Overcoming Dental Anxiety

Are you so embarrassed by your teeth you don’t go to the dentist? Or have you had such a bad dental experience that you stay away from dentists?

Maybe you…
-Are tense or have trouble sleeping the night before a dental exam.
-Get increasingly nervous while you’re in the waiting room.
-Feel like crying when you think of going to the dentist.
-The thought of a dental visit makes you feel physically ill.
-You panic or have trouble breathing when objects are placed in your mouth during a dental appointment.

If you see yourself in any of the above, maybe you should see yourself here.

Dental Anxiety is no joke – we help put you at ease. Avoiding the dentist can result in decay, gum disease or tooth damage. Unfortunately, it’s a self- fulfilling prophecy. The longer you stay away, the more difficult and expensive the solution.

We are a judgement-free zone, trained and equipped to cater to the apprehensive patient. I have assembled a professional, compassionate staff understands dental anxiety and caters to your unique needs and comfort.

Feel free to contact us and schedule a first consultation to discuss your fears about dental work. We do all we can to ensure you are comfortable before having any exams or procedures done. While I understand that going to the dentist will probably never be your favorite thing to do, we can work together to help you improve your health by getting you into a healthy dental routine.

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National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month, so let’s discuss foods that are healthy for your teeth.

Foods like meat, poultry, fish, milk and eggs that are rich in protein and good sources of phosphorus. Milk, cheese, plain yogurt, tofu, almonds and leafy-greens, are high in calcium and other nutrients. The minerals in both these types of food play a critical role in dental health, by rebuilding and protecting tooth enamel.

Vegetables and fruits are good for a healthy smile since they are high in fiber and water. Foods high in water content offset the sugars they contain. These foods also help to increase saliva production, which washes acids and food particles away from teeth and protects teeth from decay. Plus, some contain vitamin C (crucial for gums and quick healing) and vitamin A (key nutrient in increasing tooth enamel).

Water – particularly fluoridated water – is the most tooth-friendly beverage, hands down.

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Scaling? Planing?

Dental scaling is a procedure that removes excessive plaque buildup. A standard 6 month cleaning will clean the surface of the tooth. Scaling takes clean a step further. If we suggest dental scaling and root planing for your teeth, it’s to avoid or treat gum disease because of an excessive buildup of plaque.

Here’s what to expect
Everyone gets plaque buildup. Saliva, bacteria, and proteins in your mouth cover your teeth. Food particles, acids, and sugars stick to the film. This creates plaque. Bacteria live in plaque, causing gum disease and tooth decay. Brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings will help remove the plaque and prevent more serious problems.

In a healthy mouth, with healthy gums, gum tissue fits tightly your teeth to keep plaque out. Gum disease loosens gums and you’ll develop pockets. These pockets fill with plaque, worsening your problems and causing symptoms like bad breath, tooth decay and tooth loss.

After we carefully remove plaque bacteria from the tooth’s surface just below the gumline, we may proceed with a procedure known as root planning to reach a little deeper to address the surface of the tooth’s root. This smooths the surface of the root so the gums can reattach properly.

What to Expect Afterwards
Some patients experience swelling and sensitivity for a few days following the procedure. We’ll have you back to examine the gums and make certain that you’re healing properly.

Gum Disease is serious. Think of it as a chronic bacterial infection in your mouth. Studies show that the bacteria found in periodontal disease — including Streptococcus sanguis, which plays a role in strokes– spreads to the heart. Staying ahead of gum disease starts with good daily care.

If you have any questions about Scaling and Planing – give us a call, we’re here to help!

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What You Should Know About Teeth Whitening

Tooth discoloration is natural
For each and every person, teeth yellowing is a normal part of life. It simply comes with the process of aging. The inner part of the tooth, called dentin, can become discolored due to a significant events such as certain diseases, medications or injuries. The yellowing of dentin is usually due to unfortunate circumstances and not the actions of the person. The outer part of the tooth, called enamel, can also turn yellow. However, this is due to the habits or choices of the person, or just everyday life. Actions such as grinding your teeth, smoking tobacco or taking in acids from foods and drinks that you eat can thin enamel earlier, making teeth become yellow sooner.

Two types of whitening strategies
“Intrinsic” whitening refers to targeting the inner part of the tooth. The dentin soaks up whitening agent and becomes lighter. When the inner part of the tooth becomes whiter, that is reflected through the enamel. Intrinsic whitening treatments can include laser whitening, resin bonding, veneer treatment.

“Extrinsic” whitening is the removal of stains on the outer part of the tooth, the enamel. This is a much easier process and can be done at home or in-office. Techniques for extrinsic whitening can come in the several forms including trays, strips and toothpastes.

What to know before you begin
Teeth Need to be Healthy – Refrain from whitening your teeth is you already have a dental condition such as gum disease, exposed roots, cavities, crooked teeth, or gum recession. Exacerbating these problems can easily lead to further issues.

Tooth Sensitivity Can Occur – One common side effect of teeth whitening is brief sensitivity after your teeth have been exposed to whitening gel. This is normal but should still be taken into consideration. Use of a pain reliever is acceptable when sensitivity is particularly high.

It Won’t Last Forever – Tooth whitening does not last for forever. That’s the unfortunate truth. Regardless of treatments, teeth naturally yellow overtime with age, diet and lifestyle. Most results from a round of whitening last from 6 months up to 2 years, depending on the individual. Then it will be time for another round.

More is More – Exercise caution as you strive for whiter teeth. Too much whitening in too short of a time period will cause permanent damage to teeth. Whitening too frequently can cause teeth to look translucent or discolored, of which the only fix is completely replacing the affected teeth. Whitening is safe when done correctly.

When you should NOT whiten
● Your teeth are already very sensitive
● You have gum recession or sensitivity
● You have sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide
● You have cavities
● You are pregnant or breastfeeding
● You’re under age 18
● You have visible plastic fillings or crowns

The takeaway

Teeth whitening, whether in-office or at home, is a relatively safe and low-risk cosmetic dental treatment when performed on healthy teeth. It can be used to treat the yellowing of enamel due to aging, smoking or certain drinks. Remember to keep the treatments few and far between to ensure the health of your teeth. For remedies concerning the darkening of inner-tooth dentin, schedule an appointment with us to discuss.

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Stay Healthy this Halloween (and Keep your Dentist Happy, too)

Halloween is a fun and exciting time for children and adults alike! However, the candy-centric holiday can be absolutely frightening when it comes to dental health. Sugar (and plenty of it!) is hard to escape this time of year.

Here are some tips for enjoying Halloween while keeping your dental wellbeing in mind!

Fill Up
Before heading out for an evening of trick or treating, gather the family around for a nice healthy meal that includes plenty of veggies and protein. The more satisfied you feel thanks to real food, the more reasonable you’ll be with your candy consumption later on. This will help curb the “junk food for dinner” temptation that kids love so much.

Think Small
Don’t head out into the night armed with obscenely large receptacles such as standard size pillowcases. You’re only setting yourself up for sugary defeat. Allow children to only bring a smaller container each in which to collect their treats. These containers will fill up quicker and signal a successful haul sooner.

Set a Limit
Schedule a specific cut-off time when it comes to Halloween night consumption. After that, it’s your night time dental routine and then off to bed – no excuses!

Act Fast
To help minimize damage from the candy onslaught, be sure to floss and brush immediately after the night’s feast. Stop the sugary bacteria in its tracks and ensure a healthier mouth.

Ration it Out
Set a certain number of candy pieces that are allowed to be eaten each day until the supply runs out. Once it’s gone, it’s gone! This will help limit daily sugar intake and avoid an initial splurge. Try pairing each candy session with something a bit healthier, such as apples or celery with peanut butter.

It IS possible to enjoy your Halloween goodies while still keeping your dentist happy. Just remember to eat real food, set boundaries with candy consumptions and brush as soon as possible. Your mouth will thank you!

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Can Dental Bonding Fix My Chipped Tooth?

Yes! Of course, the health of the tooth and severity of any damages will determine if you are a good candidate for dental bonding.

Dental bonding is a cost effective procedure that involves applying a resin composite (a “tooth colored filling”) to one or more teeth using adhesives and a high intensity curing light. Often used to improve the appearance of teeth from imperfections such as discolorations, irregular shaping, chipping, or abnormal gaps, dental bonding can also be used to protect a portion of a tooth’s root that has been exposed due to gum recession. Bonding is typically a quick and non-invasive procedure.

Teeth that have been treated with dental bonding require the same care as your natural teeth. The key to maintaining a healthy smile and preserving the resin material for as long as possible is all in the upkeep of a good oral hygiene routine. Having routine checkups, brushing at least twice a day, and flossing are great ways to promote oral health.

Is there one little thing about your smile that you wish you could change? Bonding is something you may want to consider. Only an in-person consultation can determine if dental bonding is right for you. Give us a call to schedule a visit!

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“Why Do I Need A Crown?”

dental crown Norcross Dentist Aristo Shyn

You found out that you may be needing a dental crown. You are not alone! Many (if not most) people in America have at least one crown.

What is that exactly? A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that covers a tooth to restore the shape, size, stability, and appearance. It is a secure, long-term way to enhance the look and structure of your smile.

So, why do we use these?

Here are some situations in which you may need a dental crown:
• Restore a tooth that is broken or worn down
• Protect a tooth that is weak (decay, erosion…)
• Support a dental bridge
• Cover a dental implant
• Protect a root canal
• Cosmetic enhancement (cover tooth that is misshapen or discolored)

When you do need a crown, here are the steps that we will take you through:
• Preparing the tooth for the crown by removing the outer portion and any decay that may be present.
• Making an impression of the tooth to ensure a secure fit for the crown.
• Placing a temporary crown on the tooth while the permanent one is being made.
• Using the impression model to create your permanent crown.
• Cementing your crown in place and ensuring that fit is comfortable and the appearance is natural.

Crowns can be made out of a variety of materials: metal alloys, ceramics, porcelain, composite resin, or a combination. We will work to make sure that the crown not only matches the surrounding teeth but also feels comfortable in the mouth. On average, each crown will last anywhere from 5 to 15 years.

Lucky for you, a dental crown does not necessarily need special at-home treatment. Simply continue with your good oral hygiene practices – brushing, flossing and mouthwash daily – and make sure that the gums surrounding the crown are clean.

Just remember that crowns are not indestructible! Be mindful of what you put in your mouth and try to steer clear of hard food or objects.

Read more about Crowns and Bridges on our practice website http://www.aristoshyndmd.com/crowns-bridges/

As always, we are available to answer your questions. Just give us a call at (770) 448-1977, we are happy to help!

Be Well!


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Pregnancy’s Affect on Oral Health

Aristo Shyn DMD dental care while pregnantIt’s no surprise that pregnancy effects the entire body, and when you are expecting, your oral health changes, as well. Routine dental visits are safe during pregnancy, for most women, but it’s important to let your dentist know what stage of pregnancy you are in when you make your appointment. Also, be sure and let the staff know of any special advice you may have received from your doctor prior to the visit, or if there are any medication changes.

One of the few oral changes you may experience is dry mouth, which makes oral hygiene during pregnancy so important to maintain. Ways to do so include a typical routine of brushing for two full minutes twice a day, flossing daily and using an antimocrobial mouthwash. Drinking plenty of water may ease the discomfort, as it will help rinse away bacteria growing in the mouth normally cleared away by saliva.

Pregnancy gingivitis is another expectation. It’s generally due to the increase in progesterone that may enourage the growth of bacteria that causes gingivitis. Around the second month of pregnancy, it’s common for some women to notice symptoms of swollen gums and gums that are redder than normal and bleed more easily during brushing. These symptoms should subside after the baby is born so there is no need for concern. However, if there is pain or discomfort, you may need to come in for a checkup.

The last is enamel erosion, which is common for women who have vomiting due to morning sickness. Frequent vomiting can quickly lead to the erosion of teeth because of it’s high acid content which can leave the enamel of your teeth susceptible to damage. If you are experiencing morning sickness, remember not to brush immediately after vomiting, not even a gentle brushing. Instead, rinse your mouth with water, then brush 20-30 minutes later.

If you are pregnant and concerned about your oral health give us a call…….
We will make certain your oral health is on the right track and you can be sure you are at your healthiest when your little bundle of joy arrives.

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Yes, Keep Flossing!

Aristo Shyn DMD says FlossAmerican Dental Society has recommended brush two times a day, floss daily and see your dentist every six months for YEARS. This good dental hygiene routine keeps our patients healthy. But, lately when we ask, “Do you floss regularly?” some patients have responded,  “Do I need to floss?”   Emphatically…”Yes!”

Regardless of the latest study, evidence-based dentistry shows that flossing works.

Flossing removes food, plaque, and bacteria between teeth. It is important that you continue flossing because the bristles of your tooth brush don’t get between your teeth. We see a number of patients with cavities between teeth because of this debris and bacteria. Flossing is the only way to clean between your teeth outside of a dental office.

Flossing also prevents gum disease (gingivitis) and bone loss (periodontitis). Periodontal disease has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease. Flossing reduces these risks.

Flossing remains an integral part of the healthy dental hygiene routine; brush and floss to protect your overall health.

“Do I need to floss?”


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Dental Erosion

brushing teethCavities aren’t the only thing that can hurt your teeth. A growing number of people these days suffer from dental erosion. Dental erosion is often caused by the acid in the food we eat and the beverages we drink. It has a chemical reaction that essentially softens the enamel, which is the protective layer over the teeth and over time, the enamel can erode. It can also lead to both tooth and gum problems.

Luckily, there are ways to prevent this from happening. Don’t brush your teeth right after eating or drinking something that would be acidic. If you drink a soda or have foods such as oranges, lemons or grapefruit, or even sour candies – rinse your mouth out with some water. Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing. Your enamel is going to be soft for a little while and you want to wait until it gets harder again before you brush.

Lastly, use a soft toothbrush and don’t overbrush. Also, stay away from overly-abrasive toothpaste.

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