If you have a cracked or chipped tooth or teeth, you may be a candidate for dental bonding. Dental bonding involves the application of a tooth-colored plastic adhesive that your dentist will shape and polish to match the surrounding teeth. Dental bonding is relatively painless and is usually performed without anesthesia. If you’re having tooth bonding done on several teeth, you may need to schedule more than one visit; a dental bonding procedure on one tooth takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
When you undergo dental bonding, the dentist first roughens the surface of the tooth or teeth that will be treated, and then he or she applies a conditioning solution to help the bonding material stick to the tooth. Then the bonding material is applied to the teeth and shaped to fit and an ultraviolet light or laser is used to harden it into place.
Keep these tips in mind if you opt for dental bonding:
Keeping your teeth clean goes a long way toward keeping them strong and healthy. So, how often should you clean your teeth? Well, that depends on the type of cleaning. Here are some good general guidelines to follow, but check with your dentist for his specific recommendations.
You should clean your teeth at home with a soft-bristled brush two or three times each day. The brush that you use should comfortably fit the size and shape of your mouth, and should be replaced every few months. It is important to use short strokes back and forth to clean the outer surfaces, inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of all of your teeth. To clean in between your teeth, vertical brush strokes should be used while you are brushing. Flossing your teeth once a day will also remove any remaining food, plaque, and bacteria from in between your teeth.
In addition to forming good daily brushing habits, it is also important to have your teeth professionally cleaned. Professional cleanings are done at your dentist's office by a dental professional. This type of cleaning can help remove hard deposits on your teeth that daily brushing cannot remove. It also helps prevent gum disease. You should have your teeth professionally cleaned twice each year if your teeth are healthy, and more often if you have specific health concerns that effect your oral health.
Your dental professional can help you determine the best answer to the question, "How often should you clean your teeth?" Talk to them about how often you need professional cleanings based on your specific oral hygiene needs. Learn more about oral hygiene in the Colgate Oral Care resources.
Replace toothbrushes every 3 to 4 months. Consider getting a new toothbrush sooner if you have been sick, especially if the toothbrush is stored close to other toothbrushes. When in doubt, look at the bristles. If they are frayed, they won't clean teeth as thoroughly. Because children often brush more rigorously than adults, they may need their toothbrushes replaced more often.
There are two styles of toothbrushes to consider: manual and electric. Choose what feels comfortable and makes you want to brush your teeth regularly. A manual toothbrush is portable and ready to use every time you need it. It makes no noise, and you will have complete control over the pressure it puts on your teeth and gums.
An electric toothbrush requires charging and is a bit more cumbersome to take along when traveling. However, the rotating movement of the bristles makes it easier to clean between teeth and at the gum line. Many electric toothbrushes have built-in sensors to make sure you brush long enough and don't press too hard.
No matter which type of toothbrush you use, keep it clean. The American Dental Association recommends rinsing the toothbrush under tap water after you brush to wash away lingering toothpaste and saliva. Then, store the toothbrush in a vertical position, with the bristles positioned so they can air dry.
Storing a toothbrush in a closed container can cause bacteria to build up, so it's best to let the bristles of the toothbrush fully dry between each usage. If you're traveling, consider using disposable toothbrushes during the trip.
How often should you change your toothbrush? Get into the habit of buying new toothbrushes for everyone in the family several times per year. How often you change your toothbrush depends on several factors, but it's best to always have a new, fresh toothbrush waiting in the bathroom cabinet for each family member
A beautiful smile and straight teeth are the dream of every teenager, as well as many adults. Wearing braces isn't the only way to achieve this. Here's how to straighten teeth without braces, depending on your specific condition.
Problems Correctable without Braces
If you have any of these conditions, you may be a candidate for orthodontic treatment that doesn't require you to wear braces:
Fixed retainers, such as bonded lingual retainers, are attached with dental cement to the inner surface of the teeth to prevent them from shifting over time, which helps correct the patient's bite and straighten teeth. A fixed retainer is a good long-term solution, but unfortunately you can't remove it yourself for relief or repair.
Hawley retainers are removable retainers made from metal wires and acrylic formed to the shape of your mouth based on a dental impression. The retainers can be made for the upper and lower arches of the mouth to brace and straighten teeth.
Removable retainers are ideal for those trying to correct their smile's appearance, because you can remove them for special events or occasional relief. But they're easy to lose so it's not uncommon for little ones to leave retainers on lunch trays – and expensive to replace.
Many different types of aplpliances straighten teeth by correcting jaw imperfections. The Herbst appliance allows the lower jaw to develop in a forward direction which will correct the bite. This enables the upper and lower jaw to meet, which is often what is needed to achieve straight, perfect teeth. This appliance has a metal extension that attaches to the molars to connect the upper and lower jaws. Patients wear this type of appliance for one year, during which time the orthodontist gradually shifts the lower jaw into the correct position.
Headgear is another appliance used to straighten teeth without braces. Protruding upper teeth in children may mean an excessive overbite, which can be corrected with headgear. The appliance places pressure against the child's upper teeth and jaw, which moves both the jaw and teeth into position simultaneously. Patients wear the headgear for a specific number of hours daily to see improvements.
The main disadvantage of these appliances is that they're not very discrete and can take time to allow sufficient results in correcting malocclusions.
If your child's mouth is too small for all the future adult teeth, the orthodontist may insert a palatal expander to widen the arch of the upper teeth. This creates space for the teeth to move naturally into their correct positions. The expander is fastened to the upper molars using dental cement. The orthodontist uses a special key to turn a screw in the center, placing gradual pressure on the left and right halves of the upper jaw. This causes extra bone to grow between the two halves, increasing the width of the mouth so the teeth can shift into position. Expanders are mostly invisible, but patients can experience minimal discomfort each time it's adjusted.
Braces have come a long way in the last several years, but some oral conditions may not need them at all. Ask your dentist for a recommendation on how to straighten teeth without braces.
If your gums are exposed because the upper lip is lifted too high when you smile then you have a Gummy smile. It is not always because you have small teeth that the gums are exposed. Sometimes your teeth just look small because when you smile there is an imbalance between the gums and upper lip.
Possible causes of a gummy smile are:
Gummy Smile: Botox or MyotomyOften the elevation muscle is over-developed:Botox
An over-developed elevation muscle can be weakened with a few small injections of Botox in the elevation muscles of the upper lip (Elevator Labii Superioris Muscle). Botox ensures that the elevator muscle contracts less powerfully so that the upper lip isn't lifted as high when smiling. This means that your gums are less exposed when you smile. Your natural facial expressions remain the same.
The doctor gives you a few Botox injections just next to the nose. The amount of Botox units you need depends on the strength of the muscle. Generally 10 units of Botox are sufficient.
The plastic surgeon weakens the elevation muscle of the upper lip (myotomy) between the gums and the upper lip. This procedure is performed with a local anaesthetic and last about an hour. The incision is made in the mouth so that the scar is invisible.
Any swelling and bruising generally disappears within about two weeks. Sensory disturbance may occur. The movements of the corners of the mouth remain intact for a beautiful and natural smile.
Sometimes the teeth look too small because they are surrounded by too much gum tissue. A gingivoplasty or gingivectomy treatment can offer a solution. If this is the case the cosmetic dentist will increase the surface of your teeth by correcting the gum tissue.
Sometimes the teeth are just too small compared to the gums. The cosmetic dentist can increase the surface of your teeth by:
Dr. James L. Johnson