White, healthy teeth can take years off your look. Your teeth tend to darken with age, but there are some tips for keeping them looking their best.
First you must follow good oral hygiene practices. It is important to brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss once a day to remove plaque. An even better practice is to brush after every meal or snack. Use a soft bristled brush to prevent gum erosion, and a whitening toothpaste to remove surface stains and prevent yellowing. Consider using an electric or sonic toothbrush, which may be superior to traditional toothbrushes for removing plaque and surface stains on teeth.
Avoid foods and beverages that stain your teeth, such as coffee, tea, berries, and red wine. Anything that can stain a white shirt can stain teeth. When consuming beverages that stain, use a straw so that the liquid does not pass over your teeth. Eat a healthy diet, and avoid sugar and anything that sticks to your teeth to minimize tooth decay that can discolor and destroy teeth.
Brush or rinse your teeth immediately after consuming meals or staining beverages. Simply rinsing your mouth with water after every meal can have a tremendous impact on reducing staining. Rinsing is particularly crucial after drinking wine, as it has acids that can penetrate the enamel, making your teeth more susceptible to staining.
Avoid smoking, which is one of the worst culprits when it comes to staining teeth. Tobacco causes dark stains that infiltrate the tooth enamel and are hard to remove simply by brushing. The more you smoke, the deeper the stains become making them even harder to remove.
See your dentist regularly for check-ups and thorough teeth cleaning. If you have had whitening treatments, consider touch-up treatments after a year or two. Following these tips, along with preventative care by your dentist, can help your smile remain bright for years to come.
Read More »
Your oral health and comfort can be jeopardized when your teeth sustain damage. Deep cracks, severe pain, and possible tooth loss can occur if you don’t receive treatment for a structurally unstable tooth. If your tooth needs more than a regular filling to restore its integrity, your dentist may choose a dental crown. Also called a cap, a dental crown fits securely over any tooth structure above the gum line.
Depending on the extent of damage and the location of the tooth, your dentist will place a ceramic, porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM), or metal crown. Usually, porcelain crowns are recommended for teeth that are visible when you smile. Because the human bite can exert about 50 pounds of pressure in the back of the mouth, the chewing force can be as powerful as 200 lbs, which could destroy a ceramic crown. Typically, all-metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, or zirconia crowns are used for back teeth.
Sometimes, damage occurs to a tooth that doesn’t need a crown, but is too severe for a filling. Inlays and onlays offer a good solution. Constructed from solid ceramic or metal materials, these partial crowns are stronger than traditional fillings. Inlays cover the cusps (bumps) on top of a tooth; onlays fit over a cusp and down the side of the tooth.
Crown placement usually takes two appointments. At the first visit, your dentist will remove the damaged tissue, reshape the tooth, and take impressions for the custom restoration. Your doctor will also place a temporary crown. Final placement will occur at the second appointment, once the dental office receives the permanent restoration.Read More »
As a parent, your job is protecting your children’s wellbeing, which includes their oral health. Having healthy teeth and gums will allow them to chew properly, avoid toothaches, and prevent other issues like gum disease. Research has also linked oral health to larger issues such as heart disease, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s.
You can easily watch out for the dental health of your loved ones with these helpful tips:
As soon as your children have teeth, usually around age two, start wiping them down or using training toothpaste. By age five, they can start brushing with fluoride toothpaste.
Getting enough fluoride helps strengthen enamel and prevent decay. Make sure, however, that you don’t get too much fluoride because over fluoridation can leave spots on your teeth.
Develop Good Home Habits
Make brushing twice daily and flossing regularly a priority to prevent gum disease.
Rinse after Meals
Using antibacterial rinse or chewing gum after you eat can increase saliva flow, which neutralizes acid and washes away bacteria in your mouth.
Protect Their Smiles
If you or your children are involved in sports activities, talk to your dentist about getting a mouth guard. These dental appliances cover your teeth and help prevent serious mouth injuries when you play sports such as basketball, volleyball, and soccer.
A balanced diet rich with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will provide the nutrients you need to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Visit the Dentist
Routine checkups are an important part of good oral health. Schedule appointments for your whole family every six months.
Thin plastic coatings that protect against decay, dental sealants are typically applied to back teeth and molars. Although pediatric dentists frequently recommend dental sealants for their young patients, some adults may benefit from these coverings as well. If you or your children are prone to cavities, talk with your dentist about the benefits of sealants.
How does the dentist place sealants?
If you decide on sealants, the application process is simple. First, your dentist will clean and dry the teeth involved. Next, the dentist will brush the mixture onto the teeth. Often, your doctor will use a curing light to harden the plastic material.
Will anyone notice the sealants?
At first, you may feel the sealants with your tongue, which can happen anytime you have something new in your mouth. Because they are clear, most people won’t even notice that you have sealants.
Are sealants permanent?
Usually, the sealants will last about 5 to 10 years. During your routine visits, the dentist can check the sealants to make sure they are in good condition, and when needed, schedule an appointment to have damaged sealants replaced.
Why are sealants better than fillings?
Preventing decay is always better than repairing cavities in your teeth. Sealants can help prevent cavities before they compromise your amazing smile.
Are sealants an alternative to fluoride?
Although sealants provide a safeguard for tooth surfaces, they do not offer the minerals and necessary elements that found in fluoride, which helps protect the whole tooth structure.