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Importance of Scheduling Dental Checkups

There is a reason that your dental insurance requires routine visits, for cleaning and oral examinations. Even your primary care physician will recommend dental checkups beginning at 18 months old! Your dental health is nothing to neglect. When you schedule regular dental checkups you are investing in your future.

Importance of Scheduling Dental Checkups Image - Smyrna TN - Legacy Hill DentistryWhat to Expect

When you schedule your dental checkup, you should mark it down in your calendar. Also, be sure to double check your insurance coverage! There’s nothing worse than an unexpected cost, even if it’s a necessary expense.

  • X-rays
    If you’re a new patient, your dental office will probably order X-rays. This in order to identify and diagnose problem areas that need attention. If you’re a returning patient, your dentist will have your dental records on file, including X-rays.
  • Cleaning
    Your dentist or dental hygienist will begin by cleaning and flossing your teeth. He or she will scrape away tarter and plaque, identify and measure the severity of cavities and decay, and finish with a refreshing polish.
  • Oral Examination
    Your dentist will perform an oral exam to identify tooth decay and gum disease, as well as check your bite and jaw for alignment problems.
  • Cancer Screening
    If you are at risk for oral cancers, you may opt for a cancer screening, but it is usually included in your dental checkup. During the oral cancer screening, your dentist or dental hygienist will assess the surfaces of your mouth, including the gums and tongue, feel the areas beneath your jaw, neck, and the insides of your lips and cheek. This is an important part of your dental checkup, especially if you are a tobacco user. If you are a tobacco user, you should tell your dentist and physician, so that they pay close attention to your oral health.

Prevention is Key

There is an old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is true of home maintenance, housekeeping, auto maintenance, and your physical health! It may cost you a minimal amount to visit your dentist regularly, but the dental cleaning is vital for cavity prevention. The exam is essential for early detection, and the cancer screening can save your life. If your dental problems are overlooked, or your oral health is neglected, you can end up paying an arm and a leg for drastic treatments to prevent pain, preserve your smile, or even save your jaw (in drastic cases).

You should begin to instill good oral health and dental hygiene in your children when they start using their teeth! Today is the day to make dental checkups a priority so that you don’t suffer in the future. You do not have to have dentures when you’re a senior. You don’t have to have new cavities at every checkup. While this is a common occurrence, prevention can save your smile, and your wallet. For more about dental checkups and how you can benefit from them, click here.

At Legacy Hill Dentistry in Smyrna, Tennessee, we take preventative care seriously. We know that preserving your smile is easier than restoring it. It’s better for your overall health, and much easier on your wallet.

Receding Gums

No one wants to experience receding gums. Visible when you smile or speak, they can be a pain to look at and be aware of. They can even point to an oral health problem that may need to be addressed by your dentist.

Receding Gums Image - Smyrna TN - Legacy Hill Dentistry (2)Any time you have a concern about your dental health, you should visit your family dentist. If there is nothing he or she can do for the problem at hand, you’ll at least be sent home with some instructions.

Gingival recession, or gum recession can happen for a number of reasons and may go unnoticed until it becomes painfully obvious. It’s possible for your gums to recede so far down your tooth, that roots are exposed. This is where your dentist needs to step in.

How To Slow Down The Process

  1. Choose the right brush, a soft-bristle, dentist recommended brush, should be sufficient for teeth brushing. Brushing too hard or using anything but a soft bristle brush can damage your gums.
  2. Pay attention to how you brush. Brushing too aggressively can create pain and worsen the receding gums. You should brush, not scrub, your teeth and gums.
  3. Watch videos that explain proper flossing technique. If you have receding gums the last thing you want to do is worsen them by flossing incorrectly.

What Your Doctor May Do

If you have been taking steps at home to improve your receding gums, but have had no improvement, your doctor may step in. If you’re lucky enough to have a dentist that also specializes in periodontics, you won’t have to be referred to another office. A dentist at Legacy Hill can treat your receding gums right here in our office. When the problem persists we can schedule a deep cleaning of the area called a scaling and root planing. This often cures the problem completely if the recession is caused from periodontitis, a serious gum infection. If the problem persists after scaling and root planning, a surgical treatment called a gum graft may be scheduled. During this procedure your periodontist will replace the gums over the teeth where they should stay after healing.

It’s never good to let any problem with your teeth or gums go on too long without consulting a professional. Legacy Hill Dentistry, and even our neighbor dentists in the Smyrna Hill area all agree on one thing: prevention is key. The less oral surgery that takes place in your mouth, the better. The more natural ways to treat significant problems, the better your oral health.

If you have a question or concern for a Legacy Hill dentist, someone is standing by to take your call and make your appointment. Call (615) 459-8050 today or contact us online.

Prevent Cavities While Enjoying Holiday Sweets This Season

Making and enjoying holiday treats is a favorite activity during the holiday season. Moderation is the best way to not gain fifteen extra pounds. However, what can you do to keep that high concentration of sugars from affecting your teeth during the holidays? Adults are buying more candy for Christmas than any other holiday treats. Although the adults are buying the treats, you have to assume that the whole family is enjoying them! With this high concentration of sugar comes more acid in the mouth and an increased risk of cavities and decay. Is there a way to protect your teeth this Christmas?

Prevent Cavities While Enjoying Holiday Sweets This Season Image - Smyrna TN - Legacy Hill DentistryLegacy Hill Dentistry is where smiles are made! While our main goal is to preserve, protect, and restore your natural smile, we also know that the holidays bring their own share of smiles! We know our patients are going to have an increased amount of sweets during the holiday season, and our dentists and hygienists are available for preventative services throughout the season.

In the meantime, here are our tips for the best cavity prevention this season:

  • Moderation
    Your oral health is tightly linked with your overall health. Adequate nutrition plays a large role in your health, and we encourage moderation in sugary sweets in order to promote optimum health.
  • Avoid sweets before bed
    When you eat sweets before bed and then go to sleep, the acids from the sugar sits on your teeth and gums all night. Remember this during parties and family movie nights. Even if the kids fall asleep, wake them up for teeth brushing before bed.
  • Rinse the mouth with water
    After consuming sugary sweets you can substantially decrease risk of cavities simply by rinsing the mouth with water. This is a great habit to start especially with small children.
  • Avoid hard candies that take a long time to consume
    A candy cane or hard candies that have to be sucked on in order to eat can significantly prolong the amount of time that sugar sits in the mouth. Children especially can spend hours sucking on suckers and candy canes. You can break candy canes into small pieces for children and avoid large suckers, while also offering water while they’re enjoying such treats.

These are not the only ways to prevent cavities, of course. Making sure to schedule your dental visit is important. If your teeth cleaning falls during the holiday season is it best to schedule it before or after? There isn’t a hard and fast rule about which is better, but if you have concerns about yours or your family’s teeth, you should schedule teeth cleanings and oral exams accordingly.

Schedule An Appointment With Us

Preventative care is substantially cheaper than restorative or cosmetic dentistry. While Legacy Hill dentists would rather prevent damage from occurring, we are able to repair cavities as part of our general dentistry services. Repairing a cavity can be a simple filling or can be more extensive like an extraction or root canal. If you’re interested in having repairs done during the holidays we do that too! Our office is open for regular business hours throughout the season, and is closed for holiday observance.

Give Legacy Hill Dentistry a call to schedule your preventative care or cavity repair in Smyrna, Tennessee and surrounding area.

Enjoy Your Holiday Meals with Healthy Teeth

Just as you should remember routine maintenance for your car, you should remember your routine dental inspection. Your regular dental exams are how you can best protect your teeth over the span of your life. You can also protect your teeth during the holidays by eating teeth-friendly foods, and practicing good habits at home.

Enjoy Your Holiday Meals with Healthy Teeth - Smyrna TN - Legacy Hill DentistryRepairing problems with your teeth can be painful, expensive, and time consuming, but preventative care is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

  1.  Practice healthy dental habits daily.
    If you’re not sure where to start, visit Mouth Healthy to learn more about your teeth and how to protect them daily.
  2.  Eat healthily.
    Eat a nutritious diet, and your teeth will benefit as much as your blood pressure and your waistline. Avoid sugary foods and drinks, and when you do consume them, rinse your mouth with water periodically. Water neutralizes the acids in your mouth that cause harmful deterioration and decay in your teeth.
  3.  Call a dentist you trust.
    The American Dental Associate (ADA) recommends regular dental exams in order to best care for your oral health. Finding a dentist you can trust in Smyrna is easy. Legacy Hill has been the trusted dental professional in the area for over 20 years and it’s still our goal to provide the best care at an affordable price, even offering payment options to best suit our customers.

If you have healthy teeth, good oral hygiene, and are in good overall health you may not need a dental exam but every 12 months.

You might have some problem areas and need an appointment every 6 months or even more frequently. We are experienced and will use our best judgement to make recommendations accordingly. At Legacy hill we do not price-gouge, exploit, or scam our patients. We hire only the best trained and qualified staff for our office, and you can expect a positive experience every time you come through the door.

What to Expect During Your Exam

During your routine dental exam you can expect a thorough examination of your mouth, including X-rays. You may need to be checked for gum disease, and your dentist will also conduct an oral cancer screening. Your regular appointment should include a cleaning, and your dentist will use special tools to inspect damage and gauge severity. Your dentist will finish your exam by discussing treatment options with you. This is the point in the visit that you will learn about your own need, and how often you should be seen. Your oral hygienist will most likely offer advice for home care.

To learn more about home care visit Legacy Hill online. We strive to provide only the best information for our patients, expert advice, and professional service.

Call Legacy Hill today at 615-459-8050 and schedule your dental exam today!

Advice for Home Dental Care

In America there have been advances in dental medicine in recent years that allow people to keep their natural teeth longer. It’s a dentist’s goal to preserve the natural teeth as long as possible because it is healthier for the mouth and other teeth. Besides remembering regular dental visits, such as cleanings and oral exams, it’s important to keep up with dental care at home to hold onto your natural smile longer.

Advice for Home Dental Care - Smyrna TN - Legacy Hill DentistryThe American Dental Association recommends home dental care as a preventative measure. These simple steps can keep the mouth healthy and can prevent pain, trauma, and expensive repairs later.

Brush Daily

You should brush your teeth twice daily with a fluoride tooth paste. Choose a soft bristle brush that has a shape complimentary to your mouth. This allows you to comfortably reach all the teeth, gums, and problem areas in your mouth. If you have trouble choosing between the various tooth brushes, consult with your dentist at your next visit. You should also replace your tooth brush every 3-4 months for the best care.

If you’re unable to brush twice for some reason, you should at least brush your teeth before bed each night. Also, if you make it a habit to drink sugary drinks, especially soda, you should frequently rinse your mouth with water.

Floss Daily

Brushing cleans the surfaces of the teeth just fine, but no matter how small the bristles, it is impossible to brush in between the teeth, you should floss at least once daily. Flossing removes food and plaque from in between the teeth. Flossing is one of the most effective preventative measures you can take to maintain your oral health. Cavities, especially in children, form between the teeth merely because the plaque is not brushed away. There are several products on the market today that make flossing easier.

Eat a Healthy Diet

It’s important to brush and floss daily, but even these good habits cannot replace a healthy diet. Diets high in sugar and acid are hard on the teeth. This does not just mean white, granulated sugar. Most popular snack foods happen to be breads and starches. These types of foods leave behind debris that sticks in the teeth, and is essentially sugar. These sugars, especially stuck in between the teeth, raises acidity in the mouth, and begins to eat at the enamel, leading to cavities and eventually tooth decay.

Quit Using Tobacco

Caring for your teeth and gums is important at all ages. Excessive sugar is a concern for children, and tobacco is a main concern for adults. Products like cigarettes and smokeless tobacco damage teeth and gums in their own way. Tobacco stains the teeth and tongue, dulls taste and smell, slows healing after oral surgeries and procedures, leads to oral cancers and gum disease, and makes cosmetic dentistry more difficult to correct. The best prevention against all of these things is to quit today.

Quitting tobacco, eating healthily, brushing, flossing, and keeping up with regular dental appointments are half the battle with your oral health. Your dentist treats the problem, but doesn’t want a problem to exist! Most of your dental health is in your hands, every single day, in the choices you make.

When you do need to schedule your next dental appointment call Legacy Hill Dentistry at 615-459-8050 and let us talk to you about preventative care so that you can preserve or restore your natural smile.