Dental Tips Blog

Jun
22

Is It Possible to Lighten Dental Crowns?

Posted in Teeth Whitening

If you are considering teeth whitening, you should be aware that once a dental crown cemented into your mouth, there’s no way to change it’s color. Any teeth whitening products you use will work on your natural teeth, but teeth bleaching won’t have an effect on your ceramic dental work.

On the plus side, there are a couple of ways you can work around this problem.

Whiten Your Teeth Before Getting a Crown

The only way to ensure that a crown matches your tooth color is to whiten your natural teeth first. Dentists color crowns to match the shade of the existing teeth. So once you bleach your teeth to the hue you like, you can get your cap made to blend in.

Get a New Dental Crown

The most definitive way to get a whiter dental crown is to replace it entirely. Dental crown porcelain has a solid surface, so it can’t lighten with exposure to teeth bleaching agents.

Capped molars don’t always need to be replaced since they aren’t too visible. But the crown on a capped front tooth is worth replacing. Keep in mind that most porcelain dental crowns need replacement within 10-15 years anyway, so it’s not wasteful to update your cap a little sooner.

Choose an Alternative Before Getting a Crown

If you haven’t gotten the crown yet, then check with your dentist to find out whether you really need one. Most cosmetic issues are easy to solve with more conservative procedures such as bonding or dental veneers.

Dental crowns are essential restorations for saving teeth with deep cavities and fractures. If you need a crown, whiten your natural teeth first.

For a healthy and beautiful smile, ask your dentist about the benefits of dental crowns.

Posted on behalf of:
Laguna West Dental Care
9098Laguna Main St Ste 8
Elk Grove, CA 95758
(916) 683-7300

Jun
22

Treat a Toothache at Home with These 6 Simple Remedies

Have you come down with a toothache at 1 AM on a Saturday night?

Here are eight things to try to relieve the pain until you can see a dentist.

Salt Water Rinse

Salt water is a natural way to cleanse your mouth of debris and bacteria, and bring down inflammation. Swish a mixture of salt and warm water gently around your mouth.

Cold Compress

Ice is one of the best ways to numb oral pain whether it’s due to an abscess, injury, or swollen gums. It also reduces swelling, a primary cause of pain.

Peppermint Tea Bag

A warm cup of brewed peppermint tea could give you some soothing relief. But you might enjoy the cooling sensation of a damp peppermint tea bag that’s spent a few minutes in the freezer and then used as a compress.

Garlic

Garlic has natural antibacterial properties. Crush a small amount with some salt and place it on the throbbing tooth.

Clove Oil

You might not have clove oil handy, but it is a great natural anesthetic. Its active ingredient is a substance called eugenol, which is also found in dental materials. Dab a little clove oil on your sore tooth.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Peroxide is dangerous if swallowed, so mix only a small amount with equal parts of water, swish for 30 seconds, and then rinse your mouth out thoroughly with plain water. The peroxide can help calm a raging infection in your tooth or gums.

Whether your tooth starts to feel better or not after trying these remedies, you should still schedule an emergency dental appointment as soon as possible. Teeth don’t usually hurt without good cause and your dentist can help you figure out and treat the problem at its source, before bigger issues show up.

Posted on behalf of:
Riverwood Dental
3350 Riverwood Pkwy #2120
Atlanta GA 30339
(770) 955-2505

Jun
22

How to Know Whether or Not You Need Braces

Posted in Orthodontics

Find out for yourself whether or not you need orthodontics by looking for the following signs in your smile:

Crowding

Crowding happens when there isn’t enough space in your mouth for all of your teeth, causing them to come in twisted and overlapped. Crowding is a problem because these teeth are hard to keep free of the plaque and tartar, which lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

Overbite

In an overbite, the upper front teeth jet out past the bottom front ones. This makes those upper teeth vulnerable to injury. Any restorations in those areas are also prone to damage or wear.

Crossbite

When an upper tooth closes behind a lower tooth, that’s called a crossbite. It’s abnormal because the outer edge of any upper tooth is supposed to close over the front of any lower tooth. When it’s the other way around, teeth are susceptible to premature wear and gum recession.

Underbite

An underbite is when the upper front teeth specifically close down behind the lower front teeth. This leads to difficulties biting into food and can adversely affect appearance.

Open Bite

If the upper and lower teeth don’t fully close together when you bite down, then it’s considered to be an open bite. It can make it hard to chew food and can cause speech problems.

Here are some other signs you might need orthodontics:

  • The lower teeth contact the roof of your mouth
  • Any baby teeth fell out too early or too late in life
  • You’re constantly biting your cheek
  • Constantly breathe through your mouth
  • Suffering from chronic jaw pain.

Plan a consultation with a dentist or orthodontist to find out whether or not orthodontics are right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
West Hill Family Dental
132 New Britain Avenue
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
(860) 563-3303

Jun
21

What Can You Do About Receding Gums?

Posted in Gum Disease

There’s an abundance of “natural” treatments targeting gum recession. If you suffer from receding gums, then you may be desperate enough to rub anything on them to make them stop shrinking!

What can you do to treat gum recession? Here are the facts your dentist wants you to know.

Gums Can’t Grow Back

Gum tissue does not grow back on its own. Once it’s lost, it’s gone for good. Despite the claims of some natural gum health products or at-home remedies, there is nothing that will make your receded gums grow back again.

Rubbing Your Gums Might Be Making Things Worse

Gentle massage is great for gum tissue. It promotes healthy blood circulation and stimulates your gums to keep them strong and less sensitive to irritants. But if you rub them too hard with something abrasive like sea salt, then you could actually speed up the recession. Check with your dentist before trying any at-home gum recession treatments.

The Only Ways to Treat Gum Recession

The very first thing you need to do is identify the cause of your gum recession. Sometimes it’s a hereditary factor that you can’t do much about. More often than not, however, gum recession is linked to problems or activities that irritate the gums.

These can include:

  • Rough edges on dental restorations
  • Brushing too hard
  • Improper flossing technique
  • Irritation or abrasion from teeth whitening products
  • Using a toothbrush with hard bristles
  • Inflammation from gum disease

Your dentist can help you identify such problems and put a stop to them to halt the recession. Later, if you want to restore the gums around your teeth, you may qualify for a gum graft procedure.

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

Jun
21

How to Floss Your Dental Implants

Posted in Dental Implants

Dental implants need just as much care as natural teeth do.

Once you get an implant, you have to clean it daily to ward off an infection that could cause it to fail. To clean your new “tooth,” you just brush it right along with the rest of your teeth.

But flossing might require a little extra consideration.

What Kind of Floss Should You Use on Implants?

Regular floss that you use for your other teeth should be sufficient for dental implants. The key is being gentle. Rough flossing can damage the gums around an implant post and allow bacteria to sneak in. You should also avoid using any metal tools that could scratch the titanium implant post.

Flossing Alternatives for Dental Implants

Do you have an implant at the very back of your mouth? You can floss around the back of an implant that doesn’t have a neighbor behind it by using a piece of yarn or tufted “fluffy” floss.

Is your implant part of a dental bridge? Try a floss threader to work the floss in between your teeth. If that’s too tedious, then try a kind of floss that has a stiff end you can easily poke underneath the bridge and pull through. Alternatively, try an interproximal brush. This aid has bristles in the shape of a small pine tree. Choose one with a metal-free plastic core, so that it doesn’t scratch the implant.

Like many dental implant patients, you may find a water flosser to be the best method. It will let you gently flush along the gum lines of your implant without the hassle of flossing.

Ask your dentist for more tips on keeping your implants in good health.

Posted on behalf of:
ConfiDenT
11550 Webb Bridge Way, Suite 1
Alpharetta, GA 30005
(770) 772-0994

Jun
21

Here’s Why You Should Put a Cap on That Chipped Front Tooth

Posted in Crowns

Is your smile graced with a roguish chip in your teeth?

Like many others with a chipped front tooth, you may not be bothered by the look. The only thing that matters is that it doesn’t hurt.

Still, that tooth might need a crown more than you realize.

The Dangers of a Chipped Tooth

Your fractured tooth might not be in pain, but you might regret its sharp edge later on. Cracked teeth can be very rough. If you accidentally bump your lip, that edge could cause a deep and cut. A sharp tooth could go all the way through your lip if you got hit hard enough.

Chipped teeth are weaker than intact ones. They can’t distribute bite pressure evenly the way a whole tooth can. Your enamel will always be at risk of fracturing even more, the longer you go without treating it.

Crowning Extends the Lifespan of Cracked Teeth

Cap your chipped front tooth and you’ll give it enhanced strength. The crown will redistribute the force from chewing or injury and make your tooth more likely to survive for many more years.

Don’t Wait to Crown Your Tooth!

The longer you go without capping your tooth, the greater the risk. Dental crowns need sufficient tooth material to hold onto. But if your tooth fractures far beyond where the damage is currently at, it might have to be extracted. Not to mention, the next fracture will likely be a lot more painful than you had imagined.

Don’t wait. Put a crown on your broken tooth if you want to spare yourself discomfort and inconvenience in the months and years to come. Visit a restorative dentist to learn about other options that might be available.

Posted on behalf of:
Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
1820 The Exchange SE #600
Atlanta, GA 30339
(770) 953-1752

Jun
21

Can Kids Get Root Canals?

Posted in Root Canals

Yes! Kids can have root canal therapy. The procedure can be different from that done on adult teeth, but the ultimate goal is the same: save the tooth!

Endodontic therapy focuses on treating problems inside teeth such as abscess, decay, and damage to the pulp. In a child, it’s usually in the form of a pulpotomy or pulp cap, rather than a traditional root canal.

Why Kids Need “Root Canals”

Just like adults, children can suffer from painful toothaches. If a child’s tooth isn’t treated, it can cause them to lose sleep, have difficulty concentrating in school, and avoid eating healthy foods.

Getting a root canal will alleviate the child’s pain and let them keep their tooth. Even baby teeth play an important role in nutrition and maintaining tooth alignment.

Are Root Canals Safe for Kids?

Endodontic therapy is safe for children. The dentist will make sure that a child has plenty of numbing to stay comfortable. If necessary, kids can also have laughing gas or some other kind of sedation to help them feel calm.

Root Canals for Kids

What kind of endodontic therapy a child needs depends on things like:

  • Which tooth is affected
  • How bad the damage is
  • Whether a baby tooth is close to falling out or not

The dentist will decide on which procedure to recommend after evaluating these factors.

Some endodontic procedures focus on just treating the pulp of the tooth and encouraging healing. Others involve removing only half of the pulp and leaving the roots alone if they’re still developing. Lastly, there is a traditional root canal in which the dentist removes all of the pulp from the tooth and caps it with a crown.

Talk with your child’s dentist about other endodontic treatment options.

Posted on behalf of:
Springfield Lorton Dental Group
5419-C Backlick Rd
Springfield, VA 22151
(703) 256-8554

Jun
21

Are Dental Veneers Bad for Teeth?

Posted in Veneers

Porcelain veneers close up gaps in front teeth, even out tooth size, restore damaged enamel, and cover up stubborn stains.

But veneers do have a couple of drawbacks. You might wonder: “could veneers harm my teeth?”

The Downsides of Dental Veneers 

Once your first get your porcelain veneers put on, your teeth will likely feel a little sensitive. The dentist has to remove a thin layer of enamel from the front of your teeth. The sensitivity should go away with time as your teeth adjust, but if it doesn’t, there are dental products and treatments that can provide relief.

Another drawback of dental veneers is the fact that the process requires removing a thin layer of enamel from the teeth slated to get veneers. This is an irreversible process and one of the reasons some claim that veneers are “bad.” Removing a small layer of enamel is essential to secure the veneer and create a smooth finish. Simply putting a porcelain veneer on top of existing enamel will make the tooth feel too big and you’d have trouble closing your lips together.

The drawback to this process is that if your veneer falls off, you have to have it replaced or crown your tooth. Once that enamel layer is gone, you can’t leave your exposed tooth as-is ever again or it will suffer from sensitivity and be prone to decay.

Successful Veneer Treatment 

Consult with an experienced cosmetic dentist before you dive into getting veneers. Ask how you can prepare for veneers and about temporary or reversible veneer alternatives. Taking good care of your restorations for years to come will help keep your new smile healthy.

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

Jun
21

5 Ways to Prevent Sores While Wearing a Denture

Posted in Dentures

Here are five of the best ways to prevent and relieve painful denture sores and stomatitis under your “plate.”

Apply a Denture Cream

If your denture is new or a bit loose, you may have a hard time keeping it in place. The chafing can cause gum irritation. To prevent this, apply a thin layer of denture cream when you’re about to put your denture in. Remember to clean out the old adhesive material every day when you take out your prosthesis.

Check the Fit of Your Denture

A loose denture results in an uneven bite and lots of movement. Slipping and sliding can rub painfully against your gums. The only way to make your denture fits comfortably is to see your dentist or prosthodontist for an adjustment.

Clean Your Denture Daily

Bacteria, fungi, and food debris build up underneath dentures and cause irritation to the tissue underneath. You must remove your denture every night before you go to bed to give it a thorough cleaning. This process removes the microbes that can cause sores.

Clean Your Mouth Daily

Germs and food left in your mouth will only continue to build up underneath a clean denture when you put it back in. Wipe out your mouth with a soft brush or cloth, rinse well, and brush and floss any remaining teeth you have. Do this at least twice a day or after every meal.

Take Your Denture Out at Night

Your mouth and gums need time to “breathe” without being covered by a denture. Let your plate soak overnight and use this time to give your mouth a rest.

Get more denture care tips from your dentist at your next checkup.

Posted on behalf of:
Smiles by Seese
610 Jetton St #250
Davidson, NC 28036
(704) 895-5095

Jun
21

4 Reasons to Give Sedation Dentistry a Try

“Twilight dentistry” or “sleep dentistry” are terms used to refer to treatment facilitated with the help of medications to reduce anxiety and pain sensitivity.

Here are four ways sedation dentistry could make a difference during your next dental procedure.

Sedation Will Make Your Treatment Go by Faster

Dental sedation makes you feel very sleepy and relaxed. It won’t make you go unconscious, but it does have an effect on your short-term memory. You may feel so tired that you won’t remember much of what happened during your treatment, although you will have been conscious at the time.

You’ll probably feel like you “woke up” after a brief nap to find that your two hour-long root canal is all done.

Sedation Will Make Your Treatment Safer

Anxiety can make you very nervous and tense. You might cringe and flinch when the dentist brings an instrument near your mouth. But sudden movements can be very dangerous in dentistry. The dentist can do a thorough, fast, and safe job, confident in his or her every movement, if you stay still and relaxed. Sedation can help you do just that and enjoy a safe procedure.

Sedation Spares You the Effects of Anxiety

Anxiety takes a massive toll on your body. Choose sedation to help you get through dental treatment and you won’t have to experience the tension, increased blood pressure, and digestive problems that can accompany stress.

Sedation Can Change Your View of Dental Treatment

One positive pain-free experience at the dental office could change your entire outlook on dentistry. With a more positive view, you’ll be motivated to get the treatment you need without fear or hesitation.

Ask your dentist whether sedation dentistry is right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Soft Touch Dentistry
1214 Paragon Dr
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 622-5050

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