What to Do Immediately for a Knocked-Out Tooth

Most people’s first reaction when they knock out a tooth is to put it in some water. That’s the absolute worst thing you could do. Here is what your dentist in Jacksonville, FL, recommends.

What to Do Immediately If You Knock Out a Tooth

Never, ever, ever put a knocked-out tooth in water. Doing so could cause the tooth’s root to burst. You need to get help immediately! And we mean immediately! If you want to save and re-implant the tooth.

But until you can get there, here is what you should do.

  • Handling the Tooth

Never handle the tooth by the root. Only handle the tooth by the crown (top part) of the tooth.

  • Place the Tooth Back in the Socket (if possible)

Rinse it with milk or saliva first if needed. Then, if you can, place the tooth back into its socket. Don’t force it. You can hold it in place by gently closing your mouth. If you can’t put it back in the socket, put it in some milk.

  • Put the Tooth in Some Milk (not water)

Put the tooth in milk. Milk has enzymes that help protect the periodontal ligaments. Make sure the tooth is completely submerged in the milk. Then get to the emergency dentist immediately!

If you do all this within five to 60 minutes or so, chances are your tooth will survive if it has been stored properly. After that, the chances decrease significantly.

Now, you will need some restorative dentistry in Jacksonville, FL.

This applies to adult teeth, not baby teeth, so you can wait for your child’s adult tooth to come in.

Do You Need a Dentist in Jacksonville, FL?

If you knock out a tooth, you will need some dental work to get your mouth back to normal. Contact Dr. Matt Henry today. Our number one goal will be to help you get your smile back. We have a comfortable and inviting office with a team of professionals who love making people smile.

How Thumb Sucking Can Lead to a Dental Disaster

Most kids suck their thumbs from time to time. But at what point does it become a problem? The answer might surprise you. Your dentist in Jacksonville, FL, will be the first to tell you what can happen if you don’t get a handle on it sooner rather than later.

How Long Is Thumb Sucking OK?

Babies and toddlers suck their thumbs as a self-soothing mechanism. However, if it continues for too long it can cause long-term damage to their mouth and teeth (more about that in a moment).

After six months of age, a child’s thumb-sucking urge should decrease. However, 30% or so continue through their preschool years. A child will usually wean themselves off thumb-sucking around age three. Anything past that could turn into a dental disaster.

How Thumb Sucking Will Affect Your Child’s Teeth

These are some of the dental disasters that could happen if your child continues to suck their thumb past the age of three.

  • Overbite
  • Open bite
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Speech impediments
  • Social impacts (due to being the only one still sucking their thumb)

How to Stop Thumb Sucking

Your family dentist in Jacksonville, FL, has a foolproof solution to stop your child’s thumb-sucking issue quickly. Who would have thought a dentist could help? But they can!

Your dentist can fit your child with a special oral appliance called a palatal crib. A tongue crib (palatal crib) is cemented behind your child’s teeth. It prevents the thumb from reaching the roof of the mouth, reducing the gratification of thumb-sucking.

Do You Need a Dentist in Jacksonville, FL?

If you have a thumb-sucking child past the age of three, don’t wait to talk with your dentist about your options. Contact Dr. Matt Henry today. Our terrific staff understands how to deal with children and their dental issues properly. And we would love to help you fix your child’s thumb-sucking issues before they become a bigger problem.

PRP and PRF Therapy

As newfound knowledge regarding how the human body works as it is healing comes to light, scientists and researchers develop all kinds of ways to use that knowledge to make medical care more practical and safe for patients. Perhaps there is no greater treatment that exemplifies this fact like PRP therapy. At the office  Dr. Matt Henry in Jacksonville, FL, we are always working hard to tweak our dental services to include the latest in treatment technology. Therefore, we do offer PRP and PRF therapy to our patients who could benefit from the procedure.

PRP Injection Therapy Explained

PRP injection therapy is a method used in modern-day medicine that utilizes blood platelets from a patient’s own blood supply to create a rich, supportive atmosphere for healing at a site where faster healing is important. To perform PRP therapy, a practitioner will collect a blood sample from the patient, and put that harvested blood through a coagulation process in a centrifugal system to separate the rich platelets from the other matter. Certain additives are used to encourage a clot of platelets to form, and that collected clot is then placed in the area where the work has been performed. The advantages of PRP therapy include:

  • Potentially faster healing times for patients
  • Lowered risks of infection after serious dental procedures due to faster healing times
  • The therapy utilizes the body’s own platelets to encourage healing in a more natural way

While many patients can reap the benefits of PRP therapy, certain individuals do benefit the most. For example, elderly patients who may have slower healing rates after something like a bone grafting procedure can usually see healing times reduced. Another advantage worth mentioning with PRP therapy is that the amount of blood that has to be taken from the patient initially is very small, so the therapy is not considered in any way invasive or uncomfortable for the patient. In fact, the majority of patients know little more about what is taking place, where the pain is concerned, other than having to give a small blood sample before the procedure.

The Role of PRP Injections in Modern-Day Dental Treatments

PRP can actually prove to be advantageous in a lot of different types of clinical dentistry treatment, and some of the most well-qualified dentists are now using this treatment as a form of adjunctive therapy for certain procedures. Medical practitioners have relied on PRP therapy for several types of serious treatment and surgical procedures for a while, but PRP is only more recently making its way into dental medicine. Some of the most common procedures in which PRP injections can be helpful are described below.

Bone Grafting – Bone grafting is a procedure a patient will undergo before obtaining dental implants if they do not have a substantial amount of bone in their jawline to anchor an implant to. While bone grafting is considered a highly effective solution, this procedure alone can involve a long healing time, especially for older patients. PRP injections may be used to help aid and quicken the healing process after bone grafting is performed as a precursor to dental implant procedures.

Extractions – Extractions, especially when they involve several teeth or larger teeth, can cause damage to the underlying bone structures in the jawline. The best practitioner will work to correct any deviations in bone structure due to the extraction from the time they pull the tooth. In some cases, PRP injections may be used to help with the healing process if an extraction was more intrusive.

Bone Repair – Bone repair can be a necessary part of maxillofacial surgery after trauma caused by an accident or due to a defect. For example, if a patient has sustained a blow to the side of their jaw and it has caused damage to the jawbones, bone repair may be necessary. PRP injections can be used on some patients to help promote the healing process and shorten recovery times after bone correction surgery in these instances.

The Difference Between PRP and PRF Therapy

PRP and PRF (platelet-rich fibrin) are actually two forms of platelet-rich plasma treatment that involve some of the same processes and are quite similar in nature, but PRF is a bit more simplified in form. Without getting into the real specifics and complexities of medical science, PRF is performed without the use of added coagulants to cause a fibrin clot to form and does not involve utilizing the same additives that are used with PRP harvesting processes. While both PRP and PRF injections are used in dental settings, PRF is often the most preferable form of treatment due to the simplicity of the procedure. Both PRP and PRF therapy offer the same lists of advantages for patients, including potential faster healing times and a lowered risk of infection.

Let’s Talk About PRP Injections in Jacksonville, FL

Overall, both PRP injection therapy and PRF therapy can be a valuable part of your oral health care routine, but not every dentist offers this relatively modern form of adjunctive therapy with treatment. If you are interested in learning more about PRP or PRF therapy or feel you could be a good candidate for PRP with a certain procedure, please reach out to us at the office of Dr. Matt Henry in Jacksonville, FL to learn more about what we have to offer.


4 Easy Things You Can Do to Prevent Cavities

Cavities can cause pain and decay, leading to overall poor dental health. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to prevent cavities. By taking the following steps, you can maintain good oral hygiene. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Brush and Rinse with Fluoride

Most people know that you’re supposed to brush your teeth twice per day: once in the morning and once at night before bedtime. While many people have made this a normal part of their oral hygiene routine, they often use poor brushing habits. For example, many people skip teeth that are hard to reach, which can lead to cavities in the back of the mouth.

Have your dentist show you how to brush your teeth properly to ensure that you’re reaching the molars in the very back, and the insides of the teeth where they meet your gums.

Your dentist may also recommend using a fluoride mouthwash to strengthen your teeth and prevent cavities. Get instructions from your dentist in Jacksonville FL to find out whether a fluoride mouthwash could help you.

2. Drink Tap Water

Most communities add fluoride to their tap water to help their populations avoid cavities. Drinking the water from your kitchen, instead of bottled water or soda, can help keep your teeth in good condition. Stay hydrated! Drink tap water on a regular basis. If possible, keep a pitcher of cold tap water in your refrigerator and drink it at every meal.

3. Get Fluoride Treatments

The next time you go to the dentist for a dental check-up in Jacksonville FL, ask if you’ll be getting a fluoride treatment. Your dentist will likely provide you with fluoride treatments regularly. Find out what your fluoride treatment schedule is.

4. Eat Healthy Foods

Sugary foods are bad for your teeth. They cause cavities! Avoid eating candy and sugary baked goods. If it’s your habit to sip soda, make the effort to cut back.

5. See the Dentist Regularly

See your dentist every six months, or as often as your dentist recommends. Not sure how often your dentist would recommend coming in for regular cleanings? Ask them the next time you’re in. If you can’t remember the last time you went for a dental check-up, it’s probably time! Contact Dr. Matt Henry to make your next dental appointment.

Get Proactive About Dental Health with Teeth Cleaning

When you have a healthy mouth, you have even bigger reasons to smile at the people around you. Teeth cleaning at a Jacksonville dentist is one of the easiest ways to make sure you retain many reasons to smile for the years to come. At the office of Dr. Matt Henry, we offer quick and easy teeth cleaning appointments to keep you proactive about taking good care of your oral health.

What Happens During a Teeth Cleaning Visit?

An oral hygiene visit with a Jacksonville dentist is one of the most routine processes in dental care. Usually, the process is done by a trained dental hygienist who specifically handles hygiene appointments. The hygienist will:

  1. Use a solution to soften areas of plaque or tartar on your teeth
  2. Use tiny tools to scrape those formations off of your teeth
  3. Work on each tooth individually to remove debris
  4. Use a small water sprayer to slough away the debris as they work

While the hygienist works, they will use a suction device to pull the solution and any debris out of your mouth so it does not get swallowed. You will feel the hygienist scraping all areas of your teeth, including the backs of and in between your teeth where tartar is most likely to form. Once the cleaning process is complete, the hygienist may also use a small tool to polish the enamel of each of your teeth, which can leave your smile even cleaner.

A Look at the Importance of Regular Teeth Cleanings in Jacksonville

The link between periodontal (gum) disease and tooth loss is highly associated with how many preventive visits you make to your dentist. Teeth cleaning at the dentist is a major component of that preventive care. While you may do all you can to keep your teeth clean at home with regular brushing and flossing, you simply can’t see or get to all surfaces with this basic oral care.

Over time, tartar collects between teeth and at the gumline. This tartar can harden and form a bacteria-trapping formation on your teeth that puts you at risk of decay and gum disease. These deposits are already in areas where your floss or brush may not reach, so the development of problems can occur pretty quickly. As an adage, lack of professional hygiene appointments with your dentist can mean you are more likely to have problems with bad breath due to bacteria hanging out in your mouth.

Common Patient Questions About Teeth Cleaning

Does getting your teeth cleaned hurt?

Teeth cleaning should never outright hurt, but you may have some tender points or sensitive areas of your mouth that can cause minimal discomfort. If the process is too uncomfortable for a patient to handle, which is extremely rare, the dentist can use a localized anesthetic or take measures to keep you comfortable. After leaving the office, some patients do have slightly sore gums and possibly a bit of bleeding from the gums. This is perfectly normal because the scaling process is done beneath the gumline.

How often should you have your teeth cleaned?

The general recommendation by the American Dental Association is to have your teeth cleaned by a Jacksonville dentist about once a year. However, some patients who are more at risk of dental health issues may benefit from more frequent cleanings. For example, a patient with a family history of gum disease may need a cleaning every six months to keep their own risks at bay.

Will your teeth be whiter after they’re cleaned?

You may indeed notice your teeth look whiter after basic cleaning. The techniques used can break up some surface stains on your enamel. Further, small bits of discolored plaque and tartar will no longer be visible. Therefore, you may see a brighter smile when you leave the office. However, if you are looking for more effective teeth whitening in Jacksonville, we do offer professional whitening in our office as well.

How long does it take to get your teeth cleaned?

Teeth cleaning appointments do not generally take too long to complete. Most patients are in and out of the office within 30 minutes. However, the actual duration of the cleaning can depend on how much plaque and tartar you have to remove or even how long it has been since your last appointment. The goal is to always do a thorough clean, even if that process takes a little longer than usual to complete.

Why are your teeth sensitive after teeth cleaning at the dentist?

Dental sensitivity for a few hours after cleaning is perfectly normal. During the cleaning process, the hygienist will remove plaque and tartar that may have been hardened on your enamel for a while. With these damaging compounds removed, you may find a bit of added sensitivity to cold or heat. However, the sensation should quickly subside.

Do children also need their teeth cleaned?

Children can actually be more prone to decay than adults because they don’t always do thorough brushing and flossing at home. Therefore, children should have their teeth cleaned by a dentist in Jacksonville periodically.

Keep Your Dental Hygiene in Check with a Jacksonville Dentist

Dental hygiene appointments to get your teeth adequately cleaned can be one of the most important things you ever do for your long-term oral health. The process is simple, not painful, and quick, but can mean keeping a healthy smile for the years to come. If you are looking for a dentist in Jacksonville to help you get the most from your dental hygiene appointments, reach out to us at the office of Dr. Matt Henry.