Airport Road Dental Associates - 3465 Airport Road, Portage, Indiana 46368 - (219) 763-2727




Posts for tag: Untagged

Just because you smoke or used to smoke doesn't mean you can't do something to prevent bad breath, tooth decay, teeth discoloration, and gum disease. While the best way to maintain your oral health would be to quit smoking if you still do, that may be easier said than done. Below are some of the best oral health tips to follow if you're a smoker or ex-smoker. 

1. Brush and Floss Regularly 

While this is a requirement for everyone, smokers are more prone to oral health issues such as tooth stains, tooth loss, and gum disease. Make it a habit to brush and floss at least twice a day to prevent the harm caused by smoking. 

It's advisable to brush right after smoking to remove the tar and other chemicals left on the teeth. The more you wait, the more the chemicals set in, making them harder to remove. Don't forget to clean the tongue as it can harbor lots of bacteria that cause bad breath and compromise your sense of taste. 

2. Use an Appropriate Toothbrush and Toothpaste

In order to tackle the tobacco stains and clear away damaging substances, use a toothbrush with soft bristles. It should be flexible enough to reach all areas of your mouth for a thorough clean. However, in the eagerness to remove your tooth stains, avoid the temptation of brushing aggressively as it can damage your teeth and gums.

Use toothpaste specifically made for smokers if possible. Such kinds of toothpaste have stronger chemicals and more intense mint flavoring to fight off bacteria and improve the freshness of your breath. 

3. Rinse With a Mouthwash

One of the biggest complaints amongst smokers and ex-smokers is their bad breath. Rinsing your mouth daily with mouthwash can eliminate bad breath and keep your mouth healthy. Since smoking encourages the growth of bacteria in the mouth, choose an antibacterial mouthwash that can kill the bacteria. 

4. Avoid Teeth-Staining Foods and Beverages

Highly acidic foods and beverages can cause stains and erode your enamel, and this is even more true for smokers who may already have weakened enamel. Stay away from coffee, soda, berries, and pasta sauce. And if you must consume them, do it in moderation. Foods rich in protein, vitamins, fiber, and calcium are best for the health of your teeth. These include leafy greens, celery, carrots, and cheese. 

5. Whiten Your Teeth

Nicotine and tar from cigarettes usually cause teeth stains over time. But the good news is that you can reverse these effects through professional teeth whitening. This procedure can remove even the deepest and most stubborn stains, and you will experience the results immediately. Ideally, get professional teeth whitening if you have already quit smoking. If you are still smoking, it won't be long before the nicotine and tar discolor your teeth again. 

6. Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Visiting your dentist regularly is the most reliable way to keep your oral health intact. First, your dentist will conduct professional cleanings to eliminate the buildup of tartar between your teeth and gums. They will also scrub your teeth to remove plaque. 

The dentist will also perform an oral examination to check for other deeper issues such as cavities, tooth decay, periodontitis, and oral cancer. Catching these problems early is crucial in managing or treating the problem. Due to the multiple oral health risks associated with smoking, visit your dentist at least twice a year. You may even need more frequent visits if you have an ongoing oral condition. 

Whether you're a smoker or ex-smoker, following the tips above can help maintain your oral health. And if you need a dental checkup, professional teeth whitening, or any other dental service, contact us at Airport Road Dental Associates, PC.

Are you one of the people who think that oral health only involves teeth? While you cannot brush your gum, your oral hygiene will determine its condition. Therefore, even if you have cavity-free teeth and a bright smile, your gums are still at risk of gum disease if you don't practice good oral hygiene. Gum disease occurs when plaque accumulates around your teeth's roots, spreading bacteria into your gum.

Luckily, you can prevent gum disease using the simple practices below.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene at Home

Though some causes of gum diseases like hormonal changes and low immunity may be out of your control, you can prevent gum disease by simply practicing good oral hygiene. When you fail to brush or floss your teeth every day, plaque will build up on your teeth and inflame your gum, leading to gum disease.

However, brushing your teeth two times a day eliminates the bacteria that cause gum disease. You should also brush your tongue, as it can also harbor bacteria.

Get Regular Dental Cleanings

Even if you brush and floss your teeth daily, you still need professional teeth cleaning to remove plaque and tarter in the hard-to-reach areas of your mouth, like the inner side of your teeth. Your dentist can also spot the signs of dental disease during the checkup and help you prevent its spread.

Stop Smoking

You are at a higher risk for gum disease if you are a smoker. Smoking is a major cause of gum disease as it exacerbates bacterial plague. In addition, since smoking decreases your body's ability to fight off infections, you may struggle to heal damaged gums when you are a smoker.

Another reason you are at a higher risk of gum disease as a smoker is the inability to spot the disease in its early stages. Bleeding gums is the first symptom of gingivitis, but a smoker may not experience it since the nicotine in cigarettes restricts the flow of blood into gums.

Stay Hydrated

Do you know that your saliva prevents dental plaque? First, saliva clears leftovers from your mouth, inhibiting the growth of bacteria that form dental plaque. The antibodies in your saliva also minimize the number of disease-causing bacteria in your body.

Therefore, you should drink enough water to produce enough saliva to perform these two functions.

Watch What You Eat

What you eat has a significant impact on your dental health. For example, sugary foods, like cakes and candies, will provide the food that the harmful bacteria in your mouth need to thrive. On the other hand, a balanced diet will improve your immunity, enabling your body to fight diseases, including periodontal diseases.

Increase Your Vitamin C Intake

Since vitamin C deficiency is one of the causes of gum disease, you can take in more of this vitamin to prevent the disease and treat its symptoms. More vitamin C intake will also stop gum disease symptoms like bleeding and swelling gums. Some common sources of vitamin C include oranges, kiwis, strawberries, and vitamin C supplements.  

Use Fluoride Toothpaste

Nowadays, you have to choose your best toothpaste from various brands on the market. While you can choose any color and flavor, the best toothpaste to prevent gum disease should have fluoride and an ADA seal of acceptance.

The above combination of actions and habits should help prevent gum disease for a happier and healthier life. However, you should continue with your annual dental checkup to ensure the early detection and prevention of gum disease and other oral health issues. At Airport Road Dental Associates, we have all the experience and tools needed to prevent and treat a myriad of dental issues. Book an appointment today to experience our personalized dental services.

Are you unhappy with your smile? The reasons vary widely — from old tooth injuries to an inability to sufficiently whiten teeth — but the solution may be the same: veneers. To help you decide if veneers are right for you, here are a few answers to common questions you may have.

What are Veneers?

Veneers are a slim shell designed to look like regular teeth. Dentists place veneers on top of your actual teeth and hide these behind a more attractive, tailored appearance that replicates the smile you want. The dentist will slim down your original teeth to provide a base for the veneer, which is then color-matched to be indistinguishable from adjacent teeth. 

You may receive a temporary veneer to use while the permanent replacement is molded, allowing you to see how the final product will look. Once satisfied, the dentist will bond it to your tooth and shape it into a pleasing form. 

What are Veneers Made From? 

Veneers today are made from one of two common materials. The first is a composite, similar to the material used to fill cavities and other tooth defects. Composite is widely available and less expensive than other materials, and it is often reversible should you decide to change your smile later. However, it may be a little less hardy as well, having a shorter lifespan. 

The other material is porcelain. These veneers are a more complex process and generally take more time than composite. However, you get more years of service from porcelain in return. The biggest difference between the two is also how much of your own tooth must be altered for the porcelain shell as compared to composites. 

How Long Do Veneers Last?

So, veneers will give you an immediate smile makeover. But will they last? Modern dental technology has extended veneers' lifespans with better quality processes and materials. Composite veneers often last between five and seven years, with porcelain veneers lasting a decade or even longer. 

Aside from veneers' hardness and structure, the length of time they work for you will also depend on how well they resist changes in color. Tooth-staining habits like drinking excessive tea and coffee, smoking, eating soy sauce, and chewing berries can alter the color of the veneers just as it can your natural teeth. If the veneer changes color compared to surrounding teeth, they may need replacement. 

How Do You Care for Veneers?

Once your veneers are set and stable, and you're happy with their look, they function just like your original teeth in most circumstances. In some ways, they'll be even better. If you've been extra cautious with daily activities due to bad teeth or have been trying to whiten yours, you'll no longer struggle with these problems. 

Your dentist may advise you to be a little more careful with very hard foods, such as ice or bones, as the shell of the veneer can be more susceptible to chipping. The dentist can often shave small imperfections during regular visits. You will also continue with proper dental hygiene just as with natural teeth. Failure to keep up with good dental hygiene could result in your gums shrinking to expose the edge of the veneer. 

Where Can You Learn More

Do veneers sound like something that could help you in your everyday life? No matter what tooth appearance problems you want to solve, it could be a great answer. Begin by learning more about how veneers work and what you might expect with yours. 

The team at Airport Road Dental Associates can help. We've assisted many of your Indiana neighbors in improving their teeth through veneers and other modern dental techniques, and we can help you. Call today to make an appointment.

A chipped tooth refers to a tooth with a missing piece. For example, a piece of your incisor can break off if you hit your mouth on a hard surface. The consequences of a chipped tooth are bad and require prompt treatment.

Dangers of a Chipped Tooth

A chipped tooth can affect you in multiple ways. Below are some of the effects to expect.

Dental Aesthetics Interference

A chipped tooth, especially on the front teeth, interferes with the way your teeth look when you smile. The larger the chip, the more pronounced its effect on your appearance. Many people feel self-conscious with such teeth imperfections.

Soft Tissue Bruising

Natural teeth have relatively rounded or smooth edges that don't cause injury to the mouth. Chipped teeth have sharp or pointed edges that can cut your oral tissues. Your tongue, cheeks, or inner lips risk cuts from chipped teeth. The bruises increase the risk of canker sores or oral infections.

Increased Risk of Tooth Infection

The enamel protects your teeth from different threats, including bacteria. An enamel chip reduces the protection and makes it easy for bacteria to attack the tooth. Thus, a chipped tooth increases your risk of dental caries.

Dentin Hypersensitivity

The enamel covers the dentin, which is a sensitive tooth part. A chip exposes the dentin and makes it susceptible to irritations from different substances and conditions, such as extreme temperatures. Thus, you might feel pain and discomfort if you eat or drink cold or hot foods with chipped teeth.

Increased Risk of Breakage

The enamel's strength helps to support and stabilize the teeth. A chip might weaken your tooth, especially if it occurs near the base of the teeth. Such a tooth faces an increased risk of breakage in case of physical trauma.

Solutions for a Chipped Tooth

A chipped tooth can be painful immediately after the accident. The chip's depth determines the level of pain you might feel. The risk of pain increases with delayed treatment, triggering the complications above.

For acute pain, your main aim should be to manage the pain before the dentist gives you a permanent solution. Discover some pain management strategies that can help:

  • Rinse your mouth with saline water.
  • Avoid irritating foods and drinks, such as sugary, salty, and acidic ones.
  • Avoid hot or cold foods and drinks.
  • Use over-the-counter pain medication.

See your dentist for a permanent solution. Below are some treatments the dentist may suggest.

Dental Filling

Dental fillings are artificial materials that build up the chipped tooth section. The filling strengthens the tooth and enhances its functionality. Metal, composite, and ceramic are common filling materials.

Dental Bonding

The dental filling works best on teeth other than the front ones. Dental bonding is better for a chipped front tooth. People prefer dental bonding here since the bonding material is teeth-colored composite resin. The bonding enhances both the tooth's functionality and its appearance.

Dental Crowning

A dental crown may be better if the chip is relatively large and has weakened the tooth. A dental crown is a cap that covers the damaged tooth's top. Dental crown materials include metal, ceramic, resin, or ceramic-on-metal. Some of the materials may resemble your natural tooth's color.

Dental Veneers

Lastly, the dentist may use dental veneers to cover a chip on a tooth's front surface. Veneers are typically porcelain or resin. Veneers also work well for those who want to enhance their chipped tooth's aesthetics.  

Contact Airport Road Dental Associates, PC, for your chipped tooth or any other dental problem you have. We have decades of experience in the dental industry, and you can rely on our patient-centered dental services.

Have you adopted a regular, thorough dental hygiene regimen in your quest to keep your teeth and gums healthy for life? Proper brushing, flossing, and dental care habits can greatly reduce threats from plaque, tartar, and bacteria. However, you render your dental hygiene routine ineffective if you don’t do certain things. Make the most of your dental routine with the following hygiene tips.

1. Clean (and Change) Your Toothbrush

Your toothbrush plays an invaluable role in protecting your teeth by scrubbing away food and plaque that might otherwise attract germs. However, this same action inevitably causes it to accumulate on the bristles over time. If you don't clean your toothbrush, each brushing session may actually re-introduce this material into your mouth.

Any dentist-approved antiseptic mouthwash can serve as your toothbrush's cleaning medium. Soak the toothbrush for up to 15 minutes and then rinse it in water, since more extended exposure can damage the bristles. You can also use white vinegar or a mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide to clean your toothbrush.

No toothbrush lasts forever, regardless of how carefully its owner cleans it. Twisted, worn bristles can't do their job well enough to protect your teeth and gums against disease and decay. Get into the habit of replacing your toothbrush every three to four months. Electric toothbrush heads may need even more frequent replacement.

2. Always Use Clean Flossing Gear

Dental floss can get into tight spaces that your toothbrush can't, making it a powerful and necessary daily aid to your brushing routine. If manual dexterity problems or other obstacles make flossing a challenge, you can also use a water flosser to blast trapped food particles out from between your teeth.

Unfortunately, the improper use of your flossing tools can make your mouth dirtier instead of cleaner. For instance, if you use the same length of floss across multiple teeth, you simply spread germs and debris from one space to the next. Manipulate the floss as you use it so you always have a clean length to work with.

A neglected water flosser may foster mold growth. Since toxic mold can cause a variety of health problems, you'll want to check your water flosser regularly for telltale black discoloration. Clean your water flosser's reservoir and tip periodically with the same kind of cleaning solution you use for your toothbrush.

3. Don't Share Dental Hygiene Tools

If you maintain a full house of family members, you may feel accustomed to sharing practically everything with them, from computers and furnishings to tableware. However, just as you probably wouldn't want to eat from another person's fork at mealtimes, you should also avoid sharing your dental hygiene tools.

Toothbrushes and flossers pick up a variety of germs along with the bits of food or dental plaque they remove from your mouth. If you use another person's toothbrush, you may ingest that material. You might also expose yourself to any blood-borne or saliva-borne diseases that the previous user suffers from.

If you can't easily tell one toothbrush from another in a shared bathroom, buy a fresh set of toothbrushes sporting different styles or colors, assigning each distinctive brush to a different family member. Keep each family member's flossing gear in a separate spot. If you must share a water flosser, make sure everyone uses a different tip.

4. Store Your Toothbrush Wisely

Since you likely want to keep other people's germs away from your toothbrush (and vice versa), it might seem only logical to store your toothbrush safely away in a closed toothbrush cover, medicine cabinet, or other airtight container. However, this strategy can actually backfire by encouraging mold growth on the bristles.

You want your toothbrush to dry out completely between uses. To achieve this goal, hang your toothbrush upright in an open-air holder designed for this purpose. At the same time, make a rule that anyone who uses the toilet must close the lid before flushing (to prevent bacteria from rising up into the air and onto the toothbrush).

Airport Road Dental Associates, PC, can provide you and your loved ones with a wealth of personalized dental health guidance and information. Contact us for an appointment to discuss your specific questions or concerns.