Archive for January, 2013

Achieve the White Smile You Have Always Wanted

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

As we age, our teeth naturally yellow and look darker. The foods we eat and lifestyle choices we make can also hasten this process. If you would love to enjoy a bright, vibrant smile, several different options exist to help you attain the desired results. Having a gorgeous set of pearly whites can boost confidence and improve self esteem, so why not make an investment in yourself?

In-Office Whitening
With chairside whitening, your dentist can remove discolorations and brighten teeth up to 10 shades in one appointment. Products such as Zoom! Whitening or BriteSmile can make you look and feel years younger.

Professional Take-Home Kits
Some individuals prefer to whiten on their own timetables or to control the level of brightness. At-home whitening produces stunning results in just 10 to 14 days. Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth and send these molds off to a lab for creation of your custom trays. Simply apply the professional-strength gel as directed by your dentist, and wear the trays for the specified time period.

Store-Bought Whiteners
These days, you can find rows of whitening products at your local grocer or drug store. Although these options are much cheaper than professional whitening through your dentist, over-the-counter whitening agents may not work as well and they can cause sensitivity or damage to teeth or gums if not used properly. It’s best to whiten your teeth under the guidance of your dentist.

Home Remedies
You should always be careful about what you try at home, but these simple tips can temporarily give your smile a little pizzazz:

•    Use a toothpaste with baking soda, which lightens stains
•    Eat crunchy foods like carrots, apples, and celery to naturally remove surface stains
•    Choose clothes with dark colors to help bring out the white in your smile

Teeth Whitening Dentist in Richmond VA

Understanding Wisdom Teeth Removal

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Usually, the final teeth to erupt in your mouth are your third molars, or wisdom teeth. Most people get their wisdom teeth in during their late teens or early twenties. Often, wisdom teeth come in crooked, create crowding of other teeth, or increase the risk of gum disease. Because of these issues, your dentist may suggest removal of your wisdom teeth.

To confirm that extraction is necessary, your doctor will probably take X-rays and then complete a thorough exam of your mouth. In many cases, wisdom teeth removal is a simple procedure with little difficulty. When your wisdom teeth are impacted, the extraction may take more time.

With wisdom teeth extraction, your dentist may choose local or general anesthetic. Local anesthesia only numbs the area surrounding where the tooth, or teeth, will be removed. General anesthesia causes you to sleep during the procedure and will prevent pain through out your body.

During the surgery, your dentist will make an incision in the gum tissue and remove the third molars. Sometimes, bone can cover the tooth, resulting in impaction. In this case the dentist will remove the bone as well.

After wisdom teeth removal, consider these tips to ensure a quick recovery:

•    Prop your head on pillows to keep it elevated and slow down bleeding.
•    Avoid using drinking straws for the first few days because they can loosen the blood clots necessary for the healing process.
•    Place an ice pack on the cheeks near the removal site for the first 24 hours, which will help with swelling and ease pain.
•    Choose soft foods like gelatin, pudding, or soup to so that you won’t experience additional pain.
•    Take it easy. Too much activity can increase bleeding.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Richmond VA

Preventing Gum Disease

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

The leading cause of adult tooth loss in this country, gum disease affects up to 80 percent of adults. Often, people don’t even realize they have a problem until they experience significant oral health concerns. Without treatment, gum disease can produce issues in your mouth and through out your body. Research has connected periodontal disease to general health problems such as osteoporosis, increased risk of stroke, and Alzheimer’s.

Gingivitis is the first level of gum disease. In this early stage, bacteria form tiny pockets along the gum line that cause inflammation and bleeding. If gingivitis progresses, gum disease can begin to impact the connective tissue and even the bone. About 70 percent of cases are gingivitis, while 30 percent are at the level of periodontitis, which can destroy gum tissue and leave permanent damage.

Once gum disease advances to periodontitis, patients may experience receding gums, visible inflammation, and pain. Untreated periodontitis will cause even the healthiest teeth to become loose and eventually fall out. Antibiotics, scaling and root planing, and other therapy are usually necessary to stop gum disease and restore oral health once it becomes periodontitis.

Certain factors can increase your chances of developing gum disease, including genetics, poor oral hygiene, and certain medications. The following tips will help you decrease your risks:

•    Brush at least twice a day
•    Cut down on alcohol consumption
•    Eliminate tobacco use
•    Floss frequently to clean between teeth
•    Mention any symptoms to your dentist
•    Schedule checkup appointments twice a year

We create beautiful, healthy smiles at our Richmond dental office.

Getting Your Kids to Floss

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Although many parents encourage their children to brush their teeth frequently, flossing often gets overlooked. Unfortunately, brushing alone doesn’t keep plaque and bacteria from building up between teeth. If left on teeth, plaque hardens into tartar, which increases the odds of developing problems like tooth decay or gum disease. For optimal oral health, your kids need to make flossing once a day part of their routine.

The following tips will help you communicate an effective message to your kids:

Make it fun
If you create a positive environment, your kids will look forward to flossing instead of dreading it. Let them pick out cool colors or good smelling floss so that they feel excited about the experience. Do an online search for puzzles and games that you can print out for your kids; these resources will reinforce the importance of home hygiene.

Practice makes perfect
Build flossing into your nightly rituals. Use this opportunity for one-on-one bonding, and your children will be excited to get started because of the quality time with you.

Offer your help
With kids under eight, you will need to do most of the work. As you floss your child’s teeth, explain what you are doing and why it matters so that they will know how to take over at the right age.

Lead by example
The best way to teach your kids about the importance of flossing is to have them see you making the time for your dental health. When they see that flossing is part of your to-do list, they will follow suit.

We care about your child’s dental health at BRS Dentistry in Richmond VA

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