Considering Dental Implants

Missing teeth may be viewed as a badge of honor for some hockey players or boxers, but very few other people share the same enthusiasm. Holes in your smile from missing teeth can cause pain, embarrassment, and difficulty performing tasks that you usually take for granted. When you experience the hassles of missing teeth, it’s time to think about getting dental implants.

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed in your jaw, followed by a crown that is attached to the post. They are secured permanently in your jaw, and don’t require adjacent teeth for support. There are several advantages to renewing your smile with dental implants. Let’s explore those benefits as you consider whether dental implants are right for you.

Eating
Dental implants will help you eat more comfortably. Because implants are permanently anchored into your gums, they remain secure while you eat. Also, they feel like your regular teeth so you should not experience any discomfort while chewing or biting foods.

Speaking
Often, your ability to speak clearly will improve after dental implants. Missing teeth often affect your speech, depending on their location, causing slurs or lisps or other impediments. With implants which look and feel like regular teeth, sounds that were hard to create before implants will be easier to form afterwards.

Self esteem
Your confidence level and self esteem will grow as a result of getting dental implants. Most people are self conscious about gaps in their smiles due to missing teeth, so having your smile restored with implants gives you the confidence you need to laugh freely.

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Teeth Whitening Truths

Are you unhappy with your smile because your teeth aren’t white? Do you have embarrassing discoloration and staining that prevents you from confidently smiling? If so, teeth whitening may be your answer. There are quite a few myths associated with this process, so let’s learn the truths about tooth whitening so you can determine if it’s right for you.

Myth: Normal household bleach is used on your teeth.
Truth: A special bleaching product is used that has low acidity and won’t harm your teeth. Plus, normal bleach is too dangerous; you could die if you swallow household bleach.

Myth: Whitening your teeth is unsafe for your mouth.
Truth: Cosmetic bleaching has bee done for many years, and is perfectly safe. It won’t harm your teeth or gums.

Myth: Whitening doesn’t really work.
Truth: Ask friends who have done it before, and you’ll find out this isn’t true. Teeth whitening is effective, especially if done professionally in a dentist’s office.

Myth: The only benefit is brighter teeth.
Truth: Your smile will become whiter and brighter, but an additional major benefit is a boost in your self-esteem. You will be happier with your dazzling smile, and will have a renewed confidence in yourself.

Myth: All whitening methods get the same results.
Truth: There are many options when it comes to teeth whitening, from whitening toothpaste to at-home bleaching kits to professional processes performed by your dentist. Whitening done professionally will give you quicker and more powerful results than most of the do-it-yourself methods. Talk with your dentist about options available.

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Dental Challenges for Seniors

As we age, unique situations develop that impact our oral health care. There are physical limitations, medication side effects, and age-related dental problems that all come together to present special challenges for seniors. Let’s consider the oral health problems that can arise as a person gets older.

Hygiene tasks
Many older adults have problems brushing and flossing their teeth properly. Some medical issues like arthritis affect movement, and make performing hygiene tasks difficult. It can be frustrating because brushing and flossing probably were easy for most in younger years, but become hard or even impossible with age. Dentists suggest using an electric toothbrush for easier control, and visiting the office regularly for thorough cleanings.

Medication side effects
Certain medications and health conditions have side effects that can impact oral health. Dry mouth is a common result, which increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. The issue may worsen when seniors choose to suck hard candy to supply moisture, but it can contribute to dental problems too. Instead, seniors with dry mouth should drink lots of water, chew sugarless gum, and use fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash. Dentists can also prescribe medications to increase saliva production.

Dentures
Seniors who wear dentures should make sure they fit properly so they don’t cause mouth irritation or more serious oral health problems. Also, cleaning dentures as instructed and examining the appliance for good condition are both helpful. Denture replacement is often necessary every 7-10 years.

Special care
Older patients may choose to find a dentist who specializes in senior oral health care, and is experienced in meeting their unique needs. Senior dental care often requires a blend of expertise, compassion, and patience in order to earn the patient’s trust and create a positive dental experience.

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Pediatric Dentistry Takes the Fear Away

It’s sometimes difficult to understand why your child is nervous about going to the dentist, and can be frustrating to deal with the tears and arguments when it’s time for an appointment. Taking your child to a pediatric dentist may help. These specialists are trained in handling kids and their dental needs, and can help you through the process as well.

Pediatric dentistry is a specialty area in which dentists go through extra training related to the oral health needs of children. This not only includes medical procedures and treatments unique to kids, it also involves learning to relate to children and ways to ease their fears. Pediatric dentists treat children of all ages, and they work in offices that are equipped for children’s dentistry.

Simply by choosing a reputable pediatric dentist, chances are you are already taking a step in the right direction for your child. This type of dentist realizes the anxieties that children may have about checkups, and therefore works to address those fears and make your child more relaxed and comfortable in the dental office. This may involve an appealing environment targeted to kids, distraction techniques like televisions and video games, or simply explaining what’s happening every step of the way so that your child feels involved in the process. A pediatric dentist will not ignore your child’s feelings, but will strive to bring comfort at the same time as providing good dental care.

One of the goals of a pediatric dentist is to pique your child’s interest in taking care of their teeth, and develop a feeling of responsibility for practicing good dental hygiene. The dentist will spend time with your child, making sure skills are learned. This increases the chances that your child will have fewer dental problems in the future, and hopefully will also be more willing to have their teeth checked next time.

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