What is a Smile Makeover?

A gorgeous smile can give you confidence and open doors in your personal or professional life. A study by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry found that people with bright, white smiles were viewed as more attractive, intelligent, and successful. If you don’t love the reflection you see in the mirror, a custom smile makeover can transform your smile.

For a smile makeover, your dentist will work with you to develop a detailed plan for your updates. Often, patients look at examples of the dentist’s work or they bring photos of smiles they admire with them to the consultation.

Depending on the status of your mouth and what you want to accomplish with a smile makeover, your dentist may recommend:

  • Porcelain Veneers:-Crafted from thin shells of porcelain, dental veneers cover imperfections such as gaps, chips, or stains. Traditional veneers are designed to complement your facial features and will produce a stunning, new image. Minimal-prep veneers, such as Lumineers, are ultra-thin porcelain shells that work for certain smiles.
  • Teeth Whitening:-If age, foods, beverages, or lifestyle choices have caused your smile to lose its luster, professional teeth whitening can restore brilliance. In-office chair side Zoom! whitening or an at-home whitening kit provided by your dentist can erase discolorations and brighten teeth up to 10 shades.
  • Invisalign Clear Aligners:-Not only will straight teeth boost your self-esteem, but they will also improve dental health. Brushing and flossing are easier when your teeth are in the correct position.
  • Dental Implants:-If you are missing teeth, you won’t look your best, and you may compromise your oral health. Dental implants are permanent replacements for missing teeth that will give you a sensational, complete smile.

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Shine For Your Special Occasion by Whitening Your Teeth

Life is full of special events that you will remember forever. When you look back at photographs from your special days, you will want to know that you looked your very best. Weddings, birthdays, reunions, graduations, anniversaries, job interviews, or that very special first date are times you will want to put your best face forward. Everything begins with your smile.Your dentist can help you prepare for these kinds of events by brightening your smile, making you look younger and more vibrant and boosting your self-confidence.

Your teeth naturally discolor with age, and this process is accelerated as you eat various foods and dark beverages. Blueberries, blackberries, and beets can all leave stains on your teeth. Dark sodas, coffee, tea, and red wine can also leave their mark with residual color on your teeth. Don’t find yourself feeling self-conscious about your discolored smile; talk to your dentist about what teeth whitening options are available to you.Not all whitening processes are good for every type of teeth. Your dentist will know what is ideal for you.

Before you whiten, it is important to have a dental exam and cleaning. The results of your whitening depend on the initial condition of your teeth. Cleaning your teeth ensures that the whitening procedure affects all of the areas of your teeth, and doesn’t leave out areas currently hidden by plaque or tartar.

Because some teeth whitening techniques require time to achieve the best results, you need to plan ahead. Begin with a consultation with your dentist several weeks prior to your special day, to allow time for the whitening process to work. Some people experience increased sensitivity to their teeth after whitening. Starting early will allow your teeth to recover from the whitening process.

A brighter smile will always help you look and feel better. It will help you make the most positive first impression. On your special day, when you smile for the camera, your confidence will show. You’ll love what you see in photos for years to come.

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Reasons to Consider Dentures

Most of the time, the idea of dentures brings to mind elderly people who are missing a mouthful of teeth. The truth is that dentures are not just for old folks, but for people of all ages who have lost teeth for some reason. Gum disease, tooth decay, and trauma from an accident are all common reasons for tooth loss. There is no need to suffer through life with gaps in your smile, when you can opt for dentures to restore both appearance and function.

The main reasons that many people consider getting dentures include:

  • Eating – your teeth help you to chew and eat food. Dentures serve the same purpose, allowing you to eat a normal diet without having to stick only to soft foods or liquids.
  • Speaking – when the gaps in your smile have been filled, your ability to speak more clearly and easily is improved.
  • Smiling – replacing missing teeth gives you back your self-confidence to smile and laugh again. You will be proud of your new smile and be willing to display it more often. Also, your cheeks will have a fuller look and your appearance may look younger.

When you get dentures, expect that it may take some time to get used to them. They may feel strange at first, and you should be patient while you learn to talk and eat with them. Time will help you adjust to the dentures, but if discomfort lingers you should visit your dentist to make sure the fit is correct and no adjustments are necessary.

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Mouth Guards and Fall Sports

With Fall sports in full swing, mouth guards should be in every athlete’s gym bag as a key piece of safety equipment. Mouth guards are important for any athlete playing contact sports, and even those participating in non-contact sports activities. Team, individual, and recreational athletes alike have the threat of mouth injuries.

The goal of mouth guards is to provide protection for your teeth and gums. They are essential to cushioning blows that can occur while playing sports. If you receive a blow while not wearing a mouth guard, the risk is high for broken teeth and damage to the jaw, tongue, or lips. Risk of injury is twice as high for athletes not wearing mouth guards.

There are various types of mouth guards to choose from to wear while participating in sports. Customized guards offer the greatest protection, because they fit your mouth exactly and provide the ideal protection in the areas that need it the most. Other types of mouth guards can be helpful, provided they fit properly and remain in place. Ready-made mouth guards can be purchased at most sporting goods stores, and are the cheapest option. You can also select guards that require the “boil and bite” method, in which you boil it and fit it to your mouth while it is hot. This somewhat alters the shape to your mouth, in hopes of providing better protection. An even better choice is having a mouth guard custom made by your dentist or orthodontist. Remember that athletes with braces may require specialized mouth guards for the ideal fit and protection.

Some of the main things to consider about mouth guards are resiliency, comfort, and durability. It should fit properly and not impact breathing or speech. Mouth guards should be tear-resistant and easy to clean. Replace the mouth guard when holes, tears, or other damage occurs. Also, loose mouth guards can cause irritation and should be replaced.

Mouth guards are a vital part of playing sports, and should be worn every single time you play. Failing to wear a mouth guard even once can be the occasion that an injury occurs.

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Filling Replacements: Should You or Shouldn’t You?

You may have heard about people getting their dental fillings replaced, and might be wondering if it’s something you should consider for yourself. There are a number of reasons for replacing fillings, ranging from losing it to experiencing pain to disliking its appearance. How do you know whether or not you should replace yours?

The first thing to know about dental fillings is that there are several choices for materials. Many are made from amalgam, which is a combination of metals like copper, silver, tin, and mercury. Although there is some controversy about the safety of mercury in your mouth, most experts say that it is safe. The main complaint about amalgam is its noticeable silver color. Another option is gold fillings, which can last a long time but are often the most expensive type. The most common type of filling is made from composite, a material composed of micro particles that are bonded to your teeth. They are tooth-colored and are similar in durability to amalgam fillings.

The most popular reasons that people get their fillings replace include:

  • Decay – after a number of years of wear and tear, fillings begin to decay. When they begin breaking down, bacteria may enter your tooth and lead to infection. Your dentist will be able to warn you when a filling is deteriorating.
  • Looseness – fillings can become loose if the cavity wasn’t administered correctly or if you bite on something that damages it. The age of the filling can also cause it to loosen. A checkup can help identify if the seal of your filling has broken.
  • Pain – if you experience pain in your tooth that continues, your filling may need to be repaired by your dentist or replaced completely.
  • Appearance – it is not uncommon for patients to replace fillings simply because they dislike the way it looks. Old fillings can become discolored, or you might not like the material that was used.

If you are thinking about having a filling replaced, see your dentist to ask about your options. It is often not a big deal and you’ll end up much happier with a filling that fits well and looks attractive.

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Surprising Facts about Dentures

If missing teeth have compromised your smile and oral health, dentures can help. Unfortunately, many people have misconceptions about dentures so they live with incomplete smiles. Separating the reality from common myths can help you make the best decision for your dental health.

Myth: Dentures will last forever

Fact: Though your prosthetic teeth are designed to withstand normal wear, they can get damaged if they are dropped, left to dry out, or placed in hot water. With time, dentures can change in appearance or function.

Myth: People can tell when you wear dentures, which is embarrassing

Fact: Usually, the signs of dentures, like slippage, odors, or stains, occur because of poor maintenance. Cleaning your prosthetic and storing it as recommended will help your dentures function properly.

Myth: With dentures, you can’t eat or speak normally

Fact: Although you can’t eat everything you want, most denture wearers can eat a healthy, balanced diet. If you experience persistent speech or eating problems, contact your dentist.

Myth: I can fix the dentures myself

Fact: You might be handy with cars or electronics, but don’t attempt to adjust your dentures because you can cause damage and possibly ruin your dental appliance.

Myth: You don’t have to visit the dentist if you have dentures

Fact: Not only does your mouth still need attention, but your dentures require care too. When you visit the dentist, your doctor will check your mouth for signs of oral cancer and other conditions that can show symptoms in the mouth, such as diabetes. Your dentist will also examine your dentures to make sure nothing is loose and that the prosthetic is in good shape.

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Pregnancy and Your Dental Health

There are many issues to consider during pregnancy, and your oral health is one of them. Your mouth can be affected by hormonal changes, so it’s important to be aware of dental hazards and how to handle them.

Dental problems

There are certain oral health issues that women are more susceptible to experience during pregnancy. These include:

  • Pregnancy gingivitis – Gum inflammation, or gingivitis, can occur due to higher hormone levels in the body during pregnancy. Your gums may become swollen and red, and bleeding may occur. Pregnancy gingivitis symptoms usually disappear after giving birth.
  • Periodontal disease – Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a more serious condition that develops when an infection occurs under the gum line. It can increase your risk of tooth loss, and also may cause harmful effects for the baby due to a higher risk of premature birth and low birth weight.
  • Dry mouth – Hormone changes during pregnancy cause many women to produce less saliva. A dry mouth increases the risk of various dental problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Tooth enamel erosion – Frequent vomiting that sometimes accompanies morning sickness can cause tooth enamel to erode.
  • Pregnancy granuloma – A red growth called a granuloma may appear along the upper gum line. It bleeds frequently, can affect speaking and eating, and causes discomfort. These growths are not dangerous and usually disappear after giving birth.

Oral care
Special attention should be given to dental care during pregnancy.  Brush and floss regularly, eat a healthy diet, use an antimicrobial mouthwash approved by your doctor, and maintain dental visits.

Consider seeing your dentist during the second trimester of pregnancy, when the baby is least at risk. Tell your dentist you are pregnant so that precautions can be taken to help guarantee your baby’s health. X-rays and medications will be considered. Avoid major procedures until after your baby is born if possible. Also, ask questions if you have concerns about any treatments so that you will feel confident you and your baby are safe.

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What You Should Know about Oral Piercings

No matter what your opinion is about a form of self-expression that has grown increasingly common these days – oral piercings – one thing is for sure, this trend does affect your oral health. Oral piercings may be on your lips, tongue, cheeks, and uvula. Most often, they are done without anesthesia and a piece of jewelry is inserted through the piercing. Oral piercings are not without complications, bringing with them symptoms like pain, swelling, and infection.

Here are some of the most common complications that can accompany oral piercings.

When bacteria access the site of the piercing, infection can result. The bacteria also often attach to the jewelry, causing bacteria colonies to form that may resist antibiotic treatment.

Gum disease
People with oral piercings are at higher risk for gum disease, especially when the jewelry is shaped in a way that causes it to repeatedly contact the gums. Your gums may begin to recede, possibly even contributing to tooth loss.

Tooth damage
A very common hazard with oral piercings is chipped or cracked teeth, damage which is usually caused by jewelry knocking against the teeth. One study revealed that 47 percent of people with oral piercings have at least one damaged tooth within 4 years of wearing the jewelry.

Heart problems
If bacteria from an infected oral piercing enter your bloodstream, it can lead to heart inflammation. People with undiagnosed heart problems are at higher risk.

Nerve damage
The piercing site can incur nerve damage, leaving you with loss of sensation or a numb tongue.

Allergic reaction
Some people have adverse reactions to the metal in oral jewelry, which can trigger swelling, redness, itching, and secondary infections.

Oral jewelry that becomes loose is a choking hazard, and if swallowed can cause a lung or digestive injury.

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Update Your Smile with Porcelain Veneers

If chips, stains, or gaps between teeth have diminished your smile’s beauty, consider porcelain veneers. Constructed from thin shells of dental porcelain, these restorations generate natural-looking results and enhance your appearance. In just two to three visits, your dentist can create a brand new smile.

With porcelain veneers, your dentist will erase flaws and give your confidence a boost. Porcelain veneers will look beautiful and withstand the rigors of daily life.

Porcelain veneers allow patients to:

  • Cover permanent stains
  • Eliminate gaps between teeth
  • Produce uniformity
  • Transform your image

To guarantee the best results, most dentists schedule a consultation appointment. At this time, your dentist will show you examples of different veneer styles to see what you like. Many patients bring pictures of smiles they admire to this visit. Your doctor will then evaluate your teeth, personality, and features to select the porcelain veneers that complement your style.

Depending on your case, the dentist may recommend either traditional or no-prep veneers. Traditional veneers are customized to fit your specific teeth. Your dentist will select restorations that fit with the size, color, and shape of your teeth. For traditional veneers, you will need two appointments.

During the initial visit, the dentist will prepare teeth for the veneers by removing a layer of enamel and then create impressions of your teeth. These models are sent to a high-quality dental lab, where a skilled ceramist will handcraft your custom veneers. Frequently, dentists place temporary veneers, which gives patients a preview of their new look. Once the lab sends for final restorations, you will schedule a return appointment for permanent placement.

No-prep veneers work a little differently. These contact-thin wafers can be applied to your teeth without any enamel removal, which means they can be removed at any time. Because they can look bulky or unnatural on certain patients , not everyone is a candidate for no-prep veneers.

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Understanding Risk Factors for Tooth Loss

It’s important to keep all your permanent teeth. Without a complete smile, you risk gum recession, dietary restrictions, and further tooth loss. By identifying common contributors to tooth loss, you can protect your teeth.

Certain factors can influence tooth loss, including:

Tooth decay
Developing cavities can weaken your teeth and make you susceptible to tooth loss, especially if you allow the decay to grow. When deep decay compromises the tooth, you may need a root canal, or worse, an extraction. If you suspect that you have a cavity, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

Periodontal (Gum) Disease
The number one cause of tooth loss in American adults, gum disease often begins with mild symptoms such as swollen or bleeding gums. This early form of the disease is called gingivitis. Once gum disease progresses to periodontitis, gum recession, bone degeneration, and tooth loss may occur.

Lack of Dental Care
Seeing the dentist for twice yearly checkups allows the doctor to monitor your whole mouth and look for signs of trouble. Catching small problems, like cavities, before they escalate can help prevent tooth loss.

Poor Oral Hygiene
One step you can take to keep your teeth healthy is to take good care of them. Make brushing twice a day and flossing often a priority.

Certain Chronic Conditions
Individuals with medical issues such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis may have a higher than average chance of developing gum disease, which can increase your odds of losing teeth.

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