Dental Care for Your Baby

There is a lot to learn when caring for a baby. Did you know that dental care is important for your baby, even before his or her teeth come in? Your child should start seeing the dentist when the first tooth comes in, usually around six to twelve months. The most important reason is to begin an in-depth prevention program. Dental problems can begin early, and the earlier you take your child to the dentist, the better the chance of preventing dental problems later in life. Children with healthy teeth chew food easily, learn to speak clearly, and smile with confidence.
Start your child now on a lifetime of good dental habits. It’s important that children do not fall asleep with a bottle of juice or milk. Doing so could allow sugar to remain on teeth overnight. Drinking from a cup rather than a bottle can help prevent tooth decay, as well. It’s best to encourage your child to drink from a cup as they approach their first birthday.
 
Additional Tips:
  • See that your children eat regular nutritious meals rather than junk food.
  • Make sure that you arrange for regular dental checkups for your children every 6 months.
  • Make sure that your children use fluoride toothpastes to brush their teeth and teach them to floss every day.
It’s important that parents teach good oral health habits to their kids at an early age because healthy teeth are essential for children’s general health and well-being. Most dental problems can be prevented with the simple steps described above.
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Choosing a Dental Crown

Choosing a Dental Crown

A crown is a dental restoration that covers your entire tooth. It used to be that any crown had to have some metal in it for strength. Dental crowns are one of Dentistry’s most versatile types of restorations. Beyond just offering a way to rebuild and strengthen a compromised tooth, they also provide a way by which a tooth’s overall appearance can be significantly changed.

So, your Dentist has recommended to you that you have a tooth that needs a dental crown. They have explained the reasons why the crown should be placed and now a decision must be made as to what type of dental crown should be placed.

What are the different types of Dental Crowns?

  • Metal. These crowns rarely chip or break and can withstand biting and chewing forces well and probably last the longest in terms of wear down.
  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal. Porcelain fused metal crowns. These are a combination that mix porcelain and metal together. Even though metal is used, it still provides a natural looking appearance because the metal is only on the inner surface of the tooth.
  • All Resin. These are less expensive than other crown types, but they wear down over time.
  • All Ceramic/Porcelain. This is the type of crown that a true cosmetic dentist will almost always place on a front tooth. It is made entirely of porcelain or other ceramic material.

A dentist might recommend placing a dental crown for a variety of reasons but, in general, most of these reasons will usually fall within one of the following categories:

  • To protect a weak tooth from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
  • To cover misshaped or severely discolored teeth
  • To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left

One of the major benefits of getting dental crowns is that your teeth will no longer be a source of physical discomfort. The dental crowns will protect your teeth from further damage as well as protecting your teeth
from any agents that may cause sensitivity or pain. By capping the decomposed tooth, your smile will look just as good as new.

 

 

 

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The Importance of Flossing

The Importance of Flossing

Flossing is an important part of an oral health care routine. Brushing alone will not keep your teeth and gums protected. With floss, you can remove food particles and plaque from between teeth better than with a toothbrush alone. Flossing your teeth every night can be a hard habit to develop, but it’s one that is worth the effort. It provides a number of benefits, from cleaner-feeling teeth to preventing cavities and avoiding tooth-loss. Additionally, flossing helps prevent gum disease, a condition that has the potential to affect blood glucose control and thus contribute to the progression of diabetes.

The three main steps in fighting gum disease are brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist regularly. Brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. Daily flossing may be the single most important way to fight against plaque. However, by brushing AND flossing, we help to eliminate the bacteria which can lead to bad breath, gingivitis, and periodontal disease.

Good gum care will have long standing benefits throughout a person’s life. Therefore, paying special attention to this area is highly recommended. Good oral care is all about building up a positive set of habits and sticking to it over time. Flossing your teeth every day is important to help promote overall health, even for the healthiest people. So, always remember to floss!

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White fillings vs. Silver fillings

There is still a lot of confusion out there as to which type of dental fillings a patient should choose, white fillings or silver fillings? This might one of the most contested topics in dentistry by a long shot. It’s a topic that’s easy to exaggerate. When a local news program is having a slow day, they whip out the old “Mercury Fillings” story and play it again.  Due to the great interest in this topic, it has received a lot of attention from researchers, who’ve studied this subject over and over again.

White fillings and silver fillings are both foreign substances which are being placed in our bodies; therefore, there will be positives and negatives of both.  White fillings are really silicone resin fillings – essentially resin with ground glass particles.  Silver fillings are mostly silver, with small amounts of copper and tin, and yes, a very small amount of mercury.

Advantages for white fillings:

  • Esthetics; they look just like your real teeth
  • Do not have any mercury in them

Disadvantages for white fillings:

  • More technique-sensitive to place
  • Transient sensitivity to cold
  • Generally cost more

Advantages for silver fillings:

  • Extremely durable
  • Less expensive

Disadvantages for silver fillings:

  • Unattractive
  • Contain mercury

The mercury in the silver fillings bonds to the silver and tin once it’s been placed in the tooth.  The mercury can’t escape, even when the old filling is removed.  To date, research hasn’t shown any link between the mercury in the fillings to any other health issues.  In fact, you get more mercury in your body by eating fish than you do from silver fillings.

Our philosophy at Wyte Smiles is to offer you what you want.  Depending on the situation, one material is better than another. But as the patient, you make the big decision!  I’ll do the best I can to discuss all the alternatives and help you make an informed decision.

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How does Dental Insurance work?

Denver Dental Insurance“So doc, this procedure is covered by my dental insurance, right?” The answer to that question is a definite “Well, maybe…”

How does Dental Insurance actually work? The first step happens when your employer consults an insurance provider and they decide which coverage to provide for you as the employee. Every insurance company offers multiple coverage plans based on how much your employer wants to pay. However, this means that select plans may pay more for some procedures like crowns than others.

What You Should Know About Dental Insurance:

  • Dental Insurance is a defined benefit plan, where only a certain percentage of treatment is covered.
  •  Dental insurance benefits differ greatly from traditional medical health insurance benefits and can vary quite a bit from plan to plan.
  • Many plans tell their participants that they will be covered “up to 80% or up to 100%,” but do not clearly specify plan schedule, allowance, or annual maximum or limitations.

With the exception of cleanings and x-rays, patients with insurance are able to get a treatment done at a dental office with just a co-pay. Depending on what the treatment is, the co-pay can vary from $20 to $600 or more. However, once you’ve reached a maximum amount – say $1,500 for example – the dental insurance company will not pay any more and any other work done will be coming directly out of your own pocket.

Dental Insurance is useful to have, but if it’s not getting subsidized by an employer, it generally doesn’t pay off. You’ll pay more out of your pocket in premiums than you’ll get in benefits. Your best bet is to start an HSA, or health savings account. That way you can put money away, tax free, to use for medical and dental care that you or your family may need.

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The Beauty of Veneers

denver veneersVeneers are one of cosmetic dentistry’s most recent developments. Dental Veneers, also know as Porcelain Veneers, are very thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored material. They are designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve appearance. They are routinely used by dentists as a way to make cosmetic changes for teeth. There are several main advantages to Veneers: they cause less pain than traditional types of restoration, create a very life-like appearance and are exceptionally stain resistant.

Cosmetic Benefits to Porcelain Veneers:

  • Porcelain veneers can completely conceal the imperfections of your front teeth, providing a total smile makeover.
  • They can cover a wide variety of dental flaws including misalignment, discoloration, or stains.
  • Veneers are extraordinarily strong. They can last up to 15 years if you maintain proper oral hygiene through daily brushing and flossing.

When researching veneers, it’s important to realize that the terms “Lumineers” and “veneers” are sometimes used interchangeably. However, they are actually different. Lumineers are simply one brand of veneers often referred to as “no prep veneers.” They don’t require shots or drilling, and they can be applied seamlessly over your existing teeth with only two visits to your dentist. However, very few people are good candidates for Lumineers. You’ll need to speak with your dentist to determine if they are right for you.

Though Lumineers aren’t for everyone, many people are great candidates for other types of veneers. They can be a wise investment for anyone who is in need of dental restoration. They offer a faster, simpler way to brighten, straighten, and revamp your smile! Feel free to contact us if you’d like more information – we’re your cosmetic dentists in Denver!

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