Who Should Get an Oral Cancer Screening?

woman receiving an oral cancer screening

A preventative dental examination doesn’t just screen for potential dental issues. Oral cancer screenings are a common component of dental examinations, too. With one person dying every hour from oral cancer, screenings can quite literally save lives. But are they necessary for all patients?

What Causes Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer can develop due to a variety of factors, but common causes are excessive smoking, tobacco and alcohol consumption, and poor dental hygiene. You are more at risk of developing oral cancer if you’ve had it before or if you’ve had excessive sun exposure too.

What Is an Oral Cancer Screening?

An oral cancer screening is a very simple process. First, your dentist will examine your mouth and tongue, checking for any abnormal lumps and bumps. They will then do a scan of your face, neck, and lips for the same reason. They might also feel your lymph nodes for added precaution. If your dentist detects any abnormalities, they will let you know if you require further testing.

Don’t be afraid to have an oral cancer screening! If you maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle and diligently maintain your oral health, you’re doing the best that you can to keep your oral and overall health in great shape. Early detection of oral cancer also ensures a higher possible survival rate, so it’s important to get a screening at least once a year to make sure that your health is right on track.

How to Prevent Oral Cancer

Maintaining good oral hygiene and health and avoiding acidic foods and beverages is the best way to prevent oral cancer. Brush and floss twice a day, and see your dentist twice a year for exams and cleanings. If you have a more advanced oral health issue, it’s important to also visit your dentist to find a solution for it as soon as possible. Avoiding or quitting smoking is another surefire way to prevent oral cancer.

Rigby Advanced Dental Is Here for You!

At Rigby Advanced Dental, we’re equipped to assist with any and all dental concerns. We look forward to seeing you at our Austin, Texas dental office! Contact us for more information and be sure to have a look at our affordable financing and payment plans.

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How Do I Keep My Teeth Healthy?

Cartoon family standing around a large tooth and toothbrush on a blue background

Good oral hygiene habits can lead to a lifetime of healthy teeth — and it’s never too late to start! This year, consider building some tooth-healthy practices into your routine. They’ll benefit your teeth, your smile, and even your overall health!

Am I Brushing My Teeth the Right Way?

We’ll start with the basics: you should brush your teeth twice daily, for two minutes each time. If you’re one of the many patients who attempt to brush your teeth vigorously in order to complete the process more quickly, we have bad news: vigorous brushing can damage your enamel, irritate your gums, and doesn’t get your teeth any cleaner! Instead, opt for gentle brushing in a circular motion throughout each quadrant of your mouth. Your teeth and gums will thank you. If you want help tracking the time you’re brushing your teeth or if you’re sick of your conventional toothbrush, most electric toothbrushes have timers that help you ensure you’re brushing for the right amount of time.

Is Flossing Really That Important?

If you regularly skimp on flossing, you should know that brushing only cleans 60 percent of your teeth. Flossing can clean those hard-to-reach places that your toothbrush misses. Flossing cleans away food particles and other debris that can act as magnets for bad bacteria. It is also beneficial for your gum health. You should floss once daily, but you can do it either before or after you brush.

How Can I Supplement My Daily Routine?

Regular brushing and flossing are the building blocks of a healthy oral hygiene routine. However, there are many ways to supplement or tailor your habits. Dealing with tooth sensitivity? Consider adding a mouthwash with fluoride, since fluoride can strengthen tooth enamel and ease sensitivity. Dealing with bad breath? Don’t forget about brushing your tongue, or consider making modifications to your diet that may help. And don’t forget preventative visits every six months for a professional cleaning and exam. Drs. Mark and Mike Shalaby and the rest of the team at Rigby Advanced Dental in Austin, Texas are always happy to suggest ways you can preserve the health of your pearly whites. To ask us any questions or to schedule your next appointment, call us today!

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5 Tips to Impress Your Dentist at Your Next Checkup

Blonde woman smiles brightly with great oral health while wearing a pink shirt in front of a white picket fence

Are you afraid to go to the dentist because you haven’t been taking great care of your teeth? First, we want you to know we are here to help you have outstanding oral health, no matter the current condition of your oral health. So when you come in for a cleaning, we’ll check for decay and gum disease and get your teeth feeling fresh and clean once again. We will also advise you on ways to improve your oral care practices so your teeth and gums can be healthy and strong for a lifetime. In this post, we will share five simple tips to follow before your next visit that will make a huge difference in your at-home oral hygiene routine!

1. Drink Water

Staying hydrated is critical for the health of your body and mouth. Water combats dry mouth and tooth decay by washing away leftover food particles and allowing for the production of saliva. Saliva is 99% water and 1% substances that aid in fighting oral bacteria and digesting food. Moreover, drinking water with fluoride is one of the easiest ways to prevent cavities, as it helps remineralize, or rebuild, weakened enamel.

2. Brush Your Teeth & Your Tongue

Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoridated toothpaste. The only way to fully and effectively clean your teeth at home is by gently brushing for the full two minutes, so be sure to not rush through your morning and evening brush session even if you’re running late or are tired. If you find this difficult, set a timer on your phone. These days, most electric toothbrushes will time 120 seconds automatically. Additionally, remember to brush your tongue each time you brush your teeth. This will help keep your tongue clean of bacteria that leads to bad breath and halitosis. At your appointment, ask our team to provide additional tips to improve your brushing technique!

3. Floss Daily

Flossing to clean in between your teeth and below your gum line helps prevent plaque buildup, cavities, and bad breath. Unfortunately, many people skip this important step in their daily dental hygiene. We understand flossing can sometimes be a pain, especially if you have irritated and inflamed gums that bleed. But the good news is, the more you do it, the easier it gets and the less likely your gums will bleed.

4. Chew Sugar-Free Gum

Studies have shown that chewing sugar-free gum after meals for at least 20 minutes helps to clean teeth. Chewing produces more saliva, which is the mouth’s natural rinse. Sugar-free gum also works to dislodge food particles from in between teeth.

5. Use a Nightguard to Combat Bruxism

If you clench and/or grind your teeth at night, you should be using a nightguard. We can get you fitted for a custom and comfortable guard to protect your teeth from damage and to help you sleep better.

A Healthy Mouth Contributes to a Healthy Body

Follow these simple tips to enjoy a healthier mouth and to blow us away at your next visit! No matter the condition of your mouth now, these steps can lead you toward fresher breath, stronger teeth, and greater self-confidence. Contact us to schedule your next checkup at Rigby Advanced Dental.

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Quip Toothbrush: An Honest Review by a Dentist

White Quip toothbrush next to a potted plant and a rolled up gray towel

In today’s world of passing fads and trends, it’s always a pleasant surprise to find a product that can withstand the test of time and live up to the hype. As a dental healthcare provider, I’ve heard about a lot of crazes from my patients, such as brushing with lemon juice and baking soda or activated charcoal. When I first heard of Quip, I was a little skeptical. But when I heard more and more good things from my patients, I had to try it out for myself. Here is what I found.

Lightweight Design

The slim, lightweight design feels like a traditional toothbrush, which is a nice change from the usual electric toothbrushes. While those are excellent for getting a thorough clean, some patients find the design to be chunky and brushing awkward. One thing I love to tell my patients is to make the brushing experience as effortless as possible. That way, there’s as little resistance as possible and you’re less likely to skip out on your routine oral regimen. The design is also great because it’s easily transportable. When I go on a trip, it’s easy to bring along.

Internal Timer & Gentle Vibrations

Another great feature I found useful to the brushing experience was the internal timer that notifies me when I’ve brushed for exactly two minutes. If you’re not aware of the rule, let me refresh your memory. The recommended oral healthcare routine is to brush twice a day for two minutes each time and to floss at least once a day. This timer allows you to make sure that two minutes is really two minutes, and not just an unreliable guesstimate. Something that interested me about Quip was that the bristles vibrate, instead of rotating like traditional electric toothbrushes. The vibrations still help break up plaque but are easier on the teeth and gums. Several of my patients reported less sore gums while using Quip.

4 white Quip toothbrushes with bronze and gray accents

Replacement Brush Head Subscription

As a dentist and an avid brushing enthusiast, one of my favorite aspects about this toothbrush is the automation feature. To ensure that you replace the brush head on a regular basis, you can subscribe to get a new brush head every three months. My patients often look like a kid with their hand caught in the candy jar when I ask them how regularly they replace their toothbrush or brush head. Despite my warnings that bacteria love to live on your toothbrush and that’s why it must be replaced, some of my patients just don’t feel motivated or can’t remember. One guy even told me that he would like to change his traditional electric toothbrush out, but it was too expensive for him. Quip solves both of these problems with their subscription plan that sends you a new brush head for a price that can fit most of, if not all, my patients’ budgets.

A 5-Star Product

I love to recommend this product to all my patients. It’s not only efficient but effective, which means it saves money by cutting down on expensive treatments that are caused by bad brushing habits or unnecessary exposure to bacteria from an old toothbrush. All my dentist and hygienist friends use Quip (myself included!). I’m more than happy to say that this product really puts its money where its mouth is. It’s easy to endorse a product when it delivers real results and takes care of my patients’ teeth and gums. Thanks, Quip!

Have Questions? We Have Answers!

To ask our team questions about this great product, to learn more tips to improve your at-home oral hygiene routine, or to schedule your next cleaning and checkup, contact Rigby Advanced Dental today.