The In’s and Out’s of Cosmetic Dentistry

If you are unhappy with your smile, cosmetic dentistry may be able to turn that frown upside down. The appearance and function of your teeth and gums can be improved, along with the added benefits of enhancing your self-esteem and making you confident to show your smile.

Here are some general guidelines about cosmetic dentistry.


Advancements are being made all the time to provide natural-looking ways to restore your smile. Cosmetic dentistry includes a variety of techniques that can correct problems. Some of these include porcelain veneers, bonding, crowns, implants, and gum grafts. Cosmetic dentists can restore missing teeth, correct gaps in your smile, restore comfortable mouth function, and help improve your overall health.


This specialty concentrates on aligning your teeth properly so that your mouth functions well and appears proportioned. Orthodontic treatment through the use of braces or other appliances provides a straight and appealing smile, while also giving you a well-aligned jaw.

Dental fillings

To correct cavities or similar problems, dental fillings are used. Improvements have been made so that fillings are less noticeable and very durable. Often, resin or porcelain may be used to provide a seamless look.

Teeth whitening

Transforming stained or discolored teeth into whiter, more appealing smiles has become increasingly popular in cosmetic dentistry. There are a variety of simple techniques available that can give you a more youthful, bright smile.

Kids’ Ages and their Dental Care

Teaching your kids good dental habits and making sure they get dental care are some of the most important things you can do for them. Guidelines for helping your child improve their oral health depend upon their ages.

Here are some oral health tips for various stages of childhood.

Infants (up to 2 years)

It’s never too early to begin oral care! Clean your baby’s gums with a damp cloth after feedings to remove bacteria. Once the first tooth erupts, use a soft toothbrush for babies to gently brush the teeth and gums. Use a pea-sized dab of toothpaste and brush at least twice a day. Around the first birthday, begin taking your child to the dentist for regular checkups.

Preschoolers (2-4 years)

This age group has the highest incidence of tooth decay, because most preschoolers love sugary foods but may not love brushing their teeth. Brush your child’s teeth yourself until they are old enough to do it well, but continue supervising the process to make sure all areas are clean. Consider flavored or character fluoride toothpastes if it encourages your child to brush. Also, limit the amount of sugary foods and drinks your child consumes.

Young elementary (5-7 years)

As more and more teeth grow in, your child needs to brush carefully with fluoride toothpaste. Make sure all areas of your child’s mouth are being reached, and help your child use dental floss to clean between teeth and gums. Continue helping your child make healthy diet choices.

Older kids (over 8 years)

Most children should be able to brush on their own by age 8, but performing spot checks is a good idea to make sure they are doing a good job. Teach your child to brush after meals, especially when eating sugary or sticky foods, and emphasize the importance of flossing every day. Continue taking your child for regular dental checkups every six months, which will help create a life-long habit of good oral care.

Healthy Smiles for Seniors

As people get older, their bodies change. One area that can be affected is oral health. To protect the longevity and beauty of your smile, you need to be aware of problems like gum disease and dry mouth.

The following tips will help you enjoy strong teeth and optimal dental health.

Keep up with dental visits

Plan to see your dentist every six months for checkups. During these appointments, your dentist can assess your oral health and make recommendations for any necessary treatment.

Stay vigilant about home care

Older patients can be susceptible to increased plaque development. Brushing twice daily and flossing regularly will help protect your mouth from problems like cavities and gum disease.

Find the right products

Sometimes, mobility becomes an issue as you age. Consider purchasing an electronic toothbrush and/or extended flossers to make your oral hygiene routine easier.

Protect your dental appliances

If you wear dentures, treat them with care. Make sure to remove and clean them regularly to keep them in good condition and prevent odor build-up. It is also important to schedule periodic appointments, which will allow your dentist to check the fit and make any adjustments.

Be honest with your dentist

Make sure your provider stays up-to-date on your current medications and any health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease. Having the big picture of your whole body will allow the dentist to tailor a dental care plan that will produce the best results and preserve your fabulous smile.

Smile Makeovers Can Make a Good Impression

If you have a well-maintained exterior, you’re more likely to have a self-confident interior. And if you are self-confident and looking good, you are more likely to achieve things like that job you’re seeking or that date you’re wanting. One way to achieve these goals and make a good impression is to undergo a smile makeover.

Cosmetic dentistry has become increasingly popular in recent years because people are realizing the role that a healthy, attractive smile plays. Others even tend to judge you based on your teeth, making assumptions about your lifestyle or your hygiene habits. When you have dental problems like chipped teeth, discolorations, cavities, missing teeth, or uneven gums, these issues can hinder the way you look and feel. Luckily, cosmetic dentistry offers a variety of procedures that can renew your smile.

The first step in a smile makeover is making a consultation appointment with a qualified, experienced cosmetic dentist. You can explain your goals for your smile, and learn about the procedures your dentist recommends for you. You may receive suggestions for a single procedure or multiple enhancements, with the ultimate goal of making your teeth look as natural and healthy as possible.

Some common cosmetic dentistry options include:

  • Teeth whitening to brighten your tooth color
  • Veneers to cover imperfections on your teeth
  • Implants to restore missing teeth
  • Gum or tooth contouring to reshape areas
  • Bonding to correct imperfections like tooth chips
  • Orthodontic appliances to realign teeth and jaws

No matter which procedures are right for you, advances in cosmetic dentistry allow you to achieve a winning smile that will allow you to make a good impression on others, as well as improve your self-esteem.

What Your Teeth Say about Your Health

A definite link exists between your oral health and overall wellbeing. In fact, your teeth can actually tell you and your health care providers a lot about what’s going on with your body.

Look through the following symptoms and contact a doctor if you have concerns:

Flat or Worn Teeth

– Often, people grind their teeth, a condition called bruxism, without even realizing it. This clenching and grinding can serve as an indication of the stress in your life. Headaches and jaw pain are other symptoms of teeth grinding. To stop the discomfort and wear on your teeth, your dentist may suggest a mouth guard.

Cracking or Crumbling Teeth

– When a person exhibits cracking or crumbling teeth, it usually indicates a problem with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is also refereed to as acid reflux disease. With GERD, the stomach acid comes back up into the esophagus and can then reach your teeth. In younger people, disintegrating teeth can also point towards bulimia, a serious eating disorder.

Sores that Don’t Heal

– Sometimes, people may accidentally bite their gums or chew on the inside of their cheeks as a nervous habit. These sores usually heal quickly. If you have an area that doesn’t clear up with one to two weeks, contact your dentist for an exam to rule out oral cancer. In fact, oral cancer kills one person every hour. Early detection improves treatment options and long-term prognosis.

Dry Mouth

– Allergies, smoking, dehydration, and certain medications can all lead to dry mouth. However, not having enough saliva can indicate other medical conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome and diabetes.

Schedule a visit at our Shreveport dentists office today!

Simple Rules to Keep Your Teeth Healthy

You only get one smile, so you need to protect its beauty and longevity. Caring for your teeth and gums is relatively easy. Once you incorporate these practices into your life, you will reap the benefits of a healthy, lasting smile.

Brush and floss consistently

Plan to brush in the morning, which removes bacteria and germs from overnight. In the evening, you need to brush because this step eliminates food accumulated during the day. Flossing will remove plaque and food particles caught between teeth, reducing your risk of cavities and gum disease.

Rinse after you eat

The longer food and bacteria sit on your teeth, the greater the risk for decalcification, which can lead to cavities. Once you finish eating, rinse with water to keep teeth in good condition.

Choose a balanced diet

If you make sure to eat right, which means choosing to have fruits, veggies, and lean protein, you will improve your dental health and overall wellness. Getting vital nutrients will promote healthy teeth and gums.

See the dentist regularly

Routine exams allow your dentist to assess your oral health and create a treatment plan for any necessary repairs. If you don’t address the issue, small problems, such as cavities, can lead to larger issues, like the need for root canal therapy. Your dentist will also use these appointments to look for signs of more serious oral health concerns, such as oral cancer or periodontal disease.

Give up bad habits

If you chew ice, smoke, or bite your nails, these habits can cause damage to your teeth and gums. Curbing these actions can ensure that your teeth and gums stay strong over your lifetime.


Finding a Doctor for Dental Implants

There are few things worse than going through life with holes in your mouth due to missing teeth. Traditionally, the only solution dentists offered was dentures. There is a newer technology available that has given hope to many people wanting to permanently restore their smiles in a natural-looking way.

Dental implants are surgically placed into your jaw bone. These durable titanium rods eventually fuse with your bone, literally becoming a permanent part of your body. Once the implants have healed, replacement teeth are placed on top to complete the restoration. The end result are teeth that look and feel like real ones. Implants do not have the problems often associated with dentures such as shifting, loosening, or affecting speech or diet.

If you are thinking about dental implants, it is important to find a dentist who is trained and experienced in this procedure. Not every dentist is skilled in implants, so do your research to find a suitable dentist who you trust. First, ask your general dentist for recommendations. Also ask friends, family, and coworkers for suggestions for dentists they know of who are qualified in dental implants.

Do your own research on the internet or phone book to find reputable dentists in your area. Then call or go by the dental offices. A visit to a dentist is always a good idea so that you can see first-hand what the office is like, meet the staff, learn about the dentist’s credentials, and see how the office is run. You not only want a dentist who is trained to perform implants, but also runs a caring and efficient office.

Once you find a dentist you are considering for your implants, make an appointment for a consultation. Ask all of the questions you might have, ask to see photographs, and get all of the details you need about treatment, costs, and recovery. If you are uncomfortable with any aspect of what you find out at your consultation, continue interviewing other dentists until you find the right one to meet your dental implant needs.

Gum Disease Creates Serious Concerns

Estimates suggest that at least 75 to 80 percent of adults have some level of gum disease. Because the initial symptoms are mild, like swollen or bleeding gums, many people don’t realize they have a problem until gum disease causes damage to their oral health. Understanding the signs and the seriousness of gum disease can help you protect your smile.

Myth: Gingivitis is no big deal.

Truth: The mildest form of gum disease, gingivitis will get worse without treatment. If you practice excellent dental care and see the dentist as directed, you won’t sustain any lasting problems.

Myth: Everyone’s gums bleed when they brush.

Truth: Just as your arm bleeds if you get cut, your gums bleed when you have a problem. Swollen and bleeding gums are often an indication of gum disease. If you notice pink in the sink, mention it to your dentist.

Myth: Gum disease is curable.

Truth: Although your dentist can stop the progression and promote healthy gum tissue, gum disease is only treatable, not curable. Good home hygiene and regular dental appointments will keep your gums in good condition and prevent further problems

Myth: As people age, they naturally lose their teeth.

Truth: Ideally, your teeth are meant to last a lifetime. The number one cause of adult tooth loss is gum disease. So if you take good care of your mouth, with regular dental care and routine home care, you should enjoy a complete smile for life.


Root Canals are Sometimes the Best Solution

If your dentist gives you the news that you need a root canal, it’s likely that you might cringe. However, sometimes a root canal is the absolute best way to save your tooth. Finding out more details about the procedure, its purpose, and what you can expect may make you feel better about following your dentist’s advice.


The goal of a root canal is to repair a tooth that is acutely decayed or infected. The nerve and pulp of your tooth are taken out so the inside of your tooth can be cleaned. Often, a root canal is your only choice for a tooth that is in such poor condition. Without treatment, infection is likely and an abscess can develop. This painful complication occurs when the infection spreads deep into your tooth beyond the ends of the roots.


The process of getting a root canal takes several dental office visits. It is sometimes performed at your regular dentist, or you may see a specialist called an endodontist. First, an X-ray will help the doctor determine the exact requirements of your case. Anesthesia or topical numbing may be used, depending on your procedure. Often patients choose anesthesia to be more at ease during the root canal. The doctor will then drill an access hole into your tooth, and begin the thorough process of cleaning out the tooth. The pulp, bacteria, nerve tissue, and any other debris will be removed. After cleaning is complete, the tooth will be sealed and a temporary filling placed to keep the area clean until the next appointment. At that time, the interior of your tooth will be filled and sealed, and a final filling will be placed on top. The last step may include a restoration like a crown to restore complete function and protect the tooth from further damage.


Although you’ve probably heard root canals are very painful, many patients say it’s no worse than having a cavity filled. Your tooth may be sensitive for a few days, which ibuprofen should control. You should be able to return to your regular activities the day after your procedure.

Cosmetic Dental Procedures Summarized

Years of wear and tear on your teeth are not always kind to your smile, so that’s when cosmetic dentistry can save the day. This branch of dentistry provides a way to overcome problems with your smile that you dislike, giving you a look that you’ve always wanted.

There are a variety of treatments available through cosmetic dentists.

Teeth whitening

A very popular cosmetic technique is teeth whitening or bleaching. Whitening stained teeth may be quickly accomplished using highly concentrated products at your dentist’s office, or at home with customized methods available under your dentist’s supervision. Either way, teeth whitening can boost your self-esteem and noticeably improve your smile.


A simple and fast way to restore chipped, broken, stained, or decayed teeth is bonding. In a single trip to the dentist, tooth-colored composite resin material is placed on your damaged teeth and shaped to look natural and appealing. Even gaps between your teeth can be filled.


Thin porcelain shells adhered to the fronts of your teeth are called veneers. They hide imperfections like chipped, crooked, stained, or uneven teeth. The process takes two to three visits to your dentist because the veneers are created in a separate dental lab. They are durable and stain resistant.

Inlays and onlays

Used for large cavities or cracks in your teeth, inlays and onlays are created in a dental lab and then glued to your teeth. This allows them to fit perfectly with no rough edges, and they match your natural teeth.

Composite fillings

Minor problems like chips all the way up to more serious issues like worn molars can be repaired with composite resin fillings. This organic material is used to restore decayed teeth or reshape damaged teeth, providing a natural and attractive appearance.

Why Dental Visits are Important

People have all sorts of excuses for missing dental appointments. They’re too busy at work, the location is inconvenient, there’s nothing obviously wrong with their teeth, and the list goes on. None of these are valid reasons for neglecting regular visits to the dentist.

Maybe it will help you maintain dental checkups as a priority if you know why they’re so important.

Diagnosing problems early

Regular checkups allow your dentist to diagnose oral health issues early, while treatment is still possible and often not as extensive or painful.

Handling side effects

Sometimes dental problems bring side effects along with them, and your dentist will be able to correct more than one issue at a time. For example, bacteria in your mouth not only cause tooth decay, but also promote bad breath. Tackling your tooth decay may help you conquer your mouth odor as well.

Identifying other health concerns

Dental checkups are good for your oral health, but also for your overall well-being. There are a number of ailments linked to dental problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Problems like bleeding gums may signal a gum or tooth problem, but your dentist might determine that another health condition is contributing to the bleeding.

Restoring a healthy mouth

Advancements in dentistry allow all kinds of restorations that can give you a functional and attractive smile. Tooth loss can be corrected with dental implants or dentures, decay can be treated with tooth-colored fillings, and even headaches can be relieved with dental work. Maintaining your dental appointments offers many benefits that shouldn’t be ignored.

Make Children’s Dental Care a Priority

Regular dental care for children should be considered a part of life. Parents are advised to begin taking their kids to the dentist by age one, and establishing it as a lifelong habit. Visiting the dentist shouldn’t be an afterthought or only occur when problems arise; routine dental care must be a priority.

First checkup

When your child’s first birthday arrives, it’s time to schedule the first dental visit. Any erupted teeth will be examined for decay or other problems, and the dentist will teach you how to properly care for your child’s mouth. Your dentist will discuss issues like thumb sucking, bottles, and sippy cups so you will learn what may or may not hurt your child’s teeth.

Maintaining oral health

Continue taking your child to the dentist every six months, or more often if your dentist recommends it due to higher chance of tooth decay or other risks. Regular checkups involve cleaning teeth to remove cavity-causing plaque, fluoride application to strengthen teeth, and a thorough oral examination. If a cavity needs filling or other procedures are necessary, remember that even baby teeth can require dental work. Cavities may be painful, and healthy teeth contribute to proper eating, speaking, and oral development.

The right dentist

Finding the best dentist for your child goes a long way in making the appointments go well, and promoting a lifetime of comfort about dental visits. You may want to choose a pediatric dentist who specializes in children’s oral care. The offices are designed with kids in mind, and the staff is trained in calming nervous children. Ask if you can bring your child by the office prior to the dental visit to get accustomed to the environment, and plan on staying close to your child for comfort during the checkup. Have a positive attitude yourself about the dental experience, and your good vibes will rub off on your child.

Understanding the Benefits of Dental Implants

Conservative estimates suggest that 69 percent of adults have lost at least one tooth. When you don’t replace missing teeth, remaining teeth can shift out of place. You also face additional tooth loss if you leave gaps in your smile. As well, your jawbone may deteriorate, impacting your facial shape and oral function. Dental implants provide permanent replacements for missing teeth.

What is a dental implant?

Constructed from biocompatible titanium, a dental implant is a small, metal post that functions as an artificial tooth root. An implant can replace one lost tooth, or several implants can be used to stabilize dentures.

Am I a candidate for implant therapy?

Your dentist will perform a complete evaluation to determine if dental implants are a good solution in your case. To support implants, you need to be in good oral health and have enough bone mass to hold the posts in place. If your dentist has concerns about bone tissue, he or she may recommend a bone graft before implant placement.

How successful are dental implants?

With proper care, implants have a 95 to 98 percent success rate. Treat your implants like your natural teeth, which means brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist for routine checkups.

What happens during implant therapy?

First, a skilled specialist will surgically position the posts into your jawbone. After surgery, your mouth will need time to heal. During this part of the process, the bone fuses to the implants, creating artificial tooth roots. Your dentist will complete the final phase by attaching permanent crowns to each post, giving you an attractive, full smile.


Dealing with Dental Fears

Research shows that about 20 percent of American adults have some amount of fear about going to the dentist. Good oral health is part of maintaining good overall health, so you shouldn’t let your fear of the dentist keep you from obtaining care. If you are one of the people who put off going to the dentist because it just causes too much anxiety,

here are some tips to help you make it into the dental chair.

Meet the dentist

Make a consultation appointment to meet the dentist, because establishing a relationship will help you select the right provider for your needs. Look for someone who makes you feel at ease.

Acknowledge your fears

You’re not the only one out there who has anxiety about going to the dentist. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge that you have fears, and don’t hesitate to let your dentist know about your qualms. Choose a dentist who understands that some patients experience fears and is willing to help you through them instead of neglecting your feelings.

Bring distractions

Come prepared for your appointment with an iPod or MP3 player containing your favorite tunes. Music can help cover the sounds of office and equipment noises that make you nervous, and can provide a calming distraction.

Consider sedation

If your anxiety is severe enough that you put off your checkups or procedures, ask your dentist about dental sedation options. A mild sedative might be what you need to get you through dental visits, or nitrous oxide may be necessary while you undergo dental work. Sedation dentistry is a very effective solution for many patients with dental fears.

Whiter Teeth Can Enhance Your Life

A sparkling smile can improve your appearance, lift your spirits, and enhance your whole approach to life. Yellow or stained teeth can bring a person down. This is why teeth whitening has become such a popular way to improve your looks and your self-esteem at the same time.

Here are some choices you have when it comes to brightening your smile.

Laser treatments provide one way to whiten your teeth, and obviously must be professionally administered in a dental office. This involves applying a special gel to your teeth while covering the gums for protection, and then shining a laser onto each tooth. The light reacts with the gel to whiten the teeth. It is best to look for a professional who has experience and good reputation for success in laser teeth whitening, as you want to be sure not to over-whiten your teeth to create an unnatural look.

Tooth bleaching is an option in which bleach is applied to your teeth. Be sure only gels made for teeth whitening are used, because bleach can be harmful to your teeth and gums if it is not the right kind. This method of whitening can take a bit longer than other options.

There are several home whitening choices available. The simplest may be toothpaste specifically designed for that reason, although they require long-term use to get noticeable results. Strips are another method, which you adhere to the fronts of your teeth for about thirty minutes each day for a few weeks. These sometimes increase tooth sensitivity, but usually it is not severe. Whitening trays are also available that fit into your mouth for you to hold in place while a whitening gel placed in the trays goes to work.

No matter which teeth whitening method you select, practicing good oral hygiene and maintaining regular dental checkups are important ways to keep your smile healthy and looking good.

Dental Implants: A Beginner’s Guide

Getting dental implants to replace missing teeth can be a real “game changer.” These restorations provide a solution that looks and feels very natural, helping you avoid many of the negatives associated with some of the ways to replace missing teeth popular in the past.

What are dental implants? Basically, it’s a way to create a whole new tooth root where the missing one was. A rod is inserted directly into the jaw bone to provide a strong support for an artificial tooth on top. The rod is typically made from titanium or zirconium, both very strong materials that deliver an ideal tooth root. Inserting the rod is performed surgically, and you’ll need to wait some period of time determined by your dentist for it to heal before completing the implant process.

Once your mouth is ready, an artificial tooth or crown will be placed on top. This provides complete restoration of your missing tooth and gives you back a fully functional smile. The end result will be so natural that others can’t tell it’s not your real tooth, and it will also feel like a real tooth too.

Dental implants are designed as a permanent solution to missing teeth. With regular checkups and good oral hygiene, it should last forever. If you have gaps in your smile, contact our qualified and experienced Shreveport implant dentist, the dentists at Broadmoor Family Dental Care can evaluate whether you’re a good dental implant candidate and begin your journey to a fully restored smile today.