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    • 02 OCT 18
    • 0

    Amalgam vs. Composite Resin Fillings

    Your body has an amazing ability to repair and heal itself. As an example, when you break a bone, your body can create new cells that “glue” the broken bone back together. However, the body’s ability to repair itself doesn’t include your teeth. Once you injure a tooth or develop a cavity in it, your body can’t repair the tooth itself.

    If you do develop a cavity in one of your teeth, your dentist can provide you with a range of options to repair and fill the problem tooth. In this blog we’ll just focus on the two most popular common fillings, amalgam and composite resin.

    Amalgam Fillings

    Most people know amalgam fillings as silver or mercury fillings because they are made from silver, copper, tin, zinc and mercury. They’ve been used by dentists for nearly 200 years. When combined, the metals initially produce a soft material that the dentist uses to fill your tooth. Quite quickly, however, the metals harden as they combine. Multiple studies have shown that amalgam fillings are safe. Although pure mercury is toxic, the mercury found in amalgam fillings is locked inside when the filling hardens and is therefore not harmful.

    Composite Fillings

    Composite resin fillings are also called white fillings, tooth-colored fillings or direct veneers. They are made my using bits of silica and covering them with a plastic resin compound. This is a newer approach to fillings used by dentists, and the technology is constantly improving. When a dentist fills a tooth with a composite filling, it has the consistency of modeling clay until a bright blue light is shined on the filling by the dentist. A series of chemical reactions hardens the composite resin into a sturdy material that resembles your natural tooth.

    How Do You Decide What to Choose?

    Here’s a list of nine factors you should consider when deciding on whether you should get an amalgam filling or composite filling.

    1 – Amalgam fillings are stronger than composite fillings. Amalgam fillings are often used on the back teeth because of their strength. Your back teeth absorb the most force when you bite down and/or chew.

    2 – Composite fillings are more expensive than amalgam fillings. If you’re on a tight budget, amalgam may be your best choice.

    3 – Amalgam fillings last longer than composite fillings. Eventually, composite fillings will last as long as amalgam. But that time isn’t here yet, so if you want your filling to last a long time, pick amalgam.

    4 – Composite fillings are less noticeable than silver amalgam fillings. Most people won’t notice an amalgam filling on your back teeth. But if you don’t like the look of silver, go with composite.

    5 – Amalgam fillings contain mercury. It is true – small amounts of mercury are released by amalgam fillings – but it’s less than you get from eating fish. However, if you are allergic to mercury, an amalgam filling could be a problem.

    6 – Composite fillings may leak out Bisphenol-A. In large enough doses, the chemical bisphenol-A can be toxic. However, studies have found that the amount of Bisphenol-A released from a filling is unlikely to cause any harm.

    7 – Amalgam fillings require the dentist to remove healthy tooth structure. Since amalgam fillings don’t bond to the tooth like composite fillings, the dentist has to make the filling wider at the bottom than it is at the top so that the tooth will hold the filling in place. In order to do this, the dentist usually has to cut away healthy tooth structure. With composite fillings, the dentist can simply remove the decay and then place the filling without cutting away healthy tooth structure to retain the filling.

    8 – Composite fillings shrink when they harden. Most composite fillings get somewhere between 2-5% smaller when they harden. Sometimes this can lead to gaps between the filling and the tooth which allow bacteria to enter and start a new cavity. Other times, when a large composite filling shrinks as it hardens, it can put stress on the tooth which results in increased sensitivity of the affected tooth. The effect of the shrinkage can be minimized if the dentist adds the composite in small, incremental layers.

    9 – Composite fillings are more technique-sensitive. This means that the dentist has to pay close attention to detail when placing a composite filling. For example, if your dentist doesn’t properly prepare the tooth with an etching solution for a specific amount of time, or if they do, but some of your saliva gets onto the tooth after it is etched, the filling may not attach to the tooth tightly and could end up leaking and ultimately needing to be replaced after only a year or two.  Our dentists have lots of experience doing white fillings and will do a good job.

    Give us a call to discuss any questions you may have about amalgam vs. composite resin fillings. We would be happy to answer your questions and give you additional information.

    Source: WebMD, DentalFearCentral.com

    • 26 SEP 18
    • 0

    Dealing with Tooth Discoloration

    If you’re pearly whites aren’t so bright anymore, the discoloration of your teeth can be linked to an array of reasons. The three primary reasons that your teeth can become discolored are staining, childhood problems, or aging issues. Here are the details of each reason for tooth discoloration:

    Extrinsic Discoloration — Your teeth’s outer enamel become stained from drinking beverages like wine, coffee or soda or eating intensely-colored foods like blueberries. Smoking is also a big cause of teeth discoloration.

    Intrinsic Discoloration — When the inner structure of your tooth (called dentin) becomes exposed or darkens, it is called intrinsic discoloration. What causes this? The primary culprits are overexposure to fluoride during early childhood; trauma to your permanent or baby teeth; and/or exposure to tetracycline antibiotics while your mother was pregnant with you or as a child before age 8 years old. There is also a rare condition called dentinogenesis imperfecta that causes discoloration.

    Age-Related Discoloration — Tooth enamel will become worn as you age, which will allow dentin’s yellow color to become exposed. Also, millions of micro-cracks accumulate in your teeth’s enamel as you age – they are caused by chewing and grinding – and the micro-cracks fill up with debris and hold stains causing a dullness in teeth over time.

    What Are Your Treatment Options?

    You have a wide range of choices when it comes to whitening your teeth. You can visit your dentist for professional whitening or go with an over-the-counter method to save money. Here are your options for whitening your teeth:

    At Home Whitening Toothpastes: This at-home approach may remove some of your minor stains, but whitening toothpastes won’t actually whiten the overall color of your teeth.

    Over-the-Counter Whitening Products: This approach is fairly inexpensive, but the products used are weaker than what you’ll find at your dentist so they aren’t as effective. You apply a whitening gel to a mouthpiece or use whitening strips in this approach. Over time, especially with the mouthpiece approach, you’ll see some lightening of your teeth. But because the mouthpiece isn’t fitted to your mouth, it won’t be as effective as a mouthpiece created by your dentist for just your mouth.

    Power Bleaching: This is a procedure used by dental offices that involves using either hydrogen peroxide gel or carbamide. The bleaching agent is applied in the dental office or at home by the patient. Some dentists use a whitening light in addition to the gel while you’re in the office. This can often result in changes to your teeth discoloration in less than an hour.

    Dentist Grade Whitening Trays: These use a more concentrated bleaching gel and a custom-fitted mouth guard provided by your dentist.

    Composite Bonding Materials: Your dentist can use a bonding material to cover your teeth and to match color.

    Veneers: These cover cosmetic imperfections and match color using thin ceramic shells applied by your dentist that cover the outer surfaces of the teeth.

    If you are interested in finding out more about your options for a brighter smile, give Personal Care Dentistry a call at (651) 636-0655.

    Source: Colgate, Food and Drug Administration (FDA)           

    • 18 SEP 18
    • 0

    Six Foods to Pump Up Your Oral Health

    Many people don’t realize that certain foods and drinks can enhance your oral health. From chocolate to cheese, this set of super foods help strengthen your gums and teeth, battle bacteria in your mouth, and wash away or scrub away sugars that cause cavities. Consume these six foods and drinks and you’ll have a brighter and happier smile!

    Crunchy Vegies and Fruits

    Some vegetables and fruits are high in fiber and act like mini “scrubbers” when you eat them, cleaning your teeth. In addition, they increase the production of saliva in your mouth, helping to wash away bacteria that are attached to your teeth. Plus sugar in your mouth from other foods will have a tougher time sticking to your teeth because of the increased saliva. Fruits and vegetables high in fiber include raw apples, carrots, cauliflower, jicama, celery and broccoli.

    Adorable Dark Chocolate

    Dark chocolate that is at least 70% cacao is a smile helper if eaten in moderation. It contains a compound that helps to harden tooth enamel and prevent cavities. Eat one square per day – but be sure it’s dark chocolate, not milk chocolate, which is higher in sugar and doesn’t contain the compound that helps your teeth.

    Pass the Cheese

    Cheese is packed with calcium and protein and contains very little sugar – perfect for good oral health. Cheese also lowers the acid level in your mouth, which reduces your odds of developing cavities. Plus cheese helps your teeth remineralize and lowers the chances of decay. Don’t forget milk as an oral health booster – it also contains lots of calcium and protein and is good at washing away sugars in your mouth.

    Try Some Tea

    Polyphenols are efficient bacteria killers and both green and black teas are loaded with polyphenols. Killing bacteria in your mouth is a good thing, since bacteria produce acids which destroy your tooth enamel. And bacteria’s food of choice is sugar, so if you have a cup of tea following dinner you’ll get a triple assist for your oral health – killing bacteria, washing away sugar, and replenishing your saliva.

    Good Food from the Sea

    Seafoods are wonderful for your oral health because they are full of protein and contain natural fluoride. Together, they make your teeth stronger and help prevent cavities. They are also chock-full of Vitamin D, which helps you absorb calcium from your diet. You want to encourage calcium absorption, since it helps your gums and teeth battle disease that can impact your oral health.

    Go Nuts for Nuts

    Another good source of protein is nuts. Loaded with phosphorus and calcium (which tooth enamel loves) nuts benefit both your teeth and gums. And don’t forget, nuts produce saliva in your mouth, which helps to wash away cavity-causing stuff in your mouth.

    SOURCES: Colgate.com

    • 11 SEP 18
    • 0

    Have You Considered Making Your Own Mouthwash?

    If you regularly use mouthwash that you’ve purchased at the store, then you know it isn’t cheap. But did you also know that store-bought mouthwash often includes alcohol and is loaded with a blend of chemicals whose names you can’t pronounce.

    So why not make your own mouthwash at home? Here are five easy recipes that won’t break the bank and will provide you with lots of tasty mouthwashes that use “real” ingredients. 

     

    Three-Ingredient Mouthwash

    Ingredients:

    1 cup of filtered water

    1 teaspoon of baking soda

    3 drops of peppermint essential oil (you can also use cinnamon, clove, wintergreen, peppermint, or tea tree essential oils)

    Instructions:

    Add all ingredients in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake very well. This can be kept in the bathroom and does not require refrigeration. Shake well before each use.

     

    Grandma’s Disinfecting Mouthwash

    Ingredients:

    1 cup of filtered water

    2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

    Instructions:

    Mix the ingredients together in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well before each use. This will keep forever right on your bathroom countertop.

     

    Simple Hydrogen Peroxide Whitening Mouthwash

    Ingredients:

    1 part hydrogen peroxide

    1 part filtered water

    Instructions:

    Don’t make a large batch of this solution. Try one tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide and one tablespoon of water, for example. Mix in a ceramic or glass container (such as a glass or coffee cup) and use immediately. Swish in the mouth for 30 seconds and then spit it out. Do not swallow, and do not save any extra solution.

      

    Super Citrus Oil Mouthwash

    Ingredients:

    2 cups of filtered water

    2 teaspoons of calcium carbonate powder

    1 teaspoon of xylitol crystals

    10 drops of trace mineral liquid

    10 drops of peppermint essential oil

    5 drops of lemon essential oil

    3 drops of wild orange essential oil

    Instructions:

    In a mason jar, or other similar container with a lid, stir together the xylitol crystals and the calcium powder. Add the essential oils and liquid minerals. Stir again to be sure everything is well combined. Add your water and stir. Close the lid and shake for 1 minute. That’s it! How easy was that?! You can find all these ingredients in your local natural or health food store or online. Store this in the refrigerator (it keeps for 2 to 3 weeks) and shake well before each use.

    Xylitol is a natural sweetener proven to have a positive effect on tooth and gum health.  It is recommended by many dentists and is now a popular ingredient in natural toothpaste, gum and mouthwash.  It will also improve the taste and even the effectiveness of your mouthwash.

     

    Cinnamon and Honey Mouthwash

    Ingredients:

    2 organic lemons, juiced

    ½ tablespoon of cinnamon powder

    1 teaspoon of baking soda (not baking powder!)

    5 teaspoons of raw, organic honey

    1 cup of warm water

    Instructions:

    Using a mason jar or similar type of container with a tight-fitting lid, add all ingredients in the order given. Be sure the water is very warm as it needs to melt the honey. Close the lid and shake for one minute. Store in the refrigerator and use two tablespoons as a mouth rinse.

    As with any mouthwash, be sure not to swallow during use. Happy gargling!

     

    Sources: GreenMedInfo.com, DIYnatural.com, TheAlternativeDaily.com

     

    • 24 AUG 18
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    Do You Know How to Floss Properly?

    Flossing is an important part of the Healthy Teeth Trio – which also includes brushing and regular visits to your dentist for a dental cleaning and check-up. Floss plays a unique role in oral health because it can remove a whole variety of things you don’t want between your teeth – food particles, plaque and bacteria – that a toothbrush usually can’t remove. Leaving all of those items stuck between your teeth can lead to gingivitis, which is a disease of the gums that can produce major oral health problems.

    Floss was originally made from silk. However, floss has evolved since the 1800s and is now made from plastic beads. Yes, you read that right – plastic beads. The beads are melted and the squeezed into long, thin strands to make them stronger and very hard to break. The plastic is layered with wax and flavoring to make the process more palatable.

    So what happens to your oral health if you don’t have time to floss or don’t think it’s worth the effort? To begin with, plaque will begin to build up between your teeth. The plaque will eventually begin to irritate your teeth and make your gums more sensitive. If you have neglected flossing and then decide to begin, your gums will probably bleed. So be sure you begin flossing slowly. But after a couple of weeks, your gums will get used to the floss and your oral health will begin to improve!

    You have several options to choose from in terms of types of floss. Most people stick with regular floss, although there are many types of regular floss – unwaxed, waxed, mint flavored, etc.  The differences aren’t important and don’t improve your flossing effectiveness. What does impact the effectiveness is your technique.

    Floss picks are also popular for flossing because they hold the floss for you. That makes it very convenient to floss because you only have to use one hand to floss. However, floss picks are not as effective as regular floss because they don’t give you the opportunity to reach the angles necessary for effective flossing.

    So how do you floss properly?

    Starting with about 18 inches of floss, wind most of the floss around each middle finger, leaving an inch or two of floss to work with;

    Holding the floss tautly between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up-and-down between your teeth;

    Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure you go beneath the gumline. Never snap or force the floss, as this may cut or bruise delicate gum tissue;

    Use clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth; and

    To remove the floss, use the same back-and-forth motion to bring the floss up and away from the teeth

    Sources: Colgate.com

    • 26 JUL 18
    • 0

    “I Have a Sense of Pride Being Part of This Team”

    When you first walk into the offices of Personal Care Dentistry one of the bright faces you’re sure to see is Jessie Pichler. As the Front Desk Lead Jessie has a myriad of responsibilities including managing schedules, working with her team and other office related responsibilities, but her passion for helping patients is what makes her a truly dynamic asset at Personal Care Dentistry.

    “I really enjoy meeting new patients and having the privilege to get to know different people. Our regular patients are like family and it’s always great working with them twice a year, seeing the changes in their lives and catching up,” says Jessie, who has been engaging people at Personal Care Dentistry’s front desk since 2014.

    Her training and certification in Medical Administration prepared her for the demands of a busy practice, but her interest in the medical field began much earlier. “I’ve had an interest in anatomy, healing and medical practice since I was little,” she says adding, “I finished my educational training and was fortunate to know someone who worked here at Personal Care Dentistry where my professional career took off.”

    Jessie’s demeanor in the office conveys who she is as a person and she describes her approach to the people she greets as, “Being personable. I treat people how I would want to be treated in their specific situation with attention to their needs,” she says, citing Dr. Walter Hunt’s Golden Rule. “I try to be a bridge between what the patient needs and what the doctors need. I’m like an extension of the doctors.”

    She takes an empathetic approach to more anxious visitors, focusing on her ability to understand and share the feelings of another. “I try to make patients more relaxed by relating my own experiences. We’ve all been there.” With every individual she meets, Jessie asks herself the same question. “Does this benefit the patient? If not, cut it.”

    Jessie can easily be described as outgoing, “I’m laidback, but talkative and a little loud,” she says with a laugh, “I’m always trying to have more fun.” Why does Jessie thrive in her work environment? “I enjoy the culture of The Golden Rule here at Personal Care Dentistry. I love the people I work for and the staff.” What keeps Jessie coming to work every day? “The people mostly, but I have a strong sense of duty and don’t want to let anyone down.”

    Outside of work Jessie keeps busy with her two young children, a daughter and a son, and balances the life of a working mother. When asked about her future goals she says, “I want to learn something new every day. I want to continually grow.” Regarding her outlook on her role at Personal Care Dentistry moving forward Jessie says, “I want to do the best I can for the patients and the staff and help Dr. Hunt take the practice wherever he wants it to go.”

    • 24 JUL 18
    • 0

    Gingivitis Is Never A Good Thing to Have

    For many people, the word “gingivitis” sounds like something they have heard but the odds are they don’t know what it describes or how bad it can be if it takes up residence in your mouth.

    The reason you don’t want gingivitis camping out in your mouth is that it’s a type of periodontal disease that creates inflammation and infection in your mouth – which eventually leads to the destruction of tissue that provide support to your teeth, your gums, periodontal ligaments and tooth sockets.

    So how does gingivitis get started? The initial culprit is plaque, that sticky material created from mucus, bacteria and debris from food you eat. It sticks to the areas of your teeth that are exposed and eventually leads to tooth decay.

    Once plaque hardens because you didn’t remove it through brushing, flossing and regular visits to your dentist for a cleaning, it becomes tartar (also called calculus). Tartar is a hard deposit that clings to the base of your teeth. Your gums are irritated and inflamed by both plaque and tartar. Then bacteria moves in to your weakened gums, creating toxins that cause your gums to become swollen, tender and eventually infected.

    Some amount of gingivitis develops in many people during puberty or their early adult years because of hormonal changes. The gingivitis will often persist or recur periodically if your oral health is poor.

    What increases your risk of developing gingivitis?

    Improper dental hygiene

    Certain infections and body-wide (systemic) diseases

    Pregnancy (hormonal changes increase the sensitivity of the gums)

    Uncontrolled diabetes

    Misaligned teeth, rough edges of fillings, and ill-fitting or unclean mouth appliances (such as braces, dentures, bridges, and crowns). Use of certain medications, including phenytoin, bismuth, and some birth control pills

    What are the symptoms of gingivitis?

    Bleeding gums (blood on toothbrush even with gentle brushing of the teeth)

    Bright red or red-purple appearance to gums

    Gums that are tender when touched, but otherwise painless

    Mouth sores

    Swollen gums

    Shiny appearance to gums

    If you do have gingivitis, how is it treated? The first goal is to reduce the level of inflammation. This is best achieved by making twice-yearly appointments with your dental hygienist for a thorough cleaning of your teeth. Make more frequent appointments if you have severe gingivitis. They’ll loosen and remove deposits of plaque and tartar on your teeth. Of course, in between visits, you need to be sure to brush twice a day and floss daily.

    If you are more prone than usual to plaque building up on your teeth, your dentist may recommend special toothpicks, water irrigation, electric toothbrushes, or other devices. Antiplaque and/or anti-tartar toothpastes and mouth washes may also be a good solution for your situation.

    Source: ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

     

    • 17 JUL 18
    • 0

    These 9 Foods Can Be Tough on Your Teeth

     

    Your teeth can be seriously impacted by what you eat and drink. Here’s a list of 9 foods and beverages that you should either avoid or consume in moderation. You’ll notice that some of the 9 are pretty obvious – chewing ice has never been a good idea – while others will provide a surprise.

    Hard candies are tough on teeth

    You might be a fan of hard candies, but because they are packed with sugar, constant sugar exposure can damage your teeth. Plus they can break or chip a tooth if you decide to chew on them. Instead of reaching for a handful of hard candy, grab a piece of sugarless gum.

     Ice is best for chilling, not chewing

    Is ice good for your teeth? After all, it comes from water and contains zero sugar or additives. So the answer is yes – unless you decide to chew on that cube or chunk of ice. Then you’ll expose yourself to damaging your teeth enamel or creating a dental emergency. So the next time you put ice in your drink, let it do what it’s supposed to do – chill your beverage – and skip the chewing.

    Be careful of citrus

    The enamel on your teeth can erode if frequently exposed to foods and beverages that contain citrus. The acid in the citrus is the culprit, and the impact it can have on enamel can make your teeth more prone to decay. If you like citrus drinks and fruit, there’s a simple method to reduce the impact of the acid in citrus on your mouth. Drink a glass of water while you are eating that orange or grapefruit and rinse your mouth out after you have a glass of orange juice.

    Coffee can be a problem

    Coffee and tea can be healthy beverages – if you avoid adding tons of sugar. Unfortunately, that’s what many of the “coffee” drinks at places like Starbucks and Caribou are chock-full of. Plus coffee and tea that are caffeinated can dry out your mouth (remember, saliva washes away bacteria which cause cavities) and stain your teeth. If you do decide to regularly drink coffee or tea, be sure you’re drinking lots of water and keeping the add-ons under control.

    Don’t get stuck on sticky foods

    If you like a healthy snack, then dried fruit can be a winner. Unfortunately, they are often quite sticky – which can be a problem since sticky foods remain on your teeth much longer than other food types. Be sure to rinse with water when you finish those sticky foods and of course, carefully brush and floss to remove anything still sticking to your teeth.

    If it goes crunch, it might be a bad munch

    Potato chips are a wonderful habit for many people. The combination of the crunch and the flavor are hard to beat. But all that starch in a potato chip can get trapped in your teeth, which is the first step on the road to cavities. So be sure to brush and especially floss after you eat chips. That way, you’ll avoid leaving food particles that will become plaque.

    Switch water for soda

    Did you know that the bacteria that create plaque love sugar? They use the sugar to produce acids that go after the enamel on your teeth. Which means that if you are drinking lots of sugary soda or other drinks, then you are helping those plaque bacteria attack your teeth. Plus the carbonation in soft drinks – including diet sodas – is acidic and negatively impacts your teeth. So the next time you want to reach for a soft drink, think twice. And if you do decide to consume a soda, keep a glass of water handy and alternate between the soda and the water.

    Keep a handle on alcohol consumption

    Many people don’t realize that alcohol dehydrates your body and reduces the saliva in your mouth. Remember, saliva is good because it helps wash away cavity-causing bacteria. Long-term consumption can reduce saliva flow even when you aren’t drinking. Heavy alcohol use can also boost the risk of mouth cancer.

    Beware of sugary sports and energy drinks

    Powerade, Gatorade, Red Bull, Monster – lots of people use them to boost athletic performance or as a pick-me-up during a busy day or evening. Unfortunately, sports and energy drinks also share a common main ingredient – sugar. There is also a lot of research that says that sports drinks are in most cases unnecessary for someone engaged vigorous physical activity. A better solution would be to drink water instead!

     

    SOURCE: American Dental Association

     

    • 11 JUL 18
    • 0

    Veneers Can Be an Way to Fix Flawed Teeth

    If you’re not happy with your smile because of discolorations in your front teeth, or you just want to have a brighter smile, then veneers may be your solution. What are veneers? They are very-thin shells made of ceramic (porcelain) or composite resin material. The dentist bonds them to the front of your teeth to improve your smile. You will require very little (or no) anesthesia for this procedure.

    Veneers can often be a good alternative to crowns because they offer a more conservative solution to changing your tooth’s color, shape and size. Plus, they have shown to last for many years if done by one of the dentists at Personal Care Dentistry.

    So what types of problems can be fixed with dental veneers? Teeth that are broken or chipped; worn down teeth; misaligned, uneven or teeth that are irregularly shaped; or to fix gaps between your teeth.

    It usually takes multiple appointments for the entire veneer procedure. This includes diagnosis, planning the treatment, preparing the teeth, and bonding. You’ll need to be actively involved in “designing” your smile. You’ll also need to understand that the procedure can’t fix every problem perfectly. But it can certainly improve your smile.

    So what is the procedure like to attach veneers? First, the teeth are buffed lightly to provide room for the thickness the veneer will add. This usually means about half a millimeter of the tooth will be removed (this may mean you’ll need a local anesthetic). If you’re getting a composite resin veneer, then your dentist at Personal Care Dentistry will carefully bond and sculpt the composite material onto your teeth. If you are getting porcelain veneers, then your dentist will take a mold of your teeth and then the veneers are fabricated in a lab, which may take a couple of days.

    Once your porcelain veneers are back from the lab, your dentist at Personal Care Dentistry will place each veneer on its tooth to make sure they fit properly and are the right shade or color you selected. Your dentist can still adjust the veneer’s shade at that point by choosing a certain type of cement to use. The veneer is then cleaned with a specific set of chemicals to make sure the cement used to bond the veneer to your tooth works properly. The final step involves a light beam being directed at the veneer to harden the cement.

    You won’t have to take any “special care” of your new veneers. You’ll need to continue to follow good oral health practices – brushing and flossing daily – and your dentist will want to see you several weeks after the veneers are put on your teeth for a checkup.

    What are the advantages of dental veneers?

    They provide a natural tooth appearance.

    Gum tissue tolerates porcelain well.

    Porcelain veneers are stain resistant.

    The color of a porcelain veneer can be selected such that it makes dark teeth appear whiter.

    What are the disadvantage of dental veneers?

    The process is not reversible.

    Veneers are usually not repairable should they chip or crack.

    Because enamel has been removed, your tooth may become more sensitive to hot and cold foods and beverages.

    Be realistic about veneers. Like natural teeth, you will see slight color variations if you examine them closely. But veneers can still go a long way to brightening your smile and making you more confident about your teeth.

    Sources: Worldental.org, KnowYourTeeth.com, WebMD

     

    • 03 JUL 18
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    Wine Country Woody

    From Dr. Walter Hunt, Personal Care Dentistry

    The loud rat-tat-tat of a pileated woodpecker hunting bugs in the Napa Valley was as much of a highlight as the cabernets at my friend’s winery.

    One of my all-time favorite birds is the pileated woodpecker, who looks like Woody the Woodpecker of cartoon fame combined with a prehistoric mini-pterodactyl. I was out for one of my regular photo jaunts, this time in the Napa Valley. My wife and I were staying with some friends who own a small winery (Black Cordon Vineyard) in the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains during a vacation to California. It was early morning and the light was fairly low. As I walked down a dirt road separating the rolling vineyards and a dense forest, I heard a loud pecking to my right. I was familiar with the sound – we have quite a few pileated woodpeckers near our Minnesota home – and also with how difficult it can be to photograph them. I walked into the forest of pines and oak to get a better look, and there was “Woody” busily work on a dead log, happily gobbling up one bug after another. I got within 30 yards of him, propped myself against a tree, and started shooting.

    He knew I was there, but must have decided the wealth of bugs was worth the risk of human contact. In fact, a couple of times, he flew up to a tree near the log, then returned for more bugs each time. I shot several photos of him with an ant in his mouth, which I have also included with this photo. But I really like this one that I have featured because he looks like he is looking directly in my camera with a “You know, this is my forest and I am allowing you the privilege of taking my photo” look in his eye

    • 03 JUL 18
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    “Our Patients Are Like Family”

    As Dental Hygiene Team Leader, Kari Olson is a friendly, familiar face at Personal Care Dentistry. She joined the practice in 2010 and her responsibilities include hiring and coaching her hygiene staff, working with the dentists, and helping patients achieve optimal oral health.

    Kari’s education includes an associate degree in Dental Assisting from Herzing University. After earning her degree, she spent four years at a small dental office in that role. “My love of dentistry helped me see I wanted to further my education and in 2007 I returned to school,” says Kari. In 2010 she graduated once again from Herzing University, this time with her Dental Hygienist License and started at Personal Care Dentistry on a very part-time basis. “I wanted more independence and one-on-one time with patients. Being a hygienist allows me to build relationships with the people I treat,” she says.

    “When I started here I immediately loved the environment. It’s a super-friendly place to work and everyone is so positive,” notes Kari. “The practice I worked at before was poorly managed and it was highly stressful. I didn’t like going to work there. I feel very lucky to be at Personal Care Dentistry. This practice runs like a well-oiled machine,” she says with a smile.

    On her initial start in the office she says, “I only worked four hours a week because nobody ever leaves this practice. People truly care here. It just grew from there, my hours increased to full-time and Dr. Hunt eventually made me the Hygiene Lead.”

    Kari speaks about her place of work with enthusiasm and warmth. “PCD is amazing. Many of our patients come from word-of-mouth so Dr. Hunt is obviously doing something right. I have a sense of pride being part of this team.” She talks about the staff with genuine affection saying, “We all get along. Our team is incredible. It’s so nice to work some place where you know your team has your back. If I’m out of the office for any length of time I genuinely miss everyone here. All of us strive for the same thing – The Golden Rule,” Kari says, referring to Dr. Hunt’s belief that every member of the staff treat people as they would want to be treated themselves.

    When speaking about treating patients, comfort is king with Kari. “I always ask what I can do to make them more comfortable in my chair. Reading body language is important and if I can sense they are uneasy I will do what I can to make them comfy. I’m passionate about doing a good job for them.” About her chair-side manner Kari clearly conveys a sense of caring compassion. “I don’t want people to feel like just a number… they really matter to me. I love getting to know patients and catching up with them when they come in,” she says.

    Asked about her future goals Kari states, “I never want to be stagnant. I strive to be the best hygienist I possibly can be and continue to hone my treatment skills. I want to be perpetually learning and growing this incredible practice with Dr. Hunt.”

    Outside of work Kari enjoys spending time with her husband, friends and family – especially her two young nieces. She has a terrier mix dog named Lola that she calls a little diva. “I love to laugh and have fun,” says Kari. “I like to think I’m the right amount of easy going.”

    • 29 JUN 18
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    Play Sports? Guard Your Grin With A Mouth Guard!

    Reduce Sport-Related Mouth Injuries with One Simple Piece of Equipment

    Mouth guards, also called mouth protectors, help cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to your lips, tongue, face or jaw. They typically cover the upper teeth and are a great way to protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining. “Your top teeth take the brunt of trauma because they stick out more,” says Dr. Thomas Long, the team dentist for the Carolina Hurricanes professional hockey team. “Your bottom teeth are a little more protected because they are further back.”

    When Should You Wear a Mouth Guard?

    When it comes to protecting your mouth, a mouth guard is an essential piece of athletic gear that should be part of your standard equipment from an early age.

    While collision and contact sports, such as boxing, are higher-risk sports for the mouth, any athlete may experience a dental injury in non-contact activities too, such as gymnastics and skating.

     Types of Mouth Guards

    The best mouth guard is one that has been custom made for your mouth by your dentist. However, if you can’t afford a custom-made mouth guard, you should still wear a stock mouth guard or a boil-and-bite mouth guard from the drugstore. Learn more about each option:

    Custom-made: These are made by your dentist at Personal Care Dentistry for you personally. They are more expensive than the other versions because they are individually created for fit and comfort. It’s worth the extra you have to pay when you consider the alternative – thousands of dollars of costly dental work to repair or replace broken or chipped teeth.

    Boil and bite: These mouth protectors can be bought at many sporting goods stores and drugstores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. They are first softened in water (boiled), then inserted and allowed to adapt to the shape of your mouth. Always follow the manufacturers’ instructions.  CustMbite MVP and CustMbite Pro are a boil and bite mouth guards that have earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

    Stock: These are inexpensive and come pre-formed, ready to wear. Unfortunately, they often don’t fit very well. They can be bulky and can make breathing and talking difficult.

    Protecting Your Braces

    A properly fitted mouth guard may be especially important for people who wear braces or have fixed bridge work. A blow to the face could damage the brackets or other fixed orthodontic appliances. A mouth guard also provides a barrier between the braces and your cheek or lips, which will help you avoid injuries to your gums and cheeks.

    Talk to your dentist or orthodontist about selecting a mouth guard that will provide the right protection. Although some mouth guards only cover the upper teeth, your dentist or orthodontist may suggest that you use a mouth guard on the lower teeth if you have braces on these teeth.

    If you have a retainer or other removable appliance, do not wear it during any contact sports.

    Mouth Guard Care and Replacement

    Talk to your dentist about when is the right time to replace your mouth guard, but replace it immediately if it shows sign of wear, is damaged or ill fitting. Teens and children may need to replace their mouth guards more often because their mouths are still growing and changing.
    Between games, it’s important to keep your mouth guard clean and dry. Here are some tips for making sure your mouth guard is always ready to go:

    Rinse before and after each use or brush with a toothbrush and toothpaste.

    Regularly clean the mouth guard in cool, soapy water. Then, rinse it thoroughly.

    During your regular dental checkups, bring your mouth guard for an evaluation. Your dentist may also be able to give it a thorough cleaning.

    Store and transport the mouth guard in a sturdy container that has vents so it can dry and keep bacteria from growing.

    Never leave the mouth guard in the sun or in hot water.

    Check fit and for signs of wear and tear to see if it needs replacing.

    Some mouth guards have fallen victim to family pets, who see them as chew toys. Store your mouth guard and case somewhere your pet cannot get to it.

     

    Sources: American Dental Association, Colgate.com