Are You Considering Veneers?

If you are unhappy with how your smile looks, you might be considering veneers. It’s a great choice, because there are many benefits to getting veneers!

What Are Veneers?

Veneers are thin shells made of porcelain that are placed on teeth to cover imperfections. They can be used to cover stains that can’t be treated with tooth whitening, but they can also help to improve the size and shape of teeth. They can also cover up small gaps and tooth misalignments. They are permanently bonded to the tooth but leave the tooth intact. These are some of the benefits of getting veneers:

  • They are durable. Although they are very thin, they are also very tough and can last for a decade or more.
  • They look great. They can be made to match the natural color of your other teeth so it won’t be obvious that you have them.
  • They are easy to care for. Veneers can’t get cavities, but the teeth underneath them can. To prevent this, make sure you care for your veneers as you do your teeth – brush twice a day, floss, and make sure to see your dentist for your regular cleanings. You should also avoid hard foods and biting down on hard, nonfood objects, such as pencils or pen caps.
  • They are painless. Getting veneers won’t hurt (it is a noninvasive procedure), and there is no downtime required after the procedure.
  • They feel natural. You’ll forget you even have them very soon after your veneer placing appointment, except that you’ll notice how great your smile looks!

Veneers do have many benefits, but unfortunately they are not for everyone. You should have healthy teeth and gums and no major dental issues, and, as with any cosmetic dental procedure, you should have realistic expectations about what the outcome will be. Veneers can’t correct major damage, but your dentist will be able to recommend a treatment that can.

Porcelain veneers are little, delicate things, but they can improve your smile dramatically. If you are considering veneers, contact Avenue Dental for a consultation appointment. Call the office in Ypsilanti, Michigan, at (734) 484-4710, today!

Why Are My Teeth So Sensitive?

We’ve all been there – you take a sip of your hot tea or a bite of ice cream, and pain shoots through your teeth. It can be annoying, but what does it mean if you have sensitive teeth? Is it something you should see your dentist about?

What Causes Sensitive Teeth?

You may notice that your teeth aren’t just sensitive to hot and cold. Sweets, acidic foods, and mouthwash containing alcohol can also cause tooth pain. Even breathing in air that is too cold through your mouth can be painful! Teeth that are often sensitive can indicate that you do have a serious problem.

Here are some things that can cause sensitive teeth:

  • A lack of enamel. Some people are just born with only a thin layer of enamel, the protective outer layer, on their teeth.
  • Brushing habits. Brushing your teeth too aggressively or using a toothbrush with bristles that are too hard can result in sensitivity.
  • Your diet. You may eat or drink too many acidic foods and beverages. Your diet might also contribute to acid reflux, which causes acid to come up from the stomach and esophagus, which can damage teeth.
  • Your oral health. You may have tooth decay, worn down fillings, or broken teeth. Receding gums is another potential cause of sensitivity.
  • Bruxism. Grinding your teeth can do all kinds of damage to teeth, which can make them sensitive.

What Can You Do About Sensitive Teeth?

You should visit your dentist as soon as you can if your teeth are painful and sensitive. If your sensitivity is caused by a problem such as tooth decay or tooth damage, these should be treated right away to avoid even more serious issues. If your teeth are sensitive for other reasons, your dentist may suggest using a special toothpaste or mouthwash or may have some tips for you on how to brush more gently.

Having teeth that are so sensitive that you can’t enjoy your favorite food or drinks is no way to go through life! Schedule an appointment today at Avenue Dental for help. Call the office in Ypsilanti, Michigan, at (734) 484-4710, today!

Which Is Better: An Electric or a Manual Toothbrush?

You may think that as long as you rub a toothbrush over your teeth at least once a day that your teeth are clean enough – that’s better than nothing, right? But this isn’t true! If you are going to brush your teeth you should make the most of that effort – and keep your teeth as clean and healthy as they possibly can be – by using an electric toothbrush!

Why Use an Electric Toothbrush?

There are many reasons why electric toothbrushes are superior to manual ones:

  • They are more thorough. Some electric toothbrushes have bristles that rotate in different directions at the same time, to thoroughly remove plaque and debris.
  • They are scientifically proven to be better. It isn’t just the opinion of a few electric toothbrush users – studies have shown that electric toothbrushes do a better job than manual ones. Studies have also shown that people who use an electric toothbrush tend to keep their natural teeth for longer than those who use a manual toothbrush. And, other research has shown that electric toothbrush users have healthier gums.
  • They teach you to brush better. Some electric toothbrushes have a built-in timer to make sure that you brush for 2 minutes (the recommended length of time for brushing). Others can be connected to an app with games, which teaches kids to brush better while having fun.
  • They are worth the cost. While it is true that electric toothbrushes are much more expensive than manual ones, you’ll make up for this cost with fewer dental bills and less time you have to take off of work to have problems taken care of at the dentist.

To really get the most out of the time you spend taking care of your teeth, invest in an electric toothbrush! You’ll notice a difference the first time you use it and you’ll never want to go back to a manual toothbrush. If you have pain in your teeth or gums, or if you just want to show off how clean your teeth are after using an electric toothbrush, schedule a checkup at Avenue Dental. Call the office in Ypsilanti, Michigan, at (734) 484-4710, today!

What Is a Dental Implant?

If you are missing a tooth, you have a few different options. A dental implant is one way to deal with a missing tooth, and dental implants have so many benefits over other options. But what exactly is a dental implant?

How do dental implants replace teeth?

If you are missing teeth, it is important for your oral health that you do something to replace them. An empty space where a tooth should be gives your other teeth the chance to move around, which can cause problems with your teeth and, eventually, pain in your jaw.

If you and your dentist decide that a dental implant is right for you, the process begins with your dentist surgically placing a titanium post into your jawbone. The bone and the post fuse together (which can take a few months), and the post can then act as the “roots” of your new tooth. When the post and bone have fused, an abutment is placed on the post, and then the crown (your new tooth) is placed on the abutment.

Dental implants are a great option to replace a tooth. They are very natural looking, and no one will even be able to tell you have one. They also feel very natural, and they are easy to take care of – you simply brush and floss as you would your natural teeth. Dental implants can also help to keep your jawbone healthy.

You may be concerned about the pain involved in the placement of the post; most patients report that this part of the procedure is less painful than having a tooth extracted. You might feel some discomfort for a few days after the procedure, but over-the-counter pain medication is usually enough to help. After the procedure, you should make sure to rest and relax, eat soft foods, and use icepacks on your cheek to help with any discomfort.

Yet another benefit of dental implants is the beautiful smile you’ll have and the confidence that comes with it! If you are interested in dental implants, contact Avenue Dental for a consultation. Call the office in Ypsilanti, Michigan, at (734) 484-4710, today!

Should you be concerned about canker sores?

The team at Avenue Dental wants you to have a healthy, beautiful smile – and they also want to do all they can to make sure that you never have a problem with your oral health that causes you pain or discomfort. Canker sores are little things but they can definitely cause pain! So what are canker sores, and what can you do about them?

What are canker sores?

Canker sores can form on your soft palate, under your tongue, or inside your cheeks or lips. They are painful and annoying but are not contagious. They are yellowish-white ulcers, and they are different than cold sores, which are caused by the herpes virus and are very contagious.

They are very common, and they may be triggered by a few different things, such as: stress; hormone shifts; an iron or other vitamin deficiency; a food sensitivity (some people may notice canker sores after eating eggs, nuts, cheese, or chocolate); an injury to your mouth (such as a sports injury); an irritation to your mouth (such as braces or other dental work rubbing up against your cheek); or they may be caused by a reaction to sodium lauryl sulfate, which is found in mouth rinses and toothpaste. They might also be a sign of an underlying disease or condition, such as celiac disease or HIV/AIDS.

How are canker sores treated?

Most canker sores will go away in 7 to 10 days, which can feel like a long time when you are in pain every time you move your mouth. There are over-the-counter ointments and pain relievers available that can help you to find some relief. A mixture of half hydrogen peroxide and half water dabbed on the canker sore a few times a day can help ease the discomfort and can help your sore to heal a bit faster. However, if you keep getting canker sores, it might be time to see your doctor to determine if there is an underlying cause, such as a vitamin deficiency.

If you need help keeping your mouth healthy and beautiful, contact Avenue Dental. Call the office in Ypsilanti, Michigan, at (734) 484-4710, today!

What is that spot on my gums?

You strive to take excellent care of your teeth; they are beautiful, straight, and white. And then one day you notice a dark spot on your gums, which doesn’t look good, and it definitely doesn’t look natural. You are concerned with the aesthetics of this, but even more concerning – is this spot a sign of a serious health problem?

Amalgam tattoos

The good news is that, most likely, this spot is nothing to be concerned about. The odds are good that this is just something known as an “amalgam tattoo,” the result of an amalgam filling that you probably got a long time ago.

Nowadays, cavities are filled with a composite/ceramic material that is the color of your teeth, but if you are over a certain age, you may still have some amalgam fillings. Amalgam fillings are made of a combination of materials such as mercury, tin, copper, and silver. These fillings can sink down into the gums (and can even end up in the lips, tongue, or cheeks) and cause a grayish or black spot. Parts of an amalgam filling can get pushed down into gum tissue if your dentist is removing the filling or drilling out tooth decay.

Although amalgam tattoos are pretty common and nothing to worry about, they do resemble mucosal melanomas, which are something to be concerned about! Mucosal melanomas are a rare but deadly form of cancer that typically affects people who have used tobacco products for many years. Besides an odd-looking spot, another symptom is swelling in the mouth – you might notice that your dentures don’t fit as well as they used to because of this. If you think you might have a mucosal melanoma, you should see your dentist or your doctor right away. They can perform an examination and can x-ray the spot to determine what exactly it is.

Are you concerned that something about your teeth or gums just doesn’t look right? Are you having pain in your teeth – or is it just time for a cleaning? Maybe it is time to make an appointment with Avenue Dental! Call the office in Ypsilanti, Michigan, at (734) 484-4710!

Thumb Sucking and Your Child’s Oral Health

Does your child have a habit of sucking his or her thumb? As they get older, you may start to wonder if this might be affecting how their teeth are developing and if it might cause problems in the future. Read on for some more information about thumb sucking and what the professionals have to say about it.

What will years of thumb sucking do to your child’s teeth?

Thumb sucking is very common in babies and toddlers – they do it as a way to calm themselves when they are upset or anxious. However, around the age of 3 or 4, this habit can start to cause damage. The constant pressure of the thumb can cause the front teeth to jut forward and the teeth that are coming in to be out of alignment. Eventually, this can lead to crooked teeth (and the need for orthodontics) and even jaw problems and pain.

How can you stop your child from thumb sucking?

In the best case scenario, your child may just quit on their own. They may start to notice if they are the only one in the play group who sucks their thumb, and they may quit because they feel self-conscious. However, most parents know that things usually aren’t that easy with kids!

There are many different techniques out there you can try to stop the thumb sucking habit. Reward systems are always popular with kids; you could use a sticker chart and give them a sticker for each day they don’t suck their thumb, with a bigger reward after a week of no thumb sucking. You could try to taper it off, by only allowing thumb sucking at bedtime. There are also thumb guards out there that can physically prevent any thumb sucking. And of course, your dentist may have their own tried and true way to help your child break the habit.

Thumb sucking can be a bad habit that can be harmful to your child’s oral health. For help taking care of the whole family’s oral health, make an appointment with Avenue Dental today. Call the office in Ypsilanti, Michigan, at (734) 484-4710!

Should you be using charcoal toothpaste?

Some people are convinced that “all-natural” products are the way to go – and this includes toothpaste made from natural ingredients. Charcoal toothpaste has become more popular in the past few years as a natural solution and a product that whitens teeth, but is it something you should be using?

Why do people use charcoal toothpaste?

First of all, you should know this isn’t the same kind of charcoal that you use to light your barbecue. It is made from natural materials, such as wood and coconut shells, that are ground into a fine powder. It is a big trend now to use charcoal in beauty and health products, such as face scrubs, face masks, and, of course, toothpaste.

Besides wanting a natural product, people may use charcoal toothpaste because they don’t like the mint or cinnamon flavor that other toothpastes have. Other people swear that their charcoal toothpaste helps to keep their teeth white, removes stains, and even prevents bad breath.

However, there is no real, scientific proof that charcoal toothpaste really does these things. It can actually end up making teeth look less white and more dingy – charcoal is abrasive and can wear down tooth enamel. This not only makes teeth more sensitive, but this exposes the dentin underneath, which is yellow.

Most brands of charcoal toothpaste also don’t have fluoride in them, which is an important ingredient for keeping teeth healthy. And, yet another reason why you might not want to use charcoal toothpaste is that no one is really sure what the long-term effects of using charcoal toothpaste might be, and it is also unclear how it might affect veneers, bridges, and other restorations.

Deciding on a toothpaste may seem like it should be an easy decision, but for some people it’s not! Maybe you want a natural toothpaste, or maybe you are looking for something besides those “minty” toothpastes that irritate your mouth. If you need help finding the right toothpaste for you or with keeping your oral health the best it can be, the staff at Avenue Dental can help. Call the office in Ypsilanti, Michigan, for an appointment, at (734) 484-4710 today!

What is a tooth abscess?

You should always take good care of your teeth – not just so they look great, but also so that they can serve you well throughout your life. It is also important to take care of your teeth so that you can avoid serious problems, beyond just plaque. One such serious problem is a tooth abscess. Read on for more information about tooth abscesses and how you can avoid them!

What causes a tooth abscess?

A tooth abscess is an infected tooth. It can become infected when you have a chip, crack, or a cavity in the tooth that is left untreated. Bacteria gets into the tooth, and infection forms in between the root and the gums, or it may be located just at the root.

An abscess isn’t something you can treat at home. Pus and bacteria begin to collect, and it just gets worse. The infection can damage the teeth around it and eventually even the jaw bone. The infection can even spread to the rest of the body and cause very serious health issues.

Signs that you might have a tooth abscess include teeth that are sensitive to hot or cold, gums that are very tender, tooth pain, and a swollen area of the jaw. You may even have a fever and swollen neck glands because of the infection.

You should see your dentist right away if you have a damaged tooth, to prevent bacteria from collecting and causing an infection. If you do have an abscess, your dentist will try to save the tooth by draining the abscess and killing the bacteria. You may need to have a root canal so that the infected tissue can be removed from the tooth, and if the infection is very serious you might have to have the tooth removed.

It is important to take good care of your teeth, not just so you have a brilliant smile, but for your health as well. Brush at least twice a day, floss at least once a day, and see your dentist for cleanings twice a year. If you are having tooth pain, contact Avenue Dental in Ypsilanti, Michigan, for an appointment. Call (734) 484-4710 today!

Does an oral piercing affect your oral health?

Are you thinking about getting an oral piercing? They are all the rage nowadays – a piercing through the lip, tongue, or another part of the mouth. However, if you are thinking of getting an oral piercing, there are some things you should be aware of, both for your overall and oral health.

Will an oral piercing damage my teeth?

It is possible that your oral piercing can end up doing damage to your teeth – for example, by causing chips or cracks in the tooth, which can lead to infection if not treated quickly. But an oral piercing can also cause damage to your gums, by rubbing against them and causing them to recede. An oral piercing can also do damage to crowns or other restorations.

Oral piercings can cause other problems, too. They can increase the amount of saliva in your mouth, which can make it difficult to talk, chew, and even swallow. And, they can cause an infection if bacteria gets into your mouth by way of the piercing. In the very worst case scenario, this bacteria can get into your blood stream and cause other health issues, such as endocarditis (inflammation of the heart).

Caring for your oral piercing

If you do decide to get an oral piercing, the most important thing you can do is to keep it clean. Brush and floss thoroughly and often, and make sure you visit your dentist at least twice a year so that he or she can check and make sure that your piercing isn’t causing any problems.

You should also avoid playing with your piercing, putting nonfood items in your mouth (such as pen caps and pencils), and using tobacco products, as these can increase the risk of infection. If you are playing a sport where there is potential for contact with another player, you should take your piercing out before the game, so that it doesn’t get caught on something or end up smashing into your teeth.

Take care of your oral piercing, and take care of your oral health! If you do have any issues with your oral piercing (or even if it is just time for a cleaning), contact Avenue Dental in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Call (734) 484-4710 today!