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How often should I brush and floss?
Brushing and flossing help control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental disease. Plaque is a film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva that sticks to the teeth and gums. The bacteria in plaque convert certain food particles into acids that cause tooth decay. Also, if plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). If plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone, causing periodontal (gum) disease. Plaque formation and growth is continuous and can only be controlled by regular brushing, flossing, and the use of other dental aids.
Toothbrushing - Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with a soft or extra-soft bristle brush and toothpaste. Medium and hard toothbrushes are still sold because of consumer demand, but are actually NOT as thorough as soft bristles between the teeth.
Brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums, gently using a small, circular pressing motion, ensuring that you always feel the bristles between the teeth.
Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth.
Use the tip of the brush head to clean the inside front teeth.
Brush or scrape your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
Flossing- Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.
Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.
Rinsing - It is important to rinse your mouth with water after brushing, and also after meals if you are unable to brush.
What are porcelain veneers and how can they improve my smile?
Porcelain veneers are very thin shells of porcelain that are individually crafted to cover the fronts of teeth. They are very durable and will not stain, making them a very popular solution for those seeking to restore or enhance the beauty of their smile.
Veneers may be used to restore or correct the following dental conditions:
Severely discolored or stained teeth
Unwanted or uneven spaces
Worn or chipped teeth
Slight tooth crowding
Teeth that are too small or large
Getting veneers usually requires three visits. We custom measure and shape your existing teeth to allow for long-lasting and beautiful transformations in porcelain. Veneers are created from an impression (mold) of your teeth that is then sent to a professional dental laboratory where each veneer is custom-made (for shape and color) for your individual smile and grinding pattern.
The veneers are carefully fitted and bonded onto the tooth surface with special bonding cements.
Veneers are an excellent dental treatment that can dramatically improve your teeth and give you a natural, beautiful smile.
What can I do about stained or discolored teeth?
Since teeth whitening has now become the number one aesthetic concern of many patients, there are many products and methods available to achieve a brighter smile.
Professional teeth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel, and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile. Over-the-counter products are also available, but they are much less effective than professional treatments and may not be approved.
As we age, the outer layer of tooth enamel wears away, eventually revealing a darker or yellow shade. The color of our teeth also comes from the inside of the tooth, which may become darker over time. Smoking, drinking coffee, tea, and wine may also contribute to tooth discoloration, making our teeth yellow and dull. Sometimes, teeth can become discolored from taking certain medications as a child, such as tetracycline. Excessive fluoridation (fluorosis) during tooth development can also cause teeth to become discolored.
It's important to have your teeth evaluated by doctor to determine if you're a good candidate for bleaching. Occasionally, tetracycline and fluorosis stains are difficult to bleach and your dentist may offer other options, such as veneers or crowns to cover up such stains. Since teeth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is also important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. before bleaching begins. Once the bleaching is done, your dentist can match the new restorations to the shade of the newly whitened teeth.
A touch-up may be needed periodically depending on your intake of coffee, tea or red wine to keep your smile looking bright.
The most widely used professional teeth whitening systems:
Home teeth whitening systems: At-home products usually come in a gel form that is placed in custom-fitted trays created from molds of your teeth. The trays are worn either twice a day for approximately 30-60 minutes, or overnight while you sleep. It usually takes several weeks to achieve the desired results depending on the degree of staining and the desired level of whitening, yet it is well worth the effort for the dramatic change it can have on his patients smiles.
In-office teeth whitening:This treatment is done in the dental office and you will see results immediately. It is possible to continue the whitening process with custom trays at home for up to 2 weeks. While your gums are protected, a bleaching solution is applied to the teeth. A special light may be used to enhance the action of the agent while the teeth are whitened.
Some patients may experience tooth sensitivity after having their teeth whitened. This sensation is temporary and subsides shortly after you complete the bleaching process, usually within a few days to one weak.
Teeth whitening can be very effective and can give you a brighter, whiter, more confident smile!
If you have any other questions, concerns, or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us by phone or e-mail.