Modern Dentistry: Managing TMD Discomfort | Dentist Sioux City

Discomfort and pain in your jaw, clicking while you talk or chew, and swelling on the sides of your face can be caused by Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD). TMD can make talking and eating both painful and uncomfortable. Our dentist in Sioux City understands how TMD can make your day a challenge. We’ve compiled a list of helpful tips for managing TMD discomfort, but also encourage you to schedule a visit to see us for a full evaluation. 

Finding Relief at Home 

If your jaw is swollen, try applying a cold compress to your face. We recommend holding the compress in place for about 10 minutes. If you are able, try a few gentle jaw stretches. After the cold compress, apply warm, moist heat to the same area. You can keep this warm compress in place for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.  

If your discomfort is particularly noticeable, try over-the-counter pain relievers such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or ibuprofen. If you find yourself taking pain relieving medications daily, please contact us immediately. 

The “Don’ts” of TMD 

Applying excess pressure to your jaw can make your TMD discomfort worse. Don’t use your hand as a rest for your chin, as doing so increases the amount of pressure and strain placed on your jaw. If you talk on the phone frequently, avoid holding the phone on your shoulder while bending your neck to keep it in place.  

Clenching your jaw and keeping your teeth tightly closed can also lead to a build-up of pressure in the jaw. During the day, try to keep your teeth from touching. By create a little space between your teeth, you will be relieving pressure from your jaw. 

Contact Us 

Our team is here to help you. Schedule a consultation with our dentist to learn more about the solutions available for people just like you dealing with TMD discomfort. We will provide a thorough dental examination to determine the best course of treatment for your TMD.  

Relief may be closer than you think. Contact our dental office in Sioux City, IA to learn more today.

Family 1st Dental – Sioux City
Phone: 712-255-5754
2928 Hamilton Boulevard Upper E
Sioux City, IA 51104

Should You Brush Right After Eating? | Dentist in 51104

Enamel is the guardian of your teeth and the hardest material in the body. It’s the first defense against harmful bacteria which may lead to tooth decay. When you eat certain foods, it creates bacteria which attack your tooth enamel. Carbohydrates and sugary foods are examples of these foods. Brushing directly after eating can be harmful to your enamel. 

Why this is a problem 

When eating or drinking, the pH balance in your mouth changes. After each bite of acidic food, the pH balance moves towards a level which causes demineralization. The new acidity softens the enamel which can cause bacteria to get into the teeth. Brushing right after you eat may damage your enamel. This is important because enamel protects your teeth from damage.   

Steps you can take to protect your enamel: 

If you’ve had anything acidic, our dentist in Sioux City says to not brush for at least 30 minutes.  

Fruits with citric acid are one example. If you are planning ingesting acidic foods or drinks, you can brush beforehand. 

A glass of water will help remove the acid. Follow this by chewing sugarless gum. These steps help create saliva which will help bring back the necessary pH balance needed for a healthy smile. 

Try to avoid soda as prolonged phosphoric acid can cause permanent damage. 

Brushing your teeth twice a day is an important habit for optimal oral health.  

Have you ever been told you should brush your teeth right after eating? While this may sound like the right habit to adapt, this practice could be detrimental to the health of your teeth. Rinsing your mouth with water after eating may be a better option to keep enamel strong. Visit our office for a dental exam and we can give you for tips for healthy, strong teeth. Call our Sioux City, IA dental office today.

Family 1st Dental – Sioux City
Phone: 712-255-5754
2928 Hamilton Boulevard Upper E
Sioux City, IA 51104

Self-Care: A Woman’s Priority | 51104 Dentist

When you travel by plane, your flight attendant will advise that in the rare case of a dental emergency, you must first put on your air mask before attempting to help those around you. When this is not followed, the results can be catastrophic, both for you and for those you might otherwise have been in a position to assist. While this is crucial information for all, our dentist in 51104 agrees that many women particularly require this gentle reminder to prioritize their own needs above those of others.  

All too often, we meet women who work tirelessly to fulfill the needs of their families. We see working moms, both at home and in office, who prioritize the health and wellness of their children, spouse and even friends before their own.  

We get it: there’s joy and fulfillment in taking care of others. However, it may be time to “put on your oxygen mask” and consider whether you are remembering to care for yourself. Your health, both mental and physical, should be one of your top priorities. This will allow you to have the energy and strength you need to assist with the needs of those around you.  

Smile restoration can take years off your appearance, while adding years to your life by improving your health. If you’re looking for a way to jump start your new self-care inclusive way of living, contact our dental office in Sioux City, IA for a cosmetic consultation. Your friends and family will love to see you with a vibrant, beautiful, healthy smile. You deserve it.

Family 1st Dental – Sioux City
Phone: 712-255-5754
2928 Hamilton Boulevard Upper E
Sioux City, IA 51104

How Candy Threatens Your Child’s Smile | Sioux City IA Dentist

How often does your child eat candy? According to a study conducted by the USDA Economic Research Service, children under 12 consume an average of 49 pounds of sugar in one year. While candy is not the sole source of sugar in a child’s diet, the impacts of sugary candy treats are particularly harmful to teeth. Here’s what you need to know about candy and how it might be damaging your child’s smile.

The Impact of Sugar on Teeth

The real culprit in candy is the high sugar content. Certain types of bacteria that are present in your mouth can feed on sugar. These destructive bacteria then create acid that wears away tooth enamel. When enamel is weakened, your risk of developing decay increases. Your mouth is effective at neutralizing acids and aiding minerals that strengthen enamel if the amount of sugars and acids is not excessive. Your mouth can only do so much, which makes it essential to limit your sugar intake and maintain a regular and thorough oral hygiene routine.

Watch Out for Sticky, Sugary Candies

Not all candies are made equal. For a general rule of thumb, the sticker the candy, the worse it is for your teeth. Sticky candies leave sugary residue on your teeth long after you are done eating. This gives the bacteria in your mouth more time to start demineralizing enamel. Watch out for sticky candies like gum drops and taffy.

Suckers, lollipops, and hard sucking candies are troublesome because they are in your mouth for an extended period of time. Like sticky candies, this allows for more time for harmful bacteria to get to work by weakening your teeth. You can also chip or crack a tooth if you bite too hard.

Other problematic candies include those that are gummy and coated in sugar. Think of gummy worms or another sour covered, chewy critter. Not only are they high in sugar content, but they also typically contain harmful acids that contribute to a loss of enamel.

Steps for Preventing Decay

You can help your child by limiting their candy and sugar intake. In some instances, this can be tricky and even out of your control when your child is at school or a friend’s house. What you can do is instill good oral hygiene habits in your child. Make sure they are brushing for two minutes twice each day. You can make brushing fun. Sing a song together for the two minutes, and allow them to choose a fun toothbrush and toothpaste flavor.

Candy is a fun treat. You don’t have to take it away from your child altogether, but limit their exposure to such treats and educate them about the impacts candy can have on their teeth. When left untreated, decay can spread leading to pain and infection. Maintaining a schedule of regular visits to our Sioux City dentist is essential. More than just a cleaning, we will provide a thorough examination to check for decay.

If you haven’t already scheduled your child’s next appointment, please contact our Sioux City IA dentist

Family 1st Dental – Sioux City
Phone: 712-255-5754
2928 Hamilton Boulevard Upper E
Sioux City, IA 51104

Biting Off More than You Can Chew? | Sioux City IA Dentist

It is not uncommon for many of us to grab a bite to eat in a hurry. Americans have grown accustomed to bigger food portions at restaurants, but our mouths have not. Trying to fit that oversized sandwich or apple in your mouth might be worse for you than you have ever imagined. Below are some reasons why this could be detrimental for your oral health and what you can do about it.  

Why This Is a Problem 

According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), taking bites that are too big for you to chew can not only cause jaw and teeth issues, it can also cause digestive problems. Discomfort, swelling and difficulty eating may result from opening your jaw too wide. Taking large bites may also result in food not being chewed thoroughly, which can lead to weight gain and digestive issues.  

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) 

Constantly opening your jaw too wide becomes an even larger problem for people with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). The temporomandibular joint connects the jaw to the skull bones enabling movement during chewing. People with TMD, usually have a restriction with how wide they can open their jaws. Taking large bites of food, especially hard foods like apples, can aggravate this condition making pain and jaw clicking worse.  

What You Can Do 

If you have food that is too large to chew or starts to cause jaw discomfort, try cutting your food into smaller portions. This makes food easier to eat with less hassle. Also consider eating softer foods that won’t harm your teeth or irritate your jaw.  

Tip: Avoid chewing on ice, popcorn kernels, hard candies, and opening nuts with your teeth. This can lead to a chipped tooth! 

Contact Family 1st Dental of Sioux City today to schedule an exam and cleaning with our Sioux City dentist .  

Family 1st Dental – Sioux City
Phone: 712-255-5754
2928 Hamilton Boulevard Upper E
Sioux City, IA 51104

How Chocolate Affects the Health of Your Teeth | Sioux City Dentist

Did you know that chocolate might not be as bad for your teeth as people may have thought? You can now eat your favorite treat without feeling guilty. Studies shared by our dentist in 51104 have shown that there are benefits to eating chocolate, however, not all chocolate is created equal. It is important to note that these benefits apply to dark chocolate, not milk chocolate or white chocolate. Dark chocolate is rich in Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese and a few other minerals.

A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains:

  • 11 grams of fiber
  • 67% Iron
  • 58% Magnesium
  • 89% Copper
  • 98% Manganese
  • It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium

Here are more advantages to eating dark chocolate and how to maintain good oral health while doing so.

Chocolate and Your Teeth

Chocolate is a candy that dissolves quickly in your mouth, resulting in less time on your teeth. It does less damage than a chewy or sticky candy because the sugar doesn’t cling to your teeth as long. 

Chocolate and Your Health 

Cocoa and dark chocolate are also a powerful source of antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. Many experts believe this damage is a factor in the development of blood vessel disease, cancer, and other conditions. The bioactive compounds in cocoa can improve blood flow in the arteries and cause a small but statistically significant decrease in blood pressure.

Chocolate Benefits 

Eating chocolate can lower your risk for cardiovascular disease. A study also showed that the flavanols from cocoa can improve blood flow to the skin and protect it against sun-induced damage.

Remember to eat responsibly as too much sugary food can be harmful, regardless of the benefits. Eating dark chocolate and brushing your teeth after will reduce the negative effects of chocolate. 

While you can indulge on your favorite chocolate treat occasionally, be sure to keep up with your oral hygiene routine. Brush at least twice each day for two minutes, and floss regularly. To schedule your next visit to our Sioux City, IA dental office, please contact our team.

Family 1st Dental – Sioux City
Phone: 712-255-5754
2928 Hamilton Boulevard Upper E
Sioux City, IA 51104

Health Alert: Preventing Osteoporosis | Sioux City IA Dentist

Osteoporosis is a disease that affects roughly 10 million Americans, according to statistics from the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Additionally, another 44 million people are at an increased risk of developing the disease due to of low bone density. Symptoms appear in more than one-third of women over the age of 65. Fractures, pain, and mobility limitations can occur from osteoporosis. Understanding the signs and symptoms, as well as prevention methods, can decrease your chance of developing osteoporosis.  

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a disease that decreases bone density and weakens bones. Many people are unaware that they have this disease, and only catch it after an injury. Bone fractures can greatly diminish your quality of life through persistent discomfort and limited mobility.

Oral Health Linked to Osteoporosis

If you suffer from osteoporosis, your oral health is also at risk. Your jawbone may begin to weaken, leading to significant oral health complications. A routine visit to our dental office can allow our dentist in 51104 to detect early signs of osteoporosis. Tooth loss and gum disease are potential indicators of an underlying health issue. Our team will take X-rays of your jawbone and surrounding teeth. If we detect diminished bone density, or signs of bone loss, we will discuss the best course of action with you. 

What You Can Do

The risk factors associated with osteoporosis include genetics, calcium deficiency, smoking, menopause, excessive caffeine or alcohol, and an inactive lifestyle. Simple changes such as increasing your daily calcium and vitamin D intake, exercising, quitting smoking, decreasing consumption of caffeine and alcohol, and visiting our team regularly can help lower your risk.

Osteoporosis affects the lives of millions of people. It can significantly diminish your quality of life. Through regular oral health examinations, our team may be able to identify early signs of bone loss. 

Schedule your visit to our Sioux City, IA dental office today.

Family 1st Dental – Sioux City
Phone: 712-255-5754
2928 Hamilton Boulevard Upper E
Sioux City, IA 51104

You Need to Know About Oral Thrush: Here’s Why | Dentist in 51104

Even a healthy mouth is lined with bacteria. Normally, your daily oral hygiene routine helps prevent oral health complications. However, it is possible to develop an excess of bacteria and fungi, which can lead to additional problems. Here’s what our dentist in Sioux City, IA thinks you should know about oral thrush and what you can do to prevent it.

What is it?

Oral thrush is caused by a collection of the fungus Candida in your mouth. Bacteria and fungi occur naturally in your mouth, but it is important that they are not permitted to build up. Thrush can appear as white, thick scrapes on your tongue or inner cheek. It may also look like patchy, white sores. 

Who does it affect?

Young children, infants, and the elderly are at a higher risk of developing oral thrush. If you have a weakened immune system or diabetes, it is even more important that you stay active to keep your mouth healthy and prevent issues like oral thrush. Smokers also tend to develop oral thrush more than other patients. 

What can it do?

Oral thrush can lead to trouble swallowing and tasting. As it develops, it can become painful. Oral thrush can make affected areas feel like they are burning, and slight bleeding can occur if you are scraping your tongue or cheeks. Some describe the feeling as having cotton in their mouth.

Thrush can spread. If you have a weakened immune system, it is possible that thrush moves into your lungs, digestive tract, and even your heart.

How can I prevent It?

Our best recommendation for preventing oral thrush is a vigilant daily oral hygiene routine that includes a thorough brushing and flossing of your teeth, and includes your tongue. We sometimes recommend a patient use a tongue scraper to clean your tongue. Just like brushing your teeth, your tongue depends on daily cleaning to stay healthy and free of germs and bacteria. 

The American Dental Association recommends that for some patients it might be helpful to consider an antimicrobial toothpaste or mouthwash. Check with our doctor to see which solutions might be best for you.

We cannot overstate the importance of regularly scheduled dental exams and dental cleanings. If you are a diabetic, it is even more important that you schedule regular visits to our office. By having your mouth checked by our staff, we can work with you to prevent oral health issues like thrush. 

For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next visit, please contact our dental office in Sioux City, IA.

Family 1st Dental – Sioux City
Phone: 712-255-5754
2928 Hamilton Boulevard Upper E
Sioux City, IA 51104

What to Know About E-Cigarettes and Your Oral Health | Dentist in Sioux City IA

The hazards surrounding vaping are not entirely clear. More research is needed in this area, but a recent study indicates that e-cigarette vapors could be damaging to your mouth. Here’s what our dentist in 51104 needs you to know.

The Vapor Ingredients

Electronic cigarettes are not regulated in the same way tobacco cigarettes are, meaning that their contents can be inaccurately labeled without any oversight. Contents that e-juice usually contains include nicotine, glycerin, chemical flavoring, and propylene glycol. Some of these substances are safe in food, such as chemical flavors, but the effects of inhaling them is not well researched. Heating these chemicals can form dangerous carcinogens such as formaldehyde. E-cigarettes might also include tiny metals and particles that you inhale while smoking.

What This Means for Your Oral Health

A recent study from UCLA found that vapors from an e-cigarette can kill the cells in your oral cavity, or the area of your mouth beyond your teeth and gums. The study placed oral cells in an environment where electronic cigarette smoke was produced for 24 hours, in a machine simulating how a person would smoke. During the test, 85% of the cells died. According to the lead author of the study, they plan to move forward to test the impacts in humans.

These cells are your mouth’s defense by helping to release antioxidants. As the cells die off or become less effective, your mouth becomes more vulnerable to oral diseases.

Another study by the University of Rochester Medical Center concluded e-cigarettes are just as bad for your gums as tobacco cigarettes are. Nicotine, which both types of cigarettes contain, is a known factor in contributing to gum disease.

Steps You Can Take

Since the e-juice industry is largely unregulated, it is best to avoid smoking electronic cigarettes. The carcinogenic contents pose serious risks to your health, especially to your mouth. Your mouth relies on the functions of these important cells to defend itself against dangerous bacteria and other substances. Without your mouth’s natural defense system, you open yourself up to oral disease.

Make sure you are regularly visiting our office, especially if you are a smoker of either tobacco cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes. Our experienced dental team will perform a complete oral examination during your visit to check for signs of oral disease. Being proactive is your best defense against combating oral disease.

For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next visit, please contact our dental office in Sioux City, IA.

Family 1st Dental – Sioux City
Phone: 712-255-5754
2928 Hamilton Boulevard Upper E
Sioux City, IA 51104

Plaque: Your Teeth’s Number One Enemy | Sioux City Dentist

When buying a toothbrush, toothpaste, or coming into our office, you often hear the word “plaque” associated with the health of your teeth. Plaque is one of the main reasons why it is so important to keep up with a daily oral hygiene routine that includes brushing two times each day for at least two minutes, and flossing regularly as well. Here’s what our dentist in 51104 needs you to know about plaque and what it can do to your smile.

What is Plaque?

If you haven’t brushed your teeth in a while, you might feel a film-like, sticky buildup on your teeth. This is plaque, a bacteria layer that grips onto your teeth. There isn’t anything you can do to stop plaque from forming, but brushing and flossing as well as keeping up with regular dental visits are your best defenses for cleaning plaque off your teeth.

What Plaque Does to Your Teeth & Mouth

Without regular brushing and cleaning, plaque builds up and multiplies. As plaque is left untreated, it hardens to form tartar (also known as calculus). Plaque also leads to decay, as it produces an acid that damages your teeth. When you come into our office for a dental examination, we thoroughly clean your teeth to ensure that any buildup is taken care of. Tartar can cause staining on your teeth if left untreated. Plaque is the leading cause of gingivitis, causing your gums to swell and become red or bloody.

What You Can Do

The most important steps of keeping plaque in check is to stick to a daily brushing routine. This means brushing twice each day, for two minutes each time, and flossing at least once daily. Plaque occurs naturally, and when you come into our office for a complete examination, we work with you to clean off any buildup. Maintaining regular visits to our office is one way to ensure tartar buildup is minimized and managed. It is particularly important that you are brushing your teeth all the way to the gum, because the gum line is an area that is prone to plaque buildup. Brush gently, as vigorous brushing will only do more damage than good, especially to your gums.

Sticking to your daily brushing and flossing routine will help keep your teeth free of plaque buildup. Make sure you are brushing in the morning and before bed. If you don’t brush before bed, bacteria and plaque will build up throughout the night. Schedule a visit to our office so our experienced, professional dental team can clean your teeth, giving you a smile you can be proud of.

For more tips on keeping your teeth healthy or to schedule your next visit, please contact our dental office in Sioux City, IA.

Family 1st Dental – Sioux City
Phone: 712-255-5754
2928 Hamilton Boulevard Upper E
Sioux City, IA 51104

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2928 Hamilton Boulevard, Upper E,
Sioux City, IA 51104

(712) 255-5754

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Our Dental News

dentist 51104

Modern Dentistry: Managing TMD Discomfort | Dentist Sioux City

Discomfort and pain in your jaw, clicking while you talk or chew, and swelling on the sides of your face can be caused by Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD). TMD can make talking and eating both painful and uncomfortable. Our dentist […]

Learn More
dentist in Sioux City IA

Should You Brush Right After Eating? | Dentist in 51104

Enamel is the guardian of your teeth and the hardest material in the body. It’s the first defense against harmful bacteria which may lead to tooth decay. When you eat certain foods, it creates bacteria which attack your tooth enamel. […]

Learn More
51104 dentist

Self-Care: A Woman’s Priority | 51104 Dentist

When you travel by plane, your flight attendant will advise that in the rare case of a dental emergency, you must first put on your air mask before attempting to help those around you. When this is not followed, the […]

Learn More