Ensuring Your Child’s Dental Health: A Guide from Barrett Family Dental of Tacoma | 98406 Dentist

Routine dental appointments are pivotal for maintaining optimal oral health, particularly for growing children. The American Dental Association underscores the importance of scheduling check-up exams every six months. Children, in particular, undergo constant oral changes and are more susceptible to tooth decay. Establishing proper oral hygiene habits early on lays the foundation for a lifetime of healthy practices.

During your child’s dental visit at Barrett Family Dental of Tacoma, our priority is to screen for tooth decay and gum disease while providing a thorough teeth cleaning. Regular professional cleanings play a vital role in promoting oral health by gently removing plaque and tartar buildup, thus mitigating the risk of tooth decay.

Our friendly and patient team members take the time to educate your child on proper brushing techniques and oral hygiene practices. Depending on your child’s age, we may also introduce them to the correct use of floss and mouthwash. We’re here to address any questions or concerns you or your child may have, ensuring a positive and informative experience.

As part of your child’s treatment, we may recommend the application of fluoride to strengthen enamel and enhance resistance to tooth decay. This straightforward and effective process helps fortify teeth, safeguarding against decay.

Additionally, we might suggest the placement of sealants on your child’s molars and premolars. Sealants are highly effective in preventing cavities in these susceptible areas by acting as a protective barrier against plaque and acids. While typically applied to permanent molars and premolars as soon as they emerge, adults without decay or fillings in these teeth can also benefit from sealants.

The process of applying sealants is swift and uncomplicated:

  • Thorough cleaning of the teeth
  • Drying of the teeth
  • Application of a liquid solution to the chewing surfaces
  • Curing the solution with a special light

Sealants can last for several years, offering long-term protection against decay as long as they remain intact. However, they do not replace proper oral hygiene practices. It’s crucial to maintain regular brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings to uphold oral health.

Our experienced dentist and knowledgeable team are equipped to provide comprehensive care for your child’s teeth, gums, and mouth at every stage of childhood. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Barrett Family Dental of Tacoma today. Your child’s smile deserves the best care possible, and we’re here to deliver it.

Barrett Family Dental of Tacoma
Phone: (253) 572-6670
2520 N. Alder Street
Tacoma, WA 98406

Unlocking a Youthful Smile: Your Path with Barrett Family Dental of Tacoma | Dentist Near Me

Your smile speaks volumes from the moment you greet someone. And with one straightforward procedure, you can rejuvenate your appearance significantly. Teeth whitening holds the key to a more youthful smile, particularly if your teeth currently bear stains, dullness, or discoloration. At Barrett Family Dental of Tacoma, we offer comprehensive whitening services catered to both new and existing patients.

Despite meticulous oral care, tooth discoloration is an inevitable part of life. Factors like genetics, antibiotic use, tobacco, and certain foods contribute to stained teeth. Moreover, as we age, our teeth naturally darken. While preventing discoloration entirely is challenging, our seasoned team is adept at reversing its effects, restoring your smile to its former brilliance.

Whether you opt for an in-office treatment or an at-home regimen, the fundamentals of teeth whitening remain consistent. A specialized whitening agent is applied to your teeth to bleach stains and illuminate your smile. Our experienced dentist will collaborate with you to understand your whitening objectives and recommend the most suitable option.

In-office teeth whitening stands as the swiftest route to a brighter, whiter smile. Under the expert guidance of our dental professional, a potent bleaching solution is utilized, yielding optimal results in a fraction of the time compared to at-home kits. Many patients find that restoring their radiant, white smile enhances their overall youthfulness.

During an in-office teeth whitening session, we commence by thoroughly cleaning your teeth. Next, we delicately apply a whitening agent, ensuring to protect your gums and soft tissues. A laser light is then directed at your teeth to accelerate the whitening process. For maximal effectiveness, the procedure may be repeated as needed.

If visiting our office for professional whitening isn’t feasible for you, at-home treatment offers a viable alternative. An array of at-home teeth whitening products is available, including whitening toothpaste, over-the-counter gels, rinses, strips, trays, and more. For a more tailored approach, we can provide custom-made whitening trays that snugly conform to your teeth, delivering a more uniform whitening outcome. While at-home results may be less dramatic than in-office treatments, they still offer noticeable improvements.

If you’re eager to illuminate your smile and unveil a more youthful aesthetic for your teeth, reach out to our office for further details or to schedule a consultation today. At Barrett Family Dental of Tacoma, we’re committed to helping you achieve the vibrant, confident smile you deserve.

Barrett Family Dental of Tacoma
Phone: (253) 572-6670
2520 N. Alder Street
Tacoma, WA 98406

Making Oral Hygiene Fun for Your Child | Dentist in Tacoma

As a parent, the best way to help ensure your child has a lifetime of healthy teeth is to help them establish great dental hygiene habits as they grow. It can be difficult to get young children to cooperate with brushing and flossing. Making the routine as exciting as possible will make your life easier. Here are some useful tips for keeping your child engaged by making dental hygiene fun:

  • Pick out a special toothbrush

One great way to keep your child excited about brushing is to allow him or her to choose their own toothbrush in a favorite color or branded with a favorite cartoon character. Child-size soft-bristled brushes come in a wide variety of options designed to make your child like their toothbrush. Electric or battery-operated toothbrushes are an even better option to remove plaque and add some excitement to brushing. 

  • Choose children’s toothpaste

Another great option is to use a toothpaste that is designed for kids. While adults generally prefer the fresh taste of a minty toothpaste, many children find mint to be too powerful a flavor. This can make brushing unpleasant or even painful to sensitive taste buds. Instead, let your child choose a children’s toothpaste. There are many options available in a variety of soft mint, fruity, and bubble gum flavors. It is much easier to keep your child brushing for a full two minutes when their toothpaste tastes good. Just be sure that they don’t swallow too much. 

  • Use a timer

Two minutes can seem like a long time to a child. It can be very difficult for your child to try to estimate or count how long to brush without some kind of visual aid. You can help your child stay more engaged and ensure a full two minutes of brushing by using a timer. Choices range from a small sand timer your child can flip over, to a manual stopwatch with buttons to press, or even an app on a phone or tablet to time digitally. There are a lot of fun apps that will even make a game out of brushing. By letting your child take control of the timer, they can be more confident and more engaged in their brushing.

  • Brush (and floss) together

A parent is the first and strongest role model for their child. Brushing together can help your child model your great brushing technique, which will improve their own. Additionally, brushing and flossing together emphasizes to your child that oral hygiene is important. When your child sees that you take dental hygiene seriously, they are likely to follow suit.

For more tips on making dentistry fun for your child, contact our office.

Barrett Family Dental of Tacoma
Phone: (253) 572-6670
2520 N. Alder Street
Tacoma, WA 98406

The Importance of Screening for Oral Cancer | Dentist Near Me

Like with every form of cancer, early diagnosis can have a profound impact on the success of your treatment. Regular screenings are your first line of defense against oral cancer and our dentist is thoroughly trained in screening for oral cancer.

During your screening, we will check your lips, tongue, gums, mouth, and throat for any abnormalities that could be or become cancerous. We will give careful consideration to any symptoms you may be experiencing. If you have experienced any oral cancer symptoms for more than two weeks without improvement, schedule an appointment and tell your dentist immediately. Symptoms that could indicate oral cancer include:

●Ear pain

●Mouth sores that don’t heal

●White or red patches in your mouth

●Dramatic weight loss

●Lumps or swelling in or around your mouth

●Sore throat without other sinus symptoms

●Sensation of something caught in the back of your throat

●Pain or difficulty in swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue

One adult American dies of oral cancer every hour. Though anyone can develop oral cancer, some factors can increase your risks. Some of the most common risk factors include: genetic predisposition, prolonged sun exposure, unhealthy diet, smoking, chewing tobacco, and excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages. Oral cancer is more common in men than women. 

Whatever the cause, the success of treatment depends on the size, type, and stage of the cancer. Early detection can play a critical role in your successful recovery. When found in early stages,oral cancers have an 80–90% survival rate. Oral cancers that are found in early or precancerous stages can often be removed and require less invasive procedures to treat. Later stages of cancer are likely to be larger and more complex and often have spread far beyond your mouth.

If you would like more information about oral cancer and oral cancer screening, contact our office for a consultation or to schedule a comprehensive dental exam.

Barrett Family Dental of Tacoma
Phone: (253) 572-6670
2520 N. Alder Street
Tacoma, WA 98406

Prevention and Treatment of Periodontal Disease | Tacoma Dentist

Almost half of the population in the United States has been diagnosed with moderate to severe periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can range from gingivitis (mild inflammation) to  periodontitis, a major oral disease that can result in soft tissue damage, bone destruction, and even tooth loss. Our experienced dentist is trained to treat all stages of periodontal disease in both new and existing patients. 

A main cause of gum disease is the lack of practicing proper oral hygiene habits.  Habits such as daily brushing and flossing, along with regular professional exams and cleanings, are the key to maintaining optimal oral health. When these practices are not followed on a regular basis, plaque forms on the teeth and underneath the gum tissue. If this plaque is not removed, within time it may harden become tartar. Only a dental professional can remove tartar from teeth during a dental cleaning. 

If gum disease is not treated during the early stages, tartar and bacteria may continue to multiply causing the disease to advance. Gums redden, swell, and become painful and prone to bleeding. When the disease reaches this point, professional periodontal treatment is needed to prevent further advancement. 

Periodontitis is generally considered the most advanced form of periodontal disease. With periodontitis, gums begin to recede away from the teeth, creating “pockets” in between the tooth, root, and gum tissue. These spaces are very difficult to clean and require professional attention. Without prompt and thorough treatment, bone, gums, and soft tissues may be destroyed by the disease. In fact, one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults is periodontal disease.

Some of the most common risk factors for periodontal disease include poor oral hygiene, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, smoking, genetics, and female hormonal changes. Some medications can even cause gum tissue overgrowth, which can increase difficulty in proper oral hygiene. 

Our dentist  has the training and experience to diagnose and treat every stage of periodontal disease. If you are experiencing bad breath, bleeding or painful gums, sensitive teeth, or teeth that are becoming loose, contact our office to schedule a periodontal evaluation. We provide excellent, comprehensive periodontal care for both new and existing patients.

Barrett Family Dental of Tacoma
Phone: (253) 572-6670
2520 N. Alder Street
Tacoma, WA 98406

The Benefit of Adding Flossing to Your Routine | Dentist Tacoma

You have heard the recommendation from your dental hygienist or dentist over and over again: “You need to start flossing. Flossing daily is important.” Although it may sound like a broken record at times, flossing truly is instrumental to both your oral and overall dental health. It is important to understand the benefits of flossing daily to keep your smile shining bright. 

Flossing not only protects your gum tissue, but also the surrounding bone support. When you floss, you clean the plaque (dental bacteria) in between your teeth. Simply brushing your teeth does not allow you to reach the areas in between where your teeth touch together. The bacteria can build up and eventually harden into tartar. A combination of bacteria in your mouth and tartar under the gumline can lead to periodontal disease and eventually tooth loss. 

Periodontal disease not only affects your oral health, but your systemic health as well. Long term, unresolved inflammation in your body can lead to many issues. The bacteria found in the mouth that cause periodontal disease have also been shown to circulate throughout the bloodstream. It has been proven that there is a correlation between these bacteria and heart disease, stroke, increased blood sugar levels/diabetes, and Alzheimer’s, among many other diseases. 

A consistent routine of flossing, when paired with brushing and professional cleanings, can save you money in the long run. Preventative care can reduce more severe problems down the road. Flossing can help decrease the amount of decay you develop in between your teeth, therefore decreasing the amount of dental work that needs to be done. It is a great way to stop the problems before they even begin. 

Although it may sound repetitive, you truly do want to heed the advice of a dental professional when it comes to flossing. The old saying “only floss the teeth that you want to keep” holds true. Contact our office for a full dental examination and a professional cleaning, including an evaluation of your oral hygiene habits and how they can be improved.

Barrett Family Dental of Tacoma
Phone: (253) 572-6670
2520 N. Alder Street
Tacoma, WA 98406

The Optimal Oral Health Routine | Dentist 98406

If it has been more than 6 months since your last dental visit, it may not be possible to regain optimal oral health care without the assistance of professional care. While creating your oral health plan, make sure to start by scheduling an examination and professional thorough cleaning with our team. Once you’ve received professional care, it’s imperative to adopt an at-home care plan to maintain your oral health between appointments.  

How often should you receive professional care?  

Your professional oral health care plan will vary based on your individual needs. For patients with mild to severe periodontal disease, a program involving 4 visits per year may be necessary to keep the disease from progressing. For others with a smile less susceptible to periodontal disease and tooth decay, 2 visits per year may suffice. Regardless of your individual needs, once set, do your best to keep to your regular schedule. This will prevent harmful bacteria from causing damage to your beautiful smile and affecting your overall health.  

Home Care 

Many don’t realize the regular dental appointments alone do not ensure optimal oral health. In fact, according to the research conducted by the American Dental Association, brushing should occur twice per day for 2 full minutes with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Interdental cleaning should occur daily and can be done with floss or alternative methods, such as with the use of a Waterpik.  

Decay can occur in a few months or less of oral hygiene neglect. Decay can also occur due to an acidic oral environment, underlying health conditions or as a result of a poor dietary habit.  

Oral Health and Overall Health 

Your oral health is directly related to your overall health. The bacteria and infection found in your mouth can travel through your bloodstream to important organs. It’s imperative to care for your smile, just as you would your heart, lungs or brain.  

Whether it has been only a few months or several years since you’ve last received professional oral health care, we welcome you at our practice. You’ll receive compassionate care, free of judgement. It’s our goal to help you achieve a smile that you’re happy to display.

Barrett Family Dental of Tacoma
Phone: (253) 572-6670
2520 N. Alder Street
Tacoma, WA 98406

What is a Cosmetic Dentist? | 98406 Dentist

Despite popular belief, there is no official dental specialty for cosmetic dentistry. There are, however, countless courses, training programs and advanced training which can allow a general dentist to master the art of dentistry. When considering cosmetic dentistry, start with a consultation.  

What to Expect During Your Cosmetic Consultation 

Just as you wouldn’t paint a house that has yet to be built, you wouldn’t want to address the aesthetics of your smile, prior to ensuring the foundation is healthy and functional. For this reason, you may learn that you have a need for restorative or orthodontic care before receiving the cosmetic plan. This can be disappointing for some patients, however, most agree that having a strong and healthy smile is even more important than its appearance.  

During your cosmetic consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to explain to our team how you’d like your smile to appear. With modern technology and procedures, our team can address and solve a variety of concerns, including:  

  • Diastema (gaps between teeth) 
  • Whitening a dull smile 
  • Repairing chipped or cracked teeth 
  • Building up worn teeth 
  • Reshaping 
  • Crown lengthening (to correct a “gummy” smile)  
  • Misaligned or crooked teeth 

The services recommended during your consultation may include one or more of the following:  

  • Porcelain veneers 
  • Teeth whitening 
  • Inlays and onlays 
  • Dental Implants 
  • Dentures 
  • Tooth-colored fillings 
  • Orthodontics 

During your appointment, you’ll not only express what you envision for your smile, but our team will provide you with a detailed plan for how to achieve your goals. From there, you’ll be able to plan the appointments, financing and more. Often a few small changes can drastically improve the appearance of a smile. It’s very possible that in 1-2 short visits, you can be smiling with confidence.  

If you’ve considered cosmetic dentistry, but aren’t sure where to start, contact us. Our team of professionals will provide you with an individual plan.

Barrett Family Dental of Tacoma
Phone: (253) 572-6670
2520 N. Alder Street
Tacoma, WA 98406

Gum Disease and Heart Disease: The Overlooked Link and How to Reduce Your Risk | Dentist in 98406

Heart disease is a major health concern in the United States, and there are many risk factors that can contribute to its development. One risk factor that is often overlooked is gum disease. In this blog, we will explore the relationship between heart health and gum disease, and what steps can be taken to maintain good oral health and reduce the risk of heart disease.

  1. The Link Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Research has shown that there is a link between gum disease and heart disease. The bacteria that cause gum disease can enter the bloodstream and travel to other parts of the body, including the heart. Once there, the bacteria can cause inflammation, which can contribute to the development of heart disease.

  1. Gum Disease and Arterial Plaque Buildup

Gum disease can also contribute to the buildup of plaque in the arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis. Plaque buildup in the arteries can lead to restricted blood flow, which can cause a heart attack or stroke. Additionally, the inflammation caused by gum disease can contribute to the formation of blood clots, which can also lead to a heart attack or stroke.

  1. Prevention of Gum Disease

Preventing gum disease is an important step in reducing the risk of heart disease. Good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing twice a day and flossing daily, can help remove plaque and bacteria from the teeth and gums. Regular dental checkups and cleanings can also help identify and treat gum disease in its early stages.

  1. Treatment of Gum Disease

If gum disease is already present, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Treatment for gum disease may include deep cleaning procedures, such as scaling and root planing, or even surgery in severe cases. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to help eliminate bacteria and reduce inflammation.

  1. Other Steps to Maintain Heart Health

Maintaining good oral health is just one step in reducing the risk of heart disease. Other steps that can be taken include maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, managing stress, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

In conclusion, gum disease and heart disease are linked, and taking care of your oral health is an important step in maintaining overall heart health. By practicing good oral hygiene habits, seeking treatment for gum disease if necessary, and taking other steps to maintain heart health, such as a healthy diet and regular exercise, you can reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your overall health and well-being. For more information, please contact our dental office to schedule an appointment. 

Barrett Family Dental of Tacoma
Phone: (253) 572-6670
2520 N. Alder Street
Tacoma, WA 98406

Healthy Smile, Healthy Body | Dentist in 98406

Good oral hygiene habits are essential to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. What you might not know is that research has found the health of your mouth actually mirrors the overall condition of your body. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, there is a direct

relationship between gum disease and many serious health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. The good news is, research also shows that good oral health may actually help prevent certain diseases from occurring.

Understanding the mouth/body connection 

Poor oral habits can cause bacteria to build up on your teeth, making your gums more prone to disease and infection. When that happens, your immune system goes to work attacking the infection, leading to inflammation and gum disease, also known as periodontitis. Left untreated, periodontitis and chronic inflammation can wreak havoc on the rest of your body, leading to a host of health problems. Thankfully, this “worst-case-scenario” is easily preventable. Here’s what you can do to elevate your oral hygiene habits and keep unwanted health concerns at bay:

  • Brush twice a day for at least two minutes using a soft-bristled brush. Be sure to choose a toothbrush that is the right size for your mouth so you can reach back teeth easily. If you have any questions about which toothbrush we recommend for you, you can ask our office during your appointment.
  • Remember to replace your toothbrush every three or four months.
  • Choose an American Dental Association-approved fluoride toothpaste to keep teeth free from decay.
  • Floss daily to remove tooth decay-causing bacteria that tend to linger between teeth. Regular flossing also helps remove plaque under the gumline and minimize your risk of contracting gum disease.
  • Eat a healthy diet that limits sugary beverages and snacks.
  • Avoid cigarettes and other tobacco products, which are known to contribute to gum disease and oral cancer.

In addition to maintaining good daily oral health habits, seeing your dentist regularly is one of the best ways to keep your mouth – and your body – healthy. These exams allow our team to monitor any changes to your teeth and gums and make recommendations that will help you avoid future health problems. Call our office today to schedule an exam. 

Barrett Family Dental of Tacoma
Phone: (253) 572-6670
2520 N. Alder Street
Tacoma, WA 98406