Dental Tips Blog

Sep
17

Will Braces Cause White Spots on Your Teeth?

Posted in Veneers

If you’re due to get braces in the near future, you’re likely afraid of getting some of those dreaded “white spots” or circles on your teeth, as well.

Here’s what you need to know about what causes them, and how to prevent it from happening.

What Are White Spots?

Tooth enamel that loses minerals is considered decalcified. When this happens, the enamel takes on a bright white, chalky appearance.

Decalcification can happen when teeth are exposed to too much fluoride during development. It also occurs as a result of long-term exposure to dental plaque.

Braces can cause enamel decalcification when plaque is allowed to accumulate in places that are hard to reach with a toothbrush or floss. The acids in this biofilm zap minerals out of the enamel, and you’re left with white spots around areas where the brackets and wires used to be.

Decalcified spots on enamel tend to be weaker than other areas on the tooth; they need to be well cared for to avoid developing cavities.

How to Avoid White Spots

Thankfully, white spots are not an inevitable part of getting braces. As long as you maintain a strict oral hygiene routine, you can keep your enamel healthy during orthodontic treatment.

Your daily routine may include:

  • Brushing after every meal, not just twice a day
  • Flossing every day
  • Using a fluoride and/or antiplaque rinse
  • A water flosser or powered toothbrush for extra clean

Minimizing White Spots

Tooth-colored fillings and porcelain veneers are great ways to restore your smile after braces if you have a lot of white spots. A little teeth bleaching may also help even out tooth color. Enamel remineralizing toothpastes can restore weakened areas as well.

Talk with your dentist for more ideas on preventing and treating white spots after orthodontics.

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

Sep
9

Are Dental Veneers Permanent?

Posted in Veneers

Dental veneers have been getting people perfect smiles for decades.

You’re interested in what veneers have to offer, but you want to know how long they’ll last. Is the investment worth it?

Veneers Permanently Alter Teeth

To place a veneer, the dentist first has to remove a thin layer of enamel from the front of your upper tooth. This ensures that the veneer fits seamlessly with the rest of your tooth and doesn’t make your smile feel bulky.

But losing even that thin layer of enamel isn’t the best thing for your teeth. They can’t be left with absolutely nothing protecting them.

This means that once you get your teeth prepared for traditional porcelain veneers, there’s no going back – you’ll always have to wear veneers for the rest of your life.

What about the veneers themselves?

As Long As You Want

Veneers, like any other dental restoration, are susceptible to wear and tear over time.

The better you take care of your dental veneers, the longer they will last you.

You must carefully brush and floss around the teeth that have veneers. Otherwise, it’s possible to develop some decay at the margin where the porcelain meets your enamel.

You also have to be careful that you don’t accidentally chip or loosen a veneer by chewing on hard objects.

To make veneers last, you may have to kick a few habits:

  • Nail biting
  • Ice chewing
  • Teeth grinding

Investing in a mouthguard for sports or to prevent bruxism/clenching at night is another great way to protect your veneers.

If you damage your veneers, they will have to be replaced. They are not permanent in that sense.

Learn more about classic veneers and less permanent alternatives. Contact your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Elegant Smiles
1955 Cliff Valley Way NE #100
Brookhaven, GA 30329
404-634-4224

Dec
26

5 Reasons Your Teeth Are Turning Gray

Everyone wants a dazzlingly white smile. Sometimes, coffee or cigarette smoking is to blame for dark stains on teeth. But those are usually easy to treat with professional bleaching.

Gray teeth, on the other hand, are virtually impossible to bleach. This is because the stain usually comes from inside the tooth, as opposed to being caused by outside forces.

  1. Tetracycline Staining

Taking a certain class of antibiotic during tooth formation is known to cause staining. It can even happen to an unborn baby if the mom takes the medication during pregnancy. When the child’s teeth come in, they can show up gray.

  1. Trauma

A hard knock to a tooth can cause the inner tissues to die. As they decompose, the tooth is left an eerie gray color.

  1. Fluorosis

Extreme cases of heavy fluoride exposure during tooth development can cause relatively harmless but unsightly dark staining in permanent teeth.

  1. Metal Filling Staining

Do you have any old silver amalgam fillings? These can leach out into tooth enamel over time, discoloring it.

  1. Nerve Damage

Whether due to trauma or decay, the nerve inside a tooth can become injured and infected. When this happens, it’s time for a root canal to remove the nerve and save your tooth.

If you have a dark tooth that bothers you, it’s definitely time to see a dentist. Especially if the cause is a damaged nerve that can trigger an infection. Contact your family dental office to plan a visit. Your dentist will be happy to help you discover options for treating gray teeth such as teeth bleaching, dental crowns or dental veneers.

Posted on behalf of:
Memorial Park Dental Spa
6010 Washington Ave Suite D
Houston, TX 77007
(713) 336-8478

Oct
8

Not Ready to Commit to Veneers? Try Lumineers

Posted in Veneers

Like many other people, you may find yourself hiding your teeth behind your a closed-lipped smile.

Are you ashamed of your teeth? Have you ever wished you could just cover them up?

With the help of dental veneers, you can do just that. Veneers are commonly made of porcelain and they slip right over your front teeth to create a new look.

But, getting veneers is quite the commitment. Your tooth enamel has to be adjusted and prepared so it can fit a new porcelain “glove” without making your teeth feel bulky. If your veneers pop off or get damaged, you’ll have to get them replaced.

Fortunately, Lumineers® is a brand of no-prep veneers that typically eliminates the need for:

  • Numbing shots
  • Enamel prepping and reshaping
  • Temporary veneers

Your Certified Lumineers® Dentist will simply take a mold of your teeth as they are and send it off to a Lumineers® lab. You’ll get back a complete set of all the veneers you need at the same time. After using just a dab of bonding agent on your teeth, your dentist will place your finished restorations. That’s it!

Lumineers® can get away with such little work because they are ultra-thin. They’re so lightweight that you’ll hardly notice them on your teeth. When your dentist places your Lumineers®, they will be carefully adjusted so that they can’t easily chip off.

The best part about Lumineers®? Even though they’ll give you a killer smile in an instant, you can have them removed anytime you wish to go back to your original smile without needing to replace them with something else.

To find out whether Lumineers® are right for you, schedule a smile consultation with your dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Park Slope Dental Arts
506 3rd St
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 962-0300

Sep
22

Which Should You Get, a Cap or Veneer?

Posted in Veneers

That front tooth is bothering you, again. Just when you think you’ve forgotten about it, you catch a glimpse of your teeth in the mirror.

Whatever your complaint may be, you are not alone. Many people live in fear of having their photo taken due to having a tooth they’re embarrassed by.

But each year, many people take their dental fate into their own hands.

Dental crowns and veneers have proven to be the perfect options for covering up less-than-perfect teeth. What are the differences between these two restorative techniques? And which is right for you?

Crowns vs. Veneers

Dental crowns are often made from metal, porcelain, or a combination. The cap covers the entire tooth like a snug winter mitten on a hand. Crowns are load-bearing and thus meant to improve the strength of a tooth.

Veneers, on the other hand, could be likened more to a potholder rather than a full mitten. Just as you only need a little fabric to shield your hand from hot elements, a veneer provides only partial coverage for the front of a tooth. Placed over the visible “smile” surface of upper front teeth, veneers are porcelain shells that improve the appearance of enamel.

What Your Tooth Needs

For a front tooth that only needs some cosmetic enhancement, you could go either way. If that tooth has significant structural damage or decay or experiences a lot of bite force, then a crown is the secure option.

But if your tooth doesn’t need total reinforcement, then a conservative and lightweight veneer may be all you need.

To find out which option is most effective for restoring your tooth, contact your local dental office.

Posted on behalf of:
Dentistry of Highland Village
3651 Weslayan St. #208
Houston, TX 77027
(713) 360-7700

Jul
31

4 Ways to Reshape Your Smile

Are you unhappy with the shape of your smile?

Perhaps you have some teeth that you feel are:

  • Too big
  • Uneven
  • Rough
  • Gapped

There’s nothing like a balanced smile to show others you take your oral health and beauty seriously! You’ve got several options for achieving that goal.

  1. Bonding Or Veneers

You can close up gaps and smooth out chips with the help of porcelain dental veneers. These slim porcelain veneers neatly mask imperfections in your tooth and give a uniform appearance across multiple teeth.

Not ready to commit to veneers?

That’s okay – dental bonding is next on the list. Your dentist can bond just a small bit of material to your tooth to make a big difference. While bonding isn’t as complete as a veneer, it’s a conservative first step towards a gorgeous smile.

  1. Enamel Shaping

Did you know that it’s actually possible to shape your teeth themselves?

As long as your teeth are healthy enough to spare a little enamel, they can be polished to look more in line.

  1. Orthodontic Treatment

You can never be too old to benefit from wearing braces. Having just one tooth out of line could be enough to skew your whole smile. Correct that problem and you’ll be amazed at the difference.

  1. Gum Recontouring

Your teeth may not even be the problem. Uneven gum growth and recession can create an uneven smile. Dentists have techniques for gently removing and reshaping tissue around your teeth to discover a brighter smile.

Say “goodbye” to your old smile and welcome a new start! Ask your dentist which cosmetic dental treatments can make a difference in your life.

Posted on behalf of:
Elegant Smiles
1955 Cliff Valley Way NE #100
Brookhaven, GA 30329
404-634-4224

Jul
17

What Causes Acid Erosion and How to Fix It

Posted in Veneers

Did you know that your enamel comes under attack on a daily basis?

Your teeth suffer the effects of acid from a variety of sources. Enamel is the hard outermost layer on each tooth. It’s actually the hardest substance in your body. Even so, it’s prone to wear from exposure to acids.

Acids In Your Diet

The most common cause of acid erosion in tooth enamel is simply putting too much acid in your mouth.

Some of your favorite foods could be sources of regular acid exposure for you:

  • Soda
  • Juice
  • Sugar
  • Salad dressing
  • Coffee
  • Wine

Acids In Your Body

Do you suffer from gastro-reflux or another medical condition that causes frequent vomiting?

These issues expose your teeth to acids that should normally stay in your stomach. It’s very common for people with digestive issues to have teeth that are sensitive and look yellow because of enamel loss.

Acids In Your Mouth

Besides acids from your digestive tract, your mouth also gets exposed to acid from the bacteria that live in there. We all carry the germs that cause cavities. These bacteria secrete an acidic waste-product that triggers the start of cavities.

This is why it’s so important to floss and brush daily! Good oral hygiene disrupts the bacterial activity.

How Do You Repair Acid Erosion?

Once the enamel is gone, it won’t grow back. What you can do is strengthen your teeth with fluoride to avoid cavities, sensitivity, and further erosion.

Remineralizing toothpastes may also help.

Depending on the location and extent of the damage, your dentist may recommend dental bonding, crowns, or porcelain veneers. Talk with your dentist to find out which restorative therapy is best for your smile.

Posted on behalf of:
Preston Sherry Dental Associates
6134 Sherry Ln
Dallas, TX 75225
(214) 691-7371

Jun
28

Why Do My Teeth Look So Rough?

Posted in Veneers

For a long time now you’ve been coveting the smooth, gleaming white smile that all celebrities have.

Why don’t your teeth look like that?

While rough enamel may not be a threat to the health of your teeth, it could be bad enough to make you hide your smile in shame.

Causes Of Rough Enamel

One common reason for worn enamel is acid erosion. If your teeth are in regular contact with sugary and acidic foods or if you suffer from acid-reflux or frequent vomiting, then your enamel will suffer.

Aggressive brushing can also wear away enamel and cause irregularities in texture. Or, ingesting too much fluoride when you were a child may also have affected your tooth development.

Another condition called “enamel hypoplasia” can give your teeth a pitted appearance. This usually happens if you suffered some sort of serious disease when you were young.

Cosmetic Treatment For Rough Enamel

If you’re not happy with the look or texture of your smile, it’s okay to do something about it!

From chips to deep staining to a mottled texture, there are procedures to treat all kinds of enamel imperfections. Some of these include:

  • Dental bonding
  • Cosmetic veneers
  • Enamel reshaping

Porcelain dental veneers are very common for treating rough surfaces. They’re like false fronts put over your upper teeth that show when you smile. A veneer is a thin shell of porcelain that replaces that outer layer of enamel and gives your tooth a completely smooth surface.

Plan a smile consultation with your local dentist to find out if you qualify for veneers or some other tooth-smoothing procedure.

Posted on behalf of:
Marvin Village Dentistry
8161 Ardrey Kell Road
Suite 101
Charlotte, NC 28277
(704) 579-5513

Apr
15

How Long Do Dental Veneers Last?

Posted in Veneers

If you decide to get veneers, one thing that may stand out to you is the price tag. Fortunately, dental veneers are more affordable than you may realize when you factor in payment plans offered by your dental office.

Still, once you get that beautiful new smile, you’ll want to find a way to keep it there forever (and get the most out of your investment.)

Reality of Dental Restorations

It’s an unfortunate fact of dentistry that there are no restorations that will last for life. Taking away one part of a tooth and covering it with a manmade material is never going to compare to the strength of a whole natural tooth.

Veneers are no exception. Of course, they cannot be placed as a substitute for dental fillings. They replace only a shallow layer of tooth enamel. But they are still prone to the wear and tear that comes with years of doing what teeth are made to do.

Are You Doing Your Part?

How you treat your veneers can make them last longer. With proper brushing and flossing, you can keep your new smile looking clean and staying strong. Veneers aren’t likely to stain, but stain might collect along the border between the porcelain and your tooth, if you aren’t careful.

Definitely don’t forget that a veneer doesn’t make your tooth invincible to cavities. Once decay sets in, that veneer will need to come off, anyway. Oral hygiene and fluoride use is essential!

Some veneers around today were placed around 20 years ago. There’s hope on the horizon that they’ll only last longer and longer as dentistry continues to improve. Talk with your dentist to get a realistic outlook on what to expect from dental veneers.

 Posted on behalf of:
Seacrest Dental
66 N. Holiday Road
Miramar Beach, FL 32550
850-298-8576

Feb
14

Are Veneers Bad For Your Enamel?

Veneers have been in vogue on the cosmetic dentistry scene since about 1982.

Using a thin sheet of hand crafted porcelain, your dentist can reshape the front of your tooth to complete your smile. Veneers are used to close up gaps, smooth out edges, brighten tooth color, and fill out chipped areas.

For as great as dental veneers look, some people rightly wonder just how safe they are.

Placing a Veneer

To make a porcelain shell stay on your smile and feel natural, your dentist has to remove a small layer of the enamel from the front of the tooth. This helps your new veneer to feel comfortable. Otherwise, you’d notice the bulk of simply pasting an extra layer over your tooth.

A ‘glue’ or cement seals the veneer permanently in place.

Is all this enamel-removal and cementing healthy for a natural tooth?

How Veneers Affect Your Teeth

The only enamel removed is an amount equal in thickness to the veneer material. Even though your teeth lose this enamel, it’s entirely replaced with a durable porcelain material and reinforced with a chemical bond. Your new ‘false fronts’ are permanent.

Your teeth can be compromised if you have the habit of grinding them. In that case, you could easily pop the veneers off unintentionally. Wear a guard at night to protect your teeth. If you slack off in brushing and flossing, it’s still possible for your beautiful new teeth to suffer from decay, just as they would normally.

Ask your dentist to evaluate your smile and make sure that you qualify. He or she will ensure that your teeth are healthy and strong. This way, you can enjoy your veneers for 10, 15, or even 20 years to come.

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

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…

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,…

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….