If you are a dentist, teeth are a serious business. However, there are times when you may want to share some of the fun facts about teeth.
Fun Dental Facts
- Today we have access to a multitude of dental products to help us maintain great dental health. But before modern dentistry, individuals cleaned their teeth using twigs, crushed egg shells, and ground animal hooves to clean and polish their teeth.
- Dental enamel is the hardest structure in the human body, but it is not invincible. It can be worn away with improper brushing tools and technique or damaged due to teeth grinding. Consuming sugary foods and beverages can leave teeth unprotected if there is a breach in dental enamel.
- Dental decay is the second most experienced disease. Number one is the common cold. This should trigger just how important it is to manage our oral health.
- Teeth actually begin forming in the womb. Baby teeth are present at birth in gum tissue just waiting for the right time to erupt beginning at three to six months of age. Once baby teeth are lost, permanent teeth come in. We only get these two sets of teeth and no two sets are alike. Our teeth are as unique as fingerprints.
The Serious Side of Dental Care
Our teeth are important for speaking clearly, chewing our food, and smiling with self-confidence. Caring for our adult teeth is no joking matter. Things you can do to promote great oral health include:
Diet: Drink water; soda or sugary flavored drinks should be saved for special occasions. The major food groups that we should consume daily include fruits, vegetables, dairy, healthy grains, and proteins.
Lifestyle: Do not use tobacco products in any form. This includes e-cigarettes and vaping products. Do not use illicit drugs and limit alcohol consumption.
Brush and Floss Daily: Brush twice daily for a minimum of two minutes each time using a fluoridated toothpaste. Floss every day to remove what your toothbrush missed.
Visit our team at Bliss Dental at least twice a year for a cleaning and exam. Not only will teeth look their best, but regular visits allow your dentist to spot problems before they have a chance to escalate. Call our dental office today to schedule your next appointment.
Tooth enamel is like a protective shield covering your teeth. It can be chipped or worn away, and once it is gone, it does not grow back. It is imperative that you do everything you can to protect tooth enamel. Brushing twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste coupled with twice yearly visits with your dentist for cleaning and dental exam are minimum requirements. There are other things you can do.
Helpful Dental Tips
Watch Your Diet: Eating nutritious foods versus sugary snacks should be a priority. Foods high in Vitamin D and calcium like dairy products help maintain bone health and keep teeth strong.
Brushing: It’s more than just the act of brushing … the tools you use and your technique are very important. It is not necessary to scrub teeth to clean them sufficiently … a toothbrush with soft bristles is best. A hard bristle toothbrush and a strong hand can result in worn dental enamel as well as premature gum erosion.
Fluoride: Fluoride helps strengthen dental enamel. Tap water is an excellent source of fluoride as well as many of the foods we eat … if you drink only bottled water, your dentist may recommend fluoride treatments to help protect your teeth.
Dry Mouth: This is more than just aggravating. It can result in decay and the onset of gum disease. There are multiple products available to help promote saliva production. Talk to your dentist for a recommendation.
Teeth Grinding: This can become a habit. It often starts subconsciously during periods of sleep, but can become so ingrained that patients will grind their teeth throughout the day as well, not even realizing they are doing it. Grinding can lead to worn enamel, and even broken teeth.
Work With Your Dentist
Follow the instructions provided to help preserve precious dental enamel. Skip sipping soda … water is a far better choice. If you experience dry mouth, chewing sugar-free gum may help. If teeth grinding has begun, a mouthguard may provide a solution. And an electric toothbrush is a valuable investment. Most come with a timer reminding you to brush for two minutes. Finally, visit our dentist every six months for a professional cleaning and dental exam.
Teeth whitening provides a noticeable change in your appearance for a very reasonable investment. A consultation with our dentist will show you how this cosmetic dentistry procedure can improve your smile in a short period of time.
A Few Questions About Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening products are everywhere … how do I know which one is best for me?
As a licensed dental provider, your dentist can provide you with safety tested, quality teeth whitening products that contain the most powerful whitening agents available.
Are there any other advantages in acquiring teeth whitening from my dentist?
Absolutely … if you purchase a kit, paste, rinse, blue light, or any other whitening products online or at your corner pharmacy, you are given products and written instructions. But if you have questions or concerns, who are you going to ask? If you purchased teeth whitening from your dentist, you have a dental professional to work with alleviating any concerns you may have.
What kind of results can I expect from teeth whitening?
Everyone is different. A consultation provides an excellent opportunity to address your questions. It is very likely you will be advised to have your teeth cleaned prior to whitening to remove topical stain and any plaque that has formed since your previous cleaning. Most patients experience very noticeable results.
What can I do to make my whitening experience last as long as possible?
Learn the foods, beverages, and lifestyle habits that result in teeth discoloration. Foods like tomato based products, many berries, and dark sauces can result in stain. Coffee, tea, red wine, and cola are likely to stain. Drink cold drinks with a straw to allow much of the beverage to bypass your teeth. Finally, smoking and all tobacco products discolor and stain dentition.
Cosmetic Dentistry Has A Lot To Offer
There may have been a time when only the wealthy or movie stars invested in their smile. But with the many advancements and products widely available, you can now enjoy a beautiful smile. A consultation with our dentist at Bliss Dental will demonstrate what can be done to enhance your appearance … teeth whitening is a great place to start.
Craving something sweet can occur any time of day. How you handle the urge to satisfy your sweet tooth is important for your oral health. What you eat and how often you give in can impact your teeth and overall health as well. Your dentist has many suggestions for keeping teeth and gums healthy … and remember to visit your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning to remove plaque that has formed and built up since your previous visit.
If you get a little creative, you will find there are many ways to satisfy your sweet tooth. Some basic suggestions include naturally sweet fruits like apples, grapes, peaches … fresh fruit is high in fiber (skin on) and vitamins making fruit a great choice.
Dried fruit (in moderation) is acceptable, but can be very high in calories so watch portion size. Dried figs are delicious and contain iron, fiber, and vitamins.
Dark chocolate can be used in numerous ways. You can enjoy a piece of dark chocolate on its own or mix in a small portion of shaved sweetness with a serving of plain greek yogurt, melt and dip your favorite fruit and chill for a cool treat, add in with granola or nuts (watch your serving size), or melt with a spoon of natural peanut butter and pour over a serving of popcorn you popped (not microwave or prepackaged). Hot chocolate is sweet and can take a while to drink allowing you to enjoy your treat even more.
Greek yogurt can be enjoyed on its own, but add in some crumbled graham crackers (plain, cinnamon, or chocolate), fruit, granola or nuts to add variety … but all greek yogurts are not created equally … read labels carefully to prevent consuming one loaded with sugar.
You can make your own ice cream by blending ripened bananas or puree your favorite fruit, mix with a a small amount of lime or apple juice, and freeze for a healthy frozen treat.
When the sweet tooth strikes, another solution to snacking is to take a walk, exercise, or engage in a distracting behavior until the urge passes. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and don’t allow yourself to get so hungry that you grab the first thing you see.
Vacationing or a busy schedule should never be an excuse for neglecting your oral health. If you’re away from home for one day or an extended trip, plan for whatever you may need so when you return home you know you did whatever you could to keep teeth and gums healthy. If your plans call for you to be absent from home for an extended period, make sure you visit your dentist before departing for a cleaning and dental exam.
Dental Care Away From Home
Just because you are not home, you still need to maintain that same daily oral health regimen you practice at home (and if you don’t have one, it’s never too late to start). Pack a toothbrush, fluoridated toothpaste, and dental floss. If you forgot to pack, unless you’re in the wilderness, you can easily pick up the tools needed to take care of your teeth.
If your travels take you to areas where brushing is more difficult, make sure you have plenty of bottled water. Before you leave, invest in a pack of disposable toothbrushes that have a tooth cleaning agent already on the brush. Just make sure you dispose of them appropriately.
Disposable toothbrushes are a great tool for those with a busy schedule as well. Pop into a restroom following meals; brush, and toss away before continuing on with your day. Just remember, many foods and beverages can soften dental enamel so brushing too soon following consumption may do more damage than good. Waiting thirty minutes to brush is a good rule of thumb. If you don’t have that much time, give your mouth a good rinse and/or chew sugar free gum.
I’m Away From Home and Need a Dentist
A toothache or trauma to teeth that results in the need for a dentist can happen at any time. If you are away from home, a quick call to your own dentist to seek advice may be in order. Even at night or on weekends, your dentist may have an emergency number you can call.
If this is a true emergency, or if excessive bleeding is evident, a trip to the hospital emergency room is in order. Very often, stop gap measures can be taken until you can get home and see your regular dentist for follow-up treatment.
For more information or to schedule a visit, contact our team at Bliss Dental today.
Did you know that retaining your wisdom teeth could significantly increase your risk for developing periodontal (gum) disease? It’s true; foregoing wisdom tooth extraction increases a person’s risk for many oral health conditions. Wisdom tooth removal will significantly lower the risk for gum disease and improve oral function and quality of life.
The emergence and retention of wisdom teeth is problematic to gum health for a few reasons. First, it is important to know that wisdom teeth are actually a third set of molars. This third set of molars came in handy for our ancestors, many of whom lost their first and second molars before adulthood. Wisdom teeth are no longer biologically necessary; so having a wisdom tooth extraction will not negatively affect oral function.
Reasons to Remove Wisdom Teeth
Since modern humans keep their second molars much longer than their ancestors, there is rarely enough room in the mouth for wisdom teeth to come through the gums in healthy positions. Instead, due to the crowded situation, they partially erupt – leaving some of the tooth exposed and the rest concealed by the gingiva.
Partial tooth eruption means that debris and bacteria can easily collect beneath the exposed portion of a tooth and the gingiva. With no way to dislodge trapped debris, the gums can become easily infected. Moreover, the location of wisdom teeth at the very back of the mouth makes keeping the gums and exposed portions of teeth clean.
Gum Disease and Your Oral Health
Periodontal disease is a major threat to oral health and quality of life – especially when this condition is not treated quickly. Gum disease, when left undiagnosed and untreated, can quickly progress into a systemic health condition that can destroy the gums, teeth, and bone. Since gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss, it is important that patients of all ages practice proper oral hygiene and receive routine professional care.
Our team offers gentle wisdom tooth extraction. We utilize advanced surgical techniques to reduce invasiveness and promote expedient recoveries. Call Bliss Dental today to reserve an appointment.
Dental crowns help save broken or fractured teeth; play a large role in fixed prostheses; are often the final step to complete endodontic therapy; and can complete these and more in an aesthetically beautiful fashion. Once your crown has been cemented in place, the care needed is little more than what you do for all your teeth. Your dentist will demonstrate the best way to floss around a crowned tooth; and then you’re good to go.
Dental crowns can be made from different materials. The location of the tooth requiring treatment may dictate which material is chosen for your needs. However, porcelain crowns have gained in popularity due to their aesthetics; and improvements have shown they can be used throughout the mouth.
Preparing For Your Crown
Treatment with dental crowns involves a few dental visits and a couple of weeks. The tooth is prepared by filing down much of the visible part of the tooth leaving a base for the crown to be attached. Your dentist will take impressions which the lab will use to fabricate the crown.
Your dentist will provide any additional information that will allow the lab to make a crown that will match neighboring teeth in size, shape, and shade.
After that initial visit, you will have a temporary covering in place. It is there to protect the prepped area, but is not permanently bonded in place so you will want to avoid using that tooth to chew (especially sticky or crunching foods) so as not to dislodge it. If the temporary should come off, your dentist will replace it.
In about two weeks your final restoration will be ready. Your dentist will try it in for fit and comfort. If needed, minor adjustments can be made at this time. When perfect, the crown will be permanently cemented in place.
Crown Do’s and Don’ts
Once your crown is finished, you can eat or drink whatever you wish (you might give your crown about 24 hours before eating anything crunchy or sticky). But after that, you can consume whatever you have always enjoyed.
Do: Brush and floss daily using a fluoridated toothpaste. While your crown will not experience decay, the base of the tooth and gum tissue must still be given the appropriate care to prevent future problems.
Don’t: Chew on ice or hard objects.
Do: Visit our team at Bliss Dental for cleaning and dental exams regularly.
Veneers are suitable to resolve many cosmetic dental concerns. A consultation with your dentist will provide you with all the information you need to enhance your smile.
What Are Porcelain Veneers?
Veneers are very thin, tooth colored shells that are applied to the front of teeth requiring repair. Some of the problems that veneers can help resolve include:
Deep Dental Stain – If teeth cleaning and whitening do not produce the results you wished for, veneers can be applied to one or multiple teeth to cover stained or discolored teeth.
Uneven, Misshapen, Chipped, or Worn Teeth – Porcelain veneers can be applied to teeth to provide an even and symmetrical smile.
Unwanted Gaps Between Teeth – Those spaces will seem to close immediately following veneer placement.
On your first treatment day, your cosmetic dentist will remove a thin layer of enamel from the front of teeth requiring treatment. This is needed so that when veneers are cemented in place, they will appear even with untreated teeth. This makes veneers a permanent cosmetic procedure.
Temporaries will be provided for teeth while the dental lab fabricates the veneers.
Something to consider prior to beginning the veneer process … teeth whitening. Since porcelain does not respond to whitening products, if you wish to undergo teeth whitening, do so before veneers are made so they can be made to match your newly lightened teeth shade.
The finished veneers will be tried in for fit and appearance. Minor adjustments can be made chairside before cementing in place.
Caring for Veneers
You will brush and floss veneer treated teeth just as you do for all your teeth. In an effort to protect your veneers, you should avoid biting into hard or chewy foods. Cut foods into pieces for consumption. Avoid biting nails or chewing on hard objects like ice or inanimate objects like pens. Although veneers are strong, they are not invincible. If one is broken or dislodged, it will likely have to be replaced.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact our team at Bliss Dental today.
A root canal is a dental procedure that allows your tooth to be saved when the only other option is extraction. There are many reasons a root canal may be needed … a hairline fracture to a tooth may allow bacteria to permeate the tooth impacting the nerve; excessive tooth decay; or a traumatic event may result in damage to a tooth. Whatever the cause, your dentist will almost always recommend saving the tooth over extraction whenever possible.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal (also known as endodontic therapy) involves cleaning out the contents of each root of a tooth. Those contents include blood, pulp, and nerve tissues. When a tooth is damaged, bacteria can enter the pulp chambers leading to infection or an abscess. Removing the contents of the tooth’s roots allows your dentist to save your tooth.
Some symptoms that indicate the need for a root canal include swelling around the face, toothache, gum swelling or a pimple like sore on the gum that does not heal, and/or sensitivity to temperature. In some cases, there may be no symptoms at all – your dentist may see the need for a root canal following a routine dental x-ray.
The Root Canal Process
An x-ray will show how many roots are involved and their precise location. It is imperative that all roots be treated for a successful outcome.
Anesthetic is administered and the damaged tooth is segregated by a rubber dam. A small access point is created in the tooth. Endodontic files are used to remove the contents of the pulp chambers. Each chamber is thoroughly flushed – if infection is present, medication may be placed and an oral antibiotic may be prescribed. The empty chambers are filled with a rubber compound. The final step is to seal the access point most often using a dental crown.
Root canal therapy allows a tooth to be preserved – with daily oral care and regular visits with our team at Bliss Dental, this treatment option may help patients keep their natural teeth for a lifetime.
You work hard all your life and finally reach those golden retirement years … it would certainly be nice to arrive with all your biological teeth intact. Striving to maintain healthy teeth and gums is important for people of all ages, but once you have reached retirement, maintaining your oral health is just as important as it can impact your overall health … making time to visit your dental office continues to be a necessary step.
Follow These Habits to Keep Teeth and Gums Healthy
In retirement, your daily schedule may feel like it has changed. The need to hurry may be replaced with more time on your hands. Rushing off to work may be replaced with more recreational fun or just taking time to relax. But don’t get complacent with your daily oral hygiene regimen that should include brushing two minutes twice every day with a fluoridated toothpaste and flossing daily to remove what your toothbrush missed.
Watch what you eat. Meal structure may change; your primary daily diet should be comprised of healthy grains, protein, dairy, vegetables, and fruit. Make sure you stay hydrated drinking water throughout the day.
Schedule regular visits with your dental office to have teeth cleaned; an oral exam is important as you age to ensure your dental health.
Importance of Regular Dental Visits
Your disposable income may be diminished somewhat in retirement. But skimping on your dental health is not an area where you should consider cutting back.
Waiting to see the dentist until you are experiencing a problem may result in needing treatment that may cost more than if you had caught a potential issue early and dealt with it.
If tooth loss should occur, a solution should be sought. Facing life with one or more missing teeth can impact your ability to eat a healthy diet as well as damage your self esteem. Work with your dentist to find the best way to resolve tooth loss.
As years go by, dental problems such as worn dentition, dental decay, gum disease, or missing teeth may feel overwhelming. It is important to remember that seeing your dentist regularly to maintain your oral health can make a huge difference for your overall health as well as helping you and your teeth to age gracefully.
If it’s time to schedule your next exam and cleaning, contact our team at Bliss Dental today.
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