An Irish proverb says, “A good word never broke a tooth”. With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, here are some good words about keeping your smile bright as you celebrate.
Green is the predominant color of St. Patrick’s Day. From wearing green clothes to drinking green beer, the color green permeates the day. Many foods, including green beer, are dyed using green food coloring. This artificial color may stain any plaque that’s on your teeth. Hardly the look that most of us want!
Clean teeth are the best defense against staining. If you haven’t had your teeth professionally cleaned recently, schedule an appointment to remove the hard and soft buildups that accumulate. Brush and floss before your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations to remove any new plaque that’s formed. You may also want to take a travel toothbrush with you just in case you need to freshen up your smile.
If you have tooth colored or “white” fillings (also called bonded fillings or composites), be aware that alcohol softens the filling material, making it more likely that it will stain. Unlike stained plaque, you won’t be able to remove the stain from your filling. The only way to remove the stain is to have your dentist replace the filling material.
As in most cases, the more often the contact, the more likely the material is to stain. If you’re able to switch to a more neutral colored drink or use a non-alcoholic version, you reduce the potential for staining. Another option is to try to keep the color away from your front teeth by using a straw.
You may also want to avoid artificially colored foods and drinks if you’ve recently whitened your teeth. The whitening process makes your tooth structure more porous. This allows the active ingredient in the whitening material to penetrate your tooth and lighten it, but it allows stains to enter as well. This is why your dentist tells you to avoid heavily pigmented foods and drinks, such as red wine, coffee/tea, and mustard, while you are whitening your teeth.
If you haven’t started your teeth whitening program, wait until after your St. Patrick’s Day celebration to do so to minimize staining. If you’re in the process of whitening, stop several days before you plan to eat or drink highly colored foodstuffs, but be aware that this might reduce the overall level of whitening you achieve.
I hope these few tips will help you to keep your smile at its brightest as you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Please remember if you do drink, do so responsibly. If you have any questions on this or other dental topics, please don’t hesitate to call my office at 440-960-1940 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the comment box on my website at www.drjrobb.com.
Spring means different things to different people—but to baseball fans, it means just one thing: the start of another thrilling season. All 30 Major League Baseball teams begin play this month, delighting fans from Toronto to Texas and everywhere in between.
The boys of spring carry on an age-old tradition—yet baseball is also changing with the times. Cigarette smoking has been banned at most ballparks for years; smokeless tobacco is next. About half of the MLB venues now prohibit tobacco of any kind, including “snuff” and “dip.” What’s more, a recent contract agreement bars new Major League players from using smokeless tobacco anywhere.
Why all the fuss? Because tobacco isn’t safe to use in any form. People who use smokeless tobacco get just as much highly addictive nicotine as cigarette smokers. Plus, they get a mouthful of chemicals that are known to cause cancer. This puts them at higher risk for oral cancer, cancer of the esophagus, pancreatic cancer and other diseases.
A number of renowned ballplayers like Babe Ruth, Curt Flood and Bill Tuttle died of oral cancer. The death of Hall of Famer Tony Gwinn in 2014 focused attention on tobacco use in baseball, and helped lead to the ban. Gwynn was convinced that his addiction to smokeless tobacco led to his getting oral cancer.
Yet tobacco isn’t the only cause of oral cancer. In fact, the disease is becoming more common in young people who do not smoke. That’s one more reason why it’s so important for people of all ages to keep to a regular schedule of routine dental exams. These visits offer a great opportunity to detect oral cancer in its earliest, most treatable stages.
So as you watch your favorite team, take a tip from the professional athletes’ playbook. If you don’t use tobacco, don’t start. If you do, now is a good time to quit. For help and support, call an expert at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit smokefree.gov.
If you have any questions about oral cancer, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Diet and Prevention of Oral Cancer.”
The phrase dressed to the teeth is usually used to mean dressed up or decorated very fancily. It implies that one looks correct from the feet up to the head.
A nice smile is one of your best decorations and a good way to be dressed to the teeth! A few are blessed with naturally shaped, white teeth—the rest of us have to work on it!
If your teeth are nicely shaped and only the color bothers you, whitening your teeth may be just enough to give you that dressed up feel! Whitening can be done in a dental office or at home. Whitening done at the dental office gives faster results but often appears to fade as the saliva rewets your teeth. (It’s similar to how your jeans look darker when they are wet after washing.) Take home whitening is more gradual, but the changes seem to be a bit more long-lasting. Learn more about teeth whitening: Teeth Whitening
But do realize that your teeth have an underlying base color—if you want drastic color change, whitening alone might not be enough!
Minor shape changes may be done by your dentist right in the office by adjusting your tooth or teeth (find out more at Tooth Contouring & Reshaping) or by bonding tooth colored filling material to your teeth (Cosmetic Tooth Bonding). Veneers (more info at Porcelain Veneers) or crowns ( see more at Crowns & Bridgework) may be needed if moderate to major shape changes are wanted or to drastically change tooth color.
If you’d like to see what it would take for your smile to look like you’re dressed to the teeth, please give my office a call and/or check out Smile Makeover on my website.
Dr. Jennifer Robb is a general dentist located at 1612 Cooper Foster Park Rd., Lorain, OH 44053. Call (440) 960-1940 to schedule an appointment or use the contact form at www.drjrobb.com
Do you have bondings on your front teeth? If you do, you want to take care of them so that they last the 5 years or so that is projected for them before they need to be replaced. Or if you're considering getting them, this may be information that you want to know.
Bondings are done with composite filling material in a color that matches your tooth. Though you can’t see it with your eyes, the structure of composite is a bit like jello salads. There are particles (think of fruit suspended in jello) and the filler (the jello). Over time, the filler layer wears down. When there’s not enough filler to hold a particle in, it will fall out of the material. The surface left behind has divots that look like a golf ball’s surface (though unlike a golf ball, you can’t see the divots in the filling with your naked eye. What you can see is the stain that gets caught in the irregularities.)
Some tips for keeping your bondings in good shape:
- Give your bondings the same special care that you give the rest of your teeth. Poor home care and the wrong foods will have an effect on your bondings.
- Brush with a soft bristled toothbrush and use a nonabrasive toothpaste. (Abrasive toothpastes will wear down the filler more quickly.)
- Make an appointment to see your dentist a few months after your bonding is done. Your dentist can check to make sure that the bonding is not causing any gum inflammation or other problems that can be corrected.
- Do not bite your nails or hold things (ex. pencils, bobby pins) between your teeth.
- Do not chew ice.
- Avoid nuts, hard candy, and other foods that might crack your bondings.
- Avoid foods and drinks that can stain your teeth or the filling material. Some examples are: coffee, tea, dark sodas, purple grape juice, spaghetti sauce.)
If you take care of your bondings, they should last for a number of years before you replace them, and allow you to show off your winning smile!
If you are interested in bondings, please call Dr. Robb’s office at 440-960-1940 to schedule.
Dr. Robb is a general dentist with an office at 1612 Cooper Foster Park Rd. in Lorain, OH. She is accepting new patients.
February 28th is National Tooth Fairy Day—a fitting end to National Children’s Dental Health Month (February).
The Tooth Fairy, who may go by other names in other countries, leaves a payment or present in exchange for a baby tooth that’s been placed under your child’s pillow (or in some cases, another specially designated location). No one seems to agree on what The Tooth Fairy looks like. Some go for the Tinkerbelle style fairy with wings, others say The Tooth Fairy could appear as a man or as an animal or even as an imaginary creature such as a dragon.
The origin of The Tooth Fairy isn’t very clear but some sources trace it back to a 1908 "Household Hints" item in the Chicago Daily Tribune:
Many a refractory child will allow a loose tooth to be removed if he knows about the Tooth Fairy. If he takes his little tooth and puts it under the pillow when he goes to bed the Tooth Fairy will come in the night and take it away, and in its place will leave some little gift. It is a nice plan for mothers to visit the 5 cent counter and lay in a supply of articles to be used on such occasions. Lillian Brown." (1)
Lately, there’s been some discussion about whether we should promote belief in The Tooth Fairy. Some argue that children will feel that they’ve been lied to when they discover that The Tooth Fairy isn’t what they were told he/she was. Others feel that it’s a way to comfort children who may be upset or worried about losing teeth. And some parents even draw comfort from the fact that their children believe in The Tooth Fairy because it shows they still have some babyish qualities even though they are growing up.
If you do choose to continue The Tooth Fairy tradition, you can also impart good dental habits as part of the routine. For example, The Tooth Fairy could leave more for a perfect tooth than for one that has dental decay or a cavity or filling. The Tooth Fairy could also leave a short note praising how well your child takes care of his or her teeth to reinforce good brushing habits and seeing the dentist.
Whether you choose to continue The Tooth Fairy tradition in your family is up to you. (If you’re not going to, you may want to give your dentist a head’s up so he or she doesn’t ask your child about The Tooth Fairy during a dental visit.)
Dr. Jennifer Robb is a general dentist who sees children and adults in her office located at 1612 Cooper Foster Park Rd., Lorain, OH 44053. Call 440-960-1940 to reserve your time. You can also find us online at www.drjrobb.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DrJenniferRobb
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