Dental Care And Pregnancy

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Many years ago women were told to avoid dental care during pregnancy. We now know that maintaining good oral health is important for both mom and baby because women with gum disease have higher rates of pre-term birth.

Before You Get Pregnant

While you are thinking about starting a family is the perfect time to see your dentist to make sure your teeth and gums are in great shape. If you have any old fillings that need replacing or if you have a cavity  now is the time to get treatment. If your gums are not as healthy as they should be talk to your hygienist about what you can do to get them back to optimal health. Brushing with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing every day can do wonders for your oral health.

During Pregnancy

So you started your pregnancy with healthy teeth and gums and now your gums are a puffy, sore, bleeding mess. What happened? Hormonal changes during pregnancy wreak havoc with gum health causing pregnancy gingivitis.  Pregnancy gingivitis is common during pregnancy but that doesn’t mean that it should be ignored. When symptoms appear contact your dentist.

If you experience morning sickness you probably don’t think about damage to your tooth enamel, you just want to feel better. When stomach acids come in contact with the teeth the enamel is softened and damaged. This damage to the tooth enamel can lead to sensitivity, discoloration of the teeth, and tooth decay. Don’t brush your teeth immediately after being sick, rinse your mouth with water and wait at least 30 minutes before brushing. This gives the tooth enamel a chance to harden so the brushing won’t cause further damage.

Bruxism, or tooth grinding, is another symptom that some women experience. Grinding your teeth while sleeping happens to many people, even when they aren’t pregnant. Signs you may be grinding and clenching throughout the night include morning headaches, jaw pain, facial and neck pain, and your bed partner may complain about the grinding noise. Causes for bruxism vary – an incorrect bite, stress, anxiety, and even obstructive sleep apnea. If you experience symptoms contact your dentist for an evaluation.

Did you know that babies aren’t born with the bacteria that cause tooth decay? They get the bacteria from their parents. Keep your smile healthy before, during and after your pregnancy!

Please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-391-8777 to schedule your visit. If you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant please let us know!




New Year - New Smile

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

Have you thought of starting the new year looking a little better? Improving the appearance of your smile using cosmetic dentistry can make a major change in your appearance.

Cosmetic dental procedures run the gamut from a simple tooth whitening to full mouth makeovers so don’t be afraid to ask your dentist about your options. Changing your smile may be more affordable than you realize.

Tooth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dental procedure for good reason. Professional tooth whitening can dramatically brighten your smile, bleaching away years of staining and making your smile instantly younger. Over-the-counter whitening may help when teeth are only slightly dingy. However, only a dentist can tell you whether the staining on your teeth can be bleached away and provide the professional strength bleaching to make your smile bright again. Teeth that are going to undergo bleaching should have been professionally cleaned shortly before your bleaching appointment to ensure the best results.

Some staining cannot be bleached away. This often includes the grayish colored stains caused by antibiotic use. In these cases dental veneers are the perfect choice.

Dental veneers are very thin porcelain shells created in a dental lab and are specially designed for your smile. Dental veneers can do more than make your teeth white, they can also be used to provide “instant orthodontics” for teeth that are somewhat crooked. Dental veneers can also correct a misshapen tooth and close that too-wide gap between the front teeth. Dental veneers are one of the most amazing innovations in the field of cosmetic dentistry. With very little preparation to the existing tooth they can completely recreate a smile in just a couple of visits.

Which cosmetic procedure is right for you?

There are lots of options for cosmetic dental procedures. The first step is to talk to your cosmetic dentist about your concerns about your current smile and your dreams of what your perfect smile would look like. Cosmetic dentists have received specialized training that enables them to work with your facial features to design the perfect smile for you! Make sure to ask to see before and after photos of existing patients to ensure that your chosen dentist has the skills to help you achieve your goals.

Find out more by scheduling a consultation with Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-391-8777. Your new smile is simply a phone call away!


Should I Sleep With My Dentures?

Saturday, January 31st, 2015

Should you sleep with dentures in your mouth? Sleeping with dentures is not recommended for many reasons and a study published in the Journal of Dental Research gives another good reason to take the dentures out at night. This research showed that conventional denture wearing during sleep doubled the risk of pneumonia in the very elderly.

Poor oral health is a risk factor for pneumonia among elderly patients. This is yet another good reason to keep up with dental hygiene appointments as we age. Researchers in Japan found that wearing dentures at night dramatically increased the risk for developing pneumonia. The group of 228 men and 296 women were all over age 85 and were examined annually over three years to identify their oral health status and their overall health. The patients who wore their dentures overnight were at a 2.3 times higher risk of pneumonia.

In addition to the increased risk for pneumonia, the researchers also found plaque on the tongue and denture itself, as well as inflammation of the gums and infections of Candida albicans. The people who removed their dentures at night did not experience these problems. Removing dentures at night gives the gum tissue and underlying bone a chance to “rest” without the pressure of the denture.

Today we have many options for saving damaged teeth and replacing those that are missing. Dental implants are a wonderful option for replacing a lost tooth or several teeth. Please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-391-8777 to schedule your next visit.

How abrasive is your toothpaste?

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Not all toothpastes are created equal. Some can even cause problems. Many types of toothpaste are highly abrasive and actually strip away tooth enamel which never grows back. The teeth may become sensitive when tooth enamel is worn away. Toothpaste’s abrasiveness is measure by its Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA).

The table below shows the RDA of some common toothpastes. We suggest that you use toothpastes with lower RDA ratings. In addition to finding toothpaste that is minimally abrasive, we suggest finding one with fluouride.  Fluoride helps strengthen enamel and prevent cavities. Toothpaste contains abrasives which help clean teeth. Unfortunately, these abrasives can sometimes strip away tooth enamel, making teeth sensitive to heat, cold, and sweets.

A secondary problem from the abrasiveness of the paste is notching of the tooth at the gum line causing a structural compromise. Often a filling is necessary to protect the future integrity of the tooth. Again, selecting a paste with a low RDA can prevent both sensitivity and structural compromises that can cause the need for future restorative dentistry.


RDA Dentifrice brand and variety Source
07 straight baking soda Church & Dwight
08 Arm & Hammer Tooth Powder Church & Dwight
30 Elmex Sensitive Plus Elmex
35 Arm & Hammer Dental Care Church & Dwight
42 Arm & Hammer Advance White Baking Soda Peroxide Church & Dwight
44 Squigle Enamel Saver Squigle
48 Arm & Hammer Dental Care Sensitive Church & Dwight
49 Arm & Hammer Peroxicare Tartar Control Church & Dwight
49 Tom’s of Maine Sensitive (given as 40′s) Tom’s
52 Arm & Hammer Peroxicare Regular Church & Dwight
53 Rembrandt Original (RDA) Rembrandt
54 Arm & Hammer Dental Care PM Bold Mint Church & Dwight
57 Tom’s of Maine Children’s, Wintermint (given as mid-50′s) Tom’s
62 Supersmile Supersmile
63 Rembrandt Mint (‘Heffernan RDA’) Rembrandt
68 Colgate Regular Colgate-Palmolive
70 Colgate Total Colgate-Palmolive
70 Arm & Hammer Advance White Sensitive Church & Dwight
70 Colgate 2-in-1 Fresh Mint (given as 50-70) Colgate-Palmolive
79 Sensodyne Colgate-Palmolive
80 AIM Unilever
80 Close-Up Unilever
83 Colgate Sensitive Maximum Strength Colgate-Palmolive
91 Aquafresh Sensitive Colgate-Palmolive
93 Tom’s of Maine Regular (given as high 80′s low 90′s) Squigle (Tom’s)
94 Rembrandt Plus Rembrandt
94 Plus White Indiana study
95 Crest Regular (possibly 99) P&G (P&G)
101 Natural White Indiana study
103 Mentadent Squigle
103 Arm & Hammer Sensation Church & Dwight
104 Sensodyne Extra Whitening Colgate-Palmolive
106 Colgate Platinum Indiana study
106 Arm & Hammer Advance White Paste Church & Dwight
107 Crest Sensitivity Protection Colgate-Palmolive
110 Colgate Herbal Colgate-Palmolive
110 Amway Glister (given as upper bound) Patent US06174515
113 Aquafresh Whitening Indiana study
117 Arm & Hammer Advance White Gel Church & Dwight
117 Arm & Hammer Sensation Tartar Control Church & Dwight
120 Close-Up with Baking Soda (canadian) Unilever
124 Colgate Whitening Indiana study
130 Crest Extra Whitening Indiana study
133 Ultra brite (or 120-140) Indiana study (or Colgate-Palmolive)
144 Crest MultiCare Whitening P&G
145 Ultra brite Advanced Whitening Formula P&G
145 Colgate Baking Sode & Peroxide Whitening (given as 135-145) Colgate-Palmolive
150 Pepsodent (given as upper bound) Unilever
165 Colgate Tartar Control (given as 155-165) Colgate-Palmolive
168 Arm & Hammer Dental Care PM Fresh Mint Church & Dwight
200 Colgate 2-in-1 Tartar Control/Whitening or Icy Blast/Whitening (given as 190-200) Colgate-Palmolive
200 recommended limit FDA
250 recommended limit ADA
* Anything below 70-80 RDA is considered low abrasive
(Information provided by John C. Kois, D.M.D., M.S.D)

One in seven children have their first dental visit owing to an emergency

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

April 28, 2014 | Dental-Tribune.com

CHAPEL HILL, N.C., USA: Early preventive dental visits are essential for a child’s oral health. However, there are few studies about how children enter the dental care system. Now, researchers have found that especially the attitude of caregivers toward oral health has a significant influence on children’s dental care-seeking patterns.


The study was based on the data of about 1,000 caregiver–child dyads who were originally enrolled in the Carolina Oral Health Literacy study during 2007/2008. The children had no dental visits before enrollment.

Assessing oral health status, health literacy, dental neglect, and access to care barriers in the study population, the researchers found that almost 40 percent of the children had not visited the dentist during the two-year period taken into consideration. On average, these children were 16 months old on entering the dental care system.

Overall, children with reported oral health problems at baseline were more likely to enter the dental care system compared with children with better oral health. However, they were also more likely to require emergency care. According to the study, 13 percent of the children had their first dental visit owing to an emergency.

The researchers also found that the children of caregivers who neglected their own oral health were more likely not to enter the dental care system.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry states that tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease. It is five times more common than asthma. An estimated 5 percent of children under the age of 6, roughly 300,000 U.S. children, experience significant levels of early childhood caries. An additional 15 percent, roughly 1.5 million, experience lesser levels of the disease, which has also been associated with insufficient physical development, loss of school days and diminished ability to learn.

The current study, titled “Influence of Caregivers and Children’s Entry Into the Dental Care System,” was published online on April 21 in the Pediatrics journal ahead of print.


Surprising Foods That Stain Your Smile

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Everyone knows that soda and coffee stain your teeth, but some of the foods that can yellow a smile may come as a surprise to you. We’ve rounded up five of the top offenders when it comes to staining teeth below.

Remember that when it comes to keeping yours smile white and bright, you should cut back on these foods — but when you do eat them, brush your teeth immediately afterwards.

  1. Sports Drinks. Those bright blue, green or orange energy drinks definitely leave their mark on your teeth. When you hit the midday slump and need an energy boost, reach for a tall, invigorating glass of ice water with a sprig of mint, rather than a neon-hued sports drink.
  2. Berries. They may be good for your health nutrition-wise, but dark berries such as blueberries, blackberries, cherries and pomegranates stain your teeth. Watch out for acidic fruits as well, such as oranges, grapefruit and pineapples. They don’t seem like they’re dark enough to cause tooth staining, but they contain enamel-eating acids that can harm your teeth and gradually contribute to staining.
  3. Wine & Alcohol. Red wine’s coloring rubs off on your teeth’s enamel, causing them to look darker. You may logically assume that switching to a white wine will avoid that problem, but the truth is that alcohol itself has a negative impact on teeth. Alcohol irritates the soft tissue in your mouth and can cause inflammation, which can lead to gum disease.
  4. Tomato Sauce. While it may seem healthy, tomato cause is chock full of high acidic content and bright red coloring. The food coloring that’s added to many products can significantly affect your smile, and even worse, tomato sauce has a high sugar count, which also wrecks havoc on teeth and gums.
  5. Bread & Carbohydrates. White bread doesn’t seem something that would stain your smile, but it directly affects your teeth’s whiteness. When the starches in bread and other carbohydrates mix with the enzymes in your saliva, they create an acid that erodes teeth enamel. As enamel erodes, more of the tooth’s dentin is exposed, making teeth look more yellow.

Tooth Whitening in Toccoa

If you would like to learn more about whitening your smile, or any other dental treatments that the Wilbanks Smile Center offers, contact us today and schedule your consultation. Our offices are located in Toccoa, GA, and we can be reached at 706-886-9439. We look forward to hearing from you.


How to Handle Tooth Trauma

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Whether it’s from a sports injury or a fall, dental damage such as a chipped or knocked-out tooth is quite common. How the trauma is diagnosed and treated is up to your dentist, but there are several things you can do to help ensure that your teeth are repaired as quickly and efficiently as possible.

First, determine the condition of the tooth immediately following the injury. For example, if your preteen had one of their teeth partially knocked out, make sure to identify whether the tooth is a primary, or “baby” tooth, or a permanent tooth. Pushing a baby tooth back into place may damage the underneath permanent tooth’s development, as it is forming directly behind it.

So, if a baby tooth is damaged, do not attempt to push it back into place. Instead, keep the tooth in place as it is and head directly to your dentist’s office for an emergency appointment. The dentist will determine the best course of action, whether it’s completely removing the baby tooth or letting it remain and fall out naturally.

If a permanent tooth has been knocked out and is still in one piece, only handle the tooth by its crown, or the top portion of the tooth that is visible when you smile. Holding it by the root, or bottom portion, increases the chances of bacteria passing from your hands to the tooth, which in turn increases the risk of infection once the tooth is implanted back into the gums.

Finally, if the tooth has fallen on the ground, gently rinse off any visible dirt and debris, but make sure not to scrub any remaining skin cells off of the root. The tooth must be kept moist in order for it to stay alive until your dentist can properly reinsert it. In the meantime, placing it in room temperature water or milk will help prevent it from drying out.

However, a Save-A-Tooth kit would be ideal for handling the tooth while on the way to the dentist’s office, as it contains a fluid that is specially designed to  keep the tooth’s root alive.  This tooth preservation kit is available at most drug stores and should be added to your first aid kit in case of a dental emergency.

Tooth Trauma Treatment in Toccoa

If you want to learn more about the various treatment options we offer for tooth and facial trauma, contact us today to schedule an appointment. Wilbanks Smile Center is located in Toccoa, GA, and we can be reached at 706-886-9439. We look forward to hearing from you.

International Trials Praise Dental Implants

Saturday, August 10th, 2013

Two separate international clinical studies have just been published and demonstrate excellent clinical performance of dental implants. Together these studies looked at more than one thousand implants in Europe, the US and Australia. The studies reported implant survival rates of 98% and practically no bone loss around the implants.

Dental implants have been around for many years now and are one of the best ways we have to replace missing teeth. Dental implants can be used to replace just one tooth, replace several teeth or can be used to anchor complete sets of dentures.

The beauty of using a dental implant to replace a tooth, instead of a traditional bridge, is that a dental implant acts and feels more like a natural tooth. When placing a dental bridge the teeth that are used to “anchor” the bridge must be prepared – this may mean altering a perfectly healthy tooth just to anchor the bridge leaving it open to future decay or damage. A dental implant is placed into the bone of the jaw and serves as an artificial tooth root so no other teeth are touched during the restoration. A special implant crown completes the procedure – most patients can’t tell which tooth has the implant!

For patients who have lost all of their teeth we can use dental implants to create a whole new smile. If the patient has experienced bone loss that does not allow multiple implants we can anchor a full set of replacement teeth using only 4 implants. No slipping dentures and you never need to be afraid to smile, laugh or eat whatever you want.

Find out how dental implants can change your smile by contacting Toccoa, GA implant dentist Wilbanks Smile Center today at 706-886-9439.

Coffee May Reduce Oral Cancer Risk

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

If you want to reduce your risk of oral cancer you should drink caffeinated coffee. That is according to a new American Cancer Society study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Yes, it will stain your teeth but regular dental visits to polish the stains away can take care of that! Coffee may help protect against oral cancer.

It seems that people who drank more than four cups of regular coffee, not the decaf kind, per day had about half the risk of death as compared to those who rarely or never drank coffee. Previous studies had suggested that coffee intake was associated with a reduced risk of oral cancers. This study looked at the association between caffeinated coffee, decaf coffee, and tea drinking with fatal oral cancers. It seems that drinking tea doesn’t offer protection and drinking less coffee per day offers some protection but not as much as 4 cups.

“Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world and contains a variety of antioxidants, polyphenols, and other biologically active compounds that may help protect against development or progression of cancers,” said lead author Janet Hildebrand.

Screening for oral cancer is a regular part of your dental examination – did you know that? If you have not had a recent dental checkup please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-2581 to schedule your visit.

Oral cancers are very treatable if discovered early so don’t avoid this important health screening.

Got Bad Breath?

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

Got bad breath? You’re not alone. About half of us suffer from bad breath making it a very common problem.Wilbanks Smile Center wants to help you avoid bad breath.

Some of these cases of bad breath are caused by poor oral hygiene or active gum disease. A lot of people who have healthy smiles and great oral health care still end up with stinky breath from time to time – let’s look at the usual suspects:

  • Foods – Onions and garlic are what we normally think of when avoiding food that can cause bad breath. Dairy products, coffee, spicy foods, and some sweets can also make your breath stinky. Rinse your mouth immediately after eating or chew some sugarless gum to remove food particles which stick between teeth and rot, causing stinky breath.
  • Dry mouth – When you become dehydrated your saliva flow is reduced so make sure you are drinking enough water. Some medications and medical conditions can also cause dry mouth. So does sleeping with your mouth open – morning breath sound familiar? There are over-the-counter saliva substitutes that can be used if you have chronic dry mouth.
  • Dieting – Most of us don’t think of losing weight causing bad breath. When your body breaks down fat certain chemicals are released that may make your breath unpleasant.

Help avoid bad breath by brushing and flossing every day. Don’t forget to clean your tongue – a lot of bacteria live on our tongues and cause bad breath. A simple tongue scraper or brushing with your toothbrush will help.

Chewing sugarless gum is great for reducing bad breath. Sugarless gum that contains xylitol is actually good for your teeth! The xylitol will help prevent bacterial growth in your mouth. Chewing gum helps remove food debris and stimulates saliva production.

If have chronic bad breath despite your efforts you may have an oral infection that has not been diagnosed. Please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439 to schedule your next visit.


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