(704) 484-0077 or (704) 482-8336

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
January 07, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health   oral hygiene  
4GuidelinestoHelpMakeSureYourChildsOralHealthStaysonTrack

As they mature, your child's teeth, gums and jaws develop—if all goes well, they'll all be healthy and functioning normally when they enter adulthood. But tooth decay and other problems could derail that development and cause lingering oral health issues later in life.

Following these 4 guidelines now during your child's early years will help ensure their teeth and gums have a healthy future.

Start oral hygiene early. There's no need to wait for their first teeth to come in to begin your child's regular oral hygiene. Start with wiping their gums right after feeding with a clean wet cloth to minimize bacterial development. Then, start brushing as soon as teeth appear—to begin with, use a slight smear of toothpaste on the brush. As they mature, teach them to brush and later floss for themselves.

Check your water. Most utilities add tiny traces of fluoride to their drinking water supply. If your water supplier does, it can make a big difference (along with fluoride toothpaste) in helping your child avoid tooth decay. If your system doesn't, then speak to your dentist about whether your child could benefit from topical fluoride applied directly to their teeth.

Keep a check on sugar. Decay-causing bacteria thrive on the sugar added to processed foods, candies and many beverages. Even milder forms of sugar like lactose found in milk or formula can stimulate bacterial growth. So, in addition to daily brushing and flossing, do your best to minimize sugar in your child's diet. And don't put infants or toddlers to bed with a bottle filled with any liquid other than water.

See the dentist. Starting around their first birthday, regular dental visits can help keep your child's dental development on track. Dental visits are also an opportunity for preventive treatments against decay like sealants or topical fluoride. Your dentist may also detect the early signs of bite problems that if addressed now, could lessen their impact later in life.

Your child's dental health could get off course before you even realize it. But partnering with your dentist, you can help make sure your child's teeth and gums have a bright and healthy future.

If you would like more information on how best to care for your child's oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Top 10 Oral Health Tips for Children.”

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
December 31, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: crowns   Bridges  

Crowns and bridges provided by your Shelby, NC, dentist, Dr. Joseph Hendrick, offer important benefits for your smile. The restorations can fill gaps in your smile, restore damaged teeth, and even change the appearance of an unattractive tooth.

How crowns and bridges help your smile

Crowns are hollow restorations that fit over the tops of your teeth, covering them on all four sides. Before you receive a crown, your dentist reduces the size of your tooth to ensure that the crown will fit comfortably. He'll also make an impression of your mouth that will be used to create a natural-looking crown.

The restorations are made of durable materials that look just like natural tooth enamel. Porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal, ceramic, and resin are often used to make crowns.

During a visit to the Shelby dental office, your dentist may recommend a crown if:

  • Your Tooth Is Broken or Fractured: In addition to changing your appearance, a broken tooth can make eating difficult and may cut your mouth, lips, or tongue. Broken teeth may also be painful if they aren't covered by a crown. Once a crown is added, your tooth will look exactly as it did before it broke.
  • You Have a Fragile Tooth: Teeth can weaken due to the natural effects of aging, cracks, and certain dental procedures, such as large fillings and root canal therapy. Adding a crown to your tooth strengthens it and prevents it from breaking.
  • You're Unhappy with the Appearance of a Tooth: A crown can be a good option if you don't like the way your tooth looks. Adding a crown straightens a crooked or twisted tooth, extends a short tooth, and conceals discolorations and other flaws.
  • You're Restoring a Missing Tooth with a Dental Implant: Dental crowns are connected to dental implants to create new teeth. Just like natural tooth roots, your implants are securely attached to your jawbone, giving your new tooth the strength it needs to bite and chew all types of foods.

Bridges restore one or two missing teeth. They're made up of artificial teeth attached to crowns on either side. The crown sections of the bridge fit over supporting teeth on either side of the gap in your mouth, firmly anchoring your bridge. Bridges improve your appearance, prevent other teeth from shifting, and make eating much easier.

Could crowns and bridges help your smile? Call your dentist in Shelby, NC, Dr. Joseph Hendrick, at (704) 484-0077 to schedule your appointment.

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
December 28, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
TargetedToothRemovalCouldAidTreatmentforCertainBiteProblems

Before we begin correcting a malocclusion (poor dental bite), we need to ask a few questions: How extensive is the malocclusion? How far must we move the teeth to correct it? How might the patient's jaw size impact treatment?

Answering these and other questions help us develop an effective treatment plan. And depending on the answers, we might need to look at other procedures before we install braces—like removing one or more of the teeth.

This isn't a subject to approach lightly: All teeth play an important role in dental function and smile appearance, and ordinarily we want to preserve teeth, not remove them. Sometimes, however, it may be a necessary action to achieve our goal of an improved dental bite.

For example, it might be necessary for correcting a malocclusion caused by severe teeth crowding. This occurs when one or both of the jaws hasn't grown to a sufficient size to accommodate all of the teeth erupting on it. As a result, some of the teeth could come in out of their proper alignment.

If caught early before puberty, we may be able to use other techniques to alleviate crowding, like a device called a palatal expander that influences an upper jaw to widen as it grows. If successful, it could provide later teeth more room to erupt in their proper positions.

But even if additional jaw growth occurs, it may not be enough to avoid a malocclusion or treatment with braces. Alleviating further crowding by removing teeth in little noticed areas could help with subsequent orthodontics.

Removing teeth may also be the answer for other problems like an impacted tooth, in which the tooth has not fully erupted and remains submerged in the gums. It's sometimes possible to use a technique to “pull” the tooth down where it should be; but again, that will still require jaw space that may not be available. The more effective course might be to remove the impacted tooth.

Whether or not tooth extraction will be needed can depend on a thorough orthodontic evaluation and full consideration of all the available options. Even though the ideal situation is to correct a bite with all teeth present and accounted for, it may be for the better good to sacrifice some.

If you would like more information on orthodontic techniques, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Removing Teeth for Orthodontic Treatment.”

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
December 18, 2020
Category: Oral Health
ListentoEllenDeGeneresDontThinkYouCanGetAwayWithoutFlossing

This year's Carol Burnett Award, presented at the Golden Globes, goes to Ellen DeGeneres for her “outstanding contributions to the television medium on or off the screen.” This is the latest in a long list of honors for the comedienne, talk show host and activist that includes Emmys, Grammys and Teen Choice Awards. And one not quite as well-known: a 2004 “Flossy” award.

DeGeneres received this honor from the National Flossing Council in recognition of her passionate promotion of oral hygiene, particularly flossing. She wrote about its virtues in her 2003 book, The Funny Thing Is…., saying, among other things, “Don't even think for a second that you can get away with not flossing.”

DeGeneres's motivational cheerleading for flossing is helpful and necessary because, well, many of us just don't like doing it. It requires more manual dexterity than its more popular sibling, brushing. And the tendency for the floss to gunk up with plaque residue for some is simply unpleasant.

Mainly, though, many folks think brushing is enough. Not so fast, according to dental professionals. While brushing removes disease-causing bacterial plaque from broad tooth surfaces, it can't effectively get into the spaces between teeth. It takes flossing to clear plaque from these more difficult areas.

But don't fret: There are ways to make flossing an easier—and more pleasant—task.

Ask us for help. As we said before, flossing does take some hand dexterity and coordination to perform. You may also wonder if you're doing it effectively. We can provide training and tips on how to be a more effective flosser at your next visit.

Practice, practice, practice. You probably think nothing of riding a bicycle, and yet it probably took you weeks or months as a kid to become proficient. Similarly, your first attempts at flossing might feel awkward, but you'll improve with practice, so don't give up.

Brush before you floss. Most people floss before brushing, but if you tend to encounter a lot of soft plaque debris that makes flossing “icky” for you, then try brushing first to clear a good portion of it out of the way before you floss. Just be aware, most professionals believe that flossing first is better because it loosens up debris between teeth so the bubbles from the toothpaste can carry it away. But any flossing is better than no flossing!

Try flossing tools. For some people, floss picks, small pre-threaded tools you can use with one hand, seem easier to maneuver than regular floss thread. If you have issues with manual dexterity, an oral irrigator can make the task easier: This handheld device uses a stream of pressurized water to loosen and flush away plaque between teeth.

So, follow Ellen DeGeneres's advice she gave Tulane University graduates during a commencement speech: “Remember to exfoliate, moisturize, exercise…and floss.” The latter, along with brushing, will certainly help keep your teeth and gums healthy.

If you would like more information about best oral hygiene practices, please contact us or schedule an appointment. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Daily Oral Hygiene.”

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
December 10, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Implants  

Are you thinking about getting dental implants? Dr. Joseph Hendrick, Jr. specializes in general and cosmetic dentistry in Shelby, NC. Implants are a smart way to address some of the most common dental conditions. These include:

  • Periodontitis, which is an infection of the gums.
  • Low mineral levels in the jawbone and the teeth.
  • Cancers of the mouth and other oral diseases.

Now that we know some of the cases that might call for dental prosthetics, let’s discuss their benefits. Implants can help you with:

Maintaining proper tooth position

Tooth loss can create spaces between the teeth, allowing food particles to collect and cause further decay. Natural teeth that are still in the mouth can begin to shift from their normal position. Brush diligently and remember to floss as well.

Chewing properly

Activities like eating sandwiches, chewing gum, and talking will be normal again when you get your new dental implants. Not chewing well increases the risk of choking and other gastrointestinal problems. Take extra care as you chew foods until you can visit a dentist. Implants enable you to masticate your meals thoroughly before swallowing.

Easy to use

There is no need to remove and replace them. Implants stay in your mouth as you talk, chew, and sleep.

Changes in speech

The teeth and jawbone support the muscles of the face. A patient’s speech may become distorted due to the lack of teeth. Patients often cause injury to the inside of the mouth as the patient attempts to talk around the flesh of their mouths.

Dental implants can last up to 25 years with these simple techniques:

  • Brushing and flossing twice daily
  • Avoiding extreme temperatures when consuming foods
  • Wearing mouthguards during sports and other activities

For remarkable, considerate care, and dental implants installed by a board-certified dentist, contact Dr. Hendrick in Shelby, NC, at (704) 484-0077 to schedule an appointment.





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Dentist in Shelby, NC
Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
511 N. Morgan Street
Shelby, NC 28150
(704) 484-0077
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