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Is Nail Biting a Dental Problem?

Is Nail Biting a Dental Problem?

Also called onychophagia, nail biting is a common habit for lots of people, usually children, teens, and young adults. Often, nail biting is caused by stress and seems to wane as people get older. Though some would argue that it’s not as bad as smoking or other less desirable habits, there are several reasons to stop nail biting:

It’s unsanitary. Did you know that your mouth and your hands/nails are two of the germiest areas on your body? If you have any open sores on your fingertips and you bite your nails, the germs from your mouth spread to that area. Pretty gross if you think about it.

It’s unattractive. Nobody really wants to watch someone bite their nails. As well, it doesn’t make your nails look very nice either.

It hurts your teeth. When you bite your nails, it strains front teeth and can weaken them, which may contribute to misalignment or crookedness. Nail biting also keeps your teeth in constant chewing motion and may wear them down faster than if you didn’t bite your nails.

It can cost you money. The Academy of General Dentistry estimates that nail biting may add $4000 to dental bills over a lifetime.

Stopping any habit can be difficult. To curtail your nail biting, try to:

  1. Think about it. Sometimes, just be conscious of this habit can help you stop.
  2. Make your nails look nice. You won’t want to mess them up if they are neatly manicured.
  3. Create a deterrent. Check at the drug store for colorless, odorless solutions you apply to the
    nails. These topicals taste awful, which should make it easier to quit.

Take the first step towards optimal oral hygiene. Reserve your dental appointment at our Baltimore dental office now and experience personalized care.

Make the Most of Your Dental Visits

Make the Most of Your Dental Visits

Seeing your dentist twice a year is an important part of keeping your oral health in good condition. While this activity may not top the list of fun things to do, a dental visit doesn’t have to make you miserable either. With a little planning, you can ensure that your dental visit is a positive experience.

• Find the right dentist.

Selecting a dentist that you feel comfortable with will go a long way towards creating a good dental visit. At Brown, Reynolds & Snow, we understand that finding doctors with broad knowledge and expertise in all areas of dentistry will provide you with that extra incentive and confidence in seeking the smile you have always desired.

• Provide all the facts

Your dentist can do a better job meeting your needs if you are up front about any concerns you have or any problems you have been experiencing.

• Take care of your mouth

If you don’t brush and floss regularly, you are setting yourself up to fail. Good home care can prevent problems like gum disease and tooth decay from developing, which will save you extra time in the dental chair.

• Schedule routine exams

When you don’t see a dentist for years, your mouth won’t be in the best condition. Visiting the dentist twice a year ensures that you get professional cleanings and it allows the doctor to watch for signs of trouble.

• Try to relax

Deep breathing exercises or mediation may calm your nerves. If you feel especially anxious about your dental visits, talk with the dentist about your fears, and see what options the practice has available to make you more comfortable.

Do not wait any longer. Book your appointment now and achieve the smile you have always wanted. Dr. Farrugia is accepting new patients from Baltimore and the surrounding area.

Family Dentistry – The Most Convenient Choice

Family Dentistry – The Most Convenient Choice

It seems that with each passing year, our lives become more hectic, scheduled, and harried. If you have children, there are the endless school events and music lessons and sports practices. Running from here to there can leave you less time for some of the most important things, like your oral hygiene.

Have you found yourself putting off your regular dental check-up? Has it been more than a year since you saw your dentist? Are your children up-to-date with their dental visits, but you’re falling behind? This can happen, especially as we place the care of others over the care of ourselves.

By choosing a family dentistry practice, this can be a thing of the past when it comes to your teeth! A family dentist can see each member of your family, from the youngest infant to the oldest retiree. All of your dental visits occur in the same office, so you won’t be jumping in the car to go yet somewhere else, stuck in traffic and feeling overwhelmed.

With family dentistry, you can schedule your appointments to have multiple family members seen back-to-back or at the same time. This is especially of interest to families with multiple children. Imagine having three or four appointments going on at the same time, and being done after the time of a single visit! Reduce the time you spend in the waiting room with squirming or unhappy children by choosing a family dentistry practice.

Your family dentist realizes that your time is extremely important, and that each member of your family is important and valued. A family dentist knows about all of the changes your teeth undergo over time, and is sensitive to this. It’s easy to make smile goals with your family dentist, as he or she will be there from the start to the finish.

Make the choice to simplify your life. Make it easy to keep you and your entire family smiling brightly. Choose a family dentistry practice today.

Are dental issues holding you back? Take control of your oral health by booking an appointment with our experienced team at our Baltimore dental office.

Examining Amalgam Fillings

Examining Amalgam Fillings

The traditional silver fillings that patients have been getting for many years have come into the spotlight in recent years. Some people wonder if these silver, or amalgam, fillings are safe because they contain small amounts of mercury.

Background
Amalgam fillings contain a mixture of half liquid mercury and half a blend of silver, copper, and tin. This material is soft and malleable, which makes it easy to be sculpted to fit well into the tooth and not affect the patient’s bite. Amalgam fillings have been used to fill cavities for over 150 years.

Risks
The concern about mercury as an ingredient in amalgam fillings is due to the health risks of toxicity or allergies associated with exposure. Significant mercury exposure can cause chronic illnesses, autoimmune disorders, birth defects, oral lesions, and mental disorders. The FDA has investigated the safety of amalgam fillings, however, and determined that the mercury levels are too low to present adverse health risks for adults or children over age six. It has also been deemed safe for nursing mothers to have amalgam fillings. Both the FDA and the American Dental Association maintain that these types of fillings are safe.

Alternatives
Patients who are uncomfortable with amalgam fillings may choose composite resin material instead. This newer type of filling is used in about 70 percent of fillings performed today, and many patients prefer the tooth-colored resin because it is less noticeable in the mouth than silver fillings. Patients who have concerns about amalgam fillings already in place may ask the dentist about switching to composite resin instead.

Take the first step towards optimal oral hygiene. Reserve your dental appointment at our Baltimore dental office now and experience personalized care.

Stress and Its Connection to Teeth Grinding

Stress and Its Connection to Teeth Grinding

Modern lifestyles can be extremely stressful as many people have to deal with deadlines, demands and other frustrations that make up daily life. This can be an issue if you’re constantly under stress as it may affect your health. There are numerous health conditions that can be affected by high stress levels, and one of these is teeth grinding.

What Is Teeth Grinding?
Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is a condition that causes you to clench and grind your teeth together. It normally occurs during sleep so you may not even realize you have bruxism. This condition is likely to be identified by your family dentist in Baltimore due to teeth becoming worn down and chipped, or quite often a sleeping partner will complain about the grinding noise during the night.

What Does Stress Have To Do with Bruxism?
Teeth grinding has been linked to high levels of stress and anxiety. It’s been shown that people under stress are more likely to grind their teeth, particularly if they don’t have any coping mechanisms.

How Could Teeth Grinding Affect Me?
Teeth grinding can have more of an effect than you might imagine. It can cause teeth to become cracked, sensitive or even loose. Excessive grinding can damage the gums and bone surrounding your teeth, or may cause a painful disorder called TMD. This affects the jaw joints or temporomandibular joints, and can cause headaches, earache and facial pain.

How is Bruxism Treated?
Your dentist in Baltimore is likely to recommend a custom-made night guard which is worn while sleeping to protect your teeth and jaws from any further damage. It works through preventing your teeth from coming into contact. Additionally, you may be prescribed a muscle relaxant to help prevent clenching. It can be helpful to reduce stress levels through various measures which can include exercise, yoga, meditation or stress counseling.

Take the first step towards optimal oral hygiene. Reserve your dental appointment at our Baltimore dental office now and experience personalized care.