The Powerful Effects of Dental Sealants | Dentist in 21851

At Stephen T. Wagner, DDS, PA, we are committed to providing the best dental care for families in Pocomoke City. One of the preventive measures we highly recommend is dental sealants, especially for children. Understanding how dental sealants can benefit your child’s oral health will help you make informed decisions during their next dental appointment.

Why Get Sealants?

Dental sealants are a powerful tool in preventing tooth decay, particularly on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. These teeth, or molars, have deep grooves that are difficult to clean thoroughly, making them prone to cavities. Sealants create a protective barrier over these grooves, significantly reducing the risk of decay. Our dentists frequently recommend sealants for children and teens, and they can be beneficial for adults as well.

The Effectiveness of Sealants

Sealants can prevent 80% of decay in the first two years after application, and about half of all decay four years after application. Without sealants, the risk of tooth decay in children is three times higher than in those with sealants. This simple procedure can have a long-lasting impact on your child’s oral health.

When Should Sealants Be Applied?

Typically, the first set of molars emerges around age six, with the second set appearing around age 12. Sealants are most effective when applied soon after these molars break through the gum line. During regular dental check-ups, our team will determine the optimal time to apply sealants for maximum benefit.

What to Expect During the Procedure

Applying sealants is a common and painless procedure performed at our office. After thoroughly cleaning your child’s teeth, we apply a special gel to prepare the tooth surface. Once the gel is rinsed off, the sealant is applied and hardened with a small blue curing light in just a few seconds.

Addressing Concerns

Sealants are safe, with no known side effects and extremely rare allergic reactions. If your child has any allergies, please inform us so we can take appropriate precautions and determine the best course of action.

Next Steps

Sealants can last for several years when properly maintained. Regular dental visits are crucial to ensure the integrity of the sealants and overall oral health. If your child had sealants applied in the past and you’re unsure if they need to be replaced, we recommend scheduling a check-up.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact our dental office in Pocomoke City. Our team at Stephen T. Wagner, DDS, PA, is here to support your family’s dental health needs.

Contact Us

To learn more about dental sealants or to book your next appointment, please reach out to our Pocomoke City office. We look forward to helping you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile.

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

Tobacco Will Cause You to Lose Teeth | Dentist Near Me

As a trusted provider of dental care in Pocomoke City, Stephen T. Wagner, DDS, PA, is dedicated to educating our community about the dangers of tobacco use on oral health. While the harmful effects of smoking and chewing tobacco on the lungs are widely recognized, it is equally crucial to understand the severe risks posed to your mouth and teeth. Here’s why it’s essential to avoid tobacco for the sake of your oral health.

The Impact of Chewing Tobacco

According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), individuals who chew tobacco are 50 times more likely to develop cancers of the gums and cheeks. Chewing tobacco leads to gum recession and exposes the sensitive roots of teeth, creating an ideal environment for bacterial growth and tooth decay. To protect your oral health, it is imperative to avoid chewing tobacco. Our experienced dental team can provide you with effective strategies to quit this habit and improve your overall oral health.

The Dangers of Smoking

The American Dental Association (ADA) states that smoking a pack of cigarettes daily can result in the loss of two teeth every decade. Smoking significantly increases the risk of tooth loss, in addition to causing unsightly staining, persistent bad breath, and an unattractive smile. Avoiding cigarettes and cigars is crucial for maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

Understanding Oral Cancer

Oral cancer can develop in various parts of the mouth, including the tongue, lips, floor of the mouth, and gums. The risk is particularly high among men and individuals over the age of 50. Alarmingly, the ADA has noted a rising incidence of oral cancer among people under 30 in the United States. If you smoke, it is essential to discuss oral cancer screenings with your dentist. During these screenings, your dentist will thoroughly examine your mouth, teeth, and cheeks for any abnormalities that could indicate the early stages of oral cancer. Early detection significantly improves the chances of successful treatment.

Taking Action

If you currently use tobacco, we strongly recommend quitting to protect your oral and overall health. Our dental team at Stephen T. Wagner, DDS, PA, is here to support you in your efforts to stop smoking. Regular dental exams are vital for everyone, but they are especially crucial for tobacco users. These exams allow us to detect potential issues early and provide appropriate interventions.

For more tips on maintaining a healthy mouth or to schedule your next dental appointment, please contact our office. We are committed to helping you achieve optimal oral health and a brighter smile.

Contact Us

For further information or to book an appointment, please reach out to our dental office in Pocomoke City. Our team is here to assist you with all your oral health needs.

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

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