Does your smile appear dull, dingy, and discolored? You’re not alone. In fact, Americans spend over a billion dollars on smile whitening products every year because they’re unhappy with the color of their teeth. But what if we could better understand what’s causing the discoloration in the first place and, perhaps, prevent it? You’re in luck. Your dentist in Lawrenceville is here to share the top four things that often cause tooth discoloration and what you can do about them.
One of the best ways to almost guarantee tooth discoloration is by using tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco. Tobacco products contain ingredients such as tar and nicotine that are known to cause staining, so when tobacco is constantly introduced to the mouth, it’s incredibly common to notice yellowing of the teeth. It’s also common for tobacco users to notice brown spots thanks to the natural brown color of the tobacco itself. The best way to prevent tooth discoloration from tobacco is to avoid it altogether, but your dentist in Lawrenceville can also help reverse discoloration through a variety of smile whitening or cosmetic dentistry treatments.
- Foods & Drinks
Another common explanation behind tooth discoloration is found in our diets and in the foods and drinks we consume. Beverages such as a daily morning cup of coffee or tea, a nightcap of red wine, and soda can all cause teeth to appear brown or discolored. When it comes to foods that can cause tooth discoloration, think of foods that would stain a white shirt — berries, pasta sauce, and beets are all good examples. Additionally, foods and drinks that are highly acidic are known to attack tooth enamel and can cause teeth to appear dull, gray, or yellow. Alternatively, consuming too many sugary treats tends to cause tooth decay which can present itself as dark or brown patches. To decrease your chances of tooth discoloration from foods and drinks, enjoy tooth-staining treats in moderation.
- Tooth Trauma
A car accident, a fall, or a sporting accident can all result in tooth trauma. You’ll probably find it easier to identify this as a cause of tooth discoloration as you’ll be able to link the discoloration to a mouth injury, whereas the other causes occur over time, often without you even realizing it. Tooth trauma usually causes teeth to appear darkened or gray, and this can occur in one or even multiple teeth. The darkening is due to an injury inside the tooth and will require intervention from your dentist in Lawrenceville.
- Poor Oral Hygiene
Another incredibly common explanation for tooth discoloration is poor oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing your teeth every day helps remove plaque and bacteria buildup and also helps protect teeth against decay. If you don’t remove this buildup regularly and effectively with a proper oral hygiene routine, you may start to notice your teeth take on a yellowish or gray appearance – or you may even start to see orange or green spots on your teeth. To protect your smile, make sure you’re brushing twice a day for at least two minutes each time and flossing once a day.
Of course, it’s also important to see your dentist in Lawrenceville every six months for a professional dental cleaning. At these appointments, your dental hygienist will remove even more buildup from your teeth that your at-home brushings can’t remove. This further helps keep your pearly whites white and fight off decay.
Everyone knows that things like coffee, tea, and red wine can take your pearly whites and make them appear dull, stained, or discolored. But your dentist in Lawrenceville wants you to know that there are also foods that can do the opposite and actually make your teeth whiter.
Foods that fall within the dairy food group, such as cheese, milk, and yogurt, contain something called lactic acid. This ingredient can help fight off tooth decay, and this can be directly related to the appearance of your smile. Healthier teeth are free of decay and, therefore, often whiter. More specifically, hard cheeses can help gently scrub the teeth and remove any surface stains. If you can tolerate dairy in your diet it’s a great way to protect your teeth.
Crunchy Fruits & Veggies
Similarly to hard cheeses, raw, crunchy vegetables and fruits, including celery, apples, and carrots, can effectively remove surface stains as we chew them. Besides helping whiten smiles, veggies and fruit can also increase saliva production which easily rinses away dangerous bacteria that could contribute to decay.
While strawberries are bright red and tend to stain clothes or cutting boards, they do quite the opposite for our teeth. Thanks to the enzyme malic acid, strawberries have been known to help wear away surface stains and can help brighten your smile.
Another fruit that can help remove slight tooth staining is pineapple. Pineapple contains bromelain, which has both a natural anti-inflammatory and a cleansing agent. In fact, a study conducted by the International Journal of Dental Hygiene found that bromelain can safely and effectively remove stains.
Water should be a staple in everyone’s diet – it not only helps our bodies function properly but also helps keep mouths healthy. Drinking enough water throughout the day can easily rinse away harmful bacteria before it has a chance to settle in and cause decay and, in turn, discolored teeth.
At our dental office in Lawrenceville, we understand the desire to have a brighter, whiter smile, and eating some of the foods listed above can help improve your smile’s appearance. However, most of these foods will only work on small surface stains and won’t dramatically whiten your teeth. For stains that are deeper in the teeth or were caused by smoking may require a professional smile whitening treatment or cosmetic dentistry such as veneers.
If you’re looking to get a brighter, whiter smile, talk to your dentist in Lawrenceville about the best way to whiten your teeth.
Many people, both children, and adults alike, have crooked teeth. Occasionally, crooked teeth can contribute to poor self-esteem and loss of confidence. But even if crooked teeth don’t bother someone mentally, your dentist in Lawrenceville may still be worried. The truth is, crooked teeth can lead to some oral health (and overall health) complications, some of which can be serious.
Health Problems Caused by Crooked Teeth
Gum Disease – Straight teeth are often healthier teeth because they’re easier to take care of. When teeth aren’t straight or overlap, they can be very difficult to clean thoroughly and properly. This can lead to a buildup of plaque and bacteria, which can cause a whole host of oral health problems such as cavities and gum disease. If not treated, gum disease can progress into periodontitis, which can lead to tooth loss and damaged bone.
Jaw Pain & Chipped Teeth – Those with crooked teeth may also be at greater risk for damaging their teeth because crooked teeth often cause too much wear and tear on teeth. What’s more, is that this increased wear and tear can also put unnecessary stress on the jaw joint, which can lead to jaw pain or even TMJ/TMD.
Sleep Apnea – Crooked teeth don’t only contribute to problems with oral health, but overall health, too. One of the lesser-known side effects of crooked or overlapping teeth is sleep apnea. Oftentimes patients with a small jaw also have overcrowded teeth, and this combination can make it hard to breathe. When the jaw is too narrow we tend to push our tongues into our teeth or rest the tongue in an unnatural place, which can put unnecessary pressure on teeth and cause them to shift. This lack of tongue space can also cause the tongue to fall back and cover the throat while sleeping, thus causing sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a very serious condition that can cause people to stop breathing several times a night and increases the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack.
The Problem with a Bad Bite
Many times, the solution to overcoming a crooked smile is some sort of orthodontic treatment. But there are times when a visually straight smile can also benefit from orthodontics. You see, if someone’s teeth appear straight, they can still have an underlying problem of a bad bite, also known as malocclusion. If not treated, a bad bite could be painful and contribute to long-term complications. Such as:
- Increased risk for chipped teeth
- Speech impairment in kids
- Severe headaches
- Damage to tooth enamel
Your dentist in Lawrenceville can help determine if you have a bad bite even if you have straight teeth and recommend the best treatment.
Causes of Crooked Teeth
There’s no one, concrete thing that causes crooked teeth. In fact, there are many causes of crooked teeth, some of which may be unavoidable. Crooked teeth can be caused by:
- Poor habits as a child such as thumb sucking
- Early tooth loss before an adult tooth is ready to erupt
- A small jaw
- Facial injury
- Mouth breathing
- Incorrect tongue posture
If you’re curious about whether your teeth could benefit from some form of orthodontia, we encourage you to call your Lawrenceville dentist to schedule a consultation to talk about your concerns and options.
Every time you turn on the TV these days or read something online, there seems to be an ad for do-it-yourself or DIY teeth aligners. They promise a straighter smile without a trip to see a trained professional. Your dentist in Lawrenceville will tell you to be cautious about mail-order aligners for a few reasons. After all, this is your smile we’re talking about. If it doesn’t work correctly, you run the risk of a bad bite, poor alignment, and adverse effects on your overall health.
The Biggest Risks to Your Bite
No matter what kind of treatment or procedure you want for your smile, it’s always best to work with a professional. Other than keeping up with your at-home brushing and flossing like a champ, there’s not too much else you should be doing to your smile yourself. These mail-order, or direct-to-consumer orthodontic options are often not monitored by a dental health professional. So, who’s there to check in on your progress?
The American Association of Orthodontists suggests that every type of straightening treatment plan be monitored by a dental health professional like your Lawrenceville dentist. This regular interaction allows you to communicate any concerns you may have. It also gives the doctor an idea of how well your treatment is progressing. Orthodontic treatment without supervision could lead to issues that are painful and irreversible down the road.
Avoiding Temptations is Hard
When the commercial comes across the screen featuring beautiful people and their straight smiles, it’s easy to be sucked in. Couple that with clever marketing and the guarantee of a straighter smile and it becomes even harder to ignore. What it comes down to is cost.
When you’re promised a straighter smile at half the price, you’re instantly attracted and may be ready to buy. But how do you know what you’re getting? Normally with the DIY products, you make an at-home dental impression… and you had better cross your fingers that everything was done right. Then a series of clear aligners are created and mailed to you. You wear them without ever seeing a doctor to make sure you’re not damaging your bite or smile.
Know What’s Right
What the ads don’t tell you is that not everyone or every smile is fit for clear aligner orthodontic treatment. Sometimes these aligners aren’t enough to get your teeth to move into a more desirable, healthy position. Chances are, to get the results you want, you’re going to need some serious tooth movement. If your case is complicated, wasting your money on mail-order, DIY aligners will NOT give you the straight, confident smile you desire.
The moral of the story? Be careful about choosing convenience over expertise.
Are you or someone in your family ready for a straighter, healthier smile? Then forget about the TV ads and call our Lawrenceville dental office today for a consultation. We have the cutting-edge technology to be able to assess your smile and your bite to find out what orthodontic treatment is right for you. Better yet, if we find something that’s going to work for you, we’ll be there with you every step of the way. We can answer questions, make sure your treatment is progressing normally, and help you with aftercare needs, like a custom retainer.
You may have seen recent ads for do-it-yourself dental veneers pop up on your social media news feed, or stumbled across veneers that you can purchase online through various retailers. While DIY dental veneers may sound like a quick and cheap fix, there are several concerns your dentist in Lawrenceville wants you to know about.
What Are DIY Veneers?
DIY dental veneers are inexpensive alternatives to a professional and custom-made solution from your dentist in Lawrenceville. They typically come in two varieties — one that uses molds of your teeth and one that does not. Unlike their professional counterparts, DIY veneers are temporary, removable, and are held in place only using dental adhesive.
Concerns About DIY Veneers
Those looking to enhance the appearance of their smile may be first attracted to the low cost of DIY veneers. But these temporary fixtures do not come without concerns.
- Temporary – DIY veneers are designed to only be worn occasionally and for short periods of time. This really only allows someone to have a brighter, straighter, more attractive smile for a few hours. Professional cosmetic dentistry and veneers from our dental office in Lawrenceville give you a permanent smile every day of your life.
- Longevity – The materials used to create these cheap alternatives to custom veneers are typically low quality. This means you may need to replace temporary DIY veneers several times.
- Not Custom – Even the DIY veneers that require you to take molds of your teeth and send them off to the manufacturer aren’t incredibly custom. The final result can be uncomfortable and may look unrealistic.
- Bite Problems – One of the larger concerns of DIY veneers is that the manufacturer is not taking your bite into consideration when making the fixture. This means you may accidentally shift your bite or put unnecessary pressure on your teeth and jaw. This can create pain, discomfort, and, if not treated, more problems down the road.
- Decay – When a dental appliance does not fit well (and DIY veneers often don’t), there’s often a space between the appliance and the teeth or gums. This space gives food and bacteria a great place to hide which can easily lead to decay, cavities, and again, more problems such as the need for a root canal or crown.
Every patient’s mouth is unique, as are their goals and concerns. The only way to make sure you’re investing your money into something that you will be happy with long-term is to talk with your dentist in Lawrenceville. There are many cosmetic dentistry treatments available, including veneers, that can improve your smile safely and permanently. Ensure that your results are truly custom and truly what you’re looking for. Schedule an appointment today.
Any dentist, along with everyone at our Lawrenceville dental office, will tell you that one of the most gratifying, tear-jerking moments we have doing what we do is when someone’s smile and life is improved, and they become more confident. One of the areas of dental care that allow us the tools and treatments to complete this kind of transformation is cosmetic dentistry. There are so many special ways it can be used to fix or enhance your teeth. Let’s learn a little more about cosmetic dentistry and all it has to offer you.
Can Any Dentist Do Cosmetic Dentistry?
The answer to this question is generally, yes. However, some dentists are more qualified and trained to handle cosmetic cases compared to their dental peers. If you’re considering any cosmetic change to your smile, it’s always a good idea to check out your options if you don’t have a dentist in Lawrenceville.
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry says you’ll want to check out these three things while you’re researching a dentist or an office that’s the right fit for you:
1) Before & After Shots – Any dentist who’s proud of their cosmetic cases should have some good before and after photos for you to see so that you can compare results. They’re usually available on most dental office websites and will tell you what kind of work a patient has had done so you can decide if you’d like to learn more about a specific procedure.
2) Continuing Education – You can always find out if a dentist or dental team you’re considering is up-to-date with the latest treatment techniques and technology. There are so many innovations and changes that occur within cosmetic dentistry as the years’ progress, so it’s important to know what’s available and how to put it to good use.
3) References – Checking patient testimonials or reading online reviews can be helpful if you’re looking to find a cosmetic dentist that provides the services you need with office hours that work for you.
Common Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures
Some cosmetic dentists offer a wider variety of services than others, so it’s best to know what you’re considering having done. These are just a few of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments available today, across the country:
- Veneers – Most people know of or have at least heard about dental veneers. They can take your teeth from drab to Hollywood-worthy in just a short amount of time. Veneers are usually made of porcelain or plastic and are very thin. Your dentist places them over the front of your teeth for an immediate upgrade to the shape and color of your smile. Veneers can help you say goodbye to unevenly spaced, chipped, broken, or discolored teeth.
- Crowns – You also might know these cosmetic dentistry solutions by another name called caps. We can use crowns to help fix deteriorating teeth by covering your tooth for better appearance and function. They tend to have the longest life expectancy compared to other popular cosmetic restorations.
- Bonding – This tooth-colored material is expertly placed on teeth to help them be more uniform and free from gaps or discolorations. Slightly decayed or chipped teeth can often be fixed with bonding because it can cover the entire surface of your tooth for a change in shape and color.
- Whitening – Teeth whitening is probably the most widely recognized cosmetic dental treatment because it’s something we can do in the dentist’s office or the comfort of our own home. This can help lighten and brighten your smile for any big occasion.
We hope you’ve learned a little something about cosmetic dentistry today. If you’re considering making a change to your smile, please don’t hesitate to talk to your Lawrenceville dentist to find out what treatments would work for you. Maybe it’s time to boost your smile and your confidence?
Our dental office in Lawrenceville understands that losing or breaking a filling can be scary. It may even be a a little painful. But many times a lost filling isn’t a dental emergency. However, with that said, it’s still important to treat it appropriately and in a timely manner. We’re here to walk you through the steps you should take if you do lose a filling and what you can do to help protect yourself.
- Pick Up the Phone
The very first thing you should do if you lose or break a filling is call your dentist in Lawrenceville. Explain what happened, any symptoms you have, and if you’re in any pain. Sometimes our dental office has appointments available and may be able to see you the same day. If not, make sure you get the earliest appointment possible. If left untreated, a lost filling can result in more decay and damage.
During the appointment your dental team will examine the area and check for any other damage. They’ll then make a recommendation for the best treatment for you. Treatment may be another filling or it could be a dental crown. If the area is large, a crown is usually the treatment of choice.
- Take it Easy
While you’re waiting for your appointment you should try your best to avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the filling once was. This can help keep food and bacteria out of the space left by the filling.
- Clean it Well, Clean it Often
After you do eat, rinse your mouth out with warm salt water to rinse away any lingering food particles. You can also gently brush the area with a toothbrush if it doesn’t cause pain.
- Take Some Medicine
Pain reliever can work wonders in relieving any sensitivity or discomfort that may come along with losing a filling. Use what typically works best for you and follow the dosage instructions on the label.
- Try Temporary Filler
Many pharmacies carry temporary filling material made with zinc oxide. Using this to block up the gap in your tooth will not only help keep food out, but can ease pain too. Just remember that this is a temporary fix.
Even though dental fillings are incredibly strong and can last for years, sometimes things happen that can cause them to fall out. If this happens, don’t wait to call our Lawrenceville dental office to schedule an appointment.
Whether due to aging, smoking, or drinking too much tooth-staining tea, there are plenty of things that can cause our pearly whites to be, well… not so white. If you’re one of the many people who are trying to score a whiter smile by using whitening toothpastes, our dental office in Lawrenceville wants you to read on…
3 Pros of Whitening Toothpaste
There can be some benefits using whitening toothpaste. Some of these positives may include:
- Effective Removal of Surface Stains. Most whitening toothpastes can effectively scrub away surface stains. So far, the stuff looks pretty good.
- Easy to Use. If you can use regular toothpaste, you can use a whitening toothpaste. Just dab a little on your toothbrush and gently brush twice a day.
- Most Affordable Option. At just a few bucks a tube, whitening toothpaste is appealing to many who are trying to get a whiter smile.
3 Cons of Whitening Toothpaste
However, using a whitening toothpaste isn’t all positive. While it may be effective, easy to use, and fairly cheap, there are also some disadvantages including:
- It Takes a Long Time to See Results. A key part of making whitening toothpaste work is using it regularly. This means brushing with it twice a day, every day. Even then it could take weeks to see a change in color.
- Could Cause More Harm Than Good. Whitening toothpastes are packed with abrasive ingredients. That’s another part of what makes it work. But it’s also what can cause damage. The abrasive texture of whitening toothpastes can wear away enamel, leaving teeth at risk for decay and sensitivity. Thinner enamel can also cause teeth to appear darker, which really isn’t the look we were going for.
- It May Not Work for You. Sometimes tooth staining goes deeper than the surface, making whitening toothpastes essentially ineffective. But don’t panic. Cosmetic dentistry such as dental veneers can still transform your smile.
Alternatives to Whitening Toothpaste
Even though whitening toothpaste tends to be the go-to option for getting a whiter smile, there are other things you can do to help get, and keep, your teeth pearly white.
- After drinking tea or coffee, rinse your mouth out with water.
- Stop smoking or using chewing tobacco.
- Eat more apples, cheese, or celery to gently rub away potential stains.
- Consider a professional smile whitening from your dentist in Lawrenceville.
The best way to whiten your smile depends on several things, and there is no one solution that’s right for everyone. To find out what will help get you a whiter smile, we welcome you to schedule an appointment our Lawrenceville dental office.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have naturally straight, white, healthy teeth. Often times things like aging, genetics, or even accidents can affect their appearance and make people want to hide their smiles from the world. But fortunately, nobody needs to live with a smile they don’t really like. With cosmetic dentistry from our dental office in Lawrenceville, we can transform any smile into one you love and are proud to show off.
What is Cosmetic Dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is the term used to explain a number of dental treatments that are effective at not only enhancing the appearance of a smile, but can also aid in maintaining proper function. Cosmetic dentistry treatments can fix a number of common dental concerns including:
- Crooked teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- A gummy smile
Which Cosmetic Dentistry Treatment is Right for You?
While there numerous forms of cosmetic dentistry available, the same solution isn’t appropriate for everyone, even if their concerns are similar. Sometimes the recommended treatment for one person’s crooked teeth is different from what’s right for their friend, for example. Let’s look at some common cosmetic dentistry treatments and explore the variety of problems they can solve.
Tooth Whitening – Just like the name suggests, professional tooth whitening transforms a dull or discolored smile into a bright, white, dazzling grin.
Composite Bonding – Perfect for several dental problems, composite bonding can help fix chips, cracks, crookedness, and discoloration.
Porcelain Veneers – Similarly to bonding, veneers cover the tooth surface and correct staining, chips, and breaks, and straighten smiles. They’re also successful at changing the shape of individual teeth.
Smile Makeovers – A complete smile transformation comes in the form of a smile makeover. Smile makeovers allow your dentist in Lawrenceville to combine several cosmetic dentistry treatments to achieve your dream smile.
If you’re ready to fall in love with your smile, give our Lawrenceville dental office a call to schedule an appointment today. We’ll talk about the aspects of your teeth that you aren’t crazy about and discuss the best treatment options to give you a smile you’re proud of.
Accepting patients from Lawrenceville, Hamilton, and surrounding areas.