Dental Tips Blog

May
6

Why Straightening Your Teeth Is Good for Your Oral Health

Posted in Orthodontics

Has your dentist been hinting that you or your child should get braces?

It’s not a dentist thing! Providers don’t recommend braces because they are obsessive about perfect teeth. There is some solid logic behind that suggestion.

Braces Free Up Space

Straightening teeth can reduce the risk for developing gum disease and tooth decay. That’s because crowded teeth trap dental plaque that contains harmful bacteria. Open up those overlapping teeth and you’ll have an easier time flossing and brushing. Food debris will also be less likely to get stuck in certain areas.

Braces Can Get You a More Even Bite

Crooked teeth can cause your jaw to bite down sooner on one side than the other. This, in turn, leads to problems like:

  • TMJ pain
  • Premature enamel wear
  • Gum recession

Orthodontic treatment is especially effective in growing kids. Catching tooth alignment issues early on will help them avoid serious bite problems down the road.

You’ll Experience a Confidence Boost

What’s not to love about a straight, white smile? It truly is the essence of the American ideal for health and beauty. Straightening your teeth will help you keep your mouth healthier, breath fresher, and smile brighter.

Once the braces come off, you’ll find a hundred more reasons to smile!

Alternatives to Braces

Speaking of braces, you might not be thrilled to consider the prospect of wearing a mouthful of metal.

How do you get maximum orthodontic benefit with minimum metal-mouth?

You’ll be glad to hear that there are a variety of orthodontic options available to adults. Talk with your dentist or a local orthodontist to find out which methods are right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
East Cobb Orthodontics
2810 Lassiter Rd
Marietta, GA 30062
(770) 993-711

May
6

When Should You Visit an Oral Surgeon?

Posted in Oral Surgery

While oral surgeons are known for extracting teeth, most people aren’t aware of what else they can do.

What occasions necessitate treatment with an oral surgeon?

Procedures commonly offered at oral surgery centers include:

  • Sleep apnea treatment
  • Facial reconstruction
  • Jaw surgery
  • Removal of tumors and cysts
  • Oral cancer diagnosis
  • Repairing birth defects

So what’s the difference between your dentist and an oral surgeon?

General Dentist vs. Oral Surgeon

General dentists and oral surgeons both complete at least four years of education. Individuals who want to specialize in surgery go on to study for another 3-6 years. A surgeon then focuses on treating conditions in procedures like those listed above.

Your regular dentist is often your first line of defense when it comes to dental care. He or she is the one you’ll visit for a checkup, or dental cleaning. If you need a more complicated procedure requiring surgery, your dentist will refer you to a reputable oral surgeon in your area.

When to Go?

In rebuilding facial structures, you want a surgeon who knows the anatomy best. After a car accident, for example, you may need to go to an ER right away. But once you’re stabilized, it’s time to call in an oral surgeon.

If your dentist says you should see a surgeon for something like a biopsy, then you probably shouldn’t put it off. But if your condition isn’t urgent and you just want to make an esthetic change or two, then you have a little more freedom in choosing when to go.

You can also do a search for oral surgeons in your area and contact one if you’re interested in finding out more.

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

May
6

What’s the Difference Between Lumineers and Regular Veneers?

Posted in Veneers

You’ve heard so much about how veneers can makeover a smile in one appointment. Countless celebrities and movie stars have glammed up their grins thanks to the help of veneers.

But what’s this about “Lumineers?”

Lumineers vs. Veneers – The Differences

Dental veneers are .5mm-thick sheets of porcelain crafted to fit over the front of a tooth. They replace an ultra-thin layer of enamel to create a smooth surface.

Lumineers are a brand of “no-prep” veneers. They essentially do the same thing, but they don’t actually replace an outer layer of enamel. Instead, they’re bonded directly over the tooth. They measure in at around .2mm – about the thickness of a contact lens.

Why Choose Lumineers?

Because Lumineers don’t require any tooth alteration, you can get them put on with zero-drilling and no numbing. They’re also reversible. If you ever decide that you want to go back to your original smile, your dentist can pop Lumineers off. This is not the case with traditional veneers which permanently alter your teeth.

There are other brands of no-prep veneers. Lumineers just happen to be well-known.

Are Lumineers Really Better?

Just because no-prep veneers are reversible doesn’t make them the best option. They might be thin, but you may notice the difference in bulk on your teeth. So much so that you could have problems closing your lips, biting into food, and even risk having a plaque-collecting “speed bump” near your gum line where the veneer ends. You need just the right smile to consider this option.

It’s not to say that either regular veneers or Lumineers are better. It simply depends on what your unique smile needs are. Ask a cosmetic dentist in your area which method will help you reach your goal.

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

May
6

What to Expect at Your Child’s First Dental Visit

With a little positivity and preparation, your child can enjoy a pleasant first trip to your family dentist and be on the road to a healthy smile for life.

Baby’s First Dental Visit

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and many pediatricians urge parents to bring their babies to the dentist by their first birthday. If your baby’s teeth start coming in before then, bring him or her in even sooner.

A dental checkup for a baby is a matter of just a few minutes. The dentist will look at your baby’s mouth and make sure the teeth are coming in on schedule.

Taking Your Child to the Dentist for the First Time

At the first appointment for an older child, expect the dentist and dental hygienist to spend more time having fun with your son or daughter. The goal is to create a relaxed environment your child feels comfortable in.

Your child may be able to explore the dental air hose, vacuum, and water sprayer. There may be some fun “brushing” practice on a toy or model teeth. A dental examination and brief cleaning will likely finish up the session.

Listen Up!

Perhaps the most important part will be what the dentist has to say to you. You’ll get the latest in tips and recommendations for keeping your son or daughter’s smile healthy, no matter their age. Pay close attention and put the suggestions into practice.

Your child’s first dental appointment doesn’t have to be traumatic. Keep the experience relaxed and informative for your little one. With the help of your local dentist, your son or daughter will soon be an old pro when it comes time for dental checkups!

Posted on behalf of:
Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-172

May
6

Should You Get a Dental Bridge?

Posted in Dental Bridges

People have relied on dental bridges for decades. Not just patients as a whole – some individuals have literally had a fixed dental bridge hold up for years!

A dental bridge is a false tooth suspended between functional dental crowns, and it’s a great way to fill in a gap left by missing teeth. Completing your smile with this restoration isn’t the only solution, however.

How do you know if a dental bridge is right for you?

When a Bridge Is a Good Idea

People who aren’t able to have dental implant surgery usually opt for a dental bridge. They could be limited by the cost or by their health. Getting a bridge is more conservative budget-wise

A bridge is often the preferred alternative to a removable partial denture. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle (and occasional embarrassment) of wearing a removable appliance, then you might like a fixed bridge.

Cons of a Dental Bridge

Dental bridges can be a little tricky to clean underneath. But daily cleaning is essential to keeping the gums and neighboring teeth healthy. There are special floss and flossing tools designed for wiping away plaque and food from under a bridge.

The biggest downside to a bridge is that it often requires one or two healthy teeth to be trimmed down for crowns. The bridge needs something for support! But using those teeth for crowns could wind up shortening their lifespan.

Ultimately, it’s up to you and your dentist to figure out which restorative solution is best for your smile. Your dentist will explain how your lifestyle, health, and the shape of your factor into the decision.

Contact your dentist today to schedule a consultation.

Posted on behalf of:
Gilreath Dental Associates
200 White St NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 514-122

May
6

Root Canal or Filling – Which Is Best for a Toothache?

Posted in Root Canals

Most people don’t like to hear that they need a filling, much less a root canal. But dental treatment is essential to warding off pain and keeping our teeth functional.

If you have a toothache, which treatment will you need?

Toothaches can be linked to:

  • Gum recession
  • Fracture or trauma
  • Decay
  • Acid erosion
  • Old dental restorations
  • Nerve damage
  • Gum disease

…And the list goes on! You’ll need to have a dentist take a look to determine what’s going on with your tooth.

But let’s just say there’s a spot on a tooth that you know is decay.

Which is better to treat it: a root canal or filling?

A filling is the first resort for treating a cavity. Usually made from composite resin, a filling replaces the damaged tooth structure and shores up the entire tooth. Getting a restoration helps you keep your tooth alive.

Once your tooth is beyond hope of saving, it’s time to consider root canal therapy.

In a last-resort root canal, your dentist hollows out the core of your tooth and removes the nerve. The tooth is fully cleaned and filled with a special material. You’ll then get everything capped off with a dental crown.

A root canal, unpleasant though it may sound, is the best thing you can do for a tooth that may otherwise need extraction. But if you catch the decay or fracture early enough, a filling alone could be enough to keep your tooth from needing a root canal.

Is your tooth bothering you? Contact a dentist to get it looked at. If you’re lucky, you won’t need a root canal or filling, after all!

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

May
6

Is Your Denture Making Your Gums Red? What it Could Mean

Posted in Dentures

Denture-related stomatitis shows up as an angry red patch of tissue directly underneath a full or partial denture. It can also cause the corners of the mouth to get sore, red, and chapped-looking.

If you’ve noticed an odd red patch under your denture, then you could be suffering from a specific kind of stomatitis. “Stomatitis” means inflammation of the mouth.

The inflammation is typically caused by a fungus called candida. The resulting growth is actually a yeast infection and is also known as thrush. It’s the same kind newborn babies can get.

There’s no outrunning the infection since everyone has the candida fungus present in their mouths, all the time.

But what causes it to suddenly flourish and cause thrush?

Denture stomatitis is most common in denture wearers. An unclean denture or one that’s left in the mouth for long periods of time provides the perfect environment for candida to thrive. Smoking also contributes to the irritation.

How can you get rid of a candida infection? The steps are very simple and with a dentist’s advice, your thrush should clear up in a matter of weeks, or even less.

  1. Give your denture a thorough cleaning with a denture-safe cleaner and brush.
  2. Soak your denture and allow your mouth to “breathe” for periods of time, ideally overnight.
  3. Carefully clean plaque and food debris from your gums and any remaining teeth twice a day, at the least.
  4. Use an antifungal medication or lozenge as prescribed by your dentist.

There could be some other less common culprit behind the wound on your gums. Although yeast infections clear up easily, you should still see your dentist for an examination to rule out other causes.

Posted on behalf of:
Georgia Denture and Implant Specialists
203 Woodpark Pl #102
Woodstock, GA 30188
(770) 926-002

May
6

Can You Just Take an Antibiotic to Get Rid of Gum Disease?

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum disease, or periodontitis, is triggered by bacteria.

If gum disease is a bacterial infection in the gums, why can’t you just take an antibiotic to treat it?

Why Antibiotics Aren’t Recommended

In some emergency situations where a patient comes in with an abscess, a dentist will most likely prescribe an antibiotic before doing anything else.

But if you just popped a pill to deal with a typical case of periodontitis, you’d actually risk antibiotic resistance. This happens when the medication isn’t strong enough to kill off all the bacteria, but it temporarily weakens the infection. The germs can then come back “bigger and badder” and tougher to fight off.

Frequent antibiotic use can also disrupt the bacterial balance in other parts of your body, leading to more problems.

Best Way to Treat Gum Disease

Periodontitis usually responds best to special dental cleanings followed up by antibiotic medication, if necessary.

As a similar example, let’s imagine you got something like a splinter or metal nail stuck in your hand. You’d definitely need an antibiotic for an infected wound, and possibly even a tetanus booster. But would that make it okay to just leave the debris in your hand? Of course not! You also need to have the object removed.

Gum disease is aggravated by collections of bacteria that live in dense gooey plaque and tough dental calculus. Unless you get rid of that debris, your gums will always be ripe for infection.

There’s no replacement for trusted periodontal therapies and a great flossing routine!

Schedule a gum health evaluation with your dentist if you suspect that you may have periodontal disease. You’ll then find out which treatment options are best for you.

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

May
6

Are You Using the Wrong Floss?

Yes, your dentist is glad you’re using ANY kind of floss, at all!

But did you know that flossing could be such a chore for you because you’re flossing incorrectly? You may even be using the wrong type of floss, altogether.

Getting your flossing right could get you excited about keeping your teeth in tip-top shape.

Embrasure Space

No, this isn’t hugging etiquette!

The embrasure space is the dental term for the gap between teeth: how big it is, the shape of it, and how much of it is filled with gum tissue.

That space is affected by things like:

  • Tooth alignment
  • Tooth size and shape
  • Gum recession
  • Missing teeth.

Flossing is all about cleaning between teeth – the front and back-facing sides that don’t get reached with a toothbrush. But the type of floss you choose has to suit that embrasure area in order to do a good job.

Floss Options and Alternatives

Choose floss by keeping in mind those gaps between your teeth. For teeth tightly packed together, you’ll want something thin and smooth, like a waxed ribbon floss or tape. Large gaps like tufted or “fluffy” floss for wicking away plaque.

Only have a couple lonely teeth left? Show them some love by flossing with a piece of soft yarn or gauze that reaches all sides.

If you have braces or just find it difficult to floss with your hands, a water flosser could be right for you.

Some flosses come mounted on a horseshoe shaped toothbrush head for easy reaching.

Along with regular dental checkups and cleanings, flossing is an essential part of a healthy mouth and body. Find out how you can improve in your flossing technique by scheduling a visit with your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Gainesville Dental Group
1026 Thompson Bridge Rd
Gainesville, GA 30501
(770) 297-0401

May
6

3 Things You Should Know About Getting a Dental Implant

Posted in Dental Implants

Dental implants are the latest and greatest when it comes to tooth replacement these days. But dentists still caution patients to not rush the decision to get just any type of new treatment.

You should be aware of these three key facts before you commit to getting a dental implant.

  1. It’s Not Indestructible

Just because an implant is an artificial tooth doesn’t mean it’s problem-free. True, it won’t develop cavities. But the gums and bone around it can still get infected if you don’t clean it well.

  1. You Still Need to Floss

To keep your implant secure in your mouth for life, you’ll have to clean it every day. This includes brushing it right along with your other teeth and flossing around it daily. Your dentist who places the implant will have more specific care instructions.

  1. It Both Will and Won’t Feel Like a Natural Tooth

Your tongue will perceive the implant as any other tooth. But you will notice that it doesn’t have the sensation or “spring” that other teeth do. This is because the implant is rooted directly into the bone while other teeth have a layer of ligaments supporting them in the sockets.

This design puts your implant at some risk, as well. Natural teeth can heal from minor trauma if they are bumped, thanks to the ligaments. But if an implant is knocked loose, it may need to be replaced.

Implants are great for replacing missing teeth. But they really can’t match the stability and function of natural teeth. So hold onto your pearly whites for as long as possible! Ask your dentist for advice if you’re thinking of replacing a tooth with an implant.

Posted on behalf of:
Feather Touch Dental Care
1175 Peachtree St. NW Ste 1204
Atlanta, GA 30361
(404) 892-2097

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