Posts for: June, 2017
Magician Michel Grandinetti can levitate a 500-pound motorcycle, melt into a 7-foot-tall wall of solid steel, and make borrowed rings vanish and reappear baked inside bread. Yet the master illusionist admits to being in awe of the magic that dentists perform when it comes to transforming smiles. In fact, he told an interviewer that it’s “way more important magic than walking through a steel wall because you’re affecting people’s health… people’s confidence, and you’re really allowing people to… feel good about themselves.”
Michael speaks from experience. As a teenager, his own smile was enhanced through orthodontic treatment. Considering the career path he chose for himself — performing for multitudes both live and on TV — he calls wearing an orthodontic device (braces) to align his crooked teeth “life-changing.” He relies on his welcoming, slightly mischievous smile to welcome audiences and make the initial human connection.
A beautiful smile is definitely an asset regardless of whether you’re performing for thousands, passing another individual on a sidewalk or even, research suggests, interviewing for a job. Like Michael, however, some of us need a little help creating ours. If something about your teeth or gums is making you self-conscious and preventing you from smiling as broadly as you could be, we have plenty of solutions up our sleeve. Some of the most popular include:
- Tooth Whitening. Professional whitening in the dental office achieves faster results than doing it yourself at home, but either approach can noticeably brighten your smile.
- Bonding. A tooth-colored composite resin can be bonded to a tooth to replace missing tooth structure, such a chip.
- Veneers. This is a hard, thin shell of tooth-colored material bonded to the front surface of a tooth to change its color, shape, size and/or length; mask dental imperfections like stains, cracks, or chips, and compensating for excessive gum tissue.
- Crowns. Sometimes too much of a tooth is lost due to decay or trauma to support a veneer. Instead, capping it with a natural-looking porcelain crown can achieve the same types of improvements. A crown covers the entire tooth replacing more of its natural structure than a veneer does.
If you would like more information about ways in which you can transform your smile, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the techniques mentioned above by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Whitening,” “Repairing Chipped Teeth,” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”
Are you doing everything you can to keep your teeth healthy? North Vernon, IN, dentist, Dr. Scott A. Terry, discusses the importance of preventive care and shares a few tips that can help you avoid cavities.
Plan your plaque attack
You can't see the plaque, but it poses a serious danger to your teeth. The problem starts when you eat foods that contain sugar or carbohydrates that are converted into sugars. The combination of the sugars and the bacteria in plaque triggers a chemical reaction that produces acids. These acids attack your tooth enamel and cause cavities. In addition to that, the longer plaque remains on your teeth, the higher the risk that it will turn into tartar. Tartar, a very hard gray or brown deposit, can cause gum disease.
Reduce plaque build-up by following these tips:
- Brush twice daily for at least two minutes. Not sure if you're getting rid of all the plaque? Buy plaque disclosing tablets that temporarily turn missed spots bright blue or red.
- Don't forget about your tongue. If you don't brush your tongue when you brush your teeth, bacteria can be spread from your tongue to your freshly cleaned teeth.
- Brush your teeth or rinse your mouth after eating high-carbohydrate or sugary foods.
- Snack on fruits and vegetables. Carrots, celery, and apples help remove plaque from teeth naturally.
- Limit colas, lemonade, and highly acidic drinks. The acids in these beverages can damage your tooth enamel and increase your cavity risk.
- Floss once a day to remove plaque from between teeth and under the gumline.
- Use anti-bacterial mouthwash for added protection from the effects of plaque.
Twice yearly dental visits are a must, for most people, although some may require care more often.
Visiting our North Vernon office regularly is an excellent way to protect your smile. During your visit, you'll receive a complete dental examination, will undergo a dental cleaning and may have dental X-rays. After your cleaning, your smile will be free of plaque and tartar. Small areas of tooth decay never have the opportunity to do much damage when you visit every six months. Filling cavities when they're small helps keep your teeth stronger and healthier and is even less costly.
Reduce your cavity risk with good preventive care and regular dental visits. Call North Vernon, IN, dentist Dr. Scott A. Terry at (812) 346-4500 to schedule an appointment.
Most people associate bacteria with disease and ill health. But the real story about the trillions of microscopic organisms now living in and on your body is a bit more complicated. With recent advances in genetic code research scientists are learning that many of these microorganisms you’re hosting are actually beneficial for you — including your teeth and gums.
Beginning at birth and throughout your lifetime you are continually developing a distinct microbiome — actual communities of bacteria and other microorganisms that inhabit your body. As your microbiome develops it helps train your immune system to distinguish between “good” bacteria that help with digestion and other bodily processes and “bad” bacteria that cause disease.Â And it continually adapts to changes in what we eat, the pets we acquire or the drugs we take.
But lifestyle choices like diet can also have a detrimental effect, causing harmful bacteria to become dominant. This seems to be the case with Streptococcus mutans, the bacterial strain most associated with tooth decay. Scientists have analyzed biofilm (plaque deposits on teeth) from the pre-industrial era before 1900 and compared it with modern biofilm samples. They’ve found Streptococcus mutans levels to be much higher in modern biofilm, which they directly attribute to the modern Western diet.
As we gain a better understanding of these findings and of the role of bacteria in our lives, it could change many health recommendations not only about diet but about medications too. In the fight against disease, for example, we’ve used antibiotics to eradicate infection-causing microorganisms, but with a broad destructive ability that can also kill many beneficial strains of bacteria. It’s hoped as our knowledge grows we’ll be able to create newer drugs that more narrowly target harmful microorganisms while not affecting beneficial ones.
There’s a new appreciation emerging for bacteria’s role in our lives. As a result efforts to rebalance a person’s microbiome when they become sick may eventually become a critical element in healthcare treatment strategies. The benefits of this strategy for health, including for our teeth and gums, could be quite impressive.
If you would like more information on the role of bacteria in oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “New Research Shows Bacteria Essential to Health.”