4 Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings

tooth-colored fillings

If you’re looking at the potential of having to get or replace your tooth fillings, you’re definitely not alone. According to the most recent national survey on adult tooth loss, 91% of adults between the ages of 27 and 64 have cavities. Almost 30% of those adults have untreated tooth decay. And the cavity percentage rises to 96% of adults 65 and older. Modern dental materials are stronger than ever but while fillings are durable, they don’t last indefinitely. If you got your last new shiny amalgams in 1972, guess what? You’re in dire need of replacements. In fact, if your fillings are older than a decade or two, chances are they at least need to be checked for severe leaks and cracks. While you’re there, your Manhattan cosmetic dentist may strongly suggest upgrading to composite fillings. But what are the benefits of tooth-colored fillings?

Tooth-Colored Fillings Are Aesthetically Appealing
If you’ve seen or spoken with anyone who’s had silver, or amalgam, fillings you’ve undoubtedly gotten a visual shock as soon as they opened their mouth. Tooth-colored fillings are matched to the patient’s existing and surrounding teeth. Composite resin is safe and effective for repairing and filling the damage left behind by dental caries without compromising the beauty of your natural smile.

They’re Strong and Durable
Composite dental materials aren’t as strong as metal, but they’re not meant to be. Porous materials like ceramic and resin mold, bend and adjust to each patient’s needs for a better fit and overall lifestyle solution. With the right care such as brushing, flossing, and maintaining proper dental visits, your tooth-colored fillings can last a decade or longer without the need for repair or replacement. You’ll also need to watch the bad habits, however, like grinding your teeth or chewing on pens, ice, or fingernails to avoid accidentally breaking or dislodging your new fillings. But your Manhattan cosmetic dentist can help you toss those bad habits once and for all.

They’re Biocompatible
Amalgams are poured into the damage teeth, forming an eventual seal as they set. However, metal is affected by temperature and can swell or shrink based on something as simple as beverage temperature. This can in turn cause already weakened enamel to crack or split further and lead to more tooth damage. Composite fillings, however, are molded to the teeth and fit carefully without those concerns. Less of the tooth needs to be removed and the materials bond instantly to the existing tooth so you have one less thing to worry about.

Tooth-Colored Fillings Are Mercury-Free
Mercury is one of the most toxic elements found in nature. The American Dental Association may flop back and forth regarding the dangers of amalgam fillings, but silver fillings contain around 50% mercury. Even in small doses, mercury is dangerous at best and potentially toxic vapors continuously emit once placed in the mouth. Those vapors can be absorbed through tissue, saliva, and the bloodstream and then cause potentially serious issues in the body. Composite fillings, however, are completely safe and mercury-free. So the last thing you’ll have to worry about is your dental work messing with the rest of your health. A single call to your Manhattan cosmetic dentist can get the ball rolling on a safer and smarter solution for filling those dental caries or replacing your amalgams.

Why You Should Choose a Biomimetic Dentist

biomimetic dentistryHomeopathic medicine and dentistry have come a long way from snake oil salesmen and gurus. Modern homeopathic medicine in any form focuses on a whole-body approach to healing. This is where biomimetic comes into play. The term biomimetics directly refers to human-created life-related options meant to imitate nature and natural functions. While the scientific definition and practice are, rather complicated for layman needs, the explanation of its purpose and function is quite simple in the dental industry. Biomimetic dentistry is used to restore natural tooth function while maintaining as much of the original structure as possible. But what’s the big deal about that and why should you choose a biomimetic dentist in Moorestown?

Say Goodbye to Amalgam Fillings
Biomimetic dentistry follows a natural, whole body approach and avoids adding back toxins to the body via dental care. Regardless of what the ADA states regarding amalgam fillings, they contain up to 50% of mercury in most cases. The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) state otherwise. While each patient is different and has individual tolerances, the fact is that mercury is one of the most toxic and deadliest substances on the planet. Amalgam fillings may be safe at first when applied. However, mercury vapors do emit from the metal over time and can be absorbed through the bloodstream. Biomimetic dentistry avoids this concern altogether by providing safe, non-toxic composite fillings.

Biomimetic Dentistry Minimizes or Eliminates the Need for Root Canals
In traditional dentistry, root canals are often a last-ditch effort to repair and save a badly damaged tooth. It involves a deep cleaning, removal of dead or damaged pulp, and usually includes a lot of pain and recovery time. The actual causes for a root canal often surround inflammation, infection, and cracks caused by decay. The thought alone is often enough to make even the most loyal dental patient consider running for the hills. Fortunately, there’s a safer and more successful solution. Biomimetic dentistry restores the teeth in layers as opposed to just diving right to the worst part of the damage. So more of the tooth is saved and that includes the root. While in the worst-case scenarios root canals can’t always be avoided, your biomimetic dentist in Moorestown will do everything possible to make that the very last possible option in your tooth restoration plan.

Restorations Are Stronger and More Aesthetically Pleasing
Some professionals like to insist that biomimetic dentistry restorations are up to 400% stronger than traditional methods. Well, let’s be real here. That’s probably a bloated statistic. But biomimetic dentistry is definitely stronger than traditional restorative options. Traditional dentistry involves filing, drilling, and cutting away at the existing teeth to restore the problems with extra fillers and shaping. Biomimetic dentistry, however, opts to save as much as the natural tooth as possible by removing only what absolutely needs to be removed from the infected or affected structures. This practice helps to reserve more of the original teeth which can then be restored with biocompatible materials and polished to a brilliant shine. The results are often far more lustrous and luminous than entirely rebuilt or fake tooth structures. When you’re ready to discuss a healthier dental approach, give your biomimetic dentist in Moorestown a call.

A Holistic Approach to Gum Disease Treatment

gum diseaseIgnoring and neglecting basic dental care or oral health needs don’t just leave behind nasty plaque and a case of bad breath. Omitting the dental essentials from your life can result in extra mouth bacteria, decay, and eventually severe gum disease. Gingivitis is easily treated with some common sense and a good professional cleaning if it’s caught in time. Fortunately, this first stage of gum disease is often easily recognized by inflammation of the gums, redness, and sometimes even bleeding. But gum disease spreads so quickly and easily that around 50% of the American adult population has it and most don’t even know. That percentage increases with age, and in the advanced stages gum disease can be irreversible and lead to serious and often fatal diseases. So it’s nothing to trifle with. Gum disease treatments can range from a simple cleaning to gum graphs and even surgery. Of course, your holistic dentist in Fort Lauderdale will do everything possible to avoid the surgical route. But what does that entail?

Scaling and Root Planing
Don’t let the names fool you. Holistic dentistry is completely safe and non-invasive. So the beginning stages of gum disease treatment simply involve a detoxification of the exposed teeth and a descaling below the gums. Bacteria are tricky buggers that like to hide any place they can. This includes inside gum pockets and along the roots. Once you have gum disease, your mouth needs to be detoxified to stop the contaminants from spreading or at least slow them down.

Medication and Deep Cleaning
A deep cleaning is then in order. Removing the debris, plaque, and contaminants left behind help reverse the early to moderate signs of gum disease. Once that’s completed, a mild medication that won’t harm the body but will flush out the negative bacteria will be administered. This is quite different from harmful or toxic medical anesthesia. Not only will the medication help destroy even the stubborn decay and bacteria, but it will also help numb and heal any resulting discomfort or issues from the inflamed or damaged gum tissue.

Laser Treatment
Moderate to advanced gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, may require a more aggressive approach. But don’t worry. It’s still non-to-minimally invasive, completely safe and pain-free. While still a relatively new option, laser treatment has been proven as a successful solution to combat gum disease when paired with scaling and root planing. As long as the procedure is performed by a competent holistic dentist like your Holistic Dentistry in Fort Lauderdale who applies the right wavelengths for the patient’s individual needs, it’s completely safe and effective.

Gum Disease Maintenance
After treatment is complete and gum disease is controlled, a maintenance plan will be formulated and planned around your schedule. This is no time to be casual about your dental care since gum disease can return at any time. So proper nutrition and daily home oral health care will be discussed and planned. Multiple annual cleanings will be arranged. And coaching on the best possible options for keeping your teeth and gums clean and will be provided so you don’t have to worry so much about future problems. One call to your holistic dentist in Fort Lauderdale will help you kick gum disease to the curb.

Wisdom Teeth Removal: What to Expect Before and After

wisdom teethAn adult mouth should have 32 teeth, but the last four molars don’t always appear. In fact, 35% of the population never get the third wave of molars known as wisdom teeth. However, 85% of adults do eventually need to have their wisdom teeth extracted. The reasons for this vary from overcrowding and pain or infections to the wisdom teeth growing in crooked or unexpected cysts forming. Regardless of the reason for removal, pain is often the leading symptom of the need for extraction. The concept or discovery of needing your wisdom teeth removed can be overwhelming or scary. But it certainly doesn’t have to be as long as you realize up front what to expect before and after with wisdom teeth removal.

What Should You Expect or Plan for Prior to Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Like most dental procedures, wisdom tooth removal begins with an initial exam. Regardless of whether pain is present, an X-Ray may be required. This is so the dentist can see if the teeth are compacted, if they’re crooked, and alert him to any potential issues prior to extraction. Prepare for the post-removal healing fest prior to the procedure. Stock up on soft foods like soup and applesauce. Buy some ice packs if you don’t have any available. And schedule a day or two off work or school so you can heal. Bring a buddy or someone you trust with you on the day of the procedure. Anesthesia will usually be required, and the medication will make you groggy, incoherent at times, and impossible to drive yourself home safely.

What Can You Expect During Wisdom Tooth Extraction
After weeks and sometimes months of pain, discomfort, and some really gross things oozing from your mouth, chances are you’ll be ready to yank the teeth out yourself. But hold on. Your Johns Creek dentist has the knowledge and experience to make sure everything’s done correctly and efficiently while sparing you as much discomfort as possible. While there are four wisdom teeth, your dentist may not pull all of them. He should, however, inform you of how many need to be extracted. The procedure can take anywhere from 45-minutes to several hours depending on the number of teeth needing to be removed. Pre-surgical instructions may include avoiding certain medications and blood thinners like aspirin for a day or so before the procedure.

Don’t get overly worked up or anxious over the procedure. Your dentist can provide a local anesthetic to numb the injection site and you’ll be under full or sleep sedation during the procedure. Your Johns Creek dentist prioritizes customer satisfaction, so discuss any worries or concerns prior to the extraction. And take comfort in the knowledge that there will be no unexpected surprises on the day of the procedure.

Also be sure to plan for potential post-procedure pain and discomfort while healing. Ice packs and NSAIDs like Ibuprofen are often enough to ward off the pain, at least enough to rest and recover. Other home remedies such as tea bags and salt water rinses have been medically proven to work well. However, if that’s still not enough or if the pain is severe, your Johns Creek dentist may be able to provide a special dental healing gel to help numb the pain entirely so you can heal in peace.


Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

The average adult may need 7-9 hours of sleep to function at their best, but the actual quality of sleep is what matters there. Sleep interruptions, being jarred awake, snoring, and loss of breath can all significantly affect and reduce your actual sleep time and even lead to potentially dangerous consequences. Approximately 22 million Americans are estimated to suffer from sleep apnea, and 80% of the moderate-to-severe cases are expected to be undiagnosed. The good news is the condition is easily diagnosed and treated. Sleep apnea treatment can range from needing a Positive airway pressure (PAP machine) to simply needing to visit your Red Bank dentist to pick up a special mouth guard or mouth device to improve nighttime breathing. But before you can get an actual professional diagnosis for sleep apnea, it’s important to know some major symptoms.

Depression, Mood Swings, or Ongoing Irritability
Mental health issues should never be taken lightly, but depression, mood swings, and irritability aren’t always a mental health issue. Sometimes they’re caused by stress and/or lack of sleep. This is especially the case when the mood or behavioral changes are random, sporadic, or have increased recently. If you feel there’s a connection with your moods and sleep patterns, a visit to your doctor or Red Bank dentist may be in order.

Your Night Breathing Pauses or Stops
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is marked by the fatty tissues of the tongue relaxing and falling back into the throat. The throat then closes around it, forcing an obstructed breathing pathway. In many cases, breathing either pauses briefly or stops until the brain sends distress signals and forces the body to jolt. Most of the time the pause only lasts a few seconds, and the person remains asleep and unaware of the change. But in some cases, the lack of or reduced oxygen can be ongoing or extensive and lead to serious health concerns like high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease.

You’re Consistently Tired or Wake up with Headaches
You may set your alarm every night to ensure you get those precious 7-9 hours of sleep. But if you’re waking up multiple times throughout the night due to air loss, that’s significantly reducing your actual sleep time. Difficulty waking up, being sluggish or tired throughout the day, and concentration issues are major signs that there’s a problem. Low levels of oxygen also widen blood vessels and cause vascular headaches. So if you have regular headaches after waking up, sleep apnea may be the culprit.

You Snore
Snoring isn’t always a sign of sleep apnea, but it’s one of the biggest symptoms of those suffering from the condition. According to studies, 30% of adults over the age of 30 and 40% of adults over the age of 40 snore. And 28% of those snorers have sleep apnea. However, there’s a difference between a gentle, droning snore and a loud, obnoxious rumbling that wakes up your partner and potentially the entire household. If your partner is complaining that you snore on an ongoing or nightly basis, you probably do. And that may be worth a visit to your Red Bank dentist to diagnose and discuss the right sleep apnea treatment.

Get Your Smile Back with Lumineers in Johns Creek

lumineersNo one needs to be born with a perfect smile when they can simply buy one. Cosmetic dentistry is such a common option now that there’s no reason to suffer in silence and hide your smile anymore. In fact, according to over a decade’s worth of research from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 86% of patients opt for cosmetic procedures simply to improve their appearance. Almost 50% of patients get a smile makeover for a special upcoming event and 45% of patients rely on cosmetic dentistry to reverse premature aging or look younger. Lumineers are among the most popular solutions for a quick smile transformation. But what are Lumineers and why can they potentially work for you?

What Are Lumineers

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re likely aware that Hollywood celebrities aren’t born with perfect teeth any more than the rest of us are. But they do have round-the-clock beauty teams, many of which contain dentists that offer the celebrity beauty secret: porcelain veneers. But not everyone can afford the expense or wants the permanence of the original porcelain correctional shells. Meet their cosmetic cousin, Lumineers. Made from the same durable laminate material, Lumineers are about half the width of their predecessors. That means they may be more comfortable and workable for everyday needs.

Lumineers Are Non-Invasive

Traditional veneers are thin in comparison to your natural tooth, but they’re thick enough to require aggressive placement. This always requires removal of some tooth surface to affix the shells. For that reason, traditional veneers are irreversible. However, that’s not the case with Lumineers. The thinner shells can be easily sculpted for a perfect fit and affix right to the existing enamel without any worries regarding tooth removal. And if you change your mind, your Johns Creek Dentist can easily remove them.

Lumineers Are a Durable Investment

Cosmetic dentistry is an investment in personal confidence. And the last thing anyone wants is a shoddy smile makeover. Once you leave your dentist’s office, you should be grinning ear to ear knowing you look as good as you feel. A competent cosmetic dentist can shape, color, mold, and affix Lumineers to help ensure your smile stays beautiful for 10 to 20 years with normal life wear. While Lumineers are less expensive than traditional veneers, they’re still a significant initial financial investment. But considering how long they last and how much enjoyment they provide, they can pretty much pay for themselves over their lifespan.

Lumineers Correct Multiple Issues

There’s no such thing as a magic pill in cosmetic dentistry, but Lumineers may be about the closest thing to one. Stained enamel, chips and cracks, gaps, poor tooth alignment, and misshapen teeth can all be corrected with different and separate procedures. But if you’re dealing with multiple issues or want a quick fix to an otherwise extensive correction, Lumineers can be the solution you’ve been looking for. When you’re ready to change your life for the better, call your Johns Creek Dentist to see if Lumineers are the right fit for your needs.



No More Dental Fear with Sedation Dentistry

sedation dentistryMillions of Americans avoid going to the dentist for a number of reasons including financial and preconceived need. But 9% to 15%, or around 40 million American adults, simply put of professional dental care due to fear and anxiety. It’s normal to have some fear of the unknown, and there’s plenty of mystery inside the dentist’s office. But when that fear advances and takes control of your sensibilities leaving in its wake irrational worries, panic attacks, and a terrifying loss of self-control, that anxiety transforms into a phobia. And that is quite different. Fortunately, sedation dentistry can help even those suffering from cases of debilitating dental fear. But what’s wrong with a little dental fear and how can another type of dentistry help?

What’s the Big Deal About Having a Dental Phobia?

Many people believe dental fear or anxiety is the same as a dental phobia, but they’re often like night and day. Those with a true dental phobia often cite helplessness, discomfort, and fear as their main reasons to avoid treatment. But many people will go so far out of their way to avoid the dentist that they’ll deal with ongoing embarrassment over broken teeth and cavities. They’ll often suffer intense pain from untreated conditions such as gingivitis, toothaches, loose fillings, or even pending root canals. And feeling forced to visit a dentist or even make an appointment may cause physical illness, severe stress, and even dangerously strong heart palpitations. Those suffering from such intense fear can’t possibly handle traditional dentistry options. But sedation dentistry can help.

What’s So Special About Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry isn’t another type or branch of dentistry. It’s not some fly-by-night magic pill or guru trick. But it is a special medical procedure intended to tackle and relieve the crippling anxiety and fear that keeps so many from getting the dental care they so desperately need. Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients relax enough to have necessary work completed. It is often called “Sleep dentistry”, but that’s not an accurate description. In most cases, the patients are awake. However, in severe situations, general anesthesia may lull the patient to sleep. Depending on the procedure and sensitivity of the patient, pain medication may be administered or prescribed afterward.

What Types of Sedation is Used and Who Can Benefit from Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry can use multiple types of medication for relaxation and anxiety control. Minimal sedation can be in the form of inhalation. Nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” is usually the medication of choice for this method. Moderate sedation, such as Halcion or Valium, can be in pill form taken an hour prior to the procedure or in IV form. Deep sedation, however, involves combined medications that make the patient almost or completely unconscious and only wear off once the procedure is over.

Sedation dentistry isn’t just for those with severe fear or anxiety. It may also be appropriate for those with a low pain threshold or those who can’t sit still for long. If you have a strong gag reflex or have overly sensitive teeth, SD may help. And patients in need of a large amount of dental work can definitely benefit from dental relaxants. A call to your Fort Lauderdale dentist can help you decide if sedation dentistry is right for your needs.



Play It Safe with a Sports Mouthguard to Protect Your Child’s Teeth

About 75% of American kids have problems with their adult teeth once they’re set, and lifestyle often plays into that. Providing your favorite adolescents with the opportunity to play sports and enjoy physical activities isn’t just smart, it’s essential. In fact, sports benefit kids in multiple ways. Team-based activity encourages self-esteem and confidence. It strengthens neurological connections and motivates active academical participation. And, of course, physical activity helps encourage an active lifestyle and thwart countless health issues. According to the American Dental Association, kids who wear a mouthguard can avoid some serious and painful consequences down the road. But what teeth issues can a mouthguard prevent while playing sports?

Cracked and Chipped Teeth

The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation (NYSSF) claims that kids who don’t wear mouthguards are up to 60 times more likely to suffer damage to their teeth during sports play. Even slight cracks or chips can cause a number of ongoing dental problems. This may include tooth pain while eating or drinking, sudden or random sensitivity, and loss of enamel which can expose the dentin or root of a tooth. Cracked and chipped teeth can be repaired, but they’re far easier to avoid altogether.

Fractured or Broken Roots

Approximately 39% of dental injuries are sports-related, and treatment of those injuries can cost a patient up to $15,000 over the course of a lifetime. Tooth fractures are among the most common forms of oral trauma, and those injuries aren’t always limited to just the crown. A hit at the wrong angle can also damage the root. The severity depends on the location of the fracture, but it might not be discovered until an infection sets in. It’s essential to see your Moorestown dentist at the first sign of trouble. Or better yet, use a mouthguard and keep those teeth intact.

Avulsed Teeth or Intrusion

An avulsion is an injury that occurs when trauma causes a bodily structure to be forcibly torn from its normal placement. It’s certainly not a pleasant thought, but experiencing it is far worse. Around 30 million Americans are in some form of sports activity, and that leads to over 5 million avulsed teeth. Sometimes the tooth isn’t knocked out but ends up being driven into the jawbone instead. This type of trauma, known as intrusion, is rare, but it can cause extensive pain and damage. Complications can include necrosis or other damage of the tooth pulp, fusion of the root to the alveolar bone, or shortening of the roots which occurs in 70% of intrusion cases.

Research released by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) disclosed that over 50% of sports and recreational injuries are suffered by children as young as 5 years old. And a whopping 84% of kids don’t wear mouthguards because they’re not required by their parents or coach. However, while other essential safety gear may cost hundreds of dollars, a mouthguard is one of the least expensive but most effective pieces of equipment an athlete can use. So why take chances when the simple addition of using a mouthguard is estimated to prevent 200,000 oral injuries each year? Visit your Moorestown dentist to get one for your kids today.


5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Invisalign Treatment

InvisalignThere are several options available for those looking for a clear orthodontic solution. Invisalign, however, is one of the most effective. It has an 80% hold on North America’s clear aligner market and is available through over 50,000 dentists and orthodontists. So Invisalign is definitely obtainable, and yet it’s still not widely used compared to braces. Perhaps that’s partly because potential patients are intimidated by the ease and effectiveness of the aligners. Of course, unlike traditional braces, Invisalign is removable and only effective if they’re used correctly. So here are a few tips for getting the most out of your Invisalign treatment.

Wear Your Aligners for 22 Hours Each Day

Invisalign gives far more freedom than other orthodontic corrective devices. But there are still specific rules needed to achieve the results you want within the time frame your dentist provides. One of those rules is to wear the aligners as much as possible. You’re permitted to remove them to eat and drink any beverage other than water. But other than that, the only time they should be removed is when you’re brushing your teeth. You must wear your Invisalign aligners for at least 22 hours every day to see expected results.

Keep Up with Your Home Oral Health Habits

Your home oral habits should be excellent while undergoing the Invisalign treatment. After all, unlike braces, the freedom of removing the aligners means brushing and flossing can continue as normal. As a guideline, always follow the suggestions of the American Dental Association (ADA) and brush twice a day. Don’t forget to floss once daily as well unless your dentist makes another suggestion for your specific needs. Always follow your brushing regimen by rinsing your mouth with water and replacing your aligner.

Take Proper Care of Your Aligners

Invisalign aligners are clear and flexible, but they need to be cleaned daily just like your teeth do. The best course of action is to clean them before putting them back in your mouth–after meals and after your brushing regimen. While toothpaste may seem like a good option, it’s not a recommended cleaner since it can scratch the aligners. Instead, a simple cleaning with soap or mild detergent and warm water should suffice.

Expect a Learning Curve

At first, the aligners may feel weird and cause unexpected difficulties speaking. It’s common to develop a slight lisp until you get used to the feeling and placement of your new device. But don’t worry, it’s not a permanent problem. Simply practice talking while wearing your aligners and the issue will correct itself in no time. Don’t take the aligners out, however, to be understood better or you’ll just end up extending your correctional time.

Get Used to Drinking Water

Invisalign can feel bulky at first. The strange sensation can cause extra saliva to build up in your mouth. It may sound strange, but drinking plenty of water helps reduce the saliva as you’re getting comfortable with the new addition. Water’s the one beverage you can drink without removing your aligners, so you might as well enjoy. And just think of how impressed your dentist will be at your next Red Bank orthodontics appointment.




Dos and Don’ts of Porcelain Veneers

porcelain veneersAmericans may have unrealistic definitions of beauty, but that certainly doesn’t keep millions from attempting to achieve the perfect smile. Cosmetic dentistry provides multiple options to finally obtain the beautiful smile you want and deserve. Porcelain veneers are the go-to option for celebrity smiles, so it comes as no surprise the procedure is a favorite among millions of Americans. The customized smile makeover solution is an investment that can pay for itself multiple times during its lifespan. However, while porcelain veneers have been proven to last up to 20 years with the right care, studies have shown some patients are lucky to get 6 years out of their investment. Fortunately, there are some simple dos and don’t’s to help you keep smiling for years to come.

What to Do

Keep Track of What You’re Eating. Veneers are forgiving, but they’re not impervious to everything. Certain foods can still stain or dull the materials. And if you eat too much junk food, you could potentially have another problem. As veneers are attached to the tooth, plaque and tartar can still attach to the bonding agents and lead to dental caries and decay.

Develop and maintain excellent oral health habits. You should already have excellent home oral health habits prior to getting porcelain veneers. But if not, they should definitely be developed and maintained after your new procedure is completed. Follow suggestions of the American Dental Association by brushing twice and flossing once every day unless your dentist suggests otherwise.

Schedule regular dentist visits. You should see your dentist at least twice a year, especially when you’ve had any significant work done. But when it comes to porcelain veneers, you may also need to schedule polishing appointments. That will help ensure your veneers stay beautiful and the bonding remains strong so you can continue enjoying your stress-free smile.

What Not to Do

Don’t drink alcohol. Yes, it may be a shock, but those with porcelain veneers need to avoid alcohol. Beyond the obvious health and dental risks from the excess sugar, the acids in alcohol quickly dissolve the bonding material responsible for holding the porcelain shells to your teeth. Even social drinking can be problematic as soon the veneers may be completely unusable.

Don’t bite overly down hard on anything. Porcelain veneers are pretty forgiving and strong, so most foods are acceptable. However, if the food choice will require extra effort from your teeth to eat, consider an alternative option. Either cut the food into smaller bite-sized pieces or opt for a softer food. Also avoid chomping on ice, pencils, and any other hard objects. Biting hard can create cracks or chip the porcelain. And you definitely want to avoid that.

Don’t clench or grind your teeth. When life stress hits particularly hard, bruxism is often the result. Tooth grinding can lead to multiple problems including jaw displacement, worn teeth, and headaches. Porcelain veneers are strong, but they can’t resist the extra strain from consistent clenching and grinding. So if that’s an issue, see your Manhattan cosmetic dentist and at least wear a night guard until the problem is corrected.