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5 Common Oral Health Issues: Take Action With Preventative Dentistry

Bad eating habits, lack of brushing – even our genes – can lead to poor dental health. But failing to be proactive with your dental care is the number one cause of oral health issues. Many of us only visit the dentists when there’s a problem. But the most common issues can be prevented all together with regular visits to the dentist. Dr. Daniel Bickel and his team at Redmond Art of Dentistry advise two visits per year to prevent and monitor these common oral health issues.

Gum Disease

Symptoms of gum disease include bleeding, gum decay, swollen gums, and eventual tooth loss. Your dentist can prevent this issue from becoming serious with scaling and root planing. This is a deep cleaning treatment that removes plaque from underneath and around the gums.

Cavities

Even with regular brushing and flossing, most adults develop cavities at some point in their lives. Having a cavity isn’t the problem. Ignoring it can lead to the necessary removal of the entire tooth, resulting in dental implants. With regular visits and digital x-rays, your dentist can easily spot cavities and fill them before the tooth rots.

Staining

Stains occur gradually over time, making them difficult to notice. Especially when staining occurs in places we can’t see. Regular cleanings keep staining at bay. Plus, your dentist can give you specific tips and suggest good habits before the stains get out of control.

Crooked Teeth

Imperfections might build character, but who doesn’t want a beautiful set of pearly whites? Besides, crooked teeth can lead to oral pain or speech impediments. Traditional metal braces or Invisalign are great options for both children and adults. And although it’s easier to treat if addressed at a younger age, it’s never too late to get the smile you want.

Dental Injury

Sports are fun, but much like we protect our bodies with pads, helmets and masks, we need to protect our teeth with proper mouthguards. Cheap, store-bought mouthguards might be an easy fix, but a personalized mouthguard from your dentist offers the best protection with a high quality product.

Bi-annual visits to Redmond Art of Dentistry can help prevent or treat any one of these issues. Dr. Bickel is a family dentist who believes in developing personalized, proactive plans for all his patients, young and old.

Contact Redmond Art of Dentistry at (425) 883-1331 to schedule an appointment today!

By |June 19th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Did Your Child See The Dentist At School?

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, so the Redmond Dentistry team visited our local preschool to give a presentation on oral health to students!

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that children visit their local dentist by age one. Setting the foundation for healthy teeth and gums at an early age is one of the easiest ways to improve a child’s life with preventive care and maintain a healthy smile.

What Did We Learn At School Today?

At Dr. Bickel’s school visit, he covered a lot of ground in just a short amount of time and had a rapt audience! Our team covered the basics from why the dentist is important, to how to hold a toothbrush, and what to eat for healthy teeth.

Parents Deserve An A+ Too!

For the parents who are envious their child got a front row ticket to our presentation, we have some healthy dental tips for parents to share with their little ones to make dentistry fun!

How To Brush Your Teeth

In pediatric dentistry, it’s not uncommon to come across smiles where the toothbrush just seemed to miss a few spots. Do you know how to brush your child’s teeth?

  • Make sure each surface is brushed: the top, inside and outside! Some dentists refer to this as cheek side, tongue side, and chewing surface.
  • Go easy! A light touch is all that is needed. We advised kids to hold the toothbrush like they would a pencil.
  • Come in at an angle: 45 degrees, or a slight slant, is the best way to also brush the gums, which also need dental care!

The Benefits Of Creating Happy Brushers

In addition to making the dentist a positive experience, there are other benefits in making oral hygiene a top priority. You can:

  • Create a trusting and supportive environment surrounding dentist visits
  • Nurture excellent at home dental hygiene and nutrition habits
  • Fix small dental issues like cavities before they develop into bigger, more costly problems
  • Predict and plan for changes in dental health

Eat Power Foods To Keep Your Teeth Healthy And Strong!

There are some superpower foods that can help make superpower teeth! We had students guess which foods are best for their teeth and many guessed correctly:

  • Dairy foods like cheese, milk, and yogurt protect our enamel.
  • Vegetables, especially when eaten raw, help ‘scrub’ the teeth of plaque buildup. Veggies high in Vitamin A, such as broccoli and carrots helps our teeth form enamel.
  • Fruits also help to scrub our teeth and massage our gums. The vitamin C found in certain fruits like strawberries helps protect our gums from developing gum disease.
  • Proteins, like eggs, chicken, and beef, help prevent decay.
  • Water is the best drink we can give our teeth! It has nothing in it that could add to decay. It helps rinse food particles and bacteria from our teeth.

We also discussed foods that are not nice to our teeth like soda and candy. We talked about the way sugar can build up on teeth and cause decay and cavities.

See Your Dentist Regularly!

We talked about the importance of visiting the dentist. Without regular cleanings, it’s easy for little teeth to develop cavities that hide between teeth in areas that only dentists can see!

We discussed what happens at exams; how we gently examine mouths for signs of tooth decay and to make sure that bites are aligned and that there are no issues with the gums or jaw.

Start Living Healthy…Now!

We were so pleased to be invited to speak and share our earned knowledge with such a fun group of bright young minds. It’s our pleasure and joy to promote healthy living at a young age and to set everyone up for long term success!

Due for your six month checkup? Visit your family Dentist in Redmond today! Call us at (425) 883-1331 or visit our office, conveniently located at 16455 NE 85th St #101, Redmond, WA 98052.

By |March 31st, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Addressing Sleep Apnea with Dental Appliances

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that can potentially be serious, and is typically characterized by loud snoring and the feeling of fatigue even after sleeping. There are two types of sleep apnea, the most common of which is called obstructive sleep apnea and which occurs when the throat muscles relax. The second type, central sleep apnea, happens when the brain fails to send proper signals to the muscles responsible for breathing. Both types of sleep apnea exhibit such symptoms as excessive daytime drowsiness, loud snoring, periods of breathing cessation during sleep, morning headache and dry mouth, and difficulty staying asleep at night.

Where the two differentiate however, is in their respective causes. Obstructive sleep apnea happens when the throat muscles relax and the airway narrows to make breathing difficult. The brain senses this problem and wakes the person up to get fresh air. On the other hand, central sleep apnea is triggered by a more serious issue, usually some kind of heart failure or stroke.

How dental appliances can help

For obstructive sleep apnea, dental appliances have been shown to be highly effective treatments in the reduction or elimination of the symptoms, as well as in permitting a full and restful sleep at night. One of the best known of these dental appliances is the Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP), which uses a dial mechanism to slightly pull the jaw forward, thus keeping the airway clear. With the airway clear all night, snoring is eliminated and breathing becomes regular and uninterrupted.

The Moses device is named for its inventor, Dr. Allen Moses, and is also designed to keep the airway open all night. Like the TAP device, it has been shown to be remarkably effective, although this mandibular device adds an element to the open airway strategy by also incorporating management of the tongue. This in turn reduces elevator muscle activity as well as clenching, to increase patient comfort during the night and further promote a restful sleep.

By |March 31st, 2015|Blog|0 Comments

Giving to benefit a great cause!

This holiday season Dr. Bickel and staff donated a Sonicare and an In Office whitening session for an auction benefiting Hopelink. In conjunction with Eastside Women in Business we helped raise nearly $2000 for Hopelink! If you aren’t familiar with them, Hopelink helps families in need in our area. Visit their site to see what they are all about. http://www.hope-link.org/take_action/holiday_giving/ Happy Holidays!

By |December 11th, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

What does “Family Dentistry” mean?

13881824_sThese days it seems there are so many specialists in the medical and dental fields, how do you know which type of dentist is right for you?

That’s a great question. As our name says, Redmond Art of Dentistry is a “Family and Cosmetic” dental practice. That means Dr. Bickel and staff can take care of a wide variety of dental needs. Starting as early as one year old we can see kids to evaluate the health of the first erupting teeth and educate parents as to how to care for those new teeth.

Granted, the first teeth will fall out in a few years but it’s still very important to establish healthy habits from the beginning. Also, if your child develops decay in their primary teeth it can lead to decay in permanent teeth before they even erupt.

As kids get older we continue to see them, generally twice a year, for cleaning and to teach kids how to care for their teeth. We are here to help parents convey the importance of twice daily brushing and to get kids to understand how and why they need to floss every day. Dr. Bickel can also identify kids who need braces and help parents find an Orthodontist.

Our goal for adults is to maintain the best health and appearance for your smile. You know what they say- “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”! Twice a year check-ups and cleanings allow us to stay ahead of many potential problems. Fluoride treatments, yes even for adults, help keep teeth strong and well mineralized. Regular exams identify decay when it’s small and can be handled with little fillings, while catching decay too late can result in crowns or even root canal therapy.

This is also a time in life when some of us decide to give ourselves the gift of a beautiful smile. Whether you are interested in whitening or something more we can help. We offer Invisalign, to give you the straight teeth you’ve always wanted. With veneers and crowns Dr. Bickel can help restore a youthful or brighter smile.

Then, as we age, the goal is always to maintain the best looking healthy and functional set of teeth we can. Gone are the days when every adult was destined for dentures. Some do still need them, eventually, but with great dental health care and judicious restorations we can help you keep your natural teeth. If a replacement is necessary implants offer a great alternative to older methods of replacement.

Through all of these stages of life we, at Redmond Art of Dentistry, can take care of your dental needs. Cleanings, crowns, fillings, Invisalign, simple extractions, whitening, all fall under the scope of Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. Give us a call, we would love to see you!

By |October 9th, 2013|Blog|4 Comments

Now offering our patients Invisalign! A clear alternative to metal braces.

Do you want straighter, healthier teeth but the thought of having metal braces is preventing you from taking the leap? Did you know that 74% of American adults are affected by crooked or misaligned teeth? Before now, metal braces were the only option we had to fix this problem. Thanks to modern technology, we now have options to give you the smile you’ve always wanted. Dr. Bickel and his team are proud to announce that we are an Invisalign provider.

Invisalign in Redmond

So what is Invisalign and how is it different than metal braces?

  • Invisalign is metal-free, and is comprised of virtually invisible, removable, plastic aligners that fit like a custom mouth guard. The aligners are BPA-free and typically replaced with new aligners every two weeks until your teeth are perfectly aligned.
  • No one will know that you are straightening your teeth. As mentioned before, the aligners are virtually INVISABLE!
  • Invisalign retainers are much more comfortable than the old metal brackets.
  • Eating, cleaning, and flossing your teeth are much easier with Invisalign. Before eating and brushing, simply remove the aligners and place back in after you are done.
  • It has been clinically proven that Invisalign can treat most types of orthodontic cases
  • Invisalign costs the same or less than traditional orthodontics and is covered under most orthodontic insurance and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA).
  • The length of treatment varies from person to person and is determined by the complexity of the case. Before treatment begins we will be able to give you an accurate time table of the length of treatment, but most cases take less than 12 months.

With Invisalign you can have a healthy, confident smile without the metal braces. At Redmond Art of Dentistry, we take pride in helping our patients achieve the smile they’ve always wanted. Please feel free to contact us with any questions, or to book a free Invisalign consultation with us today!

Gold Standard for Teeth Straightening

Taking Advantage of Technology

Some people are intimidated by the new technology of today because they don’t fully understand it. We never want you to feel that way when it comes to our high-tech dental solutions such as Invisalign.

Straight teeth and a confident smile are well within your reach, thanks to Invisalign—your superior, clear alternative to braces. Enjoy the many modern conveniences of today with a gorgeous, picture-perfect smile that you can proudly share with others.

How much do you think straight teeth affect your self-confidence? Is it important?

By |September 3rd, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

Are routine Dental check-ups necessary even if my teeth don’t hurt?

Dental Exam RedmondAs dentists we get asked this question on a daily basis. Our response to this is, ABSOLUTELY! Whether you have dental insurance or not, it is vital that you visit your dentist at least two times a year. At Redmond Art of Dentistry we believe that preventative dental is the best care a patient can receive, and more often than not is less invasive and costs less.

An analogy I like to use with patients is comparing their teeth to their vehicle. When I ask someone how often they change the oil in their car they respond with “every 3 months or 3,000 miles.” When I ask them why, they say, “well if I don’t change the oil on a regular basis my car will break down, or even worse my engine could blow up! And fixing an engine costs a lot of money, more than an oil change”
I think we can all agree that regular maintenance on your car is necessary to prevent breakdown and expensive costs, the same goes for your dental health. But one difference with a car versus your teeth is that you can always go out and buy another car, you only get one set of permanent teeth.

On average, the cost you would incur with exams and cleanings twice a year, over three to four years, would cost about the same as having a single crown! It’s at these regular exams that your dentist is able to catch most cavities in their infant state, before they get a chance to progress and penetrate the nerve of the tooth. If allowed to progress until you need a root canal and crown combined it would cost about 6 years’ worth of routine exams and cleanings. More invasive procedures such as root canals and extractions can almost always be avoided with regular visits. It’s a fact that those who visit their dentist on a consistent basis will spend much less money over the course of their lives as opposed to those who wait until a tooth begins to give them a problem.

Thank you for putting your trust in Dr. Bickel and Redmond Art of Dentistry, we look forward to seeing you soon!

By |August 27th, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

Dental Cavities

4488509_mWhen a dentist says decay or caries is that the same as dental cavities. The answer in short is, YES. So what exactly is a dental cavity? Believe it or not, a cavity is a bacterial infection and one of the most prevalent diseases in the world. Bacteria in your mouth cause acid fermentation which leads to the destruction of your teeth. This bacteria destroys the hard tissue of your tooth through the process of demineralization. Your body will try to reverse the demineralization process by incorporating ions from your saliva such as calcium and phosphates, this process is called remineralization. When the demineralization process occurs faster than the remineralization process, a cavity will form in your tooth.

So what can we do to prevent cavities from forming?

1) The easiest way to prevent cavities is to brush and floss your teeth on a regular basis (2 times a day). By having outstanding oral hygiene habits, we are limiting the amount of time food is present in our mouth, and limiting the “food” supply for the bacteria in your mouth. Brushing and flossing is going to limit the amount of plaque buildup on your teeth.

2) Fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash are also a great way of preventing dental cavities and go hand in hand with good oral hygiene. When our teeth get demineralized, we lose both calcium and phosphates from our teeth. When using fluoride containing products, the fluoride is incorporated into the demineralized tooth, which helps with the remineralization process. So what exactly are the benefits of fluoride?

  • Fluoride is a bigger and stronger ion than calcium, when it gets incorporated into your tooth, your tooth gets stronger
  • Fluoride is more resistant to acid, therefore making it more difficult to cause a cavity in the tooth
  • Fluoride is cariostatic, meaning it decreases the number of bacteria forming around it

3) Come to the Dentist for routine checkups! We always stress to our patients that it is best to catch something early as opposed to waiting it out. When you come in for routine cleanings and exams (we recommend every 6 months for someone in perfect health) we are able to identify early signs of tooth decay via dental x-rays and oral evaluation.

4) Lastly, watch your diet. Eating habits are one of the biggest factors in getting cavities. Food debris stuck between teeth provides “food” for the cavity forming bacteria. More frequent snacking, without brushing afterwards, enables the bacteria in our mouth to produce more tooth destroying acid. Not only will a person who snacks frequently get more cavities throughout their lifetime, the severity and how quickly they spread through the tooth is increased too.

If you have any questions about dental cavities or would like to schedule an appointment to determine whether or not you have dental cavities, please give us a call at 425-883-1331. Thank you for reading and we look forward to serving you, your family and friends with all of their dental needs.

By |August 23rd, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

GINGIVITIS, PERIODONTITIS, RECESSION

Coming to the dentist office can seem like you’ve crossed some invisible border into a land with a foreign language!

Yes, we often do speak another language but the goal is never to confuse you. Our goal is to create a team atmosphere to ensure you get the best care, you deserve it.

To that end we would like to suggest some ways you can get the most out of your dental visits.

  1. Ask questions. The fact is we love to talk about dentistry, anytime you need a better understanding, just ask!
  2. Don’t be shy to let us know if something “just doesn’t feel right” in your mouth in the time leading up to your appointment. You are the expert on what’s normal for you, if you feel something is off we’d like to help you figure that out. It can be as simple as a drier than normal mouth or maybe a sore that just won’t heal. Let us know what concerns you.
  3. Let us know about any changes you experience in your overall health. A lot of people think of their oral health as separate from the body as a whole. It’s really very interconnected. Practically everyday science finds another link between oral health and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, even rheumatoid arthritis. We want to know about you as a whole person, not just a mouth.
  4. Let us know if you are experiencing extra stress in your life. Some of the most common ways to express stress are grinding and clenching our teeth. This can result in sore, stiff muscles in the jaw and neck. Worse, it can cause loss of enamel and something called abfractions (sensitive furrows in the teeth along the gum line).

Basically, we want to hear about you. We try to ask all the right questions but let us know what’s on your mind too. Our goal is prevention of dental problems and the more information we have the better we can achieve that goal.

Thank you for putting your trust in Dr. Bickel and Redmond Art of Dentistry, we look forward to seeing you soon!

By |July 16th, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

Dry mouth: Irritating and annoying, but is it also bad for your teeth?

Dry Mouth is bad for your teethThe answer is yes!

Unfortunately, in today’s world, there are many causes of dry mouth. Some of the most common culprits are the medications we take. Both over the counter and prescription drugs can have this effect. Have you ever wondered why Dentist routinely ask if you have hay fever? It’s because antihistamines not only dry out the sinuses, the way we want them to, they also dry out the mouth. That asthma inhaler that you or your kids use to help you breathe? Yep, that one dries you out too. Even those drugs for high blood pressure, that are so important for longevity, can lead to severely dry mouth.

More than 32 million adults are at risk for dry mouth, or xerostomia, caused mainly by prescription and over-the-counter drug products. According to the Mayo Clinic the more likely types to cause problems are some of the drugs used to treat depression and anxiety, antihistamines, decongestants, high blood pressure medications, anti-diarrheals, muscle relaxants, drugs for urinary incontinence, and Parkinson’s disease medications. It’s estimated there are over 400 medications that can cause xerostomia.

Why is dry mouth such a concern? Because the bacteria that cause decay thrive in that environment. Our bodies use saliva to help prevent decay. As a germ killer, saliva has few rivals. It also has histatins, which not only kill bacteria but have been shown to speed wound closure independent of antibacterial action. Our saliva even forms a protective film that clings to the surface of teeth. All in all we need it.

Ok, I think we can agree that these are medications that we aren’t going to give up taking. They make are lives and health better. So what should you do about it?

Please, please don’t suck on regular candy or cough drops, especially if they are citrus flavored. The combination of sugar and dry mouth can be devastating. Most of us in the dental field have seen shocking results with combination. Extremely accelerated decay even in previously healthy mouths.

Talk to our team if you are experiencing persistent dry mouth, we can help. There are products that increase moisture in the mouth such as Biotene mouth rinse. You can suck on sugar free candy or chew sugar free gum, xylitol is a good ingredient to look for. Dr. Bickel may even prescribe fluoride and calcium toothpaste to help prevent decay. Dentistry today is all about prevention!

Take care, be well and thank you for being a part of our practice. We look forward to seeing you soon!

By |July 8th, 2013|Blog|0 Comments