Dental Tips Blog

Mar
27

What You Need to Know Before Getting a Dental Implant

Posted in Dental Implants

Lots of dental offices are promoting implants as the perfect remedy to missing teeth. It’s true that dental implants represent the highest standard of restorative care. But before you rush out to get one, you should understand what’s required.

A Good Dental Implant Takes Time

What does it take to get a dental implant?

It kind of looks like all you do is stick a fake tooth in the gap where one is missing. In reality, however, there’s so much more to it than that.

Dental implants are more likely to be successful in a mouth with lots of healthy bone. Special scans and x-rays will show whether your mouth is a good candidate for an implant. If there isn’t enough bone, you may need more than one surgery to prepare it.

The implant procedure itself is not complicated, but there are several months of healing that follow.

Implants Require Care

Long after you finally get an implant, you need to take good care of it to make it last. A dental implant may be a false tooth, but it’s still a part of your bone. The screw itself fuses with the jawbone around it. If the implant isn’t kept clean, the surrounding tissues can get infected.

An implant can eventually become totally loose if inflammation sets in. At this point, there’s a good chance of it failing.

Even after years of successful implant use, you can still lose it if you don’t properly brush and gently floss it!

Given that an implant represents an investment of time and effort in addition to cost, it’s not the right choice for everyone. If you’re interested in seeing whether you qualify, call your local dental office and schedule a visit.

Posted on behalf of:
Gold Hill Dentistry
2848 Pleasant Road #104
Fort Mill,  South Carolina 29708
(803) 566-8055

Mar
27

Swallowing Braces – Could It Happen to You?

Posted in Orthodontics

A 30-year-old Australian woman wore braces to correct her smile. The braces were removed. Ten years later, she visited a hospital with severe abdominal pain and doctors extracted a 7-centimeter piece of orthodontic wire in her small intestine.

She doesn’t remember how it ended up there.

Doctors are still unsure of how orthodontic wire – especially of that length – could wind up being ingested. One theory is that a piece of wire is lost in the mouth of a sedated patient.

What does this mean for braces-wearers today?

Most orthodontic patients never have to be sedated, so this is little to no risk to the average person.

Loose bands could get lost in your mouth, however. But you’re not likely to swallow many, if any at all. If you did accidentally ingest a band, it wouldn’t do any serious damage.

The possibility of swallowing a dangerous piece of orthodontic wire is ridiculously small. A bizarre story like that of the Australian woman shouldn’t stop you from wearing braces any more than it should stop you from using screws or nails on home projects (those are commonly swallowed on accident).

An entire bracket can come loose off a tooth. If that happens, you would probably notice. Even if you were to swallow it, there’s no need to panic. It would probably pass through your system with no issue, but you may still want to see a doctor for an x-ray.

Parts of braces tend to come loose when they are not properly maintained. Wearing a mouthguard during sports and staying away from crunchy sticky foods will help keep your orthodontia in-tact.

Talk with your local dentist or orthodontist if you have any other concerns about braces.

Posted on behalf of:
Group Health Dental
230 W 41st St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 398-9690

Mar
27

How to Prevent Tooth Decay in Toddlers

Early childhood caries (ECC), also known as baby bottle tooth decay, is a serious condition affecting millions of toddlers around the world. Your child could also be at risk.

As common and dangerous as this disease is, it’s entirely preventable.

These four steps are simple, free, and can give your baby the best start in life.

Give Them Water

Desperate parents are quick to appease a tantrum-throwing toddler with a cup of juice. Fruit juice sounds healthy. But it actually contains unhealthy amounts of sugar.

Regular exposure to acid in juice can weaken young enamel and the sugar will fuel bacteria, which causes decay.

Practice Great Oral Hygiene

It’s never too early to start getting your baby used to having his or her mouth cleaned. Some toddlers put up a fight come teeth-brushing time, but every effort you make is worth it. With time, your child will accept that keeping our teeth clean is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.

Limit Snacks

Similar to drinking too much juice, constant snacking throughout the day is bad for baby teeth. Gradually cut back on your child’s snacking habit. One snack session in between meals should be enough.

No Bedtime Bottles

This is perhaps the biggest culprit behind ECC. Tiny ones in the habit of sleeping with a bottle of milk or juice are only letting their teeth soak in natural sugars for hours on end. If your child has to go to bed with some kind of drink, fill the bottle with water, only.

If your child has at least one baby tooth in, it’s time for their first trip to your pediatric dentist. Call today to schedule a visit.

Posted on behalf of:
Milton Dental Specialists
13075 Hwy 9, Suite 110
Milton, GA 30004
(770) 521-2100

Mar
27

Going on Vacation? Get Your Teeth Checked First, Dentists Urge

When you’re making plans for a trip out of town, visiting a dentist isn’t exactly at the top of your list of priorities.

It’s not exactly reasonable to head to the dental office every time you take a roadtrip. But what if you have more serious plans in the works…say, international travel? Getting a dental checkup could be the smartest thing you do before your trip!

For one thing, it’s a pain and inconvenience to develop a toothache while you’re out of the country.

Where would you go for treatment in a dental emergency?

Who could you trust to safely repair your smile?

What about all those expensive tours and activities you booked? That dental pain won’t let you enjoy a minute of what you planned.

There’s also this thing called “barodontalgia” that’s worth considering.

Barodontalgia is tooth pain that results from a change in pressure. A previously unnoticed fracture in a tooth can suddenly explode with throbbing pain at an extremely inconvenient time. Some call this issue “tooth squeeze.”

What changes in pressure, you ask? Flying. Commercial jets fly at an altitude of around 30,000 feet.

Tooth squeeze starts to be felt at altitudes over 9,000 feet.

How does a killing toothache on a nine-hour flight sound?

If your vacation package includes scuba diving at any tropical destinations, then that can trigger a tooth issue, as well. Atmospheric pressure increases the deeper you go.

So consider this your friendly reminder to make sure your teeth are good before you head out! The point of a vacation is to forget your worries, for a while. Tooth pain will only add unwanted stress.

Schedule a dental checkup before your next exotic excursion!

Posted on behalf of:
Gilreath Dental Associates
200 White St NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 514-1224

Mar
27

Get a Denture for Just One Tooth

Posted in Dentures

Even if you have at least 27 other fully-functioning teeth, that one missing tooth can seem like it’s ruining your life.

Too many people hide their smiles in shame because of a gaping hole in their grin.

If that describes you, then a denture could be just what you need.

What Kind Of Denture?

Don’t worry – you shouldn’t need to have any more teeth extracted!

You may actually qualify for what’s called a partial denture. Like any denture, this is made from a pink acrylic to match your gums. Partial dentures may have metal or acrylic clasps to anchor onto neighboring teeth while it holds a false tooth suspended over the gap.

Life With A Partial Denture

No one has to ever know that you wear the appliance unless you tell them.

You will have to remove your partial denture at night to clean it and soak it in a denture-safe solution. Occasional checkups with your dentist will ensure a snug, clean, and comfortable fit at all times.

Alternatives To A Partial Denture

If you find that life with a partial denture isn’t right for you, then you might want to consider getting a dental implant to fill the empty space. But for the time being, a partial is a fairly quick and noninvasive way to complete your smile.

For a fast fix, you can also opt for a crown-and-bridge restoration. This technique caps two natural teeth and uses them as the support for a false tooth. The downside is that the procedure is not reversible.

To find out whether a removable false tooth (partial denture) is right for you, schedule a visit at your local dental office.

Posted on behalf of:
Georgia Denture and Implant Specialists
203 Woodpark Pl #102
Woodstock, GA 30188
(770) 926-0021

Mar
27

Gap Between Front Teeth – Why it Happens and How to Fix It

Posted in Braces

It’s cute in little kids, but it can be a problem for self-image if it sticks around into adulthood: that gapped-tooth smile.

The good news is that this condition isn’t harmful. It’s purely a cosmetic issue. If you’re happy with the way your smile is, then that’s great.

But if you want to make a transition to a more “grown-up” look, then keep reading.

Why Gaps Happen

In childhood, it’s very common – normal, in fact – for emerging adult teeth to come in at awkward angles. These usually even out from the pressure of other teeth coming in around them.

Once in a while, however, things don’t go as planned.

A few reasons include:

  • Missing teeth on either side
  • Teeth are undersized or the jaw is too large
  • Thumb-sucking
  • Tongue-thrusting while swallowing
  • Tissue connecting the lip to the gums comes down too low between teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Tight muscles between the teeth

As you can see, some causes are purely developmental while some are a result of pressures in their environment.

How To Bridge The Gap

Your first step should be to visit your local dentist. He or she will help you figure out what may have caused (or be causing) your smile gap. If it’s something like gum disease, that will need urgent treatment.

Without treating the underlying cause of the gap, then treatment may not work.

A few solutions for correcting gaps include:

  • Braces
  • Invisible aligner trays
  • Veneers
  • Dental crowns
  • Dental bonding
  • Reshaping gum tissue and attachments
  • Implants or partial dentures to replace missing teeth
  • Trimming tight muscles around the teeth

You’ve got a lot of options to choose from if you want to enhance your smile. Contact your dentist to find out which one is right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
East Cobb Orthodontics
2810 Lassiter Rd
Marietta, GA 30062
(770) 993-7118

Mar
27

Fight Tooth Decay . . . With Sweets?

Lollipops, caramels, chocolate – oh my! The list of snacks that promote tooth decay goes on and on. It’s not just limited to sweets, either. Foods containing simple carbohydrates like crackers and bagels and juice are also culprits.

The fact that there’s actually a kind of sugar out there that’s proven to help prevent cavities sounds ironic.

Xylitol is a specific type of sugar alcohol. It’s commonly derived from plant sources such as corn and used as a sugar alternative.

Xylitol benefits over regular sugar:

  • 40% fewer calories
  • Just as sweet as sugar while preventing cavities
  • It’s lower on the glycemic index

But what makes xylitol different?

First of all, it’s a carbohydrate that cavity-causing bacteria can’t digest. Those germs live off of the sugar you eat. So when that sugar is replaced by a kind they can’t break down, they starve to death.

Secondly, xylitol helps to deconstruct the “slime layer” that those bacteria live in. Without their sticky texture, they can’t adhere to teeth and cause cavities.

This sugar substitute can often be found on the shelves of health food stores, as well as specific types of gum.

But be careful – xylitol isn’t recommended in large amounts. Just as bacteria have a hard time digesting this substance, so do humans. Too much xylitol probably isn’t toxic, but it does act as a sort of laxative.

The best way to get the dental benefits of xylitol is to chew gum made with it. People with dry mouth especially like to munch on sweet things to encourage saliva flow. Xylitol sweets are the way to go!

In conjunction with daily brushing, flossing and routine dental cleanings and checkups, xylitol can help prevent tooth decay.  Find out more ways to lower your cavity risk by scheduling a visit with your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Gainesville Dental Group
1026 Thompson Bridge Rd
Gainesville, GA 30501
(770) 297-0401

Mar
27

Does Your Root Canal Really Need a Crown?

Posted in Crowns

You just put all that time and money into getting a root canal. What’s the point of putting a crown on it? The tooth feels just fine. It doesn’t hurt. You know that the nerve inside is long gone.

Your dentist isn’t arbitrarily suggesting that you get a dental crown. There are actually a couple of very good reasons that you should do so.

  1. Your tooth is now compromised.

Drilling into a tooth to extract the nerve and clean out any debris is a big event for such a little part of your body. Despite being filled with a strong material, your tooth is now very weak and susceptible to breaking under the pressure of your bite.

This might not happen right away. Some people seem to have gone years with an uncapped root canal and not had any problems. But why take that chance?

If your tooth fractures, it will likely be beyond repair. You’ll have to get the whole thing extracted and all the work for that root canal will have been for nothing.

  1. Your tooth will look much better with a crown.

A tooth that has been extensively cleaned out for a root canal won’t look like it used to. Perhaps a lot of decay discolored your tooth before the treatment. Capping it will help it blend in with the rest of your smile.

When You Don’t Need A Crown

Teeth that don’t experience too much bite pressure can get away with a filling alone after a root canal. These sometimes include front teeth and canines. As long as they didn’t lose too much structure during the endodontic treatment, they can possibly get by without a crown. Talk to your dentist to find out for sure.

Posted on behalf of:
Feather Touch Dental Care
1175 Peachtree St. NW Ste 1204
Atlanta, GA 30361
(404) 892-2097

Mar
27

Does It Hurt to Get Your Teeth Cleaned? These Tips Can Help

It’s time for your 2 o’clock dental visit and you can’t shake that familiar feeling of dread.

You’re scheduled for a teeth cleaning and you already know how it’s going to go: the pain, the sensitivity, the doubt that the torture will ever end.

If you’re tired of each routine dental cleaning going this way, then the following tips are just what you need.

  1. Ask for Anesthetic.

Sensitive gums may be where your discomfort originates. The hygienist can apply a thin layer of topical numbing jelly to help them relax for your cleaning session. You can even as for laughing gas if you want!

  1. Use Desensitizing Toothpaste.

Most patients have sensitive teeth right after a cleaning. Use a dab of desensitizing paste like a conditioner for your teeth every time after brushing. Do this on a regular basis to strengthen your enamel before your next dental visit.

  1. Lose Yourself.

Sometimes, you just mentally have to go to your safe place. If you don’t focus on the work that’s going on in your mouth, it will be easier to endure the necessary evil.

Bring an audiobook or favorite calming playlist to listen to through headphones and let yourself just drift away.

  1. Switch Cleaning Tools.

Some patients are very sensitive to the ultrasonic instruments that work the fastest for removing tartar. If your hygienist is using an automated tool to clean your teeth and it hurts, you can ask him or her to switch to the hand tools for a while to give your teeth a break. For some people it’s the other way around.

A little honest communication and preparation are all that’s needed to make a dental cleaning more comfortable. Contact your dental office for more help in surviving your next trip!

Posted on behalf of:
Dunwoody Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
1816 Independence Square, Suite B
Dunwoody, GA 30338
(770) 399-9199

Mar
27

5 Reasons to Get a Professional Athletic Mouthguard

Posted in Mouth Guards

Why is a professional mouth guard better than the classic boil-and-bite?

  1. It’s Going to Feel Better.

Most athletic mouth guards found in the local drugstore are ok, but they aren’t easy to wear. It can even be hard to breathe through all that bulk, meaning that you don’t wear it at all.

  1. It’s Going to Work Better.

A customized fit puts the cushioning right on the teeth where it’s needed. It also stays put when you need it to. A custom athletic mouth guard can even protect you from a brain injury such as a concussion.

  1. It Lasts Longer.

Getting a mouthguard through your dentist is a smart investment that will give you the most “bang for your buck.” The quality materials won’t wear out or break like a store bought guard does. Store it properly in a case, like you would a retainer!

  1. It Provides More Customization.

Do you have braces? A misaligned bite? When a dental professional assesses your smile to create an athletic mouth guard, he or she will take all your unique features into consideration, so that it fits great and protects the best way possible. Your dentist might even be able to customize it with special colors or designs for your sports team.

  1. It Will Get Used More.

If a mouth guard fits perfectly, it’s not a pain to wear. Bulky OTC guards are annoying. Kids in particular are prone to “forgetting” to wear their mouthguards during sports because they hate the feel. If your child is okay with the fit of his or her guard, then they’re more prone to wearing it.

Interested in the high-quality protection of a professionally-made sports mouthguard? A consultation at your local dental office will help you stay in the game. Contact your dentist for the details.

Posted on behalf of:
Elegant Smiles
1955 Cliff Valley Way NE #100
Brookhaven, GA 30329
404-634-4224

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…

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,…

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….