What to Avoid After a Bridge or Crown Appointment

Teeth will age with us, and as we age, it’s possible that your teeth encounter some endeavors where they may have to be removed or the dental work that came before is simply wearing off. Bridges and Crowns are important for the rehabilitation of your teeth, post tooth loss or replacing those old fillings. The one thing these two procedures have in common is that first appointment: a mold is taken of your teeth and a temporary Bridge or Crown will be applied to the area of operation. Where things get tricky is when we send you home. Your mouth is anesthetized, there’s an odd pressure occurring on the area, and slightly distressing: there may be some sensitivity. Here’s what to avoid after that initial Bridge or Crown appointment.

Your diets and habits may be going through a slight change while the temporary appliances hold everything in place. The obvious is to be avoided (smoking) but we recommend that sticky substances be avoided too – such as gum. The main types of food you should avoid are the hard kinds. Leave the chips, any kinds of nuts, or frozen food in the fridge until after the full restoration is complete in the second appointment. Concerning brushing and flossing, it’s important to go back to a repeated tip: brush with as little pressure as you can; and when flossing around the temporary Bridge or Crown, be extra careful not to dislodge them.

Once the time comes for the follow-up, the restoration will be complete and following a few days to a week of recovery, everything may go back to normal. (See our blog on Post Cosmetic Operations for more information: Post-Procedure Recovery: What’s Next?) Please note, that the pressure and sensitivity are natural – and the pain may be taken care of via pain medication as instructed by our offices. However, if there’s continuous pain, an uneven bite, or should the temporary Bridge or Crown come out – we ask that you call our office immediately: 830-629-8011.

How to Brush: Tongue Bacteria

Seeing as brushing your teeth every day can seem a bit like a chore, you’ll want to believe that once you’ve scrubbed the inner, outer, and upper portions of your teeth that you’re finished. However, there’s a spot that many are missing when they attempt to satisfy their oral hygiene. You’re doing your mouth a huge disservice if you’re not brushing the bacteria off your tongue. It’s big and noticeable, but frequently gets skipped over in the average brushing routine.  Here’s why it’s important to brush your tongue.

Your mouth is FILLED with bacteria; in fact, a single mouth is said to host billions of bacteria. Now, your focus when brushing tends to be in, on, and around your teeth, but your tongue can nest 30-40% of the bacteria in your mouth. Going without brushing your tongue can cause serious issues for your oral hygiene, most notably, periodontal disease (most adults already live with some form of gingivitis). A simple way to prevent the disease is by scrubbing that tongue bacteria away. Leaving your tongue untouched could also lead to a layer of bacteria, food particles, and dead skin cells, referred to as biofilm, to reduce the efficacy of your taste buds. But the number one thing you should be concerned about not brushing your tongue: bad breath. You may think it’s in the teeth, but the bacteria on the tongue is the true culprit for causing the odor.

There you have it. These issues – periodontal disease, dulled taste buds, bad breath, and more – can all be resolved simply by scrubbing your tongue while you take care of your teeth. This is a growing problem that many are unaware they are facing. If you’re suffering from any oral hygiene issues at all, give us a call at 830-629-8011 for a consultation. Also, check out our Services Page if you’re in need of a treatment that’s done professionally and safely.

Post-Procedure Recovery: What's Next?

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You’ve officially decided you want to invest in procedures such as Bonding or Dental Implants. Smile New Braunfels walks you through the procedure that is normally a few days at most and once finished, you will officially be on your way to a new look. In order to make your recovery days as comfortable as possible, here are a few tips we recommend for at-home care.

Salt Water. After your procedure, you may experience mild jaw pain or swelling. However, these are a breeze to take care of. Simply stir one teaspoon of salt in warm water and rinse your mouth three times a day. The gums may experience pain for a few days, but simply performing this task will keep the pain at bay.

Mouth Guard. It’s easy to mess with your teeth by engaging them with your tongue and grinding other teeth against the procedure area.  This can cause pain and extend your healing time, but the solution is simple: let us know that you tend to touch or grind your teeth and we will create a custom mouth guard to prevent any interaction.

Foods. To maximize your recovery time, there are certain foods and beverages that you should avoid. Hard foods and substances such as peanut brittle, nuts, and ice should be kept away for several days while you adjust. Liquids that can easily stain the teeth, such as coffee, red wine, and tea should also be locked up tight. This also means no smoking.

Brushing & Flossing. We know it’s easy to forget about brushing and flossing, even after dental operations.  But regular oral care is imperative to keep your teeth clean and strong, as well as to help adapt your operated teeth to your jaw. Keep brushing and flossing as you get used to the feeling.

If you have any questions or concerns about your post-procedural recovery, do not hesitate to give our office a call at 830-629-8011.

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Floss

Regardless of the meals eaten throughout the day, many people often think that all they have to do to keep their teeth clean is to simply brush them. Brushing alone, however, only clears part of the plaque on your teeth. Flossing regularly is one of the most important steps you can take to keep your gums and teeth as healthy as possible. Here are the top 5 reasons you should start flossing.

The 40%. A tooth has five faces – the top, the two sides that face outward, and the sides that are in between each tooth. By brushing only the areas that are possible to see, you’re only ridding your mouth of about 60% of bacteria – and leaving a potentially dangerous 40% behind. Flossing will easily get rid of that awful hidden plaque.

Gum Disease. The more you continue to ignore flossing, the more risk you are putting towards your health. Gum Disease is the number 1 cause of tooth loss in adults – especially those over the age of 30, at which point most people have some form of gum disease. What’s all the more alarming is that Gum Disease can sneak up on you at anytime, as it frequently goes undetected in less painful cases. Start fighting back now.

The Bleeding Gums. Have you ever brushed your teeth and found your gums inflamed or mildly bleeding? It’s easy to lay the blame on your toothbrush or brushing habits, but more often than not, the answer is simple: you’re not flossing your teeth enough. It’s easy and common to neglect flossing – but by making it a habit, it can help prevent bleeding gums.

Other Diseases. Gum Disease can lead to all sorts of awful conditions. The neglected bacteria in-between your teeth can make its way into the bloodstream and could lead to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer. So, by flossing, you’re not only doing your teeth a great service, but your overall health as well.

Stronger Teeth. This is probably one of the main reasons why you should floss your teeth. Your oral hygiene is a vital part of your image, and neglecting to floss can lead to tooth loss or painful cavities. Flossing can be your best friend when it comes to oral hygiene.  Instead of waiting to floss until after you brush (when it’s easy to skip because your teeth already feel minty fresh), try making it a habit to floss before you brush your teeth.

For safe and professional procedures concerning your teeth, check out our Services Page and give us a call at 830-629-8011 to schedule an appointment.

Invest In: Tooth Colored Restorations

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Suffering through external damage or cavities from gum disease can be a serious blow to your dental health and your personal image. While it’s very easy to disregard oral hygiene issues such as this and fall into the trap of “dealing with it,” we have a much safer option that can solve everything within a few appointment days. Tooth Colored Restorations help our patients much more in the long run – read on to see why. We believe in procedures that are safe and lasting. Here’s why you should invest in our Tooth Colored Fillings procedure.

The First Appointment. After a thorough evaluation utilizing digital x-ray images as well as a high magnification visual exam, we together determine if your older alloy or composite fillings need replacing.  We look for gaps around the edges, cracks, dark areas or unusual wear facets.  Not all old fillings are bad.  In fact, most are just fine.  I’ll use a close up camera to show you why I think something needs to be replaced.  I want you to fully understand everything.

The Second Appointment. We use topical numbing before any dental anesthetic.  I utilize a technique where I jiggle your cheek while placing the anesthetic very, very slowly.  I can almost promise you that you won’t even know I’m doing anything.  Once numb, we will remove the old filling making certain all the old material goes into our suction and not you.  We use a cavity detection dye on the tooth and under 10x magnification through my microscope.  I’ll know all the decay is out.  The scope allows me to see so much better than those little magnifying glasses.  It truly is a different world through the microscope.  

The tooth is then carefully conditioned to make the filling material bond to the tooth.  Then the composite is placed in tiny increments and each bit gets light cured (hardened) individually.  Once the tooth is full, we shape it, adjust the bite and polish it to a mirror glaze.

Advantages of Tooth Colored Restorations. Evolving from the medieval-like silver fillings, tooth colored restorations are both more natural in appearance and more comfortable. These restorations may also help to keep damaged teeth intact. The resin used in this restoration also contains fluoride that will help prevent tooth decay, leaving you with a stronger tooth.

We’d like to reiterate that this safe procedure is meant to last you many years. If you have fractured teeth or are experiencing any other issues with oral hygiene, make an appointment with Jim Peck, DDS by calling: 830-629-8011.

How To Properly Brush Your Teeth

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When it comes to Oral Hygiene, proper brushing seems like the big elephant in the room. It’s increasingly less talked about because simple priorities such as brushing your teeth just aren’t completed. Despite this apparent lack of concern, 3 out of 4 adults over the ages of 35 are infected with gum disease. With that fact alone, brushing and flossing everyday shouldn’t seem like a huge task. Regardless, Oral Hygiene should remain one of the top priorities in your overall health, as it affects your image and body. Even then, just scrubbing your teeth begrudgingly won’t do you any good, either. Here is the 101 on how to brush your teeth properly.

Floss – Your brush can’t reach everywhere. Grab a 18 inch long floss line, insert it between each tooth, and create a C shape with each tooth side. Do not forget about the back sides of the upper or lower teeth. Try to get in the habit of flossing before brushing your teeth as the task will already be accomplished in case you may be running late or have other priorities.

The front teeth – First, you’ll want to hold your brush at a 45 degree angle and place it to where the gum and teeth meet. The keyword to scrubbing is “gently.” Gently stroke each tooth with circular motions several times before moving on to the next. We recommend that you invest in a sonicare toothbrush as it does much of the work for you; from letting you know when too much pressure is added to the proper amount of time spent brushing your teeth.

The inner jaw – The same tactic applies here. The difference comes in with the upper and lower front teeth. With those, you’ll want to adjust your brush vertically and stroke each backside along their surfaces as well as the surrounding gum areas.

The biting surface – With, once again, gentle strokes, you’ll want to move your brush along the biting surface of your upper and lower jaw. Adjust your angle accordingly to minimize discomfort while brushing. Finally, you’ll want to rinse in order to lose the loosened plaque that most likely came off during the brushing process.

Brushing and flossing properly will reduce the need for major oral surgery. However, a professional cleaning is always needed to keep your teeth sparkling. Jim Peck, DDS offers safe and thorough procedures and examinations. Make an appointment when you give us a call at: 830-629-8011.

A Beautiful Smile

There are many reasons why patients want to whiten their teeth. Some patients could potentially have a work event, photo shoot, other engagements where looks are necessary, or they just want to possess that beautiful smile. Many of our patients have looked into the mirror and were unsatisfied with their brown or yellow looking smile. However, they’ll make the mistake of seeking out expensive dental work. Obtaining that beautiful smile is closer, and less expensive, than you may think, and receiving it is just one goal Smile New Braunfels wants you to have. Today we want to share with you more about our teeth whitening process.

While this process is quick and inexpensive, it’s also safe. Our first appointment will be focused on what portion of your teeth you’d want bleached – upper teeth, lower, or both. From then on, we’ll set up bleach splints that are easily ready in a day or two. Once the time has come, we’ll provide you with a special bleaching agent that you’ll only apply a few hours per day. The bleaching agent will then work to remove the stains without altering the tooth’s structure or pre-existing dental work. And once your teeth finally reach the brightness desired, only occasional after-treatment is necessary to maintain your new look. The simple tool a patient needs that we provide is a specialized mouth guard to hold the bleach in place.

The key benefits of teeth whitening include its flexibility for people of all ages, its correction of yellow and brown tooth stains, and its near permanent solution for a ‘dull’ smile. Smile New Braunfels uses the latest in teeth bleaching technology and ensures a safe way for our patients to have the smile they deserve. Don’t wait to achieve teeth whitening with an expensive doctor – receive this treatment from someone local and at a low cost. Make an appointment when you call 830-629-8011.

Also be sure to check out our video on the teeth whitening process in the video above.

Smile New Braunfels Tech

The mission of Smile N.B. has always been to improve oral hygiene and create better smiles for all of New Braunfels. We provide our patients with  teeth whitening, bonding, fillings, and more. Treating our patients, and getting to the cause of their problems would not be possible without the technology that assists us. Smile New Braunfels makes use of technology in the professional arena to assist in giving you the smile you deserve.

  • Dental Microscope. Traditionally, Dentists would use ‘loupes’ to examine a patient’s teeth. It’s in our experience that we find using the microscope much more effective. The Dental Microscope allows us to achieve a better view of a patient’s tooth and thus, allows for more precise work to be done.
  • Dental Laser. This special laser is primarily used in re-shaping gum tissue when a cavity or crown is just below the gum line. For us to ultimately get a good impression of the edge of the tooth, the laser allows us to re-locate that gum tissue and not only then see the margin of the tooth but more importantly for the patient to be able to clean the area effectively for better, long term results. Use of the laser may also help shape the tooth, remove decay, and result in lower post-filling sensitivity.
  • Intraoral Camera. This digital pen-like camera can be a patient’s best friend; it explains what issues are occurring with their teeth and helps the dentist explain what treatments are necessary for the patient to have. It will allow the patient to see what we see.
  • Digital X-Rays.  X-Rays done via digitally are faster, more accurate, and use 70% less radiation. Once x-rays are taken of the teeth, we’ll then show our patients what’s occurring and we can adjust the tint, color, and depth-of-field.

All of these tools help you on your journey to having a better smile. Don’t wait to make an appointment. Give us a call at 830-629-8011.