What is a Dental Crown and Why Would I Need One?

You may have heard your dentist say, “That tooth needs a crown.” But what exactly does that mean? Over time, teeth can become fractured and worn down compromising their longevity, or cavities can develop that encompass too much of the tooth’s structure for a filling to be placed. In these instances, it becomes necessary to place a crown on the tooth.

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The Importance of Early Detection of Oral Cancer

54,0001. That’s the number of oral cancer cases that will be diagnosed this year, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation. If oral cancer is detected and treated early, there is a much higher chance of surviving without long-term problems. Read more

What Type of Braces Are Right for You?

Orthodontic treatment has come a long way over the last few decades. Years ago, visions of “metal mouth” and headgear were enough to scare patients away from trying to get that perfect smile. Now, with the latest advancements in dental technology, there are many different options to fit each patient’s needs from young child to adult. Read more

Eating Healthy Foods Paves the Way for a Healthy Mouth

It’s Children’s Dental Health Month the perfect time to look at your children’s dental health habits. Taking care of their teeth is an important part of their oral and physical health. But it involves more than teaching them proper brushing etiquette.

What your child eats has a significant impact on the health of their teeth. Our dentists at Weaver, Reckner & Reinhart Dental Associates are committed to helping everyone in your family achieve a healthy mouth. Here are some ideas for healthy snacks that parents can incorporate into their lunchboxes or meals.

Apples

You know the saying… An apple a day keeps the doctor away. The same holds true for dentists! Chewing apples and other crunchy, high-fiber fruits help to eliminate plaque from teeth. They also make an excellent lunch-time snack!

Water with Fluoride

Water with fluoride is an essential component in the health of your child’s teeth. This year’s slogan for Children’s Dental Health Month, “Water, Nature’s Drink!” encourages children to not only brush their teeth and visit their dentist but to eat a healthy diet that limits sugary beverages and snacks. Drinking water is a great alternative to damaging beverages such as sodas and fruit juices. The American Dental Association states, “One way to help children to drink more water is to add natural fruits like berries, cucumbers, lemons, and limes.”

Eggs

Eggs are a great source of calcium, protein, and vitamin D, which are important minerals for oral health.

Dairy

Milk, cheese, and yogurt are high in calcium, casein, and phosphorus, which can protect tooth enamel.

Crunchy and Leafy Veggies

Celery and carrots, broccoli, and other green leafy vegetables provide an excellent source of vitamins and minerals which aid in the strengthening of tooth enamel.

In addition to eating healthy, it is important to maintain regular dental visits. It is recommended that children be taken to the dentist after the first tooth erupts with fluoride applications every six months.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 20% of children have cavities that have not been treated. Regular dental check-up visits in our Harleysville or Souderton locations, combined with healthy foods, can help to reduce the chance of decay.

Maintaining the proper home care in between routine dental visits is essential to a healthy mouth. Consistent brushing and flossing with your child can help to create a routine that will enable them to care for their teeth as they grow older.

 

Our dedicated team of hygienists and dentists at Weaver, Reckner & Reinhart Dental Associates is here to assist you and your family achieve a healthy lifestyle. We are looking forward to seeing you at your next oral check up in Harleysville or Souderton. You can learn more about our office and other services, including orthodontics, cosmetic dentistry, and dental implants, by browsing our website. If you have a true dental emergency, you can contact one of our offices at 215-486-1649 or 215-486-1652.

Preparing Your Child for Their First Visit

At what age should I bring my child to the dentist? How will he react? What can I do to help make her first visit enjoyable? These are all common questions many parents face when deciding on the right time to bring their child to the dentist. Read more

Routine Cleanings and Their Impact on Your Oral Health

Maintaining your oral health is just as important as keeping up with your overall physical health. Studies show that there is a connection between gum disease and heart disease. Read more

Dental Implants: Are They the Right Choice for Me?

After more than 20 years of perfecting the dental implant process and components involved, the placement of dental implants has increased steadily. According to the National Institute of Health, dental implant procedures have increased 6.3 percent over the past two years. Data shows that many of those who had these procedures done were between the ages of 65 and 74. The number of dental implant restoration cases is expected to increase by as much as 23 percent by the year 2026. Read more

Back to School Tips for Your Oral Health

Back to school. These three little words mean a little something different for everyone these days. Whether your child will be learning in a traditional classroom or virtually, it is important to keep up with their oral health by scheduling regular visits to the dentist. A fresh start to the school year begins with a check-up and cleaning to catch any potential problems. At Weaver, Reckner & Reinhart Dental Associates, we are working to make sure that our patients stay as up-to-date as possible on their routine appointments. Read more

YOUR ORAL HEALTH AFFECTS MORE THAN YOUR TEETH

Taking care of your teeth is one of the most important steps in protecting your overall health. Studies have shown there is a link between gum disease and heart disease among other serious illnesses. Our doctors and hygienists at Weaver, Reckner & Reinhart Dental Associates recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day with a soft manual or electric toothbrush. And, don’t forget to floss! Regular flossing helps to remove debris between your teeth and in those hard-to-reach areas. 

Maintaining a proper diet is also key to a healthy mouth.  The foods you choose and how often you eat can affect your general health, as well as your teeth and gums. Severe gum disease can lead to tooth loss in many adults. 

What do healthy gums look like? Healthy gums should be firm and light pink in color. If you notice swollen or red gums, bleeding while you are brushing your teeth, bad breath or loose teeth, these could be signs of severe gum disease.  Read more

Raising Awareness for Oral Cancer

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, a time focused on raising awareness of cancer of the mouth. The American Cancer Society estimates that over 53,000 people will get oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer in 2020. 

At Weaver, Reckner & Reinhart Dental Associates, we recognize that the first step in prevention is awareness. Given the situation that we are in currently with the COVID-19 restrictions, although we are not able to see you for your regular hygiene visits until further notice, this is a good time for you to increase your dental health awareness. Let us help you gain a better understanding of this disease, what it looks like, and how it can be prevented or caught early with an oral cancer screening.

What Is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer is a broad term that refers to any cancer that begins around the mouth. This type of cancer can affect:

  • Lips
  • Tongue
  • Cheeks
  • Soft and hard palate of the mouth
  • Floor of the mouth
  • Throat
  • Sinuses

Learn the Risk Factors

Tobacco and alcohol use are among the top risk factors associated with oral cancer. However, even if you do not smoke or drink, you can still develop oral cancer. Other factors include HPV (human papilloma virus) infection, prolonged sun exposure leading to lip cancer, and poor oral hygiene and nutrition.  Men are twice as likely as women to develop oral cancer, and people over the age of 45 are also at an increased risk. 

Recognize the Symptoms

Not everyone with the risk factors will get oral cancer, and some people with none of the risk factors could still develop it. This is why it’s so important to be able to recognize the symptoms when they appear. These include:

  • Sore throat or feeling like something is stuck at the back of your throat
  • A sore or irritation around your face, mouth, or neck that has not healed after 2 weeks
  • Hoarseness 
  • Difficulty swallowing, chewing, or moving your jaw or tongue 
  • Numbness, tenderness, or loss of sensation around the mouth, face, or neck
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
  • Red or white patches in your mouth
  • Bumps, swollen areas, lumps inside the mouth or on the gums or lips

Early Detection Saves Lives

The earlier oral cancer is caught and treated, the better the rate of survival. Those who have one or more of the risk factors should consider getting regular health screenings, which can detect oral cancer before any of the above symptoms appear.

When oral and throat cancer is detected early, there is a much higher risk of surviving without serious long-term effects. Many of these cancers can be found early when they are still small with a routine screening exam by a dentist. At Weaver, Reckner & Reinhart Dental Associates, “an oral cancer screening is a quick and painless part of your ordinary dental examination,” says Dr. John Reckner, D.M.D., M.A.G.D. “Although we perform oral cancer screenings all year long, in April we make sure that we educate our patients on what to look for and how to prevent it.”

What can you do between visits?

  • Reduce your lifestyle-related risk factors. These include smoking, drinking alcohol, sun exposure, a diet low in vegetables and fruit, and poor oral health.
  • Be aware of other risk factors, including a history of other cancers, HPV infection, a weakened immune system, and oral Lichen Planus.
  • Watch out for these signs: mouth sores that don’t clear up within 14 days, mouth pain, thickening of the cheek lining, loose teeth, ill-fitting dentures, loss of sensation in the lips or cheeks, voice changes, bleeding in the mouth.

During these uncertain and difficult times, our dentists in Souderton and Harleysville want to reassure you that your health is our top priority. As soon as we are able to begin seeing our patients again, we will maintain the same level of high-quality care that you have come to expect from our practice. In the meantime, it’s important to perform oral self exams every month. Tilt your head back and using a mirror and a bright light be sure to check your gums, the inside of your lips, lining of your cheeks, back of your throat, and the roof and floor of your mouth. Check for suspicious patches, sores, inflammation, or other changes. 

Cancer of the mouth can affect anyone, regardless of age and smoking or drinking habits. We at Weaver, Reckner & Reinhart Dental Associates look forward to seeing you again soon in either our Harleysville or Souderton location for your routine oral cancer screening. You can learn more about our office and other services, including orthodontics, dental implants and cosmetic dentistry by browsing our website. If you are having a true dental emergency, you can contact one of our offices at 215-486-1649 or 215-486-1652.