Ankeny Dentist: Cleaning Power of Baking Soda

During the holiday season, many people long to clean and brighten their teeth efficiently. With the help of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), you could achieve a brighter, cleaner smile for the holidays. For years, people realized the cleaning power of baking soda. Your Ankeny dentist, Dr. Erika Peddicord, discusses the amazing power of baking soda.

Sodium Bicarbonate

Cleaning your teeth with baking soda can effectively brighten your smile. The process for cleaning teeth with baking soda involves dampening your toothbrush and covering the bristles with baking soda. Simply brush teeth normally according to the American Dental Association’s guidelines. Brush for two minutes per session and make sure to scrub each tooth. Following your brushing, remove excess baking soda like you would normally spit out excess toothpaste.


Toothbrush Quiz from Your Ankeny Dentist

What kind of toothbrush do you use? Do you prefer soft, medium, or hard bristles? An angled brush? Manual or electric? Pink, red, or blue? Spongebob or Angry Birds? Yes, there are many, many choices of types, colors, shapes, and sizes of toothbrushes in our modern society. As Thanksgiving approaches, have you ever wondered what the Pilgrims used to brush their teeth? Surely there wasn’t a corner drugstore for them to walk to after their feast. Your Ankeny dentist, Dr. Erika Peddicord, quizzes you on toothbrushes, old and new.


Q1. True or false – American pilgrims used something called yarrow root to brush their teeth.

Q2. True or false – The pilgrim diet likely helped them lessen their tooth decay challenges. (more…)

Ankeny Dentist Explains Five Toothache Causes

Toothaches can really affect your life. Toothache pain can be bad enough to cause you to miss days from school or work. An ache that starts in the teeth often feels like it radiates through your entire face. Talking, chewing, brushing your teeth – regular every day activities – seem nearly impossible. Many people pinpoint cavities as being the most obvious cause of a toothache, but there are many other potential reasons that you might feel discomfort in your teeth. Ankeny dentist, Dr. Erika Peddicord, is here with five conditions that can cause toothaches.

Five Common Toothache Causes

1. Sinus Infections – That’s right – your toothache might not actually be a toothache. Sinuses and teeth are close neighbors.

2. Dental caries – More commonly known as tooth decay or cavities, when teeth rot to enough of a degree, pain is likely to follow.

3. Bruxism – Better known as teeth grinding, this condition generally affects people in their sleep. The motion of teeth rubbing together for hours at a time can wear away tooth enamel, and certainly cause toothaches. (more…)

All About Eruption Cysts from You Ankeny Dentist

An eruption cyst occurs when a baby’s teeth are beginning to emerge through the gums. The teeth form inside a fluid-filled enclosure within the jawbone, and if there is accumulated leakage, a hematoma will appear. This can be quite frightening to a parent if they aren’t aware of what they are looking at. Your Ankeny dentist, Dr. Erika Peddicord, offers answers to frequently asked questions on eruption cysts.

Eruption Cyst FAQs

  • What color is an eruption cyst?  Eruption cysts can appear in different colors. Bluish-purple, dark red, brown, and translucent are the most common color descriptions.
  • What exactly is an eruption cyst? In the simplest terms, an eruption cyst is nothing more than a colorful hematoma (i.e. bruise) on the gingival tissue (gums).
  • How should eruption cysts be treated? Most eruption cysts don’t require any treatment and the bruise will heal in a matter of days. Generally, your baby won’t even feel any discomfort beyond regular teething aches and pains. Occasionally, the cyst will create a blockage so that the tooth is unable to emerge. This is rare, but easily remedied with a small incision made by your dentist, so the tooth is free to come through the gums. (more…)

Ankeny Dentist Says that Toothache May Actually Be Sinusitis

Have you ever experienced a toothache that seems to have no origin? You visit your dentist twice a year without fail, brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily. Your teeth are in good condition – no major dental work, no cavities since you were a kid. And then, all of the sudden your tooth feels like it must be full of decay. Where could that be coming from? Sometimes the mystery leads to your sinuses. Your Ankeny dentist, Dr. Erika Peddicord, explains how sinuses and molars are very close neighbors whose symptoms can sometimes be confused.

Sinus Infections

Air passes through your sinuses on the way to your lungs. Located inside of your jawbone, some people are especially prone to infections in the hollow cavities known as their sinuses. There is a pink membrane that covers your sinuses that looks quite similar to the inside of your mouth. When inflammation occurs with this lining, you are likely to be the unfortunate recipient of an often uncomfortable sinus infection. The clinical name for this illness is sinusitis. People that are highly prone to seasonal allergies tend to have more bouts with sinusitis than others.

How Can Sinusitis Present with a Toothache? (more…)

A Link Between Gum Disease and Breast Cancer in Ankeny

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Dr. Erika Peddicord, your Ankeny dentist, wants to show her support for the campaign by highlighting the relationship between oral health and breast cancer.

Breast Cancer and Gum Disease

The World Health Organization (WHO) studied the link between periodontal disease and breast cancer from 1985 to 2001. Of the 3273 subjects between age 30 and 40, there was a significantly higher incidence of breast cancer in patients that were missing molars as a result of chronic periodontal disease.

Statistics can be confusing, but here’s a simple one to wrap your mind around: nearly 80% of Americans have some form of gum disease. Suppose that gum disease does link to breast cancer. Wouldn’t keeping your oral health in order be a simple preventive measure as easy as taking vitamins, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular checkups with your general physician? There are no guarantees against getting cancer, but there are plenty of compelling reasons to take care of yourself, including maintaining oral hygiene and going to the dentist twice a year.

Oral Hygiene and Cancer

Patients undergoing chemotherapy may experience side effects involving their mouths. Toothaches, dry mouth, sore throats, inflammation and infection in the mouth, difficulty swallowing, strange tastes, and thrush (a yeast infection in the mouth) are often reported. You may not feel much like going to the dentist when you’re battling cancer, but try to maintain regular checkups, if at all possible. A strong and healthy mouth will make it easier for you to focus on the fight at hand. You’ll be dealing with enough without having to be concerned with fillings, root canal therapy, or extractions from severe tooth decay. (more…)

Dental Implants from Your Ankeny Dentist

cross section of dental implantFor many who have suffered tooth loss, whether as a result of gum disease or dental trauma, dentures loom as the inevitable, and seemingly only, solution. But at Peddicord family dentistry we offer the alternative of dental implants for those who have suffered tooth loss. Using the latest technology in bone integration, dental implants from your Ankeny dentist are long-lasting replacements for missing teeth, and excellent alternatives to dentures.

Placing Dental Implants

A surgical procedure is required to place a dental implant. In the surgery, a small titanium post is introduced into the jawbone and then secured in place as the bone is allowed to heal around it, in a process call osseointegration. Similar to titanium rods that are used to stabilize broken bones in other parts of the body, the new titanium tooth root becomes a permanent part of the jawbone. After fusion to the bone has been completed, the titanium rod is topped with an abutement, another metal fitting which is designed to accommodate the final tooth prosthesis that will be visible above the gum line and used to fully replace missing teeth.

Am I a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

Because dental implants involve a surgical procedure, an unhealthy heart, or conditions that affect healing ability could disqualify some people from receiving implants. Having a jawbone of insufficient size or quality can also make you a poor candidate for dental implants. Because of the complexity of the procedure, and the length of the healing process, acquiring dental implants will require a number of visits to Dr. Erika Peddicord over a period of several months.

Schedule Your Consultation Today

Peddicord Family dentistry offers dental implant surgery in addition to fitting the final dental prosthesis. Schedule an appointment with your Ankeny dental office today by calling Peddicord Family Dentistry at 515-964-1490. We serve patients from Ankeny, Cambridge, Sheldall, Maxwell, Collins, and surrounding neighborhoods.


All In One Dentistry in Ankeny IA

When most people think of going to the dentist, they envision a teeth cleaning and their dental checkup. If the patient has maintained good dental hygiene—brushing, flossing, and eating healthy foods—then there is a chance that a basic cleaning and checkup are all that the patient will require. However, things don’t always work out as planned, and sometimes cavities, fractures, and infection pop up when you least expect. Smile imperfections, like crooked or stained teeth, can also be addressed following a checkup.

As your Ankeny family dentist, Dr. Peddicord wants you to understand three primary categories of dental procedures that are most commonly administered in our office. These cover nearly all aspects of family dentistry, so your loved ones can enjoy complete, comprehensive oral health care under one roof with Peddicord Family Dentistry.

Restorative Dentistry

The most common trigger for a restorative dental visit is a toothache. Dental restorations may be as basic as a composite resin dental filling or as complex as a full mouth restoration. If you have a tooth that has suffered damage, you will need a restorative procedure, because teeth don’t heal or repair themselves naturally. Crowns, inlays, onlays, and bonding fall under restorative dentistry, as well. In addition, replacement of missing teeth can be considered restorative dentistry, though it may be sub-categorized under prosthetic dentistry. Replacement teeth can come in the form of bridges, partials, dentures, or dental implants.


Tooth Trauma? Your Ankeny Dentist Discusses What to Do

Sports are a wonderful way for you and your children to stay active. However, sports-related accidents can happen. You never know when that wicked grounder will take a bad hop and hit you (or your child) in the mouth.

Heaven forbid you lose a tooth during recreational play, but if you should, the very first thing you want to do is call your Ankeny dentist and schedule an appointment immediately. After your appointment is scheduled, here’s a look at the steps you should take to better ensure your dislodged tooth’s survival.

How To Safely Store Your Tooth (more…)

Ankeny Dentist Discusses Dental Sealants for Children

Children’s teeth are especially vulnerable to tooth decay. Brushing habits are not always as meticulous as they should be with kids that are just learning about oral hygiene. Convenient snack foods and juices that cater to children are generally quite high in sugar content. Your Ankeny dentist, Dr. Erika Peddicord, discusses how dental sealants can be added to the arsenal of weapons used to fight tooth decay in children.

Why Are Dental Sealants Necessary?

Indentations exist on our molars to help with the grinding of food. Unfortunately these microscopic pits and fissures can be very difficult to keep completely clean. Food particles that are caught in the grooves, and mix with bacteria, will create plaque, which causes tooth decay. Since toothbrush bristles don’t always reach the deepest pits and fissures, application of a dental sealant can help prevent cavities.

What are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are made from plastic, and are painted onto the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. The thin plastic hardens after it is applied, bonding to the enamel. This creates a protective barrier that will eliminate any opportunity for plaque to develop in the grooves of the teeth that are sealed. The procedure is safe and effective, and usually lasts several years. Sealants shouldn’t be visible to the naked eye during daily conversations and smiling, but the dentist can take a closer look to see if the sealants are intact at regular bi-annual checkups. (more…)