TOOTH WHITENERS

The decision to get one’s teeth professionally whitened can be a big one. There are a number of factors to consider, such as cost, duration, and overall effectiveness. At Adkins Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, here in Lexington, we have been helping people with this decision for some time and have produced many happy patients through careful decision-making over the years.

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DENTAL VENEERS: WHAT ARE THEY EXACTLY

Dental veneers are thin (usually porcelain) laminates that are bonded to your natural tooth. Porcelain is usually the material of choice because it looks most like real tooth enamel and reflects light similarly. Most veneers require a small amount of enamel removal to make room for this porcelain. Usually veneers require at least two visits to your dentist because a certified laboratory technician often makes these porcelain veneers while the dentist does the preparation work.

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MANY DENTURE POSSIBILITIES AVAILABLE

Dentures (sometimes called false teeth) stretch far back in history. These are partial or full replacements of missing teeth. Teeth can be lost for a variety of reasons: accidents, dental malformation, tooth decay, drug use, pregnancy. For some people, losing some or all of their teeth can be very socially debilitating, so much so that many are too embarrassed to ask a well-qualified dentist about options.

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THE SCOOP ON CAVATIES AND HOW TO PREVENT THEM

Signs You May Have a Cavity



What You Can Do

The good news is preventing cavities is very simple if you follow some of these basic rules:




Detecting cavities in the earliest stage – when they can be treated easily and less invasively – can save you pain, time and money. Cavities found early can be treated with a simple dental filling. For bigger or deeper cavities, a root canal may be necessary to remove damaged pulp or treat an abscessed tooth. A badly broken tooth may be fixed with a crown at the gum line. For a lost tooth, a dental crown, bridge or implant may be needed to keep the surrounding teeth from shifting into the gap left behind.


When it comes to protecting your teeth, your first line of defense is tooth enamel. This is the outermost covering that protects the more vulnerable dentin and tooth pulp below from acids and plaque. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body and is vital to oral health. However, because it doesn’t have living cells, it can’t grow back once it is lost.


The No. 1 enemy of tooth enamel is acid. It eats away at enamel, leaving it vulnerable to decay as it weakens. Be sure to limit these harmful items as much as possible and clean your teeth at least twice a day:



Some foods can help strengthen tooth enamel. Probably the top food choice for healthy teeth is something rich in calcium, which helps form strong teeth and bones. Cheese, which is high in calcium, also helps balance your oral pH and lowers the acids that attack enamel. Besides cheese and other low-fat dairy items such as yogurt, you can find calcium in fortified rice and soy milk, sardines and canned salmon, almonds and dark leafy greens such as kale, broccoli and spinach.



You also want to make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day. Water helps support saliva flow and keeps your mouth debris-free while helping all the bodily tissues.


The best way to prevent cavities is to take daily care of your pearly whites and visit your dentist twice a year to support those daily efforts. To find out if you have any cavities or need to treat an existing one, please give our skilled team a call. We will be happy to set up an exam. We look forward to helping you keep your smile healthy, beautiful and cavity-free!

DR. RUTH ADKINS

To learn more about children’s dental services provided at Adkins Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, call (859) 543-0333 or visit their Web site at www.adkinsfamilydentistry.com.

more articles by dr Ruth Adkins

You can’t turn back time on your teeth. Studies have shown one in five Americans has untreated cavities. A cavity is decay that has damaged a tooth’s hard outer enamel layer and created small holes. Cavities can arise in people of all ages, including children and infants. Factors that cause cavities include how well you take care of your teeth each day, what foods and beverages you regularly consume and your family’s dental history.


Cavities form when sugary, starchy foods feed the oral bacteria that thrive in the sticky film called plaque. The bacteria produce acids that wear down the tooth enamel until they reach the softer dentin layer underneath that protects the tooth pulp. Cavities tend to form in the back of the mouth within the grooves of the molars, between the teeth and around the gum line, areas that are harder to clean and get rid of plaque.


Dry mouth, or insufficient saliva production, is a common oral condition that places you at higher risk of cavity formation. It is often accompanied by bad breath. Tobacco and alcohol users are prone to dry mouth, and so are people taking certain medications. Aging or undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment can also cause dry mouth.