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Doral Dental Studio
  • 3 Tips for Healthy Summer Smiles

    Summer sun brings summer fun. While warm months are perfect for spending time together, summer vacation can also throw off your usual dental routine. Here are three ways to prevent summertime tooth decay:
    Stay on a routine

    Whether your kids are staying up to catch fireflies or a fireworks show, resist the temptation to skip brushing before a late bedtime—or let it slide when they sleep in the next morning. “Don’t forget about your smile over the summer,”. “It’s important for families to consistently brush and floss, which keeps kids on track for healthy back-to-school dental visits.”

    No matter how eventful the upcoming months become, supervise that they are brushing twice a day for 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste. Simple things like brushing calendars can help everyone stay on track over the summer. Plus, it’s a chance to spend more time together. Brushing alongside your children for 2 minutes, twice a day for the three months of summer gives you 6 extra hours together, so make the most of them!

    And don’t forget to clean between those teeth once a day. “Your children should be flossing between any two teeth that touch,”. “However, many kids don’t have motor skills to floss until they are over 10 years old.” If your child needs help, try different types of interdental cleaners or put your hands over theirs to guide them and get the job done at the same time.

    Say no to sugary drinks and snacks

    As the temperature rises, it’s common for families to sip and snack during sports tournaments, festivals or nearly any community event. “Watch your family’s intake of lemonade, juice and soda,”. “Consider sugary drinks treats to enjoy once in a while, and not often.” Instead, offer water (even better if it has fluoride) to beat the heat, or milk to drink with meals. And, don’t let summertime grazing damage your child’s smile. “Taking a break from snacking is healthy for your teeth,” says Dr. Hayes. “It allows time for saliva to bathe the teeth, wash away leftover food and get stronger.”

    If you find yourself spending more time at home, snack smarter, and let your children tell you when they’re hungry instead of offering snacks throughout the day. “They’re not afraid to let you know when they want something to eat!” she says.

  • 7 Interesting Facts About Cosmetic Dentistry

    When most people think about cosmetic dentistry, they picture a Hollywood smile with brilliant white teeth. While teeth whitening is certainly a popular and effective cosmetic treatment, there’s a lot more to cosmetic dentistry than that. For example, did you know that improving the appearance of your smile often improves its function at the same time? Cosmetic dentistry can even improve your mood and confidence!

    Let’s talk about those and many other fascinating but lesser-known facts about cosmetic dentistry.

    1. Caring about your smile is human nature

    It’s normal to care about the way your smile looks. In fact, people have been invested in the appearance of their teeth since ancient times. Etruscans in northern Italy were making dentures as early as 700 BC!

    Although many people aren’t happy with the look of their smile, a survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry found that 82% of respondents said it’s the dentist who initiates a dialogue about cosmetic dentistry. (Only 26% said that patients start the conversation.) Patients often don’t ask about cosmetic options because they:

    • Feel nervous or uncomfortable to bring it up
    • Don’t realize it’s an option
    • Believe it will be too expensive

    At DDS, all questions about cosmetic dentistry (and other types of dentistry) are welcome. We focus on eliminating barriers to high-quality cosmetic dentistry by creating a compassionate, judgement-free environment and offering affordable payment plans.

    2. Cosmetic dentistry can improve the health and function of your teeth

    Functional dental issues can become cosmetic concerns if they’re left untreated. For example, tooth decay that isn’t addressed can eventually lead to lost teeth. If you have a cavity, tooth-colored fillings can prevent further complications, like tooth loss. Living with missing teeth long term, can lead to other health issues, such as:

    • TMJ pain
    • Facial bone loss (which causes the face to look sunken)
    • Gum disease
    • Difficulty chewing

    If you already have missing teeth, treatments like implants, crowns, bridges, and dental bonding will improve your smile’s appearance and restore function at the same time.

    3. Porcelain veneers don’t stain like normal teeth do

    Stained teeth aren’t necessarily unhealthy teeth, but you may not like the look of them. The truth is that if you drink several cups of coffee or tea throughout the day, it can be hard to keep your natural teeth white, even with good dental hygiene practices.

    A professional whitening can work wonders for mild-to-moderate stains, but if you have more advanced staining or your teeth are worn down, porcelain dental veneers may be a better and more permanent solution. Not only do they brighten your smile, they also beautifully hide cracks, chips, and gaps. Although porcelain veneers look just like real teeth, they’re actually much more resistant to staining than regular teeth, which makes them a long-lasting solution to persistent tooth stains.

    4. You can practice preventive cosmetic dentistry in daily life

    Although many cosmetic dental issues require professional intervention to fix, there’s a lot you can do on your own to help keep your teeth healthy and beautiful.

    • Avoid soda and sugary drinks — they’re one of the main causes of tooth stains, discoloration, and decay
    • Drink plenty of water to flush away food remnants and bacteria
    • Rinse with water after consuming sugary foods and drinks, as well as tooth-staining beverages like coffee, tea, and wine
    • Floss daily and brush morning and night to keep your teeth clean, healthy, and white

    5. Some people wear down their teeth at night without knowing it

    Bruxism is a condition that involves grinding, clenching, or gnashing your teeth. It’s possible to do this while awake or asleep, but people with sleep bruxism are less likely to be aware that it’s happening. The underlying causes of bruxism are complex, but stress and improper tooth alignment are common contributing factors.

    If bruxism is severe enough, it can have serious consequences for the health and look of your teeth. In the worst cases, it eventually wears down the enamel on your teeth, which changes their shape and appearance, making them look short and flat.

    If you’re experiencing headaches, facial pain, worn or chipped teeth, tight/painful jaw muscles, or you find yourself constantly waking up during the night, it’s worth talking to your dentist. A dentist can identify signs of tooth grinding, so you can address the problem and prevent both the cosmetic and functional consequences of bruxism.

    The simplest and most common solution is to wear a night guard while you sleep, but other treatments can also be helpful, especially if they address the root cause of the grinding. Depending on your situation, your dentist might recommend treatments like:

    • Practicing proper jaw and tongue positioning
    • Orthodontic treatment to align crooked teeth
    • Stress management

    6. Cosmetic dentistry isn’t “one size fits all”

    Many people worry that they’ll lose everything unique and personal about their smile if they get cosmetic treatments. Luckily that isn’t the case!

    Do you love the unique shape of your teeth? Like the look of your prominent canines? Don’t want to lose the gap between your front teeth? It’s generally easy to preserve certain elements of your smile but change others.

    At DDS, our goal is to help you achieve a smile that you love, and our treatment plans are customized to your needs. We’ll talk to you about how you want your teeth to look, and if there are any specific features you want to preserve or change. It’s all up to you!

  • Pregnancy and Oral Health

    Healthcare professionals: use Protect Tiny Teeth, a free set of resources, to talk to pregnant women and new moms about the importance of oral health.

    One way to prevent cavities in young children is to improve pregnant women’s oral health. Pregnancy may make women more prone to periodontal (gum) disease and cavities. Oral health may be considered an important part of prenatal care, given that poor oral health during pregnancy can lead to poor health outcomes for the mother and baby. Protect Tiny Teethexternal icon includes a mix of attention-grabbing materials to spark awareness that oral health should be part of prenatal care, and tips on how pregnant women and new moms can protect their oral health and the oral health of their infants.

    Pregnancy and Periodontal Disease

    Nearly 60 to 75% of pregnant women have gingivitis, an early stage of periodontal disease that occurs when the gums become red and swollen from inflammation that may be aggravated by changing hormones during pregnancy.1 If gingivitis is not treated, the bone that supports the teeth can be lost, and the gums can become infected. Teeth with little bone support can become loose and may eventually have to be extracted. Periodontitis has also been associated with poor pregnancy outcomes, including preterm birth and low birth weight.2 However, how periodontitis may lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes is not yet fully understood.

    Pregnancy and Dental Cavities

    Pregnant women may also be at risk for cavities due to changes in behaviors, such as eating habits.3 Women who have a lot of cavity-causing bacteria during pregnancy and after delivery could transmit these bacteria from their mouth to the mouth of their baby.4 Early contact with these bacteria and to other sugars, such as from frequent snacking or taking a bottle to bed, can lead to early childhood cavities and the need for extensive dental care at a young age.

    • 1 in 4 women of childbearing age have untreated cavities.
    • Children of mothers who have high levels of untreated cavities or tooth loss are more than 3 times more likely to have cavities as a child.
    • Children with poor oral health status are nearly 3 times more likely to miss school because of dental pain.

     
    www.cdc.gov credits

  • 9 Benefits of Dental Veneers

    Are you self-conscious about your smile? Do you avoid showing your teeth in photos or at job interviews? If you’d like to cover-up embarrassing dental problems like chipped, discolored, unevenly spaced, or misshapen teeth, dental veneers might be a good choice for you. There are a number of potential benefits to getting dental veneers which is why this is one of the most popular procedures performed in cosmetic dentistry. At DDS, we can help you determine whether or not veneers are the right solution for you.

    Benefit #1: Veneers cosmetically repair teeth simply and easily.

    Dental veneers are thin pieces of medical-grade porcelain that are cemented to the front of teeth to make a smile more pleasing to the eye. They’re custom-made for each individual patient to create the most attractive look possible. Veneers are tooth-colored and reflect light in much the same way as natural teeth. And they don’t stain easily so for people who are seeking the appearance of perfection, they’re an excellent choice. If you’re looking to fix major cosmetic problems with your teeth, porcelain veneers provide an easy way to do that.

    Benefit #2: Dental veneers offer a natural appearance

    The process for getting this type of dental restoration done may take more than one appointment, but the end result looks incredibly natural! During the first appointment, the dentist takes impressions of your teeth to send to a lab where the veneers will be manufactured. The lab creates veneers that will match the color of the tooth enamel and the contour of your natural teeth.

    When the veneers come back from the lab and it’s time to place them in the mouth, the dentist sculpts each overlay precisely so that they create a natural-looking smile. The design is customized to fit with your facial symmetry and overall style. After being placed in your mouth, the veneers will look and feel natural to you and to others as a result.

    Benefit #3: Getting porcelain veneers is a minimally invasive procedure.

    Getting dental veneers is a less invasive process than other dental restoration options that we offer at DDS. To put them in place, for example, the dentist will first remove ½ millimeter off the front surface of the treated teeth, which is a lot less than what would be removed if you were getting a crown. After the surface of the tooth has been shaved down, each veneer overlay is put into place using a special cement. The dentist may have to make small adjustments to the size or color of the veneers as they’re placed on the teeth in order to create the most natural look and feel possible.

    Patients require little or no anesthesia for this procedure and after the veneers are glued into place, the results are immediately visible!

    Benefit #4: Veneers are a quick cosmetic fix.

    Veneers can be life-changing for people who are unhappy with the appearance of their teeth. Any of the following cosmetic issues can easily be addressed using porcelain veneers:

    • Chipped teeth
    • Missing teeth
    • Gaps between the teeth
    • Misshapen teeth
    • Stained or discolored teeth

    Braces or other orthodontic treatments are a common way to treat gaps between the teeth, but some people opt to get veneers instead of enduring the pain and inconvenience of braces. Rather than moving the teeth, veneers merely camouflage the cosmetic issues so that the only people who know about your dental problems are you and your dentist. At DDS we can consult with you to determine whether your cosmetic dental problems could be fixed using veneers.

    Benefit #5: Veneers are permanent and durable.

    Did you know that porcelain veneers are permanent and they actually resist decay and staining better than real teeth? Because the veneers are non-porous, they resist stains and cavities better than your natural tooth enamel (which is porous). With proper maintenance, a dental veneer will last between 10 and 15 years.

    Benefit #6: Maintaining dental veneers is easy.

    You don’t have to do anything special to care for dental veneers. Maintenance is the same as caring for your normal teeth. You should brush twice a day and floss at least one time daily. And schedule regular checkups with us at DDS to maintain the natural white shine to your teeth.

    Benefit #7: Porcelain Veneers are a permanent tooth whitening option.

    Some of our patients return to us regularly to get their teeth whitened. But other patients opt instead to get veneers. Unlike natural teeth, veneers resist staining from habits like drinking coffee or smoking cigarettes. These dental prosthetics are extremely resilient and in comparison with natural teeth, they’re mostly stain-resistant so it won’t be necessary to get them whitened on a regular basis as you would your natural teeth. As such, they’re a good choice for patients who would prefer to whiten their teeth in a more permanent way as opposed to whitening the teeth once each year.

    In certain cases, it may make sense to combine dental veneer placement with tooth whitening or the placement of dental crowns. Often, these procedures can be combined together to create stunning results. In some cases, when natural teeth are very stained and they resist whitening, veneers may be necessary to correct the issue.

    Benefit #8: Veneers are a viable treatment for enamel loss.

    The enamel on your teeth is very strong, but it can still get worn away by highly acidic foods,over-ambitious tooth-brushing, or acid reflux disease (where stomach acids may end up in the mouth). If tooth enamel gets worn away, it doesn’t ever come back. Veneers offer a durable, but also aesthetically pleasing way to replace enamel.

    Benefit #9: Dental veneers are a worthwhile investment.

    The patients we work with at DDS typically view their veneers as a dental investment. Porcelain veneers are used to accomplish a variety of important goals from orthodontic camouflage to teeth whitening and enamel replacement. Patients who choose this dental treatment enjoy all of these benefits in addition to the cosmetic enhancements they offer. Even though veneers are more costly than some of the other cosmetic dental treatments available today, patients feel the investment is worthwhile. After treatment, most patients experience a boost in their self-confidence which is priceless. Veneers are long-lasting and a beautiful way to create a smile that our patients feel proud to share.

  • 4 Reasons Why a Dental Checkup is Important

    A dental checkup is a good thing, and you should get one every six months. People who regularly get checkups are less likely to ever deal with a serious dental issue that requires an invasive treatment. That is just one benefit of getting routine checkups. There are so many more.

    These are a few of the reasons why dental checkups are important:

    1. Dental checkups prevent plaque, tartar, cavities and tooth decay

    Even the most fastidious person can fail to clean the hard-to-reach places in their mouth. A good example is the back molars, which are notoriously hard to clean. That is why every person should see a dentist every six months.

    The dentist will examine the patient’s teeth to look for early signs of tooth decay. If the dentist finds small cavities or white spots on the teeth, they will start the patient on fluoride treatment to reverse the decay and treat larger cavities with dental fillings.

    Next, the dentist will perform a professional tooth cleaning to remove plaque or tartar from the teeth and gums. This will protect the teeth and gums from attacks by harmful bacteria that make their home in plaque and tartar.

    2. Routine dental visits keep gum disease at bay

    For the most part, the early stages of gum disease have no symptoms. This makes it hard for a person to detect gum disease in their mouths. Luckily, dentists are trained to spot gum disease even when it tries to hide.

    During a routine checkup, the dentist will make sure that the gums are firm. They will check for swelling, receding gums and deep gum pockets. If the dentist finds any of these worrying symptoms, they will treat the underlying cause.

    Usually, early gum disease goes away when a patient improves their oral habits, and a dentist will gladly guide their patient on how to take care of their gums.

    3. Dentists use routine checkups to check for oral cancer

    In addition to examining the teeth and the gums, a dentist will look for signs of oral cancer in their patient’s mouth. This is great because if oral cancer goes undetected, it can develop into a life-threatening illness.

    The dentist uses a special light to look for dead tissue caused by tumors. The exam is called a VELscope cancer exam. It is painless and only takes a minute or two.

    With this exam, a person who sees the dentist every six months has little chance of developing late-stage oral cancer.

    4. Routine checkups can detect systemic health issues

    Another part of dental checkups is the head and neck exam. The dentist will check the lymph nodes, neck and jaws for swelling, lumps, deformities and any other symptoms of illness. If a problem is found, the dentist will refer the patient to the appropriate medical professional.

    This is one reason that a person should look forward to their dental checkups. They get to have their thyroid checked for the low, low price of a dental checkup. What is not to love?

    Stay on top of your dental health with regular checkups

    If you get regular checkups, your teeth are more likely to be healthy and strong. They will serve you for as long as you live. Feel free to come by our offices to get your dental checkup.

    What are you waiting for?

    Request an appointment here: https://doraldentalstudio.com or call DDS at 305.882.9260 for an appointment in our Doral office.

  • Helpful Valentine’s Day Dental Tips

    With Valentine’s Day only just around the corner, we remind our patients to be extra careful when choosing their treats! You’re probably looking forward to spending some quality time with your sweetheart, as well as indulging your sweet tooth with some chocolates. Of course, it’s important to remember to show your teeth some love as well!

    Here are a few helpful ideas for avoiding tooth decay and making sure your teeth truly shine when you step out on the town with your date:

    • Avoiding Bad Breath: While bad breath can be a common symptom of a great meal, it’s probably not that appealing to the person you’re sharing it with. Keep some floss in your pocket so that you can quickly get rid of food particles and pesky bacteria in the bathroom; then, pop in a mint to give your smile a fresh, appealing feel. If your bad breath persists even after the minty scent has worn off, though, that means it’s time for a checkup with your local dentist.
    • Not All Chocaoate Is The Same: If you are buying sweets or chocolates on the big day, solid chocolate (the ones without chewy or sugary centers) don’t tend to stick to the teeth like more chewy treats too, making them better for your oral health. In fact, dark chocolate is an even better option, as it contains less sugar than milk chocolate!
    • Don’t Get Sticky: Try to avoid gummy candies, hard candies, and sticky caramels. These can be terrible for your teeth. Instead, try giving flowers, a card, or even a romantic dinner at home.
    • Sweets At The Right Time: If you and your partner just can’t stay away from the candy, it’s best to enjoy them after a meal so that you keep from constantly exposing your teeth to sugar and harmful bacteria. Also, be sure to drink water and practice a good, thorough hygiene routine afterwards!
    • Kiss More: Kissing helps prevent cavities!   When you kiss someone it stimulates saliva in your mouth which breaks down plaque and washes bacteria away.
    • Valentine’s Dental Gift: Looking to surprise your sweetheart? Teeth whitening may be just the gift your smile needs to look its very best!
  • How Many Americans Are Missing Teeth?

    If you’re missing a tooth or multiple teeth, the team at Doral Dental Studio can help. We offer the latest restorative dentistry treatments for tooth loss, including custom dentures and dental implants. The treatments can restore your smile and help you bite and chew normally again.

    Many patients ask us how common tooth loss is. These statistics on missing teeth will offer some interesting perspective on this issue. We can discuss tooth loss and options for treatment in more detail during your visit to our Doral Florida dental center.

    How Many Americans Are Missing Teeth?

    According to the American College of Prosthodontists (ACP), roughly 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. In addition, approximately 40 million Americans are missing all of their teeth.

    The Most Common Causes of Tooth Loss

    Some of the most common causes of tooth loss include:

    • Tooth decay
    • Gum disease
    • Physical trauma
    • Cancer
    • Bone disease
    • Normal wear and tear

    Do give some of these causes some statistics perspective, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that 1 in 5 adults age 65 or older suffers from untreated tooth decay, and that 68 percent of adults in that same age range suffer from gum disease.

    Tooth Loss and Age

    As people get older, they are more likely to experience tooth loss and to lose more teeth. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) has some fascinating numbers regarding remaining teeth and different age groups.

    Keep in mind that in an average mouth, there are 28 teeth (not counting wisdom teeth).

    • Americans 20 to 34 years of age – 26.90 remaining teeth
    • Americans 35 to 49 years of age – 25.05 remaining teeth
    • Americans 50 to 64 years of age – 22.30 remaining teeth

    The NIDCR also found that 10.13 percent of Americans between the ages of 50 to 64 have no teeth remaining. The CDC estimates that 13 percent of Americans between the ages of 65 to 74 have no teeth, and that 26 percent of Americans 75 and older have no teeth.

    Smoking and Tooth Loss

    Smoking has been linked to gum disease and a host of other health issues that can affect dental health. The ACP suggests smokers are three times more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers. It should come as no surprise that the NIDCR found these numbers related to tooth loss and smoking:

    • Current Smokers – 23.47 teeth remaining
    • Former Smokers – 25.12 teeth remaining
    • Lifelong Non-Smokers – 25.67 teeth remaining

    Given these statistics, consider this yet another compelling reason to kick the habit for good.

    Class and Socioeconomic Factors

    The findings by the NIDCR noticed some interesting correlations between income, education, and tooth loss.

    People below the poverty level were more likely to suffer from serious tooth loss. People living at or below the poverty line in America had an average of 23.52 remaining teeth. Approximately 9.28 percent of individuals living at or below the poverty line had lost all of their teeth.

    Related to poverty, Americans with less than a high school education had an average of 23.1 teeth remaining. Among people without a high school education, 8.07 percent had lost all of their teeth.

    Learn More About Tooth Loss

    For more information about tooth loss and how missing teeth can be treated, be sure to contact an experienced cosmetic and restorative dentist. We at DDS are here to help. You can reach us by phone at 305.882.9260

  • Dental implants: How to take care of them after surgery

    The whole dental implant process can be a very long and tedious journey. This time is necessary to give the implant every chance at success. And the one thing that makes the whole process stay on time is how they are taken care of after surgery.

    After surgery, the first 48 hours are the most crucial as the implant is in a more vulnerable state. Maintain a soft food diet full of vitamins and minerals, avoid brushing that area, and take all the medications that the doctor prescribed. After 24 hours, you can begin salt water rinsing.

    Laying low after dental surgery is the best thing to do, allowing the body to use its energy to heal. In this post, I go over what we discuss with our patients that are thinking about implant surgery or currently going through the implant process.

    How you take care of dental implants can impact how long they last for. From what you eat, and what your oral hygiene routine is like, it can make an impact on preventing implant failure.

    Dental implants are an expensive investment and worth every penny, in my opinion. Having them function properly and last for as long as possible is the ideal outcome.

    It’s important to be fully aware of the entire process, risks involved and how to maintain them so hopefully there are no surprises!

    How to take care of dental implants after surgery

    The biggest threat to dental implants is bacteria. Some bacteria are good, but if there are too many and the wrong type, it can lead to infection and implant failure.

    I don’t want to scare you or be forceful, however, it’s really important to follow all the instructions that were given to you by your doctor/dental professional.

    You don’t want anything coming in contact with the surgery site for at least 24 hours. Just leave it alone.

    It’s normal to experience some swelling, discomfort and light bleeding in the first 24-48 hours. But if you are concerned, give your dental professional a call.

    An ice pack will become your best friend. You will want to use it as much as you can to try and reduce the swelling. Wrap the ice back in a cloth to protect your skin, and you will want to hold it against your cheek/jaw for about 20-30 minutes, and then take it off for the same amount of time. Keep repeating that process for the first few days. Swelling usually peaks at day 2-3.

    You will want to begin doing salt water rinses after the first 24 hours. The salt water rinses will cleanse the mouth and kill some bacteria. Take a mouthful of the salt water mixture, and you can just tilt your head slowly from side to side. It’s important not to vigorously swish it around your mouth.

    Swishing vigorously can disrupt the surgery site and healing. Be gentle and easy on the surgery site.

    Your doctor will have given you some gauze to take home with you. And you probably left the dental office biting down on some. If there is mild bleeding, you will want to replace the gauze. Make sure the gauze is damp, this is crucial. If you don’t dampen the gauze, it will likely adhere to the tissues and could disrupt the blood clotting, and cause more bleeding.

    Taking the medication that the doctor prescribed, including recommended pain relievers, will help with recovery. It will also prevent discomfort and infections. It’s very important to use the medications exactly as intended and instructed.

    What not to do after implant surgery

    If you can think back to when you had your wisdom teeth extracted, or any other tooth that was taken out, the what-not-to-do list is pretty much the same.

    You want to avoid any strenuous activity that will get your blood flowing faster or anything that could hit your face. This could dislodge any blood clot that is forming around the implant to help it heal and integrate into the bone. The blood clot contains vital cells that will help the implant surgery become successful.

    Other activities that can cause disruptions are smoking, spitting, and drinking through a straw. The sucking and forceful motion, when doing these things, can suck the blood clot out.

    Avoid all of these activities for the first 24-48 hours after the implant is placed.

    What to eat after dental implant surgery

    For the first 24 hours after dental implant surgery, you will want to have a liquid diet. Soup, smoothies (eaten with a spoon, not a straw), and yogurt are some examples of good foods to eat.

    Smoothie bowls are a great food to have because the combinations are endless, the fruit adds vitamins and minerals, and protein powder can be added to them to make them more filling. The only thing I suggest to avoid in the smoothies are fruits with seeds. Even if you have a powerful blender, it may not be able to break up all the seeds.

    The seeds can get stuck in the surgery site and cause delayed healing and even infection.

    Foods to avoid: hot, spicy, hard, crunchy, acidic foods, coffee, tea, and alcohol. All of these foods can disrupt the surgery site and delay healing.

    How long will recovery take

    Recovery time can look different for everyone. Medications, overall health, age, and home oral care can all impact the recovery time.

    After the implant surgery is done, the average time for healing before the implant crown can go on is around 3 months. But, often it can go beyond that.

    Before the implant crown is put on, a torque test will be done. This test is to determine how stable the implant is and how tight the bone is integrated around the implant.

    You don’t want to rush putting the implant crown on because,

    if the implant isn’t fully stable, adding the pressure from eating and clenching the teeth together, can cause the implant to fail.

    How to clean dental implants during and after recovery

    First 24-48 hours

    Like mentioned at the beginning of this post, you don’t want to go near the surgery site for at least the first 24 hours. After that, you can introduce the warm salt water rinses.

    If there is light bleeding or oozing, you can bite down on some damp gauze for about 30-60 minutes.

    48-72 hours

    Continue with the salt water rinses. You can start to use an extra soft toothbrush with warm water around the area to clear away bacteria and food debris. A toothbrush made for babies is the best option because the toothbrush head is very small, and the bristles are extremely soft. You don’t need to use any toothpaste around the area, as it can irritate the delicate tissues.

    After a few days

    Keep up with the warm salt water rinses for at least a week after the implant surgery. You can start to clean the area more with the toothbrush and incorporate other oral hygiene tools. Keep avoiding hard and crunchy foods around the surgery area.

    After the implant crown is placed

    After the implant crown is placed, keeping consistent with oral hygiene will be needed to prevent gingivitis and gum disease. You will need to floss around the implant and make sure the amount of bacteria and food debris is reduced.

    Can dental implants fail and how can you tell

    Dental implants need to be taken care of like normal teeth, to prevent gum disease that can occur around them, which can contribute to them failing.

    When there is chronic inflammation around the implants, both the gum and bone can start receding. Because the bone is in direct contact with the implant, it leaves in more susceptible to gum disease. In a natural tooth, there are a lot of connective tissue ligaments that attach to the bone to the tooth.

    If there is active gum disease around the dental implants, it is so important to have more regular dental hygiene cleanings.

    Signs of a failing implant can be difficulty eating on it, pain, loose feeling, receding/inflamed gums, and swelling around the implant site area.

    Other causes of implants failing can be due to excess cement around the crown, too much force being applied to the implant and poor oral care, to name a few. If you are worried about the health of your dental implant, you should consult with your dental professional for an exam.

  • The 3 Best and Worst Candies for Your Teeth

    The Best Candies

    1. Dark chocolate is the best candy for your teeth by a wide margin. Chocolate may be more effective than fluoride at fighting tooth decay, according to several studies, due to a compound in chocolate that helps harden tooth enamel. Compounds in cocoa beans also have an antibacterial effect that fights plaque. That’s why my patients get a dark chocolate square along with floss and a toothbrush in their goodie bag when they leave the office after appointments.

    2. Sugarless gum and sugarless candies, such as candies with stevia or candies that diabetics consume. Sugar feeds bacteria and upsets the healthy ratios of pH and bacteria in the mouth, so a sugarless candy comes in as “second best” here. I’m still not a fan because whenever you see the sugarless label, the candy tends to have other bad chemicals in it that are detrimental to health in another way.

    3. Candy bars with nuts. Candy bars with a lot of nuts can break up the stickiness, and it’s the stickiness of a candy that increases chance of cavity, so having nuts (and the protein/fiber that nuts provide) can break up the “badness” of the sticky parts of the candy. Nuts can also break up some of the biofilm of the teeth. My favorite “candy bar” which I’ve found to be tastier than my old favorite Payday and extremely low in sugar — around 5 to 6 grams depending on the flavor — are the KIND bars. My favorite flavor is Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt.

    The Worst Candies

    1. Anything Sticky. The stickier the candy, the worse it is — that’s Jujubes, Tootsie Rolls, etc. The effects of these sticky candies will linger because they stick around, increasing the chance for a cavity. The same goes for dried fruit, which is just as bad for your teeth because of the stickiness and concentration of sugar. Stick to real fruit, which is far less concentrated in sugar and is packed with fiber and water that keep you full.

    2. Lollipops. That’s because when it comes to how bad a candy is for your teeth, frequency of exposure is more harmful than quantity. If you eat the candy quickly and brush your teeth and it’s over very quickly — as far as your teeth go (not talking about blood glucose systems and the effect on the rest of the body) it’s much better than sucking on a candy all day long, like in the case of a lollipop. Frequency of exposure increases chance of harm to teeth – but if you throw it down the hatch and brush and floss right after, damage to (teeth only) can be minimal.

    3. Gummy worms, because they’re the most acidic. Acid is bad for your teeth because it wears down the tooth enamel, which protects your teeth. This makes it easier for teeth to become chipped or broken. Enamel also insulates the tooth. A lack of enamel can expose the nerves in your teeth, which are extremely sensitive to changes in temperature of the things you eat and drink.

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