Posts for category: Oral Health
Pearly whites are the hallmark of a great smile, and we all want a bright, attractive grin, but unfortunately, it can be difficult to achieve and maintain a white smile, with beverages, oral hygiene habits, and age all playing factors in the whiteness of your teeth. The good news? With diligent dental care and the help of cosmetic dentist Dr. William Ralstin in Fort Worth, TX, you can have a beautiful white smile you'll be happy to show off.
What are the steps to maintaining a white smile?
Brushing: Clean, white teeth start with proper brushing. Make sure to brush thoroughly twice a day, or after meals, to remove any food bits or beverage residue. Use a soft-bristled brush, and ask a cosmetic dentistry professional at our Fort Worth, TX office for recommendations on a whitening toothpaste.
Flossing: Flossing between every tooth is also important for removing food and drink particles that can linger and develop into tartar or stains. Follow up by rinsing your mouth with water and/or mouthwash.
Avoiding staining food and drink: Some foods and beverages, including tomato products, red wine, coffee, and tea, can lead to the staining of teeth. Make sure to consume these items in moderation and to rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking them.
Quit smoking: Chewing or smoking tobacco can cause severe yellowing of your teeth that is hard to remove. Abstaining from tobacco is important for your dental and total body health.
Cosmetic dentistry: If your tooth stains are stubborn, consider professional whitening at our Fort Worth, TX office. This version of cosmetic dentistry uses professional-grade levels of hydrogen peroxide and special lights for powerful whitening that is long-lasting and yields impressive results.
Call your dentist at our Fort Worth, TX office at 817-926-8700 for tips about keeping your teeth white and information on our cosmetic dentistry options.
Do you have missing teeth? Are you looking to fill those missing gaps left from an accident or tooth decay? Thinking of getting dental implants? Well, your dental implant specialist in Fort Worth, TX, Dr. William Ralstin, is here to help.
What's a dental implant?
A dental implant consists of a biocompatible titanium post and a connector that anchors a crown, the only visible part of the dental implant. This procedure is important for people suffering from tooth loss because it provides structural reinforcement to prevent other serious issues like bone degradation.
- Your dental implant specialist applies a local anesthetic in the area that will undergo the procedure.
- Your dentist places a titanium post into the jawbone.
- The biocompatible titanium post begins to bond to the rest of your jawbone.
- The doctor surgically closes the area and allow it to heal for a period of 3-to-6 months, but provide patients with a temporary crown so they may go about their regular activities.
- When you return, your Fort Worth dentist will insert a connector and place a crown that matches the rest of your teeth.
What are some reasons to consider dental implants?
- Implants can have a high success rate, 95% to be exact.
- They can last a lifetime if cared for properly and look natural.
- They don't slip out of place like other oral appliances.
- They are comfortable and practical, and fill gaps left by missing teeth.
- They restore bite and chewing function.
- Dental implants restore speech and make your smile whole again.
If you have questions or concerns, Dr. William Ralstin, your dental implant specialist, can help you out. Call his office, located in Fort Worth, TX, at 817-926-8700 to make an appointment today.
To keep a healthy smile, brushing and flossing your teeth every day should be at the top of your to-do list, along with regular dental visits. Dental visits are usually scheduled every six months when your dental professional will remove any built-up plaque and tartar (hardened plaque deposits) missed during everyday hygiene.
If you've experienced periodontal (gum) disease, however, these dental visits may become even more important toward preventing a re-infection. For one thing, your dentist may want to see you more frequently.
Gum disease is caused by bacteria living in dental plaque, which first infect the superficial layers of gum tissue. Even though the body initiates an inflammatory response to fight it, the infection continues to grow as long as there is plaque present to fuel it. The problem isn't just plaque on the visible tooth surface—hidden plaque beneath the gum line can create deep pockets of infection that can be difficult to treat.
To stop the infection, dentists must manually remove plaque through procedures known as scaling and root planing. Any and all plaque and tartar deposits must be removed, even those deep around the roots, to arrest the infection. This often requires several treatment sessions and sometimes gum surgery to access areas below the gum line.
These types of treatments, especially in the disease's early stages, have a good chance of restoring health to your gums. But because of the high possibility of reinfection, your dentist will need to step up your regular dental maintenance from now on. This could mean visits as frequent as every few weeks, depending on your particular case of gum disease and your dentist's recommendation.
Your dental visits after gum disease may also become more involved than before. Your dentist will now monitor you closely for any signs of reinfection and at the first sign initiate a new round of treatment. You may also need surgical procedures to make some areas around your teeth more accessible for future cleaning and maintenance.
Periodontal maintenance after gum disease helps ensure another infection doesn't rise up to undermine your progress. To paraphrase a well-known quote, eternal vigilance is the price of continuing good dental health.
Here's an alarming statistic: Nearly half of adults over 30—and 70% over 65—are affected by periodontal (gum) disease. It's sobering because if not caught and treated early, gum disease can lead to not only tooth loss but also an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
Gum disease most often begins with dental plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles that builds up on tooth surfaces mainly from poor oral hygiene. Undisturbed plaque can become a breeding ground for bacteria that cause gum infections.
Daily brushing and flossing can remove most of this plaque buildup, but you also need to get professional dental cleanings at least twice a year. This is because any plaque you missed brushing and flossing can interact with saliva and harden into calculus or tartar. This hardened plaque can't be dislodged through brushing and flossing alone, but requires special instruments used by dental professionals to remove it.
You should also be aware of other risk factors you may have that increase your chances of gum disease and take action to minimize them. For instance, you may have a higher genetic propensity toward gum disease. If so, you'll need to be extra-vigilant with personal hygiene and watch for any signs of disease.
Tobacco use, especially smoking, can double your chances of gum disease as well as make it difficult to notice any signs of disease because your gums will not bleed or swell. Quitting the habit can vastly improve your odds of avoiding an infection. Your disease risk could also be high if you have a diet heavy in sugar, which feeds bacteria. Avoiding sugary foods and eating a more dental-friendly diet can lower your disease risk.
Oral hygiene and managing any other risk factors can greatly reduce your risk for gum disease, but it won't eliminate it entirely. So, be sure you seek professional dental care at the first signs of swollen, reddened or bleeding gums. The sooner you undergo treatment for a possible gum infection, the better your chances of avoiding extensive damage to your teeth, gums and supporting bone.
The risk for gum disease goes up as we get older. But by following good hygiene and lifestyle practices, you can put yourself on the healthier side of the statistics.
If you would like more information on gum disease care and treatment, 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 “How Gum Disease Gets Started.”
Your mouth is teeming with bacteria—millions of them. But don't be alarmed: Most are benign or even beneficial. There are, however, some bacteria that cause tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease, which can damage your oral health.
These disease-causing bacteria feed and multiply within a thin biofilm of leftover food particles on tooth surfaces called dental plaque. To reduce these bacterial populations—and thus your disease risk—you'll need to keep plaque from building up through daily brushing and flossing.
Now, there's brushing and flossing—and then there's effective brushing and flossing. While both tasks are fairly simple to perform, there are some things you can do to maximize plaque removal.
Regarding the first task, you should brush once or twice a day unless your dentist advises otherwise. And "Easy does it" is the rule: Hard, aggressive scrubbing can damage your gums. A gentle, circular motion using a good quality toothbrush will get the job done. Just be sure to brush all tooth surfaces, including the nooks and crannies along the biting surfaces. On average, a complete brushing session should take about two minutes.
You should also floss at least once a day. To begin with, take about 18" of thread and wrap each end around an index or middle finger. Pulling taut and using your thumbs to help maneuver the thread, ease the floss between teeth. You then wrap it around each tooth side to form a "C" shape and gently slide the floss up and down. Continue on around until you've flossed between each tooth on both jaws.
You can get a rough idea how well you did after each hygiene session by rubbing your tongue against your teeth—they should feel slick and smooth. If you feel any grittiness, some plaque still remains. Your dentist can give you a more precise evaluation of your cleaning effectiveness at your regular dental visits. This is also when they'll clean your teeth of any missed plaque and tartar.
While professional dental cleanings are important, what you do every day to remove plaque is the real game changer for optimum oral health. Becoming a brushing and flossing "ninja" is the best way to keep your healthy smile.
If you would like more information on daily oral care, 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 “Daily Oral Hygiene: Easy Habits for Maintaining Oral Health.”