Don’t Try These 4 Social Media Tooth Trends At Home

There’s an appropriate time and place for do-it-yourself, at-home projects, and improvements. But your dentist in Reno wants you to know that any social media trend involving your oral health isn’t one of them. While you should take great care of your teeth at home by regularly brushing and flossing, you shouldn’t try these four social media dental trends under any circumstances. 

  • Office Supplies Orthodontics

If straightening your teeth or tightening up small gaps is your goal, there’s a right way to go about achieving a super straight smile, and that’s by talking with your dentist in Reno. Moving teeth is a science and an art, and if done incorrectly, can cause some serious problems. One trend popular on social media is using typical office supplies to shift teeth around. This is incredibly dangerous and can cause permanent damage to your teeth. It can also lead to jaw problems or even make teeth fall out. 

  • “Veneers Check” Trend

A highly disturbing trend circulating on social media platforms is something called the “veneers check” where users file down their own teeth into small stubs or just in an attempt to even out some ridges. The result is the appearance of “shark teeth.” Many users are showing these filed-down teeth as a before picture prior to getting veneers. The problem is dental veneers don’t require that type of preparation. But there’s more. Filing down your teeth can be painful, lead to permanent damage, and may require additional treatment from a dentist in Reno such as dentures. 

  • Whitening Experiments

While there are ways to whiten teeth at home, this should be done only if given approval by your dentist and only by using appropriate whitening solutions. Never dig for smile-whitening ingredients in your pantry or cleaning products and mix up a social media concoction that claims to whiten teeth quickly. Many of the ingredients used are highly acidic and when applied directly to the teeth can quickly weaken the enamel. Not to mention, cleaning products can be very harmful to overall health. 

  • Artfully Crafted Teeth

Even other trends involve using art supplies to craft individual teeth. This could be in the form of a crown, partial dentures, or even just filling in a tiny crack. Either way, the materials are often not approved as safe to use in the mouth and there’s a good chance you may be covering up a bigger problem that should be properly addressed by your dentist. The longer dental concerns go undiagnosed and untreated, the bigger issue they can become. 

When it comes to improving the appearance of your smile, never take the DIY approach. Always start by talking with your dentist about your cosmetic dentistry options so you can get the smile you desire safely. 

How Often Should You See a Dentist if You Have Dentures? 

Just because you may have replaced your natural teeth with a denture doesn’t mean you should stop seeing your dentist in Reno. In fact, it may be even more important for denture-wearers to keep their regularly scheduled dental appointments in order to protect overall oral health. After all, dental health also includes your gums, tongue, and entire mouth, not just teeth. 

Every Six Months Is Key

Everyone can benefit from seeing their dentist in Reno at least every six months. These regular checkups and cleanings help prevent problems and can even catch small issues before they become big. They can also help denture-wearers in the following ways. 

Oral Health

Despite the fact that dentures have replaced all of the natural teeth, there are other areas of oral health that need to be protected. Dental care goes beyond caring for the teeth as the gums, tongue, and jaw bones also need regular care. Denture-wearers, in particular, should see their dentist at least twice a year to monitor overall oral health. In fact, dentures may increase the likelihood of developing gum disease, as well as affect jaw bone density. Plus, the size and shape of the mouth change over time, which means the fit of a denture also changes. Dentures often need regular adjustments to remain comfortable. 

Overall Health

Believe it or not, regular dental care can not only protect your oral health but also your overall health. Gum disease, for example, is more common in denture-wearers and should be caught as early as possible. Advanced gum disease can’t be cured and can even lead to whole-body problems such as heart disease and diabetes. Additionally, your dentist in Reno is always on the lookout for oral cancer and looks for signs of this serious disease at every appointment. Oral cancer can be treated successfully with early intervention, which makes regular dental appointments even more important. 

Denture Health 

Dentures are not a permanent solution to missing teeth. But they can last over 7 years with proper at-home care and regular dental appointments. Dentures can sustain regular wear and tear, and sometimes the patient doesn’t know that micro-damage has occurred. Having your denture checked at regular dental appointments can catch and fix any minor problems. 

Essentially, everyone should see their dentist every six months, no matter how many teeth they have. These preventive appointments help protect your health and can prolong the life of your denture. 

What Are Examples of Cosmetic Dentistry? 

Cosmetic dentistry can transform any smile and make it brighter, whiter, straighter, or more even. There are tons of cosmetic dentistry treatments to choose from, and finding the best cosmetic dentistry procedure for you depends on what you’re trying to achieve. Use this guide of examples of cosmetic dentistry from your dentist in Reno to get started. 

Teeth Whitening

Perhaps the most popular form of cosmetic dentistry is teeth whitening. This treatment can whiten teeth by several shades, although it does depend on the product used. From whitening strips to trays and even a professional in-office whitening treatment with your dentist, the options are endless. While you can venture out on your own and buy an over-the-counter whitening treatment, we always recommend starting by talking with your dentist in Reno about the best way to whiten teeth. The truth is, that some types of tooth staining won’t be touched by some whitening products, so before you spend your money on a product that may not work for you, schedule an appointment with your dentist. 

Dental Veneers

Another type of cosmetic dentistry that’s very popular is veneers. Dental veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are placed on the front of your teeth. They’re custom-designed and custom-colored to create a natural, yet very appealing, appearance. Veneers are so popular because they can help fix a variety of concerns including covering up stains and changing the size, shape, or length of individual teeth. 

Bonding

One of the fastest cosmetic dentistry procedures is dental bonding. The whole process can usually be completed in 30-60 minutes, and it’s usually pretty affordable, depending on the case. Your dentist in Reno will apply a tooth-colored resin and mold it into the desired shape. The resin is then hardened, or bonded to the tooth, with ultraviolet light. Dental bonding may be the best way to repair decay or chipped, cracked, or misshapen teeth. 

Dental Crown

While this cosmetic dentistry procedure can also be considered a form of restorative dentistry, it can be used to enhance the appearance of specific teeth, making it fall into the cosmetic category. A dental crown is often referred to as a cap as that’s essentially what it does – it caps a tooth. Crowns are custom-created so they blend seamlessly into a smile. You may be a candidate for a dental crown if you need to restore the size, shape, or strength of a tooth. Dental crowns are also typically used following a root canal to strengthen the treated tooth. 

No matter what your wants or needs may be, know that your dentist in Reno has plenty of cosmetic dentistry treatments available to help. The best place to start is by scheduling a cosmetic dentistry consultation today. 

What’s It Mean If You Have An Impacted Tooth? 

So your dentist in Reno has diagnosed you or your child with an impacted tooth. What exactly does that mean, and how concerning is it? Not to worry, impacted teeth are pretty common, especially in children and teens. While an impacted tooth is most often associated with wisdom teeth, in reality, any tooth can become impacted and needs to be treated by your dentist sooner rather than later. 

What Is An Impacted Tooth? 

In short, an impacted tooth occurs when a tooth does not erupt through the gums as it’s supposed to. Baby teeth will probably start to emerge when your child is only a few months old, fall out a few years later, and be replaced with adult teeth. Then, in teenage years or young adult years, wisdom teeth will begin to erupt. However, this process doesn’t always happen smoothly, and a tooth can not erupt at all or only erupt a little bit, thus becoming impacted. 

Why Does This Happen?

An impacted tooth can happen for any number of reasons, and the cause varies from person to person. Your dentist in Reno can help identify why or even catch it early. Some of the most common causes of an impacted tooth are: 

  • Overcrowding of teeth 
  • The jaw is too small to allow for more teeth to erupt
  • Teeth coming in crooked or sideways

Symptoms of an Impacted Tooth

It’s important to know that not every case of an impacted tooth will have symptoms. This is pretty common with a tooth that’s fully impacted. However, there are some key signs that may indicate a partial impaction or perhaps a full impaction. 

  • Pain in the gums or jaw
  • Swelling of the gums in one area around the tooth
  • Bad breath
  • Bad taste in the mouth when force is applied to the area
  • Headaches
  • Noticeable gap where the tooth did not erupt

If you notice any of the above, schedule an appointment with your dentist in Reno as soon as you can. 

How to Treat an Impacted Tooth

Treatment will vary depending on the severity of the impaction, symptoms, cause, and if there’s a risk to other parts of the mouth. Sometimes your dentist will recommend simply leaving the tooth alone, however, most times, especially with wisdom teeth, the impacted tooth will need to be removed. If the impacted tooth isn’t a wisdom tooth, oftentimes orthodontics will be used to create room and pull the tooth into its proper place. 

Complications

Making sure that your entire family sees your dentist twice a year is important for many reasons. Monitoring tooth erupting is one of them. Regular exams and x-rays will help your dentist identify any impacted teeth early and make recommendations for proper treatment before problems can arise. If impacted teeth are not caught early and they do need treatment, several complications can occur, such as: 

  • Abscess or infection
  • Nerve damage
  • A poor bite (malocclusion)
  • Difficulty thoroughly cleaning teeth
  • Speech problems
  • Bone loss

Even though an impacted tooth may be scary at first, know that your dentist is here to help ensure you get the right treatment at the right time to avoid problems in the future. 

Are Cavities Contagious? 

The second most common disease in the United States is tooth decay. The first is the common cold. Of course, we all know how easy it is to catch a cold, but can you also catch cavities? Sounds pretty far-fetched. But guess what your dentist in Reno knows? Catching a cavity is totally possible — technically. 

You Can Catch a Cavity? 

While you may not be able to catch an actual cavity, you can definitely exchange bacteria with another person fairly easily. When you share drinks or food or kiss your loved ones, there’s a good chance that germs are transferred from one mouth to another. This is where the trouble can start. 

The Trouble with Germs

We are all incredibly familiar with how easily germs spread, especially nowadays. But germs also contain bacteria, which means bacteria can also easily spread from person to person quickly. Bacteria is one of the main things that can cause cavities as they eat away at the protective enamel on teeth, causing decay. Every time you’re exposed to someone else’s saliva, you’re exposed to their bacteria too. Gross, right?  Some common ways bacteria is transferred from one person to another, include:

  • Sharing a spoon, fork, or straw
  • Biting off the same piece of food
  • Kissing 
  • Using someone else’s toothbrush

Regular Dental Appointments Help

Children and people with compromised immune systems are especially susceptible to infection and cavities from bad oral bacteria. But by keeping regular appointments with your dentist in Reno, you can help protect your smile from the dangers of bacteria. There are also some other things you can do to limit your chances of spreading bad bacteria from one person to another. 

  • Be cautious of what you share and with whom you share it. Even something like chapstick can transfer germs and bacteria. 
  • Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day. 
  • Do what you can to help produce saliva. Saliva can help fight off bacteria and prevent decay. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and consider chewing sugarless gum to help stimulate saliva production. 

If it’s been more than six months since your last visit to your Reno dentist, it’s time to schedule an appointment. Professional cleanings help reduce plaque and tartar, keep gums and teeth healthy, and allow your dental team to check for any possible signs of decay. If we happen to find anything, there are several things we can do to help, such as fillings. 

Diabetes & Oral Health

November is Diabetes Awareness Month and strives to raise awareness of a chronic disease that affects nearly 30 million Americans. But what does this have to do with your dentist in Reno? Well, the truth is, there is a strong connection between oral health and diabetes, and it’s ever more important for diabetics to take care of their teeth. In fact, research shows that diabetes can result in complications throughout the body including heart, kidney, nerve, eye, and gum disease. Here are a few easy ways to protect your teeth and your overall health. 

The Importance of Oral Hygiene

One of the best ways for diabetics and non-diabetics to reduce their risk of gum disease is to practice good oral hygiene. This means brushing your teeth at least twice a day, gently brushing your tongue, and flossing daily. However, just quickly brushing or using the wrong tools won’t do much to protect your teeth. Make sure you brush for two minutes, use fluoride toothpaste to protect teeth against decay, and use gentle circular motions to effectively remove plaque and bacteria without damaging your enamel. 

Additionally, it’s also incredibly important to see your dentist in Reno at least every six months for a deeper professional cleaning that will remove plaque buildup that at-home brushing alone won’t touch.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Diabetics know just how important it is to choose healthy foods to maintain their blood sugar levels. But eating a well-balanced diet can also help protect oral and overall health. Fresh crunchy fruits and crisp vegetables can fuel your body with essential nutrients and can also help gently scrub bacteria off of your teeth in between brushings. And of course, your dentist in Reno would caution anyone, especially diabetics, of eating too much sugar. This includes hidden sugars that are often found in foods with a lot of carbohydrates. Make sure to work with your doctor to find a dietary plan that works for you and your body. 

Check Your Blood Sugar Regularly

While this is a regular part of every diabetic’s life, checking and maintaining healthy blood glucose levels is crucial to protecting your health. This is true for oral health, too. If your numbers are not controlled properly, you can experience loose teeth, gum disease, and other issues. But that’s not all. If there is an infection such as gum disease in the body, blood glucose levels will become elevated and can be difficult to control. 

Our dental office in Reno is dedicated to doing our part to help raise awareness about how diabetes can affect oral health during Diabetes Awareness Month and all year long. To help us better care for you, make sure to share your health history with your dental team and discuss any changes in your mouth or overall health with your dentist at each visit.

October is National Dental Hygiene Month

Every October, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association and Colgate sponsor a month-long celebration for dental hygienists around the country. Dental hygienists are crucial members of your healthcare team and are responsible for keeping patients’ mouths (and bodies) healthy. This year, the theme for National Dental Hygiene Month is Faces of Courage, and rightfully so. Join your dentist in Reno as we celebrate our dental hygienists by sharing just what they do and promote how you can become one yourself. 

Duties of a Dental Hygienist 

Your dental hygienist plays a key role in helping your mouth stay healthy and cavity and disease-free. They’re also often the first line of defense as well as the first person you’ll meet with when you visit your dentist in Reno. Even though the main responsibility of a dental hygienist is to clean teeth, they also do a lot more including: 

1) Cleaning Teeth – Let’s talk about the most obvious responsibility of a dental hygienist — cleaning teeth. Now, even though you may brush and floss every day, the cleaning you get from your hygienist is different than the one you get at home. Hygienists are trained to gently remove plaque and tartar buildup that a regular brushing won’t touch, which gives you a super-clean feel and super-protected mouth. 

2) Learning About Your Health – But as we’ve mentioned before, your dental hygienist does so much more than clean your teeth. One of those additional duties is learning and getting to know each and every patient on a personal level. This means your hygienist will often talk with you about your oral health and overall health history, discuss concerns you may have, and review medications or ailments. Doing so allows them to both know you better and treat you better every time you visit your dentist in Reno

3) Educating Patients – Our dental hygienists are passionate about teeth and are committed to doing everything they can to help patients stay healthy. They’re always quick to offer up tips on the best way to brush your teeth, how to floss, and can even tell you what products to use so you can maintain excellent oral health. 

4) Focusing on Prevention – There’s a good reason we recommend a dental cleaning every six months — to prevent problems from happening in the first place. To do this, your hygienist will often apply fluoride or sealants to protect teeth from the damaging effects of acids and bacteria. 

Keep in mind, different states and different regions have different rules, so some of these responsibilities can change from area to area and office to office.

How Many Years Does it Take to Become a Dental Hygienist? 

Depending on the program and degree level, it takes anywhere between 2-4 years to become a dental hygienist. Dental hygienists must complete at least two years of schooling at a community college, technical school, or university. Usually a hygienist will earn an associate’s degree, but higher-level degrees are also available. After earning a diploma, hygienists are then required to take a state, local, or regional licensing test before they can practice in a dental office. 

Now that you know a little bit more about all of the things dental hygienists do to keep you healthy, make sure you thank them the next time you visit your dentist in Reno.

How Cancer Treatment Affects Your Mouth

 

As we head into the month of October, we tend to see pink ribbons everywhere in support of breast cancer research and breast cancer patients. Cancer is one of those scary words nobody wants to hear, and it can cause feelings of uncertainness and weariness of what treatment will bring. While there are sure to be many thoughts racing through your mind following any cancer diagnosis, there’s one thing you may not immediately think of — seeing your dentist in Reno. However, this visit, and follow up visits, can actually help make cancer treatment more successful. 

 

Chemotherapy

The cancer treatment we tend to be most familiar with is chemotherapy. Chemotherapy has been used for many years and can help kill cancer cells. However, it certainly doesn’t come without side effects. While these side effects can affect any area of the body, there are certain ones that directly affect the mouth. Sometimes these side effects are so serious that your medical team may decide to temporarily stop treatment until the side effects are resolved. To help avoid this, it’s important to see your dentist in Reno prior to starting chemotherapy. 

Chemotherapy and Oral Health

As we’ve mentioned, chemotherapy can be really effective at killing cancer cells. But it can also harm healthy cells in the process, including cells in the mouth. This damage can affect any part of your mouth from your teeth to the soft tissues such as your gums and the glands that create saliva. Some common oral health side effects of chemotherapy include: 

  • Pain with eating or talking
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Dry mouth
  • Sores or ulcers
  • Peeling, burning tongue
  • Infection

These side effects can happen to anyone, and they do tend to vary from person to person. Make sure you talk with your cancer treatment team as well as your dentist in Reno during treatment so any side effects are caught and treated early. If they’re not, some infections or side effects can be so severe they’ll cause a delay or pause in your cancer treatment. 

The Importance of Regular Dentistry

Seeing your dentist every six months is recommended for everyone, but those undergoing cancer treatment may need to visit more often. After all, your dentist in Reno is a key part of your cancer treatment team, and seeing them regularly can help avoid or keep serious side effects at bay. Additionally, if you see your dentist before treatment begins, you can rest assured that you’ll start treatment with an already healthy mouth, reducing the risk of complications. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with cancer, schedule an appointment with your dentist, ideally one month prior to beginning treatment.

How to Fix a Gummy Smile

Having a gummy smile can affect someone’s self-confidence, and if you’re someone who sees more gum tissue than teeth when smiling or talking, you may know exactly what we’re talking about. In fact, it’s not uncommon for your dentist in Reno to hear patients say they’re embarrassed by their smiles, and some even avoid smiling as much as possible because they’re so worried about their appearance. This is no way to live, especially when there are treatments available to fix a gummy smile. 

The Best Way to Fix a Gummy Smile

If you’ve been bothered by your gummy smile for a while, you may have been searching for a solution for quite some time. But fixing a gummy smile isn’t as easy as a one-size-fits-all solution. Your dentist in Reno will first need to perform an exam and oftentimes x-rays and other photos in order to get an accurate picture of what’s causing your gummy smile and determine the best way to fix it. Depending on your specific situation, some of the potential treatments to fix your gummy smile may include:  

  • Scaling & Root Planing

Sometimes a gummy smile is caused by an infection of the gum tissue. This infection can cause gums to become swollen and inflamed, covering more of your white teeth than you’d like. If this is the case, your dentist in Reno will most likely want to start with a deep teeth cleaning called scaling and root planing. A scaling and root planing treatment removes bacteria up under the gum line and can help remove infection, inflammation, and the gummy look. However, if this treatment alone doesn’t resolve the infection or give you the appearance you’re looking for, additional gum disease treatment or cosmetic dentistry treatment may be appropriate.

  • Gum Lift & Crown Lengthening

Many times a gummy smile is the result of the way our teeth erupted, and genetics may be to blame. As our adult teeth are forming and erupting, sometimes there’s just too much gum tissue covering the teeth. The good news is often there’s healthy enamel hiding just under the gum overgrowth all we have to do is uncover it. This is when a gum lift or crown lengthening comes into play. A gum lift procedure does exactly what it sounds like — lifts and removes the excess gum tissue to reveal more of each tooth. Now, when there’s an overabundance of tissue, your dentist may recommend a crown lengthening. This procedure removes and restructures the gum tissue as well as the bones around the teeth. The result of both procedures is fewer gums and more teeth. 

  • Lip Lowering

Another likely cause of a gummy smile is a hyperactive upper lip which occurs when the muscles of the upper lip are too active. This can cause the upper lip near the nose to protrude up too high and show off more of the gums than normal. The best way to fix a hyperactive upper lip is through lip lowering treatment. During this procedure, a small section of the gum tissue under the upper lip is removed, and then the remaining top and bottom are reconnected, ultimately shortening the lip and making it impossible for the upper lip to rise as high as it used to. 

  • Orthodontics

Orthodontics, including traditional metal braces as well as invisible aligners such as Invisalign and ClearCorrect, may also be the best way to fix a gummy smile, especially if you have a bad bite. You see, a bad bite occurs when the top jaw and bottom jaw don’t align properly. This can cause several oral health problems, including jaw pain, and when the top jaw protrudes out farther than it should, a gummy smile. Fixing the bite can resolve a gummy smile and give you super-straight teeth at the same time — bonus! 

Nobody should have to live a life where they are embarrassed to smile and laugh. They should feel confident about the way their smile looks so they can truly share their emotions with the world. If you’re embarrassed by your gummy smile, don’t wait any longer. Schedule an appointment with your dentist in Reno today and start living a life full of confidence and smiles!

Why Are My Teeth Discolored? 

When we picture a healthy smile, we all tend to envision bright, white teeth. So as your dentist in Reno, we can certainly understand why it may be concerning if you notice some discoloration in your smile. We’re also here to help by sharing some things that can cause tooth discoloration, as well as how to fix it. 

Poor Brushing Habits
The most common explanation for tooth discoloration is improper brushing or poor brushing habits. Daily brushings help remove plaque and bacteria on teeth that have built up throughout the day that otherwise could cause teeth to appear discolored. In fact, poor brushing habits can cause teeth to take on a yellowish or gray appearance, or even show orange or green spots. It’s important that you brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time to effectively remove this buildup and to protect yourself from the risk of decay, as well as discoloration. 

An Accident or Trauma
A single tooth that seems to suddenly appear darker in color can indicate a sign of tooth trauma. Perhaps you experienced a sports accident, a fall, or you bonked your mouth on a hard surface and you didn’t think much of it. Yet a day or two later your tooth starts to look gray or dull. Chances are, the tooth experienced some level of trauma and you should have your dentist in Reno check it out. 

Too Much Fluoride
Fluoride is something that many dentists use on both baby teeth and adult teeth to help strengthen enamel and protect against decay. It’s a mineral found naturally in many foods and drinks, and even in most public water supplies. However, there is such a thing as too much fluoride, and one of the most common signs of it are small white streaks or spots on the teeth known as fluorosis. 

Medications or Illness
A certain antibiotic known as tetracycline can also cause tooth discoloration if a pregnant or nursing mom takes it around the same time teeth are developing and growing. This can cause teeth to appear bluish-gray or brownish-yellow. Additionally, an illness that results in high fever and even some infections may cause discoloration. Babies who have had hyperbilirubinemia, a condition that occurs when there’s too much bilirubin in the blood and the condition that causes jaundice, may experience teeth that look blue, green, red, or brown.

Diet
A diet that contains too many acidic foods and drinks can wear down tooth enamel and cause teeth to appear dull, dark, gray, or yellow. Furthermore, a diet high in sugary foods and drinks can increase the risk of tooth decay which can present itself as dark or brown patches. Some of the most common foods and beverages that are known to cause tooth discoloration include wine, coffee, tea, berries, and even pasta sauce. 

Any discoloration in your teeth should be a sign that you should see your dentist in Reno to determine the cause as well as the best treatment. Call us to schedule an appointment today.