When many people think about dental damage, they think about sudden, traumatic damage that occurs due to vehicular or sport-related accidents. Undoubtedly, this type of dental damage is very serious and needs to be quickly addressed. However, many of the most common dental problems with which patients deal are actually the result of day to day wear and tear, rather than a sudden trauma. Today our Saint Louis dentists are going to be talking more about one seemingly banal threat to your oral health, acid erosion.
Foods and drinks that contain a lot of acid coat your dental enamel and go to work weakening your enamel. A number of popular foods and beverages, like citrus fruits, fruit juices, soft drinks, and wine, contain appreciable amounts of acid.
Immediately after enamel is exposed to an acidic substance, the enamel is temporarily softened. During this period of time, your dental enamel is more susceptible to wearing away, as well as developing cracks and chips. Saliva helps your enamel to toughen up again once you’re done eating or drinking.
There are a number of simple steps that you can take in order to protect your smile day to day:
- Try to consume acidic substances in short, defined periods of time. When you snack or sip on these things all day, your enamel is soft for long periods of time.
- Get into the habit of rinsing your smile with water after eating or drinking. This not only rinses away acidic debris, but it also prompt saliva production.
- Refrain from brushing your teeth or using toothpicks for about 20 to 30 minutes after you finish eating or drinking. In this timeframe, your enamel is most vulnerable.
Proper at-home and professional oral hygiene care will also help you avoid acid-related damage over time. As always, our Saint Louis dentists are here to answer any questions that you may have, and to help you build a personalized dental health plan.
As the weather turns colder, our Saint Louis dentists often hear from patients that their teeth are feeling more sensitive. We know that dental sensitivity can really put a damper on your day to day life. Keep reading to get more information about the root causes of dental sensitivity, as well as some strategies for minimizing discomfort.
Dental sensitivity all comes down to the state of your dental enamel. Enamel, as the outermost covering of your teeth, is charged with protecting the more vulnerable, inner layer of the tooth from damage. Generally, enamel starts out quite strong, resilient, and thick. However, a number of substances and habits can weaken and thin enamel over time.
- Acidic substances soften enamel and leave it susceptible to erosion
- The pressure put on your enamel from bruxism—chronic dental grinding—will cause your enamel to thin over time. Bruxism can also create small cracks and chips in your teeth.
- Dental caries serve as small conduits from the outer tooth to the sensitive inner dental layers
- Accidents and dental traumas create severe cracks and chips
Basically, any time that there is a weak spot in your dental enamel, irritating agents, like foods and drinks, can bypass the enamel and infiltrate the sensitive dentin or dental pulp. Patients are especially prone to experiencing sensitivity when their teeth are exposed to quick changes in temperature. This is why drinking a hot/cold beverage, or stepping out into frigid weather, can trigger discomfort.
The best way to deal with sensitivity is to fortify your enamel, or to cover sensitivity enamel with a protective layer of resin or a restoration. Additionally, there are a number of toothpastes and mouth rinses on the market that help to desensitize dental nerves.
Our STL dentists are here to help you smile confidently and comfortably. So, if you notice tooth sensitivity in your own life, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team—we look forward to speaking with you!
Because all of our patients are individuals, all of the cosmetic treatment plans that we create are likewise unique. Our Saint Louis cosmetic dentists always personalize treatment plans to meet our patients’ specific needs. Keep reading to get more information about some of the key considerations that we keep in mind when designing cosmetic treatment plans.
When you first meet with our dental team, we’ll spend some time getting to know you and your smile! This is a great time for you to share with us any and all concerns that you may have about your dental health, as well as some of the attributes of your dream smile. We’re your partners in dental care, so the process of making your dream smile a reality is truly collaborative.
First and foremost, we need to make sure that any aesthetic changes that we achieve are structurally sound, and enhance the strength and health of your smile. We don’t believe in covering up and hiding oral health issues.
We’ll also help you choose a treatment that fits your preferred timeline. Certain treatments, like teeth whitening, deliver immediate results, while others take weeks or months to complete. If you are wanting to improve your dental aesthetic in time for a specific event, let us know!
There are also aesthetic treatments available to suit any budget. Dental bonding is one example of a versatile restorative and cosmetic treatment that is quite budget friendly.
The key to successful dental care is to find treatments that meet all of our patients’ respective needs. This is why it’s so important for patients to receive customized, rather than one-size-fits-all dental care.
Our Saint Louis cosmetic dentists are happy to give you any additional information that you may need about the treatments that we provide, as well as our aesthetic philosophy. Give us a call or use the Contact Us page on our site when you are ready to get started!
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