Wishing You Had White Teeth? Here’s What You Should Know

If you’re like most people, you realize the value of a white, bright smile — and you may be feeling self-conscious because your smile isn’t as dazzling as you’d like it to be. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways available to those who’d like to have whiter teeth. Strategies range from natural, at-home methods that achieve some degree of success for those with mild discoloration and staining to in-office procedures performed by a skilled dentist designed for teeth with more serious, stubborn stains. Here’s what you need to know about having whiter teeth.

Limit Foods and Beverages That Can Stain Your Teeth

One of the most important things to do if your teeth are prone to staining is to avoid foods and beverages that are known to cause stains, such as coffee, black tea, blueberries, and red wine. However, if you’re like most people, you don’t want to give up your favorite things, so make sure you brush your teeth thoroughly after indulging in anything that could stain your teeth. You can also enjoy your favorite beverages by drinking them from a straw to prevent them from having any contact with your teeth.

You can also make a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to brush your teeth when you notice they’ve become slightly stained.

Consult With Your Dentist About Your Whitening Options

If simply limiting stain-causing food and beverage items isn’t enough, make an appointment with your dentist to discuss your whitening options. Chairside bleaching is the most common whitening procedure currently performed, but it’s not always the right choice for everyone, especially those whose teeth are deeply stained. Most modern dentists use laser technology to activate the hydrogen peroxide once the mixture is applied to the teeth.

If your teeth are only lightly stained, your dentist may recommend a whitening toothpaste instead. On the other hand, if your teeth are too deeply stained to benefit from in-office whitening procedures, your dentist may recommend having crowns put on.

Please don’t hesitate to call our office and schedule an appointment if you’d like to find out more about achieving the bright, white smile of your dreams.

Girl after teeth whitening

How to Make Your Professional Teeth Whitening Results Last

To prolong the results of your professional teeth whitening, you may need to make a few adjustments to your routine. Due to the variation of people’s lifestyles and body chemistry, it’s difficult to predict exactly how long your whitening will last. However, it is possible to delay your next session when you keep these tips in mind.

Focus on the Plaque

Plaque eventually leads to tartar, which can cause the discoloration and yellowing that cloud your mouth. It’s also the usual suspect for any number of dental disorders (e.g., cavities, etc.). Flossing, brushing, and regular dental cleanings can go a long way to keeping your teeth whiter for longer by keeping plaque at bay.

One easy action to try is rinsing your mouth out with water after you eat or drink. It’s impractical to expect you to brush after every meal, but it’s not asking too much to take a few swigs to stop plaque from adhering to the tooth.

Tip to Avoid Stains

You’ve likely already heard the old adage that coffee and wine will stain your teeth, but you may not want to cut these entirely out of your diet:

  • Straws: Straws may not be the most fashionable accessory, but they can keep your teeth whiter for longer. If you’re worried about the environmental impact of the plastic, try carrying a metal one around to limit your footprint. When you consider the effort you made to whiten your teeth, a straw in cola or grape juice can go a long way to protecting your investment.
  • Diet: Chocolate, soy sauce, and even ketchup can end up being poor dietary choices if you want to keep your teeth white. Eating is typically better for your teeth because the solids won’t stay in your mouth as long as the liquids will, but it’s still good to be cautious when you’re eating foods that are rich in color. If you’re not going to avoid them, just make sure you’re drinking water as you go.

If you want to learn more about better oral hygiene, Southern Oaks Dental Care is here to help you keep your teeth gleaming for longer than you ever thought possible!

dentist with patient

The Benefits of Fluoride

You may have heard of fluoride as beneficial for your teeth — or even had a fluoride treatment at a dental cleaning. But what is fluoride exactly? Where does it come from? And what does it actually do for your teeth?

Ahead, we’ll answer these questions and more.

What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride actually comes from fluorine, a common element present in the crust of the earth. It can be found in many locations throughout nature, from rocks and soil to plants, water, and air. When combined with other specific elements, fluorine creates fluoride, a mineral that is known to fight cavities and strengthen tooth enamel.

dentist with patient

How Does Fluoride Work?

The enamel on the outer layers of your teeth is made up of phosphate and calcium, and believe it or not, it’s actually stronger than bone. Still, it can be broken down— namely by the particularly strong acids present in certain foods.

If you can go without eating these foods (like candy, bread and pasta, ice cream, chocolate, and other simple carbs), you may not have to deal with the accompanying acids. However, if you do eat these foods, natural bacteria in your mouth will inevitably feed off the carbs and create the acids that can break down tooth enamel. In the end, this can lead to tooth decay and cavities.

There’s good news, though.

If you have fluoride in your saliva (provided from fluoride-fortified water and other foods), it can come to your rescue. Together with the phosphate and calcium already present in your tooth enamel, fluoride will help your teeth create something called fluorapatite. This is amazing at fighting off acids, bacteria, tooth decay, and cavities.

When’s the Last Time You Had a Teeth Cleaning?

Whether or not you’re a good candidate for dental fluoride treatments yourself, remember to make sure you’re getting enough fluoride — either from fortified water or food or from your toothpaste and other dental hygiene products.

Additionally, dental professionals agree that everyone should have their teeth cleaned at least twice per year.

To make a regular appointment for a cleaning at Southern Oaks Dental Care, give us a call at (409) 835-6257 today. For online appointment requests, please go here.

woman with toothbrush

Tooth Enamel Loss

Everyday activities such as eating and drinking cause some degree of tooth enamel erosion at some point in nearly everyone’s lifetime. However, because tooth enamel is not comprised of living tissue, it doesn’t have the regenerative powers of certain other bodily elements such as skin — once your enamel is gone, it’s gone. Fortunately, strategies exist designed to help minimize tooth enamel erosion. They are:

Brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing regularly
Avoiding hard candy
Reducing sugary beverages
Drinking beverages through a straw to reduce exposure to tooth surfaces
Visiting your dentist for checkups and cleanings twice per year
Other causes of tooth enamel degradation include eating too many acidic foods, grinding your teeth at night, having dry mouth due to health conditions or specific medication side effects, and having acid reflux.

Signs of Tooth Enamel Loss

Those whose teeth experience higher than average sensitivity to hot and cold temperature extremes probably have developed a degree of tooth enamel loss. Other signs are teeth that have significantly yellowed or have otherwise become discolored, teeth that easily chip or fracture, and teeth that have a slightly translucent appearance. You may also notice rough edges and shiny spots on teeth that have lost some of their enamel.

Tooth enamel loss causes the internal tissues of the teeth to become vulnerable to damage by plaque and bacteria. Your dentist may recommend specific dental care products, such as enamel-protective toothpaste, to minimize this damage. These often work by neutralizing the bacteria and plaque present in the mouth to minimize the amount of damage they can do. Antibacterial mouthwashes also may be recommended.

woman with toothbrush

Dental Procedures That Can Help

Although the best defense against the erosion of tooth enamel is to practice good oral hygiene regularly to help reduce the chances of it happening in the first place, there are measures your dentist can take if tooth enamel erosion is severe enough so that it interferes with the patient’s quality of life. Bonding, a process in which a material called resin in applied over damaged or stained teeth, is among the most popular. For teeth that have experienced significant enamel loss, the dentist may recommend using veneers or crowns. All of these choices help prevent further damage by providing a barrier between the teeth and outside substances.

Please don’t hesitate to call us if you have questions or concerns regarding enamel loss or other dental health issues.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Most people want a beautiful smile, but for a number of reasons, it’s not always possible without a little help from cosmetic dentistry. If you’ve experienced dental health issues and aren’t currently achieving your optimal smile, dental implants may be the right solution for you.

Let’s take a look at some benefits of dental implants:

Improved Aesthetics

Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. If you’re missing a tooth or several teeth, dental implants can fill in the gaps and give you a full smile again. Our patients’ confidence and self-esteem often improve the moment they look in the mirror after their implants have been put into place.

Improved Speech

Missing or loose teeth can impair your speech. While you may have gotten used to impaired speech over time, it may actually be impeding your ability to communicate with people optimally. Dental implants remove the worry associated with poorly fitting dentures or missing teeth, enabling you to speak freely and confidently to anyone you come into contact with.

Enhanced Oral Health

Unlike some other cosmetic dentistry options, dental implants don’t require the removal or alteration of other teeth. This means the teeth surrounding your implant will be unaffected. Once your implant is put into place, you can go about brushing and flossing as you normally would.

Dental Implants diagram

Durability

Dental implants are designed to last for a very long time—sometimes, they even last an entire lifetime. They become a part of you, so you don’t have to worry about replacing or repairing them on a regular basis. You can simply consider your dental implants as your own teeth.

Convenience

With removable dentures, there’s a lot of upkeep (and often, discomfort) involved. With dental implants, you don’t have to worry about removing them, cleaning them, or caring for them (beyond standard brushing and flossing).

Prevention of Bone Loss

Empty spaces in your mouth after tooth loss can cause your jawbone to deteriorate. Because dental implants adhere to your bone structure, they replace lost teeth in a way that dentures can’t, enabling your jaw to sustain or stimulate bone growth.

Southern Oaks Dental Care is the cosmetic dentistry facility Beaumont, TX residents trust. If you’re ready to have the best smile possible, schedule an initial consultation with our team today!

Causes of Tooth Pain

Causes of Tooth PainIn most cases, tooth pain is caused by a problem with your teeth or your jaw, and the pain can go from a nagging, annoying pain to so excruciating it’s debilitating. Whenever you have tooth pain, it’s always a good idea to be checked out by your dentist. Wondering what could be causing that pain? Here are a few of the most common causes of tooth pain.

Cause #1 – A Cavity

A cavity is a hole in your tooth that goes through the enamel and dentin, and it’s caused by tooth decay. Cavities are very common and often the source of tooth pain.

Cause #2– Abscess

Sometimes tooth decay can be so severe that it causes an infection of the pulp and nerve inside of your tooth. This is known as an abscess, and it can cause very severe tooth pain as well as swelling around the affected tooth.

Cause #3 – Damage to the Tooth

Damage to a tooth can result in pain. A trauma that results in a broken or fractured tooth may leave you hurting. Tooth trauma should always be treated as quickly as possible to prevent further dental problems.

Cause #4 – Loose Filling

If you have a sharp pain when you bite down on food, you could have a loose filling. A loose filling has the potential to cause a toothache and leave you uncomfortable, particularly when you’re eating.

Cause #5 – Gum Disease

While gum disease causes swelling and redness of the gums, this may result in both gum and tooth pain as well.

In some cases, non-dental problems can result in tooth pain as well, such as:

  • Cluster headaches
  • Sinus infections
  • Diabetes
  • Nerve diseases
  • Certain viral infections
  • Drug abuse

There’s a lot you can do to prevent dental pain — brushing, flossing, eating right, and keeping up with routine dental visits. However, tooth pain can happen to anyone. If you’re experiencing pain in a tooth, contact us today for an appointment.

Cosmetic Dentistry FAQ

We want all our patients to have healthy teeth and gums and wonderful smiles. Cosmetic dentistry improves the appearance of your smile by whitening teeth, correcting overbites or crooked teeth, replacing missing teeth, or covering imperfections. We would be glad to answer any questions that you. […]

woman with toothbrush

The ABCs of Preventative Dentistry

What do you think of when you hear the words “preventative dentistry”? Do you think about how the brushing and flossing you do daily helps prevent cavities? While this is one aspect of it, preventative dentistry is also a crucial part of your experience at the dentist.

A = All About Preventative Dentistry

First, it helps to define preventative dentistry. Quite simply, preventative dentistry is comprised of the practical steps you and your dentist take to preserve the health of your teeth and gums. This includes education and treatment as deemed necessary by your dental professional.

B = Brought to You By Your Dentist

Consider preventative dentistry a partnership between you and your dentist. While the regular brushing and flossing you do at home is an important part of preventing decay, cavities and gum disease, your dentist brings valuable tools to the table as well.

By visiting the dentist regularly, it’s possible to prevent many issues that start off small and grow larger without the proper treatment. For example, having minor decay treated promptly prevents further and more extensive dental issues in the future.

C = Common Elements Found in Preventative Dentistry

Every dental practice is different, but each has a singular primary goal: to help their patients have a healthy mouth and gums. A regular dental exam — coupled with x-rays — is the foundation of any preventative dental strategy your dentist develops.

After a thorough dental exam is performed, any oral health issues are noted by your dentist and the appropriate actions taken. Your dentist will also provide recommendations that you can do at home to help protect the health of your teeth and gums. There might be additional dental treatments your dentist determines that are necessary to ensure that your teeth and gums stay healthy.

Southern Oaks Dental Care is focused on protecting the oral health of our patients. Partner with us to do so by contacting Southern Oaks Dental Care today to schedule a visit.

What is preventive Dentistry?

Simply speaking, preventative dentistry involves being mindful of good oral hygiene practices to promote optimal tooth and gum health. The goal of preventative dentistry is to help prevent serious issues such as gum disease and tooth decay from occurring at some point in the future. Conditions such as periodontal disease, for instance, can wreak havoc throughout the entire body. Fortunately, taking proper care of oral health goes a long way to ensure that gums and teeth remain healthy and robust. Following are three best practices for helping this happen.

Regular Brushing and Flossing

Optimal oral health begins at home with regular brushing and flossing. Use a brand of toothpaste that’s been approved by the American Dental Association and make sure that you replace your toothbrush as soon as the bristles begin to wear out and fray — usually about every three months. Flossing removes the bits of food debris that brushing fails to dislodge. An increasing number of patients prefer water flossing devices to traditional dental floss. As a final layer of protection, finish off your oral care routine by swishing around an antibacterial mouthwash.

Regular Cleanings and Exams

Scheduling regular cleanings by a skilled oral health professional is another essential component of preventive dental care. Those who are at low risk for developing dental issues can probably get away with having a comprehensive cleaning once per year, but if you’ve got problems such as gingivitis or a history of cavities and tooth decay, you should have a conversation with your dentist about increasing the frequency of your cleanings.

Your dentist will also perform a thorough exam during the appointment for your cleaning. You’ll be checked for signs of cavities, emerging tooth decay, the onset of gum disease, and other conditions that can affect your dental health.

Limit Sugar in Your Diet

Sugary foods and beverages probably won’t cause your teeth too much harm when enjoyed as an occasional treat, but if they’re a regular part of your diet, they may be negatively affecting your oral health. This is particularly true of candies meant to dissolve in your mouth and sugary sodas.

Please feel free to contact us for more information on preventative dental health measures.

Types of Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry is its own type of dentistry, separate from general dentistry, endodontics or other specialties. This type focuses on creating a brighter, more beautiful smile. Nonetheless, it also includes the health of your mouth. […]