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Overcoming Your Dental Anxiety 

January 11th, 2023

It’s a brand new year and we want to help with, possibly, one of your new year’s resolutions and that is to see the dentist more often!

At Live and Smile, we are not just a dental office, we are an extension of your family. We want to welcome each and every one of our patients with the best care we can possibly give, but we understand that some people may have dental anxiety and tend not to come in as often as they need to. 

The most common thing that people who are afraid of the dentist do is to avoid going at all. Avoiding the dentists means that you are avoiding your preventative care and avoiding the issues or concerns of your dental/overall health. This can lead to cavities being left untreated, mouth/tooth pain, gum recession, and more. We are not trying to scare you here, but want you to keep in mind that going to the dentist is a benefit. 

In overcoming your dental anxiety, you need to find the right dentist for you. You deserve someone that is kind, compassionate, listens to your concerns, and works with you in creating the best experience. Consider the atmosphere of the office, friendly staff, past reviews from other patients, and anything else that may have caused the anxiety in the first place. 

When you come in for your dentist appointment, be sure to arrive early so you are not rushing in and get worked up about the appointment you were already worried about. Give yourself ample time to take it all in slowly. Bring a friend to help comfort you if needed as well. Seeing a familiar face can help so you wouldn’t be experiencing it all alone. 

Let your dental team know about your dental anxiety and they can help you as they see fit to make sure that your experience keeps you at ease. Ask questions if you are unsure of anything. Our dentists and staff are always here to help you understand what is being done at the appointment today and what may need to be done for the future. At Live and Smile, everyone is always here to help and we want you to ask those questions!

The dentist can be stressful, but we don’t want it to be. So let us know what we can do to help. We hope you will see us more often in the new year! 

Thank You To All Of You ♡

December 31st, 2022

36 Thank You Messages from Me to You. You Deserve It!As the year is coming to an end, we want to send a ginormous thank you to all of you. A big shout out to all of our wonderful patients and another big shout out to our amazing team of dentists, assistants, hygienists, and front office staff. 

A lot can happen in a year and we hope that everything that you were able to witness and experience in 2022 has now been a special core memory. Since the COVID lockdown, we have seen the world change tremendously and it has given us a lot to wish and hope for the next year and years to come.

Our office has been thriving better than ever and our team has been so amazing with the numerous changes we did throughout the year to provide stress free and smooth operations for all of our patients. Our team has also grown so much this year by welcoming new team members as well as our team growing their own little team in their personal lives.

We share these special announcements and memories with you just as much as we love hearing about what is going on in each and every one of your lives: such as weddings, big milestones, growing a family, graduations, and so much more. We cannot wait to hear what other great adventures your life has been able to give you and we look forward to seeing you smile happily as you walk out of our office knowing that you feel like family when you see us. 

From everyone here at Live and Smile, we wish you all a wonderful happy new year! Ring in 2023 !!! WOOOO!!!

How Effective are Waterpiks/ Water Flosser 

December 20th, 2022

Waterpik® Whitening Water Flosser - Refill Tablets WT-30We all know that flossing is super important as part of our everyday dental hygiene, but there is an alternative option more suited for people who have braces, arthritis, or even just a hard time getting the back of the mouth. 

A waterpik or water flosser is a device that aims a pressured stream of water in between your teeth. Just like regular floss, it helps remove food particles and plaque from your teeth. It will feel weird at first because it’s a stream of water just hitting your teeth, but with practice and correct precision, it can work effectively. 

Those with braces, a waterpik can be beneficial for not just between the teeth, but in between the brackets as well. Manually cleaning the brackets can get tiring, so utilizing a waterpik helps getting into those crevices where food particles tend to build up and create bacteria that erodes the teeth and gum lines. 

What Is a Waterpik? - Wilkinson Dental of Springfield, MO

For best results with a waterpik, try starting at the back teeth and work your way up to the front. Continue this method until you are a pro at cleaning the upper and lower teeth to ensure the entire mouth gets clean thoroughly. There will be a learning curve to this and it may get messy with the water splashing everywhere, but this is a great alternative if flossing is a challenge.

How To Properly Clean Your Braces 

November 29th, 2022

Thanksgiving is now over, so here comes the Christmas holiday festivities! That clearly means another big feast and all those yummy Christmas treats!

The holidays are such an amazing time of the year where we get to come together and bring in that holiday cheer. But with all these delicious encounters, our patients with braces must be even more careful about their teeth home care. This can include drinking sugary beverages like hot chocolate or even sweets like candy canes. 

Let’s go over the most proper and effective ways to clean your braces:

  • Cleaning the top part of your teeth, between your brackets, and gums are essential. To properly clean the enamel, toothbrush bristles must touch the gums, but not too hard. You should brush with softer bristles to avoid irritating them and direct the brush at an angle toward the gums.
  • Brush frequently because brace wires catch food debris, and in doing so it will help prevent plaque. If you don’t have a toothbrush on hand when you are out, you can always rinse with water thoroughly until you get home. An exception is brushing after eating acidic foods. You should wait 30 minutes to an hour before brushing after eating foods like oranges or sports drinks because doing so can soften tooth enamel.
  • Try to start brushing your teeth with only a wet toothbrush. It will allow you to clean around the brackets and between wires. Then, add a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and continue cleaning.
  • One of the challenges we found with some patients has been flossing. Tying floss to a threader will make it easier to guide it through the wire. Use a saw-like motion to eliminate more plaque. Purchasing a waterpik water flosser is another option as well. It cleanses with a stream of water and is a quick, easy way to floss.
  • In addition to brushing and flossing, rinse with an anti-cavity, fluoride mouthwash that will reduce tooth decay and protect enamel. Rinsing for one minute will help get rid of any remaining debris.

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