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Common Dental Problems - Gingivitis - Jaw Pain - Tooth Decay

Common Dental Problems Can Cause Pain, Gingivitis, and Tooth Decay!

common cosmetic dental problems - Barry Brace DMD


Barry Brace DMD & Associates can solve many of your family’s dental related issues with Invisalign Orthodontics or Traditional Orthodontics. Teeth that are not aligned properly can cause pain in your jaw from being misaligned, will make you more likely to suffer from gingivitis, are not aesthetically pleasing, and can cause your teeth to wear down the enamel due to being misaligned.

Only about 20% of people seek Orthodontic treatment during their lives, but the value Orthodontics brings to the table cannot be undervalued. Many patients with misaligned teeth find they experience all sorts of aches and pains. Just in the last 10 years technology has shed a light on the true nature of many of these aches and pains. Some patients with misaligned teeth complain about the following symptoms:

  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Migraines
  • Jaw pain and clicking in their jaw
  • Daytime sleepiness due to lack of sleep at night 
  • Fatigue

common dental problems - pain - gingivitis - jaw pain

Invisalign and Traditional Orthodontics can straighten your teeth and align your bite properly so you won’t experience these problems. It’s never too late to have your teeth aligned properly either. Obviously it is more beneficial to align them when children are young and still developing, but even adults can experience tremendous results and benefits from  seeking to correct their bite and the alignment of their teeth.

Adults who might not have wanted to look like a 16 year old in traditional braces are now opting for Invisalign since there are no metal braces involved. Invisalign uses clear trays to correct your misaligned teeth. These clear trays are very comfortable to wear, and many patients report that no one ever knew they were undergoing Orthodontic treatment since the trays are invisable.

Don’t discount the advantages of aligning your teeth properly when it comes to hygiene either. Gaps or spaces in teeth can create food traps that allow bacteria and plaque to decay your teeth. Gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, and even tooth loss if not managed properly.

The bottom line is your teeth will stay healthier if they are aligned properly in your mouth and have no spaces or gaps. Your oral hygiene habits will also play a huge role in keeping your teeth healthy. To read more about oral hygiene habits please visit http://www.premierstlouiscosmeticdentist.com/oral-health-linked-to-overall-health/.

Call one of Dr. Barry Brace and Associates two offices to have the alignment of your teeth and your bite assessed. Invisalign or Traditional Orthodontics might be the answer you have been seeking to remedy your pain or correct how easily your teeth decay. For the O’Fallon, MO office please dial 636-614-1217 or call his Kirkwood office at 314-332-1307 today!



Tips to Make Your Child’s First Dental Visit Positive!

Child's First Dental Visit - Barry Brace DMD

Tips to Make Your Child’s First Dental Visit Positive!

Child's First Dental Visit - Barry Brace DMD

Barry Brace DMD and his staff know a child’s first dental visit can be very scary. Often the parents seem to suffer as much as the child! Some parents bring a lot of baggage into this first dental visit due to their poor dental experiences in their past. Your fear of the dentist may contribute to the fear your child manifests during that first dental visit unless you are careful to mask it. You need to be careful to hide your own fears so your child can grow up loving the dentist. We have some tips for you to make sure your child’s first dental visit is fun, informative, and positive.

Exposing your child to the dentist from a young age is a great way to ensure they become comfortable with the dentist. The goal is for them to live their lives free from dental anxieties, and exposing them to a good dentist from a very young age is one of the best ways to achieve this goal. If you do not currently have a good dentist you can trust then your first plan of action needs to be to find a good dentist you can trust. Here’s some advice for those who need to conduct a search:

  • Make yourself the guinea pig. Visit the office as a patient first. The only way to know if you can trust a dentist with your kids is to try them yourself first.
  • Google the dentist online. I call this due diligence. Researching the dentist online is a great way to see what other people are saying about him/her. Does he/she have any negative reviews? Does he/she have any positive reviews?
  • Make sure the office accepts children as patients. Not all dentists work well with kids. Most kid-friendly offices will have a children’s play area in the waiting room.
  • Stop by the office for a tour if you absolutely cannot visit as a patient first. Ask for a tour. Does the office seem clean? What does your gut tell you about the people? Do they seem friendly?
  • Get a referral from a friend or co-worker if at all possible. I still  think it is best to visit the dentist first. Not all referrals are good ones! The only way to know for sure is to assess the office yourself.

Taking your child to the dentist regularly (every six months) from a young age is not only beneficial to your child, but it will end up benefiting you as well. You will end up learning a lot about oral hygiene and how your overall health is affected and linked to your oral health. It will benefit all family members in the long run.

The amount of decay a child can amass at an early age is amazing. I have seen many mothers in anguish over their 4 or even 5 year old’s dental issues. Remember oral health starts from birth. You can save your child from hurtful and fear inspiring run-ins with the dentist by merely educating them about the importance of oral health and setting a good example by embracing those habits yourself. Kids watch what you do and learn from your actions.

Please only let your children drink water at night. A friend of mine used to put her child to sleep with a bottle of juice or milk each night. By the time he was 5 years old, his mouth had such extreme decay, it resulted in two teeth needing to be pulled. Sucking on a bottle of milk or juice each night for 8-9 hours allowed bacteria to wreak havoc on her son’s teeth. This is a powerful lesson for kids and adults though. No one should drink anything but water at night unless they plan to brush their teeth again before returning to bed.

Child's First Dental Visit - Barry Brace DMD

An experienced family dentist can take care of your whole family’s oral health needs, and be a pivotal part of the equation when it comes to making your child’s first dental appointment a positive experience. Dr. Brace has been in practice for 30 years and has seen many families grow and blossom over the years. He has his own children and grandchildren so he is intimately familiar with how important it is to make every child’s first dental visit fun and informative. 

To schedule an appointment for you or your children with Dr. Barry Brace & Associates please call his Kirkwood office at 314-332-1307 or his O’Fallon, MO office at 636-614-1217. You are always welcome to stop by either office for a tour so you and your child can meet the staff briefly before deciding to schedule an appointment. 

Do you have any tips for our readers that we might have left out? We would love to have more ideas for new parents to use so their children have wonderful dental experiences. Contact us.


Oral Health Connection to Overall Health

At the end of a long day flossing might seem like the last thing you want to worry about, but flossing is a pivotal part of oral health in terms of maintaining your teeth and gums. More importantly, you definitely need to read this article if you have ever questioned, “Is oral health linked to overall health?” Studies are much too conclusive to just put your head in the sand like an ostrich, and pretend your health is not affected by your oral hygiene habits. It’s time to get proactive. It’s time to floss or die.

You might see a few ads on television promoting flossing, but generally people seem to view flossing as “optional” for some reason. It is kind of gross, and it even hurts sometimes if you haven’t flossed in a while. If you have never loved flossing, you are not alone. Statistics show 50% of people do not floss daily, and 34% have not visited a dentist in over 1 year.

Flossing can be something you learn to enjoy though. My husband and I have never loved flossing more than we do now that we bought the Hydrofloss machine. It seemed really messy at first, and therefore I wasn’t very gung-ho in the beginning. My husband kept harping on me to try it, but I couldn’t get the hang of it. I didn’t embrace the Hydrofloss till I got some steak wedged in between my teeth one day. I could not seem to get it out with a toothpick or with regular dental floss. I literally tried everything except the Hydrofloss. By the end of the next day my gums were swollen and inflamed in that area. In a moment of desperation I broke down and decided to really give the Hydrofloss a second chance. My husband said it was the best thing since sliced bread so I figured, “What do I have to lose?”

Oral Health Connection to Overall Health - Barry Brace DMDI’m so happy I suspended my disbelief long enough to give the Hydrofloss another shot. The steak in my gums came out immediately with the high velocity water squirting out of the Hydrofloss. My gums were so relieved. I literally use the Hydrofloss everyday now! I’ve been converted into a huge fan of the product. The shear volume of junk that comes out from between my teeth everyday is enough to make you sick. If you try it, you will be astounded. I guarantee once you see all the stuff coming out from between your teeth, you will never go back to your old way of brushing and flossing. (Or brushing and not flossing if the statistics are correct!)

Many complications (or overall health issues) can arise from not caring for your teeth and gums properly…

  • Bad Breath – Halitosis
  • Heart Disease
  • Periodontal Disease
  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Respiratory Problems
  • Diabetes
  • Atherosclerosis

Oral Health Connection to Overall Health Barry Brace DMD

Experts have pinpointed smoking as the #1 factor affecting people’s oral health and their overall health. Smokers are 3x more likely to develop gum disease or periodontitis when compared to non-smokers.  Expectant mothers are 7 times more likely to have a premature or low birth weight baby if they have periodontal disease or gingivitis.

 Best Cosmetic Dentist St Louis Barry Brace DMD

Do you have bad breath, inflamed gums, or gingivitis? Many holistic remedies can help you with these issues. To read more on this subject go to http://www.premierstlouiscosmeticdentist.com/oral-health-and-pregnancy/.

And remember to try to quit smoking. Nothing will have a bigger impact on your oral health and your overall health!

 Do you have any tips for oral health? Maybe some tips for how to easily quit smoking? Any suggestions are always welcome.

oral health and pregnancy - Cosmetic Dentist Barry Brace DMD

Gaining weight, morning sickness, and having trouble deciding what to wear might have been some of the standard problems you anticipated facing when you found out you were pregnant. Experiencing oral health issues due to your pregnancy might have slipped past your radar. Chances are you will experience oral health issues ranging from gingivitis or inflamed gums to small tumors on your gums caused by your changing hormones. With so many things to worry about during your pregnancy, Barry Brace DMD and his team want you to rest easy. Oral health related issues during your pregnancy are normal, and there are even some home remedies you can use to abate some of your issues. Keep reading so you will know exactly what to expect when expecting…

Barry Brace DMD and his staff at the O’Fallon and the Kirkwood locations have seen their patients’ families boom over the last 30 years. Rinsing your mouth thoroughly is an obvious suggestion for women who suffer from morning sickness. Stomach acids can really damage your teeth if not rinsed away thoroughly. (Carrying a travel toothbrush/toothpaste and/or mouthwash with you to work and in your car for emergencies is one example of how you can prepare yourself for the worst.) If you do not have a travel kit with you, Dr. Brace suggests you try chewing a stick of gum or eating a few slices of a citrus fruit like an orange or tangerine. Citrus fruits cleanse the palette and have the secondary benefit of improving that disgusting taste that might be lingering in mouth after vomiting. Also, fruit acids won’t damage your teeth in the same way stomach acids will. Adding a wedge of lemon to your water is another way to rid your mouth of acids and improve your breath. Infusing mint leaves in your drinking water for 30 minutes will cleanse the mouth while simultaneously helping soothe your gum tissue if you have inflamed gums.

Barry Brace DMD and Associates - Oral Health and Pregnancy

Many women ask, “Is it safe to have dental procedures during my pregnancy?” Many dentists suggest you opt not to have oral sedation or nitrous oxide during procedures, and the best window for dental procedures is between the 14th and 20th weeks of pregnancy. Dr. Brace feels the optimal situation is for you to hold off on dental procedures till after your baby is born. If you shouldn’t drink alcohol or smoke during your pregnancy, then dental procedures that require local anesthesia to be injected into your mouth might be better left till after your pregnancy! Emergency cases where a 2-9 month delay is not possible can crop up though. It is perfectly safe to have a minor dental procedure if this is the case.

Oral Health and Pregnancy are related. Gingivitis and periodontal disease are very common issues for women to experience during their pregnancies. It is standard for patients to have their teeth cleaned every 6 months, but you might need to schedule additional hygiene cleanings during your pregnancy to keep your oral health in the best possible condition. Dr. Brace recommends any patient with periodontal disease have their teeth cleaned 4 times a year. (Pregnant or not!) Sticking to the twice yearly regimen will probably be sufficient, but if you feel your gums are inflamed, sore, or bleeding more than usual, then you might need to reassess.

Are you prepared for your baby to arrive early? 40% of women experience periodontal disease during pregnancy, and these 40% are 7 times more likely to have a child born too early and/or too small. This might seem alarming, but please try to relax. These statistics do not mean your baby won’t be born perfectly healthy. Dr. Brace and his staff just want you to be prepared for any and every eventuality.

Need some home remedies for gingivitis? (Remedyland.com designed the following infographic. Big thanks to them for providing this awesome information.)

Oral Health and Pregnancy - Home Remedies for Gingivitis

Barry Brace, DMD and Associates are available to you at his flagship office in Kirkwood or at O’Fallon Dental Care in O’Fallon, MO if you have additional questions and concerns. Congratulations on the new addition to your family!

Do you have any other suggestions for women who experience oral health issues due to their pregnancy? We’d love to get your feedback.


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Easy Steps For Killing Bad Breath



For about 12 years I worked as a dental pharmaceutical sales rep.  My first job in the dental industry was selling oral hygiene products specifically related to breath control issues. Speaking on the phone to customers about bad breath all day long really warped my brain. I started to have nightmares about bad breath. I think it’s normal to be paranoid about bad breath occasionally though. We’ve all been there. But it can be so hard to discern if one’s own breath smells. How do you know for sure?

When I sold breath control products we went through a lot of training. Trust me I know a lot about oral malodor (bad breath). I don’t mind divulging all my insider secrets to you. Firstly, if you suspect you actually have bad breath, you need to perform this test…Simply lick your wrist, and then let it dry. Does it smell foul? If it does then you can probably assume you have bad breath. This trick was never conclusive for me. I didn’t have bad breath though, so it might still leave you wondering. It’s not fool proof. In this case, I would suggest asking a trusted friend. It might be embarrassing, but a little embarrassment with a trusted friend is always preferable. Just say, “Hey, I think I might have bead breath, and if you really care for me as a friend, then you will tell me the truth now before it negatively affects my life.”

Want to Know More Secrets For Keeping Bad Breath Away?

1) Add Citrus Fruits to Your Daily Diet. Citric Acid in citrus fruits cleans the palette and kills bacteria while stimulating the saliva flow in your mouth. All of these are positive aspects to eating citrus fruits. Japanese and Chinese restaurants are famous for giving you an orange wedge at the end of your meal. Have you ever wondered why? Asian cultures have been using this tactic for thousands of years to help battle bad breath. Citrus fruits include grapefruits, cuties, lemons, tangelos, oranges, tangerines, and limes. Limes and lemons are not the kind of fruit you chow down on at lunch, so just add a wedge to the water you drink during the day.

2) Use Alcohol Free Mouthwash. Sometimes mouthwash with alcohol will leave your mouth feeling more dry! Your mouthwash probably contains alcohol then. The alcohol is a drying agent. Its like putting astringent on your face. Astringent closes your pores and actually dries out your skin slightly. Alcohol in mouthwash has the same effect on your mouth. It will temporarily kill all the bad bacteria in your mouth, but the drying effect will allow the bacteria to come back faster than lightning! Therefore using a mouthwash that does not contain alcohol is pivotal for fresh breath. Alcohol free mouthwashes will kill all the bad bacteria, but keep your mouth moist.

3) Produce More Saliva By Sucking On Something. Dry mouth is often a cause of bad breath. If you can keep your mouth filled with saliva, you have won half the battle. Chewing gum or sucking on a breath mint can help get the salivary glands flowing. You need to be careful how many sticks of gum and breath mints you eat per day due to the sugar. Some gum and mints use Xylitol which is a sweetener dentists love since it does not promote tooth decay. But beware! Xylitol in large doses can cause you to have gas. Exchanging fowl smelling bad breath for fowl smelling gas explosions might not be a good trade off! An alternative approach (that is sugarless) is to suck on a tiny rock or marble for a few minutes each hour.

What Causes Bad Breath?

Bad breath comes many times from an accumulation of sulfur compounds in the mouth. They are actually called VSC’s or volatile sulfur compounds. When you scrape your tongue you might notice many times the yucky stuff that comes off your tongue is yellowish in color. Yes, in the mouth sulfur is yellow just like in nature. Mouthwash, brushing your teeth and tongue, tongue scraping, and flossing will all help keep these VSC’s from accumulating. Dry mouth is one of the conditions in the mouth that is perfect for VSC’s to form. Therefore keeping your mouth moist and filled with saliva is the best case scenario for keeping VSC’s from forming.

Do You Wake Up With Bad Breath?

Actually laying in a horizontal/prone position contributes to VSC’s because your body does not produce as much saliva in this horizontal position. Snoring and breathing through your mouth will contribute to a dry mouth. By morning many people who breath through their mouths while sleeping will feel parched, and we previously discussed how dry mouth contributes to bad breath.

Bad Breath Maybe Also Be Due To:

1) Smoking – Smoking tobacco can also cause dry mouth. I think we’ve ranted about dry mouth quite enough in this post, so let’s just say you need to try to quit smoking if you want better overall health as well as better oral health.

2) Diabetes – Often Diabetics will have a sweet smell to their breath that is quite unpleasant. Time to go to your MD for a check up if you suspect you might be on the borderline diabetic. Bad breath can indicate something is going wrong with your health. It might not be diabetes but you should get checked out if the suggestions in this post don’t help you.

3) Medications – Xerostomia is the technical name for dry mouth. Again, dry mouth is one of the leading side effects for many medications. Your MD can possibly prescribe you with a similar medication to avoid this heinous side effect.

For more information about dental hygiene and other dental services Barry Brace DMD and Associates provides, please visit http://www.premierstlouiscosmeticdentist.com/services/cosmetic-dentistry/

Do you have other suggestions for folks who have bad breath? Maybe a product that has worked great for you? We would love to hear about it!