Do I Have Dental Anxiety or a Dental Phobia? | Skiatook Dentist

Dental Anxiety

For patients suffering from dental anxiety, dental appointments feel uneasy about dental appointments. But those suffering from dental phobia have a much more intense reaction. In general, people with dental phobia suffer from poorer health and tend to live shorter lives, due to the fact that poor dental health is somehow related to heart disease and lung infections, among other life-threatening conditions. So, what constitutes a dental phobia over anxiety?

Fear of pain. Surprisingly, fear of pain is much more common in adults as opposed to kids. This is most likely because adults today lived through a time when “pain-free” dentistry had not existed yet and had to go through painful dental experiences early on.

Fear of helplessness. Sitting in a dental chair is probably one of the most helpless situations out there. Add to that the use of nitrous oxide or anesthesia in certain cases and you have a recipe that’s sure to trigger someone’s fear of losing control and feeling helpless.

Fear embarrassment. The mouth is as intimate as any body part can get. Having someone poking around inside can cause a sense of embarrassment, especially if they have poor dental habits. The fact that a dentist’s face is just inches away from one’s face and mouth is enough to make people feel anxious and uncomfortable.

Whether you’re suffering from dental anxiety or dental phobia, it’s imperative to make sure your dental professional aware of these issues. Your dentist will be more than happy to help you overcome your anxiety or fear.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding dental fears, contact Williams Dental and Orthodontics at (918)396-3711 or williamsdentalok.com.

Williams Dental and Orthodontics proudly serves Skiatook, Sperry, Collinsville, Hominy, Owasso and all surrounding areas.

Start Them Young: Flossing Edition | Skiatook Dentist

Getting our children on a good dental routine can be tricky. It takes some time to teach them to brush properly – but when does flossing work itself into the process?

Flossing should be introduced when your little human’s teeth start to fit closer together, generally between two and six. Start off by using floss that is soft so that it is gentle on their teeth and gums.

As we all know, the process itself is relatively simple. Cut a piece of floss about 18 inches long. Wrap both sides around your fingers until you have a good two inches separating either side. Pull it taut between your thumb and index finger and guide the floss in between each tooth. With a downward zigzag motion, slide the floss around each tooth to gently scrub down the spaces your toothbrush can’t reach.

Use a new area of floss for every tooth, don’t snap or flick the floss between your teeth, and always use a new piece. No particular order necessary to do it right. Work from top to bottom or vice versa. We have been taught to floss after we brush, but in fact, it is better to do it before to loosen any debris your toothbrush won’t be able to get to.

If their gums begin to bleed as you begin to teach them, don’t worry – it’s natural. Their baby gums will become stronger as they get older. If it doesn’t seem to go away, bring it up at their next dental appointment.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding pediatric dentistry, contact Williams Dental and Orthodontics at (918)396-3711 or williamsdentalok.com.

Williams Dental and Orthodontics proudly serves Skiatook, Sperry, Collinsville, Hominy, Owasso and all surrounding areas.

Holiday Foods You Should Avoid | Skiatook Dentist

The holidays are a delicious time of year and the last thing we want to do is avoid any of the amazing treats coming our way during the celebrations. Unfortunately, not all holiday food is good for our smiles. Not only can they harm our teeth, but they can also cause them to decay. So, before you get ready to attend your first holiday parties of the season, take a look at this quick list of foods you may want to rethink:

Candy canes. When we think of Christmas sweets, one of the first things that comes to mind is the candy cane. Those delicious cane-shaped confections are not only made of 100% sugar, but they take a while to eat. Sucking on a candy cane will leave sugar in your mouth longer than necessary, making it easier for cavity-causing bacteria to dig in and cause harm.

Popcorn. Do you have popcorn garlands or make popcorn balls as gifts for your guests? While popcorn is quite festive, eating popcorn can cause harm by getting stuck between teeth and gums. If you aren’t much of a flosser, this can lead to a buildup of cavity-causing bacteria. If you love popcorn, learn to love flossing.

Eggnog. Are you one that loves to indulge in a cup or two of eggnog? Sure, it is a fantastic adult beverage, but it is also loaded with sugar and fat. Because it is a drink, eggnog coats your mouth with sugary sweetness, turning your mouth into a bacterial playground. If you drink eggnog, make sure you rinse with water to limit the sugars remaining until you can brush.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding holiday dental tips, contact Williams Dental and Orthodontics at (918)396-3711 or williamsdentalok.com.

Williams Dental and Orthodontics proudly serves Skiatook, Sperry, Collinsville, Hominy, Tulsa and Owasso.

Smile for Santa: Pediatric Dental Tips | Skiatook Dentist

Ask any tiny human their favorite time of year and chances are you will likely hear it’s Christmas. Not only do they get lots of presents from Santa and no school in sight, but everywhere they go there is another delicious treat waiting for them to eat. Between the cakes, cookies and candy canes, the holiday season is a tiny human’s dream. What isn’t dreamlike is a parent trying to keep their little one from ruining their smile during all of the holiday festivities. In fact, it can be downright tough to keep a smile on their child’s face while keeping that smile healthy. But a healthy smile starts with a good foundation. Here are some tips to start your little one off on the right foot:

Daily routines. Repetition is the best way to start a good habit, so make sure your child brushes their teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Supervisor their work until they can thoroughly do it themselves. Once teeth coming in begin to touch, introduce flossing.

First dental visit. The AAPD suggests baby’s first dental visit occur when their first tooth comes in, or around the age of one. Keeping them on a six-month dental schedule will not only ensure they keep a healthy smile, but will also help prevent dental anxiety as they grow.

You are what you eat. We can instill all the dental knowledge we can, but if you have a bad diet, it won’t help. Same goes for your little one. Keep things in moderation. Limit the sugary snacks, cooked starches and sweetened drinks.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding pediatric dental health, contact Williams Dental and Orthodontics at (918)396-3711 or williamsdentalok.com.

Williams Dental and Orthodontics proudly serves Skiatook, Sperry, Collinsville, Hominy, Tulsa and Owasso.

Moustaches and Mouths: Protect Your Face | Skiatook Dentist

It’s November, the time of year the weather gets chillier and men’s faces get hairy for a good cause. Movember is a month-long journey where men stop shaving to raise awareness of men’s health issues. Why not celebrate the month by focusing on their oral health? After all, it is a known fact that men are less inclined to watch their health in general, much less their teeth. Here are a few ways for men to embrace the attention from their moustaches and look after their dental health:

Regular dental checkups. According to research published in the Journal of Periodontology, women are almost twice as likely as men to have had a regular dental checkup in the past year. Make an appointment today. In fact, if you are athletic, ask your dentist about a mouth guard to prevent any dental accidents on the field.

Daily dental care. According to the Academy of General Dentistry and the American Dental Association, the average man is less likely to brush his teeth twice a day (49% compared with 56.8% of women), and more likely to develop periodontal (gum) disease. Gum disease can put you at risk for other health issues not dental-based. Brush twice daily for two minutes using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Reach every surface of the tooth and gently clean between the teeth and the gums.

Monitor your heart health. There are plenty of medications that can give you dry mouth. Saliva cleans bacteria and food particles from your teeth, so developing a dry mouth increases your risk for cavities and gum disease.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding men’s dental health, contact Williams Dental and Orthodontics at (918)396-3711 or williamsdentalok.com.

Williams Dental and Orthodontics proudly serves Skiatook, Sperry, Collinsville, Hominy, Tulsa and Owasso.

Diabetes: What Your Teeth Need to Know | Skiatook Dentist

Having diabetes is definitely going to affect more a lot of your overall health, but one affected area you may not realize is your teeth. It’s true – not taking care of your diabetes and blood levels will likely cause more dental issues down the road beyond cavities. Because it is a blood-related disease, poorly watched diabetes can lead to oral infections.

Dry mouth is common among people with diabetes. And because saliva is important to oral health, when not producing enough, bacteria thrive, tissues can get irritated and inflamed, and your teeth can be more prone to decay. But worry not – there are lots of simple things you can do to keep things under control. After all, you have a new lifestyle now, and this is going to be an allover lifestyle change:

  • Make sure you brush at least twice a day and floss once a day
  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash twice a day to help curb bacteria that can cause plaque buildup on teeth and gums
  • Check your mouth for inflammation or signs of bleeding gums and report any findings to your dentist
  • Visit a dentist for a cleaning at least every 6 months to clear up any plaque that has begun to build up

The most important thing you need to do when diagnosed with diabetes is to make sure your dentist knows that you have diabetes and any meds you take. You may even need to see a periodontist who specializes in gum disease.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding diabetic dental tips, contact Williams Dental and Orthodontics at (918)396-3711 or williamsdentalok.com.

Williams Dental and Orthodontics proudly serves Skiatook, Sperry, Collinsville, Hominy, Tulsa and Owasso.

Thankfully, Halloween Is Only One Day a Year | Skiatook Dentist

As soon as October hits, the air turns from Indian summer to chilly Fall. And just like that, out come the cutest little ghouls and goblins waiting to trick-or-treat. Yes, the tiny humans in your family are especially excited about this sugary nightmare of a holiday and there is little a parent can do. After all, we know that too much of a sugary thing will only lead to dental issues in the future. But there is no need to deprive your child of this sweetest of holidays, just keep an eye on what it could do to their teeth. The following is a list of your child’s Halloween dental health enemies:

Sour. Sour candies can ruin your tooth enamel by combining sweet with sour for a pH level of 2.5, a level that high can cause serious damage to developing teeth so keep them clear of this fruity confection.

Sticky. It may seem fairly harmless, but sticky candy is some of the worst for teeth. Not only does the sticky texture stick to your teeth’s surface and in their crevices, but they can also loosen dental fixtures, like braces or fillings.

Gummi. Similar to caramels and other sticky candies, gummy candies also stick to the crevices of your teeth, making it difficult to remove with a brushing or a quick rinse of water.

Hard. Not only can hard candy damage teeth when bitten, but even if you don’t bite them, sucking on hard candy isn’t a quick process, making time for sugars to nestle into a tooth and cause cavities extensive.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding pediatric dentistry, contact Williams Dental and Orthodontics at (918)396-3711 or williamsdentalok.com.

Williams Dental and Orthodontics proudly serves Tulsa, Skiatook, Sperry, Collinsville, Hominy and Owasso.

October Is National Dental Hygiene Month | Skiatook Dentist

I got a chuckle out of a saying I heard earlier this week, “You don’t have to brush your teeth. Just the ones you want to keep.” Such a funny way to phrase it, yet completely apropos. And as we celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month, we should take a moment to take a look at the way we care for our teeth. You never know – you may find out that you could be doing a better job with just a few tweaks.

The four basic dental hygiene rules you should keep in mind for a healthy grin are as follows:

  • Brushing twice a day, morning and night, for at least two minutes each session. Keeping cavity-causing bacteria from settling in your mouth will prevent future dental issues.
  • Flossing once a day, ideally before you sleep. Flossing gets in between places your toothbrush can’t, keeping your gums strong and healthy.
  • Limiting the snacks consumed, especially those full of sugar, each day. Try healthier options when available. A quick rinse with water will also clear out excess sugars.
  • Visiting the dentist every 3-6 months for regular checkups and professional cleaning. Keeping dental appointments will not only give your mouth a deep cleaning, but the checkup will point out issues that may be arising, as well as give you better insight as to what you need to do to improve your smile.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding dental hygiene, contact Williams Dental and Orthodontics at (918)396-3711 or williamsdentalok.com.

Williams Dental and Orthodontics proudly serves Tulsa, Skiatook, Sperry, Collinsville, Hominy and Owasso.

Football Season Is Upon Us | Skiatook Dentist

It’s autumn once again, and you know what that means – time for some football. Tailgates and BBQs are the places to be during this crisp time of year. If you’re the one playing the game, you know that you’ll need to wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth and gums from potential injury.

Overall, there are three types of mouth guards – stock mouth guards, the boil-and-bite mouth guards, and the custom-made mouth guards. Of the three, boil-and-bite and custom-made mouth guards are considered as the better option as it provides a better fit compared to stock mouth guards, and at the same time, cost considerably less compared to custom-made guards.

In general, mouth guards are important because replacing missing teeth are costly. While boil-and-bite mouth guards are “molded” to fit your mouth, they’re not exactly custom-built to prevent them from being too bulky when worn.

For athletes, custom mouth guards are designed to ensure optimal oxygen flow throughout the body. The better an athlete’s oxygen intake is, the better they are able to perform, making custom guards the optimal choice for athletes. The process isn’t painful, but may take some time. The dentist takes an impression of your teeth to create and mold your very own mouth guard. That’s it. You have your very own custom mouth guard to prevent any dental issues from arising. Go, fight, win!

If you have any questions or concerns regarding tooth decay, contact Williams Dental and Orthodontics at (918)396-3711 or williamsdentalok.com.

Williams Dental and Orthodontics proudly serves Skiatook, Sperry, Collinsville, Hominy, Owasso and all surrounding areas.

Changing Leaves and Sensitive Teeth | Skiatook Dentist

As the summer season says goodbye for another year, you’ll notice our diet changes from cold to warm. One of the things you may not think about with this season change is the way it treats our mouths. Yes, a common occurrence for many patients during the cooler seasons is tooth sensitivity. If you notice a painful zing in your mouth when you eat or drink anything cold or hot, you have sensitive teeth.

There are many reasons one could have teeth sensitivity. It’s generally wear and tear that causes your gums to pull back, making your teeth sensitive. Tooth decay, gingivitis, and plaque buildup are various dental issues that make consuming hot or cold foods difficult.

Damaged teeth or worn teeth due to teeth grinding are also ways teeth can become sensitive. The sooner you fix these issues, the less likely there will be more damage caused because of the neglect. Use a mouth guard while you sleep to keep your teeth from wearing down. If you use teeth whitening products often, the chemicals can begin to wear down the tooth enamel. Acidic foods, like citrus fruit, can also contribute to wear and tear on tooth enamel. The key is to keep everything in moderation. Wear and tear on your teeth is something not to be taken lightly. If you feel you have sensitive teeth, consult a dental professional. They will have helpful tips to keep your oral health intact so you can enjoy the warm and tasty treats this season has to offer.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding tooth decay, contact Williams Dental and Orthodontics at (918)396-3711 or williamsdentalok.com.

Williams Dental and Orthodontics proudly serves Skiatook, Sperry, Collinsville, Hominy, Owasso and all surrounding areas.