When it comes to maintaining a healthy smile, knowledge is power. When you understand the things that put your smile at risk, you can make better decisions to protect your oral health. Keep reading to learn more from our Saint Louis dentists…
Skipping water as you start your day
Get your day started the right way by re-hydrating your body and your smile. You want to jump-start saliva production before you consume anything acidic or sugary, like coffee or cereal.
Using the wrong toothbrush
Upgrading your toothbrush can help you keep your smile cleaner, longer, while minimizing dental discoloration. You want to make sure that the head of your toothbrush is small enough to reach your back molars and clean hard-to-reach gum tissue. Pay attention also the type of bristle on your toothbrush; using bristles that are too firm can actually lead to enamel and gum tissue damage.
Picking at your smile with pointy tools
Try to avoid using metal or wooden toothpicks to clean between your teeth. Refresh your smile with floss or by using a mouth rinse instead!
Skimping on brushing time
Many patients are surprised to learn that the American Dental Association says that we should be brushing for two minutes every time that we brush. It can be hard to gauge how long to brush; try setting a timer or listing to a two-minute-long song to keep track.
Not addressing dry mouth at night
During the night, your body loses a lot of water, and this can create an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive in your mouth. Chronic dry mouth is linked to halitosis, gum disease, and cavity development. So, if you are experiencing dry mouth during the night you may need to consume more water or use a mouth rinse before bed.
Our Saint Louis dentists can give you additional, personalized recommendations after your personal consultation—give us a call to learn more!
Temporary bad breath happens to everyone, and while it isn’t exactly a welcome addition to your day, it usually isn’t anything to worry about. If, however, you find that you are dealing with bad breath on a regular basis, and that it seems hard to keep your breath fresh, it may be time to talk to your dentist.
Keep reading to learn more from our Saint Louis dentists about steps you can take to conquer hard-to-treat bad breath.
An important thing to keep in mind is that chronic bad breath is often linked to oral health issues; harmful oral bacteria produce unpleasant odors as they proliferate and grow. So, getting a handle on bad breath is really about restoring oral health.
Improving your at-home oral hygiene routine
Because bacterial plaque develops in your mouth all day, every day, it is crucial that your daily dental care is robust enough to keep it from building up too much. The general recommendation from the American Dental Association is that you brush your smile morning and night, and floss every night.
Increase water consumption
Your body produces saliva in order to neutralize bacteria and re-mineralize dental enamel. If you are not drinking enough water, however, you may develop dry mouth, and bad breath as a result.
Treat existing oral health conditions
If you have already developed cavities or gum disease, you probably won’t experience lasting relief from bad breath until these infections are treated by a professional.
Take a look at your diet
Limiting your consumption of sugary and acidic substances will make it harder for bacteria to thrive in your mouth. When you do indulge, get into the habit of rinsing your smile with water as soon as you’re done.
Simple steps can really make a big difference over time. Our Saint Louis dentists are happy to give you more information and guidance; get started by contacting our team for a personal consultation.
Dental discoloration can make your smile look older, weaker, and dirtier than it really is. The good news is that there are steps that you can take to minimize aesthetic changes to your smile. Our Saint Louis dentists have put together this short article outlining common causes of staining and discoloration. We hope that after reading this you feel more empowered to safeguard your smile.
Now, keep in mind that our smiles are naturally different shades of white. The goal of topical whitening treatment is to restore your smile to its natural level of whiteness, while dental bonding and porcelain veneers cover enamel, and can thus be crafted to suit your desired shade.
You may notice that your smile is looking stained or dull due to:
- Environmental stains: foods, drinks, and especially tobacco products will leave color deposits on your natural tooth surface over time. Basically, if a food or drink is dark or richly colored, it may be staining. Acidic substances are even more likely to stain, because they temporarily weaken enamel upon contact.
- Thin dental enamel: the shade of your smile is very much linked to the health of your dental enamel, the outermost layer of your tooth. Under your enamel is a tooth layer called dentin, which is darker and yellower in color. As your enamel becomes thinner the dentin will show through and change the shade of your smile.
- Tooth damage: if you notice a sudden darkening of a tooth or spots of discoloration, this could be due to dental trauma or infection. In these cases, you should reach out to your dental team for an assessment, as prompt treatment may be necessary.
As you can see, the shade of your smile is closely connected to the overall health of your smile. Our Saint Louis cosmetic dentists are here to help you make the right decisions for your dental health, so give us a call to learn more!
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