Dental Tips Blog

Apr
18

Is it Really Necessary to Have Straight Teeth?

Posted in Braces

Society seems to push the idea of having straight white teeth as the highest standard of beauty.

But in all honesty, few people are born with teeth that look that great.

Is there anything wrong with just being content with and proud of the smile you were born with?

Imperfect Teeth, Perfect Smile!

The most important thing is for your teeth to be healthy. Next most important is to have a smile you feel confident about. If you can check those two things off your list, then how your smile looks is not important.

Keep in mind, however, that there’s a reason straight teeth appeal: they are a sign of health. Tooth alignment issues can lead to some serious problems.

Health Dangers of Crooked Teeth

Gapped, twisted, and overlapping teeth can cause a whole host of dental health issues:

  • Gum recession
  • Increased risk for gum disease and tooth decay
  • Uneven and/or accelerated enamel wear
  • TMJ stress
  • Chewing or speaking difficulties

When a dentist suggests straightening your teeth, it’s more about your smile’s health than how it looks.

A Range of Smile Solutions

Treatment for crooked teeth depends on how complicated the case is.

If you hate the look of a small gap or slightly twisted tooth, then a fast cosmetic procedure may be sufficient. Invisalign trays or dental veneers are good for aesthetic teeth-straightening.

You can just cover up a complex case of crooked teeth, however. They need to be physically straightened to improve your oral health. A dentist or orthodontist will let you know which braces options are right for you.

Schedule a consultation to get more tips on getting a smile you’ll love.

Posted on behalf of:
Georgia Orthodontics & Children’s Dentistry
13075 Hwy 9, Suite 110
Milton, GA 30004
(770) 521-2100

Apr
18

Is Gum Recession Reversible?

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum recession can give the undesirable impression of having long yellow teeth. Receding gumlines also has more serious consequences, making teeth very sensitive and exposed to cavities.

If you are already suffered from receding gums, then you may be hoping they’ll grow back.

Gum Recession – Not Reversible, But Still Preventable

Unfortunately, once your gums shrink down they don’t grow back. The best thing you can do is stop the recession by correcting or avoiding things that cause it, including:

  • Gum disease
  • Irritating dental fillings or appliances
  • Rough toothbrushing
  • Crooked teeth
  • Teeth clenching habits
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Oral jewelry

How You Can Treat Gum Recession

While the gums don’t grow back, you can still do something to protect your exposed  teeth.

Dental bonding is one option. Your dentist can apply a small amount of filling material to the exposed roots. This will make them look white like the rest of the tooth and protect them from decay. Dental veneers can play a similar role.

In more severe cases, your dentist may recommend gum graft to restore the lost tissue.

Oral Hygiene Considerations if You Have Gum Recession

Until you’re able to undo the effects of gum recession, it’s important to do all you can to protect your teeth and gums.

Switch to a soft- or extra soft-bristled toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes are also good to use on delicate gum tissue and sensitive teeth.

Get plenty of fluoride through toothpaste and rinses. This mineral will strengthen teeth exposed by gum recession and increase their defenses against cavities.

See a dentist or gum health specialist as soon as possible to find out how you can repair the effects of gum recession.

Posted on behalf of:
Manhattan Dental Design
315 W 57th St Suite 206
New York, NY 10019
(646) 504-4377

Apr
17

How to Get Rid of Tonsil Stones

Posted in Bad Breath

Tonsil stones, or tonsiliths, are small deposits that form in pits on tonsils and other areas in the throat. These deposits are a combination of food, bacteria, and other debris found in the mouth. They form over time and can harden or calcify if they aren’t removed.

Not everyone gets tonsil stones but if you do, then you know how challenging they can be. Tonsil stones can cause halitosis (bad breath) and a foul taste in the mouth. If you get large stones, they can be difficult to remove. Stones may even dislodge on their own and you might cough them up at inopportune times.

Here are a few methods you can try to remove these stones before they cause you trouble.

Gargle

Gargling with saltwater and/or a mouthwash on a regular basis will flush away debris from your throat and reduce bacteria.

Cotton Swabs or Toothbrush

Daring individuals with control over their gag reflex can use tools to physically scoop out tonsil stones. If you go this route, choose a tool that won’t scrape your tonsils and that you can’t accidentally choke on.

Try a Water Flosser

Water flosser shoot out a gentle stream of water through a toothbrush-like device. This tool is easy to move around and blast away stones in your tonsils.

Improve Your Oral Hygiene

A plaque-filled oral environment provides more bacteria for creating tonsil stones. You may experience fewer stones if you brush, floss, and rinse daily.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Smiles Dentistry
2655 Dallas Highway Suite 510
Marietta, GA 30064
770.422.8776

Apr
17

Have You Tried the Dental Filling-Crown Hybrid, Yet?

Posted in Fillings

When you get a cavity, your options usually include either a filling or a crown.

Did you know that you could get the best of both worlds?

There are dental filling- crown hybrids that many dentists use to restore and enhance teeth. They’re called inlays and onlays.

How Do Inlays and Onlays Work?

Inlays and onlays are called indirect restorations as opposed to direct restorations.

Direct restorations are fillings, which are packed directly into your tooth in one sitting. But an indirect restoration is based on a mold taken of your prepared tooth. The restoration is carved from a material (usually tooth-colored porcelain) and then that piece is cemented into your tooth at a later date.

This process is very similar to that of placing dental crowns. The only difference is that crowns cover the entire tooth while inlays and onlays replace a part of it.

So, inlays and onlays are strong like dental crowns but more conservative like fillings. This makes them the perfect hybrid for repairing teeth that need more support than a filling can give.

The hybrid restorations are called inlays when they replace a part of the “valley” in a molar. They become onlays when they have to replace part of a cusp or edge on a tooth.

Does Your Tooth Qualify for an Inlay or Onlay?

If you have a cavity that needs treatment, then an inlay is a great option. Some patients opt for an inlay even when their tooth doesn’t have much damage simply because they want a stronger and more lasting treatment.

Ask a restorative dentist about inlays and onlays the next time they recommend a filling.

Posted on behalf of:
Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC
1295 Hembree Rd B202
Roswell, GA 30076
(770) 475-6767

Apr
17

Dentists Debunk the “Soft Teeth” Myth

Posted in Fillings

Everyone on your dad/mom’s side of the family has “soft teeth” so that explains why you get so many cavities and need lots of dental fillings.

Or does it?

What Soft Teeth Really Are

There is a condition that causes soft tooth enamel. It’s called amelogenesis imperfecta and it’s a tooth development disorder. The complication results in unusually small dark-colored teeth that are prone to damage.

According to one estimate, only 1 in 14,000 people in the United States have this condition, so it’s not a common thing to have actual “soft teeth.”

If your teeth look normal otherwise, then that means there’s something else making you prone to tooth decay.

The Cause of Tooth Decay

Cavities are caused by a kind of bacteria that feed on the sugar you eat. These germs turn this sugar into acid, which wears holes into tooth enamel. More bacteria move into those holes and continue eating away at teeth.

Everyone has this kind of bacteria in their mouths. So why do you get more cavities than most people you know?

There are a few lifestyle factors that can increase your cavity rate.

Perhaps you need to brush and floss more to keep up with the bacterial growth. Your diet might be high in sugars and acids that speed up the decay process. Maybe you have dry mouth from a medication that you take. Or you may have put off treating a cavity long enough that the contagious infection has spread to infect other teeth.

Whatever the cause, it’s probably not due to soft teeth! Visit a dentist to find out how you can lower your risk for tooth decay and prevent more cavities in the future.

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

Apr
17

5 Reasons Your Child’s Oral Health Is Important

Little kids’ teeth are going to fall out in time, but that doesn’t mean their dental health isn’t important.

Here are five reasons to make your children’s smile health a priority.

  1. Neglecting Dental Health Can Cause Kids Pain

Toothaches in kids are just as painful as they are in adults. You should never leave a decayed tooth untreated on the grounds of “it’ll fall out, anyway.”

  1. Children Are Conscious of How Their Smiles Look

Kids usually don’t make decisions with long-term consequences in mind, so they aren’t the best about brushing. Still, they do care about how their teeth look. Even children in kindergarten may suffer from low self-esteem if their teeth are stained from decay and other kids point it out.

  1. Dental Health Is Linked to Overall Health

Oral infections can spread to cause serious problems like abscesses or brain and blood infections. Healthy teeth are essential to eating a healthy diet rich in nutrients that young bodies need.

  1. Dental Health in Childhood Affects Adult Smile Development

Tooth decay in a child is likely to result in decayed and compromised teeth in adulthood. What’s more, severe cavities in baby teeth can even infect adult teeth before they’ve even erupted out of the gums.

  1. Your Child Depends on Having Healthy Teeth

Teeth serve vital functions in eating and speaking. Your child needs to have the teeth nature put there. Preventing and treating dental disease will ensure that your child’s smile stays functional for years.

Schedule regular dental cleanings and checkups for your child to detect, treat, and even prevent problems. Later on in life, your child will thank you for taking care of their smile!

Posted on behalf of:
Marietta Dental Professionals
550 Franklin Gateway SE
Marietta, GA 30067
(770) 514-5055

Apr
17

5 Alternatives to Dental Sedation

Dental sedation is often the perfect solution for those who struggle with dental anxiety or dental phobia. But if you feel safer pursuing non-medicated treatment, what are your options?

Here are some effective and drug-free alternatives to having dental sedation.

  1. Aromatherapy

Many patients love the naturally soothing effect of essential oils. You can put a couple drops on your wrists or a neck pillow to sniff when you start to feel overwhelmed at the dental office.

  1. Talk Out Your Anxiety

Plan a meeting with the dentist to voice your concerns. You will likely find that just being able to express your fears will give you more control over them. You will also feel better knowing that the dentist knows how you feel. Your dentist will reassure you of what you can expect in treatment and how he or she can help you feel better.

  1. Practice Slow Deep Breathing

Breathing exercises are a great way to distract the mind and slow down your heart rate.

  1. Set Up Signals with Your Dentist

Ask your dentist how you can non-verbally express your need for a break during treatment. If you communicate about this in advance, you can avoid that gripping panic during a procedure and calmly signal the dentist.

  1. Eat a Balanced Breakfast

You’ll have a hard time controlling a runaway and anxious imagination on an empty stomach. But neither should you overindulge on heavy and greasy foods. Eat something nutritious and staying to give you lots of positive energy during a dental appointment.

Need more help in overcoming your dental anxiety? Contact a dentist near you to get some personalized suggestions and encouragement.

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David Kurtzman D.D.S.
611 Campbell Hill St. NW #101
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 980-6336

Apr
14

How to Recover Quickly from Oral Surgery

Posted in Oral Surgery

Whether you’ve had some wisdom teeth extracted, your jaw reconstructed, or gum grafting done, it’s time to rest and baby yourself a bit.

Rest Up

Too much physical activity can raise your heartrate and disrupt the blood-clotting process. Your body needs to relax and spend its energy on healing up a wound. Take a few days off from work and stay in bed (or on the couch.) Avoid doing any tasks that require you to bend over. Now would be a good time to binge on your favorite TV series.

Ice It

Placing an ice pack against the sore area on the outside of your face can help reduce swelling, pain, and bruising within the first 24 hours.

Brush Gently (or Not at All)

Oral hygiene shouldn’t take a vacation, but things are different when you have a surgical wound in your mouth. You don’t want to disrupt any stitches, dressings, or blood clots. Follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully when it comes to routine for the first few days following your procedure.

Take Painkillers as Directed

Over-the-counter pain meds can be just as effective as the stronger drugs only a doctor can prescribe. Easing the discomfort after oral surgery will help you get that vital rest your body needs. But be careful to only take what your surgeon recommends; have a friend or family member measure out the medication for you while you’re still woozy from anesthesia.

Eat a Soft Diet

Stick to cool liquid or soft foods for a while. Soup is okay as long as it’s mostly broth with no chewy ingredients (and it’s not too hot.) Yogurt, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, ice cream, and fruit and veggie juices are good, too.

Ready to bounce back after your next oral surgery? Ask your surgeon for more tips.

Posted on behalf of:
Mansouri Family Dental Care & Associates
4720 Lower Roswell Rd
Marietta, GA 30068
(770) 973-8222

Apr
14

How to Prevent Your Smile from Sinking as You Age

Posted in Dental Implants

Some people think that a sunken or toothless smile is a natural part of the aging process. In reality, it’s an easily preventable one. By taking a few simple precautions, you can keep your facial profile strong and keep it from sinking as you age.

Maintain Excellent Oral Hygiene

The most important thing you can do to protect your smile is to keep it healthy. This involves brushing and flossing every single day. Good hygiene will prevent plaque from triggering gum inflammation or cavities that lead to tooth loss.

Replace Missing Teeth

Smiles shrink when they lose the framework of your teeth. The roots on natural teeth sit deep in the jawbone and stimulate it to stay strong. When you lose them, the bone in your mouth also loses key support and starts to dissolve, resulting in a sunken-in smile.

Get missing teeth replaced as quickly as you can. Dental implants are the best way since they act like natural tooth roots and keep the jawbone healthy.

Eat a Nutritious Diet

When it comes to your teeth, it’s use them or lose them.

Tooth roots are surrounded by a network of ligaments within the gum tissue. These ligaments cushion teeth and brace them for chewing activity. If you regularly crunch on things like carrots, almonds, apples, and whole grains, you’ll strengthen those ligaments and keep your teeth in place.

A healthy diet also supplies your smile with the calcium, collagen, and other essential nutrients it needs to stay strong.

Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Regular dental checkups and cleanings will help you avoid problems before they begin. Contact your local dentist to learn more about keeping youthful smile for life.

Posted on behalf of:
Les Belles NYC Dentistry
420 Lexington Ave #228
New York, NY 10170
212-804-8884

Apr
14

The Truth About DIY Fillings

Posted in Fillings

Filling your tooth at home may seem like the easy way out when you want to save a buck or skip a trip to the dental office.

But DIY fillings aren’t the miracle solution they may seem to be.

DIY Dental Filling Kits Can Be Dangerous

Without actual dental treatment experience, you could put too much patch-up material in your tooth, damage your it further, or accidentally swallow something you shouldn’t.

Additionally, you can’t just cover over a cavity with filling material and call it good. Tooth decay is an active bacterial infection, and the cavity will only spread underneath the filling if a dentist doesn’t properly clean out the decay before filling your tooth.

You’ll Pay More for a Job that Wasn’t Done Right the First Time

Using a cheap DIY kit to fill your tooth may feel like a smart move. But you can end up spending more money for an actual dentist to repair the damage done by a kit you bought online.

Temporary Fillings Are Just That – Temporary!

There are plenty of products available in drugstores that are labeled as temporary dental cements. These kits contain a quick-setting filler and instructions for filling a tooth when you’re in a pinch.

But these kits are temporary for a reason. The cement isn’t the same kind of long-lasting filling material you’d get in a professional treatment. It only holds up for a limited amount of time (like while you’re away on vacation.)

Temporary cements are not substitutes for real dental fillings. They just tide you over when you’re in a situation where you can’t see a dentist.

Visit your dentist to learn more about the importance of professional dental fillings and alternatives that might be available.

Posted on behalf of:
Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates
1815 Old 41 Hwy NW #310
Kennesaw, GA 30152
(770) 927-7751

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,…