Posts for: August, 2018
You may be able to slow the aging process with healthy habits but you can’t stop it. Every part of your body will change, including your teeth and gums. And even with great dental hygiene and care, there are at least two aging outcomes you may not be able to avoid: discoloration and tooth wear.
Fortunately though, we have ways to counteract these effects and help you enjoy a much younger-looking smile. These techniques range in complexity and cost, but when tailored to your individual situation they can make a world of difference and restore your confidence in your smile.
Brightening teeth that have yellowed with age can be as simple as undergoing teeth whitening. The bleaching solution in this procedure (performed in the office or at home with a prescribed kit) can minimize enamel staining built up over the years. It can even be performed with some control over the level of desired brightness. Although whitening isn’t permanent, with proper care and regular touch-ups you can keep your youthful, dazzling smile for some time.
Tooth whitening, however, may not be enough in some cases of discoloration. If so, you can gain a bright new smile with porcelain veneers or crowns. A veneer is a thin layer of tooth-colored material bonded to the front of a tooth; a porcelain crown completely covers a tooth and is usually cemented onto it.
Normal tooth wearing can also affect the appearance of older teeth, making them look shorter and with less rounded edges than younger teeth. Veneers and crowns can be utilized for this problem too, as well as enamel shaping with a dental drill to minimize those sharp edges and project a softer, younger appearance. In extreme cases, surgically reshaping the gums can give teeth a longer and a more natural look.
These are just a few of the ways we can address these two aging problems, as well as others like receding gums. Depending on your situation, it’s quite possible we can help you take years off your smile.
Great oral health--it's a wonderful personal asset, and you're grateful for it. However, over time, your straight, strong smile has become dull and yellowish. Happily, your dentists in Ringwood, NJ, Dr. David Kahn and Dr. John Pergolizzi, offer in-office or at-home teeth whitening. This popular cosmetic service brightens stained tooth enamel by as many as eight shades. Learn about this effective and safe procedure that will leave you smiling.
Tooth color changes
It's almost inevitable. Dark drinks and foods, poor oral hygiene, use of some prescription drugs, the aging process and more put staining material deep into tooth enamel. While professional cleaning helps, often it won't remove stubborn, long-standing stains.
Over-the-counter toothpastes, rinses, and strips help, but often, they cause dental and gingival (gum) sensitivity or simply don't do the job. What's a teen or adult dental patient to do?
Enter professional teeth whitening
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry says it's today's most sought-after aesthetic treatment. Done either at-home over several days or in the Ringwood dental office in just about an hour, professional teeth whitening produces tremendous results with no residual effects. And, the color lasts!
How it works
First, Dr. Kahn or Dr. Pergolizzi examines your teeth and gums to look for any decay, cracked restorations or gum disease. If all is well, your dentist will offer in-office or at-home whitening. Both deliver powerful hydrogen peroxide gel to top and bottom teeth. Peroxide is a safe bleaching agent which actually lifts staining organic matter right out of tooth surfaces.
In the office, the treatment takes only an hour. Your gums and lips will be protected with a plastic dam as the dentist applies the gel to your teeth. Allowed to penetrate your tooth enamel, the gel is rinsed off, leaving your teeth bright and shiny.
If you select the at-home version, you'll receive customized acrylic trays to fill with a less concentrated version of the whitening gel. You'll fill and wear the trays daily, keeping them in place for a prescribed amount of time. Results are the same as in-office whitening.
Keeping it bright
A newly whitened smile stays bright with routine brushing (twice a day) and flossing (once a day). Also, choose your foods and beverages carefully, limiting items known to stain teeth and restorations--coffee, tea, blueberries, curry, and tomato sauce as examples. Avoid all forms of tobacco, and drink plenty of water to wash your teeth clean and increase saliva and its helpful enzymes. See your dentist every six months for a cleaning and check-up. Overall, your teeth will look great for years, with just occasional whitening touch-ups.
Is it for you?
Your dentist offers many wonderful ways to improve the appearance of your smile. Economical teeth whitening is just one of them. To find out more, why not contact the office in Ringwood, NJ, and arrange a cosmetic dentistry consultation with Dr. Kahn or Dr. Pergolizzi? You'll be amazed at the many options you have. Call (973) 835-3900.
Unlike the months on either side, August isn't known for major holidays. But it does have one cause for celebration: National Fresh Breath Day! True, this observance will probably never achieve big-time recognition. Yet everyone would agree that fresh breath is something to appreciate! Unfortunately, bad breath is a persistent problem for many people. The first step in treating it is to identify the cause. Here are 5 common causes of bad breath:
1. Poor oral hygiene. Certain types of oral bacteria cause bad breath, and the mouth provides a perfect environment for them—especially when dental plaque and food debris is not well cleansed. So to keep your breath fresh, maintain a diligent oral hygiene routine. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing at least once a day. For an extra-clean mouth, use a tongue scraper—a plastic tool about the size of a toothbrush that's available in most drug stores. This will remove bacteria and food debris from your tongue for extra freshness.
2. Oral diseases. Bad odors in your mouth may also be caused by infections—which is what tooth decay and gum disease actually are. Sometimes old fillings wear out, allowing bacteria to re-infect a tooth that was once treated for decay. Other signs of these common oral diseases include tooth pain and bleeding or puffy gums. If you notice any of these, don't ignore it—make a dental appointment today!
3. Diet. Smelly foods will give you smelly breath; it's that simple. And the odors may linger after you have eaten them. When onion, garlic and other pungent foods are digested, their odor-producing substances enter your bloodstream and proceed to your lungs—which can affect how your breath smells. If you suspect your dietary habits are causing bad breath, try eliminating certain foods (at least temporarily) and see if that helps.
4. Dry mouth. Saliva helps cleanse your mouth, so reduced saliva flow can lead to bad breath. This accounts for "morning breath," which is caused when the mouth dries out during sleep (especially if you are a mouth-breather). However, some people don't produce enough saliva throughout the day. Sometimes it's just that they don't drink enough water. But a very common cause of chronic dry mouth is regular use of medications, both prescription and over-the-counter. If you notice that medication is drying out your mouth, let your doctor know. And stay hydrated!
5. Smoking. Given that smoking increases your risk for many serious diseases, including oral cancer, the fact that it can lead to bad breath seems almost trivial. Still, it's worth noting that smoking causes mouth odor both directly and indirectly by reducing the flow of saliva and promoting gum disease. In fact, tobacco in all forms is a hazard to your health.
If you'd like more information on bad breath, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Warning Signs of Periodontal (Gum) Disease” and “Dry Mouth.”
Fluoride is an important weapon in the fight against tooth decay. Fluoride consumption and other applications are especially beneficial during children's dental development for building strong teeth long-term.
But the truism "too much of a good thing" could aptly apply to fluoride. If a child consumes too much fluoride over an extended period of time, it could cause a condition called enamel fluorosis in which the enamel surface develops mottled or streaked staining. It's not harmful to the tooth's health, but it can greatly diminish a person's smile appearance.
To avoid fluorosis, it's important with the help of your dentist to know and regulate as much as possible the amount of fluoride your child receives. Here are 3 fluoride sources you should manage.
Toothpaste. Many manufacturers add fluoride to their toothpaste formula, usually an important way to receive this tooth-strengthening chemical. But younger children tend to swallow more toothpaste than older children or adults. Because the chemical builds up in the body over time, swallowing toothpaste every day could potentially elevate your child's fluoride levels. To avoid this, just use a "smear" of toothpaste on the brush for children under age 2, and a pea-sized amount for older children.
Your water system. About three-quarters of all public water utilities add fluoride to their water as an added measure for tooth decay prevention. The amount can vary from system to system, although the maximum amount recommended by the U.S. Government is 0.70 parts per million (PPM). You can ask your local water system how much fluoride, if any, is present or they add to your drinking water.
Bottled water. Any type of bottled beverage (water, juices, sodas, etc.) could contain various levels of fluoride. Unfortunately there are no labeling requirements regarding its presence, so the most prudent course is to carefully manage the beverages your child drinks, or stay with bottled water marked "de-ionized," "purified," "demineralized" or "distilled," which typically have lower fluoride levels. For babies feeding on milk, you can use the aforementioned bottled waters to mix powder, use ready-to-feed formula (also low in fluoride) or breast-feed.
If you would like more information on fluoride and your baby, 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 “Tooth Development and Infant Formula.”