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Archive for June, 2017

How Teeth Change with Age

Monday, June 26th, 2017

dentist 60603As we get older, our bodies change in many ways and our teeth are no exception. Fortunately, if you prepare for these changes, take good care of your teeth at home and follow up with your dentist for routine care, you can maintain a healthy smile well into your golden years.

Your enamel wears down as the years pass, and this phenomenon has a couple of different consequences for your smile. First, as the enamel erodes, the underlying yellowing dentin is exposed, discoloring your teeth. Some patients may choose to undergo teeth whitening treatment in order to overcome this aesthetic deterioration in their smiles.

Weaker enamel is also more susceptible to decay and breakage, so you’ll want to take steps to prevent these outcomes. Brush twice each day for two minutes each time, and see your dentist every six months for routine exams that can diagnose cavities early when they can be treated conservatively. You may also want to consider getting periodic fluoride treatments from your dentist to strengthen your teeth even more.

Additionally, patients become more susceptible to gum disease as they get older, so keeping your gums healthy by flossing and getting professional cleanings at least every six months becomes even more important. Not only does gum disease have the potential to devastate your smile, it also appears to have some relationship with systemic issues like heart disease and diabetes, so gum disease may impact your overall well-being too.

Patients face a greater risk of tooth loss with age, due to the weaker enamel and increased risk of gum disease along with other factors, but that does not mean that you will eventually need to get dentures at some point. If you take good care of your teeth, you can keep your biological smile for your entire lifespan.

Be sure to get your routine dental care and maintain a thorough home oral hygiene regimen as you get older, and you’ll be taking positive steps toward preserving your smile. If it’s been more than six months since your last exam and cleaning, call our office to schedule an appointment.

Protect Your Teeth – and Wallet – With a Custom Mouthguard

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

dentist 60602You may think that if you’re not an elite or professional athlete, you don’t need to bother with a mouthguard. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Even recreational athletes need to take steps to protect their teeth from significant injuries that might require treatment by a dentist. Furthermore, your best choice is an appliance that is made specifically for your unique smile.

Of course, some sports – like football, boxing and basketball – pose the risk of a contact injury and obviously warrant a mouthguard. But people who participate in some other sports may benefit from this protective gear as well. For example, skateboarding can result in significant dental injuries. Even weightlifting can put your teeth at risk, as people often grit their teeth together while attempting to lift a heavy barbell.

While you can buy a boil-and-bite mouthguard at your local sporting goods store, these devices tend to fit poorly and do not offer adequate protection. However, when you get a custom-designed model from a dentist, it fits more securely and does a better job of safeguarding your teeth from injuries.

Custom-designed mouthguards do cost more initially, but because they offer more protection, patients who wear them may find that they are able to avoid expensive dental treatments, such as root canals or dental implants, that may be necessary following an injury to the teeth. Ultimately, a custom-designed mouthguard can end up saving you money, as those treatments often are not fully covered by dental insurance, if you have coverage at all.

The process of getting fitted for a custom-designed mouthguard is quite simple. You will have impressions of your smile taken, and then the mouthguard will be created according to those specifications.

If you want to protect your smile while playing sports, consider investing in a custom mouthguard. You may end up saving yourself from an involved and expensive intervention in the long run. Call our office at Ora Dental Studio to schedule your appointment to be fitted for your mouthguard.


4 Unexpected Ways Your Teeth Can Get Chipped

Monday, June 5th, 2017

dentist 60601A chipped tooth detracts from your smile, and it can be uncomfortable depending on the size and location of the chipped area. Here are four surprising ways that you might chip your teeth and require a visit to the dentist for a restoration.

  • Eating: Patients may chip a tooth while biting into a hard object, especially if it’s unexpected, such as a stone that was not picked out of a group of beans.  
  • Shivering: Your teeth click against each other when you shiver, and if the motion is severe enough, it can cause your tooth to get chipped.
  • From a tongue piercing: Tongue jewelry is hard and can easily chip a tooth that it contacts.
  • Being super stressed: Bruxism (teeth grinding) can result from excessive stress, and the strain that this condition puts on the teeth can make them weaker and more susceptible to being chipped.

Ideally, there are steps that you can take to prevent most of these causes of chipped teeth. But if you do suffer a chipped tooth, your dentist does offer a variety of treatments to restore your smile.

One option is applying dental bonding material to the area of the chip. This composite material looks much like biological tooth enamel and can conceal small defects in the teeth.

Your dentist might also suggest a porcelain veneer to restore your smile. These thin tooth-shaped shells can be bonded on top of the biological tooth to hide a variety of flaws, including chips as well as stains, cracks and other aesthetic issues.

If the chip in your tooth exposes the pulp, you may need to undergo a root canal treatment followed by a crown to give the treated tooth extra protection.

Have you experienced a chipped tooth? If so, contact our office to get started on restoring your smile.