All posts by Dr. Charles R. Kimes

Brace Yourself with Invisalign Teen!

As something of a time-honored tradition, traditional metal braces have become something of a hallmark of one’s teenage years. While these metallic devices have never been the most fashionable, over the years they have proven themselves to be an effective solution in straitening teeth. However, despite their ability to correct misaligned teeth, traditional metal braces do not come without their share of drawbacks as well.

  • Clunky and cumbersome, traditional braces have been known to cause users a certain amount of discomfort, requiring frequent trips to the orthodontist for tightening and adjustments.
  • Braces also require several dietary and lifestyle changes, as standard braces prohibit patients from enjoying certain food products that are particularly hard, crunchy, or chewy, since the food particles may damage or get stuck in the wires or metal brackets.

While the inconveniences of having braces remain par for the course for many American teens, a sleek new alternative known as Invisalign Teen has recently taken the dental industry by storm and looks to give traditional braces a run for their money!

Related Article: Smile Bright with Invisalign Invisible Braces

Invisalign Teen is A New Alternative

As one of the most popular new innovations within the dental industry, Invisalign teen invisible braces have quickly become the poster child for cosmetic dentistry as well as standing as a testament to the capability of modern dental technology.

As an alternative to the standard dental braces, Invisalign are transparent custom fitted aligners that are designed to straighten and ultimately realign your teeth. The purpose of the Invisalign device is not only to improve the aesthetic appearance of your teeth, but also to correct any jaw alignment issues or irregularities, such as underbite, overbite, crossbite, ect. The Invisalign aligners are temporary, interchangeable aligners that are to be changed every two weeks over a period of generally six to eighteen months or more, depending on the patient’s specific needs. Unlike traditional braces, the Invisalign aligners are easily removable, require patients to make relatively few (if any) lifestyle changes, and are virtually unnoticeable.

Here’s what current Invisalign Teen user, Isabella Russell, (14) has to say about her experience.

No one really notices my aligners unless I tell them. My friends who have braces can’t eat certain things or have their teeth whitened, but I can and I think they’re a bit jealous of that.”

Indeed, by eliminating any anxiety or embarrassment, that has been an issue among braces users in the past, Invisalign Teen has become one of the most sought-after commodities – not just the among the teenage demographic – but also for adults, with Invisalign users ranging in age from 8 to 80!

Invisalign Technology: The Sky’s the Limit!

As advanced as modern dental technology is today, chances are that it will only continue to further build upon and be improved, and the Invisalign technology is certainly no exception to this! With continuing advancements in technology, the Invisalign treatment will likely only get better in time, providing endless future possibilities! 

Related Article: Invisalign: Technology is Beautiful

So, if you are unhappy with you current smile or wish your teeth were straighter, come see us at Overland Park Dentistry, and see what Invisalign technology can do for you!

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his expert team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with any preventativerestorative or cosmetic needs you or your family may have. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

The Consequences of Poor Oral Health

Although dentistry has always been part of the health community, for many years oral health was looked as a lesser health concern and was not held in high esteem among those in the heath industry as compared to other professions. Alas, in recent years this has been proven to be incorrect, as oral health has revealed itself not only be a much more significant issue than originally suspected, but also to be the root cause of numerous additional health complications. While the resulting ailments may vary in severity, some have potential to be quite serious or even fatal, if left untreated.

Poor Oral Health and General Health

Make no mistake, oral hygiene is extremely important, and while you might be able to get away with a couple slip-ups here and there; unfortunately, it’s a slippery slope to poor oral health. As it can be extremely easy to get into the habit of providing your teeth with inadequate care, thus setting yourself up for inevitable health issues.

For many in people in the past this has sadly been the case, as progressive diseases, such as tooth decay and gum disease, typically manifest slowly over an extended period, and rarely display any obvious symptoms until they reach their advanced stages. If these illnesses have progressed to a later stage, the damage at that point may be irreversible and could in fact, trigger a litany of additional health problems as well! Whether it be gum disease, tooth decay, or other health complications, the consequences of inadequate oral hygiene and poor oral health are never pretty!

Health Complications

At first glance, the two major consequences of improper oral hygiene (Tooth Decay and Gum Disease) may strictly seem like oral health issues. However, in reality these issues go much deeper than that as their affects not only wreak havoc on your oral health but cause an excess amount of oral bacteria to build up as well.

If the bacteria produced by either condition can enter the bloodstream, it may likely travel to other areas of the body, thereby spreading and worsening the infection. If the infectious bacteria reach the heart of its host, it will inflame the heart’s vessels, resulting in the formation of numerous blood clots. These blood clots will slowly begin to cut off the flow of blood, ultimately strangling the heart and forcing it to pump faster while producing less.

Learn more about Dental Health Awareness and how Gum Disease and Heart Disease are linked here.

As a result of this, individuals suffering from severe tooth decay or periodontal disease, (or both) have a three times higher likelihood of suffering a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular-based complications. Additionally, tooth decay and more particularly gum disease, can also lead to the worsening of other chronic illnesses such as diabetes, or various types of cancer, which is likely to have serious if not fatal results.

Learn more about the link between Diabetes and Oral Health and its link to gum disease here.

 Prevention: The Six-Month Rule

It’s often said that “The best defense is a good offense” and when it comes to maintaining your health (both oral and overall) such an approach is perhaps the smartest route. If you have read any of our previous blog entries, you may be familiar with what we at Overland Park Dentistry refer to as “The Six-Month Rule”, and while this term is not yet widely known among the general populace, learning and adhering to the six-month rule is perhaps one of the best ways in protecting both your oral and overall health.

As its name implies, the six-month rule is the recommended amount of time between scheduled dental checkups, resulting two routine dental checkups annually. By taking the time to receive two checkups per year you are much more likely to correct poor oral health habits and prevent potential issues before they are allowed to become a threat to your well-being.

Learn why you should schedule your summer dental appointment here.

So, ask yourself:

When was my last dental appointment?

And…

Just how often do I take the time to make sure I am properly brushing and caring for my teeth?

If you found yourself unable to honestly answer either of these two questions, we strongly encourage you to come see us at Overland Park Dentistry so that we may help keep both you and your teeth healthy!

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his expert team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with any preventativerestorative or cosmetic needs you or your family may have. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Eating Disorders: How do they Effect Your Oral Health?

While considered something of a byproduct of our society, eating disorders are often mistakenly believed to be a lifestyle choice, thus garnering a negative stigma.

In reality; however, an eating disorder is a serious and sometimes fatal disorder that can trigger a litany if additional issues if left untreated. An eating disorder is a psychological condition, characterized by abnormal or irregular eating habits that significantly affect an individual’s health both physically and mentally.

While eating disorders can affect people of all ethnicities and ages, they typically manifest during adolescence, and have a higher probability of affecting females as opposed to males. Although the root cause of eating disorders varies from one case to the next, they typically stem from an interaction of social, biological, psychological, and even genetic factors, often causing the individual to have a distorted sense of body image.

According to the Nation Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, (ANAD) approximately 30 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from a type of eating disorder, and as of 2018, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any known mental illness, thus solidifying its status as a national health concern.

Common Eating Disorder Types

As mentioned previously, unusual and often extreme eating habits are generally the hallmark of an eating disorder. However, this can mean a couple of different things, as there are several different types of eating disorders, each of which possessing their own unique characteristics.

Anorexia Nervosa:

Anorexia Nervosa or simply “Anorexia” as its commonly referred to, is the eating disorder characterized by extremely restricted or infrequent eating.

Individuals suffering from this disorder are frequently (or sometimes dangerously) underweight, while diametrically believing themselves to be overweight. This distortion may prompt the sufferer to take unhealthy measures to lose weight such as forcing themselves to vomit after eating or use of laxatives. Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of the listed eating disorders, and arguably presents the most health hazards as well.

Binge-Eating Disorder:

In contrast to Anorexia, Binge-Eating Disorder (or BED) is the perceived inability to control one’s eating habits, resulting in recurring episodes of overeating on a daily or weekly basis.

Sufferers of BED may struggle with obesity and are also at an increased risk of developing related complications such as heart disease or diabetes.

Bulimia Nervosa:

Combining behaviors of the previously mentioned disorders, Bulimia Nervosa is the disorder marked with frequent episodes of overeating followed by bouts of purging, (through vomiting or laxative use) fasting, or excess exercise.

While those suffering from Bulimia may not be noticeably underweight or overweight, they are likely to struggle with ongoing weight-related issues and may have difficulty maintaining a healthy bodyweight.

Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders:

While most eating disorder cases follow a certain criterion or set of characteristics, it should be noted that there are unique cases that do not meet the criteria above or have atypical specifics. Consulting a specialist for a proper diagnosis is particular important in this scenario.

Eating Disorders and Oral Health: Oral Health Complications

As covered in previous blog entries, oral health is one of the most significant and perhaps most often overlooked aspects of one’s general health with recent studies citing oral-related complications as a strong indicator in assessing deeper underlining health issues, and proper oral hygiene as a key factor in the prevention of such issues.

Obviously dietary habits play a major role in dental health, so it should come as little surprise that eating disorders can lead to the systematic destruction of the various inner oral components, typically starting with the gums and throat.

Destruction of Oral Health

Through frequent bouts of vomiting/purging, (as seen in Anorexia and Bulimia) the highly corrosive stomach acid will cause the soft tissue both areas to become irritated and inflamed, causing the throat to become chronically sore, the gums to be agonizingly tender and prone to bleeding, and the salivary glands within the neck and jaw to swell and struggle to produce adequate saliva.

If the frequent binge-purge (or just purge) cycle continues, the tooth’s enamel will slowly break down and be lost, thereby causing the teeth to become increasingly susceptible to incurring damage or eventually succumbing to the effects of tooth decay.

Related Article: Tooth Decay: A Sickly, Sweet Dilemma

Lack of Nutrients

In addition to the adverse effects of purging, by significantly restricting one’s diet or food intake, an individual may then rob themselves of essential nutrients such as calcium, iron, and B vitamins. This nutritional deficiency puts a further strain on the sufferer’s oral health, as without the nutrients need to strengthen teeth and fight off infections, the probability of developing progressive conditions such as tooth decay and gum disease increases exponentially.

Heath Issues

While Binge-Eating Disorder may not have as an immediate impact as Anorexia or Bulimia, BED does pose a serious threat to oral health in different way. As surely, we’ve all heard by now that too much sugar is bad for teeth, being unable to control one’s dietary urges obviously presents a major problem. However, what compounds this problem are the previously mentioned complications (Heart Disease and Diabetes) that follow. Diabetes and heart disease are both serious health issues in themselves, and both can utterly devastate the individual’s oral and (by virtue of) overall health, if left untreated.

Related Articles:

Sugar Hurts Teeth: Do You Sip & Snack All Day?

Dental Health Awareness: Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Diabetes and Oral Health: The Link to Gum Disease

Treatment: Oral and Otherwise

First and foremost, if you or some you love is suffering from an eating disorder you should absolutely seek the consultation and guidance of a licensed psychologist or someone within the psychiatric field. Assessing an eating disorder is a delicate process and should also be handled with care and a sense of concern for the well-being of the individual.

While certainly each scenario is different, issues such as eating disorders are usually require something of a group effort. This means not only seeking out the guidance and expertise of professionals, (doctors, dentists, psychologists) but also the care and support of loved ones, thus assuring the individual that they are not alone in this endeavor, and surrounding them with something of a “safety net” to help them through those difficult moments.

As par for the course, there will likely be some speed bumps and setbacks, as the risk of relapsing and falling back into old habits is a common issue for many sufferers; however, it’s crucial to remain optimistic and not give up!

As mentioned previously, because a sufferer’s oral health is constantly compromised by numerous hazards, it is extremely important to maintain a strict and proper dental hygiene routine, if you are suffering from an eating disorder to prevent any oral issues from harming your overall health. Additionally, frequent dental appointments are also extremely important so your dentist can monitor your oral health and take note of any changes or concerns.

Resource: National Eating Disorders Association

Related Article: Dental Appointment: Why Twice a Year?

You’re Not Alone!

There’s no question that an eating disorder can take a major toll on a person’s physical and emotional health, and while sufferers of eating disorders may feel ashamed, if you have an eating disorder please remember that what you are dealing with is NOT your fault! Eating disorders are a national health concern and there are many people who are going through the same thing you are, and there are numerous great resources available to you should you choose to use them. The key is to not isolate yourself, and to allow your doctors and loved ones to offer you help and support that you deserve.

Resource: National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) Contact the Helpline

At Overland Park Dentistry, Dr. Kimes and his expert team want to be a resource for you, and we hope our offices can be a safe place where you may feel comfortable in honestly discussing any concerns you may have regarding your oral health and how an eating disorder may have an affect. By assessing your struggles and keeping track of your progress, we hope to help you work towards a full recovery.

There’s always strength in numbers and battling an eating disorder is not something you should have to do by yourself. Let’s do it together!

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his expert team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with any preventativerestorative or cosmetic needs you or your family may have. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

The Daily Dentist: Oral Hygiene is a Big Deal

The Little Things

As busy people and productive members of society, most of us have a daily routine that we follow to keep our lives on track. While we often do these things without thinking, its important to do them correctly and not completely overlook them as so called “little things”. Sometimes they’re much more important then they seem.

Like many people, it’s probably somewhere between a morning shower and hustling off to work that you took the time to brush your teeth, or did you? Much like other seemingly small aspects of our daily routine, we may find ourselves brushing our teeth without giving it much consideration; however, its it important to remember oral hygiene is much more important than it may appear.

Oral Hygiene: More Important than it Appears

So maybe you were running late and forgot to brush your teeth, or maybe you did remember to brush but you didn’t take the time to make sure you were getting all your teeth.

Oral Hygiene is No Big Deal… Right?!?!

Wrong!!!

Oral hygiene is very important, and while your smile may be able to withstand a minor oversight or two, it’s a slippery slope. As it can be extremely easy to get into the habit of providing your teeth with inadequate care and setting yourself up for inevitable oral health issues.

Sadly, this has been the case for many people in the past, as progressive diseases such as tooth decay and gum disease typically manifest slowly over several years, and rarely display any obvious symptoms until their latter stages.

Unfortunately, if such conditions have progressed to an advanced stage, the damage at that point may be irreversible and could in fact, stir up a hornet’s nest of additional health problems as well! Whether it be gum disease, tooth decay, or other related complications, the consequences of improper or inadequate oral hygiene are never pretty!

Poor Dental Hygiene: The Consequences

Tooth Decay

As you may already know, tooth decay is a condition in which harmful acidic particles build up in a person’s mouth over a prolonged period, slowly eroding the tooth’s protective outer layer and rendering it vulnerable to outside agents. Unprotected, bacteria descend upon the tooth causing it to rapidly decay. Once a tooth has fallen into a state of decay, you are likely to experience increased tooth sensitivity, as well as the appearance of cavities and eventual breakage.

Related Article: Tooth Decay: A Sticky, Sweet Dilemma

Gum Disease

Although gum disease is a relatively familiar term to many people, the condition is often misunderstood and simply written off as little more than a minor nuisance. However, the truth is that gum disease is an infection of the gum tissue caused by excess plaque/bacteria build up around the teeth and gumline. When the gum tissue has become infected, inflammation of tissue surrounding the teeth will occur. Your gums may bleed while eating or brushing, this is often a tell-tale sign of gingivitis, or an early stage of gum disease.

Once gingivitis has been detected, we highly recommend that you visit your dentist (if you haven’t already) and begin taking a proactive role in treating the condition before it can spread any further. If the infection is allowed to progress further, it will continue to spread throughout the mouth, eventually affecting the teeth and jawbone. This is what’s known as periodontitis or periodontal disease, which is a later stage of gum disease, and unquestionably when the disease is at its worst.

Periodontal disease causes irreversible damage to the mouth and may destroy the entire jaw of its host if severe enough. Perhaps most troubling of all is periodontal disease’s uncanny tendency to spread to other regions of the body or interact with other preexisting conditions, which could pose serious problems!

Related Article: Dental Health Awareness: Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Complications

While tooth decay and gum disease may not sound all that scary at first, the complications of either condition can truly be a nightmare! As alluded to earlier, if the bacteria produced by either condition enters the bloodstream it may likely travel to other areas of the body, spreading and worsening the infection.

If the infectious bacteria reach the heart of its host, it will inflame the heart’s vessels, resulting in the formation of numerous blood clots. These blood clots will slowly begin to cut off the flow of blood, thereby choking the heart and forcing it to pump faster while producing less and less efficiently.

As a result of this, individuals suffering from severe tooth decay or periodontal disease, (or both) have a three times higher likelihood of suffering a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular-based complications. Additionally, tooth decay and more particularly gum disease, can also lead to the worsening of other chronic illnesses such as diabetes, or various types of cancer, which is likely to have serious if not fatal results.

Prevention: The Daily Dentist

When it comes to issues such as tooth decay and gum disease, prevention is always the best route, therefore Dr. Kimes and his staff at Overland Park Dentistry are more than happy to provide you with the best guidance and treatment to address all your oral hygienic concerns or needs.

However, despite the various quality services that are available, it’s important to remember that the determining factor between good oral health and poor oral health always comes back basic oral hygiene. By taking the time to make sure you are correctly brushing, flossing, and caring for your teeth on a daily basis you are taking a crucial step in preventing such oral health issues before they occur.

Remember consistency is key! By taking a few extra minutes each day to ensure you’re practicing proper oral hygiene and incorporating this into your daily routine until it becomes a habit, in sense you are acting as your own daily dentist! However, while daily hygienic consistency is in your hands, you should still make a point to schedule a routine dental checkup twice a year to make sure that your hygiene efforts are paying off and your teeth are strong and healthy.

Related Article: Schedule Your Summer Dental Appointment

Remember, although taking a few minutes each day to correctly care for your teeth may just seem like a little thing, sometimes the little things can make a very big difference!


Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his expert team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with any preventativerestorative or cosmetic needs you or your family may have. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Emergency Dental Care: When Disaster Strikes!

When Disaster Strikes!

From breaking a tooth, to a filling falling out, to a painful toothache, a dental emergency is never a desirable situation to be in, and while its always a good idea to take certain precautions to prevent such an event, accidents DO happen! Fortunately, your friends here at Overland Park Dentistry understand this and are certainly willing to be here for you in your time of need, while breaking a tooth will never be a welcome surprise, we hope you can rest a little easier knowing that we’re always here for you, especially when you need emergency dental care.

Emergency Dental Care: What happens  

As mentioned previously, there are several reasons why dental emergencies happen, but usually it comes back to one cause, decay! Tooth decay, even in its earliest stages, is a danger to teeth and if left untreated can put a great strain on your oral health and lead to additional health complications as well. While certainly no one intentionally neglects their teeth, unfortunately it can be very easy to fall into poor or improper hygiene habits, causing your teeth to slowly deteriorate and eventually decay. While its important to realize that decayed teeth are considerably weaker and easier to break, accidents resulting in physical trauma (falls, occupational hazards, sports injuries) are not uncommon ways to break a tooth either and can happen anytime.

Emergency Dental Care: What to Do and Steps to Follow:

While the reasons for emergency dental care may sound believable in theory, often people assume that they will never need such a service; that is until it happens to them! So hypothetically speaking, ask yourself:

“If you truly found yourself faced with such a crisis as a broken tooth what would you do?”

Here is the best plan of action…
  1. Find the tooth: First things first, whether the tooth (or teeth) has broken off into one piece or several, its important locate these fragments and bring to your dentist for examination. Remember if the tooth is still relatively intact, it may be possible to save and re-implant it.
  2. Clean and preserve the tooth: If the broken tooth has gathered any dirt or debris, it is certainly a good idea to rinse and clean the tooth, while simultaneously being careful as not accidently wash away any of the tooth fragments. Once cleaned, your next step is to preserve the tooth and prepare it for transportation, which can be achieved by filling a small airtight container with milk (most use Tupperware or basic food storage container) and sealing the tooth inside. This keeps the tooth from drying out and its root surface from swelling up, thereby preserving it for an extended period of time.
  3. Make the call: Because Dr. Kimes cares a great deal about his patients and wishes to provide them with assistance in the instance of an emergency, by contacting our offices at Overland park Dentistry and giving your name and reason for your call, you are certain to receive a swift response. Dr. Kimes has performed many emergency procedures for patients in the past and will certainly do the same for you! 
  4. Find a driver: Breaking a tooth can be a very painful experience, and if you are in severe pain then driving might not be a good idea. In this case, acquiring the assistance of a friend or family member might be a necessary final step. While breaking a tooth is certainly a serious issue, it is absolutely not an issue worth the risk of causing any potential harm to yourself or others, by attempting to drive in such a condition.

Emergency Dental Care: Other Scenarios

Although breaking a tooth is typically the worst-case scenario, as mentioned earlier, there are additional situations that may warrant emergency dental care treatment as well. While the best course of action is always to call and make your emergency appointment, below are some of these potential issues as well as some additional tips and remedies that may prove useful in the given situation.

  • Broken or lost crown: In the instance of a dental crown (or filling) breaking or simply falling out, clean the area by rinsing it with warm saltwater as an initial good step to take. Additionally, if you are unable to make an emergency appointment, patching the afflicted area with toothpaste or denture cream may suffice as a temporary solution.
  • Severe toothache: While it may sound a bit silly, sometimes a plain old toothache can cause enough pain to almost completely incapacitate a person, requiring immediate care. Like the previous scenario, rinsing and swishing your mouth with warm saltwater may alleviate some of the discomfort, as well as the use of ibuprofen or basic over the counter pain relivers. Keep in mind however, a severe toothache may indicate tooth decay or other oral health issues, so scheduling a dental appointment is still a necessity.
  • Out of town emergency: Perhaps one of the most difficult situations would be having a dental emergency while out of town or on vacation. In this scenario, contacting a local dentist or visiting the emergency room might be required to provide temporary relief, however contacting your regular dental provider and scheduling a follow-up visit should be your first move upon returning home.

Emergency Dental Care: Be Prepared

There’s no telling when an accident may occur, being properly prepared can make a big difference in ensuring things get resolved quickly and effectively during an emergency dental care situation. While we certainly hope the various steps and guidance tips may help you in such a scenario, keep in mind that Dr. Kimes and his staff at Overland Park Dentistry are always prepared to help you and address all your dental needs.

So, remember when disaster strikes, you know who to call!

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his expert team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with any preventativerestorative or cosmetic needs you or your family may have. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Oral Cancer Screenings are the dental industry’s best kept secret

In the time of year when the cold bitterness of winter slowly begins to taper off and warm rays of sunlight slowly begin to take its place, we witness the time known as Spring. Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes of the harsh dismal winter, green sprouts of life begin to appear. As flowers begin to blossom, certainly it’s a beautiful time to be alive!

Perhaps it’s only fitting that in a time known for rebirth, and renewal, we take the time to reflect upon one of the most essential aspects of our lives; our health. While certainly it can be easy to take one’s health for granted; however, with the innumerable health hazards that one may encounter in life, it’s always in one’s best interest to maintain a keen level of awareness of any serious illnesses.

Oral Cancer: A Deceptive Foe

As one of the most notorious and feared diseases among people across the globe, cancer in all its forms is a serious and potentially fatal illness that has claimed the lives of countless people in the past and continues to do so to this day. As one of the most vicious types of cancer that one can encounter, approximately 7,500 annual deaths in the U.S. alone can be attributed to oral cancer.

Often manifesting within the mouth and neck region, oral cancer is primarily caused by tobacco use, but can be further aggravated by factors such viral infections or excessive alcohol intake. Some of the early signs/symptoms of oral cancer, may include a harshness or gravelly tone to one’s voice, or unusual swelling surrounding the mouth or throat. While such minor nuisances may not exactly seem to be a serious cause for alarm, they can in fact be more than they appear.

As mentioned previously, deception is a key factor in oral cancer’s modus operandi, thus an individual may be suffering from early stages of oral cancer without even knowing it! Unfortunately, if the disease continues to remain undetected (as it often does) and is allowed to advanced stages, it may already be too late.

Related Article: New Year’s Resolution: Stop Smoking

Oral Cancer Screenings: Dental’s Best Kept Secret

Since its inception, the dental industry has developed an array of different treatments to asses a patient’s oral health needs. While certan treatments such as fillings, whitenings, and more recently dental implants, have become well known among the general public essentially becoming synonymous with the dental profession. However, there’s a lesser known treatment that has slowly gained recognition as one of the most significant and life-saving procedures within the industry; oral cancer screenings!

Oral cancer screenings may in fact be the dental profession’s best kept secret, as most patients are unaware that they are receiving the screening even as it happens! Oral cancer screenings are a quick and painless procedure that Dr. Kimes preforms as part of your standard dental exam at Overland Park Dentistry. When you come in for your routine dental checkup, you are simultaneously receiving an accurate screening for any early signs or symptoms of oral cancer, which is something that can be a deciding factor. Identifying and treating oral cancer within its earliest stages is often the best bet in fully overcoming the disease, as the cancer is not given the time to cause damage and spread, therefore it is paramount that you let Dr. Kimes take the time to give you that crucial oral cancer screening during your next dental appointment!

Related Article: Oral Cancer Screening: Prevention Saves Lives

Oral Cancer: Join the Fight!

While much of the information provided above may not exactly present the bright and cheerful message that you may be accustomed to this time of year, please remember that the purpose of this article is to remind you that there’s still time to change this! Therefore, if you do have any concerns or anxiety over your chances of developing oral cancer, taking the time to schedule a routine dental checkup/oral cancer screening, is unquestionably the right decision.

Although far too many people have been dealt the cruel hand of oral cancer in the past, and have tragically had to face the consequences, YOU have the power to change this for yourself!

So Please – don’t become another statistic, let’s take a stand against oral cancer together!

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his expert team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with any preventativerestorative or cosmetic needs you or your family may have. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Local Dentist vs. Corporate Dentist: Who to Choose?

local-dentist

Corporate vs. Local: Clash of Styles

As you probably know, large corporate franchises are some of the most prestigious and influential factions in the world today. As our economy continues to become more and more globalized, across the country many local grocery, convenience stores, and restaurants, have been faced with the difficult task of competing head to head with these corporate juggernauts. Often they come up short. While global corporations continue to dominate the distribution of goods and commodities, in provision of health care, determining a clear-cut winner is much more difficult. Such is the case with a local dentist or privately owned dental practices as opposed to corporate dental centers.

In recent years, corporate dental clinics have become increasingly available in big cities and metropolitan areas around the country. While this is not necessarily unexpected, it does beg the question as to what the differences are between a corporate clinic and a private practice owned by a local dentist.

An additional question can be: Which one should I choose?

Indeed, there are quite a few differences between these two avenues, and some of which could be a major factor in deciding which one is right for you and your family. Therefore, it is important to consider some of the following positive and negative aspects when making your selection.

Corporate Dental Clinics: The highs and lows

As mentioned previously, the appearance of low cost, corporately-owned dental centers have become more and more widespread in recent years, and although they differ from the traditional private practice with a local dentist, they certainly have their own strong points.

High Points:

Perhaps one of the most enticing aspects of corporate clinics is the prominently featured, economically friendly price range. Although sometimes the price range varies, it is certainly a major selling point. Another strong point of corporate dental centers is that they often have several dental practitioners on staff at once, thus being well equipped in the advent of an emergency.

Low Points:

Although dental centers are created with good intent, and typically do provide excellent service, like any cooperation, their operation process sometimes resembles that of an assembly line. In other words, dental clinics are designed to give you just the assistance you need, then simply move on to the next patient. Although time efficient, this leaves little time to address any personal concerns or future issues, essentially reducing you to little more than a faceless number on a spreadsheet. This cold impersonal approach can sometimes be a bit off putting, particularly with small children, or those who may experience anxiety during dental appointments. In addition to this atmosphere, dental centers often alternate between multiple practitioners, therefore making it very difficult to anticipate your experience during your next appointment.

Private Practice: The highs and lows

In direct contrast to the almost machine-like corporate clinics, a private dental practice owned by a local dentist is generally based on trust and one’s personal relationship with their dentist, thereby creating a very different environment than previously described.

High Points:

As alluded to in the previous sections, one of the highly favorable aspects of a privately-operated dental practice, is the high level of personalized care available to patients and their families. In a well-run private practice, you will be treated by a local dentist and staff who know you personally. They will understand your specific needs and concerns, and are prepared to make sure that you receive the dental care that is best for you as an individual. This is opposed to treating you as just another patient. In addition to personalized treatment, private practices generally exude a much warmer, friendlier atmosphere in which patients are treated out of care and concern, thus easing any fear or anxiety that a patient may have during their experience.

Low Points:

Perhaps the only real downside to private dental practices, is that they can be more expensive than the low cost dental centers, and that they may not be compatible with some insurance plans. However, keep in mind that cost will always vary depending on the treatment required, and that many private practices do in fact have multiple financing options.

So what’s Right for You?

Although there is much to consider when comparing between a local dentist with a privately owned practice and corporately owned dental clinics, keep in mind that there is no wrong answer. After all, the decision ultimately comes down to you, and what you feel is best in ensuring that you and your family receive the quality dental care necessary.

At Overland Park Dentistry, remember regardless of your choice, you and your family are always our first priority!

Related Article: Your Overland Park Dentist: Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his expert team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with any preventativerestorative or cosmetic needs you or your family may have. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Tooth Decay: A Sickly, Sweet Dilemma

 

tooth-decay

An Oral Epidemic!

Regardless of whether you grew up in the 1950’s or 1990’s, surely, you’ve heard your share of warnings and or lectures on how sugar is bad for your teeth and how excess sweets can cause cavities and lead to tooth decay. Although this concept has been drilled into the minds of kids for countless years, once grown into adults, many of these same kids still find themselves developing tooth decay and other related issues!

According to NBC News, a 2015 poll showed that the percentage of American adults suffering from tooth decay was higher than in previous decades, in what the CDC (U.S. Center for Disease Control) has called a “silent oral epidemic.”

With recent advancements made in dental technology, (as mentioned in previous blog posts) you’re probably wondering how this could happen? The answer is actually quite simple.

 

2 Main Reasons for the Increase in Tooth Decay

There are two primary reasons for the increase in tooth decay cases:

  1. The number of snacks and beverages containing excess sugar has steadily increased over the years

  2. A lack of understanding

While the first issue is self-explanatory, the second reason may have you pointing out the seemingly contradictory fact that young children have been taught that sugar hurts your teeth for many years, as mentioned earlier. Indeed, children are taught such a rudimentary concept from a young age. However, the education usually goes no further than this; therefore, a full understanding as to what tooth decay truly is, eludes them as children and continues when they become adults.

 

Tooth Decay: The Basics

As one of the most commonly encountered issues within the realm of professional dentistry, tooth decay is the progressive destruction of a tooth’s enamel, in which the outer lining of the tooth is slowly broken down. As the hardest substance to be found within the human body, tooth enamel is the strong outer tissue of the tooth, that acts as a safeguard for the intricate inner layers and chambers within the tooth.

Despite the apparent toughness of the outer enamel, if subjected to years of abuse or neglect, the enamel will eventually demineralize and break down, thereby leaving the tooth vulnerable to the outside elements.

In this state, your tooth is essentially at the mercy of whatever substances it may encounter.  If foods or beverages with high levels of acidity, those that contain excessive amounts of sugar continue to be regularly consumed, it’s inevitable that your teeth begin to deteriorate, resulting in cavities, significant damage, or other related complications.

 

Signs and Symptoms of Tooth Decay: A Checklist

The effects of tooth decay can have a significant impact on your overall health by interacting with pre-existing conditions and causing irreversible damage. However, if detected early the condition can be treated and any serious damage that the disease can cause can be minimized.

As mentioned earlier, knowledge is a key element when dealing with tooth decay; therefore, knowing what to look for is crucial in preventing tooth decay from progressing.

  • Tooth Sensitivity:

    Teeth that are overly sensitive can be indicative of tooth decay, as well as several other inner oral conditions and certainly should not be taken lightly! This tingling and slightly painful sensation is most often triggered by extreme hot or cold temperatures and may likely worsen overtime.

Related Article: Is tooth sensitivity making it difficult to enjoy the holidays? 

  • Toothache:

    Much like the previous symptom, an occasional sharp pain may become an occasional occurrence; however, these pains may seem to occur without an apparent cause. Such toothaches are undoubtedly a strong indication of decay or damage and should be examined by a professional dentist as soon as possible.

Related Article: Do You Need Emergency Dental Care?

  • Stains or discoloration:

    While having stained and discolored teeth might seem to be more of a cosmetic problem, it may also be a health issue! By showing visible signs of wear and tear, the enamel of your teeth has likely broken down, thus leaving your teeth vulnerable and ripe for decay.

  • Holes or pits:

    If you have begun to notice the appearance of sunken, pit-like areas on the surface of your teeth or even small cracks and holes, you are indeed suffering from tooth decay and should see your dentist right away! Although these pits, cracks, and holes might appear small at first, rest assured they WILL eventually get worse and if left untreated, will ultimately destroy your tooth.

 

How to Fight Tooth Decay: Simple Prevention Tips

Tooth decay is a disease and like any disease, it needs to be treated. However, unlike other diseases, you yourself can take an active role in fighting this disease. Listed below are some helpful tips that prevent and reduce the effects of tooth decay.

Remember, although these tips can certainly help, it is STILL imperative that you make an appointment to see your dentist!

  • Focus on oral hygiene:

    Daily oral hygiene is something that’s very easy to overlook. However, as mundane as it may seem, the importance of practicing proper oral hygiene on a routine basis cannot be stressed enough. As it is often the difference between those who have tooth decay and those who don’t. For best results, a thorough brushing twice daily and sometimes between meals is your best bet, and of course don’t forget to floss!

  • Alter your diet:

    If you have a sweet tooth, or regularly indulge in acidic sodas or sugary treats, you might want to consider cutting back or finding new alternatives as these products put your teeth under constant attack. Additionally, foods that are particularly sticky or chewy can also present an issue as they tend to get stuck between teeth and are often difficult for a tooth brush to reach.

Related Article: Sugar Hurts Teeth: Do You Sip and Snack All Day?

  • Rinse/Avoid dry mouth:

    If you suffer from frequent bouts of dry mouth, your risk of building up an excess amount of plaque is considerably heightened. Therefore, rinsing and keeping your mouth properly hydrated should always be a main priority.

  • Follow the six-month rule:

    The six-month rule is the standard allotted time between dental checkups and should certainly be adhered to, especially if you are concerned about tooth decay.

Related Article: Dental Appointment: Why Twice a Year?

  • Don’t smoke:

    While this may seem obvious, it would behoove us not to mention the risk smoking presents in developing tooth decay, as well as a litany of other illnesses. If you smoke, please … please … please consider quitting!

Related Article: New Year’s Resolution: Stop Smoking!

 

Tooth Decay? No Way!

While statistics show that those suffering from tooth decay has increased in recent years, the technology and capability of modern dentistry has grown by leaps and bounds and is more than capable in fighting this so called “Oral Epidemic.”

The real question is …

are you willing to fight it too?

If you believe you might be at risk of developing tooth decay, don’t be another statistic! At Overland Park Dentistry we have the tools, knowledge, and resources necessary to aid you in this battle for your smile!

Don’t be another statistic, schedule your appointment today!

 

Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS and his expert team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with any preventativerestorative or cosmetic dentistry options for you or your family may have. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at 913-341-2380.

Professional Teeth Whitening: Get the Smile of Your Dreams

 

 

professional-teeth-whitening

It’s the dawn of a new year, and what better way to greet the new year than with a smile? While certainly smiling can go a long way in starting 2019 on a positive note, if you are unhappy with your smile or consider it a source of embarrassment, this might be an issue for you.

While it varies from person to person, perhaps the most common issue amongst people pertains to the color of their teeth. Fortunately, much like 2018 such issues with your smile can soon be a thing of the past. In the consistently evolving world of modern cosmetic dentistry, much can be done to remedy this issue and minimize any stains, blemishes, or sighs of aging that your teeth may have incurred.

If you were to imagine your

ideal smile …

What would it look like?

We’re willing to guess that it would be a beautiful, pearly white masterpiece, or what’s sometimes referred to as the “classic Hollywood smile.” While this may seem far-fetched, thanks to our professional teeth whitening service offered here at Overland Park Dentistry, the smile of your dreams may only be an appointment away!

Related Article: Say Cheese with Cosmetic Dentistry Options!

Professional Teeth Whitening: How It’s Done

Although DIY whitening strips and trays can be purchased at local convenience stores, for the safest and most effective results, utilizing a professional teeth whitening service is your best option. This is a very common dental procedure that can be performed by your dentist in approximately 60 minutes, depending on the severity of the staining and will almost certainly produce the desired result.

In preparation for your whitening, a dentist or hygienist will first need to give your teeth a basic cleaning, to remove any bacteria or plaque buildup that may have accumulated around them.

Once cleaned, a hard resin is administered to protect the gums, shortly followed by a hydrogen peroxide gel which is applied to each tooth. The gel remains coated on the teeth for around twenty minuets as the substance bleaches the teeth to a whiter shade while simultaneously diluting any stains or discoloration they have accumulated.

Once the first coat is removed, a second coat of bleaching gel is applied, and the process is repeated once more to maximize the solution’s effectiveness and achieve the best results.

After your professional teeth whitening treatment is fully complete, your teeth may feel tingly and strange; however, this sensation should subside shortly.

Additionally, your dentist may suggest that you temporarily avoid certain food products, as the artificial dyes in some products may hinder the progress. Although you smile will be noticeably whiter after the treatment, you may be required to return for a follow up exam as it will likely take a matter of days for the treatment to take full effect. Upon your next appointment, your dentist will examine the overall effectiveness of the procedure, to determine if any adjustments are to be made or if any future recommendations are necessary.

Related Article: Your Overland Park Dentist: Charles R. Kimes, DDS

 

Professional Teeth Whitening… Start 2019 With A Smile!

It’s the dawn of a new year, and as we said before, what better way to greet the new year than with a smile? Smiling is one of the simplest joys in life and nothing should keep you from smiling in 2019.

So, if pesky stains and blemishes on your teeth have you frowning, our team of specialists at Overland Park Dentistry is here to help! For questions or more information on professional teeth whitening or any of our cosmetic services, please contact our offices and smile brightly in in this new year!

 

Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS and his expert team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with any preventativerestorative or cosmetic dentistry options for you or your family may have. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at 913-341-2380.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

children-oral-health

A Friendly February Reminder!

As one of the most unpredictable months out of the year, February is the time in which we find ourselves caught in a tug of war of sorts between spring and winter. Due to this, extreme contrasts in weather such as slow mellow pre-spring days to harsh snow flurries that seemingly come out of nowhere, is not an uncommon occurrence (especially in Kansas) this time of year. These deviations in weather patterns have made February somewhat unpopular among many people, and it was dubbed “The worst month of the year” by popular online news outlet, PJ Media.

While certainly the weather may leave much to be desired, back in 1949 the month of February a significant honor was bestowed upon it when it was officially designated National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM) by the American Dental Association. Originally starting as a small, week-long event held annually in the neighboring cities of Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, NCDHM has since grown into a month-long nationwide program dedicated to educating and raising awareness among parents and children of the importance of practicing proper daily oral hygiene.

Therefore, in honor of this growing February tradition, we would like to discuss the fundamental subject of children’s dental health and hygiene as the earliest steps in a child’s life are often the most important!

 

Children’s Dental Health  

Much like any fundamental learning process, instilling a daily oral hygiene routine should be initiated as early as possible (approximately two and a half years old) as this introduces and familiarizes your child with the concept of brushing and caring for their teeth, thus solidifying its importance to them. While this surely sounds reasonable enough, the old saying; “Easier said than done” certainly rings true as teaching kids is not an exact science and finding the right approach might be tricky.

Keeping this in mind, according to many primary school administrators, young children are creatures of habit, and thereby learn most effectively when taught in repetition or in a type of pattern. Obviously, this may require a bit of creativity and certainly some old fashion “hands-on parenting” but taking the time to teach your child the fundamentals of oral hygiene is truly a fun and rewarding endeavor!

 

Children’s Dental Health Teaching Tips:

  • Start with the basics:

    Sure, this may seem obvious, but with particularly young children it’s important to start with the most basic aspects possible. This can include showing your child how to correctly and thoroughly brush, as well as how long to brush, how to apply toothpaste to the toothbrush, and how to reach all those difficult places. Remember, flossing is important too so once they’ve got brushing down, flossing is a good second step.

  • Make it fun:

    OK, here’s your chance to have a little fun and be a little creative! While brushing might not always be the most exciting activity, it certainly doesn’t have to be boring either, so why not make a game out of it? Perhaps it’s a contest to see who can have the cleanest teeth or the whitest smile? Or maybe comparing it to giving their teeth a bath is a better way to explain it? By introducing a little creative ingenuity and throwing in some enthusiasm, you might be surprised at what can happen.

  • Add something special:

    While we understand you might be initially reluctant to go out and buy something, remember sometimes a little added incentive can make a world of difference! Perhaps getting some new toothpaste in their favorite flavor, or letting them pick out a cool new toothbrush? While such a slight change might not seem like much to you, your kids will certainly notice the difference!

  • Lead by example:

    Monkey see, monkey do! While it might sound silly, your kids will almost certainly mimic you at some point or another, so why not put this to good use? Let your child observe your brushing routine, by stressing the importance of proper technique and engaging in it yourself, your children will be much more likely to follow suit.

  • Keep it routine:

    As mentioned previously, young children thrive on routine and learn best by repetition, so you’ve gotta stick to it! Whether you’re making it a game, participating yourself, or incorporating some fun accessories, consistency is always the key, so make oral hygiene part of the daily morning and evening routine. The longer your kids continue to perform these chores regularly, the more they will begin to accept them as part of daily life.

 

 

A Little Stability This February

As illustrated by the unpredictable and somewhat hard to manage February weather; sometimes a little stability can be a good thing! While unfortunately you might not be able to anything about the weather, by taking an active role in teaching and fostering proper oral hygiene habits among your children, you are taking a crucial step in ensuring their dental health in the future.

Remember though, while NCDHM occurs once a year, it’s up to you to ensure that your children maintain their routine hygiene, and of course always make sure to schedule those important routine dental checkups to prevent any unwelcome surprises! While February might not always bring the best weather, thanks to advent of NCDHM it can help shed some light on the importance of making sure your children are practicing correct dental hygiene and tackling issue of teaching them when their first learning it.

We hope the information above may provide you with some fresh information and ideas, and if you have any additional questions or concerns, your friends here at Overland Park Dentistry are more than happy to assist you in any way we can, especially with your children’s dental health!

Happy February and as always; keep on smiling!

 

Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS and his expert team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with any preventativerestorative or cosmetic dentistry options for you or your family may have. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at 913-341-2380.