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How Long to Wear Retainers

We at Healthy Smiles Family Dental in Salem work closely with orthodontists to ensure that our patients have properly aligned teeth. Not only does orthodontic therapy improve the teeth’s appearance, it also makes them easier to clean and prevents bite problems. You’re probably aware that patients finish orthodontic therapy by wearing retainers. These oral appliances need to be cleaned regularly, so patients naturally wonder how long they can expect to wear them.
The fact is that in order to ensure orthodontic therapy works permanently the retainer will have to be worn throughout life. Teeth naturally migrate, and one of the reasons minor orthodontic therapy is becoming more popular among adults is so they can restore their teeth to the position they were in when they got their braces off. People usually have to wear their retainers in the day for an amount of time equal to the time they were undergoing orthodontic treatment, and will have to wear their retainer at night for as long as …
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Types of Bridges

No matter what kind of dental history a patient has, modern dentists have more ways of restoring their teeth than ever before. We at Healthy Smiles Family Dental in Salem proudly provide our patients with crowns, bridges, and implants that help to maintain the integrity of their faces and allow them to chew and speak normally. But because dental prosthetics have advanced so much in recent years, some patients may be unclear about their options, which is why we wanted to describe some types of bridges.
The classic bridge is one in which a Pontic crown is suspended between two crowns that slide over reshaped natural teeth. This type of bridge is favored when the supporting teeth have been damaged and need new crowns regardless. The fixed bridge is not prone to moving out of place as the teeth migrate naturally, and it can be cleaned by threading floss under it. But we try to avoid removing or reshaping teeth that are healthy, which is why a denture might be recommended.
Partial dentures c…

Preventing Dry Sockets

Tooth extractions are ideally rare, but when they are necessary, we at Healthy Smiles Family Dental see our patients through safely. Many adolescents need to have their wisdom teeth removed to prevent alignment problems, and extractions are sometimes done on teeth with pulp infections after root canal treatment has proven unsuccessful. But in emergency situations, tooth extractions may not be preplanned, which is why we want our patients to be familiar with how to prevent a dry socket.
A simple extraction is one in which the tooth is wiggled loose until it can be pulled out with pliers. A complex extraction is one requiring an incision to be made into the gum tissue. Dry sockets are likelier to result from complex extractions. When a tooth is removed, a blood clot ordinarily forms to seal off the socket, protecting it from pathogens and keeping moisture locked inside. A clot may have more difficulty forming over a surgical incision, or it may come loose more easily.
Prior to the extract…

Flossing with Braces

Braces make everything a million times harder. It doesn’t have to with flossing. There are a variety of dental products that help you floss. Drs. Xu and Thomas recommend flossing daily, especially when you have braces. It’s the only way to clean your teeth and avoid cavities. That’s why Healthy Smiles Family Dental has put together this brief guide for flossing with braces. Learn more by contacting our office in Salem, OR.

Flossing and brushing are always a necessity. You’re supposed to floss every day. Braces shouldn’t hinder your dental routine. Invest in a Floss Threader. This is a handheld dental device that directs the floss under the wire. You can then grab the floss and use it normally. Do this for each of your teeth. Floss picks are another viable option. This is a small two-pronged device with floss between it. They are thin enough to fit under your wire. Place the prong between the two teeth to apply the floss.

The other important aspect of flossing with braces is the techniqu…

Dry Mouth

It’s normal to have a dry mouth before standing up to report during a big meeting, or when you’re about to get down on one knee to propose. It becomes an issue when it’s happening all the time. If your mouth constantly feels dry, you’re always thirsty, or you can’t even eat or speak, contact Healthy Smiles Family Dental. Drs. Na Xu and Mark Thomas can help. You may be suffering from a condition known as Dry Mouth or Xerostomia.

It may seem strange, but your mouth needs saliva. It’s crucial for eating and speaking. Your saliva also keeps your mouth clean and free of bacteria. When left untreated, dry mouth lowers your quality of life while heightening your risk of dental problems. Your first appointment is meant to detect the cause of your dryness. Let the staff know of any medications that you take. There are over 500 medications known to cause dryness. Even allergy medication can be responsible. Certain autoimmune disorders, like Sj√∂gren's syndrome, also put you at risk. This diso…

Senior Dental Health

Taking care of your teeth is always important! It’s not something that goes away with age. As you age, your dental needs shift. There are oral health concerns that weren’t present before. Many of these issues stem from aging. Your teeth are bones, and all bones weaken with age. Past the age of sixty, your risk for periodontal (gum) disease, teeth extraction, and tooth decay increase. That’s why it’s important to schedule an appointment with Healthy Smiles Family Dental. Drs. Na Xu and Mark Thomas provide professional and friendly dental care. Learn more at our office in Salem, OR.

You should never take your dental health for granted. Your teeth are a necessary and important part of your life. Keeping them healthy keeps your whole body healthy. Many older patients struggle with brushing. Your Salem dentists have a few pieces of advice. First, purchase an electric toothbrush. These are easier to use while providing thorough brushing. Electric toothbrushes are great for patients who strug…

Periodontal Splinting

If you’re an adult and you discover a loose tooth, make an appointment with Drs. Na Xu and Mark Thomas immediately. They can save you a visit from the Tooth Fairy with a simple procedure called Periodontal Splinting. Your Salem, OR, dentist attaches your weaker teeth to your stronger ones. This creates stability and evens them out. A visit to Healthy Smiles Family Dental can determine whether this looseness is caused by periodontal disease, misalignment, or injury.

Having a tooth extracted is an unpleasant situation for any patient. It is avoided with periodontal splinting. It saves you time and money, without any sort of recovery process. Temporary and permanent splinting are the available types. The cause of the looseness plays a part in which works best for you. For facial injuries or short-term solutions, invest in a temporary splint. These are available in intra-coronal and extra-coronal. They differ in how they attach to the teeth. An intra-coronal splint requires a channel on th…