My Blog

Posts for: February, 2018

February 13, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

Poor oral hygiene increases your risk of tooth decay, gum disease and even tooth loss. Fortunately, it's easy to improve your oral hygiene oral hygieneby following the advice of Springville, UT, dentists Dr. Stephen Pratt, Dr. Stephanie Winterton and Dr. Christopher Flint of Hobble Creek Dental Care.

Consistency and proper technique are crucial

Do you occasionally fall asleep without brushing your teeth? Brushing your teeth doesn't just improve the appearance of your smile, but also removes plaque, the bacterial film responsible for tooth decay. When you skip a morning or evening brushing session, plaque builds up on teeth, increasing your cavity risk. Experts recommend that you brush two times a day for at least two minutes every time.

Your technique is also important. Hold a soft-bristled brush at a 45-degree angle and use circular strokes to clean each tooth. Avoid pressing too hard with your brush. Scrubbing the bristles against your teeth can damage your tooth enamel and your gums.

Flossing should be a daily activity

If you don't already floss regularly, make time in your schedule for a daily flossing session. Floss removes plaque from the tight spaces between teeth and also helps keep your breath fresher by freeing trapped food particles.

Check ingredient lists

All toothpastes that feature the American Dental Association seal of approval contain fluoride, but some natural brands may not. Fluoride strengthens weak areas of tooth enamel, reducing your cavity risk. Brushing with a toothpaste that contains fluoride is a simple way to prevent tooth decay.

Protect your teeth by following these oral hygiene tips and visiting our office for regular cleanings and exams. Call Springville, UT, dentists Drs. Pratt and Winterton of Hobble Creek Dental Care at (801) 489-4541 to schedule your appointment.

By Hobble Creek Dental Care
February 13, 2018
Category: Oral Health

Some people are lucky — they never seem to have a mishap, dental or otherwise. But for the rest of us, accidents just happen sometimes. Take actor Jamie Foxx, for example. A few years ago, he actually had a dentist intentionally chip one of his teeth so he could portray a homeless man more realistically. But recently, he got a chipped tooth in the more conventional way… well, conventional in Hollywood, anyway. It happened while he was shooting the movie Sleepless with co-star Michelle Monaghan.

“Yeah, we were doing a scene and somehow the action cue got thrown off or I wasn't looking,” he told an interviewer. “But boom! She comes down the pike. And I could tell because all this right here [my teeth] are fake. So as soon as that hit, I could taste the little chalkiness, but we kept rolling.” Ouch! So what's the best way to repair a chipped tooth? The answer it: it all depends…

For natural teeth that have only a small chip or minor crack, cosmetic bonding is a quick and relatively easy solution. In this procedure, a tooth-colored composite resin, made of a plastic matrix with inorganic glass fillers, is applied directly to the tooth's surface and then hardened or “cured” by a special light. Bonding offers a good color match, but isn't recommended if a large portion of the tooth structure is missing. It's also less permanent than other types of restoration, but may last up to 10 years.

When more of the tooth is missing, a crown or dental veneer may be a better answer. Veneers are super strong, wafer-thin coverings that are placed over the entire front surface of the tooth. They are made in a lab from a model of your teeth, and applied in a separate procedure that may involve removal of some natural tooth material. They can cover moderate chips or cracks, and even correct problems with tooth color or spacing.

A crown is the next step up: It's a replacement for the entire visible portion of the tooth, and may be needed when there's extensive damage. Like veneers, crowns (or caps) are made from models of your bite, and require more than one office visit to place; sometimes a root canal may also be needed to save the natural tooth. However, crowns are strong, natural looking, and can last many years.

But what about teeth like Jamie's, which have already been restored? That's a little more complicated than repairing a natural tooth. If the chip is small, it may be possible to smooth it off with standard dental tools. Sometimes, bonding material can be applied, but it may not bond as well with a restoration as it will with a natural tooth; plus, the repaired restoration may not last as long as it should. That's why, in many cases, we will advise that the entire restoration be replaced — it's often the most predictable and long-lasting solution.

Oh, and one more piece of advice: Get a custom-made mouthguard — and use it! This relatively inexpensive device, made in our office from a model of your own teeth, can save you from a serious mishap… whether you're doing Hollywood action scenes, playing sports or just riding a bike. It's the best way to protect your smile from whatever's coming at it!

If you have questions about repairing chipped teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Artistic Repair of Chipped Teeth With Composite Resin” and “Porcelain Veneers.”