Dental Tips Blog


4 Smile-Healthy Summertime Snack Ideas for Kids

Posted in Fillings

With warm weather comes the need for refreshing and energizing fuel to keep little bodies healthy all summer long.

Here are a few simple snack ideas that you can offer your kids without raising their risk for tooth decay. Read the rest of this entry »


What to Expect When You Get a Filling

Posted in Fillings

You’re scheduled for a filling and you’ve never had one before. You may be a little anxious about the procedure. What should you expect?

Feeling Numb

First of all, the dentist will make sure that the tooth is well anesthetized before he or she starts working. You won’t feel any pain during the procedure, but you might notice some pressure. The anesthetic may make your tongue and parts of your face feel numb and can take a few hours to wear off afterward.

If at any point you feel that the anesthesia isn’t strong enough, just raise a hand and let the dentist know. He or she can always place a little more to keep you comfortable.

Preparing the Tooth

Your dentist may seal off your tooth with a rubber dam or prop open your mouth with a bite block to provide a clear working area. You’ll also feel a suction that keeps all saliva out of the way, for a dry surface to work with.

The next step is to remove all decay from the tooth. Special – and small – drills will quickly buff away the cavity and damaged structures while smoothing the tooth so that a filling can be placed.

Placing the Filling

This process varies depending on whether you are getting a metal filling or a composite filling you get, but it doesn’t take long. Your dentist pours in the soft material and shapes it to complete your tooth. Once it sets, you’ll bite down on a piece of paper to check the fit. The dentist will also floss around your tooth to make sure the filling is smooth against each side.

That’s it! If you’re only getting one filling, you should be done in less than a half hour. Ask your dentist any questions you have about your procedure.

Posted on behalf of:
Mundo Dentistry
3463 US-21 #101
Fort Mill, SC 29715
(704) 825-2018


How to Make Your Dental Fillings Last

Posted in Fillings

Despite some incredible advances in dentistry, there is not yet a single dental filling that’s expected to last forever.

Metal fillings tend to last no longer than 15 years and composite restorations have even shorter lifespans.

Even still, the way you take care of your dental fillings affects how long they last in your smile.

Try these tips for getting the most out of your new dental work:

Mouth Guards

A habit of grinding or clenching your teeth at night can loosen fillings or break down the tooth around them. It’s worth investing in a special night guard to provide space to keep your teeth slightly separated while you sleep.

Play sports? You may consider getting an athletic mouth guard. This will cushion the blow if your jaw is shoved back (reducing the risk of concussion,) and protect your teeth from fracturing.


The edges of dental fillings are very susceptible to decay. Those margins can be opened up by cavity-causing bacteria. As a cavity progress under the filling, it can loosen up and fall out.

Strengthen the enamel around your fillings by getting plenty of fluoride through dentist-recommended products.

Good Oral Hygiene

Just because your tooth is filled doesn’t make it invincible! You still need to diligently brush and floss restored teeth every single day. Proper oral hygiene reduces the amount of plaque bacteria that collects around dental fillings.

Regular Dental Checkups

Visit your dentist regularly to check for signs of a weak restorations. The sooner you catch them, the sooner you can treat the tooth and avoid the nasty surprise of needing a root canal or extraction.

Call your local dentist today to plan your next checkup.

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


Direct or Indirect Fillings – Which Is Better?

Posted in Fillings

The classic method for repairing cavities is to patch the hole in a tooth with a silver or white composite filling. An indirect filling, on the other hand, is when the restoration is made outside of the mouth and then placed into the “hole.”

Indirect fillings are often called “onlays” or “inlays.” They usually take more time to make than a traditional filling. The prepared tooth is scanned or molded to create a model and the finished restoration will be put in the tooth in a single piece.

Which method of restoring teeth is better?

When to Get a Direct Filling

A direct filling is usually the first line of defense against a cavity or chipped tooth.

As long as the damage is small, a direct filling may be all you need. These traditional restorations work well in teeth that still have a solid structure remaining.

What if that cavity in your tooth is too big for a filling?

Advantages of Indirect Fillings

If a traditional silver or composite restoration isn’t enough, the next step is usually a dental crown.

But you don’t have to cap your tooth entirely, thanks to indirect fillings. An onlay or inlay is something between a crown and a filling. It’s made very much like a crown, but it requires the alteration of far less natural tooth structure.

Indirect fillings are a great option for support and strength while not compromising the rest of a tooth.

So when it comes down to indirect filling versus direct filling, it’s all about what your tooth needs. Your dentist will help you determine which option is best for you when you head in for an exam.

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


Signs You May Need a Dental Filling

Posted in Fillings

Getting a filling isn’t exactly at the top of your list of favorite things.

But your tooth may need a filling sooner than you realize. Putting it off could leave you in severe pain or a painful dental bill, at the least.

Here are a few signs you need to see about getting your tooth filled before it needs a crown, root canal, or extraction.

Food and Temperature Sensitivity

If your tooth really zings in the presence of hot drinks, sticky sweets, or sour foods, then that’s a pretty sure sign you have an active cavity.

Dark Spots

A discolored spot that looks dark yellow, gray, brown, or even black could indicate decay. It is normal to have some stain that doesn’t contain a cavity, but if a spot is new or you’re in doubt, get it checked out.

Pain When Chewing

Do you find yourself favoring one side of your mouth over the other when you chew? If a tooth hurts when you chew on it, then that could mean it has a cavity or even a crack.

Rough Edges

Does floss catch and tear on the side of one particular tooth these days? Rough spots can sometimes be the sharp edges of a hole caused by decay.

Damaged or Missing Old Filling

If you already have a filling that’s suffered some wear and tear, it will likely need replacement. A damaged restoration can’t do its job and with time can allow cavity-causing bacteria to sneak into the tooth. The sooner you get the old filling replaced, the more minimal your treatment is likely to be.

Visit your local dentist if you notice any of these signs that you need a filling.

Posted on behalf of:
Crabapple Dental
12670 Crabapple Rd #110
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(678) 319-0123


Heard About SDF? Now Here’s the Truth

Silver diamine fluoride (abbreviated as “SDF”) has, for a little over the past year, been touted as a miracle cure for cavities.

But is it, though?

Benefits of Silver Diamine Fluoride

SDF has been approved by the FDA for use in treating extremely sensitive teeth. It’s also shown to have properties that stop bacteria in cavities, so some dentists use it off-label as an early treatment for tooth decay.

A Few Disclaimers

There are a few downsides/precautions to using SDF:

  • Although a clear fluid, SDF can stain clothes and skin
  • It takes at least two applications (a week apart) to get the anti-cavity effect
  • It tastes terrible (we’re just being honest!)
  • It will stain the decay black, not turn it white like the rest of tooth
  • Other teeth may get stained in the process
  • You can’t use SDF if you’re allergic to silver

SDF or a Filling?

At this point, not even SDF can completely replace the role that today’s fillings play.

If you have just a spot of decay, treating it a couple times with SDF may stop the infection from progressing. To restore lost tooth structure, however, you’d still have to get a dental filling.

Baby teeth should not be allowed to decay away, since cavities cause pain and even damage to adult teeth. But some children don’t handle major dental treatment very well. The same can be said of some elderly individuals with cavities on tooth roots.

SDF can make it easier to stop dangerous cavities in their tracks and prevent certain individuals from needing fillings.

To find out more about SDF and its dental applications in your area, contact your local family dentist.

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


Are There Risks of Getting Mercury Poisoning from a Dental Filling?

Posted in Fillings

Could something as simple as a dental filling cause mercury poisoning?

Here’s what you need to know.

What Is in Dental Fillings

Amalgam or silver fillings often contain some combination of these metals: silver, nickel, zinc, copper, tin, and mercury. Why the mercury?

Mercury helps mix the metals in a liquid form, allows the dentist to shape and pack the filling like a putty, and then it hardens everything into a lasting restoration.

Silver fillings are fast and cost-effective to make. But more of today’s restorations are made from mixes of resin and ceramic and don’t require any mercury. These fillings are tooth-colored and carry no risk of mercury poisoning, at all.

Is There Any Risk from Silver Fillings?

Having a metal filling in your mouth is not toxic. Even if you swallowed some of an amalgam filling it wouldn’t harm you. Inhaling mercury vapors is what causes trouble.

Very few vapors come off from an amalgam restoration. You are exposed to more mercury vapors from other environmental sources than from your dental work. Still, you may want to avoid silver fillings if you are already exposed to a lot of mercury, such as through your job.

Reduce Your Risk for Mercury Poisoning

Ongoing studies are investigating the risks of mercury-based metal fillings. But so far, the research shows no risk of poisoning.

If you have metal filling that’s in good shape, there’s no rush to replace it. Your dentist can remove an amalgam restoration if it’s broken, there is decay under it, or if you want a whiter smile.

Ask your dentist for a consultation to find out what your best restorative option is.

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


How Does Filling a Cavity Make It Better?

Posted in Fillings

A cavity is a hole in your tooth that’s caused by acid-producing bacteria.

Dentists have been filling teeth for decades in an effort to stop the spread of cavities. How do fillings work, though?

What a Dental Filling Does 

When a cavity strikes, it creates a weak spot that compromises your tooth’s structural integrity. It’s only a matter of time until biting down on your tooth can cause it to chip or fracture.

Not only do cavities weaken teeth, but they very rarely stop growing once they get started. The bacteria that eat a hole in the tooth multiply and keep on producing the acid that makes the hole bigger and bigger.

Before long, a cavity can grow so large that the tooth becomes abscessed or breaks apart completely.

Dental fillings restore holes in teeth to keep them strong and seal out germs that would only make the cavity larger. Before your dentist fills your tooth, he or she ensures that all the infected and damaged tissues is completely gone.

What’s the Best Dental Restoration?

The kind of restoration you need depends on the amount of damage your tooth has experienced. Treatments range from classic direct fillings to partial crowns to root canals. The sooner you treat your tooth, the more conservative the procedure will be, and the more likely you are to avoid the need for re-treatment.

All kinds of dental restorations can wear down and fall apart with time. But filling a tooth still remains the best way to treat a cavity. Good oral hygiene will help your fillings to last as long as possible.

If you suspect that you have a cavity, call your dentist to learn about your options.

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


How Honey Affects Your Smile When Compared with Sugar

Honey is generally touted as the healthier option over table sugar. It contains less glucose, which our bodies quickly metabolize. Instead, it’s a more complex carbohydrate with multiple kinds of sugars in it. This makes it a little better for your blood sugar levels and your waistline.

But at the end of the day, sugar is… well, sugar.

What Sugar Does To Teeth

Cavity-causing bacteria feed on the carbohydrates you eat. In turn, they produce an acid waste that eats away tooth enamel, creating cavities. The simpler the carbs, the faster they digest them and turn them into acids. Not to mention, sugar in itself can be corrosive to teeth.

Whether the sugar comes in the form of honey or refined sugarcane crystals, it will take a toll on your teeth if it’s left there.

How Does Honey Play Into Dental Health?

Honey contains some naturally-occurring vitamins and anti-bacterial properties. It also has no need for preservatives. Honey seems to have some health benefits such as fighting infection and reducing inflammation.

Be warned, however. All the good stuff honey does is overshadowed by the fact that it can still cause your teeth to erode. You won’t get immediate benefits by slathering this sweet syrup on your teeth and gums overnight. That’s just a recipe for enamel wear, tooth decay, and more time in the dentist’s chair getting fillings, crowns, and other tooth restorations.

Choose honey over sugar if you like, but don’t use it so often as if it doesn’t matter. Brush well at least twice a day, floss at least once, and rinse your mouth with water after having any carb – honey or sugar. Schedule a visit with your local dentist to find out how your diet is affecting your smile.

Posted on behalf of:
Meridian Campus Family Dental
3201 Willamette DR NE
Lacey, WA 98516
(360) 200-5505


Is Vaping Bad For Your Teeth?

Posted in Fillings

Over the past couple of years we’ve seen an upswing in the numbers of people “vaping” or using electronic cigarettes.

It’s easy to think that because there’s no smoke involved (and sometimes not even any nicotine) vaping is harmless.

But is that really the case?

Effects Of Vaping

Studies have already shown that the vapor produced by e-cigarettes triggers inflammation in the lungs that reduces their functioning capacity. While the damage isn’t the same as that caused by tobacco smoke, it’s enough to weaken your lungs.

Weak lungs are prone to bacterial infections (like with plaque biofilm spreads from your mouth.) Take one lab study, for example. Mice exposed to vaping died after catching a common flu virus. The non-vaping mice recovered just fine.

Vaping: The Mark It Leaves In Your Mouth

While an e-cigarette or vape pen won’t leave nicotine or tobacco stains, it can still cause some damage that your dental hygienist will notice. The hot vapor can actually cause mild burns and irritation called “stomatitis.” More notably is how vaping contributes to dry mouth.

Dry mouth increases your mouth’s susceptibility to problems like gum disease and cavities.  Vaping can lead to the need for periodontal treatment and fillings.

Never Smoked? Never A Need To Vape

E-cigarettes were designed to help wean people off their nicotine addiction minus the harmful effects of tobacco smoke. No one yet knows the long-term effects of vaping in humans. Taking up vaping when you’ve never smoked is an unnecessary step backwards and could pose some serious risks to your health.

Why take that chance?

If you use nicotine in any form and want to learn about how to quit or how it’s already affected your oral health, contact your local dental office.

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

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,…