Archive for May, 2014

How to Eat Properly for Better Oral Health

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

healthy foods for oral hygieneYou’ve probably been told a billion times that brushing and flossing are the best way to take care of your oral hygiene – this fact isn’t wrong, but there’s more to it than just brushing and flossing. Did you know that your diet has a lot to do with keeping a healthy mouth on top of keeping your overall health in check? We’re not just talking about eating less sugary candy here, either. There are many changes that you can make in your diet for healthier teeth, gums, and oral health.

How does what I eat affect my oral health?
As soon as you eat something, it starts to have an effect on your teeth – probably something you haven’t thought about before. The saliva in your mouth contains bacteria, which will turn some of the foods that you eat into acids. These acids can start breaking down your teeth and causing cavities if they aren’t properly reigned in. Acids will also stick around for a while in your mouth and some foods are much worse than others.

Which foods should I avoid?
Unsurprisingly, you should avoid sticky foods and really sugary foods (especially candies like fruit chews). Other foods that cause problems are foods that are high in carbohydrates, like bread and rice. Because these foods break down to simple sugars, they can also cause cavities and decay in your mouth. Some fruits also do the same thing. You should avoid super sugary fruits as well as acidic foods; think bananas and grapefruit.

Which foods are helpful for oral health?
There are some oral health superfoods that will help you avoid cavities and problems with decay. Milk is one of the best because of the calcium. Teeth are made of bone, which is strengthened by the calcium in dairy products; this also makes cheese a good option. Vegetables don’t have any harmful effects on your teeth and have many health benefits for your teeth and overall health. Chewing sugarless gum that contains xylitol can help strengthen your teeth and also remove the plaque that builds up between meals.

Some great ways to take care of your oral health are to make sure that you’re eating well, visiting your Catonsville dentist at least twice per year, and managing your oral health care routine at home. Contact Affinity Dental Associates today to schedule an appointment  or learn more about healthy eating habits by calling 410-719-7900 or visit today!


4 Great Reasons to Get Your Teeth Cleaned Regularly

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Oral CareDespite the advances in modern dentistry, an upcoming visit can often elicit groans and moans. However, the better job you do of keeping your teeth clean and healthy, the more likely it is we can send you off with a smile and “See you in six months!”


Proper tooth care means brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing daily. Brushing removes plaque from the surfaces of the teeth that can be reached, while flossing removes food particles and plaque that might have found its way between your teeth and under the gum line. Antibacterial mouth rinses can also go a long way to reducing bacteria in your mouth, making our job easier and your visit less intensive.


To practice preventative dentistry, consider making routine cleanings a habit. Brushing and flossing daily is a great practice to be in the habit of, but a routine cleaning can make a difference in your every day lifestyle. Some reasons you should visit your Catonsville dental hygienist regularly:


  1. To prevent gum disease: Gum disease, also known as gingivitis or periodontal disease is caused by bacterial growth in your mouth. If left untreated, it can pose serious problems to your dental health. The leading cause of tooth loss in adults is gum disease. Regular cleanings can help rid your teeth of plaque, bacteria, and toxins that lead to gum disease, provided you regularly brush and floss.
  2. To have a brighter smile: Tooth discoloration can come from smoking tobacco or drinking coffee, tea, and other beverages. Brushing can only do so much: a regular cleaning can go deeper and further, leaving you with that bright white smile you’ve always wanted.
  3. To prevent bad breath: Bad breath is often caused by poor oral hygiene, among other reasons. Being stuck in close quarters with someone whose breath smells is less than ideal – don’t be that person! Get your teeth regularly cleaned to keep your breath healthy. There may be underlying causes that you’re unaware of that can be assessed during a routine cleaning.
  4.  To maintain your overall health: Studies have frequently shown evidence of a connection between a person’s oral health and their overall health. A dental cleaning every six months can potentially reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke; your dentist may also be the first to spot indicators of a serious health problem that you may not have uncovered until months down the road.


A routine cleaning can do so much more than keep your teeth healthy; it can keep your whole body healthy. Be proactive and keep your teeth healthy and clean with regular cleanings. Contact Affinity Dental Associates today to schedule an appointment by calling 410-719-7900 or visit today!






Is Oil Pulling Actually Effective?

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Woman SmileYou may not know that the practice of oil pulling has been around for thousands of years, since it just recently started to trend again. What is oil pulling, you ask? It’s an ancient tradition that involves swishing oil (generally sesame, coconut, or extra virgin olive) through your mouth to kill bacteria. Swishing the oil for 10-20 minutes every day has been proven to kill bacteria and even help reduce instances of gingivitis. Once the liquid has been pulled for this amount of time, it turns white and should be spit out to avoid reabsorbing the toxins into your mouth. So now the real question: does oil pulling really work?

Studies have shown that people who oil pull regularly have (on average) 20% less bacteria in their mouths than those who don’t practice oil pulling. They also were less susceptible to cavities forming. Because of these statistics, many people who prefer holistic type healing have started to try oil pulling. While it may be effective at helping to kill bacteria and making the mouth a little bit healthier, it should not become a substitute for brushing and flossing. Those who plan to try oil pulling should use it as an addition to an oral healthcare routine and not a substitution.

Oil pulling is also said to have some additional benefits, not just for oral health, but for overall health. Some of these include:

  • Migraine relief
  • Better breath
  • Help with insomnia
  • Detox from chemicals and alcohol
  • Dry mouth

Not all of these have been officially tested or have documentation to prove that they work, but many people have used oil pulling as a natural remedy and find it to be extremely useful for the above mentioned ailments.

Before starting any kind of oral health routine or regimen, you should talk to your Catonsville dentist. You may not be a good candidate for all types of oral health care routines, depending on where you stand with your health. Pregnant women and those with certain diseases have special oral health care needs that should be addressed before you decide to try something new.

At Affinity Dental we strive to provide our patients with the personal, professional, quality dental care they need, while making it convenient, painless, and affordable. We offer morning, evening, and weekend hours to accommodate our patients and provide access to care to fit your busy schedule. If you have any questions concerning sedation dentistry, give us a call at 410-719-7900 or visit our website.

Our doctors and staff are dedicated to improving your dental health!


Why are Extractions Performed?

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Catonsville ExtractionAnyone with a fear of the dentist or who simply doesn’t want to feel pain will blanch at the idea of having a tooth extracted, but sometimes it’s a necessary evil to make your mouth healthier. Getting an extraction doesn’t have to be a painful or difficult process, though, if you choose a dentist who specializes in sedation dentistry or who knows how to create a stress free environment in his or her office. There are a few different reasons you may need an extraction as well as options to replace the teeth after the extraction has occurred.

Why do dentists remove teeth?
Teeth are only removed if there’s nothing else that can be done to save them, or if they’re harming the teeth/gums around them. Unhealthy teeth can cause a lot of pain and even infection if left untreated. Teeth are also frequently pulled if they’re overcrowding the mouth. This happens most often with wisdom teeth, which grow in late in life and can cause severe pain or discomfort if they’re not removed.

What happens during an extraction?
If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of having an extraction, you should talk to your Catonsville dentist about sedation or relaxation dentistry before having the procedure done. It’ll make the whole thing go by much faster and you won’t feel a thing while it’s happening. If the tooth is still in good enough condition, it’ll likely come out in one piece. If not, your dentist or oral surgeon may instead choose to take it out in pieces. You may need stitches afterwards if the extraction causes a lot of bleeding, but this isn’t the case for most extractions.

What are my options for replacements?
This partially depends on how many teeth you have pulled and partially on preference. Dentures and bridges are available for those who don’t mind removable teeth. Most people prefer to avoid dentures and partials altogether and opt for implants instead. Implants feel and act just like your natural teeth. They can’t be removed, but they also cannot decay or develop cavities. They provide a great aesthetic and can be colored to match your existing teeth.

At Affinity Dental, we have the experience and knowledge to make your experience as comfortable as possible. If you’re experiencing pain and wondering if an extraction is the right course of treatment, or just want to schedule an appointment, contact Affinity Dental Care at 410.419.7900 or visit our website! You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter!


Wisdom Tooth Removal from your Catonsville Dentist

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

wisdom tooth removalWisdom tooth removal is one of the most common oral surgeries performed. Most people’s wisdom teeth begin to erupt during their late teens or early twenties; some never have their wisdom teeth come in at all. If you’re getting one or more of your wisdom teeth removed, you probably want to know more about the procedure and what to expect afterwards.

Why remove your wisdom teeth?
Whether your teeth all come in or not, there’s a good chance that there are going to be problems with them. If they start to come in and there’s not enough space, you could end up with a flap of skin over your tooth where bacteria and plaque can grow and cause infection. It’s possible for your wisdom teeth to try to come in and not have enough space at all – this is called impaction and it can be VERY painful if they’re not removed. Sometimes they also grow in at an awkward or uncomfortable angle and move the rest of your teeth. The best way to solve these problems is to have your wisdom teeth removed as soon as they start to erupt.

What is the wisdom tooth removal like?
Having your wisdom teeth removed is a surgical procedure. Most oral surgeons will fully sedate you under general anesthesia, but will also provide a local anesthetic to help with the pain after the surgery. Your Catonsville oral surgeon will then remove the flap of skin over the tooth, followed by the tooth itself. It may need to be broken up into smaller pieces to remove it; don’t worry, though, you won’t feel anything while this is happening. It’s possible that you’ll also need stitches afterwards, but these will dissolve with time.

What should I expect of recovery?
Every recovery is a little bit different, but there are some things that remain the same across the board. Scheduling someone to take you home after the surgery is a must; you won’t be able to drive. You will likely have swelling and have to deal with some residual bleeding. You’ll need to lightly bite on gauze until the bleeding stops – if the bleeding is taking a prolonged period of time to quell, you can try a slightly damp teabag to speed the process up. Ice packs will help with swelling, and it’s important to keep your head propped up to get the bleeding to stop as quickly as possible. Eat foods that don’t require chewing, like Jell-O or mashed potatoes. Your oral surgeon may prescribe painkillers and can tell you the best over the counter medications to take post-surgery.

Having your wisdom teeth removed can help you get rid of unnecessary pain and make you more comfortable, though the process itself can be a bit of a temporary nuisance. You’ll need to make sure that you trust the Catonsville oral surgeon performing your wisdom tooth removal. At Affinity Dental, we have the experience and knowledge to make your experience as comfortable as possible. If you’re having problems with your wisdom teeth, or think you may need them removed, contact Affinity Dental Care at 410.419.7900 or visit our website! You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter!