December 2018 Dentistry Newsletter

Newsletter

Helpful dental information from your favorite Cheyenne, WY dentist office.

 

What is Tooth Bonding

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Many of our clients request tooth bonding, or have a need to have it done, but others have no idea what it is.  Tooth bonding is a process in which your dentist applies a composite resin to one or more of your teeth in order to restore the white color or repair physical damage to the tooth.  Tooth bonding is a cosmetic solution appropriate for addressing many common issues – a fracture, decay, chipped tooth, closing spaces between teeth, changing the shape of teeth, or addressing discoloration.  In any of these situations you may be a great candidate for bonding.

You may have heard of veneers.  Veneers work very similarly to dental bonding with the exception that veneers are made of porcelain rather than a composite resin.  The advantage to the porcelain is that it’s stronger and may last longer, the downside is that it requires a mold to be made and is thus more expensive and more time consuming to get done.  While the composite may not last as long as the veneers it’s still completely reasonable to expect them to last up to 10 years. 

Of course the life of your bonded teeth is directly related to how well you care for your teeth.  We strongly recommend avoiding hard or sticky foods such as ice cubes, candy, etc.  It goes without saying that you should never use your teeth to open bottles or packaging either.  Bad habits such as needing to chew something continuously (gum, pen cap, etc.) or grinding your teeth will definitely affect the potential life of your bonded teeth.  Of course neither bonding or veneers is going to be as strong as your natural enamel, so we encourage our patients to do everything they can to protect their own enamel and prevent the need for either type of intervention.

For most patients the procedure for getting teeth bonded is simple and painless.  No anesthetic is generally required and most patients go home feeling fine.  Dental bonding usually requires 30-60 minutes per tooth.  The dentist will roughen the surface of the tooth to prepare it for bonding.  A conditioning liquid will then be applied.  These first two steps help to prepare the tooth to receive the bonding material.  The tooth-colored resin will then be applied, shaped and smoothed to look as similar to the surrounding teeth as possible.  The dentist will then use a small laser to speed the hardening process.  After the resin is hardened it will be trimmed, shaped and polished and you’ll be on your way.

If you’re interested in learning more about tooth bonding or veneers ask your dentist at Aesthetic Dentistry, P.C. during your next visit.  This could be the solution to a tooth that’s bothered you for years and it could help restore confidence in your smile.

 

 

What does it mean if your tongue is white?

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You may look in the mirror one day and become concerned when you discover that your tongue is white.  While this may not be the most attractive look, it does not necessarily mean that something is seriously wrong.  Generally a white covering on your tongue, or white patches on your tongue, is nothing to worry about.  In most cases, a white tongue is caused by the tiny bumps, commonly called taste buds, on your tongue becoming inflamed and swelling up.  When swelling like this takes place other objects – dirt, food, bacteria, dead cells, fungi – get trapped in between the bumps and turn your tongue white.

For the majority of cases a white tongue is related to oral hygiene, or a lack of proper oral hygiene.  Doing a poor job brushing and flossing, smoking or using chewing tobacco, consuming too much alcohol, eating too many soft foods, breathing through your mouth and dehydration are all potential sources of a white tongue.

You should keep an eye on your tongue if the white patches or coating persists longer than a few weeks.  If this is the case, it’s recommended that you see your dentist or doctor for further examination.  In rare cases a white tongue can be indicative of a more serious problem such as thrush, syphilis, oral lichen planus, or oral cancer.  Again for the majority of people whatever is causing your white tongue will clear up on its own in just a few days or weeks.  

If the unsightliness of your white tongue is making you want to move it along more quickly there are a few things you can try.  First try brushing your tongue gently with a soft toothbrush.  If that doesn’t take care of it, softly run a tongue scraper over your tongue and see if that gets the job done.  In addition to both of these suggestions it’s recommended that you drink lots of water to flush unwanted bacteria and debris out of your mouth.

If you end up at the dentist or doctor, there are many non-invasive treatment options depending on the exact cause of your discoloration.  Most patients end up with a gel or liquid to apply to the tongue, a steroid pill, or an antibiotic to kill bacteria. Again, treatment is based upon the illness determined as the cause.

If you haven’t had the experience of a white tongue and are looking to avoid it, be sure to maintain a good oral hygiene regiment.  This would include brushing your teeth at least twice a day, using a fluoride toothpaste, using fluoride mouthwash once a day and flossing at least once a day.  In general maintaining the health of your mouth will help to prevent a white tongue from developing.

 

 

Christmas in Cheyenne

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At Aesthetic Dentistry, P.C. we hope all of our clients are enjoying the holiday season.  We’ve done some research on the local holiday happenings, and have compiled some of our favorites for you to check out. 

Hemi Lighted Forest of Hope – this great attraction is available to enjoy through the end of February, and is a fantastic way to take in the beauty of winter in Cheyenne.  Ride the train or go on a hay ride to view over 600 Christmas trees all decorated with thousands of lights.  This event is free and perfect for the whole family.

Cheyenne Trolley – the trolley bus will be giving tours December 15-24th from 6-8pm with presale tickets available.  The trolley will take you throughout town to view the biggest and best Christmas light displays around.

Cheyenne Civic Center – this is another great location to visit during the holiday season.  Christmas concerts, plays and performances all from local musicians and actors will set the mood for a relaxing evening.  The Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra will be performing, there will be a Polar Express Pajama Party, and many other performances.

Governor’s Mansion – the governor’s mansion will be all decked out for the holidays with displays featuring Christmas formal wear throughout history, historical holiday decorations, and modern displays.

Ice Skating on the Plaza – available daily now through Dec 31st free ice skating on an outdoor skating rink in the heart of downtown Cheyenne.

Elves Off Their Shelves – this free event is available now through December 23rd daily, except for Mondays, at the Paul Smith Children’s Village.  The Children’s Village offers daily activities for young children including story time readings, science/art/gardening programs, and cultural programs to explore traditions around the world.  In addition to these regular events the Children’s Village is adding a fun seasonal activity for children to track the movements of the elf throughout the month.

There’s so much to do in your local community, get out there and enjoy all that Cheyenne has to offer.  Your holiday visitors will be amazed at the variety of events and activities available throughout the winter.  Take advantage of the perks of living in Cheyenne with holiday tea parties and unique shops to find personal treasures for everyone on your list.

 

 

Foods that Whiten your Teeth Naturally

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Everyone wants that sparkling white smile for the holidays, but you may not be interested in a trip to the dentist to achieve it.  If that’s the case give these foods a try, you’ll be amazed at the difference that simply eating foods you already have in your kitchen can make.

Apples – apples are an obvious choice as most people can feel the difference in how clean their teeth are after they eat an apple.  Just run your tongue over your teeth after an apple and there’s a noticeable difference.  Beyond that though apples area also high in malic acid which studies have found is helpful in getting your mouth to increase saliva production which cleans teeth and removes stains.

Broccoli – if you opt for fresh, raw broccoli rather than steamed you’ll get the benefits of the firm vegetable cleaning your teeth for you while also leaving behind iron which coats the enamel on your teeth and helps to prevent stains, bacteria and acid erosion.

Strawberries – this delicious fruit option works similarly to apples in that it also contains a high amount of malic acid but it also includes antioxidants that further help by reducing the amount of stain attracting bacteria in the mouth.  The extra vitamin C will also help in the prevention of periodontal disease and gum inflammation.  Be sure to brush your teeth after eating though as strawberries also contain sugar which could be detrimental to your teeth.

Pineapple – this unique fruit has a special compound called bromelain which recent studies have found is very effective in removing stains.  The International Journal of Dental Hygiene recommends pineapple as a natural food that is useful for the removal of staining on teeth.

Raisins – a study of bran cereal containing raisins versus the same cereal without the raisins found that the cereal containing the raisins helped clean the mouth better than the cereal missing the raisins.  While raisins do contain sugar and will require a good tooth brushing after consumption, they’re still recommended for stain removal because of their ability to stimulate saliva generation in the mouth which helps prevent stains as well as plaque and cavities from occurring.  The saliva neutralizes the acids created by the bacteria in your mouth as well as other foods that you may eat.

Water – most people know that drinking water over any other beverage will help prevent staining from sodas, coffee, wine and many other beverage options.  Most people sip on a drink throughout the day which increases its impact on the teeth.  Drinking water throughout the day will not only not cause stains but will help remove stains by further increasing saliva production.

Your dental team is always here to help with professional whitening but in between visits or for those looking to try a natural remedy these foods can be a huge help in keeping those teeth glimmering.