Although teeth are meant to last, things happen that can cause you damage or tooth loss. Tooth structure can deteriorate from decay, a prior restoration can weaken, or a tooth can fracture. Tooth restorations are the ways that your dentist can restore your smile by replacing missing teeth or missing parts of your tooth’s structure. Here are some examples of tooth restorations that you might need.
Dental fillings, the most common type of tooth restorations, can be made from silver amalgam, gold, or composite resin materials. Fillings are most often necessary to restore a tooth that has been damaged by decay or trauma.
A crown is a cap that is placed over a tooth. It restores the natural tooth’s size, shape, and strength so that it can secure a bridge or cover an implant.
These are artificial teeth that bridge the gap caused by one or more missing teeth. Bridges may be held in place by crowns on either side, and cemented in place permanently.
Dental implants serve to replace the roots of a missing tooth. A small metal post is placed into the bone where teeth are missing, and the implant is then covered with a crown.
Serving to replace missing teeth and surrounding tissues, dentures are made of acrylic resin and often sometimes include metal attachments. These removable restorations may replace an entire mouthful of teeth, or just some of the teeth when there are any natural teeth still in place. In that case, metal clasps are connected to the natural teeth to secure the artificial teeth in place.
Taking care of your teeth and gums shouldn’t be viewed as difficult or time consuming, it’s really pretty simple! Once you establish a routine, you’ll get into the habit of properly caring for your mouth. Then you can reap the many benefits, instead of having to deal with often painful and troublesome results of poor dental hygiene. Here are some helpful hints for good dental care and ultimately a beautiful, bright smile.
Many people don’t brush their teeth often or thoroughly enough. You should brush at least twice a day, and spend at least two minutes doing it. Use a soft toothbrush and brush in a gentle, circular motion on each tooth and from every angle. For even better results, give your mouth a good rinse with mouthwash after brushing.
To get rid of trapped food particles and plaque buildup between your teeth, floss every single day. Be gentle so that you don’t damage your gums. Flossing is a crucial part of your dental care routine because it helps eliminate bacteria that could lead to health problems in the future.
Use toothpaste and mouth rinse containing fluoride, which is an important mineral proven to help strengthen your tooth enamel and improve your oral health. Fluoride also helps prevent tooth decay.
Maintaining a healthy diet not only is good for your body, it’s also good for your teeth and gums. Limit your sugar intake, because sweets and starches can lead to tooth decay. If you do eat sugary foods or drinks, remember to brush afterwards. Avoid using tobacco products and consuming staining foods like berries and coffee, as these items may discolor your teeth.
Regular visits to your dentist are an important part of good oral care. Examinations can identify and treat problems before they worsen, and professional cleanings really improve the health of your teeth and gums.
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After you’ve had a tooth surgically removed, the healing process begins. However, there are some important guidelines you should follow so that healing takes place completely and as quickly as possible. Here are some suggestions for caring for yourself after having a tooth extracted.
• Bite on gauze to control bleeding, and change it every few minutes for a couple of hours after the extraction. Holding a cold compress or ice pack to the area may also help.
• Eat only soft foods for the first few days after surgery while the site begins to heal. You may resume your normal diet after a few days.
• Take over-the-counter pain medication as directed by your dentist to alleviate discomfort. If your pain level is high, you may be prescribed a stronger pain medicine.
• Do not chew, rinse, or brush on the extraction site for at least 24-48 hours after surgery.
• Do not suck through a straw, because that can loosen the blood clot. Disturbing the clot can lead to bleeding or a painful dry socket.
• Smoking promotes bleeding and delays in healing, so do not smoke for at least 24 hours after the extraction.
• See your dentist one week after surgery to have any stitches removed and the wound examined for proper healing. If you experience complications, visit your dentist sooner. Some swelling, bleeding, and discomfort is expected after oral surgery, but significant bleeding more than 4-6 hours afterwards is reason to call your dentist or visit the emergency room if you cannot contact your dentist.
Does your mouth feel like it’s full of cotton? Or does it remind you of the Sahara Desert? Having an overly dry mouth can result from a variety of dental and medical issues. For example, one common culprit of dry mouth symptoms is related to medications. The best long-term solution is to consult your dentist or physician to determine the root cause of your dry mouth, and to get treatment to solve the problem. Sometimes all that is needed is to change to a different medication, and your dry mouth will disappear. However, here are some things you can try to temporarily relieve your dry mouth until you are able to determine what is causing it.
- Sip water often.
- Limit caffeine consumption, which can dry out your mouth even more.
- Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless hard candy.
- Use an over-the-counter saliva substitute, such as Biotene.
- Do not use tobacco products of any kind.
- Do not use mouthwashes containing alcohol, because it can be drying.
- Avoid over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants, which can worsen your dryness symptoms.
- Add moisture to the air using a humidifier.
- Try to breathe through your nose instead of your mouth.
If you do experience the symptoms of dry mouth, it’s especially important to protect your oral health. Make sure you brush your teeth with toothpaste containing fluoride, and ask your dentist if prescription fluoride toothpaste would benefit you. Use a fluoride mouth rinse before bed to add an extra layer of protection for your teeth. Limit the amount of sugary foods or items high in acids, as both of these types of foods increase your risk of tooth decay. Following these tips for relieving dry mouth symptoms can make it more comfortable for you to eat, swallow, and talk.
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Cosmetic dentistry procedures can change your life for the better by improving the appearance and function of your mouth. If you go to the trouble of having dental work done, then you’ll want to make sure you can enjoy the benefits as long as possible. That means following some simple guidelines for keeping your smile beautiful.
Follow your dentist’s instructions for a healthy oral hygiene routine, and stick to it every single day. Brush at least twice a day, floss daily, and see your dentist for regular checkups and professional cleanings. Ideally, you should see your dentist twice a year.
Avoiding foods that stain
Watch out for foods and drinks that are known to stain teeth. Common culprits include coffee, tea, red wine, soda, berries, beets, and dark sauces. If you have undergone a teeth whitening treatment, use extra caution at first because newly bleached teeth can be extra sensitive to stains.
Limiting sugar intake
Doctors say sugar is not good for your general health, but it’s also really bad on your smile. Sugar leads to tooth decay and cavities, and damages tooth enamel. Since enamel is irreplaceable, you don’t want to wear it away by eating too much harmful sugar.
For your overall health as well as your teeth, drink a glass of water after meals. This is especially helpful if you’re unable to brush your teeth soon after eating. Water rinses the teeth and washes away extra food particles and bacteria from your mouth. Drinking water is a good way to help prevent tooth decay.
Protecting your smile
When you are in a situation that is known to be risky for your oral health, take precautions to protect your smile. Always wear a mouth guard when playing contact sports, and ask your dentist about a night guard if you grind your teeth at night.
To improve the function and appearance of your smile, dental implants provide a great way to replace missing teeth. You no longer have to get a full set of dentures to restore your smile, especially when only a single tooth is absent. Learn more about this option for getting your oral health back.
Before the procedure
A thorough oral examination will be performed to ensure that you are a good candidate for implants. Your general health and age will be considered, since healthy and younger patients tend to heal more quickly than older people with health issues. Your jawbone will also be evaluated to make sure there is sufficient bone density to successfully attach the implant. Sometimes dental or orthodontic work is needed prior to performing the implant surgery.
During the procedure
Under local anesthesia, a titanium post is surgically inserted where the root of your original tooth was located. Stitches may be needed, as well as antibiotics to aid healing and avoid infection. It often takes weeks or even months for complete healing to occur before an artificial tooth is attached and shaped to fit perfectly. Eventually, the implant will attach to your jawbone and you won’t even know it’s there.
After the procedure
Since implants look and feel like your natural teeth, you should care for them in the same way. Regular brushing and flossing is recommended, along with a healthy diet that contributes to your oral health as well. With proper care, dental implants usually last from 10 to 30 years.