An Oral Cancer Screening Is Part of Your Checkup

March 26th, 2018

When you come in for a dental checkup, did you know you are getting checked for more than just cavities? In fact, many people do not realize that an oral cancer screening is part of every dental checkup. Having a dental checkup regularly, you are keeping your teeth and gums healthy, while doing your best to watch for other dangerous conditions like oral cancer as well.

Our dentist, Dr. Phuong Nguyen with Tacoma Washington Dentist in Fircrest, Washington, cares about your overall health and has provided you some material on identifying oral cancer early.

For starters, did you know oral cancer targets thousands of Americans each year? Well, it’s true! Oral cancer can thrive on the tongue, in the mouth, and even in the throat. Smoking or any form of tobacco use is generally linked to oral cancer. However, even people who have never used tobacco of any kind can still suffer from oral cancers devastating effects.

Here are some signs and symptoms of oral cancer to keep an eye out for:

  • Jaw Movement: Trouble or pain with chewing, talking, or moving your jaw can be an indicator.
  • Ear pain: Your jawbone is close to your ears, so ear pain could be a warning sign.
  • Numbness: Numbness in your tongue, mouth, or throat could be a tumor close to a nerve.
  • Sensitivity: An upsurge in sensitivity in your mouth and neck should be examined right away.
  • Bleeding: Unexplained bleeding can arise from your mouth, gums, or throat with oral cancer.
  • Dramatic weight loss: Dramatic weight loss is a hazard sign connected to various cancers.
  • Lumps and bumps: Any strange growths in your mouth need to be treated.
  • Spots or patches: Red or white spots could be an indicator of cancer or a severe infection.
  • Pain in the mouth or jaw: Unexplained pain in your smile could be caused by a tumor.
  • Change in your voice: If your voice changes after puberty or feels sore get examined quickly.
  • Inflammation: Swelling can occur from areas inside your mouth.
  • A sore throat: A stubborn sore throat could be a sign that should not be ignored.

If you have noticed any of these situations occurring to you, it’s imperative to seek professional help and treatment right away. Our dental team is fully trained to spot oral cancer during your checkup and is happy to help you keep your smile healthy.

Do you still have questions about your oral health? If so, then please call us today at to schedule an appointment with a professional member of our staff. We are always happy to help you keep your smile in top-notch health.

A Dental Implant Supported Bridge to Replace Multiple Teeth

February 23rd, 2018

Losing multiple teeth in one area of your mouth can profoundly hamper your ability to speak and to eat and can have a negative effect on the appearance of your smile. If you are missing several teeth, you should consider scheduling a consultation appointment with our doctor, Dr. Phuong Nguyen. Once she has assessed the health of your mouth and the available bone structure in the affected area, she might recommend replacing your missing teeth with a dental bridge supported by implants.

If there are any structural issues with the underlying bone tissues, you might need a bone graft or other treatment to provide sufficient structure to anchor the dental implants. At this point, the doctor will perform minimally invasive oral surgery to place a pair of titanium dental implants in your jawbone. This typically requires full sedation and you should have a friend or family member drive you home after your appointment. Over time, the special titanium will bond with the surrounding bone tissues. When this process is complete, the doctor will prepare a pair or abutments capable of anchoring a dental bridge. This will complete the dental restoration process which will allow you to once again enjoy the look and function of your previously missing teeth.

If you live in the Fircrest, Washington, area and you are missing multiple teeth you should call to learn more about the dental restorations offered at Tacoma Washington Dentist.

Becoming Fearless During Dental Procedures

January 17th, 2018

In the olden days, there were persons who feared the dentist and undergoing dental procedures. To be frank, dental surgery was indeed “uncomfortable” in the early days. Lack of powerful anesthetics and the fact that dental tools may have reminded people of another less reputable profession usually carried out in a medieval dungeon, may have added to the fear factor.

Thankfully, today’s modern dentistry will never be related to such terrible comparisons! Advances in technologies, methods, and anesthetics have made taking care of your teeth a practically painless occupation.

While few patients actually relish appointments for any type of medical procedure, pain should never again be the cause for someone to miss an appointment for proper preventative dental care–or even emergency care.

Unfortunately, there are those who fail to control their anxiety in the chair. In these instances, it is good to have a dentist that has had training on how to handle the fearful. They will have multiple ways to help reduce pain, anxiety, and fear.

Lack of Control:

The major cause of stress for most people is that they feel a lack of control of their situation.
Needless to say, laying on your back, completely still, mouth open, unable to talk, while someone scrapes and drills on your teeth is not a recipe for calm.

Because of this, a lot of dentists have completely changed the atmosphere of their offices and learned to moderate their own demeanor to project tranquility. TVs on ceilings help distract during procedures and offices are less sterile, more casual, etc.

Anesthesia and Sedation:

Now, there are more options to sedation that your dentist can use. Plus, dentists today will more readily administer those options to keep a patient stress-free in even the most mundane of procedures. From laughing gas to anti-anxiety medication, whatever you need can be administered if needed.

If you are anxious about seeing the dentist, Dr. Phuong Nguyen would be happy to help you by alleviating your concerns. Please contact Tacoma Washington Dentist or come by our office in Fircrest, Washington.

Resolve to Get a Great Smile in 2018

December 21st, 2017

The new year is right around the corner, and with it comes New Year’s Resolutions! This year, resolve to clean up your oral hygiene habits to make sure you have a mouth-healthy New Year!

Brush: Make sure you are brushing your teeth for 2 full minutes, twice a day. This removes plaque and debris from your teeth. Use short, tooth-wide strokes in a back-and-forth motion. Brush the inside, outside, and chewing surfaces of your teeth. Try giving yourself a small, non-food reward every week that you do this every day.

Floss: Flossing and brushing are equally important. Make sure you floss every day for 2-3 minutes. Use a single-filament floss when available; look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance on the packaging to ensure you are getting a quality product. Use a new section of floss for each tooth, and don’t forget to floss behind the back molars! That area is a great environment for bacterial growth.

Mouthwash: Some individuals choose to add mouthwash to their daily oral hygiene routines. If you choose to do this, great! Just a few words of guidance: Make sure you choose a therapeutic mouthwash, rather than a cosmetic one. While a cosmetic mouthrinse freshens breath by masking the smell with artificial scents, therapeutic mouthwash freshens breath by killing bacteria that cause halitosis.

For more information, call Tacoma Washington Dentist in Fircrest, Washington, at . Dr. Phuong Nguyen and our team are happy to help get your new year on track!

Dentistry: A History

November 20th, 2017

The earliest known signs of dental work goes back as far as 12,000 BC. Archeologists have found an ancient infected tooth which contains remnants of a dental cleaning with flint tools.

The earliest discovered written text that mentions dentistry, however, is dated thousands of years later in 5000 BC. This Sumerian manuscript cites “tooth worms” as the origin of dental decay. This theory wasn’t actually proved wrong until the 1700s.

In France in the Middle Ages, a group of dentists gathered. They didn’t name themselves dentists though; they were called barbers, and they treated more than teeth—they also treated various medical conditions and even cut hair.

In the 1700s, Pierre Fauchard, the Father of Modern Dentistry, wrote a book called “The Surgeon Dentist: A Treatise on Teeth.” It described and outlined the first comprehensive dental system. With this knowledge, dentistry began to multiply throughout the world, including the United States.

In 1840, the first dental college formed in Baltimore, Maryland. A few decades later, Colgate began producing toothpaste and toothbrushes. However, caring for teeth didn’t become popular in America until after World War II when U.S. soldiers brought their habits that they had learned abroad back to their hometowns.

New inventions and techniques continue to develop that make dentistry an ever-evolving and improving field. Do your teeth need some attention? Just call Tacoma Washington Dentist in Fircrest, Washington, at to set up an appointment with Dr. Phuong Nguyen.

The Fundamentals of Flossing

October 14th, 2017

You may be the best brusher in the world. You may brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, rinse your mouth with a top-quality mouthwash that fights plaque and bad breath, and top it all off with a piece of sugarless gum, But what about your dental floss? Do you use it every day, or is it gathering dust in the corner of your medicine cabinet, or lost somewhere in a drawer in your bathroom? Flossing removes the food debris and attacks the plaque between your teeth. No matter how well you brush, and no matter how well you rinse, you will not be able to reach between your teeth. If you don’t clean those spaces, you are still at risk for gum disease and tooth loss. With that in mind, let’s find that lonely container of floss and get to work.

You will need to start with approximately 18 inches of floss. Wrap the majority of it around each middle finger, and grasp about two inches between your thumbs and forefingers. Start flossing at your back teeth by curving the floss around the tooth and then flossing first below, and then away from your gumline. You should use a fresh section of floss for each tooth to avoid spreading the food debris around your mouth. Dispose of the floss when you are finished.

It does not matter if you floss before or after you brush, as long as you do a careful job of both. If you wear braces, you should make a habit of flossing after each meal, since food can become stuck in your dental work. If you wear a bridge, you should make sure the you floss around that as well. If you have range of motion issues, or if you are having trouble flossing around your dental work, you might want to try a water flosser or a floss threader.

Even if you have mastered brushing and flossing, you still need to see Dr. Phuong Nguyen at Tacoma Washington Dentist in Fircrest, Washington, for your routine appointments. If you would like to schedule a visit, call us today at .

Preparing Your Smile for Invisalign®

September 2nd, 2017

If you suffer from any misalignments in your smile, prepare your smile for a tooth straightening product such as Invisalign®. Invisalign is a terrific aligner treatment that seeks to enhance the look and feel of your mouth without bulky wires and brackets that can be stigmatizing and socially embarrassing. With Invisalign, you get the treatment you deserve without negatively affecting your life or lifestyle.

Invisalign can equip you with a set of straight teeth that are not only easier to clean but are also stronger too. Crooked teeth are much more vulnerable to fracture and damage, and the effects of tooth enamel wear due to disorders such as bruxism are also more likely. With Invisalign, many oral health risks and disorders will be diminished with straighter teeth.

The most popular feature of Invisalign remains its clean and nearly invisible look. Invisalign aligners are crafted and molded out of a patented thermoplastic material that can adapted to suit your needs for a comfortable treatment that can potentially go unnoticed by your closest friends and family.

A key feature of Invisalign is its ability to be taken out at will. This greatly enhances the functions Invisalign can offer, including removing the need for any specialty diets as with other orthodontic aligner treatments. No food restrictions are needed, as you can simply take out your aligners for meals, and snap them back into place when you are done.

Are you searching for a dentist in Fircrest, Washington? Dr. Phuong Nguyen at Tacoma Washington Dentist wants to ensure your smile shines no matter what condition it is in. If you are thinking about getting Invisalign, please contact our dentist office by calling us at . Come on in, and get noticed with a better smile today!

A Knocked Out Tooth Is a Dental Emergency

August 25th, 2017

The American Association of Endodontists estimates that an average of five million teeth are knocked out each year. While it is more likely to occur as a result of a sports injury or automobile accident, it is possible for a hard fall or household accident to cause severe dental trauma.

When this happens, fast action and quality first-aid is essential. While you are making your way to Dr. Phuong Nguyen‘s dental office in Fircrest, Washington, there are things you can do to manage the pain and prevent further complications.

If the incident has left you with blood or stray debris in your mouth you can gently rinse it away and with lukewarm salt water. This might also help sooth other traumatized tissues in your mouth. Antiseptic mouthwash is a bad choice as the alcohol or astringents can irritate injured tissues causing more pain.

There’s a slight chance that Dr. Phuong Nguyen can insert the tooth back into the socket. For there to be any chance of success, the tooth needs to be whole and still alive.

To keep the tooth alive you can hold it between your cheek and gums or use one of the tooth-preservation product sold in stores.

If any part of the tooth remains in the socket it will not be viable for implantation. Dr. Phuong Nguyen might perform a root canal to restore the structure of the tooth. Once this is done, she can start the process of fitting you for a basic dental crown.

If the tooth has been severely damaged or the underlying bone structure has been compromised, Dr. Phuong Nguyen might advocate a total extraction. Once your gums have healed, she can help you decide if you’d like to restore the tooth with a dental bridge or dental implant.

If you are in the Fircrest, Washington, area and you have just suffered a knocked out tooth or severe dental trauma, you should call to schedule an emergency treatment at Tacoma Washington Dentist.

Fun Facts About Zoom! Whitening Systems

July 31st, 2017

What are the many benefits of a Zoom! Whitening treatment? Although Zoom! whitening is considered a major technological breakthrough in the battle against darkened or stained teeth, it is still underutilized by many individuals. Zoom! whitening works by applying a specialized whitening gel to a tray that is placed in your mouth over your teeth. Once activated by a specialized light source, the gel is activated and designed to remove deep stains and discolorations deep within your teeth without damaging your tooth enamel keeping your smile safe. Listed below are a few additional benefits:

Zoom! whitening treatments use a gel containing hydrogen peroxide to enter teeth which goes below tooth enamel to clean deep stains. Once a specialized light source is used to activate the gel, it can take away the stains without damaging the teeth. Zoom! whitening has been proven to work against a variety of stains including those caused by juices, beets, wines, soft drinks, tobacco, coffee, tea, and even the ravage of time.

Although Zoom! whitening can be easily done in a single treatment session, your teeth can be re-stained in the future. Therefore, you dentist can give you a Zoom! Whitening mini take-home kit to touch up any trouble spots that may occur. If your teeth should become discolored in the future Zoom! can be used again, because it is safe for multiple uses.

Stained or discolored teeth can be treated with the help of our licensed professionals at Tacoma Washington Dentist. To book an appointment with Dr. Phuong Nguyen at our dentist office in Fircrest, Washington, please contact us at . Come in soon to experience all about the joys of a better smile.

Better Breath for a Better You

June 13th, 2017

Are you sick of living with bad breath? Good news: you don’t have to! Treating your bad breath is as simple as implementing the right dental hygiene habits. Try the five below for fresher breath.

  • Scraping your tongue. Have you ever used a tongue scraper? Tongue scrapers remove odor-causing build-up from your tongue. Though we recommend tongue scrapers, brushing your tongue with your toothbrush can have the same effect.
  • Rinsing with mouthwash. Mouthwashes can destroy bacteria and mask your breath temporarily. But because this is just a quick fix, you’ll have to clean your mouth sooner or later if you want to address the root cause of the problem.
  • Brushing twice daily. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth at least twice daily. If you have bad breath, brushing will help improve your breath by dislodging odor-causing food particles and plaque.
  • Flossing once daily. Alongside the recommendation to brush twice daily, the ADA recommends flossing between your teeth at least daily. Flossing will remove hard-to-reach debris that can cause plaque and bacteria build-up, which in turn create odors in the mouth.
  • Visiting our office. If you’re experiencing halitosis in Fircrest, Washington, Dr. Phuong Nguyen can help you. Schedule your next appointment with Tacoma Washington Dentist by calling right now. We’re ready to help you experience fresher breath!