Healthy teeth and gums are crucial for your child’s overall health. When your child’s first tooth comes in, you may want to consider fluoride varnish treatments in order to fight tooth decay early on. Fluoride is a common mineral, and when applied to teeth, actually helps to strengthen the enamel.
Fluoride treatments aren’t just for children either. Dental sensitivity is reported in 20 to 30 percent of adults with exposed dentin. This type of sensitivity is described as the short, exaggerated, painful response elicited when exposed dentin is subjected to certain thermal, mechanical, or chemical stimuli. Sensitivity is caused due to exposure of dentin gingival recession, abrasion, erosion, periodontal therapy, and/or defective restorations. A fluoride varnish creates a barrier and will help prevent sensitivity.
The “varnish” is painted directly onto the tooth. It has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for dentinal sensitivity, as well as for use as a cavity liner. Only a small amount is used, and hardly any fluoride is swallowed. It is quickly applied and hardens. Then it is brushed off after 4 to 12 hours.
Whether it’s for your child’s first teeth or sensitivity in your teeth, call our office today to set up an appointment for a fluoride varnish at 540-486-5111. The process only takes several minutes and the protection lasts for months.
Dental bridges are quite literally exactly what they sound like, they bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. A bridge is made up of two or more crowns for the teeth that are on either side of the gap that needs to be spanned. These two or more teeth are called “abutment teeth”; abutment teeth serve as the anchors for the bridge. The bridge itself is called “pontics” and are made of porcelain and ceramic materials.
There are several benefits of bridges:
- They can restore a smile;
- They can restore the ability to chew and properly speak;
- They can help maintain the shape of your face;
- They can restore the distribution of your bite force;
- They can prevent your remaining teeth from drifting out of place
There are also three different types of bridges that can be put in place:
- Traditional Bridges: This is where a crown is made for teeth on either side of the gap with the pontic in between. This is the most common type.
- Cantilever Bridges: This is when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. This is not very common any more as excessive force can cause it to break.
- Maryland Bonded Bridges: are made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or plastic teeth and gums supported by a metal or porcelain framework.
At your first visit, the abutment teeth are prepared; this involves recontouring them by removing portions of enamel to allow room for a crown to be placed over them. Then, impressions of the teeth are made, which serves as a model from which the bridge and crowns will be made. You will have a temporary bridge installed to protect the exposed teeth and gums while the real bridge is made.
At the second visit, the temporary bridge is removed and the new, permanent one is checked and adjusted, as necessary, to achieve a proper fit. Once the fit is achieved, it will be permanently set in place.
If you have missing teeth that effect your speech, ability to properly chew, or ruins your smile; contact us today at 540-486-5111 to set up an appointment!
A large majority of Americans simply do not floss; this may because we view it as long and tedious process that we don’t want to waste time on, or they simply do not understand how tremendously important it is. Regardless, it is important to remember why it is so important to begin doing daily.
When you opt to skip flossing, you are putting your health at risk for creating cavities between your teeth and Gingivitis. When you skip flossing, you are unable to remove the buildup of plaque that forms between your teeth.
This plaque has a tremendous amount of bacteria in it that has the power to erode the enamel of your tooth. Once this starts the tooth will begin to decay and cavities begin to form. Without attention, this could lead to other issues such as infection of the pulp (nerve) of the tooth in which a root canal would be needed.
This plaque that is between your teeth can irritate the gums with the hundreds of types of bacteria that live there. This causes your gums to become inflamed, swollen, and bleed easily. This creates an environment that bacteria can thrive in causing Gingivitis.
If left unchecked, Gingivitis can progress into what is called periodontal disease. This is the formation of bacteria that enters the bloodstream and can travel to your heart, as well as the respiratory tract causing serious complications. It has been linked to diabetes and other medical issues.
If you have noticed pain in your gums with swelling and bleeding, call us today at 540-486-5111 to set up a time for us to check it out.
Regular dental exams are recommended to identify dental disease promptly, and initiate treatment as soon as possible for the best possible outcome. This process includes an oral cancer screening, periodontal (gum) evaluation, and the use of diagnostic radiographs to identify dental disease. We usually recommend an exam at least every 6 months, but that may depend on your oral condition.
One of these processes includes an oral cancer screening. Oral cancer screening is an exam that is performed by Dr. Alexis to look for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions in your mouth.
The goal of oral cancer screening is to identify mouth cancer early, when there is a greater chance for a cure. Most dentists perform an examination of your mouth during a routine dental visit to screen for oral cancer. Some dentists may use additional tests to aid in identifying areas of abnormal cell growth in your mouth.
Following the cancer screening, you will have a periodontal evaluation. As plaque and calculus builds on the teeth, your body reacts to this by having inflamed gums. If the plaque and calculus is not cleaned off regularly, or there are other health factors affecting someone’s inflammatory response, the body will continue to fight the calculus build up like dirt in an unwashed cut. This inflammatory response will ultimately lead to the gum and bone pulling back, giving bacteria deeper pockets to hold up in.
The final screening are radiographs. This is where a series of x-rays are taken of the mouth to see if any issues may be laying underneath. These issues can be bone loss to cancer. Often times, a disease can take hold and begin to spread even without any symptoms being present. This is why screenings are vital and incredibly important.
If you haven’t had a screening recently, call us today 540-486-5111 to set up a screening today!
There are many adults out there who are unhappy and self-conscious about their smile. Most are reluctant to address the situation as they don’t want the cumbersome metal braces, they feel it will take far too long, and the cost will be astronomical. This is why the Six Month Smile, a type of bracket and wire orthodontic correction for straightening the front upper and lower teeth in approximately six months, was created.
The Six Month Smile uses clear brackets and tooth colored nickel-titanium wires. This procedure can treat a variety of orthodontic problems that affect the cosmetic appearance of your smile. It offers a combination low-movement forces and short overall treatment time. This benefits the patient by increasing comfort, hygiene, and safety; making it ideal for patients want the cosmetic straightening benefits of braces but who do not the long or complex procedures for bite and occlusion.
Short term orthodontic treatment is suitable for a variety of misalignment problems, including extrusions, rotations, intrusions and tipping. It also is appropriate for the problems that cause common cosmetic dental issues in the front teeth, including:
- Diastemas and spacing
- Overbites and open bites
- Crowding and overlapping teeth
- Canted midlines and asymmetry
- Reverse smile lines
If you have any of these dental issues, you yourself may be a candidate for the Six Month Smile. As it sounds, the procedure takes about six months, however some cases are as short as four where as others are a bit longer at nine months. Call us today to set up an appointment to see if you qualify at 540-486-5111. Let’s get you the smile you always wanted!
Good oral health can have far reaching benefits, more so than most people think. A healthy smile can truly transform your appearance, this in turn can lead to greater self-confidence; increase a positive mind set, as well as improving the health of not only your mouth but your body too.
To help with this, we broke oral health tips down into three separate segments; Caring, Dentist, and Diet.
Caring for your mouth!
- Brush your teeth once you wake up and after your last meal, be sure to use fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss your teeth at least once a day to get food out that you normally can’t reach.
- Use mouthwash, but not after brushing as it can wash away the fluoride.
- Quit smoking to help reduce the chances of tooth staining, gum disease, tooth loss, and in more severe cases mouth cancer.
- Make sure your toothpaste contains fluoride; it helps strengthen tooth enamel making it more resistant to decay.
- Change out your toothbrush regularly as so it doesn’t break down and gives you the most cleaning power.
Visiting your Dentist!
- Visit your dentist regularly, and as often as they recommend.
- If you are nervous about visiting the dentist, make sure they are aware of why so they can improve your treatment.
- Help to overcome dental anxiety by taking a friend with you for support or listen to music to help you relax and focus on something else.
- Visiting a dental hygienist can help give you excellent tips and advice on preventing dental problems.
Your Diet and oral health!
- Chew sugar-free gum after eating or drinking, especially sugary foods, to help protect your teeth and gums in between meals.
- Wait an hour after eating or drinking anything before brushing as then enamel will be softened and you could be brushing away tiny particles.
- A varied diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fresh fruit and vegetables can help to prevent gum disease.
A healthy mouth can lead to a happy and healthy overall life. It’s never too late to start good habits, nor is it ever too early for children! Call us to set up an appointment today, by calling 540-486-5111; let’s get you on the road to a healthy smile!
Chances are, you’ve heard the term “tooth discoloration”, but what is it? How can your teeth change color? Your teeth can become discolored by stains on the surface or by changes inside the tooth itself. Discoloration is broken down into three categories (causation):
- Extrinsic – This occurs when the outer layer of the tooth, the enamel, becomes stained. This is primarily caused because of your diet. Liquids like coffee, wine, cola, and other drinks as well as food can stain your teeth and give them a darker appearance. Smoking is also a major cause of staining.
- Intrinsic – This is where the inner part of the tooth, the dentin, darkens and or turns yellow. There are a multitude of reasons why this can happen, here are a few examples:
- You had too much exposure to fluoride during early childhood.
- You had trauma that affected a tooth when you were a young child. A fall, for example, may damage the developing permanent tooth.
- You had trauma in a permanent tooth, and internal bleeding discolored the tooth.
- You used tetracycline antibiotics when you were 8 years old or younger.
- Age-Related – This is a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic factors. Over time, dentin inside our teeth will naturally yellow and darken, and the enamel on your teeth will naturally begin to thin; this allows the dentin to become more visible and allows for easier staining on the tooth.
Preventing staining is relatively straight forward. Brushing your teeth after each meal will help prevent staining. Dentists also recommend that you rinse your mouth out with water after having wine, coffee or other drinks or foods that can stain your teeth.
Intrinsic stains that are caused by damage to a nerve or blood vessel in a tooth sometimes can be prevented. You may need to have root canal treatment to remove the inner part of the tooth (the pulp) before it has a chance to decay and darken. However, teeth that have root canal treatment may darken anyway.
Reversing these effects is very easy and a common practice. Discoloration often can be removed by applying a bleaching agent to the tooth enamel. One technique is called “power bleaching.” With this method, the dentist applies a light-activated bleaching gel. It causes the teeth to get significantly whiter in about 30 to 45 minutes.
If you have stained teeth and want a pearly white smile, call our office today and set up an appointment at 540-486-5111 and get your smile back!
Diabetes is more prevalent now than ever. But what is it? Diabetes is disease in which the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired, this causes you blood sugar to rise. People who have diabetes know the disease can harm the eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart and other important systems in the body. Did you know diabetes can also cause oral health problems?
People with diabetes are at special risk for periodontal (gum) disease, an infection of the gum and bone that hold the teeth in place. Periodontal disease can lead to painful chewing difficulties and even tooth loss. Dry mouth, often a symptom of undetected diabetes, can cause soreness, ulcers, infections, and tooth decay. Smoking may enhance these symptoms as well.
Good blood sugar levels are key to controlling and preventing mouth problems. People with poor blood sugar control get gum disease more often and more severely than people whose diabetes is well controlled. Daily brushing and flossing, regular dental check-ups and good blood glucose control are the best defense against the oral complications of diabetes.
When kept in check, you can lead a perfectly normal and happy life. Simply keeping check of your sugar daily will help you to avoid oral health issues further down the road. If you have diabetes and you are worried about your dental health, call us today at 540-486-5111 for an appointment. Let us help you and your smile!
Tooth loss can be an embarrassing situation for adults, luckily there is a treatment that can replace these missing teeth. A Dental Implant is a form of cosmetic dentistry that is used to replace missing or severely damaged teeth in order to look and feel as if they are natural. The procedure permanently attaches the implant to the jaw bone just below the gum to become a stable platform in which the artificial tooth, also known as a crown, will be affixed to.
Who is a candidate for dental implants? Unfortunately, not everyone is a candidate, mainly children who are still growing. Typically, by the time you reach your early twenties your mouth stops growing and are suitable. Some of the conditions that can benefit from restorative implants:
- Existing Conditions – Some conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure can lead to tooth loss over time, requiring implants.
- Gum Disease – Gum Disease can lead to the loss of teeth, restorative dental implants can give back what was lost.
- Dentures – People who wear dentures can be eligible to for this permanent solution. This way they don’t have to worry about their dentures moving around or what foods they can and cannot eat.
- Smokers – Although smoking can lessen the chances of a successful implant, tooth loss from the habit can be fixed with implants.
- Bone Loss – Bone loss is a common problem for people who have lost teeth or have periodontal disease. However experienced cosmetic dentists are experienced in grafting bone to permanently secure implants.
Implants can be placed in one sitting; however, it can take up to six months for the bone to fuse to the titanium screws that are placed in the jaw. In the first step, the dentist surgically places the implant in the jaw. After the healing process, the dentist then installs the extension portion, called the “post”. Once in place, the crown will be placed on the post which will look and feel like a natural tooth that had once been there.
Dental implants have one of the highest success rates in dentistry. Smokers do have a lower success rate; however, your dentist may have you give up smoking all together in order for the bone to have a healthy and complete fusion. If taken care of properly, with good hygiene practice, they can last for up to 40 years.
If you want a permanent and natural looking solution to missing or severely damaged teeth, call us at 540-486-5111 and set up and appointment today. Bring back the smile you once had!
If you’re reading this, then you yourself have experienced growing baby teeth and shedding them for the ones you have now. When we are born, we already have all 20 of our primary teeth in our jaws. These begin to push out between 6 to 12 months of age. Every child is different, but normally the teeth begin coming out in the front of the mouth and work their way to the back. Most children will have a full set of all 20 teeth by the age of 3.
Baby teeth are very important for your child’s health and development. These teeth help your child to smile, speak, and most importantly the ability to chew food. They also hold space in the jaw for the permanent teeth to grow. If a baby tooth is lost to early, the permanent tooth will not be held in place and it can drift and the adult teeth around it may find it difficult to find room when they come in. This can cause crooked teeth, so it is very important to take good care of your child’s dental health.
After the first tooth comes in, and no later than the first birthday, it’s time for your child to have their first visit to the dentist. Apart from checking for cavities and any dental issues, your dentist will show you how to care for their teeth and how to handle habits like thumb sucking.
Here are some helpful tips for caring for your child’s teeth:
- Begin cleaning your baby’s mouth the first few days after birth with a clean moist gauze or washcloth. As soon as the first tooth appears, decay can begin to occur. So a dental visit is very important.
- For children under the age of 3, begin brushing their teeth as soon as the first tooth comes in with a fluoride toothpaste the size of a grain of rice. It is a good habit to brush in the morning and the evening (twice a day).
- For children 3 to 6 years old, use fluoride toothpaste the size of a pea. Supervise them and remind them not to swallow the toothpaste.
- Until you are comfortable that your child can brush their teeth on their own, keep using a child size toothbrush and a pea size amount of toothpaste. As soon as two teeth begin to touch, begin flossing daily.
If your baby just got their first tooth or it’s almost their first birthday, we would love to meet them! Your child’s dental health is important, so let us help you give them decades of smiles and health! Call us today to set up an appointment at 540-486-5111. We look forward to seeing those baby smiles.