Other Uses for Toothpaste

August 28th, 2016

Usually, you apply toothpaste to your brush and clean your teeth. While this application is certainly the most common use of toothpaste, it’s not the only one. Protecting your teeth against decay and keeping your breath are important, but toothpaste can actually do other things, including:

Heal insect bites and stings
Apply a dab of traditional white paste, to the affected area and leave it there. The toothpaste actually helps relieve itching and irritation.

Eliminate markings on the walls and wood furniture
If your little one has left artistic expressions on your walls or furniture, plain white toothpaste works wonders at getting rid of crayon marks and markers. Though it won’t remove paint, you may want to try it on a test spot to make sure it doesn’t change the color.

Remove scratches in DVDs and CDs
Because DVDs and CDs are somewhat fragile, scratches and nicks can easily ruin these sources of entertainment. Rinse the disk with water and rub old-fashioned toothpaste in the cracks to create a smooth playing surface.

Treat acne
When an unexpected pimple appears out of no where, try a dab of original toothpaste. Cover the area before bed time and you should wake up to a clear face.

Erase scuffs on shoes
Rub toothpaste on the white part of sneakers to remove black marks and scuffs.

Cover nail holes in walls
For the small imperfections left by pictures, posters, or other wall hangings, apply paste to the hole and use a putty knife to smooth it out. You may need to touch up the paint after the toothpaste dries.

Family & General Dentistry Richmond VA

Wisdom Teeth

August 21st, 2016

Also called third year molars, wisdom teeth usually appear when an individual is between 17 and 21 years old. Your wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt and don’t generally serve any specific purpose. Some individuals never have their wisdom teeth erupt. In many cases, wisdom teeth come in crooked or impacted, which requires removal of these teeth.

Most adults have four wisdom teeth, two uppers and two lowers. Because of the location of the wisdom teeth, they can crowd adjacent teeth, damage the jawbone, and cause discomfort. When the wisdom teeth lean towards your second molars, the molars may become harder to clean and more susceptible to food debris.

Sometimes, wisdom teeth can stay partially or completely covered by the gums and soft tissue – this is what is referred to as an impacted tooth. Partially erupted wisdom teeth can allow bacteria to enter the area and easily create infection. These teeth are also more prone to decay because they are so hard to reach. Usually, impacted wisdom teeth require surgical removal.

After an examination and X-rays, your dentist will determine if extraction is necessary. Generally, dentists recommend removal of wisdom teeth as early as possible since the procedure and recovery are easier on younger patients. When the wisdom teeth are fully erupted, the extraction is a simple process, similar to any other tooth removal. With impacted wisdom teeth, your dentist will need to make an incision in the gums and possibly remove the tooth in sections.

Following wisdom teeth removal, you can expect some bleeding and possible swelling, especially near the extraction site. Your dentist or surgeon may prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection. Avoid spitting or sucking for 24 to 48 hours so that you don’t develop dry sockets, a condition that occurs when the blood clot fails to form in the socket or it dislodges from the area.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Richmond VA

Considering Veneers: Are They for You?

August 14th, 2016

If you have a tooth problem, anything from discolored teeth to crooked teeth to gaps between your teeth, dental veneers may be the answer for you. Veneers are shells created to go over your natural teeth and create a beautiful smile.

How do veneers work?
Made from very thin tooth-colored material, veneers cover the front of your teeth to hide imperfections. They also can alter the size, length, and shape of your teeth. Veneers may be created from resin composite or porcelain, although most are now made of porcelain because it is resistant to stains and very natural appearance.

What are the benefits of veneers?

  • It’s very difficult to tell the difference between veneers and real teeth.
  • Porcelain veneers won’t be stained by coffee, tea, red wine, or cigarettes.
  • Veneer colors may be chosen from many shades of white, so you can whiten your smile at the same time as correcting your teeth.
  • Veneers are sometimes an option for healthy teeth instead of crowns.

Are there any disadvantages?

  • Veneers generally aren’t covered by insurance.
  • Your teeth may become more sensitive with veneers because some of the enamel that protects your teeth has been removed.
  • Once your teeth are set for veneers, the process generally can’t be reversed.

Are veneers right for me?
Veneers can be a good option instead of braces to conceal gaps or crooked teeth. They can also hide chips, cracks, or uneven teeth. Veneers are a great way to whiten your teeth if they don’t respond to other methods. However, veneers aren’t good for teeth weakened by breaks, decay, or large fillings. Crowns may be a better option instead.

Richmond VA Porcelain Veneers Dentist

Full-Mouth Rehabilitation Can Revive Your Smile

August 7th, 2016

Are your teeth broken or cracked? Does your bite feel uncomfortable? Do you feel embarrassed about how your smile looks? If you answered yes to these questions, talk with your dentist about full-mouth rehabilitation.

Disease, trauma, and daily life can take a toll on your smile. Full-mouth rehabilitation is designed to revitalize your appearance, improve oral health, and restore harmony in your mouth. The full-mouth rehabilitation process usually combines cosmetic and restorative treatments to re-establish balance between your teeth, gums, bone tissue, and the related muscles.

As part of correcting your dental problems, your dentist will work with you to decide on a course of action that suits your goals, budget, and lifestyle. You will receive a thorough analysis of your whole mouth.

Then, your dentist will make recommendations that may include the following procedures or some combination of these therapies:

  • Porcelain veneers or cosmetic bonding to cover imperfections on existing teeth
  • Dental implants or dentures to replace lost teeth
  • Tooth-colored fillings or dental crowns to stabilize damaged teeth
  • Root canal therapy to save a severely injured tooth and prevent extraction
  • Periodontal therapy to stop gum disease and improve oral health

Typically, full-mouth rehabilitation involves a series of appointments. Once your dentist has created a detailed plan, you will visit the office over several visits so that the dental team can systematically repair your mouth and smile.

Full mouth rehabilitation at our Richmond dentists office

Questions to Ask Your Dentist

July 28th, 2016

As a society, we tend to focus on ways to improve our overall wellbeing. When it comes to health and prevention, many people forget about their teeth and gums. Maintaining good oral health impacts your quality of life. Taking a proactive approach to dental health can prevent problems such as gum disease, tooth loss, extensive decay, and oral cancer.

To protect teeth and gums, visit your dentist for twice yearly checkups. During the appointments ask your dentist these questions:

How is my dental health?
Your exams will give the dentist a clear picture of your teeth and gums. After finishing the evaluation, your dentist should review the findings with you so that you know the status of your oral health. If the dentist finds any problems, he or she can make treatment recommendations and explain the plans in complete detail.

What can I do to improve my dental health?
Because each person’s mouth is different, you need your dentist to offer specific instructions. For instance, you may need to brush longer, floss more often, or switch toothbrushes to receive the maximum benefits.

Can you make a difference in my oral health?
From bad breath treatments to veneers to night guards for teeth grinding, your dentist can address issues and enhance your smile. Let your dentist know about any concerns or questions you have.

Is there any information you need from my doctor or vice versa?
Changes in the mouth can indicate other health problems, so find out if your dentist thinks you need to share details with your doctor. At the same time, you should let your dentist know about any chronic conditions or changes to your medication regimens.

Family & General Dentistry Richmond VA

Fun Facts about Toothpaste

July 21st, 2016

You brush every day to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Most people don’t think much about their toothpaste, except whether they like gel or paste. These interesting tidbits about toothpaste might surprise you.

Read on to learn more about toothpaste, and share these cool facts with your friends!

  • Before modern toothpaste existed, people tried all kinds of dry, rough substances to clean their teeth, such as crushed eggshell, pumice, and the burnt hooves of animals.
  • In the past, brushing your teeth wasn’t important so many people had black, rotten teeth, including Queen Elizabeth I.
  • Toothpaste is often flavored from plants like spearmint and peppermint.
  • Dicalcium phosphate dehydrate is the abrasive in toothpaste that helps remove leftover food and plaque from teeth. It makes up about 1/5th of the toothpaste tube.
  • Colgate began selling the first commercial brand of toothpaste in 1873. Crest made its U.S. debut in 1955.
  • A document from the 4th century A.D. provided a recipe of ingredients needed for the perfect smile: one drachma (one hundredth of an ounce) of rock salt, two drachmas of mint, one drachma of dried iris flower, and 20 grains of pepper, all crushed and mixed together.
  • Found in shampoo and soap, surfactants are the ingredients that allow the paste to foam and they help spread the toothpaste over your teeth.
  • Other than texture and flavor, gels and pastes work the same so it’s a matter of personal preference.
  • The most important ingredient in toothpaste is fluoride, which helps strengthen enamel and prevent cavities. Don’t use fluoride toothpaste on children under two because they can ingest too much and cause staining on their teeth.

Family & General Dentistry Richmond VA

Why Not Consider Dental Implants?

July 14th, 2016

If you are missing teeth, you may feel self-conscious about your smile. And lost teeth can impact your chewing and speaking ability. Over time, bone degeneration and subsequent tooth loss can also occur. Dental implants are a great option to replace missing teeth and revive your smile.

Look at the following reasons as you way your options:

Dental implants are a permanent solution.
Designed to look and feel like your original tooth, a dental implant is surgically placed under your gum and the dentist places a prosthetic crown on each post. These replacement options create a solid, attractive smile.

Dental implants stand the test of time.
Although they may cost more money initially than dentures, dental implants have a longer lifespan. With proper home care and regular dental checkups, implants will likely last 20 years or more. Can you say the same thing about your dentures?

Dental implants offer improved stability.
With implant therapy, you can say good-bye to messy creams and embarrassing slippage. Unlike dentures, the implants won’t move out of position because they are surgically anchored into place.

Dental implants improve oral health.
When you lose a tooth, the other teeth may shift into the open space, creating alignment problems. Gaps in your smile can also weaken the supporting bone structure. Implants fill in the spaces, which keeps your mouth in better shape.

Dental implants boost your self-esteem.
Lost teeth can cause you to limit what you do and the people you see. Completing your smile with dental implants can allow you to live life to the fullest so that you can eat, laugh, and smile with total confidence.

We specialize in dental implants at Richmond Dentistry

Causes and Effects of Gingivitis

July 7th, 2016

Any stage of gum disease (or gingivitis) can cause inflammation, pain, and sensitivity. It can make eating and talking difficult. It’s important to know what causes gum disease and what can happen if it develops, so that you can avoid it altogether or at least catch it before it wreaks havoc on your mouth.

What causes gingivitis?

Plaque buildup is the main cause of gum disease, although other factors can lead to it as well. These include:

  • Illnesses, especially those that interfere with your immune system. Patients with HIV, diabetes, and cancer are often at higher risk for gingivitis.
  • Hormonal changes associated with pregnancy, menstruation, puberty, and menopause.
  • Some medications affect oral health by decreasing saliva or causing abnormal growth of gum tissue.
  • Smoking can hamper the healing of your gums.
  • Poor dental hygiene, including neglecting brushing or flossing, or using improper techniques.
  • Family history of gum disease.

What are the symptoms?
Gingivitis can sneak up without symptoms, even in the later stages of the disease. However, there are signs that may point to some level of gingivitis. These include bleeding, red, or swollen gums. Ongoing bad breath and receding gums are other symptoms. Deep pockets may form between the teeth and gums, and teeth may shift or loosen. You might also notice changes in how your teeth fit together when you bite down. Your dentist can recognize symptoms even if you don’t, so make sure you have checkups regularly.

How is gingivitis treated?
Treatment depends on the stage of your gum disease, how you responded to previous treatment, and your general health. Treatments range from therapies to control bacterial growth to surgery to restore gum tissue. Often gingivitis can be controlled with dental visits and good dental hygiene.

What can happen without treatment?
Gingivitis may advance to periodontitis, causing permanent damage to your mouth. Advanced gum disease has been linked to stroke, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes complications.

Dentist in Richmond VA

Ways You Can Damage Your Smile

June 28th, 2016

Although tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body, your smile is no match for abuse, neglect, or mistreatment. Without the right care, you can seriously damage your teeth and gums. If you want to see just how vulnerable your smile is, the following list will provide a surefire way to wreak havoc on your mouth.

Brushing infrequently and not flossing
For the best results, you need to brush at least twice a day and floss regularly. Flossing stimulates gums and removes debris from between teeth. Make these steps part of your oral care routine.

Forgoing regular dental exams
Having a dental checkup every six months will help maintain optimal oral health, but most people skip this recommendation. Even if you can’t see any problems, schedule your appointment so that your dentist can assess your current status.

Treating your teeth like tools
Ripping open snack bags, popping off bottle caps, or chomping on ice can lead to cracking and breakage. To avoid needing restorative dental work, take time to find the scissors or locate a bottle opener.

Whitening too frequently
If you fail to read instructions or whiten teeth too often, you may irritate gums or make teeth feel sensitive. Before beginning a bleaching process, check with your dentist to ensure that your smile can handle the treatment.

Getting an oral piercing
While you might think a lip ring or tongue piercing is a great accessory, you can cause serious harm to your mouth. Teeth can become chipped or fractured. You also risk excessive bleeding and infection during the piercing process.

Smile Makeover Dentist Richmond VA

Finding the Right Dentist for You

June 21st, 2016

Don’t wait to look for a dentist until an emergency forces you to do so. Choosing one before you have a serious need may save you pain, money, and stress. Whether you’re moving to a new area or just want to find a new dentist, these suggestions can help you find a dentist you are comfortable with and best meets your dental needs.

Where do I start?
Ask family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors for their recommendations. If you’re moving, your current dentist may be able to suggest one. You can also look at online dentist directories for a list of dentists in your area.

What’s the office like?
Find out the office location, hours, and availability of appointment times. Ask how long the practice has been in operation, and what type of emergency care is offered. When you visit the office, look for cleanliness and a courteous, friendly staff. Also ask about patient comforts like pre-medication, and amenities such as music or movies.

Is the dentist qualified?
Inquire about the dentist’s education and experience, and whether the dentist pursues continuing training in the latest technology and innovations. If there are specific procedures that you’re interested in, find out if the dentist performs those or refers patients to other specialists. Also note whether the dentist is a member of a state or national dental society.

What about costs?
If you have dental insurance, confirm that the dentist is covered by your policy. Ask how they handle insurance claims in order to avoid billing hassles. No matter whether you’re paying out-of-pocket or using insurance, determine dental costs up front so there won’t be any big surprises.

Family & General Dentistry Richmond VA

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