Invisalign are clear aligners used as orthodontic devices to straighten your smile. The treatment involves wearing a series of clear aligners over a period of months, with each successive set of aligners moving teeth closer to their ideal, straighter position. Whether you are a teenager or a senior citizen, Invisalign can work for you. And while there is no specific age requirement for this treatment option, there are some general guidelines that may help you determine if they’re right for you or your child:

  • Length of treatment: The majority of Invisalign patients wear their aligners for about 12 months. Depending on the severity of the problem, you may be required to wear your aligners for as little as eight months or as long as eighteen months or more.
  • Teeth positioning: Overall, Invisalign is recommended for kids who have lost all of their baby teeth and have a full set of permanent teeth, which is usually around ages 12 or 13. It’s not recommended for children whose mouths are still growing and developing, or for any child who has significant tooth decay or damage. Typically before Invisalign is started on a younger patient, an X-Ray will be done to assess the position of the teeth and check how much space is needed for remaining teeth to come through.
  • Maturity: Patients must be responsible enough to wear the aligners for up to 22 hours a day, every day. Luckily, each Invisalign aligner tray has a small blue indicator on them that will allow you or your dentist to know if they’re being worn frequently enough. Patients will also need to keep their aligners and mouth clean!

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If you are interested in finding out more about Invisalign for you or your child, make an appointment with us today!

A root canal is a relatively painless and straightforward procedure usually performed over one or two visits. A root canal is a very common procedure that eliminates bacteria from the infected root canal to save the natural tooth. During a root canal procedure, your dentist will:

  • Remove bacteria and decay from the tooth pulp, root, and nerve
  • Clean out the infected area with antibiotics
  • Fill the empty roots
  • Seal the area to prevent new decay

How do you know if you might need a root canal?

Your dentist will determine if a root canal is the necessary treatment for you. But there are a few signs and symptoms that mean you might be heading in that direction:

  • Severe pain while chewing or biting
  • A chipped or cracked tooth with worsening pain
  • Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold, even after the sensation has been removed
  • Swollen or tender gums, or darkening of the gums

Why are root canals so important?

If your dental pulp (the inside of your tooth) becomes infected or damaged, it won’t heal on its own. If the infection spreads from the pulp down past the roots, it can create a painful and dangerous abscess. An abscess is a pus-filled area that forms in the jaw beneath the tooth or in the gums and can actually spread the infection to other parts of your body. If your dentist recommends a root canal, know that it’s important!

After the root canal

After your root canal, your tooth will look even better than normal. If you follow good dental and oral hygiene, your restored tooth can last a lifetime. The first few days after your root canal, you may feel some soreness or sensitivity. Over-the-counter pain medications can help. Be sure to follow all of the instructions from your dentist and endodontist to ensure proper healing and recovery.

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Do you have more questions about root canals or are you experiencing any of the symptoms listed above? Make an appointment with us today!

Dental veneers are thin covers made from resin or porcelain that adhere to your teeth to give them a healthy, more classically shaped look. And while they’ve been around for many years and are becoming increasingly popular, you may not know too much about them. Here are facts about dental veneers you should know.

Veneers can be a solution for sensitive teeth

For people with sensitive teeth or weakened enamel, veneers can provide a protective shield for your teeth. With your natural teeth still underneath, the veneer acts as a layer of defense against those pesky hot and cold foods and drinks that can cause pain!

Veneers an alternative to whitening treatments

If you’ve tried all the whitening toothpastes there are to buy and your stubborn stains are still present, don’t despair! Veneers are an effective way to whiten your teeth. No matter what caused the stains, translucent veneers can be created in a natural-looking shade to give you a brighter, whiter smile. Plus, they are stain-resistant, meaning you can keep your new white smile fresh for a long time without having to worry about more whitening treatments!

Did you know that your oral health is directly related to your overall health? A nutritious meal at lunchtime plays an important role in your (and your family’s) energy and focus throughout the day and could make a big difference on their overall health. Packing a teeth-friendly, healthy lunch doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming so long as you plan ahead. Here are a few easy tips to keep you and your family’s teeth and gums healthy at lunchtime:

Crunchy veggies

Crunchy vegetables—like carrots, cucumbers, celery, and broccoli—are probably the best snack for your teeth, period! The high water content of these vegetables helps dilute natural sugars in your mouth and washes away food particles while you eat. The easiest way to make veggies even yummier is to include a dip like hummus or salsa.

Cheese

Cheese is high in calcium and phosphorus, two minerals that help keep tooth enamel strong. Cheese also increases saliva in your mouth, which acts as a natural defense against cavities and gum disease. Other dairy products, like milk or yogurt, are also good things to pack!

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are arguably one of the healthiest protein sources you can eat. They’re an excellent source of healthy fats, vitamin D, calcium, fiber and folic acid. You already know calcium is good for your teeth but folic acid also plays a major role in keeping your gums healthy.

Protein

Extra protein is always a good idea! Protein can help keep your tooth enamel strong. Try making whole-wheat sandwiches with a lean meat such as chicken or turkey.

Fruits

Fruits that are high in fiber, like apples, bananas, and strawberries, act like a natural toothbrush while you bite and chew. Just be wary of dried fruits or fruit juices, which contain a lot of artificial sugars.

Water

Try to include water in your lunch! Water not only hydrates your body, it also helps create more saliva in your mouth which means less tooth decay and stronger tooth enamel.

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Time for a checkup? Make an appointment with us today. We look forward to helping you and your family learn more about healthy choices for a beautiful smile!

Going to regular six-month or yearly checkups can mean the difference between seeing the dentist once or twice a year versus needing weeks of costly treatment sometime in the future. Here are 3 reasons to see your dentist regularly.

Cleanings

No matter how diligent you are with brushing and flossing, plaque and tartar can still build up around your teeth. The best, and easiest, way to remove this is to get your dentist to clean it off during a regular visit. Plus, who doesn’t love that squeaky-clean feeling?

Preventative Treatment

Regular trips to the dentist will ensure small problems are caught or treated before they become big problems. In addition to looking for signs of tooth decay, your dentist will also evaluate the health of your gums, check for broken teeth and examine your mouth for any indications of diabetes or vitamin deficiencies.

When it comes to your child, it’s never too early to develop good oral hygiene habits. In fact, the quicker they learn, the healthier their teeth and gums will be in the future! Here are five easy oral care tips for your kids:

  1. Lead by example. It’s easy to show your son or daughter how to brush, but brushing with you can make the experience more impactful. By showcasing your good habits, they’ll be more likely to build those habits, too.
  1. Use fluoride toothpaste from the start. According to the American Dental Association, fluoride is one of the most necessary ingredients to help prevent tooth decay at an early age.
  1. Use kid-friendly products. Let’s face it: Oral healthcare may not be the most interesting topic to children. To make things more exciting, you can give them products that are specially designed to make brushing sessions more fun. Flavored toothpaste and colorful toothbrushes in different shapes can attract your children and make them brush every day. And try letting your child pick out their dental hygiene products. Having their favorite character on their oral hygiene products will make it fun!
  1. See the dentist regularly. Your child should see a dentist by their first birthday. In addition to starting healthy habits early, your dentist will conduct a thorough exam, give you more tips on proper brushing habits and cavity prevention, and work with you to establish how often your child should visit.
  1. Take it easy on the sugar. Many parents think juice is a healthy choice for a drink, but it can actually lead to tooth decay. Limit your child to no more than 4 ounces a day of 100% fruit juice. Give non-sugary drinks and foods at mealtimes, and use juice only as a treat. Same goes for sweets—build the habit that sweets are a special treat and not a daily snack!

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Make an appointment with us today. We look forward to helping you and your child get a head start on healthy habits!

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.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in all water sources, including the ocean. Some foods also contain fluoride and it’s often added in small amounts to public water supplies around the world to help strengthen teeth and reduce tooth decay. Because research has also shown that fluoride reduces cavities in children and adults, as well as repairs the early stages of tooth decay, it is very common for dentists to use it.

How does it work? 

The process by which fluoride helps your teeth can get a little scientific but here’s the gist: when it reaches your teeth, it’s absorbed into your enamel. It then helps repair the enamel by replenishing the lost calcium and phosphorus, which are the materials that keep your teeth hard and strong. This process is called remineralization and it helps to rebuild your enamel and reduce the risk of tooth decay.

Benefits of Fluoride

There are many benefits to using fluoride. It helps to:

  • Ward off the growth of harmful mouth bacteria
  • Rebuild or remineralize your weakened tooth enamel
  • Minimize the loss of important minerals from your teeth
  • Stop or reverse the early signs of tooth decay

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Make an appointment with us today to learn more about fluoride and other ways we can help you achieve a strong, healthy, gorgeous smile!

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.

TMJ, short for Temporomandibular disorder, refers to a variety of conditions that affect the temporomandibular (TM) joints, jaw muscles and facial nerves. TMJ is the most common non-dental related chronic facial pain complaint and affects more than twice as many women as men.

Symptoms

The most common symptom is pain around the ears. Other symptoms may include:

  • Headaches and neck aches
  • Tenderness of the jaw
  • Jaw pain or soreness that is more noticeable in the morning or afternoon
  • Jaw pain when chewing, biting or yawning
  • Clicking or popping noises when opening the mouth
  • Sensitive teeth without the presence of another dental problem 

What causes TMJ?

Some common causes of TMJ disorders include:

  • Arthritis or other ailments affecting the joints
  • Misaligned bite or jaw
  • Jaw dislocation or injury
  • Stress is also thought to be a factor in TMJ. Stress can cause people to tense up and may cause TMJ if they specifically clench or grind their teeth.

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.