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The Importance of Dental Care for Seniors in Assisted Living

November 23, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — newburyport @ 6:53 pm

Most people probably don’t mentally connect dental health to overall health, but your teeth hold much more of a stake in your quality of life than you may have imagined. It is well-known that as the body ages, it becomes more vulnerable to health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and infection. However, it may be surprising to hear that bad oral health has also been linked to all of these conditions, putting the elderly at an even higher level of risk. Your expert dentist for seniors in Newburyport knows you want to ensure that your loved one in assisted living has a healthy smile for years to come. Keep reading to learn why it is so important that caretakers in assisted living environments stay on top of their seniors’ dental maintenance, especially those who cannot physically care for themselves.

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5 Questions You Should Be Asking Your Dental Hygienist

October 12, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — newburyport @ 6:49 pm
young man talking to his dentist

When most of us visit our dentist for a checkup, we expect them to be the one asking all of the questions. For example, they might inquire about how often we floss or whether we’ve had any discomfort. In order to keep your mouth as healthy as possible, they shouldn’t be the only ones asking the questions. Your dentist’s team is there to help you improve your oral hygiene and health. Here are five questions you should ask your dental hygienist at your next cleaning.

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Do I Have a Cavity Between My Teeth?

September 10, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — newburyport @ 12:40 am
Woman with toothache

Cavities between teeth are not all that uncommon, but often times they are more difficult to detect simply because they are more difficult to see. This type of dental caries is known as an interproximal cavity and it forms when the protective enamel on the outside of the tooth wears away and leaves the tooth vulnerable to harmful bacteria that cause decay. Without the use of an x-ray, it is hard to know if you have one. Continue reading to learn more from your dentist about interproximal cavities and how you can know if you have one and how they are usually treated.

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Here’s How Your Favorite Drinks Affect Your Teeth

August 11, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — newburyport @ 8:11 pm
Woman drinking wine

Even though water is the best possible thing for you to drink, chances are that you like to indulge in other beverages from time to time. But do you know how they affect your teeth when you drink them frequently? It’s important to be aware of what happens to your smile so you can protect it from staining and damage in the future. Continue reading to learn more from your dentist about the relationship between popular beverages and oral health.

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What Different Types of Toothpaste Are There?

July 16, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — newburyport @ 3:35 pm
Several tubes of toothpaste

You know that using toothpaste when you brush twice a day is an important step when it comes to keeping up with your oral health. But what you may not know is that there is wide variety of different types of toothpaste out there. They all serve different functions so there is one for everyone. Read on to learn from your dentist about different toothpastes so you can choose one that’s right for you.

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DIY Braces: What They Are and Why You Should Avoid Them

June 29, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — newburyport @ 10:27 pm
Dentist wearing PPE during procedure

In recent years, social media has become home to challenges and trends that have gone viral. While some of these movements are inspirational and motivate people to do better, others are downright dangerous. The recent phenomenon of DIY braces is one of those trends, but few are warning people of the severe damage they can cause. Below are four reasons you should leave braces to your dentist.

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Unhealthy Gums Might Be Damaging Your Heart

May 22, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — newburyport @ 4:30 pm
Bacteria that cause gum disease cause damage below the gum line.

Good dental health care is about more than keeping your teeth clean, it’s about taking care of your entire body. Diseases that develop in your mouth have the ability to spread and cause damage elsewhere. One of the most powerful examples of this phenomenon is the relationship between gum disease and heart disease. Read on to find out how these conditions are connected and what you can do to stop them from developing.

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How Often Should You Replace Your Toothbrush?

April 16, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — newburyport @ 4:39 am
Juxtaposed old & new toothbrush prompts the question "When should I change toothbrushes?"

Have you ever paused before brushing your teeth to ask yourself “When should I change toothbrushes?” If the bristles on your toothbrush are flattened, frayed, or discolored, they may not be cleaning your smile as well as they should be. In fact, recent studies have concluded that using a toothbrush past its prime can lead to noticeable oral health issues. Your Newport dentist explains when you should replace your toothbrush and what might happen if you don’t.

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Video Update from Dr. St. Clair

April 3, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — newburyport @ 5:32 pm

COVID-19 DENTAL UPDATE

March 25, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — newburyport @ 5:28 pm

As of the writing of this column, on Wednesday March 25, 2020, the state and much of the country is shut down. Since information is changing so rapidly, and this print is a week old, I am going to concentrate this week on things that will occur regardless of how long it takes for things to return to normal.

Dental offices will NOT be open for routine care for many more weeks at the rate we are going. Dental problems will continue to arise. It is important that you understand what general dentists are considering emergencies vs. non-emergencies.

In addition, all dental problems, including any questions you have, should be directed to your general dentist. Many of us are doing consultations via video (FaceTime, Zoom, etc.). I have found these to be very helpful in determining who needs to be seen, and who can wait. 

If you do NOT have a general dentist and have a dental problem, PLEASE do NOT go to the emergency room.

Please ask family members or friends for recommendations to a general dentist. Check their website. Call their office to listen to their message. Check their Facebook page. You should be able to get in touch with a general dentist to assess your particular situation. They should be the one who determines if you should be seen and/or if you need a referral to a specialist for care. 

What constitutes a dental emergency? Is a dental emergency different than an urgent dental need?

True dental emergencies are not as common as urgent dental care. Dental emergencies are potentially life threatening, require immediate treatment to stop ongoing bleeding, or alleviate pain or infection. Trauma would also be included in this category. This would typically not include routine toothaches. The general dentist can use their referral network of specialists as needed for these situations. The emergency room should be used as an absolute last resort.

Urgent dental care focuses on management of conditions that require attention to relieve discomfort and/or risk of infection. These should be treated by a general dentist or specialist. Severe tooth pain, dental abscess or tooth fracture, missing temporary fillings, or anything else you have concern about should be directed to the general dentist and left to their discretion on how to handle. 

Please keep doctors, nurses, all people in healthcare, and anyone else who is potentially at higher risk of exposure due to their profession, in your thoughts and prayers during this time. 

Please do not hesitate to send any non-urgent questions to my email below. You can also get more up-to-date information at my blog, also listed below. 

Dr. St. Clair maintains a private dental practice in Rowley and Newburyport dedicated to health-centered family dentistry. If there are certain topics you would like to see written about or questions you have please email them to him at jpstclair@stclairdmd.com. You can view all previously written columns at www.jpeterstclairdentistry.com/blog.

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