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Posts for category: Oral Health

By Dr. Jill Markos
February 27, 2018
Category: Oral Health

Although cavities tend to be associated predominantly with children, when factors like eating sugary snacks and poor brushing techniques tooth decayincrease the risk of tooth decay, adults are not immune. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rates of untreated tooth decay are actually much higher among adults. Like gum disease, tooth decay typically starts with a small cavity and gets worse over time. Without treatment, decay can lead to pain, infection, and even tooth loss in extreme cases. But the good news is that cavities and tooth decay are preventable. In addition to practicing good oral hygiene at home, Dr. Jill Markos, a dentist in Vancouver, WA, recommends following American Dental Association (ADA) guidelines for a dental checkup and cleaning every six months.

Tooth Decay Prevention and Treatment in Vancouver, WA

So you already brush after meals and floss every day - congratulations! You're off to a great start. Practicing thorough oral hygiene on a regular basis is the first step in preventing those pesky cavities and other common oral health problems like gum disease, which can cause everything from bleeding gums on the mild end of the spectrum, to tooth loss at the most severe stages (known as periodontitis).

But there are a few other important steps to take in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy at every age:

  • See your dentist for preventive treatment - Many people wait until something is wrong to go to the dentist, but going to the dentist at least once or twice a year is a critical part of prevention and a good oral health care plan.
  • Eat for your oral health - Dietary factors that are damaging to your general health, like eating and drinking too much sugar or consuming too much alcohol, also put your oral health at risk. Limiting sugary food and drinks and drinking alcohol in moderation will lower your risk of tooth decay.

Find a Dentist in Vancouver, WA

Don't leave your oral health to chance. Contact our office today by calling (360) 693-2544 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Markos for a comprehensive dental exam and cleaning.

By Dr. Jill Markos
December 22, 2017
Category: Oral Health

Dental sealants can help your child avoid cavities by preventing tooth decay. The surfaces of the teeth are full of tiny pits and grooves that pediatric dentistrymake excellent hiding places for food particles and bacteria. Regular brushing is not always sufficient to completely clear away trapped bacteria. When bacteria lingers in these grooves on tooth surfaces, decay sets in and cavities develop. Dental sealants fill in the tiny pits and grooves on tooth surfaces so nothing gets trapped, leading to healthier teeth. Dr. Jill Markos is your dentist in Vancouver, WA, for dental sealants.

How Sealants Help

As indicated, sealants help prevent tooth decay by sealing the pits and grooves on teeth where cavity-causing bacteria tend to get trapped. Trapped bacteria flourishes by penetrating tooth enamel and accessing important nutrients inside the tooth. Sealants protect teeth by both preventing bacteria from getting trapped in surface grooves and from penetrating tooth enamel. In short, sealants make it difficult for bacteria to flourish, which reduces the risk of tooth decay. Children with sealants are far less likely to develop cavities than those without sealants.

Applying Sealants

Sealants are typically applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Before applying sealants, the teeth are thoroughly cleaned to ensure no bacteria, plaque, or other debris gets permanently trapped beneath the sealant. After cleaning the teeth, your child’s Vancouver dentist brushes the sealant directly on the surface of the back teeth. Once applied, the sealants are dried using a special light that cures and hardens them. With proper care, the hardened sealants should remain in place for several years and will protect against cavities and tooth decay.

Dental sealants can protect your child’s teeth against cavities. Sealants create a smooth surface on teeth that makes it difficult for harmful bacteria to linger and penetrate delicate tooth enamel. Children with dental sealants are significantly less likely to develop cavities versus kids without sealants. To learn more about getting sealants for your child, schedule an appointment with Dr. Markos, you child’s Vancouver dentist, by calling the office at (360) 693-2544.

By Dr. Jill Markos
August 14, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Oral Hygiene  

What your dentist in Vancouver wants you to knoworal hygiene

If you’ve grown up keeping good oral hygiene habits, you’re lucky. Many adults grew up during a time when good oral hygiene wasn’t part of their daily routines. That’s why many adults have a mouth full of fillings and crowns. Thankfully, times have changed! Children, teens and young adults are now growing up with the skills necessary for a beautiful, strong smile.

If you or your children haven’t begun practicing good oral hygiene habits, it’s not too late! Dr. Jill Markos in Vancouver, WA, wants to help you develop the skills necessary so you can enjoy a great smile for life.

It’s important to practice good oral hygiene habits because it’s the best way to remove plaque. It’s important to remove plaque thoroughly and regularly because plaque contains millions of tiny bacteria that can destroy your smile. The bacteria in the plaque produce toxins strong enough to eat away at tooth enamel, causing tooth decay. The toxins can also infect your gums, causing gum disease, and destroy the supporting bone, causing periodontal disease.

You can do a lot to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and periodontal problems by following these simple steps:

Brush your teeth after meals and before you go to sleep. Always use a soft-bristled toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste and brush your teeth in a gentle, circular motion. You don’t need to press down hard; it’s the movement, not the pressure that cleans your teeth. Brush along the gumline, at an angle between the teeth and gums.

Floss at least once each day to get in between your teeth, where the toothbrush can’t reach. Using a small piece of floss or floss picks, wrap around each tooth as you floss. This technique helps the floss adhere to the shape of the tooth so you are able to floss the roots and deep down in between teeth.

You can also add a fluoride mouthrinse before you go to sleep. Allow the mouthrinse residue to remain on your teeth so that it may remineralize your tooth enamel.

Good oral hygiene habits are simple and don’t require much time out of your day, but the benefits are great. For more information about good oral hygiene habits and other dental issues, call Dr. Markos in Vancouver, WA. She can partner with you to make your smile great, so call today!

By Dr. Jill Markos
December 19, 2016
Category: Oral Health

Like getting enough exercise and eating a healthy, balanced diet, most of us are aware that good oral hygiene habits, like brushing and oral hygieneflossing every day, are necessary for an attractive and healthy smile. But even with an avalanche of information and the best intentions in the world, millions of Americans still suffer from some degree of periodontal (gum) disease every year, according to the American Dental Association.

In addition to daily brushing and flossing, Dr. Jill Markos, a Vancouver, WA based dentist, recommends scheduling a dental check up and professional cleaning every six months to monitor the ongoing health of your teeth and gums. Making regular dentist appointments a regular part of an oral healthcare routine is important for several reasons. Even with consistent brushing and flossing, traces of gum disease causing bacteria can still collect and solidify between the teeth and gums. Regular dental cleanings pick up where a toothbrush and floss leave off.

Preventive Dental Care in Vancouver, WA

The goal of a good oral hygiene routine is to maintain healthy teeth and gums, and to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. No matter where you are on your oral health and general wellness journey, a visit to the dentist is a great place to start. Regular dental visits can also help us get back on track with our oral hygiene when we inevitably fall off every now and then. A busy schedule can make it easy to fall into bed too exhausted to brush and floss at the end of the day, or to overindulge on sugary drinks and snacks around the holidays. Visiting the dentist every six months will help to catch potential problems before they can advance and cause lasting damage.

Tips for Keeping Your Teeth and Gums Healthy Between the Next Dentist Appointment

  • Carry a travel toothbrush or keep one in your desk at work to brush after lunch or afternoon snacks
  • Flossing can be done at any point in the day, as long as you do it once every 16-24 hours
  • Overconsumption of sugar can sabotage oral health as well as waistlines
  • Smoking and tobacco use increase the risk of gum disease and tooth loss - just say no

Find a Dentist in Vancouver, WA

It is always a good time to invest in oral health. For more information on how to prevent gum disease and keep your teeth and gums healthy and looking their best, contact the office of Dr. Markos by calling (360) 693-2544 to schedule an appointment for an oral exam and professional dental cleaning today.

By Dr. Jill Markos
August 15, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Floss Picks  

What your dentist in Vancouver wants you to know about flossing

You really should begin flossing, because you know it’s important, but you can’t quite figure out how to do it effectively. The floss gets Floss Pickstangled in between your fingers, and you have a difficult time getting to your back teeth. You may be wondering about floss picks and other flossing tools.  But do they really work? Dr. Jill Markos, your dentist in Vancouver, Washington wants to help take the mystery out of flossing and keep your gums and teeth healthy.

So, why floss at all? You need to floss because brushing only cleans part of your teeth. Your plaque contains millions of harmful bacteria and if you don’t clean your teeth well, the bacteria can destroy your hard and soft tissue, including the bone around your teeth. When you add flossing to your daily routine, it helps prevent decay and gum and periodontal disease from starting in between your teeth.

Your dentist in Vancouver wants you to know you floss because you don’t want:

  • Bacterial acid to cause decay in between your teeth
  • Decay in between your teeth resulting in the need for a root canal or extraction
  • Bacterial plaque to cause gum disease between your teeth
  • Gum inflammation in between your teeth turning into periodontal disease

So, do floss picks really work? Flossing with just a piece of floss is still considered the best method, because with floss you are able to wrap around each tooth, ensuring you reach the round edges of your teeth. However, for people with dexterity issues, arthritis or who have difficulty using floss, floss picks work just fine.

The most important thing about flossing is to just do it! Your dentist in Vancouver wants you to know frequent and regular flossing is the key to continuing oral health, no matter what method you choose. Floss picks are a great tool to use and can help you get back to those hard to reach areas around your back teeth.

Floss picks really do work, and there is no reason they can’t work for you too. If you need help with your oral hygiene routine, it’s time to call Dr. Jill Markos, your dentist in Vancouver, Washington. She knows all the tips, tricks and tools available and can help you keep your teeth and gums healthy. Call today and get on the road to excellent dental health!