Can You Prevent Dental Issues by Yourself? | Wilmington Dentist

When it comes to our dental health, it is our job to take care of things. Sure, we schedule a couple of dental appointments a year to make sure things are going smoothly, but our dentist can’t dictate how we treat our smiles. So, if you find out that you have dental issues, it’s time to think about how well you are taking care of your teeth. Here are some quick tips to avoid a bad dental report card:

Brush twice a day. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles. If you’d like a more thorough cleaning, consider an electric version. Brush for at least 2 minutes, in gentle circular motions so as not to irritate your gums.

Floss daily. Use 18” worth of floss and make sure that you are using a clean area between teeth to prevent the spreading of any infections you may already have. Check your floss between teeth for any blood, or scent that may indicate a more serious issue.

Choose a natural mouthwash. Mouthwash loosens any debris, making your mouth cleaner than by merely brushing. Instead of using a mouthwash that contains alcohol, which dehydrates your mouth, preventing saliva production, choose a more natural variety.

Avoid tobacco products. We all know tobacco of any sort is bad for us, but it is especially bad for our mouths. Ingesting tobacco products can further irritate any infection you may have, making you more susceptible to further issues.

Sugar doesn’t help. It may taste sweet but having too much sugar in your diet will cause lots of dental issues if you don’t look after your teeth. Limit it as much as possible and be sure to brush after you indulge.

For further information regarding dental hygiene, call Dr. Leo J. Kituskie, DMD for an appointment today at (302) 994-4900. Visit our website to learn more at implantperiocare.com.

Dr. Leo J. Kituskie proudly serves Wilmington and all surrounding areas.

Keep Their Little Smiles Healthy | Wilmington Dentist

When you become a new parent, you do everything you possibly can to prepare for every situation. Unfortunately, there is truly no real way to prepare. And while there are plenty of resources to turn to for answers to the never-ending list of questions, one that seems to slip our minds is their oral health. It’s easy to forget – babies aren’t born with teeth.

When to expect teeth. The two lower front teeth should erupt around 6 months of age, followed by the two upper center teeth. The remaining will appear in no predictable order – but all 20 baby teeth should be present by 3 years of age.

When to visit the dentist. You should make sure the first appointment is within 6 months of the first tooth appearing, but definitely before the child’s first birthday. The first visit is typically a checkup to look for signs of decay, check the bite, and look for problems in the gums, jaw, and tissues within the mouth. The dentist will take this opportunity to provide guidance on topics such as brushing, fluoride, teething, and problems like thumb sucking.

When to start brushing. Just like adults need to brush twice a day, parents also need to brush the teeth of young children. Your child’s first toothbrush should be a soft-bristled brush with a small head. As an infant, you should clean the gums with a soft brush and water. Once teeth appear, start brushing twice a day with non-fluoride toothpaste. Once your child can spit, you can transition to fluoride toothpaste.

For further information regarding pediatric dentistry, call Dr. Leo J. Kituskie, DMD for an appointment today at (302) 994-4900. Visit our website to learn more at implantperiocare.com.

Dr. Leo J. Kituskie proudly serves Wilmington and all surrounding areas.

Don’t Start the Year with Gum Disease | Wilmington Dentist

Have you been experiencing persistent bad breath or perhaps notice a loose tooth? Periodontitis, also generally called gum disease or periodontal disease, begins with bacterial growth in your mouth. If left untreated, could lead to tooth loss due to destruction of the tissue that surrounds your teeth. Only a dentist or a periodontist can recognize and determine the progression of gum disease. Plaque is the primary cause of gum disease, but other factors can contribute to periodontal disease as well, such as smoking, poor dental hygiene, diabetes and pregnancy.

Here are some warning signs that can signal a problem:

  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Changes in the fit of partial dentures

If you find that you have developed any of these symptoms, make a dental appointment as soon as possible. Because so often it goes unnoticed, having symptoms arise may indicate more of an issue than you think. Only your dental professional can identify and properly treat these issues, so dental examinations are imperative for maintaining healthy gums.

Keeping your gums healthy requires a daily oral hygiene routine of brushing twice a day, using a mouthwash, flossing and maintaining a healthy diet. So, as you are making your new year resolutions, make sure you add proper dental hygiene to the list. Prevention is your key to oral health success.

For further information regarding gum disease, call Dr. Leo J. Kituskie, DMD for an appointment today at (302) 994-4900. Visit our website to learn more at implantperiocare.com.

Dr. Leo J. Kituskie proudly serves Wilmington and all surrounding areas.

Wine Prevents Cavities? | Wilmington Dentist

During the holiday season it is tough to keep all of our typical routines in check. Avoiding sugary sweets and regular brushing and flossing top the list of steps to take to avoid tooth decay, but other lifestyle habits, and even some foods and beverages, play a role in cavity prevention, too. Work some of these little tricks into your regular and pass those dental appointments with flying colors!

Cheese. Some researchers believe that casein, a protein found in cheese, may have a protective property that promotes healthy teeth and could help with cavity prevention.

Chewing gum. Chewing sugar-free gum has long been recommended to avoid cavities. And sugar-free gum made with xylitol, a natural sugar substitute, seems to be even more of a winner.

Wine. It may cause stains on your teeth, but one study suggests that many of the individual chemical components in both red and white wine can actively fight the bacteria that lead to tooth decay and cavities.

Raisins. Scientists have found that some of the chemicals present in raisins, including polyphenols and flavonoids, may actively fight oral bacteria that lead to cavities.

Using a straw. A study at Temple University in Philadelphia discovered that you can minimize damage to healthy teeth by sipping that soda through a straw.

Dental sealants. To prevent tooth decay, many dentists recommend dental sealants, a protective coating that’s applied to the surface of the back teeth.

Good oral and dental hygiene can help you avoid cavities and tooth decay, but these six cavity fighters will also make sure your mouth is as clean and healthy as possible in between dental checkups.

For further information regarding cavity prevention, call Dr. Leo J. Kituskie, DMD for an appointment today at (302) 994-4900. Visit our website to learn more at implantperiocare.com.

Dr. Leo J. Kituskie proudly serves Wilmington and all surrounding areas.

Don’t Need to Fear the Dentist Chair | Wilmington Dentist

It’s no surprise that there are many people that fear the dentist. In fact, there are so many people that are scared of the dentist, there is a phobia to explain it – dental anxiety, or DA. Many dental practices use the term “sleep dentistry” when talking about IV sedation, which can be confusing because it suggests that you are being put to sleep. In all reality, patients remain conscious during IV sedation, and are able to understand and respond to requests from the dentist.

IV sedation is a method of choice if patients don’t want to be aware of the procedure due to dental fear or dental phobia. The alternative is oral sedation, but oral sedation is not as effective as IV sedation. The onset effects of IV sedation are very rapid, and the drug dosage and level can be altered to meet the individual patient’s needs. This is huge advantage compared to alternative sedation methods. IV sedation is both highly effective and highly reliable.

Some treatments can be performed at a much faster pace and with less appointments with the help of IV sedation. It provides a conscious state for the patient, while also helping them relax, meaning the patient will be able to cooperate with instructions and feel relaxed at the same time. We all have to visit the dentist in order to keep their smile healthy. Don’t let fear keep you from achieving your best smile. Talk to your dental professional about any fears or concerns you may have.

For further information regarding sedation dentistry, call Dr. Leo J. Kituskie, DMD for an appointment today at (302) 994-4900. Visit our website to learn more at implantperiocare.com.

Dr. Leo J. Kituskie proudly serves Wilmington and all surrounding areas.

Teeth Whitening Autumn Eating | Wilmington Dentist

When the weather gets cooler and we begin to get ready for the holiday season, it is nice to be able to have a nice white smile for any photo opportunities that may arise. Unfortunately, a lot of our diet consists of teeth-staining foods. But did you know that there are ways to EAT your way to a brighter grin? It’s true! The following is a list of foods that are not only nutritious, but will also help whiten our teeth at the same time:

As the leaves begin to change, we must take advantage of a delicious autumn staple. Apples are known to play a huge role in good health, so are we really surprised they also help whiten up our teeth too? The crispiness of the apple is what is doing most of the work; every time you bite into an apple, it helps strengthen your gums. And the juiciness of the apple produces saliva, which clears out all of the cavity-forming bacteria.

Broccoli is another veggie you wouldn’t exactly guess as teeth-friendly, but broccoli is probably Mother Nature’s most blatant toothbrush. Munching on these little “brushes” will not only supply your body with iron, but will give your teeth a quick scrub. Carrots and celery are the next in this line of veggies. All great vitamins packed inside, and the high water content is great for saliva production. And if you think about it, celery is like nature’s floss.

Dairy is a superfood that works from the inside out. Chockful of calcium, foods like milk, yogurt and cheese strengthen your teeth and gums. The stronger your teeth enamel is, the whiter & healthier they become. Drinking your milk as a kid wasn’t just some ploy mom used to torture you. She actually knows best so drink up! Your smile will thank you for it.

For further information regarding teeth whitening, call Dr. Leo J. Kituskie, DMD for an appointment today at (302) 994-4900. Visit our website to learn more at implantperiocare.com.

Dr. Leo J. Kituskie proudly serves Wilmington and all surrounding areas.

Bad Things Come in Sets of Three | Wilmington Dentist

If there is anything we try to do at all times, it’s look after our health. But the one aspect of our health we tend to forget is our oral health. Unfortunately, our oral health is very important to our health overall. If you’ve recently been told that you have gum disease, you are not alone. It’s been estimated that nearly 75% of Americans have some form of gum disease.

But how do we get gum disease anyway? Gum disease is caused by bacteria found in plaque, the sticky colorless film that forms on your teeth. If this plaque isn’t removed by preforming proper oral hygiene habits, plaque will build up and the bacteria will infect every aspect of your mouth. There are three stages of gum disease: gingivitis, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis. Let’s take a look at each and how your mouth will be affected…

Gingivitis. This is the inflammation of your gums and teeth that’s caused by plaque buildup at your gum line. This is the only stage of gum disease that can be reversed, since the bone and connective tissue are not yet affected.

Periodontitis. Once periodontitis occurs, the supporting bone and tissues structures are irreversibly damaged. Your gums will start to form pockets below your gum line, which traps plaque and food.

Advanced Periodontitis. This is the final stage of gum disease, where the tissue structures and supporting bones are destroyed, which can cause you teeth to shift and loosen, affecting your bite.

 

Don’t Let Summer Fun Ruin Your Smile | Wilmington Dentist

As we wrap up the summer, many families are getting away on Labor Day for that final weekend of memories. It’s the perfect time to pile the family in the car and hit the road, destination unknown. So you pack a few things and off you go…off to spend a few days being carefree with the ones you love most.

From BBQs to theme park resorts, summer is definitely a time we throw caution to the wind and devour anything that tickles our fancy. It’s important that you are cognizant of the amount of sugars you intake (carbs and alcohol are sugars too!), and that you drink lots of water to make sure you and yours stay hydrated and keep saliva production active. The more saliva production, the more protection you’re giving your mouth from cavity-forming bacteria and bad breath. Practicing oral hygiene daily should be a priority when you have all of these delicious goodies at your disposal. Who wants to come home and deal with a mouth full of cavities after a wonderful time away?

Your lips are even more sensitive to the sun’s rays than our skin, so if you have an active family, keep some type of lip balm handy. With being active comes accidental mishaps, so having a dental first aid kit is a smart idea if you are planning to spend time outdoors. Being proactive on a vacation saves a lot of stress, and isn’t that the point of your family fun?

For further information regarding summertime dental tips, call Dr. Leo J. Kituskie, DMD for an appointment today at (302) 994-4900. Visit our website to learn more at implantperiocare.com.

Dr. Leo J. Kituskie proudly serves Wilmington and all surrounding areas.