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Energy Drinks and Your Teeth

Energy Drinks and Your Teeth

Though sports drinks and energy drinks may provide refreshment after a workout or keep you awake to study, they can also do serious damage to your teeth. People often think of these drinks as healthy alternatives to soda, but that’s not the case. In fact, research shows that these beverages are up to 10 times worse for your oral health than cola.

The issue with sports and energy beverages comes from the high acidity. Manufacturers add acid to these drinks to balance the sugar. Even more than soft drinks, the acid in sports and energy beverages can erode tooth enamel, which increases the odds of cavities. Once teeth are weakened by decay, you become more susceptible to future problems down the road.

Another reason sports and energy drinks are problematic is the way people consume them. Because most individuals sip on them throughout the day, teeth are continuously exposed to the acid in the beverages. To minimize the risks to your oral health, consider these tips:

  • Use a straw when you consume these beverages because it restricts the amount of liquid that gets on your teeth.
  • Chew sugar-free gum, which promotes saliva production and rinses the acid from your teeth.
  • Brush your teeth right after drinking sugary beverages to remove any residue and keep teeth healthy.
  • Make H2O your first choice. Consuming lots of water and limiting intake of sodas, sports beverages, or energy drinks will help you stay hydrated and promote good oral health.

 

Family and general dentist in Baltimore

What is a Smile Makeover?

What is a Smile Makeover?

A gorgeous smile can give you confidence and open doors in your personal or professional life. A study by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry found that people with bright, white smiles were viewed as more attractive, intelligent, and successful. If you don’t love the reflection you see in the mirror, a custom smile makeover can transform your smile.

For a smile makeover, your dentist will work with you to develop a detailed plan for your updates. Often, patients look at examples of the dentist’s work or they bring photos of smiles they admire with them to the consultation.

Depending on the status of your mouth and what you want to accomplish with a smile makeover, your dentist may recommend:

•    Porcelain Veneers
Crafted from thin shells of porcelain, dental veneers cover imperfections such as gaps, chips, or stains. Traditional veneers are designed to complement your facial features and will produce a stunning, new image. Minimal-prep veneers, such as Lumineers, are ultra-thin porcelain shells that work for certain smiles.

•    Teeth Whitening
If age, foods, beverages, or lifestyle choices have caused your smile to lose its luster, professional teeth whitening can restore brilliance. In-office chair side Zoom! whitening or an at-home whitening kit provided by your dentist can erase discolorations and brighten teeth up to 10 shades.

•    Invisalign Clear Aligners
Not only will straight teeth boost your self-esteem, but they will also improve dental health. Brushing and flossing are easier when your teeth are in the correct position.

•    Dental Implants
If you are missing teeth, you won’t look your best, and you may compromise your oral health. Dental implants are permanent replacements for missing teeth that will give you a sensational, complete smile.

Schedule your appointment at our Baltimore dental office

Complete Your Smile with Dental Implants

Complete Your Smile with Dental Implants

Missing teeth can put a damper on your active lifestyle. You may feel self-conscious about your appearance, experience limitations in diet, or have difficulty speaking. Without a full set of teeth, you risk gum degeneration, bone loss, and other oral health problems. Designed to mimic the look and feel of natural teeth, dental implants can rejuvenate your smile.

What is a dental implant?
A small titanium post that serves as an artificial tooth root, a dental implant is surgically positioned into your gums. Your dentist will place a permanent crown on each implant, which completes the replacement tooth. Implants can be used for one or more missing teeth.

Am I a candidate for dental implants?
In general, anyone with a missing tooth should consider dental implants. The key to successful implant placement is good oral health and sufficient bone structure to support the posts. If you don’t have adequate bone levels, your dentist may recommend a bone graft to correct that situation.

How long does the procedure take?
Receiving dental implants is a two-step process. During the first visit, a trained specialist will surgically implant the posts into your jawbone. Then, you will need to wait three to six months for healing and integration with the jawbone. Once this occurs, your dentist will place the permanent crowns on the implants, giving you a full smile.

How do I care for my implants?
Just like your natural teeth, your implants require daily care. Brush often and floss frequently. Regular dental checkups are also important, so schedule visits at least twice a year.

We look forward to seeing you in our Baltimore dental office

Finding the Right Cosmetic Dentist

Finding the Right Cosmetic Dentist

If you have decided to enhance your smile, you will need to select a good cosmetic dentist. Having an excellent practitioner to transform your appearance can make all the difference. It’s important to choose a cosmetic dentist that you trust and who you feel will produce exceptional results.

Keep these questions in mind as you search for a cosmetic dentist:

Does the dentist have extensive cosmetic training?
Just as you wouldn’t see your family doctor to perform knee replacement surgery, you shouldn’t choose a general dentist with little cosmetic experience to update your smile. Look at the dentist’s bio and find out what organizations he or she is affiliated with, like the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry or Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies.

How many smile makeovers has the dentist completed?
Cosmetic dentistry combines art with science, so you want to select a dentist with both technical skill and a good eye for detail. Developing this talent takes years of practice; you don’t need to be part of the trial and error phase.

Can the dentist provide examples and photos of finished cases?
An experienced cosmetic dentist should have plenty of Before and After photos for you to look through and see if you like the results. Make sure to verify that any pictures you see in the office are of actual patients and not just stock photos.

What do patients say about the dentist’s work?
Not only should you ask for patient referrals, but use the Internet as a good resource. With review Web sites and social media sites like Facebook, you should be able to find unbiased patient opinions about any dentist you are considering.

Cosmetic dentist in Baltimore

Exploring Toothpaste Options

Exploring Toothpaste Options

Across drugstore and grocery aisles, toothpaste options line the shelves. Brushing plays an important part in maintaining dental hygiene. With all the choices, you may feel like it’s a tough to make a decision. Knowing the difference between whitening toothpaste and natural toothpaste can help you decide the best option for your smile.

Cavity-fighting toothpaste
When used correctly, all toothpastes ward off cavities by removing plaque from teeth. Choosing toothpaste with fluoride will protect enamel from erosion and strengthen your teeth. Children under six shouldn’t use fluoride toothpaste because they can ingest too much and end up with white spots on their teeth from overexposure to the fluoride.

Whitening toothpaste
Although these options will remove staining, whitening toothpastes don’t work as well as professional teeth whitening. For temporary results and a brighter appearance, many people swear incorporate whitening toothpaste into their hygiene routines.

Antibacterial toothpaste
Some of the newer products have an antibacterial agent called triclosan that may help protect gums from the bacterial infections that cause gum disease. Since these toothpastes haven’t been on the market that long, the jury is still out on their effectiveness.

Natural toothpaste
Found in most health food stores, all-natural toothpastes are typically fluoride-free. Often, natural toothpastes contain ingredients such as peppermint oil, myrrh, or aloe to clean teeth and freshen breath.

Toothpaste for sensitive teeth
If eating ice cream or drinking coffee causes tooth pain, toothpaste designed to minimize sensitivity might be good for you. These compounds work by desensitizing teeth and blocking the tubules that reach the nerves in your teeth.

If you live in the Baltimore area contact us today

Why Some Implants Fail Repeatedly

Why Some Implants Fail Repeatedly

Dental implants are the best restorative choice for replacing a tooth that is missing. Whether the tooth has come out due to some kind of facial trauma or an infection or other issue, dental implants are the solution. The real difference in quality between a dental implant and other restorations such as bridges lies in the fact that the dental implant is placed directly into the patient’s jawbone, eventually fusing there through a process known as ossification.

Over time, ossification provides the kind of tooth base that is only seen elsewhere in natural teeth. When a dental implant is successful, it is as secure and as natural looking as a patient’s own original teeth; however, in some cases, dental implants fail. Sometimes they fail repeatedly. What’s causing these dental implant failures? Here are some potential causes.

Sometimes the implant doesn’t fuse with the bone and the bone shrinks away from the implant, leading to implant mobility or even the implant falling out. Patients who have weak bones due to age, osteoporosis, years of being edentulous (toothless) or another medical condition will find dental implants more challenging. If you’ve been having issues with failure to ossify, your dentist might recommend a bone graft to rebuild the jawbone to a healthy level so that dental implants can properly fuse.

In other cases, persistent infection may result in repeated implant failure. Signs of infection are continuous bleeding, swelling at the implant site or acute inflammation of the gum tissue at the implant site. Pus may be evident, or a bubble might appear on the gumline. Some health issues such as diabetes, auto-immune disorders or treatments like cancer therapies can weaken the immune system and leave the implant site vulnerable to infection. Your dentist might prescribe antibiotics or recommend you see an endodontist for a root canal treatment.

If you’re concerned about your dental implant, talk to Baltimore dentist Dr. Litwin right away. Find out what steps you need to take to ensure that your dental implants are successful.

If you need a dentist in Baltimore contact us today