16 Questions About Root Canal Treatment; Answered!

Did your dentist advise you to take a Root Canal Treatment (RCT)? Don’t be nervous; we’ll answer the most common questions about this procedure so you can be prepared!

1. What does a root canal treatment look like?

Root canal treatment, also called endodontic treatment, refers to a dental procedure used to heal an infection of the pulp (the soft tissue at the centre of the tooth). The pulp contains vessels and nerves that initially help teeth grow until they are fully developed.

In an RCT, a small hole on the tooth’s surface is opened, the damaged pulp is removed, then the tooth is cleaned, sanitised, and dried with the appropriate dental tools.

After that, we use a specific material called “gutta-percha” to fill the area. Then, in most cases, the tooth gets sealed with a dental crown and protected from future infections.

2. How many root canals can a tooth have?

Anyone could imagine that a tooth can have as many root canals as the number of its roots. Therefore we can detect up to four canals in total on a tooth, but this is not always the case. Many patients had tooth roots with additional canals, which is actually because the internal system of the tooth is highly complex.

So the number of root canals depends entirely on the anatomy of your tooth. Any dentist should know the types of teeth that are more likely to have additional canals and even treat every tooth as if multiple canals are present.

3. How do you know if you need a root canal treatment?

The most common symptoms that will bring you to the dentist’s chair are continual or severe pain, swollen or tender gums, inability to consume too hot or too cold foods and drinks and a chipped or cracked tooth. Most of these symptoms indicate an infection to the pump, which is basically what we treat with the RCT.

4. Can a root canal infection go away?

An infection like that is impossible to go away on its own, and it’s really important that you won’t ignore any symptoms or leave it untreated. If you have any concerns or need extra information about the procedure, you can always book an appointment in our clinic, and we’ll help ease your symptoms and restore your health.

5. Is a root filling the same as a root canal treatment?

A root filling is commonly used to treat a tooth with little damage or minor decay. However, as we have discussed so far, your dentist will remove the inflamed or infected pulp with RCT, which means the problem is more severe and needs more invasive treatment. Unless you schedule a dental examination, you can’t be sure what is the best option.

6. Do you get put to sleep for a root canal treatment?

Here the answer is pretty straightforward and short. During the treatment, you’ll get only local anaesthesia to relieve the pain and discomfort, so no; you won’t be put to sleep during the procedure.

7. Is root canal safe during pregnancy?

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists mention that “conditions that require immediate treatment, such as extractions, root canals, and restoration of untreated caries, may be managed at any time during pregnancy”.

So, yes, it’s safe to have a root canal treatment during pregnancy, but extra counselling with an OBGYN would be ideal. Local anaesthetics and antibiotics can be safely used on a pregnant patient. However, don’t forget that the treatment shouldn’t be delayed because it could lead to more severe problems.

8. How long does a root canal treatment take?

According to the NHS, “the more roots a tooth has, the longer the treatment will take to complete”.

The time depends on the severity of the tooth’s condition and anatomy, but we can safely say that the whole procedure will last between 30 to 90 minutes due to the steps required for each patient and the infected tooth.

Also, remember that a root canal treatment usually requires two or three visits to the dentist or endodontist. The extra visit usually happens when a permanent filling or crown will cover the tooth, while the others are focused on pain relief and the procedure itself.

9. Does root canal treatment hurt?

Ιn short, RCT won’t hurt as much as you might think! But, like any other dental procedure, you might experience mild discomfort for a couple of days after the treatment.

Also, since local anaesthesia is used during the procedure, you won’t feel any pain. And remember that we use this treatment to relieve you from the pain you are already experiencing.

10. How long does a root canal take to heal?

Again here, the answer is not the same for everyone. Usually, it takes a few days, and with the help of medication, you won’t experience severe pain, and you’ll feel better really quickly.

In some cases, repeated appointments might be necessary, and the healing process will be expanded. In our clinic, we always inform our patients about what to expect and what they should do to make this period as smooth as possible.

11. How many times can a root canal be re-treated?

In rare cases, RCT could fail, but retreatment can be performed for most patients. There is not a specific number of times that someone can get RCT for a tooth, but generally, for most people, root canal treatments and retreatments are a better alternative than extraction.

12. Can you eat after a root canal treatment?

Modern procedures not only ensure better outcomes and results, but they give you the freedom to avoid taking many severe precautions. A general recommendation is to wait a few hours until you are no longer under the local anaesthetic influence, just to ensure that you won’t cause any injury.

Also, remember to avoid any hard food or too hot drinks and try to chew from the other side during the first couple of days.

13. Can you drive after a root canal treatment?

Since the procedure requires only a local anaesthetic injection, you can safely drive home or even return to work or school. Only if your dentist gives you other medications, you might not be able to drive by yourself. But again, this is something that your doctor will advise you in advance.

14. What are the signs of infection after a root canal treatment?

Root canal treatment has success rates up to 86–98%. However, even the most skilled endodontists might not be able to succeed each and every time. So you should be monitoring your condition, and if you recognise any of the following symptoms, you should call or visit your doctor.

When we refer to a failed treatment, this usually means that the tooth didn’t clean up thoroughly, so an additional root canal infection will be present. As a result, you might experience these early symptoms again, like pain around the treated tooth, swelling or a blister inside your mouth.

Please contact your dentist as soon as something doesn’t feel right, so early and less invasive treatment can start.

15. How to mentally prepare for a root canal treatment?

It’s normal to feel anxiety before any procedure, but that’s why dental professionals are for. To help you restore your health and ensure that you’re getting the treatment you deserve.

Try to think that you won’t feel any unpleasant symptoms after the RCT, and you’ll get back to your daily routines without worrying, feeling uncomfortable or being in pain.

Our tip for you is to get informed about the root canal treatment. So it’s a great start that you’re reading our article! Then, try to answer all your questions and choose a dentist you can trust to help you eliminate your stress.

16. Root canal treatment or extraction?

We could write an entire section of pros and cons for each procedure, but this is not the point. A short answer to this question is that your dental professional knows best. Everything depends on the tooth’s condition and what would be the best option for you.

With RCT, you save your tooth and preserve your natural look. Also, the entire procedure is less expensive, invasive, with less pain and a quicker healing process. 

On the other hand, you’ll get rid of any bacteria, infections, or follow-up appointments with tooth extraction.

However, keeping your natural teeth is always the preferred approach, but extraction should be the solution if keeping your tooth will cause more problems or jeopardise your dental health.

Let’s recap!

Many people consider root canal treatment as an invasive and scary procedure. We are constantly getting questions regarding the pain, the steps, the healing process and aftercare from our patients.

That’s why we created this article and answered the most common questions we are getting at Swedish Dental Clinic to help you learn more about root canal treatment and not feel uncertain and anxious anymore!

Veneers Vs. Crowns: Which Option is Best for You?

When considering a dental procedure, the most challenging part is understanding why you need it and, of course, which will be the best option for you. Dental crowns and veneers are some of the most common types of restorations we perform in our clinic.

Both are part of cosmetic dentistry, but many people believe they are, let’s say, different treatments for the same thing. Below, you’ll find all the essential information to understand the differences and similarities they share thoroughly.

What is a veneer, and what is a crown?

Dental Veneers are thin shells placed at the front side of your teeth. They are used to repair discolouration or stains, chips, gaps, cracks, and deformations of teeth.

They consist of two main types, based on their material: porcelain and composite resin veneers.

Dental Crowns, on the other hand, are placed over the tooth and are considered “caps” covering the entire tooth. They are used to protect decayed, damaged, or cracked teeth. Also, they are used to cover dental implants, a tooth that had a root canal treatment or to hold a dental bridge.

Again, different crowns are available depending on their material: metal, porcelain with metal, all resin, all-ceramic or all-porcelain, and pressed ceramic.

What do veneers and crowns have in common?

As mentioned above, many people consider these techniques similar, and to be honest; they have quite a few things in common.

  1. Both are custom-made for each patient, and you can choose the more suitable type for your situation. Also, they both have a natural finish, and probably no one could see the difference.

  1. The procedure for veneers and crowns is pretty similar (they differentiate mainly in one step), and the necessary dentist appointments usually are three:
    • The first is about examination, diagnosis, and consultation for treatment options.
    • The second appointment is all about cleaning and preparing your teeth. Your dentist will also take your teeth impressions and the right shade to prepare your veneers/crows and place the temporary ones.
    • The last appointment will be when everything is ready for bonding, and finally, you’ll get your confidence and smile back.

  1. The aftercare also doesn’t require many specific steps. However, hygiene is the most crucial factor to extend their lasting period. Professional cleaning and regular visits to your dentist along with homecare will protect both restorations and your teeth.

  1. The preparation time for your permanent veneers or crows takes approximately 2-4 weeks, depending on the laboratory or less if your dentist can make them in the office.

What are the differences between veneers and crowns?

Although both veneers and crowns share plenty, in the end, they are different treatments used by dental professionals for specific problems. So let’s break down their differences.

  1. The first and primary difference has to do with placement and visibility. Veneers will cover only the front side of your teeth, and behind that, your natural teeth will be visible. As we mentioned above, crowns will cover your tooth, hiding it entirely underneath. 

    So, if your tooth is damaged in the edges and extensive, a crown would be your only choice since veneers only cover the front.

  1. Another situation that must be highlighted here is that since crowns cover the entire tooth, they can protect it from decay. In contrast, veneers leave uncovered a large surface, making the tooth more vulnerable.

  1. Regarding usage, veneers usually repair more aesthetic issues and are rarely preferred for protection. However, crowns will be a better option for more severe damages, protecting a weak tooth, and preventing future dental issues.

  1. One step during their procedure is different; the tooth preparation technique. Veneers demand a small removal of the enamel (the thin outer layer covering the tooth). This is basically a size reduction so the veneers can fit perfectly.

    If you’re placing a crown on your tooth, your dentist should examine if a root canal treatment is required and perform it first. Then the tooth must be trimmed, and how much we trim depends on the damage and the type of crown. For example, metal crowns are thinner than porcelain, requiring less removal.

    Generally speaking, though, more tooth removal is required to place a dental crown.

  1. The cost can vary depending on your area and insurance coverage. We can’t compare their prices because many factors should be considered for the final payment but, we can jump to one conclusion.

    If veneers are used to restore your smile (why most people choose them), more than one will be needed to cover all the teeth. Anyone can imagine that this can cost a lot of money, compared to crowns that are almost always used to just restore one tooth.

So, which is the best for you; veneers or crowns?

Well, from what we’ve analysed so far, one thing is sure. If you’re trying to improve your smile or the appearance of your teeth, and there are no severe damages involved, then veneers could probably be your choice, especially if you’re trying to improve more teeth at once.

If your tooth is damaged or has an extensive crack or a structural problem is present, only a crown can help restore it and protect you from future infections and other dental issues.

But again, each case is different, and only your dentist can advise you appropriately.

We have treated many patients and performed these procedures a lot of times. But, of course, each patient is different, and any dental professional will always choose the best fit for your needs.

If you’re still uncertain or have questions about which restoration technique is more suitable for you, you can schedule a consultation here at Swedish Dental Clinic. Our professionals will make sure to find the best option for you and give you back a healthy dental life!

What are dental veneers? Everything you need to know.

Who doesn’t want to have a beautiful smile?

If you are struggling with a cosmetic dental issue, then veneers could be an option for you. Let’s break down everything you need to know about them.

What are dental veneers?

According to the American Dental Association, veneers are thin shells placed at the front side of your teeth. Their purpose is mainly cosmetic and are used to repair permanent discoloration or stains, chips, gaps, cracks, and deformations of teeth (such as misaligned or misshapen teeth).

What types of veneers are available? 

Dental veneers differentiate mostly according to the material that they are made of. There are two main types available, porcelain and composite (resin) veneers. Let’s evaluate each variation to create a clearer picture.

Permanent veneers

  • Porcelain veneers – This type is widely known, and as you can assume from their name, they are made out of thin layers of porcelain. They provide a more permanent solution and are custom-made “covers” for each patient. Typically, their preparation will take a while, so your dentist can apply temporary veneers until they are ready.
  • Composite veneers – This type is also a permanent solution but slightly different from traditional porcelain ones. They are made of composite resin and categorized into indirect and direct composite veneers based on their application technique.

These are permanent solutions with a long-lasting period, but some temporary or removable solutions are also available.

Temporary veneers

This type, as mentioned above, is created to cover and protect your teeth during the preparation of your permanent veneers. These temporary solutions are made of liquid composite, and for most dentists, they are very important. This is because they can use them as a test and make adjustments if needed to get a great final result for your permanent veneers. 

Removable veneers

Removable veneers are also called snap-on veneers. There are two types available; instant and custom-made veneers.

  • Instant, are ready sets in different sizes and colors provided by different manufacturers so you can choose the ones that fit your needs. You should be careful if you choose these because they won’t fit your teeth perfectly, which can cause many problems. For example, you might not be able to bite properly, or food could be trapped between your teeth and veneers, causing more dental issues.
  • Custom clip-on veneers are commonly made from resin and are specifically made for you after your teeth impression.

Now that you learned what the different available types are, let’s analyze what do you have to do to get them.

What is the procedure to get your veneers?

The first step – and the most important – is to discuss everything with your dentist and learn the different options available.  During this consulting session, your dentist will conduct an in-depth analysis of your teeth to determine whether or not veneers are the right solution for you. This may include pictures of your oral cavity (mouth) and some x-rays.

After you agree that veneers are a good solution for you, you will have to revisit your dentist. Each type of veneer has a different procedure technique, so we will go over every type to provide all the information.

Porcelain Veneers Procedure

Are you thinking of choosing this traditional permanent method? Once you decide to proceed with porcelain veneers, these are all the steps that will follow.

At your first appointment, a teeth preparation is performed. In order for your veneers to fit properly, your dentist will have to reduce the size of your teeth by removing parts of your enamel (the thin outer layer covering the tooth). They won’t remove much (typically a millimeter), but this is a necessary start to the procedure. This is why getting porcelain veneers is irreversible. Once parts of your enamel are removed, they obviously cannot put them back.

Your dentist will get your teeth impression and test a few shades to determine which will match your natural teeth color. When you complete all these steps, your impression, along with the matching shade, will be sent to a dental technician to work from the model provided and create your veneers. The laboratory will need a few weeks to prepare them, and in the meantime, you can use some temporary veneers until they make your porcelain.

The second appointment is scheduled when your permanent veneers are ready. Getting them attached won’t be painful, although it may be a little uncomfortable. If you have temporary veneers, the first step is to remove them. Then, the dentist will adjust and secure your porcelain veneers to your teeth using special cement, which hardens with ultraviolet light. Once the veneers are bonded to your teeth and any extra cement is removed, you should be pain-free and ready!

You might need to make a follow-up visit after a while just to make sure that the placement is secure or there are no other issues involved.

Composite Veneers Procedure

The types of these resin-based veneers, because they require a different application technique, will be analyzed separately. The only thing that remains the same is the professional teeth cleaning with the teeth preparation (by removing parts of your enamel) as described above for the porcelain veneers. However, some people might not need to remove any enamel.

First, we have direct composite veneers, and although their technique is less invasive and must be completed in one appointment, the actual result depends on the artistry of the professional.

The dentist will bond the material and adjust it directly on your teeth to achieve the desired result. After a few layers and color adjustments, the material must be hardened using specific light.  After that, small adjustments might be needed to get the best final result.

If you choose indirect composite veneers, on the other hand, the steps that you will need to follow are pretty similar to the porcelain veneers. Here the composite resin veneers are prepared in your dentist’s office or a laboratory and not directly on your teeth as the direct ones.

After you get your teeth impression, you’ll have to wait for them to get prepared. In the meantime, you might need to use some temporary ones while you wait. Again, two appointments will be needed, one for preparation and one for the bonding process and final adjustments, and probably a follow-up after a while to make sure that everything is in place.

Removable Veneers Procedure

Removable veneers could be a good solution for anyone who isn’t sure about getting permanent veneers or doesn’t want them at all. However, only your dentist can tell you what is the best option depending on your situation.

The procedure for custom-made snap-on veneers is easy. You need to get an impression of your teeth and then wait for your veneers to be made. After that, you just place them in your teeth and remove them whenever you want.

As we discussed earlier, there are also some ready sets available (instant veneers), that you will be able to place on your own, without even visiting your dentist. Again, please be careful with these, because they might cause more harm than good, and no dentist will recommend them as a good solution.

So now, you’ve learned everything about the placement and what it would take to make your smile irresistible. What about aftercare?

Dental Veneers Aftercare

This is the easier step when considering getting veneers. If you have already chosen them, we only have one piece of advice for you. Oral hygiene is the key to successful aftercare.

You need to preserve all the work you did to keep your smile perfect. You should brush your teeth regularly, at least twice a day, and never forget to floss.

We also recommend following a diet that doesn’t include many drinks or food that can cause stains. For example, coffee, wine, or dark juices can color your natural teeth and your veneers. Foods like berries, beetroot, or tomato-based sauces can lead to stains too. You should also avoid consuming hard foods because this might eventually break your veneers, even if the permanent ones are strong, and don’t forget to avoid bad habits like smoking.

Our last recommendation is to visit your dentist or dental hygienist once or twice a year to get a professional cleaning and ensure no dental issues are present (e.g., inflammations or gum disease), and of course to see if everything is in place.

Summary FAQ

Are you still uncertain about veneers, and what type is more suitable for you? Then, we will answer some questions to compare them a little deeper and break down some specific and essential information.

Are veneers permanent?

The removable and temporary veneers, of course, are not permanent solutions. About the removable ones, keep in mind that dentists will never recommend using them for an extended period.

Eventually, after some years, you will have to replace both composite and porcelain veneers.  So, as you can understand, they aren’t entirely permanent after all, bringing us to the following question.

How long do they last?

Temporary veneers are only placed until the permanent ones are prepared. This will take a few weeks, depending on the laboratory that will make your veneers.

If you follow all the good practices to maintain them, porcelain veneers last approximately between 10-15 years.

On the other hand, composite veneers typically last between 5-8 years due to their material.

Do they look natural?

Temporary and permanent veneers will look very natural. During your appointment, your dentist will choose the best shade that is closer to your natural teeth. So don’t worry; no one will notice a difference between your teeth and your veneers.

Removable, on the other hand, both instant and custom-made, won’t have this advantage. They don’t look very natural, and you are in danger of getting dental issues if you use them, especially for a long time.

Between permanent veneers, and although composites are great, porcelain veneers are the ultimate winner. Porcelain, as a material, is more similar to tooth enamel, giving you a great aesthetic result.

Also, another great advantage of porcelain veneers is that they are more stain-resistant, while composites tend to stain almost like your natural teeth.

Are veneers irreversible?

If you choose removable veneers, you won’t have any commitment to them, and you can just get rid of them whenever you want. So this is the only case where removable veneers could be considered as winners compared to all the other types.

Permanent (porcelain & composite) veneers are considered irreversible because of the enamel removal, as we discussed above during the placement procedure. Unfortunately, once tooth enamel is removed, you can’t put it back. Remember that this is mandatory to get your veneers attached and the reason that you should think carefully before continuing with this cosmetic procedure.

Conclusion

Dental veneers are an excellent cosmetic option, but they’re not for everyone. You should visit your dentist, explain what you need and together you can find the perfect solution depending on your needs.

If you think that dental veneers are the right option to perfect your smile and boost your confidence, make an appointment with Swedish Dental. We want to help you and see you smiling again!

Opening hours during Christmas/New year

Swedish Dental is closed for the holidays from the 22nd of December. We are back on Monday the 3rd of January. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Opening hours during Christmas and New year
3rd of january: 9am-5pm
4th of january: 9am-5pm
5th of january: 9am-12 pm
6th and 7th of january: Closed

Bad Breath Even After Brushing Your Teeth? Causes & Ways to Treat It

Every one of us has experienced bad breath at least one time in our life. Maybe it was something you ate. Perhaps you forgot or were just bored of brushing your teeth. Or you simply woke up and couldn’t stand the smell. Whatever the reason that’s causing your bad breath, it could be affecting your life and you might need to consider taking things more seriously. However, if you are experiencing bad breath even after brushing your teeth and it has started to affect your life, you should consider taking things more seriously.

Bad breath or bad mouth odor are terms that we use in our everyday life to describe this uncomfortable condition. The official medical term is halitosis, which comes from the Latin word halitus (breath) and the Greek suffix -osis (a state of disease). With halitosis, we describe any bad or unpleasant odor coming from the mouth air, and breath.

There are pathological and non-pathological factors that can be responsible for halitosis, from poor hygiene, infections, and diseases to food habits and smoking. The majority of them (almost 90% of cases) have to do with the oral cavity (the inside of the mouth). 

Let’s break down some of the most common causes and how to treat them.

Bad Hygiene 

Bad hygiene is the most common cause of bad breath. With bad hygiene, food will remain trapped between your teeth. Then bacteria will start breaking down those small pieces of food that are stuck between your teeth and cause this odor. Many bacteria live on the tongue and can also be the reason since many people neglect to clean their tongue. Unclean dentures are also responsible for halitosis.

Dentist’s Advice: Brush your teeth regularly, and don’t forget to floss. Aside from the obvious reasons, brushing is also preventative of plague. Plaque is the “colorless film of bacteria” that can cause periodontal diseases and lead to bad breath and more serious issues. You can visit your dentist or dental hygienist for cleaning sessions but everyday brushing is the only way to keep the bacteria away. Also, remember to clean the back of your tongue and use an alcohol-free mouthwash before bedtime for extra protection.

Harmful Habits 

Your diet can many times be the reason for halitosis. For example, eating foods with a strong odor, such as spices, onions, and garlic, affects your breath. Also, consuming a lot of sugary foods can be a reason because the bacteria in your mouth use sugar to feed themselves, releasing this bad smell.

Drinks like coffee or alcohol, when consumed regularly, lead to decreased production of saliva. This is an ideal condition for bacteria to develop and a bad odor to appear. 

Smoking is a bad habit, and anyone knows the smell that it brings. But smoking can cause many more health issues, from tooth coloring, gum disease, and even mouth cancer.

Medication can also be hidden behind a bad mouth odor. Especially specific drugs that tend to dry your mouth, like vitamin supplements or antidepressants.

Dentist’s Advice: In terms of diet habits, avoid sugar and eat more vegetables and fruits. Using sugar-free mints or chewing gum will help with saliva production and odors. Drinking a lot of water will prevent a dry mouth and increase saliva production. Visit your dentist or hygienist regularly, discuss everything from diets to medication and if you smoke, please try to quit. 

Dental Health Problems

Specific conditions like gum disease,  yeast infections, dry mouth (also called xerostomia), misplaced dental appliances, or tooth decay, are associated with bad breath. These are all problems that can be found in the oral cavity and are responsible for the severity of your halitosis.

Dentist’s Advice: If your bad breath keeps you away from your everyday activities, see your dentist immediately. There may be underlying health issues that should be diagnosed and treated by a professional. Of course, the treatment depends on the condition and its severity, but usually, they are fairly easy to treat.

Other Medical Conditions

Medical conditions that may cause bad breath (nearly 8%) are seasonal allergies, infections (such as pneumonia, tonsillitis, or bronchitis), gastrointestinal issues (like acid reflux), endocrine system disorders such as diabetes, liver or kidney problems. 

Dentist’s Advice: Although most of these conditions are rarely the reason behind halitosis, they should not be ignored. Start with your dentist. If there is no other oral-related condition or habit, then a visit to your GP may be the answer to your problem. 

4 Steps To Get Rid of Bad Breath

To sum up, here are 4 steps that could help you treat your bad breath.

  1. Ask your friends or family if you smell. Sometimes we have the assumption of a bad odor, but it’s not always the case. 
  2. After you confirm that something is wrong, start taking care of your oral hygiene thoroughly. Increase your brushing and flossing, and don’t forget to clean your tongue.
  3. Change your diet habits. Start drinking more water and eating foods that can “clean” your teeth, like apples and carrots. Avoid sugar, coffee, and alcohol. You could also keep a list of the things that you eat daily to keep track of what you consume.
  4. If you treat yourself for a few weeks and your bad breath still exists, the NHS recommends that you need to see your dentist. Also, if you experience painful, bleeding, or swollen gums, any tooth-related pain or discomfort, or you have some issues with your denture, don’t waste time and schedule a dentist appointment.

Conclusion

Your dental health is a crucial part of your overall health, and you should not dismiss your cleaning routine. Halitosis can cause many issues in your everyday life, not letting people come closer to you or you ending up keeping your distance. The best treatment for halitosis is prevention so take care of your dental health at home and visit your dental hygienist or dentist.

If you are experiencing any uncomfortable symptoms or your halitosis is not letting you live your best day every day, don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule your check-up and let our expert team help you.

Best Natural Teething Relief For Your Baby

Every baby is different when it comes to teething, but we can all agree on one thing. No one wants to see their baby suffer any kind of pain. In this article, you will find different natural practices to calm your baby at home and things you should consider avoiding. Let’s start with the basics first. 

When does a baby start teething, and what are the symptoms?

According to American Dental Association, most babies start teething between 6 and 12 months, but the age varies. Usually, it begins with the two lower central incisors (the bottom two middle teeth), and then the other teeth start to follow.

Some babies might even be born with one or more teeth in their mouth, which are called natal teeth. It is a rare condition, and these teeth are not the same as the neonatal (those that erupt during the first 30 days of life). Diagnosis for natal and neonatal teeth is essential to plan treatment. 

When we talk about pain, though, age doesn’t matter.  

Every baby has a different way of expressing pain; some are easy to understand and others more complex. The first signs you might notice are discomfort, fussiness, and irritability. Your baby may start having trouble sleeping or lose appetite. Many babies experience swollen/tender gums or they might be drooling more than they used to. 

These are all normal symptoms and shouldn’t worry you, but you should visit your doctor if your baby starts having a high fever or experiencing other concerning symptoms.

You should also keep in mind that, just as adults maintain a dental cleaning routine, you should always remember to care for your baby’s dental health as well. 

Natural teething pain relief remedies

Let’s review some dentist-approved teething pain relief practices for your baby. 

Pressure or massage

Use a clean finger and try to massage your baby’s gums while applying minor pressure, just to give them some comfort. You can also let your baby chew your finger for a while if you feel comfortable.

There is nothing more natural than this method, but always remember to observe if this actually helps your baby and does not cause any extra discomfort.  

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding might also be a good pain relief alternative for teething infants. However, remember that this might not work, even though some babies do find relief from the suction.

If you realize that your baby is still in pain while breastfeeding, try something different and don’t pursue countless breastfeeding sessions. 

Cold items or food

Applying something cold can be beneficial for preventing gum inflammation and providing some pain relief. You can give your baby a cold item like a clean cold washcloth or some cold food. 

Cold mashed or pulpy food can help with swollen gums because your baby won’t need a lot of effort to eat it. Also, if you include solid food in the diet, cold fruits and vegetables are ideal. Finally, hard foods like carrots are a great solution if the pressure on the gums is effective for pain relief. 

Always remember to stay alert while providing food because there is always the possibility of swallowing a larger piece, increasing the risk of choking.

Before applying any of the above, be careful with how cold anything will be because you might cause more harm than good. Don’t give your baby frozen foods or frozen items because they might cause frostbite.

Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea is considered a home remedy for many different problems due to its anti-inflammatory and calming properties. There aren’t enough studies that indicate that chamomile tea is beneficial for teething babies, but it can’t hurt either if it is used properly. You can use it by soaking a clean washcloth into the chamomile tea, putting it for several minutes into the refrigerator, and then giving it to your baby to chew. You can also put your clean fingers into the chamomile tea and then massage your baby’s gums.

Just make sure that the tea is caffeine-free before trying this solution. Also, keep in mind that the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization recommend that infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months, so avoid this method if your baby is not greater than 6 months. 

Teething Toys

Finally, there are some teething toys that can be considered as a pain relief remedy for teething babies. However, you should pay attention to the material. A wooden toy is the most natural solution, free of chemicals that other materials have. Be careful because some of these toys may need oil before using.  

What should you consider before trying other methods

There are a lot of products in the market that are specifically designed to help babies during their teething period, like plastic or silicone toys, necklaces, gloves, and even some gels and creams that you can apply to your baby’s gums. 

We won’t go through them one by one, but we want to share some useful information. Most of these teething toys increase the risk of choking due to the possibility of breaking after the baby’s bites, and many of them include substitutes that are harmful and dangerous to infants. 

Always discuss with your pediatrician before you try anything new for your baby. You can also speak with a dental hygienist because they play an essential role in preventative dental care for patients of all ages. They can guide you through this sensitive for your baby period and give you useful information and future recommendations about your baby’s dental health that may impact its adult life. 

Conclusion

As you see, there are many natural teething relief remedies to try in order to calm your baby and soothe their pain. However, if something concerns you, don’t hesitate to seek for a consultation, because the best remedy is to ask your doctor first. 

Caring for your baby’s oral health from the very first tooth is highly important and you should remember to schedule an appointment with a dentist around the age of one. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends this because you need to check whether everything is developing the right way and prevent any possibility of tooth or gum decay. 

Please, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about your baby’s teething period or want to book your baby’s first appointment with one of our dentists and hygienists.

What Your Tongue Says About Your Oral Health

Did you know that your body has its own ways of revealing how well healthy you are? It’s true! If you want an idea of how your oral health is, look no further than your tongue. Generally, if you notice any sudden change in your tongue, it’s best to seek the advice of a professional. But some problems are more common than others. Here’s what your tongue says about your oral health if you look closely enough!

Hairy Tongue

Although there’s no actual hair involved with a hairy tongue, this does mean that you have long bumps on your tongue that somewhat resembles hair. Usually, these bumps will be dark brown or black, but they can also be white. This is often a telltale sign that you need to up your oral hygiene game. Revisit the basics on how to effectively brush, floss, gargle, and clean your tongue to keep your mouth as healthy as possible.

That being said, a hairy tongue can also be no fault of your own. Sometimes people develop a hairy tongue if they’re having an adverse reaction to a medication. Your tongue may also be coated in hair-like bumps if you’re a tobacco user.

Black Tongue

Maybe you don’t see anything on your tongue that resembles hair, but the appearance is darker than normal. Often, the best remedy for this, once again, is to simply improve your oral hygiene habits. If you don’t already have one, invest in a tongue scraper and start using it or at least make sure you brush your tongue with your toothbrush as well. Sometimes, your tongue may also darken if you’ve been drinking a lot of coffee.

Webbed or Striped Pattern

It’s not normal for your tongue to have any kind of pattern such as webs or stripes. If you’ve noticed this and you’re also experiencing a burning or painful sensation or you even have open sores in your mouth, it could be because you have an inflammatory disease called oral lichen planus. While this condition sometimes goes away without treatment, it can also be a sign of something more serious like mouth cancer.

Bumpy Tongue

Another sign of an oral cancer is if you have bumps under your tongue. This can be tricky because sometimes these bumps could merely be canker sores or papillitis which aren’t usually big causes for concern. Usually, these will also resolve on their own in time. But if you’ve had these bumps for a while or you have any other reason you’re concerned about your oral health, you should get screened for cancer.

Whiteout in the Mouth

If you’ve noticed white spots emerging on any part of your mouth (including your cheeks and your tongue), this could be another early sign of cancer. It’s especially common among smokers and other types of tobacco users. If you’ve noticed white spots, don’t panic as cancer is not the only explanation. Often, the cause is something much more minor like a yeast infection called oral thrush. If you’re diabetic, you are even more likely to have oral thrush. Children and the elderly are also at an increased risk for the condition.

There may also be one other explanation for a white and patchy tongue: COVID. One study in Spain revealed that about one-fourth of hospitalized COVID patients experienced changes to their tongues, most notably white patches. That being said, it’s not clear if COVID actually causes this change or if it’s just a side-effect of fighting illness.

Grooves in Your Tongue

It’s important to remember to brush not just your teeth but your tongue too, especially if you have grooves in your tongue. Otherwise, you could end up with food particles and bacteria trapped in these ridges. While sometimes this is the extent of the problem, grooves can also be a telltale sign of oral psoriasis. A fissured tongue has also been linked to Sjogren’s syndrome, which is a condition where your body’s immune system attacks your healthy cells that are responsible for producing saliva and tears. This syndrome often occurs with other autoimmune disorders like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

Excessive Dryness

Your tongue should stay hydrated. If it’s feeling dry, you might want to increase your water intake. After all, if your tongue is dry, it may be because your mouth is not producing the proper amount of saliva to protect your teeth. This can lead to cavities. A dry tongue may also be a sign of an autoimmune disease.

Bruised Appearance

If your tongue almost looks bruised due to blueish purple spots, this could also be a cause for concern. It may be caused by bacteria buildup and motivate you to do a little more scraping during your nighttime routine. If the color does not clear up in about 14 days, you should go to the doctor as, just like with many changes to your tongue, it could be a sign of oral cancer.

Enlarged Tongue

If your tongue looks larger and more inflamed than usual, it could be a sign of a condition called glossitis. If your glossitis is really bad, it could lead to pain while you eat or even speak. Sometimes glossitis may arise if you’ve cut or burned your mouth or if you have braces. It may also be a sign of an iron deficiency or an allergy. No matter the cause, there are treatment options such as medications and avoiding certain foods.

Get to the Bottom of What Your Tongue Says About Your Oral Health with Swedish Dental

Make sure you’re examining your tongue regularly so you notice quickly if any of these issues develop. While what your tongue says about your oral health is important, it can only reveal so much. That’s why it’s so important to stay current on your dental exams. If you’ve noticed any of these issues with your own tongue or you just know it’s time to get checked out, book an appointment with Swedish Dental today!

9 Signs You Need to Visit Your Dentist

While you hopefully know how important it is, going to the dentist isn’t the most pleasant experience in the world. Because of that, a lot of people delay going to a dentist for as long as possible. While generally, you should go to the dentist twice a year, there are definitely some signs that your teeth could use professional help. Here are some reasons why you should visit the dentist:

  1. Your jaw hurts
  2. Your gums are bleeding
  3. You see white spots
  4. Your teeth have become more sensitive
  5. Your mouth is always dry
  6. You’re pregnant
  7. Your teeth look like they’re shrinking
  8. You’re self-conscious about the way your smile looks
  9. You can’t remember your last appointment

1. Your Jaw Hurts

There’s nothing worse than jaw pain. It can cause headaches and can make chewing difficult. You may even notice clicks and cracks. 

Whether you’re only experiencing the pain when you eat or you wake up and already feel the pain, you shouldn’t have to live like that. There can be different causes of jaw pain and you’ll have a variety of treatment options. But only an experienced dentist can help you get to the bottom of the problem.

2. Your Gums are Bleeding

If your toothbrush turns red when you brush your teeth or your gums are bleeding when you floss, you definitely need to get your teeth checked out. This is not normal. It can be a sign of gum disease which, if left untreated, can actually cause you to lose teeth. Sometimes this happens after a prolonged period of poor oral hygiene. In some cases of gum disease, your gums may not be bleeding but they could be inflamed or sore. 

3. You See White Spots

When you notice that something has changed in the appearance of your mouth, it’s often the time to get your teeth checked out by the pros. White spots are one example. You may notice them appearing on your teeth, warning you that you may have some tooth decay. The earlier you schedule an appointment with your dentist to address this problem, the better your chances of resolution are.

4. Your Teeth Have Become More Sensitive

Drinking your morning hot coffee or taking a bite of ice cream should be pleasant experiences, not painful ones. But sometimes they can trigger sensitivity—so can certain sugary foods. While there are different kinds of toothpaste on the market to help treat sensitivity, they don’t solve all kinds of sensitivity. You may have an infected dental pulp or a damaged tooth. This is why you should visit the dentist if your teeth have suddenly become more sensitive.

5. Your Mouth is Always Dry

Dry mouth is a common side-effect of a variety of antibiotics and medications. Sometimes dry mouth is temporary and will resolve on its own, but other times, it’s persistent. Why is it important to visit the dentist if this is just a minor inconvenience? The truth is, if left unchecked, it can also cause some pretty serious damage including gum disease.

Your saliva helps wash away food particles and neutralizes the acid caused by plaque. Thus, if you have chronic dry mouth, you’re at greater risk of developing gum disease. A dentist can assess the problem and, if necessary, prescribe something like a mouthwash that will help resolve it.

6. You’re Pregnant

One effect of pregnancy you may not have heard of before is the way it impacts your teeth. Hormonal changes can make your gums more irritated, sore, and tender. Pregnant women commonly suffer from gingivitis, which is a milder form of gum disease. It is highly recommended to see the dentist for extra cleanings in your second and third trimesters to combat these issues. 

There’s no need to worry about the impact of going to the dentist while pregnant. While you should wait until after you’ve given birth to get your teeth whitened or to undergo a cosmetic dental procedure, you should still take care of any fillings or crowns while you’re pregnant. If you put these treatments off until after you’ve given birth, your risk of infection goes up significantly. You can even get dental x-rays without any issues.

7. Your Teeth Look Like They’re Shrinking

Maybe you haven’t noticed that you’re grinding your teeth—but they don’t quite look like they once did in the mirror. This could be because you’ve been grinding your teeth so hard that you’ve broken down the enamel and shortened your teeth. This puts you at a greater risk for cavities and exposed nerves, which is why you should visit the dentist to get your teeth grinding checked out ASAP.

8. You’re Self-Conscious About the Way Your Smile Looks

If you’re unhappy with the way your smile looks, you should also head to the dentist. No one should have to go through life feeling self-conscious. We should all be free to smile! This is why you should schedule an appointment and have an honest conversation with your dentist. Whether you’re worried about stains, gaps, or crooked teeth, there’s almost always something that can be done. You never know what your options might be until you open up about your concerns!

9. You Can’t Remember Your Last Appointment

If you can’t tell by all of these reasons already, seeing your dentist regularly is absolutely crucial to your wellbeing. By going every six months, you’re maximizing your chances of identifying any problems early rather than waiting until a serious issue arises to get help. If you can’t remember the last time you went to a dentist, it’s definitely time to get on the phone and book an appointment—for the sake of your teeth, your mouth, and your overall quality of life!

Trust the Signs—Schedule an Appointment with Swedish Dental

Have we convinced you why it’s important to visit the dentist? If you’re experiencing any of these tooth problems, it’s time to book a dental appointment! Swedish Dental would love to take you on as a new patient or pick up where we left off if it’s just been a while since you’ve dropped by. We totally understand going to the dentist can be intimidating—but we’ll do our best to make it easy!

Routine Dental Cleaning: Everything You Need to Know

Your dental health is a crucial part of your overall health. But with how busy our lives are, it’s easy to forget to schedule that routine dental cleaning and checkup. Nevertheless, it’s important to visit your dentist and hygienist every six months, even if nothing bothers you. 

A visit to a dentist’s office might not be the most exciting event in your calendar, yet professional dental cleaning is nothing you should be afraid of. It helps maintain good oral health, prevent periodontal diseases, gingivitis, and save you money in the long run. Plus, visiting your dentist regularly can help identify any potential oral problems and stop them from worsening. 

Wondering whether you need to book an appointment for a dental checkup? Here’s what an experienced team of dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants at Swedish Dental would like you to know about routine dental cleaning and its importance.

What Exactly Is Dental Cleaning?

The main goal of dental cleaning is to remove plaque and tartar deposits that can contribute to gum disease and other unpleasant oral issues. Here are two types of dental cleaning you should know about:

Routine Dental Cleaning

Usually, you’ll get this type of cleaning during your regular 6-months checkup. Your hygienist will use a variety of special tools to get rid of hard tartar deposits and plaque from your teeth and above the gums. This procedure will help prevent gum disease and its lighter form, gingivitis. And it’s also a great way to keep bad breath away. 

During your routine dental cleaning, feel free to ask questions about oral health and how you can improve your at-home oral care habits. Your dentist and hygienist will be more than happy to provide some tips and tricks to help you maintain your teeth and mouth in top shape. 

Deep Dental Cleaning

Unlike regular dental cleaning, deep cleaning is usually recommended for people with moderate to advanced gum disease. This type of cleaning includes removing bacteria, plaque, and tartar below the gum level and around the roots. 

When you get older, your gums are more prone to pulling away from your teeth, which results in little pockets that enable bacteria to grow and travel all the way to your roots. This makes your roots weaker and can make them fall out. After examining your teeth and gums, your dentist will let you know whether you require regular or deep dental cleaning.

What to Expect From a Routine Checkup and Dental Cleaning?

There’s nothing to be terrified of when it comes to your routine dental checkup. Your dentist will make everything possible to make you feel comfortable and safe while taking care of your whites. 

Here’s how it usually goes:

  1. Dental Checkup
    Once you’re nicely seated in a chair, your dentist will examine your overall oral health. This may include checking for cavities, evaluating your gums, taking X-rays, assessing the amount of plaque and tartar, etc.
    After that, you’ll get your tongue, mouth, face, and neck for any signs of inflammation,  an incorrect bite, or other issues. Finally, they’ll provide you with the next steps regarding your oral health and the actions you might need to take.
  2. Dental Cleaning
    This is the time when the hygienist removes plaque, tartar, and bacteria from your teeth and gum line with the help of either a manual or ultrasonic scaler. Then they’ll use a special electric tool with gritty toothpaste to professionally polish teeth. Finally, a dental hygienist will floss your teeth to get rid of the remaining paste and plaque.
  3. Fluoride Treatment
    While a dental cleaning procedure may vary from place to place, you’ll usually get fluoride treatment during your dental cleaning procedure. You’ll need to wear a mouthpiece filled with fluoride gel for a few minutes. You might even be able to pick your favourite flavour of fluoride gel.

Dental cleaning is usually not painful. However, if you have very sensitive teeth or haven’t had a cleaning done in a while, it might feel a little bit uncomfortable. Your hygienist will make sure to make this treatment a positive experience for you and apply local anaesthesia if needed. 

Benefits of Dental Cleaning

The next time you consider postponing your routine dental checkup and cleaning, you might want to remind yourself of the benefits that visit can bring you:

  • You’ll be able to enjoy a fresh breath as the bacteria that was happily living in your mouth and causing bad breath will be gone.
  • You’ll save money on repairing your teeth as it’s cheaper to prevent your teeth and gums from going bad rather than to fix an already existing oral problem.
  • You’ll get to appreciate healthier teeth, gums, and a beautiful smile. With no bacteria around to cause diseases, your teeth and gums will remain stronger and healthier for longer.

If you get into the habit of scheduling regular checkups and dental cleanings, you’ll find it much easier to maintain good oral health and prevent all the bad teeth and gum problems. 

At-Home Oral Care Tips

While it’s great to visit your dentist’s office for a routine cleaning, it doesn’t mean you should stop caring about your teeth in between those visits. Here are some tips to help you maintain good oral health at home:

  • Brush your teeth for two minutes at least two times per day and if possible, after every meal.
  • Floss regularly to prevent food from getting stuck between the teeth.
  • Rinse your mouth with mouthwash to prevent plaque and stop bacteria from growing and spreading.
  • Gently brush your tongue.
  • Use high-quality toothpaste.
  • Try to avoid sugary foods and drinks.
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet.
  • If you start feeling discomfort or tooth pain, don’t wait and schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the dental cleaning procedures or want to book an appointment with one of our dentists and hygienists for a routine checkup.

5 Important Reasons to Correct Your Bite

While having aesthetically pleasing teeth can improve your appearance and boost confidence, there’s more to it than just a straight smile. Many people believe that orthodontic treatments are only necessary if you’re worried about how your teeth look. But have you considered your bite? 

Misalignment of teeth, also known as malocclusion, is a common condition that can affect not only your smile but also the quality of your life. Correcting your bite can help improve your sleep, decrease headaches, prevent jaw pain, make eating easier, change the way you look, and more.

Our experienced aesthetic dentists at Swedish Dental can identify bite problems and help you deal with them most effectively. And here’s what they want you to know about maintaining your teeth straight and healthy.

What Are the Types of Bite Problems?

Orthodontic care is not only about the way your teeth appear but also about how your mouth functions. Having both straight whites and a correct bite can help you take your oral health to the next level. And if you’re wondering what bite problems are out there, here are some of the most common ones:

  • Overbite is when the upper jaw sticks out more than your lower jaw. This can lead to biting into your gums and wearing out the front teeth.
  • Underbite happens when your lower jaw sticks out more than the upper one. This can make it more difficult for you to chew and bite.
  • Crossbite occurs when your teeth don’t align properly; some are in the front, and some are in the back. This can increase the risk of chipping your teeth.
  • Openbite means that your teeth don’t overlap the bottom ones and there may be a gap between the two jaws. This can cause your back molars to wear out quickly.
  • Crowded teeth occur when there’s not enough room in your jaw for the teeth to fit, which causes them to overlap, twist, and rub up against each other.

If you’re not sure what bite problem you have or whether you have any at all, it’s always a good idea to consult a cosmetic dentist before jumping to conclusions. 

Why Fixing a Bad Bite Is So Crucial?

While an incorrect bite might not bother you at this particular moment, postponing teeth straightening can create more problems later on. And here are a few good reasons why you should consider scheduling an appointment with an orthodontist sooner than later.

You’ll Find Eating Much Easier

Misaligned teeth and uneven jaws can make eating a painful experience contribute to digestive problems because of not chewing the food properly. An incorrect bite can also cause headaches and other types of pain.

You’ll Prevent Teeth From Damaging

There are quite a few different bite problems, but they all lead to tooth damage. From making it too hard to clean them, wearing out prematurely, causing cavities, and fracturing them. So even if you don’t feel discomfort right now, your teeth will thank you for correcting your bite in time.

You’ll Sleep Better

You probably think that there’s no way your bite can be somehow connected to the quality of your sleep. Well, it is indeed. Incorrectly aligned jaws can cause neck pain and severe headaches. So if you don’t want to wake up and feel like you haven’t slept at all, it’s worth checking in with your dentist.

You Can Change the Way You Look

While you should always embrace the way you look, for some people, an incorrect bite or crooked teeth can be reasons for lower self-esteem or other problems connected to their self-image. Correcting the malocclusion can not only make your smile look straight but also help change your expressions. For example, an underbite can sometimes make you look angry when you aren’t. That’s how strong the connection between your teeth, face, and head is. 

By solving your bite problem, you can keep your teeth healthier and make a few improvements to your appearance at the same time. 

You’ll Keep Your Teeth Cleaner

Correcting your bite and strengthening your teeth will help you clean them easier and more efficiently. Ultimately, this will also help you prevent periodontal disease and cavities. Plus, it’ll make it much harder for food to get stuck in between your teeth and cause bad breath.

Why Should I Not Wait to Correct My Bite?

As with many other things in life, the earlier you take care of them, the better the outcome. This concerns your bite and teeth as well. Certain orthodontic procedures are easier and faster when your jaw isn’t fully developed (up to 16-18 years), and some jaw surgeries can be done after the jaw is fully formed.

Since misaligned teeth can cause discomfort and pain, it’s essential to talk to an orthodontist as soon as possible to better understand how to approach your particular problem. Everyone is different, so there’s no one-fits-all solution or timeline. However, there are many different orthodontic treatments, and your aesthetic dentist will choose the best option for your needs and budget. 

While fixing your bite and aligning your teeth might take some time and require frequent visits to the dentist’s office, at the end of the day, you’re doing it for your health, and it’s all worth it. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or want to book an appointment with one of our cosmetic dentists.