Posts for: November, 2016
Sports and energy drinks — two different types of popular beverages. But though different they have one thing in common: they can both wreak havoc on your tooth enamel.
That's because each contains high concentrations of acid. And acid is tooth enamel's mortal enemy — prolonged exposure with it causes the minerals in enamel to soften and erode, a process called de-mineralization.
Demineralization becomes even more pronounced when the mouth's pH levels fall below 4.0 into the acidic range. A sampling of various brands of sports and energy drinks reveal mean pH levels below even that threshold. Energy drinks are especially harmful to enamel because the type of acid they contain is more concentrated.
So, what can you do to minimize this threat to your dental health? The optimal thing to do is avoid such beverages altogether, especially energy drinks. If you currently re-hydrate after hard work or exercise with sports drinks, consider switching to water, nature's hydrator.
If you do, however, continue to drink these beverages, then follow a few precautions to lessen the acidic levels in your mouth:
Wait until mealtimes. Saliva is your body's way of neutralizing acid in your mouth, but it takes about 30 to 60 minutes for it to fully buffer acid. If you're sipping between meals on acidic beverages, saliva can't keep up. So, wait until you eat or limit your sipping time on a drink.
Rinse with water. Since water's pH is neutral, swishing some in your mouth right after drinking a sports or energy drink will help reduce acidity.
Wait an hour to brush. Your enamel will begin demineralizing as soon as it encounters acid. If you brush right away you could be sloughing off miniscule amounts of softened minerals. By waiting an hour you give your saliva time to buffer and help re-mineralize the enamel.
Although popular, especially among teenagers and young adults, overindulgence in sports and energy drinks could damage your teeth and increase your risk for tooth decay. With a little moderation and common sense, you can keep your enamel strong and healthy.
If you would like more information on the effects of sports and energy drinks on dental health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Think Before you Drink.”
You might think David Copperfield leads a charmed life:Â He can escape from ropes, chains, and prison cells, make a Learjet or a railroad car disappear, and even appear to fly above the stage. But the illustrious illusionist will be the first to admit that making all that magic takes a lot of hard work. And he recently told Dear Doctor magazine that his brilliant smile has benefitted from plenty of behind-the-scenes dental work as well.
“When I was a kid, I had every kind of [treatment]. I had braces, I had headgear, I had rubber bands, and a retainer afterward,” Copperfield said. And then, just when his orthodontic treatment was finally complete, disaster struck. “I was at a mall, running down this concrete alleyway, and there was a little ledge… and I went BOOM!”
Copperfield’s two front teeth were badly injured by the impact. “My front teeth became nice little points,” he said. Yet, although they had lost a great deal of their structure, his dentist was able to restore those damaged teeth in a very natural-looking way. What kind of “magic” did the dentist use?
In Copperfield’s case, the teeth were repaired using crown restorations. Crowns (also called caps) are suitable when a tooth has lost part of its visible structure, but still has healthy roots beneath the gum line. To perform a crown restoration, the first step is to make a precise model of your teeth, often called an impression. This allows a replacement for the visible part of the tooth to be fabricated, and ensures it will fit precisely into your smile. In its exact shape and shade, a well-made crown matches your natural teeth so well that it’s virtually impossible to tell them apart. Subsequently, the crown restoration is permanently attached to the damaged tooth.
There’s a blend of technology and art in making high quality crowns — just as there is in some stage-crafted illusions. But the difference is that the replacement tooth is not just an illusion: It looks, functions and “feels” like your natural teeth… and with proper care it can last for many years to come.Â Besides crowns, there are several other types of tooth restorations that are suitable in different situations. We can recommend the right kind of “magic” for you.
If you would like more information about crowns, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Crowns & Bridgework” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”
Discover everything you ever wanted to know about dental implants and what makes them tick.
It’s true that many people are turning to dental implants to replace their missing teeth. After all, a dental implant offers so many amazing benefits for your oral health. Plus, they are made to look and function just like a real tooth so no one will even know that you have a dental implant. If you are interested in what dental implants have to offer your smile, our Seymour, IN dentists, Dr. Matthew Pierce and Dr. Jennifer Terhaar, are here to provide some information into what makes up a dental implant.
There are three basic parts that make up this amazing restoration that can last up to a lifetime, if you care for and maintain it properly:
The implant/screw: This small screw or post is made from titanium since this type of metal is biocompatible (meaning that it’s rare for the body to reject this metal) and is surgically placed into the jawbone where your missing tooth’s root used to be.
Once the implant is placed and the gums are sewn back up, we will give your mouth time to heal. During this healing period the bone and tissue will start to grow around the implant and fuse together with it. While you won’t be able to see this amazing phenomenon with your own eyes, it will most certainly be happening. The implant is created to function just like tooth roots and can even prevent bone deterioration due to tooth loss.
The abutment: Once the bone has fused together with the implant our Seymour general dentist will need to open up the gums one more time in order to place the abutment over the implant. An abutment is used to connect the implant (which no one will actually be able to see) with a dental crown or other restoration.
The dental crown (or other restoration): If you are only having a single dental implant placed then a dental crown will be the restoration of choice. Once the gums have fully healed after placing your abutment and your dental crown has been specially made we will secure the crown to the abutment to fill the gap.
If you need to replace several teeth, don’t worry. More than one implant can be placed along the jawbone to support dental bridges or even a complete set of dentures.
Jackson County Dental in Seymour, IN is here to provide you with the dental care you need, whether you want to get dental implants or just a routine cleaning. Call us today to schedule your next visit.