f you're looking for the latest information on oral health and dentistry, you've come to the right place! Our blog is created and curated by our team of dental experts who understand just how important it is to be actively working towards optimal oral health. We hope these articles give you the insight you need to take better care of yourself and your loved ones.

Technological advancements allow dentists to perform more comprehensive oral examinations. Among the most groundbreaking innovations is the intraoral scanner, which captures images of the mouth to produce virtual 3D models. It offers significant advantages over conventional techniques typically used in clinics. Here are four benefits you'll enjoy as a patient.
How Intraoral Scanners Improve Your Dentistry Experience

1. Skip the Physical Impression

Dentists may need to take impressions of patients’ mouths for restorative or cosmetic materials, like crowns or braces. This can be an uncomfortable process that may trigger gagging since the patient must remain in position for several minutes.

The scanner provides an accurate representation by scanning the mouth with imaging sensors. When processed, the software then generates a 3D model without a physical impression.

2. Reduce Appointment Time

Without the need to create time-consuming impressions, providers can more efficiently work through their daily schedules. They can then see as many patients as possible in the same amount of time. Patients won’t have to wait as long to be seen, which contributes to a better overall experience.

3. Ensure the Most Accurate Treatment

This technology is designed to capture the precise structure of each tooth. The level of detail provided allows a dentist to determine the most suitable treatment for the patient’s unique needs. There’s less room for error compared to physical impressions too, and if any visual defects are present, the patient can simply be rescanned to correct the distortion.

Pugh Family Dental is proud to incorporate the CEREC Primescan into their practice to provide these benefits to patients. Caring for Lexington, NC, residents since 1980, the dentists offer a variety of services, including general cleaning, dental crowns, bridges, and fillings. To find out more about how they'll help improve the condition of your teeth and gums, visit their website, or call (336) 249-7708 to schedule an appointment.

With the end of the school year, your kids are likely having fun enjoying the relaxing time of summer. With fewer obligations during this time of year, it is the perfect occasion to take them to the dentist. Regular dental appointments help your little ones maintain their oral health. Here is more information about why the summer is a prime opportunity to schedule dental exams for your children.
How Often Should Kids See the Dentist?

Most parents know that their children should visit a dental office at an early age, yet some are surprised to learn how early the first appointment should be. Ideally, infants should see a family dentist when the first tooth emerges or they turn one year old. The first visit helps acclimate your child to the office. The dentist will examine their mouth briefly and spend time talking to you about their findings and what to expect with your child's dental development.

After the initial appointment, your child may not need another checkup until they are two years old. This gap depends on their needs, the dentist's recommendation, and your child's eating and drinking habits. After age two, your child will need dental checkups every six months.

What Are the Benefits of Regular Appointments?

Even with diligent brushing, traces of bacteria and plaque can remain in the mouth. Children are more likely to have this issue because they are still learning about oral hygiene and how to clean their mouths effectively. By scheduling appointments in the summer and winter, you help them develop healthy hygiene practices. These examinations also alert you to early signs of oral health issues, such as cavities.

Why Should You Schedule Appointments During Summer?

The best time to fight tooth decay is when it is in the earliest stages. School and extracurricular activities can make it hard for you to schedule appointments for your kids, as they likely have other activities you have to plan around. However, when they don't have to attend school every day in the summer, you can usually find a time that is easy for everyone. Plus, the appointment is more relaxing and positive because your children don't have to worry about homework or waking up early the next day.

If you need a caring family dentist for your children, contact Pugh Family Dental in Lexington, NC. Since 1984, this dental practice has been providing comprehensive general and cosmetic dentistry services to patients of all ages. They handle everything from regular cleaning to dental fillings and tooth extractions. Call (336) 249-7708 to schedule an appointment, and visit them online for more information about their services.

If your dentist says you need a root canal, you may not be sure what to expect, especially if you’ve only ever had standard fillings in the past. This important dental procedure is crucial for preserving your oral health. Here are a few helpful things to know as you get ready for your appointment.
What Is a Root Canal?

Root canals are designed to save teeth that are extremely infected or decayed. They are typically used when the pulp and nerve of the tooth have become inflamed or infected. In addition to tooth decay and gum disease, tooth injuries such as cracks or chips could also lead to the need for a root canal.

Leaving the infected pulp and nerve tissue in the tooth could cause bacteria to spread infection throughout the mouth, or even form a pus-filled pocket, known as an abscess, at the root of the tooth. These infections can cause significant pain and swelling, and could even require a complete extraction if left untended.

What Does This Process Involve?

Due to the nature of the procedure, your dentist will numb the tooth with anesthetic before starting the root canal. They will then drill a hole into the affected tooth and use a specialty tool to remove the infected pulp and nerve. The pulp and nerve are not needed for your tooth to function—they simply help you sense heat and cold.

Once the infected tissue has been removed, your dentist will clean and shape the tooth’s interior and apply a filling. A temporary crown is then placed on top of the tooth to seal the filling. Permanent dental crowns are typically put in place during a follow-up appointment. This will protect the tooth and help it perform normally in the future.

From routine dental checkups to root canals, Pugh Family Dental in Lexington, NC, has been committed to helping area residents maintain healthy, great-looking smiles since 1984. Led by married dentists Caitlin Miller Pugh, DMD, and Scott Z. Pugh, DMD, this dental team will guide you through your care options while providing a calming and welcoming experience. Visit them online to learn more about their services, or call (336) 249-7708 to schedule an appointment.

Most adults have known since childhood that eating too much candy is bad for your teeth—especially on holidays like Valentine's Day and Halloween. But how does sugar really affect your oral health, and what can you do to mitigate its effects? If you’re hoping to enjoy some sweet treats and avoiding cavity fillings, use this guide to learn more.
Why Candy Is Bad for Your Oral Health

Candy can lead to cavities indirectly, as it creates the perfect environment for decay. That’s because the bacteria that live on and around your teeth consume sugar, leaving behind an acid that eats away at enamel, a protective tooth coating. As the enamel erodes, bacteria will set in and leave behind gradually expanding cavities.

How to Eat Candy Safely

The longer the sugar sits in your mouth, the more opportunities there are for enamel erosion. That’s why it’s beneficial to clean your teeth soon after enjoying candy to avoid tooth decay, gum problems, or fillings.

This is especially important after chewing sticky treats like caramel or sour gummies. These types of gooey candies can remain stuck in the grooves of your teeth and create more opportunities for bacteria to gather in those hard-to-clean areas. Hard candies like mints or lollipops, if not consumed carefully, can chip or crack a tooth.

Before enjoying a handful of gummies or a lollipop, try to eat low-sugar foods like vegetables or lean meats, as this will trigger your salivary glands and moisten your mouth, making it easier to wash away any sugar that clings to your teeth. After eating candy, start drinking water to rinse away any remaining sugar. About 30 minutes later, it's beneficial to floss and use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste to scrub away any leftover sugar that remains on your teeth.

Whether you're looking to fill a cavity or schedule a routine dental checkup, Pugh Family Dental and their team of experienced professionals can help restore your smile. Located in Lexington, NC, this dental clinic is run by Caitlin Pugh, DMD, and Scott Pugh, DMD. In addition to cavity fillings and other essential services, they also perform cosmetic treatments, such as teeth whitening and ClearCorrect™. For more information on their services, visit their website or call (336) 249-7708 to schedule an appointment.

It’s no secret that what you eat and drink can affect the appearance of your teeth. After consuming a snack or a beverage, food particles and sugar can remain on the teeth, causing discoloration. Certain substances leave behind more evidence than others. However, maintaining healthy teeth cleaning practices can help reduce staining, as well as limiting your consumption of the items listed below.
What Foods & Beverages Can Stain Teeth?

1. Tomato-Based & Dark-Colored Sauces

These sauces are high in acidity and deep in color, which can easily penetrate the pores of your enamel. The acids in foods such as tomato sauce and barbeque sauce eat away at the enamel, leaving the surface a darker shade. Consuming dark greens beforehand can lessen the staining effect, as they create a protective coating.

2. Coffee & Tea

A cup of coffee is well-known for discoloring your smile, especially if you enjoy it black. Besides acids, this beverage has tannins, which are compounds that enter your teeth’s pores and leave behind stains. Surprisingly, tea can stain your teeth far worse more than coffee. In addition to tannins, it contains theaflavins and thearubigins, which are known to discolor.

3. Berries

Berries are rich in color and acidity, which can make your smile look less white. Fruits, including raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and cranberries, have the potential to leave behind acidic residue after consumption. But since these are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, they shouldn’t be avoided. Washing them down with a glass of water, as well as regular teeth cleaning, can help rinse away the juices.

4. Wine

Both red and white wine can dull the brightness of your pearly whites. The acids and tannins contained in these beverages erode the enamel, making it easier for color to soak into your smile.

5. Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is dark and sticky, and its acidity can increase the chance of teeth staining. Since it’s normally used as a salad dressing, Colgate recommends enjoying it with lettuce because the vegetable acts as a teeth cleaning agent, preventing the balsamic from settling too deeply.

You can enjoy the foods you love and good oral health with regular teeth cleaning. Pugh Family Dental in Lexington, NC, recognizes that patients have a diverse range of oral care needs. They offer screenings, preventative services, cosmetic bleaching, and so much more. Call (336) 249-7708 to schedule an appointment or visit their website to get more information on their services.

Dental crowns, or caps, are versatile dental restorations that are placed over teeth. They are typically made of porcelain, ceramic, or metal, such as nickel or gold alloy, and are shaped like teeth. The following questions and answers can help you decide if crowns are the right option for you.
A Brief Guide to Dental Crowns

What are their uses?

The dental restorations cover decayed or damaged teeth, including worn down and fractured teeth. They also cover teeth with large fillings that have little natural material left and those that are severely misshapen or discolored. Dental crowns also provide support on both sides of dental bridges, or replacement teeth. The restorations look and function like the real thing and cover the entire affected tooth.

How are they applied?

A dentist numbs the tooth for filing purposes, as it must be reshaped to accommodate the crown. How much natural tooth material gets removed depends on the degree of damage or decay and what type of crown you requested. Porcelain and porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns require removing more tooth material because they are relatively thick, unlike metal crowns that are thinner.

Once the tooth is reshaped, the dentist takes an impression using paste or putty that is sent to a dental laboratory to fabricate the crown, which typically takes two to three weeks. The impression ensures the crown fits comfortably in your mouth and does not affect your bite. Your dentist places a temporary acrylic crown with temporary cement over your tooth until the real crown is ready to be cemented in place.

How long do they last?

Dental crowns last 15 to 20 years with the right care. Habits such as grinding, using your teeth to open packages, chewing pens and other nonfood objects, and biting your fingernails contribute to premature crown wear.

Avoid these actions and care for your crown like your natural teeth by brushing twice daily, flossing once daily, and seeing a dentist every six months. Proper oral hygiene lowers the risk of gum disease by preventing bacteria from building up around the restoration.

Are they painful with a lengthy recovery time?

You receive local anesthesia before the crown placement, and there is no down time. Once applied, you can resume your daily activities, though you might experience mild sensitivity around the affected area. If you feel extreme soreness or sensitivity, contact your dental professional, as you likely need the crown's bite adjusted.

If you are interested in a dental crown, schedule a consultation with Pugh Family Dental. They provide residents throughout the Lexington and Piedmont areas of North Carolina with a full suite of services, including in-house orthodontics. Call the American Dental Association members at (336) 249-7708 to make an appointment or learn more about their services online.

Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that helps your smile look its brightest. By using teeth whitening gels and specialized professional-strength lamps, dentists can help remove stains and lighten discoloration substantially. Here are a few ways you can practice proper aftercare following the process to ensure long-lasting results.
How to Care for Teeth After A Whitening Procedure 

1. Avoid Certain Foods

The first 48 hours after your whitening procedure, your teeth are porous and more prone to stains. To maintain a bright smile, avoid darkly colored foods that contribute to discoloration, such as chocolate, coffee, beets, red wine, berries, and cherries.

You should also limit your exposure to acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, sodas, and pickled products. The bacteria in these contents can form plaque, weakening the enamel and contributing to decay. Instead, go for fruits and vegetables such as apples, celery, and carrots. These foods help increase saliva, which keeps your mouth cleaner.

2. Brush & Floss Regularly

Always continue to brush and floss after a cosmetic dentistry procedure. Regularly practicing your oral hygiene routine removes surface stains and plaque buildup, which helps keep your smile white and your teeth healthy.

You should also brush your teeth immediately after consuming foods or beverages that cause stains. To help prolong your results, continue with your professional teeth cleaning schedule and switch to a whitening toothpaste a week after the procedure.

3. Drink Plenty of Water

While sodas, coffee, and teas contribute to surface stains, water helps keep your teeth clean and healthy. Aim to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of this liquid per day to stay hydrated and wash away particles that cause discoloration. However, if you want to consume a dark-colored beverage, use a straw to avoid staining and enjoy a glass of water after.

If you're interested in brightening your teeth and removing discoloration, turn to Pugh Family Dental. Dr. Scott Pugh and Dr. Caitlin Miller Pugh focus on personalized care, preventative services, and high-quality results for residents in the Lexington and Piedmont areas of North Carolina. They're members of the American Dental Association and provide everything from regular cleanings and restorative options to cosmetic dentistry procedures and dentures. Visit them online for more information on their services, and call (336) 249-7708 to schedule an appointment.

 Twice-daily brushing and flossing, and regular dentist visits are all important components of good oral care—and your diet plays just as critical a role. While sugary and acidic foods can lead to tooth decay and gum problems, healthier foods can help protect your mouth. The guide below outlines a few easy options for eating your way to better oral health.
The Best Foods for a Healthy Mouth

1. Water

The human body is mostly made of water, which needs to be replenished throughout the day to most effectively deliver nutrients and flush out toxins. Drinking water rinses bacteria and food particles from your teeth and gums, minimizing your risk of cavities and bad breath. It also keeps gum tissue hydrated, which prevents dry mouth and periodontal disease. Most water sources also contain fluoride, a mineral dentists recommend to keep tooth enamel strong and healthy.

2. Crunchy Vegetables

Many fresh vegetables, including carrots and celery, have lightly abrasive quality that essentially scrubs food particles from the teeth. Because they require a lot of chewing, they also cause you to generate saliva that then rinses particles away. Snacking on fresh vegetables during the day helps reduce the likelihood of staining and provides essential nutrients, including calcium, phosphorous, and a wide range of vitamins.

3. Apples

Apples are fibrous fruits that work similarly to carrots and celery, cleaning particles from the teeth and encouraging salivation. Not only does chewing remove stuck-on food and boost saliva production, but it also stimulates the gums and neutralizes bacteria. Be sure to choose raw apples over apple juice or applesauce—although these alternatives contain the same vitamins and minerals as fresh fruit, they also tend to be higher in sugar, which can contribute to decay.

In addition to a healthy diet and diligent at-home oral care, visit Pugh Family Dental for routine checkups. The practice has been serving the Lexington and Piedmont, NC, areas since 1980, offering comprehensive oral care services, including exams, fillings, and restorative treatments. As members of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry®, the American Dental Association®, and the North Carolina Dental Society, they proudly prioritize patient comfort during every appointment. Call (336) 249-7708 to see a dentist, and check their website for more service information.

3 Benefits of Intraoral Scanners
Technological advancements allow dentists to perform more comprehensive oral examinations. Among the most groundbreaking innovations is the intraoral scanner, which captures images of the mouth to produce virtual 3D models. It offers significant advantages over conventional techniques typically used in clinics. Here are four benefits you'll enjoy as a patient.
A Guide to Scheduling Dental Visits for Children During Summer
With the end of the school year, your kids are likely having fun enjoying the relaxing time of summer. With fewer obligations during this time of year, it is the perfect occasion to take them to the dentist . Regular dental appointments help your little ones maintain their oral health. Here is more information about why the summer is a prime opportunity to schedule dental exams for your children.

Connect With Us

Ready to come in for an appointment?
Contact us today!