Why You Should Never Go to Bed Without Brushing Your Teeth Part 1 of 2

We’ve all been here, it’s true. Sometimes it is way easier to crawl under the covers and sleep instead of trudge alllll the way to the bathroom just for an elbow work out. Believe us, we are well aware. It takes effort to do, especially in a half-conscious state. Still, it is just as essential as those ten extra minutes you would have had sleeping!

Brushing your teeth at night before you go to bed is actually the most important brush of the day. Each time you eat, the bacteria that naturally resides in your mouth feasts on the food that your are consuming. That’s right, like any other living organism, the bacteria in your mouth also excretes waste. The difference though is that this waste is highly acidic and breaks down tooth enamel.

Tooth Enamel
We are sure you’ve heard of tooth enamel before, but do you know what it is? Tooth enamel is the hardest and most highly mineralized substance in the human body, made up of minerals like hydroxyapatite. It protects your teeth from decay by covering the outer layer of each tooth. This translucent layer varies from light yellow to grayish white, only partially responsible for the complete color of your teeth.  

The factor that matters the most when concerning your teeth’s enamel is that, once it’s eroded, the enamel cannot be replaced by your body. Unfortunately, unlike bones, enamel does not contain living cells to regenerate, meaning that all damage is permanent.

It is up to you to protect your enamel by practicing good hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing your teeth before you go to bed and again the next day. You can also avoid foods that are known to cause damage like:

  • Sugary foods
  • Sticky foods
  • Acidic fruits
  • Acidic beverages
  • Chewing ice

These substances stick to your teeth, interacting with the bacteria already present in your mouth. It is best to avoid them when you can, but if you can’t, thoroughly brush afterwards. Hard foods like ice cubes or candy will also harm your enamel by causing it to chip or crack when you chew it. Instead, it is better to suck on it to avoid further damage.

In our next blog, find out what happens to your teeth at night when you don’t brush. It’s scary!  Be sure to tune in to our blog next month. At Wynnewood Dental Arts, we want to make sure you are doing all you can to protect your teeth for the long-term.

If you are too uncomfortable for a regular visit or a procedure, we offer sleep dentistry in Plymouth Meeting, PA. Our sedation dentistry in Plymouth Meeting, PA will help patients take care of their teeth and enamel with a deep cleaning that your toothbrush cannot provide for you. We are looking forward to seeing you!  

  

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Top 7 Reasons Sleep Dentistry is Right for You

How many times have you heard,

“I freak out when I go to the dentist”

 

“I’ve had a bad experience”

 

“I’m too afraid”

 

“It hurts too much”

 

Over and over again, right? By various people. Or yourself. Everyone knows someone who won’t go to the dentist, and who doesn’t complain when they do? Many dread it–many are gripped with fear at the entryway. Many even get up and run before the procedure can even begin because their anxiety is just too much for them to sit with.

 

What’s your story?

 

There are solutions to that problem. Some call it sleep dentistry and some call it sedation dentistry. We like to call it a solution.

  1. Sensitivity
    Can you sit through a routine cleaning? Your teeth are a vulnerable and sensitive part of your body; it makes sense that dental pain is a real threat. If your teeth and gums are too sensitive, it may be hard to undergo even the simplest procedure.
  2. Low Pain Threshold
    Metal instruments scraping at plague and poking your teeth is too painful an experience for some. It bridges on brutality without proper pain management. We understand. When the pain is too daunting a fear, it’s a good idea to seek a solution.
  3. Invasiveness
    Gum gardening and tooth carpentry is happening right inside your mouth. Dentists are all in your space, possibly violating it. It is important to take action for yourself.
  4. Sounds and Smells
    Are your senses on high alert at the dentist? When you become hyper aware, the antiseptic smell is doubled, triggering more anxiety. Avoid all of that and stop suffering.
  5. Hates Needles
    They’re long and pointy and terrifying. Are they nightmarish to you–do they make your skin crawl? Any kind of oral surgery usually requires general anesthesia administered via a needle. Express your fear, and take a different route.
  6. Numb Resistance
    When general anesthesia just doesn’t work, other options are a necessity in order to painlessly undergo oral care treatment.
  7. Physical Limitations
    Some patients experience chronic or acute jaw soreness or have back or neck problems that prevent them from sitting in a dentist chair for an extended period of time. In which case, it is better to keep it short and simple.

 

Overall, anxiety is a large concern for a lot of people who need to go to the dentist. And putting it off for an extended amount of time will ultimately result in damage to your oral health. It is time to take action for you, and rely on a trustworthy dentist like Dr. DeFinnis with over 15 years of experience with sleep dentistry in Plymouth Meeting, PA. Call Wynnwood Dental Arts today and start the process of sleep dentistry in Upper Darby, PA! (610)-642-0139.

 

 

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Don’t Let Stress Wear Down Your Teeth

Have you ever heard of teeth grinding? It’s more common than you think. Bruxism is the more technical term, referring to the habit of grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw. Surprisingly enough, bruxism affects millions of Americans, both adults and children, whether they know it or not. Many people with this condition do not find out they have it until the dental damage is already done, since they are usually grinding their teeth or clenching their jaw as they sleep. Thus, bruxism is often an act that is entirely subconscious.

Bruxers, as people with bruxism are called, can also experience aches in facial muscles; this is a small indicator that you may be clenching or grinding. It is important to recognize the signs early because bruxism can be extremely detrimental to your teeth, provoking fracturing, shattering, or sensitivity caused by wearing down your teeth’s enamel.

 

What are the symptoms?

  1. Worn, broken, or chipped teeth
  2. Your partner noticing you grinding your teeth in your sleep
  3. Popping or clicking jaws
  4. Inability to fully open and close your mouth
  5. Tingling in fingers
  6. Chronic migraines, headaches, or earaches

 

 What causes bruxism?

Bruxism is most frequently caused by a misalignment of the temporomandibular joints (TMJs). These joints are what keep your jaw attached to your skull. This condition is called TMJ dysfunction and is often linked with obstructive sleep apnea and stress. Sleep apnea and TMJ dysfunction go hand in hand in 90% of cases, therefore treating sleep apnea can also reduce or resolve bruxism.

 

What are the treatments?

Aside from the correlation of sleep apnea and TMJ dysfunction, a separate oral appliance for bruxism can be worn while sleeping to stop your teeth from grinding. This appliance alleviates stressed jaw muscles and nerves. However, if tooth wear is already extensive, then it is wise to have your back teeth rebuilt with crowns in order to recreate a healthy bite. Once that is done, your jaw will sit in a proper position. Another method would include easing your stress with exercises to break your habits.

Our doctor, Dr. DeFinnis does a complete evaluation before recommending a treatment that suits your specific needs. Just like every bite is different, every treatment depends on the patient. In order to learn more about sleep apnea, be sure to be on the lookout for our next blog! At Wynnewood Dental Arts, we also offer sleep dentistry in Haverford, PA and sedation dentistry in Haverford, PA.

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