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Dr. Jim Anderson, D.D.S.

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Treating Sensitive Teeth

Oct 18 2017
Tooth sensitivity can make things like eating and drinking difficult and painful. With over 57% of the population suffering from sensitive teeth, this condition influences the lives of many individuals. However, with the right attention and care, sensitive teeth can be managed.

If you suffer from sensitive teeth, here are a few things you can do to minimize pain and strengthen your teeth.

1. Avoid Acidic Drinks And Food
Foods that are full of sugar and acid can break down your enamel, making your teeth more sensitive. Avoiding candy, high-sugar carbs, acidic fruits, and soda can all reduce sensitivity in your mouth. Instead, reach for snacks that are low in both sugar and acid.

2. Stop Whitening
A white smile is something many of us dream of. Unfortunately, too many bleaching products can break down your enamel and cause sensitivity. In most cases, tooth sensitivity caused by bleaching is only temporary. After a few weeks without any whitening products, your teeth should feel less sensitive.

3. Use The Right Products
If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, you’ll want to use the right products to ease pain and ensure you’re not making the condition worse. You’ll want to pick up toothpaste specially formulated for sensitive teeth but may also want to see your dentist for fillings or sealants. Dr. Anderson can also provide you with additional medical-grade sensitivity products if necessary.

4. Fight Gum Disease
Gum disease can contribute to tooth sensitivity because it can cause your gums to pull back. When your gums expose your teeth roots, they can become extremely sensitive. In order to prevent gum disease from setting in, you shouldn’t smoke and you should take proper care of your teeth and gums.

Proper cleaning and care of your teeth is the first step in preventing and treating tooth sensitivity. If you’re unable to reduce the amount of tooth sensitivity you experience on your own, talk to Dr. Anderson about your experience.

To make an appointment for your next cleaning or to discuss tooth sensitivity further, contact our Kansas City Cosmetic Dentistry office at 816.454.3336. We can offer dentistry solutions for you and your entire family.
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Causes Of Bad Breath

Oct 10 2017
Having bad breath is something many of us worry about. While proper brushing is usually enough to fight mouth odor, some underlying causes can make it difficult to get rid of your bad breath. In order to properly treat bad odor, you need to know where it is coming from.

Bad breath can be caused by a number of things. Here are a few of the most common.

Poor Dental Hygiene
Not brushing or flossing enough is an extremely common cause of bad breath. When you’re not properly removing food particles from your mouth, they can begin to break down and cause bacteria to grow. As bacteria forms, your gums can become irritated and gum disease can develop. This bacteria can cause an odor in your mouth.

Tobacco Use
If you smoke or use oral tobacco products, you’re more likely to develop gum disease. Just as with poor hygiene, bacteria growing in the mouth can lead to bad breath and unpleasant odors.

Smelly foods can increase your chances of having bad breath. Certain spices or foods like onions and garlic can cause you to have bad breath. However, they can continue to cause bad breath even after you’ve brushed your teeth. As they break down during digestion, they can continue to cause an odor.

Dry Mouth
Saliva is an important part of maintaining a healthy mouth. If your mouth is not producing enough saliva, this can lead to dry mouth. Not only can this be uncomfortable, but it can also cause bad breath. Dry mouth may occur because of dehydration or as a side effect of certain medications, although chronic dry mouth is caused by problems with the salivary glands.

Infections And Other Conditions
If you’ve recently undergone surgery of the mouth, such as a wisdom teeth extraction or tooth removal, this can also contribute to bad breath. Other infections, like mouth sores, may also cause odor. However, an illness or sinus infection may also cause bad breath.

Proper hygiene is the first step in fighting bad breath. If you’re in need of an appointment with Dr. Anderson, contact our Kansas City office today at 816.454.3336.
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What’s In A Name? Learn Some Dental Terminology

Aug 12 2017
Maintaining proper oral hygiene is important for more than just your teeth and gums. However, knowing how to take care of yourself comes from understanding what your dentist is talking about. If your dentist is using terms that you don’t understand, you may be missing important information about what you need to do to stay healthy.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most common dental terms that you should understand.

Orthodontist: An orthodontist is actually much different than a traditional dentist. Orthodontists specialize in alignment issues, including braces, retainers, and more.
Plaque: Plaque is a hardened form of bacteria that can lead to tooth decay.
Periodontal Disease: Periodontal disease occurs when the jaw becomes inflamed and irritated. Without the proper treatment, it can cause long-lasting damage.
Cosmetic Dentistry: Cosmetic dentistry centers around the appearance of the teeth. This includes the color of the teeth as well as the shape of the teeth.
Gingivitis. Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease that is entirely treatable with the right care and attention.
Sealant: A special protective coating that can help prevent tooth decay.
Resin: Resin is a bonding material used in restoring and replacing decayed or broken teeth.
Bleaching: Bleaching is a tooth whitening process where peroxide is used.
Edentulous: Edentulous is the event that someone has lost all or most of their natural teeth.
Malocclusion: Malocclusion is the term for a misalignment between the teeth or the jaw.
Prophylaxis: Prophylaxis is the term for professional teeth cleaning, typically performed by a dentist or dental hygienist.
Restorative Dentistry: Restorative dentistry is the dental process of restoring proper form and function to the teeth.
If Dr. Anderson ever uses any terms that you’re unfamiliar with, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. It is important that you fully understand any recommendations or diagnosis given to you, so always speak up if you have any questions.

To book an appointment with Dr. Anderson or his Kansas City Cosmetic Dentistry team, contact our office at 816.454.3336. With dental solutions for your entire family, we can provide a one-stop-shop to ensure you’re getting the oral care you need.
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What Cosmetic Dentistry Encompasses

Aug 24 2017
There are many different areas of dentistry and types of dental specialists. While this ensures there is someone available no matter your dentistry needs, it can also make things confusing when the time comes to make an appointment. If you’re unsure of the various kinds of dentistry, you may have a hard time finding someone to perform the procedures you need.

One of the most common kinds of dentistry is cosmetic dentistry. Let’s take a look at what it is, what procedures it includes, and who needs cosmetic dentistry.

So, What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?
On a very basic level, cosmetic dentistry involves the appearance of the teeth. This can include everything from procedures changing the color of the teeth to those repairing or restoring the shape of the teeth. However, it is important to note that most cosmetic dentistry is done for the appearance of the teeth.

What Are Common Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures?
Cosmetic dentistry involves many different procedures. Here are a few of the most common:

Bleaching. Bleaching is a process that uses peroxide to remove stains and discoloration from the teeth. While bleaching can be done at home, it is always important to discuss the process with your dentist.
Veneers. Veneers are a thin piece of porcelain or plastic that is placed over the tooth for an immediate change in shape or color. Veneers can help improve discolored, damaged, or crooked teeth with little to no anesthesia or pain.
Bonding. Bonding is a quick solution to fill in gaps between the teeth or change the color of a tooth. However, bonding does have some downsides. Bonding can become easily chipped or stained, unlike other procedures.
Crowns. Crowns are similar to veneers in that they completely cover the tooth to restore the shape, color or appearance.
Who Needs Cosmetic Dentistry?
If you’re unhappy with the appearance of your teeth, cosmetic dentistry can help you get the smile you’ve always dreamed of. To begin discussing potential procedures and treatments, schedule an appointment with Dr. Anderson and his team. You can contact the Kansas City, MO office at 816.454.3336.
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Pain From Teeth Grinding? Dr. Anderson Can Help!

Jul 23 2017
Teeth grinding is a common condition that many people don’t even know they experience. Also known as bruxism, this typically occurs at night, and many people who grind or clench their teeth may not even be aware of it. This means that they may not be getting the treatment they need to protect their teeth and prevent jaw pain.

Teeth grinding can be extremely damaging when it isn’t properly treated. Let’s take a deeper look into what bruxism is, why it’s important to treat it, and how Dr. Anderson and his team can help you take care of it.

What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism is the technical term for teeth grinding or teeth clenching. While bruxism most commonly occurs at night, it can also happen during the day. For those who experience bruxism, it is usually amplified by stress and anxiety. However, it can also be a sign of sleep apnea or other conditions.

Why Is Teeth Grinding Bad?
When you constantly grind your teeth, you’re actually wearing the tooth down. This can make it more at risk for developing cracks or breaking. It can also thin the enamel, making your teeth more sensitive and discolored. If you grind your teeth extensively, it can also completely change the shape of your tooth and smile.

How To Treat Bruxism
If you’re someone that grinds or clenches your teeth, the most common treatment solution is typically a mouthguard. These guards can be worn at night to prevent the teeth from grinding against each other. While there are mouthguards that you can purchase at the store to reduce the effects of grinding your teeth, they are often uncomfortable or ill-fitting. Having a mouthguard custom-made from your dentist can allow you to sleep soundly while treating your bruxism.

Those who experience bruxism should also try to reduce their stress or anxiety level. Reducing stress can help you reduce the amount you grind your teeth.

If you experience bruxism, contact Dr. Anderson’s office to begin the process of getting fitted for a custom mouthguard. Our Kansas City, MO office offers cosmetic dentistry solutions to all members of your family. You can make an appointment by calling 816.454.3336.
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How Often To Change Your Toothbrush For Ideal Oral Health

Jul 10 2017
As you go about your daily routine, the age of your toothbrush probably isn’t something you think about too often. While you can remember to brush your teeth every morning and night, can you remember the last time you replaced your brush with a new one?

Although maintaining proper brushing patterns is important, it’s also important to use a clean brush. If you’re not changing your toothbrush as often as you should be, you’re essentially rubbing bacteria right back onto your teeth and gums.

But how often should you be changing your toothbrush? Let’s take a look.

How Often Should I Change My Toothbrush?

The amount of time required between swapping out your brush will depend on your habits and unique circumstances, but 3-4 months is usually a good rule of thumb. However, if you’ve been sick or your toothbrush is stored close to someone else who has been sick, you’ll want to swap it out even sooner.

The kind of toothbrush you use may also influence how often you need to make a change.

Why Do I Need to Change My Toothbrush?

A fresh toothbrush will help effectively remove debris and bacteria from your mouth. However, as it is used more often, the bristles will begin to wear down and become bent. When bristles are frayed, they can’t remove debris and bacteria as they should. This means you’re leaving behind grime that can result in gum disease.

Replacing your toothbrush as soon as the bristles begin to become damaged can ensure you’re always getting the best brush possible. Keeping a few fresh brushes in your bathroom cabinet or drawer can make it easy for you and your family to swap out your tooth brush whenever you need it.

In addition to changing your toothbrush every 3-4 months, you’ll also want to make regular trips to your dentist. At Dr. Anderson’s office, we can help you and your entire family with any and all dentistry needs. If you’re ready for your next cleaning or you have any questions about oral health, contact our Kansas City, MO dental office to make an appointment.
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Toothpaste Comparison

Jun 13 2017
Tubes of toothpaste come in many different forms. From different flavors to different textures and consistencies, there is a toothpaste out there for every family and every need. However, understanding the differences between each kind of toothpaste can be a real challenge.

When selecting a toothpaste for you and your family, you want to be sure it will keep your teeth, gums, and mouth as healthy as possible. Let’s take a look at some of the most common kinds of toothpaste and what benefits they can provide you.

Whitening Toothpastes
Many people tend to go straight for a whitening toothpaste when making their selection. A whitening toothpaste contains ingredients, such as peroxide, that can help remove stains that have built up on the teeth. However, whitening toothpaste can cause sensitivity and usually won’t give you the white smile you’re after.

Sensitive Toothpastes
Sensitive teeth can cause serious discomfort. If you or someone in your family has sensitive teeth, you’ll want to purchase a toothpaste special formulated for sensitive mouths. These kinds of toothpaste are less abrasive and contain fewer ingredients that may increase sensitivity.

Children’s Toothpaste
If you have children under the age of two, you may want to consider purchasing a toothpaste specially formulated for kids. Not only do these kinds of toothpaste come in fruity flavors that your child may enjoy, they are also safer to swallow.

Fluoride Toothpastes
Fluoride is typically included in oral hygiene products to help protect enamel. Because fluoride can help slow down the enamel deterioration process, it is usually recommended that you purchase a toothpaste that has fluoride in it.

Tartar Control Toothpastes
A build-up of tartar can be one of the most unhealthy things for your teeth, so a tartar control toothpaste can be a great option for you and your family. However, you will still need regular cleanings with a dental hygienist to remove tartar build-up.

If you’re due for a cleaning, contact Dr. Anderson’s Kansas City cosmetic dentist office to schedule your next appointment. Dr. Anderson and his team can provide you with advice and recommendations on purchasing the right toothpaste for you and your family’s needs.
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What To Look For In A Mouthwash

May 18 2017
Shopping for a new mouthwash can seem overwhelming. When you’re standing in an aisle packed with different brands, scents, and types, you can have a hard time knowing which is right for you. But because each mouthwash promises a different outcome, you need to know what you’re looking for in a mouthwash or mouth rinse.

Let’s take a look at a few of the different kinds of mouthwash, what they mean, and what they can deliver.

Fluoride Rinse
One of the most common kinds of mouthwashes includes fluoride. Because fluoride helps to kill off bacteria that can cause cavities, a fluoride mouth rinse can give you an additional line of defense against harmful bacteria. However, it isn’t proven that fluoride rinses are more effective than simply rinsing with water after you eat.

Fluoride can also be dangerous if consumed in large amounts. Fluoride toxicity can occur if you swallow too much of your mouthwash.

Antiseptic Rinse
An antiseptic rinse is typically used to fight off infection or a build up in bacteria. This kind of mouthwash can help you kill harmful bacteria that may be causing irritated gums or infections. Killing and controlling this bacteria can also lead to fresher breath.

However, antiseptic rinse should not be used long-term. Although it can fight bacteria, it can actually cause discoloration of your teeth if used too frequently.

Prescription Mouthwash
While you won’t be able to pick up a prescription mouthwash at the store, they can be helpful for many people. Dentists can write you a specific prescription for a mouthwash to fight cavities, dry mouth, or periodontal disease.

If you have persistent problems with your oral hygiene, consider talking with your dentist about whether or not a prescription mouthwash is right for you.

If you have additional questions about mouthwash or to talk about the possibility of a prescription mouthwash, contact Dr. Anderson’s office. Our Kansas City, MO dental office can help you and your family develop the right oral hygiene practices for a healthy smile.
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Oral Care For The Aging

Apr 18 2017
Maintaining dental health is important at any age. But as you get older, your teeth and gums can become weaker, causing your teeth to fall out. While many people assume that losing their teeth is just a consequence of aging, proper care of your teeth and gums can actually help you keep your teeth.

Proper oral hygiene is even more important for older individuals. In order to keep your teeth healthy as you get older, here are a few things you’ll want to be sure to do.

Brush Regularly
Your brushing needs shouldn’t change as you age. As usual, you should continue to brush twice a day with a soft bristled toothbrush. Use circular motions and keep your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle.

If you’re struggling to brush effectively, consider getting an electric toothbrush. Because an electric toothbrush can do most of the work for you, it is easier to older individuals to properly clean their teeth.

Floss Daily
Older individuals should also be flossing once a day. Flossing allows you to remove food particles and bacteria that can become trapped between your teeth. When paired with brushing, flossing can ensure your teeth and gums stay strong and healthy.

Various flossing tools can make it easier for older individuals to get into the hard to reach places. Water picks can easily wash away trapped bits of food or bacteria, so it may be worth investing in one of these tools.

Quit Smoking
Not only is smoking bad for your lungs, it is also bad for your teeth, mouth and gums. Smoking can increase your chances of developing gum disease, which can contribute to tooth loss and tooth decay.

Chewing tobacco can also cause serious problems with your teeth and gums. If you want to ensure the health of your teeth as you get older, quit the use of these tobacco products as soon as possible.

Frequent visits with Dr. Anderson will also be crucial for ensuring your teeth are healthy as you age. If you’re due for a check up or you have a problem you’d like to discuss with Dr. Anderson, contact his Kansas City dentist office to schedule your next appointment.
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Is Chocolate Good For Your Teeth?

Apr 7 2017
You’ve been told time and time again – stay away from sugar and sweets if you want to have a healthy, beautiful smile. But does this rule always apply? Could there actually be some sweet treats that are healthy for your smile?

There are a few reasons to believe that chocolate may actually be good for your teeth. But before you start consuming dozens of chocolate bars hoping to increase your oral health, let’s take a look at the reasons why chocolate may be good for you.

Chocolate contains polyphenols, an antioxidant also found in fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea and red wine. Polyphenols can help reduce inflammation, decreasing your chances of developing gingivitis.

Antibacterial Properties
Did you know that chocolate could actually be antibacterial? The husk of the cocoa bean can actually help you fight off bacteria in your mouth, reducing the consequences associated with eating sugary foods. When you can effectively fight off bacteria in your mouth, you’re at less of a risk of developing tooth decay.

Unfortunately, the husk of the cocoa bean isn’t actually used in the making of a standard chocolate bar. It’s thrown away in the process, but we can hope that they’ll soon find a way to include it in the production.

Plaque Protection
The cocoa butter in your chocolate can actually help protect your teeth from plaque. The coating of the cocoa butter on your teeth can actually make it more difficult for plaque to stick to your teeth, which makes it more difficult for bacteria to grow.

While there are a few benefits to eating chocolate, you should still enjoy the treat in moderation. Even with the antioxidants and plaque protection, too much chocolate could have negative impacts on your teeth. If you’re looking for more health benefits, opt for dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate, which typically has more sugar added.

Chocolate is fine once in a while, as long as you’re getting regular cleanings from your dental team. If you’re due for a cleaning, contact Dr. Anderson’s Kansas City dental office to schedule your next appointment.
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