Can Dental Bridges Be Whitened?

Teeth whitening can be a great way to get rid of tooth discoloration and yellowish staining. However, if you have corrective dentistry such as dental implants, whitening can be a little bit tricky. 

Unfortunately, over-the-counter teeth whitening products have little to no effect on bleaching the porcelain materials used in bridges. So, how do you create a uniformly white and bright smile? And how do you keep your teeth looking great once they’ve been whitened?

Stains and Your Bridges

Anything that can stain your real teeth also poses the risk of staining your dentures, bridges, and crowns. The artificial teeth used on bridges and dentures are made of porcelain, which can be stained by dark and acidic foods and liquids. Because of this, the teeth on dentures and bridges need to be professionally cleaned by a dental professional for best results.

When it comes to removing stains from bridges, you would be wise to skip over-the-counter whitening options. Because of the nature of bridges, these products are essentially ineffective. They are made for regular teeth; not porcelain.

Your dentist can clean and brighten your natural teeth at a dental appointment. Usually, your dentist will clean your natural teeth first, and then try to match your bridges to those teeth. In some cases, however, artificial teeth cannot be whitened and the stains cannot be removed. If this is the case, you’ll want to consider having new bridges made to color coordinate more effectively. 

How to Keep Your Teeth Clean and Sparkling White

When it comes to a white smile, prevention is key. It is easier to partake in healthy oral habits and practices to prevent discoloration in the first place than it is to correct these problems later on.

To keep your teeth whiter, try:

  • Brushing your teeth routinely, at least twice per day, if not more.
  • Have your teeth professionally cleaned at least twice per year. Tartar and plaque build-up causes your teeth to appear yellow.
  • Avoiding tobacco products as they tend to turn teeth yellow or brown.
  • Wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports. Dental trauma can lead to discoloration.  
  • Avoid drinking colored beverages, especially coffee, tea, and colas. These liquids darken the color of the teeth.
  • Avoid colored foods. Anything that may stain your clothing may also stain your teeth.

If you are looking forward to having whiter teeth and dental work and to restore your pearly whites, contact us today for more information. Together, we can restore your smile back to pearly white. 

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Why Are My Teeth Yellow?

We all want a white and healthy smile, but unfortunately, over time a lot of factors can lead to our teeth becoming yellowed and discolored. Luckily, there have been many advancements in whitening technology, and there are options to restore our teeth back to “pearly white” status. However, it is important to understand exactly what causes discoloration in the first place.

Reasons Why Your Teeth Become Yellow

Smoking: A very common cause of yellowing teeth from smoking and tobacco use. The tar, nicotine and other chemicals from the smoke are the culprits. These contents can seep deep into the pores of your tooth enamel and stain them yellow. While e-cigarettes don’t discolor your teeth as much as regular cigarettes, they still contain nicotine and can cause yellowing over time.

Poor Oral Hygiene: Another reason for yellowing teeth is lack of proper oral hygiene. When you begin to notice some yellow buildup on your teeth, this is usually tartar or plaque. It forms when bacteria from eating and drinking are left too long on your teeth and don’t get properly brushed away. The longer you wait to remove plaque, the more likely it is to turn into tartar buildup.

DietIt shouldn’t be a surprise that the foods and drinks you consume lead to tooth discoloration. Coffee, soda, tea, tomato sauces and more can give your teeth a yellow appearance. It is important to monitor your diet for foods notorious for causing discoloration and to brush as quickly as you can after eating and drinking.

Age and Genetics: Your genetics and age play a big role in the health and look of your teeth. As you get older, the enamel on your teeth naturally starts to become thinner, revealing a more yellowish tint. Genetically, some of us are born with teeth that are more porous and therefore more prone to staining.

Illnesses and Medications: Many illnesses, especially ones that affect your liver, can cause discoloration on your teeth. Cancer patients who have undergone chemotherapy or a radiation treatment may also notice their teeth changing from white to a brownish or yellowish color. Medications such as antibiotics can also affect the color of your teeth and is more prevalent in younger kids.

Ways To Prevent Your Teeth From Yellowing

Oral Hygiene: To keep your teeth from getting yellow, you should brush your teeth and floss at least twice a day. Additionally, you should brush your teeth after eating or drinking anything acidic.

Proper Cleanings: Aside from your daily brushing, you should have your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year. The dentist will polish and scale your teeth as necessary during each visit. They will remove tartar build-up and any minor staining on the surface of your teeth using a semi-abrasive polish. These routine visits are a form of preventative care against future teeth discoloration.

Whitening Solutions: If you need extra help restoring the color of your teeth, you should talk to your dentist about whitening options. They will be able to use LEDs or lasers and bleaching products to help get you great results in a single visit.

If you have concerns about the color of your teeth or would like to explore whitening options, contact us today!

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Treatments For Bruxism

Bruxism is the medical term for teeth grinding. It can be caused by stress, anxiety, an abnormal bite, a sleeping disorder or missing teeth. Additionally, tobacco and alcohol use can intensify Bruxism. The side effects of this condition include a sore jaw, fractured or lost teeth, and dull headaches. 

Dangers of Bruxism

It is important for people to get teeth grinding under control as soon as possible.  Bruxism can cause chips and cracks in the enamel. Once enamel is damaged, it cannot be replaced or restored. Damaged enamel can also expose the dentin and pulp of the tooth, which can lead to further damage. 

Bruxism can also increase the risk for gum disease and jaw damage. These conditions can result in chronic pain, which makes chewing and talking uncomfortable.

People who grind their teeth are not considered good candidates for dental implants. Additionally, Bruxism can result in digestive issues. Teeth grinders may not be able to chew their food properly. This can result in indigestion and stomach pain.

Treatment Options

Mild cases of Bruxism may not cause serious damage to the teeth or jaw. However, many people will require treatment. Splints and mouth guards can be used to keep your teeth from grinding during the night. These devices work by physically preventing you from grinding or clenching your teeth.

Because Bruxism is linked to stress and anxiety, you may need to find ways to manage these factors in your daily life. You can speak to a counselor about anxiety treatments and meditation options.

Bruxism may also be a sign of sleep apnea. This condition will need to be properly treated in order to stop teeth grinding. Sleep apnea can be treated with oral appliance therapy. It may also be treated with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine.

Prevention

Treatment can begin by getting your stress levels under control. Exercise and massage therapy are some of the ways to cope with stress. You will also need to relax your jaw muscles at night. You can do this by applying a warm cloth to your face.It is also important to reduce your intake of caffeine and alcohol. Studies have shown that both of these substances can make the effects of teeth grinding more intense.

In some cases, Bruxism is the side effect of certain medications. You will need to check with your doctor if you believe that your medication is causing this issue. You may want to consider switching to another medication.

It is also important to schedule regular dental examinations. Your dentist will spot early signs of teeth grinding and recommend the appropriate treatment.

If you are struggling with grinding your teeth, give us a call at Dana Walters DDS today. Together we can create a dental plan to eliminate Bruxism and get your teeth back to normal.

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Is Teeth Grinding Genetic?

Many people grind their teeth, whether they know it or not. Though you may not notice it during your sleep, the symptoms and after-effects can be very destructive. In addition to being bad for your dental health, teeth grinding can also cause discomfort and sleep disruptions. So what exactly causes this phenomenon and how can it be stopped?

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism, colloquially called ‘teeth grinding’ occurs as a result of clenching the jaw. Although it most typically occurs during sleep, it can also present when people are awake and conscious. While commonly viewed as merely a nervous habit, Bruxism can have serious consequences if left untreated. It often turns habitual, causing extensive damage to the teeth and oral health. People who suffer from this affliction are prone to developing Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ).

Causes

There are a variety of factors that can contribute to grinding one’s teeth. Stress and anxiety are certainly the main causes, but sleep disorders can also play a largely causal role. Additionally, the anatomy and physiology of the mouth and jaw can make quite a large impact. Having missing or crooked teeth or having an abnormal bite are equally likely to cause a person to develop bruxism. Smokers and people who excessively consume alcohol have also been found to be nearly twice as likely to develop this habit.

Symptoms

The most common symptoms include:
-soreness of the jaw
-headaches
-loose, fractured, or painful teeth

Genetics: Do They Play a Role?

Evidence strongly indicates that this practice is genetic. Teeth grinding tends to run in families. Increased hormone levels in family members has been shown to be a trend in those affected by it. Variations to certain genes as well as morphisms in neurotransmitters (particularly where serotonin is concerned) in the brain have also been shown to be both hereditarily passed down, as well as common occurrences in people who report grinding their teeth.

Treatment and How to Stop It

The easiest yet most effective solutions to the problem of habitual teeth grinding is to pay a visit to your dentist. He or she will be able to discuss options with you, but typically the first step in treating the habit and its negative effects is to design a custom-made mouthguard. Wearing one of these, typically while sleeping, has been shown to significantly reduce teeth grinding.

In more severe cases or for increased comfort while becoming accustomed to the oral apparatus, the dentist or physician may advise you to take a muscle relaxant tablet before bedtime. The muscle relaxant will aid you in becoming comfortable wearing the mouthguard. This is especially useful for those whose symptoms are the result of stress. Counseling, meditation, and other relaxation techniques are other holistic remedies that you can take up on your own.

If you are suffering from Bruxism, schedule an appointment to come see us today. Here at Dana Walters DDS we specialize in bruxism treatment and prevention and will help stop this bad habit in no time.

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How Mouthguards Protect Your Teeth

A mouthguard is often the first line of defense to protect against dental trauma. Mouthguards can be used for more than just sports; they also prevent teeth grinding, enhance teeth whitening and improve general dental health. There are many benefits to wearing a mouthguard that can benefit more than just athletes; 

Prevent Trauma

Many sports require athletes to wear mouthguards to protect their teeth. A bad fall or a ball to the face could prove detrimental to teeth and gums if they are not protected. Any sport involving physical contact can be dangerous.

Fixing teeth that have been knocked out or displaced is costly and painful. A crown, implant or bridge can be installed to replace missing teeth. The minimum cost for each service is around $500. In comparison, a mouthguard has an average minimum cost of $100 and requires much less time and maintenance. Using a mouthguard can prevent you from wasting lots of time and money, as well as save you from a lot of mouth pain. 

Aside from contact sports, you should consider wearing a mouth guard if you plan to participate in other high-risk activities like skiing or mountain biking. Accidents happen, and you never want to risk hurting your teeth. 

Prevent Teeth Grinding

Mouthguards help adults and children who suffer from bruxism.  They grind down their teeth and cause hypersensitivity that makes eating or speaking difficult. If they have dental fillings or implants, bruxism can shorten their lifespan and you will need replacements sooner rather than later. 

A mouthguard does not cure bruxism, but it does reduce its’ harmful effects to the body. This includes reducing strain to the jaw and muscles around the mouth. 

When to Work With a Dentist

Mouthguards are often available for purchase in sports stores, but these are one-size-fits-all designs. Your dentist can create a custom mouthguard for your teeth. The device fits into the mouth perfectly without any discomfort and is made based on molds taken of your mouth. Custom-made mouthguards contain softer, more comfortable materials than the store-bought ones. 

A mouthguard is a smart investment to protect your teeth and smile. By investing in this preventative dentistry, you may save yourself lots of pain, time, and money down the line. It is important to work with your dentist to get the most effective mouthguard for you. For a consultation or to learn more about the services, contact the office of Dana Walters DDS today!. 

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The History Of The Toothbrush

The toothbrush is one of your best tools when it comes to maintaining your oral health. Nowadays, the toothbrush is a common household item, but the toothbrush we know today has greatly changed over time. Where did the toothbrush originate? Let’s explore its’ history; 

Before the toothbrush we know today, there were chew sticks. Chew sticks were found in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. They were made from soft, frayed twigs whos’ ends somewhat resemble bristles. While the Mesopotamians and Egyptians used chew sticks, the Greeks and Romans used toothpicks for similar functions.

The toothbrush we know today can be traced back to China. Originating in the Tang Dynasty, these early brushes were made from coarse hog bristles. The bristles were attached to a handle made of bone or bamboo. The toothbrush spread as people traveled from China to Europe and was eventually adopted by the Europeans in the 17th century. The Europeans adapted the brush, switching from hog bristles to horse hair, making it softer and easier on the teeth.

The toothbrush was first mass-produced by William Addis. Addis was jailed for rioting in 1770. While in jail, he noticed that using a rag and salt (the normal for dental hygiene at the time) was an ineffective way to keep his teeth clean. He took a small animal bone, leftover from one of his meals, drilled holes in it and attached bristle like tufts. He sealed the entire brush with glue.

As Addis began to mass produce, the toothbrush industry took off. Mass production of brushes soon became popular in England, France, Germany, and Japan. Addis’s company remained in his family for hundreds of years until 1996. Wisdom Toothbrushes, as it is called today, continues to make millions of brushes every single year.

The toothbrush has come a long way in the last few hundred years. It’s hard to imagine that this common household item dates all the way back to almost 3000 BCE.

The history of the toothbrush may be ancient, but having a healthy smile will never go out of style.  Make sure to visit us at Dana Walters DDS for all of your dental needs. Call us today at (614) 771-6172!

 

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Advantages of a dental implants

Maintaining healthy teeth is very important. While we need strong teeth to chew our food, we also want a straight, white set of teeth to give us an attractive smile that we can feel good about. Missing teeth can inhibit our ability to eat and can be embarrassing. Fortunately for those with damaged or missing teeth, your dentist can fix your smile with dental implants.

Strengthens Support for Other Dental Work

If you already have dental bridges or dentures, you know they tend to slip or shift in your mouth. Implants provide a better support system, preventing these problems, especially while you’re eating or speaking. Since the implant is more secure and fused to your jaw, all of your artificial teeth will fit better and feel more natural.

Implants are More Comfortable

There is often a degree of discomfort associated with wearing dentures. In the past, there was no choice but to simply adjust to the discomfort. Because dental implants are a more natural and permanent fit, users often don’t notice them as time goes on, making them a more comfortable and less distracting option.

Reduce the Risk of Jawbone Shrinkage

Missing teeth can cause the jawbone to shrink and lose its’ density. Getting a dental implant to fill that gap strengthens the overall continuity of your teeth, which prevents them from shifting and keeps the jawbone strong. Implants also cover holes in the jaw bone which prevent food from falling in and causing infection.

Implants are a Permanent Solution

Just like natural teeth and dentures, you will have to take proper care of your dental implants. Your dentist will give you specific instructions on what that entails. As long as you care for your implants properly, they can last throughout your lifetime. This makes them preferable to other options, which may degrade and need to be replaced over time.

A Better Eating Experience

One of the more practical benefits of receiving implants is that they will make your teeth stronger and help you enjoy eating again. When there’s a missing or decayed tooth in your mouth, it can affect how you eat and prevent you from enjoying certain foods. Once you’ve had implants, you can again eat with confidence, knowing that hard or crunchy foods won’t damage your teeth. 

You Will Smile More

Missing teeth can cause a number of problems. They can cause your remaining teeth to shift and appear crooked, which will keep you from smiling confidently. Additionally, missing teeth and the degradation that it causes in the jaw can affect how your face looks. There may be sagging and deeper wrinkles. By getting the implants, you can have a healthy smile again.

Everyone wants a smile that they’re proud of. Getting implants is a great way to restore your smile and give you better overall dental health. If you would like to learn more about the dental implants or find out if you qualify, please contact us Dana Walters DDS for a consultation.

 

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Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?

Many people around the world suffer from missing teeth. Previously, the only treatment options for tooth loss were dentures and bridges. Bridges and dentures come with a variety of problems and side effects. For example, they can slip shift in the mouth making them uncomfortable and distracting. Furthermore, they needed to be a bound to teeth on either side of the gap being filled, making it hard for patients missing multiple teeth. Luckily, dental implants are a more permanent and convenient solution to this problem. 

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a metal frame that is surgically inserted into the jawbone beneath the gum. It acts as a foundation onto which crowns are mounted. Essentially, a dental implant is an artificial tooth root.

The process of getting a dental implant

The first step of getting a dental implant is visiting a dentist. People have different dental needs and characteristics. For example, the strength of the gum and the arrangement of teeth varies from person to person. Therefore, the dentist must create an individualized treatment plan for you.

A small frame made of metal or titanium is embedded in the bone socket. The frame is then fastened to the jaw by the growth of jawbone around it. Typically, the jawbone takes 6-12 weeks to heal. When the jawbone heals, a connector known as an abutment is mounted on the implant. The new tooth is then attached to the abutment.

Is getting a dental implant painful?

No. With the introduction of sedative dentistry, dental surgical procedures are no longer painful. It is possible to experience mild discomfort during and shortly after the procedure. This can be treated with over-the-counter medication.

Who needs a dental implant?

If you are looking for a lasting solution to tooth loss, a dental implant is for you. Anyone with healthy gums and enough jawbone to hold the implants can undergo the procedure. Before undergoing the dental implant surgery, you should be ready to maintain good oral hygiene and visit the dental center regularly. Dental implants may be unsuitable for people with uncontrolled chronic disorders. Your dentist will evaluate your health situation and make recommendations accordingly.

Advantages of a dental implant

  • Improved appearance: A Dental implant is fitted into the jawbone making it look like natural teeth. Dentists will match the color of the crown with the color of your natural teeth.
  • They are comfortable: Unlike dentures, a dental implant cannot slip or slide in the mouth when eating or speaking. The implants are almost as comfortable as natural teeth.
  • Better oral health: A dental implant does not require a reshaping of the adjacent teeth. The natural teeth are left intact thereby enhancing their long-time health.
  • They are convenient: Unlike dentures, a dental implant does not need to be constantly removed. Unlike dentures, you do not need to apply adhesives to keep it in place.
  • They are durable: A dental implant lasts for many years. In fact, with good maintenance, it can last for an entire lifetime. 

Where can you get quality dental implants

Come see Dana Walters DDS for all of your dental implant questions and concerns. The celebrated dental center has a team of accomplished dental professionals. Most of these experts have offered dental services for more than two decades. We are committed to improving confidence, comfort, and quality of life for those who seek our services. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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The Most Common Causes Of Tooth Pain

One of the most common reasons for you to see a dentist is tooth pain or discomfort. Tooth pain should never be ignored. It is often an indication that something is wrong with your oral cavity, and the problem could worsen without treatment. Here are the top reasons why you may be experiencing discomfort in your tooth. 

An Impacted Tooth

If you have wisdom teeth or third molars, then you may experience discomfort from an impacted tooth. Wisdom teeth are in the back of the mouth in the lower or upper region. It is possible to have between one and four wisdom teeth, and you may need to have these teeth removed to prevent swelling in the gums and infection in the jawbone. Removing impacted teeth as fast as possible is the best way to avoid dental malocclusions because the teeth can push your other teeth out of alignment.

Infected Gum Tissue

When you have gingivitis, you will have bleeding and swollen gums and extensive tooth pain. When you suspect that you have gum disease, don’t delay treatment because the condition will get worse and can potentially lead to a loss of teeth. Our team will examine your mouth to determine what type of treatment is necessary to eliminate gingivitis. You will likely require oral antibiotics along with extensive teeth cleaning that will include scraping away the bacteria and cutting away infected gum tissue.

An Injury To a Tooth

If you chip, crack, break or dislocate a tooth, then you should seek emergency medical treatment. Experts recommend repairing a damaged tooth within an hour to avoid having dying nerves or infected dental roots. When you have a dental emergency, contact your dentist’s office with its special after-hours telephone number and prepare to go to the dental facility immediately.

Dental Decay In Your Teeth

When you have dental decay in a tooth, it will often lead to chronic or intermittent discomfort. By visiting a dental facility right away, you can have a small cavity filled right away without the need for sedation. If you have a larger cavity, then you may need to have the interior portion of the tooth removed so that you can have a customized dental crown placed over the shell of the tooth. In many cases, you can have a dental crown made and applied in one day.

Are You Grinding Your Teeth?

If you are grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw at night, this is condition referred to as Bruxism. With Bruxism, you may experience jaw pain or even broken or damaged teeth. Our facility has a specialized Bruxism treatment plan. Come visit Dr. Dana Walters DDS in Hilliard, Ohio, and you can call us at 614-771-6172 to make an appointment today.

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What To Expect During Your First Dental Visit

When you have your first dental visit at our office, you might wonder what the process is like. First, the office staff will collect your insurance information along with the names of previous dentists so that your dental records are available. Any previous dental facilities that you visited will fax over your medical images and other information to the new dental facility. This will give a current dentist the information required to provide the best dental care for your specific needs.

Have Your Insurance Information With You

Make sure to bring your personal identification and insurance information with you to your first visit. This will help ensure that the dental assistants can verify everything before your appointment. Make sure to arrive early for your appointment and prepare for a thorough examination. You may need new medical images, so we can easily spot any new problem areas in the mouth and treat them accordingly.

Have a Cavity Filled

When you have a small cavity, it is possible to have it fixed immediately without any anesthetic. However, if you have a larger cavity or gingivitis you may need to return another day for treatment. For major dental decay, you may require a dental crown or root canal. If you have gingivitis, you must take oral antibiotics before having your dental roots scraped to remove bacteria. More invasive dental treatment will require using anesthesia and may require multiple appointments on different days.

Request a Tooth-Whitening Procedure

If you don’t have any apparent dental health issues, a hygienist will clean your teeth to remove plaque buildup. If you aren’t happy with the way that your teeth look, you can discuss your cosmetic dentistry options with the dentist. You might want to have your teeth whitened to remove the discoloration. Tooth discoloration can happen over time from poor dental hygiene practices, smoking tobacco, and eating certain foods. A tooth-whitening procedure is a simple way to combat this discoloration.

Improve Your Smile

Make sure to discuss your dental needs during your first visit and any questions or concerns you have about your treatment. There are many resources for improving your smile; applying bonding material to any chips on your teeth or creating veneers to hide the shape of a tooth are valid treatment options. Together, you and your dentist can create the perfect treatment plan for you.

You can contact Dr. Dana R. Walters in Hilliard, Ohio to schedule your first visit with our team. Our dental facility is located near to Columbus and Upper Arlington. We have been caring for dental patients for over 25 years, and we are currently accepting new patients at our facility.

 

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