Category: Cosmetic Dentistry

No smoke? You’re still playing with fire.

vaping and teeth
Vaping may be better for lungs, but what about your teeth?

Despite the host of other damaging effects, evidence of smoking is usually most obvious on a person’s teeth. But what about “ Vaping ” — the recent trend of smokeless electronic devices? They deliver a vapor-based dose of nicotine, tobacco’s addictive stimulant, while eliminating the harmful and annoying by-products of smoke.

The Evils of Tobacco

And there are a lot of those. Tobacco smoke produces tar (burned plant residue) and hundreds of other harmful chemicals. Many of these cause cancer and other health issues for smokers and those around them. Public awareness of the dangers has cut the nationwide number of smokers by 20% in the past decade, and by nearly 70% since 1965.

Since vaping was introduced in the U.S. in 2005, it has steadily gained popularity. In fact, as early as 2014, it had surpassed of all other tobacco products (including conventional cigarettes!) in total number of current users. More disturbingly, its use among young people has increased exponentially, with the number of current users among high school students tripling in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Vaping Risks

While vaping won’t blacken your teeth like cigarette smoking, nicotine can negatively affect your oral health. The chemical itself is a vasoconstrictor, which limits blood flow to the topical areas of the mouth by causing the blood vessels to contract. This prolonged lack of blood supply can lead to receding gums. Nicotine has also been shown to contribute to dry mouth and cause an increase in bacteria, which can play a part in everything from tooth decay to periodontal disease.

If you are one of the millions of Americans using a vapor device to quit conventional smoking, CONGRATULATIONS! Be sure to talk to us at your next appointment about getting rid of those last remnants of tobacco stains from your teeth. We have a variety of whitening options for bringing your smile back to its natural, tobacco-free color.

 

 

How to take the Perfect “Selfie”

selfie smile
The key to a perfect Selfie? Your smile!

You’ve seen kids taking them on the street, in movies theaters, by themselves and in groups. Maybe you’ve even taken a few of your own. We’re talking about a Selfie — a self-taken picture where the subject and photographer are the same person. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms are full of them. In fact, sociology experts predict that Millennials and Generation Z (those people born after 2000) will take an average of 25,000 Selfies during their lifetime.

And many of them will be awful pictures. From heavy shadows to unfocused faces, blurry movement or heads out-of-frame, there are 101 ways to take a bad Selfie. However, Meyer & Johns Dental wants to share few tricks to make sure you put your best face forward while taking a photo of it.

Tips for Selfie-takers

  •  Keep the camera slightly higher than your line of vision
  •  Look either directly at the camera lens or deliberately away from it
  •  Dip your chin slightly and look up— don’t raise your eyebrows to avoid forehead lines
  •  Natural light is best— aim for the “golden hours” of sunrise or sunset
  •  Choose an interesting background— stay away from blank walls, and mirrors or
    windows can cause unwanted reflections.
  •  Face your light source— Avoid direct side lighting, which can cast harsh shadows
    on your face
  •  Tap the image of your face on the phone screen before taking— most phones will use
    that point to automatically adjust focus, depth and exposure.
  •  SMILE!

Of course, everyone knows how to do this last one. But if you feel like your smile isn’t ready for a close-up, Meyer & Johns Dental can help. From teeth whitening, to same-day crowns, to porcelain veneers, we have the right choice to make sure your smile looks great– both in-person and at arms-length!

To discuss cosmetic options for your teeth, contact us or talk to Drs. Meyer or Johns at your next regular appointment or contact us to explore the options.

 

The Changing Face of Fillings

Take a look at new alternatives to traditional metal fillings
New developments in materials and techniques are improving the appearance and performance of dental fillings.

For the vast majority of Americans, tooth decay is a fact of life. A study published in 2015 by the Centers for Disease Control showed that 42 percent of children have at least one cavity (medically known as a dental caries). And it gets worse with age – By the time we reach 65, all but 4 percent of us has experienced a cavity and (hopefully) a filling of the damaged area.

History

The first recorded filling of teeth occurred in Europe in the early 1800s. 20th-century advancements took the artistry of filling teeth from its infancy to the host of advanced options available to today’s dental patients. From the soft metals in the early days, to the amalgams developed during 1900s, to modern porcelain and composite resin fillings used today, the techniques for repairing tooth loss are continuing to evolve.

Amalgams are the most widely used filling substance world-wide, despite growing concerns over radiant health risks associated with Mercury that many contain. In the U.S., metals have generally lost their luster as a surface material for damaged areas. This is partially due to those Mercury concerns, but also because amalgams darken over time and become more noticeable. The aesthetically-oriented nature of U.S. dentistry is driving numerous research efforts focused on improving the delivery, performance and appearance of fillings.

New Developments

Modern composites are applied to damaged teeth as a fluid substance, and then ‘cured’ to hardness with ultraviolet light. New UV light activators allow a more complete repair of deeper cavities in teeth, and the addition of reinforced silica fibers to acrylic-based composites is reducing the shrinkage of fillers during the curing phase.  Lithium disilicate glass-ceramic composite shows promise for its strength, durability and chemical properties that match the natural coloration of teeth.

Beyond traditional fillings, Meyer & Johns patients have many more choices for repairing damaged teeth, with options that include onlays, crowns and veneers. These options are especially important for filling cavities or damage on highly-visible front teeth. If you think you have a cavity, schedule an appointment today – we’ll find the problem, and offer a solution that will look and feel great!

Tooth Enamel: Tips for keeping yours healthy

What Is Enamel, and Why Is It Important?

Enamel is the smooth, hard exterior surface of your teeth. It protects the interior dentin, which is softer and contains nerves and blood vessels. Tooth enamel is translucent, allowing the color of the interior dentin to show through. An easy way to think of it is like a suit of armor, protecting the dentin and pulp of your teeth within from the ravages of decay.

Needless to say, it’s pretty important to your overall dental health.

How Does Tooth Enamel Erode?

There are many threats to the health of your tooth enamel.
Your tooth enamel is targeted for damage by many common foods, beverages and medicines.

The biggest contributors to enamel erosion may not be what you’d expect. Acidic foods are one of the biggest culprits, as they can weaken enamel and leave it vulnerable to bacteria that cause tooth decay.

A surprising (and therefore potentially dangerous) contributor to erosion is dry mouth. Saliva protects your enamel by naturally controlling the growth of tooth-attacking bacteria. When your mouth is dry, these bacteria can grow unchecked and cause long-term damage.

Of course, many other factors can work against your enamel, from acid reflux to prescription medications, drug supplements and even over-brushing your teeth.

How Should You Care for Enamel?

Comprehensive oral health must include enamel care. Some tips for keeping it strong include:

  • Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, as stiff brushes can actually wear away your enamel
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day, particularly after meals high in acid (this includes many fruits!) or sugar.
  • If you can’t brush your teeth immediately after meals, give your mouth at least a good rinsing with water to reduce the acidity.

And of course, visit Dr. Meyers or Dr. Johns at least twice a year for professional cleaning and a full exam to catch any enamel issues early.

Can Enamel Be Repaired?

Unfortunately, enamel loss is permanent. But even thought it won’t grow back, there are many cosmetic dentistry procedures that can help to mitigate its loss. Bonding, veneers, and crowns are all safe, long-lasting solutions to problems associated with enamel loss and damage.

Worried about your enamel or have other dental concerns? Contact us today and we’ll happily discuss what Meyer & Johns can do for you.