The Benefits of Getting a Dental Crown

A dental crown, or cap, can be a great way to support a tooth that’s cracked or damaged due to decay.  But like any procedure, we know that patients must weigh the benefits against the cost to make a well informed decision. To help you figure it out, we wanted to talk about the benefits of getting a crown.

Here are a few of the top benefits to having a crown:

  • Repairing damage due to tooth decay – A crown will halt the decay and allow you to use your tooth normally. It will also reduce tooth decay-related pain.
  • Restoring tooth function after a root canal  – A crown will enable you to use your tooth normally and without pain.
  • Prevent additional damage due to teeth grinding – A crown will act as a barrier to your actual tooth, hereby limiting damage. This is best used with other tools to reduce grinding, like a night-guard.
  • Improve the appearance of a tooth – A tooth that is discolored, too short,too tall, or too narrow can be covered with a crown to look more like the surrounding teeth.
  • Creating an anchor for a bridge – A crown can provide a solid and safe anchor for dental work, like a bridge.

Of course, there are a few things to be cautious about with a crown too. For instance, it’s vital that the crown be fitted properly. Not only is this necessary to ensure that you have a good bite, but it’s important to prevent bacteria from getting under the crown and causing tooth damage. If a crown is being used over a decaying, it’s important that all decay and any infection is cleaned out before the crown is placed.

When done properly, a crown can restore your ability to eat normally and give you years of reliable use. So while crowns do come with a higher price tag, they truly can improve your quality of life.


How to Target Coffee Stains on Your Teeth

For early risers, coffee is a lifeline. It is just the jolt you need shortly into the day to fire up your energy and get you going. Even if you do not get up early, coffee beverages from places like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts are popular among many age groups at many hours of the day. As much as coffee can help wake you up and sustain you throughout the day, it may not have as great of an effect on your teeth.

As with any drink that is not clear water, coffee can stain and harm your teeth. The coffee coloring can get stuck in your teeth’s many ridges. If the coloring gets embedded in your teeth and you do not take the proper steps to fight the problem, then your teeth get stained

Thankfully, fighting coffee stains is rather simple. You can counter the staining effects by pairing your coffee with water. When you drink water in between the coffee sips, you rinse out your mouth and help your teeth. Flossing, brushing, and using mouthwash on a consistent basis is a terrific idea, especially since you should be practicing good oral hygiene anyway. Drinking water and incorporating strong oral hygiene also combats any sugar or creamer you put into your coffee or coffee beverage, preventing other problems for your teeth as well like plaque and cavities.

Interested in more tips on how to help your teeth? Be sure to check out our Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages!


Denture Care 101

Dentures are removable replacements for missing teeth. They may be partial–where you clip them onto your remaining teeth–or complete–where they replace all your missing teeth. As with natural teeth, you must clean your dentures regularly to keep them looking great and working well. 

Before you put your dentures on in the morning, brush your whole mouth. Brushing your gums and your tongue removes any plaque that could ruin your dentures. At the end of the day before you go to bed, brush your dentures just as you would your teeth. This takes out plaque and food from your dentures, and it also decreases the likelihood of them getting stained. When you take your dentures out of your mouth for the night, keep them in a jar next to your bathroom sink filled with cool water or the occasional denture cleanser. Never use hot water–this changes your dentures’s shape and ruins them!

Have additional questions about denture care? Contact us by phone or email, and we will get back to you as soon as we can!


Make Valentine's Day Sweet for Your Teeth

Valentine’s Day is a sweet day, but it may be too sweet for your teeth! As we have mentioned before, everybody’s mouth is filled with bacteria called streptococcus. This bacteria occurs naturally, and it feeds on sugar. Streptococcus breaks sugar down into acids that erode your enamel. When you eat Valentine’s Day sweets like chocolate covered cherries and candy hearts, you are giving the streptococcus too much sugar, making your tooth enamel erosion a very bad problem!

Of course, the best way to avoid these sugary candies is to opt for other Valentine’s Day gifts. Flowers, cards, and balloons may not be very tasty, but buying them will not harm your dental care! Some flowers like a bouquet of roses may be on the expensive side, but you know what is more expensive? Costly dental care to fix the damage sugary candies cause!

However, you may be one of those people who must have a sugary treat for Valentine’s Day. That is okay too! Just remember to go for sugar-free candies, or those with small amounts of sugar. Do not neglect your typical dental habits during this time, like regular flossing and brushing. Follow these steps, and Valentine’s Day will be a sweet day for your dental care!


Dental Care Resolutions

2017 is here! By now, you have probably already settled on your New Year’s Resolutions. We suggest adding some dental care resolutions to your list! Here are a few of our suggestions:

  • If you want teeth whitening, get it done professionally. At-home teeth whitening strips are cheaper and likely more convenient. However, not only do they not work as well as professional cosmetic teeth whitening can, they may cause problems like uneven lines if applied incorrectly.
  • Have migraines or chronic headaches? Talk to a cosmetic dentist. Sometimes migraines and chronic headaches come from a dental malady called Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMD. These cases are complex and time-consuming to fix, so be prepared to discuss your thorough dental history at your appointment!
  • Need veneers? Opt for porcelain. Porcelain veneers do a much better job of replacing or repairing your teeth than plastic veneers do. While plastic veneers are less expensive, they are less convincing than porcelain veneers. They also do not last as long.

If you want to make these suggestions your New Year’s Resolutions for 2017, then we are happy to help! Just schedule an appointment with us here, and we will go over your options!


One Last Round of Holiday Dental Health

Christmas and New Year’s Eve close out December, which means the 2016 holiday season is almost over! We discussed how to keep your teeth clean and healthy during Halloween and Thanksgiving, and now we focus on this last round of holiday dinners and parties. You and your teeth have made it this far this year, and we are here to help you through these last hurdles!

  • Do not fill stockings with candy. In recent months, your teeth already endured Halloween candy and Thanksgiving desserts. Since you will likely have more desserts at holiday dinners/parties, then try avoiding loading your family’s stockings up with candy bars and other sweets. Gift cards and gift certificates are perfect for stockings.
  • When not at home, take travel dental care. Many of us travel for holiday dinners. Often, it is many hours before we return home and get a chance to clean our teeth. Make sure you take a small bag with you that contains your floss, toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash. This way you can clean your teeth quickly after eating and don’t give any food and drink time to stick to and harm your teeth.
  • For snacks, stick with cheese and vegetables. Many holiday parties serve alcoholic beverages. If you drink any of them, be sure to eat cheese in between sips. Not only does cheese counteract the acidity in alcoholic drinks, but cheese has calcium that is excellent for your dental health. Vegetables are also perfect snacks for their healthiness, especially those high in vitamin A. Vitamin A strengthens tooth enamel, and some of the vegetables high in this vitamin are sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, and broccoli. 

Great Thanksgiving Dental Tips

Excited about Thanksgiving? We know we are! However, what we are not excited about is what all those sugary and fatty foods will do to our teeth. Most cookies and pies contain mountains of sugar, which has microbes that stick to our teeth and erode tooth enamel. Those sweet treats are not so sweet to our teeth. They present problems for those of us who want to enjoy Thanksgiving treats without wrecking our dental health.

As always, avoid sugary desserts as best as you can. If you are making desserts, then opt for recipes that require less sugar. You cannot control what other people bake into their own desserts, but you can definitely monitor what you put into your own foods. When eating other people’s desserts, eat smaller portions so as not to overload your teeth with sugar.

On Thanksgiving, you also need to pay attention to what you drink. Many families provide soft drinks, iced teas, and juices for their holiday feasts. Since you are already indulging in sugary desserts, then it is an even wiser idea to avoid sugar-overloaded drinks. Drink plenty of water instead. If you do choose tea or juice, then make sure they either have no sugar or very little sugar.

Desserts are not all you have to worry about on Thanksgiving. Foods high in carbohydrates like casseroles are bad for your teeth as well. Stick to foods high in protein like vegetables and fruits. However, be cautious when eating vegetables like candied yams. Tasty though they may be, they have more sugar than a simple yam would have. Avoid foods like these, or eat them in moderation.

As with any day, brush your teeth after meals and use mouthwash to ensure less sugar sticks to your teeth. Avoiding sugar altogether is tricky on Thanksgiving, but moderation and good dental habits minimize the damage any sugary foods and drinks may cause on that day. Most importantly of all — happy Thanksgiving, and remember to enjoy your holiday!


Good Halloween Dental Health -- It's Possible!

As much fun as Halloween is, it is not so much fun for your teeth! Everyone’s mouth has naturally occurring bacteria called streptococcus. This bacteria feeds on sugar and breaks it down into acids that erode your tooth enamel, making sugary Halloween candy particularly dangerous for dental care. Getting your children not to eat their candy after they’re done trick-or-treating, though, is not exactly easy. Even if you do not have children, you may not feel comfortable giving away too much candy that will rot teeth.

If you give out treats on Halloween night but don’t want to be the house that gives out raisins, then there are ways to give out good treats without being the “boring house.” Many popular candies have sugar-free versions that are a bit more expensive, but usually not much more. If you prefer not to buy sugar-free candy because you aren’t a fan of sugar substitutes, then candies such as solid chocolate, peanut packets, popcorn packets, and trail mix are a decent option.

Of course, if you take your children trick-or-treating instead, it is practically impossible to avoid sugary Halloween candy altogether. Make sure your children eat these treats in moderation to reduce the risk of sugar overload and cavities. Remind them to practice good dental habits as they go through this candy-eating period. Flossing and brushing regularly should combat any Halloween cavities that want to terrify your children’s teeth!


What Is a Prosthodontist?

Curious about what a prosthodontist is? A prosthodontist is one of merely nine dental specialties the American Dental Association recognizes. It is also the only dental specialty under the ADA that includes cosmetic dentistry. To become a prosthodontist, a dentist must complete two to three years of additional, advanced training after dental school. A person can only become a certified prosthodontist after completing both dental and prosthodontic board examinations.
Rather than focus on typical dental work like fixing cavities and applying braces, prosthodontists specialize in areas like dentures, fixed bridges, crowns, dental implants and facial replacement prosthetics. While there are around 195,000 general dentists in the country, there are just under 3,400 prosthodontists in the United States. Our office is just one of a handful in Springfield, Missouri alone!


Get the Most Out of Cosmetic Teeth Whitening

Cosmetic teeth whitening removes discoloration and staining from your teeth. It is also known as teeth bleaching. While it can be done at home with products you buy from the store, the best results come from cosmetic teeth whitening procedures performed by a dental professional.

To get the most out of cosmetic teeth whitening, be careful with certain drinks and foods after your procedure. Coffee, tea and soda are major offenders when it comes to staining teeth. Use a straw as often as possible. If your drink is difficult to consume with a straw, like hot coffee is, then try to limit how much you drink during the day. Foods like marinara sauce and berries discolor your teeth as well. Exercise caution by chewing and swallowing them quickly. Drinking water to fight the staining helps also!