A New Year, a New Smile!

A New Year, a New Smile!

Most people have the same tired resolutions every New Year’s Eve: lose weight, get a new career, find love, stop smoking, eat better or take up a hobby. Unfortunately, only eight percent of people keep their New Year’s resolutions. Why is that? Well, too often, people set unrealistically high goals that can be derailed by even the slightest failure. The luster of resolutions made in the heat of the moment as the ball drops in Times Square can quickly fade as reality sets in once January limps on.

But take heart: we have a perfectly doable New Year’s resolution that you can feel good about sticking to. If you’ve been down lately about the appearance of your teeth, start the new year off right with a gorgeous smile. Here’s how.

Teeth Whitening

This is one of the most common of our cosmetic dentistry services. Safe and effective when done professionally, we can help you lighten your teeth three to eight shades in just one hour. Our high-concentration bleaching gels are much more effective and faster acting than those over the counter strips. Choose from in-office whitening or take-home whitening trays. In-office whitening is the most powerful whitening solution within the quickest amount of time, thanks to a protective barrier that is placed over your gums and tooth-root surfaces. A retractor holds your lips and cheeks away from your teeth during treatment, which involves the application of a professional-grade hydrogen peroxide gel.

Porcelain Veneers

This involves thin porcelain sheets that are placed right over your existing teeth. These can permanently whiten your teeth or correct gaps in your smile thanks to a versatile solution that can solve your most challenging problems, from discoloration to gaps.

With veneers, you can:

  • Reshape teeth to complement facial features.
  • Change tooth size.
  • Close gaps between teeth.
  • Make minor adjustments to teeth alignment without braces.
  • Protect teeth from daily wear and tear.

Dental Implants

From single tooth replacement to a whole new smile, dental implants are made possible by advanced technology that gives you long-lasting results. Dental implants can:

  • Replace missing or broken teeth.
  • Anchor crowns or bridges.
  • Support Invisalign while alleviating pressure from the gums and jawbone.
  • Support a new set of replacement teeth.

There are many other cosmetic dentistry options that can improve your smile, such as crowns and bridges, dental bonding and dentures.

Start the new year off right with a winning smile. Call Redwood Dental today to get started at 800-462-2222.

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Surviving the Holiday Dental Woes

Surviving Holiday Dental Woes

That precarious period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is a tempting one indeed. While we may look with dread on the holidays in terms of their attempts to sabotage our weight loss goals, it can also be a tricky time for your oral health. From pies and cakes to cookies and candy, it seems there are sweets beckoning at every turn.

Heed these tips to avoid those holiday dental woes so you don’t have to see your dentist for a cavity or chipped tooth in the new year.

  • Enjoy in moderation: One cookie, one sliver of pumpkin pie, one chocolate truffle. Don’t deprive yourself of such treats, but do limit the amount.
  • Don’t arrive at a holiday party ravenously hungry: Eat a small, sensible meal or snack at home so you don’t gobble all the treats when you walk in the host’s door.
  • Brush after each meal: Not only does brushing after you eat get out all the debris and bacteria, it can also make you less inclined to continue eating.
  • Don’t congregate in the kitchen: This is where a lot of the entertaining happens, around the kitchen or dining room table. However, this just creates more temptation to keep grazing on candies and cookies. Retire to the living or other room to relax and mingle away from the specter of food and drink.
  • Stick to low-sugar drinks: Holiday cocktails tend to be extremely high in sugar, especially when you add festive sugar rims to the glasses. Opt for white wine, light white Russians, or even a Guinness, which clocks in at just over 120 calories and under 10 carbs, AKA sugar.
  • Don’t forget to floss: This will remove those bigger particles that tend to get stuck between teeth.
  • Be careful when biting into candy, peppermint bark and brittle: Staples of the holiday season, these treats can also cause you to chip a tooth if you’re not careful.
  • Avoid teeth-staining foods and beverages: Limit your intake of red wine, fruit juice, soda, coffee, tea and blueberry pie. Drinking with a straw can help limit contact with the teeth.
  • See your dentist for an in-office whitening treatment: With the ability to whiten your teeth up to eight shades in a single visit, in-office treatments are quick, easy and painless. Then, you’re ready to face any holiday party with ease.

Redwood Dental is happy to offer in-office teeth whitening as part of our cosmetic dentistry services. Call us today at 800-462-2222.

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How to Get a Holiday-Ready Smile

How to Get a Holiday-Ready Smile

With the holiday season in full swing, it’s easy to get so caught up in the shopping and the gifts, the family and the food, that you neglect your own appearance. All that coffee you’ve been drinking to fuel your Black Friday shopping is now taking its toll on your teeth. Take a look: are they showing evidence of yellowing? Do you have a brown tint to your teeth? You may need whitening to get them back in shape.

Especially if you’ll be attending or hosting several holiday parties this year, you’ll want to look your best in front of family, friends and co-workers. After all, you spent a lot of time on your outfits and jewelry – your smile should match the vibrant attire you’ll be wearing. Nothing brings down your appearance like stained teeth.

Think it’s too late to get them white in time for the festivities? Think again. Here are some things you can start doing now.

Use a Whitening Toothpaste

Over-the-counter whitening toothpaste is a good option in a pinch, although it’s not nearly as effective or quick as whitening trays or strips. However, they can act as a good complement to removing stains and preventing stain buildup.

Avoid Coffee and Soda

We know this is often easier said than done, but all that coffee, tea, soda, juice and wine you’re drinking this season can be harsh on your teeth. Try to cut down, or at least use a straw to lessen contact with your teeth. It’s also a good idea to rinse your mouth out afterward with water.

Eat Veggies and Fruit

Eating healthy vegetables and fruits such as celery, carrots and apples can give you a boost of vitamin C, which can bring on extra saliva production. Saliva is good because it washes away debris from the teeth.

Try an At-Home Whitening Kit

These kits and strips are affordable and can be purchased at any drug store. They have been known to lighten stains, but because of the mild peroxide in them that works to dissolve surface stains, you won’t see the amazing results that you would with professional treatment.

Go to a Professional

If you’ve tried all of the above, or you just don’t have time to go through the routine, consult with your dentist about in-office teeth whitening – the most effective and prompt way to achieve desired results. Professional whitening can brighten your teeth several shades in just one appointment for more immediate results – just in time for all those holiday parties.

Redwood Dental offers in-office teeth whitening that can lighten teeth up to eight shades in just an hour! For fast, effective, long-lasting and quick results, call us today at 800-462-2222.

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Dental Emergency? No Insurance? 4 Tips for Affordable Care

Dental Emergency? No Insurance? 4 Tips for Affordable Care

Dental emergencies don’t seem to care that you don’t have dental insurance. They come at all hours of the day or night and have no concern about your financial situation of the moment! However, there are ways to seek affordable dental care if you experience a knocked out tooth or some other trauma. Here are a few tips to stay calm and get the care you need without breaking the bank.

According to the National Association of Dental Plans, about 74 million Americans have no dental coverage. Either they’re going without basic dental care or they’re paying for services out of pocket. This can get very expensive. However, being prepared is the key to keeping your costs low while at the same time getting the emergency treatment you need.

  1. Understand what emergency dental services entail. Not everything constitutes a dental emergency. Only call your dentist’s emergency line if you experience the following:
  • Knocked-out permanent tooth
  • Swelling and aching
  • Injured jaw
  • Bleeding that will not stop

Other issues that are urgent but can wait for normal business hours include lost fillings, broken crowns, damaged retainers, cracked teeth and toothaches.

  1. Try at-home care remedies. First off, remain calm, as anxiety can worsen symptoms. Look around your home for things you can use to alleviate the situation. If you have swelling, use a mixture of salt and warm water to swish your mouth out. Or, you could use a cold compress on the affected area. If you have lost a tooth, pick up the tooth by the crown and not the root, then place in a glass of milk. Get to your dentist as soon as possible to ensure the best chances of re-implantation. If one tooth is painful, floss to remove anything stuck in between. Then rinse with hydrogen peroxide to prevent infection and take an over the counter pain reliever.
  2. Know your options. Look into free or governmental clinics and dental schools near you for free or extremely affordable dental work. Many dental students can perform basic dental work at little to no cost under the supervision of a dentist.
  3. Ask your dentist’s office if they have affordable dental financing or payment plans. Many dentists offer this because they know not all their patients have insurance. You can often make small, affordable payments each month to pay off the entire bill or to supplement your existing dental plan.

Here at Redwood Dental, we offer a variety of financing options. We offer financing through Wells Fargo Health Advantage credit card so you can pay for the treatment in monthly installments. You can easily apply online or set up your account when you’re at the office for your visit. Got an emergency with no dental insurance? Don’t let that prevent you from seeking the medical care you need. Call us at 800-462-2222 now.

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Checklist for Choosing an Emergency Dentist

Checklist for Choosing an Emergency Dentist

Dental emergencies are just like any other emergency: you never know when they’ll happen. But when they do, you’ll want to know exactly what to do because time is of the essence. That means you should do your research ahead of the need for an emergency dentist so you don’t have to scramble at the last minute. If you have kids, this is doubly important! Many general dentists offer emergency dental services, as does Redwood Dental, along with a 24/7 line for convenience. Other dentists simply don’t have the resources for emergency dental services.

Here is a checklist to help you find the best emergency dentist for you.

  • Reputation: Choose a few dentists in your area and research each one. Ask questions like how long they have been in that location, what experience the dentists have, and what state of the art equipment they use. Check out local reviews and go on social media to ask around. A dentist that doesn’t treat his patients nicely won’t get far in your town. So trust experience and trust word of mouth.
  • Availability: A good emergency dentist will have a 24/7 line you can call to reach an on-call dentist at any hour of the day or night. What is the dentist’s policy on emergencies? What qualifies as an emergency and what doesn’t? Are the charges more expensive than typical visits?
  • Quality of care: Find out how the dentist treats certain emergencies. Most will provide a quick exam to determine the problem. You may need an extraction or other emergency procedure if time is of the essence. Other times, you may be asked to go back another time for a follow-up procedure or extensive work. Your dentist will check your medical history before performing work to avoid complications.
  • Cost: Obtain a list of emergency procedure costs. On the whole, emergency dental work comes at a higher price tag than general dentistry services during normal business hours. Because the dentist has to come in during his or her personal time to tend to your emergency, you can expect a higher cost for anything from fixing knocked out teeth to dealing with an abscessed tooth. That being said, your dental insurance plan should cover some or most of the emergency dental work. Just be sure to call your insurance company first.
  • Follow-up care: Find out what the dentist will expect of you for follow-up care. Most dentists will want you to come back later, if only to check on the healing process.

Contact Redwood Dental

There are many things to think about when it comes to choosing a Southeast Michigan emergency dentist. Redwood Dental offers emergency dentistry on site, so if you have a dental emergency in Metro Detroit at any time, please call us at 800-462-2222.

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Oral Health in Older Adults

Oral Health in Older Adults

Oral health has long been known to be linked to overall physical health. Keeping up with regular dental visits is critical in ensuring a healthy body. Seniors and the elderly, though, are even more prone to risks stemming from untreated dental concerns. Ignoring those concerns can lead to emergencies that could be prevented.

Many older adults think they don’t have to keep up with oral health as much. But the opposite is true. Getting older poses more challenges for your whole body, including your teeth and mouth. Here’s why proper oral care is so important in the elderly.

Deadly infections can arise: Letting cavities go or ignoring a toothache can have dangerous consequences. Infection can set in, which can lead to pneumonia in the elderly. It can also lead to heart disease, root decay and gum disease. Get yourself or your elderly loved one to the emergency dentist if you experience swelling, redness or pain in the mouth.

Risk of disease: Failure to take care of your teeth can lead to elevated blood sugar levels, which can result in diabetes. An infection in the mouth is especially dangerous, as it can easily carry bacteria to your lungs or heart.

Dry mouth: This is a common affliction in the elderly but it’s more than just an annoyance. Many seniors take medications that sap their mouths of saliva. However, saliva is necessary for protecting the teeth and preventing infections. When that saliva is no longer plentiful, gum diseases and cavities can easily develop. Malnutrition can also result, as many seniors with dry mouth don’t feel like eating.

Gum disease: Nearly 25 percent of older adults between the ages of 65 and 74 suffer from severe gum disease. Not only does this condition alone threaten health, it can carry disease to other parts of the body.

Oral cancer: The first red flag for oral cancer is a sore in the mouth that never seems to heal. You are at greater risk for this if you smoke or chew tobacco. Early detection is key for survival.

Hypertension: Infections raise blood pressure. Keep on top of regular dental hygiene to stop infections before they start. Stay in touch with your primary care doctor as well to ensure your blood pressure medication is set at the proper dose.

If you, or the senior in your life, have a dental issue that needs to be addressed right away before it spirals out of control, don’t hesitate to call Redwood Dental at 800-462-2222.

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Adult Braces: Is it Too Late for You?

Adult Braces: Is it Too Late for You?

The short answer is no, it’s never too late to get braces! Of course, it’s ideal to undergo orthodontic treatment at a young age (usually in the pre-teen years) before the mouth and jaw are fully developed and the adult teeth have all come in. However, if you’re an adult contemplating braces in Southeast Michigan now, rest assured, it’s still an option for you.

You don’t even have to go the traditional metal braces route, to avoid that awkward look that so many adults fear. Understandably, you don’t want to flash a mouth full of metal as a business professional or during a time in your life when you’re married or looking for a partner. While metal braces are an unavoidable rite of passage for many children, their adult counterparts may put off treatment because of issues with self-confidence.

That’s why less invasive solutions like Invisalign are perfect for adults. These clear, custom fitting pieces of plastic come in sets that are changed out every two weeks or so, allowing you to have the smile you’ve always wanted without the invasive look of traditional metal. You take them out when you eat, go out socially or brush and floss your teeth. These clear aligners are not cemented or bonded to the teeth like metal or clear braces are. And when you have them in, they’re hardly noticeable.

Invisalign isn’t for everyone, though. Some adults aren’t good candidates for them, and in that case, they need metal braces. No matter which solution is best for you, the bottom line is they can solve a multitude of problems. Braces don’t just straighten teeth, they can fix underlying problems such as TMJ, bad bites, and grinding at night. By getting braces, the benefit is two-fold: you get straight teeth plus you can eliminate the headaches and pain you experience from those underlying issues.

Certainly, it is easier if you get braces as a young person. Up to the age of about 20, jaw growth is still occurring, and teeth respond more easily or quickly to braces treatment. A skilled orthodontist will know how to move the teeth properly once that jaw growth settles down. That’s why it’s critical to have an orthodontist who knows how to treat both pediatric AND adult braces to address the unique needs of both demographics. 

In the end, it’s always better to have braces treatment, even later in life, because this will prevent gum and bone loss through proper positioning of the teeth. When teeth are straight, you can better clean them, thereby prolonging their health. You will have more confidence thanks to properly aligned teeth, plus you can even help guard against bigger problems such as teeth grinding and sleep apnea.

It all starts with a consultation. Call Redwood Dental, your trusted dentist and orthodontist in Metro Detroit, today at 800-462-2222. We see adults all the time for braces, so come in and let’s get started!

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Types of Tooth Pain

Types of Tooth Pain

Tooth aches come in all shapes and sizes. Some are dull and last for days and weeks while others are sharp and biting, requiring an emergency visit. In any case, a tooth ache is nothing to take lightly. That pain signals that something is wrong – most likely, an infection about to flare up. Tooth aches can make even the most basic tasks excruciating, from eating to concentrating to sleeping.

At its source, your tooth ache is most likely attributed to decay, infection or injury. If you have suffered an obvious trauma, call your dentist’s emergency line. A dull, throbbing toothache that has come on over time is also urgent but can wait for a call to the office during normal business hours. All toothaches should be looked at in a timely manner no matter what the cause.

Here are some common types of tooth pain:

  • Sensitivity to hot and cold foods: Sensitivity is a common affliction for many people. It doesn’t necessarily mean something awful is wrong, it could just mean that you are naturally sensitive to hot and cold. However, if you notice this happening gradually and you’ve never experienced this before, it could be a red flag for a loose filling, minor decay or gum recession that can expose part of the root’s surface. Ask your dentist what can be done to alleviate the situation. Sometimes all that’s needed is to use sensitivity toothpaste.
  • Sensitivity to cold or hot foods post-dental treatment: This could be due to the fact that your recent dental work has inflamed the pulp temporarily. This is generally nothing to be alarmed about, but if it persists for more than two weeks, have it looked at again.
  • Sharp pain when biting down: Many of us have experienced this jarring effect when biting down into an apple or other hard food. This is often caused by decay, loose filling, crack in the tooth, or damage to the pulp. If you have pulp damage, you may need a root canal.
  • Lingering pain after consuming hot or cold foods: If this pain persists for more than 30 seconds, this may mean the pulp has suffered damaged due to trauma or deep-rooted decay. This also calls for a root canal.
  • Severe, constant pain: If you are constantly in pain, accompanied by pressure and swelling, your tooth could be abscessed. This is an infection affecting the surrounding bone and tissue and needs to be evaluated right away in order to save your tooth.
  • Dull ache: A dull ache accompanied by pressure in the upper jaw means you could be grinding your teeth, also called bruxism. You may have it confused with a sinus headache. Your dentist can tell the difference between the two.

If you suffer from any of these tooth ache types, consult with Redwood Dental today. We can be reached at 800-462-2222.

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How to Prevent Dental Injuries

How to Prevent Dental Injuries

Common dental injuries in sports include tooth fractures, tooth extrusion and temporomandibular joint dislocation. According to the National Institutes of Health, 30 million children and teens are involved in sports in this country, with more than five million knocked-out teeth occurring each year. This results in approximately $500 million in dental care costs.  

While a good number of dental injuries occur as a result of sports, they can also result from injuries and accidents. Even toddlers learning to walk can sustain knocked-out teeth. Falls, car accidents, bike accidents, assaults and more can all contribute to a dental injury. Sometimes you just can’t prepare for those types of injuries. Here’s what you CAN do:

Use a mouth guard: This is your first line of defense against dental injury. While they aren’t a cure-all and can’t prevent every type of injury, they’re the best option we have today. And, when fitted properly, they shouldn’t affect speech or the ability to breathe in any significant way. If your child has braces, ask the orthodontist for a special mouth guard that can fit over them comfortably. If your child does not have braces, ask your dentist for a custom mouth guard. Or, you can purchase one at the store that you can boil in water, then fit to your child’s mouth.

Use a face cage: Preventing trauma to the face, these cages are ideal for certain positions in sports such as a goalie in hockey or a catcher in baseball.

Wear helmets: From skiing to football, a helmet is critical in guarding against head injuries such as concussions. While they won’t protect the teeth per se, they will protect the head and support the jaw, and should be worn in conjunction with an attached mouth guard.

Wear your seat belt: You never know when an accident will occur. Failing to wear a seat belt means you could hit your face and mouth on the dash board in the event of a rear-end collision. And that’s if you’re lucky. Wear a seatbelt to save your life!

Treat your orthodontic appliance with care: If you wear a retainer or headgear, follow instructions about how to properly wear it and care for it. Here are some tips:

  • Remove headgear and wear a mouth guard when engaging in sports or rough play.
  • Stay away from hard, sticky or crunchy foods.
  • Don’t pick at or pull on your braces.
  • Use orthodontic wax to protect your cheeks and gums from poking wires.
  • Store the appliance in the case it came with.
  • Clean it regularly.

Call Redwood Dental today at 800-462-2222 for more tips or to schedule an appointment. Call our emergency line if you experience a dental trauma.

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Pediatric Dental Emergencies

Pediatric Dental Emergencies

When your children’s dental health is at risk, it’s important to get them treated right away to avoid additional problems. Little ones’ mouths, teeth and jaws are still growing and developing; that’s why it’s imperative to have emergencies checked out immediately. Here are some pretty typical pediatric dental emergencies and what to do about them.

Bitten Lip or Tongue: Biting through the lip or tongue severely is a fairly common occurrence in children. After all, they’re very active. One jump off the couch can result in a bitten lip or tongue. If the wound is bleeding, clean it gently with a wash cloth and water, then apply a cold compress to the area. This will reduce swelling.  Call your dentist’s emergency line to discuss the injury and decide if it needs immediate attention.

Object stuck in teeth: Kids easily get food stuck in between their teeth which can cause pain and discomfort, especially if they are wearing braces. Use dental floss to remove the object. Don’t use any other sharp object to pry it loose! Call the dentist if you can’t get it out.

Broken, Chipped or Fractured Tooth: As a result of accident or injury, broken, chipped and fractured teeth are quite common in kids. Encourage your child to rinse out her mouth with warm water. Apply a cold compressed to keep swelling at bay. If you can locate the fragment that broke off, save it and get to the dentist immediately.

Knocked Out Tooth: If you can locate the tooth, hold it by the crown and rinse it with water. Place it in milk within a clean container, then call your emergency dentist. Acting fast can save the tooth. Waiting even a few hours will lessen the chances that it can be re-implanted.

Loose Tooth: This doesn’t normally necessitate a trip to the dentist after hours but you also don’t want a very loose tooth to linger in the mouth of your very small child. It can be swallowed or inhaled. Remove it or call your dentist for suggestions if your child won’t let you touch it.

Toothache: Rinse out the mouth with warm water. Take a look inside the mouth to make sure there are no obvious obstructions or issues. Apply a cold compress to ease the pain and offer some OTC pain reliever medication, with dosage depending on their age and weight. Schedule an appointment right away, as a toothache can signal infection.

Broken Jaw: Apply a cold compress to the area, then call your dentist’s emergency line or head to the ER. Because a broken jaw usually comes as a result of a head injury, this condition could be very serious and even life threatening.

Call Redwood Dental at 800-462-2222 if your child experiences any of the above symptoms.

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