Avoiding Common Oral Health Problems

August 21st, 2014

Lots of things can go wrong with your oral health if you aren’t aware of potential problems and how to avoid them. There are some simple ways that can help you maintain good oral health and steer clear of sometimes painful problems.

Your first line of defense against cavities is good oral care, including regular and thorough brushing and flossing. Reducing your consumption of sugary and acidic foods and drinks will also help. Ask your dentist about fluoride treatments and dental sealants, both of which can provide extra protection against cavities. Quitting smoking is another good way to avoid problems, since the habit makes your teeth sticky and more prone to allowing bacteria to cling to your tooth enamel.

Gum disease
Practicing good oral hygiene is the best way to fight gum disease, also called gingivitis. Once you develop gingivitis, it can develop into the more serious periodontitis if you’re not careful. Brush at least twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and a soft toothbrush, which can be manual or powered. Floss every single day, and you may also rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash. Professional teeth cleanings and checkups twice a year, eating a balanced diet, and quitting smoking are also helpful in preventing gum disease.

Temperomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ, is an increasingly common problem. It causes chronic jaw pain, popping, headaches, and neck problems. Teeth grinding or clenching are leading causes of TMJ, but it can also result from arthritis or trauma. If you suspect you are grinding or clenching your teeth, or are experiencing pain consistent with TMJ symptoms, visit your dentist. Some treatments include sleeping with a custom mouth guard, applying a warm washcloth to relax your jaw muscles, and practicing stress-reducing techniques like meditation.

Family and general dentist in Richmond VA

Root Canal Treatment: The Truth

August 14th, 2014

There are many misconceptions about root canal treatment. This process is recommended when your tooth pulp is infected or damaged, and the treatment is needed to save your tooth. The damaged pulp is removed from your tooth and filled with a material that prevents future infections. A crown is often recommended to be placed over the tooth to complete the procedure and preserve the tooth. If your dentist recommends this treatment for you, it may save you some worry if you know the truth about the procedure.

Truth about the pain
Root canal treatment has advanced over the years, making it much less painful than its previous reputation. Anesthesia is used during the procedure, and most patients say it is no worse than getting a filling.

Truth about office visits
The procedure can usually be completed in just one or two office visits. Several factors impact the number of appointments, such as the extent of infection, complexity of the procedure, and need for referral to a different health care professional. Your dentist will be able to advise how many office visits are needed for your treatment.

Truth about symptoms
Your tooth does not absolutely have to be painful to indicate the need for a root canal. A dentist may diagnose a serious problem even when you don’t feel discomfort. That’s one reason regular checkups are important, so that issues can be caught.

Truth about cause
It is a myth that root canal treatment is caused by illnesses like heart disease, arthritis, or kidney disease. Medical research has proven these long-time myths to be untrue.

Truth about success
The benefits of root canal treatment can last a long time, even permanently. Sometimes patients experience broken teeth after treatment, but dentists attribute this to failure in the restoration or tooth construction instead of the root canal treatment itself. Patients who do not opt to get crowns tend to experience tooth breakage more often.

If you need a root canal dentist in Richmond VA, schedule your consultation today.

Restoring Confidence with a Smile Makeover

August 7th, 2014

An unattractive smile can make you feel uncomfortable and lower your self-esteem. Being embarrassed about the appearance of your mouth can make social and professional situations difficult. This calls for a smile makeover. Cosmetic dentists can help you transform your look and give you back the confidence you’ve lost due to a lackluster smile. A smile makeover offers many ways to help you achieve your goals.

Whitening teeth
Aging combined with certain habits can take a toll on your teeth, leaving them dingy and yellow. Drinking coffee or red wine and maintaining habits like smoking all can be culprits of an embarrassing smile. Professional teeth whitening methods provide a fast and effective way to turn your smile around.

Eliminating gaps
Although some celebrities embrace gaps in their smiles, many people consider them a reason to hide their teeth. Traditional braces, clear aligners, and veneers are each effective ways to get rid of gaps that you don’t like.

Repairing decay
Not only is tooth decay unattractive, it can be painful and negatively impact your overall health. Treatment may involve fillings, crowns, root canal therapy, or even tooth extraction. If removal of the tooth is necessary, dental implants are a popular restoration choice.

Repairing chips and cavities
Chips in your teeth may be easily repaired using techniques like contouring or bonding. Cavities can also be attractively filled using white composite material that is not noticeable in your smile, yet effectively takes care of cavities.

If you are looking for a smile makeover dentist in Richmond Virginia, contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

What to Expect from a Family Dentist in Richmond Virginia

July 28th, 2014

Your teeth and gums play a key role in your overall health. Good oral health helps you eat comfortably, which in turn helps you consume the proper foods and nutrients to keep your body functioning well. Seeing a family dentist allows all the members of the family to maintain a healthy mouth to give everyone a better chance of enjoying good general health as well.

The first step is choosing a dental professional. Each member of your family should be regularly seeing the dentist, preferably twice a year, so it’s important to select someone you all like and are comfortable handling your oral health needs. Look for a family dentist who works well with all ages, is caring, and has qualifications and experience with a variety of treatments. Ask friends, family, and coworkers for recommendations, as well as researching yourself on the internet.

When you visit the dentist, you can expect a number of procedures to likely be a standard part of the process. Professional cleanings will be done to thoroughly remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums. Preventive techniques might be outlined such as dental sealants or fluoride treatments. A thorough checkup will be performed to make sure your mouth is as healthy as possible, and if not, treatment options will be discussed. Procedures such as teeth whitening, fillings, veneers, crowns, and bridges are also available at some family dentistry practices.

Establishing your family’s relationship with a family dentist will benefit each of you. Keeping your smile healthy is one of the best investments you can make, so consider finding a family dentist today.

BRS Dentistry is a family and cosmetic dental office in Richmond Virginia

Choosing a Whitening Toothpaste

July 21st, 2014

With all of the teeth whitening products available these days, there’s no reason to go through life with a mouthful of stained, yellow teeth. Options range from pricey methods to very inexpensive ones. A simple, cost-effective choice that can help you maintain a brighter smile is whitening toothpaste.

Why do teeth become discolored?
The strong outer layer of your teeth is called enamel. It starts out white, but as it becomes damaged over time, the white enamel can become discolored. Tooth enamel can become weakened and eroded with age as well as poor dental hygiene.

What items stain teeth?
The most common things that contribute to tooth stains are certain foods and drinks. Colored foods like dark berries and sauces can stain teeth. Drinks such as coffee, tea, red wine, and sodas are culprits as well. Smoking or other tobacco use is another thing known to discolor teeth.

How can toothpaste help?
Many toothpastes contain sodium fluoride, which helps regenerate tooth enamel. Some toothpastes have additional ingredients with the purpose of whitening teeth, such as baking soda or hydrogen peroxide. Brushing with toothpastes made for whitening is a good way to maintain a brighter smile.

How do I choose a toothpaste?
There are many brands of whitening toothpastes available in your drugstore. Most of the time, it’s simply a matter of personal preference and taste as to which one is right for you. However, make sure your choice is labeled with a seal of approval by the American Dental Association (ADA). This indicates that the ADA has approved the toothpaste as a product to help prevent cavities and gum disease, remove plaque, and strengthen tooth enamel. A toothpaste needs to perform these purposes in addition to any whitening goals, so that your teeth will have a greater chance of being healthy in addition to remaining white.

If you are looking for professional teeth whitening in Richmond, VA, contact our office to make an appointment.

Smile Makeovers Can Change Lives

July 14th, 2014

If you believe your smile is holding you back in your life, it’s time to do something about it. There’s no reason to continue feeling embarrassed, shy, or anxious about smiling. Seeing a cosmetic dentist can change all those feelings about how you look so that your smile no longer hampers your lifestyle.

Cosmetic dentistry offers a variety of treatments to improve how your smile looks. Some problems that smile makeovers correct include teeth that are crooked, discolored, broken, chipped, cracked, gapped, uneven, misaligned, and the list goes on!

So how can altering your smile change your life? Obviously, improving your appearance is the most obvious answer. Another benefit of a smile makeover is improving how you feel about yourself. You will gain confidence and your self-esteem will be enhanced. Once you have taken the steps to change your smile, you automatically gain confidence just by going down the path of becoming more what you’d like to be. You will look at yourself differently and therefore exude those feelings as well. You very well may feel energized and ready to take on the world with your newfound confidence.

Another thing you may not realize about your smile is that it can encourage others to want to get to know you better. A beautiful smile has the ability of drawing people in, and basically inviting others to interact with you. It can help you gain friends, as well as help you achieve goals professionally.

No matter what the reasons behind your smile makeover might be, chances are it will change your life for the better. Consult a cosmetic dentist to see how you might get started on your journey to a beautiful smile.

Smile makeover dentist in Richmond VA

Looking After Your Gums

July 7th, 2014

Most people concentrate on cleaning their teeth to avoid cavities, but it is equally important to look after your gums. One of the most common dental diseases is called gum disease. This affects not only your mouth but your whole body. Gum disease frequently leads to tooth loss, and has been linked to general health conditions such as strokes, heart disease and diabetes. The following steps will help keep your gums healthy, protecting your general health.

Brush your teeth using a soft bristled toothbrush at least twice a day, using fluoride toothpaste. Take care to brush all the surfaces of your teeth, and brushing your tongue helps to remove even more bacteria. Think about purchasing an electric toothbrush, as the oscillating action is more efficient at removing plaque than a manual toothbrush. Whichever you choose, don’t scrub your teeth too hard as you could damage your gums.

Chew Gum after Meals
If you can’t brush your teeth soon after eating, chewing sugar-free gum will help stimulate saliva flow, neutralizing acids. Try to pick a brand containing xylitol as this has been shown to inhibit bacterial growth.

Floss your teeth once a day, ensuring you get right in between every single tooth. Take the dental floss down to and just below the gum line. If you can’t get on with floss, ask your family dentist in Richmond, VA about alternative tools such as floss threaders, interdental brushes and water flossers.

It’s not obligatory, but many people like to use an antibacterial or fluoride mouthwash after brushing and flossing. This helps give added protection and leaves your mouth feeling fresh and clean.

Disclosing Tablets
Disclosing tablets are chewable tablets that stain any plaque left on your teeth. It can be a good idea to use them occasionally as they will highlight any areas you might be missing.

Visit Your Dentist
Visit your dentist in Richmond, VA twice a year for checkups and professional cleanings. Let them know if you have noticed any symptoms of gum disease such as bleeding or swollen gums.

Why Take Your Time Choosing a Cosmetic Dentist?

June 28th, 2014

If you have decided to have a smile makeover, your selection of cosmetic dentist can make a huge difference. It is important to choose someone with sufficient experience and vision to create a stunning smile. Cosmetic dentistry is not a dental specialty, and any dentist can call themselves a cosmetic dentist. Failing to choose carefully could result in a less than satisfactory smile and may even cause dental problems or pain. The following tips will help you choose the right dentist in Richmond to construct your new smile

Ask for Referrals
When you start talking to friends, family and colleagues, you are likely to find several have already had cosmetic dentistry treatments. Word-of-mouth can often be the best way to choose a trustworthy and competent dentist.

Search the Internet
You have a wealth of information right at your fingertips, so search the Internet for good cosmetic dentists in your area. Many dentists have websites detailing their services and qualifications, as well as smile galleries showing before and after photographs of satisfied patients.

Visit the Practice
Take the time to visit all the dentists on your short list and schedule a consultation so you can get a feel for the dental office. Some people prefer a clinical approach, with lots of high-tech equipment, while others will feel more at home in somewhere a little warmer and more relaxed. When you visit, ask to see before and after photographs of actual patients, and if possible any testimonials.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask about Education and Experience
It is important to check your dentist has the right skill level to carry out your smile makeover. For example, if you want dental implants choose a dentist in Richmond who frequently places implants, and who is up-to-date with the latest technologies.

Dealing with the Discomfort of Sensitive Teeth

June 14th, 2014

Do you experience shooting pains whenever you bite into something very hot, cold or sweet? If so you’re not alone as millions of Americans have sensitive teeth. This problem can cause you to think twice about food choices, and may impact your enjoyment of life.

Tooth sensitivity generally occurs when the dentin is exposed. This is the tooth material just underneath the hard outer layer of enamel, and it contains many tiny tubules that lead directly to the center of your tooth which is the pulp. The pulp houses all the nerves of your tooth, and is extremely sensitive to the sensations produced by hot, cold and sweet foods.

Sensitive teeth can develop due to several different factors which include:

  • Worn-out fillings
  • Untreated tooth decay
  • Tooth grinding
  • Improper brushing techniques that have worn down dental enamel
  • Poor oral care at home which has allowed tartar buildup
  • Gum recession
  • Tooth whitening treatments

It’s possible the sensations could also be due to a sensitive pulp. This tends to affect a single tooth and is due to the pulp being damaged in some way. These symptoms can often be similar to tooth sensitivity so it’s important to visit your dentist in Reno for a proper examination and x-rays to help diagnose any infection or decay.

Generalized tooth sensitivity affecting most or all of your teeth can be treated in several ways. It’s best to choose a soft bristled brush to clean your teeth, and use fluoride toothpaste to help protect them. Your dentist in Reno can recommend toothpaste specially designed for sensitive teeth which works by gradually blocking up the tubules in the dentin. This toothpaste needs to be used continuously for several weeks before the full effects will become apparent. If you have a sensitive tooth pulp, you could need root canal therapy to remove decayed, infected or damaged pulp material.

Dentist in Richmond that treats patients with sensitive teeth.

Easy Ways for Brightening Your Smile

June 14th, 2014

Most people are interested in having a bright, attractive smile, and yellow or discolored teeth can hamper this ambition. There are lots of different ways you can brighten up your smile, and listed below are a few popular methods.

Use Whitening Products
There are a multitude of products available to whiten teeth, including many home whitening kits. However it is far safer and more effective to visit your dentist in Reno. They will examine your teeth before whitening to ensure they are strong and healthy, and can use stronger products than can be bought over-the-counter. The effects are quicker, more dramatic and longer lasting.

Brush Your Teeth with Baking Soda
This is a simple technique for brightening teeth, and baking soda is an active ingredient in many home whitening products. You can just brush it on with your toothbrush to help remove some surface stains, but you shouldn’t do this too often as baking soda is quite abrasive.

This is an old-fashioned home remedy, and involves mashing up strawberries into a paste that is then applied to your teeth and left for up to half an hour. Strawberries contain malic acid which helps to lift stains from your teeth, but it can also soften tooth enamel and cause enamel erosion.

Avoid Foods That Stain
Certain foods are well known for discoloring teeth, including tea and coffee, curries, red wine and tomato based sauces. Acidic foods such as white wine can also increase the rate of staining. If you have these foods drink plenty of water while eating, and try to brush your teeth soon afterwards.

Quit Smoking
Smoking discolors teeth and causes bad breath. In addition it increases the risk of gum disease.

Think About Dental Veneers
Some tooth stains are hard to remove as they can be inside the tooth structure. In this case the best option is to cover up the tooth with a veneer that can be fabricated by your dentist in Reno. Dental veneers are made from thin pieces of porcelain and can hide all sorts of imperfections.

For professional teeth whitening in the Richmond VA area, contact our dental office.

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Dear Dr. Brown,
I wanted to thank you and your entire staff for my recent dental experience at your Patterson office. Everyone exceeded my expectations in making my dental visits comfortable, from scheduling to the finish of my procedure. I truly felt everyone cared about me as an individual and took special steps to

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