Porcelain veneers can transform your smile from one that embarrasses you to one that you’re proud to show off. A thin shell of porcelain is bonded onto the fronts of your teeth to improve the shape and color. If you’re looking to close gaps between your teeth, reshape your teeth, or brighten stained teeth, porcelain veneers may be your answer. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about veneers.
How do veneers work?
Made from durable and natural-looking porcelain, veneers are customized to fit your teeth. Your face shape, skin tone, eyes, height, and even your personality are considered when designing your dental veneers. They are bonded securely to your teeth to give you the smile you always wanted.
Is it a long process to get them?
The process for getting veneers usually takes about four to six weeks. At your first appointment, your teeth will be shaped and their surface will be slightly roughened. Impressions will be taken to create models of your mouth so that the veneers can be personalized for you. At the next appointment, your teeth will be cleaned and polished before a special adhesive is used to bond the veneers to your teeth. A high-intensity light is used to set the adhesive.
What will my teeth look like while I’m waiting for veneers?
After your teeth have been prepared for veneers, usually you will be fitted with specialized temporary veneers. These interim veneers look better than your original teeth, so you won’t feel self-conscious during the waiting period.
How long do veneers last?
Porcelain veneers typically last from ten to twenty years. Porcelain is very strong and durable, and resistant to stains and wear.
What are the advantages to veneers?
Since the bond to your original teeth is strong, porcelain veneers can be treated just like your own teeth. They appear very natural because the porcelain looks similar to your tooth enamel. Veneers can also protect your teeth from further damage if they are chipped or worn down, so they not only cover your teeth with a layer of protection but also create a beautiful bright smile.
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Obesity, defined as an excess proportion of body fat, has reached epidemic levels in the United States. This condition presents health risks to many areas of your body, and takes a toll on just about every aspect of your life. What does obesity have to do with oral health? Recent studies have linked the development of obesity with oral bacteria.
By testing the saliva of overweight people compared to individuals within a healthy weight range, researchers have discovered an oral bacteria present in 98 percent of the obese subjects. Experts believe this bacteria is an indicator of developing an overweight condition. Also, they suspect that the bacteria may participate in the body functions that lead to obesity.
Preventing and controlling obesity usually begins with analyzing and changing your diet. A high glycemic diet, which generally means a diet high in sugars, contributes to weight gain. It is also connected with your dental health, because sugars in your mouth are converted into plaque. If plaque accumulates on your teeth and gums, the risk increases for tooth decay and gum disease.
While it will likely benefit your waistline to reduce the amount of sugar consumed, doing so will reduce your risks for oral disease. Likewise, regular dental checkups, proper oral hygiene including brushing and flossing twice daily, and smart diet modifications will also lower your oral health risks. As experts continue to investigate the connection between your mouth and your overall health, following recommendations for caring for your mouth will likely decrease oral bacteria and possibly limit your risks of other health concerns such as obesity.
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Any stage of gum disease (or gingivitis) can cause inflammation, pain, and sensitivity. It can make eating and talking difficult. It’s important to know what causes gum disease and what can happen if it develops, so that you can avoid it altogether or at least catch it before it wreaks havoc on your mouth.
What causes gingivitis?
Plaque buildup is the main cause of gum disease, although other factors can lead to it as well. These include:
- Illnesses, especially those that interfere with your immune system. Patients with HIV, diabetes, and cancer are often at higher risk for gingivitis.
- Hormonal changes associated with pregnancy, menstruation, puberty, and menopause.
- Some medications affect oral health by decreasing saliva or causing abnormal growth of gum tissue.
- Smoking can hamper the healing of your gums.
- Poor dental hygiene, including neglecting brushing or flossing, or using improper techniques.
- Family history of gum disease.
What are the symptoms?
Gingivitis can sneak up without symptoms, even in the later stages of the disease. However, there are signs that may point to some level of gingivitis. These include bleeding, red, or swollen gums. Ongoing bad breath and receding gums are other symptoms. Deep pockets may form between the teeth and gums, and teeth may shift or loosen. You might also notice changes in how your teeth fit together when you bite down. Your dentist can recognize symptoms even if you don’t, so make sure you have checkups regularly.
How is gingivitis treated?
Treatment depends on the stage of your gum disease, how you responded to previous treatment, and your general health. Treatments range from therapies to control bacterial growth to surgery to restore gum tissue. Often gingivitis can be controlled with dental visits and good dental hygiene.
What can happen without treatment?
Gingivitis may advance to periodontitis, causing permanent damage to your mouth. Advanced gum disease has been linked to stroke, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes complications.
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Most people turn to mouthwash when they suspect their breath is bad and they want a quick boost. It’s true that mouthwash comes in handy for this purpose, but did you know that it offers other benefits too?
Antiseptic and anti-plaque mouth rinses are intended to kill germs that cause gum disease, plaque, and bad breath. Swishing this type of mouthwash around your mouth after brushing has been shown to lower the bacteria levels, and therefore decrease your risks of the problems that bacteria can cause. It is especially helpful in senior adults or others who have trouble brushing and flossing their teeth.
Rinsing with antiseptic mouthwash promotes natural healing of mouth and gum irritations, minor wounds, and canker sores. It removes debris that can irritate your mouth, and can also help reduce inflammations from dental and orthodontic appliances.
Some rinses contain fluoride, which helps prevent tooth decay and strengthen teeth. Studies have shown that using fluoride mouth rinses in addition to fluoride toothpaste gives you more protection against cavities than toothpaste alone. Fluoride mouth rinse is not suggested for kids under six years old because they might swallow it.
Antiseptic mouth rinses have been shown to help reduce tooth pain, probably due to lowering the bacteria and inflammation in your mouth.
Helps with certain conditions
Dentists sometimes prescribe special mouth rinses designed for various oral conditions. This may include gum disease, high risk of tooth decay, or dry mouth. Also, oral rinses may be prescribed after periodontal treatments or oral surgery.
Supplements dental hygiene
Many dentists suggest making dental rinses part of your oral hygiene routine, but remember that it’s only a supplement to brushing and flossing regularly.
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Whether you call it pop, soda, soft drink, or something else, these terms all refer to a sugary, carbonated drink popular all over the country. It is estimated that Americans consume over 13 billion gallons of soft drinks each year. These beverages can cause serious health problems, including negative effects on your oral health.
Soft drinks are one of the most significant reasons for tooth decay, and it impacts all age groups. From babies drinking it out of bottles to teenagers drinking it all day long to older adults sipping it in retirement homes, it is deteriorating tooth enamel and eroding gums of everyone who consumes it.
Why are soft drinks harmful?
The high sugar content in the drinks is the root cause of trouble, and the high acid content adds to the threat. The sugar combines with bacteria in your mouth to create an acid, which adds to the acid from the drink itself. Then this mixture attacks your teeth. Each time you take a drink of the carbonated beverage, an acid attack begins in your mouth. During this time, your tooth enamel is weakened and cavities are just waiting to form. You may think that the risk goes away by drinking sugar-free soft drinks. Although these are less harmful, they are still acidic and can lead to decay.
How can I avoid harming my teeth?
The ideal way to rule out risks from soft drinks is to cut them out of your diet completely. If you think you just can’t live without them, here are some suggestions:
- Substitute other drinks. Try drinks with less sugar, like 100% fruit juice and milk.
- Set a good example. Drink alternatives yourself and encourage your kids to do the same.
- Sip with straws. This helps keep the sugar from direct contact with your teeth.
- Rinse with water. After drinking a soda, rinse your mouth with water to reduce the amount of sugar and acid hanging onto your teeth and gums.
- Use fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinse. Using fluoride in your daily dental routine helps to reduce decay and strengthen enamel. Also ask your dentist about the possible need for professional fluoride treatments.
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Many people find foods such as cheese, yogurt, and milk to be a very enjoyable part of their diet. Not only are some of these dairy items tasty and nutritious, did you know they can also help your teeth and gums? Studies show that consuming dairy products regularly can lower the occurrence of dental diseases. Let’s see which dairy items you should consider incorporating into your diet and why.
Reduce gum disease
The primary benefit of dairy to your dental health is lowering your risk of periodontal disease. Also known as gum disease, this condition affects roughly 75 percent of Americans at some level. It may be minor gingivitis or advanced periodontitis. If left untreated, gum disease can cause tooth loss, contribute to heart disease and stroke, and worsen diseases like diabetes and osteoporosis. Lactic acid is one of the key ingredients in many dairy items, and researchers believe that lactic acid is related to reducing gum disease.
Choose your dairy
Just because a food is identified as a dairy product, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s completely healthy for you. Here are some tips to help you choose the ideal foods and beverages for your dental health:
- Look for low fat and non-fat options.
- Choose white milk instead of flavored milk, such as chocolate. The added sugars can lead to tooth decay.
- Consider natural and organic products when possible.
- Select unsweetened yogurt without sugar or artificial sweeteners. A good alternative is Greek yogurt which you can add fruit or honey to create an appetizing, healthy snack.
Enjoy additional benefits
Avoiding gum disease isn’t the only benefit of eating dairy. It helps build strong teeth and bones, and is rich in vitamins that are good for your overall health. So the next time you get hungry, try some cheese or a glass of milk because these foods will not only satisfy your hunger but also keep you smiling.
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