Posts for: April, 2015
A woman as gorgeous and funny as Sofia Vergara surely planned to be a model and actress from the get-go, right? Wrong! Sofia’s first career choice actually was to be… a dentist! That’s right, the sexy star of TV’s Modern Family actually was only two semesters shy of finishing a dental degree in her native Columbia when she traded dental school for the small screen. Still, dental health remains a top priority for the actress and her son, Manolo.
“I’m obsessed,” she recently told People magazine. “My son thinks I’m crazy because I make him do a cleaning every three months. I try to bribe the dentist to make him to do it sooner!”
That’s what we call a healthy obsession (teeth-cleaning, not bribery). And while coming in for a professional cleaning every three months may not be necessary for everyone, some people — especially those who are particularly susceptible to gum disease — may benefit from professional cleanings on a three-month schedule. In fact, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to having professional teeth cleanings — but everyone needs this beneficial procedure on a regular basis.
Even if you are meticulous about your daily oral hygiene routine at home, there are plenty of reasons for regular checkups. They include:
- Dental exam. Oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease are much easier — and less expensive — to treat in the earliest stages. You may not have symptoms of either disease early on, but we can spot the warning signs and take appropriate preventive or restorative measures.
- Oral cancer screening. Oral cancer is not just a concern of the middle aged and elderly — young adults can be affected as well (even those who do not smoke). The survival rate for this deadly disease goes up tremendously if it is detected quickly, and an oral cancer screening is part of every routine dental visit.
- Professional teeth cleaning. Calcified (hardened) dental plaque (tartar or calculus) can build up near the gum line over time — even if you brush and floss every day. These deposits can irritate your gums and create favorable conditions for tooth decay. You can’t remove tartar by flossing or brushing, but we can clear it away — and leave you with a bright, fresh-feeling smile!
So take a tip from Sofia Vergara, and don’t skimp on professional cleanings and checkups. If you want to know how often you should come in for routine dental checkups, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor articles “Dental Hygiene Visit” and “Dental Cleanings Using Ultrasonic Scalers.”
Sugar can wreak havoc on teeth. Recent studies show that more than two-thirds of school-aged children experience dental decay, along with nearly all adults. One of the major causes of this decay is the high amount of sugar in our processed foods. The World Health Organization recently updated its guidelines to recommend that sugar should make up no more than 5% of our daily calorie intake.
How Does Sugar Destroy Teeth?
Bacteria in the mouth thrive on sugar from foods and beverages. Every time you take a bite or a drink of a sugary substance, the bacteria in your mouth produce acids from the sugars which attack tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is what protects your teeth from decay so this erosion can lead to cavities or even tooth loss.
How to Lessen the Damage
Cut out soft drinks and sugary drinks, or cut them back to being only an occasional treat. If you do partake, use a straw to help keep the sugars away from your teeth. Do not drink colas or fruit juice right before bed. If you do drink sugary drinks, always drink water immediately afterwards to flush away any acids.
Your Atlanta cosmetic dentists Dr. Jeffrey Hosford and Dr. Carol Karafotias will tell you that using fluoride toothpaste will also help to protect your tooth enamel. Atlanta residents have the added benefit of having fluoridated city water, so you may want to drink filtered tap water instead of reaching for bottled.
Contrary to popular belief, you may not want to brush your teeth immediately after consuming sugary foods. This is when the acids are attacking the enamel the most, so brushing could place even more stress on the enamel and weaken it. Instead, wait approximately an hour and then brush your teeth. The enamel will have time to recovery by then.
Comprehensive Dentistry, your cosmetic dentists in Atlanta, GA, offers cleaning and dental sealants to help protect your child’s teeth from the dangers of excessive sugars. If you are worried about enamel erosion or tooth decay, schedule an appointment for an exam today.
When a device meant to make your life easier doesn't function properly, it can be extremely frustrating. This is sometimes the case for people who wear lower dentures, which loosen over time. These removable replacement teeth can become less reliable and more uncomfortable. Why does this happen?
The answer is bone loss. When a tooth is lost, the bone surrounding it deteriorates and this will change the shape of the jawbone in your mouth. You may find that a lower denture that once had a snug fit on your lower jaw is now sliding around. This happens more often on the bottom because your muscular tongue pushes against the denture. Also, a top denture has more surface area due to an artificial palate to help create suction to the roof of the mouth and keep it in place.
Dental implants, which permanently replace the roots of teeth, do not loosen and they also prevent bone loss. But replacing a whole set of bottom teeth with dental implants and crowns is expensive. What to do?
There's a relatively new solution that combines the security of implants with the affordability of a removable denture. It's called an overdenture, and it may be something you want to consider. An overdenture is a lot like the removable lower denture you already have, only it fits over two implants strategically placed in your lower jaw. While the lower denture is still removable, its stability is greatly improved.
Studies have shown that people with two-implant overdentures have a higher quality of life, and receive better nutrition, than those wearing conventional dentures. It's not hard to figure out why: A more stable denture makes it easier to eat healthy foods such as vegetables — or, really, any foods — and prevents embarrassing slippage of false teeth.
You can read more about this topic in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Implant Overdentures for the Lower Jaw.”