Q. What should I do if I have bad breath?

Many people suffer from chronic bad breath. This is why it is important to have regular checkups with your dentist so they can rule out any underlying issues that cause it, such as gum disease. If your dentist determines you do have symptoms of gum disease, your hygienist may recommend more frequent cleaning appointments to keep your gums healthy and prevent the spread of infection throughout your body.

It is important to practice good oral hygiene habits at home to prevent the development of plaque and bacteria on the teeth that cause bad breath. Brushing and flossing are the best ways to reduce plaque buildup and remove food particles that can become trapped between teeth and along the gum line. Food particles that remain in the mouth longer than normal can cause odorous gasses to develop after eating foods with a strong scent, like garlic or onions.

If you use tobacco products, you should plan to stop smoking as soon as possible. Smoking is one of the leading causes of gum disease because it can deplete the body's oxygen levels and irritate gum tissues. In addition, smoking can also cause dry mouth, which can contribute to bad breath.

To combat the effects of bad breath, you can use mouthwash to help rinse away odor-causing debris from your teeth. You should also avoid eating foods that have strong odors after brushing and flossing. You can also chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production or drink lots of water to help flush out the mouth.

Certain types of medications also cause patients to have problems with bad breath. Tell your doctor about the issue so they may alter your prescription to help reduce the problem."

Q. How often should I brush and floss?

Dental experts recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day – once in the morning and right before going to bed at night. Brushing your teeth regularly helps to prevent cavities, gum disease, and other oral health problems. You should spend at least two minutes brushing morning and night, spending an equal amount of time on each row of teeth. Don't forget to brush your tongue as well!

Flossing is also important for your oral health because it removes plaque and food particles from between your teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach. These areas are frequently missed by toothbrush bristles. Make sure to floss at least once per day. Wrap the floss around each tooth in a "C" shape and gently move the floss up and down between each tooth. Gently move your floss back and forth along each side of each tooth until you've cleaned in between each one.

By combining proper brushing and flossing techniques with regular visits to our dentist every six months, you can ensure a healthy smile for years to come. Contact our office soon to schedule your next checkup and cleaning appointment.

Q. How often should I have a dental exam and cleaning?

Dental exams and cleanings are very important because they allow your dentist to check for any signs of decay, damage, or disease in the teeth and gums that you might not be able to see or feel on your own. By visiting your dentist every six months for a checkup and professional cleaning, you can prevent many of these issues from arising in the first place.

A common concern for many people is whether or not they need to visit the dentist as often as they recommend. While some people may be able to go longer between visits, most adults and teenagers can benefit from seeing their dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning and dental exam. This also helps to maintain and build on the results of any cosmetic procedures that you have done to improve your smile.

If you have any additional questions about maintaining your dental health, please contact our office for more information. We have answers to many frequently asked questions about the dental care services we offer at our practice. We look forward to helping you improve your smile!

Daily dental hygiene is also very important for keeping a healthy mouth and preventing problems like tooth decay and gum disease from occurring. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice each day and flossing between them at least once. You should also be sure to replace your toothbrush when it begins to show signs of wear, and make sure that you're using a soft-bristled brush to avoid damaging the enamel of your teeth.

In addition, you should be sure you're eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and water. Avoid sugary snacks and drinks, and brush and clean your teeth after consuming them to prevent cavities and other oral health problems. Drinking plenty of water can also help keep you hydrated, which can also help prevent dry mouth and reduce the likelihood of developing bad breath.

Q. How can I tell if I have gingivitis or periodontitis (gum disease)?

Gingivitis is a reversible form of gum disease that can be treated with professional dental cleaning and improved at-home care. Periodontitis is a more serious form of gum disease that requires an evaluation by a dentist to determine an appropriate treatment plan.

Symptoms of both include bleeding gums, pain when brushing or flossing, gums that are red, swollen, or irritated, and possibly chronic bad breath. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should schedule a visit with your dentist as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

Q. Why is it important to use dental floss?

Flossing is an essential part of any good oral hygiene routine because it helps to remove plaque buildup in hard-to-reach areas between your teeth and along your gum line. If food and bacteria are left to fester in these areas, it can lead to decay and even gum disease. When food particles build up between your teeth, they are much harder to reach with your toothbrush alone. Your toothbrush bristles simply aren't long enough to get the food and bacteria out from in between the tightest spots in your mouth. This is why flossing is so important. It's the only way to ensure that you're not just cleaning the visible surfaces of your teeth but also the areas that are hidden and protected inside your mouth.

Fortunately, today you have a lot of options when it comes to different types of dental floss. You have waxed and unwaxed varieties, flavored and unflavored versions, and even tape-style floss that is designed to slide easily in between tight teeth. No matter which type you prefer, it's important to remember to floss at least once a day to make sure you're getting the full benefits of this important part of your oral health regimen.

The importance of daily flossing is backed up by clinical studies. Research has shown that people who floss every day see less plaque buildup than those who do not. It also reduces the chances of developing cavities and gum disease.

Q. What are porcelain veneers, and how do they improve a smile?

Porcelain veneers are a cosmetic procedure that can improve the appearance of your smile by covering up minor imperfections like chips, cracks, spots, discoloration, and more. A veneer is a thin shell that's customized to your smile and bonded to the front of your tooth to correct stains, gaps, and misalignments.

Veneers can also protect the surface of a tooth that has been damaged by decay or trauma. They're made from a thin ceramic material that has a natural appearance, so no one will be able to tell that you had any work done on your teeth unless you tell them.

Porcelain veneers are a popular option for patients who want to create a more beautiful smile without the hassle of braces and other orthodontic treatments that can cost more time and money. Veneers are a simple and quick way to cover up the flaws in your smile and create a beautiful, symmetrical set of pearly whites.

Once they're in place, your porcelain veneers can last for ten to twenty years with proper care. When a single veneer is damaged or broken, it can be replaced as needed. It's important that you maintain good oral hygiene to prevent cavities from forming around your new veneers. Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each session using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Flossing once per day is also beneficial for removing plaque and food debris from between the teeth and along the gum line.

Avoid chewing overly hard foods on the treated area to avoid cracking or chipping the veneer. It's also important that you avoid habits like nail-biting and ice-chewing, which can chip or damage the dental bonding agent. To learn more about how porcelain veneers can improve your smile, schedule a consultation with us at your earliest convenience. 

Q. What can I do about stained or discolored teeth?

Stained or discolored teeth are quite common, with the average person experiencing discoloration of a shade between yellow and brown. Some of the most common causes of tooth staining include:

  • Dark-colored beverages like coffee, tea, and sports drinks
  • Smoking tobacco products
  • Certain medications, such as antihistamines, antipsychotics, antidepressants, and high-blood-pressure medications
  • Tooth decay due to bacteria in the mouth
  • Genetics – some people simply have whiter teeth than others
  • Poor oral hygiene habits – brushing your teeth improperly or forgetting to brush them regularly can lead to a duller appearance.

When your teeth change color, you may appear older than you are or even be embarrassed to smile. Cosmetic dentistry treatments can help make your smile brighter and more attractive. There are multiple options for treating discolored teeth, including bleaching, bonding, and veneers. A dentist can help you determine which of these would be best for you based on the extent of your discoloration.

If your teeth have become dull over time due to smoking, certain medications, or genetics, professional cleaning may be all you need to brighten your smile. In most cases, a whitening treatment with either an in-office procedure or a take-home kit will be more effective. You can discuss your treatment options with your cosmetic dentist during your consultation to determine which option would work best for your situation. If you decide to undergo treatment at your dentist's office, be sure to follow the guidelines given to you by the dentist to ensure your safety throughout the process. Dental procedures can be safely performed if patients follow the instructions given to them by their dentists and follow the aftercare instructions provided after treatment.

Q. How can cosmetic dentistry help improve the appearance of my smile?

Cosmetic dentistry refers to dental treatments performed to improve the appearance of smiles by correcting aesthetic flaws. These treatments can be performed to repair chipped, cracked, or broken teeth, treat gaps between teeth, straighten crooked or misaligned teeth, replace silver amalgam fillings with tooth-colored restorations, whiten dulled or discolored teeth, and much more. Here at Healthy Smiles of Saint Louis, our experienced cosmetic dentist offers a wide range of cosmetic dental treatments and will work with you to develop a completely personalized treatment plan to help you achieve the beautiful smile you have always wanted!

If you hide your smile because of minor imperfections, like cracks and chips in your teeth, discoloration, or misalignment, then you may want to consider visiting our cosmetic dentist to learn more about your treatment options. We offer several effective and convenient services that can dramatically enhance the appearance of your smile! From professional teeth whitening to porcelain veneers, dental crowns, and more, we will help you determine which treatment is best for you based on your unique needs and goals. 

Q. What can be done about old, unattractive, or discolored fillings?

Old metal fillings are unsightly and can cause the teeth to discolor over time. Having them replaced would greatly improve the appearance of your smile. Tooth-colored fillings made of composite resin have the same composition as natural tooth structures, making them look very natural. Composite resins can be matched to the shade of the surrounding teeth for a seamless aesthetic effect. The procedure for replacing old metal fillings with tooth-colored fillings generally takes one to two visits to complete. Before your dentist can place the tooth-colored fillings, he will first remove your old fillings and clean the tooth surfaces to remove any traces of decay. After cleaning, the dentist will numb your tooth. Once your tooth is completely numbed, he will prepare it for the new filling by removing any decayed tissue. He will then take an impression of the prepped tooth. This impression will be sent to a lab where your custom-made filling will be produced. At your second visit, your dentist will replace the temporary filling with your custom-made one. He will ensure that it fits properly and that your bite is not affected. After you are happy with the new filling's appearance and fit, he will secure the filling in place with a bonding adhesive. You will then leave the office with a new, improved smile!

Q. What should I do if a tooth is knocked out?

A tooth that has been knocked out needs to be treated immediately, ideally by a dental office, within thirty minutes of the injury. The sooner the tooth is treated, the better the chances of saving it. If the tooth has been out of the mouth for less than one hour and is still viable, it can be re-implanted and saved with a good chance of successful treatment. However, after an hour, the tooth becomes susceptible to damage due to drying out, and the patient's risk of infection increases significantly as well. Therefore, it is important to treat the injury as quickly as possible and seek care from a dentist as soon as possible following a blow to the face.

If the patient is able to see the dentist quickly enough, it may be possible to re-implant the tooth into the socket. This will require a local anesthetic to provide relief from any pain as well as the use of forceps to grasp the tooth and a gentle touch to avoid further damage or breaking. In less severe cases where the tooth is not mobile, applying a cold compress to the area to reduce inflammation and keeping the tooth in milk or water can help to sustain it until the patient can be seen by a professional.

If it is not possible to see the dentist right away, then placing the tooth into a container of milk or water until it is able to be seen is a great option. Doing so will help to keep the soft tissues of the mouth from becoming damaged and help to relieve some of the pain associated with the injury. Additionally, rinsing the injured area with warm salt water can help reduce the bleeding as well as prevent infection from occurring.

Once the patient receives dental care for an injury like this, he or she will likely have follow-up appointments to ensure that there are no signs of infection or other complications. Additionally, if the tooth is lost completely, an implant may be recommended to replace what was lost. This helps to maintain the structure of the mouth and the appearance of the smile and can prevent further issues from developing in the future. 

Q. What are my options if I have missing teeth?

A dental implant is a prosthetic tooth that replaces the entire missing section of teeth. This restoration consists of an artificial root that is surgically placed into the jawbone, which is then topped with a dental crown. Dental implants can be used to replace one or several missing teeth in a row, and they provide a permanent solution with a high level of stability and durability.

If you have lost one or more teeth due to decay, injury, or any other reason, dental implants may be the ideal option for you. To find out if you are a good candidate for this procedure, schedule a consultation with your cosmetic dentist today. Good luck!

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