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How to Maintain Good Dental Habits

July 22, 2015

ThinkstockPhotos-470167629A dentist can only do so much when it comes to maintaining your dental health. At the end of the day, you’re the one who is responsible for keeping your mouth clean and healthy. Keeping periodontal disease at bay is very important, and maintaining good dental habits will go a long way in fighting off signs of periodontal disease. Flint dentist, Dr. Chitra Naik, is a lot more than just a dentist; she’s an educator for good dental health and how to obtain the cleanest and most healthy mouth possible. Our dental office in Flint, MI cares about how your smile looks and feels. Here are some tips on how to keep your smile as bright and beautiful as it can possibly be.

Dental Health At Home

It all starts at home. Don’t believe us? Richard H. Price, DMD, spokesperson for the American Dental Association and a former clinical instructor at the Boston University Henry H. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (a.k.a. this guy knows what he’s talking about), says regular home care should include daily brushing and flossing. His advice? “Brush thoroughly, at least twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening before going to bed. Be sure to floss at least once a day. I do it after every meal when I can.” Practicing good dental hygiene isn’t rocket science; it’s really easy.

Here are some basic principles to follow:

  • Spend at least three minutes brushing your teeth twice a day. To ensure you’re spending enough time on your oral care routine, try using a timer.
  • Use floss at least once a day every day to clean between your teeth. Food particles love setting up camp in between your teeth, and bacteria can run roughshod over your teeth.
  • Buy ADA-approved dental cleaning tools and toothpaste.

Poor Oral Health Consequences

Think of your body like a machine; every part is important. If one fails, the system as a whole will suffer. Your mouth is the same way and affects more of your overall health than you’d think. Not practicing good dental hygiene can drastically affect your oral health, but your wellbeing is put at risk as well.

Possible risks include:

  • Heart disease/stroke
  • Dementia
  • Respiratory problems
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Premature birth

We’re not here to scare you, we just want you to realize how important maintaining good oral health is for your overall health. Practicing good dental habits will work out in the long run.

Schedule Your Appointment with Your Dentist in 48532

Our Flint dental office would be honored to serve you for all your dental needs. Keeping infection and bacteria at bay is what we do best, and we can help you, too. Schedule an appointment – we serve everyone in Flint, MI as well as Burton, Flushing, Mt Morris, Swartz Creek, Goodrich and beyond.

 

 

 

How Does Your Workout Affect Your Smile? Athletes and Oral Health

February 15, 2015

78459279While your teeth may be the last things on your mind when you gear up to hit the gym, a recent study has uncovered a vital connection between oral health and strenuous exercise. At the Flint, MI dental practice of Dr. Chitra P. Naik, Dr. Naik and her team are committed to helping our patients achieve and maintain optimal oral health, and today we’d like to talk about how exercising – particularly running – impacts the health of your teeth and gums.

Why Do Athletes Have More Cavities?

A 2014 study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports found that athletes –especially those who engaged in distance running on a regular basis – had a higher incidence of enamel erosion and tooth decay than their peers who were non-athletic. This was found to be directly related to pH levels in their mouths; a decreased pH level (one that falls below 5.5) has been linked to a higher risk for cavities and gum disease. It is believed that the lower pH levels were caused by a diet high in carbohydrates, including sports drinks and energy bars frequently consumed before and during workouts.

In addition, breathing through the mouth – a habit of many runners – decreases saliva levels. Saliva is necessary for good oral health; it actively protects the enamel from acidic bacteria. While the study certainly offers insight into why athletes tend to suffer from more tooth decay, the results should not be used to deter anyone from pursuing a healthy and active lifestyle. They simply further support the belief that runners and other athletes should visit the dentist often for routine checkups and cleanings to ensure continued oral health.

Schedule Your Next Visit Today

If you or someone in your family exercises regularly, it’s important to remember that your teeth and gums require special care to stay healthy. Contact us today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Naik, and learn more about how our general and preventive dentistry solutions can help you avoid cavities, periodontal disease, and more. Our family-friendly dental practice in Flint, MI warmly welcomes patients from throughout the surrounding communities in Flushing, Davison, Fenton, Ortonville, and beyond. We look forward to seeing your smile!

Find Real Relief from Migraines & Jaw Pain with TMJ Therapy in Flint, MI

December 16, 2014

178901519Do you often awaken in the morning with a splitting headache? Perhaps you suffer from persistent pain in your jaw, face, neck, and shoulders. Though you may not be aware of it, you may be affected by a condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ dysfunction. This condition is responsible for a variety of unpleasant symptoms, and it can lead to lasting damage to the joints that allow your jaw to move freely. At the Flint, MI dental practice of Dr. Chitra P. Naik, we offer a wide selection of preventive dentistry solutions, including TMJ therapy.

How Do I Know if I Need TMJ Therapy?

TMJ disorder is characterized by the repetitive, subconscious clenching of the jaws. It may be accompanied by bruxism, or teeth grinding. The muscles, nerves, and cartilage discs of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) grow irritated and damaged over time due to the constant pressure exerted by the jaw.

A one-on-one consultation with Dr. Naik will determine the underlying cause of your pain, marking the beginning of a journey toward improved comfort and oral health. While this careful evaluation is the only way to definitively diagnose TMJ disorder, there are some common symptoms that you can keep an eye out for at home. Patients suffering from TMJ disorder typically report experiencing one or more of the following symptoms on a regular basis:

  • Pain that originates in the jaw and radiates throughout the face
  • A clicking or popping sound or sensation when opening and closing the mouth
  • A difference in the way your upper and lower teeth fit together
  • Jaw that becomes locked in one position
  • Pain while yawning or chewing
  • Frequent headaches, often accompanied by sensitivity in the temple and sides of the skull
  • Sore, achy, or strained feeling in muscles of the neck, shoulders, and back

In order to relieve you of the pain and potential damage caused by teeth clenching, Dr. Naik may provide you with a custom-fitted oral appliance. This comfortable splint is typically worn at night or whenever you tend to clench your jaw the most. The majority of patients recognize an improvement in their level of comfort within days of using their appliance. We want to help you experience the same kind of relief.

Schedule Your Consultation Today

Do you suspect that you may be suffering from TMJ disorder? Don’t spend another day suffering with the discomfort and aching pains associated with teeth clenching; contact our office today to schedule your visit with Dr. Naik and her caring, compassionate team. Dr. Naik will perform a full assessment of your teeth, gums, and jaw to determine the cause of your symptoms and recommend a treatment plan that best suits your needs, lifestyle, and budget. Conveniently located in Flint, MI, our state-of-the-art dental practice warmly welcomes families from throughout the surrounding areas, including Flushing, Fenton, Ortonville, Davison, and beyond. We genuinely look forward to serving you!

Tooth-Colored Fillings for a Healthier, Stronger, and More Beautiful Smile

June 15, 2014

shutterstock_140401018For many years, dental cavities were treated with amalgam fillings, commonly known as “silver” or “metal” fillings. Today, however, modern dental technology and advanced science have made it possible to utilize much more sophisticated materials in the treatment of tooth decay. At the Flint, MI dental practice of Dr. Chitra P. Naik, we offer a variety of restorative dental solutions to help keep our patients’ smiles looking and feeling their best, including composite resin tooth-colored fillings.

The Advantages of Tooth-Colored Fillings

Though tooth enamel is the hardest natural substance in the human body, it is still susceptible to considerable damage due to decay. A dental filling is placed to repair and protect a damaged tooth after the decayed portion has been treated. Amalgam fillings are comprised of numerous metals, including silver, liquid mercury, tin, and copper. Because of their composition, amalgams can be affected by changes in temperature, thereby making them unideal as compared to a more stable substance like composite resin. Composite resin maintains its size and shape despite temperatures changes, decreasing the chances that a tooth will develop microfractures over time. In addition, composite resin fillings (often simply referred to as tooth-colored fillings) are more aesthetically pleasing, blending in with your smile in a way that looks completely natural.

While it has not yet been definitively proven that the mercury in amalgam fillings poses a health risk, many doctors and patients prefer the certainty afforded by composite resin fillings instead. The biocompatible materials used in these restorations look and feel more natural, and they are completely free of metal. You can rest assured in the knowledge that your dental fillings are 100 percent safe.

Visit Our Dental Practice in Flint, MI Today

Whether you currently have amalgam fillings and you would like to learn more about tooth-colored alternatives or you simply need to schedule your next dental checkup, we are here to help. Contact our office in Flint, MI today and speak with our caring, considerate staff, and discover the difference that our experience, technology, and patient-centric approach can make in your oral health and wellness. Our practice also happily welcomes patients from throughout the surrounding communities, including Ortonville, Flushing, Fenton, Davison, and more.

Exceptional Children’s Dentistry in Flint, MI Keeps Your Kid’s Smile Happy and Healthy

March 17, 2014

Shutterstock Child at DentistIs there anything more precious than your child’s smile? Keeping your little one’s teeth and gums clean and healthy now ensures a lifetime of dental wellness and beautiful smiles. At our general dentistry office in Flint, MI, Dr. Chitra P. Naik and her team provide state-of-the-art children’s dental care with a gentle touch; you and your children will always be welcomed to our practice with a friendly smile.

The Importance of Children’s Dentistry

Early general and preventive dentistry are among the key building blocks of lifelong oral health. When your children visit our warm, family-friendly office, we’ll do everything we can to make them feel comfortable and secure. Rather than dreading their biannual visits to the dentist, they’ll begin to find that these regular scheduled appointments are something to look forward to! Comprehensive exams and cleanings leave their smiles looking and feeling better than ever, and patient education ensures that the care you provide at home maintains these results.

Should Dr. Naik and her team find any reason for concern, such as tooth decay or developmental problems, we’ll talk with you, the parents, about all available options for treatment. To prevent cavities before they even start, Dr. Naik may recommend strengthening fluoride treatments and/or dental sealants. If your son or daughter participates in sports, ask us about how a customized athletic mouthguard can protect his or her teeth, gums, lips, and jaws during gameplay. Everything we do is for the betterment of your child’s oral health and overall wellness.

Dental Care for Your Kids’ Developing Smiles

Whether your child is ready for his or her first trip to the dentist, or it’s time for a routine check-up and cleaning, Dr. Naik is here to help. Contact our office in Flint, MI today to reserve your appointment, and see what an incredible difference our unique, gentle approach to children’s dentistry can make in your child’s life. Our practice also happily welcomes families from throughout the surrounding areas of Fenton, Davison, Ortonville, Flushing, and nearby Michigan areas. We can’t wait to take care of your families littlest smiles!

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