When it comes to dental health, the first issue we get exposed to is the cavity. The culprit to most of our childhood dental ails, the cavity is both treatable and preventable. If you find that your dental visits consist of getting fillings, take a look at what it is that you’re doing in regard to dental health. If you aren’t practicing good dental hygiene habits, you are likely going to continue to develop cavities and other dental maladies.
Acidic foods cause tooth decay. Acidic foods such as lemons, citrus juices, or soft fruit drink don’t cause cavities, but they put enamel in danger, weakening the tooth and making it more prone to getting a cavity. At the same time, acidic foods naturally help to clean off our teeth and brighten it a bit. The solution? Enjoy them but try to keep your acidic food intake to a minimum.
Children aren’t more prone to cavities. The rookies to dental hygiene and lovers of all things sweet are definitely more susceptible to cavities, but there has been an increase in cavities found in older people because some medications dry out the mouth and reduce saliva. Saliva is vital in fighting tooth decay because it helps neutralize acids.
Sugar and cavities. We may have been taught that sugar causes cavities, it’s the acid produced by bacteria in your mouth that cause cavities. Sugar is bacteria food. The longer you leave it in your mouth, the longer the bacteria have to dine on it and cause cavities.
As you can see, cavities are a common dental issue that is quite easy to avoid. Keeping up good dental hygiene practices and dental appointments are key to a healthy mouth and bright smile.
We all want that perfect smile, but for many of us, it doesn’t happen naturally. In fact, most of us need a bit of dental work to achieve the smile we’ve always wanted. Thanks to modern medicine, porcelain veneers are one of the top cosmetic dentistry procedures and can really turn your smile around. But the longevity of your porcelain veneers greatly depends on how well you take care of them. So, pay attention to aftercare instructions from your dentist and these simple tips for optimal longevity:
Practice good dental hygiene. Good oral care at home helps to prevent periodontitis, which can cause your gums to recede. Veneers are placed right at the gum line. If your gums do start to recede the appearance of your veneers could be compromised.
Avoid excessive force. This is a habit for many of us, but your smile doesn’t like it. Things like biting your nails or chewing ice can break or dislodge a veneer, and for some, could be the reason you have the veneer in the first place. Make a conscious effort to stop these types of habits.
Quit clenching and grinding your teeth. By grinding your teeth your veneers can be chipped or broken due to the force generated by these actions. If you suffer from bruxism at night, find out about getting a night guard to protect your teeth and veneers.
Limit foods and drinks that stain. And lastly, while porcelain veneers are very resistant to staining the cement used to hold them in place can stain over time. Try to avoid coffee, tea, soda, wine and tobacco.
In the quest for the perfect smile, the options can be a bit overwhelming. You and your dental professional will sit down to discuss what you would like to see in your smile, eventually finalizing a treatment plan. And depending on your particular case, a dental implant or two may be called for. And while the artificial tooth roots are all made of titanium screws, not every dental prosthesis is the same.
Dental crowns. A dental crown is a cap that fits over the top of a tooth and is made to match the color and shape of the natural tooth. To place an implant-supported crown, the natural tooth will first need to be extracted, an implant screw is placed in the jawbone and an abutment is attached. Once the implant site has healed and the bone has fused with the implant, a permanent dental crown replaces the temporary crown.
Implant-supported dental bridge. While a dental crown is a single cap, a dental bridge is made up of two dental crowns with a fake tooth or teeth between them. Implant-supported bridges are used when the natural teeth are unable to support a dental prosthesis. The placement of a dental bridge is similar to placing a dental crown, but instead two dental implants are placed.
Implant-supported denture. Dentures are artificial teeth and gums that are used to restore an entire upper or lower arch of teeth. Although dentures can be used as a removable dental prosthesis, fixed dentures used dental implants for permanent stabilization in the mouth. Placing an implant-supported denture requires the placement of at least four dental implants and the extraction of any remaining decayed or damaged teeth.
There comes a time in everyone’s life that a dental procedure needs to be done. We aren’t talking about a dental examination – those are a part of a thorough check-up. We’re talking dental procedure – something you’ll likely need some type of anesthetic to complete. And after oral surgery, your mouth is going to be very tender and will need some time to recover. But you’re hungry! Don’t worry – we have a step-by-step guide to help you eat your way back to health. After all, our smiles are in recovery mode and the goal is to avoid infection and irritation. After your procedure, the American Dental Association recommends these staples:
Pureed or cream soups
Oatmeal or cream of wheat
Soft scrambled eggs
Smoothies or shakes
When it comes to temperature, the operative word is warm. Hot or cold foods and drinks can affect the healing process.
Eating a balanced diet with lots of protein can help you heal because it helps build and repair muscle, skin, and tissue. You can easily get lots of protein from protein powder mixed with milk or water, soup with beef or chicken broth. There are also several soft fruit and veggie options to ensure you get adequate nutrition while healing. For example, you can eat mashed avocado to get the small amount of recommended healthy fat you need per day. Peaches, kiwi, and strawberries are soft and high in vitamin C, which helps repair tissues. Keep things as low in sugar as possible to avoid gum disease and once your dentist signs off on crunchier foods, slowly introduce them back into your diet.
Here we are… on the brink of the most thankful holiday we have on the calendar – Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a not only a holiday all about watching football and breaking bread with the people in your life, but a time to give thanks for everything we have. Unfortunately, there is one very important piece to our puzzle that always gets overlooked during the thanks we give – our smiles. So, what is there to do? Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you celebrate this scrumptious holiday:
Keep things short and sweet. Between the pre-meal snacks and the post-meal desserts, it’s impossible to not fall victim to grazing the entire day. The longer you allow the acids in foods to hang out in your mouth, the easier it is for cavity-causing bacteria to invade your teeth and set up camp. It’s all about moderation.
Stay hydrated. Keeping a glass of water handy will not only help with digesting all of the plethora of tasty sides but drinking plenty of water will also wash away any food debris still lingering around in your mouth. Saliva is your mouth’s natural defender against bad bacteria, so keeping your saliva production up will help prevent cavities.
Keep your dental routine. Because our teeth are so important during this delicious holiday, make sure you brush, floss and rinse the way you normally would. Scratch that, pay more attention to them. Your teeth don’t know you’re celebrating. They just know that you’re enjoying a feast. After the holidays, be sure to make an appointment for a quick dental check-up. Thanksgiving is a fantastic time to give thanks for everything in your life – don’t let your smile be the exception.
Keeping your mouth clean is not only good for your health, but it is also good for your breath. As you eat food, chewing breaks food into small particles that can become stuck between teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue. As bacteria break down that food, the bacteria can release foul odors, which will be exhaled and noticeable to others. Patients with cavities caused by tooth decay are more likely to have food particles and bacterial colonies present – the cavities provide a protected space for bacteria, increasing the likelihood of odor causing bacteria being present. Sure, chewing a bit of gum after eating some garlic will mainly do the trick, but there are also some underlying circumstances that could be making your breath smell. If you find that your breath is less than lovely on a regular basis, consult your dentist – it could mean something more serious.
Like tooth-born bacteria, patients with periodontal disease are likely to have bad breath. Periodontal disease is an infection within the gums, typically caused by poor oral hygiene. As plaque and tartar build up against the gums, bacterial colonies build beneath the surface of the gums, creating large colonies that not only produce foul odors, but also damage gum and bone tissue, and could potentially cause severe dental issues such as tooth loss.
Because the root cause of bad breath is often bacteria, an antiseptic mouthwash can often help mitigate bad breath – at least for a while. However, it’s important to remember that mouthwash doesn’t necessarily remove all bacteria; it only kills some bacteria for a short period of time.
Having the best smile we possibly can is one of the main focuses we have when going to the dentist. Sure, our dental health is important, but people see our smile – we need a nice one. Thankfully, there are loads of dental procedures available to improve your smile, and each has a focus, so the procedure chosen is on a case-by-case basis. Together, you and your dental professional will discuss a treatment plan based on your wishes and your mouth’s health. Yes, your dental efforts every day will dictate what types of procedures you are a good candidate for.
When it comes to straightening, many patients have asked about the benefits of veneers when compared to Invisalign. Both will straighten your smile, but they are very different procedures. While veneers are certainly an option for improving your smile, they only cover up certain dental imperfections, rather than correct them. This means that some existing periodontal problems could still remain.
Applied to the front side of the teeth only, veneers also require the removal of the surface enamel of each tooth – an irreversible procedure. Often considered a quick fix, veneers typically need to be replaced every 5 to 10 years – this can become very expensive in the long run. Coffee, tea and red wine need to be avoided to prevent discoloration, and care must be taken to prevent chipping or breaking the veneer. So, while the surface look of the teeth may improve with veneers, the underlying tooth and gum problems could still exist.
Of course, there’s always the option of not seeking treatment at all. Ultimately, the choice is yours, but do keep in mind that, if left untreated, many orthodontic issues can often lead to more serious dental and health issues.
Now that we are smack dab in the middle of Autumn, I think that it’s time to talk about one of our mouth’s very best friends – the apple. Autumn is the time of year nit begins to cool down and the apple is the centerpiece of many of our autumnal celebrations. The leaves change from bright, vivid greens to more rust-like, “apple-y” colorations and we trade out our lemonades for apple cider. ’Tis the season of the apple and we are here to help you celebrate this tooth-friendly food properly.
Apples aren’t only a fruit used to sweet talk the teachers or keep away the doctors. They also help keep our smiles strong and bright. Apples are naturally full of vitamins A and C, key to keeping our gums nice and healthy. The small amount of acid and the crunchiness of the skin that acts as an astringent on your teeth when you bite into it. Scrubbing your teeth as you chew, the juiciness of the apple causes you to produce saliva. The more saliva you have going on, the less chance the bacteria has to bury itself in your mouth, wreaking havoc.
Just because the apple is now our favorite go-to snack, please remember that these sweet fruits do have sugar content, so be sure to brush afterwards to make sure you get rid of the loosened plaque left behind by your apple. If you don’t have a toothbrush handy, do a quick rinse with some water.
So, stock up on those amazing apples. Not only are they great at keeping us healthy, they are also great in lots of healthy autumnal recipes!
Galileo was a philosopher that helped shape the world we know today. Can he help you get a healthy smile? Not exactly. But thanks to the ever-changing advancements in dental technology, there is a piece of dental equipment that will give your dental appointments a revolutionary improvement. Not only can it give your dentist better visuals of your smile, but it will flag any issues that are beginning to develop in the future. That equipment is the Galileo 3D CT scanner.
You may be thinking, why do we need 3D scans of my mouth? Interesting enough, these scans will give your dental professional a live feed of your dental anatomy from various angles. The various perspectives allow for a better view of the structure of the bones, making it easier to locate root fractures and canals. Even more importantly, 3D scans provide dentists the ability to gain more accurate measurement of their patient’s dental structure. These scans can be used in both diagnosis and treatment planning to increase its possibility of success and allows dental practitioners to be more confident in preparing for various dental procedures, such as extractions, root canals, implants and so on.
The use of 3D dental scans also creates a more engaging environment where dental practitioners and professionals can assess their patient’s dental health, while at the same time the patient can also ask questions about what they see on the screen. This allows for constant communication between patient and doctor, allowing for a more comfortable dental visit for the patient, which may help put them at ease, especially those who suffer from dental anxiety.