Cosmetic Dentistry – A Beautiful Smile is a Powerful Thing

There is a law of nature that “function follows form.” It’s a saying that means that how something looks actually determines how it works.

For example, you may own many screwdrivers of different sizes and shapes (form) to loosen all different kinds of screws (function). Think of a watering can with a long spout that’s perfect for pouring water right where you want it, versus one with a broad spout to cover large areas more quickly.

This principal can also apply to your smile! A mouth missing teeth is not nearly as functional as a mouth with a full set of chompers. Enter: cosmetic dentistry. The word cosmetic makes these treatments sound optional, but many times they are truly needed to improve physical function or mental and emotional wellbeing.

Read more from Dr. Shih to learn about cosmetic dentistry and the impact it can have on your life.

Kinds of Cosmetic Dentistry

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Posted in Dental Health, Dental Services, Dental Technology, Patient Care

TMJ – The Root of Your Pain

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction is a really long name … so let’s call it TMJ. Ah, yes, that’s right, now the name is more familiar! You’ve heard it before. Maybe even some lingering pain in your chewing muscles and bones has you wondering if you’ve got it.

TMJ dysfunction is sometimes called TMD, TMJD, or TMJ Syndrome if there seems to be a collection of related issues with your jaw. Dr. Shih at Waterloo Heights Dental Center is here to tell you more about TMJ and what to do if you’ve got it.

What is TMJ?

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Posted in Dental Health

Breastfeeding & Dental Work

If you’re a new mom or you’re about to be, you’re likely already used to putting your needs second to the needs of this beautiful new little person in your life. But your oral hygiene is still important for keeping you and your baby in tip top shape. If something comes up and you need dental work, it shouldn’t prevent you from continuing to breastfeed regularly, or from seeking the dental treatment you need.

Dr. Shih is an experienced dentist in West Salem and can explain how prioritizing your own health needs is safe and important during this stage of a woman’s life.

Dental Procedures Safe for Breastfeeding

You shouldn’t be surprised to hear that regular brushing and flossing is safe for breastfeeding mothers. In fact, it’s probably never felt more luxurious! Especially as you’re likely eating everything in sight (and perhaps indulging in sweet treats, too), it’s a good idea to keep those pearly whites as clean and healthy as possible. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health

Trend Alert – Oil Pulling

What is oil pulling?

Claiming everything from whiter teeth and healthier gums to decreased body aches and pains, oil pulling is the latest trend in DIY detox therapies. Newly popular among celebrities and lovers of natural health and wellness, oil pulling is a hygiene practice that actually dates back centuries through the Indian medical tradition Ayurveda. Simply put, oil pulling uses common plant-based oils (coconut is a favorite) in place of store-bought mouthwash.

Users swish, or “pull” one tablespoon of oil in their mouth for 10-20 minutes every day. The oil usually doubles in size due to collecting saliva and toxins from the mouth. Users are strongly warned to spit out the oil because it contains the microorganisms which pulling aims to extract. Oil is believed to draw toxins out of the mouth by sticking to their outer, fatty layer. Since oral hygiene is linked to health in all parts of the body, it’s believed that the benefits of oil pulling go beyond just your mouth. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health

Replace Missing Teeth – Dentures & Dental Implants

So you’re missing a tooth—or a few!

An apple a day will not take care of this one, unfortunately. It’s time to consider dentures or dental implants. A variety of personal and practical factors will determine which solution is best for your new smile. Don’t feel lost among all the pros and cons of choosing a tooth-replacement plan. Waterloo Heights Dental Center in West Salem is an experienced practice you can trust to  help guide you on your journey from missing teeth toward a complete, natural, and healthy smile.

Not your grandma’s dentures

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Posted in Dental Health

Dental Insurance FAQ: The Basics

Dental Insurance FAQ: The Basics

We at Waterloo Heights Dental Center understand that dental insurance can be a tricky thing to navigate. Evaluating dental plans and considering deductibles, benefits, which treatments are covered, and the mountain of other information insurance companies provide can be a headache in and of itself. Dr. Shih wants every West Salem resident to have the power to control their own health, so here’s a simplified guide to the basics of dental health insurance. As always, if you have a question, don’t be afraid to give us a call!

Dental Insurance

Dental insurance is an excellent investment that helps West Salem residents ensure a lifetime of healthy smiles. However, in order to get the best value from your dental insurance, there are a few things you need to know. Here are the answers to the most common questions we hear at Waterloo Heights Dental Center:

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Posted in Uncategorized

Can You Treat a Toothache at Home?

When you’re suddenly struck with a toothache, floating ideas of home remedies may quickly come to mind. Whether you heard it from your great aunt or saw it on Pinterest, at-home treatments are everywhere. West Salem dentist, Dr. Shih can explain more about how to care for a toothache and when to come in for a visit.

Common causes of toothaches are infections, cavities, damaged enamel, a cracked tooth or an exposed root – all good reasons to get yourself to the dentist! Home remedies for a toothache may work for immediate relief, but they’re not likely to last long, and they may not be completely safe. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health

Soft Food Recipes – What to Eat After Dental Work

soft_food_recipes

You did it! You got the consultation, booked the appointment, and you actually showed up on the big day. You saw the dentist and now all of that effort has left you hungry! The question is: what can you eat after having dental work done?

For some of us, it’s nostalgic to remember having a frozen treat after the dentist as kids, or attempting to say such bouncy words as “baby” with a numb jaw. However—depending on how extensive your dental work is—you will need to be cautious of what you consume in the days following major dental work. And milkshakes will only get you so far in recovery, anyway. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health

How to Clean Teeth Like a Dentist

brush

Oral hygiene is the foundation of good dental health. Brushing and flossing regularly is the best way to keep your West Salem smile healthy and clean. Consider this your personal tutorial on the art of dental hygiene, instructed by Dr. Shih and the expert hygienists at Waterloo Heights Dental Center. If you have any questions or would like to test your skills in person, feel free to give us a call!

Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss, and Mouthwash Read more ›

Posted in Uncategorized

If You’re Avoiding the Dentist

avoiding_the_dentist

We’ve all got our reasons. Money. Time. The fear of pain. Juggling insurance. Facing one more reminder that we really should be flossing more. Any of these might cause us to avoid and put off regular visits to the dentist.

Has it been so long since your last dental appointment that you’re not even sure how to find a dentist you can trust? Or perhaps you know and love your dentist but you dread the idea of trying to catch up on life with the hygienist while your mouth is being propped open by a tiny plastic jack. (Yes, we think about that too!) Read more ›

Posted in Uncategorized