Dental Tips Blog

May
18

5 Causes of Tooth Discoloration

Posted in Teeth Whitening

No one likes stained teeth. Healthy, pearly-whites represent youth, beauty, and friendliness. To keep your own smile as bright as possible, avoid these five major causes of tooth discoloration.

Dark-Colored Foods

Pigments found naturally in some of your favorite foods may be to blame for your darkening teeth. The most common culprits are:

  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Curry
  • Berries
  • Red wine
  • Soda
  • Tomato sauce

Cut back on how often you eat these foods or switch to lighter-colored alternatives.

Tobacco

Tobacco products are notorious tooth-stainers. The desire to get a whiter smile could be the boost you need to quit if you’ve used tobacco until now.

Mouthwash

Some mouth rinses contain antibacterial agents that will leave dark stains on tooth enamel. Cetylpyridinium chloride is often found in alcohol-free mouthwash. Chlorhexidine gluconate is a powerful antigingivitis prescription rinse. Both of these substances can cause some annoying brown buildup on your enamel.

Age

Tooth color is largely determined by your individual ratio of dentin to enamel. Enamel is the outer layer that obscures dentin’s dark hue and gives teeth their whiteness. Just underneath is the dentin is the yellow material that makes up most of your tooth.

If you have more dentin than enamel, your teeth will naturally look yellow. Unfortunately, enamel wears away with time and the dentin layer gets thicker. This means that your teeth can look yellower as you get older.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Plaque is a soft deposit made up of bacteria. These germs release acids that etch and stain your enamel. So if you don’t regularly remove plaque, it can discolor your smile.

For help lightening your tooth color or removing stain, schedule a teeth whitening appointment at your local dental office.

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

May
18

4 Ways to Make Your Orthodontic Treatment Go as Fast as Possible

Posted in Mouth Guards

When you first got your braces, your orthodontist likely gave you an estimate of how long you’ll have to wear them.

That treatment time estimate you get is not a fixed date, however. Your orthodontist can’t guarantee exactly when you’ll see the full results. It all depends on your braces having perfect conditions to work in.

Keep your teeth healthy and your braces in good shape, and you’ll get your braces off sooner rather than later.

Here are four things you should do, to avoid wearing braces longer than you want to:

Protect Your Braces

Use an athletic sports mouthguard to avoid damage and injury if you play sports. Quit any fingernail- or pen-chewing habits. Try not to grind or clench your teeth. Avoid playing with your orthodontic bands since that could stretch them out.

Avoid the Foods You’re Supposed To

Your orthodontist isn’t kidding when he or she says to stay away from caramels, bagels, and bubble gum. You’ll regret all those extra trips to fix your braces when you choose to eat contraband foods and it pulls your appliances off. Stick to what’s safe for braces and they’ll work much faster.

Brush and Floss Correctly

Cleaning your teeth is extremely important while wearing braces. If you don’t do a thorough job, plaque buildup can cause cavities that need treatment, which slows down the entire process. Take great care of your teeth and they’ll respond to the orthodontic treatment in record time.

Ask About Accelerated Orthodontic Therapy

Most orthodontic offices provide an optional treatment that can encourage teeth to move faster. Not all orthodontic patients qualify for the procedure, but it doesn’t hurt to ask your orthodontist.

Remember to keep all of your braces appointments to make sure your treatment is up-to-speed! Skipping your visits can delay your results more than anything else.

Posted on behalf of:
Gwinnett Family Dental Care
3455 Lawrenceville Hwy
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
(770) 921-1115

May
17

Treatment Options for a Child with Broken Front Teeth

Posted in Bonding

Missing front teeth because they naturally fell out is one thing; it’s another when your child’s teeth are broken off in an accident.

Which treatment option your child should have depends on whether the cracked teeth were baby or adult ones and how serious the damage is.

Do They Need an Extraction?

If the broken teeth were baby ones and an x-ray confirms that healthy adult teeth will soon come through, then a tooth extraction may be the best option. The dentist will surgically remove what’s left of the damaged teeth.

Fillings and Possible Pulpotomy

If the adult teeth are still a long way coming, the dentist will do his or her best to shore up the existing baby teeth. This can involve removing the nerve from the tooth and sealing it off with a filling. In some cases, a filling alone may be sufficient.

Dental Bonding

A small chip in an adult tooth is easy to repair with a dab of dental bonding material. This type of chipped tooth repair requires no drilling or needles and is an instant fix.

Root Canal and Crowns

Cracks in adult teeth that reach the root chamber put it at risk of infection. If your child’s broken adult front tooth has a deep fracture, it may need a root canal and crown.

Dental Flipper or Bridge

The last option is the most extreme: extracting damaged permanent teeth. If your child’s adult teeth are seriously fractured, they may need to be pulled. The gap can be filled in with a fixed or removable bridge to maintain alignment and help your child speak and chew normally. Once they reach adulthood, they may opt for dental implants.

Contact your child’s dentist to discover the best treatment option.

Posted on behalf of:
Gwinnett Family Dental Care
3455 Lawrenceville Hwy
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
(770) 921-1115

May
17

This Is How Long Your Dental Crown Should Last

Posted in Crowns

Dental crowns have a lifespan ranging from 5-15 years. But how long you can expect your own cap to last depends on a few factors.

Which Kind of Crown Lasts the Longest?

Metal crowns, gold in particular, traditionally last the longest. But they aren’t the most durable by very much; porcelain crowns can also last quite a while, if taken care of.

Zirconia dental crowns are made from ceramic fortified with metal elements. They’re new to the market so there isn’t much data out there, but they seem to last just as long as metal ones.

How to Make Your Dental Crown Last

Oral hygiene and habits are the biggest factors in determining a dental crown’s lifespan. This means that you have some control over it.

Dental crowns tend to wear down or crack for a couple reasons:

  • Cavity underneath the crown
  • Uneven bite or unnatural pressure on the cap

As long as you carefully brush and floss around your crown, you should avoid getting more decay underneath it. Likewise, maintaining a healthy and natural bite will help prevent premature wear. There are a few ways you can do this.

Resist any urge to chew on pen caps or fingernails. This habit damages both crowned and natural teeth. Don’t use your capped teeth as tools for opening packages. If you grind your teeth, consider getting a mouth guard to protect your restorations.

Dentists today generally expect crowns to last a minimum of 10 years. That number will only grow as dentistry continues make progress. Find out more ways to make your current dental crowns last as long as possible by consulting a restorative dentist in your area.

Posted on behalf of:
Greencastle Dental
195 Greencastle Road
Tyrone, GA 30290
(770) 486-5585

May
17

Replacing Front Teeth: Dental Bridge or Implant?

Posted in Dental Implants

Dental bridges and implants are both good options for replacing front teeth. But how do you decide which option is right for you?

Start by asking yourself a few questions.

How Much Am I Willing to Pay?

A fixed or removable bridge (partial denture) is almost always cheaper than dental implants upfront. But since implants need little to no maintenance, you may save more in the long run than if you chose to keep updating a dental bridge.

Do I Want a Quick Fix or Permanent Solution?

When you can’t afford to be seen without teeth for even a day, then a dental bridge is the way to go. You’ll actually need one to temporarily fill in the gap even if you decide to start the longer implant treatment. The implant process can take several months from start to finish.

Which Option Will Make My Oral Hygiene Easier?

Dental bridges have a space underneath where germs and food can get trapped. This means you’ll have to be extra careful about cleaning and you might even need some special floss or brushes to get the job done.

Implants, however, are just as easy to clean as your natural teeth.

How Will a Procedure Affect My Appearance?

Bridges look nice in the beginning. But it’s not just replacing your teeth that you should be worried about. The gums and bone under the bridge can slowly shrink away and create a noticeable gap.

Because implants sit inside the bone, they provide stimulation to keep the it strong. This maintains the shape of your gum line and smile.

Talk with your dentist to learn more about the right tooth replacement option for you.

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

May
17

Is It Possible to Cure Cavities at Home?

Posted in Fillings

Before you try to save on your next dental bill by attempting a DIY cavity cure, take a moment to consider the facts.

You Can’t Cure Cavities

A cavity is a patch of irreversible damage to tooth structure. Teeth are harder than other body tissues and made from very unique materials. They just can’t heal like wounds in bone, muscles, skin, or other tissues.

Cavities are a sign of an active and aggressive bacterial infection. They are caused by germs that feed on the sugar and carbohydrates you eat, then secrete an acid that eats through teeth.

Tooth decay presents a compound problem: you have to both stop the bacteria from progressing and reinforce the tooth so that it doesn’t break.

How Teeth “Heal” Themselves

Tooth enamel, the protective outer layer, forms while teeth are still developing in the jawbone. After it forms, that’s all you get – it doesn’t grow back once lost.

The enamel layer weakens when it loses minerals, which is the first stage of decay. If you catch this process in time, you can remineralize weak areas. But these spots are hard to detect, especially if they form between teeth.

Unlike the enamel, your teeth can deposit a layer of protective dentin to fight an invading cavity and repair the spot. But this process usually can’t keep up with the rapid rate of decay.

Why You Need to See a Dentist 

By the time you notice a cavity in your tooth, it’s already too late. All the rinses, diet changes, and vitamins in the world probably won’t be enough to stop it in time.  Treatment and restoration of the damage caused by tooth decay typically involves placing a filling or crown.

Ask your dentist about safe and successful treatment options for tooth decay.

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

May
17

How to Cure Bleeding Gums

Posted in Gum Disease

Bleeding gums are a sign that you have a serious problem such as gum disease. Bleeding gums are never normal.

Curing bleeding gums will take more than just a quick DIY you read about on the internet. Here are the real steps you should towards getting healthier gums.

Rinse with Salt Water

If your gums bleed a lot, then they may be very tender and sore. A warm saltwater rinse will flush away debris and bring down the swelling. Start out with this rinse to soothe any wounds in your gums before you move on to the next step.

Brush Gently

Gums bleed in response to the presence of plaque bacteria. Your gums may be swollen and prone to bleeding if you have a heavy buildup of plaque along the gum line. Brush gently but thoroughly using a soft bristled toothbrush to remove debris. Do this at least twice a day to start restoring your gums’ health.

Floss Daily

It’s not just to prevent cavities! Flossing removes plaque trapped between teeth so that it doesn’t inflame the gum tissue. If you floss every day, you’ll keep your gums cleaner and also toughen them up a bit so that they don’t bleed every time you floss.

Boost Your Vitamin C

Vitamin C will improve your gums’ immune defenses and make them more resistant to plaque bacteria.

Use an Antibacterial Rinse

A mouthwash doesn’t replace brushing and flossing. Used daily, however, an antimicrobial rinse can slow down plaque growth between brushings. This is therapeutic for infected bleeding gums.

See a Dentist

Most importantly, visit a dentist as soon as possible to identify the real cause behind your bleeding gums and get the right treatment.

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

May
16

How Bad Do Root Canals Hurt?

Posted in Root Canals

Root canals themselves don’t hurt at all. That’s right, dentistry’s most dreaded procedure is actually pain-free.

Where did root canals get their reputation for being painful, then? And what can you expect to feel during a root canal procedure?

The True Cause of Root Canal Pain

A root canal is a procedure where the dentist opens your tooth to remove the nerve. This sounds painful, but what actually hurts is the condition that leads to your even needing a root canal.

Teeth with infected or compromised nerves don’t have much time left to live. As the nerve breaks down, it can be very sensitive and swells until it painfully presses against the inside of the tooth.

As you might imagine, this makes for a very uncomfortable situation. Getting a root canal relieves swelling in the tooth and removes the painful nerve. So root canal therapy isn’t painful – it’s a pain-reliever!

What It Feels Like to Get a Root Canal

You’ll be just as numb for a root canal as you would be for any dental filling. An injection or two of local anesthesia will ensure that you don’t feel a thing. If you didn’t have numbing medication – as with a typical filling – then it would hurt.

After the procedure, your tooth will no longer feel hot and cold. The gums around your tooth may be a bit sore for a day or two, however. That kind of discomfort is easy to manage with over-the-counter medication.

If the whole idea of getting a root canal makes you nervous, then your dentist might recommend mild sedation. A sedative like laughing gas can help you relax and stay comfortable during the procedure.

Contact your dentist to learn more about what you can expect from root canal therapy.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-1725

May
16

Are Professional Dental Cleanings Harmful to Teeth?

A professional teeth cleaning can leave your mouth feeling a bit sore afterwards. You might wonder if it’s bad to have your teeth “scraped” and poked on so much.

Side-Effects of Dental Cleanings

Dental cleanings can be just a little irritating to your teeth. But that’s actually not a bad thing since this is your teeth’s one opportunity to get totally clean. It takes some elbow grease to remove tough tartar and stain buildup that’s been there for several months.

You may notice some unpleasant yet temporary side-effects after a professional cleaning such as:

  • Sensitive teeth
  • Sore gums
  • Bleeding from your gums
  • Aching jaw
  • Chapped lips

Some of these symptoms are incidental to having your mouth open for minutes at a time and will go away within a day or two.

Benefits That Completely Outweigh Any Risks

Why get a dental clean at all if it’s so uncomfortable?

A professional dental cleaning isn’t an everyday thing since the scaling and polishing would harm your enamel if done daily. But the procedure does make your everyday hygiene routine more effective; it gives you a clean slate to work with!

Thorough dental cleanings remove calculus (tartar) deposits that would otherwise irritate your gums. This buildup can only come off with special tools. Your appointment will also likely include a polishing or even a fluoride treatment to prevent cavities.

When you keep up with your scheduled dental appointments, you’ll stay on top of your oral health. Doing so, in turn, leads to a healthier body.

Professional dental cleanings are necessary and not as harmful as they may feel!

Ask your dentist or hygienist about ways to make your next cleaning appointment as comfortable and thorough as possible.

Posted on behalf of:
Grateful Dental
2000 Powers Ferry Rd SE #1
Marietta, GA 30067
(678) 593-2979

May
16

5 Tips for Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Out

A wisdom tooth extraction is so common that it’s almost a rite-of-passage for many adults.

The following 5 tips can help you prepare for wisdom teeth removal.

Learn About Your Wisdom Teeth

First of all, find out what you should expect. Not everyone has the same wisdom tooth situation.

You may only need to have one or two wisdom teeth taken out. You may not need any extractions, at all…or, you may need to have all four removed at once. See your dentist to find out what he or she recommends.

Stock Up on Soft Foods

You’ll need a supply of foods that don’t require any chewing to get you through the first few days after wisdom tooth extraction. Solid foods can get lodged in the sockets and disrupt the surgical wound.

Well before your surgery, stock up your fridge and pantry with things like:

  • Soup
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Yogurt
  • Ice cream
  • Pudding

Rest Well, But Don’t Put Your Feet Up!

Get lots of rest after a wisdom tooth extraction. Take a few days or even a week off of work or school and stay in bed. Keep your head elevated, however, to prevent a strong flow of blood to the surgical site.

Use Lots of Ice

Ice will soothe the pain and bring down swelling. Keep lots of ice packs in your freezer for the first 24 hours!

Listen to Your Dentist

Your dentist or oral surgeon will have very specific directions for you to ensure that you recover quickly and fully from wisdom tooth extraction. These will include instructions for cleaning your teeth during the recovery period.

Do whatever your dentist advises, and your smile will be back to normal in no time!

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

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