Dental Bonding: The Simple Solution to Transform Your Smile

Dental bonding is a cosmetic dental procedure that involves applying a tooth-colored resin material to the surface of a tooth to improve its appearance. It is a popular solution for a range of dental issues, from minor chips and cracks to discoloration and gaps between teeth.

Here are some of the dental issues that dental bonding can fix:

  1. Chips and Cracks If you have a minor chip or crack in a tooth, dental bonding may be the perfect solution. The dentist will apply a tooth-colored resin material to the affected area and sculpt it to match the shape of the tooth. Once the resin is cured, it will blend seamlessly with the rest of the tooth and restore its appearance.
  2. Gaps Between Teeth If you have small gaps between your teeth that you would like to close, dental bonding may be an option. The dentist will apply the resin material to the teeth on either side of the gap, gradually building up the surface until the gap is filled. The resin can be shaped and polished to match the surrounding teeth, giving you a more uniform and aesthetically pleasing smile.
  3. Discoloration If you have a tooth that is discolored or stained, dental bonding can be a great way to improve its appearance. The dentist will apply a tooth-colored resin material to the surface of the tooth, covering up any stains or discoloration. The resin can be color-matched to your surrounding teeth, giving you a natural-looking and attractive smile.
  4. Misshapen Teeth If you have a tooth that is misshapen or uneven, dental bonding can help to reshape it. The dentist will apply the resin material to the tooth, sculpting it into the desired shape. Once the resin is cured, the tooth will look more symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing.
  5. Exposed Roots If you have receding gums, your tooth roots may become exposed, making your teeth appear longer and more yellow. Dental bonding can be used to cover up the exposed roots and restore the appearance of your teeth. The resin material can be color-matched to your surrounding teeth, giving you a natural-looking smile.

In conclusion, dental bonding is a versatile and effective cosmetic dental procedure that can be used to fix a range of dental issues, from minor chips and cracks to discoloration and gaps between teeth. If you are interested in dental bonding or any other cosmetic dental procedure, it is important to speak to your dentist to determine the best course of action for your specific needs.

Why Daily Flossing is Crucial During the Holidays

The holiday season is synonymous with festive feasts, indulgent desserts, and joyous gatherings around the dinner table. While these culinary delights bring happiness and warmth to our hearts, they can also pose challenges to our dental health, particularly when it comes to the spaces between our teeth. As we indulge in the holiday spread, the importance of daily flossing becomes even more significant.

The Hidden Dangers Between the Teeth

Most of us are well-aware of the risks of not brushing our teeth regularly, but flossing often gets sidelined. The spaces between our teeth are prime real estate for food particles, especially during the holiday season when we’re consuming richer foods more frequently. These trapped particles, if not removed, can lead to bacterial growth, resulting in plaque formation. Over time, plaque hardens into tartar, a substance that can only be removed by professional dental cleaning. Both plaque and tartar can lead to cavities, gum disease, and even tooth loss if not addressed.

The Benefits of Daily Flossing

Prevents Gum Disease: Flossing daily helps to remove the plaque buildup along the gum line, preventing the onset of gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease. Left untreated, gingivitis can progress to more severe forms of gum disease which can be detrimental to your overall oral health.
Reduces Bad Breath: Food particles trapped between the teeth can lead to bad breath. Regular flossing helps eliminate these particles, ensuring your breath remains fresh, especially important when mingling at holiday parties.
Prevents Cavities: By removing trapped food and plaque from between your teeth, you’re also reducing the risk of cavities forming in these areas. Remember, while brushing tackles the surface of your teeth, only floss can effectively clean those tight spaces in between.
A Brighter Smile: Flossing not only helps with health but also aesthetics. By removing plaque and food particles, you’re ensuring that your teeth look their best, free from debris or stains.

Effective Flossing Techniques

To reap the full benefits of flossing, it’s essential to do it correctly. Here is a video demonstrating good flossing techniques.

While the holidays bring delicious treats and dishes, they shouldn’t be an excuse to neglect our dental health. As you navigate the festivities, ensure that daily flossing remains a non-negotiable part of your oral care routine. Not only will it safeguard your teeth and gums, but it will also ensure you step into the new year with a bright, healthy smile.

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This blog post is provided for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice. The content of this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Invisalign Vs. Traditional Braces: Which is Right for You?

In the world of orthodontics, Invisalign and traditional braces are the two most common options when it comes to straightening teeth. Each offers unique benefits and potential challenges. The question is, how do you choose the right one for you or your child? To make an informed decision, it’s crucial to understand what each treatment involves, along with their pros and cons.

Traditional Braces

Traditional braces have been around for decades. They involve brackets attached to each tooth, connected by a wire, which is periodically tightened to shift teeth into proper alignment.

Pros: Traditional braces are often more effective for complex issues, such as severe overcrowding or misalignment. They are always in place, which means the treatment is continuous. This is a good option for younger children who might not be responsible enough to wear and care for removable aligners.

Cons: Aesthetically, braces are more noticeable than Invisalign, and some people may feel self-conscious. They can make brushing and flossing more challenging, increasing the risk of staining and decay. They might cause discomfort due to wires and brackets rubbing against the inside of the mouth.

Invisalign

Invisalign, introduced in the late 1990s, uses a series of clear, removable aligners custom-fitted to your teeth. These aligners are replaced every two weeks, gradually shifting your teeth into alignment.

Pros: One of the main advantages of Invisalign is aesthetics. The clear aligners are virtually invisible, making them a popular choice among adults and teens. Because they’re removable, there are no restrictions on what you can eat, and maintaining oral hygiene is straightforward. Moreover, they tend to be more comfortable than braces since there are no wires or brackets.

Cons: Invisalign requires discipline. The aligners must be worn for at least 22 hours per day and only removed for eating, drinking anything other than water, and cleaning. If not worn consistently, treatment effectiveness can decrease. Invisalign may not be the best choice for severe or complex dental issues.

Making the Right Choice

When deciding between Invisalign and traditional braces, several factors come into play. These include the complexity of your dental issues, your lifestyle, age, budget, and personal preferences.

For straightforward cases, both Invisalign and braces can achieve excellent results. But for more complex issues, braces might be the better option. Aesthetically conscious individuals, or those whose lifestyle suits a removable appliance, may lean towards Invisalign.

Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all in orthodontics. The best way to determine which option is right for you is through a consultation with your doctor. They can evaluate your case, discuss your goals, and recommend the treatment that best suits your specific needs.

Whether it’s Invisalign or traditional braces, both paths lead to the same destination: a healthier, more confident smile!


This blog post is provided for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice. The content of this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

The Importance of Using Mouthguards: Guarding Your Best Smile

For many, the word ‘mouthguard’ evokes images of professional athletes charging down a field, teeth shielded from potential blows. But mouthguards aren’t just for the pros. From sports enthusiasts to individuals dealing with nighttime teeth grinding, many can benefit from this protective oral accessory.

Why Use a Mouthguard?

  1. Protection During Sports: Whether you’re playing a contact sport like football or a non-contact sport like basketball, there’s always a risk of facial injury. A mouthguard acts as a cushion for blows that might otherwise result in broken teeth, injuries to the lips and face, and even jaw fractures. Moreover, for young athletes, mouthguards are crucial as they protect developing teeth and can save on costly dental repairs in the event of an injury.
  2. Prevention of Nighttime Teeth Grinding: Many people unknowingly grind their teeth at night, a condition known as bruxism. Over time, this can lead to worn down, chipped, or damaged teeth, as well as headaches and jaw pain. A special type of mouthguard, often called a nocturnal bite plate or bite splint, can be prescribed for these individuals. This mouthguard protects the teeth from the force of grinding and can help alleviate associated symptoms.

Types of Mouthguards

  1. Custom-fitted: These are designed and made in a dental office or a professional laboratory based on your dentist’s instructions. Custom-fitted by your dentist, these mouthguards are uniquely crafted to fit the exact contours of your individual teeth and mouth. This precise fit not only ensures maximum protection but also makes it much more comfortable to wear. There’s less bulk, meaning easier breathing and speaking. While custom mouthguards might come with a slightly higher price tag than store-bought varieties, the investment is justified. They last longer, offer unparalleled protection, and can save on potential dental repair costs in the future
  2. Boil and bite: Available at many sporting goods stores, these mouthguards are first softened in boiling water and then inserted and allowed to adapt to the shape of your mouth.
  3. Stock: These are pre-made and ready to wear. Though they’re the least expensive option, they often don’t fit very well and can be bulky, making breathing and talking difficult.

Taking Care of Your Mouthguard

To get the most out of your mouthguard and ensure it provides optimal protection, follow these care guidelines:

  • Clean it regularly: Rinse your mouthguard with cold water or with a mouth rinse before and after each use. Occasionally clean it with mild soap and a soft toothbrush.
  • Store it properly: Keep your mouthguard in a sturdy, perforated container that allows air circulation, which helps prevent damage.
  • Check for wear: Replace your mouthguard if it shows signs of wear, damage, or if it no longer fits properly, especially if you’re a child or teenager, as your mouth will still be growing.
  • Bring it to your dental check-ups: Your dentist can ensure it still fits well and is in good condition.

In Conclusion

A mouthguard is more than just a protective tool – it’s an investment in the safety of your smile. Whether you’re a dedicated athlete, someone who grinds their teeth at night, or a parent of a sporty youngster, the right mouthguard can make all the difference in preventing dental injuries. If you’re considering getting one, talk to your dentist. They can guide you on the best type for your needs and ensure that it fits perfectly, offering maximum protection.

Protecting your teeth should always be a priority. With a mouthguard, you can confidently face challenges, whether on the sports field or in the quiet of night, knowing that your smile is guarded.

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This blog post is provided for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice. The content of this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

How Can Dental Implants Restore Your Natural Smile

Dental implants are a great solution for the missing teeth. The process is simple and the results are long lasting. Whether youve lost a tooth due to age, trauma, or some other cause, dental implants can help you restore your smile and your oral health.

What is a dental implant?

Dental implants are artificial teeth that look and feel just as natural as your own teeth. They are made from titanium, a material that is very strong and durable. The dental implant is surgically inserted into the jawbone, and the artificial tooth is placed directly on top of it. The implant acts as an anchor, providing a secure and stable base for the tooth. This makes it much easier to chew, talk, and smile without feeling selfconscious. Dental implants are a great solution for replacing missing teeth because they are designed to last a lifetime.

How are they different than dentures?

Dentures are artificial replacements for missing teeth. They are designed to rest on top of the gums, and they are removable. Dentures are usually made of plastic or porcelain and can be used to replace a few teeth, a whole row of teeth, or an entire upper or lower jaw. Dentures are less expensive than implants, but they have a shorter lifespan and require frequent adjustments and replacements.

How are dental implants placed?

The procedure to have dental implants placed is relatively quick and easy. The process typically requires two visits to the dentist. During the first visit, the implant is placed and allowed to heal. During the second visit, the artificial tooth is attached to the implant.

Once the new tooth or crown is in place, the dentist will then make sure that it is aligned properly and that it fits comfortably.

Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and restore the look and feel of a natural smile.


This blog post is provided for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice. The content of this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

3 Tips to Protect Teeth Against Gum Recession

If you’re familiar with the phrase “long in the tooth,” you might think gum recession only affects people later in life. But this is a myth – gum recession can start at any age. While there are some risk factors like genetics that you can’t control, there are also some easy ways to lower your risk for gum recession.

  1. Don’t Overbrush Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth too hard can damage your teeth and gums, leading to gum recession and enamel erosion. To prevent overbrushing, we suggest using soft-bristled toothbrushes and flossing gently rather than forcing the floss onto the gums. One sign to watch out for: If your toothbrush bristles get bent outward within a few months, you should try brushing more gently.

  1. Combat Gum Disease

Gum disease is the primary cause of gum recession because it destroys the gum tissue and bones that support your teeth. You can keep your gums healthy by following good dental hygiene, including brushing and flossing every day and seeing the dentist at least twice a year. Cutting down on can also reduce your risk of gum disease.

  1. Protect Against Grinding Your Teeth

Grinding or clenching your teeth (known as bruxism) creates excessive friction between your teeth and pressure on your gum tissue. Over time, this can damage the gums and lead to gum recession. If you or your child grind your teeth, even while you sleep, talk to your dentist about a dental guard to protect your teeth.

What You Need to Know About a Dental Crown

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that can either be placed on an implanted post or over an existing tooth. Crowns can be made of various materials for different purposes.

What Are Dental Crowns Made Of?

Metal crowns can be made from various alloys, including gold, platinum, cobalt-chromium and nickel-chromium. These crowns are strong and last the longest of all materials. They rarely break, but their color and the high price of some of the metals, like gold, can cause people to seek another option.

Stainless steel crowns are often used temporarily while a permanent crown is being made. They’re also used for children to reduce the number of visits needed to care for a primary tooth that has been treated for decay until the tooth naturally falls out and the adult tooth takes its place.

For visible teeth, porcelain fused to metal can create a crown that matches your tooth color. These are a great option if the crowns are being fitted to a long bridge where structural strength is important. However, porcelain crowns chip easily and can cause some wear to their opposing teeth.

All-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns provide the best natural color matching. Because of this, they can be used for front and back teeth.

All-resin crowns are cost-effective, but they wear down over time and tend to break easier than porcelain-fused-to-metal-crowns.

Why Do We Need Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns can restore previously broken or worn-down teeth or protect weak teeth from decay, breakage, or chips. When the exterior of a tooth is worn away, a crown can cover the filling of the existing tooth and prevent it from being damaged. Crowns are also attached to dental implants to take the place of a missing tooth and are used as a cosmetic modification to improve a person’s appearance.

How Is a Dental Crown Prepared and Placed?

At your first visit to get a crown, you will get X-rays to check the roots of the tooth and assess the surrounding bone. If there is excessive damage due to decay or if there appears to be an infection or risk of injury to the tooth’s pulp, the dentist may recommend a root canal first.

The tooth will need to be shaped to receive the crown, so you will be anesthetized (numbed) while your dentist does this. If a significant portion of the tooth is missing, the dentist will build up and shape the tooth so the crown can fit well on it.

Then, your dentist will make an impression of your teeth with paste or putty to check your bite and make adjustments to the crown before you arrive for its placement.

Finally, your dentist will place a temporary crown to protect the tooth while the permanent crown is made. It is held in place with temporary cement, so it can be removed easily.

At your second visit, after removing the temporary crown, your dentist will check the fit and color of the permanent crown. You will be anesthetized again, and the temporary crown will be removed and replaced with the permanent crown.

Do Dental Crowns Require Special Care?

A dental crown is not a guarantee for full protection of your tooth, so you still need to care for it as though it were another tooth. This means practicing good oral hygiene – brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash once a day.

How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?

Depending on oral hygiene and your personal habits (such as tooth grinding, jaw clenching, and nail biting), a dental crown can last from 5 to 15 years.

For more information about crowns, their cost, and whether your dental insurance can help with the cost, contact us today.

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Hamilton Family Dentistry

5810 Harford Road
Baltimore, MD 21214
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Tuesday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
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Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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