Dental Tips Blog

Apr
15

Will a Filling Be Enough?

Posted in Fillings

Whether you have a cavity or somehow chipped your tooth, you know full well that it’s time to have it fixed.

When you visit your dentist, you may be told that you need more than just a standard filling. Why?

What Happened to Your Tooth?

After suffering damage like a fracture or decay, your tooth is now exposed to the environment. This can lead to more decay or a deeper fracture. Your tooth may be very sensitive and perhaps so sharp that it hurts your tongue.

A small hole from a shallow cavity is easy to fix with a filling. But those times when the damage is much larger means that you need more support than a traditional restoration.

Filling Alternative Options

Teeth don’t hold usually hold up well after losing a big chunk of their outer layer. This means they are structurally-compromised. Patching up the hole with a moldable material just won’t cut it. Your tooth will likely stay sensitive or even break down faster than usual.

To help your tooth last as long as possible, your dentist may recommend another kind of restoration such as a crown or onlay.

Dental crowns replace your tooth’s entire outer layer. This gives your tooth strength and protects it from all angles. Dental crowns are often the last resort before your tooth needs a root canal.

Onlays (or inlays) are solid restorations designed outside the mouth and then cemented into place like a piece in a puzzle. This technique gives them more strength, giving your tooth more support than a regular filling would.

Your dentist has other methods for reinforcing fillings and saving your tooth. Ask him or her for more information.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-1725

Apr
15

Why Are My Kid’s Teeth Orange?

We all get dirty teeth from time to time, but is it really normal for your child to have bright orange staining across the front of their smile?

Dark Teeth Are Natural, But. . .

One factor that might contribute to your kid’s discolored smile could be the fact that their new adult teeth are just growing in. These teeth look dark in comparison with the bright white baby teeth nearby.

As adult chompers slowly emerge, they may accumulate lots of dental plaque. Plaque is mainly gobs of bacteria that produce odor, stain, and enamel-wearing acids. New teeth are rough in texture and awkwardly-positioned. This could make it hard for your child to brush them thoroughly, leaving behind the plaque and debris that grows into orange stain.

How is the Hygiene?

Orange stain is usually a sign that your child is not brushing well, if at all. Old dental plaque that just sits on teeth for weeks on end will pick up pigments from foods your child eats and it just grows and grows.

Kids may think they do well with brushing twice a day. But closer inspection of their technique might reveal that they aren’t getting the toothbrush close enough to the gum line. As a result, the plaque flourishes and grows thick in that region.

Schedule a Cleaning Visit ASAP

If your son or daughter is having a hard time keeping up with the plaque growth in their mouth, then they definitely could use a professional cleaning by your pediatric dentist. Your local dental hygienist will not only remove surface plaque and orange stain, but he or she will help your child pick up new techniques for brushing properly.

Posted on behalf of:
Touchstone Dentistry
2441 FM 646 W Suite A
Dickinson, TX 77539
(832) 769-5202

Apr
15

Mouthwash: Read the List Before You Rinse!

Commercials make it look like a swish is all you need to keep your smile healthy and attractive! You might even think that a rinse is an acceptable substitute for brushing.

In reality, even that simple little bottle of mouthwash should be used with caution.

You should know what’s in a bottle of mouth rinse before you use it. Otherwise, it could be completely pointless. Here are some of the most common active ingredients in mouthwash:

Essential oils – these include menthol and eucalyptol. Essential oils are very effective against plaque bacteria.

Cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) – much like essential oils, this antibacterial agent helps keep down the populations of bacteria that cause gum infection. On the downside, it can leave some odd brown stains on the teeth after a lot of use.

Fluoride – needed for strengthening tooth enamel against cavities, fluoride is often found in higher concentrations in rinses for kids. The sweet taste is usually irresistible, so make sure you are monitoring your kids’ use of mouthwash. Check that they don’t swallow it. Please note, not all mouth rinses contain fluoride – read your labels carefully.

Alcohol – that burn you may feel in some rinses usually comes from the alcohol content. Don’t let it fool you, however. While alcohol does help kill some germs, it’s not effective like essential oils or CPC.  It’s just in the mouthwash to help dissolve the active ingredients. If you suffer from dry mouth, avoid rinses containing alcohol as these will only make your condition worse. Watch out for rinses that contain little more than alcohol, coloring, and a sweetener; these might taste effective, but they won’t do much for you.

Ask your dentist whether you should use a mouthwash.

Posted on behalf of:
Touchstone Dentistry
2441 FM 646 W Suite A
Dickinson, TX 77539
(832) 769-5202

Apr
15

Dental Implants and Security Metal Detectors

Posted in Dental Implants

Air travel these days has gotten a lot more intense thanks to increased airport security. It’s hard to remember what you are and are not allowed to bring. It’s understandable that you don’t want the added stress of setting off every security metal detector with your dental implant.

Is this concern holding you back from getting an implant?

All you frequent flyers can now be at peace – dental implants do NOT set off airport security systems!

Anatomy of an Implant

Your dental implant is typically made of a metal rod inserted into your jawbone. A small abutment piece would show above your gums, but that’s the anchoring point for the crown, or false tooth.

How does this metal not create an issue for metal detectors?

Metal detectors sense magnetic objects. Dental implant parts are made from a material called titanium.  Aside from being so easy to integrate with human tissues, this biocompatible metal is non-magnetic.

A titanium implant is pure, meaning it’s not mixed with any other potentially detectable metals. You’re safe to walk through airport security!

Benefits of Dental Implants

There’s not much that can hold you back from enjoying all the benefits a dental implant can offer. You don’t need to run around with that gap in your smile any longer!

With an implant you can:

  • Eat all of your favorite foods
  • Smile with confidence
  • Brush and floss normally
  • Get your “natural” tooth back, for good

Do you still have some questions about implants? Your local dentist is your best resource for all of your concerns about replacement teeth. Ask your dentist whether a dental implant is right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Park South Dentistry
30 Central Park S #13C
New York, NY 10019
(212) 355-2000

Apr
15

How Long Do Dental Veneers Last?

Posted in Veneers

If you decide to get veneers, one thing that may stand out to you is the price tag. Fortunately, dental veneers are more affordable than you may realize when you factor in payment plans offered by your dental office.

Still, once you get that beautiful new smile, you’ll want to find a way to keep it there forever (and get the most out of your investment.)

Reality of Dental Restorations

It’s an unfortunate fact of dentistry that there are no restorations that will last for life. Taking away one part of a tooth and covering it with a manmade material is never going to compare to the strength of a whole natural tooth.

Veneers are no exception. Of course, they cannot be placed as a substitute for dental fillings. They replace only a shallow layer of tooth enamel. But they are still prone to the wear and tear that comes with years of doing what teeth are made to do.

Are You Doing Your Part?

How you treat your veneers can make them last longer. With proper brushing and flossing, you can keep your new smile looking clean and staying strong. Veneers aren’t likely to stain, but stain might collect along the border between the porcelain and your tooth, if you aren’t careful.

Definitely don’t forget that a veneer doesn’t make your tooth invincible to cavities. Once decay sets in, that veneer will need to come off, anyway. Oral hygiene and fluoride use is essential!

Some veneers around today were placed around 20 years ago. There’s hope on the horizon that they’ll only last longer and longer as dentistry continues to improve. Talk with your dentist to get a realistic outlook on what to expect from dental veneers.

 Posted on behalf of:
Seacrest Dental
66 N. Holiday Road
Miramar Beach, FL 32550
850-298-8576

Apr
15

What is a Gum Disease Specialist?

Posted in Gum Disease

It’s very common for adults to be referred to a gum disease specialist. As you probably concluded, certain gum therapies and procedures require skills your general dentist may not have acquired.

Should you plan a visit to your local gum specialist?

Your Friendly Neighborhood Periodontist!

A gum specialist is widely recognized by the term ‘periodontist.’

Periodontists are dentists who received two to three additional years of training in gum health. He or she now practices exclusively in the field of diagnosing, treating, and preventing gum diseases. They are experts on causes of inflammation in the gums and often provide dental implant placement services.

Most dentists can provide the same periodontal therapy a periodontist can. But complex cases require more time and detail that only a specialist can provide.

When to See a Gum Specialist

Patients need to visit a periodontist because of reasons such as:

  • Complex health problems that make normal dental care challenging
  • Having gum reconstruction after illness or injury
  • Cosmetic smile enhancement via gum reshaping
  • Severe cases of gum disease in which teeth need to be stabilized
  • Needing some other form of gum surgery

You might choose to schedule an appointment with your local periodontist based on the recommendation of a good friend. This is especially true if you’re interested in a specific cosmetic or advanced procedure offered only by the gum specialist.

It’s usually best to consult your general dentist first. He or she will let you know whether a trip to another dental care provider is really necessary for you. You might be surprised to learn about just how many periodontal procedures can be done right there in your own office.

If you need to see a specialist, your dentist can give you the best recommendation.

Posted on behalf of:
Clearwater Dentistry
3006 Gulf to Bay Blvd
Clearwater, FL 33759
727-608-4361

Apr
15

How Dentures Will Change Your Life

Posted in Dentures

The human bite registers around 200 pounds of pressure. That’s one of the strongest in the world.

Denture wearers, on the other hand, can only manage about 50 pounds of force.

Do you think that makes a difference in how you chew your food? You bet your pearly-whites it does. Here are some very important changes you can expect if you opt to get dentures.

How Dentures Affect You for the Better. . .

With the help of a denture you can:

  • Slow down the loss of bone in your jaw
  • Smile with confidence
  • Chew your favorite foods (after getting a little practice)

A denture is better than nothing at all in terms of maintaining your smile. But don’t be in a hurry to ‘replace all your remaining teeth.’

. . . And for Worse

Dentures are a source of irritation to many people. For as much as they need their denture, their dental prosthetic seems bent on causing problems such as:

  • Slipping out of place at embarrassing moments
  • Preventing you from enjoying a steak or corn-on-the-cob
  • Causing funny noises while you’re speaking

Are Dentures Right for You?

Teeth are essential to good nutrition as well as the shape of your smile. There’s hardly ever a question as to whether someone needs replacement teeth. The bigger question is what kind of teeth are best.

Aside from traditional removable dentures, there are many other options made possible thanks to dental implant therapy. In the end, it will depend on your level of comfort, budget, and long-term goals.

Contact your dentist to find out if a denture is right for you or if it’s time to think about implants.

Posted on behalf of:
Lufkin Family Dental
701 S. John Redditt Dr.
Lufkin, TX 75904
(963) 634-5102

Apr
15

Comfortable Dental Anesthesia – Is Needle-Free Possible?

When it comes down to it, there’s no way you can be totally numb without some form of an injection. Your dentist needs to use a needle to deliver the anesthesia into the site where the nerves are.

Happily, there are ways to make this experience a much more pleasant one for those with a fear of needles! The best news is that you may never even feel the injection.

Wish Away Worries with The “Wand”

The Wand is a computerized system that makes traditional anesthesia injections much more comfortable by:

  • Delivering a constant and smooth flow of medication so that it doesn’t burn
  • Helping the dentist detect the ideal site for injection and avoid reinjection
  • Using a lightweight “wand” instead of a traditional bulky needle so that the operator has a clearer view and more gentle touch

Numbing Jelly: Your Best Friend

Sometimes, all you might need is a little topical numbing gel on your gums so you don’t feel the pinch of the needle. In fact, many dentists have a standard of practicing this way. Dental offices all have flavored jellies that contain ingredients similar to an oral numbing gel you’d find in a drugstore.

A dab of this jelly could set you up for a very comfortable injection.

Give Sedation Dentistry a Try

Whether you try a little laughing gas or take a pill before your appointment, chances are there’s a technique that’s right for you. Light sedation can help you relax immensely. In fact, you’ll feel so good you’ll probably either giggle or snooze your way through the numbing!

Ask your local dentist about which techniques he or she uses to make their anesthesia injections as comfortable as possible.

Posted on behalf of:
Horizon Dental Care
1615 Williams Dr.
Georgetown, TX 78628
512-864-9911

Apr
15

Caring for Your Dental Crown: Three Tips

Posted in Crowns

Your new crown looks so pristine. It was a good piece of work, too! After waiting patiently in the dental office, the finished product is here and you want to help it last for as long as possible.

Here’s what you need to do to make sure your crown stays in great shape:

  1. Brush and Floss Daily

Yes, your new cap has completely restored all the damage done to your tooth. But that’s hardly the end of the road. The edge of your crown where it meets your tooth is a vulnerable area that can still develop a cavity.

Besides this, your dental crown can still host some bacteria that irritate gum tissue and lead to problems such as gingivitis and periodontitis.

That’s why it’s so important to brush twice a day and carefully floss around your crown every day, too. Take note – flossing will not cause a healthy crown to fall off! If flossing is challenging, you may find that a water flosser is a good way to clean around it instead.

  1. No Hard Crunchy Foods

Just because your tooth looks and feels stronger with its new crown doesn’t mean it is tougher than your natural teeth. A habit of chewing on ice or other hard objects can quickly wear down a porcelain crown or even fracture it.

  1. Avoid Bruxism

Do you have the habit of grinding your teeth when you sleep, also known as bruxism?

Your dentist can place an extra strong type of crown to avoid wear. It might be a good idea to invest in a night guard to protect your other teeth as well.

Talk with your dentist about other ways you can get the most out of your new restoration.

Posted on behalf of:
Lakewood Dental Trails
10252 W Adams Ave
Temple, TX 76502
(254) 434-4035

Apr
15

How to Brush with Braces

Posted in Braces

Your braces represent a big investment in both time and budget. Sticking out the orthodontic treatment until the very end will get you some great results. You’ll definitely feel it was worth all that effort!

However, braces are also a big responsibility. If you don’t take good care of them and your teeth, you can wind up with some serious problems when they come off.

The way you brush your teeth can make a world of difference.

Take a Multi-Angled Approach

Once you get brackets and wires cemented onto your teeth, you’ve just gained three, that’s right, three completely new surfaces to brush.

Simply scrubbing straight across the front of the wire isn’t going to be enough. You also need to angle the bristles:

  • Towards the gumline of each tooth
  • Against the brackets facing down from the top of your mouth
  • Against the brackets facing up from your jaw

It’s important to remove plaque bacteria from all surfaces of your teeth, including your braces. If you don’t, these germs will eventually cause staining around the brackets that’ll still be there once your ortho comes off.

Pack Some Power into Brushing

To get a little more oomph in your brushing technique, try out a powered toothbrush. It’s also much easier to maneuver around multiple surfaces.

All the effort you put into caring for your braces will show once your treatment is done. You won’t have to worry about catching up on dental fillings or hiding unsightly stains. You’ll be free to live the good life – the one without braces!

Contact your dentist or orthodontist to get more tips on thoroughly brushing your braces.

Posted on behalf of:
Royal Oak Family Dental
7101 NW 150th St. Suite 100
Oklahoma City, OK 73142
(405) 754-5941

Most Popular

Tori, Exostosis, and Extra Bone Formation in the Mouth

A fairly common occurrence in the mouth is the existence of extra bone development along the outside or inside of the jawline near the teeth, or in the roof of…

Lingual Frenectomy versus Lingual Frenuloplasty

Lingual frenectomy and lingual frenuloplasty are both dental procedures used to correct a condition called ankyloglossia. Ankylogloassia, more commonly known as ‘tied tongue’, is an abnormality of the lingual frenulum….

Difference Between Conscious and Unconscious Sedation

Sedation dentistry is a wonderful option for many people who would not or cannot tolerate dentistry in a traditional dental setting.   Many people have a fear of visiting the dentist,…