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Dental Phobia

If you have a fear of going to the dentist, you might suffer from dental phobia. Dental phobia is a fear of going to the dentist and having people work on your teeth.
An estimated 9% to 15% of people avoid going to the dentist due to dental phobia. It is important to get your teeth cleaned twice a year to maintain good dental hygiene. Our doctors at healthy Smiles Family Dental encourages our patients who suffer from dental phobia have a greater chance of developing gum disease and tooth decay.
To ease your mind, we will talk with you about any concerns or fears you have. Some signs that you might have dental phobia include tense or nervousness, sleepless nights before the dentist, and the thought of the dentist makes you feel sick.
Don’t forget to call us before your appointment to discuss your fears and concerns at the dentist. Our staff will do everything we can to accommodate you so you feel comfortable and safe at the dentist.
Healthy Smiles Family Dental is located in Salem, OR. To …
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Canker Sores

Canker sores are small, shallow ulcers that appear in your mouth and make it difficult for you to eat and talk. The exact cause of canker sores is unknown although stress is thought to trigger the ulcers. At Healthy Smiles Family Dental, we encourage our patients who have canker sores to avoid food eating food that contain have a lot of citrus and are acidic. Some foods that are known triggers to ulcers include lemons, oranges, apples, and tomatoes.
Symptoms of ulcers include pain on your tongue or the inside of your cheeks, and a burning sensation in your mouth. Canker sores are circular in shape and usually white or grayish color with red edges.
Our doctors encourage our patients to rinse your mouth out with hot salt water multiple times a couple of times a day. If you still have canker sores after 1-2 weeks we advise you to make an appointment with us.
Remember to make an appointment with us if you get canker sores frequently. Your health is our number one priority.
Healthy Smiles Fami…

Root Canal Therapy

Endodontics and endodontic procedures are a dental specialty focused on the roots and nerves of the teeth. The most common procedure is root canal therapy. At Healthy Smiles Family Dental, located in Salem, OR, Drs. Na Xu and Mark Thomas perform root canals almost painlessly and always successfully. This procedure is needed when a tooth becomes infected, causing pain and discomfort in your mouth.

An infected tooth is a very serious matter. When left untreated, the infection can spread. In some cases, an extraction is necessary. A root canal prevents this. At the start of the procedure, Drs. Xu or Thomas apply a local anesthetic to the area. This prevents any unnecessary discomfort. Your Salem dentist drills into the tooth and exposes the root canal. All of the infected material becomes visible and easily removable. Afterward, the canal is thoroughly disinfected and cleaned. The dentist closes up the tooth with a sealant or filling, finishing up by placing a dental crown on top.

Today’s …

Proper Brushing Techniques

Brushing your teeth is one of the most crucial steps to keeping your oral hygiene in check. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you brush your teeth twice a day. At Healthy Smiles Family Dental, located in Salem, OR, Drs. Na Xu and Mark Thomas want you to have a healthy mouth. That’s why we are sharing some brushing tips and tricks.

First, make sure that your toothbrush is right for you. There are different materials and bristles types. If you have sensitive teeth, buy a toothbrush with softer bristles. Make sure that it can easily fit into all areas of your mouth. As soon as the toothbrush bristles become frayed or worn, replace it. It’s also good to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months.

When brushing your teeth, follow these steps. First, place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. Move the brush back and forth in short strokes across the entire tooth. Make sure to brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of the teeth. For the inside surfaces, tilt the brush …

Bite Checks

Are your teeth and jaws often sore? You may have temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMD. Biannual dental appointments aren’t just a chance for you to get a professional dental cleaning. At Healthy Smiles Family Dental in Salem, we also perform bite checks to determine whether a patient is at risk for the pain and dental trauma that can result from jaw problems.
Bruxism is the name for nighttime teeth grinding and jaw clenching. It may be done in response to obstructive sleep apnea, but it could also be due to psychological causes or discomfort from misaligned jaws. It can wear down enamel and cause teeth to crack or be pushed out of place. The pressure from bruxism can also cause soreness to develop in the temporomandibular joint, which connects the mandible to the skull, and may radiate as far as the top of the head and the neck and shoulders.
If a person is grinding their teeth at night (or while awake), our hygienists will be able to find evidence of it in the wear patte…

Asthma and Oral Hygiene

Asthma is a condition with implications for many bodily systems, including dental health. Patients at Salem’s Healthy Smiles Family Dental know that we cooperate with their other care providers to ensure that all their unique needs are being met. If they suffer from asthma, they may need to make some additional lifestyle and hygiene changes to protect themselves from tooth decay.
Saliva plays an important role in combatting bacteria that create cavities. It washes away food particles, depriving bacteria of nutrients, and neutralizes the acid produced by their metabolizing process. But people with asthma commonly suffer from dry mouth (also called xerostomia). They may breathe through their mouths because their upper airways are inflamed, or xerostomia may be a side effect of their medication, but they’ll need to drink more liquids, use humidifiers to maintain a less dry environment, and possibly use throat moisturizers.
Patients should consult with their asthma specialist before making …

Oral Cancer Awareness Month

This April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. At Healthy Smiles Family Dental, located in Salem, OR, Drs. Na Xu and Mark Thomas want to help keep your mouth healthy and happy. That’s why besides coming in for your bi-annual visits, we encourage you to be proactive about your oral health. Prevention is the key to a healthy and long life. If you have any strange anomalies in your mouth, don’t wait to make an appointment.

If anything new or strange appears in your mouth, and it doesn’t go away after 2-3 weeks, make an appointment. This is often an indicator of something more serious going on. Even more so if this problem is reoccurring. Be on the lookout for these symptoms:

Sores that take over 14 days to heal, strange coloring of the soft tissue, abnormalities that bleed easily, bumps or hard spots in the mouth, and a lump on the outside of the neck that has been there for at least two weeks.

When it comes to HPV-caused oropharyngeal cancer, symptoms may vary. In this case, a patient might ex…