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Dental tips:

Why Does My Dentist Say I Need Braces When My Teeth Are Straight?

Like many others blessed with wonderfully tidy rows of teeth, you’re probably quite content with your smile. Maybe even a little proud. So what exactly is your dentist looking at when he says you need braces? You don’t have to worry that your dentist is trying to push an unnecessary service on you. There is […]

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What Makes My Teeth So Sensitive?

Dental hypersensitivity can have a number of causes. A combination of factors, in some cases. To figure out what’s going on with your teeth, it helps to get a little background info. Anatomy Of A Sensitive Tooth All teeth have hollow chambers in their centers. These spaces are filled with blood vessels and loads of […]

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What Does it Feel Like to Get Dental Sedation?

“Sleep through your treatment!” “You won’t remember a thing!” “Banish dental phobia forever!” You’ve heard a lot about sedation dentistry. Although it sounds like an ideal setup, you’re a little concerned about what to expect. Here’s an idea of what you might experience with dental sedation. Nitrous oxide: This is a colorless and odorless gas […]

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Dental tips:

Why Does My Dentist Say I Need Braces When My Teeth Are Straight?

Like many others blessed with wonderfully tidy rows of teeth, you’re probably quite content with your smile. Maybe even a little proud.

So what exactly is your dentist looking at when he says you need braces?

You don’t have to worry that your dentist is trying to push an unnecessary service on you. There is a very good reason for his or recommendation.

Your Teeth Are Straight – But Is Your Smile?

Your teeth might be in a nice orderly row, but it’s quite likely that as a whole they are crooked. This means that there is some irregularity in your jaw or palate that puts your bite off balance.

As a result, a portion of your teeth may not fit evenly with their opposing neighbors.

This might not seem like a big deal, but a bad bite can eventually result in:

  • TMJ strain
  • Headaches
  • Speech issues
  • Teeth being pushed farther out of alignment
  • Gum recession

Maybe getting a little orthodontic treatment now isn’t as bad as all the treatment you’d need to fix the problems listed above.

Braces Options For Adults

If you still don’t like the idea of getting braces because a metal mouth just won’t suit your look, that’s perfectly fine. Your dentist or orthodontist will probably have several other options for you to choose from that offer the same benefits with a far less visible appearance.

So it’s definitely worth it to look into how braces can change your smile for the better – even if you think you don’t need them! Visit your dentist for a more in-depth consultation.

Posted on behalf of:
Rock Point Family Dentistry
115 S Lakeline Blvd #200
Cedar Park, TX 78613
(512) 829-3898

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What Makes My Teeth So Sensitive?

Dental hypersensitivity can have a number of causes. A combination of factors, in some cases. To figure out what’s going on with your teeth, it helps to get a little background info.

Anatomy Of A Sensitive Tooth

All teeth have hollow chambers in their centers. These spaces are filled with blood vessels and loads of nerves. The nerves pick up on temperatures via fluid-filled pores that fill the dentin (middle layer). These pores are insulated on the outside by the outer layer, the enamel. Enamel only covers the top portion of the tooth that’s visible when you smile. Tooth roots don’t have that protection.

How Teeth Get Sensitive

Those tiny nerves in teeth become more exposed to the outside world through two main ways:

  • Enamel is compromised
  • Roots are exposed

Enamel can be damaged or worn via acid erosion, fracture, decay, or simply years of use. Sensitive roots can be exposed as a result of orthodontic treatment, a bad bite, aggressive tooth brushing, or gum inflammation. Some other possible causes of sensitivity include getting a new filling, losing all or part of a restoration, and receiving a blow to your tooth.

What You Can Do About Sensitivity

You may be able to pinpoint a specific area of sensitivity. Or maybe not! It’s possible to suffer this complaint in a generalized way. Start out by taking your meals and drinks neither too hot nor too cold. Switch to a fluoride-rich desensitizing toothpaste to fortify your enamel.

Most importantly, see your dentist ASAP. Some sensitivity can indicate a serious nerve problem that requires root canal therapy. Whatever the case, you’ll get some practical advice and suggestions to help you get relief!

Posted on behalf of:
Montevallo Family Dentistry
711 Wadsworth St
Montevallo, AL 35115
(205) 665-2224

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What Does it Feel Like to Get Dental Sedation?

“Sleep through your treatment!”

“You won’t remember a thing!”

“Banish dental phobia forever!”

You’ve heard a lot about sedation dentistry. Although it sounds like an ideal setup, you’re a little concerned about what to expect.

Here’s an idea of what you might experience with dental sedation.

Nitrous oxide: This is a colorless and odorless gas that you inhale through a nosepiece. The gas is a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen.

What you’ll feel: The nasal hood might be pleasantly scented and the air will feel cool, but there’s nothing uncomfortable about the process. Within minutes, your head may buzz, hearing may dim, and your limbs grow numb. You might feel weightless and the sensation could bring on a case of the giggles. You remain conscious the entire time. The effects wear off instantly.

Oral sedative: This comes in a pill or syrup that you take within an hour or so of your procedure. This sedative is only available with a prescription.

What you’ll feel: Although you don’t lose consciousness, you’ll get very sleepy and numb. You will respond to questions and commands during treatment but you won’t remember much afterwards. The medication can last for an hour or so after the procedure.

IV sedation: A needle inserted into a vein provides a steady stream of anesthesia that acts much like the oral version. The effects are also similar to the oral sedative.

What You’ll feel: When you wake up, you’ll feel groggy like you took a heavy nap. It can take a couple of hours for the effects to fully wear off.

Have an open discussion with your dentist well before the procedure so you can select the sedation option that’s safest and most comfortable for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Converse Dentistry
6634 Binz-Engleman Rd #109
Converse, TX 78109
(210) 960-8204

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5 Ways to Relax for Your Dental Appointment

Most of us get a little nervous before having dental treatment. Even if you don’t have a full-out dental phobia, the anxiety is enough to ruin your day. What can you do to de-stress before the distress? Dental professionals recommend the following effective tricks.

  1. Bring Warm Layers!

Your body tends to relax when you stay comfortably warm. It’s easier to put on layers in a dental office rather than take them off, so you may find your local dental office to be a little cool. Take your favorite warm blanket to your appointment or dress in loose but warm clothing.

  1. Essential Oils

Yes, a lot of dental professionals love the smell of toothpaste, rubber gloves, and alcohol wipes. But if you prefer to not let those scents remind you where you are, apply a few drops of calming oil like lavender to your upper chest.

  1. Music Is A Must

Dentists commonly advise patients to bring along their favorite music and earphones. This drowns out the unwelcome drilling noises!

  1. Eat A Light Breakfast

Unless instructed otherwise for medical reasons, make sure you have a little healthy food in your stomach. You’ll stay in control of your system when your body is properly fueled. Low blood sugar and a “hangry” attitude won’t help you find your Zen in the dental chair!

  1. Dental Sedation

If all else fails, dental sedation is an excellent option for those who suffer from dental anxiety.  Dental sedation ranges from a mild sedative such as nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas) to stronger oral conscious sedation and IV sleep sedation.

Ask your local dental team for more tips on getting your chill on before your teeth get their drill on!

Posted on behalf of:
Smile Avenue Family Dentistry
9212 Fry Rd #120
Cypress, TX 77433
(281) 656-1503

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Enamel Erosion: Do You Know the Signs?

Enamel wear happens slowly and almost imperceptibly. Yet its consequences are too serious to ignore. Despite tooth enamel being the toughest substance in your body, it can rapidly disappear thanks to a few of your favorite foods.

Some common contributors to worn enamel include:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Juice
  • Soda
  • Sports drinks
  • Sweets
  • Simple carbs (think junk food)
  • Aggressive tooth brushing
  • Teeth grinding habit
  • Stomach acids (frequent vomiting or acid reflux)

Here’s what to look for if you think your enamel might be in danger.

Yellowing Teeth

Darkening teeth are often a sign of staining. But a distinct yellow hue can indicate that the enamel has thinned out to reveal more of the dark dentin. You may notice isolated yellow spots in areas exposed to the heaviest wear.

Increased Sensitivity

As you lose enamel, your teeth lose the insulating layer that protects the nerve chamber. Teeth usually become sensitive after losing some enamel.

Flattened Chewing Surfaces

Teeth typically have a variety of bumps and ridges. But if they take on a squared-off look, that means they’re grinding too much against their opposing neighbors.

Translucent Edges

As enamel thins out, the chewing edges of your front teeth may start to look a little clear or bluish. This enamel is very brittle.

White Spots

Also known as areas of decalcification, white spots are very prone to developing decay since the enamel has lost so much strength there. These chalky patches are not reversible and actually need extra protection against cavities.

Treatment Options

Fortunately, there are various treatment options for treating teeth damaged by tooth enamel erosion including bonding, porcelain veneers and crowns.

Plan a smile consultation with your local dentist to find out what you should do to prevent further loss of tooth enamel and to repair teeth with eroded tooth enamel.

Posted on behalf of:
Atlantic Dental Partners
729 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 390-8484

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What to Do if You Lose a Crown

It’s frustrating when a dental crown pops off. If it’s a temporary, at least that’s not a huge deal. You can stick that back on by yourself with a little dental cement from the drugstore. But it can be a bit scarier when a permanent crown comes off.

Here’s what you can do if that happens:

  1. Recover Your Crown

Try to salvage your crown from that bite of cheeseburger you lost it in. Clean it up well. Examine your tooth and the inside of the crown for any pieces of broken tooth.

  1. Try it Back On

See if you can put the crown back on your tooth without swallowing it. Don’t force it if it won’t go on easily – it could be backwards. If you can find its original position, then you’ll be able to put it back on with confidence.

  1. Recement (Or Pack It Up)

It’s a good idea to recement your crown (using that temporary drugstore cement mentioned earlier) if you know it’ll be a couple days before seeing a dentist. That way, you’ll keep your tooth protected and won’t lose track of your crown.

Otherwise, put the crown in a safe place. Don’t bite on the uncrowned tooth. If it’s sensitive, wrap it in a piece of chewed-up sugar-free gum.

  1. When It’s Lost for Good

If your crown ends up gone for good, you’ll have to talk with your dentist about replacing it. An old crown may be covered by your insurance.

Call your dentist as soon as you discover a loose or missing crown. Putting it off could be bad for your exposed tooth.

Posted on behalf of:
Smiles for Centreville
14245-P Centreville Square
Centreville, VA 20121
703-830-9110

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How to Get a Perfectly White Smile

Don’t you just envy those perfectly-white teeth that little kids have?

Tragically, we’ll never get such naturally white teeth again once the baby ones are lost. But you can get pretty close, thanks to a variety of cosmetic therapies offered in dentistry today.

Start At Home

You can try your best to lighten your tooth color at home. Over-the-counter whitening rinses and strips have helped lots of people achieve a hue they’re happy with. A whitening toothpaste with an abrasive like baking soda may also help scrub away some stain.

But for more powerful results, you’ll have to go pro.

Professional Teeth Bleaching

The next step up is in-office teeth whitening by your local dentist. This is definitely the safest and fastest way to get the whitest smile of your life. One or two visits could take years off your smile and give you a fresh start.

Professional whitening gel contains a very high concentration of bleaching chemicals. That’s why it’s only available for use in a supervised setting.

As potent as such procedures may be, there are still some cases of deep and stubborn stain that refuse to leave. What then?

The Cover Up Tactic

For the most thoroughly white smile every, you may have to opt for dental veneers. These are usually made of porcelain and completely mask dark colors on front teeth.

In fact, you may enjoy the combined effect of whitening and veneers. The veneers will give the teeth in your smile zone a permanent brilliance while the bleaching will help maintain a light color for your back teeth. Ask your dentist which whitening method will suit your smile best.

Posted on behalf of:
Ora Dentistry
2733 Elk Grove Blvd #180
Elk Grove, CA 95758
(916) 975-1000

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What Stress is Doing to Your Smile

Almost all of us experience some severe and even chronic stress in our lives. Taking a good look at your oral health can alert you to any possible changes you should be making in your routine.

Bad Habits

Nail-biting, lip-chewing, cheek-chomping, pen-nibbling . . . none of these are good for you or your teeth. Yet they’re so hard to break!

Bruxism

This unconscious habit of grinding and/or clenching the teeth is a dangerous one. It can lead to TMJ issues, a chipped tooth, gum recession, and worn enamel, to name a few problems.

Poor Nutrition

Poor eating habits often piggyback on stressful situations. Stress is behind excessive alcohol, sugar, and fat consumption. You might even be prone to skipping meals. At any rate, poor nutrition deprives your mouth of the vitamins it needs to fight disease.

Cosmetic Damage

It’s no surprise that stress can trigger those dreaded worry lines around the eyebrows and mouth. Constant tension can simply reduce the number of times you smile in a day and that’s certainly not attractive.

Gum Disease

Studies have shown a link between stress and the rate at which gum disease (periodontitis) progresses. This is likely because anxiety levels impair your body’s ability to fight off infection.

We’ve considered just a few areas of oral health that are affected by stress. But you probably get the idea by now that your teeth are closely connected to virtually every other body system. Take care of your health, take care of your smile! Talk with your doctor about reducing stress in your life and ask your dentist how to keep stress from taking a toll on your teeth.

Posted on behalf of:
Midgette Family Dentistry
3326 Taylor Rd
Chesapeake, VA 23321
757-214-9649

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How Can I Make My Teeth Shorter?

Shortening your teeth isn’t always easy to do. There’s only so much of your tooth your dentist can remove before it hurts and becomes totally useless! But there’s still hope.

Most likely, your teeth look a little on the long side due to gum recession.

That’s right – you might have more of a gum problem than a tooth one if your teeth look long.

Shrinking Gums Cause Long Teeth

Your teeth don’t usually keep growing. They stop when they meet opposing teeth. You may have one tooth that grows over the limit because it doesn’t have an opposite neighbor. In that case, you will need some corrective treatment to get the tooth back in place or totally replaced.

But in most cases, it’s gums creeping away from the crowns of teeth that make them look long. Receding gums expose the long yellow tooth roots and leaves gaps between teeth.

What causes gum recession? That could be a number of factors:

  • Gum disease
  • Rough brushing habits (like using a hard-bristled toothbrush)
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Age

At any rate, you don’t like the way your teeth look without sufficient gum coverage. Not to mention, those exposed roots might feel a little sensitive.

What Can Be Done About Long Teeth?

The first step is removing the irritant that’s causing the receding gums, if possible. If you don’t do that, your gums will never stay in place.

Your dentist may recommend minor gum surgery, grafting, or other clever procedures to restore your gum line to its rightful position. Find out more when you schedule a smile consultation.

Posted on behalf of:
Parklane Family Dentistry
1606 FM 423, Suite 200
Frisco, TX 75033
469-452-2998

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Can My Child Get Invisalign?

Invisalign is a great tool for adjusting teeth – it’s effective and so sleek that hardly anyone knows you’re wearing the tray. If your son or daughter needs orthodontic treatment, they’re probably concerned about how they’ll look.

Most kids don’t look forward to being a brace-face!

Happily, Invisalign has designed a specific line of trays that meet the unique needs of teenagers’ teeth in a few ways:

  • Indicator marks that show whether the trays are being worn as directed
  • Extra space to allow still-developing adult teeth to grow into
  • Extra trays in the package just in case some are lost

For your teen to qualify, there are two major considerations: complexity and compliance.

Complexity

Not all orthodontic cases can be corrected by Invisalign. That goes for kids and adults, alike. Things like major bite problems and unerupted teeth are hard to fix with the trays, alone. If your young child needs phase I (early) orthodontic treatment, their orthodontist will probably recommend devices that Invisalign cannot replace.

Compliance

The indicator colors on the trays will help you to confirm that your teen is using the Invisalign tray as directed (we’re talking some 20 hours every day). So it doesn’t hurt to give it a try. But if your son or daughter just won’t wear the tray then it just won’t work! It’s as simple as that. Braces, on the other hand, can’t be removed and then conveniently “forgotten” about.

It all comes down to your kid’s unique abilities and needs. Visit their orthodontist to find out which option is right for them.

Posted on behalf of:
Sweetpea Smiles
15850 Southwest Fwy #400
Sugar Land, TX 77478
(281) 566-6100

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