Posts for: September, 2017
Are you doing all that you can to prevent cavities? It's easy to become a little lax about oral hygiene, particularly if you've been lucky enough to avoid cavities so far. Unfortunately, letting your guard down can increase your tooth decay risk. Our Orange City, FL, dentist, Dr. Andrew Yoon at Cape Vista Dental, shares a few oral hygiene tips that will keep your smile strong and healthy.
Two is the number to remember
Brushing two times a day for two minutes each time will decrease plaque, the sticky film that 's responsible for tooth decay. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle when you brush, making sure to concentrate on each tooth individually. Don't forget to brush the back sides of teeth, too.
Read product labels
Do you look at the labels when you buy toothpaste and mouthwash in Orange City? Reading labels will help you ensure that the products you use offer the maximum protection against cavities. The most effective toothpastes and mouthwashes contain fluoride, a substance that rebuilds weak areas of your tooth enamel by remineralizing them. Look for mouthwashes that also offer anti-cavity protection. These products kill bacteria on your teeth and in your mouth, preventing tooth decay.
Make flossing a priority
Is flossing a daily habit or something you only do occasionally? If you don't floss regularly, plaque builds up between your teeth. In addition to raising your tooth decay risk, failing to floss may also make it more likely that you'll develop gum disease. If plaque remains on your teeth too long, it transforms into tartar, a hard deposit that's the chief culprit in gum disease.
Stay away from sugary snacks
When you eat sugary foods, a chemical reaction occurs in your mouth. Strong acids form, thanks to the combination of sugars and the bacteria in plaque. If these acids remain on your enamel long enough, they'll eat through it and cause cavities. Substituting fruits and vegetables for sugary snacks offers an excellent way to reduce your tooth decay risk.
Good oral hygiene habits, combined with regular dental visits and professional cleanings, are essential for a healthy smile. Call our Orange City, FL, dentist, Dr. Yoon at Cape Vista Dental, at (386) 774-0125 if it's time for your next appointment.
Let’s say you’re traveling to Italy to surprise your girlfriend, who is competing in an alpine ski race… and when you lower the scarf that’s covering your face, you reveal to the assembled paparazzi that one of your front teeth is missing. What will you do about this dental dilemma?
Sound far-fetched? It recently happened to one of the most recognized figures in sports — Tiger Woods. There’s still some uncertainty about exactly how this tooth was taken out: Was it a collision with a cameraman, as Woods’ agent reported… or did Woods already have some problems with the tooth, as others have speculated? We still don’t know for sure, but the big question is: What happens next?
Fortunately, contemporary dentistry offers several good solutions for the problem of missing teeth. Which one is best? It depends on each individual’s particular situation.
Let’s say that the visible part of the tooth (the crown) has been damaged by a dental trauma (such as a collision or a blow to the face), but the tooth still has healthy roots. In this case, it’s often possible to keep the roots and replace the tooth above the gum line with a crown restoration (also called a cap). Crowns are generally made to order in a dental lab, and are placed on a prepared tooth in a procedure that requires two office visits: one to prepare the tooth for restoration and to make a model of the mouth and the second to place the custom-manufactured crown and complete the restoration. However, in some cases, crowns can be made on special machinery right in the dental office, and placed during the same visit.
But what happens if the root isn’t viable — for example, if the tooth is deeply fractured, or completely knocked out and unable to be successfully re-implanted?
In that case, a dental implant is probably the best option for tooth replacement. An implant consists of a screw-like post of titanium metal that is inserted into the jawbone during a minor surgical procedure. Titanium has a unique property: It can fuse with living bone tissue, allowing it to act as a secure anchor for the replacement tooth system. The crown of the implant is similar to the one mentioned above, except that it’s made to attach to the titanium implant instead of the natural tooth.
Dental implants look, function and “feel” just like natural teeth — and with proper care, they can last a lifetime. Although they may be initially expensive, their quality and longevity makes them a good value over the long term. A less-costly alternative is traditional bridgework — but this method requires some dental work on the adjacent, healthy teeth; plus, it isn’t expected to last as long as an implant, and it may make the teeth more prone to problems down the road.
What will the acclaimed golfer do? No doubt Tiger’s dentist will help him make the right tooth-replacement decision.
If you have a gap in your grin — whatever the cause — contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation, and find out which tooth-replacement system is right for you. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implant Surgery” and “Crowns & Bridgework.”
You’ve had crooked teeth since you could remember. Perhaps you and your parents talked about braces when you were a teenager, but it never happened. Now you’re well into your adult years and you’re comfortable with how you look — so why go through the expense and time now to have them straightened?
There’s a good reason to consider orthodontics at any age — improved health. While we mainly associate teeth straightness with an improved smile, the more serious impact of misaligned teeth is on function — how we bite, chew and speak. As with many other areas of life, good form usually makes for good function. When we have crooked teeth, we may not be able to chew our food properly or speak as well as we could if our teeth were aligned properly.
Misaligned bites (malocclusions) can also have an impact on individual tooth health. Because they don’t interact efficiently with their opposing counterparts during chewing or biting, teeth can become loose or migrate further out of alignment.
While improvement in oral health is the primary reason for considering treatment for a malocclusion, don’t discount the benefit of orthodontics to your appearance. Your smile impacts many aspects of your life, including career and social relationships. A straighter, more attractive smile could also boost your self-confidence: even if you think you’ve grown accustomed to your smile, straightening your teeth could vastly change how you view yourself and how you believe others view you.
And if you’re dreading the look and feel of metal braces, orthodontic treatments have made giant strides in the last few decades. Clear aligners, for example, are much less noticeable than traditional fixed braces (and can be removed for special occasions), but still effective for moving teeth. There’s never been a better time to consider straightening your teeth — and change the course of your health and your life.
If you would like more information on orthodontics for adults, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Why Straighten Teeth.”