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February Is National Children’s Dental Health Month

For those of you who may not know, February is National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM) in the United States. Sponsored by our friends at the American Dental Association (ADA), this special, month-long observance is designed to raise awareness of how important good dental health is for children. All month long, dentists, healthcare providers, educators and more will be speaking to kids and parents about all the benefits children can enjoy when they have good dental health.

Our Scottsdale dentist, Dr. McCargar and his friendly team, will be taking part in NCDHM by speaking to our young patients about how essential it is that they take good care of their smiles. We’ll be offering some useful tips for doing a good job of brushing & flossing and will be reminding parents to bring their kids into our dental office twice yearly for routine checkups and professional cleanings.

Fighting Tooth Decay

One of the main goals of NCDHM is to reduce the prevalence of tooth decay among children. Childhood tooth decay can have devastating consequences on a child’s health and wellness. If left untreated, tooth decay can cause pain and infections that may lead to problems with eating, speaking, learning and playing. The good news is that tooth decay is preventable. By doing a good job of brushing & flossing, eating right and getting enough fluoride, tooth decay can be avoided.

Scottsdale dentist Dr. Jason McCargar offers dental sealants which are a proven, effective weapon in the battle against tooth decay. Dental sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces of permanent teeth wherein they fill in the deep grooves and fissures on teeth that trap bacteria and are difficult to clean well with a toothbrush. Once sealants have been applied, dental plaque is much easier to remove and the risk for developing tooth decay is significantly reduced.

Questions? Contact Us

If you have any questions about how you can help improve the health of your child’s smile, please feel free to contact us as we’re always happy to help! If it’s time for your child to see a dentist for a routine exam and cleaning, please give us a call at (480) 860-8282 or use the online contact form to request an appointment with Dr. McCargar. We look forward to seeing you and your child soon and helping your child achieve and maintain good dental health for a lifetime of amazing smiles!

New Year’s Resolutions to Keep Your Smile Healthy

It’s a long-held tradition to make a few New Year’s resolutions to help improve your life quality. While many people resolve to get into shape or lose unwanted weight, your Scottsdale dentist wants to remind everyone that making a few resolutions for the new year to keep your smile healthy is a very good idea. Here are a few suggestions for New Year’s resolutions you may wish to consider making in 2017 so you can reap all the benefits that come with having a healthy and attractive smile.

Visit Your Dentist in Scottsdale Regularly

It’s important to see your family dentist twice a year for routine checkups and cleanings. Many people neglect to schedule these important dental visits for all types of reasons. To help you achieve and maintain excellent dental health, promise yourself you’ll visit your dentist at least twice a year.

Floss Daily

Many people don’t floss their teeth because they don’t think flossing is important. But flossing removes tiny bits of food left behind after brushing as well as plaque that builds up on the teeth after eating. By flossing every day, you can reduce your risk for developing common oral problems like tooth decay and gum disease.

Make Water Your Beverage of Choice

When you drink water instead of other beverages like soft drinks and juices when you’re thirsty, you will not be subjecting your teeth to regular sugar attacks. Plus water helps flush away tiny particles of food debris you miss when brushing. Drinking lots of water every day can also help keep your breath fresh so you can avoid bad breath, which is something nobody wants to have!

Get the Dental Care You Need

Instead of ignoring that broken tooth or the tooth that is showing signs of decay, call your Scottsdale dentist today to get the dental treatment you need. If you avoid going to the dentist because you’re afraid, you should know that dentists today are making use of all the latest available dental technologies to make sitting through a dental visit easy. Losing a tooth because you’ve neglected to see a dentist is never a good idea as the more healthy teeth you have, the better!

Contact your Local Scottsdale Dentist

If it’s time for you to schedule a dental visit, contact our practice today to set up an appointment time. We offer all the dental services you’ll ever need to keep your smile healthy and bright! Dr. McCargar and his team would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and we hope 2017 offers you everything you’ve been wishing for and more!

How Does Dental Insurance Work?

While many people look at insurance as a means to protect them and their families from unforeseen loss, dental insurance plans don’t quite work that way. The typical dental insurance plan can be looked at as a way to save money on the dental treatments and procedures you need. Most dental plans are offered through employers, wherein the insurance provider pays for a portion or sometimes the entire cost of treatment, based on a specific fee schedule that is stated in the policy.

A dental plan’s benefits depend on what the insurance provider offers to cover and what level of coverage your employer (or you) are willing to pay. Typically, the more items covered under a policy, the higher the premium. And the deductibles, or the amount you must pay yourself before you can receive any plan benefits, can also affect your premium.

When you visit our general/cosmetic dentist in Scottsdale and wish to use your insurance benefits, our first priority is making sure you get the best course of treatment that meets your particular dental needs, which may not align perfectly with what your insurance plan covers. Because we understand that you may face some limitations with your dental coverage, Scottsdale Dental Arts offers our patients financial options through CareCredit.

Contact Our Scottsdale Dental Office

While some things in life can be delayed, getting the dental care you need should never be one of them. We do not want finances to ever prevent you or your family from getting the dental care you need to keep your smiles healthy and beautiful. We strive to provide our patients with top quality, affordable dental care that’s tailored to meet each patient’s unique dental needs. If you have any questions about dental insurance or the financing options we offer, give us a call at (480) 860-8282 or contact us online and we’d be more than happy to help!

How Brushing Your Teeth Can Help Prevent a Heart Attack

Toothbrushing is an activity that most people do several times a day without giving it much thought. However, scientists have recently found that brushing teeth thoroughly with a special type of toothpaste can actually reduce the risk of heart attack. Additionally, it may even have a similar effect on the body as cholesterol-lowering medications.

The toothpaste, called Plaque HD, highlights or reveals the plaque on teeth. This special toothpaste has been shown to reduce dental plaque as well as inflammation in the body that can cause a range of illnesses. Plaque HD contains cleaning agents that weaken the structure of the plaque to help keep the teeth free from bacteria.

In a US-based study, 61 participants were given a 2-month supply of either normal toothpaste or Plaque HD toothpaste. Their plaque and inflammation levels were tested before and after the study. The researchers also measured changes in a C-reactive protein called hsCRP, which is a marker for inflammation in the body. It was found at the end of the study that the participants using Plaque HD reduced their plaque levels by 49 percent, compared with 24 percent for the control group. Those using the plaque-revealing toothpaste also had lower levels of hsCRP than those using the standard toothpaste.

This study adds weight to the theory that there is a connection between poor oral health and heart problems. Numerous studies have strongly suggested that there is a link between oral health and inflammatory diseases affecting the entire body – in particular, heart attacks and strokes. While more research is needed to confirm this link, it’s safe to say that if you’re proactive with keeping your mouth healthy, your overall health will improve as well.

To maintain good oral health, you should be brushing your teeth at least twice daily and flossing once per day. You should also visit your dentist regularly for routine oral examinations and professional cleanings. By doing so, you can enjoy having an attractive and healthy smile and maybe your heart will love it too!

Time for a Checkup? Schedule A Visit with our Scottsdale Dentist

At Scottsdale Dental Arts, Dr. McCargar and his team are committed to helping all of our patients achieve and maintain good oral health. If you have any questions about the connection between oral and heart health or wish to request an appointment for a checkup and professional teeth cleaning, please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Top 10 Benefits of Having Straight Teeth

Brushing and flossing everyday are great ways to maintain good oral hygiene, but did you know that having crooked teeth could prevent you from effectively cleaning your mouth? There are more benefits to straightening your teeth, beyond cosmetic. Dr. McCargar has put together a list of the benefits of having straight teeth.

1. Better Oral Hygiene

The hard to reach spaces between crooked or overlapping teeth can start to accumulate oral bacteria and build up plaque. With straight teeth, it is easier to brush and floss.

2. Clear Speech

Certain speech impediments are a result of jaw misalignment. Properly realigning the teeth and jawbone may be a solution to these speech problems.

3. Better Chewing and Digestion

With a crooked and improper bite, you may not be chewing food properly. Problems with digestion can occur as a result.

4. Protection for Your Teeth

Protruding teeth, also known as buckteeth, are more exposed, and thus susceptible to injury. Protective mouth guards are also more difficult to fit for crooked teeth.

5. Lower Risk of Soft Tissue Injury

Protruding teeth and misplaced teeth may poke or irritate the inside of the mouth, causing cuts and sores that could lead to infections.

6. Prevent Gum Disease

Bacteria can build up between hard to reach spaces in crooked teeth. The build up can put you at a higher risk for gum disease.

7. Stop Your Headaches & TMJ Pain

Misaligned teeth will wear down unevenly, applying an unusual tension on the jaw. This uneven tension can results in headaches, migraines, or TMJ/TMD pain.

8. Cost Effectiveness

Individuals with straight teeth generally have a lesser likelihood of developing severe oral health issues in the future. This means a lesser likelihood of needing costly, invasive treatments down the line.

9. Better Overall Health

Straighter teeth lead to improved oral hygiene and less tooth decay. Studies show that gum disease and oral bacteria may be linked to heart disease, arthritis, lung problems, and other poor health conditions.

10. Positive Self Esteem

Of course, one of the most noticeable benefits of straight teeth is the physical appearance, and the confidence it gives you to let your smile shine through everyday.

Book An Appointment With Scottsdale Dental Arts Today!

Get started on your journey to a healthier, happier smile today. Give us a call at our Scottsdale office. If you have any questions about our dental or orthodontic care, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Ways To Keep Your Toothbrush Clean

In order to follow a good oral hygiene routine, it’s essential to arm yourself with the tools you need to get the job done right like a good quality soft-bristled toothbrush, floss and toothpaste. If there’s one place that germs like to linger, it’s your toothbrush. One of the best ways to keep your toothbrush germ-free is to clean it regularly. Here are a few ways you can keep your toothbrush clean, compliments of the friendly team at Scottsdale Dental Arts, your leading Scottsdale dentistry practice.

Don’t Let Anyone Else Use Your Toothbrush
Toothbrushes should never be shared and that includes even with your own family members. Everyone should have their own toothbrush to prevent cross-contamination. It is easy to pass a cold or flu to someone via your toothbrush so no sharing!

Be Sure Your Hands Are Clean
Because your hands are constantly coming into contact with all types of germs, you should get into the habit of washing your hands often throughout the day. Doing this can help keep your toothbrush free of germs that can be transferred from your hands to your brush.

Always Rinse Your Brush After Using It
As soon as you’re done brushing your teeth, take the time to rinse your toothbrush off well by running it under water for a few moments. This helps rid it of bits of food, debris and germs that may be lingering in the bristles.

Clean Your Toothbrush Holder Once a Week
Bacteria that builds up on your toothbrush holder will transfer over to your brush and then to your mouth. If you’re storing your toothbrush in a cup, wash the cup out with dish soap and water at least once per week.

Contact Scottsdale Dental Arts
If you have any oral hygiene questions or would like to find out more about the range of dental services we provide, please don’t hesitate to contact us as we’re always happy to speak with you! Our practice is very proud to provide a comprehensive range of dental services that run the gamut from general to cosmetic dentistry to ensure our patients have access to all the dental services they need to keep their smiles healthy and beautiful!

The Cavity Crisis

Did your tot brush this morning? Hmmm…you were in a rush. Maybe he missed last night, too, as you battled over bedtime. These scenarios may be behind the first rise in preschool cavities in 40 years. More than a quarter of kids under 5 now have tooth decay.  Rhea Haugseth, D.M.D., immediate past president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, tells how to keep the drill at bay:

BRUSH TOGETHER

Monitor tooth brushing until about 8 years of age for when your kiddo will have the motor skills to really get the job done.

HIT THE TAP

Many parents think bottled water is healthy, but it may not contain the all-important decay-preventing fluoride that’s in your tap.

CURB SUGARY SNACKS

Bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar, producing an acid that attacks your teeth for 20 minutes after your last bite or sip, says Dr. Haugseth.  Keep snacks to a minimum, and wash them down with water.

USE THE RIGHT PASTE

The under-2 set should brush with a thin smear of fluoride toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice). Bigger kiddos can have a pea-size squirt.

GET CHECKED

Your child should begin seeing a dentist around his first birthday.

 

Article from Parenting.com-October 2012 Issue

7 Great Teeth Tips for Back-To-School

7 Great Teeth Tips for Back-To-School

Its Back-to-school time and most kids want to make a good first impression with the right backpack, clothes or haircut. But since the first thing most people notice is your smile – Scottsdale Dental Arts has a few tips to get one of you most important tools ready for Back-To-School…your smile.

1. Let Children Choose: Make sure it’s the proper size and soft-bristled, but kids that choose their own toothbrush are much more likely to want to brush. (Switch out brush every 3 months and after an illness)

2. Taste Test: Most kids don’t like the taste of adult brands, instead select a flavor of dentist recommended children’s toothpaste they like.

3. A 2 Minute Timer: In the rush to get ready for school, most kids don’t spend the recommended 2 minutes brushing. Try a fun egg or brushing timer.

4. Pack Your Lunch. Send kids to school with teeth-friendly snacks and lunches. Try fresh fruit, vegetables, and cheese. Avoid fruit juices and sodas that are acidic and erode enamel or sticky foods that will cling to teeth all day.

5. Smile Guard – Wear a properly fitted mouth guard to help active kids protect their teeth during sporting fun.

6. Floss Picks – much easier for kids to use, floss picks come in fun flavors and help you encourage the recommended 2x a day flossing.

7. Set a Good Example – brush teeth as a family after breakfast and dinner. These extra 4 minutes could save you thousands in preventable tooth care.

Why are these tips so important:
•Poor dental hygiene can lead to tooth decay, the #1 most common chronic childhood disease.
•Dental pain or disease can lead to difficulty in eating, speaking, playing and learning
•Over 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental-related illness!

Start preventing tooth decay today!

Give Children’s Teeth a Healthy and Happy Easter

Easter is almost here and parents often wonder how can they help their kids have a fun holiday without wreaking dental havoc. Dr. Jason McCargar of Scottsdale Dental Arts recommends trading out all the sweets in Easter baskets and eggs for toys, money, stamps, stickers, coloring books, sidewalk chalk or other children’s favorites.

However, if parents still feel they need to give at least a little candy on Easter, Dr. McCargar shares the best and worst types for their children’s teeth and some tips to manage sugar consumption.

Best and Worst Easter Treats for Teeth
(Ranked least to worst)

1.Sugar-free gum and candy provide the best sweet treat for teeth

2.Chocolate bunnies that melt away quickly are also a “better” option

3.Jelly Beans and peeps that get stuck in between teeth aren’t recommended

4.Jollly Ranchers, lollipops or sour candies are the worst culprits – the longer the candy sits in the mouth the worse for teeth, and sour candies eat away teeth’s enamel

How to Eat Easter Candy Responsibly
(Tips to parents)

1.Give Fun Dental Gifts
A favorite cartoon character toothbrush in an Easter basket serves as a great reminder to always brush after eating delicious Easter treats.

2.Location, Location, Location
Put Easter Baskets up high, preferably out-of sight, so children aren’t constantly reminded of the forbidden treats.

3.Easter Dessert
Make Easter candy a true treat by letting children choose a few pieces after a meal. They are already full from their healthy food, and saliva production (which protects the teeth) has already been initiated from the meal.

4.Let Your Dentist Help
Schedule a cleaning for your child and let your dental professional help. At Scottsdale Dental Arts, we teach children moderation and good dental habits to guarantee many years of happy, healthy Easter smiles.

Happy Easter from Scottsdale Dental Arts, Dr. Jason McCargar and Staff!

Dental Detection: Improving your overall health

Dr. McCargar was featured in national news coverage in New York! Who do you see more, your dentist, or your doctor? For millions, it’s the dentist. A growing population skipping annual physicals but keeping at least one dental appointment every year. So now there’s an effort to do double duty in the dental chair to protect your overall health. CBS 2′s Maurice DuBois reports.

Dental Detection: Improving your overall health