Excel Dental Blog

Treat Yourself to a White Smile This New Year

Springfield, MO – Are you embarrassed by your less than white smile? Smile bigger than ever before by treating yourself to tooth whitening and enter the new year happy to show off those pearly whites.

Clean Teeth“There is no reason to be dissatisfied with the color of your teeth,” says Dr. Tracy Davis of Excel Dental. “Tooth whitening is an easy way to correct the color of your teeth, making your smile more beautiful than ever before.”

There are several reasons why a patient may choose tooth bleaching. Perhaps the patient has spots on their teeth due to excessive fluoride intake at the time their teeth were developing. Or perhaps the daily cup of coffee a patient enjoys has left her teeth stained. And sometimes the outer layer of enamel on our teeth just begins to show its wear, resulting in a less than white appearance.

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Do I Need to Repair My Child’s Baby Teeth?

Springfield, MO – Your child’s dentist just told you he found a cavity. But since that tooth is just going to fall out anyway, do you really need to repair it?

Missing tooth“This is a question we hear a lot,” says Dr. Tracy Davis, one of the Ozark dentists at Excel Dental. “”The short answer is yes. Those baby teeth play an important role in your child’s oral health, as well as his or her self-esteem.”

Parents also wonder why the affected baby tooth can’t just be pulled. Dr. Nick Matthews explains why your dentist will tell you no.

“Baby teeth have several important roles, one of which is to guide the placement of permanent teeth,” says Dr. Matthews. “If a baby tooth is removed before it is ready to come out, that can affect how the permanent teeth come in. Those teeth can shift into holes left open by baby teeth that should still be in place, leading to the need for orthodontic work in the future.”

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10 Habits That Can Wreck Your Smile

Oral CareSpringfield, MO – There are common habits many of us have that might be doing damage to your pearly whites. If you have any of these habits, the Ozark dentists at Excel Dental encourage you to stop before you wreck your smile.

1. Using your teeth as tools.
If you find yourself unable to open a package, do you move it to your mouth and try to rip it open with your teeth?

“You aren’t alone in this habit, but it’s one you should stop now,” says Dr. Tracy Davis. “It can lead to broken teeth, or teeth that chip or crack. Your teeth should only be used for chewing food – never as tools.”

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Do You Grind Your Teeth At Night?

Springfield, MO – Do you wake up in the morning with a headache or sore jaw? If so, this might be a sign that you suffer from bruxism. This habit of teeth grinding is dangerous because it can result in broken and chipped teeth.

woman with toothaches“Bruxism is considered a sleep disorder,” says Springfield dentist Dr. Tracy Davis. “And because it happens while you’re sleeping, you may be unaware that you do it. That’s why it is important to pay attention to any signs and symptoms that could be signaling a problem, before serious issues occur.”

Signs you may suffer from bruxism include:

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Tips to Avoid Staining Your Teeth

Teeth whiteningSpringfield, MO – The things we eat and drink affect not just the health of our bodies, but the health and look of our smiles, too. So what are the biggest culprits when it comes to staining teeth, and how can we keep our smiles white and beautiful?

“Coffee is the most common culprit for dulling our smiles,” says Dr. Tracy Davis of Excel Dental. “It’s easy to tell someone to avoid drinking coffee to keep from staining their teeth, but for those of us who love our daily cup of joe, that’s much easier said than done! But, there are a lot of other foods and beverages that can affect our smiles.”

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Do You Need a Dental Night Guard?

Young man sleeping Springfield, MO – Do you wake up with a headache or jaw pain in the morning? Do you wonder what might be causing it? You may suffer from bruxism, a condition that causes you to clench or grind your teeth. While you may not be aware that it is happening, it can have serious consequences on your teeth and body.

“Bruxism can lead to tooth problems, such as abnormal wear, chipping and breaking,” says Dr. Tracy Davis, an Ozark dentist. “The action of grinding your teeth puts great force on your teeth, and can cause migraines, as well as pain in your jaw, neck, back and shoulders.”

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Why Are My Child’s Teeth Discolored?

Ozark Family DentistrySpringfield, MO – Have you noticed that your child’s baby teeth seem to be stained? Are discolored teeth a cause for concern? The expert Springfield dentists at Excel Dental explain more.

“There are several reasons why your child’s teeth may appear to be discolored,” says Dr. Nick Matthews, an Ozarks family dentist with Excel Dental. “It is possible for baby teeth to develop cavities, so if you notice discoloration in your child’s teeth, it’s important to schedule an appointment with us. We can examine the teeth to determine if decay is causing the problem, or if it might be due to another issue.”

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Seniors Face Unique Oral Health Issues

Springfield, MO – As you age, you’ve probably noticed new health issues creeping up. Issues with your oral health can begin to appear, too, but by understanding issues unique to seniors, you can take better care of your teeth and mouth.

seniors couple“Senior citizens face a host of unique oral health issues,” says Dr. Nick Matthews, one of the Springfield dentists at Excel Dental. “Our bodies change, and you may once again become susceptible to cavities. In many cases this is because of a condition known as dry mouth.”

Dry mouth doesn’t go hand in hand with aging, but it does go hand in hand with many medications – in fact, there are more than 500 medications that can cause it. And as we age, more health issues begin appearing, so chances are great that you may be prescribed a medication that can lead to dry mouth. If you’re on medication for high blood pressure, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s diseases, pain, or a host of other issues, it’s important to understand possible side effects. It’s also important to share all medications you are currently taking with your dentist. This way, he or she can understand why you may have dry mouth and then properly address it.

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Common Causes of Bad Breath

DoctorSpringfield, MO – Do you worry about halitosis and wonder how you can prevent it? There are many common causes of bad breath, and knowing them is the first step to eliminating the odor.

“The most common cause of bad breath is from food particles that remain in the mouth after eating,” says Dr. Tracy Davis, a Springfield dentist. “This is why it is so important to brush and floss every day. If you don’t, or if you don’t do it properly, these food particles stay in your mouth, collecting bacteria, which causes bad breath. But not just that, the food will also begin to rot, emitting a bad odor as it does.”

The foods you eat can also play a role in halitosis. Foods such as garlic and onions can cause bad breath, and the odor can continue until the food is eliminated from the body. Additionally, people on diets can experience bad breath from infrequent eating. This is from chemicals called ketones that are released during the breakdown of fat. Ketones are then exhaled, and can have an unpleasant, sweet smell.

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Recognizing Signs of Gum Disease

Ozark Dental CareSpringfield, ILGum disease is an infection that targets your teeth and surrounding tissues. It is caused by plaque, the clear, sticky film that attaches to your teeth. If not properly removed during brushing and flossing, the plaque build-up can cause gum disease, also known as gingivitis.

“What makes gum disease dangerous is that it is often painless in its beginning stages,” says Dr. Tracy Davis, one of the Springfield dentists of Excel Dental. “That’s why it’s important to pay close attention to the warning signs. If we catch it in the beginning stages, it is often more manageable.”

So what are the warning signs of gum disease? Schedule an appointment with your dentist if you have any of the following:

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