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Cosmetic Dentistry Options for Missing Teeth

illustrated men word options

The Smile Care team has worked with countless patients who are looking to replace missing teeth. Whether it is a single tooth in the back of their mouth or a full arch, we have experience helping patients smile again. Here are a few cosmetic options to replace your missing teeth.

Dental Implants

The most common and popular choice for replacing a missing tooth is getting a dental implant. A dental implant is so similar to your natural tooth – it has a stable root and a crown – that most people forget they even have an implant until they’re asked. A dental implant is also one of the most permanent solutions since they last longer than crowns and need less management than dentures.

Placing a dental implant can take time, since we need to first extract the tooth, or prepare the site for the implant. Once we place the crown, it is relatively straightforward. Healing time doesn’t take very long, and before you know it, you’ll have a reliable replacement tooth! You can also get more than one dental implant. In fact, some people replace entire arches with dental implants. Schedule an appointment to learn more.

Dentures

There are partial dentures and full dentures. A full set of dentures will replace an entire arch, and partial dentures can fill in the gap created by several missing teeth. Our dentures are designed to fit your individual mouth, so they feel more comfortable and more like your natural teeth. While dentures may take some getting used to, eventually most people learn to live with dentures like they get used to wearing glasses. It becomes second nature over time.

Dental Bridges

Another way to replace missing teeth is a dental bridge. We place a crown on either side of the gap where the missing tooth is. We then attach an artificial tooth to the crowns to literally bridge the gap between your teeth.

Do You Need an Extraction?

If you have a tooth that is irreversibly damaged by decay or injury and you need to have it pulled, we also offer extractions. At your appointment, we’ll discuss options for replacing the pulled tooth so you can have a complete and healthy smile again. Schedule a consultation with our team today to learn more about our restorative and cosmetic dentistry options!

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How Mineral Water Can Help Your Teeth

bottled water pouring into glass

You know that water is good for your overall health, but did you know it is also good for your teeth? Here are a few reasons you’ll want to keep your water bottle filled.

Strengthens Your Teeth

Fluoride is one of the best minerals for your teeth, and drinking water enhanced with fluoride is one of the easiest ways to prevent cavities. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and remineralizes teeth that have been damaged by acid. Not all mineral water has fluoride, though, so be sure to double check before you start drinking.

Keeps Your Mouth Clean

The food and drinks we consume every day can often leave behind residue on our teeth. By drinking mineral water, you wash away food particles stuck between your teeth and the acid and sugar that coats your teeth. When they aren’t washed away, the acid wears away your enamel, while the food particles can feed bacteria and cause tooth decay. It also dilutes acid produced by the bacteria in your mouth. Drinking mineral water washes out your mouth, keeping your mouth clean and free of cavity-causing bacteria.

Prevents Dry Mouth

Saliva is one of the best defenses against tooth decay, as it washes away food left in your mouth; keeps your teeth strong by bathing them in calcium, fluoride, and phosphate; and helps you swallow with ease. When your mouth gets too dry, saliva production stops, putting you at risk for tooth decay. Drinking mineral water keeps you hydrated and keeps your mouth moist, ensuring that your saliva will keep fighting the bacteria in your mouth.

It’s Calorie-Free

Perhaps one of mineral water’s best qualities is that it is free of calories and sugar. Drinks like soda, tea, and alcoholic beverages, have acid and sugar that stay on your teeth long after you’ve finished sipping. This can weaken your tooth enamel while also drying out your mouth and reducing your saliva. Dark-colored sodas can also stain your teeth.

Drinking mineral water and staying hydrated is an important part of your dental health, but nothing replaces regular cleanings. Call Smile Care today to schedule your next appointment with us in between sips of water.

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April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Oral Cancer Prevention Check

Did you know that every year nearly 50,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer? While it’s a cancer that isn’t often talked about, it can be just as concerning if not detected early. In fact, more than 9,000 people in the U.S. will die from this disease. Like with most cancers, early detection is the key to successful treatment. 

What is oral cancer?

Oral cancer is a cancer that affects any part of your oral cavity, which includes:

  • Tongue
  • Cheek lining
  • Gums
  • Lips
  • Upper palate
  • Floor of the mouth

 

What are the symptoms?

Oral cancer symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • A bump or lump in your mouth or neck
  • A red or white or speckled area or patch
  • Bleeding in your mouth with no explanation
  • A lump in your neck
  • Any change in the fit of your dentures or bite

Your health is important to us. That’s why at each of your regular appointments our trained hygienists will conduct a thorough screening.  

 

Know the risks

Oral cancer is a preventable disease. You may be at an increased risk for oral cancer if you:

  • Are older than 55
  • Use tobacco (chew or smoke)
  • Drink alcohol in excess
  • Are exposed to sunlight for long periods of time
  • Have a certain type of HPV
  • Have an immune system weakened by certain medications

At Smile Care Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, a core philosophy of ours is preventative dentistry. We’d be happy to answer questions you many have about your oral health. Give us a call at 701.280.0088.

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What Stress Does to Your teeth

woman nervous biting nails

We live in a world of deadlines, bills, and high-demand jobs. It’s not uncommon to feel stress in your day-to-day life, but too much stress can harm your health and your teeth. Most people think about headaches, high blood pressure, or sleeplessness when they think of stress, but it can cause dental problems as well. Here’s a look at what stress does to your teeth.

Gum Disease

Too much stress build-up leaves you vulnerable to gum disease. Gum disease starts as gingivitis and then progresses. If you experience an overwhelming amount of stress regularly, it will actually increase your chances of developing this harmful dental condition. When gingivitis begins, you’ll notice your gums look red and often bleed easily. Then, as it progresses, your gums will start to pull away from your teeth, creating an opening for infections.

TMD & TMJ

If stress causes you to clench your teeth, it can lead to a condition called TMD (temporomandibular disorder). This affects the muscles and joints located in your jaw and neck. TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is similar, but it primarily affects the joint that connects your lower jaw to the rest of your skull. These conditions can cause sore jaw muscles or a popping/clicking sound in your jaw. Some cases also cause severe pain or difficulty moving your jaw.

Canker Sores

While there are many reasons you might develop a canker sore, stress is certainly one of them. These mouth ulcers are painful and uncomfortable, but they can normally be treated at home. However, if they become severe, you’ll need to go to the dentist to prevent infection.

Infection

Stress affects your body, weakening your immune system. This can lead to colds, the flu, or other infections. If your dental health isn’t in tip-top shape and your immune system weakens further due to stress, you put yourself in danger of dental infections that can cause you serious pain and put your health at risk.

Doing what you can to reduce the stress in your life and taking care of your teeth with regular brushing and dental checkups will go a long way in protecting yourself from dental issues like these. At Smile Care, we consider you a friend first and a patient second. We genuinely care about your health and happiness. Our office provides excellent dental services with state-of-the-art equipment, a comfortable atmosphere, and a friendly staff. We take care of you and try to make your experience with us as pleasant as possible. No matter your needs, we’ve got you covered. So, when you’re ready to schedule a dental appointment, give us a call!

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The Effects of Cold Weather on Teeth

young family standing in snow

When winter’s chill sets in, we feel it in every bone in our body, and that includes our teeth. You may notice that during the wintertime your teeth feel more sensitive than usual, and exposure to cold air only makes it worse. Cold weather actually affects your teeth more than most people realize, and it’s a good idea to take a few preventive measures to keep your teeth in good shape during the wintry months.

How the Cold Affects Your Teeth

  • Cracks. Most people think of teeth as solid, but they are actually quite porous, and when they are exposed to cold air, they contract. If you transition between warm and cold repeatedly, they will expand and contract a lot, and this can lead to the formation of hairline cracks in the enamel of your teeth.
  • Erosion. When you become cold, you may be prone to clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth as you shiver and try to keep warm. Excessive clenching and grinding can wear away at the enamel layer and weaken your teeth, making them more sensitive and more susceptible to decay and damage.
  • Exacerbates other issues. If you don’t realize that you’ve got cavities, gum disease, erosion, or ill-fitting restorations like crowns or fillings that are in poor shape, the cold weather will suddenly make you acutely aware of them. Any exposure to cold will increase the sensitivity of existing issues and may give you the heads-up you need to make a dental appointment and have your teeth checked out.

How You Can Offset the Effects of Cold Weather

The most likely reason why the cold weather affects your teeth is because you are keeping your mouth open for prolonged periods of time while outside. This is especially true if you exercise outside during the winter months, making it particularly important to care for your teeth. Keep your mouth closed and breathe in through your mouth as much as possible, so your mouth doesn’t dry out and your teeth don’t contract. When your mouth is closed, your teeth will be coated in saliva which helps to protect them.

If your teeth feel more sensitive in the wintertime, switch to a softer toothbrush and opt for a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. Make sure you floss daily to stimulate your gums, making them stronger and less likely to recede and expose the sensitive roots of the teeth. The mouthwash you use should be an alcohol-free fluoride mouthwash. It will help to form a seal over your teeth that will make them less sensitive and protect them from exposure to cold.

At Smile Care Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we realize the importance of taking good care of your teeth every day in order to keep them healthy in the long term. We offer a complete range of preventative, restorative, and cosmetic treatments in a family-friendly environment. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment.

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