Posts for: March, 2019
Once upon a time, celebrities tried hard to maintain the appearance of red-carpet glamour at all times. That meant keeping the more mundane aspects of their lives out of the spotlight: things like shopping, walking the dog and having oral surgery, for example.
That was then. Today, you can find plenty of celebs posting pictures from the dentist on social media. Take Julianne Hough, for example: In 2011 and 2013, she tweeted from the dental office. Then, not long ago, she shared a video taken after her wisdom teeth were removed in December 2016. In it, the 28-year-old actress and dancer cracked jokes and sang a loopy rendition of a Christmas carol, her mouth filled with gauze. Clearly, she was feeling relaxed and comfortable!
Lots of us enjoy seeing the human side of celebrities. But as dentists, we’re also glad when posts such as these help demystify a procedure that could be scary for some people.
Like having a root canal, the thought of extracting wisdom teeth (also called third molars) makes some folks shudder. Yet this routine procedure is performed more often than any other type of oral surgery. Why? Because wisdom teeth, which usually begin to erupt (emerge from beneath the gums) around age 17-25, have the potential to cause serious problems in the mouth. When these molars lack enough space to fully erupt in their normal positions, they are said to be “impacted.”
One potential problem with impacted wisdom teeth is crowding. Many people don’t have enough space in the jaw to accommodate another set of molars; when their wisdom teeth come in, other teeth can be damaged. Impacted wisdom teeth may also have an increased potential to cause periodontal disease, bacterial infection, and other issues.
Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed; after a complete examination, including x-rays and/or other diagnostic imaging, a recommendation will be made based on each individual’s situation. It may involve continued monitoring of the situation, orthodontics or extraction.
Wisdom tooth extraction is usually done right in the office, often with a type of anesthesia called “conscious sedation.”Â Here, the patient is able to breathe normally and respond to stimuli (such as verbal directions), but remains free from pain. For people who are especially apprehensive about dental procedures, anti-anxiety mediation may also be given. After the procedure, prescription or over-the-counter pain medication may be used for a few days. If you feel like singing a few bars, as Julianne did, it’s up to you.
If you would like more information about wisdom tooth extraction, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”
Human beings have known for millennia the importance of keeping teeth clean. Although we've only come to more fully understand dental plaque's role in dental disease in the last century, our ancestors seemed to know instinctively this gritty biofilm on teeth had to go.
People from the past once used a variety of substances like ground oyster shells or leftover fire ashes to remove plaque from their teeth. Today, most of the world has replaced these substances with toothpaste, a mainstay of daily oral hygiene.
So, why is toothpaste better than other substances used in the ancient past? Besides the many other ingredients found in the typical tube of toothpaste, here are the top 3 that make it the ultimate tooth cleaner.
Abrasives. While your toothbrush does most of the mechanical work loosening plaque, toothpaste has ingredients called abrasives that give an added boost to your brushing action. The ideal abrasive is strong enough to remove plaque, but not enough to damage tooth enamel. If you look at your toothpaste's ingredient list, you'll probably see an abrasive like hydrated silica (made from sand), hydrated alumina, calcium carbonate or dicalcium phosphates.
Detergents. Your toothpaste's foaming action is a sign of a detergent, which helps loosen and break down non-soluble (not dissolvable with plain water) food substances. While similar to what you may use to wash your clothes or dishes, toothpaste detergents are much milder, the most common being sodium lauryl sulfate found in many cosmetic items. If you have frequent canker sores, though, sodium lauryl sulfate can cause irritation, so look for a toothpaste with a different detergent.
Fluoride. The enamel strengthening power of fluoride was one of the greatest discoveries in dental care history. Although not all toothpastes contain it, choosing one with fluoride can improve your enamel health and help protect you from tooth decay.
These and other ingredients like binders, preservatives and flavorings, all go in to make toothpaste the teeth-cleaning, disease-fighting product we've all come to depend upon. Used as part of daily oral hygiene, toothpaste can help brighten and freshen your smile, and keep your teeth and gums healthy.
If you would like more information on using the right toothpaste, 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 “Toothpaste: What's in It?”
There are a few key factors that play into whether you have what is considered a beautiful smile, including the spacing, contouring, and size of your teeth. One of the most significant factors is the color or shade of what should be your “pearly whites.” According to surveys released by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic procedure. You can improve your smile with a simple, yet effective teeth whitening solution available at Colesville Dentistry in Silver Spring, MD.
How White Are Your Teeth?
You check out your teeth in the mirror every day when you brush or floss, so it’s easy to miss how they may be changing in color over time. You could brush with a whitening paste every day, and still experience tooth yellowing as time goes on. One of the easiest home tests to get an idea of how white or yellow your smile is to place a clean white napkin next to your teeth to compare the color.
Professional Teeth Whitening at Home
Some dental staining is caused by taking certain medications or a dental injury that causes problems at the inner layers, but in other cases, the staining is extrinsic, meaning that the stains lie on the outer surface. In these cases, a hydrogen-peroxide based tooth bleach can whiten the teeth. At Colesville Dentistry in Silver Spring, MD, you can experience professional teeth whitening results by using a take-home whitening tray kit. The trays are prescribed to fit your smile (both the top and bottom rows), and you’re provided with a high-grade whitening solution to use. It takes a few weeks of wearing the whitening trays as directed by your dentist to get the results that you desire.
A Better, Brightened Smile
Imagine how much better your smile will look when it is three, four, or five shades whiter. The brighter your teeth are, the brighter your facial features will look when you smile—from your eyes to your skin tone. In a survey conducted by Kelton Research, most American adults agreed that a whiter smile is a better smile that has both professional and social advantages.
Make Your Whitening Appointment Today
So, now that you know how you can get a whiter smile after visiting the dentist’s office, what are you waiting for? Call 301-384-6000 today to schedule a teeth whitening consultation with Dr. Gregory Hysong or Dr. Lynda LePore at Colesville Dentistry in Silver Spring, MD.