Dental X-rays and You

dental-implants-1Just as with medical care, the field of dentistry has benefitted greatly from X-rays as a diagnostic tool. They can be helpful for a number of situations, such as dental implants, dentures, braces, root canal treatment, and other procedures. Also, X-rays are important when identifying the cause of symptoms like bleeding or pain. Dental X-rays provide advantages to patients of all ages.

Children and teenagers have unique dental needs that cause dentists to recommend the use of X-rays. They help determine the amount of space available in a child’s mouth to accommodate teeth as they develop and erupt. X-rays are extremely valuable in keeping track of wisdom teeth that might be impacted and causing problems with adjacent teeth. Dentists also may use X-rays to examine tooth decay that can’t be seen with a visual examination, especially between teeth.

Dental X-rays are often recommended for kids as they grow to watch the development of their teeth and jaws. Some dentists advise doing this yearly to prevent problems and predict treatment needs. Each child’s dentist will determine on a personalized basis whether an annual dental X-ray is advised for that child, since the requirements are dependent on things like the child’s health and past dental history.

Adults also benefit from the use of dental X-rays. Dentists use this tool to monitor bone loss in adult patients that could be related to age or gum disease. X-rays also identify damage or changes that may occur in the bone or tooth roots that are caused by infections. Adults with a history of oral health issues may be advised to have annual dental X-rays to closely monitor the problems. As with children, the dentist will be able to determine how often dental X-rays might be warranted in each individual adult patient to achieve optimum oral health.

 

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Drinks That You May Regret for Your Teeth

Your smile is one of your most prized possessions. There are some hazards that your teeth face that you may not have considered. The beverages you choose can impact your smile by staining your teeth, attacking your tooth enamel, and causing cavities. Here are some drinks you might regret.

Coffee
One of the most well-known causes of tooth discoloration is coffee. Its dark color and high acidity yellow your smile with time. Luckily, teeth whitening methods are usually effective in helping to recover your smile.

Soda
Carbonated sodas can have up to 11 teaspoons of sugar in every serving, so it’s one of the sweetest drinks you can choose. It also contains citric and phosphoric acids that attack tooth enamel. The answer isn’t switching to diet sodas, because even though they don’t include sugar, their artificial sweetener content adds even more acid to the drink.

Sports drinks
Youth and adults alike turn to sports drinks for refreshment after exercise, not considering how high they are in sugar. Similar to sodas, these drinks cause sugar and acids to attack your tooth enamel. Frequent consumption can cause tooth decay. Water is a much better choice for your oral health.

Red wine
Wine also contains acids that will endanger your tooth enamel, and the resulting rough areas on your teeth will be easily stained by the dark color of red wine. It also has pigmentation that encourages the dark liquid to stick to your teeth, resulting in the red wine to remain on your teeth much longer than you realize.

White wine
Just because it’s lighter in color does not mean that white wine won’t harm your smile. Its acids harm your teeth, making them susceptible to staining and decay. If you drink white or red wine, rinse your mouth afterwards and brush with a whitening toothpaste.

Fruit juice
Most juices are loaded with sugar, sometimes as much as sodas. Look for juices containing no added sugar, or dilute the drink with some water.

 

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Fast Facts about Dentures

Around 45 million people in the US currently wear full or partial dentures. For many, losing teeth can be a huge blow to self-esteem, and can impact the health of remaining teeth. Modern dentures are a fast and easy way to restore appearance, and make it easier to eat and speak. The following facts about dentures will help you learn a little more about this popular method of tooth replacement.

Fact: Denture Wearers Need to See Dentists Regularly
It is important to visit your dentist in Weston at regular intervals, even if you have lost all your teeth. During these visits your dentist will examine your mouth to make sure your gums are healthy, and can carry out an oral cancer screening. In addition, they’ll check the condition of your dentures to make sure they still fit properly.

Fact: Never Repair Your Own Dentures
If your denture cracks or breaks it might be easy to think you can repair it yourself using household glue. These glues will damage your denture, making it more difficult or impossible to mend properly, and the repairs will not last. Many types of glue are toxic. Always contact your dentist to have the denture professionally mended.

Fact: Dentures Make Eating and Speaking Easier
Anyone missing teeth will know it’s more difficult to eat and chew food properly, and talking can be tricky. Often people without teeth will limit their social interactions with others. Dentures make it easy to eat and speak normally and they support the cheeks and lips, giving a more youthful appearance.

Fact: Taking Care of Your Dentures Will Make Them Last Longer
Even though your dentures are an artificial appliance, you still need to take care of them. They should be thoroughly brushed and cleaned each day to keep them fresh and free from plaque and food debris. Store them in clean water or a soaking solution when they aren’t being used. Bring your dentures with you to every dental appointment. Your denture dentist in Weston will check they fit correctly and can make any minor adjustments.

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Get an Oral Cancer Screening

Just like you’ve probably heard with any type of cancer, it’s important to catch oral cancer early. Recent studies show that when it is found in the late stages, survival rate drops to 59 percent. To have better chances for survival, diagnosis and treatment in the early stages makes a huge difference. Therefore, you should not hesitate to have your dentist perform an oral cancer screening on you.

At many dental offices, oral cancer screenings are considered routine procedure. Your dentist will check inside your mouth for mouth sores or red or white patches. No need to panic if you have a mouth sore, because the majority of them are not cancerous. You can’t tell which are and which aren’t just by looking however, so your dentist may advise further testing to determine the cause of your sore. A biopsy may be performed to test the cells. Also during your oral examination, your dentist will feel the tissues inside your mouth for lumps or other abnormalities.

Some dentists perform additional tests to help identify oral cancer. Sometimes, something like ViziLite Plus will be used. It is a quick and pain-free examination that provides your dentist a good way to locate any oral abnormalities at the earliest stage possible. The examination employs low intensity light to expose abnormal cells, which glow under the special light. This technology allows dentists to quickly and effectively discover oral cancer before there is any other way to detect it.

Oral cancer screenings are something that all patients should take advantage of, but it is especially important for those with high risk factors. The most common risk factors for oral cancer include tobacco use, family history, excessive sun exposure, heavy alcohol use, and previous cancer diagnosis. Decreasing your areas of risk as much as possible will be helpful in avoiding oral cancer.

 

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Prenatal Care Should Include your Mouth

There is a lot of emphasis on expectant mothers taking care of themselves during pregnancy, and providing important nutrients and care for both their own health and that of their baby during that formative time. One aspect of health care that is sometimes overlooked about prenatal care is oral hygiene. Here are some reasons why it is an important part of good health for both mother and child.

Bacteria can pass from you to your baby.
During pregnancy, it is possible for bacteria to travel through your bloodstream to reach your developing baby. Bacteria which naturally occur in your mouth can build up without good oral hygiene, and can end up reaching your unborn baby. Hormone changes during pregnancy can make it harder for your body to fight bacteria, therefore increasing your risks for infections and plaque buildup.

Gum disease can endanger your baby.
Pregnancy hormones increase the blood flow to your gums, often making them more sensitive and inclined to become swollen or irritated. This common condition is called pregnancy gingivitis, and if left untreated can advance to periodontal disease. Studies show that expectant mothers with gum disease have more risk of delivering babies prematurely, with low birth weight, or with infections.

Your baby’s teeth can be affected.
Eating a healthy diet including nutritious vitamins and minerals, as well as practicing good dental hygiene, will help your baby’s oral development. Infants begin the early stages of tooth development while you are in your first trimester of pregnancy, and your diet and dental care may impact your baby’s teeth.

Your health may be at risk too.
Periodontal disease that causes infections in your body can make you more susceptible to preeclampsia, which is high blood pressure and protein in your urine during the later stages of pregnancy. Preeclampsia can be fatal in some cases.

 

 

 

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Your Teeth and Dental Bonding

It is not uncommon for people to be ashamed of their smiles. Whether it is discoloration, crookedness, or misalignment, various dental conditions can make a person hesitant to smile. That’s where cosmetic dentistry comes into the picture. One popular procedure that cosmetic dentists perform to transform smiles is dental bonding.

The process involves applying a tooth-colored resin to the tooth and then hardening it with a special light to secure it. It is done in a single visit to the dentist in as little as half an hour. There is no advance preparation needed, and dental bonding does not require any special care afterwards other than normal oral hygiene.

A relatively simple and inexpensive option, dental bonding can repair chipped, decayed, or cracked teeth. It can also improve the appearance of stained or yellowed teeth.
Bonding is often considered a great option for improving a person’s smile in a quick and painless way. The resin material can be shaped and polished to look similar to adjacent teeth, making it a very natural remedy for imperfections.

Patients should keep in mind a few shortcomings to dental bonding. It is recommended for relatively minor imperfections and for areas that do not undergo a great deal of bite pressure. Therefore, bonding is better for front teeth instead of the back molars. Also remember that dental bonding does not as long-lasting as veneers or crowns. Other methods like those should be considered for more extensive repairs.

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Composite Restorations: The Metal-Free Approach

Traditionally, most dental restorations contained some type of metal such as silver, mercury, or tin. In addition to the metal being visible in your mouth, there are some other reasons that dentists have turned to composite materials as an alternative to metal for restorations. Here are some reasons to consider composite materials for your next dental procedure.

What is composite?
Made of a mixture of plastic and glass, composite is a tooth-colored material used for cosmetic dental improvements and restorations. This mixture does not contain any metal and can be shaped and molded to look like a natural tooth.

What are the benefits?
Patients are selecting metal-free restorations for a number of reasons. The most obvious is that they blend right in with the rest of your teeth so that many times others can’t even tell they are there. Another benefit is that they do not impact on your teeth. For example, less of the healthy portions of your tooth need to be removed to place a composite filling. The material is able to securely bond directly to the tooth, basically recreating the tooth in that area instead of just filling a hole. This lessens the risks for breakage later. Also, composite restorations are free of mercury and avoid the controversies surrounding that material being used for dental purposes.

Are there any disadvantages?
Patients sometimes experience heightened tooth sensitivity for a short time following a composite restoration. Also, the material is susceptible to staining from foods like coffee, tea, berries, and red wine. If you are worried about discoloration, your dentist may place a clear plastic coating over the composite to protect it from stains. Finally, composites used in large areas or in areas prone to extensive chewing pressure may be less durable than some other materials available. Consult your dentist to see if composite restorations are a good solution for your dental needs.

 

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What’s the Deal with Cavities?

Most people know that taking care of your teeth is important in order to maintain a healthy and attractive smile. Common problems that occur when you don’t practice good oral hygiene include tooth decay, gum disease, and cavities. The dreaded cavity is something that most people want to avoid, so it’s helpful to know what causes cavities and how to prevent them.

Description
A cavity is a hole in your tooth resulting from decay. Bacteria are present in your mouth almost constantly, which combines with acids in your mouth to attack your gums and tooth enamel. When the outer protective layer of your teeth starts to break down and get eaten away, it leads to further decay and eventually forms cavities.

Causes
Acids and sugars from eating and drinking speed up the process of cavity formation. These items remain on your teeth long after you’ve finished consuming them, and they begin to attack your enamel. Some people are prone to cavities even more than others, such as those with weak tooth enamel.

Outcomes
The inner portions of your teeth are exposed by cavities, sometimes including your nerves. That’s one reason why cavities can cause toothache pain. In severe cases, procedures like root canals may be needed or even sometimes tooth extraction. More often, however, a simple filling can treat a cavity. A special material is placed into the hole to repair the damage to your tooth. The procedure requires basic anesthesia and can usually be completed in a single trip to the dentist.

Prevention
Instead of having to deal the pain and hassles of repairing a cavity, you can avoid these issues by maintaining good oral hygiene. This includes brushing and flossing every day, limiting sugary snacks and drinks, and cleaning your mouth after indulging in those foods. It’s also important to visit your dentist regularly to keep watch for cavities and make sure that you’re doing everything you can to prevent them.

 

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Getting the Scoop on Sugar

There’s more to maintaining good oral health than just brushing and flossing your teeth. You also need to consider what you’re eating, and how it’s affecting the health of your mouth. Knowing how choices in your diet impact your teeth and gums is a major step on the road to a healthy mouth.

You’ve probably already heard that eating sweets is bad for your teeth. However, it’s not realistic for many people to eliminate sweets completely from their diets. So it’s acceptable to eat foods containing sugar, but one important thing to remember for the health of your mouth is to eat quickly. That may sound unusual, but gradually consuming sugar just creates a steady supply of acid buildup in your mouth. And even after you’ve finished eating, acids continue to thrive in your mouth for thirty more minutes. That’s why experts suggest promptly eating your sugary foods in one sitting, and brushing your teeth soon afterwards.

Another thing to remember is that sugar isn’t only found in desserts. Carbohydrates like cereal, crackers, fruits, and bread contain sugars too. Carbohydrates break down into sugar even when they’re still in your mouth. Brushing after eating a carb-heavy meal is important, and another idea is choosing high-fiber or whole-grain varieties over white carbohydrates. These don’t break down into sugar molecules as much as the white varieties.

As always, maintaining good dental hygiene and seeing your dentist twice a year are important for your oral health. Cutting down on sugary foods is also recommended, but don’t fret when you indulge in them. Just eat them quickly, try to make good choices, and brush as soon as possible after enjoying those foods.

 

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What is Dental Contouring?

In this day of advanced technologies and cutting edge dental work, there’s no reason to go through life unhappy with your smile. There are many ways that your dentist can repair imperfections and give you a beautiful smile, but there is one simple method that may provide the quickest and least painful results of all. It’s called dental contouring, which is basically reshaping a tooth or multiple teeth to create a more attractive smile.

Contouring is perfect for people who have minor imperfections with their smile that they’d like to improve upon. The defect making you unhappy might be small tooth chips, minor teeth overlaps, overly pointy cuspids, or irregularly shaped teeth. It may surprise you how much your appearance can improve from just altering these types of minimal defects through contouring.

The benefits of dental contouring are clear. Subtle changes to your teeth create enough improvement to your smile to really boost your self-confidence, without going to the expense or hassle of major dental reconstruction. Contouring is painless, requiring no anesthesia. Only the surface enamel of your tooth is removed, so there is no discomfort involved. Also, your oral health can improve because the removal of imperfections like chips and overlaps often take away strongholds for plaque and decay to build up. Your risks for gum disease and tooth decay will likely decrease.

One thing to remember is that dental contouring only repairs slight imperfections, so another option such as veneers might be recommended if you’re seeking a major change. With contouring, there is some risk of tooth damage if too much enamel is removed. This can lead to tooth sensitivity and increased risk for breakage, but these complications rarely occur when contouring is performing by a qualified dentist. Your dentist can determine if you are a good candidate for contouring based on the condition of your teeth and gums, as some problems can make other dental repair options more ideal. See your dentist to ask if dental contouring may be the solution to achieving the smile you’ve always wanted.

 

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