Having sensitive teeth can mean anything from getting a mild twinge of pain when you’re eating ice cream to having severe discomfort that can last for several hours. Sensitive teeth can be caused by a variety of factors, including brushing too hard, tooth decay, gum disease, a cracked tooth, or the use of too many whitening products. And if you suffer from it, you know how frustrating it can be! However, there are a few things you can do to help.

Use the Right Toothbrush: Use a toothbrush made for sensitive teeth, or at least a soft to medium bristled brush. A softer brush helps avoid putting any extra pressure on your teeth or gums. Brush in small circles and avoid brushing too hard.

Choose a Special Toothpaste: A toothpaste made for sensitive teeth will contain fluoride and use a non-abrasive formula. After consistent use for a couple of weeks, it will help ease the pain associated with brushing and flossing.

Worried that your smile isn’t as white as it used to be? You’re not alone. Tooth discoloration and stains on your teeth are common and can happen for a variety of reasons. The good news? Many of these stains are treatable and preventable.

First, let’s discuss tooth discoloration. There are three types:

  • Extrinsic Teeth Stains: An extrinsic tooth stain is staining on the surface of the tooth. They are typically caused by smoking or by regularly drinking coffee and tea, wine or soda. This type of tooth stain responds well to regular dental cleaning, proper brushing, and the use of over-the-counter whitening toothpastes and rinses.
  • Intrinsic Teeth Stains: An intrinsic tooth stain is staining below the surface of the tooth. An intrinsic tooth stain is harder to remove than an extrinsic one but it can be done, and may require professional bleaching.
  • Age-Related Teeth Stains: Age-related teeth stains combine the results of both intrinsic and extrinsic tooth discoloration over time. Because the core tissue of your teeth, the dentin, naturally yellows over time, teeth discolor with age.

A chipped tooth is a common occurrence for adults and children and it’s actually quite easy to do. Most commonly caused by an accident, trauma, or biting on something too hard, a chipped tooth can also be caused by dental conditions like tooth decay or teeth grinding. If you’ve recently chipped a tooth, it’s important to know about the potential problems it can cause, as well as ways to avoid one in the future.

Problems caused by a chipped tooth

Smaller chips are usually not problematic unless they are sharp and could possibly cut the inside of your mouth or lip. However, even a small chip can grow bigger and cause more complex issues down the road. If a chip is already significant in size or depth, it can lead to more serious problems such as severe pain, temperature sensitivity, swollen glands, and infections.

Should you get a chipped tooth repaired?

Generally speaking, yes, you should get a chipped tooth repaired. For minor chips, the dentist may only need to fill in the chip with a filling that matches your tooth or smooth the rough edges. More significant chips that don’t damage the root or pulp may require a crown to protect the tooth from future infections, while more severe chips that have compromised your dental pulp will likely require a root canal.

So, you cracked your tooth. We can help! The right treatment is essential to protecting your injured tooth. The right treatment, however, largely depends on the type of injury your tooth has suffered and the extent of the damage.

Types of cracks

  • Minor cracks. Also called “craze lines,” these are surface cracks that only affect the enamel. Minor cracks rarely need treatment, but your dentist may smooth out the surface of your tooth with a polishing treatment and may suggest ways to prevent future cracks.
  • Cracked tooth. This type of fracture involves the whole tooth, from the chewing surface all the way to the nerve. Though the tooth stays in place, the crack gradually spreads. Sometimes, cracks can be repaired with filling material and may need a crown. However, if the pulp of your tooth is damaged, you may need a root canal or an extraction.
  • Split tooth. This means that the tooth has split vertically into two separate parts. With such an extensive crack, it’s unlikely the entire tooth can be saved, but your dentist may be able to save a portion of it. In some cases, endodontic treatment, like a root canal, may be needed.
  • Vertical Root Fractures. Vertical root fractures are cracks that begin in the root of the tooth. These don’t often show any signs or symptoms until the surrounding gum or root have become infected. Treatment may involve a complete extraction of the tooth or, if the remainder of the unaffected tooth can be saved, endodontic surgery is sometimes appropriate. 

According to the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, your child’s first dental visit should be within six months of the first tooth appearing, but no later than age two. At these early appointments, your dentist can answer any questions you may have and give you information on a variety of topics, including infant feeding, teething, pacifier usage, finger-sucking habits, and early dental care.

Even if you feel like your child is too young for the dentist, it’s important to know that the best way to ease fear and anxiety about the dentist is to get your child comfortable at an early age. Exposure builds trust and comfort. If it makes you feel more at ease, try bringing them along to one of your dentist appointments first and check out our tips on easing dental anxiety in children.

What to expect at your child’s first appointment

Your child’s first appointment will most likely be about introducing them to the dental office and staff members, as well as learning the basics about caring for their teeth. Typically, dentists will not do an actual exam on the first visit but they may take a quick look inside your child’s mouth to ensure all the teeth are coming in properly and to assess their bite. If possible or necessary, a quick cleaning may also be done.

If given the choice, most people would choose to just use mouthwash over flossing. We get it—it's easier and faster to swish some minty mouthwash around in your mouth than it is to precisely floss between each tooth. Good oral care, however, is more about effectiveness than it is about convenience. And while mouthwash is a great recommended addition to your oral health routine, flossing is critical and can’t be replaced by mouthwash alone.

Let’s discuss mouthwash first. There are two categories of mouthwash: cosmetic and therapeutic. Cosmetic rinses are geared more toward temporary relief of bad breath, while therapeutic rinses aim to remove plaque buildup, help prevent cavities, and kill harmful bacteria. Therapeutic mouthwashes typically contain fluoride and other antimicrobial agents.

Flossing, on the other hand, is crucial for gum health, making it easy to see why it can’t be replaced by mouthwash. It provides necessary abrasion that works to dislodge food and plaque that can get stuck between your teeth and up close to the gumline. People who floss regularly report less sensitivity, lower levels of gum inflammation and bleeding, and less plaque and tartar buildup. And the best part? Studies show that flossing at least once a day also helps prevent periodontal (gum) disease.

Schedule an Appointment Today 

Overall, the best oral care routine would include brushing, flossing, and mouthwash (in that order), in addition to regular dentist visits. So, make an appointment with us today! We look forward to being a part of your oral health routine.

Dentures are removable artificial teeth that can come in two forms: partials or completes. Just like the name sounds, partial dentures cover only a portion of missing teeth with other natural teeth present in the mouth. A complete denture set covers the entire mouth that no longer has any natural teeth present. Dentures are a great way for individuals with missing teeth to restore a beautiful, natural-looking smile!

Other benefits of dentures include:

Increased self-esteem. People with missing teeth can often feel embarrassed or ashamed of their appearance. After all, your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. But a benefit of dentures is a beautiful, pearly-white smile that makes you feel confident, self-assured, and ready for your close-up!

Improved quality of life, including improved eating and speech. Dentures support your facial muscles, allowing you to be able to eat foods you weren’t able to eat when you had damaged or missing teeth. With a bit of practice in your new dentures, you should be able to chew tougher foods like meat, caramel, crunchy fruit, and everything in between. Support from dentures can also improve your speech. If certain words are difficult to enunciate with missing teeth, dentures can help you to enunciate your letters and words better and restore your usual manner of speaking.

If you need advice on how to persuade someone to brush their teeth, we’re here for you. It’s an unfortunate reality that good oral hygiene isn’t a priority for everyone. For many, however, years of bad oral hygiene habits formed as a child can carry over into adult life. But, worry not! It’s not too late to help someone change those unhealthy habits. Here are some tips and tricks that may help you get someone you care about to brush their teeth.

Explain the risks of poor dental hygiene

Lack of good, consistent dental hygiene comes with several health risks and you should let your friend or loved one know about them. From bad breath to tooth decay to gum disease, explain to them that they are at risk for damaging their smile and impacting their health if they don’t start brushing! A quick internet search or a conversation with your dentist will help you equip yourself with information about dental health to pass along to your friend or loved one.

Be a good example!

Perhaps you can inspire others to brush their teeth if you set out to be a perfect example of oral care. Brush and floss your teeth on a regular basis and try dropping hints about a new toothbrush or mouthwash you really like. It’s more subtle but it may be just what your friend needs to feel motivated to follow suit.

Root canals are used to repair and save teeth that have become badly decayed or infected. When the pulp of the tooth, which is made up of blood vessels and nerves, is damaged, it needs to be removed and the inside of the tooth will be cleaned, filled, and sealed. Physical symptoms don’t typically start until the problem has become more advanced, so it’s important to be aware of some signs of possible trouble. Here are 5 signs that you may need a root canal:

Persistent or excessive pain. Pain is one of the biggest indicators that something is wrong with the root of your tooth. If it hurts when you put pressure on your tooth and if this pain has lasted for weeks or months without improvement, a root canal might be in your future. Prolonged tooth discomfort is typically due to a damaged root and these don’t heal on their own.

Chipped or cracked tooth. When a tooth gets cracked or chipped, it can expose the nerves beneath the surface of the tooth, which can lead to an infection. This infection, if not treated by a root canal, can enter the bloodstream and spread, potentially causing more widespread issues.

Sensitivity. If you’re noticing that a tooth is becoming increasingly sensitive while eating or drinking, especially hot or cold items, damaged blood vessels and nerve endings may be to blame. A root canal may be in order!

It’s never too late to take control of your oral health and prevent dental problems. Here are a few simple steps you can follow to better prevent dental issues.

Know your baseline — and know your risk level

The first step in taking control of your dental health is to know your current level of health and knowing what your cavity risk level is. The best way to know this is through a comprehensive dental exam and by scheduling regular examinations. If you have cavities or your dentist sees an increased risk of oral health issues, you can take a more specific, effective approach and get a head start on treatment and preventative options.

Good oral hygiene

This one is obvious but there are some details to remember. For one, brush your teeth at least twice a day for at least two minutes. You also want to avoid brushing too hard, as that can damage the enamel of your teeth or injure your gums. If you damage your gums, the tissue can become weak and allow bacteria to get into your teeth. If you’re curious about the best type of toothbrush for you, check out our information on electric versus manual options.

You’ve been told most of your life about the importance of brushing your teeth at least twice a day. But what about flossing? Just how often should you be doing it — really?

Flossing cleans between your teeth and along your gum line. And while flossing can often feel like a chore, it really is essential to your dental health. It helps get to those hard-to-reach places in between your teeth and your gum line, which is prime real estate for plaque buildup. If plaque isn't removed from these areas, it builds up and eventually hardens, resulting in a substance called tartar. And tartar buildup can lead to gum disease or health oral health issues.

Here's everything you need to know to establish a healthy flossing routine.

How often?

It’s recommended that you floss every time you brush your teeth, but at least once a day. Keep in mind that quality is more important than quantity — flossing one time well is much better than not-so-great flossing three times a day.