Wichita Family Dental

Wichita Dentist – What is Dry Mouth?

drinking water to illustrate dry mouth at the dentist in wichita ksDry mouth is not a disease but it is a side effect of some diseases. Certain medications, aging, radiation and chemotherapy, allergies, and dehydration may also cause dry mouth.

Is Dry Mouth A Problem?
It can be. Saliva contains enzymes that aid in digestion. It also neutralizes the acid caused by bacteria, limits bacterial growth, and washes down particles from the foods you eat and drink. If your mouth is dry and lacks saliva, you can develop serious issues in your mouth.

How Do I Know If I Have Dry Mouth?
Symptoms of dry mouth go beyond a dry mouth alone. You may notice a change in your sense of taste. You may have difficulty speaking, chewing, or swallowing. If you aren’t producing enough saliva, you may also develop chronic bad breath. You may experience some or all of these symptoms often.

How Can I Treat Dry Mouth?
There are many simple ways to treat dry mouth. Make sure you drink enough water throughout the day – at least eight full glasses of eight ounces. You can also chew sugar-free gum to stimulate the flow of saliva. Many people experience dry mouth while they sleep. A humidifier can add moisture to the air in your bedroom and prevent nightly dry mouth.

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Wichita Dentist – Invisalign First Now At Wichita Family Dental

WHAT IS INVISALIGN FIRST?

Invisalign First is designed for children ages 6 to 10. As your child grows, their smile will grow with them. Phase 1 Invisalign treatment addresses early issues in developing children and corrects them before they become more complex. Invisalign First tackles the unique orthodontic challenges of your growing child and gives them the same exceptional orthodontic experience that adults and teens receive with Invisalign clear aligners.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF PHASE 1 TREATMENT?

Phase 1 treatment is meant to develop your child’s jaw and/or arches. It makes room for existing teeth and incoming, permanent teeth. Invisalign First aligners can fix a broad range of teeth straightening issues, including crowding, spacing, and narrow dental arches. Phase 1 treatment can also do the following:

  • Prevent pre-existing bite issues from worsening.
  • Fix existing teeth-straightening conditions
  • Improve the appearance of a growing child’s smile.
  • Help with oral habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting.
  • Shorten the length of Phase 2 treatment and make it easier.

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Wichita Dentist – What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is the medical term for teeth grinding. You may be aware of it or you may grind, gnash, or clench your teeth unconsciously or even in your sleep. Here are three fast facts about bruxism:

  1. Anyone can grind their teeth at any age. Stress, anxiety, hyperactivity, certain medications, an uneven bite, or missing teeth may lead to bruxism. You may even notice that you grind your teeth when you are trying to concentrate.
  2. You can grind your teeth during the day and/or at night. The factors listed above may cause bruxism in your sleep or it may be a sign of other sleep-related disorders like sleep apnea or snoring.
  3. Even if you are grinding your teeth unconsciously, there are many signs of bruxism that you can look out for, including damaged teeth, tooth pain, soreness around the jaw, and headaches.

If you think you may be grinding your teeth, talk to your Wichita Family Dental dentist about how to prevent bruxism.

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Wichita Dentist – Oral Health Is Overall Health

If you think your oral health has nothing to do with your overall health – think again. Your mouth is an entry point to the rest of your body and scientists continue to find links between our teeth and our wellbeing. Here is just some of what we know:

  1. There may be 700 species of bacteria living, feeding, and reproducing in your mouth right now. All 700 of them can reproduce every FIVE hours! Most of these bacteria are harmless but some can cause diseases.
  2. That bacterium in your mouth can turn into plaque and then harden into tartar. Tarter is a leading cause of gingivitis.
  3. Gingivitis, if left untreated, can lead to periodontitis, or inflammation of the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. Untreated periodontitis may lead to severe tooth loss and more.
  4. Ongoing inflammation of the gums caused by periodontitis can allow bacteria to enter your bloodstream, which may lead to inflammation in other parts of your body, up to and including your heart.
  5. Scientists have linked oral infections to serious diseases, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, and bacterial pneumonia.

Good oral health habits and regular visits to your Wichita Family Dental dentist can help prevent oral infections. We can also treat gingivitis and periodontitis before it worsens.

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Wichita Dentist – COVID-19 Precautions at Wichita Family Dental

We want you to know that we are still taking every precaution in order to protect our patients, staff, and community. To see these precautions in action, check out this video with one of our favorite dental assistants – Ivy! 

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Wichita Dentist – Wichita Family Dental Is Open for All Dentistry

WE ARE NOW OPEN FOR ALL DENTISTRY

Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

  • Our office will communicate with you beforehand and ask some screening questions. You will be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.
  • We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.
  • You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys, etc. since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
  • Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
  • We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.

For Upcoming Appointments:

  • If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, we ask that you reschedule your appointment for the safety of our patients and staff.
  • Please reschedule your appointment if you have traveled to any areas within the past 14 days that are at high risk for contracting COVID-19.
  • Please call us at 316-630-9339 when you arrive at the office. We will text you when your room is ready.
  • Please do not bring children or family members who do not have appointments in the office.
  • Please be advised that we will be taking your temperature at the door before we take you to a room.

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors, and friends.

If you have concerns about coming to the office, try our virtual consultation. It’s fast, free, and a great way to get your questions answered without leaving your home.

 

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Wichita Dentist – Gentle Dental Reminders for Aging Adults in Wichita, KS

1. Brushing is not optional.
You can get cavities at any age, but you are especially susceptible as you get older. Bacteria can worm its way into receding gums and worn-down enamel. Make sure you brush twice a day and floss to beat back cavities and keep your teeth healthy.

2. Prevention is key.
Adults over the age of 65 are 3x more likely to need a root canal due to severe tooth damage. Why? As you age, the nerves in your teeth may shrink which makes them less sensitive to pain. Fortunately, prevention is just a phone call away. Regular visits to your dentist can catch small problems before they become big issues and may prevent procedures like root canals.

3. Watch out for the daily ‘grind.’
Teeth grinding can make your teeth look older than they are. Stress and anxiety can cause grinding – even while you sleep! Talk to your Wichita Family Dental dentist about how to prevent teeth grinding and keep your teeth looking youthful.

4. Dentures are NOT the only option.
While our first president had dentures, dentistry has come a long way since George Washington. Now there are a slew of restorative options to help you preserve your natural teeth as you age. Call our office to discuss dentures and denture alternatives.

5. Be aware of changes in your mouth.
Aging adults are at a higher risk of gum disease and oral cancer. In addition, oral health issues can be indicative of other chronic health conditions, so regular visits to the dentist are essential for older patients. Keep your dental appointments and call us immediately if you notice anything unusual.

If you have urgent dental needs, please call us. We are still treating dental emergencies and taking the highest possible precautions to ensure the safety of our patients, staff, and community.

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Wichita Dentist – Seven Signs You Should Call Wichita Family Dental in Wichita, KS

1. Sensitivity to Hot and Cold.
If your teeth feel sensitive when you eat ice cream or have a cup of hot coffee, it could be tooth decay or cracks in your tooth’s enamel. Left untreated, these issues can worsen. A dental visit now will prevent large expenses later.

2. Bleeding Gums.
If you experience bleeding gums after brushing or flossing, it may indicate an infection. Infections in the mouth can lead to tooth loss. Preserve your natural teeth by treating the cause of bleeding gums today.

3. Loose Teeth.
Gum disease can cause loose teeth, but that may be just the beginning. It is also linked to a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and lung disease. Call immediately for a consultation.

4. Sores, Bumps, Lesions.
If you notice unusual sores or bumps in your mouth that won’t heal or go away, they may be a sign of oral cancer. The dentists at Wichita Family Dental in Wichita, KS screen for oral cancer during your dental exam, but if you have an area of concern, call us to get it checked out.

5. Bad Breath.
You may experience bad breath after a healthy serving of garlic-rich pasta or a tuna salad sandwich. But if you consistently experience bad breath, called halitosis, you may actually have gum disease or internal issues that need to be addressed. Call us to treat this serious and potentially embarrassing condition.

6. Dry Mouth.
Your dry mouth may be the result of prescription medications. Unfortunately, chronic dry mouth can cause decay along the gum line, causing healthy-looking teeth to break off at the base. We can prescribe medications to increase saliva and keep dry mouth at bay. Call us for a consultation.

7. Cracked or Crumbling Teeth.
Occasionally, the stomach acids released by acid reflux can dissolve your tooth enamel. Schedule an appointment to discuss treatment options.

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Invisalign Vs. Clearcorrect

smiling invisalign patient Dental technology and treatments have advanced considerably over the last few decades. These advancements are designed to make treatments more effective and comfortable and less time-consuming. Both Invisalign and Clearcorrect are excellent examples of such advancements. At Wichita Family Dental we’ve noticed that many patients don’t know much about these two treatment alternatives. Most choose Invisalign because it is a more popular treatment option.

While Invisalign and Clearcorrect are both clear aligners designed to straighten the teeth, there are some distinct differences. Here’s a look at these differences to help you make the right choice:

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1. Cost Of The Aligners

This is a common concern among patients who want to get the best treatment at the most affordable cost. Clearcorrect appears to be more affordable because it’s the base price for fixed aligners is $2,000. This is a good option for people who have slight imperfections and don’t need much straightening. However, the full and unlimited aligner options can cost  up to $5,000 for the entire treatment, which doesn’t make Clearcorrect more affordable compared to Invisalign.

Invisalign has also introduced treatment options like Express 5, Invisalign i7, Lite, and Express 10 options. All of these are more affordable compared to a full set and are suitable for patients who don’t need long-term aligners.

2. Aligner Thickness

Invisalign aligners are made from a thick clear plastic material. This aligner is durable and effective because of the quality of the material. Clearcorrect aligners are thinner, which means they are less visible and easier to maintain.

However, the thin material makes them more fragile and prone to damage. You need to be careful about what you eat and how you handle them.  Clearcorrect aligners also have sharper edges, which can cause injuries if they arent fitted correctly.

3. Treatment Options

Both Invisalign and Clearcorrect offer different treatment options. A patient and their dentist can decide which treatment option is ideal based on the condition of the patient’s teeth. Here’s a look at the treatment options:

  • Invisalign – Invisalign offers Full treatment with unlimited aligners. Their Lite option includes 14 aligners. Their Express 10 and Express 5 options include 10 and 5 aligners respectively. The newly launched Invisalign i7 package includes 7 aligners. The full treatment is the most popular option because it can treat mild to severe misalignment cases.
  • Clearcorrect – Clearcorrect offers three options; limited 6, limited 12, and unlimited. Limited 6 includes six aligners and is the most affordable option. Limited 12 includes 12 aligners and is suitable for mild misalignments. Unlimited includes as many aligners as the patient needs, which can help with severe misalignments and overbites.

Your dentist will explain how effective these different options can be to ensure you make the right decisions.

Materials Used

Clearcorrect aligners are made from medical-grade plastic. This material is effective and safe to use, but it doesn’t live up to the quality that Invisalign offers. Clearconnect is a relatively new company and doesn’t have the research or experience to develop a tailored product. Invisalign has its own patented material called SmartTrack, which they developed over 8 years of research and after experimenting with hundreds of different materials.

This plastic is superior and more comfortable than any other aligner product available in the market today. It also speeds up the treatment process so your teeth are aligned faster. That’s one of the reasons why people often choose Invisalign over other alternatives.  Invisalign has been around since 1997 and has improved its product over time.

Clearcorrect is a good alternative for it, especially if your insurance offers a better deal on it. It is a good idea to compare both options carefully before making a decision. You can always switch to different aligners if you aren’t satisfied with your first choice.

If you want to know more about Invisalign or Clearcorrect, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Wichita Family Dental. Our experienced team will help you make the right choice.

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Wichita Dentist – How Does Smoking Affect Your Teeth?

Smoking can cause many oral health issues, including gum disease, tooth discoloration, tooth loss, and even oral cancer.

The nicotine and tar found in cigarettes can turn your teeth yellow fairly rapidly. Long-term use may even turn your teeth brown.

Smoking produces more bacterial plaque and a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream which causes gum disease. Due to the lack of oxygen, the gums of smokers are not capable of healing as quickly as those of non-smokers.

Oral cancer is another risk of smoking. Every year thousands of people die from oral cancer brought on by smoking.

If you’re a smoker, you have twice the risk for gum diseases compared to a non-smoker, and treatments for gum disease may not be as effective for people who smoke. Tobacco use in any form – cigarettes, pipes, and smokeless tobacco – raises your risk for gum disease.

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