Getting back your ability to smile and eat with a complete set of teeth is one of the great benefits of dentures. To prevent infections, sores, or further tooth damage, it is important to maintain dentures properly. Here are some ways that dentists advise to keep your dentures in great condition.
Rinse your dentures well after meals to remove food particles and avoid stains. Brush them daily with a soft toothbrush to remove plaque and deposits. Use a mild soap or product that your dentist recommends, but avoid harsh toothpaste or strong cleaners.
Soak your dentures in water or cleaning solution when you are not wearing them, especially overnight. This helps keeps them from drying out or becoming misshapen. Do not use hot water.
If you use a cleaning solution, rinse your dentures well before putting them back in your mouth. Avoid swallowing denture cleaning solution because it can cause stomach upset.
Handle your dentures very carefully so that you don’t drop them or bend them. Clean them over a basin filled with water, so that if they fall they shouldn’t be damaged.
Visiting your dentist
Maintain regular checkups with your dentist to get both your mouth and your dentures examined. Most dentists recommend visits every six month for ideal results. See your dentist sooner if your dentures are not fitting well, are causing irritation, or have become loose.
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Having a hole in your smile is not only embarrassing or unsightly, it also impacts the function of your mouth. It’s much easier to eat and speak with a full set of teeth. In the past, dentures or bridges were the go-to solutions for missing teeth. Not anymore! Dental implants provide a secure and permanent way to restore your smile.
A dental implant is a titanium rod that creates an artificial tooth root in the location that yours is missing. It is surgically implanted into your jaw so that as it heals, it fuses with your jawbone and becomes a permanent part of your body. Once the area has healed, an artificial tooth is placed on top of the titanium rod to give you back a fully functional and attractive tooth.
Dental implants offer many advantages to patients:
- No impact to neighboring teeth
- Attractive and natural
- Feels like a real tooth
- Prevents migration of teeth
Implants are installed using local anesthesia, so you will not experience pain during the procedure. Minor swelling may occur afterwards, and any pain can usually be treated with over-the-counter products. Risks are low with dental implants, and long-term results are successful in most cases. Good oral care is important in maintaining your implants, but is no different than your regular brushing and flossing routine. Regular checkups with your dentist will help ensure that your implant remains in your smile forever.
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It’s part of life that your teeth will likely become dull and yellowed as you age and consume foods that contribute to teeth staining. However, you don’t have to go through life with a tainted smile. There are many options available these days for either at-home or professional teeth whitening. If you choose to brighten your smile, you’ll want to make sure you maintain the look as long as possible. Eating certain foods can help you naturally achieve the goal of a dazzling smile.
Lemons, oranges, pineapples and other citrus fruits contain natural acids that help whiten teeth. Their tart flavor also promotes saliva in your mouth, which creates a natural rinse and polish over your teeth.
Rich in vitamin C, strawberries can help prevent gum inflammation and other periodontal issues. They also contain malic acid as well as ellagitannins, which are antioxidants that help banish bacteria in your mouth.
Chewing crunchy fruit like apples helps scrub your teeth to get rid of plaque and germs. Apples also have lots of malic acid, an ingredient in some toothpastes, which increases saliva to clean teeth and remove stains.
An extra benefit of pineapples is bromelain, a compound that has cleansing and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps eliminate unsightly stains naturally.
Mineral ingredients like calcium and phosphorus give cheese an edge in strengthening your teeth. Cheese also contains protein that protects tooth enamel, and lactic acid that protects against tooth decay. Hard cheeses promote saliva production to clean your teeth.
High in fiber, broccoli can help lower inflammation in your mouth and body. Crunching on raw broccoli cleans and polishes your teeth, and the iron content helps protect your teeth from damaging bacteria and acid.
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Your smile is a noticeable part of your appearance, and yellow dingy teeth can leave a negative impression on others. Most people have to work at having a bright sparkly smile, because teeth can discolor with age, diet, and lifestyle.
You may not realize that sipping a glass of red wine or coffee can be a detriment to your smile, as can sugary items that allow acids to attack your tooth enamel. Smoking is an even worse culprit. It not only leaves ugly spots on the surface of teeth, it also contributes to poor gum health.
If your teeth are already stained or if you’re having a hard time breaking the habits that discolor them, teeth whitening is a good way to improve the look of your smile. There are numerous methods to regain the natural glow of your teeth, ranging from over-the-counter techniques for home use to professional treatments in an office setting.
Whitening products available at your local drug or grocery store include things like toothpaste, chewing gum, mouthwash, gels, and whitening strips. These are readily available and usually inexpensive options. Most of these products are simple to use and can be done in the convenience of your home when you choose. However, over-the-counter products are not as strong as professional methods. This means that results are not dramatic and usually take a long period of time of consistent use. Also, the effects may not last as long as you hope before it’s time to consider whitening again.
Professional teeth whitening is often performed by general and cosmetic dentists in an office environment. Bleaching is a popular professional method. The biggest advantage of in-office treatment is the fast results, with a visibly brighter smile evident in about an hour. Results are often dramatic, lightening teeth by several shades. Professionals trained and experienced in these methods provide safe and effective treatment. Methods available professionally may cost a bit more than home options, but the dramatic results may be worth it.
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Being a teenager can be difficult, and being a teen whose smile could use some improvement can be even more difficult. If your teen suffers from gapped, crooked, crowded, or misaligned teeth, you may be looking into Invisalign with your teen’s orthodontist as a smile solution.
In the past, metal braces were the standard for teens, leading to “metal mouth” smiles and the worry that food is caught there during lunch or after snacks. Metal braces can lead to even more self-consciousness for your teen. Using Invisalign will lead to the same results as traditional metal braces. While metal braces use wires and brackets to straighten teeth, Invisalign uses clear plastic trays, allowing your teen’s process of tooth straightening to be less obvious.
The Invisalign process begins with impressions and x-rays, providing valuable information regarding the current condition of your teen’s teeth. The mold made from the impressions serves as the reference for creating the custom-made Invisalign trays. A series of trays are used, gradually altering the teeth, leading to a more comfortable straightening process.
Invisalign trays are removed before eating, eliminating the trepidation associated with eating in public with traditional metal braces. Because there is no hardware to dislodge, there are no food restrictions, and your teen may continue to enjoy whatever foods desired.
Your teen will need to have good oral hygiene habits. Flossing once a day and brushing after mealtimes or at least twice a day is best. Invisalign trays are removed prior to these activities, allowing for an ease of oral care not provided by traditional braces.
Be sure your teen wears the Invisalign trays as recommend by his or her orthodontist. In order to maximize Invisalign effectiveness, your teen must wear the trays at all times, except during mealtimes or when brushing or flossing.
We look forward to seeing you in our Baltimore dental office
If you are dealing with ongoing tooth pain, you may be too fearful to go to the dentist to find out what’s going on. It’s important that you do, however, as you may need root canal therapy. Your dentist will need to evaluate you to see if that procedure is necessary, and will closely examine several factors: the signs the dentist can see personally, the results of any tests performed during your visit, and the symptoms you have been experiencing with the problematic tooth.
Your dentist may observe:
- A tooth that is discolored
- X-rays that reveal a tooth problem
- A fistulous tract, or persistent or recurring gum pimple
Additional testing done by your dentist:
- X-rays provide an extremely clear picture of the health of the tooth
- Thermal testing can evaluate sensitivity through a careful application of hot or cold temperatures
- Percussion testing evaluates pain response through gentle tapping
You may have been noticing:
- A broken or cracked tooth obviously decayed or damaged
- A discolored tooth, especially a grey tooth
- A “bubble” in your gums, like a pimple. It may or may not have ruptured, leaking pus that smells or tastes awful
- Pain that shoots out from one tooth to your jaw or ear, leading to earache symptoms
- Pain that prevents you from living your life without painkillers
- Pain, sensitivity or swelling on one certain tooth
- Extreme sensitivity to hot or cold liquids that lingers and is very painful
In some cases, an infected tooth that requires a root canal treatment has no symptoms at all that could be discerned by you. Only a dental professional can confirm the need to undergo root canal therapies. If you are experiencing pain that disrupts your life, talk to your dentist or endodontist immediately. Root canal treatments are designed to relieve the pain you’re experiencing now and to restore your tooth to full form and function. Don’t wait to get your life and smile back!
We treat patients from Baltimore and the surrounding area