Understanding the Limitations of Teeth Whitening

Whitening your teeth to improve your smile is a popular cosmetic treatment, but you should understand that it does have some limitations to consider. If products are used correctly or if you seek the professional help from a qualified dentist, you can usually achieve a bright and appealing smile. Here are some things to think about when it comes to teeth whitening.

Methods:
You should not expect over-the-counter methods to whiten your teeth more than a couple of shades. The whitening ingredients available in products at your drugstore are not as strong as those used at your dentist’s office. Consistent and correct use of over-the-counter options can help whiten your teeth, but it may not be as much as some patients hope will occur. On the other hand, professional methods can produce dramatic and quick improvements to the color of your teeth.

Habits:
Certain habits contribute to stains on your teeth and if you don’t limit or stop activities prone to discoloring teeth, your newly whitened teeth may become discolored again. Foods like berries and curry, drinks such as coffee and red wine, and habits like smoking will all likely negatively affect your tooth color.

Restorations:
Bridges, crowns, and laminates might not respond in the same way to whitening agents as your natural teeth do. Ask your dentist about how your restorations might react to teeth whitening.

Side effects:
Tooth sensitivity is the most common side effect of whitening procedures, causing some patients to be unable to handle some methods of treatment. Gum sensitivity is another potential problem, but usually dissipates soon after the whitening procedure. Weakening of a restoration may also occur during whitening treatment, sometimes making it necessary to replace them.

Expectations:
Teeth whitening must be occasionally repeated if you want your bright smile to remain for a lifetime. The effects do not last indefinitely, because aging and activities can stain your teeth. Excessive bleaching may damage your teeth though, so be sure to discuss your whitening treatment with your dentist.


Our dental office is located in Clinton NJ

Rejuvenating Your Smile with Teeth Whitening

Simple pleasures like enjoying a cup of coffee or sipping red wine can stain your teeth and leave you with a yellowed smile. Instead of giving up some of your favorite pastimes, you can restore your smile with professional teeth whitening. Home whitening options are available, but to achieve the fastest and most dramatic improvements, professional whitening methods are the way to go.

Teeth whitening is a quick and safe procedure, making it the most popular cosmetic dental procedure today. Some patients even have it done during their lunch break and go right back to work. It’s that easy! The process typically involves protecting your gums from becoming sensitive during treatment, and then applying a whitening solution to your teeth. The solution stays in place for a specific length of time and often a special ultraviolet light is shined on them to enhance the whitening process. Then your teeth are rinsed. The process might be repeated in some areas with severe stains, but the dental professional is careful not to over-whiten your teeth or cause discomfort.

You can choose the shade of white that you would like your teeth to be, and your cosmetic dentist will help you make the best choice. The goal should be to look natural and complement your skin tone. Since teeth whitening is a safe process, just about everyone is a candidate unless you have severely poor oral health. It is usually painless, although those with extremely sensitive teeth may have some discomfort that should dissipate shortly after treatment.

Rejuvenating your smile with teeth whitening is a simple way to make you look younger and enhance your smile. It also improves your self-esteem by giving you confidence in your appearance. A bright, white smile can be yours today through professional teeth whitening.

Our dental office is located in Clinton NJ

Endodontics or Root Canal Therapy

A tooth that has been damaged by decay or trauma may need endodontic treatment, also called root canal therapy, in order to save the tooth. Although it may sound like a scary procedure, advances in dentistry have made it a much less painful or upsetting process than it used to be. This treatment is worth it to restore your smile as naturally as possible.

How do you know you might need endodontics? You may experience pain in the tooth, sensitivity to hot or cold foods or beverages, or swelling in the area. Severe cases may have a discharge of pus near the tooth. However, not all cases of a badly damaged tooth result in noticeable symptoms. That’s one reason it’s important to maintain regular checkups with your dentist, who will pick up on problems with a tooth that you may not realize is damaged. Examination and testing such as X-rays can help diagnose a tooth that is in dire need of repair.

When possible, dentists strive to save your real tooth. Sometimes the best way to do that is through root canal therapy, which involves removing the damaged tooth pulp from the interior of the tooth. Using local anesthesia to make you comfortable, the dentist or endodontist uses special tools to enter the root canal, remove the pulp, and clean the area thoroughly. Once the tooth is ready, a crown is usually placed on top of the existing tooth to protect it from future damage and to complete the process. Sometimes antibiotics are prescribed if an infection was present to help ensure that you are in the best of health.

Endodontic treatment is often compared by patients to simply getting a regular tooth filling. The procedure is usually completed in one office visit and it won’t be long before you are back to your normal routine, with a fully restored natural tooth in your smile.

Schedule your appointment at our Clinton NJ dental office

Kids’ Ages and their Dental Care

Teaching your kids good dental habits and making sure they get dental care are some of the most important things you can do for them. Guidelines for helping your child improve their oral health depend upon their ages. Here are some oral health tips for various stages of childhood.

Infants (up to 2 years):
It’s never too early to begin oral care! Clean your baby’s gums with a damp cloth after feedings to remove bacteria. Once the first tooth erupts, use a soft toothbrush for babies to gently brush the teeth and gums. Use a pea-sized dab of toothpaste and brush at least twice a day. Around the first birthday, begin taking your child to the dentist for regular checkups.

Preschoolers (2-4 years):
This age group has the highest incidence of tooth decay, because most preschoolers love sugary foods but may not love brushing their teeth. Brush your child’s teeth yourself until they are old enough to do it well, but continue supervising the process to make sure all areas are clean. Consider flavored or character fluoride toothpastes if it encourages your child to brush. Also, limit the amount of sugary foods and drinks your child consumes.

Young elementary (5-7 years):
As more and more teeth grow in, your child needs to brush carefully with fluoride toothpaste. Make sure all areas of your child’s mouth are being reached, and help your child use dental floss to clean between teeth and gums. Continue helping your child make healthy diet choices.

Older kids (over 8 years):
Most children should be able to brush on their own by age 8, but performing spot checks is a good idea to make sure they are doing a good job. Teach your child to brush after meals, especially when eating sugary or sticky foods, and emphasize the importance of flossing every day. Continue taking your child for regular dental checkups every six months, which will help create a life-long habit of good oral care.

If you live in the Clinton NJ area contact us today

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Crowns and Bridges

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Crowns and Bridges

What is a dental crown?

  • A dental crown encases a damaged tooth completely within a custom-fit cap, or crown, fitting perfectly over the affected tooth. A dental crown is designed specifically for you and your tooth’s particular design, fit and function. It is a restorative therapy that can restore function to a tooth that may have had excessive decay, has been cracked or has recently undergone root canal treatment.

How do dental crowns work?

  • A dental crown covers a damaged tooth entirely and can be used to improve not only the tooth’s appearance, but also its shape or alignment.

What is a dental bridge?

  • A dental bridge makes a literal bridge between two anchor teeth, filling a gap left by a missing tooth that has either fallen out naturally or is the result of acute decay or facial trauma. Dental crowns cover the bordering anchor teeth, allowing the bridge to fit securely and to function as your natural tooth.

What materials are used for dental crowns?

  • Dental crowns can be porcelain (ceramic), porcelain-fused-to-metal, or gold or other metal alloy. Porcelain or ceramic crowns can be designed to closely match the color and translucency of your natural teeth. Metal alloys are usually stronger, and are a better choice for back teeth.

Is a dental cap a crown?   

  • Yes! A dental cap is another name for a dental crown.

Am I a candidate for a dental bridge?

  • If you are missing a tooth and you have adjacent teeth that are stable, dental bridges are for you. Even if you are missing a front tooth or a tooth that has only one border, there are types of dental bridges that could meet your needs.

Are there alternatives to a dental bridge?

  • Dental implants are rising in popularity as technology has improved. A dental implant can restore a single tooth or can restore several, and are the standard of care for the replacement of a missing tooth today. Because a dental implant continues to stimulate the jawbone, it doesn’t lead to bone loss over time.

Schedule your appointment at our Clinton NJ dental office

toothbrush

Clever Uses for Your Old Toothbrush

Most dentists recommend that patients replace their toothbrushes every three to four months. About this time, the bristles start to wear out or become frayed, which makes the tool less effective. You should also replace your toothbrush right away if you have been sick so that you don’t re-infect yourself.

Once you are done with the toothbrush, you don’t have to immediately toss it in the trash. These creative opportunities will allow you to put that old toothbrush to good use.

Dust the keyboard
The precision of the bristles makes it a cinch to get between the keys.

Eliminate stains
If you get spots on your carpet or upholstery, an old toothbrush will enable you to really scrub the soiled area and remove the stain.

Touch up your roots
For those who dye their own hair, an old toothbrush is the perfect tool for applying color to specific areas.

Dislodge dirt from under your nails
Gardening will help your plants grow, but will also make your manicure look less than appealing. With an old toothbrush, you can say good-bye to grimy nails.

Polish jewelry
To make your favorite pieces sparkle, use an old toothbrush and a tab of toothpaste to restore their beauty.

Clean bike chains
If you don’t want to look like a mechanic after taking grease off the chains, you can grab an old toothbrush and easily finish the job.

Remove silk strings off ears of corn
Before boiling corn, wipe the ears with an old toothbrush to eliminate the corn silk and keep it out of your teeth.

Schedule your appointment at our Clinton NJ dental office

What’s a Dental Emergency?

It may be obvious when you’re in a situation that requires immediate treatment by a dentist. Perhaps you’re in immense pain, or you’ve had a tooth knocked out or bleeding that won’t stop. Examples like this make it easy to decide you need help right away, but sometimes it’s not as clear. What are some other problems that may require emergency dental treatment?

Cracked teeth

A cracked or fractured tooth is serious, and often means that the tooth has been damaged both on the inside and the outside. Many times the tooth can’t be saved. If your tooth is broken, schedule an emergency appointment immediately. Remember, a cracked tooth is different than a chipped tooth, which is not as serious. You can usually wait to see your dentist at the next available opportunity for a chipped tooth.

Lost fillings

Some lost fillings require immediate care to avoid worse issues. Fillings protect your tooth’s root from exposure, so if the filling falls out your root can be uncovered and cause intense pain. There is also increased risk for damage to your tooth’s structure, so seeing your dentist as soon as possible is suggested.

Lost crown

If your crown falls out, call your dentist for an appointment as soon as possible. Until you can see the dentist, try putting the crown back in place using an over-the-counter dental adhesive. Do not use any products like Super Glue. If the crown won’t stay in place, make sure you take it to your appointment with you so that it can be re-cemented correctly.

Abscess

If you have a painful swelling on your gum that resembles a pimple, it might be a serious condition called an abscess. It can damage gum tissue and teeth, as well as spread serious infection to your body. See your dentist immediately for proper treatment.

We treat patients from Clinton NJ and the surrounding area

Facial Injuries and Oral Surgery

There are a number of reasons that dentists or oral surgeons recommend surgery, but facial injuries are probably the most unexpected and alarming cause. Maxillofacial injury, or facial trauma, refers to any injury to the mouth, jaw, and face. Most of these injuries result from sports, car accidents, job accidents, violence, or an accident at home. Let’s learn about oral surgery resulting from facial trauma.

Broken bones are a common type of serious facial injury. Fractures can occur in the upper or lower jaw, cheekbones, palate, and eye sockets. Injuries in these locations may affect vision and the ability to eat, talk, and breathe. Hospitalization is often required for treatment, which is similar to that for fractures in other parts of the body. The bones must be lined up and held in place to allow time to heal them in the correct position. Because casts are not possible in facial injuries, the surgeon may use wires, screws, or plates to treat fractures. Sometimes healing takes as long as six weeks or more.

Even though some facial injuries are worse than others, all of them should be taken seriously. They affect an important area of the body, so it is recommended to seek treatment from an oral surgeon to make sure you receive optimum care. Even if stitches are all that’s required, it’s best to have them performed by an oral surgeon who can place them exactly as needed to produce the best results.

It’s no surprise that the best solution for facial injuries is to prevent them in the first place. Oral surgeons suggest consistent use of mouth guards, seat belts, and masks and helmets as required. Improvements have been made to safety gear to make these items more comfortable and efficient, so there should be no excuses for not using them to protect yourself and avoid injuries that can lead to oral surgery.

Our dental office is located in Clinton NJ

Nail Biting A Habit Worth Breaking

Nail Biting: A Habit Worth Breaking

Most people who bite their nails wish they didn’t do it. If you’re a nail biter, you probably know that it spreads germs and leaves your nails looking unattractive. But did you know that it can harm your teeth? Let’s find out the connection between nail biting and tooth damage, and learn some ways to stop this nasty habit.

What does nail biting do to my teeth?
Just like chewing on hard items like ice, nails are hard and put stress on your teeth when you bite down on them. With time, your teeth will weaken and your teeth can chip or break. Since nail biting is a repetitive habit, constant chewing on your teeth wears them down faster than they should. Your teeth also can become more sensitive when the enamel is worn down. Additionally, biting your nails can move your teeth out of place. Your gums are at risk too from the additional stress the nail biting puts on them, eventually leading to gum disease and even tooth loss.

What if I wear braces?
Braces already add pressure on your teeth, so nail biting can stress them even more. The roots of your teeth can be weakened, which leads to problems like tooth loss.

How can I stop biting my nails?

Here are some tips to help you stop the nail biting habit:

  • Get a hobby that uses your hands, like video games, knitting, or painting.
  • Occupy your mouth by chewing sugarless gum, sucking on mints, or eating carrot sticks.
  • Add foods to your diet containing calcium and magnesium because they help repair and grow your nails.
  • Cover your nails with tape, petroleum jelly, fake nails (for girls), or foul-tasting liquid.
  • Get manicures to make your nails look nice, so you will be less inclined to bite them.

If you need a dentist in Clinton NJ contact us today

dental office

Oral Health Advice

Why wait until you have a toothache, bleeding gums, bad breath, or other problems to decide it’s time to start focusing on your oral health? Your mouth and your whole body can benefit from maintaining good oral health. Here is some simple advice that will help you along the path to a healthy smile.

Brushing and flossing
Tooth decay and gum disease are both preventable with proper brushing and flossing. Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, using a circular motion. It’s best to brush after every meal, but twice a day should be the minimum. Gently floss your teeth daily to remove food particles and bacteria between your teeth.

Eating right
Focusing on eating foods from each food group will aid your oral health in addition to your overall health. Not getting essential nutrients in your diet increases your risk of gum disease, and also makes it more difficult for your body to resist infection. Eat low fat dairy items, lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Look for foods low in sugar, which can lead to tooth decay. Avoid snacking too much during the day when you aren’t going to brush your teeth afterwards, and drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Seeing your dentist
Visit your dentist at least twice a year for checkups. During these appointments, your dentist will look for problems and professionally clean your teeth. Delays in treatment of some conditions can cause them to worsen to the point that treatment may be more painful, difficult, or costly. Your dentist will help you keep your teeth and gums healthy so that you can keep smiling as long as possible.

If you live in the Clinton NJ area contact us today