June 5th, 2019
With the warmer and longer days here, we know many of our patients at Hayes Family Dentistry will be much more active in the summer. Though most of our patients are probably already ready to hit the field for some summer fun, we thought we would discuss a few precautions to take when it comes to keeping your teeth safe as you enjoy playing your favorite sports.
Use a Mouthguard
Are your kids participating in contact sports this summer? If the answer is yes, we strongly encourage you to have them fitted for a mouthguard at Hayes Family Dentistry before the season starts. Athletes can avoid serious mouth and jaw injuries by using a mouthguard.
Be Mindful of Sports Drinks
While sports drinks can be refreshing after a game, they unfortunately contain high levels of sugar and citric acid, which are known to erode the teeth and reduce the minerals in the outer tooth enamel. The simplest way to prevent sports drinks from damaging your teeth? Avoid them completely and drink water instead. Water is a great option to keep you hydrated before, during, or after a game.
Floss, Floss, Floss
While we always tell our patients about the importance of flossing, it is especially important on the day of the game. Athletes are likely to consume more sugar; from energy bars and chews to gum, you are not doing your teeth any favors. All that sugar may give you that extra bounce in your step when out on the field, but we want you to remember to floss when you get home, or else contend with an increased risk of cavities down the road.
If you have any questions about keeping your teeth and mouth healthy while participating in summer sports, please give us a call at our Cookeville office! Have fun!
May 29th, 2019
If you or your children suffer from dental anxiety, you aren’t alone. According to the Cleveland Clinic, between nine and 15 percent of Americans admit to feeling sufficiently afraid of going to the dentist to avoid making an appointment. The potential consequences of dental anxiety extend beyond poor oral health. Lack of dental care can cause serious but easily preventable medical conditions.
Dental Anxiety versus Dental Phobia
Dental anxiety provokes a sense of fear in people, typically before they arrive at Hayes Family Dentistry. Those fears or worries are often exaggerated. Dental phobia shares many of the symptoms that characterize dental anxiety. It is a much more serious manifestation of that anxiety, and may provoke a sense of panic or terror in people. While people who suffer from dental phobias know that their feelings are irrational, they are unable to control, stop, or change those thoughts.
People who have dental phobias often avoid going to the dentist, and they come up with every possible excuse to justify not going. The only time a person who suffers from a dental phobia will go to the dentist is when he or she is forced to do so, or because of intense tooth pain. People who have dental anxiety don’t go to such extremes to avoid going to the dentist; anxiety usually begins in anticipation of the appointment.
What We Do to Ease Patient Anxiety
Dr. Kevin Hayes and Dr. Sandy Hayes and our staff have many techniques we can use to help patients feel more comfortable at their appointments. Dental Fear Central gives some simple suggestions to help children and adults who are apprehensive about going to the dentist, even if they suffer from the more severe form of anxiety: full-blown dental phobia.
- The Tell-Show-Do Approach: We help our patients relax by making sure they understand what is involved in the exam and any procedure they may undergo. We tell patients about the procedure, show them the tools and equipment we intend to use, and answer questions before actually performing the procedure. This is helpful for patients who don’t know what to expect.
- Distraction: We offer personal music players and a collection of CDs that patients can listen to. The relaxing qualities of music may help distract a patient enough to make the process less stressful. In-office televisions allow you to watch TV while waiting for your appointment.
Dr. Kevin Hayes and Dr. Sandy Hayes and our staff know that some patients are anxious about dental treatment, and we go to great lengths to make you feel more comfortable. Good oral health is very important, and when your mouth isn’t healthy, you can suffer from many other easily preventable medical problems.
May 22nd, 2019
At Hayes Family Dentistry, we know most of our patients enjoy a cup of coffee or two throughout the day. But what many of you don’t know is that coffee can be especially tough on your teeth because tannic acid (the substance that makes the dark color) etches into the pits and grooves of tooth enamel, staining your pearly whites and being generally detrimental to your smile.
Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, with more than 50 percent of people drinking a cup daily. Other foods and drinks such as wine, chocolate-flavored beverages, and soft drinks can all cause tooth enamel discolorations. A hot cup of Joe, however, goes one step farther: extreme temperature changes in your mouth can cause teeth to expand and contract. This allows stains to penetrate deep into the micro-cracks of your tooth enamel.
Additionally, caffeine is considered a diuretic, which means it causes the body to lose fluids. So when you enjoy coffee or any kind of caffeinated beverage, it slows the production of saliva and causes dry mouth, which can potentially lead to bad breath and even tooth decay.
If you just can't make it through the day without a cup of java, we encourage you to consider these tips to help make sure your teeth stay in tip-top shape:
- Drink a glass of water with your coffee or rinse with a glass of water after every cup. Not only does it help neutralize and rinse away the acid left behind from the coffee, but it also helps replenish fluids drawn out of your body by caffeine.
- Chew gum after you drink coffee. Chewing gum will help keep your saliva production up and prevent dry mouth.
- Enjoy your beverage with a straw so that tannins don’t make contact with your front upper and lower teeth.
- Switch to decaf. Each cup of regular coffee you drink has an average of 110 milligrams of caffeine. Decaf has the same great taste with only two to 12 milligrams of caffeine.
Dr. Kevin Hayes and Dr. Sandy Hayes and our team also invite you to visit our convenient Cookeville office for whitening options. We can help bleach your teeth with proven and professional products. To learn more about whitening options available at Hayes Family Dentistry, please give us a call!
May 15th, 2019
Dr. Kevin Hayes and Dr. Sandy Hayes will tell you that while you are sleep, your mouth may be very active. If you find yourself waking up with headaches, facial pain, neck aches, or a sore jaw, you may have tooth grinding, a condition we also call bruxism.
We see many people who experience some extent of tooth grinding, but a very small percentage of the population actually experiences symptoms severe enough to warrant visiting a doctor. If you continually experience any of the symptoms listed above, we encourage you to give us a call at our Cookeville office so that we may be able to diagnose and treat the problem.
The most common treatments include:
- Reducing your stress level to help relax your jaw muscles and prevent grinding
- A custom-made night guard to cushion your teeth and protect them from damage
- Changing your eating habits. Coffee, tea, or alcohol before bed can increase your chance of nightly grinding
- If your jaw or teeth are misaligned, Dr. Kevin Hayes and Dr. Sandy Hayes may also recommend a brace to decrease grinding.
Grinding your teeth can have serious consequences that, if left untreated, can lead to tooth fractures and damage to the TMJ (temporomandibular joint).
If you think your teeth may not be getting the rest they need at night, we encourage you to give us a call and schedule an appointment with Dr. Kevin Hayes and Dr. Sandy Hayes. Call us today!