My Blog
By Challenger and Associates, PLLC
April 09, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Oral Care Routine  

How important is it to create a great oral hygiene routine? In case you didn’t know, some dental problems have been linked to some extremely dangerous health conditions like stroke, diabetes, heart disease, and even Alzheimer’s. Besides regular visits to your dentist, Dr. Russell Challenger of Challenger Family Dental in Clayton, NC, here are some guidelines on developing a good oral care routine.

Starting Your Oral Care Routine

The usual practice is to brush right after you eat. However, before brushing you also need to consider what you ate. Acidic foods will temporarily soften the tooth enamel. This means that brushing after eating may remove some of the enamel, which will cause more harm than good because it makes the teeth vulnerable to decay. Brushing 30 to 60 minutes after eating would reduce the wear on your teeth.

Proper Brushing

Improper brushing is almost the same as not brushing. Aside from using the right kind of toothbrush, proper brushing means:

  1. Taking at least two minutes to brush your teeth in a gentle circular motion.
  2. Paying close attention not only to your teeth and gums, but also your tongue where bacteria buildup is present.
  3. Using a fluoride toothpaste to reinforce your teeth’s defense against decay by fighting off germs and creating a protective barrier around the teeth.
  4. Proper rinsing ensures that all the brushed off debris would leave your mouth. You should likewise use a mouthwash to rinse and reduce the acid in your mouth, clean all other areas of your mouth, and inject minerals into your teeth.
  5. Although it may be considered as a separate activity, flossing after you brush should be a part of your proper brushing technique. Flossing will help stimulate the gums, reduce the buildup of plaque, and lower incidence of inflammation. Flossing at least once a day is acceptable.

Ending Your Day

To close your daily routine, you need to make sure that you brush your teeth before you go to bed. The general recommendation is to brush your teeth at least two times daily. Make sure that the one time would always be before you go to bed. This helps eliminate the germs and plaque that have built up in your mouth during the entire day.

Role of Dentists

Bi-annual visits to your Clayton, NC, dentist must likewise be included in your routine. These regular visits would give you the opportunity to discuss diagnosis and treatment options for any dental or medical conditions you may have.


Need Help Creating Your Oral Care Routine? Talk to Us

Dial (919) 694-0694 to arrange your visit with our dentist, Dr. Russell Challenger of Challenger Family Dental here in Clayton, NC.

By Challenger and Associates, PLLC
February 19, 2020
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: Orthodontic  

Unhappy with your crooked smile? Orthodontic treatment could be the answer to your dental frustrations. Here at Challenger and Associates in Clayton, NC, we provide patients with traditional options and innovative clear Invisalign aligners. Led by Dr. H. Russell Challenger, read on to learn what we can do for your smile.

What is orthodontic care?

Orthodontic care provides your smile with balance, correct alignment, and proper bite. Here at Challenger and Associates, your dentist carefully evaluates the appearance, health, function, and alignment of patients' teeth and formulates treatment plans to move teeth into more favorable positions.

Typically, traditional braces take anywhere from one to three years to straighten teeth. Invisalign aligners are quicker, changing smiles in an average of one year, although they address simpler concerns than their traditional counterparts. Regardless of your appliance choice, most patients wear retainers after active treatment is complete. These appliances may be removable or bonded on the backside of teeth.

What are your options?

Today's orthodontic treatments are wide-ranging, though precise, correcting problems such as:

  • Gaps
  • Protruding front teeth
  • Crowding
  • Overlapping teeth
  • Tooth rotation and tipping
  • Small twists
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite
  • Openbite
  • Premature loss of baby teeth
  • Poor alignment from thumb-sucking or pacifier use
  • Oral trauma
  • Congenitally absent teeth

The appliances fix these issues by exerting steady pressure on teeth and their supporting connective tissue and bone.

Types of braces available from our Clayton office include:

  1. Conventional metal (stainless steel) bands and archwires
  2. Ceramic (tooth-colored) braces
  3. Lingual, or tongue-side, braces
  4. Invisalign clear aligners which are invisible, removable and take less time than traditional braces

A full one-quarter of today's orthodontic patients are adults, says the Academy of General Dentistry. That's one million people in North America who will enjoy attractive smiles that feel comfortable, function well, and stay healthier because they are well-aligned and easy to maintain.

Find out more

If you're ready to pursue your best smile, contact Dr. H. Russell Challenger of Challenger and Associates in Clayton, NC. Call the office team today at (919) 694-0694 for your personalized consultation.

By Challenger and Associates, PLLC
October 23, 2019
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: invisalign  

Have questions about Invisalign? Invisalign is the clear alternative to traditional braces. Invisalign enhances your smile without interrupting your life. Something that millions of people have already discovered. Led by Dr. H. Russell Challenger, Challenger Family Dental in Clayton, NC offers orthodontic treatment with Invisalign to their patients. Read on to get answers to frequently asked questions about Invisalign.

What is Invisalign treatment?

Invisalign treatment is the process of wearing a series of custom-made aligner trays that gradually straighten your teeth. No archwires and brackets, and none of the restrictions that come with metal braces. Invisalign treatment is a great solution for both teens and adults looking for an invisible method to improve their smiles.

What are the aligners made of?

Over the course of treatment, you will be supplied with a set of aligner trays. Invisalign aligner trays are made of a thermoplastic material uniquely developed for your treatment plan. The aligners are worn for about two weeks. Then you switch to a new set of aligner trays.

How do the aligners straighten teeth?

The aligners straighten your smile through the placement of controlled force on the teeth. You will need to wear your Invisalign aligners for about 20-22 hours each day, except to eat and clean your teeth. Invisalign aligners gently and continuously move your natural teeth in small increments.

What are the benefits of treatment?

Most patients love the fact that aligners are transparent and that they work with their lifestyles. They're almost completely invisible, so other people won't even notice that you're wearing them. Invisalign aligner trays can be removed for eating, special occasions, flossing, and brushing.

How long does treatment take?

It usually takes between 9-18 months to create a beautiful smile using Invisalign. The average length of your treatment plan depends on the severity of your condition. Before you start treatment, you will know how long your treatment will take and what your teeth are expected to look like at the end.

Will I need a retainer after treatment?

Wearing a retainer after Invisalign treatment is an important step, because it keeps your teeth in their new positions. If you want your teeth to stay in their new positions, it's best to wear a retainer as directed by your dentist. In many cases, the patient's last aligner will be their temporary retainer, until their retention option is determined. Our dentist can advise you on long term retention options.

Boost your self-esteem and confidence. Invisalign will do you a world of good. Call Challenger Family Dental to schedule an Invisalign consultation in Clayton, NC and get the smile you deserve.

By Challenger and Associates, PLLC
May 30, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Bonding  

Are you interested in getting dental bondings from your Clayton, NC, dentist?

"More than 36 million Americans do not have any teeth, and 120 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth. These numbers are expected to grow in the next two decades. Tooth loss happens from decay and gums disease, and as a result of injury, cancer, or simply wear," according to the the American College of Prosthodontists.

One of the best ways to combat tooth loss is by using preventative measures, like dental bonding. Bondings are tooth-colored materials made of plastic or resin that hide minor unappealing defects in a tooth, like chips, discoloration, and dental gaps. It's impossible to distinguish the bonded tooth from your natural teeth and, although they won't last as long as dental veneers, it's an economical choice and you get to avoid drilling.

The Bonding Process

The procedure lasts about 30 to 60 minutes.

  1. Your Clayton dentist cleans your teeth and makes sure they're plaque-free.
  2. Then they etch the surface with an acidic gel then rinses it off with liquid composite resin to fill in pores in your teeth.
  3. A curing light hardens the bonding material and then teeth are polished.
  4. Your doctor layers the bonding material and shapes it into the proper mold that will hide dental imperfections.

Caring for Bonded Teeth

You should get a dental examination at your dentist's office every six months. In addition to visiting your doctor, you need to maintain a healthy dental regiment: brush your teeth after you eat breakfast and before you go to bed with a soft-bristled toothbrush; floss daily before going to bed; drink plenty of water to wash away food debris; use fluoride-containing products to prevent dental decay and reduce plaque buildup.

If you have any questions or concerns about dental bondings, you need to call your Clayton, NC, dentist, today!

By Challenger and Associates, PLLC
February 26, 2019
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry

Though root canal therapy tends to have a bad reputation, this important procedure can help you ensure that your decayed or damaged Root Canal Paintooth gets the treatment it requires to remain where it belongs—right in your smile! Read on to learn what a root canal is and how it can save your tooth from extraction, and for treatment, contact Dr. Russell Challenger at Challenger Family Dental in Clayton, NC.


What is a root canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure which removes the inner tissues from a decayed or damaged tooth. Known medically as endodontic therapy, a root canal clears up any infection caused by untreated tooth decay. Before the infection reaches the tooth’s tissue-housing inner pulp chamber, your dentists can treat the decay with a simple dental filling. However, once the tooth’s tissues become infected, the tooth requires a root canal.


Do I need a root canal?
Since a root canal most often treats a decayed tooth, understanding the symptoms of this condition can often help you determine whether or not you need a root canal:

  • Unexplained bad breath
  • A hole in the tooth
  • A brown or black spot on the tooth
  • Tooth pain
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold, especially while eating and drinking

If you think you have a cavity, you should see your dentist as soon as possible. Just because a tooth doesn’t yet hurt does not mean that it cannot be treated. After all, if your dentist treats your cavity before it reaches the inner pulp chamber of your tooth, you may avoid a root canal altogether!


Root Canal Therapy in Clayton, NC
A root canal takes only about an hour and begins with a local anesthetic to numb the area of the procedure. This means that you should never feel pain during the treatment. Additionally, a root canal also removes a tooth’s nerve, meaning that if you have a toothache, the tooth will feel no more pain after your procedure. If you think you may have teeth decay or gum disease, do not hesitate to speak to your dentist.

For more information on tooth pain or root canals, please contact Dr. Russell Challenger at Challenger Family Dental in Clayton, NC. Call (919) 694-0694 to schedule your appointment for a root canal today!

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