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Ooltewah TN Dentist Blog
Thursday, 12 December 2019 13:24

New Year’s Resolution? Healthy Gums and Teeth

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Make Healthy Gums and Teeth a Goal This Year!

As the end of the year approaches, we all do a little soul searching, setting intentions for the new year. It’s always nice to have a clean slate– a fresh start of sorts. The first of the year is the perfect time, if there ever was one, to resolve yourself to taking better care of your teeth! Maintaining healthy gums and healthy teeth is a really lovely goal to work towards on your own or maybe with your whole family.

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The thing about New Year's resolutions is you’ve got to be realistic, and do whatever you can to set yourself up for success. One great way to achieve this is to work toward a common goal with your whole family. You and your partner and kids can all work toward healthy gums and teeth together! Make it a goal. Here are a few tips to help you stay the course with a resolution for better dental health.

Accountability- Hold each other accountable! Ask your kids if they brushed and flossed each morning and before bed. Remind your spouse to swish with a mouthwash to help kill bacteria and promote a healthier mouth. You can even ask your dentist at Tedford Family Dentistry in Chattanooga to recommend a toothpaste and mouthwash combination that’s best for you and your family.

Talk about it!- Talking about your resolution to practice healthy dental habits will only reinforce your goal, both in your own mind and with those around you. Being vocal about it will help encourage and motivate you, and your family as well, if they are taking this dental health journey with you!

Track your progress- This is especially helpful with children! Make your kids a chart and use stickers to track how well they’re doing with teeth brushing and flossing. That visual representation of effort is always encouraging and motivating. You could even work out a reward system to treat them for a job well done.

Involve your dentist!- Ask your dentist at Tedford how to best maintain healthy gums and teeth. Ask for recommendations about what steps you can take that are specific to your teeth and your personal goals, and always stay on schedule with regular dental cleanings and exams.

Go above and beyond brushing and flossing- There’s more to a healthy mouth than just the obvious basic daily care habits. Avoid sipping on sodas and other beverages (other than water) throughout the day, as these items can eat away at tooth enamel making it more susceptible to decay. Also don’t graze on food. Eat regular meals and maybe a snack or two a day, but in the interim, give your teeth a break.

All of us at Tedford Family Dentistry hope these tips are encouraging to you, and that you’ll consider a resolution related to your dental health. We also hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday season, and ring the new year in right, but what’s more is we hope you reach your personal goals you set for yourself. If better dental health is a goal of yours for 2020, just know we are here cheering you on, and happy to help in any way we can. Cheers to a happy, healthy new year, and hopefully happy, healthy gums and teeth.

Cosmetic Dental Services in Ooltewah TN

Perhaps once upon a time, all you wanted for Christmas was your two front teeth– but now as an adult, maybe there’s still room for you to love your own smile more? It’s amazing the level of confidence you can find in having a beautiful, white smile. If that’s something you aspire to, our expert staff at Tedford Family Dentistry wants to help.

At our office in Ooltewah TN, we offer all kinds of cosmetic dentistry services, and there’s never been a better time to take steps toward your best smile– just in time for the holidays. At our office, we can help with dental implants, dental veneers, teeth whitening for your brightest smile, cosmetic fillings, and contouring. No matter what condition your teeth are in, our dental staff is here to help restore your smile, whether that’s with something as simple as a whitening treatment, or something as involved as implants.

Dental Implants

Sometimes to accommodate tooth loss, your dentist will recommend dental implants. These artificial root replacements are surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath the gum line with the use of metal posts or frames. This process allows for the secure positioning of replacement teeth, and generally results in a more healthy and youthful looking smile.

Pros and Cons of Dental Implants

Pros:

  • Aesthetics- Dental implants look and feel just like real teeth, and have the power to transform a smile.
  • Durability- This is about as permanent a solution as you will find for tooth loss. Because dental implants are fused to the jawbone, they are stable and lasting like real teeth when well cared for.
  • Bone Health- Since dental implant exist to replace missing teeth, they greatly decrease the risk of bone loss, which can cause a whole host of other problems.

Cons:

  • Long Process- The procedure requires multiple steps, and can take time. You also need to wait up to 6 months for the implants to fuse to the bone, so it may not be the best option for someone looking for a quick fix.
  • Potential Infections- Though rare, there is a risk of dental infection that comes with implant surgery. This can generally be mitigated with a close watch from your dentist or oral surgeon.
  • Expense- Even if partially covered by insurance, you will still be responsible for some of the cost of dental implants, and they can be pricey. Details will depend on your specific situation, but it’s always smart to be prepared.

Tedford Family Dentistry

Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are thin pieces of porcelain bonded to the teeth to recreate a natural, beautiful smile. They also behave like actual teeth, boasting strength and resilience much like natural tooth enamel. Dental veneers can be used to fix chipped or broken teeth, as well as uneven, worn down, or misaligned teeth, creating a more aesthetically pleasing smile.

Pros and Cons of Dental Veneers

Pros:

  • Aesthetics- Perhaps the most obvious benefit to dental veneers is the enhanced appearance of one’s smile.
  • Low Maintenance- Because dental veneers are adhered directly to the teeth in whatever shape they happen to be in, no drilling or shaping is necessary in most cases. Once applied, you just brush and floss your veneered teeth as usual.
  • Whiter Smile- Dental veneers basically look like beautifully white, brand new teeth. Enough said.

Cons:

  • Color Variation- Though the color of your teeth will slowly change with time and age, the veneer color will not. This can sometimes lead to differences that are noticeable.
  • Delicate- Veneers are made of porcelain, which is more likely to chip and crack than regular crowns or filling material. That said, dental veneers might not be a great choice for someone who chews ice, bites their nails, or grinds their teeth, making them more susceptible to breakage.

Teeth Whitening

Tedford Family Dentistry in Ooltewah TN offers cosmetic dental services such as teeth whitening so clients can achieve their best smiles.

Let’s face it. Some of us don’t have teeth as white as we’d like. Lots of things can cause teeth to discolor and stain– smoking, drinking coffee, tea, and red wine, aging, trauma, and of course, poor oral hygiene. Some of us just naturally have teeth of a darker shade, but whitening is always an option. At Tedford, we can help you achieve your whitest, brightest smile!

Pros and Cons of Teeth Whitening

Pros:

  • Cosmetic- The obvious pro for teeth whitening is, you guessed it, whiter teeth!
  • Confidence- Talk about a confidence boost! There’s nothing more confidence-building than smiling your whitest smile.

Cons:

  • Tooth Sensitivity- Sensitivity can occur with whitening, and is more severe in some cases than others; however, it generally subsides within a few days.
  • Gum Irritation- Sometimes whitening can cause gum irritation, usually a result of poorly fitting whitening trays rather than from the whitening agent itself.

At Tedford Family Dentistry, we will work to ensure trays fit properly to avoid these potential issues. With the holidays coming up, maybe you should treat yourself to the smile you’ve always wanted. If you are considering cosmetic dental procedures, we hope you’ll consult with our dentists at Tedford Family Dentistry. We are here to answer any questions you might have about potential treatments that can help you achieve your best possible smile. Get in touch today, and start the process.

Tuesday, 01 October 2019 11:48

Don't Let Your Sweet Tooth Come Back to Bite You!

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How to Prevent Cavities During the Upcoming Holidays

halloween treats

It’s candy season, folks, and it all kicks off with Halloween. Late October ushers in the several-month-long stretch of holiday parties at school, at the office, with friends, and with family– and the common thread running through these get togethers? Abounding treats. Halloween is the first of the candy-laden holidays, and every kid you know is soon to have a pillowcase full of sugary confections they will indulge in for weeks to come. First Halloween, followed by Thanksgiving and Christmas. The treats will be in full supply all the way through the New Year, and the near constant intake of sugar can really take its toll on teeth. For this reason, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of how you can prevent cavities and tooth decay from sneaking up on you throughout the holiday season.

 

1- Prioritize Regular Brushing and Flossing

You guessed it. The most important way to keep teeth healthy and stay on top of cavity prevention is good, old-fashioned brushing and flossing. You and your kids should be brushing for 2 minutes, twice daily and flossing before bed anyway, but during the holidays with all the cookies and candy, it’s even more imperative to be diligent about these habits. Your friends at Tedford Family Dentistry also suggest, at least for older kids, that incorporating a cavity-fighting mouthwash can help ensure bits of sweet treats don’t take up residence in those hard-to-reach spots and cause decay.

drinking water2- Drink A Lot of Water

Water intake is key to wellness for so many reasons, but it’s also imperative for maintaining a healthy mouth. Not only does water help loosen and remove food particles and bacteria on and around the teeth, but it also has a neutralizing effect on plaque acids while encouraging the flow of healthy saliva. Each swig of water acts as a quick rinse for the mouth and teeth, and is an all-around healthier alternative to holiday drinks like soda or punch. Plus, the fluoride in drinking water is nature’s best cavity fighter. Enjoy the festive beverages in moderation, but be mindful of the important role water plays in keeping your teeth in great shape.

3- Avoid Grazing

It may seem like a good idea to slowly munch on cookies and holiday candy, spacing it all out over time; however, this is not the case. Think about it this way– basically everything you eat or drink nourishes the bacteria present in your mouth. Then, said bacteria produces acid which attacks the enamel on your teeth, depleting the minerals that comprise them. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes for the acid levels to neutralize or return to normal levels. Therefore, when you slowly graze on sugary food and drink, you prolong the amount of time your teeth are subjected to the effects of these harmful acids. For this reason, it’s much better for you and your children to partake in your snacks and treats at one time, then give your teeth a needed break.

4- Practice Smart Snacking

Between the sticky holiday candy, caramel corn, and pie, you should sneak in some healthy snacks too! Remember that crunchy vegetables like carrot sticks and celery are not only good for your body, but also help clean off the surfaces of your teeth. Interestingly enough, cheese is also a good choice! Especially if you’re enjoying an alcoholic beverage or two at a holiday party, calcium in the cheese can help neutralize acids from the drinks while also strengthening your teeth. Sneak these snacks onto your kids’ party plates as well, instilling good, balanced habits and healthy choices.

5- Don’t Skip the Cleanings!

Though the last few months of the year tend to be the busiest, don’t skip your regular trips to the dentist! This is probably the most important time of year for staying on top of exams and cleanings. Catch issues early, and use preventative measures like flouride treatments to avoid issues that can worsen over time if not treated. Enjoy the fun holiday season with all their tricks, treats, gifts, and get togethers– but not at the expense of proper oral care. The staff at Tedford is here to help you with all your family dental care needs, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

Tuesday, 10 September 2019 12:38

Low Cost Dental Care

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Chattanooga Family Dentists Think Sealants Are Key to Low Cost Dental Care

Tedford Family Dentistry believes sealants are a great step toward achieving low cost dental care.

The staff at Tedford Family Dentistry in Ooltewah, TN always stresses the importance of taking care of your teeth. Regular brushing and flossing, avoiding sugary food and drinks, and consistent cleanings and dental exams are all crucial in maintaining a healthy mouth. When we slack on these things, the effects can often be painful and extremely costly to rectify. Filling cavities, getting root canals and needing crowns are things we all want to avoid. But in addition to proper cleaning, dental sealants are a great way to help keep tooth decay at bay.

Where are the sealants applied?

Molars can be rough and craggy, with lots of tight nooks and crannies for food particles and bacteria to hide. This is where sealants come in! You can actually safeguard your child’s molars with these thin, protective coatings that can actually keep cavities from forming, as well as keep minor tooth decay from progressing into full-blown cavities that require fillings.

How effective are sealants in protecting teeth?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dental sealants prevent 80% of cavities in back teeth or molars, where 9 out of 10 cavities occur. The CDC also reports school-aged children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than children who do have sealants.

How do they work?

Sealants are basically like armor for your teeth. After application, the sealants keep bits of food, germs, and bacteria (the recipe for cavity-making) from settling on the surfaces of the teeth, just like a shield would protect you in battle.

How are sealants applied?

Your dentist can quickly and easily apply sealants to adult and baby teeth in both adults and children. It’s a completely painless and non-invasive process. Your dentist will first clean and dry the surface of the tooth then place on it an acidic gel. The gel acts as a bonding agent for the sealant by creating a rougher surface for it to grab onto. After applying this gel and allowing it to set, your dentist will simply rinse it off, apply the sealant material, then harden or set it with a special instrument called a dental curing light (also used for fillings, etc).

Happy tooth is happy because preventative care like dental sealants make all the difference in pediatric dentistry.

Are they cost-effective?

Many dental insurance plans cover the cost of sealants. If you’re not sure about your coverage, call your provider to check in about it. Covered or not, sealants should be part of every parent’s low cost dental care regimen, as they can prevent cavities and other dental problems that are extremely costly to address. As purveyors of great dental care from pediatric dentistry all the way through adulthood, the staff Tedford Family Dental recommends all children have sealants applied to their teeth. Preventative is always the best approach when it comes to a healthy mouth.

Thursday, 29 August 2019 19:02

Pediatric Dentistry: The Key to Lifelong Oral Health

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Start ’em early! It’s never too soon to start imparting to your children the importance of good oral hygiene. Experts say as soon as your baby starts getting teeth in, you should begin cleaning them, and here at Tedford Family Dentistry we fully subscribe to this belief. You can start by wiping your baby’s teeth clean with a soft cloth and warm water. When your baby reaches the 18 months mark, you can begin brushing your baby’s teeth with a pea-sized amount of low-fluoride toothpaste. As they grow, they can begin taking more and more ownership of the task, but for a good while, they will need a lot of help and supervision.

Establishing these good oral health habits out the gate will help reduce the risk of tooth decay and cavities in baby teeth, of course, but getting into an early routine of regular brushing will also likely carry over into adulthood. Make it a priority to help your young children brush their teeth at least twice a day, and increase the chance that those good habits will stick.

When your little ones are young, it’s helpful to find ways to make brushing fun. Let them choose their own toothbrush at the store with colors or characters they love. Brush your teeth with your child, or even let them brush your teeth for fun. Use a timer so it feels like a game, but also reminds them to brush for the right amount of time, ensuring they target each area of the mouth for a thorough cleaning.

It’s no surprise that kids who learn great brushing and flossing habits early in life experience far less dental issues in adulthood. Laying that foundation is imperative. By age 5, nearly 50% of children have had one or more cavities! A lot of parents buy into the belief that decay in baby teeth doesn’t matter since those teeth will eventually be lost and replaced with permanent ones; however, this is a gross misconception. Decay in baby teeth can, in fact, have an adverse effect on the health of adult teeth, and can lead to dental issues later in life. This is why it’s so important to be proactive about preventative care from the get-go, caring for your baby’s teeth as soon as they begin to come in.

Every pediatric dentist would agree that teaching your kids to actually brush their teeth with regularity is only part of the job. You also need to teach them the proper techniques to be completely successful. Most parents are familiar with this scenario. Your child puts a glob of toothpaste on a toothbrush, half of which finds its way into the sink (aka NOT into your child’s mouth), and he or she spends maybe 15 seconds lathering it up before a quick spit, and they’re on their merry way. Not gonna cut it. You can help your child learn how to do a better job by demonstrating the best way. Brush your teeth at the same time, showing your child the best brushing techniques. This way they can also get a better feel for how much time they should be spending on the task.

The American Dental Association recommends a full two minutes of brushing. Several seconds of aggressive brushing can actually be harmful and cause distress to teeth and gums. This is a great case of slow and steady wins the race. Teach your kids to take their time, concentrating on all surfaces of their teeth, as well as the tongue and gums. Lots of bacteria live here, and it takes diligence to combat those germs that can cause bad breath as well as gingivitis.

Leading by example will be key in teaching your children these healthy oral care habits, but you should also ensure they receive the recommended preventive care from an expert pediatric dentist. That’s where we come in! At Tedford Family and Pediatric Dentistry in Ooltewah, TN, we take a preventative approach and believe trips to the dentist can be fun. We go to great lengths to ensure our young patients have positive experiences each time they come in to see us, and we are in it for the long haul. Whether the patient is one year old, or ninety, we believe in providing the best possible care, encouraging great habits, and keeping your pearlies looking and feeling their very best.

Thursday, 25 July 2019 18:47

The Importance of Preventative Dentistry

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Preventative Dentistry Keep Your Mouth Healthy

At Tedford Family Dentistry, we have been helping residents of Ooltewah and the surrounding areas maintain healthy mouths for years. While we offer services that help to fix dental issues once they have already happened, we feel that it is more important for our patients to understand that the benefits of maintaining a preventative dental routine in order to decrease the number of dental issues that can arise during their lifetime. If you don’t take care of your teeth and properly manage your oral health, you may find yourself forking over thousands of dollars in restorative dental care. Did you know that a full mouth reconstruction can cost between $45,000 and $80,000? By practicing preventive dentistry, you can safeguard yourself from these exorbitant dental costs. In today’s blog post, we are going to go over some of the steps that patients can take to make sure that they are practicing proper preventative dental care.

Preventive dentistry emphasizes the importance of ongoing hygiene procedures and daily practices to prevent tooth decay and other dental diseases and conditions. This is achieved by patients making sure that their at-home oral care is properly addressing the daily needs of their gums as teeth while also combining regular visits to the dentist in order to make sure that issues that are harder to address at home (such as plaque and tartar build up) are taken care of before they become major issues.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends a minimum of two dental checkups each year for professional cleaning and management of any developing conditions. Following this recommendation can help your dentist stop dental disease in its earliest stages, protecting your smile and limiting your expense as it relates to your oral health.

Preventive Dentistry Strategies

Preventive oral care strategies include a number of in-office and home care activities. Some of these activities include:

At-home oral hygiene: The most important prevention technique is brushing and flossing at least twice a day (or after every meal) to remove dental plaque. If plaque is not removed, it can build up and produce dental tartar, a hardened, sticky substance with acid-producing bacteria that can cause tooth decay and lead to gum disease. Trust us, it is better to prevent tartar from accumulating than letting it take hold. Once the tartar has taken hold, it can only be removed by a dental professional.

Diet: A balanced diet is essential to overall oral health. Foods laden with sugars and carbohydrates feed the bacteria that produce dental plaque, while calcium-poor diets increase your chances of developing gum (periodontal) disease and jaw deterioration. We’re not saying that you have to be a health food fanatic but you do need to make an effort to eat food that is going to help your teeth rather than harm them.

Fluoride use: Fluoride strengthens teeth and prevents tooth decay. While you can visit the dentist for a fluoride treatment, it is not always necessary to get the recommended amount of fluoride each year. Fluoride has been added to tap water in most areas of the country so when you brush your teeth twice a day, you’re also receiving a fluoride treatment at the same time!

Regular dental visits: Visiting the dentist on a regular basis is one of the most important things a person can do in order to make sure that their oral health stays as good as possible. Because most dental conditions are painless at first, a person may not notice something is wrong until it gets to the point where pain occurs. For best results, schedule regular dental check-ups every six months. During this checkup, your dentist will remove any plaque or tartar that has built up, check for cavities, and generally make sure that your teeth, gums, and mouth are healthy. Additionally, your dentist should perform screenings for oral cancer to make sure that no abnormal tissue growth is happening on the gums or in the mouth.

Sealants: Sealants are thin composite coatings placed on the chewing surfaces of back permanent teeth. Sealants are most commonly placed on children’s permanent teeth when they develop, however, adults can also benefit from sealant treatment.

X-rays: X-rays enable dentists to look for signs of dental problems that are not visible to the naked eye, such as cavities between teeth and problems below the gum line. Even though your teeth may look perfectly fine at a glance, x-rays ensure that no problems exist below the gumline.

Avoid smoking and drinking: Chewing tobacco, smoking, and drinking have all been linked to problems surrounding oral health. These substances work to weaken the enamel of the teeth which leads to discoloration, cavities, tooth decay, and even oral cancer.

If you have any more questions about preventative dentistry or you would like to schedule an appointment at our Ooltewah office, please reach out to us today by giving us a call at 423.238.8887 or filling out our contact form.

Tuesday, 18 June 2019 18:24

Is Flossing That Important?

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Flossing Should be a Part of You Daily Routine

If you ask most people how they feel about flossing, you are likely to be greeted with answers that are less than favorable. It seems that across the board, most people don’t enjoy flossing and even fewer people actually take the time to floss on a weekly, let alone daily, basis. Why is flossing such a tough sell for people? Mostly because it is time-consuming and can also lead to some uncomfortable feelings in the gums afterward. Despite the reluctance of the average person when it comes to flossing, we wanted to take some time in today’s blog post to go over the many reasons that flossing is one of the most important things a person can do in order to maintain good oral hygiene and reduce that amount of problems associated with bad oral health. Keep reading below to learn more!

What are the Facts?

In a world where it’s hard to believe anything that we are told at face value, many people may be wondering if flossing is actually worth it. After all, people tend to brush their teeth every day; shouldn’t that be enough? While brushing your teeth is an important component in maintaining good oral health, it is only the basest of activities that need to be completed in order to make sure that your pearly whites stay healthy. You see, brushing is great but it really only tackles the problems that are on the most easily accessible areas of a person’s teeth. Bacteria in the mouth are adept at finding nooks and crannies that are hard to reach, allowing them to take root and enjoy the plethora of sugars that find their way into our mouths every single day. When you floss, you are reaching areas of your mouth that a toothbrush just simply can’t. Cleaning out the areas in between teeth is one of the best ways to fight plaque build-up, which can lead to all sorts of nasty things, and improve the overall health of your mouth.

What Happens When You Don’t Floss?

We can tell you all day about the benefits of flossing but we also want you to understand what can happen if you choose not to floss on a regular basis. When you don’t floss, you are at risk for two major dental issues: gingivitis and cavities between your teeth. Gingivitis is a common and mild form of gum disease that presents itself as irritation, redness, and swelling of the gum area that surrounds the base of a person’s teeth. If ignored, gingivitis can lead to a much more serious gum disease known as periodontitis and, eventually, tooth loss. In addition to gingivitis, people who do not floss are more likely to get cavities in between their teeth. If you have ever had a cavity, you know that they are not fun to deal with. A cavity in between the teeth is even worse. While flossing will not completely eliminate the risk of gingivitis and cavities, it goes a long way in protecting your mouth from these uncomfortable and potentially harmful oral maladies.

How Often Should a Person Floss?

Ideally, a person would floss every single day. However, as dental professionals, we know that this does not always happen. Flossing at least once every few days, in addition to brushing your teeth at least twice a day, can go a long way in making sure that your mouth stays as healthy as possible. We’ve found that many people find it easier to get into a flossing routine if they purchase disposable, one-time-use flossers. These tools are easier to use than traditional dental floss and can be kept in a small container directly on the bathroom sink. If you’re looking to incorporate a flossing regimen into your daily oral hygiene routine, we suggest that you floss every time that you brush. Even though it takes a few extra minutes, we promise that the health benefits will be worth it.

If you have any more questions about oral hygiene or you need to schedule an appointment to have your teeth cleaned, please reach out to us at Tedford Family Dentistry today and schedule an appointment. We have been serving patients in the Ooltewah area for years and we would love to help you make sure that your mouth stays as healthy as humanly possible.

Thursday, 30 May 2019 12:18

Are Dental Implants Right For You?

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Here at Tedford Family Dentistry, we want to make sure that all of our Ooltewah clients fully understand the cosmetic dentistry services that we offer. In the world of dentistry, people generally place dental services into two main camps - things that need to be done and things people want to have done. For example, getting a cavity filled is a need-based service. Walking around with a cavity can be quite painful and, as such, is a service that most people would consider necessary in order to maintain the overall health of their mouth. However, in today’s post, we are going to talk about a service that, at first glance, doesn’t seem like a necessity but, after taking a moment to think about the benefits, can quickly blur the lines between what is necessary and what is wanted.

What are Dental Implants?

Before we dive into some of the benefits of dental implants and whether or not they are the right choice for your situation, we want to take a moment to explain what dental implants are. At the most basic level, dental implants are fake teeth that are placed in a patient's gums in order to replace a tooth that is dying or to fill in for a tooth that has already fallen out of the patient's mouth. Think of dental implants as an artificial tooth with an attached root. When dental implants are placed in the jawbone, they bond with the patient’s bone, providing a sturdy base for an artificial tooth (known as a crown) to be placed. In modern dentistry, dental implants are the best replacement for a lost or damaged tooth because they are the most realistic looking replacement available and, more importantly, they help to maintain the integrity of the jawbone.

When a tooth is lost or starts to die, the root is no longer firmly placed in the jawbone. While this might not seem like a huge deal to the average person, a missing tooth can actually create lasting damage that affects the integrity of the teeth closest to the missing or damaged tooth. The human jawbone is made to house teeth. The roots of teeth and the jawbone work together to maintain structural integrity of the jawbone. If a person is missing one or more teeth, the area of the jawbone where these teeth are missing becomes weaker. If left untreated, this weak spot can actually spread further away from the problem area, leading to an overall softening of the jawbone and, in a worst-case scenario, damage to the roots of healthy teeth. Luckily, dental implants help to solve this issue by giving the jawbone a “root” to grow around, maintaining the natural strength of the jawbone itself.

What are Some of the Advantages of Dental Implants?

Aside from helping the jawbone maintain its strength, dental implants offer many more benefits when compared to other tooth replacement options:
  • Improved Appearance - One major advantage that draws people toward dental implants is the fact that they are one of the most natural-looking tooth replacement options. When placed in the mouth, dental implants look and feel just like a natural tooth.
  • Improved Speech - A major complaint we hear from people with dentures is that they can slip in a patient’s mouth, causing a person to slur or to mumble their words. This occurs because the dentures may not sit properly in a person’s mouth. With dental implants, this problem does not occur because the implants are fused directly to a person’s jawbone, guaranteeing that no slipping will occur.
  • Improved Oral Health - Unlike dental bridges, dental implants do not require the reducing of surrounding teeth. Because the adjacent teeth are not altered to support the implant, a patient’s original teeth are left intact, greatly improving long-term oral health.
  • Durability - Another great feature of dental implants is the fact that they are super durable. The implant itself is made from medical grade stainless steel, while the crown can be made from a variety of materials including resin, ceramic-based materials, or porcelain fused to metal. No matter the material, dental implants are made to last.
  • Convenience - Once a dental implant is placed in a patient’s jaw, they often times forget that they even have a false tooth. Other tooth replacement options, such as dental bridges or dentures, require a certain amount of upkeep and, unfortunately, must oftentimes be removed from the mouth in order to be properly cleaned. Because a dental implant is a permanent, long-term solution that is designed to stay in a patient’s mouth, upkeep is the same as it would be for a natural tooth.

Are Dental Implants Right for Me?

By this point in the post, you are probably wondering if dental implants are the right choice for your particular situation. While every patient’s situation is different, we are confident in saying that dental implants are almost always the best choice when it comes to replacing a damaged or missing tooth.

We hope that this blog helped answer some questions about dental implants and the advantages they provide. If you are interested in learning more about the dental implant services we offer at our Ooltewah location, please feel free to reach out to us through our contact form or give us a call at 423-238-8887.
It’s comforting to know that our Ooltewah TN family dentistry offers teeth whitening as part of our cosmetic dentistry services, but there are things that you can do to minimize the impact of stains and discoloration before this is needed to restore your pearly white smile. This month’s blog is dedicated to answering frequently asked questions about teeth whitening…

Why do teeth stain?

ooltewah tn teeth whitening

Teeth become yellow or gray for a variety of reasons that may be behavioral or simply the effects of erosion of the enamel over time allowing more of the color of the dentin to show through.

How can I maintain the whiteness of my teeth?

There are a few different things you can do to keep your natural smile looking it’s best. You’ve no doubt heard the expression “You are what you eat…”

Turns out, this is true, at least when it comes to the coloration of your teeth.

Because your teeth are porous, they naturally absorb the liquids that you drink. Avoid consumption of or exposure to products that are known to stain teeth, such as coffee, tea, sodas, grape or cranberry juice, popsicles, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, tomato sauce, fruits and berries (blueberries, blackberries, cherries, pomegranates, etc.), and beets.

Making some adjustments can minimize the impact of these foods and beverages, including swishing your mouth with water after eating or drinking something (or, if practical, brushing and rinsing immediately after consuming), adding milk to coffee to lighten it’s color, choosing green tea over black tea, choosing light-colored sodas, drinking apple juice instead of grape or cranberry juice, avoiding popsicles with dark coloring, switching to light-colored or creamy sauces over deeply colored sauces, adding a lighter vinegar to salads, and adding greens like lettuce and broccoli that create a film on your teeth to prevent staining from occurring. You can also use a straw so the liquid from beverages that stain bypasses your front teeth.

Foods like beets are packed with good nutrients, but they stain everything they touch. You don’t need to skip foods high in antioxidants and vitamins that your body needs just to avoid staining teeth. Research suggests that gum disease accelerates and is potentially more severe in people with poor nutrition.

You DO want to consider eliminating sodas because of the artificial sugar and acid, which are terrible for the enamel on your teeth. Foods high in carbohydrates, sugars, and starches greatly contribute to the production of plaque acids that attack the tooth enamel. “Energy drinks” can erode enamel, so drinking water during workouts is a better alternative.

The color of a drink does not always dictate the full extent to which it can stain teeth. The dark, rich color of red wine makes it an obvious culprit, but white wine actually contains more damaging acid

What else can I do to keep my teeth white?

We recommend brushing your teeth at least twice daily and flossing at least once daily. Use a whitening toothpaste once a week only to remove surface stains, using your regular toothpaste the rest of the time. 

Are All Stained Teeth the Same?

Whitening may be more effective on yellowish teeth than brownish-colored teeth. Grayish-hue or purple-stained teeth present the biggest challenge. Blue-gray staining can require months of treatments. In some cases, veneers, bonding, or crowns may present a better choice than bleaching. It’s also important to note that teeth whitening is not permanent as patients may expose their brightened teeth to the same foods and beverages that stained their teeth in the first place. A touch-up treatment in 6 months or after a year or two may be needed.

Can a Cosmetic Dental Procedure Whiten my Teeth?

Certainly! Tedford Family Dentistry helps our patients restore their gorgeous smiles with procedures such as teeth whitening, dental implants, dental veneers, cosmetic fillings, and contouring the shape of teeth.

Our professionally applied products meet ADA guidelines for safety and effectiveness. The first step to ensuring safe and effective us is a professional consultation. Call us at (423) 238-8887 to arrange a cosmetic dental appointment at our office at 9380 Bradmore Lane, Suite 108, Ooltewah TN 37363.


Photo: © Catalin205 / 123RF Stock Photo

Blog © 2019 Tedford Family Dentistry: Tedford Keith DDS | Ooltewah TN 37363

In our Ooltewah Dentist Office, we see patients who suffer from regular teeth grinding, also known as “bruxism.” Since stress is a major contributor to teeth grinding, we are dedicating this month’s post to suggestions to help you lower your stress levels. 

ideas from ooltewah dentist office to treat stress related teeth grinding

Ways to Reduce Stress that Causes Teeth Grinding

Pain in the jaw from clenching teeth too tightly is bad enough, but stress can trigger many negative responses in our bodies, including headaches, high blood pressure, tense muscles, high blood sugar, heartburn, depression, and a weakened immune system. Here are a few ideas for getting your stress under control.

Ways to Relieve Stress at Home

We’ve all felt stress and wished we could escape the pressures of modern life to experience complete relaxation like the people in those bath power commercials from the 70s and 80s, pleading, “Calgon, take me away…” The home is usually a sanctuary for taking a break from stressors, but this doesn’t work if the pressure comes from a growing credit card bill or a baby that won’t stop crying.

Ask for Help and a Sharing of the Household Burden

You don’t have to keep up the façade of being Superman or Wonder Woman around the house. If other members of the household aren’t pitching in, speak up and let them know ways they can help. Talk to your spouse or a child about cutting back or getting a job if their spending is making it more challenging to manage debt. Don’t be afraid to accept help from a support system of family and friends, especially if you are the primary caregiver for a child or an aging parent. Keep a stress diary to track what triggers episodes of clenching teeth and other symptoms.

Exercise and Eat Better

It’s stressful knowing you’ve put on weight, aren’t getting enough activity, and not giving your body the nutrition it needs to perform at a normal level. You don’t have to hit the gym hard to experience changes. Simply walking around the neighborhood more often can make you feel more energetic and sleep better. Moderating your intake of stimulants like caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and sugary foods can also help the nerves.

Calm the Mind with Reflection

Whether it is a daily prayer or meditation, taking a short pause to look inward can lead to a feeling of gratitude and inner calm. Try mindfulness to shift your focus away from negative thoughts and anxiety. Yoga has been found to increase body and breath awareness, lowering cortisol levels, blood pressure, and heart rate. Soothing music and visits to the woods can also be very calming.

Do Things that Make You Smile, Laugh, and Feel Good

We’re all in favor of you showing off that beautiful smile. If watching a comedy takes your mind off stressors, make a date night of it. Light a scented candle if the aromas are pleasurable. Relish in social connections, including your church family, and take opportunities to cuddle, hug, and kiss when appropriate. A hobby like gardening may be enjoyable to you rather than hard work. A massage can alleviate physical pain from tense muscles. The companionship of a pet can also reduce stress, assuming your dog or cat behaves.

Defeat Chaos by Getting Organized with Checklists

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you don’t know where to start. Sometimes getting a grip on stress is as simple as wrapping your head around what needs to get done to change things for the better. With an action plan, you can focus on doing something specific each day that removes or improves a stressful thing from your life, better manage your time, and stop procrastinating.

Avoid Things You Know Stress You Out

If you get riled up reading political posts on Facebook, don’t jump into debating someone whose views differ from your own. If something bothers you, limit your exposure to it. If coming to a dentist’s office for a regular cleaning fills you with dread, DO keep the appointment, but definitely let us know so we can find ways to alleviate those feelings when you arrive at our Ooltewah Dentist Office. 

Get More Sleep

Easier said than done if you stress manifests as insomnia. As much as possible, give your brain time to calm down before going to bed and try to go to sleep at roughly the same time each day. 

Ways to Relieve Stress at Work

For many people, stress is synonymous with work: Making sure we get to the office on time, meet deadlines, say the right things to the boss. Earning a living doesn’t have to mean feeling miserable, though.

Take a Vacation

Easy enough, right? If your company offers paid vacation, it’s because it’s been proven that you’ll be more productive when you return from a bout of leisure. If you can’t afford a 2-week cruise to the Bahamas, find ways to do fun things closer to home. If you are feeling sick, your body needs time to rest so it can recover more quickly.

Learn to Say ‘No’

It’s easy to take on too much when we want to be liked at work and fear missed opportunities as a result, but you can find nice ways of letting people down gently and communicating when you are overburdened

Options If Reducing Stress Does Not Resolve Grinding Teeth

If you employ these strategies and feel relaxed yet still experience tenderness in jaw muscles, your dentist may use X-rays to detect temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders or other dental problems. A sleep study might assess whether episodes of teeth grinding are due to sleep apnea or another sleeping disorder. Splints and mouth guards that fit over the upper and lower teeth keep them separated to avoid damage from clenching and grinding. Another treatment for severe bruxism is Botox injections. In severe cases affecting a patient’s ability to chew properly, reshaping of a tooth or use of crowns may be needed to repair the damage.

Finding Solutions for a Less Stressful Life

These are a few of the common strategies people use to reduce their stress levels and address teeth clenching or grinding. Consult with a doctor if you have a medical condition or before starting new exercise routines. Consider visiting a licensed therapist or counselor if the bruxism is related to anxiety. Please feel free to ask Dr. Keith Tedford for ways to treat bruxism or other dental conditions. You can schedule an appointment at Tedford Family Dentistry by calling (423) 238-8887.


Photo: © Studio Grand Web / 123RF Stock Photo

Blog © 2019 Tedford Family Dentistry: Tedford Keith DDS | Ooltewah TN 37363

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