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Posts for: April, 2016

By Beasley Cosmetic & General Dentistry
April 28, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   braces  
DwightHowardABrightNBAStarWithaSmiletoMatch

Have you started orthodontic treatment recently? Are you having a little trouble getting used to your braces? If so, you are not alone: Everybody goes through an adjustment period during which they momentarily wonder if they’ll really ever get used to this. Don’t worry — you will! And we’ve never heard anyone say, on the day their braces come off and their new smile is revealed, that they aren’t glad they went the distance. Just ask Houston Rockets all-star center Dwight Howard, who discussed his own orthodontic treatment in a recent interview.

“I’m sure I was no different than anyone else who has ever had braces,” he told Mediaplanet. “At first I hated them so much… That changed once I got used to them and I actually grew to love them.” What’s Howard’s advice? “Do exactly what your orthodontist says and know that the outcome is well worth it in the end.” We couldn’t agree more! Here are some tips for wearing braces comfortably:

  • Hard & Chewy Foods: If you love fresh fruits and vegetables, that’s great; there’s no reason to give them up, just the really hard ones. You don’t want to bite into an apple or carrot or any other hard foods like bagels and pizza that have any “size” to them. Small pieces may be ok as long as they can’t bend your wires. Chewy, sticky candy should really be avoided completely. Same with soda, sports drinks and so-called energy drinks because they contain acids that promote tooth decay and can cause a lot of damage around the braces.
  • Effective Oral Hygiene: Keeping your teeth clean is more important than ever, but also more challenging than ever. It’s easy for food to get stuck under wires and around brackets, but failing to remove it can cause tooth decay, gum irritation and soreness. Therefore, the cleaner your teeth and your braces are, the healthier you will be. Use interdental cleaning brushes and/or a floss-threader to get behind your wires. A mouthrinse can also help strengthen teeth and keep bacteria in check. If you have any questions about how to clean between your teeth, please ask for a demonstration at your next visit.
  • Pain Relief: Some soreness at the beginning of orthodontic treatment is normal. To relieve it, you can use an over-the-counter pain reliever and/or a warm washcloth or heating pad placed on the outside of the jaw. If brackets or wires are rubbing against the inside of your cheeks or lips, try applying wax to these areas of your braces. If this does not offer enough relief, we may be able to trim the end of a poking wire. Call us if you need help with this.

Our goal is to make your orthodontic treatment as comfortable as possible on the way to achieving your all-star smile. If you have questions about adjusting to braces, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”


By Beasley Cosmetic & General Dentistry
April 14, 2016
Category: Dental Health
Tags: fillings  

Having a cavity filled isn't what most people would look forward to, but it can be an essential part of dental care if decay has formed. composite fillings, beautifulFortunately, Dr. R. Brad Beasley, your dentist in Athens, AL, offers an option that makes fillings a little less unpleasant. At North Alabama Center for Cosmetic & General Dentistry, we use a composite material - a tooth-colored mixture of plastic and glass - to blend fillings in with the rest of the teeth. Here's are some reasons why composite fillings are the material of choice for both dentists and patients alike:

Attractive

If you've had any metallic fillings in the past, you know they can be fairly noticeable, even on your back teeth. They can show through the translucent enamel, giving most or all of the tooth a darkened appearance. Sometimes the metal particles can even make their way under the gums or soft tissues, leaving a blue-gray "tattoo" that, while harmless, can easily be mistaken for a malignancy.

With composite fillings from your Athens cosmetic dentist, your restored teeth will look totally natural. That's because the composite material comes in a variety of colors that Dr. Beasley carefully matches to each of his patients' teeth, giving you a personalized treatment that will strengthen your smile and improve your appearance.

Durable

When "white" fillings were first introduced, many dentists were still choosing amalgam as the filling material of choice for teeth used frequently for chewing. The material used for composite fillings wasn't quite as strong as metal and could break down due to constant pressure. Over time, the dental industry has reworked the structure of composite fillings that make them equally as durable as metal fillings. At North Alabama Center for Cosmetic and General Dentistry, you no longer have to choose between form and function when it comes to your fillings.

The next time you need a cavity filled, Dr. Beasley will be happy to use composite material to finish it off. Give us a call in Athens, AL if you have any further questions about composite fillings or any other cosmetic or general dentistry procedure!


By Beasley Cosmetic & General Dentistry
April 13, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tooth pain  
TheDetailsAboutYourToothSensitivityPaincantellyouaLotAbouttheCause

Tooth sensitivity can be quite uncomfortable. But the glancing pain you feel may be more than an irritation — it may also be telling you there’s a deeper problem that needs attention.

As with other types of oral pain, tooth sensitivity can be a symptom for a variety of problems. Some of them are relatively minor, while others require immediate attention. It’s important to pay attention to the details about your tooth sensitivity and what they might be indicating you should do about it.

For example, your teeth may be sensitive to hot or cold foods or beverages. If it’s just a momentary pain it generally doesn’t mean an emergency — it could be a small area of decay on a tooth, a loose filling or an exposed root due to gum recession or overaggressive brushing. Besides seeing us for treatment for any decay, you can adjust your brushing habits to more gentle pressure with a soft-bristled brush. Fluoride toothpaste has also been shown to reduce this kind of sensitivity.

If, however, the pain from hot or cold substances lingers, then decay or some form of trauma may have affected the pulp, the innermost layer of a tooth. The pulp is rich in nerve fibers and can become inflamed and irritated from the decay or injury. You should visit us as soon as possible: you may require a root canal treatment that will not only relieve the pain but also save the tooth.

If you notice a sharp pain when biting down on food, it’s possible you have a loose filling or even a cracked tooth. As with inner decay, a fracture requires immediate attention. A loose filling should be easy to repair, but if it’s a fracture you may need extensive treatment to save the tooth or, if beyond salvage, have the tooth removed to make way for dental implant or similar restoration.

The key point is not to delay seeking treatment, especially if the pain is persistent, severe or long-lasting. The sooner you visit us about your tooth sensitivity, the sooner you’ll have solutions to stop the discomfort.

If you would like more information on tooth pain, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth Pain? Don’t Wait!