3904 South Lynn Court
Independence, MO 64055
Call Us Today: (816) 252-0055

December 15, 2016

Preventing Cavities ~ Timing Could Be Everything

Preventing cavities is imperative, but it’s not just what you eat that increases your risk of tooth decay. According to the American Dental Association, how often you enjoy a meal is equally as important as what you put in your mouth. Have Grandma’s sugar cookies with a meal and you will be doing your teeth a big favor.

According to your Dr. David Schaefer, when you eat your meals can have long term effects on your oral health and in preventing cavities. Learning how the food you eat, and when you eat it affects your teeth and gums is your first step to a healthier mouth.

Immediate Changes

The minute you eat certain foods your mouth will begin to produce acids. Those acids will begin the cavity process.

So What Happens

All carbohydrates will eventually become simple sugars breaking down into fructose, lactose and maltose. Carbohydrates that ferment will break down in your mouth. Other foods will not break down until they get to the digestive tract.

Fermentable carbs join forces with the bacteria to create acids that will decay your teeth. Obviously cakes, cookies, candy and soft drinks are at the top of the list when it comes to the worlds most sugary foods, but other foods such as cereal, bananas, crackers and bread can also wreck havoc on your teeth.

Certain types of bacteria in your mouth will use the sugar you just enjoyed producing acid that will begin to dissolve the minerals inside the tooth eating away the enamel known as demineralization. Remineralization occurs when the teeth regain their minerals with the help of saliva. Fluoride and certain foods such as cucumbers and celery can also help with remineralization as can cheese and certain dairy products.

This holiday season watch what you eat and remember to keep an eye on, “When,” you eat as well when it comes to preventing cavities, and don’t forget to schedule your annual dental checkup with Dr. Schaefer today.

Happy Holidays from the team from Dr. David Schaefer and the team from Schaefer Dental!

November 15, 2016

Porcelain Veneers for a New Smile

Porcelain Veneers could be the answer if you are tired of spending hundreds of dollars on over the counter tooth whitening products that aren’t doing what was promised.

People all over the globe are spending millions of dollars every year trying to whiten teeth that cannot be whitened with non-prescription and professional tooth whitening products. However, the bottom line is that not all teeth can be whitened and need to be restored using other restorative or cosmetic procedures.

Tooth whitening works great if you have exterior stains from tobacco, red wine, tea, coffee or age. However, if you have stains on previously restored teeth or stains on the inside of your teeth, you may want to consider porcelain veneers.

Porcelain veneers are the perfect option if you have chipped or crooked teeth. If you want to fill that gap between your front teeth or unhappy with your eye teeth, talk to Dr. Schaefer about porcelain veneers to give you the smile that you deserve.

What are Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are thin sheets of porcelain that your dentist will custom create to cover your damaged or stained teeth. Porcelain veneers are permanent and do require some removal of your natural enamel to make way for the veneer for a natural looking fit.

Before Dr. Schaefer determines your candidacy for cosmetic veneers, he will check your teeth and gums to make sure that you are free from gum disease and/or tooth decay. If you are given the all clear, molds or impressions will be made so that your porcelain veneers will be an exact fit.

Once your veneers are ready, they will be permanently bonded to your teeth before polishing to match the rest of your teeth.

If you are tired of your smile and would like more information regarding porcelain veneers or any other cosmetic dental procedure, call or click and schedule a no obligation consultation with Schaefer Dental today.

October 15, 2016

Invisalign for Straight Teeth

Invisalign® is the 21st century way to straighten your teeth without conventional braces. These days the only people who need to know that you are wearing an oral appliance are you and your dentist thanks to the remarkable invisible solution to wires and brackets.

If you want straighter teeth, Invisalign® can help. Rotated, tipped, and crooked teeth along with small spaces between the teeth can all be fixed with the clear alternative to conventional braces.

With Invisalign® you can have a beautiful new smile in as little as six months with the average time being 12 to 18 months, however, there are a few other reasons that you may want to consider clear plastic aligners for straight teeth.

Time Factor

Conventional braces need to be worn up to two years. With Invisalign®, you don’t have to wait months or even years to have a Hollywood Smile. The clear plastic alternative to braces requires dental visits every six weeks. With conventional braces, you need to see your dentist every couple of weeks for adjustments.

Oral Health

Because old school braces cannot be removed, it makes it difficult to brush. Invisalign® is removed when you eat, brush and floss, making you less susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease.

Comfort

Conventional braces are uncomfortable. Wires and brackets need to be adjusted, which can cause pain. Invisalign® aligners are made from clear plastic and are very comfortable; in fact, you may even forget that you are wearing them.

If Dr. Schaefer gives you to the go ahead for straighter teeth, pictures and impressions will be taken of your teeth. Once your aligners are ready, you will take them home. You may receive anywhere between 11 and 31 sets of aligners for your customized Invisalign® plan.

Having a beautiful smile is easy with Invisalign®. Call or click and schedule your appointment for straighter teeth with Dr. Schaefer today.

September 15, 2016

Men and Womens Oral Health Differences

Men and Women’s oral health can be described in one word, different. One would assume because a man and woman’s mouth look exactly the same, lips, tongue, cheeks, teeth and gums, that oral health would be the same, but there are some differences. Just like means and women’s bodies differ, so do men and women’s mouths.

Dr. David Schaefer explains that noth men and women are susceptible to oral cancer, tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath; however, the biggest men and women’s oral health differences lie in the female anatomy.

Unlike men, women go through life changes. Puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause affect all women and have a profound effect on oral health, and although men are less likely to look after their teeth and gums, research indicates that men don’t floss, as often, they don’t have to be concerned about women’s life changes and oral health.

Women need to brush at least twice each day. Floss daily or more if you need to. Make sure you use a good oral rinse and schedule regular checkups with your dentist. If you notice anything suspicious, get to the office as soon as you can. Research shows that oral cancer has a higher cure rate if detected early. During your regular checkups, ask your dentist to do an oral cancer screening.

Puberty

Puberty brings on the sex hormones and in girls and that means swollen gums. If you or someone you know is going through puberty watch for red and bleeding gums.

Menstruation

Some women suffer from Menstruation Gingivitis. This condition causes red, swollen, and bleeding gums a week before a period begins and usually stops after it starts.

Pregnancy

The only thing that changes in a man when his partner is pregnant is his stress levels. He may gain some weight and, “Pretend,” that he is expecting, but he won’t experience the gingivitis that occurs in a high percentage of pregnant women. If you are pregnant, pay close attention to your teeth and gums and if you notice any swelling or bleeding call your dentist. If left untreated, gingivitis and periodontal disease can cause premature and low weight births.

Post menopause

Women deal with serious hormonal fluctuations during post menopause including dry mouth, burning sensations and a change in taste. When women are in post menopause it can affect oral health. Schedule frequent dental appointments if you are affected by post menopause.

Both men and women need to take good care of their teeth and gums. Call or click and schedule an appointment with your dentist today.

August 15, 2016

Gum Disease Can Remain Silent

Gum disease affects the tissues that support and surround your teeth and is one of the main causes of adult tooth loss, and because it is usually painless, you may not even know that you have it.

A film of bacteria, also known as plaque, causes gingivitis, and the more serious periodontal disease. Brushing your teeth twice and flossing once each day along with regular dental checkups can help prevent gum disease.

Gum Disease Warning Signs

  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bad taste in your mouth
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Gums that are starting to pull away from your teeth
  • Loose adult teeth
  • Bite changes
  • Denture fit changes
  • Pain when chewing

Although poor oral hygiene is one of the main causes of gum disease, some other factors can increase the risk. According to your dentist, those factors include, but are not limited to:

  • Tobacco use
  • Genetics
  • Pregnancy
  • Crooked teeth that are difficult to clean
  • Diabetes
  • Medications including cancer therapy drugs, steroids, anti-epilepsy drugs, oral contraceptives and calcium channel blockers

Early Gum Disease

Colgate explains that gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. If you have it, your gums may bleed easy, become swollen or red. During this stage, your gum disease is reversible and can usually be eliminated with a professional dental cleaning or a root planing and scaling procedure.

Advanced Gum Disease

Periodontal disease affects nearly 50 percent of people over the age of 30 in the U.S. If left untreated it will lead to tissue and bone loss. The more severe the disease the more chance you have of losing your teeth. Although it slowly gets worse, there could be times when it progresses rapidly.

Aggressive periodontal disease is highly destructive and can occur in people who have good overall health. Common features of advanced periodontitis include a rapid loss of bone and tissue that could occur in the entire mouth.

The Mouth and Body Connection

Although studies are ongoing, recent research is indicating a connection between periodontal disease and systemic diseases. While there is no conclusive link, severe periodontitis could be associated with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s disease.

You may have gum disease, especially if you can’t remember the last time you saw your dentist. Regular dental appointments can catch gingivitis before it advances to periodontal disease.

Don’t wait until it gets worse. Call or click and schedule a thorough dental examination with your dentist today.

July 15, 2016

Professional Tooth Whitening for Dramatic Results

Professional tooth whitening is the most popular and affordable cosmetic dental procedure, and if you have always thought your smile could use a boost, call and schedule an appointment with Schaefer Dental who can determine if you are a good candidate for tooth whitening.

Your local pharmacy is filled with dozens of over the counter tooth whitening products, but those gels, pastes, strips, and mouth rinses will never do as good a job as professional tooth whitening will.

According to the American Dental Association, over the counter whitening bleaches do not have the same amount of hydrogen peroxide as professional tooth whitening products and will not give you the same results.

If your dentist has given you the okay for professional tooth whitening, if you have tooth decay or gum disease that will need to be taken care of first, you will be fitted for a custom set of thin plastic bleaching trays and bleaching solution. The custom fitted trays allow the gel to penetrate deep into the tooth helping to get rid of stains while strengthening your teeth. Your dentist recommends whitening each day for about 2 weeks to achieve the desired result.

Tooth whitening works great on yellow or stained teeth, but will not work on dental restorations such as cosmetic veneers, dental crowns, dental bonding, or dental implants.

After you have completed your tooth whitening procedure, your dentist may want to combine other cosmetic dental procedures such as porcelain veneers, braces, or crown and bridge therapy. Your dentist may even suggest dental implants if you have one or more missing teeth.

Having a beautiful smile boosts your self-confidence while improving your self-esteem. People who like to show off a healthy grin are more inclined to be outgoing and happy with the way they look and feel.

If you would like more information regarding tooth whitening or any other cosmetic dental procedure, call or click and schedule an appointment with Schaefer Dental today.

June 15, 2016

What You May Not Know about your Teeth

When it comes to teeth and gums, most people are aware that practicing good oral hygiene habits, including brushing twice, flossing once each day, a good healthy diet and regular checkups with your dentist are imperative, but according to Colgate there are a few things that you may not know about your teeth and gums.

  • Kid’s teeth are soft until around the age of 10.
  • A tooth that already has a crown can still have a cavity.
  • Your gum tissue is just as important as teeth.
  • Some prescription and over the counter drugs can increase the risk of cavities.
  • Some water filters that are used at home or the office will remove fluoride.
  • Most bottled water does not contain fluoride.
  • More than 19 percent of children between 2 and 19 have untreated cavities.
  • Allergies can cause tooth clenching or grinding.
  • Dried fruit and sticky candy are just as bad for your teeth.
  • Tooth enamel will not repair itself, although the cementum and dentin, the substances that surround your teeth might.
  • Your mouth harbors 300 different types of bacteria.
  • Chewing sugarless gum after you eat can help you remove food particles. Of course, you still need to brush, but if you can’t do so right away after a meal, sugarless gum will help keep your teeth clean.
  • Cavities don’t always cause pain until they have hit the nerve and the root in your tooth. Schedule regular checkups to prevent dental caries or detect them early enough to prevent large fillings or root canals.
  • Bone recession can cause tooth loss even without any decay present.
  • A recent study at Harvard University stimulated tooth growth in rats and human dental tissue using low-powered lasers to activate stem cells.

If you would like more information regarding your teeth and gums, or would like to schedule an appointment with your dentist for a checkup,

May 15, 2016

Five Bad Oral Health Habits

Healthy oral health habits including brushing twice and flossing once each day, however, your dentist explains that there are a few oral health habits that you should avoid.

Cough Drops

Just like hard candies, cough drops are loaded with sugar. Sucking on the hard lozenges will coat your teeth and react with the plaque and bacteria. The sugar will convert to acid and eat away the enamel on your teeth. If you must suck on a cough drop, make sure you brush and rinse well afterwards.

Don’t Use Your Teeth as an Opener

Using your teeth to open packaging, an envelope, or even worse, a bottle, may seem like a convenient thing to do, but this bad habit will make your dentist cringe. Using a tooth or teeth as a tool could cause chips and cracks. If you open a bottle with your teeth, you could even break a tooth. Keep a pair of scissors and a bottle opener handy instead of using your teeth.

Snacking

If you are one of those people who enjoy snacking all day, you could be damaging your teeth. Your dentist explains that snacking will produce less saliva than an entire meal. Snacking leaves bits of food in your teeth unless you rinse right away. If you snack all of the time, you could be setting yourself up for tooth decay. If you must snack, avoid starchy and sugary treats and go for celery or carrot sticks.

Oral Piercings

It may seem cool to have your tongue or lip pierced, but those studs and hoops can cause damage to your teeth. If you accidentally bite down on a stud in your mouth, you could chip or crack a tooth. If you play with the jewelry your gums may also become irritated, which could lead to gum disease.

Tobacco

Everyone knows the dangers of tobacco use, however, smoking and chewing tobacco can also cause stains, and chronic bad breathe and tooth loss. People who use tobacco products, yes, even a hookah pipe are also three times more likely to get oral cancer.

You were meant to have your teeth for life and can if you practice good oral health habits including brushing twice, flossing once each day and regular appointments with your dentist you may be one of the lucky ones. Call or click and schedule an appointment with your dentist today.

April 15, 2016

Custom Made Mouthguards for the Family

April is National Mouth Protection Month and if you and your kids play any kind of sports, whether recreational, amateur or professional, you need to schedule an appointment with your dentist who can fit you with a custom made mouthguard.

Although mouth protectors are mandatory in some sporting activities, the groups behind National Mouth Protection Month, the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Academy for Sports Dentistry, the American Association of Orthodontists and the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons believe that mouthguards should be mandatory in all sports whether group or individual sports. Surfers, people who play racquetball or people who enjoy skateboarding and mountain biking should all wear stock, boil and bite or custom made mouth protectors.

Your dentist explains that one of the most important reasons that you and your kids should wear a mouthguard is that it keeps your teeth safe. Not only does a custom-made mouth protector keep your teeth from breaking or fracturing, but a mouth protector can also help protect your teeth against tooth displacement or a knockout. Mouthguards are essential if you want to protect yourself and your family against soft tissue damage.

There are three types of mouth protectors, stock, boil and bite and custom made.

Stock-Although a stock mouthguard will provide you with some protection stock mouth protectors can be uncomfortable making it difficult to talk and sometimes breathe because you constantly have to bite down on a stock mouth protector.

Boil and Bite-Boil and Bite mouthguards are better than stock as you place them in boiling water to mold to your teeth and gums, however, these types of mouth protectors can also be bulky and uncomfortable.

A custom-made mouthguard is the best defense against a blow to the head as custom-made mouthguards are made from an impression taken of your own teeth and gums. Once made your mouth protector will fit perfectly giving you the protection you need.

Take care of your family’s mouth this spring and schedule an appointment with your dentist for custom-made mouthguards for everyone.

March 15, 2016

Dental Emergency Tips

Unfortunately, dental emergencies can happen, especially at this time of the year. With spring just around the corner, kids and adults will be participating in both recreational and amateur sports making them more susceptible to mouth and tooth injuries. However, according to the American Dental Association, there are some things you can do before you make it to your dentist’s office.

Toothaches

Rinse your mouth thoroughly with tepid water. Floss to remove any food. Apply a cold compress if your mouth or cheek is swollen. Your dentist explains that you should never put painkillers; including aspirin near your tooth or on your gums as it could burn your gum tissue. See the dentist ASAP to avoid a dangerous abscess.

Broken or chipped tooth

Save the pieces and rinse your mouth with warm water making sure to rinse all of the broken pieces as well. If you are bleeding, apply gauze to the area until it has stopped bleeding, usually about 10 minutes or so. Use a cold compress on you cheek or lip or near the chipped or broken tooth as this well help keep the swelling down.

Knocked out tooth

If you can find the tooth, hold it by the crown and carefully rinse if dirty. Do not scrub or remove tissue fragments. Without using force, try putting the tooth back in its socket. If this is impossible, place in a container of milk or water with a pinch of salt. You can also use a tooth preservation product. See your dentist as quickly as possible as the tooth can be saved if you make it to the office within an hour of the knock out.

Lost Fillings

If you lose a filling, you can use sugarless gum to fill the cavity. Never use gum with as sugared gum will cause pain. There are also dental cements that you can use a temporary fix before you head to your dentists office.

Lost Crowns

If you should lose a crown or it falls off, try to see your dentist as quickly as possible and bring the dislodged crown with you. If you cannot get to the office right away and you are in pain, apply oil of cloves, available from you local pharmacy, with a cotton swab. If possible, you can slip the dental crown back over your tooth, however before attempting, make sure that you apply dental cement, a denture adhesive or toothpaste to the area to help hold your crown in its place. Never use super glue.

Dental emergencies do happen, and should be taken care of as quickly as possible; however, the remedies above can help until you make it into the dentist’s office.

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3904 South Lynn Court, Independence, MO 64055 USA
David A. Schaefer, DDS Independence MO dentist (816) 252-0055