Silvia Erickson, D.D.S.
Congratulations on your new veneers! You’ve got your smile exactly the way you want it!
It’s not just for Christmas – it’s for a lifetime! What should you do to keep those pearly whites nice and tidy?
Keep them clean
Your veneers require the same kind of care your natural teeth do. Brush twice and floss once a day for at least two minutes, and drink plenty of water in between. Pick a non-abrasive toothpaste that contains fluoride, and choose a soft-bristled toothbrush to make sure you don’t harm the porcelain.
Stay Away from Stains
Your natural teeth still are vulnerable to staining. So, to keep your natural teeth matching your veneers for an all-over bright smile, you will want to avoid the following stain-culprits as much as possible. Several types of food and drink can cause your natural teeth to stain, such as red wine, coffee, black tea, curry, berries, and tomato sauce. You don’t have to cut these out completely, just remain stain free by practicing moderation!
Watch That Bite
Avoid biting into hard foods such as nuts and ice cubes, as this could cause your veneers to crack or chip.
Buddy-Up with Your Dentist
A visit to the dentist should be as important as remembering your best friend’s birthday, so mark it down in your calendar!
Regular visits to Silvia Erickson, D.D.S. as well as at-home care can keep your porcelain veneers looking shiny and new for a very long time! Call us today to book your appointment! 805-967-5017
Your mouth has entire colonies of microorganisms, and most of them do no harm. There have been over 700 different strains of bacteria that have been detected in the human mouth, most of which are harmless. Sometimes, other disease-causing bacteria are thrown into the mix which can affect our health. They can be controlled with a healthy diet, good oral care practices and regular visits to your dentist.
Bacteria in biofilm (a thin film of bacteria which adheres to a surface) were first detected under the microscopes of Antony van Leeuwenhoek in the 17th century. Bacteria in your mouth have both the ability to be harmful, but also to be beneficial and necessary to your immune system.
The plaque that forms on your teeth and causes tooth decay and periodontal disease, is a type of biofilm. A biofilm forms when bacteria adhere to surfaces in a watery environment, they excrete a glue-like substance which helps them stick to all kinds of materials. Dental plaque is a yellowish color type of biofilm that builds up on teeth.
Watch Out For These Bacteria!
Lives in your mouth and feeds off the sugars and starches you eat. It produces enamel-eroding acids as it feeds, which make it the leading cause of tooth decay.
Strongly linked to periodontitis. Periodontitis is a serious and progressive disease that can result in bone degeneration. It causes pain and leads to tooth loss.
A biofilm can contain communities of disease-causing bacteria, and if left uncontrolled, they can cause cavities as well as both gingivitis and periodontitis. Bacteria is also the cause of inflammation and pain of a root infection, leading to root canal treatment.
During root canal treatment, the root is dried extremely well and sealed, as to not provide any moisture for bacteria to colonize. A well-filled root canal offers bacteria a nutritionally limited space.
Biofilm can be controlled by proper oral hygiene; however, periodontitis requires an extra helping hand. Treatment of oral infections requires removal of biofilm and calculus (tartar) through non-surgical procedures followed by antibiotic therapy. Chlorhexidine and triclosan can reduce the degree of plaque and gingivitis, while preventing disease-causing microorganisms to colonize.
Don’t let oral bacteria be your “fr-enemy”! Call us Silvia Erickson, D.D.S. today on 805-967-5017 to discuss your oral health options.
Dental implants, titanium posts that are placed within your jawbone, are an excellent option for restoring missing teeth. The process of getting dental implants typically takes a few appointments over the span of several months, and since the strength of dental implants comes from their fusion with the jawbone, proper healing from this surgery is absolutely essential. Here are some tips for a speedy and well-healed recovery!
One of the best ways to promote a speedy recovery is to properly prepare for dental implant placement. Get ready for your procedure by:
- Getting plenty of sleep
- Avoiding smoking or drinking excessively
- Maintain your oral health! Brush twice a day and floss once a day!
- Arrange for someone to drive you to and from your procedure
- Plan to take some time off work so you can really focus on resting and recovering
- Pick up post-surgical prescriptions, gauze, cold compresses, and any other supplies
- Ask for a recovery timeline
Getting ready before your dental implant surgery can make a huge difference in the recovery afterwards!
Recovery Time Factors
Recovery time for the dental implants procedure depends on several factors. While each patient’s case is slightly different, these following factors are the main contributors to healing time:
- The number of implants: Having a single implant may take less recovery time than multiple implant placement.
- Whether or not you require preparatory procedures such as bone grafting
- Your oral and overall health: the healthier you are, the easier it will be for you to heal quickly.
Your oral surgeon will explain your unique estimated recovery time based on these and other factors at your initial consultation.
After Your Surgery
After the procedure, the healing process can be sped up through:
- Biting down on gauze to staunch the bleeding
Avoiding any activity that could put pressure on your mouth
Taking proper prescribed medication
Eating soft foods and avoiding chewing near the treatment area
Rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater between meals
Using a cold compress to reduce swelling
Gently retaining oral health routines like brushing and flossing
Following these guidelines, you will be able to heal comfortably and successfully!
To learn more about this treatment, or schedule a consultation, call 805-967-5017 and come see us at Silvia Erickson, D.D.S. today!
Whether you’re drinking from a glass that is half-empty or half-full, drinking a glass of water is always beneficial to your health. Human beings are 60% water; so staying hydrated throughout the day is crucial for the hydration of tissue, the distribution of nutrients, and the removal of waste from your body. Not only is drinking water beneficial to your overall health, but your dental health as well!
Here are four reasons why water is the best beverage for your teeth:
1. Water keeps your mouth clean.
Water cleans your mouth with every sip! As your drink, water washes away leftover food and any residual cavity-causing bacteria. Water also reduces the pH of your mouth by diluting the acids produced by bacteria that live in your mouth. Don’t forget to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes, but drinking water throughout the day will help keep your smile healthy and cavity-free.
2. Water strengthens your teeth.
Drinking water with fluoride, aka “nature’s cavity fighter”, is one of the easiest and most effective ways to fight cavities. While almost all water contains naturally-occurring fluoride, the community water systems that serve most American households adjust the level, usually by adding fluoride to achieve the right amount to reduce tooth decay. Health organizations, like the American Dental Association (ADA), say this is one of the major reasons most people no longer need the dentures that were so common before widespread fluoridation, and studies have shown that it is why dental costs are lower and oral health problems have declined in fluoridated communities!
3. Drinking water fights dry mouth.
Saliva is the human mouth’s first defense against cavities. Saliva helps wash away residual food and coats your teeth in calcium, phosphate, and fluoride. When your mouth doesn’t have enough saliva, you run the risk for tooth decay. When your mouth is feeling dry, drink a glass of water to quench your thirst, and strengthen your teeth!
4. Water is free of calories.
Drinking sugary beverages can create a cavity-prone environment within your mouth, and can lead to weight gain. Studies show that drinking water, eight 8-ounce glasses or 8×8, can help you lose weight.
If you have questions regarding water consumption or your overall dental health, don’t hesitate to call us today!
Sep 21st, 2016
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Dental implants are a safe and effective replacement for a missing tooth or teeth. The implant is placed in your jawbone and integrates with your natural bone. This implant then forms a stable, sturdy base for your new teeth.
What They Are
Implant: The implant itself is a rod that is screwed into the jawbone.
Abutment: This is the connection between the implant and the crown.
Crown: A tooth shaped cap that is attached to the abutment. It is the part of the tooth that is visible above the gum line.
What They’re Made Of
Titanium: Most implants are typically made of titanium, a biocompatible metal.
Zirconia: Often used for crowns and bridges and can be used as a metal-free option. Zirconia is biocompatible just like titanium.
Where They Go
Endosteal Implants: Placed in the jawbone. These implants are typically shaped like small screws, cylinders or plates, and they are the most commonly used.
Subperiosteal Implants: Placed under the gum, but on or above the jawbone. These implants are mostly for people with smaller jaws or shallow jawbones.
What Happens To Them
Osseointegration: Creates strength and durability by fusing directly to the bone and is bio-compatible. Bone cells attach themselves directly to the titanium/zirconium surface, essentially locking the implant into the jaw bone. Osseointegrated implants can then be used to support prosthetic tooth replacements of various designs and functionality. Anything from a single tooth, to all teeth in the upper and lower jaws. The teeth/crowns are usually made to match the enamel color of the existing teeth to create a natural appearance.
Bone augmentation: Some people do not have enough healthy bone to support dental implants, so bone must be built. Procedures can include bone-grafting which means adding bone to the jaw.
Talk to us today at Silvia Erickson, D.D.S. to discuss your options with an implant specialist!
Sep 7th, 2016
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Gum disease can be serious business if left untreated. The good news is, with regular maintenance and good oral hygiene, you can avoid and even reverse the early stages of gum disease. We’ve put together some tips for you that will help you prevent gum disease.
Maintaining a Clean Mouth
Brushing your gums, as well as your teeth after every meal is the best way to take care of your teeth. Remove those food particles without being too hard on your enamel. We can show you the best method at your next appointment.
Dental floss can reach those spaces in your mouth that a tooth brush just can’t get to. Get in between your teeth with floss before you brush, so that any food you pull out can be picked up by your tooth brush.
While you shouldn’t rely on mouthwash alone, certain mouthwash products are great for killing bacteria. Consult our office for suggestions as some products are better than others.
Practice Good Overall Health
Keeping a balanced diet keeps your whole body healthy. Staying away from eating too much sugar is a great place to start. Making sure you get all the nutrients you need helps your body fight bacteria, including those that can cause gum disease.
If you are a smoker, quit! Smoking is not just awful for your lungs, smoking leads to tooth decay, tooth loss and poor gum health. Smoking leads to the creation of pockets in your gums, where bacteria collect and form tartar. It also degrades the tissues that hold your teeth in place.
Talk to Your Doctor about your Medications
It may be worth talking with your doctor about the side effects of any medication you may be on. Some drugs lead to bacteria build up in the mouth, or affect the flow of saliva that keeps that bacteria from settling.
Hormones can also play a role in oral health. If you are experiencing hormonal changes, you may be experiencing tooth sensitivity, and promoting the development of gum disease.
Stress affects your body’s ability to fight infection. Evaluating the stress in your life and what you can do to manage it is a great idea to promote your general health.
Regular oral health visits are the best way to pin down gum disease. The professionals at our office are trained to notice the kinds of things you may not see in your mouth.
You may not have considered that your crooked teeth put you at risk for gum disease. Having straight teeth means eliminating certain pockets where gum disease can develop. Braces are a great way to do this.
Contact our office today to set up your next appointment!
Aug 24th, 2016
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Did you know a common myth surrounding one of our founding fathers, George Washington, was that he had wooden teeth? Contrary to popular belief, Washington actually had false teeth made of ivory, gold and even lead, but the stained wooden appearance of the contraptions he wore made them seem like they were made of wood.
In 1847 Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, had their first daughter’s milk tooth made into a brooch! It was a gold enamel brooch in the shape of a thistle with the baby tooth at the top of the “blooming” flower.
Prince Albert also loved hunting and there are several jewels that are set with the teeth of stags. It is possible that stag’s teeth jewels and infant teeth were examples of Prince Albert introducing Queen Victoria to German forms of commemorative jewels. Prince Albert was born in Bavaria in southeastern Germany, and deer teeth are part of traditional Bavarian dress to bring good luck in hunting. Prince Albert gave the tooth necklace to Queen Victoria in 1860. It contains 44 teeth from stags that he had hunted on the royal estate at Balmoral. Along with the necklace, in 1851 Prince Albert also had a holly brooch set with two stag’s teeth tied with Royal Stuart tartan ribbon. It was a souvenir of Balmoral and a birthday gift from his wife.
Check out these interesting jewels here!
Even further back in history than tooth jewelry, is jewels in teeth! A skull found in Chiapas, Mexico had teeth adorned with jade and blue stones, evidence that fashion and dental restorations existed as far back as the 1500s!
Get the royal treatment here with us and have a crown to be proud of!
Call us today to discuss your restorative dental options!
Aug 10th, 2016
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Whether you are missing a tooth, or at risk of losing many, dental implants may be a great solution for you. Dental implants are an increasingly popular fix for missing or dying teeth, and have many benefits.
What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are high tech teeth. The root of your current tooth is removed, and replaced with a screw attached to a ‘cap’ that looks identical to a natural tooth. Many people report higher confidence and comfort after receiving their new tooth.
What’s so Great About Them?
The cool thing about implants is that if taken care of, they can last for life. Usually all that needs to be replaced, if anything, is the cap. The other great thing about implants is that they can’t die like natural teeth. You still have to clean and maintain them like your other teeth, but no roots are any longer at risk of causing that tooth to fail. In addition to that, many implants can last a lifetime!
What is the Surgical Process Like?
The process is done either all at once, or in steps. This depends on the recommendations for your particular case. The first step is to remove the root of your natural tooth, and place the implant in its place. If there is not enough bone to place the implant, we may encourage you to have bone grafting first. The gum is then stitched closed and allowed to heal. This can take five to six months. The next step is to reopen the gum and place an abutment on the implant, along with a temporary crown so you can heal while the permanent crown is made for you. You then return to get your permanent crown attached in a few weeks. In other cases, all of these steps can be done in a single visit, but it depends on your specific case.
If you have any questions, please call our office for more information, we would be glad to help!
Jul 27th, 2016
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Accidents happen! Facial trauma can occur anywhere from sporting events and motor vehicle accidents, to work or home. Something as simple as an accidental fall could leave you with severely damaged teeth – but there’s no need to worry! Oral surgery and cosmetic dentistry offer a world of solutions for traumatic tooth injuries. Take a look at some common tooth injuries and available treatment options!
Veneers are porcelain shells that are bonded to the front of teeth to improve appearance. They’re designed to match the color of your natural teeth, making them a perfect solution for treating discoloration – chipped teeth, too! Veneers are durable and, if properly cared for, will only have to be replaced after 10-20 years of use.
Whitening is another treatment for trauma-induced discoloration. There are a variety of whitening options to restore your tooth’s natural color, from at-home whitening treatments to in-office bleaching.
Chipped and fractured teeth are among the most common results of sports injuries and falls.
As mentioned above, veneers don’t just treat tooth discoloration – they also fix chips and fractures. However, they’re not always necessary. Bonding is sometimes all it takes to fix minor chips. During a bonding treatment, we etch the surface of the tooth and place a plastic, tooth-colored resin with a bonding liquid to replace any missing tooth fragments.
Crowns are porcelain caps that are secured over damaged teeth and cemented in place to restore appearance and function. They also correct tooth decay and fractured fillings, stabilizing teeth after root canal therapy. Porcelain crowns resemble natural teeth and can last anywhere between 5 and 15 years.
Avulsed (knocked out) teeth need to be replaced to maintain your jawbone health. Without teeth to support, the jawbone deteriorates from underuse.
In some cases, the missing tooth can be reattached. However, this isn’t always an option. Dental implants are artificial teeth that are secured in the gum with a metal screw and serve as placeholders for missing teeth. They look just like real teeth and are equally functional.
Give us a call if you want to transform your smile emergency. We are more than happy to discuss treatment options and get you back on track after your facial injury!
Jun 29th, 2016
Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Smile Emergency: Facial Trauma and Cosmetic Dentistry
What are dental implants? Dental implants are replacement tooth roots that provide a foundation for both fixed and removable replacement teeth. Like roots, dental implants are secured within the jawbone and not visible once surgically placed. Teeth replacement is not new to dental technology. Early civilizations practiced teeth replacements; archaeologists have discovered skulls where teeth have been replaced by cast iron and sea shells. Despite their primitive methods, some of these implants were fused with bone like modern dental implants! However, unlike the ancient cast iron or sea shell implants, modern implants are composed of titanium. Titanium is lightweight, strong, and biocompatible.
According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID), dental implants have the highest success rate of any implanted surgical device — 98%. Dental implants are available in several designs that meet individual needs: single tooth replacement, multiple tooth replacement, implant supported prosthesis (removable), and an implant stabilized denture. Aside from meeting individual needs, there are a few other advantages to having dental implants:
- Improved appearance. Dental implants are designed to fuse with bone, and look and feel like your natural teeth.
- Improved comfort. Because dental implants become an extension of your natural mouth, implants remove the discomfort associated with removable dentures.
- Easier eating. Dental implants act as your natural teeth, allowing you to eat without the pain and discomfort that often accompany slipping of dentures.
- Improved self-esteem. Dental implants give your best natural smiling, helping build self-confidence!
- Improved oral health. Dental implants are the only proven way to prevent bone loss after the loss of natural teeth. The jawbone needs consistent chewing action to stimulate continual bone growth. Tooth/teeth replacement with dental implants offers a solution to prevent bone loss.
- With proper care, consistent brushing, flossing and routine dental visits, dental implants can last 40-years to life.
If you are interested in dental implants, or have any questions regarding the procedure, call the office today!
Jun 15th, 2016
Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Dental Implants: High Tech Teeth