What You Should Know About Oral Cancer


What You Should Know About Oral Cancer

April is oral cancer awareness month. At Kenmore Smiles Family Dentistry, we like to use the opportunity to help spread awareness about oral cancer. Although no one wants to think about things like facing a cancer diagnosis, it is important to be aware of oral cancer, its signs and symptoms, and risk factors for developing it.

Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer

If you notice any of the following signs or symptoms in or around your oral cavity, and they do not resolve on their own within two weeks, schedule an exam right away:
Symptoms and location can vary from patient to patient and between cancer types. If you notice any unusual changes that do not clear up, schedule an exam as soon as possible.

Oral Cancer Risk Factors

There are several factors that put individuals at an elevated risk of developing oral cancer. These include:
Men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer than women, and individuals over the age of 50 who smoke and drink excessively are at the highest risk.

Schedule a Dental Checkup and Oral Cancer Screening in Kenmore

As is the case with most forms of cancer, early detection is key to the most successful treatment. During regular dental checkups and cleanings, Dr. Mott at Kenmore Smiles Family Dentistry screens every patient for signs of oral cancer.
An oral cancer screening includes a visual examination of the patient’s oral cavity (cheeks, lips, gums, tongue, and throat) in addition to palpating the patient’s soft tissues around the mouth, cheeks, and neck to feel for unusual growths. If anything unusual is detected, Dr. Mott will discuss further steps for diagnosis with the patient, which might include additional testing or scheduling an appointment with the patient’s general practitioner.
If you maintain a regular schedule of dental exams, our dentist has a better chance of detecting changes that could indicate early signs of cancer or precancerous lesions. Be sure to remember to schedule your next dental exam.

Is It Safe to Go to the Dentist During the COVID-19 Pandemic?


Is It Safe to Go to the Dentist During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Last August, the World Health Organization released a statement recommending that people postpone their routine dental visits to reduce the risk of potentially being exposed to or spreading the novel coronavirus. Shortly thereafter, the American Dental Association responded by stressing the importance of routine dental care in the prevention and early detection of serious oral health problems, which can significantly affect systemic health. For example, routine dental exams help prevent things like root canals and advanced periodontal disease.
In addition to these conflicting statements, the entirety of the pandemic has presented an ever-shifting landscape of changing rules, regulations, and recommendations.
Our dentist and staff are taking increased precautions to keep patients safe at this time. We have increased cleanings between patient visits and all patients are required to wear masks when not seated in the dental chair. Our staff continues to wear the personal protective equipment needed to keep the office a safe environment and help prevent the spread of infection.

4 Tips for Deciding Whether You Should Visit the Dentist During the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic

1. Is It an Emergency?

If you’re in pain, have an infection, or are experiencing another type of dental emergency, you should not hesitate to visit the dentist.

2. Are You in a High-Risk Health Category?

If you have a medical condition that puts you at increased risk of severe illness, then you might consider postponing your dental exam. We recommend discussing this with your physician or contacting our office.

3. Have You Been Sick or Exposed to Coronavirus Recently?

To keep our dental office safe for everyone, we’re asking anyone who has tested positive, has had symptoms, or has been exposed to coronavirus to delay their appointments until they are no longer contagious.

4. How Does Your Oral Health Risk Compare to Your General Health Risk

If you have an ongoing oral health concern, such as periodontal disease, then it’s essential for you to continue regular dental cleanings to prevent the infection from worsening and leading to systemic health issues.

Contact Kenmore Smiles Family Dentistry about Dental Care During COVID-19

Deciding whether you should visit the dentist during the COVID-19 pandemic is a personal choice that every patient should while keeping their own comfort, safety, and doctor’s advice in mind. That being said, we are following all COVID-19 safety rules and taking several precautions to keep everyone healthy while continuing to offer dental care to the Kenmore community. To learn more about the safety precautions we’re taking, we welcome you to contact our office.

Are You a Good Candidate for Clear Orthodontics?


Are You a Good Candidate for Clear Orthodontics?

If you’ve always dreamt of having a straighter smile, but haven’t wanted to commit to months or potentially years of sporting a shiny set of metal braces, then you’ll be happy to know that there’s a better alternative. Clear orthodontics (Invisalign), could be the perfect way to finally get the smile of your dreams.
Although they aren’t the right solution for everyone, clear aligners can offer many people the best of teeth straightening without having to deal with the downfalls of metal braces. Keep reading to find out if clear orthodontics are right for you.

Are Clear Aligners Right for Me? - 7 Signs You're an Invisalign Candidate

1. You Have Good Oral Health

Serious problems like tooth decay or periodontal disease need to be addressed and resolved before beginning treatment with Invisalign.

2. You Don't Use Tobacco

With clear aligners, tobacco use of any kind will interfere with your treatment.

3. You're Responsible

Clear aligners give you the freedom of taking them off to enjoy meals. Ultimately, their effectiveness depends on the patient’s ability to responsibly wear them for about 22 hours every day.

4. You Don't Have Severe Alignment Issues

Clear aligners can correct tooth gaps, misaligned, overbites, underbites, and crossbites. However, they’re usually only recommended for patients with minor to moderate alignment concerns.

5. Your Teeth Are Fully Developed

A patient’s teeth and jawbone must be fully developed before clear aligners can be used effectively.

6. You Want a Discreet Treatment Option

Wanting straighter teeth without conspicuous orthodontic appliances is the primary reason patients choose clear orthodontics. They’re barely visible when worn and can be taken out for important events like a public speaking commitment or even a first date. As long as you wear them for 20 to (ideally) 22 hours each day, they should work as intended.

7. You Want to Continue Eating Your Favorite Foods

Metal braces require you to give up certain foods, but with clear orthodontics, you can remove them to eat and drink anything you want – as long as you brush your teeth after meals and put your aligners back on.

Find Out If You're a Candidate for Teeth Straightening with Invisalign

If you want a straighter, more confident smile and think that clear orthodontics might be right for you, we welcome you to schedule a teeth straightening consultation with Dr. Mott at Kenmore Smiles Family Dentistry. Dr. Mott will discuss your goals with you and examine your teeth to help you find the best treatment options to help you achieve your dream smile.

How to Calm Your Fear of Going to the Dentist


How to Calm Your Fear of Going to the Dentist

If you experience anxiety when you visit the dentist (or think about visiting the dentist), you’re not alone. Many adults and children fear the dentist, dental cleanings, and dental exams. However, professional dental care is essential to the health of your teeth and your general wellness. Consider the following tips to conquer your fears and finally relax in the dental chair.

5 Tips for Overcoming Dental Anxiety

1. Talk About It

The most important thing you can do to calm your fears is to have an open discussion with your dentist about your worries. Think about what it is that scares you at the dentist (negative past experiences, lack of control, fear of pain, fear of cost, or something else). Sometimes, simply telling the dentist and getting reassurance is enough to calm dental anxiety.

2. Distract Yourself

Most dentists welcome patients to bring headphones and listen to calming music or a podcast during the appointment. This can take your focus off of your dental exam and help you forget to feel afraid. This is especially useful if the strange sounds of the dentist’s office make you uneasy.

3. Try Meditation

Meditation can be a useful practice for overcoming all sorts of life’s stress and anxiety. However, it takes a commitment to practice daily and become proficient enough to see real results.

4. Be Diligent with Oral Hygiene

The better you care for your teeth between your dental appointments, the less work you’ll need when you get to the dentist. When you always receive a good report after a dental exam, your worries around needing more extensive or invasive treatments will eventually go away.

5. Ask About Sedation Dentistry

If your dental phobia is serious enough to keep you from visiting the dentist, you might consider sedation dentistry. Different levels of sedation are available to help patients access dental care without anxiety.

Schedule a Dentist Office Visit in Kenmore

If you’re uneasy or down-right afraid to visit the dentist, we welcome you to schedule a simple visit to our office and a consultation with Dr. Mott. Without any pressure from an actual exam or dental cleaning, you can get acquainted with our staff, our dentist, and our office’s atmosphere. We’ll be happy to talk with you about your concerns and provide you with a variety of sedation dentistry options that can help you access the dental care you need without worry.

Are These Common Bad Habits Damaging Your Teeth?

Are These Common Bad Habits Damaging Your Teeth?

If you brush and floss each day, then you already have a wonderfully healthy habit. Unfortunately, there are plenty of bad habits that can harm your teeth, gums, and general oral health. Use the following habit-breaking advice to stop the unhealthy behavior and get back on the path to a healthy smile.

Chewing on Ice and Biting Your Nails

These bad habits damage tooth enamel, wear down your teeth, and can lead to broken or chipped teeth and tooth decay.

Habit-Breaker: Replace ice or other objects with sugar-free chewing gum that’ll be safe for your teeth. If you bite your nails, paint on a colorless, foul-tasting nail polish designed to discourage the bad habit.

Using Tobacco

Tobacco stains teeth and damages the mouth’s soft tissues. Over time, it can cause oral cancer and other cancers throughout the body.

Habit-Breaker: Patches, gums, prescription medications, and even meditation can all help with smoking, vaping, and chewing tobacco cessation. Talk with your doctor about the best strategy for you.

Brushing Too Hard

It’s no surprise that many people think their teeth will be cleaner if they brush harder. Brushing hard, however, can actually damage your tooth enamel and your gums, leading to sensitivity, decay, and receding gums.

Habit-Breaker: Learn to brush softly by focusing on just one or two teeth at a time, using a toothbrush with soft bristles. Another great strategy is to invest in a high-quality electric toothbrush, which will thoroughly clean teeth by gently gliding across their surfaces.

Drinking Too Little Water

Our bodies have a built-in teeth-cleaning and bacteria-busting system – saliva. Drinking too little water and letting yourself become dehydrated will hinder your saliva production and dry out your mouth, leaving acid-producing bacteria free to break down tooth enamel.

Habit-Breaker: Stay hydrated by making sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day (more if you’re exercising, sweating, or spending time in the heat). Fill up a water bottle to have at your desk or set a timer to remind yourself. Remember if you wait until you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.

Start a Healthy Dental Habit – Schedule Annual Checkups for Your Family

Along with brushing and flossing every day, one of the healthiest dental habits is to see a dentist for a professional cleaning and checkup at least once a year. To schedule appointments for your whole family, we welcome you to contact Kenmore Smiles Family Dentistry. Dr. Mott can help you break your unhealthy dental habits and replace them with positive practices that’ll keep your teeth and gums healthy for life.