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What Are Veneers

For a quick way to a beautiful smile, many people turn to veneers. But what exactly are veneers and why do people get them? To answer those questions and more, we take a deep dive into veneers.

Why Do People Get Veneers?

Used mainly to correct small misalignments, close gaps, or cover stained teeth, veneers are generally less intrusive than braces or crowns. Particular cases for veneers include (but aren’t limited to) injury, covering discolored fillings, issues with a root canal procedure, or unwanted spacing between teeth.

Veneers are constructed from porcelain or resin composite materials and placed on the front teeth. The procedure requires little to no anesthesia and lasts for many years.

How Do You Care for Veneers?

To avoid possible staining, be sure to brush right after consuming coffee, beets, wine, or other stain-inducing items.

Are you a tooth grinder? Then a custom mouth guard is a must. Be sure to get it created after your veneers have been placed, so the guard will fit snugly around your teeth. The same advice goes if you play contact sports—protect your new smile with a custom-made mouth guard. 

If you happen to chew on pens or your nails, now’s the perfect time to stop. Continuing these habits with veneers can lead to long-term damage. Be sure to make an effort to drop these habits to ensure the longevity of your beautiful new smile.

Are veneers the right choice for you? Book an appointment today and Dr. Fernandez will be happy to review your circumstance and point you in the right direction.

Everyone knows smoking is bad for your health, but did you know it can cause major dental issues as well?

Smoking and Dental Problems

A long-term smoker’s smile is often riddled with yellowness and even dark spots between teeth. The many carcinogens (a substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue) in cigarettes can cause major discoloration and lead to tooth decay. Smoking also inhibits the body’s natural restorative processes, making it more time-consuming to recover from surgeries and can create further complications, especially with procedures involving dental work. One study suggests that more than 1/3 of smokers have at least three dental issues. That’s 4x the rate of non-smokers.

The Link to Gum Disease

Studies have shown smokers are at significant risk for gum or periodontal disease. Bacterial plaque—a leading factor in gum disease—is built up more frequently in mouths of smokers. The lack of oxygen in the bloodstream makes it difficult to heal the infected areas.

Since your toothbrush can’t reach everywhere in your mouth (especially between your teeth), you need to floss to keep up proper oral hygiene. Yet so many of us either choose not to floss or simply forget to do it. Here are three tricks to floss every day.

Floss in the Shower

By attaching the act of flossing to a habit you already have, you’re more likely to meld the two habits together. This kicks out the worries associated with forming a new habit from scratch, which, as we all know, can be quite difficult. 

Create a Craving

In the book The Power of Habit, author Charles Duhigg explains that a cornerstone of forming a new habit is creating a craving, which is at the heart of all habits. The reward of flossing is better breath and a healthier mouth today, and a solid foundation for the future of your oral health. Remind yourself of this reward, and your brain will have further drive to create a craving to floss every day. 

With treatment times up to 2x faster, Invisalign® gets you into your new smile in no time. But what exactly is the best age for Invisalign®? The simple answer: There’s no set-in-stone age. Rather, there are certain conditions that must be met. And those are:

  1. All baby teeth must be gone
  2. First molars and permanent incisors must have come through
  3. There can be no significant tooth decay or damage
  4. The aligners must be worn 22 hours or more every day—the candidate must be mature enough to comply with this treatment

Patients as young as 11 or 12 have received Invisalign®. The majority of teen treatments are in the 12-16 age range.

If you’re an adult looking to get your old smile back, it’s never too late for Invisalign®. If you’re uncertain of whether you’d be a good candidate, just book an appointment and we’d be happy to review your individual needs.

Will Invisalign® Disrupt My Life?

You don’t have to worry about your life being interrupted—whether you’re having lunch with friends or playing your favorite sport, Invisalign® won’t slow you down. Just simply remove the aligners and you’re ready to go. Foods that prove challenging with braces are no worries with Invisalign®. Popcorn at the movies? Corn on the cob? Enjoy all of your favorite foods without the mess and worry.

Thanks to precise molding, Invisalign® is better fitting than other aligners on the market and works with greater predictability and control. This means a snug, comfortable fit that’s tailored to your teeth.

If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of Invisalign®, feel free to book an appointment or give us a call at 757-497-4825.

Whether it’s morning breath, coffee breath, or anything in between, bad breath is something everyone deals with at one time or another. But what causes bad breath and how can we fix it?

The Causes of Bad Breath

From your gumline to under your tongue, your mouth is filled with millions of bacteria. Poor oral hygiene can result is these bacteria not only surviving, but thriving.

Bad breath can also be a symptom of a larger underlying issue, including bronchitis or pneumonia, or an infection in your tonsils, throat, or nasal cavity. Thrush (an overgrowth of yeast in the mouth) is also a potential cause of bad breath.

The cause can be varied. But if you’re in good health, then there are a few ways you can fix bad breath.

Schedule an Appointment with Your Dentist

If you’re suffering from bad breath, a great place to start is with your dentist. After all, they’ve seen it all and can offer you tailored advice. (And if you’re in the Virginia Beach area, schedule an appointment with Dr. Fernandez!)

Though sugary drinks may be delicious, they come at a steep cost. Not only can they lead to obesity, long-term consumption can cause health issues and, of course, tooth decay. Here are a couple drinks to beware of that may have more sugar than you thought.

Whole Fruit is Better Than Fruit Juice

Fruit juices may sound like a great option, but they’re dense with sugar. Next time you reach for the fruit juice, be sure to check out the nutrition facts on the label. You’ll be shocked to discover the amount of sugar—sometimes they contain even more than popular sugary drinks, like Coke. Whole fruits, on the other hand, have less sugar and also other key nutrients such as fiber.

BrightSummerSmileSummer is the perfect time for vacations, which means tons of exciting vacation photos. Want your smile to look its best? Here are 5 tips for a bright summer smile.

1. Brush the Right Way
Buy a toothpaste with fluoride and use a gentle back and forth stroke. Don’t forget to brush your tongue!

2. Brush Every Night
You’ve had a long day and it’s time for bed. Before you slip into dreamland, grab your toothbrush and clean your teeth. It prevents buildup of plaque and helps keep decay at bay.

3. Change Your Toothbrush Every 3 Months
Your bristles may not be worn down, but there’s another reason to change out your toothbrush: bacteria. The American Dental Association recommends changing your toothbrush every three months. And be sure to only buy toothbrushes that are labeled as having soft bristles. Anything harder can push back your gums over time.