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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Price of Lumineers

Are you considering lumineers? A higher model of porcelain veneers, they are popular but come at a price! Check out our guide for the basic cost of lumineers and factors that can affect your total cost.

Porcelain veneers are pieces of porcelain surgically affixed to the front of your teeth, while lumineers are made of thinner, stronger porcelain. Lumineers merely require cement, while porcelain veneers require that the patient have the porcelain ground before cementing the veneer to the front of their teeth.

On average, the range of lumineers to improve the color of your teeth is $700-$1,100 per tooth. So why are they so pricey? First off, it is much more realistic-looking than porcelain veneers. Second, the lumineer is stronger, thinner and easier to work with due to advanced materials. Third, the procedure of getting lumineers is much easier. Can you see why many people opt for lumineers over veneers?

With that said, the cost of lumineers is based on the individual needs of your teeth and the specific office procedures. Take your time choosing the lumineer specialist or you’ll risk having your lumineers stain or crack. And then you’ll be paying for additional procedures.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fix Your Smile with Tooth Bonding

Is there something quirky—like a chipped tooth or rounded teeth—about your smile that bothers you? Do something about it with dental bonding. Dental bonding can help fix many different tooth-related issues, including fix or improve the natural shape of your teeth. If your teeth are showing signs of tooth decay, are naturally rounded or if you chipped one of your teeth years ago and never fixed it, ask your dentist about dental bonding.

So how does dental bonding work? Essentially, it is a material that covers the front of the tooth. The bonding material can be used to shape and fill missing areas in your teeth. Once they are put in place, a light is applied to make the material harden. Lastly, they are polished! Dental bonding can restore your confidence in your smile so that you will willingly show off your pearly whites every chance you get!

So what are you waiting for? Ask your dentist about dental bonding and get the tooth quirk that has been bothering you fixed once and for all. Dental bonding can repair chipped, cracked and discolored teeth and also replace silver amalgam fillings for a straighter, uniform smile!

Friday, May 13, 2011

What to Drink for Healthy Teeth

Your dentist tells you to what not to drink (we’re looking at you: soda and red wine!) to keep your teeth as white as possible, but drinking a certain beverage can help make your pearly whites even whiter. Can you guess what it is? Tea! According to new research published in the journal General Dentistry, tea is no worse for your teeth than regular old H20. So if you don’t want to risk yellowing your teeth but get bored of water, brew some tea (and in the summer months sip some iced tea).

Regular sodas can contain as much as 17 teaspoons of sugar (per 20-ounce container) and even through fruit juice seems like a healthier option, many can be erosive to teeth because the refined sugars and certain acids contained in fruit juice can eat away at your enamel.

So take a cue from the British and drink some tea today! Not only is it ok to drink tea if you’ve recently had your teeth whitened, but it is loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants. Bonus points for drinking tea without any added sweetener!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Five Tips for a Healthy Mouth

You can’t get professional teeth whitening or cosmetic dentistry at home, but these five easy tips will keep your mouth healthier (and your dentist happier).

1. Do you think you might have bad breath? Check by swiping a cotton ball over the back of your tongue, where bacteria hangs out, then smell it. It should smell slightly sweet but if not, brush your teeth and the back of your tongue. You dentist can help if brushing isn’t enough to banish bad breath.

2. Suffering from painful canker cores? These painful (yet benign) sores often crop up when you’re stressed. If topical pain reliever doesn’t do the trick, your dentist may be able to use a soft-tissue laser to zap the sore.

3. Do you brush far enough back? When brushing, make sure to tackle the cavity-prone areas in the back of the mouth by brushing with your mouth only slightly open (your cheeks will block that area if you open too wide).

4. How many times a week do you floss? Your dentist has told you and we’ll say it again: brushing isn’t enough, make sure to floss!

5. When was the last time you did a self-exam? Check your mouth for red or red-and-white patches, pigmented lesions, sores with uneven borers and flaking on the tongue every few months.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Break Your Bad Dental Habits

You know you’re supposed to brush and floss daily, but did you know that you may have some bad dental habits? Read ahead to find out if you are committing any of the following dental sins:

• Drinking too much soda. Even if you are gulping down diet soda, all carbonated soda contains phosphoric acid, which can cause teeth erosion over time. If you have to have your daily Diet Coke (no judgment!), try sipping with a straw to limit contact with your teeth and try to brush afterward.

• Using the wrong type of toothpaste. Oftentimes, toothpastes labeled “tarter control” may be too abrasive. If your toothpaste feels gritty, it may be eroding enamel and causing receding gums. Do look out for fluoride on the list of ingredients.

• Eating things that stain—like coffee, tea, soda, soy sauce, red wine, marinara sauce, etc.—can undo teeth whitening procedures and leave you with yellowish, dull-looking teeth. And who wants that? If you spend money for a teeth whitening procedure from a qualified cosmetic dentist, make sure to avoid foods that stain.

• Using your teeth to open up packages can lead to breaks and cracks and damage to dental bonding. Also try to refrain from chewing hard candies and ice cubes.

• Ignoring problems like bleeding gums and chronic halitosis (aka bad breath). Brush and floss daily to prevent bleeding gums; drink water and remove excess bacteria with a tongue scraper to combat bad breath.

• Brushing too hard can wear down protective enamel and cause receding gums. Make gentle, circular scrubbing motions for two minutes using a soft brush. Consider using an electric brush, which may help remove more plaque than manual brushes.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Why You Should Never Skip the Dentist

Even though everyone knows you have to visit the dentist twice a year, some people still put it off. In addition to preventing periodontal disease (aka gum disease) and making sure your pearly whites are in tip-top shape, there are other health benefits from visiting the dentist. The following health conditions may not be directly related to your teeth, but they can be identified and prevented by a dentist:

• Oral cancer. Smokers and people who consume more than one alcoholic beverage daily are at a higher risk. When you have your teeth cleaned, the hygienist does a visual and manual inspection and can spot anything that looks suspicious.

• Heart disease. According to a new study conducted at Berkeley, women who get dental care may lower their risk of heart disease by one-third. Need we say more?

• Diabetes. Doctors say there is a cause and effect link between diabetes and oral health. If you are diabetic or gave a family history of diabetes, your dentist may recommend upping your cleanings to three or even four times per year.

• Nutritional deficiencies. Dentists may be able to see if you’re lacking certain vitamins and nutrients by looking at your tongue and gums. A pale tongue, for example, might suggest an iron deficiency.

When money is concerned, it is also less expensive to have regular cleanings than to shell out for major procedures like root canals in the long run.