How to Maintain Oral Health When You Must Wear a Retainer

Dental retainers are often worn after braces are removed. The retainer will keep your teeth in its new place, preventing them from returning to their previous position. Therefore, it is incredibly important that you wear your retainer as instructed by your orthodontist, and proper oral hygiene is important during this time.

Keeping Your Teeth Clean

Your general oral health regimen will be the same when you start wearing a retainer. You’ll still need to brush twice a day, floss daily, and use mouthwash to keep your teeth clean. You’ll also need regular appointments with your dentist. Only a dental cleaning will remove the hard tartar that accumulates on your teeth with time.

Keep Your Retainer Clean

Now that you have a retainer, you need to be concerned with brushing more than just your teeth. You’ll also need to brush your retainer twice per day, but don’t use toothpaste. For daily cleaning, just use water. However, at least once a day you should disinfect the device by soaking it into a denture cleaner, such as Polident or Efferdent. Simply add the cleanser into a cup of warm water and take care to rinse it off before you put it back into your mouth.

If you prefer natural solutions to clean your retainer, you have a few other options. Baking soda is a safe disinfectant, controlling bacteria without some of the harsh chemicals found in other cleaners. White vinegar can also help to remove residues and odors. However, vinegar has a strong smell, so people who choose this option for cleaning may prefer to do so outdoors in order to avoid fumes.

Failure to properly clean your retainer can expose your mouth to many bacteria. If you need to learn more about cleaning your retainer or caring for your teeth, please call our office. We are here to help.

Can Any Cosmetic Procedures Be Combined for Better Results?

Cosmetic dentistry offers many different procedures that can transform your smile for the better.

This is because there are times when you’ll need more than one treatment, so you receive a better solution for your specific issue.

What to Expect from a Total Smile Makeover

When you’re ready for a total smile makeover you should have a list of things you want to change about your smile. Showing this to us as we examine your mouth will allow us to address these concerns for you. We may need to take some x-rays so we can recommend the best process for achieving your goals. At this point we may suggest more than one procedure.

Popular Treatments

There are numerous procedures you can combine to address all your concerns so you get the best smile possible. However, the most popular treatment is teeth whitening. This is done with laser treatments or bleaching trays depending on the results you want and the timeframe you’re working with.

If teeth whitening doesn’t correct the stains, discoloration, and dinginess in the way you want, you may want to consider porcelain veneers. Here we’ll bond thin shells to the front of your teeth to give you a beautiful, durable smile.

When fillings grow old they often become unsightly. They’ll show silver in your smile. Another option is to get dental implants. These are a popular alternative to dentures and bridges. They’re a permanent replacement that will blend in seamlessly.

You can also have your teeth straightened without using unsightly metal braces thanks to Invisalign. These gently move your teeth into a better position so you’re not embarrassed by them any longer. You also won’t have to deal with ugly metal wires and brackets, struggle to keep your teeth clean, or change your diet while undergoing treatment.

The best way to get your smile makeover started is to call our office so you can schedule a consultation. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Are You At Higher Risk for Cavities Than Others?

A recent article published in Newsweek magazine debunked a popular theory that bad teeth are genetic. While you might not inherit your cavities from your parents, there are certain factors that can increase your risk. These are a few of the most common.

Smoking

Smoking is a major risk factor for cavities. When you smoke, you will reduce the ability of your mouth to heal properly after infection. Smoking increases the likelihood of cavities and gum disease, and it can also result in dental problems like bad breath and stains.

Un-Fluoridated Water

Municipal water that contains fluoride is a great line of defense against cavities. When you drink tap water from a fluoridated supply and brush using fluoridated toothpaste, you’ll greatly reduce your cavity risk.

Poor Salivary Flow

When you are in good health, the saliva will protect your teeth against cavities. If you have dry mouth and lower saliva production, your risk of cavities may increase. The biggest culprit for dry mouth is the use of certain prescription medications.

Lack of Dental Cleanings

If you aren’t visiting your dentist regularly, you’ll also increase your risk of cavities. Your dental hygienist will remove tartar that has built up on your teeth before it has a chance to cause cavities. This hard substance can’t be removed by brushing and flossing alone, so you need this help to keep your teeth healthy.

Poor Diet

If you snack frequently or tend to eat a lot of sugary and starchy foods, you’ll be at a heightened risk for cavities. By minimizing acid attacks on your teeth, they will stay healthier.

If you want to reduce your risk of cavities, you need to make your oral health a priority in your life. We are here to help, so call us today to set up your next dental cleaning.

 

Are You a Good Candidate for Same-Day Implants?

Although same-day dental implants are an effective, long-lasting solution for your oral health care needs, not everyone is a good candidate for this procedure. There are certain factors that come into play here.

What Makes you a Good Candidate for Same-Day Dental Implants

One of the most important things you’ll need are good gums because this is where your dental implants are connected to your mouth at. If you have gum or periodontal disease, you wouldn’t make a good candidate for this procedure.

Additionally, you’ll need good bone density. This is necessary so your mouth can adequately support your new implant.

Clearly, overall good oral health is necessary. Of course, you’ll have a missing tooth or some missing teeth since this is what we’re treating. However, your mouth needs to otherwise be healthy and well cared for. Your overall health is also a concern though. You need to either be a nonsmoker or willing to stop smoking for the duration of the process. It’s also important that you don’t have any diseases or disorders that would impact your ability to heal, including oral cancer that was treated with biophosphate.

As important as your health is, you also need to have a lot of patience. Your mouth can take a long time to heal after the procedure is completed – anywhere up to 6 months of healing time may be necessary.

While this process may look worthwhile to you, it’s up to you and your dentist to decide if you’d make a good candidate. If you believe you’d make a good candidate for same-day dental implants, give our office a call. We look forward to discussing this procedure with you.

Even if you don’t ultimately qualify for this procedure, we can still help with your oral health needs so make sure you contact us today so you can start enjoying your new healthy smile tomorrow.

Can Too Much Toothpaste Damage Your Teeth?

It is perfectly normal to want to keep your teeth clean and healthy. For some people, the belief that toothpaste is the catalyst to a beautiful, white smile leads them to use an extra-generous amount with each brushing.

However, it’s the bristles that actually do a bulk of the cleaning, so you may be overdoing it and using too much toothpaste.

Damage to the Enamel

Too much toothpaste can actually damage your enamel. Toothpaste contains abrasive particles, and too much can wear away at the strong tooth surface. The actual amount of toothpaste you use should be about the size of a pea.

Failure to Brush Properly

Another danger of using too much toothpaste is that you simply won’t brush all of your teeth properly. Using too much toothpaste will create too much foam, and it can be difficult to see exactly where you’ve brushed. Minimizing the foam and toothpaste residue will help you to see what you are doing.

Dangers to Kids’ Teeth

Use of the proper amount of toothpaste is especially important for children. Small children often have difficulty spitting out the excess toothpaste and foam. This may lead them to swallow extra fluoride that their bodies don’t need. This can lead to dental fluorosis, which prevents the tooth enamel from crystallizing properly. Side effects may include staining, brittleness, and surface pitting. Excess fluoride can also result in other health concerns.

Swelling of the kidney tubules may result, as will dilation of the renal tubules. High concentrations of hydrogen fluoride in the body can also lead to a host of gastrointestinal issues. Are you concerned about how much toothpaste you are using? Do you need additional tips on how to better care for your teeth? Call us today to set up your next dental cleaning. We’ll help you to get a smile that you are proud to show off.