At Thanksgiving we have a lot to be thankful for…great family and friends to share the holiday with, good health, and good food. Our Thanksgiving traditions center around a bountiful, hearty meal. This Thanksgiving we will all sit down to a bountiful feast but did you know not only can it be delicious but also healthy for your teeth and gums? A delicious Thanksgiving feast can include various vitamins and nutrients that are important to our oral health. These include Vitamins A, C, D, phosphorous, and calcium. Eating a nutritious meal will benefit not only your oral health but your entire health as a whole.
Best Thanksgiving Foods to Eat for Good Oral Health
-Turkey is high in phosphorous. The phosphorous is not only healthy for developing teeth but can actually help rebuild and re mineralize teeth and bones of the jaw.
-Sweet potatoes are filled with nutrients including vitamins A, C, and B6. Sweet potatoes are thought to be much healthier and nutritious than regular white potatoes as they are digested faster by the body.
-Cranberries contain flavonoids. These can prevent bacteria from sticking to teeth and forming plaque. Bacteria (and their acid byproducts) are responsible tooth decay and periodontal disease. Most cranberry side dishes contain high amounts of sugar. Try sweetening with agave, stevia, or splenda.
-Pumpkin pies are loaded with vitamin C and Calcium. Vitamins that are important for gum health and developing teeth and maintenance of bones. Remember, pies have high sugar, so make sure to brush after!
Health for your entire body including your smile starts with good nutrition and prevention. We all have so much to be thankful for, so let’s hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving!!
Cosmetic surgery is a very popular specialty of medicine that has been growing steadily for decades. Youth is associated with vitality and beauty. For many of us, aging is not an easy thing to do and we seek out help to keep us looking and feeling younger and more vibrant. When seeking out cosmetic surgery, many often overlook the role our teeth play in our appearance. As we age, our teeth become darker, get worn down, and may even change alignment. This can create not only cosmetic issues but functional ones as well. These functional issues can lead to Temperomandibular Joint (TMJ) issues, headaches, and muscle pain.
How Can My Dentist Make Me Look Younger?
As our teeth wear over time, it can result in a shorter looking face, longer looking teeth, and darker teeth. The resulting appearance may make some of appear to age prematurely. The breakdown can be caused by tooth erosion (high acid wear), attrition (flattening and fracturing due to grinding and oral habits), and abrasion (overly aggresive brushing), recession (loss of gum tissue making teeth appear longer) . The length and shape of our faces and teeth, as well as the position of the jaw are determined by the teeth, skeletal bones, and a person’s bite. So, when a person’s teeth wear down it will give the appearance of a shorter face. Pain and discomfort are often associated with wearing down of teeth and gums, as they become more sensitive, prone to increased fractures, and to development of TMJ and headache pain.
Your dentist can give you the ability to change all of this, allowing the patient to look more youthful while correcting dental issues. The patients oral hygiene must be good and the mouth should be in a healthy state before any work can be completed. This should include control of periodontal disease, removal of any loose teeth, addressing gum loss issues, ascertaining desired whiteness, and correcting dangerous oral habits, . Great care must be taken while returning someone to their proper tooth height (vertical dimension) as it can create even more TMJ and headache issues if not done properly.
Some of the procedures involved in making you look younger include:
-Porcelain Crowns. These crowns will give the cosmetic appearance most patients are seeking but also give the strength and stability to open one’s bite . One type of strong porcelain which is used where teeth grinding has been a problem is a Bruxzir crown. When placed properly, a patient will begin to see an immediate improvement in their bite and in the cosmetic appearance in the skin around the face as wrinkles will lessen.
-Porcelain Veneers. A staple of cosmetic dentistry but used in conjunction with porcelain crowns to lengthen and restore the length of front teeth. Porcelain veneers are less invasive and more conservative than porcelain crowns. For teeth that do not require a full coverage crown, porcelain veneers can adequately lengthen and reshape, and change the color of your smile.
-Orthodontics. Limited or full orthodontics may be necessary to remove any bite issues that can cause undue stress or trauma to the teeth before new restorations are placed.
-Dental Bonding. Used to restore any teeth that have been damaged by tooth decay, staining or slight wear. Dental bonding is a cosmetically pleasing option that will look very natural when completed.
-Crown Lengthening. A surgical process to expose more tooth structure so that there is enough room to properly place a crown. This is often necessary in severe grinding cases.
-Gum and Bone Grafting and Recontouring. Lost bone and gum tissue can often times be grafted to help regrow them. They can also be reshaped surgically to be healthier, easier to work with, and more cosmetically appealing.
-Teeth Whitening. Many of our worn teeth are also dark and discolored. The color you desire to reach may require a dental whitening process, or simply a whiter color bonding restoration or a whiter colored porcelain restoration.
Cosmetic dentistry will change not only how your teeth function but how you feel about yourself. Many dentists often overlook the relationship between our teeth and our bite. If the bite is not in alignment, your teeth and face will never look and feel their best.
Teeth whitening is a simple procedure which can give dramatic effects to almost any smile. Teeth whitening can create a beautiful, white smile in a very short period of time. That white smile will not only improve your appearance but can also help improve our outlook on our lives. Following teeth whitening, patients can help maintain that new whiter smile by avoiding certain foods that can dull that smile.
Teeth whitening is the most often requested cosmetic dentistry procedure. In fact over 100 million Americans have whitened their teeth. Each year Americans spend more than $1.4 billion on over-the-counter teeth whitening products in pursuit of a brighter smile.
Tooth whitening has proven to be a safe, noninvasive, and economical way to dramatically change one’s appearance when compared to other cosmetic dental procedures, such as porcelain veneers, dental bonding or dental crowns. Below are a list of some foods to avoid to maintain a bright, white smile after teeth whitening.
Foods To Avoid Following Teeth Whitening
-Staining Foods (Foods With Color). Following a teeth whitening session, several foods and ingredients are particularly likely to stain your new smile. Foods to watch out for include dark chocolate (white chocolate is fine), dark soups, stews, beets, tomato sauces, dark marinades, soy sauce, strawberries, and blueberries. Certain ethnic foods like Spanish and Indian cuisine may also be bad for your new smile. This is because those cuisines tend to incorporate lots of tomato sauces and curry.
-Dark Beverages. The preferred drinks to maintain a white smile are the clearer ones like water and milk. Various colored drinks can leave staining on your newly whitened smile. The drinks to avoid include coffee, tea and red wine, as well as dark soft drinks and sports drinks (Gatorade). Colored juices can also stain our teeth, like grape juice, tomato juice, green juices (like Kale) and cranberry juice. A helpful tip when drinking darker beverages is to use a straw so the liquids have less contact with our teeth thus reducing the staining opportunity.
-Acidic Foods. The teeth whitening procedure has one definite side effect for some patients. It may leave your teeth temporarily sensitive to acidic foods and drinks. This can cause you pain and discomfort while eating. So if you are feeling sensitivity try to avoid acidic foods and drink. These can include citrus drinks and soft drinks. Luckily, the sensitivity is usually very short lived (for most between 48 and 72 hours) and you can go back to enjoying your favorite foods very quickly.
-Cold Drinks And Food. Similar to being sensitive to acidic food and drink, our teeth can also be sensitive to extreme cold temperatures for a short period following teeth whitening. If you are experiencing sensitivity you should avoid cold drinks (like ice water), ice cream, and other frozen desserts. Try to eat items at room temperature until sensitivity subsides to avoid discomfort.
As mentioned earlier, teeth whitening is a safe and very effective procedure to give you a brighter, whiter smile. There are some minor drawbacks but for almost all patients they are very short lived. If you are looking to liven up your smile, teeth whitening is a cosmetic dentistry procedure you should consider. Talk to your dentist to see if teeth whitening the right dental procedure for your smile.
Porcelain veneers are sometimes perceived as something out of Hollywood. There is a good reason for this as many actors and actresses have abnormally perfect white teeth. Cosmetic dentistry is an art and smiles can be recreated or they can be perfect. Perfection is in the eye of the beholder. Some like having small gaps between their teeth or a tooth slightly out of alignment. Porcelain veneers work very well when cosmetic changes need to be made without the need for more invasive dental procedures.
Are Porcelain Veneers Right For Your Smile?
-Desire For A New, Beautiful Smile. Generally when someone openly wants a change in appearance, especially one requiring a significant financial investment, they are usually more receptive to maintaining it properly. If the porcelain veneers are not cared for they can and will develop tooth decay as well as break down. Routine dental examinations, professional cleanings, and excellent dental hygiene are an integral part of keeping your new smile looking its best.
-Healthy Teeth And Gums. If extensive tooth decay, fractured teeth, or periodontal disease are present, you will not be considered a good candidate for porcelain veneers. Good oral health is required for porcelain veneers. The mouth needs to be in a healthy, stable state to allow porcelain veneers to be considered an option. You will need a full dental examination to assess your dental health. If your mouth is not free of the above conditions, it is best to avoid porcelain veneers due to an increased chance of failure.
-Teeth Alignment. Severely misaligned teeth are not good candidates as this will cause issues with preparation of teeth for porcelain veneers. A good cosmetic dentist will try to be quite conservative when removing natural tooth structure. If the teeth are too far out of alignment it means more tooth structure will need to be removed to accomodate the spacing. Removing too much tooth structure can lead to tooth sensitivity and even nerve exposure (requiring possible root canal therapy). For teeth that are severely misaligned, invisalign, 6 month smile orthodontics, or traditional orthodontics may be needed to bring them into proper alignment.
-Sufficient Tooth Enamel Present. Tooth enamel is needed for the porcelain veneers to bond to your teeth. If the tooth is severely worn down or damaged, porcelain veneers will not bond well and may not be a good option for you. In this case a full crown may be a better option.
-Tooth Color. In general, porcelain veneers look best when they are thin and translucent. If you have severely stained teeth (developmental dentin staining, tetracycline staining, root canal therapy staining), it is usually best to undergo teeth whitening prior to veneers. Blockout of underlying staining is possible, but the end result will not look as natural.
-Gum Tissue Alignment. Proper gum tissue contours are necessary to give a natural look. If the gum heights are out of proportion, they will need to be recontoured with a gingivectomy procedure prior to veneer placement.
- Oral Habits: Nail Biting, Teeth Clenching/Grinding (Bruxism). Severe teeth clenchers or teeth grinders are not good candidates for porcelain veneers. Veneers are not able to handle the powerful stresses put forth by grinding and clenching. If a patient only grinds their teeth at night then it is possible to still complete porcelain veneers but only with the use of a night guard at night. Other oral habits such as, biting nails, chewing on pens, opening packages with your teeth, etc. will also cause damage to veneers and may cause them to fail.
Porcelain Veneers Conclusion
Porcelain veneers can give the ability to transform an ordinary smile to an extraordinary one. The information above should give everyone some information on what to expect if they are considering making changes to their smile. A natural looking new smile is just a dentist visit away!