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

The Importance of Screening for Oral Cancer | Dentist Pocomoke City

Like with every form of cancer, early diagnosis can have a profound impact on the success of your treatment. Regular screenings are your first line of defense against oral cancer and our dentist is thoroughly trained in screening for oral cancer.

During your screening, we will check your lips, tongue, gums, mouth, and throat for any abnormalities that could be or become cancerous. We will give careful consideration to any symptoms you may be experiencing. If you have experienced any oral cancer symptoms for more than two weeks without improvement, schedule an appointment and tell your dentist immediately. Symptoms that could indicate oral cancer include:

●Ear pain

●Mouth sores that don’t heal

●White or red patches in your mouth

●Dramatic weight loss

●Lumps or swelling in or around your mouth

●Sore throat without other sinus symptoms

●Sensation of something caught in the back of your throat

●Pain or difficulty in swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue

One adult American dies of oral cancer every hour. Though anyone can develop oral cancer, some factors can increase your risks. Some of the most common risk factors include: genetic predisposition, prolonged sun exposure, unhealthy diet, smoking, chewing tobacco, and excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages. Oral cancer is more common in men than women. 

Whatever the cause, the success of treatment depends on the size, type, and stage of the cancer. Early detection can play a critical role in your successful recovery. When found in early stages,oral cancers have an 80–90% survival rate. Oral cancers that are found in early or precancerous stages can often be removed and require less invasive procedures to treat. Later stages of cancer are likely to be larger and more complex and often have spread far beyond your mouth.

If you would like more information about oral cancer and oral cancer screening, contact our office for a consultation or to schedule a comprehensive dental exam.

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

Prevention and Treatment of Periodontal Disease | Dentist in Pocomoke City MD

Almost half of the population in the United States has been diagnosed with moderate to severe periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can range from gingivitis (mild inflammation) to  periodontitis, a major oral disease that can result in soft tissue damage, bone destruction, and even tooth loss. Our experienced dentist is trained to treat all stages of periodontal disease in both new and existing patients. 

A main cause of gum disease is the lack of practicing proper oral hygiene habits.  Habits such as daily brushing and flossing, along with regular professional exams and cleanings, are the key to maintaining optimal oral health. When these practices are not followed on a regular basis, plaque forms on the teeth and underneath the gum tissue. If this plaque is not removed, within time it may harden become tartar. Only a dental professional can remove tartar from teeth during a dental cleaning. 

If gum disease is not treated during the early stages, tartar and bacteria may continue to multiply causing the disease to advance. Gums redden, swell, and become painful and prone to bleeding. When the disease reaches this point, professional periodontal treatment is needed to prevent further advancement. 

Periodontitis is generally considered the most advanced form of periodontal disease. With periodontitis, gums begin to recede away from the teeth, creating “pockets” in between the tooth, root, and gum tissue. These spaces are very difficult to clean and require professional attention. Without prompt and thorough treatment, bone, gums, and soft tissues may be destroyed by the disease. In fact, one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults is periodontal disease.

Some of the most common risk factors for periodontal disease include poor oral hygiene, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, smoking, genetics, and female hormonal changes. Some medications can even cause gum tissue overgrowth, which can increase difficulty in proper oral hygiene. 

Our dentist has the training and experience to diagnose and treat every stage of periodontal disease. If you are experiencing bad breath, bleeding or painful gums, sensitive teeth, or teeth that are becoming loose, contact our office to schedule a periodontal evaluation. We provide excellent, comprehensive periodontal care for both new and existing patients. 

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

The Optimal Oral Health Routine | Pocomoke City MD Dentist

If it has been more than 6 months since your last dental visit, it may not be possible to regain optimal oral health care without the assistance of professional care. While creating your oral health plan, make sure to start by scheduling an examination and professional thorough cleaning with our team. Once you’ve received professional care, it’s imperative to adopt an at-home care plan to maintain your oral health between appointments.  

How often should you receive professional care?  

Your professional oral health care plan will vary based on your individual needs. For patients with mild to severe periodontal disease, a program involving 4 visits per year may be necessary to keep the disease from progressing. For others with a smile less susceptible to periodontal disease and tooth decay, 2 visits per year may suffice. Regardless of your individual needs, once set, do your best to keep to your regular schedule. This will prevent harmful bacteria from causing damage to your beautiful smile and affecting your overall health.  

Home Care 

Many don’t realize the regular dental appointments alone do not ensure optimal oral health. In fact, according to the research conducted by the American Dental Association, brushing should occur twice per day for 2 full minutes with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Interdental cleaning should occur daily and can be done with floss or alternative methods, such as with the use of a Waterpik.  

Decay can occur in a few months or less of oral hygiene neglect. Decay can also occur due to an acidic oral environment, underlying health conditions or as a result of a poor dietary habit.  

Oral Health and Overall Health 

Your oral health is directly related to your overall health. The bacteria and infection found in your mouth can travel through your bloodstream to important organs. It’s imperative to care for your smile, just as you would your heart, lungs or brain.  

Whether it has been only a few months or several years since you’ve last received professional oral health care, we welcome you at our practice. You’ll receive compassionate care, free of judgement. It’s our goal to help you achieve a smile that you’re happy to display. Contact Stephen T. Wagner, DDS, PA today.

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

What is a Cosmetic Dentist? | Pocomoke City MD Dentist

Despite popular belief, there is no official dental specialty for cosmetic dentistry. There are, however, countless courses, training programs and advanced training which can allow a general dentist to master the art of dentistry. When considering cosmetic dentistry, start with a consultation.  

What to Expect During Your Cosmetic Consultation 

Just as you wouldn’t paint a house that has yet to be built, you wouldn’t want to address the aesthetics of your smile, prior to ensuring the foundation is healthy and functional. For this reason, you may learn that you have a need for restorative or orthodontic care before receiving the cosmetic plan. This can be disappointing for some patients, however, most agree that having a strong and healthy smile is even more important than its appearance.  

During your cosmetic consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to explain to our team how you’d like your smile to appear. With modern technology and procedures, our team can address and solve a variety of concerns, including:  

  • Diastema (gaps between teeth) 
  • Whitening a dull smile 
  • Repairing chipped or cracked teeth 
  • Building up worn teeth 
  • Reshaping 
  • Crown lengthening (to correct a “gummy” smile)  
  • Misaligned or crooked teeth 

The services recommended during your consultation may include one or more of the following:  

  • Porcelain veneers 
  • Teeth whitening 
  • Inlays and onlays 
  • Dental Implants 
  • Dentures 
  • Tooth-colored fillings 
  • Orthodontics 

During your appointment, you’ll not only express what you envision for your smile, but our team will provide you with a detailed plan for how to achieve your goals. From there, you’ll be able to plan the appointments, financing and more. Often a few small changes can drastically improve the appearance of a smile. It’s very possible that in 1-2 short visits, you can be smiling with confidence.  

If you’ve considered cosmetic dentistry, but aren’t sure where to start, contact Stephen T. Wagner, DDS, PA. Our team of professionals will provide you with an individual plan.

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

Gum Disease and Heart Disease: The Overlooked Link and How to Reduce Your Risk | Pocomoke City MD Dentist

  1. The Link Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Research has shown that there is a link between gum disease and heart disease. The bacteria that cause gum disease can enter the bloodstream and travel to other parts of the body, including the heart. Once there, the bacteria can cause inflammation, which can contribute to the development of heart disease.

  1. Gum Disease and Arterial Plaque Buildup

Gum disease can also contribute to the buildup of plaque in the arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis. Plaque buildup in the arteries can lead to restricted blood flow, which can cause a heart attack or stroke. Additionally, the inflammation caused by gum disease can contribute to the formation of blood clots, which can also lead to a heart attack or stroke.

  1. Prevention of Gum Disease

Preventing gum disease is an important step in reducing the risk of heart disease. Good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing twice a day and flossing daily, can help remove plaque and bacteria from the teeth and gums. Regular dental checkups and cleanings can also help identify and treat gum disease in its early stages.

  1. Treatment of Gum Disease

If gum disease is already present, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Treatment for gum disease may include deep cleaning procedures, such as scaling and root planing, or even surgery in severe cases. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to help eliminate bacteria and reduce inflammation.

  1. Other Steps to Maintain Heart Health

Maintaining good oral health is just one step in reducing the risk of heart disease. Other steps that can be taken include maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, managing stress, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

In conclusion, gum disease and heart disease are linked, and taking care of your oral health is an important step in maintaining overall heart health. By practicing good oral hygiene habits, seeking treatment for gum disease if necessary, and taking other steps to maintain heart health, such as a healthy diet and regular exercise, you can reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your overall health and well-being. For more information, please contact Stephen T. Wagner, DDS, PA to schedule an appointment. 

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

Healthy Smile, Healthy Body | Pocomoke City MD Dentist

Good oral hygiene habits are essential to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. What 

you might not know is that research has found the health of your mouth actually mirrors the 

overall condition of your body. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, there is a direct 

relationship between gum disease and many serious health conditions, including heart disease, 

stroke, and diabetes. The good news is, research also shows that good oral health may actually help prevent certain diseases from occurring. 

Understanding the mouth/body connection 

Poor oral habits can cause bacteria to build up on your teeth, making your gums more prone to 

disease and infection. When that happens, your immune system goes to work attacking the 

infection, leading to inflammation and gum disease, also known as periodontitis. Left untreated, periodontitis and chronic inflammation can wreak havoc on the rest of your body, leading to a host of health problems. Thankfully, this “worst-case-scenario” is easily preventable. Here’s what you can do to elevate your oral hygiene habits and keep unwanted health concerns at bay: 

  • Brush twice a day for at least two minutes using a soft-bristled brush. Be sure to choose a toothbrush that is the right size for your mouth so you can reach back teeth easily. If you have any questions about which toothbrush we recommend for you, you can ask our office during your appointment. 
  • Remember to replace your toothbrush every three or four months. 
  • Choose an American Dental Association-approved fluoride toothpaste to keep teeth free from decay. 
  • Floss daily to remove tooth decay-causing bacteria that tend to linger between teeth. Regular flossing also helps remove plaque under the gumline and minimize your risk of contracting gum disease. 
  • Eat a healthy diet that limits sugary beverages and snacks. 
  • Avoid cigarettes and other tobacco products, which are known to contribute to gum disease and oral cancer. 

In addition to maintaining good daily oral health habits, seeing your dentist regularly is one of the best ways to keep your mouth – and your body – healthy. These exams allow our Pocomoke City dentist to monitor any changes to your teeth and gums and make recommendations that will help you avoid future health problems. Contact Stephen T. Wagner, DDS, PA today to schedule an exam. 

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

Easy Flossing Alternatives to Preserve Your Healthy Smile | Dentist in Pocomoke City MD

If there is one recommended dental habit that many people struggle to embrace, it’s flossing. Whether you find traditional thread flossing challenging to maneuver, messy, or just time consuming, you are not alone. However, The American Dental Association (ADA) and our office want you to be able to floss regularly and thoroughly. Consider these effective alternatives to remove unwanted plaque from the places your toothbrush simply can’t reach.

1.) Disposable Floss Pick

These convenient little tools have plastic handles and Y-shaped prongs that come pre-threaded with floss. No measuring, snipping or finger threading required. Ideal for travel and on-the-go use, simply grab the handle, insert the floss between your teeth, and when done, toss the tool away.

2.) Non-Disposable Floss Picks

Fashioned with a longer handle than their disposable counterparts, these picks may be an excellent option for patients with small mouths and/or crowded teeth. They also help to make reaching back teeth a breeze.

3.) Water Flossers

Electronic flossers use streams of pressurized water to clean between your teeth. There are many different models to accommodate price preferences, and most offer adjustable pressure settings to ensure your comfort during use.

4.) Interdental Brushes

Designed to look like tiny toothbrushes, interdental brushes are especially effective for those who wear braces. They are also a nice option for patients with mobility issues who struggle with traditional flossing. Another plus? Like toothbrushes they can be used repeatedly – simply ask our office when we recommend replacement.

5.) Air Flossers

These high-tech tools use air pressure combined with a small amount of water to keep teeth and gums clean and healthy. Considered to be less messy than their water-based cousins, air flossers offer easy point and click instructions – just aim the flosser between your teeth and a blast of air does the rest.

Keeping the spaces between your teeth and gums free from plaque and tartar is essential to your oral health. Finding tools and techniques that work for you is the first step towards establishing lifelong habits that lead to a lasting, healthy smile. Consider any of these flossing alternatives or call our office for a recommendation. Our team will be happy to evaluate your unique needs to help you find the solution that is right for you.

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

Facts You May Not Have Known About Oral Cancer | Dentist in Pocomoke City

According to The American Academy for Oral Systemic Health, oral cancer claims one American life every hour of every day. Unfortunately, most cases go undetected until it is too late, making the need for regular examinations of even greater importance. Those who are proactive and seek treatment early have the best chance of beating the disease and living a long, healthy life. Below are some facts you may not have known about oral cancer, including warning signs, trends, and more.

1.) Oral Cancer Affects More Men Than Women

No matter your gender, you should be aware of the very real dangers of oral cancer. While studies conducted by the Oral Cancer Foundation have shown that oral cancer is one the rise among women too, a 2:1 incidence ratio between men and women still remains. This correlation may be due to the fact that, statistically speaking, men smoke and drink more than women. Regardless of your own habits, remain aware of the signs and symptoms and ask your doctor to perform a regular oral exam if they do not already.

2.) Each Year, 450,000 New Cases Are Discovered

As such, it is likely that oral cancer has affected someone in your life. Whether you know someone who has had, or is currently dealing with their own struggle against oral cancer, you should know that they are not alone.

3.) Alcohol and Tobacco Increase Your Risk

Among the many risk factors, your lifestyle choices can have a huge impact on the likelihood of you developing this cancer. It is estimated by the Cancer Treatment Centers of America that roughly 80% of people with oral cancer are heavy smokers, while 70% are heavy drinkers. Add this unfortunate statistic to the list of reasons why you should leave the cigarettes behind.

4.) When Detected Early Enough, Oral Cancer has a Cure Rate of 90%

According to many experts, part of the reason why oral cancer can be so destructive is because it often goes undetected for long periods of time. Don’t overlook or ignore any suspicious new developments in your mouth and call your doctor or oral surgeon as soon as you notice anything amiss.

The best way to overcome oral cancer is to stay informed and catch it early. As something that is important to all dental professionals, we hope you will take this disease just as seriously as we do. We look forward to helping you stay healthy and protecting your oral health throughout your life. If you have any questions call or contact our office today and we will assist you however we can.  

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