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When Tricia came in to talk to our Saint Louis cosmetic dentists, she was clearly dissatisfied with the appearance of her smile. Tricia was suffering from a very specific cosmetic problem, tetracycline staining. Her teeth were stained with deep dark streaks, and because these were tetracycline stains, they were not responsive to conventional teeth whitening treatments.

 

Tricia was preparing for her wedding, and she was determined to improve the appearance of her smile before she walked down the aisle. Luckily for her, our Saint Louis dental office proudly offers cosmetic options for patients with tough-to-treat tetracycline stains. We walked Tricia through her options, and helped her transform her smile before her big day.

 

As the name suggests, tetracycline stains are caused by the antibiotic tetracycline. When children with developing adult use this antibiotic, their teeth can form dark stains that are actually calcified in the tooth. Because the discoloration is interior rather than external, conventional bleaching treatments are not effective.

 

Over the years Tricia had tried a number of over the counter whitening treatments to enhance her smile, with no success. We explained that due to the nature of her discoloration, dental veneers might be the cosmetic solution for her.

 

Dental veneers are made of thin layers of porcelain. They are affixed to existing teeth to change the shape, size, or color of the tooth. Dental veneers are invaluable for tetracycline stained teeth, because they cover the entire visible surface area of the tooth. Dental veneers look white and natural, so your smile can appear stain-free and stunning.

 

Tricia was thrilled with her dental veneers; her smile looked clean, fresh, and luminous. And most importantly, she had a smile she really wanted to show off on her wedding day! If you, like Tricia, are living with dental stains that you can’t stand, give our Saint Louis dental office a call—we’re here to help you!

Our Saint Louis dentists believe that in order to maintain healthy smiles, our patients need to really understand the dental difficulties they will face every day at home. We already know that junk food, like sugary snacks can hurt your teeth, however, there is another equally common threat to teeth—acid erosion.

 

Acid erosion occurs when dental enamel weakens and softens due to exposure to acidic substances. Acid erosion can progress undetected for a long-time, slowly degrading dental enamel and leaving your teeth prone to cavities. So how can you tell if you’re suffering from acid erosion? Patients battling acid erosion will often notice that their teeth are more sensitive than they used to be. Additionally, you may find that your teeth are more prone to cavities than they were before. However, in order to monitor the progression of your acid erosion, and perhaps in order to identify it in the first place, you’ll need to discuss your concerns with your dentist during your semi-annul professional dental cleanings.

 

Although acid erosion is sometimes unavoidable, there are certain simple steps that you can take to minimize the likelihood of dental erosion.

 

This first thing to remember is that acid erosion occurs when acidic substances are allowed to sit on the teeth and penetrate the dental enamel. To help avoid this try:

 

-drinking acidic substances with a straw

-rinsing your teeth with water after consuming acidic foods or drinks

-refraining from brushing your teeth vigorously after drinking or eating acid, as your teeth may still be in a weakened state.

 

Working with your dentist, you can manage the effects of dental erosion and maintain healthy teeth for years to come. Give our Saint Louis dental office a call if you have questions or you’d like to schedule an appointment. As always we’re here to help!

When patients experience dental disease, they often notice dental discoloration as a first sign of infection. Previously white dental enamel can become dark brown or black as bacteria breach the dental enamel and proceed to infect the layers of dentin and dental pulp below. Our Saint Louis cosmetic dentists educate our patients about the progression of dental decay, so that they can do their best to avoid dental discoloration and long-term cosmetic problems.

 

Dental enamel is the hard, white outer covering of the tooth. For the most part, the enamel is what many patients care about for aesthetic reasons. Bright, white dental enamel can make you appear younger, vibrant, and healthy. When a tooth is first infected with a cavity, you may notice a dark spot or streak on the tooth. As the infection moves through the enamel to the dentin and then finally the dental pulp, more and more of the tooth can appear dark and less vibrant.

 

Unfortunately, these cosmetic problems wont just disappear on their own. Once your tooth is compromised and infected, a professional dentist must treat the cavity. The good news is that modern dentists can use natural-looking tooth-colored fillings to treat teeth, so that fillings are practically invisible to the naked eye after treatment.

 

Additionally, once the infection is eliminated, your natural enamel may be receptive to professional teeth whitening treatments, which can lighten discolored areas. Patients with persistent, stubborn stains may choose to use cosmetic veneers to resurface the appearance of teeth.

 

No matter what your cosmetic decision, the first step to reclaiming your stunningly white smile is adequate dental care that effectively treats your dental decay and infection. Once your teeth are healthy and structurally sound, our Saint Louis cosmetic dental office can help you enjoy a brilliant, stain-free smile again!

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