The Monster Lurking on Your Lips

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If you have ever had a cold sore, you know how embarrassing they can be and how isolated they can make you feel. It should make you feel better to know that you are not alone: cold sores affect a whopping 8 out of 10 people. This may seem high, but even if you don’t remember getting a cold sore, you could still be a carrier, as most people are exposed to the virus before the age of seven. Some people who have been infected might not display any symptoms at all, and may never actually have an outbreak.

There is an urban legend floating around the internet that you can contract cold sores during your dentist appointment, but that is simply not true. Dr. Postol sterilizes everything we use and takes as many precautions as possible to avoid transmission of diseases between staff, other patients, and you. The fact is, you probably got the cold sore from kissing or sharing drinks someone who had an active breakout.

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Dental Hygiene: Will You Look Like a Horse in Ten Years?

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We understand how time can just slip by between appointments: you move, you get a new job, you have children, you retire, and before you know it ten years has passed. Things can happen, but we want everyone in Ballwin, MO to remember how important it is to stay on top of your dental health.

 

So what would ten years of complete neglect look like for your teeth?

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Are Your Bad Teeth Making Your Baby Sick?

cavitiesYou might be surprised at the number of connections between infants and the oral health of their mothers, whether through cavities or gum disease, during both pregnancy and infancy.

 

Gum Disease and Low Birth Weight

Frightening new studies have shown that women who had gum disease during their pregnancy were an astounding 7 times more likely to have a low birth weight baby. While it may seem strange that your mouth could be so important, gum disease is in fact an infection, and any infection can have detrimental effects on a healthy weight for your newborn. The best way to avoid this is to talk to Dr. Postol as soon as you know you are pregnant so that he can test for any health problems that might affect your baby.

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Forget About Traditional Braces

BracesIt’s no secret that regular old braces carry a certain stigma. The brackets, wires, and small, colored bands are clunky and painful, and most people shudder at the thought of having to get them. However, the dentistry of today is very different and Dr. Postol has options for you that are less-invasive, nearly invisible, more comfortable, and take much less time. If you have ever dreamed about having a nicer smile, now is the time to visit St. Louis Dentistry and find out about the wonderful ways we can help build your confidence with a beautiful smile.

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Get Your Smile Back with Dental Implants

Implants, IndependenceDon’t let dentures or gaps in your teeth take away your confidence! Talk to Dr. Postol about dental implants and get started on a path to reclaiming your smile! St. Louis Dentistry offers the best dental implant technology available and we love to help our Ballwin, MO patients regain their confidence with a beautiful, healthy mouth.

 

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Improve Your Dental Health with These Five Foods

5 foods, dental healthKeeping your teeth and gums healthy can be tricky, and Dr. Postol wants to help Ballwin, MO residents get their mouths in tip-top shape. Here are five foods that can improve your dental health and may even help you avoid costly procedures such as implants, fillings, and more.

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Several Ways to Make Children Smile at the Dentist

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Visits to oral health professionals are strongly recommended within the first year of life, as proper brushing, flossing, nutritional habits, and tooth alignment are of extreme importance after the very first tooth has erupted. While children often become anxious at the prospect of visiting the dentist, their fears can be alleviated with gentle, positive reinforcement and a comfortable environment. Early positive associations with oral health care can mean the difference between frequent dental infections and teeth that are free from unnecessary decay and trauma throughout their lifetime. Here are several tips for promoting habits that will have a positive impact on your child’s oral health.

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Gum Disease: What You Didn’t Know

X- Heart Health, PerioIn celebration of National Men’s Health Month and Father’s Day, Dr. Postol is hoping to educate all Ballwin, MO men and their loved ones about the dangers of periodontal disease. This condition is sadly underdiagnosed  and could affect as much as half the population. Worse, most people have no idea that they have it. Even if you have read our gum disease page, there may be more that you don’t know about how this condition affects you and why it is important to both your overall health and the health of your mouth.

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Teething Doesn’t Have to Bite!

TeethingMay is National Women’s Health Month, and St. Louis Dental wants to celebrate by providing helpful information to all new mothers in Ballwin, MO who may have some questions about their baby’s teeth. We know how stressful being a new mom can be, and that stress can have a toxic effect on your own health. We also know that when you’re not feeling your best, you’re not able to care for your baby in all the ways you would like.

 

So taking care of baby and taking care of mom are both equally important to us! Until your child is ready for their first dental appointment at around age three, they will need you to manage all of their dental care, so make sure to ask Dr. Postol if you have any questions about their teeth.

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Baby Bottle Syndrome and Children’s Oral Health

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By: Lauren Hapeman

The age that children receive their first set of teeth often coincides with a period of time where bottles are provided, often before they are put to bed. Baby bottle syndrome is a dental abnormality that affects children when they are bottle fed milk or fruit juice prior to going to sleep. This condition can be viewed clinically as rampant tooth decay, and is most common on the anterior or front teeth where bottles and the liquids that they contain come in frequent contact with the tooth surfaces. This article will explain baby bottle syndrome in depth and also identify healthy alternatives that will prevent tooth decay. The first set of teeth remains in the oral cavity for the first twelve years of life, and it is important for them to be fully functional and free of decay. Your pediatric or general dentist can work with you to ensure that baby bottle syndrome is prevented throughout your child’s first years of life.

What Causes Baby Bottle Syndrome?
Milk, fruit juices, and other beverages that contain sugar, are the most common causes of “baby bottle syndrome.” This is because each of these beverages has a high sugar content (milk, although nutritious, contains lactose or milk sugar which can be broken down by saliva into simple table sugar). When sugar is left in the oral cavity overnight, the pH of the mouth becomes acidic, and the result is a demineralized, or weakened, tooth surface. This is because bacteria that reside naturally in the oral cavity use sugar for energy, and following their ingestion of simple sugar, they secret acids as a by-product.

The ingestion of sugar, acid secretion, and a low pH in the mouth, are responsible for causing cavitations to develop over time on the enamel, or outer surface of the teeth. The result of repeated milk or juice intake before bed is a condition called “rampant caries,” or numerous dental cavities on all surfaces of multiple teeth. This can be extremely painful for children who need their first set of teeth to eat and speak until they are adolescent. Prevention of baby bottle syndrome is essential, as, without the placement of many crowns on the primary teeth, it is difficult to restore teeth with rampant caries to health.

Prevention of Baby Bottle Syndrome
To prevent your child from developing dental caries or cavities, milk and juice should be given during the day in conjunction with healthy, fibrous snacks (adding food will help to keep the pH within the oral cavity at a neutral level). Before bed, if milk is provided, children’s teeth should be brushed for a minimum of two minutes, even if all of their primary teeth have not yet erupted. During the night, water can be an alternative to milk, and will keep your child hydrated without presenting a risk of tooth decay.

It is important to acclimate your child to the dentist following the eruption of their first tooth (the first tooth to erupt is the mandibular, or bottom, central incisor). This will eliminate their fear of going to the dentist at an early age and will provide you with information regarding how to prevent tooth decay, which teeth should erupt at each age, and ways to ensure that your child has a healthy, functional set of teeth.

For more information on baby bottle syndrome, or to schedule an appointment for your child, contact Dr. Postol at his St. Louis area dental office today.