Ways to Remain Calm When a Dental Emergency Arises

Dental emergencyWhen you find yourself facing a dental emergency, it is important that you remain calm. When you are calm, you think more clearly and you are able to function better. When facing a dental emergency, if you panic, you could hurt the person more who was already in pain, and make things worse.

Making yourself remain calm is not always easy, but if you know what to do before the moment hits, it can make things easier on you. Here are a few things that you can do to help remain calm if you ever find yourself facing any type of dental emergency.

Helping Yourself Remain Calm to Function During a Dental Emergency

The first thing that you can do to avoid the freak out that comes with a dental emergency is by having a regular dentist that you can trust. If you don’t have a dentist to turn to when a dental emergency pops up, it can cause you to panic even more, trying to figure out what to do.

Next, make sure that you remember that an untreated emergency is only going to get worse. Many times, people know that worrying is going to slow things down. If you can focus on getting help as soon as possible, this can help alleviate some of the fear and allow you to stay calm and get help.

Finally, remember that the more you worry, the higher your blood pressure goes. This can increase bleeding, swelling, and pain. Make yourself stay relaxed until you are in a dentist’s chair, then you can let the dentist worry for you.

Contact our office today. We want to have a good relationship with you and build up that rapport. Let us show you that we will be there, no matter what, by turning to us when you really need it.

Ways to Relax to Stop Clenching Your Teeth

woman experiencing bruxismMost people don’t know the term bruxism, but are familiar with the idea. When you get stressed out, you tend to bite down and clench your teeth, or grind them back and forth. This is common, but it is also dangerous to your teeth.

If you have been struggling with clenching, then you need to figure out ways of keeping your teeth protected. One way you can do that is by learning to relax so you don’t keep causing damage to your teeth.

Nighttime grinding can also be a result of breathing problems such as sleep apnea. If you are experiencing grinding along with daytime sleepiness see a physician who specializes in sleep medicine. If you do have sleep apnea we can fabricate a dental sleep appliance to keep you breathing during the night.

Simple Relaxation Options to Keep Your Jaw Relaxed

Taking a moment to stop and take a deep breath can do a lot when it comes to keeping yourself calm and relaxed. Just stopping, inhaling deeply, then exhaling through pursed lips can help you relax and refocus on whatever is going on, allowing you to regain control.

Getting regular massages can help you remain more relaxed. It allows you to remain in control, and it keeps your body looser, making it to where you clench your jaws less.

Exercise can help you get your mind focused without the need to tense up any part of your body. It helps to keep you healthy, but it also allows your body to relax more between times that you exercise.

Meditation also gives you the opportunity to remain relaxed, more often than not. You can meditate during different parts of the day, and then still remain relaxed during the rest of the day.

Making a note whenever you begin to clench is another way of keeping that from happening as much. Once you recognize that you are clenching your jaw, you can contact our office. The mouth guards they can provide can go a long way towards protecting your teeth from the damage that clenching can cause.

How Can You Tell if Your Teeth are Shifting Around?

As you get older, you may notice some of your teeth becoming crowded, or overlapping. This is caused by several factors, some natural and some not so much.

You can tell in some regards because of physical appearance, sometimes you can tell by the feeling, and other times you may experience pain associated with the shift.

It can happen gradually or suddenly, and can actually lead to tooth loss.  If caught early, there are some limited options, but not always.

Why Does This Happen, and What Can I Do?

Tooth mobility can be caused by many things. It can have to do with gum disease, trauma, or even just aging. Any of these causes can have varying degrees of severity, and it is difficult to evaluate any repair options at the source. It is all very dependent. If the teeth are salvageable as they begin to move, options are limited.

One potential help is wearing a retainer daily and attempting to keep the teeth in the places that they are currently in. Another option is replacing certain teeth with implants, to keep other teeth from crowding to fill in the gap. Braces are a potential option, and veneers or crowns can also cosmetically enhance your smile back to what it was before.

It is natural, and if it is due to an infection or unnatural cause, there are options to repair the infection. While there are not a lot of options to fix it, there are some, and these options are made available to our patients.

We do everything we can to give you back all the confidence you need to beam brightly at everyone you see. Contact our office to see what we can do for you, and to see what option would best suit your various needs and financial budget.

Dangers of Self-Diagnosing Dental Problems without Seeing a Dentist

Woman with dental problemsLong story short, you could be wrong. Let’s say you have been experiencing a toothache or other dental problems for quite some time. You think long and hard about what it must be before making your decision. Perhaps you google it.

You think you have found out what the problem must be, and in that case you believe you now know how to fix it. Self-treatment is a whole different ball game. But self-diagnosing can be just as dangerous.

You Could Be Wrong

You looked around on the internet for a while, and while you think about what you are feeling, you are convinced it must just be a cavity. That can wait a little while, you think. I’ll pencil in an appointment when I have time, you think. So, you go on with your life. While you are, though, the bacterial infection in your jaw that is really there is rotting your tooth from the inside out. By the time you come to see us, you wind up needing oral surgery to get everything flushed out.

So? Moral of the story? Don’t guess. Dentists have many more years of experience with this than you do. We have the technology to see what you can’t, the collaboration to discuss findings to ensure a correct diagnosis, and the schooling to know what to look for. What you brush off could very easily be something so much worse.

A lot can go wrong when it comes to the mouth, but a lot can get worse when left alone. If you are feeling any kind of pain or discomfort, we urge you to contact our office.

We can spot easily spot dental problems and take care of them in a jiffy, no hassles and no potential for it to be left untreated until it is eventually becomes even a bigger problem. We are here to help and to find a solution that is in your best interest.


Are You Causing Your Own Enamel Loss?

Woman with loss of enamelLosing the enamel that coats your teeth can be a really bad occurrence for your mouth. It can leave you with a bunch of painful cavities, plus really sensitive teeth. Your teeth may hurt with each bite or drink you take, leaving you miserable. The best way to avoid this pain is to keep your teeth ultra-healthy.

This means that you brush and floss like your dentist tells you to, and you go in and see your dentist on schedule. Plus, it also means you take care to keep the enamel on your teeth.

Issues That May Be Costing You Enamel

If you do things like chewing on ice, pens, and fingernails, you are damaging your teeth. It wears down your teeth, costing you valuable and precious enamel. Don’t let your teeth become painful from a bad habit. Instead, stop these bad habits and let your teeth heal back up.

Eating the wrong foods can be costing your own enamel to degrade. Diets that are high in starches and sugars can cost you enamel, as those foods break down into sugar that feeds the bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria feed on sugars, which increases how much damage they are capable of doing. Changing your diet to one that is full of protein and produce, ideally vegetables, can go a long way towards restoring your enamel.

Drinking sports drinks, fruit juice, and soda all the time can cut down on how much enamel you have. These drinks are full of acid, and that acid erodes your enamel. Switch over to water, and you will likely notice a significant difference in the durability of the enamel on your teeth.

Contact our office if you have any questions about what you may be doing that is harming your teeth. They can examine your mouth, and give you some pointers on how to make your mouth healthier!

Are Porcelain Dental Veneers Permanent?

Before porcelain dental veneers

My patient’s smile before treatment

In nearly all cases, once well fabricated porcelain dental veneers are put on teeth they will not come off. Veneers are typically adhered to teeth that have been trimmed down, allowing for the veneer to fit tightly against the natural tooth.

This gives the veneer a more natural and seamless appearance. There are a select few who are able to get veneers put on without any type of preparation ahead of time. Attempting veneers without reshaping can often result in bulky opaque looking teeth which are not esthetically desirable.

You Should Expect to Maintain Your Porcelain Dental Veneers After You Get Them Placed

Ten porcelain dental veneers

Ten porcelain dental veneers done by Dr. Shapiro

Porcelain dental veneers are put on typically as a cosmetic cover, but they are a very strong cover when well bonded.  They can be a great answer for a wide variety of issues, including stained teeth, teeth that have cracks or chips, or even teeth with unsightly gaps between them. However, they are also adhered to a tooth that has been trimmed, or shaved, down slightly. That minor trimming allows the veneer to fit up against the tooth more securely, giving you the most natural outcome.

They typically last anywhere from 15-25  years, when cared for properly. Well maintained veneers can potentially last a lifetime. Only a very small percentage of people who opt for veneers are able to get the kind that require no tooth preparation. If you are one of this tiny percentage, then you may have veneers that can be removed without any problems with your teeth. However, only your dentist can tell you if this is the case.

For more information on the options you have to improve your smile please contact our office. We can take a look at your teeth, and give you a really good idea on what options would work best for your mouth. Then, you can make the choice as to what procedures you want done to beautify your smile.

Keep Smiling LI…

Great Smile-Great Life

A Great Healthy Smile

Great healthy smileWhat really is a great smile? A great smile is one that supports you emotionally and physically. It is a healthy smile.  It is one that you don’t have to think twice about when meeting someone for the first time. Today that usually means white natural looking teeth that are well positioned and well proportioned. We often see teeth that are too white and unnatural looking, that have a tendency to take on a  life of their own. To me a smile is great when it complements the face without being overly prominent. It doesn’t call attention to itself while supporting the rest of the facial characteristics. It just fits that persons face.

Social Implications of a Smile

We live in a very esthetic world. It has been researched that people with great smiles are perceived as being happier, friendlier, healthier and more trustworthy. People are more likely to date someone with a great smile. People with a great smile are more likely to get a job and have a higher salary. You can view the infographic that this information is based on here. So the message here is if you are looking for a mate, or looking to keep your mate, having a great healthy smile will only help the situation.

A Healthy Smile

The reality is that a great healthy smile will do more then get you a better social life and a higher income. A healthy smile can help you to age better and stay healthier. Research has shown that by maintaining a healthy mouth you can add years onto your life and stay healthier in the process. Gum disease has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and many more illness. The link is inflammation, as inflammatory proteins triggered by unhealthy gums circulate throughout the body. It is amazing how people don’t think twice about bleeding gums while bleeding from any other part of their body would be alarming.

Aging and Your Smile

As we age our teeth often wear down. This especially can happen to the front teeth giving the edges of your front teeth a very flat, worn appearance. This combined with years of stain accumulation creates that old worn out smile. When you look at yourself and you see that old smile looking back just how young can you actually feel. I believe that keeping  the thoughts in your head young can keep your body young. How many people do you know with worn broken down smiles that age gracefully?

There have also been a number of studies that relate poor dental health to mortality in the elderly population. Missing teeth and gum disease have a direct correlation to increased death rates and I might add quality of life in the elderly population. Getting proper nutrition can be difficult, it is harder to chew and food choices are limited when you are missing your teeth. Just look at the number of residents of nursing homes who are missing their teeth. It would be nice to think that that standard of living will not be a part of our future.

It’s Easier then You Think

Having a great smile that is supportive of your life is probably a lot easier than you think. Advanced dental techniques can stop the disease process and give you that healthy great looking smile that can last forever. For some patients the process can happen in a matter of days. The main thing is that for each step along the way you are comfortable and happy with your progress. Don’t let a poor unhealthy smile rob you of the quality and years of your life that you deserve. The choice is yours to make.

If you are interested in finding out what Dr. Shapiro can do for you please call us for a complementary consultation. What do you have to lose?










Are Cavities Easy to Find?

Dentist looking for cavitiesCavities (decay) can be a very elusive animal. There are some cavities that are very easy to spot. They are so large that they have done visual damage to a tooth and your dentist can find it without any type of machinery, just their eyes. However, some cavities are minimal at best, and are hiding deep in your tooth. That can make finding a cavity even with an x-ray nearly impossible.

Just because you have a cavity now, doesn’t mean that it recently appeared. Some cavities have slowly grown to where they can be found over a pretty significant period of time.

Options Dentists Have for Finding Cavities

The first thing your dentist is going to use to spot a cavity is their eyes. They typically use their eyes in conjunction with a few tools that are used to poke around your mouth looking for soft spots in your teeth, and discoloration that are typical with tooth decay. They often use a mirror an a dental tool called an explorer as well, to inspect the hard to see areas.

Next, they have x-rays. These show some areas of decay, but they need to be either relatively large, or they need to be in between the teeth to be easily seen. There are areas that are going to show up on an x-ray as a shadow, but they may not be a cavity, so this is not always conclusive, either. The experience of the dentist will determine just how expert he/she is in detecting decay on an x-ray. Today we have digital x-rays that allow the dentist to find decay more readily.

Finally, some dentists are using laser waves to detect changes in the density of the tooth. This device is call the Diagnodent. We have been using this at The Center for Cosmetic Dentistry for quite some time to evaluate potentially decayed areas.  We are having very good luck finding cavities sooner with this new technology.

If you want to make sure your mouth is free of cavities, go in and see your dentist every six months. That way, they can keep a close eye out for the early signs of cavities. The earlier we find the decay the easier the fix and the more predictable the restoration.

Please contact our office today if you have any questions about cavities.

Are You Brushing for Too Long Each Day?

Were you aware that you could brush your teeth for too long each day? It’s true. You can over-brush your teeth, and it can cause a lot of damage. You could end up hurting not only your teeth, but you could even end up hurting your gum tissues, too. Time how long you brush one of these times, and see if you are falling in between the two and three minute window that most dentists recommend for each session. If you are, you may need to cut back just a little bit.

Brushing Too Long Can Hurt You

You shouldn’t brush for less than two minutes each time you brush, as it isn’t really getting very much debris off of your teeth. However, you also shouldn’t brush for longer than three minutes each time you brush, either. You want to find a spot right in between the two for the vast majority of brushings. The occasional over or under is fine, so long as it isn’t a regular habit.

If you brush too long, you could cause damage to your gums and other oral tissues, and you could end up damaging your teeth. If you also brush too hard, you can leave your teeth sensitive or in pain. Gentle brushing that lasts 2-3 minutes is exactly what most mouths need.

For anyone that isn’t sure if they are brushing the right way, the best person to ask is your dentist. Have them take a look around your mouth and see what condition everything is in. From there, they can tell you how to brush to where your mouth gets the clean it needs, without the side effects that no one, including your dentist, want you to go through. Contact our office today!

Are Glass Fillings In Your Future?

While composite fillings are made partly with glass, they are not the only type of filling with glass. There are also glass ionomer fillings that can be used in your teeth. There are only specific uses for glass fillings, but they can be a great option for the right part of your teeth where composite fillings may not be ideal.

If you are in need of a filling on a part of your tooth that does not have pressure applied to it directly, you may find your dentist telling you that they would recommend a glass filling.

When to Turn to a Glass Filling

Glass fillings can be brittle. Too, brittle, in fact, to be used on a chewing or pressurized surface of your tooth. However, when you need a filling on the outside or the neck of your tooth, it can be the ideal solution.

Glass ionomer fillings are able to bond directly to the dentin and the remaining surface of the tooth and set up, giving you a full filling that can then be polished and set up to look like the rest of your tooth. Glass isn’t known for being able to be polished up as nicely as a composite filling, but it can be an easier option for in your mouth, and it can also be cheaper.

The biggest thing that a glass filling has going for it is its ability to seal up the entire inside of the filling. It is put into the tooth in a liquefied form, which allows it to take up all available space within your tooth. This helps to protect the inside of your tooth from decay on a deeper level than is usually found in any other type of filling. If you want to find out more about glass fillings, contact our office today!