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General Dentistry

In-Office Dental Teeth Whitening

SmilesmilesmilesmilesmilesmilesmilesmilesmilesmilesmilesmilesmileYou have a special occasion coming up in a few weeks and you’re putting together the final touches of your outfit together. You look at yourself in the mirror and notice that the years of drinking your morning cup of coffee is catching up to your smile. Your pearly whites are no longer as bright as they use to be.

Now you’re wondering if you should try those at home whitening or bite the bullet and try the in-office professional teeth whitening by your dentist.

Disadvantages of At-Home Teeth Whitening

While at-home teeth whitening kits come in a variety of forms and are the less expensive alternative to in-office teeth whitening, they have significant disadvantages that may not be worth their reduced costs. While teeth whitening mouthwash and toothpaste can be considered at-tome teeth whitening treatments, most people turn to teeth whitening kits to do the job. The most common forms of teeth whitening kits include those with bleaching trays or adhesive bleaching strips you apply onto your teeth. The biggest disadvantages of teeth whitening kits include:


At-home teeth whitening kits take significantly longer than in-office professional teeth whitening at a dentist office. This is mainly because the concentration of the bleaching agents in at-home whitening kits are less than that which is used at a dental office under the supervision of a dentist. At-home teeth whitening kits also lack the specialized lights and lasers that only dental professionals can use that accelerates the activity of the bleaching agents and, therefore, the overall teeth whitening process.

Though at-home kits claim to be easy to use and apply, most still require some know-how for proper application. Only a dentist can get to those hard-to-reach places and properly apply the bleaching agent.

At-home teeth whitening kits in general take longer to apply and see results. They are best for those who aren’t in a hurry to get a whiter smile.

Not as Effective

As with many things in life, you get what you pay for. Teeth whitening is no different. At-home teeth whitening kits are cheap because they take longer to produce results and they aren’t as effective as in-office teeth whitening. They tend to whiten the surface of the teeth which makes for short-lived results. At in-office teeth whitening, the bleaching agent is able to penetrate deeper levels of the tooth enamel and a higher concentration of bleaching agent is used. The activity of the bleaching agent is enhanced with the light of lasers.

How Do Dentists Whiten Your Teeth?

In-Office Bleaching

Typical in-office dental teeth whitening, also referred to as “chairside bleaching” involves the dentist using a highly potent bleaching agent which may be accompanied by the use of a light or laser to accelerate the activity of the bleaching agent. Usually, the dentist will first apply a protective gel on your gums to protect them from uncomfortable and potentially damaging effects of the bleaching agent. An in-office teeth whitening procedure requires only one office visit.

The Kor Whitening System

At LeDowns Dentistry as well as a few, select dentist offices across the United States, the Kor Whitening System is used as an alternative to traditional in-office whitening. This form of in-office whitening doesn’t use lights or lasers and is more effective. It produces less uncomfortable side effects which makes it a great option for patients with sensitive teeth and gums.

The Kor Whitening System uses bleaching gel that is significantly more resistant to saliva and its whitening effect. The gel is put into trays that your feet fit snuggly into. More information about the Kor Whitening System can be found on their website.

If you want quick, effective in-office teeth whitening that won’t cause irritation, contact us. The Kor Whitening System may be the best whitening system for you. At LeDowns Dentistry we want you to have the healthiest, brightest smile possible whether that be for an upcoming special event or for the everyday.

Why Smiling is More Important Than You Think

group of teenagers looking downConfidence: belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance

There are many reasons why each and every person should feel confident. Everyone has a talent in one form or another that allows them to lift their head up high. However, there is one specific thing that has a sizable influence on everyone’s level of positive or negative self-esteem: an attractive smile.

Smiling is a universal greeting. When you are confident about your smile and share it with other it releases endorphins and makes you feel good. It is a key player in your overall wellbeing and comes with many benefit.

Smiling is the purest expression of happiness and has the ability to:

  • Boost your immune system
  • Increase your lifespan
  • Lower the risk of cancer
  • Regulate blood pressure
  • Elevate your mood
  • Induce a feeling of peace and satisfaction
  • Less stress
  • Increased feelings of joy
  • Reduces effects of pain and aggression
  • Increase good sleeping habits

These are only a few examples of what the power of a smile can do. However, as we grow and become older, the average adult only smiles approximately 20 times a day, whereas an infant or toddler smiles up to 400 times a day. Stress and the requirement to “adult” plays a role on our daily smile count, but for some it is the fact that they feel embarrassment or are uncomfortable sharing their smile because of dental issues.

When someone has misaligned, missing, or discolored teeth they often hide their smile, which keeps them from the benefits that a pearly-white grin has to offer. However, we can help you regain your confidence through the power of braces, dental implants, dentures, or teeth whitening.

Did you know that different smiles have different meanings?

  • Tight lipped – this can be a sign that someone is concealing a secret
  • No eye contact/turn away – shows vulnerability, shyness, and femininity
  • Sneer – a sign of contempt or sarcasm
  • Full open mouth – full joyfulness

Studies have shown that having an attractive smile makes you more alluring to others, 58% of men and 71% of women rate a smile as the most desirable feature that a potential partner can have.

When remembering new faces, 24% of Americans said that a smile is the number one feature they recall first, good or bad.

At least 50% (this is the lower side of the scale) will return a smile. Whether you are a close friend, loved family member, or a stranger at the grocery store, smiling is contagious.

If you feel like you are among the many who hide their smile due to dental issues, contact us today and let us help you find a way to gain back confidence and feel good about sharing your beautiful grin.

Cavities in Children – The #1 Child Disease

The number one childhood illness is pediatric dental disease, which means cavities and tooth decay, and the consequences can lead to extensive treatment that could be beyond the help of a dental professional.

However, the oral health of a child falls in the hands of the parent. Kids don’t understand the importance that dental health plays on their overall wellbeing. Poor oral hygiene can affect development and growth, and have an impact on their self-esteem.

However, that is not all…

  • Pediatric disease is more common than asthma and hay fever
  • Untreated tooth decay among children can lead to problems eating, speaking, and learning
  • Left untreated, pediatric disease can lead to bacterial infection and malnourishment
  • Pediatric disease has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and pneumonia
  • Can lead to oral pain/toothaches
  • May cause poor sleep habits, which has an effect on social development and school performance

A child who has issues with their dental health risks future oral health problems as an adult. For example, if the tissue surrounding the tooth becomes infected it can cause an abscess, which can have an effect on permanent-adult teeth. This may also cause those teeth to erupt in a misaligned position, make them more susceptible to cavities, or result in gum disease.

Lifelong problems are amplified due to early childhood oral-health problems, such as ear infections and tooth loss, which may result in expensive dental treatments later in life.

When tooth decay goes undetected it can lead to infection, and infection has been linked to more serious diseases within the body, such as heart disease and diabetes.

The good news is – tooth decay is preventable:

  • Make sure your infant’s pacifier or bottle nipple is clean at all times. This is the perfect place for bacteria to hitch a ride and cause problems within a child’s mouth
  • To keep an infant’s mouth clean, use a soft cloth to wipe their gums and teeth
  • Encourage children to drink water instead of sugar-filled beverages
  • “Monkey see, monkey do.” If your kids see you taking good care of your oral health, they are more likely to imitate the behavior
  • Buy products with the sugar alternative: xylitol. Sugar filled treats are usually a child’s favorite, but they don’t have to be harmful to their dental health
  • Help your child set dental goals and reward them when they achieve them
  • Teach your child the importance of brushing and flossing every day
  • Make regular dental visits (at least twice a year)

Kids don’t think about their health in general, overall or dental. That is a worry that comes along with becoming an adult, so it is important for a parent to teach their children good dental habits at a young age. Dental health starts with our first tooth and continues throughout our lives. Contact our office to learn more about how to teach children good dental habits and why it is important to their overall wellbeing.

When Does Tooth Sensitivity Become a Big Issue?

Tooth ouchOur mouths play a big part when it comes to communication, including a confident smile, but did you know that tooth sensitivity may be your mouths way of communicating with you that there is an issue that needs to be addressed? Sensitivity is the way our teeth are trying to tell us that something may be wrong.

You may experience this when you bite into that deliciously frozen popsicle or sip on your favorite cinnamon-hot chocolate. If your teeth are sensitive to these stimuli, and the pain is short lived, you probably do not have a big reason to worry, but if the pain is persistent or confined to a specific tooth or area in the mouth, it may be a sign of a cracked tooth, cavity, or damaged filling.

What are some of the common causes for tooth sensitivity?

  • Receding Gums – brushing your teeth too forcefully may cause your gums to “run away.” You may think that the harder you brush the better, but this is not true. You may be causing damage to the soft tissue of the gums by brushing to forcefully, causing your gums to recede, which can play a major role in tooth sensitivity. Use a soft-bristle brush and a circled stroke when you brush, and always brush (at least) for 2 minutes
  • Grinding Your Teeth – bruxism (grinding of the teeth) is when you grind, gnash, or clench your teeth. Often people who do this are unaware they are doing it, such as at night while they are asleep. The wear and tear that happens to your teeth because of this can cause immense sensitivity and lead to extensive dental treatment. However, with the help of mouth guards, this can easily be avoided
  • You Are What You Drink? – acidic beverages can take a toll on the enamel of your teeth. This includes soft drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks, such as Gatorade and PowerAde, and alcoholic beverages. If you indulge in the deliciousness of these beverages, it is best to rinse your mouth with water afterwards or, even better, brush each time you do so
  • Damaged or Cracked Teeth – this problem will often expose the nerve of a tooth, leaving it vulnerable to anything it comes in contact with. A chipped or broken tooth can be the gateway to severe sensitivity. This often leads to dental treatment, such as root canals, fillings, or extraction. If you know that your tooth is sensitive because of those leftover kernels of popcorn that got the best of you at the bottom of the bowl, seeing a professional (us) as soon as possible is going to help you avoid days, weeks, or even months of oral pain
  • Age – tooth sensitivity is just another stepping stone when it comes to human aging. As we get older our teeth feel the years of talking and the outcome of chewing on delicious bites of our favorite, but often damaging, snacks. Food may sustain the body, but it can have a negative effect on our teeth

These are among the most common reasons that you may be experiencing tooth sensitivity, but always keep in mind that the cringe you feel in your spine and your soul when you bite into a perfectly chilled piece of watermelon, may be your mouth telling you that there is a bigger issue that needs to be addressed. Contact our office today for more information and learn what it is your sensitive teeth are trying to tell you.

What Happens in Your Mouth While You Sleep?

Bad Morning Breath CheckingHave you ever wondered why you have bad breath when you get up in the morning? That unmistakable odor is a result of the overnight activity happening in your mouth while you sleep. Yes, though you think your body is shutting down for the night, there is, in fact, a lot going on. As you may have guessed from the results, this overnight mouth activity is not good and is due to bacteria activity.

During the daytime, your mouth produces saliva that constantly cleanses the inside of your mouth. It rinses away the food particles and beverage residue left behind from the food and drinks you consume throughout the day. The constant cleaning deters most of the bacteria in your mouth which is why your breath isn’t as bad throughout the rest of the day.

What Happens in Your Mouth at Night?

Things change at night when you sleep.

As you fall asleep, your body signals the glands in your mouth that produce saliva to decrease production. If your saliva production didn’t decrease while you slept, you would be constantly swallowing, which would interrupt your sleep. Also, you would lose a lot of water during your sleep if your saliva production didn’t decrease.

The decrease in saliva production is the reason you may get a dry mouth when you sleep. And, as we mentioned before, when saliva production decreases, the inside of your mouth doesn’t get naturally cleaned as often, which makes for a more hospitable environment for germs and bacteria.

The bacteria in your mouth become more active and numerous when there is no saliva to wash them away. The germs and bacteria, like other living organisms, need to eat in order to survive. During the day, germs and bacteria feed off the protein found in the food and drinks you consume. At night when you’re not eating, the bacteria often feed on the proteins found in saliva and mucus.

What’s That Smell?

The breakdown of the proteins within the bacteria creates a chemical reaction which produces Sulphur gasses, more specifically called hydrogen sulfide, which has something of a rotten egg smell. The egg-smelling gases are emitted inside your mouth by the millions of bacteria, causing the bad breath you smell in the morning.

How to Lessen Morning Breath

Since your mouth’s natural bacteria defenses ease up when you sleep, it extremely important to have a bedtime oral care routine. Before going to bed, be sure to floss, brush your teeth, gums and tongue and wash with mouth wash. A thorough mouth cleaning at the end of the day will get rid of leftover food particles that mouth bacteria crave.

Doing your part to help your mouth combat bacteria and germs is the most effective way to lessen the overnight germ activity in your mouth and the bad morning breath they produce.

Regular teeth cleaning  is important for to effectively combat smell-producing bacteria. Though at-home oral care is important, you should also regularly have cleaning done by a professional. We have state of the art equipment that can reach the hard to clean places in your mouth where a lot of unwanted food particles like to hide. Let us help you keep your oral health strong and the morning breath at bay by scheduling an appointment with us today.

The Risks and Facts About Oral Cancer

The word “cancer” is never something that one wants to hear. No matter what type, where it is in the body, or which stage is in, it is just plain and simply an unkind and often fatal disease. Although it is nasty no matter how you look at it, we are going to take a closer look the specific role it plays within the mouth: oral cancer.

According to The Oral Cancer Foundation: “Close to 48,250 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year, causing 9,575 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day. Of those 48,250 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years.”

Terrifying right? Let’s take a closer look at causes and facts that are connected to this horrible disease:

There are several known risks that can lead to oral cancer, but some who develop this disease have no affiliation to any of these risk factors at all. And some who have several of these risk factors never develop the disease at all. However, the human “rule of thumb” is always “better safe than sorry.”

Here is a look at some of the risk factors that could lead to oral cancer:

  • Poor Nutrition – Your parents didn’t make you eat your fruits and vegetables strictly because they enjoyed torturing you. The nutritional value of these super foods benefit you in many ways. They help give you a healthy body and mind. But beyond that, there is an increased risk for oral cancer in those who have a low fruits and vegetables diet. Have a salad, eat an apple, munch on some greens. Your oral health (and overall wellbeing) will thank you
  • Tobacco – This one is obvious. Everyone knows the dangers of smoking, chewing, or any other type of tobacco use, yet there are still people in this world who are willing to take that risk. Close to 90% of people who have oral cancer have been linked to tobacco use. Someone who smokes is 6 times more likely to get this disease and those who use smokeless tobacco (chew) increase their risk among the tobacco users by 50%. The direct contact to the lips and gums gives the disease a faster route to destroying your mouth, life, and can even be the cause of death
  • Alcohol – This on its own can increase the risk of developing oral cancer, but in conjunction with smoking they tend to amplify each other making the risk all the more serious. Heavy alcohol consumption mixed with tobacco use can be a deadly combination
  • Ultraviolet Light – Summer days’ equal barbeques, swimming pools, baseball games, and all sorts of outdoor fun, but the sun’s ultraviolet rays are our skins enemy. Many of those who develop oral cancer have outdoor occupations. Prolonged exposure to the sunlight can cause cancers of the lip. Any time you spend the day basking in the warmth of the sun, wear sunscreen and apply it often
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) – This sexually transmitted virus has been linked to the development of oral cancer in nearly 20 percent of people who have the disease
  • Age – Age is the one thing that none of us can avoid, no matter how hard we try. As we grow older our bodies decide to shut down in various ways. Unfortunately, the likelihood of developing oral cancer increases with age as well. Half of all cases fall into the age category of 45 and above

Here are some common symptoms of oral cancer:

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Lump or mass in the neck
  • Lump or mass in the cheek
  • Persistent pain in the mouth
  • Sore within the mouth that won’t heal
  • Numbness of the tongue or other areas of the mouth
  • Difficulty moving the tongue or jaw
  • White or red patches on the gums, tonsil, tongue, or lining of the mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing or chewing
  • Swelling of the jaw
  • Tooth pain or loosening around the jaw
  • Changes in voice
  • Unintentional weight loss

If you have experienced any of these symptoms, and they have lasted more than two weeks, it is important to have a health care professional take a look at what may be causing them. Oral cancer is no joke and regular visits to our office can be the difference between life and death. When oral cancer is caught early there is a higher chance of successful treatment. The longer it persists, the greater chance of it becoming fatal. If you have any unanswered questions about the risks of oral cancer, call our office and our knowledgeable staff will be happy to help.

Everything You Need to Know About Smile Makeovers and Full Mouth Restorations

The saying goes: “the eyes are the window to the soul,” but it can be argued that that window actually lies within one’s smile. Having confidence in your smile can make or break anyones self-esteem. Being able to share a set of perfect-pearly whites will not only boost your own happiness, but bring happiness to others.

Unfortunately this is something that many people struggle with. Whether they are suffering from tooth loss from years of neglect or have sustained an injury that requires them to seek professional-dental help. Having a smile restoration or a full mouth reconstruction may be just what the doctor ordered (pun intended). Being able to present a mouth full of teeth you are proud of will take your confidence level up to where it belongs.

Cosmetic surgery is available through a consultation with our office. We can inform you if you are a good candidate and let you know what options and services we can offer to help you regain your smile.

Here is a look at some of the services available. Whether you are choosing to change your smile purely for cosmetic reasons or looking to remedy what may have been oral hygiene neglect, these are some of the services we provide to help anyone find their beautiful smile:

Dental Implants

Whether you have one or all your teeth missing, dental implants provide a permanent solution that act, feel, and look just like natural teeth. By fusing a metal screw into the jawbone they will not only last a lifetime, but keep your jawbone from eroding, which is the cause of the “sunken face” look.

Tooth Bonding

This process can be a quick and simple solution to cosmetic needs. Tooth bonding can fill spaces between teeth, elongate shorter teeth, and repair decayed, chipped or cracked teeth.


This is a great solution to those who are in need of bonding a natural looking tooth to hide damage or tooth discoloration. Veneers often require work to be done on the natural tooth before they are able to be bonded. Veneers are a thin shell that bond with your natural tooth giving you a perfect smile.


This is a less invasive version of veneers. They do not require any changes to your natural teeth and provide you with a straighter and whiter smile. Lumineers are painless and effective.

Teeth Whitening

Sometimes the best way to upgrade your smile is through the simple process of whitening. Professional whitening, in office and out, can help turn lackluster teeth into a full set of dazzling chompers.

Smile Makeover

This can range in many different ways to improve your smile. From teeth whitening and cleanings to braces and implants. A smile makeover is a great-cosmetic way to turn your frown upside down and be proud of your pearly whites.

Full Mouth Reconstruction

Whether you are in need of a complete mouth reconstruction due to oral hygiene neglect, suffering the side effects of drug use, or if you have sustained damage from an injury, a full mouth reconstruction can give you back the teeth you need to feel like you can live your normal life again.

Navigating the ins and outs of this world without a working set of beautiful teeth can take a toll on all aspects of life. From social interactions and making friends to being confident in job interviews and furthering your career. If you are in need of a smile makeover or want more information on full mouth reconstruction, contact our office today and our friendly and knowledgeable staff will help you with any questions or concerns you may have.

Do Toothpaste Alternatives Work?

Our teeth are the gateway to a confident smile, and without the help of store bought toothpastes that are filled with whitening, brightening, and guaranteed to make your teeth shine, we find ourselves back in the medieval times using washcloths and birch sticks, right? Wrong.

There is a world of alternatives out there that are natural and come free of harmful chemicals and dyes. Traditional toothpastes often come with questionable ingredients, such as titanium dioxide, glycerin, sodium lauryl sulfate, and artificial sweeteners (and haven’t we learned from a young age that sweets cause decay?).

So, let’s take a look at 10 toothpaste alternatives and how the work

1- Baking Soda

We’ll start with the most common of them all, baking soda. By dipping your toothbrush in baking soda and brushing your teeth like normal it has an very effective cleaning ability. You can even mix it with drops of your favorite mint oil to give your mouth that minty fresh feel .

2- Sea Salt

Just like baking soda you can dab your toothbrush in sea salt and clean your chompers as usual. You can also dissolve the salt in water first if you are concerned with the abrasiveness of it.

3- Herbal Tooth Powders

Sounds a bit “dirty hippy,” but this alternative can keep your teeth clean and healthy just as well as any store bought product. The bonus of this alternative is that many of the herbal ingredients can also help to fight infection, inflammation, and alleviate pain.

4- Hydrogen Peroxide

This alternative has been known for its ability to keep teeth clean and white. There are many people who use it instead of toothpaste. There is one concern with using this instead of toothpaste, if you have amalgam fillings, peroxide may extract the harmful vapors from the mercury in silver filling, but all-in-all, hydrogen peroxide is a great alternative to over-the-counter toothpastes.

5- Dry Brushing

If we’re talking simple, this is it. Some believe that there is no need for anything at all: dry brushing can, and will, get the job done. A toothbrush is all you need. This technique does work, but the mind will usually make you feel like it doesn’t due to the lack of that minty-fresh feel that we have all come to love in our dental routines.

6- All Natural Soap

Hard to believe, but yes, you can brush your teeth with soap. If you decide to go this route, to get rid of that “wash your mouth out with soap” feel, choose a peppermint scented soap. It will give you that clean feel and leave a less soapy taste in your mouth.

7- Brush with Pure Water

If the dry brushing method is not your thing, just add water. Run your toothbrush under the faucet and let the magic of aqua be you guide.

8- Tooth soap

For those of you who may not be into the taste of regular soap in your mouth, there are products out there that are specially designed as tooth soaps. This is a great natural alternative, but make sure you find one without additives.

9- Coconut Oil

This oil is a miracle worker in many ways. It can hydrate skin, make dry hair silky smooth, and has many health benefits, but it is also a perfect product for cleaning your mouth. It’s antifungal and antibacterial, which makes it a fantastic toothpaste alternative. Coconut oil can also be combined with baking soda, which makes it a powerhouse in the teeth cleaning scene.

10- Essential Oils

Essential oils are used for many different things. The power of scent can calm nerves, relax muscles, and help lull you to sleep. They are also amazing for cleaning teeth. A drop of peppermint oil on a damp toothbrush is a fast and easy way to polish your pearly whites.

No matter what option you choose as part of your teeth cleaning regimen, oral hygiene is something that should be taken very seriously. Self esteem and confidence are directly correlated to having a smile that you can be proud of. So, take good care of you teeth, whether that is through traditional over-the-counter toothpaste or one of these incredible alternatives, it is important to brush, floss, and have regular dental visits. We promise your mouth will thank you for it.


Tobacco Does More Than Just Yellow Your Teeth

close-up photo of smoking man with dirty yellow teeth

close-up photo of smoking man with dirty yellow teeth

If you have ever looked on a package of cigarettes you’ve probably noticed the warning on the side: “Quitting smoking now greatly reduces serious risks to your health.” This is not put on the package just for the heck of it. Smoking, as we all know (or at least should know), can have extremely harmful effects to your health. When people think of smoking or tobacco chewing related disease, they usually go straight to lung cancer. But smoking will also wreak havoc on your oral health.

Here is a look at the malicious things tobacco use does to your mouth:

  • Tooth discoloration. Nobody loves the yellow stained look that comes with heavy smoking
  • Bad breath. “Smoker’s breath” is a very real thing and it’s quite unpleasant
  • Increased risk of developing leukoplakia, which are white patches inside the mouth
  • Increased risk of developing periodontal disease or gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss
  • Increased loss of jawbone due to tooth loss and decay
  • Salivary gland openings on the roof of the mouth become inflamed
  • Longer and more complicated healing process from tooth extraction, oral surgery, and periodontal treatment
  • Lower success rate of dental implant procedures
  • Higher risk of developing oral cancer

Now that we’ve laid out the potential oral health complications and disease that tobacco use can cause, let’s take a closer look at how smoking can lead to these:

How Smoking Can Lead to Gum Disease

Tobacco interferes with the function of gum tissue cells, which makes smokers more vulnerable to periodontal disease, infection, and it also impedes blood flow to the gums, which can have a major effect on the healing of wounds. These are problems that occur because gum disease affects the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth.

Is Smokeless Tobacco Use Safer?

Nope. Snuff and chewing tobacco actually contain 28 chemicals that have been linked to oral cancer of the throat and esophagus. In fact, it has been proven that chewing tobacco is harder to quite because it has much higher levels of nicotine than cigarettes.

When chewing tobacco is placed inside the mouth it irritates your gum tissue and causes it to recede and pull away from your teeth. This, in turn, causes your tooth’s root to become exposed, which increases the risk of tooth decay. When a tooth’s root is exposed it becomes extremely sensitive to hot and cold. A popsicle or a cup of coffee can quickly become your worst enemy. The shooting pain that comes along with exposed roots is not unpleasant at best.

Chewing tobacco can also contain sugars in order to boost the flavor. And as we all know, sugar can be a tooth’s worst enemy. Bacteria contained in plaque feeds on sugar, which creates acids that destroy your enamel. And once your enamel is gone you can never get it back. This leaves your teeth vulnerable to tooth decay, staining, and permanent discoloration.

Kick the Habit

The only sure way to avoid the harm that smoking has on your oral health is to quit once and for all. Studies have shown that someone who has been smoke free for eleven years is just as likely to have gum disease as someone who never smoked in their life (this is a good thing). The American Cancer society can give you even more reason to quit, which include heart attack, stroke, cancer of the lips and tongue, pregnancy complications, and worst of all, death.

If you are currently a tobacco user, or a former smoker, regular dental visits should be a big part of life in order to keep your oral health in check. Make an appointment with our office today. A healthy mouth is a happy mouth, and we are here to help.

6 Facts about Cosmetic Dentistry

Beautiful young woman health teeth close up and charming smile. Isolated on green background, asian beauty

Beautiful young woman health teeth close up and charming smile. Isolated on green background, asian beauty

Cosmetic dentistry continues to grow in popularity, and the technologies and techniques we use continue to evolve to provide even better results. While some people think that it involves little more than teeth whitening and replacing lost teeth, there’s quite a bit more to it than that.

A beautiful smile has a huge impact on you and the people around you. So let’s take a look at a few facts about cosmetic dentistry – how it’s changed, how it impacts your smile, and how it’s perceived by people at large.

  1. Cosmetic Dentistry Goes Back a Long Way

The ancient Etruscans were making dentures with ivory and bone as far back as 700 B.C. At the time, it was also regular practice to take teeth from the dead or extract them from living donors and sell them for use in other people. The results weren’t exactly hygienic, though, and deteriorated quickly.

There is also evidence that people were making gold crowns and bridges as early as 200 A.D., while cultures like the ancient Egyptians would hammer seashells into their gums as teeth replacements. As far as whitening goes, the early romans used a toothpaste that contained urine as a major ingredient. Sounds weird, but urine does have ammonia in it, which can act as a whitening agent.

  1. Patients Often Don’t Ask About Their Options

Despite it’s growing popularity, many patients are often uncomfortable or unwilling to ask about various procedures. Surveys show that the majority of people are actually unhappy with their current smile, and yet it’s often the dentist that has to brings it up the subject of these procedures.

In fact, according to the latest survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, it’s the dentist that starts the cosmetic dental conversation 82% of the time.

  1. Whitening is the Most Requested Procedure

This is normally the most requested procedure because it’s what people know, and they know that it doesn’t take long to get immediate results.

Although, to be fair, this could be interpreted another way, because crowns, bridges and veneers are also common procedures, but they are often categorized as reconstructive rather than cosmetic.

  1. Cosmetic Dentistry is an Investment in the Future

As we grow older, a lot of our physical characteristics change. However, it doesn’t seem to matter how old you are, surveys have shown that a person’s smile will always have an impact on the first impression they make. No matter what else changes, survey participants said that it’s the smile that remains the most attractive.

  1. It’s an Art and a Science

While there are some cosmetic procedures that a general dentist can perform (veneers, whitening, etc.), in order to get the smile just right – to use all the tools available and really revitalize or remodel a smile – it’s going to take a little more than that. It requires continuing education and specialized training and an understanding of the aesthetics of a facial structure to make sure the results come out right.

  1. A Smile is a Powerful Thing

The overwhelming majority of people in the United States believe that a great smile is more important for a great first impression than any other characteristic (including hair, clothes, etc.) on top of that, other people rate smilers as more attractive, more fun, and more interesting.

Smiling can help you reduce stress, build better relationships, and even make other people feel happier. So ask yourself, is it time to talk about cosmetic dentistry with us?