Archive for May, 2012

Habits that Can Hurt Your Teeth

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Though you may know how important it is to brush and floss teeth, many people don’t realize that certain habits and actions can affect your dental health. It’s important to protect your teeth and prevent damage. Trying to curb or address the following behaviors will help keep your smile strong and beautiful.

Chewing ice
Enamel is one of the hardest substances in the body, but constantly eating ice, or chewing on items like pencils, can cause tiny fractures in teeth. Eventually, these cracks can become bigger and require restorative work.

Biting your nails
Not only is this habit bad for your nails, but nail biting can also harm teeth and gums. You increase the risk of gum irritation and possibly gingivitis. Also, your hand and nails contain germs, which can enter your mouth when you bite your nails.

Over brushing
Too much of a good thing can work against you, and this includes brushing. You should use a soft-bristled tooth brush and gently brush teeth at least twice a day.

Clenching and grinding teeth
Often a subconscious action, clenching and grinding your teeth is also referred to as bruxism. You may be unaware of this problem, but bruxism can cause headaches, excessive tooth wear, and teeth sensitivity.

Whitening too frequently
While having a bright smile is a valuable asset, some people take it too far. If you whiten too often, you can create teeth sensitivity and may even weaken the enamel, so follow the instructions carefully. Your safest bet for whitening your teeth is to have professionally supervised in-office chair side whitening.

Top Cosmetic Dentistry Options

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Often, your smile is the first thing others notice. To look their best, many people are turning to dental procedures to improve both the appearance and function of their teeth. Using cosmetic dentistry techniques, your dentist can enhance your smile and correct many dental problems.

Teeth whitening
Whitening your teeth can brighten your smile and improve your self-confidence. Talk with your dentist about at home or in-office whitening.

Bonding
Tooth-colored materials may be adhered to a tooth to repair a broken or chipped area, or to improve the appearance of a badly stained tooth. After your dentist completes the procedure, you shouldn’t be able to tell a difference between a bonded tooth and the ones around it.

Shaping
Your dentist can reshape a tooth by filing away some of the enamel, producing immediate results.

Veneers
Usually created from porcelain, these restorations are custom made and permanently affixed to the front of the tooth. Veneers are used to hide chips and cracks, spaces between teeth, slightly crooked teeth, and discoloration.

Crowns
Also called caps, crowns fit over the entire tooth and are used to repair badly decayed or damaged teeth.

Bridges
When two crowns and a prosthetic tooth are used together, it is called a bridge. It “bridges” the gaps where teeth are missing.

Implants
To replace missing teeth, a metal implant is surgically placed into the jawbone. It is a permanent structure that acts as the root for artificial teeth that will be added on top of the implant.

Orthodontics
It is not uncommon for adults to improve the alignment of their teeth and jaw through various orthodontic treatments such as ceramic braces or Invisalign clear aligners.

Keeping Your Smile Healthy for Life

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

As one of your most valuable assets, your smile needs care and protection to provide lasting beauty. Brushing and flossing are key to keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Other factors also influence your oral health. Consider the following pointers:

Schedule regular dental checkups
The American Dental Association and most dentists recommend twice yearly dental appointments. These visits give the dentist a chance to look at your entire mouth and make sure everything is okay.

Watch what you eat
Choosing to consume a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, low-fat diary, and lean proteins will promote overall wellness and good oral health.

Curb tobacco use
Not only does smoking or chewing tobacco create yellow stains on teeth and bad breath, but this habit will also substantially increase the risk of oral cancer.

Eliminate bad habits
Chewing on pens, nail biting, and using your teeth as a tool can result in small fractures or chips in teeth. Talk with your dentist if you need help eliminating these kinds of behavior.

Don’t ignore problems
If your gums bleed while you brush or you develop a toothache, contact your dentist’s office right away. Not addressing the issue can turn a small problem like a cavity into a bigger issue, such as a root canal.

Watch out for your mouth
One of the main causes for facial injuries is playing sportd. Individuals who participate in activities like soccer, basketball, hockey, and skateboarding should talk with their dentists or orthodontists about the benefits of wearing a mouth guard.

Help Your Smile Stay Bright after Whitening

Monday, May 14th, 2012

If you have enhanced your smile with professional teeth whitening, you will want to do whatever it takes to ensure that the results last. Talk with your dentist about the best steps for protecting your smile’s radiance. The following tips will also help you keep your pearly whites looking their best.

What to Do after In-Office Whitening
• Because it takes time for the gel to absorb into the enamel, avoid dark colored food and beverages for the first 48 hours. Tea, red wine, tomato sauce, and other tooth-staining choices can impact your results.
• If you drink anything but water, sip the beverages through a straw to minimize contact with your teeth.
• After you eat or drink, gently brush your teeth to remove any residue. Don’t brush too roughly because you might remove the whitening agent or a layer of enamel.
• Make sure to drink plenty of water, which will dilute the colors of other foods and beverages you consume.
• Some people experience mild sensitivity after they whiten. Brushing with a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth might reduce the feeling. It usually subsides after a few days.

Tips for At-Home Whitening Trays

• Follow the directions provided by your dentist’s office to ensure the best outcome.
• While you are wearing the trays, don’t eat or drink staining foods and beverages.
• Use your custom trays to touch-up the results as needed, usually every 6 to 9 months.
• If you develop sensitivity while whitening your teeth, try applying the whitening solution every other day. You may also want to use specially formulated toothpaste that can help address sensitive teeth.

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804.886.3316

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