Tools for Preventive Dental Care

Preventative Dental Care

Preventive Dental Care in Mukilteo

Your family dentist can provide cosmetic dental work and restorative dental services, such as fillings, root canals, crowns, tooth extractions, and dental implants. Of course, you want to avoid requiring these procedures in the first place. Preventive dental care is your best defense against oral maladies. By practicing good oral hygiene at home and getting regular dental exams at your dentist’s office, you can enjoy years of great dental health and avoid expensive and often painful oral surgery.

Daily Brushing

Brushing your teeth twice a day is the most direct way to prevent cavities and tooth decay. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to gently clean the front and back of your teeth with gentle, circular strokes. We also suggest brushing your tongue for a fresher breath.

Daily Flossing

Flossing daily between the teeth is necessary to remove hard-to-reach plaque, tartar, and harmful bacteria. Not only is regular flossing vital for tooth and gum health, but research shows it can lead to an overall healthier life by preventing more serious ailments like diabetes, respiratory illness, and heart disease.

Routine Dental Exams

Preventative Dental CareAn annual or bi-annual oral exam is an important part of preventive dental care. Annual dental exams ensure you’re keeping your teeth clean and healthy at home and reveals any problems that may warrant in-clinic treatment.

Professional Cleaning

Professional teeth cleaning removes plaque and bacteria that you can’t get from brushing and flossing alone. Just as your home needs a regular ‘spring cleaning’ in addition to regular housekeeping, your teeth should have a professional cleaning once to twice a year. A dentist can clean those hard-to-reach places, ensuring your teeth and gums are at their healthiest year-round.

Mukilteo Dental Arts can be reached at 425-276-7465. Give us a call today to arrange an exam for the whole family.

Preventive Dental Care in Mukilteo & South Everett

General family dentistry for Mukilteo, Everett, Lynnwood, Edmonds & Mill Creek


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Is There A Link Between a Beard and Oral Health?

oral health, beardHere is a post specifically for the dudes. Some men value the hair on their chin just as much as they do the hair on their head. However, can this inadvertently impact your dental health negatively? Does a connection exist between your beard and oral health?

Beards and Oral Health? What’s the Link?

There is a prevailing belief that a beard is a breeding ground for bacteria. Since the beard is located just below the lip, some of these bacteria can make its way into the mouth. Is there any legitimacy to this claim?

Our family dentists don’t believe so, and the studies do not support this. The belief originally stemmed from a study that has since been debunked for its lack of scientific merit.

Here’s the truth: Clean-shaven men actually had higher counts of bacteria on their faces compared to their bearded counterparts. This was according to a study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection. Here’s the reason: the men who shaved had more micro-abrasions, which harbored the bulk of bacteria.

Are Bearded Men at Risk?

With the above in mind, men with beards have little cause to worry. With that said, we can’t say that beards have zero impact on oral health. If you seldom clean your beard, then it probably does harbor excessive bacteria. Furthermore, a beard also obscures the jawline. This makes it harder to spot potential health problems that may require oral surgery. Beards may hide reddishness or lumps that may be a cyst or swollen lymph node.

Beard or Not, Stop by Our Clinic

Come by Mukilteo Dental Arts; our cosmetic dentists can give you pearly whites that complement your beard. That tuft of hair on your chin is no cause for alarm as long as you maintain good hygiene. Very little correlation exists between your beard and oral health.

Dental Care for Men, Women, and Children

General family dentistry for Mukilteo, Everett, Lynnwood, Edmonds & Mill Creek

Pregnancy and Dental X-Rays: Are X-Rays Safe for Expectant Mothers?

dental x-rays pregnancySome women are concerned about how the radiation exposure of dental x-rays might affect their pregnancy. Some pregnant women even worry about being exposed to radiation when they use a mobile phone. Let’s explore whether or not there’s a risk to you and your unborn child from getting a dental x-ray.

The Truth About Pregnancy and Dental X-Rays

It’s true that x-rays do expose the patient to radiation. It’s also true that excessive exposure during pregnancy has been linked to child malformation and impaired brain function. The key word, though, is “excessive.” The radiation exposure from a dental x-ray is negligible.

If you received an x-ray in the past, you may have noticed your family dentist place a thick apron over you. This is designed to protect your chest and abdomen from radiation. Since it covers the torso, it also shields the fetus. Rest assure that you and your unborn child are safe.

If you’re still concerned, one study published in the US National Library of Medicine found no risk between pregnancy and x-rays.

It’s Your Choice

Some women are especially conscious about limiting radiation exposure and will avoid x-rays until after their first trimester. While this is not necessary, if this gives you a peace of mind, then that’s certainly acceptable. However, if you have a dental emergency that requires oral surgery, then you will probably need an x-ray. In this instance, the x-ray cannot be postponed. If you’re having anxiety, please let your dentist know about your concerns.

We Treat Expectant Mothers at Any Stage of Their Pregnancies

Don’t let a pregnancy prevent you from seeing an endodontist. Let our friendly staff at Mukilteo Dental Arts know if you’re with child, so we can take additional precautions. Rest assured that there is little danger to your pregnancy from dental x-rays; the precious jewel inside you is safe.

Dental Care for Expectant Mothers

General family dentistry for Mukilteo, Everett, Lynnwood, Edmonds & Mill Creek

When Is Morning Teeth Brushing Ideal, Before or After Breakfast?

brush teethIt’s common knowledge that you should brush your teeth twice daily: in the morning and in the evening. This raises the question: should you brush your teeth before or after breakfast? Is one more beneficial, or is it inconsequential as long as you brush?

The Importance of Morning Brushing

First, let’s discuss brushing your teeth in the morning and why it’s important. Some people eschew morning brushing. Their reason is that they did not eating anything after brushing the night before. Therefore, their teeth are still clean. Actually, this is not true. Even if you consume nothing, your mouth still produces plaque during your eight hours of sleep.

Morning brushing is a vital part of oral hygiene and can prevent major oral surgeries with routine practice.

Brush Your Teeth Before or After Breakfast?

With the importance of morning brushing established, should you do so before or after the first meal of the day? Both are actually acceptable, though we lean towards brushing prior to eating.

Why Brush Before?

If you brush your teeth before you eat, this removes the bacteria, preventing them from feeding on the sugars left behind from your ensuing breakfast. If you brush after, the time between the meal and brushing may be enough for the bacteria to feed on of the sugars. The bacteria produce acid that attacks your teeth’s enamel until you brush. At the same time, though, you don’t want to brush too soon after eating. Brushing within minutes of a meal will push the acid deeper into your teeth.

If you still insist on brushing after, then wait at least 30-minutes. If this is not feasible, then brush before.

Follow a Morning Tooth Brushing Routine

Our family dentists and endodontists recommend brushing before eating, but what’s important is that you brush. This idea is shared across the board by our team at Mukilteo Dental Arts. Brushing before or after breakfast is secondary as long as you brush and maintain the habit.

Family Dental Care

General family dentistry for Mukilteo, Everett, Lynnwood, Edmonds & Mill Creek

Thanksgiving Food Alternatives for Good Dental Health

Thanksgiving food alternatives, thanksgiving foodThanksgiving is one of those days where it’s acceptable to indulge in food without guilt. Even so, we suggest limiting the intake of certain foods that are hazardous to your teeth. Here’s a of list these not-so good foods and the Thanksgiving food alternatives we recommend in their stead.

Candied Yams

Candied yams are laden with marshmallows, which combines sugar and stickiness, a deadly combination for your teeth. The sticky texture means the sugar remains on your teeth for prolonged periods where it serves as food for bacteria. Furthermore, some varieties may contain food dye that, according to our cosmetic dentists, stains teeth.

Eat This Instead: Settle for roasted whole yams, which contain a heap of vitamins A and C, as well as important minerals.

Store-Bought Stuffing

The stuffing you buy in stores contains too much white bread and butter. The former is no better than sugar. Too many refined carbs of this type promotes cavities and oral surgery. Continue Reading →

Types of Underbite Correction: Improve Your Dental Health and Confidence

underbite correctionAn underbite is a dental abnormality; aside from causing functional complications, it can also make you self-conscious about your appearance. Fortunately, there are several methods of underbite correction, including oral surgery.

What Is an Underbite?

Most people know what an overbite is, but an underbite is a less common term. Clinically known as a malocclusion, an underbite is a condition where the lower teeth extend past the upper teeth. The degree of overlap varies and can range from mild to severe. In the latter cases, the overt protrusion can create an appearance similar to that of a bulldog.

Issues with an Underbite

Beyond the undesirable appearance, an underbite can also cause a number of difficulties, such as difficulty eating and speaking. Those with malocclusion are also at an increased risk of developing chronic jaw pain and migraines. Additional issues include teeth decay, bacterial infections, and halitosis. Continue Reading →

Does Your Child Need a Space Maintainer?

space maintainer, dental space maintainerTooth decay can adversely impact your child’s dental development. To promote healthy growth of permanent teeth, your dentist may recommend a space maintainer. Here’s how this device works and why it’s important for the development of healthy teeth.

What Is a Space Maintainer?

A dental space maintainer is an orthodontic appliance made of metal or acrylic. The material may be removable or fixed to the teeth. It’s installed in the area where a baby tooth is lost prematurely. As suggested in its name, a space maintainer keeps the area of the lost tooth open. It prevents adjacent teeth from crowding into the gap, which can adversely impact the development of permanent teeth.

Due to the implications of shifting teeth, an endodontist may suggest a space maintainer for your little one. This can prevent the need for a major oral surgery a few years down the road. Continue Reading →

Gum Disease, Pregnancy & Birth Defects: What’s the Connection?

gum disease birth defects, gum disease pregnancy, gum disease birth complicationsGingivitis is a form of gum inflammation that eventually leads to periodontitis that affects bones and gums. Aside from the dental ramifications, periodontitis has also been linked to birth complications. What exactly is the correlation between gum disease, pregnancy and birth defects?

Gum Disease, Pregnancy and Birth Defects: The Facts

Roughly three-quarters of women develop gingivitis at some point during pregnancy. This is in large part due to hormonal changes. Additional factors like a higher maternal age and lower socioeconomical status increase your risk of gum disease during pregnancy.

Researchers have linked gum disease to birth complications, such as pre-term birth and low birth weight. This has been confirmed in a study published in the US National Library of Medicine.

Babies born below 5.5-pounds are at an increased risk of slow development later in life. This includes slower physical growth, slower cognitive ability, and delayed emotional maturity.

How to Prevent Gum Disease

Preventing gum disease is important no matter who you are. However, it’s even more important for pregnant women since the disease is affecting an additional person inside them.

As always, maintain daily hygiene habits at home. This means the usual rounds of brushing and flossing. You should also watch what you consume; limit intake of refined sugars and simple carbohydrates. Continue Reading →

How to Stop Bad Breath in Its Tracks

stop bad breath, bad breath, halitosisStinky breath (halitosis) is embarrassing and is especially problematic if you have to talk to people up close. Why does your breath smell like the pits of hell and what can you do about it? Learn how to stop bad breath naturally.

What Causes Bad Breath?

Some causes are obvious. You know why a smoker would have foul breath. The same goes for someone who just ate garlic. Other causes, though, are less apparent and may also be an indicator of more serious dental issues.

One cause is dry mouth. Lack of saliva production, known as xerostomia, prevents the breakdown of food particles. It also allows odor-producing bacteria to proliferate.

Other causes include a high-sugar diet, drinking too much coffee, digestive issues, and even prescription medication. Continue Reading →

Epilepsy and Oral Health: What’s the Connection?

epilepsy oral healthEpilepsy is a complex neural disorder that causes seizures whose health ramifications are far-reaching, to include having an indirect impact on your teeth and gums. Here’s some important information about the connection between epilepsy and oral health.

The Link Between Epilepsy and Oral Health

When epileptics go into convulsion, they are at risk of damaging their teeth. How so? Seizures often cause epileptics to grind and gnash their teeth. This can result in chipped or cracked teeth. In severe instances, this can cause a tooth to loosen or dislodge from its socket. It may also lead to a fractured jaw or TMJ disc displacement.

Unfortunately, some anti-convulsion medications can also cause side effects that impact dental health, including diminished vitamin D absorption, which affects teeth remineralization. Another side effect is overgrown gums, which increases plaque buildup. Continue Reading →