Posts for: August, 2016
Do you have one or two little flaws that keep your smile from being perfect? Teeth contouring offers a simple way to correct minor cosmetic issues quickly. Dr. Toan Bui, your Clifton, NJ dentist, explains how teeth contouring can help you improve your smile.
What is teeth contouring?
Teeth contouring involves removing a small amount of enamel, the hard substance that makes up the outer layer of your teeth. Because contouring only affects your enamel, anesthetic isn't normally needed during treatment.
When is contouring used?
Contouring can be helpful if you have:
- Chipped teeth
- Uneven teeth
- Pointy teeth
- Minor bite problems
- A tooth that is just a little longer than the others
How is teeth contouring performed?
Before your dentist contours your teeth, he'll X-ray them to ensure that they are healthy. After marking your teeth, he'll use a sanding drill or laser and abrasive strips to remove enamel in the designated areas. After contouring is completed, your teeth will be polished to eliminate any rough surfaces.
In some cases, your dentist may also recommend bonding to help your contoured tooth look even better. Composite resin, the material used in bonding, is very flexible and looks like putty. Your Clifton dentist can manipulate it into any shape. It's often used to conceal chips, lengthen teeth or fill gaps. Once composite resin cures, it's just as hard as your tooth enamel.
What are the benefits of contouring?
In addition to improving your appearance, teeth contouring can also improve your oral health, particularly if your teeth overlap. Plaque--a colorless, sticky film that causes cavities--builds up in overlapping areas that brushes and floss can't reach. Removing overlapping areas with teeth contouring makes it much easier to brush and floss.
How do I take care of my teeth after contouring?
Removing enamel can increase the risk of chipping. You can prevent the problem if you avoid hard foods, don't use your teeth to open packages, and don't bite on ice, pens or other hard objects.
Contouring is a good option for correcting those little imperfections that can make you feel self-conscious about your teeth. Call Dr. Bui, your Clifton, NJ dentist, at (973) 458-9899 to schedule an appointment to learn if teeth contouring is a good option for you. Transform your smile with contouring!
For anyone else, having a tooth accidentally knocked out while practicing a dance routine would be a very big deal. But not for Dancing With The Stars contestant Noah Galloway. Galloway, an Iraq War veteran and a double amputee, took a kick to the face from his partner during a recent practice session, which knocked out a front tooth. As his horrified partner looked on, Galloway picked the missing tooth up from the floor, rinsed out his mouth, and quickly assessed his injury. “No big deal,” he told a cameraman capturing the scene.
Of course, not everyone would have the training — or the presence of mind — to do what Galloway did in that situation. But if you’re facing a serious dental trauma, such as a knocked out tooth, minutes count. Would you know what to do under those circumstances? Here’s a basic guide.
If a permanent tooth is completely knocked out of its socket, you need to act quickly. Once the injured person is stable, recover the tooth and gently clean it with water — but avoid grasping it by its roots! Next, if possible, place the tooth back in its socket in the jaw, making sure it is facing the correct way. Hold it in place with a damp cloth or gauze, and rush to the dental office, or to the emergency room if it’s after hours or if there appear to be other injuries.
If it isn’t possible to put the tooth back, you can place it between the cheek and gum, or in a plastic bag with the patient’s saliva, or in the special tooth-preserving liquid found in some first-aid kits. Either way, the sooner medical attention is received, the better the chances that the tooth can be saved.
When a tooth is loosened or displaced but not knocked out, you should receive dental attention within six hours of the accident. In the meantime, you can rinse the mouth with water and take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen) to ease pain. A cold pack temporarily applied to the outside of the face can also help relieve discomfort.
When teeth are broken or chipped, you have up to 12 hours to get dental treatment.Â Follow the guidelines above for pain relief, but don’t forget to come in to the office even if the pain isn’t severe. Of course, if you experience bleeding that can’t be controlled after five minutes, dizziness, loss of consciousness or intense pain, seek emergency medical help right away.
And as for Noah Galloway:Â In an interview a few days later, he showed off his new smile, with the temporary bridge his dentist provided… and he even continued to dance with the same partner!
If you would like more information about dental trauma, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Trauma & Nerve Damage to Teeth” and “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries.”
You've been brushing your teeth since you were big enough to look over the bathroom sink: now you brush and floss every day. You do it because you know it's important — but do you know why?
It's because your teeth and gums have enemies: oral bacteria in particular, the major cause for tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. The vehicle for these infections is a thin-film of food particles on tooth surfaces called plaque.
Daily brushing removes plaque from broad tooth surfaces, while flossing removes it from between teeth. If you don't brush or floss every day — or you aren't effective enough — then plaque becomes a haven for bacteria which then produce high levels of acid that soften and erode enamel. Bacterial plaque can also trigger gum disease: gingivitis (inflamed gum tissues) can begin in just a few days of not brushing and flossing.
You could avoid these diseases and their high treatment costs with an effective, daily hygiene regimen. There are things you can start doing right now to improve your efforts: be sure to hold your toothbrush (soft, multi-tufted is best for most people) at a 45-degree angle to the gum line and gently scrub or wiggle the bristles across the teeth; cover all tooth surfaces on both sides of the teeth — about two minutes of brushing. Be sure to use a fluoride toothpaste to boost enamel strength and don't apply too much pressure when you brush to avoid damaging your gums.
With flossing it's best to hold a small amount of string between fingers from each hand and work it gently between the gaps of each tooth. You then wrap the floss around each tooth in the form of a “C” and gently move up and down three or four times.
You can check to see if you're performing these tasks adequately by running your tongue across your teeth — they should feel smooth and a little squeaky. The real test, though, is during your next checkup. Hopefully we'll find the hygiene habits you've been practicing your whole life are helping you keep your teeth healthy and disease-free.