Dental Tips Blog

May
20

Are You Using Toothpaste the Right Way?

Toothpaste may sound like it’s too simple to be particular about. But between dental cleanings and checkups, effective use of toothpaste can play a big role in maintaining your oral health.

Just A Dot Will Do

Toothpaste packaging and advertisements make it look like more is better when it comes to toothpaste.

Remember, however, that those big globs of paste are purely for promo purposes. They show off the color and texture to make the product look more appealing.

In reality, adults only need a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste every time they brush. Toddlers under the age of 3 get a rice grain-sized smear.

Too much toothpaste could actually make your toothbrush bristles too slippery to scrub your teeth.

Don’t Rinse Too Much

It’s a habit for most of us to rinse out with water after brushing with a mouth full of foamy toothpaste.

But did you know that if you rinse you’re only getting 50% of the benefits?

Toothpaste helps clean teeth. But it also contains ingredients to inhibit germ growth or strengthen enamel. When you leave that last bit of minty residue on your teeth, it helps freshen your breath and gives the toothpaste more time to boost your oral health.

It’s What’s Inside That Counts

Not just any toothpaste will work. Sure, you won’t get sick from using the wrong kind, but it helps to choose a formula that will address your oral concerns.

For example, some toothpastes meet needs like:

  • Teeth whitening
  • Anti-cavity
  • Anti-gingivitis
  • Sensitivity
  • Remineralizing enamel

Take a minute to check the packaging of your next tube of toothpaste to make sure it does what it claims.

Ask your dentist for tips on selecting a toothpaste that’s right for you.

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

May
20

Why Is My Filled Tooth Sensitive?

Posted in Fillings

Isn’t the point of a filling to stop pain of a cavity? Then why does your tooth hurt?

There are a few possible reasons behind your sensitivity and discomfort.

Your Tooth Is Getting Used to its New Structure

It’s not every day that your teeth get opened up and exposed to air. Although you’re numb for the procedure, your tooth may complain about the intrusion for a few days afterwards.

Give your tooth a few days to settle down before you start panicking. Use a fluoride rinse and a sensitivity toothpaste to reinforce weak spots in your enamel.

The Filling Is “Too High”

Sometimes a little difference can make a big one. What that means is a subtle height discrepancy in your dental filling can throw off your entire bite. It might only feel as annoying as a seed stuck in your tooth, but it can cause some people a lot of annoyance.

You may not be able to tell for sure if this is the issue, but if the pain lasts a while, your dentist can confirm it. A brief adjustment will make your tooth comfortable again.

You Need More Than a Filling

Dentists prefer to start out with the most conservative treatment when possible. Treating with a filling is the best way to preserve your natural tooth. But it could turn out that your tooth has more damage than expected and you need a crown or root canal.

If you’re experiencing pain near your new filling that persists for a week or more or interferes with eating, call your dentist. He or she will have you right back in to take a look and make adjustments that’ll get you the relief you need.

Posted on behalf of:
Manhattan Dental Design
315 W 57th St Suite 206
New York, NY 10019
(646) 504-437

May
20

When Do You Need to Completely Restore Your Smile?

Some people opt to completely redesign their mouths with multiple stages of dental work. This sounds like something only celebrities would do; but you might one day find yourself unexpectedly needing full-mouth restoration, as well.

Here are a few reasons why.

Accidents

Nearly all of us face the risk of an automobile accident every day. It’s one of those things you have less control over than you realize. Such a traumatic event could cause an injury with permanent damage.

Sports Trauma

Sometimes, a broken tooth is just the name of the game.

Boxing, hockey, martial arts, and all other contact sports jeopardize your smile with each practice session. A mouth guard can help, but if the worst should happen, restoring your teeth will help you feel confident about getting back on the field.

Makeover

You may decide that you deserve a gorgeous smile every bit as much as the movie stars do.

Sick of your overbite? Want brighter teeth? Tired of all those crooked snaggle-teeth? Are you done with getting filling after filling updated?

Thousands of American dental patients just go for the gold and commit to a complete cosmetic dental makeover as a gift to themselves. Hey, you deserve to look good at your wedding or right after you retire.

Cancer Treatments 

Cancer of the throat, jaw, tooth, tongue, and other types can all cause permanent disfigurement in the face. This doesn’t just affect looks – it can also seriously impact daily functioning and nutrition.

Rebuilding your smile after cancer will help you eat and speak comfortably as well as feel like your old self, again.

Contact your dentist for a consultation if you’d like to start planning your full-mouth reconstruction.

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

May
20

What Are Periodontal Pockets?

Posted in Gum Disease

You may have heard the term “periodontal pockets” thrown around once or twice by a dental hygienist during your cleaning.

What exactly are they?

How Periodontitis Affects Your Teeth

Gum disease (periodontitis) starts out as an accumulation of bacterial plaque on teeth. If this plaque isn’t removed, it causes inflammation in the gum line. If this swelling isn’t reversed, it can spread and involve the ligaments that anchor teeth in place (periodontal tissues).

Your body reacts to the infection by sending out chemicals. Unfortunately, this reaction causes more damage to ligaments. Eventually, the gums pull away from your tooth roots entirely.

The bacteria multiply and invade the new empty space and the process continues. As things progress, even the bone surrounding teeth can start to break down. This results in a distinct gap, or “pocket,” between the tooth and your tissues.

Periodontal pockets are bad news. Not only do these gaps signify a loss of attachment for your tooth, but they are nearly impossible to keep clean. You’ll never be able to control the bacteria and tartar settling into those pockets with a toothbrush and floss, alone.

Do You Have Periodontal Pockets?

Your dental hygienist will do routine gum measurements to see whether any of your teeth have lost their gum and tooth support.

These measurements are recorded in millimeters on a chart. Measurements of 3mm or less are within the healthy range of snug gum tissue. A few 4mm areas suggest some gum inflammation. But areas higher than 5mm are a definite sign that your mouth needs periodontal treatment.

Call your local dentist to schedule a gum health evaluation and find out how you can prevent gum disease.

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

May
20

Life with Veneers: 4 Things You Should Know

Posted in Veneers

Dental veneers are perfect for covering up deep stain and rough enamel. They can close up gaps and even out the shape of neighboring teeth.

Before you decide to get dental veneers, just make sure you are aware of their limitations.

  1. You can’t bleach them.

Your veneers will be designed to reflect the whiteness level you want at the time they are placed. After that, there’s no changing them. If you bleach your teeth later on, they could end up whiter than the veneers.

  1. You may need to cut back on the coffee.

New porcelain veneers are tough and they aren’t porous like tooth enamel. While they aren’t as likely to stain, you can still get some unsightly darkening at the margins where they’re bonded. Try to limit dark-colored foods and drinks.

  1. They can chip off.

Veneers don’t have the strength of natural teeth or dental crowns. If you bite on them at an angle with enough force, they can pop off. Granted, it takes a lot to do that, but you should stay away from chewing ice or using your teeth as tools to open packages.

  1. Veneers cannot prevent tooth decay.

A dental veneer may cover the front of a tooth, but it can’t seal up the whole thing. Bacteria and acid can still eat away at the exposed parts and sneaky underneath the veneer. This means that although your veneer itself won’t decay, you still need to carefully brush and floss the tooth it rests on.

If you’re sure that you can take great care of your teeth and veneers after getting this cosmetic procedure, then ask your local dentist for a consultation.

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

May
20

When’s a Good Age for Kids to Get Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are a common preventive procedure used in pediatric dentistry. But many parents are still confused about the use of sealants and when their kids are ready to get them.

Why Get Sealants

A dental sealant is a thin layer of tooth-colored resin painted on the chewing surface of a molar (back tooth used for grinding food.) It fills in deep grooves and valleys and creates a subtly more level plane. This seals out cavity-causing germs and makes it easier for a toothbrush to remove debris.

Getting sealants is a preventative dental procedure with the goal of reducing a child’s cavity risk.

Children tend to be at higher risk for decay because they usually don’t have as good of brushing capabilities as adults.

When to Seal?

As soon as those molars erupt, they’re candidates for sealants. Sealing them when they’re fresh and healthy is ideal, since you can’t seal teeth that are already weakened by cavities.

But there isn’t an age-limit, either. As long as the teeth are healthy, they can be sealed in adults as well.

You also need to take into consideration your child’s ability to sit through treatment.

Dental sealants don’t take long, require zero-drilling, and they don’t hurt at all. Still, the procedure may overwhelm a little one not used to sitting with his or her mouth open for more than a few seconds at a time.

Placing sealants requires a dry working area and too much saliva in the mouth of a wiggly six-year-old can make that a struggle!

Use your best judgement. Carefully weigh your child’s abilities with the need to prevent decay. Consult with your local dentist or dental hygienist to find out if your child is ready for sealants.

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

May
20

Is It Possible to Be Too Old for Braces?

Posted in Braces

You’ve finally reached your goal of retirement, and are motivated to get that perfectly straight smile of your dreams. If straightening your teeth is your top priority, you’ll be happy to hear that it’s nearly impossible to be “too old” for orthodontic treatment.

Age – It’s Just a Number!

Straightening teeth can be done at virtually any age. Orthodontics is the practice of guiding teeth through bone into a better position. As pressure is applied to the teeth, they push against the bone which reforms around the tooth root to fill in the changing space.

This natural process happens at all ages of life.

Children often need orthodontic evaluations by about age 7. This allows the specialist to check for potential tooth alignment issues. Early treatment can mean less time in braces as a teen.

But adults of all ages want to get straighter teeth. Fortunately, there are many discreet and fast-acting methods available including invisible braces that use clear dental aligners and other systems that can achieve excellent results in six to twelve months.

Considerations Before Getting Braces

Your actual age isn’t a limiting factor as much as your oral health. If your mouth is already plagued with untreated cavities or gum disease, practicing good oral hygiene will be even harder with braces. If you have a stellar brushing and flossing habits now, then you may be a candidate.

What about dental work? Teeth with fillings and dental crowns can be moved, but the same can’t be said of fixed dental bridges and dental implants. Also, if you have a partial denture, you’d have to get it remade later on, since it won’t fit your teeth after treatment.

An orthodontist will discuss whether any medications or health conditions may affect the ability of your jaw bone to respond to braces.

Find out whether you qualify for treatment by contacting your local dentist.

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

May
20

How to Use Temporary Dental Cement to Replace a Crown

Posted in Crowns

Many people have lost dental crowns at inconvenient times. A dentist isn’t always around to make repairs immediately, especially if you’re on a business trip, vacation, or it’s 2am on a Saturday.

Here’s how to properly use the temporary dental cement if you wind up losing a dental restoration.

Check Your Tooth

If your tooth is in excruciating pain or there is some unusual swelling going on, call your dentist for advice. He or she may even recommend an emergency room visit if the office isn’t open.

Once you’re certain you’re okay, make sure your tooth is cleaned of debris. Check the inside of a crown to ensure it’s free of broken tooth pieces. If a lot of your tooth has shattered, just protect the spot (such as with a piece of sugar-free chewing gum) and wait for the dentist to address it. Otherwise, rinse out your mouth with warm water, pick up a dental cement, and get to work!

Cement Safely

In addition to the cement, you will need:

  • Mirror
  • Clean water
  • Towel
  • Floss
  • Toothpick
  • Toothbrush
  • Paperclip

Brush and floss your tooth clean. Use the paperclip to remove excess cement from the crown. Check the fit of the crown without placing any cement. Bite down lightly to make sure everything lines up. If it’s not fitting, try going in at different angles or cleaning the crown again.

Once you’re able to find the right fit, fill the crown with the cement. Place it securely on the tooth, let it set for longer than the instructions say, and use the toothpick and floss to clean up the excess. Brush your teeth afterwards, and you’re all set.

A temporary cement can help you keep on living your life until you’re able to see your dentist the next business day.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Dental Health
2285 Peachtree Rd #203
Atlanta, GA 30309
(678) 666-3642

May
20

How to Get Rid of Stain on Dentures

Posted in Dentures

Before you break out the steel wool, take a minute to consider some safe ways to clean stain off your denture.

Brush Regularly

Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of a good brushing. Brushing your denture with a soft brush at least once a day should do wonders for preventing stain buildup.

Soak Daily

If you sleep with your denture in at night, you’re only increasing the likelihood of stain. Removing your appliance and soaking it in water and denture cleanser will help keep stain from drying onto the teeth and discoloring them.

Now for some other tricks you can try for lifting old stain from your denture.

Bleach

A few-minute soak in a ratio of 1 part household bleach to 10 parts of water could help lighten stain. But be careful you don’t soak more than ten minutes – it could also bleach the acrylic gums or make them brittle.

(Disclaimer: NEVER use this soak without first consulting your dentist.)

Vinegar

Equal parts of white vinegar and water can be used on occasion to loosen tartar deposits that dull teeth. This method, too, should first be cleared with your dentist.

When All Else Fails

Heading to your local dental office is definitely the best thing you can do. While you have your regular checkup, trained team members will remove denture debris by hand and give your denture an ultrasonic cleaning.

You can’t whiten denture teeth the way you do natural teeth. So there may come a time when you have to retire your current denture because the tooth color has darkened. At that point, you’ll get to start over from a clean slate!

Remember to ask your dentist about the best way to remove stain from your denture.

Posted on behalf of :
Prime Dental Care
417 Wall St
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 651-8618

May
20

Could a Robot Place Your Next Dental Implant?

Posted in Dental Implants

A Chinese woman recently had a dental implant placed by a robot with a pre-programmed procedure. Human doctors were right there to make sure everything went well, but they didn’t participate.

The implant was placed accurately.

We’re now a huge step closer to automated dental surgery in America thanks to a new system.

Yomi is the robotic dental surgery assistant now FDA-approved for use in the United States.

This system isn’t meant to take the control right out of the dentists’ hands, however. Yomi helps to make their own work more precise.

Until recently, traditional implant placement meant that a surgeon had to make a map of a patient’s mouth and then operate based what he or she saw in the images.

Computer-assisted 3D virtual surgery planning has helped a lot. But it’s still up to the doctor to look at the plan and then estimate the correct angle and depth in the gums for placing the implant.

Yomi creates a 3D image of the patient’s mouth with a CAT scan. This image can be manipulated throughout the procedure. Best of all, Yomi’s surgical arm is linked with the image like a car can be linked to a GPS. So during the surgery it ensures that the drill only moves at the angle and depth originally planned.

Yomi allows for the treatment plan to change as needed, and the surgeon is always in control of the machine.

It’s fascinating to see how implant surgery is getting faster, more accurate, and less-invasive.

Contact your local dental office to find out more about the advances being made in dental implant technology. A consultation will reveal whether an implant is right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Precision Digital Dentistry
674 US-202/206
Suite 7
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
(908) 955-6999

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