Archive for November, 2012

Considering Veneers: Are They for You?

Friday, November 30th, 2012

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.

What is a Dental Emergency?

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Sometimes an injury or tooth pain can occur suddenly, and immediate dental care may be required. It’s not always obvious when a problem needs emergency care, but some dental emergencies do need to be treated quickly to avoid infections or permanent damage. Here’s a guide to situations that are usually considered dental emergencies.

•    Cracked or broken tooth – contact your dentist immediately. Rinse your mouth with water and hold a cold compress to the affected area until you can get to your dentist’s office.
•    Excessive bleeding with lip or tongue bite – clean the area and use a cold compress. Go to the emergency room if the bleeding is severe or won’t stop.
•    Jaw injury – if you think you may have broken your jaw, apply a cold pack and immediately to your dentist’s office or the emergency room.
•    Knocked out tooth –rinse the root of the lost tooth if it’s dirty. Do not scrub or removed any tissue left on the tooth. Try reinserting the tooth into its socket, but if that isn’t successful, see your dentist right away. Placing the lost tooth in milk may help preserve the tooth until you can get professional help.
•    Loose tooth – see your dentist immediately if one of your teeth is loosened. Take over-the-counter pain reliever if needed, and apply a cold compress.
•    Lost crown or filling – place the crown or filling in a safe place and contact your dentist. To decrease sensitivity, you may apply clove oil and dental cement available at your drugstore, but only if you’ve gotten approval from your dentist.
•    Severe or sudden toothache – rinse your mouth with warm water and gently floss around the tooth. Contact your dentist if your toothache persists.
•    Swelling – painful swelling in your mouth may indicate an abscess, which is an infected area of pus that can become serious. See your dentist as soon as possible, and try rinsing your mouth with saltwater in the meantime.

Nature’s Foods for Healthy Teeth

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

In addition to practicing good dental hygiene and regularly visiting your dentist, one of the simplest ways you can keep your pearly whites healthy is good for your whole body as well. Eating a diet rich in certain foods will promote strong teeth and oral health. Turn to nature to find out what foods can help keep you smiling.

Foods which are high in protein and phosphorous help to strengthen your teeth and jaw. Your jaw is important because it holds your teeth in place. Some great options for high protein foods are eggs, beans, nuts, and meat.

Just like children are told to drink their milk because it’s good for them, the same is true for adults. Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are rich in calcium, which is known for its ability to help strengthen your bones. The enamel on your teeth can also benefit from calcium, because the stronger your enamel is, the more your teeth are protected from decay.

Nature’s fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and limes can indirectly help your teeth. Even though they don’t strengthen your teeth on their own, citrus fruits aid the cells that support healthy gums and teeth.

Your teeth and enamel benefit from a mineral called magnesium, which can be found in whole grains. Sources of magnesium include grains like oats, corn, rice, and barley. Also, whole grains have a high fiber content, which can benefit your whole body.

Eating fish has been shown to provide many health benefits, and your teeth are no exception. Fish contains Vitamin D, which is a nutrient that helps you absorb calcium. If you’re consuming calcium-rich food like the dairy products described above, introducing Vitamin D in your diet will help your body absorb that calcium and promote stronger teeth.

The Pros & Cons of Dental Bonding

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Dental bonding can make a broken, chipped, or stained tooth look new again. This cosmetic dentistry procedure involves adhering a tooth-colored material to a tooth, sculpting it into shape, allowing it to harden, and then polishing it. Depending upon your situation, there are both advantages and disadvantages to consider with bonding.

•    Cost – fees for dental bonding range may vary, but some insurance plans may cover portions of the cost. Dental bonding is usually quite a bit less than other cosmetic dentistry alternatives.
•    Speed – often only one office visit is required, and takes an hour or less per tooth.
•    Ease – bonding usually doesn’t require anesthesia and requires little enamel removal.

•    Stains – bonding material may discolor over time, so patients should avoid staining liquids such as coffee and red wine. For smokers, it’s a good time to quit since bonded teeth will yellow from cigarette smoke.
•    Durability – dental bonding material isn’t as long-lasting or strong as porcelain veneers and crowns, and may chip. Bonding usually lasts three to seven years with proper care.

Choosing Dental Bonding
For minor cosmetic dentistry, dental bonding may be right for you. It is useful for cracked or discolored teeth, gaps between teeth, or altering silver fillings to tooth-color. Bonding can’t be used to whiten your whole smile, but it’s a good choice for smaller repairs that will enhance your smile.

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