As with all other parts of your body, your diet has a major impact on everything from the condition of your teeth to your smile. While most people automatically think that soda, candy and sugary desserts cause the most dental damage, other “healthier” snacks like dried fruits and raisins can also wreak havoc in your mouth if they glue themselves to the hard-to-reach places. To ensure your teeth don’t bite the dust before your body does, make your dental health a priority today.
Calcium and Vitamin D are Important to Your Dental Health
Almost everyone knows that Calcium and Vitamin D are important to maintaining strong and healthy bones. Like your body, your mouth needs good support from its bony arches. Many people lose their teeth without decay because the bones in their mouths aren’t able to support them anymore. That said, here are four simple steps you can take to ensure your teeth remain healthy.
- Eat healthy meals daily. Cut the sugars and eat more protein and vegetables.
- Consider taking supplements. Sometimes our busy lives don’t allow us to ingest the required amount of vitamins that a healthy diet requires. To keep your teeth white and stable, consider taking a Vitamin D supplement if you aren’t a fan of beef liver or egg yolks.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Preferably after a meal and before bedtime.
- Floss your teeth daily. Use a specialized brush that also cleans gums between teeth.
Most surgical procedures, whether it’d be at the hospital or the dentist, require a form of sedation or an anesthetic. Fortunately for dental patients, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are four of the most commons forms of sedation that dentists use during oral surgery.
For basic and brief dental interventions, your dentist will administer nitrous oxide to help relieve anxiety and increase comfort. Patients inhale a gas and almost instantly feel the effects of it. What’s also great about this form of sedation is that its effects don’t last long after the procedure.
This form of sedation requires that the patient swallow an anti-anxiety medication before the dental appointment so that it has an ample amount of time to kick in. As a result, patients using this form of sedation should have an escort so they can arrive at the dental office safely. Oral sedation is perfect for patients who fear needles and are getting their wisdom teeth extracted.
IV Moderate Sedation
Also known as a “twilight” sedation, dentists administer this sedative intravenously. Patients who choose this form of sedative fall into a trance of deep relaxation throughout the surgical procedure. It’s usually used by patients who are receiving dental implants or other similar dental procedures.
IV Deep Sedation
Like the moderate version of this form of sedation, dentists administer this sedative intravenously. The only difference between the two is that the patient falls into a deeper sleep with this sedative. Dentists use IV deep sedation for long procedures like bone grafting or during jaw surgery when addressing issues stemming from a temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ Disorder).
Dental veneers, which dentists bond to the outer surface of your teeth, are thin shells made of either porcelain or a composite resin material. Dentists use little to no anesthesia to complete this simple procedure that can drastically improve the appearance of your smile. If you want to mask all of the discolorations in your mouth and brighten your teeth, dental veneers are a great option.
Why Choose a Dental Veneer Over Any Other Alternative
Many people who initially think of getting a crown ultimately decide to get a dental veneer instead. That’s because getting a dental veneer is an easier procedure and a cheaper option. Like crowns, dental veneers can also last 10 to 20 years, depending on the material your dentist uses and how well you take care of your teeth. Here are some of the most common reasons people get veneers.
- Stained teeth as a result of a tetracycline treatment
- General discolorations and undesirable defects
- Damage caused by an auto accident or a root-canal procedure
- Gapped, chipped or worn teeth
What Can You Expect During the Dental Veneer Procedure
Dental patients might need up to three appointments to complete the procedure - or more, if you’re shopping around for the best cosmetic dentist in the area. First, your dentist will diagnose your broken smile and figure out a treatment plan to reinvigorate it. Afterward, he or she will make final preparations and proceed with the bonding process. It’s important you tell your dentist exactly what you expect once he or she completes the procedure. After all, it’s your smile - not his or hers.
During the procedure, your dentist will lightly buff your tooth to make room for the dental veneer. Dentists usually remove about half a millimeter of the tooth, and this part of the procedure sometimes requires an anesthetic. For dental veneers made of composite resin, you usually only need one appointment to complete the bonding and sculpting process. For dental veneers made of porcelain, your dentist will take a mold of your tooth and send it to the lab to make the veneer. Once your porcelain veneer is ready, your dentist will fit it in and make the necessary adjustments.
It’ll take a few weeks to adjust to your new dental veneer. It’s important that you brush your teeth and floss daily. After two weeks, your dentist should complete a follow-up examine to ensure your dental veneer fits properly. Once that happens, you’re ready to show off that new smile.
Whether you have an impacted tooth that’s trapped in your jawbone or a poorly positioned one that’s damaging nearby teeth, there are plenty of reasons someone might need oral surgery. But the operating room at your local dentist office isn’t the last stop on your road to recovery. After you’ve had oral surgery, you’ll need to take the proper steps to ensure your mouth fully heals.
What You Should Do When Recovering From Oral Surgery
Rest assured that it’s perfectly normal for the area in your mouth that was operated on to feel sore and tender for the week following surgery. While over-the counter pain relievers are usually enough to ease the discomfort you might feel, make sure you avoid aspirin because it can make your mouth bleed by thinning the blood. Here’s what else you should do during your recovery.
- Limit swelling and bleeding by propping your head up with pillows
- Apply ice packs to the affected area in 15-minute increments to reduce swelling
- Eat soft foods once the bleeding has subsided - soups, milkshakes, yogurt, etc.
- Take any antibiotics your dentist might have prescribed as directed
- Rinse your mouth with warm salt water daily after the initial 24 hours of recovery
- Eat foods that are rich in vitamin A and C, as this helps with the healing process
What You Shouldn’t Do When Recovering From Oral Surgery
Much like doing the right things will help with the healing process and even speed it up, doing the wrongs things can lead to excessive bleeding and swelling as well as immense pain. To ensure your mouth doesn’t cause you serious distress following surgery, avoid making these mistakes.
- Avoid heavy lifting, bending and any strenuous exercises for 72 hours
- Avoid hot foods and drinks until the numbness goes away
- Avoid hard or crunchy foods for six to eight weeks (apples, carrots, etc.)
- Avoid brushing or flossing the surgically operated on teeth until your dentist allows it
- Avoid smoking for as long as you can - at least for the rest of the day following surgery
- Avoid drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours
In an effort to remove stains and discoloration, many people choose teeth whitening as the go-to cosmetic dental procedure to help them revive their smiles. Contrary to popular belief, teeth whitening isn’t a one-time procedure. In order to effectively keep your teeth white, you must repeat this process from time to time.
What Do People Use Teeth Whitening For?
The tooth’s outer layer is known as the enamel. Your natural teeth’s color is created by the reflection of light off the enamel and the color and the dentin underneath it. Thinner enamel lets more dentin show, while the smoothness or the roughness of it also impacts the reflection of light and how the color of your teeth appear.
While your enamel thins and your dentin darkens as you age, tobacco, coffee and poor dental hygiene are the biggest causes of yellowing teeth. Teeth whitening is a great way to reverse those cups of coffee and cigarettes – at least for your teeth.
What Should You Expect During the Teeth Whitening Process?
Before whitening your teeth, you need to have all other problematic areas in your mouth fixed – cavities, receded gums, etc. Otherwise, whitening can cause your teeth to become too sensitive and result in even greater problems in the future.
You can either whiten your teeth at the dental office or at home. The most common way of whitening your teeth is known as ‘vital tooth whitening,’ which is performed on teeth with live nerves. In this case, you or your dentist will apply a whitening gel – it contains a form of hydrogen peroxide – directly onto your tooth’s surface.
‘Non-vital whitening’ is done on teeth that no longer have a live nerve.