Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Starting and Keeping Good Oral Hygiene Habits

Starting habits for the things you should can sometimes be difficult. However, a good oral hygiene habit is vital for your oral and overall health. Garrison Family Dentistry of Smithville, MO is offering their patients some tips for starting and keeping a good oral hygiene habit.

When starting a habit, visual reminders can be a great help. For the sake of ease, we will use the example of flossing every day. Say you want to floss every night before bed. Try keeping the floss out on your bathroom counter so that you see it every night. Another good idea is sticking a note to your bathroom mirror.

Routines are also good ways of getting into habits. Make sure to floss every night when you brush your teeth. This way, you will begin to get used to doing it every night.

Create a reward chart. Have a party coming up? Tell yourself you can buy a new pair of shoes or a new dress shirt for the party only if you floss your teeth every night for three weeks. If you do not complete the challenge, you do not get the reward.

Oral health is important for keeping strong, healthy teeth and gum tissues. For more help with oral hygiene, contact Garrison Family Dentistry of Smithville, MO by calling our office at (816) 532-8778 or by visiting our website,

Friday, February 19, 2016

Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth can really put a damper on enjoying things you love. It can affect you in cold weather, drinking hot chocolate, or eating ice cream to name a few. At Garrison Family Dentistry of Smithville, MO, we want you to know that you do not need to live with sensitive teeth. There are solutions!

When a sensitive tooth is not caused by a cavity or an infection, it is most commonly due to worn down enamel. In this case, you will need to figure out what is causing your teeth to wear. Talking about your dental habits with your dentist can help you determine this. We can also name a few of the most common reasons:

Brushing Habits

Believe it or not, you can brush too hard or too soon. Brushing too abrasively is certainly a way to wear down enamel and expose dentin. In addition, it can irritate the gums. As for brushing too soon, you should wait at least thirty minutes after eating to brush your teeth. This allows the enamel to re-harden after food acid softens it.

Too Much Acid

Speaking of the acid in our food, sometimes sensitivity can be caused simply because we are eating too much acid. This happens to people who suck on hard candy a lot and those who drink a lot of pop; especially energy drinks. Try to eat less of these foods, and always rinse with water afterwards.

Teeth Grinding

Other times, you may not even know what is causing wear down, because it happens while you sleep. Night grinders grind their teeth and wear down the enamel. There are mouth guards available to prevent damage, so ask us for more information!

Sensitive teeth are bothersome but fixable! To schedule an appointment with Garrison Family Dentistry in Smithville, MO, call our office at (816) 532-8778 or visit our website,

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Is It Possible to Rebuild Tooth Enamel?

The tooth itself is a complex structure that consists of four layers. Three of them – enamel, dentin, and cementum – are hard tissues while the fourth tissue – the pulp or the center of the tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue – is soft. The enamel is what helps protect your teeth from daily use such as chewing, biting, crunching and grinding and can be damaged by frequent acid attacks.  Because the enamel is not living tissue, your body can't rebuild tooth enamel that has been damaged or worn away due to erosion from dietary acids. This is why our doctors at Garrison Family Dentistry may recommend cosmetic options to rebuild and restore your enamel.

When enamel erodes, the tooth is more susceptible to cavities or tooth decay. When the tooth decay enters the hard enamel, it has entry to the main body of the tooth. Over time, as these cavities grow and penetrate the tooth, they can affect the tiny nerve fibers, resulting in an extremely painful abscess of infection if left untreated. Treatment of the tooth enamel loss will depend on the problem. Sometimes tooth bonding is used to protect the tooth and increase cosmetic appearance. If the enamel loss is significant, our doctors may recommend covering the tooth with a crown to protect against further decay.

If you desire a more aesthetically appealing smile, please give us a call to discuss your treatment options. To learn more about the cosmetic services we provide at the practice, visit for more information. To schedule an appointment with Garrison Family Dentistry here in Smithville, MO, call 816-532-8778.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Stages of Gum Disease

If you want to keep your permanent teeth for a lifetime, then you need to listen when a parent or one of our doctors at Garrison Family Dentistry tells you to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. If you don’t practice a proper oral hygiene routine on a daily basis, you’re already headed down the road toward gum disease.

Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums that can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth and there are three that you need to be aware of. You should always schedule professional cleanings and oral exams twice a year to avoid them.  

  • Gingivitis – This is the earliest stage of gum disease, an inflammation of the gums caused by plaque buildup at the gum line. If daily brushing and flossing do not remove the plaque, it produces toxins that can irritate the gum tissue, causing gingivitis. This is when you’ll notice blood in the sink after you complete your brushing routine. However, at this early stage, damage can be reversed, since the bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth in place are not yet affected.

  • Periodontitis – This is the second stage of gum disease. By this point, the supporting bone and fibers that hold your teeth in place are irreversibly damaged. Your gums may even begin to form a pocket below the gum line, which traps food and plaque.

  • Advanced Periodontitis – This is the final stage of gum disease, and the fibers and bone supporting your teeth is officially destroyed. In this case, your teeth may begin to shift or loosen and your bite may also be affected. If aggressive treatment can’t save them, the teeth will need to be extracted.

If you relate to any of these stages, please give us a call to discuss your treatment options. To learn more about oral hygiene and periodontal health as well as services we provide at the practice, visit for more information. To schedule an appointment with Garrison Family Dentistry here in Smithville, MO, call 816-532-8778.