How To Prevent Cavities & Tooth Decay
Cavities, often referred to as tooth decay, are tiny holes that develop in the hard surface of your teeth. They are most common in children and teenagers, but they can affect everyone including infants and toddlers. Take a closer look at what causes cavities and how you can prevent them.
Causes of Cavities
Cavities typically occur as a result of poor oral health habits but other various factors can increase the risk of getting a cavity, including:
- Dry mouth. Dry mouth occurs when there is a lack of saliva in the mouth. Saliva helps wash away food stuck on the teeth and it counters the acid produced from bacteria in the mouth, which reduces the chance for cavities.
- Foods and drinks. Certain foods aren’t as easily washed away from saliva, making them more likely to cause decay. Foods you should limit include: ice cream, honey, sugar, soda, cake, chips, cookies, and hard candy.
- Constant snacking or sipping. Drinking or eating frequently throughout the day results in increased bacteria in your mouth. This bacteria produce the acids that attack tooth enamel.
- Lack of fluoride. Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps prevent cavities and can reverse the early stage of tooth decay. Use a fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash to help reduce your chance of cavities.
Regular dental visits and daily brushing and flossing are the best protection against cavities. But, cavities left untreated get larger and larger, affecting the deeper layers of your teeth. Deeper cavities result in higher chances of experiencing severe toothache and infection. So, when it comes to cavities, prevention is key. Below are some of our cavity preventions tips:
- Brush with fluoride toothpaste. Brush and floss twice a day, ideally after each meal.
- Visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Professional teeth cleanings remove plaque that builds up overtime which isn’t removed by regular brushing and flossing. Going to the dentist twice a year is one of the best cavity prevention options.
- Dental sealants. Sealants protect the tooth enamel from harmful plaque and bacteria.
What Is The Best Teeth Whitening Option?
Teeth can become discolored for a variety of reasons and many people want their teeth to be bright and white, so they look into teeth whitening. When it comes to getting a brighter smile, you can whiten your teeth at home or get a professional treatment. At home whitening typically includes over-the-counter products like whitening strips, pens, or toothpaste. Professional whitening includes custom-made whitening trays you take home or an in-office appointment. What might work best for some, might not necessarily work best for another. So what’s the best teeth whitening option for you?
Both over-the counter and professional treatments use peroxide bleaching agents as the main active ingredient. The difference between each option is the amount of peroxide it contains. Over-the-counter solutions use 3 – 20 percent where professional solutions contain 14 – 43 percent. Solutions with higher amounts of peroxide should be left on for a shorter amount of time. Keeping the solution on longer will dehydrate your teeth and make them more prone to sensitivity.
Professional teeth whitening options are much safer and more effective. Additionally, it ensures that all of the proper precautions are taken. So, when it comes to protecting your gums, the whitening agent only gets on your teeth.
At-Home Whitening Products
Over-the-counter products are cheaper, generally take longer to see results, and have limitations depending on your tooth color and health prior. If used incorrectly, at-home teeth whitening kits can lead to burned gums, tooth sensitivity, or pain. It’s always best to talk with your dentist to decide the best treatment option for you.
If you choose to go for an over-the-counter solution, we recommend that you use one from the list of bleaching products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.Bleaching Products with ADA Seal of Acceptance Learn More About Teeth Whitening
What Are the Pros and Cons of Dental Implants?
One of the hottest topics in dentistry today is the use of dental implants. Implants have certainly revolutionized the field of replacement teeth. If you are considering tooth implants for missing teeth, you need to know the facts. There are pros and cons of dental implants that are carefully weighed by your dentist before surgery can be scheduled.
Research continually shows that dental implants are the best long term solution to replace missing teeth. However, like any type of surgery, there are advantages and disadvantages.
Cons of Dental Implants
No procedure is right for everyone, including dental implants. While there are some risks associated with dental implants, they are relatively mild. The disadvantages include:
1. You have to meet a set of requirements
In order to have dental implant surgery, you first have to meet certain criteria. As the procedure involves anchoring the implant to your jaw bone, if you’ve experienced significant bone loss as a result of losing teeth, there may not be enough for the dental implant to be successful. You also have to be in good health so your jaw bone can fully recover.
2. The cost of the procedure
While dental implants are the best long term solution for tooth loss, they’re not always the most cost effective. However, dental implants are well worth the price for the comfort, confidence and natural feel they give you.
3. The procedure can be lengthy
Dental implants are not a quick fix and can take several months to complete. If you’re replacing an existing damaged tooth, this will first need to be removed. Your dentist will then need to prepare the tooth site before fitting the implant anchor. Once the anchor has been fitted, you’ll need to wait several months while it heals and the surrounding bone grows. The final stage of the procedure involves placing the artificial tooth.
Pros of Dental Implants
While there are some drawbacks to dental implants, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
1. They look and feel like natural teeth
Dental implants have the appearance of real teeth. In fact, once your implant has been fitted, you’ll hardly be able to tell the difference between your replacement tooth and your real teeth. Implants also won’t feel any different from your regular teeth. Since the implants are anchored to your jaw, they’ll feel just as strong as your regular teeth too.
2. You can eat and chew with ease
Unlike dentures, implants won’t feel any different than your regular teeth when eating and chewing. Once the dental implant procedure is complete, you can eat what you want! Whether you fancy crunchy snacks, chewy foods, or hot or cold drinks, you can eat and drink without concern — just remember not to overdo the sugary treats.
3. Dental implants can last a lifetime
Implants are a long-lasting tooth replacement solution. You may need to replace the crowns every 10-15 years, but if you look after the implants, they can last a lifetime.
4. They’re easy to take care of
You should take care of your implants the same way you would take care of your regular teeth with daily brushing and flossing, regular dental checkups and a healthy diet.
5. They prevent bone loss
Dental implants are anchored into your jaw, similar to your real teeth. The screw thread of the implant acts as the root of a natural tooth, so with dental implants, your jaw bone remains strong and you won’t experience bone loss.
You can see that the advantages heavily outweigh the disadvantages. Dental implants have been proven to be a great option for people who suffer from tooth loss. We always want to make our patients look and feel great, and dental implants is a great way to do that. We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have, so contact us today!Learn More About Dental Implants
Insights On Invisalign and Other Clear Aligners
Braces can feel like a bit of a contradiction. You want a clean, straight smile, but you first have to wear a highly visible device on your teeth for months on end. You want a well-aligned bite, but for a while braces make some day-to-day tasks, such as brushing teeth and eating some foods, more difficult.
Fortunately, for those who want to show off their pretty pearly whites as they go AND show off the results of their realignment as soon as possible, one option is clear plastic removable aligners such as Invisalign aligner systems.
The Benefits of Clear Aligners
Clear aligners, as their name suggests, are clear plastic devices intended to straighten your teeth over time. They are nearly undetectable by observers. Not only are they more difficult to see (getting you closer to being able to show off that perfect smile), but they can be taken out temporarily when needed, allowing you to brush your teeth or eat without distraction.
The Clear Aligner Fitting Process
For most clear aligners, including Invisalign systems, your dentist will take a mold of your teeth and send it in. From there, orthodontic experts will determine the difference in positions between where your teeth are and where you want them to be and will create several stages of aligners to gradually move your teeth into the desired position. You’ll have to wear the aligners most of the time—about 22 hours a day. At certain points in the process as your teeth change position, you’ll move on to the next device, switching them out until your teeth are right where you want them to be.
Alternatively, there are kits you can order to take a mold of your teeth at home. This is an overall less expensive process, but you aren’t likely to achieve the same results and you lose the benefit of your dentist’s expertise. Clear aligners may not be the best solution for you, so it’s best to consult your dentist beforehand if you decide to go this route.
How to Pay for Clear Aligners
Depending on the degree of work your teeth need, an Invisalign clear aligner treatment can cost between $3,000 and $7,000. According to Invisalign’s website, your insurance may be able to pay as much as $3,000 of the cost. For the amount your insurance doesn’t cover, you have some options.
Many dentists offer payment plans, which allows you to split a large bill into smaller payments over time. This makes payment much more manageable for some people and can be useful in emergency situations when you don’t have time to save money for the treatment before you begin.
Of course, if you can save the money ahead of time, that’s probably the better option. If you’re planning to save up for an Invisalign clear aligner treatment or something similar, you may want to consider opening a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA). Accounts such as these allow you to take a certain amount of money out of your paycheck, pretax, to pay for some expenses—including, in some cases, clear aligners. The types of accounts you’re allowed to open and the amount of money you can put into them will vary depending on your situation, so talk to your bank or another financial professional about your options.
For those who can use them, clear aligners such as Invisalign can be the least intrusive solution for straightening teeth. It’s nice not to have to worry about the looks and inconveniences of traditional braces! The initial cost of clear aligners may seem daunting, but options are available to help pay for them. If you have any questions about clear aligners or other methods of straightening your teeth, please give us a call at (614) 799-5576 . We’ll be happy to walk you through your options and help you find the best possible solution for your smile.Learn More About Invisalign
Tis’ the Season
Tis’ the season of giving! Now that we have wrapped up our Halloween candy buyback, we are focusing on the holidays in November and December. We are so grateful for our Dental Reflections Dublin patients and our community, and we want to focus on giving back this holiday season. There are so many people that are not as fortunate as others that struggle this time of year or all year and can really use some extra help. We want to be able to contribute to these local charities and help those in need.
For the rest of this month and next month until Friday, December 20th, we are collecting holiday donations. These include gently used Winter clothing items and non-perishable food items. These can include canned goods, boxed goods, and anything that can hold up for us to donate to the Dublin food pantry. Winter clothing items can include hats, gloves, scarves, coats, and even light jackets. We have already seen chilling temperatures this year, and we’re sure there are plenty more to come.
For each item you bring in during our collection period, you will receive one entry into our drawing for a Glo Whitening kit. Glo whitening is currently one of the leaders in whitening. It is one of the most powerful teeth whitening options out there. It uses special heat and light technology to activate the whitening gel, speeding up the process, and making it even more effective. Our patients tend to get up to 5-8 shades whiter with Glo! An extra bonus is that patients do not report any sensitivity with Glo like some of the others out there cause.
We are also offering a $15 fluoride varnish to all our patients that participate in donating items. This normally values at $41. It’s a great way to remineralize weak areas in the mouth and help prevent cavities. It can also help with sensitivity.
We are excited about this opportunity to spread cheer this holiday season and hope you take part in donating to a great cause!!
What is Dental Bonding?
Dental bonding is a cosmetic procedure used to fix imperfections in the teeth. It is a great option for those that want a small fix and a less invasive procedure than crowns or veneers. An advantage of dental bonding is no tooth structure has to be removed before placing it. It is added to the existing portion of the tooth to give teeth a more natural, flawless look.
Should I Get Dental Bonding?
Many times, we see patients that have teeth that are genetically undersized. The most common teeth for this to occur are the ones right outside of your top, front teeth. The term for them is a peg lateral because they are your lateral incisors. Many people will feel self-conscious about these teeth because they are disproportionate, but they aren’t sure what to do about them. They may fear cost or a procedure itself. Dental bonding is a great option for these patients. The composite or white filling material is added to the tooth and fortunately a lot of times the patient doesn’t even have to be numb for this. The material blends evenly with the tooth, giving it a fuller, even appearance to match the other teeth. This can increase confidence in a patient and give them that smile they deserve.
What Else is Dental Bonding Used for?
If a patient has a small chip or wears on the teeth, bonding can also be done if there is no active decay. Bonding can be reversed if a patient decides a tooth looks too bulky or unnatural. Thankfully, at Dental Reflections Dublin, Dr. As-Sanie is a perfectionist and will be sure you are happy with the result before leaving our office. She also wants to make sure it looks natural and she feels comfortable as well with the work she has done. The first step to inquiring about cosmetic bonding would be to schedule a consultation at our office. Dr. As-Sanie will decide if bonding is right for you and then proceed with scheduling the procedure. Call our dental office in Dublin today at 614.799.5576 for your consultation on dental bonding.
CPAP Alternatives: How We Can Help
A CPAP is not the only choice.
Let’s talk about CPAPs and sleep apnea.
It is well known that a compliance rate for a CPAP is low. While they have improved them over the years by creating softer masks and quieter machines, the rate still is as low as 30% and ranges to 60%, making CPAP alternatives appealing.
If someone is using their CPAP less than 50% of the time, the benefits are very low and results will not be seen. While we do have some patients who absolutely love their CPAP, others cannot tolerate it. Plus, we have a lot of patients that travel for work and it is difficult to travel with a CPAP.
Early signs of sleep apnea
We know that a CPAP is the gold standard, especially for those with moderate to severe sleep apnea. However, if someone is not being compliant and can simply not tolerate it, we have CPAP alternatives. Being in dentistry, we as providers see some of the first signs of sleep apnea.
There are many signs and symptoms that may indicate a person is having trouble getting enough oxygen when they sleep. Here is a list of the most common ones:
- Signs of wear on the teeth from clenching and grinding
- Large tongue and/or tonsils
- Frequent headaches in the mornings/jaw pain
- Reports of snoring or unrestful sleep
- High blood pressure medication and/or anxiety medication
There are many more to look out for but these are the most common.
Home sleep study
A home sleep study can help determine if someone is suffering from sleep apnea.
Just because one of the symptoms listed above applies to someone, it does not mean they have sleep apnea; it just means we may recommend a home sleep study or talk to them in further detail about their sleeping habits and how they feel day to day.
About the sleep dental appliance
If someone has mild to moderate sleep apnea or even severe and cannot tolerate their CPAP, they may be a great candidate for our dental sleep appliance.
What it does is help titrate the lower jaw forward so that while sleeping, it allows a person to receive more oxygen. It is amazing the results we have seen and how much better our patients are feeling that are using the sleep appliance.
If you are struggling with sleep and feel terrible in the mornings, please contact us at (614) 799-5576 to learn more about our home sleep study and how we can help you feel better.
Unlike a crown, a veneer is much more conservative, and does not require removing a large portion of the tooth to place. A veneer is a very thin, porcelain “shell” like covering that wraps around the entire front of a tooth. Veneers can help people with the following:
- Self-confidence-smiling without feeling embarrassed about flaws or imperfections in your teeth
- Giving someone a younger, more vibrant appearance
- Helping you achieve your smile goals
Who Can Benefit?
One of the biggest benefits to veneers is improving the appearance of teeth, giving a person a more uniform, brighter, and natural looking smile. Typically, people with the following will benefit most from veneers:
- Pointed or unusually shaped/smaller teeth
- Chipped or broken teeth that cannot withstand bonding as a permanent, long lasting solution
- Small spacing or crowding of the teeth
- Defects or discoloration in the teeth including staining that cannot be fixed with whitening
A consultation is the first step in seeing if you would be a good candidate for veneers; they aren’t for everyone.
Here at Dental Reflections Dublin, Dr. As-Sanie is great at helping patients navigate the difference between their wants and needs. What you may have in mind may be different from what she recommends. She does a thorough job at explaining why she is recommending a specific dental treatment and advantages and disadvantages to each procedure. It is typically recommended placing veneers on all front 6 teeth so that the smile looks uniform.
Veneers can last a lifetime if done correctly. Dr. As-Sanie is very meticulous with her work and is a perfectionist.
To get scheduled for your consultation, call us at 614.799.5576.