Articles

Baby’s Breath

Dr-Salmeh-Jafarifar-Las-Vegas-Dentist-Babys-BreathEverybody loves babies. They are cute, cuddly, kissable, soft, warm, and adorable. Accept for the occasional dirty diaper, babies seem to have no body odor. That includes mouth odor. Some people even think that their breath smells sweet.

Why do babies have such fresh breath? Can babies get halitosis?

Babies can have halitosis and other oral issues, but they are far less likely to get them than adults. Halitosis in babies does not usually result from the food that they consume such as milk. This condition is usually caused by illness or dry mouth.

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How to Get Teeth Like a Hollywood Movie Star

Think of your favorite actor. Now ask yourself if their smile is the one they were born with. Chances are, the answer is, “No.”

You probably already know this. But what you may not realize is the same techniques that shaped the grins of some of the most famous people you see walking the red carpet, are available to anyone.

Preferred Family Dentistry has been performing some of those same smile makeovers on the residents of our region for years. This article takes a look at some of the most common techniques for giving you a Hollywood smile.

 

How Can I Have a Beautiful Smile Like…?

If you have a crooked smile or other tooth imperfections, it’s inevitable at some point that you might find yourself thinking, “I wish I had a smile like – (you fill in the blank).” This is normal. But modern dentistry has enabled us to achieve that smile makeover with a minimum of fuss, discomfort, and at a price that will – make you smile.

In any case, some things are worth investing in, right?

So, while your favorite Hollywood actor has a smile that appears effortless, the truth is that in many cases, straightening and whitening their teeth has taken a lot of effort. Some of the Hollywood-type cosmetic procedures that we perform include:

  • Dental Veneers that are perfect for hiding gaps or small imperfections in the underlying tooth. Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are handcrafted to fit your tooth structure and the shape of the smile makeover we’re aiming for. The veneer fits right over the existing tooth and is bonded so you can’t tell the difference between the real tooth and the veneer. We guarantee that a high percentage of Hollywood stars have full veneers that dramatically changed their smile from drab to devastatingly gorgeous. You can have the same smile!
  • Dental Crowns are excellent when a veneer simply won’t work because the underlying tooth is too worn. Crowns actually create a new tooth structure, making both a prettier and stronger smile. Crowns are particularly helpful later in life if your teeth haven’t worn as well as you imagined they would.
  • Teeth Whitening is useful if you’re fairly pleased with the overall shape of your teeth, but feel they simply aren’t as white as they used to be. Professional teeth whitening is a cost-effective, fast, and safe way to spiff up an otherwise solid smile. The process takes a few weeks, gradually whitening your teeth, so instead of showing up at work with brand new sparkling teeth, this process happens over a short time.
  • Tooth-Colored Dental Fillings are perfect if you still have a mouth full of those outdated (and unsafe) mercury fillings. Over time those fillings can begin to break down, which can create health problems. Today we have an alternative that is both safer and that is actually colored to match your teeth. Ask us about replacing any old fillings you have with composite resin tooth colored fillings.

There you have it. You can have a Hollywood smile. There’s just one thing stopping you now; pick up your cell phone and call us to discuss your options. We can help you get a TV-grade grin. What are you waiting for?

 

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What is Gum Reshaping?

Gum reshaping, or gum contouring, is perfect for our patients that are unhappy with how their smile looks. If your smile seems like it’s all gums – or all teeth – it’s possible that gum reshaping could give you the smile makeover you’ve been wishing you always had.

This article looks at gum reshaping, a standard part of Preferred Family Dentistry’s treatment options, and one that dozens of Las Vegas residents have taken advantage of.

 

Las Vegas Cosmetic Dentistry – Gum Contouring

While there are a variety of cosmetic procedures for your teeth, there is one that can actually change the look of your “gummy” smile. Gum reshaping is a contouring process for the tissue around your teeth. It has a lot of names:

  • Gum reshaping
  • Gum contouring
  • Tissue sculpting

No matter the name, this procedure is a good way to smooth out an uneven gum line. People come to Preferred Family Dentistry’s team for this procedure frequently; many times these patients have despaired of ever having a smile to be proud of.

When the gum line covers too much of your teeth, it can make them look like tiny “baby teeth.” Or, gums that are too high can give your teeth a “horsey” appearance. These issues can be caused by genetics, health problems, certain prescription medications, or periodontal disease.

 

Why Have Gum Contouring

If you’ve been embarrassed by your smile, this is a cosmetic procedure that can produce startling changes in your smile fairly quickly. However, gum contouring can also be part of a periodontal treatment regimen that is necessary to improve your health.

Gum reshaping is a minimally-invasive surgical procedure that could include adding tissue to the gums when they have receded from the tooth too far. Or, it could include the trimming of overgrown tissue that is covering too much of the tooth. 

 

What Happens During Gum Reshaping?

Some gum reshaping can be done with just a local anesthetic. The procedure is always done as outpatient work in our office, even if the patient requires anesthetic. We use a number of different tools to conduct the procedure, but you won’t feel a thing, and the procedure requires very little recovery time.

We start the process by marking on your gums how the new gum line will be reshaped. The day of the surgery, you should limit your activities, and it may take a couple weeks for your gums to heal completely. Typically, the patient recovers well from the surgery and within a month will have a brand new smile to show off. Over-the-counter pain relievers like Advil or Tylenol can help alleviate the minimal discomfort patients typically experience. It’s also wise to eat non-spicy foods, such as:

  • Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Pasta
  • Soft veggies
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Ice cream
  • Cottage cheese

Every procedure is individualized to the patient, so your recovery time will vary along with any other cosmetic procedures that we do in addition to the gum contouring.

Contact Preferred Family Dentistry for a confidential consultation of the cost, process, and outcomes possible when receiving any of our cosmetic procedures.

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Five Cavity Myths

WebMD did a great article recently that tried to separate some of the facts from the hype about cavities. In it, they point out that by the time they reach adulthood, most Americans have had at least one filling or some sort of corrective treatment to strengthen and repair a tooth damaged by decay. We thought it might be a good idea to talk for a moment about some of the common fallacies attached to cavities, as well as the truth about the damage they can cause.

Myth #1 – Cavities hurt.

Not always. One of the myths that may have lead to the damage from tooth decay is that many people don’t realize that they can have a cavity without pain in the mouth, tooth, or gums. In fact, by the time you’re experiencing pain, you could be working on a more serious problem such as an abscess. This is exactly why we recommend twice-a-year preventative checkups. Catching a cavity when it’s a tiny speck on a tooth is a much easier and less costly repair over waiting to have an abscess and root canal to save the tooth. Think of it this way: the longer the cavity goes, the most expensive it’s going to be.

Myth # 2 – Sugar is the only cause of cavities.

Yes, sugar is a big cause of cavities, but it’s not the only cause. Actually, any food, when stuck between the teeth, can cause bacteria and decay. If you’re not flossing every day, that means that food particles are getting stuck between your teeth. That attracts acids that can decay the teeth. Flossing, brushing, and rinsing, in that order, for about two minutes each in the morning and at night are imperative to keep a white smile.

Myth #3 – Sugar-free soda is fine for the teeth.

Sorry. Not so fast. In fact, sugar free-soda is terrible for the teeth. Sugar-free soda increases the amount of acid in the mouth. While sugar-free is always better than regular soda, which has enough sugar, literally, to cause diabetes, it still can cause a host of dental issues. Sorry! Instead of soda, try water. Water naturally flushes the teeth and gums, defending against cavities while promoting overall health.

Myth #4 – If a cavity starts, it’s going to ruin the tooth.

Not necessarily. The goal is to stop the decay. The process of filling a cavity includes cleaning out all the decayed sections of the tooth. Then we pack the tooth with an amalgam that helps strengthen the tooth while preventing further decay. While cavities don’t go away on their own a simple filling is a procedure that usually can save the tooth and prevent the decay from spreading. For teeth that are structurally unsound, there are other cosmetic procedures that we can accomplish to save the tooth.

Myth #5 – Fillings last a lifetime.

Fillings can last for 10 years or even longer. But eventually, they might need to be replaced. In older adults, we frequently see the older mercury amalgam fillings that actually can break down and spread mercury into the body. If you have these fillings, it’s probably time to have them replaced with a safer upgrade.

If you have any other questions about your teeth, please don’t hesitate to contact Preferred Family Dentistry, your Las Vegas dental experts.

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Teeth Cleaning – FAQs

A professional tooth cleaning is one of the most common dental procedures that our practice provides. The medical name for teeth cleaning is called “prophylaxis,” which is our standard process of using an oral hygienist to thoroughly clean all the tartar, staining, and bacteria from your teeth and gums. It’s a gentle, yet thorough preventative process that should happen throughout your lifetime in order to maintain your oral health.

We often receive phone calls from new patients who ask questions about this procedure, so we’ve assembled some of the more common questions and answers that we hear related to teeth cleaning. Please don’t hesitate to call our office if you have further questions about any of the procedures we provide.

Teeth Cleaning – Most Common Questions

Why is cleaning your teeth important?

Tartar is a hard mineralized build-up of plaque on the teeth. If allowed to stay on the teeth, it attracts bacteria that can build up and cause cavities and gum disease.

Can teeth cleaning affect my overall health?

Poor oral hygiene can lead to a whole host of health problems that extend beyond the potential for losing a tooth to decay. Gum disease can even break down the bone holding the tooth in place. These are all good reasons to follow your dentist’s advice and seek a dental cleaning and oral exam from your dentist twice a year.

What is the process?

You will sit back in one of our comfy dental chairs as the hygienist works on your smile. She or he will gently remove the soft plaque and harder tarter with professional instruments designed to gently remove these stains from your teeth. Then the hygienist will polish and floss your teeth to a glossy perfection. It only takes about 30 to 45 minutes and you’ll also have a dental exam and possibly, x-rays.

Will it hurt?

While teeth cleaning rarely hurts, it may be a little uncomfortable. But we do our best to make it a gentle, yet thorough process that prepares you for a lifetime of good oral health.

How often should I have my teeth cleaned?

We typically recommend a thorough professional prophylaxis every six months (twice a year). For patients who are having problems with their teeth or gums, we may recommend this more frequently.

Will I see the dentist during my cleaning?

Absolutely! The dentist will check the x-rays and look closely at your teeth and gums for any problem areas.

How expensive is it?

If you have dental insurance, the insurer often covers preventative care. Teeth cleaning can range from $75 to $200 typically, and that does not include dental x-rays if they are necessary.

Are teeth cleaning the same as periodontal scaling and root planing?

Actually, not. Periodontal scaling and root planing are a much deeper cleaning than regular prophylaxis. If you come to us as an adult and have never had prophylaxis, or if you are showing signs of gum disease, we may recommend this procedure. If your teeth are loose, or there are deep gum pockets, bleeding gums or plaque and tartar below the gum line, you may be a candidate for this procedure.

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Eating for Dental Health – Best Foods to Prevent Cavities

You really are what you eat. Especially when it comes to your dental health. Preventing cavities and promoting good oral health are tied closely to the types of foods you eat. If you’re constantly bathing your teeth and mouth with sugar, your teeth will decay and your gums and overall oral hygiene will be negatively affected.

WebMD cites studies that show increased consumption of sugar is linked to an increase of bacteria in the mouth. This article looks at the best choices you should make in the foods you’re eating and how eating right can positively impact your oral health.

Top Five Foods to Eat for Oral Health

Believe it or not, good oral health starts with one simple practice: Drinking water. Water not only hydrates our bodies nearly insatiable need for liquid, but it also serves to flush away bacteria that sticks to our teeth causing tooth decay and gum disease. Studies show that fully 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.

The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests that fluoridated water is really the best medicine to maintain oral health. The fluoride in our drinking water helps our teeth stay resistant to the acid and bacteria causing cavities.

The ADA also suggests dairy products to help strengthen your teeth and bones. Dairy products have calcium and are typically low in sugar (read your yogurt label!), which make them good between meal snacks.

Lean meats, which are rich in phosphorus, are good for your oral health. Red meat, chicken, and fish are beneficial to the teeth. But, like all things, moderation is key. A diet high in red meat can cause other issues, so make sure your daily intake of these rich foods is also combined with plenty of vegetables.

Speaking of veggies, the ADA says the more you eat, the better off you’ll be. Vegetables and fruits are high in water and fiber, which not only helps your overall health; it helps in the fight to eliminate the bacteria caused by sugary foods. Chewing your vegetables carefully also helps stimulate saliva production. Saliva is nature’s best defense for keeping your teeth and gums healthier.

Finally, nuts are packed full of protein. Nuts are a great substitute if you are vegetarian, too. They are low in carbs and don’t add sugar to your diet that can lead to cavities. Like vegetables, chewing nuts can stimulate saliva, too.

Top Tips for Oral Health

Your Las Vegas dentist has another important tip; always practice good oral hygiene by flossing at least once per day. Brushing twice a day with ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste and then rinsing with mouthwash will also help prevent decay. Scheduling a routine check-up twice per year is imperative, no matter your age.

A person’s oral health is irrevocably linked to their overall physical health. Even though the temptation can be strong to pick up a candy bar or a sugary drink, resist the urge. It’s simply not worth the pain and suffering that comes from ill health or a dental problem requiring more advanced treatment.

Contact us if you’re experiencing any difficulties, and as always, take better care of you!

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