November 13th, 2019
Imagine this scenario: you go to the dentist to have a cavity filled, and an hour after the procedure you have a runny nose, scratchy throat, and your arms are breaking out in blotchy, red hives. In other words, you’re in worse shape after the visit to the dentist than you were before you walked in to have the cavity fixed. If you experience any of these types of symptoms or side effects, chances are you have a latex allergy.
What is a latex allergy?
A latex allergy is a hypersensitivity to latex proteins. If you have this allergy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that you avoid direct contact with any materials that contain latex. While latex gloves are known to cause allergic reactions in people with a latex allergy, certain metals, plastics, and other materials used in dental care can also cause an adverse response.
A runny nose and itchy eyes are common allergic reactions to latex. However, Dr. Meuselbach and our team at Robert Scott Meuselbach DDS want you to know it can also trigger more severe symptoms, including asthma, wheezing, and cardiovascular and gastrointestinal ailments.
A latex-safe dental environment
Many dental offices screen patients for a latex allergy. This is only beneficial, however, if you’re already aware you have a latex allergy. The best thing you can do to ease your allergies is to find a dentist who has a latex-safe environment. A latex-safe dental environment observes the following protocols:
- All patients are screened for a latex allergy.
- No personnel use latex gloves.
- All latex products are removed from the patient’s vicinity, including rubber dams and elastics.
- Work areas contaminated with latex powder are cleaned frequently.
- Signs are posted to communicate all latex allergy procedures in case of an emergency.
If a latex allergy is part of your medical history, then it’s in your best interest to find a latex-free dental environment. To learn more about latex-free dentistry, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Meuselbach, please give us a call at our convenient West Chester office!
November 6th, 2019
You’ve selected the Invisalign system because of the many benefits Invisalign offers: comfort, convenience, appearance, and even potentially shorter treatment time! And to add to the good news, caring for your Invisalign aligners is easy and uncomplicated. Follow these simple tips to keep your aligners in the best possible shape as you move through the stages of your treatment.
- Always brush and floss your teeth before using your aligners so that bacteria and food particles will not have a chance to collect around your teeth while you wear them.
- When you brush your teeth, be sure to brush your aligners with a separate soft toothbrush and lukewarm water as well.
- Rinse your aligners whenever you remove them during the day.
- Soak your aligners as recommended. Use the Invisalign Cleaning System or ask our West Chester team for other suggestions to keep your aligners free from odor and bacteria.
One of the reasons you chose Invisalign is for an almost invisible appearance. Why take a chance on discoloration or scratches that will make the appliance more noticeable? Here are some common mistakes that can affect the color of your aligners:
- If your aligner has white spots, that might mean plaque build-up. Always rinse your aligner after you remove it and clean it thoroughly night and morning.
- Brushing with anything other than a soft brush and brushing too hard can cause scratches in the material which might be noticeable. A gentle touch will work to clean and protect your aligners.
- Eating with Invisalign aligners can cause staining. More important, it can cause the retention of food particles in the appliance, which can lead to dental problems. Finally, aligners are not meant for chewing—they might be damaged or lose their ideal shape even with soft foods. If you are going to be eating or drinking, take your aligners out, give them a rinse, and brush before you replace them. Or stick with water! Water will have no ill effects on teeth or aligners.
- Only soak aligners in an appropriate solution. Harsh chemicals, colored mouthwashes, and even some toothpastes can dim or discolor the clear plastic.
Talk to Dr. Meuselbach about the best products to use and the best methods for taking care of your aligners. After all, making the process of improving your smile as easy and effective as possible is yet another benefit of choosing Invisalign!
October 30th, 2019
What’s in your carry-on bag? You’ve got your passport, ticket, and currency, but what about dental floss? Of course! You’re preparing for the trip of a lifetime, and we want to help make sure everything goes according to plan.
Part of your preparation before a long vacation should be a complete check-up at our West Chester office well in advance of your trip. If there is dental work to be done, now is the time to do it. No one wants to be stuck over the Atlantic with a toothache, and changes in atmospheric pressure can cause serious problems if you have a severely compromised tooth. Tell us when you are planning on traveling, and we can schedule any procedures that should be finished before you fly.
Now that you have the all clear to travel, what about maintenance once you’re on board for a long flight? Some airlines provide toothpaste and brushes for travelers. If you have questions about the quality of the water in the airplane restroom, use bottled water to brush. There are also single-use mini-brushes available for travelers that come loaded with paste and ready to use without any water at all. Crisp fruits and vegetables can help clean teeth on-flight if brushing isn’t an option, and drinking plenty of water will not only keep you hydrated, but help cleanse your mouth and teeth as well. Be sure to travel with floss, a travel-sized tube of toothpaste, and a brush in a well-ventilated container in case you face airport delays between flights.
Taking your electric toothbrush with you? Usually there is no problem bringing your electric toothbrush in your carry-on, but do check in advance to make sure this is allowed on your flight. Most electric toothbrushes have region-specific battery chargers, so find out in advance if you will need a voltage converter or plug adaptor if you are visiting another country. Check to make sure the head is in good condition before you go and replace it if necessary.
Once you’ve landed, try to keep your dental routine as close to normal as possible while you enjoy your visit. Regular brushing and flossing are still necessary, especially if you take the opportunity to explore the local desserts. We’ve given you some tips to make your flight more comfortable—now that you’ve reached your dream destination, the rest is up to you!
October 23rd, 2019
Stress symptoms—which include high blood pressure, severe aches, and insomnia—may be affecting your health, even though you might not realize it. You may think illness is the culprit when in fact stress may actually be the reason. While stress can be good for us sometimes, Dr. Meuselbach and our team know stress can be physically harmful. But what is often overlooked is that stress can also take a toll on your mouth. Here’s how:
It’s not uncommon for people dealing with stress to develop teeth grinding, also known as bruxism. People who grind their teeth at night may do so unconsciously, but the condition requires treatment to prevent the development of headaches, TMJ, and tooth damage. If you’re a night-grinder, talk to Dr. Meuselbach. We may recommend a night guard.
Research suggests stress and depression harm your immune system, making it easier for infections to develop and stick around. That can mean canker sores or a cold sore outbreak. If mouth sores are a recurring problem for you, give us a call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Meuselbach.
Stress can lead to bad oral health habits such as smoking, drinking, and neglecting your daily brushing and flossing routine. If you’ve been feeling under pressure lately, try to keep up with your oral health routine—it will serve you well when your stress levels return to normal.
Dr. Meuselbach and our team at Robert Scott Meuselbach DDS know there’s not always an easy way to reduce your stress levels, but eating healthy, exercising regularly, and spending time with friends and family are all good places to start.