Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Teeth Whitening

How we look and how we perceive ourselves has much to do with our self-esteem. When the color of our teeth makes us embarrassed to smile, it’s probably time to get our teeth whitened [bleached]. As one ages, teeth may darken from coffee, tea, smoking, berries and other substances that get into microcracks in the enamel causing discoloration. Some people have gray or brown bands on their teeth caused by an early childhood fever or tetracycline medication taken when the tooth enamel was forming. In some parts of the country where fluoride is found in natural high concentrations in the drinking water, individuals have developed teeth with bright white patches or dark brown blotches [mottled enamel or fluorosis]. Everyone is not a candidate for bleaching. Teeth discolored from aging have the best results. If you have tooth colored resin or composite fillings in your front teeth, they will not change color from bleaching and will “stick out like a sore thumb” after the procedure. If you would like to have your teeth whitened, call it to our attention at your next check-up visit. If you are not a good candidate, we can suggest alternatives such as bonding or porcelain veneers. There are various options to whitening your teeth. Bleaching is an at-home procedure wherein you will wear a custom-made mouth guard, filled with a bleaching gel, as per instructions from your dentist. Some toothpastes have added whitening agents and can be used as an adjunct to the other two procedures. In any case, there is no reason to ever again suffer the embarrassment of discolored teeth.

For more information, or to schedule a cleaning, call your favorite Williamsburg dentist, Dr. James A. Burden, at (757) 941-7079!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Gum Chewing: Helpful or Harmful?

While there is no question that regular chewing gum promotes tooth decay, there is clinical evidence that demonstrates just the opposite for sugar-free gum. Studies have shown that using sugar-free chewing gum after meals and snacks, especially when toothbrushing at those times is impractical, helps reduce the acid level and its potential detrimental effect on the enamel. Its mechanism of action is the stimulation of 10 times the normal rate of salivary flow due to both the act of chewing and the flavor of the artificial sweetener (sorbitol or xylitol). The saliva washes away food particles and acid produced by bacteria in the plaque and neutralizes the acid because of increased concentration of bicarbonates. Chewing sugar-free gum is not intended to replace toothbrushing and flossing. Sugar-free gum is also recommended for people with xerostomia (dry mouth) to stimulate increased salivary flow, along with drinking greater amounts of water (6-8 glasses a day). However, those experiencing TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder) symptoms should refrain from chewing any gum.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call your favorite Williamsburg dentist, Dr. James A. Burden, at (757) 941-7079!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Benefits of Maintaining Your Teeth

Most people know that maintaining good dental health into old age has many benefits. Those most important include comfort of the teeth and gums, the ability to enjoy food, and a better appearance.
Studies have shown that those individuals who have poor dental health have a higher mortality rate than those who were in better dental health. Moreover we can point to the impact of nutrition as the most likely contribution to health.
The elderly like younger patients should see their dentist at least twice a year for check ups and cleanings. All cavities, gum disease, and other dental infections should be treated promptly. Patients wearing full or partial dentures should have them evaluated for proper comfort and fit. Dentures that have been worn for many years may not fit well anymore. This happens because the jawbone under the denture can become worn away over time.
Loose dentures make it difficult to eat, speak, and do not support the face as well. A loose denture begins to need more and more adhesive to stay in place. Your dentist can sometimes remedy the problem by relining the denture, but a new denture should be made about every 5 to 7 years, or when the dentures cannot be used comfortably. In some cases, implants can be used to help secure the dentures. This is usually needed in the lower jaw and is sometimes the only way to help the patient stabilize and use their denture.
Remember, maintaining good dental health along with proper nutrition is a key factor in living a long healthy life.
For more information, or to schedule a cleaning, call your favorite Williamsburg dentist, Dr. James A. Burden, at (757) 941-7079!

About Me

My photo

With over 20 years of creating smiles, we are proud to provide gentle, family-oriented dental care to the adults and children of our community. We are located in Williamsburg, just minutes from York county, Toano, Denbigh/Newport News and surrounding areas.