PALMETTO DENTAL ASSOCIATES BLOG

palmetto dental associates
palmetto dental blog

Reasons You Should Go To The Dentist

Whether it is a biannual check-up or a “dental emergency near me”, there are multiple reasons that patients choose North Myrtle Beach dentist, Dr. Hortman at Palmetto Dental Associates. Get helpful information and resources with our Palmetto Dental Blog. If you are experiencing similar dental symptoms, please call the North Myrtle Beach dentist, Dr. Emily Hortman, at (843)-399-2525 to speak with a team member today!

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Toothbrush 101

The toothbrush is a staple of good oral hygiene, but owning a toothbrush and knowing how to use it properly are two different things! Most of us don’t really give it much thought; we apply toothpaste, brush, rinse, and move on with our day. Unfortunately, simply brushing twice a day doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. Read on for some toothbrush knowledge you’ll wish you had known!  Choosing your toothbrush – If you’re using the wrong toothbrush for your mouth, all the brushing in the world won’t help. In fact, it might damage your gums or tooth enamel. When selecting a toothbrush, the size and shape of the brush should fit your mouth, allowing you to reach all areas easily, including hard-to-reach back teeth. If the brush is

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Save Your Tooth or Pull It?

If you’ve been experiencing tooth pain, your inclination might be to just pull the problematic tooth and be done with it! Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple. So, before you choose to extract it, make sure you take time to understand the ramifications. Benefits of saving a natural tooth When possible, saving your natural teeth is the best option. While today’s dental prosthetics are made to last, they simply don’t have the same strength as natural teeth. Not only are natural teeth stronger, but they also offer better functionality than prosthetics or crowns. Plus, your natural teeth will are more durable and easier to care for. When a tooth is extracted, it leaves behind a gap, even those back molars no one sees. While that

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Spring Means Blooms, Sunshine & Oral Cancer Screenings

April is oral cancer awareness month. While not as delightful as the other signs of spring – blooming trees and longer days – a focus on early detection is a beautiful thing. While oral cancer (oral cavity and oropharynx cancers collectively) accounts for almost 3% of all cancers diagnosed annually in the United States, it is responsible for 1.8% of all cancer deaths. The death rate associated with oral cancer is particularly high because it is generally not discovered until late in its development, which is why early detection is critical. Because early-stage symptoms are often painless, many patients assume they’re non-threatening – think a white or red patch of tissue in the mouth, or a shallow lesion that resembles a common canker sore. Conversely,

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How Cosmetic Dentistry Can Remake Your Smile

More than half of all respondents in a recent poll said they were insecure about the appearance of their teeth. If tooth damage, loss, or decay has you covering your mouth, take heart in knowing that you’re not destined to a tight-lipped smile forever! Thanks to cosmetic dentistry, there are several ways we can restore your smile. Cosmetic dentistry is a broad term that refers to any dental work that adjusts the appearance of teeth, gums, or bite. Unlike general dentistry, which focuses on preventing and treating oral disease, cosmetic dental procedures and treatments are considered elective and primarily focus on improving dental aesthetics (i.e., color, position, shape, alignment, and overall smile appearance). Given the significant role a healthy smile plays in one’s self-confidence and

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Ouch! Do I Have Sensitive Teeth?

Have you ever winced with sudden pain after gulping an icy beverage or slurping a spoonful of hot soup? If so, you’re likely one of the 40 million Americans the Academy of General Dentistry estimates experience tooth sensitivity each year. What causes tooth sensitivity? Tooth sensitivity (i.e., dentin hypersensitivity) occurs when tooth enamel wears away, leaving the dentin exposed. This soft, inner part of your tooth houses thousands of microscopic channels that, when left unprotected, allow stimuli to reach the nerves causing pain. Some people naturally have more sensitive teeth due to having thinner enamel. However, in many cases, tooth enamel can be worn down from: Brushing your teeth too hard Using a hard-bristled toothbrush Grinding your teeth Regularly eating or drinking acidic foods and

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How Often Should I Brush My Teeth

In an ideal world, we would all have a travel-sized toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss ready for use after every meal, snack, and coffee break. Realistically, however, this level of oral hygiene adherence rarely (if ever) occurs. So, what does that mean for those of us who generally go all day without so much as a swish of mouthwash? Are we really doing more harm than we know? And, what about those people who forget to brush before falling into bed at night? Are they destined to have a mouth full of decay? Not necessarily. While the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day, there are other factors that impact the effectiveness of brushing, and recent research indicates that

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5 Tips to Maintain Healthy Teeth During the Holidays

The holidays are here and with them come all the joys of the season – lights and decorations, time with friends and family, and those special treats we only get this time of year. Unfortunately, the special treats we love so much can lead to damaged teeth and an unwanted trip to the dentist, which will definitely not have you feeling holly and jolly.  We don’t want you to miss out on all the fun, but we do want you to keep your oral health intact, so we’ve pulled together a few tips to help you care for your teeth during this festive time of the year.   Remember, teeth aren’t present-openers or nutcrackers. This sounds like a no-brainer, but when an inpatient child hands you

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Dental Insurance – What You Need to Know

Unlike homeowner’s or automobile insurance, dental insurance is something you definitely WANT to use. Other insurance plans are often designed to cover a loss. For example, your homeowner’s insurance will reimburse you if you lose your home to a fire or natural disaster and if your car is damaged in an accident, your car insurance pays to have it repaired. Of course, specific coverage amounts vary depending on the policy, but the premise is the same (i.e., the insured must incur a loss before they receive reimbursement). Dental coverage, however, is set up as a benefit plan, which means it covers certain costs up to a maximum amount. How does dental insurance work? The typical dental insurance plan is structured based on a 100-80-50 model.

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Tongue Brushing, Really?

You know brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing are staples of good oral hygiene, but is brushing your tongue really necessary? In short, yes. Why is my tongue important? Though the tongue often plays second fiddle to your pearly whites, it’s actually a critical body part. Without a tongue we wouldn’t be able to speak, chew, taste, or swallow food. Your tongue is an organ made up of a group of muscles that each have a specific job. There is a small muscle at the tip of the tongue that moves quickly, using the surface of the teeth to create certain sounds, such as pronouncing the letter ‘L’. This muscle also moves food from the front of the mouth to the back, where

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Dental Plaque: What You Need to Know

Plaque, like many oral health concerns, begins as a silent menace. You may recognize this colorless, sticky film as the fuzzy coating you feel when you first wake up. For many people, a colorless film on the teeth may be the only sign. However, in some cases, more noticeable symptoms, such as receding gums or bad breath, occur. What is plaque and what causes it? Plaque forms in your mouth throughout the day as you eat and drink and every night as you sleep when foods that contain carbohydrates (i.e., sugars and starches) are left on the teeth. Bacteria that live in the mouth feed on these foods and produce acids. Plaque is known as a “biofilm” because it is actually a community of living

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