The Risks of Overbrushing: A Closer Look | Pocomoke City Dentist

Maintaining good oral hygiene is a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle, and for many, this means brushing their teeth diligently twice a day. However, can there be too much of a good thing when it comes to brushing? Surprisingly, yes. Overbrushing, or brushing excessively or too vigorously, can pose risks to your dental health, potentially leading to dental abrasion, sensitivity, and gum recession.

Understanding Dental Abrasion Dental abrasion, as explained by the University of Southern California Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, refers to the loss of tooth structure due to mechanical forces. Overenthusiastic brushing can wear away tooth enamel, leading to exposure of the softer dentin and cementum layers. Signs of abrasion include worn, shiny spots on teeth near the gum line and wedge-shaped indentations on the gum line.

Managing Tooth Sensitivity and Gum Recession When tooth enamel wears away due to abrasion, the underlying dentin layer’s nerve endings may become exposed, resulting in tooth sensitivity. Additionally, overbrushing can cause gum recession, exposing the vulnerable cementum of tooth roots. This not only increases tooth sensitivity and pain but also raises the risk of decay.

Protecting Your Teeth and Gums Preventing overbrushing is crucial to safeguarding your dental health. Here are some tips to help you maintain proper brushing habits:

  1. Choose the Right Tools: Opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush to reduce the risk of abrasion and gum recession. Also, select a toothpaste containing calcium and fluoride to strengthen tooth enamel.
  2. Adopt the Correct Technique: Avoid applying excessive pressure while brushing. Instead, gently angle your toothbrush towards the gum line and brush in a soft, circular motion to effectively remove plaque without causing damage.
  3. Timing Matters: Wait at least 60 minutes after consuming acidic foods or beverages before brushing to prevent enamel erosion. During this time, rinse your mouth with water or chew sugarless gum to neutralize acids.
  4. Address Other Habits: Be mindful of habits like using teeth to open bottles or biting nails, as they can contribute to dental abrasion and enamel wear.

Seek Professional Guidance If you suspect you may be overbrushing or are experiencing symptoms like tooth sensitivity or gum recession, it’s essential to consult your dentist promptly. Depending on your condition, treatment options such as fluoride varnish application, dental bonding, or gum grafting may be recommended to address damage and restore dental health.

Your Partner in Dental Wellness At Stephen T. Wagner, DDS, our priority is your dental well-being. Our experienced team in Pocomoke City is dedicated to providing personalized care to help you achieve optimal oral health. Schedule an appointment with us today to ensure your brushing habits support a healthy smile for years to come.

Stephen T. Wagner, DDS, PA
Phone: (410) 957-0788
102 8th Street
Pocomoke City, MD 21851

Exploring the Interconnection of Dental Health and Neurological Well-being | Pocomoke City Dentist

From early childhood, the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene, including brushing twice daily, is instilled in us. But does oral health impact more than just our teeth and gums? While numerous studies have delved into this question, reaching definitive conclusions remains challenging. Yet, emerging evidence suggests a correlation between poor oral health and compromised brain function.

Beyond Oral Health: Impact on Overall Well-being The repercussions of poor oral health extend beyond the mouth. Heart health is particularly vulnerable, with men facing heightened risks of cardiovascular diseases. Bacteria from gum infections can travel to the heart, contributing to arterial hardening, thickening of blood, and potentially triggering heart attacks or strokes. Moreover, inhaling bacteria-laden air from the mouth poses risks to lung health, while inflamed gums and teeth can lead to systemic infections.

Neurological Ramifications In addition to cardiovascular concerns, studies suggest a potential link between poor oral health and neurological conditions like dementia. Gingival inflammation may allow bacteria to infiltrate the brain via nerve pathways or the bloodstream, potentially contributing to cognitive decline. Recent research from Rutgers University underscores this, revealing associations between oral health and memory, attention, and learning. Moreover, stress-induced dry mouth can exacerbate oral health issues, further impacting cognitive function, particularly in older adults.

Preventive Measures: A Path to Better Oral and Neurological Health To mitigate these risks, proactive oral hygiene practices are paramount. Begin by evaluating your oral care regimen and consult your dentist for guidance. Brushing teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, coupled with daily flossing, is foundational. Mouthwashes can complement these efforts by eliminating bacteria when used correctly. Regular dental check-ups, at least biannually, are crucial for professional cleaning and examination, safeguarding against potential issues.

Your Partner in Dental and Neurological Well-being At Stephen T. Wagner, DDS, we prioritize comprehensive dental care to promote overall health. Our team is committed to addressing your dental needs while considering their broader implications for neurological well-being. Schedule an appointment with our Dentist in Pocomoke City today and embark on a journey towards optimal oral and cognitive health.

Stephen T. Wagner, DDS, PA
Phone: (410) 957-0788
102 8th Street
Pocomoke City, MD 21851

Maintaining Your Dentures: Essential Care Tips from Dentist Pocomoke City | Dentist in Pocomoke City

It’s a common misconception that dentures don’t require as much care as natural teeth simply because they’re not real teeth. However, proper care and maintenance are crucial for all types of dentures, whether partial or full, to prevent bacterial growth and stains. With the right care routine, you can keep your dentures and mouth in excellent condition. Here are some essential tips to help you care for your dentures effectively:

1. Rinsing After Meals:

After every meal or snack, and also after brushing your teeth, remove your dentures and rinse them thoroughly. Rinsing helps wash away food particles and bacteria, keeping your dentures clean and fresh. Handle your dentures with care to avoid any damage, and avoid using hot water, as it can warp the denture material.

2. Regular Brushing:

Just like natural teeth, dentures require regular brushing to remove plaque and debris. Brush your dentures every morning and night, along with your gums, tongue, and the roof of your mouth. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoid abrasive cleaning solutions. You can contact our dental office for guidance on safe denture cleaning practices.

3. Adhesive Removal:

If you use denture adhesive, it’s essential to remove any residue properly. Gargle with warm saltwater to loosen the adhesive, then use a clean washcloth to wipe your gums and the roof of your mouth. Rinse your mouth again with warm water to ensure all residue is removed. For stubborn adhesive bits, gently brush your gums with a soft toothbrush.

4. Overnight Soaking:

To keep your dentures clean overnight, soak them in a denture cleaning solution or water. You can also use a fast-acting cleanser before storing your dentures in water. Follow the instructions on the denture cleaner package carefully. For partial dentures, use a solution specifically designed for partials.

5. Keep Them Moist:

When you’re not wearing your dentures, it’s crucial to keep them moist to prevent them from drying out and losing their shape. Submerge your partial or full dentures in water or denture solution when not in use. The acrylic material can dry out over time, leading to discomfort and potential damage.

Regular dental check-ups are essential to ensure both your mouth and dentures are in good condition. Schedule appointments with our dental office for thorough examinations and cleanings to maintain your oral health. Don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule an appointment or if you have any concerns about your dentures. We’re here to help you keep your smile healthy and bright.

Stephen T. Wagner, DDS, PA
Phone: (410) 957-0788
102 8th Street
Pocomoke City, MD 21851

Top Travel Tips for Oral Health by Dentist Pocomoke City | Dentist in 21851

Traveling often disrupts our daily routines, making it challenging to maintain good oral hygiene. Whether you’re jetting off for business or pleasure, it’s essential to prioritize your dental care even while on the go. Here are some expert travel tips to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy during your adventures:

Pack Wisely:

When packing for your trip, ensure you have enough toothpaste and dental floss to last the duration of your travels. Opt for travel-sized oral care products to save space in your luggage. Disposable toothbrushes are also a convenient option, especially if you’re tight on space. Look for toothbrushes with soft bristles to protect your gums and enamel.

Protect Your Toothbrush:

Traveling exposes you to various germs, so it’s essential to protect your toothbrush from contamination. Invest in a toothbrush cover to shield the bristles from coming into contact with surfaces that may harbor bacteria. This simple precaution can help maintain your oral hygiene standards while on the road.

Stay Hydrated:

Exploring new cuisines is undoubtedly one of the joys of traveling, but indulging in sugary or acidic foods and drinks can take a toll on your teeth. Combat potential enamel erosion by staying hydrated with water throughout your journey. Water not only rinses away food particles but also neutralizes acids in your mouth, promoting saliva production for a healthier oral environment.

Don’t Forget to Floss:

While brushing is essential, don’t overlook the importance of flossing, especially when traveling. Pack dental floss or disposable flossers to remove plaque and debris from between your teeth. Regular flossing helps prevent cavities and gum disease, ensuring your smile stays bright and healthy throughout your trip.

Stick to Your Routine:

Maintaining your oral hygiene routine is crucial, even when traveling. Aim to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time and floss at least once daily. Despite the excitement of travel, don’t let stress or fatigue derail your dental care efforts. Your smile depends on consistent brushing, flossing, and ongoing care from your dentist.

Schedule a Dental Check-up:

Before embarking on your journey, consider scheduling a dental check-up with our office. A professional cleaning and examination can address any potential issues and ensure your oral health is in top condition before you travel. Additionally, post-travel check-ups help catch any problems early and keep your smile radiant.

Maintaining good oral hygiene while traveling may require a bit of extra effort, but it’s well worth it for a healthy smile. By following these travel tips and prioritizing your dental care, you can enjoy your adventures with confidence and peace of mind. Contact our dental office to schedule an appointment and ensure your oral health stays on track, no matter where your travels take you.

Stephen T. Wagner, DDS, PA
Phone: (410) 957-0788
102 8th Street
Pocomoke City, MD 21851

Healthy Gums With One Special Tool | Dentist in 21851

Loss of teeth, bad breath, and bleeding gums are among the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease. It can, however, start without any noticeable symptoms. When left untreated or undiagnosed, you could end up causing irreversible damage to your teeth and gums. Fortunately, preventing periodontal disease is possible. In fact, one of the most effective ways only takes a few minutes every day.

The Power of Floss

Since dental floss is easy to use and effective, it can be one of the best defenses against periodontal disease. The buildup of plaque and bacteria between your teeth contributes to periodontal disease. In addition to brushing your teeth twice daily for two minutes, you should also floss every day. Dental floss allows you to reach areas that a toothbrush cannot. Food, debris, and sugar get caught in the gaps and tight spaces between teeth throughout the day. Flossing helps to remove these items from hard-to-reach places. If flossing is a difficult task for you, our dental office can offer solutions.

Flossing Facts

According to a survey by the American Dental Association, only 40% of Americans floss every day. Likewise, the study found a direct correlation between regular intra-oral care and improved dental health. However, many people do not brush and floss as frequently as they should. In a study conducted by the American Academy of Periodontology, 27% of adults were not honest about their flossing habits when asked by their dentist. Even though you do not have to floss every time you brush your teeth, you should make it a habit to floss at least once a day.

How to Floss Properly

It can be confusing to know how to properly use dental floss. Take about 18 inches of floss and keep it taught between your thumb and index finger. Use about one inch of floss to clean between your teeth. Place the dental floss in between two teeth. Slide the floss up and down between your teeth, rubbing it against both sides. It’s important not to glide the floss into your gums. This might cause your gums to bruise or scratch. Take a fresh piece of floss between each pair of adjacent teeth as you make your way through the 18 inches of floss.

A few minutes of flossing each day can contribute to a lifetime of good oral health. It is one of the best ways for you to keep your gums healthy and prevent tooth decay from forming between your teeth. Floss regularly—your gums will be grateful.

Make sure you visit your dentist two times each year to have your teeth cleaned and examined. Please contact our dental office today to schedule an appointment.

Stephen T. Wagner, DDS, PA
Phone: (410) 957-0788
102 8th Street
Pocomoke City, MD 21851

Healthy Gums for Seniors | Dentist Near Me

Gum health is one of the most important things to remember for seniors. Your risk of developing periodontal (gum) disease increases with age. The good news is that periodontal disease is both preventable and reversible in many cases. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious complications, such as bleeding or swollen gums, and even tooth loss. Even more alarming are the studies linking periodontal disease with serious illnesses. 

We should take special care as we age to protect our teeth and gums from any future complications. Listed below are a few tips to ensure healthy gums as we age.

Health Effects of Periodontal Disease

There is a link between periodontal disease and serious health problems. Researchers from the University of Southampton and King’s College London found a link between periodontal disease and cognitive decline in people with early Alzheimer’s disease. The study found that patients with periodontal disease experienced cognitive decline six times as fast as those who did not.

Periodontal disease is also linked to an increased risk of heart disease or stroke. The risk of these serious health problems increases with age, among other causes, and it is especially important to limit potential risk factors. Regular dental cleanings and oral health screenings can ensure that your gums are healthy to avoid any health issues associated with gum disease.

Statistics to keep in mind

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that 14% of seniors aged 65 to 74 have moderate or severe periodontal disease. This percentage increases to more than 20% for seniors over 75. Periodontal disease was more prevalent in men than in women. In addition, smoking was found to be significantly associated with periodontal disease. In the same study, 32% of current smokers had periodontal disease, compared to 14% of non-smokers.

What You Can Do

As you age, it becomes increasingly important to take care of your gums. By doing so, you reduce your risk factors for serious ailments such as heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s. A good oral hygiene routine will help maintain healthy gums by brushing twice a day for two minutes each and flossing daily. Flossing cleans the spaces between your teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach. Floss holders are available in many stores and may make flossing easier for some people.

For any questions you may have regarding your oral health, please feel free to contact our dental office. We would be happy to schedule a consultation appointment.

Stephen T. Wagner, DDS, PA
Phone: (410) 957-0788
102 8th Street
Pocomoke City, MD 21851

Is Exercising Bad for Your Teeth? | Dentist 21851

It is well known that exercise is essential for good health. Can it harm your teeth in the long run? A number of studies have linked fitness and exercise habits with increased risks of tooth decay and erosion. Some of the ways in which exercise can influence our dental health are as follows:

Dry Mouth 

Exercise that involves heavy mouth breathing can reduce saliva production and cause your mouth to be dry. Saliva contains minerals and enzymes that protect against decay-causing bacteria. During exercise, try to breathe through your nose as much as possible, and drink plenty of water before, during, and after you exercise to prevent your mouth from drying out, which can lead to tooth decay. Brushing your teeth before exercising will help you reduce the presence of bacteria and plaque on your teeth.

Clenching your teeth

If an athlete puts a lot of effort into lifting weights, they can clench their jaws. Studies have shown that clenching your jaw can result in wear on your teeth and possible tooth fractures. In order to protect your teeth from clenching, you may want to wear a mouthguard. Generally, mouthguards can be purchased from most drugstores or sporting goods stores, or you can have a customized mouthguard made by your dentist. We encourage everyone who participates in sporting activities to wear a mouthguard to protect their teeth.

Sports Drinks

Sports drinks contain a lot of sugar and have been shown to be 30 times more erosive to your teeth than water, so they can potentially do a great deal of damage. These drinks contain citric acid, which can soften the enamel of the teeth to the point that even brushing the teeth after consumption can be dangerous. Therefore, you should drink water instead of sports drinks to prevent these negative effects. It is also advisable not to sip on sports drinks over an extended period of time, as this creates a continual sugar bath for your teeth. If you do consume a sugary drink, it is best to drink it in a small window of time, then rinse your mouth with water afterward.

When we consume foods or drinks containing any form of sugar or carbohydrates, our mouth develops an acid that attacks the enamel of our teeth for 30 minutes. Our teeth can recover from three of these attacks a day, which includes our meals. It is best to consume sugar and carbohydrates at one time rather than continuously throughout the day. Drinking plenty of water after sugar or carbohydrate consumption can help reduce the acidity levels in our mouths. 

It is important to see your dentist twice a year to maintain good oral health. Please contact our dental office to schedule an appointment.

Stephen T. Wagner, DDS, PA
Phone: (410) 957-0788
102 8th Street
Pocomoke City, MD 21851

Sealants for Adults? | Dentist 21851

Sealants are often thought of as a treatment for children, but adults can also benefit from them. Sealants are used to protect our teeth by sealing the deep grooves and crevices in the chewing surfaces. According to a study performed by the American Dental Association, using sealants for adults can help prevent cavities from developing on healthy teeth.

What is a sealant?

A dental sealant is a thin, plastic coating that is painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth. Although they do not replace daily brushing and flossing, dental sealants can prevent cavities from forming.

Despite being able to achieve good oral health at home, there are areas of the mouth that are hard to reach, making it more challenging to maintain good oral hygiene. You have grooves on your molars known as “pits” and “fissures.” Because these grooves are so deep, your toothbrush will not be able to clean them out. As a result, they trap food and bacteria, making them more susceptible to decay.

A consultation with your dentist will be able to determine whether or not dental sealants are a viable option for preventing tooth decay. Often, patients are surprised by how quickly and easily sealants can be applied, as shown below.

  • The teeth are thoroughly cleaned.
  • In the next step, the teeth are dried and etched with a solution that prepares the tooth surface for sealing.
  • We then apply the liquid sealant material, which flows directly into your teeth’s grooves.
  • A type of ultraviolet light called a curing light is placed on the tooth to harden the sealant material, which seals off the grooves and creates a smoother chewing surface that is easier to clean.

It is not necessary to do anything special to maintain a sealant, and you can brush and floss as usual. However, there are some precautions to keep in mind. Make sure you use a toothbrush with soft bristles and toothpaste containing remineralizing agents like hydroxyapatite. Consumption of foods such as berries, coffee, tea, or red wine can also stain sealants. To reduce the likelihood of staining, it is recommended that you rinse your mouth after eating these foods. Finally, eating sticky, chewy, or hard foods may cause the sealant to wear down. Our dental office will check your sealants at each appointment for any signs of wear. 

With proper at-home care and regular professional cleaning, sealants can last up to ten years. Please contact our dental office if you have questions, and we would be happy to schedule an appointment.

Stephen T. Wagner, DDS, PA
Phone: (410) 957-0788
102 8th Street
Pocomoke City, MD 21851

Creating A More Youthful Smile | 21851 Dentist

Your smile is one of the first things a person will notice when they meet you. You can create a more youthful smile with one simple procedure. Whitening your teeth can make you look younger, especially if your teeth are currently stained, dull or discolored. Our dental office provides whitening services for new and existing patients. 

Regardless of how well you care for your teeth, over time, discoloration will occur. The main causes of stained teeth are genetics, antibiotics, tobacco and certain foods. Aswe age, our teeth darken as well. While preventing tooth discoloration is nearly impossible, our experienced team can help reverse the effects of discoloration by helping to create a whiter and brighter smile.

Whether it’s an in-office treatment or at-home treatment, the principles of teeth whitening are the same. A special whitening agent is applied to the teeth in order tobleach stains and brighten your smile. Our dentist will discuss your whitening needs and goals with you to determine which option is best for you.

In-office teeth whitening is the quickest method to a brighter, whiter smile. With the supervision of an experienced dental professional, a stronger bleaching solution can be used than with at-home kits. Optimal results are achieved much faster with the professional whitening treatment, and in many ways the results are better given the nature of the bleaching agents that are used. Patients find that they appear younger just by restoring their bright, white smile. 

During a professional teeth whitening treatment, we will first clean the teeth. We will then apply a whitening agent to your teeth, carefully avoiding your gums and soft tissue. Once applied, a laser light will be directed at the teeth to expedite the process. For maximum results, the process may be repeated more than once.

If a visit to our office for professional whitening isn’t an option for you, at-home treatment may provide the whitening you need. You will find a vast variety of at-home teeth whitening products on the market, including whitening toothpastes, over-the-counter gels, rinses, strips, trays and more. We can fit you with custom-made whitening trays that will more accurately conform to your teeth for a more even whitening result. At-home teeth whitening results are less dramatic compared to those achieved in the office. 

Stephen T. Wagner, DDS, PA
Phone: (410) 957-0788
102 8th Street
Pocomoke City, MD 21851

Making Oral Hygiene Fun for Your Child  | Dentist Pocomoke City

As a parent, the best way to help ensure your child has a lifetime of healthy teeth is to help them establish great dental hygiene habits as they grow. It can be difficult to get young children to cooperate with brushing and flossing. Making the routine as exciting as possible will make your life easier. Here are some useful tips for keeping your child engaged by making dental hygiene fun:

  • Pick out a special toothbrush

One great way to keep your child excited about brushing is to allow him or her to choose their own toothbrush in a favorite color or branded with a favorite cartoon character. Child-size soft-bristled brushes come in a wide variety of options designed to make your child like their toothbrush. Electric or battery-operated toothbrushes are an even better option to remove plaque and add some excitement to brushing. 

  • Choose children’s toothpaste

Another great option is to use a toothpaste that is designed for kids. While adults generally prefer the fresh taste of a minty toothpaste, many children find mint to be too powerful a flavor. This can make brushing unpleasant or even painful to sensitive taste buds. Instead, let your child choose a children’s toothpaste. There are many options available in a variety of soft mint, fruity, and bubble gum flavors. It is much easier to keep your child brushing for a full two minutes when their toothpaste tastes good. Just be sure that they don’t swallow too much. 

  • Use a timer

Two minutes can seem like a long time to a child. It can be very difficult for your child to try to estimate or count how long to brush without some kind of visual aid. You can help your child stay more engaged and ensure a full two minutes of brushing by using a timer. Choices range from a small sand timer your child can flip over, to a manual stopwatch with buttons to press, or even an app on a phone or tablet to time digitally. There are a lot of fun apps that will even make a game out of brushing. By letting your child take control of the timer, they can be more confident and more engaged in their brushing.

  • Brush (and floss) together

A parent is the first and strongest role model for their child. Brushing together can help your child model your great brushing technique, which will improve their own. Additionally, brushing and flossing together emphasizes to your child that oral hygiene is important. When your child sees that you take dental hygiene seriously, they are likely to follow suit.

For more tips on making dentistry fun for your child, contact our office.

Stephen T. Wagner, DDS, PA
Phone: (410) 957-0788
102 8th Street
Pocomoke City, MD 21851