Throughout the years, numerous studies have revealed that an individual’s smile is considered to be his or her most attractive feature. So what happens if you’re not happy with the way your smile looks? Those who are dissatisfied with their teeth and gums are prone to smiling less as the result of feelings of insecurity. Ultimately, this can lead to problems with self-esteem and personal relationships, as well as a reduced quality of life.
The good news is that there’s absolutely no reason why you should have to feel down and out about your smile. Whether time, genetics, accidents, or other causes have contributed to your oral woes, there is a solution: cosmetic dentistry. This post will highlight some of the most common cosmetic dental procedures that are done to enhance natural beauty and create perfect smiles.
Tooth whitening or bleaching is, by far, one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures performed today. Throughout the years, your teeth may have become stained or discolored. Different whitening options are available to restore your teeth back to their natural beauty quickly, painlessly, and affordably. Make sure to discuss all of your options with a trusted dentist before moving forward with the process.
Those with chipped, broken, or cracked teeth may feel self-conscious about their smiles. Bonding works to improve the appearance of these teeth when tooth-colored materials are applied to the surface of the tooth.
Veneers are another great option for people who are unhappy with one or more of their teeth due to staining, chips, crookedness, or irregular shaping. These custom-made shells are designed to match your other teeth and cover up problem areas.
A crown works to add strength and support to a weak tooth and/or to improve a tooth’s appearance by acting as a cover. Crowns may be made from gold or alloys, and porcelain options are also available to better match natural tooth color.
Those with crooked teeth, overcrowding, or poor dental alignment might consider braces. Individuals who are concerned with the appearance of braces should talk to their dentist about Invisalign and similar options.
When one or more of your teeth are missing, you may be a good candidate for dental implants. Implants are used as a means of replacing missing teeth with units that blend perfectly with other teeth and restore a smile to perfection. Before moving forward with dental implants, your dentist will need to evaluate your dental history to ensure that your oral health is up to snuff.
Fixed and removable bridges are available for individuals with missing teeth. The bridge is crafted from materials including gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination thereof. While a fixed bridge is attached directly to the jaw and must be removed by a dental professional, removable bridges can be taken out and cleaned at home. Your dentist will evaluate your oral health in order to help you make the right decision for your smile.
In some cases, most or all of an individual’s teeth may be missing, or may be severely damaged and in need of removal. In cases like these, a simple, effective, and affordable solution is to replace natural teeth with dentures. Dentures are custom-made to fit a patient’s mouth and will have the appearance of natural teeth with all of the functionality to chew and talk normally, and to smile beautifully.
Don’t let a less than perfect smile hold you back any longer. Contact Dr. Bruce McArthur, DDS about your options for cosmetic dentistry in order to find a solution that’s right for you. Give us a call today to start moving towards a better, brighter smile.
The majority of children who regularly visit the dentist will have dental sealants placed on their back teeth while they are still very young. If your dentist has made mention of dental sealants, you may have some questions about what they are and whether or nor they’re right for your little one. In an effort to provide you with information on the subject, we’ve assembled this list of frequently asked questions.
Q: What are Dental Sealants?
A: Dental sealants are crafted from a special type of plastic that is either white or clear. The sealants are then molded to the tops of the teeth, which feature deep grooves or pits (generally back teeth). This is done as a means of protecting the teeth against the development of cavities. The idea is that children (and adults) may struggle to adequately remove sugars, acids, and bacteria from these deeper grooves, so the sealants act as a physical barrier against these threats.Q: Who Needs Dental Sealants?
A: Most dental professionals agree that dental sealants should be applied as soon as a child’s permanent molars have grown in. By quickly sealing the molars, there is less of a chance that problems will arise or decay will have the opportunity to set in. The earlier the back teeth are protected, the less likely it is that your child will experience cavities or other dental issues down the road.Q: How are Dental Sealants Applied?
A: Dental sealants are only applied after the tooth has undergone a thorough cleaning process by a professional dentist or dental assistant. The cleaning process involves the use of polish and a rotating brush, followed by a deep rinse and the application of an acidic solution. The acidic solution is intended to create a rougher tooth surface which will make it easier for the sealant to grip securely to the tooth. Once the solution has dried, the sealant is applied in liquid form on top of the tooth’s fissures. The sealant then cures and hardens on its own.Q: How Long Will Dental Sealants Last?
A: Once dental sealants have been applied, it’s very unlikely that the process will need to be repeated. This is because dental sealants are designed to last for the entire life of the tooth. Unless the sealant is damaged as the result of an accident or injury, you can expect it to continue protecting your child’s molars for a lifetime. In the event that the sealant is damaged, a replacement sealer can be applied.Q: Is Any Special Care Needed?
A: The short answer to this question is ‘Yes!’ Those who don’t have dental sealants installed are far more likely to suffer the effects of tooth decay, including discoloration, cavities, and gum disease. It’s a lot easier to care for molars that have been sealed, thus making your child’s life simpler and healthier. Make sure to talk to your dentist for his or her professional opinion and to keep an eye on the development of your child’s permanent molars so that you know when to move forward with the process.
Don’t let a lack of education on dental sealants prevent you from making a decision that could protect your child’s teeth and livelihood. Learn more about dental sealants by giving Dr. Bruce McArthur, DDS, a call today.
You may think of your child’s orthodontist as someone who has the ability to reposition crooked teeth, but did you know that they can also expand an individual’s upper jaw? Through the usage of palatal expanders, orthodontists have the ability to manipulate jaw development in such a way that it establishes a more visually appealing and functional bite.
If your dental professional has mentioned the possibility of palatal expanders for your child, you are likely interested in learning as much as possible. This post will tell you everything you need to know about palatal expanders so that you can make the best decision for your child’s oral care.
A Breakdown of Palatal Expanders
The palatal expander is an appliance that is used to widen the upper jaw and the circumference of the palate (roof of the mouth). This allows the perimeter of an individual’s dental arch to increase, thus allowing for more space for the growth of teeth. In this way, the expander is able to prevent, correct, and reduce the severity of any number of problems that are associated with an upper jaw that may have otherwise been too narrow. Some of these issues may include:
Crossbite — In a normal mouth, the upper teeth close around the outside of the lower teeth. If your child has a narrow palate, though, this may actually be reversed, with the upper teeth biting inside of the teeth beneath. If this problem isn’t corrected in a timely manner, your child could experience asymmetrical growth of the lower jaw, leading to dental complications and the possibility of facial asymmetry. Palatal expanders can be used to correct a crossbite early in a child’s life.
Overcrowding — When your child’s palate is too narrow, it may not have the space to accommodate his or her upper teeth in their correct positions as they erupt through the gum tissue. By expanding the upper jaw through palatal expanders, issues related to overcrowding can be overcome.
Difficulty in Breathing — In many cases, a narrow or deep upper jaw can create difficulties for a child as he or she tries to breathe through their nose. To compensate for this, the child may continuously breathe through the mouth. This can lead to the inhalation of unfiltered bacteria, cause dry mouth, and even be the culprit behind halitosis. Palatal expanders widen and open the palate, making it easier for children to inhale and exhale through the nose.
Timing is Key
When it comes to palatal expanders, time is of the essence. Unlike braces, which are effective at any age, palatal expanders must be utilized before the age of 16 — and preferably by the time a child reaches puberty. The reason for this is that palatal expanders capitalize on anatomical changes to the face that occur during growth. As a child grows, the growth plate that is situated in the center of palatal bone tissue is able to expand. This isn’t possible once puberty has been reached, thus making the expanders only effective during a limited window of time. Beyond the age of 16, most oral professionals will recommend jaw surgery.
It’s essential that your child maintain good dental hygiene practices throughout the process of upper jaw expansion. You will need to make sure that the palatal expander is carefully cleaned each time they brush their teeth with a fluoride toothpaste.
Taking care of your child’s dental health is a top priority. By arming yourself with the facts about palatal expanders, you can improve the quality of his or her life. Feel free to contact Dr. Bruce McArthur, DDS, with any questions or concerns you may have about palatal expanders.
What is it that attracts you to others? If you’re like most people, you’re drawn to and captivated by a dazzling smile. People who smile big for all the world to see are happy, vibrant, and confident. Why? Because they have beautiful, healthy teeth and gums.
If your teeth are less than perfect, don’t fret — your quest for the holy grail of a fabulous smile is not over yet! Whether genetics, wear and tear, life experience, accidents, or other oral health issues have impacted your mouth, there are ways to remedy these issues. Through the power of cosmetic dentistry, you can achieve the smile of your dreams and show the world your true beauty.
What is Cosmetic Dentistry?
First things first. Before we proceed any further on our dental adventure, we first need to have a clear understanding of what cosmetic dentistry actually is. Cosmetic dentistry goes above and beyond the usual cleaning and inspection processes that are handled by your dental professionals during a routine, semi-annual checkup. This particular branch of dentistry zeroes in on specific dental procedures that help to improve the overall appearance of an individual’s teeth, gums, or bite. As indicated by the “cosmetic” tag, this line of dentistry puts its emphasis on the aesthetics of the dental formula as opposed to function; it’s all about making you feel confident whenever you flash your pearly whites.
Common Types of Cosmetic Dentistry
While one person may be unhappy with the color of their teeth and gums, another may feel insecure about the shape of his or her teeth. Fortunately, there are different branches of cosmetic dentistry, each of which focuses on specific problem areas. Some of the most common cosmetic dental procedures include:
Teeth Bleaching (Whitening) — This is, by far, the most popular procedure done in the cosmetic dentistry industry across the globe. Even though numerous over-the-counter teeth whitening products are available, most people feel more comfortable and confident when leaving this process to the experts — and for good reason. Using bleach throughout the whitening process is much safer and more successful when done under the supervision of a dentist.
Laser Whitening — Another option for restoring dingy teeth to their former white glory is to go the laser whitening route. Here, the whitening process is completed with the assistance of a laser machine. This offers even more precision and longer-lasting results than standard teeth whitening procedures.
Gum Depigmentation — Dark spots on the gums can be very distressing and cause feelings of insecurity. The depigmentation process restores gums to their natural, healthy pink color.
Teeth Straightening — No one feels attractive or confident when their teeth are crooked. Cosmetic dental procedures can bring your teeth back to alignment for comfort and beauty.
Tooth Reshaping — It’s fairly common for individuals to be less than satisfied with the appearance or shape of their teeth. Jagged edges, chipped teeth, excessively long teeth, and crooked teeth are all issues that can be remedied with this type of procedure.
Dental Bridges — Dental bridges give you your full smile back! These bridges are false teeth, or pontics, that are placed between crowns as a means of filling the gaps that have been left by missing teeth. It’s the simplest, fastest, and most common means of replacing missing teeth.
Addition of Dental Material — In some cases, an individual may need to have dental material(s) added to his or her smile so that it can reach its full potential. This might involve the introduction of gum grafts, crowns or caps, porcelain veneers, and/or bonding to teeth or gums.
We all want healthy teeth. Good oral hygiene, after all, impacts all aspects of health and longevity. But just because your mouth is free from any cavities or gum disease doesn’t necessarily guarantee that your teeth are attractive. For one reason or another, your teeth may be detracting from your self-esteem and negatively impacting your smile. Whether due to genetics, a sports-related injury, or other circumstance, you may find yourself wondering if you’ll ever be happy with the way your mouth looks. If this sounds familiar, porcelain veneers may be the answer.
Porcelain veneers are crafted from thin layers of life-like dental porcelain. The purpose of these veneers is to cover up any teeth that you may feel are unattractive or unsightly and give them a complete makeover. This is all completed with minimal tooth preparation, time, and cost. In fact, porcelain veneers offer one of the most affordable solutions for improving the appearance of your smile. Interested? Read on to learn about a few ways that porcelain veneers can change your smile for the better.
White, Bright Coloring
One of the most common complaints that people have about their teeth is that the color isn’t what they would like. White teeth have become a standard for beauty, and having anything less than vibrantly white teeth can leave you feeling unattractive and undesirable. Although you may be able to correct minor issues with the use of whitening strips and other treatments, you’ll find that after years of eating and drinking certain foods and beverages, some stains may be hard to get rid of. Here, veneers can be used to cover up the discolored areas and brighten your smile. They are designed to match your other teeth so that no one will be able to tell the difference between your porcelain veneers and the real thing.
Teeth may be extremely tough and resilient, but that doesn’t mean they can’t become damaged. Significant oral injuries can lead to chips and cracks, while frequent tooth grinding can result in abnormal wear and tear that makes some teeth appear shorter than others. Of course, there are also those who are simply born with one or more teeth that are oddly shaped. Regardless of the reason why, it’s only natural for you to want uniform shaping and beauty across your entire smile. Customized porcelain veneers can be used to perfect the shape of your teeth.
As a society, we tend to favor teeth size in direct proportion to both the lips and the amount of gums that show. Some people are born with teeth that are much shorter than this, while others may have worn their teeth down to a shorter size after many years of habitually grinding them together. If this has been an issue for you, you might consider using a veneer to add length to your teeth for a more appealing size. Talk to your dentist about limitations, though. Teeth that have lost too much structure may require a porcelain crown instead.
Correct Alignment and Spacing
Many people struggle with problems related to crooked teeth, poor bites, or excessive gaps between teeth. In extreme cases, orthodontic treatments such as braces may be required, but minor alignment and spacing issues can be remedied with porcelain veneers. Smaller gaps and slightly crooked teeth can be masked at a fraction of the cost and in much less time.
You deserve to smile with complete confidence in the appearance of your teeth. Feel free to reach out to Dr. Bruce McArthur, DDS today in order to learn more about how porcelain veneers can give your mouth a complete makeover.
By the time your child hits the age of 12 or 13 years old, his or her adult teeth will have all settled in for a permanent stay. This means that as a parent, you only have a few years to instill your kids with solid oral hygiene practices. The habits that they start to develop at a young age will stick with them throughout their entire lives, so it’s extremely important that you take steps to start early. So how can you work to protect your child’s teeth — both before and after the adult set grows in? The following five tips are the simplest, yet most effective means of doing so.
Eat and Drink Right
Good oral hygiene starts with the food and beverages that your little ones put into their mouths. Even adults struggle to cut back on sugary snacks and beverages, so imagine how difficult it is for kids to moderate! As a parent, it’s your job to regulate your child’s diet. Take the time to explain to your children how too much of a good thing can be very bad for their teeth. Set rules limiting your child’s consumption of candy and sweets, and make sure that they brush their teeth directly after eating. And don’t forget about juice! Many parents mistakenly believe that juice is healthy. In reality, the majority of juices are packed with so much sugar that it’s not much different from drinking soda. Treat juices like a special dessert or treat.
Children who are over the age of two should be using toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that is able to make the outer surface of teeth much more resistant to acid attacks that can lead to tooth decay and cavities. It’s also wise to check to see if your tap water contains fluoride and talk to your dentist about fluoride supplements.
Remember the 2×2 Rule
Few things can be as annoying or interruptive as a toothache. When the pain is severe, it’s often difficult to go about your daily routine. It’s been known to bring even the toughest men and women to their knees, and that’s exactly why you should be aware of what might cause a toothache so you can take steps to avoid one.
Last week, we told you about the five most common causes of toothaches — tooth decay, tooth abscess, gum disease, a chipped or cracked tooth, and temperature sensitivity. This week, we’ll continue with our list and give you the remaining five reasons as to why you may be experiencing a toothache.
6. Damaged Fillings
If you have any fillings or sealants, there’s a good chance that they’re covering up vulnerable parts of a tooth. Damage to fillings can expose these vulnerable areas, causing sensitivity that can bring you a great deal of pain. A damaged filling or sealant should be considered an emergency situation, so give your dentist a call right away in order to get it fixed. Trust us — your mouth will thank you!
7. Grinding Your Teeth
This is actually a very common reason for not only tooth pain, but for pain in your jaw and neck, in addition to related muscle pain. Many people grind their teeth while sleeping or under stress and getting to stop can be a real chore. Unfortunately, when left untreated, this situation can cause cracked or chipped teeth, sore jaw bones and joints, and headaches. The use of a custom mouthguard, which you’ll wear while sleeping, is your best bet to alleviate the problem.
8. Improper Flossing or Brushing
Proper daily dental care is the cornerstone of dental and oral health. We always suggest that you go by the 2-2-2 rule, which means you floss and brush twice a day for two minutes and visit your dentist two times a year. This can ensure proper dental health, but believe it or not, but there is such a thing as being too vigorous when it comes to flossing and brushing your teeth. If you use too much pressure, your gums may recede, which can cause a considerable amount of pain. We suggest that you use a soft-bristled brush and to be mindful of the pressure you’re using. If in doubt, your dentist can help you formulate a dental care plan.
9. Misaligned Teeth or Impacted Wisdom Teeth
If you have a tooth that is misaligned, it will press against the teeth surrounding it, which can cause those teeth to become misaligned as well. This situation is related to impacted wisdom teeth, where they haven’t broken through the gum line. Sometimes, these impacted wisdom teeth can press against other teeth as well. To fix these problems, you’re looking at either braces for the misaligned teeth or surgery for the impacted wisdom teeth.
10. Orthodontic Alignment
Pain caused by braces, retainers, and other alignment systems is common, but should dissipate within a few days. If the pain continues, then you need to contact your dentist right away and get the device you’re using realigned. This will fix the problem and alleviate the pain.
A toothache can be a harrowing experience, one that will quickly worsen if it’s not tackled by a professional. If you’re suffering from any of the problems above, it’s important to contact your dentist and get treatment as soon as possible. Dr. Bruce McArthur, DDS can help you with any toothache issues you have, and will also get you started on a future of dental and oral health. Give us a call today and we’ll get you in!
Anyone who has ever had a toothache can tell you that it’s not pleasant. In fact, the pain of a toothache can get so intense that it’s difficult to even think straight at times. When you experience a toothache, it means that you have an underlying problem and need to see your dentist right away before the situation gets any worse.
The question is… what is this underlying problem you’re experiencing? What we’d like to do in this two-part series is explore the top ten reasons for toothaches. We’ll start with the five most common and continue with the second set of five next week.
1. Tooth Decay
The first reason for a toothache on our list is also the most obvious. If your tooth has significant decay, then the inner layer — called the dentin — is affected. When this happens, the tooth becomes extremely sensitive to outside stimuli. The pain will often be dull, but if the decay reaches the center of the tooth, the pain will become sharp and nearly unbearable. In fact, the pain can be so bad that you’ll barely be able to function, opting instead to roll into a ball and try to ignore it. Our advice? Call your dentist!
2. Tooth Abscess
Once tooth decay has advanced to the root beneath your tooth, the pain will be widespread. This makes it difficult to determine which tooth is the source of the pain. If this happens, you must get to a dentist immediately in order to prevent the loss of bone or tissue. This is a serious issue that you can’t afford to put off any longer than you have to. You need to have a professional ascertain the problem and get it fixed right away.
3. Gum Disease
Unfortunately, millions of Americans suffer from gum disease and those numbers aren’t expected to go down anytime soon. When you experience gum disease, you may feel a dull pain in your mouth and possibly even your teeth. You need to head to your dentist right away before the damage worsens. If not, you could be looking at the loss of your teeth… and that’s obviously the last thing you want to happen.
4. Chipped or Cracked Tooth
There are several ways that a tooth can become fractured — biting down on something hard, falling down, a sports injury, etc. The pain may not happen right away, but when it does happen, you’ll know. If the damage to a fractured tooth has reached the middle of the tooth, which is where the nerves endings are located, you may be dealing with excruciating pain. We probably don’t need to tell you to head to your dentist in this situation — you’ll be screaming all the way there!
5. Temperature Sensitivity
If your tooth enamel has been worn down, your tooth may become especially sensitive to hot and cold foods and beverages because the nerves have been exposed. The first thing you can do is use a toothpaste specially formulated for sensitive teeth, which will provide protection against extreme temperatures. Then check with your dentist for further treatment before it gets any worse.
Toothaches can become unbearable if they’re not treated right away, and in some situations, are likely to cause more extensive damage the longer you wait to take care of the issue. Pay attention to the above issues and and if you’re experiencing a toothache or simply want to improve your dental health, be sure to contact the office of Dr. Bruce McArthur, DDS. We’ll take care of all your dental needs and prepare you a future of good dental and oral health!