How Do Cavities Form?

Have you ever gone to a dentist and learned that you have a cavity? Have you ever thought about how your cavities might have formed? Would you be surprised to hear that cavities and tooth decay form in different stages, or that you could reverse them before it becomes too serious?

You see, when you eat and chew, your teeth and gums will be exposed to plaque. If not removed, plaque can weaken the protective layer of your teeth, which is also known as enamel. Flossing and brushing are also important if you’d like to keep plaque and bad bacteria off of your teeth. Sadly, even if you do these things on a daily basis, your enamel may still be damaged. If this happens, you could notice white spots on your pearly whites. Luckily, this problem is reversible. However, if enamel decay is not addressed, it could continue to spread. At this point, you’ll need to have the cavity filled. Fortunately, you can usually notice a dark spot on your smile to help you catch your cavity before it becomes too severe.

If untreated, your tooth decay can also spread to your dentin—the soft layer beneath your enamel. Tooth decay can also get to the pulp of your tooth, which can affect the connective tissue and your tooth’s nerves. If this happens, you could need root canal therapy. Unfortunately, decay can continue to spread farther and might ultimately affect the bone that keeps your pearly whites in place.

You can generally avoid these issues by brushing and flossing your pearly whites on a regular basis and by scheduling regular appointments with us. If you would like to learn more about the stages of tooth decay in Modesto, California, please feel free to give Gill Family Dentistry a call at (209) 549-1721. Our dentist, Dr. Amandeep S Gill, and our team look forward to hearing from you soon.

There Is Help for Bleeding Gums

At Gill Family Dentistry, Dr. Amandeep Gill and our team want you to know how important oral care is for your gum health. Because your gums support your pearly whites, you will want to keep them in tip-top shape! Following are some tips we would like to share with you if you are experiencing bleeding gums:

– Limit your consumption of sugar and sugary drinks, and increase your intake of vegetables. When you do eat sugar, rinse well with water afterwards and brush your teeth to limit the exposure to teeth.

– Certain medications, such as blood thinners, can cause bleeding of the gums or interfere with saliva flow by causing dry mouth, a condition which allows oral bacteria to thrive. Your doctor may be able to switch medications or alter the dosage to help you.

– If you smoke, the toxins can actually interfere with your gum’s ability to receive nutrients and can cause inflammation. As the gums bleed, harmful bacteria which live along the gumline can enter the bloodstream via the ulcers in the gums and travel to your organs to cause inflammation.

– Bleeding gums are actually contagious by spreading harmful amounts of bacteria. If you or your partner has a lot of oral bacteria, avoid sharing drinks, keep your toothbrushes from touching, and be aware that kissing will spread the bacteria and make you more susceptible to bleeding gums.

– It is so important to brush your teeth at least twice daily. Using an electric toothbrush can massage the gums which increases nutrient absorption into the gums by stimulating blood flow.

– Floss at least once each day to remove dental plaque, a biofilm made of bacteria and waste products. If you have difficulty flossing, a water flosser may be a good investment to remove bacteria between the teeth.

– Keep up with professional dental cleanings to remove tartar (hardened plaque). Dr. Amandeep Gill may recommend more frequent dental cleanings, antibiotic treatment, scaling and root planing (deep cleanings), or gum surgery to help alleviate bleeding gums.

At Gill Family Dentistry, we can diagnose and treat gum disease before it becomes a serious problem. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please call Gill Family Dentistry in Modesto, California at (209) 549-1721 today. We are excited to help you achieve a healthy smile!

4 Ways to Care for Baby Teeth

Our team at Gill Family Dentistry wants to help you take care of your child’s teeth so your child can grow into the strong, healthy, and beautiful smile they deserve. So, we recommend doing the following things:

· Before your baby’s teeth even grow into place, wash their gums daily with a moist gauze pad or washcloth. This will help eliminate the plaque from the smile and further prevent gum disease and tooth decay.
· Once the teeth grow in, brush them twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. However, you only need to brush with a small amount of toothpaste—about the size of a small grain of rice.
· Between the ages of 3 and 6 years old, add a little more toothpaste so it’s about the size of a pea. You can let them brush on their own, but please supervise as they do so. We also ask that you keep your children from swallowing the toothpaste.
· When two teeth grow in next to each other, make sure to floss between those teeth at least once a day. You can use a flossing product of your choice to do so.

For more information about how to take care of your child’s teeth, we encourage you to call (209) 549-1721 today and schedule an appointment with Dr. Amandeep S Gill. We care about you, your child, and both of your smiles, so please remember that you can always call our office and ask us any questions if you need. We look forward to helping you!

Your Perfect Mouthwash

Taking care of your teeth and gums is not really that hard to do. Diligently brushing and flossing twice a day, along with bi-annual dental visits for cleanings and checkups can go a long way in ensuring that your smile is healthy for years to come. But adding a good mouthwash to your daily mix can help support your oral health even more.

If you are buying a mouthwash off your grocer’s shelves, look for one sporting the American can Dental Association seal of acceptance on the label. If it has the seal you will know that this product has been rigorously tested and found to be safe and effective.

Depending on the type of mouthwash you choose, you can experience the following:

Protection. Fluoride mouthwash will keep cavities and periodontal disease away by strengthening tooth enamel and preventing dental decay.

Desensitization. Arginine in mouthwash helps in sealing the dentinal tubules in sensitive teeth. This will help relieve pain for teeth that hurt when exposed to hot or cold temperature in food and drinks, and sometimes even when breathing in cold air.

Better Breath. Antimicrobial mouthwashes help remove bits of food particles and kills bacteria that makes one’s breath smell bad.

Germ fighting. Chlorhexidine glucose in mouthwash kills germs that hurt teeth and gums and stops bacterial growth. Sticky bacterial film forms into plaque which coats teeth and gums and hardens fairly quickly into tartar if not removed. Once plaque hardens into tartar it can cause gingivitis which requires removal using special tools by your dentist.

Soothing Action. Salt mixed in water can be used as mouthwash and helps to soothe inflammation and mucus membranes. Canker sores and other oral infections benefit from salt-water rinses. Salt water works by changing the pH of the mouth, which can deter the production of microorganisms, though it doesn’t kill them outright.

For more information about how finding the best mouthwash for your needs, or if you would like to schedule an appointment, reach out to our staff at Gill Family Dentistry at (209) 549-1721 and we will be happy to help!

Is Invisalign® What You Have Been Waiting For?

These days, braces are not your only option to straighten front and side teeth or correct a misaligned bite. The Invisalign® treatment has fast become a viable option in what has long been traditional braces. It is always nice to have choices, and depending on your needs, you may be a good candidate for Invisalign.

Both systems have their benefits, and following are just a few things to consider when deciding what is right for you:

Like braces, Invisalign straightens your teeth gradually. But traditional braces are non-removable, and are glued to your teeth with metal wires and metal or ceramic brackets while Invisalign aligners are removable. These custom made aligner trays are designed to slip over your natural teeth by your dentist. Aligners consist of comfortable plastic material which you wear over your teeth. Every two weeks you switch to a new tray which gradually shifts your teeth into place according to the plan your dentist designed for you.

Aligners offer little discomfort as they do their work. When you first switch to a new tray there may be some pressure which subsides as your teeth adjust.

When you first begin wearing new aligners your speech may be affected for the first couple of days as your tongue adjusts to having them in your mouth.

Your eating habits don’t need to be changed, as aligners are removed while eating. This means you can eat your normal diet and not worry about damaging your aligners. Your brushing and flossing habits also stay the same, since you would just continue taking care of your teeth and gums as your normally would.

If you smoke or drink, please be aware that smoking may discolor the clear aligners. However, drinking alcohol isn’t a problem if you take extra care to clean your teeth soon after so that sugar does not get trapped between your teeth and the aligners (or any sugary beverage).

Clean your aligners carefully every time you take them out. There are cleaning systems made for cleaning Invisalign aligners, and you can also clean and sanitize them with water, denture cleaner, or soak them in vinegar. You will want to make sure to keep them clean and dry to kill bacteria.

We invite you to contact Gill Family Dentistry at (209) 549-1721 to answer any questions you may have or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gill and find out if Invisalign is right for you!