ZOOM! Whitening Solves Stained Teeth Dilemmas

Dr. Robert Harrell and his expert team at Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne understand how important a healthy, gleaming smile is to your appearance and level of self-confidence. The fact is, our society equates a bright white smile with success, health and vitality. Unfortunately, tooth discoloration can occur for a variety of reasons. This post offers details on how it can happen:

Tooth Discoloration: What Is It?

Your teeth can become discolored by stains on the surface or by changes inside the tooth. There are three main types of tooth discoloration:

Extrinsic — This occurs when the outer layer of the tooth (the enamel) is stained. Coffee, wine, cola or other drinks or foods can stain teeth. Smoking also causes extrinsic stains.
Intrinsic — This is when the inner structure of the tooth (the dentin) darkens or gets a yellow tint. You can get this type of discoloration if:

  • You had too much exposure to fluoride during early childhood.
  • Your mother used tetracycline antibiotics during the second half of pregnancy.
  • You used tetracycline antibiotics when you were 8 years old or younger.
  • You had trauma that affected a tooth when you were a young child. A fall, for example, may damage the developing permanent tooth.
  • You had trauma in a permanent tooth, and internal bleeding discolored the tooth.
  • You were born with a rare condition called dentinogenesis imperfecta. This causes gray, amber or purple discolorations. More info at Colgate

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Where Did These Stains Come From?

It can be surprising how fast staining can develop. If you have discovered a newfound love for red wine, taken to eating blueberries at snacktime or slacked off from brushing your teeth, stains can appear. Even when you’re diligent about your oral health routine, taking iron supplements or a new medication can affect the color of your teeth due to the build-up of deposits. To help keep this from happening, the experts at Colgate outline some helpful preventative measures in the post below:

Prevention

Brushing your teeth after every meal will help to prevent some stains. Dentists recommend that you rinse your mouth with water after having wine, coffee or other drinks or foods that can stain your teeth. Regular cleanings by a dental hygienist also will help to prevent surface stains.

Intrinsic stains that are caused by damage to a nerve or blood vessel in the inner part (the pulp) of a tooth sometimes can be prevented by having root canal treatment, which removes organic material before it has a chance to decay and darken. However, teeth that undergo root canal treatment may darken anyway. To prevent intrinsic stains in children, avoid water that contains a high fluoride concentration. You can check the concentration of fluoride in your drinking water supply by calling the public health department. Then consult your dentist.

Treatment

Discoloration often can be removed by applying a bleaching agent to the enamel of the teeth. With a technique called “power bleaching,” the dentist applies a light-activated bleaching gel that causes the teeth to get significantly whiter in about 30 to 45 minutes. Continue reading at Colgate

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ZOOM! Your Stains Away

ZOOM! Teeth Whitening treatment at Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne offers a quick and easy answer to tooth discoloration. Just one session can make your teeth up to seven shades lighter. You won’t be able to stop grinning and showing off your new, radiant smile after treatment. The following post from Philips explains why ZOOM! Whitening is such a successful option:

Superior results for the toughest stains

The Philips Zoom Ultimate Protocol consists of four 15-minute Philips Zoom WhiteSpeed sessions, followed by two to four take-home treatments of Philips Zoom NiteWhite Maximum white to achieve your patient’s desired whitening results.

Dental professionals now have a specific protocol for treating patients with severe tooth discoloration. The new Philips Zoom Ultimate Protocol combines Philips Zoom WhiteSpeed chariside whitening with Philips Zoom NiteWhite take-home treatment for maximum whitening results. Learn more at Philips

If you’re ready to have a brilliant smile, call Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne today at 704-541-9888 or use the contact form on the website to schedule your ZOOM! Teeth Whitening session. We look forward to hearing from you.

The post ZOOM! Whitening Solves Stained Teeth Dilemmas appeared first on Dentist Charlotte NC 28277 | Cosmetic | Sedation | Dental Implants | Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne.

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Feed Your Smile to Keep It Healthy and Bright

The dentin that makes up the enamel on your teeth and the tissues that comprise your gums and your jawbones require minerals to maintain their strength and function. The foods and beverages we consume directly impact our oral health. To maintain a beautiful and healthy smile, incorporate good dietary options into your meal and snack times. The following article lists seven you should try:

Cheese

If you’re one of the many people who profess a love of cheese, you now have another reason to enjoy this tasty food. A study published in the May/June 2013 issue of General Dentistry, the journal of the American Academy of General Dentistry, found that eating cheese raised the pH in the subjects’ mouths and lowered their risk of tooth decay. It’s thought that the chewing required to eat cheese increases saliva in the mouth. Cheese also contains calcium and protein, nutrients that strengthen tooth enamel.

Yogurt

Like cheese, yogurt is high in calcium and protein, which makes it a good pick for the strength and health of your teeth. The probiotics, or beneficial bacteria, found in yogurt also benefit your gums because the good bacteria crowd out bacteria that cause cavities. If you decide to add more yogurt to your diet, choose a plain variety with no added sugar.

Almonds

Almonds are great for your teeth because they are a good source of calcium and protein while being low in sugar. Enjoy a quarter cup of almonds with your lunch. You can also add a handful to a salad or to a stir-fry dinner. More details from Colgate

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Feed Your Teeth the Right Way

It is possible to enhance mineral absorption or to rob nutrients from your teeth according to the foods they are exposed to. A healthy diet with the proper ingredients can contribute to a better smile. Read this informative article for more:

Demineralization and remineralization have a crucial impact on the hardness and strength of tooth enamel. The battle to keep teeth strong and healthy is dependent upon the ratio between demineralization and remineralization. Demineralization occurs at a low pH when the oral environment is undersaturated with mineral ions, relative to a tooth’s mineral content. The enamel crystal, which consists of carbonated apatite, is dissolved by organic acids (lactic and acetic) that are produced by the cellular action of plaque bacteria in the presence of dietary carbohydrates.

Remineralization allows the subsequent loss of calcium, phosphate, and fluoride ions to be replaced by fluorapatite crystals. These crystals are more resistant to acid dissolution and are substantially larger than the original crystals, thereby providing a more favourable (smaller) surface to volume ratio. Thus, larger apatite crystals in remineralized enamel are more resistant to enamel breakdown by the resident organic acids.

In the development of dental caries, the relationship between demineralization and remineralization is influenced by the presence of saliva, which facilitates the transportation of ions, oral bacteria, and fermentable carbohydrates to the exposed surfaces of teeth. It is this complex interrelationship that we must understand better in order to fight the battle of maintaining tooth integrity. Continue reading at Dentistry IQ

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Shake It Up!

The return of warmer weather means smoothie season is here again. Create healthy and nutritious shakes that your smile will love by incorporating the following ingredients into a delicious, refreshing smoothie:

Whey Powder

Varieties of whey powder – whey (1154 mg per cup) and sweet whey (1171mg per cup) – also pack a protein punch. Add some to your smoothies for a calcium and protein boost.

Tofu

When it’s fortified with calcium, tofu is a smart choice for your teeth. Raw, firm tofu with added calcium packs 861 mg of calcium per half cup. (Tofu without added calcium comes in around 100-200 mg per serving.) Tofu is naturally gluten-free and contains no cholesterol. It’s also an excellent source of protein, so add it to scrambles, stir-fry, salads and more.

Soy Milk

If you can’t drink regular milk, fortified soymilk can be a great calcium substitute. On average, soymilk enhanced with calcium contains 340 mg per cup (compared to about 61 mg per cup if it’s unfortified). There are many different flavours available, so check the label when you’re shopping to make sure you’re getting the calcium you need (and watch out for any added sugar). Drink alone, use it in cereal or add it to your morning coffee. Additional info at Mouth Healthy

Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne: Charlotte’s #1 Dental Practice

Maintaining a brilliant, healthy smile requires good self-care plus regular professional cleanings and check-ups. Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne is the Charlotte area leader when it comes to creating beautiful smiles. Contact them today to schedule a visit with Dr. Robert Harrell. He is recognized as one of the city’s top dentists year-after-year by <Charlotte Magazine>. Call Adult Dentistry now at 704-541-9888 or use the contact form on the website to make an appointment.

The post Feed Your Smile to Keep It Healthy and Bright appeared first on Dentist Charlotte NC 28277 | Cosmetic | Sedation | Dental Implants | Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne.

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If You Need Teeth Straightening, It’s Time For Invisalign

You need to hear this: Straight teeth and a perfect smile are still an option! Too often adults think they have missed the boat when it comes to orthodontics, but Dr. Robert Harrell and his team at Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne want you to know that it ain’t so. If you are embarrassed about having crooked teeth, it’s time to lose that self-conscious half-smile you’ve grown accustomed to showing. Best of all, you no longer have to endure a mouthful of metal to get your ideal smile.

There are great cosmetic options for adult patients today, starting with Invisalign clear braces. Here’s how Invisalign braces have revolutionized the teeth-straightening process:

Why Invisalign Treatment

Choose the clear aligner system committed to continuous innovation, with 20 years of clinical research and more than 700 patents. No other clear aligner is backed by the data and experience of 4 million cases.

Up to 50% faster treatment times

With weekly aligner changes, you’re on your way to the smile you want even faster.

Proven results

SmartTrack material and SmartForce features are clinically proven to achieve 75% more predictable tooth movement.

Better fit, better comfort

Aligners made from SmartTrack material are more comfortable, better fitting, and easier to put on and take off.

Effective for a wide variety of cases

Proprietary SmartForce features and SmartTrack material make Invisalign treatment effective for complex cases. With innovations like these, your doctor can move your teeth more precisely. Read more at Invisalign

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Am I a Candidate for Invisalign?

The odds are good that Invisalign is right for you. To be sure, you should call our office and schedule a comprehensive smile exam. Dr. Harrell will assess your dentition and your bite to see if Invisalign is the best orthodontic treatment to give you the smile you desire. Common dental issues that can be resolved with Invisalign include:

Gapped Teeth

Gaps between teeth can occur with abnormal continued growth of the jawbone. Missing teeth can also cause the surrounding teeth to shift due to the extra space, creating gaps in your teeth. Spacing issues and gaps between teeth can lead to gum problems (due to lack of protection by the teeth), periodontal pockets and increased risk of periodontal disease.

Overbite

Overbite occurs when the upper teeth bite over the lower teeth. It’s typically caused by genetics, bad oral habits, or overdevelopment of the bone that supports the teeth. This can lead to gum problems or irritation, and/or wear on the lower teeth, and can cause painful jaw and joint problems.

Underbite

Underbite can occur when the lower teeth protrude past the front teeth. It’s usually caused by undergrowth of the upper jaw, overgrowth of the lower jaw, or both. It can also be caused by missing upper teeth. This can prevent the normal function of front teeth or molars, which can lead to tooth wear. It can also cause painful jaw and joint problems.

Open Bite

Open bite often occurs when some teeth are unable to make physical contact with the opposing teeth for a proper bite. Most often caused by a genetic abnormal jaw structure or excessive thumb-sucking, an open bite can cause poor or painful chewing, and even speech impairment. It can also lead to greater issues like temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).

Overly Crowded

Teeth crowding occurs when there is simply a lack of room within your jaw for all of your teeth to fit normally. When left untreated, overly crowded teeth can get worse over time, and result in severely crooked teeth. This crowding can lead to plaque accumulation, tooth decay and an increased chance of gum disease.

Crossbite

Crossbite can occur when the upper and lower jaws are both misaligned. It causes one or more upper teeth to bite on the inside of the lower teeth, and can happen on both the front and the sides of the mouth. This can cause wear of the teeth, gum disease and bone loss. Continue reading at Invisalign

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In case you still need convincing that Invisalign is the superior teeth straightening option, check out this information from 123dentist.com:

Safety: Invisalign Clear Braces Reduce Damage to Teeth and Gums

Conventional metal braces contain wire and protruding bits of metal that can puncture and scratch the insides of the mouth and gums. Clear braces are smooth and comfortable. They do not include any sharp edges or protruding edges or bits. Conventional metal braces can affect demineralization and decaying teeth. They use a great deal of force to straighten the teeth. These problems do not exist with clear aligners. Overall, clear braces reduce the damage normally caused by wearing braces, including gum disease and cavities.

Duration of Treatment: Invisalign Clear Braces Straighten Teeth Faster

Someone who wears metal braces might expect the treatment to take as long as 5 years. Invisalign can take from only one year, to a year and a half to work its magic and straighten your teeth. Get more details at 123dentist

Call Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne Today

Don’t settle for a smile you aren’t proud to show. Book your consultation with Dr. Harrell to see if you are a candidate for Invisalign clear braces. Remember, it’s never too late to have the smile of your dreams. Call Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne today at 704-541-9888 or use the contact form on the website to set your appointment.

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Top Tooth Tips For Avoiding Enamel Loss

Protecting every aspect of your teeth is necessary to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile. One important tooth component is enamel. This extremely hard covering protects your teeth from damage, so it is vital to the health of your smile. Unfortunately, some of your favorite foods and beverages can be harmful to your enamel. The following post explains the problem in greater detail:

The enamel on your teeth is the hardest and most highly mineralized substance in your body. It covers the outer layer of each tooth, and it is the most visible part of the tooth. The enamel is made up mostly of minerals, primarily hydroxyapatite. The color can vary from light yellow to grayish white. Because it is semi-translucent, it is only partially responsible for the color of your teeth.

Tooth enamel plays a very important role in protecting your teeth from decay, so it is important to do everything that you can to prevent your enamel from eroding. It forms a strong barrier that shields the inner layers of your teeth from the effects of acids and plaque. It also protects the sensitive inner layers of your teeth from foods and beverages that are very hot or very cold.

If your enamel is destroyed, your body does not make more to replace it. Unlike other parts of your body — like your bones — teeth enamel does not contain any living cells, so it cannot regenerate.

You can protect your enamel by avoiding foods that are known to cause a lot of damage. Sugary foods and acidic fruits and beverages are among the most damaging to your enamel. When those substances stick to your teeth and interact with bacteria in your mouth, lactic acid is produced, which can damage your enamel. Read more from Colgate Enamel Health

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Regular Dental Check-ups Required

Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne relies on state-of-the-art technology to keep track of your oral health. Even the most advanced tools are useless, however, when there aren’t opportunities to utilize them. Stay proactive and maintain your regular dental check-ups to ensure that dental issues can be caught early and addressed before damage occurs. Between office visits, there are many things you can do to protect your smile, particularly from enamel loss. Learn more from WebMd:

How do you prevent enamel loss?

To prevent enamel loss and keep teeth healthy, be sure to brush, floss, and rinse with a fluoride and antiseptic mouthwash daily. See your dentist every six months for regular checkups and cleaning. You can also try the following:

  • Eliminate highly acidic foods and drinks from your diet such as carbonated sodas, lemons, and other citrus fruits and juices.
  • Rinse your mouth immediately with clear water after eating acidic foods or drinking acidic drinks.
  • Use a straw when you drink acidic drinks. The straw pushes the liquid to the back of your mouth, avoiding your teeth.
  • Monitor snacks. Snacking throughout the day increases the chance of tooth decay. The mouth is acidic for a few hours after eating foods high in sugar and starches. Avoid snacking unless you’re able to rinse your mouth and brush teeth.
  • Chew sugar-free gum between meals. Chewing gum boosts saliva production up to 10 times the normal flow. Saliva helps strengthen teeth with important minerals. Be sure to select sugar-free gum with xylitol, which is shown to reduce acids in beverages and foods.
  • Drink more water throughout the day if you have low saliva volume or dry mouth.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride strengthens teeth, so make sure fluoride is listed as an ingredient in your toothpaste.  Ask your dentist if sealants may be helpful in preventing enamel erosion and tooth decay. Additional details at WebMD

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Comprehensive Smile Consultations

Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne offers a wide array of dental solutions to help you achieve and maintain a gleaming smile. If you’re due for a complete dental exam, contact Adult Dentistry today to schedule a visit with Dr. Harrell. He is recognized as one of the city’s top dentists year-after-year by Charlotte magazine. Call now at 704-541-9888 or use the contact form on the site to make an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you.

The post Top Tooth Tips For Avoiding Enamel Loss appeared first on Dentist Charlotte NC 28277 | Cosmetic | Sedation | Dental Implants | Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne.

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Be Proactive Against Periodontal Disease

If you have found your smile becoming more sensitive recently, you should take it seriously because it could be a warning sign of periodontal disease. Tender, swollen, infected gums can wreak havoc on your smile and, if left unchecked, can force the need for extensive dental reconstruction. Dr. Robert Harrell and his staff at Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne want you to be aware of the symptoms of periodontal disease so that you can avoid it altogether.

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissue that supports your teeth. It attacks just below the gum line, where it causes the attachment of the tooth and its supporting tissues to break down.

Warning Signs

  • Pain in the mouth
  • Gums bleed when brushing
  • Spaces develop between teeth
  • Swollen and tender gums
  • Receding gums (exposing the bottom of your teeth)
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Pus between teeth and gums
  • Sores develop

Risk Factors

  • Tobacco use
  • Systemic diseases
  • Use of certain types of medicine
  • Bridges that no longer fit
  • Crooked teeth
  • Fillings that have become defective
  • Pregnancy
  • Oral cancer Continue reading at Colgate
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Notice how the gum separates from the tooth as the disease progresses

Did You Know?

Oral Health May Affect Your Whole Body

When bacteria expand in the pockets of the gums, gingivitis results, triggering redness and inflammation, a warning sign for possible progression to periodontitis and the destruction of gum tissue. If periodontitis develops, some oral bacteria may enter the blood stream and, along with the potent chemicals they release and the body’s own immune response, circulate throughout the body. This event may contribute to processes that may compromise your overall health.4

A Pocket? A space that forms between the teeth and gums.

For example, not only can periodontal diseases cause bad breath and tooth loss, but they may contribute to a variety of serious life threatening systemic conditions including:

  • heart disease
  • stroke
  • diabetes

Researchers are now investigating the relationship between periodontitis and chronic systemic diseases. More details at Colgate

Regular Cleanings and Check-ups Made Simple

Dr. Harrell understands how tempting it can be to forego your regular check-ups if the potential for pain or discomfort exists, or if you experience general dental anxiety. Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne has a variety of solutions to ease your concerns, ranging from using the most advanced tools and technology all the way to offering full sedation dentistry.

The good news is that once the bacteria is removed and proper brushing and flossing is vigilantly applied, there should be noticeable improvement and less care required at the next appointment.

The experts at WebMD have the following to say about periodontal disease:

Mouthwash is a big help in treating the disease. Make sure you use one that’s labeled as antigingivitis, antibacterial, or antiseptic. If you can’t remember which kind to buy, ask a pharmacist for help.

If it’s been 6 months since you last saw the dentist, set up a cleaning to remove tartar and plaque buildup from your teeth. Ask your dentist about the proper way to brush — bearing down too hard or missing spots can lead to gingivitis. After a cleaning, your gums should get better within a week or so as long as you brush twice a day, and floss and rinse once a day. Additional info at WebMD

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Communication Is Essential

Just as you discuss your health concerns and seek care solutions from your regular family physician, it is equally important to communicate with your dentist. Dr. Harrell and his skilled staff are better able to address your smile issues and ease your anxiety when you communicate openly. Say how your teeth and gums are feeling, share what troubles you about your smile and mention any cosmetic procedures you may be interested in. We want you to be an active participant in your oral care.

Remember, periodontal disease is not something to ignore. If you suspect you may be in the early stages of gingivitis, now is the time to get your smile checked. Call Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne today at 704-541-9888 or use the contact form on this page to schedule your complete dental check-up and cleaning. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Valentine’s Sweets Can Sour Your Oral Health

Brushing, flossing and swishing need to be on everyone’s daily “To Do” list and, thankfully, many fit in all three tasks every day. However, too many people do not. While practicing excellent oral hygiene is a top priority anytime, it is essential to be especially proactive around holidays when treats abound. Valentine’s Day certainly fits the criteria, when consuming chocolates, candies and those deliciously sticky cinnamon hearts is commonplace.

Chocolate Candy and Tooth Decay

What’s really a concern in regards to protecting your teeth while eating chocolate or any other kind of candy is how sticky it is. When you have a sticky, sugary substance stuck to your teeth, your saliva can’t reach that part of your tooth to neutralize the acids. Also, the sugar is the food that the bacteria in your mouth use to produce the dangerous acids that cause tooth decay. Bacteria converts all sugars into acid, whether it’s fruit sugar or the refined sugar found in chocolate candy.

There is some good news, however. Dark chocolate actually contains tannins that help prevent cavities by interfering with acid production. So when you’re shopping for that box of chocolates, go for the dark chocolate variety that has at least 70% cocoa. Along with the tannins, the cocoa contains antioxidants that keep your body healthy on a cellular level, In fact, dark chocolate can contain up to four times the level found in green tea. See additional info at Smile Today

Proactive Oral Health

We love seeing our patients on a regular basis. Scheduled dental check-ups keep your teeth strong and healthy; enabling you to enjoy your sweet tooth responsibly. Allowing untreated decay or painful sensitivities to exist in your mouth can lead to much deeper issues that impact your teeth, gums and even bones. Experiencing dental pain of any kind is unnecessary and mostly avoidable. Dr. Robert Harrell and his skilled staff at ADOB want to help you keep your pearly whites in tip-top shape year-round. Protect your smile by maintaining a proactive approach to oral health care.

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Although Valentine’s Day originated way back in the Roman times, gifting candy on the holiday is a more recent addition. Whether it’s because of chocolate’s status as the go-to food of seduction or just a way for candy companies to sell more of the sugary stuff during the Christmas-Easter lull, there’s no denying that candy and Valentine’s Day are inseparable. In fact, almost 50 percent of Americans gift candy on Valentine’s day, totaling 1.7 billion dollars in sales and a whopping 53 million pounds of chocolate. And all this candy isn’t just for your sweetheart. With 838 million dollars expected to be spent on children’s classroom Valentine exchanges, this holiday is almost as candy-filled as Halloween. More details at Eat This

Valentine’s Treats to Avoid

Just remember as a general rule of thumb: The stickier and the crunchier the treat…the harder it will be on your teeth. With this in mind, the folks at Greenspoint Dental have compiled a list of five foods to avoid. Here’s an excerpt, followed by a link to the full list:

Caramel Popcorn

Unfortunately, popcorn in a Valentine’s-themed canister isn’t a good idea, especially the popular caramel popcorn.  Popcorn, like potato chips, get wedged in between teeth and allow a place for bacteria to grow. Caramel coated popcorn will stick more to your teeth than the buttered type.  Also note that chewing on popcorn kernels towards the end of a movie with your sweetheart can easily chip or break your teeth.

Chewy Candy & Dried Fruit

Chocolate-covered caramels may be delicious, but they are a source of tooth decay.  Chewy candy and sticky foods (like dried fruit) aren’t good for your teeth because they stick on your teeth for longer periods of time, making it much harder for saliva to wash away.  The longer the caramel sits on your teeth, the longer your teeth are exposed to sugar that leads to tooth decay. Read more at Greenspoint Dental

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Flossing Is Important Every Day

We hope that you are flossing every day; however, if you are not, now is the ideal time to start. Whenever there is a big sugar extravaganza (like Valentine’s Day) coming up, it’s wise to start beefing up your oral hygiene routine a few weeks in advance. This gives you time to determine if you have any oral pains or smile issues that need to be addressed.

Even if you don’t have any discomfort, if it has been a while since you’ve had a complete dental exam, it is still important for you to contact Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne for a thorough check-up. Dr. Harrell is recognized as one of the city’s top dentists year-after-year by <Charlotte Magazine>. Call Adult Dentistry now at 704-541-9888 or use the contact form on this page to make an appointment.

The post Valentine’s Sweets Can Sour Your Oral Health appeared first on Dentist Charlotte NC 28277 | Cosmetic | Sedation | Dental Implants | Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne.

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Is Bruxism Destroying Your Teeth?

Bruxism, the clinical term for grinding or clenching your teeth, may be something you do while sleeping and you are completely unaware of it. Many patients at Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne who are diagnosed with Bruxism have no clue that they experience this ailment until they have a routine check-up and we tell them. Smoothed out grooves in the molar surfaces and telltale grinding evidence can be found during an oral hygiene exam. Some of these patients report that they have been waking up with headaches and sore jaw muscles — common symptoms of Bruxism. Dr. Robert Harrell and his team at Adult Dentistry want you to know that if you are suffering from this condition, help is available.

Let’s learn more about Bruxism before we continue…

Symptoms

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Signs and symptoms of bruxism may include:

  • Teeth grinding or clenching, which may be loud enough to awaken your sleep partner
  • Teeth that are flattened, fractured, chipped or loose
  • Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of your tooth
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Jaw or face pain or soreness
  • Tired or tight jaw muscles
  • Pain that feels like an earache, though it’s actually not a problem with your ear
  • Dull headache originating in the temples
  • Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek
  • Indentations on your tongue

When to see a doctor

See your doctor or dentist if:

  • Your teeth are worn, damaged or sensitive
  • You have pain in your jaw, face or ear
  • Others complain that you make a grinding noise while you sleep
  • You have a locked jaw that won’t open or close completely

If you notice that your child is grinding his or her teeth — or has other signs or symptoms of bruxism — be sure to mention it at your child’s next dental appointment. More details at Mayo Clinic

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The Bad News About Teeth Grinding

While stress may be a trigger for certain individuals and some may be overcompensating for their misaligned jaw; many Bruxism sufferers have no clue as to why they are suddenly grinding their teeth or clenching their jaw. They may be suffering from Sleep Apnea or Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder (TMD). Severe tooth sensitivity can set in and may be noticed during the scaling portion of your regular dental exam. Clenching down on your teeth or grinding away precious enamel can lead to exposed root surfaces and trigger sensitivity to hot and cold, wind exposure and discomfort during brushing.

You might be surprised to learn how prevalent Bruxism is.

How Many People Have Bruxism?

Bruxism is a very common condition, though there’s some disagreement on how many people are bruxers.

One in three people suffer from bruxism, according to one study, but another puts the number much lower at around eight percent of the population. The condition can range in severity from infrequent clenching to outright mashing; a small number of people, roughly 10 percent of bruxism sufferers, grind so hard their teeth are reduced to nubs, and they eventually need to have reconstructive surgery. Keep reading at Arizona Family Dental

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Mouth Guards Prevent Tooth Damage

Dr. Harrell will make you a custom mouth guard to wear at bedtime. This will stop the damage from the behavior. During this process, impressions are taken of your teeth and a perfectly fitted appliance is made at the lab. Your night guard is slim and unobtrusive and there is no chance of swallowing or choking on it. The guard gives your teeth a soft surface to grind against, which protects them from wear. Left unaddressed, Bruxism can result in the need for extensive restorative and cosmetic dentistry.

If it has been a while since you’ve had a complete dental exam, contact Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne today to schedule a visit with Dr. Harrell. He is recognized as one of the city’s top dentists year-after-year by Charlotte Magazine. Call Adult Dentistry now at 704-541-9888 or use the contact form on this page to make an appointment.

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