the potential loss of teeth and may even spread to the lungs causing pneumonia.

Canker Sores– These are cuts that develop on the gums and other mouth tissues and are common in children and teens. Vigorous brushing, cheek bites and sports injuries – as well as hormones and immune problems may lead to canker sores.

Oral Herpes– According to centerforbeautifulsmiles.com, “50-80 percent of American adults” carry the Herpes Simlex Virus. This can lead to “blisters and ulcers on the gums and tongue, flu-like symptoms, or no symptoms at all.” While there are things individuals can do to keep the virus dormant, an outbreak may last ten days to two weeks.

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease– Toddlers and school aged children are the most susceptible to Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. The virus Coxsackie A16 is spread by direct contact with saliva and mucus; children are particularly unconscious of their direct exposure to these fluids. Children may experience fever, sore throat, and the development of painful blisters on their body but should only last a few days.

Herpangina– Similar to Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, Herpangina typically affects children and presents itself with fever symptoms and difficulty swallowing. Yet, unlike Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, it forms blisters on the back of the mouth that once ruptured, become ulcers. Symptoms typically only last a few days.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about the beautiful smiles Dr. Sukari McMiller has created visit us online today at www.dreamworksdentalcare.com.

Dr. Sukari McMiller proudly serves patients from Fayetteville and all surrounding areas.

What To Know About Dental X-Rays | Fayetteville, GA

Having our X-rays taken at the dentist is considered standard procedure. Yet, there are reasonable reservations individuals may have about the risks associated with inviting x-rays into their lives. Here are some things you should know about dental x-rays.

The Basics

X-rays are an important tool for every specialty within dentistry. They are generally considered to be a safe, effective means for dentists to understand your unique oral structure and health. Dentists will take four different types of x-rays; bitewing, occlusal, panoramic and periodical. Each of these focus on a different aspect of your teeth and bite.

The bitewing will show how well your teeth align and may also show cavity development. Occlusal x-rays capture all your teeth in a single image and can help detect abnormalities in the anatomy of your mouth or palate. Panoramic images let dentists check your wisdom teeth, jaw and any implants you may have. Periodical images show the entire tooth from root to crown.

Purpose

The purpose of a radiograph, or x-ray, is to analyze oral health. They capture what is happening on the interior if your teeth and gums. Images allow dentists and orthodontists to evaluate positioning, decay and impact of the teeth. Whenever you enter a new practice without existing or current imagery your dentist will take them for your file with their practice.

They are also used to track the progression of growing teeth in children and the progress of any treatment you may undergo. 

Safety

While there is no official preparation to receive an x-ray, there are measures dentists take to ensure your safety and theirs. Whomever takes your x rays will outfit you with a lead vest to protect your internal organs and other essential body parts from radiation exposure. It effectively blocks the radiation from your person without hindering the ability to produce an image.

The level of radiation is very low, but the different types of x rays show dentists different things. Periodical X-rays show abnormalities in the bone and root structures. Occlusal X-rays share a story of tooth development and placement. Each work to show dentists and hygienists an in-depth view of the condition of your teeth, and how they may proceed with your oral care.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about the beautiful smiles Dr. Sukari McMiller has created visit us online today at www.dreamworksdentalcare.com.

Dr. Sukari McMiller proudly serves patients from Fayetteville and all surrounding areas.

Cosmetic Dentistry | Fayetteville, GA

Cosmetic dentistry, while not a recognized dental speciality, can transform the appearance of your teeth while retaining or enhancing your oral health. According to AACD.com “…cosmetic procedures can range from basic color correction to replacing missing teeth, and everything in between.” While cosmetic dentists may employ the use of anesthesia for a surgical improvement, most procedures are non invasive. Here are a few procedures a cosmetic dentists perform.

Dental Bonding– for chipped, cracked or gapped teeth, your dentist will apply a tooth colored resin to the chipped area. They will layer resin, utilizing a UV light to harden it as they go, in order to build back the original look of the chipped tooth or teeth.

Veneer Application – you can think of a veneer as a thin shell that fits over the surface of your existing teeth to improve the color, shape, size or length of teeth. Veneers are made of porcelain or a resin composite and permanently bonded to the teeth.

Crowns – similar to a veneer, dental crowns are a porcelain or ceramic tooth look-alike that fits over a weak or damaged tooth. Crowns are made to fully encase the tooth and can last between five to 15 years depending on how well they are cared for.

Braces – these are within the realm of cosmetic dentistry because braces shift the teeth into optimal position for your bite and mouth size. Braces are one of the most common procedures a cosmetic dentist may perform, as tooth alignment is just as much about oral health as it is aesthetics.

Teeth Whitening – another common procedure for cosmetic dentists is teeth whitening. Coffee, tobacco, alcohol, predisposition and many other things can contribute to a less-than-white smile. If over the counter methods haven’t quite worked to bring back your pearly whites, you may consider speaking with a cosmetic dentist for a more intense treatment.

Gum Reshaping – when your gums appear more pronounced than your teeth, or your gemlike is uneven, a cosmetic dentist may recommend gum reshaping. Essentially, a small amount of gum or bone tissue is removed or contoured to even out the appearance of your gum line or tooth ratio.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about the beautiful smiles Dr. Sukari McMiller has created visit us online today at www.dreamworksdentalcare.com.

Dr. Sukari McMiller proudly serves patients from Fayetteville and all surrounding areas.