Handling Dental Emergencies: Tips from Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, Your Trusted Dentist in Burlington

Accidents can occur unexpectedly, but knowing how to respond can make all the difference in preserving your oral health. Dental emergencies require prompt attention to prevent permanent damage. If you encounter a dental emergency, follow these guidelines and contact our office immediately for assistance.

Common Dental Injuries and How to Respond

  1. Knocked-Out Tooth:
    • Rinse the tooth with water if dirty, avoiding damage to tissue fragments.
    • Keep the tooth moist by gently placing it back into the socket, if possible.
    • Alternatively, store the tooth in milk or a saltwater solution and seek immediate dental care.
  2. Chipped or Cracked Tooth:
    • Save any tooth fragments if possible.
    • Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the injured area.
    • Apply cold compresses to reduce swelling and alleviate pain.
  3. Objects Caught Between Teeth:
    • Carefully use dental floss to remove the object.
    • Avoid using sharp instruments to prevent injury, and seek professional assistance if unable to remove the object.
  4. Soft-Tissue Injuries:
    • Rinse your mouth with mild salt water to control bleeding.
    • Apply a moistened piece of gauze or tea bag to the bleeding site for 15 minutes.
    • Use a cold compress to alleviate pain, and contact our office if bleeding persists.

Preventing Dental Emergencies

  • Use Mouthguards: Wear a mouthguard when participating in sports to protect your teeth from injury.
  • Avoid Hard Foods: Refrain from chewing on ice, popcorn kernels, or hard candy to prevent dental damage.
  • Never Use Teeth as Tools: Do not use your teeth to cut or open items; instead, use scissors or appropriate tools.

In the event of a dental emergency, do not hesitate to contact our office in Burlington immediately. We can provide step-by-step guidance on caring for your mouth and arrange for prompt treatment if necessary. Your oral health is our priority, so feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns regarding dental emergencies.

Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington
Phone: (336) 226-8406
1682 Westbrook Ave.
Burlington, NC 27215

Maintaining Oral Health: The Best and Worst Foods for Your Teeth | Burlington Dentist

Your dietary choices play a crucial role in your oral health. While some foods can strengthen your teeth and gums, others can lead to decay and erosion. Here’s a guide to the top five best and worst foods for your teeth, brought to you by Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, your trusted Dentist in Burlington.

Best Foods for Your Teeth

  1. Dairy Products: Cheese, milk, and yogurt are rich in calcium and protein, essential for strengthening tooth enamel.
  2. High-Fiber Foods: Leafy greens, beans, and fresh fruits are high in fiber, promoting saliva flow to fight bacteria and decay.
  3. Water: Opt for water as your primary drink choice to rinse away food particles and maintain high saliva levels.
  4. Sugar-Free Gum: Chewing sugar-free gum increases saliva flow, helping to clean food particles after meals.
  5. Lean Protein: Eggs, fish, chicken, and red meats contain phosphorus, aiding in calcium absorption for stronger teeth.

Worst Foods for Your Teeth

  1. Acidic Foods: Citrus fruits, wine, and candy with high acidity can erode tooth enamel over time.
  2. Sodas: Soft drinks are packed with sugar and acidity, leading to tooth decay and erosion.
  3. Sports Drinks: While they may replenish electrolytes, sports drinks often contain high sugar levels detrimental to dental health.
  4. Alcohol: Alcohol dries out the mouth, reducing saliva production and increasing the risk of staining and decay.
  5. Sticky or Sugary Candies: Sugary candies contribute to tooth decay and should be consumed in moderation, followed by water to wash away residual sugars.

Protect Your Oral Health

Be mindful of your dietary choices to safeguard your oral health. Minimize consumption of harmful foods and prioritize those beneficial to your teeth. Additionally, regular dental cleanings and exams are vital for maintaining a bright and healthy smile. Contact Mary H. Makhlouf DMD’s office today to schedule your next appointment and ensure optimal oral health for years to come.

Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington
Phone: (336) 226-8406
1682 Westbrook Ave.
Burlington, NC 27215

Maintaining Your Oral Health While on Vacation: Tips from Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA | Dentist in Burlington

While keeping up with dental hygiene during a regular work week is manageable, maintaining oral health during vacations can be challenging. However, with our expert advice, you can ensure your smile stays radiant while you enjoy your getaway.

Plan Ahead

Before embarking on your vacation, ensure you pack all necessary dental essentials, including a toothbrush, floss, and travel-sized mouthwash. Store your toothbrush in a cover or separate bag to prevent contamination and ensure it stays dry. Stock up on supplies before leaving home to avoid the hassle of purchasing them during your trip. Additionally, if you require dental treatment such as a root canal or filling, schedule it beforehand to prevent the need for emergency care while away.

Establish a Routine

While routines are easier to follow at home, maintain consistency with your oral hygiene regimen during your vacation. Set a schedule to brush twice a day floss at least once a day, and stick to it as closely as possible to preserve your oral health.

Monitor Your Diet

Indulging in delicious cuisine while vacationing is part of the experience, but practice moderation to protect your teeth. Limit consumption of sugary or acidic drinks and foods, as they can erode tooth enamel. Cocktails, for example, are notorious for their high sugar content. Additionally, pack healthy snacks for on-the-go munching, as they are gentle on your teeth and can help save money. Remember to carry a water bottle to rinse your mouth after consuming acidic or sugary foods, which helps prevent decay and plaque buildup.

By planning ahead, establishing a routine, and monitoring your diet, you can maintain optimal oral health throughout your vacation without stress. If you require dental treatment or cleaning before your trip, don’t hesitate to contact our team at Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA, your trusted dentist in Burlington. We’re dedicated to ensuring your smile remains bright and healthy, even while you’re away.

Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington
Phone: (336) 226-8406
1682 Westbrook Ave.
Burlington, NC 27215

Preventing Cracked Teeth: Tips from Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA | Dentist Burlington

A cracked tooth not only affects your smile’s appearance but can also impair your ability to chew comfortably. Fortunately, you can avoid tooth damage by understanding its common causes and taking preventive measures. Here’s a rundown of what leads to cracked teeth and how to steer clear of them.

Avoid Chewing Hard Foods

Although teeth are resilient, they’re not invincible. Steer clear of hard foods like nuts, ice, or popcorn kernels to minimize the risk of tooth fractures.

Address Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Bruxism, or teeth grinding, often occurs unconsciously during sleep and can gradually wear down the enamel, leading to stress fractures or craze lines. Combat bruxism by wearing a night guard, which cushions your teeth and shields them from damage.

Manage the Effects of Aging

As you age, your teeth age with you. While you can’t halt the aging process, you can mitigate its impact on your oral health. Cracked teeth are more prevalent in individuals over 50 due to years of daily wear. Maintain robust oral hygiene practices and attend regular dental check-ups to safeguard against age-related dental issues.

Protect Against Trauma

Accidental trauma, such as vehicle collisions or sports injuries, can result in dental damage. While some accidents are unavoidable, you can lower the risk of tooth fractures by wearing a mouthguard during contact sports.

Cracked teeth, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. However, there are steps you can take to prevent such injuries and keep your teeth healthy and strong. In instances where a cracked or chipped tooth occurs despite precautions, our team is here to provide expert care and restore your dental health.

For further guidance or to schedule your next appointment, reach out to our office today. Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA, your trusted dentist in Burlington, is committed to helping you maintain a radiant smile and optimal oral health.

Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington
Phone: (336) 226-8406
1682 Westbrook Ave.
Burlington, NC 27215

5 Mistakes You Might Be Making While You Brush | Dentist in Burlington

Brushing your teeth can feel like a no-brainer after decades of practice, but are you aware of the mistakes surrounding home care that you might be making? Keep your oral health top-notch by 

reading our quick list and see how you fare. 

  1. Timing – Make sure you don’t brush immediately after consuming sugary or acidic drinks. You can demineralize the enamel on your teeth by doing this. Rinse your mouth with water, then wait for 30 minutes to an hour before you brush. 
  2. Borrowing a Brush – Sharing is caring, but not when it comes to toothbrushes. When you share toothbrushes with somebody, you can spread illness and germs through oral contact. Make sure to get your own toothbrush, and label it or keep it separate to ensure you don’t get them confused. 
  3. Distance from the Toilet – Flushing a toilet can spread bacteria through the air. Make sure to place your toothbrush as far as possible from your toilet, or put a cover on your brush to protect it from contamination. 
  4. Rinsing after Brushing – Most toothpastes contain fluoride, which can help strengthen the enamel in your teeth. It takes time to work, however, so make sure you don’t rinse your mouth right away after brushing. This can wash away the fluoride before it can do its job. 
  5. Brushing Too Much – When you brush too frequently, you run the risk of wearing down the enamel on your teeth. Focus on brushing all facets of your teeth instead of how vigorously you can brush. 

There is more to brushing your teeth than you might think. These tips can help keep you aware of mistakes you might be making. Remember, daily brushing and flossing are only the foundation for optimal oral health – professional dental care is important, as well. For more advice or to schedule your next visit, contact our office. 

Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington
Phone: (336) 226-8406
1682 Westbrook Ave.
Burlington, NC 27215

How to Keep a Healthy Tongue | Dentist Near Me

When it comes to oral health, protecting your teeth and gums are often the focus. However, did you know that your tongue needs proper care as well? Your tongue is responsible for many essential functions like swallowing, tasting, and talking, but it can harbor bacteria that harms your oral health. Learn how to keep your tongue healthy by following these four treatment tips. 

Practice Optimal Oral Hygiene 

Brushing and flossing twice a day will protect your mouth from pesky bacteria, but make sure to brush your tongue as well. As an alternative, try using a tongue scraper once a day. Tongue scrapers will scrape away any build up that has formed on your tongue. 

Drink Plenty of Water 

If you are dehydrated, it’s possible for your tongue to lose moisture and become uncomfortable. Drinking water ensures your hydration and will wash away food particles and bacteria from the surface of your tongue. Proper hydration can also prevent bad breath. 

Maintain a Healthy Diet 

Your tongue is a muscle, and what you eat can affect its health. Fill your diet with foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals, calcium, lean protein, and fiber. Avoid eating processed foods and treats that are filled with sugar. 

Visit our Dental Office 

By visiting your dentist at least twice a year for a routine cleaning and examination, you can protect your tongue, teeth, and the rest of your mouth. During these visits, we will thoroughly check all aspects of your oral health. We will then work with you to create an oral health plan that is tailored to your needs. 

Don’t let your oral health slip by neglecting proper care for your tongue! Put these four tips into practice so you can enjoy a bright and healthy smile. Contact our office today to learn more about proper oral care or to schedule your next appointment. 

Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington
Phone: (336) 226-8406
1682 Westbrook Ave.
Burlington, NC 27215

Sports Drinks and Energy Drinks | Dentist Burlington

Many sports drinks contain electrolytes which can be helpful to maintain energy levels when engaging in physical activities. You may believe that sports drinks are healthy but the truth of the matter is, they are not healthy. Energy drinks are those like Monster and Rockstar. Sports drinks and energy drinks are also seen as a tasty alternative to water when it comes to staying hydrated. It is important to know the negative effects and damage that these drinks do to your teeth.  

Up to 62 percent of children of the same age drink at least one sports drink per day and between 30 and 50 percent of teenagers in the United States drink these types of beverages regularly. With these numbers being so high it is important to take notice on the negative effects these drinks can have on teeth. The danger to both children and adults in sports drinks and energy drinks comes not only from the sugar content but also from the acidity. These types of drinks contain a significant amount of acid that they begin destroying the teeth of the person drinking them in as little as five days. 

There is a lot of damage being done to your oral health when consuming sports drinks and energy drinks. Energy and sports drinks can damage tooth enamel, increasing the risk of cavities and tooth decay. These drinks erodes or thin out the enamel of the teeth, leaving them more susceptible to decay and sensitivity. Athletes drink these beverages to remain hydrated and sip them frequently during exercise. This increases the time that teeth are exposed to the acidity and high sugar content of sports drinks, leaving them vulnerable to decay. 

While sports drinks and energy drinks can be an alternative to water, there are ways to promote great oral health. The best way to promote oral health is to keep yourself hydrated with water to prevent negative effects that sports and energy drinks bring. If you feel that you must use sports drinks, rinse your mouth with water afterwards and do not brush your teeth right after you have consumed a sports drink. Also, read the ingredient labels before you consume drinks. Avoid high amounts of acid and sugar, especially if you already have teeth problems. 

Getting healthy is great for your body and your mouth, but sports and energy drinks are not a necessary part of well-being. There are many alternatives, it’s just a matter of finding what works best for you. One must maintain oral health to make sure to have a lasting smile. Talk to your dentist about preventative care for your oral health.

Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington
Phone: (336) 226-8406
1682 Westbrook Ave.
Burlington, NC 27215

I Chipped a Tooth! What Can I Do? | Dentist Burlington

It usually starts pretty innocently. You’re biting into your favorite hard candy and suddenly you realize that there’s one little hard piece in your mouth you can’t seem to dissolve. You check it out and fear overcomes you when you see it’s a little chipped piece of a tooth. 

Enamel may be one of the hardest substances in the body but like most things in life, it has its limit. Whether you are chewing on ice or grinding your teeth at night, there’s always a chance of putting your teeth at risk. If you have chipped your tooth, there’s no need to panic. Here are a few things we can do to restore your beautiful smile: 

Tooth Bonding 

Tooth bonding has many structural uses, and it can be very helpful for repairing chipped teeth. Tooth bonding is a simple procedure that doesn’t require any numbing. The bonding materials and porcelain used are natural in color and can be designed to perfectly match your teeth. Your smile will look good as new, and people will have a hard time noticing you ever chipped a tooth to begin with.  

Dental Crown 

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that helps protect your teeth, while at the same time improving its appearance. An AACD (American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry) dentist will likely use a tooth colored crown made out of porcelain or zirconia to look identical to your teeth. Crowns will also provide the durability and strength your teeth need to withstand daily use. You may only need a partial crown if our dentist sees that the chip doesn’t affect the entire tooth.  

Porcelain Veneers 

Porcelain laminate veneers are made up of several thin layers of ceramic used to repair chipped teeth. They will be bonded to the teeth to replace the original enamel of the tooth with a special adhesive. Dental veneers are a fantastic way to get your tooth to look whole and healthy again.  

If you have a chipped tooth and would like more information on these methods, or to schedule a consultation, contact our office today.

Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington
Phone: (336) 226-8406
1682 Westbrook Ave.
Burlington, NC 27215

Creating a Healthy Smile for Life | Burlington Family Dentist

Good oral health is an important part of overall health and wellbeing. As a parent, it’s important to instill good oral health habits in your children from a young age. Teaching children good oral health habits can help them maintain a healthy mouth and smile throughout their lives. 

To start, it’s important to create a good oral hygiene routine for your children. This should include brushing and flossing their teeth twice a day. Make sure to use toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride helps to prevent cavities and other tooth decay. You can also use a timer to help your children brush for the full two minutes. 

It’s also important to help your children learn the importance of healthy eating. Eating a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables helps to keep teeth healthy. Avoiding sugary snacks and drinks can also help to prevent cavities. Sugary snacks and drinks can cause bacteria in the mouth to produce acid, which can lead to tooth decay. 

It’s also important to schedule regular dental visits for your children. Seeing a dentist regularly is key to keeping your child’s teeth healthy. During these visits, the dentist will be able to identify any problems and provide advice about how to keep your child’s teeth healthy. 

In addition to the above, it’s important to discuss the importance of oral health with your children. Talk to them about the importance of brushing and flossing properly and regularly. You can also use books and other materials to help your children understand why oral health is so important. 

Finally, it’s important to model good oral health habits for your children. If your children see you brushing and flossing regularly and eating healthy foods, they will be more likely to follow your lead. It’s also important to show them the importance of visiting the dentist regularly. 

Overall, instilling good oral health habits in your children is important. It can help them maintain a healthy mouth and smile throughout their lives. To get started, create an oral hygiene routine for your children and help them learn the importance of healthy eating. Make sure to schedule regular dental visits and discuss the importance of oral health with your children. 

Finally, be sure to model good oral health habits for your children. Doing so will help ensure that your children have a healthy smile for years to come. Contact our office today to schedule your child’s next appointment.

Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington
Phone: (336) 226-8406
1682 Westbrook Ave.
Burlington, NC 27215

Understanding the Relationship Between Acid Levels and Tooth Decay | Burlington Dentist

Acid levels in the mouth can have a major impact on the likelihood of developing tooth decay. When the acid levels in the mouth are too high, it can cause the enamel of the teeth to become weakened, leading to the development of cavities. When the acid levels in the mouth are too low, it can lead to tooth demineralization, creating the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive. Understanding the relationship between acid levels and tooth decay can help you take steps to prevent the condition. 

The mouth is a slightly acidic environment, but the acidity of the mouth can fluctuate depending on the foods and drinks you consume. Highly acidic foods and drinks, such as soft drinks, citrus fruits, and sports drinks, can cause the acid levels in the mouth to spike. When the acid levels in the mouth are too high, it can weaken the enamel of the teeth, making them more susceptible to cavity formation. 

In addition to acidic foods and drinks, the bacteria that naturally inhabit the mouth can also increase the acid levels in the mouth. Bacteria produce acids as part of their metabolic processes, and some bacteria are more acid-producing than others. Streptococcus mutans is a common acid-producing bacteria that is responsible for the development of tooth decay. The presence of too many of these bacteria in the mouth can cause the acid levels in the mouth to rise, leading to the formation of cavities. 

The saliva in the mouth also plays a role in regulating the acid levels in the mouth. Saliva helps to buffer the acidity in the mouth and neutralize the acids produced by bacteria. When the saliva is not able to do its job, the acid levels in the mouth can rise, leading to the weakening of the enamel and the development of cavities. 

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing tooth decay due to high acid levels in the mouth. Brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste can help remove the bacteria and food particles that can contribute to an increase in acid levels in the mouth. You should also floss your teeth daily to remove any plaque buildup that can cause an increase in the acid levels in the mouth. Finally, you should limit your consumption of acidic foods and drinks and drink plenty of water throughout the day to help keep the acid levels in the mouth balanced. 

By taking steps to reduce the acid levels in the mouth, you can help protect your teeth from tooth decay. Understanding the relationship between acid levels and tooth decay can help you take the necessary steps to prevent the condition. For more information, please contact our office to schedule an appointment.

Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington
Phone: (336) 226-8406
1682 Westbrook Ave.
Burlington, NC 27215