Tips and tricks for patients using Invisalign

Beautiful smiling Turkish woman is holding an invisalign bracerStraightening your teeth with clear aligner therapies such as Invisalign can be a great way to obtain a perfect smile without having to wear and deal with metal brackets and wire braces. Our Albuquerque, NM area dentists offer Invisalign as a leading-edge orthodontic treatment alternative to conventional orthodontia. Along with this treatment, Dr. Steven Holbrook provides certain tips and recommendations to those who are undergoing treatment with this method. 

  • Be aware of lipstick. Dark colors of lipstick worn while you wear your aligners can stain your Invisalign trays, so it’s essential that you choose a matte lipstick less likely to smudge and smear, and stick with colors that are too bright or too dark in case staining occurs.
  • Switch trays at night. The first day of using the next tray in the series can sometimes result in discomfort. This is because the new aligners are applying pressure on the teeth to help move them. Patients are advised to switch trays at night which allows them to sleep off the discomfort.
  • Watch what you eat. Because Invisalign aligners can be removed for eating and drinking, there are not a whole lot of dietary limitations. However, when you do eat or drink, be sure to rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth to avoid staining or damaging your Invisalign aligners.
  • Use the storage case. You need to wear your aligners for about 20 hours a day, even when sleeping, but storage containers should always be used when removing aligners to brush and floss.
  • Maintain oral hygiene. Always brush and floss before putting your aligners back over your teeth. Keep an oral hygiene kit in cosmetic bags to make sure you can do this on the go!

Call Dr. Steven Holbrook today 

Albuquerque, NM patients who are in need of oral health and wellness solutions are welcome to book a consultation visit with our team to determine if they are good candidates for Invisalign. Whether you’re contemplating this treatment or are already started, learning these tips and tricks can help pave the road for a positive experience. Call the office at (505) 881-1159 to request a visit with our team at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard NE, Suite C.

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Caring for your teeth the right way

Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime, but only if you put in the time and effort to protect them from damage and take care of them. Cavities, periodontal disease, and other conditions can cause harm to the smile, but with proper care, many patients can keep these problems from becoming a serious issue.

If you are interested in learning about ways to care for the smile, Dr. Steven E. Holbrook of Albuquerque, NM can help by educating patients on ways to care for the smile—the right way! 

  • Brushing – brushing is the best way to remove food particles that may develop into plaque, acid, and cavities. Patients need to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and hold it at an angle of 45 degrees. This allows the brush to cover the teeth and gumline. Using a gentle up-and-down, left-to-right motion, brush the teeth with a fluoride toothpaste after every meal. Don’t forget the roof of your mouth and your tongue!
  • Flossing – food particles can become trapped between the teeth, especially in patients who have misalignment of the dental arch. Flossing should be done at least once a day. Floss should be guided between the teeth and used in a C-motion around each tooth to ensure a thorough job.
  • Lifestyle habits – in addition to brushing and flossing, patients need to make note of their lifestyle habits and their effect on their smiles. This includes the consumption of alcohol and high sugar foods, or the use of tobacco products, either chewing tobacco or cigarette smoking. These can impact one’s smile and leave them at a much higher risk of developing periodontal disease or tooth decay. Tobacco use is also highly corelated with the risk of oral cancers.
  • Routine dental visits – visiting the dentist every six months for a cleaning and evaluation is also an integral part of good oral health habits and preventative care.

Educate yourself on taking care of the smile 

There’s a lot to learn from Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his dental team. If you reside in Albuquerque, NM or any of the surrounding communities and want to speak to our providers about your oral healthcare needs, book a consultation visit by calling (505) 881-1159 and request an appointment at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE Suite C.     

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Causes and treatment of periodontal disease

Tooth Pain. Woman Feeling Tooth Pain. Closeup Of Beautiful Sad Girl Suffering From Strong Tooth Pain. Attractive Female Feeling Painful Toothache. Dental Health And Care Concept.The human body is an intricate system. What happens in one part of the body can be detrimental to another. This is especially true when it comes to conditions such as periodontal disease. Periodontal disease, or “gum disease,” is an infection that can develop within the smile, but can cause a number of other medical problems. In fact, due to the oral systemic connection, the infection that is present in the smile during the progression of periodontal disease can be carried through the bloodstream and to other parts of the body. Because of this, patients with periodontal disease are often at a higher risk for a number of other problems such as diabetes, heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. 

What causes periodontal disease? 

The condition is caused by the formation of bacteria in the mouth that causes an infection. The infection begins in the gums, which is why this condition is sometimes referred to simply as “gum disease.” Then, without diagnosis and treatment, the infection spreads and can cause bad breath, shrinking gum tissue, shifting teeth, and even the loss of permanent teeth as the jawbone shrinks. Without treatment, patients will experience severe damage to the smile. 

What increases the risk of periodontal disease? 

Just as periodontal disease may contribute to certain conditions, these conditions may also put patients at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease. Additionally, patients who smoke, drink, or have hormonal changes may also experience periodontal disease due to heightened risk.

 

How is periodontal disease treated? 

With a proper diagnosis, patients can discuss with their dentist the treatment of the condition. While it cannot be cured, it can be controlled with improved oral health and wellness habits. This may include the application or consumption of antibiotics to control the infection. Other procedures, such as scaling and root planing, can help bring the smile back to health as well. 

Concerned that you may be impacted by periodontal disease? 

Seeking a definitive diagnosis and learning about treatment options is vital in the earliest stages. We welcome patients in the area of Albuquerque, NM to book an appointment with Dr. Steven Holbrook and his team to discuss their needs. The office is located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE Suite C and accepts new patients who call (505) 881-1159 to schedule an evaluation.   

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What’s good for the smile is good for the body

Your smile is linked to more than just your appearance. It is also one area of the body that, if not taken care of, can cause a host of problems throughout the body. Many patients are not aware of the oral systemic connection and how what they do for their smile impacts the whole body. 

What is the oral systemic connection? 

Periodontal disease is an infection that develops in the smile. However, the bacteria in the mouth can enter into the bloodstream and be carried to other areas of the body. This can result in problems such as inflammation that can increase a patient’s risk for strokes, heart disease, and other medical conditions. With proper oral health and hygiene habits, many patients can improve the health of their smiles—and their bodies! 

What are some ways to keep the smile and body healthy? 

Below are recommendations from our team regarding the health and wellness of your teeth and body! 

  • Brush at least twice a day and floss at least once to keep the smile healthy
  • Use an electric toothbrush which can be more effective at removing plaque and tartar
  • Change your toothbrush regularly, especially if bristles are frayed or if you have recently been sick
  • Use a toothpaste that has fluoride and is approved by the ADA (American Dental Association)
  • Visit the dentist regularly to monitor oral health
  • Avoid or reduce consumption of foods that are high in sugar and acid content
  • Treat problems as soon as they occur to keep them from becoming even more problematic in the future
  • Listen to your dentist’s advice regarding oral healthcare habits and routines
  • Visit the dentist as soon as problems arise—don’t wait until your next scheduled visit

Schedule a visit with Dr. Steven E. Holbrook to learn more about oral health and full-body wellness 

If you reside in the Albuquerque, NM community and want to speak with our team about good oral health habits, call (505) 881-1159 to request an appointment today. We are located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard NE, Suite C and accept new patients and families. With general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, Dr. Steven E. Holbrook can help keep your smile—and body—healthy for life!

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Why are dental implants important?

Patients who have experienced tooth loss may wonder what their options are in terms of replacement. Tooth loss can cause a host of issues, not just a cosmetic change to the smile. Missing teeth leave behind spaces that may result in the shifting of adjacent teeth, causing misalignment and spaces within the dental arch. Additionally, the loss of a tooth can also cause dental resorption, where the bone of the jaw will begin to shrink as there is no longer a tooth to hold in place. Many of the problems associated with lost teeth can be resolved with tooth replacement options such as dental implants. 

What is a dental implant? 

A dental implant is a restoration that functions as a tooth root replacement. It is made of titanium that is biocompatible with the body. It is lightweight, strong, and effective at holding a restoration over the gumline. Because of the functionality of the dental implant, it can stimulate bone growth around it, ensuring that the implant itself will stay in the smile for many years to come! 

Why are dental implants important? 

There are many reasons why Dr. Steven E. Holbrook of Albuquerque, NM may recommend the use of a dental implant to replace missing teeth. These restorations are highly desirable because they: 

  • Maintain natural bone thanks to the stimulation through osseointegration
  • Keep existing teeth from shifting out of place due to large spaces left behind
  • Can last a lifetime within the smile with proper care and attention
  • Function as a natural tooth root, and the final restoration is strong and durable
  • Look completely natural when restored with a porcelain restoration such as a crown, bridge, or denture
  • Keep patients looking young by avoiding the shrinking jaw that leads to a sunken appearance to the mouth area (often seen in long-time denture wearers)

Find out more about dental implants for tooth replacement 

Patients in the community of Albuquerque, NM who are interested in learning more about solutions for tooth loss including dental implants are encouraged to book a consultation visit with Dr. Steven E. Holbrook. He is located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard NE, Suite C and can be reached by phone for an appointment at (505) 881-1159.

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Why general dental checkups are necessary

Dental checkups are one way for patients to take a proactive approach to maintaining their oral hygiene and wellness. Many patients don’t realize how important these general visits every six months are to the health of their teeth and gums. The American Dental Association recommends that everyone visit the dentist every six months to undergo an evaluation, x-rays, and a dental cleaning. But why is this so important? 

Why are dental check-ups necessary? 

The primary goal of dental check-ups is to provide preventative care. Preventative treatments can help eliminate the risk of certain conditions that can negatively affect the smile, including periodontal disease and tooth decay. Many of these problems, if they develop, can be caught early and treated before they become a more serious concern for individuals. Routine dental evaluations also allow the dentist to monitor the smile for specific issues that may develop with time, and intervene at a point where treatment can be successful. If patients experience problems such as gum disease, early diagnosis and treatment is critical to protecting the smile from irreversible damage. In some cases, periodontal disease can become extremely serious and damaging and cause the loss of bone, gum tissue, and even teeth. This can be incredibly expensive to repair and restore, making routine visits to the dentist the much more affordable alternative. 

What to expect during dental check-ups 

  • Evaluation. An evaluation is done with both a physical examination and may also include x-rays to see within the teeth and below the gums to look for any concerns.
  • Cleaning. The dental hygienist will clean the teeth and gums thoroughly, while also looking for signs of decay or disease that may need to be brought to the dentist’s attention.
  • Education. Patients are educated with the proper ways of brushing and flossing. They may also be prescribed prescription toothpastes or mouthwashes, and may be advised of possible treatments they may need in the future.

Connect with a dentist today 

Speaking to a dentist about your oral health needs is the first step in learning about the importance of routine dental care. Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his team in Albuquerque, NM are dedicated to providing the best care for new and established patients at the office, located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard NE, Suite C. Call (505) 881-1159 to work with a dental provider with over three decades of experience, available at Comprehensive Dental Care.

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Tips for conquering bad breath

From time to time, most people experience temporary bad breath. It may be from a food they ate or due to being dehydrated and dealing with dry mouth. However, chronic bad breath, or halitosis, may be a sign of poor oral hygiene. Dr. Steven E. Holbrook of Albuquerque, NM is a general dentist who can educate patients on ways to reduce their risk of bad breath and avoid embarrassing situations. Additionally, he encourages patients who struggle with halitosis to be open and honest about their concerns so he can help them find the cause and seek a solution that works. This is especially true in situations where patients experience daily bad breath and are unsure of the cause. 

Tips for conquering bad breath 

Nobody likes bad breath, so read on to find out how to address it! 

  • Brush often. Brushing the teeth removes food particles and sugars that can contribute to bad breath. Be sure to also brush the tongue, which is known to harbor bacteria as well that can cause halitosis.
  • Floss. At least once a day, floss your teeth to ensure there is no food buildup that potentially may cause bad breath.
  • Utilize a mouthwash. Using a mouthwash after brushing and flossing is an extra step towards better smelling breath!
  • Stay hydrated. Not only is staying hydrated important for your overall health and wellness, drinking water throughout the day can help wash away leftover food from the surfaces of the teeth and keep bad breath at bay.
  • Chewing sugar-free gum. A fast way to freshen breath is with sugar-free gum, which can also stimulate saliva flow that can cause dry mouth—another reason some patient may experience chronic bad breath.
  • Talk to your dentist. Chronic bad breath may be caused by another problem that requires medical attention, so be honest with your dentist about your struggles to find the cause and a reliable and effective solution.

Call Dr. Steven E. Holbrook today 

At Comprehensive Dental Care in Albuquerque, NM, Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his team provide a wide range of services, including preventive dentistry. If you struggle with halitosis and want to start taking control of your bad breath, schedule an evaluation with our team to find out more. We are located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard NE, Suite C and can be reached to schedule an appointment at (505) 881-1159.

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How to best recover from oral surgery procedures

There are many situations in which a patient may need to have oral surgery performed. Oral surgery may be a procedure performed on the jaw, gums, or teeth. Regardless, it is important that patients ask their dentist about the recovery needed from these procedures to ensure proper healing and recovery. Dr. Steven E. Holbrook of Albuquerque, NM can help patients fully understand what to do after their oral surgery. 

  • Follow surgeon’s instructions. The key to a full, fast recovery following an oral surgery procedure is to closely follow the dentist’s post-operative care instructions. These instructions are given to patients to help them avoid complications that might occur following dental procedures and promote faster healing. Listen to these instruction, follow them closely, and reap the rewards with a healthier smile!
  • Rest as recommended. Getting plenty of rest is always a good idea anyway, but it can be an important part of the recovery process following certain oral procedures. The dentist will let you know when you can return to work and resume normal daily activities after surgery.
  • Take medication as directed. It is important to Dr. Steven E. Holbrook that you take your medication as directed to stay on top of pain and discomfort. Sometimes, patients will be provided antibiotics that are used to control infection. This  medication is important to, and should be taken as the dentist suggests.
  • Maintain oral health. Keeping the mouth clean is critical after surgical procedure, so continue to practice good oral hygiene habits as you always do. Dr. Steven E. Holbrook may ask that you avoid brushing or rinsing the mouth for a while after surgery, but provides alternatives to keeping the smile clean during this hiatus.
  • Eat softer foods. Discomfort is common, so be sure to have softer foods on hand for the recovery period. Some commonly enjoyed foods may include protein shakes, soups, yogurt, applesauce, oatmeal, or refried beans.

Are you in need of oral surgery? 

Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his team in Albuquerque, NM can assist. If you need oral surgery, or are preparing for upcoming procedures, call the office at (505) 881-1159 to request an appointment. The office is located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE Suite C and accepts new and established patients.  

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What treatments might be included in a smile makeover plan?

Patients of the Albuquerque, NM area who are interested in improving the appeal of their smiles will want to ask their dentist about a smile makeover. Smile makeovers, or full mouth restoration, is a custom-tailored treatment plan developed by the dentist and patient to enhance the smile. This is done for cosmetic purposes, and can boost a patient’s self-esteem and confidence dramatically. Each treatment is different, but in general, most smile makeovers may include any of the following services provided by Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his team: 

  • Composite bonding – addressing cracked or spaced teeth can be achieved with the use of composite resin bonding, or dental bonding, that provides same-day repair of a patient’s smile.
  • Tooth-colored fillings – areas of decay should always be treated with tooth-colored fillings to ensure seamless repair and an aesthetic appearance. We offer composite fillings that blend in with the patient’s natural tooth enamel.
  • Gum contouring – for patients who have too much gum tissue, their teeth may appear small and they may deal with a “gummy” smile. Contouring the gumline is an easy way to restore balance and harmony with the teeth and gums.
  • Porcelain veneers – covering imperfections is another way to address small problem areas near the front of the smile. Veneers are a great choice, providing coverage for broken, misshapen, permanently stained, or gapped teeth.
  • Dental crowns – crowns are often used to repair a broken or problematic tooth, and cover all visible areas of the tooth. These are made of ceramic to match the patient’s existing smile.
  • Professional teeth whitening – often, all patients need to boost the appearance of their smiles is professional teeth whitening treatments. Many of these treatments can whiten the smile up to eight shades whiter in one treatment!

Are you ready for a smile makeover? 

Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his team in Albuquerque, NM provide a wide range of aesthetic and restorative services that can be integrated into a smile makeover dental plan. If you are curious to find out more about this and other procedures available at his state-of-the-art facility, contact his office by calling (505) 881-1159. His facility is located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE Suite C and accepts new patients.  

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Prevent the development and growth of oral cancer

While oral cancer is not as recognizable or discussed nearly as often as other types of cancer, that doesn’t mean that it’s any less concerning. Oral cancer is a condition that can be just as deadly as other types of cancer. However, it can also be one of the easiest to spot and treat in the earliest stages as long as patients are prudent about visiting the dentist on a regular basis for screenings.

Understanding oral cancer

Oral cancer is a condition that is often caused by lifestyle choices. This means that by making better daily decisions and avoiding certain bad habits, you can significantly reduce the risk of developing oral cancer in the first place. What you put in your body matters, and some of the more common lifestyle factors that can increase the chances of developing cancer includes the use of tobacco products, alcohol, and an improper diet. Patients who are currently smoking, drinking, or eating a diet low in fruits and vegetables (which often contain many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can reduce cancer risks) may be more vulnerable.

HPV connection

Another leading cause of oral cancer development is the presence of HPV, or the human papilloma virus. The risk of contracting HPV is lower when patients have a vaccine, but it only works if the patient currently does not have HPV. The primary age for administering this vaccine is in preteen and adolescent boys and girls.

What are the symptoms of oral cancer?

Some signs to monitor for include: 

  • Sores inside of the mouth
  • Patches of red or white on the soft tissues
  • Pain or numbness in the mouth or throat
  • Rough spots on the soft tissues
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing

Early detection of oral cancer is key

To prevent oral cancer, or catch it early enough for successful intervention, you need to see your dentist on a regular basis. Dr. Steven E. Holbrook recommends a screening for oral cancer at each dental appointment, including a physical examination and dental cleaning. Contact his Albuquerque, NM area practice today by calling (505) 881-1159 and requesting a consultation visit at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE Suite C.

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